The Surefire 10X Dominator rechargeable lighting system
is designed primarily for tactical use. The lower output
bulb is capable of disrupting the dark adapted vision
of an opponent and the high output bulb makes the unit
impossible to look at directly from the front.
Dominator Standard Kit - Light/Battery, Charging Stand,
AC Adapter, DC Adapter
The body of the 10X is made from a high impact polymer.
Most of the "body" of the light is the B20
battery stick which is completely replaced when it reaches
the end of its service life.
In the bezel you will find a twin reflector machined
from aluminum, textured to provide a smooth beam and
highly polished. Each of the two bulbs (60/500 lumen)
rests in its own partial concave area of the reflector.
The reflector sits behind an oblong Pyrex lens which
is highly resistant to thermal cycling. The bulbs can
be changed out by removing the bezel from the battery
unit and then using an allen wrench (included) to remove
a screw from the back of the bezel which loosens the
reflector. The reflector/lens assembly then pulls out
of the front exposing the two bulbs which can be replaced.
Reassemble in reverse order.
The 60 lumen bulb (MN30) will run about 3 hours on
a full charge. The 60 lumen bulb can be optionally replaced
with a 110 lumen bulb (MN32) for 1½ hours of
operation. The 60 lumen bulb / 500 lumen bulb (MN31)
combination will run about 20 minutes when the light
is activated in full power mode.
Output is stunning. The lower output "working
bulb" is very bright all by itself. When the high
power bulb is additionally activated the 10X projects
a wall of pure white light. Details in an otherwise
bland landscape suddenly stand out. It's like having
a little piece of the Sun in your hand.
Operation of the light is fairly simple and straightforward.
There are two switching possibilities for the 10X and
using either one the lower output bulb (MN30) is activated
first, then the high output bulb (MN31) is additionally
activated so that both are illuminating the subject.
Twisting the bezel relative to the body activates the
lower output light. Continued twisting will activate
the high output bulb as well. Pressing the tailcap lightly
will activate the lower output bulb in "momentary
mode" and harder pressure activates both low and
high output bulbs. Releasing the switch turns the light
off. Optionally you can twist the bezel to activate
the lower output bulb and use the tailcap switch to
momentarily activate the high output bulb as well when
an extra dose of light is needed. To deactivate the
switching system for charging or storage/transport,
rotate the bezel backwards relative to the handle 2
The entire unit is sealed for water resistance with
O-rings, but it is not intended for submersion.
The battery unit includes the handle, switch, and rechargeable
Ni-Cad battery all in one. This entire unit is unscrewed
from the bezel area for replacement or for quick changeouts.
To charge the battery, the bezel is twisted backwards
to lock out the switching system and the 10X is placed
on the plugged-in charging base. The base can be used
with either the included 110V AC charging adapter or
the 12V DC plug. The charging base has circuitry designed
to protect both the charger and the battery from voltage
spikes that may occur in marine and automotive electrical
systems. A battery unit can be charged in the charger
without a bezel being attached. This allows you to charge
one battery unit while the other is in use.
Dominator sitting on the AC charger
To charge, twist the bezel backwards 2 turns to lock
out the switching system, drop the 10X on the charger
so that the silver dot on the battery stick is pointing
up and give it a 1/4 twist to the right to lock it in.
The red LED on the charging base will turn on indicating
that the battery is charging. When the charging cycle
is complete the green LED will turn on. Remove the light
from the base, give the bezel 2 turns to activate the
switching mechanism again (remove the lock-out) and
you're ready to go. The charging cycle on a completely
dead battery takes about 2 hours or less and the charger
automatically switches to trickle charge when the main
charge cycle is complete.
How about some more beam shots?!?!?! Target is 2 trees
100 feet (30 meters) away.
Low beam close-up
High beam close-up
What I Liked: Water resistant,
Tough/impact resistant, Rechargeable, Good battery life,
Exceptionally bright, Two lighting levels easily selectable
with tail switch, and did I mention exceptionally bright?
What I Didn't Like: I found two
negative issues with with this light. First is that
it must be "locked out" (rendered inoperable)
when placed on the charger. This prevents the user from
grabbing it off the charger and immediately using it.
Once taken off the charger the user needs to twist the
bezel at least 2 full turns to reactivate the light
and if you turn it the wrong way 2 turns the bezel falls
off. So... forget about rapid use right off the charger.
Second is the fact that if the light is ready for use
(not locked out) and you shake it up and down while
it is turned off (as might happen when you are running
with the light in your hand) the light flickers on an
off as the rechargeable battery bounces up and down,
completing the contact with the bulbs. This easily gives
away your position when running with a light that you
think is turned off.
Other Things I Noticed: Nothing
Conclusions: The 10X provides unbelievable
light output. The only way to come close to the sheer
volume of light is by using a hand held spotlight which
would undoubtedly weigh much more and be significantly
larger. If you need a lot of light, and I mean A LOT
of light, the 10X will happily oblige. For more mundane
tasks the lower output "working bulb" with
its two hour runtime provides more than enough output
and very good relative runtime.
UPDATE!!!: Encountered problems
with charging the Dominator 10x...
I recently went to charge up the Surefire Dominator
10x after using it to illuminate some of the "wildlife"
in the neighborhood while out walking. When I returned
home I placed the light on the charger as indicated
in the instructions and oddly enough the red LED that
indicates charging flickered a bit. I returned later
to find no LEDs lit on the charger (either the red
or green should be lit when charging) and a strange
crackling hum coming from the charging base.
I unlocked the 10x from the charger, settled it
on the charger again and the red LED lit. About 2
seconds later it dimmed and went out and that nasty
hum came back. At this point my brain flipped into
troubleshooting mode. The first thing I tried was
the rattle test. Shake the transformer and see if
it rattles - nope. Shake the base - no rattle. Remove
the light assembly and shake the battery assembly.
From the assembly I could hear, "Tinka-tinka-tinka-tinka-tink."
Uh-oh... Listening carefully I was able to find the
source of the problem. Looking in the open end of
the battery assembly/handle you can see two hex screws
that are attached internally to the exposed charging
contacts on the outside of the battery handle assembly.
Looking carefully you can also see wires with eyelet
contacts attached to the screws. One of the screws
had become quite loose, resulting in an intermittent
contact. A hex wrench was carefully applied and both
screws were tightened until snug. Voila! No more rattle
and once placed on the charger the battery handle
assembly charged as intended.
So if you have unusual charging problems with your
10x, as part of your troubleshooting check those two
tiny hex screws and try tightening them (don't OVER
tighten - just snug them down) to see if that fixes