Tactical but not Practical!

kelmo

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Hello all,

A few weeks back we celebrated my daughters birthdays at a water park. Our group was placed in a covered secluded area in the park. Me being the flashlight guy I put a EB2 in my swim bag. It got dark and our seating area did not have lighting. I think to myself hey, I get to show off! Sweeping the area with the EB2 on low did not do the trick and 500 lumens was definitely painful. Having a flashlight was definitely practical but the 500 lumen high was not practical to look for missing flip flops under tables.

As I have been a flashaholic for at least 10 years I have an increasing appreciation for sub 100 lumen lights with long runtimes. When I was packing my light I thought about taking my older E2L with the 65 lumen high. That would have been perfect for the final gear sweep. But alas, I am conflicted. My inner flashaholic still wants to have the brightest light when meeting someone else with a light. My ego made me choose the wrong light that night.

But you know what? I'm good with that!

Thanks for sharing.

kelmo
 

skillet

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So true. Don't care for multi mode lights, but it is so needed with emitters being so powerful now. I use a EB1 head with practically a dead battery around the house for most everything. I've blinded myself countless time with one of my selections when doing the simplest of tasks that the 3LEDs in an A2 would have sufficed.
 

nbp

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The REAL problem is that you only had ONE light...you had a high output thrower, where was the flooder?!? ;)
 

TMedina

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*grin* Someone else once said, the more you post here, the less lumens you tend to carry.

I'm all for having a tactical bright, but for 99% of your needs, it's overkill, including hunting for flip-flops.

These days, I'm all for practical output levels - on rare occasions, I'll sport a tactical light, but I always have at least one practical-level light to pair it with.
 

TEEJ

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*grin* Someone else once said, the more you post here, the less lumens you tend to carry.

I'm all for having a tactical bright, but for 99% of your needs, it's overkill, including hunting for flip-flops.

These days, I'm all for practical output levels - on rare occasions, I'll sport a tactical light, but I always have at least one practical-level light to pair it with.

Unless expecting tactical ops in the water park, ideally, you would have brought light(s) that would be appropriate for the projected use.

Lets say the park was hit with a freak storm, and the lights were knocked out and people panic and stampede for the exits they can't find, etc.....the brighter light would be a boon, and having a light with enough throw to illuminate an escape route, to know which way to go, would be great...but, that same throwy beam would glare close up, and suck for finding flip flops, etc...so a small floody beam would be best for that. A key chain type light is typically pretty floody simply due to a small head size for example. A low on a throwy light is not the same as a floody light, its just a smaller dim circle of light instead of a smaller bright circle of light when you change outputs. A floody pattern gives a large dim circel vs a brighter dim circle, or pool, etc.

So, its not that the tactical light is overkill per se, its also underkill, in that its beam pattern is only going to be a good fit for longer range emergencies, and, rarely for the projected task lighting, etc.
 

TMedina

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Sorry, you lost me at "underkill".

But we agree that a high output "tactical" light will not be the best possible use for the majority of common flashlight tasks, yes?
 

cland72

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This is why I've fallen in love with the Malkoff M61L 219. You get 5 hours of regulated runtime in a 2x123 host, and plenty of brightness for most tasks. Yes, it doesn't have the ultra long low runtime that some dual mode lights do, but it's perfect for about 90% of my flashlight use.
 

Poppy

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There are those who will argue that a thrower can be made a flooder (with a diffuser) but not the other way around.

I would argue that most (idk, maybe 85%) of my flashlight use is in the 5-20 foot range, and the balance of 95% is out to 80 feet. My general purpose/practical go-to lights are 18650 XML's or XM-L2's in a P60 or smaller head, and maybe shallower reflector lights. They all have pretty much have 3 light settings. They may not be flooders per se, but they certainly would NOT be Classified as throwers.

The other part of my argument for a non-thrower is, that if I need to see something 150 yards away, but my light is only good for 100 yards, I can get off my butt, and walk 50 yards closer to the target in about 15 seconds, and then my light would be good enough. :rolleyes:

The last time I brought a "thrower" to a party was to a boyscout campfire and I didn't want my grand kids to be out-done. When I fired mine up, I was a little embarrassed, for others may have thought that I was over-compensating for other, ahem, more personal, shortcomings. :rolleyes:

Kelmo,
Thanks for bringing this up. Because I agree... tightly focused beams, while necessary for certain tasks, are not, IMO as useful, generally speaking, nor as practical, again, generally, as a more diffused beam is. I think that many people get too caught up in distance of throw, at least initially, and only later come to appreciate beam patterns.
 

kelmo

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I just picked up an Ion on the Marketplace. I hope it is as waterproof as my trusty Arc AAA!
 

TEEJ

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Floody beams are FAR more practical for daily use, in that MOST daily use involves close up task lighting, etc.

A thrower has its uses (Seeing things farther away), but, for daily use, that is not the normal scenario.

Of course, everyone's lives are different, and, for some people, throw IS required on a daily basis...and, they need a thrower.

Even the ones who DO need a thrower regularly ALSO tend to need a flooder. A diffuser on a thrower to make it floodier is a giant waste of cell energy, as the OTF losses are tremendous, and a dedicated flood makes more sense...especially if you don't want the hassle of manipulating a diffuser film to use your light, etc. The flip cover lenses (ET, etc) can make that easier, but, those lights tend to get too large for pocket use for most people.

So, MOST people JUST need a flood, and some might need to ADD a thrower if appropriate/desired.

The water is of course quite muddied lately, as there are floody lights with more throw than some throwers...so, the distinction is becoming a bit useless in that the two categories can overlap significantly.

My personal belief is we should simply refer to the range or cd instead of "thrower", so we would know the lumens and the cd, and can, generally, predict the beam character from there as far as how far and how fat it might be.




After that, its about the specific beam characteristics, runtimes, and UI that further tailor a light to your useage.
 
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Poppy

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My personal belief is we should simply refer to the range or cd instead of "thrower", so we would know the lumens and the cd, and can, generally, predict the beam character from there as far as how far and how fat it might be.

After that, its about the specific beam characteristics, runtimes, and UI that further tailor a light to your useage.

I can't argue with that logic.
For example the rayovac 2AA indestructible is a 100 lumen thrower. Not a whole lot of lumens, but it has a tight beam with a cd of 5550 and it throws one lux all the way out to 75 yards! :)
 

dss_777

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That's why I love the Malkoff MD2 with high-low ring. Two usable levels, simple interface, excellent light quality.
 

Sixgunner

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I carry a 4Sevens Quark 123. I have it set for medium beam with the be head screwed completely down. For my second mode I have max beam. I've never used the max except for showing it and playing around.
 

AFKAN

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This is why I love my frankly huge RRT3 (the original not the new one) It's got that all important look at me throw but it also goes all the way down to a single lumen :D
 

kelmo

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Today I am definitely practical.

Got a E2e with a single stage TNT module, 100 lumens for 3 hours. Very MN03 like.

My backup is an Ion, 3/40 split of soft lumenistic flood!
 

xdayv

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Interesting thread. I'm definitely noob when it comes to flashlights, but as early as now, I realize of not needing/wanting super high-output lumens. I have an E1D Led as my EDC, now I'm looking for a more "practical" light for the ordinary chores... I'm looking at E1L Outdoorsman, or even an U2 Ultra? :faint:
 

Pöbel

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My HDS Clicky has been my main EDC for many years and will be for many years to come. I really use below 100lm for the most time.

More is not always better, still I carry a throwier light in my backpack - it just does not get used very often.
 

markr6

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In that scenario I would have liked my SC600wII L2.

1020lm for 2hrs
.01lm for 5.5 months
and 9 more modes in between

take your pick :)

I like the feel and look of other lights better, but the Zebralights always seem to win for 99% of my applications.
 

FPSRelic

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Hello all,

A few weeks back we celebrated my daughters birthdays at a water park. Our group was placed in a covered secluded area in the park. Me being the flashlight guy I put a EB2 in my swim bag. It got dark and our seating area did not have lighting. I think to myself hey, I get to show off! Sweeping the area with the EB2 on low did not do the trick and 500 lumens was definitely painful. Having a flashlight was definitely practical but the 500 lumen high was not practical to look for missing flip flops under tables.

As I have been a flashaholic for at least 10 years I have an increasing appreciation for sub 100 lumen lights with long runtimes. When I was packing my light I thought about taking my older E2L with the 65 lumen high. That would have been perfect for the final gear sweep. But alas, I am conflicted. My inner flashaholic still wants to have the brightest light when meeting someone else with a light. My ego made me choose the wrong light that night.

But you know what? I'm good with that!

Thanks for sharing.

kelmo

Happy birthday to your Daughters. I hope you all enjoyed your day.

What you describe is in my opinion a failing that I have found in my experience of the Surefire EB2. I purchased this light to "upgrade" from my venerable LX2, but found that the low mode of the EB2 was too low for all but the darkest environments, meaning that I would need to employ high mode, which would end up being too bright.

Case in point, trying to light up the shadowy recesses of a switch in a comms cabinet in a lit room. The ambient light makes the low mode too dim, and the high mode sears your retinas. I found the 15 lumen low mode of the LX2 or the 10 lumen low mode of the L1 on the other hand to be far more suitable, hence the reason why I still carry those. About 98% of my lighting needs are satisfied with the low mode of these two lights, wheras with lights like my HDS EDC Rotary, I find myself using medium and even high mode more often. Even the 5 lumen low of my EB1 or E1B have brighter hotspots than my EB2, making their low modes more useful to me.

YMMV, but personally, I wish Surefire had used a 15 lumen low mode on the EB2
 
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