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Posted: 8/19/2004 8:22:43 AM EDT
I’m looking to buy some new Surefire handhelds (yeah, I know I bitch about their policies, but show me a better light) so I took a look at their new catalog. Seems like SF is really pushing the new LED technology. I also keep hearing folks say “LED lights are wave of the future” and other similar praises.

So, please educate me. How are these better than existing lights?

I assume that the LEDs are more durable (and have a longer lifespan) then conventional bulbs, and I’ve heard that they have a longer overall runtime (although at a lower output over time). However in looking at the sale literature, I noticed a few things. First, the output is lower than the normal 6V and 9V lights, and the run time doesn't seem to be significantly improved. Also the prices for these LED lights were ridiculous, even considering Surefire’s typical price gouging tactics.

So, are LED lights really a significant leap from existing technology? If so, I can’t see it, what am I missing? Or is this just new tech for SF, and I should wait because future LED lights will show much more improvement?

One new light did catch my attention, the U2. I had 6 variable output settings from 2 lumens to 100 lumens. Looked like a good light, but of course it was very expensive. I was also turned off by the claims that is has all the fancy digital circuitry and a little mini computer to control it. I just think that means more parts that can fail. Am I old fashion?
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 10:19:16 AM EDT
Basically LED's are shock proof, as they have no filament to break.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 10:27:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AUT_BELLUM:
Basically LED's are shock proof, as they have no filament to break.

I figured that.

However, out of 5 weapons mounted lights and countless rounds down range, I have never lost a bulb on a Surefire. And many of these lights are 5 or more years old from what is now called the 'Classic' Surefire product line.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 10:57:39 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 11:37:42 AM EDT
Throw issues can be resolved with proper lenses.

LEDs are indeed a significant leap foward, but you don't see it as much when comparing to high end lights like the Surefire. LEDs that can output that much light are relatively new. Give it a year or two then see how the LED Surefires compare to the halogen ones.

You can really see the improvement on the 'lower end lights' (lights of 25 Lumens or less) with the longer battery life and equal or better light output. For example my TerraLux equipped MiniMag puts out almost 3x the light of a standard minimag, with 8x the battery life - and the light is now shockproof.

There is one downside of LED lights that applies to NVG users. LED lights have a very narrow spectrum of light. If you have a while LED then all the light is in the visible spectrum - there is no IR light. So you can't flip on your Surefire IR filter and use your tactical light with NVG - like you can with the incandecent/halogen bulbs.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 8:43:23 PM EDT
Thanks for the info guys.


Any idea when the U2 will be released? 2-100 lumens out of a 6v light sounds like a nice setup. Will they offer it with a 'strike bezel'?
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:01:03 AM EDT
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