Acebeam        
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Modlite weapon light review

  1. #1

    Default Modlite weapon light review

    I first learned about Modlite roughly 2 months ago via a Facebook ad featuring their "dump your CR123" "campaign". A catchy way of getting me to click.


    First, I did some research into modern 18350 and 18650 cells. This light centers around the use of more energy dense fuel than CR123's, so to neglect this part of the discussion would be irresponsible. I have an 18650 light (Streamlight HLX 1000 lumen USB Rechargeable), and a CR123 light (500 lumen Surefire Scout head on an old school Surefire Roundbody E). I chunked them with fully charged cells in my deep freeze (got them down to -10*F) and then promptly took them outside. The 18350 light was not doing much, and neither was the CR123 primary light, either. The CR123 light DID put out more, but neither were in fighting form, and both came up to fighting form pretty fast (few minutes).


    Cold weather, my advice is to carry WML batteries on your person, or find a way to keep the light warm, or understand that you're going to be relegated back to original 6P LED days if you click that on in sub-zero weather, no-matter WHAT fuel you're using in your WML.


    The next comparison aspect is "how long will it hold a charge?" Doing research on the current crop of 18350's, I am seeing industry standards of >90% charge per 30 day retention, and "real world" end user results I received when polling on CPF indicate roughly 5 years in storage until the batteries have self-discharged below the threshold of operating a WML at full brightness.


    My advice is to maintain your WML like you maintain the rest of your weapon, and you won't have any issues.


    Now, on to the "cool and fun stuff"...


    With a more energy dense fuel, the Modlite 18350 "mini-scout" as I call it, is quite small. Most of the bulk of a flashlight is the battery compartment, while the mass is in the driver/head. Here, I have compared it to a Surefire M300:








    Speaking of mass, it's light, too! (shown with battery installed, Note that Modlite advertises this light as 4oz. I trust their scales more than mine. Maybe that's why losing weight has been so hard for me?):





    So what you really want to know...is how bright is it? Paper numbers are fine, but what's it really do "on the street"?


    For comparison, I have used a Streamlight HL-X 1000 lumen 18650 powered light, fully charged, and my Surefire M600, 500 lumen head that I placed on an old-school round-body E-series. The targets are 2/3 IPSC steel, painted white, at 100m.




    HL-X:

    Surefire M600, 500 lumen:

    Modlite:

    *All of that "snow" is pollen. This photo-shoot cost me.




    You can see that the HL-X is geared ever so slightly more toward spill, while the Modlite and Surefire, toward throw, with the Modlite appearing to strike a balance between the two, due to its over-all lumen output. Modlite is definitely not sand-bagging their ratings. The beam profile is also excellent for its intended use on a carbine. The "beam texture" for all of you white-wall hunters out there, is also quite good. Especially for the size and purpose (shooting things, not birdwatching) of this light. I have 18ft ceilings, and this photo was taken with me holding the light at about 6ft off the floor. Note the lack of rings ("CREE rings", for you old-schoolers), artifact, or cool spots in the profile. This is a "pretty" beam, especially for a weapon light!





    This brings us to the last bit...quality and value. The Modlite "setup" costs $350. It includes an excellent Nitecore D2 charger, 2 Keeppower protected cells, and the head, cap, and body of your Modlite. $350 isn't chump change, and I expected excellence from Modlite for that amount of cash. Especially in such a saturated market as WML's, and with Surefire's being obtainable for 2 bills and some pocket change.


    I was not disappointed. The machine work as well as anodizing on my light was flawless. Beyond that, Corry (the owner of Modlite) feels (as evidenced by his strong push to rechargeables, not only for their energy-dense fuel source, but also money saved over the long-haul) that if you are going to really save money in the long term, say, for a large department, you will need those batteries to be in as good of condition, for as long as possible. To this end, the spring contacts have smooth "cups" soldered over them. We've all seen the scratched up battery ends on "normal" flashlights and WML's. With CR123's, it didn't matter, but if you plan to actually USE this thing, it's nice not to be scratching your rechargeables every time you swap them out! (I did not test run-time, but Modlite lists it as 30-35 minutes, if I recall, using 18350). This is the level of detail I expect for $350. The head is fully potted with thermal epoxy, which will look familiar to Malkoff owners. I would also note that Keeppower cells are what Modlite includes. From what I have researched over on CPF, these are the best cells there are. You are getting the best product available, in this package, not "just something that will work okay" like the factory-included ink cartridge in your printer.





    My one criticism of the light, and this will not apply to lights purchased "as units" (mine was sent to me packaged as head/body/tail), is that the threads NEED to be lubricated. I used and recommend Nyogel 760G. The first few times I installed the head on this light was fraught with squeaks and a very gritty feel from the aluminum on aluminum contact. Note that the threads were machined perfectly and smoothly finished. You simply NEED to lubricate flashlight threads. Maybe this criticism isn't fair, as the complete lights will have Nyogel installed from Modlite, but that's how hard I look at a product that I spent $350 on that is a newcomer in a saturated and mature playing field such as WML's.


    My take-away from this purchase (I paid MSRP for this light/package), is that the Modlite offers exactly what it claims to offer. The machinework and finishing is on par with Surefire and Malkoff (the threads are machined much much cleaner than Surefire, btw). The output, beam profile and texture, and run-time are superb, and class leading in this size of light. I predict, based on construction and what I observed of the attention to detail (assembled in America) these lights receive, that the durability and reliability of this product should match Surefire, Malkoff, etc.






    *My affiliation with Modlite is via facebook messenger, telephone, and has spanned from when I first contacted Modlite on Feb 18, 2019. I paid full MSRP for my Modlite. I was not compensated for, nor was this review solicited or previewed by Modlite or its employees before posting. Any edits to this review that Modlite requests for clarification or for the sake of further explanation, will be outlined as coming from Modlite.
    **The Modlite that I have uses a 4400K emitter, and is unofficially rated at 1250 lumens.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Modlite weapon light review

    Great write-up, thank you. Is there any additional information about the company, owners, and durability testing?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Modlite weapon light review

    Quote Originally Posted by evanrocks View Post
    Great write-up, thank you. Is there any additional information about the company, owners, and durability testing?
    As I understand it, a lot of LE have been using these. They have been on some violent guns next to some brakes and done fine.
    The company is debt-free and operated as a second company for the owner, who very profitably owns another business. This is a no-expenses spared approach to a WML "If I could be king for a day", is the best I can gather, and it shows. Every detail is attended to, and performance is phenomenal. The head is of at least Malkoff quality, and potted similarly. Basically, it's what it looks like. A powerful, small light, with no "rough edges" that need prototyping out. In the future they will offer different products, but this one meets my needs.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Modlite weapon light review

    Thanks for the reply and info. I agree that the initial user base is a good testing grounds from who I've seen posting about their use and abuse. I'm just curious about the background since this all popped up in a relatively short period of time. Everything looks very promising thus far! I'm anxious to get one.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Modlite weapon light review

    Quote Originally Posted by evanrocks View Post
    Thanks for the reply and info. I agree that the initial user base is a good testing grounds from who I've seen posting about their use and abuse. I'm just curious about the background since this all popped up in a relatively short period of time. Everything looks very promising thus far! I'm anxious to get one.
    I don't think it popped up so fast, as Modlite simply didn't advertise it until a sensible time before launch. Kudos to them.

    Switch is a McClicky, bodies and heads are machined very nicely and the ano looks great, heads appear very solidly made and fully potted. Springs and lenses are user serviceable as I understand it. It's definitely not a "prototype meant to be tested by the customer" type product that was cobbled together. I spoke with the owner, and he was a light nerd years ago. Bicycle head lamps, I believe.

  6. #6
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Modlite weapon light review

    I am a Modlite PLH-V2 owner and couldn't be happier with the purchase.

    The build quality itself is top notch. It feels like a tank in my hands and it can weather just about any storm. It can withstand being mounted on a long gun or thrown in to water for a day and still function 100%. Even after years and years of messing around with custom lights, to have the amount of throw and lumen output OTF that this light has in the size and form factor this light has - running on 1 cell is perfect.

    After carrying it daily and using it at work daily.......What I get from it is that it is a TANK of a flashlight that you won't have to be gentle on. It also offers some of the best throw that you can get out of this sized light, while at the same time not having a pencil thin beam drawing you in to a tunnel vision at range. The lumen output at 1,350 is perfect as it illuminates everything in a room with ease, its actually brighter then if you hit the light switch in the room. Yet, 1 cell will last roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes, which again is perfect considering its intended uses.

    The price is a little high, but for what you get and the fact the company will stand behind its product/s and warranty anything that you may need fixed / help with.... You can't go wrong. They include the light, 2 cells, and a quality charger as well. They set you up with some of the best batteries on the market and at least you know they are authentic cells as well. - Customer service is on point with them, and you'll be taken care of relatively quickly.

    All in all this light has kicked all my other lights out of my pocket. They all collect dust on the dresser now while I EDC the modlite 24/7 - at work and out.

    The only light im interested in getting anymore is the 18350 hand held by modlite whenever they release them, there is no word on when just yet, but "soon" is the latest from them. -- Obviously will need to see the specs, and I'm not expecting performance from an 18350 like I would an 18650 cell however I'd still love to see what they can come up with.

    Loving this light since the moment I've opened it and tested it out....Now to save up for their future releases haha!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Modlite weapon light review

    I have a PLH-V2 handheld as well and Iíve been very happy with it. Itís not really aimed at flashlight nerds like us because itís single mode only, but Iíve been carrying mine more than any other light for the past few months and itís simplicity is nice. Feels like a very slightly thinner 6P all around.

    Nice and throwy osram emitter, poor choice for up close work but 15 yards and beyond it is nice. Indoors or up close I still prefer a triple. Good balance of light and runtime with the keeppower 18650 they include. Only downside is that it really is optimized for the protected 18650 they include, unprotected can work but the lightest tap will cause a flicker because of the shorter length. The spring in the head is threaded and could be swapped for a slightly longer one, I wish they would include or sell a longer factory one to remedy this. I get it though, most will buy the light and use the batteries included exclusively.

    It does have low voltage protection and will flash a few times and step down as the voltage gets low which is nice that it doesnít just turn off.



    Last edited by 1313; 04-14-2020 at 06:50 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Modlite weapon light review

    Quote Originally Posted by Lights and Guns View Post
    I am a Modlite PLH-V2 owner and couldn't be happier with the purchase.

    ...

    The only light im interested in getting anymore is the 18350 hand held by modlite whenever they release them, there is no word on when just yet, but "soon" is the latest from them. -- Obviously will need to see the specs, and I'm not expecting performance from an 18350 like I would an 18650 cell however I'd still love to see what they can come up with.

    Loving this light since the moment I've opened it and tested it out....Now to save up for their future releases haha!
    I just got the 18350 handheld package from BigTex after I initially purchased the 18650 WML version. This is one impressive light in such a small pocket-able package . My Surefire EDC lights EDCL2-T/1-T are back in the drawer. I do carry an extra key-chain light with me for those tasks that don't require blinding power .

    Last edited by sebis; 08-06-2020 at 10:02 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Modlite weapon light review

    I quickly became a modlite convert for my on the job light. I have long been a surefire fanboy but I really think modlite will be my new go to. Just need them to make a pistol WML.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •