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Thread: Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

  1. #1

    Default Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

    Hi All,

    First time poster, *very* long time lurker. Thanks for a great forum. I appreciate all the information!

    I need the community’s help on a new light and how I should think about battery platforms. My situation:

    I live and work in the Bahamas (Nassau) and have an obvious need for reliable lights. In addition to hurricanes (no need to elaborate on this one – we are fine here but doing all we can to help our neighbors on other islands) we also experience almost daily power outages due to load shedding by the power co this summer. Even in years past (no hurricanes, or load shedding) losing power has been a way of life.

    We currently have a mix of lights and battery types. Wife and I both keep E2D Defenders (CR123) in the car and I use a EDCL2-T (CR123) as the primary home torch. There’s a few lower-end AA lights kicking around as well. We also have a growing lantern collection - Streamlight siege (AA) and Streamlight siege rechargeables. (Love the Streamlight by the way – if you need a lantern, these are reliable winners)

    My need and questions:

    I want to add a stupid-bright, light up the night kind of light. Something that I can use if we need to provide help (or get help) in a true emergency situation. A money is no object, rely on in a hurricane, that can be spotted from a distance, piece of equipment.

    As I research these I am seeing more and more battery options. Built in chargers, CR123s, 18650s, etc. My smart wife is pointing out that we might not want 3 or 4 battery platforms in our supply closet. I am also unsure to what extent I should be considering rechargeable or not. We have a few goal zero power packs so I could recharge a light even in an extended outage situation. That noted, there’s something to be said for just reaching for fresh batteries if the need arises. I don’t mind re-tooling the collection. Just want to add a really bright light and to consider what types of batteries to keep around.

    So, what say you? I genuinely welcome all thoughts / ideas.

    Thank you!

    To the checklist: I know there’s some contradictory/unclear answers here – just let me know your thoughts.


    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.
      ____Up to $100.
      ____Up to $200.
      ____Up to $300.
      __x__Essentially unlimited.


      3) Format:

      ____I am not sure, please help me decide.
      __x__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.
      ____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).
      __x__MEDIUM - Holster/belt ring carry. (>7 inches)
      __x__LARGE - Big enough to need its own travel case.
      __x_I don’t know/I don't care.


      5) Emitter/Light source:

      __x__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)
      ____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).
      ____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.
      __x__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.
      __x__I intend to use Rechargeable cells based on less common formats (18500 or 18650 Li-Ion, RCR123, et-al).
      __x__I want a light with an integrated rechargeable battery pack.
      _x___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)
      __x_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)
      __x__I want a separate/stand-alone charger (this involves removing the batteries to charge)
      __x__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).
    __x__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).

    __x__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.
    __x__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)
    __x__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)
    __x__30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
    __x__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).
    __x__Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).
    ____I don’t know.


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

    ____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)
    __x__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.
    __x__I don’t know.


    14)Material/Finish/Coating

    ____Plastic/composite body (this may limit your choices significantly).
    __x__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)
    __x__Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
    ____I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.
    _x___Other, waterproof / resistant is a must.

    15) Water resistance
    ____None needed
    ____IPX4 (Splash resistant)
    __x__IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
    __x_IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)

    16) Storage conditions
    __x_In house (temperature/climate controlled environment)
    __x__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

  2. #2

    Default Re: Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

    Okay, first of all I do NOT own one but I have read a LOT of good things about them and well...you did say stupid bright and money is no object... so: Olight X9R Marauder. It doesn't come with a lanyard attachment, it has a shoulder strap! And a Pelican style case.

    Twenty-five THOUSAND lumens! Yeah...

    Just general comments here: I personally would find a light or multiple lights with built in charging for 18650s (The X9R is special) nowadays as it would make it easier to find some way of recharging your drained cells. I would also have a separate Solar/auto/mains type charger and keep some spare cells around that you can cycle through to keep em fresh. The logic here is that you can always have spares charged and ready to go with a home/solar charger and also have a way of recharging or topping off in the field if you have access to an auto cigar plug or something else with a common USB port as many of the lights with built in charging use a typical micro USB cable for power. The X9R uses more of a small laptop charger.

    I personally decided a while ago to mostly use 18650s as my power sources. I do keep 16650s around as well for my small collection of old Surefires and in addition I also have went with many lights that are dual fuel capable...use either an 18650 or two 123As. While not entirely intentional as most of my lights just fit what I was looking for at the time, the fact that all but one or two of them can also be powered from two lithium primaries is a plus. Although 123As were not so easy to find just a few years ago, these days I can even find them in some quickie marts around town.
    Last edited by lightfooted; 09-08-2019 at 03:58 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

    For a light that takes CR123's (a lot of them) as well as a day-to-day rechargable solution, look at the Surefire UDR Dominator. Outclassed in output by current gee-whiz lights, but a solid multi-level light that really reaches out there. It's a proprietary battery pack, but comes with a cradle for a bunch of primaries for when things go south. You can always recharge from a power bank, a small solar setup, etc. Available on ebay with some patience for about half of msrp. A few threads on it here on CPF, and video reviews online. Member sledhead here has one and is a big fan.
    Last edited by scout24; 09-08-2019 at 03:44 PM.
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  4. #4
    Flashaholic* RWT1405's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

    Might I recommend the Streamlight ProTac HL 5-X USB.

    With the 2 - 18650's it puts out 3500 lmns @ 51,000 candela on high, also has 1000 lmns and 250 lmns modes!

    On 4 - CR123's it will put out 2500 lmns @ 37,000 candela!

    I've been using StreamLights since 1985 and can tell you they are made for tough use, and that many of us in Emergency Services use them!

    I think you'd find this as one of the best, for what you seek, and yes, I do own one!

    Wish you the best of luck in your search!
    In a SHTF scenario, the best of plans will go to sh*t, so Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) is the best plan

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

    I would recommend one of the big lights like rc40, t6, etc., since they shed heat easier and have multiple cells or large battery packs to provide light for extended periods. There are smaller lights that provide the same performance, but shorter run times on high
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

  6. #6

    Default Re: Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

    Go with 18650s and power banks and USB charging plenty of options many of them insanely powerful plus cells are easy to source including salvaging them from power banks, tool batteries, and old laptop batteries. The format has replaced most of my go to lighting with the exception of those that I need a smaller size than 18650 allows.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
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  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

    I want to add a stupid-bright, light up the night kind of light. Something that I can use if we need to provide help (or get help) in a true emergency situation. A money is no object, rely on in a hurricane, that can be spotted from a distance, piece of equipment.
    Please elaborate on this.
    The check off list is a bit out dated.

    Are you looking to have lights and batteries, maybe chargers, to give away?
    OR to for your personal use to signal for help when you find someone in need?
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

    In flashlight charging certainly has its merits and may be attractive BUT...
    I prefer to leave a power-bank charging unsupervised, rather than my cell phone plugged in unsupervised in a public place. If one goes missing... oh well... if the other goes missing... oh NO!!!
    With that thought in mind, I would prefer to have a battery in a charger plugged in while I hold possession of the other so that I can't have a catastrophic loss.

    Lights with built in charging are typically a bit more expensive than those without it. You may decide that they are worth the extra-cost, and I wouldn't fault you for it. In either case, spare batteries and an external charger IMO are a necessity. Above all, I rely on 18650's.

    If I wanted to use alkalines, then by far D cells are the way to go. A 3 D cell light at less than 100 lumens will run for hours, as well as a 3 cell 18650 light. Jump up the output, and you will have a rapid decline in output and run-time. Alkalines can't keep up.

    You can probably find cars that have not been submerged with fully charged batteries that you can use to recharge depleted 18650s. Even if you needed to pop the hood to get access to the battery and use alligator clips and connect them to a plug into a cigar lighter usb converter... it is doable.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  9. #9

    Default Re: Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

    Please look up the different types of Waka Waka lights. (The organization behind them will probably donate them to the Bahamas and you can certainly make that request of them for consideration; they have made similar donations in the past.)

  10. #10

    Default Re: Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
    Please elaborate on this.
    The check off list is a bit out dated.

    Are you looking to have lights and batteries, maybe chargers, to give away?
    OR to for your personal use to signal for help when you find someone in need?
    Great question - the latter. A big thrower to signal for - or offer - assistance. A true emergency light for what are becoming all to often visits from hurricanes. (Although we have donated much in the way of lights, gear, and time already as well)

  11. #11

    Default Re: Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
    In flashlight charging certainly has its merits and may be attractive BUT...
    I prefer to leave a power-bank charging unsupervised, rather than my cell phone plugged in unsupervised in a public place. If one goes missing... oh well... if the other goes missing... oh NO!!!
    With that thought in mind, I would prefer to have a battery in a charger plugged in while I hold possession of the other so that I can't have a catastrophic loss.

    Lights with built in charging are typically a bit more expensive than those without it. You may decide that they are worth the extra-cost, and I wouldn't fault you for it. In either case, spare batteries and an external charger IMO are a necessity. Above all, I rely on 18650's.

    If I wanted to use alkalines, then by far D cells are the way to go. A 3 D cell light at less than 100 lumens will run for hours, as well as a 3 cell 18650 light. Jump up the output, and you will have a rapid decline in output and run-time. Alkalines can't keep up.

    You can probably find cars that have not been submerged with fully charged batteries that you can use to recharge depleted 18650s. Even if you needed to pop the hood to get access to the battery and use alligator clips and connect them to a plug into a cigar lighter usb converter... it is doable.
    This is very helpful, thank you. There's always tradeoffs - run time, availibilty, cost, etc. At the end of the day I am just trying to limit the number of platforms we have in our supply closet. I am as you might guess a little more gear-inclined so to speak, but it's a lot to ask my wife and others to sort through batteries and lights that basically look the same to them. (especially in sub-optimal conditions) Your rec for the 18650s make sense.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Bahamas based, need a hurricane emergency light + battery recs

    Quote Originally Posted by lightfooted View Post
    Okay, first of all I do NOT own one but I have read a LOT of good things about them and well...you did say stupid bright and money is no object... so: Olight X9R Marauder. It doesn't come with a lanyard attachment, it has a shoulder strap! And a Pelican style case.

    Twenty-five THOUSAND lumens! Yeah...

    Just general comments here: I personally would find a light or multiple lights with built in charging for 18650s (The X9R is special) nowadays as it would make it easier to find some way of recharging your drained cells. I would also have a separate Solar/auto/mains type charger and keep some spare cells around that you can cycle through to keep em fresh. The logic here is that you can always have spares charged and ready to go with a home/solar charger and also have a way of recharging or topping off in the field if you have access to an auto cigar plug or something else with a common USB port as many of the lights with built in charging use a typical micro USB cable for power. The X9R uses more of a small laptop charger.

    I personally decided a while ago to mostly use 18650s as my power sources. I do keep 16650s around as well for my small collection of old Surefires and in addition I also have went with many lights that are dual fuel capable...use either an 18650 or two 123As. While not entirely intentional as most of my lights just fit what I was looking for at the time, the fact that all but one or two of them can also be powered from two lithium primaries is a plus. Although 123As were not so easy to find just a few years ago, these days I can even find them in some quickie marts around town.

    Really appreciate the thoughtful response. The dual fuel capable option - either an 18650 or two 123As is a great point. Keeps my small collections of surefires that use 123As relevant while keeping us to two types - 18650 and 123A. Thanks!

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