The SureFire E2L reviewed here is the 2008 model which is capable of dual output levels. The head is made up of 2 parts which are adhered together, they’re not easily disassembled. Anyway, doing so will void the warranty. Up the front, the head has a crenellated bezel. Inside, it houses a Pyrex glass window which has a very light diffusing texture on its inner face. This texture is not apparently noticeable, the easiest way to see it is by looking at it an at an acute angle. The light produced by the emitter is focused by a culminating lens instead of regular reflector. Emitter and lens are well aligned. All the electronics regulating the power to the emitter is housed inside the sealed head. The threads on the rear end of the head are well machined, smooth and thick. The entire outer surface of the head, including the threads, is coated consistently in a very dark gray type 3 hard anodizing with a subtle brown hue and has a slight grainy texture. I did notice that the color of the coating on the head is slightly different from that of the battery tube. There are some shallow flat scallops machined around the head which are mostly for aesthetic purposes and doesn't effectively act as an anti-roll feature. Replacement of batteries is done by removing the head and not the tail cap.
The entire exterior of the battery tube is mostly covered in diamond textured knurling. The texture is quite rough but not too sharp as to be uncomfortable, it provides excellent in most conditions. There are 3 smooth surfaces machined on the battery tube which have some branding printed on them, and one which the clip rests on. Speaking of the clip, it is relatively long and tightly pressed against the battery tube and provides a secure hold. At the end of the clip is a small hole for lanyard attachments. When held in hand I did noticed that the battery tube is much slimmer than other CR123 powered lights. Protected 17670 cells will not fit. The interior wall and threads on either ends of the battery tube are chemically coated for oxidization resistance, thought some of the coating seemed to have already worn off on the threads. The threads are very robust and well machined, clean and smooth fitting very snug and securely together. The tail cap houses a forward push button which has an average amount of travel and tension. It provides a tactile feedback when fully clicked on, both in terms of audible sound and feel. A rubber switch cap sticks out the rear end of the tail cap which allows the switch to be easily pressed but this doesn't allow the light to tail stand. The rubber cap has a textured texture and the rubber used is quite thick, but isn't as thick as that on the L1 reviewed earlier. The entire switch module is held in place by a retaining ring screwed in from the rear end of the tail cap. I noticed that the retaining ring has a deep green color which seems odd, but this isn't really noticeable since it's inlaid in the tail cap.
Information: This current 2008 model of the E2L provides 2 levels of brightness which can be toggled by switching the light off and on again within 2 seconds. When its been kept on low mode for over 2 seconds, you can still toggle quickly to high mode by switching the light on and off within 2 seconds. The beam profile from the TIR optics used provides a very defined hot spot without being too sharply focused. There is still a good amount of fall-off around the corona for peripheral vision. There isn't actually a spill beam in the traditional sense. Beam temperature is a neutral white leaning just slightly on the warm side.
SureFire advertises the E2L as lasting 6 hours on high mode, looking at the runtime graph here it seems they're pretty spot-on. Regulation is held almost perfectly throughout the runtime before falling off in a steep curve. You can still use the light for a few hours on low mode after this point so you won't be left in the dark as the batteries run out.
Conclusions: The Good - Excellent construction and finishing with a lifetime warranty. Well designed for use in most rugged outdoor environments. Good balance of high and low levels. Excellent runtime and almost perfect regulation. The Bad - Cost is higher than other lights with similar functionality. The Relative - Beam has a very slight warm tint. Uses a forward push button which allows for momentary activation. Isn't able to tail stand..