If you could only have one light.....

vicv

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Mar 22, 2013
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Southern Ontario
I know, the horror. But if you could only have one....my preference is for incandescents. But I understand the impractical nature compared to an led light and if I could only have one it would be an led.
For me, it could only be the streamlight polystinger. Three well placed modes with high being an extremely bright 500 lumens at 26k candela.
Not cold in the winter compared to an aluminum light but probably more resistant to damage(this thing is tough, no anodizing to scratch)
It's always fully charged. Always. No need to remove the battery to charge. No need to consciously plug it in. It lives, conveniently, in the cradle that charges it. It may be an old tech NIMH or nicd battery, but has flatter discharge, more cycles, more resiliency, and more reliability than lithium rechargeable lights.
Sub-c/C size lights are the most comfortable to hold. ( Would also include 26650 lights)
Good feeling electronic switch with excellent u.i.
Besides it's too big to EDC which I don't EDC a light anyways, for walking the dog, checking out a noise, looking behind a couch, changing a tire, ect no small picket sized light has the beam/throw of this.
I guess if I had one issue, the low of 100 lumens is pretty damn bright as a low. But it's very useful and I wouldn't want to lose it for a sub lumen mode.
This is more of a tactical type light anyway and not meant for finding the bathroom at 2 a.m
 

PoliceScannerMan

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HDS Rotary 3500K 219B, covers 95% of my needs. Super sub 1 lumen low that runs for days and goes 24 levels up to 180-190 lumens. Beautiful useful high CRI beam. Not to mention it is very robust.
 

Olumin

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"...that famous Texas part of Hamburg"
I dont really believe in the whole one light has to do it all thinking and so the only one I have which covers most my needs is a zebra SC5cII. However if you were to throw me out into the wilds RN with only one light the one I would take is a neutral hound dog. Almost indestructible & the 80lm low is good enough for almost everything and lasts ages on 2x 18650s + the 1000lm high which it can maintain for up to 2 hours. But I wouldn't edc that so the zebra it is.
 

parang

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The Armytek Wizard Pro Warm. It makes a very pleasing light (Nichia, high CRI), it's super versatile (magnet, headlamp, pocket clip), very robust (exceeds IPX8) and uses a goldilocks battery format.
 

richbuff

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This time, just for variety, something big. Lumintop GT8x90.2.
 
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bykfixer

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I think if it really came down to it I'd opt for my yellow SureFire G2x Pro 320. Starts on a very useable low (like an old school 2C/D incan would) with "high beam" option that rivals lights with much higher output numbers. Comfy to hold, does not use much real estate for carrying and is easy to operate.
556CF8C1-5D02-420B-AA45-DEBCE5325B78.jpeg


I agree with vicv about the Stinger. I have a metal 375 lumen version though. The Stinger is one very useful, very comfortable to hold flashlight. Maglite now has a similar light called the ML150LR and it's nice too, but Tony did not out Stinger the Stinger in my view.
 
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pnwoutdoors

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Have got a handful of the Malkoff M61 LED modules in SolarForce and LumensFactory tubes, with McClicky switches, running either 1x or 2x Panasonic 18650 cells. Not stellar throwers; not the uber-lumens output of many other contemporary lights. But dead solid reliable, bright enough to blind an assailant at close quarters, bright enough for an evening walk on trails or in the neighborhood, and the basic optics are hard to beat.

It's what I've whittled down to, over the years. Small enough to pocket carry. With the right batteries and a couple spares along just in case, plenty of longevity. Have a -LL variant of the LED modules for extremely long usage, but I find the M61 or M61W is just about perfect for me.
 

CHNeal

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Nov 21, 2019
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MD3/M91T H/L does absolutely everything I need a light to do and will do it on 1-18650 w/spacer, 2-18500, 3-cr123 and 2-AA. Great throw, plenty of spill and a very useable low. All in a back pocketable package with drop-dead reliability and second to none customer service.
I would say its my favorite light of all times and I own several.
 
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Poppy

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Northern New Jersey
If I could have only one light, I'd want something big enough to be functional, yet small enough to EDC should I choose.

I think I would go with an Eagletac D25A. It can run on AA, or Li Ion 14500.
Also, our friend @reppans taught us how to MacGyver it or a quark to run on a D cell, a C cell, or AAA cell with some tin foil, or paper clip and a rubber band, in an emergency.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Dec 13, 2007
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Nitecore E4K. 2 lumen low lasts 700 hours, almost a month straight. Good enough for reading, not screwing up your night vision, and not attracting attention to yourself when the power goes out. Medium 50 lumen setting is just right for most hiking trails at night. It lasts 45 hours. That’s nearly two days straight. Great for hiking, backpacking, and emergencies when power is out long term. 320 lumen high lasts 7.5 hours. For work, you want the most continuous light for an 8 hour work shift. This comes pretty close. You also may need to take shifts watching for looters during a blackout. Then you have the 1050 lumen high and 4400 lumen turbo to see at a distance. This is necessary for routefinding, signaling (also has strobe, sos, and beacon modes), and spotting dangers at a distance. Then you have the fact that it runs on usb-c rechargeable batteries. This gives redundancy for charging as each battery has it’s own built in charger. This allows for charging more than one battery at a time for home, car, and solar use if you have spares while not tying up your flashlight during charging. Having the battery have the charger also gives it one less point of failure as the light can be made more waterproof (IPX-8). It also makes the light shorter for better edc use (Otherwise I’d be carrying a Nitecore MH10 v.2). The light also works with 18650s (just not on turbo unless cell can draw 15 amps) and 2 123a cells (for cold weather and long term storage). Use a few rare earth magnets and the light will work on cheaper unprotected cells as well (I like the 4200 mAh Molicell 21700s rated for 45 amps that are cold weather rated).
 

sambob223

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Sep 28, 2021
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Define having only one light..zombie apocalypse?
General use?
The apocalypse, I want my uvpaqlite Mule Light V2.
Anything else, my Old faithful Thrunite T30s.

Chosen based on what I have and what I know works.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Dec 13, 2007
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I think if it really came down to it I'd opt for my yellow SureFire G2x Pro 320. Starts on a very useable low (like an old school 2C/D incan would) with "high beam" option that rivals lights with much higher output numbers. Comfy to hold, does not use much real estate for carrying and is easy to operate.
View attachment 20755

I agree with vicv about the Stinger. I have a metal 375 lumen version though. The Stinger is one very useful, very comfortable to hold flashlight. Maglite now has a similar light called the ML150LR and it's nice too, but Tony did not out Stinger the Stinger in my view.
Just brought out my old 200 lumen Surefire G2X Pro to take on a cold night hike only to discover the l.e.d. was cooked, had a brown spot in the middle of the l.e.d., and outputs were reduced to under 5 lumens for low and about 50 lumens for high. I suppose over time, having only the head as a heatsink and no medium to give you a brighter option that didn’t heat up the light as much probably contributed to the failure over time. I don’t use that light that much, but I expected better. Used a Fenix PD30 R4 to complete the hike. My Nitecore E4K has temperature regulation to prevent the light from overheating. The Surefire did not.

Update: I contacted Surefire. Looks like they’ll repair or replace the light under warranty. Glad to know the light didn’t have to totally fail before it was covered. Just have to pay to ship it to them now.
 
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