The Kroma and U2 Ultra are both exceptionally well designed and constructed
LED flashlights made by SureFire. Overall their basic form, function, and technologies are the same. Both are small enough to carry in your computer bag, backpack, purse, or coat pocket. And while they are not really a tech-toy, they certainly qualify as a well crafted piece of equipment.
Both flashlights have an electronically controlled LED light source, not a traditional filament to burn out or break, that can last thousands of hours. The main body is similar, if not identical, on both flashlights. They are constructed
of aerospace-grade aluminum, painted with a black Mil-Spec Type III hard anodized
coating. There are two differences I can find; the LED heads (type of light) and how the
tailcap switch activates the LED’s.
The tailcap switch allows for one-handed operation with your thumb. All SureFire
flashlights are weatherproof and sealed with an O-ring. Both are equipped with a
heavy-duty clip. A well engineered feature of these flashlights is a
switch lockout which prevents accidental activation during transport or storage.
The ‘ring selector’ control mechanism on both flashlights is located between the head and main body.
SureFire Kroma Multi-Spectrum LED Flashlight
The SureFire Kroma Multi-Spectrum LED Flashlight has six settings, high and low in white, red, and blue. The bright white beam can be turned on in addition to either color at either brightness levels.
The Kroma tailcap switch can be pressed for momentary-on low beams, press further for momentary-on
high white beam and twist for constant-on low or high beams.
The pictures above are of both colors on the bright setting in lit and unlit conditions. Depending on the color and brightness level, a set of batteries can last between 1.5 and 80 hours of continuous use, see specifications below.
White high: 50 lumens / 1.5 hrs
White low: 1.4 lumens / 20 hrs
Blue high: 3.4 lumens / 8 hrs
Blue low: .48 lumens / 80 hrs
Red high: 6.3 lumens / 8 hrs
Red low: .52 lumens / 80 hrs
Primary white: 50 lumens / Secondary red: 6.3 lumens / Secondary blue: 3.4 lumens
1.5 hours / 8 hours / 80 hours
Length: 5.70 inches
Weight: 5.10 ounces
Battery: Two 123A lithiums
SureFire U2 Ultra Variable Power LED Flashlight
The SureFire U2 Ultra Variable Power LED Flashlight has a 5-watt LED and six selectable levels of brightness, ranging from 2 to 100 lumens. The brightest setting is multiple times brighter than my large Maglite flashlight.
The U2 Ultra tailcap switch can be pressed for momentary-on and pressed further to click constant-on. A set of batteries can last up to 40 hrs of continuous use on the low brightness setting, see specifications below. I looked in both the manual and website but could not find how long a set of batteries will last on the brightest level. So, I bet it’s not very long.
Max Output: 2 to 100 lumens
Runtime: 40+ hours at low setting
Length: 6.00 inches
Weight: 5.70 ounces
Battery: Two 123A lithiums
Various bezel fitters (red, blue, infrared, opaque, diffusion, and traffic wand) are available to expand the U2’s usability.
What might surprise some of you (this fact certainly amazed me…..) is the cost of these SureFire flashlights. At $279 for the U2 Ultra and $299 for the Kroma, they are the most expensive flashlights I have ever heard of. Last month I did a review of the BriteStrike Tactical Illumination Tool and
while it is a very nice flashlight, I have to say both SureFire flashlights are definitely a step-up in quality. I also went to visit my local Fry’s, Fred Meyer’s and Walmart stores to see what type of selection of LED flashlights were available. All of these retail stores had many (10+) LED flashlights varying in size from small to moderate and ranging in cost from $10 to $50. But none these appeared to have near the quality of materials and construction or durability of the Kroma and U2 Ultra.
All that being said, if you have the need for a small compact flashlight that has the ability to produce white, red, and blue (Kroma), selectable levels of brightness (U2 Ultra), or if money is no object; you should consider a SureFire flashlight.