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What's The Best Flashlight


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Try Pelican Flashlights they are water proof, bright and have a whole variety in which they come in. They also have an awesome customer service dept, if you brake it on accident or on purpose (I have melted mine in structure fires) they will replace it. They are pretty cheap too. I know for a fact StreamLight has a terrible customer service, I have had to deal with them.

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BTW: If you like the forum factor of the AA mag-lite you can get a really good drop in mod from this guy.

 

 

http://www.anlighten.com/shop/default.php

 

I have a couple of them and they are great, much brighter then any standard mag-light. Still not the same as any surefire light, but I have one in my tool box and one in the tackle box that I use every now and then.

 

Ok, probably showing my ignorance now :D or I'm missing something really obvious, but are these things led conversions for aa mini-mags? if so, are they any good?

 

I use a Petzl Zoom Bora for a head light. It has a belt pack for the batteries so very little weight on your head and the batteries stay warm in the cold. It's supplied with two separate bulbs, one standard and one halogen. I've used it down caves where it far out performed proper caving lights and I've used it outdoors as well. The only problem with it was that with the halogen bulb, the beam of light you could see in the very faint mist was extrememly distracting :D

 

As for the AA mini-mag, I've used them along with various other AA torches for years in various organisations and as a roadie and (In my very own personal opinion :ph34r: ) they can't be beat, especially when you compare the price and battery life. I even had one get driven over by a 38 ton truck and it still worked. Only snag was I could never get the battery cap off again. :D

I've tried led lights, and keep one on my motorbike and in my cache kit as backups, but I've yet to find one that's any good at any distance of more that about 12 - 15 foot. Also, when your paying more that you paid for a gpsr for your torch, I have to say I would want battery life of much more than an hour or so. (But then this is my own personal opinion :D )

 

Interesting thread, especially for all us gadget freaks :D

 

Danegar

Edited by Danegar
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I am kinda a flashlight nerd... I have a several in my caching backpack. My favorite this week is the BFL, rechargeable 1,000,000 candlepower spotlight from Walmart. Only $20! It really turns night into day, but only lasts about 20 minutes continuous. I have a nice lightweigt LED headlight that runs on AAA batteries. (you dont want the kinds that run on button cells.. they are too expensive and can be hard to find sometimes while on the road) It's good for climbing, when you need your hands free. I also carry my trusty eternalight x-ray... It has an internal light that I never shut off, so it's easy to find at night.... it's always glowing blue...and the thing is bright as heck... great for general hiking. I have an Inova 5 LED light that is blue and insanely bright. The weird color really gets peoples attention, and it is almost too bright/strange to use comfortably. Then I also carry a host of small, but quality LED lights to share with other cachers in my team. Then there is also an old-skool incandescent headlamp, and a industrial lantern just in case. In my swag-bag... (trade items bag) I always have a hefty supply of chemlights.. just in case the other 10 flashlights fail for some reason. Then there are matches.

The most important thing? Batteries! The Ni-Mh batteries and charger are always along. I have about 10 extra batteries already charged up, so there is no way in heck that I am goin to get caught battery-less. It may all seem like overkill, but I cache with the family, and I have to have equipment for the whole crew...

and I just dig flashlights

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Here's an update:

 

I got a Surefire G2, this is an Xenon bulb. It has 65 lumens like many of the more expensive Surefires but only cost $34 since it is plastic rather than anodized AL. Sure plastic will break if dropped hard enough but this light feels pretty durable. I compare it to my 3D maglite. The light output is way better than the maglite. The other thing I like about the Surefires (which I wasn't sure I would at first) is the lens is fixed unlike the maglites. This is not a problem though. The beam pattern is perfect, nice bright center and plenty of coverage beyond. While the focus is adjustable on the maglite, no matter how you set it you have dark spots. The xenon bulb is not only way brighter but also much whiter light, it makes the maglite look yellow.

 

Next I got a Inova X5 as it is a low powered LED light that claims battery life of 20 hours. I got this to replace the 2AA mini-mag. Again it way outperforms the 2AA mini-mag and probably comes close to output of a 2D lite (though it doesn't through very far.) I will use thi for caching and also for up close work, working on the car etc. With 20 hours run time the extra cost of 123a litium batteries is not a problem. I got white LED's and the light is absolutely beautiful. A little on the blue side but still very white, even whiter than an G2 xenon bulb.

 

Okay, someone give some advice here. After seeing the brillance of pure white light (or very close to pure) from the LED and the amazing power of 65 lumens from the G2 I am thinking about getting a 5 watt LED light that will put out 60+ lumens. Anyone have a high power LED light you like?

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I'll throw my 2 cents in here. I used to use streamlights and I thought those were top of the line. Then my local gun shop talked me into a sirefire. WOW can;t believe how much better they are. I have a 9an Commander Rechargable and it's a truly amazing light. It's also nice because it has a high and low power to it. I also bought my fiancae a G2 to keep in her purse. It's agood solid very bright(65 lumens) and very small and lite. My latest purchase was A avaitor. I'm currently looking into a Streamlight Luminax L7. I'm a little leary of buying a all led light. They say it's rated for tactical use at 65 lumens. I just don't know. It's alot of money to drop on another light, just worried about it penetrating as far as a xenon bulb does at distance. Anybody have any experiance with this light.

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i dont know, like someone esle said i cant see spending as much on a flashlight as a cheap gps!! not for caching that is, maybe if you are cop/security/paramedic and such i could see it, but not for caching..

 

i have several 2 AA mini mags i use alot, and when im night caching, i like to carryt my 6 D cell maglight. nice and bright and has some nice weight to it in case you need to club someone! not that id ever want to have to do that, but never know what you may come up against night caching in odd places..

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http://www.lapolicegear.com/esgepalsuled.html

 

This is the type of flashlight I carry. I can tell you that the $30.00 price tag may seem a little extreme for such a small package, but I have had it for over 2 years and only replaced the battery once.

 

I was lucky though, I got mine as swag, when I used to work for a guy, installing Bose audio systems. When I quit, I returned the baseball cap, the t-shirt and the coffee mug, but kept the flashlight. :)

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Try Pelican Flashlights they are bright and have a whole variety in which they come in. They also have an awesome customer service dept, if you brake it on accident or on purpose (I have melted mine in structure fires) they will replace it. They are pretty cheap too. I know for a fact StreamLight has a terrible customer service, I have had to deal with them.

 

Back when I rode an ambulance we had rechargable streamlights in the units. I personally carried )and still do) two pelican lights, a AA and a AAA model. They both throw great light. I can verify the customer service of pelican. They have a lifetime warranty and my dog ate one of my lights; they replaced it, no questions.

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I am kinda a flashlight nerd... I have a several in my caching backpack. My favorite this week is the BFL, rechargeable 1,000,000 candlepower spotlight from Walmart. Only $20! It really turns night into day, but only lasts about 20 minutes continuous. I have a nice lightweigt LED headlight that runs on AAA batteries. (you dont want the kinds that run on button cells.. they are too expensive and can be hard to find sometimes while on the road) It's good for climbing, when you need your hands free. I also carry my trusty eternalight x-ray... It has an internal light that I never shut off, so it's easy to find at night.... it's always glowing blue...and the thing is bright as heck... great for general hiking. I have an Inova 5 LED light that is blue and insanely bright. The weird color really gets peoples attention, and it is almost too bright/strange to use comfortably. Then I also carry a host of small, but quality LED lights to share with other cachers in my team. Then there is also an old-skool incandescent headlamp, and a industrial lantern just in case. In my swag-bag... (trade items bag) I always have a hefty supply of chemlights.. just in case the other 10 flashlights fail for some reason. Then there are matches.

The most important thing? Batteries! The Ni-Mh batteries and charger are always along. I have about 10 extra batteries already charged up, so there is no way in heck that I am goin to get caught battery-less. It may all seem like overkill, but I cache with the family, and I have to have equipment for the whole crew...

and I just dig flashlights

check SUREFIRE not walmart ;):anibad:

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i dont know, like someone esle said i cant see spending as much on a flashlight as a cheap gps!! not for caching that is, maybe if you are cop/security/paramedic and such i could see it, but not for caching..

 

i have several 2 AA mini mags i use alot, and when im night caching, i like to carryt my 6 D cell maglight. nice and bright and has some nice weight to it in case you need to club someone! not that id ever want to have to do that, but never know what you may come up against night caching in odd places..

true i can understand that (i don'twork for them) but surefire is a flashlight that you might have for the rest of you life i ve had many maglites, after i got a surefire,maglite seemed like a childs toy.

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I understand your point of view, but I really like my magtlites. I have a couple AA and AAA minimags and a 5D maglite. They gice a good amount of light and are convenient when I need them. I don't see me replacing them, ever.

ive had at least 6 mag lights and most of them would stop working till you shake it bit thats the only problem ive had with them a good thing is if you needed to use it self defence i would use a 5D mag over a surefire anyday :)

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I have two Surefires, an E2E and the much less expensive G2 Nitrolon. They're pretty much the same light, only with different housings and tailcap switches.

 

The E2E is a very well machined piece of equipment. Despite its small size, it is seriously a quality tool.

 

The Nitrolon, considerably bulkier, is probably tough enough to drive a truck over.

 

The E2E is roughly the size of a Mini Mag, the Nitrolon is slightly larger. Both are much brighter than a 4D MagLite.

 

They're all I use anymore.

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I use a Princetontec Tec 40. It use 4AA’s. This is a very bright light, it puts out about the same light that my 4 cell maglite puts out. The Tec 40 is also waterproof, I have used mine while scuba diving.

 

I have tried several LED lights but I am not impressed with their ability, or should I say inability of an LED flashlight to light an area beyond around 40 feet. They are great for battery life, but they just do not measure up to my standards for a flashlight that is to be used in the field. There are a few that come close, but they are sold at a premium price.

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I keep a AA maglite with my multi tool in my briefcase but the hiking/geocaching bag now has a marine flashlight called the SP3 from IQ Lights. Two LEDs - white and red - with several modes and a strobe activates if it gets wet. It also has an always-on low power setting to make it easy to find in the dark ... or if the ship is sinking ;)

 

I also have a small Black Diamond LED headlamp (used more in kitchen remodeling than outdoors so far) and two little keychain LEDs in res and hi-intensity white in the outdoor bag.

 

The 3d maglite doesn't even leave the house.

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<_< I've gone through a couple of the mini-mags, and they were cheap and worked fairly well. I have a black diamond headlamp that is great for general navigation from point A to B, but when you get into a cache area, it doesn't put out quite enough light. So for the just completed FallFest event here in Oklahoma, I purchased a Surefire 9P. This is the 3 battery model. The focused beam puts the mini-mags to shame, and the power was unsurpassed. While other cachers in my group were barely able to see the next set of firespots on a night cache, the surefire, lit up not only the next set, but sometimes two or three sets of waypoints. I used the temp on/off button and this really saved on the expensive lithium batteries. I'm definitely sold on the surefires.
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I really seriously wished I could remeber the brand, and where I got it (I am sure it was Snap On, or ....), this gem was about a six cell AA. It was very long and had a pushbutton bottom on it. You could use it as a flashlight or spotlight-the top also included an all around clear side on the head (when it wasn't pulled up) as well as the reflector end. The clear ring was replacable with an orange, or red ring as well. This gem you could turn on and pull the top up to expose a 360* beautifully bright spotlight that worked wonders in any dark area.

 

For the life of me I can't remember who sold it, but I do know it was a major tool rep that came to the lockshop I was working in ten years ago. Snap-On, Mac. Matco................???? I think I have checked the mall nowadays and non have it.

 

P.S.-Those of us that habeen around awhile agree that LED lights do suck for brightness, we were spoiled with real bulbs years ago.

Edited by Colorado Cacher
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Ditto on Surefire . . . I have the rechargable one that is tough as nails, light to carry and so bright that my caching buddies own lights are cast in daylight when mine comes on.

 

A charge lasts about an hour+ while the backup in the car recharges in 30 minutes (on an inverter) . . . so, I never need to pay for batteries ( a big $ concern), have the brightest light and it is easy to have in the pocket.

 

Use only rechargables in my GPSr, too. Paying for batteries over & over is a bummer, they are never needed at a convenient time, time. Truth is, have not bought a battery in well over two years . . . it is so nice.

Edited by GRANPA ALEX
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Most of the cops, security guards, and paramedics I know carry two flashlights.  One small one for illuminating objects and people, and a big D-cell for making some people "see the light"...... :laughing:

We do not! :o

The one I know does! Plus it's always nice to have a backup! :(

 

Actually I had a four(?) cell "C" maglight that was exactly the same size as my baton and fit perfectly in my baton ring...two birds with one stone you might say.

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I think the AA maglite is a great choice but i can see wanting something with better light output without the extra bulk. LED lights are more efficient but the beam doesn't penetrate very far and throws out a light hue that takes some getting used to. I am in the Fire Service and am on the Search and Rescue Squad and the best light for the size and output i have run across is a Responder 4AA handlight made by Bright Star Lighting Products.You can order them out of a Gall's catalog or online at their website,i' sure other companies sell them also.This thing isn't much bigger than the Maglite AA but puts out light like a 3D Maglight,it has an adjustable beam also.KInda pricey at around 30 bucks though.Thats my 2 cents .

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I use a LED flashlight made by INOVA. I think it was aound $20.00. It is about 8" long and REAL bright. The best part is that the on/off switch is a push button on the rear that makes it pretty much impossible for it to accidentally get turned in in your cache bag or backpack and then be dead when you need it. It is big enough to supply a big bright light, yet small enough to be stored easily and fits in your mouth when 2 hands are needed. :P

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I think the AA maglite is a great choice but i can see wanting something with better light output without the extra bulk. LED lights are more efficient but the beam doesn't penetrate very far and throws out a light hue that takes some getting used to. I am in the Fire Service and am on the Search and Rescue Squad and the best light for the size and output i have run across is a Responder 4AA handlight made by Bright Star Lighting Products.You can order them out of a Gall's catalog or online at their website,i' sure other companies sell them also.This thing isn't much bigger than the Maglite AA but puts out light like a 3D Maglight,it has an adjustable beam also.KInda pricey at around 30 bucks though.Thats my 2 cents .

 

Like I said above, get a 1 Watt or a 3 Watt LED light with ONE and ONLY ONE LED in it. The light beam goes waaaaaaaaaay far and is great. They aren't big and bulky and don't weigh much but they are fantastic caching lights and the batteries last a very long time.

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I agonized over the choices for my first 'good' flashlight. Based upon the reviews at the candlepower forums as well as some independent review sight I forget the name of as well as the price I went with a Streamlight ProPolymer 4AA LUXEON.

 

One has to be kind of careful with what they buy as Streamlight makes a Xenon version and a slightly pricier model as it meets some profession specification. The xenon isn't quite as bright and I didn't need some specification compliance. The model I bought uses a single LED and 4AA batteries. It is power regulated so it stays at max brightness for around 4 hours with my 2500mah rechargeables and then drops output massively.

 

Initially I thought 4 hours wasn't much, but then I considered that a 'typical' cache experience is under an hour and I have a 15 minute charger for my batteries.

 

It works out to be a long time.

 

The price was around $30 with shipping.

 

I am extremely pleased with this light. I have compared it to the half dozen or so other flashlights around the house from 2-AA lights, 2-D lights etc. Simply put the Streamlight has a very bright center beam that throws seemingly forever. I can see the beam on houses 2 blocks away no problem. It also has a really nice spill radius (the area around the center beam that is effectively illuminated). This makes it work well both for peripheral vision as well as seeing far off. It is waterproof so rain won't faze it. Appears very well made.

 

The light quality is also very nice. Unlike some other LED lights I have there is no blue cast to the light, it is white. There are no dark spots in the beam either. It uniformly lights up everything in the center spot and spill radius.

 

For the money I am not sure if there is a better all around torch.

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I have become a bit of a flashoholic lately. I now own several Surefires and a few other assorted lights. The Minimag 3AAA LED is amazing. $20 at Home Depot for an LED light that will run on AAs for a couple of hours with great throw and spill. Highly, highly recommended- I wouldn't even think of the MagLEDs (2-3-4D) as they have issues with heat. I'd also try the LEDBeam (www.ledbeam.com) It is a 3C LED light that will run for many, many hours and puts out an amazingly useful beam, for aound $25 shipped.

 

The best light I own for night caching is a custom Surefire I had built. Second best is my Surefire L5. I can run it on rechargeables or primary cells for around 2 hours of continuous use. It puts out a HUGE field of light that is perfect for identifying trails and "no see 'ums." One Surefire LED that I have will throw well over 150 yards... well beyond most of my incans. It also has a warmer hue so color rendition is great. LEDs have made great strides in the past few years while incans have essentially grown stale. Many LEDs now have regulation so the light I see when I first turn on a light is the same amount of light I see 1.5 hours later.

 

I also have an HID flashlight that turns night into daytime. It can adjust from spotlight to floodlight too. It will run for around 2 hours on a charge (!) and is fully regulated too.

 

A must have for night caching is a headlamp or a small flashlight that can clip to the brim of a cap.

Edited by jiminpotomac
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I was cacheing at dusk and pulled out my AA mini mag I carry. I just doesn't cut it. I have a 3D cell Mag lite that performs well but it's too heavy/long to carry in my pack.

 

What reccomendations do you have?

 

Any have/like the "Surefire" Xeon lights? How do they work? I see the batteries only last 60-75 minutes?

 

How do you like LED flashlights? Bright enough?

I picked up an Enegizer headlamp from Walmart. It takes three AAA batteries and has two large LEDs for spot, two smaller ones for flood, and two small red LEDs. It has a multi position switch, spot, flood, spot and flood, red, and off. It puts out quite a bit of light and the batteries seem to last quite awhile. I think I gave twelve dollars and some change for it.

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Here's an update:

 

I got a Surefire G2, this is an Xenon bulb. It has 65 lumens like many of the more expensive Surefires but only cost $34 since it is plastic rather than anodized AL. Sure plastic will break if dropped hard enough but this light feels pretty durable. I compare it to my 3D maglite. The light output is way better than the maglite. The other thing I like about the Surefires (which I wasn't sure I would at first) is the lens is fixed unlike the maglites. This is not a problem though. The beam pattern is perfect, nice bright center and plenty of coverage beyond. While the focus is adjustable on the maglite, no matter how you set it you have dark spots. The xenon bulb is not only way brighter but also much whiter light, it makes the maglite look yellow.

 

Next I got a Inova X5 as it is a low powered LED light that claims battery life of 20 hours. I got this to replace the 2AA mini-mag. Again it way outperforms the 2AA mini-mag and probably comes close to output of a 2D lite (though it doesn't through very far.) I will use thi for caching and also for up close work, working on the car etc. With 20 hours run time the extra cost of 123a litium batteries is not a problem. I got white LED's and the light is absolutely beautiful. A little on the blue side but still very white, even whiter than an G2 xenon bulb.

 

Okay, someone give some advice here. After seeing the brillance of pure white light (or very close to pure) from the LED and the amazing power of 65 lumens from the G2 I am thinking about getting a 5 watt LED light that will put out 60+ lumens. Anyone have a high power LED light you like?

 

I use a streamlight TLR as a weapon light. It is a high power LED that is as bright as my Surefire G2. Of course it has the 'blue' tint to it but I think it is still just as bright. Definately go with a Surefire or Streamlight.

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There is none better for small size and BIG LIGHT than the Fenix brands which use the CREE XR-E LED.

 

I have the P1D and this thing lights up like daylight with 135 lumens on high power, is only as big as your thumb, and runs on one single CR123 battery which will last a good amount of time on medium or low power. This is absolutely awesome for caching. I have it with me at all times day or night for looking into those nooks & crannies. It's got a great focus beam with a nice even corona. No dark spots. And project? It will light up the goalposts on a football field from the opposite end!

 

https://www.fenix-store.com/index.php?cPath...014ddcab24b4e28

 

fenixp1d01t.JPG

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This is the older of two threads I remember discussing flashlights, but I'm game; and it's always a good topic for newbies.

 

I've experimented with countless flashlights over the years, and have finally, for now, settled on two flashlights.

 

First, I'd advise against the Surefire and other high output lights. They burn very hot which leads to shorter bulb life. The stubby batteries also cost more. I have used a Streamlight Strion and a Surfire Z2. The Strion uses a rechargeable lithuim battery, but the bulb burns very not and I'm on my second one in less than a year.

 

I've never had good experience with the Maglites. They've all eventually start to flicker as if there was a corroded connection. I've used more than four of AA and C battery types and they all deteriorate quickly in quality.

 

I've used the Pelican Sabre and Mitylite flashlights. They're popular with firemen and claim to cut through smoke. Maybe so, but as regular lights, they reak. Light output is dispersed and weak.

 

I finally settled on Streamlight ProPoymer lights. I use both the 7-led and high-output single-led Luxeon versions. I started off with the 7-led over a year ago and liked it so much I now have two of each. The 7-led is excellent as a floodlight when looking for a cache at GZ. The Luxeon is like those led lights on cars; I use it as a spotlight on the trail. It's also excellent as a light on my bike handlebar using a handy dandy Two-Fish adapter. Another thing I like about them is they take AA batteries and they are quite frugal with them too. I found the best prices and good service at action-lights.com; the adater can be found at bike shops and is sold in three-packs as a U-bolt holder.

 

007326_p_01_ss.jpg ; lockblock_l1d.gif

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