Oh my.. The last 10 years has been good to flashlights

Rifter

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May 21, 2002
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294
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Vancouver Canada
So I used to be a huge flashaholic, I own a few surefires and a few other high quality lights I collected from 15 to 10 years ago, I stopped collecting flashlights about 10 years ago figuring I had enough for my needs and was just going to use what I had and stop collecting them.

So for the last 10 years I did exactly that, my EDC PeakLED Mckinnly has almost all the HA warn off and looks like its been just used hard and abused, and it has, and still functions flawlessly. 2 of my 3 Innova X5's look beat as well but both still work fine. And obviously my surefires are fine, they have also been used hard but the HA must be of higher quality cause they look mostly new with little signs of wear compared to my other lights, and my M2+A19+KT2 has been used just as if not more often than most of my lights, when I stopped collecting I bought 10 N2 lamps as I figured they might become hard to get after a while and im on lamp # 7 now. Probably ran 200-300 123's through this KT2 surefire now.

So onto the point of this post, I have moved onto other hobbies lately, mainly laser pointers(was a logical move, I got obsessed with long throw lights, and what better way to put light on a target miles away than a laser pointer lol) So I ordered a Cheap Cree T6 LED light off amazon for $12.99 including shipping for the batteries for one of my laser pointers, it came with 2 18650 cells that I needed fast and could not find any local so I ordered this light for the included batteries and had it shipped overnight for 2.99(go amazon prime!). Batteries turned out to be cheap ultrafire brand anyways but they work and do the job for now lol.

And this cheap(and it is the definition of cheap, cheap feeling switch, crap quality of the host and threads, thing is just crap quality wise) flashlight puts most of my lights to shame! My Surefire M2 with the KL3 LED head cant hold a candle to this cheap light. Hell with the focus tightened all the way on this thing it THROWS 80% AS FAR AS MY KT2!!!!

So this is making me think I need to get back into flashlights at least long enough to move into the modern age of LED's and get a new EDC light and a new throw light to replace my surefire with KT2. As obviously in the last 10 years significant progress has been made.

So I Ordered a Armytek Partner C1 to replace my trusty mckinnly, hopefully its of as high quality as the Peak lights, only reason I went with the armytek over a new Peak is armytek is in Canada so no duty for me to pay.

What should I be looking at as a replacement thats similar in size to my Surefire with the KT2 but with more throw and hopefully more runtime, basically what is the new small throw light to have?

Also what happened to Luxeon? When I left the 5 watt parts were just coming out and these were going to be the new LED of the future, I have a 5D maglight with a Cyan 5 watt luxeon(I don't think white 5 watts whites were out yet when I bought it) that to this day is still VERY bright(but its goodam huge) but would love to see what Luxeon has done, even a 5 watt white if they ever came to be I think would be a hell of a light running off a 18650 or two. Im finding it hard to find anything online about them though, I find it hard to believe they arnt giving cree a run for their money, those 1 watt luxeons were beasts 10 years ago. My minimag with a 1 watt white luxeon drop in(badboy 550ma if I remember correctly) is still one of my favorite small lights)

Thanks guys.
 

StarHalo

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I've got both an X5 and a McKinley in the back of my closet somewhere; it'd be difficult to explain how much has changed since that era. I can illustrate it this way though - my mass-produced 1x18650 pocket EDC is 800 lumens (it's old, the current version is 1100 lumens.) I bought a 1000 lumen three-emitter light at Home Depot for $30 for my dad for Christmas. My 3500 lumen HID is from Wal-Mart, $70.

Times are a-changin'. You should definitely search around here, it's gotten a lot more interesting lately. The LED is about to overtake the HID in output and throw, pretty insane.

And Luxeon/Philips has been concentrating on LED light bulbs, where they now completely dominate the market.
 

archimedes

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Are you familiar with Malkoff ? Sounds like you might like the Hound Dog ....

For "extreme throw" in a smaller torch, and at reasonable cost, another interesting option might be the Dereelight NM400.
 
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880arm

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Aug 29, 2011
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Wildlands of Western Kentucky
Neat perspective when looking back 10 years ago. I looked through the 2004 SureFire catalog and saw that was when they introduced their E2d Defender (incandescent version) and an expanded LumaMax lineup with their powerful 100 lumen output! Other notable "new" items were the click-style tailcap being made available for non-tactical use and the "Digital" U2 Ultra.

You're correct, the past 10 years have been very good to flashlights!
 

KITROBASKIN

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Mar 28, 2013
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New Mexico, USA
Luxeon T in a ZebraLight SC62d. Not a powerhouse compared to XML2 or MTG2 but the tint is Very comfortable and the user interface is just so efficient for indoors or outdoors.
 

kbuzbee

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Jan 8, 2010
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Ohio, USA
Excellent post!

Don't forget batteries and chargers have evolved too. Different chemistries (ICR, IMR, IFR etc) and capacities have increased (ICR 18650s are now up to 3400MaH) You can get a lot of light out of an RRT01 w/ 18350. New chargers include the Xtar VP2 which handles the three chemistries I listed above and sizes from 10440(AAA)->26650. Pretty flexible with a good charging curve.

Welcome back to the obsession. ;)

Ken
 

treek13

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May 11, 2002
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West Coast of Michigan
Welcome back Rifter, it is nice to see another old-timer stopping back in. I've occasionally drifted away from CPF & new lights for a few years at a time.

My biggest LED technology jump was from Luxeon III's to Cree XP-G's which I found amazing. The jump in both brightness and run-times was phenomenal. For example,
my Arc LSH-P putting out about 20 Lumens on a single lithium 123 cell while my 4sevens Preon Revo could do the same brightness on a single AAA for more than twice as long on its medium setting.

Speaking of a medium setting, there have also been amazing increases in the technology of drivers & user interfaces. There are a lot of fun & useful things out now.

Enjoy yourself & your new lights.

Oh yeah, I forgot to say thanks for reminding me of the old days & the joy I felt at finding new lights.
 
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yogiboobooranger

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Jun 4, 2014
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Although I have never been a collector and never really a light hobbyist, I have always had an interest in the brightest light I could have in my hands when making traffic stops or searching buildings at night. Bear in mind that I come from the era of incandescent bulbs and lighting. My law enforcement career took place in the late sixties, and most of the seventies. The four D cell mag light was the flashlight of choice and not much else was available back then. Recently, within the last few years, I purchased my first led flashlight. Do not know the brand but was at Wal-Mart at a reasonably good price, was small and pocketable and good for a truck light. Anyway, I was amazed at the brightness of this light over a similar light with the incandescent bulb. That sold me on the newer tech and recently was looking for a bulb upgrade for my surefire P6 which then led me to make further searches with regards to LED tech, light engines, UI and the like which brought me here to your site. So, YES, the last ten years has really been good to flashlights.
 

DP425

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Joined
Jun 15, 2014
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Although I have never been a collector and never really a light hobbyist, I have always had an interest in the brightest light I could have in my hands when making traffic stops or searching buildings at night. Bear in mind that I come from the era of incandescent bulbs and lighting. My law enforcement career took place in the late sixties, and most of the seventies. The four D cell mag light was the flashlight of choice and not much else was available back then. Recently, within the last few years, I purchased my first led flashlight. Do not know the brand but was at Wal-Mart at a reasonably good price, was small and pocketable and good for a truck light. Anyway, I was amazed at the brightness of this light over a similar light with the incandescent bulb. That sold me on the newer tech and recently was looking for a bulb upgrade for my surefire P6 which then led me to make further searches with regards to LED tech, light engines, UI and the like which brought me here to your site. So, YES, the last ten years has really been good to flashlights.


I totally feel you on this... I bought a surefire A2 Aviator and E2D before I deployed to Iraq in 2004; these were some serious lights back then. The G2 became very popular with the troops during this time frame and it really didn't compare to my A and E series lights. Well, I stuck with what I had for a long time... eventually I was issued some streamlight LED lights which were notably cheaper than the surefires I had been using. It was a little shocking how bright these new streamlights were. Today I go to the LE supply store and they have lights half the size of a 2D maglight that are putting out over 1k lm! I don't even think a hand-held light existed that put out 1k lm when I got my first surefire.

Anyway, I was never into flashlights the way the OP describes, but I've come to a quick realization that my old dependable lights have long passed their technological peak. 65lm and 30m run times... it was so incredible ten years ago; pretty pathetic now.
 

GarageBoy

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Jun 12, 2004
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Brooklyn NY
I feel like the Cree XR-E era really jump started a lot of innovation
When it became THE LED of the moment, a buncha new companies that we now know and love were put on the map (back when Surefire was king, Fenix was the boy boy of the East; JetBeam, the weird child; olight, the new kid; and Nitecore was just taking preorders)

All of a sudden, went from 100 lumens being bright and "turbo" to 100 lumens being the medium mode
 
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