General use rural flashlight Australia

wedgetail

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
3
Location
Australia - NSW nr Coolah
OK so pretty new here - just made an intro post but thought I'd start off here too. I'm after a general purpose flashlight - I live in rural australia and basically don't have anything you could call a torch. Well I have/had maglights but I'm tired of feeding them batteries and bulbs the whole time, I'm after something a bit more serious I think. Uses will be everything from locking up the chooks, strapping to a rifle (not doing anything really serious, just if I have to knock the odd fox off or occasional rabbit thinning), taking out catching goats at night, poking around in engine bays/other dark corners of machinery/vehicles, taking into roofs etc..

I don't want it tiny, I'll lose it. I don't want it huge, I'd like it to fit in a jacket pocket. I'm particular about aesthetics - I prefer streamlined, no nonsense looks to something "tacticool".

So here's the the form:
==================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.
__x__Up to $50.
____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.
__x__I would like a light from a specialty manufacturer (Possibly limited run/Custom).
__x__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?

__x__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).
__x__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)
____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)
__x__I want to confidently walk around an unlit/unpaved rural area (60-150 lumens).
__x__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).
____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.
__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)
__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)
__x__5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
__x__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)
____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).
__x__Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
____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.
_x___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.)
____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).
____I don’t care.
____I don’t know.
____Other, please specify__anything but plastic__________.

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)
____Automobile glove-box (wide temperature swings, long standby periods, critical reliability)
____Other__unpredictable_______________________________________ ____


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

K31Scout

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 1, 2014
Messages
45
Location
Northern Michigan
customlites.com has a great selection of lights that you want to look at. An L2 host and Cree XP-G2 drop in would cost you around $45 US. Lot's of other options for you to build a great light.
 

wedgetail

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
3
Location
Australia - NSW nr Coolah
Thanks a lot guys, I've had a good look at those and you are bang on with the solarforce - it's exactly what I'm after! I'll just have to do a bit of figuring out and research into the construction/specs of it all but I'm thinking already I like the look of the L2M due to the smooth bezel. K31Scout, not that it's a heap difference price wise but on customlites a plane jane L2 host and an XP-G2 comes to $51, have I missed something?
 

K31Scout

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 1, 2014
Messages
45
Location
Northern Michigan
Thanks a lot guys, I've had a good look at those and you are bang on with the solarforce - it's exactly what I'm after! I'll just have to do a bit of figuring out and research into the construction/specs of it all but I'm thinking already I like the look of the L2M due to the smooth bezel. K31Scout, not that it's a heap difference price wise but on customlites a plane jane L2 host and an XP-G2 comes to $51, have I missed something?

You're right. I was thinking the $30 P60 with the XPE2 module. Also, you pay for shipping on orders under $75.
 

swan

Banned
Joined
Apr 21, 2011
Messages
669
Location
sydney aus
Just to throw something into the mix, you can pickup the nitecore p15 xpg2 for around $50 if u shop around- no building required.
 

wedgetail

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
3
Location
Australia - NSW nr Coolah
Yeah I can see they'd be a good choice. But now I've done some reading and some thinking I'm liking the idea of putting together my own. Also I like the sleeker look of the solarforce, the nitecore looks too tacticool IMO.

So solarforceflashlight-sales.com lists an xp-g P60 for half the customlites price, "Solarforce 320Lms R5 XP-G Cree Led 3 Mode 0.8V-4.2V Bulb (Orange Peel Reflector)". I'm guessing it's 1st generation not g2? So maybe I'm losing out there but is there any other reason I shouldn't get this instead? I know customlites is recommended but we're talking half the price. And it says 320lumens with an 18650 so which in my mind isn't bad for what I want it for. Although I might try and set it up for 2AAs to start with. Is this doable (2xAA) in an L2M?

Maybe it won't be quite as bright but I'm also thinking once I have this together I might look into building a higher performance module up. I'm not too bad with a soldering iron and I have a metalworkship with a lathe and have seen some interesting module build threads...
 
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