Advice for a EDC light for general use and sysadmin work


Newly Enlightened
Jan 7, 2013
I'm looking for a small light, with a COB on the side or a tilting head to carry with me in my bag, I'd say leatherman sized or smaller.
Ideally with a magnet to stick it on a rack/server to get some light while I work, rechargable with USB-C and bonus point if it can work while plugged in.

I don't care much for the lifetime on the main light, but should be bright enough to walk around in the dark in park for ~20-30min in a pinch (I've got my absolutely old EagleTac G25C2 for that purpose at home if needed). A longer lasting low-power mod would be nice.

For the COB/side light I'd need more lifetime 60-90 minutes, but I won't need that much light, I'd use it to work on cabling on racks or replace parts in servers. If I can just plug it on my phone charger and works while plugged in it'd be ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.

I've actually already done a bit of research and I found a couple that could work, but I'd rather have a bit of advice if there's better models around since I haven't been in the loop for oh god... years :D
- Lumintop E21C
- RovyVon Angel Eyes E200

Anyway, checklist below:
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! :)
____Up to $100.

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

4) Size:
____MICRO - Keychain size.
____TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).

5) Emitter/Light source:
____LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)

6) Manufacturer:

7) What power source do you want to use?
____I intend to use Rechargeable cells (NiMH or NiCD) based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
____I intend to use Rechargeable cells based on less common formats (18500 or 18650 Li-Ion, RCR123, et-al).
____I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery pack.

7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option
____I want a light that has a recharging adapter (your typical "wall wart")
Specifically USB-C

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)
____I want to confidently walk around an unlit/unpaved rural area (60-150 lumens).
____SPECIAL NOTE: Burst/Turbo mode Category - There are several lights that will run at a super bright maximum for a very limited period (usually 5-10 minutes) and then will "step-down" to a lower level for thermal control. Check here if this is acceptable.

Sure, but I'd rather not since that usually impacts the battery lifetime a lot compared to a light that is made to work at that light level.

9) Flood vs Throw: Flood covers an area, Throw reaches out to a distance.
Ideally a COB on the side for...
____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.
And the main light in this range...
____Wide Throw: I want a beam with a noticeable hot-center for distance throw and a significant amount of "side-spill". Good for rough trail hiking, search and rescue, and general distance work.
____Narrow Throw: I want a beam with a very tight "hot center" and minimal "side-spill". Good for distance viewing, fog, and looking through dense undergrowth.

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)
____5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
____30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)

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).
I'd say 30 minutes is enough for the main light, but I'd need a couple of hours of flood from the COB

11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase "you get what you pay for" is very accurate for flashlights.
____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).

12) Switch Size, Type, and location (choose all that apply):
____I don't know.

13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.
____I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
____I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)

____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
____Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today's higher end flashlights).
____Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum)
____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
____I don't care.
____I don't know.
____Other, please specify____________.

15) Water resistance
____None needed

16) Storage conditions
Pocket or tool bag, might have standby periods (2-3 weeks tops)

17) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any/all below.

Ps: I just noticed I created this account exactly 10 years ago to get advice on other flashlights, still got those, working great. :D


Jun 27, 2021


Newly Enlightened
Jan 7, 2013
That looks great and also much cheaper than the ones I found, thanks!
Any idea on where I could try and grab some info on the lifetime to 50% lumen for the low/medium modes of the side light?
No review on zeroair yet and I don't know any other source of detailed testing for flashlights.

Not that it matters, battery is the same and leds seem to be more efficient since it doesn't seem to overheat much according to Smothered Chrome's review on YT (while the Lumintop seems to overhead quite easily) so it should be pretty efficient for the lumens it gives out, so I might end up getting one anyway, but I'm curious.

Edit: also found two other similar lights, Sofirn IF23 seems better and can't find much info about those two around, so no idea if they're any good, but I'll mention them just for future reference:
Last edited: