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Thread: I need a long distance spotlight

  1. #1

    Default I need a long distance spotlight

    Please help me choose a long distance light to search on water for fishing buoys. I will plug it into 12 volt power source. It needs to shine at least 300 yards, further is better, to locate them when they get carried off by fish. ==================Flashlight Recommendation Checklist================

    1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

    ____I would like to purchase the light in person from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________.
    _x___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! :-)

    ____I don't know yet
    ____Up to $25.
    ____Up to $50.
    _x___Up to $100.
    ____Up to $200.
    ____Up to $300.
    ____Essentially unlimited.


    3) Format:

    ____I am not sure, please help me decide.
    ____I want a flashlight (hand held/self contained).
    ____I want a self-contained headlamp.
    ____I want a headlamp with an external pack/power source.
    ____I want a mounted light (typically for a bicycle or vehicle)
    ____I want a lantern/area light.
    _x___I want a portable spotlight (it may have an external power source).
    ____Other ____________________________________________


    4) Size:

    ____MICRO - Keychain size.
    ____TINY - Every day carry (2-4 inches).
    ____SMALL - Every day carry (4-7 inches).
    ____MEDIUM - Holster/belt ring carry. (>7 inches)
    ____LARGE - Big enough to need its own travel case.
    __x__I don’t know/I don't care.


    5) Emitter/Light source:

    ____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)
    __x__I don't know.


    6) Manufacturer:

    __x__I want to buy a light from a large/traditional manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
    ____I would like a light from a specialty manufacturer (Possibly limited run/Custom).
    __x__I am interested in assembling my own components. (for example a “host” or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a “drop-in” emitter from another source).


    7) What power source do you want to use?

    ____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 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).
    _x___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.

    ____All Flood: I am doing "arms length" tasks like reading and campsite cooking.
    ____Wide Flood: I want a defined flood area for semi-close tasks like after-dark campsite tasks or working on a car.
    ____Narrow Flood: I want a sharply defined flood area that will project some distance for tasks like trail walking.
    ____Wide Throw: I want a beam with a noticeable hot-center for distance throw and a significant amount of "side-spill". Good for rough trail hiking, search and rescue, and general distance work.
    ____Narrow Throw: I want a beam with a very tight "hot center" and minimal "side-spill". Good for distance viewing, fog, and looking through dense undergrowth.
    _x___Turbohead: I want a far-distance projector with a sharply focused spot of light and minimal or zero side-spill. Good for extreme distance and impressing your friends.

    9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)
    ____Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
    ____Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
    ____5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
    ____30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
    ____50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
    _x___150+ yards (I am searching from a helicopter)

    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).

    ____Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods)
    ____30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
    ____90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
    __x__3 hours + (I critically need this light to run on max for extended periods in between battery changes/charges).




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

    ____Not Important (A “night-stand” light).
    ____Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood).
    ____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
    ____Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
    _x___I don’t know.


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

    _x___Any size switch will do.
    ____I need a BIG switch (I'll be using gloves or have very large hands or coordination issues).
    ____I want a forward clicky (Helpful for momentary activation and signaling).
    ____I want a reverse clicky (For use with multi-mode/level lights).
    ____I want a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only).
    ____I want a twisty switch (Tighten the head/tailcap to activate, and the light will stay on until the head/tailcap is loosened).
    ____I want a body mounted switch (near the head, like on a Maglite).
    ____I want a tail mounted switch (found on the majority of today’s high end lights).
    ____I want a remote switch (usually found on high-end bicycle headlights)
    ____I don't care.
    ____I don’t know.
    ____Other, please specify____________________.


    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 want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
    ____I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
    ____I want a programmable light.
    ____I want a selector ring.
    ____I want a strobe mode. (Oscillating pattern to confuse/blind aka "Police Mode")
    ____I want SOS mode. (blinks in ---...--- emergency pattern)
    ____I want a beacon mode. (Regular flashes at full power to show location.)
    _x___I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.


    14)Material/Finish/Coating

    ____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
    ____Anodized Aluminum – either type II or III (Hard Anodized) (Aluminum, specifically HA, is the most common material/finish for today’s higher end flashlights).
    ____Stainless steel (durable, but much heavier than aluminum)
    ____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
    _x___I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.
    ____Other, please specify____________.

    15) Water resistance
    _x___None needed
    ____IPX4 (Splash resistant)
    ____IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
    ____IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)

    16) Storage conditions
    ____In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)
    ____Emergency kit (long standby periods)
    ____Automobile glove-box (wide temperature swings, long standby periods, critical reliability)
    ____Other_________________________________________ ____


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

    ____Red filter (for preserving night vision).
    ____Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________).
    ____Dedicated R/G/B secondary LEDs.
    ____“Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
    ____Pocket/belt clip
    ____Holster
    ____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    ____Crenulated bezel
    ____Non-sparking, Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments t carried off.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Check out the Streamlight Waypoint spotlight. The Alkaline version is ansi rated at 678 meters, and has 12v plugin capabilities. The 12v auto cord comes with the light. It uses four C cells, and has a rated run-time to 10% of over eight hours. I know Amazon and OpticsPlanet carry it, and probably others.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  3. #3

    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Looking at the parametrek.com database: The Fenix TK35 is pretty popular and should meet your specs. It uses 18650 rechargeable or CR123 disposable batteries.

    If you prefer AA, something like the Jetbeam SRA40 might be worth a look - but for any light of this power, you are going to want to use Eneloop AA, not regular alkaline batteries.

    So you will need a charger and batteries for your lights as well - the Intellicharger i4 (and same thing under many other brand names) is relatively inexpensive and can charge both Lithium-Ion (LiIon) batteries like 18650, and Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMh) batteries like Eneloops (until recently you had to have a separate charger for each type).

    For an ultimate thrower, consider Vinh's TK61vn (use Google Search at upper left of this page to find it here on CPF), but it's outside your price range.

    Keep in mind that ANSI throw ratings put only 0.25 lux on the target - that's maybe the light of a half moon - if it's not a big white target you will need a lot more throw, for practical purposes you might need to cut the rated throw distance to a half or a quarter.
    It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness. -- Confucius

  4. #4

    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    The TK35 is a good option. As previously mentioned, throw ratings will need to be adjusted, especially in rain or fog, likely cut my n half. Most dedicated throw lights are over $100, but some just a little. You can check the Olight M3x and SR52, I was able to get both of these (m3X and previous edition SR51) for less than $100, you just have to be patient and look for a deal. Runtime for a thrower really requies more batteries. The M3x uses 2 18650 and the SR52 uses three.
    you can check this review to see a dozen different throwers.
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ead.php?381746

  5. #5

    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    The website Dvor has both the M3X and the SR52 on sale today for less than $100.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Guys, read the original post: The OP is going to be in a helicopter with 12v power available. What he needs is a floodier version of the lights the cops use on their choppers, but I don't think those sell for less than $100.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Frankly I don't think $100 is going to crack it. If I was going to get on a helicopter and look for stuff in rain & fog I'd be taking my Firefoxes FF3 (40 watt HID, 4000 lumen - $270)
    There are a bunch of medium sized duble/quadruple 18650 LED lights putting out 2500+ lumens and decent amounts of throw but these lights are in my opinion not even close to the performance you need. You wont get the runtimes You look for and they will get very hot very quickly.
    If You can invest $300 look into Firefoxes FF3 or FF4 HID which I think for your needs will be optimal (http://flashlight-torch.com)
    Last edited by koti; 10-05-2014 at 04:02 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Yea the 12 volt power is important. I don't want to have to use exotic batteries. I just need to quit losing fishing equipment. I'm thinking maybe Stanley HID or possibly Lightforce the rechargeable part is not that important as I might disconnect the battery to lighten it when on a long search anyway. I will be right there at the helm of the pontoon boat when searching. It's equipped with a cig lighter accessory plug in the dash.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    The Fire-Foxes FF4S 65W HiD will do the job you need it to. With the exception of the 12v plugin and it costing $259.
    If $100 is your absolute max budget, get this for $160
    http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...UST-HAVE-LIGHT
    I'm pretty sure you will not find a 12v plugin thrower light that will perform well for below $100.
    Don't worry about the batteries, if you want a well performing light you will have to submit to using "weird" batteries...but they are not so weird, you just charge them with a small charger and use them like normal batteries. 18650 is the battery that should interest you. All good performing lights with decent runtimes use these batteries. Forget about "normal" batteries, its a dead end.
    Last edited by koti; 10-05-2014 at 04:27 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Sorry I thought the hellicopter part on the form was a joke. I fish where the lake is 2 to 3 miles wide, and 20 miles long. It is usually calm and flat after dark but still dark. Hellicopters aren't the only places you can see 150+ yards from.

  11. #11

    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Ok thanks for the educated advice. Probably save me money in the long run on getting an education on lights.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Well theh the HiD might be overkill for you
    Heres the proper link to the $150 modded LED light:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...-No-Box-Option
    No 12v power supply but I promise you will be finding your fishing equipement with it.
    Last edited by koti; 10-05-2014 at 04:44 PM.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Also look for used lights in the Buy/Sell/Trade section of this forum.
    If you dont want to get the modded version, look for lights using the "XML-2" LED emitter or the "MT-G2" emitter.
    Heres a good light with DC 12v capability:
    http://www.sbflashlights.com/Supbeam...-K50-p362.html
    Last edited by koti; 10-05-2014 at 04:50 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Alright thanks, I will check that out. I swear, things have changed since back in the day. We got the 300,000 cp Brinkmann when they first came out back in the 80's and it would illuminate single engine aircraft when they flew over. Now these millions cp Brinkmanns barely go 100 yards.

  15. #15

    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Thrunite TN32 ?


    Sent from my iPad using Candlepowerforums

  16. #16
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    I agree, theres a lot of crap out there but if You scratch up a little more then $100 you will be in for a surprise of how powerful and small the lights are these days. Here's a youtube channel worth checking out (CPF member who does flashlight reviews): https://www.youtube.com/user/cpfselfbuilt

  17. #17

    Duh2 Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    Check out the Streamlight Waypoint spotlight. The Alkaline version is ansi rated at 678 meters, and has 12v plugin capabilities. The 12v auto cord comes with the light. It uses four C cells, and has a rated run-time to 10% of over eight hours. I know Amazon and OpticsPlanet carry it, and probably others.
    Is the battery timing 8 hours on maximum brightness? Or on low brightness. Thanks
    Last edited by Stephen12; 04-24-2021 at 12:45 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Stephen12- As this is still in production, I approved your post even though it's an 8 year old thread. There is at least one review here on CPF, and it includes a tremendous amount of info about the Waypoint, including a runtime graph. Upper right on this page is a search bar, it'll take you to the review if you're interested. To answer your question, no. The Waypoint doesn't have regulated output, and declines steadily as time goes on. Welcome to CPF, enjoy!
    Last edited by scout24; 04-20-2021 at 07:13 AM.
    The TK20. Yes, it still rocks- WoodsWalker

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen12 View Post
    Is the battery timing 8 hours on maximum brightness?
    Turbo (1k lumens) 75min - High (400 lumens) 4h - Mid (220 lumens) 7h - Low (70 lumens) 23h - Ultralow (1 lumen) 950h
    Last edited by Timothybil; 04-22-2021 at 04:21 PM.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  20. #20

    Default Re: I need a long distance spotlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    Turbo (1k lumens) 75min - High (400 lumens) 4h - Mid (220 lumens) 7h - Low (70 lumens) 23h - Ultralow (1 lumen) 950h
    Thanks mate for you detailed guidance. Can you help me pick up a decent long distance spotlight? I checked a few at https://lumenauthority.com/best-spot...long-distance/. But still, I am confused about real-life performance.

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