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What have you found to be your honest to goodness daily use form factor?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by dmattaponi, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    When it comes to flashlights that is. Like guns, knives, and many other edc items, it’s easy to get caught up in the intricacies and nuances of whatever we are into buying at the moment, but when it comes down to it, if we really were to choose, certain attributes win the day in terms of what really works for us as individuals. When it comes to knives/multi tools, as an example, I’ve found the Swiss Army Knife is my go to choice based on my actual daily activities. They work for me. When it comes to flashlights, after a bit of experimentation, I settled on simple, economical and readily available AA flashlights, which again gets the jobs I need done, done. The lights and batteries are economical, plenty powerful enough for my daily needs, have decent runtimes and they do the job for me, albeit without a lot of glamour. I haven’t bought or used a non AA or AAA flashlight since 2015.

    What about you? Have you found a format that meets your needs to the exclusion of all others? Below are my users. All relatively small and handy, reasonably powerful with good runtimes, very economical, and they work for me. The single AA for edc, 2 AA with momentary on/off function for the nightstand, and 4AA for general purpose utility and when I need a little throw. I probably should also mention that I switched to rechargeable Eneloop batteries when I made the switch to AA, so it’s like I’m using free batteries after the first few charges. Haven’t found a convincing reason to change since I made the switch over at the beginning of 2016.

    [​IMG]



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    Last edited by dmattaponi, Mar 8, 2021
    #1 dmattaponi, Mar 8, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
  2. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I was also solidly on the AA camp for years and for all of the reasons you site but then I was talked into just giving an 18650 EDC a try and I have never turned back or reconsidered.
    Once I got used to the slightly larger size there is only the fact that I can not stick widely available batteries in the light as a remote downside and I have not had a single incident yet where this has been a problem at all.

    I actually also carry a second 18650 light all the time along with my primary EDC to make certain that I do always have a fully charged backup battery with me.

    There is just so much more runtime than with the AA light that I can no longer pretend it is not a great feature!

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    18650 do sound tempting.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  4. Willy

    Willy Loaded Pockets

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    Being retired, I no longer need all the runtime and efficiency stuff as I rarely use my lights.
    I now keep a Jetbeam RRT01 (2019) on the nightstand and whatever has been in my pocket during the day; usually a Prometheus Beta Ti. I have had many AAA light over the years which started with the original Thrunite Ti3. That is still one of my favorites and the Prometheus seems to be the height of evolution for the Thrunite (for me).
    The AAA size meet most all of my needs now.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    I do like AAA too. The ti3 is one of my favorites also. I usually have one clipped inside my shirt pocket as I go about my day when working from home.
     
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  6. Willy

    Willy Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah. The Ti3 is what started me down this crazy path with flashlights. Still got the little bugger.
     
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  7. Captainkirk

    Captainkirk Loaded Pockets

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    AA Fenix e12 for daily pocket carry. I do have a spare eneloop or two in the backpack. If I really need more, I have an 18650 triple in the backpack as well. Runtime isn't really an issue for me.
     
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  8. EveryDayBeer
    • In Omnia Paratus

    EveryDayBeer Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the reminder to charge the batteries in my light. It's a Foursevens Preon P2 MkIII (I think) in copper that matches my work-carry pen. I use it for inspecting drive belts or mail search in hard to reach areas, almost every day. I will of course use the work-issue Streamlight first if I remembered to pick it up from the toolbox.
     
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  9. parnass

    parnass Loaded Pockets

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    A 1xAAA or 2xAAA style flashlight works for most of my EDC needs. I bring something larger and brighter if going out at night.
     
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  10. steeps

    steeps Loaded Pockets

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    I EDC a Zebralight H53c AA in my pocket everyday without the stap but the clip is installed. If going out at night then the Olight Warrior Mini 18650 joins the party.
     
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  11. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    I think it comes down to what we do with our days.
    As with all things, the gain must be worth the pain. In my regular day to day chores, I don't need a flashlight. Or a knife, or just about anything. I'm an office dude.
    I'm also an office dude that don't like overly stuffed pockets.
    So, although I end up using my pocket fillers fairly regularly, they are still "just in case" items, hence they must be as small as they can practically be for me to justify their carrying.
    My absolute favorite form factor for everyday use is the AAA lights. Not all AAAs are created equal, and I have quite a few to choose from, but the one getting the most pocket time as of late is the Preon I, Mk III, with the Mini pineapple Ti in a solid second spot.

    When I venture into more specific activities that clearly benefits from dedicated tools, I tend to pick bigger lights or headlamps.
     
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  12. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • Sponsor - Home Craftsman
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    Something in a 1xCR123A or (small) 1x18650 form factor is for every day I'm wearing jeans or slacks. When wearing pants with more pockets, I carry a Surefire Stiletto Pro.
     
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  13. smokingfish

    smokingfish Loaded Pockets

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    This light has served me well, not too large for any pocket.
    [​IMG]
    If I need to go smaller, got that covered too. 10440, it's a modified tool aaa. I think it's on 2 settings, 100 lumen and 700 lumen. Bright for a small light.
    [​IMG]

    Got plenty of batteries and chargers. I keep a charger in my car, in case. And bring extra batteries, usually for camping.
     
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  14. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    For the past 15-17 years, my EDC light has been a now very beat up Fenix E01. After all these years it looks like its been through a war. It serves me for what I want and need. If a thunderstorm knocks out the power, I'm good to the circuit breaker box. Or I can stand the E01 on its base and use the reflected light off the ceiling like a candle. I've got a spare as they don't make them anymore. Last winter when the ice storm knocked out the power, the little E01's were the workhorse of our home lighting.

    If I need more light, my old two AAA mini Maglitel is carried if I expect to be our past nightfall. The wife keeps a E01 on her keyring as well. I don't need umpteen hundred lumens to see where I'm walking with the dog at night. I have no need of searing the retna's out of a coon at 300 yards. Just a basic light will do me.
     
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  15. KD5JHA

    KD5JHA Loaded Pockets

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    my little EDC light runs on a 14500 lithium rechargeable and if I need to run it on the AA it can do that but it drops to half the lumens. But at least it works. So that’s my compromise.

    if you would like to try something like that on the cheap I suggest you pick up a Coast HX4 for $20.

    You can grab one on the cheap at Home Depot or Lowes. And it will do almost 400 lm on a 14500 sell if you pick one up off Amazon with a simple little charger. If you just put AAs in it it will only make 130. But it will still be a good light. It’s nice and light and you can clip it to the bill of a hat if that is a feature you find useful.

    if you end up liking the concept of a lithium rechargeable after you get your feet wet, you may want to get into an 18650. Once I went to the 18650 there was no going back. You’re talking about light stick and run at 500 to 1000 lm or more for an hour or more nonstop. You’re no longer talking about battery life being the main issue… You’re starting to get more worried about the heat that the light is going to put off then if it’s going to run out of batteries.

    If you have one of those lights you have pictured that you really like the method that operates in the way the switches work see if they have that same exact light in the configuration using lithium rechargeable’s and pick one up, you won’t be sorry that you tried it out.
     
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  16. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    For me, two factors are important:
    1. How much light do I get vs. how bulky is it
    2. How easily is it deployed

    During summer, I carry a AAA with a good clip in the cargo pocket of my shorts.
    Since it's bright outside most of the time, I don't need much light and rather use it when I fiddle around behind a cupboard, in a dark cellar or under a desk.

    When the days grow shorter, the pants grow longer. In my jeans, I usually carry a 16340/CR123 light (Olight Baton).
    They are a bit bulkier, but capable of putting out a lot of lumens for a short while and considerably more than any AA / AAA light over extended periods of time.

    Those are what I EDC. As soon as I know i'll be using a light where I go, a small 18650 is my choice.
     
  17. FiaOlleDog

    FiaOlleDog Loaded Pockets

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    Form follows function. My keychain/pocket EDC carry consists of the ThruNite Ti3 (again) as this little light fulfills my daily & immediate needs in terms of:
    • amount of illumination (night walk with firefly mode, average light in medium and more light in high mode)
    • runtimes (30 minutes to 100+ hours)
    • will not turn on while riding in my pocket
    • can and has been used as a make-shift headlamp by being clipped on the brim of my cap

    I tried for several weeks to replace it with a Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 (with 14500 one gets 650 lumens) but it was the bulkiest item on my key-chain and was a little bit too spacious to be comfortable, so i returned to the Ti3.

    I never considered other non-AA/AAA flashlights for my EDC (also I do have 18650 for special purpose), but the recent releases of thumb-sized flashlight (Nitecore Tiki, Astrolux K2, etc.) is very tempting ... Also i usually not need to replace the battery during operation (i do carry a spare AAA in my EDC pouch) it's a "safety net" I rate high - which I may need to give up with those thumb-torches. Maybe some of them is able to be used even while being charged? This could make me switch the Ti3 out for one of those ...
     
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  18. post tenebras

    post tenebras Loaded Pockets

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    Most days, I don’t carry a light, anymore, I just rely on my phone. If I anticipate needing more, I either take an AAA light or my Surefire stiletto pro.
     
  19. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    I guess I haven’t adjusted to the idea that I need mega lumens. Under 100 lumens…significantly under…is more than enough for all bit the most extreme/non everyday type occurrence. That said, to each their own. If I needed a search light, I’d want more lumens, but for edc I could still easily get by on an old Incandescent MAG Solitaire. A single cell AAA or AA LED is a tremendous improvement and puts out an amazing amount of light and lasts a very long time by comparison

    As for using a cell phone as a primary flashlight…well that’s about the only comment in this thread that I can’t politely “like” ;-)


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  20. twin63

    twin63 Loaded Pockets

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    My preferred format, since 2009, is a 1xAA (usually a 4Sevens Quark Pro or Tactical). I would estimate that 80% of my lighting needs are covered by moonlight and low modes. In the event I need more light, the high of 280 lumens offered by my current XM-L Quark is almost always more than enough. Batteries last forever running 0.3/3 lumens.

    Having said all that, I enjoy flashlights. So, I’ve never settled exclusively on AA - even though it comprises an overwhelming majority of use. I probably own more CR123A/18650 lights than AA. I rarely carry them as primary lights, but like to add one to my pack or a coat pocket at times (winter nights, bad weather, etc.). They hardly ever get used, but I enjoy having them along for the ride.
     
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