Nite Ize doesn’t actually produce any complete flashlights but they do make some interesting upgrades for “AA” Mini-Maglites. Nite Ize has had an LED upgrade for the “AA” Mini-Maglite for a few years. The upgrade was pretty good, and gave new life to many Min-Maglites that had found themselves collecting dust in utility drawers and tool boxes. Every one of my “AA” Mini-Maglites has both a Nite Ize LED upgrade and their IQ switch.
This year, Nite Ize introduced a 1-watt Luxeon LED upgrade to their line of upgrades. Nite Ize does not rate their lights in lumens, but their 1-watt upgrade is significantly brighter than their standard LED upgrade. Unlike their original LED upgrade you can adjust the beam of the 1 watt version from spot to wide using the Mini-Maglite’s bezel. Nite Ize is currently only avalible in white and is available for purchase alone or packaged with Nite Ize’s IQ Switch Upgrade.
The IQ switch replaces the tail cap on an “AA” Mini-Maglite, giving the user a multi-function switch. The IQ switch offers five light modes including three steady light modes and two flashing modes. In conjunction with the 1-watt LED upgrade, the IQ switch gives the user 6.5 to 8 hours of run-time at the brightest setting, 13 to16 hours at the medium setting, and 32 to 36 hours at the lowest power setting. The bezel still operates as an on/off switch, functioning as a lock-out switch which prevents the light from turning on accidently. Whenever the bezel is rotated to an “on” position, a small red locator LED flashes in the tail cap.
NovaTac (who acquired HDS Systems in late 2006) introduced their new EDC 85 LED flashlight at SHOT Show this year. The obvious next step in the evolution of HDS’s line of EDC lights, it is brighter, more versatile and simpler to operate than its predecessor, the EDC Ultimate 60. NovaTac also reports a brighter version of the EDC 85, the EDC 120 will be available in the near future.
The EDC 85 has 22 light output settings from 0.3 to 85 lumens and has the ability to ramp the brightness without going into the programming menu while still having four user-programmable quick-access brightness levels.
Users can select from three strobe settings—a blindingly fast disorienting strobe for defense and two emergency signaling strobe settings, including an SOS pattern. An upgrade from the EDC Ultimate 60 is that one of the stobe settings can be preset in place of one of the four preset brightness levels for quick access.
The EDC 85’s single-button interface is much simpler to use for programming than previous versions. While the standard EDC 85 is delivered configured so the user can program all of the light’s features, it is also available with a simplified user interface preprogrammed with features the customer wants and the others locked out. While I find the multi-faceted features of this light useful, if you are looking for a LED light that offers simple on/off operation, this light is likely not for you.
Continuing with the EDC line tradition, the EDC 85 is a compact pocket-sized light that is built to last. At the show, NovaTac had a light with them that was absolutely pummeled, but continued to work properly.
For the true techies out there, NovaTac offers a computer interface (USB) for the EDC 85. The computer interface replaces the tail cap for programming; once the light is programmed the computer interface is replaced with the original tail cap. A tube that converts the light for use with two "AA" batteries is also available as an optional accessory.
Pelican Products introduced the 1990 MityLite LED light a few years ago. The reception of this light was not as one would expect, low output (although 150 hours of runtime was enough of a reason for me to buy one) and the use of “N” size batteries limited its popularity. This year Pelican released a 1 Watt LED version of the 1990. While the 1 watt version is twice as bright as the original, it still uses 3 “N” size batteries.
Pelican also had a prototype of a three-color 1990, a rotating bezel is added to the 1990’s body allowing the user to select a green, red or white LED. The prototype looks very promising, reported to have the same 8 lumen output and 150 hours of run time as the original 1990 MityLite LED. Pelican was unsure when the light would be released.
Manufacturer: Pelican Products Model: PM6 3330 Body Material: Xenoy polymer Body Color(s): Black, Yellow, Tan Length: 5.27" Body Dia: 0.75" Bezel Dia: 1.1" Weight1: 3.45 oz. Battery Qty: 2 Type: CR123A Runtime2: 40 hours LED:1 Watt LED Colors avail: white Lumenx Max:41 Lumens Min: Brightness Levels: 1 Switch Type: push button Location: tail cap In Production?: Avalible now MSRP: $60 1 with batteries 2 @ max setting / @ min setting
On a different front, in the middle of last year, Pelican introduced the PM6 3330 Polymer bodied LED tactical light. Two CR123 batteries power the light 40 Hours at 41 Lumens. Unlike so many inexpensive LED tactical style lights, Pelican uses a click on/click off push button that can also function in a momentary mode. These features combined with a price tag under $50 and Pelican’s Lifetime Guarantee make this light an attractive choice.
Pelican offers their universal helmet mount for this light, an item I am wholly unimpressed with (as I am with every helmet clamp I have ever used) after snagging my light too many times to count.
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Contributing Editor: Alan Romania
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Publisher and Editor: Doug Ritter
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First Published: February 10, 2007
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