Jump to content

Flashlight


wolf9545
Followers 2

Recommended Posts

Wasn't to sure if this should go into this forum or the "topics" section.

 

I want to buy a flashlight for geocaching and for other uses. I would like it to be waterproof and float if dropped in water. Any suggestions on a good one? I don't want to bother with a headlamp because I would like to also use it like a normal flashlights when not geocaching.

 

edit: Oh, forgot something. I don't want to spend a ton of money on a flashlight. I was thinking of under $30 if that is possible; not looking for the best of the best just a good one.

Edited by wolf9545
Link to comment

IMO nothing beats a nice LED Maglight. It won't float but it is water proof and even better its very rugged. A floating water resistant flashlight is no good if you drop it a few times and its leaks.

 

But you can find what your looking for for under $20. Do a shopping search on google for floating flashlight. Any of those will get the job done.

Link to comment

A buddy picked up some lights with the name Element on them. They don't float but they are well made, are rated 150 lumens on high and 75 on low, and they run on three AAA batteries. There were two lights on a cardboard bubble pack for $16.00 and some change. Amazon was selling the same light for $57.00. I also picked up a light at Menards made by Brinkman which was rated at 125 lumens and also runs on three AAAs. It was about $25.00 and doesn't float either. If I remember right both lights are waterproof.

Link to comment

Thank you all for your information. I actually forgot about the maglights; just have to be sure that the one I look at is waterproof. The AA sized ones I know are nice price and size but I can't remember if they are waterproof or not; I don't believe they are.

 

I have a two AA that I carried through Katrina and Rita. Had no problems with waterproofing.

Link to comment

There are a few things I look for in a flashlight:

 

1. Uses AA batteries. This is important to me as I like the batteries in my GPSr and flashlight to be interchangeable. I've had to yank batteries from my flashlight to power my GPSr a couple of times before, when I forgot to bring fresh batteries. Second choice : C or D batteries. 18650 and other exotic batteries are too expensive for me.

 

2. Have a regulated output. In general, those that use 1 or 2 AA cells are regulated, and those that use 3 AA cells are not. But this is not always the case - there are 3 cell lights that are regulated. Regulated means that your light output will not fall as the cell is being used, and that you can very likely use NiMH batteries in your light.

 

3. Have multiple output levels. I need a bright light when looking into holes during the day. I don't need one so bright when walking along a path at night.

 

And, of course, have a white (instead of bluish) light, good optics, waterproof, and all that. Being able to bash the skull of another cacher whom I'm trying to beat to a FTF, or of a bear I encounter in the woods, is not one of my requirements :)

 

I have a Fenix LD20 that meets all of my requirements but is unfortunately almost twice your budget. I have a 3xAA Maglite that is fairly nice (3W Luxeon) but is not regulated, and does not have adjustable light output.

Link to comment

Whatever you end up getting - go with an LED bulb as the battery life is MUCH longer. I have had good luck with off brand cheap flashlights. Plus I always carry a a headlamp in my pack and some spare batteries.

 

 

I've had BAD LUCK with the cheap ones!!!!!

 

The LED lights are great on batteries, but GET A GOOD ONE!!!

 

One store I was looking at them in had one on display to check out. Every time I go in the store more LED's aren't working. It's supposed to last much longer than that!!

 

The regular bulb lights are so much brighter than the LED lights. I have both LED and regular bulb flashlights. When I don't need a really bright light I use my LED. When I need a bright light (such as trail finding at night, or night caches) I use standard bulbs.

 

One cheap LED light I've got only works when you hit it, and then only for a few seconds. It started doing that right after I lost the receipt. (about a month). Garbage.

 

Spend the extra bucks on a good light and it will save you a whole lot in the long run of paying for replacements.

 

Most LED lights do NOT work on the Glint night caches either by the way.

Edited by Sol seaker
Link to comment
I've had BAD LUCK with the cheap ones!!!!!

 

The LED lights are great on batteries, but GET A GOOD ONE!!!

 

The regular bulb lights are so much brighter than the LED lights.

I agree with the first 2 statements but not the 3rd one.

 

I've bought cheap "1 watt" LED lights, about $2 - $3 each shipped I think. I bought 3 of them. Light output is inconsistent. One would not turn on reliably. One would not turn off reliably.

 

At under $5, quality is likely to be iffy, whether you're getting incandescent or LED lights.

 

I'm not familiar with the $5 to $20 range, but if you see something with multiple LEDs, stay away. There might be some decent ones, but most of these are terrible.

 

At around $25, you can get decent LED lights that outperform incandescent lights, but typically not regulated. They may advertise themselves as having CREE or Luxeon LEDs.

Link to comment

...

I've had BAD LUCK with the cheap ones!!!!!

 

The LED lights are great on batteries, but GET A GOOD ONE!!!

 

...

One cheap LED light I've got only works when you hit it, and then only for a few seconds. It started doing that right after I lost the receipt. (about a month). Garbage.

 

Spend the extra bucks on a good light and it will save you a whole lot in the long run of paying for replacements.

...

 

I bought some Eveready ones a 3 years back - a 2 pack for like $7.99

 

They light up each and everytime I push the switch. Always been bright enough for when I needed them. Batteries last a crazy long time. I'm happy.

 

At that rate its going to take a long time to even hit the $25 mark.

Link to comment
You cant beat a maglight. I got two in my truck all the time. Good light and good club if someone wanna mess with me. :unsure:

You can beat a maglight. You can get cheaper lights, brighter lights, more durable lights, better designed lights. You won't find one that's cheaper, brighter, more durable and better designed at the same time, of course. It is a reputable brand that is widely available, however. And as many noted, you can beat someone over the head with the 4D or 5D cell models, and have it continue working.

 

To my amusement I found a link on google selling a handle attachment for the D maglite so that it becomes a tonfa. I'm sure it will make LEO encounters that much more interesting :)

Link to comment

I picked up a great little LED light at the dollar store for a whopping $2, and I'm impressed. It's got a short brushed-aluminum body, a clicker switch on the end, 9 LEDs at the other end, and it takes 3 AAAs.

 

I think I've also seen this same flashlight, with another name, for several times that $2 price at other stores. No doubt some factory in China is making these by the millions, and they're showing up everywhere.

 

51r6VmU3MyL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

 

That's the $2 flashlight, it's good. I got a $1 LED light a year ago, and it broke into 5 pieces when I turned it on for the first time. But there seems to be a world of difference in quality between $1 and $2 items at the dollar store.

 

I'm going to sprinkle these around the house for emergency lighting. But for caching, I'll stick with my super-bright LED headlamp.

 

~~~

 

Unrelated: LED lights DO work just fine for reflective night caches. You just have to hold them close to your eyes, because the reflections come straight back, and only straight back. Or just use a headlamp.

Link to comment

This topic is right up my alley. If you want to learn more about flashlights than you probably ever imagined possible, check out CandlePowerForums. I've seen posts by several other cachers there already. They have a flashlight recommendation checklist which helps a lot when selecting the ideal light.

 

The lights which I prefer for caching (as well as other uses) are all LED models by SureFire. While some of them cost about 5 times the OP's budget, there are lots of other good lights out there for much less. Overall, 'you get what you pay for' is true of lighting. In general, lights from typical stores are often not nearly as good as those available from specialty stores or online, though some decent inexpensive lights are starting to show up.

 

SureFire lights are designed primarily for military and law enforcement users, and are extremely rugged and reliable. They are generally more expensive than what most non-enthusiast or non-specialty users would consider paying for a flashlight, but they have come out with a lower cost range recently, and some of their older models may be available inexpensively from some retailers as they clear out the old stock to make room for the new models. As an example, Cabela's has the SureFire G2 LED now for $40, which is a very good deal for what was a $70 light, and it's over 4 times brighter than a good 2 D cell incandescent flashlight.

Link to comment

I always carry two flashlights, specially for night caches:

 

- A small Fenix Model L2D-CE which I got a couple of years. Fenix replaced it by model LD20 XP-G R5, which supplies 180 Lumen. It is supplied with a belt case, which makes it convinient to take along. Since it is a small model I also use it in combination with a band as a headlamp.

 

- A larger Fenix TK40 working on 8 AA batteries and supplying 630 Lumen with a very good light profile. Excellent for caching at night.

 

Both flashlights have Cree LEDs. This provides a good colour of light and a good pattern. Both flashlight have aluminum case and an electronic power regulator so you can choose how much light you want. They are small and easy to carry. I consider both flashlights to be better than the Maglights I have seen with fellow cachers.

 

When I had to go out for a flashlight I found some kind of outdoor forum on the Internet where they tested all kinds of flashlights. I did find a lot of information to compare flashlights before choosing one. When you google you will find multiple sites.

 

The Fenix lights are not cheap, quality comes with a price. When you check on the Internet you will find simular flashlights at lower price. Watch out for the kind of LEDs which are used. I had some el cheapo flashlights with 8-12 LEDs, which only supply enough light to look 2 meters down the road, so a wast of money.

Link to comment

(snip)

 

I have a Fenix LD20 that meets all of my requirements but is unfortunately almost twice your budget. I have a 3xAA Maglite that is fairly nice (3W Luxeon) but is not regulated, and does not have adjustable light output.

 

I am going to give a big 2nd vote to the Fenix LD20!! Indeed it is about $55-60, but I did a bunch of research an I think it is by far the best bang for the buck for a "higher performance" LED flashlight. I use it about 10x more than any other flashlight I own. It is way brighter than any of the maglights I own.

Link to comment
Unrelated: LED lights DO work just fine for reflective night caches. You just have to hold them close to your eyes, because the reflections come straight back, and only straight back. Or just use a headlamp.

To continue on the topic of night caches, I thought holding light close to your eyes is true no matter whether you're using LED or incandescent light?

 

Some LED lights have a small "hot spot" due to the design of the reflector, and doesn't scatter enough light, making it harder to find the reflectors. I had no trouble using my LD20 on the reflectors of a night cache - while it was still daylight.

Link to comment

There aren't many things that I'm particularly snobby about, but flashlights are definitely one of them. If it ain't Surefire, I ain't carrying it. Spend twice your budget on a Surefire G2, the simplest of models, and you'll have a light for life, rather than for a few years.

 

Fenix, as recommended above, is a good light as well, but you won't find a better flashlight than a Surefire.

Link to comment

As an example, Cabela's has the SureFire G2 LED now for $40, which is a very good deal for what was a $70 light, and it's over 4 times brighter than a good 2 D cell incandescent flashlight.

 

The one thing I need to point out, is that the SureFire lights use the 3V lithium 123A batteries. These are more expensive than your standard AAs. Cheapest I've seen them for is about $25 for twenty.

Link to comment
Unrelated: LED lights DO work just fine for reflective night caches. You just have to hold them close to your eyes, because the reflections come straight back, and only straight back. Or just use a headlamp.

To continue on the topic of night caches, I thought holding light close to your eyes is true no matter whether you're using LED or incandescent light?

 

Some LED lights have a small "hot spot" due to the design of the reflector, and doesn't scatter enough light, making it harder to find the reflectors. I had no trouble using my LD20 on the reflectors of a night cache - while it was still daylight.

I could've clarified, sorry.

 

I don't think LED vs. non-LED makes a difference with night caches. But I DO think the position of the light makes all the difference. When I've night-cached with people, the ones who held their flashlights down low had a hard time seeing the reflections. When they held their lights closer to their eyes, bingo. I think it's the nature of the reflectors to send the light straight back with little scatter.

 

That said, it wouldn't surprise me if a very powerful flashlight like an LD20 could work well on a night cache no matter where you held the lamp; there'd be enough reflector scatter back up to your eyeballs regardless.

Link to comment

I've been able to follow a night cache's reflective markers with a tiny LED flashlight that used a single AAA cell. I could see the reflectors easily as long as I held my light next to my head and no one else was shining one of their (much brighter) lights at the location. However, I wouldn't recommend such a light as anything but an "emergency" light that you always carry with you (which is what mine is).

Link to comment

There are a few things I look for in a flashlight:

 

1. Uses AA batteries. This is important to me as I like the batteries in my GPSr and flashlight to be interchangeable. I've had to yank batteries from my flashlight to power my GPSr a couple of times before, when I forgot to bring fresh batteries. Second choice : C or D batteries. 18650 and other exotic batteries are too expensive for me.

 

2. Have a regulated output. In general, those that use 1 or 2 AA cells are regulated, and those that use 3 AA cells are not. But this is not always the case - there are 3 cell lights that are regulated. Regulated means that your light output will not fall as the cell is being used, and that you can very likely use NiMH batteries in your light.

 

3. Have multiple output levels. I need a bright light when looking into holes during the day. I don't need one so bright when walking along a path at night.

 

And, of course, have a white (instead of bluish) light, good optics, waterproof, and all that. Being able to bash the skull of another cacher whom I'm trying to beat to a FTF, or of a bear I encounter in the woods, is not one of my requirements :)

 

I have a Fenix LD20 that meets all of my requirements but is unfortunately almost twice your budget. I have a 3xAA Maglite that is fairly nice (3W Luxeon) but is not regulated, and does not have adjustable light output.

 

I wasn't going to post because of the OP's set price of around $30 but i saw this reply and figured i'd throw in my .02 cents worth. My favorite light, and the best one i've ever had, is the TK20 made by Fenix. Doesn't float but it's small, rugged, waterproof, uses two AAs, and has a nice bright LED white light with two output levels. I rarely put it on high as the low gives plenty of light output for most situations. The white light makes everything look natural in color and it works perfect for seeing those pesky night cache reflectors. :D

Link to comment
The one thing I need to point out, is that the SureFire lights use the 3V lithium 123A batteries. These are more expensive than your standard AAs. Cheapest I've seen them for is about $25 for twenty.

This is basically true. A couple of SF models are now available which use AA cells (the E2L AA and Saint headlamp come to mind), but most use 123As. This is intentional, as 'you get what you pay for' is true in terms of batteries as well as the lights themselves. Lithium primaries are good for ~10 years of shelf life, store more energy in the same size cell, virtually never leak (one of the greatest problems with alkalines), and perform much better in extreme temperatures. I didn't like the idea myself before I started using them, but now I'll never go back for my serious lights.

 

Lithium primary AA cells are available, which eliminate some of the disadvantages of alkalines, but they are much more expensive, and some devices cannot be used safely with their higher output voltage (~1.7 volts/cell).

 

Note that there are cheap imported lithium cells available, both generic and fraudulent copies of reputable brands...these should always be avoided at all cost, as they can be very dangerous and destructive. 123A cells from reputable manufacturers can be found down to around $1 each online, though I go through few enough that the convenience of getting SF brand ones locally for around $2 each is fine for me.

Link to comment

For C and D cell flashlights I've had excellent luck with Maglights. I'll never own another Mini maglight unless they fix the switch issue, the twist on switch is an incredibly weak point and I've never had one last more that four or five months. I usually carry a 3 D cell maglight and a 2 AA cell Coleman Max LED. Both have been though the kind of punishment only I can provide and both continue to provide excellent service. The Maglight is about 5 years old and other than replacing an occasional bulb and cleaning the barrel after I leave it in the car during high summer and blow up the batteries I just use it. The Coleman is about 18 months old, used every day and it is on the second set of batteries. Its also brighter than the mini mag. the only advantage it doesn't have is a focusable beam. Bot options are withing the OP's proposed budget too.

Link to comment

Thank you everyone for putting your ideas down on flashlights. Is there a way to move this post to the correct (general) forum?

 

I think I will probably look around at a Wal-Mart or some sporting goods store.

 

By the way if you follow the link that you posted below, on the specs tab it says the maglight is not waterproof and the picture on the package looks like it is water resistant.

I got my Maglite XL50 at Home Depot. $29.99, waterproof, good throw and famous Maglite warranty!

 

All Maglights are water proof.

If you follow this link, LINK, everyone seems to state that a maglight is more water resistance than waterproof. Just a note, this is more for anyone else to note if they look at this post.

Link to comment

We've owned so many mini Maglights that I went on eBay and bought a factory repair kit for 'em, with extra lenses, springs, cap ends, etc.

Got to where we had a few in our packs and multiples in our cars.

- Then we found Surefire...

Can't kill 'em and the beam that seems to go for miles !

We each have a G2, G2 LED, Saint headlamp - and I carry an E2D on me always.

Always seem to be "loaning" others our "extra" Surefires when theirs just don't cut it.

Less than forty bucks at Cabelas for the G2, you can't go wrong.

I haven't reached for a Maglight since. We drop 'em in night caches as swag now.

Link to comment

We do about 90% of our caching at night. AAs can't handle that much continued use. We use cheap lights w/ 2 Ds for general light at night and keep a AA maglight in the caching bag for brighter needs like looking into rock crevaces etc during daylight caching. That's our 2 cents.

 

I'm not an expert for sure but i would bet real money that the batteries in a 2 or 3 AA LED flashlight outlast a larger C or D incandescent flashlight. The Fenix that i use now is rated for 11 hours at low, 2 hours at high. You're not gonna get that with a regular flshlight... Of course there are C and D size LED flashlights too which you may be using. Those, depending on the model, can go a longggggg time on a set of batteries.

 

By the way, i bought my wife a 3 cell LED maglite which works pretty well. The battery life is great but the light output is definitely inferior to the Fenix.

Link to comment

One more option for you. This light is good quality, has three useful brightness levels, and uses one AA batt. I really like mine. It doesn't float, but is so small and light you could probably tie a boating key chain to it for flotation if you wanted. I would rather have a push button instead of a twist switch, but it is a great little light.

 

http://countycomm.com/AAWORLDSMALLEST.html

Link to comment

Ok, found a lot of different flashlights while out shopping at Harbor Freight. What I want to know is what would be the procedure to waterproof a flashlight? I got a couple of the ones they give out for free at Harbor Freight and looking to either make them waterproof or at least take a lot longer for the water to get inside. This way if the flashlight dies or I loose it I am not out $40 or more.

Link to comment
Ok, found a lot of different flashlights while out shopping at Harbor Freight. What I want to know is what would be the procedure to waterproof a flashlight? I got a couple of the ones they give out for free at Harbor Freight and looking to either make them waterproof or at least take a lot longer for the water to get inside. This way if the flashlight dies or I loose it I am not out $40 or more.

The more expensive ones should be waterproof. The Fenix is rated at IPX-8 (which means continued immersion in water > 1 meter). I imagine the Surefires are at least as good, if not better.

 

To waterproof a cheap flashlight, put it inside a ziploc. Looks silly, but it works.

Link to comment

Ok, found a lot of different flashlights while out shopping at Harbor Freight. What I want to know is what would be the procedure to waterproof a flashlight? I got a couple of the ones they give out for free at Harbor Freight and looking to either make them waterproof or at least take a lot longer for the water to get inside. This way if the flashlight dies or I loose it I am not out $40 or more.

 

I would use Silicone grease on all the moveable parts I have used a Mag light Scuba diving to 40 Ft with just Silicone grease on all moveable parts. Tim

Link to comment

 

I would use Silicone grease on all the moveable parts I have used a Mag light Scuba diving to 40 Ft with just Silicone grease on all moveable parts. Tim

When you say "silicone grease" do you just mean waterproof grease that you can get in the plumbing department?

 

DON'T put any petroleum-based grease on the rubber o-rings...it will make them swell up and make the part hard to move. That's why a silicone-based product. I found that out the hard way :unsure:

 

As far as Maglight goes, I personally think they're way overrated. They used to be the best about 20 years ago but they haven't changed their designs or technology much since then. They are very rugged and quality built but they don't perform that well compared to most modern lights. I think they mostly get by on their reputation nowadays when there are better choices out there.

 

You can't beat Surefire, as many others have already stated, but they are quite pricey. For my money, Streamlight offers many options that are more reasonably priced and are are excellent lights. I have several Streamlights and they have not failed me yet. I have a Streamlight Microstream LED 1AAA light that is in my pocket at all times and a Strion LED rechargeable that I carry at work, and both perform flawlessly.

 

I also have one of these...

 

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-Cree-LED-Flashlight/746374.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dflashlight%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=flashlight&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products

 

...which you can get from Cabelas for $20 and meets your criteria for running on AA's. It's also a great little light which I carried daily at work before I got the Streamlight rechargeable.

 

I'm also a big fan of LED's...nowadays I won't even look at an incandescent light, LED's are the way to go. Look for lights with a Cree LED, they're considered the standard these days.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 2
×
×
  • Create New...