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Thread: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

  1. #1
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    Default Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    Hey guys, new to the forums and I am overwhelmed with more info about flashlights than I ever thought possible.

    I am in need of a sub-$100 small-ish spotlight that I can use for boating in the dark during duck hunting season. I am interested in something that can easily fit in my blind bag, something that will give me a good pencil beam out to about 100 yards, and something rechargeable so I don't have to spend $100's of dollars on batteries every weekend.

    We used to use the cheap-o Wal-mart 1,000,000 candle power spots... but they take up a ton of room in my blind bag. Looking for a smaller, yet still powerful hand held spotlight.

    Any ideas?


    On a side note: I just purchased a Browning Black Ice Hero 9V Xenon (200 lumens) and it seems to be about what I'm looking for. I'm not sure if I can use rechargeable batteries in it or not, though. (It came with 3 CR123A batteries). Anyone know if I can use the rechargeables or not?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    Why is this forum always broken. I just tried to reply and I get a database error? I think it should be suggested policy to recommend saving each post to your clipboard before submitting.

    Anyways, if the 200 lumens from a xenon fits your lighting needs, you'll be blown away by the amount of light in a P7 led flashlight. I have the Aurora AK-P7 single cell light. This easily throws to 100 yards, I'd say out the front lumens is about 700 lumens, though I did do some minor work to mine (I replaced the wires inside with thicker wires and soldered the contacts to lower resistance). What is great is that unlike just pencil beam lights you'll be able to navigate better with the spill and smooth beam of the p7. I can see light out to 500 feet and I'm in the city with light pollution.

    The 2-cell version is regulated and should last longer on a set of batteries, but the single cell is direct driven so it's more reliable imo. My single cell draws 2.6 amps on a fresh 18650, and lasts about 45 minutes to 50% and you get 1:45 till cell protection kicks in but it'll be pretty dim by then so I'd say 1 hour of usable output.

    So you'll spend about $55 on the light, $6 on a charger and the rest on lots of batteries, at only 10 bucks a pair you'll easily be able to run the light for a while. What's great is that you can get a phone charger to power the charger and charge in the vehicle/boat.

    Here's the two cell, good for longer runtimes and flat output with it's regulation.
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14451

    Here's mine. I love it.
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.12588

    Charger. I use a hobby charger but this looks like a good deal.
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.936

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    The Aurora is probably 500-600 lumen max out the front if the P7 is really being driven at 2.8 amps. It has a pretty wide beam because of the larger emitting area of the Seoul P7. It will give you a lot of light and the two batteries should give decent runtime despite the powerful LED.

    What is your idea of smallish? What runtime are you looking for? Would you like to have different output levels? Do you have a Maglite?(if you do, check this thread) What kind of battereis wouldyou prefer?

    Xenon bulbs will pop with rechargeable because of their higher voltage.

    Most of the better LED lights are fine because they have a regulator that keeps the voltage to the LED in constant(a white LED runs at 3.4-3.7v).

    If you want narrow beam and lower price, check the Aurora WF-600 with these batteries and this charger.

    I'm guessing you'll be in a pretty dark area so the Fenix TK20 might work too. It won't throw as much as the above mentioned light but it is of higher quality, runs on AA batteries, smaller, and has a neutral white LED(more like an incan in tint). 8% off coupon at Fenix Store is "CPF8".


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    Default Hunting/Boating Flashlight?

    Looking for a new flashlight to use in the bow of a boat that will produce as much throw as possible. I'm totally new to this realm of flashlights, and have been pretty overwhelmed at the plethora of info and customizable setups all the manufacturers seem to offer.

    I would like a small flashlight that uses rechargeable batteries that can throw a beam out 200+ yards in front of a boat to see stumps & debris. I'd like to keep it under $100-ish.

    Any ideas?

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* asdalton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hunting/Boating Flashlight?

    Does the light need to be waterproof, or at least rainproof? There are many waterproof lights available, but these tend not to be rechargeable.
    Andrew

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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    Wow. Thanks for the info guys. The links are extremely helpful as I am lost trying to figure out what x works with what y works with what z. Again, thanks for the info thus far...

    -"Small-ish" to me would be anything smaller than beer bottle.
    -Runtime isn't really an issue as when we run the boat the ride can last an hour or so in the dark, but the light will only be clicked on and off to check for debris every so often.
    -I don't have a need for the different output levels... just the high beam.
    -I would prefer rechargeable batteries.



    I think I'm going to move this question to the LED forum, as I think I have at least narrowed my search down to the type of flashlight I am looking for.


    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Hunting/Boating Flashlight?

    This will be used primarily for duck hunting... so, yes, minimum rainproof. It will be placed in a blind bag when not in use, so it should stay dry and only be out in the elements during night travel.

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    Flashaholic 300winmag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hunting/Boating Flashlight?

    Personally I don't think there is an LED light that will help you, unless you go really really slow, it's hard enough seeing floater's in the day time, wood just seems to blend in to the water. I would suggest at least a 10 million CP spot light and put it up high on a pole or something. HID might work but the rough water might hurt the bulb???
    But if your stuck on LED maybe a Romisen RC-T6 1500LM 3-mode CREE Q4 Flashlight from EB. It's more of a flood but it has lots O lumens, not as much as they claim but might be just enough. Hope this helps.
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    Default Re: Hunting/Boating Flashlight?

    We use a 12 and 14 foot john boat with a 15hp... full plane is less than 18 mph. Plenty fast enough for night travel, but I think after seeing the throw produced by a Browning Black Ice Hero 9V Xenon 200 lumen flashlight that one of these LED units should work just fine for the "quick check" running up a river system.

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    Default Re: Hunting/Boating Flashlight?

    Welcome to CPF, CootShooter.

    You aren't allowed to have 2 threads running at once on the same subject, as this just causes confusion - it's known as cross-posting.

    I've merged your 2 threads, as they were consecutive. The merged thread is in the General Flashlight Discussion sub-forum, rather than the LED one.
    Resistance is futile...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner12 View Post
    Xenon bulbs will pop with rechargeable because of their higher voltage.
    What exactly do you mean by this? There are many rechargeable solutions for Xenon bulbs.
    Resistance is futile...

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    What exactly do you mean by this? There are many rechargeable solutions for Xenon bulbs.
    I should have been clearer, the bulb he has for the light is rated at 9v and since RCR123s have a higher voltage then a CR123, the higher voltage coupled with the higher current draw a the voltage will cause the filament to break.

    If he changes the bulb to one that is made for RCR123s then he will be fine running rechargeable batteries. But then the light probably won't be as bright running CR123s.

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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    If he uses 2x 17500 Li-Ions in it, the bulb will be fine, and they take up the same space as 3x CR123A. Even better would be 2x 18500 if the slightly larger diameter will fit.
    Resistance is futile...

  14. #14

    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    I looked it up, that browning light normally uses 3 cr123a batteries. So it is running 9v to the bulb. If the bulb is being underdriven then it might handle rcr123's but you're gonna be pushing close to 12.6 volts on a fresh charge. So if it's a 7v bulb being overdriven at 9v you'll pop it for sure with 12.6v. If it's a 10-12v bulb being underdriven you'll be fine with the rechargeables.

    Oh yeah forgot to add if it's gonna be in harsh conditions you'll need either a waterproof flashlight or my preference would be to go for a directly driven flashlight. Direct drive lights work when wet I've even had cheapy 3AAA light's completely submerged to the point where they were flooded with water and they were still working while in the water. You'll have to deal with the fact that they dim over time as the charge depletes but it's not so bad if you're already used to regular incans plus a lot of regulated 2 cell lights go from full brightness to off with basically no warning.

    I've currently got quite an impressive direct drive Romisen RC-M4 directly driving a P4 module and at 1.6 amps fresh this thing is a light (and heat) monster with really impressive throw, probably good for about 150 yards with decent spill. It's also pretty water resistant with o-rings all around.
    Last edited by qwertyydude; 09-30-2008 at 09:06 AM.

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    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    If he uses 2 17500s the bulb will be fine, depending on how hard the normal CR123 batteries are being pushed, it might even be brighter on 2 17500s.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    Amondotech N30.

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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoors Fanatic View Post
    Amondotech N30.
    This style of light is WAY too big... definitely bright enough and a very effective throw... but it would take up too much room in the boat.


    Thanks for all the responses so far guys. This forum is really full of bright(pun) people. Very exact and informative with responses. Couple that with some really extraordinary lights... I might just become a flashiholic.


    I think I have made up my mind. I am going to return the Cabela's Black Ice Hero then order the Aurora WF-600 (or WF-800).

    The Fenix TK20 looks like it might do the trick as well. I might just get that one as well. It's not like these things are overly expensive.





    Any word on the difference(s) between the Aurora WF-600 and WF-800?

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    Aurora uses a more efficient Cree(company) XR-E(model) Q5(flux bin) bin LED compared to the WF-800 and the Aurora has a harder coating, HA(or Type III) compared to Type II. The WF-800 is also powered by 2 batteries while the WF-600(Aurora or not) is powered by 1 Li-ion or up to 2 Li-ion depending on the model.

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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    I took your advice Gunner, and went ahead and ordered the Aurora WF-600. Thanks!

    Can't wait until it gets here!

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    Keep in mind that the Aurora WF-600 is still a budget light.

    Which one did you order? The 3.7-4.2v one or the 3.7-9v one?

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    I ended up going with the 3.7-4.2v.

    From the looks of it, in about 2 months I will have about 6 different flashlights like the rest of you fiends. If this one doesn't work out like I am hoping it will, I'll be getting the Fenix TK20.

    Thanks again... I'll be sure to post my impressions after I receive it.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    Cootshooter - coming in late to this. Apologies. I see you've placed an order and you'll probably be fine with what you got. FWIW, I posted a thread a couple of weeks ago about jug fishing all night. Ended up using a Streamlight Ultra-Stringer intermittently all night to spot the jugs in the water. It would fit your needs. I duck hunt to and know what you are talking about. Cool thing about the US is you could run the charger off of the boat battery if you wanted.
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  23. #23
    Flashaholic* hyperloop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    +1 on the Aurora WF-600 Q5 2 mode, i own one and was going to suggest that you get it. $61 for the light, 2 cells and a charger. 100 yards throw?? In pitch blackness?? Not even a mild workout for this baby!

    Happy Hunting! And if you can, post some beamshots
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  24. #24
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoors Fanatic View Post
    Amondotech N30.


    Cootshooter
    This style of light is WAY too big... definitely bright enough and a very effective throw... but it would take up too much room in the boat.
    I see that you already ordered a light but Outdoors Fanatic actually made a great suggestion in my opinion. The N30 is not a big light by any means. Actually it's one of the smallest self contained spotlights produced and less than 4lbs. After all, you did ask for a "spotlight" suggestion and they don't really get any smaller than the N30. What you purchased was a compact flashlight, but I guess you're already aware of that fact. Hopefully it will cover your needs and if it doesn't the N30 would be worth looking into.

    Good luck

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* hyperloop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    Get the Aurora and the N30 i want an N30!
    Why are all the contestants in Miss Universe only from Earth?

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    Default Re: Best Portable/Affordable Spotlight (boating)

    I bought a Streamlight Stinger LED light from Cabela's while on my trip to Manitoba for a week long duck hunt this past week. It worked well for my boating needs and was nice and small. It boasted something like 80 lumens and had a pretty decent throw. I returned it on my way back as I knew the Aurora that I have on order will blow doors on this thing. If it isn't what I expect, I'll purchase the N30 for sure.

    Thanks for the help guys.

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