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Frugal Homesteaders Product Review

S&W Luxeon Rebel LED Tactical Flashlight
by Smith & Wesson

 

Frugal Homesteaders Rating:    4.5 of 5 stars


Our purchase recommendation: The Smith & Wesson Luxeon Rebel flashlight is not a cheap flashlight, but is certainly a frugal alternative to the other premium brands. If you want a cheap LED flashlight, Harbor Freight sells them all day long for a buck or two. This light has proven to be durable, sturdy, extremely bright with a decent runtime, compatible with rechargeable batteries, and much brighter than many competing products. If you’re looking for a frugal buy on a very nice “AA” cell flashlight, this is a GREAT product.


This S&W flashlight has a List Price of $49.99, but can be purchased for $29.54 (today) from Amazon and is eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime. Here is a link to purchase one of these from Amazon: 

Smith and Wesson Luxeon Rebel Tactical Flashlight

Pros:

  • Fine crafted, good quality, sturdy flashlight
  • Extremely bright at 100 Lumens
  • Switch has On, Off, and Momentary positions
  • Includes removable wrist strap and pocket clip
  • Includes a padded nylon holster that also holds two extra batteries
  • Compatible with both 1.2v rechargeable, and 1.5v alkaline AA batteries (save $$ on rechargeables!)
  • Light output is consistent through most of the battery life.
  • Water resistant

Cons: 

  • Turning off requires partially unscrewing the battery cover
  • S&W advertises consistent light output through entire battery life. Our test showed that the last 45 minutes of the 3 hour and 50 minute runtime was significantly dimmer.
  • Holster flap can accidently press the power button to engage the Momentary light switch, resulting in dead batteries when you need it. Can be remedied by unscrewing battery cover about half way.
  • Made in China (but quality seems to be fine)

Review Details:

At first glance, this flashlight immediately strikes me as a quality light. It sports a 5 watt LED that puts out 100 lumens. This is brighter than almost all other lights that we have seen in this size and price range. The total length is just under six inches long. The case is made of 100% black anodized aluminum. The pouch is nylon and seems very durable as well.

After our testing, we were able to make a very simple determination. If your intention is to get a great deal on a small, but very bright light that you can depend on for a long time, we recommend this light.

Using quality Alkaline AA batteries, this light is extremely bright for three hours. With many of the smaller lights, you also need to carry a larger light with you if you’re hiking, camping, etc. Not with this one – it illuminates extremely well for its size, even at a fair distance. This is a very bright light. I wrote this review while on a hotel stay. The following two pictures show a couple examples of the light output:


From five feet away, the light beam is easily spotted on the ceiling
next to an incandescent light. Note: The room was lighter than the photo
dictates.

Inside the hotel rest room when it was completely dark. The room is
adequately illuminated by the flashlight. There is no other source of
light. Photo was taken with my iPhone 4 with the flash turned OFF.

This light has three modes. They are twist-on, twist-off, and push-button momentary. When in the “off” position, the button at the end of the light can be used as a momentary switch when signaling, or if constant light is not required. The on-off motion seems a little cumbersome, but is almost not worth noting as a concern. The switch components seem to be very high quality.

This light is water resistant. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to use it in the rain if needed. Keep in mind that water resistant does NOT mean that it is submersible! Some of the consumer reviews on Amazon were concerned that the twist-off to turn the light off required them to partially unscrew the battery cover to turn the light off. They questioned the water resistance with it partially unscrewed. The seal does not rely on a washer in the cap like may of the cheap lights do. The Rebel uses an o-ring, closer to the cap threads, which keep water out, even when the light is in the “off” position. I performed a simple test under running water to confirm that it does just fine keeping water out.

The Rebel comes with a holster, lanyard, and a clip to help make it easy to carry on your person. The holster holds the light securely and is easily attached to your belt. Is has the capacity for holding two extra batteries as well.

A concern that I have with the holster is that the light fits tightly in it. When you close the flap over the top of the light, there is a possibility of the pressure pushing the momentary switch on the end of the light, thus unknowingly illuminating it in the pouch, resulting in dead batteries. You can simply turn the end cap farther to the off direction to eliminate the possibility of this. The lanyard is very functional, although, I would prefer to see a more robust tether to the device. The clip on the device seems strong, and holds the light securely in place when I tested it in my pocket.

Power and Runtime:

The Rebel requires two AA style batteries, either alkaline or rechargeable. Using a good rechargeable battery could prove to be a great money saver. Many of the other flashlights this size require the much more expensive CR123 batteries.

The DC/DC regulator technology helps maintain a consistently bright light through most of the battery life.

We tested this light with both alkaline and rechargeable AA batteries. Here are the test results:


Battery: Duracell Procell 1.5v Alkaline Batteries
Continuous Runtime: 3 Hours, 50 Minutes
Notes: During this test, the light was very bright for three hours and five minutes. The last 45 minutes, the light became somewhat dim, but still functioned. The advertised runtime with alkaline batteries is two hours, so no complaints here.

Battery: Sanyo Eneloop 1.2v Rechargeable Batteries
Continuous Runtime: 1 Hour, 20 minutes
Notes: This test had less favorable results. The continuous runtime was shorter, and the light began to dim after 45 minutes. After 1 hour and 20 minutes, the light was still illuminated, but would not be usable for most tasks. Based on the results with the Duracell batteries, I am going to place initial fault on the Sanyo batteries possibly not maintaining a 1.2v output. I will re-test this with a different brand of rechargeable batteries in the future to confirm.

General Comparison

This light is the best alternative that I have seen to some of the $200+ Surefire tactical lights. It is very bright, functional, and well-built. This is clearly a frugal buy in comparison. This light is much brighter than any incandescent light that I have seen. Thinking back to the incandescent MAG Lights that I owned in the past, I’m almost certain this light is as bright or brighter. If you love the Harbor Freight LED lights that cost a buck or two – They’re a good buy for what they are, but this is a much better long-term solution when considering light output, cost, battery life, and durability.

If you would like to purchase a Smith & Wesson flashlight like this, help support our site by ordering using the links below!
If you would like to purchase a Smith & Wesson Rebel flashlight like this, please use our link below:
If you would like to purchase the Duracell Procell batteries, here is a link for those as well:

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