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Wicked Hunting Lights (W402ZF) Predator Pursuit Pack Review

Specifically this is a review of the Wicked W402ZF Predator Light, however, we reviewed the lights as part of Wicked’s “Predator Pursuit Pack” offering.

wicked-lights-w401zf-review

The Wicked Hunting Lights W402zf Predator Pursuit Pack includes:

2 – 3 Mode W402ZF Light’s with Interchangeable LED
5 – LED’s (2 Green, 2 Red, and 1 White)
2 – Battery Doubler Extension Tubes
2 – Standard Push Button On/Off Caps
1 – Remote On/Off Coil Cord Tail Cap
4 – Li-Ion 18650 Rechargeable Batteries
1 – 4 Position AC/DC Battery Charger
1 – Picatinny Rail Scope Mount
1 – Fully Adjustable Light Mount
1 – Durable Hard Sided Carry/Storage Case

Greatest Hits:

  • Extremely Long Range Light – White LED beam distance 849 yards with 502 yard useful beam distance, green LED 618 yards with 399 yards useful, and red 489 yards with 316 yards useful beam distance.
  • Interchangeable LED’s
  • Adjustable between flood and spot
  • 3 power modes (High<Medium<Low)
  • Virtually indestructible
  • Water Resistant (although in torture testing Wicked submerged in water)
  • Rifle mountable
  • Can run off either 1 or 2 batteries by using a battery doubler and with 2 batteries there is about 5 to 6 hours worth of battery on high power mode
  • Uses 18650 Li-Ion Rechargeable Batteries (I originally thought this was a con, but have somewhat changed my mind)

I am sure most of you have seen Jeff Thomason’s “Predator Pursuit”(www.predatorpursuit.com) on Sportsman Channel, and for those of you that haven’t you need to!  It is one of my favorite shows, and I am always really impressed by the way Jeff and the rest of his team are able to spot predators with Wicked Lights at night.  They spot them at an extreme distance are able to identify the species, and maintain/manage the light in the predators eye’s so they don’t get busted.  Before trying the Wicked Lights for myself, I figured there had to be some creative photography…  but after using the W402ZF’s, they are every bit as bright as they look on Predator Pursuit!

The W402ZF is Wicked’s second generation predator light.  The W400 is the first generation, which I have heard good things about also, but have no first hand experience.  The W402ZF has 3 power settings (low/med/high), and has interchangeable LED’s.  Interchangeable LED’s is a nice feature not only so that you can change the color, but also if you ever literally decide to blow up your light to test the rugged design like the guys at Wicked did, you can replace the LED.  Wicked torture tested the W402ZF (Seen Below) and literally had to blow it up to even somewhat damage the light.  Even so, when they blew it up, all they had to do was screw the top and bottom pieces back together, and replace the LED… and it still worked!

Batteries

At first I thought I didn’t like the fact that the W402ZF used the 18650 Li-Ion Rechargeable battery…  because while I like that they are rechargeable, I didn’t like that there isn’t a non-rechargeable equivalent.  For most things that require batteries that I hunt with, I want a non-rechargeable option in case I can’t recharge the batteries while in the field.  The 18650 looks like an over-sized AA battery, thus there isn’t a disposable option.  I have now decided that the positives outweigh the negatives with the 18650’s.  First off, the power coming from the 18650 more than double that of a AA battery.  The 18650 puts out 3.7 volts, and the ones that came in the Predator Pursuit pack are 3000 mah.  I bought a 10 pack of extra batteries, so now I have 14 batteries for 2 lights.  According to Wicked, you get about 3 hours of run time for a W402ZF at full power… so with 14 batteries I have about 42 hours of run time between 2 lights.  As part of the Predator Pursuit Pack an AC/DC, 4-position charger was also included.  So I have now changed my mind about the batteries.  Additionally, included in the Predator Pursuit Pack are Battery Doublers which allow each light to run off 2 18650 Batteries instead of 1.  Using the Doubler increases the run time, not the brightness.

Light Power **

Wicked came up with their own unit of measurement for their lights… called “Useful Beam Distance”.  Instead of measuring their lights in Lumens (which has no real life application), Wicked came up with their own measurement with the real life application being the ability to identify the species of an animal.  Wicked gives each light 2 ratings…  Beam Distance, and Useful Beam Distance.  Beam Distance has the real life application of being able to see animal eye shine, with Useful Beam Distance allowing the hunter to identify the animal species.  The W402ZF has really impressive range!  With the White LED the Beam Distance rating is 849 yards with a Useful Beam Distance of 502 yards, the Green LED has a Beam Distance of 618 yards with a Useful Beam Distance of 399 yards, and the Red LED has a Beam Distance of 489 yards with a Useful Beam Distance of 316 yards.  While I haven’t measured to the exact yard to varify the claims, I know they are at least close.

Scan and Kill® Technology

The W402ZF has a single deep rotation groove as opposed to multiple fine threads for the transition from flood to spot light zoom.  This does a couple things…  first in decreases the amount of time and effort required to make the transition, and secondly it eliminates potential problems associated with fine threads.  Frozen moisture, dirt, and the like don’t mix well with fine threads. Having the light mounted on my rifle, it is a very quick/easy almost flick of the wrist transition to change the light from flood to spot.  I love this feature.

Light Mounting

Also included in the Predator Pursuit Pack was 1 scope mount/light mount combination.  My Scope rings already have a picatinny rail, so I didn’t need to use the scope mount, instead just mounted the light mount directly to the picatinny rail on my rings.  The windage and elevation adjustable light mount is critical!  Especially when your light is usefull out beyond 300 yards!  You need to be able to align the spotlight with the crosshairs of your scope.  One of the things I really like about the adjustments on the mount is that they are quick and easy to adjust without tools.  However, the mount is not sloppy, and will maintain whatever setting you set.

Cons…

  • It’s somewhat heavy.  If you have the battery doubler and 2 batteries in it, it will add just under 19 ounces to your rifle.
  • I have the pistol grip for scanning, and if you want to use it 1 handed you can’t reach the on/off button if you are using the battery doubler.  It would be nice if they somehow integrated on/off to the grip..
  • I will mention the battery… even though I have become satisfied with the 18650…  it would however be nice if you could use disposable batteries if you are in the field unable to recharge your 18650’s.

Summary

In all I am very satisfied with the Wicked W402ZF Predator Pursuit Pack.  The only things I purchased in addition were extra batteries and a pistol grip for use while scanning.  My scope rings already had a Picatinny rail, so I didn’t use the scope mount, even though it came with it… and seems like it would work just fine.  All that said, I highly recommend these lights!

**Wicked’s full notes regarding “Useful Beam Distance”

  • Why No ANSI Lumen Measurement or listing? The Lumen measurement means very little when it comes to hunting lights. Lumens rating is NOT an indicator of light range or how far a light will shine. A 250 Lumen LED can have significantly longer range as compared to a light with 1,100 Lumen LED.  It’s all dependent on the light bezel, reflector, and lens design, that’s where you achieve beam distance and long range.
  • So How Do You Measure Light Distance or Range? Candela (Peak Beam Intensity) is the measurement unit and light intensity is measured in candela (cd) at the brightest part of the beam.
    • A lux reading in the brightest portion of the beam is taken at some distance. For example this measurement can be accomplished at 2 meters or 5 meters or a further distance to ensure the beam is fully focused. This is very important on lights using convex lenses since they often don’t reach peak intensity until several meters forward of the bezel.  With the light on its brightest mode and tightest focus at some time between 30 and 120 seconds of turning the light on. The lux reading is multiplied by the square of the distance in meters to get candela. Regardless of the distance at which the reading is taken, you should end up with the same value in candela, therefore the measurement is independent of distance. A lux reading taken at 1 meter distance is the same as candela (since 1 squared is 1).
  • What’s the FL-1 Standard? The short version is the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved a new specification standardizing flashlight performance. The purpose of the standard is to allow consumers to make apples-to-apples comparisons of lights and to eliminate exaggerated light performance by quoting “emitter lumens” or “out-the-front lumens”. The test can be performed by the manufacturer or an independent lab.
  • Is the FL-1 Standard A Good Standard For Hunting Lights? It’s good to have industry standards as it relates to measurements, however the formula for calculating Beam Distance is based on a .25 lux standard (considered by some as the same as the amount of ambient light on a clear full moon).  We feel the .25 lux calculation used in the formula to express Beam Distance leads to confusion when using the Beam Distance rating to determine if a hunting light will meet your requirements for night hunting. For an example, a light advertising a 217 yard Beam Distance as per the FL-1 calculation in reality will not provide enough illumination to positively identify a target hog or coyote at that distance even with high quality optics. Our experience is your Useful Beam Distance will be closer to 140 yards. Because of this, Wicked Hunting Lights has developed another measurement called Useful Beam Distance.
  • What is Useful Beam Distance? We have modified the FL-1 Beam Distance formula and replaced the .25 lux calculation with a more stringent .60 lux.  We call the resulting calculation Useful Beam Distance.  Useful Beam Distance is a more accurate reflection of a lights range in yards and suitability for use as a hunting light. Remember ambient light (moon phase), scope quality & power setting, LED color, battery state of charge, background foliage,  humidity, rain, snow, and size and color of target species will all affect the useful beam distance and light hunting range.