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Thread: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic Kitchener's Avatar
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    Default best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    Thought I'd start upgrading the household and auto lights. I'll probably get a Surefire G2, but I also want some long burn time LED lights. Spotted a couple possibilities on Ebay in the neighborhood of $25-$35 (spend up to $50). A couple that stood out, both luxeons (learned that word just today!) were the 3 AA Streamlight Tasklight (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=39667) and the 3 C Novigear SL2. I'm not sure, but it seems the Streamlight might be the brighter?

    What else should I know? What other products should I consider, if any?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    Welcome to CPF [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink2.gif[/img]

    You might want to consider lights from ElektroLumens.

  3. #3

    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    You might want to check out the new SL 4AA eLED. Over ten hours on four AA alkalines (included). Fair brightness, tough as can be, compact and $20 from Brightguy.

    Tough to beat.

    Doug Owen

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    Also, there's the UKE 2AAA eLed you may consider, its really tiny but puts quite a nice amount of light. For the price, it can't be beat too. There's also the SL Propolymer 4AA 7Led which many here recommend also due to brightness and runtime.

    If you're getting the G2, then you may also want to look at the KL3 Led conversion head. That way, you can probably swap the bezels instead of batteries if the batts run low and you're caught out without spares...But then again spare batts are easier to carry than the KL3... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img]

  5. #5
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    My vote goes for the Streamlight 4AA 7LED Poly for a general use flashlight. Very good runtime. Lights up an entire room brightly. Common size batteries. Tough housing. Not great for long throw outside, but fantastic for general use.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    i'll throw in the Elektrolumens Blaster 3.. i have the 1Watt version.. it throws extremely well, and stays bright for around 24 hours b4 it loses its edge.

    got it for $50 something directly from Wayne @ www.elektrolumens.com

  7. #7
    Flashaholic Kitchener's Avatar
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    How much attention should I give to things like LED numbers? For example, the 7LED Streamlights versus the 1w luxeons, etc.?

    Also, in the Streamlights, there seems to be two similar products, the 3C poly (10 LED) versus the 4AA 7LED. Both seem to have long burn times, but I can't determine which is brighter. Found the UK 4AA 1W Luxeon on ebay, too--, but seems to be rated at 10 hour's run time.

    Man, there are a lot of variables.

  8. #8

    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    Welcome to CPF, Kitchener.

    The UK 4AA Luxeon is a great choice if you want a long runtime. It will give you a good solid 10 - 12 hours of very constant brightness, depending upon batteries. It's not the brightest light around (you have to give up SOMETHING for that kind of runtime), but I find the light adequate for any normal task. If you're going to be inspecting the tail of a 747, or blinding bad guys while you get the handcuffs on, you might want something else. But for normal tasks, it works well.

    The UK is (I believe) still on sale for $20 at www.brightguy.com.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    [ QUOTE ]
    Kitchener said:
    How much attention should I give to things like LED numbers? For example, the 7LED Streamlights versus the 1w luxeons, etc.?

    Also, in the Streamlights, there seems to be two similar products, the 3C poly (10 LED) versus the 4AA 7LED. Both seem to have long burn times, but I can't determine which is brighter. Found the UK 4AA 1W Luxeon on ebay, too--, but seems to be rated at 10 hour's run time.

    Man, there are a lot of variables.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    if you have any specific questions about light comparisons or any terms or types of bulbs, or whatever, i encourage you to ask them, as it'll probly take you a couple weeks to familiarize yourself with LED's vs. luxeons.

    luxeons are basically LED's on steroids.. they come in 1Watt, 3Watt and 5Watt verions so far..
    it takes multiple LED's to get the lighting power of luxeons.. like the 7 LED Streamlight you saw, it's actually quite bright for a 7 LED light, but it's about as bright as a nice 1Watt luxeon is.

    also something to keep in mind as you're asking questions, is that LED's and luxeons brightness levels can be very easily controlled and manipulated by how much power you're feeding them (you'll hear the term "driven" alot, meaning how much power a light is being run by).. also keep in mind that luxeons and LED's can be made to appear brighter by certain types of "optics" that can be placed over them (works like a reflector pretty much)..

    and the UK eLED can run for 11 hours @ full brightness 'cause the luxeon is actually "under-driven", allowing the batteries to provide power for that long stretch.. the light is still very adequate tho.

    anyway, i'm probly not the best person to be giving advice, as i still find myself asking for guidance here quite often.

    welcome to the site tho.

    and again, don't hesitate to openly ask questions about whatever.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* nikon's Avatar
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    [ QUOTE ]
    Kitchener said:
    How much attention should I give to things like LED numbers? For example, the 7LED Streamlights versus the 1w luxeons, etc.?

    Also, in the Streamlights, there seems to be two similar products, the 3C poly (10 LED) versus the 4AA 7LED. Both seem to have long burn times, but I can't determine which is brighter. Found the UK 4AA 1W Luxeon on ebay, too--, but seems to be rated at 10 hour's run time.

    Man, there are a lot of variables.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have the SL 3C and 4AA and love them both, but I'd be hard pressed to see a difference in light output between them. I guess the only real difference will be runtime, with the 3C running longer.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* eebowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    You can check out flashlightreviews.com Dough has answered alot of questions on his website.

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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink2.gif[/img] Hey there Kitchener and welcome to our galley of flash - o - fools. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grinser2.gif[/img]

    Another LED vote from me because of their superior reliability. LED's and their electronics can fail but it's rare. Any of the lights that were suggested should serve you well. IIRC the SL's are floods and the UKE's may have a tighter beam. Some will recommend lithium batteries because they withstand temperature extremes better than alks.

    Happy hunting and come back soon.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic Kitchener's Avatar
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    Jayflash, Thanks for the tips. Now that you mention it, I think a flood might be a better solution. I'm looking for a put-in-a-drawer/glovebox-and-forget flashlight. If I have a power outage (we had a multi-dayer following Isabel) a flood would be better for lighting a room, no? Similarly, if I'm changing a flat at night, would a flood be more helpful? If so, what are the long runtime, bright floods I should be looking at? The IIRC and SLs, or others?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    Sorry about my using abbreviations on you, Kitch. IIRC = if I remember correctly. Check out the "acronyms", up on top, for more "quickies".

    Yes, I'd go with a flood for most uses; they should throw far enough for 20 - 30 feet of usable light. You can ALWAYS (recommended) buy another light for long throw. Check out the throw vs. spill chart in the reviews section for more info.

  15. #15

    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    I'm no expert in this - but I've been following this thread with some interest.

    It seems (to me) the concensus so far has been between the StreamLight (SL) 4AA 7-LED and the UK 4AA eLED - with the SL being the Flood beam.

    The boasted 155hours runtime seems almost too good to be true....
    (I know it's down to flat/pretty dim,
    but that's nearly one week's worth of some light!!!!)

    So that makes me really interested in the SL 4AAA 7-LED.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic Kitchener's Avatar
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    Jayflash - LOL. I thought you were referencing Elektro Lumens' mid-sized Hyper-blaster, but looking it up, I see that's the 1R, not the "IIRC," ha ha ha. I'll check the chart -- I take it that it's "spill" I'm looking for? Any short list of bright, long run-time floods, outside the SLs (thinking the 3C...)?

    Postcript: I can't find a throw vs. spill chart...

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    If you're interested in the SL -7, check out the Nuwai AT-100. Better build, 3/10 led switch, 4AA, nichia leds. A very nicely made light, with a mag-style switch. I got mine for under 30. The only downside is it's a bit larger than the SL. If that isn't a major criteria, I think the AT-100 is largely unsung here on CPF.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    Kitchener, I threw you another curve - sorry. In the "Reviews" section you will find Quickbeams Throw/Output post about sixth from the top. It's the last one with a red "sticky" pin. You're looking for total OUTPUT rather than how far the beam throws. Read the info about how to interpret the chart. The blue (output) line is longer for lights with more total output.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    [ QUOTE ]
    Kitchener said:
    I'm looking for a put-in-a-drawer/glovebox-and-forget flashlight. If I have a power outage (we had a multi-dayer following Isabel) a flood would be better for lighting a room, no? Similarly, if I'm changing a flat at night, would a flood be more helpful? If so, what are the long runtime, bright floods I should be looking at? The IIRC and SLs, or others?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Your "put in a drawer/glovebox and forget" criteria brings up the question of batteries. I have and love the SL ProPoly 7LED mentioned, but it uses alkaline AA batteries. I would be a little hesitant about leaving that in a hot car for a long time and then having to depend on it (no such problem inside if you check once in awhile) Same problem in using it in very cold temperatures. For true put-away-and-forget performance which will include hot/cold conditions, you want to consider using lithium batteries. Lithiums have a shelf life of up to 10 years and are the battery of choice for extreme hot or cold. Although lithium AA's are available, they can't be used in the SL ProPoly 7LED.

    I have found the Inova X5 to be a good "glovebox" light that uses lithium batteries. Not quite as bright as the ProPoly 7LED (it has 5 LED's), but very good output, a flood beam, virtually indestructible, and should run about 8 hours at full brightness and many more hours after that with usable light. I have bought them at around $35 each for presents. Lithium batteries also have a much flater "discharge curve" than alkalines, meaning that you get more consistant light for a longer period. The downside with them is cost, although if you shop carefully through the CPF that can be managed. Just don't depend on your local drugstore for lithiums.

    For lighting during an extended power outage, where you want "room lighting" with long run times, consider an LED lantern. Take a look at this: 12-LED Lantern

    There is also a good discussion of lights for power failure purposes here: Advice on lights for "black-out"

  20. #20

    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    [ QUOTE ]
    DougNel said:
    Although lithium AA's are available, they can't be used in the SL ProPoly 7LED.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Thanks for that info.

    Is there a reason why Lithium AAs can't be used in the Streamlight ProPolymer 7-LED?

    Do you have a reference or specs not to use lithiums please?

    Thanks,

  21. #21
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    [ QUOTE ]
    UnknownVT said:

    Is there a reason why Lithium AAs can't be used in the Streamlight ProPolymer 7-LED?

    Do you have a reference or specs not to use lithiums please?

    Thanks,

    [/ QUOTE ]

    This is a well known characteristic of this particular light. The reason it is so bright is that it is overdriven with 4 AA alkalines, at least initially until the voltage drops. AA lithiums not only have a higher voltage than alkaline AA's, but also less internal resistance, meaning that 4 of them would "fry" the LED's. Some CPF members have had success using only 3 lithium AA's along with a "dummy" cell in this light. A search of the forum will give you extensive discussion on this issue.

    The reference for not using them is in the instructions which come with the light. It specifically says to only use alkaline batteries.

  22. #22

    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    [ QUOTE ]
    DougNel said:
    The reference for not using them is in the instructions which come with the light. It specifically says to only use alkaline batteries.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Just wanted to say "thank you" for that very useful information -
    this kind of thing is not usually found in adverts, or published specs - but can affect one's purchase decision
    - it really does need a helpful member to bring up in a forum like this.

    Thank you very much.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    I use the SL 7LED light with three lithium cells and a dummy cell. With alkalines it gets dim after just a few hours of use because the light is unregulated. With three lithium batteries you get bright light for many more hours and then a quick drop off. No such problem with the regulated UK eLed, but the quality of the luxeon emitters used varies considerably. I bought two and got a good white Luxeon with a purple tinge and then a much dimmer greenish one. The SL is very blue, probably because the 7 LEDs are overdriven.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    Where do you find dummy cells? And please don't say you rolled up some tinfoil....

  25. #25
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    Dummy AA cells are not hard to make.

    Go to your local hardware store and look up the drawers with the assortment of nylon parts- spacers, washers, nuts, bolts, etc. There should be some several inch-long nylon spacers that are the same or a little longer than the AA but about the same diameter. Then buy a slim brass bolt and nut for the contact. Cut everything to size in a few seconds. Nut can be soldered for permanence.

    I will second the SL7 4AA with 3 cells. This is an excellent bright flood. Lithiums are better but alkalines still work quite well. I run mine with 3 cells.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    AA size Dummy Batteries

  27. #27
    Flashaholic Kitchener's Avatar
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    [ QUOTE ]
    Stanley said:

    If you're getting the G2, then you may also want to look at the KL3 Led conversion head. That way, you can probably swap the bezels instead of batteries if the batts run low and you're caught out without spares...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    What's the burn time of the G2 (mine is on the way) if I use the KL3 attachment?

  28. #28
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    4 hours & 40 minutes

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    There are 2 kinds of lithium AA batteries - rechargable and non-rechargable. Rechargables are made by several companies. They have a higher voltage (I believe 1.7 volts) than alkaline (1.5v). That is why you cn't use them in some flashlights.

    Non-recharable AA are only made by Eveready. They are 1.5v - same as alkalines. They are pricey ($1.75 ea) but worth it. Who wants to grab a flashlight that has been sitting in the glove compartment only to find that the batteries are not only dead, but have leaked and destroyed the flashlight. Lithiums also have a much longer burn time than Alkalines. I use lithiums in all my lights that take AA.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: best combo of burn time versus brightness/$?

    Kitchener, - W*A*R*N*I*N*G - Get off this forum and never come back. These people are sick [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/sick.gif[/img] and contagious. If you stay too long you'll be asking the wife why you can't refinance the house to pay off all those lights [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/broke.gif[/img]. Seriously, welcome aboard [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink2.gif[/img].

    If you are willing to pop for an extra $10, you might want to consider a 5w LED Torch (see the "New toys - need review" thread. You won't be disapointed. I'm trying to decide whether to buy 2 more or 3 more for all my vehicles.

    See, I told you - run like hell and put that charge card under lock and key.

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