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Surefire vs Streamlight vs Fenix vs 4Sevens vs Other


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  1. 1. Which manufacturer of high quality LED flashlights is your favorite?



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So I have the lightbug. As stated in other posts, I already have had the following lights:
 
(flashlight)     Surefire G2 LED
(flashlight)     Surefire E1B (lost it, just haven't admitted it to myself yet)
(flashlight)     Surefire E2DL
(headlamp)    Surefire Saint
(weaponlight) Surefire X300 Ultra
 
So...I don't know if you can tell...but I like Surefire. However, I'm looking at purchasing a new light for EDC in a pocket. I love Surefire and they have never let me down, but it seems you can get so much more for a fraction of the price from other manufacturers.
 
What I have to consider:

 

  • Battery Life
  • Lumens
  • Programming (button click interface)
  • Programming Ability (some lights you can change the interface)
  • Country of Manufacture (USA is better)
  • Durability/Reliability

Whatever I purchase, I want it to be tough. Personally, I think I would like a light with strobe. I like the 4Sevens lights because I could set the strobe to come on first click, and then a different brightness for the second click. I assume you can easily cycle through all of the levels as well?

 

I also like the idea of a flashlight that can take a rechargeable battery as well as CR123's for backup. This would nearly eliminate my day to day use but allow me to keep a set of spare CR123's on me just in case. This, only if it is reliable and done correctly without compromise.

 

In terms of durability, which of the brands are as durable as Surefire?

Edited by CZ9MM
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I use a Fenix LD 41 (520 Lumens) and a Fenix LD 20 (180 Lumens). Both use AA batteries and have not given me any trouble. I keep rechargeables ready but battery life is longer with alkaline. I have a weapon mounted Streamlight TLR 1 too which has been reliable also. The Fenix lights seem to be cheaper but quality wise they are comparable.

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I only have experience with Surefire and Streamlight. And no name lights. Nothing i have found compares to Surefire if you are as hard on your stuff as i am. I have dropped my Surefire backup on concrete countless times crawled under houses with it, dropped off the top of house roofs to driveways and it worked until i lost it. Bought a comparable Streamlight to try something different. Not impressed at all, i leave it at home mostly.

For HARD use, Surefire has no competitor IMO
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I've got a 4sevens quark, 2 aa model. Can't beat this light for an EDC / camping / have around the house light. Seems to be pretty durable and tough, at least as good as my streamlight. Very well built too, especially little details like the square machined threads. It's as bright as you need for general use, but I find myself using the lower modes at least as much as full on. Especially like the moonlight mode when the lights are out and I don't want to bother the wife or kids. The cr123 quark model burns a little longer and a little brighter but I wanted a more common and cheaper battery, plus I can use my rechargeable eneloops. I spent an extra ten bucks and got the tactical tail cap because I liked the momentary on / one handed thumb operation but didn't like the limited functionality of the tactical model.
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[quote name="Citizen_B" post="1102195" timestamp="1390871625"]I've got a 4sevens quark, 2 aa model. Can't beat this light for an EDC / camping / have around the house light. Seems to be pretty durable and tough, at least as good as my streamlight. Very well built too, especially little details like the square machined threads. It's as bright as you need for general use, but I find myself using the lower modes at least as much as full on. Especially like the moonlight mode when the lights are out and I don't want to bother the wife or kids. The cr123 quark model burns a little longer and a little brighter but I wanted a more common and cheaper battery, plus I can use my rechargeable eneloops. I spent an extra ten bucks and got the tactical tail cap because I liked the momentary on / one handed thumb operation but didn't like the limited functionality of the tactical model.[/quote] I am so close to doing exactly this. All of my lights are CR123, it wouldn't hurt to have a AA light. I was thinking about getting one and some Eneloops as well. Also, the tail cap I decided would have to be the tactical version as well but with the Pro programming. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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You can also get a tactical tail that stands in the "turbo" stuff. I've got most of my 4Sevens stuff either direct or from Going Gear in Atlanta. There are discount codes available from both on CPF.

 

Coupons! Didn't think to look, but what % are the typically? Also.....wow. I've browsed CPF before but joined yesterday. If anyone thinks gun forums are intriguing and  filled with a bunch of stuff, wait until you take a look at light forums.

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As an option; I really like the I6 Paladin by O-Light. 500+/- Lumens and the fit and function are superb. Very lightweight and fits my hand perfectly. NOT for indoor use. TOO bright. Mounts nicely on a 12 ga Pump. $40 range. Have 2 Streamlights, an Icon Rogue and a Nebo. All OK for the money, but the OLight is a Blazer!

Edited by HvBikeWlTravel
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I can't say which is best because I only have a couple of fenix lights, with which I've been happy, but for all I know all the other brands could be better. The fenix don't seem too shabby for the price anyway.

 

My favorite light is a zebralight headlamp, which I've used daily for perhaps three years and it still works great, and doesn't even look old or scratched up. But maybe zebralight went out of biz, because going gear has for quite awhile listed all the zebralights as "out of stock". A few months ago googled to see if they went out of biz, but couldn't find a reference one way or t'other.

 

They list an XTAR Commander H1 headlamp that looks kinda like a zebralight, might be OK-- http://goinggear.com/flashlights/headlamps/xtar-h1-commander-aa-headlamp-330-lumen-1-x-aa.html

 

Other headlamps with similar design to the zebralight are Spark and Armytek, which are probably good as well, but the zebralight has been such a great light.

 

Sorry hung up on headlamps, but that is the only one I use daily. When I go out and about, carry it in the pocket like an ordinary flashlight, drag it out anytime I need a closer look at something, carrying in groceries after dark, whatever.

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For EDC I have a Streamlight ProTac 1L.  It is the prefect size for me and more than bright enough for anything I have ever needed it for.  I am not real rough with it so I cannot speak to that but I have dropped it a couple of times and had it in my pocket everyday with keys and a knife for the past year or two,  Other than the finish wearing off it still works great.  I tried the ProTac 2L and while it was a little brighter and had a longer run time it was 1 1/2 to 2 times the length and seemed too long for EDC, it is better suited for home use.

 

i also carry a little Microstream and it has been great also.  Throw a AAA lithium battery in there and it is good to go.

 

Just my $0.02.

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When I was shopping for an EDC light several years ago I wanted one that had an easy to use strobe option. 4Sevens was the only one I found that fit this requirement.

 

I have the Quark 123 Tactical. Programing it was a pain but once set up with the bezel tight I have a strobe and with the bezel loosened I have a 200 lumen or so light. So far it has held up to normal EDC use. It has been dropped a couple of times on hard surfaces but it has not been submitted to “rough” use. I am really happy with this light and would buy from the company again.

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When I was shopping for an EDC light several years ago I wanted one that had an easy to use strobe option. 4Sevens was the only one I found that fit this requirement.

 

I have the Quark 123 Tactical. Programing it was a pain but once set up with the bezel tight I have a strobe and with the bezel loosened I have a 200 lumen or so light. So far it has held up to normal EDC use. It has been dropped a couple of times on hard surfaces but it has not been submitted to “rough” use. I am really happy with this light and would buy from the company again.

 

That's good:)

 

I purchased last night from their website:

 

  • QPA (Flashlight, Single AA Body)
  • 2A Body (Double AA Body)
  • L Body (Single CR123 Body)
  • Deep Carry Pocket Clip
  • Tactical Tailcap

This will allow me to swap between three bodies and use either one AA, two AA's, or one CR123. With one AA output should be 130 lumens, and with two AA's or one CR123 output should be 246 lumens or so.

 

I did this so that I could use rechargeable Eneloop AA's for daily use, but then keep the L Body on my keychain for backup light.

 

Pictures and reviews when everything gets here. 

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Givin' up my Fenix PD35 would be akin to losin' my weapon. My Ruger, Fenix, Leatherman and Kershaw are more important than underwear in my book and have been seen wearin' only those and a belt before. You should thank God there were no pics.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest drv2fst

Voted Streamlight.  I admit that I haven't tried any of the others.  I just bought one TLR2 for my first "nightstand gun" and liked it so I bought another and another until all my house guns had them.  Others may be better but these have never let me down in any way.

 

If there is a better light I'd like to know.

Edited by drv2fst
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I have the streamlight Protac 1L. Bought it new about 3 years ago and it goes everywhere with me. If I'm in uniform it's in my pants pockets and when I'm not working it is in my jeans. It has been dropped in the river, ran over with a fourwheeler, and countless other things. It goes everywhere with me and has never let me down. I'm getting ready to order the 2L so it fills my hand a little bit more. You ca't go wrong with streamlight

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Didnt vote.... My favorite aint there.... That bein said; im a big Olight fan... They make a great product at a fair price.... I also like Fenix... I dont like Surefire as they are over-priced (...in my opinion...)... They are good lights; but idiotically priced... They have been livin off the gubmt military dole too long....

 

The fact is that the Taiwanese and the Chinese guys own the led light business...Ya simply cant beat them for quality or price...

 

For home built p60 drop ins i like a guy whose forum id is "Nailbender" on CandlePower Forums...He did a couple of red ones for me that are great...I put 'em in a "host" (...empty flashlite shell...) from these guys:  They handle a brand called "Deerelight" that is well-made and reasonably in-expensive.... They will sell "hosts" at a reasonable price; but ya may have to e-mail them for a quote... They are nice guys (...and gals....).

 

I've just ordered a AA Olight S15 and a bunch of AA Enloop rechargables from my buddies at Battery Junction ....

 

I got a flashlite habit as well as a gun and knife habit too....

 

leroy

Edited by leroy
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I'm real fond of those sanyo eneloop NIMH AA rechargeables. They are low self discharge, and hold their voltage purt good up to a year or more between charges. That is the biggest drawback to ordinary NIMH batts-- The ordinary NIMH supply lots of current for the cost/weight/size, but you have to charge em right before you use em, and are not suitable for putting in an "occasional use" light or radio or whatnot, because they ordinary ones will more than likely be dead when you need the gadget, unless you have the discipline to change em out and recharge every few weeks.

 

The eneloops are a bit expensive, but over time I collected lots of the white 2000 mah AA, and a fair number of the black 2500 mah AA.

 

Been real happy with the Powerex MHC9000 and Powerex MHC801D chargers. The 801D is an 8 bay charger, that charges each bay independently, so you can put one or two batts in now, a few more in later, without messing up the charging cycle of the earlier-inserted batts. It has a 1 hour charge or slow charge setting, and has a "refresh" setting that will discharge a batt and then recharge it, which sometimes really helps the lifetime of NIMH batts.

 

The 9000 is only a 4 bay charger but has lots more features. It can measure the mah capacity of batteries, so they can be sorted into matched sets. It also has programmable "refresh" and "break-in" modes where you can select the charging current, for a many-hours-long slow (over) charge to a selected mah level, then slow discharge (measuring the battery capacity) followed by another slow (over) charge. This seems to keep NIMH batts from getting old as quickly.

 

Most of my AA gadgets run on eneloops nowadays and I keep about a dozen in reserve, for instance when my grundig radio goes down it needs six batts, and when the "big" fenix light goes down it needs 8 batts. I keep the extras fresh by running em thru my zebra headlamp, which gets enough use to run down an eneloop in a couple of days. I'll grab a couple of the "oldest charged" eneloops out of the box, and run em in the headlamp, then recharge in the "next bay" of the 8 bay charger, so an eneloop gets exercised thru 4 charge-discharge cycles before it passes thru the last bay of the 8 bay charger.

 

And then after those four charge-discharge cycles, I put the battery in the 4 bay 9000 for a "break-in" cycle, which after it is done tells me the current MAH capacity of the battery, then put it back in the front end of the spare battery box. Because a lot of the batteries might go a few months before hitting a charger, they hold charge pretty well sitting on a shelf but I have read that they tend to stay healthier if you exercise em regularly, so that is my way of trying to make sure the batts stay fresh as possible.

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