I just happen to have two 3 "C" battery torches on my desk at home, and I thought to myelf - I should do a little comparison.
The two torches are both from Pelican the only difference is the bulb, one being LED and the other being Xenon.
Pelican website quotes... "The bulb is meant to last 10,000 hours of lamp life and extended battery burn time."
on the LED torch. The LED is only a one watt bulb which means that you should be able to run it for 50 hours compared with just 5hours from the 3.3 watt Xenon bulb.
Top torch is the Xenon. note: I have modified the black Xenon, to get rid of the unneeded clip replacing it with a simple stainless gateclip.
Left is the Xenon blub, and right is the LED
According to their website the Xenon bulb produces a little more light than the LED, but is it noticable in the real world? I took two brand new torches, and six brand new batteries and put them side by side in my study about two metres from the wall to see.
The results are easy to see. The Xenon torch does a better job of focusing the light. Producing a hotspot that is brighter than the LED. The actual LED is actually placed backwards and the light is thrown forward via the reflector. It produces a whiter/bluer light, and perfectly round beam compared with the Xenon bulb.
When underwater I find the Xenon does a better job when looking under rocks, etc... I'll be able to make out a cray just that little bit easier when peering right down a deep crack.
So while the two torches are quite close. If I had to choose one for my backup torch, I'd be the Xenon.
Or this - My 30w HID project light - more on that soon