Coast HP550 Flashlight

If for some reason you feel you need a flashlight bright enough to help land airplanes, the Coast HP550 is the way to go.  With 1075 lumens on the high setting, it is just crazy bright!

The HP550 is 9.5 inches long and the handle is about 1.5 inches in diameter.  At this size, it isn’t huge by any means but it is a bit larger than you might want for a bug out bag or other portable survival kit.  Instead, this light is perfect for use at home or at the retreat, particularly if you have large open areas where you’d like to be able to see the other end of the field at night.

The on/off is a button switch at the butt end, covered by a rubber cap.  The button isn’ t stiff at all but you do need to press down quite a bit before it clicks.  This isn’t a bad thing as it prevents you from accidentally turning it on.  As with most other flashlights today, a slight press will turn the light on for as long as you’re holding the switch down.

At the lens end, you can change the focus a bit.  The lens slides forward and back roughly a half inch.  All the way forward gives you a bulls eye spot beam and pulling the lens back slides the light into more of a floodlight.

The aluminum body has a decent checkering and is sealed by O rings, making it fairly water resistant.  All told, it weighs around 1.5lbs.

There are two illumination settings, 1075 lumens on high and 53 lumens on low.  These are cycled back and forth by turning the light on and off.  However, the default is the high setting.  Meaning, if you click the light to low, then turn it off, it will revert back to the high setting if you’ve let the light sit for a while.

So, just how intense is 1075 lumens?  Well, it’ll hurt if you shine it near your eyes, that’s for sure.  In fact, my son made the mistake of shining it on his open palm while looking at his hand and was rather dazzled for a bit.  Distance-wise, it’ll throw a good beam easily 300 yards.  Folks, that’s three football fields!

Ok, here’s the bad news.  The HP550 takes 9 AA batteries.  Thankfully, it comes with those batteries already installed.  But, yeah, nine batteries is a lot for one flashlight.  On the high setting, those batteries will run about six hours or so.  That’s according to Coast and I have no reason to doubt them.  I’ve been playing around with this monster for over a week and I’ve noticed absolutely no dimming of the light.

At the end of the day, I can say the Coast HP550 is a good size (not too big, not too small) and great for using around the homestead.  It is incredibly bright and will meet any needs you have in that regard.  I’m a little put off by the nine AA batteries it uses, though.  I’d even be willing to sacrifice some of the lumens if they could cut down the battery quantity.

You can find the Coast HP500 at Walmart as well as online for around $60 or so, batteries included.