The Tom Bihn Guardian Dual Function Light Review

There are so many good reasons why you might be interested in getting a clip-on safety light; perhaps because you ride a bike at night, or you walk in darker areas, or simply because you need a way to look inside a big gear bag in a darkened room.

The story goes that Tom Bihn spent three months searching for a light that would meet his expectations, and the result of that search was the Guardian Dual Function Light. Make no mistake about it, this is no cheap flasher that will break after a few uses; the Guardian Dual Function Light is made in Canada to military/law enforcement specifications, and it offers a lot of versatility. How so? Read on…

The Tom Bihn Guardian Dual Function Light Review

The actual body of the light measures approximately 1.5″ tall x 1.25″ wide x 1.25″ thick; its body is composed of highly impact resistant plastic with a metal clip. The light is “omni-directional, waterproof to 300’ and [has] an operational range from -40° to 50 ° C. The Guardian Light comes with its metal belt clip installed as well as a plastic swivel snaphook. When you use the belt clip by itself, it can be snapped to the outside of a bag (perhaps on a shoulder strap) as a safety light.

The Tom Bihn Guardian Dual Function Light Review

Clipping the belt Clip to the swivel snaphook allows you clip the light to a D-ring on a bag’s exterior.

The Tom Bihn Guardian Dual Function Light Review

You can also buy the optional 7.5″ lanyard ($2) “to clip the light to the “o-rings” inside of most TOM BIHN bags for use as an interior flashlight designed to help you see the contents of your bag.” Depending upon how shallow your bag is, you may not even need to purchase the optional lanyard.

The Tom Bihn Guardian Dual Function Light Review

LED Life: 44+ years
Battery life: Steady-On: 20 hrs; Flashing: 120 hrs

The Tom Bihn Guardian Dual Function Light Review

The Guardian Light is capable of throwing either a solid beam or producing a flashing strobe; instructions for achieving either mode are simple:

Turning On and Off: Twist cap clockwise until light comes on. To turn light off, twist cap counter-clockwise until light turns off.

Changing from Solid to Flashing: Twist cap counter-clockwise until it comes off. Tap cap on solid surface so battery comes out. Flip battery over. Replace cap.

I am still trying to decide if I want to keep mine in my bag (so I can see whats lurking in the bottom), or clip it to a my bag’s exterior for safety at night. The cool thing is that this one light can easily provide the solution for a multitude of situations.

The Tom Bihn Guardian Dual Function Light is available directly from the manufacturer. Replacement batteries available at most drugstores, watch repair shops, or online. Uses 1 CR-2032 battery for red light or 2 CR-2016 batteries for white light.

MSRP: $20.00 (add $2 for the optional lanyard, if you need one)

What I Like: Easy to clip onto or into a bag; provides either a solid beam or a flashing beacon; can be used for safety or convenience; multiple applications of the same essential light.

What Needs Improvement: I wish that the light came with swappable lenses, so you could have either red or white instead of having to buy two lights…but that’s just me

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. If you are shopping on Amazon anyway, buying from our links gives Gear Diary a small commission.

About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

3 Comments on "The Tom Bihn Guardian Dual Function Light Review"

  1. Very interesting.. sort of a flashlight beacon kind of thingy.. Still not sure how it does you any good for safety at night unless it has a built in taser, but hey what do I know.. I’ve always thought that having a light attracted attention, but I’m sort of a military kind of guy.. 🙂

  2. Same product for $13 minus the strap at I got a couple from Road ID site years ago. Amazing that a single LED is so clearly seen from a distance. I use ’em biking on the streets.

  3. Politenessman | October 28, 2008 at 2:09 pm |

    Couple of things. The safety at night aspect would be wearing while walking or biking at night to avoid being hit by a vehicle. Unless of course like TrvingDrew above, you live in a war zone and are going to be picked off by snipers, then not so much for safety. While Road iD does sell the consumer version of this light, they perform similarly but are made with different components. Tom Bihn has chosen to offer the premium product to his customers.
    Couple other things, the belt clip is plastic, not metal. The battery lasts 100 hrs in steady-on, not 20 as stated above. In flashing mode will last over 250 hrs, not 120. Anf finally, all versions use the same 2 2032 batteries. There is no difference between colours as indicated by Judie.

    for more information see

Comments are closed.