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Thread: Advice needed, I need a Torch/flashlight for work and hiking

  1. #1

    Default Advice needed, I need a Torch/flashlight for work and hiking

    Hi,

    I'm looking for a light to use for both hiking in the hills and work, I am a police officer in the UK so I need it for searching large open areas for people often hiding. I already have a LED Lenser police tech (goes by a different name in other countries) which is good for searching buildings etc however our only search lights are Dragon delta lights which are too large and heavy to run with. The flashlight would be carried in my kit bag so I'm not worried about it being in a holster etc, and it will replace a 3 D cell maglite so no heavier than that if possible.

    Thanks.


    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.
    __X__Less than $150.
    ____Less than $300.
    ____I have no limit.
    ____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).
    ____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.
    ____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?

    _X___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)
    _X___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).
    __X__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)
    __X__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).
    ____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).
    ____I don't care.
    __X__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.)
    _X___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.)
    __X__I want SOS mode.
    ____I want a beacon mode.
    ____I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.


    14)Material/Finish/Coating

    ____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
    __X__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).
    ____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
    __X__Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    ____Crenulated bezel
    ____Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments

  2. #2

    Default Re: Advice needed, I need a Torch/flashlight for work and hiking



    In full disclosure, I only use lights that use AAA or AA batteries. I do traffic control and security work in deeply woods areas.

    My first thought is Fenix TK41 (8 AAs). It's like carrying search light, but it's only the size of a 2 D-cell flashlight, and this thing can throw some serious light.

    http://www.fenixlight.com/viewnproduct.asp?id=89
    Video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwuMI...eature=related




    My second thought is the Jet-Beam Pa20 (2 AAs). This light just screams law enforcement to me. With the head of the light tightened it's in turbo (230 lumens), but with the head loose you can switch between 3 lower brightness levels and a strobe from hell, and it will remember the mode you select. So you can go from turbo to strobe with just a twist of the head, and it's a forward clicky as well

    http://www.jet-beam.com/links/pro/pa20.aspx

    Demo video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viS1-4bBt5I
    Last edited by Ezeriel; 08-19-2012 at 03:35 AM.
    If you ask me what light to buy, I have an uncontrollable urge to say "Fenix"

  3. #3
    Flashaholic
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Advice needed, I need a Torch/flashlight for work and hiking

    AA lights from 4-7" and 800+ lumens? I don't think so. I think you will find you need to revise your criteria in some areas. High powered lights in AA chemistry are not common.

    You should look into a Fenix LD40 or LD41, but the body is carbon-fibre/plastic. Similarly the Jetbeam PA40.

    Perhaps have a look at the Olight S35 and S65 Baton series as well.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Advice needed, I need a Torch/flashlight for work and hiking

    Hi,

    Thanks for the replays both, I also ticked the CR123 battery option as I realise AA won't give massive brightness however that said the sunwayman lights seem to have good output from AA's. We also use sure fire X300 on our weapons on I can easily use the CR123s.

    Kind regards.

    Mike.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Advice needed, I need a Torch/flashlight for work and hiking

    Quote Originally Posted by MJ7326 View Post
    Hi,

    Thanks for the replays both, I also ticked the CR123 battery option as I realise AA won't give massive brightness however that said the sunwayman lights seem to have good output from AA's. We also use sure fire X300 on our weapons on I can easily use the CR123s.

    Kind regards.

    Mike.

    Goinggear is a website with a flashlight search feature based on battery. Many 1x18650 lights also take 2xCR123s. So that would open you up to a world of flashlights like the thrunight tn11s, the eagletac g25c2 or the much FAVOURITE for law enforcement KLARUS XT11.

    For AA lights, you could checkout the olight baton series or the jetbeam pa40. Sunwayman are probably the most appropriate out of the 3, the make 3xAA and 4xAA lights with the batteries all beside each other, so these lights are a little fat (no cigar grip) but a large reflector. the M40A is outstanding with 600 lumens, a good thrower, QUALITY flashlight, all from only 4 AA batteries.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Advice needed, I need a Torch/flashlight for work and hiking

    The lights I have looked at so far are, sunwayman M40a, t20cs, t40cs, catapult V3, jetbeam RRT15 and the jetbeam M2s. I have been in contact with going gear and I am awaiting a reply from them. Which of these lights would you recommend? I like the light adjustment of the RRT15 but would like it with a little more lumens.

    Many thanks.

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    MA
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    Default Re: Advice needed, I need a Torch/flashlight for work and hiking

    You might like 4 AA lights. 2 AAs side by side so it's kinda short and flat at the battery end. Check out the Fenix LD40, LD41, TK41, and Jetbeam BA40. Good 2 AA lights can hit over 200 lumen out the front.

    Very few single LED lights get over 800 lumen out the front. If you need lots of light, look at some multi emitter lights like the Nitecore TM11 or the Sunwayman T60CS.


  8. #8
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Advice needed, I need a Torch/flashlight for work and hiking

    It's not 800 lumens but the Armytek Predator is another light you could consider. It can run on 2xCR123 and has a deep reflector built for throw. A multitude of modes available but some serious reading is required to master/program it. I have one and love it.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic*
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    Anaheim, CA.
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    Default Re: Advice needed, I need a Torch/flashlight for work and hiking

    Thrunite TN11s might work for you.

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