When buying gear you sometimes end up paying for advertise and brand name, while other times you’re buying quality tools that will serve you well a lifetime and beyond.
The Surefire G2 is a good example of such tool.
The first G2, (and the first Surefire I owned) was a gift from a good American friend.
Having been used to a big old 3-D cell Maglite, the handy sized yet powerful flashlight was a real treat as a bedside light. Goes along well with a handgun for when things go bump in the night and you need to check things out.
Several years went by and the LED revolution changed the way we view flashlights and their possible applications.
Gone are the days of dim, blue tinted LED. Today, thanks to manufacturers such as Cree as well as a few others, there is such a thing as too bright.
It happened with Maglites and it happened to the Surefire as well: When you have a quality product that sets a milestone like the G2/P60 did, the market will usually offer you ways to “update” the tool and use modern technology in the time proven design.
Classic. A couple of Surefire G2. Shown with original and replacement drop in R2 LED lamp. Also in teh picture, the SureFire SC1 Spares Carrier which safely stores 6 batteries and a replacement lamp.
The Cree R2 Lamp for P60
Cree LED R2 compared to the original Xenon lamp. Top to bottom, High, mid and Low.
The R2 is one of the latest models of LED made by Cree.
One of the things I like the most about the Q and R family is the way it achieves a satisfactory white light. (The Q5 and R2 are both very good, bright LEDs)
White can be divided into the infinite array of colors. When you combine all other colors you get white.
If you ever tried doing that with paint you know how hard it is to reach pure white, its about impossible. LEDs aren’t really white, they achieve white by combining other colors, this is why it’s common to find LEDs that have a slight violet or blue tint to it.
This particular replacement R2 lamp has a 5 mode setting, switched by clicking or twisting on/off. High-Mid-Low-Strobe-S.O.S. There are other’s available with les modes or no modes at all, just High.
The Mid Led, is somewhat similar to the original 90 lumen output, and High can be put in the 150 lumen range easily.
The R2 has a couple darker rings and the spill isn’t as uniform as in the original Xenon P60, 6V lamp.
The R2 clearly has better throw, concentrating the bright spot at greater range.
The R2 can also handle rechargeable 3.6 V Li-Ion 123 batteries, which would destroy an ordinary Xenon lamp as soon as you try it (don’t try it, it burns it the second it makes contact)
More Power, More Versatility.
Now, this not only means you end up with a more powerful light and greater runtime, it also means you have more options and functions, some which were unthinkable with the original G2.
The lamp has memory setup, so it adapts to your applications, using the same mode you did last time.
For example if you use it as a tactical light, and used it to inspect a noise the previous night, as long as you don’t tap on it again and change modes, the next time you turn it on it will also be on High. Same for the other modes as well.
The Low and Mid modes are more than enough for walking around the woods, might even be too bright if you want to go unnoticed and would require a red filter, but most times you just want to see well and just be able to walk around.
The SOS and strobe modes aren’t of much use but I bet you’d love it if you get lost while trekking or get injured and need to be rescued.
The Mid mode works for general purpose chores where High might be too bright for using the light at close range (repairs and such).
For survival application such as needing light for several nights or being many days without power, the Low mode is still bright enough and it can go for over 20 hours using good batteries.
I got the Cree R2 replacement lamp form DealExtreme. Cree R2 Drop in 5-Mode I had to remove teh coil for propper fitting in my G2.
As of right now, I bought several products in DealExtreme but in all honesty there are two orders that simply didn’t arrive and it’s been almost two months now.
As I expected, prices are good, and the products are mostly ok (bought several flashlights and other items), but there are some “Made in China” kind of problems such as defective products and shipping problems. It is a bit of a gamble.
If you don’t want to take the risk, there’s Amazon.
Amazon only ships books to Argentina, so that’s not an option for me.
They do have original Surefire LED replacement which even without testing I’m sure are of superb quality like the rest of their products.
SureFire P60L LED Reflector Assembly
Cree Q5 Drop in Module (single mode-80 lumens 12 hours)
Cree Q5 LED Drop-in Module (3.7V~18V Input)
(The Q5 is pretty much teh same, this one is sinlge mode, the R2 is a bit better)
Cree R2 Drop in 5-Mode