Optical Dynamics Reinvents the Flashlight with Stunning Results

The floor of SHOT Show isn’t exceptionally well lit. Most of the big gun companies want to tailor their lighting to their booths, and spend a fortune on lighting design. In one corner of the Umarex booth, though, was Optical Dynamics. That space was, as they say, lit.

If you have yet to see the EXUDE, you’re in for a bit of an epiphany. These are not your average flashlights. In fact Optical Dynamics isn’t even calling them flashlights. The EXUDE, they say, is an illuminator. Or two, really, as there are now two sizes.

What makes this a illuminator instead of a flashlight requires some explanation. A flashlight, traditionally, uses a light source in combination with some reflective surfaces that help shape the light’s beam. This process of reflection is never as efficient as simple light production, but it is what keeps the light focused at modest distances. In this way, a small light can illuminate a small area, and that’s how we’ve come to think of the flashlight.

The EXUDE doesn’t rely on reflectors. The light uses a patented “Collimated Amplified Lens System (CALS). The CALS is places the light behind four lenses. Each lens focuses the beam more tightly. Think about how a magnifying glass focuses the sun’s rays. It is a similar process with the CALS.

Up close, you may only see two differences. The first is that the edges of the light field are incredibly crisp. There’s very little spill from this light. The second would be the intensity of the white light. Here’s a pro-tip for you; don’t look at the business end of the EXUDE. You can thank me later.

Where the EXUDE really shines is at extended distances. Optical Dynamics calls their system “Direct Projection.” The EXUDE pushes light directly, without reflection, without spill. It is very much like a spotlight you might find in a theater, only much smaller.

And this light is just as capable of illuminating objects at 400 yards as it is at 100 yards, or 25 yards. As someone who works in the gun industry, I’ve run my share of weapon lights and tactical flashlights. Nothing comes anywhere close to providing the potential at long distances.

The last benefit, one that Optical Dynamics has been talking a lot about lately, is the light’s ability to produce light in its “natural wavelength.” This, they say, means it is less likely to spook animals. I’ve yet to try this out myself, but it would open up huge possibilities for long-range predator hunters.

The EXUDE Illuminator OD-40 uses a CREE XL2 LED. This smaller version maxes out just under 250 yards. It retails for $149.99.

The EXUDE OD-50 is soon to be released. It is a bit larger, of course, but kicks light out to 400 yards. The MSRP on it will be $279.99.