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Thread: Surefire L4 or L5

  1. #1

    Default Surefire L4 or L5

    I want to purchase my first high quality led flashlight and I've narrowed my choice between the L4 or L5. The info I read says the l4 is more of a flood light and the l5 has a tighter beam. Also there are alot more accessories for the l5 (inter. heads, beam covers, etc.) Is there anything else I need to know to make my choice. I already have numerous small led's for close work I just want another flashlight with some power. Something that TIM THE TOOLMAN TAYLOR would love. Thanks. One more thing; why does the l5 have longer battery life than the l4 even though the lumens and batteries are the same. thanks
    Last edited by ecks; 12-26-2005 at 02:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Flash_Gordon's Avatar
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    Post Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    ecks-Welcome To CPF!

    No wrong choice there. I might be just a little biased as the L4 was my first high quality LED light and my second SF.

    There is no shortage of accessories for the L4. In fact it is an E series light in size and any of those parts will fit the L4. The other big advantage to me is size. The L4 is shorter and lighter than the L5. It is quite nice for pocket carry and the L5 pushes the limit for pocket IMO.

    The L5 has a much larger head diameter with more throw due to the larger reflector. It also has a combat style grip area for use with a handgun if that is important to you.

    For me L4 all the way. I'm sure you will receive other opinions here.

    Mark

  3. #3
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    Kiessling's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    As they are functionally different lights perhaps the wisest choice would be to let the planned function dictate the choice?

    Beamshots:

    SF L4:


    SF U2 (is very similar to the L5):



    Those shots are a bit underexposed but otherwise with exactly the same setting to be comparable.

    Welcome to CPF !!

    bernie
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Wink2 Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    It might help him out if someone could post a pic side by side of the lights.
    L4 is much smaller for carry L5 much better for throw. I have both but I can not post pics. Welcome to CPF.
    Topper

  5. #5

    Talking Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    I just recieved my L5 a few day's ago... although the L4 is smaller than the L5, what drew my attention to the L5 was the weight. It feels really well balanced in my hands. But I do feel it's a bit too big to EDC in the pockets, then again, I don't like having too many things in them to begin with... It's a choice with no wrong's. Boy, only if all our problems are like that!
    visualnewbie aka "chris"

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    L4 is more versatile than L5, which interchanges bodies with E series. L4 with E1E body, R123 li-ion and two stage switch makes one of nicest packages anywhere.

    one advantage of L5 much hefftier tube is being able to bore out for 18650 li-ion cell. if you are so incline.

    other than than, L4 wins in my books

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Timson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    My vote would be for the L5....

    Just strikes me as more of a 'serious' light. The bigger reflector makes better use of the LED and will actually throw a beam as opposed to the L4 which just puts out an expanse of light that will quickly get eaten up when used outdoors at anything over a moderate distance away.

    L5....A mans flashlight.

    Tim
    M3-CB, C3-HAIII, A2-RD, Fenix L1P, Fenix P1D-CE, Tri-Star Phaser, Inova T3, Mag85, SNII Clone, DD LuxIII Mag,

    Trilobike
    , Hot-Diver

  8. #8

    Default Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    Quote Originally Posted by ecks
    I want to purchase my first high quality led flashlight and I've narrowed my choice between the L4 or L5. The info I read says the l4 is more of a flood light and the l5 has a tighter beam. Also there are alot more accessories for the l5 (inter. heads, beam covers, etc.) Is there anything else I need to know to make my choice. I already have numerous small led's for close work I just want another flashlight with some power. Something that TIM THE TOOLMAN TAYLOR would love. Thanks. One more thing; why does the l5 have longer battery life than the l4 even though the lumens and batteries are the same. thanks
    Welcome to CPF ecks!
    Here's a thought...Buy the KL4 head, then buy the body and switch you like. McGizmo's 2-stage switch is great, I have two of them, both with the 22ohm resistor, works great with a single cell body, two cell body, and the BIG Lithium rechargable. It is possible to do this and keep the cost nearly the same or even less.

    Flood beam pattern really is more useful in practical applications...Ahhh...All those options



    Have fun,

    TB
    Last edited by TranquillityBase; 12-26-2005 at 06:25 PM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic Geode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    My vote is for the L5. I have owned both and really like the size of the L4, but the beam of the L5 more than makes up for the added mass. Stays cooler than the L4 too.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic falconz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    My vote`s for the L5 too(it was my first tactical/surefire torch)!! The L5 does not loose too much in terms of short range flood and more then makes up with the added throw...
    Even if you do not own a sidearm, the rogers grip is pretty handy too!
    At the end of the tunnel of Light I saw........an empty wallet....

  11. #11
    Flashaholic rmacias's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    Hello ecks, welcome to CPF.

    I recommend the L5 and then get a 2-stage McE2S switch for it. It makes the light more useful when a low beam is required.

    RJM

    Bernie: Nice L4 vs. L5 beamshot comparison.
    Solid State Rules!

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* TrueBlue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    There is a saying around here. Something about, 'Get 'em all.'

    My small lights are always carried around. The medium size lights are taken out less often. Once in while the bigger lights are fun to take out and play with.

    I always have my stick in my pocket. I like to play with my pocket stick.

    My L4 or one of my L4 variations is/are the light/lights I grab first. If I have a couple of seconds to think Iíll get a medium size light. If I have a minute then I figure out which big light to use.

    The L4 is a lot of light coming out of the small body. It works for 90% of my purpose.


  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Sean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    Here's a shot of the L4. L5 and L6 together. I really like the beam of the L5, but I also really like the flood of the L4 and it's smaller size too.


  14. #14

    Default Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    what is the distance to the trees in the beam shots?

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* cratz2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surefire L4 or L5

    I think for my money, I'd go for the L4 and a KL1 head. Then as funds allow, get some sort of 2 stage switch. Alternately, you could buy a E2L and get a KL4 head.

    With the L4, you get a great flood light which is overall one of the best lights for indoor use I've ever used (though I've yet to actually buy one) and adding the KL1 head give you better throw and greater runtime than either the KL4 or KL5 head but with less overall output.

    Again, I think if I owned the L4 and L5, the L5 would be fun to play with, but I doubt I'd carry the L5 as often as I would the L4. Plus my 2 cell EDC is a Vital Gear body with a modded BOG module which is a lot more similar to the L4 in size than the L5.
    "That's what makes SF so badass... we've got the best flashlights."

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