When I read about the Sightmark 2000 lumen flashlight, I was dumbfounded. How could anyone pack that much juice into a handheld light? Fortunately for me, Sightmark was willing to send on to me for review.
The Sightmark H2000 is a hand-held flashlight, suitable also for mounting on a firearm. It has a variety of features and is said to be perfect for “shooting, hunting [and] tactical [applications.]” I wanted to know if it was any good for police work.
The H2000 comes as a kit rather than just a light. Included in the box was the light, a lanyard, two rechargeable batteries, a battery charger, three light filters, a mounting ring for attaching to a long gun and a remote switch. Without having to add anything, you have the ability to use this light in a wide variety of applications right out of the box.
The light is made of aluminum and has three CREE LED lights in the head. Both the tailcap and the bezel have scalloped edges. The body has a grenade-grip-like texture.
There is only one switch and it is housed in the tailcap. This tends to be the most popular location for tactical flashlights, and the same position is used on many Surefire, Streamlight and other lights.
The H2000’s switch works both as a momentary switch with a light tap, and as a constant on using a full click. The user can switch between the several different light output modes by lightly tapping or fully clicking the switch. Each tap moves one step through the light modes. If left off and untouched, the light will default back to the high output mode (2000 lumens) after 20 seconds.
I’ll explore the switch’s use more in the “Duty Use” section below.
Sightmark provides the following specs on the flashlight:
- Three Cree T6 LEDs
- Light Output: 2000 lumens, 1150 lumens, 270 lumens
- Power Source: two lithium-ion rechargeable batteries (included)
- Run Time: 1 hour, 2 hours, 10 hours (depending on light output listed above)
- Waterproof: yes, tested to 1 meter for one hour of complete submersion
- Length: 9.9”
- Barrel Diameter: 1.1”
- Bezel Diameter: 2.3”
- Weight: 20.5 ounces
- MSRP: $179.99
Sightmark does not participate in the voluntary ANSI FL1 flashlight standards.
This 2000 lumen flashlight comes with three colored filters: red, blue and green. Each of the filters has the potential of enhancing the use of the light by helping to preserve night vision, making blood trails more visible, etc.
The filters can be installed by unscrewing a filter ring on the flashlight head, dropping the filter in and then screwing the filter ring back on. It is an easy process.
The problem I had with the filters is there was a thin paper-like material attached to both sides of the filters. Presumably this is to protect the lenses during transport and should be removed prior to use. However, I was not able to remove the paper material from the filters. The paper seemed attached to the filters, and no amount of picking at it would bring it off.
As this was a evaluation flashlight that I have to return to the company, I elected not to take more drastic measures to free the filters from the material and did not test their use.
As stated above, the H2000 comes with hardware for mounting it to an AR15 or other long gun. A bracket attaches to the center of the flashlight’s body on one side, and to a Picatinny rail on the other side. An Allen wrench is included to tighten everything down.
The tail cap easily unscrews, and is replaced by a remote switch. A piece of double-sided tape is included for affixing the remote switch where you want it on the gun.
I found mounting the flashlight to an AR was easy, and I did not encounter any problems.
Once attached, the extra weight of the flashlight was definitely noticeable. The light adds more than a pound to the end of your rifle. So, if you are trying to build an ultra-light gun, this is not the flashlight you want to attach.
Sightmark states the H2000 is impact resistant, and it is clearly intended to be used on a firearm. I was able to put 200 rounds downrange with the light attached to an AR. I did not experience any problems with the light after the shooting.
Keep in mind that 200 rounds is a relatively small number, and the .223 is an easy shooting cartridge. A good test would be to test the light for several thousand rounds, or with a larger caliber rifle such as an AR10 in .308. I simply do not have the resources to do a long-term endurance test of the light.
On Duty Use
I used the H2000 for two weeks on patrol duty, on the evening shift. Since it gets dark a little after 1700, and I work until 0300, most of my work time is in the dark. The flashlight got plenty of opportunity for use.
The Sightmark H2000 provided a lot of light. Shining this light into a car was like bringing a whole lot of daylight with me. It is hard to overstate the amount of illumination this thing is capable of.
Keep in mind that lumens, or total light output, is not the same measurement as candela, the brightness of the center portion of the light’s beam. Sightmark provides a lumen rating of 2000, but does not offer any measurement of candela.
Based on my use, it seems the H2000 is more floodlight than spotlight. Yet, due to the sheer overwhelming light output, it still manages to adequately illuminate things at distance.
Comparing it to the Streamlight SL-20L, the H2000 is clearly brighter close up. At about 50 yards, the brightness on the target seems about the same between the two. The difference is the SL-20L uses a tight beam to achieve the distance brightness. The H2000 apparently uses sheer horsepower to achieve the same brightness, as the beam is not tightly focused, but rather illuminates an area roughly three to four times greater than the SL-20L at that distance.
At longer distances (100+ yards), the SL-20L seems to have a marginal advantage over the H2000. It would be interesting to get a lab to test the candela rating on this light.
I did not have a dedicated holder for the light, so I used the round ring I typically use for carrying my SL-20L. The H2000 carried well in that ring, even though the light is shorter than the Streamlight. I would prefer to find a dedicated holster or method of carrying, however, because I could see how the shorter body might come out of the ring quicker in a fight with a suspect or foot chase.
The H2000’s head is the largest portion of the light. It is also the heaviest part of the light, significantly pulling the center of gravity forward. It wasn’t too heavy to use or carry – it just seemed off balance, which created a slight distraction when I started using it. Once I used it for a few days, I became used to the weight distribution, though I never really got to the point where I liked it. This is simply a matter of personal preference.
My only serious concern about the Sightmark 2000 is the switch. As mentioned previously, each tap of the switch moves the user one step through the five output modes. While effective, this method is counter-productive for the low-light techniques used by many police officers.
Many officers are trained to momentarily illuminate an area, move rapidly through darkness and then momentarily illuminate the area again. As the officer moves through darkened areas, he or she repeats this process: flash, move, flash, move. Unfortunately, the H2000 does not work well in this manner.
When trying this “flash-move” technique with the Sightmark H2000, the light was at full illumination for the first move, medium illumination at the second move, and dim at the third. Then strobe. Then SOS. See the problem?
If you select the proper mode and have the flashlight at constant on, this mode rotation is not a problem.
Several companies make LED flashlights with multiple modes controlled by one switch. While varying degrees of success have been achieved, all seem better than the Sightmark for the “flash-move” technique.
I could not find any reference to programing the H2000’s switch in the manual included with the flashlight. I also checked the company’s website, but could not find anything on the topic there either.
This is a minor gripe, but I don’t like that the user has to remove the batteries from the flashlight to charge them. This may seem like a small thing, but when getting home at 0400 hours and having to be back at work in less than 12 hours, it is a pain to fumble around in a darkened bedroom trying to get them out and loaded into the charger. Having a charger that the whole light can snap into, like the Streamlight PolyStinger, would be such a great improvement.
Sightmark’s 2000 lumen flashlight physically held up to the abuses of typical patrol duties. It got tossed around with the rest of my gear and left the car with me on calls. It banged into walls, car doors and other hard objects.
At no point did the flashlight ever fail. Additionally, the finish held up well.
The Sightmark H2000 is an exceptionally bright flashlight, and definitely brighter than anything else I have reviewed. It seems to be very durable and held up well in my use.
The H2000 comes with a wide variety of accessories, including the mounting hardware needed to add the light to a long gun. When you consider the retail price is a penny less than $180, it is easy to see why this flashlight should be popular with a great many people.
My two gripes with this flashlight, that you have to remove the batteries to charge it and the switch-mode interface, are relatively small compared to the overall value of this light. I recommend this light if you understand the limitations on the switch. Hopefully the next generation of the Sightmark H2000 will include a new switch that allows for the user to more easily pick the correct mode, while retaining the ability to use the momentary on feature.
Ed. note: At the time of this review, the Sightmark H2000 flashlight is selling for $149.99 with free shipping at Amazon. If you follow the above link and buy the light, you help up keep the lights on.