Buying: What do you wish you'd done differently?

Paul_in_Maryland

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Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differently?

Based on the regularity with which most of us seem to replace our flashlights or add yet another, I'd say that most of us wish we had gone about the business differently. If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently that might have spared you the need to look for something better?

I'll start the ball rolling:

I would have passed over 2AA incandescents and any LED lights under 1 watt. Instead of spending a stream of pocket change on a series of $5 to $15 lights likely to disappoint, I should have bit the bullet, bought two or three decent #30 to $60 lights, and been done with it. I kept telling myself: "But wouldn't it be great if you found a $15 light that hit a home run?" If it did, I'd have read about it in the forums. Well, (I did finally strike a home run with the ultracheap Costco 2AA Luxeon.)

I would have abandoned my insistence on using a single AA for my keyring light. Most of the great keyring models are built around CR123A cells or N cells.

I would have looked closer at mods, pills, and such, realizing that "what I want" won't be sold on the mass-market.

I would have gone straight to Maglite 2AA, 1AA (chopped 2AA), and C-cell models, which would allow me to try new reflectors, Luxeon drop-ins, and such without paying for a new body each time. Or perhaps I might have begun with Doug Speck's Universal Battery Holder.

Finally, I would have read more of the forum archives and online reviews.
 

Pydpiper

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differently?

I wouldn't have procrastinated so much on the purchase of my L4. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif
 

ACMarina

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

I'd have bought a few Arc AAAs, to be sure. I also wish I had a few more X5T-HAs. I don't think there's anything I really wish I hadn't bought, though. .
 

js

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

I would still have bought an Arc LS first. That was a good decision. But after that, I would have bought a SureFire A2 first, instead of a D2 (6P with a pocket clip), which I sold to get a C2, which I sold to get a FF, which I sold to get an E2e. And this was a good buy and I would do it again, but I would have gotten the A2 first, then a TigerLight--that was a great decision, and I would (and have) repeat it, as well as the SF M6. Nice light.

So: Arc LS, SF A2, TigerLight, SF M6, E2e. Oh, and I should mention that everything started with an Arc AAA LE that my brother gave me for my birthday. And when I thought I lost that (I found it later) I got an Arc LS to replace it. And so on.
 

357

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

<font color="blue">My only regrets are buying (in no particular order):

Inovas (beam type issue)
Streamlight Lux Jrs (several reliability issues involving the switch)
Elektrolumens (more reliability/Quality Control issues than any other lights I've owned)
Dorcy (very reliable, but weak QC)
</font>

<font color="red">...when I should have stuck with the best the entire time (i.e. Surefire my opinion says). </font>

Nothing wrong with the Inovas in terms of fit/finish, but I find the beam to be very limited (throw only).

My current thought is to stick with the best, which right now I consider to be Surefire and HDS. I know there are even finer lights out there, but I'm not too comfortable being custom pieces (bigger chance of going out of business, harder to get parts I fear).

There are a few other less expensive brands I've generally been VERY happy with (Pelican M6 LED, UK eLED 4aa, etc. for example), but overall I really have a strong preference for Surefire and HDS.
 

Fat_Tony

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

357, I have initially been disappointed with each Inova that I have purchased, as well!! Over time, though, I have grown to (really) like 2 out of 3 of them for what they are (the exception is the T1, I am not sure that I will ever find a use for that).
 

357

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

[ QUOTE ]
Fat_Tony said:
357, I have initially been disappointed with each Inova that I have purchased, as well!! Over time, though, I have grown to (really) like 2 out of 3 of them for what they are (the exception is the T1, I am not sure that I will ever find a use for that).

[/ QUOTE ]

I don't really dislike the Inova flashlights, I just don't use them much due to the beam. The fit and finish is impressive, as is the regulated runtime. Its just that the beam is so focused that at short range its too bright, and at further ranges it throws well but has almost zero side spill. And when they go out of regulation (I'm referring to the X0 and X3), they really are useless my opinion says. A dim spot beam that can't throw or flood (due to dying batteries) has almost no value I feel, while a beam that has some sidespill at least has some use when dying (out of regulation) at very short ranges. Having my Inova X0 fall out of regulation while working in my attick once opened up my eyes, my unit went from bright to very dim almost instantly--and its hard to get around when a spot beam is dim.
 

Fat_Tony

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

357, your description of the beam accurately reflects how I feel about the beam of my T3 (and the T1's beam) and is exactly what I did not like (initially) about my T3. I have learned, however, that if I use it as a dedicated throw light, it works fine. On the other end of the spectrum, when I purchased my X5, it was the 1st non-Wal-mart LED light that I purchased, and I just expected it to be brighter. I have since realized that it is just the correct brightness for most tasks.
 

357

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

^Yep, as a dedicated throw light they do well.
 

Fat_Tony

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

Oh, by the way, 357, I do agree with you that the fit and finish on all 4 (I forgot about my X-5 UV) of my Inovas is terrific!!
 

paulr

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

I'm sort of regretting the slow acquisition of all these Mag85 parts. I finally tried putting a Mag85BP together today and the stock switch is all taken apart in front of me and I'm trying to figure out how to put it back together. If I were doing it again I'd start with a Magcharger. I'd probably just do an MC60 (stock battery and charger and WA01160 bulb) but if I really wanted an '85, there's a simple mod for the charger that lets it charge 9 cells.

My main interest in lights for a while was really nice EDC LED lights like the Arc4, Firefly, etc., but I'm sort of past that now. Coin cell lights make the most sense for a keychain, though mine still has an Arc AAA. The LRI Proton will make all of today's other small handheld lights obsolete.
 

bjn70

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

I like all of the lights I've bought. There are a few others I would like to have. I ended up with an extra set of 8 AA NiMH's that I can't use because they don't fit my Mag85. Otherwise my main regrets are that I do not get to use them enough.
 

MaxaBaker

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

I would not have bought tons of those cheapy lights (like Garrity or Dorcy), and instead saved that money to buy something much nicer (prolly something SF unless I spent more than a SF's price on all of the cheapies /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif )
 

KevinL

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

[ QUOTE ]
Pydpiper said:
I wouldn't have procrastinated so much on the purchase of my L4. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

Same. If I had bought the L4 I would actually have saved money instead of experimenting with every other light on the way. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

There ain't NOTHING like a 5W (as LEDs go) when you need to punch out the lumens under sodium vapor lamps and cut through the city glare.

My mistakes I suppose were experimenting with modifying Maglites to LEDs. The size/performance ratio is extremely disappointing. 4D cells powering a TW0L? No longer my idea of fun. In fact, I refitted the OA4D Cookbook black Mag to become an incan /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

What I did right though: go for the superbulb incandescents and never look back. Go for the Mag2HID and make no compromises. There are brighter HIDs but I love the form factor.
 

Kiessling

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

I don't regret buying cheap and silly lights. They were a big fun, too, and permitted me to climb the qiality-ladder upwards a long time before arriving at the top and only wanting the best.

After all, it is the fun that counts in the end.
No, even those silly and outdated lights permitted me to have fun and excitement once, and so they served their purpose. No, I don't regret anything.

From this point of view ... I am sorry for those who start their "career" right at the top notch lights ... since they miss out all the fun of climbing up the ladder ...

bernie
 

greenLED

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

What Pydpiper and KevinL said. That, and I wish I had bought more ArcAAA's.
 

Sinjz

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

I found this page by Richard L. Hess helpful when I first started out. He carries more lights than I do, but it's an interesting read. He tells you what he would do if he started over. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

BTW, if you're looking for an Arc AAA, PM me. I may have a couple I'd sell or trade.
 

Lurveleven

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

You appreciate your good lights even more when you have some bad lights to compare them against.
No regrets here.

Sigbjoern
 

Sinjz

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

BTW, what I would do differently? I would NEVER have bought any of those lights from my credit card companies even if they are LED, multi-functional or whatever. They are all cheap as h*ll. Skip the cheapies, unless you already have a plan to mod them. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

BentHeadTX

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Re: Buying: What do you wish you\'d done differentl

Most of my LED lights are mods, either Mag/minimag mods or Lambda mods...they all work well.

As far as commercial LED lights go, I have only purchased Arc AAA/AA, Peak AAA/AA and an Inova X5 was given to me. The Arc/Peaks work well for their size and are keepers. The X5 is used for something completely different. Emergency lighting since it runs on 123a lithiums. Total time of using two X5's is about 3 minutes and they work.

The changes I would of done have to do with lending my lights to people. I lent out a Dorcy AAA (dropped down porta-potty) Arc AAA-P (lost) and Arc AA (not sure if it is lost yet) Learned an expensive lesson, lend out Dorcy AAA lights!
 

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