Surefire Ad--picture in a cave--and backup lights.

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Surefire Ad--picture in a cave--and backup lights.

Postby paoconnell » Feb 12, 2007 2:16 pm

In the 2007 Backpacker Gear Guide, there an ad for Surefire hand lights showing some caver in a waist deep water passage using a headlamp and what is presumably one of their flashlights. Just one little problem: their lights cost between $100 and $300 each, and the caver is apparently using one of the big $300 lights to illuminate the passage. I could just see the guy dropping the flashlight and never seeing it again. I can buy a lot of less expensive but waterproof flashlights for the price of that light, and keep a spare or two in my pack.

Issue: what's good enough for a second or third source of light and what's overkill? My backups are almost always Mini-Mags with the NiteIze LED conversion--New Mexico has very few caves that wet, though. :scuba:
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Postby Cheryl Jones » Feb 12, 2007 2:38 pm

Your back up light/s become your primary light when your primary fails. So your backups must allow you to safely move through the cave and negotiate all its obstacles, and mount on your helmet. Decent LED headlamps are so small now for the light delivered, they can be carried easily as backups (one on your helmet, one in your pack.)

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Postby adleedy » Feb 12, 2007 2:52 pm

Cheryl Jones wrote:Your back up light/s become your primary light when your primary fails. So your backups must allow you to safely move through the cave and negotiate all its obstacles, and mount on your helmet. Decent LED headlamps are so small now for the light delivered, they can be carried easily as backups (one on your helmet, one in your pack.)

Cheryl




:exactly:
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Postby JoeyS » Feb 12, 2007 3:05 pm

You mentioned stenlight in the thread title. Was the caver donning a stenlight in a surefire ad?
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Postby Scott McCrea » Feb 12, 2007 3:28 pm

I edited the subject title to read Surefire instead of Stenlight.

Here's the ad in question: LINK. Previously discussed here.

Surefire makes high quality lights--very high quality.
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Postby Tim White » Feb 12, 2007 4:19 pm

I’ve switched to a Petzl Tikka XP as my back-up. Small, compact and powerful enough to use as a main source if needed.

IMO, it meets Cheryl's standards. :big grin: BTW, which I think are correct. :wink:
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Postby NZcaver » Feb 12, 2007 5:27 pm

Cheryl Jones wrote:Your back up light/s become your primary light when your primary fails. So your backups must allow you to safely move through the cave and negotiate all its obstacles, and mount on your helmet. Decent LED headlamps are so small now for the light delivered, they can be carried easily as backups (one on your helmet, one in your pack.)

I agree. However, I also acknowledge that some cavers like to carry a handheld flashlight for spotting - often in addition to having a backup headlamp or two as well.

Nice ad for Surefire. From what understand about most of their lights, not having an efficient (long) battery life is their biggest downfall for caving. But their intensity and ruggedness certainly appear to be up to the task.

paoconnell wrote:Issue: what's good enough for a second or third source of light and what's overkill? My backups are almost always Mini-Mags with the NiteIze LED conversion--New Mexico has very few caves that wet, though.

If you're looking for a brighter flashlight than that Mini Maglite with the Nite Ize conversion - something that won't weigh you down or break the bank - check out the Mini Mag LED. If you don't want the extra candlepower but need longer battery life, stick with what you've got or get another small headlamp like Tim recommended. :cool:
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Postby paoconnell » Feb 12, 2007 6:43 pm

NZcaver wrote:
Cheryl Jones wrote:Your back up light/s become your primary light when your primary fails. So your backups must allow you to safely move through the cave and negotiate all its obstacles, and mount on your helmet. Decent LED headlamps are so small now for the light delivered, they can be carried easily as backups (one on your helmet, one in your pack.)

I agree. However, I also acknowledge that some cavers like to carry a handheld flashlight for spotting - often in addition to having a backup headlamp or two as well.

Nice ad for Surefire. From what understand about most of their lights, not having an efficient (long) battery life is their biggest downfall for caving. But their intensity and ruggedness certainly appear to be up to the task.

paoconnell wrote:Issue: what's good enough for a second or third source of light and what's overkill? My backups are almost always Mini-Mags with the NiteIze LED conversion--New Mexico has very few caves that wet, though.

If you're looking for a brighter flashlight than that Mini Maglite with the Nite Ize conversion - something that won't weigh you down or break the bank - check out the Mini Mag LED. If you don't want the extra candlepower but need longer battery life, stick with what you've got or get another small headlamp like Tim recommended. :cool:


I use MiniMags mostly because they're quite rugged, bright, inexpensive ($10 + $5 for the NiteIze conversion), and therefore somewhat expendable (though I've had maybe two quit in 15 years--always the light switch). I haven't seen the "official" MiniMag LED flashlights in stores here, yet. Cheryl's idea of carrying another tiny headlamp as a backup is a good one, as long as the backup headlamp is at least as rugged as what it replaces.
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Postby David_Campen » Feb 12, 2007 6:54 pm

Besides cost and limited run time, another disadvantage of Surefire lights is that they use 123 cells while my headlamp, camera etc. use AA cells.

So, for a bright spotting light I use an Underwater Kinetics UK4AA. They make a 4-watt bulb intended for the NiMH rechargeable version of the UK4AA but I use the 4-watt bulb in a non-rechargeable UK4AA body with Lithium AA cells. Replacement 4-watt bulbs are pricey ($25) but I believe the same is true for Surefire bulbs.



Rechargeable UK4AA & replacement 4-watt bulb:
http://www.brightguy.com/products/UK_4A ... Switch.php

Non-rechargeable UK4AA with 2.1-watt bulb:
http://www.brightguy.com/products/UK_4A ... witch_(AS2).php
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