Tactical Flashlight Modularity2016-12-12T14:15:06-05:00

Tactical Flashlight Modularity

by David Barnett, P.E.

The benefits of a modular flashlight are largely self-evident but since true modularity is so rare in the flashlight market today, it is worth a brief examination. When investing in a quality tactical flashlight, one should expect it to provide reliable service for many years into the future. Looking years ahead, of course, involves much uncertainty. How can one know that a tactical flashlight purchased today will still provide benefit far into the future? Certainly, it must be durable enough to endure years of hard use but what about new technology making the device obsolete? What if preferences change? What if missions change? Will today’s premium flashlight be relegated to tomorrow’s junk drawer?

Choosing a premium Modular Flashlight addresses these concerns and ensures that your investment will remain valuable years into the future. Elzetta clients who purchased ZFL-M60 Modular Flashlights several years ago can attest to this fact. Since Elzetta released the new High Output AVS Head, any owner of an older Elzetta Modular Flashlight has been able to simply purchase the new Head, install it, and enjoy the advantages of the latest technology. Such backwards-compatibility ensures that legacy Flashlights stay in the fight without any performance penalty while owners enjoy substantial cost savings over buying a complete new Flashlight.

Similar benefits are recognized when one’s mission or preferences change. Suppose the owner of an Elzetta Modular Flashlight has chosen a High/Low Tailcap to meet the needs of every-day-carry (EDC) functions and later wishes to use the Light for tactical operations requiring a Strobe feature. Swapping the High/Low Tailcap for a High/Strobe model instantly provides the Strobe feature while maintaining the familiar Decoupled Binary User Interface. Similarly, if a user has an Elzetta Modular Flashlight installed on a firearm and is using one of Elzetta’s Remote Tape Switches and later wants to use the Light for hand-held duty, a simple exchange of Tailcaps equips the Light for the delegated task. Elzetta Optical Lenses are also field-replaceable and, like interchangeable Tailcaps, provide the ability to tailor Flashlight performance to mission requirements. Changing assignments from search-and-rescue to close-quarters-battle (CQB)? Simply remove the Standard lens and install a Flood Lens and the Modular Flashlight’s beam pattern is altered to fit the new circumstance.

Taking the modular philosophy to a unprecedented level, Elzetta’s proprietary Automatic Voltage Sensing (AVS) technology allows users to adapt the maximum output of their flashlights by changing between a two-cell (Bravo model) and three-cell (Charlie model) configurations. When installed on a Bravo Body, an Elzetta High Output AVS Head produces 650 lumens. Install the same Head on a Charlie Body and output marvelously increases to 900 lumens. This technology optimizes light output while never drawing more than the maximum safety limit of 1.5 amps from the CR123A batteries (an important safety and reliability specification ignored by many flashlight manufacturers).

With all of the advantages of modularity in flashlight design, one may wonder why only Elzetta is committed to building truly Modular Flashlights, and building them in America. Ultimately, it comes down to philosophy and worldview. Creating a line of Modular Flashlights with interchangeable/interoperable components is not the path to quick profits. It is, however, an example of what we call “Golden Rule Manufacturing” and we trust that putting the interests of our clients first and foremost is good business in the end.