Many lights or just the best?


Would you rather spend your light budget to

  • Just have the best lights.

    Votes: 7 21.9%
  • Have multiple great lights in each category.

    Votes: 8 25.0%
  • Have lots of lights you enjoy.

    Votes: 14 43.8%
  • Have a collection of lights.

    Votes: 3 9.4%

  • Total voters


Well-known member
Jun 27, 2021
Yes to all of the above. My "collection" ranges from a cheap but works well $3 eBay AA zoomie to a 1/2 weeks pay (at the time) Surefire L2 to a rebuilt custom MagLite running 9 AA batteries, polished metal reflector, Pyrex glass lens, new switch & honest to god 1000L light when most were stunned by a 100L 123a light (for the better part of a full weeks pay w/OT). Had to have'em all when I bought'em. Everyone filled a need and/or a want. A couple might have stood out as the "best" at some point in the timeline by one standard or the other (bright, rugged, rare, etc) and all slip a bit farther from cutting edge with every new release. None have left me in the dark but all are just lights to me in the end. And this doesn't touch on the lights I have from before I was born that I can't leave behind at a yard/estate sale for a buck or two.


Well-known member
Jan 17, 2021
Vancouver Island
I don't need the absolute top-shelf, best of the best, custom or exotic stuff. I do need dependable, good quality, and repairable equipment for what I use my lights for, which is primarily work and for safety/emergency/convenience in day-to-day life. I don't want to be the guy with shitty tools who's getting caught with his pants down because his dollar store light craps out or his batteries are dead. So for work I have a Peli m6 with an LF drop in, a Lumens Factory E2 with a Malkoff VME head, and a Mag XL50 Warm, which all get rotated in and out of the work bag. In the car I keep a 2d ML300 Mag, because I like my car light to be big and heavy. It sometimes comes to work with me for night shoots, since I can be fairly confident it won't be accidentally pocketed.
None of these is a fancy light, but they're all dependable, good quality, and use reasonably common batteries. They're not likely to inspire much love from a collector/flashaholic, but they're serviceable by those types and the general public, important if I loan it to a coworker or friend. Also, aside from the ML300 they are all high CRI, which is important to me because I work with lighting and electrical, and need to be able to see colors clearly. I'm also picky about CRI, from working with lighting.

So, good quality, and just enough to fill my modest needs.


Well-known member
CPF Supporter
Dec 20, 2012
Northern New Jersey
I look at flashlights as tools. My Dad advised me years ago: "When buying a tool, buy the best quality that you can afford, and if you take care of it, it will take care of you." When I first joined this site it was to get advice on obtaining a SAR light. LOL, I was going to be a big spender and spend $50 for the light.

Well in the first month here, I spent nearly $1000, for lights, batteries, and chargers. I bought Thrunite/AceBeam and Fenix lights. I needed two sets of floody throwers, and throwers. My son was also joining the SAR team. I got what was pretty much the realistically best at the time.

Once those needs were met, I bought some of the lights enthusiasts were talking about. I stumbled upon the Convoy S2 before there was much talk about it. I loved it. It became popular as it improved to the S2+. I've got maybe a dozen of them. Most of them are still running the XML2 emitter. I like the larger emitter in that it delivers a larger hot spot. I do have a couple of small emitters in a larger reflector, but I gave some away, because I don't have a need for them.

I've never sold a flashlight, and don't think I ever will. They are too functional to give away for pennies on a dollar. Although I am shocked that people will sometimes buy a used light for 10-15% off of the new price. My problem with giving away lights, is that I also have to give away batteries and a charger. I also do not associate with people who appreciate the difference in the finer aspects of a quality light with a neutral emitter.

I still know a number of people who own one of those $12 zoomies that they paid $50 for and think it is the cat's meow. I modded one with a better emitter, and gave it away.

So here I am at the end of the story, and I have some more expensive quality lights that have a specific purpose for a specific task, all the way from thrower to keychain, a bunch of lower cost quality lights (primarily Convoy) that are "generalist" lights, and some cheap crap lights that I hope that I never get so desperate to have to depend on them.

I am happy with having specific task lights, and a bunch of generalist lights.


Well-known member
Dec 7, 2017
My fenix EO1V2.0 gets more use than any other of my lights. The hotspot is too big and perfect for my tastes, but the light sure is practicle and so far dependable.

Knucklegary, I need one of those cat burglars to come and visit me. My wife and I have cats coming out of ours ears now and I don't even like cats.


Jan 1, 2018
To find the best object, you need to try many. (Currently experiencing this with pens)

Then once you've found said object which best fulfills your needs, you need at least one spare.

The inferior (but generally not bad by any means) objects can then be sold or gifted.

It's a pretty classic attitude, but one which I find pretty reasonable. This way, one ends up with various objects but not to an overwhelming degree.
Financially speaking, it's certainly not the most efficient, zo :whistle: But it's part of the fun - and without the many precious reviews written by passionate hobbyists, the losses would be even greater :twothumbs


Well-known member
Mar 24, 2009
Phoenix, Arizona
I kinda fell of the face of the earth so to speak with this thread. Sorry about that all. I really did appritiate all the posts here and enjoyed reading them!
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Active member
Sep 27, 2017
I prefer to own a few high-quality lights rather than a bunch of cheap crap or even multiple lower cost lights that just perform ok. But I do own lights going back to the early 80's - MAG lights, which were considered the best at the time. I also have a few antiques. My current favorite is a Texas Lumens 20700, however, my Sunwayman Tomahawk C20C (18650) probably gets the most use.

My next light will likely be a Fraz Labs Lumenite 21700 or the Tiny Nugget 21700, which is what I consider to be a quality light, though I've never handled one.

I have no interest in spending $500.00 or more for a light.
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Well-known member
Jun 25, 2021
I honestly can’t imagine why anyone would need more than one of the best light they could afford in each category.

I have a Fenix E12 v2.0 as my EDC flashlight, in my handbag, and I have a Fenix HM23 headlamp for backpacking/camping. Both of these I chose because they are single AA devices, and weight and size are primary concerns, as is battery availability. I also need them to use primary cells, because they are not used very often. Lithium AAs are perfect for this application.

I have a Fenix PD36 TAC that is my bicycle headlamp/personal defense flashlight. This one gets used frequently enough that I am OK with using a rechargable Li-ion 21700 cell. I plan on getting a backup battery and a charging crade that can be used to turn the backup battery into a backup cell phone charger.

I am considering a Fenix E20 v2.0 for my house and/or car, because those would be my least-used flashlights, and would need to have lithium primary cell capability, in common sizes, as well.

TBPH, I don’t really need a dedicated flashlight for the house or for the car, because I don’t go anywhere without my EDC, and so the E12 is always at hand, and if I am home, then the PD36 TAC is with me, as well. If I am going somewhere without my bicycle that I think I might want a tactical light, I can bring the PD36 TAC with me.

I don’t need multiples of any of these, because I live alone, and they all back each other up.

Any other lights I own are only hanging around because they still work, even if I’ve replaced them. Like the Inova X1 that is sitting on my nightstand, only because it’s easier to grab that one than pull the E12 out of the pouch in my handbag, even though both are within arm’s reach. I suppose I could leave the X1 at my office, where I currently have stashed a Chinese novelty LED light my late stepfather gave me as a gift a few years ago. I think that runs on LR44s or something goofy like that. I’ve never opened it up to check.