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Modlite OKW & PLH Weapon Light First Look

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Weaponlight tech is evolving at a pace that can make even the most diehard lumen junkie nauseous but now and again something comes to market that is hard to ignore. The Modlite OKW & PLH lights are not only pretty dang hard to ignore with their retina-burning specs, but the future proof aspect of the lights made them attractive enough that two lights were ordered to replace some aging Streamlight Protac Rail Mount 2 lights on my “go-to” rifles.

While the Modlite weapon lights have been the topic of conversation in some circles, they haven't received the attention of the masses quite yet, even though they should. During a conversation with Steve Fisher of Sentinel Concepts, he mentioned his experience with the OKW Modlite during a low light practical urban carbine course he teaches.

Steve wouldn't stop telling me how legit it was and that I should probably scoop one up to play with. Generally, when Fish tells me I should look into a product he is spot on. As a result of his recommendation, I jumped onto the Modlite website and ordered a PLH-18350 and an OKW-18350 that was later upgraded to the 18650 body.

Modlite = Modular Light

As the name suggests, Modlite's goal was to offer end users a modular solution that is not only upgradeable but also allows users to upgrade Surefire M600DF lights they might already own by replacing the head with one of the Modlite built units. If you are happy with the Surefire head but want to shrink your M600DF to the size of an M300 scout light all you need is a 18350 housing and some new batteries to get a smaller but equally powerful light.

Cory Starr, Modlite founder, tells us that future releases currently in development will be backward compatible with their current product line. We have also been told that Modlite will continue to push weapon-mounted lights to new heights and are constantly developing new additions to the Modlite family. It is notable that there have been no backorders since the sale of lights started and all orders are shipping within one business day.

Modlite PLH Weapon Light

I decided that my old, beat up Streamlight Rail Mount 2 needed replacement, I might as well give a Modlite PLH a shot on my 10.3-inch SBR. While the PLH light hasn't been used on the range as much as the OKW that I will talk about in a bit, I still have a fair amount of time shooting at night with the light.

Getting a positive ID on a target/threat within 125 yards in an outdoor urban environment is a snap. I am sure that the distance could be stretched a bit, should I fit my SBR with a quality LPVO but the 10.3-inch gun wears an Aimpoint Comp M4s since the gun was built for that 150-yard and in range. In a rural environment, the light is able to punch out a bit further and allowed PID of animals nearing 175 yards, I feel that I might struggle with clearly identifying a human threat beyond 140 to 150 yards in a rural environment without the help of magnification.

Most people will use the light is indoors, and I found the light to perform in line with the other 1,000 to 1,500 lumen lights on the market. As long as you aren't an idiot with your light, you aren't going to blind the shit out of yourself. The hot spot is nice and wide like you would want for a shorter range light geared towards general purpose and the spill on the light beam offers great illumination that will light up a 6-foot tall human being when you are as close as two yards from the threat.

When using the protected 18350 KeepPower cells included with the light runtime is in line with the 35 minutes specified on the Modlite website.

Modlite PLH Features:

  • Hand-assembled in and tested in the USA.
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Approximately 1500 out the front lumens and candela is approximately 29,000. It is an excellent overall light head good for indoor or outdoor use.
  • 6061 Series Alum bezel with Mil-Spec Hard Anodizing.
  • Ultra-clear BOROFLOAT® lens allows 98-99% light transmittance.

Modlite OKW Weapon Light

While the PLH head is probably the light that most people need, the Modlite OKW is outselling the PLH like crazy, likely because there is nothing else on the market that offers what the Modlite OKW does. Based on my conversation with Fisher, the OKW should offer positive ID of a target/threat out to 250 to 300 yards when paired with a quality LPVO. I had to try it for myself as soon as the light showed up in the mail.

I headed out to a buddy's ranch to see what the OKW would do when mounted to my 18-inch DMR styled AR-15. As soon as you hit the activation switch, the flashlight projects a tightly focused beam with minimal spill that you wouldn't guess is only 680 lumens. The target placed 330 yards away from the shooting position (in the video below) was illuminated enough to clearly make it out and deliver reliable hits.

Since I was shooting suppressed the amount of gunsmoke projected in front of the gun was much greater than if I were to run a normal muzzle device. When you pair that with the stagnant air that night, the time between shots when maintaining the same shooting position was completely dependant on waiting for that toxic air to clear. Even though the environmental conditions didn't lend themselves to rapid follow up shots, dropping shot after shot on a 10-inch plate 330 yards away was a snap like you can see in the video below.

Modlite OKW Features:

  • Hand-assembled in and tested in the USA.
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Approximately 680 out the front lumens and candela is approximately 69,000. It is an excellent overall light head good for indoor or outdoor use.
  • 6061 Series Alum bezel with Mil-Spec Hard Anodizing.
  • Ultra-clear BOROFLOAT® lens allows 98-99% light transmittance.

More Information about Modlite

Modlite is currently shipping complete lights with either the PLH and OKW head with your choice of 18350 or 18650 compatible bodies. The complete PLH or OKW lights will set you back $350 with a Modlite tailcaps or $330 without a tailcap you happen to own any of the scout compatible tailcaps. All three stand-alone light heads carry an MSRP of $250. Upgrading your current Surefire M600DF light can be done with the 18350 short body for $72 without batts or $92 for the body with two 18350 batteries.

More about Modlite:

Modlite Systems was born from the desire of its founder Cory Starr to create the best flashlight for its specific intended role. Often being disappointed with performance and function of the top flashlight company’s product offerings, we looked for solutions to improve function and performance that suited the needs of the law enforcement and firearms enthusiast community. Working closely with several different law enforcement agencies we have developed a long gun specific WML (Weapon Mounted Light) system which we believe will deliver industry leading performance.

About the Author

Patrick primarily focuses his range time on sharpening his pistol shooting skill but effectively using precision rifles and carbines are also skills he works on polishing as best he can. When he isn't writing, spending far too much time on the range, maintaining his website, or filming a video he spends his time with his wife, son, and his dog.

Instagram:   @thepatrickroberts

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