Amazing handheld Pepper Spray and Flashlight device but the app needs some work.
Some days I wish I could travel back to my youth, as I do not remember the world being as tumultuous. Perhaps I was naive, or perhaps I was just young, but I do not think that my parents had the same worries that we have now. The internet is not safe, the movies are not safe, our churches are not safe, and our schools are not safe. We all have our own opinions regarding self-defense, and this review is not geared towards trying to sway one side to the other. I love the law, I love law enforcement, and I appreciate and support all of our Men and Women in Blue. Despite this love, I still feel that I am the first line of defense for my family. This is why I support concealed carry laws, open carry laws and the right of the individual to choose for themselves. For those who are against lethal forms of self-defense, there are some viable options out there for you. You may consider a personal alarm, a Stun Gun or possibly a Pepper Spray device like the new D A D 2.0. Interestingly Pepper spray is legal to purchase, own, and carry in all 50 states but there are some regional restrictions. Before you decide if this is the system for you, make sure you are over the age of eighteen and that you follow your local laws/regulations. Cabelas and selfdefenseninja provided a brief overview of Pepper Spray regulations by state.
Wikipedia defines Pepper Spray as a Lachrymatory agent, a chemical that causes the body to produce excessive tears (lacrimation), causes burning pain, difficulty breathing, swelling of the eyelids and temporary blindness. It does not matter how strong you are, nor does it matter how much you train because the chemical will irritate all people, and many animals like dogs and bears. The active ingredient is known as oleoresin capsicum, the same chemical that makes peppers hot. Who has not experienced touching pepperoncini or jalepeño pepper and forgetting to wash your hands. Do not touch your privates or your eyes, else you will understand first-hand the effects of pepper spray. Peppers are measured on the Scoville Scale, ranging from 0 heat for a Bell Peper to approximately 3500-8000 for a jalapeño, 30,000-50,000 for cayenne peppers, 300,000-350,000 for a habañero, and the new hottest pepper Pepper X has a score of 3.18 million Scoville units. Compare this with pure capsaicin at 15,000,000 Scoville units and available pepper sprays of 2,000,000-5,300,000 Scoville Units, and you can see why the sprays are so painful and effective. If you struggle to eat a jalapeño, imagine getting sprayed with a chemical in the face that is 250-500 times stronger.
For the Harry Potter fans, whose mind quickly jumped to defense against the dark arts, when they saw the D.A.D 2 title? As a personal safety device, this connection was actually not too far from reality. The DAD “Defense Alert Device” arrived in an attractive 4 inches wide by 9 1/2 inches tall by 3 1/2 inches thick retail package. The silver device with black handle was elegantly displayed behind a clear 4 3/4 inches tall translucent window. Labeled on the clear plastic, you will see “DEFEND AND ALERT,” “#1 Rated Non-lethal Defense Technology,” and then along the bottom, crowd alert technology, sabre red pepper spray, ultra bright flashlight, polycarbonate house, AA battery and practice canister. I enjoyed the look and feel of the packaging, the D A D title and the black font on the white background. Beneath the clear window, the company provided a 3 1/4 inches tall rectangle and continued the theme. There was a 5/8 inch tall strip of pictures on the left/right and cover panel. Beneath the pictures, we were able to learn more about the Crowd Alert Technology, which will alert D.A.D app users near your location, and the Stopping Power of the Military Grade Pepper Spray. Lastly, the cover provided a very strongly worded caution, detailing the possibility of severe eye, skin and respiratory irritation and that the device was pressurized. Rotating the packaging ninety degrees clockwise, the upper white panel recommended that you download the free D.A.D App and the lower panel provided a QR code to “SEE HOW IT WORKS.” The clear side panel listed the strength of the carry handle and that you are 90% less likely to drop the device thanks to the handle. The top and bottom of the rear panel proved to be rather busy. The top provided a paragraph detailing the GPS, Bluetooth enabled Crowd Alert App, ultrabright flashlight, pepper spray and carry handle. The bottom provided three icons and added additional information about the Crowd alert feature (send alerts to everyone with the free App), D.A.D App Alerts, and the ability to send email/text alerts to your D.A.D App contacts. The last side panel provided a touching message from Timothy Ballard, the Founder, and CEO and that 10% of the proceeds support trafficked sex slave children.
Within the packaging, you will find the 5 3/16 inches tall by 2 5/8 inches wide (with a safety pin) by 1 1/4 inches thick (2 inches with handle) D.A.D device, layered in between two thin pieces of plastic. I was surprised by the lightweight feel of the plastic body and the rubberized carriage handle. Beneath the device, I found the well worded 18-panel instruction manual, practice canister, Saber Red Pepper Spray Canister and single AA battery. Before you jump into the device, or before you grab the device and go for a run, I highly recommend that you fully read the instructions. Starting with the D.A.D title “SAFETY & USAGE INSTRUCTIONS,” the manual was laid out in a top-down, left-to-right column pattern. Since none of the panels were numbered, it was a little difficult to detail the panel numbers. It is important to note that the device, as shipped, is not ready for utility. You will need to follow panel 8 or panel 11 (on the back) to see how to install the battery/spray canister. To start, push upward on the front of the spray nozzle and slide outward from the main body. The silver plastic spray cover will completely separate from the device. Next, you can easily unscrew the rear battery compartment door, which also serves as the flashlight button. Remove the spray guard by sliding it in the opposite direction as the spray cover. You can then remove the actuator upward and install the canister with the nozzle facing upward. To complete the installation, all I had to do was complete the same steps in reverse. I liked that the device had a safety clip, which allowed decreased the chances of a misfire. Before you enter into a questionably safe environment, simply pull the safety clip out. The lightweight device will fit perfectly into a pocket, into a purse and with a weight of 4.4 ounces, your hand. If you are going to carry the device in a pocket or purse, you may still consider adding the safety clip to reduce misfires.
The device has a built-in four mode flashlight with a thumb activated button. For your convenience, the light will enter into strobe emergency/panic first, and you can cycle through the modes by half-pressing the button. If you hold the light in this mode for three seconds, the device will automatically enter into high beam. Otherwise, if you depress the button fully, it will stay in the current mode. The device also has low, strobe and SOS modes. As noted, cycling through the light features was incredibly easy. If the device is left off for 5 seconds, it will return to strobe mode when you turn it back on again. With the practice canister installed, I placed my right hand in between the carry handle and the main body of the device. The handle was accommodating and did expand to fit my hand. The smooth plastic fit perfectly into the palm of my hand and the 4.4-ounce lightweight device did not feel heavy. My thumb easily curled over the back of the device and was able to depress the flashlight button. I did go for a half mile jog and appreciated the carry handle as it allowed me to rest my grip, instead of holding onto the device.
My biggest complaint about the device was the with the limitations of the App and the ability to find the App within the App Store. The instruction manual shows “D.A.D Alert” and a female with a large hat. When I searched for D.A.D in the iOS App store, I only found D.A.D Networking. I did not find separate Crowd Alert and App Alert apps. Since some companies have multiple apps, this process could have been a little easier for the less technologically inclined. There should have been a QR code that linked to the app instead of the one on the box that linked to the website. Even though I typed in D.A.D, a story, mahjong, a Frontline Commando, Racing on Impossible” app, Head Basketball, D&D People, Spell List D&D, and many more apps appeared in the list. For a safety device, there should be absolutely no confusion about the app identity. When I opened the app, it asked me for permission to send notifications and then made me agree to a D.A.D License Agreement. As a first time user, you will need to create an account. The white “Create Account” text and the “Login to Your Account” text needed to be larger. When you create the account, you will need to enter the “name your contacts know you by”, your phone number, your email/login and a password of at least 7 characters. Interestingly the app says you can use upper/lowercase letters as well as numbers but only enforced a minimum of 7 characters. The main screen was blank, with “Contacts,” “Alerts,” “I’m Ok,” and “Account.” To add contacts, touch the “+” icon along the top right and add a nickname, phone, first/last name and an email. From the Alert tab, you can active crowd alerts and send/receive “I’m Okay” alerts within 1 mile of your location. You can also enter/exit test mode. While in this mode, it will turn off your contact and crowd alerts. This will allow you to test your device and to see the messages that are sent but will not send to everyone in your list. In test mode, I tapped “Send a Danger Alert.” You can also choose to send an “I’m Okay” alert, but you will need to add a pin. This feature did not work. I could not get it to accept 1234, 2580, 0852, and I had to reset the pin multiple times. No matter what I tried, I could not get this feature to work. The App is not user-friendly and is not something that I would recommend in its current form. Unfortunately, this limited one of the best potential features of the device. While in test mode, my wife texted me stating “I just got a weird text stating that you were in danger.” I replied to her stating that I was in test mode and trying out the alert. This should not have sent a message according to the app.
Throughout my testing, I found there to be multiple issues with the app. As noted above, the GPS did not initially provide my location. I navigated to privacy on my iPhone X, location settings and turned on/off the location features of the D.A.D app and resent the warning. I cycled the app, powered off/on my phone and then tested the above features again. This time, I was able to send a message with my location, noting I was in Danger within 10 meters of my location (appropriate address). I sent another test message and found that this only sent to my phone/email and not to my wife. No matter what I tried, I could not send an “I’m okay” message. I thought perhaps the test canister could be acting differently than the main canister. So, to prove this theory I exchanged the practice canister for the main canister. I did not test this device on a person, for a variety of reasons. There are countless internet sources that attest to the benefits of the pepper spray. Additionally, the spray is not without risks and there was no benefit to potentially cause damage, without a real threat to myself. Despite this, it is important to note that I was only able to get 3 sprays out of the canister. I found that the actual range of 5 feet was more accurate than the listed 4-6 sprays and 8-foot range. I was also surprised to find that the Sabre red Spray was actually more of a mist than a spray. I tested the device over multiple days and found that the alert would send multiple minutes later. I reached out to the company and sent emails with the above issues. I was impressed that the President of TigerLight, Inc., Mr. Teig, quickly responded to my email The email suggested that they had every intention of testing the device and finding me to be in error. They also experienced “uncharacteristic, inconsistent alerts” and they reached out to their lead App developer. They ran some tests and also found the same issues to be present. These issues were taken to the top of the company and it was discovered that there were issues with Amazon App servers. The email was amazingly refreshing and provided a large vote of confidence. After the team addressed the issues, the alerts were received on my iPhone X App within 30 seconds of pressing the button. I received an email and text alert that Jonathan was in Danger and the device worked as intended. As of the completion of this review, I still had issues with resetting the pin. I have faith that the team will work through this issue as well.
The App integration was more of a bonus feature and was not really designed to be the main safety feature. The spray and the flashlight were supposed to be the most important part of this device. In addition to the App advice from Mr. Teig, they noted that my technique was the reason that I experienced fewer sprays than I was supposed to have. A short spray burst would work just as well as a long spray and would allow for more potential sprays. My mistake was being heavy thumbed and not using shorter burst. Similar to other self-defense items, I would encourage you to practice regularly. Do not be afraid to use the canister, as they have expiration dates and you can purchase more. If you navigate to the TigerLight website, you can purchase the device in Chrome, Gun Metal Black, Rose Gold, and Metallic Pink. When you navigate to their website, a 10% coupon will be sent to your email. I loved the ability to reorder the canisters, carry handles, and bulb upgrade individually. As noted, do not be afraid to practice, do not be afraid to use the canister to become familiar with the best way to spray. I caution that you do not spray the mist into the wind as some of it may come back your way. Each canister has an expiration date and should be replaced to ensure proper safety/utility. The price of the device may seem high but it is not high enough to outweigh safety. I still have some concerns about the utility of the App, but feel that the company wants this to work. If you are simply looking for a pepper spray, this device will work for you. If you want a duo spray/strobe/high beam flashlight, this device is perfect for you. The added safety features of the app quickly become the icing on the cake, adding the benefits of a free app and a community built around the team. For larger cities, for college campuses, etc., the strength of the community feature becomes even more impressive. Similar to the benefit of the Tile, compared to other trackers, the more people that use this technology, the more robust the protection. In rural America, the D.A.D Alert is the more useful of the features and the Crowd Alert feature may be less beneficial. This makes logical sense based on population density. The app needs some more work but has some amazing potential.