Highest output (800+ FL1), small enough to hold in hand while riding bicycle wi


Newly Enlightened
Sep 19, 2012
Title kinda says it all. I have been shopping around for a light small enough to hold in my hand while riding my bike. I like a momentary switch on the rear so I can have it on for a second here and there, but never more than a full second. I'd prefer if it fit 18650 but as long as it fit rechargeable cells I'd spend the extra money for new cells and charger (if needed) especially if it was smaller or fit my needs better.

Oh, and hello all. Longtime reader, recent new member and first post today.


Newly Enlightened
Sep 19, 2012
Apparently I forgot this form! If a similar thread exists could someone toss me a link please? Thanks!

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

____I would like to purchase the light from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
___X_I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.

2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :)

____Less than $25.
____Less than $50.
____Less than $100.
____Less than $150.
____Less than $300.
__X__I have no limit.
____I’m flexible, tell me what you gotJ.
____Other, please specify ________

3) Format:

__X__I want a flashlight.
____I want a headlamp.
____I want a lantern.
____I want a dive light.
____I want a portable spotlight.

4) Flashlight-specific format/size:

____Keychain size.
__X__Every day carry small (2-4 inches).
___X_Every day carry medium (4-7 inches).
____Holster carry.
____Big enough to need its own travel caseJ.
____I don’t care.
____I don’t know.

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 traditional mass producing manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
___X_I would consider getting a light that is pieced together (for example a “host” or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a “drop-in” emitter from another source). Under the right circumstances, this path can provide more options to the consumer to meet specific needs, and can often be easily upgradeable as technology improves.

7) What battery type do you want to use?

____I intend to use alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D) (disclaimer, while it does not preclude all choices, these are not recommended for many of today’s most powerful lights)
___X_I intend to use rechargeable nickel chemistry (NiCad, NiMH, NiZn)
____I intend to use lithium primary batteries (CR123, CR2, Energizer Advanced/Ultimate Lithium AA/AAA)
__X 18650 26650 Any rechargeables__I intend to use rechargeable lithium (li-ion) chemistry. Feel free to specify a size if you know which size you want (14500, RCR123/16340, 17500, 17670, 18650, etc.)
____I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery. (Note: these choices may be very limited unless you are looking at spotlights)

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 impossible).

____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (0-10 lumens).
____I want to walk around an unlit rural area (50-150 lumens).
____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).
__x__I want ridiculous amounts of lumens (800+ lumens).

9) Throw vs. Flood: At what distance will you be most likely to use this light? Select all that apply.

____Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
____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)
___X_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 want maximum throw possible)

10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum output).

__X__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)
____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 care.
____I don’t know.

12) Switch Type and location (choose all that apply):

__X__I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
__X__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 don't care.
____I don’t know.
____Other, please specify____________________.

13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.

__X__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.)
____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. (Blinks to show location.)
____I want SOS mode.
____I want a beacon mode.
____I don’t care.
____I don’t know.


____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 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).
__X__I don’t care.
____I don’t know.
____Other, please specify____________.

15) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any 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
____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
____Crenulated bezel
____Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments


Flashlight Enthusiast
Mar 3, 2013
It sounds like holding a light in your hand while riding will get old REAL quick. Just reading that made me cringe at the thought of doing a long bike ride with a thumb & 2 fingers on a handle while 2 fingers secured a flashlight UGH! You should buy or design some sort of contraption to hold it in place. Now if u did that then your options would be endless. Especially if price ain't a factor


Newly Enlightened
Sep 19, 2012
You are correct sir, it would and has gotten old holding a light while riding but it is a necessity. For the last 2 years I have been using a Jetbeam BC40 which--despite having large hands--is a bit more than a handful? What I'd love to find is a flashlight just like the BC40 except it uses a single cell. I was looking at a Nitecore a4 (I think?) online and it seemed perfect but then thought of this forum and wanted to see if you folks knew of something over 500 lumens using a single rechargeable cell that also had a momentary switch (I think someone once told me its a forward clicky or clicker?).

I am a huge fan of flashlights that employ an aspeheric lens to give the user a degree of focusability but the quality of the knockoffs from China left a bag taste in my mouth. I never looked for one specifically but I don't think I've ever seen one that had a momentary switch or a single mode but would buy one in a heartbeat. Can anyone direct me to a brand name 'zoomer' (my term for a focusable flashlight that uses an aspheric lens), I'd like to look about and see what is available. I remember one 'zoomer' I bought said Vshark on it... Hmm, I'll google a bit...

Thanks for your reply!


Feb 16, 2013
I camt imderstand why it would be necessary to hamd hold the light while riding.
I have an Eagletac D25LC2 mounted on the center riser stem of my handlebar, its a great setup that points the light where you need it. Quick to reach and dim or brighten the output as needed.

Care to explain why handholding is a must?

Sent from my SCH-S720C using Tapatalk 2


Newly Enlightened
Sep 19, 2012
I need to ride the bike and be able to quick draw the light to blind attackers and light the roads. I often ride my bike out in the middle of nowhere (zero lighting) and like to be able to quickly light the road surface in front of me to check for fallen limbs and potholes. I watch the stars as well as the people so being able to have the light on for a quarter of a second with no chance of having to flip through all the modes ensures my position remains unknown. I had a light that regardless of how long the light was off, it switched to its next mode so every time I used it I had to cycle through to it's last mode so it would be ready I in high the next time I used it. Another reason it needs to be hand held is I run enough light front and rear to not get run over or pulled over but it is insufficient light to illuminate the road at all times. I have herniated discs in my back and even a small pothole can be disastrous; I use the light to look far ahead and plan my line on the smoothest pavement.

I like to ride at night when the streets are empty and having a light in hand at all times has become second nature for the above mentioned reasons and more.



Flashlight Enthusiast
Mar 3, 2013
How about a one mode only, 6,000 lumen friggin CANON from Vihn? Now it's 4 18650 batteries but it is only 5.5 inches long and has a really convenient built in handle, i wonder if the handle would make holding it feasable the handle rocks. Turning it on for a split second is like a split second of friggin daylight. As far as would be aggressors, blasting someone in the face with 6,000 lumens SUCKS (for them).

For holding 4 18650s and being 6,000 lumens it is REALLY small. It's about $200 for XM-L2 version, maybe $20 cheaper for older XM-L U2. I'm wondering if u can even use the built in hook to conveniently hook onto your handle bar (which would also support the weight & give your hand a rest from carrying the weight)

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