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07 September, 2010

Product Spotlight: Stone River Gear SRG1TF

Finally, a small, bright, efficient light that doesn't break the bank! You see, I have a buddy who spends more on flashlights than he does on guns, and that's just not me; I don't walk a beat for a living, and I'm not in the military, so I have the luxury of shopping for a cheap light that will do the job without too much monetary cost. I understand the need for a good light and I like to have a small light on the night stand and in the car. The problem is that I have a tendency to misplace small objects, and if that small object is an $80 light, finding it can be stressful and worrisome. On the other hand, most cheap lights you find at the local department store can be completely underwhelming in their brightness and their construction. This brings me to the Stone River Gear SRG1TF 1WATT Performance LED Flashlight or SRG1TF, as they list it on their site.
The MSRP for this handy little light is an easy $19.95, a good bit less than lunch for two and a margarita at my favorite Mexican place. At this price, you can buy three for the less than most other name brand lights. This way you can leave one in the car, one by the night stand, and lose the other one without losing too much sleep over it. Don't worry, if you're like me, you'll find it again sooner or later, in a coat pocket or underneath some stuff on your work bench.
As for the features of the light, they are basic. Construction is very light-weight but solid, consisting of a blaze orange head, a black battery compartment, and a black tail switch. I have fairly large hands and I find the SRG1TF very easy to grasp, hold on to, and operate. The tail switch is one that you have to press and let go of before the light comes on as the button completely releases. To clarify, the light will not come on as you press down, rather it comes on once you completely let off. While there is no dedicated strobe setting, it's easy enough to make your own strobe with some gentle half-presses on the tailswitch. I was able to get very consistent with this in ten minutes of practise on the couch.
In broad daylight the SRG1TF is blinding if you look at it within conversational distance. At night, it's painful to even test this light's ability to blind. Of course, I had to test it and I'm glad my wife was around to help me back in the house by turning on the porch light.
While the manufacturer makes no claims of water resistance, its solid, O-ring construction suggests it should be able to take a good splash or two without having a problem. It wouldn't be a complete review unless I took a well-made product and abused it, so I tested the light's water resistance. 
First, I tested the glass only by pointing it straight up and filling the area at the bezel with water. After approximately two minutes I saw three very small droplets inside on the reflector. I turned on the light and it had no trouble functioning. Now, I'm almost certain that a full immersion test would ruin the light, and I like it too much to go diving with it.  Just to see what would happen I turned on the bathtub full blast, grabbed a timer, and turned on my light.  Three minutes of operation under a torrent of cold water should be enough to prove my point.  I held the poor little light there and found out two things:  1)  This little light can hold its own against running water.  2)  LEDs look really cool under water.  I must say I got a little carried away with my initial successes and at the end of the three minutes of torture I very unscientifically plunked the light into the bathtub of water and set the clock for another three minutes, leaving the light running.  Three minutes later the little light is still shining as brightly as ever.  After a quick toweling-off I made an inspection of the battery and battery compartment.  Both bone dry, and no droplets of water to be found in the lamp head either.  

The moral:  A light is just a light, so unless you're Spec Ops or SWAT, consider saving yourself a lot of money and pick up a few of these cool lights.

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