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Thread: which flashlight?

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default which flashlight?

    Hi guys

    I am new to this forum and i hope to learn from you guys. I would like to ask some questions.

    Firstly, what are some of the factors that affect the quality of a flashlight?

    Secondly, I understand that the brightness is measured in lumens, but how bright is for example 10 lumens?

    Thridly, I am going camping in some place in Malaysia and will be doing lots of night time activities. So i need a flashlight that have long battery life and will be bright enough to light up the path in front of me (about 20 metres). I have look through some flashlights, and i thought that Surefire lights are not for me. I think i will go for a Streamlight but don't know which one. I am not working so i have some budget (about $30) and i need one that is durable. I am looking at the TwinTasks and the Streamlight Jr. but still can't decide.

    I hope you guys can help me out. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    The TT 2L is a good choice, but make sure you bring a spare bulb for the incan and always have extra batts regardless of light choice.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Welcome to the CPF, mutated.

    There are several factors that affect quality; if you buy from the frequently mentioned manufacturers, they offer good warranties. Streamlight, Pelican, Arc, Underwater Kinetics and Princeton Tec are good choices. I'm forgetting others but keep reading the forum and you will discover more.

    Ten lumens is a little brighter than a Mini M*g. Mag has reprehensible business practices and most CPFers avoid that brand. 10 - 20 lumens is good for following trails in the dark. LEDs will give you a smooth beam and light up the side of the trails.

    You may want to consider a plastic bodied, water proof, light if you think it may get very wet or is used in high humidity.

    Check out Flashlightreviews.com and the LED Museum.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* fivemega's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    For camping, I would suggest Twin Task 3C since it has longer run time.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*

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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Welcome to CPF MT, and why dontcha stay awhile!

    Between the Twin Tasks and the SL Jr. I'd pick the SL Jr. for the Luxeon and the AA power source. I like the TT2L, but lithiums may be hard to find in the part of Malaysia you are going to, but AAs will not be.

    Depending on whether you are backpacking or car camping, I might consider a heavier light running on Cs or Ds, but generally I like light and small. The bulbs for the TT are not expensive, but you have to remember to bring one.

    The standby around here is the CMG, now Gerber, Ultra. It's small, runs for a long time on a single AA, fine for navigating in camp and walking about, and has nice flood. You still would want something with some throw, however, as well as an Ultra.

    welcome again,
    daloosh

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    I would say go with the Streamlight Twin Task. Any model will do. TT lights has LEDs in them for general use and it really lights up pretty well for long hours trekking. If you need more power then you can change it to the incandescent beam. Really a good value for money. Quite water resistant and is a good camp light.

    Alternatively the Underwater Kinetics Q40 which runs on 4 AA batteries can be had for a reasonably cheap price, is waterproof, will not shatter when dropped and has a 4 hours runtime, or you can opt for the 2L, same type of bulb but slightly more compact and runs on 2 CR123A lithium batteries in same time spand also as the Q40. The UKE lights are reasonably bright but does not have as much flood light like the Surefire range. For the money you paid you really can't ask for too much. Just remember to get spare bulb as they are incandescents and is subject to blow or burn out.

  7. #7

    Default Re: which flashlight?

    I going against the current here, but I think the MiniMag with an Opelec New Beam Module is perfect for camping. I put together two, for a four day fishing trip, and was totally satisfied with them.
    oldgrandpajack

  8. #8

    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Ditto the Twin-Task 2L but other favorites that could do well for you are the SL 3AA 1w Luxeon Tasklight and the TL-2 1w LED variant. And, the Pelican M6-LED would be another excellent choice.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Guys, please take note the budget is only $30 before getting too carried away.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    TwinTask will feed all your needs in just one light. for me is the most versatile light aroud USD 30. can be the 2L or the 3C. if you don't care about the size, i hightly recommend the 3c, since it has longer runtime and also you can find the batteries in any store.if not, the 2L is about the same price, and smaller, but be sure to have extra batteries, since 123 batteries aren't everywhere. for both, get an extra bulb for the incandescent., but i think it will last you a long time, since you will be using the leds most of the time...

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* nexro's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Welcome to CPF, mutated.
    Firstly, are you a fellow Malaysian? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    I would recommend the TT 2L or 1L too. They are small and light weight. However, they do use the more expensive lithium batteries which are quite costly locally (Malaysia).

    If you are indeed living in Malaysia, you could also get a Nuwai 3C which basically is a TT 3C for less than $30 here [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Hope you enjoy the light you have chosen!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Hate to beat this into the ground, but here is ANOTHER vote for the Twin Task 2L. Just got mine two days ago and I really love it. I also have had the 1L for about 6 months now and I love it, too, but the 2L really seems to be perfect. I was describing it to a co-worker and I even went so far as to tell him that it would be my vote to suggest to a non-flashaholic as the answer to the "one flashlight" question.

    So, you mentioned you are thinking of going with Streamlight, and I say that is not a bad choice. One last point, my package, in addition to stating the lifetime warranty on the 2L, also stated a "10 Day Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee"! Don't know if that is on all of their products and I have just never seen it before, but it certainly caught my eye.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Mutated, welcome! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] As nexro asked, are you M'sian as well? Where are you going camping?

    I have a TT 2L, and its great for both throw and flood functions all in one light indeed. Else based on your budget I would suggest a Gerber Infinity Ultra/Ultra G on a neck lanyard for a close up/long running light, and something like a PT Rage for throw. Both use AAs and you have both flood and throw covered, and if you're in M'sia and in need of the lights fast, you can get them locally, although they might a little more pricey. If you prefer long runtime over throw, maybe you might consider a Opalec for a Mini maglite (2AA), which is great for a long running camping light.

    To answer your other question, I would think that factors that affect a flashlight is basically the lamp assembly (incan or led; what type and make for both) and battery configuration. Oh, apart from that, there's also the 'wow' factor! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif[/img]

    You might want to check out some of these sites, which I often refer to for most lights before buying.
    Flashlight reviews site
    Led Museum site
    and not forgetting, Roy's runtime plots. These are the few sites (off the top of my head) that I always refer to when I need information... Hope you find them as useful as I did!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    JMHO, concerning brightness, I have found that if you're out in the woods in the dark, or anywhere that has no ambient lighting, you will be glad of ANY light you have, and even a single led lite will be (perceived) bright.

    What ever you decide, an led will last longer, but give less throw than an incan lite. I feel having one of each is a good idea, whether two lights or all in one. But take spare batteries, even if you can't afford or get a bulb, you'll have the led to fall back on.
    Try to get hold of a pouch or lanyard or clip to attach to the light so you can avoid dropping it and will be able to reach it when you need.
    A final suggestion, if possible get a cheapie little keychain led lite, even one you have to squeeze to use, then attach it to your belt loop. That way you'll always have a back on hand till you can reach your primary.

    Be sure to let us know what you decide and tell us all about how your lights worked out on your trip! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* SJACKAL's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    If you are going to trekking/backpacking, I guess weight is a factor that backpackers consider a lot. I probably will bring the Infinity Ultra if I were you. Its small enough for neck carry and waterproof (so good bathing in those toilets without lights at night). The runtime is very long and use the common AAs for batteries. Run of batts just savage the AAs from companions or other gears. Nice flood, ideal for night time camp walking. Bring another stronger light for throw, probably a reliable incandescent. Princeton Tec or Underwater Kinetics.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Whoa, thats alot of replies. Thanks guys. Your are great.

    Sorry to disappoint Stanley and nexro, but i am not a Malaysian. Went there twice for camping, and i would say i still have good impressions of the country.

    Anyway, i see that most of your really like the TwinTasks. It seems like a good flashlight, and i think i will want to buy that. But i still can't make up my mind on which model to buy. I will be doing lots of backpacking, but need the battery to last quite sometime, about 4-5 hrs, because i was told that we were be doing trekking at 2am so that we will reach the summit in time for the sunrise. So i am now thinking whether the TT-L2 3-led mode have enough brightness or i have to use the TT-3C 6-led mode to light up my path. Unless there are other flashlights that have a long battery life and is powerful, i think i will stick to the TwinTask.

    Thanks guys.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Let me guess, you're going to Mt Kinabalu? If it is, all you need is a long running light. I would recommend a Led headlamp... I used the Pelican 3Led 3AAA on my climb to Mt Kinabalu, and the batteries lasted way beyond that. You may want some thing small with a little throw for spotting the trail ahead, like a PT Blast or Rage, but I was fine with only my headlamp. If you're thinking of the TTs, I'd suggest the TT 2L with some spare batts. That way it won't weigh a ton!!

    PM me if you'd like more details or see some pics of my climb to Mt KK! (Well, assuming that my guess is right of course...)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    the TT-2L uses the 123s right? and the 123s are camera batteries? but is the 3-led mode powerful enough?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Couple of other possibilities. If you want long runtime, the UK 4AA eLED is a regulated luxeon LED flashlight that runs at near constant output for 10 hours on common AA batteries. While not as bright as something like the Streamlight Jr. LED, it has a much longer runtime (Streamlight Jr. only runs 1-2 hours), is brighter than a minim*g, and will probably be bright enough for night time camping activities. Plus it's only $20 at brightguy.com. And if you want a brighter light, you can just buy a UK 2.1 watt ($6.50) or 4 watt ($8.25) xenon lamp assembly and swap it in for the eLED assembly.

    I also really like the Streamlight Twin Tasks, and have a 2L in each car glovebox. However, if you want something that takes more common batteries, then I would suggest the Twin Task 3AA over the 3C. The 3AA has decent advertised runtime (shorter than the 3C but longer than the 2L), and is smaller and lighter than the 3C. Plus AA batteries are lighter than C batteries, so you'll be able to carry more spares. Finally, the 3AA is about $5 cheaper than the 3C and 2L, so you'll be able to buy a couple of spare 3AA bulbs and still come in under your $30 budget.

    Hope this helps!

    the beakman

  20. #20
    Flashaholic Lara's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Just wanted to add that the TwinTask 3C has the best throw of the TT's and it has 6 LEDs and 2 brightness settings in LED mode, on the other hand it's kind of big and heavy.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* BigHonu's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Backpacking with 4-5 hour runtime?

    LED Headlamp (PT Aurora or Petzl Tikka+) and a handheld for a little extra oomph when needed. Have not tried the SL lights most are mentioning here, but the line seems to be a good value for the price point.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    I just tried out my Twin Task 2L (which I just received from Amazon, today) for the first time. I was favorably impressed with how bright the 3 LED mode is inside my darkened house. It was brighter than I thought it would be, but this may be due to my lack of experience with LEDs (only my 2nd LED, after a Key-Mate).

  23. #23

    Default Re: which flashlight?

    I have two suggestions.

    Twin-Task 2L it is small, has both long lasting led's and higher power incandescent, but im not sure it travels well as you would need to take a second set of batteries with you and theft of such a nice looking flashlight is a very good possiblity during bag searches.

    My second suggestion is the Underwater Kinetics UK-eLED, this is a water resistant 4-AA battery light that will run for probibly your whole trip and then some on a single set of batteries. This is a sturdy plastic light and much less subject to sticky fingers like the shiny metal TT-2L.

    Personally if you were staying within the USA, I'd say go for the TT-2L, but outside the country go for the UK eLED.

    GregR

    P.S. Personally I was very disappointed in the TT-3C, but love the TT-2L. 3C is just far too big for the measly liitle more light and the 2L is perfect.
    While i don't have the Twin-Task 2D I hear it is a real dog.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* SJACKAL's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    Hiking at night I think I probably need to see about 10 feet of the ground in front of me to avoid stepping and triping over any holes or rocks. I would probably attach a LED with a good flood to my backpack strap (Inova X5 sounds good) and hold in my hand another incandescent with a good throw to check out far areas if needed.

  25. #25

    Default Re: which flashlight?

    I agree with Stanley, if you are trekking on Mt Kinabalu at 2 am, a LED headlamp would be the best choice IMHO.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    I was thinking of the Streamlight TaskLight 3AA Luxeon or the Streamlight JR. Luxeon. The main difference is the number of AA batteries used, but i am not very bothered by that. I just want to know the brightness difference and the runtime as far as i know, the TT one can run for about 20 hr and the Jr. only 1.5 hr. Suggestions?

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* nexro's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    If I am not mistaken, the TT is a direct drive light which means you get gradually decreasing output over the life of the batteries. As for the Jr. Luxeon, you get regulated and almost constant light output for at least 1.5 hours.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    how bright are they?

  29. #29

    Default Re: which flashlight?

    [ QUOTE ]
    mutated_corpse said:
    I was thinking of the Streamlight TaskLight 3AA Luxeon or the Streamlight JR. Luxeon. The main difference is the number of AA batteries used, but i am not very bothered by that. I just want to know the brightness difference and the runtime as far as i know, the TT one can run for about 20 hr and the Jr. only 1.5 hr. Suggestions?

    [/ QUOTE ] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/naughty.gif[/img]

    I have the Streamlight Luxeon 3AA [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img], the Luxeon is
    a direct drive, however I find very little decrease
    in the light output after serveral hours of use.
    Streamlight says that it has a run time for about 28
    hrs. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img] I haven't run it that long, maybe I'll try a
    nonstop run sometime and see how well it does. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img]
    It is a little longer than the than the Jr. Luxeon, but
    throws a great beam. I like it, it's got some mass to it.


    Tom [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/naughty.gif[/img]

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* SJACKAL's Avatar
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    Default Re: which flashlight?

    While lights like Twintasks, Aviators, or lights with varying adjustable degrees of brightness are very good as an all rounder, its better to carry a seperate one for each purpose when going hikes. One low beam long lasting one for walks, one high beam powerful ones to check things out. Because if you lost one, you still have another. Most regulated high power Luxeons still offers a moonmode even when the batteries are squeezed. Can't go wrong with a Gerber/CMG Infinity, can be worn on the neck lanyard. Add a strong luxeon light or incandescent to complete. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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