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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the output of the Maxa Beam Searchlight and how is it measured?

Why are some high intensity lights measured in Lumens? What’s the different between Lumens and CandlePower?

What types of Batteries are available for the Maxa Beam Searchlight? Are new batteries compatible with older searchlights?

What maintenance is required for the Maxa Beam Searchlight? What components are user-serviceable?

How long does the Maxa Beam’s Xenon Lamp last?

How do I refocus the Maxa Beam’s Lamp?

What User-Programmable Functions are available on the Maxa Beam?

What is the Maxa Beam Searchlight’s Warranty?

Can I consult with Peak Beam before purchasing a second hand Maxa Beam Searchlight on eBay?

I hear that some searchlights have a dark spot at the center of the beam. Is there a dark spot obstructing the beam of the Maxa Beam?

What is the output of the Maxa Beam Searchlight and how is it measured?

The Maxa Beam Searchlight has an output of 12,000,000 CandlePower*. CandlePower measures the intensity of the light that hits a target at a distance, which makes this unit of measure valid for searchlights and other focused light sources that will be used to illuminate specific targets at long ranges.

To determine the Maxa Beam’s CandlePower measurement, the searchlight is focused down to a 1° beam and pointed at a target set at a distance of 25.3 meters (83 feet).  A data-logging light meter that is connected to a computer is used to measure the lux of light illuminating this target.  The resulting lux value is multiplied by 25.3 meters squared to calculate the searchlight’s CandlePower rating.

Note:  An identical CandlePower rating can be calculated by using the Light Meter’s Foot-Candle reading and multiplying this measurement by 83 feet squared.

Peak Beam Quality Assurance technicians test the output of every Maxa Beam Searchlight in accordance with a detailed test plan.  If requested, Peak Beam can provide a Certificate of Conformance identifying the output of any new Maxa Beam Searchlight at time of shipment.

To view an independent CandlePower Test Report from a third party laboratory, please visit the downloads page.

*10% minimum threshold; no maximum threshold


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Why are some high intensity lights measured in Lumens? What’s the different between Lumens and CandlePower?

When comparing multiple lighting products, it is useful to understand the terminology that various lighting manufacturers use to describe the output of their products. Depending on the intended application, certain units of measure may be much more relevant than others.  For example, if you need a floodlight or close range work light, a product’s Lumen rating will be important for you to consider. If you require a light for long range search and rescue, security, or surveillance applications, a product’s CandlePower rating will be a more relevant measure than its Lumen rating.

The lighting industry uses several methods to measure light. There are two units of measurement that are often used to describe high intensity lighting devices: Lumens and CandlePower.

Lumens are a measure of how much light comes from just the bulb itself.  Lumens are measured by putting the bare bulb in a device called an Integrating Sphere that can detect the light energy hitting its surface from all directions. Properly measuring lumen output is quite difficult and therefore is not done by many flashlight manufacturers.  As a result, flashlight manufacturers almost always list the lamp vendor’s data which is always in Lumens because this is the most appropriate measure for a lamp.

Lumens do not take into account the design of the reflector, optics, or focusability of the beam of light. This is important to note because not all of the bulb’s energy ends up being directed into the beam and onto your target.

Lumens are a useful measurement for floodlights and household light bulbs that will be used to illuminate a wide area directly around the bulb. Lumens become less valid when you need to know how much of a bulb’s energy is actually being collected and directed towards your target. That’s where the second unit of measure, CandlePower, comes in.

CandlePower measures the intensity of the light that hits a target at a distance. CandlePower takes the performance of the whole fixture into consideration, which makes this unit of measure more relevant than Lumen output for searchlights and other focused light sources that will be used to illuminate specific targets at long ranges.

CandlePower is measured using a light meter that detects intensity on target in Lux (SI unit) or Foot-Candles (non-SI unit). The light meter is set at a distance from the light fixture and the beam of light is pointed at the Light Meter’s probe. To calculate CandlePower, multiple the Light Meter’s Lux reading by the Distance (in meters) squared between the light and the meter’s probe. (If using Foot-Candles, multiple this reading by the Distance in feet squared.)

It is not possible to convert Lumens to CandlePower because these units measure different aspects of a light’s output. Depending on what kind of fixture a bulb is placed in, a bulb with a high lumen rating may not necessarily have a high CandlePower rating. For example, you can take two identical bulbs with the same lumen rating, place them into two different fixtures, and get two different CandlePower measurements.


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What types of Batteries are available for the Maxa Beam Searchlight? Are new batteries compatible with older searchlights?

Peak Beam currently offers one rechargeable battery option for the Maxa Beam Searchlight, the MBP-1308 7.5Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Battery. LiFePO4 Batteries are compatible with older searchlights, however note that a LiFePO4-compatible power cord must be used to connect the battery to the searchlight and a LiFePO4-compatible charger must be used to charge the battery.

LiFePO4 Batteries feature a 115 minute run time, 110 minute charge time, and 2,500 life cycles.  LiFePO4 Batteries weigh 3.0 lbs. and do not develop a memory, meaning they can be recharged or topped off at any time.

Older, discontinued Maxa Beam Batteries include the MBP-1207 NiCad Battery, MBP-1307 Li-Ion Battery, and MBP-1310 10Ah LiFePO4 Battery. For information on using and charging these batteries, please see the Legacy Battery Systems guide available on the Downloads page.

Only use Maxa Beam batteries with your searchlight; using third party batteries may damage the searchlight and will void the product warranty.
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What maintenance is required for the Maxa Beam Searchlight? What components are user-serviceable?

The only maintenance required for the searchlight is to periodically clean the body with a damp cloth and to keep the front lens clean using window cleaner or alcohol.  If the searchlight is dropped or receives a heavy impact, it may be necessary to refocus the lamp (see below).

The Maxa Beam’s lamp, lens, and plastic connectors are all user-serviceable parts. Please see the Maintenance section of our online catalog to view available replacement kits.
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How long does the Maxa Beam’s Xenon Lamp last?

The Maxa Beam’s Xenon Short Arc lamp has a mean time between failure (MTBF) of 1,500 hours of use. For best performance, we recommend that you replace your lamp after 1,000 hours of use. Maxa Beam Lamps are field-replaceable and we offer several types of Lamp Replacement Kits depending on what model searchlight you have.
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How do I refocus the Maxa Beam’s Lamp?

If the searchlight is dropped or receives a heavy impact during transportation or if the searchlight’s lamp is replaced, it may be necessary to refocus the lamp to insure proper operation and maximum output.  Refocusing of the lamp involves centering the lamp within the reflector.

To refocus the lamp, start by connecting the searchlight to your normal power source (and controls, if focusing a remote-controlled searchlight).  Set the searchlight to its tightest spot (1° beam width) at default beam level and direct the beam toward a flat surface at least 50 feet away.

Lamp Focus Access Points

Locate the searchlight’s two focus access points.  Use the 1/16″ hex driver included with your searchlight to remove the two screws that cover the X and Y Axis access points.  Insert the driver into one of the focus access holes until it seats into the internal focus adjustment socket (a slight rotation and/or side to side motion may be required).  Once seated, turn the driver slightly; you will see the center “hot spot” of the beam move on the target surface as the lamp’s position is adjusted within the reflector.

Use the driver to center that hot spot either horizontally (X axis) or vertically (Y axis), then repeat this procedure by inserting and adjusting the driver into the other focus access hole until the hot spot is centered on that axis. It may be necessary to alternate between access holes a few times to fine tune the focus. Replace the focus access screws and washers when focusing is complete.
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What User-Programmable Functions are available on the Maxa Beam?

The Maxa Beam’s beam width limits, beam intensity, strobe rate, strobe duration, beam start-up position, and several other characteristics can be easily programmed by pressing the red and black switches in a specific sequence. This capability allows the searchlight to be customized for specific applications.

For example, if you want to use the light for an extended search operation in a wooded area, the light can be programmed to automatically start up in low beam mode with the beam width at full flood. Other scenarios include a surveillance operation where the light must start up at normal power with the beam set to the size of the area under surveillance or a tactical application where the user programs the light to start up in strobe mode at a narrow beam spread.

To view the default factory settings and all of the optional programming sequences, please consult the Programming section of the Operation Manual, available on the Downloads page.
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What is the Maxa Beam Searchlight’s Warranty?

There is a one year warranty on all Maxa Beam parts with the exception of the lamp and battery packs which have a 90 day warranty. Extended warranties may be purchased at time of sale for an additional fee. Please visit the Warranty page for Peak Beam’s standard warranty details.
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Can I consult with Peak Beam before purchasing a second hand Maxa Beam Searchlight on eBay?

YES!  We welcome questions and we are happy to help you make an educated decision before you purchase second hand Maxa Beam equipment on eBay, Craigslist, or any other reseller site.  Variations of the Maxa Beam Searchlight have been fielded since 1987, so the age and condition of used searchlights being resold by third parties varies significantly.  Before making an online purchases of used Maxa Beam equipment, we strongly recommend that you do the following:

  • Ask the seller for the Model Numbers and Serial Numbers for all Searchlight(s), Battery(s), and Charger(s) being offered.  Contact Peak Beam with this information and we will tell you the original ship date so you know exactly how old the equipment is.
  • Ask the seller to confirm that all elements of the searchlight kit are functioning.  Sellers occasionally advertise “new” batteries “still in their original packaging” but this does not guarantee anything about the battery except that it may have been stored for many years without being charged or cycled.  Long term storage of batteries can cause permanent damage and those “new” batteries may very well be dead.

Please note that although Peak Beam does not warranty used equipment and cannot guarantee the condition of any equipment you may purchase from a third party, we are still happy to help tune up and repair any older equipment you may acquire.  Please contact us to request a Return Authorization and repair estimate.
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I hear that some searchlights have a dark spot at the center of the beam. Is there a dark spot obstructing the beam of the Maxa Beam?

The Maxa Beam does not have a dark spot at the center of the beam from a 1° spot to a 15° flood. The tight spot of the beam in this wide range produces brilliant white illumination that is even and diffused. Beware of other illumination products that claim to have the only light completely free of this black hole; other illumination products do not offer more than a 15° beam spread. For applications where the Maxa Beam will be used in flood mode, the optional Collimating Lens eliminates any dark spots in the beam by redirecting excess spill light into the center of the beam.
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