Looking to update LED options for legacy incan Surefire lights

HateTheSnow

Newly Enlightened
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Nov 18, 2022
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Central Florida
Hello everyone. I've been reading up a bit while waiting for my membership to clear, but still have more questions than answers at this point and wanted to see what advise the group may have. What I have are two Surefire lights that I'm exploring modern upgrades for; an Executive Elite E2e in HA Natural finish and and a Centurion C3 in Black finish. I updated the heads on both years ago with Surefire LED options (KL4 for the E2e and KX4 for the C3), but I like the options available today that appear they can step up the output and capabilities of these lights by a good margin. Additionally, I still have the original incan heads for both lights.

Based on my research so far, I see that Lumens Factory has a good array of aftermarket Surefire options available but I wanted to reach out here before committing to anything. Price isn't a critical but I also want to keep things within reason. At this point, here is where I am leaning:

Centurion C3 w/ KX4 LED Head
This is our general use light around the house, mostly used for taking the dogs out at night. Our property is just under two acres bordering on conservation land, making throw a useful characteristic in a light given the size of the yard and critters in the area. That need has me shying away from the triple LED options, but I am considering swapping the KL4 head for a LF single LED D26-LED (3.6V-13V) lamp module. I'm also leaning towards single mode as I found myself cycling through the lower output modes with other lights I have used for this application.

Questions
  • This seems like a low-cost upgrade for the C3, but am I missing other options that might be worth considering?
  • Any thoughts on selecting a warm white (90-CRI) LED over a neutral white (80-CRI) LED, despite the slightly lower output?
  • How is the throw with the LF LED upgrades? Some of the older posts talk about how a lot of the throw is lost with many LED upgrades, thought the SF KX4 seemed to be a good replacement for the P90 incan it came with.
  • Anything else I may be missing?

Executive Elite E2e w/ KL4 LED Head
This is my EDC and I would like to bring it more inline with the E2 Defender series configuration and add more light output. Looking at the parts on LF, it seems reasonable given the cost of a new E2D, and when I do finally pick up one of the new ones I can return this to incan for a retro look in the collection. As an added plus, the parts are available in HA Natural that matches my 20-year old E2e. Here's what I'm thinking, but would love any thoughts or feedback:
  • LF E-series head unit w/ Defender bezel + drop in E2-LED
    • I did not see any LED Head Units at LF with a defender bezel option
    • Buying a second head unit also gives an option for a less-aggressive configuration using the SF E2e MN03 head unit
    • Same question as above on warm white vs neutral white
  • E Series Z68 Style Defender Tailcap
  • 2-Way Long Clip for Surefire E Series
I did look at the Malkoff options and while they are not out of consideration, I'm not liking the mismatched black & HA natural finish that would result and the cost is pushing closer to just buying an E2D Defender Ultra which I can pick up for $200 US direct from SF. If there are other thoughts, I'd love to hear them. I always welcome the wisdom that comes from the experience of others, so feel free to challenge my thinking.

Have a safe and very merry holiday season,
HateTheSnow
 

LEDphile

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Mar 8, 2021
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314
For the C3, I'd take a hard look at the Malkoff M91BN or M61N drop-ins for your existing incandescent head. You'll get more output (but a bigger hotspot) from the M91BN, but more throw (tighter hotspot), better run time, and slightly better color rendition from the M61N. The M61N would be my choice here, and it's also the less expensive option.

There's discussion on both options (and some beamshots) in the Malkoff subforum
 

HateTheSnow

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Joined
Nov 18, 2022
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Location
Central Florida
Great info and exactly what I was looking for. When I looked on the Malkoff site, the only option that came up for the C3 was the M91B. I wrote it off due to cost & run time.

The M61 is an interesting option and one I missed. Not something you see until you select the C2 upgrades and view the detailed description on what it's compatible with. What's catching my eye though is the M61NL drop-in. From my reads here, it's close in real-world output but has nearly 5x the runtime. If the throw is on par with the KX4 with double the output and 5x the runtime, this may be the winner.

For the E2e, the choice may be to revert it to ican and purchasing the E2D Defender Ultra. My E2e has been a trusted partner for many years, but it might be time to expand the collection and revert it to "collectible" status.
 

LEDphile

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Mar 8, 2021
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314
Note that the M61N is pretty close to double the current draw of the M61N, so some of the ~5x runtime that's reported is due to how the batteries respond under load (especially when driven from a single Li-ion or 2x CR123 cells). Running the M61N at 9V will reduce the current draw and narrow the runtime gap between the M61N and the M61NL
 

bykfixer

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Dust in the Wind
A fellow named Tana builds modules for the e1 and 2 series lights that can be had in nice tints.
For info on current offerings email him.
See info in post 1.
 

aginthelaw

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The KL1 head is the latest and greatest according to this forum (as stated in 2009). I actually started using mine again on my e2L after finding out i could use it with more than one cell, 13 years later
 

yellow

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Baden.at
You seem not to think about the power option(s) so far?
?
Because that would be my 1st concern, especially earlier, when the light still ran on incans. Eating through them like crazy.

Imho nothing beats a 6p conversion (6 P kind-of host light) than can run on
* 1 x 18650 li-ion cell with
* one three level p60 led-insert.

Unfortunately both Your lights can not be modded to 18650,
and with the E that would not make sense - it is meant to be the small light.
As to the Centurion ... have always been the 6P guy, so not sure ... that is 6P size, or?

PS: it is not a given, that "warm" led is higher in CRI, and that is overrated anyway. ;)
Go for a 6000 K neutral white and enjoy.
 
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chillinn

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Mobjack Bay
Go for a 6000 K neutral white and enjoy.
I thought you were an incan guy, yellow? Are you kidding? Nothing beats an equally bright 3000K or 3500K HiCRI on more juice. And neutral white starts at 4000K and ends at 5200K. 6000K is cool white, with lots of blue light infused, which slowly causes permanent blindness. Our eyes evolved in natural light no higher than 5100K, but Golden Hour is magic hour, 2000K - 3500K is far sweeter than cool white. Depends on how old and crotchety the user is. For some reason old timers insist on cool white, blindness, and seeing less with more lumens.
 
Last edited:
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There is a Surefire/Elzetta guy on FB who can professionally bore the bodies to accept 18650 cells if that's what you're looking for. His name is Christian Black and has his own group call KTF Systems. He also does great work with Cerakote and other mods.

If the cost is too prohibitive to modify the old Surefire, maybe keeping it as an original would be a good option and start fresh with a nice Malkoff MD2 and M61N drop in? With the hi/lo ring in the head, you'll have a dead simple two mode light without the need to cycle through for each mode. A twist and you're either high or low. The body will take 18650 as well as 2x CR123, making it much more versatile and modern.

Here's a good configuration and if you would like to purchase with a different drop in (like the high CRI neutral tint), you can email Cathy and she can configure it for you.
 
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