Headlamp Like First Gen Surefire Minimus

cm_mtb

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I have a first generation Minimus Vision. I love the infinitely variable brightness, which can be easily and rapidly adjusted by the side knob. I don't like lights with several defined modes, and I'm too impatient to press and hold a button to gradually increase or decrease brightness.

As much as I like the UI of my Surefire, I'm tired of using primaries, and the tint has always sucked. Here's what I'm looking for in a new headlamp:

- infinite brightness control with twist knob
- 1 lumen or less on low
- neutral or warm LED, high CRI is a plus
- rechargeable 16340 or 18650
- basically a Minimus Vision but better!

Does my dream light exist?
 

Lynx_Arc

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I don't know about the twist knob but I have a light that has ramping from 5 to 600 lumens with a 1200 lumen turbo, neutral white color using a side switch and 18650 light. I prefer modes myself that way once you do get in a mode you have an idea how bright it is and how long you can run it at that level of light.
 

parametrek

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Apr 3, 2013
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I wish there was. Nothing comes close in the database. There are a few with ramping but they are all push button. And there are a few with rotary dials but they mostly still have modes. There are a couple with both features but everything else about them falls short.
 

Dark Attic Works

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There are infinitely variable rotary lights like the Jetbeam RRT series, Sunwayman VR, Nitecore SRT. The rotary control is a ring instead of a side dial though but you might enjoy it. Neutral white options on some of them. My Jetbeam rotaries go crazy low and they can all run on Li-ion cells.

Edit: totally missed the headlamp part... whoops. I guess you could always rig up some contraption to attach the above lights to your noggin... :thinking:
 
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Kestrel

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I feel for you, OP; while I have been running my flashlights on rechargeables for over 10 years, I am still running through a few CR123's per year using my SF Minimus Vision.
It is otherwise such a perfect design, that I can't imagine SF or any other company making anything like them again. :-/

Nobody here has actually confirmed that it cannot be run on 3.7v LiIons; members here have measured tailcap currents on the T1A Titan (using a very similar driver) and found a decrease in current draw commensurate with the higher voltages, so anything is possible.

Not endorsing that practice of course - because this headamp of mine is virtually irreplaceable, I will continue to take exceedingly good care of mine.
Am going to be using mine again for a camping trip this weekend actually. :thumbsup:
 
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jabe1

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The only other ones I can think of are OKs Ikon headlamps from years back.
I still have one of each somewhere. You can't get a more intuitive UI than what is basically a potentiometer.
 

cm_mtb

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Dec 2, 2009
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Colorado
Thanks for the thoughts, everyone. Sounds like there really isn't anything comparable out there. Is anyone aware of a headlamp with a rotary knob that at least meets the other criteria? I would be okay with several modes if I could still get a ≤1 lumen low and one or two modes beyond that which didn't exceed 25 lumens. It's frustrating how bright headlamps are these days. I would give the new Minimus a try if it weren't for the 5 lumen low.

I feel for you, OP; while I have been running my flashlights on rechargeables for over 10 years, I am still running through a few CR123's per year using my SF Minimus Vision.
It is otherwise such a perfect design, that I can't imagine SF or any other company making anything like them again. :-/

Nobody here has actually confirmed that it cannot be run on 3.7v LiIons; members here have measured tailcap currents on the T1A Titan (using a very similar driver) and found a decrease in current draw commensurate with the higher voltages, so anything is possible.

Not endorsing that practice of course - because this headamp of mine is virtually irreplaceable, I will continue to take exceedingly good care of mine.
Am going to be using mine again for a camping trip this weekend actually. :thumbsup:

Same here! I have a stash of primaries just for my Minimus. I use the headlamp almost daily, and go through a battery every month. I'm tempted to try rechargeables, but don't want to risk damage.
 

Kestrel

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Willamette Valley, OR
There were also the SureFire-branded 3.0v rechargeables; they didn't really catch on (partly due to their low capacity), but that could be another option. :shrug:
 

LogansRun

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Dec 18, 2018
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I have a first generation Minimus Vision. I love the infinitely variable brightness, which can be easily and rapidly adjusted by the side knob. I don't like lights with several defined modes, and I'm too impatient to press and hold a button to gradually increase or decrease brightness.

As much as I like the UI of my Surefire, I'm tired of using primaries, and the tint has always sucked. Here's what I'm looking for in a new headlamp:

- infinite brightness control with twist knob
- 1 lumen or less on low
- neutral or warm LED, high CRI is a plus
- rechargeable 16340 or 18650
- basically a Minimus Vision but better!

Does my dream light exist?
The thought of having a twist knob - like a JB RRT-01 which I love - that will go from 1 lumen or less to high, with infinite variable levels and take rechargeable 18650's, would be The holy grail of headlamps! I do hope that a manufacturer will build this light.

I think the closest, if you can call it that, is my Acebeam H15 with 4 level magnetic twist knob. Don't get me wrong, it's a great UI where you have 4 distinct levels of light but you still need to click-hold to get 4 sublevels. Intuitive and easy to learn UI but not even close to infinitely variable. Maybe we can lobby JB or Acebeam to build it.

Are the newest gen surefire not as good as first gen?
I've never been a fan of their headlamps other than the one that had multi-fuel capability. Many SF LED lights have also had terrible tints including their headlamps. I believe the Maximus is infinitely variable from 5(?) - 500 lmns but has built-in battery so doesn't take rechargeables and the Minimus takes primary 123's and only has 13 preset levels to 300 lmns so not really infinitely variable. Not sure if the SF tint lottery still applies as I don't really look at SF headlamps much.

I think the preference is for a headlamp that would be infinitely variable with ability to run on rechargeable 18650's and have the latest high CRI LED's.
 
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