Teamwork creates Pelican's new LED tactical light

Industrialist Andrew Carnegie once said, "Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results."

Today Pelican Products Inc. fully understands the truth in these words. The Torrance, California, company introduces the Pelican 7060, a lighting product designed as a collaborative effort of public and private sectors, which also earned the endorsement of local community groups. Pelican paired with the Los Angeles Police Department to create this standard issue tactical/patrol flashlight for officer-wide distribution. In addition, the company, best known for its protector cases and submersible dive lights, solicited input from various sources and sent the light on a 100+ officer evaluation during the two years spent developing the product. "Law Enforcement Technology" testers recently reviewed this product and predict it will quickly become popular for patrol worldwide.

Tough enough for patrol

The Pelican 7060 is a Xenoy/aluminum bodied LED tactical light with a 3.7-volt, 2200-mAh lithium ion power cell. It is approximately 8.65-inches long, 1.675-inches wide and 10.4 ounces. It is a little larger and heavier than the many recent tactical light products on the market. It has O-ring seals and rubber switch caps, making the package water resistant. The light source is a 1-watt, 130-lumen prefocused module with an aggressively deep parabola reflector.

The light's size and shape is about right for a traffic stop, where an officer might tuck it under the arm to "scratch out a cite" and illuminate hazards in front. It has dual, two-position switches with momentary and constant-on capabilities. The switches operate like wall switches in a dining room with two entrances: Either switch will turn the light on or off, regardless of the position of the other switch.

Although it has a rather responsive tailcap switch, it is a bit too large for using a firearm with a syringe hold, where the shooter activates the switch with his palm while the light protrudes from a gap between his fingers.

The flashlight head is octagonal, preventing it from rolling, even on steep surfaces. The lens is recessed more than an 1/8 inch from the serrated lens shroud, which is more than adequate for drop protection. Like Pelican primary dive lights, the clear part is not just a disc but a cup that is integral with the threads, which is stronger.

The grip's non-slip pattern, which Pelican calls a grenade grip, is positive with gloves or wet hands. Gun cleaning fluids did not affect the surface. Xenoy is chemically inert and impervious to a myriad of chemical attacks. The light did not have enough ferrous material to deflect a magnetic compass and the Xenoy is non sparking, which makes this product suitable for a variety of really bad neighborhoods.

Users report successful operation in freezing and tropical temperatures, a continuation of the Pelican protector case trend.

The light does not have any sharp edges and cannot be balanced on the tail, which prevents a user from shocking the head by allowing it to tip over. The octagonal profile prevents the light from rolling on smooth surfaces. LET reviewers say they would have added a recessed or removable lanyard attachment. Some shooters prefer to loop a lanyard in their fingers for rapid reloading by swinging the light away, then back into position. Other officers are subject to environments which affect dexterity, such as freezing temperatures, where a lanyard can be handy.

There are several internal springs which satisfactorily prevent interior damage when dropped. Reviewers could not even get the beam to flicker when dropped from 5 to 10 feet on carpeted concrete. They tossed it on the head, tail and lens without failure.

Then testers attempted to "cook" the lens by leaving the light on, pointing down. The serrated lens shroud and LED heat sink worked together to keep the flashlight body from getting too hot. The lens shroud consisted of a castle-like pattern of notches that allowed air to circulate and allow light to escape, alerting users that the light was left on.

The first time reviewers tried leaving the light on, they had already abused the torch a little. By the time it had been sitting a few minutes, the beam was flashing, indicating they had run the lithium ion cell down. After charging, which averaged a little over 4 hours throughout the tests, they cooked it again. Compared to the reviewers' fine collection of other flashlight brands with bubbled lenses from this test, the Pelican 7060 prevailed.

The abuse did not warp the reflector or lens, but it did make the aluminum cooling fins in the head too hot to touch. This test demonstrated Pelican's excellent engineering. Lighting a super bright LED is not the only thing that generates heat in a good torch. The internal resistance of the battery changes as it goes through its cycle, which is why rechargeable LED lights are less common than disposable cell models. The circuitry prevents an overdriven LED or a heat buildup or a number of other issues that require a degree to understand.

The Pelican 7060 LED comes with a warning not to point this light into a person's eyes. Of all the tactical lights on the market, this one should be taken seriously. Most people will not be able to distinguish between a 90- and a 110-lumen torch but this product is noticeably brighter than other handhelds.

The beam is concentrated in the center and rendered accurate colors. There are no dark areas and the precision reflector keeps the hot spot concentric. There is enough peripheral light outside of the blinding cone for note taking or citation writing.

Anyone caught in the beam is frozen in their tracks. This quality makes it a formidable tool. This light can inspect an alley the length of dozens of addresses. In LET's tests, reviewers were able to recognize a subject's face nearly 150 yards away. For vehicle stops, this light can illuminate the interior, cut through tinted windows, and assert commanding authority.

The Pelican 7060 LED is great for initial suspect sweeps. However, it is not a light an officer wants to use in a secondary sweep for evidence or as a task light. With this light on, testers couldn't look at a paper held at arm's length without being incapacitated for at least a few seconds. For this reason, they say the product needs a dimmer switch or a flip-down filter.

Reviewers played with the dual-switch function. Both switches only require a light touch to switch on. For palm-to-palm or wrist-to-wrist shooting holds, it is ideal because our officer can squeeze anywhere on the body to light it. The light balanced well in the hand and easily indexed in the palm. Because neither switch is recessed, this light needs a case that will prevent accidental firing.

Pelican incorporated a lithium ion battery, which is perfect for this application. The battery is lightweight and resistant to memory and ill effects brought on by mid charges. The 7060 supplied for testing cycled well and occasionally exceeded the advertised 1.5-hour burn time. The light comes with a low-profile charging dock that can be used with multiple power sources. The light gave its full intensity for the entire duration. When the battery needed recharging, the beam pulsed but never lost intensity. This torch also can be left in the charger until needed.

The Pelican 7060 is a revolutionary new light for one of the largest police agencies in the country. We expect many agencies will soon follow suit and use it on patrol.

Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer who teaches Administration of Justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California. He may be reached at bertomen@yahoo.com.

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