Ya know, as much as there is said in this section about the selection of Mac's lights, I think it might be a great idea to list our best advice for making Mac's Customs selections. There are a ton of choices to be made when dreaming up our ideal Mac's light and it can be quite intimidating, especially for a newbie, in deciding what light and what options we want. So, I thought I might share what little I know, as well as provide a place for all of you to share what you know so that it might be a little less daunting for the rest.
I'll be tossing out some tidbits about Tri-EDCs (since that's what I have) but I ask that ya'll (that's a contraction for "you all" here in Alabama) offer whatever tidbits you have about ANY Mac's lights. Here goes...
1. "How much throw does a Tri-EDC have?" I measured my 2.8a neutral XP-G Tri at 3900 lux @ 1m. That's not a little for an EDC and it's not alot. It'll do just fine for most things. My Zebralight SC60 is about 3000, if I recall, and my Zebralight SC600 is about 5800 if that gives you an idea. The Tri-EDC is no doubt a powerhouse but it mostly shows it's muscle in the MASSIVE hotspot that it affords. The "spill" is moderate but the spot is well defined and HUGE compared to most EDCs. This, IMO, is what makes this light so incredible.
2. "Should I get cool white, neutral, or high CRI XP-G Tri?" I have both neutral and, now today, high CRI. The neutral was, until today, by far my favorite tint of any EDC of any brand I have ever owned....that is, UNTIL today. Now I would *HIGHLY* recommend the high CRI. Do not be scared of loosing intensity. I promise, you won't notice the difference. If measured on a meter, it's just a number. Again, you eyes will thank you for the high CRI. I can't stress this enough. DO NOT BE SCARED of the high CRI!!! You owe it to yourself to have one of these. I have owned many cool white EDCs and for no reason would I buy another. In fact, now, I don't know that I'll ever buy another neutral EDC. Opinions vary and this is just mine....so, I'm just sayin' is all.
3. "Should I get the 1.4a or the 2.8a driver?" If you will running IMR cells then by all means get the 2.8a driver. You would be surprised how much light it'll put out on medium which will afford plenty of runtime. You can even get custom programming to get the best of all worlds so do think about that. You can have any levels you want. Custom programming is just a few bucks away and I highly recommend it.
4. On the subject of custom programming... Repeat after me, "I want moonlight mode...I want moonlight mode...I want moonlight mode......Get it? Trust me on this one! Strongly consider the "hybrid" memory programming, especially if you will using one mode (like moonlight) alot. In choosing the levels, consider what kind of runtime v/s output you would like out of your different levels.
5. "What rechargeable cells should I use?" I have done some good discharge testing of the AW IMR 18350 cells and I can tell you that they are EXCELLENT! They hold their voltage exceptionally well under load and actually exceed their rated capacity even at higher loads. Now isn't that a breath of fresh air??? Don't think, just buy 'em. They are the best cells for your 2.8a Mac's light.
6. "Should I consider a copper Mac's EDC or just go with aluminum?" I have both. The aluminum is just fine, really. However, at higher current levels it get's hot FAST! The copper light takes much longer to get hot. The aluminum light will even get quite warm on medium after awhile. Advantages of aluminum? It sheds heat fast (that's why it feels hot so fast), is VERY light weight!, and it's finish doesn't patina like copper (which is desirable to some and not to others.) You will be shocked how lite an aluminum Mac's Tri-EDC feels in the hand and similarly shocked how heavy and SOLID a copper one feels. Myself? I much prefer the sturdy, solid, quality feel of the copper light.
7. Get the glow treatment. Why? Cuz you want it.
8. And absolutely get the crenelated bezel! Put it on moonlight mode with it facestanding (is that a word) and you'll never wonder where on the nightstand your Tri is again. VERY nice!
Ok, that's enough for now but I'm sure I'll have much more to add later.
Oh, and THANKS MAC!...for these wonderful lights!