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Old October 30, 2009, 10:30 PM   #1
Shane Tuttle
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"Cheap" flashlight recommendation

Of all the umteen kabillion different flashlights to choose from out there, I ended up buying Bill DeShivs' flashlight. I didn't need another Surefire high end one. A decent rugged, bright, light that doesn't use CR123A batteries and can fit in the palm of my hand was the criteria. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. This little guy is amazingly bright! It's brighter than most other lights my fellow technicians have and it didn't cost an arm and a leg. If you're looking for a great stocking stuffer or another flashlight for the car, I'd look into one of these.

I wasn't disappointed and I'm sure you won't be, either...
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Old October 31, 2009, 01:15 PM   #2
Wagonman
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I have a 25$ metal LED flashlight with a tail mounted button that takes 2AA batteries I forget where I got it. I am surprised SureFire doesn't offer one at around the $35 dollar price point. The only thing about the MiniMag LED I don't like is the twist on feature.
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Old October 31, 2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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I am also a flashlight geek. I do have some high end flashlights, but if you want good light for the money look into a Life+Gear light from Target. They are powered by two "C" cells and run a Cree LED at about 230 lumen's. Very good throw. "C" cells are great for general use because you can get them anywhere and they run the LED for long run times.

Price about $35.

If you want an amazing light buy a Surefire G2 for about $35, and then add an after market Cree R2 LED with about 240 lumen's. Fits in the palm of your hand and will blow most large lights out of the water. BTW, the Cree R2 is a lot brighter than the normal Surefire LED offered in the "G" series. You can get the Cree R2 ($20) drop in at

http://www.lighthound.com/

Last edited by madmag; October 31, 2009 at 03:21 PM.
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Old November 2, 2009, 11:16 PM   #4
Straightshooter629
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I was in Office Depot a few weeks ago and saw a "Garity" 6 led flashlight. It had a pushbutton in the tail end and it was only $6.95. It uses 3 AA batteries and is extremley bright. I 'm not sure how it rates against the high price units, but if you're on a tight budget like I am, it seems like a pretty good deal to me.
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Old November 2, 2009, 11:40 PM   #5
Bill DeShivs
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The DeLight is brighter than the Surefires-even after the LED conversions!
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Old November 2, 2009, 11:51 PM   #6
madmag
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Quote:
The DeLight is brighter than the Surefires-even after the LED conversions!
Are you sure? My Surfire G2 conversion to Cree R2 LED is about 240 lumen's. And that's a palm size light.

BTW, I don't like 3AAA lights in general. Even with LED they just don't have that good of run times.
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Old November 3, 2009, 12:09 AM   #7
Shane Tuttle
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As far as which is brighter, I think Bill will be the one to answer that question with clarity.

The DeLight is palm-sized, also. On top of that, the focus/flood feature is easier to use IMO.

The 3AAA battery setup with LED runs far longer than what I've seen with Surefires with CR123A batteries. The 123A batteries are also really expensive for no good reason.
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Old November 3, 2009, 12:00 PM   #8
madmag
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Well, I guess I have to disagree with most of what you said. As far as experience, I have been playing and modifying flashlights for years. My screen name of madmag actually refers to my activity re-building Mag lights. I have test run several set-ups with 3AAA. Never seen one yet that would compete with 2AA or larger. I think if you search flashlight forums you will find the same general opinion.

Having said that, I do have some 3AAA LED lights. They work good, I just change batteries when needed.

As far as CR123 batteries, I am not in love with them. But you can get at lower prices from people like Battery Station. I really like rechargeable Lithium like my LRB-150 in my Wolf Eyes. Almost free lumen's.

I am soon going top order the Cree drop-in for my Wolf Eyes that will give me about 280 lumen's. Mine is the 9A, not palm size but still pretty small.

Another favorite of mine is my Mag "C" size that I have converted to 2XLRB-150 re-charge batteries with a K2 LED. You get great throw and variable focus.

Last edited by madmag; November 3, 2009 at 12:09 PM.
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Old November 3, 2009, 01:18 PM   #9
Mojo1094
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straightshooter ... I have that light. It's fantastic. I took it camping and it lit up most of the campsight.


now if I could just get a red flashlight.
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Old November 3, 2009, 04:55 PM   #10
madmag
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Quote:
The only thing about the MiniMag LED I don't like is the twist on feature.
You can get an after market push button upgrade for MiniMags. Usually found in the same area as the flashlight. I have one but now I forget what I paid, but it does work.
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Old November 3, 2009, 05:07 PM   #11
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Technical Revolution

It makes sense now days to stay with the lower cost flashlights. There has been an amazing on going revolution in the flashlight field, so if you buy expensive today you might find a light just as good for half the price tomorrow.

For 40 years plus flashlights pretty much stayed the same. Except for people like me that modify existing flashlights to be much brighter, the only thing available was the standard "D" or "C" type flashlights. Then the LED came along. At first they were just 10 lumen's, now you can get 400 plus lumen's and for about $45. I have some expensive flashlights and even I now buy the lower cost lights. A Dorcy 3 watt 3AAA palm size light will give about 80 lumen's compared to the old bench mark of 45 lumen's for a 3 "D" Mag light. Not to mention longer run times.

So buy the lower cost lights because things are changing about every three months.
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Old November 14, 2009, 01:45 AM   #12
Jay1958
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The best 6P clone for the money I have found is the SolarForce L2. For a really inexpensive EDC light that is decent quality and bright, I recommend the Romisen RC-G2. You can pick these up for around $15 and they use a single AA battery!

Another good choice in an inexpensive light is the Romisen RC-N3. You can configure these either 1xC123 or 2xAA, and you can usually pick them up for less than $20. In C123 mode, then are nice and small for everyday carry, but they come with an AA extension tube in case you don't have any C123's handy. The only downside I have found to this one is a slight battery rattle in AA mode, as the front of the tube is a little large to accomodate one C123.

The Romisens are the only really inexpensive lights I trust... the SolarForce is good, but costs a little more. Another plus for these two Romisens is they have a forward (momentary on) rear click switch. The Solarforce is a reverse clicky with no momentary on. Solarforce sells a nice forward click switch, but the darn thing costs $15-$20!
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Old November 14, 2009, 11:15 AM   #13
madmag
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All good choices in above post.

One more thing to take into account. Try to stick with LED lights that have a regulation circuit. The ones that are direct drive do not have an even output as the batteries go down. The problem is that this information is not usually on the package, so try to read up on the Net to find if that particular light has regulation.

I have lots of lights, but lately I have been looking more to the AA powered lights. I just purchased ($37) an INOVA 2XAA LED @ about 80 lumen's . It does have regulation. Even though I have more powerful lights I find the AA lights very useful. I can use Alkaline, Lithium, or 1.2V rechargeable batteries.

The fact is that most of the time you just need a fairly bright light for close work rather than a light that will throw a beam a block away. And I can buy a package of AA batteries and I am set for what seem forever.
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Old November 14, 2009, 01:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
The Romisens are the only really inexpensive lights I trust
+100 I have a Romisen RC-F4 that puts out 160 lumens that I bought for $14.60 with free shipping. It's no bigger that a Surefire 6P.
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Old November 14, 2009, 04:23 PM   #15
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LED Lights

You may also wish to consider 4Sevens.com

Fenix
4Sevens
NiteCore

Here is an example of technology...

190 Lumens for $39 1X123A



The Preons are nice and powered by AAA.
I ordered a "Kit" which is two lights in one and will run on one or two AAA. Works well if you use eneloop, Sanyo rechargables. In your shirt pocket, purse or pants.


Nice shirt pocket light.

Last edited by DAdams; November 14, 2009 at 11:17 PM.
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Old November 14, 2009, 04:24 PM   #16
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Everything you ever wanted to know about flashlights.

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...splay.php?f=45

BTW if you sign up you can us the code CPF8 and get a 8% discount from anything from the 4Sevens Store.

Like beer, lifes too short to buy "cheap" flashlights.

Surefire and some of the supposed tactical lights are overpriced and underpowered for what you pay.
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Old November 14, 2009, 04:30 PM   #17
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Here is a beast.



http://www.4sevens.com/product_info....3e8579e0476eb8

600+ Lumens. Out the Front (OTF).

Make sure when you check lumen ratings that it is "out the front". Some ratings are misleading.

You can also find lights that are "white" and "natural" now. Some also have more "throw" than "flood".
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Old November 14, 2009, 04:31 PM   #18
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This one has served me well for over two years.



http://www.4sevens.com/product_info....roducts_id=517

Many of the lights now have strobe, SOS and multiple settings for varied use and run times.
Make sure the light you get has a "momentary" burst if you are using it for "blinding" and opponent with a quick hit.

This one has turbo, and a mid range mode. And momentary.

Last edited by DAdams; November 14, 2009 at 04:36 PM.
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Old November 14, 2009, 06:24 PM   #19
Bill DeShivs
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I'll not get in a ******* match with the flashlight geeks.
The Delight is on sale for $35.00 until Dec. 8. Buy one, if you don't like it, send it back. They are all the light most people need. They are brighter than most high end lights, have great battery life, and have a focusable beam.
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Old November 14, 2009, 07:04 PM   #20
madmag
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This is about low cost lights

Bill, no one is knocking the Delight. I am sure it's worth the money, and is as bright as you say. If I was not putting money into sending a Smith off for re-finish I might get one myself. We should remember (me included) that this is about good lower cost lights. It' just that us flashlight geeks get a little carried away with the more expensive lights.

I agree most just need a good bright dependable light, and the Delight appears to fill that niche.
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Old November 14, 2009, 08:55 PM   #21
Bill DeShivs
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"Geek" was not meant to be derogatory in the least. It's just that I (and most people) aren't "flashlight geeks." "Gun geeks" is another matter entirely!
I bought quite a few lights from several different manufacturers AFTER I found the DeLight to make sure there wasn't something better in a reasonable price range. I have "sorted" the suppliers, and personally test each light that I ship.
There are lights that are better in several ways-waterproof, weapon-mountable, and probably brighter.
But sorting through them yourself can get expensive (I have flashlights everywhere, that I WON'T sell.)
So, Old Bill has done the sorting for most folks, and by putting my name and guarantee on them I hope I have done a service to those who need a light. I had absolutely no intention of getting in the flashlight business, but I found a great product at a reasonable price and decided to offer them.
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Old November 14, 2009, 09:18 PM   #22
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My two most recent flashlight purchases are among my favorites (I probably have way too many flashlights.) They were each about $20:
  1. Rayovac "HighBeam". 3W LED, 2AA batteries, aluminum housing. Perfect for carrying in a coat pocket.
  2. Energizer "Intrinsically Safe Mine Safety Flashlight" (model MS2DLED). 1W LED, 2D batteries, plastic housing. This is the one that stays in my truck. The orange housing is starting to fade; the yellow model just like it (IN2DLED) might have been a better choice. Or maybe I just shouldn't have left it on the dashboard in the summer sun http://www.brightguy.com/products/En...ht_IN2DLED.php
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Old November 14, 2009, 10:49 PM   #23
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Form Factor

Quote:
The DeLight is on sale for...They are all the light most people need. They are brighter than most high end lights, have great battery life, and have a focusable beam.
If you visit the Candle Power Forum there are literally 100s of lights to choose from. Choose wisely.
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=222462

Flashlights these days are like computers obsolete the day they hit the market, and have been in development for months. Brighter, more features, longer operation, adjustable output to match the job and are less money in some cases.

LED lights require regulation circuits, which in turn offer intensity (output) adjustability. Some are designed prone to flood, some more to spot. Some have tailcaps allowing them to standup and light a room.
Some are crenelated (jagged edges) and can serve as defensive weapons. Some have momentary on (pulsed capable) switches which can temporarily blind an adversary allowing flight or a defensive advantage.

Compact EDC lights (every day carry lights) are not much larger than the battery which powers them. Light rating (wars) should be based on what they deliver out the front (OTF) in lumens.

If you have never had a light that delivers 175 lumens or better in a form factor of two inches for around $39 delivered (and a lifetime warranty) your are paying too much or being short changed from a performance basis.

Lights are like knives, handguns, rifles, shotguns etc. there is no such thing as one that does everything and likely you will end up owning more than one. And they are improving monthly. But don't let that stop you from purchasing.

BTW most better lights these days have a brand of LED made by a company called Cree. Cree emitters, they are called. Kind of like Intel Inside. Cree dominates and is a market leader in low power/high output.

Just one user's opinion. Not a flashlight geek but an educated consumer.

Last edited by Shane Tuttle; November 15, 2009 at 12:24 PM.
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Old November 14, 2009, 11:21 PM   #24
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Don't Bother

Quote:
You can get an after market push button upgrade for MiniMags. Usually found in the same area as the flashlight. I have one but now I forget what I paid, but it does work.
I did the "upgrade" LED head and tailcap switch. Waste of money. Keep it as it is or junk it.

I lived with Maglights for years, but I'm sure glad 150 other lights came along and made them an non entity.
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Old November 15, 2009, 04:59 AM   #25
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The DeLight uses a Cree emitter, BTW. And it IS a wise choice. I have not had ONE dissatisfied customer!
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