Which torch to use for night time nature watching?

Shinyshilling

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Hello,

I'm a girl in my 30's and never thought I'd be interested in reading a forum on candlepower lol, but I have been drawn in to reading various discussions and found it surprisingly interesting! I've just followed a thread on Led Lensers and was looking at buying either the P7.2 or the P14, after chatting with someone on the phone about our torch needs!

We love nature and often are out in the Highlands with our kids looking at deer, badgers, owls and pine martens etc. So, I'm looking to buy my husband a great torch for his birthday that will be very bright and have a good reach, throw (sorry...not familiar with torch tech talk yet!)

We used to have a plug in thing for the car but it was poor and died a death. We were sold a Maglite in Scotland last year which is cumbersome and dim...disappointing to say the least.

If anyone could recommend a great night nature watching torch, I'd be really grateful.

Thanks a lot :)
 

archimedes

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There are so many options ... you might want to start by posting a copy of the "recommendation form" (listed at the top of this subforum) , completed with your preferences for budget, size, battery type, output, runtime, etc, etc, etc.

I think that a Malkoff Hound Dog might be an excellent choice, but you will likely get more tailored responses if you fill out that form :shrug:
 
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ven

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Difficult as said without actual cells,be it AA or li ion etc etc etc

But look at a warmer tint rather than a cool white,as you get better colour rendition. Nichia 219 for example is a nice tint,maybe look at lights that offer that led:)

:welcome:
 

Shinyshilling

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There are so many options ... you might want to start by posting a copy of the "recommendation form" (listed at the top of this subforum) , completed with your preferences for budget, size, battery type, output, runtime, etc, etc, etc.

I think that a Malkoff Hound Dog might be an excellent choice, but you will likely get more tailored responses if you fill out that form :shrug:

Thanks...I'm not really sure of all of the answers but the information you've both given is a great starting point. So here goes ...

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

_
____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! :)

Between £30.00 and £70.00 does that sound possible/reasonable?


3) Format:

____I am not sure, please help me decide.



4) Size: Not sure what to expect. I guess medium to large but the lighter the better



5) Emitter/Light source: I'm not sure on this and would appreciate some guidance

____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:

____I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.


7) What power source do you want to use? I'm a bit confused about the whole battery business. I want long life, practical, non leaking, happy to have rechargeable but don't know if that's the best as different people say different things. Is one you plug into your car battery not a good idea? Sorry I don't know more!

____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.
____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)
____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).

I want to be able to spot an owl up a tree or in flight or a deer from a car that may be rutting on a hillside some distance away

____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (1-10 lumens).
____I want an indoor "blackout" light (15-50 lumens)
____I want to confidently walk around an unlit/unpaved rural area (60-150 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 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. Not sure about this either...what do you suggest. I guess a bit of both?


9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)

____50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)


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).

____90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical) or less really





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


____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).



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

____Any size switch will do.

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 don't know.


14)Material/Finish/Coating

____I don't know.
____Other, please specify____________.

15) Water resistance

____IPX4 (Splash resistant)
____IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)


16) Storage conditions
____In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)



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

Sorry that I'm not sure about a lot of stuff. Hope this helps a bit
 

mcnair55

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First of all Led Lenser are the biggest selling light in the UK by a long way.You can buy them in Maplins and countless outdoor stores but personally i would keep away from them as they all frills and not so clever in the performance dept.

Tesco make a decent light and you can save a fortune on over priced hobby lights but if you persist i suggest Fenix and with careful surfing they are available in some UK stores but best bet is on-line.

I suggest heinne.com as a first class supplier as they sell loads of gadgets other than lights plus from time to time they send out nice little sales books to read.
 

ven

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I am going to suggest the sunwayman d40a in NW(neutral white) which runs on 4x AA cells.

I would also recommend using eneloop AA cells which are very good.

:D
 

ven

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Chenery88

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First of all Led Lenser are the biggest selling light in the UK by a long way.You can buy them in Maplins and countless outdoor stores but personally i would keep away from them as they all frills and not so clever in the performance dept. Tesco make a decent light and you can save a fortune on over priced hobby lights but if you persist i suggest Fenix and with careful surfing they are available in some UK stores but best bet is on-line. I suggest heinne.com as a first class supplier as they sell loads of gadgets other than lights plus from time to time they send out nice little sales books to read.

+1 - Led Lenser are good versus normal torches....but not that great compared to many of the competition. I am UK based too....Really you need to decide do you want to go Li-Ion in which case factor in £10 per battery (18650) and £20 for a charger (they need a specific charger they do not charge on your normal AA,C,D cell chargers)
Or there are now some very nice new rechargeable torches with the charge circuit built in....you can still replace the batteries but can also plug in to your car.
Google Led Torch Uk and three or four companies pop up ..then on their websites see what you fancy. You mention deers on hillsides so it rules out smaller pocket torches.
Check out something like the Eagletac SX25L2 - basically same sort of size as a 2 C cell Maglite... Or just seen Olight do a R40 both will light up 3-400 metres and run for a few hours and also light a field style beam...
Both have a Cree XM-L2 led which is the new generation of led and effectively light up like a car headlight. They have all then anther as part of the package but are nearer the £100 mark.

I got the SX25L2 which is crazy bright and also has filters you can attach to change the colour, beam profile etc...

I also have a Nitcore SRT5 on my belt at work....lights up about 100m but probably not the penetration for a Scottish hillside! But that is only a single 18650 light and will knock socks of the LedLenser...but you would need a separate charger etc..

If you don't like the thought of not having normal rechargeables there are some nice multi battery versions running on AA equivalents but you need a bulkier torch to allow for the multiple batteries. E.g a Fenix TK41 or TK45 but these are nearer £130 and bigger....

I found the easiest way to narrow the field was to look at the UK torch websites ...look at their ranges and their prices they usually give the torch specs so you can compare to a degree....short list them the. Google your short list with review and no doubt some kind sole like Selfbuilt on CPF will have done a review ....it also helps as people will post negative feedback if they don't like it!

Then ultimate would be a neutral white led or high CRI led version which is the Colour Rendering Index (I think) essentially more realistic colours in nature...but the trade of is they usually put out slightly less light so you will lose some throw.

Happy torch hunting and welcome ;)
 

mcnair55

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I am going to suggest the sunwayman d40a in NW(neutral white) which runs on 4x AA cells.

I would also recommend using eneloop AA cells which are very good.

:D


Poundland etc are a cracking source for Alkaline deals plus Home Bargains etc.They are known as Alka leaks by some but in all the years i have never experienced this bogey man scare story.If these scare stories had an element of truth in a massive way the retailers would have dumped them years ago and the little Duracell bunny you see on the TV would be seeking new employment.

If you intend to not use your light so much i would also endorse the use of Eneloop or similar such as Tesco own label and one of the best sources in the UK would be 7day shop.
 

Shinyshilling

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Wow, really thanks loads everyone for taking the time to respond so supportively. I'll do some looking now!
 

mcnair55

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Any views on the Fenix TK21?


Any Fenix is a good light including the TK range but you will need to add another £30 quid or a tad more to fuel it up.I suggest you have a good look at the LD41 now that is useful in so many ways.Probably one of the best lights i have ever bought.The PD32 and PD35 are worth a good look as well.I use the PD35 to annoy my neighbour lol.

Out of all my Fenix my overall most used is my LD10 running on Duracell professional batteries.
 

Chenery88

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For some reason never had a Fenix but everyone seems to love em...think the TK22 is the newer version? For similar money I think it is underpowered compared to say a Eagletac T25C2 XM-L2 LED 1180 lumen ....easy UI as twisty head..and can get it in a neutral white tint..but a M said you will need to factor in the 18650 batteries....personally I love that style form factor.
Looking at beam shots the TK21 will light up a good 100metres of useable brightness....but probably underpowered for deer spotting from your car... If you only want that sort of distance then I can recommend the Nitecore SRT5 around £72.... Very idiot proof interface...and my daughter loves the red n blue strobe lights it also has or disco mode as she calls it..You can also dial up n down the brightness with a smooth twist...so handy for close up work as well as a little power rocket. And the beam is a nice mix of floody throw....or if you can stretch to it the SRT7 will throw around 300 metres (not seen this in the flesh) again single 18650.

If you do go online to order make sure you check out the CPF marketplace dealer discount page as it will save around 8%
 

dc38

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Poundland etc are a cracking source for Alkaline deals plus Home Bargains etc.They are known as Alka leaks by some but in all the years i have never experienced this bogey man scare story.If these scare stories had an element of truth in a massive way the retailers would have dumped them years ago and the little Duracell bunny you see on the TV would be seeking new employment.

If you intend to not use your light so much i would also endorse the use of Eneloop or similar such as Tesco own label and one of the best sources in the UK would be 7day shop.

I believe you mean Energizer bunny...The alkaleak occurrence usually happens with neglect of some sort: Old cells, overdischarged cells, overheated/frozen cells, etc. You must not be a very neglectful person :D

As far as lights go, @shinyshilling,Nitecore EA4 NW might fit the bill. There are also lights like the terralux Colorado, which seems to be a rebranded jetbeam PA40
 

mcnair55

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I believe you mean Energizer bunny...The alkaleak occurrence usually happens with neglect of some sort: Old cells, overdischarged cells, overheated/frozen cells, etc. You must not be a very neglectful person :D

As far as lights go, @shinyshilling,Nitecore EA4 NW might fit the bill. There are also lights like the terralux Colorado, which seems to be a rebranded jetbeam PA40


No i mean the Duracell bunny and i have a model one which i acquired a few years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gDCAEyLABo
 

voicemaster

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Nitecore ea4 which has an incredible amount of light (860 lumens on turbo), pretty compact and light, uses 4xAA batteries and cost around USD 50. It has a pretty nice throw and flood too.
 

Shinyshilling

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Nitecore ea4 which has an incredible amount of light (860 lumens on turbo), pretty compact and light, uses 4xAA batteries and cost around USD 50. It has a pretty nice throw and flood too.

I've just spoken to a guy at Flashaholics who recommended the Nitecore EA4. It's £60.00 from them and £40.00 on Amazon...what's the hitch? Am I better off with rechargeable batteries or just normal ones?
 

ven

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I would have suggested the ea4 as i have one and love it,just the d40a(very similar in the 4xAA light market)gets better feed back.

I paid £33 imported,so no catch,just shops wise you pay more...........

As suggested go for the NW over the CW for better colour rendition.
 

reppans

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I like animal spotting at night.... every night while I walk my dog. I would vote for a thrower with good set of low modes like sub-lumen and single digit lows - Quark Turbos and the SWM D40As, for example. Being able to navigate without blowing your night vision too much will you allow to see your wildlife environment much better, frighten fewer animals off with your approach, and with just a little bit of light aligned with your line of sight, you can light animal eyes like Christmas trees :). Using too much light illuminates all the foreground/trees/foliage in which glowing eyes can get lost in. Once you find them, then you can full light them up.
 
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lightmyfire13

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Eneloops withour a doubt bigger outlay in price at first but if using regularly u will soon recoup the cost (I had a ea4)if you ask nicely u may get a deal on buying eneloops.i asked n got 4 aa pack with my purchase ...also use voucher code for 5 percent off.
 
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