Have you ever been blinded by an oncoming car equipped with high-intensity discharge headlights? Think of that same dazzling light coming from a handheld flashlight that’s just slightly bigger than a conventional model powered by a couple of D cells. With a 3,500-lumen bulb, the Warrior III is literally a miniature search light.
All that power requires a hefty 3,000 mAh lithium-polymer rechargeable battery, and you’ll drain it dry in less than an hour. HID flashlights put LED models to shame in terms of candle power, but they have limitations, with slow startup being the most noticeable. From dead cold, the Warrior III takes about 25 seconds to reach full brightness. Yes, you get light the instant you press the tail switch, but it ramps slowly. The light’s color temperature—7,000 Kelvin—is also a bit on the cold side.
The Warrior III is compact, but very heavy, tipping the scales at 28 ounces. And the absence of any knurling could contribute to a broken HID lamp should you drop it. Cha-ching! A replacement HID will set you back a cool $100. Unlike LED models, which offer low-power settings for extended battery life, an HID delivers full power or nothing. Still, measured in terms of output-per-buck, the Warrior III is hard to beat.
For more info on flashlight tech, read our online primer.