Other than a few various Mag, Garrity, Brinkmann, this is my first 'good' light. Recommended by a couple folks when asked about a lower priced alternative to the ElektroLumens Blaster VI. The other light specifically reommended was the Pelican M6 which is aluminum and about $10 - $15 more expensive. I called around looking for either one locally and the one I found was the Princeton Tec Surge. None of the sporting goods or hardware stores I called had them but several dive shops stock it as a common item.
This is an 8 AA driven single 8 watt halogen. Run time is listed as 3-5 hours. Weight is listed as 10.5 ounces. My scale shows it to be a hair over 13 oz when loaded with the eight Duracells provided with the light. Loading the batteries is accomplished in a manner to seen by my rookie eyes before. You unscrew the head/textured reflector assembly leaving the bulb and small board exposed. You then depress two opposing tabs which allows removal of a smallish plastic piece with the bulb and board mounted. You then remove the battery cage and load is directed. The tabs were quite difficult to depress the first two times. Then they seemed to get quite a bit easier. The only other minor complaint I have is with the switch. It is of the left to lock off, right to lock on... The may be good for diving or for gloved hands (as listed in the literature) but I would much prefer the rubber pushbutton method. Still, it is easily manipulated with one hand.
All loaded up, got home and did a quick test in our laundry/utility room. First impression? WAY WAY brighter than a 2D Mag. I know the Mags don't get a lot of respect around here except as donor bodies for modded lights but this light really puts the larger, heavier Mag to shame. With the Surge on a wall approx 8 feet away, turning the Mag on (focused as a spot), you could notice an added pattern, but it added only negligable light.
As it got darker, I did some photographing to try and compare images... very challenging. My camera just won't pick up lights on trees or outdoor stuff in general but looking around outside was really eye-opening. Prior to this light, my brightest light was a Garrity 2D rubber light with xenon bulb. Looking across our property or up in the trees that surround our house... amazing amount of light for such a small package.
Inside, I did some on-wall comparisons. Measured distance was 74 inches - I know this is an unusual distance but it was easily demarcated distance for me. The pictures were resized for convinience... not brightened or otherwise adjusted in any way.
The first comaprison has the Surge on the left and the 2D Mag on the right. Granted, these are wildly different beams with the Surge being much wider but notice the hot spot... still no comparison!
Next, the Surge compared to the Brinkmann Rubber 2D xenon. This is the light that is available from Walmart and comes with a similar but smaller 2 AA light. (Great value by the way... considerably brighter than the 2D Mag and a considerably tighter beam than the Garrity stainless 2D xenon light.) Still, absolutely no comparison.
Outside, in evening lighting, I did a similar comparison. The lights are 8" from the vertical beam. Again, Surge on the left, Mag 2D on the right. Sorry the uneven angles make it slightly disorienting. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]
Here is a picture of the roughly similarly-sized lights. The Surge is on the far left and the Mag roughly in the center is a 2D.
I guess I'd better stop buying old ghetto blasters off Ebay then. Well, I *did* buy one of those 5W Luxeon custom TNC splash-ano lights from Ebay, and some other flashlights too, so I guess my flashaholic status is still safe. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
*Somewhere* around here, I ought to have a PT Surge, unless the cleaners got that too. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif[/img]
It looks like you have the Surge bezel screwed down all the way. That setting gives the wide hot spot with "wings" like I see in your pictures. But unscrew the bezel about one full turn, and you get a much more focused hotspot whose brightness will really blow you away (at least with my 2 Surge's it does). I don't know why it was designed that way as opposed to tightest focus screwed down tight.
It is weird though how the optimal focus is with the bezel unscrewed part way. I guess I should say the optimal focus for me since I like it focused as tight as possible for maximum throw. Maybe other people like the wider focus more, I don't know.
Yeah... I looked outside earlier tonight and comparing the beam with the bezel screwed down all the way to the beam at its tightest... pretty big difference when looking beyond 50 yards or so. With the bezel tightened, the Surge is only nominally brighter than the Legend XL but with it backed out a bit, it is easily 'brighter' Well, at least the hot spot is much more concentrated in the adjusted Surge.
I believe I've bought about ten Surges in the last 1-1 1/2 years to give as gifts to family and close friends. They being of the Non-Flasaholic genre, the light is the best they have ever seen. It's a great starter light.
While I was taking the pictures requested by Velcro, I took some beam shots at exactly 1 meter. Same wall as the others but exactly one meter as opposed to the 74 inches previous. It is compared to the Brinkmann Legend LX. Both are as focused as possible. The difference in the beams is a bit more dramatic in person, the Surge is definately brighter in the center 80% of the beam and whiter for sure. Outside, a tree at about 80 yards is more lighted with the Surge but both are similarly bright in general outdoor use.
The edge still goes to the Surge if you're willing to search for it and/or pay shipping. The Legend LX is very impressive for the price and considering how easy it is to pick one up at many WalMarts.
Surge on left, Legend LX on right.
Here are two pictures comapring the size of the Mag 2D, the Surge and the Legend LX.