Light is life. It is a strong source of hope, comfort and security. It can provide a boost in morale or lead the way to safety and rescue. Human beings have very poor eyesight at night when compared to other mammals in the animal kingdom. Many of those found in the backcountry have night vision rivaling our daytime vision, so we need to augment our shortcomings with artificial light. And what better light than from Brite-Strike.
Brite-Strike was founded by two police officers, Glenn Bushee and Jon Neal, as a response to the need for higher quality equipment for not just police officers in the field but for citizens on the street. According to the manufacturer, “Brite-Strike makes a promise to always use the latest technology, world class components, highest design and manufacturing standards, so you can rely on your Brite-Strike light when you need it.”
One such product is its line of Tactical Touch Flashlights designed to include the Tactical Blue Dot switches which, depending on the model, allow the user to toggle quickly between high, low, and a strobe function.
These are high quality flashlights, made of the best materials and specifically designed to do their job without flaws in construction. And they’re bright. Very bright. The intensity of the light, especially when it is as high as these, should always be considered a formidable defense weapon. Shining 340 lumens of light into someone’s eyes will temporarily blind them, at least long enough for a person to escape or return force with force as necessary.
The body is CNC-machined from a single piece of billet aluminum in a unique tri-sided shape that is easier to grip between the fingers while operating the on/off button with your thumb. It isn’t waterproof but can be used in a heavy rain without consequences thanks to a rubber o-ring on the battery cap end, and it is shock resistant. The shell of the BDRC-HLS, at just over five inches, fits perfectly in your hand — almost concealed — while the crowns at both ends have a unique shape that can be used to break a window or strike a substantial blow.
The BD-180-HLS is even smaller. At 3.5 inches, it completely hides in your hand and only shows when you want it to.
Both models fall into the HLS category, which means they have high, low and strobe settings. The BD-180’s 123A lithium battery will power the Cree-XREWHT-L1-D01-Q5 LED bulb for approximately one hour on high, three hours on low and 1.5 hours on strobe. This isn’t a long time between battery changes, especially considering how pricey batteries can be in the long run (a 12-pack of name brand batteries can run north of $20.00—though Brite-Strike insists that only Panasonic or Duracell batteries are used and never a commercially rechargeable 123A battery). An advisable option is to upgrade to the BDRC unit, which is not only brighter (340 lumens compared to the DB-180’s 290) but comes with a rechargeable 2600-mAh lithium-ion battery and the recharging unit. However, there are several more units to choose from, some with a single or two-cell batteries and others that are rechargeable.
The beams of both flashlights come through a polycarbonate lens which helps maintain a bright white light. This allows for truer colors that don’t wash out under a more yellow light of traditional bulbs. The BDRC can throw its beam approximately 400 feet in a wide pattern similar to a flood light.
- Functions: High, Low, and Strobe
- Length: 5.2 inches (BDRC); 3.5 inches (DB-180)
- Light Output (BDRC): 340 lumens on high, 170 lumens on low
- Light Output (DB-180): 290 lumens on high, 170 lumens on low
- Run Time (BDRC): 2.5 hours on high, 8 hours on low, 3 hours on strobe
- Run Time (DB-180): 1 hour on high, 3 hours on low, 1.5 hours on strobe
- Warranty: One Year
- Beam Distance: 400 feet (BDRC)
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the February 2015 print issue of American Survival Guide.