Noob needs flashlight (help please!)

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**DONOTDELETE**

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This is my first post on this board and I'd like to start off on the right foot. My first impression was WOW.
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You guys are really into this stuff! I dabble in appropriate technology and I just generally like out of the box sortof stuff, and I also enjoy engineering and other neat things. I know I'm no electrical engineer but I've been doing my best to learn the lingo on the board in the past couple hours or research.
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I'd like something with the followng features:
1.First and foremost quality. Nice solid construction and good componentry and design. Cosmetics are a plus but not required.
2.Must use white LEDs. I do some electrical stuff and I can't tell you how many times I've been stuck guessing at wire colors whilst using my amber LED'd light. (my startronics one).
3.Nice evenly dispersed light is a plus, and I also like a fairly focused beam for longer range "spotting".
4.Effieicncy is a plus. I'd like to have 4+ hours of runtime on a given "set" of batteries.

The two main flashlights I was interested in were the ARC AAA and the Turtlelite flashlights. I'd like something pretty powerful, enough to see by when taking a walk through the woods in the middle of the night or something like that. I don't know if I want C batteries, D, or AA or AAA, but either way I want decent power, medium size, and something well built and will last for years of abuse.

Is there anything like a C-celled ARC AAA light?

Thanks for the help in advance.
-Greg
 

geepondy

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by greg:

I'd like something with the followng features:
1.First and foremost quality. Nice solid construction and good componentry and design. Cosmetics are a plus but not required.
2.Must use white LEDs. I do some electrical stuff and I can't tell you how many times I've been stuck guessing at wire colors whilst using my amber LED'd light. (my startronics one).
3.Nice evenly dispersed light is a plus, and I also like a fairly focused beam for longer range "spotting".
4.Effieicncy is a plus. I'd like to have 4+ hours of runtime on a given "set" of batteries.

Is there anything like a C-celled ARC AAA light?

Thanks for the help in advance.
-Greg
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

While good lights in their own right the Arc AAA and Turtlelite II at one and two leds respectively are not very powerful. By their design characteristics, none of the white nichia LEDs "spot" or throw very well, but they produce a wide even beam that's very good for near area work.

If more readily available, I would recommend the Arc LS with the Luxeon LED. It has a decent beam that is more focused and throws better but still provides fairly decent close up light. It's light output is the equivalent to many LED nichia lights. Mine is now my favorite LED light. For C cell lights, you could consider the 7 LED Lightwave 3000 or one of the Trek 7, 14 or 19 LED lights. The Lightwave 3000 will be the cheapest of the bunch and uses a regular push button switch. All will provide more then four hours of light for a given set of batteries.
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
Great advice thus far. I really appreciate the help.

I'd like something with pretty good "oomph" and can throw light well, while still being medium size to large size, under 2.3 pounds loaded, preferably, and is quality of course.

I'd basically like the equivalent of a mag-lite 4-cell C light, only with LEDs. The maglites are nice. I like their lights, but I also like LED's because of cooler operation, longer battery life, slightly more "moderate" brightness levels, and shock "immunity".

Dan,
I'd love to see your light, it sounds neat! I think I may want something which could "throw" light a little more (I'd be using it from a range of about 10-100 feet).

Thanks a million guys!
-Greg

PS- I always loved the looks of the surefire E2 flashlight. I like compact power tactical-type lights with a nice anno job and good construction (I emphasize quality
smile.gif
)
 

geepondy

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by greg:
I'd basically like the equivalent of a mag-lite 4-cell C light, only with LEDs.
smile.gif
)
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sizewise or lightoutputwise? I don't believe you will find any LED light that produces the amount of life that a mag 4C can. The immediate future is in the luxeon LEDs but not there yet.
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
Size-"wize" and construction-"wize". It's okay if it's a bit dimmer, as I feel mag-lights are sometimes too bright (if that's possible), but the quality and size has to be there.
I dunno if any LED lights out there do this, but could I get an adjustable beam with that?
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Spork

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you can get the turtle 1 at walmart labeled as a dory led light or something like that. The turtle 2 is ok but costs way to much and you can get much better for that price. I have a lightwave 4000 for the flashlight I use around the home. Its much more useful than a 3cell maglite up close and shines very far for leds but the mag shines a lot further if focused to its tiny spot. you could also check out the princeton tec attitude, it really beats up the arc aaa or turtle 2 on light output. tts has them for a reasonable price.
 

Sean

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by greg:
I'd basically like the equivalent of a mag-lite 4-cell C light, only with LEDs.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nothing like that exists today (yet). Maybe in a year or so. There are brighter LED's being designed right now.

If you focus a Maglite to it's tightest focus, it will throw farther than any LED light made. Why? LEDs light output is diffused and not adjustable, so you can't have it both ways. (close up light and long throw) The brightest LED made (Luxeon star) is 17 lumens, the SureFire E2 is 60 lumens!

So to get what you want right now you must do what we do. Carry 2 lights: 1 LED & 1 Incandescent. Since you mentioned high quality I highly recommend the SureFire E2. 60 Lumens of light, 75 min run time, very compact, uses 2 123A lithium batteries that can be purchased online for about $2 apiece, and there is a low power bulb coming out for it. 25 lumens (about the brightness of "C" size maglite) with 150 min runtime. AND Surefire is suppose to release (hopefully soon) a regulated Luxeon (15 lumen) LED bezel replacement for the E2. So basically this one flashlight would give you all the options you are looking for.

What I do is carry the E2 for the times I need very bright light. And I carry the Inova X5 5-LED flashlight. It uses the same batteries as the E2, its the same size as the E2 and is the brightest LED light for its size (except for the Luxeon LED). Its inexpensive ~$37 shipped. It gives you ~5 hours of bright light, then begins to get dimmer and dimmer but continues to work for another 8-10 hours before going dead. It's a great light for close up work (up to 20' or so) but also works great outside (just not nearly as good as the E2).

A breakdown of LED lights would go like this in order of brightness:

1. Tektite Expedition 19 19 LEDs 15-20 hours bright light, 3-C cell ~$110

2. Tektite Expedition 14 14 LEDs 20+ hours bright light, 3-C cell ~$90

3. Lightwave 4000 10 LEDs LONGEST run time (many days continuous) 3-D cell $45-50

4. Lightwave 3000 7 LED's VERY LONG run time (many days continuous) 3-C cell $40-45

5. Inova X5 5-LEDs ~4-6 hours bright with 8-10 additional hours with noticeably dimming light output. 2 123 cells. Price <$40.

6. Tektite Expedition 7 7 LEDs 40 hours bright light, 3-C cell ~$50

7. Nightbuster 8X ?? runtime, 3 AA batteries ~$40-$50?


For more see: Brock's LED page

For reviews see: LED Museum & theLIGHTsite
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
I'm thinking I may build my own light...

I'd like to start off with a maglite body, then stick in a good LED array in place of the bulb which comes stock..

However, I'd also like to check out these other lights you fine people are talking about. I'd like one which is fairly mainstream and I could get replacement parts for if anything broke. Something from a reputable company...

The lightwave 4000 looks alright. What kind of leds does it use? I really don't like the plastic casing though...

I'm trying to stick to C-cell batteries if I can. Chances are I will get a larger light for main use, and a smaller ARC AAA light for upclose things.

The Teklite TREK 19 looks like a very good flashlight. I'm basically looking for something EXACTLY like that, 3 or 4 C-cells, same general size and shape, nice and bright, only can I get it in aluminum casing? I really really like the waterproofness. I sometimes use my lights for diving at night in 0-20 foot depths.

Thanks a lot guys!
-greg
 

Sean

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by greg:
I'm thinking I may build my own light...

I'd like to start off with a maglite body, then stick in a good LED array in place of the bulb which comes stock..

However, I'd also like to check out these other lights you fine people are talking about. I'd like one which is fairly mainstream and I could get replacement parts for if anything broke. Something from a reputable company...

The lightwave 4000 looks alright. What kind of leds does it use? I really don't like the plastic casing though...

I'm trying to stick to C-cell batteries if I can. Chances are I will get a larger light for main use, and a smaller ARC AAA light for upclose things.

The Teklite TREK 19 looks like a very good flashlight. I'm basically looking for something EXACTLY like that, 3 or 4 C-cells, same general size and shape, nice and bright, only can I get it in aluminum casing? I really really like the waterproofness. I sometimes use my lights for diving at night in 0-20 foot depths.

Thanks a lot guys!
-greg
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Follow some of the links I put in my last post.
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The CCexpedition lights are not aluminum but are/were used by navy divers. Very good light but can get expensive.

The X5 & nightbuster lights are aluminum but not C cell.
 

Sean

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The ARC LS is about the size of a minimag lite with 2 AA batteries. It uses 1 Luxeon Star LED is is about the brightness of the Trek 14 leaving only the the Trek 19 as a brighter LED light. The ARC LS also produces a beam with less blue tint in it, as most white LEDs have a noticeable amount of blue in them.

See the ARC LS
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
jeez. What a fix I'm in.
Okay. I that case, I've got three lights. I intend to get an ARC AAA for small closeup operations, my 3-led startronics solar light for general beating around, and the other undecided flashlight for larger operations altogether. My startronics light lasts about 3 solid hours on a charge, and declines for the next 3 hours till it's about useless. It's fairly bright, but not the kind of bright where I'd want to bring it with me through the woods at 1am if you know what I mean...

I'd like something pretty bright, and it's okay if it's got a slightly blue tint.

I'd like to stick to C or D cells, only. No 123's or anything. I'd like something I could pick up almost anywhere.

Which do you think is "better"?
The teklites, or the lightwaves? I'm pretty sure I'll get one of those.

thanks a lot guys, I really do appreciate the help.
-Greg
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

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That aluminum arcLS is gorgeous.... but I really don't want or need another AA/AAA flashlight. Is there a C/D cell just like it?
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
Well, I'm really avoiding "weird" cells like the A123 whatevers and the "N" cells like the plague because they aren't really common. If my power source isn't something as universal as the sun (in the case of my solar one), I'd like to have a power source as universal as possible.

I'm really thinking my best bet would be to go with a teklite or a lightwave light, but I'm still keeping my options open. I really don't think that a AA/AAA light will give me the power and duration I need, using this light as a "main" light with the higher output and longer duration.
 

Chris M.

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The CCexpedition lights are not aluminum

Actually there are aluminum versions. Or there will be- I havn`t really been keeping up with Tektite`s stuff lately (too busy writing their reviews at last! Feb 20th. Sorry for the wait Scott!)....hold on let`s go take a look....yep, here- http://tek-tite.com/LED_Light/led_light.html They`re real spendy though, The Exp1900 in aluminum is $175
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Looks good though.


I do like the LW4000. Don`t worry about the plastic body- it`s extremely tough. It`s nice and bright, the rubber parts are very grippy, it`ll burn for a month on 3 Ds and the push on/off switch is real nice. The turn-head action of Tektite`s lights can get a bit stiff- you need 2 hands. Not that I don`t like`em too- they`re great lights, survive just about anything you can throw them at. The LW4000 with its larger mass, may be more prone to damage if it gets dropped a long way. I havn`t broken any Tektite lights yet and I`ve done things to them that would make most torches die
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.

It`s a matter of personal preference. I`d be more inclined to grab the LW4000 than the Exp1900, if only for battery life- batteries cost loads over here. Despite the drastic difference in LED number, the percieved brightness to me is not quite as different, but the battery life is. The 1900 lights a wider area rather than having a longer throw.


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**DONOTDELETE**

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Jeez. What a deliemma. I don't think the teklite 1900 exp is for me. I think it's a little too fancy. I want to spend about 60-120 bucks on my light.


I really like both the teklites and the LW's. I also have an eye for PK's "the beast" (http://www.pk-engineering.com/images/DSCN3293.JPG) but I know that's unrealistic.

so what are the differences between the teklite 1900 and 1400 models?

And would you suggest I go with a C-cell or a D-cell? (The LW 3K or 4K?).

I understand that you can get the same POWER out of smaller batteries, but one can't achieve the same duration of that power...

That's why I like the ARC AAA. It's a good mix of power and duration and size.
 

Sean

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by greg:
Jeez. What a deliemma. I don't think the teklite 1900 exp is for me. I think it's a little too fancy. I want to spend about 60-120 bucks on my light.


I really like both the teklites and the LW's. I also have an eye for PK's "the beast" (http://www.pk-engineering.com/images/DSCN3293.JPG) but I know that's unrealistic.

so what are the differences between the teklite 1900 and 1400 models?

And would you suggest I go with a C-cell or a D-cell? (The LW 3K or 4K?).

I understand that you can get the same POWER out of smaller batteries, but one can't achieve the same duration of that power...

That's why I like the ARC AAA. It's a good mix of power and duration and size.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


For the price range & battery type your looking for I would suggest the Lightwave 4000 or 3000. They are not expensive, so if for some reason you hate it, you are not out much money. The difference between them is simple.

The LW4000 uses 3-D cells and 10 LED's, after 48 hours it is still about 80% as bright as the Trek 7 (7 LEDS) would be with new batteries.


The LW3000 uses 7 LEDs and 3-C cells. It will not run quite as long as the LW4000 but I don't know how long does run. So obviously it is not as bright but not as big either.

So its a compromise:
Bigger = Brighter & Bulkier
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Smaller = Dimmer & lighter
smile.gif


Pictures of LW4000 & 3000 Beam shots theLIGHTsite

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by greg:
I really like both the teklites and the LW's. I also have an eye for PK's "the beast" ...

...so what are the differences between the teklite 1900 and 1400 models?...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Beast uses 20 123's so you definately don't want that!
shocked.gif


The 1900 uses 5 more LEDs, so its a little brighter than the 1400 but eats batteries a little faster. Again a compromise, more LEDs = less burn time.

The 1900 & 1400 are physically the same size.
 

Badbeams3

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Get the Lightwave 3000 unless you are a diver. It has a bluer tint but it`s just as bright as the Trek 7 led and the push button switch is nice...cheaper too.
 

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