How do you explain this Hobby?

UFO

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When I tell people one of my hobbies is knives, it doesn't raise an eyebrow. But when I tell them I'm into flashlights they look at me like I'm crazy. So how do you explain this hobby to people that think all we do is "play with flashlights"?
 

ledbetter

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I didn’t really get started in this hobby until viable leds became available, and most people realize how leds have completely altered artificial lighting throughout the world. It is also interesting reading about the Nobel winners who made this lighting possible. There are always early ethusiasts to new technologies and flashlights today are amazing!
 

3_gun

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I get it but it's not really a hobby for me. Things have changed in the market A LOT since I bought my last EDC and since you can seldom find many of the better lights for hands on I ended up here. I did drop into the "rabbit hole" a bit & ended up buying & keeping more than I planned on. And honestly a couple of those are more toys for SnG than things I need so I guess I'm a bit of a hobbyist at this point. Still I can't see buying a light made out of exotic materials or getting every version or a light or ever building my own. So maybe I'm hobby adjacent? Of those 3 I'd see myself building a light before anything else. Still I've learned plenty & know I've just scraped the surface.

This does make more sense to me than golf but no where near equal to motorcycles, guns, beer or bourbon
 

fuyume

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Hobby? This is not a hobby for me, flashlights are tools, and I like to talk about good tools, especially during the times when I’m in the market for new ones, and just after. I’m here because this year, I bought three new flashlights to completely replace the ones I was previously using, and might purchase one or two more.

At this very moment, I am awaiting my postal carrier and a new CatEye LED taillamp for my bicycle.

Everyone should own at least one really high quality flashlight. Actually, everyone should own at least a few really high quality flashlights. One EDC, one tactical, and probably one for the house toolkit. I like to go backpacking/camping, so I also have a headlamp. My tactical light does double duty as my bicycle headlamp, and because it has a huge 21700 battery, is great for power outages. The last power outage here was more than a day. I had to toss most of the contents of my refrigerator and freezer, because I can’t run a generator in an apartment.

I’m old enough that I‘m of a generation that regards having a good pocket knife and a good pen, among other personal carry items, as essentials of daily living. A good flashlight is something that I would have loved to have when I was younger, but it wasn’t until about 20 years ago that high quality LED flashlights really made the idea of an EDC flashlight viable.

Of course, prior to that, I was in IT consulting, and that means carrying a big briefcase filled with whatever I might need on the road, and with over 30 years of stage tech and pro audio engineering experience, I had been carrying a Mini Mag-Lite since the mid 1980s.

That’s not a hobby, that’s just daily life.
 

dotCPF

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Fire was the most significant step in human civilization, perhaps even greater than splitting the atom. Fire gave man two things: heat and light. Humans are primarily visually-based creatures, and we need light for that.

Or, put another and more concrete/ modern way- from The 9/11 Commission's findings:

"Preparedness of Individual Civilians. One clear lesson of September 11 is that individual civilians need to take responsibility for maximizing the probability that they will survive, should disaster strike. Clearly, many building occupants in the World Trade Center did not take preparedness seriously. Individuals should know the exact location of every stairwell in their workplace. In addition, they should have access at all times to flashlights, which were deemed invaluable by some civilians who managed to evacuate the WTC on September 11."


Emphasis mine. This is one of 10 sections of analysis/ takeaways from the commission. Let that sink in, one of the biggest lessons we learned from 9/11 is that EVERYONE NEEDS ACCESS TO FLASHLIGHTS.
 

325addict

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I simply don't explain it. Today, a FiveMega Elephant II came in for me, finally, after a lot of waiting due to improper services of the Dutch post. That thing is huge in the 12X 18650 version, it's long, thick and has a very large head. "What are you going to use THAT for?!?!" my boss asked. So I told him, this will be my long-duration, bright "in the woods" light. Next time when I go camping, it will definitely be with me... IMG_5881.JPG
 

chip100t

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I am just a hoarder by nature, I own over 100+ multi tools, knives and now tens of torches. A lot of it is fuelled and facilitated by the invention of the internet because of forums and online shopping. Before the Internet I rarely bought stuff I did not need.
 

Olumin

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I simply don't explain it. Today, a FiveMega Elephant II came in for me, finally, after a lot of waiting due to improper services of the Dutch post. That thing is huge in the 12X 18650 version, it's long, thick and has a very large head. "What are you going to use THAT for?!?!" my boss asked. So I told him, this will be my long-duration, bright "in the woods" light. Next time when I go camping, it will definitely be with me...
oof, thats a 180€ in batteries alone if you use protected ones...
 

325addict

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oof, thats a 180€ in batteries alone if you use protected ones...
Yes, I use the protected 3400mAh Wolf Eyes batteries. The extra sturdy, long life ones. Indeed, not cheap, but a great value. I've been using Wolf Eyes batteries and flashlight for over 10 years now, the first 18650 still has to fail on me.
 

bykfixer

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Good thread UFO.

I just tell them "it's a McGeyver thing". Some smile with understanding. Some make a joke about blowing up a building with duct tape and chewing gum. To those I pull out my nail clippers and say "or these"…… but most know I'm kinda weird and just avoid the topic until they need a flashlight.
 

Lynx_Arc

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We live in the dark at times, turn out the lights on them and see what they do/say. If they don't have an EDC then they will gripe at you while you reach in your pocket and whip out a light and light the room up and tell them if they were in an elevator without light would they freak out?
 

Poppy

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When I tell people one of my hobbies is knives, it doesn't raise an eyebrow. But when I tell them I'm into flashlights they look at me like I'm crazy. So how do you explain this hobby to people that think all we do is "play with flashlights"?
What is YOUR flashlight hobby like?
How do you explain it?
 

idleprocess

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Everyone should own at least one really high quality flashlight. Actually, everyone should own at least a few really high quality flashlights. One EDC, one tactical, and probably one for the house toolkit.
Eh, for the casuals out there an EDC of some flavour and a larger, more-capable 'house' light will probably hit the point of diminishing returns.

An EDC light for the average person need not be anything extravagant - it just needs to be sufficient to perform a task, move through a dark place safely, and unobtrusive enough that it's likely to be on your person at all times. A few tens of lumens and a wide to flood beam are sufficient for this task for most people. The ubiquitous AAA keychain light would be ideal since it's likely to be on your person or at least close by if needed, however a USB-rechargeable light can also do the job - assuming it is kept charged since E-switches are the norm with these.

A 'house' light should offer more lumens, more reach, and more runtime than the EDC light. It is less critical that it be in a fully ready state at all times, however the means to operate it should be accessible and ready themselves. Depending on the circumstances of one's 'house' there might be a need for more throw, but the general use case here is projects, power outages, etc. Perhaps 200 lumens and a medium-wide beam will satisfy: task work, lighting up small areas, lighting up something <30 meters away. Ideally this light has a physical switch for easy storage in a truly off state and runs on common cells - AAs seem to strike the best combination of availability, value, and energy density.

An unfortunate reality that the average person will have to contend with is the declining quality of alkaline cells and their tendency to leak. This means choosing between expensive ~1.5V lithium cells, investing in a low self discharge NiMH setup and cycling cells through on at least an annual basis, or committing to frequent inspection of alkaline cells in storage an in devices. When gifting a flashlight to someone that I know is a casual user, I supply lithium cells and gently remind them of the hazards of alkalines.
 

Chickensfloat

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When I tell people one of my hobbies is knives, it doesn't raise an eyebrow. But when I tell them I'm into flashlights they look at me like I'm crazy. So how do you explain this hobby to people that think all we do is "play with flashlights"?
People understand a steak knife isnt for butter, each have a use. Flashlights most people i know dont even own a cheap one, they just use the useless phone flash. They think you just need light so no need for more than 1 so they dont expect a hobby out of it. Ita like saying why have a fast car or truck to tow when you can have a honda civoc to get you from a to b. Each one has a different purpose, out stupidly bright fire hazzards being the impractical supercar thats impressive, fun, but not nessisary due to way too much sauce
 

InspectHerGadget

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I use lights because I need them. I work in I.T. and I have three things on my belt, an iPhone Pro 12 Max in a TurtleBack Case and then a Stainless Swiss Army Type Knife and the Zebralight SC600 Mk 3 (clip holder).

I also bike at night here in the Summer. I went for a ride tonight on a Merida E160 500 eBike. It has a Lezyne E115 light wired in. Tonight was the first time I rode the bike at night and, for a 350 Lumen light, I have to say it was quite impressive, mainly due to the well thought out beam shape. I then have a LED Lenser Xeo 19R which is 4 years old, a helmet mounted light tethered to a big rechargeable battery on my belt.

I have other lights which are more searchlights and another Fenix BC30R which I had on my other bike which I sold, I kept the light.

I guess when I think about it the number of lights does add up and yet I haven't bought another light for some years now.

I wouldn't call it a hobby rather it has settled into a useful interest and the result is I have fantastic lights that I got after considerable thought and based, partly, on what I learnt on this forum.

I light up my life.
 
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