Despite what Mrs. Outsider thinks, you can never have too many flashlights. Ideally, you should have at least one (plus maybe a backup or two) in every room in your house. One in your backpack, messenger bag, or purse is important too. A small variety for each camping backpack as well. At minimum, one in every toolbox you own, plus a couple in each car. If you happen to have an office job, you could even hide a few more in your desk. Because really, there are two kinds of people in the world: those that own lots of flashlights, and those that are unprepared for the dark.
That’s a heck of an intro for our Spotlight Shifter 1.0 and 2.0 flashlight review, but it’s no so far off the truth. Flashlight manufacturers today are taking advantage of LED technology, along with advanced lens design, and giving us more compact yet powerful lights that are efficient and durable. The Shifter 1.0 runs three hours on a single AAA battery, yet puts out 80 lumens on high, is visible for up to 65 meters, and even offers some water and impact resistance. Plus, it’s a cute little light. At only four inches long by a half inch diameter, it’s easy enough to carry, especially with the included pocket clip. But just because it’s small in size doesn’t mean you have to give up features. A simple twist of the lens allows you to zoom smoothly from a wide flood pattern to a focused spot. This is the result of their proprietary RLS™ “Reflector Lens System technology. Tap the rubber tail cap button once for high, a second time for low, and a third time for a strobe. (It’s not quite the right frequency for disorienting an attacker, and I can’t vouch for it as an attention-getting signal light. But I am truly glad they include that setting in most modern lights, as it may one day come in handy)
In an effort to satisfy some of our more technical readers, we compared the quality of the light output from flood to spot, with an image taken approximately halfway through the zoom range. The images below were from the 1.0, and you can see the halo effect at all settings. While this would not be very noticeable outdoors, if you spend a lot of time shining your lights at white walls, the halo is readily apparent. It should be noted that this was less pronounced, and the light was somewhat more even with the 2.0. Note that while we know our way around both cameras and flashlights, this is just for illustration only – we made no attempt to measure beam patterns or brightness across the pattern.
The lights are well constructed of aluminum, with fine knurling on the main portion of the body, and some grooves at either end. This allows for a secure grip, while making operation of the zoom head or battery replacement a snap. We like the Shifter 1.0 for carrying in a pocket, and the 2.0 for ease of finding (and increased output) in a purse. But don’t let that limit you, as there’s an application for every flashlight, and a flashlight for every application. If you’re looking for a pretty powerful compact light with a zoom head, they’re worth checking out. Shifter 1.0, Shifter 2.0