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recommend me a light based on survey

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by Donald Morton, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. Donald Morton

    Donald Morton Loaded Pockets

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    I'm stuck in the 80's with my big, D Cell Maglite and I desperately need an upgrade!
    I've filled out the sticky New Flashlight Survey (below) so you can get a better idea of what I'd like.
    Please make your recommendations!

    Thanks,
    Don


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

    maintenance around the house and garage

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

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

    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
    [x ] 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.
    [x ] I want common Alkaline batteries. (AA, AAA, C, D)
    [ ] 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)
    [ ] 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. ;)
    [x ] 20 min. (I want the brightest light for brief periods)
    [ ] 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.)
    [ ] 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.
    [ ] 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.
     
  2. SOS24

    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

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    I don’t know any HID lights, but as far as a good LED flashlight that I think meets most your other criteria, I would recommend looking at the Lumitop Tool AA or AAA, Streamlight 1L-1AA, or EagleTac D25A.
     
  3. neo71665

    neo71665 Loaded Pockets

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    Flashlight tech has generally embraced LEDs and given up on anything else. The comments on leds having less accurate color rendition and less output but more efficient are outdated.
     
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  4. Donald Morton

    Donald Morton Loaded Pockets

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    will check out those recs, SOS24
     
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  5. Donald Morton

    Donald Morton Loaded Pockets

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    good to know, neo.
     
  6. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    I just looked through that questionnaire.... for a simple tail-light clicks, I'm a huge fan of Streamlight. But get the basic models if you don't want to fiddle with 'just right' clicking to progress through varied lumen outputs...

    For portability, a long time favorite of mine and many on here has been the simple basic Streamlight Microstream. Uses a single AAA cell. Output around 40 lumens. Single click tail switch. Comes with a clip that can just clip in a pocket or could easily clip on the brim of say a ball-cap; no fiddling, just slip it on....

    Note: they do have a 'USB rechargeable' version of the Microstream. It has a multifunction tail switch. Which I've found to be not so useful. The USB version 'can' run with a AAA alkaline battery; but why pay extra for the functions you don't need nor want?

    My second favorite from the same company is the Streamlight Stylus Pro. Basically a 'big brother' to the Microstream; takes 2 AAA batteries. About the size of most pocket pens. Noticeable brighter than the Microstream although for me for most situations either works just fine. Same sort of tail switch as the Microstream.

    Neither is high priced. Last pricing I saw say on Amazon was about $17 for the basic Microstream; $20 for the Stylus Pro. Both have had a praised track record on these Forums and elsewhere....

    Am Yisrael Chai!

    Moshe ben David
     
  7. victograph

    victograph Loaded Pockets

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    Moshe ben David is a wise sage with much experience.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    #7 victograph, Aug 20, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
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  8. Donald Morton

    Donald Morton Loaded Pockets

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    Moshe Ben David,

    Thanks for your thoughts and recommendations. I'm adding them to the "research" list.
     
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  9. Donald Morton

    Donald Morton Loaded Pockets

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    Since I've "saved" soooo much $$$ over the years by sticking to my '80s maglite, I decided to splurge and purchased the Streamlight 1L-1AA. Should be here today.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my query!
    Don
     
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  10. SOS24

    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

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    Glad we were able to give some suggestions and you found something. Interested in hearing your thoughts after you get an opportunity to use it.
     
  11. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Not really. 'If' I were an emotional sort, maybe I'd be blushing? Naaah! ;)

    Am Yisrael Chai!

    Moshe ben David
     
  12. Donald Morton

    Donald Morton Loaded Pockets

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    Amazon dropped off the Streamlight a couple of hours ago. First impression? BRIGHT!! Just what I was after, so that's a win. I really dig the look of the flashlight and it fits really well in hand. I've changed the factory default setup and gone with just the Hi and Low setting since I don't see any need for the strobe. The push button is stiff, perhaps because it's a quality component or just new, but that's not an issue, just an observation.

    All in all, really happy with it and you all saved me mega hours of reading reviews and going through analysis paralysis!
     
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  13. CSG

    CSG Loaded Pockets

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    While I didn't keep the one I bought (it's an anatomy thing with shrouded tail buttons for me), it's a really cool light and can even be operated with AAA batteries although Streamlight does not acknowledge that.
     
    #13 CSG, Aug 21, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
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  14. SOS24

    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

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    Glad you’re liking it.
     
    #14 SOS24, Aug 21, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
  15. kukla

    kukla Loaded Pockets

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    holy _ _ _ _!
     
  16. Donald Morton

    Donald Morton Loaded Pockets

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    48 hr. update:

    Using my new flashlight for a total of less than 4 hours runtime on High beam, it all of a sudden stopped working on High beam. Both the Low beam and strobe mode worked, however. After a brief flurry of voicing some choice word phrases, I calmed down enough to swap out the CR123A battery with a AA, just to see what might happen. Bingo, High beam back in business!

    But seeing as the CR123A battery (Streamlight brand) has a "good until date" of 2028, I'm disappointed in how fast it drained its capacity to run the High beam. Does this seem normal to you guys?
     
  17. twin63

    twin63 Loaded Pockets

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    Streamlight lists 1.3 hours of runtime on high with a CR123, so it sounds right. A lithium AA (Energizer L91) will get you more runtime on high, but output will only be 150lm vs. 350lm. Unfortunately, if you need higher output for longer periods of time, you may need to look into a light that can run on rechargeable lithium ion batteries.
     
  18. SOS24

    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

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    Unfortunately, as twin63 said, it does seem about right. The runtime on high of many lights is not that long.
     
  19. Donald Morton

    Donald Morton Loaded Pockets

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    Wish I had thought of checking the manufacturers specs, duh :banghead:
     
  20. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I am a little confused about this?

    You said you wanted 40 lumens for 20 minutes and you got a lot more output for more than 10 times your hoped for runtime right?
    So why the let down exactly?

    If you had chosen a 40 lumen light you might well get a lot more runtime.

    And of course reading the specs before buying should give you an idea of what to expect too.