In this J5 Tactical V1 Pro review I’ll take a closer look at the little 300 lumens flashlight that has garnered nearly 13,000 comments from buyers. This is a super cheap little EDC light that can be had for under $15. I like bargains just like the next guy, but I tend to believe you get what you pay for. What I really wanted to know is why this flashlight is so popular. Is it just really good marketing or was the flashlight just that good. Here’s my take on the J5 Tactical V1 Pro 300 lumens flashlight.
Pulling it out of the box… first impressions
The J5 Tactical V1 Pro comes in nicely designed box, wrapped in bubble wrap but with no instructions. The company does provide a URL you can use to get on-line instructions. Even though my guess is you’ll figure out how to use it on your own, flashlight newbies have a place to get help. Is the flashlight tactical? It definitely looks tactical. It’s black, has a rear tail switch, an aluminum housing (cross hatched for better grip) and even a crenelated strike bezel. The strike bezel is a nice addition.
The strike bezel is a nice addition. It won’t be breaking any car windows, but if you look at tactical flashlights as potential self defense weapons, this bezel would definitely leave a mark if you needed to get someone’s attention.
The J5 Tactical V1 Pro uses a single AA battery for power. At 300 lumens max output it doesn’t need tougher find (and more expensive) lithium rechargeables. If you have a bugout bag you might consider dropping a couple of these in it. That way you can ensure that you’ll always have at least a flashlight or two that take batteries that are typically easier to find in emergency situations. What house doesn’t have a AA battery somewhere… even if you have to poach it from a TV remote.
Here is the J5 Tactical next to my 5.11 Wharn for Duty knife. As you can see from it’s size, the J5 fits perfectly as an everyday carry flashlight. And the cost of this flashlight makes it a no-brainer if you need something super cheap and serviceable.
This J5 Tactical V1 Pro review wouldn’t be complete without showing you a photo of the flashlight in my hand to give you a true idea of size.
The threads on the tailcap switch were cleaned and burr-free.
The tail switch worked easily and the clicks / half clicks needed to turn on the flashlight and cycle between modes was easily discernible. How do you “use” the J5 Tactical V1 Pro? The user interface is super simple. Click the tailcap switch one to turn the flashlight on. Once it’s on, a quick “half-press” of the switch will cycle you through the lighting modes:
- High (300 lumens)
- Strobe (300 lumens)
There is no memory. The flashlight always comes on in the high mode. The strobe is a nice feature, but the strobe rate is a little slow for my personal tastes. Once the flashlight is on you can zoom (or concentrate) the flashlight’s intensity on a small area. Why is this helpful? When the head of the flashlight is at the default setting you get a broad beam for when you need to see as much area in front of you as possible.
The shot above is straight out of my iPhone. No flash, ambient lighting only. The J5 Tactical V1 Pro doesn’t have a ton of throw, but is acceptable for a single AA powered EDC flashlight.
This is looking down a stairwell at 300 lumens with no zoom. There is more than enough light to clearly identify something (like an intruder). This is a typical situation where this little flashlight excels.
I’m normally not a big fan of tactical flashlights with zoom capability. When you have a lower output light with such a broad throw, the zoom really helps intensify the output into a small area. Both photos are at 300 lumens, but the bottom one is at about 80% zoom. The output is identical but the zoom focuses the beam to an extremely narrow throw so you can see the details of the door knob.
The LED is well-centered. The lens is curved so it can zoom and focus the light as needed.
J5 Tactical V1 Pro review – conclusion
In this J5 Tactical V1 Pro review I’ve tried to show you exactly what you get when buying a dirt cheap EDC flashlight. It’s not a Fenix or Nitecore, but you just can’t beat the price. Truthfully, everyone should have a few flashlights around that take conventional batteries. This is as good a candidate as any. When 88% of over 12,000 first person reviewers rate it better than average, it’s worth at least considering if you need some economical lighting.