How many times have you needed a flashlight but also needed your hands to be free? And what if you were unable to wear a headlight, how would you deal with that?
Surefire has come up with a pretty cool idea with their Model 2211 Wrist Light. This is truly a unique light in that you wear it on your wrist like a watch, freeing your hands for a firing stance or any other non-tactical activity where hands free lighting is useful.
The light is powered by an internal lithium ion battery that can be charged by any micro USB power source, although Surefire does include a micro USB cable and wall charger.
The light is rated at 180-lumen output with just over 1 hour of run time before requiring a charge. The ‘charge’ LED on the top of the light doubles as a power gauge, with green indicating at least 90% charged, orange indicates reduced charge, and red indicates low charge. Typical charge time from exhausted to 90%+ is around 3 hours.
Specifications from Surefire’s web site:
|Output / Runtime — White Light|
|lumens / 1.25 hours*|
lumens / 4.0 hours
|lumens / 13.0 hours|
You will note that Surefire’s stated run times allow for a tapering of output to the point that the light drops below 50%. I’m okay with that as it increases the time the light is useful. Some manufacturers employ strict current regulation that might result in shorter run times but full output throughout the run. Just my opinion, but if I am in a dark place and need light, reduced output is better than no output!*Runtime (highest setting for multiple-output lights) until output drops below 50 lumens
In my homemade integrating sphere, I measured 17 on low, 63 on medium and 178 on high. My sphere has proven to be reasonably accurate, and it shows Surefire’s ratings to be, as usual, very ‘honest.’
Activation is simple and intuitive: push 1 button on either side to activate High-Low-Off, if the presses are within less than a second of each other. A single press of either button will switch the light off. ‘Squeeze’ both buttons at the same time and the light comes on in low and cycles to medium then high if you continue to hold the buttons. The light stays on in high if you continue to hold the buttons, or will stay on in whatever mode is engaged when you release the buttons. Again, a single press of either button switches the light off.
The housing is sealed (even with the USB port uncovered) and water resistant to IPX7 Standard.
It ‘wears’ like a big, heavy watch with a comfortable band. I became accustomed to it rather easily, and can imagine how useful it might be to always have the light literally, “at hand.” (Sorry) . The band is, of course, removable should you wish to use your own.
As is typical with Surefire’s “better” lights, construction is solid and the graphics are well done. The solidity comes at a cost, though, as the housing is sealed and the entire unit must be sent to Surefire should the battery need replacing. My understanding is that Surefire will replace the battery under warranty if it fails within the first 2 years after purchase. I have no information about the cost of non-warranty replacement. Quite frankly, not having to replace primary cells or deal with loose rechargeable batteries, to me at least, offsets any potential battery related maintenance. And to be able to charge it with the ubiquitous micro USB is a home run.
The Cree XPE emitter is housed behind a nice optic, angled up at 35 degrees. The beam is a nice, white tint, relatively free of artifacts and optimized for ‘room sized’ illumination, or close up work. Beyond 20 feet or so the beam is so diffused that it really provides limited useful lighting. This light is definitely not meant to be a thrower.
The verdict? To tell the truth, I really wanted to not like this light when I was waiting on it to arrive. I’ve never been one to back away from expensive lights, but $495 seemed a bit much (even to me.) Granted, this light is discounted in most retailers and can be purchased for around $350, but still…
But it grew on me. I can’t justify it for my needs, but for someone in need of quality, reliable hands free light – especially if that person cannot or does not like to use a headlamp, this light could be incredibly useful. And if it were to be run for an hour a day, it could conceivably pay for itself when compared to the cost of disposable primary batteries.
So again, the verdict? I give it a thumbs up.