WHY AN 18650 BATTERY OVER A CR123 BATTERY?
The CR123 battery has been the standard for a number of years. But the 18650 rechargeable battery has replaced it as the new gold-standard for performance. Capable of higher amperage discharge and more capacity, it’s simply a much better performer. So much better actually, that an 18650 at 50% charge offers more energy potential than 2 brand new CR123 batteries. The difference is truly significant. Offering more run-time and more output, it is an easy choice.
A common argument against the 18650 is availability. You should consider a few things on that topic:
Like ammunition and other critical items, simply purchase what you need ahead of time. Plan ahead.
The 18650 cells are good for about 300 deep cycles during their lifetime. CR123 batteries are primary cells. Meaning you use them and throw them away. So let’s look the following financial considerations:
COST OF BATTERIES
Price of 2 CR123 batteries: $2
Price of 1 18650 battery: $9
COST OF USEAGE
*300 total flashlight complete battery cycles
600 CR123’s required = $600
A single 18650 required = $9
Disaster scenarios. Not only do the 18650’s run longer and harder, but you can charge them up whenever you need. You are not reliant on any new supply of primary cells to make your light work. You can even go one step further and use a solar battery pack to recharge the batteries if you need/want to. That means in this conversation, you even have zero reliance on the power grid.
Safety and stability. Some people will say that 18650’s are less safe than CR123 batteries. To be clear, all batteries can fail if subjected to the right conditions. But to say CR123s are safer than 18650s is simply speculative opinion. They are both very safe, very durable and as long as you buy high quality batteries, they are very good performers too.
18650’s are pervasive now. They are available all over the internet, our site included. And you can buy them locally at any vape shop or battery store.
As for charge status and slowly degrading power levels in the batteries over time: Rechargeable cells have come a long ways. These batteries will hold more than adequate charge for many months now. Typically you can go 6 months easily before you need to look at recharging. And even then the argument is simple: Know the status of your equipment. And properly maintain it if you are going to bet your life on it.
The future is a rechargeable one, like it or not. The tech is going in that direction and all the money is being spent on that paradigm. Embrace it and reap the benefits.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LUMEN RATING AND CANDELA RATING?
The concept of a high lumen weapon light a good thing: You need to be able to see the target. However other companies have taken this as permission to turn the term “lumens” into a sales device. More specifically, they have created a “space race” where manufacturers perpetually try to provide more and more output. And conceptually that’s a good thing. The customer gets better equipment that way. However it’s also brutally misleading.
The lumen rating of a light is simply how much raw light is being emitted. This is measured either at the LED itself or “Out-The-Front” meaning it’s measured once the light gets past the lens. Either way, it’s just a number that is correlated to performance. Think of the lumen rating as the potential for performance in a weapon-light.
Candela however is very different. Candela is essentially a measurement of light concentration at a standardized distance. From a shooters perspective, it tells you how much light you’ll be able to put on a target. And for a weapon light, there is nothing more important than being able to put useable light on a target. That is the entire point of having a light on your gun. Useable light on-target gives you the ability to get Positive Identification. It gives you situational awareness. It also gives you a non-lethal option because a high candela light is very disruptive to the human eye.
If you want a quick demonstration: Turn the flashlight feature on your cellphone in a dark room. You’ll see X amount of lumens present but that is not useable in a weapon application. It’s intended use is that of an administrative light. And it’s fine for that purpose. But if you take that same light, put a reflector over it and focus it, you multiply your candela of that light exponentially. And now it’s useful for a lot more than just simple admin purposes.
So lumen rating is important, based on the intended application. But candela is truly king when it comes weapon-light applications. Also worth noting is that you need both lumen rating and candela rating to be truly effective on a weapon-based application. If you have unfocused lumens you have a light that can’t And nobody does it better than the REIN.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE SWITCHING ON THE REIN.
REIN has both momentary-on and constant-on functionality. The Standard Kit variant comes with only a push-button tail cap. That tail cap has both functions built-in. Push slightly on the button and you will turn the light on. Release to turn the light off. Push the button all the way to the bottom of the range-of-travel and you will hear a “click”. That turns the light on with a constant-on mode. Press again to turn off.
The Complete Kit variant of the REIN is more substantial. It is supplied with a dual-function remote switch with an integrated tail cap cartridge that also has the dual-function built into it. This makes for a very useful and robust operating system.
The remote switch has two buttons on it. The smooth button is a momentary-only button. Press and hold for the light to turn on. Release to turn the light off.
The button with the Cloud logo on it is the constant-on button. This is where we have departed with the way things used to be done. Our constant-on button utilizes a different latching system internally that allows for increased functionality and control over your light.
Historically, you press the constant-on button and with very little switch travel you turn the light on. With the REIN remote, you do do not engage constant-on mode until you full depress the switch and release it. This gives you instant and positive feedback on the status of the constant-on mode. There is no thinking you pressed the switch far enough. You either did or you did not.
The real benefit of this design becomes apparently once the remote has engaged the constant-on mode. With a little pressure on the constant-on switch, you can now, for the first time on a weapon light, effectively kill your constant-on lighting, on a moments notice. This gives you a significant capability during employment of the light in the event you need to go dark instantly. It allows you an unprecedented amount of control over your light in tactical situations. Specifically, it allows you to “turn the light on and solve the problem” while giving you incredible ability to still manipulate that light as need be without having to worry about re-engaging the constant-on mode in the middle of a fight.
To disengage constant-on via the remote, just click that switch again.
The REIN remote switch is built with a higher level of durability and performance than anything else on the market. It’s stronger, tougher and is rated for more cycles and harder use. The switch is fully-potted. That means the internals are encased in a rock-hard epoxy compound. If you cut it in half, it literally looks like a rock. And it’s as strong as one as a result. The REIN switch is also fully submersible to well over 100ft of water for over 24hr.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT CABLE MANAGEMENT WITH THE REIN.
Cloud Defensive got its start with cable management via the Light Control System. And to this day, it’s very much on our radar. We knew very early in the development cycle of the REIN and it’s switch that we needed to offer even more cable management support. And that is what we did.
The REIN switch begins cable management inside the switch itself. Meaning we first started with the location of the wire and where that actually exits the switch housing. All the other switches exit the cable out the back of the switch, forcing the user to swing the cable around the switch and run it up the side of the rail to the light. That “rear-exit cable” concept is a poor engineering solution. And it created a problem that should have never existed because the lights are almost exclusively run forward of the switch itself. So we exist the cable out of the bottom of the switch, directly into a picatinny slot. That allows the user to move the wire out either the right or left side of the unit. That also allows the switch itself to be mounted in either direction based on end-user preference.
But the REIN doesn’t stop there. Moving the cable out the side of the switch is big. But we also maintained our patented cable control and integrated that into the side plates of the REIN LCS. With the patented Early Exit channels, the user can run the 5” cable in any direction he wants.
You can route it directly out the side towards the light.
You can route it forward through the cable channel and then out the front. This will be a common set-up if your light is forward of your switch. For example, a 14.5-16” gun.
You can route the cable out the back of the cable slot and towards the tail cap. This will be less common but may be required from time to time. If you are using a non-AR platform, this may be a direction you need to go.
And because of very specific and intentional design, you can route the cable out the side of the LCS opposite the light body, route the cable forward through the cable control channel, then turn the table through the picatinny slot located under the LCS screw and move that cable back to the light. Doing this is a very good way to deal with any excess wire and will result in the “cleanest” possible setup IF your light is located in the correct position. This option works great for SBR setups with and without laser integration.
And as you will quickly see, the location of the screw that you are running this cable under securely holds the cable in place. This method yields virtually zero exposed cable when considered alongside the location of the cable entering the tail cap itself.
And a short word on REIN remote switch install: The cable is stiff because needs to be in order to carry the higher current we work with. This makes install tedious. Be patient. Ask us for advice if you need help. And remember, some setups will require you to mount the switch before the light. This is a highly adaptable light. And it’s worth the extra time you’ll spend to make sure you do this right. Go slow and be a little deliberate in your planning with regards to where you are mounting the light and switch.
MECHANICAL SWITCHES CAN FAIL. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THAT HAPPENS TO MY REIN SWITCH?
All mechanical switches can and will inevitably fail. Great care has been taken to ensure that you now own the best and most reliable switch in the industry. If you have an issue with the switch, there are a couple of things to note here.
First, it can be replaced without removing the light from the gun in most cases.
Secondly, we sell replacement units at about ½ what the market would normally sell switches for. We don’t gouge our customers. Ever.
Finally, if your remote switch fails, your light STILL WORKS. Each variant of the REIN that comes with a remote switch also comes with a mechanical switch in the rear of the tail cap. That switch and the mechanical switch are electrically independent of each other. So one switch can literally be wrecked and the other will still work. Not that we recommend it, but you can physically cut the wire from the remote switch and the push-button will still work on the tail cap.
WHY HAVE A REMOVEABLE LENS?
Simply said, because it’s a feature that real shooters appreciate and need. The lens on a flashlight is one of the most common failure-points, historically. It’s glass. And when you put glass on a gun, it can break. We use thicker glass than anybody at about 3mm of thickness. Our glass can withstand multiple hits of 5.56mm Simunition rounds at contact distance. It’s very strong and it’s isolated from vibration. However, it can break. And it can become damaged by thousands of rounds of muzzle blast or just a hard life in general.
Historically, when you have an issue, you have to take the light off the gun and send it in for warranty work. We thought that was dumb. Mostly because we went through that experience and thought the customer should be able to do this themselves. Our lens replacement is simple. It can executed in less than 60 seconds if you know what you are doing. If you are new, it may take an extra minute or two. But it’s simple. It works. And lens replacement is no longer a warranty issue for you or for us. It’s how weapon lights should be.
WHY HAVE A BEZEL RING MADE OUT OF S7 TOOL STEEL?
Because weapon lights are hard-use tools. And because the light on your gun, more than any other part, is subject to more impact. It hangs outboard of the handguard and when you drop the gun or when the gun hits something, the light tends to take the brunt of that force. With REIN, for the first time, that is OK. Think of the REIN bezel ring as the leading edge of an impact tool. And for the record, S7 Tool Steel is the same steel they use to make jack-hammer bits. And ours is heat treated to about 53 Rockwell. Hard enough it won’t bend. Soft enough it won’t crack. And then it’s put through black nitride plating to ensure it won’t rust. Again it’s how all weapon lights should be.