1. #1
    Forum Member
    NDeMarse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Bronx, NYC
    Posts
    490

    Default Streamlight Vulcan Hand Lights

    Hello All:

    I am trying to get a feel for how widespread two major (in my opinion) problems with the Streamlight Vulcan flashlights. If you have had any problems with these lights, I would like to hear about them here.

    I love these lights when they work. They "cut" smoke better than any light that I have ever owned or used, and it is a shame that I have had this much bad luck with it. If the problems that we are having are limited to my brotherís bad experiences, and me I guess we just have bad luck. Something tells me that this probably isn't the case though. PLEASE REPLY IF YOU HAVE HAD ANY PROBLEMS. If there is a substantial amount, we can all write Streamlight and ask to have the product redesigned to function better or hopefully get refunds!

    My light is less than 1 year old. The light bulb falls out of the socket (but stays in the light) pretty frequently during normal work use. This is very irritating since it has caused me under fire conditions to have to work without a flashlight more than once. The fix is a rather easy one when you get back to the firehouse, but cannot be done on the fire ground!

    Along with that, I have had to send my light in for repair for a bad battery. One day the light would simply not hold a charge anymore. When I put it on the charger and turned the light on, it would shine very dim. When the light was taken off the charger, it would not work at all.

    I used a buddy's light while my light was out for repair. His was brand new and hadn't even seen a fire. That night we went to a job and his worked for a few minutes and then failed. The LEDs worked, but the light did not. You can imagine how irritated I was after being left high and dry twice in a week in fire conditions with these flashlights.

    Since then, I have sent 2 other Vulcan's from my firehouse for repair for the same problem. Both had either a bad switch or a bad battery. I will say this for Streamlight, they fix the light and return it very fast and for me so far at no cost (other than shipping it to them). The lights that I dealt with are under warranty however.

    My brother has had similar problems and he will post about his issues at a later time. I just wanted to start the thread and get the information out there and the ball rolling on collecting the data. My feeling is if they do not fix whatever is flawing these lights, a boycott on purchasing the lights (at least on our level) should be put into play. From my knowledge, it appears that it is a faulty product and doesn't stand up to what it is advertised!

    Anyone else with thoughts?...................
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

    Nate DeMarse
    Co-Owner, Brotherhood Instructors, LLC.
    http://brotherhoodinstructors.com
    Facebook Users: Join us here
    -------------------------------
    GET IN THE JOB, BE A STUDENT OF THE JOB!

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    We have at least 8 or 9 of them in service since 8/04. Haven't had a single problem and everybody love them.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    SeavilleFire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Seaville, NJ
    Posts
    61

    Default

    We recently replaced most of our Litebox models with the Vulcan model. I'd say we probably have about 15 of them total. I have my own Survivor that I have on my gear for calls so I haven't used them during any real jobs yet. However, I have used them during several training fires and haven't had any of the issues you described above. They've even been banged around a little being on ladders and doing S&R and I haven't had any problems with the bulbs being knocked out.

    As for the battery I've used it for an extended period of time during a search in the woods and on several occasions during motor vehicle accidents, especially traffic control and haven't had a problem with the battery dying yet. We keep them on the truck chargers when not in use and the charger is constantly on whenever the truck is plugged in back at station.

    The only thing I don't like about them is the location of the switch being under the handle. Too many times it has switched on me from the steady mode to the flashing mode. None of the guys in the station have reported any problems with them yet either. Keep in mind we've only had them since the summer.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    cdemarse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    493

    Default

    We also switched some from the lightboxes to the fire vulcan lights. Are department has about 20 of them currently. The bulbs have fallen out of the majority of them at least one time. Four of them have had bad batteries that needed to be replaced(less then 1 year).

    My personal light thankfully still has a good battery but the bulb is a constant problem. Two of the times it failed me was when it was when a light was a needed (one a fire, and one an extrication). Thankfully my trusty Survivor light was there.

    We have contacted streamlight inquiring about the problems and were told by the rep we spoke to that they receive 2-3 calls a day about this problem but the engineers will not believe it. Is it true or not I do not know. By request we sent in the serial numbers of the Fire Vulcan and Vulcan lights we have had problems with.

    I love this light but for something that I depend it keeps letting me down when I need it the most. I personally think they should have a safety recall on ALL Fire Vulcan and Vulcan lights that have been sold. I wish the Fire Vulcan was more like the damn near bulletproof Survivor light.

    Also does anyone actually use the "flashing pattern" on the light?
    I really wish they would change that.

    I will post back when we get a reply from Streamlight
    Last edited by cdemarse; 12-25-2005 at 08:05 PM.
    "Train as if your life depends on it"
    Always Remember *343*

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    jerrygarcia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    KC
    Posts
    630

    Default

    I have experienced the exact same with my Vulcan. Our station bought 10 or so of these lights. The bulb has done that to me a couple of times in the past year. The batteries are the big problem. I myself have gone through at least 3 batteries with the same symptoms. The results during proper function of these lights are undeniable. Simply the best, but when they fail, it is just a big paper weight.

    There is a jumper setting inside the light to adjust what the constant/blinking features do. They need to rethink the settings a bit. I wish I could set it to constant light/constant LED and constant light/blinking LED.

    If you are looking for support, I am behind you.

    Thread Killer Extraordinaire!

  6. #6
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Thumbs up Not Here.............

    Nate, I can't report a lot of problems here. We have them, about 24 now, with 12 more to be purchased and installed after the first of the year. This will provide one for every seat on the apparatus. (2 Engines, Truck, Squad, BLS Ambulance, Brush Rig, 3 Chiefs) These replace Litebox units that are 5 years old, and have given great service. We really haven't had any problems with the lightboxes either, beyond normal wear, except that they don't function well as wheelchocks. The new lights are lighter in weight, and the charging system does not draw quite as much, which is a plus for us.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    raricciuti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    Mt. Lebanon, PA 15228
    Posts
    105

    Default

    I have two older Vulcans, one "regular", and one with the dual-filament bulb. Both have held up well to a ton of use and abuse, but I too have had a problem with the bulb falling out on the "regular" bulb model. I've had limited success in keeping the bulb in place by bending the lamp pins a little. Even so, I think they're excellent lights.
    R.A. Ricciuti
    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    NDeMarse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Bronx, NYC
    Posts
    490

    Default

    Thanks guys,

    Maybe there is a bad batch or something out there.

    Anyone else with thoughts?
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

    Nate DeMarse
    Co-Owner, Brotherhood Instructors, LLC.
    http://brotherhoodinstructors.com
    Facebook Users: Join us here
    -------------------------------
    GET IN THE JOB, BE A STUDENT OF THE JOB!

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    cdemarse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    493

    Default

    Like the great company I believe they are streamlight called back.
    There question was is the black outer ring on the head of the light soft or hard?
    Ours are all hard plastic, so he is going to send us 5 of the soft pieces. I have never seen those and they are not here yet so I will post back later. Not sure what the outter piece is going to accomplish but we shall see.

    He also advised the if those pieces work they will replace them all, if they dont work they will be trying something else.

    So far streamlight is steping up which is a sign of a good company doing what its supposed too.

    I will reply back when I hear more.
    "Train as if your life depends on it"
    Always Remember *343*

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Got 2 of them. Reason being, while working a fire, my toggle switch that powers the light on broke completely off. Not sure how, but it did. Sent back to the factory for repair. Haven't had any problems with the bulb or battery. Using a demo right now with no problems. Love the light though.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    47

    Default

    Alot of our guys had problems with chargers not charging but indicating that they were, when the lights were brand new out of the box. Our supplier contacted Streamlight and replaced the problem lights. Apparently a circuit board inside the light, not the charger, was the culprit. I have since occasionally had problems with the charger that require that I remove the light, turn it on then off, and place it back on the charger.

    Good light otherwise.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Chicago Illinois
    Posts
    9

    Default handlight

    Had the same problem with the light bulb falling out

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,214

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NDeMarse
    Thanks guys,

    Maybe there is a bad batch or something out there.

    Anyone else with thoughts?

    You're not alone!

    I have had the bulb work its way loose on many occasions and fall out at least once. What youre likeny expierencing that many others aren't is that youre probably using the light hard and frequently. I use it on the job and when I teach at the fire academy. Since we dont get a huge amount of fires, most of my troubles have been noticed at the fire academy. I have attached both of the shoulder strap hooks th the rear D ring on the light to allow it to hang easier and so I can aim it with my hand better. It bangs around a bit and when I crawl it drags on the ground sometimes. All things that I would expect it to be made to withstand.

    Its easy to notice the bulb issue because the beam goes out of focus. Had to push it back in a few times.

    The dead battery really frosted me. I accidentally left it on one day in the rig and when I tried to charge it, it lit up green and said it was charged. It wasn't. It was totally dead and wouldnt recharge.

    I've just dealt with it, havent bothered to call the company. I guess I should, but I just wrote it off as a design flaw. I still love the light.

    As for the flashing lights, are you aware of the ability to modify the flashing options by adjusting the 2 little jumoers inside the unit behind the bulb? I set mine so when it flashes its only the LED's and on steady its the lantern and LED's.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber
    cdemarse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    493

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610
    You're not alone!


    Its easy to notice the bulb issue because the beam goes out of focus. Had to push it back in a few times.

    As for the flashing lights, are you aware of the ability to modify the flashing options by adjusting the 2 little jumoers inside the unit behind the bulb? I set mine so when it flashes its only the LED's and on steady its the lantern and LED's.
    Good point I forgot to bring up. If you shine your light on the wall from across the room and its not a complete circle of light the bulb is not set all the way in. If there is any darkness in the circle take it apart and push it in. Forgot to mention that Thanks

    and no I was not aware of the jumpers I will have to check that out today
    Thanks
    "Train as if your life depends on it"
    Always Remember *343*

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    81

    Default

    I have had my vulcan about a year with the same problems. My battery just went bad and the bulb has fallen out about 2-3 times. Did the rubber ring help keep the bulb in?

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Engine58's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Central, New Jersey
    Posts
    754

    Default

    We purchased about five of them for our truck and so far the guys love em...we've had them just about over a year now and havent had any problems yet, but now that I know about these problems I'll keep a closer eye on them now.
    Andrew
    Firefighter/EMT
    New Jersey

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    NDeMarse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Bronx, NYC
    Posts
    490

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by masterFF
    I have had my vulcan about a year with the same problems. My battery just went bad and the bulb has fallen out about 2-3 times. Did the rubber ring help keep the bulb in?
    I have officially retired my Vulcan light that is 1 1/2 years old. I had the rubber ring and it made no difference. The bulb would still fall out. To combat that, I put a small dab of super-glue on the light bulb between the prongs so it would not fall out. That seemed to work for a little while.

    Then for the 2nd time in less than a year, the battery will not hold a charge. The switch is also broken. I have sent this light to Streamlight 3 times in the past year. I have also sent other lights in for the same problems from other members. My light has COMPLETELY FAILED ME on 6 FIRES!

    I am out on the Vulcan! I liked the light and how it performed when it worked but I simply WILL NOT use it if it is not reliable. You guys form your own opinions and conclusions, but that is my experience. I went back to the older lights.

    Did anyone else have these problems or switch back? Just curious.

    Nate DeMarse
    FDNY
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

    Nate DeMarse
    Co-Owner, Brotherhood Instructors, LLC.
    http://brotherhoodinstructors.com
    Facebook Users: Join us here
    -------------------------------
    GET IN THE JOB, BE A STUDENT OF THE JOB!

  18. #18
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    386

    Default

    Nate:

    Your brother and I had this same discussion on a similar thread. I am a firefighter in Rockford (IL) and have sold approximately 50-60 of these lights to FF's on the job. About 50% of these lights have experienced the aforementioned problems. I have had the bulb pop out several times at fires (I keep mine on a biener on my gut belt) and have been very frustrated, both as a firefighter and Streamlight dealer. I have spoke to their quality control division several times and they have been good about repairing lights and also sending me a bunch of batteries to have on hand for replacement.

    Lately, we have been trying alternative lights and have had good luck with the Bright Star Light Hawk. This light is about a pound lighter than the Vulcan and the bulb is seated into place by the reflector. To date, we have had no issues, but guys only started buying this light about 6 months ago. I will keep you posted on my findings. Thank you and let me know if you need any more info.

    rfd599 E-10/C-16
    www.IllinoisFireStore.com

  19. #19
    Forum Member
    ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,339

    Default

    We have all Liteboxes...probably about 25 of them. Have trouble with the switches on some of them occasionally, having to click them a couple of times to get them to come on. I thought about getting a Vulcan because it looks like it would be lighter than a Litebox, yet put out much more light than a smaller unit could, such as a Streamlite.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Vulcan Light Bulb Replacement

    I have had the same problem before also, I just contact streamlight about the problem and complained about it. The repair deparment supervisor told me that they have developed a new light socket for the vulcan that is suppose to end the problem of the bulb falling out. They told me to send my light back to them for the repair. I will be sending it in this week.
    Just fyi to all

  21. #21
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cdemarse View Post
    There question was is the black outer ring on the head of the light soft or hard?.
    The one that I have had a hard plastic ring, they changed that out to a soft one when I sent it in for a battery replacement. the bulb still kept falling out.

    I will let y'all know about the replacement bulb socket when I get the repair made.

  22. #22
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    386

    Default

    Bonk:

    Keep us informed, I have two of these lights and have sold another 75 or so to brothers and sisters on my department. Many of us have had this issue.
    I am very curious to see if this works.....

    Stay safe,

    rfd599
    www.IllinoisFireStore.com

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Streamlight Fire vulcan problem
    By UFDFF15 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-21-2005, 04:26 PM
  2. Streamlight 20xp=led
    By MetalMedic in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-21-2005, 10:16 AM
  3. Streamlight Flashlights
    By VollieFireman in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-13-2004, 03:48 PM
  4. Streamlight helmet bracket
    By toddman in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-25-2004, 07:11 AM
  5. steamlight vulcan flashlight
    By fyrpiper32 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-14-2003, 09:08 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register