How to get it right the first time???

Centerfinger

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Apr 17, 2009
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Sonoran Desert
Hello all, I have recently decided that I'm in the market for a proper flashlight and have been browsing around the boards and the market place trying to find one. My current light that is in the ole day pack is a Inova x1 and I want something bigger and better. The primary use would be for hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing and night driving on the ole hog ('83 honda atc70 :twothumbs).

I really want to get my first purchase right and not have to continue the addiction as I have done with knives.

I'm looking for these features:

- easily upgradable, mod-able and a wide selection of aftermarket parts
- good throw (50-75')
- decent flood
- at least a high / low stage
- I'd like it to be able to use the camplantern from solarforce (unless it sucks, you tell me)
- good battery life

I'm sure I'm missing some things in my wanted features, but this should get the ball rolling. My heart is telling me surefire 6p LED, but my pocket book is telling me different.

Much thanks
 

s.c.

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Aug 13, 2007
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Easily upgradeable and you want to use the solarforce lantern?

Solarforce L2 is what you need.
 

WadeF

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Perkasie, PA
You could look into a Dereelight CL1H V4. There are a variety of drop-in light modules and reflectors to do what you need. You can choose between cool white or nuetral white tints. The OP (textured) reflector would give you 50-75' of throw no problem, with decent flood. You can get a 3SD module that gives you low, medium, and high. This can run off a 18650 battery if you want to invest in 18650 rechargable lithium ion batteries and a charger.

Is there a certain type of battery you want to use?
 

baterija

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Feb 7, 2008
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Aftermarket parts and use with the Solarforce lantern head tends to point you towards the Solarforce. :D It's a pretty well made P60 host from what I've read. The choice of different modules gives you an upgrade path and with some modules multiple levels. You can choose modules to weight towards throw or flood or pick one with a beam pattern that works for you. Battery life will depend on the module.

A Surefire P60 compatbile light offers a lot of the same advantages, generally pricier but with the warranty as backup. If you are only buying one it will be with you a long time...

I wouldn't hold my breath on being around here for long and only buying one light though. :D
 

dirtech

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Apr 17, 2009
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Pocatello
I was in your same boat and went with a jet III M. Good high with an adjustable low and a runtime that worked for me. I intend, like you, to use for camping and stuff. I liked how it could use a variety of batteries also. Not sure how upgradable it is. I still have a lot to learn but am already lightyears ahead just from hanging out here for the past two weeks.

I love sights like this that take something seemingly so simple and uninteresting and turn it into a hobby. I may be on my way to being a flashaholic.
 

Centerfinger

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Apr 17, 2009
Messages
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Sonoran Desert
Thanks thus far.

I was thinking solarforce once I found that lantern deal, but I'd only want to get that part if it works good. If I can replace one of my propane laterns with something that fits in my pocket, that would be great.

Wade - I was so close to pulling the trigger on a dereelight cl1h v3 that was in the market place, it was a good price, but it was located down under. A very sexy light though. As far as batteries, it really doesn't matter as I would probably get a couple sets of rechargeables. I would like something strong enough to give out the juice, but that has a good life span.

Baterija - I'm sure I'll stick around looking for the latest and greatest upgrades.:grin2:

Petabread - I really, really like the looks of that E2DL. Man that one is hawt, a bit pricey though. I'll scope some used prices.
 

bigchelis

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Prunedale, CA
What type of batteries are you planning on using?

rechargeables or not?

The solarforce is a good hosts. Make sure if you get it to get the 18650 compatible as it will allow you to use a solarforce 18650 extention and your runtimes will double instantly. You do need to use rechargeables with 2 18650!!!

I would then recommend a Malkoff M60WL. With 2 18650 cells the runtime would be likely around 5 plus hours. The warm tint makes color of plants and rocks around you while fishing look more realistic. For outdoor use while fishihg I don't see how you would miss out on the warm variants.
Here is my 2 18650 6P hosts I use for Camping. It is fitted with an M60LLF at 80 lumens. With 2 18650 cells. Say you get 2 protected AW 18650 cells at 2300mAh each with the 80% capacity rule: Runtime would be around 811 minutes of runtime or 13 hours and 31 minutes approximately. I would recommend a regular M60LL if you want more throw and Warm if you want the warm tint.
P4020036.jpg
 
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kitelights

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Richmond, VA
It's not gonna happen. You already recognize your 'tendacy' for addiction and you're here, so it's too late. The mere fact that you're hunting for the 'proper' light is an indication that you will second guess your purchase and then have to try another at least for comparison's sake.

The best you can hope for is to limit your expeditures to a few good purchases instead of an endless quest. Do yourself a favor and accept the fact so that you can enjoy your first purchase with less stress.

You need to offer a few more details about what's important in what you're looking for to get good suggestions. Battery type, single cell, etc? On a serious note, what you're looking for is not going to happen in a single light.

A definate need for your use is a headlight and you'll need more than one of those because of the ATV.

It'll be in your best interest to decide if you want to go with one battery type, rechargeables (Lith Ion or NiMH), single or multi cell, etc.

On the bright side, you're picked a good time to get addicted. You can feed your addiction for $40-$80 now for decent lights. Just a few years back it was 3-5 times that.
 

cave dave

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VA
Wait a minute you are asking flashoholics what the one light to buy is? That would be like me going to a knife BB and asking what the one knife that will fulfill all my needs is.

There is no way to get it right the first time. You can get close by doing lots of research, but the research itself is addictive and you will soon end up with a collection and a new hobby. I came on here 8 yrs ago looking for a AA powered yellow beam LED flashlight. I finally got it too. It's down on the lower right.

Besides which, it sounds like you need a headlamp anyway.

collection.jpg

:welcome:
 

Centerfinger

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Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Messages
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Location
Sonoran Desert
It's not gonna happen. You already recognize your 'tendacy' for addiction and you're here, so it's too late. The mere fact that you're hunting for the 'proper' light is an indication that you will second guess your purchase and then have to try another at least for comparison's sake.

The best you can hope for is to limit your expeditures to a few good purchases instead of an endless quest. Do yourself a favor and accept the fact so that you can enjoy your first purchase with less stress.

You need to offer a few more details about what's important in what you're looking for to get good suggestions. Battery type, single cell, etc? On a serious note, what you're looking for is not going to happen in a single light.

A definate need for your use is a headlight and you'll need more than one of those because of the ATV.

It'll be in your best interest to decide if you want to go with one battery type, rechargeables (Lith Ion or NiMH), single or multi cell, etc.

On the bright side, you're picked a good time to get addicted. You can feed your addiction for $40-$80 now for decent lights. Just a few years back it was 3-5 times that.

Your probably right, the endless quest is, well, endless.

For batteries, I would like to go with rechargeables probably Lith Ion. From my reading it would probably be best to go with a either dual rcr123a's or single 18650. I hate to toss out tech since I'm green but does 3.7v-12v sound about right.
 

Centerfinger

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Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Messages
14
Location
Sonoran Desert
Wait a minute you are asking flashoholics what the one light to buy is? That would be like me going to a knife BB and asking what the one knife that will fulfill all my needs is.

There is no way to get it right the first time. You can get close by doing lots of research, but the research itself is addictive and you will soon end up with a collection and a new hobby. I came on here 8 yrs ago looking for a AA powered yellow beam LED flashlight. I finally got it too. It's down on the lower right.

Besides which, it sounds like you need a headlamp anyway.

collection.jpg

:welcome:

you don't even want to know how many times I have answered the "what is the best survival knife?" question. The answer is simple - there isn't one, the best bet is a trio of cutting tools. I completely understand where your coming from.

I do have a couple of low end headlamps and various smaller low end lights (dorcy, inova, maglites), so I guess I'm trying to fill the gap of a longer distance thrower. I tried out a couple of k2 luxeon's from sam's, but I didn't think too much of them and they went back.
 

old4570

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Feb 15, 2009
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Melbourne - Australia
SSC P7 - A good SSC P7
There will be Tons of flood so you can see whats around you , multi mode will allow you to tone it down for better run time .
 
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bigchelis

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Prunedale, CA
SSC P7 - A good SSC P7
There will be Tons of flood so you can see whats around you , multi mode will allow you to tone it down for better run time .


I agree the P7 or MC-E with multi-modes will offer a ton of light, but the throw will be sacrificed.
 

yellow

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Baden.at
P7/MC-E = too high current drain for the application.

A Jetbeam Jet III Model, imho the PRO ST,
Pro Ultra, when Throw is more needed than small size.

Why?
bright enough, multilevel (3), very small, no sharp edges (better for pocketing), single 18650 much better than 2*CR123


You might consider lights in that price range "expensive", but when You get more info, You will learn (like we all did), that they are the Bomb. The best price <-> value ratio in Led-Lamps
 

jankj

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Oct 3, 2008
Messages
392
...
I'm looking for these features:

- easily upgradable, mod-able and a wide selection of aftermarket parts
- good throw (50-75')
- decent flood
- at least a high / low stage
- I'd like it to be able to use the camplantern from solarforce (unless it sucks, you tell me)
- good battery life

...

My guesstimate is that your flood/throw requirements are easily exceeded by most of current EDC type kind of lights worthy of praise at CPF. At 75' would be 25 yards or so? I find the fenix L1D/L2D exceeds that distance by a good margin with a very pleasant mix of throw/flood, but your milage may wary. The specks for the recomended jetbeam are a bit beefier, so you should be quite happy with that.


Hm... the topic of "useful throw distance" is probably worthy of a separate thread... obviously, it depends on environment (light poluted/dark/snow cover etc) and what exactly you'll be looking for.


...

The primary use would be for hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing and night driving on the ole hog ('83 honda atc70 :twothumbs).

Get a headlamp. You'll absolutely love the zebralights for close range tasks, but perhaps lacking the throw to finding your trail (not to mention driving your honda).
 

s.c.

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Aug 13, 2007
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Jetbeams are really nice. I have a Jet-III Military and had a ST for a little while.

However, he needs something that's easily upgradable with a wide variety of accessories AND his heart says surefire 6p but wallet says no. Is there any reason not to recommend the solarforce L2?
 

Centerfinger

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Apr 17, 2009
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Sonoran Desert
Well, I sold a blade last night so my price range in now verging on $100. So I can get into a surefire, but I want rechargeables and from what I understand is that upgrades are needed to run a SF on rechargeables (I'm probably wrong). I really like the battery life of the SF 6p LED and I know they underestimate the lumens a bit, but it doesn't seem to be even close with some of the chinese LEDS. I'll go look for some beam shot comparisons now.

I appreciate everyone's input, I just feel that an informed purchase is a lot better than an uninformed one.
 
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rmteo

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Feb 11, 2009
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Colorado, USA
The SF 6P lumens are not underrated - see here:
https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/229135

For less than $100 (actually $45-50) , look at getting a Solarforce L2, a spare short body, a 18650 body extension and you have a light that will take 1x RCR123, 2x RCR123, 1x 186500 or 2x 18650. You can tailor the light for whatever run-time/size you want and you get greater output (and multi-mode if you wish) to boot. For another $24 you can also get a lantern head.

a_58r.jpg
 

Ralls

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Mar 10, 2006
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If your budget is up to ~$100 then I would strongly consider the Ra Every Day Carry Executive ($99) or Tactical model ($109). It is, IMO, the best light in its' class on the market, but others would disagree, of course - no one light is perfect for everybody. Here is a link to where they are available for sale:

http://www.uniquetitanium.com/ra_lights.htm
 
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