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Hands-On: Rugged LED Flashlights

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

It’s probably safe to say that just about every motorhome owner carries some sort of flashlight on board. The use of portable lighting is limitless, and there are countless flashlights on the market, represented in just about every configuration imaginable. So when Energizer dangled its new line of Night Strike LED flashlights in front of our faces, we initially imagined that the company, well-known for its batteries, had invented just another new mousetrap.

But the Night Strikes are different. First of all, they’re designed with the outdoors person in mind, shrouded in magnesium alloy or a dual-polymer casing for insane ruggedness. And most of all, they’re rich in features, especially if you’re into fishing and hunting.

Three models are available: the Handheld, which has the magnesium alloy case and an output of up to 150 lumens of light; the Handheld Swivel, rated for 100 lumens and featuring a head that moves 130 degrees and a clip to mount on a pocket; and the Multifunction Compact, which is a nifty pocket flashlight (40 lumens) that can also be mounted on a cap or other surface using a unique mounting clip.

Like all the models, the Handheld has multiple lighting modes, including white, spot, flood, spot/flood combo and two levels of red. It’s powered by three AA lithium batteries (provided with the flashlight), which are designed to provide a three-hour run time on the maximum setting. Energizer says the flashlight will survive a 15-foot drop test, so we aggressively threw it around, inducing no failures. It’s also waterproof.

The Swivel has 13 modes, so users who love gadgets can be easily entertained. White, green, red and blue lights are integrated into the housing using a variety of dedicated switches and a lockout lever to prevent accidental activation. Green lights are good for map reading and tracking, red is easier on your eyes when moving around in darkness, and blue makes the color red pop, so you can pretend you’re a crime scene investigator if you’re not a hunter following blood trails. There’s even a UV light for tracking fishing lines at night.

The Swivel model allows the flashlight to be used at various angles (remember our Boy Scout flashlights?) and it too survived the drop test; it’s also waterproof. Two provided lithium batteries can be used as a pair for maximum brightness or one battery can be turned around and saved as a spare.

Energizer’s Compact version (one battery) has seven lighting modes (white, red, blue and green) and dedicated switches. The green flashes so you can find this diminutive flashlight in the dark. It’s also waterproof and is designed to withstand a drop of 20 feet.

Beam versatility and ergonomics are high points for Energizer’s new Night Strike flashlights. Pricing is in the $79-$99 range, but we found the Swivel model from an online seller for $60.

For more information, visit www.energizerlightingproducts.com.

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