Dual fuel thrower

Hardball

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
31
Location
SoCal
You guys helped me out with a similar question a bunch of years ago and I suspect someone can do it again. :thumbsup:

One of the kids is taking up the volunteer SAR mantle, {I retired in 2014 at 61}, and I want to buy him a handheld light for Christmas. He has a streamlight stinger, {which usually stays in the bag}, and a headlamp on his helmet as well as handheld lanterns on the truck but most guys also have an "edc" type personal light the carry in the sap pocket of their trousers or hung on their vest.

He has carried my old streamlight TL but I would like to upgrade him to a modern LED. I also would like something that can use both rechargeable, {for personal carry}, and CR123 which are available at the station but it is considered poor form to carry a box off for personal use.

Throw is important since most of the work is on steep, unlighted cliffs and canyons and being able to nimbly peer downhill is very desirable. I like the surefires but replacing an expensive light is tough for a young guy so my sweet spot would be a 2 X CR123 around $100.

Ideas?



==================Flashlight Recommendation Checklist================

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

____I would like to purchase the light in person from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
__X_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! :)

____I don't know yet
____Up to $25.
____Up to $50.
__X_Up to $100.
____Up to $200.
____Up to $300.
____Essentially unlimited.


3) Format:

____I am not sure, please help me decide.
__X_I want a flashlight (hand held/self contained).
____I want a self-contained headlamp.
____I want a headlamp with an external pack/power source.
____I want a mounted light (typically for a bicycle or vehicle)
____I want a lantern/area light.
____I want a portable spotlight (it may have an external power source).
____Other ____________________________________________


4) Size:

____MICRO - Keychain size.
____TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).
__X_SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).
____MEDIUM - Holster/belt ring carry. (>7 inches)
____LARGE - Big enough to need its own travel case.
____I don't know/I don't care.


5) Emitter/Light source:

__X_LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)
____Incandescent (known for superior color rendition)
____HID (known for max output, but often at the expense of size)
____I don't know.


6) Manufacturer:

__X_I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
____I would like a light from a specialty manufacturer (Possibly limited run/Custom).
____I am interested in assembling my own components. (for example a "host" or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a "drop-in" emitter from another source).


7) What power source do you want to use?

____I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Alkaline batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
__X_I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Lithium batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D and CR123 sized cells common to most stores (often a cold weather or long storage choice).
____I intend to use Rechargeable cells (NiMH or NiCD) based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
__X_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.
____I don't know/I need more information on power sources.

7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option
____I want a light that plugs directly into the wall (literally with prongs built into the light)
__X_I want a light that has a recharging adapter (your typical "wall wart")
__X_I want a light that snaps into a cradle (usually mounted on a wall)
____I want a separate/stand-alone charger (this involves removing the batteries to charge)
____I don't care


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).
____I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
____I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens).
__X_I want search and rescue type illumination (800+ 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.


9) Flood vs Throw: Flood covers an area, Throw reaches out to a distance.

____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.
____Narrow Flood: I want a sharply defined flood area that will project some distance for tasks like trail walking.
____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.
__X_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.
____Turbohead: I want a far-distance projector with a sharply focused spot of light and minimal or zero side-spill. Good for extreme distance and impressing your friends.

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)
__X_50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
__X_150+ yards (I am searching from a helicopter)

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).

____Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods)
__X_30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
____90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
____3 hours + (I critically need this light to run on max for extended periods in between battery changes/charges).




11) Durability/Usage: 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).
__X_Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
____I don't know.


12) Switch Size, Type, and location (choose all that apply):

__X_Any size switch will do.
____I need a BIG switch (I'll be using gloves or have very large hands or coordination issues).
____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
____I want a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only).
____I want a twisty switch (Tighten the head/tailcap to activate, and the light will stay on until the head/tailcap is loosened).
____I want a body mounted switch (near the head, like on a Maglite).
____I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today's high end lights).
____I want a remote switch (usually found on high-end bicycle headlights)
____I don't care.
____I don't know.
____Other, please specify____________________.


13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.

____A simple on-off with only one output level 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 programmable light.
____I want a selector ring.
____I want a strobe mode. (Oscillating pattern to confuse/blind aka "Police Mode")
____I want SOS mode. (blinks in ...---... emergency pattern)
____I want a beacon mode. (Regular flashes at full power to show location.)
__X_I don't care.
____I don't know.


14)Material/Finish/Coating

____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).
__X_I don't care.
____I don't know.
____Other, please specify____________.

15) Water resistance
____None needed
__X_IPX4 (Splash resistant)
____IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
____IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)

16) Storage conditions
____In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)
____Emergency kit (long standby periods)
__X_Automobile glove-box (wide temperature swings, long standby periods, critical reliability)
____Other_________________________________________ ____


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

____Red filter (for preserving night vision).
____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________).
____Dedicated R/G/B secondary LEDs.
____"Hybrid" light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
__X_Pocket/belt clip
____Holster
____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
____Crenulated bezel
____Non-sparking, Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments
 

Hardball

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
31
Location
SoCal
So I guess there is no such thing, huh? Guess I'll buy him a Surefire and hope it doesn't get dropped down an arroyo somewhere.
 

Kestrel

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
7,314
Location
Willamette Valley, OR
I don't know much about the latest lights, but IMO the three different cell config options for dual fuel usage are as follows:

  • 2xCR123 - 1x18650
  • 3xCR123 - 2x17500/18500
  • 4xCR123 - 2x18650
The problem is that truly high outputs aren't really practical from 2-3x CR123 because of the current limits of that chemistry.

For example, a BOSS70 (not a thrower, just a high-output light I'm familiar with) can do something like 2500 lumens from 1x18650, but only ~800 lumens from 2xCR123 safely.

So it's a niche application that takes some design optimization, or a user who knows not to run the 'high' mode when on CR123's.
 

aginthelaw

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
2,649
Location
NJ, USA
...or the elzetta which uses a malkoff drop in. You can bang it against the canyon wall till the cows come home and it won't blink
 

Hardball

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
31
Location
SoCal
Thanks for the suggestions. I like the Hound Dog but it looks like a larger size than practical. I suspect I will just bite the bullet and get him a Surefire and hope it doesn't get lost.
again, thanks.
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,218
Location
John 3:16
Elzetta Bones throws pretty well, can be a 18650 or CR123 fed light and is very sturdy.

It breaks the budget though.

Now check into lanyard rings and wrist straps for whichever light you do acquire. If both hands are needed in an instant then you just let go of the light, yet you don't drop it.
 
Top