Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by watchmaker, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. watchmaker

    watchmaker Monkey+++


    Hi guys,
    I have about 200 lights between flashlights and tactical lights, and also this idea of taking beam shots, so members can compare between them.

    First, lets take a look at some lights that are used by police for traffic stops, search and even clearing houses.
    These are not for CCW, but good to have in the car or truck to take care of big illumination needs.


    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.


    As I am in contact with police officers that tell me what they really need to perform their functions at night, I think that I know more than the average guy what is needed for those officers.
    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 the Fenix LOP (1 AAA) consider this light ideal (except for the lack of a clip). Another favorite is the ARC AAA. These lights can be held in the mouth without any discomfort.

    Fenix has put out a bigger light (1 AA) with two stages output, and the lower output will be also ideal for these chores.


    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.[/FONT]





    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 sometimes 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, which makes them ideal car’s lights or for using in an emergency situation.

    Lets start with the popular Surefire G-2 (or 6 P) at 65 lumens, the target is the 8 by 12 tool shed at 30 yards.
    We are going to pit the Surefire G-2 65 lumens $35.00 against the Surefire Digital Lumamax L-4 (also 65 lumens and with a price tag of $160.00).

    Surefire G-2 65 lumens


    Surefire L-4 Luxeon V, LED, 65 lumens


    And now we are going to pit the Surefire 6 P with the P-61 120 lumen lamp (20 minutes run time) against the best Luxeon LED thrower that I have (similar to the cree LED).
    This is a Mc Gizmo PR T head with a TWOJ bin Luxeon doing 120 plus lumens.

    Surefire Centurion C-2 (same as the 6P) with the P-61 lamp, 120 lumens.


    And the PR T with TWOJ bin Luxeon, (LED) @ 120 lumens


    And now we are going to show a belt light of 200 lumens (The Surefire Centurion III with the P-91 lamp, 200 lumens, 20 minutes run) and three cars' lights of 200 lumens plus and beyond.

    Surefire Centurion C-III, 200 lumens P-91 lamp.


    And here the Magcharger also 200 lumens, with its bigger reflector and tighter focus will throw the light at 150 yards, while the Centurion III range will stop at 45 or 50 yards.

    Magcharger 200 lumens (40,000 candlepowers)


    And here is the Ultra Stinger, the most powerful of the Stingers rechargeables from Streamlight with 295 lumens and 75,000 candlepower, although this figure is largely inflated when you consider that is about “bulb” lumens and not torch or “real” lumens.[/FONT]




    And now the BOREALIS, with the format of a 3 D (12 1/2 inches long) outputting 1050 lumens (two million candlepower) for 50 minutes.[/FONT]


    Do I need to say anything about the importance of a powerful light for police use when clearing a backyard or wooded area?[/FONT]

    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']As you well can see the capabilities of each light from these pictures.[/FONT]

    Best regards,

    Bison_Forge likes this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Nice work. Thank you.
  3. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Monkey+++

    Welcome to the Monkey watchman. [alien]

    I seem to remember that post from another forum (won't say which one here) but we all know the one.

    Good info, and glad to see it here on the Monkey.

  4. watchmaker

    watchmaker Monkey+++


    As a continuation of the first post and for whatever value it has, I am going to do some more shoot outs of a mix of popular Luxeon lights and incandescent ones.

    The first order of things is to change the target area, to make it a little more interesting to my viewers.
    Consequently I replaced the tool shed target with a deer and bear mount.
    The deer head mounted on the tree is exactly 26 yards from my second story window from where the lights are shinning.
    The bear head in the fence is only six more feet further away from the tree.

    In the summer I have plenty of bushy cover in the area, but this time I had to be creative and cut and nailed to the tree and fence, some branches from a pine tree, not to hide the animals from view, just to provide a natural blending effect, like they were coming from a natural habitat.

    The camera was placed twelve foot away from the tree (and eighteen feet from the bear) in a solid tripod, and the night camera mode used (this mode shows in pictures the same light values that I am seeing with my own eyes).

    The close proximity of the camera is for the viewer to see the target with clarity; if I were to place the camera 26 yards away the target will be awfully small.

    Here it is the target area and how it looks in daylight.


    And here are the contenders, but before I describe them, let me voice my opinion that some manufacturers of Luxeon lights label the output in lumens in quite a wild way.


    From left to right: # 1 Fenix L1P at about 40 lumens, # 2 Nuwaii Q III at 75 lumens (yes, sure!) # 3 Surefire L-4 Digital Lumamax at 65 lumens (this is a Luxeon V which is quite a flood light but with little throw).

    # 4 Streamlight Task-Light 2 L (two Lithium 3 volts batteries, high and low output,
    Cost is about $77.00) This is billed at a High Flux Luxeon III. With 75 lumens, which I think is about right.

    # 5 is the Streamlight Pro Polymer 4 AA with a Luxeon I, billed as 40 lumens (3,500 candlepower according to the advertising) which I think is quite wrong, as it appears to me to have about 70 lumens or more, this light has a bigger and deeper reflector than the others lights and the beam is concentrated more than the others. This is a great light for the price of about $40.00

    # 6, this is a PR T Luxeon III head done for me by master modder McGizmo, it is set on a Surefire E2e body and I am using two rechargeable 123’s with a voltage of 4.2 volts in it.
    This light is my best Luxeon III light and up to two years ago it was pretty HOT STUFF, today the cree LED’s are approaching it in intensity, although it has not been overpower by any other Luxeon, yet.
    My friends told me I have two of the Integrated Sphere Spectotometers just above my nose, those spheres are telling me that this light makes 120 to 130 “real” lumens.

    # 7, this is A Surefire Centurion II in black with the P-60 lamp (65 lumens) this represents all the others Surefires lights that use this lamp, G-2, 6P. Z-2. etc.

    # 8, this is another Surefire Centurion II, but in Hard anodized, it wears the HOLA lamp. The P-61 with the output of 120 lumens for 20 minutes.

    # 9 this is a Surefire Centurion III (3 cells) this is usually sold with the P-90 lamp that makes 105 lumens for one hour, but in this case is set up with the P-91 lamp for 200 lumens for 20 minutes, as you will see in the picture later, the floodlight effect is great at 26 yards. All those P’s lamps start to lose range at about 45 to 50 yards, this is because the reflectors are fabricated to produce a good flood so police officers can clear houses with them.
    I took this particular light out of my Remington 742 rifle, where it sits in the special quick detach mount in a Picattiny rail.

    # 10, this is the BEAR CUB, this light weights 13 oz and measures 9 inches long, it works with two Lithium Ion computer batteries, and produces 220 plus lumens for 90 minutes. Thanks to the big and deep 2 inch mirror-like reflector, this light concentrates the beam like a laser and has a throw of 120 to 150 yards.
    So the 26 yards distance is like child play for the Bear Cub and the light is so intense at the target that they had to close their eyes!

    # 11, (last on the left lying in horizontal position next to the Bear Cub) this light is a KL-1 head Luxeon I of three years ago, it is set up in a Surefire Outdoorsman body and the lumens output is no more than 20, consequently I decided to strike it out from the competition, there is no room in my stable for weaklings and I will present it to my nephew on his birthday quite soon.

    And now let’s go to the pictures:

    Fenix L1P (40 lumens) Luxeon I


    Nuwaii Q III (advertised at 75 lumens in a website, which I don’t believe) Luxeon III.


    Surefire L-4 Digital Lumamax (65 lumens) this is very flood light and the lumens spread in a very wide area, so it cannot be expected to have a good throw at 26 yards. (Luxeon V ~which are 4 of the one watt together)


    Streamlight Task Light 2 L about 75 lumens on high, works on two 123’s batteries and has two levels of illumination. High Flux Luxeon III. About $77.00


    Streamlight Poly Pro 4 AA Luxeon. This light has a deep and bigger reflector, the Luxeon is I, according to the manufacturer, is listed at 40 lumens, but to my eyes is doing about 75 lumens.
    For the price of $40.00 this is a great light, and very battery friendly as it uses regulars AA.
    I feed this light, rechargeable Nimhs AA of high current (Powerex 2700 mah) that hovers around 1.4 volts for weeks consequently it costs me nothing to operate it.


    Mc Gizmo PR T head on Surefire body, Luxeon III, TWOJ bin,
    My best Luxeon light putting out 120 to 130 lumens. This is a collector’s item and was state of the art, less than two years ago.
    I have found nothing new that can approach its power, except the new cree 7090 that is getting close.


    Surefire Centurion II in black with the P-60 lamp (65 lumens for one hour)


    Surefire Centurion II in Hard anodized with the P-61 lamp (120 lumens for 20 minutes)


    Surefire Centurion III in hard anodized, with the P-91 lamp (200 lumens for 20 minutes) as you can see it is a great flood at 26 yards.


    BEAR CUB running for 90 minutes on two computer Lithium Ion batteries, driving a Xenon Magnum Star bulb for 5 cells pretty hard at 8.4 volts at 220 lumens (which make it a very white light) with a reach of 120 to 150 yards, even surpassing the Ultra Stinger.


    Best regards

  5. watchmaker

    watchmaker Monkey+++

    here is one more:
    As the Surefire E2e is a very common light in the bow hunting and gun hunting scene and also for law enforcement, here it is.

    The little MN03 lamp (60 lumens for 75 minutes) in the E2e is a big performer, I like myself this little light a lot, and I think it qualifies as a tactical light to be used at close to medium range if the need arise.
    The MN02 lamp can be substituted for more run time, as it is 25 lumens for 2 1/2 hours, I actually prefer this lamp for hiking in the trails and other general chores, but I will use the 60 lumens lamp for blood trailing a deer or bear, although I don't consider 60 lumens good enough for blood tracking.
    For CCW in the city where it is a lot of ambient light, I think the little E2e will do fine.

    Red, blue and infrared filters are available from Surefire and vendors such as Cabela's. The red is used to walk in the trails or follow the cat-eye tacks when you go toward the stand in the pre-dawn darkness and don’t want to pollute the woods with light, and the blue to bring up the blood drops in the leaves.
    If I insist so much in the capabilities of this light for outdoor use, is because so many of them were sold to hunters.

    The E2e is 4 1/2 inches long and weighs at 3 .1 oz., is available in hard anodized type III and will not scratch easily, but it can be rough on your pocket liner. Other finishes are available sometimes. A tear drop bezel model is done in nickel plated and the wine light in regular anodized with a wine burgundy color.

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


    And here is the beam shot at the same distance as the others above (26 yards) and the camera placed at the same distance (12 feet to the Deer head and 18 to the Bear head).


    I can tell you that the light is fairly waterproof. I don’t have a pool to try it at a few feet, but it survived quite well in my 3 ½ gallon beer glass for several hours.


    Kind regards,
  6. watchmaker

    watchmaker Monkey+++

    I did this piece for another forum, two years ago, I thought of sharing it here.

    Shooting in low light

    I am going to explain how to employ the useful techniques of using a flashlight with a pistol, especially useful for those flashlights that have a tactical switch.

    As many of the members already have a Surefire of two or three batteries with a tactical switch or a similar one of another brand, going from 60 to 200 lumens, I am going to explain the two most popular techniques. One is the Harries which I have already explained in the previous post in conjunction with the Borealis 1050 lumens light.

    The Harries technique


    Michael Harries invented this position and it is considered one of the first positions ever that coordinates the use of the flashlight using the two hands.
    For using with tactical switch lights (with a switch in the tail), the flashlight is grasped with the left hand around the body and the thumb will activate the switch.
    For lights with switch on the top (as the Magcharger, Stinger and Borealis) the index finger is used to press the switch down without clicking it on (if you drop your light you don’t want it to illuminate you)
    The back of the hands are pressed together and maintain an isometric tension to help control the recoil of the gun. Your wrists will be crossed and the light will be parallel or close to the muzzle of the gun.

    The Roger-Surefire


    Holster maker, ex FBI agent, and competition shooter Bill Rogers teamed up with Surefire to adapt a rubber grommet or washer to the Surefire 6 Z (now available in most combat models of Surefire and copied by others light makers).
    The position is also called the cigar position, as you grasp the body of the flashlight like a cigar, with the index and middle finger. The tail cap is resting on the fleshy part below your thumb and a little pressure back on the rubber ring will activate the light (the tail cap button resting in that part below your thumb will switch the light on).
    That position will let you grasp the hand shooting the pistol with three fingers of the left hand, and it is the only position that let you use a two-handed grip on the gun

    The Chapman technique


    Ray Chapman was the first IPSC world champion. He invented his position for use with the Kel-Lites of the 1970’s (probably the first high quality Police Flashlight) that have a sliding switch on top of the barrel. It is still a great position to use for those that don’t want to cross the wrists as in the Harries position when using a big flashlight.
    It is well suited for the Maglites or Stingers and for the modification of the Maglite like the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight.

    You just grasp the flashlight as you usually do, with your thumb in the switch and your fingers circling the barrel and you bring it up to index your fingernails with the fingernails of the shooting hand.

    In my other post I have mentioned the old FBI technique which is to separate the flashlight high and away from you in order to confuse you opponent about your position, however it will not work on hallways and narrow places, so is better to have knowledge of all the positions to fit them to each particular situation.

    Another technique that doesn’t offer any support to the shooting hand but it can be very useful when using a pistol with lousy sights (original 1911, Luger, etc) is the one I used more than 40 years ago when I started combat shooting.
    It indexes the light on top of my head, letting the light fall on a line from the sights to the target. Even the minuscule back up .380 or the Baby Browning sights gets illuminated using this ridiculous position.

    In closing, I would like to say that in my opinion lights with less than 60 lumens are out of the new low light fighting techniques.
    For my belt light I will prefer to have a minimum of 200 lumens, using the Surefire C-3 and the P-91 lamp as my favorite if in civilian clothing and a Bear Cub if in uniform (as the bigger head of the Bear Cub is not easy to conceal.

    But if I have to clear a big room, warehouse or backyard, I prefer a light with more power. My Surefire M-6 with the 500 lumens lamp will do, but I prefer even more lumens to really blind, disorient, and roast my opponent. That is when I use the Borealis 1050 lumens light.

    These positions I have shown here will work with big lights too (except for the cigar position), the thing you will have to remember is that when you need a light in a hairy situation you need it badly and that two is better than one, so a big light in your hand to blind you opponent and another smaller light in your belt as a back up is better than only one. (Two is one and one is none).


    Bison_Forge likes this.
  7. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Wow, great work watchman, thanks.

    And Welcome to the Monkey!
  8. watchmaker

    watchmaker Monkey+++

    Thank you.
    Here is one more.


    I like the little Scorpion a lot, to be honest; it is a powerful (at 6,500 candle powers) light (at 4.4 oz), not too long at 4.9 inches, and with a great feel in the hand thanks to the rubber boot that covers the body.
    This rubber boot can be especially beneficial in the winter when others lights left in the trunk are too cold to hold without gloves.


    The switch is momentary and click on, exactly as I want my switches; it is located in the back of the light and protected by the rubber boot.
    The momentary works well. The click is in my case, though, is too difficult to operate with my big thumb and I have to click it with my index finger.
    But rarely do I use the click, as this light can be used as a “tactical” light and the momentary mode is preferred when using it with a gun. (You don’t want to drop the light “on” and that it will illuminate you or your partner, which is the reason to use the momentary).

    The light uses two 123’s batteries and run a xenon bulb for one hour. This xenon bulb is quite small (a spare is located in the bulb holder inside the head). I will hate to have to change it in less than normal conditions; for starters you have to pry a cover from the bulb holder to access the spare, you will have a few small parts in your hands, and you will need calm conditions and plenty of light to do the job properly.

    For those situations I really prefer the big bulbs with reflector included of the Surefires’ or even the smaller but easy to handle bulb of the E2e’s.

    Why I consider this so important? Well, the bulb is rated for 5 hours of life, which is extremely short.

    I say I like this light, but it is really not rational because we have much better designs for a tactical light. The little Scorpion will roll out on a table that is not perfectly flat, for lack of an anti-roll bezel. Surefires are much better in this department.

    The beam can be adjusted by rotating the head (the filament of the bulb will go lower or higher inside the reflector), in reality I have the light set to maximum throw that will not show any artifacts and I don’t twist the head at all because the quality of the beam will be spoiled by artifacts and black spots.
    This light is good for throw (considering the small reflector), and the quality of the beam, when set at near maximum throw, is good, producing a nice round circle due to the short filament.

    The lens is polycarbonate. I would like to see it changed to Pyrex, but that is only my personal feeling that this light should deserve a better lens.
    I bought mine two years ago from Cabela’s and it cost me $38.00; I think that the price is right for a quality made American product.
    The bulbs run about $6.00 each and I also consider them in price, they are so bright because they are overdriven (hence their short life of 5 hours).

    I have seen a holster for the light made out of Cordura Nylon, but I haven’t tried it and I don’t know if is any issues in removing the light quickly, the rubber boot cause me trouble when removing the light from tight pockets (read Jean’s) but is okay when the pocket is from s dress pants.
    I also have seen filters made for this light in red, blue and yellow for those that would like to penetrate the deer’s woods with a minimum of light pollution.

    As always the beam shots are coming from 26 yards away and my camera tripod is in the same position, 12 feet from the deer and 18 from the bear.
    I have also included as way of comparison the beam shot with the P-60 lamp out of a Surefire Centurion C-2 (read it also Surefire 6P, Z-2, G-2 D-2 etc).



    P-60 LAMP FROM a Surefire Centurion II


    You will notice that the beam of the Scorpion is more concentrated than the P-60 lamp, making the target clearer at this distance, for tactical situations at short range the P-60 lamp is better for the extra flood, it will be easier to clear a room with a Surefire without the need to pan the light to cover it all.

  9. watchmaker

    watchmaker Monkey+++

    Not for CCW exactly, but any of these two makes a great car or entry tactical light.
    I did thios piece for a hunting forum, thought about sharing it here.

    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.




    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 Black Bear Flashlights.



    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
  10. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member


    This was a excellent post. I have a fair amount of lights and this opened my eyes in a considerable way. Thank you!!!!!! After looking at all the posts and the lights what would you consider to be the top three choices? My thoughts are the top three in wide angle flood and then the top three in the concentrated light? I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter and thanks in advance.

    Take care Be safe Poacher.
  11. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Thanks for posting... good review....[beer]
  12. watchmaker

    watchmaker Monkey+++

    Thank you for your appreciation, it all depends on your needs and use you want to put the light.
    Surefire have good lights that produce good flood but have a restricted range because the reflector is stippled to diffuse light for law enforcement tactics and to clear houses.

    I routinely use the BOREALIS 1050 lumens for home defense, as it is fitted with a Light Stippled reflector that have a fantastic flood but also 150 yards range, however if you need the BOREALIS to reach 250 yards, it can be fitted with a SMOOTH reflector, or if you want to illuminate an entire golf course it can be fitted with a Medium Stippled reflector for a incredible flood.

    The Bear Cub is a small (9 inches long 13 oz.) rechargeable light, 220 lumens 90 minutes run time, that can reach 150 yards with a concentrated beam.
    The Surefire M-4 can do 100 yards and is more flood type light, but also intense beam at 225 lumens for 1 hour.
    Those are state of the art lights, older lights like Maglites need to be used in the bigger 6 D sizes just to get near the power of the smaller lights that we are discussing.
    For example, here is a beam shot with the Maglite 6 D at 26 yards (camera at 12 feet)

    MAGLITE 6 D (18 1/2 inches, 3 lb. 2 oz.)


    BEAR CUB rechargeable (9 inches, 13 oz.)


    Here are the contenders


    The BOREALIS 1050 lumens (two million candlepower) is the most powerful flashlight in the world.

    Here is a beam shot of a regular Maglite 3 D (the most popular police light)
    Target is the fence 35 yards away,

    MAGLITE 3 D (12 1/2 " 28 oz.)


    BOREALIS rechargeable (12 1/2 " 28 oz.)


    Black Bear Flashlights have also a shorter 10 inches 23 oz light called the Black Bear 720 lumens
    Here is the beamshot
    BLACK BEAR 720 lumens rtechargeable


    Surefire have the M-4 at 225 lumens for 1 hour or with the high output lamp at 350 for 20 minutes, (on four 123 batteries) and also the Surefire M-6 (the darling of Special Forces) at 500 lumens for 20 minutes on six 123's batteries.
    The only problem with Surefires is the cost of the batteries, of course, when the Gov't agency pay for the betteries it is no problem.

  13. watchmaker

    watchmaker Monkey+++

    I have plenty of more lights that I am doing reviews, here is one more for the tactical crowd.



    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.



    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.


  14. watchmaker

    watchmaker Monkey+++

    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.

  15. watchmaker

    watchmaker Monkey+++

    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.

  16. watchmaker

    watchmaker Monkey+++

    1050 LUMENS
    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 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.

  17. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    What does the BOREALIS cost?

    I have an M6 Guardian that id gladly trade out for that one.
  18. watchmaker

    watchmaker Monkey+++

    They go for $320 shipped (charger included), if it sound high, just consider that to have half the lumens output with the Surefire M-6 (500 lumens) you have to spend $12 every 20 minutes (six 123's batteries) and the M-6 cost $400.

    The BOREALIS will output 1050 lumens for 50 minutes, and will recharge in 90 minutes.
    The batteries are good for 1,000 recharges according to the factory, that gives the Borealis a 833 hours of life on the batteries, before it needs another pack of $30.
    Just think about it, the Surefire M-6 will have spent $29,988 in batteries in running 833 hours.

  19. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Not trying to hijack the thread.

    If you have to shoot at night you can take a small flashlight (like a mini-mag light) and stick it in your mouth and still have both hands to shoot with. I have shot both pistols and long guns like this. Use your toung to control where you need the light. It may not look cool but it works well.

  20. hartage

    hartage Monkey+++

    Hey, just a headsup to people interested in a good bright light but does not have uber bucks. You can buy a decent taskforce (brand) light from Lowes. It uses 2c batteries, a 3w cree led and puts out about 150 lumens (don't know the lux rating). It is pretty dang bright and for $29 you can't beat it. Just make sure you buy the one that says 60x brighter on the package. The older one that says 30x uses luxeon led and is not as bright. People are saying 2.5hrs run time so pretty good on juice too.
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