Over the past decade all sorts of tactical lights have cropped up. Some companies have actually entered the mainstream lighting market based on the popularity of their tactical products. Light Advantage is one such company.
What makes these new lights special? Plenty. Beyond being manufactured in the non-traditional location of Spain, the first thing I noticed about the Light Advantage lights was the machining of the tube, tail cap, and light bezel. With the exception of the company's one-watt LED lights, all are machined so that they won't roll when you set them down on an angled surface-a feature not found in many other lights on the market.
Another great design feature is that the tubes of all of the lights are machined to be smaller than the bezels or tail caps. This allows the user to get a very firm purchase on the light when using the Harris or Rogers light technique. The flat spot on the light also mates well to the frame of the pistol when using the Rogers technique, giving the operator a more natural, stable grip if you need to engage a threat.
Not only are the tubes designed to facilitate shooting, but they are designed so the light stays in the shooter's hands. The lights have either flat diamond checkering or aggressive step-type checkering. Couple this checkering with the flared tail cap and bezel, and the operator should be able to hold onto one of these lights in most conditions short of a typhoon.
Next on the list of "why hasn't somebody done this to a tactical light" features is the tail cap. Most tail caps are simple: push to turn on, release to shut off, and if you want constant on you twist the end cap. But the last time I tried to twist the end cap to turn on a light, it required two hands. What if one hand is occupied? How do I easily keep my light on? Light Advantage came up with the obvious answer: How about installing a touch on/touch off switch, which when fully depressed clicks to constant on? What a concept. And it works. Simply switch the light on or off with your thumb and carry on with whatever you were doing.
Since I've reviewed smaller 60- to 90-lumen lights for POLICE over the past few years, I decided something with a bit more punch needed to be investigated. The Z-4 Targeter II with its 220-lumen output seemed like it fit the bill for a handheld pocket torch. The Z-4 uses four CR123A batteries to generate all those lumens.
How bright is 220 lumens? Let's just say the Z-4 will blind a suspect if you shine it directly in his face at less than 20 yards and it will let you see and ID a weapon in a suspect's hand at 50 yards.
Another impressive detail about the Z-4 is its price. For this light with four CR123As, you can expect to pay less than $170. Not bad considering what some of the competition's small 30- to 60-lumen lights will set you back.
The Z-4 is a tough light. It stood up to being dropped, kicked down my driveway, and used as a chew toy by my dog. I found the other lights from Light Advantage to be just as durable...and affordably priced. Light Advantage's Z-4 Targeter II is worth consideration for duty or general use.
Scott Smith is a disabled veteran who served as an active-duty Army MP and in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard as a security policeman. He is also a contributing editor to POLICE.