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Thread: Surefire bulb

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by DayofReckoning View Post
    Surefire bulbs are weird. Yes, they are the most durable, reliable, longest lasting lamps in existence. Yes, I have had lamps last an ungodly amount of time.
    Yes, I trust them damn near as much as I do many LED lights.

    But at the same time, for a company who prided itself on engineering superior beam quality, a lot, not all, but a lot of Surefire Lamps have kind of crappy hotspots and shapes. If you compare Mark's Lumens Factory lamps hotspots to many Surefire hotspots you will find Lumens Factory produce rounder, cleaner, more symmetrical beam in most cases. I think my Tads with 3712 in the E2E has a cleaner beam than the Surefire MN03. To add insult to injury, most, if not all Surefire lamps are tip frosted, where output is lost, and whereas Lumens Factory lamps are not.

    It depends on the lamp's focal point and the geometry of the reflector. Some SF P60/D26 style lamps are focused poorly, but that's not a common thing. And I suspect some of the few I've seen were due to end user abuse as almost all of them were used examples. And for example you can also get an E-series bezel that is on the far end of acceptable specs one way, and an MN lamp assembly that is on the other end of the acceptable specs. You might end up with a lemon in that case. Just like there are plenty of E-series heads out there in all different levels of orange peel. Some throw like a laser, and other's are room flooders. Factory tolerances between certain heads, bodies, and tailcaps also come into play when it comes to reliability. Surefire legos don't always work the best if you put the wrong parts together.
    ampdude

  2. #32

    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    When I aim a Tads bulb at a wall the beam looks better.

    When walking in the woods on a moonlit night and I hear something rustle in the bushes, the shape of a hot spot is not on my mind as much as "will the bulb poof this time?" I those situations I prefer to have a SureFire bulb in my light.
    John 3:16

  3. #33

    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by DayofReckoning View Post
    Surefire bulbs are weird. Yes, they are the most durable, reliable, longest lasting lamps in existence. Yes, I have had lamps last an ungodly amount of time.
    Most of Surefire bulbs are designed based on maximum possible durability and to use with primary cells.
    Quote Originally Posted by DayofReckoning View Post
    not all, but a lot of Surefire Lamps have kind of crappy hotspots and shapes. If you compare Mark's Lumens Factory lamps hotspots to many Surefire hotspots you will find Lumens Factory produce rounder, cleaner, more symmetrical beam in most cases. I think my Tads with 3712 in the E2E has a cleaner beam than the Surefire MN03. To add insult to injury, most, if not all Surefire lamps are tip frosted, where output is lost, and whereas Lumens Factory lamps are not.
    You are comparing two different things. Surefire designed for military use while LF designed for majority of CPF members and others. Surefire designed bulbs for use with primary (3 volt) bulbs while LF bulbs are for (3.7 volt) rechargeables. So two compared bulbs have different voltage, (higher voltage=longer fillament) different current, (higher current=thicker fillament) different fillament winding and shape, different calculated bulb life and differently OP reflectors (if reflectorized). So obviously they will have different hot spot and spill.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    When I aim a Tads bulb at a wall the beam looks better.

    When walking in the woods on a moonlit night and I hear something rustle in the bushes, the shape of a hot spot is not on my mind as much as "will the bulb poof this time?" I those situations I prefer to have a SureFire bulb in my light.
    In addition to what you just stated, I don't really trust bi-pin bulbs for serious purposes either. So many of them are just too loose in the socket and can come out with the wrong handling or wrong drop. They're just not my thing normally. But the new Maglites only come with bi-pins and the adapter.
    ampdude

  5. #35

    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    You can put a slight kink with needle nose pliers inline of the wire of the bipin or spread them out a wee bit to get a better grip. When new a bi-pin holder usually has a good ability to hold the lamp, but as bulbs are replaced the holes tend to become slightly over sized.

    On one of my old minimags I put in a Terra Lux LED and did not like it. Well it over sized the holes enough that the maglite bulb would just fall out and even failed to light at times. I put a couple of kinks in the wire and pushed it in the holder and that worked. Ideal? Oh heavens no, especially if in the field at night and the bulb poofs. It's like trying to tie a fishing knot at night at that point.

    None of my Tads have poofed yet so I do not know if the holes on his adapters over size or not. But when I experimented with a few bulb/voltage combos in an incan ML25 maglite the bulb I settled on did not have issues being loose. Perhaps that bi pin holder has a flexable covering at the entry point of the bulb holder?
    My old incan Streamlight TL2 and Strion have a sorta grip ring in the reflector where the bulb goes into the reflector that grabs the bulb.

    But SureFire assemblies are the way to go for the ultimate durability. They can be serviced. A P60 for example can be disassembled and new bulb put in provided the bulb legs are not pre-cut like Streamlight, Maglite or Tads bulbs. Some here have used Yujis in P60 modules to convert a P60 to a 3 volt LED to be used in 2x AA lights like a Rayovac Indestructable or a Five Mega 3P style body. I have one in a 3x123 (using 2aa) Vital Gear light.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 06-27-2020 at 05:46 AM.
    John 3:16

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    The two I had issue with were new. One was Streamlight, the other Maglite. Just don't trust bipins for serious stuff. At all. The entire concept seems pretty hokey.
    ampdude

  7. #37

    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    Might take quite awhile. But why chance it? I stay stock up NOW! Especially if there's a certain inca. SF model that you especially love.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  8. #38

    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    Hey guys my dad just gave me his old surefire 6P and looks like it just needs a new bulb and some batteries.


    After a little research it looks like this is one of the more popular flashlights to modify so looks like I lucked out.


    I definitely want to replace the bulb with an LED but was wondering which I should get since there are a ton of options for a P60 drop-in.


    Iíd like to be under $20 for the bulb but it seems like Malkoff is the favorite by far and on sale for $45 right now. Is the Malkoff M61L that much better than the ones for $10-$20?


    Lastly, the battery. Should I just continue to use 123 batteries or is there a preferred rechargeable battery method? I donít want to bore it out or anything like that.


    This will be mainly used around the house and garage and my only compact flashlight. I have a big maglite I keep in my truck and a headlamp for hiking.


    Sorry for the long post but looks like I found a new interest to spend my money on.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    Welcome to CPF. Malkoff is worth the price difference. You will get great run time with the M61L. You can use a 16650 rechargeable cell in place of cr123 batteries.

    With Malkoff you get the best customer service and warrenty in the business.

  10. #40

    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    A Malkoff M61 NL (neutral low) will give you about 5 hours runtime on a pair of CR123's at about 3x the output of the original bulb and slowly dim for a couple of hours after that.
    Those are pretty popular around here as the tint is just a smidge whiter than a light bulb.

    Way, way, way more durable than those $10-15 LED modules.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 07-26-2020 at 06:30 PM.
    John 3:16

  11. #41

    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    Malkoff is definitely worth it. You'll likely get a tiny gap in between the bezel and body of the light when you screw the bezel back on. But Gene did mention years ago that the gap is supposed to be there.

    FiveMega used to have some sweet LED drop-ins that left no gap. My custom modded SureFire 9P has one of those in it. But I don't believe he makes LED drop-ins anymore for older SureFire lights.

    Many of the better LED drop-ins for SF lights have pretty much fallen off of the face of the planet. There just isn't that much demand for them nowadays.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    Yes, I have some P60L's still in the package. I wish there was a NEWER warm tinted HCRI drop-in out there like that where you have no bezel gap, but about the only place that has produced anything like that is Surefire with the P60L. I was pondering what gasket to use in order to bridge the gap, but haven't looked into it. It's mostly a cosmetic issue as the head should still be fairly water resistant as the thread gasket is still there. Nowadays LED's are far more efficient and there isn't as much of a heat issue, so I really wish someone would produce a 3.6V-7.4V P60L type drop-in around the 100-200 lumens range with a warm emitter and HCRI. A 3V primary battery drainer version would be nice too!
    Last edited by ampdude; 07-31-2020 at 08:50 PM.
    ampdude

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    Hey @ampdude ... Lumens Factory has some that might be pretty close to meeting your list of criteria above
    ... is the archimedes peak

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    Hey @ampdude ... Lumens Factory has some that might be pretty close to meeting your list of criteria above
    I did have a Lumens Factory LED when they first came out back in 2008. It went bad and didn't fit my criteria and Mark handled it for me. Can you link me by PM to a LF LED drop in that is like what I described where the head can turn all the way down with no gap? I would appreciate it. I would be willing to sacrifice a couple P60L's to Mark if he can engineer them to have a medium output, warm, HCRI led. I understand the P60L design is not conducive to heat issues, but I think with modern LED technology there can be a really nice output with a setup like that.
    Last edited by ampdude; 08-02-2020 at 12:44 AM.
    ampdude

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    I've been buying up some P60s for my SF 6PLED and the reason is because I never appreciated that crappy led drop in that SF made so now its just an incan for me.

    I've been buying incandescent everything everywhere and people are either happy to get rid of them or really confused and try to explain that "there are led flashlights now that are better on batteries" obviously I know but I don't tell them because they all say something different 🤣🤣

    I have been carrying and using my SF 6PLED daily now unless I swap it for my incandescent ASP Triad which is a much more interesting light imo.
    R.W.D.

  16. #46
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    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by ampdude View Post
    .... Can you link me by PM to a LF LED drop in that is like what I described where the head can turn all the way down with no gap? I would appreciate it....
    Sorry, I don't have a link handy. A websearch might work though, based on the info in my post.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Surefire bulb

    Thanks archimedes, I'll check into it. Just bought a couple HID's, and I do love my Malkoff's, and have too many of those, so I'll see what I can do to get one of those.
    Last edited by ampdude; 08-02-2020 at 10:53 PM.
    ampdude

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