Flashlights!

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Flashlights!

Postposted on Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:31 pm

I have an addiction (obsession?) to flashlights, from oil lamps to LED flashlights. Most don't last through the horrible conditions I put them through, but a few are worthy of mention, as they survived so far.

I have a small Tektite Trek 4 4-LED flashlight that isn't incredibly bright, but is very reliable and batteries last forever in it. I've had the thing for a decade and changed the batteries once. I use it all the time, and it's been on every night hike and camping trip. I also have a Tektite Trek 7, which is the 7-LED version of a Navy SEAL flashlight. I got this flashlight with green LEDs for some reason I don't remember, so I don't use it much. It has also developed an interesting problem over the years, where it never fully shuts off, rather it stays on with a barely perceptible beam that's only visible when the the room is completely dark, or if you stare straight down into the LEDs. Still, I've had the thing as long as the 4-LED flashlight, and have never changed its batteries.

My latest acquisition is a Petzl Taktikka 4-LED headlamp with the red flip-down filter. I got it for night hikes, but it's already paid for itself by helping me around the house. I also have a Petzl E+Lite that's proven itself multiple times.

I also have a Photon Light on my keyring, but after so many years it's crying for retirement; the button to turn it on and off doesn't always work right so it's inconvenient, but it works if I fiddle with it.

My latest obsession with flashlights began when I stumbled upon the SureFire website. Apparently, the company was started by an engineer to build industrial lasers and later turned into a company that makes lighting for guns and other tactical uses. Whatever of that story is pomp and hype, the flashlights look amazing. They're also amazingly expensive, leading me to believe that I'm going to be eating a lot of rice this year so I can save up for one of these.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:50 pm

Interesting topic actually, I'm after a decent small LED torch, I need them for looking underneath cars for damage at work. Looking into the first link.

We've all got these crappy $10 LED torches you get from anywhere and they all suck, goes through batteries very quickly, not very bright, small spread etc.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:57 pm

I rock a Fenix E01 on my keychain.

Had it for almost two years now, and I'm now on the second battery, and I use it all the time.

(I use Energizer e2 lithiums in it.)
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:59 pm

I want a small light too, uses 2 AA batteries and LED bulb. My research seems to point to the MagLite or the Duracell. Any other suggestions? It's just for around the apartment and general use.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:14 am

From what I've seen, the mass-market consumer stuff isn't very good.

Like I said, I've had good luck with my Fenix.

Here's Fenix's cheapest 2xAA light: http://www.4sevens.com/product_info.php ... cts_id=498
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:18 am

bhtooefr wrote:From what I've seen, the mass-market consumer stuff isn't very good.

Like I said, I've had good luck with my Fenix.

Here's Fenix's cheapest 2xAA light: http://www.4sevens.com/product_info.php ... cts_id=498

Good stuff, 109 lumens! Of course the trade-off is 3.3 hours runtime. Interesting idea.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:05 am

Hmm. Looks like it doesn't have settings, either.

The L2T v2.0 gets more expensive, but it's got a choice between 16 lumens for a ridiculously long time, or 152 lumens: http://www.4sevens.com/product_info.php ... cts_id=335

And the LD20+ can do 9, 50, 105, or 205 lumens, plus an SOS signal and a strobe. http://www.4sevens.com/product_info.php ... cts_id=362
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:11 am

Surefire flashlights really are great. They're what the military uses. Their higher output compact flashlights will temporary blind someone on the other end whose eyes were used to the dark. Additionally they're very reliable and durable.

The LED surefires allow for much greater battery life based on their manufacturer specs.. those batteries are kind of expensive. Also, don't compare surefire's rated light output directly with cheaper/similar competitors. There are multiple ways to measure the lumen output etc.

I've got a surefire forend on one of my shotguns as my house kept getting broken into when I was at college. I don't really have any use for it now though.. just makes me look like a gear queer.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:24 am

Don't Surefires just use CR123As?

You can get large packs of CR123As fairly cheaply... (but buying a couple at a time is rather expensive.)
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:22 am

Fenix looks like the Chinese knockoff version of SureFire, with Engrish to match in many places. Makes me feel icky, but their stuff looks very nice.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:28 am

As I am a tad blind I need very powerful flashights. Back a year and a ahalf ago I got somew indutrial 10 mil candlepower flashlight. Came in a box the size of a tv but its rather light even thjo its HUGE.

And yes its bright;/ Has two settings and in lower of the two is perfect for nighttime bug watching with ones neice...

Next one I get tho will likely be a high power floodlight style flashlight. Hopefully and led based one.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:40 am

FireGryphon wrote:Fenix looks like the Chinese knockoff version of SureFire, with Engrish to match in many places. Makes me feel icky, but their stuff looks very nice.

You should see the flamewars between Fenix (E01) and ARC (AAA) fans...

It's actually worse than ATI vs. Nvidia flamewars. :o
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:24 am

I'm partial to the Maglites, although they are considered quite old-school by today's standards. But, I'll say this, I have an old 5 C-cell I bought in 1991, and it still works as well as the day I bought it. It's been through several hurricanes, multi-day power outages, and lots of garage work without a hitch. A couple of years ago, I replaced the bulb with an LED one. Batteries now last a very long time, as you might imagine. I also keep a three AA cell Maglite LCD flashlight in my glove box. That thing is very bright. I'd probably get a Surefire if any of them used regular batteries instead of the more exotic stuff. I like being able to use rechargeable batteries. I just don't see the advantage of buying a $200 Surefire that uses weird batteries... over a Maglite that is just as bright, small, and tough, and uses regular batteries. Maybe I'm missing something, though.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:31 am

Well, there are LiIons in the CR123A form factor...
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:26 pm

Don't Surefires just use CR123As?


Yeah, but they'll burn through them pretty quickly. I think my basic surefire incandescent goes through 2 per hour of constant use. Seeing as it's a weapon light with a touch strip that's not a big deal but I'd imagine one used as a normal flashlight would get expensive. The LED versions last 3-4 times as long IIRC while putting out more light(haven't actually seen them in use).
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:29 pm

The Swamp wrote:I'm partial to the Maglites, although they are considered quite old-school by today's standards.

MagLites only for me as well. The 3 D-Cell unit is a handy compromise between power (our State Troopers use the 5-cell as a substitute billy club) and size and the 2 AA-cell versions are so handy I've got several lying around in various places. Haven't broken one yet, though through no lack of trying.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:52 am

Flying Fox wrote:I want a small light too, uses 2 AA batteries and LED bulb. My research seems to point to the MagLite or the Duracell. Any other suggestions? It's just for around the apartment and general use.

I've got at least three of the twin-AA LED MagLites and they work quite well. You can pick them up at Home Depot for about $25, which is a smidge more than Amazon but convenient anyway.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:59 pm

Sure, the 2-AA Mini Maglite is handy. With custom printing, it makes a good promotional give-away. The camouflage Mini Maglite on my end table was a safety awareness prize from work. However, my current favorite flashlights are a pair of 3-AAA LED lights that I picked up at Sam's Club. They have a pushbutton switch on the back that cycles through three settings: Off, Very Bright, and "OH! MY EYES!" 8)

I purchased my last non-LED flashlight some time ago.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:59 pm

For some reason I hate those 3AA/AAA things because I can't really match battery packs that I can buy. :-?
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:40 pm

Can't tell you how many electrical fix-it projects have ended with me working in live boxes/panels and chewing a MiniMag like a cheap cigar. I've come to enjoy the taste of anodized aluminum.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:30 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Can't tell you how many electrical fix-it projects have ended with me working in live boxes/panels and chewing a MiniMag like a cheap cigar. I've come to enjoy the taste of anodized aluminum.

Ya know... they make these flashlights that you wear as a head band nowadays. What will they think of next with all that new-fangled technology?! :-)
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:46 pm

Buub wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Can't tell you how many electrical fix-it projects have ended with me working in live boxes/panels and chewing a MiniMag like a cheap cigar. I've come to enjoy the taste of anodized aluminum.

Ya know... they make these flashlights that you wear as a head band nowadays. What will they think of next with all that new-fangled technology?! :-)

I was going to say...there's something about having an aluminum bus bar in your mouth while working on live electrical gear that has "Darwin Award" written all over it.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:34 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Can't tell you how many electrical fix-it projects have ended with me working in live boxes/panels and chewing a MiniMag like a cheap cigar. I've come to enjoy the taste of anodized aluminum.

I know the feeling!
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:34 pm

Buub wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Can't tell you how many electrical fix-it projects have ended with me working in live boxes/panels and chewing a MiniMag like a cheap cigar. I've come to enjoy the taste of anodized aluminum.

Ya know... they make these flashlights that you wear as a head band nowadays. What will they think of next with all that new-fangled technology?! :-)

I really want one of these. It would come in so handy fishing. I would also be flagged as the biggest dork fishing that night.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:39 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:Ya know... they make these flashlights that you wear as a head band nowadays. What will they think of next with all that new-fangled technology?! :-)
I really want one of these. It would come in so handy fishing. I would also be flagged as the biggest dork fishing that night.

Add bluetooth headset for extra dork points.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:05 pm

Buub wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Can't tell you how many electrical fix-it projects have ended with me working in live boxes/panels and chewing a MiniMag like a cheap cigar. I've come to enjoy the taste of anodized aluminum.
Ya know... they make these flashlights that you wear as a head band nowadays. What will they think of next with all that new-fangled technology?! :-)

The color of the light isn't right. I much prefer incandescent to LED in that regard. I save the head lamp for camping.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:33 pm

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

Postposted on Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:40 pm

Vinyl & PC.
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:42 pm

I like incandescent because it shows eye shine better when looking for animals...but most of the otherwise good flashlights/headlamps are LCD so oh well.
Big Maglights are too large, and awkward for field use. I have a little LED headlamp that's rated at 75 lumens using one AA battery that weighs a few ounces...so far it's the best trade off I've found. Leaves my hands free, doesn't take up tons of space or weigh too much, and has great illumination. So/so battery life but 2-3 AAs don't weigh much and get me through a few nights of decent use. Also has a red setting so I don't spook the animals. if only it was incandescent :(
edit; the brand is Energizer, and I was surprised to see them in the headlamp business. But it works. Cost like 35 bucks or so. Fenix has a wonderful reputation among the field biologist I know but they're too pricey for my blood (150 on a light?!?!).
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Re: Flashlights!

Postposted on Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:33 pm

I think I want a red headlamp so I don't completely wreck my nightvision when I need it to retie, untangle, etc.
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