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  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    Hello everyone. I have been lurking around the forum for some time now and what a great site this is. Never did I imagine that there will be a dedicated site for lights. Anyway I have read almost all the topics in the forums and still cant decide on which light to get. You see, ever since when i was a kid, I have always been fascinated with flashlights. I dont know why. Maybe its bec I use them constantly in ourdoor activities etc. But somehow I always feel more secure if I have my light with me. It was only fairly recently when I saw a LED flashlight and I was amazed. For so many years now all that I have was my SF 6P. I dont know if this is still available now. Now I have narrowed down my choices to the SF A2, L2, or U2. The EDC 85 is also another of my choice. I just want a reliable light that I can EDC. But it has to be small enough that it doesnt get in the way of day to day activities. It also needs to last a long time for those power failures. I also plan to use it outdoors so it has to be sturdy and water proof to some degree. My budget is around $500 and less. I know this wont be my first light now that I have seen this site. But I want a pretty good start in my collection. Thanks so much for reading

    Chris

  2. #2
    Flashaholic flashlite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    Welcome to CPF kukula!

    Don't forget the LED replacement bulbs available for your 6P. There's a review of one here:

    http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews/gp_p60lux3.htm

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    If I could own only 1(one) light it would be the Surefire A2 Aviator with white LED's. Great throw and very bright with the incandescent mode. Regulated beautiful beam and three simple 5mm LEDs that put out more than enough light for 90% of anything I would ever need to do and run for damn ever if need be. Having two different kinds of light allows me the choice of not only power levels but different spectrums for different needs. Incandescent light simply penetrates other things like ambient light, fog etc. better. I am a LED guy at heart and most of what I have is LED based and I also love variable power. The A2 gives me variable power, long run time, awesome throw, good flood with the LED's and two different types of light.

    By far I am in the A2 camp.

    The L2, which I also have is a spectacular light that really puts out one hell of a flood of light and runs for a long time on low, which ain't that low. It is just kind of big to lug around all the time.

    The U2 is a bit too bulky as well but would probably be my third choice.

    The EDC series are great I just got my first one and that is what a carry light should be, I just feel they are a little too complicated overall. I like the Surefire KISS principle. I do however carry the EDC everyday and it would be my second choice I believe.

    The A2 is slightly larger than a Surefire E2E so although it is no one cell itty bitty light it carries well enough.

    Chris
    A Government is most likely to be made up of a group of individuals who are likely not governed themselves.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    I humbly recommend the excellent Arc-AAA Premium. $39.95, 5 Stars, virtually unbreakable.

    http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews/arc_aaa-p.htm

    Buy it here:

    http://www.arcflashlight.com/

    ~os

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    Quote Originally Posted by kukula
    ...I have narrowed down my choices to the SF A2, L2, or U2. The EDC 85 is also another of my choice. I just want a reliable light that I can EDC. But it has to be small enough that it doesnt get in the way of day to day activities. It also needs to last a long time for those power failures...
    All of those are excellent lights. My personal suggestion would be either the U2 or HDS U85. Multiple output levels are very useful, plus greatly increase run time.

    The U2 on low lasts 40 hours, yet still puts out about 2 lumens. The U85 will last 300 hrs on low.

    Look at the U2 dimensions carefully to ensure it's not too large for your intended carry mode. It's very roughly Minimag size, but the head is significantly larger.

    I have a U60 and don't find it too complicated to use. Like any other new gadget (cell phone, PDA, etc) you get used to it, then it becomes second nature.

  6. #6
    Farewell our Curmudgeon Administrator Roy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    How much does the U2 cost?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    Welcome to CPF Kukula!!
    With your budget you might want to look at a custom light. Then you can get exactly what you want. Just an idea. Let us know what you decide on.




    Blades

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy
    How much does the U2 cost?
    The U2 is about $270; haven't seen it discounted much.

    The HDS EDC U85 is $260 from Batterystation.com, the U60 is $180.00.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    Quote Originally Posted by kukula
    Now I have narrowed down my choices to the SF A2, L2, or U2. The EDC 85 is also another of my choice.
    Hi Chris,

    Of the lights you list, I'd vote for the EDC 85. It is as bright as your 6P, small, sturdy, four light levels which I think is importaint because you can either have bright light, or long runtime.

    I posted my impressions of the EDC U85 in this thread, including beamshots of the U85 vs. the E2e.

    I also like the U2 on your list, but the EDC is going to be a lot easier to carry on your person. However, if you are talking about in your backpack or such, the U2 would be a great option.

    It would be nice if someone could do a head-to-head comparison of the HDS U85 vs the SF U2.

    -john

  10. #10
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    The choices you have narrowed down to are all excellent lights.

    My advice would be to reread post #3 by cslinger very carefully, I for one, wholeheartedly agreed with his complete post. Some of us have bought hundreds of dollars worth of lights and end up coming to the same conclusion; the Surefire A2 is THE light. It is small enough for comfortable EDC yet versatile enough for all of ones normal lighting needs.

    Personally I just donít see the need of many multiple levels of brightness. The A2 has one low level flood which is perfect for 90%+ uses and last many hours on the batteries plus one high incandescent level which has plenty of throw for outdoor use.

    Yes there is a lot to be said about the KISS principle. I am one who likes to keep things simple, I don't want to have dozens of ____, just one or maybe two of thoroughly proven trusted ____. Put calibers or gauges or lights or knives or whatever in the blank. For example some people use many rifles/calibers like a set of golf clubs for different game under different conditions, but just give me a M70 '06 bolt. I don't need to lug a big tackle box of lures and stuff out to the bass pond, just give me a Mann's black jelly worm.

    For comfortable every day carrying, I think the U2 is too big and the L2 is too long. What do they bring to the table that the A2 doesnít already deliver?

    The EDC 85 is very cute and I suppose it is useful for those who wear dress slacks everyday and sure, I may buy one someday maybe maybe not but for right now I think that it is too expensive for what seems to me to be not any more useful than the A2. I carry the A2 everyday in 5.11s so comfortably I donít even notice it so I have no pressing need of anything smaller. Even if I did I always have the TW4.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* NoFair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    Why not the HDS Basic 60? Four almost perfect light levels, half the price of a U85 and for almost all users just as good. With your spare change you can buy a Wolfeyes 9M with li-ion batteries and charger for that incandesent power. All this for just $250 at Batterystation....
    I'd much rather have both these lights than a HDS U85....

    PS! I have both of these...

    Sverre

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    I think it depends on what you want. The upside of the U85 over the U60 is that it can compete with the full size 2x123A incandecent SF lights like the E2e or 6P, but in a small package and it can also do the multi-level. This pretty much makes it a no-compromise solution.

    The U60 is close, and if you can live with a little less brightness you can save some bucks.

    Since my EDC was a SF E2e + a SF L1, I already had all the bases covered with three light levels from bright to low. Bright to long running. This was a good setup, and the only reason to change it was if I had something that could do everything they could do. The U60 didn't quite do it, but the U85 does.

    My new EDC is a U85 w/SF F04 beamshaper. I saved about 3oz and halved the bulk and lost no functionality - actually I gained functionality.

    That was worth it to me. But the equation is different for everyone.

    -john

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* yaesumofo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    $500.00?

    McluxIIIpd
    KL3 $60.00
    Arc AAA
    And you will have change for batteries.
    You wil not find a light better than the mcluxIIIpd. There is the Mrbulk lights to look at as well VIP complete kits for $275.00 with a base light abd a whole bunch of accessories. A great deal because with one complete light kit you get 3 heads and at least 2 tailos and a AA body as well. This is very versital. And of vourse there is the new bulk creation the "Chameleon" which at $158.00 should be a good value for a first light. With a name like that I assume multiple body and reflector options. Just another thing to look into.
    HDS Lights ar a good choice, Hey aa surefire A2 may fulfill all of you flashlight needs for a lifetime.
    Have a look and reload all the time at the CPF BST forum as well as the
    http://flashlight-forums.com BST area. You may fnd that you will get much better values on the used market where prices have fallen almost acccross the board. I call it a buyers market at least on the higherend of the flashlight scale where you should be looking.
    Yaesumofo
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    Buy American. Stop crying and start Buying.
    Flashlights are tools. Period.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* yaesumofo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    $500.00?

    McluxIIIpd $185.00
    KL3 $60.00
    Arc AAA
    A couple of photons.

    And you will have change for batteries.
    You Will not find a light better than the McluxIIIpd. There is the Mrbulk lights to look at as well VIP complete kits for $275.00 with a base light and a whole bunch of accessories. A great deal because with one complete light kit you get 3 heads and at least 2 tails and a AA body as well. This is very versatile. And of course there is the new bulk creation the "Chameleon" which at $158.00 should be a good value for a first light. With a name like that I assume multiple body and reflector options. Just another thing to look into.
    HDS Lights are a good choice, Hey a surefire A2 may fulfill all of you flashlight needs for a lifetime.
    Have a look and reload all the time at the CPF BST forum as well as the
    http://flashlight-forums.com BST area. You may find that you will get much better values on the used market where prices have fallen almost across the board. I call it a buyers market at least on the higher end of the flashlight scale where you should be looking.
    Yaesumofo
    Last edited by yaesumofo; 09-29-2005 at 02:03 AM.
    Support your local flashlight builder.
    Buy American. Stop crying and start Buying.
    Flashlights are tools. Period.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Newbie Need Suggestion for First Light

    Thank you so much guys for the warm welcome and excellent advices. You make me feel so much at home already. Anyway I have somewhat made up my mind to get the A2 or the U85 GT. I believe both are excellent lights. I believe I wont be wrong with either. 7bears, thanks for that tip. I read somewhere in this forum about the same things, about lots of people ending up in the same conclusion after years of using different lights. John N, that was an excelent review yuo made. I hope someday ill also be able to write a similar review about lights. Heck, if only lights were similar to say bikes or guns, then maybe it would be alot easier. Sadly, it seems that I always end up getting lost by alot of tecnical terms you guys use. Thanks for that tip about the replacement bulb for my 6P, flashlite. I didnt knew i can have it replaced. Heck, I love that piece of equipment. Been using it for like ten years or so. All the anodizing is gone and its down to its bare aluminum lol. Yaesumofo, pardon my ignorance but I am not so familiar with those lights that you were mentioning. Can you pls provide me with their websites? The only light I had the pleasure of owning is a surefire and of course my maglite. Thanks again everyone.

    Chris

    Btw a customized light sounds nice. But i am soooo new to this I wouldnt even know what specs ill be needing. Maybe next time. For the moment, I believe i will be best served by one thats commercially available
    Last edited by kukula; 09-29-2005 at 03:34 AM.

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