That lumen count isn’t a misprint. There are 12,500 lumens being delivered via a compact (if not a bit rotund) handheld flashlight! When I heard about it at the American Outdoor Brands writers conference, I knew I had to have one.

Unlike Any Other Tactical Handheld Light

The Night Terror is not what I would consider a true tactical flashlight. It measures 2 inches in diameter and weighs 22 ounces with its four included rechargeable batteries. It’s not something I would have taken on a SWAT building entry, but it would’ve been great for perimeter control. The aptly named Night Terror is more of a specialty light capable of dumping a huge amount of light on an equally large space in need of illumination. When dialed down to lower power levels, it will also serve well for indoor illumination tasks.

M&P Night Terror Features

The rechargeable M&P Night Terror utilizes four LEDs and a single digital on/off switch to control nine multiple modes:

  • Ultra-Low — 200 lumens
  • Low — 500 lumens
  • Medium-Low — 1,000 lumens
  • Medium — 3,000 lumens
  • High — 6,000 lumens
  • Turbo-High — 12,500 lumens
  • Strobe
  • SOS
  • Lockout

The individual modes are clustered in related groups, and directions on how to access the desired mode is listed in the specifications sheet included in the package. Don’t lose the sheet! It is essential to getting the most out of this specialized tool.

The Night Terror includes a feature that I would really like to see incorporated on all rechargeable handheld lights: a digital power level “fuel meter,” located to the left of the on/off switch. It is marked with a five-bar “E” to “F” meter that glows green when the switch is turned on. The charging port is located on the right side, and an AC wall charger and 12v car charger are included in the package.

The Night Terror also includes a threaded mount on the side opposite the switch to mount on a tripod for long term deployment. The tripod mount really expands the versatility of the Night Terror light.

Testing the Night Terror After Dark

Vacation gave a perfect opportunity to test the Night Terror. Our rental home overlooked a lake with 200 feet of private beach across the road. Naturally, I experimented with the light, frequently in Turbo High mode since I had never experienced a light with this much power. I was overwhelmed by its effectiveness.

In the Turbo High mode, the Night Terror cast a wide beam across the street onto the beach located about 50 feet from our balcony. Approximately 100 feet of the beach was fully illuminated in great detail. It would be great for an open area search. The beam has a reach of 352 meters. The use of a tight spotlight beam with a 12,500-lumen output would been impractical and ineffective. The Night Terror’s wide beam is bright enough to stun at close range and would certainly eliminate the night vision of intended targets.

Light runtime on a single charge on lower settings is approximately 34 hours.

The Most Important Operating Mode

The Night Terror gets hot — really hot — when run in the Turbo High mode. It was the closest light I had handy when I had dropped something into the large trash bag in the rental home. As I searched for the item, I smelled burning plastic. I pulled the light back and saw that I had burned a perfectly shaped flashlight hole through the bag!

This makes the most important operating mode the Lockout Mode. If the switch is pressed in the Lockout mode, the light flashes three times in low power and shuts itself off. Always lock the Night Terror after using.

Wrap Up

The new Smith & Wesson M&P Night Terror light shows great flexibility and potential. Whether mounted on a tripod or handheld, it can provide a curtain of light for concealment during night operations or while maintaining security at your home. MSRP $274.99


Smith & Wesson:

About Scott W. Wagner

After working undercover in narcotics and liquor investigations, Scott W. Wagner settled down to be a criminal justice professor and police academy commander. He was also a SWAT team member, sniper and assistant team leader before his current position as patrol sergeant with the Village of Baltimore, Ohio, Police Department. Scott is a police firearms instructor certified to train revolver, semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, semi- and fully automatic patrol rifle, and submachine gun.