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Latest take on flashlights?


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#21 cacheatnight

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 05:38 PM

When it comes to geocaching flashlights I find that no one flashlight will fit all your needs. I recommend at least two lights: a headlamp and a handheld. It is usually pretty easy to find a handheld flashlight that uses AA batteries but headlamps can be a little harder to source.

LED lights are the way to go. They have long life and have good battery consumption. Sometimes it's enticing to buy a powerful light with the feeling that more lumens are better. That is not the case if you are searching for firetacks. Bright lights reduce the contrast between the firetack and the surroundings making it harder to see the firetacks. Something in the 25-50 lumen range is good when looking for firetacks. Most headlamps worth owning are in this range. A handheld in the range of 50-100 lumen offers the best price/performance ratio.

High power lights typically require CR123 (or equivalent) batteries. I like AA because I carry them anyway and in a pinch I can find them in just about any store. That cannot be said for CR123. Any light you get should have more than one power setting. You want to be able to conserve battery power by going in to a lower light level setting. The Rogue 2 for instance will run for 72 hours on the low power setting. That's a nice option to have when you are stuck in the field longer than you planned.


Here's a tip if you have a power button on the end cap. This works on Rogue 2 and other Icon lights I'm not sure about other manufacturers.

Turn the head of the flashlight 1/32-1/16 of a turn. Just that little gap means that the light cannot turn on. The o-ring provides plenty of tension so the head won't come unscrewed when it's in your pack. I do this whenever I'm putting my Rogue 2 flashlight away for the night. I keep my Link clipped on the outside of my backpack shoulder strap so it's never an issue with that light.

My favourite light is my Link. It uses 1 AA battery and will last for 3 hours of 50 lumen output or 70 hours on low. I love this light because it has a built in carabiner. I keep it attached to my geocaching bag day or night. During the day it's great for looking in stumps, etc and at night it's a great adjunct to my headlamp when I'm searching.

I also downloaded an app on my Blackberry that allows me to turn on the photo "flash" and use that as a light. That has come in handy for those spur of the moment cache dashes.
Grab A Light
Cache At Night
====<@

#22 crane1223

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:34 PM

As an update to this older thread I found a pretty good place to buy some fancier led flashlights. They don't take regular batteries but you buy rechargeable lithium batteries (18650 or cr123) that they sell on their website or you can find a good selection of batteries on amazon. I have a couple of their flashlights and I am very happy with the products. You can also buy different led "drop ins" for different brightness, color, and battery voltages. I have a red "drop in" that has five modes (3 levels of brightness, flashing, and sos.)

http://www.solarforc...s.com/index.php

#23 Great Birds

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:24 PM

I've started carrying a rechargable LED worklight from Home Depot. It's not small nor does it provide instant daylight, but it costs $25 and is reasonably bright, burns for hours and is ready in my truck whenever I need it. I haven't tested it in the rain yet, so its ultimate performance remains to be seen.

Edited by Great Birds, 21 March 2012 - 12:25 PM.


#24 Thot

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 04:01 PM

Hey thecatfish and TAZ427 give us a report on your UltraFire torch.

#25 thacatfish

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 04:32 PM

I love it it's an extremely bright light great battery time plus came with an extra battery plus charger really like it

#26 KeyResults

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:15 PM

http://www.supertorch.com/en/index.php

This little dude caught my eye. Seems like a lot for the money ($49 ish). Small and uses the CREE 5 series led. Several battery options (which I believe is unique and useful in a pinch.)

 

BTW: My BFF and I both have been carrying the single AAA cell Fenix LD01 on our keyrings. One AAA battery and it is surprisingly bright. It easily blew away the mini maglite AAA, no contest. Sometimes it's just useful to have a wee little light that kicks butt on your keyring. This is that light. A little pricey at $34.95 but maybe you can find a deal. It's worth it if you go out at night. And it ain't bad for hunting caches after sunset too. http://www.batteryju...ix-ld01-r4.html


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#27 Team Troglodyte

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 05:04 AM

I recently added a Black Diamond Icon headlamp to my gear assortment.  So far, I've been very impressed.



#28 Thot

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:20 AM

Here's my latest favorite torch.  It's small enough to slip in your pocket and puts out a lot of light for such a small package.  It uses one AA battery (it can use a rechargeable lithium 14500 battery too). It comes in two styles, one has three modes -- bright, less bright and strobe.  The other has only bright mode.  They have an anodized aluminum housing.  Amazon must have a dozen vendors for this torch.  With some it's a crapshoot whether you get the 3 or 1 mode.  My first one was 3-mode.  Since then I've tried to get the single mode because I have no use for the strobe and I keep accidentally switching to it -- annoying.  My first one cost $3.50.  Since then they've gone  up to $4.  You can zoom the beam to make it brighter but smaller.  They are, without question, the handiest torch I've ever owned.  I have five.  One in each car and three spread around the house.  I bought a dozen in November and passed them out to friends at Christmas.  This picture below is a picture I took of my first one.  I remove the pocket clip from mine because it gets in the way of how I use them but the clip does keep it from rolling off a table. 

 

Edited to add:

 

Oh yes, they're shipped from China so it takes a month to get them.

 

pocket%20flashlight.jpg

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Edited by Thot, 11 February 2014 - 07:53 PM.

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#29 TAZ427

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:08 PM

Hey thecatfish and TAZ427 give us a report on your UltraFire torch.

 

I missed this when it was originally posted.  The Ultra Fire C8 LM-X 1300 Lumen that I bought on eBay has awesome throw but doesn't poor flood capability as expected.  I compared it with a few friends flashlights and I'd say they 1300 Lumen rating is a little bit high, it's closer to somewhere between 1000-1100 Lumen, that said, that's very bright especially for the $26 price I paid for it w/ a pair of 18650 batteries and charger.

 

The biggest complaint is really on the batteries, they seem to have a much higher self discharge rate than typical Li Ion batteries, though that could just be the batteries that came with the flashlight, so I need to remember to charge the battery every few months even if not used.

 

I did also buy another Flashlight that uses the 18650 batteries that has a 'focusable' head that allows it to go from a long throw to a short throw flood.  This is better for walking in the dark, or searching an area with multiple eyes than the long through.  It was about the same cost IIRC.

 

Both of these are much stronger than my 100-200 lumen flashlights w/ AA's, but I constantly worry about them being out of charge as I have been out in the field a couple times when after a few minutes they just dimmed away.  I keep at least one of the little guys in my pack as a just in case.


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#30 Thot

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 10:05 PM

http://www.supertorch.com/en/index.php

This little dude caught my eye. Seems like a lot for the money ($49 ish). Small and uses the CREE 5 series led. Several battery options (which I believe is unique and useful in a pinch.)

 

 

I just noticed this post.  This flashlight looks just like the one I mentioned above. I'll bet the only difference is the LED is one generation newer. If that's worth $45 to you go for it, otherwise try my $5 one.


Edited by Thot, 11 February 2014 - 10:05 PM.


#31 Mudfrog

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:07 PM

I bought an Ultrafire WF-502b flashlight last year and have been very happy with it. It uses one 18650 rechargeable battery but puts out tons of light and runs for a pretty good while. It is more of a flood light but definitely lights up the area. The link below has it with charger and 2 batteries included for under $15.

 

http://www.amazon.co...=led flashlight

 

I have a few other lights as well but i now prefer using this one, even over the Fenix.



#32 Baytown Bert

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 04:37 AM

I had to look it up.  18650 batteries are laptop batteries.


Edited by Baytown Bert, 12 February 2014 - 05:24 AM.

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#33 Mudfrog

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:21 AM

I had to look it up.  18650 batteries are laptop batteries.

 

I double checked and the 18650 is correct. The batteries i have are the same number, li-on battery, 3.7 volts, rated at 3000mAh. I've used this light a bunch and it has always worked well. High mode is too bright for most situations and i usually end up using it on low (works great reflecting off firetacks) which gives good battery life.


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#34 GASTX

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:54 AM

One advantage of a flashlight that uses 18650's is you can also use a pair of CR123's instead of the 18650's. CR123 are easier to find in a pinch.

 

I prefer rechargeable flashlights myself (I pocket carry a Streamlight Strion LED almost everywhere I go). I have a Streamlight Stinger DS LED in each of my vehicles. My one big splurge on flashlights is a Nitecore TM15

 

In my get out of town bag I prefer battery type flashlights as I dont always have electricity at hand and they tend to set for months without being used. Most of my battery type flashlights are CR123 or 18650 based as these cells dont self discharge as fast as alkaline based batteries and finally I always have a couple of AA based lights with eneloops installed.

 

Cant ever have enough flashlights!!!!!   LOL


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#35 KeyResults

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 09:13 AM

For some reason I never made the connection between 18650, and two CR123s.  That's good to know.

 

I have had a couple lights damaged by swollen leaky alkaline batts. I cannot say I had that problem with lithium or any rechargeable type batt types. I'd be interested to know if anybody else has had a leakage or swelling problem with rechargeable types of any kind.


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#36 GASTX

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 09:29 AM

The Candle Power Forums - http://www.candlepow...829a90406239a70 is a good place for flashlight / battery reviews.

 

I have not had a rechargeable battery exhibit the trait of normal alkaline batteries to eventually leak and ruin a flashlight but then again I tend to cycle rechargeable batteries periodically through a charge / discharge cycle to keep them fresh.

 

I do have 2-3 CR123 flashlights that have not been touched for 2-3 years and all is well, no sign of leakage, etc


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#37 Baytown Bert

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 09:57 AM

I bought a Thot torch. :smitten:


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#38 Mudfrog

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 04:22 PM

I've been looking at this one as i think it might be a hair bit brighter than my little Ultrafire. One of the things i like is that you just plug a USB cord into it to recharge. You don't have to open it up or remove the battery. My only hesitation is that i haven't found out positively how good a thrower it is.

 

http://www.amazon.co...ywords=nitecore



#39 Mudfrog

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 04:30 PM

One advantage of a flashlight that uses 18650's is you can also use a pair of CR123's instead of the 18650's. CR123 are easier to find in a pinch.

 

I prefer rechargeable flashlights myself (I pocket carry a Streamlight Strion LED almost everywhere I go). I have a Streamlight Stinger DS LED in each of my vehicles. My one big splurge on flashlights is a Nitecore TM15

 

In my get out of town bag I prefer battery type flashlights as I dont always have electricity at hand and they tend to set for months without being used. Most of my battery type flashlights are CR123 or 18650 based as these cells dont self discharge as fast as alkaline based batteries and finally I always have a couple of AA based lights with eneloops installed.

 

Cant ever have enough flashlights!!!!!   LOL

 

The Tiny Monster has been on my wishlist for a little while now. My cheapy Ultrafire is really bright so can only imagine how well the Nitecore lights up the darkness.



#40 TexasWriter

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:26 PM

Lest I succumb to flashlight envy, I will stick with my method of searching by the light of my GPSr screen.


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