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Thread: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* RobertM's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    I received my Surefire E1B Backup from LAPoliceGear.com last Wednesday (5 days ago). This little light has remained in my pocket every day since I received it

    First, let's get my only gripe out of the way...
    Without any knurling, it does seem a bit slippery to handle. I'll be honest, I had read on here someone else mention the very same thing but didn't think much of it until I started using one myself. It's not too bad though, you just have to be sure you keep a good grip on it. This is really only a minor gripe.

    Next, let me just come right and say it...I absolutely love this little light! I really like its forward clicky which enables me to press for momentary on and click for constant. The switch has an excellent feel to it. I might have to get a SF forward clicky for my 6PL now

    I know that some of you will disagree with me here, but I actually like the fact that it comes on in high first, then low mode second. If I'm walking along and want to immediately light something up that I hear around the corner or in a bush or something, I want it immediately coming on with all 80 lumens. If I'm in a real low-light environment where I don't want to destroy my night adapted vision, I'll simply press the head of light against my body and click through to low mode before uncovering it.

    On high, this light really throws a lot of light. It definitely out throws my 6PL which is also 80 lumens. But what I found even more impressive, is how useful the low mode is. On low, it has roughly half the total output of my Fenix L0D Q4 on low (which I confirmed in an ultra scientific ceiling-bounce test ) but keeps the light in a much tighter, much more useable beam. I really though that 5 lumens would be pretty weak, but with Surefire's TIR, it really is very useable. In comparison, the L0D's 11 lumen low just diffuses the light too much for it to be very useable in anything less that VERY dark environments IMHO (at least compared to the 5 lumen, TIR from the E1B).

    In fact, when I first compared the E1B on low to my L0D on low, I though that the E1B was putting out more light (hey, we all know that Surefire lumens are bright ), but I was quite suprised to see in the ceiling-bounce-test the L0D really lit up the room better than the E1B.

    Before I end this with some pictures I took of my E1B, I'd like to just say that I'd strongly recommend this light to anyone considering purchasing one.

    Picture time:
    Larger versions are available on Flickr by clicking the image.









    -Robert
    Last edited by RobertM; 01-29-2009 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Fixed oversized images

  2. #2

    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Thanks for the review. I think the E1b & Lod-ce are great lights also. Both have a place in my EDC rotation.
    What a great day to be outside.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* DaFABRICATA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Nice photography!!!
    Those pics are very nice indeed!

    I too like my Backup! It became my EDC as soon as I got it. Like you, I just put the head against my hand or body and cycle to the "low" when I don't want to have "high" first.

    Its a great light and I use it all the time!
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  4. #4
    Flashaholic* BigHonu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Nice review. I'm not a big fan of the dual stage head with the clickie, but after using this light for a couple of weeks, I have to reverse myself and say that the high first is better for the exact same reason you have mentioned.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* WadeF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    It's a nice little light. Feels rock solid, and has good throw for a light its size. I have a F04 diffuser on mine which makes it much nicer for around the house use. I also find it's one of the few lights that can clip to my thick (some kinda fleece) PJ pants easily.
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  6. #6
    Flashaholic* chaoss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Great, yet another one to add to the must have soon list.
    Thanks for the review.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* RobertM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    After one month now from the original review, I thought that I'd provide a quick update...

    I EDC the E1B in my computer bag to work each day and after work it goes in my pocket each day. The finish is holding up well--not a single scratch or imperfection. I'm still on the original battery it came with too, although I probably only use it a few times a week for short periods of time.

    I still feel that it is really a superb little light and absolutely worth every dime. In my signature below, my lights are listed in order of purchase starting with the 6PL (bought late 2007). To be honest, I think the E1B is what I was really looking for at the time and it probably would have been my first purchase rather than the 6PL if the E1B would have been available. IMO, the 80/5 lumen combo is about perfect for EDC. My now, poor neglected 6PL is patiently awaiting Surefire to release the P61L so that it can get some use after being practically replaced by the E1B for the time being .

    Robert

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* chaoss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Thanks for the update on the E1B Robert, it's good to hear that you still favor this light even after the newness factor has faded.

    I'm curious to know if you still prefer the (high on first) switching of the E1B as compared to say an E1L (low first)?

    cheers
    Happiness is having a high rate of fire .

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Federal LG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Humm... I´m feelling that this SF E1B will be my next buy!

    "I LOVE THE SMELL OF LITHIUM BATTERIES IN THE MORNING..." - Kilgore

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* EV_007's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Nice shots! This light is fast becoming a favorite in my EDC rotation.
    TWO is ONE and ONE is NONE, but THREE is more FUN.
    My beamshot gallery


  11. #11
    Enlightened AOBRICK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Nice review it really is one of the best shurefire has ever made

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertM View Post
    After one month now from the original review, I thought that I'd provide a quick update...

    I EDC the E1B in my computer bag to work each day and after work it goes in my pocket each day. The finish is holding up well--not a single scratch or imperfection. I'm still on the original battery it came with too, although I probably only use it a few times a week for short periods of time.

    I still feel that it is really a superb little light and absolutely worth every dime.
    Robert
    +1, but my experience is a little different.
    My E1B is actually getting a little beat up, so now I don't have to baby it anymore.
    It's become the light that I EDC everyday at work. I like it because of the high-first setting which is what I use most for peering into various equipment during the day, and I like the clip that allows lens-down carry clipped on the edge of my pocket.

    I drop it on concrete every few days so it's definitely scratched up and battle scarred, but it's never let me down.
    I've got other single-cell Surefires as well as other brands, but the E1B stands out as THE one that is earning it's keep. Tough little bugger.

  13. #13
    Enlightened BanjoBill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Great photos Robert, and thanks for the update on how it's been treating you.

    ....Bill

  14. #14

    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    I saw one today for the first time in my life and I am determined to get it. An engineering marvel.

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    I love the backup although I ended up putting a higher output head on it. I think it fits its name though....unlike the Titan.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* RobertM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Quote Originally Posted by chaoss View Post
    Thanks for the update on the E1B Robert, it's good to hear that you still favor this light even after the newness factor has faded.

    I'm curious to know if you still prefer the (high on first) switching of the E1B as compared to say an E1L (low first)?

    cheers
    Actually I do still prefer the high/low switch. I've found that most of the time I use it I want the 80 lumens and switch to 5 lumens if low will sufficiently light up what I need and I'll be running it for at least a couple of minutes. If something goes bump or I hear something and want to light it up quickly, I prefer the light to start on high rather than having to toggle through.

    Robert

  17. #17

    Default How does the Surefire E1B compare to the Novatac 120P?

    Very nice review, pictures, and followup.

    I'm curious about this light and the Novatac 120P.

    Has anyone done a head to head comparision between these 2 lights from a "best EDC" perspective?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Thanks for the review. I liked this light the moment I saw it.

    If it could run on rechargeables, it would be damn near perfect.
    Wolf Eyes Raider 9DX / Surefire L2 / Novatac 85P / HDS 42XR / Peak LED Caribbean brass / Fenix L2D Rebel / Peak LED Matterhorn 3LED HA / Inova X03 / Inova X5 / Fenix E1

  19. #19
    *Flashaholic* toby_pra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Nicely done review!

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* yaesumofo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    I was just wondering if you had actually ever used an E1B and experienced it's UI?
    I ask because IMHO Surefire really does have a winner. Why? It is easy to be critical of things which are new or if we haven't tried them first hand.
    Personally I find it very difficult to fault the E1B's user interface.
    It is completly transparent to the user. If you did not know the light was able to go to a low mode a person could go for a long time without even knowing that the light is able to do this. Why because when a person uses a light they turn it on and use it. using only a single click. Low requires 2 clicks within a short period of time.
    Unless you want to go to the LOW mode you would almost never even know it is there.
    The UI is such that LOW is only activated when you want it to be there.
    Otherwise it is not in the way or even noticed.
    IMHO this is a HUGE improvement over prior surefire single cell lights with only one level.

    The second level is optional.
    I think that Surefire worked hard to create a non invasive User Interface to the current range of flashlights. IMHO they have done a fine job.
    Of the Current crop of Surefire lights the E1B is the brightest single cell light they make.
    The E2D and the E1B look to me to be a perfect pair.

    If you haven't tried it first hand I highly recommend that you do. It is absolutely a step in the right direction.
    Yaesumofo


    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorn View Post
    Nice review. I'm not a big fan of the dual stage head with the click, but after using this light for a couple of weeks, I have to reverse myself and say that the high first is better for the exact same reason you have mentioned.
    Support your local flashlight builder.
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  21. #21
    Flashaholic* yaesumofo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How does the Surefire E1B compare to the Novatac 120P?

    IMHO the two lights you mention are very different maybe too different for a even and fair comparison.
    I will give it a shot.

    Beams.
    Surefire E1B is all narrow hotspot with only a very vague side spill.
    Novatec has a much wider beam with a very smooth transition between hotspot and side spill. Beams are very different.
    One thing which is interesting to note here is that the NogaTac uses a reflector. The E1B uses a Very high quality TIR optic.

    Battery. E1B primary only. Novatac anything goes.
    UI.
    Novatac has a simple to use complex to setup UI with lots of options. The levels are user set and things like SOS and strobe are available.
    Surefire has none of that. Hi and LOW that is it. Low is available only if you click the switch 2x within a couple of seconds.

    Brightness.
    My E1B is brighter that my Novatac. YMMV.

    Size:. They are close.
    Clip? TheE1B clip is a masterwork being very versatile allowing the light to be mounted on a baseball cap securely and with ease. The clip works well with bales as well as jeans. The Novatac clip is almost an afterthought. One has to remove an O-ring to install the Novatac clip.

    Switch. E1B switch has a nice tactile feel. it has some travel and has good feedback.
    The Novatac switch is little more than a slight dimple short throw with little feedback.
    Tail standing.
    The Novatac does it and the E1B doesn't.

    Price.
    E1B $110.00
    Novatac $189.95


    Both lights are made in the USA and are of high quality.
    The fit and finish on both lights is typical of High quality USA manufacturing with close attention to detail.

    Again these lights are very different. Other than form factor they almost couldn't be more different.


    Yaesumofo

    Quote Originally Posted by Snipe315 View Post
    Very nice review, pictures, and followup.

    I'm curious about this light and the Novatac 120P.

    Has anyone done a head to head comparison between these 2 lights from a "best EDC" perspective?

    Support your local flashlight builder.
    Buy American. Stop crying and start Buying.
    Flashlights are tools. Period.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    It is completly transparent to the user. If you did not know the light was able to go to a low mode a person could go for a long time without even knowing that the light is able to do this.
    Yaesumofo, I more or less agree with you, but not completely. I have had several occasions where I've "bobbled" (for lack of a better word) the switch and unintentionally gone into low. I'm not sure this would be likely in a stress situation because probably the user would "put the pedal to the metal" and latch it in high mode, but if the grip slipped a little, it could happen that you wound up in low when you didn't mean to.

    Overall, I give it very high marks. Time will tell whether I get better accustomed to the UI.
    MD3 | M6CB | Gladius/SSCP4 | A2-HA-WH | A2-HA-YG | A2-BK-WH | Z3/KT2 | M2 | C2 | 6Z | 6P | U2A | K2MS | E2e/KL4 BK | E2DL | E2D | E2L | L2 | Milky ML1/SSCP4 USWOH McR18j | L1-BK-RD | L1-HA-WH | L1-HA-WH Cree | L1-HA-RD | 3P | E1B | E1L | E1E-HA-BK | E1W | 618FA | G2

  23. #23

    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    I have had my E1B Backup for about a week now and I really do like this light. As others have noted, the light is very bright for a stated 80 lumens on high. That was the first thing that caught my attention. I agree also that it is a big change from knurled to melted, in regards to handling. One thing I wish that it included, was a good way to attach a lanyard to this nice light. As far as I can tell the best way to carry it, like around my neck, would be to use the super cool dual clip. But I don't want to do that, so for EDC it's either in my pocket, hooked to a belt/pants, or my main carry option is to use a multi-tool pouch with cover flap and a solid webbed-type loop for a belt. I do like this E1B very much and I believe SureFire has crafted another masterpiece IMO, YMMV.
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  24. #24
    Flashaholic H2Orower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Quote Originally Posted by blinder switch View Post
    One thing I wish that it included, was a good way to attach a lanyard to this nice light.
    You could always get yourself a Z68 tailcap which would provide you with 4 small holes large enough to attach a lanyard ring.


  25. #25
    Flashaholic* chaoss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    H2Orower, thanks so much for posting this photo With the Z68 tailcap. I just ordered one for my inbound E1B. The flare-end and knurling along with tailstand ability will make this one nice EDC torch.
    It looks like this cap will add a little to the OAL but it's a non issue for my needs.
    Happiness is having a high rate of fire .

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Federal LG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Quote Originally Posted by H2Orower View Post
    You could always get yourself a Z68 tailcap which would provide you with 4 small holes large enough to attach a lanyard ring.

    Beautiful!!

    "I LOVE THE SMELL OF LITHIUM BATTERIES IN THE MORNING..." - Kilgore

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* BigHonu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Quote Originally Posted by yaesumofo View Post
    I was just wondering if you had actually ever used an E1B and experienced it's UI?
    I ask because IMHO Surefire really does have a winner. Why? It is easy to be critical of things which are new or if we haven't tried them first hand.
    Personally I find it very difficult to fault the E1B's user interface.
    It is completly transparent to the user. If you did not know the light was able to go to a low mode a person could go for a long time without even knowing that the light is able to do this. Why because when a person uses a light they turn it on and use it. using only a single click. Low requires 2 clicks within a short period of time.
    Unless you want to go to the LOW mode you would almost never even know it is there.
    The UI is such that LOW is only activated when you want it to be there.
    Otherwise it is not in the way or even noticed.
    IMHO this is a HUGE improvement over prior surefire single cell lights with only one level.

    The second level is optional.
    I think that Surefire worked hard to create a non invasive User Interface to the current range of flashlights. IMHO they have done a fine job.
    Of the Current crop of Surefire lights the E1B is the brightest single cell light they make.
    The E2D and the E1B look to me to be a perfect pair.

    If you haven't tried it first hand I highly recommend that you do. It is absolutely a step in the right direction.
    Yaesumofo
    Yeasumofo,

    Yes, I have owned (but have given away) an E1B. I actually think that it is a great light, and as mentioned, have come to appreciate the high-level-first feature. I do agree that the interface is fairly transparent to the user, but that does not necessarily make it the best UI for me.

    If I am looking for a dual stage light, then my favorite is the A2/L1/PD type...slight press for low, then full press for high. I ALWAYS know what level of light I will get based upon how hard I press. I like having immediate access to the different levels without having to guess, or wait for it.

    For the E1B, I know that from an off position, I will get the high level first...but only after a set amount of time has passed, and there is no way for me to get directly to low.

    In the big picture it is not a big deal, however, I know that the person I gave the light to will enjoy it much more than I did.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* yaesumofo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    There really is a lot to appreciate about the E1B.

    I find it interesting that as things like time march along we are given little gems like the E1b.
    With this light we are able to see how new technology is implemented in a flashlight like the tir optic and the two stage design of the light.
    Funny how just a couple of years ago a flashlight (LED) with more than one level was quite rare and unusual. I get the idea that Surefire designed the E1B to operate just like a single level light. And it does. I think that is pretty darn cool. When the LOW is engaged I find it to be very useful.


    I have many lights. I have a number of McGizmo Pd's and others which always come on low first.
    Since to me those lights are a basic utility flashlight in a slightly different category than the E1B it is a good thing that they come on low first.
    There is no doubt that there are good arguments for both sides of the argument. IMHO treating the E1B as a single cell light which has an auxiliary mode is a good way for me to look at it.
    Have fun don't get lost in the dark.
    Yaesumofo




    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorn View Post
    Yaesumofo,

    Yes, I have owned (but have given away) an E1B. I actually think that it is a great light, and as mentioned, have come to appreciate the high-level-first feature. I do agree that the interface is fairly transparent to the user, but that does not necessarily make it the best UI for me.

    If I am looking for a dual stage light, then my favorite is the A2/L1/PD type...slight press for low, then full press for high. I ALWAYS know what level of light I will get based upon how hard I press. I like having immediate access to the different levels without having to guess, or wait for it.

    For the E1B, I know that from an off position, I will get the high level first...but only after a set amount of time has passed, and there is no way for me to get directly to low.

    In the big picture it is not a big deal, however, I know that the person I gave the light to will enjoy it much more than I did.
    Support your local flashlight builder.
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  29. #29
    Flashaholic H2Orower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    Quote Originally Posted by chaoss View Post
    H2Orower, thanks so much for posting this photo With the Z68 tailcap. I just ordered one for my inbound E1B. The flare-end and knurling along with tailstand ability will make this one nice EDC torch.
    It looks like this cap will add a little to the OAL but it's a non issue for my needs.
    You're welcome. Glad you like it. I wish I could take credit for thinking of such a great combo, but I got the idea from a couple other members whose posts I saw over in the "flashlight collecting" forum. Enjoy your E1B w/ Z68!

    Speaking of tailstanding, I posted a couple additional pics of my E1B click here over in the collecting forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Federal LG View Post
    Beautiful!!
    Thanks. It's definitely my favorite, so far.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Surefire E1B Backup (Pics Included)

    I just got one of these for my girlfriend... and I haven't been able to put it down. It's an incredibly tiny little tool that produces an enormous amount of light. It gives my BOG Super Premium Plus Q5 drop-in in a 6PL a run for it's money.

    I'm going to have to get one for myself now (and splurge for a Malkoff apparently, I love the beam profile of the optic!).

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