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Thread: Looking for an LED flashlight...

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Nov 2002
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    Perth, Australia
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    Default Looking for an LED flashlight...

    I am looking for an LED flashlight for general use, camping and a little bit of hiking. It seems that dealextreme, kai's domain and quality china goods are all selling cheap, bright, reasonable quality lights.

    Here is what I am looking for in a flashlight:
    - Runs off 18650 cells.
    - Bright, with a reasonable throw and at least some useful sidespill.
    - Nicely finished and tough. I don't want it breaking when I drop it.
    - Compact, although it needn't be so small that it fits in my pocket. Something like the WF-600 would probably be the limit of length.
    - Relatively long runtime. Around 2 hours to get to 50%. Variable regulated brightness would be nice, but not a necessity.

    I've looked at a few lights on dealextreme, the Ultrafire U2, the C2, the VB-16 and the WF-600.

    I'm pretty handy, so I don't mind modifying the light. I'd like to whack a Q5 emitter into a flashlight, so a light that is conducive to modding is also a bonus.

    Fire away with suggestions!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Looking for an LED flashlight...

    I was going to recommend this thread, but I see that you have more specific needs. Excellent!

    I think you'll be best off with the VB-16. I have waion's version, and it's a really nice light. The up/down buttons change the current in linear steps instead of changing the output in logarithmic steps, but other than that, it's a pleasure to use.

  3. #3
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Looking for an LED flashlight...

    I also liked the look of the VB-16. I'm not particularly fond of the fact that it has 16 brightness modes with the top 8 being so close together, though. How does it compare with the WF-600 (the 18650 only version)?

    Does anyone have details on the regulator of the VB-16? Is it a standard linear regulator? How efficient is it? Can it be modified to produce logarithmic changes in light?

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Lighthouse one's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    Ephrata, Pa
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    Default Re: Looking for an LED flashlight...

    I saw a Wf 600 in action last week. It has a very strong hot spot and long throw. Great lilght, but might not be the best for what you wanted. I wouldn't be too quick to put Q5 Led's into anything yet.....the Forward voltage is higher, and unless the driver is set up for it, you may get no improvement. Best results with (2) 123a batteries. An 18650 might not give any increase ...too many " it depends" to know for sure.
    Striker VG, SL Scorpion Led, Huntlight FT01, Wolf Eyes 9 v Raider, D-Mini Lumapower, Drumlights, Surefire G2, Dereelight ,Ultrafire 500, Power on Board HID, Olight T 20 Q 5, Zebralight H-30, Nitecore EX 10, Eagletac T10C2, MTE P 7D, Icon Rogue 2

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Fallingwater's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    Default Re: Looking for an LED flashlight...

    I have a this U2 clone and it's pretty good. Feels rock solid, too.
    Note that the emitter has no heatsink goop inbetween itself and the copper slug that's supposed to absorb the heat, but it's easy to add some. Since you want to mod it, though, you probably don't care about that last bit.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic
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    Jul 2007
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    Helsinki, Finland
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    Default Re: Looking for an LED flashlight...

    VB-16 is good for camping and hiking, if the size/weight is not critical.

    I used mine a lot last weekend, we were hunting and spent the nights at a cabin with no electricity. Lowest mode was good when I was getting up in the middle of the night and didn't want to disturb others. 4 steps up from the lowest was pretty bright even outside. Didn't need the higher modes at all...
    I have the DX version of the VB-16 and it is best quality from all the DX lights that I have.

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for an LED flashlight...

    The WF-600 will have the most throw but the VB-16 will be more useful IMO. neither one of these lights should break when you drop them. The WF-400 is said to have good throw and should have your stated runtime on high(you will probably be using low for most of the time).

    For your task, I'd say the VB-16 or the WF-400(or a VB-16 AND a WF-600).


  8. #8
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Looking for an LED flashlight...

    I ended up putting in an order for the WF-400, 4x18650 cells and a charger. I hope it'll be good. It is the first real LED flashlight I have bought.

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for an LED flashlight...

    Positive end in first, there are no instructions with the light.

    Enjoy your new light!

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