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Looking at some flashlights

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by OogieBoogie, Mar 5, 2020.

  1. OogieBoogie

    OogieBoogie Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 29, 2014
    A few years ago I bought my first "real" flashlight. It is a 300 lumen, aluminum body with a tail switch. I discovered that I like having a real flashlight but found some things that I don't like. This light uses 2 CR123 batteries (which go dead at the worse times). I'm looking to purchase another light but the field is crowded. I have looked at both Olight and Nitecore. I keep seeing lights with a LOT of lumens (and my ego keeps telling me that the more lumens the better), but the truth is that I rarely use the light I have at full power (it's just too bright sometimes). I'm thinking that I would like something rechargeable that can be kept at the ready (one in my car). I'm seeing some lights that max out at 1000 lumen, but the next step down is 200 (nothing in between). I've also grown fond of tail switches. Now for the kicker: I would like something under $70!
  2. GB940Rookie


    Apr 19, 2016
    Fenix UC30
  3. panella


    Sep 2, 2003
    Fenix TK15 has a tail switch and runs on either Cr123 or a rechargeable battery. Having the option of using either is a plus. I have two and like them very much. Fenix has several products that meet your criteria. Great flashlights.

    If you can forgo the tail switch, my favorite flashlight is the Thrunite TC20. Massive flood in a small package. For best price you can check out their website. They usually have discounts that will bring the cost in line if you check.
  4. Ourorboros


    Jan 23, 2017
    There are a lot of lights that fit, with a max output of more than 200 lumens and far less than $70.
    Really most 14500 and 18650 flashlights will easily do the job and fit in a glove box.
    The Lumintop EDC05 works nicely and can use AA batteries if you haven't recharged and need light. Really most of the Wowtac and Thorfire lines will exceed the output you want for less than $70.
  5. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    More lumens always means shorter battery time. There is one standard that some makers use for run-time, and that is the time from 100% to 10% of the original output. Now with drivers you can get some lights that will dump most of the battery right at once, so you get a runtime of say 1-2 hours, or you get an unregulated light (led lenser does this) and you get the same output, same battery but a runtime of 10 hours. Of course for most of that you have a dimmer light than the first option. If you see FL-1, that at least gives you an idea of how they measured it, if not, they may have just made the number up.

    As for output, its up to you, I like about 50 lumens for most tasks, on most days, but its nice to have more from time to time. In general 200 is "dark parking lot" bright, and everything after that is "SAR/tactical" so there is no need for lights to be between those points, if you are going to carry a light the size of an old school mag, it might as well look like the sun. Just like 6-10 seems like a good "find the key for the door" light. Humans are pretty close in needs. I have a Fenix TK41c that I picked up for playing out in the woods, and yep, it makes a good spotlight, at its 1000 lumen max, but its never proved super useful. Its 350 setting was still too bright to walk by alone, and was only useful to assist walkers well ahead of me who had very poor headlamps. With me 20-30 meters behind them, there was enough ambient light for them to easily walk.
    I'm partial to Fenix lights, right now pretty much all my lights are AA or AAA just for ease of maintaining a collection of rechargeables that work around the house, and I know I can always get them. But nitecore does good work as well.
    There are getting to be a lot more USB charged lights on the market. You will sacrifice some size and weight for the control circuit, but the convenience may be worth it for a light you can keep topped off.
    knarfeng likes this.
  6. MatthewSB


    Feb 1, 2013
    Surefire 6px pro can be found for less than $70. It has a high and low mode, high mode is 600 lumens and low is 15. Low mode lasts 52 hours on a set of batteries.

    Cheap imported lights usually aren't as bright as they advertise, by quite a bit, so a lol1000 lumen light can be half that. A true 600 lumen light with a proper reflector (like the 6px) will appear far brighter than many 1000 lumen lights. The Surefire is also less likely to break if dropped (or for any other reason) due to the shock proof assembly and if it does break you can interact with someone in California to get it repaired in California. Cheap lights often have to be shipped to China for repair.
    CHNeal likes this.
  7. neo71665


    Feb 18, 2020
    I'm a fan of my convoy s2+. I normally carry it with the 18650 tube but also have a shorter 18350 tube for it.
  8. gnystrom


    Dec 24, 2006
    You find chasing lumens is a waste of time. I like Malkoff flashlights but they are more money.
    Look at the Fenix lineup. Fair prices for a good product. I have little need for really high output or lots of programming functions.
    Go to YouTube for reviews.
  9. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    I’ve been using the rechargeable Milwaukee hard hat headlamp for a year or so. Best light I’ve ever owned. I wear it around my neck. It’s super handy shining down at my feet or aimed forward.
    Psy223 likes this.
  10. cbrstar


    Sep 7, 2015
    I just got my first "real" flashlight the other day which was a recommendation by my friend. Olight S2R Baton II. And I never been more happy with a purchase in years!

    It's small enough that it fits in my pocket and is ready to go anywhere. But look at the stats!

    1150 Lumen (turbo mode)
    60 day running time on moonlight mode (low is 100hr) (med is 14hr) (High is 4hr) (Turbo is 230min total, but only runs for 2min due to heat protection)
    Recharges though a cool magnet charger that comes with it.
    Water Proof is IPX8
    Candela is 4600

    Like a lot of other modern lights the switch acts like a power indicator. I've had mine now for at least 3 weeks and have been using it everyday for small jobs on high and it's still green!

    Here is a good review https://www.gearlimits.com/gear-review/review-olight-s1r-and-s2r-baton-ii/

    At the same time like I often do I also bought a Fenix UC30 because it was 50% off at my local Canadian Tire.
    I found that the flashlight was really well made. The switch on it I feel was maybe nicer then the Olight. But the lack of a pocket clip and the size kinda made it a tad meh. Plus the run time on it was 100hrs for low. So I ended up giving it to my little Brother who is a Electrician for work and he loves it.
  11. dogboye

    dogboye Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    I'm a fan of Olight.
    Baoh likes this.
  12. colin.p


    Feb 4, 2017
    I have three Olights, an i1r, an i3t, and an m2r that I bought from Amazon in 2017. The i1r is on my keychain and I use it fairly often, the i3t is in my work vest pocket (with an eneloop rechargeable battery) and the m2r is beside my computer and is used often. All three work just fine and other than the m2r (bought it in a fit of weakness) are fairly cheap ($20-$25 CAN, or five bucks US :rolleyes:).

    Now the only reason I have Olight's is because they were cheap and they advertised, so they won out. I'm quite sure there are better/fancier lights out there but my flashlight needs are fairly modest (and the fact is I'm broke).
  13. Venice

    Venice Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2017
    Not many know about the Peak lights but their Logan 17500 will run virtually any battery up to and including a 17500 (not even sure what that is).
    It will run AAA, AA CR 123 and all versions of those in lithium ions with adapters.
    You can order your choice of optics and single mode or QTC technology (ramping up) and choice of metals; aluminium, brass or SS.
    Literally built like a tank.
    Been thinking of getting one myself.
  14. Amir Fleschwund

    Amir Fleschwund Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Please don't laugh, but I really like my Mini Maglight LED AA.
    I have four or five expensive, and bright CR123 flashlights, but for long battery life on cheap batteries you can find anywhere, the Mini LED works for me. And it's much brighter than your grandad's Maglight.
    315 and dogboye like this.
  15. Sharp Steel

    Sharp Steel

    Aug 10, 2009
    I picked up a Milwaukee Inspection Light (2 AA batteries) at the local home center. It won't light up the side of skyscraper or reach the Moon, but it has a nice circle of light with no hotspots. The output is less than a Mini Maglite and its color is closer to the 2700 Kelvin side of the light spectrum. Cost me under $25.
  16. bdmicarta

    bdmicarta Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    They aren't bad, and they actually have a few models with pretty good output. It is a little bit of a jump to start using lights with CR123 batteries because now you have to keep a stock of those batteries and be careful where you buy them so you don't get ripped off. There are some good lights of that type that are now easily rechargeable but they are a bit more expensive. But for economy the mini-mags are great.
    Amir Fleschwund likes this.
  17. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    My daily light for the past year has been a Solitaire LED.
    50-ish lumens usually enough, has no dumb modes to cycle through, it's not all futuristic and ugly looking, and it's US made which is a plus for me.
    Not the best quality beam or anything, but its good enough, and Maglite makes the best looking flashlights out there.
    They look great because they simply look like a flashlight, when I hear the word flashlight I picture a Maglite not a tactical monstrosity or a pocket lightsaber.

    Hard to deny the quality of Olight for sure, I just wish more of their lights didn't follow the trend of modern folding knives.
    They have some that don't , just not enough of them.
  18. Notaflashyguybyanymeans

    Notaflashyguybyanymeans Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 5, 2019
    What I recommend to everyone are lights from Armytek. Armteks (in general) are energy efficient, have loads of brightness settings and blinding top ends. Also they're tough as heck. I personally carry an Armytek Wizard Pro as my EDC. It has surplanted all my Nitcores and Olights as my favorite flashlight. I've pretty much gotten rid of all of my other 18650 lights. The only thing that I think you might find to be a drawback; they tend to not have switches on the tail cap because they have magnetic bases. Some of them even allow for charging via the magnetic base, which is incredibly convenient.
  19. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker

    Feb 28, 2011
    I'm very fond of the Drop Vega AA/14500. It's a nice, inexpensive light that's compact enough to carry in whatever pants you regularly wear, batteries are easy to find and it gets plenty bright enough. I also like the fact that it comes in a fairly bright blue, which makes it easier to find when you sit it down.than the ubiquitous black aluminum seen in the flashlight world

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