Question:Surefire Lumens vs NovaTac lumens

bh49

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Jul 10, 2006
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Hi,
Please, help me out. Looking for some education.
About a month ago I bought my first LED light Surefire 6PL. (Sorry, I am still unenlightened, but learning) Good light to keep in the car, at least IMHO. Also I wanted something smaller for EDC and about a week ago I got NovaTac 120T. It is used, but in great shape, looks like new. Good little light, the only confusion I have that my 80 lumen Surefire produces light quite brighter than NovaTac @ 120 lumens mode. So I am just curious if these two companies measure lumens the same way?
 

Dan FO

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Feb 10, 2009
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It has been my experience over the years that Surefire tends to under rate their OTF lumens. I also have a NoveTac 120T and believe that it's OTF lumen rating is quite accurate. Both lights use basically the same SSC LED but I am not sure how hard each is being driven. Not all LED's of the same maker are created equal tho and the VF can be different.
 

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Dec 21, 2008
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Hi,
Please, help me out. Looking for some education.
About a month ago I bought my first LED light Surefire 6PL. (Sorry, I am still unenlightened, but learning) Good light to keep in the car, at least IMHO. Also I wanted something smaller for EDC and about a week ago I got NovaTac 120T. It is used, but in great shape, looks like new. Good little light, the only confusion I have that my 80 lumen Surefire produces light quite brighter than NovaTac @ 120 lumens mode. So I am just curious if these two companies measure lumens the same way?

Short answer is no.

Because I own a 6PL I can say it puts out a nice hot spot with a generous amount of spill.

I don't own a 120T, but from the pictures I've seen it's got a LOT of spill.

This would result in the 6PL seemingly brighter because of the hot spot.

If the 120T had a reflector set up like the 6PL.. or the 6PL had a reflector set up like the 120T, they would seem the same brightness.

I say the same brightness because I doubt the human eye can really see the difference in 80 and 120 lumens..

Maybe.. but it would be a small difference.

Hope this helped.
 

bh49

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Jul 10, 2006
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If the 120T had a reflector set up like the 6PL.. or the 6PL had a reflector set up like the 120T, they would seem the same brightness.
Hope this helped.

Thank you for help.
For some reason, I thought that output in lumens is output of the flashlight, not LED element. So even with current reflector I expected 120T @120 mode to be brighter than 6PL @ 80. But it is OK, I like both of them anyway.
Thank you again for enlightening me. :)
 

vb14

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Oct 25, 2007
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Check out the welcome mat. Here's a quote that pertains to your question.

Q: What's the difference between "lumens" and "lux"?
A: Lumens measure the total amount of light output from a particular source. Lux measures the intensity of the light hitting a specified area. For example, an ordinary household lightbulb generates about 1000 lumens, but the intensity of its light at a particular point, such as on a book you're reading, will be comfortably low. Almost all flashlights rely on an optical device such as a reflector or lens to squeeze most of their output into a small area, which allows you to illuminate a point of interest with enough intensity, but without requiring a lot of power. To illustrate this concept, try the following: First, look at your room's ceiling light. In all likelihood, you can stare at it without much discomfort. Now, try looking into a weak flashlight like a traditional incandescent Mini-Maglite. You'll notice that it seems very bright. This is lux. Now, remove your Minimag's head to put it into candle mode. Try switching between its output and your ceiling light's output. Since they're now illuminating approximately the same area, the much higher lumen value of the ceiling light will provide much higher lux values at a chosen point. An extreme example of high lux and low lumens is a laser, which doesn't really create that much light, but focuses it into a tiny, brilliant point.
 

BigHonu

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Honolulu, HI
Bounce the beams off of the ceiling in a dark room and observe how well the room is lit. A very rough way to tell which light is putting out more light regardless of the method collimation involved.
 

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While we're on topic. When you search around CPF you will come across many threads and discussions that will help you understand.

Some examples:

- It takes 4 times the lumen output of LEDs to seem twice as bright.

So a couple of more lumens won't seem any brighter, at least not to your eyes.

- A flashlight that has more throw might seem brighter than one with more lumens and more spill.

Why I think your 6PL seems brighter. A ceiling bounce test is the most logical way without some type of measuring device. However, some people speculate that lights with more throw bounce better. Which might lead to your 6PL seeming brighter even with a ceiling bounce test.

ETC ETC ETC.

Just log in here once a day or every two days and you will see more and more discussions.

Plus, your hooked now. Kiss your wallet goodbye :)
 
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