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Thread: What's the best LED flashlight??

  1. #1
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    Default What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    Being new to the forum, I'm sure this topic has been beaten to death, but I would like your input as to the best LED flashlight out there as far balance of illumination power versus power consumption/run time. I own a Surefire E1e and E2e both equipped with the KL1 attachment. Is there anything out there that blows these away as far as size, weight, run time, amount of illumination? I'd appreciate any and all input.

    Thanks,
    dro57

  2. #2
    Farewell our Curmudgeon Administrator Roy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    There is nothing better on the commercial market at this time. I believe that Streamlight has some 1W and/or 5W lights coming out and a couple of months. There are several modders/garage builders that have some 5W flashlights available and some hot 1W flashlights available, all in small batches. They generally do very high quality work!

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* AlexGT's Avatar
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    I´m tempted to say the best is the one you have in your pocket when you need it.

    You already have one of the best production leds, maybe a custom built flashlight is for you, check the homemade lights forum to explore your options

    HTH
    ALEX

    Ps. Did you consider the Arc LS?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    Thats not really a fair question, there are several very nice flashlights LED and Incand. on the market today, and each of them has its strengths and weaknesses; each of them fills a special use

    One person may find that a certain flashlight works perfectly for his/her usage, and would be totally out of place for another persons needs

    As I have said before - there is no magic bullet here for flashlights, they are still battery powered, and limited to the magical equation

    Operating_time X Brightness -> Weight

    There has been some talk on here about running a LS on a 9v battery, and that is possible - but not for very long

  5. #5

    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    [ QUOTE ]
    AlexGT said:
    I´m tempted to say the best is the one you have in your pocket when you need it.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'd agree with this 150% [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Not much point having a much better spec'd flashlight -
    if you don't have it with you to use is it?
    Kinda reminds me of those old bumper stickers -
    "my OTHER car's a Porsche".

    So even though I know "best" is always a matter of opinion - my vote goes to:

    Photon II yellow - because I see well with yellow (see LED Colors and Vision (pics) ) - the color does not dazzle and disturbs my dark adapted eye less, and Photon yellow is advertized at a LONG 120 hours battery life.

    For a white LED it's a toss-up between the
    Photon 3 - versatile with 3 levels of brightness (important for me when using white as it tends to dazzle) - but all those modes could be considered unnecessarily over-complex
    or
    Inova Microlight white

    These are sized so that they are "almost not there" on one's keyring - so become no effort to have on one's person at all times........

    However I also like the CMG Ultra-G single AA cell white LED for an in-pocket carry.

    In actual fact I do a 2 LED EDC -
    Photon Yellow on keyring,
    with CMG Ultra-G in my other pocket....
    so the "best" for me is these TWO lights.

    These all have long run times (one of the major points of using LEDs), compact and adequate for personal task lights, to read and walk by.

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* Icebreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    For many reasons I have chosen to purchase LED lights introduced in the Homemade and Modified forum here at CPF. I have been extremely pleased with all of them.

    Recently I've put in an order for a Blaster V and a Blaster VI. Here is a thread about them:
    Elektrolumens Blaster Thread

    I would agree with INRETECH that there is no majic bullet. One thing Mike failed to mention is that INRETECH is a manufacturer. I don't as yet own any of his products but I would suggest exploring his web site.

    You may have already read about a tiny little wonder called the ARC AAA. It is my most used light.

    Oh yeah, welcome to CPF.

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* Rothrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    one light won't do it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    i carry 3 in my pants, and 2 in my coat [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    first, you need the arc aaa, small, bright (for it's size), long battery life, and competely indestcutable.

    then, if you want something with slightly greater output while smaller than the sf e2e (i'm guessing you do, because that is what's in your first post [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] ), then the arc lsh-p, is smaller, probably whiter, and probably brighter. (i say probably, becuase the p(=premium) arc uses only hand selected leds to ensure whitest and brightest, where as the kl1 is more or less luck of the draw)
    the arc with the 123pack will be smaller with less runtime, but the 2aa pack for the arc will make it slightly larger than the e2e, longer runtimes, and cheaper batteries.

    then of course, there are the modified lights [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] luxeon dropins are great because of good brightness and runtime, along with interchangable bodies [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    Really appreciate the input. Didn't realize interest in LED lights was so popular in certain circles.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    [ QUOTE ]
    dro57 said:
    Didn't realize interest in LED lights was so popular in certain circles.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Welcome to the forum. Stick around and read up. You ain't seen nothing yet!!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    I guess what Roth is trying to convey to you is that you need one 5mm LED light like a ARC AAA, you need one 1 watt LS light like a ARC LSH-P, and you need one 5 watt light like the ones that the modders offer on the forum. Something like Electrolumen's Blaster 5 or 6, Preferbly the one that uses 6 AA batteries. Smaller and you're more likely to carry it with you.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    Smaller is better for me, otherwise I won't take it with me. If it doesn't fit in my fanny pack, it's not coming with me on a daily basis. So far I like the E2e w/KL1. It's a little long and I'm probably going to check out the ARC model that uses the single lithium 123. That one looks pretty small compared to my E1e w/KL1. Can anyone tell me if the lens on the ARC is glass or plastic?

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* Rothrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    ls lens is lexan.

    please do check out the arc ls, i recommend the lsh-p. it will give you a longer range illumination than your kl1, in addition to the brighter and whiter.

    just don't forget to purchase the aaa [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/twak.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    Rothrandir,

    I admit the ARC LSH-P betters KL1 in throw and whiteness but don't think LSH-P is "brighter" than KL1 or L1, at least not with the particular KL1/L1 I have. I consider the flood-like KL1/L1 beam more practical for everday use than LSH-P's incand-like but weaker beam though.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    I have had the same experience (as Rothrandir) with my Arc LSH-P and E2e/KL1. The LSH-P betters it in every category. Of course, as people have noted, not all KL1's are created equal. My LSH-P comes with me always and my E2e with stock head sits next to the bed. I'm actually considering selling my week-old KL1. But then again, I can always disect it and transform it into a franken-5W LS. Hrm...

    - G!mpy

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    Oops! Double Post!

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    Let me supply another SHAMELESS plug for an ARC AAA here!

    Using Paracord, my ARC (or Infinity Ultra some days) rides around my neck during most waking hours, and ALWAYS when I leave the house!

    Another stellar choice is a Madmax/Badboy drop in module for a Mini M*g. I added Madmax, Ram Switch, Borofloat lense to mine and carry it in the stock M*g belt pouch, loaded with 1600-1850 (depending which week) NimHs. The cool thing about m*g is nobody looks at it with the eye to steal it!

    I would never put a rechargeable in the ARC or Infinity though... I trust them to WORK too much! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]


  17. #17
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    I have a growing collection of LED lights from various makers and I like them all, but I do have a personal favorite which I carry everyday and that is my Inova X5T. For me, this light is the perfect size for everyday carry. It is solid, reliable, does not cost an arm and a leg and it has all the features I want in an LED flashlight. It's a good looking flashlight too.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    Can anyone provide a comparison pic of an ARC LS next to a E1e w/KL1? Other than TAD, are there any other vendors selling the ARC line at good prices?

    On another point, who can tell me what the ARC lettering code means after the "LS" designation?

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* hotbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    Try www.vicomptel.com... when they show their prices again (supposed to be updating them at the mo.), it is normally very well priced. Product codes are there too.

    I am another Arc LS advocate. It's small size and battery pack expandability makes it an idea light for me. Put in 123 when I need it to be small. Put in 2 x Lithium AA when I want run time.

    There is a predicament though... how many lights do you carry with you?? In the evenings, if I go somewhere out like dinner, movie, etc... my Arc comes with me because of its size and throw. If I go a friend's place, I would bring my "bum bag". In it comes my camera, 2 Inova X5s (white and blue), CMG Ultra and Arc. I still can't get used to the idea of carry my lights in a sheath on my belt. Kinda feels awkward and the damn things prod you if you sit down on the wrong angle.

    I live in the suburbs so the chances of going to places that are pitch black are much less. Also the temperature is quite mild (summer 17-26C, winter 11-18C) so you can't wear those big jackets with pockets for every conceivable tool.

    Oh well, live goes on ;-)


  20. #20

    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    OK people. Please don't laugh at me. Remember I'm new to this forum. I had a great experience with 2 Mini Mag flashlights this past summer. I put the Opalec New Beam LED module in both of them. We took a float plane into a remote fishing spot in Northern Canada and were weight restricted. The 2 converted Mini Mags lasted through four long dark nights use without changing the batteries. I believe that the converted Mini Mags are less likely to be taken from your luggage. I carried one in my carry on bag thru 4 different airports also. Batteries can be bought anywhere, CHEAP. Doesn't have the output of the Luxeon Star or the throw of a Surefire 6P, but how much light do you need? OK, you all can stop laughing now!
    oldgrandpajack

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    If you like the AA MiniMags, look at our conversion kit for them; it uses the Luxeon


  22. #22
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    Ok...I'm about sold on getting an ARC LSH-S-TAIL CAP. TAD's got it for $82.95 plus tax/ship. Anyone know of any other competitors on the net who has it for less?

  23. #23
    GXS
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    Hi everyone, can anyone tell me where to find the best price for the Arc LSH-P? I'm interested in getting one.
    Thanks.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    oldgrandpajack,

    Don't worry, nobody's gonna laugh at you for liking Opalec, after Arc, it's probably the best-regarded company in the business. Nope, it's not the brightest, but it's probably bright enough for most things.
    There's a current thread on it right now: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/ubb...=7&fpart=1

    Fabulous piece of engineering, construction and packaging. I would assume the support is good but I don't know of anyone who had a problem with one yet.

    The Inretech is brighter but doesn't have the run time. Always a tradeoff on those two.

    Welcome to CPF, now go buy an Arc AAA.... NOW! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  25. #25
    *Flashaholic* Icebreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    oldgrandpajack -

    A float plane fishing trip into a remote area of Canada using modified flashlights?

    Sounds wonderful.

    Welcome to CPF.

  26. #26
    *Flashaholic* Icebreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    GSX -

    Welcome to CandlePowerForums.

    I'm sure other more knowledgeable members will answer your question about where to buy the ARC LSH-P.




  27. #27
    Flashaholic* LEDmodMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What\'s the best LED flashlight??

    Hard to beat the Dat2zip Luxeon drop-ins for the Minimag. I personally can't afford the current Arc LS prices, and the minimag modifications are a much more affordable alternative (see Everything you ever wanted to know: BADBOY, MADMAX Update. I think this is the longest thread on the whole entire CPF board). If you get the glass lens and a Kroll tailswitch, they'll be about the same size as your Surefire KL1 setup. You can get Wayne's stuff here, go to the full sandwich mod kits and accessories pages. I personally prefer these over the Opalec, but that's personal preference. I have been at CPF for only a little while, and I have already spent way too much money, so watch your wallet! Welcome to CPF!

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