New Flashlights thread

Discussion, ideas, and questions in various types of police equipment, clothing and uniforms.
GoodWitness
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Re: New F-Lights?!

Postby GoodWitness » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:15 pm

Did it break the window?

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Re: New F-Lights?!

Postby Respond Wayne » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:31 pm

Decipher wrote:thats durable!

Ive been using my pd35 for awhile now, so glad I spent the money


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What they said! :thumbsup:
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Re: New F-Lights?!

Postby SierraSeven » Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:51 pm

GoodWitness wrote:Did it break the window?

No. Then again I was hitting it dead center with the lens end, a bit too big to target the weaker corners. Never saw the truck in daylight but I wouldn't be surprised if the bezel took a chunk or two out of the glass.
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Re: New F-Lights?!

Postby nubbsy » Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:18 am

Just got my fenix pd35 absolutely love this flashlight.
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Re: New Flashlights thread

Postby Dave Brown » Sat May 09, 2015 4:34 am

MY NEW FAVORITE FLASHLIGHT

Some days I think I have as many flashlights as I do Remington 870s. That's a LOT.

Mind you, I don't have as many flashlights as Pete. NO ONE has as many flashlights as Pete. (We affectionately refer to Pete as the "anti-Joseph Lucas." If you ever owned English sports cars, you will understand the reference.)

My favorite compact flashlight is the Fenix TK11. I have several, in various finishes.

My absolutely favorite mid-size rechargeable flashlight is the Pelican 7060.

Those two top-rated flashlights are what I judge everything else against. Well, I have now found the BEST flashlight I have ever owned. It also shows what several years advancement in technology can bring. I found it hiding in the Mag-Lite flashlight booth at our recent trade show. Mag Precision has many decades of yeoman service to police officers behind it, but they have lagged behind some of the best of the new breed the past few years. It is nice to see them making a comeback, and they have several very bright (in several ways) new models. My favorite was the Mag-Tac LED rechargeable. It is compact, very bright and has a fantastic beam pattern. Best of all, it is charged from a USB-powered charging cradle, which means it can be charged from cars, AC, computers ... even the smartphone powerpacks.

Image

Watch for a head-to-head test in a coming issue!

Just to give you a taste, I don't just look at the manufacturer's brightness (lumens) numbers; I look at the beam pattern, color temperature and the lux ratings throughout the beam. I actually found some very surprising results when tested against the Fenix (and even the mid-size Pelican 7060.)

Lumens is the measure of total light given off by a flashlight. It is not always an indication of the perceived "brightness" simply because it highly depends on the beam pattern. The total amount of light can be concentrated into one tiny bright spot (which would be pretty useless to police officers) or spread evenly in a very wide and dim beam. (Which would be almost as useless to officers as a tight narrow spot beam.) The best beam for officers is a bright center spot, with a wider surrounding circle. This allows searching of a room or vehicle for example, without too much center glare, or without missing anything outside the center spot.

This is why the 7060 may not have as many total lumens as some of their competitors. (Manufacturer's rating = 160 lumens.) But it has a very bright center spot beam and a tightly controlled wider spillover beam. It is perfect for outdoors and especially in foggy conditions. It's mid-size means it is not pocket-sized and it may even be TOO bright and focused for close-range room searching. It is the best mid-size flashlight I have ever tested.

But I also test the beam's lux rating. If lumens can be considered the total amount of light, lux can be considered the brightness of the light at any one spot. Few Manufacturers give out the lux rating because it would vary so widely depending on where in the beam it is measured, or how far away from the meter the flashlight is mounted for testing. But it is great as a comparison tool. For example, the 7060 is 160 lumens, but the lux rating (according to my test gear) in the exact center of the beam at 1 meter is over 1100 lux. That is a VERY bright beam!

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At the same test distance, the outer edges of the spillover beam is about 10 lux. Plus, the distinction between center spot and outer beam, as well as outer beam to no beam, is very sharp. (This is great for outdoors at longer distances; not so great at shorter indoor ranges.

At my test distance, the Fenix TK11 was rated for almost double the lumens (258 lumens) but it is noticeably dimmer (and the color temperature is warmer) than the Pelican. That is exactly what you want indoors of course. In my own tests, the middle of the center spot came to 460 lux at 1 meter and the edge of the spillover beam was 20 lumens. The beam pattern was not as focused as the 7060, which again is exactly what you want in a beam pattern in a pocket-sized compact light for indoors use.

Image

So, on to the new USB-charged Mag-Tac LED rechargeable. It is nearly as bright as the 7060 (which is amazing, considering it is less than half the size and weight) and it has a very smooth transition from the center spot to the outer spill. In fact, the outer edges are brighter than the 7060. At 1 meter, the edge measured 30 lux.) The center spot was not as bright as the 7060 at 850 lux, but it was noticeably brighter and whiter than the Fenix TK11.

Just to illustrate how one can't purchase a flashlight based only on total lumens, the Mag-Tac's rated lumens (543 lumens) is only there for a few minutes. To extend battery life, the lumens begins dropping off very quickly in a stepped pattern, to the point that it is not even as bright as the TK11 after several hours in between charges. (Mind you, it will stay lit for even longer than the 7060.)

Image

The Mag-Tac beam pattern is almost perfect for indoor use, and almost as bright as the 7060 when used outdoors. This is why I ignore the total lumens and look at the quality of the light and the actual pattern. About the only downside is that the very brightest setting lasts for only a few minutes, and one must install the belt clip as far forward as possible or you run the risk of not making good contact with the charger. It will light up green as if it was fully charged, but will soon drain to nothing after 2 hours of continuous use.

If I were to recommend the best flashlights on the market, I would have to say a combination of a 7060 on your belt or in your car for long distance, and a Mag-Tac in a pocket for everyday and indoors use. Even when the total light levels fall off a bit to conserve battery life, it is still brighter than almost anything else of its size on the market. Plus, you can charge it nearly anywhere and the battery life means it can sit in a patrol bag for months at a time and remain fully charged ready for use.

Watch for a test in an upcoming issue.

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Re: New Flashlights thread

Postby Respond Wayne » Sat May 09, 2015 5:39 pm

I see no mention of the HexBright anywhere... :tumbleweed:

I didn't want to mention it, after my last controversial flashlight mention... But I am looking forward to getting my ZEROHOUR RELIC XR. 8)

In the meantime I still love my Fenix PD-35 2014 (960 lumen) Edition. :thumbsup:
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Re: New Flashlights thread

Postby IndictableChaser » Sun May 10, 2015 3:23 am

I gotta say, after trying (and subsequently owning) the Lumintop TD-16, I can never go back to surefire, fenix etc. 1100 lumens (go ahead and look up all the lux specs etc) and it has the perfect balance of spot/flood lighting. O yea, and it's and artificial sun in your pocket and the fact it takes 18650's means charging/swapping batteries is a breeze so your never left in the middle of a night shift with a dead light.. :D
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Re: New Flashlights thread

Postby Dave Brown » Sun May 10, 2015 3:03 pm

Yes, there are several advantages to having a light where you can swap CR123s and rechargeables. With USB charger lights like the Mag-Tac, if you don't have the cradle with you, you are screwed. On the other hand, the cradle is small, can be mounted in a cup holder if you want, and is powered by nearly anything.

Plus, that Lumintop is one UGLY flashlight.

On the other hand, I look at police flashlights much the same way I look at guns - the best one in the world is the one you have in your hand when you need it the most.

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Re: New Flashlights thread

Postby IndictableChaser » Sun May 10, 2015 3:43 pm

Dave Brown wrote:Yes, there are several advantages to having a light where you can swap CR123s and rechargeables. With USB charger lights like the Mag-Tac, if you don't have the cradle with you, you are screwed. On the other hand, the cradle is small, can be mounted in a cup holder if you want, and is powered by nearly anything.

Plus, that Lumintop is one UGLY flashlight.

On the other hand, I look at police flashlights much the same way I look at guns - the best one in the world is the one you have in your hand when you need it the most.


Never have I ever witnessed a man comment on the attractiveness of a flashlight until now :mrgreen:

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Re: New Flashlights thread

Postby Dave Brown » Sun May 10, 2015 4:57 pm

I won't own ugly flashlights for the same reason I won't own ugly shotguns or ugly cars.

Life is too short to go through it carrying a UTAS or driving a Smart car.

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Re: New Flashlights thread

Postby Pete Broccolo » Sun May 10, 2015 7:00 pm

Without further commenting on Dave's comment about my flashlight-porno addiction ("Hi, I'm Pete, and I'm addicted...to flashlights!" (resounding chorus of, "Hi, Pete!"))...

Anywhos, if you have a friend at a computer store that is willing to bust up some lap-top rechargeable packs, you MIGHT find some 18650 cells that could be saved for cheap!

If I am into illumination tools at all these days, I am almost more interested in multiple-AA powered devices - those primary cells are EVERYWHERE, and if you scour your electronics retailers (brick-and-mortar or virtual) you can find good deals on high-mAh rechargeables.

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Re: New Flashlights thread

Postby Dave Jenkins » Sun May 10, 2015 9:19 pm

I recently picked up a good old fashion Mini Maglite Pro. Now this is the LED rated at 272 lumen. At $35 and running on 2 AA's I figured it'd do just nicely.

Had a variety of fancy flashlights when I was still at Mac. Special batteries or need to recharge and short battery life were a pain in the ass. This Mini Mag is dependable. It doesn't break the bank to buy or keep juiced.

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Re: New Flashlights thread

Postby Dave Jenkins » Sun May 10, 2015 9:29 pm

Pete Broccolo wrote:.....Now that I am retired, I have a difficult time staying awake after 02:00!


What happened to the afternoon siesta and the after dinner resting of the eyes? Works wonders! Image
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Re: New F-Lights?!

Postby FedCO » Tue May 26, 2015 6:50 am

nubbsy wrote:Just got my fenix pd35 absolutely love this flashlight.


Hows battery life?


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