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Need some help on choosing an EDC light

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by eogahn, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. eogahn

    eogahn Loaded Pockets

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    Ok, so I'm new to flashlights, but i've been carrying a AAA LED maglite recently. Its the nicest flashlight I've had but it leaves alot to be desired. I've been looking at a lot of lights, and the PD30+ and the LD20+. Any help would be much appreciated!! :) I used the form provided by the forum, so I think I answered any question you might have but sorry if I didnt give enough info! Thank you


    1) Short Essay Question: What do you intend to use this light for?
    I will be using this light as my EDC light. It would be nice for it to fit on my belt but at the moment I carry the Maxpedition lunada everywhere with me, so it will likely be kept in there. I will also be going camping quite a bit soon and would like for it to be suitable for camp needs. I do live in new england as well... so it will probably be getting a wide range of weather 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.
    [ ] I am in _______(country) and __________(state/providence).

    3) Price Range: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest!
    [ ] $1-15
    [ ] $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
    Length:
    [ ] 1-2 inches. (Keychain sized)
    [ ] 2-4 inches. (Pocket carry)
    [x] 4-9 inches. (Holster carry)

    PART C
    Width:
    [ ] I prefer a long narrow light.
    [ ] I prefer a short wide light.
    [x] 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.
    [ ] 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".
    [x] 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
    [ ] 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)
    [x] I want lithium batteries. (coin cells, CR123, AAA, AA...)
    [x] 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).
    [x] 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)
    [x] I want to do Caving or Search & Rescue operations. (60+ lumens)
    [x] 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)
    [x] 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.)
    [ ] 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.)
    [x] momentary switch. (Only stays on while held down.)
    [ ] rotating switch

    12) Switch Location:
    [ ] I don't care.
    [x] 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.
    [ ] A simple on-off is fine for me.
    [ ] I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
    [x] I want multiple light levels. (some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
    [x] I want a strobe mode. (blinks to show location.)
    [ ] I want a tactical strobe. (Flashes rapidly to disorient an opponent.)
    [x] 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 big of a deal, but I could drop it in the water by accident____________
    [ ] Non-reflective/dark finish (stealthy/hard to find)
    [ ] Polished silver or brightly colored finish (for easy locating)
    [x] 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
    [x] Holster
    [x] Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    [ ] Kuboton/self defense features
    [ ] Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments
     
  2. eogahn

    eogahn Loaded Pockets

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    Ohhhhhh I forgot to mention. I noticed alot of people start with a base flashlight and then modify it with aftermarket parts, etc... I think thats a great idea and if a custom light would better fit my needs I would love to do it! Its always better when you have your own unique tools.
     
  3. jsmitty1967
    • In Omnia Paratus

    jsmitty1967 Go Big Blue

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  4. eogahn

    eogahn Loaded Pockets

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    Ok awesome, I'll look thru the line. Yeah the side switch isn't too big of a deal, it would just be nice, a bottom switch is plenty good. Thanks!
     
  5. PeaceOfMind

    PeaceOfMind Loaded Pockets

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    I'd recommend you consider the Quark series from 4Sevens (see 4Sevens.com). They come in lots of different battery configurations, so you can pick the best size for you (AA, 2xAA, CR123, 2xCR123). If you want more throw, you can go for the Quark Turbo line. I'm a big fan of the UI of the Quark Tactical line (program two modes). The regular Quark line lets you cycle through the modes using a forward clicky. Great quality lights, reasonably priced and lots of different options using cutting edge LEDs.

    EDIT: jsmitty beat me to it
     
  6. jsmitty1967
    • In Omnia Paratus

    jsmitty1967 Go Big Blue

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    Nothing wrong with a +1! :)
     
  7. rasi

    rasi Loaded Pockets

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    If you want to go the custom way: McGizmo Haiku XP-G. With 2xAA body if you prefer 4"+ length.
     
  8. jda

    jda Loaded Pockets

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    love my 4sevens aa^2 quark
    for $50 I wont be too sad if i lost it eather
    (yeah it would suck it wouldnt be the end of the world)
     
  9. lonewolfranger

    lonewolfranger Loaded Pockets

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    A bit pricer, but the Surefire Outdoorsman series speaks for itself. I walk my dog with an L2 Lumimax. 60 lumens for 11 hrs. on 2 lithium cr123.
    Surefire will replace the head if it ever goes out. They already sent me a new tailcap because I wore the original out over a two year period, for free. One phone call. Can't beat the quality or customer service. Thumbs up in my book!
     
  10. eogahn

    eogahn Loaded Pockets

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    thanks guys! I will definitely look into all your suggestions, you guys know a lot more than I do about these ;)
     
  11. eogahn

    eogahn Loaded Pockets

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  12. Skipperbrown

    Skipperbrown Loaded Pockets

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    Don't forget you're picking a light w/ 123 cells which are much more expensive than AA and harder to find. There are advantages to both, but keep cost and availability in mind. You can get AA cells at most quicky marts and all over the world.
     
  13. marsos52

    marsos52 Loaded Pockets

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    looks like light gives you everything you outlined ....nothing better than i high quality torch

    and there are good deals on cr123's try battery juction the site is down now but coming back soon