LIGHTS FOR HUNTING
I have a bunch of lights, and this idea of taking beam shots, so members can compare how they perform against each other.
LIGHTS FOR HUNTING
This post will try to show how different lights used for hunting compare with each other, and will clarify the difference between the lumen ratings used in Luxeon (LED) lights and incandescent lights.
In short, I will show (through pictures) how Luxeons lack definition when used at increased distances.
I have maintained for a long time that LED Luxeons don’t have the range over the incandescent to really be helpful for general hunting. They are excellent lights to use inside the house; their beams are very clean, white and with substantial flood, and in the average house, that is all you need. However, when taken outside to the backyard, woods, or large structure and the distance to the target is 25 yards or more, they lack definition (as they lack the red spectrum of light), and their poor penetration of fog or rain makes them inefficient to clearly identify what you are seeing at that distance.
Moreover, when the subject being illuminated is an animal with a light-drinking fur (depth of texture), the blending effect of the LED’s (against the background) will cause the observer to lose perspective.
LOW LIGHT FOR WALKING IN THE WOODS
Hunters that have used the Fenix LOP (1 AAA) consider this light ideal (except for the lack of a clip). Another favorite is the ARC AAA. These lights can be held in the mouth without any discomfort.
Fenix has put out a bigger light (1 AA) with two stages output, and the lower output will be also ideal for projecting a soft LED beam that will aid in walking the woods in the pre-dawn blackness when going toward your stand, (perhaps following a trail of cat-eyes) at this time, it is necessary not to pollute the area with more light than what is absolutely needed.
Some hunters that know the terrain well, prefer to use a red filter over the light, as is well known that deer and others animals cannot see red light.
THE BELT LIGHT
Those same hunters want to have a good light on their belt. Some prefer the two cell 123’s lights like the Surefire 6P, G2, or C-2 for their better flood beam over the more tightly focused Streamlight Scorpion, TL-2 and Night Fighter II.
They look for a run time of one hour and an output of 65 lumens.
Some opt for more intense lights like the Surefire 9P or the C-3 with their 105 lumens and one hour run time.
The Streamlight TL-3 is a little too tightly focused for a belt light but it will do fine at the longer distances were the bigger lights shine.
In LED form (Luxeon V), the Surefire L-4 is a good contender due to the excellent flood light that it puts out at medium range, however it lacks the throw needed for more distance illumination.
The main thing is that the hunters want to avoid losing precious seconds by panning a light when in the woods. That is why the Surefires are preferred over the tightly focused others brands, because they have special reflectors that diffuse the light into a bigger flood pattern.
THE CAR LIGHT
Some hunters wear a light holder in their belt (a plastic and leather ring). On exiting their cars, they slip in the ring one of the powerful rechargeable lights, most commonly the Magcharger (200 lumens) or the Ultra Stinger (295 lumens) and some even a Borealis 1050 lumens mega light.
Those are ideal lights for search for wounded game, search and rescue of lost partner, signaling at long distances and using them as spotlights after the hunt. Being rechargeable, they are always used with a maximum run time (taken out of the charger at start of the day, a thing that you can not do with 123 batteries unless you are willing to dump half-used batteries at the start of every day of hunting.
Their large diameter (2 inches) reflectors put more light at a longer distance than any of the belt lights. Even though some of the belt lights approach 200 lumens, they do it with reduced run time and much reduced throw, due to their small diameter reflectors.
A Magcharger will put a spot of light at 150 yards, as will the Ultra Stinger and a Borealis has the capability of illuminating the whole road for 250 yards.
Lets start with the popular Surefire G-2 (or 6 P) at 65 lumens, the target is the 8 by 12 tool shed at 30 yards.
We are going to pit the Surefire G-2 65 lumens $35.00 against the Surefire Digital Lumamax L-4 (also 65 lumens and with a price tag of $160.00).
Surefire G-2 65 lumens
Surefire L-4 Luxeon V, LED, 65 lumens
And now we are going to pit the Surefire 6 P with the P-61 120 lumen lamp (20 minutes run time) against the best Luxeon LED thrower that I have (similar to the cree LED).
This is a Mc Gizmo PR T head with a TWOJ bin Luxeon doing 120 plus lumens.
Surefire Centurion C-2 (same as the 6P) with the P-61 lamp, 120 lumens.
And the PR T with TWOJ bin Luxeon, (LED) @ 120 lumens
And now we are going to show a belt light of 200 lumens (The Surefire Centurion III with the P-91 lamp, 200 lumens, 20 minutes run) and three cars' lights of 200 lumens plus and beyond.
Surefire Centurion C-III, 200 lumens P-91 lamp.
And here the Magcharger also 200 lumens, with its bigger reflector and tighter focus will throw the light at 150 yards, while the Centurion III range will stop at 45 or 50 yards.
Magcharger 200 lumens (40,000 candlepowers)
And here is the Ultra Stinger, the most powerful of the rechargeable from Streamlight with 295 lumens and 75,000 candlepower.
And now the BOREALIS, the light that has the format of a 3 D (12 1/2 inches long) outputting 1050 lumens for 50 minutes.
This is similar to a two million candlepower spotlight
As I have over 200 lights that I have used at one time or another in my hunting expeditions, I am well familiarized with distinct situations that call for different lights and method of using them.
I have encountered a new one lately, that calls for following a wounded wild boar at night with a powerful pistol like the S&W 500 or a 454 Casull and also a powerful light in the order of a Surefire M-6 (500 lumens) or a Borealis 1050 lumens.
For myself, I cannot think of another pursuit that could be more dangerous to life and limb, although I have a lot of respect for the young athletes that have tried it, I consider it too “Extreme” for my good health.
Hope I can do some more talking to the members about my second hobby after knife collecting, which is of course hunting at night and light usage.
As a continuation of the first post and for whatever value it has, I am going to do some more shoot outs of a mix of popular Luxeon lights and incandescent ones.
The first order of things is to change the target area, to make it a little more interesting to my viewers.
Consequently I replaced the tool shed target with a deer and bear mount.
The deer head mounted on the tree is exactly 26 yards from my second story window from where the lights are shinning.
The bear head in the fence is only six more feet further away from the tree.
In the summer I have plenty of bushy cover in the area, but this time I had to be creative and cut and nailed to the tree and fence, some branches from a pine tree, not to hide the animals from view, just to provide a natural blending effect, like they were coming from a natural habitat.
The camera was placed twelve foot away from the tree (and eighteen feet from the bear) in a solid tripod, and the night camera mode used (this mode shows in pictures the same light values that I am seeing with my own eyes).
The close proximity of the camera is for the viewer to see the target with clarity; if I were to place the camera 26 yards away the target will be awfully small.
Here it is the target area and how it looks in daylight.
And here are the contenders, but before I describe them, let me voice my opinion that some manufacturers of Luxeon lights label the output in lumens in quite a wild way.
From left to right: # 1 Fenix L1P at about 40 lumens, # 2 Nuwaii Q III at 75 lumens (yes, sure!) # 3 Surefire L-4 Digital Lumamax at 65 lumens (this is a Luxeon V which is quite a flood light but with little throw).
# 4 Streamlight Task-Light 2 L (two Lithium 3 volts batteries, high and low output,
Cost is about $77.00) This is billed at a High Flux Luxeon III. With 75 lumens, which I think is about right.
# 5 is the Streamlight Pro Polymer 4 AA with a Luxeon I, billed as 40 lumens (3,500 candlepower according to the advertising) which I think is quite wrong, as it appears to me to have about 70 lumens or more, this light has a bigger and deeper reflector than the others lights and the beam is concentrated more than the others. This is a great light for the price of about $40.00
# 6, this is a PR T Luxeon III head done for me by master modder McGizmo, it is set on a Surefire E2e body and I am using two rechargeable 123’s with a voltage of 4.2 volts in it.
This light is my best Luxeon III light and up to two years ago it was pretty HOT STUFF, today the cree LED’s are approaching it in intensity, although it has not been overpower by any other Luxeon, yet.
My friends told me I have two of the Integrated Sphere Spectotometers just above my nose, those spheres are telling me that this light makes 120 to 130 “real” lumens.
# 7, this is A Surefire Centurion II in black with the P-60 lamp (65 lumens) this represents all the others Surefires lights that use this lamp, G-2, 6P. Z-2. etc.
# 8, this is another Surefire Centurion II, but in Hard anodized, it wears the HOLA lamp. The P-61 with the output of 120 lumens for 20 minutes.
# 9 this is a Surefire Centurion III (3 cells) this is usually sold with the P-90 lamp that makes 105 lumens for one hour, but in this case is set up with the P-91 lamp for 200 lumens for 20 minutes, as you will see in the picture later, the floodlight effect is great at 26 yards. All those P’s lamps start to lose range at about 45 to 50 yards, this is because the reflectors are fabricated to produce a good flood so police officers can clear houses with them.
I took this particular light out of my Remington 742 rifle, where it sits in the special quick detach mount in a Picattiny rail.
# 10, this is the BEAR CUB, this light weights 13 oz and measures 9 inches long, it works with two Lithium Ion computer batteries, and produces 220 plus lumens for 90 minutes. Thanks to the big and deep 2 inch mirror-like reflector, this light concentrates the beam like a laser and has a throw of 120 to 150 yards.
So the 26 yards distance is like child play for the Bear Cub and the light is so intense at the target that they had to close their eyes!
# 11, (last on the left lying in horizontal position next to the Bear Cub) this light is a KL-1 head Luxeon I of three years ago, it is set up in a Surefire Outdoorsman body and the lumens output is no more than 20, consequently I decided to strike it out from the competition, there is no room in my stable for weaklings and I will present it to my nephew on his birthday quite soon.
And now let’s go to the pictures:
Fenix L1P (40 lumens) Luxeon I
Nuwaii Q III (advertised at 75 lumens in a website, which I don’t believe) Luxeon III.
Surefire L-4 Digital Lumamax (65 lumens) this is very flood light and the lumens spread in a very wide area, so it cannot be expected to have a good throw at 26 yards. (Luxeon V ~which are 4 of the one watt together)
Streamlight Task Light 2 L about 75 lumens on high, works on two 123’s batteries and has two levels of illumination. High Flux Luxeon III. About $77.00
Streamlight Poly Pro 4 AA Luxeon. This light has a deep and bigger reflector, the Luxeon is I, according to the manufacturer, is listed at 40 lumens, but to my eyes is doing about 75 lumens.
For the price of $40.00 this is a great light, and very battery friendly as it uses regulars AA.
I feed this light, rechargeable Nimhs AA of high current (Powerex 2700 mah) that hovers around 1.4 volts for weeks consequently it costs me nothing to operate it.
Mc Gizmo PR T head on Surefire body, Luxeon III, TWOJ bin,
My best Luxeon light putting out 120 to 130 lumens. This is a collector’s item and was state of the art, less than two years ago.
I have found nothing new that can approach its power, except the new cree 7090 that is getting close.
Surefire Centurion II in black with the P-60 lamp (65 lumens for one hour)
Surefire Centurion II in Hard anodized with the P-61 lamp (120 lumens for 20 minutes)
Surefire Centurion III in hard anodized, with the P-91 lamp (200 lumens for 20 minutes) as you can see it is a great flood at 26 yards.
BEAR CUB running for 90 minutes on two computer Lithium Ion batteries, driving a Xenon Magnum Star bulb for 5 cells pretty hard at 8.4 volts at 220 lumens (which make it a very white light) with a reach of 120 to 150 yards, even surpassing the Ultra Stinger.
here is one more:
As the Surefire E2e is a very common light in the bow hunting and gun hunting scene and also for law enforcement, here it is.
The little MN03 lamp (60 lumens for 75 minutes) in the E2e is a big performer, I like myself this little light a lot, and I think it qualifies as a tactical light to be used at close to medium range if the need arose.
The MN02 lamp can be substituted for more run time, as it is 25 lumens for 2 1/2 hours, I actually prefer this lamp for hiking in the trails and other general chores, but I will use the 60 lumens lamp for blood trailing a deer or bear.
Red, blue and infrared filters are available from Surefire and vendors such as Cabela's. The red is used to walk in the trails or follow the cat-eye tacks when you go toward the stand in the pre-dawn darkness and don’t want to pollute the woods with light, and the blue to bring up the blood drops in the leaves.
The E2e is 4 1/2 inches long and weighs at 3 .1 oz., is available in hard anodized type III and will not scratch easily, but it can be rough on your pocket liner. Other finishes are available sometimes. A tear drop bezel model is done in nickel plated and the wine light in regular anodized with a wine burgundy color.
Here is a picture of a few of the versions of the E2e.
And here is the beam shot at the same distance as the others above (26 yards) and the camera placed at the same distance (12 feet to the Deer head and 18 to the Bear head).
I can tell you that the light is fairly waterproof. I don’t have a pool to try it at a few feet, but it survived quite well in my 3 ½ gallon beer glass for several hours.
2AA 3 WATTS LUXEON FLASHLIGHT
I found this one at Wal-Mart and a fortunate find it was, the light is about the size of a Surefire L-4 or Surefire E2L, it even has a switch similar in operation to the Z-52 switch of the Surefire, press once for momentary, and twist the tail cap for permanent.
The package claims 80 lumens and it probably is, but of course, due to the small reflector and being a diode, the light is diffused and doesn’t have good throw, but good enough to make it comparable with other Luxeon III’s that I have seen at much higher prices.
Yes, the price was $25.00 and therefore makes this light a bargain, and another great feature is while others lights consume the expensive 123’s, this one works with two AA batteries.
The body holds a nice clip that makes it unnecessary to carry the light in a holster. It even has a lanyard if you want to keep it with you when you open your hand to do any other task.
The run time is given at two hours, which is good and even better than others lights of this power can give even using 123 batteries.
If you need more runtime than this, you can buy the exact light in the 1 watt version with an output of 45 lumens and a runtime of five hours.
For a long time I have been using rechargeable Nimh AA batteries. I use them for all my power-hungry gadgets, GPS’s, two-way radios, cameras, etc. The Nimhs provide me no-guilt runtime and, at the same time, helps the environment.
Beam shot at 26 yards, camera at 18 feet from the target. I moved the deer up front a little, so the background and the leaves from my cherry tree will not interfere with the picture. I should cut the overgrown bushes that are taking over the fence, but the weather hasn’t cooperated lately for doing yard work.
I like the little Scorpion a lot, to be honest; it is a powerful (at 6,500 candle powers) light (at 4.4 oz), not too long at 4.9 inches, and with a great feel in the hand thanks to the rubber boot that covers the body.
This rubber boot can be especially beneficial in the winter when others lights left in the trunk are too cold to hold without gloves.
The switch is momentary and click on, exactly as I want my switches; it is located in the back of the light and protected by the rubber boot.
The momentary works well. The click is in my case, though, is too difficult to operate with my big thumb and I have to click it with my index finger.
But rarely do I use the click, as this light can be used as a “tactical” light and the momentary mode is preferred when using it with a gun. (You don’t want to drop the light “on” and that it will illuminate you or your partner, which is the reason to use the momentary).
The light uses two 123’s batteries and run a xenon bulb for one hour. This xenon bulb is quite small (a spare is located in the bulb holder inside the head). I will hate to have to change it in less than normal conditions; for starters you have to pry a cover from the bulb holder to access the spare, you will have a few small parts in your hands, and you will need calm conditions and plenty of light to do the job properly.
For those situations I really prefer the big bulbs with reflector included of the Surefires’ or even the smaller but easy to handle bulb of the E2e’s.
Why I consider this so important? Well, the bulb is rated for 5 hours of life, which is extremely short.
I say I like this light, but it is really not rational because we have much better designs for a tactical light. The little Scorpion will roll out on a table that is not perfectly flat, for lack of an anti-roll bezel. Surefires are much better in this department.
The beam can be adjusted by rotating the head (the filament of the bulb will go lower or higher inside the reflector), in reality I have the light set to maximum throw that will not show any artifacts and I don’t twist the head at all because the quality of the beam will be spoiled by artifacts and black spots.
This light is good for throw (considering the small reflector), and the quality of the beam, when set at near maximum throw, is good, producing a nice round circle due to the short filament.
The lens is polycarbonate. I would like to see it changed to Pyrex, but that is only my personal feeling that this light should deserve a better lens.
I bought mine two years ago from Cabela’s and it cost me $38.00; I think that the price is right for a quality made American product.
The bulbs run about $6.00 each and I also consider them in price, they are so bright because they are overdriven (hence their short life of 5 hours).
I have seen a holster for the light made out of Cordura Nylon, but I haven’t tried it and I don’t know if is any issues in removing the light quickly, the rubber boot cause me trouble when removing the light from tight pockets (read Jean’s) but is okay when the pocket is from s dress pants.
I also have seen filters made for this light in red, blue and yellow for those that would like to penetrate the deer’s woods with a minimum of light pollution.
As always the beam shots are coming from 26 yards away and my camera tripod is in the same position, 12 feet from the deer and 18 from the bear.
I have also included as way of comparison the beam shot with the P-60 lamp out of a Surefire Centurion C-2 (read it also Surefire 6P, Z-2, G-2 D-2 etc).
P-60 LAMP FROM a Surefire Centurion II
You will notice that the beam of the Scorpion is more concentrated than the P-60 lamp, making the target clearer at this distance, for tactical situations at short range the P-60 lamp is better for the extra flood, it will be easier to clear a room with a Surefire without the need to pan the light to cover it all.
Three years ago the Borealis flashlight was conceived to be the most powerful military/police flashlight in the world. At 1050 lumens the beam of light is very similar to a two million candlepower spotlight, all that power cased in a 12 ½ inches long, 28 oz. light, that will run for 50 minutes before needing a recharge. Then the light uses a fast RC charger that does the job of recharging the high current batteries in 90 minutes.
Three years ago everybody was in awe of the Surefire M-6, a military/police light that makes 500 lumens for 20 minutes run time on six disposable 123’s batteries, at a cost of almost $12 per twenty minutes run.
When the agency pays for the batteries, all is well, but for the civilians that wanted to have those mega lumens of light, there was no option. Black Bear Flashlights wanted to produce a rechargeable light that surpassed the M-6 and still be affordable for those with mortgages and families, and the result was the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight.
The light was conceived to make use of a well known flashlight shell that is available anywhere, that way after years of hard use, the shell can be replaced for less than $20 USD and in ten minutes of the owner’s time.
The super-bulb that is almost 3 ½ amps needs some very powerful batteries; those nine AA batteries of high current are housed inside a Rolls Royce battery carrier that has also a charging port on the negative side. Plugging the RC fast charger in this port for 90 minutes, will recharge the powerful AA Nimh batteries.
THE ROLLS ROYCE BATTERY CARRIER AND THE RC FAST CHARGER
The Borealis also has some especial components to cope with the increased heat from the bulb. A ceramic switch/bulb holder, a solid aluminum reflector and a Pyrex lens, take care of the high temperature issue.
The BOREALIS is the highest intensity incandescent flashlight available in the market. Some HID’s lights throw more lumens, but those are considered searchlights and not flashlights; as a HID can take as much as 30 seconds to start up, they are NOT instantaneous as the incandescent flashlights are.
HERE ARE SOME COMPARISON BEAM SHOTS AT 35 YARDS WITH THE MOST POWERFUL MILITARY/POLICE FLASHLIGHTS.
THE CONTENDERS FROM LEFT;
MAGLITE 3 D, MAGCHARGER, ULTRA STINGER, SUREFIRE M-6, AND BOREALIS
MAGLITE 3 D (the most popular police flashlight)
Black Bear Flashlights spends several hours on each light working on fixing all the internal resistance issues and pro-gold all contacts and components for an increased conductivity. This results in their trademark of intense WHITE light as more voltage reaches the super-bulb. This bulb is not a flashlight bulb, but one made for powerful medical instruments.
THE BOREALIS ROYAL MODEL, WITH THE NEW LOW PROFILE STAINLESS STEEL CRENELLATED BEZEL AND QUICK DETACH SWIVEL.
Police officers have adopted the Borealis for its tremendous throw and flood capabilities; hunters have abandoned their spotlights for the easy carrying of the Borealis, and civilians looking for a powerful light for the car or for home defense are flocking to the Borealis flashlight.
ONE CR 123 A BATTERY
I bought this light from Deal Extreme for $23.24 shipped. I was very curious to try one of the Rebel 200 lumen new Luxeons and I think this is the best way to try one inexpensively.
The light has a click on, click off switch and five modes of intensities. The low mode is 30 lumens and is said to last for 24 hours. Another is 100 lumens for six hours, and the 200 lumens mode is three hours; then you have a strobe mode and an SOS mode.
I used a new Battery Station 123 and in the high 200 mode it lasted for ½ an hour, and it gets hot very quick. I don’t know if the poor run time is the fault of the battery that was under-charged, or if the light will perform the same with others 123’s, but that is the results I got.
Due to the small head, the flood effect is quite pronounced and the throw is poor for a 200 lumen light, but I was expecting it to be that way based on experience with other small headed keychain-type lights.
Two hundred lumens in a two inch head of an incandescent will put a level of illumination that is tremendous in comparison to the small head of the Rebel 200 lumens. So we are in a time when we can no longer make an assessment based on the lumens figure, that is when the comparison pictures that I have been taken show the value, as the viewer can see for himself how the different lights with the same value in lumens output perform in real life.
If I consider the low price I like the little light in general, excepting the side switch that can be a little hard to find in a rush, as it is kind of recessed in the head of the light and difficult to find by feel alone. I will have preferred a tail switch such as I have in my Fenix L1D, but it is a tremendous price difference between the two lights, so all things considered I think that the Ultra fire is a great value, and I can put up with the side switch.
After trying to like the clip for a couple of weeks, I ended throwing it away, it is too flimsy and I will not trust it to keep the light in my pocket. The light is regular anodized, but had stood well the use in my pocket with keys and coins.
Here is my usual 26-yard beam shot against my deer head with the Ultra Fire 200 lumens
And here is a beam shot with the 220 lumens Bear Cub rechargeable that sport a two inch head and have a range of 150 yards.
All the best,
It is easy for me to do an objective review of this light. I have been using a couple of them for two years, quite often (not exclusively because I own other lights also for everyday use).
The light has performed extremely well for me. The Twin Task uses for power two lithium 3 volts, 123 batteries, and it have two light sources, one xenon bulb of 72 lumens and three Nichia 5mm LED’s of about 7 lumens each.
The LED mode will last for 28 hours (I have to take the word of the manufacturer for this, because I haven’t done a run time that long). And the Xenon bulb’s run time will last for 2 ½ hours.
The light is quite comfortable in the hand and similar to others 123’s lights, measuring 1.34” wide and 5.43“ long, and weighing at 3.37 oz.
Due to the micro-faceted reflector, the flood with the three LED’s or the Xenon bulb is ample. If you don’t have to illuminate things at a distance the light is useful for chores inside the house or in the campsite or trail.
I have used it mostly with the three LED’s and I have come to believe the run time of 28 hours claimed by the manufacturer because after two years of sporadic use the light is still going in the same battery set.
The switch is on top of the head, as this is not a “tactical” light I found the switch convenient, so does my wife, that have the same model but in Titanium finish.
The focus is adjustable, but even in the tight setting the light have a lot of flood. I have lend my second light to my hunting pal Frank, that left it on the three stand for a week, on returning the light it was just the same in finish having weathered the week without any mark or discoloration. So, I didn’t have any problem dunking it for a couple of hours in a big glass of water to see if it really was waterproof, and yes, it was, so far at this depth.
The beam shot at 26 yards using the xenon bulb doesn’t look impressive at all, and that is because the reflector is designed for extreme flood, but that is okay, this light is mostly for using indoors, walking the dog or for hiking a trail at the most.
In this picture one of my Twin Task have a Velcro tape, this match with the Velcro in my baseball cap, and allow me to have my hands free for doing any chores while directing the illumination where I am looking.
The street price is about $32 USD and I think that it is quite reasonable for the quality of the product, based on my experience with it I can recommend it highly.
The Black Bear 720 lumens flashlight is 10 inch long and weights 23 oz. It has all the same high quality state of the art components as its bigger sister the Borealis 1050 lumens.
The Black Bear is made on the “host” of the Maglite 2 D., which is one of the advantages of the Black Bear System, as when after hard use, if the light is scratched or dented, a new host can be replaced inexpensively available almost anywhere, and the transfer of parts takes only ten minutes of the owner’s time.
The only difference between the Borealis and the Black Bear 720 (beside the shorter length) is in the shorter Rolls Royce battery carrier (for six batteries) and the reduced voltage super-bulbs.
The light has a 40 minutes run time and outputs an incredible 720 lumens, all this with rechargeable Nimh in the Rolls Royce battery carrier. This unit plugs into the charger for a 4 ½ hours charge.
THE BLACK BEAR 720, ROLLS ROYCE BATTERY CARRIER AND CHARGER
It is almost impossible to talk about the Black Bear 720 without mention its closest competition, the Surefire M-6.
The Surefire M-6 is well known in the tactical circles as the light used by SWAT teams and Special Forces, This light that cost close to $400, is 500 lumens for a run time of 20 minutes, running on six disposable 123 batteries, yes that is right! it uses six batteries, a value of $12 for a 20 minutes run time.
THE BB720 IS NOT MUCH LARGER THAN THE M-6, AND IT HAS A BETTER BATTERY CARRIER
Clearly, the Black Bear 720 lumens is a better value as the batteries are rechargeable, with a life of 1.000 recharges and the run time is of 40 minutes.
When the BB 720 needs new batteries after 666 hours of running, a new set costs only $30.
While the M-6 has only one choice in reflector finish, the light stippled, the BB720 has a choice of four reflector finish, to customize the light to your work. Wildlife officers doing deer census in the field will want the long throw capabilities of the Smooth (mirror finish) reflector, same as firefighters that need to punch a hole in the smoke. Others can use the Orange Peel for a little more flood, and the law enforcement officers will like the capabilities of illuminating an entire warehouse with the extra flood provided by the Light Stippled and Medium Stippled reflectors.
None of the other incandescent flashlights used for military/police work will get near the lumens output of the BB720, the Magcharger is 200 lumens and the most powerful of the Streamlights, the Ultra Stinger, is 295 lumens.
The shorter size of the Black Bear 720 makes it a natural to store in the car, inside the glove compartment, and it is not too heavy to be carried in a trench coat or overcoat pocket and the power in lumens compares to a car’s headlights or to a one and a half million candlepower spotlight, really an amazing performance for a light of this size.
Black Bear 720
Like its bigger sister the Borealis 1050 lumens, (12 ½ inches 28 oz.), the BB720 is hand made one by one on a semi-custom basis, using state of the art components and lots of hand labor to reduce internal resistance to make the white light that is the trademark of the Black Bear Flashlights.
All the best
Fenix has come out with a new LED tactical light. It runs on two 123 batteries and outputs in the high setting 225 lumens for 1.5 hours. In the low setting of sixty lumens it lasts, according to the instructions, 10 hours.
This new light uses a Cree Premium Q-5 7090 XR-E that is said to make 225 lumens. It could very well be as it trounces every other LED light that I have in the stables, including my darling E2e modded with MacGizmo PR T head.
The light output is really impressive for an LED; it even has a very decent throw that is sufficient for tactical use inside and even outside.
I have tested it against other tactical lights like my Surefire Centurion III with P-91 lamp (200 lumens) and it really compares very well, to the point that I will carry from now on the new T-1 instead of the Centurion III.
My neighbor’s door is 50 yards away and the light illuminates the target quite well. The package says that the range is 200 yards, which is an exaggeration, and I can’t see any illumination at a target placed 200 yards away. My regular testing for long distance is a hydrant at 88 yards and a group of trees at 111 yards. This light will illuminate the hydrant, barely. I can see that the outline of the hydrant is there (The same with the Centurion III) but I can’t make out any detail or see it sharply. If the target were a human at that distance, I will be not able to tell if it is a bad guy with a gun or a nun with a cell phone.
My incandescent rechargeable Bear Cub light at 220 lumens can illuminate the hydrant and the group of trees at 111 yards and go beyond, It is well known that incandescent provide longer range and better definition. Granted the Bear Cub has a bigger reflector and the light itself is longer at 9 inches.
THE BEAR CUB 220 LUMENS, THE FENIX 225 AND THE SUREFIRE CENTURION III WITH P-91, 200 LUMENS
The T-1 has a massive head with a wall of 4.5 mm thickness, and the light is quite heavy in comparison with other tactical lights. But it is the price you pay for running an LED at 225 lumens, as all this mass of metal is needed to divert the heat away from the batteries.
You may know that the LED’s unlikely incandescent that throw the heat forward as infrared, accumulate heat near the source of light, that is why they have to have a heavy heat sink, this heavy head act as one.
Otherwise the heat will reach the batteries and when a certain point is reached the internal protection that the 123’s batteries have, will cut down the juice, and stop the light.
So, they advertise the light as been built like a tank, but now you know what is the real reason behind all that metal at the head.
The light is say to be waterproof and it passed my four hour test in a BIG glass filled with water. Now in winter is no way that I am going to test it further by doing some diving.
I love the switch; it is just have the right feel for the momentary action, so good that it can be strobe as fast as you want if that is your cup of tea for tactical encounters. It is permanent on by clicking it, and can be unscrewed to put it in safe mode for when you carry the light in luggage or back pack.
The tail cap of the switch has a hole for a lanyard that is included and you can stand the light on its tail cap on a flat surface for a candle mode. What you cannot do is use this light with the Roger-Surefire or cigar grip because the rubber button is recessed flat with the tail cap.
Inside the package I found a spare button and O rings, I applaud that move by Fenix, and it is appreciated as some of us use the lights hard.
The T-1 comes with a holster, which is okay, but it also have a sturdy clip that grasp my belt very well and lower the profile on your waist in comparison with the holster. The only thing about the clip is that it rubs on the body of the light when you want to access the low mode of 60 lumens. We will see how good is the hard anodized type III as the clip is rubbing against the light with a good pressure and I suspect will be soon marked by a line.
BEAM SHOT OF THE THREE LIGHTS ABOVE, 26 YARDS RANGE, CAMERA AT 12 FEET
SUREFIRE CENTURION III WITH P-91 LAMP
BEAR CUB 220 LUMENS
Anyway I think that the Fenix T-1 is one of the better lights that have hit the market lately, it is very rugged and is very well made, and well worth the price of 76 USD that I have paid for it.
I have purchased yet another light of the Fenix line. The new torch is the Fenix P3D, a multi-level light running on two 123 batteries.
The P3D I bought uses a premium (Q5) Cree 7090 XR-E LED. The light is digitally regulated and has six levels of illumination.
There are two modes of output that are selected by turning the bezel. The general mode is: 12 lumens for 65 hours, by softly pressing the switch; the second mode will be 53 lumens for 13 hours; pressing again will put you in the 120 lumen mode for 4.8 hours; and again will access the SOS mode (also 120 lumens).
By turning the bezel you can access the turbo mode at 205 lumens, and pressing again softly on the switch will put you in the strobe mode of 205 lumens.
The light has a low battery indicator. The indicator will strobe the light in low, very fast light; I had opportunity to test this when I put two inexpensive 123 batteries that I thought were both fully charged.
It seems that one of them was with a very low charge, even though it was a new purchase. I had learned to use only the best 123 batteries that I believe are the Surefire brand.
Putting the Surefire batteries in the P3D allowed the light to operate without a hitch.
The light is 4.5” long and 0.8 in diameter. The anodizing is type III finish and the lens has an anti-reflective coating similar to what is put in eyeglasses.
As like the other models of Fenix lights, the P3D also can be used in candle mode, as the rubber button doesn’t protrude like in other lights that are uses as tactical.
A word of advice; use the 205 lumen mode very sparingly. The light gets hot very quickly in this mode and the excessive heat can damage the Cree emitter if used for a long time. If you need a light that can be used without damaging the LED in the higher setting for a long run, you have to purchase the Fenix T-1 that has a massive heat sink and bulky head that will draw the heat away from the Cree.
As the LED’s lack the infrared spectrum of light, the heat is concentrated near the head, instead of been thrown forward as the incandescent lights do.
The light comes with a handy holster. This is one torch that I don’t mind not having a clip, as the holster is very flat and comfortable to wear.
This light is so handy that it has replaced my Surefire E2e that was the light I used to wear for years when I went out of the house. I also have another light on my key chain, another Fenix product, the L1D, a one AA battery light with multiple levels.
Carrying now the two Fenixes, I will have light for a long time if I am involved in a situation that I need to use them.
The P3D can be used as a tactical light if the distance involved is short, like in an interior house situation. However, if the light were to be used to illuminate somebody in the back yard, the brightness of the 205 lumens at say, my usual distance of 26 yards, will be not be sufficient to blind a person as the tactical lights are supposed to do. I know because I tested it on myself at that distance, and the blinding effect was not present.
To illustrate the point I use another light that is also in the 220 lumens bracket, the Bear Cub incandescent, 220 lumens for 90 minutes. If you look at the pictures you will notice how strong the concentrated white beam of the Bear Cub is in comparison to the flood light of the P3D.
Also notice to the right of the subject how the incandescent light reveals leaves that are not shown in the beam of the Fenix. This is the famous lack of definition that I often talk in my posts; it can be translated as lack of detail from the LED beam.
For that reason I think that the 26 yards to the fence is the maximum range of the little reflector of the P3D. Bigger reflectors like in the Fenix T-1 with the same Cree Q,5 can reach as far as 50 yards. A word of advice, don’t try to make the little, svelte P3D do the job that is designed for the T-1, just confine the P3D for the house and other places with short range.
P3D beam from 26 yards,
Bear Cub beam from 26 yards
Coming back to the P3D, it has a strobe effect in the 205 lumens setting; it will not do anything different to my eyes than the actual steady 205 lumens light can do. Must be all my disco dancing in the ’70 had me accustomed to the strobe effect.
The little torch is good, that is why it is my new light over the E2e. Placed in the holster or in your pants pocket, you hardly know that the light is there and a lot of cool features and power are just at your fingertips.
I recommend it highly.
This light is a beauty, short, light weight, with considerable power and with a decent run time for an incandescent light
In today’s market it is a little obsolete in the power department, as the Fenix line of small pocket/key chain lights put out more lumens and have more features.
Still, the Surefire E1e is the “classic” small light that arrived at a time when 15 lumens was only achieved with big lights using 2D batteries.
The E1e is extremely well made and finished in hard anodized type III in an olive drab finish; it weights 2.20 ounces and has a length of 3.40 inches. The lens is Pyrex and the reflector is stochastic, meaning that is finished with a light stippled pattern that makes the beam free of defects, rings and artifacts.
The light runs on one of the RC123’s batteries with a run time of 1.5 hours, the beam is nice, but will not throw far as the reflector is quite small, and small reflectors produce quite a flood.
The tail cap has three positions: unscrewed a couple of turns it will lock up the light (what is considered a safety position); screwed a little more, will allow activation of the momentary position by pressing the rubber button; screwed further, will activate the light on constant.
The little light charges the battery from the front, that means you have to take the head out to install the battery, as there is not enough room for the battery to enter if you remove the tail cap, as in most other lights.
The 15 lumens lamp is called MN01, and is 15 lumens of course; the MN02 is 25 lumens but it’s used in the E series Surefire that carries two batteries, as is the more powerful 60 lumens MN03.
I see this light as ideal for a woman’s purse or a man’s pocket. Although the retail price is $79 USD the light is so well made that is worth it. Finally, the light sports a clip that can be used to clip it to the edge of a pocket for quick retrieval, or to the bill of a cap if you need to do some chore using two hands.
I was at Home Depot and I spied a new light in the flashlight section. The new torch is a HUSKY brand, which is a brand name of Home Depot. I have used some of their inexpensive lights; they are made in China and represent a good value in some models.
The new light uses two D batteries (that are included in the package) and the source of light is a three watt LED. The difference in this torch is that the switch activates three different levels of illumination.
The package lacks any instructions and doesn’t even mention the output of the light or the run time. So I am guessing that the first mode (the first click) is a 12 lumens light, second click at 40 lumens and the last click about 80 lumens.
The idea of having three different levels is good, it will conserve battery juice when you just need a little light for illumination, and at the same time, the other two settings are there for more lumens when you need to reach farther or put out more intensity.
As this thread is all about comparisons, I decided to pit the new HUSKY against a Maglite 2D LED 3 watt that I bought a few months ago. I purchased the Maglite from Wal Mart for $24 USD, but I think that it was on sale at the time, still price wise the two lights. Compare.
The HUSKY is ½” shorter, otherwise they compare physically to each other and they weight the same, although the HUKY have a slightly smaller head.
The outside of the Husky is finished in a slightly duller anodizing than the Maglite; both lights look handsome on the outside.
In the inside the Husky shows the threads of the tail-cap, body and head very rough. Removing the head I found an adequate heat sink, although the mounting of the LED looks a little lousy. I wanted to take a look at the reflector and plastic lens, but it was not possible to remove the bezel despite my superhuman and my weight-lifter friend efforts - the bezel seems to have been super-glued in place.
The tail-cap sports a flimsy lanyard that I will not trust to hold the light for long, and looking inside at the switch, I found it very cheesy looking, more appropriate for a toy than for a flashlight. The little strip of metal where the battery makes contact with the switch, it doesn’t look good either.
The Maglite 2D on the other hand, is a high quality product with butter smooth threads, a switch that will last forever and a lot of well thought-out features (cam action, self cleaning switch, etc).
The Maglite is an American product that should cost much more of what it does now. Old timers may recall that when they first show up in the 1980’s the price tag was $60 USD and that they were selling like hot cakes, the engineering of the Maglite was at that time well above any of the existing lights, including the Kel-Lite.
In the picture you can see the Maglite 2D LED on left, the Husky light in the middle, and the red one on right is a Black Bear 720 lumens, (1 ½ million candlepower) a custom made light that shows how much illumination we can put into a Maglite “host” 2D, with a little ingenuity, and if the people are willing to pay the price of a custom product.
Here are the beam shots for comparison, 35 yards to the fence.
HUSKY 3 watt
MAGLITE 3 watt
BLACK BEAR 720 LUMENS
My impression is that the Maglite has a much better beam, in color rendition and in intensity. Also, I can throw the beam of the Maglite much further than the Husky, even that both lights are 3 watt, the Maglite is better in quality of LED and power.
Granted - the Maglite has a 2” full reflector, while the Husky could be only 1 ¾ “ that could account for the better throw, but the Maglite definitely has a whiter beam and it is more intense.
All the best
TWO MILLION CANDLEPOWER
I very recently bought a new Q-Beam two million candlepower spotlight. I am a big user of spotlights, in my case I use them to give demonstration of the power of the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight, in police reunions, night shots, and seminars.
When my eight month-old battery for my two million candlepower Optronics spotlight gave up the ghost, I had to get a new spotlight.
I spied the Q-Beam at Wal-Mart and I bought it on the spot. It is a large spotlight with a four-and-three-quarters inch reflector, and with some extra features not available in other spotlights.
For starters, it comes with two removable batteries. One battery could be on the light while the other is charging, a good feature. Unfortunately, in my case, one of the batteries was already dead and is not recharging. I will have to return the unit and get another, hoping for better luck.
However, bad batteries are nothing new in big spotlights. It seems that the Chinese haven’t gotten the hang of making lead acid batteries last any decent amount of time. I know; I have the corpses of seven spotlights to prove it (some day I will get around to rounding them up and take a picture of them).
I can safely say that I have tried all of them, and I can tell you that a quality spotlight is not available in the USA, unless you buy one of the Australian’s Night Force spotlights. Australians, with their liberal night hunting laws, know a thing or two more about night hunting and lights that the average American hunter does.
For law enforcement the panorama is different. With the advent of the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight (12 ½” long, 28 oz) a spotlight in the cruiser is no longer needed.
After all, spotlight use for law enforcement is confined to operation from the car, which is why you don’t see a trooper conducting a traffic stop with spotlight in hand or chasing down a suspect with one in tow.
Coming back to the Q-Beam Max Million II, it also has another feature that was not available before in any other spotlight; a double trigger that when touched high, can activate mechanically a spring that will push the smaller part of the two-part reflector/ bulb holder, forward. This causes the focus to change to a wider flood; interesting concept, but perhaps of dubious utility. I have seen it employed in flashlights before, but by the use of two filaments positioned in the bulb envelope at different heights.
Here is a picture of the Q-Beam together with the Borealis
Unfortunately the Achilles’ heel of any spotlight is the quality of its batteries. In the normal use that I give them, they never last more than 6 to 8 months, which is why I am not looking to pay more than half a century note for one, with is just what the new Q-Beam cost me at Wal-Mart.
How does it compare with the Borealis 1050 lumens (two million candlepower)?
To answer that question, I move them to the backyard of my local church, where I have a solid wall of trees and a range of 35 yards (I try to avoid solid light-painted walls that produce too much reflection and confuse the camera).
Q-Beam Max II Spotlight
Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight
Black Bear 720 lumens flashlight
The new Spotlight did well in comparison, but it is more inside the range of the Black Bear 720 lumens (10 “ long 23 oz) than of the more powerful Borealis. Here are the pictures for you to judge; of course the Borealis and the BB 720 are better law enforcement tools as the side spill is bigger and the intensity and the color are brighter. Of course, you need side spill to avoid panning a tight focus’ light and losing precious seconds when clearing a room or warehouse.
For those that use the Q-Beam for varmint shooting (with a partner to hold the light of course) the light will do okay up to 300 yards.
For that use you can take advantage of the red filter (at shorter distance) and the other two filters, ( blue and amber), are completely useless for varmint shooting and for any other use I can imagine, as I can not see a blood tracker using such a big spotlight with the blue filter on it.
ON THE BRIGHTEST LIGHTS IN THE WORLD
THAT YOU CAN GET OVER THE COUNTER.
THEY ARE ALL THERE
THE TORCH, THE POLARION, THE BOREALIS,
THE SUNFORCE, ETC.
READ IT IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN LIGHTS
http://www.jamesmaurer.com/worlds-brigh ... hlight.asp
WITH PRESSURE PAD
I have been using remote switches in my tactical lights that are mounted in rifles, shotguns, and bows, for quite a few years now.
The most effective of them are the ones with a direct connection to the solder pad that touch the battery (no spring), like the ones in the TACM III tactical lights.
The reason that they are more effective is that they don’t rob the system of any voltage (in the way of internal resistance) as do the ones with heavy springs.
Internal resistance is the name of the game, some of them, for example the TAC STAR pressure switch, can really make a bright lamp like the P-60, looks dim and murky, due to too much internal resistance in the design of the tail cap.
THE TAC STAR REMOTE SWITCH
A good one that I have used for years in mounting lights on my friends’ bows and rifles, is the G&P tail cap with remote. Its design is quite good and the internal resistance is low, but it is not designed for pump shotguns as the cord is just straight and not curly.
THE G&P REMOTE SWITCH
A very good one that I discovered recently is the Aimshot curly cord remote, the spring is copper and quite light and it seems to have very low internal resistance.
I discovered the Aimshot in Cheaper Than Dirt catalogue and at a very good price ($14.97) and it has become my favorite.
I just used one in a Pelican M-6 tactical light and mounted it using a UTG Tri rail mount in an AK rifle, it does the job well.
THE AIMSHOT REMOTE SWITCH
There are now a number of aftermarket lamps for the popular series of Surefire lights.
They will fit the Surefires series: 6P, C, Z, D, G, and maybe others.
I just received a new one that claims 290 lumens and is called a Cree R-2 (it’s supposed to be even more powerful than the Cree Q-5).
I decided to do a shoot out with an assortment of lights that I have in the 200 plus lumens class. That way the members can see how they perform against each other.
Run time was not measured for lack of time and because I am running short on 123’s batteries. The bigger lights, namely the Surefire M-4 with the MN60 lamp (225 lumens for 60 minutes on four 123’s disposable batteries) and the Bear Cub from Black Bear Flashlights (220 lumens for 90 minutes on rechargeable Li Ion batteries) are big throwers and with them you can see clearly objects 120 and 150 yards away.
On the other hand the small reflectors of the Surefires G-2, Centurion 2 and Fenix T-1 are dispersing all those lumens close by, creating a great flood.
Those pocket lights will be great to use as tactical lights by law enforcement personnel, and especially good at clearing houses, while the Surefire M-4 and the Bear Cub will make great lights for car, truck and the open spaces.
The literature of the Fenix states that it’s good for 200 yards, it will probably make a reflective target like a stop sign glow at that distance, but it would hardly illuminate any other object. My perception from trials I made, is that this light as well as the others LED’s can’t be count to illuminate (poorly) objects beyond 60/70 yards.
In any case, a lamp upgrade if you own a Surefire pocket light, is a good idea as any of them are more powerful than the stock incandescent lamp of 65 lumens or the stock LED lamp of 80 lumens.
The lights as they appear in the picture are, from left to right:
Surefire M-4 MN60 lamp 225 lumens for 1 hour (running on four 123’s batteries)
Bear Cub 220 lumens for 90 minutes, rechargeable
Surefire G-2 in yellow. It is 65 lumens for one hour with the stock P-60 lamp
Surefire G-2 in black, Lumen Factory lamp incandescent of 160 lumens
Surefire G-2 in green, Cree Q-5 by Deal Xtreme, 200 lumens
Surefire Centurion 2 in Jungle Camo, 290 lumens (claimed) with the Cree R-2 lamp
Fenix T-1, 225 lumens using a Cree Q-5 lamp
And now the pictures, target is 20 yards away, watch also the amount of side spill as well as the throw.
SUREFIRE M-4 DESVASTATOR 225 LUMENS
BEAR CUB RECHARGEABLE 220 LUMENS
SUREFIRE G-2 YELLOW 65 LUMENS
SUREFIRE G-2 BLACK LUMENS FACTORY 160 LUMENS LAMP
SUREFIRE G-2 GREEN, DEAL XTREME LAMP CREE Q-5 200 LUMENS
SUREFIRE CENTURION 2, CREE R-2 290 LUMENS (CLAIMED)
FENIX T-1 CREE Q-5 225 LUMENS
One word of caution with high intensity LED lights: most are not thermally regulated and they will suffer from their own heat if used for an extended period. They will get very hot and the tint will change. Short use of 5 minutes or less is recommended, especially in lights like the G-2 that has a plastic body and head.
All metal flashlights like the Surefire 6P are better at dissipating the heat, and in them a few more minutes of constant use can be achieved before the heat will damage the module.
The big heavy head of the Fenix acts as a heat sink, and this light can manage to run much longer without the heat affecting the module.
Besides, the Fenix has a second setting that will run the light at 60 lumens for 10 hours.
So, if you already have a Surefire you want to upgrade, the aftermarkets lamps are great.
If you need a new light look at the Fenix line.
If you need a truck, open spaces light, the Bear Cub is a great value as it is rechargeable and very bright as well as a 150 yards thrower.
For the last two months, I have been using one of the Terralux Lightstar 220 lumens flashlights, which runs on two AA batteries.
This light has two settings on the click-tail cap; the first setting clicks on the light and emits 220 lumens for 1.5 hours.
The second setting of 100 lumens for 6 hours is accessed by softly pressing the rubber button switch.
The LED is a Cree RXE Q-4 and is controlled by a microprocessor for a constant light output. When battery juice is running low, the LED will flicker to let you know that is time for new batteries.
The unit comes with two Energizer AA batteries, a lanyard and a soft nylon holster. At an even six inches long, the light is quite portable and also features a clip to attach it to your belt or waistband.
It is very similar to the popular 3 watt 80 lumens Ray-O-Vac Sportsman Xtreme (but is slightly longer as the click tail cap needs more room for the mechanism), and the head is smaller with a small orange peel reflector.
Due to the small reflector the beam throws quite a flood despite the 220 lumens figure. Small reflectors don’t really have much throw no matter how many lumens you make the light puts out. However, it is quite adequate for most chores inside a house and practical, too, for walking the dog or a walk in the woods.
LIGHTSTAR AT 20 YARDS WITH THE 220 LUMENS
LIGHTSTAR WITH THE 100 LUMENS SETTING
The really nice thing about these lights are that they are very inexpensive to feed as they use common AA batteries. As I use rechargeable AA batteries in all my lights, it is even more inexpensive to use.
The dark green anodized body is quite resistant to scratches as the light is still like new even after a couple months of sharing my pocket with keys and coins.
Cost of the light varies depending where you buy it, but it is around $35 to $40 USD; your best bet is to Google it to see who has a special on it.
I like this light to the point of recommending it to anybody that is looking for a light with these characteristics. The light is as good as the Ray-O-Vac Sportsman with the added power of the 220 lumen setting.
A lumen is not a lumen when somebody intends to throw a big bunch of them out of a small reflector the size of a dime or nickel. At least it seems to be that way.
It used to be easy to tell the power of a light by the lumens figure, not anymore. You could be an experience user of lights, say a policeman that had used for years a 200 lumens Magchager and is well acquainted with its capabilities. Now he reads about this small light the size of a thumb that also outputs 200 lumens and is all excited to get the new marvel.
He does and is promptly disappointed because the small light seems to throw a good amount of light, but all close by, and is nothing that can compare with his duty Magcharger that can illuminate objects at 100 yards.
Besides emitters in the 200 lumens bracket can kill themselves with the heat that they produce when they are used in small lights with poor heat sinking. It is mostly a novelty thing and it should be used with caution. Some of them come in lights with multiple settings, and that is fine when the literature advice you to use the 200 lumens sparingly, and you follow that advice.
To illustrate the point, here are a couple of pictures of beam shots at 20 yards, you can clearly see the superiority of the Bear Cub (reflector size 2”) over the Lightstar 220, (reflector the size of a dime) even when both lights are rated at 220 lumens.
LIGHTSTAR 220 LUMENS AT 20 YARDS
BEAR CUB 220 LUMENS AT 20 YARDS
Some manufacturers wishing to quote big numbers are now putting clusters of these small reflectors on duty size flashlights. Mind you these clusters that are from three to four are still all small reflectors with limited throw.
So, somebody putting a cluster of four reflectors in a big head can claim 800 lumens, but you know better now, knowing that those 200 lumens for each reflector are not really behaving like real lumens!
Unfortunately I don’t have one of those lights to prove the point. But I can get my own cluster of lights in the 200 lumens bracket, and demonstrate by picture what can you expect.
I have here two of the Lightstar220 lumens, plus a Fenix P3D of 205 lumens and an Ultra Fire with Rebel emitter of 200 lumens, all of which together in a cluster will throw the figure of 845 lumens.
The opposite number is a Black Bear 720 lumens flashlight, a light that is 10” long and weights 24 oz. and uses a 2” reflector that can throw several hundred of yards with a strong white light.
HERE IS THE PICTURE OF THE CONTENDERS
The distance for both beam shots is in this case 35 yards to the target (The no trespassing sign tacked in the tree). The camera is 20 yards from the target.
CLUSTER OF REFLECTORS 845 LUMENS
BLACK BEAR 720 LUMENS ONE REFLECTOR 2”
Observe how the beam of the 720 lumens light travels beyond the range of the cluster lights, illuminating objects that the cluster lights are not capable of showing.
So, if you are in the market for a new light, this use of small reflectors in clusters to boost lumens figures is something you should be aware off.