McLux Ti 27L PD-Proto Review

EricMack

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I was recently fortunate to receive from Don a Ti 27L PD-Proto. This is a mini-review, if you will, and as I don't have a lot of testing equipment, it is really going to be limited to my impressions and real world experience with the light. First a pic of the light, which I hope Don does not mind my posting here, as I could never take a picture this good. Thanks, Don, I'll remove it if you want.:wave:
PD-Ti-27L-standing.jpg


The light I received is the one on the right, in raw 6-4 Titanium. It is driven by a NexGenX2 driver, set to 60/875, which is higher than the normal PD's utilizing the Wiz drivers. Don was gracious to offer numerous Lux III options, and I asked that he please install the best U-bin he felt he had on hand, and so it arrived with a UW0K.

My first impression upon carefully tearing open the box and picking it up for the first time was "Wow." It is very heavy as compared to my III-T and Chrome PD. The light overall is flawless, and is a beauty to behold. The piston works very well, and the twist action is smooth, though it has double O-rings so its slightly stiffer than the others (newer, too). I couldn't wait for darkness to fall. :)

Last night I grabbed the 27L, the III-T, the Chrome PD, and my favorite duty light, my Surefire L-5, and went into the night for some fun.
I quickly realized comparing the 27L to the other Lux III McGizmo lights mentioned was fruitless. The 27L is a whole lot brighter, and has a much tighter, better defined hot spot. The UW0K has a warm white beam, and I'm glad that's what Don sent. I have to be frank here guys, this thing throws like a champ!! The only light fair to compare for throw purposes was the Lux V SF L-5. The 27L does out-throw the L-5 by a small measure, I am sure due to the deeper reflector the 27L is sporting, though it is similar to the L-5. The hot spot itself holds together better at distance than the L-5 too, and the warmer beam color is more pleasing (to me) as well. After playing around with mostly those two, I have to admit to having a very silly grin on my face.

Sorry, no run time tests or other lumen readings, I don't have that type of equipment nor the skills if I did! My simple conclusion at this point is that I have a new "cold dead hands" champion. I am fortunate enough to own a lot of fine quality lights, and have been asked many times which is the last light I would ever give up. My answer up to now has always been the SF L-5. Not anymore. IMO, Don has created in the Ti 27L the finest flashlight I have ever seen, and I am flatly astounded at this light in every way. It fits in my hand perfectly, about 3/4 inches longer than a PD due to the bezel, and as such I can more easily utilize the piston. Its heavy. You pick it up, and its just solid as a rock. I would bet I could run over this light with my truck and it wouldn't complain one bit. No, I'm not going to test that statement.

Sorry, I know this is not a real technical review. I hope to add to it as time goes on. I conclude by saying that this light is very differen't from my PD and III-T, in ways that are very pleasing to me. I hope very much that Don decides to produce a run of these lights, as I expect many here would end up feeling much the same way I do. To me, Don has just created as perfect a flashlight as I ever expect to see.:bow: Yes, that's subjective, but this light is the best of the best, and I for once I am not shy to say that. I thank Don for making this light, and would buy another in a heartbeat if he makes a run of them.

Hope you enjoyed my impressions, and I'll be happy to try to answer reasonable comments :nana:
 

Frenchyled

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HEy, please, EricMack remove it please, please ;) I can't look at these McLux Ti 27L more than one second, Ouch... my eyes :crackup:

Nice comments, thank you to share with us your very first impressions :thumbsup:

Don, you are "The Man" :nana:
 

PoliceScannerMan

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Hey Mack. PIC request, I know you say you have bad photo skills, thats OK with me. Could you do 4 views of the Chrome PD next to this light?? Please?! :grin2:

One pic just them standing next to each other, one looking into the bezels, side by side, one from the back side by side, and one beam shot side by side!

You da man, as usual!! :goodjob:
 

ibcj

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Very, VERY NICE !!!

Even if they are heavy and expensive, here's hoping that we see a run of these.

Congrats on your latest acquisition.
 

EricMack

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PSM - I will try to get some photos, though I know someone else who has one plans to post some here too, and they should be better than I can do.

Cryhavoc - it has a LOT more throw than the PD. But it should given the reflector and the fact its driven higher. :naughty:


nystriper and Frenchy - Thanks! :eek: Don deserves the kudos!!
 

PoliceScannerMan

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EricMack said:
The only light fair to compare for throw purposes was the Lux V SF L-5. The 27L does out-throw the L-5 by a small measure, I am sure due to the deeper reflector the 27L is sporting, though it is similar to the L-5. The hot spot itself holds together better at distance than the L-5 too, and the warmer beam color is more pleasing (to me) as well. :

Lux III's out throw LuxV's due to their small focal point, thats why Lux V's are more floody. Hence the tighter beam at a distance with the Ti 27L PD compared to the L-5. But I know this is old news, just mentioning it for the newbies. Thats why I kinda wish I had a SFIII lux III.
 

McGizmo

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EricMack,
Thanks for the kind words and review. I can add a few comments and opinions here. First up, the optics. I consider the 20mm reflector in the PD to be a very sound compromise in terms of light distribution given its physical size and like other 1" OD heads, for a 1xCR123 light this optic size fits well in the over all package size and what I consider to be a pocketable EDC standard, of sorts. The McLuxIII-T and upcoming McLuxIII Ti-PD both utilize the 20 mm reflector in hosts that will outlast us even under harsh environments and usage. All of these Ti lights have relatively easy removable converters and LED sinks allowing the host to carry future generations and replacements of innards if desired. However, a 20 mm reflector allows a fair amount of its luminious output to leave the light without being collimated or re directed. The 27L reflector came about as an extension to the 20 mm reflector where the same parabolic formula has been extended in a deeper reflector with more colimating surface exposed to the LED. The result is a greater concentration of light and intensity in both the center spot as well as out through and into the tighter spill or corona of the beam.

A 27 mm reflector is also a common and somewhat standard size for a flashlight. Typically a 27 mm reflector, like the Pelican M6 reflector, McR-27, and the IMS 27 mm utilize a longer focal length and have a shallower depth than the 27L. This longer focal length results in a more defined spot beam with a strong drop in intensity when you move out into the region of the wide spill or corona. Many of the reflector geometries are based on incan light sources which have a significantly different distribution of light compared to the LED's. The highest concentration of flux is straight out the front on a LED. This has given rise to the use of TIR optics for many of the light makers and brought out the recoil set up from Pelican. I personally prefer the duality of spot and corona from a reflector as well as the blurring and blending of projected image that you can get from an orange peeled reflector as opposed to the optics I have seen. If the desired results are in concentration of beam and intensity in a tighter grouping of the photon streams, a relatively deep reflector can provide a viable solution. The 27L reflector takes some of the power in the spill and distributes it into the center as well as to a leser extent into the now smaller angle corona.

I think the 27L is more effective than the 20 when you either need to illuminate targets at a greater distance or need a higher concentration of light on closer targets. The 27L requires a larger host and there is never a free ride, it would seem.

In general terms, I think a light based on intensity should embrace both intensity of power at the source as well as in its optic delivery. Since a 27 mm reflector requires a reasonable size head, it makes sense to me to go ahead and allow for 2xCR123 battery power which will allow for driving the Luxeon at full power. This thought process brought about the 27LT light that has still not made it out of the gates. :eek: (The jerk types instead of standing at the bench) The 27LT was designed in Al and with heavy wall thickness to allow for good thermal mass as well as rough duty capability. Since I have been focusing on Ti and had picked up some material on spec, I decided to go ahead and get a few protos built in Ti. The head design is straight from the 27LT with dual O-rings and I had some 2x123 twisty paks of the 27LT design made. I also wanted to visit a 1x123 PD pack with the 27L head so a few of these were machined.

I consider the 27LT design to be of a robust and heavy duty nature in aluminum. In 6-4 Ti, it is major overkill! :D I do think you could drive over these lights with a truck and this could be on concrete, not soft dirt or grass. With the 2 mm thick sapphire window and heavy wall of the head, you could probably use these as a hammer or club without damaging the integrity of the front end.
I think you could safely :dedhorse:

I have had the light pictured on the left in my pocket since I built it. I can't justify it really but I won't part with it either. :eek: It would seem that my illness may be shared by others! :green: When I had these protos made, my excuse was that they would be protos and test platforms. The reality was that I wanted them and had no real plans beyond getting them. I had no thoughts of selling them but personal finances coupled with some unsolicited offers of an acceptable nature have now trimed my excess away. I have re designed this particular Ti light in what I consider to be a more reasonable fashion (economy as well as function) and it is the vapor program in the wings behind the upcoming Ti PD run.

If one of these proto lights fails to beat a competitor in performance, a recourse is for it to physically beat up the competitor in a literal head to head clash. :crackup:
 

luxlunatic

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May the vapor solidify!!!! That light is awesome. Don, you are the man. If you build it, they will buy :naughty: !!!! Love the size, design, material, 27mm reflector, love it all !!!!:sold:
 

EricMack

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Jan 13, 2004
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Don - Thanks so much for checking in and enlightning us with so many things that only you could bring out :grin2: Thankfully, the new PD and Porky seem to be getting along fine, I'd hate to see those two mix it up :crackup:
 

Kiessling

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WOW! What an absolutely stunning light monster! :eek:oo: :drool:
Really awesome light!
bernie

P.S.: Don ... any word on how the 27L performs with a LuxV?
 

cue003

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I am in. Wherever the line is, I cannot miss this one. 27L, 27LT whatever it may be. I am officially trying to join the Ti family.

Curtis
 
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