Lights For Law Enforcement / Tactical Flashlight Review
This is a discussion on Lights For Law Enforcement / Tactical Flashlight Review within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; THE ARC AAA FLASHLIGHT
There is a type of very small LED lights (called key chain light) that is ideal for police officers who have ...
March 2nd, 2008 01:11 PM
THE ARC AAA FLASHLIGHT
There is a type of very small LED lights (called key chain light) that is ideal for police officers who have to write a report or a ticket. The light is very flood like and not very powerful at 5.5 lumens, it will not affect night vision much and will illuminate the pad very well if the light is clipped to your hat or epaulet.
The little ARC is small and almost weightless, it measures 2.7” long and 0.5 “in diameter and can last for 5 hours to 50 percent output on a regular AAA battery.
The body of the light is 6061 aluminum with military hard anodized type III and coated with chem-cote in the interior.
Cost of the light is $29.95 for the regular model and $44.95 for the Premium model that has a more powerful LED of 9 lumens.
The light is provided with a clip that will stay very well put on the brim of a hat or cap, it also has a split ring to attach the light to a key chain. Of course it also makes a good light if attached to the bill of a sporting cap when camping.
There are some chores that require that you use your two hands, and the unobtrusive ARC is hardly noticeable until you need it.
As you can see in the picture, I use rechargeable AAA Nimhs as well as AA’s. The new Nimh batteries are really powerful and have lots of capacity, 1,000 mah for the AAA, and 2700 or more for the AA’s. They can be recharged up to 1,000 times which make them a great saving over using alkaline batteries.
Besides, you will be helping the environment as well as your pocket; I highly recommend the new rechargeable Nimh batteries.
March 28th, 2008 02:03 PM
THE CLASSIC SUREFIRE E1E EXECTUTIVE ELITE
This light is a beauty, short, light weight, with considerable power and with a decent run time for an incandescent light
In today’s market it is a little obsolete in the power department, as the Fenix line of small pocket/key chain lights put out more lumens and have more features.
Still, the Surefire E1e is the “classic” small light that arrived at a time when 15 lumens was only achieved with big lights using 2D batteries.
The E1e is extremely well made and finished in hard anodized type III in an olive drab finish; it weights 2.20 ounces and has a length of 3.40 inches. The lens is Pyrex and the reflector is stochastic, meaning that is finished with a light stippled pattern that makes the beam free of defects, rings and artifacts.
The light runs on one of the RC123’s batteries with a run time of 1.5 hours, the beam is nice, but will not throw far as the reflector is quite small, and small reflectors produce quite a flood.
The tail cap has three positions: unscrewed a couple of turns it will lock up the light (what is considered a safety position); screwed a little more, will allow activation of the momentary position by pressing the rubber button; screwed further, will activate the light on constant.
The little light charges the battery from the front, that means you have to take the head out to install the battery, as there is not enough room for the battery to enter if you remove the tail cap, as in most other lights.
The 15 lumens lamp is called MN01, and is 15 lumens of course; the MN02 is 25 lumens but it’s used in the E series Surefire that carries two batteries, as is the more powerful 60 lumens MN03.
I see this light as ideal for a woman’s purse or a man’s pocket. Although the retail price is $79 USD the light is so well made that is worth it. Finally, the light sports a clip that can be used to clip it to the edge of a pocket for quick retrieval, or to the bill of a cap if you need to do some chore using two hands.
April 8th, 2008 12:12 PM
A decent household flashlight for little money, and will save in battery juice.
HUSKY 2D 3 WATT LED FLASHLIGHT
I was at Home Depot and I spied a new light in the flashlight section. The new torch is a HUSKY brand, which is a brand name of Home Depot. I have used some of their inexpensive lights; they are made in China and represent a good value in some models.
The new light uses two D batteries (that are included in the package) and the source of light is a three watt LED. The difference in this torch is that the switch activates three different levels of illumination.
The package lacks any instructions and doesn’t even mention the output of the light or the run time. So I am guessing that the first mode (the first click) is a 12 lumens light, second click at 40 lumens and the last click about 80 lumens.
The idea of having three different levels is good, it will conserve battery juice when you just need a little light for illumination, and at the same time, the other two settings are there for more lumens when you need to reach farther or put out more intensity.
As this thread is all about comparisons, I decided to pit the new HUSKY against a Maglite 2D LED 3 watt that I bought a few months ago. I purchased the Maglite from Wal Mart for $24 USD, but I think that it was on sale at the time, still price wise the two lights. Compare.
The HUSKY is ½” shorter, otherwise they compare physically to each other and they weight the same, although the HUKY have a slightly smaller head.
The outside of the Husky is finished in a slightly duller anodizing than the Maglite; both lights look handsome on the outside.
In the inside the Husky shows the threads of the tail-cap, body and head very rough. Removing the head I found an adequate heat sink, although the mounting of the LED looks a little lousy. I wanted to take a look at the reflector and plastic lens, but it was not possible to remove the bezel despite my superhuman and my weight-lifter friend efforts - the bezel seems to have been super-glued in place.
The tail-cap sports a flimsy lanyard that I will not trust to hold the light for long, and looking inside at the switch, I found it very cheesy looking, more appropriate for a toy than for a flashlight. The little strip of metal where the battery makes contact with the switch, it doesn’t look good either.
The Maglite 2D on the other hand, is a high quality product with butter smooth threads, a switch that will last forever and a lot of well thought-out features (cam action, self cleaning switch, etc).
The Maglite is an American product that should cost much more of what it does now. Old timers may recall that when they first show up in the 1980’s the price tag was $60 USD and that they were selling like hot cakes, the engineering of the Maglite was at that time well above any of the existing lights, including the Kel-Lite.
In the picture you can see the Maglite 2D LED on left, the Husky light in the middle, and the red one on right is a Black Bear 720 lumens, (1 ½ million candlepower) a custom made light that shows how much illumination we can put into a Maglite “host” 2D, with a little ingenuity, and if the people are willing to pay the price of a custom product.
Here are the beam shots for comparison, 35 yards to the fence.
HUSKY 3 watt
MAGLITE 3 watt
BLACK BEAR 720 LUMENS
My impression is that the Maglite has a much better beam, in color rendition and in intensity. Also, I can throw the beam of the Maglite much further than the Husky, even that both lights are 3 watt, the Maglite is better in quality of LED and power.
Granted - the Maglite has a 2” full reflector, while the Husky could be only 1 ¾ “ that could account for the better throw, but the Maglite definitely has a whiter beam and it is more intense.
All the best
April 28th, 2008 01:41 PM
SUREFIRE E2e MODIFICATIONS
Judging for the mail I get from people, there is some interest in modifying the E2e (or E2O) for more lumen output.
The standard question is: Do you have any lamp that will make the E2e brighter?
There are two modifications made to the E2e to make it brighter. Both of them involve the P-61 lamp from Surefire, an incandescent lamp that output 120 lumens for 20 minutes.
The NASCAR modification (more properly named This_is_Nascar, for its developer), involves removing the stock reflector from the P-81 lamp and using the head and reflector of the standard E2e.
On top is the E to C adaptor model, below is the NASCAR model.
And this is the E to C adaptor on top and below the NASCAR modification.
It is necessary to stretch the bezel of the E2e to accommodate the longer P-61 lamp. This is accomplished by installing an O ring between the head and bezel and using a thinner mineral crystal instead of the Pyrex lens.
A washer is also used to bring the lamp to the proper focal point in the reflector. This modification has a run time of seven minutes, when the heat of running the 120 lumen lamp will reach the batteries, causing them to kick the thermal protection. This stops the juice to the lamp. Of course, after the batteries cool down, the light can be used again.
This happens because of the little mass of metal at the head and reflector. If there was more mass of metal at this point the heat would be absorbed (and displaced forward as infrared) and the batteries would continue to provide the full run time of twenty minutes.
And it is here where the second modification makes its appearance; by using an adaptor to bridge the gap between the E series body and a C series head. It is possible to use the P-61 lamp without removing the reflector. All the mass of the adaptor, coupled with the bigger head and the mass of the reflector, perfectly handles the heat of the powerful P-61 lamp, and the full run time of twenty minutes can be achieved, as well as less heat in the part of the light that is held by your hand.
There are a couple of versions in the market of this E to C adaptor. The one shown here was made by Doug Speck in Toronto, Canada. It is hard anodized to match the body of the E2e (or E2O) and the Z-44 (The head of the Surefire Centurion II).
Also, as the reflector (and head) are bigger, the range (throw) is increased over the smaller reflector of the stock E2e. Not to mention changing lamps is a breeze.
For more run time, the P-60 lamp (65 lumens) can be substituted; it will give the light one hour run time with much better throw than the stock E2e.
The NASCAR version has some use when somebody desires a rifle light in the smaller format with an intensity of 120 “real” lumens, and a good flood coverage for clearing rooms. Using a 1” scope ring and a plastic bushing, it is possible to mount the light to any Picattiny or Weaver base.
July 15th, 2008 08:32 AM
Q-BEAM MAX MILLION II
TWO MILLION CANDLEPOWER
I very recently bought a new Q-Beam two million candlepower spotlight. I am a big user of spotlights, in my case I use them to give demonstration of the power of the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight, in police reunions, night shots, and seminars.
When my eight month-old battery for my two million candlepower Optronics spotlight gave up the ghost, I had to get a new spotlight.
I spied the Q-Beam at Wal-Mart and I bought it on the spot. It is a large spotlight with a four-and-three-quarters inch reflector, and with some extra features not available in other spotlights.
For starters, it comes with two removable batteries. One battery could be on the light while the other is charging, a good feature. Unfortunately, in my case, one of the batteries was already dead and is not recharging. I will have to return the unit and get another, hoping for better luck.
However, bad batteries are nothing new in big spotlights. It seems that the Chinese haven’t gotten the hang of making lead acid batteries last any decent amount of time. I know; I have the corpses of seven spotlights to prove it (some day I will get around to rounding them up and take a picture of them).
I can safely say that I have tried all of them, and I can tell you that a quality spotlight is not available in the USA, unless you buy one of the Australian’s Night Force spotlights. Australians, with their liberal night hunting laws, know a thing or two more about night hunting and lights that the average American hunter does.
For law enforcement the panorama is different. With the advent of the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight (12 ½” long, 28 oz) a spotlight in the cruiser is no longer needed.
After all, spotlight use for law enforcement is confined to operation from the car, which is why you don’t see a trooper conducting a traffic stop with spotlight in hand or chasing down a suspect with one in tow.
Coming back to the Q-Beam Max Million II, it also has another feature that was not available before in any other spotlight; a double trigger that when touched high, can activate mechanically a spring that will push the smaller part of the two-part reflector/ bulb holder, forward. This causes the focus to change to a wider flood; interesting concept, but perhaps of dubious utility. I have seen it employed in flashlights before, but by the use of two filaments positioned in the bulb envelope at different heights.
Here is a picture of the Q-Beam together with the Borealis
Unfortunately the Achilles’ heel of any spotlight is the quality of its batteries. In the normal use that I give them, they never last more than 6 to 8 months, which is why I am not looking to pay more than half a century note for one, with is just what the new Q-Beam cost me at Wal-Mart.
How does it compare with the Borealis 1050 lumens (two million candlepower)?
To answer that question, I move them to the backyard of my local church, where I have a solid wall of trees and a range of 35 yards (I try to avoid solid light-painted walls that produce too much reflection and confuse the camera).
Q-Beam Max II Spotlight
Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight
Black Bear 720 lumens flashlight
The new Spotlight did well in comparison, but it is more inside the range of the Black Bear 720 lumens (10 “ long 23 oz) than of the more powerful Borealis. Here are the pictures for you to judge; of course the Borealis and the BB 720 are better law enforcement tools as the side spill is bigger and the intensity and the color are brighter. Of course, you need side spill to avoid panning a tight focus’ light and losing precious seconds when clearing a room or warehouse.
For those that use the Q-Beam for varmint shooting (with a partner to hold the light of course) the light will do okay up to 300 yards.
For that use you can take advantage of the red filter (at shorter distance) and the other two filters, ( blue and amber), are completely useless for varmint shooting and for any other use I can imagine, as I can not see a blood tracker using such a big spotlight with the blue filter on it.
August 3rd, 2008 01:37 PM
September 17th, 2008 12:55 PM
VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE BY JAMES MAURER
ON THE BRIGHtest LIGHTS IN THE WORLD
THAT YOU CAN GET OVER THE COUNTER.
THEY ARE ALL THERE
THE TORCH, THE POLARION, THE BOREALIS,
THE SUNFORCE, ETC.
READ IT IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN LIGHTS
Worlds Brightest Flashlight
October 19th, 2008 08:46 PM
WITH PRESSURE PAD
I have been using remote switches in my tactical lights that are mounted in rifles, shotguns, and bows, for quite a few years now.
The most effective of them are the ones with a direct connection to the solder pad that touch the battery (no spring), like the ones in the TACM III tactical lights.
The reason that they are more effective is that they don’t rob the system of any voltage (in the way of internal resistance) as do the ones with heavy springs.
Internal resistance is the name of the game, some of them, for example the TAC STAR pressure switch, can really make a bright lamp like the P-60, looks dim and murky, due to too much internal resistance in the design of the tail cap.
THE TAC STAR REMOTE SWITCH
A good one that I have used for years in mounting lights on my friends’ bows and rifles, is the G&P tail cap with remote. Its design is quite good and the internal resistance is low, but it is not designed for pump shotguns as the cord is just straight and not curly.
THE G&P REMOTE SWITCH
A very good one that I discovered recently is the Aimshot curly cord remote, the spring is copper and quite light and it seems to have very low internal resistance.
I discovered the Aimshot in Cheaper Than Dirt catalogue and at a very good price ($14.97) and it has become my favorite.
I just used one in a Pelican M-6 tactical light and mounted it using a UTG Tri rail mount in an AK rifle, it does the job well.
THE AIMSHOT REMOTE SWITCH
October 29th, 2008 05:33 AM
THE 200 LUMENS BATTLE
There are now a number of aftermarket lamps for the popular series of Surefire lights.
They will fit the Surefires series: 6P, C, Z, D, G, and maybe others.
I just received a new one that claims 290 lumens and is called a Cree R-2 (it’s supposed to be even more powerful than the Cree Q-5).
I decided to do a shoot out with an assortment of lights that I have in the 200 plus lumens class. That way the members can see how they perform against each other.
Run time was not measured for lack of time and because I am running short on 123’s batteries. The bigger lights, namely the Surefire M-4 with the MN60 lamp (225 lumens for 60 minutes on four 123’s disposable batteries) and the Bear Cub from Black Bear Flashlights (220 lumens for 90 minutes on rechargeable Li Ion batteries) are big throwers and with them you can see clearly objects 120 and 150 yards away.
On the other hand the small reflectors of the Surefires G-2, Centurion 2 and Fenix T-1 are dispersing all those lumens close by, creating a great flood.
Those pocket lights will be great to use as tactical lights by law enforcement personnel, and especially good at clearing houses, while the Surefire M-4 and the Bear Cub will make great lights for car, truck and the open spaces.
The literature of the Fenix states that it’s good for 200 yards, it will probably make a reflective target like a stop sign glow at that distance, but it would hardly illuminate any other object. My perception from trials I made, is that this light as well as the others LED’s can’t be count to illuminate (poorly) objects beyond 60/70 yards.
In any case, a lamp upgrade if you own a Surefire pocket light, is a good idea as any of them are more powerful than the stock incandescent lamp of 65 lumens or the stock LED lamp of 80 lumens.
The lights as they appear in the picture are, from left to right:
Surefire M-4 MN60 lamp 225 lumens for 1 hour (running on four 123’s batteries)
Bear Cub 220 lumens for 90 minutes, rechargeable
Surefire G-2 in yellow. It is 65 lumens for one hour with the stock P-60 lamp
Surefire G-2 in black, Lumen Factory lamp incandescent of 160 lumens
Surefire G-2 in green, Cree Q-5 by Deal Xtreme, 200 lumens
Surefire Centurion 2 in Jungle Camo, 290 lumens (claimed) with the Cree R-2 lamp
Fenix T-1, 225 lumens using a Cree Q-5 lamp
And now the pictures, target is 20 yards away, watch also the amount of side spill as well as the throw.
SUREFIRE M-4 DESVASTATOR 225 LUMENS
BEAR CUB RECHARGEABLE 220 LUMENS
SUREFIRE G-2 YELLOW 65 LUMENS
SUREFIRE G-2 BLACK LUMENS FACTORY 160 LUMENS LAMP
SUREFIRE G-2 GREEN, DEAL XTREME LAMP CREE Q-5 200 LUMENS
SUREFIRE CENTURION 2, CREE R-2 290 LUMENS (CLAIMED)
FENIX T-1 CREE Q-5 225 LUMENS
One word of caution with high intensity LED lights: most are not thermally regulated and they will suffer from their own heat if used for an extended period. They will get very hot and the tint will change. Short use of 5 minutes or less is recommended, especially in lights like the G-2 that has a plastic body and head.
All metal flashlights like the Surefire 6P are better at dissipating the heat, and in them a few more minutes of constant use can be achieved before the heat will damage the module.
The big heavy head of the Fenix acts as a heat sink, and this light can manage to run much longer without the heat affecting the module.
Besides, the Fenix has a second setting that will run the light at 60 lumens for 10 hours.
So, if you already have a Surefire you want to upgrade, the aftermarkets lamps are great.
If you need a new light look at the Fenix line.
If you need a truck, open spaces light, the Bear Cub is a great value as it is rechargeable and very bright as well as a 150 yards thrower.
October 29th, 2008 10:30 AM
I have the four mode R-2 from Wolf-Eyes that says it is 280 lumens, but it is not nearly as bright as my T1 or 6P/Malkoff, but a little brighter than than my G2/BOG. So now it is a shotgun light. Gotta watch out of those exaggerated lumen numbers.
Gun control can be blamed in part for allowing 9/11 to happen.
"Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum" (Latin)- "If you want peace, prepare for war".
October 30th, 2008 07:42 AM
Originally Posted by MilitaryPower
If you look at my two last pictures, it is clear than the Fenix T-1 (Cree Q-5) is putting more light than the Cree R-2 (claimed 290 lumens).
To me the T-1 (or TK-1- or TK-11) is the better and more convenient tactical light in the market (1,5 hours @ 225 lumens or 10 hours @ 60 lumens).
January 15th, 2009 06:50 PM
TERRALUX LIGHTSTAR 220
For the last two months, I have been using one of the Terralux Lightstar 220 lumens flashlights, which runs on two AA batteries.
This light has two settings on the click-tail cap; the first setting clicks on the light and emits 220 lumens for 1.5 hours.
The second setting of 100 lumens for 6 hours is accessed by softly pressing the rubber button switch.
The LED is a Cree RXE Q-4 and is controlled by a microprocessor for a constant light output. When battery juice is running low, the LED will flicker to let you know that is time for new batteries.
The unit comes with two Energizer AA batteries, a lanyard and a soft nylon holster. At an even six inches long, the light is quite portable and also features a clip to attach it to your belt or waistband.
It is very similar to the popular 3 watt 80 lumens Ray-O-Vac Sportsman Xtreme (but is slightly longer as the click tail cap needs more room for the mechanism), and the head is smaller with a small orange peel reflector.
Due to the small reflector the beam throws quite a flood despite the 220 lumens figure. Small reflectors don’t really have much throw no matter how many lumens you make the light puts out. However, it is quite adequate for most chores inside a house and practical, too, for walking the dog or a walk in the woods.
LIGHTSTAR AT 20 YARDS WITH THE 220 LUMENS
LIGHTSTAR WITH THE 100 LUMENS SETTING
The really nice thing about these lights are that they are very inexpensive to feed as they use common AA batteries. As I use rechargeable AA batteries in all my lights, it is even more inexpensive to use.
The dark green anodized body is quite resistant to scratches as the light is still like new even after a couple months of sharing my pocket with keys and coins.
Cost of the light varies depending where you buy it, but it is around $35 to $40 USD; your best bet is to Google it to see who has a special on it.
I like this light to the point of recommending it to anybody that is looking for a light with these characteristics. The light is as good as the Ray-O-Vac Sportsman with the added power of the 220 lumen setting.
January 15th, 2009 06:58 PM
((Place funny, whitty comment here))
February 19th, 2009 03:45 PM
WHEN A LUMEN IS NOT A LUMEN
A lumen is not a lumen when somebody intends to throw a big bunch of them out of a small reflector the size of a dime or nickel. At least it seems to be that way.
It used to be easy to tell the power of a light by the lumens figure, not anymore. You could be an experience user of lights, say a policeman that had used for years a 200 lumens Magchager and is well acquainted with its capabilities. Now he reads about this small light the size of a thumb that also outputs 200 lumens and is all excited to get the new marvel.
He does and is promptly disappointed because the small light seems to throw a good amount of light, but all close by, and is nothing that can compare with his duty Magcharger that can illuminate objects at 100 yards.
Besides emitters in the 200 lumens bracket can kill themselves with the heat that they produce when they are used in small lights with poor heat sinking. It is mostly a novelty thing and it should be used with caution. Some of them come in lights with multiple settings, and that is fine when the literature advice you to use the 200 lumens sparingly, and you follow that advice.
To illustrate the point, here are a couple of pictures of beam shots at 20 yards, you can clearly see the superiority of the Bear Cub (reflector size 2”) over the Lightstar 220, (reflector the size of a dime) even when both lights are rated at 220 lumens.
LIGHTSTAR 220 LUMENS AT 20 YARDS
BEAR CUB 220 LUMENS AT 20 YARDS
Some manufacturers wishing to quote big numbers are now putting clusters of these small reflectors on duty size flashlights. Mind you these clusters that are from three to four are still all small reflectors with limited throw.
So, somebody putting a cluster of four reflectors in a big head can claim 800 lumens, but you know better now, knowing that those 200 lumens for each reflector are not really behaving like real lumens!
Unfortunately I don’t have one of those lights to prove the point. But I can get my own cluster of lights in the 200 lumens bracket, and demonstrate by picture what can you expect.
I have here two of the Lightstar220 lumens, plus a Fenix P3D of 205 lumens and an Ultra Fire with Rebel emitter of 200 lumens, all of which together in a cluster will throw the figure of 845 lumens.
The opposite number is a Black Bear 720 lumens flashlight, a light that is 10” long and weights 24 oz. and uses a 2” reflector that can throw several hundred of yards with a strong white light.
HERE IS THE PICTURE OF THE CONTENDERS
The distance for both beam shots is in this case 35 yards to the target (The no trespassing sign tacked in the tree). The camera is 20 yards from the target.
CLUSTER OF REFLECTORS 845 LUMENS
BLACK BEAR 720 LUMENS ONE REFLECTOR 2”
Observe how the beam of the 720 lumens light travels beyond the range of the cluster lights, illuminating objects that the cluster lights are not capable of showing.
So, if you are in the market for a new light, this use of small reflectors in clusters to boost lumens figures is something you should be aware off.
February 19th, 2009 06:43 PM
Ever do any comps on insight lights? I carry a h1x single cell. I have been impressed with it and was wondering how there other models compared?
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”.... Albert Einstein
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