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Thread: Does this light exist?

  1. #1

    Default Does this light exist?

    Hello all,
    Over the years I've used many types of lights. From old incandescents, the first mag lights to current LED lights. Still have a 6 D cell I bought in the early 90s.
    My home is in a very rural, very outdoors area and what I'm currently using is the Stanley SL10LEDS. This light is good and able to slightly show tree lines @ 400yds away.
    Getting to the point... what I am in need of is a light that I can hit 1/2 mile with a good and focused beam. This will be used mainly to deter any trespassers, sweep property lines or show an abundance of light to anyone in the immediate area. Ideally a beam about 50 yards in diameter at about 1/2 mile. I've researched this repeatedly and something like the acebeam w30 seams to have the distance but not the run time or width of the hot spot.
    Awhile back I saw a post about a person that had made a light using a light force head and put the battery and controls in a ammo can.
    Something of that nature is what I'm looking for. A portable light with a long run time but more throw than the light force. Nothing that has a turbo mode for a few seconds then only runs at 50%. A light that is portable but that I can set the battery pack or box down and scan with the head.
    I understand completely that the "ideal" light may not exist and anything like I need would take some construction. I'm all for that and have the ability to make this just not sure what parts I need to make such a light happen. Is possible to build something like this?
    Any and all advice is welcomed and highly appreciated.

    ================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.
    ____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.
    ____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.
    __X__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).
    ____MEDIUM - Holster/belt ring carry. (>7 inches)
    __X__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)
    __X__HID (known for max output, but often at the expense of size)
    ____I don't know.

    6) Manufacturer:

    ____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).
    __X__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).
    ____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)
    ____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)
    ____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).
    __X__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.
    ____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.
    __X__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)
    ____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).

    __X__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)
    ____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):

    _X___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)
    ____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.
    __X__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.)
    ____I don’t care.
    ____I don’t know.


    ____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
    ____IPX4 (Splash resistant)
    _X___IPX7 (Waterproof to 1 meter/30min)
    ____IPX8 (Submersible to greater than 1 meter for 4 hours)

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

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Does this light exist?

    150 foot hotspot at 1/2 mile would be very difficult to achieve. The width your looking for and to have it a hotspot is hard. Lights go that far and have a much wider beam at that distance but it’s not really a hot spot.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    South England

    Default Re: Does this light exist?

    Not sure if it ticks all your boxes but the light I recommend seems close. I had a Nitecore Tiny Monster TM38 (now discontinued but replaced by TM39). The flashlight has its own battery system that can be charged alone or attached to the light via their proprietary charger, you can purchase spare battery packs for it from Nitecore so if you are on a search and rescue mission and get deployed where you cannot recharge supplies you have the option to switch out packs in less than 5 seconds.

    The light looks like a fat plunger and can be handled comfortably with one hand. I remember being on a beach and lighting up a house on an island which was over 200 meters away. It was pretty impressive. Everyone commented that the beam looked like a miniature version of a helicopter searchlight! Seems to fit your bill.

    It has an OLED display which tells you clearly how much juice the battery has, what setting you are on (exactly how many lumens) and how much runtime is left on that mode. It does have a few modes which are selectable via a metal button located close to the head for ease of use. This gives you a high mode for when you are searching, a medium mode for extended runtimes with ample light, or a very low mode that, if I remember correctly, gives a very very long runtime.

    The Light was designed as a searchlight and has a huge smooth reflector just for that, I regret selling the TM38 but will pickup a TM39 for sure when I have money to throw at Nitecore. Hope this helps!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Does this light exist?

    Look into a metal halide h.i.d. spotlight. 35 watts should work okay. L.e.d.s aren’t great for throw and none can provide the output you want for more than mere seconds. A 35 watt h.i.d. spotlight can get around 3200 lumens and several miles of throw for over an hour without dimming. Not sure about how wide the beam would be at half a mile though but it’s likely your best bet for what you’re asking for.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Does this light exist?

    If my math is correct, you need a beam angle of 3.2 degrees to achieve a 50 yard wide spot at 0.5 miles (880 yards). This would give you approximately a 5.5 yard wide spot at 100 yards. I'm not sure that this would be very good as a search light for anything under 500 yards (0.28 miles).

    A member here has a very interesting comparison of the Wowtac A4, BLFGT, and the Acebeam W30 (beamshots at distance starts at 5:37). You might see if what you are asking for is actually what you are looking for... especially in a carry friendly light.

    I'm linking these two videos to see if they help with some options. IIRC, they are the same lights in both videos. The first is just a compilation of beamshot pictures, while the second has video of the lights on the same mountain with audio commentary:

    Last edited by Scotty321; 04-14-2021 at 04:30 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Does this light exist?

    It may have been posted already.

    Lumintop BLF GT90 is going to be hard to beat for your intended purpose.

    Sent from my LG-V520 using Tapatalk
    I got nothing else to say...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Does this light exist?

    I definitely appreciate all the input so far, thank you!!!

    Hooked on Fenix you mentioned- a metal halide h.i.d. spotlight. 35 watts.
    Do you (or anyone) have any suggestions for a brand or model of such a light? My results came with the lightforce enforcer hid. The concept is exactly what I want, a light that can be plugged into a battery pack... But is that a 1/2 mile light? Hard to tell from the few beam shots I can find.

    And I feel like filling out the check list may have confused some. I know these smaller lights are all beasts and may be what I will end up with. But the size of the light can be big, huge actually. If the lens/head is 12-16 inches that completely acceptable.
    And the battery or battery pack doesn't have to be part of the light. Think like a battery pack with a cord connecting to the head. Possibly powered by 12V SLAs with charger built into the battery pack.
    At least that's what I have in my mind as what is required for the light I need.
    Please continue with any and all suggestions as I greatly appreciate the info!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Does this light exist?

    Or... Is there someone that builds lights or can guide me in what I need to build such a light?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Does this light exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by adnj View Post
    It may have been posted already.

    Lumintop BLF GT90 is going to be hard to beat for your intended purpose.

    Sent from my LG-V520 using Tapatalk

    Sent from my LG-V520 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by adnj; 04-17-2021 at 02:23 PM.
    I got nothing else to say...

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