SOG Dark Energy 214 Review: A Fistful Of Daylight

Your toes are not sonar. Rather than pick your way through a darkened room by smashing them into every obstacle in your way, bring a torch. The Dark Energy 214 from SOG is bright enough to light any path, and it's small enough to take everywhere.

What Is It?

A blindingly bright palm-size torch.

Who's it For?

Vampire hunters, spelunkers and anyone who lacks cat-like night vision.

Design

It's under four inches long and weighs 85 grams. The high-output LED bulb is protected by a waterproof, shockproof, machined aluminium case.

Using It

A half-press on the on/off switch cycles it from full output, to 40 per cent output, to full power strobe. (You know what a full press does.)

The Best Part

The confounded look on marsupials' faces when a midnight bin raid suddenly turns into high noon sunshine.

Tragic Flaw

This thing blows through power on full brightness. Bring plenty of spare batteries.

This Is Weird...

Every edge is sharp enough to scrape your knuckles off. It's designed to stay inside a pants pocket, but you'll quickly learn not to reach past it to fish out change.

Test Notes

  • The integrated clip fits snugly on a belt or the inside of a pocket lip
  • There's no way to adjust the beam spread

Should You Buy It?

The SOG is definitely a premium torch. There are definitely less expensive models with equivalent light outputs, but you'll be hard-pressed to find one as rugged and durable as the Dark Energy 214. Do you need a really bright, really tough torch? This one does the job well.

SOG Dark Energy 214

• Length: 3.8 inches • Weight: 85g • Body: 6061-T6 aluminium • Run time: 80 minutes (high), 180 minutes (low) • Max output: 214 Lumens • Battery: CR123A • Bulb:R5 LED • Price: $US105 RRP (distributed by NIOA in Australia)


Comments

    Cool, how about one photo in the dark?

    hmmm....my cygolite expilion at 250 lumens for around the same size must pale in comparison to this (the newer models output at 350, 410 and 500 lumens) plus it also lasts for around 3 hours at full power!

    What a piece of crap.

      Now there a thought provoking reply.

    Where was this thread when i was looking for a torch a month ago?? Haha. I looked high and low and ended up settling on a rechargable Led Lenser. I'm happy with it but would have liked to been this informed. What you guys use these torches for anywho? Why isn't a good old Dolphin sufficient? I'm a Diesel fitter so mine helps making finding leaks on machines at 2am easier. Love my torch.

      Go to http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/content.php for answers Like.

    I have a Lezyne headlight for my bicycle that's good for 450 lumens and cost me $120 from a bike shop. Its a bit longer than this but it has a removable Li-Ion battery that charges via USB.

    Meh. You can get high-powered LED torches for cheap cheap cheap from various online 'shops'. One in particular even has free postage to Aus. They might not be as well machined as this etc but you can't argue with the price.

      I have quite a few of these from those online shops and the quality is absolutely fine. They get bashed and dropped now and again and stand up to the abuse quite happily. However, the first time you get a powerful LED torch, don't think "I wonder how bright it really is" and point it at your face. The answer is VERY BRIGHT. Don't ask me how I know.

        Yep, I've bought 6 or so CREE torches and only got one dud. At $12 a pop, I'm still in front compared to buying just one of the torches in this story. The ones I bought also have variable throw so you can 'zoom' the beam between focussed spot and wide flood. Also, you can usually choose what batteries you want to use - I get 18650 batteries which pack more punch and generally last longer than standard rechargeables.

        Blinded myself for a few seconds after staring into mine when I first got it lol. VERY bright indeedy.

    ThruNite T30 (530 ANSI lumens) will set you back $65 online. $3.95 for 2 CR123A batteries that have a shelf life of 10 years.

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