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Old February 22, 2007, 12:36 PM   #1
black bear 84
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lights for law enforcement

LIGHTS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT:

This post will try to show how different lights used in law enforcement 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 law enforcement. 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 WRITING

As the maker of Black Bear Flashlights, I have had the input of hundred of police officers that tell me what they really need to perform their functions at night.
What those experienced officers want are three lights that will cover specific illumination chores.
First, when writing a ticket at night, or looking for a dropped pencil in the floor of their own car or any other close up chore, they want a flood light in LED form: small and with an output of 20 lumens or less (LED lumens), and preferably with a clip incorporated to free both hands for holding the pad and writing.

LEO’s that have used my 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 these chores.

THE BELT LIGHT

Those same officers 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 (it is important for them to be able to cover an average room with the light, without the need of panning it).
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 clearing rooms, but it will do fine in an average backyard.
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 inside a house.

The main thing is that the officers want to avoid losing precious seconds by panning a light when entering a room. That is why the Surefires are preferred over the tightly focused others brands.

THE CAR LIGHT

These police officers 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 those that favor my products, a BOREALIS 1050 lumens.

Those are ideal lights for search, clearing houses, backyards, warehouses etc. Being rechargeable, they are always used with a maximum run time (taken out of the charger at start of the shift), a thing that you can not do with 123 batteries unless you are willing to dump half-used batteries at the start of a shift.

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, which has the capability of illuminating the whole road for 250 yards.

Those lights are ideal for traffic stops, accident sites and the ones with major lumen output can even illuminate through heavily tinted windows.


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)



Continue in the next post to fit all the pictures...
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Old February 22, 2007, 12:38 PM   #2
black bear 84
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Continuation of the above post.

And here is the Ultra Stinger, the most powerful of the rechargeables from Streamlight with 295 lumens and 75,000 candlepower.



And now the BOREALIS, the light that I provide my customers, with the format of a 3 D (12 1/2 inches long) outputting 1050 lumens for 50 minutes.



And even that they have been there all along thru the shootout of the lights, you can see them for the first time. My assistant is at the left of the tool shed, leaning on the second tree, and the Bear's head is hanging from the tree to the right of the shed.
Do I need to say anything about the importance of a powerful light when clearing a backyard or wooded area?

Best regards,
black bear
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Old February 22, 2007, 10:16 PM   #3
JohnKSa
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Very interesting. I had noticed that the LED lights didn't seem to have as much practical throw as it seemed they should. I guess it hadn't occurred to me that the spectrum of the light was the culprit.

Have you had a chance to test any of the CREE 7090 emitters yet?
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Old February 23, 2007, 05:04 PM   #4
black bear 84
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JohnKsa,
I haven't a cree of my own, but I compared my friend's Fenix L2D CE 7090 cree, with one of my best MCGizmo PR T TWOJ bins and I was impressed by the $55.00 Fenix.

Even though the Mc Gizmo has more intensity at 30 yards, it was expected as the reflector is bigger, the MCGizmo is a collector's item light with a tag of $260.00

PRT MacGizmo on a Surefire body, TWOJ bin



black bear
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Old February 27, 2007, 05:12 PM   #5
black bear 84
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Hi guys,
For those that are interested in these things, here are some more shoot-outs for comparison.

MORE LIGHTS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT




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.

AND IN ORDER TO FIT ALL THE PICTURES, IT WILL CONTINUE ON THE NEXT POST.
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Old February 27, 2007, 05:13 PM   #6
black bear 84
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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 a conservative 220 lumens (which make it a very white light) with a reach of 120 to 150 yards, even surpassing the Ultra Stinger.



Respectfully
Black bear
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Old March 9, 2007, 03:58 AM   #7
Cerbera
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My experience

I have bought the Borealis by Black Bear and I must say this is a VERY powerful flashlight. The only other handheld light that I have operated that even came close to this was the Streamlight UltraStinger. The UltraStinger was around 290 lumens and I was impressed by that light, but the Borealis is in a league of its own.

My brother has a regular Maglite 3D and the images below will show how it compares to the Borealis.



That was a little size comparison. The Borealis is based on the Mag 3D. If you ever damage the exterior of the flashlight, you can always change the body with another Maglite. Black Bear could’ve used a MagCharger host but it is a much more expensive flashlight to use as a host. Why pay $80 when you can pay $20 for a replacement body?

Also you can see that I bought the optional stainless steel Crenellated bezel and quick swivel detach end. The bezel really adds a unique look to it, but it is also an effective weapon when needed. The tip of the bezel contains many sharp corners and edges. I also ordered the quick detachable swivel, but I replace it with the hand strap of my camera. It is my personal preference and is the main reason why I paid extra for the options. Again, it adds a unique look to it.



On the left shows the regular Mag 3D and the right is the Borealis. As you can see, there is a HUGE difference. The Borealis is something you have to see in person. My camera dims a bit when trying to focus on the beam, but on the bottom of that, I showed how powerful it really is that it can literally light up your room. The Mag can’t do that.



More examples on how powerful the light can be. The top photographs are in pitch black (duh) and the bottom are the Borealis blasting light into that scene. The left column is an outdoor picture. I presume that tree outside my house is 7-9 stories high. You can also see that the light can light up the gutters on the top right of the image. That is quite impressive! The right column is me at the bottom of my 25-step stairs. As you can see, it can illuminate the whole room and the ceiling is 2 stories high.



Here is a park photograph. Again, you have to be there in person. My camera could not really capture the intensity of the Borealis. My friend stood at the end of this basketball court about 30 yards away. It can hit the pole, but you can see that the tree (about 50-55 yards away) can be illuminated as well as the building behind that (about 65 yards away)!

Even thought this is a great product, Juan (Black Bear) is a great person to work with. I have sent him MANY e-mails since I bought my light from him. Most of the e-mails were questions or concerns that I have and Juan has replied to every one of them with great detail and attention. I am very proud to have bought the Borealis.

Where else can you find a 1050 lumen flashlight with 55 minutes of run time (with Rolls Royce battery holder) at the price of 260 dollars? That is great bang for the buck.

Please consider Black Bear’s products!! You won’t regret it!
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Old March 22, 2007, 07:58 AM   #8
black bear 84
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Some members have asked for beam shots of their favorite lights to be added to the data-base I initiated.

The most popular of the requests is the:

Surefire E 2 e Series

The little MN03 lamp (60 lumens) in the E2e, is a big performer, I myself like this little light a lot, and I think it qualifies as a tactical light to be used at close to medium range.

Here is a picture of a few of the versions of the E2e.





And here is the beam shot at the same distance than 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).





Kind regards
Black bear
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Old April 1, 2007, 08:57 AM   #9
black bear 84
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PELICAN M-6 and TAC-STAR T-6
Tactical lights


About three years ago Pelican come out with his first tactical light in the M-6 incandescent, as others tactical lights it used two of the Lithium 123 batteries, the switch is in the tail cap and works like the Surefire 6P with lock and intermittent functions.
The light has some flats in the head that act as anti-roll, but not as well as the Surefire 6P.

The reflector is heavily orange peel and the pattern is nice and without artifacts. One thing in the design I like very much, in the tail cap instead of a spring bearing on the battery, is a plunger finished in gold plating, sure a very elegant way to produce the necessary contact.

The TAC STAR T-6 come into the market after the Pelican have already sold several thousands of lights and is in all effects a copy, same internals and same reflector and the only variation is the treatment of the outside body.
The T-6’s workmanship is not as good as the Pelican, threads in the tail cap are rough and the edges are not well finished, but the beam intensity and pattern are the same.

Two and a half years ago the Pelican cost me $60.00 it came with a very good holster in Cordura nylon.
The Tac-Star that I bought a year ago cost me $30.00 and came without a holster.
I use to have another T-6 that had a smooth reflector and the focus was adjustable, this was an early version that was changed not to infringe in the adjustable focus patent of another flashlight company.

The Pelican had a claim of 80 lumens in the outside of the box and 72 lumens in the instructions, the T-6 had no lumens claim in the paper work.

Here is a picture of the two lights.




And here is a picture of the beam shot, if you are curious to see how good or bad it compare with the Surefire 6P, just look in the above post for the beam shot of that light.



Many of these lights are still in use daily by police officers and civilians alike, I am sure some of the readers have one in their belt or night stand.

Kind regards
Black bear
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Old April 1, 2007, 12:10 PM   #10
habeuscorpse
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This thread brings up a subject with serious legal ramifications. If someone throws a blinding bright light on you when you are in a place you are legally entitled to be in and are not engaged in any illegal activity, and the light operator does not identify themselves as a police officer nor are any police lights flashing nor do any commence flashing after you are lit up, what is a justified response, up to and including an armed response with a weapon?
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Old April 10, 2007, 02:23 PM   #11
Ian2005
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While this is good pitch for your flashlight Black Bear, you might as well post the cost for it as well. When I have to email someone in this day in age to get a price for a product, I can almost feel the kick in the gut coming.
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Old April 10, 2007, 05:04 PM   #12
black bear 84
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Ian2005,
You don't have to E-mail me to get the prices, they are all over the web site.
http://www.blackbearflashlights.com/l_borealis.htm
Just click in the windows.

black bear
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Old April 10, 2007, 09:23 PM   #13
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Got the Borealis for the house and the Polar Bear for the pickup / base camp. Now need to get the Bear Cub for the hunting fanny pack next. Good stuff & nice comparisons black bear; you're like Progressive Insurance, providing quotes on other companies' products - KUTGW! Juan is da man - excellent service & products.
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Old April 12, 2007, 08:12 PM   #14
black bear 84
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Thank you for your appreciation of my lights and services, FirstFreedom.


CREE 7090 XR-E LAMP

JET-I (AA) MK IIX FLASHLIGHT


I had the opportunity to test briefly this flashlight a few days ago; since I just got to handle it for a few hours I will not call it a review, but just a little trial.

The light was actually passing by, my friend Luis from Spain had ordered from me a Borealis 1050 lumens and a Bear Cub 220 lumens flashlights, he also wanted one of Emilions’ workbench JET-BEAM I MK IIX little lights that have multiple functions and are billed with a 100 lumens maximum power in the 1 AA version and with the extended tube for two AA batteries at 150 lumens.
So I had one ordered from Emilions and it arrived quite quickly, from Hong Kong to New York in just five days!

Physically, it is the size of my Fenix L1P light, (about 40 lumens) and it is very similar in shape and weight.
For those not familiar with these lights I have here a picture of them side by side.



By adding the extension for another AA, it is claimed that the maximum output is 150 lumens. Now that is a serious lumens output that we are taking about, so my main interest was to see if really the little light was going to reach that high.
Unfortunately I didn’t have available any other comparable light, the closest that I had seem was my friend Fenix L2D that claims 135 lumens, but he was out of state, so the light was unavailable to me.

I have in my stable of lights, one PR T head (Pelican Reflector Turbo) that McGizmo made for me with a TWOJ Lumileds Luxeon III, which is a real screamer, going into the 130 lumens when pushed hard by two of the rechargeable 123’s at 3.7 volts each.
This head is in an E2e body and is my favorite of the Luxeons lights I own.

The comparison to the little reflector of the Jet Beam will be unfair, as the Pelican reflector is much bigger in diameter and deeper, concentrating the light in a much tighter and intense beam.
The smaller reflector of the Jet Beam will tend to disperse the light beam in a more open pattern which will compromise the throw.

But here is a picture of the two lights side by side, so you can see how they look like, and how the Jet Beam is with the added 1 battery extension tube.



And here is a picture of the beam shot against the ceiling at a distance of 6 feet, the one on left is the Jet Beam I MK IIX



And after that, I took pictures of the beams shots at my customary 26 yards against the Deer and Bear heads.
If the picture of the beam shot of the Jet Beam doesn’t look too impressive for the 150 lumens figure, keep in mind the terrible advantage in concentration of light that the Pelican reflector provides for my PR T 130 lumens light.

Beam shot with the Jet Beam 150 lumens (2 batteries, maximum power)



And here the beam shot with the McGizmo PR T head (130 lumens)



I can’t close this account without telling my readers of the many features of the little Jet Beam light,
On the exterior the light is finished in hard anodized type III, the lens is Sapphire crystal and it comes with a set of extra switch covers, lanyard and a nice belt holster.

The circuit is 0.7V to 4.2V, after you click it on (Medium Brightness) soft touching the rubber switch will provide low brightness, maximum brightness and strobe, and one more touch will put the light in standby.

Waiting two seconds and clicking the light again will access the advanced mode with 10 levels of output, and five special functions including strobe SOS at 100 % and SOS at 5 % and others.

This seems to me, is the light to end all of the key chain lights and then some. As soon as my checkbook is recuperated from the ravages of uncle Sam, I am going to order one for myself.

I still think that for clearing a warehouse or a big yard, you need the longer distance reach of a good (in the 200 lumens bracket) incandescent light. When the factories start using the Cree 7090 with bigger reflectors, we will see the results, but I myself believe that the lack of the red spectrum in the Luxeons will always make them short distance lights and reduce the definition on the target; just look at the pictures that I have presented until now and see the performance of Luxeons even with the big reflectors of the Streamlight 4AA and the Task Light.

Kind regards
Black bear
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and www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
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Old April 28, 2007, 08:31 PM   #15
black bear 84
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THE SUREFIRE M-6 TACTICAL LIGHT


Hi guys,
Here is another of my tactical lights. This beauty is light, relatively small and VERY powerful, and it comes with two lamps; 250 lumens for one hour and 500 lumens for 20 minutes.
THE GOOD NEWS:
In reality, when using fresh 123’s batteries of Surefire brand this light puts out 650 lumens for the first 6 minutes, this is really an outstanding performance as at 650 lumens the light is very white.
After that, the small 123’s start feeling the problem of coping with the high amperage lamp and settle to the 500 lumens output for a little more time, but you can see in the beam how the sag on the little batteries affects the output.

I have had three of the M-6’s and I am very familiar with them, they are very sensitive to what batteries they like, performing quite well with the Surefire brand, but dropping down and with reduced run time with the Battery Station brand, (at least in my experience).

THE NOT SO GOOD NEWS:
Sometimes in a warm summer night when I use the light, I can expect it to shut down after about 11 to 12 minutes of running due to the overheat protection of the batteries.
Yes the batteries will shut down the juice when very hot to avoid reaching the melting point, it is very disconcerting to have the light going full blast and all of a sudden you find yourself in complete dark.
It will no happen often but it had happened to me three times last summer (I am an above average user of powerful lights).

The light that I use for the beam shot is not my own but one that a local customer of mine received in the mail the day I was delivering to him a Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight.

This great guy will start a conversation with, hi, I am Effie and I am a flashaholic, the day I visited him we spend hours talking and looking at his lights.
The batteries in the Surefire box, were fresh, I am sure because I deflowered the tough plastic wrapping with my trusty Ken Onion’s knife.
The guy have a one room house with garage in his big back yard, (for his teenage son’s to have his privacy) and that is what we used as a target, it been 27 yards away from the end of the porch where we shoot the beams of the lights and placed the tripod and camera.

As we needed another light to test it against, we used the Borealis 1050 lumens light, this being a top of the line model with the Quick Detach Swivel and the black hard anodized bezel with the glow dots.
Of course the Borealis been a bigger light made in the 3 D format and weighting at 28 oz. and with 12 ½ inches in length, overpower physically and in lumens output the M-6, but we didn’t have anything closer to the 650 lumens of the HOLA lamp of the M-6.
And here are the beam shots

SUREFIRE M-6 HOLA lamp (650 lumens on fresh batteries, 20 minutes run time)





BOREALIS 1050 LUMENS RECHARGEABLE (50 minutes run time)



And here the lights side by side before the shoot out.






THE ONLY REAL PROBLEM:
It is the cost of the batteries, Surefires are close to a couple dollars now with shipping, it hurts my pocket to pay that much when the light uses six of them every twenty minutes and I don’t use the light as much as when the batteries where going for a dollar each.
For the law enforcement sector, when the Agency pays for the batteries, it is not problem, but for us simple civilians like me, even that I don’t have a mortgage anymore, I have a kid with a foot in College and I have to watch out my wallet, paying $36.00 per hour to run a powerful light it is not longer fun.

It is the top of the line of the portable Surefires and at $400 it is well worth the money due to the great and precise machining and finish and the good design specially made for tactical situations.

Cheers,
Black Bear
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Old May 1, 2007, 01:49 AM   #16
5whiskey
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God bless you Black Bear, for sharing with us normal people your extensive knowledge and testing of tactical lights. No bias or heresay opinion, you go to the trouble of taking pictures of the actual proof and sharing them with us. I wish I would have run across this before I went to Iraq the last time, but better now than never. I now use the pelican you tested, not by preferance but that I got it from the armory non-serialized. The Corps didn't have it in their big black accountability eye so I managed to acquire it for use in Iraq. Once I left I obviously had so much of an emotional attachment that I couldn't bear to let it go

By the way, when ye ol pelican decides to bite the dust or upgrading reaches the top of my "money priority" list, I will definatly buy from you just for posting these results. Not that I'm saying you're not priced competitivaly, I'm sure you are but I haven't done the research. The point is if you charge 10 dollars more than the next guy then I'm willing to pay it to someone wants to help me (and others), thus eliminating my need to research the price department. Besides, you already researched the functional department for me/us, so you deserve to be paid for it.
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Old May 8, 2007, 03:12 PM   #17
black bear 84
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Wheeler0351

Thank you for your appreciation of my efforts, it is refreshing to learn that it can be of use to a member of the forum.

I am the maker of the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlights and some others black bear's lights, but I am not a dealer selling the others lights that I review here, they are just from my private collection and reviewing them with pictures is a pet project of mine, that can serve to make beam-shots comparisons, but they are not for sale.
Thank you for your kinds words.

And now my impressions of another very popular light.

THE STREAMLIGHT SCORPION

I like the little Scorpion a lot, it is 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 too difficult to operate with my big thumb and I have to click it with my index finger.
But it rarely that 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, that 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, 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 my personal feelings 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 shot 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).

SCORPION’S BEAM



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.

Cheers,
Black Bear
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Old May 19, 2007, 07:01 AM   #18
black bear 84
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CABELA’S XPG XENON FLASHLIGHTS

12 VOLTS MODEL
180 LUMENS AND 90 MINUTES RUN TIME


This light uses four 123’s and is 7 ¾ inches long. The claim of 180 lumen output and 90 minutes run time is what attracted me to buy one; besides, the price is only $50.00.

With the 123’s at almost $2.00 each with shipping, running this light is not precisely inexpensive, but is much better than running a Surefire 9 P with the P-91 lamp for 20 minutes to get 200 lumens.



This light went into one of my rifles; that is why it is set up with a Leupold ring.


This light is almost a copy of the 9P, but longer at 7 ¾; the tail-cap differs in that the switch is not momentary. When you press in the XPG switch, you click it on, and to extinguish the light, you click it off.

This feature will remove this flashlight from the “tactical” field; it is very important for tactical use to have a momentary switch so you can strobe it, or so you can control the light the way you want. It is important just in case you drop your light, that you will not get illuminated by your own light.

The lamp of this light is very similar to the P-91 Surefire lamp. The reflector has the same finish and configuration, and at $18.00 for replacements it is not bad at all.

To find out how it compares with the beam of the 9P or Surefire C-3 with the P-91 lamp (200 lumens for 20 minutes on three 123’s batteries), I tested the light at my usual 26 yards against the same bear-and-deer target that I used before for all the other lights, and from the same distance with the same settings.

As the reflector and head are so similar between the two torches, I was expecting very similar results in illumination, as the 20 lumens difference is not really so important to change the results in a big way.

So here are the pictures, and you can see for yourself how they compare.

CABELA’S XPG XENON 12 VOLTS (180 lumens for 90 minutes on four 123’s batteries)



SUREFIRE CENTURION C-3 (With P-91 lamp for 200 lumens. 20 minutes run time)



BEAR CUB 220 lumens for 90 minutes, rechargeable.




Lumen output is not all that is important to have a light that will be useful at a certain distance. The diameter of the reflector has a big influence in how those lumens are going to be distributed.
For example, in the same league in lumen output is the rechargeable Bear Cub, (220 lumens for 90 minutes), but the deep 2” in diameter smooth reflector of the Bear Cub will throw the light much farther and with more intensity than the small reflectors of the Centurion C-3 or 9 P or the Cabela’s XPG can.
Actually the XPG and the Centurion C-3 are very good (as you can see in the pictures) at the 26 yards distance, but at 45 to 50 yards they have reached the end of their useful illumination.

Cabela’s have always offered good value for the money, this light is not the exception, for the price it is a more than excellent light and the long run time offset a little the expense of buying four 123’s batteries to run it.

Best wishes
Black Bear






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Old June 6, 2007, 05:35 AM   #19
black bear 84
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THE ASP TAC LITE

This is another very popular tactical light in the law enforcement circles, it is five inches long and one inch in diameter. As with the other tactical lights, it works for about an hour on two of the 123’s disposable batteries.



This is the bulb of the ASP light, with a shock absorbing material wrapped around the base



The ASP line of batons is very famous for quality and craftsmanship; this light can be coupled to an ASP baton if you so desire.

Quality foam insulates the middle of the light and is a very welcome addition in the winter months when all metal lights are too cold to handle.
The Company states 7,000 candlepower for this light
. Candlepower in this light are high because the beam is quite concentrated. The ASP TAC LITE is famous for having a far-throwing beam.
The reason for it is the smooth-mirror polished reflector and the shape of the filament of the bulb, which forms an arc, as it is quite short, the light is emitted from a smaller filament than those of others lights.

A light that reaches far is of dubious utility in the tactical field for clearing houses and the like, when its long throw hinders the flood capabilities of the instrument.
Although the light features an internal capability to make it throw more flood, it is internal and is based on repositioning the bulb in the reflector, which introduces a series of artifacts into the beam.
Surefire’s with P-60 or P-61 lamps are well established as the ones that everybody likes as far as beam throw and amount of side spill; after all, most gun fights in low light situations happen inside of a few yards, and a tight beam is more of a liability than of an asset.

However I see this light as a good contender to install it in an AR type rifle, where illumination at longer distances is needed and desired.

The tail-cap houses a nice electronic switch that is quite responsive to the touch of your thumb, the switch button is recessed and the light can be used on candle mode if the operator wishes to do so.
However none of the additional features so desirable in a tactical light are present here. There is no anti-roll bezel to stop the light from rolling of a table or inclined surface, there is no fluted cap so light can escape if the flashlight is set on a table head down, and no grommet or stop to position the light in the Rogers-Surefire position.

As always the bear is set up at 18 feet from the camera and the deer at 12 feet and the light of the ASP Tac Lite is coming from the second story window from 26 yards away.

For comparison here is the beam shot of the Surefire G-2 with the 65 lumens (P-60) lamp



And here is the beam shot of the ASP TAC LITE, notice how the concentrate light is brighter at the target than the G-2



Kind regards
Black Bear





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Old June 13, 2007, 03:11 PM   #20
black bear 84
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THE COAST MINI LIGHT


I discovered this small light a few years ago in the fishing aisle of a Wal Mart store, it was perfect for tying small flies to the end of my 5x tippet when fly fishing in the dark.
Clipped to the pocket of my fishing vest the neck could be positioned as desired for the light to fall in on the fly, it took just a few days to realize that was ideal for writing tickets or for navigating with map and compass in the woods or when doing as a co pilot in the car.



The instructions said something like 90 hours of light, it most be right because in four years of using it a lot, I haven’t yet put new batteries on it.

The batteries are four of the AG 5 button cells, not exactly a household item, but available in Walgreens or Eckers.

The light is a kind of flood, not too intense as to make you lost your night vision, but enough for the chores I mentioned.

The little light also has a ring to hang it from your neck or attach it to your key chain, but my preferred method is to clip it to the shirt pocket, there is so small and unobtrusive that is hardly noticeable.
Or you also can clip it to the bill of your cap, like that I have recently exchanged a faulty wall switch, and it is much better than holding a bigger light in your mouth.

I think that I pay for it near ten dollars, well worth the price if you like me are a user of lights.

Cheers
Black Bear
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Old June 21, 2007, 07:40 AM   #21
black bear 84
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STREAMLIGHT TL-3
XENON 9 VOLTS TACTICAL LIGHT

The TL-3 uses three of the 123’s batteries and is advertised to produce 200 lumens and one hour run time. In my experience, bulbs only last about five hours, but they are inexpensive at about $7.50 each.
The torch sports a clip and also comes with a lanyard. Due to the diameter of the big head (1.6 inches), I haven’t looked for a holster for this light, using the clip instead to carry it on my belt inside the pants.
Also, because I use my version of the Tiger ring system (better called Gabe Suarez ring for its inventor) a holster will not work with the protruding ring.
By the way, my version is a rubber O ring, or better still, a hair tie (that will stretch under pressure and doesn’t break fingers).



The light is 0.9 inches in diameter. Too bad it is not a one-inch to make it useable with inexpensive Weaver rings when mounted in rifles.
The length is 6.25 inches and it weights 6.9 with batteries.

The focus of the light is adjustable, but in flood position it introduces some artifacts into the beam. I have found the most pleasant beam when it is at the maximum throw position.
Due to the big head, this light will throw a good beam quite a distance. I have a target fence 68 yards away and the light will reach there with enough illumination to indentify the gender of a suspect.

The price tag is quite affordable, I have seem them in the web for about $67.00 and maybe lower. It is quite a competitor to the Surefire 9 P or the Centurion III that can also make 200 lumens with their P-91 lamps.

For law enforcement use I prefer the Surefire Centurion III with the P-91 lamp, because the smaller head produces much more flood which is badly needed when clearing rooms. Also the Centurion (or the 9P) can be adapted to rifles (M-6, M-4 etc) with easily available mounts and remote pressure pad switches such as the G&P and others including Surefires’ remote switches.

As usual my target bear and deer are at 26 yards, now with all the vegetation growing in the spring and including the shadows from my cherry tree, the camera can’t show as much of the fence as it did in the winter months, so you will have to take my word for it than the flood of the Surefire Centurion is much more at this distance than the flood from the TL-3.

SUREFIRE CENTURION III WITH P-91 LAMP (200 lumens)



STREAMLIGHT TL-3 (200 lumens)



The intensity of the lights at the target is almost the same; choice between them should be made in the amount of reach you want, the TL-3 due to its big head, throw farther than the Centurion (or 9 P).

I would like to see some plastic bushing for this light that will serve to adapt it to 1 “ rings and also a remote pressure pad switch made for it, otherwise I like it well enough.

Respectfully,
Black Bear
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Old July 9, 2007, 01:56 PM   #22
black bear 84
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STREAMLIGHT TL -2

This is another of the two 123’s batteries lights, it claims to run one hour and outputs 105 lumens, which seems a little exaggerated, but then they must be talking about “bulb” lumens and not torch lumens, and not counting the loss of light by the reflector and the reflections from the lens.

Anyway, this is a great little light which weights 4.3 oz, is 09 “ wide and 4.9 “ long and can be found in the web for about $40.00.
Since we are giving measurements, the head of the light is 1.25” wide.




I would have preferred that they use a thicker body of one inch to take advantage of the popular one inch scope rings to mount it into a Weaver or Picattiny rail, the way it is, a suitable plastic ring had to be found to take the gap and make it possible to use the scope rings.
I am talking, of course, about mounting it into a rifle or bow, because the light can provide good illumination to serve together with a home protection gun or to hunt hogs with a bow at night.

The only thing I have against this light (and its brother the Scorpion) is the poor bulb life (estimated at 5 hours) but it is predictable as the bulb is quite small, the heat high and the gas inside not enough to provide a longer life to the filament.

The outside of the light is quite handsome as you can see on the picture, sorry that mine is cluttered with a piece of Velcro that I use to keep it on top of my cap.

On a hot summer day I let the light cool off for several hours in my 3 ½ gallons “beer” glass while I was watching a movie in my air conditioned living room, the light survived the dunking quite well without any signs of water getting inside.



What I like about this TL-2 (Tactical Light -2 Lithium batteries) is the recessed switch that can be pushed for momentary activation or can be screwed toward the body for constant on, as I said unlike the Surefires this press on momentary switch is flush with the body, so the light can be used in "candle" mode.
The clip is a great one, long enough to make the use of a holster unnecessary but if a holster is what you want this light uses the same ones available for the scorpion.
One big plus over the scorpion is the nice glass lens (instead of lexan) or it may even be Pyrex, I don’t know for sure. It has survived in my pocket together with keys and knives without getting the lens all scratched, in fact it still looks like new.

On previous occasions I have compared it with the scorpion, (as they both use the same bulb) and find them quite the same in throw and brightness. As you can see this picture doesn’t show the same brightness as the scorpion picture, I am well aware of this, must be the fault of the new fresh batteries that I installed before the test. They seem to be weak even though they still show over 3 volts each.




Respectfully

black bear
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Old July 9, 2007, 04:34 PM   #23
Jason_G
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BB, do you know what the difference is between the TL-2 Night Fighter and the regular TL-2? I know the NF TL-2 is 114 lumens vs. the 105 that you posted for the regular TL-2. Do you know what the difference is? Different lamp? Reflector? Both?

TIA.

Jason
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Old July 9, 2007, 07:46 PM   #24
black bear 84
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Jason_G,


I have both lights, there is no difference in lumen output to my eyes, I just checked the reflectors and they are exactly the same, the bulb is the same for both and for the Scorpion.

I don't know why they have different ratings, but take them with a grain of salt. They are "bulb" lumens ratings which don’t take into account the losses in the reflector and by the reflection of the lens.
Surefire is the only one of the big companies that will quote you "torch" lumens, (Because they put the flashlight in the Integrated Sphere Spectrometer) all the others take the lumens figure from the manufacturer of the bulb.

Both lights have the same measurements and they are exactly the same except for the almost smooth surface of the night fighter II.
The night fighter comes with a positioning ring and short clip and lanyard; this is to use the Rogers-Surefire hold on the light (or the cigar hold as some call it).

I promptly lost my ring in favor of a Velcro covering that I use to place the light in my baseball hat or hunting cap, so this picture of my light reflects that.





cheers
Black Bear
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Old July 9, 2007, 10:41 PM   #25
Jason_G
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Quote:
Surefire is the only one of the big companies that will quote you "torch" lumens, (Because they put the flashlight in the Integrated Sphere Spectrometer) all the others take the lumens figure from the manufacturer of the bulb.
I never knew that. I always thought they all measured the output in the same manner. Huh.
Thanks for the info.

Jason
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