Two tactical flashlights for $21.99?
How can you possibly beat that?
I mean, what gives here? Isn't this a little questionable?
The Wsky LED Tactical Flashlight seems to be the same light as others under the names – Wsiiroon, GearLight, LuxPower, PeakPlus, “as seen on tv,” and a bunch of other lights – all the same except for the name.
For those wondering what's going on, here's the story.
Chinese manufacturers produce a number of products which can be purchased at huge discounts and even customized.
For example, you can find these lights on the Internet in China for between $1 and $3.50 each if you purchase 100 or more units.
Additionally, you can have them customized to add your logo to the light.
Then, you take delivery and ship them to Amazon under their fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) program.
They are then featured on Amazon and sold for, let's say $12.99, and after paying $1 and probably around $2 or so to Amazon for fulfillment and shipping, you end up with around $10 in profit per light.
So, for an initial investment of $1 and operating expenses of about $2 per sale, you make $10.
A lot of business on Amazon as well as eBay and other ventures are done this way and there's nothing wrong with it.
The problem is that you are buying a $1 flashlight and you're going to get what you pay for.
There's no free lunch.
So, if you want to good flashlight for $12.99 you may want to look somewhere else. I discuss this below.
It should also be know that China also produces some top quality lights – like Klarus – one outstanding tactical light company. You can read about them in this post.
The Wsky LED Tactical Flashlight is available on Amazon and in terms of construction, you would expect the same standards to be followed by the many of the similar offerings.
The lens on this light is plastic. Most quality lights use mineral glass with some type of anti-reflective coating. The problem is plastic scratches and it's not the best material to optimize light. You can see the scratches in the image below.
The light is powered by three AAA batteries or one 18650 lithium battery. Both require a separate plastic container (see below) which is inserted into the light. This is an odd combination. Quality lights usually use a 18650 battery or 2 CR123A batteries. Also, no one uses a separate plastic container to manage the batteries. It's just not done.
According to one representation, the material is “military-grade aluminum.” Another claims “nylon.” But wait, what is “plastic metal.” At least that's what one seller claims their product is made of.
Apparently, it's a material that boasts the look, strength, and durability of metal but can be molded in complex shapes as simply and cheaply as plastic. I mean, come on, how else could you buy two flashlights for $21.99?
Now the LED is not identified as a Cree (which is the standard LED in quality lights,) but some are using the Cree nomenclature – the XLM-T6. Probably a subtle misrepresentation. Additionally there is no reflector cone to optimize and manage the light beam (as seen below). This is a cost saver but completely compromises the light and even the $10 Coast light below has a reflector cone.
Finally, although the claim is 1600 lumens, the light is nowhere near that and any 100 lumens light would probably outshine it. Some don't even claim the lumen amount but list the model number as an XLT1200, suggesting a 1200 lumen output. Not!
Bottom line, this light is cheaply constructed, is not dependable nor is it particularly efficient.
I get it. Everyone wants a tactical flashlight, and it's only practical to pay as little as possible. And there are some quality inexpensive lights that I'll discuss below.
But this light is not quality.
Let's talk frankly.
Tactical gear doesn't necessarily mean you need to be a first responder or a member of the military but theoretically, tactical means that the items should be of tactical quality. As if tested by first responders and the military. Who by the ways, lay their lives on the line and depend on this gear.
Now granted, modern technology and cheap labor have been able to produce a number of tactical looking tactical gear. Would first responders or the military depend on this tactical looking tactical gear?
Not on their lives, and neither should you.
The Anti Sale
Why in the world would I produce a blog post that, well, was anti-marketing?
If you want to buy this light, go ahead. But, I would rather direct you to other more reliable alternatives. Granted, they may be more expensive, but not much. I mean, it's hard to beat 2 for $21.99, but how much is your safety worth.
But the cost is relative. What are you getting?
Do you want a flashlight that comes with an empty guarantee? (Other than the 30 days, Amazon requires.) It may not be the most dependable and may require you to repurchase or…do you want gear that a first responder or the military would use and rely on. Even if that cost was a bit higher.
I think you know the answer.
I do not recommend this light!
Save your money and spend it on quality.
Most of my comments and emails come from people who have bought this or a similar light, and write to say “it doesn't work.” I've yet to receive a comment about how great this light is, in spite of the rave reviews on Amazon. Something is really rotten in Denmark folks.
Please, spend some time understanding the makeup of various tactical gear options – flashlights, knives, watches, etc. Understand the various power options and why. Study the construction and why that's important. Think about the intended usage and how that narrows down certain choices.
Go at this with purpose. And end up with gear that not only you and your family can rely upon, but can save your life.
Here are some posts that get into the heart of why and what options to choose for tactical flashlights and home defense gear.
Want a quality inexpensive tactical light recommendation?
Here are two great tactical lights, within the same price range as the Wsky but quality products.
COAST G19 Inspection Beam LED Penlight with Adjustable Pocket Clip and Consistent Edge-To-Edge Brightness – best $10.84 inspection light in the world. Did I mention it's only $10.84?
- Coast is a quality company and the G19 uses only 1 AAA battery to produce 54 lumens. This light is extremely small and comes with a lifetime warranty. At $10.84, you just can't beat the Coast G19.
Streamlight 66318 MicroStream Ultra-compact Aluminum body Flashlight with AAA Alkaline Battery – another excellent light at around $15
- The Streamlight 66318 is yet another great flashlight that weighs in at only 1.04 ounces and produces 28 lumens. Not a powerhouse but light and inexpensive. Additionally, this also comes with a lifetime warranty outside of abuse and just can't be beaten.
I cover more lights that are more expensive and more powerful if that's what you need on my Recommended Gear Guide.
Additionally you can review other tactical lights recommendations on the home page.
Become a knowledgeable buyer, you're life, and the lives of your loved ones may depend on it.
Always be prepared. Be well.