Blog: 2012

Numbers Don't Lie

Liberator Tactical LightHandgun testing conducted by a major university's Police Training Institute revealed significant improvements in both accuracy and response time versus traditional cylindrical tactical flashlights used in conjunction with industry-accepted tactical flashlight shooting techniques.

+23%
Improved Marksmanship

19% vs. 5%
Flashlight vs. Liberator Tactical Light
Daytime to Nighttime Accuracy Loss

2.12 Seconds
Faster Tactical Load Time

2.75 Seconds
Faster Double Feed Drill Time

1.93 Seconds
Faster Speed Load Time

Developed With Departments

In addition to our university research, the Liberator tactical light has undergone a rigorous testing and evaluation program, with real-world feedback and input from the following law enforcement organizations:

  • Los Angeles Police Department
  • Tactics Training Unit and SWAT Team
  • St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
  • Training Bureau
  • Rockford, Illinois Police Department, Training Unit and SWAT Team
  • Bloomington, Illinois Police Department
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee Police Department

NOTE: Data reflects users with no previous Liberator tactical light usage experience and less than fifteen minutes of orientation.

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Your Tactical Lighting Forecast—Q & A with First-Light USA’s Jeremy Ross

First-Light USA’s Jeremy Ross, CEO, discusses the tactical lighting landscape, emerging trends in the lighting industry and what it means for you.

Read his full Q & A below.

Jeremy Ross, First-Light USA CEO

What aspect of innovation related to tactical gear and lighting is biggest on your radar today?

Without hesitation it is size and weight. As the military has stated for years, ounces add up to pounds and those pound are exhausting to carry. It’s exciting to design products that maximize utility and minimize cube and mass. There are several ways to go about it. First, we identify how to reduce weight by combining the capabilities of multiple devices into a single device (i.e. weapon mounted lighting tools, hands-free lighting tools and handheld lighting tools). Then, we analyze the power source, not only from what it might weigh, but also from the aspect of the length of operational capability it provides. If we can keep a customer from having to carry a large supply of spare batteries we’ve knocked out a few of those ounces. Technology is going micro, and eventually nanoscale, and this will greatly benefit manufacturers looking to reduce size while maximizing performance.

There have been some pretty significant advances in LED technology as of late. How do they affect tactical professionals and flashlight enthusiasts?

The lumen output versus the required current that some of the latest LEDs produce is very impressive. When we started the company 60 lumens of light from two CR123s at a runtime of 20-25 minutes was the norm. Now those same batteries can power the latest LEDs to incredible levels of output for several hours. Outside of high intensity white light, surface mounted colored LEDs are enabling designers to change the shape of illumination devices, which is really cool. These are super low profile and don’t require much thermal management, so they can be placed in the thinnest of structures. At First-Light USA we’re out to change the definition of a flashlight by redesigning it and eliminating the “tube”—and these advances in technology are definitely assisting us on our mission by allowing devices to be shaped into the best form factor for the given requirement. 

What excites you most about the future of tactical lighting?

The fact that the radical designs we’ve been putting on the market over the past several years have become mainstream excites me. We were the first company to focus on ergonomics in tactical lighting and now several others including the largest in the industry are following suit. That motivates me. Validation feels good, but continuing to outpace our competitors’ best efforts feels better—and I’m committed we do that. I’m really excited with what our company will soon offer when it comes to innovative lighting tools – stay tuned.

What makes you nervous regarding the tactical lighting space?

The state of the U.S. economy and how it affects domestic manufactures concerns me—it needs to improve. With almost all consumer electronics, including the overwhelming majority of flashlights being produced internationally, it becomes increasingly difficult for U.S. manufacturers like us who have no interest in moving any part of their production overseas to compete on price. The lower price point of foreign lights is coupled with lower quality, which is obvious when you directly compare our products to those made overseas. At First-Light USA, we know our customers want rugged, top-quality lights that carry an exceptional warranty, which is why we do what we do. U.S. Made. Lifetime Warranty. I get nervous when I think about those that consider a light as a potentially life-saving tool, being forced to consider cheap foreign lights due to the bad economic conditions. Hopefully things improve soon.

Officers' Simulated Night Qualification Score Improved By 30%

Officer Kevin Murphy
Union (New Jersey) Police Department

Liberator Tactical Light (with Task Light)It's a process that can make many a law officer leery - low-light firearms qualification.

Officer Kevin Murphy was no different. But unlike many officers, he had a unique reason to be concerned about his low-light qualifying. Having suffered a severe neck injury on-duty several years ago, Murphy had made a full recovery for the most part, however, due to the aftereffects of the injury, he had trouble remaining steady while shooting one-handed. This, despite being fully competent with a two-handed grip, posed a unique problem.

"As part of our simulated night qualification, we are required to shoot one-handed while holding a flashlight," said Murphy. "The last time I shot with a [Streamlight] Stinger and my initial score was 62.5%—and I had to requalify."

Having seen the Liberator Tactical Light in action at a regional shooting competition, he thought he'd give it a try for his requalification session.

The result?

"Well, with no practice whatsoever, my score improved 30%," said Murphy. "This time: 92.5%."

Despite being perfectly happy with his Streamlight Stinger, Murphy credits the Liberator Tactical Light as the light that kept his low-light shooting on track.

"The Liberator light was great, and I even think I inspired a few people to take a look at it," said Murphy.

Learn more about the Liberator Tactical Light.

"Streamlight," "Stinger" and "Streamlight Stinger" are registered trademarks of Streamlight.

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Tomahawk ST Survives "Torture Test"

Beaten. Battered. Bludgeoned. And the Tomahawk is still as bright as before.

While we feel the following anecdote reflects the quality American craftsmanship that goes into every First-Light product, the actions described here represent extreme circumstances and are not recommended nor encouraged by First-Light USA. Take care of your light and it will take care of you.

When a question came up about the durability of the First-Light USA Tomahawk Tactical Light we couldn't resist the challenge to put it through an ultimate torture test.

So, working with a group of professionals in Fayetteville, NC who work closely with Special Forces operators, in the parking lot of 21st Century Tactical (a First-Light USA distributor), the torture test began.

Here are the non-scientific test protocols. The photo testifies to the result.

First, the Tomahawk (ST model) was thrown up into the air about 30 feet and allowed to careen onto the asphalt below.

Next, the light was hurled like a fast-pitch baseball into a concrete wall...the Tomahawk ST was still working.

Then the question came up: "Have you ever driven over it with a car?" So...out came the Chevy Suburban and "squish" went the Tomahawk into the gravel and pavement...still ticking.

Then, someone brought out a forklift and rolled both wheels over the "victim." Same result as before: worn for wear, but still working.

We then thought doing a "burnout" on the ill-fated light was in order. Re-enter: the Suburban, whose rear right wheel was positioned on top of the Tomahawk, at which point the driver accelerated while slamming the 3.5-ton SUV into gear. The Tomahawk ST spit out and flew horizontally through the air, coming to an abrupt rest on the aforementioned concrete wall.

Final result: One Tomahawk ST, beaten and tortured, clip and finger-loop broken...but STILL shining bright.

Learn more about the Tomahawk Tactical Light.

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