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|Inova T4 -   2005/05/21||Viewed 186 times this month, last update: 2005/05/22|
|I don't know why exactly, but I am drawn to LED flashlights. There are practical reasons: longer battery life, longer bulb-life, tougher in general, but I think it's just because they're neat that I like them. So, I bought the first white-LED flashlight to come on the market, and was happy with it, but still looking for more. When I saw the Inova X5 at Sport Chalet one day, I had to have it, even though the price was a little silly. I've used my X5 for at least two years with great pleasure. I've taken it diving, camping, everywhere. It's a very tough little light. However, both my LED flashlights pre-dated the new super bright, single LED flashlights now on the market. Both of mine had five of the little LEDs with no special optics for focusing, so they were dim, and had a very wide beam making them good for close subjects only.|
A year goes by, and I use my two LED flashlights, and my scuba super-bright (but incandescent) flashlights happily, even knowing there are better lights out there. Then, camping last weekend, Matt Bell shows me his new super-bright, single LED, tiny light. As tough as my X5 but ten times brighter, and actually even smaller! Punkass!
Matt carries his little light everywhere he goes, which is fine, but I hate having things like that in my pockets. I tried carrying my Swisstool around with me, but I just don't like the extra weight. So, my new goal in a LED light was brightness and toughness, with little regard to size. After extensive net surfing the brightest light I could find was made by my good friends at Inova, part of their Police/Military line, the T4:
It's a single four-watt LED with special focusing optics that puts out 100 lumens! It's machined from aluminum, and black-anodized. It's weather resistant, and probably immersion resistant, though I couldn't find numbers. It weighs 10 ounces, and feels very good in the hand. Compared to my X5:
It's twice as large and heavy, but easily twenty times brighter, and rechargeable, with a nice little charging cradle, that looks and works great screwed onto the drivers seat of my truck:
The thing is super bright. It's beam is very tight, more tight than any other I own and very white, without being too blue. Here's a demonstration of it's brightness, although it doesn't really do it justice, it gives you an idea:
I am very happy with my T4, even though I could have gotten an incandecent light for much less, because the T4 is freakin' cool! I expect many many years of happy camping and general use.
Click Here to view the first 6 comments to this article!
matt (2006-04-28): I just ordered a t4 and I can't wait.I will post after I spend some time with it.Did I mention that I can't wait........
Syed (2006-08-02): I'm about to go get one now. Tired of using the department issue ugly mag lite, even the suspect's chuckle.
Harry (2006-10-15): We have them here on sale at defensedevices.com
Rob (2006-10-23): My ultra-stinger has been a trust companion but its length has been an issue during undercover ops. Being turned off by the Gladius hype and price, I ran across the T4 in the hands of a K9 officer. WOW. I hit the internet after my shift and the new love affair blossomed. My Stinger still has its place but the T4 is now my primary illumination. Even a few of my counterparts with the Blackhawks have made the switch. Who wants to bargain hunt lithium batteries with a less expensive, brighter, and rechargable alternative. The T4 ROCKS!!
Mitchell (2007-04-01): I have just placed an order for the new 2007 model, supposed to be 25% brighter and with a black lens ring, i can not wait for it to arrive.
Joe (2007-04-22): I too have replaced my stinger tactical. I'm in the brush most of the time and the T4 last twice as long, and the amount of light is awesome. Tough little cookie.
Lorne (2007-07-02): I am a 23-year police veteran who always carried Streamlight products until INOVA appeared. Doing some research, I learned I will get the biggest and brightest bang with the INOVA T4. Purchased it last week, fully charged the battery and passed the Streamlight Stinger onto my 9-year old son. The T4 is now on my belt.
Gary Australia (2007-07-23): I am a Police officer in Australia and have been singing the praises of Inova yto all my coleagues, most of them having a sure fire on their belts. That was until I demonstrated the awesome beam focus and pattern of Inova lights. The T4 is the second light I have from the company the first being the CR123 powered T2, it's just as good but has a slightly different beam (and costs $$$$ to run), the new T4 wipes the floor with the rest! don't mess about get one!
Irawan (2007-08-29): Great Product T4 it's. I'm waiting for 2007 version.
Stevo (2007-09-13): Just got my 2007 version ('B' series) T4 today. It was a replacement for
the older 'A' series T4 that was exhibiting odd charge cradle behavior,
though the light itself seemed perfectly fine. Five things I can note
1) The 'B' series no longer has the TRIOS optics between the LED
and the front glass: ie - you can now plainly see the LED.
2) The light appears a bit more blue (to me), and it seems to me
like the 'A' series was a bit more white.
3) There is no longer any ringing in the fringes of the light output ,
but there does seem to be a shift of some additional light being
added to the fringe area, giving a perception (to me) of the center
spot not being quite as bright/focused, or as large in diameter.
Possibly these 'A' attributes/effects were due to TRIOS optics ?
4) The charge cradle buttons are now ~2.5x bigger & about 2.5x
further apart (so, FYI, not compatible w/old charger)
5) Front ring, as already pointed out, is now anodized black vs
'A' series chrome.
4) & 5) are fine, IMO.
Personally, I prefer the 'A's more focused beam. I am hoping that
dropping the TRIOS optics was not a cost-cutting-at-the-expense-of-performance
measure. I would suggest comparing the 'B' to an 'A' if possible,
the 'A' may be The One.
Steveo (2007-09-13): Follow-up: Did some experimentation, believe the 'B' series beam
profile (as previously described above) may be of more tactical benefit
than the 'A' series.
ie: Peripheral area receives more illumination and
the beam is less focused in a spot. So while center
is brighter it is also smaller and lighting is more
evenly distributed overall. Compared it to my Streamlight
M2 UTL and while the 'B' was maybe 10-15 degrees
less-wide the 'B' was more uniform than the M2.
Still suggest comparing the 'B' to an 'A' if possible
(while the A is still available). Also suggest that Emissive
Energy consider at least allowing the TRIOS as an at-cost option,
for those of us who want more of a spot for less-tactical use.
Stevo (2007-09-13): Oops. That is 'TIROS', not TRIOS.
Hmmm. What would really be cool would be a rotating front ring coupled to a modified TIROS to provide either. (but a compromise in weather resistance? complexity?)
AlexB (2007-10-08): Hey ! The T4 is a really nice product ... but last week-end one of my buddy played in my truck with the charger and unfortunately it died ... (so as the battery obviously). The cost of a genuine Inova charger cradle + battery is about the 3/4 the price of a new T4 2007 ... So I have 2 options now : buy a new T4 (for 30 bucks more) or play Doc Frankenstein and buy a pair of chinese 18650 3.7 V Lithium batts + charger (30 USD). I want to have a try to see if the lamp handles this "non OEM" configuration ...
Any advice there ?
Alex from France ("da frog eater")
Erik (2007-10-09): Hmmmm, no idea Alex. I'm sure you can buy a replacement battery from Inova, but the charger, as you said, is going to cost. I'd say get a whole new kit, plus a new battery, then you'd have a working charger and two lights! :-)
Selwyn (2007-11-27): I bought my T4 in 2006 to use up north at the lake. It is a great flashlight, but I note that unless the battery has been sufficiently discharged, the charger emits an intermittant (flashing) blue light instead of a continuous blue no matter how much I try to ensure that the flashlight is properly seated on the charger. I do not have this problem when the when the battery has been sufficiently drained - I then get a continous blue light until it turns green. Does this only happen to me?
Erik (2007-12-08): Selwyn, that doesn't happen to me, though my charger must be different, since it never glows green, just blue while charging.
Fred (2010-04-28): Does any of you hava a manual of the t4 and are you willing to share?
Erik (2010-04-28): I don't have the manual any more, but I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Phalange (2011-01-31): 4Sevens makes great lights now (several years now, actually); makes most of Inova's lineup look like toys.
egnalahP (2011-05-13): 4Sevens flashlights are simply re-branded Chinese knockoffs. Don't be fooled.