Weâ€™ve all been there, we get on the scene and start working and need the light we have attached to our turn out coat to help light a hallway or accident scene and when we hit the â€œonâ€ button we get a week glimmer or nothing at all. It can be very frustrating. When we need a light, we need one that is going to actually provide us with the ability to see what we need to and last.
Iâ€™ve had several lights in my fire service career of different brands and shapes. Some with typical batteries and some with very unique batteries that cost a fortune. Some had features that were useful for firefighters and others that had no business being on a fire apparatus.Â Â Some were too big and others too small, but the one I reviews recently was probably the best one Iâ€™ve used on my coat so far in my career.
I was fortunate enough to use and review the Koehler Bright Star Right Angle flash light for firefighters for the last several weeks. When looking at its design, it is not eye catching and doesnâ€™t look a lot different from most lights that are right angle and would be clipped on a coat.
When I look at any of these products I look for two things right away; where itâ€™s made and what type and number of batteries are needed. My department works very hard buying products that are American made, as I do on a personal level. In the upper left corner of the package and again on the back it proudly presents the fact that this flashlight is Made In America! A huge plus already!
In regards to the type and number of batteries, Iâ€™ve had lights that require batteries that are too big or require too many batteries.Â Â I also donâ€™t want to have to purchase specialized, hard to find batteries for the light. On both accounts this light is engineered to operate on six AA batteries. Easy to get, not too heavy and it operates for hours on each set of batteries. The label boasts that it can last up to 17 hours of continuous use. I left it on for five hours and the light never dimmed and it is still as bright as the day I first put them in.
If you want a rechargeable light, you can opt for the Lithium ion rechargeable battery pack. I prefer the typical alkaline batteries. Most battery packs Iâ€™ve used for lights have had charging issues that affect use. I like to be able to just change the batteries with fresh ones. I will typically carry extra batteries in a bag in case I need them while on the road.
The light also provides information for UL Protection Methods. The picture of the back of the package shows that information if you wish to check it out.
It lists options like being drop protected from one meter of height, waterproof to one meter, 220 lumens, 60,000 cd peak beam intensity and 490 meters beam distance. These are all great, but I like to use the light in a way that is useful for what I do on a daily basis. This light did not disappoint.
Being an LED light, it puts out way more light and lasts a lot longer than the halogen light was using. That older light never had the beam or intensity that this Koehler light has. Youâ€™ll see the included video of a comparison between the two lights. I put new, identical batteries in both. Yes, on my older light the lens is a little more beat up, but not enough to cause the difference I saw between the two lights.
When in used in a fire building I donâ€™t have any video or pictures. I can only say that during overhaul, with smoke still lingering, it did as good a job as a flashlight can do in smoke. It did seem to penetrate the smoke that was present very well, but we all know that any light does not easily penetrate heavy dense smoke.
While wearing this on my coat, my Velcro strap easily wrapped around the body of the light. The large rubber button was easy to activate with and without structural firefighting gloves. I had no issues finding it and using it.
As far as attaching it to your coat or your person, it has a stainless steel clip on the back and a small ring for attaching with a carabineer or other type of clip. That is my only knock on this light, that metal ring is too small. It was a bit cumbersome attaching it to the metal clip on my turnout coat. It does attach, but it needs to be larger to accommodate different attachment options.
I highly recommend this light to my fire service friends. For the duration that Iâ€™ve had it and used it, it appears to be very durable, easy to operate, has an extremely effective beam, and is made in America.
Pricing is comparable to other lights. If you choose the alkaline option, it will run you about $60 as compared to the rechargeable version nearing $158. Again, I prefer the alkaline light and that is what I used for this review.
If youâ€™re looking for a light that is durable, functional and bright, I think this is a great option. Be sure to check out the links, pictures and video of the light being used during my review. If you have any questions about how we liked the light, feel free to email me any time.
Thanks for reading and keep training.