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Help me pick a new flashlight - Flashlight Recommendation Checklist

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by elkhills, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. elkhills

    elkhills Loaded Pockets

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    Here are my answers as best I can from the "Help me pick a new flashlight" sticky thread:


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

    Hello flashlight people, I am looking for some help picking out my next light. I am a long time edc'er and forum member, but flashlights are one thing I am not very knowledgeable about. I have a few little aaa lights that rotate in and out sometimes, and a little Photon light thats always on my keychain, but I think I want to try something a little beefier this time.

    What I think I want is a AA sized light that I might carry in a pocket or maybe even in a belt sheath next to a multitool. Back in the day I rocked the old Mini Mag/Leatherman combo for many years, I kind of have the 2018 version of that in mind, but if pocket carry is easier or more comfy I admit thats what Ill probably do.

    I would think a common AA battery would be best but if there are rechargeable options nowadays that might be even better. I work in an oil refinery, so something intrinsically safe would be ideal, but this is not a deal breaker. This light will be for personal use.

    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.

    3) Price Range: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :broke:
    [ ] I have no limit!

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

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


    PART C
    Width:
    [ ] Doesn't matter.

    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, slightly heavier than a AA MiniMag, or a little less

    5) What kind of "bulb".
    [ ] 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.
    [ ] I want common Alkaline batteries. (AA, AAA, C, D)
    [ ] 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 dont know. A medium general multi purpose amount of light should be fine.

    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

    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)

    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:
    [ ] I don't care.

    12) Switch Location:
    [ ] I don't care.

    13) Operational Modes: Check all that apply.
    [ ] A simple on-off is fine for me.
    [ ] I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)

    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 don't care.

    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: 1 meter
    [ ] Built-in second (or spare) lamp or filament
    [ ] Belt/Jacket clip
    [ ] Holster
    [ ] Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments
     
  2. leathermaneod

    leathermaneod Empty Pockets

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    I’m really loving my new streamlight microstream usb. Very bright on high, starts in low which is perfect for me. I was able to purchase a second battery for about $5.99 online. Highly recommend it, if it checks all your boxes.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  3. SOS24
    • +1 Supporter

    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

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    My go to AA lights are Eagletac D25A and Fenix LD12. Both are good quality lights that give you a variety of modes and brightness levels to suffice for most tasks.
     
  4. elkhills

    elkhills Loaded Pockets

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    Thank you guys. One that has caught my eye is Olight S30R III, what do you think of it?
     
  5. leathermaneod

    leathermaneod Empty Pockets

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    For a pocket light, I would avoid anything with a side switch like that. I gave an Olight s1 mini a try a couple weeks ago and really liked it, until i found it turned on in my pocket. I did some experiments and couldn’t figure out how it could have happened, so I gave it another shot. Well a week later I went to pull it out one time and found it dead, so I had to go back to tail switch. That’s when I got the Microstream. I’m still a little disappointed at loosing the magnetic tail cap, but the Microstream is perfect otherwise.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  6. turbo6

    turbo6 Loaded Pockets

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    Fenix E12
    Fenix LD12
    Thrunite Archer 1A
    Thrunite T10

    Also, some of AA Zebralights have some great low modes too.
     
  7. Water-Rat

    Water-Rat Loaded Pockets

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    As mentioned by Turbo, if you have the cash for a Zebralight ($60-$80), they are very versatile and bright AA lights. I have the H53c which is an amazing angle light/headlamp. The versatility of these lights and the ability to select any mode from off is quite nice. Zebralights do have side switches (or top switches for angle lights), but they are recessed into the body and are hard to hit accidentally.

    Nitecore has a couple AA lights in their multi task series. These lights are in the $40-$50 range. I own a MT2A, the 2xAA version and it is a very nice poor man's tactical flashlight. The MT1A and MT2A have a pair of modes changed by twisting the bezel, one mode gives you turbo with a momentary click and the other lets you tap through H, M, L, Strobe, and beacon modes. They also have more expensive lights (MT10A) that will run on either a AA or a 14500.

    I just ordered the new version of the Klarus XT1A for $50. It will run on a AA, but comes with a USB rechargeable 14500. I decided on this light because I was looking for a small AA size light that could easily be manipulated by one hand only. The XT1A has a dual tail switch, which lets you access either high or low from off or in a tactical mode, high or strobe.

    The Fenix E12 that Turbo mentioned is a solid light as well. I gave my Mom one to use as a purse light. Nice cheaper ($30) edc light with a decent L/M/H mode setup.
     
  8. ProjeKtWEREWOLF

    ProjeKtWEREWOLF Loaded Pockets

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    Olight s1A. I have the S1mini and live the UI. I will be buying the A model very soon.