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Why do people like Surefire flashlights?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by Kripto, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Roood

    Roood Loaded Pockets

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    Brand Loyalty, hmmm, I never thought of that. I rarely use my SF lights as much as before since there are manufacturers that have flashlights with more "practical" applications. But when I go on a long weekend, I carry my other LED lights but always have a SureFire as a backup. Peace of mind I guess.
     
  2. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    I have three Surefires. They are nice, well made lights. That said, I find my Fenix and 4Sevens lights to be just as useful, and I haven't had a problem with any of them. For most of us, I think the biggest reason for Surefire popularity over the other brands is simply marketing hype. The forums are great for advertising, and then one guy buys something, tells us all how wonderful a product is, and then we run out and buy the same. The cycle continues and before you know it, something has a big following, and everyone and their brother are touting the products virtues. I'm not saying Surefire isn't good, but in my everyday life the other brands I've mentioned serve every bit as well at a fraction of the cost. Just my opinion of course, and I would say the same holds true for many other popular forum products. I know I've got drawers full of stuff and duplicates too, that I've bought after reading the forums, and judging by many posts that I see here and elsewhere, I think there are many like me. It seems to get to a point where we justify it by calling ourselves "collectors". In fact I had to put a "Man Cave" together in my basement to "display" all of my different "collections". I figured at least I'd get some viewing pleasure out of them, instead of leaving them in storage around the house.
     
  3. Roood

    Roood Loaded Pockets

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    I agree DMatt, there are a lot of brands out their for flashlights and most of them are very very practical or low cost.

    Marketing Hype? Hmm, maybe, there are some people who fall for that. But if the product sucks then no one will buy it.
     
  4. Carvenstein

    Carvenstein Loaded Pockets

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    Well, I dig 'em and I think they a well recognized brand. Folks that notice them already know that they are dependable. I run a jewelry store and I became a Surefire dealer. Nestled in among the jewelry in my men's department are Surefire flashlights. They are right next to the William Henry Knives and fine pens. I think they are cooler man-gems than a pinkie ring. I have some other lights that I use, but I keep three Surefires at home. They always work and I haven't needed a new flashlight since I bought them!
     
  5. generationlost

    generationlost Loaded Pockets

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    I do not own a surefire light, but as many people already mentioned, Surefire is mainly marketed toward LE/Military use. Surefire lights are built to perform and are dead simple to operate. I understand why Surefire seems to make many of their lights 80 lumens or less since Surefire lights are meant to be used in indoor environments and from what I understand, anything brighter than 80 lumens in an indoor setting will ruin your nightvision.

    However, what really boggles my mind is the relative inefficiency of their LEDs. My Fenix ld20 gets a claimed 2 hours of regulated runtime at 205 lumens running on AA batteries. The newer surefire 6PX has a 200 lumen max output and only a claimed 2 hours of unregulated light before the output drops below 50 lumens; these lights are also running on CR123s.

    I noticed that surefire is upgrading their LEDs and it seems they're phasing out the standard 80 lumen LEDs for 120 lumen LEDs. Even so, they're still behind in terms of efficiency.
     
  6. Roood

    Roood Loaded Pockets

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    @Carvenstein: Oh, I hope you didn't think that I said SF sucks. I don't. I own a few too. I was talking about the marketing hype about certain flashlights being marketed here.

    @Generationlost: Yes it is weird, other flashlight manufacturers have better power management chips. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think it has something to do with the chips attached to the LED or something. SF keeps their lights as simple as possible but I hope SF LEDs are durable as the competition.
     
  7. Standeck

    Standeck Loaded Pockets

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    I think it depends on what you're going to use the light for. If you want a very nice light with a lot of brightness and don't want to spend a huge amount of money, there are a number of (mostly Asian) manufacturers out there. If you want a light that you're going to stake your health and well being on that has to by god work every single time, Surefire and a few other high end manufacturers are your best bets. My EDC pocket light is a Fenix. My bedside table "take the dogs out at night" light, another Fenix. My "run into burning buildings" light on my fire helmet? A Surefire.
     
  8. Carvenstein

    Carvenstein Loaded Pockets

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    @Standeck: your observation is right on... The Surefires are in the Boatbag and at work, but when my Wife shames me into taking out the garbage after dark, I grab the old Dcell thing by the back door. A few shakes and it works OK. Heh...
     
  9. GrantM

    GrantM Empty Pockets

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    I think most people buy a flashlight without really researching and looking into them and SureFire is one of the more popular flashlight brands. With that said, SureFire is a great brand and a good choice for durability, power and customer service. I know before I ever really researched flashlights, I thought MagLite was the best just because that's what I saw in everyone's home. If it wasn't a cheap plastic flashlight, it was a heavy, durable looking MagLite. Does anyone have the E2D Defender from SureFire? I was looking at that light on flashlightz.com and was wondering if it would make a good light for my wife when she goes walking in the evening?
     
  10. Roood

    Roood Loaded Pockets

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    I have a limited budget. So when I buy something, I make sure it's the best. SureFire is the name that comes to my mind. Though I have heard some complaints about SF's quality now a days which is giving me a lot of doubts.

    But even with the doubts... I just ordered a KX4 and a new clicky tailcap. Lol.
     
  11. jwhite75

    jwhite75 Loaded Pockets

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    They are extremely reliable and durable and their CS is pretty great. They have a pretty good gov/LE program on pricing is one reason I use them. I do like some other brands. I bought Olight and Fenix as gifts recently for a good friend and my brother and were very impressed with how they worked and were made. Surefire is very modular and offers a wide variety of stuff that some others dont. The are however like Glock in a sense that they consider their designs good as they are and if you dont like it...tough. Very few models with strobe or SOS and almost everything runs on 123A. I also dont like their pricing compared to others in the same overall size and lumen class.
     
  12. Forbes/hutton

    Forbes/hutton Loaded Pockets

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    Love Surefire.

    -They created the tactical light market.

    -Quality is top notch.

    -Customer service is perfect. Sent them a 20 year old forend as the rubber had worn off the switch. They sent it back with the switch replaced, a new bulb and 2 new batteries.

    -While other companies have added rings around the body, they are useless for a Harris grip as they cover the tail switch and have a click-on switch. Press hard and the light stays on when you needed it to stay in momentary mode. With Surefires you can't by-pass momentary unless you turn the tail cap.

    -Not the best flashlight for everything (due to the lack of a clicky switch and lower lumen than many others), but for combat they can't be beat.
     
  13. jsmitty1967
    • In Omnia Paratus

    jsmitty1967 Go Big Blue

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    I had an experience this weekend that made me think of this thread. Normally I am a single CR123 format guy but I decided to pick up something with some throw as I was going to be in the woods. I got a Jetbeam BC40 just in time for the trip. The price was right, I have had no problems with JB in the past, and 830 lumens for $70 in a 2"W head is hard to beat. I recieved the light, installed batteries, and played around the house a little. Everything was great and I couldn't wait to get out in the dark. First night I went out with some kids to pick out marshmallow roasting sticks. After just a few seconds the light starts to turn off. For a few minutes I could keep the light lit by holding in the button and then nothing. Tried everything but the thing was DEAD. Fortunately I had a Surefire A2 in my pocket that lit up just fine. After some testing at home the problem is the clicky switch. I was counting on the light and it failed which is extremely disappointing and for some situations dangerous.
     
  14. vegassprky
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    vegassprky Loaded Circuits

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    jsmitty1967: This may be a old saying or maybe its just me. But never take a new car on a long trip and now don't rely on a new flashlight alone for a first trip to the woods! Glad you had a backup and it all worked out good!!! Now you have to return it to get it fixed or repaired?
     
  15. jsmitty1967
    • In Omnia Paratus

    jsmitty1967 Go Big Blue

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    That is what it looks like. I bypassed the tailswitch with a paperclip and it works fine so it's the clicky for sure. Normally I do stick to dependable items but we stayed in a house with a view that stretched to TN (several miles away). It was a great opportunity to play with something that really throws. When it is dark I always have a backup!

    Check this panorama:

    http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=76a1dd1e-4b54-4466-b287-07f462e32ee2&m=false&i=0:0:0&c=0:0:0&z=984.817174798501&d=-0.568744260088812:-1.57262353273194:-1.99229051208372&p=0:0&t=False
     
  16. vegassprky
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    vegassprky Loaded Circuits

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    Beautiful!!! Thanks!!
     
  17. jeeves3443

    jeeves3443 Loaded Pockets

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    I'm too poor to buy cheap things.
     
  18. Nickortizzle1035

    Nickortizzle1035 Loaded Pockets

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    M6LT is being shipped to dealers!!!!!!!! i need $600 now!!!!!
     
  19. hamster-in-a-wheel

    hamster-in-a-wheel Loaded Pockets

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    Good question. I have a 6P (spare flashlight), a G2 (wife's car light), a G2X Pro (my edc) and a Solarforce L2 (weaponlight). The Surefire body is slightly nicer seeming than Solarforce, though certainly not enough to justify the price difference. The 6P I bought long ago, the G2 I bought because there was a great clearance price at the local gun shop, and the G2X Pro I bought because it was the only light I could find with a 2 mode Low-to-high operation. For a 6P style light, I think I would never buy another surefire product unless i could find a great deal on it, because I don't see an advantage over cheaper options.
     
  20. og556

    og556 Loaded Pockets

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    The best customer service I have ever dealt with period. Surefire's level of service has earned them a customer for life. They are the only brand flashlight and battery I will buy from now on.