The Inova T4 is the first commercially available rechargeable
lithium-ion LED duty light on the market. It is an exceptional
light demonstrating excellent design and well executed
use of some of the most cutting-edge illumination technology
The body of the Inova T4 is made of Type III anodized
aluminum with square, flat checkering machined into
the sides. Type III anodize is much harder and tougher
than the Type II anodize found on common aluminum flashlights
in department stores. The body finish is available only
in black. The fit and finish are excellent. The bezel
has a silver colored ring on the end with a recessed
anti-reflective coated lens. Behind the lens is a special
optical system called the TIROS, or Total Internal Reflection
Optical System, designed to collect over 90% of the
light produced by the Luxeon LED and project it forward.
Inside the light is a regulation circuit designed to
give constant output over the working lifespan of the
rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The switch is a clickie
type switch on the side. Included with the light is
he charging base and adapters for AC and DC current.
The AC adapter is designed so that the socket plug slides
off and can be replaced with an assortment of adapters
for use in many countries. The AC adapter has a switching
power supply built in to detect the input voltage.
The bezel consists of a silver covered ring, two O-rings,
and an anti-reflective coated glass lens. All of these
parts are user-replaceable with an optional kit from
Inova. Behind the lens is the TIROS light collection
system which projects a very round beam with a dim sidespill.
Inside is a Luxeon LED for light, which is essentially
impervious to impact and never needs to be replaced.
Output is in the form of a gorgeous spot just like
the other Inova T lights. Color temperature is high
but there is no noticeable tinting in the beam.
Beam at one meter at target center and at target edge
to show spillbeam.
Runtime Plot: The instructions state that you should
get about 2 hours of light on a full 3 hour charge,
that the output is regulated to maintain constant output
over the usable energy-life of the cell, and that when
the cell cannot produce the needed current the light
shuts off completely with no dim mode (often called
a "moon mode").
The runtime plot shows pretty much what the manufacturer
describes! You actually get about 2 hr 30 minutes of
regulated output before it plummets to darkness .
information on runtime plots is available HERE.
The switch is a rectangular rubber covered clickie.
Press in part way for momentary operation, press all
the way in until it clicks for constant-on. The switch
sits in a recessed cutout so that it is flush with the
body tube. The switch gives positive audible and tactile
feedback when activated. The switch can be locked out
to prevent accidental activation by unscrewing the tailcap
O-ring seals protect the body from the intrusion of
water. I'd give it a "Splashable" rating.
Pick it up, shake it off, and keep going.
Ergonomics: Very comfortable in the hand, good grip-ability,
and not heavy at all. The switch is large and easy to
Size compared to a common 2AA aluminum light
A single rechargeable lithium-ion cell is used to power
the light, which is essentially state-of-the-art technology.
Because the T4 uses this type of cell it can be recharged
at anytime without the worry of a "memory effect".
Two charging contacts are found on one side of the light.
Orient these with the charging contacts in the charger
base and press the light into the charger. A blue LED
on the charger turns on when you have it right. When
the LED turns off, you have a full charge. To use the
light just grab the light near the tail and lift. The
charger base uses two spring loaded rollers to hold
the light, so it is easy to insert and remove the unit.
Full recharge from a full discharge takes about 3 hours.
The charger has a thermal detector and will not operate
at temperatures above 115°F or below 20°F. Included
with the light are AC and DC adapters and one charger
Optional accessories include replacement bezel ring/lens
kit, assorted adapters for overseas use, 10' vehicle
hardwire kit, replacement power cell, and replacement
AC and DC adapters.
What I Liked: Water resistant,
Tough/impact resistant, Regulated, Good battery life
for a rechargeable, Bright, , Lightweight, Stands up
What I Didn't Like: Not a darn
Other Things I Noticed: n/a
Conclusions: This light kicks butt!
This is the first commercially available lithium-ion
rechargeable Luxeon LED duty light on the market and
everyone else is going to be scrambling to catch up.
Great output, great beam, and very good runtime. Note
that in terms of output and runtime, it's about the
same as the Inova T3 and the XO3. It is not as bright
as many rechargeable incandescent duty lights available
currently, so be aware that it won't outshine a Stinger,
Strion, or Magcharger. The lithium ion rechargeable
system does make it inexpensive to use over a period
of time relative to disposable cell lights. The charging
system and the Li-Ion cell is state-of-the-art technology
and appears to work extremely well.
Here's my recommendation: if the output
level meets your criteria, get this light if you will
use it frequently, get the T3 or XO3 if you will be
using it infrequently or if you need to be able to carry
replacement cells with you for on-the-fly battery changes.
Either way you'll probably be very happy with your selection.
All of the Inova T series of lights so far have received
5 Stars, and the T4 adds another 5 Star rating to
their winning streak.
READER UPDATE Oct 13, 2005: The
newest version of the Inova T4 has a charger that behaves
a little different. While charging the light is a bright
blue. It changes to a dimmer green when fully charged.
The green light stays on as long as the light is in
the charger (makes it very nice to find the light in
READER UPDATE September, 2006 from
FFolkes: I just wanted to let you know that Inova has
ceased production of the stainless steel bezel on their
T4 light, and replaced it with black anodized aluminum.
When I called they told me this was done to answer an
increasing complaint from law enforcement professionals
and tactical users.