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Thread: First flashlight?

  1. #1

    Default First flashlight?

    I have been a correctional officer for about 4 years now and am looking for a new flashlight. Cost is not an issue. I am looking for the strongest rechargeable flashlight I can get. It needs to be a reasonable size, but not too big as I need it to fit on my duty belt and not weigh me down too much. I do a lot of work looking in dark cells and sometimes work outside the facility on night shift. What recommendations can you guys offer me? The flashlights they have here for us are little stingers and no longer hold a charge......Thanks in advance for the help

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* nbp's Avatar
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    Default



    You say cost is not an option now...wait till you find out that you can easily spend $500-$2000 on Customs around here.

    What is popular now and may serve you well if you are looking for a rechargeable option and can spend a few bucks and don't mind building a light to get exactly what you want is combining a modular host with an LED dropin of your choice and running it on lithium ion batteries like the 18650. I don't know how much light you need or runtime or beam/tint preferences, but for example, a bored Surefire 6P with a Nailbender 3 mode XM-L LED dropin running on 18650 battery would be a super light. Does that sound interesting?

    Otherwise, if you want turnkey solutions, there are many production lights nowadays from makers like Jetbeam, Sunwayman, ZebraLight, that are designed to run on li-ion batteries like the 18650, 17670, or 16340.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Check-out the Surefire R1 Lawman...and Welcome to CPF!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Do you mean actual plug in the flashlight rechargeable or uses rechargeable batteries?

  5. #5

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by youngbushcrafter View Post
    Do you mean actual plug in the flashlight rechargeable or uses rechargeable batteries?

    I like the plug in type (well at least I think so). Here at our facility, the stingers hang on chargers and have been used for probably 10 years.......they no longer hold a charge......I don't have a lot of experience in the way of flashlights. What is better in your opinion, the plug in type, or rechargeable batteries? I could see where rechargeable batteries would be a better option....I mean when the flashlight no longer is able to hold a charge, you would have to buy a new flashlight, but with the batteries, you would just have to replace the batteries once they no longer could hold a charge, am I right? I don't mind buying parts and putting together my own light, but have no idea where to go to buy the parts.....

  6. #6

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    I was thinking of something like this flashlight

    Z2X CombatLight® Single-Output LED

    LX2 LumaMax® Dual-Output LED

    I was looking at surefire because I saw them on the list on this site of must have flashlights....seems like ok prices too.
    Last edited by Norm; 05-31-2012 at 02:35 AM. Reason: Links removed.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* ^Gurthang's Avatar
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    Default Re: First flashlight?

    How about a Malkoff MD-2 w/ a Malkoff M61 and hi/lo ring? Add some 3100 mAh AW 18650 cells and a good charger and you'l have a nearly bombproof light.
    ^G When I reply, threads die....

  8. #8

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    the streamlight strion led is a good choice because it can sit on its charging base 24 7 untill ready to use as well as when the battery eventually dies you can replace it yourself

  9. #9
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    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by cradlefan View Post
    I like the plug in type (well at least I think so). Here at our facility, the stingers hang on chargers and have been used for probably 10 years.......they no longer hold a charge......I don't have a lot of experience in the way of flashlights. What is better in your opinion, the plug in type, or rechargeable batteries? I could see where rechargeable batteries would be a better option....I mean when the flashlight no longer is able to hold a charge, you would have to buy a new flashlight, but with the batteries, you would just have to replace the batteries once they no longer could hold a charge, am I right? I don't mind buying parts and putting together my own light, but have no idea where to go to buy the parts.....
    In my opinion, lights with rechargeable batteries are superior to plug in ones for the reasons you expressed and there is a far larger range of flashlights that take batteries, in that case, take a look at the Fenix TK11/12/15/21 PD30/32, Klarus XT10/11 4sevens 123(squared) Turbo X, Those are some options (dont be limited to those) to check out but its your decision!

  10. #10

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Thank you all for your responses, they are greatly appreciated. I will check out all the options and let you guys know what I chose. Thanks for the welcome!

  11. #11

    Default

    I'd recommend the Klarus XT11 or the XT2C . For police/military personnel, I think the interface of the Klarus is hard to beat. Good luck with your hunt!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

  12. #12

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    I think I am torn between the Klarus XT11 and the Fenix TK21.........

  13. #13
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    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by cradlefan View Post
    I think I am torn between the Klarus XT11 and the Fenix TK21.........
    Between those, I believe the XT11 is far more popular for LEOs. The XT11 puts out about 500ish lumens on 1x18650. Its got more flood than the TK21, but it people say it is the perfect mix of flood and throw. It also has a fantastic runtime compared to other 18650s. Buy an 18650 charger for about $30, 3000mAh 18650s are about $15-$30 each so get two or more of those and you're set! Also a great one handed user interface.

    Really can't get better unless you want extreme-throw or want to carry around a larger light.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by cradlefan View Post
    I think I am torn between the Klarus XT11 and the Fenix TK21.........
    Klarus is brighter and the strobe can be accessed with a separate button, it also has a crenelated bezel which can be used to strike an attacker (in my experience this can be very effective!), For an officer, i would say the XT-11

  15. #15

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    I think I will go grab the XT-11 today. I like it. Thanks for all the help guys! There are so many choices out there, maybe I will just have to buy multiple one's and see which one I like the most?

  16. #16

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by cradlefan View Post
    I think I will go grab the XT-11 today. I like it. Thanks for all the help guys! There are so many choices out there, maybe I will just have to buy multiple one's and see which one I like the most?
    Yep, try out what you can and see what you like most. Check out the return policies but most are great and easy to do.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by cradlefan View Post
    I think I will go grab the XT-11 today. I like it. Thanks for all the help guys! There are so many choices out there, maybe I will just have to buy multiple one's and see which one I like the most?
    Great choice! Btw, the xt11 is rated at 600lm on one 18650, 700lm on cr123a primaries and 750lm on rcr123's! . I haven't tried this out but the guys here that own one, even going gear, claim that it's true .

    Sent from my GT-S5830 using Tapatalk 2

  18. #18

    Buttrock Re: First flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by HaileStorm View Post
    Great choice! Btw, the xt11 is rated at 600lm on one 18650, 700lm on cr123a primaries and 750lm on rcr123's! . I haven't tried this out but the guys here that own one, even going gear, claim that it's true .

    Sent from my GT-S5830 using Tapatalk 2

    I am excited. I just ordered the XT11 today with my uniform allowance. I guess it will be 2 to 4 weeks before it comes in. The guy at the uniform shop said he couldn't believe the light was rated at 600lm. He told me he was going to check it out when it came in. I am not very knowledgeable on batteries, I am still learning about the new world of flashlights.....but I was under the impression the 18650's were the best? From what I am reading here though, the rcr123's are a better choice? Thanks for the help again everyone.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by cradlefan View Post
    I am excited. I just ordered the XT11 today with my uniform allowance. I guess it will be 2 to 4 weeks before it comes in. The guy at the uniform shop said he couldn't believe the light was rated at 600lm. He told me he was going to check it out when it came in. I am not very knowledgeable on batteries, I am still learning about the new world of flashlights.....but I was under the impression the 18650's were the best? From what I am reading here though, the rcr123's are a better choice? Thanks for the help again everyone.
    RCR123s will get you around 700 lumens from the XT11. However, Klarus dosen't reccomend this battery type, and although it is brighter - your runtimes will be significantly decreased. (you're overclocking the LED a little)

    1x18650 won't get you much more than 500 lumens, but awesome runtime.

  20. #20

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by rambo180 View Post
    RCR123s will get you around 700 lumens from the XT11. However, Klarus dosen't reccomend this battery type, and although it is brighter - your runtimes will be significantly decreased. (you're overclocking the LED a little)

    1x18650 won't get you much more than 500 lumens, but awesome runtime.
    I think with the 1 18650, it gives you 600 lumens, not 500......right? The RCR123's aren't recommended, that sucks. Should I stick with the cr123's or go with 1 18650 though?

  21. #21
    Flashaholic zenbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by cradlefan View Post
    I think with the 1 18650, it gives you 600 lumens, not 500......right? The RCR123's aren't recommended, that sucks. Should I stick with the cr123's or go with 1 18650 though?
    CR123's aren't rechargeable, so stick with the 18650. And don't worry that you might have "only" 500 lumens. 500 lumens is super bright. I am fully confident that 500 lumens will make the stingers at your work look like single flame candles by comparison.
    EagleTac D25C S2; P20A2 MKII S2; P100C2 Q5; Fenix TK21 U2; LD01 R4; E05 R2; E01
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  22. #22

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    I wouldn't mind if it was only 500 lumens lmao, but I was just saying, they advertise it at 600, so that's what it should be if I am purchasing it based on what they advertise. Otherwise, how would you be able to believe anything else they advertise or sell? I am still super stoked don't worry. I will just have to buy a 18650 online somewhere, any suggestions on where to go to buy a quality 18650 battery?

  23. #23
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    Buttrock Re: First flashlight?

    To clarify the lumen/turbo jargon:

    Turbo is like sprinting, and the "high" is like running, medium like jogging, and so forth.

    Turbo is to get a peak at MAX brightness/range...a way to sprint when you need to.

    To avoid overheating (Just like the runner), it steps down from turbo after a few minutes.

    The brightness on the XT11 is controlled by the VOLTS from the cells. The RUN TIME is related to the mAh of the cells themselves...higher mAh = more run time.


    So, the 18650 has ~ 4.2 v, and there's one of them, so the light's brightness is from the ~ 4.2v

    The 18650 also has up to 3100 mAh to use for run time.


    The CR123's are also ~ 3.0 v (Primaries), but there's TWO of them, so a total of 6 v for added brightness.

    The CR123's are also ~ 1,500 mAh, less than half of the 18650's 3,100 mAh for ~ 1/2 the run time.


    The RCR123's (Rechargables) are ~ 4.2 v like the 18650's...but - again, there's TWO of them...so that's 8.4 volts for even MORE brightness.

    The RCR123's only have ~ 750 mAh though, about half of the Primaries' 1,500 mAh, for ~ 1/2 of THEIR run time (~ 1/4 of the 18650's run time)


    For the circuit on the XT11, you add volts and mAh stay the same in this case. Some other lights are wired the opposite way, so brightness is the same, but run time is additive, and so forth. (Series vs parallel, etc...)


    So, when you boil down the options, you can have your fire burn longer, or, use up your wood faster but have it be brighter.






    At Photon Fest 18, we measured some lights, and the XT11 put out a bit over 600 lumens on turbo with an 18650, stepping down to ~ 500 L when it got hot. When its cool, you have the ~ 600+ L again.

    The same light with RCR123's was pumping out 850 L though, AFTER running long enough to step down....a LOT brighter...but instead of ~ 2.5 hours of run time with 3,100 mAh of cell endurance, we are down to 750 mAh, more like a half hr of total run time.


    Almost all lights now a days step down to avoid over heating. Some advertise it, some don't. In the olden days, the lights would either just not HAVE the ability to "sprint" when you wanted a kick...or, would have it, but, the light would just dim as the cells drained...and only be at full brightness on a fresh cell....or, would be regulated to not go over a certain current to have the light just be able to jog...but never run, etc.




    The XT11 for example is regulated to maintain brightness even as the cells drain...the circuits suck all the juice they can from the cells to maintain regulation at the required flow rate.

    This is one reason better cells work better, as its not just the mAh...its the discharge rate they can support. Cells that can take a higher discharge rate can support more powerful (higher amp draw) lights.



    If patrolling/covering an area that takes more than ~ 1/2 hr to cover, and you can see what you need to with ~ 500-600 L, etc...then the use of the single 3100 mAh 18650 works best, and that's how I personally edc the light.

    If your use is more like only short bursts of bright max power light, as I use for weapon mounted functions, etc...as in on/acquire the target, and then off and move, etc, or, I am MOSTLY just using low or medium brightness, reading maps, not bumping into stuff, etc...a short run time might not be a problem....as the lower intensities extend run time like crazy.

    So, I find it great with a single 18650...that's what works most of the time for me.

    I like Callies Kustoms, AW, and Redilast the most, and that's what I mostly have. Xtar and Eagletac, etc, are also good. I look at HJK's reviews mostly to see what the discharge rates, and actual performance are for cells...as I trust our in house resources more than an advertisement for info.

    Try to order from a CONUS site rather than waiting on a slow boat from China...I find I don't have the patience for that.

    Last edited by TEEJ; 06-05-2012 at 05:30 AM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Man TEEJ, thanks for that. It was a very detailed description, but needed for a newbie like me. I guess I should go with the 18650's. I don't need the extra lumens, but the run time would be more important. I will look online for some good 18650's in the 3100mAh range.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by cradlefan View Post
    Man TEEJ, thanks for that. It was a very detailed description, but needed for a newbie like me. I guess I should go with the 18650's. I don't need the extra lumens, but the run time would be more important. I will look online for some good 18650's in the 3100mAh range.
    You'll need a good charger too, as that's half the equation.

    I really like the Xtar WP6 II, as it has 6 bays, and can do RCR123's up to 18650s, and it was highly rated by HJK, etc. Being able to do up to 6 cells at a time is very convenient, especially for me and the number of lighting instruments I go through daily.


  26. #26

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Just checked out the charger, looks like it would do the job nicely. I guess I am going to have to buy it lol. Thanks again! Found the battery on the Fenixtactical site, so that's next I guess.

  27. #27

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    TerraLUX makes upgrades for the Stingers which might be more cost efficient.
    What about one of ElektroLumens EDC's? Single mode but rough, tough and dependable!
    Or the ZebraLight SC600? Not sure of the abuse it could take but the easy access to all modes might be useful.
    Peak makes some law enforcement lights as well......


    Don't forget to use your CPF discount when ordering!



    Barry
    Changing the world one Flashoholic at a time...

  28. #28

    Default

    Well said, Teej. So there you have it, 600lm on turbo and 500 on high. I was wondering why some people were saying that it's rated at 500lm

    Anyway, congratulations on your purchase! I'm sure you'll love the xt11 as much as everyone who owns one

    Sent from my GT-S5830 using Tapatalk 2

  29. #29

    Default Re: First flashlight?

    Quote Originally Posted by HaileStorm View Post
    Well said, Teej. So there you have it, 600lm on turbo and 500 on high. I was wondering why some people were saying that it's rated at 500lm

    Anyway, congratulations on your purchase! I'm sure you'll love the xt11 as much as everyone who owns one

    Sent from my GT-S5830 using Tapatalk 2
    what is this CPF discount you speak of lol? I bought everything through my local uniform store, so I am not sure if the discounts would be applicable. However, the charger and the battery will be purchased online by me, so if there is a place that accepts a CPF discount, point me there please!

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* Aaron1100us's Avatar
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    I work 3rd shift security at a hospital. I keep a Fenix TK45 on my duty belt. Size of a 2D maglite, uses 8 AA, 4 levels of brightness, two hour run time on turbo (760 lumens).

    Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk 2
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