LED Flashlights from Leapers/UTG Tactical – Gear Review

Send to Kindle
The ELF240 is a light made for either mounting on a rifle, or being a handheld. It boasts a good number of features and functions commonly seen on far more expensive lights.

This is everything you get with the ELF240, giving you a wealth of options with how to use it.

The smaller EL202R is a small light that mounts to any Picatinny rail with a cam lock system and gives a 150 lumen power light.

The EL202R comes with a pigtail pressure activated on/off switch. It is long enough with coiling to make is go where ever you need it to on the weapon.

Close up pf the cam-lock on the UTG light. It’s simple, reliable, and very sturdy. It can come off or be put on in a second.

The pistol-mounted ELP223Q is a 150 lumen light that attaches securely with the UTG cam-lock.

A close up of the cam-lock on the UTG pistol light. While it’s design makes it simple and rugged, it also makes it difficult to find a holster to fit both the gun and light.

The UTG pistol light uses this small paddles to activate the light, up for continuous on, push down for a momentary on-off.

UTG/Leapers LED Weapon Lights
http://www.leapers.com/led

By Brian Jensen

In the Law Enforcement Market, the weapon mounted light is pretty much standard. That’s because when you carry a gun for a living you owe it to yourself to have a light ready for things like searches of a dark room, etc, and it’s better to have that light mounted to your gun to keep your off-hand free. Weapon lights have also gained wide acceptance in the civilian world as well, but when you don’t depend on something for survival, it is difficult to spend over $300 for what is really just a flashlight.

What you may not know is that most law enforcement officers buy their own gear, and a lot of them have discovered that the UTG/Leapers lights are good enough. They may not be as bright as a SureFire or Streamlight, but they aren’t that bad either. A lot of LED patents expired in the early 2000s so we now have a host of new lights that don’t use an incandescant bulb but “Light Emitting Diodes” instead, or LEDs. They put out a tremendous amount of light at a fraction of the battery drain. One set of batteries in my new LED light outlasts five sets in my old incandescant light, and they don’t break as easily either. These new lights are now part and parcel of the tactical light world.

I have used a UTG/Leapers cope for years, and have found it to be solid and functional. I also had one of their older lights on my duty rifle, it was big, but bright. But better yet for my police department, it was cheap enough to buy them in bulk and outfit almost 100 staff with a light for their M-4. Now we are evaluating LED weapon lights, and for the money, the UTG/Leapers products are still a lot for the money.

Long Distance Spot Focus ELF240

After SHOT Show 2013, I received what UTG referred to as their Long Distance / Spot Focus light (model #ELF240) from UTG for testing and evaluation. It’s powered by two CR123 Lithium batteries, and uses an LED light that gives a 200 Lumen beam. The beam itself is unusual because it has a larger, almost “halo” portion that floods the close in area, and a focused beam that is a much more precise spot for distances. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never really seen anything like it.

It also has multi functions: bright (200 lumens), medium (100 Lumens), dim, (50 Lumens), a bright strobe function, and a pre-programmed strobe that does a Morse code “SOS” flash sequence to signal for help (extremely cool btw).

The light’s body is made of robust aluminum and is nicely finished in a businesslike black. The bell of the light is about 1 ¾ inches in diameter, and can be mounted to rails by a second body unit that has integral Picatinny mounts using a cam-lock. The ELF240 also comes with three tailcaps, two pressure switch ends, or a pigtail pressure switch to mount to a forward handle.

The light was easy to mount with the included mounting portion. The pressure portion of the pigtail was very easy to use. However, I think this light, with it’s weight and size are better suited as a hand-held light. It was extremely bright, and the focused portion of the beam made it work extremely well at distance. This would be an ideal hiking or survival kit light, with long lasting battery life of the CR123, the multiple functions and the dual-purpose beam. Additionally, were you to get lost, the light’s “SOS” flash would be an invaluable assistance to summon help. The beam’s brightness would be seen from a great distance, especially from something like a search aircraft.

A Smaller Rifle Light, EL202R

In addition, UTG sent me a copy of their EL202R light, which is a smaller LED light that uses a 150 lumen light. The light was noticeable smaller than the ELF240, but had the same solid aluminum construction and black finish. This unit came with only one body that has an integral mount that uses the same robust cam-lock that came with the ELF240. It mounts easily, and is very sturdy. It also had either a pressure switch and a pig tail on/off switch.

I mounted this to my M-4, and it has been on there for almost five months now. Once I mounted the light to the rail on my fore end, and secured the pigtail to my forward grip, it has not moved or even become loose. The pressure sensitivity of the pigtail switch is set up well enough that it’s not too easy to activate so it could accidentally turn on the light while in it’s case, but goes on naturally with the typical pressure used to hold the handle. The pigtail comes with a Velcro adhesive patch to mount it to your weapon. I tried to use this, but with the amount of handling the gun took going into and out of the case I opted for simple electrical tape.

While the EL202R is not as powerful as the earlier mentioned ELF240 light, it is plenty bright for most uses on your rifle. If you are clearing a room, I found that it lights it up perfectly, without being too bright to flash back and blind you when you’re inside a building with light colored walls. It’s not as adept at distance, but it’s far lighter than the other, larger ELF240, which in my opinion is a good trade off. That’s especially true if you are carrying the rifle at the ready for any length of time.

Pistol Mounted Light

Another light that seems almost standard today is the pistol-mounted light. These days, they are pretty-much everyday equipment on police weapons. I would ask however, if there any reason that the prudently armed civilian shouldn’t have one? If you are carrying a gun for protection, a light is a good option to have. Albeit, they don’t work on all CCW weapons, but when it’s possible they are a great tool to have with you.

I recently looked at the UTG entry into this market. It’s an all aluminum 150 Lumen LED, model ELP223Q. It’s similar in size to my old M3 I used to use, but far more powerful. The light is operated by an ambidextrous paddle switch that you can easily manipulate with your off-hand. The light is a powerful white/blue LED that is ample for most applications.

The light attaches to the standard handgun rail found on most modern combat weapons using a cam-lock lever system. This is a simple, reliable and quick method for mounting, or even removing a light. It is absolutely solid for a mounting. The bad news is the cam lever protrudes out to the left side of the light’s body, making it too big to mount into any of the usual mass produced platic or kydex holsters. I’m certain a custom one could be made, or a more flexible nylon one would work fine. Otherwise, it would serve excellently on a night stand gun.

Value:

The one thing I find in lights today from the big name manufacturers is that they are just darn expensive. I see pistol mounted lights over $100, and handhelds costing as much as gun in the $300-400 range. So one of the best qualities of the UTG models, or anything from UTG for that matter, is value. The big light, the ELF240, is around the $70 range, the EL202R in the $50 range, and the pistol mounted ELP223Q at somewhere just under $60. All of these are made of aircraft grade aluminum, quality finished, and functioned 100%.

Whether you need a serviceable light for work or home, UTG has continued to supply well made products at a value. These latest additions are a good option for the person who wants a light, but doesn’t want to spend a mint.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • researching flashlights January 24, 2014, 2:49 pm

    Thank you so much for all of this! There seems to be some spam in the comments though – it would be nice if it was cleared up 🙁

  • Prabal Chowdhury October 9, 2013, 3:04 am

    Great Job! I appreciate your writing. Thanks for your detail info. Here I would like to suggest a safety tool.
    Raptorlite -The World’s Brightest Tactical Flashlight
    A tactical flashlight could be your most effective weapon when it comes to self-defense. If you’re under attack, you don’t want to hesitate for a second and by using the world’s brightest tactical light you ensure you can identify the assailant immediately and take appropriate action.
    Raptorlite is no ordinary flashlight. Our tactical flashlights are used by law enforcement officers and military personnel who need to use the brightest lights available on their weapons. A gun with a mounted Raptorlite allows the user to see their target clearly, even in the darkest conditions, and aim with complete accuracy.
    Using a handgun in low light can be a recipe for disaster. Not only are you likely to miss your intended target, but you are also at risk of injuring anyone who may wander in front of your path if you cannot see clearly. The best tactical flashlights light up the area like daylight so you can see exactly what your gun is pointing at.
    A tactical flashlight – your first line of defense
    But Raptorlite tactical flashlights don’t have to be mounted to a gun in order to be a great tool for self-defense. Attackers generally don’t like to be seen and just shining this super bright light at them may be enough to deter opportunistic attacks.
    If you’re planning to be out in an area that is not well lit, it makes sense to carry one of our compact LED flashlights with you. We’ve all been in situations where we feel unsafe walking in the street at night and for good reason – most attacks happen under cover of darkness. You have less chance of being mugged if there are no shadowy areas for attackers to lurk in and as the world’s brightest tactical flashlight Raptorlite can illuminate half a mile in front of you.
    Another simple but effective function of the Raptorlite tactical light is its ability to dazzle would-be attackers. As your first line of defense, shining this insanely bright light into the assailant’s eyes will disorient them and cause them to lose their vision for a few seconds, allowing you to escape or raise the alarm.
    If it comes to it, you can also use our tactical flashlights as a weapon if you are attacked and have no other method of self-defense. The aggressive attack bezel can be used to strike an attacker in the face before he can make advances.
    What is the best tactical flashlight?
    Our flashlights are compact, making them easy to carry on your person. They’re also rechargeable so there is no risk of running out of batteries, rendering your flashlight useless. As the world’s brightest tactical flashlight, the Raptorlite is three times brighter than the nearest competitor and also the best value, at a price you’ll find hard to believe.
    When it comes to your safety, there is really no excuse to settle for anything less than the best. By choosing a Raptorlite tactical LED flashlight, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are fully prepared in case of attack.
    For detail information Please go http://www.raptorlite.com

  • Alan May 24, 2013, 9:23 am

    While I’ve never used a UTG light, I have run a dozen other units over the past several years. I have several Surefire lights with dead bulbs that I haven’t gotten around to replacing. I have had at least 4 Streamlight LED lights die with 6~9 months of regular use. On the bright side, Streamlight’s replaced every single one without blinking. I just have to get the light to a warranty service center, and they’ve sent me a new one in the mail within a week every time.

    I’ve tried a half-dozen of the cheap, chinese knock-off lights from Ultra-fire/Trustfire, and every single one has failed within 4 weeks of regular use. (Granted, I use my light almost every day, for 15 min to 2~3 hrs, but I don’t generally drop it or hit things with it.)

    The XM-L led series is incredible. My current light is a $75 Fenix PD-32UE, 740 lumen, limited lifetime guarantee, and it’s running on an 18650 li-ion battery cell I pulled out of an old Dell laptop that had died. I get several hours of use out of the battery, and I was able to get 12 good Li-ion battery cells from one dead laptop. Should be enough batteries to last me for years, and when they start to wear out all I have to do is find another dead laptop. Or, in an emergency, I can also use 2 CR-123 batteries if I’m away from my charger and don’t have a spare 18650 handy. From reviews and spec-sheets, EagleTac looks promising. They have a new unit that gives over a thousand Lumens & can run on 18650 cells or CR-123’s, but it’s also $110. Just a bit too rich for my blood — I’ll settle with my Fenix, for now.

  • Matt May 22, 2013, 4:17 pm

    If you want Walmart quality buy leepers/UTG. I stick with steamlight. Being able to buy parts at the uniform shop. And any warranty work is done while you wait.i have ran over my steamlight by accident. Only to have a new flashlight sent to me free of charge. Pro grade tools. For professionals !

  • Paul Walraven May 21, 2013, 7:02 pm

    I too have made the mistake of investing in UTG crap. There seems to be a pattern with the product reviewers at Guns America. I believe Brian Jensen and others product testers at Guns America must be taking some grease money because most of the equipment that people would depend on for their life has been given positive recommendations by Guns America and it turns out to be worthless junk. It would be nice for once if you could trust the integrity of an organization that claims to be on your side and giving you honest information to do just that. At least you can still trust the reviews put out by the NRA. They don’t stand behind any products that have not been thoroughly tested and checked out and if they say it is worth your hard earned money, it’s the truth.

  • Peacekeeper May 20, 2013, 11:27 pm

    Please delete my first non-spellchecked review.

    I for one will tell you UTG/Leppers products are crap, any warranty they have is crap and you are a dunce if you rely on their crap to defend your life or others. Am I jaded? Yes, I am. One of their Green Laser sights came as a extra with my M-4 when I bought it a couple years ago. I wouldn’t have minded if the dang thing had broken due to a wiring issue, the cord or even the screw on ends of the sight. But what broke on it was a weld on the shaft, something that didn’t turn or have any use at all. It had never been dropped, dinged or dented and since I had bought it, it had sat mounted in my padded nylon rifle case for two years. When I pulled it out, of the case, the dang thing fell apart and when I called UTG they told me to send pictures of it, then told me there was nothing they could do. Really UTG, your product breaks with no use and you can do nothing? You have aluminum housings for your laser sights just falling apart and you can’t do anything? How about warning your customers… “This Product may fall apart if stored for over 2 years without use.” The least they could do was send me another one. Nope. I will never buy their products and as a firearms instructor, I now warn all my students to stay away from their crap also. UTG- Untrustworthy Tactical Gear.

  • meeester May 20, 2013, 1:55 pm

    seriously? getting excited about a 200 lumen light. Welcome to 2005.
    Use a light with an XML led and you won’t even buy batteries for your 200 lumen lights anymore. You can get some great lights for under$30 in the 1000 to 1300 lumen range. The driver and reflectrr options for an XML light allow you to customize the interface with your light so you can have a flood or spot with multiple brightness levels and options for strobe that sometimes includes a very useful ‘disorienting strobe’.

  • FC1(SW)PAPPYS May 20, 2013, 12:29 pm

    I apologize but if you want to use UTG that’s fine! I use coast products, like the PX25, and I can see further than it says it can, i.e. 200 yards vie a 140 yards it says it can! MORE LIGHT FURTHER AWAY!
    You go out camping and try your UTG light to my COAST light and your UTG will lose!
    I will grant you one thing about the UTG, it is easier mounting unit.
    I will grant one thing about Coast, it has a ”LIFE TIME GUARANTEE”
    I will risk my life with Coast, if want to risk your life with UTG, then again I apologize about your future!
    Have a good day and be safe!

  • John May 20, 2013, 12:09 pm

    I’ll pay the money for my SureFires any day!

  • Brian Jensen May 20, 2013, 10:17 am

    bigJ,

    Respectfully, that has not been my experience. At my police department we have a lot of UTG gear being used on duty, and have had few failures, if any that I can recall. In addition, if your UTG failed, I suggest you call them, they have some pretty decent warranties (depending on the gear) and I would give them a chance to make it right before you throw them under the bus here…just my respectful 2 cents. Quality gear does not necessarily mean “name brand” or “expensive” there are times when you find something of quality that is neither expensive or from the usual high end supplies…

  • bigJ May 20, 2013, 9:04 am

    ANYTHING that your life could be dependent on should be the best quality and Leapers UTG products are NOT something to rely on for life and death situations – PERIOD! They are good for airsoft and hog hunting but relying on this company’s lights for any real life tactical situation is pure stupidity.

    Your light is as important as your gun unless you are using nvg equipment. Every light and laser I ever had from UTG failed in the first use!

    • gregg January 30, 2017, 1:02 pm

      With all due respect bigj I really don’t think you know what you are talking about. Leapers UTG products are used all across this country by local and state police and even by some military. As far your comment that shotgun light is just as important as the weapon is ludicrous. It sounds to me that your a competitor of Leapers. You should stick with playing with your BB gun.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend