August 8th, 2006 11:40 PM
Looking for an EDC light, with questions
I've been looking for a decent light for everyday carry. At this time I frankly can't afford a Surefire (although eventually I'd like one, possibly a Defender or Aviator). I'm looking to spend $30 or less.
At Target tonight, I saw the Dorcy one depicted here:
and it piqued my interest. It was either $20 or $30. However being as I don't know anything about lights and many of you do, anybody mind if I ask a few questions here?
1. What's the advantage of having a 123A battery vs. AAs or whatever? I know the 123As are more expensive, I've been buying them for cameras for years, but didn't know what the advantage was of using them in lights.
2. What's the special meaning of a flashlight being "regulated" or having "a circuit?"
I would like something pretty rugged and water-resistant, with a tailcap switch, and with some decent output but also with a fairly wide beam so you could light up a good chunk of a room. Not super-wide, I would like to be able to get some distance out of the beam, but perhaps a good compromise between distance and width. Ideally, I would like a signal-capable switch too, but I've seen a few without this feature that I otherwise think look good so it wouldn't exclude them from consideration. Also, I like the size of the Dorcy light I saw, it's about palm-sized so it should fit in a pocket or in a small holster worn on the belt.
Aside from the Dorcy above, I read a bit about the Nuwai Q-III ( http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews/nuwai_q-3.htm ) and it looks good too. ANY suggestions will be appreciated!
Thanks a lot.
August 9th, 2006 02:42 AM
OK, I actually found the answers to those questions here:
Originally Posted by gunmetal
Definitely looking for suggestions though. So far I've got the following on my list to consider and I'm upping my spending limit to around $40.
Dorcy (the one linked above, sold at Target)
Laser Light (from coastcutlery.com)
Inova (sold at Target)
August 9th, 2006 02:07 PM
I am very familiar with the Fenix L1P and the Nuwaii Q III as I use or have used both for EDC's.
I also have a Inova XT 5 (tactical 5 for the numbers of LED's in the head) but it is not in the same league with the others two lights.
The Fenix L1P use a Luxeon I LED drived hard by a AA battery, it produced a good light close to 40 lumens (LED lumens are different than incandescents lumens).
And the Nuwaii Q III will do the same using a 3 watts Luxeon drived by a 123 battery.
Both lights are amazing from what it was just a year or so ago, and for the small size that they are.
Here they are the last few years EDC's, when you look at this picture the perspective make the Fenix looks much bigger than it really is (it is closer to the camera).
Between the Fenix and the Nuwaii, (at about 40 lumens for both) I take the Fenix, the use of inexpensive AA's make it the most practical.
I also use rechargeable batteries for all my lights and AA rechargeables are good and guilt free.
The Luxeon Inovas are much bigger lights and I don't have one to show you.
The Inova XT 5 is also much bigger and heavier and uses two 123's batteries, but the beam is much weaker than the Luxeons lights.
As good as the Fenix and Nuwai Q III lights are, if you are planning to use them with a pistol when certain distance is involved (like is a big back yard) you will be better off with an incandescent light like the Surefire E2e (show in the picture above at the top) or even the E1e (second from the top), this is because the incandescent light throw farther and will define your target better.
Lumens of LED's lights, Luxeon or otherwise can not do well at distance, Incandescent are much superior to show you detail and illuminate your target so you can see that the "shadow" at 20 yards is, it could be a bad guy with a gun but you have to indentify it because it could be a nun with a cell phone.
I still have my Surefire L-4 digital Lumamax ($165) that I bought because the specification say that it have a 65 lumens rating, same at my Surefire 6P ($56)
But here I am going to show you a target at 20 meters illuminated by the 6 P and by the Surefire L-4.
Surefire 6P (65 lumens) incandescent light
Surefire Digital Lumamax L-4 (65 lumens) Luxeon V.
Definition of target, capabilities in fog or smoke or even in the rain are all limited with Luxeon lights, incandescent win hand down, and lumens from one are not comparable with lumens from the other.
Now if your idea is to "blind" your opponent with your light, you better forget about 60 lumens and even 120 lumens lights and start carrying something serious like a Surefire Centurion C-3 with the 200 lumens lamp.
That is when the blinding beam of light start "really" working on people, and more is better! a Surefire M-6 at 500 lumens will really make them see stars all over.
Now that I am retired I don't carry as much as I used to do, but when I do I clip a Surefire C-3 with the P-91 lamp (200 lumens) to my belt.
Still some of my other more powerful lights like the BOREALIS 1050 lumens is always near me under the seat of the car or clamped to the wall near the door when I am home.
More lumens are better for shooting, my tool shed is 43 yards away from my porch, if I step out and look that way I should be able to indentify what I see at that distance (it could be that nun) and none of the little lights, including the Surefire C-3 200 lumens can do it.
Still for every day work, I relly in my Fenix L1P that I carry in my pocket daily.
I have repaired a wall switch and a leak under the kitchen sink by holding a Fenix in my mouth.
When the urge come at 4 a.m in the morning, I use the Fenix to go to the bathroom, get a Fenix L1P or better a L1T (it have low and high settings) and you will not regret the purchase.
But remember that for others jobs, specially shooting with the pistol you are going to need TO SEE more and you need a better more powerful tool.
August 9th, 2006 05:08 PM
Thank you for the detailed response! I would like one for EDC as well as short-range, indoor shooting scenarios.. not for blinding (I would like this feature but I can't afford the expensive models for a while) but just for lighting up and identifying potential targets at normal room or in-the-home distances. I appreciate the photos you included, I didn't realize the LEDs were so weak at distance. I do have a 3xD-cell Mag lite which I could use for those sorts of things, but I would prefer something lighter and faster-maneuvering for most household emergency situations, and just keep it with me in my pocket or on the belt.
I probably will get that L1T, seems to have a good feature set for the price. One thing I can't seem to find mentioned anywhere: does it have a "momentary" switch for flashing?
August 10th, 2006 06:28 AM
August 10th, 2006 07:32 AM
A Surefire G2 can be had direct from Surefire for $36, and less for street price. That's a bargain, IMHO. Not as small as the Aviator, but still a good size for everyday carry, with a substantial light output @ 65 lumens. We keep several throughout the house, and one in each vehicle. Also one of the most appreciated Xmas or birthday gifts!
"We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters
August 10th, 2006 08:08 AM
And when you have another $25 to spend, you can throw in a P61 lamp assembly to up it to 120 lumens. The runtime goes down to 20min, though, so make sure to pick up the $20 12pack of Surefire 123A batteries with it.
Originally Posted by rodc13
Then, when you've got nothing else to do with the P60 assembly that came in the Surefire, grab a $20 Brinkmann MaxFire from WalMart, run it until the bulb dies, and replace the whole bulb/reflector assembly with your P60 and you have a roughly 1hr, 60 lumen light again.
I keep the Brinkmann w/P60 in the door pocket of the car, and the Surefire w/P61 in my vest pocket.
August 10th, 2006 08:05 PM
OK so I just ordered a Surefire G2, a 25-pack of Batterystation batts, and a Z33 lanyard from LAPolicegear.com (free shipping).
Thanks for the heads-up on this light.
August 15th, 2006 11:17 PM
August 17th, 2006 09:11 PM
It's funny how addictive something as simple as flashlights can become.
I was in your shoes about a week ago. I wanted a EDC to go with my OC spray to use as non-lethal weapons. Did some searching and came across two very essential websites:
A whole forum dedicated to flashlights and mods and testing. Amazing!
Anyway, like you, I didn't know a heck of alot. Well, I spent most of my waking time researching on these two sites.
I ended up buying a Streamlight TL-3 w/200 lumens and measuring 6" long. I must say this thing is freaking bright and I was testing it in the daytime. At night, this thing could qualify as a spotlight! And it's small enough to easily carry. Got it off of Amazon for $49 shipped.
Go to the Forum and you can buy rechargable batteries and the charger from a member there for a good price and then never have to worry about buying batteries again. Which is what I did.
I spent alot of time researching a good carry light and was all over Surefire products, but after the researching, nothing can touch the TL-3 w/200 lumens for under $50 shipped. The G2 will cost about $35 and then $25 for the P61 upgraded lamp assy and that still will only get you 120 lumens and you are over $60. Then you start to hit the higher up models and shell out more money.
Look in the For Sale forum of CandlePowerForums once you have figured out what you want and usually you can find decent deals as long as you are somewhat patient. I'm not, so I bought a new TL-3 and then found someone else selling their's along with another flashlight for the same price I just paid for the new one. Needless to say, I bought those two also.
And I just got a Surefire Forend weapon light for my Home Defense 870 shotgun that I just installed today. Very nice. Quality stuff. Got that on another forum for more than $50 cheaper.
Research, find what you really want and then spend time checking out forums to find a good deal. Also try Ebay.
Sorry for being so long winded. Just funny seeing someone in the same shoes I was in, only a week ago. Amazing how much you can learn in a week.
Good luck and let me know if you need any more help or info. I am more than willingly to help.
August 17th, 2006 09:57 PM
I have an ARC AAA premium flashlight as my EDC. In fact, it hangs around my neck with a crucifix and house key. I wear it daily. I read with it at night so I won't disturb the GF. It has plenty of power at 5.5 lumens. You don't realize how much light it puts out until you switch it on in darkness. Its waterproof and has a lifetime gaurantee. Uses 1 AAA battery (its just a hair larger than the AAA battery) and has 1 LED as its bulb.
I have a Dorcy, but its too big for EDC. 5" in length and bigger round than a quarter. It was $20 and uses 3 AA batterys. So I put it in the SUV for the GF.
ARC does sell a model other than its AAA premium (less light output and cheaper price).
I quit looking after I purchased mine... couldn't be happier.
August 19th, 2006 12:22 PM
Originally Posted by gunmetal
Flashlights can become very very addictive. :D
For each catagory you listed I use,
1. General around the house light.
HDS EDC U60 (meets all requirements except its only a 1x123)
Fenix L1T Again, it meets all requirements except its 1xAA.
Streamlight TL-2 LED (2nd Gen)
I have other but these are ones I use the most.
HDS EDC U60
Streamlight TL-2 LED (2nd Gen)
Brinkman Maxfire(sorry no pic)
Streamlight Propolymer 4AA Luxeon(again, no pic)
I have others but these are the ones I use the most.
I have two different sets of EDC lights.
first: Surefire A2 Aviater, HDE EDC U60, and Amilite Neo T3
second: Streamlight TL-2 LED, Fenix L1T, and Fenix P1
4. I only have one flashlight that use for a spare in the car. The Dorcy Super 1watt 1x123 with 4 spare batteries.
Like I said, I have a lot more lights that would work for these catagories but I listed the ones that get used the most.
August 19th, 2006 02:48 PM
just wanted to put in my $.02. I've unfortunately not been financially able to get a nice streamlight/surefire/pelican. i've got an M3 on my XD and had gone the mini mag route for years.
last night, i picked up the dorcy spyder for $19.99 at the local meijer (big supermarket for those non midwesterners). here's a review:
This thing is very bright... i'm extremely impressed. now, i can twist the topside but i can't appreciate much change in the focus but that isn't a problem for me (the reviewer had some questions about the focus of the beam). having carried the 2AA maglite, size doesn't bother me. came with a cheap nylon belt sheath... but it's an acceptable sheath. highly recommended.
I'm looking around for the Dorcy Super 1 watt, too... i've found it on ebay but w/ a $15 shipping!!! any thoughts on where to get it in michigan?
August 19th, 2006 07:58 PM
I recently picked up a pair of Element LED flashlights at Sams for $25. I put one in my wife's truck and keep the other in my desk drawer at work. These use three AAA bateries and give6 to 8 hours at 30 - 35 lumens. The Elements are made of aircraft aluminum so they are pretty strong. Not bad for a pair of cheap flashlights.
I typically carry for EDC a Surefire E2D and recently acquired a G2, but when I don't need the extra light the Elements will come in handy.
August 19th, 2006 08:25 PM
I have to stick with Surefire. I purchased my first one back in 1987 and still have it somewhere in the house (my wife lost it a while back). I now carry a Executive E2E daily for work, have a Z2 COmbatlight that was issued and it sits ontop of my bedside gunsafe and a new G2 Nitron that sits on my desk in my home office. I have never had a problem with my Surefires and they work very well. All I've ever had to do is replace a bulb assymbly every couple years and batteries every 6 months or so. The G2 as you bought is awsome and I would recommend that you purchase your batteries from Surefire as they are alot cheaper. When you have the cash I'd recommend you purchase a Spare Carrier and add a extra bulb assymbly and spare batteries so that you have them on hand.
"Respect all ... Fear none!!!
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