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Thread: The poor flashaholics top 10?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* twentysixtwo's Avatar
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    Default The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Thought I'd start a thread for any budding flashaholics. There are nicer lights out there, but these are the ones that even flashaholics with deep pockets can respect. They are (IMHO) the top "Bang for the buck" lights and cheap / easy mods.. Prices are the lowest from reputable sources. Batteries included unless noted.

    1) KevinL's Photon Clones ($1.20 - $1.75) Coin cell lights are great - put one on your keychain - they provide more light and runtime than ANY LIGHT MADE (that's sitting at home in the closet.) You can mod them with 26k/35k or Nichia CS very easily or buy them pre-modded. Cheap enough to give to everyone on your X-mas list!

    2) Dorcy AAA - ($6 with battery) Marginally brighter than the coin cell lights due to the reflector but the advantage here is far more runtime and cheap, easy to find batteries. Very easy and worthwhile mod ($2) to swap out LED for 26K/35K or Nichia CS. Main downside is can't tailstand and no clip (unless you cannibalize a marker clip)

    3) Princeton Tec Rage ($10, batteries included?) About as much light as a 3D cell maglight with a much better beam. Oh yeah, run off of 4 AAA's, it's about as big as a minimab. Some might call it the poor mans Surefire E2E.

    4) Princeton Tec Surge ($21) Gulping down 8 AA batteries at a time makes this a heavy and expensive light to feed, but ohhhh, the light it puts out.

    5) Princeton Tec EOS ($32) If I can only have one flashlight, it has to be a headlight. Anything you are likely to need a flashlight for, you'll probably be able to do easier with both hands free.

    6) Nuwai QIII - ($35 with battery). Very EDC able, 3 watts of genuine Luxeon. Reasonable mod to put in TWOJ ($18) mineral glass lens ($5) 2 stage switch ($15) and IMS20($5) more than doubles the cost of the light but puts you in competition with lights costing several times more (TW4 with McE2S, for example) Clip allows you to convert a baseball cap into a 3 watt headlight.

    7) Mag 3D with 8 AA in 3AA to 1D adapters and a 7.2v KPR18 bulb ($18+$11+$1.40 = $30.40 not including batteries). Plug and play mod, I call this the "poor man's Mag85" Pumps out maximumlight without forcing you to swap out reflector, lens, etc. Just be careful with "hot" NIMH or alkies so you don't instaflash - use 8 batteries to be safe. Dummy cells are easy to make with some bare copper wire and a wooden dowel.

    8) Fenix L1 ($35) Very nice size and form factor, best part being powered by a single AA. I don't have a Gerber CMG Infinity to compare to, but since the Infinity is a single 5mm without reflector, I can't image it comes close (it is a lot cheaper at about $20) Good tailstand but no clip

    9) Thor 10MCP ($20-$30) Doubles as a boat anchor. The clear winner in terms of lumens / $. Favorite for HID and other mods due to the spacious case and low price.

    10) Streamlight TL-3 ($65) Green are being clearanced at under $50 right now. This 3X123 flashlight is the best bang for the buck I know of short of getting a clone off of ebay.

    These are strictly my top 10 in terms of Lumens / $ - maybe (Lumens*runtime)/(Weight *Cost)
    The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” Juma Ikaanga

    SF L4, E2E, U2 w/18650 and WXOS, UK Vectra w/LED Mod, THOR 35W HID Mod, 3xTWOH M@G, M@G85, M@G60, HDS EDC60, EDC85 mod, Too many Nichia CS Mods to count.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Great top 10 list! I'd add the River Rock 2AAA .5w flashlight to that list. $9.99 and available at any Target Store.

    Also, the River Rock headlamp... $14.99 and runs on 2AAA batteries.
    Fenix L1P, L2D CE, L0P SE, Zebralight Q5 CREE headlamp, Huntlight ft02x, Tikka XP, PT Aurora & Eclipse 2, SL ProPoly 4aa Lux and Twintask 1L, Inova X1, Dorcy 1aaa, MagLED 2AA, Nuwai HLX-712L, Akoray K-106 AA, Rayovac 1AA headlamp.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Good choices! Other favorites of mine would be the UK 4AA eLED, Streamlight 4AA Propolymer Luxeon & Streamlight Junior Luxeon.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* eebowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    I would add the Opalec NewBeam $18 to that list.
    Last edited by eebowler; 10-03-2005 at 08:07 AM.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* CroMAGnet's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    TerraLux Ministar2 in a garden variety Minimag for about $35

    MJLED best runtime BBFTB for $5

    10Led AA on eBay. $10 plus a LiON and you have serious output or extra long runtime on primary batteries.

    Jil Rev2 DD is the BBFTB by far because it's my EDC and so gets used the most

  6. #6
    Flashaholic C4LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Don't forget 1AA Xnovas w/8 5mm LEDs for $5.49.

    http://www.lighthound.com/sales/keyc...lashlights.php

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    The Streamlight Propoly Lux 4AA is definitely one of my best bang lights.
    The Phaser: A nice EDC with great throw; heat and runtime can be issues.

    Best Diffusion Film!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Great list and follow ups. I'd like to add that the closest thing to a poor man's SF A2 I've seen is the Streamlight Twin Task 2L. At around $35 it'll get you three LEDs plus a xenon incan. Nope, it doesn't have the killer switching of the A2 or the size, and it's not a SF. But if one loved the A2 but not the price, it'd be worth a look in my book.
    I'm not getting worse; I'm getting brighter!
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  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    I'd like to add the PT Attitude, Infinity Ultra, and the NiteIze MM drop-in to the list.

    Geoff

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* powernoodle's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    A flashaholic could get through life just fine, if he had too, with a Dorcy AAA for pocket/keychain carry and a SL Propolymer Luxeon for everything else. It would be very sad to suffer through life with just 2 lights, but it could be done.

    best regards

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Wow thanks for naming me at the top of the list!

    My additions to that would be..

    1. Surefire G2 - $35 and still the best value, plus it is a real Surefire. P60 and all. With the new LOTC, it's harder and harder not to EDC. Plus, if you get one in yellow, it looks very non-threatening

    2. Arc AAA - $29 for the non-premium version and still the last word in AAA powered lights especially if you feed it lithium. I can't get over the featherweight that mine is.

    3. Rayovac 2D Industrial, usually $5 or thereabouts. Polymer, faceted reflector resulting in a smooth beam. Re-sleeve with 3C cells and install a Mag-Num Star Xenon 3-cell or other 3-cell bulb (~$5-10). My personal favorite. Or, install a 10mm high-powered (150mA IF) LED ($4) by soldering LED contacts to the bulb contact strips. They economized by giving us copper contact strips, turns out that they're my best friends since I can solder the LED legs directly to them.

    4. Eveready 4D cell lantern for.. $2. The first thought is 'you gotta be kidding' but I picked this one up at the supermarket for literally $2. A small KPR 4D bulb sits in a PR base on a flat piece of plastic beneath a frosted dome. Saw off the bulb post and put an inexpensive Luxeon 1 (<$10 nowadays), resistor ($0.25), and scrap metal disk as a heatsink. Wire it up and it runs forever. Did it as my first mod ever on CPF!



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  12. #12
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Streamlight Scorpion

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* pedalinbob's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Wow, excellent list!

    I might also add the TEC-40.
    Excellent beam, waterproof, tough, simple, bright, AA bats, comes with a lanyard, takes inexpensive PR bulbs so you can choose high or lower output.

    Bob

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* twentysixtwo's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    All great adds, and some mods I'll have to try. Hard to limit it to 10. What is the highest power bulb you can put in a Tec40? I have a UKE 4AA which is nice but has a smaller reflector and doesn't take PR bulbs....
    The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” Juma Ikaanga

    SF L4, E2E, U2 w/18650 and WXOS, UK Vectra w/LED Mod, THOR 35W HID Mod, 3xTWOH M@G, M@G85, M@G60, HDS EDC60, EDC85 mod, Too many Nichia CS Mods to count.

  15. #15
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    Talking Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    The mag 2C with three 123's and a KPR113 (I think this is the bulb!) ($6 to $10 for the mod) also rates highly as the newbie's first mod to see what we mean by BRIGHT. After this mod, they suddenly understand the difference between conventional retail and high-powered/modded.

    Most off-the-shelf (plastic/alum) D cell lights can be upgraded with a halogen bulb. ($4 to $8)

    Pushing the envelope a bit, for myself before I understood just how much brighter and better 123 based lights are, I purchased a streamlight scorpion and greatly expanded my expectations regarding small and bright.
    Medic Belt: SF 6PL & MM w/nite ize 3led conversion (9P for night shifts)
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  16. #16
    Flashaholic* pedalinbob's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Quote Originally Posted by twentysixtwo
    All great adds, and some mods I'll have to try. Hard to limit it to 10. What is the highest power bulb you can put in a Tec40? I have a UKE 4AA which is nice but has a smaller reflector and doesn't take PR bulbs....
    I keep TEC-40s in our cars with lithiums and Magnum Star xenon bulbs. The xenon bulbs are freaking bright, and priced reasonably if you look around a bit. The beam is NICE!
    The lithiums are pricey, though. I like the flexibility of the TEC-40 system. Alkies, lithiums, rechargeables, whatever PR bulb. The KPR113 Rayovac is a nice medium power and very inexpensive choice. Makes a nice beam as well.

    The TEC-40s rival my Streamlight TL2 inb brightness.

    Oh, that reminds me: the old Dorcy Boss 4AA has output and beam almost identical to the PT.

    Bob

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    the uk 4aa eled is a great light for about $20
    This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
    Be prepared for the truth.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    I'd add ....

    Inova X1
    Photon Freedom Max
    Streamlight Junior Luxeon
    Streamlight KeyMate

    I can't get enough small lights

  19. #19

    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Brinkmann Maxfire LX ($16 including batteries and holster) for a powerful pocket incandescent. Twice the lumens/$ of a G2.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Already been mentioned, but the SL PP Lux 4AA is just $22.95 from http://www.fox-intl.com/item.asp?id=338, and is better than some lights costing 3x as much.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* offroadcmpr's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    twentysixtwo - I've never heard of using a KPR 18 bulb. Is it a radio shack bulb? How does it compare to bulbs such as 1185 of 8 cells or any other similar bulb set ups in terms of runtime and brightness? I've been looking for a bulb that will work well with 8 cells.

    Edit : assuming this is the bulb 4 watts probally won't cut it.
    Last edited by offroadcmpr; 10-03-2005 at 03:53 PM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Quote Originally Posted by Techmedic
    Most off-the-shelf (plastic/alum) D cell lights can be upgraded with a halogen bulb. ($4 to $8)

    .

    Where can I get such a bulb?

    How does it affect runtime on 2 D cells?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    I think that a POOR MANS list for flashlights should be in the under $20 range (Same as a Mag 3D).

    Anything more puts it outside the mainstream price list.

    So given that...

    1. Dorcy AAA $6.00
    2. Dorcy 1-Watt 3D at target $21 (OK I went ove a little so sue me)
    3. River Rock headlamp $14
    4. River rock 2-AAA $10
    5. Brinkman MaxFire $17
    6. Dorcy 3-AAA Lux
    7. Streamlight polypro AA Lux $24 (I went ove a little again)
    8. River Rock AA LAntern $18 ?
    9. Niteze AA Mag Upgrade $5.00
    10. Energizer 4-AA folding LED lantern $5.00

    Honerable Mention $6.00 1-AAA LED light from ebay says one watt (and lies) feels a little cheap but still a good EDC with long run time.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* LEDninja's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    For budget reasons I do not have many of the lights discussed on CPF. Among the ones I own my most used are:
    01 LEDcorp's turtlelight upgraded with a Tectite LPR-113 bulb. $35
    02 LEDcorp's turtlelight upgraded with a Superbrightled PR2-W1-WVR bulb. $20
    [EDIT] 03 Nuwai TM-310H 1AAA 0.5W $10
    04 UK 2AAA eLED. $12
    05 Kevin L 26K keychain $2.50
    [EDIT] 06 Emillion's 7x7mm $10

    The following are always loaded with batteries and used sometimes:
    07 Dorcy 1AAA 1LED $10
    08 Energizer stretch flashlight lantern with MJLED/BA-1. $25
    09 Minimag AA with MJLED and Kroll clickie. $25
    10 Minimag AAA with Microstar TLE-10 $35

    [EDIT] Xnova AA 8LED new model. and Fenix L1P removed from list.

    Do not buy the turtlelight from LEDcorp unless you want a green barrelled one. The Dorcy 4AA 1LED floating lantern/Cool blue is half the price and is usually available locally (no shipping & handling).
    Last edited by LEDninja; 01-08-2006 at 04:53 AM.

  25. #25
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Quote Originally Posted by wwglen
    I think that a POOR MANS list for flashlights should be in the under $20 range (Same as a Mag 3D).

    Anything more puts it outside the mainstream price list.

    So given that...

    1. Dorcy AAA $6.00
    2. Dorcy 1-Watt 3D at target $21 (OK I went ove a little so sue me)
    3. River Rock headlamp $14
    4. River rock 2-AAA $10
    5. Brinkman MaxFire $17
    6. Dorcy 3-AAA Lux
    7. Streamlight polypro AA Lux $24 (I went ove a little again)
    8. River Rock AA LAntern $18 ?
    9. Niteze AA Mag Upgrade $5.00
    10. Energizer 4-AA folding LED lantern $5.00

    Honerable Mention $6.00 1-AAA LED light from ebay says one watt (and lies) feels a little cheap but still a good EDC with long run time.

    I pretty much ditto this list! I only lack 7 and 8 from having all the above!

    And I very much agree with 2, 3, 4 and 6!!!!
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    1) PT Attitude at $10 a pop
    2) any 6V lantern with a 3-cell bulb and sputtered reflector- I get mine for $3.50, less than I can buy the battery alone for
    3) Rayovac Industrial 2AA w/ any good 5mm-10mm LED, comes to $5 a piece
    4) Rayovac Industrial 2D with 6 or 8 AA's in series in adapters with appropriate overdriven bulb, $12 (PT's 8AA offering is steep competition when it can be found on sale for $15)
    5) Energizer folding LED lantern at $3 and change
    6) PALight Safe-Light PAL with the current 50% off promotion, comes out to $4.50 a piece (shipped!) for 2 or more
    7) generic/chinese 5-LED, 3xAAA headlamp (something like a PT Aurora clone, but not quite) at $6 a piece, shipped
    8) $5 single AAA keychain lights from ebay, soon to be rivaled by the nicer $9 ones?
    9) Nightcutter lights, while they were available, could be had sometimes as low as $7 for the 3LED version in white or green
    10) Brinkmann Maxfire LX at $16

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* yaesumofo's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    add the blaster jr to that list.

    GREAT LIGHT $40.00
    Yesumofo
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  28. #28
    Flashaholic* twentysixtwo's Avatar
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    Offroadcampr - yes, that's the one.

    It's "only" 4 watts at 7.2 v, but with 8 or 9 AA's you've got 9.6 or 10.8v and therefore more like 5 to 6 watts. When you consider the increase in efficiency with the higher voltage, it's the equivalent light to a 7 or 8 watt halogen. A Mag 3D with this setup is $19 Mag+$3.50*3 battery holders + $1.40 bulb = about $30. A Mag 85 is $19 Mag + $3.50*3 + $7 Borofloat + $20 Aluminum Reflector + $11 Magcharger switch + $5 01185 bulb = about $72.50.

    Bulb life with 9 AA's is about an hour or more, runtime is about five times longer than a MAG85.

    I have MAG85 and it's really a kick in the pants, but the KPR18 is a great way to start.....
    The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” Juma Ikaanga

    SF L4, E2E, U2 w/18650 and WXOS, UK Vectra w/LED Mod, THOR 35W HID Mod, 3xTWOH M@G, M@G85, M@G60, HDS EDC60, EDC85 mod, Too many Nichia CS Mods to count.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    I'd put the UK 4aa eLED near the top of the list, along with the SL Lux 4aa/3C.

    The UK 4aa eLED ($20) has 11 hours of constant regulation, and more output than a 2aa Maglite.


    The SL Lux 4aa/3C ($40) has 4 hours of good regulation, and lots of throw.

    And for fans of metal lights:

    Pelican M6 led ($45), Pelican M6 LED Lux 3 HA regulated: $99.

    My list (top 5) goes like this:

    1. UK eLED 4aa
    2. Pelican M6 LED Lux I
    3. SL Lux 3C
    4. SL Lux 4aa
    5. Pelican M6 LED Lux III HA Regulatieon
    Last edited by 357; 10-03-2005 at 09:42 PM.

    Thank yuo,

    TFS

  30. #30
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    Default Re: The poor flashaholics top 10?

    When they could be had for 15 dollars at CountyCom the Ultra-G was and still is an incredible light. It is simple and works every time without fail.

    The latest suprise to me was the Nuwai 2-AAA at Target. For 10 dollars this light is simply amazing. I just ran mine in a test on some cheap rechargeables and it got about 8 good hours of brightness with several more of dimming but usable light.

    The QIII goes without saying....incredible for the price and so far mine has worked well each time I needed it.

    The Dorcy AAA has always been my favorite for the simple reason that I have used that board for so many other mods that I was tinkering on. It is simple and works every time as well. Dorcy is good at providing lights for a good cost and keeping them interesting. I always said that Dorcy did seem to listen to the people as they have brought some good contenders to the mat as far as people with less money to spend are concerned.

    I recently bought the NiteIze conversion for 5 dollars and I must say that for the cost the wow factor of this item is incredible. It is simple and effective and actually does all that it is said to do. Any normal person can install it and the improvement is worth the cost many times over in my opinion.

    I have not handled the light known as the BlueGhost however I have read on it here. It seems that the dealer has some interesting lights and for the cost...well the prices seem too good to be true at times. I have seen many who say this light is incredible for the price so I must assume that this light is also a poor mans contender. That entire website is really very poor man oriented and sure has some cool lights. I think it is Emilion who has the web site but most of his stuff seems to be a good bang for the buck.

    The list goes on and on as lights have came so far this year. It seems now that we are paying 35 dollars for a light today that we would have gladly paid 65 for 3 years past....(Fenix comes to mind here)...(Or even the QIII)

    I enjoyed this thread and have found a few lights that I need to have for myself as a result.
    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

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