Looking for EDC Flashlight
This is a discussion on Looking for EDC Flashlight within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This light may not meet all your requirement but I like my Streamlight PT2L....
November 14th, 2011 03:29 PM
This light may not meet all your requirement but I like my Streamlight PT2L.
November 14th, 2011 11:51 PM
Fenix PD3/P3D series and Quark 123^2.
both are great for wearing in casual jeans. Fenix is built a little more heavy duty.
if you wear dress slacks often, then a pen light would be better.
I've considered Jet-Beam and SureFire, they are very nice, but IMHO Fenix or 4Sevens Quark is money more wisely spent.
November 17th, 2011 12:16 AM
Below is a link to my EDC flashlight. It was a wedding gift and was the first serious flashlight ive ever owned. I love it so much I have not needed to buy another light. The rechargeable battery last me weeks in between charging. It does not have an aggressive striking crown but I use it more as a tool than self defense.
I took it on an hour long hike into Ape Caves, a pitch black underground lava tube on Mt St Helens. There is no light what so ever in this cave and portions are big enough to run a subway through it. This little light illuminated the whole arena for a solid 50 yards or more.
It does get pretty warm during use, but not too hot to handle. One of my favorite things is the battery. Other flashlights with this kind of light output use the cr123 batteries which are freaking expensive!
Sunlite Pro Turbo
November 19th, 2011 01:56 PM
For “Tactical” HHs I own:
Fenix PD30 R4
Surefire P6 W/LED Upgrade
Surefire Z2 W/LED Upgrade
I was using the Fenix PD30 for EDC because it was smaller and I liked the variable output. The one issue I had with it was the switch and I didn’t know a conversion was available. This spring during a camping trip the Fenix crapped out on me, the swich went out. Luckily I had my little Streamlight Sidewinder Compact as a backup in my pack. The Fenix folks were great about repairing it under warranty and I had it back in 12 days total. But after owning my Z2 and P6 for close to 8 years and never experiencing an issue, I no longer trust the PD30 as a primary/only light.
I still wanted the variable output, so I ponied up for the LX2. It’s bigger than the PD30, and not rated as high for Lumens 200 Vs 265, but to my eyes at least the beam seems to cast further. I also find the UI to be simpler; push for 15, then push further for 200, or drive straight through to 200.
November 19th, 2011 02:50 PM
Originally Posted by Chuck R.
If you'd prefer a 'tactical' switch (allows for momentary on) for your PD30, then 4Sevens sells one for their 123*2, which fits right onto the PD30, no modifications necessary at all. Just screw it on. The 4Sevens 'tactical switch sells for $9 here: Quark Tactical Tail 4Sevens.Com
I put one of these switches on my PD30, and am really happy with it.
'Be careful, even in small matters' - Miyamoto Musashi
November 20th, 2011 03:11 AM
Following the other thread, I went with the Fenix PD20. It's the same as the LD10 except brighter, smaller, and uses a Lithium ion battery (instead of AA). Both are great lights!
November 20th, 2011 11:26 AM
Originally Posted by Chevy-SS
THANKS! I'll get one on order ASAP.
November 29th, 2011 08:48 PM
This is what you're paying for when you invest in a SureFire... solid dependability. The less expensive lights simply cannot provide this, because they are made to a lower standard. Fenix is, without doubt, one of the better "lesser" lights... but this is not the first time I've heard of one crapping out at a real bad time.
Originally Posted by Chuck R.
I have a 6P that I bought in 1987. It has Laser Products (which is what SureFire started out as) on the end cap. The light has been used hard for over 20 years... much of the anodizing is gone. Between working the road and the range, its been ridden hard and put up wet many times. And until I installed a 60PL (LED) lamp module two years ago, it still had the original hot-wire (incandescent) module.
Not trying to step on any toes here... but the simple truth is, the Fenix/Pelican/et.al. lights cannot match SureFires in terms of both durability AND quality light output. I EDC an E1B these days; it is, without doubt, the best general purpose flashlight I've ever owned. Low beam for putzing around, very powerful high beam for serious business. Of course, I use cheap AA-powered lights around the house because 123 batteries ain't cheap; but if I could only have one, it would be the E1B... because its small enough to have with me all the time. My A2 Aviator would be my second choice. When you're out and about, you are only as good as what you've got- strapped to your ass or in your pockets- right NOW. Goodie bags in the car, etc., may or may not (probably not) be accessible.
All that said... I like the high beam capability of the E1B for defensive/other purposes. An AA-powered light simply doesn't have the grunt to come close to that. And don't let lumen ratings be your sole guide. I have seen lights rated for "100 lumens" that wouldn't reach across my back yard... because their reflectors are cheap junk. "Throw" is all about reflector design and manufacture; part of that high SureFire price tag is paying for R&D to ensure you get the best reflector available to us regular folks. But if YOU don't feel the need for that much light, one of the single-AA lights would be an ideal EDC pocket light. I have a couple in my "war bag", for spares. But that old 6P is in there, too...
I have an old Coast single-AA cell light, along with an Inova. Both are excellent, and there are many others equally good... IF you don't want/need a very powerful beam.
November 29th, 2011 11:07 PM
Surefires do, too.
Originally Posted by LSP972
They're all mechanical/electronic objects made by man - and no matter how well made, can and will fail, often at the worst possible moment.
The technology has come incredibly far in just the last five years: forget the last decade or two. The Surefire L6 I paid $300 for back in 2003? its performance is eclipsed by lights half or even a quarter of its price.
To say that Surefire is the one and only? I don't even think that the most die-hard of flashlight enthusiasts will adhere to that, now. With what's available on the market today and the inherent durability and reliability of LED-based lighting, it comes down to how much the end-user wants to spend versus what kind of features and expected end-performance they want, more than anything else. "Surefire," for all intent and purpose, becomes something that you "pay now so that you don't have to pay later" - with their no-nonsense, no-questions-asked, always available by phone warranty service.
Sure, there's guys who've been overseas, using el-cheapo previous-generation G2s - with incandescent bulbs, no less - taped or otherwise strapped to even shotguns, who report perfect function of the lights even after thousands of rounds. But remember, Surefire/Streamlight/Insight were truly King when it came to shock-isolation of incandescents...with LEDs, a lot of that has changed.
I'm a fan of Surefire's products, and my own small "working" collection (M6/MN21, L6, C3 w/custom KL3, C2/KL3/Z48, Z2/Cree, E1e/KL1, E1e/KL4, E2d, a couple of G2s and another KL1 head that's floating around somewhere) as well as chosen EDC (Z2S-LED) and preferred weaponlights (LM618 and M600C) all bear that out. Similarly, so do my calls, over the years, to their C/S for warranty replacement of pocket clips. But honestly, the "off brands" have come very, very far, and have in many ways even exceeded what Surefire's had to offer.
You'll want to try some of the newer offerings.
All that said... I like the high beam capability of the E1B for defensive/other purposes. An AA-powered light simply doesn't have the grunt to come close to that.
I have a Fenix L1D Q5 in my garage that's my favorite work-light. It lasts an incredibly long time, even on the high setting, and with the cheap AA batteries, I have no guilt at all about using it for as long and as often as I may need it. I still favor CR123 primaries for their long shelf-life (i.e. trunk-of-the-car emergency kit or basement Bug-Out-Bag storage), but for daily tasks, the AA-powered lights and even the new lithium rechargeables are really taking the battle to the CR123s, and often winning.
And don't let lumen ratings be your sole guide.
There's a lot of variability in how light is quantitated by the various makes, and it's more or less impossible to cross-compare.
Additionally, we do not perceive light in a linear fashion. This makes our eyes an even more difficult impartial judge of what's available.
Here's where things get strange.
I have seen lights rated for "100 lumens" that wouldn't reach across my back yard... because their reflectors are cheap junk. "Throw" is all about reflector design and manufacture; part of that high SureFire price tag is paying for R&D to ensure you get the best reflector available to us regular folks.
Try one of those cheap Cree drop-ins from DealExtreme in your 6P. Make it really cheap and have it come over to you on the slow boat.
Yes, there's some artifacts up-close. Yes, the color rendition is not nearly as good, but trust me when I say that, side-by-side, my Franken-Z2, using that drop-in, throws noticeably farther and tighter than my Z2S-LED.
But honestly, is it really all about throw?
Throw is but only one part of the picture. A light that is pure throw, with little to no spill, may well not fit another need - despite it filling best the need of long-distance search/spot light. It's like using driving lights when you should be using fog-lights: there's no one light that will fit all applications, especially not without some kind of intervention/adjustment.
Look at this comparo, done in 2010:
Beamshot lights with multiple CR123 or AA batteries, October 2010
Sure, that Cree drop-in in my Z2 will allow it to out-throw my Z2S-LED. But is that what I really want, in an EDC light that I, as a suburbanite and part-time city-dweller, may need to call upon? or is a bit more spill actually more suited to my intended use? Look at that Dereelight with the aspheric attachment - that's awesome throw at 100 meters, isn't it? But would I really want that on the side of my AR? or is, in actuality, the throw/spill compromise of the KX2C head (seen on the E2D-LED, but is also resident on, for example, the M600C Scout) a more usable beam, in terms of actually ID'ing the downrange target?
And sure, one can argue that you'd never want to put a "drop-in" into a true defensive EDC or even a weapon-mounted light - but again, progress over the last few years have taken the stigma out of aftermarket drop-in modules. Even Magpul are not ashamed to cite that they favor Malkoffs, which many regard as even better than Surefire's OEM retrofit components, not even figuring in the dollar differences.
Right now - today - honestly, in terms of finding an "EDC" light, I think it's very important that the end-user first set for him/herself an honest budget. From there, look at what kind of features and performance you can expect, and figure out what you really need versus what's "nice to have," and especially for multi-mode lights, be sure that you understand the intricacies of how the various modes are engaged or can be programmed/manipulated. Finally, look at product-support.
There's a lot of ways to spend your money on lights, nowadays.
November 30th, 2011 05:32 AM
Well thought-out and stated. However, for the most part, you're talking about things the average guy doesn't know or care about... i.e., modding. Aside from your circle of "flashaholics", how many folks do you know who have the slightest clue what a drop-in is???
Yes, I am well aware that "off brand" lights have come a long way since the day I bought that 6P; and while I may seem to be a SureFire fanboy, I am only to the extent that I know one is much more likely to work when you really need it to than the others.
And yes... on my EDC light, it IS "all about throw", as well as a low-lumen level for extending battery life during mundane tasks, etc. I too am a surburbanite and city dweller; but I was also a cop for 30 years, and learned first-hand how a cheap flashlight can let you down. The E1B is simply the best available, in the smallest package I know of, that fits my parameters for an EDC light.
As noted, I have other lights for other tasks. So do you. But we are interested in the details and esoterics of the game... most folks are like the OP. They just want a dependable flashlight. Alas, too many folks buy solely on price; and they are only hurting themselves. This is what I was, in an oblique manner, trying to convey: being a cheapskate on gear one is expecting to be there when needed is a zero-sum game.
November 30th, 2011 09:19 AM
^ And that is a very nicely thought-out and stated reply, too. Can't argue with your line of logic in trying to make the points that you want to make, either.
Indeed, there's a balance to be had: for the "average Joe/Jane" who just wants a quick answer and a sure thing -and can afford it- it's definitely one set of usual suspects. For those who are on a budget, it's yet another. And as you well pointed out, for those of us who are flashaholics or otherwise into pursuing the nuances, it's yet another.
That's very interesting that you prefer so much throw. Truly, give the el-cheapo Cree drop-ins from DealExtreme a try. It'll cost you less than $10, shipped, and it's good for more than a giggle - I was honestly and thoroughly impressed: it's nowhere near as tight and clean as the Surefire KX2C head, but it's much tighter than what's seen on the Z2S-LED.
I think that given your background and personal wants/requirements, though, you'll likely want to pair that mod (perhaps in the guise of a G2 housing, to keep costs low) with your current EDC, so that you'll have both a true thrower as well as a backup/utility/defensive light, too. Whether you'll have enough pocket-space or waistline real-estate, though, may be an issue, since you're probably no longer wearing your Bat-Belt!
As a fellow flashlight nut, I truly would encourage you to take a bit of time and look at modern offerings. Remember that our super-expensive lights of the past were in part that way because the technology and cost to manufacture lights with such quality was much higher at the time. Again, look at merely the past decade or even half-decade: lights like the L6, which was priced at $300, have been eclipsed by items costing half to even a quarter as much - "obsolescence" is never truer than when it comes to technology. Flashlights may not be as obvious of that trend as cars, computers or even cell-phones, but the phenomenon does present, here. I left the flashlight hobby back in 2004. My last custom light was the Mr.Bulk VIP with all the different heads, and my last serious production pieces, from that time, were the Surefire L6 and the KL4 heads. You can imagine my surprise when I started to look again at lights, barely 5 years later, and saw that the "oh-wow" Gladius I had from way back barely matched up to the $40 Fenix P2D that I'd purchased for my 3-year-old daughter to play with.
November 30th, 2011 10:25 AM
You guys are making my head hurt.
I would love to have a Surefire but no way it's in the budget. I chose a Fenix LD10 R5 for $50.00, I have a better chance of losing it than I do wearing it out.
NRA Life Member
With great power comes great responsibility.-Stan Lee
November 30th, 2011 11:58 AM
That's very interesting that you prefer so much throw. [/QUOTE]
Well, think about it. Your EDC light is the one you will have when the ice cream melts. Maybe you won't need it for anything more strenuous than changing a tire, or trying to find something you dropped. But perhaps you have a sudden potential threat that you need to identify RIGHT NOW, from across the street; i.e., at a distance. In such a case, you need all the throw you can get. Perhaps there is an AA-powered pocket-sized light which can do that; I haven't seen one.
And while I have no reason to doubt the efficacy of those Cree units, you alluded to the reason why I don't carry a 6P/G2 size light; they are just a bit too large to conveniently tote in street clothes.
Again, I am not trying to be argumentative here. There are indeed suitable (i.e., durable) lights using 123 batteries that cost less than SureFire. I was trying to sell single-malt scotch to beer drinkers...
November 30th, 2011 12:36 PM
Here is an option on the less expensive end of things. Last year I gave my son this flashlight from Sportsmans Guide. Guide Gear 220 - Lumen Tactical Light, Tools, Guide Gear, Guide Gear Tactical Light at Sportsman's Guide For under $40.00 its a nice 220 lumen rechargeable compact light. Has High, Low & Strobe.
November 30th, 2011 03:21 PM
I can see from the back of my house to the back fence just fine with my Fenix LD10 R5 on one single blue/black/silver Rayovac Alkaline battery, distance 50 yards.
Originally Posted by LSP972
NRA Life Member
With great power comes great responsibility.-Stan Lee
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