The tale of three tactical lights and which to buy
A quick check of Amazon.com for compact tactical-rated flashlights shows that some amazing bargains are easily available. Forget that overweight 4-D cell flashlight that emergency workers used to haul around. Now, at 1/10th the weight, you can get a much more powerful and portable light that’s infinitely easier to carry, half the price, and brighter as well. Today, I want to compare three top choices.
If you read my recent review of the Infray 1102 pocket flashlight, you know that I was quite impressed with their build quality and light output. So, I decided to look at their two entries in the tactical flashlight field. Both their SD-05 and SD-06 cost less and outperform the J5 V1-Pro light. The J5 has been the leading Amazon seller for compact tactical lights for some time, but the Infray lights offer better specs and better performance for less money.
Price savings on tactical flashlights
With the price of tactical flashlights down so low, there’s no time like the present to purchase one of these practically indestructible lights. Here’s how the three compare:
Infray Single AA light — model SD-05 — Special Amazon deal price thru 9/9 $7.99
J5 Single AA light — model V1-Pro — Amazon sale price $12.95
Infray 3 cell AAA light — model SD-06 — Amazon deal price $10.99
Light output of the tactical flashlights
While many of you may buy on price alone, the real bargain happens when you get better performance for less money. That’s what I discovered when I compared all three of these lights under real world conditions.
Both the Infray SD-05 and the J5 are single cell AA lights rated at 300 lumens, but there is no comparison in the brightness. The Infray is much brighter, with newer LED technology and better life.
In this photo, I compared all three. Obviously, I expected the three cell SD-06 to be brighter, but you can see the difference in the SD-05 and the J5. Even though they both claim 300 lumens, the SD-05 certainly outshines the J5. Notice also that the 7000K bulbs in the Infray lights are a whiter light than the J5 — which helps them cut through the night darkness better.
Notice also the beam width of the Infray lights — at their widest settings, they light up much more area. For the same battery usage, you get to see a much larger area, which is especially ideal for those you who use the light for bike riding at night. The Infray lights throw a 66% larger beam — 42" or 44" compared to the J5 at 25".
Also, notice that at the long-distance setting of each light, the Infray lights continue to give you usable round light patterns, while the J5 focuses down to the exact shape of its LED chip — a sort of strange, stepped shape. I attribute that to the latest CREE technology in the Infray lights.
Specs on all three lights
The photos above should tell the story, but here for the techies are the specs listed for each light. All three offer three modes — High- Low and Strobe. All three come with a belt clip. All three fit in the palm of your hand.
Infray Single AA light — model SD-05–300 lumens on high, 40 on low, 18 month warranty — runs on standard alkaline battery
J5 Single AA light — model V1-Pro — 300 lumens on high — unspecified on low — no warranty listed — expensive lithium metal battery recommended
Infray 3 cell AAA light — model SD-06–400 lumens on high — 120 lumens on low — 18-month warranty — runs on standard alkaline batteries.
Decide for yourself
For my money, it just goes to show that the new technology used by Infray is certainly the superior option for both performance and price.
Disclosure: Thanks to Infray for providing the flashlights so that I could test them out and perform this review. As always, all opinions are strictly my own.
Originally published at Doug Bardwell.