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Thread: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

  1. #1

    Default This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    SL PP 4AA Lux:
    Size 10/10
    Weight 10/10
    Value 10/10
    Output 10/10
    Optics 6/10

    Size = Looks like your average $1.99 4 AA flash light.

    Weight = 8 oz with Energizer 2500mAh NiMH batts, a little less with alkalines. Mag 3D weighs 32 oz with batteries.


    Output*

    *all output rating is based on Flashlight review's relative units and the graph, then interpolated to my best ability.

    Start:

    • SL: 23.5 units (with charged 2.3Ah NiMHs)
    • Mag 3D 23.0 units (with new Alkaline batts)
    15 min later:
    • SL ~20.5 units
    • Mag 3D ~17 units
    1 hour later:

    • SL ~20.5 units
    • Mag 3D ~11.5 units
    3 1/2 hours later:
    • SL ~20.5 units
    • Mag 3D ~8.6 units
    4 3/4 hours:

    • SL ~20.5 units, then plummets down to almost nothing
    • Mag 3D ~6.9 units, and continues to dim down gradually for the next five hours or so
    I really wish the focus was adjustable, because it is way too collimated for close up work.

    In conclusion, the Streamlight provides an output comparable to a 3D Mag with new batteries for almost five hours, but Mag provides way longer dimmed down light afterward. Who wants to carry a 3D Mag for an extended dim light though?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    I thought I was the only one (hehehe) that had this exact logic... but you hit the nail right on the head ! Brighter for longer and less weight, easier to pocket (jacket pocket) and don't forget that 4 AA's in a small case or wrapped in a rubber band are the same size and weight approx. as only one D cell, so you can carry a spare set and be good to go. And, last but not least is the fact that you won't blow a bulb if you drop it. I love my PP 4AA and my mag's are sitting as shelf queens. The only mag I use now is my MagCharger 1160. I've bought a couple more streamlights too. My EDC is a Pelican M1 LED. I'm sold! Nice simplified test report you did, it tells the tale for all practical purposes. Cheers !
    AtomicX

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    Flashaholic mykall's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    You are right about the gen output and runtimes but throw is another story.
    I personally don't believe that any LED regardless of it's "numbers" throws as well as an incan with roughly the same throw numbers. This is because I believe that the throw figures for most tests are done at 1 or 2 meters and I beleive that just as light decreases logarithmically w/ distance, it is more so with an led. This means that even though an LED light can show more concentrated intensity at 1 or 2 meters than a comparable incan, it cannot cast this intensity as well to distance. This is just what I've observed by using my lights. Measurements may prove otherwise, but again this is just what I've observed with my eyes.

    I have both lights, and with a xenon bulb in the 3D Mag there is no comparison in throw. Although the PP throws better that most leds on the market it doesn't even come close to the krypton bulb let alone the Xenon.

    MB

  4. #4

    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Well there are times when an incan is useful. So you could carry your 4 spare AAs in a Brightstar Responder 4AA with an XPR103, where it would be lots brighter than the 3D Mag but with much shorter runtime. And even carrying both you'd still beat the Mag for size.
    Last edited by bfg9000; 03-08-2006 at 10:30 AM.

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    *Flashaholic* mdocod's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    put 3 10,000-12,000 mah D cell NIMHs in the maglight and do the test again. it'll start off a bit dimmer- but will last over 8 hours at a decent output level.

    [edit] don't want to give the wrong impression here- I'm not a mag enthusiest or anything, but happen to have a mag3D - I have tested current draw on the xenon lamp from mag from 3xNIMHs, and 3xalkies, alkies start off high and drop down fast from the start(~0.95amp starting, dropping fast)- could probably get more hours of dim orange out of them than you would ever care to tolerate- whereas I have found NIMHs to startoff slightly lower(~0.85amp), slightly orange tinted at that point- but it stays right around 0.8amps for many hours. can be used as a long runtime emergency light in a power-outage on NIMHs pretty well.
    Last edited by mdocod; 03-08-2006 at 11:43 AM.
    -Eric

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Agree with mdocod. The major limiting factor in a Mag is the alkaline battery.

    The current mag mod I'm doing is an 8AA ni-mh 2D Mag with a stock 6D krypton bulb or the mag-num star bulb. I believe even a stock 6D mag-num star (easily 100 lumens) is bright enough for most purposes if slightly overdriven (9.6V nimh) at a CONSTANT output.

  7. #7

    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyJ
    The current mag mod I'm doing is an 8AA ni-mh 2D Mag with a stock 6D krypton bulb or the mag-num star bulb. I believe even a stock 6D mag-num star (easily 100 lumens) is bright enough for most purposes if slightly overdriven (9.6V nimh) at a CONSTANT output.
    I have two mags setup like these (while waiting on reflectors) and like them a lot. Frosted the bulbs and the beam is nice with no need for any textured reflector, and it happily runs on 8 NiMH AA or 7 alkaline AA. Probably would be a good cheap light to keep in the car with 6 lithium AA--needs no special bore job, socket, or aluminum reflector. Only the battery carrier and bulb.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    I'm afraid your conclusion is a little flawed. What you've discovered is the characteristics of NiMH and NiCD batteries compared to primary alkaline batteries. Suggest that you compare both lights with alkaline batteries to get more consistent results; the Propoly will also have diminished output from the alkalines after it falls out of regulation. Additionally, I'm not sure what you're using to measure the output, if anything, but I think you'll find that the Mag will outthrow the Propoly, but will have lower overall output.

    Quote Originally Posted by Handlobraesing
    In conclusion, the Streamlight provides an output comparable to a 3D Mag with new batteries for almost five hours, but Mag provides way longer dimmed down light afterward.

  9. #9

    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Brighteyez
    I'm afraid your conclusion is a little flawed. What you've discovered is the characteristics of NiMH and NiCD batteries compared to primary alkaline batteries.
    That is true if they're both unregulated, but the Streamlight Luxeon has full regulation that provides constant output for quite some time even with alkalines. Not as long as NiMH, because alkaline suffers severely in its useful capacity with a load that pulls around 0.5A like this flashlight. The output is about the same whether you use fresh alkalines or NiMHs, which you can't say is true for incandescent.

    Energizer 2.5Ah NiMH delivers full 2.5Ah at C/5 rate (500mA) while a 2.9Ah AA Alkaline delivers around 2Ah at the same current draw.

    The spec on Energizer AA alkaline is 2.9Ah deliverable capacity at 25mA load.

    Suggest that you compare both lights with alkaline batteries to get more consistent results; the Propoly will also have diminished output from the alkalines after it falls out of regulation. Additionally, I'm not sure what you're using to measure the output, if anything, but I think you'll find that the Mag will outthrow the Propoly, but will have lower overall output.
    If you read the fine print, it is based off of Flashlight review site's info. If you want exact procedure, go on over there and read their strategy. FYI, the SL PP 4AA provides 3hr 40min on a set of alkalines at constant output before it goes out of regulation.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Sorry, I finished college a long time ago, so I'm not as knowledgeable as some students think they are.

    Actually I did read what you call "fine print" and and gave you the benefit of the doubt about just parroting or paraphrasing someone else's findings in the even that you had actually gone to the trouble of taking some measurements.

    Insofar as the dimmed output that you found from the Mag ... I wonder if that might occur with the ProPoly if you had actually tried it with alkaline batteries?

    It's amazing that college students ever learn anything when they think they already know it all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Handlobraesing
    If you read the fine print, it is based off of Flashlight review site's info. If you want exact procedure, go on over there and read their strategy. FYI, the SL PP 4AA provides 3hr 40min on a set of alkalines at constant output before it goes out of regulation.

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    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Interesting comparisons between these two flashlight models.
    LUX'Ottica

  12. #12

    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Brighteyez

    Insofar as the dimmed output that you found from the Mag ... I wonder if that might occur with the ProPoly if you had actually tried it with alkaline batteries?
    Flashlightreviews.com did try with both alkaline and NiMH batts, both graphs are given in the review.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Don't forget also the cost of batteries if you are using alkalines. Standard best case prices that most people can find easily, AAs run 20 cents/ea and Ds run 85 cents/ea. So a set of AAs will run $0.80, and a set of Ds runs $2.55.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    We're just not communicating at all here.

    If you wanted diminishing levels of brightness on the either of the lights, run alkalines in them. It is a characteristic of NiMH batteries to drop suddenly in voltage as they get to the end of their charge cycle. So to say that a device using NiMH batteries drops suddenly verses a device using alkaline batteries is creating an inaccurate conclusion. It's not a surprise, I think most people already know that both NiMH and NiCD batteries drop suddenly in voltage at the end of their charge cycles; it has nothing to do with whether a flashlight is running an LED or a Xenon bulb or if it's powering the Energizer bunny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Handlobraesing
    Flashlightreviews.com did try with both alkaline and NiMH batts, both graphs are given in the review.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    I don't think the cost delta is that far apart if you compare the same types and brands of batteries. E.g. D sized Duracells to AA sized Duracells. It's also a matter of how you want to run your comparison.

    Your numbers look like you may be comparing the cost of Costco Kirkland brand AA batteries against the approximate cost of D sized Duracells (also purchased at Costco. But even if we take your numbers and use them as is, I'm not sure that the AA batteries don't cost more for the amount of current that they deliver. In theoretical specifications, 4 AA batteries would deliver about 17.1 Watts (6V * 2850 mAh) for 80˘ at a cost of about 4.7˘ per watt. 4 D batteries would deliver 123 Watts (6V * 20500 mAh) at a cost of about 2.8˘ watt (that's using the Costco unit cost of 87˘ for a C/D sized
    Duracell.) And the cost of an AA sized Duracell is about twice that of the Kirkland brand battery.

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy
    Don't forget also the cost of batteries if you are using alkalines. Standard best case prices that most people can find easily, AAs run 20 cents/ea and Ds run 85 cents/ea. So a set of AAs will run $0.80, and a set of Ds runs $2.55.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Brighteyez
    We're just not communicating at all here.

    If you wanted diminishing levels of brightness on the either of the lights, run alkalines in them. It is a characteristic of NiMH batteries to drop suddenly in voltage as they get to the end of their charge cycle. So to say that a device using NiMH batteries drops suddenly verses a device using alkaline batteries is creating an inaccurate conclusion. It's not a surprise, I think most people already know that both NiMH and NiCD batteries drop suddenly in voltage at the end of their charge cycles; it has nothing to do with whether a flashlight is running an LED or a Xenon bulb or if it's powering the Energizer bunny.
    It's like the 3rd time Handlobraesing's told you about the review at flashlightreviews - they have BOTH the alkaline AND the ni-mh plot for the 4AA Propolymer. Go there and look.

    The Propolymer runs ABSOLUTELY FLAT on either the alkaline or ni-mh, the ni-mh just runs longer, that's all.

    Hope that's clear enough for you.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    The portion of his "conclusion" that is not consistent is

    "In conclusion, the Streamlight provides an output comparable to a 3D Mag with new batteries for almost five hours, but Mag provides way longer dimmed down light afterward."

    I already know what is on the Flashlightsreview site. Thank you for your guidance though.

    I think you'll find in the paragraph of text that Doug has above the graph will better describe what occured in the graph and it may differ from what you're seeing in the graph. I hope Doug doesn't mind my quoting his text, but the portion of the paragraph that I was referencing in regards to the alkaline batteries is:

    " As for the diminishing output, the runtime test actually found that the light was still going at about 5% starting output for a full 4 hours after regulation stopped. At that point the test was terminated, so it may have gone several more hours at that level."




    Quote Originally Posted by RoyJ
    It's like the 3rd time Handlobraesing's told you about the review at flashlightreviews - they have BOTH the alkaline AND the ni-mh plot for the 4AA Propolymer. Go there and look.

    The Propolymer runs ABSOLUTELY FLAT on either the alkaline or ni-mh, the ni-mh just runs longer, that's all.

    Hope that's clear enough for you.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Since the original post was comparing apples and oranges, so was I. So that is why I compared 1 set of batteries as the OP had done. And I was indeed comparing batteries from Costco. Although you can also readily get name brand 4 AA or AAA alkaline packs from dollar stores. I'm waiting for the day they get 2 packs of C and D.

    And, as the graphs on flashlightreviews show, the SL 4AA is regulated, and drops suddenly at the very end, regardless of alkaline or NiMH. I don't think the SL gives too long of a run time once the light diminishes, even on alkaline.

    It also appears he was only comparing the total output, and not the throw. The throw for the Mag is better, but it's also prone to being yellow, irregularly shaped, and perhaps with some dark spots. The SL is a fairly even circle of white light. Not to mention the throw of the Mag would be reduced to that of the SL after only about 20 minutes of runtime.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy
    I don't think the SL gives too long of a run time once the light diminishes, even on alkaline.
    According to Doug, he terminated the test 4 hours after it went out of regulation, even though it was still running; that would put it around 7 hours and change. And now that I think about it, I've got 4 Pro Poly 4AAs and have never used anything but NiMH batteries in any of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy
    It also appears he was only comparing the total output, and not the throw. The throw for the Mag is better, but it's also prone to being yellow, irregularly shaped, and perhaps with some dark spots. The SL is a fairly even circle of white light. Not to mention the throw of the Mag would be reduced to that of the SL after only about 20 minutes of runtime.
    Actually, the throw on the Mag will continue to outthrow it for quite a while. But as you point it, it is yellowish (like any incandescent), and it's not very pleasant to use. That's about the only good thing the Mag has it it's favor is that it will even outthrow the higher rated LEDs like the LEDBeam, but that output sure leaves a lot to be desired. Did I say output? ... Sure was tempted to call it "out pus"

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Brighteyez
    The portion of his "conclusion" that is not consistent is

    "In conclusion, the Streamlight provides an output comparable to a 3D Mag with new batteries for almost five hours, but Mag provides way longer dimmed down light afterward."
    And the last part of that concluding paragragh, which sums up what I also think:

    "Who wants to carry a 3D Mag for an extended dim light though?"

    The way I read the whole thing is this. The SL provides almost as much light as the Mag with fresh batteries. But almost right away, the Mag drops to less than the SL. The SL then puts out the same decent light for the next (about) 4 hours, while the Mag only gets dimmer. So the OP and I both seem to think it's nicer carrying the lighter SL for it's longer runtime at close to the starting output.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Don't get me wrong, I prefer to the 4AA Propoly over the 3D Mag when both have fresh batteries and would most likely use the ProPoly over the 3D Mag with a Xenon bulb any day, given the choice. But I've also pitted a 3D Mag Xenon with a couple of hours of battery time against a 4AA ProPoly and it still outthrew it. Perhaps Doug had a Kryton bulb rather than a Xenon bulb?

    But I've also revived my Mags with the Sears Lux. Now the Mag presents a more difficult decision if I had to choose between the two (though realistically, I'd probably continue to use one of my SL-20s if I need a light that throws.)

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy
    The way I read the whole thing is this. The SL provides almost as much light as the Mag with fresh batteries. But almost right away, the Mag drops to less than the SL. The SL then puts out the same decent light for the next (about) 4 hours, while the Mag only gets dimmer. So the OP and I both seem to think it's nicer carrying the lighter SL for it's longer runtime at close to the starting output.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Brighteyez
    The portion of his "conclusion" that is not consistent is

    "In conclusion, the Streamlight provides an output comparable to a 3D Mag with new batteries for almost five hours, but Mag provides way longer dimmed down light afterward."
    Still don't see the inconsistency; does that statement not hold true for both the alkaline and nimh powered propoly?

    I understand he didn't use alkalines for his particular test, but that wouldn't have changed the regulated behaviour of the propoly. Either way, the statement is true: Mag is brighter initially, but quickly drops below, and then hold that dimming for a long time.


    On a different subject,

    I actually like Mags, but not for their throw. Throw is useless without output. Laser pointers are an extreme example: they'll out throw a xenon arc spotlight, but so what?

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Try one of the Sears Lux bulbs in a 3D. I think you'll like it. The throw and light output is around that of the ProPoly 3C, and more than that of the 4AA.

    But I'm still not giving up my SL-20.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyJ
    On a different subject,

    I actually like Mags, but not for their throw. Throw is useless without output.

  24. #24

    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Quote Originally Posted by mykall
    I personally don't believe that any LED regardless of it's "numbers" throws as well as an incan with roughly the same throw numbers. This is because I believe that the throw figures for most tests are done at 1 or 2 meters and I beleive that just as light decreases logarithmically w/ distance, it is more so with an led.
    MB
    Actually the light intensity drops with the inverse square of the distance, not logrithmically. This decrease in light intensity is not related to the source of the light, the drop off in light relative to distance will be the same whether the light source is an LED, an incan, a torch (the flaming kind not the UK flashlight kind), or nuclear fusion.
    Last edited by psomas0; 03-09-2006 at 10:26 PM.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Quote Originally Posted by psomas0
    Actually the light intensity drops with the inverse square of the distance, not logrithmically. This decrease in light intensity is not related to the source of the light, the drop off in light relative to distance will be the same whether the light source is an LED, an incan, a torch (the flaming kind not the UK flashlight kind), or nuclear fusion.
    Too bad we don't live in a vacuum.

    There's something called weather elements, and it's often sensitive to color temperature.

  26. #26

    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyJ
    Too bad we don't live in a vacuum.

    There's something called weather elements, and it's often sensitive to color temperature.
    This comment lead me to do a little research.



    For the most part atmospheric conditions would effect both the incan and LED in the same manner. The exception to this is Rayleigh Scattering, which scatters shorter wavelengths (more blue) more than longer wavelengths. Since LEDs tend to the blue end of the spectrum it could be that the impact of Rayleigh Scattering effects LEDs more than incandescent lights, but given the relatively small distances we are taking about in flashlight throws I doubt that the amount of light attenuation would be noticeable.



    Other atmospheric conditions, dust, water vapor, smoke, etc (despite the claims of flashlight manufacturers) would scatter all wavelengths equally and would thus effect the incan and LED in the same manner.



    Interestingly, bluer light is general perceived as being brighter, thus it would seem that for equivalent light outputs LED's that tend to the blue end of the spectrum would be perceived as brighter than incanescents.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    That's about the only good thing the Mag has it it's favor is that it will even outthrow the higher rated LEDs like the LEDBeam,
    -Brighteyes

    I've found that even with the 3Dmag at it's tightest focus, it will not provide as much illumination on a distant object as my LEDBEAM- even though the LEDBEAM is slightly more spread out at the distance, it is still providing more illumination on objects. The mags hotspot may be smaller, but it's not intense enough to overcome the LedBeam.
    -Eric

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Is this with the Krypton bulb that comes with the light? I should note that the first thing I've always done with the Mags is to replace the stock bulb with the Xenon bulb. Perhaps that's where the difference is coming in? Mind you, the output is still very tight and ugly but in use it does seem to throw a bit further than the LEDBeam. In shorter ranges the LEDBeam does have a lot more sidespill and overall output, but the focused spot from the Mag appears to throw farther albeit not terribly useful for the small area that is illuminated compared to the LEDBeam.

    All in all, for short to medium distances, I'd be more likely to use the LEDBeam myself, though for longer distances, I'd use an SL-20 .

    Quote Originally Posted by mdocod
    -Brighteyes

    I've found that even with the 3Dmag at it's tightest focus, it will not provide as much illumination on a distant object as my LEDBEAM- even though the LEDBEAM is slightly more spread out at the distance, it is still providing more illumination on objects. The mags hotspot may be smaller, but it's not intense enough to overcome the LedBeam.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Quote Originally Posted by psomas0
    Other atmospheric conditions, dust, water vapor, smoke, etc (despite the claims of flashlight manufacturers) would scatter all wavelengths equally and would thus effect the incan and LED in the same manner.
    Hmm, interesting, I stand corrected. Always thought longer wavelengths are better in fog, and thus REAL foglights are amber/yellow. Also though HID headlights would be the worst in heavy fog.

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    Default Re: This is how I compare 3D Mag vs Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Brighteyez
    Is this with the Krypton bulb that comes with the light? I should note that the first thing I've always done with the Mags is to replace the stock bulb with the Xenon bulb. ...
    Unscientific test: My SL 4AA Luxeon PolyPro lights up my barn about 175 feet distant about as well as a 3D Maglite equipped with an older (somewhat blackened) Krypton bulb. I am using alkaline batteries in both.

    I replaced the old Krypton bulb in the Maglite with the Sears 3AAA PR-based LED and its beam easily throws more light on the barn and shines farther than the SL 4AA Lux PP when the Maglite is focused.

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