Too many choices! Need help choosing general purpose lights

LightWalker

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The Quark mini's seem to be able to take drops pretty well, nutnfancy dropped his off a bridge onto asphalt in the video below.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mGl3XDeR-Ig

I have been carrying a mini 123 in my pocket and it has held up pretty well except for the keyring attachment.
 

Pixel Hunter

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Oct 9, 2014
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Reviewing everyone's replies, I've correlated some of the suggestions and come up with the following:

General Purpose Lights
- Surefire 6PX/G2X: Got several recommendations for these. From what I can see, they are basically identical lights except for the body material. So I have to decide if an aluminum body is worth $10-15 more than the "plastic" one.

Nobody mentioned it, but would the P2X Fury be worth the extra bucks? Based on the price and my needs, I don't think there's any way I can justify the P1R-B-BK.

Surefire is meeting the needs as a US company with primarily US made/assembled, but what about some of the other options that didn't get mentioned like the StreamLight Pro-Tac, Scorpion, Strion or TL, Foursevens Maelstrom, or Eagletac P20? I had to ask if only for the sake of over-researching things to death, which I am wont to do...

Every Day Carry Lights
Yikes! There seems to be a ton of recommendations here!
- Streamlight Microstream (US company, but made in China, yes?)
- Foursevens Quarks (several recommendations)
- EagleTAC D25
- Terralux Lightstar 80 (Chinese company?)
- Malkoff MDC (I think this would be too pricey)
- Oveready Peak Logan (Also pricey)
- Peak LED El Capitan (Also pricey)
- Foursevens Mini (several recommendations)
- Foursevens Atom
- Foursevens Prion 2

It looks like as a brand, Foursevens gets the most recommendations for a small EDC light. However, they are a US company with Chinese manufacturing, correct? I suppose that's hard to avoid.

Would any of the above AA/AAA lights be capable of using rechargeable batteries? I have a good charger and several batteries already. Or would lifetime with those batteries be too short, or would I have to charge them weekly? I know the lithium 123s are a good choice for long-term storage and power density. (Great for the general purpose lights.)
 

skyfire

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for general purpose i agree the G2X, and 6PX are good. maybe a little bright, id much prefer longer runtimes than brightness for general purpose lights.
the biggest difference between the 2 to me, is heat management. the 6PX will dissipate heat better because its made of aluminum. the difference is when using high for long periods of time.

the P2X not being mentioned might be because for a general purpose light, its too much of a power hog. its high mode, although brighter will consume batteries faster, resulting in shorter runtimes.

i think surefire's "outdoorsman series" of lights such as the E2L, and E1L are near perfect for general purpose. but theyre a little over your price range.

for EDC, you have many different types of lights listed. some work very different than other. some have a switch, and some require twisting its head to activate. think about what type of interface would benefit your usage. how much actually light or lumens that you need and will be using most. if you want a beam pattern thats narrow with range, or a more floody type beam.
i personally, like all my lights very simple with 1 or 2 modes of light. i realize a good low, and high works best for me. the light being simple to operate also allows everybody in my family to pick it up and use it with ease.

correct, foursevens is an american based brand with lights made in china. there are a few other brands that operate similarly, such as eagletac.

when it comes to AA and AAA, stay away from alkalines. they leak.
fortunately, lithium AA and AAA batteries are available. so you can have the advantages of lithium chemistry along with a common cell size.
rechargeable nimh such as eneloops works great. many of the rechargeable nimhs cells today are LSD. (low self discharge) and can be stored for much longer periods without having to recharge them.

since you are invested in AA and AAA, you might want to just stick to that. LED technology has advanced enough that a single or 2x AA light can provide more than enough light for general purpose use.

if a friend or family was to ask me for a general purpose, and EDC light. i would suggest a E2LA-AA or E2L-AA and for EDC a EB1, or E1D. then tell them to swap its heads. this will give them more options for user interface, and brightness levels.

malkoff is another brand i highly recommend.
 

Pixel Hunter

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Wow, those Surefire E... series lights are expensive! What makes them so? I don't think I can afford those.

You make a good point. I should try to narrow down the criteria for the EDC lights:
- I like the concept of clicky switches over twist. But I'm basing that on the old AA Mags I had that you had to "unscrew" the head so the battery contact would disconnect. Are modern twisty lights the same, or is it more of a rotation with fixed stops? Whichever I go with, I don't want the lights to accidentally turn on in a pocket/purse.
- Interface? I think that means I'd like something with a high and low setting and a simple method for activating them. I don't need strobes and beacons and 14 levels of light.
- I think I want the most lumen I can squeeze out of a light. But again, I'm basing that on my old Mags which always seemed too dim. I don't even know what those old Mags were rated at. I want to say 150 lumen would be too little, but for all I know my old Mags were 75. Or maybe they were 300. (I'm thinking of my 2AA and 3D mags.)
- For the larger, brighter general purpose light, I think 2 or 3 lithium 123s would be ideal. I don't mind buying a package of them for when I need them. For the EDCs that may get used more often, I'm starting to lean towards using 1 or 2 AA and using my Amazon Basics/Eneloop rechargables.
- EDIT: Forgot to mention throw/spill requirements. I think for a EDC, a good blend of the two would be best. Perhaps favoring a slightly less distance/wider angle beam.

I suppose I need to try to look at the list of recommendations for the EDC and narrow it down based on my above comments.
 
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Pixel Hunter

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Okay, scratch what I said about using my existing stock of rechargeable AA batteries. My wife just chastised me for "getting it wrong... again". Her criteria is thus:

American made, camera battery, Brightest light.

Translated; A US company with "made in the USA" a higher preference. She wants the smallest light possible, which seems to be 1x CR123 based, which should also give her a brighter/more lumen light.
 

Timothybil

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What he is saying is that all of the Surefire one cell lights are more than you budget. The two cell G2X and 6PX, even though they are two cell, cost less and are in your budget range.

An alternative to the G2X and 6PX would be the Lumens Factory Seraph 6. It too is a two cell CR123 light. The version I would recommend is the tri-mode LED. It is rated at about 350 lumens, with the modes at 5%/30%/100%. The UI is a simple click within two seconds to get next mode forward clickie. It will then remember whichever mode it was last used as. They are selling for under US$50. I admit they are a Hong Kong company, but many CPFers have had dealings with them and can attest to their quality and reliability. I have had mine for three years and really love it. Mark, the founder and owner, has a presence here at CPF, and the company goes out of its way to make sure its customers are happy.
 

Pixel Hunter

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What he is saying is that all of the Surefire one cell lights are more than you budget. The two cell G2X and 6PX, even though they are two cell, cost less and are in your budget range.

Ah, I understand now.

I know I've crossed into the Obsessing Over This stage now that I'm sitting here researching this past midnight when I have to work in the morning. Anyway, I created a bit of a spreadsheet (yes... it's gone that far) to compare all the suggestions and have used that to create this list. Please let me know where I've got things wrong or where the stats may not tell the whole story. At the moment, I've only done this for the small EDCs.

EagleTAC D25C Clicky/D25C Mini
Max Lumen: 260/275 respectively, with Turbo modes for 397/325
Price: $40-55 (high end of what I'd like)
Company: US based with overseas manufacturing
Battery: 1x CR123A

Foursevens Atom AL/Mini ML/Mini ML-X/Quark QPLC
Max Lumen: 110/216/252/246 (AL may be a little on the dim side for our search)
Price: $33-49 (mid to high end of what I'd like)
Company: US based with overseas manufacturing
Battery: 1x CR123A

Foursevens Preon P1 (dismissed from consideration)
Max Lumen: 84 (too dim)
Price: $33
Company: US/overseas
Battery: 1x AAA (not what wifey wants)

Malkoff MDC HA 1CR123/MDC HA SHO 1CR123
(dismissed from consideration)
Max Lumen: 250/300
Price: $99 (too expensive)
Company: US!
Battery: 1x CR123A

Peak El Capitan/Logan (dismissed from consideration)
Max Lumen: ???/300
Price: $60-70 (too expensive)
Company: US!
Battery 1x AA (no wife approval)/1x CR123A

Streamlight Microstream (dismissed from consideration)
Max Lumen: 35 (too dim)
Price: $19 (perfect!)
Company: US/overseas
Battery: 1x AAA (Nope)

Streamlight ProTac 1L

Max Lumen: 180
Price: $38
Company: US/overseas
Battery: 1x CR123A

TerraLUX Lightstar 80 (dismissed from consideration)
Max Lumen: 80 (too dim)
Price: $20 or 2 for $25
Company: US with unknown manufacturing
Battery: 2x AAA (no stamp of approval from the boss)

My wife reiterated her desire to buy "Made in the US" again. It's not because we don't trust the quality of imported brands, it's that we're really trying to support US businesses and employees whenever possible. Sometimes we achieve that goal by buying Fiestaware and US made flatware. Sometimes we make compromises by buying Apple. Sometimes we just buy what we want like our German cars.

Anyway, the only fully US lights are the Malkoff and Peak, which I just can't afford. Especially since I want two of them plus some larger general purpose lights too! I also dismissed the low-lumen, non-CR123A units since they don't meet our power expectations. I guess that leaves the rest down to a choice of size, price and lumen rating. Unless there's something I've not taken into consideration.
 

Peace Train

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+1 on the Eagletac for edc. Also look into Olight S10. It has a great UI and form factor. The Olight S15 is a lower lumen option that's nice for around the house and in the car. It accepts readily available batteries, and (like the S10) has a tail magnet which makes it great for hanging out in the most inconspicuous of places in the event of a power outage, working on a project, etc. The positive on the Olights is that the new models just came out and can be charged in light without the need for a battery charger.

Of course there are lots of other great options, including modified versions by members you'll find here on this forum. Welcome to CPF, hope this helps!
 

ven

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In honesty i dont think you could go wrong with any listed,i cant add any valid info on them apart from the d25 lights. I have 3,2x d25c and d25cvn and a d25a all ti versions.

They are my edc lights so general purpose but on me and i do rotate with the t10t and v11r from time to time.

So as i like pics:eek: and they a 1000 words,here is a shiny pic of the 2x d25c and d25a ti lights
 

Poppy

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Love your pictures ven :thumbsup:

For an EDC, stainless or Ti are my preference (when available.) They always look nice.

There are those who state that a worn looking light shows character. I'll agree, but IMO stainless or Ti, shows class.

I don't know if you intend on buying two of the same light, right off the bat, or not, but personally, I wouldn't. The selection of tint, LED, and beam profile is difficult to make, on paper. I.E. nothing compares to "hands on" experience, and in different anticipated scenarios, you might prefer a slightly lower low, or higher low, a light with a tighter beam, or more floody.




In honesty i dont think you could go wrong with any listed,i cant add any valid info on them apart from the d25 lights. I have 3,2x d25c and d25cvn and a d25a all ti versions.

They are my edc lights so general purpose but on me and i do rotate with the t10t and v11r from time to time.

So as i like pics:eek: and they a 1000 words,here is a shiny pic of the 2x d25c and d25a ti lights
 

Pixel Hunter

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Oct 9, 2014
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Material doesn't matter to me as much as cost. I do know I want metal over plastic, if possible. This would be so much simpler if my wife didn't really want to stick with US-made. It's not that I disagree with her motives, but it limits our choices and really ramps up the price.

With a goal of getting something in our hands by this weekend, Malkoff is not only expensive, but out of stock.

The Peak Logan confuses the heck out of me! It looks like you pretty much custom order your light with specific components. I can't even figure out how many lumen it has, or what the choices are. All I see is some reference about Levels 1-8. But I guess you order a single level and you are stuck with a single-level light.

Oh, and how can a 1x CR123A mini light cost over $200!? (Like the Surefires.) Is it machined from ores mined from the asteroid belt and harnesses photons from the core of distant suns!?

My wife is emailing me asking about the Maglite MAG-TAC 2x CR123 "mini". Nobody has recommended a Mag yet, and I associate the brand with "behind the times".
 
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