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Customer Review

on January 17, 2011
I like this XL50 flashlight very much. It is well made and functional.

This Maglite XL50 is a new sister of the older XL100. They are the same size and have some interchangeable parts. The older XL100 has more functions, and a lot of people say it has TOO many functions to the point of being complex. A complex flashlight? Maybe not something you need when you are half asleep at 2AM. So this XL50 is a nice pare down to what you need most.

This XL50 has a quick-click multifunction switch; this quick click to different modes actually seems to work very well (I was skeptical at first):
a) One click and it is on full, and that's what you'd use the most.
b) Two quick clicks and it is dim (25% full), logical that you'd use it next most often. This can be very nice. Sometimes the light is too bright at full and it glares off of surfaces you're trying to see clearly.
c) Three clicks and it is strobe. Strobe can be extremely obnoxious, but sometimes that is exactly what you want. Like when I'm walking in the dark and my crazy driving neighbor goes rocketing towards me, I can go to strobe mode to alert him that I'm walking on the side of the road (I shine it AWAY from him obviously).
d) You don't have to cycle through all the modes to turn it off. Whatever mode you're on, the next click (after about a half a second) will turn the light off.

Pros:
a) Incredibly bright for its size (advertized at 104 or 139 lumens, depending what packaging it came in). It is brighter than the 2AA Maglite LED flashlight.
b) Uses 3 standard and easy to find AAA batteries.
c) The battery compartment is ingeniously labeled for + and - on each battery end, at the end of the compartment. Frustrating if you don't see it, but then voila! Once you see it, it's easy and smart!
d) Maglite has dummy proofed the problem of accidentally inserting the battery compartment backwards and frying the LED. While it physically fits backwards, it doesn't connect electrically to short out your LED, so it doesn't ruin your light.
e) Tail cap switch is pretty well protected to avoid accidental "on", while remaining easily accessible. I really like the tail cap switch for one-handed operation.
f) It can rest on tail cap and aim straight up, to light a room.
g) Has an adjustable LED beam, but only moderately adjustable.
h) From the limited research I've done, it appears Maglites are the only flashlights made 100% in the USA.

However, there are limitations of this XL50. If these were "corrected" I would consider this a near perfect flashlight:
a) I would like the tail cap switch to have "momentary on". That is: press switch slightly and the light comes on, but release and it goes off. Ideally you wouldn't have to press entirely to turn it on and entirely to turn it off. There are times when I want to turn it on and off quickly and I didn't want the switch to be a hindrance. On the XL50 you must click the button entirely for the light to come on.
b) No lanyard hole. Rumor has it that Novatac makes a lanyard ring that fits. I haven't tried this yet.
c) There is no pocket clip available for this Maglite XL50. This might also solve the lanyard issue.
d) Rolls easily when horizontal. Maglite sells an accessory rubber hex-shaped piece for their 2xAA light to hinder rolling and it also fits on this XL50. I've posted a picture under customer images of it on this XL50 light. However, it seems to come off far too easily in general use.
e) No tail cap switch lockout (to prevent turning accidentally "on" in coat or bag).
f) The electronic tail cap switch consumes a very small but constant amount of current even when the light is off. I found this out from the clever folks at the website candlepowerforums. Google that word to find the website. They have measured the current and it will drain your batteries in approx 3 years without use. Maybe not a huge deal to you, but just so you know it won't last forever on the shelf.
e) It has a plastic lens that is not removable. Glass would be preferable.

Below are 2 other LED flashlights I also like.
1) A comparable size to this above Maglite XL50, the Energizer LED 2AA Flashlight is very bright (130 lumens), has a removable lanyard and doesn't roll when horizontal. My review is also under the pseudonym "Spiced Rum":
Energizer High Intensity LED Flashlight with 2AA Battery

2) An excellent pocket or keychain flashlight, the Maglite Solitaire LED 1AAA. Bright and affordable. Look for my review is also under the pseudonym "Spiced Rum".
Maglite Solitaire Led 1AAA - Black Han - SJ3A016
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