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Thread: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

  1. #1

    Default looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    I plan to go on night-time nature hikes in the rainforests of Costa Rica this summer and am looking for the following qualities in a flashlight:

    1. Very wide-floody beam (I want peripheral space (edges of trail) to be well illuminated)
    2. Very bright
    3. Good color/contrast viewability.
    4. Very long run time (aka, over 10 hours)

    Factors that don't matter as much are size/weight, or top-of-line throw. I don't think the tactical lights (such as compact led based surefires or inovas) will work because their battery life won't last long enough in the field. I need a larger battery capacity, and a wider/floodier beam.

    Am I best off simply getting some sort of xenon flood/lantern light, or should I go with led or incandescent? Thanks!

    BTW, I've tried the Inova X03 but the beam is too focused, and battery life is too short. I like that the mag led's have over 20 hour run times, but don't have enough brightness, beam smoothness, or flood.

    I like those cheapo yellow flood lights seen at walmart/target with the 6V battery taped underneath them, (great battery life, wide beam) but they aren't bright enough.

    I'm willing to carry a heavier light to accomplish my goals.


    Update: i just found the Pelican KingLite Pro 4000. It looks like it might be a good contender! http://www.opticsplanet.net/pelican-...lashlight.html

    It has 250 lumens, 12 hour battery life, and about $65.
    Last edited by falafelfro; 05-02-2007 at 04:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    I think that a light would have to be pretty large to meet all of your expectations.

    If I were you I would be thinking about which lights would suit my purposes rather that which light. Unless you want to carry a large light you may look at one light that meets 1,2, and 3 then have another light that meets 4.

    Also, to give a better idea as to what your looking for could you possibly give an example of what you want by telling us of a light you might already have that simply isn't good enough.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Long John's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Take a look to the ASP Triad-TriLED light. It could meet your requests with a few spare cells.
    For higher quality, a Barbolight with multiple Led's and spare cells.

    I would prefer an easier handable smaller light with spare cells instead a big and heavy handheld light without spare cells.

    Best regards

    ____
    Tom
    It's cheaper to get a high quality light than spending money for many cheap lights.

  4. #4

    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    I just added notes to my response regarding the pros & cons of lights i've already tried.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Try the Princeton Tec Apex or Apex Pro, lots of nice floody light with good color rendition and long runtimes (the non-pro version runs on AA and has a longer runtime.) And they both have multiple brightness levels. Also, free hands to carry other stuff, maybe a more focused spotlight to check out other stuff.
    List of flashlights that used to be here has been removed (by me) to save our search function. NOW USE IT.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Strauss's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    I don't think there is a light out there that is BRIGHT for 10hrs. I suggest that you look into a smaller light and carry some spare cells as Long John suggested
    EDC: Ra Clicky 100WWCn/ Muyshondt Aeon
    Other Favorites: Surefire LX2/Eagletac M2XC4/ DBS V2 1S-R2, MC-E

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Pokerstud's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Quote Originally Posted by scottaw
    Try the Princeton Tec Apex or Apex Pro, lots of nice floody light with good color rendition and long runtimes (the non-pro version runs on AA and has a longer runtime.) And they both have multiple brightness levels. Also, free hands to carry other stuff, maybe a more focused spotlight to check out other stuff.
    +1 for the PT Apex Pro.

    http://www.brightguy.com/products/Pr...c_APEX_PRO.php

    Features of Princeton Tec Apex PRO LED headlamp:
    - 3 watt Maxbright LED paired with calibrated optics provides intense, smooth, bright light at long range. 1.5 hour runtime on high, up to 15 hours of diminished brightness. On the low setting get 7 hours of regulated runtime with up to 20 hours of diminished brightness.
    - 4 ultrabright LEDs for close range tasks and wide angle, 5.5 hours of regulated runtime on high with an additional 6.5 hours of diminished brightness. On the low setting get 12 hours of regulated light and an additional 23 hours of diminished brightness.

    I had one of these, and had it modded with a Seoul SSC P4, which made it even more efficient.

    IMHO, The last thing you want to be doing while hiking anywhere is to have to hump a big heavy light.

    just my 3 peso's worth

  8. #8

    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Here's my thread from a few months ago field testing a bunch of lights in a Costa Rican rainforest:

    LED flashlight experience: 2 weeks in a Costa Rica rainforest

    If I were to only take one light today (which I wouldn't ), I'd recommend a pocketable, general purpose light, like the L2D-CE. It uses common AA batteries, and runtime is great on the lower modes.

    It's not the most floody, but it provides a good mix of throw and flood. My experience tells me you are going to want both.

    I think you'd find the 8 D cell Pelican too heavy for daily use.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Fenix LD60.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  9. #9

    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    I highly recommend a headlamp like the Apex - you'll find in the dark you don't need BRIGHT as much as you think you do, and being able to walk hands-free will be far more enjoyable than lugging around a big lantern the whole way.

    But bring a couple of backup lights as well, because you never know when some monkey's gonna run off with your light.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    A good floody headlamp and a L2 would be my choice. The L2 on low with the headlamp should provide plenty of illumination and the high beam is there for those WTF was that moments. A high powered thrower in dense foliage does not sound like a good idea.

    I've used a 9P with a KL3 (all throw variant) and a beamshaper on night hikes in the Norcal wilderness. The beamshaper provides a nice soft flood and the KL3 is a great medium range thrower. It will also get you about 7 hours of regulated runtime. But the color rendition is not the best.

    BTW, your trip sounds awesome!

    kelmo
    Last edited by kelmo; 05-02-2007 at 09:45 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Quote Originally Posted by Strauss
    I don't think there is a light out there that is BRIGHT for 10hrs.

    http://www.opticsplanet.net/pelican...flashlight.html


    250 lumens + 12 hours run time! (not surpringly, it's 4 lbs)

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Long John's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Quote Originally Posted by falafelfro
    http://www.opticsplanet.net/pelican...flashlight.html


    250 lumens + 12 hours run time! (not surpringly, it's 4 lbs)
    That's not correct. This light will ermit light over 12 hours, yes, but forget the 250 Lumens.
    After voltage drops (in the first hour) output will drop. Don't expect too much, you will be disappointed.

    Best regards

    ____
    Tom
    It's cheaper to get a high quality light than spending money for many cheap lights.

  13. #13

    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Quote Originally Posted by Long John
    That's not correct. This light will ermit light over 12 hours, yes, but forget the 250 Lumens.
    After voltage drops (in the first hour) output will drop. Don't expect too much, you will be disappointed.

    Best regards

    ____
    Tom
    I'm sure output will drain over time. But if it starts at 250 lumens, my hope is it will continue to stay over 100 lumens for quite some time?
    Last edited by falafelfro; 05-02-2007 at 11:16 AM.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Long John's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Quote Originally Posted by falafelfro
    I'm sure output will drain over time. But if it starts at 250 lumens, my hope is it will continue to stay over 100 lumens for quite some time?
    falafelfro, for your requests (hiking with a floody light), this light is one of the improperliest lights I can think of.
    It's heavy and bulky has a high output at the beginning, but throwy and needs 8xDD cells. Think about the same cells as spares........

    But at least, it's your decision. IMO every other mentioned light is much better for this purposes.

    Best regards

    ____
    Tom
    It's cheaper to get a high quality light than spending money for many cheap lights.

  15. #15

    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Quote Originally Posted by falafelfro
    I'm sure output will drain over time. But if it starts at 250 lumens, my hope is it will continue to stay over 100 lumens for quite some time?
    Not likely. If you look at the standard Mag 3D cell light, it too will run for 12 hours. However, time to 50% is only 1 hour. See flashlighreviews.com for some other examples. And I can't even begin to imagine lugging 4 pounds plus 8 replacements cells through the rainforest.

    Frankly, an LED light on commonly available batteries is the only thing that makes any sense to me on this sort of trip (i.e. L2DCE and a headlamp, and you are good to go).

    FYI, the naturalist at the ecolodge I stayed at enjoyed making fun of a previous guest who showed up with just such a massive light. I think you would be in for the same treatment from locals if you showed up that way.

    The Fenix lights I brought got nothing but positive remarks from everyone who saw them.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Fenix LD60.
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  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Falafel, PM sent.

  17. #17

    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Just to provide additional context, I am looking to discover and photograph the noctural reptile and amphibian fauna of the rainforest. Lots of these little creatures will dwell in low hanging brush, tree branches, bark, and on the trail floor. Therefore, I need significant illumination, color contrast, high spill, and good battery life to last deep into the hike.

    I'm in decent shape, so anything 4lbs or under is not a problem at all!

    I'm also thinking that maybe those mountain bike lights with the huge water bottle battery might be good. I could keep the battery in my backpack.

    http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?c...ry%3A%20Lights
    Last edited by falafelfro; 05-02-2007 at 02:09 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Ah, now I understand your request for flood.

    But the spotlight would be a terrible choice for this. You'd wind up blinding the animals up close, and completely washing out your photos.

    My previous thread has some of my night-time amphibian photographs from my Costa Rica trip, and some general photograph lighting discussion. All of those shots were taken off the spill beam of my D-mini or P1DCE (center throw was way too bright up close)

    Obviously, your best bet would be a ring-flash setup for your camera. But failing that, I think you will need a mix of lights, and certainly lights with multiple levels. A thrower would be good for spotting retinal eye flashes, and a low-mid level flood beam for photographs.

    Here's a cutie from that trip (with a regular Canon PowerShot A620 point-and-shoot, nothing fancy):
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Fenix LD60.
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  19. #19
    Flashaholic* 22hornet's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Hello,

    It is always nice to have a checklist of the characteristics you would like. The perfect flashlight doesn't seem to exist, however, but happily there are some very decent, very strong and reliable lights available.

    If I would need a light for serious use, I would limit myself to the best quality and forget all the rest at once: Surefire and Peak are the ones I would think of first. Also get the spare battery holster from Surefire. (and Always get a spare flashlight with you!!!)

    IMO a Surefire L2 would do just fine: long runtime (10 hours) on a very useable low and a good broad flood of light.
    A Peak Mediterranean (IMO) would also do the job and it can even run on 2AA cells too.

    I would feel well armed with these two lights.

    Kind regards,

    Joris

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* mdocod's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    I think a modified bike light setup is going to be best. A custom hand-held with a MR16 flood lamp and a battery pack that you could put in a pack. Incandescent is the way to go for outdoors. I wouldn't want to be trying to identify if it's a branch or a snake with an LED light, especially if it were raining. There are some 6V 5-10W MR16 type lamps that would be perfect. combined with ~10 D size NIMH cells(2 sets of 5 in series, in parallel), you could have pretty steady output for 10-20 hours depending on the bulb wattage you choose.

  21. #21

    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    I'm not a big fan of headlamps nor do I know much about them. I have a cheeper Streamlight Trident or something like that, LED's and incan in one light. I have the runtime of LED and the incan if I need a little more. I use it only for hunting, walking to a stand in the early dark hours of the night. After years of using a handheld light the headlamp is wonderful. Having your hand free and the light moves to where you look is awesome. My headlamp is adequate for my needs but would not recommend it for you. There are much better options and I'm not qualified to give you suggestions. But don't underestimate the convenience of a headlamp especially if you are doing some serious hiking.

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* mdocod's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    I just went on a long walk in the dark on dirt roads out in the woods here. wore a luxI headlamp. It rained most of the day today so everything was all wet, there's a bit of foggy mist in the air. The LED wasn't too great. It was good for lighting up the eyes of wildlife (neighbor dogs) but punching into the moisture covered foliage, almost pointless. My handheld LuxV has enough oomf to do it pretty good, but incandecent really proved to be better when poked into the trees and bushes. A powerful incan backed up with a long running cree/seoul light would be good IMO.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    I was thinking about this today and remembered that Electrolumens AngleLux has a really good runtime off of two D cell Alkalines.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* greenlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    3C Streamlight propolymer lights have long runtime. There are 2 different LED versions, one with throw and one with flood.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* LEDninja's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for a light that matches the following criteria

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeg23
    I was thinking about this today and remembered that Electrolumens AngleLux has a really good runtime off of two D cell Alkalines.
    Info
    http://elektrolumens.com/AngleLux/AngleLux.html
    Order
    http://www.king-cart.com/cgi-bin/car...ct_match=exact

    Both the Pelican & Anglelux are spotlights. You may have to turn it into a flood by applying a layer of 'Press & Seal' over the window.

    I have been trying to persuade Electrolumens to build a wide angle version of the anglelux using Fraen optics here
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/show...78&postcount=5
    His response
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/show...25&postcount=7
    The thread
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=160335

    Why not email
    waynej@elektrolumens.com
    and he might just make you a special one.

    EDIT
    Most reflector flashlights have a hotspot 5 to10 degrees and a spill light 30 to 60 degrees. Many optics flashlights have no spill at all. The Fraen optics on Electrolumen's My Little Friendhave a hotspot of 10 degrees and a spill close to 150 degrees. That seems to be what you are looking for. So you need an Anglelux-P4 with Fraen optics.
    Electrolumens is now using 500mA boost circuits instead of 400mA so runtimes may drop to 19-20 hours from the 24 listed on the website. YMMV greatly depending on the batteries used as well.
    Last edited by LEDninja; 05-03-2007 at 08:55 AM.

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