One of the benefits of EagleTac’s new Mark II Digital ‘20’ series is the use of drop-in emitter modules that can change the characteristics of the light without the full expense of buying another complete torch. This drop-in brings some more punch to the T20C2 in a slightly unorthodox manner.
Meat and Potatoes
The EagleTac T20C2 comes standard with an R5 bin Cree XP-G LED. Currently one of the latest and greatest LEDs to grace the market. This emitter is naturally quite a good fit for flashlights, generally offering a slightly floodier beam with an excellent transition corona. As I mentioned before, EagleTac has managed to provide a fairly tight focus using the large reflector in this “T”actical model of the line. However, for those who are looking for an even more impressive spotlight, EagleTac is now offering an intentional downgrade (retrograde?) to the older technology R2 bin Cree XR-E LED. This may seem counter-intuitive at first. For a brighter spot, don’t you need a brighter source? Actually, no. The XR-E’s physical structure is such that it creates a much different light emission pattern. This, combined with the XR-E’s smaller die allow the light to be focused into a much tighter beam, resulting in a significantly brighter spot.
Of course, the downfall to this retrograde is that you lose the beautiful transitional corona and even some overall illumination, but what you gain is increased distance of your beam. By my estimations (based strictly on rudimentary knowledge of LED capabilities), I would expect that you are getting no more than 250 lumens total from this light, but EagleTac quoted to me that the lux intensity of the spot is as much as 60-70% increased. This falls pretty well in line with what my precisely calibrated eyeballs are reporting.
These drop-ins are not inter-compatible with other branded lights, like many similar products are because EagleTac uses a proprietary reverse threaded format for their product. This aides dramatically in heat transfer from the electronics to the body of the light, protecting the more sensitive components from damage. The user interface of this drop-in has not changed at all from stock, the only differences are in output.
The choice of an XR-E in these drop-ins, though tightening the focus, does have a drawback. Once again these lights are afflicted with the series of shadowy and bright concentric rings surrounding the hotspot. EagleTac has tempered these slightly with some very light texture to the reflector, but since this unit was designed for distance illumination, that was a very fine line to walk. These don’t play out to seriously when the light is used outside or at the distances it is intended for, but for closer, indoor work, they are persistent.
With the drop-ins being reverse threaded, there is a slight unique complication that arises. The reflectors are also threaded on to the LED modules, however they use a standard “right-hand” thread. This can sometimes result in the reflector trying to loosen itself from the base as you are attempting to insert the drop-in. If both these threads are relatively equal tension, it can become a bit of comedy trying to get everything installed properly. This point is really nothing more than a trifle, I know, but it did bear worth mentioning.
A worthwhile product if you are searching for a dedicated thrower. Well constructed, just like the original, but utilizing technology that is better suited for a tight focus, rather than for even illumination. When it comes down to the wire, choices are not a bad thing.
Provided for review by the kind folks at EagleTac.