Saturday, March 24, 2012

Malkoff Follow Up - How is it in actual day to day useage.

My original Malkoff post just went live a few days ago.  However, I actually typed most of it up nearly two months ago.  In that time, I've used it a whole lot of dark nights and thought I might speak of my experience with it.

Comparison in size to a "tall" Starbucks coffee.

On the daily, I leave the modded Mag sitting on a wooden box next to the front door.  The only security lights outside at our house are the front and back porch light.  Being that we work midnights and are often letting the dog in and out, we spend a lot of time out in the darkness.

Now, I like my time in the dark but I like my ability to have control over it even more.  I'm not going to lie, I have a lot of lights as bright (but smaller) or brighter than the Malkoff.  However, I've tried to use it and consider it objectively.  In other words, how would I like it if this was my one and only go-to light and my experience with the flashaholic world was limited.

Using that as a guideline I realized that the Malkoff is quite frankly fantastic.  Being in a Maglite body, it will take a lot of abuse.  Drop it, bump it into something, etc and it will be fine.  The Malkoff unit itself is supposedly nearly bombproof though I can't claim to have tested this myself.  Being as I have to pay for all my lights myself, I'm not willing to torture test them.  The host I'm using has been around for several years so it has its share of scratches and its not exactly my personal favorite color but it does the job and best of all it was free.  I did manage to drop it rather hard on hard packed dirt and it handled that just fine.  I have no doubt that it would handle the same drop on concrete with nary a problem.  Now, I switched the plastic lens out for glass so I'd say that would possibly be the one weak point in a particularly nasty battle with gravity.

New glass lens on the left. Old scratchy plastic lens on the right.

Let me break this into two separate sections.  First will be for the lay-person with little knowledge of high end lights.  The second will be for flashaholics such as myself.

For the every day user you will notice a few things in the use of this light.  Its bright.  VERY bright.  Rated at 260 lumens out the front, it will probably be one of the brightest lights you will use.  Throw is very good.  If you are using it in the home, it will be perhaps TOO bright.  If you are using it outdoors, hiking, hunting, security, farm use, etc you will find that as long as your eyes are good, you will see quite a bit at quite a long range.  It practically sips at the batteries so you won't find yourself needing to constantly buy those expensive D cells (or Cs if you went with that option).  I'd venture to say that most people could go a few months on the same set of batteries.  If you have the extra dough to splurge on a truely good light, this is one you should very seriously consider putting together.  The small amount of work to put one together is so very worth it compared to the amount of light and run time this light offers.

For the flashaholic, you may see things differently depending upon just how spoiled you are.  Throw is good.  However, the amount of lumens actually hitting downrange may not be what you are used to with smaller and more powerful 18650 lights.  While you can indeed see quite a ways, you may not be able to see as much detail within that circle of light.

Same shot as above but with my Maelstrom size comparison.  Obviously the Maglite is larger but that's not always a bad thing.

The color temperature is definitely on the cool side.  I prefer neutrals and warms myself.  If you like cool tinted lights, you'll like this.

Weight compared to lumens is one sticky point.  My 4Sevens Maelstrom is much smaller and lighter and throws out just as much light or more.  However, runtime at that brightness level isn't even CLOSE to the Malkoff. 

Heat has been pretty much a non issue for me.  I've run it for extended period of times and its gotten "warm".  That may change as we get into warmer months but as of now, I notice the body near the head warm up fairly quickly and then seem to plateau out.  I'd say this is a good sign that the heat sinking is working.

Multiple modes.  Well, quite simply this isn't for you if you like low, high, medium, strobe, sos, etc.  This is pretty simple here.  On and off is it.  Sometimes though, simple is better.

I'd love to take some good beam shots for you all but my phone doesn't make for a good light beam camera and my DSLR batteries have all gone bad.  Perhaps I can find someone to help me out there.  That being said, I find the beam pattern very useful.  The spot is adjustable just as with an incan maglite.  The spill beam is also quite useable and if used while walking, is just about perfect to light up your path as the spot reaches out to light up in the distance.

In summary, I just can't find any flaws with this light other than my own expectations based off of experience with other high end lights.  If you are considering purchasing this light, I highly suggest you do.  If you have any questions about it, feel free to give me a shout and I'll try to help you out as best I can.

Modded (cut) reflector on left. Stock reflector on right. Little clean up would make the modded one look nicer but as is, it has no ill effects on the light's function.

Stock light with bulb and cradle removed. Right is modded with the Malkoff module in place.

No comments:

Post a Comment