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EDC light recommendation?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by MikeySnyder, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. MikeySnyder

    MikeySnyder Loaded Pockets

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    Hey Guys! I currently pocket a Gerber Infinity Ultra LED and a Neiko 21 LED flashlight. Looking to buy my first "real" light though. I filled out the checklist, and added my own commentary here and there. Id love to hear what you guys have to say! Thanks!




    1) Short Essay Question: ill be using it for EDC, keeping it in the sitka mainly. But i would also like to use it when camping. So if it uses a rechargeable power source thats fine, but i want to be able to swap that for AA's or something else when camping or with out a power source

    2) What Region/Country/State will the light be purchased in?
    [ ] I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.

    3) Price Range: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest!
    [ ] I have no limit! <--with in reason(over $100 is fine. but i wont be getting my hands on one of the $300+ surefire's any time soon)

    4) Format:
    PART A
    [ ] I want a flashlight.

    PART B
    Length:
    [ ] 2-4 inches. (Pocket carry)
    [ ] 4-9 inches. (Holster carry)

    PART C
    Width:
    [ ] I prefer a short wide light.

    PART D
    Weight:
    Lights of a similar size can be very different in weight and may turn the perfect sized light into a paper weight. In general a lights of the same size will stack up like this; plastic and aluminum will be your lighter choices brass, stainless steel, bronze will be heavier. I won't put numbers here because everyone has a different weight sensitivity. For the purposes of EDC specifically I'll limit the choices here to the more easily carried sizes pick 2 sizes to represent a range of weight.
    [ ] Medium light, about the weight of a AAA MiniMag
    [ ] Medium, slightly heavier than a AA MiniMag

    5) What kind of "bulb".
    [ ] LED - more rugged, unlikely to burn out in your lifetime, less accurate color rendition, in general less output but more efficient (longer runtimes)

    6) What batteries do you want to use? Alkaline batteries are easier to find and less expensive but don't pack as much stored energy and are don't work well in cold temperatures. Lithium batteries have long shelf life (10+ years, great for stored emergency lights) and are not as affected by cold but must be kept dry and are more expensive. Rechargeable start expensive, but if used frequently pay off quickly.
    [ ] I want common Alkaline batteries. (AA, AAA, C, D)
    [ ] I want lithium batteries. (coin cells, CR123, AAA, AA...)
    [ ] I want a rechargeable system. (an investment, but best for everyday use)

    7) How much light do you want? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).
    [ ] I want to walk unpaved trails. (40 lumens)
    [ ] I want to do Caving or Search & Rescue operations. (60+ lumens)
    [ ] I want to light an entire campground or dazzle an intruder. (100+ lumens)

    8) Throw vs Flood: Which do you prefer, lights that flood an area with a wide beam, or lights that "throw" with a tightly focused beam? Place an “X” on the line below. Sometimes a flood is better particularly closer up or indoors. You won't have to "sweep" the light back and forth to see what you need to see. You can also just set it down pointing the general direction rather having to point it right at that which you are working.

    Throw (distance)---------------------|----------------------Flood/close-up

    Im not quite sure how to answer this one. Is it possible to get a best of both worlds? I think im leaning towards throw, but i would like a little flood as well.

    9) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims (like some LED lights). but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries. Understand that runtime is a function of brightness and capacity of your batteries. If you want 6 hours you'll either have big batteries or dimmer light, they haven't made a setup yet that lights up like the sun, runs all night, and fits in your watch pocket. ;)
    [ ] 360+ min. (More than 6 hours)

    10) Durability: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.
    [ ] Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box.)

    11) Switch Type:

    [ ] clickie switch. (Stays on until pressed again.)
    [ ] momentary switch. (Only stays on while held down.)


    12) Switch Location:
    [ ] I want a push switch on the back end of the body. <-- thumb switch on the butt of the light for momentary on/off. but also some form of always on, be it another button, twist, whatever....

    13) Operational Modes: Check all that apply.
    [ ] A simple on-off is fine for me.

    14) Is it important whether the body is metal or plastic/composite? In this case "plastic" and it's variants does not mean "cheap" or poorly made. In many applications a plastic bodied light is preferable, hard use and water resistance comes to mind; think caving or lights that get dropped or abused.
    [ ] I want a metal-bodied light.

    15) Special Needs: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Circle any below or write in your own comment(s).
    [ ] Waterproof – how deep: would be nice, but not required, not super deep, but if i drop it in the stream hiking i dont wanna be out my light
    [ ] Non-reflective/dark finish (stealthy/hard to find)
    [ ] Wrist/Neck Lanyard <-- not required at all, but would be nice to have a wrist strap or ability to add one
     
  2. GRIFFINHAWKS

    GRIFFINHAWKS Banned

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    Hey Mike, You can get one of these for under $50 (2 AA size) read a few good reviews for the price ..
    I'll get one for sure just because it looks cool and comes with a neat lanyard ,)
    Click here >>>Icon Rogue
    [​IMG]

    BE WELL .. GH
     
  3. MikeySnyder

    MikeySnyder Loaded Pockets

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    That is really cool looking! I was leaning a little more towards something like a Surefire or Fenix, but ill definitely keep this one in mind. Its pretty slick.
     
  4. NonSenCe

    NonSenCe Loaded Pockets

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    4sevens quark series AA or 2AA tactical. (also.. you can buy one light and spare aa/2AA/cr123 body to go along with it and just swap the body if you want to use another battery type. you dont neccessary have to buy second light for that.)
     
  5. MedXLT

    MedXLT Empty Pockets

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    I think if you decided on a battery type (AA or 123A) that would help to narrow things down a lot...
     
  6. MikeySnyder

    MikeySnyder Loaded Pockets

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    I would like the best light for my needs though, not the best light that requires ______ battery. The battery type really doesn't matter to me. And I don't wanna pick one just to pick one, and rule out a potentially better light.
     
  7. somber

    somber Banned

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    I had a larger response typed out last night, and this morning, but every time my internet messes it up, and then I don't feel like typing it out again. Maybe the universe is trying to save you money, but...

    I would look into the E1B from Surefire. It's, in my opinion, the best Surefire model. The size, how well formed the beam is, and how far the tool casts the beam, and overall brightness make this light truly awesome. This was the best money I ever spent on a flashlight, and I own two of this model. You can find it online for around $113 (Amazon), it's definitely worth the price. It's a difficult thing to explain how well this light works because it performs so much higher than standards you would normally apply to a similar light of similar size.

    Secondly, I would also check out NovaTac flashlights, particularly the EDC or Tactical models. The difference in the two of this is lumens and functions, the tactical offering a programmable UI as well as the ability to take 18650 Rechargeable batteries (FREAKING AWESOME). The Novatac's have High, med, low, SOS, and disorienting strobe, and the tactical allows you to program any level between 120 lumen to .3 lumen for moonlight. You can find these lights online for cheaper, I wouldn't purchase directly from the supplier. I think Knifeworks has the best price that I was able to find.
     
  8. sithjedi333

    sithjedi333 Loaded Pockets

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    I would check out the Ra/HDS lights, they're the successors to the Novatacs.
     
  9. zipthehuh

    zipthehuh Loaded Pockets

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    I EDC a nitecore NDI, I love it you might check them out.
     
  10. carrot

    carrot Loaded Pockets

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    I love when someone says no budget!
    I'd look at Surefire, HDS/Ra, 4sevens Quark, Muyshondt, and Arc.

    Here's some McGizmo and Arc...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. jryan06

    jryan06 Loaded Pockets

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    Fenix PD20 sweet little light
     
  12. skycaptain

    skycaptain Loaded Pockets

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    What carrot said. You can not go wrong with any of those. However, if you ever buy a less expensive light later on, you will, for some unknown reason, look at them as not up to your standards.

    You might like them and use them, but you will go back to the McGizmo, Surefire, etc.
     
  13. Ainsley

    Ainsley Loaded Pockets

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    I would suggest sticking with a smaller light for EDC purposes. the larger multiple cell lights are just too large. I found even my 1xCR123 lights would get left behind as they were too large. I went with a Liteflux LF2X which is a 1xAAA light with a nice wireclip then graduated to a Muyshondt Aeon on my keychain which is a 1xCR2 light, which in my opinion is the upper limit in size for a keychain light.
    I do agree with skycaptain tho, I have found it better to go with a few high quality lights that cover your needs than to end up with a whole pile of medium quality lights.
    My first decent flashlight (ie. not a mag) was a Surefire E1L I then got a bunch of fenix and liteflux lights, while they are quality lights I ended up selling them and my Aeon and E1L get the majority of use (along with my Jetbeams when I need a whole lotta light)
     
  14. sjmack

    sjmack Loaded Pockets

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    With no budget, I would look towards Surefire and Jetbeam. I have never owned a Jetbeam, but the guys over on CPF seem to adore them. The RRT-0 and RRT-2 are probably worth taking a look at (I know as soon as I get the funds, one of those will probably be my next light). Also maybe take a peek at the Fenix TK11 / TK12.

    I personally own a Surefire 6P Led and Fenix TK11 for things that would fit your criteria. Both are very well made, take CR123s, and put out a good bit of light. The TK11 on turbo will outdo the 6P for absolute output and throw.
     
  15. suertetres

    suertetres Empty Pockets

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    I'm a huge Surefire junkie. I finally got my surefire e1b backup. Best light in my opinion. The max setting is 80lumens and the low setting is 5 lumens. I'm not a big fan of twist or tons of light options. The e1b keeps it simple. The first click is 80 lumens then if you press quickly it goes down to 5 lumens. I think they run about 150. Well worth the wait for me!!
     
  16. Tclarkj

    Tclarkj Empty Pockets

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    My two cents would be to recommend a Surefire L1. I am a fan of their two stage lights because they're simple, rugged and totally reliable. The L1 gets plenty bright and the first stage is dim enough to read by without blinding yourself. Practically disappears into your pocket but still fits well in the hand. I had one for over a year and used it for EDC and camping, hiking and climbing. Lent to to a friend and they lost it... :'( So my last word of advice: never lend it to ANYONE!

    And PS: Not to disagree with the post above me but I dislike the Backup because the first mode is maximum followed by a lower setting if you activate it again quickly. I work at an outdoor retailer and playing around with the Backup I've found that the maximum setting first is better for tactical type work but the L1 press then press harder for more light is better for an EDC stand point. At least thats my experience.

    And PSS: Surefire is releasing an upgraded version of the L1 called the LX1 sometime this year. Brighter and smaller. I'm holding off on buying a replacement L1 till the LX1 is available.
     
  17. Lord Bear

    Lord Bear Loaded Pockets

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    Surefire E1B or Ra lights. I prefer single battery models. These are both bright, tough, dependable. LX1 also seems like a good bet but as with all new "releases" from Surefire I'm not holding my breath.