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Thread: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

  1. #1

    Default Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    It's Groundhog Day - you wake up suddenly way back at the beginning of your journey, with no lights but all of your knowledge and experience. All of today's technology and available products are available to you.

    What do you buy first? What does your path forward look like?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Interesting premise. Definitely starting out with an HDS Rotary. It is flexible enough to cover nearly all my needs and of the build quality I want. I could get by easily with that one light as I started to rebuild a collection.

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    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Since (according to the rules of this game) all of the classic vintage SureFire hosts are now discontinued, I would start with an order for a big box of Malkoff parts ... MD2 / MD3 / MD4 tubes, tailcaps, bezels, HD / WC / dropin light engines.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  4. #4

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Iíd only buy 400 lights instead of 600
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

  5. #5

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    UnObTanium Stepless Rotaries







    Last edited by jon_slider; 06-28-2020 at 10:53 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    I think a Nitecore UT32 headlight with a low temperature rated 18650 battery with USB charge port would cover most of my bases with one light. Has cool and neutral light and can be used as an angle head flashlight. The only thing I'd miss is a real low setting, but with 60 or 70 lumens lasting all night, I still won't have to deal with any battery changes in the dark. I could live with that.

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    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    I'd actually buy all the lights that I have now, but in a different order.
    Start with an HDS and then fill in the gaps with some Malkoffs and more HDSs.
    P
    "O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" He chortled in his joy.

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    Flashaholic* LeanBurn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    I like what I have, it's too bad there are not more high CRI options tho.
    THRUNITE > Archer1AV2|TiS|TH20|TN4A Hi...all in neutral white
    YUJILEDS BC Series 95+ HiCRI
    > Sofirn C01|Dorcy Penlight (Yuji modded)
    XTARVC4, LCTBC500, Amaloops, 1999 MAG-LITE 2D Incandescent(glass lens) Petzl Tikkina 80L ..... E01

  9. #9

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Quote Originally Posted by nbp View Post
    Definitely starting out with an HDS Rotary. It is flexible enough to cover nearly all my needs and of the build quality I want. I could get by easily with that one light as I started to rebuild a collection.
    Kind of a high quality "do it all" edc choice, I like that. Use your knowledge to cut the chaff and go straight to what works for most of your needs.

    What would be your next choice to fill in whatever gaps might exist with the HDS rotary?


    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    I would start with an order for a big box of Malkoff parts ... MD2 / MD3 / MD4 tubes, tailcaps, bezels, HD / WC / dropin light engines.
    Interesting, contrasting philosophy. Buy the modular parts to build whatever you need or want.

    Really get to leverage your experience here, nice. What lights would you build first? What roles are most important to you?


    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    UnObTanium Stepless Rotaries
    Wow not sure what I'm looking at here, but beautiful. How could one go about mining for this unobtanium, is it possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooked on Fenix View Post
    I think a Nitecore UT32 headlight with a low temperature rated 18650 battery with USB charge port would cover most of my bases with one light.
    Another solid do-it-all choice, maybe geared less for edc and more towards outright utility for your needs. Very interesting.

    Thanks for the input so far. Let's keep em coming!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    If it could only be what lights are currently being offered, knowing what I know I'd head to Home Depot and buy Maglites. A 2c ML25, 3D ML300, a 2aaa minimag and a Solitaire.

    Later I would buy 2 Elzetta Bones, a Bravo with hi/lo and an Alpha 415 with hi/lo.

    Then I would get on the open web and find some of those PK Design Lab lights from 2014-2016, then some Pentagon classics. Maybe some incan E2's and at least one A2 with that ugly white LED ring.

    Eventually I would probably go to eBay and find some Kel-Lites from the 70's a couple of SureFire G2x Pro 320's and some vintage lights from the 1920's forward and eventually end up with several hundred old light bulbs.

    And definitely at least 3 Fenix E01's. If I had any money left a Malkoff MD2 hi/lo.

    My Daily carry would still be a triple a light in one trouser pocket and a 1x123 in the other with a 2x123 near me.
    John 3:16

  11. #11

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Acebeam X65. After that, any smaller light with much less performance.
    It has been one year since an Arlington police officer defended himself against a loose, charging dog. In this case, someone other than the dogs' owner did Not reap the initial tragic consequences. Usually it is an innocent victim that gets it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Quote Originally Posted by aginthelaw View Post
    Iíd only buy 400 lights instead of 600
    Hey a 33% reduction is nothing to sneeze at.

    Also, 600? My wife would murder me. Probably with a heavy flashlight.

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    I'd actually buy all the lights that I have now, but in a different order.
    Super interesting choice here, change nothing but the order of what you have. Must have a tight collection you're really happy with, so awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeanBurn View Post
    I like what I have, it's too bad there are not more high CRI options tho.
    This is why modding seems daunting yet so satisfying to me.

    And agreed, I'm new and learning, but as I research lights, the variety of emitters offered stock often seems limited.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Zebralight H503c

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnightglass View Post
    .... Interesting, contrasting philosophy. Buy the modular parts to build whatever you need or want.

    Really get to leverage your experience here, nice. What lights would you build first? What roles are most important to you? ....

    Thanks for the input so far. Let's keep em coming!
    MD2 (primarily to run on 1x 18650) then MD3 (primarily to run on 2x AA) for first couple of hosts.

    Sticking with "currently available" modules, first dropins would include M61NLL (18650) , M361N-LMH (18650) , and M31 (for 1x-2x AA setups)

    And, of course, enough bezels / tailcaps / high-low rings and other parts (gaskets, O-rings, etc) to complete those builds.

    Next order probably includes some MDC tubes and VME parts.

    Next next order adds MD4 tube and HD / WC engines ....
    Last edited by archimedes; 06-28-2020 at 01:14 PM.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Iíd buy an M361 in any flavor with an MD2 host and tricap. It would have saved me from buying so many other more expensive lights. If still buy others to mess around with (specifically some of Vinhís modded flooders)
    Big butnotsomuch-burly

  16. #16

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    If it could only be what lights are currently being offered, knowing what I know I'd head to Home Depot and buy Maglites. A 2c ML25, 3D ML300, a 2aaa minimag and a Solitaire.
    Same here, Those would cover my needs fairly well.

    Next on the list would be a tactical light, not sure what I would get. I have been wanting to try one of the Surefires with intellabeam, if not one of those, something from Malkoff or Elzetta.

  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    I learned a lot from HDS lights but if I had to start again Iíd skip over them and start with a MD2/MD3/MD4 and go crazy with Dropins.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

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    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    I think I'd re-start my from-ground-zero collection with an Oveready BOSS 70. (You know who you are, thank you again...) A HCRI HDS 18650 Clicky. HDS HCRI Rotary in 123. Add in a neutral Hound Dog 18650. Scour the WTS for the V4 Wildcat I just got. A Malkoff N-LLL Module or three. Empty MD2 w/hi low ring for said dropins. SF 6P host. Okluma DC1, Tana E1e Triple build. McG Mule. A Pak-lite or two. I'm sure I could think of a few more.
    Last edited by scout24; 06-28-2020 at 01:36 PM.
    The TK20. Yes, it still rocks- WoodsWalker

  19. #19

    Drool Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    I would start with One-Off GTvn with Luminus CFT-90 LED. Pictured here from SkyLumenís Gallery:



  20. #20

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnightglass View Post
    Another solid do-it-all choice, maybe geared less for edc and more towards outright utility for your needs. Very interesting.

    Thanks for the input so far. Let's keep em coming!
    Next light purchase after the headlight would be a Nitecore Tip 2. That covers my edc needs and some lower levels. Then a Lucy Lux pro solar inflatable lantern would be next. It could charge the tip 2 in the field. Then I'd want something bright. A Nitecore TM06s will do. 4000 lumens for an hour is enough (doesn't dim down after seconds like most lights). These lights wouldn't be all I get, but it would be a good start.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnightglass View Post
    Wow not sure what I'm looking at here, but beautiful. How could one go about mining for this unobtanium, is it possible?
    Welcome to the forum, I like your posting style :-)

    CPF rules forbid posting where to buy info
    Im happy to answer sensitive questions like that, if you send me a private message

    And I agree that learning to swap LEDs can transform a light from something I choose not to use,
    to a light that brings a smile to my face.


    One of the variables you will want to consider, is the size of the light, and size of the battery it uses.





    both these lights use the same battery size


    middle light is a Stepless Rotary called Jetbeam RRT-01, on the right is an HDS Rotary, that has 24 steps (both can use the same 16340 size battery):

    for my size, weight, UI preferences, when I found the RRT-01, I sold the HDS
    Last edited by jon_slider; 06-28-2020 at 04:02 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Thanks so much for all of the replies so far - wow, a wealth of information already.


    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    ....
    Whoa lots of variety to research and try here, awesome info!

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    MD2 (primarily to run on 1x 18650) then MD3 (primarily to run on 2x AA) for first couple of hosts.
    Thank you for the follow-up - excellent info on how to build out a tight Malkoff collection from the ground up.

    Would love a modified Malkoff (MD2 or MDC) as my first, but should probably humble myself and pick a stock light to start. Might still be a Malkoff though..


    Quote Originally Posted by bigburly912 View Post
    Iíd buy an M361 in any flavor with an MD2 host and tricap. It would have saved me from buying so many other more expensive lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    I learned a lot from HDS lights but if I had to start again Iíd skip over them and start with a MD2/MD3/MD4 and go crazy with Dropins.
    Thank you both, and more Malkoff love. I'm sensing a pattern here...


    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    I think I'd re-start my from-ground-zero collection with an Oveready BOSS 70... A HCRI HDS 18650 Clicky. HDS HCRI Rotary in 123. Add in a neutral Hound Dog 18650. Scour the WTS for the V4 Wildcat I just got. A Malkoff N-LLL Module or three. Empty MD2 w/hi low ring for said dropins. SF 6P host. Okluma DC1, Tana E1e Triple build. McG Mule. A Pak-lite or two. I'm sure I could think of a few more.
    Yep expected to see a Boss 70 eventually, and more HDS. Those seem like strong picks for keeping stock vs Malkoff and others really being great for modding.

    Makes sense, for the higher price, you'd expect to be able to run Boss and HDS stock (and have more options available). Love the sturdy and customizable build qualtiy these seem to offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by search_and_rescue View Post
    I would start with One-Off GTvn with Luminus CFT-90 LED.
    Wow that's a stunning purple, and what a light. I'm guessing you prioritize having a workhorse first over edc (well, your forum name is search and rescue after all..)


    Quote Originally Posted by Hooked on Fenix View Post
    Next light purchase after the headlight would be a Nitecore Tip 2. That covers my edc needs and some lower levels. Then a Lucy Lux pro solar inflatable lantern would be next. It could charge the tip 2 in the field. Then I'd want something bright. A Nitecore TM06s will do. 4000 lumens for an hour is enough (doesn't dim down after seconds like most lights). These lights wouldn't be all I get, but it would be a good start.
    Thank you for the follow-up, and I like how you've thought about your progression and using the solar lantern as a means to charge the Tip 2 if necessary.

    Lanterns don't seem as discussed much but seem to offer high utility in certain situations.

    Also... Where's the Fenix?! Mostly Nitecore so far haha

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    Welcome to the forum

    And I agree that learning to swap LEDs can transform a light from something I choose not to use,
    to a light that brings a smile to my face.

    One of the variables you will want to consider, is the size of the light, and size of the battery it uses.
    Thank you for the warm welcome and follow-up! (and apologies to CPF for asking where to buy, will go back and read rules more closely)

    Those size pics really highlight how different form factors can be for given battery sizes.

    Also neat to see how they can reflect the design philosophies of the companies behind them.


    Really appreciate the thoughtul responses from everyone so far. This is hugely helpful for a new person just getting started.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    The first order of business would be heading to the store to get a few decent lights. Most likely a Mag ML25 or two and maybe a small AA/AAA light for EDC if I could find something suitable.There are a couple retailers offering Fenix and Streamlight locally so I might end up getting a CR123 light of some sort. Definitely grab a couple Nite-Ize PR base drop-ins and go after hosts. Pretty sure there is a store nearby that still has NOS 3C Mags that use the old PR base bulbs. How many lights I came home with would depend on what I could find.

    Online ordering,Malkoff would be at the top of the list. MD2s and M61Ns,probably start with a NLL as I don't believe there are any NLLL/219 LLL available currently. Probably have to look for some low cost P60 hosts as well to stay within a realistic budget, maybe Lumens Factory. I would have to place an order for batteries too.

    Pak-lites next. Low tech they may be but I use them daily now and they serve as reliable, long run time and low cost emergency lights.

    Since whatever I could find in a B&M store is unlikely to satisfy my EDC desires I would probably go after a decent EDC light next. I can get the Olight i3T fairly cheap and it makes for a decent EDC despite the lack of neutral tint. The i3T would suffice while I agonize between a Malkoff 1XCR123 or a Peak Logan.
    I respectfully reserve the right to purchase yet another light......

  24. #24

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Some of the Latest and Greatest Most Popular New Lights

    are sometimes referred to generically as the "Anduril Lights"..

    They use a single button UI, that will ramp up or down to select whatever brightness is desired.

    With lots of bells and whistles, relatively inexpensive, available in Noble Metals, High CRI LED options, and several different battery sizes.

    if youre into triples, and quads, with a selection of blinkies with names like candle and lightning storm, and with multicolored auxiliary lights, have a gander at this very popular quad LED Anduril light:


    and lastly, here is video of my personal recommendation for a GroundHogLight you can buy today, the Jetbeam RRT-01
    Last edited by jon_slider; 06-28-2020 at 11:31 PM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    I'd probably start with a AA Maglite as a GP EDC, then add a dedicated thrower, and a flooder.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Midnight Glass, can I call you MG?

    I really enjoyed the topic of this thread as it has caused me to rewind the movie of my collection that began in about 2015. Before that I had flashlights much like the average person does. Some general purpose like Havok said (welcome to the site Havok btw) and some were specific to a task but none were very bright. Then I discovered cpf while researching how to install an LED inline an existing automotive circuit into an already maxed out circuit. I wanted to add more interior lighting to a car I was working on.

    At work I discovered the LED flashlight had become much brighter than my old 1990's minimag so I set out on a quest to explore those new gadgets. What car? I forgot all about the car after learning not only are LED lights pretty bright but that flashlights going back as far as the 1920's could be easily found and for not a lot of bread. Before I knew it there were hundreds of flashlights from various eras scattered about my home.

    I also learned that as popular as flashlights are and have been for a few generations not a lot of history was written about them. I set out to learn as much as I could about the subject while collecting some from various companies who played a role in the process. Antique cop lights made by companies many never heard of, lights from both world wars, lights from post WW2, the 1950's and 1960's, alluminum tube lights from the 70's and 80's, some military grade from the 90's, numerous general purpose lights from throughout flashlight history, LED lights going back to early tech and some modern approach.

    Knowing what I know about the technology I'd probably not end up with close to a thousand flashlights, but I'd certainly have a few dozen. Most by manufacturers not so popular around here, not because they are no good. But more to do with the historical aspect. Many made by the players who changed the flashlight world a long time ago. And some just because they make great work lights.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 06-30-2020 at 06:05 AM.
    John 3:16

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Since they can still sometimes be found on EBay, a Surefire G2, and go to Lumens Factory to get an LED drop in. After that a Tool 2.0 AA with some 14500s, and a Lumintop Gt Mini and GT Micro. Maybe a couple of Sofirn C01Ses as well.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    A Fenix TK75 2018 Edition would be where I start.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    Back to Year Zero of my flashlight purchasing? (Actually, not a bad idea quite frankly.)

    Very first would be a SureFire Tactician.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  30. #30
    Enlightened Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Groundhog Day, you wake up back at the start with no lights - first purchase?

    well as much as I dearly love my every growing collection of retro incans, I`d have to say I`d start with my Astrolux S1 with the 18350 battery, it`s not much bigger than a lipstick and lights up an entire room on level 3 for 2 hours bright enough to read anywhere in there, it`ll do super low enough just for one person to read or give out more than 1000lm (not sure how long for though?). and I`d have my 12 Cree led 4x 18650 "coke can" torch as well, the amount of light that puts out is just sick! so between the 2 it covers all my needs.
    Then I`d start my collection of incans that take No.8 Ever Ready batteries again (I love those!)

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