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Thread: Recommendations for a beginner

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default Recommendations for a beginner

    Hi everyone.

    I'm looking to grab a few flashlights just to keep around (mostly for extended power outages, emergencies, etc). Won't be using them on a regular basis probably, except maybe a small keychain light.

    I've looked at a few models but first what I'm trying to do is figure out what I should get. I'm thinking a) a small keychain light and a couple of mid-high powered, or b) instead of mid-high get a few mid powered and one more expensive high powered.

    Just wondering what recommendations I could get? Along with maybe some categorizations, as I'm not too familiar with lumen ratings etc (I hear they are different based on manufacturer).

    Model's ive looked at:

    1. dorcy 41-4750 (180 lumens, $20 or so)
    2. fenix e01/e05
    3. fenix tk41
    4. fenix ld20
    5. itp a3 eos

    the fenix lights seem to be more expensive than others if you go by lumen rating, but i've found a few with comparable ratings on amazon at much better prices. the dorcy seems to be a really good deal at 180 lumens and has great reviews but i cant seem to find any comparison reviews elsewhere online.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    Dor*y..

    Sir please! Children could be reading this forum.. Watch the language!

    Honestly though, very few if any dorcy lights are regulated (are any of 'em?), and most CPF members don't even look at non regulated lights.

    Regulated lights draw more from the batteries as the batteries lose power. A 100 lumen regulated light will be 100 lumens of light from the moment you
    turn it on till the moment the battery dies. Multi mode lights warn you when the battery is about to die; some stop you from accessing higher lumen levels, for instance.

    Many companies use their own lumens rating system, they don't lie so much as have greatly different ways of testing the lumens.
    Like.. putting the sensor right on the LED emitter versus putting the sensor an inch in front of the light.. and so on.
    A light will get dimmer when it is left on (and the LED warms up?),
    ANSI (American National Standards Institute) lumen ratings are taken after the light has been on for 3 minutes, so they always seem low.

    Fenix lights are ANSI rated; Dorcy lights just started use ANSI ratings, so some of their older lights had some crazy ratings.

    Now I'm not saying ANSI ratings are better, they will however always be lower than in-house, out-the-front lumens ratings; which will be lower than emitter lumens...


    Got a headache yet? You should, because unless the companies all use the same system, the lumens ratings can't be compared.

    To make things even more confusing, different batteries can effect how the light performs after 3 minutes, and further confuse the numbers.



    So yeah.. those numbers are hardly written in stone.



    For a keychain light, the new stock of Olight I3 EOS XP-G R5's over at shiningbeam seem real nice too. (till now I didn't know there was an A3)

    I3, A3 comparison
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?321910-New-Olight-I3-versus-ITP-A3-EOS-(PICS!)

    Anything from fenix is usually nice to have, but for your use, the tk41 is total over kill.

    An LD20/LD22, with a diffuser tip, would give plenty of light in any power out, and since I've used an LD20/diffuser for 2 years now..
    I'm just gonna recommend it to everyone from now on.
    Last edited by Ezeriel; 07-05-2012 at 04:00 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by freedom66k View Post
    Hi everyone.

    I'm looking to grab a few flashlights just to keep around (mostly for extended power outages, emergencies, etc). Won't be using them on a regular basis probably, except maybe a small keychain light.

    I've looked at a few models but first what I'm trying to do is figure out what I should get. I'm thinking a) a small keychain light and a couple of mid-high powered, or b) instead of mid-high get a few mid powered and one more expensive high powered.

    Just wondering what recommendations I could get? Along with maybe some categorizations, as I'm not too familiar with lumen ratings etc (I hear they are different based on manufacturer).

    Model's ive looked at:

    1. dorcy 41-4750 (180 lumens, $20 or so)
    2. fenix e01/e05
    3. fenix tk41
    4. fenix ld20
    5. itp a3 eos

    the fenix lights seem to be more expensive than others if you go by lumen rating, but i've found a few with comparable ratings on amazon at much better prices. the dorcy seems to be a really good deal at 180 lumens and has great reviews but i cant seem to find any comparison reviews elsewhere online.
    shiningbeam caveman might be what you want. they dont do ansi though, so times the stated lumens by 0.75 to get ansi. still really for emergencies, i don't think you'd really need over 100lumens. this light is over 200 and runs on AAs. i like it.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by freedom66k View Post
    I'm looking to grab a few flashlights just to keep around (mostly for extended power outages, emergencies, etc).
    For power outages and emergencies I would highly recommend AA lights with ultra low moonlight modes (sub 1 lumen). You'll get up to 300-400 hrs from 1xAA with enough light to comfortably read a book by, navigate your home, etc. Its nice to be able to run a light for 4-5hrs straight without even putting a dent (~2%?) in the battery - why not save juice for the higher modes when you can without having to sit in the dark? For most daily household chores, I rarely need more than 3 lumens.

    FourSevens Quarks, Zebralight 51s, EagleTac D25A clickies and Trunite all have long running AA lights.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    Great suggestions so far. It might be hard to find brand new ITPs since they've been discontinued, but modified designs can now be found under Olight.


    For general or emergency use around the house, I'd recommend clickies with very simple interfaces and commonly-found batteries. Family members might find the average flashaholic flashlight too complicated and end up lighting a candle lol.


    keychain lights: Olight i3 or i2, Eagletac D25A, Fenix E05

    for the house: Fenix LD10, LD20, or E21; and a Zebralight SC51 (might be too small to keep in the emergency supplies cupboard but it would be nice as your personal all around light)

    to use outdoors or light up a considerable sized backyard: Olight S35
    Last edited by summer; 07-05-2012 at 07:56 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    Quote me if I am wrong, but most flashlights using a CR123 battery would be great for your needs, due to there long shelf life. A good example would be a Pelican 3320. Fairly bright and under $25. Batteries may last ten years without any use.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gglockner View Post
    Quote me if I am wrong, but most flashlights using a CR123 battery would be great for your needs, due to there long shelf life. A good example would be a Pelican 3320. Fairly bright and under $25. Batteries may last ten years without any use.
    Quoting you... not because you're wrong, but you can get Lithium AAs with the same total energy, shelf life, temp performance, albeit a lower max lumens, compared to CR123s - it's called the Energizer L91.

    I like AAs since Li-ion rechargeable 14500s have more capacity than 16340s, and AA users have the option of running cheap, wide available and safe chemistries like Alkaline and NiMhs not available to CR123 users. Then in an emergency, a AA user can always cannibalize batts from a bunch of household sources like clocks, remote controls, smoke detectors, kids toys, thermostats, etc. including using AAAs.

  8. #8
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    Arrow Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    For your first light, I'd agree that you should start with one that runs on AAs (or AAAs if you want an actual keychain light). Did you have a particular budget in mind as to how much you could spend?

    ὁ θεὸς φῶς ἐστιν

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by reppans View Post
    For power outages and emergencies I would highly recommend AA lights with ultra low moonlight modes (sub 1 lumen). You'll get up to 300-400 hrs from 1xAA with enough light to comfortably read a book by, navigate your home, etc. Its nice to be able to run a light for 4-5hrs straight without even putting a dent (~2%?) in the battery - why not save juice for the higher modes when you can without having to sit in the dark? For most daily household chores, I rarely need more than 3 lumens.

    FourSevens Quarks, Zebralight 51s, EagleTac D25A clickies and Trunite all have long running AA lights.
    Quote Originally Posted by summer View Post
    Great suggestions so far. It might be hard to find brand new ITPs since they've been discontinued, but modified designs can now be found under Olight.


    For general or emergency use around the house, I'd recommend clickies with very simple interfaces and commonly-found batteries. Family members might find the average flashaholic flashlight too complicated and end up lighting a candle lol.


    keychain lights: Olight i3 or i2, Eagletac D25A, Fenix E05

    for the house: Fenix LD10, LD20, or E21; and a Zebralight SC51 (might be too small to keep in the emergency supplies cupboard but it would be nice as your personal all around light)

    to use outdoors or light up a considerable sized backyard: Olight S35
    Quote Originally Posted by gglockner View Post
    Quote me if I am wrong, but most flashlights using a CR123 battery would be great for your needs, due to there long shelf life. A good example would be a Pelican 3320. Fairly bright and under $25. Batteries may last ten years without any use.
    As a new member this thread is goldmine if information I too was looking for, thank you all. Now to spend some money.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    Welcome from one newbie to another. Going AA for a couple of lights is a great way to go for emergencies. They are the most available batteries in bad times. The LD20 is a great light for general purpose as is the 4sevens Quark AA2. I just received the Quark AA2 and can't say enough good things about it. For 123 lights, I like the Fenix PD 30 or 32 R5's. Great size for the power and run times. Jetbeam, Sunwayman,Eagletac and Zebra lights are very popular brands on CPF also. Hopefully I can comment on these lights very soon!
    Last edited by bushmattster; 07-15-2012 at 03:10 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    Don't go for the CR123...it'l be hard to find batteries for in an emergency. Get a AA light, and use lithium AA batteries (15 year shelf life)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    bushmattster thanks for the additional suggestions. I was able to use a Feix LD20 and it is quite impressive.

    I am amazed at the efficiency of LED lights and current batteries. In past jobs I spent many hours examining dams, power plants, tunnels and the inside of piping always carrying pockets full of spare batteries. The lights of today would have saved many cases of D cells.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by ikeyballz View Post
    Don't go for the CR123...it'l be hard to find batteries for in an emergency. Get a AA light, and use lithium AA batteries (15 year shelf life)
    Good point, and the alkaline versions are are sold everywhere. Is there a particular AA lithium cell that is suited to long term shelf life?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinetreebbs View Post
    Good point, and the alkaline versions are are sold everywhere. Is there a particular AA lithium cell that is suited to long term shelf life?
    I believe theres really only two, and both are pretty good. Off the top of my head, those are the Energizer Ultimate Lithium or Energizer Advanced Lithiums. You're going to want to buy it in bulk because you can get them down to less than 2 bucks a pop. I know sams club and costco have them!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    From my research, Energizer L91's get alot of nods around here.
    Last edited by bushmattster; 07-15-2012 at 03:16 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by ikeyballz View Post
    I believe theres really only two, and both are pretty good. Off the top of my head, those are the Energizer Ultimate Lithium or Energizer Advanced Lithiums. You're going to want to buy it in bulk because you can get them down to less than 2 bucks a pop. I know sams club and costco have them!
    Quote Originally Posted by bushmattster View Post
    From my research, Energizer L91's get alot of nods around here.
    Thanks!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    Look at the Zebralight SC80

  18. #18

    Default Re: Recommendations for a beginner

    I've been in your shoes. The new guy (still am new!) on CPF poking around for suggestions about a light. You list 5 lights you're considering. You really just need them for an "emergency". Yup, I wore the T-shirt, and wrote the thread...

    Save yourself the time, money, and trouble. Just order the Fenix TK70. You'll be here before you know it anyway. It'll run on regular ol' D batteries for days on low, and medium is brighter than a Dorcy on high. It's the brightest light you'll probably ever need in your lifetime and sports stadiums will be jealous. 4 total light levels and 2 levels of strobe, so even in a Katrina style emergency you could swiftly and easily signal helicopters or airliners for help.

    Seriously though, I think most of the members have you on a pretty good track.

    I personally say it's good to spread it out a bit if you're considering multiples (as it seems you are). Get one from each manufacturer you have in mind. If you don't like it you can sell it on CPFMarketplace (CPF's sister forum) for a slight loss, know maybe that brand or battery type isn't for you, then try something else! Have some fun with it. I've tried several manufacturers and all the common battery chemistry's in the past month or so. I've personally decided that Jetbeam has some of the best build quality (from what I've tried) lights. Lithium REQUIRING lights (batteries such as CR123 and 18650) aren't the ones for me. It seems Fenix makes a light to suit every need I have for work (as I work nights) so I find myself favoring them. They don't feel "Jetbeam tough" to me, but I can't get past the good fit in every other regard. Only time will truly speak for durability.

    Keep in mind, lights bought for "emergency purposes" quickly become recognized as valuable tools (and toys). You'll be using them more and more. Buy a light you'll always like.

    If you do end up going with a lithium light, research, research, research. They are safe for you if you know how to use them. They might not be safe sitting around for the wife or kids to fiddle around with. They aren't toys for the uneducated.

    AA and AAA lights are very handy.

    All batteries can be had for less money if you know where to look. CR123's, for example, may cost you $12/pair at Home Depot, but the price of 10 at Home Depot will buy you 50 online (1.25/cell). AA and AAA 24 packs can be had for $8 online (Duracells at that!). Best of all, the answers to all related questions are right here on CPF.

    Good luck and enjoy CPF. The information is endless.
    Last edited by fiberguy; 07-16-2012 at 03:20 AM.

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