The LunaSol 20: the new benchmark for EDC lights

Hitthespot

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I did not know that Michael Jackson carried a gun.

On a more serious note, I have only skimmed your essay so far but have found parts of it interesting already. I especially enjoyed the section about the clips, I couldn't agree more. The pictures of the body work on the TI really did hit home. Amazing. You won't get that kind of collision insurance with alumimum. I suspicion the light would have disintegrated if it were aluminum. I also liked your paragraph about buying decisions. How true, How true. Trying to explain why I own a Rolex is amost futile.

I look forward to a more detailed look js, especially the tech stuff, but thank you on what I've reviewed so far. I have been admiring Don's work for a while now. It looks as though I can indeed look forward to purchasing one of his creations.

Bill
 

js

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Roccomo,

Thanks!

Hitthespot,

(Now don't make me post another "How to tell the difference between Kate Beckinsale and Michael Jackson" guide!)

Your approach to this long and detailed thread is a perfectly good option: skim it and only read the sections that interest you, then come back for more at a later date. It is structured to allow for this very approach, although the sections don't completely stand-alone. But they come close.

As for the Ti vs. Al in a bike accident, it's probable that an Al light would have survived also, maybe with more abrasions and scars, but even so, it would still not be amenable to resurfacing like the Ti light was, in any case.

Anyway, thanks for your comments and I look forward to more if/when you revisit this thread!
 

smflorkey

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Wow! I haven't looked at that much math since college (a few decades ago). It was fun to see it and understand most of it. I will try to keep a bookmark to this thread for the next time my daughter says her time is wasted in algebra, geometry, chemistry and physics classes.

I'm relatively new to CPF and continue to be amazed at the exceptional expertise of many members. In some ways I am more amazed by the helpfulness of many as you (and others like you) patiently answer some questions that are painfully obvious to the expert. The answers and detailed explanations are very much appreciated by the rest of us.
 

Katdaddy

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Wow! I haven't looked at that much math since college (a few decades ago). It was fun to see it and understand most of it. I will try to keep a bookmark to this thread for the next time my daughter says her time is wasted in algebra, geometry, chemistry and physics classes.

I'm relatively new to CPF and continue to be amazed at the exceptional expertise of many members. In some ways I am more amazed by the helpfulness of many as you (and others like you) patiently answer some questions that are painfully obvious to the expert. The answers and detailed explanations are very much appreciated by the rest of us.[/quote


Stay away from JS's threads. They will cost you money, LOL!!!!! Every time he writes one of these I have to go out and buy whatever light he is talking about. He makes them sound so irresistible He would make a fortune as a used car salesman!
 

shomie911

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Stay away from JS's threads. They will cost you money, LOL!!!!! Every time he writes one of these I have to go out and buy whatever light he is talking about. He makes them sound so irresistible He would make a fortune as a used car salesman!

I agree, after I read his A2 thread I went out and bought my 4-sided A2-WH.

I love it though, so I can't complain. :laughing:

I just need some extra money to buy the LS20 and a Sundrop. :mecry::broke:
 

jimmy1970

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I find these super high quality in-depth reviews on high performance titanium lights stimulating, exciting, intriguing and depressing all at once!

My interest and curiosity of these McGizmo creations is always hightened to such a point mid way through a lengthy review only to be heavily deflated by the end when I realise I can't afford such a beast!!:mecry::broke:

But it's OK to dream isn't it!:)

James...
 

leon2245

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I find these super high quality in-depth reviews on high performance titanium lights stimulating, exciting, intriguing and depressing all at once!

+1

Sounds like the best E.D.C. light, and easily the most convincing write-up I've ever read.
So even though I can't afford one, this review deserves a big THUMBS UP!


billymays.jpg
 

yellow

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so, the main points for an EDC-light are:
* size
* runtime
* ruggedness
* multi-functionality
... thats what I agree
but there is one point missing and that is
* price

EDC means using, means eventually loosing :faint: the light
Lucky if someone decides to afford such a light, but its still a showpiece like Titan and such, because of the possible danger of it to not come "home" again.
f.e. I have not yet lost any light (as far as I remember), but would anyone lend this one to the guy asking to "borrow that light of Yours for just doing ..."
--> no chance ;)
 

Kiessling

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IMHO price has nothing to do with the evaluation of an item. Price is the result of the characteristics of the item, not a factor that decides about its merits and flaws.

However, price can be a deciding argument not to buy the item, of course. But that is a different story :)

bernie
 

js

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so, the main points for an EDC-light are:
... thats what I agree
but there is one point missing and that is
* price

EDC means using, means eventually loosing :faint: the light
Lucky if someone decides to afford such a light, but its still a showpiece like Titan and such, because of the possible danger of it to not come "home" again.
f.e. I have not yet lost any light (as far as I remember), but would anyone lend this one to the guy asking to "borrow that light of Yours for just doing ..."
--> no chance ;)

yellow,

I understand where you're coming from, and it's a totally valid point of view--but it is your point of view, your place--and not mine, or bernie's, or yaesumofo's, or any of a multitude of others who own $400 or $500 EDC's. If you say that we haven't thought of the possibility of losing our EDC's, you'd be wrong. Yaesumofo (and myself) for example both have back-up EDC's. Yaesumofo always has a spare for every light in his EDC arsenal. He has two LunaSol 20's, in point of fact. The simple possibility of losing his main LunaSol 20 has not only occurred to him, but he has in fact planned for it, and the idea has not only occurred to him and is something which he has planned for, but, it has not deterred him from EDC'ing a LunaSol 20. Not at all.

I totally disagree with you that the LunaSol 20 is a "showpiece" merely because it is expensive. YOU and people of like mindset are the very reason for my section on "BUYING ADVICE" at the end of the thread. I would strongly advise you not to buy a light as expensive as a LunaSol 20 or SureFire Titan. If you can't get beyond the price as it relates to the possibility of loss, then do yourself a favor and EDC a less expensive light.

Obviously, you have given yourself (and have followed) this exact advice. And it's fine.

BUT IT SAYS NOTHING TRUE IN GENERAL ABOUT THE LUNASOL 20 OR EDC's.

I intentionally and specifically left out *price* in my "evaluation". Everyone's idea of how to evaluate a cost to benefit ratio is different. Sometimes VERY different. So I leave it to each individual to use the information they can find (such as a thread like this) and factor in cost and chance of loss and everything else they want, and then decide to buy or not to buy.

It's the same argument that appears all over the place. Carry a Bic pen because, hey, you might lose a more expensive one, and then where would you be? A $10 or $50 or $300 writing implement is a joke, a showpiece.

And yet, there are many who use an expensive fountain pen day in and day out, and after maybe years (or maybe longer or shorter) when they lose the thing, they buy another one just as expensive.

I EDC a $400 Chris Reeve Large Sebenza and a $500 McGizmo LunaSol 20 and I have considered that I might lose one or both of them at some point, AND IT WILL BE TOTALLY WORTH IT EVEN IF I DO. (more than worth it) The cost of replacement must be weighed against the daily joy and pleasure of having such wonderful tools at your disposal, day in and day out. For me this more than balances out the possibility of loss and the expense of replacement.

So, I see where you are coming from yellow, and I respect it, but there are other places that one can live and be, psychologically, and you might want to consider this when making statements like "it is still a showpiece like Titan".

As for lending your LunaSol 20 to someone, that's something you wouldn't lightly do--like to a stranger or someone you knew wouldn't respect it. And if you need an EDC that you can lend to the-clueless and inappreciative, then, fine, don't buy a LunaSol 20. But the thought of what I will do when someone asks to borrow my light doesn't give me a moments unrest, nor does it prevent me from carrying my LunaSol 20. I simply don't lend my light out to people I don't trust. And this situation rarely comes up in any case.
 

BabyDoc

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Wow! JS, this is another classic for the archives, along with your A2 review. What a fabulous piece of writing, too! I throughly enjoyed reading every word.

Being an owner of a SunDrop, I do appreciate Don's lights as being something very special, particularly in my workplace where I use the SunDrop many times a day. I am very tempted to get a Lunasol 20, based on your superlative review along with my joy in owning another of Don's light. My only concern is the PD system itself, which you said takes getting used to. I have tried a PD in the NiteCore EX10, and I am less than thrilled with that. While 4Sevens attributes that switch design to Don, perhaps it is unfair to compare that switching mechanism to one of Don's own creations. Perhaps you might comment on that. You stated in your excellent review that the interface is the most important make-it or break-it feature of an EDC light, yet the PD switch requires the development of certain muscles in the hand that may not work out for this 65 year old man. Would you still recommend the Lunasol 20 to someone who had an unfavorable experience with the PD of an EX10 or do you think the Lunasol 20's PD switch is entirely a different entity and worth a try?
 

js

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BabyDoc,

I really don't know, having never used an EX10. I'm sure that someone who has used both will comment shortly, though. As for the 65 year old man part, I highly doubt you would find any difficulty in developing the muscules needed for the PD UI. However . . . there's no question that the most common complaint about the PD (although still not very frequent--most people seem to love the PD UI) is the force required to activate and hold the high level on. There is even a thread in the McGizmo forum right now about making modifications to address this problem. There was a group buy of a lower spring-force spring, in point of fact. And, as I mentioned, you could also cut the top loop or two off the existing spring, being careful to bend the top end bit downward slightly so it doesn't catch or dig into the negative end of the battery.

Still, there's no getting around the fact that for your uses, the clicky-switch might be a much better UI. And if you don't feel the need for throw very much, then why not stick with the SunDrop? It's one heck of a light, after all!

Oh, and thanks for your kind words about the review! As you can probably guess, I put a lot of work and thought into it.
 

wquiles

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Fantastic review js - thanks for taking the time to write this. And by the way, I agree with your point about price: Right now I EDC an A2 and a small Sebenza (using the old BG-42 steel!), so I appreciate good equipment.

I guess really need to start saving for a McGizmo Ti light ;)

EDIT: Follow up question: In terms of color accuracy, how do you rate the LunaSol and the SunDrop?

Will
 
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jeffb

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BabyDoc (js, too :poke:

I have an LS20 and an EX10; I use the LS20 often throughout a day (LS20 and Spy005) are my primary lights.

So, I found the EX10...it is smaller and does not fit my small hands like the LS20. (read not nearly as easy to use, for me) The LS 20 has a very comfortable "fit". I am 57 and don't have any problems with the momentary piston used with my thumb or or forefinger.

The twisty head for two levels is very easy and intuitive and very natural and comfortable.

I have owned and used McGizmo's, Alephs, PD's, HD45 and as far as sheer utility, the LS20 is by far the "best" for my uses. I carried different variations of the PD and PD-S for quite some time and never believed that I would give up the Ti-PD-S, due to the lovely beam and similar characteristics of the LS20. However, I no longer own one and am very satisfied.

js suggestions regarding the spring should be helpful and Don has commented and I'm confident would help, as well.

Hope this helps....

jeff
 

BabyDoc

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My problem with the EX10 isn't the size. I have small hands. What is a problem is getting steady enough pressure on the PD switch that the light doesn't turn off while ramping or end up switching accidentally to a different light level. I realize the Lunasol doesn't ramp; so that shouldn't be an issue. I do like using my index finger on the switch some of the time, and I just can't get enough force to do that with the EX10. The switch just feels stiff to me even though I have cleaned it, and used very thin lube on the O-rings. I have even worked with the light enough to have sore fingers. I probably shouldn't be comparing an EX10's switch to a Lunasol's switch, but after reading Don's forum, there are people there who have similar issues with the Lunasol piston drive as I have with the EX10 PD.

Finally, at risk of getting flamed, might I suggest that this type of a light interface might not be a perfect fit for everyone? I really enjoyed JS's review and really can see the logic of almost everything in the review, especially his statement regarding the interface being cruicial beyond every other feature of the light. However, the idea that you may have to exercise your hand in order to be able to feel comfortable using this light doesn't fit too well with me. I thought tools were meant to adapt to YOUR physical needs, not you needing to adapt phyically to the needs of the tool. To put it another way, if you were considering the purchase of a pair of leather shoes that were a bit tight on you, you might buy them if you like them enough, because there is a good chance the shoes will probably stretch and adapt to your foot. But if the shoe were made out of vinyl that won't stretch, there is no chance your foot is going to adapt to the shoe. Would you buy those shoes, anyway? Most would agree, you would be foolish if you did, even if you could get used to the discomfort of wearing them. Saying that you may need to adapt physically to the light interface sounds almost as impractical to me, if it really doesn't fit you well. Wouldn't you just be better off with a different light? Or perhaps here, the pain is worth the gain?
 
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paulr

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I think operating the PD piston with your index finger for more than a second or so would be difficult. Operating it with your thumb takes a little getting used to. The piston is a momentary switch; keeping the light on for more than a few seconds is most easily done by twisting the bezel. But an awful lot of the time, a momentary blip of light is all you want. Especially useful is twisting the bezel for steady low, but occasionally pressing the piston to get a blip of high. (Note, this is based on my experience with a PD Mule; I haven't used any other PD models yet).
 

Guy's Dropper

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As for the Ti vs. Al in a bike accident, it's probable that an Al light would have survived also, maybe with more abrasions and scars, but even so, it would still not be amenable to resurfacing like the Ti light was, in any case.
That is why I prefer bare aluminum. It looks good, and if it gets dinged up, it's easy to make it look like new. Only problem is, it wears away really fast. Someday I'll get a Ti McGizmo.... Some day....
 

js

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My problem with the EX10 isn't the size. I have small hands. What is a problem is getting steady enough pressure on the PD switch that the light doesn't turn off while ramping or end up switching accidentally to a different light level. I realize the Lunasol doesn't ramp; so that shouldn't be an issue. I do like using my index finger on the switch some of the time, and I just can't get enough force to do that with the EX10. The switch just feels stiff to me even though I have cleaned it, and used very thin lube on the O-rings. I have even worked with the light enough to have sore fingers. I probably shouldn't be comparing an EX10's switch to a Lunasol's switch, but after reading Don's forum, there are people there who have similar issues with the Lunasol piston drive as I have with the EX10 PD.

Finally, at risk of getting flamed, might I suggest that this type of a light interface might not be a perfect fit for everyone? I really enjoyed JS's review and really can see the logic of almost everything in the review, especially his statement regarding the interface being cruicial beyond every other feature of the light. However, the idea that you may have to exercise your hand in order to be able to feel comfortable using this light doesn't fit too well with me. I thought tools were meant to adapt to YOUR physical needs, not you needing to adapt phyically to the needs of the tool. To put it another way, if you were considering the purchase of a pair of leather shoes that were a bit tight on you, you might buy them if you like them enough, because there is a good chance the shoes will probably stretch and adapt to your foot. But if the shoe were made out of vinyl that won't stretch, there is no chance your foot is going to adapt to the shoe. Would you buy those shoes, anyway? Most would agree, you would be foolish if you did, even if you could get used to the discomfort of wearing them. Saying that you may need to adapt physically to the light interface sounds almost as impractical to me, if it really doesn't fit you well. Wouldn't you just be better off with a different light? Or perhaps here, the pain is worth the gain?

I see where you're coming from, BabyDoc, and I would suggest that you borrow someone's LS20 or Ti-PD for a week or two, if you could, to really answer your question(s).

On the issue of adapting to your tools (or vice versa), I think your analogy of a too big foot being asked to squeeze into an unyielding shoe is not applicable. In many situations, a person needs to develop a few new muscles. This happens to new drivers, especially if they are learning on a standard shift. It happens to those learning a new skill, such as woodworking or woodcarving. It happens when you learn archery or carpentry or horse riding. It even happens when you learn how to write or type or even text on your cell phone with your thumbs.

A vinyl shoe that will not stretch out mated to a foot that is too large will cause comfort indefinitely.

Developing a couple new muscles only causes a bit of discomfort for a week or so, and then causes discomfort no more.

So there's a big difference between those two cases. Now, if there were no payoff, then you could rightly complain about having to go throught it at all, but in my opinion there is a big payoff. It was the same for me with the SureFire M6. At first it was a bit difficult to hold high on with my thumb, but after a bit of use I found that I could do it easily.

Now, it should be noted that I am probably an unusual case in the sense that I use a new light A LOT, and thus will consciously notice the discomfort and muscle development. Others who have bought a PD light might have just never noticed anything at all, except that they come to like the action more and more over the period of a month or so.

But, as I have stressed before, the important thing is to find the right UI for you. The PD sounds like it probably isn't for you. And that's perfectly fine! There are many other UI's from which to choose!
 
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