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#34065 - 11/11/04 06:38 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Mr_Dead Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 34
Y'know, on second thought....

Others posting negative experiences with Botach on candlepower reminded me of my own. Even though someone I have been communicating with just got his from Botach with no problems (if a lot more slowly), I'm sorry I mentioned this. My intention was to show that discounts could be found, not to promote this seller.

I bought my L4 here:

Ultimate Passage/Surefire

You can see the price is less that $10 more. I ordered on a Sunday evening, and received shipping notices both from the dealer and UPS on Monday morning... and it arrived right on schedule two days later.

I'd gladly pay the little bit extra again to avoid any chance of repeating my experience with Botach.

There are others selling at the same price, but no experience with them.

Sorry about that, all.
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#34066 - 11/11/04 06:51 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Anonymous
Unregistered


So Botach is not a reputable dealer? Why not just order from surefire.com?


Edited by gmnstrunr37 (11/11/04 06:52 PM)

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#34067 - 11/11/04 07:36 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Mr_Dead Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 34
I had an unfavorable experience with them many years ago. Apparently others have as well... although many have had no problems with repeated orders.

You can certainly order from surefire.com. L4 = $160 there vs. $128 U.P. vs $120 Botach.


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#34068 - 11/11/04 07:40 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
brian Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1468
Loc: Texas
I have ordered from them once and it was about the worst experience I have ever had dealing with a retailer.
_________________________
Learn to improvise everything.

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#34069 - 11/12/04 02:30 AM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks.


Any suggestions on deciding between an LED light and the A2? I think I want an L2 or A2; I think the L2 is a ttlie too big for me; but at the same time, the A2 is more expensive (why?).

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#34070 - 11/12/04 06:16 AM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
The L2 is just LED, it has one LED in it that can be selected between basically a high and low. The A2 has a regular bulb in it as well as 3 smaller LEDS. The L2 is really designed to be used on the low setting with having the ability to switch to a high, the A2 is like a regular surefire designed more to be used most of the time with the high on, but has the option of a low which is usefull for reading or if the batteries arn't powerfull enough to run the Bulb, the LEDs will still work for a while after. Some people also prefer having a regular bulb light instead of just LED since it casts more of a natural bright light. There is just something I like about being able to switch between LED and bulb, instead of only having one or the other. However, most do not want to have to deal with a burnt out bulb, so an all LED light is best for them. One thing that I really like about the A2 is the bulb acts as a spot while the LEDs act more as a flood, so you have a very wide light that still has reach, it is great for hiking since you can see right in front of you and way up the trail at the same time. Anyway, The choice really is a matter of personal opinion based on what you think you would appriciate more. (After all, when you spend that much on a flashlight you want it to work exactly the way you need/want it to)

By the way, Surefire has a new light coming out called the U2, that will retail for about $270. This is all I could find on it:

"Surefire is coming out with a new LED model named the U2. A 5watt, single Luxeon with 6 different user selectable modes of operation."

"Yes, we a aware of the need for a variable power 5 watt LED light, and that's why we have built the SureFire Ultra. The Ultra is a 2x SF123 cell flashlight with a 5 watt Luxeon Star and a 6 position hall effect power control ring. The power level is adjustable over 100:1 range, giving 5 watts at the top end and 50 mW at the bottom. Although this light is not available yet we did show prototypes at this year's SHOT show. The production light about the same size as out M3. I'm finalizing the electronics currently."

So, it is basically an L2, but more selectable meaning you will be able to get a longer runtime by setting the flashlight at the exact level you need it to be.

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#34071 - 11/12/04 01:29 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks, Paul, for your reply.

And indeed thanks to everyone who has already posted in this thread. I really appreciate it. I'm definitely not your caliber when it comes to survival ideas or technologies, so I appreciate the help you're all giving.

I'm reasonably sure I would want an A2. However, the 50 lumens of brightness does scare me a little bit -- as Surefire says, I'd like to have around 60. That's why I originally wanted to go for the L4. The problem with the L4, naturally, is that it doesn't have two modes. I don't want to have to blind myself by using one of the brightest flashlights on the market.

So, as a more direct question: if I am about 200 feet away from a building, will the L4 be able to illuminate a spot on the building? Is the A2 bright enough to do so?

(I looked at the pictures on messerforums.... the A2 seemed dimmer in the garage but all right outside.)

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#34072 - 11/12/04 02:01 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Mr_Dead Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 34
I briefly considered the A2, and bought something sort of similar, the Streamlight Twin Task L2, which also uses a xenon bulb for "high" and three LEDs around it for "low", and is supposed to be comparable.

I don't find it so- it's high is nowhere near my L4 high and it's is very dim next to the L4 low. After receiving the L4, I pretty well decided that I had bought my last incandescent. There may be some things that LEDs don't do as well, but this will certainly hold me until they do- which I don't think will be long. Maybe the A2 is more impressive, not sure... but I'll be the low is REALLY low. They sell it with colored LEDs for pilots to preserve their night vision, so you know it's designed for reading charts in the dark, not lighting up rooms.

For me, the short life and fragility of the bulbs (especially if the light is dropped while on) is just a killer for emergency use, now that we have tech that doesn't do that. I also don't find the tint more "natural", it just looks really orange-yellow next to the L4 (and now the Q-III) with artifacts from the filament (shadows) that the LEDs don't have.

But that's a very personal thing.

As for the U2, I was excited when I first heard about it, but disappointed when I actually saw a picture of a late prototype:

(third one down)

(there are other pictures of this prototype, and one other, in threads on candlepower).

It's just too big (not pocketable IMHO), too expensive ($270), and more complicated than it needs to be (you really need 10 levels?). I think it may be a step in the wrong direction.

Again, I think my 2-stage L4 will do me just fine until something a LOT better comes along.

I just received the Nuwai Q-IIIs last night, and this will almost certainly be my backup light. It uses the same CR123 cells as the L4 (albeit one at a time), is almost in the same ballpark as far as brightness (at least 3/4 as bright), and is about half the size of an AA Mini-maglite, small enough to ride next to a cell phone on my belt and go completely unnoticed. Nice beam too, and not very expensive. These two, the L4 with 2-stage and the Nuwaii Q-III, will be my commute carry for some time to come.
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#34073 - 11/12/04 02:32 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Mr_Dead Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 34
Quote:
The problem with the L4, naturally, is that it doesn't have two modes.


Well, mine does. <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> And if you go with the McE2E switch, you get to pick how bright you want the lower mode to be (vs. battery life).

Then there's the L2, of course.

Quote:
I don't want to have to blind myself by using one of the brightest flashlights on the market.

It isn't really that. Some of the law enforcement 9v Surefires are putting out 3-4 times as much light as the L4. Even the L2 is rated at 100 lumens on high (though a number of folks seem to doubt that).

I think you might be getting the wrong impression- these lights are amazingly bright for their tiny size (all the ones we're talking about are comparable in size to a Mini-Maglite), but they don't compare to some larger, non-pocketable lights.

I considered for some time before buying the 2-stage switch for the L4, and my decision was based on battery life more than usability. It could be too bright for, say, working in an engine compartment with reflective surfaces around, your eyes have to adjust before you can use it for reading, and it will SERIOUSLY kill your night vision- but it's not blinding, unless you're looking straight into it.

Quote:
So, as a more direct question: if I am about 200 feet away from a building, will the L4 be able to illuminate a spot on the building? Is the A2 bright enough to do so?

Again, I think you might be under a misapprehension. I can't say for sure, but I doubt that any of the lights we're talking about would do a great job in this scenario. 200 feet is two-thirds of a football field, "building" implies some ambient light level. We're talking about tiny lights that put out maybe 5-8 times as much light as an old-fashioned 2 D cell flashlight. That's fairly impressive, but would you expect 5-8 old-fashioned flashlights to illuminate a spot on a building 200 feet away? Well, maybe a little.

I would guess that the A2 would probably do a little better at this, as the L4 is more of a flood, they refer to it as a "wall of light"... but if this is a real criterion, you might want to keep looking awhile. I'm not sure either one will be satisfactory.
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#34074 - 11/12/04 04:05 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for your detailed reply, Mr. Dead. Here's what I'm thinking.

The A2 is appealing to me bcause of its duality. As I mentioned before, I do not want to buy a light that I cannot readily use in the dark and not be blinded by its brilliance. When I climb into bed, the lights in the room are off. In order to set the alarm, however, I need some sort of light to see what I'm doing. Currently, a Mini-Mag AA is doing the job perfectly well. But as to whether it's bright enough to put light in some of the areas I need it to put light, whether on stage, on the campus, or in the woods, well, the short answer is no. The D-cell I have (at home) is quite bright and will do the job. Probelm is, it's about the least protable light you can buy. (Not quite, but you get the idea. Carrying around a 5 pound, 15" stick on the side of your hip is not pratical.) Hence, I'm looking for a light that is basically the size of a Mini-Mag AA but is brighter.

I stumbled across the L4. It's amazing. I like the fact that it's an LED light; the bulbs last longer, and, as you mentioned, they are less prone to impact damage. However, I'm apprehensive about buying it because it is a flood-type lamp -- which I learned from you -- and I'm not sure I always want a flood of light going on. Take Paul's original post: if I were in his spot but had an L4 instead of his A2, would the L4 be able to light the ceiling? Or would it merely cast a little bit of light up there? The second thing that bothers me about the L4 is that it's not dual-mode. I would like to have a light that is capable of both low- and high- beams. I'm not too keen on the idea of buying a $50 accessory to add to an $160 light; $210 for a flashlight is seriously pushing it.

So I looked (and am looking) at the L2 and A2. The A2 bothers me because it still retains the incandescant lamp. I would like to get away from those if possible. At the same time, it is smaller than the L2 and I think I like that. It appears to be the same size as my MiniMag, which is exactly the size I would prefer. However, its output doesn't seem to match that of the L4, and quite honestly, that's a pretty big turn-off. Will be it brighter than the MiniMag? I'm sure it is. But if there's a brighter light on the market, and there is, I'm sure I can do better. The $185 price tag on the A2 doesn't help, either.

So the only apparent light left is the L2. It has an LED, which I want; a two-stage switch, which is a great feature; and is about the same size as the MM. However, it is still new to the market and the price I would have to pay is $165 -- more than the $150 for the A2 (on the website you mentioned) and more than the $128 for the L4.

So that's what I'm thinking about the whole matter. What is most important to me is having a light that can illuminate a sport (like a MM can) at distances of less than, say, fifty feet. I think I exaggeraed the 200 feet. No need for a light (in a spot) that far away. (It's called a laser...) I tihnk the best example to use would be Pauls's. Again, if he had an L4, would it light up the ceiling clearly.

I'd really like to buy a L4, but I'm just worried that its lack of duality will one day blind me when I'm not expecting it. I could always keep the MM, but if I do that, then what's the point of buying a light in the first place? This one is supposed to replace -- not so much add -- to my MM.

Thanks again for listening.

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