View Full Version : Long running rugged LED, ok, which...
OK, so I think my L1 Lumamax on low power is probably as good as I get on this (claimed 50 hours), especially with the flexibility to go higher power if necessary.
But what is the current optimal thinking on a "just enough light for seeing to do stuff..." LED light that will survive in the wilds and water etc... and have the best possible runtime to weight balance...oh and needs to fit in the 6P pocket of my 5.11s... thus smaller than an M2 - shouldn't be too limiting...
Trying to do my homework...I am assuming that y'all will come back and say an ARC something... but what are the real likely run-times on the 123 and 2xAA?
Also I have a bunch of ASPs (I use them as zipper pulls...) which are great 'spare' illuminators but I have no idea how long to expect one to last...
Thinking "mission trip...no recharge..." and bearing in mind I'll probably have either my M3 or have acquired an M6 (yes, yes, I know....) by then for "trouble at night" moments...
Gratitude in advance...
If you've an old mini mag, then get the opalec newbeam mod for it. It's an led mod that drops in, fully regulated and runs for about 120 hours on 2x alkaline AA's. Brightness is adequate (v.good in "no light" conditions), nice white light. Available from 7dayshop.com
Stick in a couple of lithium AA's and you've an insane runtime, with no battery swapouts.
Alternatively, the ARC AA, single AA, lower runtime than the above, neater package though.
The question that I have to ask is what is the use of the torch... from your above post it sounds tactical/military.
If this is the case then you will want something that's going to take the harrish conditions over a period of time. I'll say ARC again...if not the led mod is a good idea for the maglite...which I'm awaiting confirmation that I'll be picking up soon...ok a plug for me :) )...yet maglite is not waterproof.
Princeton tec (known for their diving torches) has also just released a new Impact XL model which is bigger than a AA, but will fit your pocket. Waterproof, rugged, long throw beam, runs on 4aa... they sit in a double row side by side so the torch handle is double the width of your AA mag, but is somewhat flat in shape, which gives you a good wide grip.
Steamlight tasklights...another good choice...following the footsteps of the Surefire Aviator they have done a 3 led with a xenon bulb torch head... gives a good runtime and double the option for local flood, while you can use it for a long throw beam as well.
Back to Arc.. the LSH models with a AA pack on them will run for about 2.5-3.5hrs... some of the guys in here have tested them out with rechargeable batteries.
There are many torches out there.. it all gets back to what meets your need... also headlamps that have Led's are a idea as well for working hands free.... princeton tec, streamlight, photon, pelican, black diamond, tektite, and a few others are good name brands for those.
The ARC AA...
Type III hard anodized, single nichia LED, slightly larger than a single AA battery. Runtime is 10 hours to 50% brightness on a standard AA alkaline. You can probably double or triple that with an AA lithium. Waterproof. A very neat & competant package.
But for shere runtime/weight/brightness, the opalec mod is awesome. There are 3 x nichia LED's with a phenominal runtime. I left mine on constantly for a week (over 150 hours), and it was still bright enough to navigate a dark room, that was on standard alkaline batteries. It does drop out of regulation after 12 hours though, then it starts to get dimmer.
I must admit though, I'm very tempted by the ARC myself.
A third alternative (and one I would seriously consider for your trip) is a petzel tikka plus, head torch. Small, light, bright (4x nichia LED's) and a great runtime almost comparable to the opalec. Runs on 3x AAA's though, not the best battery size to aquire in the field.
10-12-03, 04:01 PM
The Streamlight Pro Polymer 4AA 7 LED is excellent.
Long run time, great flood beam..
Come on Martyn you know you want one of those pretty, bright, small, built like little tank BWS....I'll even have it ready to post out to you tomorrow :wink: ..... :biggthump
Just another last minute thoughts
.... the New Inova X1 spotlight, CMG Sonic, CMG Ultra
Pila www.pilatorch.com brand also is a idea for a good torch, some of the guys here are aching to get one....(yeah yeah..they're coming)....
Princeton tec Aurora: Weighing less than three ounces, the Aurora headlamp is lightweight, compact and waterproof. Powered by 3 AAA batteries, the three high output L.E.D.s are configured in a unique triangular configuration, providing an extremely even beam of light that keeps shadows to a minimum. The adjustable pivoting head allows you to shine light where you need it, and the durable ultra-light head strap provides plenty of adjustment for the perfect fit. The electronically controlled switch system provides easy switching between (3) levels of light output offering burn times from 50-160 hours, as well as (2) blinking/emergency signaling modes. With its extreme versatility and contemporary design innovations, the Aurora is the perfect choice for camp set-up, trekking, climbing, adventure racing and emergency signaling situations...batteries included :)...cheap and does the job.
Top of the Line Princeton Tec Yukon HL:
YUKON HL (Hybrid L.E.D.)ó The first of its kind L.E.D. hybrid headlamp, the YUKON HL employs the advanced technology of a state-of-the-art, 1-watt L.E.D. and 3 high-output, 5-millimeter L.E.D.s. When you need extreme brightness and distance that rivals the high output typical to incandescent halogen and xenon bulbs, flip on the 1-watt L.E.D. With the quick press of a button, you can switch to the 3 L.E.D.s, configured in a unique triangular design for when you require long burn time for close-up applications. Compared to incandescent bulb headlamps, the 1-watt L.E.D. mode of YUKON HL is brighter than competing incandescent lamps and offers whiter light that does not yellow as batteries wear down. Its impact-resistant design, 10,000-hour bulb life and burn times ranging from 44 hours of useful light from the 1-watt L.E.D., to 120 hours of useful light from the 3, 5-millimeter L.E.D.s, gives the YUKON HL unmatched versatility.
I didn't even know the HL one was out till I went to Princeton Tecs website www.princetontec.com...guess I need to get a few ordered in.
The Original Yukon:
L.E.D. Technology comes to life once again at Princeton Tec with the introduction of our new Yukon headlamp. Whether youíre nighttime climbing, paddling, setting up camp or reading a book, the Yukon is destined to become your best friend. Incorporating the best of both worlds, the Yukon combines the pure power of a focusable high output Xenon bulb for the darkest of nights with the (3) space-age, super bright light emitting diodes (L.E.D.ís) for those low light and long burn situations. The L.E.D.ís are designed to last a lifetime and are configured in a triangle pattern to keep the beam of light even and smooth. Like the lamp housing, the extreme battery pack was designed to function like a small compact waterproof case ensuring waterproof integrity. The hinged lamp housing lets you point the beam where you need it and is mounted onto sturdy elastic webbing that offers a ton of adjustment for that perfect fit.
Power: 32 Lumens / 2.3 Watts
Burn Time: Xenon: 3-5 hrs / Led: 120 hrs
Weight: Approx. 8 oz. (w/ batteries)
Batteries: 3 AA alkaline
10-12-03, 05:29 PM
I've been very pleased with the Opalec drop - in: http://www.opalec.com/products.html
They claim 10 hours of regulated light, but in my experience this is a conservative estimate. I like the fact that it uses a minimag body (finally my old minimags have found a useful purpose!) and also the toughness of the product. My Opalec/minimags have taken quite a beating, with nary a flicker to be seen in the light. Very impressive.
10-12-03, 05:41 PM
this is a tricky one to answer without knowing the exact usage...
i have quite a few headtorches and i'm not particularly impressed with any of them - certainly nothing in the league of e.g Surefire handhelds (except a heavy/bulky NIMH mountainbike unit...). however, headlamps are essential for many outdoor activities - there are situations where you are going to need both hands - especially in emergencies! it surprises me how few users consider them for their kits.
i have some Tikkas and an Aurora - the latter is of far superior quality construction and more flexible with it's variable output levels. however, with these small 3xAAA headlamps the useful light output is really only 10 hours or so after that it's eons of low light - but how useful is this other than reading a book when camping?
the inova x5 is an excellent choice for long run times on 2x123A - decent output for 20 hours and almost indestructable.
the Surefire A2 (also 2x123A but a little longer than the x5) - less powerful LEDs but still good for closeup work but with the huge advantage of a regulated incan bulb as well. pack a spare bulb and a couple of sets of batteries and this is a superb outfit.
ARC's are also great - i have an LS including AA tailpack - i really like it in the 1x123A format - impressive output for the size, safe and comfortable to carry around the neck on a laynard. you cannot attach a laynard to tha AA tailpack so i will not use this option in situations where i might drop/lose the torch.
although i also have an E2E (including KL1) and an L4 i find it really irritating that Surefire did not develop proper laynard attachment points for them :mad:
The ARC AAA and AA have identical outputs but the AA obviously has the longer runtime due to the larger battery - pack an AA and 4x Lithiums for easy carry and extreme runtimes....
Thanks all for a most comprehensive series of replies...what a fine bunch of chaps.
I have looked at most of the suggestions and the following probably looks most relevant to the upcoming needs...
ARC single AA: daft not to have one isn't it- there's always an AA somewhere...
the ARC LS +2xAA is interesting run-time wise, but it seems easiest to go for the....
Streamlight 4AA LED - these run-times are enormous and this gives me the option of using Lithium AAs ($$$ but good) for runtime and standby purposes and Ni-mHs that I can recharge with a mini-portable solar unit (or AC power if it shows up...)
The Inova X5 I have the UV version of (don't ask...but yes, something to do with blood and nothing to do with deer) and I am incredibly pleased with its construction AND the series of nested boxes and holsters that it comes in. I'd quite forgotten about those in regular white LED and so easy to keep about the person.
I am also looking at experimenting with popping off the top of the M3 and carrying my KL2 and acquiring an M6/500 and using its head...(short time I know, but probably OK) Or using the M6 handle with that lot etc.... But having the Streamlight, takes away the need for that "fair bit of light for a long time" issue which it is tough to adapt SFs to do. Also, a sub $40 Streamlight I would much more willingly lend to someone else in a pinch without praying the whole time that I'll get it back...
Anybody.....what's the light output of the Streamlight 4AA LED comparable with SF wise?
Anyway...it'll probably be L1, Streamlight, M6/500 and hey, one of those even looks like a "torch" so I have some hope explaining it all if I get interest crossing borders...
Oh, anybody still have any idea how long an ASP LED runs for?
Kind regards and thanks for all the help...
13-12-03, 07:14 PM
Be careful using lithiums in the Streamlight. I believe that people who use lithiums substitute one for a dummy cell.
Check at Candlepowerforums.com
You will not be disappointed with the light.
Depends when you need this light. But if you can wait until March the New ARC LS4 will be available.
This will have a 1 watt Luxeon but will be fully regulated with IC controlled adjustable power levels (15 of them!).
It is waterproof and will initially run on 1 CR123 Lithium cell with a 2 AA pack and a Lithium Ion Rechargeable option to follow.
Should do everything you want in one nice compact unit.
The LS4 does sound interesting but I'll be gone before that time frame...
I did get an ARC AA based on the notes above and am very pleased with it (although you could have knocked me over with a feather when I realised that the reflector was open to the elements. I guess that ultimately it will get scratched up, but in the meantime, it is simple and will do great as a backup for what I need...
I am intrigued about the comments regarding using Lithium AAs in the Streamlight....is the concern that the voltage runs a little higher and there are 4 in series? I've looked on CPF as suggested, but haven't found it yet...
Will I kill the Streamlight if I put 4AA Lithiums in it?
17-12-03, 01:44 PM
I wouldn't use them in mine - but I know absoutely nothing about electricity - never understood it.
Here's the thread from Candlepower...
thanks for the link...that's pretty clear advice...
I also got a meter and checked new Lithiums vs Alkaline and saw 1.78V vs 1.52V....once you multiply that up by the number of series cells, I can imagine why it could cause problems...
As it 'appens, I also heard from SL who explicitly said nothing other than AA Alkaline or the warranty is void.
A little more legal than technical advice, but I think they were pretty clear...
Now of course I am fascinated, as to which runs for longer, 3AA Lithium+dummy or 4AA Alk.....this is a light that I am getting mainly for long runtime and 'useful medium light'.
I guess my Ni-mH Energisers are probably OK then...they barely reach 1.45V fully charged...!!
....forget the 4AA vs 3AA+dummy, I found more than I needed/wanted at CPF
WOW, some folks have some time and brain power on their hands...
Gulp, it's one of those days when I realise anew that I am simply human...
Thanks also for the Steamlight 4AA 7led tip...
Nice light, especially for the $$$...
I also picked up an Inova 24/7 at the mall today, thought it looked too big on all the website I saw but it is dead cute and I love it. Perfect for where I'm headed also, and I also want one now in every car - those multi colored strobes would be great if you had a wreck....
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