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Thread: Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

  1. #1

    Default Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

    So I was at Lowe's looking at surefire lights and I noticed a kobalt LED that was on sale for 39.99

    I bought it. I have it at home now and it is nice and bright.

    It has a claimed output of 90 luminens, but I think that is conservative.

    It is as bright or brighter than my Insight M6X 's which claim 120 luminens.

    It also has a lifetime "No Hassle" warranty from Lowe's.

    The surefire only has a 10 year warranty and is only rated at 80 luminens.

    What do you guys think?

    Worth it?

    Or should I have ponied up the extra money and bought the surefire?

    The surefire was twice as much, BTW.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

    well since a luminen is only 1/9 of a lumen that's not too bright.


    if it had 90 lumens that would be worth at least 25.99. If it says Surefire on the side, then it only costs 125.99

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* deranged_coder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by BIG_PAPA View Post
    So I was at Lowe's looking at surefire lights and I noticed a kobalt LED that was on sale for 39.99

    I bought it. I have it at home now and it is nice and bright.

    It has a claimed output of 90 luminens, but I think that is conservative.

    It is as bright or brighter than my Insight M6X 's which claim 120 luminens.

    It also has a lifetime "No Hassle" warranty from Lowe's.

    The surefire only has a 10 year warranty and is only rated at 80 luminens.

    What do you guys think?

    Worth it?

    Or should I have ponied up the extra money and bought the surefire?

    The surefire was twice as much, BTW.
    Exactly which Surefire model is "the surefire" that you are referencing? I am assuming from the 80 lumens rating that it is a P60L lamp assembly but that could be in a G2L, G3L, 6PL (I am guessing it is this one), 6PDL...

    Also, the 10 year warranty is only for locations that have restrictions on limited lifetime warranties. Otherwise, it is a lifetime warranty. From the Surefire website:

    ILLUMINATION TOOLS WARRANTY
    SureFire, LLC warrants our illumination tool products to be free from defect in workmanship and materials, including any LEDs housed within, for the lifetime of the original owner. We will repair, replace, or refund your original purchase price of this product, at our discretion, if it is determined by us to be defective. Electronics, chargers, and rechargeable batteries are covered for a period of two years with proof of purchase. Normal wear and tear — including lamps burning out, batteries draining, and switches wearing out — is not covered, nor is damage resulting from abuse, neglect, battery leakage, use of other than SureFire-brand batteries or accessories, or altering this product from its original state. SureFire offers a 10-year limited warranty in any country or under any jurisdiction where specific restrictions exist on limited lifetime warranties.
    As for whether or not a Surefire light is worth it or not, is ultimately up to you. If they have display models I would have suggested you try both and get a feel for both before buying.

    Aside from the output (which, for the Surefire light, is probably a conservative estimate) and the warranty, some things you may want to consider:

    How many accessories are available for the light? A Surefire light has a lot of accessories available e.g. holsters, lanyards, drop in replacement lamp assemblies, etc.

    How easy is it to upgrade in the future? With something like a 6PL you have a lot of ways to upgrade the LED to one with higher output, longer runtime, warmer tint, switch to an incan lamp assembly, etc.

    Lumen ratings are nice but there is more to a flashlight than just simply comparing output numbers.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* RobertM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by BIG_PAPA View Post
    So I was at Lowe's looking at surefire lights and I noticed a kobalt LED that was on sale for 39.99

    I bought it. I have it at home now and it is nice and bright.

    It has a claimed output of 90 luminens, but I think that is conservative.

    It is as bright or brighter than my Insight M6X 's which claim 120 luminens.

    It also has a lifetime "No Hassle" warranty from Lowe's.

    The surefire only has a 10 year warranty and is only rated at 80 luminens.

    What do you guys think?

    Worth it?

    Or should I have ponied up the extra money and bought the surefire?

    The surefire was twice as much, BTW.
    There is much more to a quality flashlight than just brightness. $40 seems a bit steep for what it is IMO. For $40, I'd get a SF G2, but that's just me.

    But if you like it, that's cool--enjoy it! If it meets your needs, has a nice beam, and feels good in your hand, use it and enjoy it. If it breaks, take it back to Lowe's.

    -Robert

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

    I had that light. Mine had a bad switch. It was one of those clickies where the internal mechanism rotates, so each fourth time you clicked, the switch wouldn't work. It would be in the on position, but not on. you'd have to turn it off and on again for it to work.

    Also, the light isn't regulated, which is fine because it uses lithium batteries, I guess, but if you test it on other voltages, the lamp brightness varies. I think it's a fixed-frequency PWM with a smoothing capacitor on the output.

    It's a nice light, and it's bright and has a nice beam, but I don't know if it's worth the price. I also have a Surefire G2L, and by comparison, the G2L is much, much better machined. I only wish the G2L had two output levels.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

    The Kobalt hasn't received very good reviews from CPFers. For a little more you could buy a Fenix/Nitecore/Eagletac. All of them would be of better quality, and they would be much brighter as well! They also offer different levels of output, so that you can have very long runtimes if need be.
    I wouldn't waste your money on the G2L or 6PL. Both of they have less than impressive output, and the runtimes are pretty sad as well. They would get ripped apart on this site, if they didn't have Surefire written on the side.
    Surefire makes some really nice flashlights, but their budget LED lights are not very good for the price.

    Quote Originally Posted by BIG_PAPA View Post
    So I was at Lowe's looking at surefire lights and I noticed a kobalt LED that was on sale for 39.99

    I bought it. I have it at home now and it is nice and bright.

    It has a claimed output of 90 luminens, but I think that is conservative.

    It is as bright or brighter than my Insight M6X 's which claim 120 luminens.

    It also has a lifetime "No Hassle" warranty from Lowe's.

    The surefire only has a 10 year warranty and is only rated at 80 luminens.

    What do you guys think?

    Worth it?

    Or should I have ponied up the extra money and bought the surefire?

    The surefire was twice as much, BTW.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    I appreciate all the input.

    I am going to test out the Kobalt tonight and see how it looks.

    I would probably be a lot more excited about it at $25, but they are going for $40 (which is still better than the $50 they were listed for).

    I am new to the high power flashlight scene, but I wonder if these Kobalt's have gotten such a bad rap here because the first guy bought it and ripped it apart.

    Maybe that convinced everyone there were bad before they really got tested?

    One thing I did notice is that the batteries rest directly on the circuit board.

    I read on here somewhere that they should not.

    Why? I am sure it has to do with a constant pressure on the board itself, right?

    Also, is this one of the lights that falls in brightness as i gets hotter like a maglite or does it stay conatant untill the batteryies die?

    Thanks again for everyone's help!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by BIG_PAPA View Post
    [...] One thing I did notice is that the batteries rest directly on the circuit board. [...] Also, is this one of the lights that falls in brightness as i gets hotter like a maglite or does it stay conatant untill the batteryies die?
    There's no circuitry on the other side of the board, just some wires that lead up to the actual driver circuitry. The light is not actually regulated, it just uses some kind of fixed step-down circuit. However, it uses CR123s and lithium cells have a fairly flat discharge curve on their own. I would expect you won't notice any dimming at all until the batteries are at the very end of their life.
    Last edited by likeguymontag; 02-19-2009 at 06:13 PM.

  9. #9
    Enlightened The 8th Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by BIG_PAPA View Post
    So I was at Lowe's looking at surefire lights and I noticed a kobalt LED that was on sale for 39.99

    I bought it. I have it at home now and it is nice and bright.

    BTW.
    One thing that I have learned is that with all the information here it is easy to get confused but the thing to remember is that any light is good if you like it. I have found alot of lights that others said were a waste of time and maybe they are to some people but if you can afford it and you like the shape or size or what ever that is what matters.

    The fact that we can all get on and give our views is great, you still have to go with what you think is best. I saw the Kobalt Flashlight the other day for the same price and I am still on the fence about it but that is because I have about 4 or 5 other lights I am also looking at, I don't need any of them I already have tons it's a hobby, I read everything here but I still go with what I feel I like. Being able to go to a store and see it, handle it, these things also help. Buying online is always a lottery so if I see a light in the store it always helps me decide. The best thing is you can bring it back if you don't like it.

    Good luck
    "We are but a moments sunlight fading in the grass"

  10. #10
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

    I bought this light when it first came out. Heres what I found.


    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=214878

  11. #11
    Flashaholic Howecollc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

    Just saw one of these lights this weekend. A buddy of mine was at the house for a party, and his car needed a jump-start when he went to leave. Not knowing about my flashlight hobby, he didn't think anything of boasting about the "380 foot throw LED light" he had in the car. A drunken version of "you whip out yours and I'll whip out mine" ensued.

    My Surefire E2DL illuminating a large cedar tree at about 200 feet away was ridiculously brighter, and had a hotspot better than twice the diameter of that of the Kobalt light. Lighting up under the hood, the difference was extreme as well; similar to the difference between a 150 watt shop light and a 500 watt halogen work light. He seemed to be moderately impressed with the Surefire, but stated that the Kobalt got the job done and was purchased under a company account, and therefore was free anyway.

    I would best equate the output and throw of the Kobalt with that of an incandecent 6P or G2. As far as the Lifetime Warranty goes; here I am posting 5 months after the light first came out, and Lowes doesn't even offer it anymore.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic nohcho's Avatar
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    Popcorn Re: Lowe's Kobalt Flashlight

    Last edited by nohcho; 05-11-2009 at 12:27 AM.

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