Maglite XL100 LED Flashlight, Black
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696 of 710 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2010
For awhile I had forsaken MagLite as outdated and incapable of adapting to a changing market, with new flashlight manufacturers making brighter lights every few months, it seemed they were doomed. Up to this point I wouldn't even consider a flashlight unless it had high lumens, multiple modes and the ability to accept a wide range of batteries, including lithium ions, until I came upon this little gem.

Being a flashaholic "know it all" I was hesitant to give this mag a chance, I mean, a three cell carrier AAA light? Practically sacrilege! But being a bit of a techno nerd, the opportunity to play with an accelerometer operated light was irresistible. Plus I could always just return it to the store... ***SPOILER AHEAD***... but I didn't.

Now to get down to the blood & bone... this light really impressed me especially that it came from MagLite. The features themselves are standard among the usual suspects of LED lights, but the implementation MagLite chose is a leap forward among their peers. Every multi-mode light out there requires you to loosen, tighten or certain amount of clicks, or a certain combination sequence of either to get to the mode you want. The XL100 has all its modes in one button you only need to press once, as long as your selection is facing up. A raised rubber dial (It does NOT rotate!) on the boot of the switch is supposed to serve as an indicator, the big N on a map so to speak, always pointing to the most frequently used mode of the light, the brightness control. And serving as a reference point to other modes while in the dark, providing you can memorize the other 4's orientation.

However, the mode you'll find yourself using most is the brightness control, which is the coolest part of this light. Once you press & hold the button, it's a simple twist of the wrist to dim or brighten the light, release at the desired level and it memorizes the setting the next time it's turned on. It also dims & brightens as fast as you can twist. Most lights that offer this type of adjustment do so at a fixed, slow rate. The low setting is VERY dim, and the brightest setting is absolutely brighter than 83 lumens. At least by the measure of lumens I'm used to from the popular Chinese LED flashlight brands.

The modes can be directly accessed; SoS & Strobe are easily adjusted for brightness or frequency in the same manner. Brightness of the strobe will default to the last used level, but the frequency can be adjusted to whatever interval you desire simply by twisting your wrist. SoS is adjustable for brightness, but not frequency (wouldn't be SoS then, I guess.)

Nightlite mode is a neat little feature that will probably get more use than strobe or SoS, especially with kids. The light can tail stand and while in Nightlite mode will dim down to the lowest setting when no movement is detected, but instantly go to full brightness once picked up.

Signal mode doesn't get used much by me, but basically the light will be off and turn on at the last used setting when any movement is detected in the direction away from Signal. Personally I find that signaling by clicking on and off to be easier, but the motion detect feature of signal mode could come in handy somehow, somewhere in a galaxy far away...

The emitter the XL100 uses is in fact a LUXEON REBEL, not a Cree. It also appears to be a neutral white, a pleasant alternative on my eyes in contrast to the cool white of most Cree LEDs (one of the most common emitters.) The electronics in this light are also regulated; it is NOT a direct drive like almost every other three cell battery carrier light out there. It uses a BUCK BOOST circuit, which offers nice regulation and long usable output of light. I have no doubt the ANSI specified numbers on the package are equal or lower than what this light is actually capable of delivering. And have no fear of using lithium batteries, the manual doesn't prohibit them, only rechargeables, but they are SAFE to use in a buck boost too. Mag probably prohibits them for legal liability reasons; rechargeable batteries always carry more risk.

Also the battery carrier is much higher quality than any other carrier type I've encountered, its not the malleable cheapie plastic, but a firmer, denser type of plastic which I have no doubt will last, but if it fails, a replacement is a call away.

Heat sinking on this light also seems to be about as good as my other LEDs, the body does get warm after being at full brightness for several minutes, but that means heat is being transferred to the aluminum body and not insulated within the electronics of the emitter. A problem Mag had with their first attempt at LED'izing their Mag line. And it doesn't get too hot to hold, even after a full hour at full brightness on eneloop batteries.

Fit & finish of the light is pretty standard MagLite quality, typical Type II anodizing (which many flashaholics lament in favor of Type III. It's a higher number after all, right?!), highly polished aluminum body underneath, and anodized threads for long lasting use. The finish is more durable than expected, not tough enough to withstand criticism though, I have had Type III finish lights arrive with nicks out of the box, it may be Type III, but if it's poorly applied it doesn't mean a thing. MagLite does Type II well and I have yet to knick this light in spite of dropping it twice already and knocking it against hard objects accidentally. Body tube is of good thickness, but the head of the flashlight is fairly thin, the lens is also plastic, but that just means it won't crack as easily, but will scratch. My old d cell mag is scratched to hell, but it still puts out a usable beam, and mag will gladly send you a replacement any time if you call and request one. Can't say the same of Chinese brands. The rubber clickie boot is also of good quality rubber, and the switch itself feels more durable than the click switches on my more expensive lights.

About the only gripes I have for this light is that it does not have a pocket clip or lanyard attachment, big oversight on Mags part. However, if you're an inclined tinkerer/customizer, there is a very fast and easy remedy. I've found that the Novatac lanyard ring will fit over the tail cap of the XL100 perfectly and allows for the attachment of a lanyard (shown under customer images I've uploaded.) The Novatac flashlight clip will also fit in a similar fashion, both available from Lighthound (FANTASTIC SERVICE!!) Or just about any generic lanyard ring made for a 1" light will work. I have also found that any pistol magazine pouch will fit this light, or for something a little more specific, the Maxpedition 4" flashlight pouch fits this light perfectly, I use it. MagLite apparently has one in the works for this light, but you don't have to wait! Also, the focusing feature on the head of this light is bland; it goes from tight beam to a loose spill which washes out much of the light in favor of a barely usable flood. Not worth using, imo.

Finally, in comparison to my Maratac 9290 (a re-badged ACU anodized iTP C7 tactical) using a 14500 lithium ion battery, rated at 190 lumens -the MagXL100, using eneloop AAA's is perceptibly (slightly) brighter and throws its beam farther. It throws almost as good as my Fenix TK12 using an 18650 li-ion, at 220 lumens, and only slightly dimmer than the TK, yet the beam is cleaner, no dark "cree rings" affecting the spill, its very clean in fact. Yet you still won't find many flashaholics praising this light, it is MagLite and an AAA three cell carrier light designed for "clueless consumers" after all. I also have many other LED's, but they are of lower brightness and no comparison to the XL100 and not worth noting here.

I don't have any graphs to display or have the desire to purchase equipment & software solely for the use of grading lights and measuring every electronic function by the numbers down to an exact science, my eyes are my best & most practical gauge of usability and what they tell me is that there is little difference in brightness between an $80 dollar 200 lumen light and this 83 lumen $30 light with a stellar lifetime warranty.

Real world use of the light for me has been solid and satisfying, the fact that price was affordable, and it's made in the US by a well respected manufacturer with a notable lifetime warranty & service is a nice bonus, too.

I have been using this light nightly for the past two months and it is still going strong. It has become my fast favorite and now sits in my dresser drawer near my bed and is now the first light I go to when I need it, feels just right in my hands.

By now I'd be a few hundred dollars richer had I never got caught up in this silly flashlight hobby, searching for the "best light for me," but now that I've found it, I can stop spending ridiculous amounts of money on other brands that seem to come out with something new every couple of months and give you that "!!!MUST BUY!!!" feeling because you think it might be better, but truth is the improvements are incremental at best and I feel like a rube every time I plop down $60 or more for the latest and greatest. No more!

I can see now why established companies like SureFire, MagLite & others don't come out with new product very often, because when they do, they tend to do so when the technology provides a significant advance in quality & features, not just baby steps.

I hope I've covered all the bases and provided as much insight into the XL100 and what a great bargain it is, at least in my view. I've tried to be as concise as possible, but review writing isn't my thing unless the product really is of remark to me. If you can learn from my experience, and you value practicality & having lots of money in the bank, then this IS THE FLASHLIGHT for you.

Also, if you've taken the time to read my whole view, THANK YOU!!! I put at least a couple hours into it... any questions I'd be glad to answer!
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97 of 98 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 13, 2010
I own a million LED flashlights - just ask my wife. This one easily fits in the top tier in quality, value, and utility. You can find other good reviews of this light online, so I'll just mention the things that those reviewers did not mention, many of them Maglite hallmark features.

- It's bright enough to blind a would be assailant.
- It's sturdy enough to use as a small striking weapon.
- With the reflector unscrewed and removed, it provides a two foot circle of very uniform light at a distance of one foot. In other words, you could read a book or newspaper with it very comfortably.
- It's recessed tailcap switch makes it easy to switch on and off with only one hand.
- It has an interesting "night light" mode which is misnamed, but lets you work in a pitch dark area, lay the light down on the ground, and be able to find it in the dark by the very dim beam it emits. Pick it up, and it's instantly at full brightness, thanks to the built in motion sensor. Kind of quirky, but possibly useful in some situations, and not really a night light in any usual sense of the word.
- It casts a perfect combination beam with a tight spot in the center, and uniform wide flood around that.
- It is not truly focusable from spot to flood, except to the slightest degree. But the spot/flood pattern means that doesn't really matter much.
- It can be set to a very low light level and will burn (they claim) for 250 hours. I think it's true.
- It can be set to any level between full on and lowest dim and will retain that setting as long as you want to.
- It runs on three AAA batteries, obtainable almost anywhere in the world.
- Brightness level seems to be around that of a five cell flashlight, in a package not much bigger than a roll of Life Savers candy, that will comfortably fit in your pocket.

I especially favor lights that can run at selectable dim and bright levels, to suit the situation and conserve battery life when needed. This more than fits that need.

Overall, it's a very versatile, sturdy, powerful light that's well worth a look.
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
I got one of these lights from Mag before they actually went on sale because I am one of their suppliers. I wasn't immediately sold on it, it took me a little bit of using it before I was sold on it's features. It has variable brightness modes, strobe modes, variable SOS modes, a very cool lockout mode so it can't be turned on accidentally, and the usual twist-to-focus Mag usability. One thing that is very interesting is the motion-sensitivity of the light - you can vary the intensity just by rotating it in your hand. I did like the end cap switching setup, but I didn't like the little plastic indicator in the middle of the cap that had a little detent that pointed to the modes, which are printed on the outer edge circle. Size-wise, it's just about right - fits in the hand nicely. However, with no flare on the light end, it's not always immediately apparent which way you are holding it, unlike the standard Maglites.

Another thing, the light has no method of attaching a lanyard, nor does it come with a holster. I know that a holster is being developed for the light, but will it be packaged with it or will it be sold separately? And will it be webbing or nylon with a flap? As it is, it certainly fits in the pocket easily enough. But for those who use lights in their work, a holster is an absolute necessity. These issues will be resolved at some point, but for now, all you get is the light.

Also, very different from all other Maglites, is the battery pack on this light. It is a plastic barrel that holds 3 AAA batteries, 120 degrees from each other. It is also the motion control device for the light if I am not mistaken. Since this unit would very likely be destroyed by battery acid leakage, I have to wonder about the longevity of this unit. Of course, Mag's customer service department is outstanding, so that probably won't be too much of an issue, but I found it somewhat disconcerting. Mag's bread and butter is the fact that their lights are aluminum, and their durability is legendary because of that. So to find that a major component of the light is plastic is somewhat questionable. Also, as I mentioned, the plastic indicator insert in the end cap is of questionable quality. Maybe I'm just being picky because I know how Mag makes their stuff and expect everything to be of that quality. But maybe not. Time and usage will tell.

Either way, even though I own at least two of every product Mag makes (and in most cases, 20, since I give them as gifts engraved with our company logo) I am ordering two of these so that I can put them through their paces. Because it is a new product, it is not yet discounted. My guess is that as soon as most retailers have them and start pricing wars with them, they will sell for $39.99 everywhere. I think it's a heckuva light for that price, easily comparable to similarly priced Sure Fires and Streamlights. Technologically, it's a tour de force for Mag, who has been playing catch-up in this market for too long. I am fairly sure that it will live up to my five star rating. Until I make a side by side comparison with the competition, I can't say for sure, since some of Mag's competition has brighter and better featured lights in their price niches, but so far, for me, this one is a winner.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2010
I'd written various reviews on Maglite's LED flashlights in the past. I was almost sure that Maglite is on its way out of the flashlight business. Well, this XL100 proved me wrong; there is still hope in this company. I think the XL100 is one of their best small LED unit in terms of size, brightness and power efficiency. It is better than their 3 AA LED and their 2nd generation 2AA LED units. It claims it outputs a maximum power of 85 lumens, but I think that's an understatement. I compared the XL100 to my Fenix LD20 (which outputs a max 180 lumens)and the XL100 is only a bit shy of coverage area in term of diameter and brightness, not bad for a $35 unit from Maglite. Another thing I like, and I hope this not just pure luck, is that it outputs a very clean bright white color rather than the average off white/yellowish white I often get from other Maglite LED units. However, the only way to tell is to buy several of them and do a comparison side-by-side. Some of you who are flashlight collectors can spend the extra money and find out the answer for me. Having said all the good things about the XL100, the push button on the back needs quite a bit practice in order to master its operation. Several improvements will make this unit more competitive to other LED flashlight manufacturers like Fenix... The cylinder design seems a bit outdated; Coast and other companies had already used this design. A holster and a hole for a string would be nice. Anyhow, I hope Maglite will finally get back on its feet and be the industry leader in making flashlights once more; I'm still waiting for their LED Mag Charger.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2010
I had to return the first XL100 I purchased to Amazon. It did not change modes and would not turn on and off consistently when depressing the button. Amazon sent a replacement within three days after notification. It worked as advertised.

The XL100 is very bright (probably brighter than the 65 lumens advertised). It is very compact and workmanship is good.

Two problems with the XL100: 1. You cannot easily determine the mode when operating the flashlight in the dark - you can't see where the button is pointing. The small locater tab on the button is not enough to give you an exact mode position. 2. The on/off button is difficult to depress with your thumb. It is flush with the frame. It would be easier if the button protruded beyond the frame so you could get better leverage while depressing it.

Changing the frequency of the strobe and brightness adjustment by turning the light clockwise/counter clockwise (while in a horizontal position) is an interesting novelty, but I question the practicality vs. having a simple mechanical switch/rheostat type operation.

Finally, the service from Amazon was great!

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2010
The new XL100 has left a solid, positive impression on me. This is a great flashlight, which features an innovative, user interface, a deep smooth reflector, a powerful Cree emitter, and extra modes such as strobe and SOS. Maglite has seemed to trail behind the competition for quite sometime with LED technology, however, after ages it seems, the XL100 proves they are headed in the right direction. Although the body is not mil-spec in construction, its decent enough, although the battery tube is a little on the thin side. This is ok, as this light features a battery cartridge to house the 3x AAA batteries. This was a good design, because it allowed the use of two fixed pins inside the tailcap to depress the battery tube to power on the light (as opposed to a traditional spring). This light is not the most compact out there, but certainly more so than Maglite's traditional offerings, even the Mini Maglite LED. I believe its also more powerful than even a 4-D Mag, both incan and LED, although i'd have to have those on hand also to know for sure. What I do know is this light throws very far, as far if not further than my Fenix TK10, even though that light has a 225 lumen turbo mode. Maglite rates this light @ 85 lumens, although I think it's closer to 120, this probably has to do with the design. Mag encased the actual emitter with a projector bubble, combined with the deep smooth reflector, it probably seems like more than its rated. The user interface has lots of cool modes, although it may take the average user some getting used to. Aside from that, I have nothing bad to say about this light. Although the body is not as durable as my Fenix or similar tac light, for the money, its very good. That's about the only reason I give it 4 instead of 5 stars. You get a lot of product for the money with this light. Highly recommended!

**UPDATE** 5/22/11 - The XL100 is still performing as well as it did the first day. I've dropped it a few times, even on concrete, and it still holds up. This is a great light, and has exceeded my expectations. Get yourself one!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2011
I am really into flashlights, and have always owned several MagLite D-cell flashlights, the regular kind with a bulb. I recently went on a mission to find an excellent LED light, and tried several. Being MagLite, I expected excellence with this product.

The light has a beautiful, streamlined design. It is bright (in my experience not as bright as the Nebo Redline Tactical for sale on Amazon) but it produces a whiter, and more symetrically round, light (ie when shone on a wall). It has great features, like strobe, etc, and has a function where you can dim the light if you want.

The first thing is, and I am very technically proficient, this light takes A WHILE to learn how to use the features. I think MagLite went a little too far building such smart technology into a flashlight. When you finally figure it out, it's "OK" - still not great because I think it would be much simpler if they used a switch or tap-the-button system to switch between features. Trying to build a better mousetrap here, I get it, but I think it's un-necessary. Perhaps a better instruction manual would help. Plus, if you don't use it every day, you have to stop and think about the operation of the features, since it's unlike any other light you'll ever use.

Second, you cannot adjust the beam of the light. At least, I cannot. On a regular MagLite, you twist the top to widen or narrow the beam. I don't think this is possible on this light. Finally, there's no way to attach a wrist strap to this light. With the large, long, D-cell MagLites, that's not an issue, b/c usually you are holding them or using them in instances where you don't require a small light. And, some people like the heft of those for safetly. However, with a small light like this, you'd like a way of ensuring that you won't drop it.

Net Net, I like this light (not love) and despite it's beautiful design, I keep it as my backup not primary light.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2010
I ordered this for $(...).It is the second MAGLITE LED flashlight i own.It is durable (just like an other maglite) but if you strike the top it goes of for a second and other times it goes of completely.Here are some pros and cons.

VERY bright
5 differnt modes
Nice price

if not directly on the mode you want to use it will do two modes at once(if you like that consider it a pro)
lens gets scratched up easily
not real spot to flood performance

DIM (good)
STROBE ( one of the best)
SIGNAL (good)
SOS (...---...)
LOCKOUT (don"t use all the time)

OVERVIEW:Good flashlight overall.Great flashlight for the money.Has some of the Features you see in some of the higher-end flashlights.

Thanks for reading my review xD...
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2010
Another high quality product from Maglite, one of the few companies making flashlights in the USA. Has a bright LED beam, with variable focus, just like all Maglites. The functions on the tail cap are a little odd to get to work, but after you master them they will seem very convenient. As a simple flashlight the beam is very bright and focused. I only gave it 4 stars because there is no lanyard attachment point or nylon scabbard to carry the flashlight around in. It's a bit pricey for a mini-LED but it's brand new on the market and should come down after more retailers start carrying it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2011
The Maglite XL 100 is very bright and has typical Maglite quality. However, switching between the different modes is very difficult and probably next to impossible in a high stress situation. Switching requires holding the on/off button while making a turning motion with the flashlight. The instructions are NOT helpful.
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