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Lupine Lighting Systems T1200 Flashlight

Last updated 2010-05-28 - Send Feedback
Related: outdoors, lighting
Lupine T1200 flashlight kit

See current Lupine reviews at WindInMyFace.com.

The Lupine T1200 flashlight is surely the brightest flashlight that I have ever used, as well as being the most versatile.

And being fully compatible with the Lupine headlamp and charger system, it is an ideal match for the Lupine Betty or Lupine Wilma headlamps. Lupine thinks out their products extremely well, and their lights are an investment you will never regret.

You can get the T1200 at Lupine North America.

Specifications

The specifications don’t really describe just how good this flashlight is.

Note that the T1200 is supplied with two (2) lithium ion batteries in its full kit form, so you can always have a spare battery. Batteries weigh 150 grams with the supplied end-cap (that protects the contacts). Batteries screw onto the main unit very securely, making for a seamless whole.

1 High Power LED, Hexagon reflector, Beam angle 15°
1200 Lumens
2.5 Ah Li-Ion Battery Tank
Runtimes and Illumination:   
1 hour at 20 Watt
4.5 hours at 4 Watt
15 hours at 1.5 Watt
1.5 hours charging time
Weight 269g (my unit weighed 267.4g)

Extra features

The supplied charger is the best I’ve seen anywhere, for any small device. It displays the charging current and status, and is highly legible. A cigarette lighter adapter is also supplied, which means you’re set no matter where you go.

The LEDs on the light allow it to be programmed, as well as showing charging status, and giving warning lights as the battery approaches exhaustion.

The T1200 can be used with a “disorientation flash” mode (security guard?), or an SOS beacon.

The supplied leather holster is nicely done, including a magnetic latch. First class.

Brightness and beam quality

The T1200 is so bright (on max) with such a high quality beam that there’s very little to compare it to. So I compared it to my 1800 lumen Lupine Betty, which to my knowledge and experience is the highest quality bike light/headlamp available today.

Beam quality of the Betty is tops, probably because it uses 7 matched LEDs. The T1200 flashlight comes close however, and offers a uniform beam free of hot spots and perfectly symmetrical. Its 15° beam pattern offers a “just right” bright central area with a wider spread for peripheral illumination.

Brightness is stunning, but no match for the 1800 lumen Lupine Betty, which is to be expected of course, since the Betty has 50% greater output. But to be clear, if you need “the max”, then choose the Betty.

More important for many uses, the T1200 can be programmed in a variety of ways. My favorite setting is 4-step illumination, yielding a useful low setting, two intermediate settings, and maximum power. Even the low setting is plenty for night-time trail running.

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Lupine Lighting Systems T1200 flashlight

In use

My favorite “minor” feature of the T1200 is its flat rear handle, which allow it to stand upright on any level surface and act as an up-light for illuminating a room or a tent. I have found myself using it in my office for a few moments, just so I don’t have to get up to turn on the full room lights! Very handy. Working under my desk installing memory or drives in a Mac Pro computer, I use it the same way. So convenient!

I ran at night with the T1200, and it fit comfortably in my hand, easily illuminating the trail on its low setting, with the high setting easily toggled for dealing with nuisance vehicles not paying attention (great for city use).

Misses

I do wish that the T1200 offered a lanyard of some kind. While it has a holster, using it on steep slopes or other wild places, one could drop it down a slope or into a hole. For those situations, my Lupine Betty on a headstrap is preferable, and my hands remain free.

I might have also preferred a slightly crenellated bezel, as some Surefire flashlights have. But that’s more of a weapon-light feature, so it’s a small point.

Compared to Surefire

I also own a variety of flashlights from Surefire, having used them for some years now. The Lupine T1200 is far preferable when one needs a powerful light; nothing else comes close in illumination or battery life.

But for a pocketable light for quick and easy use at close range, the Surefire L4 is more convenient, due to its more compact size and instant on/off tailcap (the Surefire cannot be stood on end).

Compared to the monster Surefire M6 Guardian, the Lupine T1200 is brighter with far more neutral color rendition, triple the burn time, and rechargeable to boot.

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Photography

The T1200 can be used to “paint” subjects at night. Its color balance is excellent (cool daylight), and thus will produce lifelike results with great color.

Conclusions

The T1200 is an ultra premium flashlight, with a price sure to dissuade most potential buyers. But it is a professional grade device that blows away anything you can find elsewhere. Thus, it makes a tremendous value, and a worthwhile investment should you need its features.

For those who cycle or hike or otherwise need their hands to be free, my recommendation would be to go with the Lupine Betty first, because the Betty can be used both as a bike light and a headlamp. But a flashlight is ergonomically preferable for some uses, so it all depends on your usage. I find myself using both, depending on context, and I’m very pleased to have both of them.

Perhaps the most compelling feature in relation to other brand flashlights, the T1200 shares the same charger as the Lupine headlamp system. So if you need a bike light and/or headlamp, the T1200 fits right in with the other Lupine offerings. Lupine also has a proven history of providing lighting upgrades (increased output or runtime), another value to bring to the party.

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