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Thread: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

  1. #1

    Question Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    Background is I work for a utility company at night so I need light mainly for up close work usually 5-20 feet from me. I like a lot of light as it usually dark as I work. I have a Leatherman Monarch 500 from Costco that I like but the beam is not what I want. There seems to be a big dead spot in the center, I want a better overall beam.

    Requirements:
    needs to use 1-2 AA batteries
    needs to have a belt sheath
    probably be a Cree bulb
    size depends probably 4-6 inches?
    like a long run time as will be used alot each night
    maybe a high and low but I will probably always have it on high
    prefer more spot flood lighting over long distance but ok if does both
    No tinting needed prefer just be able to see stuff as is
    price range up to $75ish maybe more for the right light

    I have been checking out the reviews here but as many of you know.
    Too many choices and since it is hard to try out lights in the real world, I need help from the flashlights gods.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight



    Hi Travis! I'm sure many people will chime in with great ideas, so I'll just share a few of my own.

    The Zebralight H501w is a nice option for close work (about 5-10 feet), and is literally all flood. It's incredibly tiny, runs on a single AA (alkaline, lithium, or rechargeable), and can clip to your belt or shirt for hands-free work. I'm definitely a big fan of their lights. That said, it won't do distance lighting; it's a phenomenal light up to about 15-20 feet out (less if there's lots of ambient light), but beyond that it's pretty much useless. Still for those 15 feet, it's glorious.

    Other options include the Fenix LD20 with a diffuser (which would let you switch between spot and flood), or 4-seven's recent light: the Quark. (You can get it in AA or 2xAA versions.) Many, many companies make 2xAA cree-based lights: EagleTac, Olight, and Nitecore are just a few common names you'll hear. All are fairly well respected here on CPF. Nitecore's Smart PD light, in particular, is especially popular these days.

    I'd definitely encourage you to lean towards a "warm" or "neutral" tint LED if you're at all concerned about color rendition, since they greatly help differentiate tones and colors.

    Is there any reason you're wedded to AAs? People often shun CR123s because they think that the batteries are expensive or assume that they're not available as rechargeables; both beliefs are incorrect. Many of the high-end lights use 123s because of their power; primaries cost just about $1.50 each if you buy them in bulk (e.g. from Surefire.com), and they're also available in rechargeable versions.

    If you decided to make the switch to 123s, I'd also recommend a Malkoff M60WLF dropin for a Surefire G2. The Malkoffs have a very useful beam pattern (though you might need a high-low switch for it; on high it could easily be too bright!) and would run for about 3-4 hours on high on 2 rechargeable 123s.

    Hope this helps!

    - FITP
    Last edited by FlashInThePan; 09-09-2009 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Added links
    Obscenely bright or unbelievably tiny are my weaknesses...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    I second the H501w recomomendation. I am glad I got it as, like FlashInThePan says, it's all flood. Even on low, it's perfect. In fact, I leave it on low most of the time.
    Peace!
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  4. #4
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    Groo here
    If working outside in rain etcI would look at streamlights.
    my 4aa led is still my most used,has a nice beam,not too brite,
    uses AAs and does not mind a swim or two.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    I'd also suggest the Zebralight. 8% off coupon at 4sevens is "CPF8".

    Also Cree is LED, not bulb, and Cree is only one of the companies that produce a current gen high power LED.


  6. #6
    Flashaholic* hyperloop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    There's a package deal being offered now here for a Fenix TK20 + E01 (for an additonal $1) if you're lookin for a handheld instead of a headlamp.

    Both are good lights, i've exceeded this month's budget already (3 lights, LF drop in + other odds and ends) so this will have to be for next month if its still available.
    Why are all the contestants in Miss Universe only from Earth?

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* jhc37013's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    The Zebralight headlamp sounds like a good idea maybe in combination with a Fenix LD20.

    http://www.batteryjunction.com/fenix-ld20.html
    My flashlight collection HERE

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* MattK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    Olight T25 or I25, Fenix LD20, there's. lots of great choices.

    An iTP C8R or C8T is probably the best value and at $45 would leave you enough left over money to buy 4-8 AA NiMh batteries and a charger.

    If you were ready to make the jump to 18650 rechargeables a LumaPower D-Mini EX would offer a whole other class of output and it's a flood monster that would be great for the work you do.
    Last edited by MattK; 09-09-2009 at 10:08 PM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* jhc37013's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by MattK View Post
    Olight T25 or I25, Fenix LD20, there's. lots of great choices.

    An iTP C8R or C8T is probably the best value and at $45 would leave you enough left over money to buy 4-8 AA NiMh batteries and a charger.

    If you were ready to make the jump to 18650 rechargeables a LumaPower D-Mini EX would offer a whole other class of output and it's a flood monster that would be great for the work you do.

    Hey MattK its nice to see a dealer jumping in the threads to actually suggest and help some people instead of just advertising in the Dealers Corner threads. Thankyou

    Another reason to love BJ. That and the OD finish Fenix lights.
    Last edited by jhc37013; 09-09-2009 at 10:14 PM. Reason: typo
    My flashlight collection HERE

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* MattK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    You're welcome.

    Matching users needs to flashlights is something I do every day so that it's almost second nature to me now. The variety of great lights on the market today can be pretty overwhelming.

  11. #11
    Enlightened patryk79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    hey there... may i suggest the Fenix TK20....

    i got one as a gift for my girlfriends uncle; he works in construction and is currently on the SF Bay Bridge project. the color is neutral white, which is great if you work outdoors, especially in the rain and fog. it has two settings, so you can have 45 lumens for up close and about 150 for a bit of distance.

    i do not own a fenix myself, but the one i gave as a gift has impressed everyone on his work crew, especially once the bay area fog rolls in.

    anyway, thats MHO.
    Surefie C2 Centurion, G2 Nitrolon, Streamlight Scorpion, LumaPower LM31, Olight T20, Mag 3D/2C, UltraFire C3, DX P60 Cree Drop In (Q5, R2), Romisen RC-A2 & RC-G2, Streamlight TwinTask 2C, Inova T4, Inova X5 (red), Streamlight Stinger, TerraLux for 3D Mag.....

  12. #12

    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by jhc37013 View Post
    Another reason to love BJ.
    Oh right "Battery Junction". Took me a while to work that out but thats my dirty mind ..


    When this new fenix MC10 comes out, it could be the new work light of choice. Clip and an adjustable head. Thats if you can wait until then.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    I love my ZL H501W, pair it with say a Nitecore D20 or a Fenix TK20 and you got your bases covered.
    My Lights: EDC; Nitecore EC1, ZLSC52, Quark Mini AAW, Preon P2
    Duty; Mag Recharger, Malkoff MD2 w/M60, C2 Bored w/LX2 clip Malkof M61 219

  14. #14

    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    Thank you to the many suggestions. I was partial to AA as I get them free from work but after reading there are better batteries. I settled on the Olight M20 Warrior with a diffuser. Not sure if I will need the diffuser but might be handy. Also picked up the Lumapower mini D Ex as suggested by MattK. Added in some 18650 batteries and a charger so I should be ready to turn night into day when I work.

    It is hard trying to find a small holster light that offers good run time and alot of light in 1 package. I am hoping the M20 will do it.

    Thank you to Battery Junction for helping me spend my money.

    Next upgrade will be my Petzl headlamp but gotta save up for that.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* MattK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    Welcome to the light side Travis!

    Surefire Saint Minimus's are coming in this week - that could be a good Petzl upgrade.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Wattnot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    Based on your needs, I highly recommend a headlamp (like the Zebra already recommended) and a Fenix TK20 (click for link). The TK20 works GREAT on nimhs (nickle metal hydride rechargeables) and the batteries and chargers are cheap. The TK20 also has a warmer, almost incandescent like beam. At closer distances, any extremely powerful lights will actually become a hinderence since the light will reflect back in your face and make it harder to see what you're trying to look at!

    Displacing night on a daily basis.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* qip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    zebra is just pure flood though , he might need a reflector light for some throw at 20 feet to see something in finer detail well lit and a light with a nice broad hotspot ...i say Fenix LD20

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* MattK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    See post #14 - decision/purchase made.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    mini mag led, should do it, most of my building maintanance crew uses them, not the best light, but it gets the job done.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Need Help Choosing a New Work Flashlight

    Quote Originally Posted by MattK View Post
    Welcome to the light side Travis!

    Surefire Saint Minimus's are coming in this week - that could be a good Petzl upgrade.

    Thank you MattK,
    I think my Petzl Myo XP looks like a better overall light for my needs than the Surefire headlamp. Good output and good run time as I always have my Petzl on high with the diffuser on.


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