Preview: Cloud Defensive Optimized Weapon Light
When it comes to weapon mounted lights, typically the simplest layout is the best, and Cloud Defensive offers a contender in the Optimized Weapon Light (OWL). The Owl is unique compared to other weapon lights on the market in that it has an offset Picatinny rail mount and a pressure pad built into the main body. Other traditional lights typically require aftermarket mounts, pads and connecting wires to achieve the same result. Since its release in 2019, it has stood out for its utility on tactical and home-defense rifles, pistols or short-barreled rifles.
The OWL is comprised of three separate components, the head, body and tail. All three segments have shells made of machined aerospace aluminum with a hardcoat anodized finish. The body contains the battery storage, connection sockets for head and tail segments, a built-in pressure pad, and a Picatinny mount. The mount can be tightened and loosened with a built-in tool on the end cap of the tail, which can also function as a tool to replace the lamp glass if it breaks. The pressure pad is sensitive along its entire length and can be used for momentary and constant light activation.
Inside the head portion of the OWL are LEDs that produce an estimated output of 1,250 lumens with 50,000 candela. The LEDs used by Cloud Defensive are warmer than those found from other manufacturers, which it claims to penetrate photonics barriers better as well as being more recognizable to the human eye. The high lumen output, coupled with the candela throw, means that the OWL can reach out to several hundred yards with useable light on target.
The OWL uses only 18650 30Q rechargeable batteries, which gives it a useable life up to eight hours, depending on the battery used. Each OWL comes with two batteries and a charger. One battery has a higher output with less run time, while the other has less output for more run time. Along with the OWL’s tough exterior, the internals are also designed to meet ANSI/PLATO FL-1 standards for shockproof resistance. It is also IPX8 rated for water submersion of 200 ft. for up to 24 hours.
The OWL is friendly to ambidextrous users, as the pad can be easily reached and activated from the strong and weak sides. It is also reversible by swapping the head and tail segments for predominantly left-handed users. It also comes with a lifetime warranty from Cloud Defensive, and is available in several different colors including olive drab, flat dark earth, black, and Multicam black. The Cloud Defensive OWL has a suggested retail price of $400, depending on the color selection. For more information on the Cloud Defensive Optimized Weapon Light, visit clouddefensive.com.
Article by American Rifleman Staff