Le 23 mai 2008, par Sharpshooter
I’ve had an enlightening couple of days, playing with some new lights from PEAK LED Solutions.
I’m not as well versed with lights as some people, lumins and candlepower confuse me and I’m still trying to figure out what Watt who perfected the steam engine in the 1760s has to do with Flashlights in 2008. I’m not afraid of the dark so I don’t live and die by my ability to carry enough light to keep the boogie man away.
What I do know is what works and what doesn’t. These two new lights work, spectacularly.
I’ve had the First Responder from PEAK for a couple of months and it’s knocked around in my Jeep for most of that time. The First Responder is the largest light I’ve seen from PEAK, it’s a brute, intended for Law Enforcement it has to be. The first thing I noticed about it was the size of the head, 1.6” in diameter and covered with what look like cooling fins on an aircraft engine. I was right about the cooling fins, the three super bright LEDs do generate considerable heat.
Next I noticed the silver colored knob sticking out of the head, a brightness control that allows you to vary the output from ½ to 9 Watts. In layman’s terms, from just a little bit to a whole bunch of light. A brightness control may seem silly to some people but it makes infinite sense to me ; you can have too much light.
Night vision is important in many situations, bringing over 400 Lumen into a totally dark environment could certainly cause temporary night blindness. A car headlight is about 1000 Lumen so we’re talking about a bunch of light from a very small package, the deer in the headlights analogy is certainly understandable. Three LEDs in the head make sense as well, as I always recommend the 3 LED configuration in the Matterhorn, lose one and you have two remaining to finish up the shift.
I may want a small amount of light to look into a dark corner or to find something I dropped, the full power beam would negatively effect my night vision and could telegraph my position. Turning the power down to ½ watt gives me just enough light ; turning the knob fully clockwise instantly gives me the massive beam of light that actually hurts to look into. It’s a great idea flawlessly carried out.
Options and versatility seem to have been the design goal for the First Responder. Not only do you have control of how bright the light is, you can choose from NINE different battery configurations.
I started with CR123s since I had a few left in the box I bought a year ago. 2 CR123s worked very well. In the package from Robyn was a tube that looked to fit onto the body between the head and battery tube. I was right, by adding the tube I could run the First Responder with THREE “AA” batteries, leave the tube out and it will run on two “AA”s.
I never heard of 18650 or 17650 batteries, but that was rectified easily by ordering a couple with a recharger. The 18650 reminds me of two CR 123s in line. Rechargeable batteries make a lot of sense to me and the ability to carry ONE big battery instead of two small ones is even more attractive ; my First Responder will be filled with the 18650 and I’ll save the CR123s for my Mediterranean.
The pushbutton switch on the butt of the light is a great idea, again impeccably executed. You can click it on or maintain pressure for a momentary on. The rubber boot over the switch seems sturdy enough to survive years of service while maintaining good sensitivity.
I also like the removable collar that serves to prevent accidental actuation of the switch while giving still easy access, well thought out.
In all I like the First Responder, it’s everything I could imagine a light should be.
The First Responder was my favorite light from PEAK until the Night Patrol arrived.
The Night Patrol is a bit smaller than it’s predecessor, shorter, lighter and smaller in diameter. What PEAK didn’t shrink is the quality and usefulness standard.
The Night Patrol head is much simpler, a single LED, 1.25” in diameter. The head of the Night Patrol is set up with something I’ve never seen, a columnating lens which focuses the light from the P4 LED into a tight spot that measures 220 lumen.
The NEW Night Patrol lacks some of the options the First Responder, quality wasn’t lost in the translation. The terrific butt switch is there as are some battery options in the offing.
PEAK seems to have taken the position that everyone has a favorite flavor of ice cream so why not batteries as well. CR123, RCR123, 18650, 17650, AA... it’s nice to know that whatever batteries you can find will work in these new lights.
I like the both, a lot. So much that I came up with a carrier for these lights and will be swapping them out to decide which one I like best. Like knives, the Flashlight EDC rotation shouldn’t be boring.
I have figured out that the body’s can be swapped between the two lights, perfect for the Bark River Fan, we have versatility. Currently I’m carrying the Night Patrol Head on the "Combat" body that came with my 1st Responder. It’s a pretty cool setup.
Nice stuff Robyn and Crew... keep ’em coming.
I prefer PEAK over arc by a large margin. The PEAK Lights seem to me to be more advancing technology and are more versatile in design.
Three LEDs make a lot of sense for a light being used in outdoor situations, I’ve used the PEAK Matterhorn for several years.
Sharpshooter— Great review on the Peak flashlights ! I didn’t realize they had so many different battery options. It sounds like they are very high quality which is somewhat of a rarity nowadays. Thanks for sharing your observations and nice photos !
Sharpshooter— In your reference to the Peak Matterhorn flashlight you mention that you can "detach" it by unscrewing the bottom lug "if you need both hands free". How are both hands free after you detach it ? I just ordered a Peak Matterhorn 3-LED flashlight and am anxiously waiting for it to arrive !