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#34075 - 11/12/04 05:03 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Mr_Dead Offline

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 34
No problem listening, all of your concerns are valid... just not sure what we can do to help.

FWIW, any of these lights are plenty for 25 feet or 50 feet in a dark room. Differences would come into play, say, for 50 feet with ambient light from streetlights keeping your eyes from adjusting, trying to illuminate dark corners or under cars. For that, a spot is probably better. For inside, I'd almost always go with a flood. For 25 feet, I'd probably go for a flood anyway. There's a certain amount of safety in being able to see more of your surroundings, instead of just a spot, however bright- but maybe that's just me. On the other hand, a spot is clearly better in fog or smoke... though it doesn't take a great deal of either to render either light pretty useless.

IF you felt confident to do it, I'd suggest getting an E series 2-cell body (SF L4 or E2e, Aleph, Balrog, whatever, $20-35), a 2-stage tailcap($50), and a NEW style SF KL1 head (list $56), which is LED, slightly less power than the L4 (it's a Lux 3), but more focused, more "spot" than "flood". Total cost would probably be right around that of the the L4, with more focus and 2 stages. All of these parts can be had, though "new style" KL1 heads are a little scarce right now.

Or, you could experiment a bit with lower-priced lights (Streamline, Nuwai, SF G2) to really determine what you like and what you don't. $35-70 might be cheaper than a mistake in a more expensive light, and anythiing you don't like can always be sold. I'm quite taken with the Q-III at 2 for$80 shipped, it has a beam similar to the L4 at, I'd guess, about 3/4 the power. It falls short of SF in a few ways, but it's very nice (Nuwai makes several of the Streamlight models), and smaller than anything SF has for EDC.

Keep in mind that there's no real point in trying for the "perfect" light. It doesn't exist, everything is a compromise, and whatever you get will probably be obsolete in a year or two (though useful for much longer). You're just trying to find something you'll be really happy with for that year or two or three, and won't regret buying if you really need it in the interim.

On the other hand, if you keep holding out for the pefect light, it will certainly save you some money for awhile yet. <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

#34076 - 11/12/04 06:49 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
I thought the A2 is fairly unique in that the bulb is also fed regulated voltage and does a "soft start" that avoids the violent thermal shock of unregulated incandescent flashlights. Seems like I read two consequences to that: 1) Not the best light for blinking morse code 2) No warning of battery exhaustion by gradual dimming of lamp - which is a Janus of a feature.

I don't own an A2 and I might be confusing this with another flashlight... anyway, the A2 is the most interesting Surefire to me.

#34077 - 11/12/04 09:31 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy

Thanks again for the well-thought out reply. I will take a look at the Nuwai to give it a look see. I'm thinking I might try to demo an A2 and L4 sometime in the future just to see how they compare (in actual use, not in pictures). I'm leaning more toward the A2... but I'll give it some time and see how things work out. I'll definitely be back to post more questions if they come up! Thanks again, all!

#34078 - 11/12/04 09:45 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Mr_Dead Offline

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 34
Just thought I'd link in a couple of pix of the Nuwai Q-III for size:

A good "glamour" shot (mine has no markings):

So, how big is it, really?

Not very.

Next to a AA Mini-Maglite:

Even so, it seems smaller than the L4 mostly because it's short- it's almost exactly the same diameter in the head as the L4, and almost 3/4 as long. All the lights under discussion are smaller than you would think from photos with nothing to show scale.

#34079 - 11/12/04 09:57 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Klitzke Offline

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 11
I saw this link:


on another thread here. Since you already have the Mini-Mag, you could convert it to L.E.D. to tide you over until you decide what to spend the big bucks on. I just got my order and new life and reliability for my Mini-Mag.


#34080 - 11/12/04 10:11 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
rbruce Offline

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 153
Loc: California
I have one of these also that I got at http://www.brightguy.com/ . It is great. I love my mini-mag now. Definately worth it.


#34081 - 11/13/04 05:15 AM Re: Flashlight came in handy

Paul, if you had had an L4 in that incident, do you believe it would have had sufficient lighting to cover the situation?

Exactly how noticeable is the 15 lumen difference between the L4 and A2?

#34082 - 11/13/04 05:28 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
I think an L4 would have had to have been used differently, instead of putting it on the stage ceiling I would have shined it in the direction of the people. Being it is more of a flood it would have been used differently. As to the 15 lumens it is noticable, however I don't think it is really a hindrance.

I think the best thing for you to do is go to your local Surefire dealer and play a round with a few different lights to see what you like.

#34083 - 11/13/04 07:23 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy

I think I will end up going with an A2 or L2. I'm going home for my Thanksgiving break, at which point I'll head up to the Surefire dealer up there and try to get a better feel for what I want. My thoughts regarding the A2 is that it's still an incandescent, which thus far has proven to be the better spot-type light, and has two modes for better battery life and power. The L2 is great, too, but I haven't seen many reviews on it (one, actually). But given that it is also what I need, with the added ruggedness of an LED, I will definitely look into it.

Thanks for all the help. It is truly appreciated. I'll be around again if questions suddenly arise.


#34084 - 11/13/04 07:25 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy

Very good point -- my problem is (as it was when earlier I wanted to purchase one of these) that I'd have to buy a new Mini Mag. Mine is over ten years old. And while a $10 +$20 investment is far cheaper than the Surefire, I'm not interested in buying a new Mag just to mod it. Seems kind of counterintuitive to me... but that's just me.

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