The lure to the custom light

Southernlight

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Like all of us I have bought (and sold) a number of great production lights. I have many but not all battery types. And I am generally happy with my selection, covering the needs that I have. Most are mainstream items. I still like to see any new product emerge and consider them all. Flashlights are more a hobby for me. I don't often need them and I could probably cover all my needs in two maybe three lights.

Lately though I have bought a couple of custom builder production lights and I am finding less and less interest in regular "production lights" and find myself looking toward the custom bespoke builders options. As these are always more expensive I am finding I am honing down more of what I want.

Is this a natural progression in the hobby?
Have you also moved to mostly custom only? I am curious to hear your experience and journey.
 
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scout24

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I think it's part of the progression of not finding exactly what you want from mass-market lights. Custom or customizable... I've had more than my fair share of titanium customs but am currently fixated on P60 hosts. SF, Malkoff, Elzetta, an awesome Ti 18650 host from TnC, in addition to some Fivemega bodies for Oveready, Nailbender, and Vinh dropins. Some of the custom Ti may as well be functional jewelry. Some, like my Haikus and Mules from Don, are both fantastic to behold and use. Pick a tint, an output level, cell size, UI and material, and someone probably makes a custom to suit your fancy.
 

Echo63

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I think its a natural progression as we advance in this hobby
i started with cheap lights, upgraded to better lights
then eventually started with the "small run production" like my Aeon
i find the small run or custom lights are better made than production. My surefires are nice lights, but the machining and smoothness of the threads doenst compare to the Aeon (although the brass head will help with that smoothness)

i think im done buying big manufacturer lights, and will stick to the smaller guys doing high quality stuff (HDS, Muyshondt, Oveready, Malkoff etc)
 

Southernlight

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i think im done buying big manufacturer lights, and will stick to the smaller guys doing high quality stuff (HDS, Muyshondt, Oveready, Malkoff etc)

This is where I am now too. I'd rather one HDS or other rather than 3-4 "big manufacturer lights".
I find I am using the custom light more also. So more careful buying from now on.

I think I will still reserve the right to buy a common light IF its something outstanding.
I also will keep a small bevy of common AA lights for the odd loaner.
 

caddylover

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As soon as I see a factory light that I like, I check with my custom builders and see if any of them plan on doing their tweeks to that light. I don't even consider buying a factory light anymore. Unless, it's exceptional on its own I guess:thumbsup:
 

eala

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What are these things called "production lights"?

eala
 

pinkpanda3310

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It wasn't much of a progression for me as I have a propensity to screw with stuff. :stupid:
 

Bullzeyebill

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I have my share of custom lights, and notice recently that I am using some of my older production lights. One being a Nitecore D10. Not that I do not use my Aeon's, and other customs, but being a true flashaholic, I think I enjoy using all of my lights.

Bill
 

twl

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Certain manufacturers like Malkoff and Oveready can sort of "bridge the gap" between production and custom.
They have the quality level and performance of custom, but mostly are lower in price than the high end customs.
Those are the brands that I normally find myself happy with.
 

Fireclaw18

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I don't really buy expensive custom lights, but I routinely mod new lights I get with new emitters, drivers, heatsinking, switches, lenses, etc.
 

Craig K

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Are Malkoff and HDS really custom lights? I have a Malkoff MD2 and a HDS clicky and I did not even know they were custom lights, I thought something like a McGizmo was a custom light but not a Malkoff or HDS?
 

nbp

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Are Malkoff and HDS really custom lights? I have a Malkoff MD2 and a HDS clicky and I did not even know they were custom lights, I thought something like a McGizmo was a custom light but not a Malkoff or HDS?

Not really, they are more "low quantity production lights". I think twl explained it well above though; they bridge the gap between regular production lights and Customs. They offer high build quality and great customer service but at lower price points and greater availability.

I think in most all hobbies as you gain knowledge and experience and hone your wants and needs you tend toward more exclusive higher end gear. The same with flashlights. My lights are almost entirely Customs or high end USA made production lights at this point in my flashaholism - the result of years of buying, selling and trading.
 

Grizzman

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The topic of production vs custom in the lights realm isn't really any different than it is with handguns.

When a person goes to Les Baer, Ed Brown, or Wilson combat and orders one of their standard models, is it a custom pistol? If there is no difference between it and any other of the same standard models purchased by someone else, what makes it "custom"?

When a person orders a McGizmo Haiku, what makes that a custom light when it's the same as all other Haikus (not to pick on Don)? In my humble opinion, customs must be just that....customized from the manufacturer to the purchaser's specs.

This is not to say that standard McGizmo, Cool Fall, and Prometheus lights aren't awesome lighting implements. I prefer to call these standard offerings "limited production" lights.

Once non-standard trits, finishes, materials, etc are implemented into a light, it truly does become a custom.
 

nbp

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Interesting thoughts. So would you say that a light has to be one of a kind to be a Custom? Guys like JHanko or Mac who do all their own machining may do a handful of lights that are basically the same while Don may have produced a couple hundred (?) Haikus that are almost the same and Data has made dozens of SPYs that are almost the same. At what point does it stop being Custom and turn to limited production? As soon as there are two of the same light?
 

Grizzman

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I wouldn't say that a light has to be one of a kind to be considered a custom. It is quite possible for many people to request the same non-standard finish, emitter, and trit slot locations without the knowledge that theirs isn't truly unique.

The only requirement for an item to be custom (to me) is that it is built to the requester's non-standard specifications. One example of a truly custom light would be a bespoke Prometheus Alpha.

I consider lights that are built to a standard (even when created on a manual lathe with small unique details) in very small quantities to be simply very limited production lights.
 

leon2245

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I wouldn't say that a light has to be one of a kind to be considered a custom. It is quite possible for many people to request the same non-standard finish, emitter, and trit slot locations without the knowledge that theirs isn't truly unique.

The only requirement for an item to be custom (to me) is that it is built to the requester's non-standard specifications. One example of a truly custom light would be a bespoke Prometheus Alpha.

I consider lights that are built to a standard (even when created on a manual lathe with small unique details) in very small quantities to be simply very limited production lights.


Then where do you put peak, seems to meet all your requirements, drop down menus for body/finish/led/tailcap configuration etc.

Boutique, small scale high quality is probably more what the op means.
 

Grizzman

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Then where do you put peak, seems to meet all your requirements, drop down menus for body/finish/led/tailcap configuration etc.

Boutique, small scale high quality is probably more what the op means.

I'm not familiar with Peak. It sounds like the same scenario that Elzetta offers. Oveready also offers the ability to select among a bunch of different options for their lights.
 
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