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Which CR123 single cell?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by Buffalohump, Aug 15, 2006.

    Buffalohump Loaded Pockets

    OK, I've got the flashlight bug in a big way...

    I'm looking at getting a single cell CR123 light next and I'd like to hear what you all think.

    These are the options I have considered:

    HDS Basic42
    Surefire E1E HA
    Amilite Neo T3
    Fenix P1

    Prices go from $90 for the HDS to $45 for the P1, with the others being halfway in between.

    Trying to figure which is the best option to go for is enough to give me a headache. So I can really use your experience/input/advice.

    Price IS a factor (unfortunately) as I have to multiply everything by 7 (current exchange).

    Have at it!!

    Malcontent Empty Pockets

    I have the P1. It is a good light for the money and is very bright.
    The SF E1E is a great light, It cost a little more than the P1, but you get a little higher quality.
    I have heard good things about the HDS, but do not have any experience with one myself.

    Buffalohump Loaded Pockets

    Is that Surefire a LED bulb BTW?

    I prefer LED.

    greencobra Loaded Pockets

    I've got the same idea as you. :laugh: After hours of study, I've decided on the P1. It looks like the best value for the money right now, simple, nothing fancy, but as you say...throws a lot of light. I'll get that now.

    Later, when the improved ARC LS hits, I'll pick up that.

    Styerman Empty Pockets

    McLuxIII-PD , or if that wont fit the budget Surefire E1L , Surefire Leggo is fun .


    clipse Empty Pockets

    I have an HDS EDC U60, Amility Neo T3, and Fenix P1.

    Here is a comparison pic.

    From left to right: Fenix P1, Amilite Neo T3, HDS EDC U60, Fenix L1T, Dorcer Super 1 Watt, Streamlight TT 1L.

    Of the lights you listed, I would go with the HDS. It is brighter on high and will run the longest on its primary setting. I love my HDS. Of the three I have, the P1 is the most roughly finished. The Amilite and the HDS are about equal with the best leaning towards the HDS. I actually carry the HDS daily with the Amilite as a backup. Only reason I don't carry the P1 instead of the Amilite is because the Amilite matches my HDS. :) The P1 will have a longer runtime than the Amilite though. By about 40 minutes. Its is a bit dimmer though. Its all in what you want and what you want to spend.

    My picks would be:

    1. HDS EDC B42 (for versitility)
    2. Amilite (for brightness, reliability, and quality)
    3. Fenix P1 (still very reliable and a great light, I just like the others more)

    4. Surefire e1e HA (If I were to get an incan (nonLED) light, then I would get one brighter than this light)

    The Surefire has quality down, but there are bigger and better lights out there. The HDS will have about the same runtime and be brighter without ever haveing to replace the bulb.

    Buffalohump Loaded Pockets

    Thanks! Very nice shot of your lights ;) That's a great collection.

    Its a tough, tough choice, to be honest.

    The P1 is really affordable, but I just got the E1 so it would be nice to go with a different brand.

    The HDS is a highly respected light, that's obvious. It appears, though, that they are to be discontinued (the 42 version).
    Does anyone know why this is? Is there a new version due out. Don't want to buy now if a new one is due out soon.

    Is $90 a good price for the Basic 42? This is what Lighthound has them for.

    The Amilite seems like a good compromise between the two in terms of price and performance.

    Like I said - tough!

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

    My vote is for a Surefire E1L, although I haven't tried any of the other lights you mentioned.

    Okay, flame on: Reason being is that I refuse to spend my hard-earned greenbacks on something made in China, a communist country with missiles trained on us. So that Fenix is just a no-go.


    The little E1L is my new favorite flashlight. The fact that it only takes one CR123 cell is half the reason I bought it. The other half is the great Surefire quality. (This is the one with the newer LED head.) What a great little light.

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    Buffalohump Loaded Pockets

    Politics aside... :)

    Can I ask you why you chose the Surefire over the HDS? Was it the cost factor? Considering they are both made with pride in the USA ;D

    dinoadventures Empty Pockets

    I'm looking for the same thing.

    I have it down to:
    Huntlight FT-02
    Amilite T3
    Millermods Fenix L1P w/CR123 body
    Surefire E1L or A2

    knightrider Empty Pockets

    I have an E1L and HDS 42. Both are awesome. The E1L is a tank and more simple usage make it a quicker and more durable light imo. The HDS is also very tough but the the E1L feels a little more durable. For features the HDS is awesome because you can level down in brightness and get very long run times - versus most SF giving 1 hour. Have you thought about the SF L1? I have one of those and it's a great compromise between the E1L and the HDS.

    No experience with Fenix or the others you mention. Probably good, but I too support the USA as much as possible - so SF, Arc and HDS are the guys I go to for lights. Someday I might try something else but I have all my flashlight bases covered for the moment at least. :)

    greenLED Empty Pockets

    Let me ask you something: What are you going to use this light for?

    You have both LED and incan lights listed, but they both have their pro's and con's. It seems like you've decided on a small light so far. IMO, LED-based lights are better for that size (their bright, regulated, etc.).

    Do you want a simple on/off light? or would you like to have the option of multiple levels? Are many levels important, or low&high would be enough (you could go for an L1T for less than $50 if the latter). What about battery type? Do you mind having to use 123's?

    I always ask these questions because we all have slightly different needs, wants, and likes, and what I may suggest like the best light may not be appropriate for what you need the light for.

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

    For me, it was the excellent Surefire reputation of quality. I knew I would be getting a product that the manufacturer would stand behind 110% and was rock-solid. I don't mind shelling out a few more bucks for that peace of mind.

    HDS seems like a nice light, too. I've never tried one, but they sound good. Although I did see a post somewhere, either here or on CPF, that mentioned a high-pitched audible "whine" coming from users' HDS flashlights. Something to do with the circuitry inside or some such thing... I put my ear to my E1L and there's no whine whatsoever. That's really nit-picking, but if that would be an issue for you, FYI.

    A two-stage output on the E1L would be a nice feature, but I can definitely live without it. Others have mentioned how the E1L gets somewhat warm (not hot) during extended use (as designed), but for me that's a good thing. When winter comes I'll be happy to have a hand warmer!


    Buffalohump Loaded Pockets

    In response to your query, I am looking for a light that will be a) portable b) give good output (brightness and throw) and c) have a run time of more than one hour. Two to three hours would be good.

    I have since done a bit more homework myself since posting the message and realise I screwed up with the Surefire. The one I meant was the E1L. So I too prefer the LEDs and meant to list only LEDs.

    I already own a 6P, an Inova XO and an Inova X5. But as you all know there is a vast number of choices out there for lights and I figured it would be good to add a single cell CR123 light to the mix.

    I also have read many rave reports on the HDS EDC and that seems like a great solution. It has the option of two different levels which is a great feature. However, it appears HDS are about to bring out some new models to replace the Basic 42, which I think will be worth waiting for.

    So... while I wait for that, I think I might amuse myself by looking around for a nice AA light, something else missing in my repetoire.

    Any thoughts? I kinda like the Fenix L2T because of its versatility, but I'm open to suggestions...  ;)

    greenLED Empty Pockets

    From the lights listed above, and given your needs and other lights, I'd go with the HDS42.

    Unless you want to spend a lot more money, holding off until the new models are released won't be worthwhile IMO.

    Also, the runtime on high for any semi-decent light won't be more than 45 minutes - that's why having multiple levels help. With time (and depending on what you do) you'll probably find yourself using the lower levels more, and only blasting on high now and then.

    Buffalohump Loaded Pockets

    I will certainly take a hard look at the HDS lights again...

    They are cute little devils :)

    greenLED Empty Pockets

    I actually think they're ugly (functional, built like tanks, yada-yada-yada, but ugly). :)

    carrot Loaded Pockets

    The E1L is a nice light, but I often find myself wishing it were dual stage because of the kind of beam it has. (TIGHT with no sidespill)

    I couldn't be happier with the P1 for the price, as it is bright, has a well-balanced beam, and throws respectably well considering its reflector size (probably due to its tightly focused hotspot.)

    The HDS B42 right now seems like the *perfect* light to spring for if you're looking for a single CR123 light that can fill most lighting needs. The more time I spent with lights, the more I realized how much multiple output levels is important... But I don't have an HDS yet... Of course, I have my own preferred "catchall" flashlight, but it's a two-cell (guess what it is! ;) ).

    If you're not turned off by the B42's extra bulk (it is noticeably wider than the P1) and the higher price, I would say you should go for it. Otherwise, if you feel you don't need the multiple output levels (I like 'em) the P1 is great too. I think the P1 also makes for a good backup light. Fenix-Store.com ships internationally for free... and the price at Lighthound for the B42 is indeed a good price.

    LowWorm Guest

    Hmmm...I'm guessing the Orange One has a...2-D Rayovac? Either that or a Surefire A2. I'm always mixing those two up. :p

    I go with Green and Orange on the B42. The multiple levels of this light make it perfect for outages, camping, fridge foraging, whatever you need it for. I loved my U60 before I sold it.

    It is kinda homely, and the lack of decent clip is a huge pity, but beyond that, there's no arguing with its performance.

    Vox Loaded Pockets

    I would go for the SF L1 old school version with the 1watt led and the nice light spill. I had both the new and old version but the old won by a mile inmy book. The runtime on one cell is unbeliveable and the two stages are perfect for most needs.
    I have the E1L and the Fenix P1 as well but since I use my lights about 30-40 min. every day in the wintertime (living in the country) the batt. life has to be long and dependable. :D
    The HDS42XR could also be a pick for me but I can´t seem to find it at the right price anymore.... :idiot2: