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What features do you look for in a light?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by Revival, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. Revival

    Revival Loaded Pockets

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    Ok this might be a fun thread. I was curious to know what are some of the features you require in a light before you can even consider purchasing it?

    Some of you might have specific lights for specific tasks...if so, list your requirements for each light used for that specific task.

    My requirements are:
    - clicky
    - pocket clip
    - at least 3 modes
     
  2. FighterZak

    FighterZak Loaded Pockets

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    Clicky
    Small
    Durable
    Common battery source.
     
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  3. Creature

    Creature Loaded Pockets

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    Must to have a pocket clip. A durable scratch-resistant / adequately recessed lens is also important.
     
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  4. kbuzbee

    kbuzbee Loaded Pockets

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    Interesting. I've been revising my EDC requirements recently (and they are still evolving ;) )

    I agree with you on the pocket clip
    I also like a very small size. I've always found 18650 lights too big to EDC.
    AWESOME quality tint and beam. This is rapidly becoming most most important criteria.
    Easy to use UI. I like a UI that starts VERY low. 1 lumen or less, then ramp to max.

    Those are my main criteria at this point.

    Ken
     
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  5. Creature

    Creature Loaded Pockets

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    Not me. I prefer it the other way around. I want a UI that starts with the MAX lumens and then ramps down. Or a desperate UI for step-down lumens.

    When I need the light RIGHT NOW, I want the full can o' beans worth.
     
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  6. kbuzbee

    kbuzbee Loaded Pockets

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    I get that. It's just a difference in preference/use and it's good you can find lights with either design.

    Ken
     
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  7. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    AA, multimode, clicky, pocket clip are the base requirments, but nearly very brand has them. The more specialized features that tend to have me reaching for the favorites in my collection are:

    - "bright" moonlight modes (~0.3-0.5 lumens), followed by a closely spaced 2-4 lm low (my 2 most often used modes), and L>H sequence. Sadly most manuf. are way off on their ML mode spec - esp. ZL.
    - beam profile on the floody side - big hotspot XML in a med-sized AA head (but prefer XPG/N219s in small AAs)
    - full 0.9-4.2v support (ie, retains lower modes at spec) - love 14500 and 3v CRAA primaries
    - momentary max "switch" from any lower mode in use - works like car high beam flashers - my all-time favorite UI pseudo-feature
    - mechanical reverse clickies for reliability, user serviceability, and by-passability (switches are the most likely part to fail)
    - current regulation - I can see PWM and find it distracting
    - good warranty customer service with US center.
     
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  8. Revival

    Revival Loaded Pockets

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    Do you mind explaining this in more detail? Which lights have this feature?
     
  9. MicroMike

    MicroMike Loaded Pockets

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    My top of the list feature, moonlight.... Its amazing how useful that mode is...

    close second would be a user friendly user interface... imo Olight i3s is spot on...
     
  10. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Think of it as the "panic mode" - you're puttering around with the low mode, and suddenly you hear something growling in the bushes. "PANIC! All the lumens NOW!" sort of thing.

    EtA: instead of having to cycle through several modes to reach the "high", or tap the switch in the right sequence.

    Which, I will tell you know, can be tricky when your heart rate skyrockets, the adrenaline surges, and your lizard hindbrain is hissing while trying to climb the nearest tree.
     
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  11. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Back to the original post: when I see a light, I consider _its_ features and if they're at all useful to me, at that price point.

    I have different mental categories for lights and each category has a different set of priorities.
     
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  12. Revival

    Revival Loaded Pockets

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    I had an idea of what it meant but was curious to know more specifically how it was applied to a light.

    If I had to guess knowing that Reppans is a Quark Pro guy, does it mean being in the low modes and turning the head to immediately access the highest mode?
     
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  13. Revival

    Revival Loaded Pockets

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    Let's hear them!
     
  14. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    That seems reasonable, but since I'm not a Quark Pro guy, Reppans is probably the best person to answer your question. ;)
     
  15. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    1. Pocket/bump in the night: one mode, brightest possible, most reliable within my budget.
    Criteria from high to low: one mode, output, reliability, runtime, cost.

    2. Utility: one or more modes, common battery type.
    Criteria from high to low: reliability, cost, runtime, modes, output.

    3. Beater: cheap, common battery type, reasonably reliable.
    Criteria from high to low: cost, reliability, output, modes, runtime.

    4. Task specific: cost.

    I should do these in an overlapping Venn diagram. Anyway, that's a fairly rough sketch, but pretty accurate as to how I evaluate lights and whether or not I'm willing to buy one.
     
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  16. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    It also gets fuzzy because I keep a couple of AAA lights around as backups for a slightly different skewing of the priorities built on the common battery type. And a Fenix E11 for the same reason.

    I have issues.
     
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  17. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    Yes exactly.... also great for walking the dog off-leash to spot him at a distance, signaling approaching cars that pedestrians are ahead, finding the next trail marker night hiking, morse code signaling etc.

    Yeah sort of - it's utilizing the Quark Pro between loose and tight bezel mode, except I don't twist it (which takes 2 hands), I just "bend" it single-handedly. If the head is a mm or three ("adjustable sensitivity" :)) away from tight bezel position, then any bend pressure to the body will momentary active max for as long as you apply pressure - release pressure and the light returns to the previously used lower mode. With an underhand grip you can press your thumb on the bezel, with an overhand grip, you use your pinkie under the bezel for leverage and squeeze. The battery spring and o-ring keep it in loose bezel position and the sideway pressure on the bezel momentarily compresses them for tight bezel position. Quarks have a little play in the threads which is required for this quasi-feature - some folks hate that though :D.
     
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  18. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Above ANYTHING else, I look for a reliable activating mechanism. All other features fall a distant second.
     
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  19. Blerv

    Blerv Loaded Pockets

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    For smaller lights a tint I like (usually on the warmer side) and ease of carry whether it's a clip on the light or a suspension clip. A wide range of output and usually a twisty head.

    For the larger light (coat pocket), 600+ lumens and a clicky that won't turn on by accident. Comes on high for the first mode or has memory so I can set it there. Usually it's a P60 with an XML2 dedomed or a high CRI mule.
     
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  20. Jash

    Jash Loaded Pockets

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    - Pocket clip
    - Single cell
    - Multiple output
    - One handed operation
    - Forward Clicky with momentary on
    - Affordable enough not to cry if I lose it


    Currently EDC a Fenix LD12 (first gen), and I have a Quark QTA on the way to replace the QT2A-X in my EDC bag as I want everything to be single AA cell. Single cell lights make enough light for my daily use and you can use any AA battery you might find for use in an emergency.
     
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