All too often, “innovation” in the flashlight industry is nothing more than adding overly complicated switches or dubious features to lights that should be easy to operate in dangerous situations. Sometimes, a company will offer a light with an actual improvement over prior designs.
Enter the Nightstick NSR-9944XL flashlight. Bayco Products designed the light with a secondary flood light mounted at a 90˚ angle to the main light. I don’t know if Bayco is the first company to offer two lights on the same body, but this is the first flashlight I have tested with this configuration.
So, is it innovation or a gimmick?
That question, along with all of the ‘normal’ aspects of a tactical light, is what I investigate in this Nightstick NSR-9944XL review.
Feel free to skip to the most interesting sections using the Page Navigation menu on the right. Also, I summarize some of my findings below:
The Nightstick NSR-9944XL is described by Bayco as a “duty/personal-size Dual-Light flashlight.” It is too large to carry in a pocket, but is smaller and lighter than the ubiquitous Maglite 3 cell lights that were very popular during the past 20 or so years.
This is a rechargeable light that is charged when inserted into a sleeve that is similar to the one used by Streamlight on the SL-20L. The charging sleeve can be mounted virtually anywhere. Charging cables for both AC (common house outlets) and DC (12v car) are included in the light kit.
Bayco uses a 3.7v lithium-ion battery that is rated for 4,400 mAh. This battery is roughly twice as long as an 18650 battery.
The main light is rated for 650 lumens of total light output on the high level. It is also reported as having a peak beam intensity of 18,675 candela with a beam distance of 275 meters. Two lower levels (300 lumens and 150 lumens) are also accessible.
There is also a secondary light on the side of the flashlight head. This 200 lumen LED provides a flood pattern of light that is good for navigation, changing a tire or reading documents. It provides light at roughly a 90˚ angle from the main light. Both the main and secondary lights can be activated at the same time.
Bayco uses 6061-T6 aluminum for the body, head and tailcap. If you are not familiar, 6061-T6 is a heat treated aluminum that is used in a variety of tools and products including some AR-15 rifles. Many flashlights using 6061 aluminum are not using the tempered -T6 variety.
A Type III hard coat anodized finish is used by Bayco for increased resistance to daily wear and tear. True Type III anodizing is a rare thing to find on a flashlight.
The body of the NSR-9944XL has a machined texture that could be described as a grenade grip. It definitely seems to work well, even when my hands are wet.
This light is designed to be impact resistant to 2 meters and waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
There are three click switches on the NSR-9944XL. That might sound like a recipe for confusion, but I found that they were pretty easy and intuitive to work with.
On the tailcap is a large, rubber covered switch. The switch is slightly recessed into the cap to protect it against accidental activation. A partial press activates the main light on high for as long as the press is held. A full click turns the light on in high mode.
A rapid double click of the tail switch activates the light in the strobe mode. Fully pressing the switch in and holding it allows it to rotate through the modes (high – medium – low.) When you get to the mode you want, release the switch and it will stay on in the selected mode.
After turning the light off from any mode, it will always default back to the high output level.
There are two switches on the head of the light. Both are slightly recessed to reduce the possibility of unintentional activation. The switch closest to the lens end of the light activates the main light in the same manner as the tail switch.
The second switch activates the flood light. This switch is a simple click on/click off mechanism. There are no modes to select.
For me, I found the light was easiest to use by grasping the head and using the head mounted switch to run the main light. The NSR-9944XL is a bit too long for me to comfortably use it as I would a smaller flashlight like the Streamlight Strion LED HL. Anyone used to running a full size flashlight will likely feel comfortable using many of the same techniques with this light even though it isn’t as long or as heavy.
Long time readers of the site know that I always suggest taking flashlight specifications with a huge grain of salt. Even when using the FL 1 standard, there are ways to game the system. Also, some companies claim to follow the standard, but may be fudging the numbers anyway.
Only independent testing can tell you what you can really expect from a light. That’s what I strive to provide.
Unfortunately, I do not have the money to invest in a scientific testing lab. However, I am able to approximate many of the same evaluations that you would expect to be done in an FL 1 certification. Hopefully, by providing the results of my testing and measurements, you will be better informed when making a purchase decision.
On the high output level, the NSR-9944XL has a tight center beam (note the fairly high 18,675 candela measurement) with enough spill to illuminate things in the periphery at close ranges.
Great, but what does that look like?
Below is a comparison of the light to ambient lighting on a moonless night. The camera settings were identical from shot to shot, as was the target distance of 25 feet. You can drag the slider left and right to compare the two photos.
For an idea of how important beam characteristics can be, compare the two photos below. The image on the left side (move the slider to the right to fully expose) is from the Nightstick flashlight. The one on the right (move the slider to the left to fully reveal) is from the ExtremeBeam M4 flashlight.
You can see in the above photos that a bright spot is very good for illuminating a potential threat. However, it should also be obvious that having adequate spill is also important for spotting additional threats.
Output Over Time
The total amount of light produced by a light is expressed in lumens. However, only the peak lumen measurement is reported on the package of most flashlights. For me, the important measurement is the one not usually provided by a manufacturer: performance over time.
Yes, run times are listed by most manufacturers, but this number is not what you might think it is. The run time is most frequently calculated as the time it takes for a flashlight to discharge from peak output to 10% output. In other words, when a package says 500 lumens and a one hour run time, it most likely does not mean the flashlight will produce 500 lumens for one hour.
Rather, it is very possible that the light will offer a peak output of 500 lumens one minute into the test with the remaining 59 minutes at a mere 51 lumens of output. I suspect that most of you would be disappointed with that level of performance.
To measure output over time, I built an integrating sphere. While my sphere does not rise to the level of a scientific instrument, it does offer a look at how much light is produced over time. It does not measure lumens, just output relative to its peak over time.
Generally, I’ve found my integrating sphere to be reliable for showing relative output over time.
For the Nightstick NSR-9944XL flashlight, I recorded the following performance curve:
Based on my own observations, I believe that a 50% drop in output is a much more reasonable run time than a 90% drop. I suspect most people will swap the batteries in a light long before output drops all the way down to 10%. Therefore, I like to look at the 50% output level as being a much more accurate runtime for comparisons between lights.
In the case of the Nightstick NSR-9944XL, the 50% run time goes to 2 hours 36 minutes. Compared to all of the flashlights I have tested, this is excellent. If I assume that the company’s stated output of 650 lumens is accurate (and I see no reason why it is not,) that means I am still getting more than 325 lumens of total light output at 2.5 hours into its use.
For the sake of comparison, the original Surefire 6P flashlight – a light that some say revolutionized the tactical flashlight market – was only rated for 65 lumens.
For a high output flashlight, the heat generated is not unreasonable. I’ve tested some lights that spike in excess of 140˚ F. This light got very warm, but did not hit 120˚ F on the surface.
While this is definitely warm, and may be uncomfortable to hold, it isn’t going to burn your hand. If you are working with gloves on, the heat isn’t likely to bother you at all.
Bayco states this flashlight is rated to withstand drops of 2 meters. I’ve found that many of the flashlights that claim to be 2 meter resistant, fail in my drop test.
In my testing, I drop the flashlight onto cured concrete from the distance specified by the manufacturer. I drop the flashlight six times – one on each side if you imagine the light as a cube. This is similar to the FL-1 testing, though not as stringent. FL-1 testing requires multiple lights to pass the test whereas I only test one.
The NSR-9944XL passed this test, and looked like it could stand up to a lot more abuse without failing.
The body of the light took the brunt of the force on each drop. Considering it was falling from a distance greater than 6 feet onto hard concrete, I was impressed by how well the finish held up. There was some minor damage to the finish, but nothing that impacted performance at all.
The main lens was completely undamaged, and the main light activated without any problems. The lens of the secondary light is flush with the body, so it did take some damage. From what I could tell, the damage was purely cosmetic as the light worked just as well after the testing as it did before the first drop.
Kudos to Bayco for making a solid light that can stand up to some abuse.
The water resistance testing is pretty straightforward. After the drop test, I submerge the light at the manufacturer specified depth for the specified time. In this case, it was 1 meter for 30 minutes.
With a measured length of paracord, I suspended the NSR-9944XL at a 1 meter depth in my pool. After 35 minutes, I removed the light and checked for function and water intrusion.
The light worked perfectly. When I disassembled the light, there were no signs of water intrusion. I couldn’t ask for more.
Although I had some doubts going into this review, I wound up impressed by this light. My prior testing of the Nightstick MT-210 showed a less than stellar run time. However, this light had a very good performance curve with more than two hours of burn time above 50% of peak output. Compared to other lights, this is extremely good.
More than the run time, the light also proved itself in other ways. The impact resistance was very good as was the water resistance. Also, the secondary light proved to be a really useful addition.
For a work light or home protection light, I think the NSR-9944XL performs admirably. If you need a light for law enforcement duties, I think this light may also serve well in this realm. You need to make sure that you find an adequate belt holster, but in all other respects, the light appears ready to serve.
If this light interests you, you can buy it by clicking here which helps support me and my family.
This light was provided by the manufacturer specifically for review. No promises were offered or sought for a positive review. No money or anything of value was offered or solicited in exchange for this review.
In fact, I previously reviewed the Nightstick MT-210 and was critical of several aspects of that flashlight. That light is also made by Bayco Products.
Bayco is not an advertiser, nor am I in any discussions with them to be one.
I do not I have any financial interests in any firearms, flashlights or outdoors companies.
The light exceeded my expectations in durability and run time. It provides an exceptional amount of light from the main light with a great flood-style task light built into the side. Additionally, it passed the multiple 2 meter drop onto concrete and the 30 minute submersion testing.
I recommend this light for a wide range of uses including as a general purpose flashlight, work light, home defense flashlight and as a law enforcement duty light. If you think this light may work for your needs, you can buy it by clicking this link.