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Thread: Inova vs Surefire

  1. #1
    Flashaholic J Smith's Avatar
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    Default Inova vs Surefire

    Hoe does the XO3 compare to Surefires higher output LED lights?
    Jeff

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Inova vs Surefire

    In fit and finish the Inova is excellent and easily on par with the Surefire.

    In output the X03/T3 are only really about 40 lumens or so. An L4 or L2 on high will blow away the X03/T3 in terms of raw brightness.

    Chris
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    *Flashaholic* JonSidneyB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inova vs Surefire

    Hmmm,

    I would rather have a Surefire anyday.
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  4. #4
    Flashaholic* deranged_coder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inova vs Surefire

    Compare in terms of what?

    In general, though, while I find the Inova lights to be good quality lights they pale in comparison to the LED Surefires that I have (I have an E2e with KL4 and KL1 heads (both old and new styles), an L1 (old and new optics) and a U2).

    Fit and finish wise, I find that the threading on the Inova to be inferior to the Surefires. More than once it felt like I was in danger of cross-threading the tailcap as I was putting it back on to an Inova light. It never feels that way when I am using a Surefire light. I will say, though, that the Inova looks more elegant and stylish to my eyes whereas the Surefire designs look relatively utilitarian. However, this is purely my own opinion.

    Output wise, the X03 definitely puts out more light than the L1s and the KL1 heads. To my own eyes, it can hold its own against the output of the KL4 head or the U2 on high. However, it does have the 'ringy' beam due to the TIROS optic. The KL4, the old KL1, the old L1 and U2 all produce a smoother looking beam. The new KL1 and the new L1 with the TIR optics also produce a 'ringy' beam but in my opinion it is not as pronounced as the beam from the X03.

    In terms of size, the X03 is noticeably larger than the E-series lights (E2L or L4) and the L1. Compared to the U2, the X03 is slightly longer but the U2 has a larger bezel.

    Price wise, well, Inova lights are definitely more affordable than Surefire lights. I think the most affordable LED light that is in the Surefire line is the E1L and that retails for almost $100.00. The Inova X03 retails for much less than that.

    If you want more empirical data, there is always FlashlightReviews.com.

    If you want photos comparing the sizes of the Surefires to the X03 let me know and I can take some and post them.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Inova vs Surefire

    I'd have to agree with what has already been said; Inova's seem structurally and aesthetically right up there with Surefire (I personally think that my T3 would stand more of a beating than my U2, but this is unproven).

    However, when it comes to beam-quality, the 'ringiness' leaves Inova comming up short of Surefire's standards. Of course, if you are using the light solely outdoors, then you probably won't notice this much, and it won't really be a factor.
    -Brad

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Inova vs Surefire

    All the Inovas are tough, durable LED lights. Their beams are pretty tightly focused (excepting their X5) and the nifty XO3 and T3 are no exception. They're "throwers," with minimal flood/sidespill. They have good runtimes in the 2 to 2 1/2 hour range, compared to about 1 to 1 1/2 hours for comparable Surefires.

    Comparable Surefires, especially their incans, tend to have more "balanced" beams, with about 50% greater overall output. However, the Surefire family of lights offers a wider variety of beam patterns. For example, the unique E2L (an E2 with a KL1 LED head) is a potent little jewell of a "thrower" -- with a beam shape (and long runtime) that approximates the larger XO3's.

    If you want a pure, mid-range Thrower, get an XO3 or T3. If you want a short-range LED spill/flood light (mostly for Inside use) without the Inova's Throw, get a Surefire L4. If you want an LED light with Throw aproaching an XO3's -- but with fantastic flood/spill that'll blow the Inova away -- get a Surefire L5.

    Of course, that L5 will cost you about 3X the cost of the Inova XO3/T3. The Inovas may be better values -- if you can accept their beam-shape limitations and bulkier form factor.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic J Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inova vs Surefire

    Thanks,just what I was wanting to know.
    I saw the price and it was rated at 82 lums,knew it was to good to be true.
    I have a E2L and love it.I did not want to get the XO3 and be disapointed in it.
    Jeff

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Inova vs Surefire

    I don't think you would be dissapointed in an Inova T3/X03. Just don't expect 80 lumens of light. My X03 is brighter then my E1L and I would guess would be a bit brighter then an E2L. I think the beam pattern on the Inova's are better then the current TIR optic Surfires. Just don't go into it thinking it is going to be a retina scorching 100 lumen monster. It doesn't even remotely compare to the L4 which is rated at 65 lumens. That is not saying that the X03 sucks or is dim as much as it is saying that the Surefire is just friggen BRIGHT.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Inova vs Surefire

    To my eyes, the XO3 has about 10% more Throw/wider Spill than my E2/KL1 (E2L).

    The E2/KL1 is lighter and more pocketable... so I find it makes a good EDC Dockers light.

    The XO3's length gives it more "whackability" as an emergency impact weapon, so I use it as my night-walks back-up light to my SF L5.

    Yup, that's 3 lights when I'm out walking with Ms. TWar: (1) E2/KL1 in Dockers pocket, (2) L5 in left hand -- for lighting the shadows, (3) XO3 in coat pocket. (The Peak McKinley on a neck lanyard doesn't count!)

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