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Author Topic: Is Streamlight's "High Performance C4 LED" any good? I'm not impressed...  (Read 24069 times)
Heyimjack
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« on: April 24, 2008, 04:50:21 PM »

So....Here's the claim:

"Streamlight introduces a whole new kind of LED. With a brighter, more powerful, blinding light than any LED thatís come before. The new Streamlight-engineered reflector with C4 Photonic Crystal technology almost triples the brightness and creates an intense beam that pierces the darkness. So you get the long-run times and indestructibility of an LED with a new level of brightness that leaves other LEDs in the dark. Since the Super Tac flashlight is equipped with powerful C4 LEDs, they are the perfect solution for a wide range of professional tasks that require extreme brightness, while benefiting from exceptionally long run times. The enhanced LEDS are made possible by a new development in laser chip manufacturing called Controlled Collapse Chip Connection or "C4". Because no two LEDs are precisely alike, Streamlight has carefully selected only LED suppliers that incorporate world-class technology in order to consistently produce 'prime cut' power LEDS for our Super Tac flashlight. This means that our customers can be assured that the Streamlight Super Tac flashlight with C4 LEDs are consistently bright, with improved light output efficiency."


Wow...ALL THAT and it's 135 lumens for 3.5 regulated hours... For a $119.95 MSRP ($89.95 Street Retail)

I'm not even going to shamelessly tout our lights on this one, cause honestly? I think Dorcy and Garrity have lights that are outperforming this thing...

Here's the link for reference...
http://www.streamlight-flashlights.com/supertac.html



* STREAMLIGHT --- 8870 Super Tac C4.JPG (7.62 KB, 300x187 - viewed 408 times.)
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 04:52:29 PM by Heyimjack » Logged

nightcrawler
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2008, 05:14:18 PM »

You gotta love marketing folks, right? grin

I can't say too much bad about Streamlight's use of hype and terminology, since many other manufacturers are guilty of doing the same thing...but it is silly for those of us who see through it all.

Quote from:  flipchips.com

Second generation flip chip might be said to have begun with IBM's introduction of their Controlled Collapse Chip Connection, or C4 (C4) process. This was their second flip chip technology and came the year after the SLT launch of 1964.


Yup...that's some new technology alright. Not.

I also love how the English language gets mangled in marketing stuff like this....

"...brighter, more powerful, blinding light than any LED thatís come before." Really? Before what?

"...almost triples the brightness" Compared to what?

"...Streamlight has carefully selected only LED suppliers that incorporate world-class technology" (That means they are using Crees or Luxeons.)



Remember, I get to actually look for this stuff and read it every damn day.

Fact is, it just reminds me that I don't have the ethics to work in marketing. grin
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TigerhawkT3
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2008, 10:12:33 PM »

Please note that the "enthusiastic" marketing copy you're quoting is not from Streamlight. It's from a dealer.

What emitter, exactly, is in there? Some searching reveals a connection between this "C4" technology and "flip-chip," so the best guess I have is that it's a K2 TFFC or a Rebel. Those are indeed quite good. 135L is around three times as bright as a well-driven LuxI (40-50L).

I'd say it's more like it's regulated for 2.5h, with a total (to 10% output) runtime of 3.5h. And look at that - there's actually a runtime graph both on SL's website and the quoted retailer's! That's quite rare.

Overall, it looks like a very nice product, with a mostly reasonable price. If I was looking for a light with its characteristics, I'd probably pick one up.

BTW, did anyone notice that they're putting this "C4" (Rebel or new K2, or other) emitter into many of their other lights as well? It's like a Seoul upgrade right out of the box. Of particular interest to me is the updated Argo HP, as I really like my older Seouled one.
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2008, 10:41:30 PM »

Yeah, the copy is quoted from an independent dealer (that's what the link is to)...but it's still Streamlight's copy. I checked their site to make sure.

I don't think anyone is saying it's not a decent enough light, but in comparison to some of the stuff that's readily available now, it's not really cutting-edge.


Which makes me wonder...are the days of high lumen claims for flashlights coming to an end? I mean, LED technology has room for improvement, but not to the degree we've all seen over the last five years or so. When anyone can buy a 225 lumen light for $5.99 at their grocery store checkout, will an extra 50 or 100 lumens really be a selling point anymore?
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TigerhawkT3
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2008, 11:43:19 PM »

I didn't find that on Streamlight's site. I must not have looked in the right place. Got a linky?
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2008, 11:53:32 PM »

If you go to this page....

Super Tacô

and then click on the red-highlighted 'C4 LED' link you get this....

'C4 LED'

It's only the beginning of the marketing text on the dealer's site, but it is word for word,  believe. I'm only guessing that the rest of the copy is Streamlight material. I do know that many manufacturers require prior approval of any ad copy that is associated with their products...in fact many write all of it for the sake of consistency and to prevent any possible legal liability.
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fatlight
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2008, 12:27:23 AM »

I think the Super Tac is meant to compete with Pelicans 7060 LAPD light. I think it came out pretty close to the same time. But, it doesn't have strobe capability and there are other differences. I like Streamlight products too but they need to go ahead and jump into the fray and put something out with some higher lumens. Isn't this their brightest LED light?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2008, 12:30:34 PM by fatlight » Logged
nightcrawler
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2008, 12:32:25 AM »

It's sort of funny, and maybe Heyimjack can chime in with an opinion on this, but I think the way that Mag Instruments moved into the LED market (slowly...very, very slowly) is an indication that the bigger the company, the slower the innovation.

I know with Mag there were issues with any new lights conforming to their existing assembly and production lines, and needing more LEDs of a standard quality than a smaller company would need. I don't know how much Streamlight is effected by these sorts of issues. And of course, the mindset of management makes a huge difference also in terms of how quickly a company adopts new technologies.
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fatlight
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2008, 12:38:23 AM »

Yep, your absolutely right NC. But I am afraid that if Streamlight and other makers don't get on with the program they are going to wake up and find that they have been left behind. Just ask any American auto maker whether or not it can happen.
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Rotoryacht
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2008, 10:20:01 AM »

I love Steamlights marketing! "CR4" ha ha

I bought a Top Gun MK1 from this place and love it. It has an in-car charger and has a very nice beam with about a 500 foot range and 200 Lumens, CREE 3 of course. This last about 5 hours on full charge at 100% power mode, 15 hours at 25% power mode and it also has a strobe feature.

Specialized Lights LLC
http://www.specializedlights.com




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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2008, 10:48:18 AM »

Welcome to FNF Rotoryacht!!

That's the great thing about the flashlight industry, and why I'm so fascinated by it. There are still very few barriers to entry for companies that want to try to innovate. The other side of this coin is that it's sometimes very hard for them to get the attention they need marketing-wise, because there are so many manufacturers and dealers. But it does keep it interesting.

BTW, I think I read a promo for the 'TopGun' lights at one time, but hadn't ever heard any user feedback on them...they sound like decent products though.
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TigerhawkT3
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2008, 08:25:47 PM »

A thread on CPF (don't remember which) confirmed my guess that the "C4" LED is just a K2 TFFC.
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2008, 11:48:33 AM »

based upon the two StreamLight headlamps ('08 Argo and '08 ArgoHP) that i have, both of which StreamLight claims to be using the brand spankin' new C4 LED technology, i would have to say that the C4 is a Cree of some non-premium and indeterminate bin.   

the LEDs in these two headlamps look exactly like a Cree in any of Fenix flashlights.

i'm assuming here that the StreamLight flashlights are using LEDs similar to their headlamps.
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CtheLight
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2008, 01:43:13 PM »

Yes it is good, it is VERY good, it is brighter and a much better thrower than any light I own. Do not DARE be fooled by the 133 lumen claim. Think more like 300.....the hot spot is extremly, almost offendly hot. It will keep the circle at 900 feet. BUT it is bulky and it looks like a bell....I don't care, I love it.
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2009, 08:49:29 PM »

A friend of mine just got one.  I looked at the LED and I have to agree with half-watt I also too think it a CREE.  Probably a Q5.  It's o.k. pretty bright.  My R2 kicks it ass.   The only thing I like about this flashlight is their rechargeable features.  Build in rechargeable,no having to take batteries out to charge.  Just slam in the charger and that's it.     Just my 2 cents... laugh.
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erns
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2009, 10:27:38 PM »


I have a Streamlight Survivor LED.



I had issues with the 3 Watt Luxeon in the Survivor LED and the module was changed to this Led. Sent it back to Streamlight. I have not seen this type of Led so it must be a C4 or K2.



My friend at work has a new Streamlight Stinger and it's definitely a Cree. The Stinger uses an OP reflector and has a nice beam. I'm going to try to take a picture of the reflector with the Cree.

The Stingers I see on different websites show the reflector and they are SMO reflectors.



I don't know if Streamlight is producing the Stingers with the 2 different Leds, the K2 and Cree.

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fatlight
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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2009, 11:21:47 PM »

I think the newest stingers have Cree's in them Probably Q4'S. The Super Tac uses a  K2 TFFC . The Super Tac is a very underrated light. Both by enthusiasts and by Streamlight. It is much brighter than the advertised 135 lumen's and throws extremely well. Different strokes for different folk's, but I think the Super Tac is the most under rated 2 cr123 light on themarket. Just my 2 cents worth grin
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gearhounds
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« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2009, 06:05:29 AM »

I sent my Stinger LED back to Streamlight with a driver problem and they replaced it's original 80 lumen K2 with the updated C4. It is definately underrated at a spec'd 140 lumens when bounce tested against my EagletacT100. Still not as bright, but not terribly far off the mark.
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« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2009, 07:58:12 AM »

This is my second comment, I have the Super-Tac and it is amazing. My buddy uses it (pretty much owns it) He is a fire fighter and uses it every day. The battery time is accurate. It throws as far as any light I own. It has a SUPER bright hot spot. It is a magnificent light for the money.
That being said, I also purchased a Stinger C-4 and it was a turd.......
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gearhounds
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« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2009, 01:09:33 PM »

"I also purchased a Stinger C-4 and it was a turd......."

Did you try to focus the beam via the head? The head on mine is so tight that it was hard to figure out that the spot was adjustable. Mine throws fairly well.
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