The Legacy of Pelican Lighting Solutions

February 12, 2021

From the beginning, in a Torrance California garage in 1976, Pelican has always been focused on creating products that can be depended on to perform.

In 1981, the same year that the word “Internet” was first mentioned, and MS-DOS was released by Microsoft along with the first IBM PC, Dave Parker and his team at Pelican introduced the Pelican™ SabreLite™ flashlight for use in underwater military applications (an updated version of this flashlight is still available today from Pelican, the Pelican™ SabreLite 2010 LED). The rugged, lightweight EXL body is submersible and has a twist on/off lens shroud that provides maximum protection from water ingress.

pelican lighting solutions

Never happy to rest on his laurels, Dave and his team continued advancing the lighting capabilities and output with the adoption of LED technology. This technology was brand-new at the time and resulted in the Pelican MityLite (which has sold millions of units worldwide and continues to be in heavy circulation). Early adopters became advocates and soon specialists came knocking for solutions to their occupation’s unique lighting specifications and application.

In 1984 Pelican received our first safety certifications, incorporating industry firsts like pressure relief valves, gas absorbing pellets, and battery polarity protection - ensuring that the new series of Safety Certified Lights would be safe to use in potentially combustible environments.

firefighter led flashlights

In the 1990s, the word was out that Pelican Products had the ability to engineer and manufacture lighting solutions for niche occupational demands. Some of the company’s next innovations centered around the needs of the Law Enforcement industry. The requirements were unique from that of a scuba diver or industrial safety applications. Light output was paramount as was durability and reliability. Due to the prevalent use, the implementation of rechargeability was key. This led to an entire line of law enforcement-centric flashlights dubbed the Black Knight series. Fast forward to 2008, Pelican was asked to develop a flashlight for one of the largest police departments in the country. This led to the creation of the Pelican 7060. One of the challenging hurdles was a request for a dual switch. This design would allow the officers to use the light for both tactical and duty applications. Pelican became the first flashlight manufacturer to create a dual switch design which has become a prevalent feature today. Additionally, this model also became Pelican’s first high-performance flashlight to incorporate LED technology at a time when incandescent bulbs were still most common.

rugged police led flashlight

Around the turn of the century, hurdling the Y2K scare, another industry to seek out Pelican’s innovative capability was the Firefighting Industry. Pelican incorporated "glow in the dark" shroud designs which provide a better ability to locate flashlights in dark and smoky environments. This progressed to an entire series of flashlight models whose entire bodies are molded with photoluminescent material.

glow in the dark photoluminescent flashlight

Working closely with our government partners, Pelican received a request to outfit the Navy with lights to be used on the decks of Aircraft Carriers to provide guidance between the deck crew and pilot.

specialty wand light

In 2006, Pelican produced the first portable Remote Area Lighting System (aka RALS). The Pelican 9450, housed inside a Pelican roller case for storage and transport protection, incorporated a powerful LED head mounted on a telescopic pole and housed rechargeable batteries which deployed in seconds. This created a new category of portable, high-powered area lighting solutions in a range of models from single head, dual-head, quad-head, and tri-pod configurations reaching light output levels up to 24,000 lumens.

In the pursuit of continued technological advancements, in 2016 Pelican designed a custom configuration of the top-selling Pelican 7600 tactical flashlight for the largest law enforcement department in the U.S. It has now become their standard issue.

In 2017 Pelican came to market with the 9455 RALS, the world’s first Class I Division 1, ATEX Zone 0 and IECEx ia safety certified remote area light, allowing our customers to use remote area lighting systems in most prevalent hazardous areas around the globe. With a 125° beam angle, and up to 1,600 lumens and up to 10 hours of run time, the 9455 will support full work shifts and deliver safe situational awareness. Weighing only 16 pounds and being completely collapsible makes for easy carry and quick setups.

rals remote area lights

Most recently in 2019, Pelican launched an entirely new line of flashlights, the Pelican Color Correct series. Due to the loss of color rendering found in LED emitters, these flashlight models incorporate the use of special LEDs that provide a high CRI (color rendering index). These lights provide all the benefits offered from LEDs but with the high color rendering found in incandescents.

correct color flashlights

Looking forward, Pelican has some really exciting lights coming to market. Click here to sign up for our Newsletter and be the first to know!