Today, we got a »bright« product for you. Something to »shine a light« on those dark paths. Ok, I’ll stop now. You might have guessed it, it’s a flashlight.
What we got here, is a product, that came out of several years of testing and user feedback to produce not only a flashlight, but also a tool.
A Chinese company LUMINTOP, was founded to plug a hole in quality flashlight market some six years ago. The idea was to offer reliable, powerful and reasonably priced lighting solutions to the masses. The owner is an avid hiker, off-roader and traveller. On his journeys he met a lot of different people with different ideas and needs. He got together a team of like-minded colleagues and started producing custom flashlights for all possible activities. Several tests, meetings and patents later in 2009, they had the thing running completely and in 2010 they released their first hit product, the TD12 . Now they are a leading manufacturer in portable lighting solutions.
With several years of experience in the market, they produced and sent over one of their newest items; the tactical flashlight.It comes packed in a padded cardboard box with several accessories. The package includes the TD16 flashlight, a carry pouch, a safety lanyard two spare O-rings and a spare tail switch cover.The TD16 itself is is an upgrade of the well known and loved TD15X. It’s made of aircraft aluminium which gives the flashlight a light and sturdy feel. Its weight is only 160 g without the battery. It runs on two CR123 batteries or one 18650 rechargeable Lithium Ion cell, which are not included in the package. This is a shame, because most people tend to buy the cheapest possible battery, which is not always that good. For powerful illumination tool like this, which boasts a staggering 1000 Lumens, we only recommend 1500mAh cells and above. When people buy the cheapest crap and run the light on the highest power, they are usually disappointed with the run time. But this is not the flashlights fault.It’s runtimes are 40 hours at 35 Lumens, 8,7 hours at 220 Lumens and 2,2 hours at full power; 1000 Lumens. If you use the tactical 10 Hz strobe, it is able to blind the opposition with 4,5 hours of 1000 lumen strobe light. Many might say »1000 lumens is way to much«. Yes, for hiking and general use, this is too powerful. But when you see a person freeze like a deer when light up by 1000 Lumens, then you can really appreciate its power. Not to mention searching or surveying an open area . That’s why the 220 Lumen setting is the best of both worlds; long runtime with powerful light. It also offers different strobe modes for different applications. The 6 modes can be easily changed with the use of a side switch, which is located on the head of the flashlight. The modes are; low, medium, high, tac. strobe, long flash and short flash (beacon).The construction itself is very well crafted. No gaps, no wobble no rattling. Waterproof up to 2 meters, IPX-8 (tested to 5 meters with no malfunction) and impact resistant of 1.5 meters. These numbers are just a reference provided by the manufacturer, since the flashlight can withstand much more (like being run over with a 1,6 t vehicle). Dual spring setup allows the light to be used in shaky environments without a cut in power. The threads are nice and thick, so one cannot screw the light together in a way that would cause it to malfunction. It has a »reverse polarity protection« system integrated to protect the circuitry when a battery is incorrectly installed.The body comes apart in two places for easier maintenance and cleaning. Or maybe the 18650 cell was wrapped in something and you can’t get it out. Unscrew the body and push it out the other way. The head and the tail cap have same threads so they both fit on both ends of the body tube. If you happen to reverse the position of the parts, the circuit will not be completed and the flashlight won’t work. The logo faces the head. The buttons are made of silicone rubber and have a texture that offers great dexterity in wet conditions. The tail switch allows for a tactical momentary ON or clickable permanent ON. While in permanent ON, hold down the front side switch to easily select strobe mode. When turned OFF, the microprocessor will remember your last setting and will keep it stored until you change it again or remove the battery. The reflector cone is smooth and deep to allow the furthest possible throw of beam. It’s reach is somewhere around 300 m. The beam is perfect for all-round use, since it focuses the majority of light into a spot for tactical applications and still produces a light halo around the spot for searching applications.Like stated above, this is a tactical flashlight. It can easily be used with any kind of weapon. It can be mounted or handheld. When using it with a pistol, the »cigar hold« ring offers great comfort, since it’s made of silicone rubber. With other manufacturers this ring is metal and can be annoying after long periods. The body is shaped in a round triangular manner to even further add to the comfort. It can be quickly secured by sliding it in the pocket and using the included pocket clip. When using it as a weapon mounted light, it works without cutting power between shots (dual spring system). The body can be stripped of all accessories to fit any mount on the market. The two stainless steel parts are the striking bezels. One on the head and one on the tail. They both do their work. But one of them offers a nice alternate feature. The tail cap striking bezel is long enough to reach over the main switch. Firstly, this prevents the flashlight from being accidentally turned on while carrying in a backpack. Secondly, it can serve as a tail stand. Switch the light on and put it on its tail. It can serve as a lantern in smaller rooms or tents. The size of this bezel might be too much when using is as a weapon light. But guess what, it can be removed. Just unscrew it and store it. With the bezel removed, unfortunately you lose the attachment point for the safety lanyard, but you can always use the pocket clip to tie it to the flashlight. If you needed to remove the clip to mount the light to your weapons platform, you don’t need it being tied to anything else.In conclusion, this flashlight surpassed our expectations. This is a great all-round flashlight. It performs well in law enforcement as well as outdoor activities. On a market flooded with flashlights, it’s nice to see that companies still stay on real grounds. Who wants to dish out 500+ EUR for a handheld flashlight? I’m sure those people are as rare as the 500 EUR bill itself. That’s why companies like Lumintop are a welcome breeze of fresh air. With product quality that resembles some of the more marketed companies, they are highly underrated. This light goes for about 90 EUR on the web, which is a great price for such quality and power.