White X-zoom and Power Zoom flashlights from LedWave. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)
LedWave is a European company attempting to break into the American market by expanding its tactical line of flashlights to include a full complement of lights geared toward hunters. From tracking lights to gun-mountable zoom-lights, Ledwave is blanketing the US market. Guns.com reviews both a manual and power-zoom hunting light.
Who is LedWave?
Test lights still wear Spanish/Euro branding. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)
Based in Spain and with a strong presence in the European market, LedWave is being led into the American market by Snake River, best known for their Team Never Quit Ammunition. Though LedWave’s specialty has been tactical lights and accessories, they are now venturing into varmint/predator zoom lights, colored filters, firearms mounts, and soon, blood tracking lights. Fellow Guns.com reviewer Eve Flanigan covered three of LedWave’s tactical offerings earlier this year.
Smaller X-zoom, top, Power Zoom, bottom. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)
As our pair of test lights came in large plastic baggies, we can’t attest to the actual commercial packaging. Regardless, this is a company on the upswing, so keep an eye out to see what emerges. LedWave very recently introduced a US web presence, a brother to its .eu European version. All measurements, however, are yet to be translated for the Western market from metric units to Imperial. Though the company does list the lumen value of the light, they make it clear they find superiority in Candela ratings as measured at the University of Barcelona, and you can read their reasoning here. Pricing has not yet been readily available. All lights are warranted for two years from the purchase date, sans batteries of course.
X-zoom package: light, carabiner, mount, touch pad and optional battery pack. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)
A compact, pocket-sized LED flashlight, the X-Zoom features a patented collimating system and two selectable intensity output levels. The 90-lumen light boasts a maximum range of 260 meters. Users regulate the light’s diameter spot according to distance through a numbered rotating selector on the bezel. The clicks are audible and sure. Though LedWave advertises that hunters can fix the beam on targets from 50 to 150 meters, we only felt comfortable using the X-Zoom as a hunting-capable light out to 75 yards, even at the highest and tightest setting. Anything past that left targets too dark to engage with confidence.
X-zoom at 1.5 power. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)
The two light level settings are actuated by clicking the tailcap either once or twice. Naturally, the lower light option saves on batteries with a 12+ hour continuous runtime. The high beam, featuring four times the output of larger 4xD cell flashlights, has a much shorter runtime, with the website suggesting 60 minutes continuous. Even with multiple outings of use, we did not need to replace the four-AAAbatteries. Overall, the light is heavy built, sturdy, and feels rugged in the hand. LedWave offers a wide variety of mounts for the light. Our test model came with a polymer double-carabiner type. The factory packaging is set to include batteries, an optional cable switch rear, and a universal mount. The X-Zoom line is also available in red, green, and IR.
White Power Zoom
Power Zoom package: light, carabiner, mount, battery and charger. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)
While the X-Zoom is your run-of-the-mill zoom light, the Power Zoom is quite unique. What sets it apart is the keypad controlling all functions of the light, from powering on to increasing intensity and size of the beam. It’s intended for hunters who may only have one free hand to operate the light while the other maneuvers the gun for a shot. This big boy boasts 100-minutes of continuous high-power runtime in a 150 lumen light with a maximum range of 240 meters. On the lowest setting, an 800-minute runtime is advertised. Like the X-Zoom, it’s weather resistant and drop proof to two meters. It comes with a high-output 3.5W 2nd generation cool white LED in an automatic zooming system.
Detail of keypad control. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)
Our test light came installed with a non-removable cable switch dimmer sealed unit, contrary to the pluggable unit showed on the website. Regardless, the zoom-pad allows hunters or shooters to select their intensity level with the touch of a finger while remaining focused on the target at hand, especially handy when the light is mounted on the firearm. The Power Zoom operates by a wrapped, one piece rechargeable 18650 (3,100mAh) li-ion battery and includes both an AC/DC adaptor and car charger. Though the keypad buttons were not clearly marked on our test unit as they were on the website, the light was easy enough to use and far outshined—literally—the weaker X-Zoom. When tested in late night hunting scenarios, the Power Zoom illuminated coyote targets with shootable light out to 200 yards.
Detail of internal components. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)
While we’ve only spent a few months working over this light, it has held up well. These types of more complicated—read, non-manual—options make me nervous by way of more potential to fail. Only time will tell. While the light was incredibly bright during practical dusk and dark use, our testers were surprised at the noise of the zooming function. While it’s just fine if you are some distance from your quarry, you don’t want to be revving that power keypad with nearby game or you’ll spook them.
X-zoom at highest power. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)
Though we understand it’s still early into their American foray, the LedWave American product booklet is lacking not only in translation verbiage, but also photography. Where we’d expect to see photos of the product in use, instead there are generic pics of folks shooting something like an O/U shotgun, all sans any kind of light, on a page supposedly promoting a blood light, or a zoom light. I’d like to see how the lights are mounted and used in real world scenarios otherwise it leads us to believe that little to no in-the-field testing was actually done. And while the ledwave.us website is now up and running, actually finding prices or venues to purchase the products is not as simple.
Branding on LedWave lights. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)
We just don’t know enough about the direction of the LedWave company in the US to throw a strong recommendation behind the lights, but with the support of Snake River & Team Never Quit, we are hoping for good things down the line. One thing is for sure, they are gunning to be a do-it-all light outfit covering needs of tactical, military, law enforcement, hunting and outdoors users. If you find yourself in the market for specialty torches, keep your finger on the pulse of LedWave as we continue to test their products for longevity.