Truck Light

GatorMedic

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Messages
50
Hey y'all. I'm pretty new to this flashlight business, but I'm looking for a good light to keep in my truck's console. It might be used for a variety of tasks: light up a field or the beach, used for walking some distance on pavement or trail, to search for an item in the toolbox in the truck bed, etc.So far my only experience with nice lights is a Fenix LD12 for work (Paramedic) and a Fenix PD35 I just bought that currently resides in my apt. Will probably be getting another PD35 for use as a duty light here soon to replaced the LD12 since I'm with a more rural service now. Could always go with a PD35 for a truck light as well, but figured I'd see if there were some better options for truck duty.

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 ______________.
_XX_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.
____Up to $50.
_XX_Up to $100.
____Up to $200.
____Up to $300.
____Essentially unlimited.


3) Format:

____I am not sure, please help me decide.
_XX_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).
____SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).
_XX_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:

____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)
_XX_I don't know.


6) Manufacturer:

_XX_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?

____I intend to use "Primary"/Disposable Alkaline batteries based on the usual AAA/AA/C/D sized cells common to most stores.
____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.
_XX_I don't know/I need more information on power sources.

7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option
____I want a light that plugs directly into the wall (literally with prongs built into the light)
____I want a light that has a recharging adapter (your typical "wall wart")
____I want a light that snaps into a cradle (usually mounted on a wall)
____I want a separate/stand-alone charger (this involves removing the batteries to charge)
_XX_I don't care


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).

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

____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.
____Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
____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.

***Uncertain, but probably wide throw would be best for my uses.

9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)
_XX_Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
_XX_Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
_XX_5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
_XX_30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
_XX_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)
____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).

**The longer the better but obviously it all depends on what brightness level it's set on.



11) Durability/Usage: 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).
____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
_XX_Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
____I don't know.


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

____Any size switch will do.
____I need a BIG switch (I'll be using gloves or have very large hands or coordination issues).
____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
____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.
_XX_Other, please specify:__I'm flexible on this. Generally I like the tail switch found on my Fenix lights but think being able to tail stand a truck light would be a preferable feature__.


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

____A simple on-off with only one output level is fine for me.
____I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
_XX_I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
____I want a programmable light.
____I want a selector ring.
_XX_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.


14)Material/Finish/Coating

____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
____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).
_XX_I don't care.
____I don't know.
____Other, please specify____________.

15) Water resistance
____None needed
____IPX4 (Splash resistant)
_XX_IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
____IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)

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


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

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

**Red filter not needed but would be a good feature to have if possible.

Thanks for any recommendations y'all can give me :)
 

GatorMedic

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Messages
50
Did some more research and looks like I will be going with a Fenix TK35UE. If y'all have any other suggestions though, feel free to post them
 
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