Initially introduced in 2013, the V-Lite by S&S Precision has been an industry mainstay for helmet marking lights, due in large part to its effective design and programmable light output.
Made from a semi-flexible and transparent silicone body, the V-Lite is tapered personal identification light that measures 4.25” in overall length, and 1” wide.
The V-Lite utilizes a programmable 1-button, multi-function program to cycle through a variety of continual ON (1/4, ½, ¾, or full power), Intermittent (Blink), and OFF settings. An on-board microlight provides early low battery warning. The overall emitter is IPX8 certified for water immersion up to 30 min in 60’ of water.
The back of the V-Lite has hook-and-loop (male) material the entire length of the light and includes a nylon lanyard.
Powering the V-Lite is a non-replaceable/non-rechargeable battery that provides 120 hours of continual run-time (on LOW) to the enclosed LED emitter.
The V-Lite is available in White (featured) and eight other popular colors (including Infrared).
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Good (4/5): With a list price of $44.75, the V-Lite is an inexpensive PID marker in a market otherwise dominated by robust and professional devices that easily cost over $100. The V-Lite’s inexpensive materials, and practical approach allow it to come in at a much lower price point that is ideal for professionals and civilians alike. Comparative PID markers to the V-Lite include the SPARK ($18.00) from Unity Tactical, the MS-2000 (M2) LED Strobe Marking Light ($169) from ACR Artex, the VIP IR Marking Light ($180) from Adventure Lights, and the HEL-STAR 6 ($205) from Core Survival. While many of these alternatives are designed with more robust housing and components, the V-Lite is still at a good and cost-affordable price point in comparison to the current market of PID marking lights.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): The V-Lite has a base tail made from a flexible, transparent polymer material attached to a hard housing that provided a good overall level of comfort, and the flexibility needed when articulating along the curvature of a helmet. The emitter housing itself was more rigid to affix on a helmet or other surface, with a tangible sensation to the ON/OFF switch that the end-user was be able to both visually and tactically feel the functioning to the button switch. Otherwise the V-Lite itself was not cumbersome nor bulky while mounted on a helmet, and not negatively noticeable in any comfort aspect.
- Durability – Average (3/5): From a durability aspect, the V-Lite yielded an appropriate (or average) level of durability for its size and materials. The pliable polymer shell gave the PID marker the necessary level of flex to withstand the impacts of being dropped 10 times from an approximate height of 6’ without breakage or failure to the light, and only minimal surface marring due to contact with the concrete. The V-Lite also withstood 30 minutes of immersion without any evidence of saturation or moisture penetration into the interior. It is also likely that the V-Lite would withstand more extreme usage found in some professional applications (air operations) where an impact certification may be needed—although there was no evidence it has been tested for such.
- Functionality – Average (3/5): Functionally the V-Lite was simplistic in both design and intent, with a single button to cycle through the programmable, five-function setting. The variable power/intensity settings allowed the end-user to find a comfortable setting in low-light conditions or when using night vision devices. Moreover, the HIGH setting and tapered body was beneficial as a marking element to carriers, barricades, or barriers at night so that shooters could easily identify directional aspects or locations. The blink setting was beneficial to utilize the V-Lite over extended periods without detrimental impact to the power source. Perhaps the greatest limitation to the overall function of the V-Lite was the power source itself, with it being non-rechargeable or replaceable when expended. Thus, once the battery runs out, the end-user has no option other than direct replacement. It would perhaps be a recommendation to S&S to consider a USB rechargeable power source or something similar. Even if it were to limit the lifespan of the product to 3-4 recharges it would still make the V-Lite a desirable product in contrast to the current market that utilize CR123 power sources and can be replaced.
- Weight – Excellent (5/5): Coming in at just 0.80 ounces, the V-Lite was not noticeable on the helmet, and thus neither off-balancing or bulky. Indeed, the V-Lite had a lower profile than nearly all other PID markers available on the current market. This and the tapered design were beneficial in ensuring the V-Lite did not inadvertently peel off when coming into incidental contact with brush or other surfaces. In contrast, the SPARK (0.75 ounces) from Unity Tactical, the MS-2000 (M2) LED Strobe Marking Light (4.0 ounces) from ACR Artex, the VIP IR Marking Light (3.9 ounces) from Adventure Lights, and the HEL-STAR 6 (2.8 ounces) from Core Survival all demonstrate just how demure and lightweight the V-Lite is in comparison. Thus, for its design and materials, the V-Lite is at an excellent weight for its intended usage.
Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)
Product Link: https://www.sandsprecision.com/v-lite-blue.html.html
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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