Drago Atlus Sling Backpack Review

Bad Blood Kendrick Rotorhead

April 1, 2015 Comments (0) Gear & Equipment, News, Reviews

SOG Dark Energy 200A Flashlight

By Jeff  Venture” Fournier

I had heard SOG was getting into the flashlight market and I wondered what to expect from a knife company branching out to non-sharp items. SOG usually puts out quality designs and has been in the knife business for years. I was not expecting an innovative light with just the right amount of solid features with a few tweaks folded in. I received sight unseen a SOG Dark Energy model flashlight and was really happy with how it worked out.

IMG_4393

The SOG Dark Energy 200A Flashlight model DE-04 ( using 2 AA batteries) should work as a great light for anyone who needs a well-built illumination tool that covers a lot of ground utility wise. Physically the Dark Energy (DE 04 from now on.) is a ‘T’ aluminum body flashlight around 6 ½ inches long weighing in at just under 6 ounces. The knurling on the grip is also enhanced by integrated flats around the flashlight body to help prevent rolling, as well aid in manipulation. It only comes in black.

IMG_4397

To evaluate the light I carried it at work (Contract Security), at home, and on vacation as my ‘only use’ flashlight for well over a three month period. The DE 04 was light and very handy. I hardly noticed it clipped to my pocket with its built on carry clip with a lanyard hole and the SOG DE 04 rides in a bag well. The clip kept it from falling out when jostled and left it button end up for easy access and use with one hand. I am used to carrying an EDC light of less than a few ounces so I was really happy with how this performed in this area. Carrying extra ounces that don’t really do anything is inefficient.

IMG_4460

As a lighting device it worked well for area, close in, and medium distances. I had good results in pitch darkness out to 60 meters.  While the beam is diffuse at that range without a crisp spot light it still illuminated the areas I wanted to see be they frozen rivers or empty parking lots.

While the body of the DE 04 is reinforced somewhat for a strike the lights size alone gave you slightly more heft that the roll of quarters. As a light for security or law enforcement it fit the bill perfectly. It will not fall down and break easily.

While on my trip for 3 days of island vacation camping I used it as my only flashlight. This is against my normal inclination to carry a backup, which has saved me in the past when the main light failed, but I figure the DE 04 seemed reliable and I wasn’t wrong. The SOG stood up to rainy weather, humidity and general knocking about on a campout. I hiked with it in the bag even during daylight excursions and considered it a great extra that didn’t take up a lot of space or weight when on the trail.

IMG_4445

I tried the disorienting strobe mode on several volunteers and most did not feel any blinding or disorienting effects even when hit directly. I have since found out that many people are more resistant than others to this type of light effect, but even so the strobe flash setting would work great as a signal strobe in an emergency situation. The other modes lend themselves well to conserving power or situations where you would be over lighting the area just to read a map.

IMG_4407

Run time wise the Dark Energy stayed pretty true to its specs on the SOG website ( max output 200 lumens for 32 mins) even after the 32 minute mark on full output the light dimmed to about 50% brightness an kept on going for 4 hours before becoming very dim but still on. With the other settings of ‘reading mode’ (low) and 40% power (medium) the user can conserve or switch to a mode he needs depending on time estimations and availability of more batteries.  These settings are more intuitive than I would have thought they would be with only a quick button press to shift mode after activation. The mode switch sequence is: full, medium, low, and strobe.  During use I never had the awkward moment when I could not switch it quickly to the mode I needed for the task at hand. I changed the batteries once in almost 4 months and I really could have gone longer with the reduced power modes. Being that these are standard AA batteries available everywhere is definite plus as I have unified my lights to the more common AA and AAA cells long ago.

IMG_4399

I would recommend the SOG (and by extension any of the DE series lights) to anyone looking for a solid, dependable flashlight in the 2 AA category. If you are a first time light buyer or getting one for a friend this is the light to get.  It can be of use to anyone from homeowners who want a tough light for around the house to folks ‘on a mission’ civilian or otherwise. The SOG Dark Energy DE-04 lists for around $70 and can be found for a little less if you look around on the web.

www.sogknives.com

Leave a Reply

UA-37606855-1