Tactical HID 26W HID

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Tactical HID, a flashlight importer and shop, has developed their own HID light. This light it is a 26 watt single level HID (High-intensity discharge) light with a build in battery gauge, or rather two battery gauges, because the gauge is mounted on the battery and the light is supplied with two batteries. The two batteries are different size, one short and one long battery, this makes it possible to use the light in two configurations, either optimized for size or optimized for runtime.

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The light arrives in a case with foam inserts to protect the light and keep all the different parts together. The case has a simple combination lock, making it possible to keep small children away from the light.

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The contents of the case is much more interesting, there is the HID light and a extender for the light, a short and a long battery, a charger for 110/230 volt, a car charger and a manual for the combination lock. There is also supposed to be a manual for the light, but it is missing (This might have happen during custom inspection). But it contains no spare o-rings.
I got the manual from Tactical HID when I asked, it contains specifications and instruction for the light and a 1 year warranty.

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Looking at the front of the light, the OP (Orange Peel) reflector can be seen and the HID bulb. The OP reflector has a rather heavy texture, that gives a very smooth beam, but reduces the throw. This type of bulb does not have a tiny wire in it, but the current will leap from one electrode to the other, making a glow. To start and control this process the light has a hidden circuit (ballast) behind the bulb.

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Around the head is the stainless steel bezel, this gives a good protection for the glass and finish of the light, if the front hits something. Just behind the SS bezel are some flat surfaces, they work as anti roll.

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The head with the reflector can be turned to adjust focus of the light, the two pictures show the limits of the focus adjustment. The heat sink for the ballast can also be seen, that is the area with fins, just behind the focus adjustment part.

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On the body there is some knurling, it is a rather mild knurling, not a sharp one, but the shape of the light will prevent the hand sliding off the light.

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At the end of the body tube, there are threads and an o-ring. The treads are rather fine for this big light, but they work well.

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Looking into the body tube shows 3 concentric rings and a center point, this is the connection from the battery. The center point is the plus connection and one of the rings is the minus connection.

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The end of the body tube does not necessary means the tailcap, this light includes an extender, that must be used for the long battery. It is just a tube with threads at both ends and a o-ring.

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After the body tube and the optional extender, the tailcap is reached, this tailcap is a bit special, it does not have any switch in it, only a big hole where the switch is supposed to be located. The switch is part of the battery pack and when the pack is mounted in the light, the shape of the tailcap makes it a recessed switch, making it possible for the light to tail stand.

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Here the tailcap is shown without battery, with battery and with a battery that is turned on (and nearly empty).

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This light, like most HID lights, includes a battery or rather two batteries, a short and a long. The batteries are shown together with a 18650 battery.

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The front of the battery is protected with a rubber cover, this prevent the two terminals from being shorted. This rubber cover has to be removed before the battery can be loaded into the light. Besides the power connection to the flashlight, the front of the battery also has some other features.

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The battery charge port is placed on the front and can be used both with or without the rubber cover. The light is supplied with two chargers, one for 100-240 AC volt with US style plug, the other for car use (Plug diameter: 20-25mm).

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The other feature on the front of the battery pack is some white leds, i.e. the battery pack has a build in flashlight. This is not a high power light and the power consumption is low enough to use it, even when the battery is incapable of powering the HID lamp. This makes it the perfect flashlight for locating the next battery pack. The light output is lower then a Fenix E01 flashlight.

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The other end of the battery pack contains the power switch, when turned on, the terminals on the front has power. Around the switch is a battery gauge, it has 4 leds and the number of led lit indicates the charge on the battery (The gauge is calibrated for a battery mounted in the light with the light on). There is an o-ring around the switch, this secures that the back of the light is weatherprof, when the battery pack is mounted in the light.

There is some inconsistency in the documentation and labeling of the chargers and the battery, the car charger is marked 12.6 volt output, the mains charger is marked 12.8 volt ouput, the batteries are marked max. 12.63 volt and the manual says max. 12.83 volt. A fully charged battery measures 12.7 volt.

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Here is a size comparison to some well known lights, first Maglite 3D and 2D, then the 26W and last a JetBeam M1X and RRT-1.



Technical specification and measurements

The official specification for the light are:

Measured size and weight:
Diameter: 46.1 mm to 88 mm, reflector inner diameter: 74 mm
Length: 250 mm with short battery, 320 mm with long battery
Weight: 1080 gram with short battery, 1380 gram with long battery, 520 gram for long battery and extender tube (i.e. light with both batteries is 1600 gram).

26WstartupTime

HID lights need some time to start up, this time is used to heat the gasses in the bulb. The timescale is in seconds.

Measuring the capacity of the two battery packs at a current draw of 2.6 A gives: Short 2.2 Ah, long 4.7 Ah. I.e. the long battery will have more than double the runtime.

26WruntimeShortBattery

Using the short battery in the light, I get 47 minutes.

26WruntimeLongBattery

With the long battery I get 106 minutes runtime and then a flash each time the battery recovers.



Comparison to other Flashlights

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I have selected two HID lights and 4 led light for comparison to this HID light, the lights are (Same sequence as picture): Tactical HID 26W, Microfire Warrior III, Titanium L35, Xtar D30 Howitzer, Fenix TK40, ThruNite Catapult, EagleTac M2XC4 (Warm).

BrightnessMax

Doing a ceiling bounce, the 26W is more powerful than all my led light, but cannot match 35W HID's.

BrightnessLux

Measuring lux at 4 meters, the 26W again surpasses all the led light, and again it cannot match the 35W HID lights.



Beamprofile
Tactical HID 26W HID, Microfire Warrior III, Titanium L35
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Xtar D30 Howitzer, Fenix TK40, ThruNite Catapult
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Eagletac M2XC4
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Beamprofile at reduced exposure
Tactical HID 26W HID, Microfire Warrior III, Titanium L35
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Xtar D30 Howitzer, Fenix TK40, ThruNite Catapult
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Eagletac M2XC4
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Middel distance
Tactical HID 26W HID, Microfire Warrior III, Titanium L35
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Xtar D30 Howitzer, Fenix TK40, ThruNite Catapult
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Eagletac M2XC4
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Long distance
On these pictures I have aimed the lights at the tree, but all lights has a lot of spill on the grass (See the dark reference photo).

Tactical HID 26W HID, Microfire Warrior III, Titanium L35
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Xtar D30 Howitzer, Fenix TK40, ThruNite Catapult
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Eagletac M2XC4
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Dark reference
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Tactical HID 26W HID
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Microfire Warrior III
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Other beamshots with this light: here, here and here.

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Titanium L35
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Other beamshots with this light: here and here.

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Xtar D30 Howitzer
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Other beamshots with this light: here. There is a Danish review here

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Fenix TK40
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Other beamshots with this light: here ,here and here. There is a Danish review here


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ThruNite Catapult
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EagleTac M2XC4
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Notes

Tactical HID will be offering a smooth reflector for the light, to get increased throw. With the rather large reflector, this might give the light a good throw.

I got a discount on the 26W HID, on the condition that I did a review.