New C4 Streamlight SurvivorLED quick & dirty review w/beamshots vs. old and the Spear

woodrow

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New C4 Streamlight SurvivorLED quick & dirty review w/beamshots vs. old and the Spear

Hi,
I have been a fan of the Streamlight SurvivorLED since it came out a few years ago. I have bought 5 of the old ones and though their output was no where close to the new cree lights... the SurvivorLED still had a warm place in my heart, even if they did not see weekly use.

As you could imagine, I was very excited when the new C4 >100 lumens version (vs. 60 for the lux III )came out. I had one shipped to me from the nice folks at Brightguy, and it got here today. It looks and feels exactly like the old one...even the packaging is the same. It did come with a note stating that the SurvivorLED inside does have the new C4 led and a way to verify this by its seriel#.

Here are a couple of pics.
3057718223_32bea1b7a8.jpg

The lights can be ordered with rechargable nicad pack w/ a charger and alkaline backup magazine...or just with a alkaline battery pack. The lights are also availible in safety yellow and orange.
3058553538_c7c9b1cb0a.jpg

As you can see, the smooth reflector of the SurvivorLED (C4 version on left) is much bigger than the Spear's reflector (center)

With the new C4 led, I was hoping that the SurvivorLED would have much better throw than the Spear with its OP reflector. As for its output and throw, I have to say I am dissapointed. While I believe the light is putting out 100 lumens... 100 lumens is not that bright any more. Mine also has a very noticible purpleish tint compared to my older SurvivorLED's white ones. So while output is better (as the beamshots will show) than the Lux III version.... it is still lacking when compared with a decently driven Cree light.

Quick Rant>>> I have tried Streamlight's new Firevulcan C4 lantern, their C4 Scorpion led and now their SurvivorLED C4. While all of these lights are decent (the Firevulcan led lanten has by far the best throw of any led or incan (save HID) light I have ever tested) none of them have comparible output to their Chinese competitors. It would be nice for Streamlight to figure out that 200+ lumens is achievable with todays technology...not just 130. End Rant.

The instructions in the Lux III SurvivorLED warned against using lithium AA's in it. It said that lithiums would damage the led and void the light's warrenty. I emailed Streamlight about using lithiums with the new light and they said they have not tested it with lithiums. I am going to try it and I will let you know if anything bad happens.

With the new led on alkalines (4 of them) Streamlight gives a output of 100 lumens at the start, down to to 10% output in 4 hours. I would guess that the light is regulated for the first 2 hours (like the old version) and then drops off. I do like that it will not immediately leave you in the dark, and extra battery magazines are availible for a quick swap of low cells for new ones. The light will also switch to low by pressing the switch (at the top of the light) and holding it down for a few seconds. On low, Streamlight gives the light 14 hours before the batteries die. The light can also go to a locator flash where the light flashes about every 2/3's of a second on high by holding down the switch while the light is on low.

Here are some beamshots:
I have not replaced my broken tripod yet...so only indoor shots for now. The camera is locked at 3/10 of a second at f/2.8, Iso 64...WB at daylight. The target wall is 18' from the light. I have taken the shots through a doorway to try to decently show each light's spill.

First, the origional Lux III SurvivorLED on high.
3057718379_a767fd6ddf.jpg

Next, the New C4 (K2 flip chip) SurvivorLED
3058554380_bd14c9b334.jpg

Finally, The Raidfire Spear (OP) on high
3058554754_17f17b9d3e.jpg

Next, the C4 next to the Lux III SurvivorLED (6/10 sec exp)
3057719227_faf3ebece7.jpg

The C4 SurvivorLED (L) and the Spear both on high
3057719499_7f55b01a97.jpg


So there you have it. The new C4 SurvivorLED is a tough, shock resistant and durable light. It is USA made and has a lifetime warrenty. It is well suited for use by firemen or hikers, or people who just need a solid light that will project a beam of light a decent distance....even in smoke or fog. It is also brighter than the origional version it replaces. But with todays lights raising the bar several notches.... I cannot call it either very cutting edge or all that bright.

Mine will not see daily active duty....and with as much as I was anticipating the release of this new version of one of my favorite old lights, that makes me truely sad. Again....like most of Streamlight's new lights.... it is in no way a bad light. But, it is not a great light either. Better luck next time Streamlight.

Thanks for reading.
 

Gaffle

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Mar 10, 2006
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Garden City, MI
Re: New C4 Streamlight SurvivorLED quick & dirty review w/beamshots vs. old and the S

Why do they have to add that C4 crap. So annoying, and misleading...
 

woodrow

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Re: New C4 Streamlight SurvivorLED quick & dirty review w/beamshots vs. old and the S

I think it is because it allows them to use whatever led they want and call it C4. They need to kick it up to a 5... And put a Q in front of it. :)
 

TexLite

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Jun 30, 2007
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Texas
Re: New C4 Streamlight SurvivorLED quick & dirty review w/beamshots vs. old and the S

Thanks for a good review and beamshots woodrow.

I think one reason for the lower output on certain models is foresight for the intended use,firefighting.The emitter has to survive in a polymer body in extremely high ambient temperatures.So the drive current has to be conservative to insure survivability/reliability.I feel like this is also a primary reason for the choice of the K2,which is a very robust emitter.

Maybe for some of the more casual users a higher effeciency emitter and higher drive current could be employed without negatively affecting reliability.

-Michael
 
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woodrow

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Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
2,027
Location
New Mexico
Re: New C4 Streamlight SurvivorLED quick & dirty review w/beamshots vs. old and the S

Thanks for a good review and beamshots woodrow.

I think one reason for the lower output on certain models is foresight for the intended use,firefighting.The emitter has to survive in a polymer body in extremely high ambient temperatures.So the drive current has to be conservative to insure survivability/reliability.I feel like this is also a primary reason for the choice of the K2,which is a very robust emitter.

Maybe for some of the more casual users a higher effeciency emitter and higher drive current could be employed without negatively affecting reliability.

-Michael

I see your point. However, the one thing my cheap point and shoot does not do incredibly well is show colors. This light is tinted purple. Far more than any Cree light I have had. It is as purple as the SF 6PL was blue. I am not that picky on tints....but this one should not have made it past SL's quality control. I will try to exchange it. I guess in this day and age, I expect rechargable lights to use lithium technology...and not 80's nicad. The light came in the lux III light's packaging cut open, with the lux III instructions and a note....how they were trying just to use up old packaging...but the light is a new model.

I know it sucks for the USA manufactures... but if their products are no longer first rate.... some like myself will no longer buy them just because they are made in America.
 
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