ASP Light Review

Back in the mid-90s, my early days of police work, when someone said “Asp” it meant one thing: an expandable baton. Guys would joke that it stood for “Another Steel Pipe”. Later, of course, Asp started making handcuffs, and flex cuffs, and cuff keys, and then all kinds of other police goodies. And now they make flashlights. In particular, they make the XT Triad DF (Dual Fuel), a 600-lumen wonderlight that I really wish I’d had back in 1994.

Asp Light XT DF
Photo courtesy of Chris Hernandez.

Yeah, I know: it’s yet another flashlight among a seemingly infinite number of new wonderlights. Big deal, right? How different can this one be?

Asp light XT DF
Photo courtesy of Chris Hernandez.

Asp Light XT DF

Common Features

First, let’s talk about how it’s not different. Like many other lights, the XT’s tailcap can be set to constant on, momentary to only stay on if you’re holding it down, and lockout to prevent white light NDs. Its light has two primary options for patrol use. The user can tap the tailcap once to operate the light in full 600-lumen mode, or twice to operate it in secondary. The secondary can be a 15, 60 or 150 lumen light, or a strobe. I personally always thought a strobe was a waste of time since it was easier to just repeatedly tap a tailcap for a few seconds (how long do you need to strobe someone anyway?). But if you really want a strobe feature, it’s there.

Unique Features

All normal so far, right? But this is how the XT is different: the user can select between those secondary modes by simply rotating the light bezel up, pushing a small button to rotate through the options, selecting the one he or she wants, and then rotating the bezel closed. Too easy. Another difference: this light is dual-fuel, which isn’t all that uncommon these days, but you can use CR123s or charge it off a micro USB without removing the battery, which does seem to be pretty uncommon.

Asp light in hand
Press once to activate the primary/max setting. Press twice to activate the user-programmed secondary mode. Image source: asp-usa.com.

The listed run time – which I assume applies to either two CR123s or the supplied 18650 battery at full charge – is more than enough for the typical eight-hour night shift. And if it’s not, so what? If your light dies grab the other type of battery/batteries from your patrol bag, and you’re back in business. Of course, if you’re smart you’ll never run out of light since you can charge your XT with the supplied 12V car outlet adapter and micro USB cable as you patrol your beat. (Just make sure you don’t bail out of the car after a suspect without it.) You don’t even need a special charger, since the 18650 battery charges inside the XT.

Asp Light XT DF flashlight
Photo courtesy of Chris Hernandez.

Heads up: the charging cable included with the light failed, and I switched to another. I assume I just got unlucky since everything else that came with the light was fine, but it wasn’t a big deal in any case. Like other gear queers I’m drowning in charging cables, so I just grabbed another one and got to work.

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One Fault- It’s Small

The XT has a fault, although it certainly isn’t specific to this light or Asp products. Like just about every new high-tech flashlight it’s small and light. It measures less than six and a half inches and seven ounces including batteries. Young whippersnappers might appreciate so much power in such a small package, but old “Get off my lawn” cops like me grew up with big, heavy Maglights and Streamlights that doubled as impact weapons.

In fact, some agencies prohibited officers from having a baton in their hand except in specific situations. But I never heard of one that prohibited officers from holding a flashlight even in daylight since every structure has dark corners that might need to be checked. Many an officer swung those big lights to save themselves from an ass-beating or worse, or smashed windows that needed to be smashed. I even know officers who flung their lights at certain real bad guys.

Unfortunately, modern technology is pushing big lights the way of the revolver. There are still a few around, but pretty soon we’ll have officers born in the 21st century and won’t have many born in the mid-20th . As we older guys retire, we’ll take our wheelguns and big heavy flashlights with us. You youngsters will never know the joys of yanking a completed paper from a typewriter or hanging up on some jerk by slamming the phone onto its cradle. You’ll likewise never appreciate the power of a big steel flashlight slicing through the air. You poor bastards.

Yes, you can hit someone with a small light and cut the crap out of them. Some lights have edged crowns designed to turn them into opportunity weapons. The XT has something like an edged crown. But a small light just ain’t a big heavy one, and won’t
have the same effect in a bad situation. Still, this light is impressive as hell.

Asp Light XT DF specs

Here are the specs, from Asp’s website:

  • Lumens: 600 (high), 15, 60, 150 (programmable secondary)
  • Run Time: 3hr 30min
  • Beam Distance: 218m
  • Length: 6.25"
  • Diameter: 1.4"
  • Weight: 6.72 ounces (with batteries)

Accessories

Speaking of included accessories, Asp throws in a decent package with the XT. It comes with the aforementioned 12V adapter and micro USB cable plus a wall USB outlet, case for two CR123s, and zippered case. Asp also sent me a Kydex belt holster which does a pretty good job of securely holding the light for patrol work. Without the holster you can use the XT’s attached clip. But I have a bad feeling it would break if stuck on a duty belt under stress for any length of time.

Asp flashlight in kydex belt holster
XT DF Asp Light in Kydex belt holster. Photo courtesy of Chris Hernandez.
flashlight accessory package.
Asp throws in a decent accessories package with the XT. Photo courtesy of Chris Hernandez.

So there you have it. If you’re looking for a bright, dual fuel, durable, small, light, awesome light that comes with Asp quality and an included bag of goodies, you could do much worse than buying an XT. It’s only $171 over on Asp’s website, so have a look.


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Chris Hernandez

Chris Hernandez may just be the crustiest member of the eeeee-LITE writin’ team here at Breach-Bang-Clear. He is a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Army National Guard who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a veteran police officer of two decades who spent a long (and eye-opening) deployment as part of a UN police mission in Kosovo. He is the author of White Flags & Dropped Rifles – the Real Truth About Working With the French Army and The Military Within the Military as well as the modern military fiction novels Line in the Valley, Proof of Our Resolve and Safe From the War. When he isn’t groaning about a change in the weather and snacking on Osteo Bi-Flex he writes on his own blog.


Chris Hernandez has 113 posts and counting. See all posts by Chris Hernandez

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