Newbie Flashlight Questions

ElectricZombie

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Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
12
Hello. I just found out about the forum yesterday, and have a few questions for you all. I really don't know anything about flashlights at all, so I know some of these questions will sound odd...I'm more of a knife guy, not a flashlight guy. However, I'm looking for a good, extremely bright light that is maybe just a little bit bigger than a AA Maglight...something that is not too big so I can carry it around. I want something that will really perform well, and give a nice focused beam. I just picked up a Brinkman Rebel at the local walmart and it seems to perform pretty well. (All I have to compare with is a photon keychain light, a mini mag and a UK dive light.) I was wondering if the Brinkman Legend LX was anybetter? How does it stack up against more expensive lights? Also, if a flashlight has more LED lights, does that generally mean a brighter beam? Are there any multiple LED lights that are really good? I would like some suggestions for quality lights in this size range that are $50.00 or less...$30.00 or less would be better. Any suggestions would be helpful as I'm clueless as to what to buy. Thanks for taking the time to inform me.
 

Silviron

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 24, 2001
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2,477
Location
New Mexico, USA
If you want really bright and small, I'd recommend a Surefire E-2 - Shorter than a Mini-Mag, just a little bigger around.
 

Darell

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 14, 2001
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Location
LOCO is more like it.
Welcome aboard! The flashlight world is so huge now, that the mind boggles. Many of us can toss our favorites at you all day long, but what would serve you better is to read around the forums to pickup what all is going on. I can't really tell if you're looking for an LED light or an incandescent at this point.

The latest news in the LED world is a new high-power LED called the luxeon star. That single LED is brighter than lights with seven or more "bright" 5mm LEDs. Amazing technology. But for truly penetrating brightness, you still need an incandescent. For my money, the perfect "bright, small, light, focussed-beam" light is the Surefire E2. A bit over your price range, but you pay for "the best." That said, 90% of my lighting chores are done with a $20 Arc AAA single LED light. More useful to me than a Minimag ever was, and the entire light is not much larger than the size of an AAA cell. Certainly smaller than the Mag Solitaire.

Take off your jacket and stay a while. Look around and see what interests you. There is MUCH to learn around here.

** Doh! Took me too long to type. Silviron beat me to it...
 

rlhess

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 27, 2002
Messages
864
Location
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Welcome,

As Darrel said, there are many different lights for different purporses.

In general, for bright light, I'm unhappy with LEDs. I do have two of the brightest Luxeon Star flashlights and they're great, but they don't penetrate. The MiniMag doesn't penetrate that well, too.

The Brinkmann Legend LX is a fine light (I have three--one in each car and one in the kitchen drawer) and its only problem is it's quite big...but a lot of bang for the buck.

The two Luxeon Star flashlights I have are both mods by Lambda Lights (see the User Mods section of the forum). One is the Illuminator which is based on a Brinkmann Legend and the other is the drop in Ill Pill for the Mini Mag.

The Pilled MiniMag came in very handy tonight while the folks at the Audio Engineering Society LA Chapter found the stage light switch so our chair could read his notes introducing the speaker <smile>.

That lives in my shoulder bag and I can grab it real quick, but a SureFire E2e lives in my pocket under my wallet and an Arc LE AAA LED lives on my keychain. These two solve most of my lighting problems.

Each person's use of a light is different. There is more than enough discussion--both current and past--that should give you a feel...and sometimes we even talk technical.

Cheers,

Richard
 

ElectricZombie

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
12
Thanks everyone. Right now I'm kind of leaning towards the Brinkman Legend LX. I think it would fit my needs pretty well. I did a search for it here on the forums and it seemed to get excellent reviews. The $20.00 price tag is another incentive as well. I'll go out and see if I can find one around here tomorrow. Are there any other really good lights in the $20.00-$30.00 range?
 

Darell

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 14, 2001
Messages
18,644
Location
LOCO is more like it.
The $25 UK 2L is a hard one to beat in the bang-for-the-buck department. They make super automobile emergency lights since they're plastic, tough, waterproof and use Li cells.
 

Wits' End

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Messages
2,329
Location
Remote NEast Minnesota, next to Lake Superior
The Stream light Scorpion. The UK2L is waterproof and a little less expensive, but also not as bright (per Brock's tests). The Scorpion comes with an extra bulb on board. There was a thread on those two lights you can search for both and probably come up with several threads. I also recomend Texas Tactical for on-line purchase, good service and best prices that I have found.
 

Bad Influence

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 28, 2002
Messages
74
Location
Omaha, NE
Princeton-Tec Surge. Approx. $30 w/ batteries (8 AA). Runtime's alleged to be 3-4 hours compared to the LX's 50-60 min, it's also brighter than the LX which is brighter than the E2, takes readily available batteries (AA) compared to the E2 or LX (123's) and is advertised waterproof to 500ft. Personally, the Surge is one of my 2 favorite lights alongside a Minimag w/ Opalec Newbeam.

Here's the drawback to the Surge though....

It's somewhat heavy considering it takes *8* AA cells, and it is what most flashaholics would consider "large" or "bulky" although IMO you have to give up a LITTLE carrying convenience for such a bright package that actually has a decent runtime.
grin.gif
 
D

**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
Welcome, you will find these following lights to be standard issue at cpf:

e2/e2e surefire
arc aaa
arc ls/sls

Now, my must have add on is the UKE SL6. I have had mine for awhile now and its miles ahead of the cheap surge. Only 35 dollars at BRIGHTGUY.COM and is the hidden secret of the century.

cheers!
 

BuddTX

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Messages
2,521
Location
Houston, TX
ElectricZombie,

Welcome! You already have some good ideas, and several other people have offered good suggestions, so let me throw my two cents in.

LED lights - It took me a while to get into these lights, and how to use them. The first thing that a person does when getting a new light is to:
1. Look at the bulb
2. See how far the light beam will throw

LED lights do great at impressing a new user for #1, but fail miserably at #2.

HOWEVER, for up close lighting, LED lights are the best! I have a couple of 3 LED lights that are great for using in the 0-10 foot range.

For working at anything within arm's length, these LED lights are actually much better than their incandecent counterpart.

I also have a Lambda Illuminator and an ARC LS Second http://home.mchsi.com/~lambda/lambda.htm
lambda1.jpg

lambda5.jpg


http://www.arcflashlight.com
ls.jpg



These lights are just Awsome at the 10-100 foot range. Better than any incandecent. Bright, even, pure, wide, snow white light, that doesn't get yellow or have any rings or shadows.

For lots of reviews of lights, check out this site: http://ledmuseum.home.att.net/lambda2.htm

Now, for lights that pierce the night!

The "crem de la crem" of incandecent lights is surefire. Expensive, but the best.
lase2.jpg

Two lights that have "SureFire" like qualities, are the Brinkmann Legend LX and the Princeton Tec Surge. Do searches here to read lots and lots of info on these two lights.

While bigger than the SureFire E2 and E2e, the LX has a great beam, and does fit into a pocket, and is a 2, 123a battery light. Some people here have actually said that the LX has a brighter, bigger, better beam than the E2. I can't confirm or deny that. However, I own two LX's and like them a lot.

i515241sq01.jpg


The Princeton Tec Surge is also a great light. I own two of them also! It does take 8AA batteries, and, while very compact, it is still bigger than the LX. Easy to cary, but not something that you would want to put in your pocket.

prisurgeg.jpg


Both of these lights have perfect beams, and pierce the night!

When I go walking at night, with my dog, on the unlit dirt roads in back of my house, I use both the Luxeon Star Lights (Arc and Lambda Illuminator), mounted to my belt using a Nite-ize Lite-Lok, a device that attaches to your belt, and will hold a 2-aa light, and the Brinkmann Legend LX. The LX is in my hand, to spot my dog when she gets into "stuff" several hundred feet away from me! The two type of lights compliment each other, the LED's for "always on" light around me, and the LX, for piercing the night. Neither one is "better" than the other one, just different.
tire.jpg

AAswivel.jpg


Go to: www.brightguy.com
to see lots of lights.
 

ElectricZombie

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
12
What about a Pelican SuperSabre Light? I could also use this for SCUBA so it's very versitile. How does it perform? I have a UK SL4 Sunlight and it performs pretty well.
 

brightnorm

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
7,161
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ElectricZombie:
...I'm looking for a good, extremely bright light that is maybe just a little bit bigger than a AA Maglight...something that is not too big so I can carry it around...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Welcome aboard EZ,

Your requirements of extremely bright light in a very small package can easily be met. However that light won't last very long. The relationship of size, runtime ("burntime") and brightness is limited by current technology. Here's an idea of what is possible:

Very bright and small = relatively short runtime

Fairly bright and small = relatively long runtime

Very bright and "larger" = relatively long runtime

These simple equations can be restatd in different order, for example:

Long runtime and very bright = "larger"
Long runtime and fairly bright: "smaller", etc.

These are very general classifications within which there is considerable variation, but based on your requirements of size, price and brightness I would recommend several lights others have mentioned:

SUREFIRE E2: very small, bright, quite short runtime

SUREFIRE G2: small, bright-very bright, short runtime

LEGEND LX: Fairly small, very bright, short runtime

SCORPION: Small, very bright, short runtime

If you are willing to go for fairly bright and small but with a signicantly longer runtime you could try:

UK 2L: Very small, fairly bright, fairly long runtime

UK Mini Q40: Fairly small, fairly bright, long runtime

TEK 40 Fairly small but cumbersome due to large bezel, fairly long-long runtime

The brightest very small lights have zenon/halogen lamps (bulbs) and are powered by rather expensive 3 volt lithium batteries ($1.50-$3.50 online) The tiny UKE 2L is powered by 2 lithiums even though it is not "very bright", but it has a fairly long runtime.

There is so much more to explain and discuss, but that's all I have to contribute right now. There is an extraordinary range of knowledge here on CPF and a single thread can hardly begin to scratch the surface. You will find us to be a convivial group, light in spirit, ever curious, helpful and generous with our knowledge.

Brightnorm
 

Saaby

Flashaholic
Joined
Jun 17, 2002
Messages
7,447
Location
Utah
Ok I am jumping in now. I am going to ask a question and this will probably answer Zombies question...

Looking for a light that is small...by that I mean pocketable, D-Cell lights need not apply, that is bright/good throw. I mean bright by normal standards
tongue.gif
I don't need a 10 mil searchlight in my pocket. I am willing to trade in some brightness for the ability to use AA batts. This isn't going to be a EDC, so C-Cells could be livable. Beam quality/spread is hardly an issue, this would be used only for things out of the effective range of say, an Arc LS or LED converted Mini Mag. Run time needs to be ok...I don't need it to go for 24 hours but I don't want to be paranoid about batt. life if I am camping or whatever.

I think this is probably about what ElectricZombie is looking for.
 
D

**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ElectricZombie:
What about a Pelican SuperSabre Light? I could also use this for SCUBA so it's very versitile. How does it perform? I have a UK SL4 Sunlight and it performs pretty well.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would say the UK SL-4 is a better flashlight than the Super SabreLite... Most of the Pelican lights are OKAY... but the beams are very focused and do not provide a whole lot of "workable beam" that's just my opinion though...

--erik
 

brightnorm

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
7,161
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Erik:
I would say the UK SL-4 is a better flashlight than the Super SabreLite... Most of the Pelican lights are OKAY... but the beams are very focused and do not provide a whole lot of "workable beam" that's just my opinion though...

--erik
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Based on my experience with the UKE SL4 (Mini Q40) and several Pelican lights I would agree with Erik's assessment.

Brightnorm
 

lemlux

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 27, 2002
Messages
2,366
Location
San Diego
I agree with Eric and Brightnorm about the tight Pelican beams.

Anybody want to buy or trade for my 3C SuperSabre light, my 4AA Stealth, or my 2AAA MiniMighty Lite? You've made me aware that these relatively powerful narrow beam lights are gathering dust in my kitchen.
 

Spork

Enlightened
Joined
May 25, 2001
Messages
594
Location
USA
looks like you just want a good cheap light. if you go with one of the lithium lights you will have to order 123's in bulk to get a reasonable price on them costing you well over 50 dollars. here are my suggestions. you could probly get all 3 of these for under 30 dollars.

Rage - Small and bright, uses 4aaa. this is the closest light I can think of for your description of what you want.

NexStar Bulb for your mini mag

Tec 40- 4aa. probly bigger than what you want but very bright. still smaller than the surge.
 

ElectricZombie

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
12
I just went out and picked up a Pelican Super SabreLight. It seems like a really great light, and the tight, narrow beam was just what I was looking for. I'll have to go test it out later tonight. I'll probably go and pick up something smaller for daily carry a little later. Where is a good place to find belt pouches for smaller flashlights? Thanks guys.
 

pjenkins00

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Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Messages
130
Location
USA
if you're thinking about getting a rage i'd suggest an attitude instead, then you can get the rage module relatively cheap and have either more light or more runtime.

- Pete
 
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