Newest SureFire Scout Light(R) Provides Power-Source Versatility

M600AA-BK_profile

So I was a little confused when I read this press release.  I had always thought that you could use lithium batteries in the same place as alkaline assuming the same output and size…?  I’ve been using Energizer Lithiums in most of my gear for years now–should I not have been?

Anyway, Surefire is touting the ability of their new M600 to use both Lithium and Alkaline AA batteries:

The M600 AA’s ability to be powered by two separate types of batteries is a key element to its anticipated success,” said SureFire Product Manager Chris Skahill. “For optimal performance, AA lithiums can be used. But it can also be powered by AA alkalines, which are more readily available and usually easier to find, particularly in remote or rural areas.”

Powered by two lithium AAs, the M600 AA’s solid-state light emitting diode (LED) generates a maximum output of 200 lumens and produces tactical-level output for up to 3.75 hours on a set of batteries. The output and runtime from two AA alkaline batteries is approximately one-third that from lithium AAs, but this reduced output/runtime is theoretically outweighed by the convenience of using these easier-to-find and often less-expensive power cells. But to maximize output and runtime, SureFire recommends powering the M600 AA with lithium batteries whenever possible.

I know that lithiums have a more consistent output over their life and can operate in a wider temp range, but I’m not entire sure why they are promoting this as a having power source versatility since it is the same size of battery.  The other SureFire Scouts use the 123A batteries–so I could see a model that can use either AA or 123A as having versatility.  Am I missing something here?

Specs:

Max Output–White Light: 200 lumens
Tactical Runtime: 3.75 hours
Length: 6.875 inches
Bezel Diameter: 1.125 inches
Weight: 5.2 ounces
Batteries: 2 AA lithium (incl.) or alk.
MSRP: $299

Link to the new model:
http://www.surefire.com/m600aa-dss-scout-light.html



Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


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  • WasThere

    Someone please school me on these expensive flashlights, why is this 300 dollars?

    • Orion Quach

      Probably two things

      1. USA company with large amount amount of sales going to DoD (charge high prices cause they will pay for it)

      2. Because they can lol Although plenty of people make handheld light mounts for their G2X/6PX which gives you a $80-$100 light set up from the best light manufacture (very biased opinion).

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I have never been to any low light shoot/training where the instructors (mil, leo, or civ) did not use and recommend Surefire exclusively. I watched a Streamlight break after hitting a concrete floor in a low light force on force… So I’ll answer your question with a question….

      Do you want your light breaking when you need it?

      • WasThere

        Sure, i can get on that, but everything can break, i guess it falls in line with the 2500 dollar ARs… Someone is buyin them.

    • CrankyFool

      There’s a difference between anecdote and data, so please keep in mind this is anecdote:

      I have an original Surefire 9N. The flashlight is warrantied for life for all components except the bulb and battery, because they obviously eventually stop working.

      A while ago, while trying to debug if my battery was dead, I accidentally tried to feed the bulb too much power and burnt it out.

      I called Surefire. They asked me to send the flashlight in. Then they sent me a replacement, having replaced the two parts of the flashlight that are EXPLICITLY NOT UNDER WARRANTY: The battery and bulb.

      (BTW, on an amusing note I accidentally crossed the wire and sent an expensive Airsoft gun to Surefire and the flashlight to the Airsoft source; I found out about it because Surefire contacted me, asked me where I’d like to have the Airsoft gun shipped, and shipped it to the right place on their dime).

      I *heart* Surefire.

  • bull

    they probably mean lithium ION wich has a cell voltage of 3.7 volt.

  • Orion Quach

    In before people complain about SureFire pricing…..mant other USA made lights are just as expensive and don’t have the reputation they have.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I’ve been using Energizer Lithiums in most of my gear for years now–should I not have been?

    Wrong question. Right question would be has the output of the device been reduced enough to trade off? Or are you seeing an advantage in using L-ion batteries?

    If you are looking at the nominal voltage of an alkaline it’s 1.5, NiMh might be 1.2 or so, Lion could 3.7.

    Most usually you’re device is going have a regulator, step up, buck, LDO, or switching power circuit. You need 5V even to run the device, that’s fine, you take your input and step it up to 5V output. There are million ways this can happen, but for the most part you’re going to see a difference in run-time/performance. In this case, on the light, I’m going to guess the natural voltage directly at the LED is a PWM with approx a 2.5V or 3V average so… Exactly as they are saying, less run-time with Alkaline.

    To your question about “other” devices, most consumer electronics made in the last twenty years would be damaged in a worst case of a 3V speculated input would be damadged with a 7V input from a L-ion battery, a reverse biased zenner diode to ground is about 2cents and would solve that problem in the cheapest of devices.

    You most likely can’t damage anything but may not be seeing the advantages of lithium cells.

  • Menger40

    There are a lot of different battery chemistries that are called “lithium.” The regular AA lithium cells you can buy at big box stores are going to be lithium iron disulfide. They can stand in for regular alkaline AA’s in pretty much any application. Their nominal voltages are very close (1.8v for Li/Fe and 1.5v for alkaline).

    There are some 3v lithium manganese dioxide primary cells available. They’re really uncommon, but maybe this can run on those? I doubt they’re trying to tell us that this light will run on 14500 lithium-ion rechargeables, because “SureFire” and “rechargeable” really don’t go together.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Surefire has quite a few rechargeable lights.

      • Menger40

        You’re right, I meant that they have very few models that can use a normal rechargeable lithium ion like a 14500 or 18650. Only one I know of is the P1R.

    • Tom Currie

      My EDC flashlight (not a weapon light) runs on 1 battery — either one AA or one 14500. With the AA it is bright, with the 14500 it is BRIGHT!

  • ghost

    For $299 I’ll never see the light.

    • Swarf

      Yup.

      Why would I pay that kind if money? I’ve been using Fenix products for a few yeas now. High quality at a third of the price

      • AK™

        My streamlight TLR cost me $109. For the price of a Surefire AA Scout..I could get 2 TLRs and enough batteries for a few years.

    • Bill

      But you aren’t getting it through your supply chain at the DOD or LE agency, nor do you have a case of batteries in your squad room for you to snag spares and replacements out of. Neither do I.

  • cutamerc

    Can anyone confirm/deny compatibility with 14500s???

    • Nicholas Chen

      This is using the same head as in the mini scout light. No you cannot use 2x 14500. That would be like using 2xRCR123. That would be 8.4-7.4 volts. It will burn out the head.

      • cutamerc

        *Sigh.* Thanks for the info. Maybe someday.

  • Joe

    Some devices are voltage sensitive and can be damaged by the higher voltage of energizer lithium iron disulfide aa/aaa batteries vs alkaline cells. Not many, but some.

    Now lithium manganese dioxide batteries (CR123a) operate at 3v and could/would damage gear meant for alkaline batteries if you somehow managed to make them fit. There are 3v AA’s (CR-AA) but they are rare.

    Now don’t get suckered into buying the higher priced surefire branded cr123a’s, they are rebranded Panasonic cells.

  • Mystick

    Still no 18650/18500/18350 models… not even a 14500, which is approximate in size to a AA…

  • Hmmm… Using AA batteries in a flashlight. I like where you’re head’s at, Surefire. Thinking Outside of the box.
    Nevah Been Dun Befoh.

  • lbeacham

    Lights for rich people. I want one.

  • Bill

    AA alkaline are available ANYWHERE, including Clem’s Bait and Liquor at 3:00 AM, whereas lithiums, whatever the size, may be more difficult to find. I also believe that some air carriers have some archaic rules about lithium on aircraft being a fire/explosion hazard.

    Surefire is the gold standard in fighting lights and their pricing reflects that. I’ve got a number of them from before their prices skyrocketed, but have had to move down a notch in manufacturers. I think it started with the higher price of LEDS, and when you consider that they aren’t selling replacement LEDS like they had to sell replacement non-leds, they had to make up the shortfall somewhere.