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Thread: Duty Light Recommendations

  1. #1
    Unenlightened FCV03's Avatar
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    Default Duty Light Recommendations

    I work the midnight shift in an urban area - while there are plenty of streetlights, there are also a seemingly endless supply of pitch black basements and darkened backyards that would benefit with a good bit of light!

    I'm in the process of looking for a new duty light so I can relegate my Streamlight Stinger LED HL to backup work. I've been having a few issues with it going dim abruptly and after only a few minutes of continuous usage (I'm currently awaiting the arrival of a new battery to see if that mitigates the trouble I've been having with it, and if not I'll send it in for repair), but I'd like to see what other options are available. I previously carried a Maglite ML150LR, and while I liked it, I found that the side switch was so shallow that it would accidentally turn on constantly and it was hard to find with gloves, and that the head loosened to the point that attempting to hold it in a tactical fashion would always throw its spot/flood focus off. (I'm waiting for Maglite to get back to me to see if that latter issue can be helped at all.) The Streamlight ProTac HL-5X seems like a good option, but I've been somewhat hesitant as I've heard mixed things about the reliability of early units.

    With that said, let's move on to the template.

    ----

    1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?
    Online

    2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :-)
    Up to $200

    3) Format:
    Handheld

    4) Size:
    Small to Medium (4-12 inches). As long as I can tuck it under my arm if I need to write something down or handle documents it'll be fine.

    5) Emitter/Light source:
    LED

    6) Manufacturer:
    Traditional manufacturer, ready to go out of the box

    7) What power source do you want to use?
    Rechargeable batteries.

    7a) If you have selected a rechargeable option
    Wall cradle, standalone charger, or removable batteries. As long as the batteries can be recharged, it's not too big of an issue.

    8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need?
    The brighter the better, though multi-brightness modes are appreciated. The Stinger and Maglite I was using up until now seemed to be fine, but more illumination on the high setting never hurts.

    Burst/Turbo mode Category
    Prefer to avoid

    9) Flood vs Throw
    Wide throw or adjustable would probably be best. While I'll mostly be using the light for fairly close subjects (backyards, rooms, sheds, etc), there are times that being able to illuminate the address of a house at the end of a block or a license plate of a faraway car can be handy.

    9a) Distance: How far away will you typically need to see with this light (check all that apply)
    [X] Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
    [X] Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
    [X] 5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
    [X] 30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
    [Not a must but would be nice] 50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)
    [ ] 150+ yards (I am searching from a helicopter)

    10) Runtime
    The longer the better. I'll probably pick up a spare battery or two to keep in my bag in case though.

    11) Durability/Usage
    Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).

    12) Switch Size, Type, and location (choose all that apply):
    I'd like a momentary switch (Predominantly for use with signaling and short bursts of momentary light only), and I definitely prefer a body mounted switch (near the head, like on a Maglite).

    13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.
    I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)

    14)Material/Finish/Coating
    Anything that isn't plastic.

    15) Water resistance
    As long as it holds up while standing out in the pouring rain/snow I'll be happy with it. I'll try to avoid dropping it in said rain/snow.

    16) Storage conditions
    In house (temperature/climate controlled environment) and on a duty belt

    17) Special Needs/extras:
    Needs to have a decent belt holster available for it, or fit existing generic-sized ones.

    Thanks for giving this thread a look!
    Last edited by FCV03; 05-11-2019 at 09:04 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Check into a Malkoff Hound Dog 18650. High end of the budget but ask about a leo discount. I'm pretty sure he offers one. The turnkey package has charger and battery included.

    His M91t, M61HOT with hi/lo rings would be a good option too. All take rechargable batteries and are very durable.

    His lights also fit a variety of holsters. A quick search will find you one,

  3. #3

    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Consider the Streanlight Strion if you like the Stinger setup. Dock charger etc similar to a Stinger but a whole lot smaller.
    John 3:16

  4. #4
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    If for LE duty you should look at Brite Stike and ASP range of duty lights too, especially their rechargeable lights.

    https://www.brite-strike.com/product...lice-military/
    https://www.asp-usa.com/collections/duty

    Normally I'd recommend the Streetlight Stinger (non HP model for longer runtime), anyway I think the new battery should solve your issue.

    Make sure you have a good pocket backup light too, never rely on just one light.
    - I don't make fanboy recommendations, if I recommend a light it's because it's the most practical option for your intended application.
    - Whatever light you carry, no keychain should be without a Photon Micro-Light II.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Have a look at this similar thread, it just saves me typing out the same info again! LOL

    https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...Recommendation

    I still like the Malkoff M91T MD3 which runs on 2 x 18500 Li-ion batteries, it'll run on high (750 Lumens) for about 1 1/2 hours, the low setting is ideal for many tasks especially checking documents etc.

    Small enough to be on your duty belt 24/7 and would make an ideal back up to the Stinger. It doesn't have a strobe mode and it won't out throw the stinger.

    Photo of Stinger and M91T MD3 for size comparison.



    If you do buy the M91T don't forget to get the optional High/Low ring fitted.
    Last edited by Dave D; 05-10-2019 at 02:27 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    So glad you chimed in Dave. When the topic is one like this I always remember your excellent and relevant posts.

    FCV, if you do nothing else, take note of this man. He knows his stuff.
    P

  7. #7
    Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    I recommend the Malkoff Hound Dog, either the single 18650 version or the higher voltage XML version. I'd let form factor and your choice of holster decide between the two. My preference would be for the single 18650 version. If you treat it like a punching bag, it will smile and ask for seconds.
    ďMay it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.Ē
    J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

  8. #8

    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    The hound dog 18650 with hi/low ring is hard to beat, great runtime and stupid tough. I use it all the time inspecting under trains where it gets thrashed, then wash it off in the sink and itís always ready to go.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Some of the lights that I've compared for duty use.



    L - R

    2D Maglite, in my opinion too big. My one was an incan but I've upgraded it with a 1000 lumen 3-mode unit, very good throw but not enough spill.

    Streamlight Stinger HL DS, good all round light at a good price. Low mode could do with being lower perhaps.

    Malkoff Hound Dog V3, same LED and reflector as the current 18650 version, mine has the MD4 body (2 x 18650) which is nice but doesn't out do the Stinger except sheer robustness and perhaps run time.

    Surefire R1 Lawman Intellibeam, good duty light but now deleted from the range, stupidly expensive with similar features to the much cheaper Stinger.

    Malkoff M91T MD3 will give the Hound Dog a run for it's money in a much smaller package.

    Surefire Fury which is similar to the G2X/6PX range that are currently available, available in dual output versions, 15/600 lumens, will run on a 16650 battery as well as 2 x CR123's.

    Malkoff MD2 which is available with a variety of P60 modules, the M61Hot would be comparable to the M91T but in a shorter body.

    The Surefire Fury, the Malkoff MD2 and the Malkoff HoundDog 18650 (not the one in the photo) probably won't be suitable for tucking under your arm.

  10. #10
    Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave D View Post
    Some of the lights that I've compared for duty use.
    We interrupt this programming to announce mad respect for Dave D.

    Regularly scheduled programming resumes now.
    ďMay it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.Ē
    J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

  11. #11
    Unenlightened FCV03's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    A big thanks to everyone that went to the trouble of typing out a reply. You've all given me quite a lot to consider!

    Quote Originally Posted by nmiller View Post
    Check into a Malkoff Hound Dog 18650. High end of the budget but ask about a leo discount. I'm pretty sure he offers one. The turnkey package has charger and battery included.

    His M91t, M61HOT with hi/lo rings would be a good option too. All take rechargable batteries and are very durable.

    His lights also fit a variety of holsters. A quick search will find you one,
    Quote Originally Posted by Modernflame View Post
    I recommend the Malkoff Hound Dog, either the single 18650 version or the higher voltage XML version. I'd let form factor and your choice of holster decide between the two. My preference would be for the single 18650 version. If you treat it like a punching bag, it will smile and ask for seconds.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockjunkie15 View Post
    The hound dog 18650 with hi/low ring is hard to beat, great runtime and stupid tough. I use it all the time inspecting under trains where it gets thrashed, then wash it off in the sink and itís always ready to go.
    I hadn't heard of Malkoff's stuff prior to this thread, and I have to say that his products appear to be of considerable quality. Thanks for the recommendations - by all appearances he's certainly earned them!

    Quote Originally Posted by GoVegan View Post
    If for LE duty you should look at Brite Stike and ASP range of duty lights too, especially their rechargeable lights.

    https://www.brite-strike.com/product...lice-military/
    https://www.asp-usa.com/collections/duty

    Normally I'd recommend the Streetlight Stinger (non HP model for longer runtime), anyway I think the new battery should solve your issue.

    Make sure you have a good pocket backup light too, never rely on just one light.
    I believe you're correct about the new battery. As far as I can tell my Stinger HL is no longer exhibiting its rapid dimming issue with its new battery installed. I figured I'd do my due diligence with testing and was still able to replicate the problem with the old battery again today. Thanks for the latter tip as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave D View Post
    Some of the lights that I've compared for duty use.



    L - R

    2D Maglite, in my opinion too big. My one was an incan but I've upgraded it with a 1000 lumen 3-mode unit, very good throw but not enough spill.

    Streamlight Stinger HL DS, good all round light at a good price. Low mode could do with being lower perhaps.

    Malkoff Hound Dog V3, same LED and reflector as the current 18650 version, mine has the MD4 body (2 x 18650) which is nice but doesn't out do the Stinger except sheer robustness and perhaps run time.

    Surefire R1 Lawman Intellibeam, good duty light but now deleted from the range, stupidly expensive with similar features to the much cheaper Stinger.

    Malkoff M91T MD3 will give the Hound Dog a run for it's money in a much smaller package.

    Surefire Fury which is similar to the G2X/6PX range that are currently available, available in dual output versions, 15/600 lumens, will run on a 16650 battery as well as 2 x CR123's.

    Malkoff MD2 which is available with a variety of P60 modules, the M61Hot would be comparable to the M91T but in a shorter body.

    The Surefire Fury, the Malkoff MD2 and the Malkoff HoundDog 18650 (not the one in the photo) probably won't be suitable for tucking under your arm.
    Suffice it to say that this and your previous writeup, along with the size-comparison shot above, was immensely helpful. This is also a much better indication of Malkoff's options' sizes as compared to similar lights. It's difficult to get an overall idea of length with the various head and body sizes he offers IMO.

    ---

    I think I'm going to purchase both a Malkoff (either a Houndog turnkey, XM-L model, or one of the pocket sized ones) and a Streamlight ProTac HL 5-X, and run them both through their paces to see which works best for me as a primary light (or as a secondary in the case of the smaller Malkoff if I keep the Stinger as a primary). I love the looks and good reviews of the Malkoff products, though the lack of a body-mounted switch option and the similar light output to my current Stinger makes me want to keep my options open to something rated brighter to see if it's beneficial at all. I'll update this thread with my thoughts on the two once I get a hold of them. Thanks again for all of your assistance, gentlemen!

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Modernflame View Post
    We interrupt this programming to announce mad respect for Dave D.

    Regularly scheduled programming resumes now.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    All the lights recommended here are good choices for sure, although the OP did state he wanted a side switch near the head that did momentary. This being the case, I shall recommend he takes a look at Eagletacís GX25L2, or the SX25L2 (Iíve used this as a duty light and it fits in the NiteIze stretch holster, and performs like a champ). If he wanted something smaller he could look at Eagletacís T series lights.

    If I may digress, I bought a Malkoff M91T on Dave Dís recommendation and I use the MD4 body (started with MD3 but decided I wanted more runtime). I canít think of a better light for the size/purpose/versatility if you were after a slim duty light and wanted a tail cap switch. So hereís cheers to Dave for sharing his knowledge

  14. #14
    Unenlightened FCV03's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by matt4350 View Post
    All the lights recommended here are good choices for sure, although the OP did state he wanted a side switch near the head that did momentary. This being the case, I shall recommend he takes a look at Eagletacís GX25L2, or the SX25L2 (Iíve used this as a duty light and it fits in the NiteIze stretch holster, and performs like a champ). If he wanted something smaller he could look at Eagletacís T series lights.

    If I may digress, I bought a Malkoff M91T on Dave Dís recommendation and I use the MD4 body (started with MD3 but decided I wanted more runtime). I canít think of a better light for the size/purpose/versatility if you were after a slim duty light and wanted a tail cap switch. So hereís cheers to Dave for sharing his knowledge
    You're right about that - the one thing I don't like about Malkoff's lights is the lack of an option for a side/body mounted switch near the head. It tends to be comfier for me on a Stinger-sized and up light. Eagletac has some nice products - the GX30L2 in particular seems like a good option. Not sure when my other reply will be approved and post, but while I planned to pick up the Streamlight ProTac HL 5-X and a Malkoff, I think I might add an Eagletec to the prospective purchases for the future. Thanks!
    Last edited by FCV03; 05-11-2019 at 09:14 PM.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by matt4350 View Post
    the OP did state he wanted a side switch near the head that did momentary.
    Well spotted Matt, limits the choices a bit.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by FCV03 View Post
    A big thanks to everyone that went to the trouble of typing out a reply. You've all given me quite a lot to consider! ....

    I think I'm going to purchase both a Malkoff (either a Houndog turnkey, XM-L model, or one of the pocket sized ones) and a Streamlight ProTac HL 5-X .... I'll update this thread with my thoughts on the two once I get a hold of them. Thanks again for all of your assistance, gentlemen!
    You're welcome, and congrats ! I think you have made an excellent choice.

    Thank you, too, for any (future) updates. CPF especially appreciates new members who return to post follow up thoughts on their "Recommend" threads

    Quote Originally Posted by FCV03 View Post
    .... Not sure when my other reply will be approved and post ....
    Should be all set now
    ... is the archimedes peak

  17. #17
    Unenlightened FCV03's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    You're welcome, and congrats ! I think you have made an excellent choice.

    Thank you, too, for any (future) updates. CPF especially appreciates new members who return to post follow up thoughts on their "Recommend" threads



    Should be all set now
    I appreciate it, and many thanks for the approvals.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by FCV03 View Post
    As far as I can tell my Stinger HL is no longer exhibiting its rapid dimming issue with its new battery installed.
    Do you have the latest 800 lumen version of the Stinger HL or the earlier 640 version?

  19. #19
    Unenlightened FCV03's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave D View Post
    Do you have the latest 800 lumen version of the Stinger HL or the earlier 640 version?
    I have the 800 lumen version, purchased from Amazon in December 2018.
    Last edited by FCV03; 05-11-2019 at 09:05 PM.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by FCV03 View Post
    I have the 800 lumen version, purchased from Amazon in December 2018.
    It's a good package! I have the DS version because I prefer tail switches, saves any difficulty in finding the orientation of the head switch in a hurry.

    I will have to try out the Strion HL which has 700 lumen but you can also get the DS version of that which also has the head switch, miniature version of the Stinger.

    Stay safe!

  21. #21
    Unenlightened FCV03's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave D View Post
    It's a good package! I have the DS version because I prefer tail switches, saves any difficulty in finding the orientation of the head switch in a hurry.

    Stay safe!
    Agreed, and thanks!

    ----

    I received the Streamlight ProTac HL 5-X earlier today, and figured I'd share a few photos and initial impressions. I'm awaiting nightfall to obtain a more informed idea of how bright this light is on its high setting, but it already outshines everything else I have by a significant margin during the day.



    The box itself is a small, simple affair. It's significantly less complex than a comparable Stinger box - there are no compartments inside.




    Just the flashlight, manual, Y-shaped charging cable, and wrist strap are present within it.






    My current lineup, from left to right. Maglite 3D LED 1st gen, Maglite 3D LED 2nd gen, Maglite ML150LR, Maglite XL50, Streamlight Stinger LED HL, and the Streamlight ProTac HL-5X. I have an old incandescent 2D Maglite lying around somewhere - I'll have to track it down sometime.


    The finish of the ProTac 5X is heavily rubberized and very grippy, more so than the Stinger. It's slightly larger in diameter than the Stinger (1.17 inches versus 1.24 inches IIRC), and if placed into a holster it doesn't seem like it would fly out unless purposefully drawn. The 5X is surprisingly similar in weight and overall heft to the 3D Maglites, though where the Maglites have most of their weight concentrated in their bodies as a result of their D-batteries, the 5X has most of its weight concentrated in its head. It is noticeably front heavy as a result. Its head diameter is just about the same size as the D-cell Maglite's, erring toward being larger by a completely minuscule amount.

    The 5X's momentary, body-mounted switch is nice and doesn't seem like it'll activate accidentally on a consistent basis. (It doesn't make as pleasant of a sound when clicked like the Stinger's does though!) I do wish that Streamlight offered more function sets. High > Strobe > Low, High Only, and Low > Medium > High is all you get. I would've liked to have seen a High > Medium > Low option.

    Other than that, the build quality seems solid and it feels as you would expect a Streamlight product to. Time will tell how well the light holds up, but I have high hopes for it. The head gets noticeably warm on high after only a few seconds, but just how bright it is more than explains that.

    I'll keep you guys posted for the ensuing nighttime test!

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    I'm looking forward to your update of the Streamlight ProTac HL-5X in real world usage!

    Be careful out there!


  23. #23
    Flashaholic* Greenbean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duty Light Recommendations

    I want to chime in here and tell you guys, I read about the Streamlight 5-X and decided to give it a shot because I had an HL Stinger as a duty light a few years ago and I loved it.

    Well well well, I am giddy right now. I found the USB version with the two included cells and Y-cord for a pretty good deal.

    Got it in this morning and promptly but the cells on the charge cord and waited.

    Now itís night and I prepare my favorites.

    Surefire 1st Gen LED M6, 800lu but with super throw TIR reflector. This is my go to search light due to the intense beam. Also itís a compact size for using while in a patrol car and out the window.

    M6 with MD21, great classic reference.

    WA-1185 in KT4 head with 3x18650 LeeF body, (this is a great incan thrower) but long in the hand.

    Man oh man! Does the 5-X deliver!!! The optic just throws and floods a lot of light, this will sound crazy but think of a 3rd or 4th Gen Wildcat when they had the triple optics, with more power! For real!

    I am going to buy another to send to my dad and get another for my old camp vehicle.

    The best thing about this light is the three modes, it has 10 tap, from Streamlight. 9 quick presses and hold the 10th to get the next mode. I use low, med, high. But the two other modes are high only and a high, strobe, low mode group.

    The low mode is fantastic for around the yard, at home inside and general usage.

    Also the rubber grip is a great touch as itís not going to be an ice cube in cold weather.

    I want to confirm what LED is in it, the tint is a good almost snow white in mine, Iíd love to see a warmer version but Streamlight hasnít even done that I donít believe.


    Sorry I canít get beam pics, but this is a great general flashlight for under 100 bucks.

    I havenít tested it yet with regular 18650 cells, Iím sure the ones included that have the micro USB charge input are longer, but hopefully not much as you can run 4xCR123s if needed.

    Thanks for your time,
    Stay Safe

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