I have been carrying an Inova
X5 LED Flashlight for a few months now. I am very impressed with the brightness
and overall toughness of this little flashlight.
Let me say something now, for those of you that have not read other articles on this site that carry with them the title of, “Nighttime Companions,” perhaps you should go back and take a look. To recap, if you have a good flashlight, you might not have to fight at all; your “defense” might be seeing trouble, eliminating the all-important cover of darkness that attackers utilize, before it becomes a necessity that you “defend” yourself at all. This is similar to the line of thinking that having a fire extinguisher in your kitchen is the best defense against trouble whether or not you'll actually have to fight a fire.
This is extremely important
in our ever-growing morass of laws and regulations
that seem to ignore the criminal element and focus on Law-abiding Citizens going
about their every day life. Not having to “fight” in a Self-defense situation
is very attractive to the thinking person. You expose yourself to zero legal
problems; criminal and civil, if you see a problem beforehand and you are able
to simply leave the area instead of continue on through the confrontation and
an escalation of force, etc.
For those of you that wish to
fight, for whatever reason, there is probably nothing I can say to you to
dissuade you from that line of thought. You will have to find out the hard way
that your path is simply not the best one to take.
This flashlight has the
110,000+ hour lamp life
120' Effective Range
20+ hours battery life
2000+ pound crush resistant
2 mile visibility
Waterproof to 150 ft.
Weight: 3.8 oz.
Batteries: 2 123A Lithium
The body has a very solid feel
to it. In some of the marketing materials for these flashlights, a vehicle is
parked on top of the light. “Two-thousand pounds” being cited as the weight
that the flashlight can bear without the body of the light being compromised or
destroyed. Very impressive if true! I take them at their word, I’m not parking
a vehicle on mine, my guess is that the body is strong enough to take quite a
bit of abuse and that’s good enough for me.
The Inova X5, as the name
alludes, uses five LEDs. After using the Streamlight Stylus 3 Penlight
extensively in the dark, indoors and outdoors, the Inova X5 is quite a surprise.
You see, the Streamlight Stylus 3 is very impressive to me as well, casting
quite a bit of light for a flashlight with a single LED. When you are used to
something like a Photon II Microlight or the Streamlight Stylus 3 and you start
“stepping up” to multiple LED flashlights, you really begin to see that this
is the best way to go when it comes to general use flashlights.
Comparing the 5 LED Inova to
the Photon II and Stylus 3 Penlight is a good way to judge power and usable
light in my opinion. Both of the smaller, single LED flashlights are great for
all sorts of uses and they provide more than enough light for general tasks. So,
when you start using the Streamlight Batonlite (which has 3 LEDs) or something
like a Nightbuster 8X…you see that LED lights have advanced to the point where
they can provide A LOT of light quite economically and in smaller package.
I would be able to buy a
lifetime of batteries for a handful of LED Flashlights with the money I have
spent feeding various sizes of Maglites over a period of about 15 years.
Some people have remarked that
the Inova X5 Flashlight is too small to be a “good” pocket stick for
Self-defense. I would imagine that for some people, this might be very accurate,
however, for most people with regular sized hands, the Inova X5 will do quite
I think the misunderstanding
occurs when people have the idea that they have to have a lot of material
protruding from both sides of their fist…in order to have something
“effective” in their hands to be used as a pocket stick. This is simply not
true at all. I have relatively wide, meaty hands and enough of the Inova X5
protrudes from both sides of the clenched fist to strike with. How much of a
metallic protrusion do you need in order to have that solid transfer of force to
the intended area being struck? The answer to that is, “not much.”
One-quarter of an inch of
metal protruding from each side of the closed fist is “enough” for whatever
device or item to be used as a pocket stick when using hammerfists and reverse
hammerfists, Yawara-style. Mechanically speaking.
Flash & Smash
You will not be able to utilize an Inova X5 like a SureFire Flashlight, no “Flash and Smash” action here unless you already have the Inova’s head twisted so the light is activated. This brings us to the one drawback of the Inova X5 LED Flashlight. You must twist the head of the light to turn it on. This can be problematic for one-handed activation because the head is not knurled for “easy” turning. You can turn it with one hand if you have strong hands but it would not be “fast” in the way we think of split-second activation.
Enter the Inova X5 Tactical Flashlight
I despise the word
“Tactical” being applied to something in order to market it just as I
despise the word “Secret” to sell Martial Arts and Self-defense Systems. If
people insist on using it, that is perfectly fine, it’s a free country and no
one would fault someone for wanting to market an excellent product in a way that
is successful to them. After all, we want devices like the Inova X5 and X5
Tactical to be a success because success, as well as competition, breeds
innovation in most cases. “Tactical” and “Secret” are buzzwords with
such broad (and at times, absurd) definitions that they can be applied to almost
everything in this realm within reason.
To simplify everything, I have
placed the Inova X5 next to the X5 Tactical for side by side comparisons.
I wish Inova would manufacture
a pocket clip for the X5 and X5 Tactical, I think that would be great.
The following things have been
changed on the Inova X5:
The Inova X5 Tactical has a
reinforced steel end, in the form of a ring, to further protect the 5 LEDs,
which is a nice improvement.
It also has a tailcap switch
like a Sure-Fire Flashlight, twist for on and off, continuous light, or
momentary push button activation.
The lanyard hole was enlarged
and moved closer to the edge of the body instead of centered in the body,
another great improvement.
The body is noticeably thicker
than the original X5. But not so much as to take away the ease of carry that the
Inova X5 excels at.
Some sound improvements to the
What? More LED Flashlights?
Yes, there is more!
Unfortunately, this next light is discontinued for now. Perhaps renewed interest
would bring it back, or someone would step up to the plate, improve the design
slightly and then produce it once again. You never know…
This used to be available from
The Glowbug Website online. This is the Nightbuster 8X, the “8” standing for
8 LEDs. There was a 4X Model as well, having 4 LEDs.
This light is incredible, it
would be a perfect flashlight if it had a push-button tail cap instead of a
twisting tail cap for a switch. Even with that slight deficiency, it is still an
awesome light! It is bright and built for very rough use. The walls of this
flashlight are very thick. It is not often you see this sort of quality
nowadays. Everyone wants to maximize their profits and build things on the thin
side to save money when it comes to materials and manufacturing. The Inova X5
and Nightbuster are very well built devices…
This is not what I would call a “pocket” flashlight in the way I use that term for other lights. You could certainly let it ride in your back pocket and you would have an awesome pocket stick for Self-defense purposes, a full-size Yawara Stick with 8 LEDs in it.
C. Crane Company Trek Light
I remember first hearing about
LED Flashlights while working midnights and being extremely bored, I used to
listen to the Art Bell Show. Art is sort of neat, some of the stuff on his Show
is so outrageous, you have to roll your eyes and turn the radio off or
whatever…go back to FM Radio and listen to some Classic Rock. But, sometimes,
there was really cool stuff on the Show as well as advertised on the Show and I
think Art is a bit of a gadget guy like all of us tend to be… This was one of
the first of the new wave of LED Lights I ever heard of. I don’t think I
believe in aliens, but I believe Art has an interesting Show for the most part
on many different levels. Thanks for the heads up on cool gadgets and the
entertainment and enjoy your retirement Art!
This flashlight has only 2
LEDs, but it is certainly a handy light to have. Of course it cannot match the
output of the more advanced lights, I just want to include it because I am
rather fond of it. It’s not nearly as tough as some of the other lights, but
it is good enough to be in the glove compartment or First-Aid Kit. It would also
be unfair to paint C. Crane LED Flashlights as being somehow inferior to the
rest…as they have advanced as well, I just don’t own any of the newer ones.
One of the interesting things
about this light are the two slots on the side of the body, designed for a strap
so the light can be worn on the wrist, etc. This really is a great feature and
used to be a standard on older Tekna flashlights. Remember Tekna?
I have created a little bit of
controversy among gadget fans, writing about using flashlights as Pocket Sticks
for Self-defense. I guess some people don’t see Self-defense as
“important” in their lives or perhaps they don’t appreciate people writing
about some of their favorite toys being used in that manner. Neither of which I
am interested in, they have a right to their opinion and I have a right to mine.
Big enough world for all of us to co-exist in. Maybe they’re just bored or
they have a strange sense of humor.
Could you use this light as a Pocket Stick to defend yourself? Of course! You can use almost anything. Tougher construction makes for better use as a defensive weapon, but anything will do in a pinch as an expedient. Ultimately, if you were to use any of these Flashlights, regardless of price or quality, to defend yourself and you ruined the light…isn’t your life worth $50.00 to you?
I’ve had a couple great
conversations with my good friend Ken Cook about LED Flashlights being Every Day
Carry (EDC) devices for Self-defense use. He drifts towards, “Why the hell do
you want to screw around with those things…” because they are not as
powerful as a SureFire Flashlight that is purpose-driven for Defensive uses…
(Ken is coming around to full
For one thing, I like
redundancy when it comes to items that you carry, I like things that can serve
at least two purposes at once, like a Flashlight that can serve as a pocket
stick and a sturdy pen that can pull double duty as a pocket stick…
The redundancy comes in when
you consider this; you can never have “enough” light available to you. So,
why not carry these sorts of compact and bright LED lights as well as something
like a SureFire if you find a need for it or like it?
I love SureFire Flashlights,
but let’s be realistic, they are not really good for general use because they
eat batteries like mad. And those batteries are not cheap either, they are
rather pricey. Well worth it to have some model of SureFire Flashlight to be
sure, but they do not replace the need for excellent little pocket flashlights
that we now have in the form of these high-tech LED Flashlights.
Here is a nice picture that I
have shamelessly configured to bend your mind. Follow the letters as they are
all over the place. I’m not a photographer! I don’t have a great digital
Here is the line-up of
flashlights in the picture:
Inova X5 5 LEDs
Inova X5 Tactical 5 LEDs
Mini-Maglite, two double (AA) batteries
C. Crane 2 LED Trek Light
NIGHTBUSTER! 8-X, 8 LEDs
My ancient Sure-Fire 9P
I included the Mini-Maglite
and the Sure-Fire for basic size comparison, because many of my readers own
Disasters and Terrorism
There are portions of this
country that take one hell of a beating. Mother Nature is not too fond of
California, for example. That State suffers from Earthquakes, mudslides and
wildfires. Not to mention the occasional riot… (joke)
Florida suffers through a
violent Hurricane every few years and the Hurricanes that hit from Texas to
Florida along the whole Gulf Area tends to spawn off incredibly violent
thunderstorms, which produce Tornadoes.
I could keep going but I think
you get the idea, right? Power outages caused by everything from Tornadoes to
heavy snow can leave you without light. You should have Emergency, long-burning
candles as well as other, multiple, light sources and batteries, store-bought as
well as rechargeable, on hand to feed them.
Light is very important for so
many tasks. Can you imagine changing a diaper or getting a correct dose of
liquid medication for your child in the dark? All of these things, common every
day tasks, become difficult to impossible without light.
You can use candles and
various sorts of liquid-fueled lamps safely and you should look into that as
well. Children can make those devices hazardous and you don’t need a disaster
in the middle of a disaster.
The next part, some people may
not agree with, which is fine. This is just my opinion on things and I’m not
trying to profit from tragedies, just trying to give you some food for thought.
Terrorism has now struck our
country in a very real way, for the first time on a massive scale. The terrorist
incidents of 9-11-01 are being forgotten by many Americans, this is a deadly
apathy that a lot of people tend to have. For some, it is an emotional defense
It does not really matter
where you are, the simple fact of the matter is, these things can touch all of
us. We don’t know what will happen in the future.
If you work in a high rise
building, perhaps you should get a personal safety device, I believe some of
them are called, “Evac-U-8” for “Evacuate.” A hood that can protect you
from some smoke inhalation, perhaps just enough so you can escape and survive.
One of these hoods as well as a large bandana and something like an Inova X5
Tactical LED Flashlight could very well save your life in a wide variety of
disasters. Is one-third or less of the usable area in your briefcase worth your
life? I think it is. Call it “paranoid” or whatever, to me, it’s just
common sense. Our world has changed and we want to carry on with life and not
live in fear. Part of not living in fear is Mastery over Adversity.
Dwelling on “Self-defense
against criminals” can create tunnel vision. What is the goal of Street-level
Self-defense? Well, the ultimate goal is survival and nothing else. While you
would be crazy to say that something like an LED Flashlight could save you from
a terrorist (although it might in Hand to Hand Combat if you are skilled), it
could very well save you from the violent acts
of a terrorist. Like escaping a burning building, being able to see your way
clear of danger instead of taking the wrong and possibly fatal turn down a
hallway or stairwell.
There are so many times when
light can be a lifesaver.
What you don’t see could kill
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