What's the hoopla over flashlights and what's wrong with a good ol' plain Maglite?

Aug 26, 2005
I have a work related view of flashlight use . Construction sites are dank , dismal , decidedly dark places . There can be no rhyme or reason to the dangerously sharp protrusions or holes that will creep up on you without warning . I have had a 3 foot hole in a cement floor blocked over with pink insulation .If you fell through that hole there were holes aligned with that one in the seven lower floors .On the same site a man fell three floors breaking all his toes and other related injuries . He just missed the edge of a steel container . I want all the illumination I can handle and am constantly looking to upgrade my source .

Natural dangers seem to be of a different sort . A sudden drop in nature or getting stuck by thorns wouldn,t be a treat no matter where you are . Are you comfortable in the places you need illumination ? Can it be the reason you are satisfied with a reasonable source of illumination is due to what you ask of it ?
Feb 27, 2006
Munk, when I worked in the jail we were not allowed to carry any weapons, not evern OC. We could carry a issued 4 D cell maglight. So I carried a metal baton with me, I think light even came out of one end of it, so I've heard.
The little Surefire Poly or the little rechageable plastic Streamlight gets my vote. I do like some of those new LED ones though.....
Feb 2, 2005
I don't own a high priced flashlight, but I do have a love for them. I've got more flashlights than I can count, including two Maglites, one of which broke, a couple Wally World special flashlights that I leave in my truck, and my main truck light, a Brinkman lithium-xenon flashlight http://www.brinkmann.net/Shop/Detai...ame=Lithium-Xenon&seriessku=FLA-2000-4&id=138, small, but gives the brightest beam of light I've ever seen. As I'm half blind (only 26 :() I need a pretty bright light, and while my big 6D Maglite is pretty good, it's a bear to carry around.

I've been getting the urge for a Surefire, though. A member on here, Planterz, recently told me that Surefire would blow my mind. I got to use a friends Surefire, and was indeed blown away. It was an old well used model, he didn't know what it was, but I want to get an Executive Defender, among others. Looks like good deals can be had.


Chief Cook & Bottle Wash
Nov 11, 2003
See if I can do this from here Jake...since you mention a no-hands solution.


The Photon comes with a necklace setup, the hatband (earlobe) kit and does strobe, automatic SOS, fader and more.


Got the Khukuri fevah
May 9, 2002
Nasty said:
See if I can do this from here Jake...since you mention a no-hands solution.


The Photon comes with a necklace setup, the hatband (earlobe) kit and does strobe, automatic SOS, fader and more.

Thanks again, Nasty:) However, that would just another one of those toys i would play with for playing's sake. I could see myself clipping that to my eyebrow to look more "Goth":) In all honesty, i do wear a hat often if i'm not at work. Doing your hair is for sissies and communists...or lazy guys that scapegoat others for forced personal grooming habits;) I think that little setup might be just the ticket for my domelightless truck...well that or see if the company would pick up the cost of a new F150 extended cab with a 6' bed and a 4X4 tranny...cobalt blue please:)



Gold Member
Dec 28, 2003
BTW, just got this:

"Dear Maglite.com Visitor:

Thank you for your interest in Mag Instrument and its products. We are pleased to report that Mag will soon be adding MAG-LED™ flashlights to its product line.

If these products have been a long time coming, it’s because the MAG-LED™ Technology has taken a long time to develop to the point where it is feasible to make an LED flashlight that meets Mag Instrument's high standards of quality, durability, style and function.

Now, after years of research & development, testing and refinement, Mag Instrument is committed to introducing, in early 2006, a line of MAG-LED™ flashlights. Like Mag's incandescent-lamp flashlights, these newest members of the Maglite® flashlight family will have the style, performance, benefits and features that both professionals and consumers have come to expect from a Maglite® flashlight, including the fact that they are built for a lifetime of service. The Maglite® design tradition will be instantly recognizable in them, and they will offer the beam-focusing capability that has always been a feature of Mag® flashlights, AND MORE!

Again, thank you for your interest in Mag Instrument and its products. We look forward to the rollout of the MAG-LED™ flashlights in the near future.

The Maglite Team"

I still have my heavily modified 4-D cell Mag-Lite from over 20 years ago. Like Munk, I keep it in the car. D-ring tailcap, updated reflector w/ krypton bulbs, but that's about it. I like it that I can unscrew the front and stand it up and use it as a lantern, but have to be careful not to knock it down. With the D-ring tail cap I can also hang it more easily, and with the bezel off it really lights up a large area if you can hang it up that way.

I have a mini mag lite that has held up well, a 2-C cell for my daughter, and two 3-D cells on the walls in clips leading out the back and in the pantry. I am looking forward to seeing if these can be upgraded to the new technology, not sure, as I would like to keep them.

I almost ruined the 4-D ML years ago by leaving it on the seat of my car in super hot weather and the batteries pretty much exploded inside the case. Made a baking soda paste and scrubbed the whole thing out and salvaged it, but the metal inside is still permanently etched from the acid.

20 years ago when he was a cop my brother carried one of these before upgrading to a top of the line rechargeable Streamlight, mounted in a charger in the patrol car (those were nice units), and he and his partner favored Duracells in the ML. Said they ran a bit heavier than others and provided a bit more "oomf" if necessary to thump someone with it. (Have to be careful though as the big ML's are easily lethal!)

I also have it on my list to get one of these great conversions for the Mag that John told us about, as the output on those is amazing.

Yvsa, one other thing that I don't think anyone else has mentioned, is that when used with a handgun the smaller Surefires and Streamlights, etc., etc., are way better than the bigger lights. You can use the Harris technique, which is what I learned, or some of the Surefires and others have ridges on the bodies that allow you to hold the light in your left and activate it while holding the pistol normally.

For a dedicated house gun having a light like the Streamlight M-3X is perfect, but it is a pain IMO if you want to carry the gun as you need a special holster. I have one on the Kel-Tec Sub-9 I got from Spectre, and it adds almost zero bulk, mounts easily and is rock solid, and really lights up the target.

For pistols though I just usually go to a vintage Surefire 8X w/ the B-90 battery packs, and for EDC an Innova X-5.

Nov 25, 2005
richardallen said:
Their more like a candle than a flashlight compared to the little ones.

That being said, I still have a maglight next to my bed. Both have their purpose IMO. The Surefire E2e works great for occasional very bright light (brighter than my 4D Mag), and Mag for little light and heavy impact ;)


Yeah, heavy impact. I used to have rechargable lights in my surveillance vans and cars. It was a long time ago. I think they were called Kel-Light. Hardly ever used them for illumination but they sure worked well for knocking on things. They were great for working strikes and stuff.
Jul 26, 2005
I work in theater, and I love my 2-cell surefire 6p. It'll hit the grid on the fly system that is four and a half stories up. it is also bright enough so that I can read the beam angle labels on my source 4's from the deck, the lables are about 1" square and the lights hang 2 stories high.

there is the price point issue to consider though. if I don't have surfire batteries on hand, buying litiums from the store can cost anywhere between 10 and 20 dollars. replacement bulb/reflector assemblies, which I seem to burn through every 3-4 months, cost about 30 dollars. the intermittent on/off button on my tailcap is not working properly, replaceing that is going to cost about 30 bucks. before you know it you are paying more than you paid for the original light.

on the flip side, I can buy a mini mag for less than the price of a battery change for my surefire. I think I have about ten now.

BTW, you guys do know that there is a spare bulb in the tailcap of a mini mag, right. (I've found that alot of people dont know this, even if they've been using mag lights forever)

edited- oh yeah, the batteries on the surefire last about an hour, if I'm blessed, and lucky.

Daniel Koster

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Oct 18, 2001
Yvsa - remember when that tornado came through? I was out at 10:30 pm with my light (power out). A tree had fallen on a guy's car. He was checking it out with his plain-jane-light...couldn't see it well enough to tell if it was damaged. I came over with my light (and I got a little closer "inside"....:D) and was able to show him the entire car. Knocked his socks off.

Also, walked up and down the street checking out people's roofs from the road. They couldn't see their roof with their regular flash-lights...but no problem with mine from the curb.

LED lights can be 10-20 times brighter than maglites. Last longer. Smaller. Lighter. And so on... This particular model I have, has adjustable levels of output as well.

And it's only around 40-50 lumens (IIRC). (and cost me $50)

Get an LED light...you'll be surprised how powerful/useful it is. Even better if you can use it with rechargables. :thumbup:
Oct 15, 2002
About the battery issue with the expensive 123 batteries - I can get them at about $1,50 a piece. In the US, you should easily be able to find even better prices online.

Nov 3, 1998
Uncle, I recently got a cheap Chinese single 123-powered Luxeon LED flashlight.

It cost me $20. I paid about another $17 for 2 rechargeable 3.7 volt batteries and a charger.

For that, I have a light that is as bright, with as much throw (carrying distance)
as a 4D Mag Lite. Yes, I paid 2x as much as I would pay for a Mag Lite, but I won't need to buy any batteries for at least the next two years, will never have
to replace the light bulb, and can easily carry this light in my pocket. That means that it's easier for me to have redundancy, because Murphy happens. When I was on my land nav course last night, I was carrying a custom red Inova X1, a SureFire A2, and the Chinese light I mentioned earlier. All three, with extra batteries for the Inova and the RC123, took up less space and weight than a single 3-C Mag Lite.

Someone mentioned Nite Ize. For $7 or less, you can get a Nite Ize module that you use to replace the Mini MagLite reflector and bulb. It takes maybe 2 minutes. You will then have a light
at least as bright, with bulbs that will not break or wear out, that will extend your battery life by
4x or more.

May 18, 1999
acwire_2125 said:
I will definitely wait for the arrival of the Mag-LED.

The Mag LED sounds promising to me as well and a conversion kit sounds really great!:thumbup: :D

But if I were to buy another light which would be the best one for long battery life as well as cost to begin with?

You guys have me convinced now that the LED lights are the way to go.;) :thumbup: The problem is about the same with the HI Khukuris, just too many dayumed choices!!!!:thumbdn: :grumpy: :rolleyes: :p ;) :D
Jan 20, 2006
I hate to do this to you guys..............but flashlights are "like" knives...............................




Unfortunately, these are just a "few" pix!!