In certain situations, a good flashlight should be part of everyones EDC. Although I don’t always carry a flashlight on my person, when night falls or I’m in a theater, you better believe I have a good light handy. As with all EDC gear, personal taste and individual requirements will dictate what makes the grade and what doesn’t. Not everyone has the budget for a SureFire or Streamlight. So I’ll take a closer look at the TC1200 Tactical Flashlight, a budget minded LED option from 1Tac.
1Tac advertises the TC1200 tactical flashlight as having up to a 1200 lumen output. As a SCUBA diver, I’ve gone through my fair share of LED dive lights. And I’ve played the “lumen game”, rarely finding the advertised specs to be all that reliable. So I’m always skeptical at first. The 1Tac website states this output is achieved with a 10 Watt Cree XM-L2 LED. Powering this 10 watt light can be either 3 AAA batteries or a single 3.7 volt 18650 Lithium Ion battery. The TC 1200 has a hard case which includes a nylon sheath, lithium ion battery, AC charger and a 12v car charger. Charging and power supply options are a good thing.
Featuring a zoom lens, the TC 1200 has the ability to provide both a wide circle of light or a focused condensed beam. But not at the same time. I found this to be helpful on several of my job sites. Illuminating the entire room or zeroing in on a trouble spot. The focused beam was ideal when highlighting a specific area for a building inspector I was dealing with. However, when focused or zoomed-in, there is virtually no fringe illumination. Only a small area of light surrounded by pitch black. Conversely, when zoomed out, the light is very evenly spread out and lacks the center hot-spot.
The TC1200 features 5 light modes that can be accessed with a tap of the rear orange button. High, Medium, Low, Strobe & SOS. With only an IP65 waterproof rating, (no dust ingress and withstanding water jets from any angle) the TC1200 is not rated to be submerged. Furthermore, this torch is no lightweight at 6.7oz (with the lithium ion battery installed). And is a bit bulky for a pocket EDC light in my opinion. 1Tac also uses the term “tactical flashlight” which is not my favorite term. What exactly makes a flashlight tactical anyhow? In my opinion, it’s a decent flashlight. But one that would be best suited for the glovebox of your vehicle, a toolbox or possibly a Bug-out-bag. Not as an EDC flashlight.
A quick internet search reveals the TC1200 advertised at 75% off. I’m not sure the “Original Price” of $224 is anything more than an artificially inflated number. Nor would I recommend anyone pay $224 for this light. $56 might even be a bit of a stretch. Finally, in the picture below, you’ll see the TC1200 (1200Lumen) alongside the SureFire Scout (500Lumen) and the Streamlight ProTac 2L (350Lumen). All taken with freshly charged lithium ion batteries and the exact same camera settings. You be the judge…
TC1200 Tactical Light Specs courtesy of 1Tac.com
|Product Dimensions||5.09 in x 1.90|
|Product Weight||5.6 oz (excluding batteries)|
|LED Emitter||CREE XM-L2 (Made in the US)|
|Lamp Life||100,000 Hours|
|Construction||Aircraft Grade Aluminum|
|Flashlight Modes||5 Modes|
|Power Source||3 (AAA)* or Lithium Battery
* Batteries not included