Red Light


Newly Enlightened
Aug 19, 2011
A friend called me this morning looking for a curious recommendation. He wanted a sub $30 flashlight that has a red light as well. Having just woken up, all I could think of was a D25LC2 Color. However, three times his preferred price was too steep. I told him I'd think on it and get back to him.

I'm thinking that what he wants can't be satisfied with one light. A multi-color torch that produces quality light is a tough find in his price range (he'd be willing to go as high as $50). A dedicated red and a dedicated white totalling $50 seems more probable.

Is there a single light that could satisfy his request? If not, what combination of lights would be best?

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

____I would like to purchase the light in person from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
__x__This will be mail-order or Online (location doesn't matter).

2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :)

____I don't know yet
____Up to $25.
__x__Up to $50.
____Up to $100.
____Up to $200.
____Up to $300.
____Essentially unlimited.

3) Format:

____I am not sure, please help me decide.
__x __I want a flashlight (hand held/self contained).
____I want a self-contained headlamp.
____I want a headlamp with an external pack/power source.
____I want a mounted light (typically for a bicycle or vehicle)
____I want a lantern/area light.
____I want a portable spotlight (it may have an external power source).
____Other ____________________________________________

4) Size:

____MICRO - Keychain size.
____TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).
__x__SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).
____MEDIUM - Holster/belt ring carry. (>7 inches)
____LARGE - Big enough to need its own travel case.
____I don't know/I don't care.

5) Emitter/Light source:

__x__LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)
____Incandescent (known for superior color rendition)
____HID (known for max output, but often at the expense of size)
____I don't know.

6) Manufacturer:

__x__I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
____I would like a light from a specialty manufacturer (Possibly limited run/Custom).
____I am interested in assembling my own components. (for example a "host" or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a "drop-in" emitter from another source).

7) What power source do you want to use?

__x__I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Alkaline batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
__x__I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Lithium batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D and CR123 sized cells common to most stores (often a cold weather or long storage choice).
____I intend to use Rechargeable cells (NiMH or NiCD) based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
____I intend to use Rechargeable cells based on less common formats (18500 or 18650 Li-Ion, RCR123, et-al).
____I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery pack.
____I don't know/I need more information on power sources.

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 not a happy experience).

____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (1-10 lumens).
__x__I want an indoor "blackout" light (15-50 lumens)
__x__I want to confidently walk around an unlit/unpaved rural area (60-150 lumens).
__x__I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
____I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens).
____I want search and rescue type illumination (800+ lumens).

__x__SPECIAL NOTE: Burst/Turbo mode Category - There are several lights that will run at a super bright maximum for a very limited period (usually 5-10 minutes) and then will "step-down" to a lower level for thermal control. Check here if this is acceptable.

9) Flood vs Throw: Flood covers an area, Throw reaches out to a distance.

____All Flood: I am doing "arms length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking.
__x__Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
__x__Narrow Flood: I want a sharply defined flood area that will project some distance for tasks like trail walking.
____Wide Throw: I want a beam with a noticeable hot-center for distance throw and a significant amount of "side-spill". Good for rough trail hiking, search and rescue, and general distance work.
____Narrow Throw: I want a beam with a very tight "hot center" and minimal "side-spill". Good for distance viewing, fog, and looking through dense undergrowth.
____Turbohead: I want a far-distance projector with a sharply focused spot of light and minimal or zero side-spill. Good for extreme distance and impressing your friends.

9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)
__x__Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
__x__Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
__x__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 am searching from a helicopter)

10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum continuous output).

____Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods)
____30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
__x__90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
____3 hours + (I critically need this light to run on max for extended periods in between battery changes/charges).

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

____Not Important (A "night-stand" light).
__x__Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood).
____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
____I don't know.

12) Switch Size, Type, and location (choose all that apply):

__x__Any size switch will do.
____I need a BIG switch (I'll be using gloves or have very large hands or coordination issues).
__x__I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
__x__I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
____I want a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only).
____I want a twisty switch (Tighten the head/tailcap to activate, and the light will stay on until the head/tailcap is loosened).
____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 want a remote switch (usually found on high-end bicycle headlights)
____I don't care.
____I don't know.
__x__Other, please specify: Location (head or tail) is unimportant because the user doesn't yet have a preference. Momentary on would be nice but the more involved reverse clicky would be acceptable. User is likely willing to learn a more complicated UI than L-M-H if necessary.

13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.

____A simple on-off with only one output level is fine for me.
__x__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 programmable light.
____I want a selector ring.
____I want a strobe mode. (Oscillating pattern to confuse/blind aka "Police Mode")
____I want SOS mode. (blinks in ---...--- emergency pattern)
____I want a beacon mode. (Regular flashes at full power to show location.)
____I don't care.
____I don't know.


____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
__x__Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today's higher end flashlights).
____Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum)
____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
____I don't care.
____I don't know.
____Other, please specify____________.

15) Water resistance
__x__None needed*
____IPX4 (Splash resistant)
____IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
____IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)
*User won't require any, but IPX8 is so ubiquitous that it is preferable.

16) Storage conditions
__x__In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)
____Emergency kit (long standby periods)
____Automobile glove-box (wide temperature swings, long standby periods, critical reliability)

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

__x__Red filter (for preserving night vision).
____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________).
__x__Dedicated R/G/B secondary LEDs.
____"Hybrid" light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
____Pocket/belt clip
____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
____Crenulated bezel
____Non-sparking, Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments


Newly Enlightened
Jun 19, 2011
There is SWM D20A 49.50$ currently at doingoutdoor. Both white XP-G2 R5 and red XP-E P2 LEDs. A fine 2xAA light. The red light is floody.


Mar 21, 2008
Cincinnati, OH, USA
I did a little browsing on Bright Guy's website and came up with these lights....

Pelican 2370 Multi-Color 57.43
Streamlight Sidewinder (sportsman model) 60.95
Streamlight LED 43.95
Energizer Triple Beam 17.21

some shopping around on the web may yield some better prices on the more expensive models


Newly Enlightened
Jan 11, 2014
I'm interested in this as well. We have red map lights in our ambulances and I really like them. Would be nice to have access to a red light to use in my own truck at night sometimes


Newly Enlightened
Sep 3, 2012
I've had good luck using a light with a flip top red filter. I have one on my 6p. Easy to switch back and forth from red to white. I couldn't Find a multi led multi color setup that fit my needs.


Newly Enlightened
May 21, 2009
Mid to SoCal
I really like my Proton Pro... Easily access red from low to high or white from high to low with relatively infinite variability. AA makes it easy to find batteries and I get to use the staple badass eneloop battery.

An untested (by me) option is the Streamlight Night Com red... They have a UV option and I think the red might be discontinued, but you could probably still find one if you search...It seems like a cool light but I've never used one.


Flashlight Enthusiast
Jan 25, 2014
Blue Ridge Mountains, VA
Led Lenser V-2 DUAL in red. Cheap triple A batteries, small compact light, two light switches one for the red and the other for white light. Not 200 lumens, but still bright enough for the described use.
Last edited:


Newly Enlightened
Aug 19, 2011
Thanks for the leads, guys. I'll conduct some research and see what piques his interest.