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post #1 of 29 Old 05-14-2008, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
zjhitman
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tactical flashlights

Which is better? Xenon bulb or LED? Are there any advantages of one over the other if you can get the same Lumen rating out of each?

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post #2 of 29 Old 05-14-2008, 08:26 PM
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post #3 of 29 Old 05-14-2008, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by zjhitman View Post
Which is better? Xenon bulb or LED? Are there any advantages of one over the other if you can get the same Lumen rating out of each?
Mainly run rime. Most tactical lights may run 60 minutes on a set of batteries. A LED tactical light will run much longer because they use much less power.

Look into rechargeable lights either way so you wont have to deal with expensive batteries.

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post #4 of 29 Old 05-14-2008, 09:56 PM
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I have a Surefire Aviator that is the best of both worlds...LED and Xenon bulbs. Max output of 50 lumens does a great job illuminating what you need.

http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main/.../900/sesent/00
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post #5 of 29 Old 05-14-2008, 10:07 PM
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LED is as tough and reliable as they get. The also get better battery life. SureFire or Streamlight are great brands, but there are many others.

I keep a SureFire E1L in my pocket and I use it often. I bought it after very careful comparison. It provides the most utility for the size that that I could find. It's slightly larger than a Bic lighter.

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post #6 of 29 Old 05-14-2008, 10:16 PM
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What exactly is a 'tactical' flashlight? Having served on several tactical teams, I'm not grasping the concept of a tactical light.

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post #7 of 29 Old 05-14-2008, 11:08 PM
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surefire 6p LED is 80 lumens and 11hr runtime on the batteries.

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post #8 of 29 Old 05-15-2008, 05:52 AM
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What exactly is a 'tactical' flashlight? Having served on several tactical teams, I'm not grasping the concept of a tactical light.
I think the generally accepted definition of a "tactical" flashlight is one that has enough lumens to temporarily blind or disorient an attacker, i.e. to be useful in a "tactical" situation often encountered by police or military folks.

In terms of LED vs. Xenon....I do have some LED lights for situations where runtime is more important, but I prefer the color-temperature of incandescent light...especially outdoors where LEDs just seem less effective at really throwing a strong, well defined beam. I know LEDs are getting better all the time, so perhaps one day that might change.

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post #9 of 29 Old 05-15-2008, 10:07 AM
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I think the generally accepted definition of a "tactical" flashlight is one that has enough lumens to temporarily blind or disorient an attacker, i.e. to be useful in a "tactical" situation often encountered by police or military folks.
Ah, here you go then.


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post #10 of 29 Old 05-15-2008, 02:19 PM
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In terms of LED vs. Xenon....I do have some LED lights for situations where runtime is more important, but I prefer the color-temperature of incandescent light...especially outdoors where LEDs just seem less effective at really throwing a strong, well defined beam. I know LEDs are getting better all the time, so perhaps one day that might change.
I thought the same thing and wasnt really excited about the 6p led, but then my wife lost my regular 6p so I picked one up. I still had a replacement incandescent bulb and the led is better by far. I didnt think it would have the same spot light effect as the regular bulb but it is very focused and brighter.

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post #11 of 29 Old 05-15-2008, 09:01 PM
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I thought the same thing and wasnt really excited about the 6p led, but then my wife lost my regular 6p so I picked one up. I still had a replacement incandescent bulb and the led is better by far. I didnt think it would have the same spot light effect as the regular bulb but it is very focused and brighter.
Don't get me wrong - I have several LED flashlights, including a SF A2 Aviator and an older L1 Lumamax. I value the LEDs for their runtime, and they make excellent lights for power outage situations, which unfortunately is all too often here in Michigan. I just prefer an incan when runtime isn't an issue - the color looks more natural to my eyes, and I can pick out objects and details in the beam path better too.

Now, if you want a cool project, build what is called an ROP (Roar Of the Pelican), which is basically a modified Maglight that puts out a crazy amount of bulb lumens. My 6-cell (yes, a 6 D-cell Maglight) ROP will burn through paper set over the lens....

Instructions for above mentioned crazy flashlight can be found on various flashlight forums...yeah, I'm a geek...

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post #12 of 29 Old 05-16-2008, 12:38 AM
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post #13 of 29 Old 05-16-2008, 12:52 AM
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I have a Surefire Aviator that is the best of both worlds...LED and Xenon bulbs. Max output of 50 lumens does a great job illuminating what you need.

http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main/.../900/sesent/00
That is awesome, but $195 for a flashlight


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post #14 of 29 Old 05-16-2008, 01:15 AM
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Right now LED is so much better than incandescent there's no comparison. It's brighter (not counting impractical incan hotwires), more efficient, longer life, impervious to impact, what's there to not like. The only thing incan got is some people prefer the color, and that's gona change when RGB LED technology matures.

For example, the aforementioned surefire A2, while a great innovation in its day, with a LED you can have over twice the output for over twice the runtime, or switch to a lower level and runs forever. Which is another advantage of LED lights, brightness is easily changed with current, you can't do that with incan.

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post #15 of 29 Old 05-18-2008, 08:50 AM
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Ok so if you are looking for light for say a quick raid or a car search - go Xenon.
You want something for your cruiser bag or duty belt.... go LED.

LEDs hold up better too when you drop them or ... like.. maybe wack someone with it!


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