Favorite budget light 2023

bykfixer

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AZ you missed out on the group buy Sofirn had for their version of the Fenix E01. A 1aaa number with twisty head on/off switch called C01.

The first batch had a Yuji LED and was limited to a few hundred. The next version had a Sophia LED and had a few body colors, with a few hundred per color. Some of those like the black one even had a potted LED.

It's one of the few sub $10 lights I feel can be trusted for years. They put out about 7 lumens in a nice conical beam. Has a one way clip that can be swapped to the other end for a hat brim clip.
IMG_9587.jpeg
 
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this_is_nascar

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AZ you missed out on the group buy Sofirn had for their version of the Fenix E01. A 1aaa number with twisty head on/off switch called C01.

The first batch had a Yuji LED and was limited to a few hundred. The next version had a Sophia LED and had a few body colors, with a few hundred per color. Some of those like the black one even had a potted LED.

It's one of the few sub $10 lights I feel can be trusted for years. They put out about 7 lumens in a nice conical beam. Has a one way clip that can be swapped to the other end for a hat brim clip.
View attachment 45614
Love this light. I still have quite a few of both, the c01 and c01s. I do EDC each one, along with my SC64w HI.
 

Burgess

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Yes, indeed !

The Sofirn C01 (Yuji) 3200° and 5600°
and
Sofirn C01 (Sophia)
and
Sofirn C01S
are *ALL* truly little GEMS ! ! !

Glad I have them !
 

this_is_nascar

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Yes, indeed !

The Sofirn C01 (Yuji) 3200° and 5600°
and
Sofirn C01 (Sophia)
and
Sofirn C01S
are *ALL* truly little GEMS ! ! !

Glad I have them !
I actually have a few of each of those emitters around here somewhere. I got 25 or 50 of each of the 3200 and 5600 when they were being sold.
 
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bykfixer

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I missed out on the Yuji (warm) version while they were being sold new but did acquire a pair a year or so later from the WTS section here.

I preferred the golden tone of the Sophia over the pinkish tone of the Yuji. Now unless it's a side by side comparision it is hard to tell. But to me the warm Sophia has a more incandescent look to the tint.

I never minded that ugly beam from the E01 though, purple rings and all.
 

troutpool

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I too have enjoyed the Sofirn C01 since it first came out. Great little light, as described by others above. And sturdy! Watch the torture test here: .
 

Dave_H

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Sofirn C01 looks like a great little light at low cost, almost makes me wish I were a collector.
I get by with what I can pick up locally, but if I see one around...

Dave
 

bykfixer

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I picked up an $8 LifeGear 3aaa at a local CVS store that's like those old multi LED checkout counter numbers from long ago. But being a LifeGear it has safety ideas.

First off, it's an uber floody COB light.
IMG_0147.jpeg

Great for seeing a wide area like the engine bay of a broken down car after dark or to light up your perimeter.
Next it has a red light on the tailcap.
IMG_0150.jpeg

You can have light up front while the red light flashes, have flashing red only or steady red. Flashes are like 1 per second.
It starts out white only.

I considered using an 18500 but the LED tailcap means the battery carrier has a special feature.
IMG_0146.jpeg


It says 100 lumens. It probably is but being COB it doesn't throw very far. I'll toss in some lithiums and stick it in the glove compartment of the car.
 
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fluxgojuice

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I have this 17 led metal flashlight that my uncle bought me for Christmas a long time ago. The LEDs are soldered thru-hole and you could easily replace them with Yuji's as the entire board pops out of the head once you unscrew the thing I don't know the name of. It takes 3xAAAs in a standard cassette and has zero control circuits. What's impressive is the amount of anodizing done to it, and the way it is put together. There is anodizing on everything that doesn't conduct electricity. You can't even get to the button just by taking off the bottom - of course the switch itself is an exception, you have to unscrew another portion and getting a good grip on it is impossible without marring the threads.
Sorry to say you cannot buy these anymore and they are out of production. I did find them briefly on eBay and bought two more.
 

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fluxgojuice

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Vintage USA made? Name a few because I am interested.

If you're looking for a sub 40 tactical flashlight, my favorite is the Energizer TAC 700 and 700R. The 700 uses two 123As but you can drop in a 16650 and it works just fine. It also has a plastic reinforcement in the main tube that you can bore out to fit an 18650. The 700R is larger and has an 18650 built in. It uses 3x Seoul 80+ CRI 4K lamps and has the most bangin strobe that isn't NEBOs one-two-punch dual frequency strobe. Tap goes high, med, low, and double tap is strobe. You can get them in various locations but eBay is the best place at almost 20$.

NEBO's Redline V is a good 3AAA general flashlight with the Dual-Hz strobe and SOS.
Another good one is the Slyde+ which uses 4AAA and has a pull-out white or red LED work light.
Both have a magnetic base.
Best places for NEBOs are Ace, BatteriesPlus, and Boot Jack.

Now you want a really good 50$ budget Tactical light, my two favorites are the LuxPro XP920, which uses the legendary Samsung 351 (it used to use the SST-40), and a ring based mode selector. The only caveat is that it really prefers 123s over an 18650, and you cannot use long 18650s. If you do get an 18650, grab a high amp one bc they are trying to push 1k out of that Samsung. Even the Surefire G2X with it doesn't get that bright, even with a high amp 16650 like an Orbtronic.
The second one is the NEBO Redline X with a Cree XHP (don't know which one) and it can actually generate 1800L on turbo, which you easily get by holding down the smaller button. It has two buttons: One simply turns it on and off, with hold being momentary, and the other is mode, strobe, and turbo. Mode is a single press, turbo is hold, and strobe is double tap. It again has the dual-Hz strobe which is really disorienting. Great flashlight all around. Would probably benefit from a high amp 18650, and yes it does accept long ones.
 

Dave_H

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It takes 3xAAAs in a standard cassette and has zero control circuits.
Nice little light, just be aware that with no current control mechanism other than internal resistance of the AAAs, running with a Lithium-ion cell such as 18650 or 18500, if it's feasible, LEDs are likely to burn bright but burn out over time.

This "showerhead" style is less common these days but still around.

Dave
 

Monocrom

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Yeah, I've got a 2D Bright Star industrial incandescent light in orange that definitely isn't Made in the USA. Bought it to help test out some D-sized adapters for a review on my YouTube channel.
 

Poppy

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I think that my favorite BUDGET light for 2023 is still one that I got in 2022. A $10 Rayovac sold by Walmart. I got it to test it, and then bought a few more as a giveaway light. It is functional, and inexpensive enough to give away to anyone who needs a light, and not feel any pain of loss.

I once used it to see under the engine of my son's inboard outboard boat. I lied it down under the engine on a ledge. I considered that it might roll off of the ledge into some oily bilge water, but I didn't care. Now, if it was a better, more expensive light, I might have been in a perplexing situation.

It has a built in 18650 rechargeable battery, and takes a micro USB input. Again, as a give away light, one doesn't need to buy a separate battery, nor a charger.

1692441285579.png
 

bykfixer

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I remember when green pond mentioned those and, although not real excited to buy one I still looked for them at my local WalMart's. They never stocked any. There were no "tags" on the shelf for them either.

At one point they had a big display of flashlights but now they have a few brands/models scattered about between sporting goods, camping, fishing and automotive. They do the same with knives and gloves these days.

If I ever see one in a Target or something I'll probably buy one though.
 

gurdygurds

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AZ you missed out on the group buy Sofirn had for their version of the Fenix E01. A 1aaa number with twisty head on/off switch called C01.

The first batch had a Yuji LED and was limited to a few hundred. The next version had a Sophia LED and had a few body colors, with a few hundred per color. Some of those like the black one even had a potted LED.

It's one of the few sub $10 lights I feel can be trusted for years. They put out about 7 lumens in a nice conical beam. Has a one way clip that can be swapped to the other end for a hat brim clip.
View attachment 45614
Are these AAA Sofirn lights still being sold anywhere to your knowledge? I was so diehard with the old E01 that I didn't appreciate them while they were around. My favorite budget light is still probably the good ol' Photon Freedom. The one I have was acting funky, if it took any sort of drop or knock it would shut off. I swapped the batteries for a single 2032 and it's good to go now. I also have a Streamlight 2AA Propolymer Hazlo that isn't bad, but I THINK it may have some pretty beefy parasitic drain. Either that or I have some faulty batteries, but the output on it seems to drop quite quickly even when not being used.
 
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