Your thoughts on discount store Xenon flashlights?

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Feb 5, 2005
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I'm much more of a knife knut than a flashlight, uh, fnut, but I like to keep a few medium-quality flashlights around on my person, at home, and in my truck.

Based on reviews on Candlepowerforums.com, I've invested in a few Inova and several Chinese-made (but positively reviewed) flashlights, all of which feature LED bulbs, and most of which use AA or AAA batteries.

I've been toying with the idea of buying a Xenon flashlight that uses R123 batteries just to see what it's like to use one. My needs are "white collar" so it would be purely a 'for fun' purchase -- I already have plenty of LED lights around for real emergencies.

Candlepowerforums posters are all over the map when it comes to cheapo Xenon flashlights (as opposed to the apparent consensus that there are lots of very good quality cheapo LED lights). I wonder if anyone in this forum has had experience with, say, Wal-Mart or Target Xenon lights in the $15 - $30 range?
 
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You can find the Brinkmann Maxfire LX at Targets. This is a 2 battery CR123 Xenon that is very similar in size and function as the Surefire G2 model. It has a momentary tail switch and a rubber sleeve over the center of its body. This is a very bright light in my experience. But there is no lumens output rating anywhere on its packaging. I have ran it thru a single set of batteries. And run time is approximately 50 minutes. Beam quality is quite good with the usual hot spot and very good spill. I can't measure either. But brightness appears quite close in both the G2 and this Brinkmann. The Brinkmann comes with a pair of batteries with a (cheesy) nylon carrying case, all in a blister pack. All for about $18!! Good deal.

N.
 
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Note that you cannot use R123s in a light that was designed for CR123s without blowing the bulb. Lithium-ions have too much voltage to be safe.
 
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While I dont quite know about the "R123" and "CR123" battery issue, I can say that I own two of those 5",black, rubber gripped Brinkmann flashlights. They work great. Lightweight impact-resistant plastic body with a rubber handle insert is nice. Downfalls of the light will be the "clicky push button" on/off on the bottom of the light. It tends to get "sticky" or sloppy in the mechanism over time, but I would say it takes two years of moderate use to do so. Both have been underwater for a couple of minutes, not deeper than ten feet. Batteries (CR123 lithium-all kinds including high voltage[longer lasting] have been used) last about an hour and 20 minutes or so, after that, your white beam turns golden and weak. I like them though, I buy five more to last to the next century rather than drop the bucks on a Gladiator or Surefire...Brinkmanns are a lot lighters too, comparable to the Surefire Nilotron basic $35.00 model.
 
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The Brinkman is a good little light--although the beam isn't as "complete" as my Surefire's. But for $20 bucks---no complaints---heck the batteries alone are worth $5-$10 if you're strickly shopping in Walmart. Much cheaper online---the batteries that is.
 
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Well, I have the "magnifier" AA LED flashlight from CheaperThanDirt, and considering the cost, I have no complaints!
 
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You can get a Surefire G2 for about $25. Why go with a junk brand when you can get quality at the same price?
 

Planterz

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medusaoblongata said:
You can get a Surefire G2 for about $25. Why go with a junk brand when you can get quality at the same price?
Exactly. It might cost slightly more, but it'll last much longer before breaking (if ever), and you get a lifetime warranty. Most importantly, you'll know it'll work when you need it to. The Brinkmans aren't too shabby, but only slightly less cost than a Surefire.
 
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a 1.5W, 2AA River Rock from Target. I also got a Dorcy Metal Gear from Wal-Mart not too long ago. Both are decent lights for $20. You might check out the Dorcy Super 1Watt. It's not too big, uses a single 123, 1W Luxeon, made in Taiwan instead of China. Not a bad looking little light.

Frank
 
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i would go with either surefire or nuwai myself, or maybe a fenix , pretty close to the same price/lots better, some of the cheapo lights arent too shabby though, but ya get what ya pay for in the long run every time imho.
 
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The cheapest I've seen the g2 in a store was $34 bucks. A spare bulb costs around $ 16 and nobody sells them near me so add 6 bucks shipping .

The maxfire is $16.95 at Target , and they have bulbs in the store for $5 .

So I can buy a new Maxfire for less then the cost of ordering a bulb for the g2.

That said I carry a Surefire E2e. I keep a Surefire G2 on the kitchen counter top for when we need to grab a light in a hurry. I got the G2 because at the time it WAS the cheap well made lotta light in a small package light . I HATE paying half the cost of the light for a bulb .
 
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FWIW in over 5 yrs i have never had to replace a SF bulb (knock on wood) and i have dropped them a time/2.
 
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Have two G2's and a 6P(the 6P is about perfect)------I'd rather have the "clicky" tailcap of the Brinkman---over the non-lock out G2's push button only switch-------in hindsight-- I wish I would have got another 6P instead of the G2's------I won't be buying another G2 due to the inferior switch system.
 
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It was a birthday present from a buddy I've worked with for over six years. I don't know how much it cost him because his Aunt works for Surefire. It was a hell of a surprise and it's a hell of a nice light. I think I'll have this big goofy grin all night. I sure (no pun intended) didn't have the cash to splurge on myself this year (hence my reviews of all the cheap lights). Nice surprise from a good friend.

Frank
 

hara-kiri-yogi

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a friend of mine carries a princeton-tec xenon that he got for less than $30, it supposedly puts out 65 lumens and is water resistent enough to use for diving. I think it uses AA batteries, though... He likes it. I'm an LED man, myself.
 
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Around last Christmas, I was buying inexpensive LED lights as gifts ( River Rock and Inovas at Target, Elements at Sams). While searching for the LEDs at Sams I found thease small xenon flashlights ( two per blister pack ) for 20 dollars. They have a tailcap clicky and look like a cheap smaller clone of an early Surefire. They hold 2 123a batteries and listed 80 lumens IIRC. They were mentioned by someone at CPF as being a pretty good buy for the money, with batteries included, and it was mentioned that a certain Surefire bulb setup could be used to replace the stock one. I need to search out that thread. Anyway, It is a cool light for the money and there is one in each of my trucks since the batteries are not messed up by sitting like alkalines.
 
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