Let There Be Light!
From the beginning of creation light was essential for our existence and survival. The trouble is that in our electrical age we don’t give it a second thought: just flip a switch. But what if you’re in the great outdoors, at night in a power outage or in a survival situation?
You want a reliable, rechargeable light that will last a long time and will illuminate a vast distance. It would help if you can vary the output and if, for life-threatening situations, you can blind an opponent with a dazzling strobe light. So essentially, you are looking at a flashlight like the Intimidator from Olight.
Let’s throw some light on the subject.
Having reviewed quite a few flashlights on this site over the last decade or so, I have come to the conclusion that you cannot have just one light. No one particular light is suitable for all occasions.
I have a tiny pocket light on my keychain. I have a spotlight that can pick out the kangaroos in a neighbour’s paddock. We all have a flashlight on our smartphones. We should have one in the car and probably one near the front door. And then we need something that can impress (or scare) the hell out of people.
Like the Intimidator.
Our friends at 4Cabling send us one in a nice case with a holster, standard USB recharge cable and three large rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. These 3.6 V batteries deliver 3400 mAh which will last 36 hours on the lowest setting (120 lumens). You can tune that up to 600 or 1600 or double that again to 3200 Turbo mode. It is interesting that no duration is given for the Turbo mode but you can run three hours on the normal high power 1600 lumen mode, which is pretty good.
The business end of this model sports three Cree XM-L2 LEDs with a honeycombed acrylic lens.
The result is that you have a beautiful, homogenous and wide beam. The throw is about 270 feet and that is far enough for most purposes.It’s hard to measure the actual furthest distance you can see and also hard to perceive the doubling or tripling of the lumen output. We can see there’s more light but difficult to tell whether it is double. That’s why we have to go with what’s accurately measured in the development labs. On max brightness it is very similar to a couple of car headlights.
There is a multifunctional side switch for the various modes.
A long press will cycle through the three main modes, a double-click will activate the Turbo mode and a triple click will trigger an epileptic attack. In other words, that’s the strobe mode for either attracting attention from overflying aircraft, the police or to scare away intruders!
It takes a little while to get used to the various illumination modes and in the dark the side switch Is hard to find, also because the torch is completely round with no defined up or down. That also means that it is easily rolling away from you when you lay it down on a slightly sloping surface....
The torch feels fairly heavy, being about 180 grams. And that’s without the batteries. It’s not pocketable but the provided holster is a good place to stow it away.
The unit does not necessarily come with batteries but you can select from 3 different types from 3200 to 3600mAh. Interestingly, you can operate the torch with just one battery as they are parallel connected. Recharging happens via microUSB port with a protective slide.
Talking about protection: you should be able to drop it from hip height without damaging the unit.
The lens is protected by some protruding bits on the bezel.
The whole unit is also water proof to IPX8 standard (yes, that would mean you could use it underwater!)
Price for the Intimidator II is AUD193 and the batteries are 24 bucks each.
Check out the Intimidator at 4Cabling and while you’re there have a look at some of the other torches.