Why do you collect flashlights?

Chauncey Gardiner

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
8,515
Location
Pacific N.W.
I'm not a collector .... I'm not. I'm not. I'm not.

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Chickensfloat

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
12
Location
WI
When i was 3 or 4 i got my first flashlight. A 9 led crappy 3 tripple a flashlight. It all snowballed outa control from there. First broke quick, so i got more and more cheap ones. Carryed them everywhere by 5th grade i had a whoke graveyard of these cheap things one after another they broke and i combined 3 to make 1 good one. Got sick of it in 5th grade so i spent 20 bucks on a mini mag led pro, 2aa 272 lumen. Lasted me about 5 years with lots of abuse, bright but not enough to scratch the brightness itch i had. Anyhow during that 5 years After the buying the maglight i started buying old maglights used cheap, and incandecent antuiqe flashlights, learned quick there not bright enough so tryed converting them to led. Wwll middle school me understood simple dc electricity from wiring stuff on trucks and whatnot. Anyhow first real light i built was a 4 c cell maglight with a xhp70 led if im not mistaken, choked up by cheap ali express drivers, held to the stock switch with a copper coupler, lots of epoxy and a ground down aluminum heat sink. 2 18650s ran it that i salvaged out of a ryobi 18v battery that went thru a rain storm. Sanded pvc pipe spacer with a bolt to take up the space. A quarter to widen the head of the bolt for the spring. Then i built a watercooled flashlight out of a xhp70.2 solidered to a copper pipe, 12vfish tank pump, camera reflector, scrap wood, a moterspeed controler, buck voltage regulator, x2 4 18650 battery holders. And alot of wires salvaged from some computer psu's. After the minimag wore out i bought a olight m2r, took some machine shop classes in 4th year of highschool and decided to actually build flashlights right, using my dads hand me down lathe which was my great grandfathers back in the day re do some of the lights i built, and convert some vintage lights aswell. Any how enough rambling im hooked and i cant stop. 4th generation to use that lathe so it has a little wear and tear but runs great despite being from the 20s or 30s.
 

tyoda0202

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Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
7
As mentioned by others, back in the day Maglites were the best. Massive and could be used as a club, & at the time relatively bright. Fast forward to today with LED's getting brighter, more efficient and batteries with more and more capacity - it's amazing how many lumens even small lights can output and with long run times. I'm intrigued by the continuing march to brighter lights in compact EDC form factors. Amazing that in your hand you can exceed the brightness of a car headlight!
 

3oni

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CPF Supporter
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
141
Location
Seattle
At the end of the day, it boils down to the same reason I collect other things: Because flashlights are neat. :)

I enjoy the journey of figuring out what I like, hunting for it, reassessing, and trying again. Finding a light that ticks all my boxes and just slots into my life as if it should always have been a part of it is satisfying. And I like that even lights I'm not currently using -- like the ones scattered around the house for power outages -- are useful.
 

pumps

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Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Messages
46
When I was a kid I would camp out in the back yard. I would go in to the woods behind my house at night with a flashlight. My friends and I would get dropped off at the mall and we would go in to the stores that had sporting goods, like Woolworth. Get stuff for our camping and woods expeditions(behind the house-the wilderness that was in the burbs lol). I would buy a few lights and compare the beams. Which had the best. I remember I had a Sportsman by RayoVac that was the best. I have one now, bought an estate sale. When I got older I did pest control and needed a good light. For termite inspections I carried a Brinkman 2 D cell in a ring on my belt. Then later when I became a firefighter I carried a big old Brinkman 6 volt lantern on my belt because it had a better beam than the Rayovac 6 volt ones that were issued to us.. Then switched to a black Fulton on my fire coat. Then we switched to Streamlight Vulcan? rechargeables. Then anglehead Streamlight incan rechargeables. When they came out with 4AA LED model I bought one myself-still carry it.. Department didn't start buying them for a while. Now we have LED rechargeables mounted on the fire truck. I did appliance repair on the side 30 years and of course I needed a good light. Carried AA min-Mag incan and then LED. A light with a magnet on it is a good help when doing repair work. Bought a Kobalt Hypercoil that has been a good tool. ( Why are they selling for so crazy expensive on ebay) Then spent time as an electrician and a good headlight is necessary when working overhead with the lights out and in attics. Used a cheap Energizer with a weak LED/incan set up. But it worked. Coverted my D Maglites to LED, bought a few old Fultons and small LED lights. I like to find lights at estate sales. Now I've 3 Maglights D cells I've picked up for a couple bucks at sales and converted them. A couple Luxons, from Lowes, AA Olights, Rovyvon A1 Aurora, LED lanterns for when the power goes out.Just whatever catches my eye. I have convinced my wife to take a light outside whenever she goes out in the back with the dogs so she won't trip going down the deck steps(again)or on something or get surprised by a raccoon or fox. I know she does when I'm not home because I see her on the security camera. They're a tool. Let me just say I always have a reliable light nearby. Sometimes I think about the people who were walking down the stairs of the World Tade Center in the dark on 9/11. Did I mention I have probably a dozen transistor radios?
 
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cbxer55

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Messages
359
Location
Somewhere in OK
I never intended to collect them. But overtime, they keep getting better and better, stronger and stronger. And as such, new ones come in and old ones become collector items. Fairly rapidly at times. Bought a Fenix PD36 Tac a few weeks ago for the 3000 lumen turbo mode. In the package was a card for the Acebeam E70, with 4600 lumens, to which the tester here said more like 5300. So, ordered one of them the next week. The Fenix PD 36 will become a garage light, replacing the old Olight M30 that's been out there for many years.

See signature below. That's pretty much it. A couple Mag Lites I have that I do not consider to be worth even throwing in the round-open-top file. Not a lot compared to some of you. But a lot to me, since most of them just sit around unused, especially the older Surefire incandescents, which had nicad batteries that are long ago expired.
 

mpetry912

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CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
67
Like a pocketknife or a screwdriver, a flashlight is a tool, and the nice ones out there are really beautiful. here's most of my pile. Tray is a GITD item from CountyComm (https:www.countycomm.com) as is the Maratac 4 cell light behind. Knives are a Mission prototype, all titanium folder (incl blade) and a Boker all carbon / ceramic unit that is very light. There's an Overready BOSS in there and a very cool titanium Lumintop.

/markp
 

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bykfixer

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
16,818
Location
My own little Idaho
When I was a kid I would camp out in the back yard. I would go in to the woods behind my house at night with a flashlight. My friends and I would get dropped off at the mall and we would go in to the stores that had sporting goods, like Woolworth. Get stuff for our camping and woods expeditions(behind the house-the wilderness that was in the burbs lol). I would buy a few lights and compare the beams. Which had the best. I remember I had a Sportsman by RayoVac that was the best. I have one now, bought an estate sale. When I got older I did pest control and needed a good light. For termite inspections I carried a Brinkman 2 D cell in a ring on my belt. Then later when I became a firefighter I carried a big old Brinkman 6 volt lantern on my belt because it had a better beam than the Rayovac 6 volt ones that were issued to us.. Then switched to a black Fulton on my fire coat. Then we switched to Streamlight Vulcan? rechargeables. Then anglehead Streamlight incan rechargeables. When they came out with 4AA LED model I bought one myself-still carry it.. Department didn't start buying them for a while. Now we have LED rechargeables mounted on the fire truck. I did appliance repair on the side 30 years and of course I needed a good light. Carried AA min-Mag incan and then LED. A light with a magnet on it is a good help when doing repair work. Bought a Kobalt Hypercoil that has been a good tool. ( Why are they selling for so crazy expensive on ebay) Then spent time as an electrician and a good headlight is necessary when working overhead with the lights out and in attics. Used a cheap Energizer with a weak LED/incan set up. But it worked. Coverted my D Maglites to LED, bought a few old Fultons and small LED lights. I like to find lights at estate sales. Now I've 3 Maglights D cells I've picked up for a couple bucks at sales and converted them. A couple Luxons, from Lowes, AA Olights, Rovyvon A1 Aurora, LED lanterns for when the power goes out.Just whatever catches my eye. I have convinced my wife to take a light outside whenever she goes out in the back with the dogs so she won't trip going down the deck steps(again)or on something or get surprised by a raccoon or fox. I know she does when I'm not home because I see her on the security camera. They're a tool. Let me just say I always have a reliable light nearby. Sometimes I think about the people who were walking down the stairs of the World Tade Center in the dark on 9/11. Did I mention I have probably a dozen transistor radios?
That is a remarkable resume'. Nice!!

Before joining here I had a slew of "work lights" or "duty lights" too, all of which had a purpose. Then after becoming a member here I began accumulating lights for pleasure that could double as a work light. I did not set out to obtain a collection so to speak until the vintage light bug bit.

That began something like one of those penney books where you try to obtain one for every year there is a slot for. Only it was flashlights. And there were no specific slots to fill like a penney book. The most enjoyable part was when they arrived intact but not working then after a time seeing them work again after who knows how many decades in an attic or storage somewhere in America.

Actually the most enjoyable part was meeting quite a few folks and often times becoming e-friends. I tried to share a lot of info before my brain purged all that history in favor other things more pressing like how to repair a 75 year old bridge or keeping up with all of those changes life throws our way.

Those days are past and now it's back to accumulating one here or there for pleasure or as a "task" light.
 

Chickensfloat

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
12
Location
WI
Like a pocketknife or a screwdriver, a flashlight is a tool, and the nice ones out there are really beautiful. here's most of my pile. Tray is a GITD item from CountyComm (https:www.countycomm.com) as is the Maratac 4 cell light behind. Knives are a Mission prototype, all titanium folder (incl blade) and a Boker all carbon / ceramic unit that is very light. There's an Overready BOSS in there and a very cool titanium Lumintop.

/markp
Because i have a serious problem 😂
 

flashfan

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
1,298
Location
USA
Collecting flashlights is fun (or an illness?), but since flashlights are a tool rather than simply decorative, do you USE them at all?
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
16,818
Location
My own little Idaho
In a word?
No.
I did have an illness for a time but the switch turned off one day, thank goodness.
One day the money tree was empty and that was that. :grin2:
 

chip100t

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 1, 2021
Messages
313
Flashlights are just a gateway drug, before you know it you are up to your armpits in batteries you don’t need and several chargers.
 

Chauncey Gardiner

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
8,515
Location
Pacific N.W.
About ten years ago I mentioned to a friend it seemed like I was beginning to collect flashlights. He immediately stated - "Uh oh, you know what they say about people that collect things?"

Me - "No. What do they say?"

Friend - "They say people collect things as an attempt to make-up for something in their life that's missing."

Me - "Sooo?"

It's interesting I've never forgotten what he said.......

I've been limiting myself to only one manufacturer for some time. It helps keep me out of the poor house.

IMAG1936.jpg

Circa November 2014
 
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chip100t

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 1, 2021
Messages
313
About ten years ago I mentioned to a friend it seemed like I was beginning to collect flashlights. He immediately stated - "Uh oh, you know what they say about people that collect things?"

Me - "No. What do they say?"

Friend - "They say people collect things as an attempt to make-up for something in their life that's missing."

Me - "Sooo?"

It's interesting I've never forgotten what he said.......

I've been limiting myself to only one manufacturer for some time. It helps keep me out of the poor house.

View attachment 22488
Circa November 2014
I have an extensive multitool collection and on the MTO equated collecting with hoarding. A few members were genuinely offended by my assertions. I believe they are not a million miles apart
 

Pirate63

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Feb 24, 2022
Messages
14
Location
NC
I just like collecting and using things that interest me.....flashlights, knives, firearms, tradition archery bows, watches and so on.

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Lumen83

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Messages
499
I collect flashlights because I need tools that will help me look at my flashlight collection when it is dark.
 
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