____I would like to purchase the light from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________. __x__I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.
2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :-)
____Less than $25. ____Less than $50. ____Less than $100. __x__Less than $150. ____Less than $300. ____I have no limit. ____I’m flexible, tell me what you gotJ. ____Other, please specify ________
____I want a flashlight. _x__I want a headlamp. ____I want a lantern. ____I want a dive light. ____I want a portable spotlight.
4) Flashlight-specific format/size:
____Keychain size. ____Every day carry small (2-4 inches). ____Every day carry medium (4-7 inches). ____Holster carry. ____Big enough to need its own travel caseJ. ____I don’t care. ____I don’t know. __x__N/A
5) Emitter/Light source:
____LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness) ____Incandescent (known for superior color rendition) ____HID (known for max output, but often at the expense of size)
__x__I don't know.
____I want to buy a light from a traditional mass producing manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box. __x__I would consider getting a light that is pieced together (for example a “host” or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a “drop-in” emitter from another source). Under the right circumstances, this path can provide more options to the consumer to meet specific needs, and can often be easily upgradeable as technology improves.
7) What battery type do you want to use?
____I intend to use alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D) (disclaimer, while it does not preclude all choices, these are not recommended for many of today’s most powerful lights) ____I intend to use rechargeable nickel chemistry (NiCad, NiMH, NiZn) ____I intend to use lithium primary batteries (CR123, CR2, Energizer Advanced/Ultimate Lithium AA/AAA) ____I intend to use rechargeable lithium (li-ion) chemistry. Feel free to specify a size if you know which size you want (14500, RCR123/16340, 17500, 17670, 18650, etc.) ____I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery. (Note: these choices may be very limited unless you are looking at spotlights)
__x_ Cigrette lighter outlet 12v to 14.2v DC
8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).
____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (0-10 lumens). ____I want to walk around an unlit rural area (50-150 lumens). ____I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens). ____I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens). __x__I want ridiculous amounts of lumens (800+ lumens).
9) Throw vs. Flood: At what distance will you be most likely to use this light? Select all that apply.
____Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work) ____Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement) ____5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard) ____30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard) ____50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces) __x__150+ yards (I want maximum throw possible)
10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum output).
____Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods) ____30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed) ____90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical) __x__3 hours + (I critically need this light to run on max for extended periods in between battery changes/charges).
11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.
____Not Important (A “night-stand” light). ____Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood). __x__Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box). ____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival). ____I don't care. ____I don’t know.
12) Switch Type and location (choose all that apply):
____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling). ____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights). ____I want a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only). ____I want a twisty switch (Tighten the head/tailcap to activate, and the light will stay on until the head/tailcap is loosened). ____I want a body mounted switch (near the head, like on a Maglite). ____I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today’s high end lights). ____I don't care. ____I don’t know. __x__Other, please specify__Power switch is on boat___.
13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.
_x___A simple on-off with only one output level is fine for me. ____I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.) ____I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.) ____I want a programmable light. ____I want a selector ring. ____I want a strobe mode. (Blinks to show location.) ____I want SOS mode. ____I want a beacon mode. ____I don’t care. ____I don’t know.
____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly). ____Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today’s flashlights). ____Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum) ____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive). ____I don’t care. ____I don’t know. __x__Other, please specify___Light as possible____.
15) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any below.
____Red filter (for preserving night vision). ____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________). ____Dedicated R/G/B secondary LEDs. ____“Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs) ____Pocket/belt clip ____Holster ____Wrist/Neck Lanyard ____Crenulated bezel ____Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments
I got this checklist form the "Flashlight Recommendation Checklist - Updated!!" and it said "To all new members: Feel free to copy and paste the questions below into a new thread when you are seeking advice on buying a light. It's not necessary to answer every question if you aren't sure what you want, but rather the purpose is to get you thinking about the criteria that are important to you. Also, the more answers you provide, the better the responses from experienced members will be."
So I copied it and put an X on the line and posted it in the Recommend Me a Light For... section of the forum but I think a Moderator moved it here sorry if it is in the wrong place
Maybe a custom made single SST90 or triple XML light would work????
Most headlamps around 'these parts' are for working or spelunking around. You gator hunters definitely think outside of the box. I guess that the surplus WWII airplane searchlights caused neck strain, eh?
I'm wondering if a HID light can also be adapted. 35w HID could possible be adapted. Not sure if you want a HID ballast humming along next to the brain.
The 'baseball cap' only allows so much heatsinking and mounting possibilities. You might have to step up to a 'utility' helmet.
The other option is using a smaller heatsink and a fan to cool the LED.