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Thread: What makes HDS lights so good? Low lumens & quite expensive for their size.

  1. #91
    Flashaholic* Oztorchfreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes HDS lights so good? Low lumens & quite expensive for their size.

    My original question when I started this thread was.

    What makes HDS lights so good?

    It has turned into "Who hates HDS lights?"


    I hardly ever see any constructive posts on most threads on CPF and if there is one, some idiot either starts a slanging match or is just a real turkey of a TROLL!!

    CPF is supposed to be one of the most family orientated Forums around but I wonder about that at times.
    ONCE YOU START COLLECTING LIGHTS THERE IS NO END IN SIGHT.

  2. #92
    Flashaholic Kevinkw1's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes HDS lights so good? Low lumens & quite expensive for their size.

    Quote Originally Posted by thaugen View Post
    Sorry...I meant to say Battery Station, not Battery Junction...
    Heys thaugen, thks for info ! I ordered a e120 (only model in stock), hope it survives plane trip! Was $99. When it arrives, I'll compare it to my jetbeam rrt01, sunwayman v10r ti+, quark 123.

  3. #93
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    Default Re: What makes HDS lights so good? Low lumens & quite expensive for their size.

    You are welcome Keinkw1. I am sure you will enjoy your new HDS 120! In my opinion the only way to really understand what makes these lights so good is to hold one in your hand, press the switch and watch the dark run in fear!

  4. #94
    Flashaholic Erzengel's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes HDS lights so good? Low lumens & quite expensive for their size.

    Back to one of Your original questions. I think it is the wrong approach to judge the price of a flashlight by the Lumen/Dollar ratio. If You compare the Zebralight SC600 and SC80 and SC31, You will see that the output determines only a small part of the price. Most of the value of a flashlight is determined by the mechanical quality and the design of the driver. Pushing 3 Amps to the LED instead of 1 Amp just requires more heatsinking mass. Developing a reliable and efficient programmable driver needs a lot more effort. The 170 and 200 lumens models are very expensive, therefore many of us are modding the lower output ones with more powerful LEDs. It gives You more power at a lower price.

  5. #95

    Default Re: What makes HDS lights so good? Low lumens & quite expensive for their size.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oztorchfreak View Post
    My original question when I started this thread was.

    What makes HDS lights so good?

    It has turned into "Who hates HDS lights?"


    I hardly ever see any constructive posts on most threads on CPF and if there is one, some idiot either starts a slanging match or is just a real turkey of a TROLL!!

    CPF is supposed to be one of the most family orientated Forums around but I wonder about that at times.
    All families are dysfunctional to an extent. Dry it up now, we're in public.
    - SureFire 6PD / Malkoff M60-Q5 / Z59 Clicky
    - HDS EDC-R1S-200
    - Fenix PD30-R4

  6. #96
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    Default Re: What makes HDS lights so good? Low lumens & quite expensive for their size.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oztorchfreak View Post
    I hardly ever see any constructive posts on most threads on CPF and if there is one, some idiot either starts a slanging match ... is supposed to be one of the most family orientated Forums around but I wonder about that at times.
    I think this is actually one of the more constructive forums on the internet. Go visit the forum of a popular MMORPG if you'd like a comparison of how bad it can be.

    As for your original post:
    1. The HDS lights are exceedingly well made. They are arguably over-built, so this costs more. If you are the type of person who believes "there is no such thing as over-built", then this is a good thing. The agressive knurling on the exterior makes them easy to hold.
    2. The HDS lights have a great deal of functionality and user programmability. This makes them VERY popular with people on this forum who like to tweak and customize their lights. Don't think your HDS has the perfect UI for you? Change it.
    To me, these two features are worth the money.

    Downside to these lights:
    1. The robust build and size of these lights might make them slightly big for some pocket carry applications. They are small lights - they are pocketable lights - but they are, to my mind, the upper end of what someone could realistically pocket carry without having someone ask "Is that a flashlight in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
    2. Not everyone is comfortable dealing with the complexities of programming the light - there is an argument for designing a light to a specific task, and having ONLY those carefully seletected options available. Why should the end user do the designer's job? (The default settings for these lights are pretty sensible, BTW.)

    I think of the HDS lights as sort of the swiss army knife of flashlights - they are sort of the ultimate small general purpose tool. Compared with surefire, they offer similar quality in my opinion, and similar service and support. SF offers a larger number of purpose built models, and is a much larger organization.

    The most similar light I own compared to an HDS is a SF E1B. I like the HDS much, much, much better than the E1B. I do not like the E1B - it is the only SF light I own that has disappointed me. (It is a fine light - just not for me.):
    1. I hate lights that come on high first. I understand why some need and want that feature - but it is not a good match for me, personally.
    2. I could deal with issue #1 - but I think the E1B is too smooth and hard to grip. I have big clumsy ham-hands. The E1B is a slippery little fish, and I drop it all the friggin' time. I have NEVER dropped my HDS. (It's fine if you argue this is my problem, not SF's - I'd even agree with you. Still doesn't change my opinion.)

    The HDS lights are just superb in my opinion, if the HDS light was the only light you carried, you'd not go wrong. As for the price - you get what you pay for. You can spend less and get a great quality light. However my opinion is the HDS lights are not expensive for what they are - there is a reason they are priced as they are.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #97
    Flashaholic* Oztorchfreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes HDS lights so good? Low lumens & quite expensive for their size.

    I think I am gradually becoming a HDS fan after reading more on this Company and its products.

    I just don't know whether I would buy a clicky or a rotary version.

    They sound very reliable and robust to cover most jobs that come up.

    I use an ITP A3 EOS flashlight 80 lumen max with Med and Lo as well.

    Could you carry a HDS light without noticing it too much more than a AAA pocket light?

    Because I hardly know that my ITP A3 is there.

    It cost me $22 three years ago and no problems.

    So it is $22 against around $200 for a HDS 200 lumen approx.

    It better be worth the extra money.
    ONCE YOU START COLLECTING LIGHTS THERE IS NO END IN SIGHT.

  8. #98
    *Flashaholic* nbp's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes HDS lights so good? Low lumens & quite expensive for their size.

    If you are accustomed to carrying a 1xAAA light, the HDS will seem quite large. That said, I prefer the 1x123 format for EDC, and I like the Clicky as it has a variety of clip options and when clipped on jeans' pockets, I don't really notice it much.

  9. #99
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes HDS lights so good? Low lumens & quite expensive for their size.

    Let's put it this way...

    You use a cleaver for chopping meat, and you use a fillet knife for slicing. Different tools for different occasions. You won't be disappointed with HDS lights, at least not for me anyway. I use different lights for different occasions and needs.

    I am quite certain that HDS would outperform your ITP A3 anytime if size is not the main constrain. I carry mine in a Kydex holster from HDS. I am sure there are many other nice and wonderful holsters around but I kind of like the HDS Kydex.
    Last edited by pjandyho; 05-02-2012 at 01:59 PM.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  10. #100
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    Default Re: What makes HDS lights so good? Low lumens & quite expensive for their size.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oztorchfreak View Post
    I use an ITP A3 EOS flashlight 80 lumen max with Med and Lo as well.

    Could you carry a HDS light without noticing it too much more than a AAA pocket light?

    Because I hardly know that my ITP A3 is there.
    Heh, not a chance. The HDS light is substantially bigger than the ITP A3 AAA. It's a single cell CR123A format light, and it is average for that format. (It is about the same size as a SF E1B, but a good bit smaller than a SF L1, and quite a bit bigger than a T1A.) It's quite large compared to the ITP, though. I keep mine clipped to a pocket in my cargo pants - I don't notice it. I believe you could probably carry one in your pocket, depending on what else you keep in there, but it is definitely not in the same class as a keychain light. The HDS EDC is a solid little slug - that also might limit carrying it in a suit jacket or slacks - if you are wearing a garment where you need to not carry anything substantial in your pockets or it will show, well, the HDS will show. (The SF T1A is more easily pocketable, imo, and there's no comparison in that regard to the ITP.)

    For me, EDC'ing the HDS light is a total non-issue - I carry it continuously. When I wear a suit, though, I switch to a smaller light. I'm sure others who wear a suit more often than I do can comment on this better.

    It cost me $22 three years ago and no problems.

    So it is $22 against around $200 for a HDS 200 lumen approx.

    It better be worth the extra money.
    The ITP feels flimsy to me. I think the switching is somewhat funky, and I found it difficult to operate one handed. I have big hands, and am somewhat clumsy, so it's possible I'd never be happy with *any* AAA form factor light. The aluminum in the body of the ITP seems thin to me. (The tradeoff is that it is tiny and light.) I am not crazy about the mode selections on the ITP - the low is way too high, in my opinion. If my life were going to depend on the reliability of the ITP, I'd feel seriously under-prepared. With the HDS, I'd have no worries at all. How "worth it" that stuff is only you can answer. I'm not trying to bad-mouth the ITP lights. They are a good deal, they work well, and they have a great form-factor.

    I like stuff that feels solid. That matters to some, not to all. I think the HDS feels a LOT more solid than the ITP, and so that is worth a lot to me. Whether it is or should be worth it to you, only you can really decide. I can honestly say that in my opinion, there is no comparison between these two lights in terms of quality - the HDS is much, much, much, much, much, much better. I feel very confident that any mishap that will damage the HDS light is also one that I am unlikely to survive myself. The HDS light just has that "quality" feel to it - everything about it is perfect, nothing is either mechanically too loose, or too tight or sloppy. If you don't know what I'm talking about - well, maybe this isn't the right light for you. (Like I said, not everyone notices or cares about this stuff.)

    However, if a AAA keychain sized light is the biggest thing you can realistically EDC, then the HDS may not be for you. It is not a huge light - but it is not tiny either.

    Hope that helps.

  11. #101
    Flashaholic* OCD's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes HDS lights so good? Low lumens & quite expensive for their size.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oztorchfreak View Post
    I think I am gradually becoming a HDS fan after reading more on this Company and its products.

    I just don't know whether I would buy a clicky or a rotary version.

    They sound very reliable and robust to cover most jobs that come up.

    I use an ITP A3 EOS flashlight 80 lumen max with Med and Lo as well.

    Could you carry a HDS light without noticing it too much more than a AAA pocket light?

    Because I hardly know that my ITP A3 is there.

    It cost me $22 three years ago and no problems.

    So it is $22 against around $200 for a HDS 200 lumen approx.

    It better be worth the extra money.
    This sounds exactly how I was...before I purchased my HDS clicky. My AAA is a stainless Maratac. From the day I got it, I EDC both my HDS and my Maratac. The Maratac mostly serves as a back up light (or as a 2nd light in the event I'm in situation with a friend who may need a light also) and rides in my pocket with whatever else is in there. I used to carry the HDS clipped in my left front pocket of my khakis. I purchased a Kytex holster which is just barely larger than the HDS itself and love it! I don't think I could go back to carrying the HDS in a pocket again.

    To your question of Clicky or Rotary...my decision was made largely due to the fact that the rotary doesn't have a clip and slightly on the clicky ultimately being tougher (although I have no doubt the rotary will handle anything thrown at it.) But now that I have a holster and there's word of the rotary's getting a clip, I may be purchasing a rotary sometime down the road.

    As stated by others, each light serves a specific role that the other can't fill...like the Maratac gets used often with the clip reversed and clipped on the bill of my hat (no way HDS is doing this!) and the HDS goes from super low to stupid bright and anywhere in between and I know it will work anytime, every time.

    I say if you're even considering an HDS, get one. If you're worried about the cost, don't buy anything else similar...save until you can comfortably purchase one and you won't regret it. Even if you only spend $99 on a 120 clicky, it would be money well spent. My HDS clicky has forced my Jetbeam RRT-0 to sitting unused on my dresser.

    I got the 200 clicky right out of the gate and as I said earlier, I see a rotary in my future. Heck, I've even contemplated ordering a 120 just because I think its a great light for only $99 and it would be nice to have as a back-up, spare, there-if-needed light.
    You Can't Fix STUPID!

  12. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBenchmark View Post
    The ITP feels flimsy to me. I think the switching is somewhat funky, and I found it difficult to operate one handed. I have big hands, and am somewhat clumsy, so it's possible I'd never be happy with *any* AAA form factor light. The aluminum in the body of the ITP seems thin to me. (The tradeoff is that it is tiny and light.) I am not crazy about the mode selections on the ITP - the low is way too high, in my opinion. If my life were going to depend on the reliability of the ITP, I'd feel seriously under-prepared. With the HDS, I'd have no worries at all. How "worth it" that stuff is only you can answer. I'm not trying to bad-mouth the ITP lights. They are a good deal, they work well, and they have a great form-factor.

    I like stuff that feels solid. That matters to some, not to all. I think the HDS feels a LOT more solid than the ITP, and so that is worth a lot to me.
    For the record, I accidentally dropped a Countycomm AAA aluminum light (manufactured by ITP) on a tile floor, and the head snapped off above the threads. Really surprised me, for less than a 3' drop.


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    Last edited by somnambulated; 05-03-2012 at 01:19 AM.

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