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Thread: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

  1. #1

    Default Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    I have looked around and read on this for about a week and to be honest most of this just doesn't make sense. So I would like to pose my own two questions. First a little back story. As mentioned above I am a hunter and the thing we don't want to happen has happened to me twice this year. I have had to track an animal much further than I would like. Both times at night. I currently have a 1k lm streamlight that runs on Cr123a batteries and it is killing me feeding it. It doesnt run long before its down to nothing on fresh batteries.

    Here's my questions.
    1. What would be the best 18650 light with the best throw and lm output for $150 or less.
    2.what is a good 18650 headlamp for considerably less than that.

    I was about to pull the trigger on the noctigon m43 but there are I think 7 different variations... I have no idea...

    Would like a good throw out to 200+ yards with a little flood
    As much lumen as possible (good hot spot) 👆
    Good run time

    Sorry, again I tried to research and watch videos but there is a lot of jargon to learn.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    Hello and welcome to CPF !

    Your post above has been approved, but note that threads of this type are considered a "Recommend Me A Light" request, and staff here may (eventually) move this to that subforum.

    Your request is a little complicated by the two different items, but we'll let this run here for now.

    Please consider looking through the "checklist" in that forum, and adding the relevant details here, since there are hundreds (if not thousands) of items which might meet your minimal criteria above.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  3. #3

    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    Check out ZerbraLite. Many here swear by them for handheld lighting and they have an option of becoming a headlamp.

    But 200 yards is a looooooong way to shine a small flashlight. You may have to wear a headlamp to walk with and a "coke can" style on your belt to see at those long distances you seek for long runtimes. It comes down to fuel capacity when using really bright flashlights. Bigger fuel tank allows a guzzler to hold out longer.

    Others will pop in with some great suggestions.
    We like helping new people spend their money 'round here.

    Last edited by bykfixer; 01-05-2019 at 01:45 PM.
    John 3:16

  4. #4

    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    Zebralites are nice, but I think most won't throw 200 yards. The F1 ANSI standard used by many flashlight manufactures will give you an idea of how far a light will throw in relative terms, but the numbers in Meters are way too optimistic for real world use - to get an idea how far a light is useful for change whatever they claim in Meters and change it to feet or divide the meters by at least 3 for yards.

    For lower cost options, consider the Maglite 3C ML25 or 3D ML300, either of these throws real well and uses common alkaline batteries. I use 18650's in my 3C ML25 with a adapter that I 3D printed and Tenergy NiMH's in my ML300 for rechargeables.


    I am sure someone here will have some more 18650 thrower options for you.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    Look at Convoy C8+.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    Zebralight for a headlamp.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    NITECORE P30 Might work
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    I don't mind either a coke can style or longer light as they will be carried in a backpack. Only real time use will be for tracking and or scouting or if I'm lost (which the brighter the better to see markers).
    Also getting a headlamp. Had looked at the 1k lm nitecore but someone on here mentioned the zebra light so I will check them out.
    I just don't want to spend a lot of money and be fooled by fancy words or a 5k lm light that steps down after 5 seconds... What ever that means.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    Iím a fellow hunter so I know exactly what you mean. There is no substitute for lumens when you are tracking a deer.

    My first question is what light are you using now?

    Can you replace the CR 123Aís with RCR123Aís or 16340ís? Both are rechargeable and with an inexpensive charger you can save some serious $$.

    Buying CR123Aís locally is crazy expensive. If you shop around you can get them from a reputable online retailer for about a$1.50 a cell in bulk. (A dozen cells or more)

    I just picked up a Fenix E-16. Itís a great little light that you can clip to the bill of your hat and will put out plenty of light. This will probably become my go to headlamp for morning hunts. We will see how it fits in.

    https://www.fenixlighting.com/produc...dc-flashlight/

    My current headlamp is a Nktecore HC 90 which uses an 18650 battery. It has been discontinued by Nitecore at this point but it has served me very well. My only complaint is that it is a heavy light but you need the weight to help with heat management at high output levels for extended periods of time.

    https://flashlight.nitecore.com/product/hc90


    In addition to my headlamp I carry a hand held light on my belt. My belt light is a Manker E14 which is a quad led light powered by and 18650 battery. I opted for the Nichia 219B leds as the more natural light helps make the blood stand out more for my eyes. It also has served me very well for many recoveries.

    The newer version is here. It is significantly brighter than my light and uses the newer Nichia 219C
    http://www.mankerlight.com/manker-e1...18650-battery/

    The 18550 is a great cell for a high output light that you can run for an extended time.

    Having both lights use use the same battery is handy as you are only carrying one type of replacement battery.

    Battery quality matters. Buy quality cells and a quality charger. It makes a difference.

    I hope this helps some.

    Bob

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    ^^Good battery advice. Just an FYI, if you live in the States, you can get a 12 pack of Surefire branded CR123's from Lowes for about $28. Comes out to about $2.33 per cell. Not the best deal on earth, but it's half as much as the tragically over priced Energizer two packs. If you get a new 18650 powered light, chances are it will also operate on 2xCR123. Good to have options in a pinch.
    ďMay it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.Ē
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    My current light is the streamlight protac hl. Runs on 3 cr123a batteries and will eat them up in an hours time or less.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    I think something like the Acebeam t27 or l16 would be a great light for hunting. They both have a nice high capacity battery with built in charger that you can easy charge in the truck or at home. The lower modes would be great for following an animal for a long time and then you have full power turbo for spotting animals hundreds of yards out. The quality is super high and they are just great lights in general. I would get the 5000k version since it is a lot more pleasing on the eyes.

    http://www.acebeam.com/t27

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    I had typed up a very useful thread, but lost it. Oh well.
    I 2nd the getting rechargeable batteries for your current light. the exact replacement for the CR123 pprimariies is a 16340, however, if your light tube diameter is a little larger then 18350 batteries may work. The 18350 batteries have higher capacity. FYI, the 16340 batteries don't have the same capacity as the primaries, not sure on the 18350 when comapred to primaries. Cost for the 16340s are around $4 for something like an Efest or Olight brand i believe (just priced these last Christmas). I have a light that used 2XCR123s and i am able to run it with 1 16650 just fine. I'm sure its not as bright as it could be, but the run times are far greater and i an also use the 16650 batteries in a 18650 light in a pinch.

    You'll need a charger for 18650, 16650, 16340, or 18350 batteries. I like my Xtar VC4 because it displays the capacity at the end of the charge and it charges at a fairly fast rate at 1A. There are a lot of good chargers out there. Although it chrges at a fast 2A, my Xtar SP2 came apart, so i don't know if i'd recommend that one if you pack it.

    For buying batteries, my favorite places are illumn or batter junction, but there are other places like where you saw the thrower that i've had good luck with as well.

    For a headlamp, i recommend Zebralight. There are different beam patterns for different models though. There are a few dedicated thread some of which discuss beam patterns, but the breakdown iis this:
    H600: standard reflector type (best throw out of all the Zebralight, but that isn't saying much at all since they are all very floody light).
    H600F: Same light as above, but with a frosted lens that spreads out the hotspot (concentrated light that "throws")
    H60X: basically a light without a reflective reflector, in this Zebralight "mule", the reflector is replaced by a GITD material. don't use this light for playing hide and seek if you don't want to be found as it glows when turned off.
    All these models have either no letter (the coolest, or IMO harshest of tints) to other designations which are as follows:
    w=warm (ie a lower kelvin, typically aorund 4000k)
    c=this is one of two models of a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) LED light, this tint is the warmest)
    w=this is one of two models of a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) LED light, this tint is the coolest)

    Zebralight are expensive, but IMO worth it. Other brands worth considering might be lower in price such as Olight, Nitecore, Sportac, and Armytek although i have not had a good experience with the latter (only 1 out of the 4 i tried works). The best thing i like about the Zebralights are that they are self contained "90-degree" lights and can also be used without the headband. At the time i bought my first one, my intent was to mount it to a hardhat (which, while jury rigged on that trip, worked), but i now wear my H604c as a sort of necklace around my neck and a H600 in the rubber mount that i attached to the back of my cap. Anyway, the point is that its versatile as are any of the brands above that have a similar type of light. I have a fenix that doesn't come off the strap like that that hardly gets used now that i have Zebralights that fill that role. Anyway, expect to pay from $40 to $90 for a good quality headlamp.

    For a thrower, I think you can get by with a single 18650 light to get to 200m. I use my single 18650 (or dual in one case) lights more than my 4X18650 light. From cheapest to more expensive, I would recommend the following throwers:
    Convoy C8
    Armytek Predator (although beware of quality issues with this brand)
    Malkoff Hounddog
    Armytek Barracuda
    Olight M2X or M3X
    My only 2+ light is a Fenix TK75, which, although i like, is too large to be practical for me anyway. Still it is a very powerful light that i can actually mount too a tripod for use as a worklight (it will light the whole back yard).

    I suggest looking at the "recommend a light" section scout referred to where there are a lot of recommendations for throwers.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by MX421; 01-09-2019 at 01:28 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    Quote Originally Posted by Gonfshn33 View Post
    My current light is the streamlight protac hl. Runs on 3 cr123a batteries and will eat them up in an hours time or less.
    No other battery configurations are listed for that light. I can see where that light will eat those batteries up.

    MX has some good advice.

    I too too am a fan of Illumn, Battery Junction, and I will add Lion Warehouse as well. I canít emphasize enough to get good quality batteries. They make all the difference in runtime and safety.

    I will Iíll also second Zebralight. I donít own one but never have seen a bad review on them.

    The LED makes a difference on picking up blood. I find the warmer tint of the Nichia 219 leds make the blood pop more for my eyes.

    Bob

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    Quote Originally Posted by HorizontalHunter View Post
    ... and I will add Lion Warehouse as well. I canít emphasize enough to get good quality batteries. They make all the difference in runtime and safety.
    Hadn't been to liion warehouse, site looks good, may have to order something now...
    Quote Originally Posted by HorizontalHunter View Post
    The LED makes a difference on picking up blood. I find the warmer tint of the Nichia 219 leds make the blood pop more for my eyes.

    Bob
    I've slashed my budget for flashlight this past year, but the only lights i got this year were high CRI (two Zebralights actually)because i had a painting job and they excelled at that. One benefit i was hoping was that the higher CRI would be good for blood tracking. Good to hear that the nichia (high CRI i suppose) do well for you. I'll make sure i have my hi CRI nichia loight with me as well when i hunt.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    Thanks so much for the help guys. This helps a lot and is usable info. Again, thank you.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    I hunt and night and shoot also, nore of a hunter/duty user than a flashlight guy but the following may help. Gun lights for hunting are very popular here.The choice for long range shooting at night is the 2 x 18650 lights with large heads. They are not pocket sized being at least 9" long usually but still quite handy. Often we mount them on the gun scope with a remote tail switch.

    Generally I had 3 categories of light
    1.Gun scope mounted, maximum range, mostly spot, 100,000-200,000 CD, 2 x 18650 config.
    2.Handheld more EDC sized , longish range some flood, 37000- 60,000 CD.
    3. Headlamp, I don't go too crazy with lumens here I am more interested that they can light up a work area or the hunting path when walking. Iin fact I just use a little 1xaa headlamp.

    I would also generally get a red filter for items 1 and 2(they come in all sizes) which 'can' have less startling effect when shooting or glassing game, however your effective range is reduced.

    Note candela or CD is the measurement you are after for range, this tells you how far the light reaches out. It can depend on the air, your scope and what you are shooting but generally I find lights under 80,000 CD are best for under 150 yards and if you really want to reach out lights over 100,000 CD get you to the ranges you are talking about. My rule of thumb is also the manufacturers specified beam distance needs to be reduced by a factor or 3 or so. So if they are saying 67,000 candela and 500 yards beam range, its more like 150 or less.

    Some examples in under 100,000 candela.
    https://www.ledtorchshop.com.au/eagl...14-meters.html

    very popular for longer ranges 250,000 CD
    https://www.liteshop.com.au/content/...nge-led-torch/
    There are many many options in this category.

    keep in mind the extreme high CD lights may not have the flood you need for your uses.

    My handheld light is a nitecore EC4GT. This is 1000 lumens , decent CD around 60,000. This allows me to see what I need to past 100 yards. Its 2x 18650 but they are stacked side by side so its very handy to pocket.
    https://flashlight.nitecore.com/product/ec4gt

    If you wanted to combine functions between no.1 and no.2 you can go to a single 18650 but with a big head. I have not used these myself there werent as many round when i was buying flashlights and I don't buy flashlights often.

    But somethig like the nitecore p30 looks promising as its very high CD 95,000, with a large head, short being single 18650 andstill pocketable. I believe this would also have a remore tail switch after market if you wanted to gun mount it. The manufacturer range is 618 m or about 700 yards which by my backyard calculation puts it well into your 200 yards real life requirements. The members here may be able to advise better on that, keeping in mind I am in the steamy tropics so we don't have the best air here.

    https://flashlight.nitecore.com/product/p30

    I was thinking of getting one of these myself and replacing my long range scope mounted light( which is currently offline) and handheld light with just this one light but I am pretty tight with spending money
    Last edited by mickb; 01-12-2019 at 01:23 AM.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Tac Gunner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    Mickb covered all the technical data I usually post so I'll just make my suggestions. I prefer Fenix first as I have numerous lights from them and never had an issue. Nitecore on the other hand I didn't have good luck with and they seem to have always had one of the highest failure rates on the forum.

    These would be my suggestions:

    -Fenix TK47 for throw and runtime, it will easily do 200yds.

    https://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-tk...ed-flashlight/

    -Fenix TK25 with UV for hand held use and tracking. The UV will make blood really stand out. It isn't going to give you 200yds though.

    https://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-tk...aviolet-light/

    -Fenix HL55 headlamp. It has plenty of mode options to give you the runtime and output you need. It is also an 18650 powered light so you can interchange batteries with your handheld lights

    https://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-hl55-led-headlamp/

    -For a simple charger this Fenix will do what you need and is simple to use

    https://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-ar...smart-charger/

    -These are your best bet for batteries at a good price and you know you won't get fakes

    http://www.mtnelectronics.com/index....=ASC&limit=100
    Last edited by Tac Gunner; 01-13-2019 at 12:41 PM.
    Reliability, NW and moonlight mode, the most important factors in a light

  19. #19

    Default Re: Two questions from flashlight illiterate hunter

    Quote Originally Posted by Gonfshn33 View Post
    I have looked around and read on this for about a week and to be honest most of this just doesn't make sense. So I would like to pose my own two questions. First a little back story. As mentioned above I am a hunter and the thing we don't want to happen has happened to me twice this year. I have had to track an animal much further than I would like. Both times at night. I currently have a 1k lm streamlight that runs on Cr123a batteries and it is killing me feeding it. It doesnt run long before its down to nothing on fresh batteries.

    Here's my questions.
    1. What would be the best 18650 light with the best throw and lm output for $150 or less.
    2.what is a good 18650 headlamp for considerably less than that.

    I was about to pull the trigger on the noctigon m43 but there are I think 7 different variations... I have no idea...

    Would like a good throw out to 200+ yards with a little flood
    As much lumen as possible (good hot spot) 
    Good run time

    Sorry, again I tried to research and watch videos but there is a lot of jargon to learn.
    Fenix has a deal on Cr123 batteries. 10 for $10.74 in their last email flyer.

    Bob

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