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Surefire EDCL2-T

According to the Surefire website description "Highly versatile light serves as an everyday carry light, Virtually indestructible LED emitter regulated to maximize output and runtime, Fully press tailcap switch for high output, and slightly press tailcap switch for low; twist for constant on, High-strength aerospace aluminum body, Mil-Spec hard anodized for extreme durability, Body and tailcap are knurled for a secure grip, Two-way clip permits light to be carried bezel up or down, Includes two high-energy 123A batteries with 10-year shelf life".  I started carrying the EDCL2-T in July of 2018, and did so for about a year until Nightstick Lights sent me their USB-558XL in July of 2019.  I purchased it on Amazon for retail price.  

Reason for Purchase:
At this time everyone and their mother was singing the praises of this EDCL2-T flashlight, how thin it was, how many #allthelumens it has (1200), and how easy it was to carry every day.  It was also about time I purchased another EDC flashlight as I carried the Streamlight Protac HL USB for several years at this point and while it still worked perfectly well, it was about time I started testing another flashlight EDC.  The EDCL2-T was almost 2x the cost of the Streamlight and did not have USB charging, which I was very much apprehensive about, but I still pulled the trigger and gave it a go.

First Opinion:
The EDCL2-T was able to be taken apart easily, it came with two Surefire brand CR123 Batteries, which I promptly ordered more of immediately.  The body was very lightweight and I immediately knew I was not going to enjoy the clip, as it made the flashlight sit too high in my back pocket.

The button has a weird low/high actuation which I never used extensively before so I knew I needed to work with it to see how it did, Surefire calls this "dual-stage tactical tailcap"  The button itself is rubbery and has a little bit of rough texture but as you can see it wore out pretty quickly.  In order for you to keep the light on without actively pressing the button, you have to screw tailcap clockwise so that it stays on.

The head appeared decently constructed and has some "teeth" as a standoff for the glass.  The immediately disappointing specification was that this flashlight only has 11,3000 candela, even though it has a marketed 1200 lumens, its effectiveness was something I needed to check myself in use.

In the Field:
While carrying it every day I found that I needed to unscrew the tailcap to the furthest setting out because the button would randomly get depressed and turn on to full brightness, causing me to feel a hot sensation in my rear pant pocket area.  This was something that repeatedly occurred and one of the biggest passive problems I had to deal with.  I used this flashlight in an off-duty capacity most of the time, I believe I only used it on duty once or twice when I forgot to charge my duty flashlight the night before.  It functioned well enough for the limited application of on-duty use, I would likely not want to use it extensively on-duty if I had a choice.

Ownership and Usage:
The battery life on the EDCL2-T is atrocious.  If I got a full night of use at the max output it was a miracle.  I carried an entire box of Surefire CR123 batteries in my bag almost all the time.  I had one instance of having to be out late at night in the winter, so it was dark early which caused me to use this EDCL2-T extensively through the night, I had to change the batteries two times (that's four batteries all together).  The clip caused the flashlight to sit too high and while great for quick deployment it wasn't comfortable and really depended on the type of pants I was wearing.  The only thing that made up for this was that the flashlight is light enough for that type of carrying position.  The tailcap twist actuation isn't something I am ever going to use again if I can help it.  I found it cumbersome, annoying inaccurate and the fact I had to carry it all the way twisted out meant that the button press was that much longer and caused me to use more pressure to turn on max output.  The low setting was too low in that I sometimes needed just another 5 or 10 more lumens in order to get the task I was doing done but with the low output, it wasn't enough and left my eyes straining.  The throw of the EDCL2-T wasn't what I wanted either, it was not a hotspot type light throw which I prefer, yes this is subjective to the person, but it is what I like and this light didn't deliver it.  Lastly, the EDCL2-T gets HOT and it gets hot quickly.  It was something I never experienced in a flashlight to this level, I guess they had to cut some corners when they made it light and thin, but this was too much.

Just to test it out I got a cheapy laser thermometer and left it running for 5 minutes.  After about a minute it was around 100F and after 5 minutes it was 113F, obviously starting temperature and ambient temperature may cause this vary (winter to summer), but that's what I got.  I am not a fan of having to put my hands on anything that's hot, and after 5 minutes it was literally hot to the touch to the point I would likely have mild discomfort holding it for any period of time.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations:
As of this review, I have already moved onto the Nightstick Lights USB-558XL and then to the Modlite OKW-head 18650 rechargeable handheld setup.  The EDCL2-T light did not live up to the hype and cost a premium it was not worth, in my opinion.  This light has a lot of flaws which the very cheap (in comparison) nightstick lights USB-558XL overcame without much issue.  I cannot stress the importance of having the ability to recharge a flashlight via a wire or swappable rechargeable battery in the current tech advancement arena.  Any company that doesn't have a rechargeable battery setup of some sort in their flashlight is setting themselves up for failure and is selling its customers short.  I would recommend passing on the EDCL2-T and either going with the cheaper USB-558XL as it is rechargeable and has a decent output, or going for the higher-end Modlite OKW-head handheld setup with the monster output.  Cannot go wrong with either one of them, can definitely go wrong with the EDCL2-T.