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!