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What do you think is the optimal lumens for a weapons light?

This is supposed to be a survivalist forum, so lets talk post SHTF. You and your family have planted a nice plot of peas, cucumbers, squash, snap beans,,,, and whatever else you want.

To stop people from looting the garden, and to keep an eye out for wildlife that might be eating the young sprouts, you form teams of 3 or 4 people to check the field.

You and your team walk out to the field, you bring your shotgun up in the firing position and turn on your light. What lumen light do you want mounted on your weapon?

A few months ago my kids and I went to the camp. While we were there we walked around a couple of the fields at night. On my AR-15 was a Surefire 200 lumen light. With the Surefire I was able to light up a good bit of the field.

In comparison, I got a 125 lumen light. which did not seem to light up the field as well.

I can really tell the difference between the 200 and the 125 lumen lights, which is a no-brainier.

The only real purpose of the light is to get an idea where the target is at. From there, put the red dot from the scope on the target.

Couple of things with buying the 200 lumen lights - higher cost and lower battery life.

If you have the money to buy the 200 lumen lights, I suggest you go ahead and do it. From what I have seen with the 125 lumen light, I doubt I will be buying anything less then 15 - 175 lumens, with 200 lumens being more the target.

with a shotgun you probably will not be shooting past 25 - 50 yards anyway. Does a shotgun really need a 200 lumen light?
 

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I have a surefire x300 for my pistol (1911) and a m962 (for the AR) that uses 125 and 225 lumen bulbs. Haven't had the chance to test the 225 lumen bulb but the 125 is great for the house. Looking for a another m962 for my ak and 870 to share.
 

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There's a lot to lighting past lumens. A 125 lumen light with the right optic can be perceived as a "brighter" light than the 200 lumen. The human eye isn't really able to tell a huge difference in small increments of light. What you want is a light with a bright "hot spot" and a decent amount of spill. Really I'm gonna wait on my next weapon light purchase since Surefire displayed some amazing stuff at SHOT this year. Pretty much all their lights are gonna be pumping in excess of 500 lumens with amazing run times.

That being said at this point in time Its hard to beat the Surefire Scout line, X300, X400. And for a bright budget light the Streamlight TLR-1 can be had for around $100 online.

All the information you could ever DREAM of related to handheld flashlights and weapon lights... www.candlepowerforums.com
 

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I have the Surefire M962XM07 (actually I have the entire M962 KIT01, got it off ebay for about $65.00) for my Smith & Wesson M&P15, anyway the kit comes with the 125 lumens for one hour per set of 3 batteries and 225-lumens for 20 minutes per set of 3 batteries, I keep the 125 lumen on it due to the fact that the battery life lasts longer even with momentary use. Plus I added the beam diffuser that came with the kit that really spreads the beam out for a wider range. This is just my personal opinion but with money these days being as tight as it is I look for longer battery life rather than brighter beam. Those 123 batteries ain't cheap.
 

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Calvary you reminded me, beam Diffusers are great! If you get a light with a1" bezel Surefire has that flip away beam diffuser and that gives you the best of both worlds. Your light can have a nice throw out in the field but if you need to clear a house you flip your diffuser back over the beam and have a wall of light.
 

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I have a Surefire M962 on one of my ARs and put the TX-4 Cree 600 lumen LED head on it. Talk about bright!!! It doesn't have any IR output like the Surefire KM4 head, but it does kick out the white light.

I got the LED head unit from TNVC Here is the page link
 

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I have a Fenix TK21 mounted on my AR (a Fenix TK11 on my M&P 15-22).

The Fenix TK21 has 449 lumen potential power output, however, depending on the setting (4 of them), output can also be as low as only 4 lumens (220 hours). Here is a quick breakdown of the TK21:

449 lumens (turbo); 172 lumens (high); 56 lumens (mid); 4 lumens (low)

This, for me, is ideal. I like being able to light up a perp., field, room, etc. if necessary; but also have the option for low output for extended use.

Btw, I also picked up the following 300 lumen 5Watt 18650 3 Mode CREE LED for much less:
While it is no Fenix, I have to say, when we lost power due to a freak ice storm on Halloween I simply could not believe how well it lit up rooms. This might not be a bad option for mounting either, but it has no memory for the settings and no quick on/off ability.
 

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My 125 lumen Streamlight does pretty good out to 100 yards. I have no doubt that I could pick off a rabbit through the scope at 75 yards.

That said, I wish I had a brighter light but I just cant see paying $300 for a flashlight. Heck, I nearly choked on the $75 for the Streamlight, I just couldnt figure out how to mount my 4D Maglight on my AR.
 

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My 125 lumen Streamlight does pretty good out to 100 yards. I have no doubt that I could pick off a rabbit through the scope at 75 yards.

That said, I wish I had a brighter light but I just cant see paying $300 for a flashlight. Heck, I nearly choked on the $75 for the Streamlight, I just couldnt figure out how to mount my 4D Maglight on my AR.
Mounting a mag light is easy. Just use hose clamps. Lol.
 

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The 200 lumen scout lights while expensive work very well. As far as light is concerned , if you can't tell the difference between 100 and 200,Your optomitrist need a visit.
 

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I have a Pelican M6 on a rifle and a G3 in my pocket. the M6 seems fine for anything I would feel comfortable shooting at night(65 yards) the G3 isnt much brighter, tho. When I looked up the spec for the bulbs I have, the M3 is only 65 lumens and the G3 claims 200 lumens, with the P90 bulb.

The M6 is going on the same bulb and has 3 time the use as the G3 and the G3 is on its 3rd bulb. I really like the M6 alot better despite the lower light output. I can replace the whole M6 for the price of a G3s P90 bulb which makes it seem a better deal to me, it's all I need I guess.
 

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I like the Scout light from Surefire but like you said more lumens=more money, the 200+ lumen lights are the way to fly though they eat batteries.

I like having IR capability, if you combine it with a good NVG system then you can own the night without the white light giving your position away.
 

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something else to consider post SHTF. is type of batteries, and wheather thay can be recharged or replaced easily. if you can, find a light that uses AA or AAA batteries, because i doubt you'll be able to find anything 'exotic' (button cells or CR123) after SHTF.

whats the point of spending lots of cash on a light if you can't even use it?
 

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I use a Fenix TK11 in a Viking Tactics mount. The Fenix is dual mode. 285 lumens on high, and 60 lumens on low. Just twist the bezel to switch modes. At around $100 for both the light and mount, you can't beat that price.

As far as hard to find batteries, you can get a pair of Li-Ion 18650 2700 mAh rechargeable batteries and charger for about $30.
 

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Surefire, as many lumens as you can handle weight and size wise mounted on your rifle. I have a Elzetta off set mount on my Rock River Elite Operator and like it alot.
 

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something else to consider post SHTF. is type of batteries, and wheather thay can be recharged or replaced easily. if you can, find a light that uses AA or AAA batteries, because i doubt you'll be able to find anything 'exotic' (button cells or CR123) after SHTF.

whats the point of spending lots of cash on a light if you can't even use it?
The problem is AA's and AAA'S aren't strong enough to fully power today's emitters. Not to mention regular ones will all be trash after a couple years. Lithium has a 10 year shelf life but if your gonna pay the prices to stockpile lithium AA's you might as well be stocking CR123a's
 

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I've got a variety; from Surefire G2LED's in QD mounts to X300's ranging from 80-200 lumens and a couple of ones in between. As for lighting up the night the 200 lumen Surefires are awesome as you said, nice and bright with a long throw. However, inside I think I'm partial to the 80 range. Maybe if all the walls in your house are a dark color the 200 would be ok but with white walls its very easy to get blinded by the bounce back.
 

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I hunt Coyotes at night, at least 3 or 4 nights a week from mid November through mid February, so I use lights a lot. On my 223 I use a Red LED light from Elusive Wildlife Technologies. It is the model XLR 250. This light will let you identify coyote sized animals out to 200 yards. For nights when it is foggy or hazy and I need more light I use an Ultrafire Q5 with a white LED. You will see the Q5 Ultrafire advertised as 500 - 600 lumens, but 350 would be more realistic. You can buy the Ultrafire for around $15 to $20.00....a little more if you want a charger and an extra battery. Both of the above lights use either a single 18650 or (2) 123 size batteries. The XLR 250 comes with both rifle and shotgun mounts as well as a charger and 2 batteries for around $139.00

You can order the Ultrafire from ebay, gadgettown.com or dealextreme.com and add a rifle or shotgun mount for about $7.00. Either of those lights mounts nicely to the rail on an AR or shotgun barrel or directly to your scope. Most of the predator hunters use them either on the AR rail or mounted to the scope on a bolt action rifle.

If you want something that throws more of a flood and is a little more compact, then look at the Elusive Wildlife Technologies XLR 100 or the Ultrafire 501B. The XLR 100 is about $50.00 and the Ultrafire 501B can be found for around $10 to $15.00. Either of those is good out to 75 to 100 yards on a rifle and as far as a shotgun is capable of taking game.

For a lot more information on what works go to predatormastors.com and visit the forums there. Scroll down and click on the "Night Hunting" and there are several threads on gun mounted lights. Don't let the price of the Ultrafire fool you....they are good dependable lights.
 
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