Law enforcement duties can take you to some dark places. Whether investigating cases and collecting evidence in the field or on regular patrol, officers need dependable and versatile tools to illuminate shadowy corners and light up the night. Of course, there’s the good old-fashioned flashlight, but why stop there? There are also beams that attach to pistols, batons, uniforms and even K-9s, while technological advances continue to make these products smaller, more powerful and more durable than ever. Here, we turn the spotlight on a variety of handy items designed to boost both your vision and your visibility, keeping you safe in the darkness.
Pelican 2780 LED Headlight
Use Your Head
The 2780 LED Headlight, manufactured by Pelican Products Inc., offers four capabilities to light your way in even the toughest terrain while keeping your hands free. First is the Main setting, which shines the 430-lumen LED on nearly everything in front of you. Second is the Downcast option, which directs the beam toward the ground. Third, the Main/Downcast Combo gives users the best of both for an expanded spotlight. And lastly, in emergencies, employ the flashing mode to attract attention. MSRP $79.95.
SureFire 2211 Luminox WristLight
Time to Shine
SureFire incorporated feedback from experienced law enforcement professionals when creating its new 2211 Luminox WristLight. This handsome timepiece produces a beam of light specifically designed to illuminate downrange from a pistol in a standard two-handed grip. If you don’t need the super-bright 300-lumen setting, switch over to either 60 or 15 lumens. A built-in LED gauge tracks the lithium-ion battery power, so you know when to plug it into the USB port for recharging. And, naturally, the Swiss quartz watch movement keeps accurate time. MSRP $795.
Voidhawk Mini-Raptor-M2 Compact LED Flashlight
Big Light, Small Package
The compact aluminum body may appear to be just another little flashlight, but Voidhawk’s Mini-Raptor-M2 Compact LED Flashlight packs a powerful punch that fulfills the lighting requirements of nearly any law enforcement situation. Its emitter performs 20% more efficiently than the company’s previous model. This newer version also runs cooler and longer — the battery lifetime averages 800 cycles and the LED emitter puts out approximately 50,000 hours. Purchase just the torch or a set that includes battery chargers. The manufacturer offers a 100% money-back guarantee. MSRP $69.95 for flashlight only.
Streamlight Strion HPL
The new HPL model of Streamlight’s Strion rechargeable flashlight is bigger, brighter and longer-lasting. It measures 7 inches long with a barrel diameter of nearly 1 inch, and weighs less than 8 ounces, which makes for a comfortable grip. At its brightest, the Strion HPL’s microprocessor produces a beam distance of 400 meters and can run for up to an hour. On low, the beam stretches 200 meters and has a light-life of up to three hours and 45 minutes. There’s also a strobe mode. Recharge the batteries as many as 1,000 times. MSRP $150 – $259.
Orion Eco-Friendly Flares
When you need to cordon off a scene, you’re probably not even thinking about whether the chemicals used to manufacture the flares are hazardous to the environment. With the new Eco-Friendly Flares from Orion Safety Products, you know that your natural surroundings are protected while you do your job. These flares function the same way as similar products, but no loose red phosphorus is discharged when you strike the stick. Safekeeping is also improved, since there are no flaking red phosphorus remnants left in the storage box. Plus, the flares better define a safety zone than previous versions. MSRP not available.
Brite-Strike Rechargeable Lighted Color Collar
Glow, Dog, Glow
Whether you partner with a K-9 or just enjoy walking the family dog at night, keep your four-legged friend in sight with this light-up collar from Brite-Strike. And forget about having to frequently replace batteries — this doggie accessory is solar-powered (eight hours in the sunlight for a full charge) or charged by a USB port (three hours required). A full charge can last for two and half hours. The collar comes in small, medium and large. MSRP $40.
First-Light USA TORQ
Tough situations call for total concentration, not struggling to hold a torch and firearm simultaneously. The TORQ from First-Light USA enables officers to keep both hands and all their focus on the weapon, because this light mounts to the gun with a superior ergonomic design that allows access to the entire control panel with just your thumb. New this year, the TORQ features a 320-degree rotating head, 155 lumens of white light and a selection of secondary task light colors. MSRP $99.99.
ASP Tactical USB
The Baton Buddy
Connect the ASP Tactical USB to an ASP baton and shine the full 100 lumens directly at suspects, or engage the intermittent function to flash a warning. This lighting apparatus is designed to withstand the harshest of conditions. Not only is it constructed out of high-strength aerospace aluminum, but it also has proprietary matte black Type II hardcoat anodizing to protect it from wear and tear. The lithium polymer power cell is housed in a leak-proof casing. Recharge with any modern cellphone, auxiliary car or wall charger. MSRP $60.
When working nights or in poorly lit areas where it’s important to alert others to your presence, this unobtrusive gadget projects enough red and blue light to signal motorists and passersby that a law enforcement officer is on the scene. Clip it onto a shirt pocket and rotate it in any direction for the most effective broadcast. An automatic timer saves battery life with a 10-minute shutoff feature. MSRP $39.95.
INFORCE APL Auto Pistol Light
Target in Light
When you need precise weapon control, the last thing you want is a heavy mounted light weighing down your shot. At less than 3 ounces, the LED Auto Pistol Light from INFORCE APL is so lightweight that it eliminates any need to recalibrate. What’s more, the ambidextrous paddle switching system accommodates left and right hands with one quick, natural finger movement. To light a mid-range scenario, use its tight beam; to illuminate a broader field, flip on the peripheral light functions. MSRP $150.
425 Inc. Guardian Angel Personal LED Light Bar
The Guardian Angel was invented by 425 Inc. specifically to keep officers safe on the job. This lightweight wearable light clips discreetly to a uniform epaulette. Adjust it to face forward or backward, or set it to emergency mode for 360-degree strobe illumination that can be seen from above and as far as 2.2 miles away. A wealth of other mounting systems are also available, including belt clip, magnet, arm band, window, bicycle, motorcycle and even a K-9 harness. With its built-in work light, the Guardian Angel also provides hands-free illumination for reading or writing in darkened surroundings. MSRP $199.95.