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Thread: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

  1. #1

    Default Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Heads up, I'm a flashlight newbie. So, I work in a dark room all day, and occasionally have a hard time seeing things. I would like to get a quality flashlight, ideally one that is pocket friendly(pants or coat). I would be potentially interested in extra bells and whistles, just because. ==================Flashlight Recommendation Checklist================ 1) How would you prefer to purchase the light? ____This will be mail-order or Online (location doesn't matter). 2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :-) ____Essentially unlimited. 3) Format: ____I want a flashlight (hand held/self contained). 4) Size: ____TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches). ____SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches). 5) Emitter/Light source: ____I don't know. 6) Manufacturer: ____I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box. 7) What power source do you want to use? I don't know. I can take whatever, but I like the idea of a long lasting rechargeable battery, if it is available and doesn't add too much size. 7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option Whatever works. 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 not a happy experience). ____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (1-10 lumens). ____I want an indoor "blackout" light (15-50 lumens) ^ |-------That is what I'll be using it for baseline, but I like the idea of having the option to adjust it brighter if needed, as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size. 9) Flood vs Throw: Flood covers an area, Throw reaches out to a distance. ____All Flood: I am doing "arms length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking. ____Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car. ____Narrow Flood: I want a sharply defined flood area that will project some distance for tasks like trail walking. 9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check 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) ^ |---------Those are probably what I'll actually be using it for, but I like the idea of adjustable brightness, as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size. 10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum continuous output). Not really sure, however, I am probably not going to be using it for extended long periods of time. That being said, I like the idea of a long lasting battery, as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size. 11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights. Not crucial, however, I like the idea of a durable tool, and am willing to pay for that as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size. 12) Switch Size, 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 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 know. 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 strobe mode. (Oscillating pattern to confuse/blind aka "Police Mode") ____I want SOS mode. (blinks in ...---... emergency pattern) ____I want a beacon mode. (Regular flashes at full power to show location.) ^ |---------I would only really need a single brightness for what I'm mainly going to use it for, however, I like the idea of adjustable brightness in case I ever want to use it for something else, as well as other bells and whistles, as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size. 14)Material/Finish/Coating Whatever, as long as it is quality. I like the idea of durable material, and am willing to pay for it as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size. 15) Water resistance Not really needed, however, I like the idea of water resistance, as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size. 16) Storage conditions ____In house (temperature/climate controlled environment) 17) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any/all below. None that I can think of that haven't already been covered. To rehash, I only really need a small, quality flashlight to see around a dark room. However, after browsing this site a little and seeing some of the options/toys available, my interest is peaked, and as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size, I would like to try out some extra features(brightness adjustability, durability, strobe, etc). Thank you all for anything you can recommend!

  2. #2
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Sounds to me like small size and runtime are your two biggest preferences. I would look into the AA lights that can use 14500 (lithium rechargeable AA size), lights that use cr123's (half size of 18650) or 18650 ( bigger than AA but the runtime/size ratio is much better). With an essentially unlimited budget there are others who can provide much better options to suit you.

    It would help alot if you would clean up your checklist please, its a bit hard to read and will make things easier for those that come along later to help!

    Good Luck and Welcome to CPF!!!!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    I don't know how the format got screwed up, reposting for clarity.


    Heads up, I'm a flashlight newbie. So, I work in a dark room all day, and occasionally have a hard time seeing things. I would like to get a quality flashlight, ideally one that is pocket friendly(pants or coat). I would be potentially interested in extra bells and whistles, just because.

    ==================Flashlight Recommendation Checklist================

    1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?
    ____This will be mail-order or Online (location doesn't matter).

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

    3) Format:
    ____I want a flashlight (hand held/self contained).

    4) Size:
    ____TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).
    ____SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).

    5) Emitter/Light source:
    ____I don't know.

    6) Manufacturer:
    ____I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.

    7) What power source do you want to use?
    I don't know. I can take whatever, but I like the idea of a long lasting rechargeable battery, if it is available and doesn't add too much size.

    7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option
    Whatever works.

    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 not a happy experience).
    ____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (1-10 lumens).
    ____I want an indoor "blackout" light (15-50 lumens)
    ^
    |-------That is what I'll be using it for baseline, but I like the idea of having the option to adjust it brighter if needed, as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size.

    9) Flood vs Throw: Flood covers an area, Throw reaches out to a distance.
    ____All Flood: I am doing "arms length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking.
    ____Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
    ____Narrow Flood: I want a sharply defined flood area that will project some distance for tasks like trail walking.

    9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check 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)
    ^
    |---------Those are probably what I'll actually be using it for, but I like the idea of adjustable brightness, as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size.

    10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum continuous output).
    Not really sure, however, I am probably not going to be using it for extended long periods of time. That being said, I like the idea of a long lasting battery, as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size.

    11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.
    Not crucial, however, I like the idea of a durable tool, and am willing to pay for that as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size.

    12) Switch Size, 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 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 know.

    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 strobe mode. (Oscillating pattern to confuse/blind aka "Police Mode")
    ____I want SOS mode. (blinks in ...---... emergency pattern)
    ____I want a beacon mode. (Regular flashes at full power to show location.)
    ^
    |---------I would only really need a single brightness for what I'm mainly going to use it for, however, I like the idea of adjustable brightness in case I ever want to use it for something else, as well as other bells and whistles, as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size.

    14)Material/Finish/Coating
    Whatever, as long as it is quality. I like the idea of durable material, and am willing to pay for it as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size.

    15) Water resistance
    Not really needed, however, I like the idea of water resistance, as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size.

    16) Storage conditions
    ____In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)

    17) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any/all below.
    None that I can think of that haven't already been covered. To rehash, I only really need a small, quality flashlight to see around a dark room. However, after browsing this site a little and seeing some of the options/toys available, my interest is peaked, and as long as it is available and doesn't add too much to the size, I would like to try out some extra features(brightness adjustability, durability, strobe, etc). Thank you all for anything you can recommend!

  4. #4
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Much better, thank you!! Its hard to tell how it got messed up with all the smart devices we got lol!!!

    The bigger the light you can manage to carry the more runtime and brightness you will gain. But you dont want something you wont carry either. So its kind of a personal preference. I will go over lights that are kinda the norm for the type since i have little experience with higher end (over $100) lights and when you start talking big bucks you open up TONS of options.

    f your looking for small the Nitecore TIP has 1-lumen, 45 lumen, 150 lumen (i think), and 360 lumens modes and may work for you. Its got a built in battery with micro usb port so you dont need a charger or seperate batteries but the runtimes might be too little for you.

    Next common size up is prolly a cr123 (or rcr123 if using rechargeables) light. I don't have any personally but alot of people like the Olight S1 baton, i dont have any of these so not sure on specs but it will have better runtimes than the TIP.

    Then, the AA size lights. They make lights that run on regular AA batteries that will also take 14500 batteries (essentially a lithium rechargable AA) and this will give you extended runtimes compared to a traditional AA, but the Voltage is different so make sure the light is compatible. Check out Thorfire tg06s, or Thrunite T10.

    Biggest reasonable option for carrying regularly IMO is an 18650 light.
    I carry a Nitecore MH20 at the moment but might be taking a backseat to the Convoy S2+ i have on the way. 18650 lights commonly have 1000 lumens or more and can run this for an hour or two if the light doesnt get too hot and start stepping down. If you run an 18650 on moon mode ( good for reading in the dark) the runtimes are usually measured in DAYS!!!

    Still kinda vague as the market has so many options right now it's really hard to narrow it down without being really specific. Just remember if the light you want takes rechargables you can get a seperate charger or look for a light that has one built in (MH20) (a feature generally found in 18650 lights), or comes with its own seperate charger (olight S1)
    Last edited by GRAY LITNIN; 12-04-2017 at 08:14 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Nebo’s Lil Larry or the Waka Waka Power.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic Keitho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Whether you end up with a Zebralight or not, their offerings are a good point of comparison for your shopping (output, size, weight, battery types). On their site, "compare all products" link on the left side is the best way to compare. The "SC" models are side button flashlights. The Zebralight offerings are all very efficient, have great low modes, and are small size for their high performance.

    Possibly of interest to you is their "photo red" headlamp. I use it camping when I want to preserve night vision, but it might be helpful for you in the dark room.

    Happy shopping!

  7. #7
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Quote Originally Posted by LetThereBeLight! View Post
    Nebo’s Lil Larry or the Waka Waka Power.
    Might have to pick up a Lil Larry! Look like good work lights!!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Quote Originally Posted by Keitho View Post
    Whether you end up with a Zebralight or not, their offerings are a good point of comparison for your shopping (output, size, weight, battery types). On their site, "compare all products" link on the left side is the best way to compare. The "SC" models are side button flashlights. The Zebralight offerings are all very efficient, have great low modes, and are small size for their high performance.

    Possibly of interest to you is their "photo red" headlamp. I use it camping when I want to preserve night vision, but it might be helpful for you in the dark room.

    Happy shopping!
    Don't mean to hi-jack your thread OP, but this might help you too!

    Are the ZL side switches pocket friendly? My MH20 will come on about once a week, (daily carry), but im always climbing ladders, leaning against workbenches and countertops, and crawling so its not 100% its fault. Im used to checking it, but i would like a another side switch light and ZL is one of my top choices but need to know if that switch is as prone to activation (looks more recessed, but i gotta have info from real owners). Thanks!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    You say that you want a hand held, but your tasks say you could use a headlamp.

    Headlamp - Thrunite TH20
    Handheld - Thrunite T10
    THRUNITE Archer1AV2|TiS|TH20|TN4A Hi...all in neutral white
    YUJILEDS BC Series 95+HighCRI modded Mini-Mag2AAA
    XTARVC4, LCTBC500, Amaloops, 1999MAG-LITE 2D Incandescent(glass lens)

  10. #10

    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAY LITNIN View Post
    Biggest reasonable option for carrying regularly IMO is an 18650 light.
    I carry a Nitecore MH20 at the moment but might be taking a backseat to the Convoy S2+ i have on the way. 18650 lights commonly have 1000 lumens or more and can run this for an hour or two if the light doesnt get too hot and start stepping down. If you run an 18650 on moon mode ( good for reading in the dark) the runtimes are usually measured in DAYS!!!
    Beware of any single 18650 flashlight claiming 1000 lumens or more and running for hours at that brightness. Almost certainly all of these things are happening:

    1) The light isn't really putting out 1000 lumens. I've seen many many lights claiming significantly higher output than the LED manufacturer rates the LED. In other words, the LED can't put out that much light. Not even theoretically. And even if the LED could put out 1000 lumens, you won't be getting 1000 lumens out the front of the light because no optical system is 100% efficient.

    2) If the light does put out 1000 lumens, it cannot maintain 1000 lumens, and even though the manufacturer says 1000 lumens for 2 hours, the reality will be more like 1000 lumens for 3 minutes and then a step down to 500 lumens, possibly stepping down more. If they didn't do this, the light would overheat and the batteries can't sustain that current for that long. Because a good 18650 holds about 12 watt hours of electricity.

    3) Finally, if the light puts out close to or an actual 1000 lumens, it almost certainly is doing it with a stark white, cold blueish purplish light. Why? Because LEDs that put out pleasant tints and render colors accurately make sacrifices in brightness in exchange for greater quality of light.

    The lumens war is as silly as the megapixel wars with digital cameras.

  11. #11
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAY LITNIN View Post
    Don't mean to hi-jack your thread OP, but this might help you too!

    Are the ZL side switches pocket friendly?
    I will of course let keitho answer, my experience with ZL has been fine pocket carry. These are tough tiny little lights, the switch's on mine are quite firm and not easily activated(accidentally). Even so, a little turn of the tail cap(couple of mm) , is enough to break contact and lock out the light. GRAY, if you dont have a ZL, i highly recommend trying one out, look in the WTB if spending near $100 does not sit right on a potential gamble. However, that purchase may just save you a small fortune down the line, IMHO they are about the best (or certainly one of)small pocket light out there(cost/value/quality/UI and LED options). They have very low lows, and now around 2300/2400lm from a light around the same size as a fat finger! Their anodising is one of the better ones as well

    v11r/sc63w/HDS/s2+


    If a budget is up to $100, sub lumen required, high max outputs,efficiency, and now pretty much programmable modes. If this on the menu............. ZL has to be one of the recommendations IMO or at least considered .

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleFrodo View Post
    Beware of any single 18650 flashlight claiming 1000 lumens or more and running for hours at that brightness. Almost certainly all of these things are happening:

    1) The light isn't really putting out 1000 lumens. I've seen many many lights claiming significantly higher output than the LED manufacturer rates the LED. In other words, the LED can't put out that much light. Not even theoretically. And even if the LED could put out 1000 lumens, you won't be getting 1000 lumens out the front of the light because no optical system is 100% efficient.

    2) If the light does put out 1000 lumens, it cannot maintain 1000 lumens, and even though the manufacturer says 1000 lumens for 2 hours, the reality will be more like 1000 lumens for 3 minutes and then a step down to 500 lumens, possibly stepping down more. If they didn't do this, the light would overheat and the batteries can't sustain that current for that long. Because a good 18650 holds about 12 watt hours of electricity.

    3) Finally, if the light puts out close to or an actual 1000 lumens, it almost certainly is doing it with a stark white, cold blueish purplish light. Why? Because LEDs that put out pleasant tints and render colors accurately make sacrifices in brightness in exchange for greater quality of light.

    The lumens war is as silly as the megapixel wars with digital cameras.
    I agree with all the above.
    I was just trying not to confuse the OP as he stated he has zero experience with lights. I thought if i started in on efficiencies, heat sinking, reflector shapes/angles/surface textures, protection circuits, performance of lithium fuels at different temps/# of cycles, tints, cri, ....etc.....and as you mentioned "real specs vs. manu. specs", it would start getting pretty hard to make a decision for an unenlightened soul just tryin to see in the dark. So to keep it simple i stuck with what he will find in manufacturer's specs as he shops for a light.

    But yes, just because a car says 500 h.p. doesnt mean it puts that much on the ground or that it can do that infinitely till it runs out of gas.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Just checking... are you sure you don’t want a headlamp?

    Zebralight offers some headlamps that doubles up as quite nice right angle flashlights as well.

    Depending on how up close you work, they also offer those in a configuration that’ll give about a 120 degree flood of light, which can be good for working close range amongst other things.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Quote Originally Posted by terjee View Post
    Just checking... are you sure you don’t want a headlamp?

    Zebralight offers some headlamps that doubles up as quite nice right angle flashlights as well.

    Depending on how up close you work, they also offer those in a configuration that’ll give about a 120 degree flood of light, which can be good for working close range amongst other things.
    Thanks for asking! I am quite sure I just want a handheld flashlight.

    I work in a fairly dark room, but it isn't pitch black. I'm also usually working in front of a screen, and don't have constant need of a light. We actually do have this big clunky flashlight from several decades ago available when one is needed, but I like the idea of having a small one for personal use. Also, a coworker brought in a really nice one last week and was showing it off, which prompted my initial post because I want a cool toy too.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic Keitho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAY LITNIN View Post
    Are the ZL side switches pocket friendly?
    I've never had a problem with accidental pocket activation on my EDC sc's, which I carry inside my front pocket, clipped to the top of my pocket.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Thanks ven and keitho! I carry clipped to front pocket too, so sounds like a ZL may be in the future! I've looked at them for a long time, just gotta convince myself i need it lol!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    zeetee, reading through this entire thread again, i think i know what you're looking for.

    SMALL - USABLE AT WORK WHERE THE EYES ARE USUALLY ADJUSTED TO DARKNESS - LONG BATTERY LIFE - WOW FRIENDS
    Is that about right?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    I really like the Klarus P20 that I got a couple weeks ago. It's a 2AAA penlight with high CRI, 3 brightness settings, a very floody diffused beam and a memory that remembers the last brightness level that you used when you use the light again.

    If you don't have a shirt pocket, the 2AAA penlight format may not work for you, but I always have a shirt pocket.

    In the 1AAA format, I carry the Factor Equipment Mizpah 130, which also has a floody beam, 3 brightness levels (with the addition of strobe) and remembers the last brightness level used. This light has the added benefit of having the best 2-way reversible pocket/hat clip that I've ever encountered - it fits in a pocket either bezel up or bezel down and fits hats with thicker brims and the clip always returns to original tension when removed from a thicker hat brim.

    Enjoy the shopping.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    The Manker E02 is also another nice little 1AAA light with 3 brightness levels, but no memory. It is a right angle light with a magnet in the tail and a secure pocket clip and high CRI.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Quote Originally Posted by LightObsession View Post
    The Manker E02 is also another nice little 1AAA light with 3 brightness levels, but no memory. It is a right angle light with a magnet in the tail and a secure pocket clip and high CRI.
    It has got memory,
    Long press for last used level.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Request reccommendation for small everyday carry

    Quote Originally Posted by Nev View Post
    It has got memory,
    Long press for last used level.
    On mine, a long press always takes it to high, regardless of what the last used mode was. Maybe they've changed.

    Short click to low, longer press to high.

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