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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2008, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Lights For The Trail

Not exactly for the trail, but great for truck, car or self defense.


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

Click the image to open in full size.


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

Click the image to open in full size.


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

Click the image to open in full size.

Black Bear 720

Click the image to open in full size.


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
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 02-29-2008, 04:15 AM
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Default Re: Lights For The Trail

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.

Click the image to open in full size.

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,

Click the image to open in full size.

Bear Cub beam from 26 yards

Click the image to open in full size.


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
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 03-01-2008, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: Lights For The Trail

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.

Click the image to open in full size.


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.

Click the image to open in full size.


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.
Cheers

Watchmaker
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 03-01-2008, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Lights For The Trail

Mr Bargain aka georgemcfly does it again. 5 bucks at BIG lots (local store) haha. 12 led head lamp with tilt head takes 2 double or triple a's (forgot what ones). tested it out in a pitch black room and works pretty good. even on only 4 leds I can see great. you can have is on 4,8,or 12, or all 12 flashing on and off if you need help or wanna just be a human strobe light. worth the money.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2008, 06:18 AM
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Default Re: Lights For The Trail

THE CLASSIC SUREFIRE E1E EXECTUTIVE ELITE
FLASHLIGHT

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.

Click the image to open in full size.


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.
Cheers

Watchmaker
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 04-06-2008, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Lights For The Trail

These look like they would be pretty handy. Has anybody ever tried one? They have them on sale for $6.49 right now.

Cabela's -- Cyclops Orion Clip Light

Yukon Jack
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2008, 04:11 AM
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Default Re: Lights For The Trail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Jack View Post
These look like they would be pretty handy. Has anybody ever tried one? They have them on sale for $6.49 right now.

Cabela's -- Cyclops Orion Clip Light

Yukon Jack

Yukon Jack.
I reviewed the Wal Mart version a while ago, here it is:


3 LED CAP LIGHT
BY MASTER VISION

I have seem them advertised in several catalogues, but never actually used one, and I wanted to know how good the light was and how practical for hunting or hiking.

The cap light is drive by two coin cell batteries # 2032 and reported to last for 75 hours, WOW!
The light weight 1.24 oz. with the batteries installed, which it will endear to many ultra lights hikers, the instructions also report 36,000 Millumes (which I have never hear of them before) as in the industry we use lumens or candlepower to measure the output from lights.

The three LED’s are adjusted to focus at a central spot at close distance and the “white light” has a strong tint of purple.

The light can be clipped only in the underneath of the cap, as if trying to put it on the top of the bill the curved casing will prevent the clips from engaging. I will have preferred that the light be in top of the bill, but in use it really didn’t put any annoying reflections into my eyes.

Click the image to open in full size.


The cost of the light is only $9,99 USD so it may be unfair to compare it to my Peltz Tikka with 3 LED’s but that is what I had used for years to hike well marked trails.
My Tikka is a much whiter light and with much more throw in the beam, this light maximum range will be about 20 feet, I shudder to think that some people will use it for hunting and get lost as a reward.

For chores inside the house it will be okay, I see this light could be a help in looking inside the hood of the car and for working at replacing a switch in the wall.

Click the image to open in full size.

This time it will not be any beam shots as the light is so poor unless is in top of the target that will interfere with the camera.
The information about the run time of 75 hours is printed in the back of the package, while in the interior of the sheet of paper the instructions in English and Spanish give the runtime as 24-36 hours.

Best regards

Watchmaker
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2008, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Lights For The Trail

HUSKY 2 D 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.

Click the image to open in full size.


Here are the beam shots for comparison, 35 yards to the fence.

HUSKY 3 watt

Click the image to open in full size.

MAGLITE 3 watt

Click the image to open in full size.

BLACK BEAR 720 LUMENS

Click the image to open in full size.


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
Watchmaker
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2008, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Lights For The Trail

Watchmaker, thanks for the review on the 3 LED cap light. I stopped in at Cabela's to check out the light they had on sale. It was not the one they show on the web site like I posted, but a 5 light version with a 20 hour run time, that clips on the top of the bill.
I picked one up and gave it a quick try outside last night, looks like it will work great for walking to and from the water in the dark.

Thanks for the great reviews.

Yukon Jack
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Lights For The Trail

Nothing to do with lights for the trail, BUT...

VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE BY JAMES MAURER
ON THE BRIGHTEST LIGHTS IN THE WORLD
THAT YOU CAN GET OVER THE COUNTER.

Click the image to open in full size.


THEY ARE ALL THERE
THE TORCH, THE POLARION, THE BOREALIS,
THE SUNFORCE, ETC.

READ IT IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN LIGHTS

Worlds Brightest Flashlight

CHEERS
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