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Thread: Looking for advice on Surefires

  1. #1

    Default Looking for advice on Surefires

    Hello All, this is also my first post so be nice to the newbie! I've been lurking long enough to know there is a certain resentment about new comers asking dumb questions that have been asked before, but hopefully my COMBINATION of questions is original.

    I'm a BIG fan of Surefires and while I do own other brands, in my work life I actually use S'Fires almost exclusively because my safety can on the line where flashlights are concerned and I don't want a less reliable light, nor one that has fancy flashing options etc that might get in the way during an emergency. To that end, I've been carrying an E2D as my main carry light, an E1B as backup (obvious choice!) and EDC, plus a little Gerber 22-80016 Recon as my nightsight preserving/alternate spectrum light for the rare occasions when I need that. However I wouldn't be looking at candlepowerforums if I wasn't also a flash-fanatic, and my latest jonesing is for a Surefire that performs as well and reliably as the E2D but also provides alternate spectra, at least RED and BLUE. I invite advice on whether or not I should purchase a Kroma or an A2 LED Aviator- with carry size and weight, brightness, and ease of use all taken into consideration. I'm not saying price is not a factor but am willing to spring for the Kroma if it's the best choice. The Kroma is not available to look at in my area and I would have to buy it sight-unseen. Please enlighten!

  2. #2
    Moderator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    You cite your E2D, I'm not clear as to if you are currently using the E2D (incan) or E2DL (LED). This might provide some direction as to if you are looking for an A2 or the new A2L. The reason that I ask is that the tint on the A2L has been reported to be rather bluish (IIRC), which is basically the opposite of the original A2 in all it's incan glory. Just a heads-up on the tint for the A2L, you might want to read up on one of the two main A2L threads?
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=238689
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=237886

    Edit: I'm not trying to trash this light (having never seen one), but if the OP carries an E2D incan, the A2L might be a completely different light and might find the tint a disappointment perhaps??

    Hope this helps,
    K
    Last edited by Kestrel; 02-24-2010 at 04:40 PM. Reason: Added links
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  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    I hate to recommend a non-Surefire in a Surefire thread, but if your need for red or blue light is non-mission critical, the Quark RGB may perfectly suit your needs for a single Benjamin. I find the UI a little bit annoying but when I am using it I am in no rush to select output or color so it is OK.

    The Kroma is an excellent light, well-designed and with the elegant simplicity you expect from Surefire, but I'm just letting you know that there is another option in this case.
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  4. #4
    Flashaholic* pwatcher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    I own led-incan Aviators in each color, and think you could grab a nice one for $80-100 in the led color of your choice (just one color per flashlight, unfortunately). I love the fact this light is one of, if not the only, regulated incan light in existance. It has a rich history, which I've only begun to read all about. I've lusted for a Kroma though, and except for the price would probably own one by now.

    So either seems smart to me. I don't think the new, led only Aviator's have the same value, or character, but to each his own. Let us know what you decide?


  5. #5
    Flashaholic* gswitter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    The Kroma's not bad, but it's a little long in the tooth, and I have yet to see an announcement about an update to it. It certainly functions fine, but the primary white beam uses an LED that's a couple generations behind the state-of-the-art.

    I agree with carrot's statement about the Quark RGB UI, but in terms of red and blue (and green) output, it's in a class by itself. The one big downside is the lack of a useful collimator - it's a pure flood light. It's also new with no usability/durability history.

    Also worth considering, if you specifically want red and blue, would be the First-Light Tomahawk. It's similar to the Kroma, but in an angle head form-factor, with a different (and quite good) UI and a more recent primary, white LED. It's also very well built.



  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Solscud007's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    I have a Kroma and love it. However it is a large light. Much larger than lights that you have.

    Where are you located? Cabela's used to sell Kromas. I think Gander Mountain may have some.

    If you are in the Pittsburgh area I can show you a kroma in person.
    Collecting is not about what you have but rather what you DONT have . . . yet.
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  7. #7
    Flashaholic* computernut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Like Kestrel said already I'd throw the A2L in for consideration. The Kroma is the only Surefire light which will get you blue and red but the A2 and A2L have a smaller head to make it easier to EDC but they only have one colour.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    I'd keep my money, wait for that particular craving to pass, and then count my blessings for not buying an expensive full-sized light chosen strictly for a rarely used function covered by a compact light that I already have.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Isn't the Vampire kind of an updated Kroma?
    ampdude

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Quote Originally Posted by ampdude View Post
    Isn't the Vampire kind of an updated Kroma?

    Not really it provides visable & IR light but you could easily achieve the same with an A2 Aviator (though modification would be necessary for IR), to equal the Kroma (or at least replace it) would it not require an additional spectrum light source?


    I can't vouch for the A2L but with aftermarket (and stock) lamp assemblies the A2 Aviator really shines (if you'll excuse the pun)


    Unlimited budget = Kroma
    Sensible upgrade = A2
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Quote Originally Posted by Solscud007 View Post
    I have a Kroma and love it. However it is a large light. Much larger than lights that you have.

    Where are you located? Cabela's used to sell Kromas. I think Gander Mountain may have some.

    If you are in the Pittsburgh area I can show you a kroma in person.
    I'm based in Canada but can buy using a Vermont address. Not from Surefire though, they are firm on the subject and won't directly deal with anyone not living in the USA. They ARE a little conservative. And, I've been to Gettysburg but never Pittsburgh!

    One reason I'm flashlight-obsessed is that the winter nights up here are REALLY long and dark.... And, re another post, both my Surefires are LED, should have stated that in the question, I assumed that would be understood. Incads are fine in their place but I've had bulbs go at the wrong time (is there a right time?) and I want the reliability of LEDs.

    I was a little unhappy looking at the rated useful burn times of the LED Aviator, that's one thing that prompted my query.

    I'll have to build myself a quick model of the Kroma using the website specs, but in my head I thought that it was only slightly larger than my E2D LED....
    Last edited by Mr Bigglow; 02-26-2010 at 12:50 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    I'd keep my money, wait for that particular craving to pass, and then count my blessings for not buying an expensive full-sized light chosen strictly for a rarely used function covered by a compact light that I already have.
    Yes but if I was smart that way, I wouldn't be here!
    Last edited by Mr Bigglow; 02-26-2010 at 12:41 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    There are a few Surefire dealers in Canada that advertise the Kroma:
    Tetragon.ca in Mississauga; R. Nicholls in Montreal; and Warriors and Wonders in Vancouver.

    Glenn
    People management engineer.......

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    I got mine off the MP for almost half the price with almost no wear...if you don't see one (they come in waves), post in the WTB. BTW

    It took a bit for me to get used to it, but now I use it at home all the time ( I hate having lights on, and the red low is perfect for being up at night and not disturbing anyone). I'm sure this will come in really handy when I head over to the sand box in the next few months.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    I suggest you also take a good look at the Inova Inforce Color l.e.d. light along with the Kroma and Aviator. It has red, green, blue, and white light and is built to be tough enough for use in the military.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* RobertM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Quote Originally Posted by M@elstrom View Post
    Not really it provides visable & IR light but you could easily achieve the same with an A2 Aviator (though modification would be necessary for IR), to equal the Kroma (or at least replace it) would it not require an additional spectrum light source?


    I can't vouch for the A2L but with aftermarket (and stock) lamp assemblies the A2 Aviator really shines (if you'll excuse the pun)


    Unlimited budget = Kroma
    Sensible upgrade = A2
    I couldn't agree more. You can't really go wrong with either the Kroma or Aviator (original incandescent A2).

    -Robert

  17. #17

    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Thanks to everyone so far- clearly it will be helpful to get out and look around the flashlight world more.

    Still looking for feedback on the Kroma/Aviator/other trispectrum light issue, but now I'm also needing advice on installing this really cool personal avatar, one I had all ready to go but can't actually accomplish- my 'personal control panel' won't allow what I've tried. Is there some sort of wait period before a newbie can use an avatar on this site or how do I do it? Doing a site search for 'avatars' is not helpful!
    Last edited by Mr Bigglow; 02-26-2010 at 12:48 PM.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bigglow View Post
    Thanks to everyone so far- clearly it will be helpful to get out and look around the flashlight world more.

    Still looking for feedback on the Kroma/Aviator/other trispectrum light issue, but now I'm also needing advice on installing this really cool personal avatar, one I had all ready to go but can't actually accomplish- my 'personal control panel' won't allow what I've tried. Is there some sort of wait period before a newbie can use an avatar on this site or how do I do it? Doing a site search for 'avatars' is not helpful!
    Adjust the size down and make sure it's a .jpg or .bmp file. Not sure of the exact sizes allowed, but it's not much for the avatars.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Random thoughts from a multi-A2 and Kroma MS owner...it's Friday...

    First, are you sure you need red and blue? The color LED I find by far most usefull is YG in both the Kroma MS and the A2. Red is less useful because it's actually brighter except in my original L1 on low, and the color rendition is much better. It took me years to find any use at all for blue, but YMMV.

    The Kroma is a fabulous light but honestly it's a lot of $ per useful lumen. I keep thinking I should sell it (but that's not an offer). The physical profile and general usefulness of the A2 YG is hard to beat for my uses.

    There are (used to be, anyway) dedicated red, blue and true green L1s - there are used ones floating around.

    I looked seriously at the Inova when it came out and followed the threads here as others bought and used them. Short version: I never bought one and still own my A2s, L1s and Kroma.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bigglow View Post
    Hello All, this is also my first post so be nice to the newbie! I've been lurking long enough to know there is a certain resentment about new comers asking dumb questions that have been asked before, but hopefully my COMBINATION of questions is original.

    I'm a BIG fan of Surefires and while I do own other brands, in my work life I actually use S'Fires almost exclusively because my safety can on the line where flashlights are concerned and I don't want a less reliable light, nor one that has fancy flashing options etc that might get in the way during an emergency. To that end, I've been carrying an E2D as my main carry light, an E1B as backup (obvious choice!) and EDC, plus a little Gerber 22-80016 Recon as my nightsight preserving/alternate spectrum light for the rare occasions when I need that. However I wouldn't be looking at candlepowerforums if I wasn't also a flash-fanatic, and my latest jonesing is for a Surefire that performs as well and reliably as the E2D but also provides alternate spectra, at least RED and BLUE. I invite advice on whether or not I should purchase a Kroma or an A2 LED Aviator- with carry size and weight, brightness, and ease of use all taken into consideration. I'm not saying price is not a factor but am willing to spring for the Kroma if it's the best choice. The Kroma is not available to look at in my area and I would have to buy it sight-unseen. Please enlighten!
    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

  20. #20

    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    If you want to go the Surefire route another option would be to buy a C2, 6P, GP or another similar flashlight and get a colored filter like an FM36 for blue or FM35 for red.
    You can use a high powered led Drop in like the P60L or a Malkoff and put an FM36 over it. I have those set ups and the blue light is quite bright for the combo.
    The FM35 won't work as well with an LED but I can't imagine it being less bright then a gerber recon. You can always stick a xenon bulb in there and make things better on the red spectrum.
    You could even experiment around with different colors, LED, Xenon combination and find what suits you best. The drawback would be having to carry a bulkier light around and not having the different choices of colors like the Kroma in a single light.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    i'll give a +1 to the quark RGB, but if you must have surefire (i know i know...i've got a few myself) then i would definitely consider getting a blue and a red P60 drop-in (nailbender makes some good ones) that way you only have to change the drop-in and you have another color, or get 2 surefire G2Ls, paint one blue and one red and get corresponding colored drop-ins for each so you know which is which, krylon paint sticks pretty well to plastics. This way you now have an extra surefire to qualify you as a collector!
    Enlightened from birth

  22. #22

    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Quote Originally Posted by JNewell View Post
    Random thoughts from a multi-A2 and Kroma MS owner...it's Friday...

    First, are you sure you need red and blue? The color LED I find by far most usefull is YG in both the Kroma MS and the A2. Red is less useful because it's actually brighter except in my original L1 on low, and the color rendition is much better. It took me years to find any use at all for blue, but YMMV.

    The Kroma is a fabulous light but honestly it's a lot of $ per useful lumen. I keep thinking I should sell it (but that's not an offer). The physical profile and general usefulness of the A2 YG is hard to beat for my uses.

    There are (used to be, anyway) dedicated red, blue and true green L1s - there are used ones floating around.

    I looked seriously at the Inova when it came out and followed the threads here as others bought and used them. Short version: I never bought one and still own my A2s, L1s and Kroma.
    I really like the idea of having everything I need built into one light and instantly available, which is of course why the Kroma caught my eye. I need a soft red light in situations where I don't want to shine a bright light of ANY colour, and of course the red is to preserve my nightsight. It has another advantage in that you can sometimes leave it on in situations where that wouldn't be a good idea with any other colour. I want blue because, well because it is the opposite of red chromatically and still preserves some nightsight, though not quite as much. Red light can wash out red things like map lines, other red lights, and blood and things, either disguising them or just plain making them invisible- in those situations blue really brings the same things out. I wouldn't be looking for 100 lumen in those two colours so the Gerber recon is pretty good, plus it throws in a green light option as well. But, the more I think about it, the more 'cumbersome' it seems to be carrying 3 different units as I do now. However... it IS a working combo until I come to a decison....
    Last edited by Mr Bigglow; 03-01-2010 at 07:46 AM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    For what little it's worth, my recollection is that blue is nearly as "bad" as white light for killing night vision - I could be wrong.

    Another FWIW - even my old/original red L1 is much brighter than my Kroma MS on red, but the MS has only 4xRed LEDs whereas the street model has, I think, 8xRed and may be quite bright.

    The Kroma is a great light, so I'd encourage you to see if you can find one to try locally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bigglow View Post
    I really like the idea of having everything I need built into one light and instantly available, which is of course why the Kroma caught my eye. I need a soft red light in situations where I don't want to shine a bright light of ANY colour, and of course the red is to preserve my nightsight. It has another advantage in that you can sometimes leave it on in situations where that wouldn't be a good idea with any other colour. I want blue because, well because it is the opposite of red chromatically and still preserves some nightsight, though not quite as much. Red light can wash out red things like map lines, other red lights, and blood and things, either disguising them or just plain making them invisible- in those situations blue really brings the same things out. I wouldn't be looking for 100 lumen in those two colours so the Gerber recon is pretty good, plus it throws in a green light option as well. But, the more I think about it, the more 'cumbersome' it seems to be carrying 3 different units as I do now. However... it IS a working combo until I come to a decison....
    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

  24. #24

    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Really the coded references sometimes used on this site take some learning, but no doubt that is part of the fun. I have decided to hold out for a Kroma Milspec, a unit I hadn't known about until receiving advice here, which as stated adds yellow-green to the options, taking me back to where I am now only with 2 units instead of 3, and more intensity options. Not sure where or when K Milspecs are available or if when I find one they will be priced so that anyone short of a government can afford them, but I'm a patient guy. Merci all!
    Last edited by Mr Bigglow; 03-03-2010 at 09:32 AM.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* RedLed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    The Kroma is the light I keep on my nightstand, and it is a wonderful choice for that.

    It is also one of the best lights SF has ever made.

    I would say get one!

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Get all original A2 Aviators you can find, at least one in every color... (before they get discontinued and people start asking 600 bucks apiece).

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* RedLed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoors Fanatic View Post
    Get all original A2 Aviators you can find, at least one in every color... (before they get discontinued and people start asking 600 bucks apiece).
    Great idea!

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Tempest UK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoors Fanatic View Post
    Get all original A2 Aviators you can find, at least one in every color...
    One each of HA, HA-BK and purple, then?

    Regards,
    Tempest
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    Currently looking for: SureFire E1W - PM with offers

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* RedLed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for advice on Surefires

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoors Fanatic View Post
    Get all original A2 Aviators you can find, at least one in every color... (before they get discontinued and people start asking 600 bucks apiece).
    You may want to check Plaza Cutlery in Costa Mesa, CA. They may have some of the older models.

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