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Thread: I just bought my first surefire L1

  1. #1
    Flashaholic Flashlight Dave's Avatar
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    Default I just bought my first surefire L1

    I just bought my first surefire L1 Lumamax. I probably paid a little too much for it at a brick and mortar store ($159) but since they are discontinued I thought it was worth the extra expense.

    It is my first one and I now see what all the rave is about this little light. It fits perfectly in the hand and delivers instant light with the press of the thumb. It is also easy to simply twist the tail with one hand and have it stay on.

    At the store there were several of the 2007 versions which I know are well loved by people here on the forum but I got the only one of the new two stage L1 they had. I wanted the low and high. I might get one of the older ones in the coming months.
    Last edited by Flashlight Dave; 09-20-2011 at 03:08 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: I just bought my first surefire L1

    At the store there were several of the 2007 versions which I know are well loved by people here on the forum but I got the only one of the new two stage L1 they had. I wanted the low and high. I might in coming months go back and get one of the older ones.
    I had a couple of L1's from years ago and recently saw some newer ones on closeout sales and bought several more. As far as I know, all L1's have high and low power settings. A great source of L1 info is here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...e-L1-Evolution

    Brasso pointed out that you can run the late model L1's on an RCR123 and you'll get a high mode on a par with the LX2. This combo works great for me.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic Flashlight Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: I just bought my first surefire L1

    Thanks for the link. I as I said am new to the L1 so am not familiar with it. I was under the impression that the old 2007 cree version 45 lumens was only one out put and it seems that was one of the distinguishing factors for me listed on the package. The one I purchased listed a high and low and the others listed only one level. Perhaps they had two outputs and I missed it. It seems that you have several so I will ask a question. The others had a lens on the front, not TIR. I was thinking this was a characteristic of the 2007 cree but some research shows me that some of the old luxeon had them too. Am I right??

  4. #4

    Default Re: I just bought my first surefire L1

    It seems that you have several so I will ask a question. The others had a lens on the front, not TIR. I was thinking this was a characteristic of the 2007 cree but some research shows me that some of the old luxeon had them too. Am I right??
    From an analysis by Milkyspit on the L1 thread I cited above:

    SureFire L1 Evolution

    Gen1: Body has four flats. Head is short and tapered. Lens is flat. Bezel is plain (NOT scalloped). Optic is NX05. Emitter is Luxeon low dome.

    Gen2: Like gen1 but bezel is scalloped. I believe some of these came with the SureFire lanyard and attachment in the box. Somewhere along the way the box style changed from cardboard box with lid to cardboard one-piece box with top and bottom flats, internal plastic tray, and clear plastic window through which the L1 is visible.

    Gen3: Like gen2 but emitter is Luxeon high dome. Note that optic is still NX05.

    Gen4: Head switched to larger, KL4-like head with TIR optic, domed lens, and Luxeon (III?) emitter. Body is still the four flats version. These seem to be relatively rare! Probably a short production run before switching to the newer, rounded body.

    Gen5: Like gen4 but body is rounded (no flats).

    Gen6: (shown at SHOT 2007) Body seems to be 25% shorter than gen5. Head seems to be a little shorter than gen5 head, with emitter switched to Cree XR-E and optic switched to something similar in appearance to a Fraen LP optic... it appears to have a hole in the center that goes all the way through, although that may not in fact be the case (looked like it did to me, but Size15s reports not)... one can look directly at the emitter dome through this apparent hole.
    I have a couple of early L1's, they have the Luxeon and the early optic. I have later L1's with the bulging lens looking optic and the last Cree XR-E (I think) version with a somewhat different optic, similar to the early one. I didn't pay too much attention to the versions until recently, I somehow thought there was an L1 with a reflector but I may have been thinking of the modded versions, some are pictured in the L1 Evolution thread. There is some discussion on whether an optic implies TIR, I'll defer to the experts on that one.

    I have white, red, green and blue L1's, a couple are duplicates still new in box purchased recently at fire sale (i.e. less than $100) prices. As far as I can tell, the latest XR-E L1 that you probably have was produced only in white. Also, it seems that I sometime in the past saw a listing for an IR version of the L1 but this may have been catalog vaporware or perhaps a fig newton of my wistful imagination.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic Flashlight Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: I just bought my first surefire L1

    Thanks

  6. #6

    Default Re: I just bought my first surefire L1

    Not owning any L1's, and hearing of their discontinuance (word?), I picked up a used Gen3 here, and a Gen5 on fire sale elsewhere. CPF member Milkyspit is renowned for doing L1 mods (among others), so I sent them both off to him, and he is removing the optics, putting in reflectors and high-CRI emitters, and leaving the electronics stock. They should be headed my way soon, and I can't wait. I don't normally want to mess with Surefire's warranty, but the L1 greatly benefits from this sort of upgrade. The beam quality on the stock gen5 was a bit of a horrorshow. The reflectors will give much more useful spill, and the use of more efficient emitters will increase the already impressive low-level runtimes.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic Flashlight Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: I just bought my first surefire L1

    After looking at the above link concerning the L1 I realize that I had gotten the L1 confused with the E2l. Just to explain why my first post perhaps did not make too much sense.

  8. #8

    Default Re: I just bought my first surefire L1

    After looking at the above link concerning the L1 I realize that I had gotten the L1 confused with the E2l. Just to explain why my first post perhaps did not make too much sense.
    So, did you actually buy the E2L?

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: I just bought my first surefire L1

    Looking at the 2nd paragraph of the OP, I believe you bought the L1 since you said twist for constant on? You mean you had confused the older single stage E2L for the L1 am I right? I think the L1 is one of the most interesting light ever made. Simple to use and robust as can be from Surefire.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  10. #10

    Default Re: I just bought my first surefire L1

    you made a great buy. The L1 is a classic in any year and it will be there ready to go for years to come!!

    The L1 is one of the top 10 lights ever in my book

  11. #11
    Flashaholic Flashlight Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: I just bought my first surefire L1

    Quote Originally Posted by Vox Clamatis in Deserto View Post
    So, did you actually buy the E2L?
    Yes I have both. I was mistaken about the L1 only recently being two stage. It is the E2L in its latest incarnation that is two stage. The older E2L had 45 lumens.

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