LIGHTS FOR HUNTING AND CAMPING

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LIGHTS FOR HUNTING AND CAMPING

Postby watchmaker » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:32 am

LIGHTS FOR HUNTING AND CAMPING



This post will try to show how different lights used for hunting 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 general hunting. 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.


LOW LIGHT FOR WALKING IN THE WOODS


Hunters 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 projecting a soft LED beam that will aid in walking the woods in the pre-dawn blackness when going toward your stand, (perhaps following a trail of cat-eyes) at this time, it is necessary not to pollute the area with more light than what is absolutely needed.
Some hunters that know the terrain well, prefer to use a red filter over the light, as is well known that deer and others animals cannot see red light.


THE BELT LIGHT

Those same hunters 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.
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 a belt light but it will do fine at the longer distances were the bigger lights shine.
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, however it lacks the throw needed for more distance illumination.

The main thing is that the hunters want to avoid losing precious seconds by panning a light when in the woods. That is why the Surefires are preferred over the tightly focused others brands, because they have special reflectors that diffuse the light into a bigger flood pattern.


THE CAR LIGHT

Some hunters 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 some even a Borealis 1050 lumens mega light.

Those are ideal lights for search for wounded game, search and rescue of lost partner, signaling at long distances and using them as spotlights after the hunt. Being rechargeable, they are always used with a maximum run time (taken out of the charger at start of the day, a thing that you can not do with 123 batteries unless you are willing to dump half-used batteries at the start of every day of hunting.

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 has the capability of illuminating the whole road for 250 yards.


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

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Surefire L-4 Luxeon V, LED, 65 lumens

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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.

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

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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.

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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)


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And here is the Ultra Stinger, the most powerful of the rechargeable from Streamlight with 295 lumens and 75,000 candlepower.

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And now the BOREALIS, the light that has the format of a 3 D (12 1/2 inches long) outputting 1050 lumens for 50 minutes.
This is similar to a two million candlepower spotlight

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And even that they have been there all along throughout the shootout of the lights, you can see them for the first time. My assistant is at the left of the tool shed, leaning on the second tree, and the Bear's head is hanging from the tree to the right of the shed.

As I have over 200 lights that I have used at one time or another in my hunting expeditions, I am well familiarized with distinct situations that call for different lights and method of using them.
I have encountered a new one lately, that calls for following a wounded wild boar at night with a powerful pistol like the S&W 500 or a 454 Casull and also a powerful light in the order of a Surefire M-6 (500 lumens) or a Borealis 1050 lumens.
For myself, I cannot think of another pursuit that could be more dangerous to life and limb, although I have a lot of respect for the young athletes that have tried it, I consider it too “Extreme” for my good health.

Hope I can do some more talking to the members about my second hobby after knife collecting, which is of course hunting at night and light usage.

Respectfully
Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
watchmaker
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Postby watchmaker » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:40 am

MORE LIGHTS FOR HUNTING AND CAMPING


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.

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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.

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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

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

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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)

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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

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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.


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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.

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

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

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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.


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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.

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Best regards
Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
watchmaker
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Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:11 pm
Location: N. Y.

Postby watchmaker » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:53 am

The little Scorpion is a popular light in America for hunting and camping (thanks to Cabela's) but it is also quite popular in law enforcement, that is why is treated here as such.

THE STREAMLIGHT SCORPION

I like the little Scorpion a lot, it is 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.

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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 too difficult to operate with my big thumb and I have to click it with my index finger.
But it rarely that 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, that 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, 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 my personal feelings 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 shot 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).

SCORPION’S BEAM

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P-60 LAMP FROM a Surefire Centurion II

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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.

Cheers,
Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
watchmaker
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Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:11 pm
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Postby watchmaker » Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:22 am

THE PRINCETON TEC SURGE

Hi guys,
This here is a dive light, but so inexpensive (around $30) and so suited to camping, hunting and having around in boats and wet places, that I have included it in this thread.

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A couple of years ago a store was having a sale of them, and I grabbed a bunch to have near the family in case of fire.

They output 105 lumens which is a considerable amount of lumens for such a small light working on eight AA batteries. The batteries are in parallel, so it will also work with only four batteries (and will float) with a reduced run time.

The Surge and the battery carrier and bulb combination

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It is said that the light will work for 5 hours on a full compliment of eight batteries. I have never conducted a run time test, so I can’t testify that this is true. Other Princeton Tec products that claim the same run time (Q40) have fallen short.

The bulb is a 7.5 watts and quite bright, my Surges have a deeply stippled reflector that produce a good flood light and by twisting the head it can be opened to even more flood, but I don’t recommend playing with the head underwater as it can compromise the waterproof level of the light.
The instructions claim the light is waterproof to 500 feet. I am a landlubber and never find myself more than six feet underwater, but Princeton Tec is famous for their dive lights and I haven’t heard any complains from divers.

I put the light in my fish scale and it weights 10.8 oz. with batteries and the handy lanyard that comes with the light, so despite all those batteries the Surge is very lightweight.

Beam shot of the Surge against my deer and bear targets from 26 yards

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The throw is considerable, rivaling my Streamlight TL-3 and reaching as far as 68 yards, if you consider the low price of this light I say you get a lot of lumens for your money.

Eight batteries in a tightly sealed container as is this light can put out quite a bit of Hydrogen gas, for divers I will recommend that they keep the light with the battery carrier out until they are ready to go on the water.
For other uses such as camping or others I recommend you drill a very small hole in the body of the light, to let the Hydrogen escape. They have been known to explode occasionally due to the build up of gas inside.

Cheers,
Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
watchmaker
Captain Camping
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:11 pm
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Postby watchmaker » Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:58 am

THE SUREFIRE M-6, 500 LUMENS TACTICAL LIGHT

Hi guys,
Here is another of my tactical lights. This beauty is light, relatively small and VERY powerful, and it comes with two lamps; 250 lumens for one hour and 500 lumens for 20 minutes.
THE GOOD NEWS:
In reality, when using fresh 123’s batteries of Surefire brand this light puts out 650 lumens for the first 6 minutes, this is really an outstanding performance as at 650 lumens the light is very white.
After that, the small 123’s start feeling the problem of coping with the high amperage lamp and settle to the 500 lumens output for a little more time, but you can see in the beam how the sag on the little batteries affects the output.

I have had three of the M-6’s and I am very familiar with them, they are very sensitive to what batteries they like, performing quite well with the Surefire brand, but dropping down and with reduced run time with the Battery Station brand, (at least in my experience).

THE NOT SO GOOD NEWS:
Sometimes in a warm summer night when I use the light, I can expect it to shut down after about 11 to 12 minutes of running due to the overheat protection of the batteries.
Yes the batteries will shut down the juice when very hot to avoid reaching the melting point, it is very disconcerting to have the light going full blast and all of a sudden you find yourself in complete dark.
It will no happen often but it had happened to me three times last summer (I am an above average user of powerful lights).

The light that I use for the beam shot is not my own but one that a neighbor of mine received in the mail the day I was delivering to him a Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight.

This great guy will start a conversation with, hi, I am Effie and I am a flashaholic, the day I visited him we spend hours talking and looking at his lights.
The batteries in the Surefire box, were fresh, I am sure because I deflowered the tough plastic wrapping with my trusty Ken Onion’s knife.
The guy have a one room house with garage in his big back yard, (for his teenage son’s to have his privacy) and that is what we used as a target, it been 27 yards away from the end of the porch where we shoot the beams of the lights and placed the tripod and camera.

As we needed another light to test it against, we used the Borealis 1050 lumens light, this being a top of the line model with the Quick Detach Swivel and the black hard anodized bezel with the glow dots.
Of course the Borealis been a bigger light made in the 3 D format and weighting at 28 oz. and with 12 ½ inches in length, overpower physically and in lumens output the M-6, but we didn’t have anything closer to the 650 lumens of the HOLA lamp of the M-6.
And here are the beam shots

SUREFIRE M-6 HOLA lamp (650 lumens on fresh batteries, 20 minutes run time)


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BOREALIS 1050 LUMENS RECHARGEABLE (50 minutes run time)

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And here the lights side by side before the shoot out.


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THE ONLY REAL PROBLEM:
It is the cost of the batteries, Surefires are close to a couple dollars now with shipping, it hurts my pocket to pay that much when the light uses six of them every twenty minutes and I don’t use the light as much as when the batteries where going for a dollar each.
For the law enforcement sector, when the Agency pays for the batteries, it is not problem, but for us simple civilians like me, even that I don’t have a mortgage anymore, I have a kid with a foot in College and I have to watch out my wallet, paying $36.00 per hour to run a powerful light it is not longer fun.

It is the top of the line of the portable Surefires and at $400 it is well worth the money due to the great and precise machining and finish and the good design specially made for tactical situations.

Cheers,
Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
watchmaker
Captain Camping
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:11 pm
Location: N. Y.

Postby watchmaker » Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:36 am

THE MOST POWERFUL FLASHLIGHTS
LIGHTS FOR TRUCK OR CAR


Hi guys,
Yes, I know that this has nothing to do with hiking, but most of us use car or truck transportation to get to the trail head and usually carry some form of a flashlight in the vehicle.
A powerful light can be a life saver in many instances, I well remember when driving up to the Adirondacks at 2 am in an empty 87 North at a point between exit 28 and 29 (North Hudson) some wild people in a truck tried to run us over into the shoulder of the road, my wife shinned a powerful light into their windshield and they desisted in the intent and actually braked hard and disappeared.
Maybe they though that only police cars would have such a powerful light and that it was better to look for their kicks somewhere else; the case was that the light resolved the situation for us.

Then it was the time when we used it to illuminate the scene of and accident involving a deer and a poor woman in a compact car in a dark lonely side road, where blood and the insides of the deer were everywhere and the car was inoperable.

Calling by phone from New York City to a local in the Adirondacks to get our weather information I was told of a new ruse some bad guys were using to rob and hi jack cars in roads with poor traffic in the area.
The information came handy a few weeks later when in Boreas road near the junction with Tahawus road we were flagged by a guy in a truck with the head lights illuminating a dead dog in the middle of the road. at the time I was using a car I had bought from my neighbor the cop, it had a PA system and blue lights mounted in the vicinity of the radiator; we stopped short, illuminated the area with the two million candlepower of a Borealis flashlight and hit the blue lights and PA system telling them over the mike to stay were they where and to show their hands. The guy in the truck jumped inside and did a burning tire escape even running over the body of the dog, while his confederate in the bushes at the side of the road had just barely time to dive head first into the bed of the truck.

So I though that I will show the guys in the forums what a powerful light is since I have several of them with me.

HERE IS A PICTURE OF THE LIGHTS, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Maglite 3 D, Magcharger, Ultra Stinger, Surefire M-6 Guardian, and Borealis.

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AND HERE A PICTURE OF THE BATTERY STICKS AND CARRIERS FROM LEFT: The 6 volts battery stick of the Magcharger, the skinny 6 volts battery stick of the Ultra Stinger, the plastic carrier for the six 123’s batteries of the Surefire M-6 and last the aluminum and Delryn 12 volts carrier of the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight.

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The Maglite 3 D is the most popular light carried by almost everybody in a truck or car. The 12 ½ inches of length and the thirty one ounces of weight make also a good impact weapon for emergencies, moreover, is the affordability of the light that can be obtained almost anywhere for less than $20, and, by the way, it is a quality instrument with tight tolerances and proudly still made in the USA.
So the Maglite 3 D is going to be our first test and beam shot, the light is quite waterproof to a good extend, my neighbor’s kids use one to collect coins from the bottom of the pool in a game they have.
The Maglite 3 D output 39 lumens and runs on three of the popular D size alkaline batteries; it will run for an hour before the output drops to 20 lumens due to the sag that alkaline batteries exhibit under load.

BEAM SHOT OF THE MAGLITE 3 D (39 LUMENS)

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MAG Instruments also produce a powerful rechargeable police light called the Magcharger, http://www.maglite.com this light is used by many police departments in the states and abroad; this light is the size and shape of a regular Maglite 3 D but with 2 rings of steel where the contacts for the charger are.
This light will output 200 lumens (40,000 candlepower) and I think that the price is about $120.00 a well built quality light of 12 ½ inch and a weight of thirty one ounces, it works with a 6 volt system on a stick of Ni Cads batteries; the charger will charge the light in 12 hours and as the Ni Cad batteries sometimes acquire memory, it is necessary to discharge it full and recharge to erase the memory in the batteries after using it for a couple of weeks.

BEAM SHOT OF THE MAGCHARGER (200 LUMENS)

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The Streamlight Ultra Stinger is the most powerful offering from Streamlight, a well known police flashlight provider, The Ultra Stinger will output 75,000 candlepower, lumens figure is 295 lumens, it also works with a 6 volt system of rechargeable Ni Cad batteries, formed in a stick, the light is very popular with many police agencies and also recharges in 12 hours.
Police station across America have racks of Ultra Stingers in chargers waiting for the night shift to arrive, the light is a lightweight at 12 inches and 15 ounces, I think that the price is around $130 in the street as some lights can be bought at discount from the web.
The address for Streamlight is http://www.streamlight.com there they have the whole line of Stingers and other police and emergency services lights.

BEAM SHOT OF THE ULTRA STINGER (295 LUMENS)

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Our SWAT teams and Special Forces use for entry and to blind suspects a powerful military type flashlight called the Surefire M-6 Guardian. This light works with those powerful 3 volts Lithium batteries that are sometimes used in cameras, the flashlight uses six of them disposables batteries to run the light at 500 lumens for 20 minutes; after the 20 minutes you have to dump the batteries and get another six fresh batteries in the carrier, which is of not importance when the agency pay for the batteries, but to us civilians, dumping $12.00 worth of batteries after a 20 minutes run can get to be expensive.
This light was until recently the most powerful in the world, and Surefire sells a good quantity of them despite the tag of $400 USD.
I used one for a while in my car because it fits my glove compartment, as the light is shorter and lighter than the ones we have been discussing so far.
At 8 inches 14 ounces it is quite compact, but it will make a poor strike weapon although the powerful beam of 500 lumens will blind men or animal.
If you want more information on this light the address of Surefire is http://www.surefire.com


BEAM SHOT OF THE SUREFIRE M-6 (500 LUMENS)

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My red rechargeable Borealis flashlight at 1050 lumens (two million candlepower) is the king of all the powerful lights and the most powerful flashlight in the world at this time.
It is made on the “host” of 3D, so replacement shells are easy available and inexpensive and the owner can replace a shell that have been scratched or dented for a mere $20 if he wishes, and in only 10 minutes transfer the special parts, (some of us take pride in good looking equipment).
This light is seen deployment with some members of the border patrol to illuminate the frontier in their quest for illegal immigration. The light can throw a powerful beam for hundred of yards and in a pinch it can be used as headlights or a landing light.
Police officers are acquiring the Borealis to use the same way that they have been using the Maglite and Magcharger, the tremendous light output makes it ideal for accident sites and traffic stops.
It uses a 12 volt system of rechargeable high current NINH batteries in a beautifully made Rolls Royce carrier, the batteries don’t have any problem with memory and the new type of batteries used in this light can be away from the charger for more than a month before it needs to be topped off, and the recharging time of the light is only 90 minutes.
The run time of this light is 50 continuous minutes; it is 12 ½ inches long and weights 28 ounces. In test ran by the maker, the light was tortured and even shot with a .22 rifle without stopping emitting light. (As a video shows in the web site).
The light sells for $320 shipped directly from the maker, which is http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com


BEAM SHOT OF THE BOREALIS (1050 LUMENS)

Image


I thought you guys will be interested to see all these lights in action, and I pointed them to a point in the fence next to the tree with the beams and camera shooting from a 35 yards distance, this is the longest distance that I have in the back yard

Although you can not take them in your night hikes (because of the extra weight) any of them will make a good addition to your car or truck gear, who knows, maybe they can really help you out of a tight situation like they did for me.

Respectfully
Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
watchmaker
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Postby slug » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:50 pm

WOW! I havnt read all this yet but plan to. Maybe its just becasue Im a bit of a gear freak but i love it!

You spoke about continuous running times, how does on and off operation, fortypical camping activities rather than hunting affect these?
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Postby watchmaker » Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:56 pm

Hi,
Thank you,
Run time should be a couple of minutes longer when the light is used sporadically.

Best way to test run time is to run the light 10 minutes and rest for 10 minutes while you watch TV., that way it is easy to take couunt (5 times 10 minutes= 50 minutes).

All the best
Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
watchmaker
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Postby watchmaker » Sat Sep 22, 2007 3:39 am

TORTURE TEST OF THE BOREALIS 1050 LUMENS TORCH, VIDEO

http://blackbearflashlights.com/torture_test.htm

Cheers
Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
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Postby watchmaker » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:30 am

DEAL EXTREME VERSUS P-60 LAMP
FOR SUREFIRE TWO CELLS

A while ago I bought one of the Deal Extreme new Cree lamps advertised to fit the Surefires for two cells, like in the 6P, G-2, Z-2, C-2 etc.

Yesterday I installed it in a Surefire G-2 (the yellow one). The fit is not exactly perfect, as you can see in the picture, the lamp is a little longer than necessary and the bezel doesn’t close all the way, like in the green G-2.
I guess I can fix the gap by instating an O ring, a trip to Home Depot to get one in necessary.

Image


Inside the house, at short range the output is considerable; I think that at the short distance inside the house I will prefer it over the P-60 lamp.
Outside, the P-60 lamp is giving me more range and more picture detail up to maybe 45 yards, at my usual range of 26 yards (where I test all my lights against the deer head) I will say that they both go head to head, as you may see in the pictures in the general illumination department, BUT the definition of the foliage to the right of the tree (at the height of the posted sign) is better with the P-60 incandescent lamp.

Image



Many G-2’s gets to be mounted in carbines like the M-4 or M-16, I have people ask me if I will use the Deal Extreme lamp in them, (As they suppose to resist recoil better), well, no, I still prefer the P-60 lamp for the extended range and even better the P-61 lamp for the increase brightness and coverage with their 120 lumens.

G=2 WITH DEAL EXTREME, RANGE 26 YARDS, CAMERA 12 FEET.

Image


G-2 WITH P-60 LAMP

Image



Any way it is not recoil that break filament lamps, but it is the vibration of many rounds while the filament is very hot, that explain why during the 1920’s and to the 60’s tigers were hunted from machans using regular 2 and 3 D flashlights clamped to the barrel in powerful rifles like the 470 Nitro Express, without any trouble with the bulbs. It seems that one or two shots, will not affect the filament, no matter how much the recoil is.
After all the filament is very lightweight and the inertia is just not there, because the lack of real weight.

All the best

Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
watchmaker
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Postby watchmaker » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:31 am

ULTRA FIRE FMR1 REBEL LUXEON
200 LUMENS
ONE CR 123 A BATTERY

I bought this light from Deal Extreme for $23.24 shipped. I was very curious to try one of the Rebel 200 lumen new Luxeons and I think this is the best way to try one inexpensively.

The light has a click on, click off switch and five modes of intensities. The low mode is 30 lumens and is said to last for 24 hours. Another is 100 lumens for six hours, and the 200 lumens mode is three hours; then you have a strobe mode and an SOS mode.

I used a new Battery Station 123 and in the high 200 mode it lasted for ½ an hour, and it gets hot very quick. I don’t know if the poor run time is the fault of the battery that was under-charged, or if the light will perform the same with others 123’s, but that is the results I got.

Image


Due to the small head, the flood effect is quite pronounced and the throw is poor for a 200 lumen light, but I was expecting it to be that way based on experience with other small headed keychain-type lights.

Image


Two hundred lumens in a two inch head of an incandescent will put a level of illumination that is tremendous in comparison to the small head of the Rebel 200 lumens. So we are in a time when we can no longer make an assessment based on the lumens figure, that is when the comparison pictures that I have been taken show the value, as the viewer can see for himself how the different lights with the same value in lumens output perform in real life.

If I consider the low price I like the little light in general, excepting the side switch that can be a little hard to find in a rush, as it is kind of recessed in the head of the light and difficult to find by feel alone. I will have preferred a tail switch such as I have in my Fenix L1D, but it is a tremendous price difference between the two lights, so all things considered I think that the Ultra fire is a great value, and I can put up with the side switch.

After trying to like the clip for a couple of weeks, I ended throwing it away, it is too flimsy and I will not trust it to keep the light in my pocket. The light is regular anodized, but had stood well the use in my pocket with keys and coins.

Here is my usual 26-yard beam shot against my deer head with the Ultra Fire 200 lumens

Image


And here is a beam shot with the 220 lumens Bear Cub rechargeable that sport a two inch head and have a range of 150 yards.

Image


All the best,
Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
watchmaker
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Postby watchmaker » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:05 pm

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO MY FRIENDS AND FORUM STAFF

WATCHMAKER
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
watchmaker
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Postby watchmaker » Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:41 am

STREAMLIGHT TWIN TASK 2 L

It is easy for me to do an objective review of this light. I have been using a couple of them for two years, quite often (not exclusively because I own other lights also for everyday use).

The light has performed extremely well for me. The Twin Task uses for power two lithium 3 volts, 123 batteries, and it have two light sources, one xenon bulb of 72 lumens and three Nichia 5mm LED’s of about 7 lumens each.
The LED mode will last for 28 hours (I have to take the word of the manufacturer for this, because I haven’t done a run time that long). And the Xenon bulb’s run time will last for 2 ½ hours.
The light is quite comfortable in the hand and similar to others 123’s lights, measuring 1.34” wide and 5.43“ long, and weighing at 3.37 oz.

Due to the micro-faceted reflector, the flood with the three LED’s or the Xenon bulb is ample. If you don’t have to illuminate things at a distance the light is useful for chores inside the house or in the campsite or trail.
I have used it mostly with the three LED’s and I have come to believe the run time of 28 hours claimed by the manufacturer because after two years of sporadic use the light is still going in the same battery set.

The switch is on top of the head, as this is not a “tactical” light I found the switch convenient, so does my wife, that have the same model but in Titanium finish.
The focus is adjustable, but even in the tight setting the light have a lot of flood. I have lend my second light to my hunting pal Frank, that left it on the three stand for a week, on returning the light it was just the same in finish having weathered the week without any mark or discoloration. So, I didn’t have any problem dunking it for a couple of hours in a big glass of water to see if it really was waterproof, and yes, it was, so far at this depth.

Image

The beam shot at 26 yards using the xenon bulb doesn’t look impressive at all, and that is because the reflector is designed for extreme flood, but that is okay, this light is mostly for using indoors, walking the dog or for hiking a trail at the most.

Image


In this picture one of my Twin Task have a Velcro tape, this match with the Velcro in my baseball cap, and allow me to have my hands free for doing any chores while directing the illumination where I am looking.

Image

The street price is about $32 USD and I think that it is quite reasonable for the quality of the product, based on my experience with it I can recommend it highly.

Best regards

Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
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Postby watchmaker » Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:42 am

THE BLACK BEAR 720 LUMENS
RECHARGEABLE FLASHLIGHT

The Black Bear 720 lumens flashlight is 10 inch long and weights 23 oz. It has all the same high quality state of the art components as its bigger sister the Borealis 1050 lumens.

The Black Bear is made on the “host” of the Maglite 2 D., which is one of the advantages of the Black Bear System, as when after hard use, if the light is scratched or dented, a new host can be replaced inexpensively available almost anywhere, and the transfer of parts takes only ten minutes of the owner’s time.

The only difference between the Borealis and the Black Bear 720 (beside the shorter length) is in the shorter Rolls Royce battery carrier (for six batteries) and the reduced voltage super-bulbs.
The light has a 40 minutes run time and outputs an incredible 720 lumens, all this with rechargeable Nimh in the Rolls Royce battery carrier. This unit plugs into the charger for a 4 ½ hours charge.

THE BLACK BEAR 720, ROLLS ROYCE BATTERY CARRIER AND CHARGER

Image


It is almost impossible to talk about the Black Bear 720 without mention its closest competition, the Surefire M-6.
The Surefire M-6 is well known in the tactical circles as the light used by SWAT teams and Special Forces, This light that cost close to $400, is 500 lumens for a run time of 20 minutes, running on six disposable 123 batteries, yes that is right! it uses six batteries, a value of $12 for a 20 minutes run time.

THE BB720 IS NOT MUCH LARGER THAN THE M-6, AND IT HAS A BETTER BATTERY CARRIER

Image


Clearly, the Black Bear 720 lumens is a better value as the batteries are rechargeable, with a life of 1.000 recharges and the run time is of 40 minutes.
When the BB 720 needs new batteries after 666 hours of running, a new set costs only $30.
While the M-6 has only one choice in reflector finish, the light stippled, the BB720 has a choice of four reflector finish, to customize the light to your work. Wildlife officers doing deer census in the field will want the long throw capabilities of the Smooth (mirror finish) reflector, same as firefighters that need to punch a hole in the smoke. Others can use the Orange Peel for a little more flood, and the law enforcement officers will like the capabilities of illuminating an entire warehouse with the extra flood provided by the Light Stippled and Medium Stippled reflectors.



None of the other incandescent flashlights used for military/police work will get near the lumens output of the BB720, the Magcharger is 200 lumens and the most powerful of the Streamlights, the Ultra Stinger, is 295 lumens.
The shorter size of the Black Bear 720 makes it a natural to store in the car, inside the glove compartment, and it is not too heavy to be carried in a trench coat or overcoat pocket and the power in lumens compares to a car’s headlights or to a one and a half million candlepower spotlight, really an amazing performance for a light of this size.

Surefire M-6

Image

Black Bear 720

Image


Like its bigger sister the Borealis 1050 lumens, (12 ½ inches 28 oz.), the BB720 is hand made one by one on a semi-custom basis, using state of the art components and lots of hand labor to reduce internal resistance to make the white light that is the trademark of the Black Bear Flashlights.

All the best
Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
watchmaker
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Postby watchmaker » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:58 am

THE FENIX P3D
FLASHLIGHT

I have purchased yet another light of the Fenix line. The new torch is the Fenix P3D, a multi-level light running on two 123 batteries.
The P3D I bought uses a premium (Q5) Cree 7090 XR-E LED. The light is digitally regulated and has six levels of illumination.

There are two modes of output that are selected by turning the bezel. The general mode is: 12 lumens for 65 hours, by softly pressing the switch; the second mode will be 53 lumens for 13 hours; pressing again will put you in the 120 lumen mode for 4.8 hours; and again will access the SOS mode (also 120 lumens).

By turning the bezel you can access the turbo mode at 205 lumens, and pressing again softly on the switch will put you in the strobe mode of 205 lumens.

The light has a low battery indicator. The indicator will strobe the light in low, very fast light; I had opportunity to test this when I put two inexpensive 123 batteries that I thought were both fully charged.
It seems that one of them was with a very low charge, even though it was a new purchase. I had learned to use only the best 123 batteries that I believe are the Surefire brand.
Putting the Surefire batteries in the P3D allowed the light to operate without a hitch.

The light is 4.5” long and 0.8 in diameter. The anodizing is type III finish and the lens has an anti-reflective coating similar to what is put in eyeglasses.

Image

As like the other models of Fenix lights, the P3D also can be used in candle mode, as the rubber button doesn’t protrude like in other lights that are uses as tactical.

A word of advice; use the 205 lumen mode very sparingly. The light gets hot very quickly in this mode and the excessive heat can damage the Cree emitter if used for a long time. If you need a light that can be used without damaging the LED in the higher setting for a long run, you have to purchase the Fenix T-1 that has a massive heat sink and bulky head that will draw the heat away from the Cree.

As the LED’s lack the infrared spectrum of light, the heat is concentrated near the head, instead of been thrown forward as the incandescent lights do.
The light comes with a handy holster. This is one torch that I don’t mind not having a clip, as the holster is very flat and comfortable to wear.

This light is so handy that it has replaced my Surefire E2e that was the light I used to wear for years when I went out of the house. I also have another light on my key chain, another Fenix product, the L1D, a one AA battery light with multiple levels.

Carrying now the two Fenixes, I will have light for a long time if I am involved in a situation that I need to use them.

The P3D can be used as a tactical light if the distance involved is short, like in an interior house situation. However, if the light were to be used to illuminate somebody in the back yard, the brightness of the 205 lumens at say, my usual distance of 26 yards, will be not be sufficient to blind a person as the tactical lights are supposed to do. I know because I tested it on myself at that distance, and the blinding effect was not present.

To illustrate the point I use another light that is also in the 220 lumens bracket, the Bear Cub incandescent, 220 lumens for 90 minutes. If you look at the pictures you will notice how strong the concentrated white beam of the Bear Cub is in comparison to the flood light of the P3D.

Also notice to the right of the subject how the incandescent light reveals leaves that are not shown in the beam of the Fenix. This is the famous lack of definition that I often talk in my posts; it can be translated as lack of detail from the LED beam.

For that reason I think that the 26 yards to the fence is the maximum range of the little reflector of the P3D. Bigger reflectors like in the Fenix T-1 with the same Cree Q,5 can reach as far as 50 yards. A word of advice, don’t try to make the little, svelte P3D do the job that is designed for the T-1, just confine the P3D for the house and other places with short range.

P3D beam from 26 yards,

Image

Bear Cub beam from 26 yards

Image


Coming back to the P3D, it has a strobe effect in the 205 lumens setting; it will not do anything different to my eyes than the actual steady 205 lumens light can do. Must be all my disco dancing in the ’70 had me accustomed to the strobe effect.

The little torch is good, that is why it is my new light over the E2e. Placed in the holster or in your pants pocket, you hardly know that the light is there and a lot of cool features and power are just at your fingertips.
I recommend it highly.
Regards
Watchmaker
Builder of the BOREALIS flashlight
http://www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
watchmaker
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