Customer Review

1,130 of 1,218 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the brightest light available for the price! But..., March 14, 2011
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Length:: 2:13 Mins

It falls short in other areas.

If you are looking for a very bright light that doesn't cost too much then stop reading, don't watch the video, and click "Add to Cart". You won't be disappointed.

This light appears attractive for two characteristics:

1) It's "tactical"; and
2) It's a lot of light (220 lumens claimed) for a reasonable cost (around $25).

The problem is, it's not really a tactical light and you can get lights that are almost as bright for far less.

The accompanying video does two things. First, using a "real" tactical light, it shows features found on a typical tactical light that is widely used in tactical situations. Granted, the sample light costs several times more than the Nebo and that the reality if you are looking for a light that is tactical in more than its name.

The second part of the video provides a beam comparison between the Nebo and a TechLite Lumen Master High-Intensity Tactical LED Flashlight 3-Pack. That light is only rated at 160 lumens and you can buy three of them for the cost of one Nebo. The Nebo beam is brighter and you'll have to decide if it's brighter enough to cost three times as much.

Two minor points... First, the magnetic base on the Nebo is not quite strong enough to reliably secure the light either horizontally or hanging down from something metal. Second, in an effort to provide a complete, fair, and balanced review I got two Nebo lights, one month apart. They were different and that could explain some of the other reviewer comments. The first one came loose in an envelope and was not as bright as the second one. I used the brighter light in the output comparison.

Bottom line: If you want a tactical light you will have to spend more, if you want a bright light you can spend far less. Otherwise, for your $25 you get a light that is bright and has the word "Tactical" printed on the package.

That said, please feel free to stick around and read a bit more while I hop on my...

Lumen Soapbox:

I remember when transistor radios were first introduced. Consumers used the "number of transistors" as a, and frequently the only, measure of quality. Producers of cheap, low quality electronic equipment (which at the time was Japan) began building radios to use as many transistors as possible. Transistors replaced less expensive diodes and additional amplifier stages were incorporated (increasing the size while decreasing battery life and sound quality) all in the name of upping the transistor count.

A more recent example is digital camera "megapixels". This has become a metric of choice. Many people believe the more megapixels the better the camera and, by inference, the better the images it captures. Megapixels can be a determining factor in how much you can enlarge a picture and I suggest an 8x10 with nice color, good contrast, appropriate sharpness, and no lens distortion is better than a poorly rendered 16x20 or larger print.

So what does this have to do with Lumens, you ask. Just that measuring (flash)light output is tricky business and lumens aren't the only factor to consider. For example, a laser pointer of even average quality puts out lots of lumens. Ever try to find something in the dark using one? For this light the beam needs to be set at a fairly narrow focus to achieve its maximum output. Depending on your application, the "lumens" may need to be spread out over a wider area. There's an example of "less lumens can be more light" in my video review of the Joby Gorillatorch Flare Adjustable and Flexible Tripod Flashlight.

BTW, I feel that honest, effective reviews, accompanied by detailed videos, can take the place of first-hand experiences that are often lacking in online shopping. I've always appreciated the help I've received from other reviewers and try to return the favor as best as I can. I hope you found this review helpful and the video at least entertaining. If there was anything you thought was lacking or unclear leave a comment and I'll do what I can to fix it.
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Comments

Tracked by 12 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 78 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 14, 2011 6:59:06 PM PDT
C. Chiu says:
Your review answered my question - is it really 200+ lumen? Thank you so much for the video review. :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2011 8:22:08 PM PDT
Bob Tobias says:
Glad the review was helpful. That's what drives me to write them.

As for flashlights, I'm not a physicist and don't pretend to be an expert in measuring light output. However, I do know that lumens isn't the end-all measurement and gave an example in my review of the Joby Gorillatorch Flare Adjustable and Flexible Tripod Flashlight.

Posted on Apr 15, 2011 5:19:56 AM PDT
Peter James says:
Robert, that was a great review. I'm sure many people appreciate the time you took to produce and upload the video. I did note that you only gave the product two stars, but then compare it to a Surefire. As a proud owner of a Surefire and some Fenix lights, as well as a this Nebo that I keep in my car "just in case", I ask you do you think it fair to compare a $25.00 Nebo made overseas to a $90 Surefire here made in the USA? In my eyes, that is not comparing apples to apples by any means and do think this is a great light with plenty of features considering the price it is being sold for.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2011 10:37:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 15, 2011 10:42:54 AM PDT
Well said. You can't get yourself some cheap russian whore for $10 and complain how her moves weren't as good as the playboy escort you had for $250 last week.

I'm all for USA all day over foreign money grabbers but you're still getting a brighter light for 1/3 the $$$.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2011 12:52:32 PM PDT
Bob Tobias says:
Peter,

You have some good points and I had a sense the rating might be controversial. I probably would have gotten fewer "unhelpful" votes if I gave it three stars (or more?) but that's not my goal in writing a review.

This is listed as a tactical flashlight and I thought it needed to be reviewed in that light. For example, Leatherman makes some fine multitools but if they were listed as combat knives I would give them a lower rating as well. And lower still if the "tactical" aspects detracted from its utility as a multitool. For example, the "tactical" features that Nebo tried to include, a sharpened striking edge and an awkward to use tail button, make this less useful as a regular flashlight as well.

In its defense, did say that the beam, when set to maximum focus, was reasonably bright (although somewhat narrow) beam.

Thanks again for the well considered observations.

Bob

Posted on Apr 20, 2011 4:54:13 PM PDT
Thank you for taking the time to produce such a quality review, I agree with you whole heartily about the importance of detailed and truthful reviews. They are the most useful tool we have as on line shoppers and we almost owe it to each other to try and provide at least a short review, as this is helpful to all from the consumer to the sales website and even the manufacture. so again thank you, That said I have a Terrible disorder which i have named "Luminary Disease" it causes me to uncontrollably seek-out Super High Quality Cree LED Flashlights and purchase them (typical there must be 3 to 4 150+ lumen flashlights with in arms reach in every room of my house and all of my vehicles and let me give an AMEN to you that not all LED'S are created equally, from the Circuit to the Diode itself and since the department of justice doesn't double check the Lumen count assigned by the manufacture. There is from time to time a little lets mis-use of the rating. does that mean you can't get a good light for cheap Absolutly Not! So as the owner of (@#) number (to embarrassed to give the actual count if I knew it) of LED Torches, I thought I would offer a few cant miss deals!
1) Task Force 3 Watt - This is the absolute best power & quality to price Ratio flashlight out there! at $22 bucks to $29 bucks. It use the little bit older Luxeon III LED some packages say it is 100 lumen some say 150 (don't ask me why) I preforms identically with my 3- Watt SightMark P4 Triple Duty Cree 160 Lumen Tactical light, but with a few nice advantage, 1) you can walk in to Lowe's and pick one up, 2). it has a 2.5 hour run time on two C batteries that you can by anywhere! versus CRA123 (and cheaper too) 3) it is water proof, shock proof, and built with high quality from aluminum. This is a great everything But tactical light, It is hand sized, More powerful than its rating, (and FAR more powerful than I want name names but the black or silver 2 and 3 D-cell 3 Watt LED lights that you will see hanging beside them at three times the cost I might add) it even includes a case and two Duracell's,!
If there is a better deal on non-tactical light I don't know what it is. I give my personal Guarantee on this one, if you get one and its not what I say it is contact me and I will by it from you! here is the link below

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=225285-50584-FT-NS-2C+3WATT&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3053935&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=sim&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1

2) SIGHTMARK P4 Triple Duty Cree LED Tactical Flashlight- 160 Lumen you can find this light down to about $35.00 if you look, it is very, very well made and back by a great warranty! (there is also a 220 lumen model that only has one mode on/off full power, they don't make it anymore but they are still around if you find one grab it, they have everything listed below minus the mutli mode switch at the same price but they are a true 60 lumen brighter, this light is pretty well indestructible + comes with a lot of quality accessories ( i ran over mine with my F 250 W/ the 4 wheeler in the back, didn't phase.

SIGHTMARK P4 Triple Duty Cree LED Tactical Flashlight is available now! Sightmark has released one of the most powerful flashlight in its class - the SIGHTMARK P4 Triple Duty Cree LED Tactical Flashlight (SM73001). It's high intensity 160 lumen Cree LED light beam of illuminates the darkness with a powerful, concentrated shaft of light precise enough to assist you with the most difficult shots in the most precarious situations. Completely versatile as to be used in a variety of environments, the P4 Triple Duty Flashlight can handle the hot temperature of desert climates, while remaining impermeable in wet climates, due to being O-ring sealed for waterproof operation. The light is made to be used and abused. It is crafted from aircraft grade aluminum with Type-II mil-spec anodizing, a material that was specifically selected for its strength-to-weight properties. The P4 is strong, but light enough to carry into any tactical situations. Along with the included push on/off button, lanyard and belt/pocket clip, this flashlight is a truly versatile instrument that should be added to every well-stocked arsenal. The P4 Triple Duty is backed by Sightmark's exclusive warranty. In the event of a defect under this warranty, Sightmark will repair or replace the product. This warranty does not cover damages caused by misuse or improper handling. Features: * 160 lumen Cree LED produces an extremely bright and smooth light beam * 2-stage push on/off button (momentarily on/permanently on) * Type II mil-spec anodizing * Aircraft grade aluminum construction * Multi-faceted reflector * Recoil resistant * Waterproof * Black Finish Package Include: * SIGHTMARK P4 Triple Duty Cree LED Tactical Flashlight (SM73001) * Push button * Lanyard * Belt/Pocket clip * Limited Lifetime Warranty Specification: * Power:160 lumens(at max output) * Bulb:XR-E Cree LED * Run Time:1.5 hours * Battery Type:2 x CR-123A * Waterproof:Yes * Dimensions (LxW): 5" x 1.25"

Hope this Helps some people out there, May Your Futures Be Bright!

Thank,
KEVIN

Posted on Apr 22, 2011 12:35:16 PM PDT
Tony says:
This review is completely disingenuous, you're comparing a $23 flashlight to one that costs 4x as much. That's like making a comparison between a $20,000 car and an $80,000 car, who are you kidding here? Sorry you were let down by your flashlight that cost less than a lunch for two, but this review is pointless.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2011 1:20:39 PM PDT
Bob Tobias says:
Tony,

Thanks for expressing your concerns and I can understand and will need to clarify the confusion.

My comments were not meant to compare this flashlight to any other, especially a Surefire costing several times more. However, this flashlight does advertize itself as a "tactical" flashlight and I used the video to demonstrate areas where some features of this light made it fall well short of being able to perform that function reliably or well. For that purpose it seemed a good idea at the time to provide as a contrast a light that had the features which this one was lacking. To expand on an example I used in response to a previous comment, consider that Amazon was advertizing the Winchester 22-01347 Small Wood Handle Tool as a fighting knife. Don't you think it would be reasonable to explain "fighting knife features" introducing a real combat weapon as an example?

Even without any mention of another light, the Nebo tail switch is awkward to operate, doesn't have any momentary contact option, and is somewhat confusing. Also, there is no secure finger brace so many shooting-assist positions are difficult to maintain. It also means that if you use the light for striking it will probably slip from your hand with the first blow. The "secure grip" thing applies specifically to the "Tactical" description and the tail switch is just plain annoying at any time.

I used the Surefire a second time to provide a brightness comparison; showing that a light (the Surefire) with ˝ the lumens was still almost as bright as this one. I chose the Surefire, quite frankly, because it was sitting there from shooting the previous images. Because of the way light works I could have chosen just about any 100 lumen light and achieved similar results.

Hope this helps. I appreciate your sharing these points as it helps further clarify what this light is and isn't for potential purchasers.

Regards,

Bob

Posted on Apr 24, 2011 3:54:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 24, 2011 7:39:38 AM PDT
Mark Spark says:
Your over zealous efforts to give the Nebo a low rating are clearly biased toward a class of much more expensive flash lights. Your review should more clearly state up front, that it is only a critics review of the lack of 'tactical' features. It is a shame to see you spent so much effort to slam a otherwise, cost effective, valuable product. Keep in mind that many of us, including myself, do not even know what 'tactical' features are, or why they exist. Without stating this 'tactical' definition in the review, it only sounds like nic picking the product. For example, I need the on/off button to be recessed to prevent accidental pushes from being in my tool pocket, on end. I find this feature to be superior, and I find the protruding on/off button to be undesirable in all flashlights. But perhaps there is something about 'tactical' flashlights that I don't know.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2011 5:11:07 AM PDT
Bob Tobias says:
Mark,

Thanks for your comments. It's not zealousness but observations such as yours that have allowed me to fine tune my review in an attempt to make it as clear as possible. In this case I have further emphasized my concerns about the lack of effective tactical features.

Thanks again,

Bob
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Location: Arlington, VA USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 7