What is the Rolex of Flashlights?

bykfixer

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Seems that one factory makes lights for several companies? I recall my sons company moving into a recently vacated warehouse were lawn mowers were made. Seems the company made the mowers for many of our popular brands. Red ones, green ones, orange ones all coming out of the same building? I'm sure they did well enough to move to a bigger building rather than going out of business?. And this building is huge and sons company moved in because they had out grown their building as well.
Yes, that big factory is in China.

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A photo of a portion of it from the window of

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This guy's office.

In the distance is the world's biggest flashlight outside of the world's biggest flashlight factory.
 

jacobd

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My 2c would be that Okluma DC1 or DC0s are the Rolex's of the flashlight world. Before I get dog piled hear me out :')

-Intended to be tool grade by the manufacturer, but quickly turned into hype and prestige by collectors.

-More costly than the industry standard of flashlights, but still not the the peak of flashlight cost. (for example I think a Cool Fall Tri V is more comparable to a Richard Mille or something like that)

-Reliable, hold their value (although that holds true for most customs).


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N8N

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Are you looking for prestige e.g. Rolex's current status, or an expensive-but-arguably-worth-it, reliable, nearly indestructible tool flashlight, e.g. the kinds of products that made Rolex's name back in their earlier days?

For the latter I'd submit HDS Systems and I've been toying with the idea of getting a high CRI Rotary for ages.

Sadly I suspect that once Henry retires HDS will be no more as I get the impression it's a very small operation. Would be nice if someone took over though because they have an excellent reputation and I've literally never heard anyone say they were disappointed in an HDS product. Malkoff might also qualify. For mass produced lights, maybe Surefire, Streamlight, or Pelican? The last three aren't priced like Rolex though...

Now that I think about it it's been about a year since I've got my financial life back on track. Maybe time for a little gift for myself? My RRT-01 still works, but it's definitely made to a price point. Car does need a clutch though...
 

Monocrom

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Pelican? Oh no.... no.
That comes from First-hand experience, with a number of their models.
Their PM6 3330 Polymer LED in particular is so bad, I wouldn't even urinate on it! I'm not even being sarcastic. My urine is worth more than that abomination! It literally lasted me from when I bought it at a Brick & Mortar shop near City Hall in Manhattan, to when I walked down the street and rounded the corner. Again, not joking!

Something didn't feel right. Took the bezel off (there is no separate tailcap) and the batteries that came with it were stuck! After a Herculean effort, I got them out. Examined them. They looked fine. Tried putting them back into the light. They refused to fit! What the Hell!? I take a much closer look at the combination body/tailcap, and realize the whole thing on the inside is warped! I literally just bought the light. This was going to be my light-weight EDC for the next several years! Nope!!!

Then, I realize the threads on the head somehow got stripped after one unscrewing! In hindsight, I should have walked back around the corner, back up the street, and demanded my money back. But I was so furious, and the owner of the shop is a miserable scumbag! Didn't want to deal with her BS. Literally in front of me was a NYC public trash can. I threw the pieces in there, and walked away. In fairness, their metal lights are much better constructed. Even back then.

I'd put Pelican on par with digital Timex models. Useful, but you're going to be better off with a less headache-inducing Casio.
 

Monocrom

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Maybe i should ask what brand is the Casio of lights as i think we have exhausted the intent of this thread me thinks?
Streamlight.
Literally something for everyone. From inexpensive lights to more expensive but incredibly reliable duty-lights, to every other light for every other task; all made by one brand. And yes, I'm including G-Shock with Casio. How could you not. Casio makes G-Shocks.
 

bykfixer

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To me the question is like asking what is the Ferrari of bicycles or what is the Reeses peanut butter cup of grape juice.... kinda hard to give a definitive, everybody would agree answer. Especially here at CPF where it's difficult to get 3 members to agree whether the sun is shining or not.
 

bykfixer

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There's a lot of differing opinions amongst the flashlight junkies but as a rule most are well behaved. A fews years back? Not so much. A thread like this would have likely been closed by now due to all of the bickering.

Some folks would get banned and come back under a different name, behave at first but the style would eventually show again.
 

N8N

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Pelican? Oh no.... no.
That comes from First-hand experience, with a number of their models.
I'll defer to you... I thought they were "preferred" especially for use in explosion proof type environments. I have never had one so can't actually comment on their quality (never had a HDS either but I think I've had at least one of the other brands I mention)
 

Monocrom

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I'll defer to you... I thought they were "preferred" especially for use in explosion proof type environments.
Underwater Kinetics gets that nod. Legendary for their popularity with workers who go in harm's way, when a tiny spark could trigger a massive explosion. Not popular at all with the typical Flashaholic crowd. But many of us do acknowledge the company for the incredible specialized lights that they make. Lumen ratings aren't incredibly high (but on their lights, they don't need to be). Very pricey. But again, very specialized lights and they're actually Made in the USA. I was lucky to pick up a 4AA eLED model a short while back that was on sale. (They practically never get put on sale.)

As for Pelican, they do have a range of specialized lights. But against their closest competitors, Pelican usually comes up short. Their clone of the incandescent SureFire 6P was a winner. And several years back Pelican's rechargeable 7060 model was chosen as the new standard-issue light of the LAPD. The brand hasn't had a huge (or small) victory since though.

Back when their 6P clone was switched over to LED, a huge scandal broke out. Now industry standard with most brands is to report lumens numbers at the emitter, not Out The Front. (SureFire uses OTF numbers and a small handful of other brands do too.) Emitter numbers will always be less than realistic OTF numbers. Usually right around 1/3 less. Take a brand's claimed output number, and divide by 1/3 to get a more realistic number for output. Unfortunately, with that model, Pelican just decided to make up the number out of thin air! Pretty soon, folks noticed! And not just on here, but out in the real world.

I used to buy my lights from Brick & Mortar stores during the early days of my collecting. Maybe a year or two before joining CPF. An all everything lighting small shop near Madison Square Garden, owner knew me by my face. Had bought a few lights from him. Walked in one day, saw a Pelican M6 LED in the display case. Wanted to buy it. He literally refused to sell it to me! Told me that the output was a blatant lie, and that I was better off without it! He just refused to let me buy it. I thanked him, and walked out. Just a surreal experience.
 

PeritusArcus62

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Maglite is the standard sadly. For pros and hobbyists it is Surefire.
I wouldnt touch a maglite unless it had been professionally brought up to a decent spec.

I suppose Surefire would be one of the benchmarks but there are plenty of contenders nowadays.

I had a couple of SFs but moved on to others as choice, quality, performance VFM have improved over the years.
 
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