I work in the darkness fairly often. I have also broken a few lights, but tried Surefire 6P years ago and then upgraded it with a Malkoff drop in years ago. Also bought a 3D Maglite one day when I left my small light at home, which also has Malkoff upgrade. I still use all these and none have ever let me down.
Regardless of where each of us started on this journey, I'm struck by the common elements that appear in virtually all of the above posts: everyone had a reason to want to learn more, and everyone somehow found CPF and recognized that there were pathfinders who could provide guidance. It's my understanding that most of the membership is male, so with apologies (because of the limitations of the language) to Kathryn (in England), and to Saint Greta, and to the handful of other women members, I very much appreciate the brotherhood of this forum. (In the alternative, that might just be the wine talking as I write this late on a Saturday night...but I appreciate the fellowship nonetheless.)
Surely to many of us, it does not matter what different members are sporting in their nether regions. A shared interest can be a wonderful thing amongst sentient individuals.
Back in the 60's, the Ray-0-Vac whack was standard operating procedure for activating a flashlight. Internal alkaline crud all too often encrusted any hopes of enlightenment. Darkness held sway.
Latter 80's security work led to a B-Lite then Streamlight with the archaic NiCd cells.
At some point, in an REI outdoor store, the (currently woman owned in Blachly Oregon) Laughing Rabbit Incorporated Photon Micro-Light beckoned all to try turning it on while still in the package. That opened up a new world where a late afternoon wilderness walk might extend into the night. No problem. With the Photon and a good dog, who when told, "Let's go home" would guide the way back to familiar surrounds.
CC Crane sold me a cluster LED modified flashlight (and Sangeon radio).
A tragic encounter with a drought stricken starving predator impelled the purchase of a SureFire U2 because the alkaline C cells in the CC Crane flashlight were quite depleted during the event.
That MCE(?) emitter in a double 18650 Olight really opened up the field of view (until the switch wore out some years later).
A search for a way to increase luminosity of the U2 led to candlepowerforums.
"Let the spending begin..."
Thanks all members for the knowledge gained, and laughs spilled.
Started with a CMG infinity led in 1999/2000?? When I went backpacking around Asia (ultralight before ultralight was a thing!) I wanted to travel 'light', so all I took was a 15l backpack! Then when back at home in the UK being on the waiting list for the first of the HDS 42/60 lights, but that was much latter....the first led light I remember buying was a pifco? Keyring light and that must have been in mid 1990's. It was led but before highpower even 5mm LEDs were a thing. It was touted as a light to get a key in a lock at 6inches sort of thing!
I did fall out of love with the whole led double lumens every year very early on... The high point was that nitecore 4xaa 800lm mini beer can light.
I realized quite early that "I" don't need more than 200/400lm. Surefire has been a massive part but that was down to 1st and 2nd cool 😎 95%of my surefire collection is Incan and I only use LEDs for practical runtime benefits....