For your consideration is the SureFire P2X Fury® with IntelliBeam™ Technology – with Auto-adjusting variable-output LED. While this is not the first example of a flashlight (or headlamp) that utilizes such technology, it is the first from SureFire, and in my humble opinion, the most effective execution.
(Some text taken from SureFire web site)
This innovative, automatically adjusting version of the original P2X Fury takes full advantage of the variable-output capability of one of SureFire’s brightest and most popular LED flashlights. Our proprietary IntelliBeam™ Technology—an intelligent sensor and microprocessor-based system—continuously evaluates your environment and seamlessly adjusts light output, from 15 up to 600 lumens, based on the scope of your surroundings. Just press or click its tailcap switch to access this auto-adjusting mode, which delivers just the right amount of light output. Return to off and press or click again within one second to activate max-output/tactical mode, which locks in all 600 lumens—ideal when maximum output is what you need.
The P2X Fury with IntelliBeam Technology—like all other Fury models—uses a high-performance LED to deliver its perfect light that’s focused by a parabolic reflector into a smooth, comparatively wide beam with a bright central area and generous peripheral light.
In the darker photo below you can see the sensor at the inside edge of the bezel ring – right about the 8 o’clock position
You can just barely observe a minor artifact in the beam (around 9 o’clock position) – caused by the aforementioned sensor
The high-strength aerospace aluminum body is ergonomically shaped and knurled to provide a comfortable yet secure grip, and it’s hard anodized to military specifications (Mil-Spec Type III) for extreme resistance to abrasions and corrosion.
This special P2X Fury model was also engineered to preserve dark-adapted vision by actually evaluating the environment instantaneously before turning on; it will never activate in high-output in close quarters while in IntelliBeam mode. This automation is all about allowing users to focus on the job at hand and not spending time manipulating their illumination tool to get the perfect output level.
I spent a couple of weeks using the light for my early morning dog walks. The variable beam works quickly – turn the light on with it shining towards a near object and the level stays low – swing up to a distant target and it quickly ramps up to full brightness.
Full brightness at any distance is quickly activated by ‘double clicking’ the solid, tactile feeling clicky tail switch.
I measured the output of the light in my integrating sphere – in the sphere the light stepped down to around 30 lumen and around 610 lumen at full output. SureFire has always been conservative with their lumen ratings, and this light is an example of that tendency. No way of really measuring the various output levels in real use – but when shining at my watch face within a few inches the light stepped down to a level low enough to illuminate the watch face without being so bright as to create too much glare to be able to read the face.
The light is built like a tank and has the excellent SureFire lifetime warranty
Criticisms? I have a few. A user is dependent on SureFire’s programming to set the levels – it would be nice to have an additional ‘mode’ that allows for manually setting a low and medium ‘locked’ level.
I am a tint snob, and the tint of this light has a sickly greenish hue when using indoors. You don’t really notice it outdoors. Still, most light manufacturers – especially quality manufacturers like SureFire – have begun sourcing better bin LEDs that have a nicer, more neutral tint. Some people may not care about the tint, but many do.
SureFire has always commanded a price premium and this light is no exception. List price is $229 and is readily available for around $170.