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A good night caching flashlight?


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I'm looking for a good flashlight. Right now, we have a pair of clip-on three-LED lights from Sharper Image. They run on 3 AAA batteries, and they're pretty bright -- they beat the heck out of our ordinary 2 D home flashlights. Still, they don't quite have the range I was hoping for. I do like the way they have a broad beam rather than a narrow, pinpoint light; a light that can have a wide OR a narrow beam would be ideal, but not necessary. I don't quite like the purplish/bluish cast of the lights we have, but I'm not entirely sure if that's because they're in a purple casing, or if all white LEDs have an off-tinge.

 

What's the brightest kind of bulb? Multiple LEDs? Krypton bulbs? I don't want to carry a 4 D-cell Maglite; anything up to the side of an ordinary household flashlight is fine, though. Compactness is not the primary goal, and I'd rather have something bigger than a penlight if there's any tradeoff of power for size. I'd just like something a little brighter, and a little more penetrating, than the lights we already have. Don't want anything that only runs for an hour or two on a set of batteries, or anything that's going to set my bag on fire. I don't really want to swap lights for various purposes; I want one to use all the time. Just a really decent night-hiking light. Any ideas?

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quote:
Originally posted by Snoogans:

Inova x5 Tactical Flashlight. You can't beat 'em. I have 2 now.

 

Snicon_razz.gificon_razz.gifgans

http://www.texasgeocaching.com Sacred cows make the best hamburger....Mark Twain.

 


Ditto, (almost, I only have one) I've done some night caching with mine, and it's perfect.

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quote:
Originally posted by BeachBuddies:

Wow.. I had no idea how little I knew about flashlights. So, I assume I want a normal "white-light" one, right? I've seen red ones when I was with the army -- those provide light without being visible from a distance. But what are the blue and green lights for?


 

The red and green are for christmas. The blue is for emergency runways.

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quote:
Originally posted by BeachBuddies:

Wow.. I had no idea how little I knew about flashlights. So, I assume I want a normal "white-light" one, right? I've seen red ones when I was with the army -- those provide light without being visible from a distance. But what are the blue and green lights for?


 

I wondered about this too...check out THIS LINK for some good information.

 

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"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

Eamus Catuli AC145895

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I have read about the Inovas many times but to the user who have them, what are the batteries like? I mean you can't get them anywhere so you have to stock up don't you? Granted they have a long life both in use and on the shelf, but its always a good idea to have spares. Do you just order a whole bunch at once? Are they expensive? Any info would be most appreciated!

 

Thanks...Kar icon_smile.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Stunod:

quote:
Originally posted by BeachBuddies:

Wow.. I had no idea how little I knew about flashlights. So, I assume I want a normal "white-light" one, right? I've seen red ones when I was with the army -- those provide light without being visible from a distance. But what are the blue and green lights for?


 

I wondered about this too...check out http://members.1stconnect.com/anozira/SiteTops/light/filters.htm for some good information.

 

http://208.55.63.109/images/stunod_sig.gif

_"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson_

__Eamus Catuli AC145895__


 

That yellow green they use on school signs and fire engines is the color the human eye is most sensitive too.

 

Another application from the Red is to have a Night caching option on PDA programs to use low light red backgrounds with black text or vice versa.

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Shibby:

I have read about the Inovas many times but to the user who have them, what are the batteries like? I mean you can't get them anywhere so you have to stock up don't you? Granted they have a long life both in use and on the shelf, but its always a good idea to have spares. Do you just order a whole bunch at once? Are they expensive? Any info would be most appreciated!

 

Thanks...Kar icon_smile.gif


 

Don't know yet. I have used mine daily for 6 months without a hitch. 30 people in my department now have them too. I guess that I'll have some pretty good data in about a year.

 

I just wanted a tactical flashlight that was cheaper than a Sure Fire. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be better. IMHO.

 

My 2nd light was issued to me. My department adopted it after they saw and tested mine.

 

Snicon_razz.gificon_razz.gifgans

texasgeocaching_sm.gif Sacred cows make the best hamburger....Mark Twain.

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I don't care for LED lights. They tend to light up the area with a "warm glow" but you really don't have the focused beam that I like for cache hunting and most uses. When I use a headlamp, its the Petzel Micro, which has an adjustable beam. If you want a really bright light, but don't care about battery life use the halogen bulb.

 

A slightly more expensive solution, is the Petzel MYO, which combines a LED light with a halogen beam. The best of both worlds.

 

But most of the time I just bring my 15" long Mag Lite along. It doubles as a club if some miscreant gives you a hard time. In fact, it's used by a lot of cops for this reason.

 

"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on his hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" - Max Beerbohm

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Shibby:

I have read about the Inovas many times but to the user who have them, what are the batteries like? I mean you can't get them anywhere so you have to stock up don't you? Granted they have a long life both in use and on the shelf, but its always a good idea to have spares. Do you just order a whole bunch at once? Are they expensive? Any info would be most appreciated!

 

Thanks...Kar icon_smile.gif


 

Using a lithium battery in a flashlight really is a waste of the chemistry. The life or performance won't be any better. They will however work in the extreme cold when the water based chemistry of an alkaline cell slows down. Lithium cells are great for high drain devices like digital cameras. Throw them in a flashlight or a clock and you're wasting money. Even a 5 LED light doesn't qualify as high drain.

 

That Inova is a nice looking light but I stick to something that takes an alkaline cell in either AA or AAA. If you want it to never fail in the winter, throw some lithiums in seasonally.

 

I'll throw in one qualifier to my note. I do work for a major battery company.

 

Now where did I park my car??????? monkes.gif

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83757_3400.jpg83757_3500.jpg

 

i use the streamlight scorpion and streamlight stingers at work. i have recently added a 2nd inova x5 light for it's 20+ hour battery life.

 

the inova and the scorpion use lithium 123 batteries. i buy 20 st s time and they work out to 1.25 a piece. i also got a custom fitted pelican 1020 case for 24 battery storage.

 

the pelican cases would make good small cache containers.. i get the case for 7$.

 

--- robbie

 

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A family that Geocaches together... eventually gets wet.

 

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This is what I use in conjunction with my 5d mag.

 

http://www.uwkinetics.com/D_D4.htm

 

Out of water I get way more burn time than they list here. The trigger lock is nice casue you never reach into your bag to find it on with dead batts. The range is not much tho, it puts a lot of light in a 18" circle about 10' away at 50' it's just "lit up" so I use the mag for long distance stuff, but for the most part when caching the huge 18" spot at 10 to 15 feet is all I need cause thats where I'm looking and it won't attract much attention. Also it burns cold unlike the half mil candle stuff.

 

Just want to add that outside that 18" spot it's daylight inside were talking sunspots,

 

Pat Patterson

Garmin 12XL

Some have graceland, some have mecca. We have the side of a gravel road in Oregon.... How did we get to be the better off?

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quote:
Originally posted by Theole34:i use the streamlight scorpion and streamlight stingers at work. i have recently added a 2nd inova x5 light for it's 20+ hour battery life.

 

the inova and the scorpion use lithium 123 batteries. i buy 20 st s time and they work out to 1.25 a piece. i also got a custom fitted pelican 1020 case for 24 battery storage.

 

the pelican cases would make good small cache containers.. i get the case for 7$.

 

--- robbie


 

I upgraded from the Scorpion to the Stinger, and I miss that little Scorpion. Super bright, but that one hour battery life gets spendy after a while! Good to see that one can buy the batteries in bulk for less now.

 

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Thanks for all the info!

 

I prefer to use gear that takes the same batts. My GPS and mini-mag both take AA's so it is easier having a ready supply I could use for both.

 

I also have an small single LED flashlight that takes AAA's but I been using it for 6 months now and I am still using the original batts. I keep two frsh AAAs with me just in case icon_wink.gif

 

Anyone have any experience with an LED upgrade for the mini-mags?

 

Kar

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I'm no flashlight fanatic, but I've been VERY happy with my 6-cell Maglite that I've had for over ten years. A good set of alkalines lasts for a very long time (never counted the hours) and it doubles quite well as a weapon, too. The only drawback is the weight on longish night hikes. I've found that it works well to rest the butt of it on my shoulder and hold the front of it with my hand.

 

--

Pehmva!

 

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I carry a Pelican Super Saber light on my job. It uses 3 C-cells. 15,000 candle power. Waterproof to 300 ft. Even safe in hazardous atomospheres. About $35. But I would only use a white light as a last resort. A red lens or green lens protects your night vision. It is amazing how well you can see at night if you just let your eyes adjust to the dark. If you live near some parks where they have night hikes, sign up and go with a naturalist. The woods at night, in the dark, are pretty amazing.

 

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I have quite a few flashlights that I have purchased over the years. Ny first choice is a Princeton tec Tec 40, It use four AA batteries and puts out for light than my 4 cell mag light. I also have a halogen head lamp and an LED head lamp, I Use the Halogen while on night hikes, the LED version I use to read my GPS screen at night or for reading GEO cache notes, for searching for a cache for me an LED light just does not cut it, they are great for battery life, but they just do not offer the light that a halogen, krypton or xenon bulb.

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quote:
It's handy to have a headlight also for hands free searching

If you get a headlamp be sure to try it on first. I grabbed an Everready model at the big Orange Home store (don't want to be accused of shameless commercial plugs here) on the way to our first nighttime only cache. It puts out a great light and was only $20 including AA's but is a bit top heavy. I have tried on lighter models at REI (OK to plug them here?!?) and would probably have gotten that had I taken the time to shop around. icon_confused.gif

 

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Nothing remains quite the same.

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Princeton Aurora for hands free caching. Got a mini mag for quick reference.

 

Also use a Petzl Micro for a stronger beam for hiking.

 

Often times I found myself guided by the backlight of my GPSr icon_rolleyes.gif

 

Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. The rest go geocaching.

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I had a big, yellow, re-chargable, 2,000,000 candle power, light. That is until, in a fit of rage, I smashed the Sh!t out of it. It would only last about 10 to 15 minutes before it started to fade out. A couple of nights ago I was doing some night caching and it started fading as I got to the cache site. Needless to say I didn't find the cache, got a little angry and blasted the thing on a fence post on my way to the car. Nothing like a good old Mag light. Nice and bright, adjustable beam and makes a great weapon. I do like the look of the X5 Tactical Flashlight though. Think I'll order that.

 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Because now I am Lost.

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quote:
Originally posted by martmann:

quote:
Originally posted by J&MBella:

I had a big, yellow, re-chargable, 2,000,000 candle power, light...


 

Nothing like a nice stealthy night cache hunt. icon_smile.gif


 

I was doing some night caching on the North Shore of Long Island and People from Connecticut were complaining.

 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Because now I am Lost.

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quote:
Originally posted by fizzymagic:

I refuse to buy a flashlight that uses nonstandard batteries. I have a Princeton Tec Impact II, which I love. Focused beam, 4 AAA batteries, waterproof to 100 m.


 

I agree. My most used flash light should use batteries I can get at a gas station. Same reason, I have always disliked rechargeable.

I do carry a Surefire for a powerful flood light(compared to the LEDs).

 

I have a Princeton Tec Attitude with three LEDs, and an Impact II. I like adaptability. So I use both, interchangeably, with a Nite Ize head band.

39197_2900.jpg

 

Hoovman I love that link you shared! Thanks.

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I have a 4 LED Eternalight X-Ray that I like a lot. It's super bright, and can stay on for months at a time. It's small, waterproof, uses regular AA batteries, and is so sophisticated that it comes with a 4 page manual. It has an additional LED that can blink, or stay on to make it easier to find at night. If only it could make coffee.

 

The inova is nice too, but not as many features.

 

Ian

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Here's what works for me.

 

First off, I try to standardize on one type of battery, AA's. That way I can carry a little Pelican 1020 box full of AA alkalines -- simple.

 

On my head, I use a Petzl Myo 3, about $40. Uses 4 AA's. Very comfortable to wear. Has a Xenon incandescent lamp, fully focusable from wide to super-narrow, and a 3-LED array for short-range work. The LED's are bright enough to hike by and last 160 hours on a set of batteries.

 

Clipped to my pack strap in case of emergency is a CC Trek Light from the C. Crane company, about $30 and uses three AA's. This is a nice, bright LED flashlight with a twist-collar switch, a little bigger than a Maglite.

 

In my pack is a third light source, a standard AA Mini-Maglite.

 

If you just like LED's, the Petzl Tikka is a good choice ... very bright, very simple, and comfortably small. Uses three AAA's. I have one of these that I keep in my briefcase.

 

--

Scott Johnson (ScottJ)

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By the way ...

 

Does it strike anyone as weird (and a little dumb) that Mag doesn't yet have an LED Maglite, and virtually every competitor does?

 

These guys have long been recognized as the leader in high-quality professional flashlights, yet when it comes to LED technology, they've clearly missed the boat! Wonder what they were thinking?

 

Scott

 

--

Scott Johnson (ScottJ)

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I bought a Black Diamond Gemini headlamp last week and used it for the first time last night in placing a night time cache.

 

It uses a Xenon buld or 2 bright LED's. I tried both when testing the reflector trail and found that it worked great.

 

I had never bought a headlamp before and now I am kicking myself for not getting one sooner.

 

Was on sale at REI for 29 bucks.

 

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