I want a new light, I would love some help with picking one. Check list done! :D

Wil

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Sep 6, 2011
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So I'm finally ready to buy a new flashlight, in 3 days actually.
I currently have a Sunwayman V20C and love it. I'd just like something with a little more throw.
I am looking at the Fenix TK21 but just holding off pulling the trigger on that one until I've spoken to you guys.

I have had a look at a few including the Klarus line but I don't want something that comes on in high with no option to avoid that. I like how the ZebraLight UI works with the option to click for high and hold for low then cycle up but can give up the "on to high" if need be to retain a lower start level.

Something else I noticed, some lights have a huge gap between mode power levels I want to avoid. The K
larus TX11 is 10/150/600 where the Fenix TK21 is 5/58/180/468. I like the 50 to 60 level being there as I'll be using this light for a few different things and will find it very handy. Ideally I'd like something along the lines of 5 or 10/50ish/100 or 150/200 or 250/max or at least something like that. A selector or variable ring would solve that for me.

I'm just not sure what to get to I've come to you guys in hopes of some recommendations.
Here is my somewhat detailed check list.

Some have 2 answers left in as either will be fine but I'll usually say which I prefer if I do or may make little notes.
At the end of the day, this is a wish list. While I'd like to get everything, I know some I'll have to miss out on.

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1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

____I would like to purchase the light from a brick and mortar store. I am located in Canberra, Australia.
____I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.



2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :)

____Less than $100 preferably.
____Less than $150 if it has everything I want.



3) Format:

____I want a flashlight.



4) Flashlight-specific format/size:

____Every day carry medium (4-7 inches).
____Holster carry.
*I can live with going smaller than my SWM but would rather stay at the same size or "go up one size".



5) Emitter/Light source:

____LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)



6) Manufacturer:

____I want to buy a light from a traditional mass producing manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.



7) What battery type do you want to use?

____I'd prefer 18650 but AAA, AA or C are fine.



8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).

*As I want modes, all these apply.

____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (0-10 lumens).
____I want to walk around an unlit rural area (50-150 lumens).
____I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
____I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens). <--- This would just be nice, it would make no difference in choosing a flashlight.



9) Throw vs. Flood: At what distance will you be most likely to use this light? Select all that apply.

*As I want modes, all these apply.

____5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
____30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
____50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
____150+ yards (I want maximum throw possible) *I'm not sure I'll be able to get this in my price range.



10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum output).

*It would be easier just to say I want the best I can get without sacrificing too much power or throw but...

____30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
____90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical) *I'd prefer but willing to sacrifice.



11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase "you get what you pay for" is very accurate for flashlights.

*This will be my main camping, fishing, hiking, everything light.

____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).



12) Switch Type and location (choose all that apply):

____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signalling).
____I want a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only).

____I want a body mounted switch (near the head, like on a Maglite).
____I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today's high end lights). Prefer.



13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.

____I want multiple light levels. *Some lights have 5-16 light levels.) 3 is fine, 4 is ideal, 5 is fine too.
____I want a programmable light. *This would just be a bonus, no impact on decision.
____I want a selector ring. *This would be great but following that would be a mode button then a infinite variable ring.

I'd prefer them to be in a "sub menu" but I'm pretty neutral on even having these:
____I want a strobe mode. (Blinks to show location.)
____I want SOS mode.
____I want a beacon mode.



14)Material/Finish/Coating

____I don't care, just no plastic.



15) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any below.

Waterproof to IPX8 is non-optional.
Anything that comes on in high is not an option for me unless it has a memory or works like the ZebraLight UI
If it doesn't come with a holster, I'll need to be able to get one at least.
 
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Kevin1322

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I would look at the EagleTac T20C2 Mark II. Love mine and should fit your list nicely. Only exception maybe is that it only has three levels of light. It also cannot come on on low from the beginning, but it can medium. Throw should be what you want too, and the options on this are huge. You can get an XR-E drop pushing 300 lumens and good throw, or an XP-G pushing 400 lumens for throw and spill, or even the XM-L HO which is pushing 700 plus, and seems to throw as far as the XR-E with such a mass amount of light. These drops can easily be replaced as well, so if you need more light or flood you can take the XR-E out and pop in the XM-L. Comes with a holster and many other things, plus, if you desire, you can also get flood and colored filters that screw in the front. I even drop mine in a pool sometimes with a colored lens for mood lighting. Never had a problem with it, and you can always buy the latest drop if you want without buying a whole new light! Case is pretty standard though. I actually use the Olight case for the M20 Warrior, and I think it costs like $6.
 

Wil

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Sep 6, 2011
Messages
31
I would look at the EagleTac T20C2 Mark II. Love mine and should fit your list nicely. Only exception maybe is that it only has three levels of light. It also cannot come on on low from the beginning, but it can medium. Throw should be what you want too, and the options on this are huge. You can get an XR-E drop pushing 300 lumens and good throw, or an XP-G pushing 400 lumens for throw and spill, or even the XM-L HO which is pushing 700 plus, and seems to throw as far as the XR-E with such a mass amount of light. These drops can easily be replaced as well, so if you need more light or flood you can take the XR-E out and pop in the XM-L. Comes with a holster and many other things, plus, if you desire, you can also get flood and colored filters that screw in the front. I even drop mine in a pool sometimes with a colored lens for mood lighting. Never had a problem with it, and you can always buy the latest drop if you want without buying a whole new light! Case is pretty standard though. I actually use the Olight case for the M20 Warrior, and I think it costs like $6.

Hmm... I like what I've found on the EgaleTac so far. I'll definitely keep it in mind.

That 300lm seems a little underpowered for what I'm after so I definitely would go the drop in route at 700 if I can keep mostly throw. Some spill/flood would be good. I'm hoping for a 200-300lm high mode plus "turbo" above that for the odd occasion I need a blast of light.

Three levels of light is fine with me so long as they are spaced out enough, 5/60/300 I'm not sure about though. That said, coming on at 60lm is low enough. More just shooting for under 100lm as I'll have a headlamp for less that that.
Would other drop-ins have different mode power levels?

Coloured filters would be an awesome bonus, I didn't mention it in my check list as it's not a decision maker for me but would still be nice.

The "you can always buy the latest drop if you want without buying a whole new light" part is very appealing. I'm a minimalist so this would be very handy for me.

Thanks for the recommendation, it's definitely a consideration.
 

Kevin1322

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To my knowledge, I don't believe there is a light with such a difference between the high and turbo modes. The HO drop I spoke of has the turbo mode of 700 plus lumens, then goes down to 500 plus I think after a few minutes. As far as the drops having different levels, yes they all do as they are pushing different amounts of lumens. Since you like the selector ring, you might also look at the Jetbeam RRT-21. It only goes to about 460 ANSI lumens I think, so it's a give and take depending on what you want.
 

Wil

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Sep 6, 2011
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To my knowledge, I don't believe there is a light with such a difference between the high and turbo modes. The HO drop I spoke of has the turbo mode of 700 plus lumens, then goes down to 500 plus I think after a few minutes. As far as the drops having different levels, yes they all do as they are pushing different amounts of lumens. Since you like the selector ring, you might also look at the Jetbeam RRT-21. It only goes to about 460 ANSI lumens I think, so it's a give and take depending on what you want.
The EagleTac T20C2 Mark II with a drop-in seems very nice at this point but I really don't like that loosen the head for modes thing. I'm worried about water, dirt and sand.
Rings are nice but buttons are too, much of a muchness for me really. The Jetbeam RRT-21 seems very close to the Fenix TK21, I think that just gives me a choice between a ring or a button and runtime over distance.

It's so hard to choose :/

Id go for the TK21? or did you want something brighter? TK35?
The Fenix TK21 was the idea, now it's compeating with the Jetbeam RRT-21.
I don't like the size/shape of the TK31, it would be a pain for me to carry plus its weight but I am after something brighter than the TK21 and RRT-21 if I can find something that suits.
 
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Kevin1322

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Well, you can get a P60 host (many insist on Sure Fire, but many also for Solar Force, a much cheeper but still quality host IMO), then custom order a drop from Vinh. Go to this thread vinhnguyen54 D26/P60 XML Drop In Run 6 Sale Thread NEW PILL AND REFLECTOR AVAILABLE. He has a lot of options on drivers, LEDs and tints. I've been using him lately as he can do drops that push 1000 plus lumens and still have a moonlight mode, and use a single 18650 as a power source to do it. Since you don't care about the low being under 100 lumens, you can also try Nailbender. He also has done a lot of stuff for me. And again, with a P60 host/light, you can upgrade the light engine without buying a whole new light.
 

ScaryFatKidGT

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May 19, 2011
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Thrunite TN11? The TK35 isn't that big. What are u using it for that you need more lumens or throw than the TK21?
 
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Wil

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Well, you can get a P60 host (many insist on Sure Fire, but many also for Solar Force, a much cheeper but still quality host IMO), then custom order a drop from Vinh. Go to this thread vinhnguyen54 D26/P60 XML Drop In Run 6 Sale Thread NEW PILL AND REFLECTOR AVAILABLE. He has a lot of options on drivers, LEDs and tints. I've been using him lately as he can do drops that push 1000 plus lumens and still have a moonlight mode, and use a single 18650 as a power source to do it. Since you don't care about the low being under 100 lumens, you can also try Nailbender. He also has done a lot of stuff for me. And again, with a P60 host/light, you can upgrade the light engine without buying a whole new light.
This I'm going to look in to, I think I'd have a better chance of getting what I'm after. The TK21/RRT21 will be my fall back if this gets to much for me.


Thrunite The TN11 ? The TK35 isn't that big. What are u using it for that you need more lumens or throw than the TK21?
The TN11 is another twist head one, I want to avoid that. No, the TK35 isn't huge but it is big enough for me to get in the way or be annoying.
This will be my main camping, fishing, hiking, everything light. I'll also be using it for general use, home stuff, car stuff, event stuff, adventures, prawn, crab, lobster, night fish hunting, general hunting (roos and rabbits), among so many other things. I'm pretty active, I wan't something to cover all my bases if I can without getting too big.
 
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ScaryFatKidGT

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This I'm going to look in to, I think I'd have a better chance of getting what I'm after. The TK21/RRT21 will be my fall back if this gets to much for me.

The TN11 is another twist head one, I want to avoid that. No, the TK35 isn't huge but it is big enough for me to get in the way or be annoying.
This will be my main camping, fishing, hiking, everything light. I'll also be using it for general use, home stuff, car stuff, event stuff, adventures, prawn, crab, lobster, night fish hunting, general hunting (roos and rabbits), among so many other things. I'm pretty active, I wan't something to cover all my bases if I can without getting too big.
Sorry I meant the new TN11S, it has 2 buttons, but the head on the TK35 isn't much bigger than the TK21 and is probably smaller than the TN11's. The Klarus XT11, Spark SL6, Zebra Light SC600 and Jetbeam BC25 all put out more lumens than your V20C but have less throw or not enough more that it would matter. Maybe the Quark 123^2 Turbo X?

What about an Armytech predator? It has pretty narrow spill but it has the Throw and lumens (500) your after.

Honestly for all that stuff id have 2 lights my Floody EDC what ever it is at the time for close up stuff and then a throwy light like the TK35, TK41, ThruNite TN31 for hunting and adventures.
 
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Wil

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Sorry I meant the new TN11S, it has 2 buttons, but the head on the TK35 isn't much bigger than the TK21 and is probably smaller than the TN11's. The Klarus XT11, Spark SL6, Zebra Light SC600 and Jetbeam BC25 all put out more lumens than your V20C but have less throw or not enough more that it would matter. Maybe the Quark 123^2 Turbo X?

What about an Armytech predator? It has pretty narrow spill but it has the Throw and lumens (500) your after.

Damn, another nice light... So my list is now:
Fenix TK21
JetBeam RRT-21
ThruNite TN11S
These are all pretty much the same, right? Obviously other than, Mode buttons on head, mode ring on head, mode buttons on tail respectively. Runtime, throw and out put are very similar?

Quark 123^2 Turbo X is ok, not all that impressive TBH but it's a twist head anyway.
The Armytek Predator is almost perfect, the kind of throw I'm looking for but... twist head :( I would have bought it otherwise.

Honestly for all that stuff id have 2 lights my Floody EDC what ever it is at the time for close up stuff and then a throwy light like the TK35, TK41, ThruNite TN31 for hunting and adventures.

I will have two lights, maybe even three. I'll have a headlamp for close up stuff and walking, maybe another floody AAA/AA if it proves useful and then whatever this one ends up being. The lights mentioned are just too big unfortunately.


I'm actually pretty disappointed about the Armytek Predator thing :(
 

Wil

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So I've found the Niteye TF25 and pretty much decided on that unless anyone can suggest why the JetBeam RRT-21, Fenix TK21 or ThruNite TN11S would be better, or maybe even another light?
 
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2334stuart

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I would nt bother with the TK21, its too powerful for a single 18650, it soon drops down a mode from turbo level, stick to the much better TK15 r2 which has a tighter spot and longer throw, Fenix s best yet. I use my flashlight all day and every day,constantly switching on and off, and found the fenixs very reliable
 

Kevin1322

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I think you are starting to see why so many of us have so many lights haha. There really are numerous amazing lights out there, and every year they push the bounderies of what we think is possible to achieve.
 

Wil

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I think you are starting to see why so many of us have so many lights haha. There really are numerous amazing lights out there, and every year they push the bounderies of what we think is possible to achieve.
I am :( It sucks too, I just dropped a bunch of cash on the Niteye TF25 and Fenic TK21. This is getting more costly than I expected :p Paired up with my Sunwayman V20C, I think I have a good mix. I just hope I don't buy any more... :/
Well, after more batteries and a new holster for the Niteye anyway.


I wanted to come back and finish off this little adventure with a conclusion, I'm sure there will be many more but also wanted to say: Thanks everyone for your help, it really made this easier for me. I appreciate it a lot!
 
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