Surefire lumens vs. 4Sevens lumens

LDB

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I know xx lumens should be the same no matter who makes the flashlight. I presume, out of lack of knowledge, the perceived brightness of two lights with identical lumen ratings could be different due to different reflectors and other factors? I'm looking at some of the 4Sevens lights as an EDC replacement for my Surefire L1 that's 10/65 lumens dual output. The Preon 2 with output of 2/22/160 lumens in a shirt pocketable size is pretty appealing for a significantly higher max output and eliminating one item from my belt. The R2 Tactical on sale is also appealing for adding the 2 extra output levels.

Anyway, just curious how accurately I can compare the output between brands of lights.
 

bigchelis

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Output of one light vs. another is not the best way.

The L1 has arguably the best user interface in the World ever Made:D

The throw on the L1 will be alot lot lot more even with 100 less lumens.

I find 4 sevens to be pretty honest in advertising the lumens.
 

Belstaff1464

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Manufacturers tend to use different standards. A light may have a max output of say 300 OTF lumens with a new battery but it may rapidly step down to 150 lumens after 20 seconds (or less). Which figure do you think the manufacturer is going to quote ? The more marketable one of course. Even though that light won't be able to reach that level again until the battery is replaced. Thats why I say that not all lumens are created equal. As per Carrot's advice. it's better to use beamshots taken under the same conditions to compare lights.
 
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recDNA

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Manufacturers tend to use different standards. A light may have a max output of say 300 OTF lumens with a new battery but it may rapidly step down to 150 lumens after 20 seconds (or less). Which figure do you think the manufacturer is going to quote ? The more marketable one of course. Even though that light won't be able to reach that level again until the battery is replaced. Thats why I say that not all lumens are created equal. As per Carrot's advice. it's better to use beamshots taken under the same conditions to compare lights.


I'd take BigC's lumens over ANY company's!

As per Carrot's advice. it's better to use beamshots taken under the same conditions to compare lights.

Why? A beamshot takes what - a second or two? Using your logic you need a beam video that lasts a few minutes right? Then it needs to be repeated a few minutes later to see if lower battery voltage affects one brand more than the other.

For max output I only need to know about 2 or 3 minutes because I seldom use max longer than that. If I wanted to use max for 30 minute stints then a graph showing output/time would be a key piece of information. On the other hand if a light dropped to half its max output within a 3 minute max outing that would be something I'd be VERY interested to know about.

Either way I wouldn't trust the manufacturer over some of our well know reviewers on CPF.

The throw on the L1 will be alot lot lot more even with 100 less lumens.

Then lux is key for you. I prefer floody lights so lumens are more important to me. Now when you get good values from both like in a Hound or a Maelstrom you're really rockin'
 
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Belstaff1464

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I'd take BigC's lumens over ANY company's!



Why? A beamshot takes what - a second or two? Using your logic you need a beam video that lasts a few minutes right? Then it needs to be repeated a few minutes later to see if lower battery voltage affects one brand more than the other.

For max output I only need to know about 2 or 3 minutes because I seldom use max longer than that. If I wanted to use max for 30 minute stints then a graph showing output/time would be a key piece of information. On the other hand if a light dropped to half its max output within a 3 minute max outing that would be something I'd be VERY interested to know about.


I've probably haven't been clear enough and as a result you're misinterpretting what I've written. Firstly, whilst a beams shot is only for a second or two, the light is usually on a lot longer than that. Beamshot will be dependant on the reviewers honesty. Secondly, the max figures that I'm referring to are the dishonest claims by some manufactures (I'm not saying Fenix here) where the max is only achievable once with a fresh battery, ie. if you want to experience the same max output you have to put a new cell. If a light can produce the max output for 2-3 minutes a number of times with the same battery then I consider that to be a sustainable level and the quoted max figure as being an honest claim.
 

recDNA

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I've probably haven't been clear enough and as a result you're misinterpretting what I've written. Firstly, whilst a beams shot is only for a second or two, the light is usually on a lot longer than that. Beamshot will be dependant on the reviewers honesty. Secondly, the max figures that I'm referring to are the dishonest claims by some manufactures (I'm not saying Fenix here) where the max is only achievable once with a fresh battery, ie. if you want to experience the same max output you have to put a new cell. If a light can produce the max output for 2-3 minutes a number of times with the same battery then I consider that to be a sustainable level and the quoted max figure as being an honest claim.


Oh I agree. Just saying a time lapse video would really illustrate the phenomenon better than a beamshot.

In hard driven max output flashlights where the key is how bright rather than how long such a comparison may not be key (but it certainly shouldn't drop by 50% in 3 minutes!). In an EDC you would certainly need to know output over time.
 

LDB

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The lights I'm interested in are:

Surefire L1 dual output (already have it)
Preon 2 (2AAA)
Mini AA2
R2 Tactical
123-2 R5
123-2 Turbo

I'm looking for a light with multiple output for use mostly in the lower output settings. Once in a while I'll use the highest setting to look for house/building/street numbers in the dark but that would be very short illumination very rarely.
 

carrot

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Yes, but you can get a pretty reasonable understanding of how the light regulates based on looking at a runtime graph from fresh battery to dead battery, even if your own personal usage patterns will be for only a couple minutes at a time.

The beamshot comparison is one of the most useful (and most often overlooked) to a new buyer because it helps the buyer understand how the light is distributed (and hence, realize that the L1 will seriously out-throw a light rated 4-5x as bright thanks the Surefire's use of the TIR optics).

To answer the OP's question, the Preon is not a perfect replacement for the L1 as its output is very floody and does not throw well, but is incredible (way better than the L1) for indoor and close up use. (It's one of my favorite lights!). The Preon 2 is actually brighter than the L1, although it will not look it because the L1's hotspot is much more concentrated (making the L1 a fantastic outdoors light). It will light up a whole room with ease. I think you will be very pleased with the Preon 2 unless you are expecting as good throw as the L1 (hint: don't, because the L1 is one of the best throwing small lights made today).
 

carrot

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The lights I'm interested in are:

Surefire L1 dual output (already have it)
Preon 2 (2AAA)
Mini AA2
R2 Tactical
123-2 R5
123-2 Turbo

I'm looking for a light with multiple output for use mostly in the lower output settings. Once in a while I'll use the highest setting to look for house/building/street numbers in the dark but that would be very short illumination very rarely.

The Turbo and L1 will be at the top of the list if you need to illuminate house and street numbers thanks to their excellent throw. However, the Mini, R2, and R5 Quarks are also no slouches. The XP-E R2 will throw better than the XP-G R5 due to the difference in the LEDs, despite the XP-G R5's output being higher.

With fresh batteries, I have no problem illuminating across the street with my Preon 2, but you may feel it is lacking compared to your L1.
 

LDB

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Thanks for the replies so far. I am learning a lot about lights but there's lots more to learn. Please keep all the good replies coming.
 

black_ice_pc

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My neutral white Preon 2 is going back, because while I love it at close range, it only has a max effective distance of maybe 50-75 feet. The throw just isn't there.
 

OKWalker

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I would guess that, generally speaking, the penlight AAA form factor is not going to be a good thrower.
 

LDB

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OK, so it's beginning to look like the R2 in the 2 CR123 model is probably the best compromise of price/performance with the XP-E R2 emitter.
 

Belstaff1464

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Oh I agree. Just saying a time lapse video would really illustrate the phenomenon better than a beamshot.

In hard driven max output flashlights where the key is how bright rather than how long such a comparison may not be key (but it certainly shouldn't drop by 50% in 3 minutes!). In an EDC you would certainly need to know output over time.

Fair point.
 

Gaffle

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First, check out this diagram from Flashlightreviews. Readings that I find important are lux and overall output. Lux is the amount of throw a light has. The more throw, or brighter hotspot, the higher your lux. Throw factors come from size/depth of reflector, type of reflector (Smooth/Orange Peel), and emitter brightness.

Each emitter spits out a specified (in a perfect world) amount of light when driven at certain levels of power. Say this emitter driven at this level has a 100 lumen rating. This emitter in a deep smooth reflector will have a bright hotspot (high lux) but less flood. The same emitter, driven at the same power levels, in a shorter OP (Orange Peel) reflector would have less throw but more flood. These 2 lights would produce the same lumen rating but the beams would look completely different.

The CPF member Selfbuilt has some great reviews that discuss a flashlights lux rating, and he does a ceiling bounce test which is a way to decipher how much output a light has. A light beam that hits the ceiling with all hotspot and little flood would have a lower ceiling bounce figure than a light that produces more flood, or more output.

Lights that have a high lux rating and a high ceiling bounce test are those that have the highest lumen rating.

I have come to dislike actual lumen ratings. Some lights specify what their lumens are just based on the LEDs own specs. If this light drives this LED with this amount of power then this is what the lumen amount is. Lumen loss occurs with a bad lens (some light is blocked) or crappy reflector. Lights that have lumens tested OTF are the way to go. A light that has OTF lumen ratings are what you really get when that light is turned on. Not, "Oh the emitter is 300 lumens but the beam itself once projected is really 200 lumens."

Someone may more of a polished response for you, but now you have some basics. Enjoy. lovecpf
 

abladeafficionado

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My neutral white Preon 2 is going back, because while I love it at close range, it only has a max effective distance of maybe 50-75 feet. The throw just isn't there.

Honestly, you can't expect a penlight to throw very well. Tiny reflector + XPG = low lux.
 

Jash

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OK, so it's beginning to look like the R2 in the 2 CR123 model is probably the best compromise of price/performance with the XP-E R2 emitter.

The XP-E Tactical will throw 95% as far as an XP-G Turbo, and have a nicer beam.

I've got both and have given the Turbo to my son as he thinks it looks like something from the future. That and the fact I've just recently modded a 3D mag with an XP-G driven at 1A that absolutely kills every other light I own for throw.
 

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