The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Gear and Accessories

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 21, 2007, 09:17 PM   #26
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

I have received some e-mails and PM’s asking me to do a beam shot of the maglite 3 D, a light that is very popular in the law enforcement circles and with outdoorsman.

The light is billed as outputting 39 lumens; this is true with fresh high quality D batteries; however as alkaline batteries sag a lot under load, this output is maintained for only seven minutes, when it drops to 75 % of the output.

After one hour, the light is doing 50 % of the output (or close to 20 lumens).

Yes, I know this is probably a surprise to many fans of this light, so here is a chart that will explain graphically what I just wrote.

Here is the beam shot, from 26 yards and coming from the second story window, as always my deer and bear are at 12 and 18 feet from the camera.

Maglite 3 D 39 lumens (fresh, new batteries)

And here as a way of comparison, the
BOREALIS 1050 lumens (made on the same 3 D body)


Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old July 30, 2007, 01:41 PM   #27
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

I finally remembered to order one of them, as I am not in any sense keychain-light poor, having several of them from the ARC AAA passing through the CMG (Course Made Good) to the Streamlight key mate and Fenix’s L1P and LOP AAA.

Not long ago, I reviewed the Jet beam II Mark VIII, which is a very similar light to the Fenix L1D. Any of the two can be considered revolutionary, and it is hard not to get excited about them.

I opted to have the Fenix L1D that works with 1 AA battery, as I like the size and shape which is the same as the Fenix L1P that I have been using for the last 18 months.
The L1P is a 40 lumen light that runs on one AA battery. I never did a timed run test because I always carry a couple of extra batteries in my pocket anyway to get extra run time from my lights, but wherever it is, it can never equal the multi-functional powers of the Fenix L1D.

The extreme power is achieved by a Cree 7090 XR-E LED emitter with a life of 50,000 hours- the little torch has two models of output selected by turning the bezel.
The first mode (as you click the light on) is 9 lumens and will last for 25 hours in the AA battery. The second mode (as you soft-press the switch) is 40 lumens and will last for 5 hours, and another soft press on the switch will access the 80 lumen power and your battery will last for 2 hours.
There is also an SOS mode (with another soft press) using the 80 lumens power.

Here are some of the lights, at top is a McGizmo modification (a collector’s item light worth $250 USD) it outputs 135 lumens and the big 32 mm reflector throws the light well at the 26 yards distance.
Next is the Fenix L1D which shows it is a tad longer than the Fenix L1P , below.
Next is the ARC AAA and the Fenix LOP, great keychain lights, all.

The second mode of the light system is accessed by turning the bezel ½ a turn. It is a steady 90 lumens that will last for 1 ½ hours and with a soft press of the switch the 90 lumens becomes a very quick strobe, that can disorient people or help in disco dancing.

Most chores inside the house can be handled with the 9 lumen mode. For walking the dog or hiking a trail at night I will use the 40 lumen mode; in fact, I can see that attaching it to my cap with Velcro will beat all the head lights in the market, as it is so light and so convenient without the restricting head band around my head- and anyway, I always wear a cap to shade my eyes or protect my glasses from rain, branches, etc.

The SOS or the strobe mode will always be there if I need to attract attention in an emergency. It is even useable in the suburbs, like recently, when a member of my family fell and broke her arm in the rear entrance of a church, she landed between two pine trees and the pain was so strong that she was unable to move, or even scream for help, and a key chain light used as a signal called the attention of people nearby and she was able to summon help that way.

Here are beam shots with the L1P on left and the L1D on right both at 40 lumens, the L1P is more yellow in the corona, but at the center are of the same intensity

The 80 lumen mode or the 90 lumen mode puts a tremendous amount of light NEARBY. Yes, I emphasize the word because due to the small reflector (that will diffuse the light into a flood), the reach of this little light even at that power is very restricted. Oh yes, it will serve to illuminate a big room well, but when tested at the 26 yards distance where I have my deer and bear it was just as the poor results that I got before with the Jet beam, so you can check that post if you are curious about the amount of light reaching there.

For that long distance you just need a bigger reflector of a bigger flashlight. My PR Turbo head by McGizmo running two Lithium Ion 123’s is much more efficient in putting illumination in the 26 yard spot just because the Pelican reflector of 32 mm is so much more efficient in canalizing the light.

So, a long distance light it is not, but all the other common chores can be handled very easily with the new Fenix L1D light. The battery will last a long time on the nine lumen mode (25 hours) and will probably be my choice for hanging from the ceiling of the tent all night long, in replacement of the CMG LED that I was using until now.

I paid $52 USD for the light and I consider the cost a bargain. With one in my pocket I just need two or three more powerful lights to cover all lightning situations that I can possible think of; for example, I will use a 200 lumen light in my belt for animal control (in the wild and in the street- and I mean two and four-legged animals) this could be a Surefire Centurion III with the optional P-91 lamp, or even better the rechargeable Bear Cub 220 lumen 90 minutes run time.
For my truck or cars, I am never too far away from a Borealis flashlight, 1050 lumens and 50 minute run time, the most powerful flashlight in the world with the power of a two million candlepower spotlight.
With that I am in control of riots, accident sites, search and rescue, and WWIII.

Coming back to the Fenix L1D, yes I am very happy with this light. Hopefully it will give me even better service than the Fenix L1P and the LOP that I have been using until now -lights that are very good and I have nothing but praise for them.
Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old August 7, 2007, 09:28 PM   #28
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

Here is one of the higher quality Surefire lights, the A-2 Aviator which is a regulated light capable of running for 20 hours on the 3 LED’s that produce 3 lumens and for one hour on the incandescent bulb that outputs 50 lumens.

The light is available with white, green, yellow, red or blue LED’s, my version is the white LED’s as I need the light for navigation in the woods, the other popular choice is the red LED’s for the pilots of airplanes to use in the cabin, in the tarmac the main incandescent bulb comes in handy to check the tail and wings of the plane.

The light has a switch with two stages press a little on it and the 3 LED’s come first, a little more and the incandescent bulb will be on, this is the momentary phase, also you can twist the switch for steady on for the 3 LED’s and a little more twist for the incandescent bulb.
The switch also has a lock on position, aligning two marks on the body and tail-cap will immobilize the switch for safe storage or carrying in luggage.


The light works with two of the 123’s batteries that are supplied with it, length of the torch is 5.50 inches and it weights 4.10 oz. the finish of the light is military hard anodized type III that makes it highly scratch resistant and it comes with a long clip that makes unnecessary the use of a holster.

As the light have a regulator chip the incandescent bulb get a soft start, which make it last longer than regular incandescent bulbs.

Surefire sell the light out of his web site and at dealers for $195.00 my light serial number is A-19737 which tells me that they don’t have any trouble selling them to selective customers.

Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old August 14, 2007, 11:36 AM   #29
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246
Hi guys,
I just did this piece for a hiking forum I subscribe. I thought you guys will be interested, just forgive the hiking flavor.


Hi guys,
Yes, I know that this has nothing to do with hiking, but most of us use car or truck transportation to get to the trail head and usually carry some form of a flashlight in the vehicle.
A powerful light can be a life saver in many instances, I well remember when driving up to the Adirondacks at 2 am in an empty 87 North at a point between exit 28 and 29 (North Hudson) some wild people in a truck tried to run us over into the shoulder of the road, my wife shinned a powerful light into their windshield and they desisted in the intent and actually braked hard and disappeared.
Maybe they though that only police cars would have such a powerful light and that it was better to look for their kicks somewhere else; the case was that the light resolved the situation for us.

Then it was the time when we used it to illuminate the scene of and accident involving a deer and a poor woman in a compact car in a dark lonely side road, where blood and the insides of the deer were everywhere and the car was inoperable.

Calling by phone from New York City to a local in the Adirondacks to get our weather information I was told of a new ruse some bad guys were using to rob and hi jack cars in roads with poor traffic in the area.
The information came handy a few weeks later when in Boreas road near the junction with Tahawus road we were flagged by a guy in a truck with the head lights illuminating a dead dog in the middle of the road. at the time I was using a car I had bought from my neighbor the cop, it had a PA system and blue lights mounted in the vicinity of the radiator; we stopped short, illuminated the area with the two million candlepower of a Borealis flashlight and hit the blue lights and PA system telling them over the mike to stay were they where and to show their hands. The guy in the truck jumped inside and did a burning tire escape even running over the body of the dog, while his confederate in the bushes at the side of the road had just barely time to dive head first into the bed of the truck.

So I though that I will show the guys in the forums what a powerful light is since I have several of them with me.

HERE IS A PICTURE OF THE LIGHTS, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Maglite 3 D, Magcharger, Ultra Stinger, Surefire M-6 Guardian, and Borealis.

AND HERE A PICTURE OF THE BATTERY STICKS AND CARRIERS FROM LEFT: The 6 volts battery stick of the Magcharger, the skinny 6 volts battery stick of the Ultra Stinger, the plastic carrier for the six 123’s batteries of the Surefire M-6 and last the aluminum and Delryn 12 volts carrier of the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight.

The Maglite 3 D is the most popular light carried by almost everybody in a truck or car. The 12 ½ inches of length and the thirty one ounces of weight make also a good impact weapon for emergencies, moreover, is the affordability of the light that can be obtained almost anywhere for less than $20, and, by the way, it is a quality instrument with tight tolerances and proudly still made in the USA.
So the Maglite 3 D is going to be our first test and beam shot, the light is quite waterproof to a good extend, my neighbor’s kids use one to collect coins from the bottom of the pool in a game they have.
The Maglite 3 D output 39 lumens and runs on three of the popular D size alkaline batteries; it will run for an hour before the output drops to 20 lumens due to the sag that alkaline batteries exhibit under load.


MAG Instruments also produce a powerful rechargeable police light called the Magcharger, this light is used by many police departments in the states and abroad; this light is the size and shape of a regular Maglite 3 D but with 2 rings of steel where the contacts for the charger are.
This light will output 200 lumens (40,000 candlepower) and I think that the price is about $120.00 a well built quality light of 12 ½ inch and a weight of thirty one ounces, it works with a 6 volt system on a stick of Ni Cads batteries; the charger will charge the light in 12 hours and as the Ni Cad batteries sometimes acquire memory, it is necessary to discharge it full and recharge to erase the memory in the batteries after using it for a couple of weeks.


The Streamlight Ultra Stinger is the most powerful offering from Streamlight, a well known police flashlight provider, The Ultra Stinger will output 75,000 candlepower, lumens figure is 295 lumens, it also works with a 6 volt system of rechargeable Ni Cad batteries, formed in a stick, the light is very popular with many police agencies and also recharges in 12 hours.
Police station across America have racks of Ultra Stingers in chargers waiting for the night shift to arrive, the light is a lightweight at 12 inches and 15 ounces, I think that the price is around $130 in the street as some lights can be bought at discount from the web.
The address for Streamlight is there they have the whole line of Stingers and other police and emergency services lights.


black bear 84 is offline  
Old August 14, 2007, 11:39 AM   #30
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246
Our SWAT teams and Special Forces use for entry and to blind suspects a powerful military type flashlight called the Surefire M-6 Guardian. This light works with those powerful 3 volts Lithium batteries that are sometimes used in cameras, the flashlight uses six of them disposables batteries to run the light at 500 lumens for 20 minutes; after the 20 minutes you have to dump the batteries and get another six fresh batteries in the carrier, which is of not importance when the agency pay for the batteries, but to us civilians, dumping $12.00 worth of batteries after a 20 minutes run can get to be expensive.
This light was until recently the most powerful in the world, and Surefire sells a good quantity of them despite the tag of $400 USD.
I used one for a while in my car because it fits my glove compartment, as the light is shorter and lighter than the ones we have been discussing so far.
At 8 inches 14 ounces it is quite compact, but it will make a poor strike weapon although the powerful beam of 500 lumens will blind men or animal.
If you want more information on this light the address of Surefire is


My red rechargeable Borealis flashlight at 1050 lumens (two million candlepower) is the king of all the powerful lights and the most powerful flashlight in the world at this time.
It is made on the “host” of 3D, so replacement shells are easy available and inexpensive and the owner can replace a shell that have been scratched or dented for a mere $20 if he wishes, and in only 10 minutes transfer the special parts, (some of us take pride in good looking equipment).
This light is seen deployment with some members of the border patrol to illuminate the frontier in their quest for illegal immigration. The light can throw a powerful beam for hundred of yards and in a pinch it can be used as headlights or a landing light.
Police officers are acquiring the Borealis to use the same way that they have been using the Maglite and Magcharger, the tremendous light output makes it ideal for accident sites and traffic stops.
It uses a 12 volt system of rechargeable high current NINH batteries in a beautifully made Rolls Royce carrier, the batteries don’t have any problem with memory and the new type of batteries used in this light can be away from the charger for more than a month before it needs to be topped off, and the recharging time of the light is only 90 minutes.
The run time of this light is 50 continuous minutes; it is 12 ½ inches long and weights 28 ounces. In test ran by the maker, the light was tortured and even shot with a .22 rifle without stopping emitting light. (As a video shows in the web site).
The light sells for $320 shipped directly from the maker, which is


I thought you guys will be interested to see all these lights in action, and I pointed them to a point in the fence next to the tree with the beams and camera shooting from a 35 yards distance, this is the longest distance that I have in the back yard

Although you can not take them in your night hikes (because of the extra weight) any of them will make a good addition to your car or truck gear, who knows, maybe they can really help you out of a tight situation like they did for me.


Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old August 25, 2007, 01:18 PM   #31
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

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.


Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old September 10, 2007, 04:51 AM   #32
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246
I was intrigued by this light for a while; I knew that the only difference from a regular Krypton 2 D model was in the self contained “bulb” of Luxeon LED.

Still I wanted to try it against a regular Krypton bulb model to see if the increase in price was going to provide an increase in performance.
Recently the Krypton White Star bulb specifications was upped to 36.5 lumens and 16,200 candlepower, I have in my arsenal a brand new Maglite 2 d with Krypton bulb and I just bought a new 2D LED model for the test, you can see them in the picture side by side, they are the two black lights.
The red is also a Maglite “shell” or “host” as I like to call them, but the interior have been changed into a Black Bear 720 lumens powerhouse.
If you are not familiar with the modifications of Black Bear Flashlights, they are full of special components and some skilled labor to convert the regular 2 D’s, 3D’s and other formats, into incredible bright lights outputting 220, 426. 720, 856 and 1050 lumens.

In playing the new LED against the Krypton model, my observation is that the LED light produces a more smoother beam than the Krypton model, the intensity of the beam is, in my opinion not changed, but is of course, whiter.

You can see the results here in my pictures taken at 35 yards distance. I have not seen any place in the package or in the instructions where it mentions the amount of lumens emitted by the three watts Luxeon diode of the new light, but the pictures will help to visualize it.




The package mention the increased battery life and the more rugged emitter (LED’s doesn’t have a filament to burn and can last for 100,000 hours) so the light is an improvement over the Krypton model.
The light has a good throw thanks to the two inch diameter reflector that really help to deliver a beam at long distance, it is the best thrower of all the 3 watts LED in the market, it is an ideal light to keep in car or truck for emergencies and even if necessary, to use as a whacking tool (who knows, you may need it to check for proper inflation in the tires).

The light was on sale at Wal-Mart and I paid $25.00 for it, I think that for that price you get a LOT of quality in a very rugged light that will take abuse and even work underwater.
I recommend the new Maglite 2 D 3 watts LED highly, at 23 oz and ten inches long it is not too heavy but it makes a good impact tool, I know, I have used one to drive tent stakes when camping in the wild.

As for the Black Bear 720 lumens of Black Bear Flashlights, this is a light in another dimension, the internals parts are made with infinite precision and the highest material quality, the Rolls Royce battery carrier (it carriers six rechargeable Nimh batteries) is a work of art, the reflector is a heavy walled solid aluminum and the bulb holder is a quality aluminum and ceramic component, the lens is Pyrex and the torch is heavily modified for the lowest internal resistance.
This Rolls Royce of a flashlight largely hand made, is driving a super-bulb producing 720 lumens of light, only superated by the BOREALIS 1050 lumens, another Black Bear product that is made on the host of the 3 D, 12 ½ inches long and 28 oz.

Back to the Maglite 2 D, LED this light is a quality product made proudly in the USA, the threads are cut with precision and without play and the interior is anodized as well as the outside, the tolerances are minimal and to think that all this quality can be had for less than $30 USD is a miracle of new manufacturing techniques. If some of you are old enough, you may remember that when the new Maglite came into the market in the 1980’s the retail price were $60 USD and the government agencies were flocking to buy them at that price, for the increased quality and innovation that it represented over the other lights in the market then.

For years I had kept a 2D in the glove compartment of my cars and in the trunk the more powerful 6 D’s; I had two of them, one fitted with an orange traffic cone for road emergencies.
The addition of LED technology make the Maglites better than ever, there is many more lights using 3 watts LED’s on the market, but none with the reach of the Maglite and as affordable as they are.

All the best
Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old September 18, 2007, 04:27 AM   #33
Junior Member
Join Date: September 18, 2007
Posts: 1

I recently purchased the Borealis Flashlight “The Rolls Royce" Which is fantastic. A work mate has the Surefire M3 CombatLight® which I though was extremely bright and had considered purchasing this one @ $252, but after reading this forum and contacting Blackbear for advice, I decided to go ahead and purchase the Borealis @ $260. When it arrived I was so excited I could hardly wait to get back to work and try it out. On my first night shift I had the perfect opportunity to try it out as that night I had to patrol a part of the university campus which has no lighting what so ever and is extremely dark. I used to use the Maglite® 3 Cell which I had adapted with a 3Watt LED Bulb, *the difference was noticeable* but nothing compared with the light output of the Borealis not even the Surefire M3 CombatLight® could come close (in my opinion).
The Borealis is made to an exceptional standard and I hope to have many more years of usage out of it, possibly the last flashlight I’ll ever purchase.
If anybody was in two minds, like I was in which flashlight to purchase I would go for the Borealis every time.

All the best for the future Blackbear keep making them flashlights.
gazbone01uk2 is offline  
Old September 24, 2007, 11:01 PM   #34
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

Hi guys,
I am the official tracker for our little group of seven bow hunters. Because of the small patch of private woods that we have for hunting, and to preserve the unpolluted area, all tracking is done only after dark when the hunt is over.
Our rules are that no more than two persons will retrieve the deer; this is to keep the woods as free of human odor as possible, not to spoil our chances for the next morning hunt.

I have had a lot of experience with blood tracking lights, since my father first taught me how to do it with the old gas Coleman lantern.
One thing that the old timers had right was the need for intense WHITE light. As time change, there was not need anymore to go back to the truck for the old lantern; the new crop of intense white light pioneered by the tactical lights used for SWAT and Special Forces can do the job of making that blood trail as clear as during the day.

At this point, a word about the blue lights now in use for this task, and is that in many situations they are completely useless, as I learned when I tested one of them by following a wounded bear in the Maine woods in late August. The black drop of blood blended so well with the dark green vegetation of the Maine woods, that it was impossible to track it using that light.


I am a flashaholic, a disease that is kept in check only by buying and using lights, as I own more than two hundred of them; I am well aware what is good and for what purpose. That is why I am telling my readers that for blood tracking you need a very intense white light of not less than 200 lumens.
That figure rules out LED lights, not only they don’t make the grade in lumens output, they are poor penetrators in fog and are poor distance throwers.
Enter high output incandescent lights with good throw.
Not many of them out there, Surefire for sure was the pioneer with the M-4 and the M-6 lights; the M-6 with the 350 lumens lamp can run for 60 minutes, but it uses six of the expensive 123’s batteries, costing $12 per hour run. The M-4 with the 225 lumens lamp is what I have used for years with satisfaction, except for the cost of $8 per hour, as some tracking jobs sometimes took more than 60 minutes.


The M-4 is 9 inches long and quite light in weight, it have a stippled reflector that diffuses the light into a flood, which in my opinion is more flood than it is needed, I would like to see this light marketed with a smooth reflector for more useable throw, as sometimes the wounded deer circle back toward the open fields, and to spot one lying dead in the middle of the field more throw is needed.
For more about the Surefire M-4 ($330) contact Surefire at



The rechargeable Bear Cub is made by Black Bear Flashlights; it uses two state of the art Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries for 90 minutes run time outputting 220 lumens. This light is made
using the “host” of a maglite 2 C, which means than after years of hard use when the light is scratched or dented, you can renew it just by buying a new “host” for about $14.00.
The light is also 9 inches long, it has a smooth reflector that concentrates the beam and shoots it a long way, no problem with this light in spotting a dead deer in the middle of the field. The light is sold with a Li Ion charger that will charge the batteries in 3 ½ hours, so it is no problem to have it ready for the next morning, fully charged. These batteries last for 1,000 recharges so you have 1500 hours of use before needing another set of batteries. Before the M-4 can run for 1500 hours it will have spend $12,000 in batteries!
Extra lightweight Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries cost $30 per pair, so carrying an extra pair in a pocket will give you another 90 minutes of white intense tracking light.
When these lights are not used for tracking they make a formidable tactical light for home defense, with the capability of momentarily blinding an opponent.
The Bear Cub is available from the maker for $130 shipped, for more about this light contact


Both of these lights will beat handily a 250,000 lumens spotlight; they are very convenient to carry in a pack or fanny-pack or even a large pocket. I use a red light to enter the woods without polluting them with light; I make a habit of always carrying my Bear Cub in my pack, ready for the most important chore of the hunting season, the retrieval of a wounded deer. I think that is our obligation to the game to make our best efforts to retrieve the deer we shoot, the use of the proper tool for tracking blood is imperative to aid in such efforts.

All the best

Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old October 9, 2007, 10:58 PM   #35
Don Gwinn
Staff Emeritus
Join Date: March 9, 2000
Location: Virden, IL
Posts: 5,917
It's been suggested that this thread should be stickied so it doesn't sink . . . looking over it again, I agree. There's a lot of good info here.
Don Gwinn: Chicago Gun Rights Examiner
Don Gwinn is offline  
Old October 24, 2007, 07:52 PM   #36
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

I also got this headlight at Wal-Mart. The light is really small and lightweight, it works with one AA battery that drives a one-watt Luxeon with considerable brightness.
It also has two red lights and a blue light (probably Nichias 5 mm) that are set up at a side of the main reflector, and the main reflector has a filter to diffuse the light and make quite a big flood. This feature permits this headlamp to be a thrower of considerable brightness and a flood light to do close-up chores while camping or even reading a book in bed.

Very versatile, the red light is a good feature for those that are considerate and will not shine a light in the face of others campers, and will preserve your night vision. Unlike others that I have seen before, this red light is good enough for walking.

The Nichia LED with the blue tint is billed as a tracking light. Good luck if you try to use the blue light for that purpose only: the main beam without the diffusing filter (that just moves to one side) is much better for tracking, as the white light will show the blood as a natural red color, while the blue light shows it in black.

This light will appeal to the most ultra lightweight backpacker; it is really small and light in weight. The run time is given at two hours, while the lumen output is given at 45.

I am very impressed with the ample flood given by the diffusing filter at close range. It so happened that I was showing my car’s battery terminals to my brother-in-law that is a mechanic, and the little light was giving out plenty of illumination. I have found my new light for changing tires and looking under the hood, as well as hiking some trails.

I decided to make a new distance standard for head lights and I fixed it at 16 yards. Some make it that far and some don’t; I believe that if a head lamp can’t make 16 yards it is not worth having. This light makes a good throw to the 16 yards where my deer target was, as you can see in the picture of the beam shot.

I consider the price I paid for this light a bargain ($18.83) and it is available at Wal-Mart and I imagine in many other places. It uses easily available AA batteries and is almost unnoticeable in weight and bulk. I highly recommend it as an alternative to more expensive lights, and although the two hour runtime will not seem to be enough for serious hikers that spend several days in treks, I think it is okay for a day hike.

Best wishes,
Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old October 29, 2007, 09:32 AM   #37
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

Here is another of the tactical lights running with two 123’s batteries, it is made by Aimshot and is warrantee to be waterproof to a 100 meters.
It goes by the name of NOVA in some catalogues and by TX 65 in others. It is billed to be 6500 candlepower which I doubt very much it is that high.
The reflector is smooth on my unit, but is small in relation to others reflector such as the G-2-6P or even the Streamlight TL-2 or Night Fighter II, which make the beam much more flood than in the other lights.


I recently tested it against my Streamlight Night Hunter II (another of the tactical two 123’s batteries lights) and with new batteries in both lights the Nova was throwing a weaker beam against my usual deer target at 26 yards.



I have had this light for a couple of years, but I haven’t use it much, the claim in some catalogue that the run time is five hours is greatly exaggerated, I don’t think it will made one hour, although I have been disappointed by the performance of many new 123’s batteries lately, they seem to come with little charge on them, especially the bargain batteries that are made in China for one of the web battery places.
I recommend that you run your tactical lights or flashlights with good quality batteries such as the Surefire or Duracell brands.

The light is well made, with double O rings in tail cap and head and a rubber cover in main body and tail cap, but with a metal anodized head.
I don’t have a way to test the claims of been waterproof to 100 meters, but I dunked it in my big water glass for several hours, without getting any water inside.

The light sold for several years for $50 USD but I have seen it recently dropped to around $30 which is more in tone with other quality lights such as the Surefire G-2.

The tail cap is not a clicky, and that is a good thing, it is the usual turn it to “on” or press for momentary.
I like the light but I think that the Streamlight Night Hunter II or the TL II are better lights overall, I will even prefer a Scorpion or a G-2 in that price range.

Best regards
Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old November 11, 2007, 01:37 PM   #38
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

Hi guys,
This light has been in the market for several years, it is a great little light and produces 105.5 lumens. I have five of them installed in various long guns that I use for home defense or plinking at night.

The pressure pad switch is very responsive and the length of the cable have served me well for all of my applications, I have them in a Mossberg 500, a Ruger Ranch in .30 Russian a Mini 14, a Maddi 7.62 by 39 and a .Mag Tech .22 caliber.

I like them for the long guns because they have an excellent range, due to the bigger reflector/lamp assembly than usual (bigger than the Surefire P-60 or 61) and the fact that it is smooth (in my old models) so the throw is much better than is possible in the Surefires using the P series lamps.

Why this little company is not better known, it is a mystery to me, the lights are smaller, lighter (made out of stealth plastic material) and more powerful than normal for this size and weight.
They have resisted well many rounds of even shotgun slug, and in the almost fifteen years that I have them, I have yet to burn a lamp.



For pistol work I will still prefer a Surefire with the bigger flood to clear rooms, I am inclined toward the Surefire Centurion III with the P-61 lamp.
But for when the gun is a rifle or shotgun the little TACM III have more range due to a more concentrated beam.

Here is my usual beam shot from 26 yards, with the camera at 12 feet from the deer, you can compare it with the others lights in my thread.

Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old November 17, 2007, 10:57 PM   #39
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

A while ago I bought one of the Deal Extreme new Cree lamps advertised to fit the Surefires for two cells, like in the 6P, G-2, Z-2, C-2 etc.

Yesterday I installed it in a Surefire G-2 (the yellow one). The fit is not exactly perfect, as you can see in the picture, the lamp is a little longer than necessary and the bezel doesn’t close all the way, like in the green G-2.
I guess I can fix the gap by instating an O ring, a trip to Home Depot to get one in necessary.

Inside the house, at short range the output is considerable; I think that at the short distance inside the house I will prefer it over the P-60 lamp.
Outside, the P-60 lamp is giving me more range and more picture detail up to maybe 45 yards, at my usual range of 26 yards (where I test all my lights against the deer head) I will say that they both go head to head, as you may see in the pictures in the general illumination department, BUT the definition of the foliage to the right of the tree (at the height of the posted sign) is better with the P-60 incandescent lamp.

Many G-2’s gets to be mounted in carbines like the M-4 or M-16, I have people ask me if I will use the Deal Extreme lamp in them, (As they suppose to resist recoil better), well, no, I still prefer the P-60 lamp for the extended range and even better the P-61 lamp for the increase brightness and coverage with their 120 lumens.



Any way it is not recoil that break filament lamps, but it is the vibration of many rounds while the filament is very hot, that explain why during the 1920’s and to the 60’s tigers were hunted from machans using regular 2 and 3 D flashlights clamped to the barrel in powerful rifles like the 470 Nitro Express, without any trouble with the bulbs. It seems that one or two shots, will not affect the filament, no matter how much the recoil is.
After all the filament is very lightweight and the inertia is just not there, because the lack of real weight.

All the best
Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old November 17, 2007, 10:59 PM   #40
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246


The problem with the Deal Extreme modules is that none of them use thermal regulation to reduce the drive current to the LED to control the temperature of the lamp. LED's do not like high heat. It reduces their efficiency, shortens their lives, and can cause the tint of the light output to change.

The Nitrolon body of the G2 acts as an insulator rather than a conductor, so that heat just stays inside of the lamp and cooks the LED. These modules are better suited for use in aluminum bodied flashlights like the 6P. They'll work alright for short bursts in the G2 (I'd say a max of 5 minutes) but extended use is not recommended outside of an emergency.

Surefire recently released a G2L and 6PL that uses their P60L LED module. It has a sensor under the LED to cut the current back when the LED gets hot, in order to prolong life. Well, the G2L has only been out for a few months now and Surefire has already made a change in it. They swapped the Nitrolon bezel out for an aluminum one in order to help dissipate heat.

Since they did this with a light that uses a thermally regulated module, it makes you wonder just how incredibly hot the non-thermally regulated modules actually get. Actually, I don't have to wonder since I tested a Deal Extreme 4068 module in a G2 and after just a few minutes it was too hot to hold in my hand, and the tint of the beam had shifted blue. It was perfectly fine in an aluminum bodied flashlight, though.
black bear 84 is offline  
Old November 19, 2007, 10:18 AM   #41
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

Not long ago to get magnum illumination out of a flashlight, I had to drop down the tube, six of the big D batteries on a Maglite 6 D size.
That the light weights three pounds one ounce and measures 19 ½ inches was just incidental to the use if I wanted to get a really good, powerful beam.

Later Surefire come up with small lights that could take two and three or four small but powerful 123’s camera batteries, some of those lights, come up and surpass the 181 lumens of the big Maglite 6 D.
I am thinking now of the specialty tactical light than Surefire have as the M-4 that uses four of the 123 batteries for 225 lumens for one hour run time.
Incidentally the M-4 is not precisely inexpensive, costing $330 USD from Surefire or their dealers.

The only problem is that the little 3 volts batteries are quite expensive, and using four of them for one hour run time can cost you $8.00 for that hour.
And that is if you buy them at discount over the Internet, when purchased in the camera stores (such as Wal Mart) the little 3 volts batteries cost as much as $4 each.

So a light of the size of the Surefire M-4 (9 inches long) was highly desired if it could be made to run on rechargeable batteries, to avoid the big battery expense of the M-4.

Enter the Bear Cub, a nine inches light, with a 13 oz. weight that is rechargeable and uses Lithium Ion batteries.
This little light makes 220 lumens for 90 minutes of run time, and then recharges its two batteries with a fast charger that is included, in three and a half hours.
The Lithium Ion batteries can be recharged up to 1,000 times and when they eventually get depleted can be replaced with $30.



And here a couple of beam shots at 26 yards for comparison.



Yes the little rechargeable Bear Cub is characterized for an intense white light, and a run time of 90 minutes, all in a small size that can fit in any glove compartment or trench coat pocket.
Best Wishes

Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old November 21, 2007, 03:08 PM   #42
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

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 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.


MAGLITE 3 D (the most popular police flashlight)

black bear 84 is offline  
Old November 21, 2007, 03:10 PM   #43
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246




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.


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.

Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old December 18, 2007, 11:16 PM   #44
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

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 those are 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 situation 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 there 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 stood up well to being 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 sports a two inch head and has a range of 150 yards.

All the best,
Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old January 13, 2008, 07:00 AM   #45
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

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.

Best regards

Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old January 13, 2008, 07:01 AM   #46
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

The Black Bear 720 lumens flashlight is 10 inch long and weighs 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; 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 batteries in the Rolls Royce battery carrier. This unit plugs into the charger for a 4 ½ hours charge.


It is almost impossible to talk about the Black Bear 720 without mentioning 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 costs 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.


Clearly, the Black Bear 720 lumens is a better value as the batteries are rechargeable, with a life of 1000 recharges and a run time 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 finishes, 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 a car's glove compartment, and it is not too heavy to be carried in a trench coat or overcoat pocket while 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.

Surefire M-6

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 which produces the brilliant white light that is the trademark of the Black Bear Flashlights.

All the best
Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old January 15, 2008, 06:43 AM   #47
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

My INOVAS X5 Tactical are about two years old; I bought them because the futuristic design, quality of materials and workmanship and because of the revolutionary technical advances in illumination was state of the art at the time of my purchases.

The INOVA X5 is a beautiful light, the smooth soft flood provided by the five Nichias 5mm LED’s is unparallelled (or was at the time) in flood light illumination for short range.
Comparing it with others LED lights of the time like the Peltz Tikka (3 LED’s) the illumination provided by the elegant INOVA was far superior in flood and in range.

Probably the reason is the two 123’s batteries that the light works with, we have here 6 volts of power for the five Nichias, providing up to twenty hours of run time.

Physically the light is 865.” in diameter and 4.75 “long and weighs 3.56 oz. the flats along the body provide a nice grip, the tail cap is knurled very finely and it has a transverse hole for a lanyard. The tail cap is a “tactical” one in the sense that it can be pushed momentarily (on the soft pad) for illumination or can be locked steady for constant illumination by screwing it down. It also has a lock up feature (unscrewing the tail cap a little) to prevent accidental activation.

I think that I paid about $37 or so for this light, it is a high quality light and worth the money, it will not have a long range and the stated 120 feet in the literature of the package seems a little excessive to my eyes, in any case it is a flood light and not a light for distance.

For the same reason I am not doing a beam shot to my customary deer target at 26 yards, the camera will not process enough light at that distance.
But this beam shot at 13 feet can give you an idea of the soft even flood illumination with a more intense center.

There are some X5 that have a different switch (one that is not tactical) these lights doesn’t have the “T” denomination in the package.
The user of this light for the first time will be surprised by the arrangement of the batteries. They are installed with the positive going toward the tail cap. The threaded tail cap is butter smooth in the threads, high quality all the way in this light, good solid feel without being heavy and according to the literature, crush-proof to two thousand pounds.

The lights come in black matte anodizing or satin nickel, (called Titanium finish) and I have one of them sporting a RED LED light. This red light X5T for some reason needs only one 123 battery. This is the light I use to drain all capacity from 123’s batteries that can no longer power my incandescent Surefire Centurion III. You can get several more hours of illumination from those “depleted” 123’s when used in this light.
Although we have now more powerful LED lights, the INOVA can provide many hours of illumination from the batteries and is a pleasure to use such a well constructed and designed high quality torch.

Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old January 25, 2008, 10:49 PM   #48
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246
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 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.




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.

Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old February 20, 2008, 09:33 AM   #49
black bear 84
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246

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. After all what you should try to achieve if using a light in a tactical situation, is to indentify the subject as an intruder (it could be a member of you family or a friend of your son or daughter). The light has to be powerful enough to blind the person, giving you time to appreciate if the intruder is armed and with what, and if you are justified to shoot the intruder. This last step of indentifying the armament requires more time than you realize, as it is easy to (after being woken from a sound sleep) see a gun in the guy’s hands when he is actually holding a cell phone.

Taking into consideration all these precautions, so as not to shoot an innocent person that could be in your house as a guest of your son or daughter, my choice is a big powerful light (like the Borealis 1050 lumens) carried in the off hand and NOT lined up with the muzzle of my gun at all, just because I don’t want to cover an innocent person with my muzzle.
That is why I am not big fan of the tactical rail pistol lights, and when I clear my house (Had to do it twice in the last three months) my muzzle is looking down at the floor. It will take just a fraction of a second to raise it and tighten the grip to activate the laser. I much prefer the use of the laser if any shooting is to be done, as it avoids the tunnel vision that occurs when you place your gun in front of your face in a low light situation.

I have practiced with the laser grips for the last two years, and the speed of my response has improved by 33%. It is hard to beat a laser-aimed pistol to respond to low light encounters. It is way much better than night sights that have a relatively short spam of use when used by themselves, and are unnecessary when using with a light.

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.
Black Bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old February 20, 2008, 11:10 PM   #50
Cold Steel
Senior Member
Join Date: December 14, 2006
Posts: 100
Good review, but I think you sell the P3D a bit short.

The T1 is a decent light and, true, it has a better heat sink, but it's a boxy thing and doesn't offer that much more in my opinion, all things considered. For one thing, if you need to use the turbo mode, you can use your hand as a heat sink, or probably other conductive material. There's been a lot of talk about that over at the Candlepower Forum, where the overall preference is for the P3D. So far, overheating's only been a real problem during warm seasonal months. I do want to get a T1 one of these days, but Fenix is one of those companies that sets prices and enforces them. You can get a modest discount from The (8% with CP8 in the coupon box, I think), but that's about it. And, frankly, the Chinese no-names are getting pretty darn good with larger reflectors, Q5 emitters and multi-modes.

Oh, another thing I like about the P3D is the red filter that's available for it, for about six bucks. Makes maintaining night vision that much better.

But there's been a lot of progress made in tactical lights, and LEDs are something I wish I'd had when I was a scout. When I think of those miserable two-cell "C" flashlights that gave me less runtime than a P3D on turbo, and were as dim as the lowest setting on a P3D, and stayed on strobe all the time, but slower (especially when I had to shake the flashlight to get it to light), these new torches are incredible. I expect in the near future that runtimes will increase, the tints will improve, and, of course, the lights will get brighter, and cooler, but for now, I'm impressed and waiting for more.
Cold Steel is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:59 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14854 seconds with 9 queries