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Thread: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Wits' End's Avatar
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    Default What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    I know Princeton Tec has some that do. Are there other lines that use PR (Flanged for those that don't know) bulbs? How do you rate PT's offerings with PR's?
    What's the best mainstream source for PR bulbs?
    And LBNL what are the best PR bulbs, from whom?

    History:I've stayed away from SF due to their pricier LA's.
    SL has less expensive bulbs but not widely available (esp. in small towns). So a good PR based light with good, or better [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img], bulb will work fine but if I go through spares I can get an OK replacement lamp at any hardware store.
    TIA

  2. #2

    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    What do you want in a light? An alternative to a Surefire, or something bigger? The usual is Mag (ugh!) or Koehler/Brightstar or something like that, for C or D powered lights. Tec40 is probably as good as it gets with AA power. There's also a Tec20 (same bezel as Tec40, but 2AA) that's discontinued recently but you can still find them. Koehler also makes a Tec40-like 4aa light which I think takes PR's.

    The bi-pin Streamlight bulbs are pretty standard though. I'd just order a bunch of them and keep spares around. You might be able to use a Magcharger bulb in an Ultrastinger with a little bit of improvisation. There's some chance of finding Magcharger bulbs at the hardware store.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    I have put maglite mag-numstar Xenon bulbs in darn near every thing around the house that is not needing A non standerd bulb. I had very good luck at the local Home Depot however once I cleaned them out all they seem to restock is A 4-cell bulb. They come in 2-cell--to6-cell might need to shop online.
    topper

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    Shoot I may have not answered the question. Any standard light maybe improved by changing the bulb. I have had good results with a Dorcy 4 AA rubberized I got at the General dollar store for three bucks. I have no reason to fear SUPERMAN so I toss the kyripton? bulbs and go with the Xenon (Princess Warrior)???
    Life can be tough in Arkansas
    topper

  5. #5

    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    Well, that's true if "improve" just means "make it brighter" and it doesn't already have the brightest bulb that make sense for its batteries. However, "good" for a flashlight also means stuff like ergonomics, reliability, visual attractiveness, waterproofness, compactness, features, and so on. I could be wrong but I think Wits' End is basically looking for a Tec 40 (since he mentioned Surefire, that means a very bright, compact light) with a xenon bulb. It's a good choice if you don't mind the size. But for a general purpose light if I were really concerned about bulb replacement and didn't need the maximum possible brightness or throw, I'd definitely go with an LED light.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic illumiGeek's Avatar
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    As above, the PT40 & PT20 are very nice lights. I have both and have always been very pleased with them. Nice beam pattern. Good compromise of flood vs throw. Durable, waterproof (dive rated). I have one modded with a 1W Lux, and I like the Mag Xenons in the un-modded PTs. The GH88 lamp from reflectalite is also very nice in the PT20. It's really bright when driven off of NiMh, but the beam is a little ugly (nice spot with loads of throw, ugly spill).

    Ikelite makes several PR based dive lights that are very bright. They are focused very tightly and have lots of throw with limited spill, but they use smooth reflectors and have the same type of gnarly beam pattern as Mags. I've been meaning to try and "sputter" the Ikes I have, but haven't gotten around to it. I have an Ike PCa 6xAA light that I swapped the lamp for a GH24F frosted lamp - when fed by 6 Energizer lithiums it makes a wide, smooth, room filling flood light thats small enough to fit in a pocket. Don't know how long it would run out of water without melting, but when diving it really lights up the reef! And I mean all of the reef; not just a little tunnel-vision dot like usual (or you could use the GH143 for a similar, but less bright flood that can be driven from NiMh).

    Aloha, iG

  7. #7

    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    Your staying away from Surefire because their lamp assemblies cost more?

    OK, I'm going to get on the soapbox here....

    the Lamp assembly "is the flashlight" it is the engine in the flashlight...everything else, the batteries, switch, case are only there to help that lamp assembly make LIGHT.

    I've been using Surefire lights for over 13 years, at first on a weekly basis and now daily, in all that time I've only had one lamp go that was an early 6P that went out less than 2 weeks after I sold it to him, so I'm not sure what he did to it. But I think that is a great record.

    GregR

  8. #8

    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    I think the issue is not just cost, but ease of replacement. SF LA goes out and you're without a light until you can order a spare from somewhere and have it delivered. PR bulb goes out and you get a replacement at any hardware store or Radio Shack. There is something to this logic, though my solution would involve LED's.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Wits' End's Avatar
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    PaulR, My solution to ~97% + of my portable lighting needs is LED. When I want to see what's behind the rustle off a ways though I want a good incan.
    I have a Scorpion and after a year and a half I'm on my second battery and first lamp. As opposed to my two times a month change in my Ultra and 2-3 times a month change in my Arc LS (no 'bulb' changes [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] )
    The main reason I have this question out here is to find a good compromise light for my non-Flashaholic friends. Of course I'll have to test it first...
    I can't justify an Incan SF for the amount I'd use it and most people are not going to buy a new LA for more than they would pay for a MAG, this isn't to put down SF, they are just beyond the reach of most of my friends. The only SF light I've held has been a G2 and it is a better quality light than most I've held.
    I want to be able to recomend/give a light that will be used but will offer a better quality experience for the user. I like the PT lights I've had so I will look more closely at the Tec 40.
    Any other light or bulb suggestions?

  10. #10

    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    Wits' End

    I think the Tec 40 is about it.

    The only non-123 cell lights I use anymore are of the 4-AA variety. I had and lost a while ago the PT Tec 40, I still have a UK Mini Q40 and a Stealthlight. The last two both use proprietary lamp/reflector assemblies where the lamp is permanently mounted in reflector.

    Streamlight is big into having backup bi-pin lamps with many of their flashlights so check their line. Check with Brightguy's they seem to have a wide selection of all brands and have a search feature which helps alot.

    Alot of people ask for a "good" flashlight that uses "regular" lamps and "regular" batteries. I have no answer, except stick to your Maglight. I'm from the pre-Maglight times. When Maglight came out they were kings! All that I remember prior to them was Kel-lights and Bianchi B-lights.

    The trend I see is when a flashlight manufacturer wants to make a "better quality" flashlight then generally start opting for one or more of the following....123 lithium cells, Custom lamp/reflector assemblies, special rechargeable batter packs.


    I tell them is they are will to move up to something better that means more expensive. More expensive means the manufacturer uses better components (lithiums and or lamp assemblies). They aren't too happy and I have to shrug my shoulders, hey you can't get something for nothing... except today if Santa is good to you!

    Merry Christmas,
    GregR

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* EvilLithiumMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    Another vote here for the PT20/40. Hard to misplace if you get the yellow one. Fully insulated, so no problem using it around live electronics (computers).

    My only complaints are: the lanyard ring prevents the light from standing on end and, like all cylindrical lights, it rolls away if not on a level surface. I did, however, solve the rolling issue after dozens of hours of research and 100's of dollars of investment:



    illumiGeek - I'd love to read details and see pics of your 1W Lux mod.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    I'm not exactly recommending Minimags, but finding bulbs for them isn't especially hard. They use small bi-pin bulbs.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic illumiGeek's Avatar
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    [ QUOTE ]
    EvilLithiumMan said:
    illumiGeek - I'd love to read details and see pics of your 1W Lux mod.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It's nothing special. Just a home made "PR" replacement light. A piece of metal dowel the size of a PR base with a resistor to drop the voltage. The voltage drop is set to run from 4.8v so I can use 4 rechargable or 3 disposable batteries to drive it. It gets quite hot during use due to the limited heat sinking (just the metal base), but I've run it for more than an hour continuously and it seems no worse for the wear.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* BatteryCharger's Avatar
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    I have a Garrity "steel beam" flashlight that I use almost every day. It takes 4AA batteries...which I love because I've got quite a pile of NiMh's. I put a standard 3 cell mag bulb into it (being driven with 4 cells) and it's quite bright, with a pretty good beam. (it's got a faceted reflector) It would probably be even brighter with a 3 cell krypton bulb. Also, even though the bulb is being overdriven it's lasted through probably 20 sets of batteries so far.

    Steel Beam

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    As many have mentioned, TEC 40 (or TEC 20) are the only "small" lights I know of that are EASY to find.

    I have a couple older Rayovac 2AA lights that use PR bulbs, but the new ones are bi-pin.

    Generally speaking, 2AA lights don't give much light compared to 4AA or 2+ 123A.

    A somewhat reasonable choice would be to get a 2C M&g and run 3x123 and a 6 cell M&g Krypton (for good bulb life and 4 or 5 D M&g performance) or a 5 cell Krypton (for a VERY bright light with possibly still good bulb life - it goes on a case-by-case basis as to bulb life)

    But that is still a pretty big light with expensive (if bought locally) Lithium batteries.

    Lastly, if you would like a pretty nice 2AA light with a SF TYPE beam (not nearly as powerful) get yourself a Pelican Mitylite 2AA. Yes, it use a LM rather than PR. So what? If you have WW Graingers or Frys locally LMs are there.

    These Pelican lights seem to me to be pretty robust and durable, and I don't keep a spare LM at home.

    Or just order the Pelican and a couple extra LMs from Brightguy. Run Lithium AAs in the light and it is pretty nice!

    But I carry and use SF G2 as an EDC. On the second set of batteries and still on the first LM. It has fallen from my truck down to concrete once, and off the desk on to hard plastic SEVERAL times, and is still going strong.

    If you thought the G2 was pretty nice, just order an extra P60 with the light!!!

    Don't sell proprietary Light Modules so short!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    Wits'End,

    Happy Holidays! Hope all has been well with you...

    I understand your need for PR-Based lights - and there aren't all that many to choose from, but I'll put in my 2-cents worth if it might be of some help.

    The Koehler/Brightstar Responder series lights look like possibilities, but I have never handled one so I can't comment further.

    I have several Princeton Tec lights, and lights such as the Tec 40 should do well for the purposes you stated. They do out-perform the 2D Mags in beam quality with the halogen lamp provided, and use PR-type lamps, so hardware store replacements are "do-able" in a pinch. I'd encourage a non-flashaholic to try one over a 2D Mag in all cases, unless the real need was for something to drive over, or for uses other than light. Some users, however, don't like having to twist the head for on/off.

    Other general comparisons:

    Tec 40 vs MiniMag - definately much better light, but not all that much bigger. Also many more bulb options than MM.

    Tec 40 vs 2D Mag-Lite - Much more managable size-wise, and still better light output than the 2D. Wouldn't want to try and carry a 2D Mag around my neck or on a wrist lanyard, as you could with the Tec 40.

    Other considerations:

    They are much more "hand-friendly" in the cold than a big metal light. Also, I doubt you can substitute lithiums for the D-cell lights (for cold-weather performance) like you can with the 4AA Tec 40.

    PT customer service has been good to me, and I'd say that if you can get good pricing on these lights, they'd do well for you.

    Be advised that the Tec 40 beam (with textured reflector) is not pencil thin, so throw is marginally limited. It does have a relatively smooth beam of medium width that lights an area at distance rather than just a small spot.

    The newer Magnum Star Xenon bulbs, although $3-$6 at hardware stores, do produce a nice beam with good brightness in the Tec 40 using alkalines.

    Hope this helps in making your decisions...

    John

  17. #17

    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    Just about every drugstore around here (Walgreens, Rite Aid) sells 2AA lights that use PR bulbs (made by Garrity, Dorcy, and suchlike). Some of the lights seem to be made pretty well, though they're much larger than a 2AA light really needs to be (they look more like 2C lights). I still think 2D is more cost effective if you don't mind the size, and that's why they're still the most popular among non-flashaholics.

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    Generally speaking (Lithium Celled Lights being the exception) 2 cell lights, be they AA, C or D just don't "put out" in flashaholic terms.

    I have converted most of the 2D stuff I have to run 123A Liths. I have a Dorcy 'Chromebright' 2D light with 2x123 and a 4.8v Krypton bulb. It SLAUGHTERS the stock configuration!

    The only really good 2AA lights I have are 1: The Pelican Mitylite - if it had a clickie tail (available now as Mitylite Plus!) it would probably go with me as EDC some days. 2: MiniM&G with Madmax+ module - you'd never believe what a MM is capable of until you see/try a sandwich! 3: MiniM&g with an Opalec NewBeam - very nice area/task light, not much throw but WORLDS better than a stock mini!

    Honorable mention to the 2 older Rayovac 2AA lights I have (old style with PR bulbs) with Lith AAs and a M&G Xenon bulb they aren't too shabby. Pretty tough too.

    All the other 2AA stuff I have is second or third tier, almost never considered when I need or just play with a light.

    4AA lights are FAR superior in light output. TEC 40 only lacks a switch (clickie) to be a perfect light.

    Another very good 4AA is the Underwater Kinetics 4AA AS2. It is a bit more throwy than the TEC 40 and has a nice clickie in a good place on the light. SORRY but again this is a light that uses a Light Module.

    I really think the best thing you could do is swallow your hatred for light modules and get a SF G2 or Pelican M6 (both 2x123 lights). G2 is near perfection when modded with a Garrity clickie. M6 is a darn fine light with a soft edged spot and some decent spill. I haven't found a good clickie option for it yet. Neither light should go beyond $40 shipped, and LMs for the PM6 are around $6.

    I have any number of lights to choose from for EDC. I think it says something that among all of them, I choose the G2 most of the time. While I don't carry an extra LM, I do carry an ARC AAA as a backup. The other light I carry sometimes is the MM with Madmax and a clickie tail. Notice a pattern yet?

    Open your mind dude!

  19. #19

    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    Id consider a juiced up Mag to be a "good" PR based light. Using 3x123 in a 2C mag with a 5 or 6 cell bulb give your very bright white light. Sure the beam isnt perfect, but in real outdoor usage who really cares. It only make's a difference if you're shining it against a wall. It's a great light for under $15. Replacement bulbs are cheap too.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic ericjohn's Avatar
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    I don't know if anyone has said this before, but Bright Star is a prett good PR bulb flashlight. Especially the older ones. I have one that is 60+ years old and if it wasn't for a slightly cracked butt cap (fixed with epoxy) and a dull reflector it would be as just as shiny as it was long ago. Only Bright Star light I would steer clear of is the 2618, but its predecessor, the 1618, is awesome. (That's the one I just mentioned.)
    "When egrets take flight, foul weather in sight."

  21. #21

    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericjohn View Post
    I don't know if anyone has said this before, but Bright Star is a prett good PR bulb flashlight. Especially the older ones. I have one that is 60+ years old and if it wasn't for a slightly cracked butt cap (fixed with epoxy) and a dull reflector it would be as just as shiny as it was long ago. Only Bright Star light I would steer clear of is the 2618, but its predecessor, the 1618, is awesome. (That's the one I just mentioned.)
    Nothing like resurrecting a 9 year old thread...

  22. #22
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by AIC View Post
    Nothing like resurrecting a 9 year old thread...
    Well, since it's been resurrected, are there any PR-bulb lights that are still worth getting in this day of cheap LED lights?

    I've got a Duracell Voyager that I threw a Dorcy 3v LED in to have a non-blinding, rubber-coated light for my 4-year-old to sleep with, but I would never have spent $12 (light + bulb) for it if I were getting it for my own use.

    --flatline

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: What GOOD lights use standard PR bulbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by AIC View Post
    Nothing like resurrecting a 9 year old thread...
    I think back seat moderating could land you in as much hot water as necroing a long since dead thread


    Seeing as we're talking about PR bulbs anyway... slapped a 7.2v krypyon & 2 x 14500's into an old Eveready rubber armoured toolbox light, not as bright as I thought it would be but awesome compared to stock!


    Sad... but incandescently satisfying on some level

    My modest collection HERE & 55w HID spotlight project HERE

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