making sense of brands, models, specs?

Y.T.

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Some thoughts from a newbie based on the complications of a first buying experience. I thought perhaps others might be able to offer some clarity or insight. :) Apologies that it's on the long side, but I figure I can't be the only person who has encountered these issues.

How does one realistically differentiate the brands?
In the mid- to upper-mid level products it seems like they pretty much all offer similer products at similar prices. Sure Duracell and Coleman are way down there and Surefire is generally up in the high-level tier due to the pricing and specificity. But in the middle area I can't say I've found info that says Inova, Fenix, Nitecore, NovaTac, Olight, Pelican, etc. are really drastically different or one brand is clearly better/worse than another. Or even that one brand is best suited for a certain use or category over another (for example I at least know that Petzl is specialized for climbers). It really seems to just come down to (a) subjective personal preference and (b) what's available when. But how do people even get to the personal preference stage?

Even within a single brand it's a nightmare to make sense of it.
For example, take the Fenix brand. In trying to find the official company site to get an overview of the models offered you get the following: http://www.fenixlight.com , http://www.fenixgear.com , http://www.fenixoutfitters.com , http://www.fenix-store.com , and there are probably more I just didn't discover.
...all of which look nearly identical and offer no clue as to their relation to the official Fenix corporate site. and they don't even offer the same models site to site. Talk about a headache as a potential buyer. And that's just using Fenix as a familiar example, other brands offer their own confusion as well. (I found Inova difficult to wade through.)

And that's just trying to make sense of a single brand. Trying to do model comparison across brands (say an Inova XYZ with a Fenix YYZ with a Nitecore YZZ) is so challenging I honestly just gave up and eventually stuck with a single brand when shopping.

Then there's the issue of specs being inconsistent, both within a site and from site to site.
This makes it hard to compare model to model (within a brand or cross-brands). For example, model ABC1 may be listed in centimeters and grams and offer runtime specs, while model ABC2 may be listed in inches and ounces with no runtime specs. Which not only makes the consumer constantly have to do conversions just to compare basic size and weight, but also makes it difficult to see the benefits of one model over another, or determine the best use for a model. I would think that companies or site owners would make more of an effort at consistency to make shopping easier for customers. (I'm still amazed that the Inova X1, touted in many places, doesn't offer any specs on lumens or runtime. Not on the package or the website. At least no site I could find.)

Then there's the totally confusing naming convention that appears clear to only the manufacters and those intimately familar with them.
Each company seems to utilize a system of letter and number suffixes/prefixes, but what those letters and numbers mean aren't always clear. Worse, they seem to be different brand to brand. For example, Fenix offers a P2D and a PD20, a L1D and a LD10 and each pair look almost identical. Coming to the brand for the first time this leaves you going what-the...? It took me literally days to find a source that stated the PD20 was the newer version of the P2D, at which point I could intuit that anything letter-number-D was old and anything letter-D-number-0 was new. (not knocking the Fenix brand, just using that as a convenient example)

After a lot of poking around I got the general idea that an "0" in a name usually meant AAA, a "1" meant AA, a "2" meant 2xAA or a 1xCR123... so when browsing I could at least gauge size to some extent. But I still have no idea with the "D" means that so many brands seem to tack on to names. Nor what the letter scales signify. After poking around I can see that a "B" series might be the small sizes and a "F" series might be the large ones, but this is rarely ever stated on a site. And what do those letters stand for anyway? a bulb type? an arbitrary assignment? Then there's the issue where the largest model in a B series might appear identical in specs to the smallest model in a F series. Again, with the head spinning.

How is one supposed to sort all that out? Is there some guide somewhere I might've missed?
That would sure help for future purchases. I mean, I don't mind doing some investigation before making a purchase, but even for higher end items it still seems a bit unrealistic to expect customers to invest hours and hours of research wading through models and competitors just to make a single purchase. We are just talking about flashlights here. It took me less effort to buy pro-level computer equipment or a new car. :laughing:

ETA: Honestly, if it weren't for this site and the generously helpful people on it, I would've been completely lost.
 
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Marduke

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To answer your one question. Fenix's official website is http://www.fenixlight.com/ and http://www.fenix-store.com/ is the official North American distributor. The others are other various dealers.


Although there is some pattern and meaning, the letters and numbers are for the most part arbitrary. This is true for most brands. The easiest way to compare is to read the comparison reviews offered here on CPF. They are usually paired up on battery types in those reviews.


Hope that helps a little, but asking questions and reading the Welcome Mat and reviews are the fastest ways to learn.
 

Y.T.

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To answer your one question. Fenix's official website is http://www.fenixlight.com/ and http://www.fenix-store.com/ is the official North American distributor. The others are other various dealers.
Thanks, I had finally figured that out after hours of wading through the forums here. :)

From the perspective of a new-to-the-market consumer, it appears many of these companies are relying on consumer peer-to-peer education rather than providing this info themselves. That seems odd so I figured I must be missing the obvious somewhere. ;) (again, that's not specific to the Fenix brand, it's a problem I've noticed with many companies)

The easiest way to compare is to read the comparison reviews offered here on CPF. They are usually paired up on battery types in those reviews.
That definitely is a huge help! and I've gotten a ton of valuable info here already (read much more than posted). Though it can be difficult to know where to start despite that (for example, which brand or which model series), or to find posts that happen to compare the specific models/brands that you may be looking at. I thought there might be a standard or convention out there that I hadn't clued in on. :)
 
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Marduke

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There is no standard convention really. Deciding typically starts with one of two angles:

1) Start with the specs you want, and see what models exist

or

2) Start with your favorite brands and/or power sources, then see what type of specs you can get



Obviously #2 is the easier way to go, though #1 would probably be more helpful to do if a method existed for it. But the light industry moves far too fast to put together any kind of useful database that would stay updated for more than a few weeks. The closest thing is would be to give your specs to a resident CPF forumite and see what models they come up with.
 

kramer5150

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:welcome:. For starters there's the welcome mat, that IMHO everyone should read.

I hold user reviews much higher than manufacturer specs, specifically reviews that A/B/C compare similar products. Many times posting a thread discussion requesting members to compare two lights can be helpful too. I don't really find manufacturer specs useful because there is no standardized measurement method... so as you have already come to realize its a moot point comparing manufacturer specs.

I try not to be too hung up on brand names (although I admit its really hard not to). I try instead try and focus on the individual product design strengths and weaknesses.

Manufacturer support however weighs in heavily on my scale. Generally, I try not to spend more than about $20 for any light that is not backed by a good company. A good company is one who will stand behind their product should it fail.

How do you sort it all out???.... there is no way to sort out EVERYTHING, unless someone with a calibrated sphere, lux meter and digital SLR goes out and buys EVERY flashlight and posts comparative reviews and measurement data.

The most important thing to understand is your own preferences.... The Great Oracle once said "Know Thyself" (Geeky Matrix reference).

-How many Lumens do you need?
-How big/small do you prefer the light to be?
-How much run time do you need between cell reloads?
-What is your price limit?
-How far away are the targets you are trying to illuminate?
-Do you need a spot/beam thrower or a wall of light flooder?
-What is your intended use? (weapon lighting, around the house, emergencies, camping/outdoors)
-Do you have a preference towards battery chemistry?
-What physical design elements are you looking for? (EX: belt clip, strike bezel, switch type, finish type, waterproofing...)

From there... just go out and buy a well respected product that mostly meets your criteria and get your feet wet. There's no way to really "know" what 150 Lumens looks like until you go out and see it for yourself and let your eyes judge whats presented before them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk5ahbpOsWA
 
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StarHalo

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How does one realistically differentiate the brands?

It'd be pretty difficult to judge a light purely by its brand - sort of like judging a car by its manufacturer. Any given manufacturer is going to have hits and misses, some similar and dissimilar features between models, some completely unique models that don't compare to anything, etc. As with cars, the manufacturer gives you a vague idea of reliability, some expected basic features/qualities, etc.

Even within a single brand it's a nightmare to make sense of it.

Start at the manufacturer's site, then go to the trusted merchant sites.

Then there's the issue of specs being inconsistent, both within a site and from site to site.

Trust only objective/comparison testing, the manufacturer's numbers are just a guideline.

Then there's the totally confusing naming convention that appears clear to only the manufacters and those intimately familar with them.

There's usually a method to the naming convention madness - Jetbeam, for example, orders everything by battery type; their I series is AA powered, the IIs are 123, and III is 18650. Fenix has the 123 cell Ps, the AA Ls, etc.
 

carrot

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It is very tough in today's market to figure out what is going on with various offerings. Back when I joined, Flashlight Reviews was pretty much THE place to find out and compare different lights but now that they have closed their doors you have to just rely on the enormous amounts of user-generated content from CPF.

Remember that pretty much all of us have at some point experienced the overwhelming information that you are wading through now. CPFers are often happy to answer questions, such as "which light is better" or "is this light suited to me?" or even "can someone make sense of all of these?" and a great deal of information is accessible in this way. You could ask people to rank brands in terms of quality but remember that everyone is biased and not everyone owns ALL the brands/models in question and many who DO only have a sample of ONE each. Quite a few recommendations (including some of my own) are based on specs and hearsay rather than first-hand experience.

Out of the manufacturers you yourself listed I would rate all of them the same, with the exception of Pelican, Streamlight, Inova and Novatac. Pelican rates about equal with Streamlight in my book although there is not much significant overlap between the two, and they are considered mostly irrelevant by the majority of CPF, Pelican especially so. Inova's build quality is nicer than Peli and SL (although the latter are still pretty great) and they are more interested in keeping up with the times/technology than Peli and SL, and I would put Novatac above Inova mostly due to the highly regarded heritage of their EDC lights (HDS Systems/Ra Lights). It is very hard to compare the aforementioned however as there is, again, very little overlap amongst the product lines.

Often enough when someone has a specific application, purpose, or requirement in mind there are at least a few lights that fit the bill, often enough across several manufacturers and we CPFers usually do a pretty good job of suggesting good ones and weeding out the poorer choices.

A few manufacturers will do significant updates to their products without renaming them. This creates a lot of confusion. Inova is the guiltiest party here but Surefire does this too, as there are several generations of L1 (for example) and they differ pretty heavily.

The "D" part of Fenix lights stand for Digital, and differentiated them from the older, discontinued "P" Premium (**P) and still-in-use "T" tactical (**T) lights. There was also an "S" for standard (**S), which were cheaper than the "P" models but ultimately still really nice.

Fenix now uses "L" for the smaller alkaline/NiMH lights (L**) and "P" for primary/123 lights (P**). TK is for their beefier tactical lineup.

Knowing this sort of thing sort of requires a bit of history and a little too much time obsessing over models.

Just remember, as I noted in my guide, it is pretty much impossible to compare output and runtime specs across manufacturers as measurement systems vary wildly. This is something CPFers are pretty good at standardizing.

If you've read my guide and found it lacking in some way, hopefully you will share that criticism with me so I can improve in later revisions.
 

Flying Turtle

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About the only things you can count on from the manufacturer and distributor sites is the size, available models, and price. For real world use, beamshots, and subjective analysis, the great reviewers here and member commentary are the most useful sources. You probably already have a good idea of which lights are favorites. In most cases if a bunch of folks say they like a particular light, and it meets your qualifications, you should be happy.

Welcome, and enjoy the hunt.

Geoff
 

Toohotruk

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Along with what has been suggested earlier in this thread, I would like to add this LINK to a review site that I have found pretty helpful.

Good luck with your research! :)
 

Y.T.

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kramer5150 said:
For starters there's the welcome mat, that IMHO everyone should read.
Thanks for the heads up about the Welcome Mat I had skimmed through that section of the forum, but it looked like it was mostly questions on how to use the forum itself (avatars, etc.) so I thought the Welcome Mat sticky was more of the same. I just bookmarked that now. See, I knew I had missed something. ;)


kramer5150 said:
Manufacturer support however weighs in heavily on my scale. Generally, I try not to spend more than about $20 for any light that is not backed by a good company. A good company is one who will stand behind their product should it fail
sound practice. and very many good points offered in your post. :)

Marduke said:
There is no standard convention really. Deciding typically starts with one of two angles:
1) Start with the specs you want, and see what models exist
or
2) Start with your favorite brands and/or power sources, then see what type of specs you can get
Obviously #2 is the easier way to go, though #1 would probably be more helpful to do if a method existed for it.
good point. :) I was coming at it from #1, which I found to be more challenging. but #2 was easier once I narrowed it to a specific brand.

StarHalo said:
Any given manufacturer is going to have hits and misses, some similar and dissimilar features between models, some completely unique models that don't compare to anything, etc.
much helpful advice, especially the above. thanks. :)

Flying Turtle said:
In most cases if a bunch of folks say they like a particular light, and it meets your qualifications, you should be happy.
very true. :) I have also realized that sometimes when you're trying to decide between two similar items you really can't make a bad decision. While one might be better for you than another, in the end they're still quality products and you'll likely be happy either way. :) I've been quite impressed with the number of indepth reviews here providing fellow readers with beam shots and tests. Quite generous of people to take the time to share that.

Along with what has been suggested earlier in this thread, I would like to add this LINK to a review site that I have found pretty helpful.
thanks! I've been checking on http://www.flashlightreviews.com , but hadn't discovered http://www.light-reviews.com/reviews.html .

carrot said:
Remember that pretty much all of us have at some point experienced the overwhelming information that you are wading through now. CPFers are often happy to answer questions, such as "which light is better" or "is this light suited to me?" or even "can someone make sense of all of these?"
that's helpful to know. I didn't want to be annoying forum members with endless questions that I was thinking I should be able to figure out myself somehow. I'm happy to do some legwork on my own, but it's good to know that many folks find it hard to wade through the info stacks and asking for advice is okey dokey.

carrot said:
The "D" part of Fenix lights stand for Digital, and differentiated them from the older, discontinued "P" Premium (**P) and still-in-use "T" tactical (**T) lights. There was also an "S" for standard (**S), which were cheaper than the "P" models but ultimately still really nice. Fenix now uses "L" for the smaller alkaline/NiMH lights (L**) and "P" for primary/123 lights (P**). TK is for their beefier tactical lineup.
wow, that's a world of clarity right there! thanks! Makes it so much easier when scanning a list of models to determine what might be best for a specific need.

carrot said:
Just remember, as I noted in my guide, it is pretty much impossible to compare output and runtime specs across manufacturers as measurement systems vary wildly. This is something CPFers are pretty good at standardizing.
yeah, I think that pretty much sums up my experience. *L*

carrot said:
If you've read my guide and found it lacking in some way, hopefully you will share that criticism with me so I can improve in later revisions.
actually, no, I found it to be fantastic. but if at some point I come across anything thing that might be unclear or improved in some way I'll PM you.


Once again, thanks to everyone for being so very helpful and open with the info. :) You guys on CPF rock!
 

Gunner12

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Fenix Naming Sceme from the welcome mat:

E = AAA powered
P = CR123 powered
PD = essentially improved designs of the P2D and P3D series. Better tailcap knurling, improved tailcap design with better laynard ring, easier to turn head which is also an anti-roll hexagon shape, lower low, medium, and high, smoother talicap switch. Longer runtime on low, medium, and high.
L = AA or AAA powered
LD = essentially improved designs of the L2D. Better tailcap knurling, improved tailcap design with better laynard ring, easier to turn head which is also an anti-roll hexagon shape, lower low, medium, and high, smoother tailcap switch. Longer runtime on low, medium, and high.
T = CR123 powered with a forward clickie, two mode, tighten for high, loosen for low, uses a Cree XR-E Q5 LED (for now; when they add more models, this might change)

0 = 1 AAA powered, for the E series, 1 5mm LED, currently the Nichia CS, all twisties.
01 = 1 AAA powered, E series, multicolor anodizing, 1 5mm Nichia GS. 1 AAA powered LD series. Cree XR-E Q5 and three modes only, medium-low-high. Reflector is also improved and PWM is faster.
1 = 1 battery, for the E series, 1 Nichia Power LED, for the P series, a twistie. For the T series (T1) a 2 stage forward clickie light powered by 2 CR123 or RCR123 batteries with a clip. Uses a Cree XR-E Q5 LED in a textured reflector. Built to have thicker walls then the E and L series lights.
2 = 2 battery powered or for the P series, 1 CR123 with a clickie.
3 = For the P series, 2 CR123 powered.
10 = TK10 or LD10 --- TK10 an "improved" version of the T1 with a removable grip ring, aluminum bezel, and removable clip. Performance is not changed --- LD10 "improved version of the L1D, Look at LD to see what improved over the L1D.
11 = TK11, an "improved" version of the TK10 and T1 with a smooth reflector and the ability to accept 18650 batteries.
20 = T20 or LD20 or PD20 --- a 2 AA powered light similar to the other T series but has a neutral white LED instead of a cool white one. Has a smooth reflector, a rubber sleeve on the body tube for grip, and a removable clip. --- LD20, "improved" version of the L2D has body knurling. Look at LD to see what changes were made over the L2D --- PD20, "improved" version of the P2D, Look at PD to see what changed.
30 = PD30, "improved" version of the P3D, look at PD to see what changed.

+ = Special stainless steel run, a small run prototype that Fenix sold
P = "Premium" Luxeon I, V2.0 means 2 modes, Luxeon
S = Two mode (tighten for high, loosen for low) Luxeon I, Type II andodizing
T = Two mode (tighten for high, loosen for low) Luxeon III, V2.0 means Rebel 80, twice the output
D = Digital, Multimode
CE = Cree XR-E LED, newer and at least twice as efficient as the Luxeon I/III LEDs. For the same power, it puts out twice or more output
Rebel 80/100 = Luxeon Rebel 80/100 used, usually has a warmer tint
No designation = Luxeon I or III

If there is a thing after the CE, that is to designate the Bin of the Cree XR-E LED used. Q5 means it uses the Cree XR-E Q5 LED. No designation after the CE means it uses the P3 or P4, depending on date of manufacturing.

The Civictor V1 is a 1 AA twistie with Type II anodizing. There was a multimode stainless steel model made.

There was a special Titanium version of the L0D made. It was called the L0D Ti. There was also a Christmas version(red type II anodizing with Christmas decorations) called the L0D SE. There is also a Q4 version. There is was also a stainless steel version of the LD01.

I hope that helps with Fenix stuff!

Also check the reviews section and use search! :)
 

nbp

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Beware though, this knowledge you seek will come at a great cost. And by that I mean :broke::broke::broke: :D

As has been well stated, you will never be able to know it all. Find something you think you'll like, buy it, find out what you do/don't like about it, and then make your next purchase (and there WILL be a next purchase) based on that. Maybe you try a different brand, maybe you stick with brand X and get a different model, maybe you buy both and sell one....there will always be another light. Because as soon as you buy a 3 or 5 mode light and think that you're covered for everything, you'll decide what you really need is a light with IBS so you really can have everything in between. :shakehead

Then you'll continue to buy to fill in all the gaps in your collection so you are prepared for EVERY possible (and some impossible) situation. :p

If you try to learn it all, you'll go crazy...just have fun!

Something I like to do is pick one particular brand at a time and try to explore their lineup over the course of hours/days whatever, and then move on to another one. See what you like in each brand, what fits your needs/wants, what makes you warm and fuzzy inside. :whistle: Then you don't have the mish-mosh of info from many brands all clouding up your brain at the same time. Then when you get a few you like in mind, look for the reviews/comparisons here to see which one is really best for you.

I dunno....it's a hobby with endless possibilities, but alot of fun. You found a great place to hang out...hope you stay awhile :welcome:
 

sappyg

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hey Y.T.
the thing i like about this thread is that you did not start by saying "i want xyz for less than $35.00"
another thing that catches me is that you feel like you have opened pandora's box of light. same thing happened to me........
i jump in here about every day and i still find lights that i have never seen before... that's cool!
even through all this mastication you have not once said what you want in a light.... that's cool too!
i wonder if you are looking for high lumin, throw, flood, edc or all of the above. does brand name mean something to you? exactly what about the "specs" are you interested in? i'm thinking you narrow narrow your research to either battery size, output (specs), or name brand. not all 3 at the same time. further refine the search to your intended use.
here is a good "homework asignment"... do a search on:
lunasol20 (top shelf)
Ra Clicky (very cosmopolitan)
novatac (the word)
surefire (the other word)
fenix (every man's flashlight)... word!
if you want something besides a cr123 battery the top 4 brands are out.
that will get you focused on at least where to start.
take 2 e01's and a surefire and plenty of bedrest. you'll feel much better i promise:whistle:
oh... i almost forgot........:welcome:
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Everyone else covered most of your questions in general, so I'll get specific. Surefire is the most expensive brand, but is also the highest quality. Inova lights have their hits and misses on what is a good light. The current X series lights use mostly inefficient K2 emmiters that are outdated except for the X5 which is a great 5 5mm l.e.d. light. Inova's T series lights use newer K2 l.e.d.s that are 2-3 times more efficient. These T series lights are well built and a good alternative to Surefires with more bang for the buck. Inova lights are cheaper and built about as well as Surefire, but can't be upgraded to future l.e.d.s and are difficult to modify.

In the high end Chinese light category, there are too many options to list. Fenix, Olight, and Lumapower make similar products. Fenix has the most efficient circuits and simple to use user interfaces with up to Cree Q5 and R2 l.e.d.s. Olight has some lights with Q5 and R2 emmiters as well and uses a half smooth/half textured reflector for more throw and a smooth beam. Quality for Fenix and Olight is about the same (great). Fenix lights tend to be lighter while Olights are slightly heavier with more heatsinking. Olights specify tint and brightness bins. With my limited experience with Lumapower lights, I wouldn't suggest them. I had a Lumapower Encore arrive DOA. I returned it for another one and it failed after a 2 foot drop. When I sent it back, the Post Office lost it before I could replace it with another light.

Under the headlight category, there is Princeton Tec, Petzl, and Black Diamond. Overall, I think Princeton Tec is the best. Their Apex, EOS, and Quad headlights are all constant current regulated, waterproof, and can use lithium batteries. Petzl uses better plastic than Princeton Tec that doesn't develop cracks after a lot of use. Their Tikka and Zippa lights are built well, but few if any Petzl lights are really waterproof. Petzl lights can't use lithiums and some can't even use rechargeables. I lost much respect for that company after the Myo light incidents and their response to them. Myo headlights were causing sparks on people's heads because of a design flaw that causes the battery cable to wear thin and short out. Apparently, they figured out that the higher internal resistence of alkaline batteries prevents them from causing the short, so they just sent out stickers to headlight owners that said "alkaline batteries only" instead of recalling the lights like they should have done. How can you trust a company that leaves a product that can catch your head on fire in the stores and thinks they can fix it with a sticker? The third company, Black Diamond, cares the most about making a lightweight product, at any cost. That cost is durability. The Spot and Icon headlights are the lightest in their class, but they are by no stretch of the imagination waterproof (even though they claim to be "stormproof") and the plastic that they are made of is too thin and delicate for heavy duty use like backpacking. However, they now use Cree l.e.d.s and are very bright, lightweight, and reasonably priced (the Icon is $20 cheaper than the PT Apex in stores). Neither Petzl or Black Diamond are regulated and they use pulse width modulation for dimming which causes an annoying strobing effect at lower levels. With lithium batteries, Princeton Tec lights are about as light as Black Diamond lights with better runtimes, are the only regulated and waterproof of the three, have the simplest battery changes, and have good build quality.

As far as brightness goes, lumens are the best measurement. Some lights use watts which tells how much power it uses, not how bright it is. Some lights say how many times brighter than it is compared to a 5mm l.e.d. (the first generation of 5mm l.e.d. anyway) or compared to a cheap, regular bulb flashlight. These comparisons are useless. Then you have out the front lumens measured by an integrating sphere vs. emmiter lumens. Surefire, Inova T series lights and few other companies test their lights using an integrating sphere. Newer Princeton Tec lights seem to be accurate with their lumen ratings. If you can't get a light from one of these types of companies, get a light from a company that uses metal reflectors with coated glass lenses. The difference between O.T.F. lumens and emmiter lumens will be less and the rating won't be that far off. I think one of the biggest offenders of overstating lumens is the Petzl Tikka XP. It has a turbo setting that will give you 15 seconds of 40 lumen output if you hold a button down the whole time. The regular high is about 10 lumens. Remember, that lumen ratings are more useful for regulated lights as they don't lose that output within seconds or minutes.

L.e.d. lifetime is one of the most overstated advertised things on l.e.d. flashlight packaging. It's probably one of the major reasons why more people don't use l.e.d. flashlights. They don't know there are different kinds of l.e.d.s or that build quality is a major factor for how long the light will last. Outrageous statements like 100,000 hour lifetime and lasts 150 hours on a set of batteries draw attention away from quality lights with actual l.e.d. lifetimes and battery runtimes listed that are more conservative, but realistic. Don't look for the lifetime of the l.e.d. or the battery runtimes for deciding on a flashlight. They mean nothing and often, the lights with the better numbers are the last ones you'll want to get. Look for runtime to 50% brightness if you can or regulated runtime as these are the current standards. You may have to look at independent reviews of lights online to get this information. For l.e.d. lifetime, Look for the most efficient l.e.d.s as the less heat they produce, the longer they last. Cree XR-E, SSC P4, TFFC K2, Luxeon Rebel are some of the names to look for in a good l.e.d. light. Also, heatsinking is a very important factor in l.e.d. lifetime. Well built l.e.d. lights will have good heatsinking to transfer the damaging heat away from the l.e.d. Cheap, direct drive lights with no heatsinking may only last through a couple sets of batteries before the l.e.d.s failing.
 
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kramer5150

Flashaholic
Joined
Sep 6, 2005
Messages
6,328
Location
Palo Alto, CA
There is an element of risk purchasing a new product within its first ~year of production. The recent Fenix LD01 flickering and newer Nitecore "bugs" are good examples of how it takes the manufacturers time to refine their products.
 

Burgess

Flashaholic
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
6,540
Location
USA
to Y.T. --


Welcome to CandlePowerForums !

:welcome:



Now, i'm gonna' give you the CPF "simplified version" . . . . :)


You simply let us know How Much you wanna' spend --


Then, 'bout a Hundred folks will recommend:


"Spend MORE than that, and just buy a SureFire !"


Then, others will shout out THEIR preferences --


(meanwhile, your Price Limit will have long been forgotten)


Then the REAL arguing, fighting, sniping, and bickering will begin.


Soon, the Forum Moderators will tell us:

"If this keeps up, this thread will be Closed !"



Just watch and see. :whistle:



I agree with all the great advice & links you've received so far.


Lots and Lots to read, and it certainly can be confusing & overwhelming.


Good Luck in your search for the perfect Flashlight(s).

:candle:
_
 
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