Tactical Handheld Flashlights – Part III

Inova Inforce carbon fiber light shown with green LED illuminated. This light is available with remote pressure switch and mounts for installation on an AR-15 rifle Picatinny rail system.
Inova Inforce carbon fiber lightshown with green LED illuminated. This light is available withremote pressure switch and mounts for installation on an AR-15rifle Picatinny rail system.

By Commander Scott Wagner

Here's a look at tactical andhandheld flashlights from Inova and Blackhawk.


Inova produces a few tactical style lights in its X series.Available in silver or black, the XO and the XO3 have some goodbasic features with 4.8 and 5.8 watts of LED power output.

One innovative tactical light, the Inforce Color carbon fiberlight, weighs only 4.5 ounces (1.4 ounces lighter than thesimilar-sized Inova T3), and the carbon fiber construction resultsin a light body that’s about 40 percent stronger than aluminum.Carbon fiber also dissipates heat better, and the Inforce featuresventing behind the lamp to allow for even more heatdissipation.

Designed for military and law enforcement end users, the Inforcefeatures a 125-lumen primary white LED with tailcap push-buttonoperation and tailcap twist function selection. The Inforce isconstructed to MIL-STD 810 and is available with a remote tailcapand 1913 rail mounting system for use on rifles. It’s rated aswaterproof to 66 feet. A lanyard can also be attached in thenotched area under the pocket clip.

The Inforce features four separate LEDS in the mildly crenelatedlens bezel, which is much less sharp than some competing aluminumlight designs and may be better suited to police pain complianceand control tasks. The LEDs are all low-power, specific-purposelights, and this is one of the few lights that have all four colorchoices: Red is for dark adaptive vision preservation, blue is forfluid detection (useful in crime scenes to help find blood orsemen), green is good for map reading (but what it is really goodfor is tracking suspects across crushed vegetation), and white isfor low profile navigation. 

Even though there is only one LED for each purpose, they are morethan adequately bright. Here’s how the light functions are selectedby the tailcap position: With the light pointing away and thetailcap turned all the way to the right, the light is in oneof  two push-to-on modes. Pushing the button on and releasingit fully, the light stays on at full power. Another push turns thelight off. Pushing the light switch in and holding it in, thenimmediately pushing again, reduces the power through two levels.(Nice feature, but one I wouldn’t use a lot.)

Twisting the cap one stop to the left sets the main lamp into amomentary on mode, which probably should be the first position ofthe endcap. The next position to the left allows you, with eachpush of the button, to select your LED color of choice. The nextturn of the tailcap to the left gives you a momentary on mode forthe LED you selected. The final stop position gives a constant-onfor that same LED. I have been carrying it in my pants pocket forseveral days and have found that the tailcap has stayed in positionand fixed on the setting.

The Inforce seems to be an excellent light system, with multipleapplications and a minimum of complexity. It’s a good backup lightfor patrol officers, a good light for crime investigators, a goodlight for military personnel, a good basic tactical light, and, at125 lumens, a good powerful light to mount on an AR-15. In myposition on our tactical team as team sniper and as-needed entryposition, I’d use the Inforce as, at the very least, a good backuplight. The switch positions are easily learned and intuitive andoverall operation is very simple.    Next Page

Own the Night: Selection and Use of Tactical Lights and Laser SightsThis article is an excerptfrom Own the Night: Selection and Use of Tactical Lights andLaser Sights by Commander ScottWagner. Click here to order your copy.