Surefire LED runtime vs. Arc LS

geepondy

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Surefire advertises in their new 2002 catalog as their one CR123 battery LED Lumamax lights as giving one hour of full power light and the two 123 battery Lumamax lights as giving two hours of full power light. From the various Arc LS reviewers graphs, the Arc LS with the single CR123 battery pack goes much longer then one hour, more like closer to three if I can remember correctly. Why the big discrephancy? The same LED is used on all of the lights. I wonder if Surefire is being very conservative in their runtime projections. It is true that the LS does dim somewhat over the course of the three hours.
 

JollyRoger

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Hmmm...why the big discrepancy? I would guess that either Surefire is running these brighter...or being conservative...or has a less efficient regulator...or a combination of these?
Can't wait to see one of these, though...
 

Mr Ted Bear

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Your recollection of the ARC LS runtime is correct (more or less) 3 hours.
One thing though, is that the ARC loses approximately 25-30% of its brightness in the first few hours, and then drops precipitously to less than 10% of original brightness (from 70 to 10% within +/- 30 minutes).

In previous conversations with PK he clearly stated the output is perfectly flat in all the digital lights (due to the modulation circuits), and then , the light will go into a second "navigation light" mode (approximately 20% of original brightness) for an additional 15-20 minutes. Note: the threshold of the "navigational mode" is a "software" issue; and the last time I spoke to pk, he said the actual "cutoff" points have yet to be established. This is the reason, if you read the catalog carefully, you will see the various references (10 minutes, up to 20 minutes, 15% additional run time)
 

carl

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I was wondering the same thing too. In addition, their A2 aviator shows 2 hours for the 3 leds and 1 hour for the incandescent. The runtimes on all of their led models seems lower than expected unless I'm reading it wrong
 

Mr Ted Bear

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check the spec pages for aviator... runtime for 3 leds is 1500 minutes / 25 hours.


I know of at least 19 "mistakes" in the catalog where on one page it will read one number, and a page or two later, it's different.

i hope pk doesn't kill me when i ask him to "proof read" the catalog and give the correct numbers; pk did say that some of the spec may change by the time the light come off the assembly line
 

Brock

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My guess is Surefire is saying full brightness is between say 90% to 100%, anything less isn't full brightness and they don't count it. They do mention it runs much, much longer at a "reduced" level.

Hey Al or PK are the LED's regulated in the A2? I know the lamp is. I have to get my hands on one of these lights, I can't wait
smile.gif
 

Mr Ted Bear

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Having spent a hour or so with PK this morning, let's see if we can't straighten out some of the discrepencies.

Run time is 150 minutes for the L1, longer for the L2 (no numbers quoted). In the lower output mode, pk stated "days". As mentioned earlier, output is perfectly level the first 150 minutes.

Having been able to handle both units, and compare them side by side with the other SF lights (and even pk commented on this) the L2 may never get to market. Since the L1 and the L2 have the exact light output, the only advantage to having the L2 is runtime. But a major disadvantge to the L2 is its physical length, somewhat out of balance relative to it's thickness.
 

MY

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It is hard for me to believe that the L1 is getting 150 runtime with no reduced level of output. Is it possible to get that much light out of one 123 battery with the LS even with very sophisticated curcuits?
 

Mr Ted Bear

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Darn good question... and until they are availble for testing, we'll just have to take Surefire's/PK word on this one.

My gut feel is yes, and the reason is becasue if you look at the ARC LS discharge curves, they drop from 100% to +/- 70% in the first 180 minutes, and then poop out after another 30 to 45 minutes.

Very important to note, the Surefire is substantially brighter than the ARC LS. We measured the ARC LS at 1400 lux, and the Surefire at 2100 lux (hi), 800 lux(low) at 12 inches from the sensor. Note: I have personally gotten readings as high as 1700 lux from the ARC LS with brand new batteries and don't have any idea of the state of charge of the battereis in pk's L2)


Another important point is that nobody knows the prices of any of the new Surefire lights. PK indicated that his job is to make the lights, and that it is the other guys (marketing) job to set price. When asked about prices for the KL1 LS "head", he said "I can only guess".
 

geepondy

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mr Ted Bear:

Very important to note, the Surefire is substantially brighter than the ARC LS. We measured the ARC LS at 1400 lux, and the Surefire at 2100 lux (hi), 800 lux(low) at 12 inches from the sensor. Note: I have personally gotten readings as high as 1700 lux from the ARC LS with brand new batteries and don't have any idea of the state of charge of the battereis in pk's L2)
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Wonder why the Surefire is that much brighter? I believe I have read that the Arc LS is "conservatively" driven. Seeing as how us, the end users do not have any Surefire LED lights to compare it to our Arcs, people who have done Luxeon modifications and who have also seen the Arc LS, can you get substantially more brightness out of the LED then what the Arc delivers?

Mr. Ted Bear, thank you for your insider information. One more question, may have been asked before, but how is the beam quality of the Surefire Luxeon light compared to the Arc LS. Is Surefire better able to get rid of the yellowish corona?

Lastly for now, did I read somewhere an anticipated release date of July for these Surefire lights? I'm frothing at the mouth for that and the Surefire regulated incandescent lights. I think the thought process is perfect, the brightest light possible for a period of time and then immediately and noticably switching to a lower mode but still giving ample time to change the cells. I find the Arc "moon mode" not all that sudden or dramatic.
 

Mr Ted Bear

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Geepondy


Wonder why the Surefire is that much brighter? I believe I have read that the Arc LS is "conservatively" driven. Seeing as how us, the end users do not have any Surefire LED lights to compare it to our Arcs, people who have done Luxeon modifications and who have also seen the Arc LS, can you get substantially more brightness out of the LED then what the Arc delivers?

Here is what I know. According to PK the LS is capable of 18 lumens (NOT REAL WORLD) (under optium operating conditions) but SF only rates the LS as 13 lumens, still not at its max. Major factors are heat, circuit resistance and optics, so there is room for improvement, but at what price, and in what size package

Mr. Ted Bear, thank you for your insider information. One more question, may have been asked before, but how is the beam quality of the Surefire Luxeon light compared to the Arc LS. Is Surefire better able to get rid of the yellowish corona?

Beam quality was better than the ARC. More white, less yellow (actually, I did not see any in the high mode), definately there in the low mode.


Offical delivery dates: sometime this summer
Expect roll out KL1,KL2 KL3
then L1 L2(?)
then m2d,c2D
last aviator

The aviator had a 1.00 inch head; PK is thinking about changing it to 1.25 inches to accomdate 5mm nichia (all speculation, anything is possible) Oh, by the way, there are some that think SF jumped on the band wangon with the aviator and leds. Not so, PK said that SF has been working on this light for over 2 1/2 years
 

carl

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Dear Mr.Ted Bear, A second thanks for sharing all the insider info with the rest of us who can do nothing but guess and wonder all day!

I hope SF puts the 5mm rather than the 3mm nichias in the aviator so there will be more usable light.

Question: In regards to the L1 as compared to the A2, isn't SF being redundant by making both since they have similar qualities?

Question: The High dome LS in white is supposed to come out in April or so. Will SF incorporate this new bulb?
 

Sean

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mr Ted Bear:
Offical delivery dates: sometime this summer
Expect roll out KL1,KL2 KL3
then L1 L2(?)
then m2d,c2D
last aviator
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Aviator last?!
frown.gif
 

Mr Ted Bear

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Answering the easy question first....

The L1/L2 and the AVIATOR are not similar at all.

The L1/l2 use a single Luxeon Star, digitally controlled, 13 lumen. 1 bulb, 1 color (white, blue, red, green)

The AVIATOR has 3- 3mm nichias imbedded in the reflector; the reflector has a 60 lumen incandescant bulb in the center. What gives the AVIATOR such great appeal is the fact you could have different color leds (blue is good for detecting blood, red/green to preserve night vision, or even IR or UV for special ops)

Af far as using the 5mm versus the 3mm, your guess is as good as mine.... pk did indicate that he was looking at changing the head diameter from 1.00 inches to 1.25 inches to accodate different lamp/light assembly. Maybe the plan is for 5-3mm leds, or 3 5mm leds or what ever combination you can think of. PK really didn't get into specifics; partly because of trade secrets and the other reason is because they aren't sure which way they want to go.


Another thing to consider.... from the Shot show, I learned that AGILENT/LUMILEDS or who ever the company is, actually has 4 or 5 different LUXEON STARS...lambertian, high dome, batwing, and a couple others. Combine the raw leds with the optics from the same company that "fixed" the Hubble Space Telescope, and its a whole new ball game, as they say. So what I am saying is this; what we know about today, may very well be "old news" at the end of this year. I know what the AVIATOR is as of today but doubt it will be whats "on the shelf" at the end of this summer
 
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