LIGHTS FOR HIKING
I have a bunch of lights and this idea of taking beam shots so the members can see how they compare with each other.
Stop me if the subject is too boring.
LIGHTS FOR HIKING
This post will try to show how different lights used for hiking compare with each other, and will clarify the difference between the lumen ratings used in Luxeon (LED) lights and incandescent lights.
In short, I will show (through pictures) how Luxeons lack definition when used at increased distances, but are excellent when walking in well marked trails due to their increased run time in comparison with incandescent lights and their usually more expanded flood (side spill) qualities,
Last month I had conducted one of my annuals deer antlers hunts with a group of boy scouts that my son work with, in those hunts we often do a lot of night travel in the woods, using map and compass like in an orienteering game, and also checking out the new GPS that the kids usually have.
In this last one I used and give out to use a bunch of new lights that I had collected in the winter months, they range from head lights with LEDís to incandescent head lights to the new powerful key chain lights.
I collected a number of opinions in the different lights and the easy or difficulty that was to use them in the woods, and that gave me the idea of making a data-base of beam shots to help people to understand what kind of illumination they can get from them.
For close up chores around the campsite, cooking, washing dishes, pitching the tent etc., I will not be without a lightweight headlight such as my Peltz Tikka or my Princeton Tec Aurora, they have three LEDís Nichias of 5 mm each and they put out a good amount of flood light. I have seen the new improved Tikkas with four LEDís and even the Tikka XP with a 1 watt Luxeon LED., which are of course more powerful than the regular Tikka but will consume more battery juice.
The new key chain lights are really amazing, I have an older ARC AAA that puts out about seven lumens and will do a great job a short distance, but I have adquired the new Fenix LOP (1 AAA) and the Fenix L1P (1AA) and they are amazing in the light output, the L1P is outputting close to 40 lumens of white light.
Of course due to the small diameter reflectors, donít expect these lights to throw a long way, as the light is quickly converted into flood and dissipated.
As I say the best way to show others is with pictures taken at the same distance and with the same settings.
To make things interesting I placed my bear and deer heads at 26 yards distance from the where the lights was coming from (second story window) and the bear at 18 feet and deer at 12 feet from the camera and tripod.
Here is how they look in daylight:
And here are the contenders, from left to right the Nuwaii Q III, the Fenix L1P the Surefire L-4 Digital Lumamax the Surefire Centurion II in black anodized with the 65 lumens lamp, and the Surefire Centurion II in hard anodized type III with the P-61 lamp, 120 lumens, also a one dollar bill for size reference and a knife on top of the bill so the wind doesnít blow it away,
And finally the mini spot-light, the Bear Cub 220 lumens rechargeable light.
So here are the beam shots of the lights that we used in that antler collecting trip.
Surefire Centurion-2 65 lumens
This is a light is an incandescent light and will work on two 123ís batteries for one hour, it puts out 65 lumens of light which is more than enough for most walking around in the woods.
The light cost about $100 USD.
SUREFIRE CENTURION II BEAM SHOT (65 LUMENS)
Surefire L-4 (Digital Lumamax) Luxeon V. LED, 100 lumens
This is one of the higher quality offering from Surefire, it is a Luxeon V (a flood Luxeon) and will throw about 100 lumens of light, because the light is in a side spill pattern (flood) it will not have the reach than the C-2 (previous picture) has but the light is quite impressive at shorter ranges providing a lot of flood for a great coverage of near by terrain.
The light is made of aluminum, but with a special military hard anodizing type III that is quite sturdy and resist scratches that will mar other lights finish.
This light is about $160 USD and like the G-2 will work on two of the 123ís batteries for 2 Ĺ hours.
SUREFIRE L-4 DIGITAL LUMAMAX BEAM SHOT (100 LUMENS)
I have a light that is really out of the key chain size, but not for much, it is a Nuwaii Q III and use one of the 123ís battery and produce around 40 lumens of light, it will run for about one hour on it.
This light cost about $40 in the web and to my thinking it is well worth the price.
Here is the beam shot.
NUWAII Q III BEAM SHOT (40 LUMENS)
And here is the beam shot of the Fenix L1P (1 AA) this light is say to put out 40 lumens, but of course the small reflector make it a flood light that it is quite impressive at short range.
FENIX L1P BEAM SHOT (38 LUMENS)
SUREFIRE CENTURION II BEAM SHOT P-61 LAMP (120 LUMENS)
We had a light that was out of the lightweight class at 13 oz and nine inches long, but was our long range spotter, like a mini-spot light, the beam intensity was amazing and the range reached well over 150 yards.
The Bear Cub uses special Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries to produce 220 lumens for 90 minutes.
The rechargeable batteries of the Bear Cub were a blessing as the others lights using 123ís at almost $2.00 each battery put a dent in the budget of the trip.
Here is the beam shot with the Bear Cub
BEAR CUB RECHARGEABLE, BEAM SHOT, (220 LUMENS)
Perhaps the members can find a light that will suit your needs in this selection, hope this post it will be not too boring, and people find some interest in it.
LIGHTS FOR HIKING
Hi Watchmaker, welcome to the forum
Quite an interesting post. Thanks for sharing B)
LIGHTS FOR HIKING
ENERGIZER SIX LEDíS
I decided to review this LED head light to see if it was suitable for hiking, like other similar lights it works out of three AAA batteries that are included in the package.
The thing that attracted me is the four modes of operation, the first click will put on the main beam that according to the writing in the package will last for 50 hours (but we all know better about those wild claims).
The second click will activate the flood only, another click and you will have both flood and main beam and a last click will activate the red light.
The main beam was bothering me with a reflection that shined on my eyes; of course using a cap with a good bill will eliminate this problem.
The main beam is okay in intensity, but it have an aureole of black around it that is quite distracting and then another narrow aureole of light on the outside of the black circle.
The flood setting was better, no distracting or blinding reflections and quite acceptable in intensity, for doing chores such as washing dishes, cooking and pitching a tent.
Flood and main beam was okay in the sense that the area of coverage for hiking will be more ample than with the main beam alone, I will choose this setting for all the hiking.
The red light is completely unusable, very poor and barely illuminating the ground a few feet in front.
The head band is a little harder in the material that others head bands I had used, a little too uncomfortable; perhaps washing it with Downy will soften it or make it suppler.
The price is $16,97 and the light is usually available at stores such as Wal Mart or Walgreens or Home Depot, it is made in China for www.energizer.com and I consider it an okay light for those that do occasional hiking at night and donít want to invest in a specialized high ticked light.
My beam shot of the light was taken at 21 feet from the deer target, I will not try a head light LED at the 26 yards that I usually test my hand held lights, Head light LEDís just donít have the reach.
LIGHTS FOR HIKING
SOME HEAD LAMPS
For walking in well-marked trails at night, I used to use (like everyone else) a head lamp.
The Peltz Tikka with the three LEDís was good for well-marked trails, as was the Princeton Tec Aurora.
The Tikka with the red filter I use for taking notes while wildlife observing, as the animals will not detect a red spectrum of light. Also, when camping out and walking to the latrine, in consideration to my fellow campers that dislike been shined in the face.
I am using the Tikka now for reading in bed, so as not to disturb my wifeís sleep.
For going cross-country in the woods and when doing compass and map games, we needed something with more throw for the alignment of the next mark. In that case, I used the Princeton Tec Predator pro, with almost 8 hours of duration on the batteries and 28 lumens with good throw.
I like to use rechargeable NIMH batteries, because after the initial cost of batteries and charger, they are almost free to use, as the electricity used to recharge them is negligible.
And a fringe benefit is that I will not pollute another landfill with the alkaline batteries.
But I donít think I will ever buy another head light. I like the idea of sticking one of the Fenix lights with Velcro tape on top of my cap more; it liberates me from the feeling of the constricting head band, and the new Fenix L1D has multiple power and functions.
(www. Fenix -store.com)
The 9 lumen (25 hours) first setting is plenty for most trail walking. A soft touch in the switch pad will access the second setting of 40 lumens (5 hours), and with another soft press on the switch, the 80 lumens will come out (2 hours). One more time will SOS the light in 80 lumens.
A twist on the head will access the 90 lumen mode (1 Ĺ hours) and a press in the switch and the strobe will be on, which is great for disco dancing.
This little light will do most of the chores that were reserved for bigger, heavier lights, and I predict we will be seeing many of them in the trails.
LIGHTS FOR HIKING
Please don't feel insulted, but I get the feeling you are spamming?
LIGHTS FOR HIKING
Don't mind me, I am out of my rocker. otherwise why own 200 flashlight 20 binoculars, 40 compasses, stoves, water filters, back packs etc. all items that are use in hikes, and start writing about then?
As a retired watchmaker I should find something more constructive than trying to post about these items, sitting in the computer like an idiot the whole day.
I should go and take a hike or do some fly fishing, the trout will be appreciative of my efforts.
LIGHTS FOR HIKING
Hahahaaa :laugh: With that much equipment do you go out enough to use it all?
LIGHTS FOR HIKING
THE MOST POWERFUL FLASHLIGHTS
LIGHTS FOR TRUCK OR CAR
Yes, I know that this has nothing to do with hiking, but most of us use car or truck transportation to get to the trail head and usually carry some form of a flashlight in the vehicle.
A powerful light can be a life saver in many instances, I well remember when driving up to the Adirondacks at 2 am in an empty 87 North at a point between exit 28 and 29 (North Hudson) some wild people in a truck tried to run us over into the shoulder of the road, my wife shinned a powerful light into their windshield and they desisted in the intent and actually braked hard and disappeared.
Maybe they though that only police cars would have such a powerful light and that it was better to look for their kicks somewhere else; the case was that the light resolved the situation for us.
Then it was the time when we used it to illuminate the scene of and accident involving a deer and a poor woman in a compact car in a dark lonely side road, where blood and the insides of the deer were everywhere and the car was inoperable.
Calling by phone from New York City to a local in the Adirondacks to get our weather information I was told of a new ruse some bad guys were using to rob and hi jack cars in roads with poor traffic in the area.
The information came handy a few weeks later when in Boreas road near the junction with Tahawus road we were flagged by a guy in a truck with the head lights illuminating a dead dog in the middle of the road. at the time I was using a car I had bought from my neighbor the cop, it had a PA system and blue lights mounted in the vicinity of the radiator; we stopped short, illuminated the area with the two million candlepower of a Borealis flashlight and hit the blue lights and PA system telling them over the mike to stay were they where and to show their hands. The guy in the truck jumped inside and did a burning tire escape even running over the body of the dog, while his confederate in the bushes at the side of the road had just barely time to dive head first into the bed of the truck.
So I though that I will show the guys in the forums what a powerful light is since I have several of them with me.
HERE IS A PICTURE OF THE LIGHTS, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Maglite 3 D, Magcharger, Ultra Stinger, Surefire M-6 Guardian, and Borealis.
AND HERE A PICTURE OF THE BATTERY STICKS AND CARRIERS FROM LEFT: The 6 volts battery stick of the Magcharger, the skinny 6 volts battery stick of the Ultra Stinger, the plastic carrier for the six 123ís batteries of the Surefire M-6 and last the aluminum and Delryn 12 volts carrier of the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight.
The Maglite 3 D is the most popular light carried by almost everybody in a truck or car. The 12 Ĺ inches of length and the thirty one ounces of weight make also a good impact weapon for emergencies, moreover, is the affordability of the light that can be obtained almost anywhere for less than $20, and, by the way, it is a quality instrument with tight tolerances and proudly still made in the USA.
So the Maglite 3 D is going to be our first test and beam shot, the light is quite waterproof to a good extend, my neighborís kids use one to collect coins from the bottom of the pool in a game they have.
The Maglite 3 D output 39 lumens and runs on three of the popular D size alkaline batteries; it will run for an hour before the output drops to 20 lumens due to the sag that alkaline batteries exhibit under load.
BEAM SHOT OF THE MAGLITE 3 D (39 LUMENS)
MAG Instruments also produce a powerful rechargeable police light called the Magcharger, www.maglite.com this light is used by many police departments in the states and abroad; this light is the size and shape of a regular Maglite 3 D but with 2 rings of steel where the contacts for the charger are.
This light will output 200 lumens (40,000 candlepower) and I think that the price is about $120.00 a well built quality light of 12 Ĺ inch and a weight of thirty one ounces, it works with a 6 volt system on a stick of Ni Cads batteries; the charger will charge the light in 12 hours and as the Ni Cad batteries sometimes acquire memory, it is necessary to discharge it full and recharge to erase the memory in the batteries after using it for a couple of weeks.
BEAM SHOT OF THE MAGCHARGER (200 LUMENS)
The Streamlight Ultra Stinger is the most powerful offering from Streamlight, a well known police flashlight provider, The Ultra Stinger will output 75,000 candlepower, lumens figure is 295 lumens, it also works with a 6 volt system of rechargeable Ni Cad batteries, formed in a stick, the light is very popular with many police agencies and also recharges in 12 hours.
Police station across America have racks of Ultra Stingers in chargers waiting for the night shift to arrive, the light is a lightweight at 12 inches and 15 ounces, I think that the price is around $130 in the street as some lights can be bought at discount from the web.
The address for Streamlight is www.streamlight.com there they have the whole line of Stingers and other police and emergency services lights.
BEAM SHOT OF THE ULTRA STINGER (295 LUMENS)
Our SWAT teams and Special Forces use for entry and to blind suspects a powerful military type flashlight called the Surefire M-6 Guardian. This light works with those powerful 3 volts Lithium batteries that are sometimes used in cameras, the flashlight uses six of them disposables batteries to run the light at 500 lumens for 20 minutes; after the 20 minutes you have to dump the batteries and get another six fresh batteries in the carrier, which is of not importance when the agency pay for the batteries, but to us civilians, dumping $12.00 worth of batteries after a 20 minutes run can get to be expensive.
This light was until recently the most powerful in the world, and Surefire sells a good quantity of them despite the tag of $400 USD.
I used one for a while in my car because it fits my glove compartment, as the light is shorter and lighter than the ones we have been discussing so far.
At 8 inches 14 ounces it is quite compact, but it will make a poor strike weapon although the powerful beam of 500 lumens will blind men or animal.
If you want more information on this light the address of Surefire is www.surefire.com
BEAM SHOT OF THE SUREFIRE M-6 (500 LUMENS)
My red rechargeable Borealis flashlight at 1050 lumens (two million candlepower) is the king of all the powerful lights and the most powerful flashlight in the world at this time.
It is made on the ďhostĒ of 3D, so replacement shells are easy available and inexpensive and the owner can replace a shell that have been scratched or dented for a mere $20 if he wishes, and in only 10 minutes transfer the special parts, (some of us take pride in good looking equipment).
This light is seen deployment with some members of the border patrol to illuminate the frontier in their quest for illegal immigration. The light can throw a powerful beam for hundred of yards and in a pinch it can be used as headlights or a landing light.
Police officers are acquiring the Borealis to use the same way that they have been using the Maglite and Magcharger, the tremendous light output makes it ideal for accident sites and traffic stops.
It uses a 12 volt system of rechargeable high current NINH batteries in a beautifully made Rolls Royce carrier, the batteries donít have any problem with memory and the new type of batteries used in this light can be away from the charger for more than a month before it needs to be topped off, and the recharging time of the light is only 90 minutes.
The run time of this light is 50 continuous minutes; it is 12 Ĺ inches long and weights 28 ounces. In test ran by the maker, the light was tortured and even shot with a .22 rifle without stopping emitting light. (As a video shows in the web site).
The light sells for $320 shipped directly from the maker, which is www.BlackBearFlashlights.com
BEAM SHOT OF THE BOREALIS (1050 LUMENS)
I thought you guys will be interested to see all these lights in action, and I pointed them to a point in the fence next to the tree with the beams and camera shooting from a 35 yards distance, this is the longest distance that I have in the back yard
Although you can not take them in your night hikes (because of the extra weight) any of them will make a good addition to your car or truck gear, who knows, maybe they can really help you out of a tight situation like they did for me.
LIGHTS FOR HIKING
MAGLITE 2 D LED
I was intrigued by this light for a while; I knew that the only difference from a regular Krypton 2 D model was in the self contained ďbulbĒ of Luxeon LED.
Still I wanted to try it against a regular Krypton bulb model to see if the increase in price was going to provide an increase in performance.
Recently the Krypton White Star bulb specifications was upped to 36.5 lumens and 16,200 candlepower, I have in my arsenal a brand new Maglite 2 d with Krypton bulb and I just bought a new 2D LED model for the test, you can see them in the picture side by side, they are the two black lights.
The red is also a Maglite ďshellĒ or ďhostĒ as I like to call them, but the interior have been changed into a Black Bear 720 lumens powerhouse.
If you are not familiar with the modifications of Black Bear Flashlights, they are full of special components and some skilled labor to convert the regular 2 Dís, 3Dís and other formats, into incredible bright lights outputting 220, 426. 720, 856 and 1050 lumens.
In playing the new LED against the Krypton model, my observation is that the LED light produces a more smoother beam than the Krypton model, the intensity of the beam is, in my opinion not changed, but is of course, whiter.
You can see the results here in my pictures taken at 35 yards distance. I have not seen any place in the package or in the instructions where it mentions the amount of lumens emitted by the three watts Luxeon diode of the new light, but the pictures will help to visualize it.
THE 2D KRIPTON BULB
THE 2 D WITH 3 WATTS LED
AND THE BLACK BEAR 720 LUMENS
The package mention the increased battery life and the more rugged emitter (LEDís doesnít have a filament to burn and can last for 100,000 hours) so the light is an improvement over the Krypton model.
The light has a good throw thanks to the two inch diameter reflector that really help to deliver a beam at long distance, it is the best thrower of all the 3 watts LED in the market, it is an ideal light to keep in car or truck for emergencies and even if necessary, to use as a whacking tool (who knows, you may need it to check for proper inflation in the tires).
The light was on sale at Wal-Mart and I paid $25.00 for it, I think that for that price you get a LOT of quality in a very rugged light that will take abuse and even work underwater.
I recommend the new Maglite 2 D 3 watts LED highly, at 23 oz and ten inches long it is not too heavy but it makes a good impact tool, I know, I have used one to drive tent stakes when camping in the wild.
As for the Black Bear 720 lumens of Black Bear Flashlights, this is a light in another dimension, the internals parts are made with infinite precision and the highest material quality, the Rolls Royce battery carrier (it carriers six rechargeable Nimh batteries) is a work of art, the reflector is a heavy walled solid aluminum and the bulb holder is a quality aluminum and ceramic component, the lens is Pyrex and the torch is heavily modified for the lowest internal resistance.
This Rolls Royce of a flashlight largely hand made, is driving a super-bulb producing 720 lumens of light, only superated by the BOREALIS 1050 lumens, another Black Bear product that is made on the host of the 3 D, 12 Ĺ inches long and 28 oz.
Back to the Maglite 2 D, LED this light is a quality product made proudly in the USA, the threads are cut with precision and without play and the interior is anodized as well as the outside, the tolerances are minimal and to think that all this quality can be had for less than $30 USD is a miracle of new manufacturing techniques. If some of you are old enough, you may remember that when the new Maglite came into the market in the 1980ís the retail price were $60 USD and the government agencies were flocking to buy them at that price, for the increased quality and innovation that it represented over the other lights in the market then.
For years I had kept a 2D in the glove compartment of my cars and in the trunk the more powerful 6 Dís; I had two of them, one fitted with an orange traffic cone for road emergencies.
The addition of LED technology make the Maglites better than ever, there is many more lights using 3 watts LEDís on the market, but none with the reach of the Maglite and as affordable as they are.
All the best
LIGHTS FOR HIKING
TORTURE TEST OF THE BOREALIS 1050 LUMENS TORCH, VIDEO.