The Stealth Flashlight is the subject of the latest “viral” marketing campaign for a tactical LED flashlight. We’ve seen these kind of things before, usually for the latest re-branding of the Shadowhawk X800. But is this light the real deal?
First, check out the goofy commercial. It’s actually pretty funny.
So, even though I enjoy the commercial for the dumb fun that it is, right away some red flags stand out. For instance, there’s very little in the way of brand presence here, whether we’re talking about the video, the web-site, or the flashlight itself. The name of the company offering the Stealth Flashlight is hidden at the bottom of the page. “Red Diamond Holding Group LLC.”
Basically, the first thing you have to realize when looking at the Stealth Flashlight is that this is a tactical flashlight product coming from marketing people, not flashlight people. And it’s a textbook example. There’s barely even a closeup of the light in the four-minute ad. Note how brisk the video is in talking about the lumen rating in that commercial. That’s probably because at best, it’s an average light. According to the website’s “military grade tech specs that’ll make your brain melt,” the Stealth Flashlight has a maximum brightness output of 1500 lumens. However, the same specs also state that the light has a CREE “XM-L-2” LED. According to Cree’s own website, the XM-L2 LED has a maximum brightness output of 1,052 lumens. This means that Red Diamond Holdings Group is overselling the brightness capability of their light by about 50%. If I’m wrong, I’d love to hear it, but it looks like the numbers speak for themselves. If a light has 1500 lumens with an LED that’s only rated to generate 1000 lumens, I’d love to know where the other 500 lumens is coming from.
It’s too bad they felt they had to make that claim, because 1000 lumens isn’t too bad. Many people would be perfectly happy with a 1000-lumen flashlight. That’s enough to give you great range and illumination.
Other mission-critical information is missing from these specs as well. For instance, the light is advertised as “waterproof” but the accompanying icon is a raincloud and the blurb reads “These flashlights will keep working in rain, hail or shine.” You have to navigate to the order page to find this light is rated IP65, which makes it both dustproof and weatherproof. The Stealth Flashlight is NOT guaranteed to hold up when submerged in water.
Another thing I’d sure like to see is the impact resistance rating. Since we’re watching George Washington use this flashlight to smash other flashlights (nice touch), I’m guessing the Stealth Flashlight’s impact resistance is pretty good. But I’d appreciate knowing what it’s rated to withstand versus what’s theater. This is important and basic information for making a tactical flashlight purchase, and it’s why I’m always wary of these media campaigns with a lot of gloss: this info is always weirdly hard to find.
It’s nice that the light is able to hold up to being run over by a truck, but bear in mind this is definitely something 90% of tactical lights on the market can currently do. The aircraft-grade aluminum body is more than enough to hold up to the weight of a truck, even a military transport. So, while that’s a great visual and my hat’s off to whoever planned this commercial, it’s nothing that I haven’t seen before.
One of the most interesting features of this flashlight is that it has a “USB Charger,” or what most people call a power bank. This is the newest feature sweeping the tactical flashlight realm. It’s a way that a flashlight becomes useful even in daytime hours. The issue comes in that this is a common failure point for many lights. When a flashlight has an issue, and it’s rechargeable and/or a power bank, nine times out of then that’s where the fault lies. And buying a light with USB charging from a low-quality is just a risk, there’s no going around it. It’s a feature that stacks a lot on the price, but cheaper lights have a higher propability of that feature failing and needing service, repair, or replacement. That’s a problem for marketing-heavy deals like this, where the company behind the light is well in the background. It’s usually unreliable, sometimes even non-existent, customer service.
The bottle opener is kind of cool, I’ll grant you. It’s nice to think of a flashlight so multi-faceted that it’s useful even in the living room, just sitting watching TV. But just because a feature has not yet become spread into the mainstream, don’t let that fool you into thinking it should add a lot of value. Many Chinese-made flashlights are utilizing the same feature, while still selling the flashlight for about the same price as many items that are JUST BOTTLE OPENERS. The Panyue tactical flashlight sells for less than $5 on Ali Baba.
What I like better is that it’s a nice cover for the glassbreaker. Now I like having a glassbreaker on a light, but I don’t like having it poke my hand when I’m reaching for it. The bottle opener covers the glassbreaker nicely so you don’t have to worry about it until you need it. Maybe it says more about me than it does the flashlight that this is something I’m excited about!
To say that the kit is a value of $76 is laughable. A standard single-bay charger with a cheap spring, a generic battery, a power cord, and some extra bezels is a value of $25, at most.
All in all, I wouldn’t be willing to pay more than $40 for this entire package. The flashlight is bright and tough but nothing unusual. Most of what it’s offering is done better by other budget tactical lights for about the same value elsewhere. We really value customer service and the reliability of the Brand so when something goes wrong with the light, you can bet that you will get taken care of. See below for our recommended tactical flashlights.