More often than not I carry a flashlight with me every day as a part of my everyday carry. Surprisingly, I use flashlights at least once a day for some sort of activity I run into. Now, everyday carry flashlights are not all made equal- much of what you will find in a light is judged by personal preference.
I was given the opportunity to try out the Klarus XT12s which I quickly found has plenty of features to offer. So first I wanted to look at lumen output. When thinking about the amount of lumens available, more is not always better- everything is situational. There is a such thing as too much light, and of course too little. Luckily the XT12s features variable output levels starting at a highest output of 1600 lumens, and decreasing to 400, 100, and 10 lumens respectively.
Each time the light is switched on it will be in the highest available setting in accordance to the remaining battery life. This was one aspect I did not favor too much about the light. There were many times where if I had the light on 10 lumens previously I would have rather had it switch back on at the same level for me to increase if needed. Later, I found that programming the light is possible, so this was pushed to the back of my mind since there was an option to have low modes first. For indoor scenarios, especially for tactical use, the max output of 1600 lumens was much too bright. The amount of splash off of walls is easily enough to blind a user as well as anyone else in the direct vicinity.
When the brightest level is needed though, it will easily get the job done. Not only is it incredibly bright, but the distance the light will carry is reported to be 402 meters. I had no easy way to measure this, but it illuminated as far as I could visibly see. There were times where I had to go check on horses at night in large fields, or look around properties in total darkness and I could do so with ease. Due to the 1600 lumen output I could shine the light towards a ceiling of a building or room and have the space be completely illuminated.
To toggle other setting on the XT12s there is a large paddle that also activates the strobe function. Once the light has been turned on the switch/paddle can be pressed to decrease in settings. If the paddle is held down before the light is turned on, it will immediately strobe. On any of the settings you can also hold the paddle down for approximately two seconds and have the strobe be activated at a full 1600 lumens. If you have a need for a strobe function then this great for quick and easy use; however, I have found it is easy enough to accidentally activate the strobe function. In jean pockets the bright strobe is noticeable, but I am more concerned about preserving battery life, and with how hot the housing and lens eventually gets on full brightness. The heat may not damage the light since it has an auto shutoff for heat protection, but I believe it would easily melt nearby objects.
As for battery life and charging, I have had a great experience. First off, the included battery is rechargeable which saves the user money in the long run, but if for whatever reason the battery ceases to work the light can also run on the popular CR123a battery. Probably one of the most important aspects of the light is the average runtime. On the turbo setting (1600LM) you will receive 1.2 hours of run time, high (400LM) has 4 hours, medium (100LM) 14 hours, and low (10LM) 200 hours. Eventually all of these settings will deplete your battery. Recharging is simple with Klarus's magnetic charging system. The charging cable simply attaches magnetically and can plug into any USB charger. When charging there is an illuminated indicator that lets you know the battery level. After having the XT12s in poor weather conditions and the dirt, I had no issues with corrosion or rust on the charging area.
All of these features shown by the XT12s make it simple to use and practical for when a great deal of light or varying functions are needed. The place where I see this light excelling is for camping, hiking, emergency purposes, and the other activities where a great deal of light is needed. Could I see it as an EDC light? Maybe, but this light is huge for carry. If you do not have the luxury of wearing pants with large pockets every day then you may want to consider some other options. Luckily, I carry a backpack every day and I can keep this tank of a light around. If Klarus could shrink the exact capabilities of this light into a small package then I can assure you it would be in my pocket constantly. I also think it is a little too bright for EDC because often times I will just be checking under dark places or trying to read something in a dim environment. Switching on 1600 lumens of light in a dim environment truly blinds you.
For a hefty and bright light you are getting a lot of desirable functions. Magnetic charging makes keeping your battery topped of very simple, manipulations of the light and its settings can be done without looking and has a tactile feel, and the light itself is well made. I have not been easy on this light because I run my gear very hard. I expect that much more use will come out of the Klarus XT12s and I will obviously have no trouble seeing what may be happening around me in the dark.