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ideas on small edc flashlight?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by kkay, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. kkay

    kkay Uber Prepared

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    I lost my Fenix E12 light a while back. I still haven't found it. So I am going to need a new light. I like starting out in the lower or mid light. Low, med, high is all I need. It doesn't have to have memory. I want it to be sturdy, and definitely under 50 dollars. I was looking at the ThruNite T10T, but I have heard some issues with some of the ThruNite lights. I prefer a work horse, that can use a single AA, CR123a, or 18650 battery. The size of the E12 was good. I prefer black, but titanium or copper would be fine. I plan to keep this in a side pocket of my purse. I would just get another E12, but I didn't care for their customer service. I don't want a glitchy flashlight. I prefer a tail click, lanyard hole, and a decent clip, also like it to tail stand. NW instead of CW would be preferable, but not a deal breaker. I hate lights that start out at highest setting too. Any ideas on a sturdy, dependable light for me?
     
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  2. GatorMedic

    GatorMedic Loaded Pockets

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    L3 Illumination L11C. Nichia 219 with 3-mode version. Only criteria it doesn't meet is the lanyard hole.
     
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  3. lnytunes

    lnytunes Loaded Pockets

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    Eagletac D25A, love mine.
     
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  4. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    That's a pretty long list of requirements/wants, for a bullet-proof light, for under $50.00. It'll be challenging, finding one that meets all your needs, at that price point.

    The range, in size, between a single AA, CR123, or 18650, is pretty huge; but there are actually some single 18650 lights that are surprisingly small. If you're not already in possession of some 18650 batteries and a good quality smart charger, you'd have to factor in at least an additional 40 bucks (for good quality batteries and charger), which would pretty much rule out that option, entirely, if that price range was to intended to include the batteries and charger.

    CR123 lights will easily outperform any single AA lights, but at a cost. If you plan on using the light often, and for extended periods, you'll blast through CR123 batteries, and spend a fortune on them, in no time. If you're open to using rechargeable CR123 (16340 batteries, the economy of use pays for itself, after just a few extended uses of the light; but the initial investment would cut into your light budget.

    The 18650 battery (my personal favorite of them all) offers the best performance, and run times of the bunch; but it's also the most expensive (initially), and the least compact of the three lighting options - especially if you have to have the tail switch, etc.

    In all honesty, I cannot think of a single light, from a reputable company, that incorporates all of the features you want (including rock-solid dependability, which seems to be the number one requirement, for you) in this light, for anywhere near $50.00.

    There are plenty of cheesy, lights from fly-by-night companies, but they can't be counted on to last the rigors of heavy everyday use, and they have less-than-stellar warranties. I don't think you'd be interested in any of those, and I would never think to recommend any of them, as I don't think they're worth the investment, no matter how inexpensive they are.

    I was going to recommend a Zebralight SC52W, which has a very nice neutral tint, and 3 modes (all of which are completely user-programmable), and which would be a real blaster, compared to the E12 you were carrying (with the option to use a 14500 battery, giving you 500 lumens, for the first minute, before bumping itself down to 280 lumens); but no lanyard hole, and no rear switch (among other things). It also does not come in black, or any of the other finishes you preferred; but the company is quite reputable, and you'll find countless professional reviews on their products.

    Both, Malkoff, and Surefire make some amazing U.S.-made lights, which have incredible workmanship, carry fantastic warranties and offer superior customer service, but are far beyond your budget...and mine.

    First class performance and warranty coverage, with excellent customer service, always come at a premium price - and it's usually part of the initial cost of the light, itself.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Good luck with your search!

    Maybe someone else can come up with some good suggestions...?
     
    Last edited by david57strat, Jul 22, 2015
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  5. Sriracha

    Sriracha Loaded Pockets

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    Whatever you decide on, also get a Nitecore Tube. So flipping useful. Rechargeable. Tiny. Good luck.
     
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  6. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    Agreed! Best ten bucks you'll ever spend on a super sub-compact, Micro-USB-rechargeable key chain light! Unbelievably powerful (45 lumen max), for its size.

    [​IMG]
    The Tube is that little tiny light in the middle (all lit up), at the bottom of the picture. This is the nicest, affordable, rechargeable key chain light I've ever seen, or owned. It comes in four colors, too :)

    Single click for low (by default); but it's also infinitely dim-able. Double click goes straight to high, if needed.

    Everyone should own at least one of these, regardless of whatever other lights they own :D
     
    Last edited by david57strat, Jul 22, 2015
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  7. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    I, personally, carry the T10 (original - cool white, twisty), and the T10 2014 (neutral white) lights and have had zero issues with them, so far. I have some of their larger lights, too (TN30, Catapult V3) and they've performed flawlessly, thus far. I didn't recommend any of their lights, because you sounded predisposed towards not considering any of them.

    Thrunite make a very nice neutral tint. I also have their T20 (the rechargeable CR123 version of the T10), in neutral white, as well.
     
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  8. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    kkay, do you already have some 18650 batteries and a good smart charger? If so, that would open up your options, big-time.
     
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  9. bringerofgame

    bringerofgame Loaded Pockets

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    I've been packing a nitecore p12 daily for about 18 months. It meets every requirement you listed and then some. 4 brightness settings, strobe/sos/beacon, up to 960 lumen, tail button, will stand on end, lanyard hole, 1"x6", 18650 or cr123, comes with clip and replacement button cover I have yet to use. No scalloped front, but for pocket carry that can be uncomfortable anyway. It's about $43 or so on amazon last time I checked.
     
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  10. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    I have a P12, as well, and it's a fantastic light, for the money; but it's nearly 2 full inches longer than the E12 she was carrying (though only bout 1/4 wider, in body); so I ruled out most of the 18650 lights I would have recommended, since they would all have fallen into the 5-7" long category (up to double the length of light she seemed to like).

    Also, she was pretty clear that she did not want a cool white LED, but something more neutral, in tint. The P12 only comes in XM-L2 U2 (cool white).

    If she's open to that size light, I could recommend at least a dozen or so lights (most of which I own and trust, from personal experience with them) that would completely fulfill her needs list. Hoping to hear back, so I can do some more research.
     
    Last edited by david57strat, Jul 22, 2015
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  11. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    I don't own this particular model , but I do have three of their other lights (D25LC2, T10LC2, and P20C2 Mk II. I also had a TX25C2, which was a real blaster, and a super compact 18650 light), and they do make a very rugged light.

    I pocket EDC the P20C2 MkII all the time. It has the added bonus of interchangeable light engines, which makes it a very flexible light -but it runs on a 17650 battery, and that didn't seem like an option for you.

    Eagletac lights are extremely dependable, and carry a 10-year warranty.
     
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  12. kkay

    kkay Uber Prepared

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    Wow guys, you have a lot of info on here already. Thank you all for taking the time to type out your thoughts here. As far as 18650 batteries, I do have some, and a quality charger. I don't mind going over the size of the Fenix E12, but this is just for my purse, or pocket. I will check into some of what you are saying on here, and this will help me. I started looking on my own, and got overwhelmed. I thought well, I'll ask the experts. They will narrow it down for me, and I can make a decision from some of their recommendations.
     
  13. kkay

    kkay Uber Prepared

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    I will want one of those, I just looked it up. I hate that it doesn't come with a cord though. But it looks very useful. Thanks for the recommendation. (that goes both for you, and David)
     
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  14. bringerofgame

    bringerofgame Loaded Pockets

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    Sorry. I was not understanding the CW/NW initials. Recommendation withdrawn.
     
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  15. bringerofgame

    bringerofgame Loaded Pockets

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    On something I do know a bit more about, get some amsteel or lash it utility constrictive rope. You can splice it for hardware and knot free cordage and loops in the size of your choosing.
     
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  16. kkay

    kkay Uber Prepared

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    bringer, the cw/nw is not a deal breaker, but I prefer the nw if possible. But if a light has a lot of what I'm looking for, I could choose a cw light. I've never had one before. I have several flash lights around here. None are what you might think are notable, but they all do the job I need them to do. I have to prioritize because I have a small budget. I have a lot of edc gear already, but need to get more over time, as budget allows.
     
  17. kkay

    kkay Uber Prepared

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    I meant charging cord. I do have a little amsteel, but it is precut for my hammock. I have a decent amount of paracord here, and could pull the guts out, if necessary. Amsteel is not cheap, but it is quality.
     
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  18. bringerofgame

    bringerofgame Loaded Pockets

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    I too, am a hammocker. Lucked up on the lash it spool in a secret Santa last year. Amsteel is pretty affordable through my buddy Dutch on another forum though, so there's a lot floating around my house. I will apologize for my second misunderstanding in a very short period, neither has electric properties lol.
     
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  19. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    True, it does not come with the charging cable; but it's a standard USB to Micro USB charging cable. Most people have at least one one or two of these, laying around the house, to charge some personal electronic device, or another. You can charge it from a USB charging hub, your laptop computer, or whatever, pretty much.
     
  20. kkay

    kkay Uber Prepared

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    You made me smile. No problem on the misunderstanding. You are just trying to help me, and I am grateful. :)
     
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