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#34095 - 11/14/04 02:49 AM Re: Flashlight came in handy (long reply)
Mr_Dead Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 34
Oh, great... all that work, and first he's going incandescent, and now he's going with a Mag, of all things. You teach someone everything you know, and find out they still don't know diddly. Very discouraging.

"Luke... come over to the dark side, Luke..."

May as well go back to tin lanterns. Or how about flaming torches? Talk about throw, it not only lights UP stuff at a distance, it LIGHTS stuff at a distance....

Maybe we can find a great deal on cardboard-tube Boy Scout flashlights from the '50s! Hey, a group buy on leaky carbon-zinc D cells!

Sigh... <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#34096 - 11/14/04 04:42 AM Re: Flashlight came in handy (long reply)
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Heh. See, he ALREADY has a minimag... I agree with you about LED over incandescant for everything but throw - there are a couple of hotshot LS V's that can reach out there, but generally throw still belongs to incandescant - my solution is MORE FLASHLIGHTS! The A2 does both pretty well.

Borrowed from Doug P's site and rounded to nearest whole numbers:

Model / Relative Throw / Relative Total Output

Surefire 10x Dominator Hi / 146 / 525
Mag 4 D / 99 / 38
Mag 3 D / 79 / 23
Pelican M6 Incandescent (old style) / 79 / 57
Surefire M3 Millenium Combat Light / 79 / 100
Surefire G2 (P60 lamp) / 59 / 52
Surefire M2 (P61 lamp) / 59 / 70
Surefire A2 Incand. Lamp / 45 / 58 / LEDs / 6 / 5
Pelican M6 LED / 38 / 21
Surefire L5 / 37 / 60
Surefire E2 / 36 / 40
Eveready 99 cent 2 D / 30 / 10
MiniMag / 30 / 6
Nuwai Q3 / 28 / 19
Surefire L4 / 23 / 58
MiniStar2 / 19 / 15
Mag Solitaire / 10 / 1
Opalec NewBeam / 6 / 4
ARC AAA-P / 5 / 2

Comments: M6 new style does not have quite as much throw, but as much or more output - the 3-D can slightly out-throw it now, but for sure the M6 has a lot more total output. As for my Minimag opinion - check the Minimag VS MinStar2 numbers - 2/3 as much throw, but 2 1/2 times the total output and a lot longer runtime... and runtimes can matter to me - the ARC AAA-P actually beats the snot out of a Solitare for throw after 20-30 minutes runtime - using the Solitare weakened battery.

Wish Doug would put these numbers up for the EverLED conversions...

If they were finished with HA-III and came standard with LEDs, we would not be bad-mouthing Mag *quite* as much... and I haven't purchased a Maglight for, oh, two or three years - maybe more. They ARE pretty durable, and for the cost... a lot of performance. OTOH, bulbs break - brother, do I know that!

I've "graduated" away from Mags for personal use, but it made a lot of sense to convert the ones I already owned. I need a couple more EverLEDs...

Guns, knives, torches - will the madness never end... <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

FWIW, I think you own some awesome torches.

Tom

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#34097 - 11/14/04 10:14 AM Re: Flashlight came in handy (long reply)
frenchy Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1320
Loc: France
I'am more and more convinced I will soon need a SF L2, but in the meantime....

I have, in some forgotten drawer, a 2-D Maglite I was about to give away or sell on Ebay.
What I don't like about it :
1) uneven light beam, with "black rings"
2) too heavy, too big, too cumbersome for backpacking or EDC
3) delicate bulb (same pb with SF 6P or G2)


If I could convert it, it would still be heavy (but that's not a pb if it's for home/car use + could be useful as a club).
But what about the "eveness" of the beam ? Is that pb solved with a LEDCorp Epion or a TerraLux Magstar 2 (found on http://www.pocketlights.com/) ???


TIA
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Alain

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#34098 - 11/14/04 01:49 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy (long reply)
Mr_Dead Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 34
I don't seriously have a grudge against Maglites. For quite awhile there, they were the sturdiest available, and practically the only sturdy flashlights available.

I had a 6D that I kept mostly for caveman-club value in a campground that got a little rowdy from time to time, where "weapons" were strictly prohibited. It's actual value as a club was doubtful, as it weighed a ton, but it looked impressive. After not being used for some time I found the alkalines had leaked and fused permanently into the tube. Somehow I was never tempted to replace it with another.

One Mini bought it in similar fashion, but I still have one old Mini and some solitaires around- until the next flea market, anyway.

I have never seen the A2 in person, so the nearest I can compare it with is the Streamlight TT 2L. Doug P's charts show that both it AND the Minimag out-throw the L4. Well, maybe.

Comparisons are difficult. To the eye, the L4 is very white, and makes the others look yellow and dim, almost amber. I'm sure the human eye/brain has tint biases, probably pretty complex ones, and I'm not at all sure a light meter is capable of replicating all that. It is certainly true that the dark night outside seems to "swallow" the LED light more over distance, but even that's hard to judge subjectively, since the LEDs are lighting up your immediate surroundings more, it makes the distance seem darker.

Whatever- I've played with a bunch of these lights under various conditions, and came away more than satisfied with the L4 for my use (especially with the 2-stage switch). No doubt as we get into the 4th and 5th generation of white LEDs, less compromise will be required, but for typical urban/suburban use (as opposed to out in the country), it seems to be a good compromise for now. The Q-III has a similar in beam, but not as powerful, less spill, and a smaller hot spot. They seem a good team, the tiny Q-III riding on my belt as a backup to the L4 in the pack.

Anyone who followed the thread on candlepower knows that the original motivation for all was the desire for a good emergency light for two long daily rides in dark underground tunnels of the Washinton DC Metro, not the safest place in either history or future prospects.

For that use, at least, the reliability of the LED certainly outweighs long-distance throw. I came away from the search with more and better than I expected, and shortly intend to retire the entire issue until technology comes up with something notably more interesting.
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#34099 - 11/14/04 04:19 PM Re: Drop-in LED replacements
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Alain,

I don't know the answer to your question, but the folks on CPF will. My only experience is with the EverLED conversion unit, which has gotten top marks from all reviews I've read. The EverLED exceeded my expectations.

Doug has a review of the EverLED, MaxStar2 and several others here. I would add to his EverLED review that the "bulb" now comes standard with reverse polarity protection for those few wierdo flashlights out there that use reverse polarity.

So far I haven't found a review of the Epion. Both the EverLED and the Epion are overdriven; I suspect the Epion is overdriven more and may be a little brighter, but I simply don't know - sorry! The EverLED is a side emitter and the Epion looks like a High Dome (I think). Ask the folks at CPF...

It's probably not important to you, but the Epion must be purchased for a specific voltage (number of cells), just like regular bulbs. You get 2 cell version, you must only use it in a 2 cell flashlight. But the EverLED works in anything from 1 to 6 cell flashlights. I use the EverLED in both 2 and 3 cell Maglights because I have both around here in the house and some vehicles.

Wish I could be more helpful...

Regards,

Tom




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#34100 - 11/14/04 04:26 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy (long reply)
Anonymous
Unregistered


I know it's not exactly refreshing to spend that much time and research typing what you know, only to have me "go" with a MM. I'm not entirely certain about that yet. I'd still like to know what the Surefires are capable of, and until I hold one in my hand and shine it at something, I won't ever know. (The same goes for the MiniStar. I won't ever know what the MiniStar looks like unless I buy it.) I'm not saying that I will go with an incandescent; simply putting it, I want an L2 but no one seems to have any for under $165. If I can get a $22 discount on the L4 and a $35 on the A2 from the sites you mentioned, you'd think they'd at least HAVE the L2 ready for purchase.

As I mentioned before -- I haven't decided what I'm going to buy. I really like the idea of an A2. But it seems to take a step back, almost, in that the source of its brightness is still a bulb. It'll take a test drive for me to figure it all out. I'll try to be patient and let actual results help me, not whim. Whim is what got me to where I am now; testing will finalize my decision.

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#34101 - 11/14/04 07:14 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy (long reply)
Anonymous
Unregistered


Just catching up on this thread this morning, and pardon my indiscretion (I'm not as "into" flashlights as some, although some of my interests may be completely off the wall), if we (I read through the entire thread) spend this much time, effort, and MONEY on a flashlight, how is it, that we can't come up with a solution to the Middle-East problem <img src="/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />?
No offence meant, please take this comment with a grain of salt.

Troy

P.S. I guess there are hundreds of solutions to the Middle-East problem, it's just that nobody can agree on which one to use (kind of like the flash-light thing, huh?). Every body have a great rest of the week-end.

Troy

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#34102 - 11/14/04 07:17 PM Re: Flashlight came in handy (long reply)
Mr_Dead Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 34
Hey, just kidding- it's important that you be happy with your decision. No one else has to live with it. <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Whatever you decide to do will probably work out fine, and there are a lot of interesting developments coming, I think. It's not a lifetime commitment or anything.
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#34103 - 11/14/04 07:30 PM Where/When/Why I use flashlights (short version)
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Mr D,

Yeah, what you said... and again, a pair of awesome light sources you're carrying there...

I have never been a fan of flashlights in the woods. I'll post separately why; for now, suffice to say that personally I carry flashlights for emergencies - rural or urban - not because I need or want them away from the city lights. On close scrutiny, most of my work use of flashlights is closer to emergency type applications than anything else.

What I need most of the time in a flashlight is task/mission lighting in an urban settting. And what I need is a light that gives me most of my field of vision illuminated, not something to shine on a building across the Mississippi River. I do not like or need or want something that drives my vision to a single small hotspot and leaves the other 98% of my natural field of vision in darkness. There are close-up tasks, like on machinery or building components, where a spot is OK because for a while that's what I'm focusing on. But a flood will also do the job most of the time in those cases.

Throw is relative in most legitimate need urban settings. Set aside Fire, Police, and other emergency services uses; those are specialized work needs. Us ordinary citizens need to be prepared to cope with power outages in dark places / times of day. Maybe render First Aid. Move to a safer location. Check on framuses under the hoods of our vehicles or the wheel covers on a flat tire. Brighten dim corners of parking garages to make the human cockroaches scurry way. Stuff like that really doesn't require a laser-like flashlight beam and actually most of those uses are done poorly with a spot as compared to a semi-flood or flood.

Put all that together and enter the high-powered LED flashlights - almost all of them excell at these sorts of uses; they are far superior in most cases to most incandescents. Some of the incandescents do an OK job, too - the new style Pelican M6 is better (more practical) than the original IMO because they have a wider beam (but still not like a good LED; still trades off a potentially huge flood for throw).

I said this is the short verson, so I'll stop here... I think you have made excellent arguements and I agree with your conclusions.

Regards,

Tom

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#34104 - 11/14/04 08:30 PM Re: Where/When/Why I use flashlights (short versio
Mr_Dead Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 34
Thanks.

I can easily see it being different. I suspect that if I lived in ranch country, I'd want the longest throw I could get, and care a whole lot less about weight and bulk.

I know what you mean about the woods. I generally only carry a Photon, because almost my entire use is rummaging around in the tent or pack at night. And, as I constantly remind myself, if I were better organized, I wouldn't need to do that much either.

Outside, so long as you don't spend your time staring at a fire (or into a stove flame) you rarely need it.

Of course, "woods" has nothing to do with car-camping campgrounds, where your night vision is continually being ruined by something or other... the restroom/shower houses in the one I frequent most often have lighting to rival a downtown bus terminal.



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