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Thread: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

  1. #1
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    Default Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    So I am just curious to get some opinions on the two lights mentioned here as I will be picking up one or the other soon. I do like the fact that the Aviator has an amber option as it would be helpful to not attract insects. Both seem similar in output although HDS doesn't list their throw numbers (but I assume they're about the same as the Aviator.)

    As of now I'm leaning towards the Aviator but I do like the rotary switch on the HDS, and it seems HDS has possibly the best reputation for durability. So I'm curious what you guys think, is it worth the extra money and not having Amber to get the HDS? If so, what reasons? Is the beam quality superior with better tint and color options? (I don't know what tint or CRI the Aviator even is.)

    Looking forward to what you guys have to say.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Lou Minescence's Avatar
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    Default Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    Usual CPF advice- get both !

    I canít speak for the Aviator but the HDS rotary I have I really like.
    Last edited by Lou Minescence; 08-03-2020 at 08:48 PM.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    Hello,

    Brand new to the forums here.
    Thought I'd make a first post to try and help you out.

    Please bear in mind that these are photos using 'auto white balance' so yes, it's not going to be 100% accurate.
    But the H3LL with it, I enjoy seeing beam shots just as much as the next person!

    Like you, I wondered which one to get, except I already own the SureFire Aviator Amber and will most likely get the HDS Amber to throw into the collection. I heard the the HDS is going to be brighter and I'll bet a cleaner beam.


    For reference (Left to Right):
    1. SureFire Aviator Amber
    2. Malkoff MD2 w/ 3000k Warm Low Emitter Installed (M61WL)
    3. HDS Executive 250Lumen 'Cool White' ~6200K
    4. Lumintop 1xAAA Nichia something... can't remember, supposed to be more neutral
    5. Last on the far right is a MagLite Spectrum Solitaire w/ Warm LED.






















    The wall shots are for you to get an idea of beam pattern/ shape/ etc for the the SureFire Aviator only.
    Personally, HDS has a cleaner looking beam to my eyes. More evenly spread, SureFire Aviator has more of a 'Hot Spot' as seen below
    I took a photo for each brightness level of the two emitters in the SureFire:

    SureFire Aviator - White Low


    SureFire Aviator -White High

    SureFire Aviator -Amber Low

    SureFire Aviator -Amber High


    Hope this helps somewhat. Personally, the low amber is real nice around the house late at night. Doesn't have a blinding effect, at least for me.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    I am a huge fan of HDS, but another thought, as I am also an OR fan. If you like a low output amber secondary an Oveready BOSS could be another option.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    My HDS Amber has become my most used light. You cannot go wrong with the HDS. Beam is excellent and output is a lot more than I expected. The rotary...well, its a Rotary.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    Here's an HDS Rotary (325Lm NLT, Cree XP-G3, 3D, S5) compared to the SureFire Aviator.

    SureFire on the left - HDS Rotary on the right













  7. #7

    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    I have two Aviators and an HDS. I use thrm quite often. Itís a really hard choice if you had to pick just one. It would really depend on what your use cases are. Iíd say if you need something with good throw, secondary colors, and a simple interface, then go with the Aviator. It is an excellent light. If you donít need secondary colors but can use a moonlight level of output, want something indestructible, and has near infinite adjustability, then go with HDS. It too is an excellent light.
    Who needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you have friends on CPF?
    My flashlight videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...9TIYcGeuBXa5m0

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    For outdoors, I like an incand A2 a lot more than either hds or an led A2 because I prefer the primary beam to be warm and the secondary one to be high cri daylight.

    The latter is provided by 5600K 5mm yuji leds. Had surefire created a single cell "A1", I would never edc anything else.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    I have both, the Amber HDS and the Amber Aviator:



    You must see it in that way:

    Aviator pros:
    - Has White And Amber (high and low for both light colors)
    - In Compare to HDS Amber Rotary it is less expensive
    - Well build quality light (Made in USA in case this is important)

    HDS pros:
    - 24 steps of Amber brightness are possible
    - Much brighter Amber light in compare to SF Aviator Amber
    - Well build quality light (Made in USA in case this is important)

    If you would like to have the option of using Amber and White light than go for the Surefire. I you only need Amber light than go for the HDS. That would be my advice. Both lights are great.

    Still looking for Surefire G2 in Orange.
    If you have one you don't like please PM me.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    Really appreciate the beam shots, I do like the more throwy profile of the aviator and I think for now Iíll pick up an aviator followed by an HDS and an Oveready, the future is looking expensive

    IĎll update you guys when I pick one up!

    Quote Originally Posted by PaperKnife View Post
    Here's an HDS Rotary (325Lm NLT, Cree XP-G3, 3D, S5) compared to the SureFire Aviator.

    SureFire on the left - HDS Rotary on the right













  11. #11
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    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    Quote Originally Posted by mrsteel View Post
    Really appreciate the beam shots, I do like the more throwy profile of the aviator and I think for now Iíll pick up an aviator followed by an HDS and an Oveready, the future is looking expensive

    IĎll update you guys when I pick one up!
    Glad you found some useful advice here.

    Please don't "requote" numerous large photos, however, as this makes the site more difficult to navigate (especially on mobile) ... thanks in advance.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  12. #12

    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    Quote Originally Posted by sledhead View Post
    My HDS Amber has become my most used light. You cannot go wrong with the HDS. Beam is excellent and output is a lot more than I expected. The rotary...well, its a Rotary.
    Concur

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    Quote Originally Posted by sledhead View Post
    My HDS Amber has become my most used light. You cannot go wrong with the HDS. Beam is excellent and output is a lot more than I expected. The rotary...well, its a Rotary.
    Why you preferred the amber over a very warm high cri?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    Quote Originally Posted by ma tumba View Post
    Why you preferred the amber over a very warm high cri?
    Amber is a mono chromatic light with a wavelength of ~590nm. Warm white is not monochromatic and has not that effect on keeping night visibility of the human eye due to the large bunch of wavelength in the warm white light.
    Even on higher levels the Amber light does not harm the night visibility. Any type of white light will kill the night visibility on the human eye at some much lower level.

    And the other reason: Amber is really cool. The best mono chromatic HDS I have
    Still looking for Surefire G2 in Orange.
    If you have one you don't like please PM me.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    Quote Originally Posted by WarriorOfLight View Post
    Amber is a mono chromatic light with a wavelength of ~590nm. Warm white is not monochromatic and has not that effect on keeping night visibility of the human eye due to the large bunch of wavelength in the warm white light.
    Even on higher levels the Amber light does not harm the night visibility. Any type of white light will kill the night visibility on the human eye at some much lower level.

    And the other reason: Amber is really cool. The best mono chromatic HDS I have
    These are great reasons, I was just wondering if you can have just this single light with you? I have found that while I love warm tints, I do need a daylight high cri flashlight as a secondary (or even primary although daylight tints are so dull at low lumens) to see true colors. And with a monochromatic light it is just imposiible

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Surefire Aviator w/ Amber or HDS Rotary

    Aviator showed up and I got to testing it out, perfect size and perfect beam for what I need. Couldnít be happier, this ones definitely going in my EDC.

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