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Thread: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Arrow Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    I mentioned in another thread that I only found out that LED flashlights had become a viable alternative to bulb flashlights about 1 year ago. Prior to that, the only LED flashlights I'd seen people using were the cheaper flashlights with 8 or more 5mm LED's shoehorned into the head, usually with no reflector, but they were unimpressive to say the least. I figured that LED's only had the power to be used as little warning lights on your electronic devices, letting you know that your devise is on or off, or to let you know the batteries are dead or whatever.

    Then I bought an LED headlamp right before a 3 day winter backpacking trip to the AT along skyline drive in Shenandoah Nat'l park back in early February 2007. I bought one that had 3 separately controlled 5mm LED's, and one separately contained 1w Luxeon LED in its own reflector. I was somewhat impressed with that headlamp's ability to be so light, run on 3AA batteries, and be able to light up the trail or campsite enough to see your way around. But I still hadnt seen any decent LED flashlights.

    Then last year, around July or so, I got onto the internet just wasting time, jumping from one interesting looking site to another, and jumping from one link to another looking at unrelated, random stuff, and somehow ended up getting here.

    To be honest, I was stunned to see such a large, well visited forum whose subject mater and reason for existence is primarily "flashlights"! I had searched the internet over the years for hobbies that would seemingly be more popular and widespread than flashlights, and yet MOST of the forums that support those seemingly more common hobbies dont have the number of members or amount of traffic that this flashlight forum does! I'm a member of a hot rodding forum, and they dont get nearly the traffic that this forums does.

    So the first time I stumbled upon this forum, I began looking around to see what all the hoop-lah was about, and I looked at flashlight reviews/specs, etc. But when I went and looked in the local stores, like Lowes, Home Depot, etc, I wasnt seeing the same brands I read about here, and fortunately I had remembered the brightness specs of a few lights from here, so I didnt bother buying any of the lights from those local stores because they didnt seem to "measure up".

    So I joined this forum in Sept '11, then I bought my first small LED light and was impressed by how bright it was on high and on low, so I bought a larger, brighter one for different purposes, and then I kept buying even more of them of different sizes(even though, truth be told, I dont need nearly as many as I've bought!)


    But now I've been a member for going on 1 year, and I am now very interested in flashlights, of all things, but I'm still a bit surprised that flashlights are a hobby.... Is there a tube sock forum? Have toilet plungers become a hobby item yet?

    But I am now better able to understand the desire to own and research different higher end flashlights, and as of a few days from now, I will own a total of 10 nice quality LED flashlights(because even though I said I wouldnt be buying any more for a while after buying a Ti D25A and D25C last week, I just ordered a Jetbeam PA-10 and a Sunwayman T20CS last night after making more money than expected in the last 5 days).



    What got you into it? Why do you think people are so interested in flashlights, to the point of doing LOTS of research and making it a significant hobby(like us)?
    Last edited by HighlanderNorth; 06-20-2012 at 10:12 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    To me a good flashlight turns night into day. A good flashlight allows me to function in the dark. If it is dark without a flashlight, you are as helpless as a child. It gives me a power I would not have otherwise. I can control the environment I am in.

  3. #3
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    Default

    well, my earliest "real" lights were SFs. I got them from my 1st holiday work money in something like 1995.
    That time there almost was no real "evolution" of flashlights for longer time that I was of age ...

    Then, around the millenium, Luxeon started with their models and created a revolution - finally a white LIGHT EMITTING DIODE! that could easily fight hand sized flashlights.

    Then Cree started with their led(s), and that was the BOMB.
    I remember my 1st real light was built in 2004 and even then it was enough to do mountainbike rides and to replace the 8X/9N I was using till then.
    (it was an 18650 and XR-E modded SF 6P)

    And from all then the power of the led increased and increased and increased ... till to what we have now
    It simply is astounding to follow what is happening in led lighting

    and at the same time - also directly related to the evolution of the led THEY use (in direct opposition to the established makers) - all those medium priced but extreme good price<->machining&parts<->value ratio makers STOMPED the market.
    Before there was simply cheap junk, expensive junk and expensive quality. But nothing in between.
    That whole middle offers were non existend by then.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic zenbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Flashlights, like anything technological or mechanical that puts the powers of nature in the palms of our hands, become magic to us. Mankind is fascinated by most anything magical.

    A plunger doesn't give us any real power that we couldn't already manage with just our bare hands.
    EagleTac D25C S2; P20A2 MKII S2; P100C2 Q5; Fenix TK21 U2; LD01 R4; E05 R2; E01
    JETBeam BC10 R5; Romisen RC-G2 II NW; RC-T601 II U2; Inova X5
    Xeno E03; Zebralight SC600; Crelant 7G5-V2 U2; 4Sevens Quark Tactical 123^2 R5


  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    At a basic level a light is just a tool. The big difference is that as a tool your light makes it possible to use all of your other tools in the dark. That makes it an uber-tool.

    People into flashlights are doers of things.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    If power LED flashlights with XP-G S2, XM-L U2 and similar were commonplace and to be found at any store around the corner --and why wouldnt this be the case in distant future??-- then the mass consumer would regard them as exciting as toilet plungers, nothing special. In reality Cree lights are still special and not known among the large public. So if i walk along with your Ti D25A loaded with a Trustfire 14500, then i damn feel special as well.

    If everybody I met knew Eagletac company and their D25 series (from a friend, colleague, neighbor, commercials or personal ownership), i would sell off my expensive lights, buy a handful of Sipik or Fenix clones and Eneloops and leave the hobby for good.

    Once Walmart, Safeway and similar large stores are flooded with cheap XXXFire China-made flashlights (see DX.com), not only SF or Maglite will struggle but also other companies (4sevens, olight, eagletac, fenix, zebralight) because new potential flashlight buyers jump on the XXXFire wagon and laugh about us flashaholics who used to pay 50$+ for Sunawayman, Klarus and armytek.

    Same with LCD LED monitors Full HD large screen display TV's. You could feel special and wow whomever if you were owner of such (back then!) expensive TV's. Nowadays they are sold anywhere and everywhere, Samsung is #1 and commonplace, and wtf cares if your 3-year old TV was double as expensive as my 1-year old Samsung and made by an exotic high-end little Taiwanese manufacturer? In future people will chuckle in disdain or ridicule about the prices we paid today. And i will be one of them, making fun about you, us, myself when we were flashaholics, now, in the early 2010's. I've entered this "hobby" in 2011 and it seems to me that we are in the booming years. Pretty much in the middle of the development, my luck of best timing to invest some bucks! So i bought the T20C2 MkII with its replaceable LED drop-in modules which gives me the feeling that i could update it to the current state of technology whenever i wanted to in future .. granted that the company has not run out of business by then. I dont believe that Eagtac will run out of business in the next 10 years, good. But what about the many other companies? EDC+ (formerly TacticalHID) seems to have stopped stocking Lumintop lights. Bad for Lumintop! Well, quite a few companies we never heard of will (soon) run out of business because of the tough competition and the little market among flashaholics. Fenix, Balder run out of ideas and ask us in questionnaires what we flashies could be interested in buying, totally new light designs. Yeah, they must be really struggling in keeping the sales numbers up! In the past few months there was little talking and discussion of 4sevens lights, noticed? They got sued by SF, suffered from a recall of their Preon P0 product, lost money in the rebranding and the new (not well-made) website, and i bet my a** that 2012 is a much worse business year for them than 2011. Wishing the best for David and his team that his company continues to subsist, prosper and thrive, steadily. Is going to be tougher from year to year. 2012 is the first time that 4sevens will see it on paper in their annual statement. I dont expect quantum leaps in lumens in the next 2 years. The market of flashaholics isnt saturated yet but we're getting there at some point. Of course i hope for the 10 or 20 notable Chinese 'premium' flashlight manufacturers to gain ground before the XXXFire and XXXFire clones do. The cheapo lights are catching up fast and some US dealers like Shiningbeam have already begun to sell them.

    Yep, in a couple of years, our 4sevens and sunawayman's lights will be relict of the early 2010's (2010, 11, 12, 13, ..) and obsolete in the sense that everyone else could buy a competitive 500 lumens cheapo light from a local store --let's admit the Rayovac Indestructible is nothing to sneeze at from a mass consumer's point of view-- and if you tried to resell your used premium light in a local newspaper classified ad .. no chance! Yes, power LED flashlights are an exciting hobby now, these days, and manufacturers are young (eagletac and 4sevens are ~4years old, Fenix being the oldest noteworthy with 6years of market presence). Soon enough we'll see a consolidation on the market (byebye Rofis, Lumapower, Skilhunt and Bronte), a decrease in prices, and lots of former flashaholics moving on and dropping this hobby. I dropped hobbies myself! I used to buy and collect movies, DVD's and watch and enjoy them. It was exciting and an emerging market. Since then i moved on, my huge collection of movies is stuffed into boxes along with my personal library of books, and whenever i want to watch something specific i would find it in a sec with google, netflix, hulu, and i wouldnt even have to ask a friend for help. If i want to sell my DVD's .. ooooh, difficult! Nobody wants to buy them at reasonable prices from me because either they have the Blueray disc already or they arent interested because of other reasons (google, netflix, hulu, ..).

    Look at SF how many former customers have abandoned their expensive products. SF sues the American competition, how nice!, but cant fight the Chinese competition. An ever growing market share goes to Chinese mega etailers and this will not stop, it's the law of economy and called economic evolution and market development. SF is the prime example of how customers jump ship, change sides and become member on budget flashlight forums. When newbies there look for lights, nobody recommends SF nor Maglite. Not even Fenix or Eagletac. Newbies take their XXXFire recommendations, order the stuff from Chinese ebay sellers, part with the flashlight forums, and move on.

    I am willing to drop this (now exciting) "hobby" anytime .. as soon as power LED flashlights become commonplace among the public, be it in ownership or mere awareness. At that point i will look back at this forum and begin to chuckle.. and laugh about you guys.. and myself! And by that time i will have made sure to have sold all my expensive lights (4sevens, eagletac, fenix, klarus, etc.) before it's too late to get rid of them. I have boxes full of books and movies in our basement. I dont need another box in the basement, this time full of power LED flashlights which dont get use for various reasons, including "obsoletion" because of arguable performance/efficiency competitiveness.

    To me, flashlights are EDC tools and this forum a personal phase in my young life. Neither of them a hobby.
    My attitude, I suck?? **, *** ****!

    And btw, please no offense by the above rant. I like hanging out on this place, passing time, i appreciate the contributions and boardies, people, dealers, sellers, manufacturers. It is indeed a community. When this phase of mine is over, i wont forget having been §$%&! member of this fine community.
    Last edited by shelm; 06-20-2012 at 12:33 PM.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic Jay611j's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by shelm View Post
    If power LED flashlights with XP-G S2, XM-L U2 and similar were commonplace and to be found at any store around the corner --and why wouldnt this be the case in distant future??-- then the mass consumer would regard them as exciting as toilet plungers, nothing special. In reality Cree lights are still special and not known among the large public. So if i walk along with your Ti D25A loaded with a Trustfire 14500, then i damn feel special as well.

    If everybody I met knew Eagletac company and their D25 series (from a friend, colleague, neighbor, commercials or personal ownership), i would sell off my expensive lights, buy a handful of Sipik or Fenix clones and Eneloops and leave the hobby for good.
    I think shelm said it well. I think a lot of us, if not most of us feel special having such powerful lights compared to everyone else. Once people see our lights they are amazed at what our little lights can do, and it just makes us want brighter, and brighter lights to impress people even more. Sure, there are a lot of people that actually have a real use for them, but for the most part do we REALLY need 800 or even 2000L flashlights???
    There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Just hope it’s not a train.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by zenbeam View Post
    Flashlights, like anything technological or mechanical that puts the powers of nature in the palms of our hands, become magic to us. Mankind is fascinated by most anything magical.

    A plunger doesn't give us any real power that we couldn't already manage with just our bare hands.

    Hey dont be knocking toilet plungers now. I'm thinking of mounting an XP-G R5 to the handle of a top end plunger, then a more ergonomic grip and then I think plungers will take off!

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by shelm View Post
    If power LED flashlights with XP-G S2, XM-L U2 and similar were commonplace and to be found at any store around the corner --and why wouldnt this be the case in distant future??-- then the mass consumer would regard them as exciting as toilet plungers, nothing special. In reality Cree lights are still special and not known among the large public. So if i walk along with your Ti D25A loaded with a Trustfire 14500, then i damn feel special as well.

    If everybody I met knew Eagletac company and their D25 series (from a friend, colleague, neighbor, commercials or personal ownership), i would sell off my expensive lights, buy a handful of Sipik or Fenix clones and Eneloops and leave the hobby for good.

    Once Walmart, Safeway and similar large stores are flooded with cheap XXXFire China-made flashlights (see DX.com), not only SF or Maglite will struggle but also other companies (4sevens, olight, eagletac, fenix, zebralight) because new potential flashlight buyers jump on the XXXFire wagon and laugh about us flashaholics who used to pay 50$+ for Sunawayman, Klarus and armytek.

    Same with LCD LED monitors Full HD large screen display TV's. You could feel special and wow whomever if you were owner of such (back then!) expensive TV's. Nowadays they are sold anywhere and everywhere, Samsung is #1 and commonplace, and wtf cares if your 3-year old TV was double as expensive as my 1-year old Samsung and made by an exotic high-end little Taiwanese manufacturer? In future people will chuckle in disdain or ridicule about the prices we paid today. And i will be one of them, making fun about you, us, myself when we were flashaholics, now, in the early 2010's. I've entered this "hobby" in 2011 and it seems to me that we are in the booming years. Pretty much in the middle of the development, my luck of best timing to invest some bucks! So i bought the T20C2 MkII with its replaceable LED drop-in modules which gives me the feeling that i could update it to the current state of technology whenever i wanted to in future .. granted that the company has not run out of business by then. I dont believe that Eagtac will run out of business in the next 10 years, good. But what about the many other companies? EDC+ (formerly TacticalHID) seems to have stopped stocking Lumintop lights. Bad for Lumintop! Well, quite a few companies we never heard of will (soon) run out of business because of the tough competition and the little market among flashaholics. Fenix, Balder run out of ideas and ask us in questionnaires what we flashies could be interested in buying, totally new light designs. Yeah, they must be really struggling in keeping the sales numbers up! I dont expect quantum leaps in lumens in the next 2 years. The market of flashaholics isnt saturated yet but we're getting there at some point. Of course i hope for the 10 or 20 notable Chinese 'premium' flashlight manufacturers to gain ground before the XXXFire and XXXFire clones do. The cheapo lights are catching up fast and some US dealers like Shiningbeam have already begun to sell them.

    Yep, in a couple of years, our 4sevens and sunawayman's lights will be relict of the early 2010's (2010, 11, 12, 13, ..) and obsolete in the sense that everyone else could buy a competitive 500 lumens cheapo light from a local store and if you tried to resell your used premium light in a local newspaper classified ad .. no chance! Yes, power LED flashlights are an exciting hobby now, these days, and manufacturers are young (eagletac and 4sevens are ~4years old, Fenix being the oldest noteworthy with 6years of market presence). Soon enough we'll see a consolidation on the market (byebye Rofis, Lumapower, Skilhunt and Bronte), a decrease in prices, and lots of former flashaholics moving on and dropping this hobby. I dropped hobbies myself! I used to buy and collect movies, DVD's and watch and enjoy them. It was exciting and an emerging market. Since then i moved on, my huge collection of movies is stuffed into boxes along with my personal library of books, and whenever i want to watch something specific i would find it in a sec with google, netflix, hulu, and i wouldnt even have to ask a friend for help. If i want to sell my DVD's .. ooooh, difficult! Nobody wants to buy them at reasonable prices from me because either they have the Blueray disc already or they arent interested because of other reasons (google, netflix, hulu, ..).

    Look at SF how many former customers have abandoned their expensive products. SF sues the American competition, how nice!, but cant fight the Chinese competition. An ever growing market share goes to Chinese mega etailers and this will not stop, it's the law of economy and called economic evolution and market development. SF is the prime example of how customers jump ship, change sides and become member on budget flashlight forums. When newbies there look for lights, nobody recommends SF nor Maglite. Not even Fenix or Eagletac. Newbies take their XXXFire recommendations, order the stuff from Chinese ebay sellers, part with the flashlight forums, and move on.

    I am willing to drop this (now exciting) "hobby" anytime .. as soon as power LED flashlights become commonplace among the public, be it in ownership or mere awareness. At that point i will look back at this forum and begin to chuckle.. And by that time i will have made sure to have sold all my expensive lights (4sevens, eagletac, fenix, klarus, etc.) before it's too late to get rid of them. I have boxes full of books and movies in our basement. I dont need another box in the basement, this time full of power LED flashlights which dont get use for various reasons, including "obsoletion" because of arguable performance/efficiency competitiveness.

    To me, flashlights are EDC tools and this forum a personal phase in my young life. Neither of them a hobby.
    I suck?? **, *** ****!

    I agree with most everything you said, and I have come and gone with different hobbies too. But I will say that as Surefire lose market share, its nobody's fault but their own! They decided to play it cheap, by sitting on their laurels, not innovating for the most part with most of their lights in the last years, by not keeping up with technology, so why wouldnt people go elsewhere? Now HDS seems a little different, in that their lights arent so outdated, and seem to be justifiably priced all things considered.

    But I disagree that when the cheap ****fire flashlights hit the local Walmarts, that the higher priced lights will be obsolete and nobody will buy them. There is a big difference from the cheaper lights like them vs the higher priced lights like Jetbeam, Fenix, Eagletac, etc. They are better lights, and cost about 50-100% more for a reason. Its when Surefire comes out with a 700 lumen light(Lawman) and has the audacity to charge like $425 for the darn thing that really pi**es me off! No, there is no justification for charging 400-500% more for that light! Ridiculous....

    But, yeah I could end up finally deciding that I have enough lights soon, and deciding not to buy ANY more til they really come up with a major new breakthrough in performance or battery life. I would definitely spend less time researching and thinking about this stuff during that time, which is coming soon.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Also the fact that they are electronics related, which is a popular hobby. I was definitely one of those kids that tore apart everything just to look in amazement at that circuit board. Now, I can buy these cool little parts and make my own? Sweet. This combined with the awe that can be achieved with some of these lights makes for a highly passionate hobby.

    In many ways, it is also an artistic passion. Look at some of the designs and looks these manufacturers are putting out. Titanium lights, artistic anodizing, etc.

    In addition to all this, the benefit you get grows exponentially with the time you invest. So, there are essentially rookies and professionals, which is quite interesting.

    Last edited by Bigpal; 06-20-2012 at 01:01 PM.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* CarpentryHero's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    I attached a light to a hammer for home security I'm ready for a hammer forum

    I started collecting flashlights in the year 2000-2001, I remember because it was 6 months after I quit smoking an starte getting figgity. I was only buying what ever was local, always gravitating to the tool and flashlight isle of every store I went in. For years i saw progress and thought, right on I'll get that one too. Thinking a decade of flashaholism I was alone in my love of flashlights, turning dark into light. didn't have PayPal till I joined CPF Speaking of which, one of my wife's law students sends me a YouTube video of an HID flashlight, the guy speaking in it was german. My wife's friend says I bet you don't have one of these, and I didn't suffice to say when I eventually tracked down the manufacturer it was a forum that popped up. I open CPF for the first time, and realized I wasn't the only flashlight collecter I nearly cried with joy. Even though I gifted the old and through out the broken I had 87 working flashlights and only 10 weren't junk by CPF standards. I later donated 57 to a church that was building a foster home in Kenya and gave the rest of the cheepies to friends. I'm now back up to 30 or 40

    Ive also go through knives, multitools and hand tools for work but to a much lesser extent (5-10 different ones lol)

    I collect lights cause I still grin when I turn on a flashlight to see what I'm doing, same grin I have when I look at my smiling baby boy. The smile that says... That's AWESOME!!!!



    Kendall
    I'm glad I found CPF, I was beginning to think I was strange
    I'm a Canadian and a proud Flashaholic
    Thanks CPF, thanks Think2x

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* davyro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    I've always loved flashlights since i was a boy of 7 & i got my first light,at the time that i got my first light the coal miners where on strike in the UK(early seventies)meaning there was no coal to power the national grid.So we had power cuts every other night or so,living in a big town i wasn't used to total pitch darkness,well my light was like a ray gun firing a beam about 20yards,ever since then I've always loved the feeling of having that beam in my hands.I'm at the stage now where I've got enough high end lights & I've had a few modded with hi-cri leds so I've went quite a while now not buying any new lights.I'm thinking that i probably won't buy any new lights until something ground breaking comes out,this is the first time in my adult life there isn't a light that i really really want to get my hands on so I'm wondering am i loosing interest in my favourite hobby...........i doubt it there's always something on the horizon

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    I get a new toy to play with for $25 a month. LED lights are a lot cheaper than computers/laptops/i<stuff>.. which I have too much experience with. Anybody want to buy an 1.6 gig parallel port tape backup from the mid '90s that cost $300?

    Besides.. I heard it is bad for CFL bulbs to be turned on/off... $50 flashlight to save a $5 CFL!!
    Last edited by edpmis02; 06-20-2012 at 02:30 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    I like things that go bang. I like sharp things. I like bright things. For me, this is the holy trinity of hobbies.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Like any good hobby, there's depth to it. My interest in flashlights began when I started organizing my EDC about a year ago. Since I didn't know anything about flashlights at the time, I did what I thought was optimal by looking at reviews on YouTube and miscellaneous flashlight review sites, who pretty much sold me on the Fenix TK15.

    When I received my TK15, I thought it was well-made, but I had a lingering feeling there were better options out there. I eventually found CPF through word of mouth on the Internet. When I joined CPF, I realized there was a steeper learning curve than I had previously thought (it wasn't just about having a lot of lumens, a flashlight that could be thrown into a pool of water, and a crenelated bezel to poke people with for self-defense; err--just kidding). People at CPF were talking about a lot of things that I hadn't known or considered previously, that just made me rethink everything I had thought prior to then.

    I went from using flashlights you can get at the dollar store to a Fenix (which I eventually returned), and to whatever it is members here carry or talk about these days. And I continue to look at the forum to see what else might interest me.
    Last edited by sadboy; 06-20-2012 at 04:50 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by HighlanderNorth View Post
    Why do you think people are so interested in flashlights, to the point of doing LOTS of research and making it a significant hobby(like us)?
    Flashlights are useful! As far as everyday tools go, they're right next to mobile phones and Swiss army knives, both of which have their own communities.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Interesting thread. Haven't seen a post by any member with more than 3+ years membership. Speaking as a flashaholic, the public will buy whatever is the cheapest flashlight, and may go for the big bang, high lumen, very reasonably priced flashlights, but that will be the end of it for them, for they are not a market for better made, higher quality flashlights, such as CPF members enjoy and get to learn about here. CPF has grown, and our supported manufacturers, and dealers likewise, because there is here a place for discussions and exposure of higher quality flashlights, and high quality lighting of all kinds. Not to worry about the cheaper lights that may flood the market, and CPF/CPFMP will pound on ahead, with the best of the best.

    Thinking about moving this thread to the Cafe, but not sure it is a serious enough thread, warranting such a move.

    Bill

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Hi Bill-

    I posted to this thread and I go back to 04.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullzeyebill View Post
    Interesting thread. Haven't seen a post by any member with more than 3+ years membership. Speaking as a flashaholic, the public will buy whatever is the cheapest flashlight, and may go for the big bang, high lumen, very reasonably priced flashlights, but that will be the end of it for them, for they are not a market for better made, higher quality flashlights, such as CPF members enjoy and get to learn about here. CPF has grown, and our supported manufacturers, and dealers likewise, because there is here a place for discussions and exposure of higher quality flashlights, and high quality lighting of all kinds. Not to worry about the cheaper lights that may flood the market, and CPF/CPFMP will pound on ahead, with the best of the best.

    Thinking about moving this thread to the Cafe, but not sure it is a serious enough thread, warranting such a move.

    Bill

    Yeah, I dont think the higher end lights will die out once cheaper lights become widespread. More cheaper lights will be sold, but the better ones will still be there for us.

    Speaking of which, since I started this thread earlier today, I have now ordered yet another light! A FourSevens Preon 2.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* bansuri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    This response is to Shelm's post, but should hopefully answer HighlanderNorth's original question.
    These are some observations that I will reference:
    *1. Consumer's needs are not flat, to think that cost is the only thing keeping everyone from carrying a flashlight is a leap that I'm not prepared to make.
    *2. A large percentage of human beings will ignore a long-term threat in favor of a short-term reward.
    *3. A small percentage of human beings understand the long-term reward of having and carrying a device that enhances one of their senses or abilities.
    *4. Too many people fail to extend our God/Evolution-given pattern recognition abilities to anything beyond not touching something hot.

    Due to observations 1 through 4 it's difficult to imagine the Flashoholic Apocalypse presented by Shlem. I have tried and tried to get people to see the value of carrying a flashlight or knife but very few have seen the benefit, even when the cost was essentially zero. The same people I have gifted Mini-Mags and Swiss Army knifes to will call me "McGyver" DECADES after I've set them up with their own when I'm able to solve a problem with a simple tool that isn't in my drawer at home..

    I'm quite sure that if you gathered a group of flashoholics, (group A), in a room with an equal number of non-flashoholics, (group B), and had some vendors selling binoculars, night vision gear, knifes, and any other gadget that addressed *3 you'd find group B milling around bored and group A scrambling to get their credit cards out.
    Some folks are happy with what they've got and either can't imagine they'd possibly need to boost their limited senses/abilities someday or are so used to someone else picking up the slack that they don't bother.

    High quality flashlights allow me to see in the dark, a condition I need to overcome frequently at work and at home. I try to recognize the patterns when they present themselves and I've seen what happens with cheap flashlights and alkalines. That won't happen again!
    There are those of us who will always be the "McGyvers", the others will be continually amazed when the lights go out during a storm or they can't cut through something with their teeth or fingernails.
    Last edited by bansuri; 06-21-2012 at 12:30 AM.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic Slumber Pass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by HighlanderNorth View Post
    Have toilet plungers become a hobby item yet?
    Have you seen this thread?

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...door-beamshots

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Lou Minescence's Avatar
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    Default

    I find led flashlights interesting because they work correctly. Dependable, long battery life, and that allows me to do things and not be limited to daylight. They are a very useful tool.
    As far as led lights being a hobby, not really for me. I read and post on CPF because I am always looking for new and better lights & ideas. I do not know anyone who owns expensive CPF style lights besides myself and people I have gifted lights to. Local store lights are what people I know have. An $80 dollar flashlight is crazy for most people I know.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by shane45_1911 View Post
    I like things that go bang. I like sharp things. I like bright things. For me, this is the holy trinity of hobbies.
    If you added beer and wine to this, oh My!!!

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Aaron1100us's Avatar
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    I had been into flashlights in my teen years (no internet) and that was just a 6 cell maglite. That was the best flashlight that I thought existed. Then, ten years ago I started working third shift security at a hospital and the college which was across the street. We were issued mini maglites. The mini maglite didn't do much when checking the dark hallways or the dimly lit campus. I then went online because there had to be small bright flashlights out there. Thats when I discovered this forum. I bought a Surfire G2 and was hooked, couldn't believe how bright it was for the size. It was only 65 lumens. I know carry at work a 760 lumen Fenix TK 45, 650 lumen Solarforce L2P and a three mode 1000 lumen Solarforce L2T.

    Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk 2
    Surefire G2, M3, E1L, Inova X5 white, X5 blue, X1, AE 24w HID, RR 2XAA, 2XC, 2XAAA , RR incan/led, Dorcy Metal Gear, Brinkman 4 LED, Mini mag, Pelican Mightylite, Coleman lantern, River Rock lantern, Omega shake light, NightStar shake light, Streamlight keymate,inova LED key light, 2 river rock LED key lights, Princton Tec Apex, energizer 6 LED headlamp, RiverRock .5w Headlamp, Streamlight 4XAA Lux, Brinkmann MaxFire, Princeton Tech Rage, 3 Garrity chrome classics, Mag 85, Mag 3D, Thor platinum

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    It's an interesting topic. I have to agree sometimes that it seems like an odd hobby to have sust well visited forums. It really has nothing to do with hobbyists appreciating the "good stuff" vs the general public.

    There are budget flashlight enthusiasts as well.

    Personally I'm hoping the tube sock hobbyists catch up! My socks are wearing out and I may be interested in that market soon. What thread count should I get? Which tube socks are the best and which should I avoid. When my life depends on it are there some tube socks that are more reliable?

    My neighbors make fun of my tube sock hobby but just as soon as their "crap" socks have a whole in the heel I'm the first one they come to looking for "quality" socks.
    Last edited by gcbryan; 06-21-2012 at 07:17 AM.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic zenbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by brianna View Post
    If you added beer and wine to this, oh My!!!
    Brewing beer is a great hobby! I haven't done it in years, but I suspect I will again.

    Also, how about "things that go fast"! Might not mix too well with the beer and wine, but still.....
    EagleTac D25C S2; P20A2 MKII S2; P100C2 Q5; Fenix TK21 U2; LD01 R4; E05 R2; E01
    JETBeam BC10 R5; Romisen RC-G2 II NW; RC-T601 II U2; Inova X5
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  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    At a basic level a light is just a tool. The big difference is that as a tool your light makes it possible to use all of your other tools in the dark. That makes it an uber-tool.

    People into flashlights are doers of things.
    Damn, exactly what I wanted to say in totally different words...

    I also wanted to say that anything we do requires us to see to do it properly. Turning darkness into day is like the ultimate power that gives us the rest of our normal powers back. We can even decide what stays in the dark. It's almost a god-like feeling that the ultimate last barrier of darkness has been breached, but that is all subconscious stuff. I made a thread that explains all this better in here

    AND

    A flashlight can make you yearn for the darkest night of the year, but the toilet plunger won't make you crave for a clogged toilet.
    Cataract, Shiny things specialist.
    Google Map for CPF

  28. #28

    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by gcbryan View Post
    It really has nothing to do with hobbyists appreciating the "good stuff" vs the general public.

    There are budget flashlight enthusiasts as well.
    Interesting point. The same (budget) lights might cost 2-3x via the brick and mortar retail, but that still wouldn't be that much compared to whats already out there (in the stores). So the difference must be something else. Making 10M lights for such a rollout would lower the price even further, seemingly wiping out the relevance of us being here. So why CPF, if not for that?

    First and foremost, there's a dynamism. The rapid exchange an improvement on ideas that only come when people are interacting directly. But more than that, there is a natural advantage to smaller markets - speed. Even if 80% of those 10M lights sell in the first year, thats still 2M lights sitting around the next year, on pegs, in boxes, filling up warehouses. Along comes the next 10M lights, making the 2M obsolete. Expecting that, bigger companies have bigger timelines, and we complain they are 'out of touch' and their stuff is 'out of date'.

    Smaller companies are more agile, changing to newer stuff in a matter of months (or even weeks), but any smaller company will have the same problem if they are successful enough to become the next larger company. And the best way smaller, more agile companies can reach enough people in enough places, without going full scale, are places like this.


    Quote Originally Posted by gcbryan View Post
    Personally I'm hoping the tube sock hobbyists catch up! My socks are wearing out and I may be interested in that market soon. What thread count should I get? Which tube socks are the best and which should I avoid. When my life depends on it are there some tube socks that are more reliable?
    You want crew socks, something with a formed heal. More durable and comfortable.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic zenbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cataract View Post
    ...but the toilet plunger won't make you crave for a clogged toilet.
    Speak for yourself.
    EagleTac D25C S2; P20A2 MKII S2; P100C2 Q5; Fenix TK21 U2; LD01 R4; E05 R2; E01
    JETBeam BC10 R5; Romisen RC-G2 II NW; RC-T601 II U2; Inova X5
    Xeno E03; Zebralight SC600; Crelant 7G5-V2 U2; 4Sevens Quark Tactical 123^2 R5


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Why are flashlights so interesting? Why are LED flashlights a hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    Hi Bill-

    I posted to this thread and I go back to 04.
    Whoops, missed that. Yes, indeed you do go back.

    Bill

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