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SHOT Show 2012: Lighting and Accessories.

02/02/2012

Surefire showed their new Wristlight combined watch and flashlight, an innovative direction in tactical lighting.

 
Accessory categories including tactical lighting were significant at SHOT Show 2012 with an incredible number of new and innovative products and even a few new product categories.
 
Surefire’s booth was crowded with show attendees looking at their new G2X Polymer tactical lights. The G2X is an economical, sub $100 personal light with a durable LED for a lamp and Nitrolon polymer body. The new G2X family uses the traditional Surefire switch, press a button for momentary light, turn the end cap righty-tighty for constant on. The body of the light feels great in your hand with an anti-slip, matt finish and a series of recessed areas so you can hold the light between an index finger and middle finger while you depress the momentary “on” switch with your palm. The light is sold in tan, black, yellow and forest green and uses two CR123A batteries for 200 lumens lasting an advertised 2 hours burn time. Surefire has a series of accessories to support the light line including a button press tailcap switch and a series of filters you can slide on the front of the light to change the light color. At $95 MSRP the G2X is a great update for Surefire’s polymer tactical lights.
 

Surefire's new G2X Nitrolon LED tactical light brings high performance lighting to the sub-$100 price point for 2012.

 
When the new Surefire Nitrolon G2X attracted people to the Surefire booth the Wristlight wrist mounted flashlight and combined Wristlight/Traser tritium luminous display watch kept them there. While Surefire was tight-lipped about an introduction of the combined watch/light unit the stand-alone wrist light has had an extensive development and is slated for consumer release. The thing is bright, 200 lumens, the same as the G2X Nitrolon flashlight. No word on battery life or release date, but a new “must have”.
 

Surefire's new Wristlight is 200 lumens of bright light where you need it. The combined Traser watch/Wristlight may... or may not live to see the consumer market. We'd buy it!

SOG Specialty Knives and Tools let us try the new DarkEnergy 214 and 247 tactical flashlights. These two flashlights from SOG, known for their knives and multi tools, are intended to maximize the light output in the smallest possible flashlight size. Their diminutive DarkEnergy 214, a 3.8 inch light, blasts out a claimed 214 lumens from only one CR123A battery. There are two beam strengths with a maximum claimed run time of 3 hours on the lower light setting. The flashlight bodies are 6061 T-6 aluminum and the switch is a full click on/off switch with a flashing mode and a “half on” 40% light output mode. MSRP on the smaller DarkEnergy 214 model is $105 and should be in retailers by Spring of 2012. A larger, brighter DarkEnergy 247 blows out 247 lumens max (hence the name) for only $25 more at $130 MSRP. The brighter light is larger since it uses two CR123A batteries in its 5.1 ” long body. Run time is longer too with a maximum claimed 8 hours run time on low setting. We turned the light on and off and the switch felt great. Fit and finish on the pre-production samples we saw was very nice. These imported lights are strong performers at good price points.
 

SOG Specialty Knives and Tools showed their new DarkEnergy 214 and 247 lights with super high output, 6061T6 aluminum alloy body and multi-function on/off switch.

 Streamlight had a wide variety of innovative lighting products including their versatile Sidewinder Compact II. Streamlight sells the Sidewinder Compact II as “20 Flashlights in One” since it has multiple modes, four different models (Military, Aviation, Medical and Sportsman) and can be used on a helmet mount, as a headlight with strap, will clip to MOLLE webbing and work as a stand alone flashlight. The Sidewinder Compact II has incredible battery life and operating temperature range from its CR123A 3 Volt Lithium battery. The versatility of the Streamlight Sidewinder Compact II combined with its reasonable price below $70 US make it a strong value.
 

Streamlight's Sidewinder Compact tactical multi purpose light packs a lot of lighting versatility into a compact, value oriented system.

 
 Princeton Tec showed a growing line of tactical lighting gear including their proven Remix Pro and Fred Tactical MPLS in tan, ACU/OD, Tan/Multicam and black. With over 70 hours of burn time on the high beam and 35 lumens from 3 AAA batteries the Fred Tactical MPLS adapts to helmet NVG mounts, MOLLE and uses a headstrap. MSRP is less than $50.
 
Princeton Tec also showed a growing range of helmet mount “Switch” personal task lights using their versatile “flexi-neck” design. These little lights have a few unique features including the little flexible stalk the LED light is mounted to. The stalk enables the user to direct the light where they need it and keep it there hands free. The Switch uses a miniature 2016 litium battery and gives off a tactically appropriate 10 lumens of light in a few different colors. A new version from Princeton Tec uses a larger battery case and three LED’s for more run time and better illumination.
 

Three of Princeton Tec's lights include the new triple LED unit on the right of the helmet above.

 
A truly impressive brand we found at SHOT Show is  Alpha-TAC ExtremeBeam. ExtremeBeam lights featured aluminum cases, high output that ExtremeBeam claims exceeds “performance of some 600 lumen lights” excellent feeling controls and incredible prices, many below $60 US MSRP.  We spent considerable time in the ExtremeBeam display booth trying different models and became more impressed with each light as we used the switches, disassembled the lights and then, most pleasantly, learned about their excellent pricing.
 

ExtremeBeam showed a wide variety of nice quality, value priced lights with double sealed alloy bodies, shatter resistant lenses and nice feeling switches.

 
The folks manning the booth at ExtremeBeam knew their flashlights and pointed out that the color frequency of their lights optimized contrast and visibility in moist/humid weather conditions. The design of the flashlight body also accommodates several battery configurations adding versatility. ExtremeBeam told us the run time on the SX21 model was “about 7 hours” on one set of CR123 lithium batteries.
 

ExtremeBeam's SX21R was bright, light weight and inexpensive with an MSRP of less than $80 USD.

 
Our SHOT Show 2012 coverage continues this week with more new products and people from the tactical/defense industry on MILTECHREV.com.
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