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Tactical Flashlight with IR Beam – Nitecore CI7

I can definitely say that this is a first for me. I haven’t reviewed a flashlight before that features both a typical white LED beam and an infrared (IR) beam like the Nitecore CI7 does. Of course, I’ve seen flashlights with multicolored LEDs, but I can definitely say I’m excited to see a flashlight that has an IR beam. So today I’m going to talk about all the features of the Nitecore CI7 tactical flashlight including some of my thoughts on the light in general.

infrared tactical flashlight

Tactical Flashlight with Dual Output

We can all assume that the first thing I’m going to want to talk about are the two beams. I’ll go ahead and start with the white LED beam first. The CI7 tactical flashlight delivers 2500 lumens and uses four Cree XP G3S3 LEDs. It reaches a maximum beam distance of 279 meters and, based on the 2500 lumens as well as the reflector, we’re going to see a more diffused beam on this flashlight.

Let’s talk about the IR beam now. The CI7 does feature an IR beam with a wavelength of 940 NM or nanometers.  According to Nitecore, the IR beam will ensure less disruption in night vision and night opportunities, search and rescue, hunting, military, or law enforcement operations in the dark. The IR beam uses four SST 10 IR LEDs. I’ll be honest, I don’t really know much about these types of LEDs, but I’m excited to start learning about them.

ir beam tactical flashlight

So there are two completely different LED outputs on the CI7 tactical flashlight. It’s really easy to switch between the beams as well. All you need to do is push the head of the flashlight outward a bit and rotate the head either clockwise or counterclockwise to select which beam you’d like. I do like that it’s so easy to switch between the different beams and it would be difficult to accidentally switch the beams while you’re using the light. With any flashlight that features multiple LEDs, you definitely want to know that it’s not easy to accidentally switch between the LEDs.

Nitecore CI7 User Interface

Now that we’ve talked about the dual outputs on the CI7 tactical flashlight, let’s take a look at the user interface. It features a dual tail switch design with a round main switch that gives you a momentary-on and constant-on as well as a mode button that allows you to adjust the output and give you access to strobe. The buttons are nice and I like the pineapple texture on them, but I’m a little concerned about accidental illumination with the protruding main switch. On the other hand, the secondary switch is said to be designed in order to avoid accidental illumination which is good since it does give you a quick access to strobe mode.

tactical flashlight tail switch operation

Nitecore CI7 Tactical Flashlight Multiple Outputs and Modes

You also have two different modes with this flashlight: the Daily Mode and the Tactical Mode. In the Daily Mode, you have a momentary-on, access to the turbo mode, as well as the five brightness levels. In the Tactical Mode, you have direct access to strobe and five brightness levels. Between these two modes you do get to have a bit more versatility with this flashlight by choosing how you would like to operate it. I should tell you that the different modes are only going to affect the white LED and not the IR LEDs. It also features a mode memory function so it’s going to turn on to the last brightness level you used.

Speaking of brightness levels, the white LED features five brightness levels that range from 8 lumens to 2500 lumens along with a strobe mode. The IR beam features three brightness levels ranging from one watt to seven watts. In terms of output, you definitely get a lot with this flashlight and I’m glad to see multiple outputs for the IR beam.

multiple modes on best tactical flashlight

Durable Tactical Flashlight Construction

The Nitecore CI7 is constructed from aero-grade aluminum alloy and has a military grade hard anodized finish. It’s impact resistant up to 1 meter and is water and dust proof up to IP68 standards. It features an optical lens that has a double sided scratch resistant coating to protect the LED inside. This is an extremely durable flashlight. The flashlight does have an advanced temperature regulation which means that if it starts overheating it’s going to drop that output if it’s too high.

The Nitecore CI7 tactical flashlight is an 18650 flashlight and the specs that you see with the CI7 were measured using an 18650 battery with a 3500 MaH capacity. Nitecore recommends that you use an 18650 battery with a discharge current over 8A. The CI7 is also compatible with two CR123 batteries but you won’t see the turbo mode of 2500 lumens which is something to keep in mind. Either way, it’s great to see that the CI7 can run on multiple battery types.

2500 lumen tactical flashlight

On the tail cap you can see a power indicator that will flash and let you know what the remaining battery capacity is. This really does come in handy and is extremely useful for outdoor and professional applications. If you plan your usage right and pay attention to that indicator, you won’t need to worry about your flashlight dying on you.

Final Thoughts

Pros: I think that having an LED flashlight that features both a white beam and an IR beam is brilliant. It’s useful especially in outdoor and military covert operations. I’m extremely impressed with the innovation on the CI7. Nitecore is also known for their construction and I really like the design of the CI7 flashlight. I also like the multiple outputs that the flashlight features and like the tactical tail switch design in general because it looks so easy to operate.

Cons: I know I just said that I like the tactical tail switch design, but I am concerned about accidental illumination with that protruding main switch. We’ll have to wait to see if that main switch is an issue or not.

Conclusion: I’m extremely excited to see the Nitecore CI7 and what it brings to the flashlight market. It’s such an innovative flashlight and Nitecore really produces some amazing tactical flashlights. Make sure to check out the Nitecore CI7 tactical flashlight.

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