How many lumens should I look for in a tactical flashlight?

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by 47_MasoN_47, May 2, 2008.

  1. 47_MasoN_47

    47_MasoN_47 You know who I am Member

    The title explains it all. I've been looking at this one. It's 42 lumens. Do you guys think that is enough? Have another light to recommend? I'm open to suggestions as usual.
  2. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    Come on, I was about to ask the same question! My police friends were given surefires, unsure what model, but they gripe about buying batteries for them.

  3. This sort of falls into a personal preference question for me, and I'm no expert. I did buy some lights lately and decided to buy, like guns, based on the reason.

    If you look at prices for example of SureFires - the more $$, the more output. Yeah you get better / different cases but for the most part more $$ is more output. Battery life varies too, but same equation applies; more output needs more energy, means more $$ in batteries. I guess for me it comes down to where you want to spend your money and brand names, etc.

    I have a few maglights for general lights around the house. I have a Scorpion that I really love. It's bright and falls in the camp of use it when you need it / tactical for me. Most sports stores (Bass Pro, Dicks') have their own brands of lights for not a lot of $$ too. I got a light for my 995 from Benny for about $25 I think, and it's plenty powerful too.

    My input - figure out how much you want to spend. Figure out what you're gonna use it for. Then go shopping.
  4. 47_MasoN_47

    47_MasoN_47 You know who I am Member

    Hmm. I wish I could see how bright it is in person. I have a 13.5 lumen light I carry around and a 18 lumen light I use at home for my modding and stuff. I'm not really sure how 42 compares to that. I think I'm just gonna buy it anyway (I have a gift card for and if I don't like it I can always find a use for a good flashlight.
  5. 60+ minimum man. I can't seem to find the thread right off, but theres a great one at arfcom or somewhere like that where he shows the lighting abilities of several high end high output lights in various real life outdoor settings. The difference is amazing. Personally I would go for a surefire G2L(led). Its higher output than the standard g2 and the battery life is 12 times better(literally). They are also next to indestructible.
  6. Ari

    Ari Guest

    It is all about the job you want to with it! The one guy I know who is a backwoods guide uses the surefire LED at 90 lumens. He says he can see his hobbled horses at 150 yards with it. I kept buying consumer grade flash lights and after a few drops they would get unreliable. I wanted something that was over overwhelmingly bright that could take a beating. So I got the none LED G2 but I got tired of the one hour burn time. So I switched to the LED to get the 12 hour burn time. It is about having the right tool for the right job.

    When I get up to head to the can in the middle of the night I do not pick up my Surefire as all I would see is a big blue dot. It is way over kill to do that job. I use a small 8 LED (three AAA) light. But if I hear something and want to take a look around the yard the surefire gets the call.

    If you want to use it like I use my surefire get as many lumens as you can afford!
  7. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    I have found what I want!!!

    • Utilizes a Premium (Q5) Cree 7090 XR-E LED with a life of 50,000 hours
    • Two modes (6 types) of output, generation/turbo selected by turning the bezel (patented)
    • General Mode: 12 lumens (65hrs) -> 53 lumens (13hrs) -> 120 lumens (4.8hrs) -> SOS
    • Turbo Mode: 215 lumens (1.8hrs) -> Strobe
    • Digitally Regulated for Constant Brightness
    • Low Battery Indication
    • Uses two 3V CR123A batteries (Lithium)
    • 11.4cm (Length) x 2.1cm (Diameter)
    • Made of aircraft grade aluminum
    • Durable Type III hard anodized finish
    • 49-gram weight (excluding batteries)
    • Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard
    • Toughened ultra clear glass lens with AR coating
    • Push-button tail cap switch
    • Capable of standing up securely on a flat surface to serve as a candle
    • Includes a holster, lanyard, two spare o-rings, and a rubber switch boot

    I think they have a pretty fair price on them.
  8. I carry a Surefire C2 Centurion with me at work (night shift security)

    Stock I believe was only 60 lumens with a 1 hr continual run time.

    I replaced the stock bulb with a Cree LED unit...bumped it up to 120 lumens with 13 hr continual run time...super light now.

    Has builtin belt clip...I'm NEVER without it at work.
  9. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    Those Cree LEDs are fantastic, and I've found nothing but good things being said about them... but I'm still searching... I haven't sent my money in yet.
  10. deaconwagers

    deaconwagers Guest

    i would have recommended the surefire g2 led, but it looks like you made a nice choice. enjoy.
  11. 47_MasoN_47

    47_MasoN_47 You know who I am Member

    I won't need it for a range much beyond 50 or so yards most likely. I would definitely like to have a Surefire but that's a lot of money for a light. Mostly all I want it for is if I'm in a building somewhere and it's dark in there. For outside I have this freaking huge spotlight thing that is a few million candle power that gets the job done well.
  12. Ari

    Ari Guest

    I could not afford the G2 LED right out of the gate. So I got the none LEd for $39. I went through a summer with it then I saved some more money the got the upgrade kit. Even the surefire without the LED is bright. As surefire seems to put more of the light on target then other flashlights I have. It is sure nice having something that bright in the pocket. You beam someone in the face with one they wont see for a while (even without the LED)
  13. elguapo

    elguapo Guest

    Heh: you beam anyone in the face with a G2 they will def respond.

    Now looking for dealers with the G2 LED conversion.
  14. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    If you have 1 "Candela" of luminous intensity(aka light) uniformly across a solid angle of one steradian (si unit for solid angle), Then the total luminous flux emitted into that angle is one lumen.
    Alternatively, an "Isotropic Candela" light emits a total luminous flux of exactly 4? lumens... So there you go.
    Don't do what my buddy did... he thought he was slick because he was looking at a spotlight, and he found a cheap one that listed both candlepower and lumens... he didn't buy it, but what he did do was the math, and came up with A ratio of lumens:candlepower. I've never seen a 40ish year old man jump up and down with pure joy over something so wrong. (the candlepower=lumen thing because they measure different things... LOL) He would use his ratio to judge other people's torches, and not even request to see it lit... he was ignorant (not like his normal self BTW).
    So with the info below, I told him to not worry about any new special forumlas that he thinks up.
    Relationship between luminous intensity and luminous flux

    If a source emits a known intensity (in candelas) in a well-defined cone, the total luminous flux in lumens can be calculated by taking the number of candelas, and dividing it by the number in the table below that corresponds to the "radiation angle" of the lamp (the full vertex angle of the emission cone). See MR16 for emission angles of some common lamps. Theory Formulas Online converter

    * Example: A lamp that emits 590 cd with a radiation angle of 40°: 590/2.64 = approximately 223 lumens.

    Radiation angle / Divide by
    5° / 167.22
    10° / 41.82
    15° / 18.50
    20° / 10.48
    25° / 6.71
    30° / 4.67
    35° / 3.44
    40° / 2.64
    45° / 2.09
    IF the source emits light uniformly in all directions (ie:bare bulb without reflective cone) the flux can be found by multiplying the intensity by 4?: a uniform 1 candela source emits 12.6 lumens.

    EDIT::: After staying awake from thursday at 1345 to Saturday 0830, I purchased the Fenix P3D Premium Q5. It was $64.50 Shipped from:
    If you order a Fenix OR a Surefire, from LA Police Gear, Shipping is free with "fenix" or "surefire" coupon code upon checkout.
    I found rechargeable Cr123's with charger on FeeBay for cheap 4 batts + charger for $9.88 shipped... Also picked up 8 more rechargeable batts for less than $20... They are 3.0v with 1000mAh... for you battery savy. Now I've just got to wait for it to arrive. I'll Do a review when it gets here.

    I hope everyone here finds the torch that that has tickled their fancy, with less than MSRP, free shipping, or any other incentives to hop on the bandwagon. Mine will be used for my dog's late night "Bathroom Breaks" ouside... The neighbors' dogs charged at me last night when i walked from MY OWN front door to the other side of MY garage on MY property... I didn't have my pistol (BERSA) out, but it was in my pocket, cocked, safety off, and booger hook off of the trigger... did I mention pucker factor? I have a mean/retarded weimaraner and a sorry excuse for what they call a Pitt Bull (looks like a pitt bull mixed with rott) growling and running my way... they get about 12 feet from me and I jerked forward with a "HEY DOGGIES! GO GET EM!" and pointed away from me and my property... and it worked, but if it didn't I only had deadly force as an option... but with this torch... I'll strobe their asses with 215 lumens... at an attempt to not use force... because I love animals... MY OWN pets, not their mutts!