How did you start your flashlight(torch) collection?

bdogps

bdogps

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Joined
Sep 8, 2014
Messages
618
Location
Melbourne Australia
If this has been done already please merge, I have looked but with no avail.

My collection(addiction) started back August this year. I have always been interested on flash lights since I can remember. I always had 3d cell Maglite since I was 13 years old. Back in 2004 I gave my grandpa 3d cell Maglite as a gift and he loved it. Back in 2008 I wanted to buy one to give my girlfriend, but Costco were only selling the LED Maglite. So I bought her a Snap On brand torch. My dad has always had Maglites since I can remember. I worked security in the past, but never had an interest in flashlights. Fast forward to 2014, I have about 7 flashlights with a combined worth 700-800$ AUD. I do recall seeing the surefire torches when I was in my early 20s(now is 30s)but a 100$ price tag was laughable considering it was only a torch. It used these weird camera batteries. I was so naive then. Then I saw online reviews on these high lumen torches with good throw and such small size. I was blown away with the technology. I was a bit skeptical in using 18650s and battery chargers. My first torch was the MH25 nightblade and it was cool. Then I saw other brands with different throws and modes and had to have them. Now I have 10 18650s batteries and nowadays always ponder why most things do not have them. Now I do want a surefire torch and appreciate them.
 
B

Berneck1

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Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
509
For me it was somewhat by accident. After being at the World Trade Center on September 11th, I quickly rethought the way I viewed preparedness. I changed the way I was prepared at work and at home, ie a to-go bag, etc. One of the things that was quite apparent was that I needed to have a light on me at all times. I always had some kind of flashlight in my desk and at home, but they were usually cheap incandescents. Half the time, the batteries were dead when It came time to use them. I was sort of always prepared, but not really. Call it a false sense of security.

My first foray into LEDs came just after that reassessment. I purchased a Photon Microlight. At the time, I think they were $25 each!!! However, for what they were, they put out an impressive amount of light. It's hard to think of it today, but back then they blew away a lot of regular flashlights. I kept that light with me for a long time, and it became infinitely more useful than I ever could have imagined. I used it all the time. I realize that everyone should at least have one light on them at all times. Nothing proved that more than the big blackout that came a few years later.

For the time being, the Microlight was the only feasible light for me to carry at all times. I could be wrong, but the idea of a good bright EDC wasn't really obtainable yet. At least not at a decent price. I sort or remember seeing Surefire lights, but the prices were ridiculous to me, so I never gave them a second look. I couldn't imagine why anyone would pay such crazy prices for a light. (Oh, the irony!). I played around with a few different lights through the years, and nothing really thoroughly impressed me. I had a maglite or two, and a few multi-led lights. None of them were particularly great, but none were particularly bad either. But, as we all know, most lights in the big box stores aren't particularly great.

Then about 5 years ago a police officer friend of mine showed me an Olight M20. I never saw anything like it! I bought it right away, and started doing a little research before I even received it. I came across these forums, and learned about the battery types, and advancements in LEDs, etc. Before then, I had never used a rechargeable battery. I quickly learned the beauty of a good Li-ion rechargeable, etc. Needless to say, I was hooked from that moment on.... I think the M20 put out about 300 lumens at the time, and that just impressed the hell out of me! I quickly got a little CR123 light to keep in my pocket, I think it was a Fenix PD20. The Microlight was quickly retired, but served me well.

From that point on, I was a flashaholic. I have since purchased many lights, mostly caught up in the "lumen race". I think I just happened to catch a time when the advancements were coming fast and furious. It seemed every time I turned around, there was a better and brighter light out! It was a lot of fun to get a new blinding light! Lol.

However, over time, a lot of that slowed down for me. I started to assess all the money I had spent compared to what I was really getting. I started to realize that a lot of these super bright lights weren't really useful in everyday practical uses, and that for the most part I was wasting my money. It was more for bragging rights than anything, which can be fun, but not worth the expense.

Now I focus on a good useful, functional light. I have been recently moving away from the CR123/18650 lights. The efficiencies in the AA lights have caught up to and even surpassed the performance of that Olight M20 of just a few years ago. I like having a good common battery type for most of my lights. I use Eneloops in everything now.

Don't get me wrong, I still love my old CR123/18650 lights, like my Eagletac G25C2, but 99% of the time I'm reaching in my pocket for my Eagletac D25a or Thrunite Ti3, because they are all I ever need.

I have got rid of many of my past lights, but currently have:

Eagletac G25C2 Mk2
Eagletac T25C2
Eagletac D25a
Fenix PD20
Fenix TK60
Nitecore EAX
Nitecore SRT3
Olight i3s
Olight M20
Thrunite Neutron 2A V2
Thrunite Archer 2A V2
Thrunite Ti3
Thrunite Ti






Sent from my iPad using Candlepowerforums
 
Timothybil

Timothybil

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
3,662
Location
The great state of Misery (Missouri)
I started about '92 or '93. I had been at REI (an American camping/hunting/sports outfitter chain) just looking for targets of opportunity, when I found a couple of Photon II lights marked down to about half price. That got me interested. Then about a year later I got a Surefire G2. I don't remember how I got turned on to Surefire, I just remember that I thought how great it was that this little light was brighter than a big Maglite. Nothing more for a few years, then I found Streamlight and the Microstream. Nothing much more till about three years ago. I picked up a SL SuperTac X at a huge discount from Woot, a Seraph 6 from Lumens Factory to replace the G2 that ran away from home, then started going wild. First, a TM11, then an EA4. Then an EA4W for myself and gave the EA4 to my son. A few Icon Modus and Rogues, and a bunch of Titanium Innovations button cells. Then four TerraLUX Lightstar80s because they were high CRI and such a good deal @ 2 for $25. I added an EA41 when they came out, and a handful of Tubes I got through the pre-release special offering. I noticed that Lumens Factory had started making 90+ CRI an option on their XP-G D26 dropins. I had been missing my G2, and thought this would make a great combo. I picked up a nice used incan G2 from Ebay and the dropin from LF. It is a great combo. This year for Christmas I bought myself an EA8, and then jumped on a MT06 when they came out. I think I am about lighted out. Along the way, I switched to NiMH and Li-Ion, and started working on a portable solar setup for emergencies.
 
kj2

kj2

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Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
8,057
Location
The Netherlands
For me it started around 2006. At a local event, a firework show would be held in the evening. While it was dark, we wanted to get close to the firework to see how the firework professionals were setting it up. Of course it was a closed area, so a police officer soon showed up. Used his MagCharger to see what we were doing. I was amazed by the light, and asked my dad what that was. He told me, that's a Maglite. As a kid you always want cool stuff, so a few weeks later, for my birthday, I received a 5D Maglite. Very large and very cool at the time :D Soon followed the smaller 2D, a Maglite Mini and then a 3D. Then I found a seller who sold Fenix and Eagletac lights. With some birthday money, I bought a Fenix TK11 R2. That crushed my Maglite :) Soon after that I found CPF and it since then the collection grow quickly.
 
LedTed

LedTed

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Joined
Mar 7, 2010
Messages
741
Location
Britannia
Thanks for the great stories.

As for me, I needed a small / bright EDC flashlight while working in environmental chambers. My use of LED flashlights started by going through a few single AA models. Like many of us CPF'ers, I gifted or donated those flashlights. Then I discovered the NiteCore D10. They were too cool to just give away. I had a collection of about a dozen D10s until the D11.2 came around.
 
liveris flashlights

liveris flashlights

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Apr 18, 2012
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Zakynthos island Greece
Since I remember myself I had always a flashlight with me. I started with Mag's 12 years old.
 
F

fredzoyt

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Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
13
I can't remember exactly when I started. Very young-- like late teens. I think when I really started liking flashlights was when I got my first minimag. Then I eventually had a mini, small and large. I pretty much had a light for each floor of the house, and one for the car. Then I broke the Mag mold and got a Fenix. Then a Sunwayman, Nite Core, and now I just bought a Eagletac T25C2 CREE XP-L V5 LED. I've since given away my Mag's-- probably wouldn't buy another. My new Eagletac is the cream of the crop.

Needless to say I like flashlights. Flashlights are cool! :)

Blessings,
Dave
 
C

Cerealand

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Messages
1,665
I was looking at an OLight Warrior. Only need one light, but I came on here to do research. Ended up cursed :nana:.... purchased a Surefire 6p with a M61 drop-in. Years later and I have yet to escape.
 
mcnair55

mcnair55

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
4,448
Location
North Wales UK
I just like gadgets and buy them,half of which I never open.At the moment bought but un opened,loads of lights,fancy pens,watches,game steering wheel, 2 hand guns(air) and a rifle(air).There is a new Lap top here some where as well.Forget an Axial crawler and a Lipo powered buggy.
 
M

maxaman1981

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Joined
Jan 6, 2015
Messages
10
When I was a young boy, I won a small torch in a competition where we had to dress as tramps, it was a rectangle shaped one with a revolving head, that switched on when you flipped it out and turned back off when you turned it back round. Pretty basic but I was fascinated with seeing the light shine on the floor and eveywhere else I aimed it. Pretending to be some kind of explorer. Then, a while later, I got a torch from Duracell that had a handle that swivveled out and had a flurescant (spelling?) tube as well as a flashing amber light and a regular incandescant bulb in the front. And I remember I enjoyed going into the garden with that at night. Other than this it was looking back up the garden and seeing the floodlight lighting up the whole area and when I was little that stirred something up in me and since then I've always loved lighting up the dark.
 
sunny_nites

sunny_nites

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Mar 27, 2010
Messages
491
Location
USA
Sometime in the late 1990's, I was in an airport and the power went out. The auxiliary power did not kick in and it was pitch black. I always carried a small 5mm, LR44 powered keychain light with me and I turned it on and shined it on the floor. People started gathering around the light as no one else appeared to have one. The power outage only lasted maybe 5 or 10 minutes but for that time, that little keychain light was the only thing that pushed back the darkness. Been addicted to flashlights ever since. Probably why I'm so interested in lights that are small enough to carry without even thinking about it.
 
S

smokinbasser

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Messages
1,193
Location
East Texas
I started my dads pile of disassembled flashlights around 1948 when he found I could take apart his flashlights faster than he could get them back together (I was 36 months old at that time). I guess my collection got rolling around 9 years later, he gave me lights to slow down my taking apart his lights
 
ParaShootist

ParaShootist

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Joined
Jul 17, 2010
Messages
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Location
Scenic E. Oklahoma
I had used Streamlights, MagLights for some years vocationally and never thought of them as more than tools. Then at some point, years back, a friend gave me an old laser products 6P smoothie. It was handy and kinda cool. Short run-time and uncommon batteries - well once again, it was a nifty "tool." When they became available, I picked up a P60L to upgrade the old 6P - the longer run-time made it my everyday companion. I picked up a Z59 clickie tailcap and that was "better" and it became a preferred tool that stood high in my esteem.

As I began to look at options, I discovered Oveready and Malkoff. Next, I bought a bored HA 6P from OR and fitted it with an M60 drop-in - add a Z48 tailcap and its a new weaponlight for my duty Mk18 - way better than the Insight M3 I'd been using. After that, more hosts, tailcaps and SF lego parts, spares. The quality and finish of SF classics and OR custom stuff kindled a brand new obsession - Cool Custom Flashlights. Since then, I've added to the (mostly SF) collection and gotten well beyond what I can ever really use - my flashlights moved from being just tools to toys. I bought an original Hound Dog from Malkoff (still one of my favorites) and kept on buying more SF lights. Recently, I bought a Fenix LD22 to have a handy AA powered light. That's how it happened for me and became a hobby (and a "collection").
 
GasganoFJ60

GasganoFJ60

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Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
115
I got a few questions for all the collectors out there...

Do you collect them for the sake of collecting them? (i.e. gotta have them all/why not/general collector/packrat themes)

or

Do you collect for monetary reasons? (i.e. the hopes to one day in the future have a set thats worth more)

Or both?


I take it 90+ percent collect for the sake of collecting. But if there are any who do collect for monetary reasons, i have some more questions, about keeping and maintaining them....

Value wise, is it like most collections?(toys, lighters, ect...)
If you have, lets say a 1950's wind-up toy robot its worth $100. BUT, if you have the same toy and you also happen to have with it the box that it came in or MIB(mint in box) does it double or even triple its value?


I'm just curious because I'm getting the itch to start collecting and I wonder if I should hold onto the packaging or just keep the light itself.
 
DellSuperman

DellSuperman

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
1,760
Location
Singapore
I had used Streamlights, MagLights for some years vocationally and never thought of them as more than tools. Then at some point, years back, a friend gave me an old laser products 6P smoothie. It was handy and kinda cool. Short run-time and uncommon batteries - well once again, it was a nifty "tool." When they became available, I picked up a P60L to upgrade the old 6P - the longer run-time made it my everyday companion. I picked up a Z59 clickie tailcap and that was "better" and it became a preferred tool that stood high in my esteem.

As I began to look at options, I discovered Oveready and Malkoff. Next, I bought a bored HA 6P from OR and fitted it with an M60 drop-in - add a Z48 tailcap and its a new weaponlight for my duty Mk18 - way better than the Insight M3 I'd been using. After that, more hosts, tailcaps and SF lego parts, spares. The quality and finish of SF classics and OR custom stuff kindled a brand new obsession - Cool Custom Flashlights. Since then, I've added to the (mostly SF) collection and gotten well beyond what I can ever really use - my flashlights moved from being just tools to toys. I bought an original Hound Dog from Malkoff (still one of my favorites) and kept on buying more SF lights. Recently, I bought a Fenix LD22 to have a handy AA powered light. That's how it happened for me and became a hobby (and a "collection").
I had the exact same route as you.
Maglite when i was in school & having that was almost like being the cool kid around.
I was then recommended to buy a G2Z in 2005; it was the brightest palm sized flashlight that I ever had.
Then I found out about P60 LED dropin..
And man, my wallet has been crying since.
Hahaha..
 
ParaShootist

ParaShootist

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jul 17, 2010
Messages
35
Location
Scenic E. Oklahoma
I got a few questions for all the collectors out there...

Do you collect them for the sake of collecting them? (i.e. gotta have them all/why not/general collector/packrat themes)

or

Do you collect for monetary reasons? (i.e. the hopes to one day in the future have a set thats worth more)

Or both?


I take it 90+ percent collect for the sake of collecting. But if there are any who do collect for monetary reasons, i have some more questions, about keeping and maintaining them....

Value wise, is it like most collections?(toys, lighters, ect...)
If you have, lets say a 1950's wind-up toy robot its worth $100. BUT, if you have the same toy and you also happen to have with it the box that it came in or MIB(mint in box) does it double or even triple its value?


I'm just curious because I'm getting the itch to start collecting and I wonder if I should hold onto the packaging or just keep the light itself.


For me its not about money (except the limits on what I can justify spending). I like the military-grade Surefire lights (and the custom OR SF hosts I've acquired) because I just enjoy them intensely - they're attractive and interesting in the same manner as a USGI Colt 1911A1 or a US M3 knife (I also collect militaria and similar related things - initially, vocational tools then toys). I began to pick up SF lego parts just because I wanted to build a set of options (I used several of them on guns I carried for work.) When SF announced they were discontinuing the classic line, I bought additional parts just because I wanted to get them while they were available. Some of those SF parts are still NIW - and yes, therefore more valuable. But I have no plan to sell them - kinda like my knives and guns, they'll be somebody else's problem when I kick out.:cool:
 
more_vampires

more_vampires

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 20, 2014
Messages
3,475
How did I start my flashlight collection? Homemade.

When I was in 2nd grade (or so,) I read a book about a boy who was like an Encyclopedia Brown/MacGyver fusion. A friend of his was afraid of the dark. The dark-phobic kid became trapped in a darkened closet one fateful day. The hero of the story sprang into action and made a flashlight with junk lying around. The name of the book escapes me.

Inspired, I took a wooden ruler with a metal strip along one edge, some clear tape, 2 AA alkalines, a bit of wire (bread twist tie, I think,) and a little bulb I found in the garage. Peeling the metal strip out of the ruler, I used it and the bread tie to build the circuit. Tape held it together.

My first flashlight. Soon after that, I was saving my allowance to buy bulbs so I could hook them to AC wall current and blow them up. I was a dangerous kid.
 
F

fredzoyt

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
13
I got a few questions for all the collectors out there...

Do you collect them for the sake of collecting them? (i.e. gotta have them all/why not/general collector/packrat themes)

or

Do you collect for monetary reasons? (i.e. the hopes to one day in the future have a set thats worth more)

Or both?


I take it 90+ percent collect for the sake of collecting. But if there are any who do collect for monetary reasons, i have some more questions, about keeping and maintaining them....

Value wise, is it like most collections?(toys, lighters, ect...)
If you have, lets say a 1950's wind-up toy robot its worth $100. BUT, if you have the same toy and you also happen to have with it the box that it came in or MIB(mint in box) does it double or even triple its value?


I'm just curious because I'm getting the itch to start collecting and I wonder if I should hold onto the packaging or just keep the light itself.

I have a good number of flashlights. So in that sense I have a "collection." But I don't consider myself to be a collector... for the sake of collecting. My FL's are a practical tool. I have multiple ones because they each have a specific purpose. I won't bore you with the details, but just one example is-- I keep one in our vehicle. It's always there when it's needed. I don't want to have to worry about putting one there if our vehicle is in use. I just want it there for when it may be needed. That's pretty much why I have several lights in various places. When I need one I want it to be there.

Dave
 
R

richbuff

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Messages
2,270
Location
Prescott Az
I started with D cell incandescents that were super unreliable and low powered and that were irritating to use, because they were low powered and super unreliable. I stayed stuck at this stage for decades, until the Maglite came along. That was a new thing, because the D cell Maglite incandescent was still low power, but noticeably not super unreliable. Next for me was the MiniMag LED. Smaller, and more powerful, and even more noticeably not super unreliable. The next level, the LED Pro, got me starting to feel excited about flashlights. Next step for me was to order something at a Sears store, and pay in the store, not order and pay online. That was the Coleman C-Tac 60. 600 lumens, single 18650 and single XM-L2. That got my flashlight collecting juices flowing. From there, it was a natural progression to the MMU X-3 that I consider to be the basic reference point from which all other LED lights are compared to. My collection urges led me next to the MM15, and then to the SX25L3. I wish my grandfather, who was an electronics engineer in the '50s and 60s could have had the good fortune of having and using today's LED flashlights. Having and holding modern, reliable performance LED flashlights, such as the ones that I have recently collected, are one of the biggest rewards of living in this era. I would love to go back in time, and leave my cell phone behind, and maybe even my laptop if need be, but I would not want to go back to those happy days, without my LED flashlight collection.
 
wedlpine

wedlpine

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 26, 2010
Messages
594
Location
Lake Geneva, WI, USA
My first recollection of having a flashlight is when I was about 4 or 5 years old. At Christmas time a neighbor down the street used to dress up as Santa Claus and would come over. He gave gifts to me and my brother and sister. My brother and I both received a single aa cell Ray-O-Vac light that had a red plastic head and a metal body. I though it was really cool.

The first real light I bought was around 1990. I purchased a Magcharger for work as a Park Ranger in a State Park. My boss at the time became a Surefire dealer and I remember buying a Surefire 6P from him. The first LED light that I had was a Photon Microlight. Soon to be followed by an ASP Sapphire and a Gerber Infinity that I picked up from Smoky Mountain Knife Works. From there it has been snowballing ever since.
 

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