Testing the Bell & Howell “TacLight”

 

The TacLight is an “As Seen On TV” flashlight advertised as extremely powerful and nearly indestructible. As with most As Seen On TV products, the claims sound unrealistic and outlandish. This “High Performance Flashlight” is reported to withstand boiling, freezing, and even being run over by a car. So – can it actually survive these tests?

Let’s find out.

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Taclight, LED, flashlight, review

As can be seen from the packaging above the TacLight is touted to be super durable and incredibly bright. It is so durable in fact it can withstand being submerged in water, run over by a car, frozen in ice, and boiled in water. While I suspect using a flashlight in such conditions as boiling water and surviving a hit and run would lead to more issues than whether or not a flashlight works – I understand these tests are apparently an indication of quality and reliability.

One claim that I was unable to substantiate is the ability to see the light which is so bright it can be seen “5 nautical miles away”.  Due to my living on land and not having my presence on the ocean anytime soon a 5 nautical mile test was simply unrealistic.

The TacLight is a medium sized flashlight at 5.4″ inches long and approx 1.6″ inches wide. It is made from lightweight aluminum and contains a lanyard. The light is operated via an end-cap push button.

It appears Bell & Howell take immense pride in the fact the TacLight is made in China. Now – the origin of manufacture is not much of a surprise as most electronics of any kind is made in China. Just a bit odd that it would be printed so visibly.

The LED element on my example was well centered and the lens was clear. The lens is protected by a shroud with semi-aggressive raised edges. These are meant to be useful in a self-defense situation and it appears they would not be pleasant to get hit with.

Unlike most LED flashlights I own the TacLight’s beam can be adjusted from a very concentrated beam to flood pattern. The pattern is adjusted by sliding the head back and forth. The action is smooth and it works well.

The light is powered via 3 AAA batteries.

Above shows the concentrated spot adjustment. The square LED diode appearance is common among focusable LED lights.

Medium focus above provides excellent brightness in total darkness with good area coverage. The picture really doesn’t do it justice.

In full flood pattern, a massive area is illuminated.

There are three levels of brightness, a strobe, and an SOS mode.As always the fewer the modes the better in my opinion so this is overkill.

The TacLight is claimed to be waterproof. I left the light in this sink for over 15 minutes with no issues. PASS

Above the TacLight was submerged in boiling water for close to one minute. Honestly, I was really surprised that it just kept running.

I had thought the TacLight survived the boiling water until the next morning I walked into the kitchen and found the scene below. It appears that the lens is held in place via an adhesive which must have softened during the boiling process. Some internal pressure from the heat likely aided in having the lens pop off.

Regardless of the lens popping off the TacLight still worked. It survived being submerged and boiling – but will it survive being run over.

Below I ran over the TacLight with a 2016 Jeep Cherokee. It survived.

SUMMARY

The TacLight still worked after all these tests although it did not work as well. With the lens gone the light just did not look the same. I was not able to test freezing it as it was no longer waterproof.

So – is the TacLight any good?

It is a decent light for the money but there are better deals out there. Almost the exact same flashlight with two rechargeable lithium ion batteries and a charger can be bought cheaper.

flashlight, TacLight, kit, lithum ion, LED, flashlight

I have the kit above and for around $15 it is well worth it.

TacLight? NOT RECOMMENDED

Rourke

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