Wurkkos

My first LED flashlight!

Celest

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Sep 9, 2020
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New Mexico, USA
I remember like it was yesterday. As a kid I was kinda tired of store bought flashlights either being of low quality and suffering from switch failures or the ridiculous amount of heat and short lifespan (not to mention garbage battery life) provided by incandescent flashlights. I spotted this wonderful LEFEL brand light in the "E-Mart" supermarket in either late 2009 or early 2010 when I was living temporarily in South Korea. My dad had been against getting me another cheap incandescent light cause it was a waste of money, but when he saw this he got it for me instantly. At that time, it totally blew my 10 year old mind that I could have a flashlight that I didn't have to worry about blowing the bulb on or anything. I still use it to this day but mainly during power outages or the ocassion quick powerup for nostalgia purposes since the 4R25 lantern batteries this thing takes cost way too much and ,if I used it like some of my other lights that use NiMh AA or non-removable li-ion batteries, I would be going through $12+ worth of batteries each day which is unacceptable for my current financial situation (how to explain to my family if I were to drain my bank account on flashlight batteries, lol).

Here are some pics:



 

chillinn

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Jul 19, 2014
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1,475
Re: My first LED flashlight

I remember like it was yesterday. As a kid I was kinda tired of store bought flashlights either being of low quality and suffering from switch failures or the ridiculous amount of heat and short lifespan (not to mention garbage battery life) provided by incandescent flashlights.

Except for the heat, the rest of those complaints (to be valid) are only true of low quality or very cheap incandescent flashlights and crummy low capacity alkaline cells, though we were bombarded by these in childhood because they were all that were available to us. Congratulations on your first LED, but don't make the handwaving mistake (fallacy of infinite ignorance) of dismissing incan altogether.

LED flashlights can be decent and inexpensive, because they have less expensive components. I loved my first LED also, until I acquired a decent incan, then I realized what I won't say. I encourage you to indulge yourself in LED, research, collect and compare, and discover yourself their shortcomings, in the light they produce and some of their drivers. And then take a look at the incan section of the forums here, especially bookmark and save this thread for browsing later (though it also includes LED lights), maybe in a year or two. E isn't the only decent incan platform, P, C & M series are also worthy in incan and LED. And there are also incan Mag mod threads that have a lower price point for lovely lumens, some easy mods (like getting 20Lm from an incan Solitaire), some require help and components from gracious sellers here like fivemega and/or Marc from Lumensfactory. I promise you will not be disappointed. But always hang on to your LED flashlights (unless they cause literal pain).

LED are also great, and most might agree it depends on the task which may be better. But not everyone, always. I was an LED fanatic. Then I dabbled in incan, and then I was an incan purist. I am currently preparing my Li-ion for storage because I found a really exceptional LED that uses ordinary AA that I plan to use exclusively for awhile. But it would take something extraordinary for me to give up my Surefire incans altogether... and I will keep at least one or two of them ready to go while I store the rest for safe keeping.

But I am boring you about incan and stealing thunder...

:welcome: Also, welcome to the best forum on the Internets.
 
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Celest

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New Mexico, USA
Re: My first LED flashlight

Oh I am not dismissing incan as a whole. I had those crappy supermarket special low end incan lights that sucked big time. The thing about LED lights is that you have truly guilt-free lumens when you use rechargeable batteries. I do like the warm,nostalgic and mystic cozy glow of incan lights so I will definitely look into that when I have some time and money to throw and after I fully take advantage of the LED rabbit hole. And I have to admit that the cheap supermarket LED lights which is what I anyway use (just different quality levels and lumen outputs, ranging up to 200 lumens) are so much better now thanks to technological improvements over the past decade and let me indulge in LED heaven for cheap.
 

chillinn

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Re: My first LED flashlight

...to throw...

Right there you inadvertently nailed one of the differences... but I don't want to ruin the discovery for you. To throw... and to spot, and to spill, or to flood? That is a question.
 

Celest

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Location
New Mexico, USA
Re: My first LED flashlight

I meant spend/invest... But currently with everything going on and the current pandemic and faltering economy, spending money on more flashlights that I don't necessarily need right now would not be the best financial decision. But I agree it is not a waste of money at all and I never intended to mean waste even though it sounds like that.
:crackup:
 

chillinn

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Re: My first LED flashlight

It generally is more expensive to run incan, and more dangerous, but there are budget options in Mag. Don't need to explain yourself! But your choice is wise, if you must know. Not all of us have that restraint. Maybe not many of us. Definitely not me.
Enjoy your lumens!

Let me add... got my first flashlight as an adult in 2014, 2x Maratac AAA, one black anodized aluminum, one solid copper. I ran those things down to the blinking death of my first rechargeable cells every night for months. I never thought I would need or want another flashlight. When I first came to CPF, the very first suggestion made to me was where I ended up... "incan E," they said, right away, within my first few posts this was suggested and recommended... but I looked at the prices and scoffed. I don't have a lot of income, kind of pathetic really. But somehow I have at least 2 grand of incan E. I can get most of that back out of it if I really needed to. They cost what they cost And that is a measly collection compared to most others here. I have one Leef host in M3, 1000Lm of incan thanks to fivemega and the guy that sold me the Leef (embarrassing I can't recall his screen name). You could not pry them away from me.

But like I said... just found a worthy AA LED that nails all the wants. AA, firefly modes and bright modes, regulated for constant brightness, high CRI, tailstands... and it doesn't give me a migraine. Just carrying it is not enough... gotta use it all night long. Don't want to abuse my Li-ion cells any more than I have by letting them sit fully charged, so they're discharged and prepped for storage. I'll get back to them.

So I'm using AA and LED for the foreseeable future by a happy choice. And there is absolutely nothing wrong staying within a budget, more so, it is BEST to do that. What I am doing to myself lately that has swallowed the whole budget is buying this same flashlight over and over to gift to friends. I like it that much. Zebralight SC5c Not cheap, but worth it. There are a lot of theads for budget lights. I'd go Coast HP1 or HX5, and Thrunite AAA... if I only had $20 and also needed a sandwich.

edit1: btw that light you have there is kind of sick. Well done.

edit2: I was reading a thread about that platform not long ago, trying to dig up links for you.

edit3: Can't find the thread I was thinking of, but, undoubtedly, this is the subforum you want. 6V lantern stuff goes there, believe it or not.
 
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bykfixer

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1/2 mile past Yonder
Re: My first LED flashlight

Very cool celest.

I remember the grocery store numbers. We used to call them "wack-a-palm" lights because if you whacked it against your palm it would get brighter. After 5 whacks if it didn't get brighter you knew your batteries were drained.
 

xxo

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Apr 30, 2015
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2,344
Re: My first LED flashlight

It seemed like everyone had a 6V lantern back in the pre-Maglite days....they had pretty good throw and there was no need to smack them around to get them to light up though the batteries were expensive. I had one like this:

SuXmPWu.jpg


I also have a few of the LED variety though I usually run them on NiMH D cells in 4D to 6 Volt adapters:

KTgmOSx.jpg
 

MauriceM

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Sep 10, 2020
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Hi, I bought my first flashlight 3 years ago, and I still use it several times per month for my job :

lampe-torche-de-police-1.jpg
 

325addict

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The Netherlands, Amstelveen
Whoow, most LED lights nowadays are small... this is a huge one :)
My first LED-light was a Fenix P1D. Very bright for such a small light but... I took it out into the woods and.... oops! That TINT of it made me believe I was just put in a black/white world... which put me back to GOOD incan lights like the Surefire C3 Centurion, which I learned to know thanks to CPF. I also learned about guilt free lumens using 17500 li-ion cells... and that was it! I NEVER got back to LED-lights. I have a SF E1e as an EDC light and quite a collection of brighter incans, I thank Fivemega and Mark from Lumens Factory for keeping incans alive!
 

pnwoutdoors

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Location
USA
When I was growing up, the "good" flashlights were the larger 6V (or even 12V) cannister flashlights. Ray-O-Vac, Delta, even Coleman (I think). Today, 2x 18650 3400mAh is more than 7V and can deliver 10x the amount of light. Amazing, how things have changed.

Favorite choice, these days: Malkoff M61W P60 LED drop-in, Panasonic 18650 3400mAh cells, SolarForce tube. With a small packet of spare batteries, it can last days. Can't imagine how heavy the day pack would have been to carry spare one-time-use 6V cells for the old Ray-O-Vac back in the '60s.


Speaking of old flashlights: Lantern Flashlights @ FlashlightMuseum.com.
 
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LogansRun

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Dec 18, 2018
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Location
Canada
Great story Celest! That LED light is HUGE! I can't believe they made one with those gigantic batteries. I remember having a really cheap incandescent light in that size and using those types of large batteries. When the battery in my light died, my dad just threw out the light as, you're right, those batteries were expensive!

So... question is... how is your light collection these days? Was that the first light that brought you down the rabbit hole of Flashoholic's? :candle::D
 

Lynx_Arc

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Tulsa,OK
I still have a 6V incan lantern (Rayovac) that sports a 4xD cell adapter. I got a warm white 6v LED dropin bulb but the polarity was reverse of what the light was set up for so I took all the batteries and turned them upside down in the adapter and it works. The batteries were used enough that the incan bulb was no longer bright but with the dropin the light is bright enough now. I figure when the batteries die on it I will either mode it to use 18650s and high power LEDs or toss it as I'm not going to feed anything D cells any more.
 

Cavannus

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Dec 16, 2005
Messages
101
Location
Montréal, Canada
Here's mine: a Petzl Tikka from 2001. That was my urban exploration gear, and this 20 lumen blue light was something never seen underground back in the days.
My Maglite later had a Luxeon I drop-in.

40155


now all those sickly blue 5mm leds can be upgraded to high cri.
if you have used these early lights a lot they have faded significantly anyway.
pick your color temp.
all are 90+ cri.
https://budgetlightforum.com/node/69056
Seriously, I would NOT recommend doing so! The oldest led flashlights are witnesses of the early times of led lighting, and those 5mm leds carry a real charm.
Upgrading the leds of a vintage flashlight (let's say from 1999-2001 or 2003 if it's one of the first Luxeon I or V) is like recycling a 1940's fluorescence tube that uses beryllium powder and has a very unique tint.
 
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snakebite

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dayton oh
many of the early 5mm are pure trash unless nichias.
its not like hacking up a 1898 eveready.
its about improving the light to ensure usability rather than it taking up space in a junk drawer to ultimately get tossed someday.
these things will crumble from plastic rot long before they are appreciated as collectibles.
few are actually well regarded anyway.
the arc,peak,and that oddball headlamp with 24 5mm are exceptions.
and yes i have a few beryllium tubes here.
safely stored as they are not only too short lived to run but highly toxic if broken.
 

Cavannus

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Dec 16, 2005
Messages
101
Location
Montréal, Canada
many of the early 5mm are pure trash unless nichias.
its not like hacking up a 1898 eveready.
its about improving the light to ensure usability rather than it taking up space in a junk drawer to ultimately get tossed someday.
these things will crumble from plastic rot long before they are appreciated as collectibles.
few are actually well regarded anyway.
the arc,peak,and that oddball headlamp with 24 5mm are exceptions.
and yes i have a few beryllium tubes here.
safely stored as they are not only too short lived to run but highly toxic if broken.
I remember these "pure trash" 5mm leds, but I had in mind the early days of led flashlights (1999-2001).
My ActionLight is collectible but I got a 'like new' first gen Tikka as well because I remember the little revolution this light brought in 2001 in the cavers' & hikers' communities in my place.


For the rest, I agree with you, cheap lights that came later have little interest in lighting history.
But I still believe that some deserve to be kept as is, even if they're cheap, just for the owner's own memories. If the owner has no special attachment, yes they can upgrade and get a descent high-CRI light with the pleasure of doing the conversion themselves.


My own beryllium tubes are well protected too, with an alert written on the box for other people who might need to move my stuff :caution:
 
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