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Flashlight thread: Whackers and Mall Ninjas encouraged to participate

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Zaratsu

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I'm opening it up with that title because the whackpack tend to study EDC gear intently and are really the guys with their finger on the pulse of LEO-ish gadgetry (Trust me, I research demographics professionally. I know you subscribe to SOF and know what "survival" or LEO catalogs you get;) ) I know you have better gadgets than the real police do.:cool: So lets pass the peace pipe around, as I need your help and there will be no anti whacker sentiment in this thread.:) Were talking lights today boys!


the damn thing that started it all:




Why I got a bug up my ass to buy an expensive and fancy flashlight, I will never know. Probably last week when the nice salesman at cabelas let me play with a Surefire Executive/Defender or whatever. All I can say is that it was DAMN NICE:cool: I like fine gadgetry A LOT and this little doohicky was a 10 out of 10 on coolness. Problem was the price of $160 to $250+ made me think to myself "its a friggin flashlight you dork! PUT IT DOWN! " So I told the guy "thank you" and went to look at the "lesser" lights not exaulted enough to live in a fancy (and locked) display case. Now i'm spoiled by the Surefires and cant make up my mind what I want. So for now I settle on a $25 Streamlight duo that is unique in it's ability to run either a xenon lamp or 3 5-watt LEDs. Essentially the xenon is for distance spotting and more light, and the LEDs are for lower power and longer life. It doesnt do either setting particularly well, but works great for my apartment as it uses a CR123 lithium cell with a 10 year shelf life, so if it goes dark I dont have to worry if I have "fresh" batteries.

Anyways, thats what I've got now. But I want to know what you guys may be using and would suggest. I am looking for more and better. I want something that can throw a bit, but thats not the biggest concern. I think LEDs of the most recent generation are of most interest ( Cree / Seol P4/5) It will get minimal use so I could care less about battery usage or type. I just want it to be dead-reliable, so CR123 is good unless i'm flying I guess. I like the size of tactical surefires and good, quality construction. If I go LED, I want it to be power regulated. Dimming LEDs are a ton more useless than dimming filiment bulbs. My price range is up to $100, but cheaper is always better. Retail is better than internet sales. I am an impatient man and demand instant gratification.:lol: But if i have to buy online, I will have to just go buy some beer to keep me entertained in the meantime.:twisted:


I hear good things about this company Fenix
any experience? price is right, light is right, shipping is free.
http://www.fenix-store.com/


I'm also thinking of getting a Surefire Nitrolon G2. These are like $35 because they are a type of fancy plastic and not the HAIII aluminum their regular lights have. Other than that, they seem like a good light for distance. No LED longevity, but I get (hopefully)surefire quality and output at a 1/4 the normal price. At this price, I can get a decent Luxeon LED light at a discount store or something as a backup, give the goofy streamlight to my wife and be happy.




They are damn nice lights! I'd say worth the $$$ but I work in an office, not on a beat or firehouse. I like hiking in the dark, but these are suburban wooded trails that are well worn and marked. I also like to goof-off around big campfires and maybe go hunt small game with our airguns (dont laugh, these suckers have power) at night. So what do I get? and what do you have? For nearby retail I have Cabelas, Dicks, LLBean, Eddie Bauer, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Target, sears, circ city, Lane Bryant, sports authority, best buy, BJs, Sam's, a bunch of gun shops, and a "police memoribilia" (cant use the W word in this thread) store to choose from for retail. Probably more, so ask if you think I have it around.
 
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Grog

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I vote against the Surefire Nitrolon G2 for two reasons, my buddy had one stop working one night after a down on the ground fight and the lamp assembly (the P60 or 61, whichever one is the 60 lumen) has been known to be fragile. I had them die years apart, one with the second set of batteries, the other within the first set. Bad quality control on that lamp.


Oh, one was in 2005 and the other was 1994 so it's not a new issue. You would probably be ok with an LED, and all the new lights are using them anyway. I just hate the lights where you do different things to get different amounts of light, I want to press the tailcap and get a ton of light, nothing less.


My experience says just about anything from streamlight will outlive you, my buddy (same one) had my stinger in his truck when he flipped it over three times. They finally found it wedged under the seat after bouncing all over (and likely hitting him in the head at least once) and that light still works to this day. I bought that one in the fall of 1994.


For the last year I have been using an inova XO at work and home, seems to be able to driven over with a truck. It would be in the same power output as the SF G2 but as an LED is very white. It also goes a few months on a set of batteries, when I finally just change them to not temp Murphy too much :D
 

Zaratsu

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Grog said:
I vote against the Surefire Nitrolon G2 for two reasons, my buddy had one stop working one night after a down on the ground fight and the lamp assembly (the P60 or 61, whichever one is the 60 lumen) has been known to be fragile. I had them die years apart, one with the second set of batteries, the other within the first set. Bad quality control on that lamp.


Oh, one was in 2005 and the other was 1994 so it's not a new issue. You would probably be ok with an LED, and all the new lights are using them anyway. I just hate the lights where you do different things to get different amounts of light, I want to press the tailcap and get a ton of light, nothing less.


My experience says just about anything from streamlight will outlive you, my buddy (same one) had my stinger in his truck when he flipped it over three times. They finally found it wedged under the seat after bouncing all over (and likely hitting him in the head at least once) and that light still works to this day. I bought that one in the fall of 1994.


For the last year I have been using an inova XO at work and home, seems to be able to driven over with a truck. It would be in the same power output as the SF G2 but as an LED is very white. It also goes a few months on a set of batteries, when I finally just change them to not temp Murphy too much :D

I had read a few secondhand accounts of SF G2s that just die. I appreciate that SF is trying to make a more accessable light. But if it means lower reliability, I think it reflects poorly on them as I feel "tricked" into buying the SF name. I dont expect the war-tested brawler their other lights are, but it should turn on every time in normal use. At least they offer a fairly unconditional lifetime warranty.

The streamlight I picked up is not bad, but the stinger is in a different class. Stingers are american made for american cops writing american tickets, and the duo going in my wife's purse.;)

I hear good things on Innova, but from what I can see it is pretty hit or miss on what type of LED you get in them at the moment. One light can have a garrish blue-tinted luxeon, the next a Nichia, and the next a top shelf CREE. How much this matters, I dont know. I think the big glitch on the Innovas is that they are NOT regulated. Meaning they use the batteries resistance to control power output. Lights with regulated circuits maintain a steady level of light, and when the level cannot be supported any longer, it drops off entirely. Non-regulated lights basically start out bright, and get dimmer and dimmer over time. No likey. From what I can read, Lowes has a pretty darn bright 3W 2C light that is brighter than any SF, but it is a one trick pony and looses its brightness FAST. Constant bright level is a must with LED I guess, and a low setting would be good too for midnight walkabouts in my coastal community.

I also have a dinky little Coast Lenser keychain light running on button batteries. I dont see these guys on the big light forums that much, but their lights look nice and are in all the stores. It got me out of 2.5 miles of woods in -20 deg this winter w/ no moonlight. Kind of what prompted me to go out and get a few REAL lights.
 
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rescue161

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I just picked up a battery powered chem-light at a conference. Pretty darn cool. It does red & green and best of all, it was free!
 

CLTX11

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I do a lot of hunting/fishing so I rely on good flashlights. I personally went with the streamlight polystinger, piggy back charger plus car charger. I have had it for a few years without a problem.

My brother went with the G2, bought it last year. He hasn't used it much but it hasn't given him any problems. Both streamlight and surefire are good brands.


As you, I did a lot of research and asking questions to those who have used them.


If you really want to spend the money, you can get the Gladius.

http://www.night-ops.com/ledhandheld.html

Here is the link to the vids:

http://www.blackhawkvideo.com/flashlights.html

Here is some youtube vid demos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obi3n3OVwHw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33mt8eXn-CE
 
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hoser147

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Had to chuckle even from your head line. But this one line still sticks out in my mind. "its a friggin flashlight you dork! PUT IT DOWN! ":lol: Unless you use it professionally I really cant see putin that kinda money into it.................Hoser
 

CLTX11

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hoser147 said:
Had to chuckle even from your head line. But this one line still sticks out in my mind. "its a friggin flashlight you dork! PUT IT DOWN! ":lol: Unless you use it professionally I really cant see putin that kinda money into it.................Hoser

I wouldn't say a "professional." As you know, with electronics, you get what you pay for. Yes I wouldn't spend a ton of cash on something, I spend as little as I can for the features or reliability of a product.

I use my flashlights extensively for hunting and fishing, which I do a lot. I would say I probably use my flashlight just as much as the "professionals" and I do not use it for a job. Fishing, use it year round, I travel all over Texas and part of Mexico. Bow hunting starts in Oct - Jan along with duck season in Nov - Jan. Spring turkey season start in April, so yes I not being a professional will pay more than the average person who only uses it on seldom occasions.


Speaking of electronics, is it stupid to assume I spent the money on a $70 MAHA battery charger? If I only used it to charge batteries every so often I wouldn't have spent the money on it but I use it a couple of times a day charging 8+ batteries. I went through multiple cheaper chargers that were not efficient for what I needed so I paid for something quite a bit more and guess what, I have never been happier.
 
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Grog

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hoser147 said:
Unless you use it professionally I really cant see putin that kinda money into it.................Hoser

Gee, some people feel the same way about a $500 scanner, or those who own two or three $500 scanners.
 

RC54730

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I do a lot of backpacking, and I've found an LED headlamp, like the ones made by Black Diamond, to be the best kind of flashlight for outdoor activities. If I need something other than the headlamp, I have a Gerber Recon mini-LED flashlight and that has been fantastic. It's dirt-cheap ($20 or so), runs off one AA battery, and lasts forever. It also has a little dial with filters on the front so you can have red light or blue light or green light, useful if you're trying to read a map at night, whatever.

The dual-mode lights (xenon/LED) are nice too. The headlamp that I wear backpacking has that feature, so it's nice to be able to switch over to a really powerful beam if you need to see further up a trail, whatever.

I don't think you can go wrong with anything in the $20-30 range, anything above that is pretty much a waste of money, IMHO.
 

Zaratsu

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Grog said:
Gee, some people feel the same way about a $500 scanner, or those who own two or three $500 scanners.
hay back to flashlights!:mad:

things have come a long way from the eveready 9v and the 4D mag light. I'm not going overboard, but I dont want junk. (there are plenty of $500 LED lights out there:lol: ) The few times in my life where I have needed a light, my butt has depended on it. I also for whatever reason have recently just started stocking up on "essentials" like emergecy lighting, first aid, water, food, and other stuff;) . I dont know what prompted me, but I just went and started getting things that you look around and say "why dont I have such and such?". For example. I just bought 5 small fire extinguishers. One for my appt, one for parents house, one for beach house, one for my car, one for fiances car. Why, in 27 years of my life did we never have one before? I dont know. It seems so shortsighted. They are inexpensive and can keep a small fire from becoming a life-changing event. 27 years! Dad was a fire inspector! what were we thinking?:confused:



On the flashlight note, I just got back from Cabelas with a nice black SureFire G2 xenon to give a try with! If I Like it, I'll upgrade my keyring light with a 1xAA or 1xAAA high output LED and give the streamlight to wifey. After that, a few LED camp lanterns and I should feel "done" for now.
 
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XTS3000

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After buying a Surefire E2L and Kroma, I would NEVER even think of buying anything but Surefire. After buying other cheaper flashlight ($25-100), all these pail in comparison to the quality of Surefire.

I like knowing even if I drop my surefire off the Sears tower, it will still work. If I accidently run over the Surefire, it will still work. Also Surefire's have a lifetime warranty, so even if you damage your $100+ flashlight, it will be replaced for free.
 

Zaratsu

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XTS3000 said:
After buying a Surefire E2L and Kroma, I would NEVER even think of buying anything but Surefire. After buying other cheaper flashlight ($25-100), all these pail in comparison to the quality of Surefire.

I like knowing even if I drop my surefire off the Sears tower, it will still work. If I accidently run over the Surefire, it will still work. Also Surefire's have a lifetime warranty, so even if you damage your $100+ flashlight, it will be replaced for free.

I just played with the G2 nitrolon a bit. I know its the "cheepie" Surefire, but holy crap! For the money this thing is BRIGHT! :cool: Sure the E2 executive defender just feels like a james bond 007 issued piece of equipment, but this does great. Amazing that this is their "el cheapo" model. Maybe I'll post some pics later when it gets dark out. Going back to the bargain cave tomorrow to pick up the 50% off filter and 40% off belt-sheath. This thing is not aluminum like the rest of the SF, but this plastic isnt rubbermaid. Its Tough like Mr. T:p I wonder if the lens is the same material as the regular surefires? In any event, I better get a box of CR123 batteries and an extra bulb or two while i'm at it.

bonus! American made and no questions lifetime warranty:cool:
 

Grog

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DanTSX said:
I wonder if the lens is the same material as the regular surefires?
Nope, it's not. With the low power of the G2 it'll likely be good enough though.



DanTSX said:
American made and no questions lifetime warranty:cool:
I'm still waiting on a replacement LA after the last one died after a few minutes. It's been a few years though so I don't think I'll get it :lol:
 

kc9kfj

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My favorite EDC would be the Surefire A2 Aviator.It has 3 leds for long run-time,and a 50 lumen xenon lamp for for brightness and throw.The best part is that the xenon lamp is regulated,meaning that the light has the same output for the life of the batteries.This is the only light I own that I've never had problems with.
 

Zaratsu

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Grog said:
Nope, it's not. With the low power of the G2 it'll likely be good enough though.


yah, I found that out last night. I returned the G2, and I upgraded to the 6P XE :cool: Whats another $21? Truth be told, the G2 had a slightly better beam. Rounder. I gotta see whats up with that.


So, now I have a real Surefire. Going back tomorrow and getting the nylon belt holder for it. Might spring for the P61 drop-in. Not 100% of if it is worth the battery munching, and I should probably hold out for the cree drop-ins.


Should I get the lanyard? I was thinking about making a monkeyfist with some paracord, but still have the attachment issue. I tell ya, these guys have their "accessory" marketing down pat! Its like buying a bmw, if you want the sport package, you gotta pony up for the leather, moonroof, heated steering wheel, etc, first.:mad: :lol:


pics!


[img=http://img217.imagevenue.com/loc187/th_30385_DSC00033_122_187lo.JPG]
 
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hoser147

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I found a nice little flashlight that is a single cell LED at Wally world while looking for some stocking stuffers at Christmas time. They are a Dorcey runs off of 1 AAA bat. about 5 or 6 bucks if ya want something you can put in the car or something small for the pocket or the purse they are hard to beat. Well made Ive had some of them 5 or 6 years now. Not to get off subject but since Dan brought it up, the Fire extinguishers are a great asset to the home and vehicles. Keep in mind though when buying them, stay away from the plastic headed ones they tend to leak off the Nitrogen as the plastic head becomes warm and cold in different temperature changes. Get one that has a metal head and take it out of the storage area check the gauge and turn it upside down and tap on the bottom to keep the chemical fluffed inside, also check the nozzle to make sure no spiders or bugs have made it a home. This will only take a minute or two and will help assure that it goes off when you need it..................Hoser
 
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