Review MODLITE PLHv2 Weapon Light [Full Size 18650 Body]

MODLITE PLHv2 light beam indoor

In this guide, we are going to review the MODLITE PLHv2 full size scout weapon lights.

You will see everything that come in the package, its core features, build quality and light beam performance.

Let's check it out:


Modlite 18650 body
modlite 18650 backside
  • CANDELA 54,000
  • LUMENS 1350
  • RUN TIME 120 minuntes
  • LENGTH 5.5″
  • HEAD OD 1.18″
  • WEIGHT with battery 5.4 oz.
  • BATTERY 18650

What Come In The Box

MODLITE PLHv2 open package
MODLITE SYSTEM PLHv2 full size complete package

We purchased the complete package directly from MODLITE SYSTEM. When you receive the product, it comes in a simple package nothing fancy.

You get:

  • MODLITE 18650 body & PLHv2 head
  • Tail cap switch
  • Battery charger
  • KeepPower 18650 Battery
  • USB Charging cable
  • 2 Stickers

Why Use MODLITE

PLHv2 Head - Significantly Improved Throw

modlite plhv2 in action 35 ft

Much brighter - Stronger throw capability with up to 54K candela output to  better ID targets in low light. 3.4X more than the Surefire M600DF 

Use It on Surefire M600DF - Just buy the PLHv2 head and replace the factory Surefire M600DF head for better throw output.

MODLITE plhv2 works with surefire tail cap accessories

Upgraded from PLHv1 - Lumen output is about the same but throw is greatly improved. It is the best balance between flood and throw available today.

modlite plhv2 on scar17

The MODLITE PLHv2 can project a focused light beam up to ~140 yards to lid up the scene in the dark to ID targets with plenty of light for indoor and outdoor applications

scar17 shooting in low light

But wait there is more...

PLHv2 VS OKW - The PLHv2 head is the hybrid version between the PLHv1 and OKW, which also provides a wide spill for close up illumination similar to the Surefire TIR reflector that can lit up the low light scene right in front of you, while the MODLITE OKW has the strongest throw capability but less ideal spill pattern for close range use.

If this is your first time checking out MODLITE products, and you have difficulties picking between the PLHv2 or the OKW, we highly recommend the PLHv2.

If you just need the PLHv2 head, you can order them separately down below:

Beam Pattern Comparison

For this part of the review, we think it's better to test the full size MODLITE PLHv2 along with some of the top weapon lights on the market today.

MODLITE PLHv2

MODLITE plhv2 head light beam

Warehouse corridor, focused hot spot

Indoor illumination, down range & close by are well lit

Surefire M600DF 

Surefire M600DF light beam pattern

Much wider flood, everything up close is lit

surefire m600df TIR lens wide spill

Much brighter and softer wider spill, but less throw

Cloud Defensive REIN light pattern 18650

Similar to PLHv2, couple inches less flood with warmer tint

Cloud Defensive REIN light beam and throw

Much brighter than PLHv2, but just lesser spill 

Light Beam Tint

The PLHv2 has a cool white 5700K emitter tint (No warm or bluish hue) which gives the user better color rendition in low light for accurate color perception.

The use of Ultra clear BOROFLOAT® lens allows 98-99% light transmittance.

Things look red will look red instead of black, things look white will look white instead of appearing to have bluish hue, which aids positive target identification in low light.

18650 Battery - Much Higher Lumen & Candela Outputs

modlite 3.6v 18650 battery

The 18650 battery is the newest type of rechargeable battery in the industry to push weapon lights to have higher lumen and candela output, while the traditional CR123A batteries can no longer deliver the desired output voltage, and it can be costly.

The battery that comes with the purchase has a capacity of 3500 mAh, which lasts about 70 mins ish as the intensity drops

While MODLITE recommends a 18650 battery that has at least a 8-10A rating are used it its flashlights. The exception is the Modlite PLH-Quad light head which a 15A cell or more is recommended.

The MODLITE 18650 (full size) takes the 18650 battery while the MODLITE 18350 (Mini size) takes the short 18350 battery.

Compatible With All Surefire Scout Accessories

arisaka mlok scout light mount SCAR17

The MODLITE system is very similar to the Surefire Scout and they share the same mounting footprint, tail cap accessories and light head thread (Only for M600DF)

Check out more scout weapon light mounts 

Please take a look... this is pretty awesome.

MODLITE plhv2 pressure tail cap switch
MODLITE plhv2 with surefire pressure switch plug
The scout lights have been very successful for a very long time, and it's the top dog in the weapon light marketplace. There are plenty of newer accessories to try:
  • MODButton
  • Surefire SR07 pressure switch
  • Surefire DS SR07 dual switch
  • Unity Tactical HOT BUTTON

Overall Durability

MODLITE plhv2 head
Surefire M600DF vs MODLITE PLHv2 head

The MODLITE system (Rated IPX8) is as durable as the Surefire scout with type 3 Hardcoat. There are tons of test results already available on the internet, which you can check them out below:

Since it's a tactical light that goes onto a tactical rifle, the light will experience a bit of rough handling such as drops, bumps, recoil impulses...etc

MODLITE plhv2 vs Surefire KE2DF head

Under normal use without intentionally damage the light, the light works well after drops or get rough handled when throwing in and out of the truck.

However, the PLHv2 light head body is built much thinner than other brands, and the lens can easily crack if the light is dropped on its the bezel or get hit head on by simunition rounds, and the whole head unit has to replaced.

Final Verdict

MODLITE 18650 with PLHv2 head is the solution to the Surefire M600 and M600DF's poor throw performance for low light rifle based applications. It doesn't mean you have to shoot that far, but the user can definitely positively identify what's down range in the dark without any problem.

The throw performance of the PLHv2 is its main core feature while powered by a single 3.6v rechargeable 18650 battery and thanks to its 60K candela rating.

MODLITE PLHV2 light beam hot spot

Bright & tight hot spot (~450ft) 

It outputs a focused hot spot that can reach far and also throw plenty of bright flood right in front of the shooter for significantly improved indoor and outdoor illumination performance.

At the time of writing this review, the MODLITE 18650 PLHv2 is still very popular in spite of newly released weapon lights such as the Cloud Defensive REIN, and the MODLITE 18350 (mini scout) can also use the PLHv2 head for SBR type of setup without compromising beam output performance (Only shorter battery life)

We highly recommend the MODLITE system for anyone wanting to custom build a scout light package or use the PLHv2 head to upgrade their Surefire M600DF.

Pros

  • Superior PLHv2 throw performance
  • Wide spill for peripheral illumination
  • Uses 18650 battery for higher outputs
  • Neutral beam tint for accurate color rendition
  • Tail cap pressure switch feels very responsive
  • Compatible with Surefire M600DF body
  • Compatible with all Scout tail cap & mount accessories
  • Available in Black and FDE

Cons

  • PLHv2 head can break easily due to light body construction
  • Needs some logo work on the body 
  • Tail cap switch 



Common FAQ

Can the PLHv2 head work with Surefire Mini Scout?

The MODLITE PLHv2 head will NOT be compatible with Surfire Mini Scout. It's two completely different systems.

Can PLHv2 head work with MODLITE 18350 body?

The MODELITE PLHv2 head works with the MODLITE 18350 and 18650 bodies. When using the 18350 battery, the PLHv2 will still perform at its peak performance, but the battery lasts around just 35 mins.

Can PLHv2 head work with Surefire Scout M600DF using CR123A batteries?

Lithium CR123 cells are not supported and if used will cause the cells to heat up and possibly explode or catch fire. MODLITE recommends the KeepPower 18650 high drain cells which can be found here. Runtime is about 75 minutes with the supplied 18650 cells. 

Why Use Protected Battery In A Flashlight?

Protected batteries are much safer to use in a tactical light especially if the user does not understand the safe handling of Li-Ion/IMR cells.  Due to added circuit protection, a protected battery is less likely to ignite and cause personal or property damage.