It seems that there is a race to create the brightest, farthest throwing flashlight these days, and this competition has led to a now common form factor: multiple emitters, large enough bodies to hold multiple battery cells, and in many cases the ability to recharge without removing the batteries. Browning has jumped head first into this race with their new “Disrupter” light. All of the following text found in quotes and italics is taken from the Browning press release:
“New for 2015 is Browning’s Black Label flashlight lineup the Disrupter. Though no bigger than a can of soda, the Disruptor pumps out a stunning 2600 lumens of bright white light that reaches out 500 yards.”
After a few weeks of using this light, I can attest to the “stunning” brightness and the incredible reach that it has. The “no bigger than a can of soda” is true enough if you are referring only to the body of the light, but the head of the light is about 50% larger in diameter and adds several inches to the “can of soda” size. This is a light that you carry intentionally – not as an ‘extra’ piece of equipment. Your reward for carrying it is an incredible amount of illumination that would certainly be useful in situations requiring search and/or rescue in very dark conditions.
“Its rugged all-aluminum construction houses a 10400 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery.”
I don’t know if the batteries are user replaceable and I’m not going to try and dissect Browning’s light. The head unscrews completely revealing a sealed head and body with two very large conductors connecting body to head. My guess is that there are 3-18650 lithium ion cells housed inside the body – but that’s a guess.
“Optically clear and scratch-resistant, the glass lens is built for years of rugged duty. The anti-roll bezel profile helps prevent the Disruptor from rolling off a table. The lamp head incorporates heat-dissipating fins to keep the light running cool.”
The fins do dissipate the heat from the emitters and effectively keep the heat away from your hand. The “anti-roll bezel” is simple but effective – you have flat sides all around the head that will stop the irritating roll.
“Three super-bright white Cree® LEDs provide illumination from 75 to 500 yards. Three red LEDs and three green LEDs are also featured for stealth, safety and night use.”
These appear to be Cree XML LEDs – probably the second generation of those emitters. The tint of the light is a nice, cool, almost pure white with little or no tint shift when dropping to medium or low.
“The Black Label Disrupter Flashlight features a thumb switch for momentary or continuous lighting. Select from high, medium or low output on white LEDs, plus green, red and fast strobe.”
The thumb (or finger in my case) switch has a nice tactile click to it when activating. You can then lightly press and cycle through the levels – comes on in high, then medium, low, green, red then fast strobe. If you hesitate for a few seconds in any mode, a press of the switch will automatically cycle back to high. Along side the switch are a series of blue LEDs that indicate your level of charge. An aluminum ring covers the switch by simply rotating it so that the cutout is not aligned with the switch.
“The Disrupter flashlight includes household (AC) and vehicle (DC) chargers. All cords (including USB) come in a rugged polymer case.”
All USB cords along with the AC and DC adapters are standard micro USB. The micro USB charging port is on the side of the light about midway in the threaded area of the body. Simply loosen the head until the port is exposed and plug into the USB charger.
The case is strong injection molded polymer with compartments for all of the included components.
“Suggested Retail $425.00.”
I have seen similar lights that cost less – few that cost more. Value is always in the eyes of the purchaser. Having said that, if you need a rugged hand-held searchlight this one deserves a look.