New Surefire E1L Outdoorsman - thoughts

srmd22

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Sep 23, 2009
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Just got it! Yay!

It is really cool, I love it. A couple of thoughts though. (BTW, my opinions are worth nothing, I have ZERO knowledge of flashlights-- but I like to indulge myself).

This is billed as 3/45 low/high output. Gosh, the 3 looks like 12 or 15 and the 45 looks like 80 to me, when I compare it to my nitecore 123 or similar.

This thing has a smooth reflector, and out-throws most of my other single cr123 configured lights. On the other hand, it has a significantly smaller spill radius. So in my bathroom test (taking a leak and then weighing myself in the dark with the light, lol) the Surefire is slightly less advantageous then, say, the nitecore, but still fine.

Fit/finish and coolness factor/looks are A+++. I love the feel of it in my hand.

Well, I am sure the last thing anyone cares about is my opinion on this very well known, loved and, I am sure, thoroughly reviewed torch--- but you got it anyway!
 

DimeRazorback

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You have just discovered that Surefire offer "out the front" lumens and are very conservative at that, rather than the "emitter" lumens that the majority of companies use, and over-rate.

Enjoy the E1L :twothumbs
 

NutSAK

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You have just discovered that Surefire offer "out the front" lumens and are very conservative at that, rather than the "emitter" lumens that the majority of companies use, and over-rate.

Enjoy the E1L :twothumbs

On high anyway. How does that explain that the specified 3 lumens looks like 12 or 15?
 

srmd22

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On high anyway. How does that explain that the specified 3 lumens looks like 12 or 15?

I should say, my judgment is very subjective-- just comparing the beams in my bedroom, waving the flashlights around the room. But, anyway, that is the perception I am left with (dangling participle, thank you).
 

paintballdad

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Just to let you know. The E1L doesn't use a reflector, what you're seeing is the TIR optic. That is a lens just in front of the LED and focuses most of the light into that bright hotspot. The spill is still usable but dimmer than most reflectored lights. The bright hotspot gives the impression of a much higher output compared to other lights. Great light and I currently EDC one myself. Great runtime for a single CR123 light.
 

Owen

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On the other hand, it has a significantly smaller spill radius. So in my bathroom test (taking a leak and then weighing myself in the dark with the light, lol) the Surefire is slightly less advantageous then, say, the nitecore, but still fine.
This is why I tell people to buy a F04 diffuser for their TIR lights, particularly the E1L, E2L, and L1. It will make the light. The "Outdoorsman" designation for a light with a small, cool-tinted spot is a pet peeve of mine. Without a diffuser, these are the total opposite of what an outdoorsman would want in a light.
The F04 is $14. Get one and try your bathroom test again ;)
 

Gatsby

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I recently picked up an E1L (my third Surefire but first single cell) and I'm really enjoying it. It has found its way into my EDC rotation with my Novatac 120P (my Hall of Fame light) and sometimes a Liteflux LF3XT and Nitecore EZ123. What is odd is that I have in the past not carried my Novatac as much due to the size, and the E1L is definitely longer than the Novatac. But something about the shape, since it is more slender than the Novatac, makes it still quite pocketable and compact.

The clickie works great, lockout tailcap has been used here and there and overall I find that the two levels are well chosen and provide a useful beam. I use low mostly, but admit that it is nice to take it outside when I let the dogs out at night (we have new puppy so I have to go out with them to encourage housebreaking as well as make sure she does something productive, and doesn't get into mischief) and the high is more than enough to spot them throughout the yard. Due to the optics it obviously throws a good distance relative to the total output. In this application that is more helpful than the floodier Novatac beam or even my 6PL which has more output but a much floodier beam.

And I find that the TIR still produces usable, if not stunning, sidespill. It certainly isn't a first generation Inova X1 which is what I was somewhat expecting after reading reviews.

And there is something about the E1L in terms of how it fits in my hand, the tactile feel of how it is put together, that is very appealing and feels, well, substantial.

My only gripe is that the clip, which I didn't like any better on my E2e (stupidly sold some time ago), is pretty much useless. I rarely use a clip anyway because I find that on a lot of lights they are more or less useless or not very ergonomic. The E1L clip is tight and unbalanced in a pocket for example. I use it solely as an anti roll and lanyard attachment point.
 

ypsifly

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I wear mine on a neck lanyard when I go fishing after dark. I can check lines 20-30ft away with no problems. The high seems way underated as the beam on mine is close to both of my E1Bs.
 

paintballdad

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What is odd is that I have in the past not carried my Novatac as much due to the size, and the E1L is definitely longer than the Novatac. But something about the shape, since it is more slender than the Novatac, makes it still quite pocketable and compact.

+1. Haven't picked up my 85P since I got the E1L. Even though it is longer than the 85P is feels much better IMHO.

My only gripe is that the clip, which I didn't like any better on my E2e (stupidly sold some time ago), is pretty much useless. I rarely use a clip anyway because I find that on a lot of lights they are more or less useless or not very ergonomic. The E1L clip is tight and unbalanced in a pocket for example. I use it solely as an anti roll and lanyard attachment point.

Try using an E1B clip on the E1L. The E1B clip should be the standard on all the single cell Surefires. Put one on my E1L and it sits in the pocket nicely.
 

tygger

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Excellent choice srmd22. I think the E1L Outdoorsman is a great balance between brightness/runtime. Works well on rechargeables too.
 

steveG

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I think the E1L is a great light. To he honest, I don't use mine much but it's only because I just have to carry something with more firepower. Whenever I use the E1L, though, I'm reminded of how well the two settings work. And yeah, the diffuser is a must have.
 

Vesper

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This is why I tell people to buy a F04 diffuser for their TIR lights, particularly the E1L, E2L, and L1. It will make the light.

My E2L with the F04 has really been my most used light. It really fits the bill for most day-to-day tasks. Definitely a useful addition. (though my MD3 w/ Malkoff MC-E W high/low might soon dislodge it from #1 spot...)
 

dcycleman

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Feb 16, 2009
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hey, all you e1l and e2l users, do your lights stay on the same setting if you try to switch modes quickly? like under a second???
 

Owen

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My E2L switches instantly between modes.
My E2DL requires a short pause, or it will stay on the same mode.
 

srmd22

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Very cool, I am going to get a diffuser. Where do you find them, on the surefire sight? I brought the thing to work today, and all my non-flashaholic friends and colleagues loved the thing! I was accused of being a nerd though.

I agree with Gatsby's comments, especially the wonderful tactile quality of the light, as well as the godforsaken clip, which, in addition to his observations, eats up the fabric of my pants pocket.
 

dcycleman

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yeah, I sent mine in to have the optic focused because it had a hoorible half moon around the hotspot and I think they just replaced the whole head, and on this one it seems that it requires a half second delay between modes whereas the original head seemed to require little or no delay at all. This is normal?
 

srmd22

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Sep 23, 2009
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yeah, I sent mine in to have the optic focused because it had a hoorible half moon around the hotspot and I think they just replaced the whole head, and on this one it seems that it requires a half second delay between modes whereas the original head seemed to require little or no delay at all. This is normal?

I don't think so, mine has no delay.
 

Big_Ed

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The E1L is one of my favorite lights. I put a z68 tailcap with a split ring and a lanyard on it, and F04 diffuser. It's almost the perfect light. When I need a little more throw, I just take the diffuser off.
 

steve68

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Jul 25, 2007
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My first Surefire was the E1L - and I was realy surprised by the power of this small package. (with endless runtime on high and low)

It take me a long time to think about this small Surefire and first, my K.O. Criterium was the 45 Lumen output. (Thougt it is to less power)
Then I bought finally a used one - only because I wanted to own a Surefire.

I compared it with all my other "one-cell" lights and it was nearly the same output than my Pd20 or P1 D Q5. (Thanks to the TIR-Optics)

Then bought the L1 an the E1B (love them also but to my eyes they are not brighter - but there is much less runtime)
Also bought the E2D and this light rocks!

Since my E1L arrived I am a big Surefire fan - and waiting for the LX1

Steve
 
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