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Thread: Looking for a top notch light

  1. #1

    Default Looking for a top notch light

    Hi everyone I'm new to the forum, long time browser. I've been researching flashlights for a couple years now and it has definitely become somewhat of an obsession. I want opinions on a great EDC flashlight. I recently had a fenix tk21-U2 i liked the size so somewhere around that but I dont mind going bigger. Battery runtime is key, and I prefer cr123a but again I am open to anything. For now lets say price doesnt matter either. Let me know what anyone thinks!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Sunwayman V10R or V11R!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    Quote Originally Posted by Shooter1234 View Post
    Hi everyone I'm new to the forum, long time browser. I've been researching flashlights for a couple years now and it has definitely become somewhat of an obsession. I want opinions on a great EDC flashlight. I recently had a fenix tk21-U2 i liked the size so somewhere around that but I dont mind going bigger. Battery runtime is key, and I prefer cr123a but again I am open to anything. For now lets say price doesnt matter either. Let me know what anyone thinks!
    probably best to fill out the sticky checklist to get a better idea of what you desire.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    McGizmo ("lets say price doesnt matter") 1,or 2x 123a or 2xAA clicky paks options and there are a quite a few 1x18650 options as threads are "E" series

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    Quote Originally Posted by CMAG View Post
    McGizmo ("lets say price doesnt matter") 1,or 2x 123a or 2xAA clicky paks options and there are a quite a few 1x18650 options as threads are "E" series

    Haha Shooter when you say price isn't an issue on CPF, you've gotta be careful!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    Quote Originally Posted by rambo180 View Post
    Haha Shooter when you say price isn't an issue on CPF, you've gotta be careful!
    SHooter's lucky he said he liked the tk21 format or I may have said Cool fall's 007 XML of course with SWGG options

    Any way if you are stuck with 123a primary's I still say Gizmo or Malikoff go 18650 or rcr123/imr cells then add Mac Customs and Dark sucks to the list

  7. #7

    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    Quote Originally Posted by rambo180 View Post
    Haha Shooter when you say price isn't an issue on CPF, you've gotta be careful!

    some people just don' know what they're getting themselves into

  8. #8

    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    I'm new to all this but this is what I'd recommend based on some intense study on what suits my needs.

    Look at the Zebralight SC51 or SC80.. it was second on my list just after the SWM V11R with XML led for nice floody beam (my first "real" light). The Zebralights will give you longer runtime, but no XML led. Both give you multiple battery options (CR123A, AA, rechargeables, including Lithium Ions)..and you still maintain all functions!! The SWM you need to get a $15 extender to use AA/14500s though.. the Zebralight has an ingenious bushing that you just reverse depending on the battery.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Lou Minescence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rambo180 View Post
    probably best to fill out the sticky checklist to get a better idea of what you desire.

    Shooter,
    It sounds like your TK21 was a great light. What would you like to change ?
    Maybe a different tint with a different switch interface ? Stay with a tacticle style light ?

    I bought a Sunwayman M20C T5 Neutral XML that I use and like a lot.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Minescence View Post
    Shooter,
    It sounds like your TK21 was a great light. What would you like to change ?
    Maybe a different tint with a different switch interface ? Stay with a tacticle style light ?

    I bought a Sunwayman M20C T5 Neutral XML that I use and like a lot.

    Nothing wrong with the TK 21, It was stolen from my truck and now without a flashlight (except my nitecore ex11) I am curious to see what else is out there that is comparable. I am definitely not ruling out getting another one though.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    I filled it out, dont really care about battery type I am open to anything. I just checked out sunwayman T20CS after being referred to the site. any opinions?

    1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

    ____I would like to purchase the light from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
    __x__I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.


    2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :-)

    ____Less than $25.
    ____Less than $50.
    ____Less than $100.
    ____Less than $150.
    ____Less than $300.
    ____I have no limit.
    __x__I’m flexible, tell me what you gotJ.
    ____Other, please specify ________


    3) Format:

    __x__I want a flashlight.
    ____I want a headlamp.
    ____I want a lantern.
    ____I want a dive light.
    ____I want a portable spotlight.


    4) Flashlight-specific format/size:

    ____Keychain size.
    ____Every day carry small (2-4 inches).
    ___x_Every day carry medium (4-7 inches).
    ___x_Holster carry.
    ____Big enough to need its own travel caseJ.
    ____I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.
    ____N/A


    5) Emitter/Light source:

    ___x_LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)
    ____Incandescent (known for superior color rendition)
    ____HID (known for max output, but often at the expense of size)
    ____I don't know.


    6) Manufacturer:

    ___x_I want to buy a light from a traditional mass producing manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
    ___x_I would consider getting a light that is pieced together (for example a “host” or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a “drop-in” emitter from another source). Under the right circumstances, this path can provide more options to the consumer to meet specific needs, and can often be easily upgradeable as technology improves.


    7) What battery type do you want to use?

    ____I intend to use alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D) (disclaimer, while it does not preclude all choices, these are not recommended for many of today’s most powerful lights)
    ____I intend to use rechargeable nickel chemistry (NiCad, NiMH, NiZn)
    ____I intend to use lithium primary batteries (CR123, CR2, Energizer Advanced/Ultimate Lithium AA/AAA)
    ____I intend to use rechargeable lithium (li-ion) chemistry. Feel free to specify a size if you know which size you want (14500, RCR123/16340, 17500, 17670, 18650, etc.)
    ____I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery. (Note: these choices may be very limited unless you are looking at spotlights)


    8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).

    ____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (0-10 lumens).
    ____I want to walk around an unlit rural area (50-150 lumens).
    ____I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
    ___x_I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens).
    ___x_I want ridiculous amounts of lumens (800+ lumens).


    9) Throw vs. Flood: At what distance will you be most likely to use this light? Select all that apply.

    ____Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
    ____Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
    ____5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
    ____30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
    ___x_50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
    ___x_150+ yards (I want maximum throw possible)


    10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum output).

    ____Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods)
    ____30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
    __x__90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
    ____3 hours + (I critically need this light to run on max for extended periods in between battery changes/charges).


    11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.

    ____Not Important (A “night-stand” light).
    ____Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood).
    __x__Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
    __x__Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
    ____I don't care.
    ____I don’t know.


    12) Switch Type and location (choose all that apply):

    ____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
    ____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
    ____I want a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only).
    ____I want a twisty switch (Tighten the head/tailcap to activate, and the light will stay on until the head/tailcap is loosened).
    ____I want a body mounted switch (near the head, like on a Maglite).
    ____I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today’s high end lights).
    __x__I don't care.
    ____I don’t know.
    ____Other, please specify____________________.


    13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.

    ____A simple on-off with only one output level is fine for me.
    ____I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
    ____I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
    ____I want a programmable light.
    ____I want a selector ring.
    ____I want a strobe mode. (Blinks to show location.)
    ____I want SOS mode.
    ____I want a beacon mode.
    __x__I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.


    14)Material/Finish/Coating

    ____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
    ____Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today’s flashlights).
    ____Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum)
    ____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
    _x___I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.
    ____Other, please specify____________.


    15) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any below.

    ____Red filter (for preserving night vision).
    ____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________).
    ____Dedicated R/G/B secondary LEDs.
    ____“Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
    ____Pocket/belt clip
    ____Holster
    ____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    ____Crenulated bezel
    ____Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* RobertM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    How about a SureFire R1 Lawman?

  13. #13
    Enlightened trevordurden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    Pick the 2 most of the important of the following three:

    Carry size/weight | Battery Runtime | Brightness

    Due to the laws of the universe, you can't have more than 2 of these options without sacrificing the 3rd. From the form you filled out, I can't think of any flashlight that will fit what you want better than the TK21. You can find brighter lights, but you'll lose battery runtime, or the light size will be bigger (requires more batteries).

  14. #14

    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    Quote Originally Posted by trevordurden View Post
    Pick the 2 most of the important of the following three:

    Carry size/weight | Battery Runtime | Brightness

    Due to the laws of the universe, you can't have more than 2 of these options without sacrificing the 3rd. From the form you filled out, I can't think of any flashlight that will fit what you want better than the TK21. You can find brighter lights, but you'll lose battery runtime, or the light size will be bigger (requires more batteries).

    lets go with runtime and brightness without exceeding holster size

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    Klarus XT11 has a really good runtime for that size lights, maybe its a little bigger (and 700+ lumens on CR123s). It has to be in your top 5.

  16. #16
    Enlightened trevordurden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    Quote Originally Posted by rambo180 View Post
    Klarus XT11 has a really good runtime for that size lights, maybe its a little bigger (and 700+ lumens on CR123s). It has to be in your top 5.
    Keep in mind the XT11 only holds the 700 lumens for 3 minutes before it steps down. (same with other lights around this size such as the SC600). But on the other hand, unless it's for search and rescue, I don't think you'd find a need for 700 lumens for more than 3 minutes anyway though.

    I have a Fenix TK41 with a ripoffs holster I bought off ebay. It definitely pushes what you can define as holster carry though, it feels like someone's trying to pull down my pants. However, it does throw a ridiculous distance (sometimes I need binoculars to make out the details in the hotspot). However I find it a bit big for my tastes. How about the Jetbeam BC40 or Fenix TK35?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    Im leaning towards 3 right now SWM t20cs klarus xt 11 or going with another fenix (probably tk 21) any opinions recommendations or completely other lights?

  18. #18
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk45 View Post
    I'm new to all this but this is what I'd recommend based on some intense study on what suits my needs.

    Look at the Zebralight SC51 or SC80.. it was second on my list just after the SWM V11R with XML led for nice floody beam (my first "real" light). The Zebralights will give you longer runtime, but no XML led. Both give you multiple battery options (CR123A, AA, rechargeables, including Lithium Ions)..and you still maintain all functions!! The SWM you need to get a $15 extender to use AA/14500s though.. the Zebralight has an ingenious bushing that you just reverse depending on the battery.
    What is the benefit of the XML LED? I see lots of references to this, but couldn't find anything saying why that LED was better than the other CREE LED types.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Looking for a top notch light

    Quote Originally Posted by Shooter1234 View Post
    Im leaning towards 3 right now SWM t20cs klarus xt 11 or going with another fenix (probably tk 21) any opinions recommendations or completely other lights?
    Both are great. All you have here is all you need to decide. all you are getting to now is opinion. take the plunge.

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