Merklight is a new company located in Indianapolis, IN. They have recently launched their first product called X-Series Light. It is a weapon light designed to be installed inside the AR-15 handguard resulting in a set of eight LED lights around the circumference of the barrel.
This product is developed for home defense purposes. It is compatible with free floated AR-15 handguards that have a front cap or cover. When installed, the light doesn’t touch the barrel thus keeping it free floated and keeping the light away from barrel vibrations and heat. The company claims that they test fired the light by dumping several magazines in quick succession and didn’t experience any problems associated with the barrel heat. They guarantee heat resistance to up to 325°F. Of course, if shooting hundreds and hundreds of round you’ll eventually destroy the light, but in a home defense situation that is less likely to happen. Watch some live firing footage in the video below.
The Merklight X-Series lights have a beam angle of 80 degrees with up to 75 yards of effective beam distance. One of the advantages of such a light is the complete elimination of barrel shadow issue. It is also quite a compact setup. It would be interesting to see how this beam angle works with suppressors. Will it still project light even with a suppressor installed? Of course, that will largely depend on the diameter of the suppressor and the distance from the light.
The X-Series lights have 5 settings: 3 power levels, a strobe and SOS setting. The company also plans to introduce a version with a built-in laser and an IR light version. The light also has a mode memory and low battery indicator. Right now it is possible to choose between white and green light options. The X-Series lights are powered by three AAA batteries with an average runtime of three hours. The weight of the light including the batteries is 4 oz. The total light output is 740 lumens.
Note that only the LED light block is installed into the handguard. The battery pack (including the control electronics) is mounted externally on the Picatinny rails of the handguard. The light also comes with a remote control pad.
Depending on whether your handguard’s front portion is threaded or holds the front cap via set screws, the X-Series light comes in 2 versions to fit one of these attachment methods. There are set screw type handguards made by companies like Yankee Hill Machine, Midwest Industries, Monstrum Tactical, Omega Manufacturing and others. YHM and MI also make the threaded handguards. In order to find out whether your handguard is compatible with these lights, visit the manufacturer’s website.
While discussing their future plans with the Merklight officials, they told me that right now they are looking to cooperate with handgun manufacturers. They also consider to team up with other tactical light companies with larger manufacturing capabilities. And they don’t exclude the possibility to sell the rights and technology to a large light manufacturer if such an offer is made.
Merklight X-Series lights are available on the company’s website. The set screw attached version is priced at $169.99 and the threaded version will cost you $179.99.
P.S. Some time ago there was a similar product called LUX180. Merklight is a different company and is not related to LUX180.