Review: Smith & Wesson Galaxy 6 Pilots Flashlight

A pilot must never be without a carefully designed and reliable pilots flashlight when flying at night.  This rugged performer comes with a red light option, a high quality case, and LED illumination for increased reliability and battery life. 

What makes a flashlight a pilots flashlight?

Great question. Every pilot knows that flying at night comes with additional challenges. Instruments and charts can be very difficult to read, and there is always the possibility that cockpit lighting can fail – literally leaving you in the dark. This is an extremely dangerous situation, for reasons that should be very obvious. Having a backup source of illumination in the cockpit is essential.

However, not all flashlights are created equal. We are all taught in our flight training that a pilots night vision doesn’t become fully effective unless the eyes are kept in a very low light environment for a full 30 minutes. One careless flash of an ill-designed flashlight can ruin your night vision in an instant – requiring a full 30 minutes of low light to become fully effective once again.

Colored light, especially red light, is the pilot’s friend. It provides sufficient illumination to be able to read instruments and charts, without jeopardizing a pilots night vision.

So … a good pilots flashlight should offer red light, and must be rugged and dependable. This is where, so to speak, the Smith & Wesson Galaxy 6 LED Pilots Flashlight , shines.


As soon as you hold the Galaxy 6 in your hands, you can feel the quality. Made from anodised aerospace-grade aluminum, the flashlight is reassuringly heavy and feels indestructible.  The two switches are easy to find, and simple to operate.

The flashlight uses LED technology for its illumination, which offers the pilot some significant benefits. As well as lasting much longer than incandescent bulbs, LEDs provide superior battery life. Furthermore, multiple LEDs are included, so that if one fails, you’ll still have plenty of illumination available.

Important for a pilots flashlight, the Galaxy 6 offers a choice between white and red light, at the flip of a switch. The powerful, white light is useful for performing pre-flight checks in the dark, whereas the red setting comes into its own for reading instruments and charts in-flight.

Smith & Wesson are taking reliability seriously with this model – one particularly useful bonus feature is that the flashlight is waterproof – even submersible to a depth of 1 meter.

This pilots flashlight is compact, taking up minimal room in your flight bag. It even comes with a high quality fabric case, complete with loops to attach to your belt.


The Smith & Wesson Galaxy 6 is an excellent pilots flashlight, at a very reasonable price, from a name you can trust. Although fairly basic when it comes to features, the LED technology and quality construction deliver exactly what a pilot needs … a reliable tool that does the basics well. My only negative is that perhaps the white setting is a little too bright, but this can easily be addressed by partially covering up the end of the flashlight with your hand, or using indirect illumination – i.e. bouncing the light off one surface to dimly illuminate another.

This is my go-to flashlight, it does everything I need and I trust it will light the way in an emergency. Highly recommended.


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