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Thread: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

  1. #1

    Default Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    hey all -

    just discovered this forum. Can anyone recommend me a tough flashlight. When I'm on wiring jobs, I've been using my standard d AA Maglite for years.

    It's time to splurge and get myself a Surefire. I was at a local sporting goods store and those flashlights are built like a tank ! Anyhow, I was checking out the E1E/E2E for daily use.

    Just checking for some feedback. I know after this first purchase, there is going to be many more flashlight purchases to follow. Guess I found a new hobby

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    The E2e and E1e are built very well, and should hold up to anything you dish out on the job.

    How long to you use the light each day? If you use it a good bit, you should consider getting a KL1 led head for the E2e. Or even the SureFire L1. These will give you alot more runtime. Although alot less throw.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    Welcome to CPF jsoto!

    Will you be using the light for close up applications, or will you be needing throw with your light?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    Close up and throw.

    Close up when I'm *fishing* wire out of a 1/2 hole and throw when I'm up in the ceiling, in a tight spot but I need to see 8-20 feet away

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    well i wouldn't really call 8 to 20 feet throw.. but maybe you'd like a Streamlight L2.. it switches from LEDs to a xenon beam.. costs between $20-30..

  6. #6

    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    The A2-HA-WH might be just what you are looking for. It has a two stage, push button lock out tail cap. At first only the three white LED's are activated. This level of light is great for fishing, camping, hiking, et.. Push farther and a 50 lumen incandescent bulb is also activated. This actually out throws the E2E. Both levels can also be activated by turning the tail cap.
    oldgrandpajack

  7. #7

    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    heh heh - I think I'm in flashlight heaven. The A2 looks like a Perfect Outdoor Camping Flashlight - Perfect for those 2 Week Hikes

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    Jsoto,
    If your doing electrical work, I recommend the G2 or G2Z. Both are made of nitrolon and will NOT conduct electricity. The G series light may be overkill though, since it is an incand. only light putting out 60 lumens. If you want something about the size of a mini m@g, you could go with a Surefire A2. It is metal and will conduct electricity, but is in a class all of its own. It has three leds for low level up close light and a regulated incandescent lamp for real power and throw that won't turn yellow as the batts die. It is truly a jack of all trades light.

    You could opt for a Streamlight as they are cost effective and are nice lights, but to me, getting the Streamlight twin task would be settling for something rather than getting the best. The Surefire A2 out classes the Streamlight twin tasks. (OK, start flaming you guys [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]).

    If 8-20 feet is all you'll ever need, you could be satisfied with an E2e and getting a KL1 head for it. You just swap head to go from a 60 lumen incand to a 20 lumen (I think, I don't remember, all of my KL1's are modded) LED.

    If you're used to carrying the mini m@g, the A2 sounds like its for you. I made the mistake of selling mine and have regretted it everyday since then.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* V8TOYTRUCK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    If you don't mind the cost of CR123s in the Surefires then go with the A2.

    If you want something thats pretty bright, durable, and rechargeable. I would get the Streamlight Polystinger. Great for working arond wires because its plastic. Bulbs and other parts are cheaper as well. I actually found a Polystinger in an A/C duct at my old work! Got a replacement lens for $3.00, and it was just like new.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    If you are clumsy and drop your light, then go LED. These pass the drop test.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    jsoto
    If you want to upgrade your old MiniMag there are a few options. First there are MadMax & BadBoy sandwiches which are one watt luxeons. Also mineral glass lens & Kroll switch. These are available here
    http://anlighten.com/shop/default.php
    Then there is the Opalec NewBeam LED module.
    http://www.flashlightking.com/
    I also recommend the Surefire A2,E2e, E1e/KL1,L4,ARC LSH-P,ARC AAA.
    If you haven't already you might want to check out Quickbeams site
    http://flashlightreviews.home.att.net/index1.html


  12. #12

    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    Wish I could remember who posted this. Someone posted that HA3 is nonconductive. I experienced this fact myself when I tried to use two of DSpeck's HA3 battery extenders on one flashlight. Not even a flicker from a KL4. Changed to one extender and it work fine. The male threads on the extenders are HA3 and and that is interrupting the circuit. Now I am using brass extenders as a bridge between the HA extender and the flashlight body. Now, admittedly, this is only 6 volts, so someone would have to back me up on higher voltages.
    oldgrandpajack

    PS: Get the Z60 Lanyard to go with it.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    Jack,
    Nice catch and good to know. I didn't know that.

    jsoto,
    Hoghead has some good advise. I forgot about the sandwiches. I have one myself. They're great. You could contact Wayne at the sandwiche shoppe and see if he could put one together for you with an R2H or Q3J, although the over the shelf models are nice as well. The beauty of the sandwich is that, if you bang up the mini m@g it's in, you just put it into another mini m@g. It's bright and lasts a good while on a set of batts.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    jsoto-

    The Surefire series are nice, very nice.

    But for your purposes I think that the Streamlight Twin task 2L is the right pick for you.

    It will throw a decent beam to fit your need in the incandescent mode and save you on battery time when you switch to the 3-LED mode.

    It's too big for Everyday carry but not for a tool box or pouch.

    Cost is $29.99 from Bright Guy Flashlights.

    GregR

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    Ditto to Double_A's comments. Also, if your xenon fails, you still have the LED's in the Streamlight TT 2L. Streamlight lists the LED's as 28 hours run time and the xenon as 2.5 hours run time. For the money I think it's a good deal.

    Though you could go Surefire A2 and get the same features, but for more money.

    Oh skip it, just get both man. Then run like hell out of here and save your wallet. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Mike

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    If you are stuck on SF, the Surefire E2O, plenty bright and a runtime of 2 to 2.5 hours. Or the E2e and buy the MN02 lamp seperately.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    jsoto -
    I cringe at the thought of using a mini mag under the conditions you mention. I have done the same thing and and can't believe I am still alive. As for the other lights mentioned, they are all great true flashlights. The mini mag is just a toy in comparison. For attic work I use one of the 1 watt drop in modules made found at the first link that Hoghead gave you. It converts you old light into great work light that fills an attic with white light. It is regulated to give you constant brightness and you can use rechargables for practically zero upkeep.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic sigp6's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    I'm a PC tech and carry a Surefire A2 daily. I highly recommend it if you are willing to spend that kind of money - go for it! You will NOT be disappointed [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Tom

  19. #19

    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    Thanks All.

    I'm going to go for a A2 and most likely the G2 for the car. The car itself has a cheapa$$ flashlight that constantly stays charged in the glove compartment.

    Just curious.....for those that keep your flashlight in the car. Doesn't Sun kill the life of these batteries of are these so called *lithiums* no affected by heat ?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    Hi jsoto,

    What kind of wiring do you do? I am an audio/video installer and find myself in very similar situations as you do I think. I have a friend that does security/phone wiring who recently asked me to recommend a nice LED based light that would suit his needs. Like you, he needed decent throw out to maybe 50', and good side-spill for within 5'.

    I ended up getting him a Streamlight TL-2 LED. It's around the same size as a 2AA minimag, a little thicker. It throws well and isn't so bright that it blinds you for up close work. The beam is usually very white(in the ones I've seen) so works well for color rendition when doing home runs. It has good runtime and doesn't get too hot even when left on for awhile. And to top it off, it only costs about $55-60.

    Personally, I've been carrying a PM6 McModule and Arc LSL for EDC. The PM6 is a little overkill for what I need, but I like having a ridiculously bright light on me. You know, to freak people out on the job sites. The Arc is for 3'-12' work. If I wasn't such a flash-a-holic, I would probably carry the TL-2 LED instead.

    Sonic

    PS ~ that's how I came up with my name, I'm into audio.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    I do the same type work and find the L-1 to be about ideal most of the time,the L-1 and the A-2 use the same lanyard so they hang bezel down and give you enough light to maneuver and work with the light pointing at your feet.Next year we will have the LS-4 [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grinser2.gif[/img]

  22. #22

    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    Hey Sonic -

    I run an IT firm, but we're a full service shop. We specialized in network infrastructure but I usually end up pitching out a whole project with Crestrons, etc. Out here in NYC, it's always a rat's nest unless I get *blessed* and have new construction. You guys sure are a bunch of freaks [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Never even knew people modded flashlights [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] Been using Mag for years......until I found this forum [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

    Anyhow, I've used my Mini Mag for just about everything and when working in drop ceilings, or running conduit inside a elevator shaft, etc - what's been working for me is a Panasonic Lantern powered off the batteries I use for the drills. It works great, has plenty of throw and is adjustable without someone needing to hold the light where I want it.


    I have a feeling the A2 and the G2 is not going to be my only flashlight purchase this year

  23. #23

    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    jsoto--

    Welcome. Like Sonic, I carry a PM6 McModule or L4 with an Arc AAA on my keychain. I'm a computer tech but I don't usually do any wiring so I mainly need mine for closeup work like when I'm crawling around looking behind deskx and such. The L1 worked well because it had the hi/lo settings, but my L4 ousted it as EDC. The L4 really lights things up and both it and the McModule are probably overkill like Sonic mentioned, but I love having that blinding white light available to me. The L4's clip makes it handy for me because it's always at the ready. I have an E1E and Kl1 coming to me so I'll be trying that out as well as trying the TW4 combination (E1E body with KL4 head). If you're already used to carrying a minimag, then I'd recommend going with one of the aforementioned sandwich mods. The MM+Q3 is a great sandwich mod and adding a Kroll clickie switch will probably make your life a lot easier. If you can get a MM+R2 then you'd be even better off for throw (and my R2H is quite a bit whiter than my Q3).

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    jsoto,

    I hear ya. I guess I've been lucky in that my company hardly does any retrofits. New construction all the way. Mostly, we do whole house audio and custom home theater. We do a LOT of plasma TVs too, but mostly front projectors in the theaters. I really like those Crestrons! I've worked with those only once before. But I have yet to run any wire in an elevator shaft!

    Any of the lights suggested to you here will work well for you. It's more a matter of taste and preference. The A2 is a really nice light, but I've grown accustomed to the pure white light that only a good luxeon HD LED can deliver. Not the yellow of even the best incandescent or the blue/white of conventional Nichia type LEDs. And you may find that the LEDs of the A2 is just a little too dim for even close up work, and the incand. bulb is much too bright for the same distance. You might need something a little in between of those two extremes. The SF L1 is a good suggestion, but you may need a little more throw sometimes.

    I stand by my first suggestion of the TL-2 LED. Or a similar 1 watt HD LED with a reflector. If you want to carry just one light, I think it's the best way to go for our type of use. Just some of my own opinions. Like I said, it's a matter of preference.

    Sonic

    PS ~ Zen makes some good suggestions here too.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    [ QUOTE ]
    jsoto said:
    ...Just curious.....for those that keep your flashlight in the car. Doesn't Sun kill the life of these batteries of are these so called *lithiums* no affected by heat ?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Lithiums are noted for their cold weather performance but they also resist heat better than other formulations. Because of potential danger if ruptured they have several built in safety features including an auto venting system. They are also more leak resistant than other batteries. I have rarely if ever heard of a light spoiled by lithium battery leakage. Their approx 10 year shelf life and extremely low rate of auto-discharge makes it possible to store them in lights for many years. Be aware that once they are used the auto discharge rate will accelerate somewhat.

    Surefire lithium 123's, considered among the best, are now available online for $1.25 each (box of 12 for $15.00). This is startlingly low considering that you can easily pay
    $5.00 - $8.00 or more at brick & morter stores. L-91's (lithium AA's) are more expensive due to Energizer's monopoly. $2.00 each is considered an excellent price, perhaps rock bottom. There's also much info about rechargeable batteries in CPF and LiION batteries are starting to be used more frequently though I don't know how heat resistant they are.

    Brightnorm

  26. #26
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    Check out the Pila/Wolf-Eyes torches Pila GL2 (=Wolf Eyes 6TX Explorer) and GL3 (=Wolf-Eyes 9TX Raider) [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]. These have a bright xenon light on one side and 4 LEDs on the other side. You can get a rechargable Lithium version, too: Pila GL2R/GL3R // Wolf-Eyes 6T/9T

    Ok, this might be a little bit overdimensioned for your needs, but anyone can find some use in flashlights bright as hell [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Wolf-Eyes
    Pila

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    Surefire L4 would be my choice. It gives a lot of very nice WHITE light which is great for keeping your colors straight if you do any wiring jobs that have more than red black and white. Also, the LED is very resitant to shock, so is unlikely to leave you in the dark if it takes a shot while lit. Carry some spare cells and you should be fine. The A2 is great, but not nearly as white, except that you could order it with white LED's and solve that problem. You will find the light from the L4 to be smoother, and more revealing. If you are doing more close-up work, you might also take a look at the TW4 combo (E1E with KL4 head) to keep the light level a little lower. Some of these lights are actually too bright for some closeup work, and that is one benefit of the TW4 for realy close use.

    Good luck!

    David <><

  28. #28
    Flashaholic danielo_d's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a flashlight - Call all Gurus

    I used to install POS [Point of Sale, not peice of -you know what] systems. I also used to install video surveillance systems. So, ran alot of level 2 data wire. That was a few years ago way before stumbling upon CPF. Mostly used minimag, mm clones, and 2D incandescants. However, if I were still running cable now, probably use a headmounted LED light for close up work [like crimping or patching in crawlspaces].
    My 2AA LED Legend would be for medium throw. [too many times my minimag batteries pooped out or bulb burned out in mid run.] Haven't modded my minimag, yet.
    Then for throw, maybe something with an LSHD. [Don't have one, yet.] Or maybe one of my bright incandescants.
    Of course, I would carry a backup. My EDC is a dorcy AAA. That can get me to where my other light sources are in a pinch.

    If you do like your minimag, the dropin mods I hear about are great. Eliminates the bulb burnout and short runtime problem.
    There are lots of great suggestions here in this forum. these are my 1 1/2 cents worth. [not a guru, yet.]
    Danno

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