Help Choose a light for a Naval Aircrewman

Mustang64p

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Hello everyone!
I'm new here but I was wondering if I could get some opinions. I fly on the E-6B Mercury in the navy and our flashlight is literally attached to my leg 24/7 so I need to find the perfect light. This is what I'm looking for, it needs to use 2xAA for it to physically fit/ be accessible in its special pocket. I currently use a plain ol' Mini Mag and size wise it's fine and it could be just a tad bit longer. I need excellent light output/battery life (doesn't everyone?) but also the ability to focus the light so that I can accurately read oil sight glasses in dark confined areas, but still general high output as I must move around a completely dark/windowless aircraft often. It needs to be very tough as it could easily see 30-40 ft falls onto asphalt regularly. It would also need to be able to withstand being submerged in case the worst does happen (I fly over water extremely often) I would like to be able to keep as much situational awareness as possible.

Now, I looked at flashlightreviews.com and really like the Fenix brand lights such as the L2P L2T L2D CE etc but too honest it became difficult for me (with very limited flashlight knowledge) to decipher what exactly all the differences were and what would be the best fit for me.

My price range is around $50 (after all I am in the navy) but don't mind paying a little extra if its worth it as this light will be my most used tool/possible lifeline.

Thank you for your help.
 

e2x2e

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First of all, thanks for your service. I personally don't know of too many 2xAA lights that would suit your needs, but I think that the SureFire Aviator would do the job, however it may or may not fit in a 2xAA slot. They can be had for ~$120. The incan is really bright, and the leds should be great for night ops.
 

hyperloop

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you might wish to consider the Fenix TK20. Simple 2 modes: General - Turbo and built like a tank! Check the review here.

There are loads of other reviews on this site too, click on 'reviews' on the top and you can narrow the options to AA/14500 and see all the AA powered lights.

Hope this helps.


EDIT: :welcome:
 

Timothybil

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What is your form factor? From your post I am assuming a tubular, end-to-end form factor. Are we talking a pouch/pocket or a dedicated location like the pen pockets usually found on the breast or upper arm? Not withstanding your other criteria, there are several options available. The standard tubular like the miniMag and the others you named, the right-angle tubular like the Pentagonlight MOLLE, and the side-by-side like the Streamlight Sidewinder and Pelican MightyBrite.

Do you want any other functions like multi-mode and/or strobe/SOS? A lanyard/elastic strap? Where do you carry your extra batteries?

BTW I too want to thank you for what you are doing. My daughter is on the Truman as a bosuns mate, and I got her a Pentagonlight MOLLE and she loves it. Not quite the same situation you are in but similiar.

God Bless you and see you home safely.
 

squareone

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Fenix LD20. Its a AA very bright. Submersible and pretty tough. A 30-40 ft drop is gonna be hard on any light though. Oh and the lights around $55
 

Yucca Patrol

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iI would suggest the L2T v.2.0 instead of the others mentioned. It is still very bright at 150 lumens with a very useful 16 lumen low mode. It has a very simple interface (low and high) and will be perfectly suited to moving around inside a a darkened aircraft. The size will be equivalent to a 2xAA Mini-Mag. It has a simple switch and a quick twist of the head selects the two modes.

I suggest this over the "better" versions such as the L2D Q5 or the LD20 because they have strobe and SOS features which might be disorienting to your fellow crewmen if you inadvertently activate those modes while searching for the mode you need.

This is the Fenix light that I give to people who are not insane flashaholics but have a real need for a quality flashlight. Everyone who has received one from me has been more than thrilled.

And as others have said, thank you for your service. :twothumbs

Don't forget to order from www.fenix-store.com . They offer excellent customer service, free shipping, and you get 8% off if you use CPF8 as the coupon code.
 
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Gunner12

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Thank you for your service to the country.

Would you like a forward clickie? Like half press the switch for momentary on.

Would a lower output level work instead of focus ability? The low level of the Fenix L2D(lowest output version) is brighter then the Minimag(11 lumen vs 8 lumen) and runs for longer(50-60 hours to 50% vs 40 minutes to 50%). It has a less intense hotspot though so it might work better for close range(280 lux at 1 m vs 880 lux at 1m). The L2D, non Q5 or LD20, both have a more efficient LED and are brighter. The LD20 might work because it has a similar low mode output to the original L2D.

L2D(olive anodizing), LD20. 8% off coupon is "CPF8" and 15% clearence coupon is "CLEAR15"(L2D olive)

IIRC the L2D/LD20 is a bit longer then the Minimag.

You can also look at the Olight T25, Jetbeam Jet-I IBS EX, Nitecore D20, iTP C8, and maybe a few more, but I remember most being above you price range.

:welcome:
 

Mustang64p

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Thank you for the replies so far, as well as the kind words (believe me it is my pleasure to serve). While the aviator looks excellent the price puts it out of my range unfortunately. As for the TK20, it may work but the head looks a bit to bulky.

Yes the tubular style is what I am looking for. There is a dedicated pocket on the inside of the left leg originally designed for a knife but used on my jet for our flashlights. A mini mag is near perfect in dimensions for the pocket however it could be 2-3" longer if necessary and approx an extra (slightly under 1") in diameter.

As for modes nothing fancy is required sure a strobe might be nice if we ever ditched but by no means a requirement. Primarily just a very bright white light with a low power mode and ability to focus the beam similar to the standard mini mag. extra batteries would be carried in one the pockets by my ankles or in my bag.

Also I specified AA but it doesn't need to be alkaline. Anything that I can get rechargeable regardless of chemical composition is fine.

Also for the record the 30-40 foot fall isn't the main priority (of course strength is important) as that shouldn't happen but simply a just incase as I do work at those heights. As long as it's as strong as or stronger than a mini mag it's fine.

Lastly I apologize for all the mini mag references but sadly that is the primary/best flashlight I have used thus far (and it's not even LED). I know that many people just shed a tear for me :)
 

gilly

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Howdy and welcome to CPF! If you don't mind taking some advice from a former jarhead pilot (AH-1W)...

I agree with a few of the recommendations above:

L2T V2.0

https://www.fenix-store.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_69_71&products_id=335

-simple design / user interface
-decent low mode and high mode
-good value


L2D CE

https://www.fenix-store.com/product_info.php?cPath=58&products_id=407

-good low mode
-more complicated user interface (actually has 6 modes) but you're aircrew and can figure it out!!
-very good value. Using a coupon/discount code of CLEAR15 this light can be had for ~42.00 including shipping!
-got two of these exact models for my sons for Christmas


LD20

https://www.fenix-store.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_65&products_id=362

-nicer body than the two models above (updated with knurling and better contours) - will stay put in your hand better.
-brightest option of the three
-also has six modes, with a nice low mode and very bright "turbo"
-more expensive than the other two by 10-20 bucks.


I have owned many Fenix lights and given them often as gifts. Well made and very well designed. Fenix-Store, whose owner is a member of this forum (4Sevens), gives you an 8% discount using the discount code CPF8 and as mentioned above the L2D CE is on clearance with a code of CLEAR15.

Even better is the Fenix-Store lifetime warranty on their lights, which, in my book, is a HUGE advantage. See link below:

https://www.fenix-store.com/information.php?info_id=5

(scroll down a bit to see it)

This warranty might come in "handy" when you drop your light 30 feet onto the flightline...

I used to carry a camo Mini-Mag in that same pocket way back when...

Recommend you use Nimh rechargeables (low self discharge models like ENELOOP or the Duracell Precharged (white tops)) in the light and carry some Energizer lithiums in one of your pockets as spares (lots of energy in them and very LIGHT).

None of these lights focuses, as you mentioned above - but they have wonderful, useful beams that will impress you.


Are all Naval Aircrew still going through P-cola? Got my start there 19 years ago!!

Good luck to you, Mustang. Safe flying, SQUID!:thumbsup:

Gilly
 
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SnWnMe

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Get the best. Get a Surefire for your entire crew

Your SK can order gear for your official use.

Here are the NSNs for Surefire flashlights.

Incandescent
6P-BKFL, BLACK ANO, MOMNTRY TLCP SW, 6V, 1.25 BEZ6230-01-381-3292
A2-HA-BLFL, AVIATOR, OD HARD ANO, DUAL OUTPUT: BLUE LEDS + INCAND, 6V, 1.13 BEZ6230-01-532-5463
A2-HA-RDFL, AVIATOR, OD HARD ANO, DUAL OUTPUT: RED LEDS + INCAND, 6V, 1.13 BEZ6230-01-531-7033
A2-HA-WHFL, AVIATOR, OD HARD ANO, DUAL OUTPUT: WHITE LEDS + INCAND, 6V, 1.13 BEZ6230-01-522-6602
A2-HA-YGFL, AVIATOR, OD HARD ANO, DUAL OUTPUT: YELLOW-GREEN LEDS + INCAND, 6V, 1.13 BEZ6230-01-531-7032
C2-HAFL, CENTURION, OD HARD ANO, COMBATGRIP BODY, MOMNTRY TLCP SW, CLIP, 6V, 1.25 BEZ6230-01-522-6603
C3-HAFL, CENTURION, OD HARD ANO, COMBATGRIP BODY, MOMNTRY TLCP SW, CLIP, 9V, 1.25 BEZ6230-01-522-6606
E1E-HAFL, EXEC, ELITE, OD HARD ANO, MOMNT TLCP SW, CLIP, 3V, 1.00 BEZ6230-01-531-7034
E2D-BKFL, EXEC DEFENDER, BLACK HARD ANO, CRENELATED BEZ, MOMNTRY TLCP SW, CLIP, 6V, 1.00 BEZ6230-01-522-6607
E2E-HAFL, EXEC, ELITE, OD HARD ANO, MOMNT TLCP SW, CLIP, 6V, 1.00 BEZ6230-01-531-7035
G2-BKFL, BLACK POLYMER, 6V, 1.25 BEZ6230-01-522-6609
G2-OD CSFL, OD POLYMER, 6V, 1.25 BEZ6230-01-532-4181
G2-TNFL, TAN POLYMER, 6V, 1.25 BEZ6230-01-531-7037
G2Z-BKFL, BLACK POLYMER, COMBATGRIP BODY, 6V, 1.25 BEZ6230-01-529-5793
G2Z-ODFL, OD POLYMER, COMBATGRIP BODY, 6V, 1.25 BEZ6230-01-531-7038
G2Z-TNFL, TAN POLYMER, COMBATGRIP BODY, 6V, 1.25 BEZ6230-01-529-4966
M1FL, INFRARED, LED, 10MW, 3V, 1.00 BEZ5855-01-529-5375
M2FL, CENTURION, OD HARD ANO, COMBATGRIP BODY, SHOCK ISOL LAMP, CLIP, 6V, 1.47 BEZ6230-01-532-3740
M3FL, COMBATLIGHT, OD HARD ANO, COMBATGRIP BODY, SHOCK ISOL LAMP, 9V, 1.62 BEZ6230-01-522-6616
M4FL, DEVASTATOR, TURBOHEAD, OD HARD ANO, SHOCK ISOL LAMP, 12V, 2.50 BEZ6230-01-522-6617
M6FL, GUARDIAN, OD HARD ANO, TURBOHEAD, SHOCK ISOL LAMP, 18V, 2.50 BEZ6230-01-529-6196
Z2-BKFL, BLACK ANO, COMBATGRIP BODY, MOMNTRY TLCP SW, 6V, 1.25 BEZ6230-01-513-6430
LED
E1L-HA-WHFL LED , EXEC, ELITE, OD HARD ANO, MOMNT TLCP SW, CLIP, 3V, 1.00 BEZ6230-01-556-0271
K2MS-BKKROMA MILSPEC FALSHLIGHT6230-01-556-0404
L1-HA-WHFL, LUMAMAX, OD HARD ANO, DUAL OUTPUT WHITE LED, 3V, 1.00 BEZ6230-01-531-7042
L2-HA-WHFL, LUMAMAX, OD HARD ANO, DUAL OUTPUT WHITE LED, CLIP, 6V, 1.00 BEZ6230-01-522-6610
L4-HA-WHFL, LUMAMAX, OD HARD ANO, WHITE LED, MOMNTRY TLCP SW, CLIP, 6V, 1.00 BEZ6230-01-522-6611
L5-HA-WHFL, LUMAMAX, OD HARD ANO, WHITE LED, COMBATGRIP BODY, CLICK ON/OFF TLCP SW, CLIP, 6V, 1.47 BEZ6230-01-522-6612
U2-BK-WHFL, U2 ULTRA, BLACK HARD ANO, 2-80 LUM VARIABLE OUTPUT LED, CLIP, 6V, 1.47 BEZ6230-01-522-6622

He/she can also get the CR123s for you. GSA takes a few weeks to fill these kinds of orders but your Mag Lite can cover your needs until your SFs arrive.
 

hyperloop

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In which case, i would have to support the L2T, simple and easy to use interface, Fenix build quality is pretty darn good too, you can actually check out Youtube to see how they put a fenix through some pretty destructive tests.
 

Mustang64p

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Once again thank you for the responses. I think I am leaning towards the LD20 I appreciate all of the specific considerations made by all of you and the time you invested in the responses. I like the LD20 because;
1. Body allows me to place it without it rolling which can be a big deal when fighting fires or working in my confined spaces.
2. High output will light up the interior and once I get used to it the strobe feature could help if worse comes to worse.
3. Size seems to be dead on for that I'm looking for.

However, if I'm not mistaken there is no adjustment to the beam. Now on my plain old mini mag I couldn't get a focused enough beam to check my sight glasses. Being LED am I correct in that it will still have a pretty bright central beam depending on mode?

Also what battery setup (type and charger) would you all recommend to a newbie with an LD20?

Gilly:
It's a pleasure! Thanks for pointing out that warranty I will definitely purchase from fenix-store now.

You are correct we are all still going through Pensacola same barracks and everything. Sure do miss it too. Never thought I'd join the Navy and end up in Oklahoma City just about as far from water as one can get eh? Oh well that's the Navy, they're always trying to keep you on your toes.

Have a fine Navy Day Devil Dog!




 

Burgess

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USA
to Mustang64P --


Welcome to CandlePowerForums !


:welcome:


Please let us know which of these fine choices you decide upon.


Best of Luck (and health) to you and your loved ones in 2009.

:wave:
_
 

greenLED

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However, if I'm not mistaken there is no adjustment to the beam. Now on my plain old mini mag I couldn't get a focused enough beam to check my sight glasses. Being LED am I correct in that it will still have a pretty bright central beam depending on mode?

Also what battery setup (type and charger) would you all recommend to a newbie with an LD20?
:welcome: Mustang!

Minimags sort of needed "focusing" because of the beam imperfections from the little bulb.

Newer LED lights have fixed focus because they use better optical systems to deliver nicer, more even beams, regardless of mode (only brightness will vary, not the beam characteristics). Usually reflectors are set for a balance between throw and wide area illumination.

If you absolutely need the focus, check out the Fenix E20. It's the only 2AA LED light I know of that allows for focusing the beam, but it doesn't have low/high modes.

Pretty much any set of NiMH batteries and charger will do. Battery Junction and/or Battery Station are reliable CPF supporters that sell good quality batteries, etc. It sounds like you use your flashlight a lot, so spending the extra cash for the newer low self-discharge NiMH may not be worthwhile.
 

Yucca Patrol

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When you compare your old minimag to any of these fenix models, you will simply be blown away. Your concern for having to focus the beam will go right out the porthole as it is a non-issue. In fact, you will probably not use the brightest settings most of the time.

I would suggest that you get a 4 pack of sanyo eneloop batteries and the standard charger. You'll always have two extras charged up and the runtimes will be much much more than your old minimag, so you will probably never run out of juice.
 

SimpleIsGood229

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Firstly, thank you for your service, Mustang64b.

Secondly, welcome to CPF.

Thirdly, I'm thinking that a Surefire E-series might fit. Something like an E2L Outdoorsman, L2, or L4.

If those won't fit, I think a AA Fenix would probably be best.
 

gilly

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For batteries, I'd recommend these:

http://www.batteryjunction.com/sanyo2700.html

These are standard Nickel Metal Hydride batteries. Made by a very reputable company (Sanyo) - I would recommend sticking to a good brand. They will give you a lot of power, but will start to self discharge (as all batteries do) the moment you take them out of the charger. As GreenLED stated above, you will be fine with these if you use your light often. Standard discharge Nimh batteries are fine if you use them within a couple / few weeks after charging them.

These are not as high capacity, but are low self-discharge and will retain up to 85% of their charge after sitting idle for a year:

http://www.batteryjunction.com/eneloop-aa-4-pack-nimh-lsd.html

These "eneloops" are great, high quality batteries and are a standard for many here on CPF. Also made by Sanyo in Japan.

I would also carry some lithium backup/emergency cells in my pockets:

http://www.batteryjunction.com/consumer-lithium-aa-aaa-9v.html

These cells are expensive, but will give you the longest runtime and have a shelf life of 15 years. They are also very LIGHT. Carry a couple of sets in a case inside your helmet bag and/or the left shoulder pocket of your "bag" [flight suit for you non-aviators].

As far as a charger goes, I have the Maha C-9000, which is considered by many to be the best AA charger out there. There is a special going on that ends TOMORROW. Check it out here:

http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/showthread.php?t=188040

I can't comment on the chargers listed on Battery Junction - but most of the 'smart' chargers would probably be OK. (any other CPFers have comments on these?)

There is an option here of purchasing the charger WITH four eneloop cells: (not sure how capable this charger is but it's marketed by the battery manufacturer so probably isn't junk)

http://www.batteryjunction.com/sanyo-charger-eneloop-4-aa-batteries-kit.html

If you decide to purchase from Battery Junction, use a discount code of:

cpf2006

for 5% off

Hope this helps, Mustang.

My Cobra was just a bit larger than one of your E-6's engines! (but much MEANER:xyxgun:)

Have a good one.
 
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