Tactical Flashlights: LEDs for the Professional|
Data compiled from after-action reports show that almost half of all police shootings happen in low light conditions. This fact brings a great deal of emphasis to the importance of having a reliable and powerful source of portable light for low-light operations in the professional sector. Law enforcement, the military, private security, and other branches of official services all show a critical need for an effective and portable lighting solution. An effective solution is the one that addresses the most commonly cited areas of concern by the professionals who make up these services without introducing new problems. Of the top concerns noted by professionals in interviews, the most important were reliability and longevity. In the performance of their duties, concerns with bulbs blowing out when needed and batteries dying too quickly topped the list. With the current and continuing advances in LED technology that are now making a wide variety of options available, these concerns are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
The flashlights most commonly associated with law enforcement and military use are the large and bulky aluminum-bodied lights that once were the flashlight of choice for most professionals. Their size and power were preferred because of their ability to quickly provide a strong source of light on demand, and to act as a weapon in emergency situations. However, after incidents involving the use of these lights as weapons, many police agencies have banned the carrying of metal-bodied flashlights by officers over a certain amount of length. Because of this, the desirability of a flashlight with considerable size and weight is greatly reduced, and the benefit of having gear that is lighter in weight has taken precedence. Undiminished however is the need for an effective source of powerful illumination, and some would even argue that without the reassurance of a hefty metal-bodied flashlight, finding more powerful sources of light becomes even more important.
In 2007, after an incident involving the use of flashlights as weapons, the Los Angeles Police Department publicized its decision to switch to smaller and more powerful Tactical Flashlights, and disallow the carry of large metal-bodied lights by its officers. This well-publicized decision detailed the department’s plan to introduce to its personnel LED Tactical Flashlights that were smaller in size, brighter, and longer lived than the traditional incandescent bulb flashlights that were favored up until that time. This switch possibly marks the beginnings of the now common trend towards choosing LED powered flashlights for law enforcement use, and has highlighted just how far LEDs have come in their technological advancement. Up until this point, LED technology had yet to prove itself for such use, although technology had, at the time, sufficiently advanced enough to make LEDs entirely feasible. What this decision did was to encourage a much closer look at the capabilities and benefits of LED tactical flashlights by the law enforcement community as a whole, and bring recognition to their superior traits.
Once introduced to the law enforcement community, the LEDs were quickly recognized as a serious advancement in the technology of one of the most important tools carried by police officers. The great reductions in weight, and the increased battery longevity were quickly realized, and it was with the discovery of the LED bulb’s inherent durability and long life that the LED cemented its place in the list of favored law enforcement tools.
The MK-1 LED Tactical Flashlight from Larson Electronics represents the kind of improved benefits and uncompromising solutions that LEDs offer to the law enforcement, military, and security professional. Weighing only 14.2 ounces and putting out 180+ lumens of light power, the MK-1 Tactical Flashlight is far ahead of traditional incandescent flashlights. Its length of only 9.5 inches puts it within the requirements of departments that dictate flashlight length cannot exceed 10 inches, and its projection distance of 500 feet makes it very capable of serving in any purpose. A traditional three-cell incandescent flashlight outputs approximately 77 lumens, so not only is power not sacrificed with the reduction in size, but it is increased and improved.
The Larson Electronics MK-1 Tactical Flashlight is a rechargeable unit that, through intelligent design and construction, makes the professionals concerns about battery life unneeded. It is powered by a replaceable lithium ion battery that can run the light for 5 hours on a full charge at full power, and for 20 hours at 25% power. It is equipped with an in-car charging cradle, and can be charged as little as wanted, or fully charged in 2 hours, without any concerns about shortening battery life. That makes this light ideal for the law enforcement professional who doesn’t have the time to worry about properly charging a battery, or if his light is going to need recharging in the middle of a call.
An added benefit of the MK-1 Tactical Flashlight’s smaller size is the ability to use the light in conjunction with other equipment, most notably firearms. Its lighter weight and small size allows it to be easily maneuvered and placed along with a drawn weapon, enabling an officer to effectively illuminate and identify potential targets in darkened areas without compromising his own safety. The LED bulb is inherently durable, as there is no filament within the bulb to break. With the rigorous routines that are associated with professional operations, durability is of course a high priority. Tactical Flashlights are repeatedly subjected to dropping, vibrations, and violent shaking, that the filament in an incandescent bulb cannot long withstand. With LED bulbs, this sort of treatment has no effect, and can they can be relied on to work reliably in the worst of conditions.
The MK-1 Tactical Flashlight is constructed of high-quality materials, with the body formed of aircraft grade anodized aluminum, an unbreakable lens, and the internal electronics are spring cushioned, making the this light rugged and shockproof. There is internal circuit protection that guards against short circuiting of the battery, and the charging unit is a simple drop-in assembly that automatically senses when the battery is fully charged. The entire flashlight is sealed with o-rings to add water resistance, and the 3-Watt CREE Q5 LED bulbs are considered the best and the brightest available, with an exceptional lifespan like most LEDs. All of these traits result in a Tactical Flashlight that can handle every need of the service professional, and which represents the finest equipment that modern technology has to offer, helping them to fulfill the requirements of their jobs both safely and effectively. Whether you are in law enforcement, emergency services, private security, or the military, you understand the need for an excellent quality light that you can depend on to work when you need it. The Larson Electronics MK-1 Tactical Flashlight offers that quality and dependability with American made components, and a design that was developed with the guidance of law enforcement specialists.