It was only a matter of time before someone tore into one of the new SureFire LED heads and intrepid CandlepowerForum member FREI is the first to post photos of a disassembled KE1 head from the SureFire E1L-A Outdoorsman flashlight (Full Review). As several lights utilize heads based upon the same architecture as the KE1, these photos provide valuable insight into the construction and future upgrade potential of these heads.
About the KE1
The KE1 is a two-mode head providing a 5 lumen low mode with the first press of the tailswitch and a 90 lumen high mode with a second press. The output is shaped by a 22mm Total Internal Reflection (TIR) optic which provides a more concentrated hot spot than normal for such a small light. Closely related variants include the KE2 which is used on the E2L-A Outdoorsman (Full Review) and the KE1B which is standard on the E2LAA-A Outdoorsman (Full Review). The same basic design is also used with KE1A and KE2-A weapon light conversion heads and the E2D LED Defender Ultra (Full Review).
The KE1 breaks down into three main sub-components: the bezel which contains the optic, a center section which houses the LED and electronics, and the collar which mates the head to the flashlight body. O-rings are used to maintain a weatherproof seal.
Obviously thread locking compound is used when the components are assembled at the factory as they are not intended to be user serviceable. Opening the head in this fashion is sure to jeopardize warranty coverage.
The optic appears to be held in place by a screw-in retainer.
The Cree XP-E is housed in the upper portion of the center section and secured in place by thermal adhesive.
Removing the LED reveals the aluminum heatsink inside the head.
The LED relies upon conductive stabs to reach through the heatsink and make contact with the driver.
The fit of the various components can be observed by reassembling them outside of the head.
All parts disassembled:
Thank you to FREI for his efforts and for sharing his photos with the rest of the community. If you have any thoughts or comments, please share them in the comments section below or head over to CandlepowerForums and join the discussion there.