SOG's Dark Energy Flashlight - Gear Review

Monday, September 02, 2013

It's no secret that LED's have invaded the world of lighting over the last few years.  From tail lights on cars to giant stadium scoreboards, we see them everywhere.  They simply make too much sense not to have made their way into the outdoor community.  Rugged, waterproof, efficient and bright, what's not to like? The design crew over at SOG may not be the first to use LED tech in flashlights, but their first entry into the space puts them at the top of a very short list.

When you say SOG, my brain instantly go to knives, and seriously bad ass knives at that.  What I sometimes briefly forget is that the company's name is "SOG Specialty Knives and Tools" and they make some pretty BA tools as well.  We have tested their Tactical Tomahawk, a long-time Team Paddle Junkie favorite.  

We opted to give the 214A model of Dark Energy flashlights a try. The smaller of their two models, coming in at under 4 inches long and weighing only 3 ounces, was the form factor that sold us.  The larger model (247A) is just over 5 inches long and 4.10 ounces.  SOG set out with a couple of lofty goals when developing these lights; 1) Deliver the brightest lights of their size and 2) provide the best switch in the business.  I love that they ignored all the worthless frilly features and got right to the meat of what we need in a light.  


In our opinion, they succeeded in doing both.We have tested a number of flashlights and the Dark Energy is the brightest we have touched.  At 214 lumens, you can't believe how bright this thing is.  It literally hurts to look into this light, yeah don't do it, it's a bad idea.  Light up treetops, illuminate the trail ahead, and cut a path through the darkness. The switch they came up with is what you want too.  Big, easy to use and there's no confusing if you switched it or not.  A half tap kicks the light in at 40% output, so you can turn down the volume when necessary.

If we had to find something to complain about, it would be that they used a CR-123A battery in this flashlight.  While it isn't impossible to locate, odds are you don't have one in the junk drawer.  When it does go dead, you'll probably have to make a run to the store.  In doing just a little research on batteries though, it is easy to see why they chose the CR-123A.  A shorter fatter battery = a shorter fatter light.  AA's kick out less juice and last half as long.  Oh, and the AA's are about 35% heavier too, if your counting grams in your pack...  Maybe our complaint was a bit shortsighted.  

The Stats:
OVERALL LENGTH3.8"PRODUCT WEIGHT3.00 OZ
UPC7-29857-99648-8FINISHBLACK HARD ANODIZED
BATTERYCR-123A (1)BELT CLIP TYPEFIXED
HANDLE COLORBLACKBLACK HARD ANODIZED CLASS II, TYPE III, 6061-T6 ALUMINUM
BURN TIME80 MIN (100%), 180 MIN (40%)LUMENS (MAX)214

MSRP: $105.00

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