SureFire Minimus Tactical Headlamp

SureFire just posted on Facebook of what looks to be a new tactical headlamp: the SureFire Minimus Tactical.

This headlamp features a high-efficiency white-light LED with adjustable output (zero to 100 lumens); a knurled no-slip right-hand control knob; a tilt control knob; and runs from 1.5 hours to 50 hours (depending on lumen usage) on a single 123A battery. Other features are the read, blue and green filters that give you the option of low-signature light that also preserves dark-adapted vision; and a long-running SOS safety beacon. It weighs 3.3 ounces. The head band features a moisture-wicking Breathe-O-Prene® pad. Made of polymer and aerospace aluminum, this hard-anodized headlamp is lightweight, durable and can be submersed in water to 3 feet for up to 30 minutes. A great, sturdy all-purpose headlamp.

The SureFire Minimus Tactical retails at $159.00. Buy this headlamp at for a great deal!

SureFire Minimus Tactical Headlamp @


FOURSeven Flashlights


FOURSevens Flashlights is a relatively new company. Founded in 2008 with the desire to improve on high-performance LED flashlights, FOURSevens has contributed to the LED flashlight world. Don’t let their company’s youth fool you. FOURSevens design their flashlights with high-performance, quality and affordability in mind. Committed to pushing technological boundaries, FOURSevens helps lead the high-performance LED flashlight market with their innovations.  They have recently re-branded themselves: from 4Sevens to FOURSEVENS.

FOURSEVENS offer affordable flashlights that are high-performance and durable. You can find wonderful deals on FOURSEVENS flashlights at

Below is a flashlight comparison chart of their Quark line.

4Seven Quark Flashlight Line Comparison
Pro QPA Pro QPL Pro QP2A Pro QP2L Pro QP2A-X Pro QP2L-X Turbo QB2A Turbo QB2L
Settings (lumens)
Moonlight 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2
Low 4 4 4 4 2.7 3 4 4
Mid 22 22 22 22 24 65 22 22
High 85 85 85 85 115 160 85 85
Maximum 109 205 205 230 280 360 205 230
Runtime (hours)
Moonlight 240 360 720 720 360 600 720 720
Low 48 60 120 120 72 120 120 120
Mid 6 13 24 20 20 11 24 20
High 1.5 2.7 5 4.5 2.5 4 5 4.5
Maximum 1.2 0.8 1.3 1.8 2.2 1.8 3 2.8
Length(in) 3.8 3.2 5.8 4.5 5.8 4.5 6.2 4.9
Weight(oz) 1.8 1.4 2.2 1.8 2.2 1.8 3 2.8
LED Cree XP-G Cree XP-G Cree XP-G Cree XP-G Cree XM-L Cree XM-L Cree XP-G Cree XP-G
Power 1 AA 1 CR123A 2 AA 2 CR123A 2 AA 2 CR123A 2 AA 2 CR123A
Price: $63.00 $59.00 $66.00 $65.00 $78.00 $75.00 $75.00 $75.00


“One Million Candle Power” Flashlight

Waiven, Inc is demonstrating (today, in Las Vegas) a flashlight that can produce and output of one million candle power using Waiven’s  recycling LED technology and a Luminous SBT 70 round white LED. I am hoping they’ll post a video of this flashlight in action.

Waiven technology takes the wasted light with their recycling reflector and redirects it out the front. They have a flashlight (available to the public) that can throw an ultra narrow beam with incredible intensity over 1500 meters. Believe it or not the flashlight is only 6 inches long!

To add to its uniqueness, this flashlight throws a square beam. I kid you not.

I look forward to seeing more of what else this patented technology will do.


You can buy this flashlight from as of now. It’s only $500. 

Night Navigator – Large

Quick Guide to LED Flashlights


When buying a LED flashlight, there are many factors to consider: Lumen count, Run time, quality, durability and so forth. This post will go over the basic information that will hopefully help you become more informed when shopping for a LED flashlight.

Let’s start with the first thing that comes to mind when someone says LED:

What is an LED?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. An electric current passes through the diode which then coverts the electricity into light. LED’s are highly energy efficient; meaning most of the electricity that is converted is converted into light instead of heat. Incandescence bulbs convert about 2% of their electricity intake into light. The rest of that energy is heat loss. Keep in mind LEDs can overheat shortening their life span immensely if not properly heat-synced. There is still heat loss (just not as much). One or more LEDs are attached to a chip known as the driver which converts the AC main voltage to the correct DC voltage needed by its LED(s). These drivers can be elaborate allowing advance control of the LEDs.

Where is my white light?

An LED’s light is monochromatic which means LEDs can only emit one color. They are capable of emitting a wide range of color lights depending on what material their semiconductors are made out of. Given that the color output of an LED is based on inorganic materials, there is no ‘natural’ white light.

White light consists of a broad spectrum of colors. To achieve this high-intensity white light there are two primary methods used. One method is to use individual LEDs that emit three primary colors (red, green and blue) and combine them. Therefore forming the white-light. This method works, but may cause discoloration of the white-light later on down the life of your light bulb. Since each color uses a different material, the life span of each individual LED can differ. In other words, an LED may burn out before another. The other more popular method is produced by coating LEDs of one color—mainly blue LEDs made of InGaN (Indium gallium nitride)—with a phosphor of different colors to form a white light. This process is known as phosphor down conversion and is similar to the technology used in the fluorescent lamp.

Stick with the Standard

There many different manufacturers of LED flashlights out there. Unless you consider truly competent in all that is LED flashlights, I suggest you use the ANSI/NEMA FL1 Standard as a base when comparing flashlights. ANSI/NEMA FL1 is a standardized guide of definitions and testing methods for flashlights, headlamps and spotlights that was established in 2009. In simple terms, it allows consumers a means of comparing the most important attributes of a flashlight. Each manufacturer abides by the ANSI/NEMA FL1 Standard independently and completely voluntarily. The result is a standard that enables every individual a clear means of comparing products.


Stick to the flashlights brands that use this standard.


True or False: Higher lumens = Brighter flashlight = Better flashlight?

“The higher the lumens, the brighter the flashlight; therefore the better flashlight.” seems to be a reliable statement to follow when looking for a bright flashlight. The measure of lumens can give you a relative idea of a flashlight’s Light Output. However when it comes to LED flashlights, you should not rely on that statement alone. You should also take into account the intensity of the beam (Peak Beam Intensity): Two flashlights may have the same lumen count, but one may give a wider beam over a greater area, while the other might focus the light into a more intense spot beam. The same lumen count in two flashlights may not produce equal light depending on the quality of the flashlight’s optics system (ie reflector). Some manufacturers pair a high quality LED with a cheap reflector resulting in a weak/spotty beam or with no reflector at all and simply allow the light output be driven by the performance of the LED itself.

More LEDs, the better?

Again the above statement comes down to quality. Some manufacturers of cheaper flashlights use multiple LEDs to achieve a high lumen count but pair them with a sub-par optics system resulting in a weak or spotty beam. Another way of looking at this: Take an engine out of a Porsche and place that engine in a Pinto. You will not get the same performance out of the engine while it is in the Pinto.

Two things to remember when it comes to LED count:

  1. The superiority of the beam isn’t determined by the number of LEDs but by the quality of the LED chips and optical system.
  2. The more LEDs a flashlight contains, the faster it will go through batteries affecting the flashlight’s run time.

Wha? Not all flashlights throw the same kind of light beam?

When looking at the Beam Distance of a flashlight it is important to keep in mind the difference between “How far away the beam can be spotted from a distance” and “How far away the beam can illuminate an object you are looking at.” Beware of vague and unsubstantiated claims made by manufacturers. These claims may or may not be true. Beam distances displayed on the package refers to the maximum distance your flashlight can achieve when optimally focused (spot mode). Some of the best LED flashlights allow you to switch back and forth between a flood and spot beam. A flood light sheds light on a wide area but does not penetrate very far. Flood beams are good for walking, reading and performing general tasks in the dark. A spot light has a narrowly focused beam designed to provide penetrating light and usually offer a greater beam distance than a flood light. Spot beams are great for mountain biking at night or any fast-paced night activity.

LIGHT Aziz!!”

Flashlights are thankfully more reliable than the boy in Fifth ElementThe Run Time of a flashlight is sometimes as important as how bright the flashlight is. Will you be using the flashlight while backpacking or just as an emergency tool for around the house? Will you be using it under water or keeping it on for long periods of time?These are the types of questions you should ask yourself when looking for a flashlight. Run time refers to the battery life of the flashlight. Do not confuse this with the life span of a LED.  A product may say 50,000-hour LED life, but it may only run for a few hours on a set of batteries. Factors may affect the run time: Brightness of the beam, size of battery and temperature. If you are looking at a flashlight with brightness settings, the run time is based on the highest power setting. You can extend the life your battery past the official run time by using a dimmer setting. What does this mean? Brighter the light, the more electricity used, the quicker you will drain your battery. Size and number of batteries should be considered when comparing flashlight run time. You may get a longer run time with one flashlight, but it may require more and/or larger batteries. Temperature (cold, heat and humidity) affects the run time of your battery life. The cooler the temperature, the more you will get out of the battery’s life. The opposite is true: The more hot and humid it is, the shorter the battery life. While this may not be a deal breaker when buying your flashlight, you should keep this in mind when planning for its use.

The flashlight’s usage is important. If you know you will need a flashlight that will stand up to some punishment; look for a higher rating when it comes to Impact Resistance. If you will be using your flashlight during inclement weather or near/in streams or lakes; look for flashlights that are respectively Water Resistant or Waterproof. We covered a few of the main things to consider when shopping for a LED Flashlight. Beware of extravagant claims. Read reviews on flashlights before buying them. The more knowledge you have, the better purchase you will make. A well-informed purchase usually always means a happier and more satisfied you.

Need some suggestions of some quality brands to kick start your shopping? CoastFenixJETBeam and Surefire are quality brands.


If you are looking for more in depth information on LED flashlights before purchasing, please read A FLASHAHOLIC’S guide to LED Flashlightswhere I got a lot of my information. Brought to you by our friends at Coast.

What is the ANSI/NEMA FL1 Standard?

ANSI/NEMA FL1 is a standardized guide of definitions and testing methods for flashlights, headlamps and spotlights that was established in 2009. In simple terms, it allows consumers a means of comparing the most important attributes of a flashlight. Each manufacturer abides by the ANSI/NEMA FL1 Standard independently and completely voluntarily. The result is a standard that enables every individual a clear means of comparing products.
The ANSI/NEMA FL1 has six performance measurements which include: Runtime, Light Output, Peak Beam Intensity, Beam Distance, Water Resistance and Impact Resistance. Each element has an icon with values indicating its test results.

Light Output is a measurement of the total quantity of light emitted and is given in lumens. While light output is an important measurement of flashlight performance, it only tells the user the total amount of light projected, not the useful light, which will vary greatly from light to light.

Runtime is the length of time it takes before the light emitted is only 10% of the initial light output. The initial output is the light output 30 seconds after the light is turned on.

Peak Beam Intensity is the maximum luminous intensity, which coincides with the hot spot of the light beam. It is measured in Candela (cd) and is equal to Surface Light Intensity (Lux) x Distance (meters2). Distances for all relevant tests are performed and communicated in meters.

Beam Distance is defined as the distance at which beam intensity is 0.25 lux. It is calculated by taking the square root of Peak Beam Intensity/0.25 Lux.

Water Resistance tests have three types: Temporary immersion at a specified depth (Water proof), continuous immersion at a specified depth (Submersible), and resistance to splashing from all sides (water resistant). To pass any test the light must function right after the test and 30 minutes later. The maximum depth for which it passes is displayed in the icon.

Impact Resistance is the height at which a flashlight, with all of its accessories and batteries can be dropped on a concrete floor without being visibly cracked or broken and while also being fully functional.

Good Lights For Your Survival Kit

We have wanted to do a series of blog posts where we explain great places to use flashlights. When putting together a survival kit, there are several different things to look at, but you can have a good survival kit without lighting. Today, we are discussing lights that you would want to put into a survival kit.

First, lets take a look at a flashlight that provides more than just lighting. It’s called the Eton Microlink FR160 (comes in black, red, and green).

Take a look for yourself:

Not only is this a great LED source, but it is also an AM/FM radio and USB cell phone charger. This piece is powered by solar or dynamo, both of which charge an internal NI-MH (nickel-metal hydride) battery. Also, it features all 7 NOAA weatherband channels. This is a must have if you can’t seem to find enough room in your kit for everything.

If you are looking for something with a bit more of a kick and a more powerful light, I would definitely consider looking at the Fenix TK70 XM-L (2200 lumens). This flashlight is not small or light, but it sure is bright. If you don’t know what lumens are, an easy way to look at it is comparing them to birthday candles. If you have 100 lumens, it provides about as much light as 100 birthday candles when 1′ away from your person. If you have 500 lumens, that’s 500 candles. So yeah… this flashlight would be like standing 1′ away from 2,200 candles.

If you are looking for a “blinding” light, look no further. This beam reaches up to 720 meters (2362 feet)! Not only does this light feature 4 different output modes, it also has 2 different flashing modes (strobe and SOS). Also, another awesome feature of this piece is its waterproofing. It comes with IPX-8 waterproofing. That means it can go up to 6.56 feet underwater.

Last, if you are looking for something that leaves your hands free, then a headlamp is for you. My personal favorite headlamp is the Fenix HP11 Headlamp.

Here it is:


The HP11 is a total high performance headlamp that is more than willing to keep up with all of your outdoor activities. It has a generous output of 277 lumens. Also, it has the Cree XP-G LED in it, which has a lifespan of roughly 50,000 hours. My favorite thing about this lamp is that the light and the battery are separated. The light being on the front and the battery being on the back so you don’t have to strap it to your head as hard. It is a very comfortable light to carry.

When putting together, or updating you kit, keep this in mind and I hope it will at least point you in the right direction.

Fenix Flashlights

Around this time of year we start gearing up for the holidays. Now mind you, we’re not talking about Wal-Mart caliber preparations. We don’t have 100,000 square feet to dedicate to ghost masks, plastic turkeys and blinking lights (heaven knows we wish we did). Our preparations are much more mundane. We have meetings to try and figure out products are going to be hot, which items to start stocking up on and we hire a slew of temp workers that we will discard without remorse once their soul had been destroyed the the “holiday cheer.” It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as the song goes. Where was I? Oh yes…

So this time of year we start gearing up for the holidays and one of the things that we think make great gifts are Fenix Flashlights. Fenix has a huge selection of flashlights and there’s literally something for everyone. The tiny E01 series for a car or purse, Headlamps for the adventurer (and there are all kinds of  “adventurers” : the brave spelunker, the fearless mountain explorer or the foolhardy hero who decides  to “fix” that fuel pump themselves) and tactical flashlights for the lawman who has everything. In short, flashlights make great gifts.

I never really appreciated how good good flashlights can be. I grew up with the incandescent garbage that you now find in dollar stores (and I’m not trying to be insensitive, but once you’ve had a good flashlight you can’t go back and a good flashlight doesn’t have to cost a fortune). One of my very first nice lights was actually a Surefire flashlight. I think it was actually the first LED flashlight that I ever owned. I loved that light, but I confess that it was a little bulky. It served me well for two years before finally succumbing to the brutality of my children. I replaced it with the compact Fenix PD31. I love that light and used it for everything. However, after a repair on a friend’s car it drove off into the night (with his car) and was lost. I’m really eyeing the new PD30 now. But I digress…  My point was that a really good flashlight is an essential tool for just about everyone. Even if you think you don’t need a good flashlight you’d find yourself wondering how you ever lived without one.

Anyway!  I put together a quick list of Fenix Lights that would make great gifts:

The Fenix E01 is a super compact light comes in a ton of great colors. It’s a little less than 3″ and it’s under $13.00. It’s small size makes it ideal to keep just about anywhere (pants, purse, car, emergency kit, etc). At 10 lumens it’s not super bright, but it’s better than being in the dark!


The Fenix PD30 series is a great entry level LED flashlight. Adjustable between 10 lumens and over 200 lumens this light offers a lot of options. At a little over 4.5″ the PD30 series is a still small enough to conveniently carry and makes a great toolbox or car kit accessory. The PD30 is right around $45.


If you’re looking for something bigger (and a lot brighter) then the Fenix TK30 might be what you need. With an output of up to 630 lumens and a beam distance of 225 meters the TK30 is built for serious lighting. The TK30 has so many operation modes it’s mind blowing. $130.


Finally if you need an inexpensive headlamp then the Fenix HL21 should be just the thing. At only $29 it’s a steal. Providing up to 90 lumens and a 50+ hour runtime (lower lumen setting) this hands free light is both sturdy and practical.



So there you have it! A couple of fun gift ideas that should work for just about anyone. Men, women, even kids will all appreciate the excellent portable lighting that Fenix provides. Happy shopping.

Resources: Fenix Flashlights, Surefire Flashlights.

Posted October 31, 2011 (Happy Halloween).  


A Brief History of Time… no, Flashlights.

Flashlights, the other White Meat. A brief history and overview of the world’s most popular portable illumination tool.

The flashlight is a pretty recent invention.  Before 1896 if you needed to visit the outhouse late at night or look for lost treasures in a dark closet you would most likely use a candle or a kerosene lamp.  Occasionally accidents and fires arose from using either of them.   This was a problem.

Into the picture comes Russian immigrant Akiba Horowitz, who changed his name to Conrad Hubert when he came to America.  He was a successful business man in the distillery business back in homeland.  When he came to America there wasn’t much opportunity for him to start again, so he decided to try his hand at a few different things including a cigar store, a restaurant, a boarding house, a jewelry store, a farm, a milk wagon route and finally a novelty shop.

At his novelty shop worked David Misell, an English inventor who on March 12, 1898 filed a patent under his employer for a “electric device” which was powered by “D” batteries which were invented in 1896.  On January 10, 1899, American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company obtained U.S. Patent No. 617,592.

The first flashlights were crude at best, a couple of “D” batteries laid front to back in a paper tube with a bulb and reflector on the end.  These flashlights used zinc-carbon batteries which couldn’t sustain a constant flow of electricity and needed short periods of rest.  They also used inefficient carbon filament bulbs.  So you could use them in short bursts.  Hence, the term “flashlight” came about.
Throughout the years many improvements have been made to every aspect of the flashlight.

Today we have many different types of batteries to choose both single use and rechargeable batteries including alkaline, lithium, NiCd, NiMH just to name a few.  With the bulbs there are incandescent (xenon, halogen, krypton), fluorescent, LED (light emitting diode).  The body of a flashlight can be made from plastic, aluminum, stainless steel and titanium to name a few.

By Spencer Carbajal

Flashlight Companies that Brighten Our Lives

Here is some basic information and few links to some of our favorite and well regarded flashlight manufacturers! Our goal is to carry every product by every one of the manufacturers listed below (lofty, we know). Is there something you want to see us carry or review? Drop us a line!

AE Powerlight – AE Powerlight is regarded as in innovator of HID electronic ballasts (EB) and of high performance portable lightning (HPPL) solutions. Their EBs and HPPLs are used in extreme applications where overall build quality is the primary consideration. AE Powelight’s commitment to design, manufacturing quality, effectiveness and strength is evident. While their HID handheld searchlights were designed for search & rescue operations (for LEO and military applications), they are also well suited for recreational use.

4Sevens – Although 4sevens started out as a retail store about three years ago they began to manufacture their own flashlight brand. 4sevens flashlights are well regarded as high quality quality yet affordable. They incorporate the latest flashlight technology into their carefully designed models. It’s evident from using a 4sevens model that they are passionate about their research, the newest flashlight technology (i.e. LEDs, circuitry, materials) and innovation.

Black Diamond – Black Diamond is committed to the best gear. Making it, using it, selling it. Their products are geared toward climbers and skiers but the Black Diamond headlamps are perfect for backpackers and for your emergency preparedness kits.

Eagle Tac -Eagle Tac us based out of Arizona and produces tactical flashlights with an emphasis on precision. Their flashlights are used by law enforcement and rescue teams who demand the best. Eagle Tac flashlights include advances features like electronic output regulation as well as refined brightness controls.

FenixFenix flashlights are brand to keep an eye on! The name, Fenix, comes from a word in Chinese that means “perfect thing.” The phoenix is perfect and blessed in Chinese culture. Since their inception Fenix has tried to create the perfect flashlight. Fenix’s commitment to innovation is second to none. In fact Fenix was the first major manufacturer to bring a quality single AA battery LED to the market. Innovation and quality has allowed Fenix to become of the most well regarded LED flashlight manufacturers in the world.

Icon – Icon flashlights were conceived from simultaneous obsession with design and technology. Every part of an Icon flashlight must enchance the performance and the user’s experience. Using accomplished designers and world class engineers each flashlight turns out beautifully. Output, appearance are spectacular and the flashlights are within anyone’s reach.

Inova – Inova is a division of NiteIze. They specialize in high quality LED flashlight and are well known in the world of portable lighting. Inova flashlights are available in models suitable for recreations and professional (tacticsl) use.

JET Beam - JETBeam was founded in 2004 and they specializes in LED lighting solution. JETbeam flashlights showcase the most advanced LED light technology and the highest standard of materials and workmanship. JETBeam products boast amazing performance, beautiful design and superior quality.

Maglite – Maglite has been part of the Flashlight game since 1979 and is known worldwide. Used by policemen, firefighters, military and mechanics the Maglite is perfect and can generally be found in any environment. Maglite has always been committed to flashlight innovation & refinement as evidenced by their rechargeable flashlight system. Maglite flashlights remains a respected stndard in the flashlight industry.

NexTorch- Since their inception Nextorch’s only focus was creating superior portable lightning products. Advanced lightning technology creatures durability, longevity and lightweight ergonomic carry. Nextorch flashlights feature rugged aluminum bodies (6061-T6) with Mil-Spc Type III anodizing. In short, Nextorch offers “The Brilliant Solution” for portable lighting application.

Nova Tac - With a focus on every day carry (EDC) flashlights Nova Tac has emerged as a leading developer of practical and convenient flashlights. They spent time and energy to make their EDC flashlight lines military compliant. Many NovaTac flashlights as used by the United Sates Army. NovaTac is also the developer of a remote pressure switch allowing some of their flashlights to be operated remotely.

Olight -Olight specializes in LED lightning. Their driving paradigm is to make the best most advanced flashlights on earth yet still make them affordable without compromising quality. Olight flashlights fulfill a variety of needs and many models are available to suit specific tasks.

Pelican – Pelican started operating in 1974 making high performance dive lighting. Today they are a respected player in the advanced lightning manufacturer circle. Pelican is dedicated to always  improving their products and their service

Princeton Tec – Princeton Tec has been manufacturing and building lights for over thirty years. Their drive and focus is the human spirit- it pushes technology and design to new levels. At Princeton Tec it’s critical that the user has the best lighting solution and that the lighting technology is appropriate for the intended use. Princeton Tec headlamps are the perfect illumination gear for adventure and any emergency.

Streamlight -Steamlight learns by doing with the intend to develop products that their customers need. If you work at Streamlight then you use Streamlite products. You through firefighter training, take courses in low light shooting and are usually a hunter, fisherman or an outdoor enthusiast. This type of hands-on experience has led them to innovate and create products that set Surefire apart from the competition which is why many regard Streamlite flashlights as the best.

Surefire – Surefire was started back in 1969 with the intention to use lasers for industrial applications. In 1979 the Surefire team created and patented the first laser sight for a gun. This innovation quickly led to the creation of a gun / weapon mounted flashlight. Surefire then established themselves as on of the leading manufacturers of compact and tough illumination tools for all types of tactical applications. Surefire is now synonymous with flashlight and illumination tool excellence. Surefire flashlights are top tier and renowned worldwide.

Xeno - Xeno has been making flashlights cine 1999 and has been one of the leaders in flashlight innovation ever since. Xeno flashlights are tough lights with a price anyone can afford.

Do you Manufacture Flashlights and you’e not on our list! Drop us a line- we’d love to carry your products and feature you on our blog!