I got a rare chance to take a bunch of Surefire Flashlights for a so-called test drive. My friend Steven Schwier over at Surefire’s headquarters found out about my blog and my fascination with everything FDE so he thought I’d like to borrow some of their lights for me to take pictures of and review.
For the first review of the bunch, I’d like to go with the biggest, baddest and brightest: the UDR Dominator. Simply put, it’s by far, the most powerful handheld flashlight I’ve ever experienced. Technically, it’s a spotlight that on Max Blast, outputs a 2400 Lumen beam with a high performance LED.
So how can I tell you in writing, how bright that is? Think about the spotlights on Law Enforcement helicopters on those high-speed pursuits you see on TV. The UDR Dominator probably isn’t as bright or as powerful as the Night Sun spotlights on a helicopter, but it definitely reminds of one, but is portable and handheld.
The UDR Dominator, like everything else made by Surefire, is well thought out, engineered and made to be nearly indestructible. The one I got to review came with a wall charger and a sling. The battery was pretty much drained when I got it, which was good because I could see how long it took to fully charge it. It took a little over an hour to an hour and a half to fully charge. Runtime on high (2400 lumens) is rated at 2.25 hours and on low (14 lumens), it’s 22.75 hours. It has a fuel gauge that displays red , yellow or green based on it’s current level, the gauge light is on when it is in operation. When it’s fully charged, it blinks green. That’s an impressive amount of runtime for a spotlight as bright as this one is.
The ergonomics make it very user friendly to operate. Other than picking it up in the showroom, I have no other experience with the Dominator. It didn’t take me long to figure it out. It has a selector ring with 11 positions staring with an off kill switch, Minimum to Maximum and at the other end, a strobe mode (which is on Max Output). Below the selector rings are three buttons that are labeled left to right: Constant, Momentary, Max Blast. Constant will give you a constant beam at the level where the current position of the selector ring is set. Momentary does the same as the previous, except that it only stays on as long as the button is pushed, hence it’s label. Lastly, you have the Max Blast button, kind of like the rest of the functions, it is self explanatory. Pushing this button gives you all 2400 lumens on a constant On position, no matter where the selector ring is at.
Since the Dominator I am reviewing is the main demo model, I am only able to have it for a short period of time. The only way for me to test it is at night, when took my dog for a walk. I had to be very careful not to piss off my neighbors when running it on Max Blast, so I made sure I wasn’t blasting their homes with it otherwise they might think that there’s a silent police helicopter with a spotlight on their home. The next neighborhood over is in an unincorporated area, which means a lot less street lights and more opportunities for me to hit the Max Blast button. I left the selector ring on a few positions from the Minimum for a short range beam, which was gave me a useful amount of light without destroying my night vision. When I turned the corner into the next neighborhood, the end of the cul-de-sac was about 100 yards or more away and pitch black. There’s no house there to I activated the Max Blast and it lit up the entire wall that is there and I was able to see about a 50 foot area very clearly. I was pretty impressed with the amount of power I had with a handheld device. I made the mistake of using the Max Blast when crossing the street, it was so bright, looking at the white beam pointed at the black asphalt with my peripheral vision was enough to obliterate any night vision I had. If you look at the head of the flashlight, you’ll see that it has fins to help dissipate heat that it generates. If you put your hand in front of the beam on Max Blast, you can feel the heat coming off of it.
For me, I probably don’t need a light this powerful for my everyday usage either in my on and off-duty activities. The UDR Dominator fills a special niche and it does it extremely well. From my life experience of being a Peace Officer and a gun enthusiast, I can see the Dominator used for Search and Rescue teams, Sentry positions like static security etc, anyone who goes out doors often or simply everyone who needs a durable, reliable, powerful spotlight. I say that is a niche item because although it is handheld, it isn’t small and wouldn’t fit in your pocket. It’s a super heavy duty illumination device that won’t let you down if you need it to identify objects, people, threats in the dark of the night. The MSRP according to Surefire’s website is at $1,370.00
I understand a lot of you will say that’s expensive. I agree with you that is pricey but the going trend on my blog is that you get what you pay for. With Surefire, everything is designed, manufactured in the US of A and it, along with all of Surefire’s products, comes with their No-Hassle Guarantee- For Life!
For more information and where to get one: