by Bill C. for webBikeWorld.com
Our own "Texas Joe" -- that all-around handyman, mechanic, vintage motorcycle restorer, V6 Moto Guzzi inventor and chicken-fried steak eatin' occasional contributor -- sent over a batch of the new Bayco Nightstick flashlights for a look-see.
The Nightstick is an interesting new type of LED flashlight that was designed with motorcyclists in mind.
As it turns out, it's pretty handy for that purpose.
Although the motorcycle market may be new to Bayco, the company has been making some very unique lighting solutions.
These include LED flashlights for serious use for the aerospace, military, police, fire and rescue markets, the petroleum and marine industries and others.
Each of their LED flashlight products is tailored to the particular needs of that industry.
For example, Bayco also makes LED work lights that are designed for professional use in auto repair and maintenance shops and how about their explosion-proof LED flashlights for use in the munitions industry?
I wonder who gets to be the first to test out a new design??
Some of their flashlights are rechargeable and they even make large shop lights that mount on a stand.
The Nightstick LED flashlight shown here is their new 1100 Series, which represents a "trickle down" approach by using the technology from the professional flashlights and putting in a smaller, lighter and less expensive package suitable for motorcycle use.
The Nightstick LED flashlight also works very well for personal use, and, in fact, I'm told that some law enforcement and rescue personnel keep an 1100 Series Nightstick on hand as a backup, "just in case".
The Nightstick 1100 Series is currently available in four different sizes, shown in their original packages above and in the photos below.
"And what", you might ask "is so special about the Nightstick?" Good question!
The Nightstick is not your typical metal tube-like flashlight.
Each flashlight in the 1100 Series shown here has an oval cross section and they are made from a type of plastic, with a matte black, soft-touch "rubberized" surface finish that offers good grip and, as Bayco claims, definitely feels warmer (and more tactile) than a typical cold metal flashlight tube in the winter!
The two smaller Nightsticks, the 1106 and 1112 (111 mm/4-3/8" and 175 mm/6-7/8") include a removable pocket clip. I've found the shorter 1106 to be a perfect size to carry in a top shirt pocket or motorcycle jacket pocket.
But any of the Nightsticks are sized to fit somewhere on you motorcycle, either in a pocket or tank bag or tool kit.
Each Nightstick comes with a lanyard, which can be seen in the photo below.
It can be attached (with difficulty) to the end of the Nightstick so the flashlight can be worn around the neck, which is actually, as I've discovered, very handy for working around the bike because the light is always nearby.
Getting the lanyard on the Nightstick is slightly difficult; the cord must be pushed through a very tiny hole in the battery cover, as you can see in the photo below. I used the tip of a paper clip to push the cord through.
It appears that the lanyard holes on each of the four Nightsticks shown here lost some of their diameter after the surface coating was applied.
Not a big deal, and now that you know how to shove the cord through with a small paper clip, you should be OK.
The only other quirk here is that the lanyard hole is on the battery cover, which could work the cover loose in theory.
It hasn't happened to me and, in fact, the covers seem pretty secure and at only 59 and 96 grams for the 1106 and 1112, there probably isn't enough weight to cause a problem.
Bayco doesn't skimp on the batteries either, supplying nice Energizer AAA's with each Nightstick.
I used the information Bayco sent to create the table above, and you can see that each Nightstick should provide hours of illumination -- one of the great benefits of LEDs, which need very little power to do their thing.
The batteries, in fact, weigh about as much as the Nightstick itself.
The oval shape is easy to hold and helps flatten the flashlight slightly, which can make them fit in places other round flashlights with large heads may not.
So I still haven't answered the question about what makes the Nightstick so different. Well, in addition to the LED flashlight end that you'd expect on a flashlight, the Nightstick has a "floodlight" function also.
Notice in the photo below that each Nightstick has a second set of LEDs on the "flat" part of the oval, opposite the button on/off switch, which is located on the back side.
Here's a photo, with a Paper Mate "Clickster" pencil and the Gordon LED flashlight (review) thrown in for comparison:
Each Nightstick has this "floodlight" capability by virtue of these side-mounted LEDs (see the table above for the specifications).
The idea is that you can use either the LED at the tip of the Nightstick as a traditional flashlight, or use the array of LEDs on the side as a floodlight, or both.
The floodlight capability comes in very handy, because when you're working on a motorcycle or searching for a part or item in a tank bag or side bag or top box at night on a road trip, the floodlight illuminates a larger surface area over a wider distance.
When both the front LED flashlight and the floodlights are turned on, the Nightstick is ideal for illuminating a walk to the camp through the dark woods, on a path at night or elsewhere.
Bayco says that the floodlight makes it easier to see close up, because the solid "pencil" style beam of a flashlight can create too much contrast between the light and dark regions, making it more difficult to see because the brightness causes the iris in the eye to stop down.
The smallest Nightstick, the 1106, uses four LEDs in the front, while the others have one of those single, high-powered LEDs. Each is surrounded by a reflector and covered by a clear plastic lens.
The Nightstick floodlights vary, with the two outer rows having a broader illumination pattern than the center row, according to Bayco. This spreads the light to help eliminate any hot spots.
Bayco also claims that the LEDs used in the Nightstick have a rated life of 35,000+ hours and that the LEDs have a light "temperature" of 6,500K, which is a color somewhat like the "white" light of noon sunlight (around 5,500K).
I've also found that I can clip the smaller Nightsticks on to the outside of my shirt pocket or the top front pocket on the Carhartt jacket I use in the garage.
The pocket clip slides off the end of the 1106 and 1112 Nightstick, and the only downside is that the pocket clip covers the on/off switch on the 1106 Nightstick, illustrated in the photo above.
I guess Bayco wanted to locate the button under the thumb, which would be the natural location when using the Nightstick in dual-light mode for walking because the floodlight would be pointed forward and down.
If the button had been placed on the front side of the 1106 however, it wouldn't be covered by the clip.
This isn't a problem on the 1124 (202 mm / 7-15/16") and 1136 (227 mm / 8-15/16" ) Nightsticks because they don't have a clip.
As it happens, the on/off button on the 1112 Nightstick (175 mm / 6-7/8") can be located directly under the bend in the pocket clip.
So the light can be switched on and off by pressing on the clip itself, although I'm not sure if this is the recommended procedure.
I can also hang a Nightstick around my neck with the lanyard and then clip it to my shirt placket, so when I turn on the floodlight it illuminates the work in front of me. Nice.
Each Nightstick does a good job of lighting the work surface or area, and I'd have to say these are probably about the handiest type of LED flashlight I've found for motorcycle use.
They're not the brightest LED spotlight I've found; the Gordon LED still is the spotlight champ and it's also waterproof.
But the Gordon has to be held pointed at the work surface and it has a very tight beam when compared to the floodlight or combination light of the Nightstick. The Gordon is also heavier.
So if you're looking for a unique LED flashlight that's easy to use, is a descendant of a patented type of flashlight used by professionals and that can be easily hidden or stored in the tight confines of a motorcycle, I can recommend the Nightstick as a useful and reasonably priced solution.
|wBW Review: Bayco Nightstick 1100 Series LED Flashlight|
|Manufacturer: Nightstick (Manufacturer is Bayco Products)||List Price: $14.95 to $29.95|
|Colors: Black "Soft Touch" tactile finish.||Made In: China|
|Review Date: December 2008|