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Thread: I need some help choosing!

  1. #1

    Default I need some help choosing!

    Please dont bash me, Im new! This amazing website is overwhelming with information! I have a few simple things Im looking for and I hope someone can point me in the right direction.

    In order of importance:

    1. Uses a single CR123 battery
    2. BRIGHT! Seriously. Bright. Spot more than flood.
    3. wont melt or break (like my last light)
    4. Under $150 ish

    I had a really decent 'amilite' a few years ago BUT I had it on for about an hour and for some reason that messed up the switch. Now it wont turn on or stay on reliably.

    Battery life is of no importance. I dont care if it uses up a single CR123 in 20 minutes. Really.

    What should I buy? There are so many custom lights out there that look really good! Should I get a fenix? nitecore? Im lost!!
    Last edited by MikeGoob; 01-19-2009 at 11:32 AM.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    The Nitecore Extreme, Fenix P2D/PD20, EagleTac P10C or T10C are some lights you should look at.


  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Cosmo7809's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Hello and welcome. The search function can lead you into alot of places....

    Try this for starts http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=201117
    Its better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    I'm sure you're going to get a lot of great reccomendations here. I have and absolutely love the Surefire E1B. It fits your requirements exactly, is backed up with great warranty if you're worried about it failing, and is bright, with more throw than spill. It is rated at 80 lumens on high, which doesn't seem like all that much, but it "feels" like much more. (Unfortunately I can't compare it to the other suggestions because its the only quality light I have in the single 123 cell category)

    Because lumen ratings can be different from one company to the next and beam shape can impact the perception of brightness, you might want to narrow your choices and then ask on here if anyone has the 2 or 3 lights you're considering. They could give you more detailed recomendations based on what you want. Most people on here are amazingly helpful and very willing to discuss their lights. Good luck with your choice.
    Greg

  5. #5

    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    there are a LOT more variables than I expected. Still trying to wade through the charts on the link provided above...

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Federal LG's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    My vote goes to Fenix PD20.

    "I LOVE THE SMELL OF LITHIUM BATTERIES IN THE MORNING..." - Kilgore

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Cosmo7809's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeGoob View Post
    there are a LOT more variables than I expected. Still trying to wade through the charts on the link provided above...
    Yeap, can be very overwhelming. When I first got into lights I must of read that thread 100 times before making a decision. Which was the P2D. A few months later went back to the thread and got a Jetbeam II IBS, and then again referred to the thread again for the EX10 and serveral other times..... its really makes me sick.

    P.S- Selfbulit has many other reviews for 2AA lights 1AA lights and etc. His work is top notch.
    Its better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    I think it might be good to narrow things down a bit more.

    What size?
    How much throw?

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeGoob View Post
    Please dont bash me, Im new! This amazing website is overwhelming with information! I have a few simple things Im looking for and I hope someone can point me in the right direction.

    In order of importance:

    1. Uses a single CR123 battery
    2. BRIGHT! Seriously. Bright. Spot more than flood.
    3. wont melt or break (like my last light)
    4. Under $150 ish

    I had a really decent 'amilite' a few years ago BUT I had it on for about an hour and for some reason that messed up the switch. Now it wont turn on or stay on reliably.

    Battery life is of no importance. I dont care if it uses up a single CR123 in 20 minutes. Really.

    What should I buy? There are so many custom lights out there that look really good! Should I get a fenix? nitecore? Im lost!!
    It sounds like you seriously need one SureFire E1B Backup.

  10. #10

    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    But so many lights look like they rated brighter than the Surefire in that review link. Im kind of narrowing it down to the Nitecore Extreme and Jetbeam. Again Im mostly concerned with 'max output' setting.

    If Im reading the charts right, the nitecore extreme does look like one of the brightest.

    He says in the summary that the Jetbeam is brightest but so maybe Im reading it wrong. Gah so confusing! Sorry guys--I do appreciate your input and patience!

  11. #11

    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    The Jet-II IBS is the king of throw and output in the 1xCR123 class. Runtimes are pretty dismal, but it's a real barn burner

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    The other lights are probably brighter then the Surefire even if they use different rating systems.

    The Surefire does have one main thing that the other's don't, a good optic. It has less output but more percentage of that output is in the hotspot which is also narrower then most from what I hear so it can probably throw further then most single CR123 lights.

    IIRC the 225 lumen from the Jetbeam is with a RCR123 which is 3.7v vs the 3v or a CR123. The higher voltage makes the light go into direct drive and makes it brighter.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeGoob View Post
    But so many lights look like they rated brighter than the Surefire in that review link. Im kind of narrowing it down to the Nitecore Extreme and Jetbeam. Again Im mostly concerned with 'max output' setting.

    If Im reading the charts right, the nitecore extreme does look like one of the brightest.

    He says in the summary that the Jetbeam is brightest but so maybe Im reading it wrong. Gah so confusing! Sorry guys--I do appreciate your input and patience!
    But so many lights look like they rated brighter than the Surefire in that review link. Im kind of narrowing it down to the Nitecore Extreme and Jetbeam. Again Im mostly concerned with 'max output' setting.
    You're obvioulsy new to this hobby so your mind is stuck with manufacturer claimed numbers. We all been there too. Theoretical numbers don't always translate into real world performance, especially considering the fact not all manufacturers are honest or measure their lights using the same scales and methods. You'll quickly learn this though...

  14. #14

    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    I got a LOT of non rechargeable CR123s a little while ago, so Im probably going to be using those instead of the rechargeables for the forseeable future.

  15. #15

    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeGoob View Post
    I got a LOT of non rechargeable CR123s a little while ago, so Im probably going to be using those instead of the rechargeables for the forseeable future.
    start with a romisen rc-c3 for $15.00. very bright, very small.

    that leaves you with $120 (or less depending where you buy it) for a novatac 120
    If and when the the big dookie hits the fan, and global chaos ensues, i want a couple of quality AA lights within reach.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Tekno_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    You could possibly find someone to mod a light to a Cree MC-E or SSC P7 LED. It wouldn't have much runtime, but it would be about as bright as you can get.

    I'll recommend the Nitecore EX10.
    The Surefire E1B is pretty nice though too, my brother keeps one in his toolbox, and it takes one heck of a beating, and just keeps going.
    Due to my current schedule being pretty darn hectic, I will not be accepting new modding projects until things settle down.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* deranged_coder's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner12 View Post
    IIRC the 225 lumen from the Jetbeam is with a RCR123 which is 3.7v vs the 3v or a CR123. The higher voltage makes the light go into direct drive and makes it brighter.
    Nope, according to JetBeam's website the 225 lumen for Jet-II I.B.S. is for both primary and lithium rechargables:

    Output & Runtime:
    CR123 Battery
    Max Output: 225 Lumen, lasting for 40 min
    High Output (Default Mode A): 180 Lumen, lasting for 55 min
    Low Output (Default Mode B): 20 Lumen, lasting for 9 hours
    Min Output: 2 Lumen, lasting for 60 hours

    Rechargeable Lithium Battery
    Max Output: 225 Lumen, lasting for half an hour
    Defaut Mode A Output: 180 Lumen, lasting for 45 min
    Defaut Mode B Output: 20 Lumen, lasting for 7 hours
    I think as far as a 1xCR123 light goes, the Jet-II I.B.S. is your best bet for a seriously bright light with more spot that flood. A nice plus to that is the I.B.S. system which allows you to easily customize it to the light level that you want.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Dereelight C2H

    And buy from FlashCrazy. Same price as from Hong Kong, free shipping, excellent service and in your hands in a couple of days. Use the rest of the funds for a charger (WF-139) and a couple of AW's batteries (either IMR or protected RCR123).
    Olight M20; Surefire C2; Dereelight: DBS (MC-E and R2, OP and SMO) w/ extension tube, C2H (R2 and Q5), CL1H (R2); Romisen: RC-N3, RC-F4, RC-T6; Malkoff: M60L & M60W; Tactical HID: 35W HID, P7 LED

  19. #19

    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    hmm Im beginning to wonder if there is any clear choice besides just buying one at a time till I can eventually compare them all on my own lol

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Definitely sounds to me like you are looking for the E1B. It meets all your criteria.
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  21. #21
    Flashaholic* pobox1475's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: I need some help choosing!

    Nitecore NEX = 200 lumens
    A couple protected AW's = $ saved
    A Pila IBC to juice them

    I could not be happier with the above items

  22. #22

    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    As I said before my last light just stopped working reliably after a leaving it on for an extended time--Is it my standard CR123s that causes that? Is every light suseptable to frying with standard batts?

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* sappyg's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeGoob View Post
    hmm Im beginning to wonder if there is any clear choice besides just buying one at a time till I can eventually compare them all on my own lol
    this is the best option. failing that i would recommend flipping a coin.
    the e1b is the one i would pick though and i don't need a coin to decide. it will not let you down. SF customer service will see to that.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* deranged_coder's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeGoob View Post
    As I said before my last light just stopped working reliably after a leaving it on for an extended time--Is it my standard CR123s that causes that? Is every light suseptable to frying with standard batts?
    It really depends how hard the LED is being driven. Some lights are designed so that they can be driven on their high mode full time. Others have a "burst" mode i.e. in "burst" mode they drive the LED really hard and it produces quite a bit of heat so if you leave it on that "burst" mode for too long the LED will suffer thermal damage. The Ra lights, for example, have a high mode of 100 lumens with a burst of 140 lumens i.e. it is designed to be safely driven full time at 100 lumens and can temporarily boost it up to 140 lumens for a short period of time before it automatically drops the output back down to prevent the LED from overheating.

    Some of the better designed lights have thermal protection built in i.e. it will automatically lower the output when the LED gets too hot to prevent thermal damage.
    Last edited by deranged_coder; 01-19-2009 at 04:35 PM. Reason: typo

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeGoob View Post
    As I said before my last light just stopped working reliably after a leaving it on for an extended time--Is it my standard CR123s that causes that? Is every light suseptable to frying with standard batts?
    Your dead light probably had really poor heatsinking. Get a SureFire and worry no more.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Of the lights I have, I recommend the Surefire E1B. I also like the Surefire E1L (just got it today!) or Surefire L1. If you order through LAPolicegear.com, they give you free batteries with most lights.
    The RA lights look really good, too, although I don't own any.....yet!
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Fenix P2D its awesome just got mine
    Inova T-3, Fenix TK10, Fenix TK11, Element k2 luxeon, LED minimag 3AA, Lowes Taskforce 2c, Fenix L1D, Fenix P2D, Fenix LD20, Fenix LD01, Fenix E01, Surefire E2DL, Eagletac P10A, Quark mini AA2

  28. #28

    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    I own the extreme and the P2D Q5, great lights, and the extreme is almost as bright as my Jet III pro ibs.

    1. Nitecore extreme
    2. Jet II Pro IBS
    3. P2D/PD20
    4. T10C

    I don't really know how bright is the SF E1B in real life, but 80 lumens doesn't sound like the "seriously bright" you're looking for.


  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Quote Originally Posted by richardcpf View Post
    I own the extreme and the P2D Q5, great lights, and the extreme is almost as bright as my Jet III pro ibs.

    1. Nitecore extreme
    2. Jet II Pro IBS
    3. P2D/PD20
    4. T10C

    I don't really know how bright is the SF E1B in real life, but 80 lumens doesn't sound like the "seriously bright" you're looking for.
    Do you even know how SureFire measure lumens?

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* deranged_coder's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need some help choosing!

    Quote Originally Posted by richardcpf View Post
    I don't really know how bright is the SF E1B in real life, but 80 lumens doesn't sound like the "seriously bright" you're looking for.
    SureFire almost certainly understates their lumen ratings. I own a bunch of 1xCR123 powered lights so believe me when I say that IMHO the E1B certainly qualifies as "seriously bright".

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