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Fenix L0P vs ARC AAA vs Maglite Solitaire

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by TRON3, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. TRON3

    TRON3 Banned

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    Some people, like me, prefer the small and very bright light from the Fenix L0P.

    Others prefer the less bright, but long run times of the ARC AAA. Both old or new version.

    While still others prefer, for reasons I don't understand, the least bright, and least useful Maglite Solitaire.  I guess you get what you pay for when you pay $6.50 for a light, instead of the manly 30 - 40 bucks.

    The Solitaire was fun for it's day.  Baby size with babyish light to match.  While it is true that ANY light is better than nothing if you are in a pitch black condition, the Solitaire sucks batteries with about 2:40 of life before it dies.  Much of that light is below battery half life.  It does have a solid frame and is quality built, but the tecnology is virtually useless.  In a word, "crap-tacular".   :(

    I am not against long run times, but I see the ARC more as an emergency light if I ever got trapped in an elevator, or under rubble after an earthquake.  Great for those, "I only need a little more light" situations, but maybe not powerful enough to ward off monsters from the dark. I know many of you guys love it, but it looks like aligator skin. Not attractive in my eyes.

    Quite simply, for me, brighter is better. I love the fact the Fenix LOP is visibly brighter than your standard 3 D-cell light, and fits in your pocket. Small, sleek, and bright.  It's everything you could love about technology rolled into one light. But it lacks any type of full regulation. But even when dimming it beats the pants off a Solitaire.  Want better run times with less dimming?  Try a Lithium or NiMH battery. 

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Deaths Head

    Deaths Head Banned

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    I had a Solitare before I new anything about lights. I now have a Photon on my keychain because it outshines the Solitare in a much compact package. I love all of Fenix's lights. The LOP is a huge step up from the Solitaire. Maglite needs to get back in the game when it comes to lights.
     
  3. xDANx

    xDANx Banned

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    TRON3, why do you like only Fenix lights? For the money they are great but a rather cheaply made. You should try going for a Surefire or other high-end light.

    :topic:

    I like the Arc P because it is indestructable and is semi-regulated, unlike the L0P.
     
  4. knightrider

    knightrider Empty Pockets

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    The Solitare has potential to be great with the proper LED drop in module. Not sure if any are commerically available. I have seen mods but I don't wish to do that. The Arc is my favorite mini light, but I haven't tried any of the Fenix stuff yet so I don't know about those. Photons are ok, but I like having a reflector, bare led bulbs bother my eyes. To each his own. :)
     
  5. TRON3

    TRON3 Banned

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    I do have a few Nuwai's, Inova x03 and the Striker-VG.

    I love Fenix because they offer sleek, sexy designs in a light that fits in my pocket, or on my belt. For me, close to the ultimate light. Wish I could go back in time 20 years and give myself the L0P with a bunch of Lithium's. Would probably never have bought any other light.
     
  6. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

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    That's a very thought inspiring post, Tron. As fivemega pointed out a while ago, I'm a "LED guy" (he did say that like it was a bad thing...) :) so that's the type of primary light I EDC. In a nutshell, for keychain carry, I prefer to have a long runtime light (ArcAAA), but I complement that with a pocket-carry Lux light.

    I looked at a lot of lights out there and decided that no single light would cover all my needs, especially if they had to fit on my keychain. So, I EDC 2 lights (on my person, at least ;)) that cover both my low light and high output needs. One is the ArcAAA on my keychain, the other is a Lux-based light that I carry in my pocket.

    The ArcAAA sits on my keychain and only gets turned on every 2-3 weeks to check battery status and functionality. If I ever needed a light with long runtime, it'll be on me (assuming I have my keychain on me, which I do pretty much all the time). I consider the ArcAAA my "oh, :censored:" backup light.

    That said, a LuxI or LuxIII is bright enough for my daily needs and pretty much always whip out my Lux-based light (tvodrd-CR2, ArcLS, Fenix L1P) over the ArcAAA. The CR2 light has a 2-stage switch; the low setting is great for indoors navigation and high is very bright for its size. The LS and the L1P are known performers -nuff said (I have the L1P on me today). BTW, anything thicker than a AAA light is too big for me to put on my keychain - YMMV of course.

    As far as the Soli goes... it was the very first keychain light I ever drooled over. It was "expensive" and I only bought one to give my wife as a special gift. That was years and years ago. She now carries an ArcAAA on her keychain. She got tired of the quickly dimming bulb (it never burned out!). I still like its sleek design lines and the color options, but the performance of that bulb is so far behind any single celled LED light that I have a hard time justifying one anymore. If they ever come out with a LED version, or a simple Lux drop-in for it, I may pick up one.
     
  7. Craig720

    Craig720 Loaded Pockets

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    What about the old CMG Infinity Task light? Remember those? I keyringed mine a few times.

    Bulky little thing, sure, but tough as nails.

    -- Craig
     
  8. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

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    Yup, tough as nails, for sure. I have 7-8 of them, plus a few that I gutted for Lux mods. :)

    Back to the keychain issue, I have too many keys on my keychain (and I pretty much use them all daily) already and an AA or CR2-sized light adds too much bulk to my already bulky keychain. Even the ArcAAA is borderline acceptable in size.
     
  9. Gadget Guy

    Gadget Guy Banned

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  10. Lee1959

    Lee1959 Empty Pockets

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    I am one of those who think bright enough with longer runtimes is better. I dont say the Maglight solitare, but for its day it really was inovative and handy, but it is old technology and past its prime.

    I prefer something like the Inova X1 to the Fenix L0P or L1P. I guess I dont see what monsters in the dark you are so intent on warding off.  

    I have other lights nearby when I need something a lot brighter. If I could only carry one light, the Fenix L0P, or the Photon II, I would choose the Photon II, it is handier for a lot longer time period. I just hate getting halfway through something and having to stop when the battery goes dead.

    Just my tastes, which is why there are so many types of lights. The Fenix lights are very nicely made lights, and do what they do extremely well. If they were what I wanted in a light they would certainly be my first choice.
     
  11. Nicodemus

    Nicodemus Empty Pockets

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    I EDC an Arc-AAA P on my keychain, a Pelican M6 LED on my belt and a Ritter Photon in my PSK. That's one hundred plus bucks worth of "I can't afford to buy anymore of these right now", so I have a couple of Solitaires, Mini MagLite 2AAs (some with drop in LED kits and some without).

    So why do I have many different MagLites?

    Because I can hand them out to shortsighted folks in emergencies, let the nieces and nephews play with them, and so on. Which is to say that I have them because I can afford to loose them.

    Now even though I have some pretty decent EDC torches, on some occasions I pull out the trusty Maglite and use it instead, occasions where I've made an assessment that I could loose the light.

    Manliness has nothing to do with the lights I use and why, risk assessment is what it's all about.

    I also packed Mini Mags with drop in LEDs and Solitaires in the PSKs that I gave out last year as holiday gifts. They're good starter lights, and better than burning your hands on a lighter in an emergency.

    If anyone is paying more than $4.50 (US) for a solitaire, they're seriously getting rooked.

    Nowadays, companies like Dorcey make comparable Mini LEDs at least as far as price is concerned, but I really haven't had a chance to test them out. Until I do, I'll go with the name I trust for "disposables".

    On a side note, Maglite is finally getting into the LED market.
     
  12. kmcrawford111

    kmcrawford111 Empty Pockets

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    I read the review for the Solitaire on flashlightreviews.com and the author said something along the lines of that most people don't know that better lights are available, and I agree with that.

    Most people who are buying flashlights are not like us. They aren't going to read reviews online and join discussion boards about flashlights. They simply don't care that much. This is what they do: next time they are Wal-Mart, they find the section with the flashlights, and pick one that's cheap. They probably won't even check to see what the output rating is. And, they probably don't even consider the battery runtime, either and probably don't even know that LED lights are generally more efficient than incandescents. And that's it. They make do with the $7 Solilaire. THey aren't going to order a better one online.
     
  13. TRON3

    TRON3 Banned

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    You speaketh gospel. Just because I can drive, doesn't mean I know which car to drive. Same as flashlights. These people aren't stupid, but blissfully ignorant. Now, part of my job is IT help desk. While some of those problems are easy to me, for someone who doesn't know .... well, it's like brain surgery. I learned not to fault them for lack of knowledge. Now, refusing to learn from their mistakes and repeating that problem...that irks me.

    Yes, it's my job to fix your problem. It's part of your job to use the company equipment properly and safely. The people on my current job are pretty good at wanting to learn what went wrong and how to fix or prevent it...my old job at a law firm....ugh....I think they started to play stupid to frustrate me. How does one office have that many technologically challenged people? Truly pathetic.
     
  14. enine

    enine Loaded Pockets

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    I still like my Solitaires, they are not that bad, not really that much dimmer than the ARC AAA.  My fav is the two AAA minimag.  I wish I could get a two AAA body with the head the size of the solitaire so it makes like a penlight.
     
  15. xDANx

    xDANx Banned

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    The Arc P has 5 times the output of a Solitare.
     
  16. VWTim

    VWTim Empty Pockets

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    I don't know what build quality issues you mention with the L0P. Sure it's not true HA3, but mine's holding up pretty well. And I do own SF's and SL's and LOVE my L0P. Not the longest running light, but it is semi-regulated and runs good on NiMH's.

    I have a 5mm LED mod'd Solitaire that rides in my pocket everyday mainly because it can. I also have at least one 3 or 5mm photon-clone. I figure on any given day I have a least 2 hours of decent light from a L0P, and either my TL-2 or Strion. Then I have my 5mm'd Solitaire and Photon clones to back those up.
     
  17. TKC

    TKC Loaded Pockets

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    I happen to absolutely LOVE SF's!! My E1e IS one of my favorite lights!!! As is my Fenix L1P. I wil NOT buy anymore Maglites though.
     
  18. Deaths Head

    Deaths Head Banned

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    I have read on numerous occasions about the HA of Fenix Lights. I have had mine for a while and it has not chipped or scratched once.
     
  19. TRON3

    TRON3 Banned

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    I've said it before, I am not expecting much from Maglite in terms of LED life. Their site says they are researching the technology. Heck, how long has LED been around now? How long does it take to pick a bulb? Bbecause replacement bulbs must be a significant source of income, I firmly believe they are looking for shortest life LED's to go with their mags. Business is business, right? Instead of a 100,000 hour bulb, expect to see a 10,000 hour bulb or less. Just something they can claim is "x times longer lasting" than regular bulbs.

    The majority of the public doesn't know how long a life LED is. They will drool all over it. Probably pay a premium for it, too.
    God forgive me if I am wrong, and I hope I am. But if not, you heard it here first!
     
  20. CanDo

    CanDo Empty Pockets

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    Nope, I heard it on CPF first ;)
    Sadly though, I agree with you. What is even sadder, is that I will probably get one and be happy with it. :-/