Of all the things you need to evaluate in an AR-15 weapon-mounted light, it’s unlikely that waterproofing is at the top of your list even if you recognize its potential. Outer durability, coatings, lumen and candela ratings, mounting options, and operability are likely to eat up most of the bandwidth of your attention.
But when the dust of novelty settles and you’re through most of the big decisions, bring your focus back to waterproofing. It’s important and it can make a big difference in the overall performance, quality, and lifespan of an AR-15 flashlight.
Underwater or Not, Reliability Is Vital
No, you don’t shoot underwater and you may not be in special operations. That doesn’t matter here. You’re investing in a tactical flashlight because you’re investing in protection and preparedness. Water is a fact of life.
You could detach a tactical light and use it for EDC, in which case you could accidentally drop it in a puddle or a ditch full of water. Or, more likely, you could drop it in a lake, river, stream, pool, or even in the sink. All of these things, however unlikely, could spell doom for a WML.
Now, even if your WML stays firmly planted on your rail most of the time, you need to be as prepared as possible for whatever life throws at you.
That means rain, snow, sleet, hail, and just humid conditions. Here’s what some people don’t realize. Rain can kill an electronic device. There’s no confusion about that. Mist, fog, and muggy conditions can do it, too.
Excessive humidity can take a serious toll on a flashlight’s internal components, just as it can do for those of other electronic devices. It is an insidious force. But that’s an extreme.
Rain and sleet can also work their way into an electronic device’s internals and incapacitate it. For better or worse, you need to be prepared for these. An AR-15 weapon light won’t end up being much use to you if it goes dark.
The OWL and REIN: IPX Rated Performance
So then, if the issue becomes one of circumventing the possibility of a moisture induced shortage, it should become important to you to spend your money in the place that makes the most sense.
Consider, for example, Cloud Defensive’s OWL (Optimized Weapon Light). It’s IPX8 rated and will still operate even after being fully submerged at up to 200 feet for an entire day. You should be able to rest easy knowing that you could throw this light in a pool, come back after an 8-hour shift, and fire it up. The same goes for Cloud Defensive’s REIN.
Moreover, the OWL’s internal circuitry is fully-sealed, so even if water does get inside the light, nothing happens. It just keeps running. Does it sound excessive on paper? Maybe, but that’s the price of quality, and a system with redundant levels of protection defines reliability.
For what it’s worth, the OWL and the REIN are both much more than waterproof. They are also dustproof, shockproof, and highly resistant to corrosion. The OWL, for example, is finished with a black nitride coating that is exceptionally durable and resistant to wear, tear, and corrosion. In other words, these are some of the toughest weapon-mounted lights in the industry.
Cloud Defensive’s AR-15 Weapon Mounted Lights are also user-friendly (the OWL is operated via a pressure pad and the REIN by a tail cap push button, and both are capable of momentary and constant-on functionality) and are easy to mount. The REIN, specifically, is compatible with Torrent mounting systems that are compatible with both Picatinny rails and M-LOK systems.
To learn more about the functionality and features of either of these weapon-mounted light systems, consult the link above, visit CloudDefensive.com, or contact their customer service team directly at [email protected]