Surefire Kroma

The Surefire Kroma is one of the worlds most technologically advanced lights to date.  It features many highly advanced components and showcases Surefire’s extensive R&D department.  There is very little in common between this light and your average big-box torch.

Meat and Potatoes
The Surefire Kroma is best described as a higly variable 2-stage torch.  High beam is always a 50 lumen white light focused with a high transmission collimator lens rather than a reflector.  This results in a very smooth beam transitioning almost completely flawlessly between spot and spill.  It is accessed by pressing the tailcap down completely, or by tightening the switch the same amount to achieve constant on.

The secondary beam, however, is where all the magic happens.  A half push (or lesser twist for constant) of the tailcap brings you to the low level beam.  This low level is independently selectable between:

  • 1.4 lumen White
  • .48 lumen Blue
  • 3.4 lumen Blue
  • .52 lumen Red
  • 6.3 lumen Red

All of these options are accessible by use of the selector ring beneath the head of the light and thankfully, the High mode will turn on with a firm press of the button at any time, in any mode allowing you instant access to the most light this torch can produce.

This light is very well constructed and the array of 3mm LEDs around the lens in the head of the light actually makes it look almost like a piece of jewelry.  That being said, this isn’t a piece that has to be babied.  This is still a solid tool meant to be used and it definitely gives that impression.  The anodizing is extremely thick and will likely hold up to a load of abuse and still look fairly good.

Constructive Criticism
The strange thing about this light in my opinion is the fact that as advanced as it is, there is still plenty of room for improvement.  Most of this likely stems from the very fact that it has so many features.  Because of this, more is expected of it than other lights.  Since it was designed to be an all encompassing utility light, more perfection is required to achieve this than if it had been designed with fewer features.

My biggest concern with this light is the level of the high beam.  This light is still currently being touted as one of the top of the line lights in SureFire’s arsenal, and yet the high beam utilizes an outpaced Luxeon III LED producing a meager 50 lumens.  If this LED were to be upgraded to one of the offerings by Cree, Seoul Semiconductor, or OSRAM, and then driven a little harder (as those LED’s are capable of) the output would benefit greatly from the change.  50 lumens out of a 2 cell light has grown to the point of feeling underpowered when, in my opinion, a Surefire light of this size should be kicking out upwards of three times that.

Speaking of size.  I realize that this may be strictly my personal opinion and nothing more, but in my experience, the Kroma seemed to be one of the largest 2xCR123A lights I have seen.  The only one I can remember surpassing it was the SureFire U2 Ultra.  This creates a torch that is less prone to be slipped into a pocket and actually carried.  As we all know, in an emergency, the only light that counts is the one you actually have with you.

One final note of concern was with the construction of the plastic pieces such as the selector ring.  For a piece of this quality and price, I would expect this to be completely flawless, but I was assaulted with mold marks and inconsistencies that would generally only show up on significantly cheaper items.

Conclusions
This light is fantastic in concept and decent in execution, however I am loath to say that it lives up to it’s hype.  Certainly this is a light I would be thrilled to have in my possession, but it’s lack of power or efficiency due to surpassed LED technology gives me pause.  I would say that if this light were updated with completely current technology, I would be able to rate it better, but in the mean time, I will personally pass.

All things being considered, it is still an excellent light, just don’t expect it to blow people away in pure illumination drag racing power.  The strength of the Kroma lies within it’s versatility instead.

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