Friday Night Lights: Unity Tactical Hot Button – Laser/Light Switches

    This week on Friday Night Lights we will take a closer look at Unity Tactical’s Hot Button. Unity Tactical is known for their night vision height FAST mounts. Their TAPS Sync is another light/laser button tape switch but is very different from the Hot Button. We will focus on the Hot Button and show you why it is one of the best options for a remote tape switch.

    Hot Button: Smaller Is Sometimes Better

    The Hot Button is a simple button switch that is angled at a 45° so it does not take up much rail space.  You can see in the photo above how small the hot button is compared to the Steiner ATPIAL tape switch. You may be thinking “the bigger tap switch is easier to activate” and while that is true, the Hot Button is positioned as an index point for your thumb. Think of it like the tail cap switch of a SureFire light. While it is a small circle, it is not a stretch to reach and activate it.

    Unity Tactical makes two mounting options for the Hot Button with two options for what plug you want. They come in Picatinny or M-LOK. For the plug lead side, you can choose between Laser or SureFire. I borrowed my friend Kythe’s SureFire Hot Button and it is a clicky button whereas my Laser Hot Button is momentary only. However, this is not a big deal since most lasers like Steiner and the MAWL can have constant on by simply double tapping the button.

    Using the SureFire Hot Button saves a lot of rail space. Also, this makes activation more ergonomic. Normally I would have a SureFire tape switch mounted behind the MAWL C1+ but those tape switches are very long and I would have to reposition my hand for my thumb to reach it. Sure, I could relocate the tape switch to the side but that is less ideal for me.

    The Unity Tactical Hot Button is almost a third button on the MAWL C1+ setup. Since it is raised at a 45° angle, it is closer to my support thumb and easier to activate.

    Hot Button mounted in front of MAWL C1+

    The SureFire version of the Hot Button has an added feature that you will not find on other SureFire compatible tape switches, the lead is angled. This keeps the cable closer to the handguard and less of a snag hazard.

    Hot Button For Lasers

    The Hot Button makes a lot of sense for a laser. While you can simply press the top of the housing to activate the laser, a remote tape switch is more ergonomic and more importantly, it is ambidextrous. Most laser systems do not have activation buttons that are suited for left-handed shooters. Even if you are not left handed, it is helpful to know how to shoot from your opposite shoulder. Barricade work is a great reason to learn how to shoot from either shoulder and activating your laser is crucial especially when using night vision.

    Using a Hot Button with a Steiner laser has an additional benefit. Above I have the Hot Button plugged into my Steiner DBAL A3 and A4 VIS Override port and a normal ATPIAL tape switch plugged into the normal fire port. Some Steiner lasers, like the DBAL A4 and SBAL A4, have a VIS Overridde port. That way if your laser is set on IR modes, a remote switch plugged into the VIS Override port will activate the visible laser all the time. This is extremely helpful if lighting changes and you need to switch to visible white light and laser. In the case of the DBAL A4, it has a white light integrated into it. So hitting the VIS Override will activate the Visible counterpart to the IR mode you are in. If you are in AIM/ILL IR mode then hitting the VIS Override button will turn on the green laser and white light.

    Unconventional Positions

    Due to the design of the Hot Button, it is small and angled, it can be oriented and mounted in unconventional positions. I give credit to a post I saw a while back on Facebook. Someone mounted their Hot Button forward facing and under their handguard. Now they are able to pull the hot button like a trigger with their off-hand index finger. I tried this on my KAC handguard for my HK SP5 and it works like a charm. The Hot Button has a crenelated semi-circular shroud to prevent accidental activation. This makes activating the hot button with the index finger a little uncomfortable but not a deal breaker.

    Activating the DBAL-A2 would be difficult without a hot button.

    Of course, you can mount the Hot Button on the side for thumb activation. I usually avoid mounting anything on the left side of the SP5 since the charging handle is right there. But the Hot Button is small enough that it does not interfere.

    The Hot Button wire is 9″ long so it works well for remote activation of devices that are in awkward positions like this DBAL A4 on my HTA 90/22.

    Final Thoughts

    The Hot Button is extremely hot. Not just in practicality but in demand. They are almost always sold out. M-LOK versions are always out of stock and sell out in minutes. The SureFire versions are the most popular variant while the laser versions are still available. They come in FDE anodized or black anodized. They retail for $109 on Unity Tactical’s website but you can find them on various online retailers as well. If you want to get one, I suggest you buy one as soon as they pop up cause they go quickly.

    Nicholas C

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]


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