Photo: Tactical Impulse
A trusty flashlight is a staple of any officer's duty gear and the technology is ever changing. Most companies focus their beams on intensity; the brighter the better. Tactical Impulse has recognized the many other uses for a duty flashlight with its LE-1 flashlight kit.
The LE-1 is a handheld, rechargeable LED light constructed of anodized aluminum that sports 595 blinding lumens of clean white light. It has two activation switches; one on the tail-cap and another on the body just behind the head, allowing for easy activation regardless of the user's grip. It also allows versatility for use as a supplemental shooting light. It's bright, it runs for more than two hours on the high setting, and it's durable enough for duty use and abuse.
The LE-1 has several user-selectable intensity settings via an easy-to-reach activation switch. The standard on/off is here of course, but if you want to change the intensity of the beam or activate the strobe feature, it only takes a few clicks of the large, rubber-clad button.
So what's so special? It's not so much the light itself, but the LE-1's system of accessories Tactical Impulse has designed to go with it that make this a true light "multi-tool."
Here's the breakdown. You get the LE-1 tactical light with rechargeable battery and charging cradle. Need to extend your runtime or feel the need for a full-size light? Throw on the Size and Life Extension Pack with an additional battery and you've got a big light good for another couple of hours of runtime. Need to direct traffic? Screw on the illuminated traffic baton and you've got a glowing signal baton with a light on the end to handle anything nighttime traffic control can throw at you. Last but not least, the LE-1 is available with its own custom-fitted polymer Smart-Holster, giving it a secure home on your duty belt. The Smart Holster not only keeps your light secure but also ensures it won't accidentally activate while on your belt. Even with the light activated, holstering will automatically turn it off.
I received my test kit fully charged and ready to go. I hit the road with it on my belt and the extra battery stick and baton on my gear bag. It worked very well for me through a week of regular, nighttime duty use and I only charged it once over a few hours of runtime.
I tried the battery extender a couple of times and, although the extra length was useful, it made the light uncomfortable to wear in the holster. I would likely just swap out the additional battery pack instead of adding the extender if I needed a little more juice. I guess I'm a little old-school as I prefer my full-size light in my belt ring. The traffic baton was a very cool feature though, as it eliminated the need to carry the traditional large plastic snap-on cone we're all familiar with and provided superior visibility from a distance. It also allowed the use of the light independent of the baton.
At $210 for the full kit, plus another $18 for the Smart Holster, the LE-1 kit is a lot of gear for the buck. Only time will tell how durable it is but the company is based in the USA and its products come with a limited lifetime warranty so that should give you a little piece of mind.
A.J. George is a sergeant with the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Police Department currently assigned to the advanced training unit as a firearms and tactics instructor.
Tactical Impulse LE-1 Flashlight Kit Specs:
- Max Output: 595 lumens
- Modes: High, medium, low, strobe
- Runtime: 2.1 hours on high, 4.58 hours on medium, 12.2 hours on low
- Construction: Aluminum body, stainless steel bezel
- Battery: Rechargeable Li-ion
- Length: 8.38 inches
- Weight (with battery): 11.6 ounces
- Warranty: Limited lifetime
- Kit Contents: LE-1 tactical light, rechargeable battery, charging cradle, Size and Life Extension Pack, Illuminated Traffic Baton
- Price: $210 for kit, $18 for holster