new here with intro and light recommendation

jbh5277

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
7
hey guys, i was told this was the best flashlight place on the net. though not new to flashlights(as i have many) just looking for other lights to break the cycle of buying streamlights from the tool dealer(only carries streamlight). i'm a mechanic for a large trucking company and use a light quite often and more often than not it's only for a few minutes. they also get dropped, slid on the floor, various fluids spilt on them, and very rarely ran over by a truck. so i really need a tough light. heck maybe even a couple one for work', one to keep in my pocket, and maybe one for the car. been looking at several brands but mainly fenix other brands welcome. i have filled out the recommendation check list for an idea of what i'm looking for. thanks in advance Adam.


1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?
____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! :)

$50-100 ish per


3) Format:
I want a flashlight.



4) Flashlight-specific format/size:
Every day carry medium (4-7 inches).



5) Emitter/Light source:
LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)



6) Manufacturer:
I would consider getting a light that is pieced together (for example a "host" or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a "drop-in" emitter from another source). Under the right circumstances, this path can provide more options to the consumer to meet specific needs, and can often be easily upgradeable as technology improves.


7) What battery type do you want to use?
cr123, AA or 18650

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).

edc - 100-200
work - 150ish
car - sky's the limit but around 3-400 max
adjustable brightness is a plus on all


9) Throw vs. Flood: At what distance will you be most likely to use this light? Select all that apply.
really all apply
____Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
____Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
____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)


10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum output).
90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)


11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase "you get what you pay for" is very accurate for flashlights.
Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).



12) Switch Type and location (choose all that apply):
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).
I don't care.



13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.
I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)



14)Material/Finish/Coating
Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today's flashlights).



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

DM51

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Messages
13,338
Location
Borg cube #51
Re: new here with intro and light recomendation

Welcome to CPF, jbh5277 :)

As you are looking for a LED Flashlight, I'll move your thread to that section for you.
 

jbh5277

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
7
thank you sir, still learning the layout of the forum. i'll pay a little more attention next time.
 

DM51

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Messages
13,338
Location
Borg cube #51
Please don't worry - it is a big forum, and takes some getting used to. You'll soon get the hang of it.
 

Outdoorsman5

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
1,310
Location
North GA Mountains
For EDC and/or Work check out:
Quarks - ClickHere ........I like the Quark AA and the Quark AA2
Fenix lights - ClickHere ......I like the Fenix LD10 and the LD20
Zebralights - ClickHere ..........I like the SC60w (one 18650), the SC51w (one AA), and the SC30w (one cr123)

For Your Car and/or for Work check out:
Lumintop TD-15X (580 lumens on one 18650 and 720 lumens on 2 18650s...can also use cr123 batteries) - ClickHere
Fenix TK21 (449 ANSI lumens on 1 18650 or 2 cr123) - ClickHere
 
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jbh5277

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
7
thanks for the reply. i've been looking at the fenix ld and lx series for a while now and really like the looks of them. as i'm fairly new to flashlights besides streamlight i've never heard of lumintop or zebralights. what's the quality like on those? I'll definitely be looking into them.
 

Outdoorsman5

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
1,310
Location
North GA Mountains
Lumintop is a relatively new brand, so there's not a long enough history to quote from. Looks like really good quality though, and this brand has quickly become a CPF favorite (among many other brands.)

Fenix lights are great, and I own many. I like quarks better though, but both brands have lots of similarities.

Zebralights have been around for a few years, and have had their issues just as most other brands have. It looks like though that their new "SC" series has been their most successful line of lights yet. I have heard of folks having to return some lights, but I find this to be true of most brands. The zebralights have IMO the best UI of any of the lights available which is why they are a CPF favorite. I have 4 of em, and just love em. The UI works like this on all of their lights --- a quick click = high, a double click = medium, and a slow click = low....all instant and one handed. Also, once the light is on there is a sub-level in each mode. For instance when the light is in high, if you double click it then there is a lower high that can be set (the light will remember which setting you left it on.) Same is true of the medium & low....there is a lower level for the medium & a lower level for the low. This UI allows you to almost instantly access all levels without cycling through a bunch of levels.

The only issue that I (and many others) have with the zebralights is that they get accidentally switched on in your pocket way too easily forcing you to carry the light in the "locked out" position. You lock the light out by slightly twisting the tail (maybe an 1/8 or even a 1/16 of a turn.) Not that big of a deal to some, but does mean the light is not instantly ready to be used when you pull it out of your pocket. Because of this, I sadly no longer "EDC" any of the zebralights, but still love em & use em a lot around the house & camping.

My EDC light now is the Quark AA (regular UI, R5 LED, tactical tail switch, deep carry pocket clip, & run it on a rechargeable Li-ion 14500.....producing 200 lumens!) It never gets accidently turned on in my pocket so is always ready to go. It has 5 output levels which are great & very useful, but you do have to cycle through all the settings (including the blinky modes.) I like it because it is a one handed operation, and does not need to be carried in the locked out position. Not perfect, but I just can't find anything else that I like better. Quark does make another UI called the "tactical" UI. I don't like it though (but many do) because there are only 2 output settings (head tight & head loose.) You program both settings which is very cool, but I tend to use more than 2 settings pretty frequently.

I used to EDC the zebralight SC60 (270 lumens on a single 18650 Li-ion,) and then the SC51 (200 lumens on a single eneloop AA!!,) and sometimes the SC30 (193 lumens on a single CR123 or a single RCR123 Li-ion.) All are great & all have their advantages & disadvantages.

If you pick any of these, you will be happy, and there are many other brands not mentioned that are great too. Good luck.
 

mrlysle

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
649
Location
West Virginia
jbh5277, first, :welcome:Since you're a "wrench", you know the advantages of haveing both hands free, AND light on your work area. You've got some excellent suggestions so far and I heartily agree with them all. That being said, you should SERIOUSLY consider getting yourself a "nice" headlamp if you don't already have one. Zebralights, as outdoorsman mentioned, have a huge following here on CPF, and they make some really nice models that are designed as headlamps, but will also function nicely as a handheld. Some guys love that you can clip one in your jacket/shirt pocket and have lots of "forward facing" light at your disposal. They also come with a headband that you can use if you like that setup. Lots of other nice models of headlamps as well, from other manufacturers, but like I said, the Zebralights can serve as a really nice handheld when not needed as a headlamp. Just my 2 cents, but something you might want to look at. Get yourself a nice flashlight and a nice headlamp. You'll always be happy! Good luck in your search!
 

Outdoorsman5

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
1,310
Location
North GA Mountains
jbh5277, first, :welcome:Since you're a "wrench", you know the advantages of haveing both hands free, AND light on your work area. You've got some excellent suggestions so far and I heartily agree with them all. That being said, you should SERIOUSLY consider getting yourself a "nice" headlamp if you don't already have one. Zebralights, as outdoorsman mentioned, have a huge following here on CPF, and they make some really nice models that are designed as headlamps, but will also function nicely as a handheld. Some guys love that you can clip one in your jacket/shirt pocket and have lots of "forward facing" light at your disposal. They also come with a headband that you can use if you like that setup. Lots of other nice models of headlamps as well, from other manufacturers, but like I said, the Zebralights can serve as a really nice handheld when not needed as a headlamp. Just my 2 cents, but something you might want to look at. Get yourself a nice flashlight and a nice headlamp. You'll always be happy! Good luck in your search!

Good advice mrlysle. I have the H51 (that has a reflector) & love it, but I use it mostly for running before the sun comes up....so I need the reflector to see further away. The zebralight headlamps that seem to be "the top pick" among CPFers is the "H501 AA Flood" or the neutral color version called the "H501w AA Flood." These two lights have NO reflector. They generate pure flood for lighting up everything right in front of you, and are perfect for close up tasks. If you use a light with a reflector then the hotspot can be blinding for close up work. A pure flood is much nicer for up close. Check em out - ClickHere
 
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sawlight

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
Messages
617
From spending time as a mechanic for several years myself, sometimes a headlamp wont get into the area you need it to, or light up the wire you need it to that's hidden behind this bracket, or that lever.
I will offer up two recommendations I think you should look into:
For work, a FourSevens Preon: http://www.4sevens.com/index.php?cPath=297_332 three levels, small so it will fit into your shirt pocket with your screwdriver and magnet and be easy to access and use, just a little bigger than a pen. Blows a mini mag away and is about the same size as a Streamlight stylus AAA, but much brighter and levels to choose from.

For EDC: I would watch the CPFMarketplace, linked from here, and look for a used HDS or RA EDC clicky to show up. These can vary from 40-200 lumens now, give you four output choices, that are programmable from .02 lumen to max with SOS and strobe thrown in if you want them. With people wanting to buy the new round of lights coming out, there are a lot of good buys to be had if you watch and catch them. I picked up my dream, a high CRI clicky (100 lumens max) for a little over $100 with some patience. Nice pocket size, lots of output, lots of options and they are upgradeable as new emitters come out.

I wish I knew now back when I was dumping money on mag AAA's, and bulbs, when I was turning wrenches!
 

jbh5277

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
7
well i have thought of a headlight but most of the time the places i have to stick my head under the hood or up under the truck, on top of the trans, places like that they just get in the way. and for most other things i have a snap-on hand-held light bright enough for most anything(200 rated lumens). i was also looking at the luminox led upgrade for my super stinger and taking it to work but just not that sure. my snap-on dealer always has lights from inova, sunlight, and coast. i have an inova uv light for a/c leaks.
 

Sparky's Magic

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 8, 2010
Messages
545
Location
Queensland, Australia
For EDC and/or Work check out:
Quarks - ClickHere ........I like the Quark AA and the Quark AA2
Fenix lights - ClickHere ......I like the Fenix LD10 and the LD20
Zebralights - ClickHere ..........I like the SC60w (one 18650), the SC51w (one AA), and the SC30w (one cr123)

For Your Car and/or for Work check out:
Lumintop TD-15X (580 lumens on one 18650 and 720 lumens on 2 18650s...can also use cr123 batteries) - ClickHere
Fenix TK21 (449 ANSI lumens on 1 18650 or 2 cr123) - ClickHere

+1 the ZebraLight SC60W. I have 'lights that cost 3 times what the Z/L did (US $79.00 landed in Australia) and I like it more. This great 'light would not disappoint even the most fastidious of buyers: Mine is perfect!

The SC30W. is a great little performer too & so small. The W. tint is, for me, the way to go; It is on the warm side of neutral and is pretty much identical to Malkoffs W. tint, to my old eyes anyway. Very attractive!
 
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