Flashlights!

Hang out, sip some ice tea, and shoot the breeze with TR regulars.

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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:13 pm

Nutmeg wrote:
just brew it! wrote:I've been pretty happy with this one. I'm sure it's just someone else's light with an Ace Hardware logo stenciled on the side. Runs on two AAs (I use a couple of low-self-discharge NiMHs).

I bought something very similar the other day. It's amazingly bright compared to the old bulb torches i'm used to. :D

Yeah, amazing what a modern high-intensity LED can do. They've come a long way! (And we rely on that fact at my day job too... which is completely unrelated to flashlights!)

Rectal Prolapse wrote:Damn, I read the topic title as "Fleshlights!"

I remember reading about those a few years ago. You've got a dirty mind! (As if your handle wasn't a dead giveaway...)

Speaking of which, the mods and admins actually had a discussion about whether to require you to change your handle back when you signed up. The discussion went nowhere... as evidenced by the fact that you still have your handle. :lol:
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:23 pm

eh. it's a medical condition
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:33 pm

paulWTAMU wrote:eh. it's a medical condition

Yup. But one which often results from... ahem... we won't go there. Did I mention he's been allowed to keep his handle? :roll:
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:02 pm

Yea so, my unnatural flashlight interest likes to find interesting things.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rZ2FQ-7iLg
I know i won't be able to afford something like that, wouldn't have a practical use for it anyway, but it's still pretty awesome.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:21 pm

That's the kind of light you'd want for a searchlight.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:37 pm

Oh my. I had no idea there was a little bit of drama regarding my handle!

Anyhow - I use my headlamp for reading my Sony PRS505 e-ink reader at night. Works well!
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:22 pm

As stated previously, LEDs have come a long way in recent years. Especially in terms of efficiency. It's amazing how much output (lumens) you can get from, say, 1.2V (ie, single rechargeable AA).

For example, I bought a couple of these a couple of months ago or so. I think their excellent value. And while they don't last forever on a single AA, AAs are much cheaper and easier to use than special lithium varieties. Bright enough to use as headlights on a bicycle.


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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:06 pm

I've been carrying one of these in my pocket for about 18 months now. Changed the AAA after about a year. I use it every single day, and co-workers borrow it a lot.
Has 3 brightness levels. Medium is good and high is quite bright.
It's pretty stout, bright, small, takes an easy to get battery.

http://www.countycomm.com/aaa.html
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:52 am

Heiwashin wrote:I know they're supposed to be good for 10ish years but i'm still hesitant about planning to buy for that long ahead. If i find a flashlight crew willing to split one i'd go in though.

You can get rechargeable 123s too, apparently. Voltage is somewhat higher, but mAh capacity is lower than non-rechargeable ones. If your light can tolerate the higher voltage, they might be worth a look.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:50 am

For some reason it explicitly says not to use rechargeable 123's. It can also use 18650's but because of the lower voltage it reaches some annoyingly high current like 5 amps that introduces risk of explosion. I don't mean just a leak or whatever either, i tried to dig up a thread on CPF that had pictures of some ones fully fragmented light that was using not-the-best batteries but couldn't find it. That's still an option though and the only reason i didn't get some before was because i preferred having the cr123's for their long useful life and had a total spending cap on the first light and accessories at the time. Now that some time has passed since i bought the last battery rack i could justify spending 50$~ on a rechargeable set and keep the 123's for rainy days, or weeks, whatever. :P That would certainly work out better in the long run.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:49 am

Heiwashin wrote:For some reason it explicitly says not to use rechargeable 123's.

Probably due to the higher voltage -- 3.6 vs. 3.0. The higher voltage is due to the slightly different battery chemistry needed to make them rechargeable.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:45 pm

Oh yea i understand. Using 4 of those in series definitely makes that a pretty big difference.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:57 am

I use flashlights all day at work, I've tried countless LED lights, I just can't see well enough with them, I'll stick with my rechargeable makita incandescent.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:18 pm

jss21382 wrote:I use flashlights all day at work, I've tried countless LED lights, I just can't see well enough with them, I'll stick with my rechargeable makita incandescent.

The nice thing about incandescent is how colors look. Every LED flashlight I've used makes things look goofy.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:51 pm

So, in the last month I spent a ridiculous amount of money on flashlights. Darkness, begone along with my solvency!
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:58 pm

FireGryphon wrote:So, in the last month I spent a ridiculous amount of money on flashlights. Darkness, begone along with my solvency!


Nice to know i'm not the only one that has a problem. We should start some kindof group therapy for this.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:30 pm

Having all these expensive flashlights around is good so far. The batteries are lasting for a long time, they're BRIGHT, and they seem none the worse for wear. Of my new ones, the Quark Mini 123 stays in my work bag, the G2X Tactical lives in my gun bag, and the G3D on my night table. They're come in handy many times and I like knowing they'll always be there (queue romantic music and sunset backdrop).

A Fenix LD40 is living in my Amazon shopping cart. Has been for a while. Just waiting for the itch to hit hard. I like the idea of rechargeable AA NiMH batteries that don't leak lose much power over time (eneloops) to pair with this light. They also have a better temperature range than ordinary alkaline or NiMH cells. Not as good as CR123, though, which I consider good for the ultimate backup plan, but for every day fooling around I might have to stock up on some eneloops and AA lights.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:41 am

Just to add, I have the Surefire 6PX-Pro in my "go bag" and it has served me well. Its a 2 stage FL that does 15 lumens for everyday use and then 200 lumens for that need oomph. And with it being a LED FL the 200 lumens is bright as hell, it certainly would temporarily blind someone.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:12 pm

Just as i'm settling in with my tk35 fenix announced a tk60 which as far as i can tell is a perfect home storm light. 4 D cells power it on 10 lumens for 400 hours up to 800 lumens for over 4 hours. 120$'s Really sexy, but that's a big mamma jamma. I've already found my tk35 to be cumbersome at times and wish it was just a bit smaller so it could replace my carry around light. Still, the last functional light i would like is something very efficient using common batteries that could function as an always on to light a single room during a storm. As it is i'm the only person who prepares for outages and such, and i'm guaranteed to have at least 5 people here in the event of a severe hurricane.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:38 pm

Stanley HID spotlight at walmart for 70 bucks is a STEAL. It is a portable HID spotlight.... 3500 lumens. Look up the reviews, people rave about this thing



For something small, get a flashlight that has an Cree XM-L LED. Extremely efficient and bright. I have a Lumapower Trust Model 1. It uses 1AA battery and is brighter than a 6D maglite.

Also, look up the SST-90, it is pricey.

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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:21 pm

I just got a Zebralight SC51 in the mail. I got the neutral white version which has slightly less lumens than the cool white (172lm vs. 200lm.) but the difference in brightness shouldn't be that great and the lower-powered version affords slightly longer run times which is good for a light that has to last (and at these brightness levels, it's bright enough). The UI of the SC51 is pretty good, but the multi-sublevels of high are annoying as I don't know which is which :evil: If the light only had one sub-level for each mode it would be much easier. The SC51 comes with a headband that's worthless for making the light a headlamp.

This light is quite small and seems well-built. I like the traditional forward-mounted clickie switch that to me is more intuitive for normal use than the tactical clickie on most other high end flashlights I own. I have a feeling tail switches are more popular for a reason but it's nice to have a regular switch on this light. I like the clip; this is my first light with a clip and I reckon it won't be my last. The clip makes it much easier to carry in a pocket. It can clip on and sit up top the pocket without getting mixed into the mayhem at the bottom.

I'm currently using a Powerex 2700 mAh NiMH in the SC51 and it works well. This is the only AA light I have. If I get more I'll invest in some eneloops.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:30 pm

I hiked through Utah for a few days. I had a dozen lights from which to choose, but the useful ones were thus:

Petzl Tikka (not sure of the model): At around 40 lumens on high, this headlight is the most useful campsite and hiking light there is because it frees your hands for important work. It's only drawback is that it's not technically waterproof, and while that hasn't been a problem yet I am loathe to have to use it in the rain.

Xeno E03: For $30 you can't find a better flashlight. Tough as nails, easy UI, waterproof, light, long runtime, and bright. I brought two of these and a diffuser for each, and they lit up the whole campsite and tent wonderfully.

Surefire G2X Pro: The ease of use and sheer brightness of this light in such a small size makes it invaluable and a pleasure to use.

I had other assorted lights that I gave to my buddies to use (Surefire, 4Sevens, etc.) that were handy as well. All were powered by either AA eneloops or Surefire CR123As. It's nice knowing you'll have light when and how you need it.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:45 pm

FireGryphon wrote:Petzl Tikka (not sure of the model): At around 40 lumens on high, this headlight is the most useful campsite and hiking light there is because it frees your hands for important work. It's only drawback is that it's not technically waterproof, and while that hasn't been a problem yet I am loathe to have to use it in the rain.

I've had an original Petzl Tikka for a decade or so and I won't go anywhere without it. When not on my head or in a bag, it hangs from the bedpost readily to hand. From trails to hotel rooms with no power to darkened cellars working on wiring to late-night tent reading it's been a constant and dependable companion as well as being easy on batteries (3 AAA). The only real issue is that I've had it for so long that the elastic in the headband is starting to go, but Campmor sells a replacement for $6.95.

As for rain, don't worry. Mine's been wet many times with nary a hiccup. Don't let the batteries leak and you'll have this thing for life.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:25 pm

Captain Ned wrote:I've had an original Petzl Tikka for a decade or so and I won't go anywhere without it. When not on my head or in a bag, it hangs from the bedpost readily to hand. From trails to hotel rooms with no power to darkened cellars working on wiring to late-night tent reading it's been a constant and dependable companion as well as being easy on batteries (3 AAA). The only real issue is that I've had it for so long that the elastic in the headband is starting to go, but Campmor sells a replacement for $6.95.

As for rain, don't worry. Mine's been wet many times with nary a hiccup. Don't let the batteries leak and you'll have this thing for life.


I should have added that I dislike the unregulated circuit -- just because it's an inelegant solution -- but the light still gets excellent battery life. I just wonder how much better it'd be with a well-regulated circuit in there. (I'm assuming it's unregulated because elsewhere in the flashlight world it's a common practice to use three AAA cells in inexpensive, unregulated products, where regulated ones can do with only one or two cells.) Good to hear about the water tightness. I'm still a bit apprehensive about strapping lithium cells to my forehead in an unsealed enclosure. Despite all of this, the Tikka is my prized possession.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:44 pm

FireGryphon wrote:I should have added that I dislike the unregulated circuit -- just because it's an inelegant solution -- but the light still gets excellent battery life. I just wonder how much better it'd be with a well-regulated circuit in there. (I'm assuming it's unregulated because elsewhere in the flashlight world it's a common practice to use three AAA cells in inexpensive, unregulated products, where regulated ones can do with only one or two cells.) Good to hear about the water tightness. I'm still a bit apprehensive about strapping lithium cells to my forehead in an unsealed enclosure. Despite all of this, the Tikka is my prized possession.

Given the age of the thing I'm pretty sure that regulated circuits were way too expensive at the time. Even today, how long to amortize the initial cost delta over the marginal cost of 1 or 2 AAA cells every year or so? :wink:

As for rain/water I must admit that I've never used lithium cells in it, just good old Duracell alkalines, so my observations may not fit your needs.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:08 am

Lots of my friends aren't so skeptical now that Irene is bearing down on us and they're realizing they don't have any working flashlights.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:41 am

derFunkenstein wrote:Oh, man. Incandescent vs. LED preferences for checking the breaker box? Have we found a new "vinyl vs. CD" or "Mac vs. PC"?

Maybe not for checking the breaker box, but if you need to see colour there is a definite advantage to incandescent. If you have to tell wires apart by their colour, you need a light source that will show the difference between those colours. Depending on which colours you need to tell apart and what kind of LED flashlight you have, you might not see any difference even if the light of the flashlight is perceived as being white.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:03 pm

Firestarter wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:Oh, man. Incandescent vs. LED preferences for checking the breaker box? Have we found a new "vinyl vs. CD" or "Mac vs. PC"?

Maybe not for checking the breaker box, but if you need to see colour there is a definite advantage to incandescent. If you have to tell wires apart by their colour, you need a light source that will show the difference between those colours. Depending on which colours you need to tell apart and what kind of LED flashlight you have, you might not see any difference even if the light of the flashlight is perceived as being white.

I have yet to see a white LED anything that didn't give off enough spectral range to differentiate wire colors. What kind of situation are you envisioning?
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:07 pm

Firestarter wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:Oh, man. Incandescent vs. LED preferences for checking the breaker box? Have we found a new "vinyl vs. CD" or "Mac vs. PC"?

Maybe not for checking the breaker box, but if you need to see colour there is a definite advantage to incandescent. If you have to tell wires apart by their colour, you need a light source that will show the difference between those colours. Depending on which colours you need to tell apart and what kind of LED flashlight you have, you might not see any difference even if the light of the flashlight is perceived as being white.


High end flashlights are now coming out with high-CRI LEDs. Most are 85 CRI but a few companies have 92 CRI models out now. There's definitely a difference in color rendition and perceived brightness depending on the color of the LED.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:57 pm

Haha this discussion reminds me more of CRT vs LCD monitors more than anything! "oh yeah, I know these new things use a lot less power and are brighter and a lot lighter, but for my super professional studio colour image editing, really nothing beats a good £3000 30 inch CRT monitor man".
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