Stanley FatMax LEDLISL and HIDLISL Lithium-Ion LED/HID Spotlight Review @ ModSynergy.com
By: Michael Phrakaysone

Stanley Hand Tools FatMax

Brand names.  All companies have them.  The name that is associated with a company is something all try their best to instill in the minds of consumers.  Some brand names have a storied and lasting history behind them.  When I think of the brand name of Stanley, I personally think about high quality tools that anyone can use for the home improvement trade, heck even the professionals use Stanley.  Stanley is now technically part of the Black & Decker family and called Stanley Black & Decker.

Stanley makes everything from chisels for carpentry, measuring tapes, stud sensors, hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, knives, and even flashlights.  The FatMax line of tools has been a lineup of tools that has given steady growth for Stanley.  Stanley FatMax products are those that are essential for the professional, or enthusiast who desire durable, high quality tools.  They are a step above the norm and now have the FatMax Xtreme lineup of tools with a slogan of Treat It Like You Hate It, brilliant motto.

Today I have the chance at sharing with you two of Stanley's latest flashlights that are part of the FatMax lineup.  These spotlights utilize new Lithium-Ion battery technology as opposed to previous generations that have used heavier and problematic Sealed Lead Acid battery types.  Improvements come in the form of weight savings, extended runtime, and longer lifetime without much maintenance.

These two spotlights from Stanley represent a significantly different type of flashlight that we have not previously reviewed.

About Stanley Black & Decker

Since 1843, we’ve set the standard for excellence in everything we do. No company on earth has a stronger or more compelling history of delivering the hardworking, innovative, powerful tools that help professionals around the world build, repair, and protect the world’s most valuable things.

We are the leader in tools and security. We are Stanley Tools. We are DEWALT. We are Mac Tools. We are Porter-Cable. And we are much more. We are the doors that protect you at airports. We are the lock and deadbolt on your front door. We are the hydraulic breakers that rescue trapped earthquake survivors. We are the people on the phone in an emergency.

No matter where you live, what car you drive, what stores you shop at, or what building you work in, you can bet that we had a hand in making it work. And you can guarantee that we’ll keep making it work.

FatMax LEDLISL Lithium-Ion Spotlight Product Features and Specifications

  • Single 10-Watt LED Cree XM-L
  • Always ready - this Stanley LI-ION spotlight holds a charge for up to 1-year
  • Constant light output (CLO) - means light will not dim during use
  • Features an ultra bright LED bulb with up to 1-hour of runtime on high
  • Up to 5x brighter - 10 Watt LED is always ready - stays charged by up to 12 months - delivers up to a 5x brighter beam of light
  • Up to 6x Longer Runtime
  • Pivoting and Collapsible Stand
  • Heavy Duty Rubber Bezel
  • On/Off trigger lock
  • Ergonomic rubber handle
  • Charge and Power 2 ways with AC wall charger and 12v DC automotive charger
  • Battery and charging status LED indicator built-in
  • Idea for power outages and emergencies
  • Light output is approximately maintained for the majority of the runtime due to internal chip automatically adjusting to compensate for power and battery drain
  • 1-Year Warranty

First Impressions

The first spotlight being reviewed is the Stanley FatMax LEDLISL Lithium-Ion spotlight.  As the name suggests, this is the high power 10 Watt LED (Light Emitting Diode) model with a high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery that can stay charged for up to 12 months according to the box, and offers 6x longer runtime when paired with the LED.  The eye-popping bit is the sticker on the head of the spotlight stating that the LEDLISL is capable of up to 2000 lumens.

Stanley FatMax LEDLISL LED Spotlight Cree XM-L

Second will be the Stanley FatMax HIDLISL Lithium-Ion spotlight.  As the name suggests, this is the high power HID (High Intensity Discharge) model with a high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery that can stay charged up to 12 months according to the box, and offers 2.5x longer runtime when paired with the HID bulb.  The eye-popping bit is the sticker on the head of the spotlight stating that the HIDLISL is capable of up to 2400 lumens.

Both spotlights from Stanley can be found in most home improvement stores such as Lowes, Home Depot, and also in other large retail chains such as Walmart.  I found that the Stanley FatMax LEDLISL Lithium-Ion spotlight sells for about $49.97USD, and the Stanley FatMax HIDLISL Lithium-Ion spotlight sells for $69.97USD making them affordable for such power output.  Mind you these can be found on sale for much less from time to time, but both spotlights normal pricing is I feel extremely generous.

I believe more so impressive is the HID (High Intensity Discharge) model's price.  I honestly haven't seen a comparable HID flashlight in retail stores for $69.97.  I know Ryobi sells a comparable wattage HID spotlight for about $50USD, but that comes without the separate battery pack and without a battery charger.  With the Stanley everything is included in one package.  Most HID flashlights on the market today are specialized and range past $150-200 easily, and they are not readily available in retail stores but rather from online sellers.   And none of those HID flashlights are made from a trusted brand name such as Stanley, whom develop and tests their products rigorously.

I also found the single LED model's pricing equally as impressive for what you are getting in return.  If it performs as good as Stanley says it does, $49.97 for a single Cree XM-L LED spotlight is one of the best deals out.  I am very impressed with Stanley pushing LED and HID flashlight technology to the masses.

Now let's get the review started!

Both spotlights were shipped directly from Stanley without any damages to the packages, even without additional padding.  They just put these two spotlights in a regular corrugated box and sent them.  The fact that they came without any damages says great things about how they are packed.

Both come in comparable package designs.  Stanley sticks to their signature colors of bright yellow and black throughout the packaging.  I think the design is flowing and looks eye-catching on the store shelves because the actual spotlight is seen through a clear plastic window and the big bold and bright colored text throughout the box stand out.  The actual spotlight adapts those same bright colors and the box is surrounded by large logos with product features.  The top of the package has double tabs so it can be placed easily on the shelf. 

The bottom of the box reveals the name of the manufacture for Stanley which is Baccus Global LLC.  They operate out of Boca Raton, Florida.  The products are made in China.

FatMax LEDLISL Lithium-Ion Spotlight

When you open up the $49.97USD Stanley FatMax LEDLISL spotlight, you will find the following items...

  • Stanley FatMax LEDLISL 10-Watt LED Spotlight
  • AC Wall Adapter Charger (Class 2 Transformer - 12VDC 500mA)
  • DC Automotive Charger with built-in fuse
  • Product Manual
  • Warranty Card

Once you see the FatMax LEDLISL you can't but help notice the way it looks.  I personally think it looks fantastic.  I like the way how the head of the light is large and begins to shrink as it flows to the rear in aggressive style.  The beefy heatsinks are not only used for functionality, but contribute to the style of the light. 

Stanley FatMax Spotlight Flashlight

The FatMax LEDLISL is constructed out of tough as nails hard plastic.  The light is very sturdy, does not flex or feel cheap, and through experience it can take punishment.  There are yellow caution stickers on the heatsink warning you of the hot surface, the top of the spotlight warning you of the risk of electric shock if you open the unit.  It tells you not to open the unit as there are no serviceable parts.  It also indicates that the spotlight is made for dry use only, suggesting that it is not waterproof.  I would take heed of that warning of dry use only, because Lithium-Ion batteries if somehow coming into contact with water can potentially be dangerous, even to the point of causing the battery to ignite and catch fire, possibly even exploding.  You want to respect the power of the lithium-ion battery in all circumstances. 

I've seen spotlights before and some of them are just too bulky.  The FatMax LEDLISL looks compact, the size is practical, and the LED spotlight is not heavy at all coming in at only 1.556lbs. I believe this is just the right size and weight for a realistic spotlight in emergency, power outages, and just normal every day use scenarios.  One of the best features I believe is the pivoting and collapsible stand that is situated at the top of the spotlight. 

Light Emitting Diode

In my previous flashlight reviews, I love the ones that can tailstand.  Tailstand meaning you can let it stand on its own upside down having it point upwards illuminating a room for example.  Well the FatMax LEDLISL can't stand on its own upside down, but Stanley fixes this problem by creating a collapsible stand that is able to pivot at various degrees.  The pivot system has a number of locking steps that allow it to stand on its own upside down at different angles.  Pulling the stand outwards causes you to hear many clicks, almost like a gearing system.    

High Intensity Discharge

At the top of the spotlight towards the rear lays the single LED indicator that acts as the battery level and charge light indicator.  It's straightforward to follow.  Under operation, the light will glow green.  During extended periods of use, when the battery begins to lose capacity it changes to orange, and changes to red once near low capacity, meaning it's time to recharge the battery.  When recharging, the LED will blink red every second until the LED changes to a solid green indicating finished recharge status.  In the event that the spotlight is too hot, the smart internal charge components will tell the LED to alternate flashing red and green to signify that the unit is too hot, and will wait until the unit has cooled  before beginning to recharge.  Genius!

You can think of the design of the FatMax LISL LED spotlight like a gun.  It reminds me of the Star Trek Phaser gun.  The pistol grip handle is a good size for smaller to medium sized hands, and on the rear where your palm rests there is a nice rubberized grip with ridges for additional ergonomic support.  Below this pistol style grip is a large eyelet that can be used to attach a wrist strap to the spotlight.  Unfortunately a wrist strap is not included as part of the bundle. 

In the wrist straps place is a yellow advisory sticker that cautions the user to charge the unit immediately upon purchase, and to charge the spotlight every 3 to 6 months if not in use for an extended period of time.  The sticker advises the customer to call customer service at the particular phone number for assistance with issues before returning it directly to the retailer.  Again the unit maintains a 1-year warranty.

Of course you need a trigger on a gun, the FatMax LEDLISL has a spring loaded trigger which controls the momentary on/off function.  An integrated safety locking tab sits right behind the trigger.  If you want to have the spotlight on all the time, just press the trigger and shift the locking tab with your thumb to the right.  Shifting the tab left releases the lock where you can have momentary control. There are respective lock/unlock symbols on the plastic tab piece.

Easily seen on the outside is the hefty black heatsinks that are on both sides the dissipate the heat that is associated with a high power LED and its internal components inside generating heat such as the emitter and even the battery.  The heatsinks are locked in with two screws on both sides.  Both heatsinks do really work well under operation to keep the flashlight as cool as possible.  Not only are the heatsinks there for functionality sake, they also aid in the design of the spotlight.  I just think the FatMax LEDLISL looks fantastic from a style point of view, the designers got it done right.

The heavy duty black rubberized bezel on the front is on the spotlight for functionality.  When the FatMax LEDLISL is not in use, you naturally store it vertically on the face (front lens).  Instead of having the spotlight sit right against the front lens and scratching it, the bezel protects the front lens by raising its profile just enough so that it won't scratch the light.  It also prevents scratches to the yellow exterior when its sat on its side.  The rubberized bezel will be the piece that makes contact with every surface when not using the collapsible pivoting arm.

Coming to the back of the unit we see two circular looking pieces.  The top circular piece is the 12VDC charge port that is covered with a rubber cover.  The one below is a button labeled DIMMER. I forgot to mention (the box doesn't even mention) that the FatMax LEDLISL LED spotlight is a 2-mode light.  It has a HIGH mode, and a LOW mode.  Having two modes means two levels of brightness and additional runtime savings on the LOW mode.  I will reveal runtime results shortly.

I would like to mention that it's advisable to read the included manual with the FatMax spotlight to get acquainted with what it offers, and how to operate it correctly and safely.  I surprisingly found the first two pages to go through a multitude of safety warnings related to general safety, and Lithium-Ion Battery warnings.  Some of the points mention fire and explosions making you feel a little scared, however, if you follow such precautions there is no need to be afraid.  In this day and age we deal with Lithium-Ion devices every day in our notebooks, cell phones, cameras, but they are safe.

CREE XM-L LEDLED CREE

Coming to the front of the unit, we see the clear plastic front lens, reflector system, and the single CREE XM-L LED smack in the center which can operate at 10 Watts, making it a very powerful LED.  Please do not look directly into the light when it is on, you will definitely damage your eyes, this one is no joke. 

The front lens diameter measures 3-inches wide, and the reflector system is easily the largest and deepest I've ever reviewed on ModSynergy.  The clear reflector measures about 3.3-inches deep going by the outline on the casing.  This is a monster parabolic type reflector system on the FatMax LEDLISL spotlight.  It has no orange peel effect which would make this light a flood/spill type light.  This reflector is clear, large and deep, this should be a light saber of a flashlight.  This should be a real thrower of a flashlight!

I'd like to bring up the point on the bottom of the box where it says this bit...

  • Light output is approximately maintained for the majority of the runtime due to internal chip automatically adjusting to compensate for power and battery drain

The Stanley FatMax LEDLISL LED spotlight contains smart internal chips and circuitry that allows the unit to provide a consistent and constant amount of light output throughout the runtime of the battery.  If there's any truth to this, this would be the first time I've ever experienced an LED flashlight with such a function.  All my previous LED flashlight reviews have seen the light output ramp down in relation to the charge of the battery, even when one flashlight said that it had a microprocessor in the flashlight that would control the light for constant light output, that was clearly not the case.  It'll be interesting to see if Stanley manages to achieve what they claim.

There is no way to open the head of the flashlight to reach the reflector or anything like that.  Everything is shut tight.

Testing Phase

Not only will I share with you in words my personal experience with the Stanley FatMax LEDLISL LED spotlight, I will seek to determine if the rated lumens is accurate by way of a digital LUX meter.  Tests are completed with a fully charged battery in place.

Results - How does it shine?

Lumens Rating Results - Take it as a guideline, not definitive

  • Rated MAX Lumens: Up to 2000 lumens
  • Experienced lumens HIGH MODE: 621 (x100) LUX or 5769 lumens @ 1 meter
  • Experienced lumens LOW MODE: 146 (x100) LUX or 1356 lumens @ 1 meter

Results - Charge Time

  • From dead to fully charged: 3 Hours, 41 minutes (Approximately)

Results - Runtime Experienced

  • Runtime seen on High mode: 1 Hour, 5 minutes (Brightness level same from start to finish)
  • Runtime seen on Low mode = 7 Hours, 46 minutes (Brightness level same from start to finish)

Beam Shot Images

For these beam shots of the Stanley FatMax LEDLISL LED spotlight, I used my Nikon D50 DSLR with these camera settings.  I will be using these same settings for future flashlight reviews to keep a level of consistency for the beam shot portion.

  • Nikon 18-70mm DX Lens (most shot at 18mm)
  • Manual Mode set at f/5.6, 2 second exposure time, automatic white balance

BeamShine Laser

 

 

 

 

Real-World Usage Comments and Overview

Factoring in the relatively compact size, internal Lithium-Ion battery runtime performance, and pure brightness of the Stanley FatMax LEDLISL LED spotlight, I really do have to say it offers the complete package.  This is easily the best LED flashlight I have ever reviewed to date, bar none on ModSynergy.  It has easily become one of my "go-to" flashlights in my arsenal.

The single Cree XM-L LED when paired with the large diameter, deep-dish parabolic reflector works wonders.  This configuration performs outstanding in unison with each other.  The FatMax LEDLISL is literally a light saber in your hands.  The beam shoots straight out like a laser, a very concentrated and focused beam with high intensity.  Just the fact that it shines so bright allows the spotlight to illuminate large areas with ease, flood is not even an issue in this case, though it is only 3-inches wide.  The Cree XM-L also offers a very natural and pleasing color tint that is easy on the eyes.  The LED emits a white light but with a light yellow cast.

Being a picky person, I do have to point out that the beam of the LEDLISL is not the smoothest looking beam that I have seen.  The beam is a slight mess due to the fact that you can see the outer shadow of the front rubberized bezel being projected.  This causes two outer halo rings to be projected on the wall. Without these rings, the beam would have been one of the smoothest.  This is a slight detriment to the overall spotlight, but not something that ruins the experience.

I love the fact that the LEDLISL has two levels of brightness.  A simple press of the DIMMER button allows you to toggle from HIGH and LOW, and the differences are very noticeable.  This feature also aids in extending the battery runtime of the spotlight.   With the internal Lithium-Ion battery technology inside, the FatMax LEDLISL offers the longest battery runtime I've experienced.  If left on HIGH mode, the battery lasts for 1 hour, and 5 minutes before the light cuts and the unit needs recharging.  If left on LOW mode, the spotlight lasts for 7 hours and 46 minutes, impressive when factoring in how bright it is even on LOW mode.

The beefy heatsinks on both ends of the spotlight not only are functional, they look great and adds to the style of the LEDLISL. For about 20 minutes on HIGH mode operation, the heatsink reaches 40 degrees Celsius, and when the spotlight is on for 57 minutes, the heatsink temperature rises to a piping 58 degrees Celsius according to my infrared thermometer, enough for your hands to feel like they are being burned.  This shows that the heatsinks are working as intended, and aid in the full cooling of the spotlight from the inside out.  The front of the spotlight and its front lens remains cool to the touch, it's not even warm.  On LOW mode the heatsinks reach only 30 degrees after an extended period of time, barely becoming hot to the touch.

I love the fact that the claim of constant light output is actually true, a first for me to have experienced!  The spotlight really does have digital regulation through an internal chip that keeps the brightness at the same levels from start to finish.  Even as the battery begins to lose its capacity near the end, the light output still remained almost virtually the same throughout, if it did ramp down in brightness, I surely did not notice.  Kudos to Stanley! 

Fully discharging Lithium-Ion batteries is not good for the battery, in fact Stanley advises the user to not fully discharge the battery in the manual, it is strictly prohibited.  From my knowledge of general Lithium-Ion batteries, over discharge of a cell under 2.5v is extremely dangerous and can potentially cause the cell to rapture.  However, it's clearly evident that the FatMax LEDLISL spotlight is not a dumb flashlight.  Stanley added safety measures to ensure a buffer is used to prevent its batteries from ever over discharging.  Most smart safety systems for Lithium-Ion battery operation will automatically cut when the battery reaches a certain point, sometimes at 3.0v per cell.  This is the same as using a "protected" Lithium-Ion battery.   When the battery is depleted/drained, the spotlight cuts off completely.  There is no more cheating and being greedy in leaving the flashlight on for a minute or two longer.  Once the light cuts, there's nothing you can do, its time recharge the spotlight.  This is a crucial safety feature to have, but some lights don't have this.

Continuing the trend of being smart, the Stanley FatMax LEDLISL spotlight contains its own smart recharging circuit inside the flashlight.  Most cheap spotlights and battery operated tools such as handvacs on the market only include the AC wall charger, but those are dumb chargers as they don't tell the user when a charge is completed, and will continue to overcharge the battery unless you manually unplug the wall adapter.  This is why most cordless devices die prematurely, there's a reason why they are manufactured that way, to make you buy it again when it fails.  Well none of that nonsense happens with the Stanley FatMax LEDLISL because the charging unit built inside the light is very intelligent. 

The indicator at the top of the spotlight is easy to decipher.  Under recharge conditions, a flashing red LED light means that the unit is recharging, a flashing orange LED light means the battery is in partially charged state, a green and red alternating flashing LED light means that the battery is overheated due to extensive use or recharging, and that the recharging process will stop and resume after the unit has had time to cool down to optimum temperatures to ensure safety. 

Stanley mentions to use this spotlight only in dry conditions, I think this is partially due to protecting the Lithium-Ion battery from ever making contact with water.  If they would have ensured a level of protection from water, moisture, and dust, it would have made this spotlight even better.  I guess there's always next time. 

Stanley FatMax LEDLISL Conclusion

This becomes easily the best LED flashlight solution that I have ever reviewed to date, nothing else comes close to the performance, battery runtime, and general execution that the FatMax LEDLISL manages to deliver, all for $49.97USD!  I wish Stanley could have included a wrist strap.  Nonetheless, this Stanley FatMax LEDLISL is a must have!  It earns our highest rating, Editor's Choice Award!

Editors Choice

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Stanley FatMax HIDLISL HID Spotlight Review

Stanley HID 20w

When you open up the $69.97USD Stanley FatMax HIDLISL 20w HID spotlight, you will find the following items...

  • Stanley FatMax HIDLISL 20w High Intensity Discharge Spotlight
  • AC Wall Adapter Charger (Class 2 Transformer - 12VDC 500mA)
  • DC Automotive Charger with built-in fuse
  • Product Manual
  • Warranty Card

Editors Note: The HIDLISL comes with the same spec charger as the LEDLISL, however, they have different connectors and cannot be interchanged.  Additionally the HIDLISL AC wall adapter has a sticker with the words For HIDLISL on top stating the differences if you happen to have both spotlights.

Both come with the same Class 2 Transformer that operates at 12VDC @ 500mA.  Though later on you will find that they charge time on the HID model takes much longer, suggesting that it packs a larger capacity battery.  Though it should be said that the HID model consumes more power because of the 20w HID bulb, compared to the 10w LED.

Now comes the Stanley FatMax HIDLISL Lithium-Ion spotlight review.  As the name states, this is the high power HID (High Intensity Discharge) model with a high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery that can stay charged up to 12 months according to the box, and offers 2.5x longer runtime when paired with the 20w HID bulb. 

The eye-popping bit is the sticker on the head of the spotlight stating  that the HIDLISL is capable of up to 2400 lumens.

FatMax HIDLISL 20w Lithium-Ion HID Spotlight Product Specifications

  • HID spotlight technology offers up to 6 times the brightness of the average rechargeable spotlight
  • Able to operate for up to 30 minutes on high
  • Features constant light output, meaning the light will not dim during usage
  • Fast recharge
  • Will operate while connected to the 12-volt outlet in a vehicle
  • AC and DC chargers included
  • Lithium ion battery holds charge for up to a year
  • Idea for power outages and emergencies
  • Light output is approximately maintained for the majority of the runtime due to internal chip automatically adjusting to compensate for power and battery drain
  • 1-Year Warranty

For the Stanley FatMax HIDLISL some of the product features on the box are as follows...

  • High Intensity Discharge Bulb is always ready - Stays charged for up to 12 months with Lithium-Ion battery
  • Up to 2400 lumens
  • Up to 6x brighter - Delivers up to a 6x brighter beam of light
  • Up to 2.5x longer runtime with Lithium Ion technology - ultra bright HID delivers a bright beam of light with longer runtime (compared to previous generation with SLA battery)
  • Beam reaches up to 1027m
  • 264,000cd Brightness (ANSI rating)
  • Heavy duty rubberized bezel
  • On/Off locking trigger
  • Ergonomic rubber handle
  • Built-In battery/charging status LED indicator
  • Ideal for power outages & emergencies
  • Light output is approximately maintained for the majority of the runtime due to internal chip automatically adjusting to compensate for power and battery drain

The Stanley FatMax HIDLISL HID spotlight resembles much of what we saw with the LEDLISL model, but in bigger package.  In fact it's very clear that it's the big brother of the two when placed side by side.  Instead of using a high power LED, the HIDLISL model uses a 20-watt HID (High Intensity Discharge) bulb. 

Stanley Black & Decker

Conventional spotlights you find readily available in retail stores use yesterdays technology in the incandescent halogen bulb.  HID can be considered an evolution of these.  They output more light than their incandescent and fluorescent counterparts using the same amount of energy making them more efficient.  They even output more light than LED model, but consume substantially more power in the process.

High Intensity Discharge lamps have a wide variety of uses in many applications that require high levels of light.  iMax movie theatres use these types of HID bulbs for their projectors, these are inside large football stadiums, warehouses, parking lots, and places of those nature. 

HID lamps are also fitted as options on expensive Luxury vehicles.  They have become a popular option where the driver would like more light on the road at night.  You may have come across these vehicles on the road because at night time they give the impression of high beams being used, however, that is not the case.  You may have noticed that cars fitted with HID lamps give off a different color cast tint, sometimes they appear to have a blue tint.  HID bulbs come in a variety of tints, based on Kelvin temperatures. 

When I was describing the LEDLISL model above, I mentioned that it looked compact, and that the size was practical for most people.  Some spotlights are just too large and bulky that it can be an unpleasant task in using it. With the HIDLISL, the body is large, the body is thicker, and the unit is heavier than the LEDLISL weighing in at 2.194 lbs, making it 0.638 lbs heavier than the LEDLISL spotlight. It immediately looks and under operation feels more top heavy, though it could have been worse with a sealed lead acid battery.  Surprisingly it feels balanced in the hand because there's even balance between front and rear of where the pistol grip is. This being a larger spotlight takes a bit of the practicality away, but the added weight savings of having a lithium-ion battery makes up for it.

Though the Stanley FatMax HIDLISL Lithium HID spotlight is large, it looks quite nice.  The signature yellow is draped down the middle portion, and the black is situated on the rubberized bezel and on the rear of the spotlight.  As opposed to the LEDLISL which looks modern and aggressive, the HIDLISL is curvy and cylindrical throughout, it represents the design of a normal conventional halogen spotlight.  There are no heatsinks situated on the outside, something the HIDLISL could have really benefited from as detailed later on in the review.

The FatMax HIDLISL is constructed out of tough as nails hard plastic.  The light is very sturdy, does not flex or feel cheap, and through experience it can take punishment.  I actually dropped this light by mistake from at least 15-inches off the ground and nothing suffered on the HIDLISL.  Though even before I dropped the unit, you could hear something shake inside if you shook the unit hard enough.  It could be that the HID ballast inside isn't secured snug enough.  But it only happens if you shake it forcefully.

There are a number of cautionary stickers on the spotlight warning you of multiple risks.  There is a risk of electric shock if you try to open the unit, caution of hot surfaces, and also that the spotlight is meant for dry use only, suggesting that it is not waterproof.  I would take heed of that warning of dry use only because Lithium-Ion batteries and water are definitely a no-no and can potentially cause the battery to ignite and catch fire, possibly even exploding.  You want to respect the power of the lithium-ion in all circumstances. 

Lastly, at the very front of the spotlight, its front lens has a clear warning sticker with red text that informs you that the Glass lens gets extremely hot during extended use.  Yes the FatMax HIDLISL HID spotlight contains a glass lens as opposed to the LEDLISL that uses a plastic lens.  This suggests and is true that HID lamps operate with intense heat, very similar in nature with incandescent halogen bulbs. 

Stanley Glass

HID lamps produce and give off higher levels of UV radiation, so they require a solution like the glass lens that can block UV radiation, and also be able to withstand extremely heat without fading, discoloring, or warping as opposed to using a plastic lens.

HID High Intensity Discharge Bulb

In my previous flashlight reviews, I love the ones that can tailstand.  Tailstand meaning you can let it stand on its own upside down while having it point upwards illuminating a room for example.  Well the great thing is that the FatMax HIDLISL can stand on its own upside down because of its relatively flat back.  Though there is a slight curve, and the rubber charge cover protrudes outwards, tailstanding is possible.  Some flashlights do not have this ability and it's really a great attribute for all flashlights to have.

You can think of the design of the FatMax HIDLISL HID spotlight like a gun.  The handle is a good size for all sizes of hands.  On the rear where your palm rests there is a nice rubberized grip with ridges for additional ergonomic support.  Below this pistol grip is a large eyelet that can be used to attach a wrist strap to the spotlight.  Unfortunately a wrist strap is not included as part of the bundle. 

In place of the wrist strap is a yellow advisory sticker that cautions the user to charge the unit immediately upon purchase, and to charge the spotlight every 3 to 6 months if not in use for an extended period of time.  The sticker advises the customer to call customer service at the particular phone number for assistance with issues before returning it directly to the retailer.  Again the unit maintains a 1-year warranty.

At the very bottom of the handle is where the automotive cigarette 12VDC charge cable connects to.  This is a quick-connect type connector that is commonly found on solar panels.  This connector is different from the normal AC wall charge adapter plug, which connects at the rear of the spotlight.  I think it was a bad move of leaving the connector totally exposed, it would have been of benefit to have had a rubberized cover. 

Of course you need a trigger on a gun, and the FatMax HIDLISL has a spring loaded trigger which controls the momentary on/off function.  An integrated safety locking switch rests beside your thumb.  To disable the lock and use the spotlights momentary function, simply flick your thumb downward.  Flick the switch upward to lock the spotlight on at all times, or to prevent it from turning on when off.

The heavy duty black rubberized bezel on the front is on the spotlight for functionality.  When the FatMax HIDLISL is not in use, you naturally store it vertically on the face (front lens).  Instead of having the spotlight sit right against the front lens and scratching it, the bezel protects the front lens by raising its profile just enough so that it won't scratch the light.  It also prevents scratches to the yellow exterior when its sat on its side.  The rubberized bezel will be the piece that makes contact with every surface.

Coming to the back of the unit we see two security bolts securing the back plate in place.  In the center is a rubberized cover that is labeled INPUT 12VDC 5A.  This is the charge port connector for the included AC wall charge adapter.  Just above this is the single LED indicator light which reveals to you the current status of the battery, and status relating to its charge status.  The HIDLISL is a single mode spotlight unlike the 2-mode LEDLISL model reviewed above.  It only has a HIGH function.  There's no additional lower output modes to help extend battery life.  I personally would have liked a lower mode because as you'll find out later on, the HIDLISL outputs an impressive amount of light, and you don't really need that much light at times.

Stanley Works

Above the charge port connector at the rear of the spotlight lays the single LED indicator that acts as the battery level and charge light indicator.  It's very easy and common sense to follow.  Under operation, the light will glow green.  During extended periods of usage, when the battery becomes at middle point of charge capacity it will change to orange, and change to red once the battery is low, indicating to you that it's time to recharge.  When recharging, the LED will blink orange every second until the LED changes to a solid green indicating finished recharge status.  In the event that the spotlight is too hot, the smart internal charge components will tell the LED to alternate flashing red and green to signify that the unit is too hot, and will wait until the unit has cooled, before beginning to recharge.  Genius!

I would like to mention that it's advisable to read the included manual with the FatMax spotlight to get acquainted with what it offers, and how to operate it correctly and safely.  I surprisingly found the first two pages to go through a multitude of safety warnings related to general safety, and Lithium-Ion Battery warnings.  Some of the points mention fire and explosions making you feel a little scared, however, if you follow such precautions there is no need to be afraid.  In this day and age we deal with Lithium-Ion devices every day in our notebooks, cell phones, cameras, but nothing bad happens.  These batteries travel around the world as cargo in airplanes without any problems.

Coming to the front of the unit, we see the clear front glass lens, reflector system, and the 20w HID bulb smack in the center.  On this particular unit I noticed that the HID bulb is actually not 100% straight, but on a slight angle.  I don't know if this will affect the way it shines, but we'll see.  It should be straight. 

As the warning sticker states, the HID bulb will generate lots of heat which will make the glass hot to the touch.  Read later on to see how hot it reaches.  Please do not look directly into the light when it is turned on, you will definitely damage your eyes permanently. 

The front lens diameter measures larger than its smaller LEDLISL brother at 3.5-inches wide, and the reflector system is about 2.5-inches deep if I'm guessing correctly.  This is a monster sized parabolic type reflector system on the FatMax HID spotlight.  It has no orange peel effect whatsoever making this light a thrower instead of a flood type light.  This reflector is clear, large and deep, this should be quite interesting to see how it performs!

I'd like to bring up the point on the bottom of the box where it says this bit...

  • Light output is approximately maintained for the majority of the runtime due to internal chip automatically adjusting to compensate for power and battery drain

The Stanley FatMax HIDLISL spotlight contains smart internal chips and circuitry that allows the unit to provide a consistent and constant amount of light output throughout the runtime of the battery, to the best of its abilities.  As seen on the LEDLISL model, that unit was truthful in its claim.  Hopefully the HIDLISL will follow suit in the same manner.  As this is an HID model, it may react differently.  All my previous flashlight reviews have seen the light output ramp down in relation to the charge of the battery, even when one flashlight said that it had a microprocessor in the flashlight that would control the light for constant light output, that was clearly not the case.

There is no way to open the head of the flashlight to reach the reflector or anything like that.  Everything is shut real tight.

Testing Phase

Not only will I share with you in words my personal experience with the Stanley FatMax HIDLISL spotlight, I will seek to determine if the rated lumens is accurate by way of a digital LUX meter.  Tests are completed with a fully charged battery in place.

Results - How does it shine?

Lumens Rating Results - Take it as a guideline, not definitive

  • Rated MAX Lumens: Up to 2400 lumens
  • Experienced lumens: 587 (x100) LUX or 5453 lumens @ 1 meter

Results - Charge Time

  • Charge time from dead to fully charged green LED = A little over 7 hours (approximately)

Results - Runtime Experienced

  • Runtime experienced: Just under 46 minutes

Beam Shot Images

For these beam shots of the Stanley FatMax HIDLISL spotlight, I used my Nikon D50 DSLR with these camera settings that I will be using from now on for future reviews, to keep a level of consistency for the beam shot portion of the review.

  • Nikon 18-70mm DX Lens (most shot at 18mm)
  • Manual Mode set at f/5.6, 2 second exposure time, automatic white balance

Stanley HID High Intensity DischargeStanley 20w HID High Intensity Discharge

 

 

 

 

 

Real-World Usage Comments and Overview

The Stanley FatMax 20w HIDLISL spotlight is a different beast all together from the LED version reviewed above.  Both LEDLISL and HIDLISL FatMax models share just about the same silhouette and FatMax name plate, yet are vastly different.  In this case its truly hard to compare because quite frankly it's an apples to oranges comparison and down to personal preferences when you get to the root of it.  

What I do believe though is both Stanley FatMax LEDLISL and HIDLISL spotlights present tremendous value, performance, and quality.  I have to say that I hold both in high regard.  Purchasing either one of these Stanley models will leave you more than satisfied.

The Stanley FatMax HIDLISL HID spotlight with its 20w HID bulb provides a massive amount of eye-blinding lumens that can without a doubt reach super long distances , and covers a wider area compared to the LEDLISL, due to its larger head diameter.  It's biggest advantage is the price and general availability factor.  I don't think there's any other HID flashlight gun that comes close to offering what the HIDLISL can achieve at its $69.97USD price point in a large retail chain.  Comparable HID flashlights are sold as specialty items and easily sell for well over $150 online.  For Stanley to bring an HID spotlight solution for the mass market at a very generous affordability is incredible.  This is a 20w HID spotlight with utter power.  The ANSI rating calls for a peak beam intensity of 264,000cd, and a beam throw distance of 1027m. 

We all know that numbers tell a story, though sometimes as in cases like these, don't tell the full story.  The experienced lumens that I have recorded may suggest that the LEDLISL model offers more lumens seen by the LUX meter, however the LUX meter only captures a certain area in size and tends to favor those thrower type lights that has a beam that can shine directly in its path.  The LUX meter favors the one with the brightest hotspot. 

With the HID model and the way the actual bulb is created, looks, and is seen from the front lens compared to how directly focused a high-power LED looks, you can understand how this can happen.  The HID bulb illuminates not from the tip of its head (look at the gallery), but from the sides which then hits the reflector and bounces forward.  The LED however has the advantage of having a laser like beam, and that is why the hotspot appears more powerful to the LUX meter.  The remaining light that spills aside from the center area, then reaches the reflector, where the light then directs forward. 

In the real-world the HID model is actually the more powerful unit, I would actually give the power advantage to the 20w HID.  The light can reach a longer distance, and its beam covers a wider area because the head diameter is larger.  The beam is very strong, and it's the spill that makes the difference being fantastic, though it's beam is not the smoothest and is even more messy than the LED model.  Again this is partly due to how the HID bulb is designed, and the outer rubber bezel design that sits in front of the lens. 

The 20w HID bulb when paired with the large diameter, deep-dish parabolic reflector works wonders.  This configuration allows the HIDLISL to perform at a very high level.  The FatMax HIDLISL is like a dangerously powerful shotgun in your hands as it posses scary power.   

With this 20w HID spotlight, there's no indication on the box or spotlight as to what type of color tint it has.  No Kelvin temperature information is given, so you have to live with what they give you.  Stanley has chosen an obviously cooler Kelvin temperature, probably in the range of 8,000-10,000K because the tint is quite bluish.  This alone can be a deciding factor for some people.  Some people's eyes cannot stand or is not used to a light temperature that is too cool.  The blue tint did really catch me off guard.

I personally much prefer the warmer color tint that the LED emits such as is the case with the FatMax LEDLISL model reviewed above.  I find the HIDLISL's color tint not natural and not pleasing for my eyes, though I really did enjoy and noticed the higher output of light over the LED model.  It's a shame that the HID couldn't have been a warmer tint, or as closer to true white as possible.  Nonetheless for situations where extreme light output is needed, I do use the HIDLISL for those situations.  Maybe it's possible to frost the front lens in a warmer color, that would change the way the color tint is projected.  Stanley could have included some type of warm filter for the glass lens, that would have worked also.

Being a picky person, I do have to point out that the beam of the HIDLISL is even messier than the LED model.  The beam is very strong, and its spill is fantastic, but the way it is projected isn't as good as the LED model.  Again this is partly due to how the HID bulb is designed, and the outer rubberized bezel design that sits in front of the lens.  I see more halos/rings than the LED version, and that bezel casing on the wall.  I also see more artifacts even at the trailing edges.  I did notice the front glass lens on this unit had some specs and was a little dirty.  The HID bulb on this unit not being 100% straight but on a slight angle probably did affect this aspect as well.

What I would have really enjoyed on the HIDLISL model would have been a secondary lower output mode that would have helped in extending the battery runtime on the HID spotlight.  The 20w HID bulb is quite the energy consumption guzzler when compared to the 10w LED model, and it really showed in the runtime results.  The rating on the box states 30 minutes, and I saw just under 46 minutes, which is even better than the box claim rating and should be praised. 

However, compared to the LED model which can do over 1 hour on HIGH and almost 8 hours on LOW, I can't but help want the HID model to have lasted longer.  I see the HID model being great for hunters, and search and rescue efforts who are searching at night, but who wants to be regulated to only about 45 minutes at best?  The LEDLISL model ends up being the more practical solution for situations that require longer runtime.  If you need a burst of pure power at under 1 hour of runtime, then the HID model fits the bill.

Another downfall is that the HIDLISL did not adopt a heatsink design like the LEDLISL had.  The HIDLISL and its 20w HID bulbs operates piping hot at over 150 degrees Celsius seen by my IR thermometer.  The front lens area is quite warm at 45 degrees Celsius.  They could have carried over the outer heatsink design like they did with the LED model onto the HID model, and it would have surely decreased internal temperatures tremendously.   You really do have to be mindful that you don't place any material that could potentially catch fire in front of the lens.

I love the fact that the box's claim of constant light output is actually true, and is like the LEDLISL model, a first for me to have experienced!  The spotlight really does have regulation through an internal chip that keeps the brightness at the same levels from start to finish.  Even as the battery begins to lose its capacity near the end, the light output still remained almost virtually the same throughout, if it did ramp down in brightness, I surely did not notice.  Kudos to Stanley!

With an HID spotlight like this one, you will notice when turning the light on for the first time, that the bulb requires a minutes or two as stated in the manual to fully get up to temperature and full brightness.  It gradually heats up and ramps up to full brightness in about 1-2 minutes.  It's not instantly at full brightness as an LED flashlight is able to achieve right from the moment of turning it on.  Therefore, it is recommended not to use the HIDLISL in situations that will only require less than a minute of use, that will kill the lifespan of the HID bulb.

Fully discharging Lithium-Ion batteries is not good for the battery, in fact Stanley advises the user to not fully discharge the battery in the manual, it is strictly prohibited as it hurts the capacity of the battery.  From my knowledge of general Lithium-Ion batteries, over discharge of a cell under 2.5v is extremely dangerous and can potentially cause the cell to rapture.  However, it's clearly evident that the FatMax LEDLISL spotlight is not a dumb flashlight. 

Stanley added safety measures to ensure a buffer is used to prevent its batteries from ever over discharging.  Most smart safety systems for Lithium-Ion battery operation will automatically cut when the battery reaches a certain point, usually sometimes 3.0v per cell.  This is the same as using a "protected" Lithium-Ion battery.   When the battery is depleted/drained, the spotlight cuts off completely.  There is no more cheating and being greedy in leaving the flashlight on for a minute or two longer.  Once the light cuts, there's nothing you can do, its time recharge the spotlight.  This is a crucial feature to have, and some lights don't have this.

Continuing the trend of being smart, the Stanley FatMax HIDLISL contains its own smart recharging circuit inside the flashlight.  Most cheap spotlights and battery operated tools only include the AC wall charger, but those are dumb chargers as they don't tell the user when a charge is completed, and will continue to overcharge the battery unless you manually unplug the wall adapter.  This is why most cordless devices die prematurely.  Well none of that nonsense happens with the Stanley FatMax HIDLISL. 

The indicator at the rear of the spotlight is easy to decipher.  Under recharge conditions, a flashing red LED light means that the unit is recharging, a flashing orange LED light means the battery is in partially charged state, a green and red alternating flashing LED light means that the battery is overheated due to extensive use or recharging, and that the recharging process will stop and resume after the unit has cooled down to optimum temperatures to ensure safety.

I want one! Where do I pick one up?


Stanley FatMax HIDLISL Conclusion

If you need sheer power output and do not mind a cooler bluish tint that comes with a High Intensity Discharge lamp, then the Stanley FatMax HIDLISL offers quite the bang for the buck.  There's nothing really like it at its price point.  This in real-world testing does become the most powerful flashlight I have reviewed on ModSynergy.   

I do admit that I prefer the Stanley FatMax LEDLISL because of its size, comparable light output, collapsible stand, heatsink implementation, and better battery runtime.  It's also less expensive which is a bonus.  With the HIDLISL, I did not like the much cooler color tint, and the bulkier footprint which I didn't see as practical.  However, I have to say that I hold both in high regard, and that purchasing either one of these Stanley FatMax spotlight models will leave you more than satisfied.

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