SureFire L1 Digital LumaMax (2), retail $135 (
Manufactured by SureFire (
Last updated 05-11-09

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 what I believe is a Cree XLamp LED (that's what makes it (2); the original L1 used a 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 1.5 hours (on high) or 16 hours (low) 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. 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 two full turns.

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 or recycle 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.

Current usage on "high" measures 953mA on my DMM's 4A scale.
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 from the victimised flashlight 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.

The L1 is extremely well-made and engineered. The same SureFire quality you've come to expect from their personal and tactical lights is built into this product. The exterior finish is a type 3 hard anodize ("HA-III" as us flashaholics know it), and there's a gold colored material (Chemcoat) inside the barrel to protect it against corrosion from water or bad battery juice.

One of the things I noticed quickly is that the L1 has a "scalloped" bezel, so if the light is set face-down while it's on, some light still escapes and you can easily tell it's still turned on, even if you set it down on a completely flat surface like a tabletop or countertop. No more ruined and wasted batteries from your setting the light down and not realising it's still on.
(Yes, I really did that - to a SureFire KL2 if I remember right!)

The L1 is at very minumum water-resistant, so you can use it in awful weather and not have to worry about it. I believe it is also submersible to 33'; if it's like most other SureFire products. When the tailcap was removed, the flashlight was relieved of its battery, and that dreadful suction test was performed, the flashlight held a vaccume (vacum, vaccuume, vaccumn, vaccuummnne, vacuum, etc.), so yes, both water-resistant and submersible.

This flashlight appears at least fairly durable, and it is!!! When I performed that terrible smack test on it (ten whacks against the concrete floor of a patio: 5 smacks against the side of the bezel and 5 smacks against the side of the tailcap), only very, very, very minor damage was found. There is some extremely minor gouging to the bare Metalpatamon - er - the bare Metalangemon - um that's not it either...the bare a sec here...THE BARE METAL (guess I've been watching too much Digimon again! ) on the side of the bezel where it was struck.

This version has PK's (Paul Kim's) signature on the side of its bezel, but other than that, it is identical in all respects to the L1 without the autograph.

There is knurling (texturising) along the barrel and on the tailcap; this helps aid in retention (the ability to hold the flashlight when your hands are cold, oily or wet). This knurling is somewhat aggressive (sharp), so there is a very slight possibility it could eventually cut holes in your pockets if it's carried that way for an extended period. I don't think this will happen, but it's a remote possibility.

The beam this sample produces is a pure white in color, with none of that obnoxious purple, blue, yellow, or "rotten octopus urine green" tint anywhere in it. Not in the hotspot, and not in the corona. SureFire uses the best quality LEDs in their flashlights, and that shows when you use an L1.

Beam photograph at ~12".
Measures 1,950,000mcd on "high" and 230,000mcd on "low".
Both measurements taken from 12" on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Beam photograph at 10 feet.

Those rectangular graphic things in the upper left quadrant of this photograph are marquees from:
Nintendo ''R-Type''
Super ''Super Cobra''
Midway ''Omega Race''
Sega ''Star Trek''
Williams ''Joust''
Venture Line ''Looping''
Universal ''Mr. Do!'s Castle''
Jaleco ''Exerion''
Gremlin/Sega ''Astro Blaster''
Atari ''Tempest''
Gottlieb ''Q*bert''

upright coin-op arcade video games from the 1980s.

And that graphic toward the right is:
A "BIG SCARY LASER" poster sent by

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight (high mode).

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight (low mode).

Spectrographic plot
Same as above (low mode); newer spectrometer software & settings used.

Spectrographic plot
Same as above (high mode); newer spectrometer software & settings used.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

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

Test unit was sent by PK (Paul Kim) of SureFire on 07-16-07 and was received on the afternoon of 07-18-07.

UPDATE: 00-00-00

Insanely bright
Two light output levels available
Excellent construction & engineering; very durable and water-resistant
Excellent beam quality
Fully regulated

None that I've been able to detect

    PRODUCT TYPE: Small handheld/tactical flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: White Cree XLamp LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Central hotspot with soft fall-off
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton momentary/twist-on continuous tailcap
    BEZEL: Metal; LED and optic behind pyrex lens
    BATTERY: 1 CR123A lithium
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 953mA on "high"; unable to measure "low"
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 33 feet
    ACCESSORIES: Unknown
    LENGTH: 4.52"
    WEIGHT: 2.9 ounces with battery
    WARRANTY: Lifetime


    Star Rating

SureFire L1 Digital LumaMax (2) * WWW.SUREFIRE.COM...

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