LED flashlight suggestions

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Jul 23, 2009
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Keep in mind that light can be measured different ways also. Different wavelengths that maybe visable or not.

At work I just happened to get a Streamlight after going through some 'high' output cheapies.
The Streamlight is awesome! I have three.

Strion Tasklight AAA and the smallest rated around 70 lumens the Microstream.

In my profession, the microstream is the most useful. I don't ever need more than 70 lumens, in fact when I try to use a flashlight with more power sometimes it's too bright!

It actually will reflect and blind me. But I work in a hospital, Biomedical Engineer...so I don't usually need distance. And the microstream uses 1, that's ONE AAA. LED.

So make sure your light matches the job.
 
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Dec 28, 2006
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I've heard the rechargeable batteries aren't that great, at least on candlepowerforums. I don't mind spending tons on batteries, since I wouldn't be using this light more than once in a blue moon. It's something to carry besides my knife so that I can temporarily blind someone should the need arise; I rather use the light before drawing my knife. Kind of like a pepper spray sort of thing, but with more utility (should I actually need to illuminate something).

My tech-geek side wants to get the highest lumen rating LED flashlight that can still be pocketed. I want something that's roughly the size a standard double AA Maglite in terms of size. I know what LED flashlight I finally decide on will most likely run on those "fancy flashlight batteries" (li-ion or cr# somethingsomeother). I just said AA Maglite because that's something people can picture, and something that I'm sure most of us have had at one point or another.

I've heard Surefire under rates their lumen rating. I have briefly looked at the Malkoff drop in. Wondering if that would be a better route. Surefire 6p LED + Malkoff = portable sun?

And yes, I'm looking into pistol options; it's just that atm, I have no place to carry a firearm legally. I'll be in college for about 5 more years for grad school and then phD school.

EDIT: The LG-Mini II looks crazy. How come there's not much talk of this light? 250 lumens and a CREE? Wow. Who makes the LG-Mini II? I couldn't find a manufacturer. Or does shiningbeam.com make them?
Good boy, reading up! Yeah, the L-ion batteries in surefires aren't terrific, but the setup I have is more or less simple as pie. If you're not using the flashlight all that often, by all means, you don't need rechargeable. I use mine a lot: biking, walking, showing off, feeling tactical, being tactical... you know. Just try to keep in mind that you might use your cool flashlight a lot more than you do now, because it's so cool.

So, then to repeat: what distance do you want to optimize your light for? There's one headlamp sorta deal that does a great floodlight out to about 30 feet, small, and awesome. Then there's my malkoff, which doesn't really show it's true mojo till 20 feet or more. Everyone wants a hybrid, but you need to choose a range: close up (0-10'), medium (10'-50') or long (50'-infinity). That's my rough scale, but somewhat helpful. If you're in city streets, your usage is different than hunting prey across long fields.
 
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I'd say close up is most important since if I need to use it, it'll be close up to blind some street thug. Medium is secondary in case my house gets broke into, which is rare since I live in a quiet neighborhood.

What's this orange peel jazz. I find that most tactical lights come stock with orange peel reflectors. Is this what I want? I see lots of head replacements to increase throw, which I'm thinking I don't really need.
 
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Jason B.

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Its a really good forum, I learned a lot their and end up with some pretty cool lights because of it. Also check out the threads on li-ion batteries, lots of good info that everyone should know. For your needs it would be hard to beat a malkoff his beam pattern is like no other.
 
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Its a really good forum, I learned a lot their and end up with some pretty cool lights because of it. Also check out the threads on li-ion batteries, lots of good info that everyone should know. For your needs it would be hard to beat a malkoff his beam pattern is like no other.

Funny that you mentioned Malkoff. After much deliberation and research, I decided on my first LED flashlight, a Malkoff MD2. I love tinkering and what I particularly love about the MD2 is that I can upgrade the "LED thingamabob" from the stock M60 to the M60 MC-E in the future to get some 500 lumens in the palm of my hand. Portal sun here I come!

I did see the beam pattern; I can't believe how little artifacting it has. I checked out the MGs as well, and may get that one in the future as well.
 

Jason B.

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You know about AW's batteries right?
 
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May 16, 2006
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I love it,i love surefire they are my top picks bar none,china or usa make the pick....:thumbup:

Wish it were only that simple. The sad thing is, Surefire is the GM of the flashlight industry- refusing to utilize better and more versatile power sources than the obscure and aging CR123 lithium batteries- the fossil fuels of the flashlight world. Too bad, because I would support them if they ever came out with an AA or AAA format.
 
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Jul 17, 2005
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I am very happy with my Fenix P2D and use about 2 CR123s per year. I use the flashlight most days. It features 3 power intensities, a strobe and an SOS feature that will run 30 days continuously on a new CR123. Also comes with a belt pouch, lanyard and key chain carabiner, plus red filter.

I was told yesterday at a Fenix presentation that the lamps in Surefires are Xenon bulbs have a limited life before they discolour and need replacing? They also break if the flashlight is dropped. Surefires are also not waterproof, and the light output isn't regulated. As the battery is depleted, the light output dims. Fenix lights are regulated so the light is constant and maximum power until it get the the point of depletion, when the 'full power' light dims to half power giving an addition 20 minutes of half power light. The CR123 battery is lithium and works to minus 40'C whereas normal zinc alkaline batteries die at minus 10C.

I purchased a PD20 which is the newer model of the P2D last night. Lots of new features. I gave my old one to a friend as a gift.
 
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Jason B.

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Nope. Do tell. Please elaborate. Also, 18650...should I aim for these?

18650 is a 3.7v single cell about the size of 2xcr123, it works well is you want long runtime from a single cell. You would need a M30 if you ran that battery though because its not enough voltage for a M60. The AW RCR123's are also 3.7v but have lower capacity = less runtime. 2 AW 123's will give you about 40min before shut down, but also make the light a little brighter because of the added voltage to the M60 module. Though its less runtime you have the option of using primarie 123's with the M60 something you cannot do with the M30. You can get them in the CPF marketplace http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/showthread.php?t=197375
 
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18650 is a 3.7v single cell about the size of 2xcr123, it works well is you want long runtime from a single cell. You would need a M30 if you ran that battery though because its not enough voltage for a M60. The AW RCR123's are also 3.7v but have lower capacity = less runtime. 2 AW 123's will give you about 40min before shut down, but also make the light a little brighter because of the added voltage to the M60 module. Though its less runtime you have the option of using primarie 123's with the M60 something you cannot do with the M30. You can get them in the CPF marketplace http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/showthread.php?t=197375

So before I pull the trigger on an M60 MD2, I would need to get two 123 batteries, correct? I'm gonna assume a single 123 is half the length of an 18650, and thus the MD2 would need two of those batteries to power up. I just want to make sure I order everything I need. :D

2 more questions.
1) The AW RCR123s with protective circuitry built in: is performance a bit compromised over the non-protected AW RCR123?
2) Are the AW RCR123s arguably the best batteries? I only ask because I want the most performance out of the light and am more than willing to pay the premium for a good battery over something from Ratshack (Radio Shack) for example.
 

Jason B.

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So before I pull the trigger on an M60 MD2, I would need to get two 123 batteries, correct? I'm gonna assume a single 123 is half the length of an 18650, and thus the MD2 would need two of those batteries to power up. I just want to make sure I order everything I need. :D

2 more questions.
1) The AW RCR123s with protective circuitry built in: is performance a bit compromised over the non-protected AW RCR123?
2) Are the AW RCR123s arguably the best batteries? I only ask because I want the most performance out of the light and am more than willing to pay the premium for a good battery over something from Ratshack (Radio Shack) for example.

Standard operation is 2xCr123= 6 volts, Malkoff M60 operates between 3.8-9v, 2 AW Protected RCR123's at full charge are about 4.15 volts each for a total of 8.3 volts, getting closer to the max input voltage makes it a little brighter.

1) No, the protection means that it will prevent over charge and over discharge, this makes it safer.
2)They are the best rechargable R123. For standard primary use surefire brand or these are some good cheap ones http://www.all-battery.com/cr123alithiumprimarybatteries.aspx

There is also a size difference that's what the first two numbers mean, 18650= 18mm dia. R123 (aka 16340) 16= 16mm dia. I think standard primary 123's are 14mm dia.

From left to right, AW's RCR123, 17670, 18650.
Picture638.jpg


And a top view
Picture637.jpg


The M60 will require the more voltage of the 123's because it drops out of regulation at 3.8v, so the R123's and some back-up primary's is the ideal setup for what you are getting, its how I have mine.
Picture588.jpg
 
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Excellent. You've been such a boon. Getting into flashlights was definitely much more difficult than getting into knives.

I'm not even going to dabble in the battery chemistry talk, although I'm sure my electrical engineer brother would know a thing or two about such lingo.

The light will make for a nice graduation gift before I venture off into my grad school studies.
 

Jason B.

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
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Excellent. You've been such a boon. Getting into flashlights was definitely much more difficult than getting into knives.

I'm not even going to dabble in the battery chemistry talk, although I'm sure my electrical engineer brother would know a thing or two about such lingo.


Its like trying to understand knife steels, it takes a minute :)

One more thing, get yourself a multimeter if you don't already have one.
 
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Its like trying to understand knife steels, it takes a minute :)

One more thing, get yourself a multimeter if you don't already have one.

We have a few of those...some cheap ones and one that's several hundred bucks that my bro uses for engineering thing.

That reminds me. Are all chargers built the same? Probably not. Any particular ones I should steer clear of or ones that are always recommended?
 

Jason B.

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Just get the UF charger from AW, it works well. If you want a better one you would need the one they use for RC cars, those are like $200 or $300 though.
 
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Just get the UF charger from AW, it works well. If you want a better one you would need the one they use for RC cars, those are like $200 or $300 though.

Lol...we used to dable in RC cars (the kind you build yourself that have independent suspension and disc brakes; both gas and electric), so I have one or two of those chargers lying around. Awesome. :thumbup:
 

Jason B.

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Lol...we used to dable in RC cars (the kind you build yourself that have independent suspension and disc brakes; both gas and electric), so I have one or two of those chargers lying around. Awesome. :thumbup:

Your good to go then, now you just need the batteries and your new light.
 
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