Field Service engineer new to the world of flashlights

Bbain

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
4
) 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 $125.
____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:

____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)
_x___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.
__x__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.
_xx___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.
__xx__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)
____I want a light that has a recharging adapter (your typical "wall wart")
____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)
_x___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).
__x__I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens).
____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.
__x__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.
____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)
__x__Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
___x_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)
____50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
____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)
____30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
__x__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):

____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).
_x___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.)
_x___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.)
____I don't care.
____I don't know.


14)Material/Finish/Coating

____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
__x__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
____IPX4 (Splash resistant)
_x___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)
____Automobile glove-box (wide temperature swings, long standby periods, critical reliability)
__x__Other_____Travel Tool Case____________________________________ ____


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)
____Pocket/belt clip
___x_Holster
____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
____Crenulated bezel
____Non-sparking, Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments


I was looking at the RRT0-XML2 but it doesn't appear to have a holster to keep it safe in? I will be working at close distances on electron microscopes and will also need to use it for long distances every so often? Please help
 

SubLGT

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 18, 2013
Messages
1,183
Location
Idaho, USA
)………………..I will be working at close distances on electron microscopes and will also need to use it for long distances every so often? Please help

Are you opposed to using an accessory diffuser on the flashlight, for close up work?
 

mcnair55

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
4,448
Location
North Wales UK
Nip into a good trade store plenty of professional use lights for your intended use or have a look on the tool vans who sell to the trade such as Snap On and Mac Tools.
 

Str8stroke

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
5,032
Location
On The Black Pearl
Maybe look into Fenix, Sunwayman, Nitecore, or Foursevens. Just to name a few good manufactures to check out and see what you like.
 

NoNotAgain

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
2,364
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains, VA
I was looking at the RRT0-XML2 but it doesn't appear to have a holster to keep it safe in? I will be working at close distances on electron microscopes and will also need to use it for long distances every so often? Please help

Most hand held lights that have throw for distances put out way too much light for working on something as delicate as a electron microscope. Then you have the issue of hold do you hold the light and work on the microscope with just one hand?

My suggestion would be to purchase a head lamp and a hand held flashlight.

Something along the lines of a Nitecore HC50, or possibly a Led Lenser H5-H7 head lamp and a hand held torch like a Nitecore P20, EC25.
 

Bbain

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
4
Nip into a good trade store plenty of professional use lights for your intended use or have a look on the tool vans who sell to the trade such as Snap On and Mac Tools.

The problem with this is that I am in a brand new area and have no idea what is around. It would be easier for me to order something online. What drew me to the Jetbeam is that I can change the beam fairly easily with the ring, It is tail stand capable and that it doesnt have a bunch of extra modes that I dont need. I am going to have to look up a few of these other suggestions and see if any of them will fit what I am looking for. I am very new to this and just trying to purchase the right light on the first attempt. I like the lights that can be recharged fairly easily. The last thing I need to have is to be stuck at a customer site with dead batteries.
 

Bbain

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
4
Most hand held lights that have throw for distances put out way too much light for working on something as delicate as a electron microscope. Then you have the issue of hold do you hold the light and work on the microscope with just one hand?

My suggestion would be to purchase a head lamp and a hand held flashlight.

Something along the lines of a Nitecore HC50, or possibly a Led Lenser H5-H7 head lamp and a hand held torch like a Nitecore P20, EC25.

Most of my work will be looking for dust particles and and contaminates, looking for dropped screws and chasing wires. Occasionaly I will need to light up a dark chase. For now I would like to stick with handheld and if I feel the need later on I will get a head lamp,

Thanks!
 

Timothybil

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
3,662
Location
The great state of Misery (Missouri)
For the close-up work, I would recommend the TerraLUX Lightstar 80. It is a two AAA penlight form factor; 80 die lumens which translates to about 50-60 out-the-front lumens, a two to three hour run time with lithium primaries, and a high CRI LED for good color rendition. They also have a rubber bite ring on the end so you can easily hold it in your mouth when you need both hands.

For the longer throw I would recommend the Nitecore EA41. It is a four AA light with a very small form factor-it fits into the center of a toilet paper tube. It has five ranges between 1 and 960 lumens, plus strobe, SOS and beacon. It comes with a nice belt holster to keep it out of the way until you need it, and with a 300 meter rated throw, will more than meet your requirements. In fact, with the one lumen and forty lumen modes it could meet your close-up needs as well, but I think it would be a little too large for close in precision work.

The two together should run about US$100.
 

Bob Damon

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Messages
229
Timothybil has a good idea with the Terralux, High CRI gives more realistic color.
Pand I agre with the EA41, AA batteries, solid light.
 

mcnair55

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
4,448
Location
North Wales UK
The problem with this is that I am in a brand new area and have no idea what is around. It would be easier for me to order something online. What drew me to the Jetbeam is that I can change the beam fairly easily with the ring, It is tail stand capable and that it doesnt have a bunch of extra modes that I dont need. I am going to have to look up a few of these other suggestions and see if any of them will fit what I am looking for. I am very new to this and just trying to purchase the right light on the first attempt. I like the lights that can be recharged fairly easily. The last thing I need to have is to be stuck at a customer site with dead batteries.

That is why I directed you to a good trade store as the sales assistant would find the right light for your intended use,many companies in the UK give new starters an open order number to kit them selves out with ppe and a light.
 

cland72

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
3,277
retracted b/c I just recommended a 500 lumen flashlight for someone who's going to be working on stuff less than 12" away
 
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