The Be All, End All EDC Light request.

gibsonk22

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Hello Internet, and specifically CPF members/lurkers/bystanders. This will be a bit of a wordy post, as I want to be specific enough to weed out the wrong recommendations right away. I am in the market for the BEST EDC light ever. I want this thread to be referenced every time a new "Recommend Me a Light For... EDC" gets posted. I am not a complete noob with lights but lights aren't my chosen money pit. I have enough hobbies as is, the last thing I need is to spread myself any thinner. I currently own a circa 2012 4Sevens (FourSevens/47s/whatever they are rebranded as now) Quark QP2L-X which is a 2*cr123, non-tactical UI with the turbo mode (I think, it's been a long time) and an Elzetta ZFL-M60-LS2D which is the 235 Lumen when tightened/15 Lumen when loosened clicky tailcap, Low Profile Bezel version. I thought the Elzetta would replace my Quark for pocket carry, but the bulk of the light means that it now just gets a set of primaries and carried around in my bag, almost never being turned on... what a shame. The Quark lives in my pocket, Every. Damn. Day. The form factor and utility make it nearly perfect, and, because it still works perfectly, I don't have to replace it. However it has been about four years since I bought a new light, and the rest of my EDC gear has been updated and the light is still that 2012 model Quark. I'm ready for an upgrade. Feel free to ask questions if the checklist doesn't list an option or if I was unclear in my answer. I've lurked and read enough EDC light threads that it seems as though the perfect light must have been recommended to someone, but weeding through them all is daunting. Hope you guys can help!

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?
Preferably online, but brick and mortar is completely fine too.

2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :)
__X__Up to $200.
For the perfect light, I'd be willing to pay as much as $200 but I'd be a lot happier at under $100. That said, quality is super important, and my Elzetta was nearly $200 and I don't regret it.

3) Format:
__X__I want a flashlight (hand held/self-contained).

4) Size:
__X__TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).
__X__SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).
I currently carry a circa 2012 4Sevens Quark Pro QP2L-X (2*cr123, non-tactical reverse clicky, with turbo mode) and it is nearly the perfect pocket size for me. So ideal size would be around 4.5 inches long and .875 inches in diameter at the widest point. Form factor I prefer is essentially a stick; but the slightly narrower body of the Quark in comparison to head and tail switch actually adds a bit in terms of feel and security in hand. I don't want a bulged out head though.

5) Emitter/Light source:
__X__LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness)

6) Manufacturer:
__X__I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
__X__I would like a light from a specialty manufacturer (Possibly limited run/Custom).
__X__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).
I am competent mechanically and electrically, and like to tinker and modify stuff, so I am willing to build this light from components. That said, so long as I have done my part with keeping the cells charged, I want this light to turn on every time I click the button, so if a frankenlight will compromise reliability, then I would be willing to either pay an experienced builder or I'd have to buy a manufactured light.

7) What power source do you want to use?
__X__I intend to use Rechargeable cells based on less common formats (18500 or 18650 Li-Ion, RCR123, et-al).
I want the runtime of a single 18650. I already have six AW RCR123, four Tenergy LiFePO4 RCR123 (haven't used them since I got the AWs), and a Nitecore Digicharger D4 so ideally this light would work with those cells AND single 18650s. I also would like to be able to switch to a pair of primary CR123s if all my rechargeables were flat. I'd like a protected battery and the highest capacity possible (I think I've seen 3500/3600 mAh 18650 cells).

7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option
__X__I don't care
As I stated in the previous question, I have some cells already, and I have a good (if slow) charger, so the ability to recharge in the light is not necessary, but I do love the Olight s30r magnetic charging base, so something like that would be a plus if available.

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).
__X__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).
__XI want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens).
__X__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.
This light needs to have a few modes, from an ultra-dim - leave it on for a month and it's still lit up - Moonlight Mode, to an ultra-bright - melt your retinas, scare the children, Morse code to Alpha Centauri - Turbo mode. There should probably be two modes between. Ideal would be: Moonlight: .1-1 lumen, Low: around 30-50 lumens, High: around 200 lumens, Turbo: around 1000 lumens with step down after a few minutes.

9) Flood vs Throw: Flood covers an area, Throw reaches out to a distance.
__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.
__X__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.
This light will be used for looking under desks, under the seat of the car, under the hood of the car at night, walking after dark, sneaking around without waking the wife, on the beach at night, in campsites, in caves, in the attic/under the house. Generally, this is a Task/EDC light, so I need it to be mostly floody. Say useful area illumination up to 100 feet. If I need to stretch further than that, I need a different light.

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)

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).
__X__90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
I will mostly be using this light in the non-turbo modes, so runtime of those modes is more important to me. I don"t want to be charging batteries every night, or even every week. I almost always have spares with me, so if I have neglected batteries for a while, I'll have backups. I just don't want to have to worry about whether it had been two weeks or a month of normal use when I climb into the attic/etc.

11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.
__X__Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
I'm not a professional first responder, but I am routinely in places where my light is critical to me and the people I am with. I am a System Admin for a county goverment, and as such, I find myself in switch closets, server rooms, crawl spaces, etc. on a daily basis. I also scuba dive, ride motorcycles, backpack, hunt, fish, rock climb, trail run, etc. I need the light to turn on when I need it. I might drop it from shoulder height onto a concrete floor. I might dump my bike and slide with the light in my pocket. It might be used to read our diver in/out log or search for a suitable shore entrance on a rainy Puget Sound night. It needs to be pretty damn water and shock resistant. It won't be mounted to a weapon and its primary use won't be to knock Al-Qaeda in the head, so it doesn't need to be built like my Elzetta, but tougher is better.

12) Switch Size, Type, and location (choose all that apply):
__X__I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today’s high-end lights).
I have never liked the body mounted switches, but I am willing to compromise on this if I find the perfect light except for the tail switch. I prefer momentary switches, but my Quark has a reverse clicky without momentary and I have never really missed it.

13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.
__X__I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
__X__I want a programmable light.
__NO__I want a strobe mode. (Oscillating pattern to confuse/blind aka "Police Mode")
__NO__I want SOS mode. (blinks in ---...--- emergency pattern)
__NO__I want a beacon mode. (Regular flashes at full power to show location.)
I really hate the strobe/blinky/SOS/beacon/etc. modes especially if they aren't hidden. If they are hidden, then I don't care. I prefer to have 3-5 outputs. Ideally, split into two groups: Group 1 (primary, head tight maybe?): Turbo (1000-ish lumens) and Group 2 (secondary, like head loose or something): Moon (.1-1 lumen) Low (30-50 lumens) High (200-ish lumens).

14) Material/Finish/Coating
__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).
__X__Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum)
__X__Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
Anodized aluminum is my preference, followed by titanium, then stainless. If there is a light that ticks all other boxes, but is made of polymer or some exotic material like magnesium or carbon fiber or something, I'd be fine with that too, so long as it didn't make the light fragile or cost a million dollars.

15) Water resistance
__X__IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
__X__IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)
I'm not looking for a dive light; I have three or four of those and don't need that much water resistance for EDC. But I am often at the end of a dock or on a boat and my light might wind up in the drink. Being a technical SCUBA diver, I am fortunate enough to be able to retrieve the light even if it sinks to 200+ feet deep. I know that the free lights from Harbor Freight and the cheapo "tactical flashlights" from Costco can technically survive a trip to 100 feet deep and as long as you get them cleaned and dried out, they will continue to function. This light should be at least as water resistant as the Quark, but again, tougher is better.

16) Storage conditions
__X__My Pocket. Wide temperature swings, dirty, linty, sweaty; reliability between very important and critical. This light is guaranteed to: be set in the snow on the side of the road at 2:00 AM in February in Oregon while I install snow chains, used on Turbo Mode in an attic in August. I'm pretty good about checking and maintaining batteries, but there are times when it may not be turned on for over a week (although I can't think of a time for that since I've owned my Quark).

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

I pocket carry my light, but occasionally, I could see times when a lanyard or holster might be useful. I bought the aftermarket deep carry clip for my Quark, but I haven’t used a pocket clip in probably two years. If it had a small, unobtrusive clip, especially one that could clip to the bill of a baseball cap, that'd be cool, but not necessary. Tail stand would be nice, and I don't want it to appear tactical or dangerous. I don't want it to tear holes in my pocket. If it has a red filter, a light wand type thing and/or a 90-degree prism, that'd be cool too. I want it to fit in aesthetically with the rest of my EDC gear which tend to be minimalist, unobtrusive, non-tactical/non-scary looking, and either black, grey, silver, blue, or green (generally matte colors). I'm willing and able to cerakote, if the light only comes in an ugly color.

I found a few options that I've looked hard at. The Olight s30r III is a strong contender even though it has the side mounted switch; It does almost everything else right as far as I can tell. I have read of people having problems with them after a few months. I also really don't like that it is a bit beefier in pocket.

I also am pretty intrigued by the Convoy S2+ and S4, especially the switch on the S2+. The form factor is near perfect, maybe a little chunky, and the outputs and beam pattern look great too (I think, don't own it, so don't know). Wish it had a moonlight mode. Also, I'm a little worried because of how inexpensive they are. Maybe a good host to build on?

I REALLY like the form of the Lumentop Prince as it's the thinnest 18650 capable light I have seen online. The modes need some help but not much. I may wind up with this one anyway. Is it moddable?

TL;DR: If there were a 4Sevens Quark that accepted 18650s, was fully programmable to something like head loose: moon (sub lumen) > Low (30-50 lumen) > High (200 Lumen); Head tight: Turbo (1000 lumen for 2 mins, step down to 500 lumens), with potted electronics, and a nice, smooth, floody beam that would light up the corners of a big living room and throw the length of a basketball court, and IPx7-8 rated, I'd buy that and I wouldn't have written this up. Or an Olight s30r III that was skinnier and didn't have the side switch. Or an Olight m18 with more output and no sides witch. Can you tell that I've looked but haven't found the right one yet? Please help!
 

reppans

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Have you considered a 16650 cell? They are 2/3-3/4 the capacity of an 18650 and work great in all Quarks. Quark Clicks are programmable (for modes and order) with last mode memory - my sample's high voltage mode spacing is ~1/90/225/450/700 and the low voltage is ~1/30/75/150/300 (I have a lightbox).

I personally prefer the low voltage Quarks for better low mode spacing/run time and the ability to run an any single battery in a pinch - all high output does for me is ruin my night vision and waste batteries. If you don't already know, 1000 lumens will only appear twice as bright as 250 lumens due to the logarithmic way the eye perceives light, although batts are consumed 4x as fast. (That said - I seem to be the rare low lumen, night vision, efficiency member here).

My all time favorite lights are my early (no long available) Quark Clicks (XML2/XPG2) programmed with ~0.3/3/30/300 spacing and run on 1x 16650/14500/16340 cells.

Another option if you like loose/tight bezel UIs is the Eagletac D25LC2.

Doubt you will get everything you want, but good luck.
 

eraursls1984

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Ultimate EDC? I'd say the Zebralight SC64c (not yet announced), but it doesn't fit a couple of your criteria.

The Oveready Boss 70 would probably be the closest to fitting your criteria except for price.
 

Chauncey Gardiner

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:thinking:

After reading all of that above (in the OP) , I agree ... he may want to start saving for the BOSS 70 :)

My thought also; didn't post them because of the $400 price tag.

~ Chance

nyw2DTN.jpg


olcjBtj.jpg
 
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TMedina

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Mind you, technology being what it is, once you settle on the greatest pocket light of them all, you'll have four years, give or take, until something new comes along to blow it out of the water.
 

Chauncey Gardiner

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archimedes

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.... Isn't BOSS all flood?

There is enough brute force output on max that I think it probably qualifies for "wide throw" , with the narrow / clear optic in place.

From the OP ....

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.
This light will be used for looking under desks, under the seat of the car, under the hood of the car at night, walking after dark, sneaking around without waking the wife, on the beach at night, in campsites, in caves, in the attic/under the house. Generally, this is a Task/EDC light, so I need it to be mostly floody. Say useful area illumination up to 100 feet. If I need to stretch further than that, I need a different light.

... 100 feet shouldn't be a problem with the BOSS :D
 
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gibsonk22

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Sorry for the delayed reply gents (and who knows, maybe ladies too?), hectic weekend. I appreciate all the responses immensely. You guys are correct, the Oveready B.O.S.S. sounds just about perfect! If only it wasn't double my allotted budget for a light...who knows, maybe I don't need americanos for the next 100 work days (<---/s... I really do need the coffee). But I am supposedly going to be getting an insurance settlement for some luggage that was lost on a trip to Mexico, and I can probably shave $400 off my laptop budget if I work really hard at it.

That Quark is in such good shape compared to mine! Mine has been abused a bit though. Until last year I worked much more physically demanding jobs than IT. I worked a machine shop as an industrial mechanic for 3 years and for Dish Network as a satellite tech for 3 years prior to that. And the Quark was with me for most of that. I also carry it in the same pocket as my keys, so it takes a bit of wear there too.

What is the warranty/maintenance like on the Oveready Boss? if it went through general use/abuse for 5 years, would you folks be fairly confident in its ability to handle normal day to day spills and drops, along with the occasional, more extreme misuse? If i did have a problem, is Oveready pretty good about taking care of the customer? This is a value proposition now; If I can show myself (read: wife) that I am just buying a far superior product that will last longer, then I can potentially convince mys̶e̶l̶f̶ wife to let me blow my budget.

One other thing I should emphasize about my desire for a light: The form is among the most important factors for me. I have always valued packing light (pun). I strip keys off my keyring the instant I can. I take my motorbike key off the keyring the first day it rains in October, since I wont get to ride every day anymore. That said, once I decide to add something to my daily gear, I work hard to make it fit as seamlessly as possible. So the Quark's size and switch location are big for me. That more than anything attracts me to the Boss. Side by side like that, the Boss is just perceivably larger than the Quark. Some the ZLs look quite a bit thicker. That's my biggest turn off with the majority of the 18650 lights I see. The switch on the tail with the little scallop cuts so it can tail stand and still get the thumb on it is pretty near the Platonic Ideal switch for me.

Reppans - I probably value long runtimes more than I made out in my OP. My 1k Lumen turbo mode requirement is mostly a product of seeing that on most lights out there. I'm honestly pretty happy with the brightness of my old Quark 80% of the time. Especially knowing that it will step down by half after a few minutes in turbo mode, it's way less of a requirement. I still want that feature, despite understanding that it limits perfectly great lights, I'm irrationally willing to hold out, at least for a while.

You guys all rock! Please, if you have ideas that hit a lot of the features or just an off the wall idea that maybe I wouldn't even know about (keep in mind, for me the flashlight is a tool, then a toy, and maybe if I had money to burn, then a hobby) shoot em out! Over-researching stuff like flashlights, and knives, and guns, etc. is one of my real hobbies, so this is just step one in what will probably be a month of hemming and hawing and reading half the internet to finally decide either I'm content with what I've got or that I just have to have the expensive, custom, one off, high-speed-low-drag, super operator mega... whatever, and nothing will do until i get that. So again, you know, nothing. But on the off chance, I'm really in the mood for a new light! And to be honest for the second time in two paragraphs, Until you guy's posts, I had read the name Oveready on forums/etc. before, but had the misconception that they were like generic Wal-Mart type lights. So CPF has already done me a mega solid! Keep it up guys! I hope to learn from you and help by contributing more than just questions (and silly, tongue in cheek, snark in parenthesis) in the future!


My Quark https://imgur.com/gallery/vMKv0
 
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archimedes

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Don't forget that the BOSS (35/70) runs just fine on a single 18350, at half the size, but you do have to give up the 3,500 lumen max output and make do with only nineteen hundred of those lumens (and a quarter of the runtime) :ohgeez:

And a look around CPF should give you some idea of the regard we have for Oveready customer service and warranty :twothumbs
 
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archimedes

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Also, regarding the size of the BOSS for an EDC torch ... I recently switched from the BOSS 35 to the BOSS 70 for EDC because the 35 actually seemed too small to comfortably carry and use :shrug:
 
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