Energizer Night Strike "Swivel" Light review by Booligan
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Table of Contents:
Energizer has been making basic flashlights for quite some time, and their batteries are pretty much the market standard, but they recently have made their foray into the tactical/sportsman's flashlight market with two new product lines; Hard Case (Mil/LE application) and Night Strike, which is the line from which this product is from. If this light is any indication of Energizer's ability to put together a tactical multipurpose light, I can't wait to see what they crank out next!
I was sent this light directly by the Night Strike marketing team, so that I could shed some more light (har har har) on this relatively unknown product line. Energizer lists the MSRP at $79.99, but I've found a few stores selling it for as low as $45. My advice would be to check around online for the best price on it.
The Night Strike line of lights consists of three different models, the "Compact", which offers lower light output in a more compact size, the "Handheld" model, which is the largest of the three and offers the most light output in a magnesium housing, and this, the "Swivel" model, which balances size, output, battery usage, and various features quite nicely. It has 5 LEDs: red, blue, green, UV, and the main white one. The UV LED can only be turned on and off on its own, but each of the other four LEDs can be turned on independently or in any combination of one another, and in three brightness settings.
The light arrived in a cardboard and plastic display package, with a Velcro opening that allowed access to the light as well as displaying additional information about the product held within. It included two AA Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries which are the recommended battery to use with this light. The packaging is designed for display on retail shelves/racks, and it serves that function perfectly.
From here on, click all pictures to enlarge
Weight: Less than 1 lb
Lumens: 100 (Energizer provided info)
Run Time: 5 hours (Energizer provided info)
Battery Use: 1-2x AA
The light is made primarily out of a polymer that is coated in a rubberized finish. It is very compact and fits nicely in your hand, and the clip on the back allows you to mount it on your belt or vest/MOLLE rig. The clip has a locking ridge, and will lock securely onto a piece of MOLLE webbing. Each light has a unique serial number, also located on the back.
Size comparison with M4 mag
Mounted in various ways on my rig
The body is mainly comprised of two pieces; the main body/battery compartment, and the swiveling LED head. The head locks in two positions in relation to the body, at 90 degrees and at 180 degrees, pointing straight out from the body. It can swivel in more positions than that, sweeping a full 130 degrees, but it only locks in those two. It is unlocked using the simple push button located on the right side of the light if you are looking at the front.
Swivel lock button
Head rotated to the front
The main controls are located just below the swiveling head, and consist of three buttons and a three position switch, as well as a button for the main LED located on the tailcap. The switch acts as your master on/off switch, as well as serving to turn on the UV LED in the leftmost setting. With the switch in the center setting, the light is locked out and cannot turn on. By turning the switch to the right, you unlock the 4 other LEDs. The buttons, from left to right are for the blue, red, and green LEDs, and the large button on the tail cap turns on the main white LED. Now, the internal circuitry allows you to use these same buttons to adjust the brightness of the light through three levels. When you push any of the buttons, the corresponding LED will turn on at full brightness. Quickly push it again, and it will dim the light to the next lowest setting, and so on and so forth. If you push the button to turn on a LED and wait about 5 seconds, a second push of the same button will simply turn the LED off instead of adjusting the brightness. These steps are applicable for all of the LEDs except for the UV one.
Head and main controls
Tail cap main LED button
The battery compartment is secured using a rotary lock located on the bottom/front of the main body. By rotating it 180 degrees, the battery compartment door unlocks, allowing you to access the batteries. The compartment is sealed with an O-ring to prevent damage due to moisture. One unique thing about the battery usage is that this light utilizes Energizer's "Dual Drive" technology, allowing you to run it off of one or two batteries, but with a sacrifice in performance if you just use one. The batteries are also both inserted + side first, which prevents confusion when changing batteries in the dark. The last nifty feature about the battery compartment is that you can keep one battery installed backwards, and it will act as an emergency battery compartment, albeit without full brightness, as it's only running on the battery installed correctly. Battery life is listed at 5 hours using both batteries and running the main LED at full brightness.
Battery door opened, showing proper battery insertion
Overall, the externals are quite sturdy and compact, with no really apparent weak points that I've discovered. The clip on the back allows you to mount it to your rig, making it extremely convenient and easy to use.
For being a compact light only running off of 3v, I wasn't expecting much in the way of brightness, but I was extremely surprised at the performance of the single white LED. It shoots out a bright flood of pure white light. It is better suited for broad area illumination, giving about a 4' spread at 10'. The secondary color LEDs throw out a much smaller pattern, only about 2' at 10'. The white LED is rated at 100 lumens by Energizer.
The various colors all have their own unique purposes, several of which are great for airsoft use. The red and green LEDs are great for navigation and map reading without sacrificing your natural night vision. The blue LED is apparently designed for blood tracking; a useful feature for hunting, but not so much for airsoft use. Finally, the UV LED is basically a portable black light, allowing you to introduce interesting things like hidden trail markers, maps, messages, etc using UV reactive pens/markers. I've already designed a few scenarios around using UV lighting to track objectives.
Blue, red and green all on at once
Main white LED
Loads of functions in a compact package
Uses common AA batteries
Belt clip allows MOLLE mounting
"Tip-in" battery installation
Designed to survive 10' drop
Only locks at 90/180 degrees
Broad main beam pattern (not great for tactical applications)
Night Strike version only available in black (Hard Case version is FDE)
MSRP is a little high, but it can be found for quite a bit less
Overall, I think that this is a great multipurpose flashlight for airsoft use. It serves in a similar function as the old Army issue 90 degree flashlight, but with vastly superior performance and options, at about 1/3 the size and weight. It's not really a tactical light, more of a general purpose/navigation light that serves its purpose perfectly!
Many thanks again to Energizer, Deadrag Airsoft Radio and of course, AirsoftRetreat!