Noob flashlight questions

Noob flashlight questions

This is a discussion on Noob flashlight questions within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been reading about flashlights on this forum... it occurred to me that I'm a little light (no pun intended) in the flashlight department when ...

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Thread: Noob flashlight questions

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    Nov 2008

    Noob flashlight questions

    I've been reading about flashlights on this forum... it occurred to me that I'm a little light (no pun intended) in the flashlight department when I realized that I didn't have any AAA batteries for my mini Maglight I have in my desk. I've read numerous threads here and I can appreciate the value of a hefty flashlight that can be used as a makeshift club, and I see there are several brands that have a strobe effect... that sounds useful, too.

    I followed several links to a variety of vendors, and these suckers are EXPENSIVE! Some well over 100 bucks, and even one that was over $400! How does one justify a $400 for a flashlight??? My hunnee wouldn't be mad... she would have me committed...

    And second, what makes a flashlight "tactical"...? Just heft and "club-ability"...? To me, "tactical" infers "to be used in combat"... so I guess my array of $4.99 orange plastic Ray-O-Vacs don't make the muster...

    So in the meantime, I'm using my "tactical" Bic lighter... LOL
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

  2. #2
    Member Array nlax2011's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Yea, there are sooo many different options out there. I picked up a Fenix L2D a while ago and really like it. Has several different output levels along with a "strobe" mode. Took it with me to Jamaica over the summer b/c where we stayed involved walking everywhere, and having it at night was invaluable. It's not too expensive, think they run about $50 now.

    I also picked up just a small/cheap Energizer 1W LED light I saw at target (I think it's the "metal tactical model". Probably close to 4" long, all metal, and has a built in clip. Only has one power level but it has momentary on/off as well as constant on "modes". Just got it to be a small light I can toss around and throw in my pocket if needed.

    But yeah, I was surprised at some of the prices out there as well.

  3. #3
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    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Well, I like surefires myself, all 3 of em I keep around for patrols and stuff are surefires. I don't know what makes half the things people call "tactical" tactical, and I have a job where I in theory need tactical stuff.

    But for a flashlight my personal preferences are metal constructed with a tailcap switch (hard to manipulate a twist switch with just one hand under pressure, puts out at least 60 lumens or so, LED bulb is preferable. Just something to take a beating. MY 6PLED has certainly taken a beating and still runs great.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  4. #4
    Member Array yourbestdefense's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    South Carolina
    I noticed last weekend that Sears, Lowe's and Home Depot are carrying lines of LED lights by Dorcy and by Coast. They are every bit as bright as Surefire or Streamlight lights and typically less than 1/2 the price. They have one by Dorcy that is comparable to the Surefire M4 (225 lumens and 2-hour run time) and is rechargeable, yet $50. I'm getting one today and trying it out. Sears also has one from Coast that is on sale for $30. It is a 6 watt LED that uses 6 AAA batteries and has a 14 hour run time. The AAA's are a lot cheaper than the lithium batteries. They have different sizes for different purposes.
    Owner/ Instructor
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  5. #5
    Member Array jensen47770's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    San Diego
    I have been in your shoes before. When I was getting started I couldn't bring myself to buy a high end flashlight - it just didn't seem like an economical choice. IMHO a mini mag is a decent light, but not capable of blinding someone in a fight, nor is it rugged enough to stand up day to day abuse. Surefire is the standard company for tactical, no nonsense lights that will work as hard as you do. The good thing about surefire, is that no matter which flashlight you get, you are getting a quality tactical light with a lot of power. I would suggest a Surefire G2 or G2 LED - the regular G2 has a high output and will not break the bank at ~$35. Granted lithium batteries are not cheap, but you get what you pay for in terms of light quality.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Hydrashok Glock's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Location...Location. Ohio
    I am with buckeye, I have surefires and they definatly keep the part. Most of tem are made of a solid alluminum body that is extremly hard. I actually dropped mine off my motorcycle at 40+mph and only a few scratches. Iwould consider it to be "tactical" because its main purpose is soley intended for assistance in the protection of the user. I do use it for anything but surefire made mine (E2e) with 60 lumen and a centered beam, which consiquently is blinding in low or even semi-bright light. FWIW
    The choices you make today define you of who you are tommorow

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  7. #7
    Lead Moderator
    Array rocky's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    For a less expensive Surefire , check out a G series light. A poly bodied light that stands up to abuse well. Many of the bigger name lights are fine, Pelican, Streamlight, ect.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

  8. #8
    New Member Array neubauej's Avatar
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  9. #9
    Member Array DblTap's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    I've got two of these:
    $19.99 Ultrafire C1 Q5-WC 230-Lumen LED Flashlight with Clip

    VERY bright light and they do not get hot.
    Ritalin - So much easier than parenting.

  10. #10
    Member Array NonSenCe's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    My next purchase will be a quality LED light (surefire probably) main reason to get one is longer battery life than that i have on the one i use everywhere nowdays.

    i have maglites but they have been collecting dust for few years since i found Underwater Kinetics 4AA
    (4AA Xenon Front Switch)

    reasons why i like it:
    its dust and waterproof, safe to drop in puddle or pool and use it there.

    its safe for electrics, non conductive.

    its made of plastic so its safe for my teeth (yeah its often in my mouth as i need both hands on something, and its nice shape to bite on. also it is a good enough size and weight "Kubotan" in my hand.)

    its durable (i keep dropping stuff (clumsy) so i know it can take serious beating, and yes have trained hammerfists with it too :)

    it has a pushbutton on-off that i can also manually use as a momentary light or just as a blinker (morse codes and such)

    its got a longer batterylife than my maglites with better light IMO. its bright enough but not too bright that you cant use it for work.

    if its good enough for firefighters etc its good for me.

    what i would like to have in it:
    longer light from batteries (now about 2 hours or so?). might have to think about to trade up to the led model ofthe same lamp. but heard that it really doesnt have that much longer batterylife (double?)

    hmm.. got few thoughts/ideas about lights but should i add new topic or hijack /add to this one?
    -will do search 1st b4 deciding.

  11. #11
    Member Array svinfinity45's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    RI, USA
    $400? I take it you didn't check out any of the HID lights, those run from $2000-$6000, for a FL the size of a 3D maglight! Granted they have in the thousands of lumens.

    I have a Nitecore Extreme and haven't had a problem with it, 200 lumens/$80.
    "I'd rather have one and not need it, than need one and not have it!"

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    this is not the most tacti-cool flashlight out there, but Lowes has the LED maglites on sale this week only:

    Maglite at Lowe's: LED 3D Flashlight - Black

    $15 gets you a bright light and a good club

  13. #13
    Member Array Dieselnut's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    I just ordered an Olight M20 Warrior, which I should have sometime this week. I was originally going to purchase a Fenix TK11, but reading the CandlePower forums swayed me towards the Olight. I would suggest you do some reading there, those guys know lights inside and out.

    Surefire has a fanatic following, kinda like Glock. Granted, both of those are excellent choices in lights and weapons, but there are other options
    Don't ever underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    What makes a flashlight "tactical"...? Just heft and ruggedness?

    And do you recommend these strobing lights? I had not heard of these until I found this site, but I'm already leaning that way. I walk my dog late at nite... and while I live in a decent neighborhood, experience has taught me that BG's can be encountered in pretty much any neighborhood. I figger if some minor-league mugger confronts me out for an evening walk, three seconds of dazzling strobe and a quick thump across the eyebrows with an 11 pound MagLight would give me the opportunity to hasten my pace and get home without drawing...

    I think I'm already sold on the strobe...
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

  15. #15
    Member Array bonehead's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    I bought a Surefire E2D LED online (2-3 weeks backordered). Compact, bright as all get out (120 lumens!), and has a crenellated bezel and tailcap to do some damage if need be for CQC.

    Not cheap, though...

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