What light for rural night dog-walking?

Bill S.

Newly Enlightened
Sep 14, 2011
Hi folks.

I work with a gal that lives in a rural lake neighborhood. No streetlights. She occasionally walks her dogs around the lake path and currently uses an inexpensive C-cell flashlight. I'm thinking about getting her a good torch for everynight use at home, in the yard and on the path. Best to use commonly available batteries, and I'm assuming an LED.

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

____I would like to purchase the light from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
__X_I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.

2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :)

____Less than $25.
____Less than $50.
____Less than $100.
____Less than $150.
____Less than $300.
____I have no limit.
_X___I’m flexible, tell me what you gotJ.
____Other, please specify ________

3) Format:

_X___I want a flashlight.
____I want a headlamp.
____I want a lantern.
____I want a dive light.
____I want a portable spotlight.

4) Flashlight-specific format/size:

____Keychain size.
____Every day carry small (2-4 inches).
____Every day carry medium (4-7 inches).
____Holster carry.
____Big enough to need its own travel caseJ.
__X__I don’t care.
____I don’t know.

5) Emitter/Light source:

__X__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)
____I don't know.

6) Manufacturer:

_X___I want to buy a light from a traditional mass producing manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
____I would consider getting a light that is pieced together (for example a “host” or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a “drop-in” emitter from another source). Under the right circumstances, this path can provide more options to the consumer to meet specific needs, and can often be easily upgradeable as technology improves.

7) What battery type do you want to use?

__X__I intend to use alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D) (disclaimer, while it does not preclude all choices, these are not recommended for many of today’s most powerful lights)
____I intend to use rechargeable nickel chemistry (NiCad, NiMH, NiZn)
____I intend to use lithium primary batteries (CR123, CR2, Energizer Advanced/Ultimate Lithium AA/AAA)
____I intend to use rechargeable lithium (li-ion) chemistry. Feel free to specify a size if you know which size you want (14500, RCR123/16340, 17500, 17670, 18650, etc.)
____I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery. (Note: these choices may be very limited unless you are looking at spotlights)

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 impossible).

____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (0-10 lumens).
__X__I want to walk around an unlit rural area (50-150 lumens).
____I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
____I want to illuminate an entire field, the neighbor's front yard several houses down, impress my friends and neighbors, etc. (300-700 lumens).
____I want ridiculous amounts of lumens (800+ lumens).

9) Throw vs. Flood: At what distance will you be most likely to use this light? Select all that apply.

____Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
____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)
____30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
____50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
____150+ yards (I want maximum throw possible)

10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum 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).

11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.

____Not Important (A “night-stand” light).
__X__Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood).
____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
____I don't care.
____I don’t know.

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

____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).
__X__I don't care.
____I don’t know.
____Other, please specify____________________.

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.)
__X__I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
____I want a programmable light.
____I want a selector ring.
____I want a strobe mode. (Blinks to show location.)
____I want SOS mode.
____I want a beacon mode.
____I don’t care.
____I don’t know.


____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 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).
__X__I don’t care.
____I don’t know.
____Other, please specify____________.

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

____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
____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
____Crenulated bezel
____Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments

I checked what I thought was important, but by all means, any night dogwalkers or rural nightwalkers please chime in. I do not have a dog so I wouldn't know about special circumstances.



Zebralight SC600
Zebralight SC51
Klarus XT2C
Klarus Mi X6
Quark X 123x2
Quark Mini 123
Mini Mags
more to come
Last edited:


Mar 23, 2007
Virginia, USA
I've decided that, in general the TK50 is the best gift light for non-flashaholics. Nice and bright, multiple settings, D-cell alkalines.
Link removed. See red banner at top of page.

If I were going to buy a light for that dog walking application to give to any of my family or friends, that'd be the light I chose.
Last edited by a moderator:


Jan 10, 2009
Galicia, Spain
Almost every 2xAA light that are usually talked about in these forums will be great to dog-walking. Light enough not to be a burden, use easy to find batteries and enough power to put to shame the typical D-Cell lights average people have.

spc smith

Nov 9, 2011
Bill S.,

+1 on the Klarus XT2C. Though it requires a different battery than alkalines(specifically CR123's, and rechargeable lithuim ion batteries "18650"), the performance, runtime and UI is well worth it=).


Newly Enlightened
Jan 11, 2012
I got one of these for walking my dog in suburbia...based on recommendations from people on here........I could not be happier with it....I wear it around my neck and it illuminates a nice 5-6 ft circle around me and the two dogs as we walk........takes two AA batteries
link removed. see red banner at top of page.
Last edited by a moderator:


May 23, 2009
There are many, many single or double AA lights that fit your criteria, and most can be had for under $50.
Fenix LD10: 3 to 100 lumens. Around $45
Energizer Tactical: Package says 37 lumens; tests say 48 lumens. $15 in stores.
Fenix E21. 48 and 150 lumens. About $35
JetBeam BA10: 12 lumens and 160 lumens. About $35
JetBeam BA20: 30 lumens and 270 lumens. About $40

Too many to list actually. Your local Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, or Lowe's should have some decent lights that use common batteries for a low price. Lowe's has a 2C or 3AAA aspheric light under their Task Force brand, and it's around $18-$26, depending on which one you get. They both throw pretty far, and quality is nice for the cost.


Flashlight Enthusiast
Jul 4, 2010
Sunwayman V20a is a beauty, I love the magnetic control ring. For SOG walking the XML would be ideal ;)


Nov 25, 2009
Canberra, Australia
Seeing as you budget was "flexible" I'm going to suggest a Quark AA2 plus 4 or 6 AA eneloops and a Maha C9000 charger (these chargers can be a bit complicated, but for AA eneloops just plug them in and it will charge them up correctly).

The Quark AA2 can be set up with medium as one setting, and you can get max with a simple twist of the head. For non-flashaholics it is probably easier to use than the tactical version.


Newly Enlightened
Jan 11, 2012
I got one of these for walking my dog in suburbia...based on recommendations from people on here........I could not be happier with it....I wear it around my neck and it illuminates a nice 5-6 ft circle around me and the two dogs as we walk........takes two AA batteries
link removed. see red banner at top of page.

ooops...sorry about posting that link, the light I was talking about is a Zebra Light H51w AA headlamp


Apr 1, 2012
I got one of these for walking my dog in suburbia...based on recommendations from people on here........I could not be happier with it....I wear it around my neck and it illuminates a nice 5-6 ft circle around me and the two dogs as we walk........takes two AA batteries
link removed. see red banner at top of page.

hi, you don't wear it like a collar.. or do you?


Flashlight Enthusiast
Dec 12, 2003
New Mexico
For me a mini mag LED would work. I have used such lights for many years. They are rugged, cheap, and do a good job. Why pay $80 or so for a Zebralight to walk a dog?



May 12, 2011
I rotate a couple of lights when walking the dog. We don't do long walks but live in the deep dark country. We use a Klarus ST20, Quark AA2 XML neutral or Zebralight SC600. I mostly use low, but it's great to be able to blast the bush or light up the whole street if there's a strange noise, so I try to use the SC600 the most. I have taken the Fenix TK41 on walks but even on its lowest mode, the hotspot is too bright and it creates tunnel vision. I prefer a floody beam, especially when using to walk.



Jan 15, 2010
Fenix LD20, LD22
Quark 2AA

or if you are cheap, shiningbeam's spark or caveman

4AA batteries and a charger, and any R5 Led light should blow her mind