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Thread: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Hi all,

    I'm a sheriff's deputy and I'm looking for a backup light for my duty light. This light will be on my duty belt most of the time unless I lose my duty light or it malfunctions. That being the case I need it to be light, every ounce helps on my lower back. I need high output and I must have it in black.

    Here's what I have peaced together so far using flashlight review site and others.

    Pelicn m6: 5.8 9oz, overall output 57, $39.99, 60min run time, black.

    Sure fire 6p: 5.3 oz, 60 min run time, black, unsure of output, about $50.00.

    Streamlight NF-2: 3.5 oz, overall output 59, $43.00, black.

    So there you have it, the only question I have is how does the 6p stand up to the NF-2 and m6 in overall output and how does the batteries do in each of the above types?

    The types of batteries are something I know nothing about, your overall general opinion of these lights would be appreciated.

    I'm kind of leaning towards the NF-2 because of it's light weight and high output.

    Oh one other thing, I heard a rumor that the rechargeable maglight charger will also charge an ultrastinger, is that true? My dept uses the regargeable maglites and the charger is hardwired into the cruiser. Any other lights that will be charged on this charger? Tigerlight maybe? (god I'd love that).

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Another option is the Surefire G2Z at 4.1 ounces.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Hi, Caspertoo.

    I owed a couple of Pelican M6 and can say that it is one of the best thrower for 2x123 un-modded light out there.

    All three that you have mentioned do use CR123 batteries, and they are all in Lithium which means they will operate better in cold weather and have a much longer shelf life(some CR123 battery maker claimed to have 10 years battery).

    A cheap place to get them are either from batterystation or surefire.

    As for recommendation, I can't say for what I do not own, but PM6 is a pretty fair choice(except for it weight), and instead of the 6P, I do recommend the N2Z which is just as bright but much lighter(and probably more shock/scratch resistant, easier to hold in cold winter) or the E2E/E2d which is smaller/lighter as well.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    I second the SFG2Z. I have carried my SFG2 in the mountains and it is very comfortable to carry for it is very light. If i would have known what i know now, i would have purchased the SFGZ instead of the SFG.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    How about a Nuwai Q-III [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Casper, I think you have done your homework.

    The SL NF is very small, lighter, and shorter than the other choices, and is very similiar in output, and throw. The SL TL-2 Xenon uses the same bulb, and reflector as the NF. Both carry a spare bulb (in the light), a definite plus over the other two. Both SLs have a clip.

    I find the SL switch superior to the Pelican. The Streamlights are not as "slick" as the other two. You won't drop them, unless you want to.

    As mentioned, all use the same CR123 Lithium batteries. They are a necessity for a light that is carried often, and seldom used, because of their long life in poor conditions of heat, and cold.

    I don't see any problem with your choice, other than perhaps looking at the difference in body styles between the SL TL-2, and NF-2.

    I own (or did) all of the mentioned lights, and the SL's are my carry choice.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    I to would suggest you look at the SF G2Z, its alot more durable than the 6P, has a better shape to its body and weighs very little. I've carried one on my belt for over a year now and use it most days, it looks like it did the day I opened the box and it has not let me down once.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* PhotonBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Check the batteries and the Pelican prices on this page:

    http://www.batterystation.com/cpf.htm

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Welcome to CPF!!!

    I would suggest an LED light as a back up light. Then you don't have to worry about a bulb breaking. Plenty of bright, light weight LED lights out there. Inova, Nightcutter, Peak, QIII, Surefire, just to name a few. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]



    Blades

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    The Pelican is a good choice although a bit larger than some of the others. I notice that the Streamlight TL-2 is light and compact so it would be a good choice, as would the Streamlight Scorpion. If you need something smaller than that then I would go with the Nuwai QIII.

  11. #11
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    While the G2Z looks good, it doesn't look like it has a recessed tail switch, am I right?

    I'm liking the TL-2 xenon, as well as the NF-2. I think the Pelican M6 is out because of the weight and the fact that the others have just as much output.

    Sure fire does have some nice quick draw holsters for their flashlights that are nice. Hmm choices.

    Does anyone know if the Rechargeable maglight charger will work on a ultrastinger?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    The G2Z has a LOTC (Lock Out Tail Cap). You can press for momentary or twist for constant on. To lock out the tail cap so that the light can't come on accidently you twist the tail cap a little farther than off (about 1 full turn).

  13. #13
    Flashaholic CQB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    welcome Caspertoo! Sorry dont know re: the magcharger. Dont worry - someone will EVENTUALLY answer yoru question. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    With respect to yoru backup FL I wanted to know if you had any experience with LED lights and if so, did you prefer an LED beam or an INCAN beam? And then we'd go from there. As another CPFer has mentioned, a LED (luxeon) flahslight would give the advantage of no replacement bulb to worry about. And some FLs are "regulated" as well so the output would be EVEN STEVEN for the life of the batteries, more or less. The INCANs you are considering (6P, NF2, PM6) would give you a gradual decline in output over the lifespan of the batts - something I personally dont like, but that is the nature of these lights, and is not due to anything faulty with them.

    INCAN beams I find are more "yellow" but tend to throw more or have a more penetrating characteristic to them.

    LED beams can be more "white" (depending on the tint you get) and make great flood lights (can light up a room depending on the reflector/optics) and provide a more true color rendition if that is important to you.

    I wanted an LED flashlight with THROW - i wanted the best of both. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I invested in an ALeph III. I am not suggesting you do that cuz I am now broke ass and I eat one meal every 2 days. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/stupid.gif[/img] But MAN, what a nice piece of kit my A3 is!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Good luck with your research - this is the fun part in case you didnt know. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Might I suggest you checkout the INOVA line of flashlights? They are luxeon LED lights, small in form, use 123s, have great throw, are regulated, and i think they would make excellent backup lights.

    Review for Inova T Series

    be safe out there.
    CQB

  14. #14

    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    I've had a Nuwai QIII in my pocket for about a week, and I can't believe how much I'm using it. I carry a SF 8NX for my duty light, have a X200 on my Glock, and just wanted a good, solid backup for my pocket. I'm sold on the LED/CR123 combo. Always works, every time, just like my Glock.

    Before the QIII, I carried a 6P on and off. Little too big for the pocket with all of the other junk I keep in there.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    i'm going to go against the grain and say, don't get a Surefire unless you're financially comfortable. for the price of two replacement lamps in a Surefire you could get that Pelican M6 or SL NF2.

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Caspertoo,

    I absolutely love the Peli M6 (I have both incan and LED modules). The SF 6P is nice, but for less money you will get more throw and I think the same ruggedness from the Peli. (BTW, there was a post some time ago about some military personnel in Iraq using the Peli on their rifles; other lights were failing, the Peli going strong... BRB... can't find the link right now).

    Have you considered Pila lights? Very well made, compact, bright, rugged, and run on rechargeable batteries as well as 123's. Check my sig if you're interested in checking out a GL3. One of the reviewers is an officer in Canada, and really liked the light.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Caspertoo,

    The best backup light for you depends on how you would use it. If you want the brightest and furthest-throwing 2x123 lights tested in "real life" there are currently three that fit that category: The PM6 xenon, The Original ASP Taclite ("set and forget" internal focus; I can't vouch for the newer Triad with external focus) and the TACM III which is remarkably light at 3.8oz and the shortest of the three. My choice of those three is the PM6 despite its relative bulk.

    If throw is still important but you want a lighter and smaller light then the Streamlight TL-2 or Nightfighter would be among the best in that categoey.

    The Streamlight Strion is a very good small light but it is rechargeable and non-rechargeables are usually preferred for backup.

    If you want a small light that is well adapted to use with a handgun then either the

    Streamlight Nightfighter


    or the Surefire G2Z


    is a good choice. Some users prefer a recessed tailswitch like the Streamlights' but others find the G2Z's LOTC (lockout tailcap) more user friendly. It is a matter of personal preference. The G2Z takes the same lamp modules as the other “C” sized SF lights; P60 and P61, which provide an excellent balance between throw and spread.

    LED lights have many advantages but the brightest 2x123 LED light with “standard diameter” reflector (27mm) will not throw as strongly as the brightest similar-sized incandescants. In addition their light provides less contrast and color accuracy than the incandescents, as others have mentioned. The Nuwai Q-III is an excellent very small LED light as sgtlmj has said. It is surprisingly bright for its size but its beam has significantly less throw and penetration than the incandescents previously mentioned. However, for moderately close work requiring a bright spread of light with a modestly hot central beam the QIII is hard to beat.

    The PILA lights are excellent though they tend to be a little heavier than similar lights from other makers. PILA beams are quite different from the beams of most other incandescents; they are extremely broad and can give you an encompassing view of an entire room. The downside is that they are relatively poor performers beyond a short range though some LEOs like Madecov have given excellent marks to the larger and more powerful PILA lights.

    Brightnorm

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Caspertoo, I REALLY liked that GL3R that I tried during the pass-around, but am kind of too-short on funds to jump to it. The white (ok, bluish-tint) LED tail cap was great for initial contact, then flip around and push on the tail cap for further searching - reverse and repeat as fast, and often, as situations deem necessary.

    I bought a Pelican M6 xenon from another CPF member, and other than being the silver colour, I like it, and carry it on my duty belt at all times in the included holster, but have removed the stiffener pieces.

    I also carry a Dorcy Spyder (that I "creatively acquired") on my duty belt at all times in one pouch of an extra double-mag pouch (which I also "creatively acquired") (and carry 2 folding knives in the other pouch).

    I would recommend your plan of going with 123A disposable lithium power source for whatever back up you choose, or, in the case of the Pila GL3R, at least having them available if you happen to run down the 150A rechargeables, although they seemed to have a VERY long run-time.

    That GL3R really seems more like a good choice for a main lighting tool - heavy-duty aluminum-bodied, bright, rechargeable, easy-to-carry and versatile (LED and xenon) as opposed to a back-up. Certainly it is no impact-weapon, but who wants to do that with a high-end light anyway, especially when most of us LEO/PO carry metal extendable defensive batons?

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Wolfen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Streamlight Strion Review

    Check out the Streamlight Strion. A rechargeable little thrower. It uses a lithium-ion battery that holds a charge better than the ni-cad battery packs. About the same size as the other lights you are looking at. I throw mine on the charger once a week if I haven't used it. It has built in battery protection circuits so you don't cook the battery. Spare bulb in tailcap.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Pila_Power's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    I dunno about you Constable but when I grip my GL3, I feel like I could punch through just about anything!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    The LED end would be good for hammer strikes and the body provides a great core-strengthener for a fist IMO.

    Not that I'm the violent type or anything!! hehehe

  21. #21

    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    If I had my butt on the line, I would go with the Surefire G2Z or 6P or the Streamlight NF-2. In my opinion they were specifically made for the Law Enforcement market and the resulting harsh duty. The Pelican M6 that I handled was rough, threads were not cut that great and I wouldn't trust my life on it. Pelican is fine for the average dude but not as a professional tool.
    Sorry just my opinion. ( Just a side note when I was involved in Law enforcement related field, the guys I worked with said Surefire is for SWAT and Streamlight for beat cops. I think they were refering to the extra cost and prestige more than anything else, but I haven't seem that much evidence to the contrary.)

    GregR

  22. #22

    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Why do you need a backup light. Are you looking for one in case you primary light goes out or for in case if you drop your main light?? I am also a cop (18 years). I have 2 stinger hps, One on my belt the other in the charger. They are set up the same that away I dont have to try to use a different piece of equipment. One is always in the charger the other on my belt. The most used flashlight on my person is a Streamlight led. It is great for approaching houses in stealth mode...which is what I do all night (warrants). If I am using my main light and drop it so forth it provides more than enough illumnation to find it. It also is good for Sfst. I guess you could say my back up is the Straemlight m6 that stays mounted on my Glock. That is what I would recommend to you. Normal usage it could stay on your belt. If it is gun time you can attach it (provide you have rails) and have a gun light. Emergency flashligt if main one fails. 90 to 120 lumens(mfg claims). I like mine. It does double duty in the same space.

    I have two of the pelicans (one led, one incadescent and I would not heistate to use it on duty. I have one mounted to my 12 gauge at home and it has never lost a bulb.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Im a LEO, my main light is the SF M3 w/225lm bulb. my choice for a back-up light is the SF L4. it's small, light weight and has excelent burn time. The amount of light it produces is good enough for tactical use if need be and you can get a T.I.D. for it as well.

    good luck
    J.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* leukos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    Because of the poor quality of LED lights in situations with ambient light such as dusk or street lamps, I really think you should stick with incandescent for LEO/security work. Here's another vote for the Surefire G2Z. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

  25. #25
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    I can really see where a LED would be nice, using it for lighting with citation writing, reports etc. I was looking at Flashlightreviews.com and saw that he just got done reviewing the new Surefire L2.

    Any opinions? This thing is 4.3 ounces with batteries, totally meets my weight needs. Has a high output of 89!! for 60 minutes with a low of like 10 for 18 hours. Ruggidly built. Any opinions? The only con to it is the non-recessed tail button and the length of it is slightly longer than the others.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Need a good backup light for on duty use.

    The L2 is a great light; but not for LEO work. I handled one a while back.

    You're right in that an LED is great for writing reports and using around suspects that are compliant. But the problem with LEDs in ambient light, as mentioned by leukos above, makes them totally unsuitable for "serious" work. Basically, the LED beam will not penetrate shadows outside the cast of any ambient light; and what you cannot see can hurt you. I found this out first-hand the night I used my L4 on a raid.

    I haven't been on the road, in uniform, for many years. If I went back, my trusty old 6P would ride on my gun belt as back-up to either an issue Stinger or my even older (and equally trusty) SL-20.

    You'll find that one light just won't do everything, especially in law enforcment work. A small auxillary LED, kept in the seat organizer where you can get to it at your leisure, is real handy. You do not want something too bright for this.

    But your main lights should be incandescent, very bright, and attached to you. You're only as good as what you've got, to hand, when the flag goes up. A back-up light in the unit is useless if you have to dash for cover away from the car.

    I'll echo the recommendation of a G2. If they had been available in 1990, when I bought my 6P, that's what I would have bought. You can get a dedicated scabbard for the gun belt, or just stick it in your off-side pocket; its small enough for that. And you cannot beat the price.

    For ticket-writing, interviewing during a stop, etc., a Streamlight LED Task light or the Lux JR would fill the bill perfectly without costing a chunk of change. But have that powerful incan where you can grab it right NOW.

    I carried that 6P next to my cuffs. It came in handy more than once, when my SL-20 was out of reach for some reason.

    The SureFire A2 Aviator is a PERRFECT back-up light, since it has the low LEDs for administrative stuff and the bright incan for emergencies. Pricey, yes... but cheap insurance in the grand overall scheme. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/au.gif[/img]

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