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Flashlight recommendation?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by ?uesto, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. ?uesto

    ?uesto Loaded Pockets

    Jan 11, 2010
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    1) Short Essay Question: What do you intend to use this light for?

    Camping/outdooring, navigating my house/property at night, and to have on me when going somewhere at night. Just in case.

    2) What Region/Country/State will the light be purchased in?
    [x] I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.
    [x] I want to try a light in person first, and I am in The U.S. in Florida.

    3) Price Range: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest!
    [ ] $1-15
    [x] $15-30
    [x] $40-60
    [ ] $80-$120
    [ ] I have no limit!

    4) Format:
    PART A
    [x] I want a flashlight.
    [ ] I want a headlamp.
    [ ] I want a lantern.
    [ ] I want a portable spotlight.

    PART B
    [ ] 1-2 inches. (Keychain sized)
    [x] 2-4 inches. (Pocket carry)
    [ ] 4-9 inches. (Holster carry)

    PART C
    [ ] I prefer a long narrow light.
    [x] I prefer a short wide light.
    [ ] Doesn't matter.

    PART D
    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.
    [ ] Very light, can't tell it's there.
    [ ] Light, no heavier than a few keys or a small car remote.
    [x] Medium light, about the weight of a AAA MiniMag
    [x] Medium, slightly heavier than a AA MiniMag
    [ ] Heavy Medium, can of Coke
    [ ] Heavy, PDA or small digital camera

    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)
    [ ] Incandescent - can be very bright, more accurate color rendition, burn out or can be damaged more easily, shorter runtimes, very noticeable dimming as batteries deplete
    [ ] HID - like new car headlights in color, very, very bright, can be had in lights as small as a Mag 2 D cell but generally larger spotlight sized lights, no dimming turns off when battery depletes
    [x] Don't care, just want the best fit for my needs.

    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.
    [x] I want common Alkaline batteries. (AA, AAA, C, D)
    [x] 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 read a map, find a light switch/keyhole, or get around the house at w/o disturbing anyone. (5-10 lumens)
    [x] I want to walk around a generally paved area. (15-20 lumens)
    [x] 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)-----------------X-----|----------------------Flood/close-up

    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. ;)
    [ ] 20 min. (I want the brightest light for brief periods)
    [x] 60-240 min. (1-2 hours)
    [ ] 240-360 min. (4-6 hours)
    [ ] 360+ min. (More than 6 hours)

    10) Durability: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.
    [ ] Not Important (A “night-stand” light.)
    [x] Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood.)
    [x] Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box.)
    [ ] Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Self-defense, Survival.)

    11) Switch Type:
    [ ] I don't care.
    [ ] sliding switch (Stays on until slid back.)
    [x] clickie switch. (Stays on until pressed again.)
    [ ] momentary switch. (Only stays on while held down.)
    [ ] rotating switch

    12) Switch Location:
    [ ] I don't care.
    [ ] I want a push or sliding switch on the body near the head.
    [x] I want a push switch on the back end of the body.
    [ ] I want a rotating head switch.
    [ ] I want a rotating end-cap switch.
    [ ] I want a remote control.

    13) Operational Modes: Check all that apply.
    [x] A simple on-off is fine for me.
    [x] I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
    [ ] I want multiple light levels. (some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
    [ ] I want a strobe mode. (blinks to show location.)
    [ ] I want a tactical strobe. (Flashes rapidly to disorient an opponent.)
    [ ] I want S.O.S. flashing

    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.
    [x] I don't care.
    [ ] I want a metal-bodied light.
    [ ] I want a plastic/composite 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).
    [ ] Red (night vision preserving) filter
    [ ] Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________)
    [x] Waterproof – how deep: Not too deep. Nothing for diving or anything... Figure 100' at the most?
    [ ] Non-reflective/dark finish (stealthy/hard to find)
    [ ] Polished silver or brightly colored finish (for easy locating)
    [ ] Corrosion resistant or hard-anodized finish
    [ ] “Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
    [ ] Built-in second (or spare) lamp or filament
    [x] Belt/Jacket clip
    [ ] Holster
    [ ] Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    [x] Kuboton/self defense features... Or at least interchangeable heads
    [ ] Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments
  2. Ajax

    Ajax Loaded Pockets

    Sep 3, 2009
    Likes Received:
    100' is not too deep?

    I would say, up until that, look at the 4Sevens Quark or Fenix flashlights.
  3. ?uesto

    ?uesto Loaded Pockets

    Jan 11, 2010
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    To be honest, I'm not sure of the water requirements. Again, I'm not going diving, I guess worse case scenario would be my car driving into a small lake or having to go rescue someone in that situation.
  4. jsmitty1967
    • In Omnia Paratus

    jsmitty1967 Go Big Blue

    Mar 23, 2009
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  5. MedXLT

    MedXLT Empty Pockets

    May 9, 2009
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    I'd check out the Quarks as Ajax has suggested or the P-series EagleTac lights. I hear the P20C2 is a great light!
  6. ?uesto

    ?uesto Loaded Pockets

    Jan 11, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for the recommendations guys. I actually found a few Surefire models that fit my price range, (I had no idea they made any models under $100). Anyone have any good word on these?

    6P Original
    G2 Incadescent
  7. Ajax

    Ajax Loaded Pockets

    Sep 3, 2009
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    I've got a couple G2 Nitrolons.

    The tailcap switch is only a momentary on, to get constant on you have to tighten the tail down.
    Only one brightness level.
    Not sure about the water resistance ability.

    Conversely, all Surefires are extremely modifiable(?).
    You can get all kinds of LED drop-ins for them, clicky tailcaps can also be found.
  8. carrot

    carrot Loaded Pockets

    Apr 1, 2012
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    6P and G2 are classics, but they do not really compare well to modern LED-based flashlights.

    Good news is for some extra money you can easily upgrade the heck out of them and end up with a real barn burner. One of my favorite setups is the 6P with a Malkoff LED module, which essentially doubles the cost of the light but with 300 OTF lumens, well... it's worth it.
  9. mtwarden

    mtwarden Loaded Pockets

    Oct 24, 2009
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    if your thinking about the G2, I'd also consider the G2L- well under a $100 as well