The A2 Strion bulb conversion kit from Fivemega is a replacement/upgrade for the stock MA02 incan lamp assembly for the Surefire A2.
The socket costs $32, and it takes the tiny Streamlight Strion bi-pin bulb, which costs $6.
A new MA02 LA costs up to $25, so once you have the FM socket, there is a significant potential saving on new bulbs/LAs.
I have just received the first of the conversion kits I ordered from Fivemega’s sales thread.
The first thing to be said is that this is machining work of the highest quality. The construction is stainless steel, with a brass +ve contact cap. I was unable to determine what insulating material has been used; it could be acetal or PVC. The result is a very robust unit, despite the intricacy of its construction. It is far stronger that the stock MA02, which has a flimsy positive end cap that is fragile and easily broken.
The Strion bulb fits into the socket smoothly, firmly and with precision. You can see in the pic above that the tiny pinholes are countersunk, so getting the pin in is no problem at all. This is a very nice touch, and typical of the superb attention to detail that has been given to these units.
The bulb is held very securely, so there would be no chance at all of it becoming loose, even during very rough use or if dropped, but the seating is not so tight as to make it difficult to centre the bulb and adjust its position to the correct height. Below: the bulb seated in place in the socket; and a comparison pic of the unit alongside a stock SF MA02.
Below: Bulbs installed in two A2s. The stock MA02 is on the left, the Strion conversion on the right. It is easy to see which is which, even when installed, as the tip of the MA02 is frosted and the Strion is clear.
In use: Strion bulb has a nicer beam on a white wall. It has a smaller but slightly brighter hot-spot, and the spill is more even. There seems to be very little difference in overall brightness, but I think the Strion has a slight edge. I will test them outside later, to see if there is any difference there.
Both lights used were A2-BK-WH, so the LEDs did not affect the results.
First, normal camera exposure (both these pics were 1/30th second at F4). The MA02 is on the left, and the Strion conversion is on the right.
To try to get an idea of the relative brightness, I took 2 more shots with the camera stopped right down to 6 stops darker (1/500th second at F8). Again, MAO2 left, Strion right.
I have not tested run-time, but Fivemega gives a figure of 45 minutes for the A2 with the Strion, which is similar to Surefire’s 50 minutes for the stock MA02. It will depend on the cells used.
I ran both A2s for 20 minutes, lying horizontally on a wooden box. Both became very warm after this time, with no hand to conduct the heat away, but neither was too hot to pick up and hold, and I could not detect any difference in temperature.
Later: I have now tested the 2 lights outside. The pics below were exposed for 2 secs at F2.8. The centre detail (below in each case) is noisy but revealing. The stone statue is 20 meters / 22 yards / 66 feet away, and the 2 trees directly behind are 80 meters away. The pictures show that the Strion bulb, on the right, is visibly brighter.
The difference in brightness was more noticeable outside than it was inside.
I am very grateful to Lips for putting together the above rotating shot, which gives an even better illustration of the difference between the two. Many thanks for doing that, and for letting me use it.
If you had the 2 lights to compare together, you would be able to tell fairly easily that the brighter one was the Strion conversion.
I am very pleased with these conversions and I am happy to recommend them to A2 owners.
However, my recommendation comes with the caveat that their use may void the Surefire warranty. In the event of a Strion bulb going ‘pop’ and damaging an A2’s reflector, the warranty may not cover the damage. That is a risk that I personally am happy to take, but it is a decision individual owners will have to make for themselves.
Many thanks to Fivemega for making these – a 5-star product, IMO.