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Recommendation Request- Small Multiuse

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by darknyght00, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. darknyght00

    darknyght00 Loaded Pockets

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    Checklist copied from Stickied thread.

    Flashlight Recommendation Checklist

    by CPFer ThomasH with edits and additions by EDCF members


    Recommend a Flashlight Checklist: (Don't worry about all the questions, just the ones you feel strongly about!) Please mark "x" inside the [ ] to indicate your choice and please delete the options that you are not at all interested in.

    1) Short Essay Question: What do you intend to use this light for?
    Looking for something slim for pocket carry. I always have a headlamp in my ruck and my keychain has a Photon Freedom but I'd like something quick to deploy when both of those are stowed or dowsed. I have a pretty good idea of some "must haves" such as tail-switch operation and preferably AAA batteries but I've seen conflicting blurbs on how many lumens I should prefer (such as defensive should be high lumens while a worklight should be lower and instead focus on CRE). I don't need (or want) a million different modes or strobe functionality, just a workhorse that can handle the general stuff (bonus if it can also be effective defensively)

    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! :broke:
    [ ] $1-15
    [ ] $15-30
    [ ] $40-60
    [ ] $80-$120
    [ ] I have no limit!
    [X] Shooting for under 50$ but will have a conversation for the right kit

    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.
    [ ] 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.
    [X] Light, no heavier than a few keys or a small car remote.
    [X] Medium light, about the weight of a AAA MiniMag
    [ ] 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.
    [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)
    [ ] I want to walk unpaved trails. (40 lumens)
    [ ] 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)----------------------|----------------------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)
    [ ] 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.)
    [ ] Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box.)
    [X] Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Self-defense, Survival.)

    11) Switch Type:
    [ ] I don't care.
    [ ] sliding switch (Stays on until slid back.)
    [ ] 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.
    [ ] 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: doesn't have to work for scuba diving but if it could still work after being submerged a few feet that'd be nice
    [ ] 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
    [ ] Belt/Jacket clip
    [ ] Holster
    [ ] Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    [ ] Kuboton/self defense features
    [ ] Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments
    [X] Follows Rule #1 (Always look cool)


    Any help is appreciated!
     
  2. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Streamlight Microstream (1 x AAA) or Streamlight Stylus Pro (2 x AAA) are both worth a look.

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  3. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    Lumintop Tool AAA (Ti or other) or IYP07?
     
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  4. turbo6

    turbo6 Loaded Pockets

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    Fenix E12, Thrunite Archer 1A...if willing to spend a bit more check out Zebralight
     
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  5. koni

    koni Loaded Pockets

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    the Fenix E05, E12, E20 are all viable options and have incredible longevity on the lower brightness settings.
     
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  6. darknyght00

    darknyght00 Loaded Pockets

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    That IYP07 looks like it could do the trick (size, durability, tailswitch, and the diffuser looks like a neat touch). The website says it comes in Cree or Nichia but amazon only has the Nichia for the single cell version- is this something I should be looking at? My caveman understanding is that Cree means more lumens so would the Nichia be noticeably gimped on brightness?
     
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  7. Loadout

    Loadout Loaded Pockets

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    The Olight i3T comes to mind. I love mine.
     
  8. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    I have the IYP365 in Nichia. The quality and build of my example is excellent. The tail clicky isn't as positive as some, but it's good enough for me. The luminous ring is a gimmick only IMO, but doesn't detract from the light in any way. Mine didn't come with a diffuser so I can't comment on that.

    Nichia has better colour rendition (higher CRI) than the Cree, the Cree has more power than the Nichia.

    I tend to think of lumen ratings in terms of photographic stops (doublings) - I'll notice a jump from 4 to 8 lumens, I probably won't notice a jump from 40 to 44 lumens. I'll notice a jump from 100 to 200 lumens, I probably won't notice a jump from 1000 to 1100 lumens. (Or maybe my eyes are just rubbish!) :cool:

    Good luck with whatever you end up getting.
     
  9. darknyght00

    darknyght00 Loaded Pockets

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    Waited too long and my first choice (IYP07) is no longer available on amazon but I did get an IYP365 since it was 14$. Probably too big for actual EDC but it'll let me get a feel for that style while waiting for the smaller one to come back.

    The Tool AAA is also a strong contender but I'm having trouble figuring out the difference (or rather benefits) between the "black lens" and "black reflector" versions. Kinda leaning towards the Ti version if I go that route since it doesn't have the choice and also for what appears to be a nicer tail switch. Any thoughts?
     
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  10. BigGreenTick

    BigGreenTick Loaded Pockets

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    The original Tool had a reflector and a choice of Cree XP-G2 or Nichia 219BT emitters. As has already been covered the Cree will have slightly higher output (which is not going to noticeable in most conditions), while the Nichia will show colors a little bit closer to how they look under sunlight.

    The current tool switched to an Osram emitter behind an optic/lens with no reflector. The head is a tiny bit shorter in length than the older Tool.

    This thread on BLF has some pics showing the difference between the two, including some beamshots.... LINK

    The switch on the titanium version is an e-switch with an internal capacitor, so if you do go that route you'll need to let it sit for 15-20 minutes after you put in the battery the first time in order for the capacitor to charge (and again if you let it sit for an extended time with no battery). The versions with the e-switch are shorter in overall length than the mechanical clicky switch.

    The brass Tool uses the e-switch as well and Massdrop sells a rebranded aluminum version with the e-switch in various colors (at a higher price).

    The only downside of the Tool is that most of the models have M-L-H for the mode setting. That means they start in medium, then low then high. The reasoning is that medium is the most used level for most people but YMMV (as mine does). There have been some that are L-M-H but I'm not sure if/where they are currently available.

    The Olight I3T that loadout mentioned is also an excellent light. It's longer than the tool has two modes (5 & 180 lumens) and has an awesome two-way clip like that on the Streamlight Microstream suggested by Moshe.

    I'm a huge fan of the Thrunite Archer 1A brought up by turbo6, it's larger than the others mentioned. It's AA rather than AAA so possibly larger than you are looking for but it's a great light. It's also the easiest to use as a momentary as the mode switch is separate from the power switch.
     
    Last edited by BigGreenTick, Sep 5, 2019
    #10 BigGreenTick, Sep 5, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  11. Wishoot

    Wishoot Loaded Pockets

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    Boom.

    Look no further than this suggestion. Both are an outstanding value. I have both and use both every day and night.

    They are single mode however (which I greatly prefer).

    The only negative I can come up with is the fact that the push is a bit hard to engage. But not a deal-breaker IMO.
     
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  12. Burncycle

    Burncycle Loaded Pockets

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    This. The Microstream hits a sweetspot IMO. You can use AAA of course (longer runtime, easy to find, not as bright) but also 10440 lithium ions (guilt free rechargable lumens, and bright for it's size, but shorter runtime). Inexpensive to boot. It only one mode though (which I prefer) but since you specified multi mode there are of course other options as mentioned above.
     
    Last edited by Burncycle, Sep 6, 2019
    #12 Burncycle, Sep 6, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
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  13. BigGreenTick

    BigGreenTick Loaded Pockets

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    Thought a pic of some of the mentioned lights might be useful for a size comparison...

    L to R: Lumintip IYP365 Ti, BLF 348; Olight i3T; Wuben E01; Foursevens Preon 1 MKIII; Lumintop Tool (original w/reflector); Lumintop Tool Ti; Streamlight Microstream/ITP EOS A3 Lego; Zebralight SC53; Lumintop Tool AA 2.0; UltraTac A1; Archer 1A V3; Foursevens Preon 2 MKIII

    [​IMG]
     
    #13 BigGreenTick, Sep 7, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  14. turbo6

    turbo6 Loaded Pockets

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    The Tool AAA seems decent; I was thinking about one for my wife for the volunteer rescue work she does. Comes with a diffuser.

    It's not a conventional cell but I've been using my Acebeam TK16 a lot lately and it's definitely a nice, small light. Comes with a rechargeable 16350. Triple LED and 3 emitter choices, all well over 1000 lumens.
     
  15. BigGreenTick

    BigGreenTick Loaded Pockets

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    I forgot to mention before, the Tool & the IYP07 have the same driver board so their performance will be identical. It just depends on which outer package you prefer.

    (And I really want Lumintop to do a 2xAAA Tool now)
     
  16. darknyght00

    darknyght00 Loaded Pockets

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    Still loving the 365 (though life on full brightness is rough but that's not what a AAA cell rig is for). Strongly considering the Tool AA to get access to the 14500 cell option for the extra brightness, capacity, and palmable size
     
    twin63 likes this.