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Thread: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

  1. #1

    Default Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Hey Guys: Recommend a Flashlight Checklist:
    (Don't worry about all the questions, just the ones you feel strongly about!)

    Short Essay Question: What do you intend to use this light for?
    1) for when the electricity goes out
    2) for the very occasional camping/ hiking
    3) occasional walking around at night






    0) What Region/Country/State will the light be purchased in?

    _I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.

    1) Price Range: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :-)

    I can spend about $50 but that is the absolute max. I would love it if I could spend a lot less (like around $30)

    2) Format:

    ____I want a flashlight.

    3) Length:

    I dont really care but I don't really want it longer than 8 inches. Smaller size like the inova x5 is not bad either. Dont really care/
    4) Width:

    I dont care

    5) What batteries do you want to use? Alkaline batteries are easier to find and less expensive but don't pack as much stored energy and are don't work well in cold temperatures. Lithium batteries have long shelf life (10+ years, great for stored emergency lights) and are not as affected by cold but must be kept dry and are more expensive. Rechargeable start expensive, but if used frequently pay off quickly.

    I want common Alkaline batteries. (AA, AAA, C, D) OR
    I want lithium batteries. (coin cells, CR123, AAA, AA...)

    Doesnt really matter which


    6) How much light do you want? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).

    Since this will be my ONLY light, and want it to be impressive among my friends, Maybe a flashlight that has different outputs- but that doesnt really matter too much. I like something bright too, to make my friends inova x5 look dim lol. I am a college student, and really like the bright flashlights, and a light that I can use in a worse case as a tactical light would be cool too.

    7) Throw vs Flood: Which do you prefer, lights that flood an area with a wide beam, or lights that "throw" with a tightly focused beam? Place an “X” on the line below.

    Throw (distance)--------------------x--|----------------------Flood/close-up

    if you can change it in the flashlight that would be cool, but i prefer more throw.

    8) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims (like some LED lights). but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries.

    At least 2 hours minimum out of 1 set of batteries. I don't really wanna keep on changing battery if the total run time is 1 hour. I like to have it run longer though, like 10 hours or more would be great lol. The longer it runs, the less I feel bad about using my flashlight in less dire times. Im used to a maglight like DD but dont know how long that run time is.

    9) Durability: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.

    Pretty important- I want this to last the rest of my life or 50+ years


    8) Switch Type:

    I don't care.

    9) Switch Location:

    ____I don't care.


    10) Operational Modes: Check all that apply.

    ____A simple on-off is fine for me. or I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.) or I want multiple light levels. (some lights have 5-16 light levels.) or
    ____I want a tactical strobe. (Flashes rapidly to disorient an opponent.)

    Doesnt really matter

    11) Is it important whether the body is metal or plastic/composite?

    ____I don't care.


    12) Special Needs: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Circle any below or write in your own comment(s).

    ____Red (night vision preserving) filter
    ____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________)
    ___x_Waterproof – how deep: __Being able to use it in light rain or drop it in a puddle would be cool
    ____Non-reflective/dark finish (stealthy/hard to find)
    ____Polished silver or brightly colored finish (for easy locating)
    ____Corrosion resistant or hard-anodized finish
    ____“Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
    ____Built-in second (or spare) lamp or filament
    ____Belt/Jacket clip
    ____Holster
    ____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    ____Kobuton/self defense features
    ____Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments

    Again, if i drop it or whatever, I want it to stand abuse as i want this light to last a lifetime.

    if you guys need any more input from me for helping me decide on a light that would be great!

    Hope you guys can help me out!
    Last edited by rydude07; 03-02-2010 at 09:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Since you're looking for more throw than flood, the Fenix TK series of lights seems like a good fit. The TK20 might work: it uses 2 AA batteries, has two levels (high for ~1 hr and low for ~8-10 hours), is built like a tank, and is definitely oriented more for throw. (It also uses a neutral-tinted LED, which helps better render colors in the outdoors.) The TK11 is another good option; it's a similar light, but it runs on CR123s. Someone just recently posted a link to them for $54 on Amazon; I'm sure a quick search of CPF would turn that link up.

    If you want to use the light for camping, you might want to consider purchasing a light with a "very low" low for nighttime - maybe a few lumens at most. The TKs don't offer this option; another light to consider in that case is the Quark (or Quark Turbo) by 4sevens.com. It doesn't throw quite as far, but it puts out a huge amount of light and offers a very low low.

    Hope this helps! Good luck, and happy hunting!

    - FITP
    Last edited by FlashInThePan; 03-02-2010 at 07:16 PM.
    Obscenely bright or unbelievably tiny are my weaknesses...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    I will look into that. How about the fenix ld20?

    I dont know if i want more throw than flood. Maybe a little more throw but either would work for me. More suggestions would be awesome! Just looking for some good choices on a good flashlight that can last my my whole life and that is pretty bright at times.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic duboost's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Fenix TK20 is a great light for the price, but like was mentioned, its missing a real low level. But its rock solid, good throw, and nice tint.

    Some other lights I'd look into are 4sevens Quarks if you're willing to spend less than $5 more over your $50 budget. These lights are usually highly recommended on here for general purpose lights. Good choice of modes from bright highs to very low lows.

    Also check out eagletac lights at PTS. You can get the T100C2 MKII w/ either cool or neutral tint for $46.99. Or if you prefer a slightly smaller form factor, the P100C2 is $39.99. However like the TK20, these lack a real low level.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by duboost View Post
    Fenix TK20 is a great light for the price, but like was mentioned, its missing a real low level. But its rock solid, good throw, and nice tint.

    Some other lights I'd look into are 4sevens Quarks if you're willing to spend less than $5 more over your $50 budget. These lights are usually highly recommended on here for general purpose lights. Good choice of modes from bright highs to very low lows.

    Also check out eagletac lights at PTS. You can get the T100C2 MKII w/ either cool or neutral tint for $46.99. Or if you prefer a slightly smaller form factor, the P100C2 is $39.99. However like the TK20, these lack a real low level.
    I dont mind it if it doesnt have a real low low light. That is ok with me.

    Man the tk20 on ebay is exactly 50 bucks. Good call. Better than the LD20? The LD20 has more modes and same price.

    More opinions are welcomed
    Last edited by rydude07; 03-02-2010 at 10:44 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Pick up one of the entry-level 2-cell surefire lights. They're pretty well liked, but you may spend a bit more than your budget. They're the lights that'll come closest to your "forever" requirement for durability.

    Personally, you may have overstated that. Light technology changes over time, and 5-10 years is about as long as it's reasonable to expect a light to compete with new technology.
    EDC E1B, Tigerlight w/LED dropin for when I need more light. Love my new Zebralight H30 for floody tasks and my Quark Mini123 for being awesomely small and bright.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Robin24k's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    I would definately recommend the Maglite XL100. It's $40 shipped. Very unique light, for more info about the UI, click on my sig image to read my review.

    http://www.amazon.com/MAGLITE-XL100-.../dp/B001RQH1EO

    If $40 is too much, the 2AA LED Mini Maglite multi-mode is $19.88 regular price at Home Depot and a fine light. All Maglites are made in USA with lifetime warranty and great CS too.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by csa View Post
    Pick up one of the entry-level 2-cell surefire lights. They're pretty well liked, but you may spend a bit more than your budget. They're the lights that'll come closest to your "forever" requirement for durability.

    Personally, you may have overstated that. Light technology changes over time, and 5-10 years is about as long as it's reasonable to expect a light to compete with new technology.

    I will look into the surefire lights. I dont really need to have a flashlight with the newest technology, just something that will last for durability wise. It doesnt bother me if it uses an incandescnet or led or cree or whatever light.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic duboost's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by rydude07 View Post
    I will look into the surefire lights. I dont really need to have a flashlight with the newest technology, just something that will last for durability wise. It doesnt bother me if it uses an incandescnet or led or cree or whatever light.
    If that's the case I'd definitely look into surefire. Check out the 6P, its definitely durable, and you can upgrade the P60 drop in easily to your choice of led, tint, modes, etc when you have more to spend on it. In the mean time the normal incan P60 should suit u well enough

  10. #10

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by duboost View Post
    If that's the case I'd definitely look into surefire. Check out the 6P, its definitely durable, and you can upgrade the P60 drop in easily to your choice of led, tint, modes, etc when you have more to spend on it. In the mean time the normal incan P60 should suit u well enough
    Looks nice, but wayyyy over my budget. And the battery life doesn't fit my qualifications above.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Robin24k's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Check out the Maglite XL100 I mentioned.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic duboost's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by rydude07 View Post
    Looks nice, but wayyyy over my budget. And the battery life doesn't fit my qualifications above.
    doh.. sorry forgot about the runtime. Although there is a 6P over within the marketplace in your budget .


    Oh and if you end up going with the TK20, don't get it off ebay. 4sevens gives u 8% off with the code "cpf8" and free shipping and is a reputable dealer

  13. #13

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by duboost View Post
    doh.. sorry forgot about the runtime. Although there is a 6P over within the marketplace in your budget .


    Oh and if you end up going with the TK20, don't get it off ebay. 4sevens gives u 8% off with the code "cpf8" and free shipping and is a reputable dealer
    Oh ok I will definitely not get it on ebay then. If you know of any more coupon codes or good cheap dealers please let me know LD20 on amazon is cheaper though.

    You guys recommend the tk20 over the ld20?

    More suggestions are welcomed.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic duboost's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    here's a list of coupon codes

    Between the LD20 and TK20, if it were my only light, I'd probably go with the LD20 just because it's more versatile since it has more modes and is a smaller light. Either will make your friend's X5 look dim though, which is what you're looking for lol

  15. #15

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by duboost View Post
    here's a list of coupon codes

    Between the LD20 and TK20, if it were my only light, I'd probably go with the LD20 just because it's more versatile since it has more modes and is a smaller light. Either will make your friend's X5 look dim though, which is what you're looking for lol
    Thanks. Whats the advantage of the TK20 over the LD20? I also heard for at least the LD20, to change modes you loosen the head, and if you loosen it too much it can come off...thats something i dont really like -__-

    Are these the best lights for my criteria?

    What about the fenix PD30 or others?
    Last edited by rydude07; 03-03-2010 at 01:40 AM.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    tk20 is built more solid, it has a warm tint emitter, it has a rubber grip on the body.

    if your also looking at the LD20, ill recommend the Quark AA-2 over it.
    option of 3 types of emitters, R5 for a wider hotspot, and brighter spill.
    R2 for more throw, Q3 (warm tint) for warm tint.

    quark also has 2 types of interfaces to choose from. regular which is exactly like the fenix LD20 interface, except it has moonlight mode which is 0.2 lumens, and will last for weeks. also has S.O.S and beacon mode. so a total of 8 different modes. 5 brightness modes plus 3 blinky modes.

    the tactical interface allows you to program of the 8 modes, any 2 modes of them, and switch back and forth with bezel tighten, or loosened. tactical version is also a foward clicky, but you lose tailstand because of the protruding switch.

    as mentioned before 4sevens.com has free shipping, is ruputable, and can get 8% off your total order.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by skyfire View Post
    tk20 is built more solid, it has a warm tint emitter, it has a rubber grip on the body.

    if your also looking at the LD20, ill recommend the Quark AA-2 over it.
    option of 3 types of emitters, R5 for a wider hotspot, and brighter spill.
    R2 for more throw, Q3 (warm tint) for warm tint.

    quark also has 2 types of interfaces to choose from. regular which is exactly like the fenix LD20 interface, except it has moonlight mode which is 0.2 lumens, and will last for weeks. also has S.O.S and beacon mode. so a total of 8 different modes. 5 brightness modes plus 3 blinky modes.

    the tactical interface allows you to program of the 8 modes, any 2 modes of them, and switch back and forth with bezel tighten, or loosened. tactical version is also a foward clicky, but you lose tailstand because of the protruding switch.

    as mentioned before 4sevens.com has free shipping, is ruputable, and can get 8% off your total order.
    Awesome I will look into that flashlight. Looks great. Would you suggest getting the tactical version or not? Also I am a bit weary of the company. I know fenix has been around a lot and their warranties are good. How about 4seven's quark?

    Anything with less modes also? Seems like an overkill...or maybe not lol. I am so new to this flashlight thing.
    Last edited by rydude07; 03-03-2010 at 02:39 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by rydude07 View Post
    Awesome I will look into that flashlight. Looks great. Would you suggest getting the tactical version or not? Also I am a bit weary of the company. I know fenix has been around a lot and their warranties are good. How about 4seven's quark?

    Anything with less modes also? Seems like an overkill...or maybe not lol. I am so new to this flashlight thing.
    I've played around with a few Quarks... I prefer the tactical version. It basically only has two levels (so it's easier to use & less confusing), but you get to program how high or low (or flashing, or whatever) you want those two levels to be.

    Personally, if I was looking for a general-use flashlight for around $50, I would probably buy a Quark Tactical 1xAA or 2xAA.

  19. #19
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by rydude07 View Post
    Awesome I will look into that flashlight. Looks great. Would you suggest getting the tactical version or not? Also I am a bit weary of the company. I know fenix has been around a lot and their warranties are good. How about 4seven's quark?

    Anything with less modes also? Seems like an overkill...or maybe not lol. I am so new to this flashlight thing.
    4Sevens is a very well respected company among the users here. They have a constant and very responsive presence on these forums, and offer no BS customer service.

    A good talking point for the quark that I have not seen mentioned is that the parts are completely interchangeable. By that I mean if you get the 2xAA model, in the future you could also purchase the AA body or the CR123 body (but NOT 2xCR123!!) and assemble the light in whichever form you think you need to run on whatever cell you choose. A VERY nice feature.

    As far as the number of modes goes, it's a personal preference. Some prefer more modes, others prefer less. The standard model offers 5 brightness modes, 3 blinky modes, and a reverse clicky to navigate through them. The tactical has the same modes, but the user programs what two modes they want and accesses them with a forward clicky. You'll have to read through the product descriptions for a more accurate summary and decide which you will like better.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by rydude07 View Post
    I also heard for at least the LD20, to change modes you loosen the head, and if you loosen it too much it can come off...thats something i dont really like
    I don't know where you heard that but that (the head falling off) has *never ever* happened to my LD20 and I've been EDCing it literally evey single day since Christmas 2009. It is true that to get the LD20 out of turbo mode you do have to loosen the head from its completely tightened down position, but the O ring is plenty snug enough and you only have to loosen it about 10 degrees counter clockwise so that the head is FAR FAR from coming off. Water will not get into the light even with the head not locked in turbo mode.

    What you heard is the furthest thing from the truth regarding the LD20 or in fact *any* high performance flashlight that requires twisting of the head to access different modes.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Locoboy5150 View Post
    I don't know where you heard that but that (the head falling off) has *never ever* happened to my LD20 and I've been EDCing it literally evey single day since Christmas 2009. It is true that to get the LD20 out of turbo mode you do have to loosen the head from its completely tightened down position, but the O ring is plenty snug enough and you only have to loosen it about 10 degrees counter clockwise so that the head is FAR FAR from coming off. Water will not get into the light even with the head not locked in turbo mode.

    What you heard is the furthest thing from the truth regarding the LD20 or in fact *any* high performance flashlight that requires twisting of the head to access different modes.
    Oh ok. I guess I heard wrong.

    I think i am leaning toward the fenix ld20 or the tk20. Any other options you guys recommend or is this the best bang for the buck along with the quark?

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Deleted
    Last edited by kaichu dento; 03-04-2010 at 05:52 PM.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

  23. #23

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by skyfire View Post
    if your also looking at the LD20, ill recommend the Quark AA-2 over it.
    option of 3 types of emitters, R5 for a wider hotspot, and brighter spill.
    R2 for more throw, Q3 (warm tint) for warm tint.
    Can you tell me more about relative size of spot between LD20 and QuarkAA^2 R5?

    I had an L2D it broke, bought LD20 to replace, but it had an even tighter hotspot, so I returned it. On paper the QuarkAA^2 seemed to have an even tighter hotspot than LD20 so I instead bought an a remaining new L2D.

    Perhaps my investigation was wrong, there are so many reviews and pictures of beams and variation of flashlight models sometimes making it hard to compare 1:1

  24. #24

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    Can you tell me more about relative size of spot between LD20 and QuarkAA^2 R5?

    I had an L2D it broke, bought LD20 to replace, but it had an even tighter hotspot, so I returned it. On paper the QuarkAA^2 seemed to have an even tighter hotspot than LD20 so I instead bought an a remaining new L2D.

    Perhaps my investigation was wrong, there are so many reviews and pictures of beams and variation of flashlight models sometimes making it hard to compare 1:1
    How long did you have your L2d before it broke? I am just wondering about the quality of the Fenix lights.

    1) Again I want a light that will last me a lifetime even after a few drops, and can be used if I havnt used it for say a year or so. (like if it sits in a cabinet without being used and used for when the electricity goes out)?

    2) No Dorcys or surefires or others that are the same price and as good as the fenix ld20 and the quarks?
    Last edited by rydude07; 03-04-2010 at 10:56 AM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    I wouldn't worry about breaking your LD20.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    What do you guys think of the pd30 or pd20 to compare?

    I do already have some duracell AA NIMH 1700 Mah rechargeable batteries...so I guess I should go for the TK or the LD right? Those batteries would be good in these fenix right? and you wouldnt go for the TK11 or TK 12? Would i notice the difference between say 180 lumens and 235?

    I think since because I have rechargeable batteries, I wouldnt mind using the higher modes more, and care less about battery life ( i dont want it to be sucky of course), so maybe the TK12 would be good? They are much more expensive than $50 though...but would the extra lumen be worth it for cool factor?
    OHh i just noticed the TK11 and 12 dont use AA -____- Any other flashlights like the tk11 and 12 in brightness use AA? lol

    The Tk 20 has less lumens than the LD20...why is it brighter?

    (seems that these batteries at least when used in my xbox controllers dont last that long -__-)
    Last edited by rydude07; 03-04-2010 at 05:17 PM.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Kevin1322's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    I have really come to love the Solarforce L2. Can't guarantee it will last your whole life, but who wants a 30 year old light that can't be upgraded...especially as fast as technology is moving. This thread has tons of info on them: "Show Your Solarforce" thread yet. It can be seen here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=228693

    The great thing about Solarforce L2s is that you can get a good quality light for $20 then put whatever P60 drop in you want from anywhere from $15-$90 depending on what you want (good XP-E for throw, 3 level, pushing 250 lumens for less than $20). Their are numerous ways to customize your light or upgrade it, especially the light output, which is a big one for me. As fast as the LED technology is growing, it makes sense to me to be able to upgrade the light down the road with out having to buy a whole new light each time. Plus you can have different drop ins to use depending if you want a huge amount of lumens or better run time, throw or flood, or a mixture of all. It can use CR123x2 (L2m only needs one), RCR123x2, 1x18650, or 2xAA if you use a small extension. This is what is making this light so popular. A quality light (maybe not a primium, depending on who you ask, but doesn't have the premium price tag either), with a huge amount of options and upgradability. Check it out. If you want to buy one there are places on line. I will be glad to recommend some places should you decide to go that way. Just PM me. Oh, and did I mention it comes in 3 different colors in case you don't want black?

    P.S. This is a long thread. My list of Solarforce L2s is on page 27 post #781, seen here http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...228693&page=27
    You will notice different switches, clips, lengths, heads, bezels, P60 drop ins, a serious throw head, a lamp head, and every piece is interchangable with other L2 lights.
    Sometimes we don't get what we pray for. Sometimes we get much more.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by rydude07 View Post
    ... and can be used if I havnt used it for say a year or so. (like if it sits in a cabinet without being used and used for when the electricity goes out)? ...
    vs.:

    Quote Originally Posted by rydude07 View Post
    ... I do already have some duracell AA NIMH 1700 Mah rechargeable batteries...
    Given that you seem to want a single flashlight, your two statements conflict - NiMH aren't the best for for a flashlight that might not be used in a year, even LSD ones may not be there when you need them.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    OH NIMH isnt good for that? What about lithium AA batteries?
    I mean NIMH should work right, just not at a high level?

    Is it only the CR123 that has a shelf life of 10 years?

  30. #30

    Default Re: Recommendations for a new flashlight.

    I did some more research and saw the JETBeam JET-I PRO v3. No one recommends it? I like how its small but super bright. The LD20 may be a bit long?

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