Best Overall Reflector, Beam-Pattern


CPF Supporter
Aug 9, 2015
My own little Idaho
To me it's kinda like asking which 1/4" drive ratchet is best when at times a 1/2" drive is better suited for the task.

But the first time I saw the beam of my first Malkoff MD2 in an open field I was at a loss for words about how pleased I was. It was kinda like a day when the guy I bought a car from was fixing the loosened tilt steering wheel and pulls out a small set of snap on tools. I asked what is so great about them. He hands me the ratchet he was using. The way it felt in my hand caused me to understand what all the fuss was about.

First time I saw the beam from a PKDL FL2 was the day I saw the beam I've judged all LED flashlights against since. At times I still prefer more of a pencil beam but to me in an open field it was the perfect blend of throw and spill. It had that extra punch through darkness the Malkoff lacked and colors just popped out like I had never seen pop from a flashlight. My little PR-1 puts out an amazing amount of evenly dispersed cone shaped lighting while disappearing into my trouser pocket.

I still like the 320 lumen SureFire G2x Pro beam though. Again, a great mix of spill and spot that appears brighter than the numbers suggest. And for $55 it was such a bargain.

The most stunned I was by a beam was the night I aimed a Streamlight ProTac HL-X4 at my shiney white truck from 5 feet with all 2200 lumens propelled out the front and barely squinted. The frosted optic just absolutely killed any harshness yet it can light up a football field sized area well.

The one that causes me to giggle still is the 2C Maglite ROP when it shuts off neighbors sun sensing porch lights from 100 feet away. I also giggle when watching the filament glow orange for 3 seconds after shutting it off. But since the bulbs are as rare as an honest politician I hardly use that one.

These days I use mostly Maglites but their brighter numbers are just too bright much of the time so I click it to medium, which turns off all that huge spill yet keeps the throw largely intact.

When Don Keller teamed up with John Bianchi to create the mid 1970's B-Lite they used a slightly textured reflector and placed the PR bulb in the ultimate position to achieve a near perfect beam much like Don McCliesch and Gene Malkoff did years later with the M61. But the light bulb throws out those 20 to 30 some lumens way off in the distance like a much larger relector from a search and rescue light. No match for todays modern LED's but at the time it must have had a lot of cops saying "holy crap, that is amazing". That and the first generation Kel-Lite C sized light are a treat to behold.

Like nbp said, it's difficult for me to determine the "best" beam from a reflector and as much as I like a beam from an optic I still prefer the reflector'd beam.

It's fun to see what others prefer too.


Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
May 8, 2017
Eastern Europe
Each is good in its own way, there are a lot of cool combinations)) Personally, I like Don McGizmo's reflectors (if I'm not mistaken, Malkoff uses only his reflectors, if it's not TIR), Ledil, Bega, Surefire and Streamlight. But even if an excellent reflector is installed the impression can be ruined by incorrect installation of the good diode or bad diode or bad poor UI or power supply or unreliable performance.

These are cool - TIR + reflector, but they are stationary and flood, repeating this for a portable flashlight, even a large one, will most likely be too expensive

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