Simon Cree Led Flashlight Top LED Tactical Flashlight used by Law Enforcement. The Brightest LED Flashlight Torch with 500 Lumens. Simon High Power Bright Flashlight T6 Pro Part #ST6FL13661013
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- Mini CREE LED Flashlight Torch Bulb Rated for 100,000 Hours and 16 Adjustable Focus Dial Settings
- Push Button On/Off Trigger Switch with 5 Soft-Touch Multiple Settings High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS
- Essential Tool For: Law Enforcement, Military, Custom Agents, Hunters, Campers, Hikers, Mechanics
- Brightest Led Flashlight 500 Max Lumens Torch Light Best Designed as - LED Tactical Flashlight
- Made from 6061 Aircraft Grade Aluminum is Rugged and Almost Indestructible (BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED)
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The Simon Close Proximity T6 Flashlight is designed to be a full-service multipurpose flashlight using a Cree LED bulb. It is an essential tool used by professionals in law enforcement and military to temporarily blind and or impair vision of an assailant so that a situation doesn’t escalate. It can be hand-held or tactically mounted on a weapon with specially designed hardware.
The Simon max mini size only weighs around 8 oz. or 227 grams and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. It heavy enough to know that you are carrying it but light enough that it won’t weigh you down. The rugged design is made from 6061 aircraft grade aluminum anodized black body with a silver anodized focus dial ring and is durable and tough for long-lasting use.
The Simon High Power Flashlight T6 PRO has a slim ergonomic design to function with a wide range of 16 adjustable dial settings to focus the light tight or to expand to a broad fan. The rear push button on/off trigger switch with 5 soft-touch multiple settings: High Medium Low Strobe and SOS lighting. Also included is a squeeze and slide adjustable lanyard wrist band so that you can easily tote it anywhere.
Here are the specifications for the best close proximity LED Flashlight. It emits up to 500 lumens using 6.199 watts for every 80.55 lmns.
Bulb Life: 100,000 Hours, Body: Aluminum Black Anodized, Battery Requirements: 3 AAA Ni-MH Batteries (Not Included), or 1 Rechargeable Panasonic Lithium ION 18650 Battery with PIC (Not Included), Rechargeable Lithium ION Battery Life Per-Charge: Depending on Capacity 2-6 hours with continuous use, Switch: Push On/Off button with 5 soft touch settings, Silver Anodized 16 Adjustable Focus Dial Ring
We recommend that you Never, Ever point the light into anyone eyes or directly look into the light itself.
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Seller Warranty DescriptionLimited Lifetime Warranty: 1 year on switches and buttons and 100,000 hours on LED Chipset. (Batteries & Charger Not Included)
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Original Review 29-Mar-2014
This review if for the Simon T6 Pro flashlight with a powerful Cree LED (ST6FL13661013). I purchased the flashlight for US$27.00 from Simon Inc. via the Amazon Marketplace and Amazon fulfilled the order. Shipping was free and fast with Amazon Prime.
I searched a long time before deciding to buy this model. I wanted...
1 - A small LED flashlight that was very bright.
2 - A decent low-power mode that wouldn't blow my night-vision.
3 - Good build quality---especially the electrical circuit and mechanical switch.
1 - Brightness
This is one bright flashlight! I can't say if it achieves the 500 lumens it promises, but it seems very, very bright. It is the brightest small flashlight I've ever used (only my heavy-duty cave-diving light is brighter). Criteria 1 was accomplished.
2 - Low Power Mode
Many LED flashlights offer two power settings: High and Low. The problem with many of these flashlights is, if their "High" setting is very bright, then they don't really have a true "Low" setting. What they actually have is a "Medium" setting which is too bright for those occasions when you want to keep your night vision. This flashlight offers five settings: High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS. The "Low" setting does what I need---it is low enough to discretely illuminate your path without blowing out your night vision.
The mode and power on/off are handled with a single mechanical push-button switch at the rear end of the flashlight. Push it all the way until it clicks to turn the flashlight on or off. Press it lightly to advance to the next setting. Criteria 2 was accomplished.
3 - Build Quality
I've burned through a LOT of cheap LED flashlights and decided to pay more for one that would last. Too many of the cheap imports break after a little use in spite of the glowing reviews. So I've learned to largely ignore the reviews. There are two common failure points in the cheap flashlights: (A) the mechanical on/off switches break, and (B) cheap, mismatched metal contacts are used between the battery cage and the flashlight causing them to wear and oxidize quickly. That's why they are no longer reliable after one or more years of regular use. Any EE or technician worth their salt will tell you that mixing the wrong metals in electrical contacts is certain doom for longevity.
The Simon T6 Pro claims to be made, at least partly, in the U.S. so I hoped it would not repeat these mistakes. And I was happy to see that it did not. It provides a well-made battery cage for three AAA batteries and its metal contacts appear to match those of the flashlight. Criteria 3 was accomplished.
If I stopped here, you'd think this flashlight had earned a five-star rating. Sadly not. There were a number of aggravating characteristics...
1 - The worst thing about this flashlight in my opinion is the lousy way the different modes are controlled by soft-pressing the same push-button that you use to turn the light on and off. In theory, every time you push the switch all the way to turn the flashlight off, it passes through the shallow push first, advancing the flashlight to the next mode just prior to turning off. So next time you turn the flashlight on, instead of coming on in the last mode you used, it comes on at the next mode after it. For example, if the flashlight is set to the "Low" mode and you turn it off, it will come on in the Strobe mode the next time. Ouch!
You could try to get around this with a little dance by soft-pressing the button repeatedly until you get to the setting BEFORE the one you want. Then turn the flashlight off. In theory, turning it off advanced it to the next setting---the one you really want---so the next time you turn the flashlight on, it will come on in the desired mode.
Sadly this doesn't always work. Most of the time, I want the flashlight to turn on to the "Low" setting. So I set it to "Medium" before I turn it off. Unfortunately, about half the time, it seems to turn on to the "High" setting instead. Something ain't right! I wish they had provided a separate switch for the mode so that turning the power on and off did not change it.
2 - The next worst problem is the omission of an 18650 battery adapter sleeve. This flashlight is advertised as working with either three AAA batteries or one 18650 Li-ion battery. For those who are not familiar with the 18650, it looks like an oversized AA battery and it outputs about 3.7 V. One high-quality 18650 will power the flashlight longer than three AAA batteries and you don't need to fool with a battery cage. But the AAA battery cage has a diameter of 22.2 mm and this flashlight has an internal diameter of 23.0 mm to accommodate it. An 18650 battery has a diameter of 18.6 mm. Most every flashlight maker that builds flashlights to work with either battery system (there are a lot), provide a plastic sleeve for the 18650 battery to keep it centered in the flashlight since it's diameter is smaller. That way the terminals at either end of the battery will line up with and stay centered on the electric terminals of the flashlight. But this flashlight included no such adapter sleeve. So I ask, "How does Simon expect anyone to use an 18650 battery with this flashlight?" Why advertise it as being compatible when the necessary adapter is not provided? It's doesn't make sense!
Fortunately, you can get the adapter yourself here on Amazon or elsewhere. I purchased five on eBay for $4.99.
Caution: The 18650 Li-ion battery is THE BEST battery to use with a flashlight like this---it lasts longer and is rechargeable---the buyer must beware!!! There are a lot of cheap knockoffs on the market that are falsely advertised. You seldom get a good battery when you buy cheap. Most everyone "in the know" in the industry is aware that the best 18650 Li-ion batteries come from Japan and Panasonic is one of the most trusted brands. But you won't find many consumer-ready Panasonic 18650 batteries for sale under their own name because they sell primarily as an OEM to electronics/computer/video companies (they are commonly used in notebook computer batteries, video cameras, etc.). All of the Panasonic 18650 batteries that I've seen for sale on Amazon are the OEM model that has NO protection circuitry. Why? Because the electronics/computer/video companies will add their own protection circuitry based on the way the batteries will be used in their gear.
So what you want to do is buy from a reputable third-party source who adds the protection circuit that most Li-ion batteries require for consumer use. I use Orbtronic brand 18650 batteries. They use the good Panasonic cells inside, add the protection circuitry and sell them under their "Orbtronic" name. There are other good brands as well. At the time of this writing, you can expect to pay over $20 for a single 3400 mAh 18650 battery containing an authentic Panasonic cell inside. I usually save by buying the previous model (you can get two 3100 mAh 18650 batteries for around $26). The cheap cells from certain other countries are lucky to hold half the power in spite of their claims and they are more dangerous (much more likely to overheat and catch fire or explode).
Next you need a good "smart" charger (this is required by all Li-ion batteries). I use an Intellicharger i4 by Nitecore which you can pick up for around $18 if you shop carefully. Avoid the super cheap chargers. They say they are "smart" but many are NOT and you risk overheating your battery when you charge it.
3 - This flashlight is supposed to be water resistant and have "O-ring" seals. However, when you unscrew the rear of the flashlight to change batteries, you will discover that the rear O-ring is very soft and looks like it will be easily torn when the end cap is screwed back on. Since the end cap must be screwed and unscrewed frequently, I doubt that this flimsy O-ring will last long. It looks like an exceptionally cheap O-ring.
4 - For my use, the Strobe and SOS modes are not that good. The Strobe mode causes the flashlight to flash on and off very rapidly at full brightness. Remember that this is advertised as a "tactical" flashlight and that's what this strobe mode is designed for---to disorient and blind an assailant's vision so you can more easily overcome them. To have this effect, the light strobes at a very rapid rate. I would prefer a "Flash" mode that strobed more slowly so I could use it for visibility when jogging or riding my bicycle early in the pre-dawn morning.
The SOS (Save Our Ship) mode is a specialized strobe where the flashlight flashes the universal (dot-dot-dot-dash-dash-dash-dot-dot-dot) signal to call for help. But I think it strobes the SOS too rapidly. I think Search and Rescue teams would identify the signal better if it strobed SOS a little slower.
I would have given this flashlight a "pass" if the SOS strobe was a little more human-readable because I realize it was intended to be a tactical light. But I wish it also had a slower flash mode for visibility when you don't want to disorient someone.
5 - This last "negative" is more of a nit pick than anything else. The focus ring that controls how wide or narrow the beam of light is, is labeled "Dimmer". I've seem this same label on other LED flashlights. Whoever used this label probably didn't understand English. This is NOT a dimmer control. It does not control the brightness of the light at all! What it does is control the focus of the light beam. It is a "Focus" control and should have been named as such. It has a little "Zoom In" and "Zoom Out" label on either end (the labels are almost too tiny to read) which are also misnomers. Again, only the focus is being controlled here. Increase the focus for a tighter or sharper beam or defocus for a wider and softer beam.
Finally, a few words about the light pattern because I think some folks who've written reviews misunderstand that aspect of this flashlight. This flashlight has a super-bright Cree LED. It is a huge LED. When you look in the front of the flashlight (while it's OFF) you'll see it. It is the big yellow square behind the lens. When you use the focus ring on the front of the flashlight to narrow the beam, you bring the LED into the focal point of the lens and this focuses the light to the shape of the square LED. That is why the light beam looks square when you focus it as tight as it will go. As you widen the beam, the focal point of the lens moves away from the LED, softening the image and giving it a more rounded shape. Any photographer who understand optics will see right away what is going on and realize that the flashlight is working perfectly normally.
The flashlight also has a thin ring of light farther out from the center of the beam. This "halo" effect may be an artifact of the outer edge of the lens and reflective sides of the flashlight. This could probably have been eliminated with more careful design. It doesn't bother me because it is not as bright as the center of the beam. But some folks may find it annoying---especially if they are using it as a tactical light mounted on a weapon and want to avoid unnecessary stray light.
So, adding the positive and the negatives, I believe this flashlight only warrants 3 stars. If it had a separate control for the light mode and included an 18650 battery sleeve, then I'd give it at least 4 starts. I'm undecided if the "halo" around the light should dock it the last star---it depends on whether or not it bothers you---but it definitely works against the "tactical" use for which this flashlight is intended.
Lastly, if you study the appearance of some of the competing LED flashlights with Cree bulbs, you'll discover like I did, that there appear to be more than one company using this same aluminum body as Simon. Some are cheaper. They may be just as good. Do I recommend this flashlight. I don't think so. Knowing what I know now, I would have searched longer for one without such an annoying mode control. And I would have made certain that it included the 18650 battery sleeve.
The same day that I wrote the above review, Simon (the creator of this flashlight) called me and asked for my opinion of the flashlight over the telephone. I don't believe that he had seen my review on Amazon.com or he would have already known my opinion.
How often does a manufacturer call you on the telephone and ask what you think of his/her product? My hat is off to Simon for his great effort to connect with his customers and serve them to the best of his ability.
Simon politely listened to my evaluation but he disagreed with some of my opinions. For example:
A - Simon explained that the reason the flashlight didn't always turn on to the mode setting that follows the last one used (see item #1 in the "Bad Features" above) is because there is a built-in delay. If the flashlight is off for more than a few hours (I'm not sure how long), it reverts to turning on to the bright mode regardless of the last mode used. This is why the mode selection seems somewhat erratic at turn on.
B - He maintains that "experts" designed the flashlight and chose the type beam with its stray ring of light around the central beam, five modes with its super-fast SOS signal, etc.
Comment: Personally, I don't buy it. I think the "experts" don't know as much as they claim. I've used high-quality flashlights that do not have stray rings of light. If you want a wide beam, you adjust the focus ring to achieve that---you don't need a thin ring of light at a wide angle all of the time (even when the beam is focused to a tight beam). And, while some experienced Morse Code users may be able to read the fast SOS signal fine, I believe less experienced folks will have trouble.
C - He claims that an adapter is not needed to center an 18650 battery because the terminals work fine even if the battery is off-center, because the adapters have been known to melt when the flashlight is used in a hot environment and the Li-ion battery warms during use.
Comment: I disagree and believe the adapter is necessary because some 18650 batteries will have trouble---especially if their positive terminal is flat rather than raised (like many OEM 18650 batteries). Plus, the battery can move and make noise when running or fighting if an adapter is not used. As for the melting problem---it shows that the wrong plastic was used to make the adapter. Either a high-temperature plastic should be used or some other material selected. Plus, the adapter could be perforated to enable heat to transfer more efficiently from the battery to the metal body of the flashlight.
At the end of our conversation, Simon promised to send me an updated version of this flashlight to evaluate. It arrived today and I tested it. It came in a box with the same model number label (ST6FL13661013) as the old version and looked nearly identical except the front nose ring and end cap which are shaped a little differently. But the easiest way to recognize the new version is with change #3 below. Here are the three changes that were made to the new version:
1 - The updated version always turns on to the bright setting regardless which mode was previously selected when the flashlight was turned off. The old version would turn on to the next setting from the one that was last used when the flashlight was turned off (unless it has been off for a long time, in which case, it would revert back to the high setting).
Comment: I believe this is an okay compromise---it is definitely better than the way the old version worked. But I still do not like it. In spite of what the "experts" have said, many of us want the flashlight to default to the low setting so that it is not so bright when it is turned on at night. We don't want to accidentally reveal out position to a hostile. Nor do we want to blow out our night vision with 500 lumens when we need to use the light at close range. The ideal solution in my opinion would be to separate the mode from the on/off button and provide a second button (or rotating switch like the "Focus" collar) that would allow the user to select the mode he/she wants the flashlight to turn on to. This is the only truly acceptable solution in my opinion. And it would separate the Simon T6 Pro as being superior from almost all other flashlights in its class.
2 - The updated version has a slower SOS mode that makes it easier for individuals who know Morse Code (or at least know that dot-dot-dot-dash-dash-dash-dot-dot-dot means "Save Our Ship") to recognize the signal. This is greatly appreciated. I believe the "experts" got it wrong with the old version and that the SOS was too fast. The new one is better.
3 - The focus ring of the updated version has been relabeled "Focus" which is accurate. The old version was labeled "Dimmer" which was inaccurate. Thank you for correcting the label.
In response to Simon's outstanding commitment to serving his customers and the improvements made to the flashlight, I have raised my rating from 3 to 4 stars and I now recommend this as a good buy.
Guess what, it did!
All it had was some minor scratches from the concrete, but besides that it works great.
I use this little flashlight all the time and I love it. It wasn't expensive and if it can survive me accidently driving over it with my truck, well that make it pretty darn tuff.
In my opinion this led flashlight kicks butt!
PROS-Decent build quality for frequent use. Very bright, and I loved the adjustable lens on it. Fits perfectly in an average sized hand, and I loved the button on the tail cap. Customer service did a great job trying to take care of me when my light broke. They sent me a new one in the mail immediately and paid the return shipping on the one that broke.
CONS-I work in a factory where I am constantly using this light. I use it on average of 3-5 hours a night I work. The environment is a demanding one ranging from 50 degrees to 130 degrees in temperature. The battery life is not the best using the 3aaa battery adapter, but is dramatically better if used with the rechargeable 18650 batteries that are sold seperatly. The light can get pretty hot after extended use, which did not bother me working in the environment that i work in. The way it focuses the light was the reason for failure in both of my lights. It moves the control chip and light up and down closer and farther from the lens, therefire the wires are soldered to the chip from the battery. The solder points came off after a fes weeks of use.
All in all, I decided 4 star due to customer service and a decent product for normal use. I would not recommend for excessive use like I use it for. This would be great for camping, hiking, and I would even go as far as law enforcement as long as you are not using it non-stop like myself