COM­MON BONDS, BEN­E­FITS OF LEDS

Tactical World - - Special Section -

These two lights are very sim­i­lar in many dif­fer­ent ways. Length and weight, out­put and lu­mens and rugged­ness are just a few.

Where they also share a sim­i­lar­ity is in Sure­fire’s use of LEDS or light-emit­ting diodes. Years ago, when I first saw Sure­fire be­gin adding LEDS to their line of lights, I saw a dif­fer­ent type of white light. In look­ing into the head of the flash­light while the light is off, of course, I also viewed what ap­peared to be a chip or mi­crochip of some sort. That chip I saw was the light emit­ting diode.

In want­ing to build a light that can stand up to re­coil, be­ing dropped, or the per­ils of heavy com­bat, Sure­fire be­gan us­ing LEDS that of­fer a num­ber of ad­van­tages over in­can­des­cent light. What an LED is first, is a semi­con­duc­tor chip that con­verts elec­tri­cal en­ergy into light. It is clas­si­fied as a solid state, so there are no gases or liq­uid com­po­nents that are used to emit light. Other ad­van­tages with LEDS are that they are ex­tremely rugged. Again, there are no gasses, bulbs or fil­a­ments to break. LEDS also can last thou­sands of hours, which means most peo­ple will never see the end of the life of an LED.

With the abil­ity to ma­nip­u­late and pro­gram LEDS with dif­fer­ent en­ergy sources, the abil­ity to with­stand vi­bra­tion seen in hand­held and weapon lights and the over­all out­put of lu­mens, the use of LEDS in Sure­fire lights has been wel­comed with open arms. While I am writ­ing about LEDS, I will add a bit about the type of beam both of these lights emit. To­tal In­ter­nal Re­flec­tion (TIR) refers to the type of beam that is cast for­ward from the light. The TIR lens com­pletely sur­rounds the LED, gath­ers all of the avail­able light and then projects that light for­ward in a way that fo­cuses the beam to be very tight in the cen­ter of the light emit­ted.

This type of lens is very use­ful when search­ing, as the cone of­fers up the bright­est of light, so you can clearly and ef­fec­tively iden­tify your tar­get. The re­main­ing light that comes off the fo­cused cen­ter helps il­lu­mi­nate items in the pe­riph­ery. You can then move your light and/or weapon to­wards a tar­get or threat if picked up in the outer light of cone. I like the TIR lens a lot and think it is a per­fect re­flec­tor in both of these Sure­fire lights.

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