Tag Archives: 4sevens

4Sevens Preon Li-Ion Beamshots – 200 lumens?

I had heard that using a Li-Ion 10440 cell in a Preon 1 could get close to 200 lumens of output, but I was skeptical. I had to try it for myself. While I have no way to accurately measure lumens, I can say that the claim is absolutely believable and I offer you some beamshots as exhibits. (All photos were taken with a Canon T3i set at 1/320, f/4.0, ISO 400)

Each of the following animated gifs shows 2 side-by-side beams from 2 different 4Sevens Preons on low/med/high and the caption below indicates which beam is which:

1-AAA NiMH/2-AAA  NiMH

This is to be expected. The 4Sevens website states that the Preon 2 more than doubles the lumen counts of the Preon 1(70 lumens to 160).

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 1-AAA NiMH/1-10440 Li-Ion

Again, this is to be expected. We are comparing a 3.7v battery to a 1.5v battery.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 1-10440 Li-Ion/2-AAA  NiMH

This is where I got excited. Not really surprised, but excited that a single cell could so obviously outperform the 2 AAA batteries.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

In Conclusion:

My completely unscientific comparisons found the Preon 1 with the single 10440 Li-Ion battery to be brighter than even the Preon 2 with two AAA NiMH batteries. How much brighter should be measured with a scientific instrument, but I would definitely believe that the Li-Ion Preon 1 is 40+ lumens(25%) brighter than the NiMH Preon 2. It is pretty cool to have access to so many lumens in such a small package.

The batteries used in this comparison were AAA Samsung Eneloops and ICR 10440 350mAh batteries.

The 10440 batteries can be purchased from Super T Manufacturing.

The Samsung Eneloops were purchased from Amazon.com.

Purchase the Preon 1 from Amazon.com for $35

This is not an endorsement for Li-Ion in the Preon and this is not recommended for an EDC setup. The Preon head heats up very quickly and could cause damage to the circuits. Your light will no longer be under warranty. 

Long Time No Post

And I’m very sorry! I will definitely remedy this problem. I have been doing lots of research lately and I realized that it would be a shame not to be sharing the things I am learning. In the meanwhile, go check out my 4Sevens Preon Review posted over at ITSTactical.com:

www.itstactical.com/gearcom/edc/foursevens-preon-p1-flashlight-review-and-clicky-tailcap-modification

4Sevens Preon 1 Vs. Streamlight Microstream

Before the push button/ clicky tailcap modification that Zodiac Engineering did on my 4Sevens Preon 1, I was searching for a better clicky tailcap mechanism for a AAA light.  I was frustrated by the OEM clicky tailcap on the 4Sevens Preon 1, but I read on some forums that it was possible to remove the glued-on Streamlight Microstream head and use it’s body with the 4Sevens Preon head(with a much better interface).  I received my Streamlight Microstream about a week ago and immediately started carrying it to get a feel for the push button.  I have to say that I’m not impressed.  My biggest complaint is how difficult the button is to depress.  On my light, it starts out with the same required pressure as the 4Sevens Preon, but as you reach the bottom where the switch will click, it requires more and more pressure.

Yes, the extra pressure makes it less likely to be turned on in your pocket, but when you are frequently using the light, it makes life miserable for the user.  I’ll continue carrying it for a little longer to see if it grows on me, but as of right now, I’m ready to head back to the 4Sevens Preon 1 with the push button/ clicky tailcap modified by Zodiac Engineering.

Here are some photos comparing the 2 lights:

 

 

 

4Sevens Preon Clicky Tailcap Modification by Zodiac Engineering

I saw a photo of a modified Titanium tailcap on the Zodiac Engineering website back in November and e-mailed Ken about doing the modification for me.  I shipped him a Ti clicky tailcap directly from 4Sevens and 7 days from his receipt, it was out the door and on the way to me.  He was also kind enough to take some Work-in-progress photos for us all to drool over.  The white background photos are his.

I’ve been using it for several days now and I love it so far. The switch is completely recessed and it’s nice not having to worry about accidentally activating the light when I sit down.

The modification does widen the contact/resting surface and shorten the flashlight a little.  Both characteristics make the light more stable during tailstanding.

The pictures may make it look a little bulky, but the clicky tailcap actually only adds ~10% extra length(Preon 1).

  • Regular static tailcap – 76mm
  • With modified clicky tailcap – 83.5mm

The tailcap width is the exact same as the head(no extra width) and the extra weight is negligible(it’s Ti).

Obviously, every flashlight is a personal decision, but for me, the clicky tailcap is worth the small increase in size.

I can honestly say that I can’t notice a difference when carrying it, even when I’m trying.

In my opinion, it was totally worth the $16+shipping.  It made my favorite little light even better.

So what do you think?

Click on any of the images for a better view:

Selecting An EDC Flashlight

Play

David Chow, founder of 4Sevens flashlights comes on the show to discuss the many aspects of an EDC flashlight.

We discuss:

  • The LED revolution
  • Lumen wars – is more really better?
  • Selecting good batteries
  • Advantages of different interfaces
  • and much more!

 

Modified 4Sevens Titanium Preon Tailcap

Yesterday, I posted about a 4Sevens Preon clicky tailcap modification from Zodiac Engineering.

Here’s what I wrote:

I saw your photo of the modified preon tailcap.  Is that a service you currently offer? At what cost?  Can you tell me any more about the modification?

I received the following response today from Ken at Zodiac Engineering:

Modification consisted of removing the titanium cover and turning down the remaining cap flush with the rubber boot then adding a large chamfer on the ID to allow your thumb to still activate the button.

Modification runs $16 plus return shipping.

So they are removing the metal cap and pressing the rubber boot itself to actuate the switch.  Hmm…

I’m willing to try it out if they do the mod on the regular(non-titanium) tailcaps.

I also wonder how the rubber holds up to heavy use?

 

 

Modified 4Sevens Preon Titanium Push-button Tailcap

According to the Zodiac Engineering website:

Modified @4Sevens Titanium Preon 2 tailcap. Titanium cover removed, retaining ring faced flush with the rubber cover and countersunk deep at 45 degrees to allow access to the switch. This allows the user to stand the light on end as a candle and still retain the guard around the switch to not accidentally turn it on when pushing down into your pocket.

I like the concept of an improved 4Sevens Preon clicky tailcap and I’d love to see how this turned out.

No price is given, but the information was posted two months ago.  I emailed for more information…

4Sevens Preon Modification

Those of you that read my review of the 4Sevens Preon 1 saw that I had a problem with the 4Sevens Preon clicky tailcaps.  It seemed that they collected every piece of dirt or grime within a 20 mile radius.  I had numerous issues with the clicker sticking in one position or the other.  I had heard better things about the tailcap mechanism from the Streamlight Microstream, but I wasn’t too impressed with the light itself.

But what if you could combine the emitter and the guts of the 4Sevens Preon with the body and clicky tailcap(push button) of the Streamlight Microstream?  I hear that you can.  Bear in mind that I have not verified or done this myself yet, but I have read this on three different occasions from three different sources.

I understand that it’s not a quick and easy removal, but it is possible.

Most recommended placing the Microstream body in a vise and using a heatgun(or hair dryer):

 Slowly heat the threads and after every couple of seconds you need to try to twist the head off.  It’s all about slowly heating and twisting the head every couple of seconds. That way you’re not melting the body and head together.

This is not the only way. Someone else had this advice:

Ziploc baggie, boiling water, and a (very) small strapwrench does the trick every time.

Basically, with a little patience you can combine the two lights.

When I get my Microstream, I’ll get some photos while I do the work and let you all know how it goes.

Have any of you already done this?  I’d love to see some pics…

4Sevens Preon 1(1xAAA) Review (photos)

Next to Benchmade Mini GriptilianAfter spending a year with this light, I figure it’s due for a review.  When the 4Sevens Preon 1 was purchased, I was carrying a 4Sevens Quark Mini AA2 as my primary carry light. The Quark Mini AA2 is by no means a large flashlight, but it dwarfed the Preon 1.  By moving to the Preon 1, my EDC light became 2 inches shorter, 21% thinner, and more than 50% lighter.  This translated to a major real world difference and I loved it.

The 4Sevens Preon 1 is a miniscule single AAA light.  According to 4Sevens, it weights .6 ounces.  When I place a AAA battery in one hand and the IMG_1199empty Preon 1 in the other, I can’t decide which is lighter.  In real life, when I clip it in my pocket, I don’t feel it or think about it.  A high compliment for an EDC light.

But what did I lose in performance?  The Quark Mini AA2 puts out 180 lumens maximum vs. the Preon 1’s 70 lumens maximum.  I can honestly say that I have never missed those lumens.  This light isn’t a weapon light, a camping light, or a high-performance light.  This is a small and light always-with-you EDC light.  The Preon 1 lumen settings(Low-1.8, Med-2.5, High-70) are very useful for:

  • Looking for a dropped screw in the dark.
  • Reading in the dark without waking the wife
  • Searching for something under the bed.
  • Examining something more closely in a dark corner.
  • Lighting a dark street while walking.
  • Strobing while crossing a busy road.
  • Spotlighting wandering cows from the roof of our 3 story home.

IMG_1182The 4Sevens Preon 1 is not a tactical light and is not intended for stunning with sudden, blinding light.  The light is activated by twisting/tightening the head.  It’s difficult to do this with one hand and not recommended for a “tactical” situation.  Also, to get to the highest output, you have to cycle through the two lower settings first.  In other words, you cannot quickly and easily turn on the highest light output.  I purchased the clicky tailcap for the Preon 1, but had a number of issues with it sticking or not working.  I really tried to work with it, but I eventually gave up and went back to the regular Preon twist only.

The twist interface is very simple. Twisting and untwisting the head cycles you through the following levels: Low -> Medium -> High -> Low -> Medium -> High -> Special Outputs  You can continue to cycle through the special outputs in the following sequence: Strobe -> S.O.S. -> Beacon (high) -> Beacon (low)IMG_1203

The battery is a snug fit without being tight.  When I shake the light next to my ear, I can’t feel or hear any battery movement inside the body.  The endcap has a traditional conductor spring for tension.

The clip is extremely sturdy.  The clip attaches via loop through which the end cap screws into the main body(see photo below).

IMG_1214

There is no danger of of the pocket clip slipping off.  It came a bit tight for my liking, but it was easily adjusted with a little pulling and I haven’t had to mess with it since.  The end of the clip is extremely close to the base of the light and allows a very deep pocket carry position.  Even if I momentarily stand on my head or jump, the resistance of the deep pocket carry helps hold it in.IMG_1189

The tail of the flashlight is flat and tailstands easily.  I have not been able to find a great diffuser for lantern use, but I hear that the white crazy glue sticks work well.  After they are emptied 😉IMG_1183

The spot portion with the most light is about 2.5” wide when the light is 6” away while the flood area is ~10” wide.  I’m no expert, so I will refer you to this page where you will find beam shot photo comparisons: Candlepowerforums.com 4Sevens Preon 1 Beamshots

IMG_1211

Battery life – Obviously, the battery life will vary with different batteries, but 4Sevens claims don’t seem far fetched when compared to my usage:

  • Low: 1.8 OTF Lumens, 23 hours
  • Medium: 8.5 OTF Lumens, 6 hours
  • High: 70 OTF Lumens, 0.8 hours
  • Strobe 1.6 hours
  • SOS 2.4 hours
  • Beacon (Hi) 8 hours
  • Beacon (Lo) 40 hours

I did not do my own runtime tests, but if you are into that stuff, check out this review: 4Sevens Preon Runtime Tests  The charts and graphs can get pretty nerdy, but it’s good information.IMG_1197

The 4Sevens Preon line is very customizable.  You can buy individual parts in various colors, finishes, and even materials:

IMG_1210

  • Heads
  • Bodies
  • Tailcaps
  • Clicky tailcaps
  • Pocket clips

Aside from customization, this means that spare parts(which I have not needed) are readily available.

After more than a year of use, I can honestly say that this is a rugged light!  This flashlight has handled some hard use.  You can see in the photos that this light has not been babied.  Our home has marble floors that have caressed the Preon 1 on numerous occasions.  Once it fell on stone patio tiles from the second story balcony when my son decided to toss it over the edge.  I have carried and used it on numerous occasions during our monsoon season in heavy rain that completely soaked completely through all my clothes.  My son has also tested it by submerging it in water on occasion.  The 4Sevens Preon 1 light just keeps on working!

Because of where I live, my EDC light probably sees more use than most.  We have scheduled and unscheduled extended power outages for most of the year and the winter dry season leaves us with only ~4 hours of power per day.  This means that when stores, restaurants, and other public establishments lose power, I need a reliable, always-with-me light to find my fork, keep from tripping down the dark stairs, or even just keep my 1 year old son from getting scared.  I don’t leave home without my 4Sevens Preon.

It’s close, but not quite a perfect light.  Here are a few small changes I hope for in a future iteration:

  • Knurling – It can be turned with wet hands, but it would be much easier with just a little bit of texturing on the head.  The protruding clip is enough to keep the body secure during the twisting motion.
  • Clicky Tailcap – I understand that there may be engineering issues, but I would love to see a high-quality clicky tailcap for the Preon 1.  Preferably something that doesn’t protrude(and turn on when you sit down) and allows for tailstanding.
  • More Lumens – The light from this flashlight is more than adequate, but with new light technology and emitters, I hope we will see a few more lumens in future editions. Even if I have to change my batteries a little more often.
Other 4Sevens Preon Reviews: