SureFire L1 Digital Lumamax, retail $125 (
Manufactured by SureFire (
Last updated 02-08-10

Like all other SureFire products, the L1 Digital Lumamax is a very tough and bright little flashlight. Instead of just a bezel like the KL1 is, the L1 is a full fledged flashlight, that features a 1.2 watt Luxeon Star LED and a two-stage tailcap switch that lets you choose a low level light for close-up tasks, or the full wrath of the LS LED for those jobs where you need more light.

The L1 is a regulated light, in that instead of dimming slowly and insidiously from the moment you turn it on, it retains that "new battery" brightness for as long as the battery can deliver. That's about 5 hours (on high) with this flashlight.


I believe the L1 comes ready to use as soon as you get it. If not, put in the battery (see below) and it'll be ready to use then.

To illuminate the L1 in "low" mode, press the tailcap button in about halfway, or turn the tailcap itself clockwise (as if tightening it) until the LED comes on in "low".

To illuminate the L1 in "high" mode, press the tailcap button in some more, or turn the tailcap itself clockwise some more, and the LED will come on first in "low", then in "high" as you continue turning.

To turn the L1 off, release the tailcap button, or turn the tailcap counterclockwise (as if loosening) a turn or two until the LED goes off. Before you put the light in your pocket or wherever else you keep it, be sure the LED is all the way off and not in "low" mode. The "low" mode is a bit on the dim side, so it is possible to leave this flashlight in that mode if you used it in a bright place. So you'll want to check it if you used it in a bright place.

The L1 has a LOTC (Lock Out Tailcap). To prevent the light from coming on in your camping bag or in a box, you can unscrew the tailcap approximately one full turn, so the "witness marks" on the barrel and the tailcap line up.

To change the battery in the L1, unscrew and remove the tailcap, and set it aside. Dump out the dead CR123A cell, and dispose of it as you see fit. Insert a new CR123A cell in the flashlight's barrel, button (+) end going in first. Screw the tailcap back on, and back it off a bit when the LED on the flashlight's business end comes on. There, done with that.

I couldn't get a stable current reading, but it seems to be about 380mA (on "high"). I later measured 940mA on "high" so that's probably a more correct figure.
Because the L1 uses a resistor in the switch, I could not get a current reading for "low" at all.

The SureFire L1 Digital Lumamax is as tough as they come. It has a Type III hard anodized finish, and you can use it to saw through other flashlights - but if I need a saw, I'll go grab the one in my bedroom and use that. That's what it's for; sawing, not lighting things up. Besides, I'd hate to clean up that yucky gunk inside the batteries as it gets all over my carpet.

The L1 has a stainless steel clip on the side that you can use to affix it to a pocket or belt. The clip also has a small loop in the end so you can thread a lanyard through it.

This page will be added to as time permits.

Beam photograph at ~12".
Measures 168,000mcd on "high" and 1,430mcd on "low".
Both measurements taken from 12" on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

The beam does not have that "rotten cat urine green" color
like the picture shows. That's just the camera, that's all.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight (old-style low mode).

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight (old-style high mode).

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the old-style L1 in "low" mode; newer spectrometer software & settings used.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the old-style L1 in "high" mode; newer spectrometer software & settings used.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

Test unit was received in early 2003. I apologise for the lateness on getting it on my website.

UPDATE: 04-02-05
I received what I believe is the upgraded, generation-4 L1 flashlight on 03-31-05.
It was sent by PK of SureFire.
This L1 has a domed Pyrex glass window (or lens) on the end, and the LED optic appears to be custom-made for (or by) SureFire.

Photograph of the new-style L1 itself.

Beam photograph (low) at 12".
Measures 51,700mcd.

Beam photograph (high) at 12".
Measures 301,000mcd.

Both measurements were taken on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight (new-style high mode).

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight (new-style low mode).
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

UPDATE: 04-05-05
I see I forgot to take the "distance" photograph, so without further adoo, here it is:

Beam photograph (high) at 15'.
That red star thing is from an American DJ Laser Widow.

UPDATE: 04-07-05
Here is a photograph of the two L1s together.

The newer L1 is on the top; the original L1 is on the bottom.

And here is a beam comparison. Photograph was taken on a light green wall, which is why the beams have a greenish tinge to them.
New style L1 is on the top, original L1 is on the bottom.

The new L1 comes with the Z60 lanhyard, which is a nylon cord with two spring-lock slides for adjustment and a lobster claw-style clip for quick release from the light. It attaches to the light at the tailcap via a nylon loop. This loop is a two-piece attachment, though I have not yet figured out how to remove it from the flashlight's barrel.

UPDATE: 04-08-05
The instructional material that was supplied with my new-style L1 states that it uses a 1 watt Luxeon, but I have it on good authority that it uses a Luxeon III (3 watt Luxeon) instead.

UPDATE: 04-29-05
SureFire has confirmed that all current SureFire lights should be waterproof to about 33 feet/10 meters. Some evaluations were posted before Surefire made the affirmation that their lights were watertight to 1 atmosphere depth. Any new SureFire lights you purchase now should be considered waterproof to 33' (10M).

UPDATE: 01-10-06
I used my L1 (old style) last night to light up the area behind the ambulance so my housemate could be carted off to the hospital, and again while driving his powerchair up the ramp at the side of the house to bring it back inside; and it performed admirably at both tasks.

UPDATE: 01-11-06
I guess I'm a true "Seminifrious Bungsnoidial Tubloidial Buttsnoid" (from the old TV program "Beavis & Butt-Head") now, because I have been using the L1 to inject hemmorhoid medication (Proctosol) into the little hole near the center of my housemate's toilet muscle. Yes, I use rubber gloves, and yes, I douche off the applicator after every use. But I use the L1 to find his bunghole so I can get the medication in there properly.
True, this is a rather unorthodox use for a flashlight, but true, I'm using the L1 for this purpose.

ProMetric analysis
Beam cross-sectional analysis.
Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.

Very bright for a 1.2 watt LED product
Two position (low/high) switching mechanism
Excellent construction & engineering
Excellent beam quality
Fully regulated with rock-steady light output

Slight anodizing color mismatch; however this is normal with the HA-III process, and will not figure into the rating.

    PRODUCT TYPE: Small handheld/tactical flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 1.2 watt Luxeon Star LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Central hotspot with soft fall-off
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton momentary/twist-on continuous tailcap
    BEZEL: LED and NX05 optic behind AR-coated pyrex lens
    BATTERY: 1 each CR123A lithium
    WATER RESISTANT: Splash resistant (weatherproof) at minimum
    SUBMERSIBLE: TBA, but probably not
    ACCESSORIES: Unknown, but probably a battery
    LENGTH: 4.75"
    WEIGHT: 2.9 ounces with battery
    WARRANTY: Lifetime


    Star Rating

SureFire L1 Digital Lumamax * WWW.SUREFIRE.COM...

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