Brightest LED lights to date that are around $500?

carbonmetrictree

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
28
I'm looking for a super bright LED flashlight to pave the way through trails at night. I'd love to see what you guys have found that fits within this price range!

Thanks,

Andrew
 

jslappa

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Messages
625
Location
West Michigan
Jeeze, if you're willing to spend $500 on an LED light, you might as well spend a little more and get this monster...

1. $139 Megalennium w/clicky body
2. $325 LED Zeppelin module with 3 X P7's or 3 X MC-e's
3. $140ish Used KT4 head

As noted above in earlier posts, there are great lights in the $150 range to do what you want. Personally, I'll take an Incandescent light in the woods with me because of the great color rendition I get from incans.

Here's a similar incan setup, and a bit cheaper... $355 or so. $400 if you have to buy batteries and w139 charger.

1. $119 Megalennium
2. $48 AW softstart switch
3. $42 Bi Pin holder
4. $6 WA 1185 bulb
5. $140ish used KT4 head
 

RobertM

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
1,482
Location
United States
It would be helpful if you could provide a little more info to help us with giving recommendations. Such as runtime requirements, size, etc.

For $500, if ultra bright is what you are after, I'd look to the Incandescent or HID forum. A single LED is going to max out at around 1000 lumens at most, but incans and HIDs can FAR surpass that (thousands upon thousands of lumens--sometimes tens of thousands :eek:).

If you could fill out the CPF recommendation list, I think you will get much better recommendations to fulfill what you are ultimately after.

Here is the list which is found here:
Recommend a Flashlight Checklist:
(Don't worry about all the questions, just the ones you feel strongly about!)

Short Essay Question: What do you intend to use this light for?








0) What Region/Country/State will the light be purchased in?

____I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.
____I am in North America. More precisely I am in _______________.
____I am in South America. More precisely I am in _______________.
____I am in Europe. More precisely I am in _______________.
____I am in the Middle East. More precisely I am in _______________.
____I am in Africa. More precisely I am in _______________.
____I am in Asia, Japan or Micronesia. More precisely I am in _______________.
____I am in Australia. More precisely I am in _______________.


1) Price Range: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :)

____I only want to pay $1-10.
____I can spend $15-30.
____I could spend $40-60.
____I am willing to spend $80-$120.
____I have no limit!

2) Format:

____I want a flashlight.
____I want a headlamp.
____I want a lantern.
____I want a portable spotlight.

3) Length:

____I don't care.
____1-2 inches. (Keychain sized)
____2-4 inches. (Pocket carry)
____4-9 inches. (Holster carry)

4) Width:

____I don't care.
____I prefer a long narrow light.
____I prefer a short wide light.

5) What batteries do you want to use? Alkaline batteries are easier to find and less expensive but don't pack as much stored energy and are don't work well in cold temperatures. Lithium batteries have long shelf life (10+ years, great for stored emergency lights) and are not as affected by cold but must be kept dry and are more expensive. Rechargeable start expensive, but if used frequently pay off quickly.

____I want common Alkaline batteries. (AA, AAA, C, D)
____I want lithium batteries. (coin cells, CR123, AAA, AA...)
____I want a rechargeable system. (an investment, but best for everyday use)

6) How much light do you want? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).

____I want to read a map, or find a light switch, in a dark room. (5-10 lumens)
____I want to walk around a generally paved area. (15-20 lumens)
____I want to walk unpaved trails. (40 lumens)
____I want to do Caving or Search & Rescue operations. (60+ lumens)
____I want to light an entire campground or dazzle an intruder. (100+ lumens)

7) Throw vs Flood: Which do you prefer, lights that flood an area with a wide beam, or lights that "throw" with a tightly focused beam? Place an "X" on the line below.

Throw (distance)----------------------|----------------------Flood/close-up

8) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims (like some LED lights). but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries.

____20 min. (I want the brightest light for brief periods)
____60-240 min. (1-2 hours)
____240-360 min. (4-6 hours)
____360+ min. (More than 6 hours)

9) Durability: Generally the old phrase "you get what you pay for" is very accurate for flashlights.

____Not Important (A "night-stand" light.)
____Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood.)
____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box.)
____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Self-defense, Survival.)

8) Switch Type:

____I don't care.
____I want a sliding switch. (Stays on until slid back.)
____I want a "clickie" switch. (Stays on until pressed again.)
____I want a momentary switch. (Only stays on while held down.)

9) Switch Location:

____I don't care.
____I want a push or sliding switch on the body near the head.
____I want a push switch on the back end of the body.
____I want a rotating head switch.
____I want a rotating end-cap switch.
____I want a remote control.

10) Operational Modes: Check all that apply.

____A simple on-off 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. (blinks to show location.)
____I want a tactical strobe. (Flashes rapidly to disorient an opponent.)

11) Is it important whether the body is metal or plastic/composite?

____I don't care.
____I want a metal-bodied light.
____I want a plastic/composite light.

12) Special Needs: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Circle any below or write in your own comment(s).

____Red (night vision preserving) filter
____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________)
____Waterproof – how deep: _____________
____Non-reflective/dark finish (stealthy/hard to find)
____Polished silver or brightly colored finish (for easy locating)
____Corrosion resistant or hard-anodized finish
____"Hybrid" light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
____Built-in second (or spare) lamp or filament
____Belt/Jacket clip
____Holster
____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
____Kobuton/self defense features
____Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments


****************************
 

PhantomPhoton

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
3,116
Location
NV
Elektrolumens triple MC-E dropin is likely the highest output LED light you can get without a completely custom build. Including a M@glight host and quality batteries it'll be around $200.

And then there are custom builds and limited runs... you have to find or arrange for those yourself.
 

Gunner12

Flashaholic
Joined
Dec 18, 2006
Messages
10,063
Location
Bay Area, CA
I'd suggest getting multiple lights. About $100 for a normal use light or headlamp, $200-300 for a really bright light, maybe HID? And the last $100 for one or more back up/loaner lights.

Remember in the dark, more light is not the best. It means it will take more time for you to re-adjust to the darkness and also means that you will be blinded for a bit when you turn on the light again.
 

Mjolnir

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Messages
1,711
At that price, it would be a crime not to get an HID. For that price, there are a number of different options available, in different sizes, most with lithium ion batteries. TacticalHID has some of the "generic" ones for around $300 I believe, that should output around 3000 lumens.
If you are looking for extreme brightness, you should really get an HID. Do you have any size requirements?
 

bullettproof

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
461
If you want something thats really bright with excellent Throw and is built like a TANK get an AE Xenide 25W HID it has great runtime also and plenty of Accs.It also still looks like a flashlight. Its an all around practical Light that comes with everything you need to keep it running and charged.You will be very pleased with it and its waterproof to IPX8 Standards.
 

toby_pra

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
6,044
Location
Germany
I thought the seller wants to have a LED-Light! :poke:

I would advise against buying a AE light, IMO poor quality. Also a Legion II
is not tested enough to could say, that its a high-quality lightm although
it looks pretty nice...:grin2:

How about one of Mac's Sceptre's.

Or much cheaper a Jetbeam M1X...good quality and quite bright, also with 700Lumens!:popcorn:
 

easilyled

Flashaholic
Joined
Jun 25, 2004
Messages
7,252
Location
Middlesex, UK
I agree with one of the previous posters, that the way to go would be to get a Led Zep module with 3 P7s or 3 MCEs.

Put that in a SureFire M6 host and you have about 2400 lumens of
devastatingly bright light for around the price point you're looking at.

I have a turnkey SF M6 with LZ tri-P7 module and the output is absolutely spectacular.
Its brighter than the 2 100W ceiling bulbs I have lighting up my bedroom.

LedZeppelin is first class in every way to deal with. Why not send him a PM?
 

PsychoBunny

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
465
Location
Maryland, USA
Just sold the brightest LED light I have ever owned, 3000 lumens,
a Firesword from Elektrolumens, but they arent available anymore.

P.S. why dont you just get a Stanley 35w HID for $80.00.
 
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easilyled

Flashaholic
Joined
Jun 25, 2004
Messages
7,252
Location
Middlesex, UK
I think I should clarify that many lights claim output specs by taking the theoretical maximum outputs of the leds
like the SSC-P7 or MC-E according to their bins and using that to rate the output of the light.

In actual life, out the front lumens are nowhere near these values and when the leds are driven to their full specs,
the heat-sinks are rarely adequate to prevent the led-module heating up and reducing the efficiency and output of the led.

With the LedZeppelin modules, the heat-sinks are so precisely and well-designed, with the necessary bulk of aluminium
to do their jobs properly, that I would have complete confidence in out-the-front lumen output being close to the theoretical output,
excluding inevitable reflector losses and converter efficiency losses.

Here is a tri-MCE LZ module acutally available in B/S/T
 
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