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Thread: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

  1. #1

    Default Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    I just discovered my new (supposedly 45-lumen/1W) torch only lasts a few hours, and I'm looking for a replacement that I can take hiking and camping that will stay bright for at least 12 hours. I think 45 lumens is a pretty good brightness for me--I don't really need more, and I would consider a light with multiple modes, as long as some mode lasts 12+ hours.

    I'm looking for something that's mid-sized--perhaps it should take three AAAs, or one or two CR123As.

    A light that tail stands would be nice. Does anybody know of anything that has these characteristics for $30 or less? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    I'd avoid 3 AAA lights. Low capacity, quick to dim, usually cheap.

    If $40 would do then you can go for the Fenix L2D-CE which is on sale now for $41.46 before 8% off coupon "CPF8". It runs around 10 hours in medium (bit more then 30 lumen) on 2 good AA rechargeable batteries, 50+ hours on low. There's also the Kingpower K2 which has a low mode that runs a good amount of time("cpfuser" for 6% off).

    If it has to be under $30, then some of the lower priced multimode 2 CR123 or 2 AA lights should work. The 2 mode Romisen RC-N3 could work(scroll to the bottom).


  3. #3

    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Yeah I think that romisen would fit the bill nicely.

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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Solarforce L2GF-R2M-18650

    L2 flat head assembly
    Uses a Cree R2 LED 5 mode (300, 150, 75 lumens, strobe, SOS) reflector
    Uses both primary lithium 2XCR123A or 2X16340 OR 1X18650 (included) rechargeable li-ion batteries
    Up to 300 lumens of current regulated output (LED module)
    Input voltage (LED module): 3.7V-8.4V
    Aluminum alloy construction
    Tail clicky switch
    104 grams (without batteries)
    Length x diameter (head and battery tube): 146mm x 32mm x 25mm

    Comes with 18650 battery, holster for $25. Current draw and estimated run times on my L2:
    High - 0.93A - 2.3+ hours
    Mid - 0.37A - 6 hours
    Low - 0.07A - 31+ hours

  5. #5

    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Thanks for your recommendations! I notice most of them are for 2xAA lights (and to get the rated performance out of the RC-N3, I would probably have to user the 2xAA configuration)--I was hoping to get something a little smaller (less long).

    After I posted, read a bunch and found the Fenix L1D--at $50, this light is outside my stated price range, but maybe I should splurge. Somebody tested the runtime (http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=155819), and I like the fact that its output is relatively constant over time, with a rechargeable AA.

    So... I don't really know what's most important to me. Now that I've seen that the L1D is a very small light that fits my criteria (except for price), I find myself very, very tempted... what do you think?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Well the Fenix L1D is a great alround light, and Fenix tend to have the best runtime for a given cell/output. Unfortunately it's discountinued and finding one might be hard, if you do you might get it for ~$35. Update: check Amazon if interested $47.xx

    It's been replaced by the LD10, but the price has moved up a bit. You can get it for $58-8% with coupon.

    You can buy the L2D on clearance for $41.46 -8% (maybe larger discount) and then buy a 1-AA tube for it if you can find a good deal that includes shipping. Then you can run it on 1 cell or 2. A tube is about $12 without extra tailcap.

    Using rechargeable AA is a good idea or you'll have to go to more exotic batteries.

    The multimode is nice, because camping at night you will likely find you can get away with a lot less than 45 lumens much of the time, so the time you require 45 lumens may be less; and having the option for greater will be nice.

    Watch the B/S/T Forum.

    Also see this review of several 1AA format lights.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by StandardBattery; 04-13-2009 at 06:27 PM.

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    There are many other 1xAA lights which are closer to your price range and are still WAY better than ANY 3xAAA light. Look at one of the many review threads and see if something strikes your fancy.

    I still highly recommend getting a quality light to start with however. If you start cheap, you end up spending more in the long.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Here's the L2D from 4Sevens, $41.46, or $38.15 after 8% off coupon "CPF8". The L1D, P2D, LD10, PD10, LD20, L1T V2.0, and L2T V2.0 bodies also work, so if you have the bodies and tailcap, you can switch between 1AA, 2AA, and 1 CR123 use. The brighter Q5 versions costs more and so does the LD20, the newer version of the L2D but the L2D-CE is still a great place to start.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    You can get the Olight T10 from 4Sevens for about $35.95, with the CPF discount, including shipping. It is a very well made light.

    It takes 1 x CR123a battery, and this particular version will give you a choice of five brightness levels and runtimes: 180 lumens* for 1 hour; 105 lumens for about 2.5 hours; 60 lumens for about 5.5 hours; 25 lumens for about 20 hours; and 11 lumens for about 30 hours. You also get an SOS and strobe mode, if that sort of thing is to your liking. The nice thing is, if you don't like it, you can just ignore it.

    Another plus is that, if you don't like paying for CR123a batteries, you can get a 1 x AA body tube for less than $10 sometime later, and use the light with an AA battery. Your highest output will be 120 lumens, but the other four levels will be the same as the CR123a version, but with shorter runtimes. The lowest two levels will still run over 12 hours, though.

    *Or so says Olight.
    If we could get everyone in the world to close their eyes and imagine world peace for an hour, think about how serene it would be until the looting started. -Unknown

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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    rmteo: am I reading your post right ? That light is going to produce 75 lumens for 31 hours ?!?!?

    I don't have any experience with 18650 batteries, but that seems like a lot of light for a lot of hours.
    Greg

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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Quote Originally Posted by GPB View Post
    rmteo: am I reading your post right ? That light is going to produce 75 lumens for 31 hours ?!?!?

    I don't have any experience with 18650 batteries, but that seems like a lot of light for a lot of hours.
    Ya something is off, you don't get 300 lumens out of an R2 at 0.98A either.

    BUT: if the OP was willing to move to 18650 (probably not), a Solarforce with a good pill would be a good move. Too big though based on his earlier comments.

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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    The lumens ratings are from the manufacturer and are obviously over rated. The current measurements are from the tailcap of MY light and the estimated run times are based on those figures. My guess is that it is 180-220 lumens on high and about 20 lumens or less on low (I prefer the lower low anyway - 75 lumens would not give useful run times for my taste). The OP said that he would consider 2x CR123 and this light works on those as well. Overall, a very nice light - especially for the price.
    Last edited by rmteo; 04-13-2009 at 08:05 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?


  14. #14

    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Maglite 2AA led multi-mode for $21.

    or if you can fork out $5 more, I'd recommend the Inova X5!
    My favorite tools: Maglite Charger, Surefire 6P P60, G2 LED, Inova X5, Terralux Lightstar 220

  15. #15

    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Thank you all for your advice! I ordered the Fenix LD10. Yes, that costs twice what I said I wanted to pay. No, I don't have much self control. I feel guilty, and I think I will like it a lot.

    I would rather have a small flashlight than a medium-sized one, I would rather use AAs than CR123s, and I found the quantity of reviews of the L1D/LD10 comforting. It would have been much more fiscally responsible to buy the L2D and an additional battery tube as StandardBattery suggested, but I'm going for the maximal runtime on one, err, standard battery.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Quote Originally Posted by piojo View Post
    Thank you all for your advice! I ordered the Fenix LD10. Yes, that costs twice what I said I wanted to pay. No, I don't have much self control. I feel guilty, and I think I will like it a lot.

    I would rather have a small flashlight than a medium-sized one, I would rather use AAs than CR123s, and I found the quantity of reviews of the L1D/LD10 comforting. It would have been much more fiscally responsible to buy the L2D and an additional battery tube as StandardBattery suggested, but I'm going for the maximal runtime on one, err, standard battery.

    You made a good choice piojo, my Fenix lights are by far my favorites. Come back and let us know how you like it.
    My flashlight collection HERE

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    Flashaholic* Zatoichi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    I wouldn't feel guilty. Unlike a cheapo light, the Fenix should last you years.
    "The profoundly wise do not declaim against superficial knowledge in others, as much as the profoundly ignorant."

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    Enlightened slate's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Great choice on the LD10. I have the LD20 which is the 2 x aa model and I love it. I keep it right by my bed for those bumps in the night

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    Flashaholic* gsxrac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Hey piojo prior to your new fenix what is the brightest light you've ever owned/handled?

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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner12 View Post
    I'd avoid 3 AAA lights. Low capacity, quick to dim, usually cheap.
    i agree with this, and i own one.

    2xAA is the best configuration for a light that takes standard batteries.

    edit: if you go with lithium (or even with AAs), make sure you go with rechargeables. the cost of batteries adds up quickly otherwise.
    Last edited by BBnet3000; 04-14-2009 at 02:03 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Quote Originally Posted by BBnet3000 View Post
    i agree with this, and i own one.

    2xAA is the best configuration for a light that takes standard batteries.

    edit: if you go with lithium (or even with AAs), make sure you go with rechargeables. the cost of batteries adds up quickly otherwise.

    While I prefer AAs, the Coast LED Lenser HD7438CP is a winner. It uses three AAAs and comes with a bright, adjustable beam and an easy-to-use clicky tail switch.

    I discovered it at Home Depot for $49 before I found the light here at CPF and got myself a Fenix, Nitecore and a Photon keychain.

    It's a dandy, and is definitely worth checking out next time you're at HD.
    Oveready Boss 35 & 70; Quark MKIII QK16L; LensLight Mini; HDS Rotary 325 XP-L, Clicky 170W; ZebraLight SC 600 MK III HI, SC600W, SC62W, SC60W, SC52W, SC51C, SC5W; EagleTac NW D25LC2 Tactical, NW D25LC2, NW D25A, NW D25C, DX30LC2 Clicky, DX3B Mini; Nitecore D10R2; Elzetta Alpha; Jaxman E3; Reylight Ti

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    I hope you like the LD10!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Quote Originally Posted by hatman View Post
    While I prefer AAs, the Coast LED Lenser HD7438CP is a winner. It uses three AAAs and comes with a bright, adjustable beam and an easy-to-use clicky tail switch.

    I discovered it at Home Depot for $49 before I found the light here at CPF and got myself a Fenix, Nitecore and a Photon keychain.

    It's a dandy, and is definitely worth checking out next time you're at HD.
    this is the one i have, actually. overall its a nice light, and one of only two (other than maglites) i know of thats focusable. (the other is the fenix e20.) however, the battery life leaves something to be desired, and i wish it were waterproof like most LED lights are nowadays. neither is that big of a problem for me since i use nothing but rechargeables generally. i do like the actual size of the flashlight quite a bit, years from now when its outlived its usefulness, i might see if i can upgrade it with whatever the LED of the time is and convert it to use a CR123 or maybe 17670/18650 if they fit. its still my only light in this size range and will remain so for some time.
    Last edited by BBnet3000; 04-14-2009 at 02:43 PM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxrac View Post
    Hey piojo prior to your new fenix what is the brightest light you've ever owned/handled?
    I had and lost a 9 LED Dorcy and I have 45 Lumen Dorcy. If I hadn't lost the first light, I would not now be looking at higher quality lights. The 9 LED light was bright enough for my purposes, most of the time, but did sometimes leave me jealous of people with "old fashioned" flashlights, which were sometimes brighter. The 45 lumen torch doesn't have that problem

    By the way, what's so wrong with 3*AAA lights? I know they aren't so good for their size, because 3 AAA batteries barely store more power than one AA battery. But is there something else?
    Last edited by piojo; 04-14-2009 at 03:37 PM. Reason: grammatical ambiguity

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    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Quote Originally Posted by piojo View Post

    By the way, what's so wrong with 3*AAA lights? I know they aren't so good for their size, because 3 AAA batteries barely store more power than one AA battery. But is there something else?
    They are usually direct drive only, and use a flimsy battery carrier which introduces it's own issues.

    In general, it's a clear sign of cheaply made light with little engineering work put into the design. a.k.a "Cheap junk"

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* gsxrac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Hahaha well you should love your new Fenix then Im sure youll be back for a bigger badder light soon (even if it isnt as useful as a 45lm light

    Ohh yea and I dont know what it is about Dorcy's but ive lost 2 myself?

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* 1dash1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Quote Originally Posted by piojo View Post
    ... I'm looking for a replacement that I can take hiking and camping ...
    BTW, you should always have a backup light. I'd suggest carrying a Gerber Infinity Ultra. Not very bright, but very reliable. They frequently come up for sale on the Marketplace for around $10.

    And if you should ever make the mistake of running out of batteries, just take the supposedly "dead" batteries from your LD10 and the Gerber will run for hours on them. The Gerber is a true "battery vampire" (sucks them dry).
    Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka 'Aina I Ka Pono.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1dash1 View Post
    BTW, you should always have a backup light. I'd suggest carrying a Gerber Infinity Ultra. Not very bright, but very reliable. They frequently come up for sale on the Marketplace for around $10.

    And if you should ever make the mistake of running out of batteries, just take the supposedly "dead" batteries from your LD10 and the Gerber will run for hours on them. The Gerber is a true "battery vampire" (sucks them dry).
    And try atleast one CR123 powered light don't limit yourself to AA or AAA.

    BTW
    My flashlight collection HERE

  29. #29
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    I think you should add a 1 AAA light for back up. Something like the Fenix E01 sould work.

    As for 3 AAA lights, as said before, they dim quickly because AAA batteries aren't meant to take the current draw. The battery carrier makes another thing that could break, and also makes the light larger for something with the similar capacity as a single AA battery.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Decent brightness and long battery life for $30?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner12 View Post
    I think you should add a 1 AAA light for back up. Something like the Fenix E01 sould work.
    I have used a cell phone for light in a pinch--I think I'll buy a backup when I'm happier about my financial situation. (Yes, I know it's only $12 from DX.) Thanks for all the advice!

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