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Thread: Looking for the best dog walking light

  1. #1

    Default Looking for the best dog walking light

    Brand new forum member here, I have been looking through posts for the past couple of days looking for the best light to use for walking the dog.

    I bought a couple of Quarks last week and already feel the addiction taking hold.

    I am looking for any suggestions and thoughts on my list of potential lights for my dog walking chore.

    The features I think are well suited to my task, somewhat in order of importance:

    Floody Beam (though I would not mind decent throw being available)
    Bright 500+ Lumens (due to light being lost with floody beam).
    Accepts rechargeable cells (light used every day up to an hour).
    As light weight as possible
    Short is better than long (so I can fit in coat pocket)
    Neutral color (my Quarks are neutral and I like the color)


    Of course, reliability is very important as well.

    My short list (based on manufacturer's info and all the reviews I could find in the forums):

    EagleTac M3C4 XP-G R5
    EagleTac M3C4 SST-50 Neutral
    Sunwayman 40C
    Sunwayman 40A
    ITP Light A6 Polestar
    Fenix TK45
    Olight M30


    A couple of the lights on my list have a diffuser available. I have seen an indoor/outdoor beam tests of M2C4 with the diffuser and it looks like it would provide enough of a nice flood for walking, with the option of using the light without the diffuser for other uses (or if the dog runs off). Does anyone have any experience with how usable a diffuser on the M3C4/M2C4, or the M30 would be for outside walking?

    I am prepared to go either AA or 18650 rechargables. Since I have a couple of 2 cell CR123Quarks, so I am tempted to go the 18650 route and use them in the Quarks as well.

    Here is what I consider to be pros and cons of each light. Please offer and opinions/advice/experience you may have with the lights (not that the Lumen rating is based on the manufacturer, may not be accurate):


    EagleTac M3C4
    XP-G R5 - 1000 Lumen
    2 x 18650
    16.5 oz (estimated with cells)
    6.2 Inches long

    Pros
    If diffuser acceptable for flood walking use, combines flood and good throw options.
    Brightest light on list

    Cons
    If diffuser is not a viable option, may have too much throw
    I understand that this light is not compatible with flat top 18650 cells (can this be modded?)
    Quality issues with EagleTac??
    Not neutral
    Heavier light


    EagleTac M3C4
    SST-50 Neutral - 1000 Lumen
    2 x 18650
    16.5 oz (estimated with cells)
    6.2 Inches long

    Pros
    If diffuser acceptable for flood walking use, combines flood and ok throw options.
    Neutral beam

    Cons
    Not sure is this light is currently available
    Seems to be a question on the boards if this light produces anywhere near rated output
    I understand that this light is not compatible with flat top 18650 cells (can this be modded?)
    Quality issues with EagleTac??
    Heavy light


    Sunwayman 40C
    MC-E - 630 Lumens
    2 x 18650
    12.7 oz (estimated with cells)
    6.1 Inches long

    Pros
    Very good build quality.
    Good combination of flood and throw?

    Cons
    No diffuser
    Not neutral


    Sunwayman 40A
    MC-E - 500 Lumens
    4 x AA
    12.2 oz (estimated with cells)
    5.7 Inches long

    Pros
    Very good build quality.
    Good combination of flood and throw?
    Shortest physical length

    Cons
    No diffuser
    Not neutral
    Not as bright as others
    Shortest run time


    ITP Light A6 Polestar
    MC-E - 700 Lumens
    6 x AA
    13.1 oz (estimated with cells)
    6.9 Inches long

    Pros
    Good combination of flood and throw?
    Least expensive

    Cons
    No diffuser
    Not neutral
    Long physical length


    Fenix TK45
    XP-G LED R5 - 760 Lumens
    8 x AA
    19 oz (estimated with cells)
    8" length

    Pros
    Good combination of flood and throw?

    Cons
    No diffuser
    Not neutral
    Heaviest light
    Long physical length


    Olight M30
    MC-E - 700 Lumens
    2 x 18500
    8.2 oz (estimated with cells)
    7.0 Inches length (no extender)

    Pros
    If diffuser acceptable for flood walking use, combines flood and good throw options.
    Lightest
    Can use extender and 18650 cells for more run time

    Cons

    If diffuser is not a viable option, not enough flood
    Long physical length
    Not neutral



    Are there any other lights I should be considering?

    I think my decision comes down to whether a diffuser can give me the combination I want. If so, I am leaning toward the M3C4 XP-G R5 assuming that I can get AW 18650 cells to work in the battery holder and EagleTac is making a quality light.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you have.
    Last edited by gerlin; 10-10-2010 at 08:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Paul6ppca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    electrolumens edc is a great dog walking light

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Free's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    I am kind of partial to the M30 if you are going to be transitioning to rechargeables. It is a bit long, but easily slips in the back pocket, and has a nice clip as well. I am not sure what your reason is for needing a shorter light??

    My second choice, if you want to stick with AA's would be the TK45

    Both of the above have really nice features, including easy switching between brightness levels, which is useful when dog walking. It is nice to run on low, and then kick up on high easily when necessary. Both are lights I choose when walking my dog, and I have a HUGE collection. However, they are usually back ups to my main light, which I think is way out of your considered range, the Wiseled 2000+ lumen rechargeable, which is THE BEST dog walking light ever!!

    BTW I have the Polestar and the EagleTac lights. I am not a fan of the EagleTac, the shape is just not comfortable in the hand to me, and it is rather cumbersome to change batteries, and I just don't use them. The Polestar is not bad, but I think the TK 45 is better, and more durable, overall just a better light.
    Last edited by Free; 10-12-2010 at 01:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    My current favorite light for walking around outside is one that happens to be quite inexpensive. I like the Solarforce L2P (body only available for <$20 shipped) plus an XPG R5 or R4 P60 lamp module (drop-in) available for about $14 or more, depending on model. This uses 1 18650 for power (or can use 2 if you add an extension tube) and thus can provide plenty of runtime. A whole range of lamp modules are available to choose from but I find a cheap XPG based drop in from DX or Solarforce (about $14) to provide very satisfactory performance.

    The slightly larger reflector that these P60 type lights use compared to the smaller AA powered EDC type lights really helps these lights perform better outside, imo.
    Various old Fenix models; Zebralight H501w_SC50w+_SC600W; LiteFlux_LF2XT, various Solarforce with XM-L drop-ins.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic iacchus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    high CRI lights make dog walking a real treat.

    I'm just sayin'
    "Give me slack or give me death (or food)."

    93 93/93

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    My main flashlight use is also for walking the dog late at night. As I might be out at 2am or so, I thought my best recourse would be something with some size that could be used for defensive purposes, if needed. (Sorry, but a "tactical" strike bezel on a 5" flashlight does nothing for me). Truth is, the dog (a pit) is better protection than any flashlight is going to be.
    The next thing I realized is that I needed a 2 mode light. Half of my walk is on well lit streets, the other half is on pitch black streets, so different requirements.
    I also learned late one night that I need something bright enough to get the attention of the occasional imbibed driver.
    And last of all, after trying many lights out, I determined that the LED/setup that best suited my needs was a P7. It seems that once your night vision is acclimated, almost anything with too much of a hot spot destroys it. And while walking the dog, I found it much more beneficial to have a wide ranging flood of light, than being able to see a bird in a tree at 100 yards.
    Unfortunately, my budget didn't permit too expensive a light, but it turned out that the light that filled all my requirements, was a $35-$40 MTE P7 2 mode. So far, so good.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Are those lights really 1000 lumens? I ask because I have only limited experience with Surefire lights and their top light is I believe 500 lumens. I think some lights are less than accurate in their lumens rating? I was going to suggest a Surefire G2X Pro if you can put the rear cap that lets you press partially for low and press harder for high output. The low would light your path and the high would be available if needed.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Quote Originally Posted by iacchus View Post
    high CRI lights make dog walking a real treat.

    I'm just sayin'
    For the accurate color rendition of the 'leavings,' no doubt......

  9. #9
    Flashaholic iacchus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicago X View Post
    For the accurate color rendition of the 'leavings,' no doubt......
    Heh, no.

    I live in the swamp. There are all manner of beasties that me and the Husky happen upon.

    The high CRI is just more fun when spotting whatever might be rustling around the marsh or calling from the trees.
    It might not be the lumen champ, but when the other brightest light source is the moon, it is more than enough.
    "Give me slack or give me death (or food)."

    93 93/93

  10. #10

    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Quote Originally Posted by iacchus View Post
    Heh, no.

    I live in the swamp. There are all manner of beasties that me and the Husky happen upon.

    The high CRI is just more fun when spotting whatever might be rustling around the marsh or calling from the trees.
    It might not be the lumen champ, but when the other brightest light source is the moon, it is more than enough.
    LOL, I know what you mean. I used to live on the edge of the Atchafalaya basin, and the swamp has some crazy critters.

    To the OP: I have the TK40 and the A6 Polestar , and I find myself carrying the Polestar much more often. It fits the hand and rear jeans pocket better than the TK40, and the floody light is excellent for the dog-walking duties.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    at least one of my dog walks is in the dark every day and i primarily use a malkoff MD2 with an M61. 260 lumens does it for me in a small and long lasting package.

    if that doesn't do it for you, you might consider the malkoff wildcat--fits your requirements to a T--more than 500 lumens, floody, takes rechargeables, two brightness levels, and on top of that is a bulletproof light.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    If you want something with a decently bright floody beam, runs on 1x18650 and isn't too big you might look at Shiningneam's MG p-Rocket.

    If you want to try different emitters then a P60-compatible host that you can swap different drop-ins will be more versatile over the long term. I like my Solarforce hosts.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    my vote for Fenix TK45

  14. #14

    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Thank you to everyone that has offered their thoughts, it looks like i have a few more options to explore.

    A question to those of you with TK45... It is quite a bit heavier than most of the other lights, does this bother any of you, or does it feel "right" in the hand? Also, will it fit in a coat pocket? Where I walk part of time I will have street lights and part is in off the street, so I think I would want to be able to put the lights away.

    Thanks again for your suggestions.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    I just ordered a TK45, I'm a dog walker as well.

    I don't have it yet but if you're still in the dark when it arrives I'll try to help answer some of the questions.

    The main reasons I bought the TK45 over the TK40, TK30 ... etc. is the availability of cells (everything I own runs on the same battery now) and what appears to be a longer run time in each mode (based on specs) than comparable lights.

  16. #16

    Thumbs up Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Try Peak LED Lights
    Under Law Enforcement Lights
    Night Patrol Series
    First Responder Series

    Thanks
    Bob
    -- RMSK, INC. --
    1-502-327-0135

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Have you considered the Olight M21:
    500 lumens
    floody beam
    (2) CR123 or (1) 18650
    5.7" long

  18. #18

    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Quote Originally Posted by doubloon View Post
    {snip}...The main reasons I bought the TK45 over the TK40, TK30 ... etc. is the availability of cells (everything I own runs on the same battery now) and what appears to be a longer run time in each mode (based on specs) than comparable lights.

    Tk45 and TK40 both take 8 x AA batteries. TK30 is CR123- and 18650-compatible.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    I have the A6 Polestar and the length isn't really a problem. The body is about as thick as a C-cell maglite, so it's pretty comfortable to hold and the beam is a nice broad flood with decent throw due to the sheer amount of light it puts out. Keep in mind that with all those lumen ratings you have, take away 30% for actual OTF lumens. The Olight M30 can be thought of as a better built version of the A6. ITP is owned by Olight and the A6 and M30 use the same reflector and LED so the beam profile is the same. The A6 takes 6 batteries though and charging them can take a while using the stock Eneloop 4-cell charger. Something to keep in mind with the high-battery count options. I like my A6, but it's definitely not the best made light on your list. A good option if price is of primary concern.
    The EagleTacs might be a bit large for the task. I've read people say that both the grip is comfortable and uncomfortable, so it's unique shape seems very subjective.
    The Olight M21 as suggested might also serve you well. Lower output than the others, but it's a floody light and smaller than the others. Just check the runtime on high to make sure it meets your runtime needs.
    The Sunway models might be a good choice too if you don't mind the cost (I think they're a bit pricier no?). Most any light with an MC-E will have a pretty floody beam (except for the Jetbeam M1X). I really like the beam of the MC-E LED myself. It makes enough light to have decent throw but still floody enough to see most everything around me.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Quote Originally Posted by gerlin View Post
    Thank you to everyone that has offered their thoughts, it looks like i have a few more options to explore.

    A question to those of you with TK45... It is quite a bit heavier than most of the other lights, does this bother any of you, or does it feel "right" in the hand? Also, will it fit in a coat pocket? Where I walk part of time I will have street lights and part is in off the street, so I think I would want to be able to put the lights away.

    Thanks again for your suggestions.
    I just got a TK45 for use at work. I was surprised at how small and light it is, but I'm used to carrying around a 3D Maglite all night. The TK45 fits in my front pants pocket well enough. It sticks out a little, but doesn't fall out at all. I ordered a Maxpedition holster for it, but to be honest I think its on the verge of being too big/heavy to be comfortable as a belt hanger. We'll see I guess. It easily fits in my coat pocket......but that's a big, cold, Canadian night shift, work type coat.

    The light is pretty floody, so it doesn't appear to be too bright or throw very far. But when I get it to a place that has no outside lights around it's amazing at the solid wall of light that it puts out. My old mag would light up a 10ft section of hanger door at 150ft, the TK45 lights up the whole hanger!

    On the plus side it never seems to even get warm, batteries are lasting longer than I thought they would under real world use, and the mode switching setup is very nice. Having the buttons on the side of the light is great while holding the light underhand (like when walking a dog).

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    500+ lumens, 1 hour runtime, short, and light weight? a P60 host with SST or linger special drop-in would do fine. my oveready C2 with nailbender SST-50 or SST-90 with AW2900 battery fits that.

    the SST-90 drop-in is a super flood light. incredibly smooth beam, and plenty bright. The SST-50 drop-in is also plently bright, maybe better runtime, throws surprisingly well, and still has a bright spill, with a smooth beam. My NB SST-90 3000k is warm tint, and my SST-50 4500k is neutral tint. but the beam of the nailbender SST-50 is really great all-around. I personally prefer warm tint more. Also, nailbender makes a 2x XP-G drop-in called "linger special" which really floods, putting out at least 500 lumens! for only $45. and you have your options for tint!

    my suggestion, get yourself a oveready host, (I know, its costly, But I dont regret mine one bit, and actually thinking of buying another). but if your on a budget, which we can all understand, a solarforce L2P for about $20 will be fine, and it will readily accept 18650 li-ion. (which is the best rechargeable option if you want bright, runtime, and size).

    I like surefire and solarforce hosts because there are many available parts and options for them. I sold my friend a olight M20 almost a year ago, his switch is acting funny now, and olight has not responsded to my email yet. if this was a solarforce or surefire, I could have easily replaced the switch by now. and since I sold him the olight m20. I feel partly responsible about his light malfuctioning. But I cant really help him, besides suggesting another light.

    oh! another thing, 500 lumens for walking your dog? your gonna be blinding your dog, and lighting up half the block. just saying I live in a major city and 500 lumens will draw alot of attention.
    good luck!
    Last edited by skyfire; 10-14-2010 at 12:52 AM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Quote Originally Posted by skyfire View Post
    ...
    oh! another thing, 500 lumens for walking your dog? your gonna be blinding your dog, and lighting up half the block. just saying I live in a major city and 500 lumens will draw alot of attention.
    good luck!
    I was curious about that too...?

    But it would make sense if you lived in a more rural area. If I went strolling at night with 500lumens bouncing off the pavement I can be assured I would get some odd looks.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* ^Gurthang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Have you considered using TWO lights?? A flood beam XPG in one hand and a XRE thrower in the other. Also fills the flashaholic "two is one and one is none" mantra...
    ^G When I reply, threads die....

  24. #24
    Flashaholic vudoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    I had the Eagletac M2XC4 and this thing had crazy throw but quickly put on the diffuser and it was all flood.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    im positive the dog doesnt care as long as he gets out

    500 otf lumens to walk a dog !!??




    he might like this tho

    http://www.keepdoggiesafe.com/collar...FQwDbAodQ2ROLQ
    Last edited by waddup; 10-14-2010 at 08:12 AM.
    If and when the the big dookie hits the fan, and global chaos ensues, i want a couple of quality AA lights within reach.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    I was thinking that the option of having 500 lumens would be a good idea, especially if I used a diffuser. I assume that greatly reduces the perceived output of the light (though I may be wrong).

    My thought was that I would likely use the medium (or even low) output of the light most of the time, though I would like to have more power available if I feel the need for any reason.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Check out the McLeash accessory for McGizmo's lights. It is a leash adapter with a 1/4" thread (just like a camera tripod mount). The light itself becomes a "T-Grip" for the leash! Brilliant!!!

  28. #28

    Default Re: Looking for the best dog walking light

    Quote Originally Posted by gerlin View Post
    I was thinking that the option of having 500 lumens would be a good idea, especially if I used a diffuser. I assume that greatly reduces the perceived output of the light (though I may be wrong).

    My thought was that I would likely use the medium (or even low) output of the light most of the time, though I would like to have more power available if I feel the need for any reason.
    very reasonable thinking in my opinion

    so you need a very bright light, with modes,


    only about 20 EXCELLENT lights to choose from, good luck
    If and when the the big dookie hits the fan, and global chaos ensues, i want a couple of quality AA lights within reach.

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