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Thread: Need Recommendation- short bottom of pocket, bright for 2 hours, walking light

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default Need Recommendation- short bottom of pocket, bright for 2 hours, walking light

    ==================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.
    x____Up to $50.
    ____Up to $100.
    ____Up to $200.
    ____Up to $300
    ____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.
    X____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.
    ____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.
    ____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).
    X____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)
    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)
    ____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)
    X____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).
    ____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.
    X____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.
    ____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)
    X____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)
    ____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)
    X____90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
    ____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).
    X____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
    ____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.)
    _x___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.)
    ____I don’t care.
    ____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)
    ____Titanium (durable and nearly as lightweight as aluminum, but can be moderately to significantly more expensive).
    ____I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.
    ____Other, please specify____________.

    15) Water resistance
    ____None needed
    X____IPX4 (Splash resistant)
    ____IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
    ____IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)

    16) Storage conditions
    X____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
    X____Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    ____Crenulated bezel
    ____Non-sparking, Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need Recommendation- short bottom of pocket, bright for 2 hours, walking light

    olight sr1 baton 2 hits all your marks
    ..nothing changes nothing...

  3. #3
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Need Recommendation- short bottom of pocket, bright for 2 hours, walking light

    Quote Originally Posted by wicky998 View Post
    olight sr1 baton 2 hits all your marks
    Run time is shorter on top 2 levels until 3rd level at 60 lumens? Also would like to charge with standard micro usb to avoid carrying or traveling with a proprietary cable.

    Maybe I need to spend more - Acebeam TK 17 at $80 might work.
    Last edited by Dave_5280; 12-27-2019 at 09:57 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need Recommendation- short bottom of pocket, bright for 2 hours, walking light

    you could always use a rcr123 with micro usb charge capable and itll just render the tailcap charging useless, but it would work

    tailcap would still be magnetic

    acebeam is nice too.
    ..nothing changes nothing...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need Recommendation- short bottom of pocket, bright for 2 hours, walking light

    You could head over to Parametrek.com and see what you come up with. It's a decent tool for figuring out what you might want in a light and is fairly well maintained.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Recommendation- short bottom of pocket, bright for 2 hours, walking light

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_5280 View Post
    Run time is shorter on top 2 levels until 3rd level at 60 lumens? Also would like to charge with standard micro usb to avoid carrying or traveling with a proprietary cable.

    Maybe I need to spend more - Acebeam TK 17 at $80 might work.
    Dave,
    If you want brightness and runtime, then you may consider going to a a small 18650 light. There is quite a selection of them at about 4.5 inches long.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Keitho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Recommendation- short bottom of pocket, bright for 2 hours, walking light

    I'm sick of recommending ZL or Acebeam or Olight, and espousing the virtues of warmer tints and higher CRI for outdoor use. Here's an off-the-wall recommendation, at least in this little corner of the internet--my wife uses something from Amazon on her bicycle handlebar for regular commuting called "shenkey bike light," currently listed at $26. USB charging, built-in prismatic cells (two 523450), weatherproof (I actually disassembled it, and found it to be believably waterproof), functional beam, and could certainly drop in the bottom of a pocket. Next to my high-CRI ZL beam it looks blue and washed out to me, but my wife doesn't notice, and she likes the built-in charging and good runtime (a couple hours of imperceptible-to-her dimming as the voltage drops). Our copies have lasted for over 3 years of regular use. Even though I am embarrassed to be seen near this thing, I end up recommending this light to people who don't want to pay extra for a better UI, potted electronics, CRI, tint, external charging, and a specific beam pattern.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need Recommendation- short bottom of pocket, bright for 2 hours, walking light

    Runtime you want on high just won’t happen at the 2-4” size, but for all your other criteria, Fenix PD25 all the way. They ship it with a 16340 battery that has a micro USB port in the cell itself. So you still have to take it out to charge, but it just takes a micro USB cable.

    I buy PD25s for my friends as gifts because they’re so great.
    Streamlight ProTac HL - SureFire P2X Fury - Fenix PD35 v2.0 - Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 - Fenix PD25 - NiteCore SRT7GT - NiteCore SRT3 - Sunwayman V11R XML2 6A3 mod

  9. #9
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Need Recommendation- short bottom of pocket, bright for 2 hours, walking light

    Thanks everyone for the recommendations. I ordered a Foursevens mini turbo MK3 to give it a try. The size seems what good, bright enough, and a second battery can be carried if needed.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Need Recommendation- short bottom of pocket, bright for 2 hours, walking light

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_5280 View Post
    Thanks everyone for the recommendations. I ordered a Foursevens mini turbo MK3 to give it a try. The size seems what good, bright enough, and a second battery can be carried if needed.

    good choice !

    thanks for following up and letting us know what you picked up.
    ..nothing changes nothing...

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