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Flashlight recommendations


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#1 Dennis Velikanov

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 12:09 PM

Hello there!

I'm interested in getting myself a good, compact, high-powered, durable flashlight that's also cheap...
What can you think of for me?
Thanks in advance and have a wonderful day! :D

#2 David Quevedo

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 01:51 PM

As soon as someone says " high powered", I immediately think of a 18650 (lithium ion) based light.

 

Do you currently have any 18650 lights?  If not, would would you be willing to use one? They offer the most bang, for the buck, in a reasonably-sized light, and they're less expensive to use, over the long haul - especially if you use the light heavily.

Everyone's definition of "cheap" is different. What would you consider "cheap". Less then $30.00? Less then $20.00?

How do you plan on carrying the light? In a pocket? Holstered, on a belt? In a bag?

Are you comfortable with recharging batteries, or are you dead-set on something that uses disposable batteries?

What will be your primary use of the light? Up close (in rooms, etc.)? Super long distances?

How important is color accuracy to you (Are you, for instance, an electrician, or in some trade that requires you to see the colors very accurately)? Many of the cheaper lights come only in cool white, but they tend to have a blue, green, or purple sort of tint to them.

How long do you need the high power? A few moments, or minutes at a time? Half an hour?. Hours? This will dictate what type of battery you use and even the size of the light. Compact, high powered lights tend to get hot very quickly, and they automatically step down to a lower setting, to protect the light from overheating. At these higher outputs, they also tend to run the battery down more quickly (which means you'll need to charge them, more often, if you use the light heavily).

Looking forward to hearing back from you, so we can narrow down the choices. There are literally hundreds from which to choose


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#3 Dennis Velikanov

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 02:26 PM

As soon as someone says " high powered", I immediately think of a 18650 (lithium ion) based light.

 

Do you currently have any 18650 lights?  If not, would would you be willing to use one? They offer the most bang, for the buck, in a reasonably-sized light, and they're less expensive to use, over the long haul - especially if you use the light heavily.

Everyone's definition of "cheap" is different. What would you consider "cheap". Less then $30.00? Less then $20.00?

How do you plan on carrying the light? In a pocket? Holstered, on a belt? In a bag?

Are you comfortable with recharging batteries, or are you dead-set on something that uses disposable batteries?

What will be your primary use of the light? Up close (in rooms, etc.)? Super long distances?

How important is color accuracy to you (Are you, for instance, an electrician, or in some trade that requires you to see the colors very accurately)? Many of the cheaper lights come only in cool white, but they tend to have a blue, green, or purple sort of tint to them.

How long do you need the high power? A few moments, or minutes at a time? Half an hour?. Hours? This will dictate what type of battery you use and even the size of the light. Compact, high powered lights tend to get hot very quickly, and they automatically step down to a lower setting, to protect the light from overheating. At these higher outputs, they also tend to run the battery down more quickly (which means you'll need to charge them, more often, if you use the light heavily).

Looking forward to hearing back from you, so we can narrow down the choices. There are literally hundreds from which to choose

 

Oh wow, thank you so much for your detailed response! Really appreciate it!

 

Um, anyway, to be frank, I absolutely have no knowledge of this topic, I even don't know what 18650 light means... I don't know any companies, brands or models...

 

Anyway, I'm looking for something that can also be used as a self defense item, to deter. I read that the recommended amount is about 1,000 lumens, or at the very least 200... So a few hundred lumens that'll be.

and in general be compact, that can be held in one hand, put it in a pocket, simple white light, to use every now and then in urban environments for short periods of time (let's say max 30 minutes) and every once in a while in hiking, outdoor trips in the nature, etc.

 

I guess I'd spend at max 40$... I live in Israel so it'll be way more expensive, but I'll just buy it on eBay...

 

And I guess I have no preferance really for the batteries... A rechargeble would be nice but won't really a factor in considering.

 

Once again thank you so so much for your reply!



#4 David Quevedo

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 06:58 PM

Lithium ion (rechargeable) batteries are categorized in metric numbers. Here is what the 18650 actually means:

 

18mm diameter

65 mm length

0 for cylindrical shape

 

There are thousands of lights that use this battery, but they tend not to be found, in brick an mortar stores, as easily as those that use AA alkaline batteries.

 

L4WsIdu.jpg

In this shot, you see three AA batteries, then a 3100 mAh 18650 battery.

 

The first two are Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMh), by Energizer and  Sanyo.  The Sanyos are referred to as Eneloops.

 

The third is Duracell's Procell (alkaline). I do not recommend using alkaline batteries in flashlgihts. They eventually leak, and have very poor performance, compared to their NiMH and lithium ion counterparts. 

 

They also cost a fortune to be constantly replacing, if you use the lights heavily.

 

The last one is an EagleTac 3100 MaH lithium ion battery.  They hold their charge really well, and can be charged hundreds of times.

 

So can the NiMHs, and none of them suffer the memory functions of the older Nickel Cadmium batteries, which had far less capacity, and had to be fully drained, before they could be fully charged, if they were to hold a full charge.  You can top off the charge on these, any time you'd like, with no ill effects to the battery.

 

Lithium ion batteries are a lot more power dense than alkalines of similar size, so they are capable of providing much longer run times and higher outputs in flashlights designed for them.    It's not hard to find a single 18650 light that can produce 1000 lumens, at least for a few minutes, before stepping down to a lower output, to protect the light.   If you wanted that kind of output from an AA light, you'd likely have to use one that uses 3 or 4 of those AA batteries, making it far less portable for EDC.

 

9mnCc5S.jpg

These IKEA LADDA NiMh batteries are said to be just as good as the far more expensive Sanyo Eneloop Pro batteries, but cost significantly less. Their AAs are rated at 2450 mAh.

 

The newer 18650 batteries go as high as 3600 mAh, a form factor not much bigger than the AA battery.  That's why they tend to be a hit with flashlight enthusiasts (or just heavy flashlight users who are aware of the technology).  They're better performing, more cost effective, and easier on the environment.

 

Generally, most 18650 lights are multi-mode lights, so you can choose the output that best suits your needs.  You don't always have to blast it on the highest mode.  The lower modes run for far longer periods.

 

You can find them here http://www.candlepow...ite)-703-038-76

https://www.ikea.com...ducts/70303876/

 

There's an IKEA store maybe ten minutes away from where I live, so they're extremely easy to get a  hold of.  I've been using these for several months, in numerous AA lights, and they work beautifully.

 

Here is [a thorough review of these batteries](http://www.candlepow...-2450mAh-(White)-703-038-76), by user HKJ, on Candle Power Forums.

 

There have been a number of people in Flashlight Reddit (a user group of flashlight enthusiasts) that heartily recommend a Wowtac (Atactical) A1, which can be purchased for about $20.00 USD.  This is a 18650-driven light, rated at 550 lumens, and includes the battery and micro USB charging cable,  To charge the light, you have to remove the battery, then plug in the micro usb cable directly into the included battery charging port.

 

The light comes on in the last mode you used (called mode memory).

 

This would probably be a good starter light for you, and you wouldn't have to invest in separate battery and charger.

 

I believe this is a reverse clicky switch, though.  That means it doesn't come on until you press and release the power switch.  A truly tactical light will come on momentarily by half-pressing the switch.  You can use it momentarily (good for quick on/off and for signaling, etc.).  Also, dedicated tactical also tend to have only one output, for dead simple operation in high stress environments.

 

There are lots of nicer lights, but they cost a lot more. 

 

You can also find it on Amazon!

https://www.amazon.c...ding=UTF8&psc=1

 

I would personally recommend the neutral white version.  Colors are more accurate and realistic-looking, especially in pitch black environments. But, that's a matter of personal preference.

 

While I don't own any Wowtac/Atactical lights, they are well spoken of, and they are made by Thrunite.  I have 5 of their lights, and they work flawlessly.

 

q7KMidh.jpg



#5 David Quevedo

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 07:35 PM

Another great source for you, may be Reddit Flashlight:

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/flashlight/

 

Tons of useful information, and, in general, a very nice group of people always willing to share knowledge. I learn new stuff there, all the time.



#6 Ed

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 06:53 AM

There are MANY choices depending on what you want in a light.  If you have a few hours (days?) of free time you might look around budgetlightforum or candlepowerforum online.  I carry an Astrolux A6 and an S41.  The Budget Light Forum (BLF) designed lights are very good as well. 

 

If you would like to get everything in one shot and don't already have the 18650, charger, etc. you can get a package deal.  The Nitefox UT20 with battery has done well in my testing.  Watch for a review soon.  It has USB charging built into the light.  It charges the light fully and the battery checks as accurately rated with 1A charge/discharge testing.  I've also had good luck with ThorFire, see my reviews in this forum. 


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#7 Dennis Velikanov

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 05:11 PM

Gentlemen, thank you all so much for your really in-depth explanations and advice, I honestly appreciate it. All the models you recommended me seem really great! I guess I'll do some thinking and will eventually decide.

 

Thank you all once again! You are really great folks!


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#8 David Quevedo

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 01:31 PM

Gentlemen, thank you all so much for your really in-depth explanations and advice, I honestly appreciate it. All the models you recommended me seem really great! I guess I'll do some thinking and will eventually decide.

 

Thank you all once again! You are really great folks!

A pleasure.  Please feel free to stop in and let us know what you decided to get, and how it's working out for you, after you've had the chance to put it through its paces.

 

Good luck with your search!


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