Surefire 6P/6Z/M2/D2 vs. Streamlight Scorpion

Bucky

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I have posted this in the Surefire forum and I know that many have both a 6P-derivative light and a Scorpion and I was wondering what everyone here thinks about the two in comparison to each other as far as beam, whiteness of the light, and cost.

Having just received my Streamlight Scorpion, I noticed that it produces a noticeably whiter light than either the P60 or P61 bulbs of my M2. I was actually quite disappointed, considering the M2 costs about 4 times as much money.

On the package of my M2 it says "Xenon/Halogen" while the Scorpion say "Xenon." I can tell you first hand that Xenon produces whiter light than Xenon/Halogen. A simple change from one to the other would produce brighter light. The better question is why Surefire has not been using Xenon-only bulbs to begin with.

Additionally, I must say that even though I love both my 9p and my M2, I may have thought twice about purchasing them if I had bought the Scorpion first. In extensive testing of the Scorpion against the M2 with both bulb options, I found that even though the M2 has a more focused beam than the Scorpion when optimally focused, the whiter light of the Scorpion made it about a horse apiece with the P60 if not even better, when tested on dark pathways through the woods. Not to mention the utility of the Scorpion when not "focussed" for close range work. True, the P61 bulb is noticeably brighter than the Scorpion, but really not by nearly as much as one might think. I tested all lights and bulbs in numerous situations really wanting the Surefire to be considerably better, but it wasn't. Surefire is a better light, but certainly not even close to 4 times better. I do think the simplest change that Surefire could make is to employ purely Xenon bulbs to ensure as white a light as possible. A Surefire light normally focussed and with a Xenon-only bulb like the Scorpion might make a big difference.

By purchasing my M2 and 9P, I think that I have shown a willingness to pay top dollar for the smallest, brightest flashlight available. I just wish that flashlight was considerably better than a competitor that costs appreciably less. A flashlight I purchased for $27 should blow away one that retails for $150. I know that my M2 is waterproof and has 2 light output choices and has a lock-out tailcap and a grip-ring and an octagonal bezel, but light output and beam pattern is the most important part of a flashlight. Features walk and ouput talks.

I am a fan of Surefire flashlights and will continue to purchase them, I just wish that they were better than the competitors by a wider margin, especially considering the wide margin of difference in cost.

Bucky
 

Size15's

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I suspect that Xenon filled bulbs refer to the majority gas component and the Scorpion bulbs too, contain halogen gas to prolong the bulb life by helping to reduce discolouration through particle buildup on the inside of the bulb.

The reason why they do not write Xenon/Halogen is probably because they don't want to confuse the public. They look for halogen, krypton, Xenon etc...

So like candle power ratings, this may be dumbing-down publicity.

In all the discussions on 2 cell DL123A flashlights, the general consensus has been that while the Scorpion is a very good flashlight, The fact that it's beam could be out of focus when required to be a tight spot means that SureFire flashlights are better for tactical situations.

Having said that, the New M2 is supposed to be tougher, more water resistant, brighter; tighter beam and have a lockout tailcap for safe storage and transportation.

It could be a case of a very good bulb in the Scorpion and a poor lamp in the SureFire. Can you change to the backup lamp in the Scorpion and still get the same results?

Alastair
 

Brock

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I agree with most of what you have said, but when I compare them side by side they look identical in beam color. Could it be that your surefire has more hours on the lamp? I know they "yellow" as they age. Although if Surefire isn't putting Halogen in the lamp (which I really doubt) that would definitely make the lamp yellow faster.

I agree that the price difference is much more than the actual difference between the lights. I am also a huge fan of Surefire. I will try to take a pic of the surefire with a P60 lamp and the streamlight scorpion.

Brock
 

dano

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Just for giggles, here's an article I wrote about various 123-powered lights:::::::

The advent of small, high powered lights utilizing 3 volt lithium cells has brought the power of traditional heavy lights into the palm of your hand. The most popular sizes of these lights use 2 lithium cells (DL-123 or equivelant) connected in series to produce 6 volts (1300MAH). This battery configuration combined with a high pressure halogen/Xenon bulb equates to a high output light in a size efficient package.

There are many ways to measure light output, though the two most common measurements are candlepower and lumens. Candlepower measures the light's output at its brightest point in a focused beam. Candlepower takes into account the bulb brightness as well as the efficiency of the reflector assembly. The lumen is the measurement of the total output of the light, without regard for the reflector assembly, thus making the lumen a measurement soley based on the lamp output. Other factors which may influence light output ratings are the human eye and the color temperature of the lighting device. The perception of the light's brightness will be different for all people, because each person sees the light a bit differently. This is quantified, somewhat, by the color temperature of the light, as higher color temperatures produce a "whiter" looking light.

The 3 volt cells used by these lights are extraordinary power sources. The DL-123A (or equivelant) cells feature 1300MAH capacity, with a maximum discharge current of 1500MAH (to further illustrate the power of these cells, they are capable of producing 3500MAH of current at one volt when shorted). They also have an internal thermal switch, which will shut the cell down if the peak operating temperature becomes to high (one of the reasons why Surefire recommends Duracell batteries is because Duracell cells have a higher thermal cut-off point). Because of their lithium composition, these cells can also operate in extreme conditions, with a an operating range between -40 degrees Celsius to +60 degrees Celsius. Average shelf life is ten years, with only 1% of capacity lost per year..

There are five different manufacturers making flashlights that use 2 lithium cells as a power source: The Surefire 6P, the Streamlight Scorpion, The TACM (model 00000), the Underwater Kinetcs 2L, and the A.S.P Tac-lite. All will be examined, except the Tac-lite, as I do not own one of those.

SUREFIRE 6P: Perhaps the oldest of the group, the 6P uses an aircraft-grade aluminum body, O-ring seals at the tail cap and head, and also uses a rubber tailcap for momentary operation. The tail cap can be rotated for continous light usage. The body and tailcap also feature light checkering to produce a non-slip grip. The bulb assembly consists of an aluminum reflector, two stacked springs, and the actual lamp, which is cemented into place. The entire package ensures a focused beam without any flaws or spots. Operation is as simple as pressing the tail cap to actuate the light, though the tail cap should be backed-off slightly to prevent accidental lamp operation, which could lead to dead batteries and a burned-out lamp. There's not much to improve with a 6P, though the lamp modules tend to be fragile, and the lamp filament may break if the light is dropped. Also, lamp life averages about 15-20 hours in my experience, which isn't as high as the other lights in the test. Battery life averages 45 minutes to one hour with a P60 lamp module, which is rated at 65 lumens. Surefire also offers a high output lamp module, the P61, which is rated at 125 lumens. Battery life with a P61 lamp averages about 15-25 minutes of continous usage, though heat build-up at the head assembly is a significant concern if the light was used continously. Average street price for a 6P is $55.00-$65.00, with lamp modules averaging $18-$20.00.

STREAMLIGHT SCORPION: Streamlight is best known for the SL series of full size duty flashlights. A relative newcomer to the Lithium light scene is Streamlight's Scorpion model. The light is a bit longer then a 6P, though the body is narrower. Construction consists of an aluminum head and body, with the body surrounded by a rubber skin. There is no tailcap on a Scorpion, but the butt section of the light has an integrated switch which allows momentary or constant operation with thumb pressure. The light uses a bi-pin high pressure Xenon bulb, with a reflector built into the head assembly. The head assembly, which is sealed by an O-ring, also houses a spare bulb, which is included with the light. The reflector/head assembly allows the Scorpion to have partial focus capabilities. The lamp is shock resistant due to Streamlight's use of a small silicon O-ring supporting the bulb. Overall performance with the Scorpion is excellent, with a very bright beam that does not exhibit any dark spots or distortions. The beam shape consists of a large primary beam with a larger corona, making the Scorpion ideal for close quarter illumination. It isn't as bright as a 6P for longer range usage but easily equals the 6P's flood capabilities. Lamp life is approximately 30 or so hours (about 4 battery changes), with battery life averaging 50-60 minutes. Streamlight rates the light at 6,500 candlepower. Streetprice for a Scorpion is $35-$45.00, with lamp prices averaging $5-$6.00.

TACM: Originally, the TACM was designed around a weapons-mount system in which the light is clamped into a housing with the housing attached to the floor plate of the weapon's magazine. This limits the TACM's light outside of the weapon's mount because the switch assembly is awkward. Eventhough it uses the familiar tailcap switch, the TACM's tailcap is a one piece unit that needs constant adjustment to keep proper tension for thumb pressure usage (note that TACM has released a re-engineered tail cap that should cure this problem). The light uses a Delrin outer shell encasing an alumninum body. Delrin is a space age thermoplastic which is incredbly tough yet very lightweight. Both the head assembly and tail cap use O-rings to keep moisture out of the light. The bulb assembly is very similar to the 6P's, with dual springs, an aluminum reflector, and a bulb which is cemented into place. TACM rates the light at 105 Lumens, and it seems that bright, as the TACM easily outshined the other lights when used to illuminate distant objects. This comes with a tradeoff, however, as the TACM's flood capabilities were limited. Both the Scorpion and 6P had brighter beams on closer objects then the TACM. One problem I have had with the TACM concerns the lens. It seems to be very vulnerable to the lamp's heat output. Because of this, I have warped two lenses, and the head assembly has to be returned to TACM for replacement. Street price for a TACM is $65.00-$80.00, with lamp assemblies costing about $20.00.

UKE 2L: Underwater Kinetcs primarily manufactures diving lights. The 2L is no exception, as it's heritage clearly shows. It features a one piece plastic body, and a transluscent rotating head assembly which also acts as the switch. The whole unit is sealed by double O-rings at the head/body juncture. The lamp assembly is similar to the 6P and TACM, as it utlizes a plastic reflector assembly with a small bulb cemented to it. Operation is as simple as twisting the head. There is only on/off operation, with no momentary function. When on, the head assembly glows, though it's not a usable amount of light, which is a drawback, because the 2L has a very narrow beam, with virtually no flood pattern characteristics. Even at long distances, the light pattern is small, but tightly focused. Run time is the longest of the lights compared, averaging 5 hours. Though not well known, the 2L has developed a cult following, mainly due to its low price (about $20.00) and excellent durability and runtime.

CONCLUSION: Which light is best? That's tough to answer as they all have excellent performance and features. For overall value, performance, and quality, I would choose the Scorpion. It has excellent beam quality, superb construction, and features a spare bulb, which can be costly with the other lights. I also feel it has a superior switch, allowing more varied uses for the light in a variety of situations.



--dan
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bucky:
True, the P61 bulb is noticeably brighter than the Scorpion, but really not by nearly as much as one might think. I tested all lights and bulbs in numerous situations really wanting the Surefire to be considerably better, but it wasn't. Surefire is a better light, but certainly not even close to 4 times better<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

On a scale of 1 to 10, and 10 being 2x brighter (or 20 = 3x brighter), how will you rate the brightness of SF-6P with P60 and P61 against Scorpion?

This may not be an accurate way of comparing brightness but what else can I rely on to without a industry standard for measuring brightness, or I have to buy all of them and use a Lightmeter to measure illumination on different parts of a target wall.


------------------
2d_edge
 

Unicorn

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Does the P61 light to a further distance, or just a wider area?
You don't happen to have any experience with the P90 and P91 in the 9P do you?
 

Brock

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I would say the Scorpion is slightly dimmer, lets say the Scorpion is a 10, I would rate the P60 lamp as a 12 and the P61 lamp as a 15. The big thing is the scorpion has a wider beam so the same amount of light is spread out just a bit more making it have less intensity. The P61 has the same size beam as the scorpion, but is brighter. The P60 and P61 have almost the same intensity of light output, but the P61 lights up more area, about 1 1/2 times as much. Does that make since?

I will take a pic of them next to each other when I get my SF back, its at work right now. Hopefully Sunday night I can post some images of the outputs of the three lights.

Brock - http://www.uwgb.edu/nevermab/flash.htm
 

Spidey82

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thinking of changing the surefire bulb,
y not change the scorpion reflecter to a mirror type. den scorpion will be both good for utility and tatical.
den we will see how sure fire react to it.
slash their price maybe???
smile.gif

Spidey
 

Size15's

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When the P60 and P61 are compared side by side, the P61 as Brock says, has a larger beam. For the first 10 minutes, I believe that the P61 is also a bit brighter and more white than the P60. The P61 can not keep this up for long though, and I swap to a P60 when I notice a change in the beam.

If you carry a SureFire, carry a SC in your bag or keep one close. These are great!

Alastair
 

jtivat

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Was reading some older threads and thought this one made for good reading. It was also interesting to see some older member's point of view. Also was wondering if the SF lamps have changed any in the last two years?
 

dano

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Jeez...I thought this was a new thread, until I looked at the date...D'oh!!!!!! Daja vu!!

--dan
 

Sean

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Well here's my .02 cents.
In my comparison between my M2 & Scorpion I was able to set the focus on the scorpion to match that of a P60. I felt the brightness was equal too. I also agree 100% that my scorpion produced noticeably whiter light than both my P60 & P61! The P61 was brand new. If I swapped batteries I got the same effect.

I believe the scorpion may produce whiter light because it is very overdriven leading to its short life expectancy. So were you gain in brightness you lose in longevity. But a replacement scorpion lamp is only $3.95 and a P60 is 4x that much.

I think the Scorpion is a great light, I even like the rubber grip better for holding overhand than the M2. Having said that, the M2 is designed to be everything the scorpion is not, it is more durable in every way, just not noticeably brighter than the scorpion. So you are paying for construction quality, not a brighter light.

Surefire has a lot of competition with their 2 cell lights so look around, 'cuz deals abound.
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