Recommendation for a Newb

trekker

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
20
Hi all, first post here on the forums. I've been lurking around for a couple of days and have decided to seek some advice. I am probably the 1,000th person to ask the "please recommend a flashlight" question, but I also recognize that everyone's situation is different.

I found a questionnaire on the forums that I have filled out below to help you understand what I am looking for, but thought I might give some background first.

I am looking for a smaller general purpose light to use for everything from reading to keeping with my handgun beside the bed. I like a bright light...the brighter the better in my world, but I would also like a light that can be low powered for reading and seeing around in a dark house without waking my family. It is important for me to find a reliable light with good build quality that accepts an inexpensive power source (aa's maybe).

I would like to stay in the $50-65 dollar range. Anyway, the rest of the answers are supplied below. Thanks for everyone's help!!!

Recommend a Flashlight Checklist
What Region/Country/State will the light be purchased in?

__X__I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.
____I am in North America. More precisely I am in _______________.
____I am in South America. More precisely I am in _______________.
____I am in Europe. More precisely I am in _______________.
____I am in the Middle East. More precisely I am in _______________.
____I am in Africa. More precisely I am in _______________.
____I am in Asia, Japan or Micronesia. More precisely I am in _______________.
____I am in Australia. More precisely I am in _______________.


1) Price Range: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :)

____I only want to pay $1-10.
____I can spend $15-30.
__X__I could spend $40-60.
____I am willing to spend $80-$120.
____I have no limit!

2) Format:

__X__I want a flashlight.
____I want a headlamp.
____I want a lantern.
____I want a portable spotlight.

3) Length:

__X__I don't care.
____1-2 inches. (Keychain sized)
____2-4 inches. (Pocket carry)
____4-9 inches. (Holster carry)

4) Width:

_X___I don't care.
____I prefer a long narrow light.
____I prefer a short wide light.

5) What batteries do you want to use? Alkaline batteries are easier to find and less expensive but don't pack as much stored energy and are don't work well in cold temperatures. Lithium batteries have long shelf life (10+ years, great for stored emergency lights) and are not as affected by cold but must be kept dry and are more expensive. Rechargeable start expensive, but if used frequently pay off quickly.

____I want common Alkaline batteries. (AA, AAA, C, D)
____I want lithium batteries. (coin cells, CR123, AAA, AA...)
__X__I want a rechargeable system. (an investment, but best for everyday use)

6) How much light do you want? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).

__X__I want to read a map, or find a light switch, in a dark room. (5-10 lumens)
__X__I want to walk around a generally paved area. (15-20 lumens)
__X__I want to walk unpaved trails. (40 lumens)
__X__I want to do Caving or Search & Rescue operations. (60+ lumens)
__X__I want to light an entire campground or dazzle an intruder. (100+ lumens)

7) Throw vs Flood: Which do you prefer, lights that flood an area with a wide beam, or lights that "throw" with a tightly focused beam? Place an "X" on the line below.

Throw (distance)----------------------|-----X-----------Flood/close-up

8) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims (like some LED lights). but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries.

____20 min. (I want the brightest light for brief periods)
____60-240 min. (1-2 hours)
__X__240-360 min. (4-6 hours)
____360+ min. (More than 6 hours)

9) Durability: Generally the old phrase "you get what you pay for" is very accurate for flashlights.

____Not Important (A "night-stand" light.)
____Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood.)
__X__Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box.)
__X__Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Self-defense, Survival.)

8) Switch Type:

____I don't care.
____I want a sliding switch. (Stays on until slid back.)
__X__I want a "clickie" switch. (Stays on until pressed again.)
____I want a momentary switch. (Only stays on while held down.)

9) Switch Location:

____I don't care.
____I want a push or sliding switch on the body near the head.
__X__I want a push switch on the back end of the body.
____I want a rotating head switch.
____I want a rotating end-cap switch.
____I want a remote control.

10) Operational Modes: Check all that apply.

____A simple on-off is fine for me.
____I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
__X__I want multiple light levels. (some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
____I want a strobe mode. (blinks to show location.)
____I want a tactical strobe. (Flashes rapidly to disorient an opponent.)

11) Is it important whether the body is metal or plastic/composite?

____I don't care.
__X__I want a metal-bodied light.
____I want a plastic/composite light.

12) Special Needs: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Circle any below or write in your own comment(s).

____Red (night vision preserving) filter
____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________)
__X__Waterproof – how deep: __withstand a hard rain or a momentary dunk__
____Non-reflective/dark finish (stealthy/hard to find)
____Polished silver or brightly colored finish (for easy locating)
____Corrosion resistant or hard-anodized finish
____"Hybrid" light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
____Built-in second (or spare) lamp or filament
____Belt/Jacket clip
____Holster
____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
____Kobuton/self defense features
____Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments
 

trekker

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
20
Thanks, I suppose that means that an LD20 would work just as well, if I wanted a little more light and longer run times?
 

289

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
97
Location
USA, Earth
Trekker, fellow newb here. I just purchased a Nitecore D10, Fenix L2D, and a Fenix E01.

The Fenix were a combo deal at 4sevens for $56.50. Use coupon cpf8 for 8% off.

The L2D would work for you and you'll have a bonus light for your keychain or car.
 

trekker

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
20
Trekker, fellow newb here. I just purchased a Nitecore D10, Fenix L2D, and a Fenix E01.

The Fenix were a combo deal at 4sevens for $56.50. Use coupon cpf8 for 8% off.

The L2D would work for you and you'll have a bonus light for your keychain or car.

Is there a noticeable difference between the LD20 and the L2D?

Where did you find the combo deal??? I looked at the website and did not see it.
 

hyperloop

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 5, 2007
Messages
2,878
Location
$INGAPORE
Getting the Fenix L2D is a good idea, esp if it comes with an E01 for a backup. But that means you would be over budget and would not be able to get 4 x rechargeable AA cells and a charger for that budget.

Also, Fenix is a great brand but with your requirements for build quality (critical), i think the only lights that match those requirements are Surefires but for camping and all that, Fenix is fine.

Alternatively, you could go lower and check out some lights on dealextreme, read the reviews there and do seaches here and on google to get more acquainted with flashlights and you can come back here with the names of some flashlights (please dont post links to sites that retail the lights) for further input.
 

trekker

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
20
What's the difference between a L2D and the newer LD20 in terms of performance? Is one significantly better than the other?

Also, are there any other suggestions? Surefire is out of my price range, but I could splurge and go to $75 or so.
 

289

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
97
Location
USA, Earth
Trekker,

I just got the L2D and you will not be disappointed. This thing is amazing!!

The combo deal is in 'categories' click 'fenix lights' and 2nd selection from the top *specials*

Do it man, just, do it. $51 bucks for the 2 lights? Smokin deal IMHO
 

orbital

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
4,467
Location
WI

Federal LG

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Messages
1,606
Location
Brazil
My vote goes to:

Fenix LD10 (if you want something shorter/smaller)

or

Fenix LD20 (if size doesn´t matter, and if you want more runtime)

You can get them in www.fenix-store.com !
Great customer service!

And :welcome:
 

trekker

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
20
I'm leaning towards the LD20, but I also saw the Nitecore D10 and D20, can anyone tell me the differences between the Fenix lights and these?

Thanks!
 

Gunner12

Flashaholic
Joined
Dec 18, 2006
Messages
10,063
Location
Bay Area, CA
From the Welcome Mat(for the Fenix lights):

Here's how it works. All are Type 3/HA unless otherwise stated.

E = AAA powered
P = CR123 powered
PD = essentially improved designs of the P2D and P3D series. Better tailcap knurling, improved tailcap design with better laynard ring, easier to turn head which is also an anti-roll hexagon shape, lower low, medium, and high, smoother talicap switch. Longer runtime on low, medium, and high.
L = AA or AAA powered
LD = essentially improved designs of the L2D. Better tailcap knurling, improved tailcap design with better laynard ring, easier to turn head which is also an anti-roll hexagon shape, lower low, medium, and high, smoother tailcap switch. Longer runtime on low, medium, and high.
T = CR123 powered with a forward clickie, two mode, tighten for high, loosen for low, uses a Cree XR-E Q5 LED (for now; when they add more models, this might change)

0 = 1 AAA powered, for the E series, 1 5mm LED, currently the Nichia CS, all twisties.
01 = 1 AAA powered, E series, multicolor anodizing, 1 5mm Nichia GS.
1 = 1 battery, for the E series, 1 Nichia Power LED, for the P series, a twistie. For the T series (T1) a 2 stage forward clickie light powered by 2 CR123 or RCR123 batteries with a clip. Uses a Cree XR-E Q5 LED in a textured reflector. Built to have thicker walls then the E and L series lights.
2 = 2 battery powered or for the P series, 1 CR123 with a clickie.
3 = For the P series, 2 CR123 powered.
10 = TK10 or LD10 --- TK10 an "improved" version of the T1 with a removable grip ring, aluminum bezel, and removable clip. Performance is not changed --- LD10 "improved version of the L1D, Look at LD to see what improved over the L1D.
11 = TK11, an "improved" version of the TK10 and T1 with a smooth reflector and the ability to accept 18650 batteries.
20 = T20 or LD20 or PD20 --- a 2 AA powered light similar to the other T series but has a neutral white LED instead of a cool white one. Has a smooth reflector, a rubber sleeve on the body tube for grip, and a removable clip. --- LD20, "improved" version of the L2D has body knurling. Look at LD to see what changes were made over the L2D --- PD20, "improved" version of the P2D, Look at PD to see what changed.
30 = PD30, "improved" version of the P3D, look at PD to see what changed.

+ = Special stainless steel run, a small run prototype that Fenix sold
P = "Premium" Luxeon I, V2.0 means 2 modes, Luxeon
S = Two mode (tighten for high, loosen for low) Luxeon I, Type II andodizing
T = Two mode (tighten for high, loosen for low) Luxeon III, V2.0 means Rebel 80, twice the output
D = Digital, Multimode
CE = Cree XR-E LED, newer and at least twice as efficient as the Luxeon I/III LEDs. For the same power, it puts out twice or more output
Rebel 80/100 = Luxeon Rebel 80/100 used, usually has a warmer tint
No designation = Luxeon I or III

If there is a thing after the CE, that is to designate the Bin of the Cree XR-E LED used. Q5 means it uses the Cree XR-E Q5 LED. No designation after the CE means it uses the P3 or P4, depending on date of manufacturing.

The Civictor V1 is a 1 AA twistie with Type II anodizing. There was a multimode stainless steel model made.

There was a special Titanium version of the L0D made. It was called the L0D Ti. There was also a Christmas version(red type II anodizing with Christmas decorations) called the L0D SE. There is also a Q4 version.

-------------------

As for the light, I'd suggest getting two lights. One for the normal tasks and another one for the night stand.

The night stand light should be single mode(or starts on max), have a forward clickie, be vrey bright, and have a good sized hotspot.

The Nitecore D10 is a single AA light that has an output of whatever level you turned it off at. Same with the D20. They can be used like clickie lights, twisties, or something in between.

The L2D/LD20 have preset output levels set in groups. General(low-medium-high-sos) and Turbo(turbo-strobe). It ises a reverse clickie.

:welcome:
 

trekker

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
20
Wow! That's all one could ever need to know about Fenix's numbering system and thanks for the welcome.
 

qwopzxnm

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
14
How about the Jetbeam I Pro with IBS?

Has a nice high for tactical use and unlimited settings for the other modes so you can set the brightness where you want. Plus it can run on 1 AA. Price is a little high for your original post but fits within your "splurge range":twothumbs

http://store.bugoutgearusa.com/jetipro.html
:welcome:
 

trekker

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
20
How about the Jetbeam I Pro with IBS?

Has a nice high for tactical use and unlimited settings for the other modes so you can set the brightness where you want. Plus it can run on 1 AA. Price is a little high for your original post but fits within your "splurge range":twothumbs

http://store.bugoutgearusa.com/jetipro.html
:welcome:


Just when i thought i had my mind made up :D ! More decisions!

Okay, I've narrowed it down Fenix L2D Q5 Vs. LD20 vs. Nitecore D20 vs. Jet I Pro with IBS. Any opinions as to which is better and why?

I'm leaning heavily toward the Fenix LD20 would anybody advise otherwise? The combo deal that "289" mentioned is amazing, but I like the higher output of the newer L2D or the LD20. The difference is about 50 lumens which is huge on paper, how big is it in actual use?

Thanks for all the advice! I've read every post and a few other threads as well.
 

Gunner12

Flashaholic
Joined
Dec 18, 2006
Messages
10,063
Location
Bay Area, CA
The L2D has been around for a good bit so it has more history backing it up.

The LD20 has a narrower(from the beamshots the difference seems to be small) hotspot so it should throw a bit further. The body also seems to be more grippy.

Both are pretty easy to use.

The D20 has Piston switch and can go lower then the L2D-CE Q5/LD20. Comes with a clip.

The Jetbeam might be the best throwing one in the group. The user settable levels also seem to be good. Also comes with a clip.

For general use with more floody beam, the D20 or one of the Fenix might be a better choice. The D20 will be able to go lower but the Fenix can use the L1D and P2D body for 1 AA and 1 CR123 use.

Our eyes sense light logramithically(how is it spelled?), so it takes 4x the light for one light with the same beam pattern to seem 2x as bright as another. 2x the output is a noticible difference but not a huge difference to our eyes.

You will notice the 50 lumen difference but visually it shouldn't be a huge difference.
 

trekker

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
20
The L2D has been around for a good bit so it has more history backing it up.

The LD20 has a narrower(from the beamshots the difference seems to be small) hotspot so it should throw a bit further. The body also seems to be more grippy.

Both are pretty easy to use.

The D20 has Piston switch and can go lower then the L2D-CE Q5/LD20. Comes with a clip.

The Jetbeam might be the best throwing one in the group. The user settable levels also seem to be good. Also comes with a clip.

For general use with more floody beam, the D20 or one of the Fenix might be a better choice. The D20 will be able to go lower but the Fenix can use the L1D and P2D body for 1 AA and 1 CR123 use.

Our eyes sense light logramithically(how is it spelled?), so it takes 4x the light for one light with the same beam pattern to seem 2x as bright as another. 2x the output is a noticible difference but not a huge difference to our eyes.

You will notice the 50 lumen difference but visually it shouldn't be a huge difference.

Thanks you answered about all of my questions. It looks like one of the Fenix lights will serve my purposes best. Where do you get the additional bodies (L1D etc) without but a new flashlight?

I think I'll go with the LD20 because I like the body design better (will not roll). Thanks for all the advice.

Now, anybody want to suggest a battery charger and a small, lightweight, dependable and simple light for my wife to carry in her purse? Tactical in nature?
 

trekker

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
20
Finally took the plunge, Fenix LD20! Now to find a light for my wife and batteries...chargers...this could get expensive!
 
Top