I use a lot of flashlights and the problem is that I tend to lose them. Thus, while I like and appreciate high-end lights, they can be expensive to lose, crush, etc. As a result, I tend to try and find decent lights at a low price. In my recent trolling of Amazon I was intrigued by the LiteXpress LXL439001. You might think I was trolling for lumens but I am way over that – I want something in the 40-100 lumen range with good battery life, is LED, and rugged yet affordable. If I lose it, I don’t want to have an awful sense of loss.
I also prefer AA or CR123A batteries, which I buy in bulk. You guys may know this already, but shop for CR123A batteries on Amazon plus Walgreen’s Alkaline batteries are great and very affordable. When it comes to the CR123As, buy brand name and check reviews – all the major light manufacturers warn against the no-name cheap import batteries due to the risk of fire. I check brands such as Surefire, Energizer and Streamlight for volume deals on Amazon. The price savings are huge compared to local stores.
At any rate, what attracted me wasn’t lumens or some tacticool styling feature – it was the little rotary switch on the tail end and it stopped me dead. I loathe the “click and try to get it right” 3-5 mode lights. Seriously, they drive me crazy. I want something simple and predictable. I’m not even a huge fan of low-high-off but can deal with it. I’m sure you’ve seen the lights where they have all kinds of features – typically low, high, strobe, SOS, etc. You know what I really want – on and off. The LiteXpress has an on/off switch and the genius in in moving all the features to the rotary with symbols – I can go straight to whatever mode I want and if I hold the on/off button down, then the intensity can drop down from 122 by 10% increments.
You see, the LiteXpress is designed in Germany but built in China. There is an attention to design in this light that frankly surprised me so much that I bought it and decided to write about it. When the Amazon box arrived, I opened it up and found the light secured in a plastic blisterpack shell. Of course, I had to snap a few photos to share with all of you:
- 122 lumens max but can decrease to 10 lumens
- Push-button on/off on the barrel
- Rotary selector switch on the tail end. The modes are lock, high, flash (strobe or SOS can be selected), and temporary on/off. Pretty cool.
- Three color filters that firm slide over the output end of the light
- LED battery indicator: green = 100%, Yellow=approx 50% and Red=approx 10% remaining
- It came with 2 Duracell CR123A batteries
- Aluminum case
I have been using it a few days now and really like it. It’s higher quality than I expected and you’ll find it hard to beat for $23. If you are looking for a decent flashlight, you might want to check it out.
Update on 7/1/14: We lost power last night and this flashlight was fantastic. I used it last night and this morning after the powerful storm went through. It worked great the whole time and even after at least 45-60 minutes of ontime the batteries are reported as “green” by the power indicator. We may well not have power tonight either and I will be using this more again if that happens.
I am so very impressed by this flashlight that we are now selling it! It’s in our online store at: http://shop.roninsgrips.com/LiteXpress-LXL439001-X-Tactical-101-Flashlight-LiteXPressXtactical101.htm