Spotlight Shifter 1.0 LED Torch/Flashlight Review

In the  1990s for me there was only one EDC (Every Day Carry) flashlight, and that was the Mini Maglite AA.  Its small size, aluminum construction, adjustable spot to flood light beam,  ruggedness, water resistance, candle mode, and spare bulb in tail made this so versatile for me. From in my toolkit for work, to camping and bushwalking, to just around the house, it really was a useful flashlight. Jump forward to the current day, and the advancement in LEDs has resulted in brighter and longer running flashlights in much smaller packages. In some ways, to me, the Shifter 1.0 from 12vSpotlight is the modern-day equivalent of my Mini Mag. Read on after the break for my review.

Packaging

The Shifter 1.0 is packaged in your standard hanging blister pack.  Now I must admit I’m not a big fan of the blister pack, especially when you need to open it :)  A quick slice with my Leatherman Squirt PS4 down the plastic fixed this one. Note that there is also a Shifter 2.0 that takes 2 X AAA and as such is brighter and has a longer run-time. For the rest of this article I’ll just refer to the Shifter 1.0 reviewed as the Shifter :)

Size

Here’s a quick size comparison between my Mini Mag AA and the Shifter.  You can see that the Shifter is substantially smaller and lighter, measuring approximately 10 X 1.5 cm (4 X .6 in) and weighing at a measly 35 g (1.2 oz).

The Shifter is powered by a single AAA battery, and one is included in the pack with an insulator to stop it being turned on during shipping. The battery is inserted by removing the tailcap, which has an o-ring around the thread to allow for water resistance (IPX4).  The pen clip is removable, which is good as there are times when you don’t want or require it. Run time is indicated as 3 hours. The flashlight is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and if you don’t like basic black then the Shifter is available in a number of  different colours.  Spotlight offers a lifetime guarantee.

Spot to Flood

The front twists to allow you to change the beam from spot to flood, and the packaging indicates that it has a 6 to 1 flood ratio. There’s  knurling on the body and the head  for grip, and it’s easy to twist the head for variable beam even one handed. It’s easy to turn, though not sloppy enough to be turned by accident.  The Shifter uses a  proprietary reflector lens system (RLS™).  The ANSI FL 1 ratings supplied by 12VSpotlight on the packaging claims a Lumen Rating of 80 and a Range of 60 M.  Much is the pity I don’t have the equipment needed to test the accuracy of the indicated ratings.

There’s a multi-function switch assembly on the back. A press turns the flashlight on, and then a quick double-click changes between high, low and strobe mode. At first I did find the mode changing a bit finicky at times, but after while it get’s easier. It’s worth noting that there’s no actual instructions either on the packaging or the web site as to how the different modes work.  Luckily I’ve played with other multi-mode lights before. :)

There’s no memory function to remember the mode it was in the last time you turned it off, so it always turns itself back on into high mode. There’s a small hard tether point on the cap for a wrist strap or split-ring. The button protrudes pass the back of the tailcap, so you can’t tail stand this torch.

Beam Shots

(Click on for larger images)

High Beam Spot vs Low Beam Spot

High and Low beam spot comparison looking down my hallway, probably about 6 metres (18 feet). Nice tight and concentrated beam. Colour is nice and white, no colour tinges to it.

High Beam Flood vs Low Beam Flood

High and Low beam flood comparison looking down my hallway.  Good even light across the beam.

The potted plant on the deck is probably about 10+ metres (30 feet) away from the flashlight, and you can see that the high spot nicely lights it up.  At this sort of distance, while the flood works, it wasn’t possible for me to get a good photo.

Conclusion

The Shifter 1.0 is a great little torch. It’s small and lightweight and can easily be thrown in your gadget bag or pocket for those times when you need that extra little bit of  light.  The spot to beam function works well and can easily be changed depending on what situation you find yourself in.  Coupled with the high and low mode, this is a very versatile flashlight.

Because of the wide variety of flashlights these days in regards to size, power and price  you don’t have to find and carry just a single EDC light for all purposes these days, but the Shifter 1.0 has found a permanent place as my gadget bag EDC.

 

Product Information

Price:$39.95
Manufacturer:12VSpotlght
Pros:
  • Small and lightweight
  • Spot to flood function is good
  • 2 useful brightness modes (Has anyone ever used strobe? :) )
  • Good battery life
  • Lifetime Guarantee
Cons:
  • No mode memory when turned off
  • Doesn't tail stand
Posted in: Outdoor Gear, Pocket Gear, Reviews

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • mick September 11, 2012, 2:11 am

    i just bought the shifter 1.0 and 2.0 the usb charger, spark , ipod -iphone , and 2 clips for turbo and rescue , the last one is a torch + strobe like the shifter . i have got other gear from spotlight and i have found that they are great plus other people have asked me for anyone of my tourches and some of them have recieved a tourch from me .

  • Ian Lim September 11, 2012, 6:33 pm

    @Mick – They seem make a really good range of personal carry flashlights. Much is the pity they didn’t send me the Rescue, looks like it would be useful as a more powerful version of the Turbo. And as for the Spark…watch this space :)

  • Joe March 13, 2013, 2:03 pm

    This is a great light, one of my backpacking colleagues used to carry one. For its size it really did put out a lot of light, and was lightweight. At the time I thought there were better lights for the price though – I think it was $40

  • Hector Duarte April 8, 2014, 11:03 am

    Got a shifter 1.0 in Riyadh Saudi Arabia and love it great for Aviation wish I could get one in bright orange anyone know where I can order one in the USA?

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