As I was walking through the glorious jungle of gear that was the 2022 SHOT Show, I came across a small booth for a company that has become one of my most used and most beloved flashlight brands; Ledlenser. The brand was founded in 1994, when two brothers with no more than a dream and 1,000 Deutschmarks decided they wanted to build and sell high-quality LED flashlights. In those early days, though, the brothers were turned down for loans by every major bank in Germany and were told their flashlight wasn’t a profitable idea; so they did what every successful entrepreneur does and they took to their garage and got to work.
Their website says, “With all the passion and courage of two young, newly-minted entrepreneurs, they managed without the bank and to their own surprise ended up selling more than $200 million Euros’worth of LED flashlights within the first 5 years.”
And with that, Ledlenser was a major player in the flashlight industry.
I first came across Ledlenser flashlights in 2011 when I was starting my career as a police officer. I’d just finished the 6-month police academy and I hadn’t had a paycheck hit my account in about 7 months. I did, however, need a good flashlight that I could use as a starting patrol officer. I drove to a local “police” store and was looking at Surefire and Streamlight flashlights, but quickly discovered that for the lumens I needed, I wasn’t going to be able to afford either of those. I then noticed a light on the shelf that boasted 400 lumens and was priced one-half to one-third what the other two brands’ lights were selling for. Out of necessity more than choice, I decided to go with the light that was reasonably priced; and that was my first Ledlenser flashlight.