How did you end up in the flash light hobby?

Flashlightmaster2021

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Oct 18, 2021
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I pretty new and have have always owned cheap 12$ head lamps from amazon in case of of emergency but I never had a flash light until about 18 months ago.
I was walking and its really dark in my neighbor hood and I realized how stupid and un safe it is to walk in dark. So searched on youtube 20$ EDC flash light and I found the wow tac W1. Short after i became hook on youtube videos then moved up the the Thrunite t1. Which is still my EDC. I have two of the and then I got two thrunites T2 and so on...



How did you end up in flashlight hobby ?????
 

Lumen83

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Sep 21, 2017
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535
I was living in a state that is very anti-self defense, and I was working as a currier in a very high crime area. Someone told me to get a 5D mag and keep it in the truck so I would atleast have something to wack a crack head with if he tried to jack me. I think that was probably the first real light. A few years later I saw a surefire kroma ad in a gun magazine. It was the coolest looking light I'd ever seen. I thought the price was absolutely ridiculous but I couldn't get it out of my head. At the time I didn't think flashlights could cost more than 30-40 bucks for the best. For some reason I was just mesmeried by that magazine add and incredibly curious about it. So I saved up a bunch of money, and on down the rabbit hole I went. That light has been all over the country with me, and has been my nightstand light ever since.
 

3_gun

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Jun 27, 2021
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477
I don't really see it as a hobby but coming about because of need. I was going thru 3 or 4 rechargeable AA cells a day, 3 or 4 times a week. That got me to lights with bad CRI, crappy beams, worse UI set ups & more issues than I'd ever guess existed with flashlights. I've got more than a few good lights now I just haven't found that "unicorn" that checks all the boxes but the light I have ordered may; a duel channel DK4. If not the search goes on

[edit to fix spelling]
 
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bykfixer

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I found myself needing way more light than a 1990's minimag with old batteries could supply at work one night. A Coast HP7 was soon acquired. Then an Energizer hard case, then an LED 2D Maglite then a SureFire G2x Pro, then...... more and more. I came here looking for a way to wire an LED inline in a car to have a dome light over the back seat and stuck around. Never did wire in that LED.

At one point I decided to collect old lights from each decade they'd ever been made. I chose not to acquire any before 1910 though. Way too expensive.
 

Sabrewulf

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Mar 7, 2019
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I started getting into quality flashlights through bladeforums. Started seeing EDC posts and wanted better quality lights.
Started off with Fenix.
 

alnl1996

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Oct 6, 2008
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My first light that got me hooked was the Surefire G2 with the aluminum head and a whopping 80Lumen (can't even remember) rating back in..I'm going to say 2007.
Used it while camping when most people were using incandescent monstrosities that paled in comparison in the pitch dark woods.
The rest is history.
 

Jean-Luc Descarte

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Jul 29, 2020
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Where the sun sets fast
I always liked flashlights, even as a child. I can credit one specific book by Thomas Brezina: A Mummy Behind the Wheel (literal translation from Portuguese, no idea what's the title in the English localisation) – at one moment one of the heroes uses "a thin flashlight with wide beam", then he gets captured but he still has "a mini-flashlight, the size of a finger but still producing as much light as a normal-sized flashlight" that he uses to escape. I was 15-ish and that totally enthralled me into carrying a pocket light everywhere (which we'd later come to call EDCing).

After I got a job, I bought a few [email protected], had no luck with any of them, then I found out about Fenix, and Thrunite from there. The rest is history that is still unveiling today, as I receive my 10th Convoy torch.
 

Monocrom

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Aug 27, 2006
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NYC
The truth isn't very glamorous. As most decisions in my Life, there isn't an "A-ha" moment or a life-changing/life-inspiring event. One day, (2003 or 2004) I just decided I needed to add a really good flashlight to my EDC gear. So.... I did. 2AA Mini-Mag (incandescent), along with an Inova X5 (LED). Soon afterwards I learned of SureFire. Added a black C2 model w/ the brighter output lamp option at 120 lumens. I considered 20 minutes runtime to be acceptable. The C2 for its pocket-carry clip, and higher output lamp availability. We have, or had, a handful of places (Brick & Mortar shops) in Manhattan that sold SureFire lights and accessories back then.

I wasn't into online shopping at all back then. Quite frankly, wish I never got into it. I was better off. But that's a story for another time. Keep in mind, this was right before output of LEDs took off. Incandescent lights were what you bought when you needed both output and throw. LEDs were for mostly runtime and seeing things up close. If you needed even more power than one of the better inca. lamps on the market, you bought HID lights. And those definitely didn't come with pocket-carry clips.

After awhile, I bought aftermarket tailcap switches for my Mini-mags. Bit later came the collecting bug. Then came my Streamlight TL-2 LED. A whole whooping 42 lumens, and easier to clip-carry than my C2. After that, things get a bit blurry as I found this site and went WAY overboard in collecting lights. But yeah, one day I just simply decided I needed a couple of good lights as part of my EDC back when I wasn't carrying any lights at all.
 

Poppy

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Dec 20, 2012
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Northern New Jersey
CPF got me into the flashlight hobby.

When camping with the boy scouts, a flashlight is an important part of one's kit. I settled in on a incandescent maglite solitaire after deciding that a 3D mag was too heavy to hump a mile to the site we often used.

What really got me into flashlights though was the fact that I joined our town's CERT team. One day while out on a training, we did a wooded area search and rescue. I realized that none of the lights I had would be sufficient to find the dummy that was thrown into the ravine, if we were out at night.

I decided to join the County SAR team, and thought that I would do a forum search for a recommended SAR light. I found CPF. I thought I would be a big spender and be willing to spend $50 on a light! LOL... within a month I spent about $800 on four lights, a main and a back-up for each myself and my son, and enough batteries, and chargers to keep them running at near high throughout the night.

At that time, new upgraded LEDs were fairly regularly being introduced. XML, XML2, XPL etc. SO there was a lot of discussion about new LEDs and new lights. Sometimes I'd buy a light to see what everyone was talking about. Sometimes just so that I'd have something to talk about. Afterall, as a Boy Scout, one needs to live up to their motto: "Be Prepared", so additional lights could always be justified.

I wouldn't say that flashlights are a hobby anymore, for me they are tools, and for the most part I have enough of them. I am however considering picking up another headlamp... just saying. :)

Following, and participating in discussions, here at CPF, has become the hobby.
Good people here.
 

pnwoutdoors

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Sep 14, 2008
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174
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USA
How did you end up in the flash light hobby?

In short, after years of buying a flashlight every other year, suffering its insufficient lumens and then watching it corrode and fail (even when stored indoors in a drawer ... I finally got an LED light of some quality.

Holy smokes! What a revelation. At that point, I acquired a few dozen different ones, finally settling on the Malkoff drop-in P60 format. Nowadays, there are many high-quality lights that have waterproof seals, in smaller formats, much greater output (of lumens), some even fully-potted. But it's the Malkoffs that I keep using. And probably will continue doing, for years to come.

Can't say I've got a collection, nor that I'm engaged in a hobby per se. But, yeah, for flashlights, I'll never go back to incan, and I'll never get a sub-par flashlight again. There are simply too many high-output, fairly high-quality units out there on the market, many for just a few shekels.
 

bykfixer

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Aug 9, 2015
Messages
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My own little Idaho
CPF got me into the flashlight hobby.

When camping with the boy scouts, a flashlight is an important part of one's kit. I settled in on a incandescent maglite solitaire after deciding that a 3D mag was too heavy to hump a mile to the site we often used.

What really got me into flashlights though was the fact that I joined our town's CERT team. One day while out on a training, we did a wooded area search and rescue. I realized that none of the lights I had would be sufficient to find the dummy that was thrown into the ravine, if we were out at night.

I decided to join the County SAR team, and thought that I would do a forum search for a recommended SAR light. I found CPF. I thought I would be a big spender and be willing to spend $50 on a light! LOL... within a month I spent about $800 on four lights, a main and a back-up for each myself and my son, and enough batteries, and chargers to keep them running at near high throughout the night.

At that time, new upgraded LEDs were fairly regularly being introduced. XML, XML2, XPL etc. SO there was a lot of discussion about new LEDs and new lights. Sometimes I'd buy a light to see what everyone was talking about. Sometimes just so that I'd have something to talk about. Afterall, as a Boy Scout, one needs to live up to their motto: "Be Prepared", so additional lights could always be justified.

I wouldn't say that flashlights are a hobby anymore, for me they are tools, and for the most part I have enough of them. I am however considering picking up another headlamp... just saying. :)

Following, and participating in discussions, here at CPF, has become the hobby.
Good people here.
I can relate, at first $50 was an "are you crazy?" price but then $100 didn't seem so bad. I too think of lights as tools for the most part but like my 1930's Stillson wrench (ie pipe wrench) some of my "tools" are memorialized. I still add a light to the quiver from time to time but added preparedness is the reason why mostly. Yeah, I didn't have a 2aa crimson red BR549 but having one means I've got another tool in case the other 134 lighting tools suddenly stop working.
 

bridgman

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Dec 30, 2006
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409
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Toronto, Canada
I have always had a problem with claustrophobia, but one year we were out camping/hunting and the weather was pretty gloomy. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling trapped in the tent; went outside but the fog/mist was bad enough that I felt like I was trapped inside even standing outside. Turning on the flashlight helped but wasn't enough, so I went and turned on the 4x4 headlights as well and that was enough.

That set the minimum level for acceptable flashlight brightness from that point on. Being able to light fires with them was just a bonus :)
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Dec 13, 2007
Messages
2,955
I started going on backpacking trips in high school with my church youth group and my family. Needed a reliable headlight for seeing the trail while using hands for trekking poles and a bright thrower flashlight for routefinding. Both had to be bright, waterproof, regulated, and have good runtime. First decent combo was Princeton Tec Quad headlight and Fenix P3D Q5. That was around 2007 or so. Before that, lights were inadequate but I got by. After having fun with flashlights backpacking for a while, I had to make a living. Started to train as an electrical apprentice. This gave me plenty of use for flashlights and I had to branch out to bigger, brighter lithium ion battery powered work lights. Found I liked Milwaukee the best. Good color rendition, good heatsinking, made to take abuse, and the lights had bonus features that made them useful for more than just work. The 12 and 18 volt lanterns let you adjust the direction of the light from 360 degrees down to 180 degrees for a work floodlight (180) and a camp lantern. They also had a USB port for charging devices. Then I had a lot of health issues pop up and it caused me to gain a lot of weight and I couldn’t work anymore. When Covid started, I needed to exercise, but didn’t want to get exposed to a lot of people. I decided to hike at night when nobody was on the trail to avoid this risk. The trail I frequented was about 15 miles round trip and 12-15 feet wide (a dirt road) with 3200 feet of elevation gain called Black Mountain. My main lights were a Nitecore HC60 v.2 and a Nitecore E4K flashlight with spare batteries for both and backup lights just in case. After developing a movement disorder, it was no longer safe to hike alone in the dark. With what is going on in the world today, my lights are used for small jobs at home and reserved for disaster preparedness. We get fires and rolling blackouts all the time. The lights will still get plenty of use.
 

DaveTheDude

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It started for me in 2006 at a knife shop in Columbus, Ohio. Adjacent to the blade displays was a Surefire cabinet with virtually all of SF's then-current models on display. I had for some time been dissatisfied with the performance of my venerable Eveready Sportsman (2C), and the sales associate was very persuasive regarding the performance upgrade SF's xenon bulb offered. The least costly light in the shop was a 6P in Nitrolon (it was on sale for $36 back in 2006). The standard xenon bulb output 60 lumens, and I opted to also buy a 120 lumen xenon bulb. That night I walked to the least well-lit section of the local neighborhood and fired-up the 60 lumen bulb. Eureka! I was hooked. Soon thereafter I discovered Fenix and acquired a P1, then a T1, followed by a cascade of other lights and manufacturers. Long story short, I now possess more lights than the law allows, with batteries and chargers to match. Mine are tools, useful to me while backpacking, and illuminating things around the house in general. I've also converted a few muggles over the years, I'm proud to say.

I still have my original Nitrolon 6P, although it's long since been upgraded with a Malkoff drop-in, an ultra-clear glass lens, and a high capacity 16650. I will never sell it.
 

Msf

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Virginia
For me the search for the ultimate carry light began in 1991, while clearing low light areas without power. I realized the standard issue lights (two d cell batteries and an incandescent bulb) served poorly when searching for hazardous items and conditions. What started as a hunt for a better work carry light turned into a bit of an obsession for edc carry as well and I have probably purchased a light or two a month since. While I have pretty much settled on a couple of HDS lights, the desire to learn about and try different lights remains.
 

bykfixer

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I had always used a flashlight as a tool and actually had several before discovering CPF so when searching for answers to some questions some CPF threads kept showing up as possible answers. At first I'd scatch my head thinking "what's a flashlight got to do with it?" But when I started searching for a better zoomie, again CPF threads kept showing up in the searches. There were threads from a more budget oriented lights site too. But CPF spoke of a company named after a Russian flu (Malkoff) and some character named PK.

About that time the flashlight had become available in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Shiney, skinny, key chain size etc. The flashlight section at Tarjyay, Wally World, even the auto parts store was huge. It was hard not to at least try out those new fangled LED numbers that were popping up like mushrooms on an August morning in Georgia. Especially after hanging out at CPF.

But what kept me interested was the folks at CPF. I used to read old threads until my eyes watered. Learning how the place evolved was fun and I learned a lot. While folks here were chasing lumens or tints I was trying out the stuff I had missed prior to joining. All the while the number of lights kept growing. Eventually my den became a museum of sorts. My kids actually used to bring other kids to the house to check out the flashlight museum. It's not an actual museum but there are lights from many generations and every one of them works. To me that was half the fun. Taking a 100 year or a 50 year old light from not working or barely working and getting it to shine bright as new again.

Then one day I just stopped collecting and started enjoying them. That led to enjoying time spent at CPF more too. Most time is spent in the cafe' these days but that's partly how the site has evolved too. As the industry has platued the activity in the flashlights area has as well. To this day the first place I check here is the incan section then the collection area.
 

RWT1405

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Dec 2, 2007
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PA
This was from 2015, pretty much explains my journey......


2015-10-02 - My Flashlight History .jpg
 
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