Flashlight (Body) Colors: Why Not a Little Variety?

AFAustin

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I'm no artist, but one thing I appreciate in a high end flashlight is its aesthetic quality: how it looks. My current line-up is always in plain view in my little home office, and I get a certain amount of pleasure from simply seeing such fine tools displayed. I've got to admit, though, that the fact that 90% of my lights are either HA III "natural" color or good old black, is a tad depressing. (My beautiful FM 2 1/2C magmod stands out like a jewel!)

So, my question: does anyone else feel the same way? Is there an untapped demand among us for lights done in a variety of different, beautiful colors that a smart and responsive manufacturer (think: Lumapower) could satisfy?

I know I have read at times that "true" HA III can only be the usual "natural" color---is this a fact? I don't really know if my FM 2 1/2C has Type II or III anodizing, but I assure you it is gorgeous, and seems as "nick resistant" as any of my natural HA IIIs. Moreover, I notice that a longtime CPF favorite, the CR2 Ion, comes in a selection of gorgeous colors, and it is advertised as being "HA III": http://fenix-store.com/index.php?cPath=34. I've never favored CR2 lights, but I confess I almost went for an Ion, mainly because of the eye-catching finishes. Frankly, even if it is only Type II that can be done in colors, that wouldn't bother me. TTYTT, I don't find that much difference in wear between my Type IIs and IIIs (not to mention the wide gap in quality of so-called HA IIIs---e.g., Fenix and SF are miles apart).

So, what say you, fellow CPFers? Anyone else longing for a little color in their torch line-up?
 
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matrixshaman

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Good questions - my guess is most light makers are getting them out the door in a very price competetive environment right now and doing colors likely adds to the cost. But it would really be nice to see that option more readily available on some lights.
 

Lobo

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I'm a bit torn about this question. I like to look as my lights as tool, and dont want them to look to fancy, so I wont mind them being used and abused, grey, black and dull colours works nice for this. But on the other hand, since joining CPF, I realised some lights really are a work of art. So maybe there is a need for more colourfull lights?
 

Casual Flashlight User

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It's a tool. Grey HAIII is all I need...I'm not fussed on any exotic colours or materials.

That's my 2 cents worth anyways.


CFU
 

jeffb

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I have or have had red, maroon, gold, Ti, bare, nickel,brass,stainless.
Cr2 Ion is mfg in colors (have a marooon) and TnC, has "Lava". (and Red and Blue in KeyLux).

Have seen some very nice Duracoated, Camo, "Splash Anodized"; Perhaps start a thread for pictures of "colored" or unusual. (McGizmo did some runs of a "rubberized" color coating and I believe Modamag, 'Mac" , and others, too.)
54168666-M.jpg

62507699-M.jpg


Tnc Lava light



jeffb
 
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2xTrinity

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I think the main reason is that the toughest anodizing finishes can only be done in gray or black -- colored anodized finishes such as the Maglites tend to be more scratch-prone. Also, scratcehs and dings will be MUCH more apparent on a bright colored light than a gray light. The biggest reason is probably that one the biggest markets for high-end flashlights, law enforcement, and security are really only going to be interested in lights that look uniform with other equipment -- that is, gunmetal gray or black.

Also, although this is probably not considered by most flashlgiht designers, high intensity LED lights that have polished or chromed finishes will be much poorer at dissipating heat than a plain anodized light. Although they do look quite awesome, I agree.
 
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Lit Up

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If you want to go the duracoat route, you can do all kinds of colors/patterns.

Just look at this gun gallery.

http://www.jimsgunsupply.com/index2.html

(Click on the picture of the rifle)

The diamond plated and coral snake design are a couple of my favs.

Somebody should take a Mag ROP and Eddie Van Halen's paint scheme and create the Franken-Mag. :rock:

kramer5150zw9.jpg
 
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xiaowenzu

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To my knowledge, a dull greyish color indicates the flashlight has the toughest HA-III coating, such as with the Surefire lights which use military-spec'ed MiL-A-8625, Type III, Class 2 coating - the naturally drabby/grey color is the result of that anodise process.
It is NEVER meant to look shiny, black or silvery in apperance.
Example of a SureFire here
I have to admit HA-III's which are black, silvery, or whitiesh in appearance, such as the Fenix's, are NOT as tough as the ones used by Surefire (or other lights which exhibit the dull/grey color - result of true HA-III) I know my Maglite is HA-II and it's shiny black.
Example here It makes you wonder whether the Fenix are HA-III's or really just HA-II's. :whistle:


Casual Flashlight User said:
It's a tool. Grey HAIII is all I need...I'm not fussed on any exotic colours or materials.
 
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ginaz

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i agree. i looked at my knives one day and it was black, black and some more black. it was good to get a Benchmade 940 in green and a blue Spydie. why not lights?
 

TORCH_BOY

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I had also noticed that some of the very cheap plastic incand lights that are found
at the local supermarkets and toy shops come in a variety of colors and shades
 

AFAustin

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greenlight said:
Type 2 anodizing is not considered "hard" or HA.

Thank you for this reminder. Post edited.

I suspect many of us have fallen into the habit of typing "HA II" to denote Type II anodizing because it's short and easy.
 
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Burgess

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Re: DuraCoat

to Lit Up -


Thank you for the info (and link) about DuraCoat !


Never heard of that process before. Sounds very interesting.


Can't wait to see some colorful flashlights from this !
smile.gif
 

greenLED

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Burgess, look for posts by grnamin for more about duracoating lights. IIRC, mac also has some Duracoated mods.

HA can be made as dark as black, without adding any dye. I'm not sure what the exact process is, but I have a couple of custom Arc parts and a minimag like that.
 

TnC_Products

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Just to clear a few things up about the anodizing process.

Type II ano just penetrates the surface about .0001 - .0003
Type III Ano (Hard Ano) Pentrates the surface .001 - .003 Mil spec is about .002

Color has nothing to do with how hard it is. If you get something Hard anodized to a certain degree it will be the same whether you add dye to it or not.

The drab color is a result of not adding any dye. Type III darkens the material.

So, if you are going by looks.. Type II ano is usually bright looking (bright red, bright blue, etc.)
Type III ano darkens the material so Red usually looks dark red/Maroon, Blue usually looks dark blue/navy color. If someone says something is hard ano but it is very bright red or a bright color it most likely isn't Type III ano. It is probably type II.

Hope this helps. I was in a little hurry when I was typing it up. :)

Chris
 

elgarak

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To each his own, I guess.

I see flashlights as tools, not fashion accessories.

No offense, but this question seems pretty useless to me, nearly as bad as complaining that there's no purple colored pair of pliers ;).
 

Patriot

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Thanks for the info TNC.

Yes, I would like to see more material and finish options offered from the manufacturers. I think it's cool that we're seeing alloys, titainium, stainless, brass and others materials. I'd like to see a high polished stainless Surefire for example. I like to have lots of choices that might set my light apart from somebody elses. That's why I'm becoming more interested in customs. :)
 

PoliceScannerMan

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Some of these are sold, but they are colored.....

TritBezel010.jpg


And how about a lil Surefire Color?

E2e002.jpg


Mags are sometimes colored......

Lights015.jpg


Not exactly colored, but Damascus is cool....

Chammie007.jpg


Or HA III lights with colored leds....

ArcAAA008.jpg
 
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