The Low Intensity Tactical Emitter (LITE) was intended to be a low intensity illumination tool for SOCOM elements to use during breeching operations while using night vision devices (NVD’s).

The LITE technical manual states the following…

Purpose of Equipment:
The LITE provides an easy to mount, multi-use, low intensity, visible light source. Mounting the LITE is easily accomplished by using the integral rail grabber mounting bracket, which enables the device to be attached directly to a MIL-STD-1913 Rail Interface System (RIS) without the use of tools.

Contents of the box: the LITE device, CR123 battery and technical manual.

To install the battery, you push in on the emitter head and turn counter-clockwise. The emitter head then comes off. Install battery. Reverse process to reinstall the emitter head.

LITE installed on a Colt LE6920 SOCOM Knights Armament rail adapter system. The LITE is set on ‘Lo’ power.

The complaint from the field was that weapon mounted lights in use at the time were washing out NVD’s and compromising unaided night vision also.

This profile shot shows the three power settings for the LITE…Hi, Lo and Off. The green dot indicates the LED color.
TM.page showing the various power settings for the LITE.
LITE mounted on my Colt 2018 LE6920SOCOM

These were apparently issued in small numbers, quickly feel out of favor and were passed on to conventional units or just never issued on a regular basis. I found reference of brief use of the LITE by units on shotguns before being completely dismissed by the services.

LITE mounted on the Colt 2018 SOCOM and in the ‘Off’ setting.

The image below shows the illumination provided by the LITE. This photo was shot in zero light with illumination provided by the LITE only. In the photo, I am point the Colt 2018 LE6920SOCOM at a door knob from a stand-off distance of about three feet.

I hope you found this quick look at a unique piece of SOCOM small arms history interesting.

4 Comments

  1. ptmn says:

    Another piece of useless equipment, which was so useless it didn’t even get issued to us the entire time I was in Group. Regardless, I’m sure some General in the Procurement section of the Army got a good kickback for that item. Kind of like the General that procured Interceptor Body Armor over the superior Dragon Skin Body Armor…then got a cush gig with insanely high pay with Interceptor Body Armor as soon as he retired from the Army.

    For low intensity light, we just used the “runway” light feature (small LED’s) on our M900 Surefire M4 light, or the light on our Surefire helmet mounted illuminator. Even if that The Low Intensity Tactical Emitter (LITE) had been issued to us, none of my operators would have fielded it, since our M4’s were already cluttered with the LA-5/PEQ-15 and other essential accessories. I should have weighed my SOPMOD M4 before I retired from service. That thing was heavier than my M14 after all the mission essential gear was attached.

    I rank the value of the Low Intensity Tactical Emitter (LITE) about the same as a chicken wire canoe

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    1. Brent says:

      Thanks for your feedback. I agree that it probably isn’t the most useful piece of equipment. I’m a sucker for these early GWOT pieces of equipment. My other sickness is collecting early SOPMOD components.

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      1. ptmn says:

        Brent,
        You definitely have expensive taste in collecting SOPMOD components, but on the other hand, the majority of those components are tried and true. They definitely test the waters on the buy once cry once theory, since buying a PEQ15 from some place like Optics Pl would set you back about $1700. An EOTech or M68 another 4 or 5 bills, but both fully functional. I never jumped on the EOTech thermal shift bandwagon, since my EOTechs all cooked in REVAS, HMMWV’s and RG31’s in the sandbox with no change in zero. I never store my rifles inside of steel smelting furnaces or baking ovens, so I never worried about a thermal shift. Definitely stay away from the SOPMOD Trijicon Reflex Sight, those all stayed in the S4 room and never deployed with us for good reason.
        ACOG’s are good and bad. For military, they are a great SOPMOD item, since once the Tritium goes bad, we can send it to the OMS, FMS or SASC for new Tritium or a new unit. As a civilian, to send one back to Trijicon to have the Tritium replaced, they charge over 4 bills…for a 5 bill sight? Nope, not for me.
        I never did use any of the hi-speed slings they procured for us. Instead, I use a simple design I came up with that includes a quick release that I have my boot cobbler sew up. Those cost me about 5 bucks in parts and 5 bucks for the cobbler to sew for a total of 10 bucks. Those slings served me well on multiple trips overseas. My team guys were always bugging me to have more made for them. Same cobbler used to sew up my helicopter retension leash for flying doors open on HAF missions, those were another simple design that cost less than 10 bucks to have made. One of these days, I’ll send Shawn a diagram to post on the site, so others can have their own slings built…but I’ll skip on the retension leashes, since I don’t see any civilians flying open doors in an assault bird any time soon.

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        1. Brent says:

          My interest doesn’t really go past Block 1 to 1.5/Phased Replacement. Everything that I have is either like new or new and complete. I am actually going to do a series of short write-ups here on each of the items (KAC 300m buis, Trijicon RX01NSN reflex sights, AN/PEQ-5 Carbine Visible Laser (CVL), Insight Visible Bright Light (VBL), etc.) It may end up being a bitnof a walk through memory lane for you. Lol.

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