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Old September 18, 2010, 06:28 PM   #1
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Mini-Flashlight for my LEO brother

Hi all!

My brother is going through his field training as a LEO after receiving his master's degree in criminal justice, and I am being a bit obsessive about making sure he's well-equipped, even if I have to sell stuff or scrape up whatever money I can as his poor-college-student younger brother (also a C.J. major, actually).

His department is quite well off - one of the richer counties in our rather-flush state, so he's already well taken care of in most regards. He has a 3rd Gen Glock 22 and Speer Gold Dots - Check, good stuff. I am planning on buying him a Glock 27 as a BUG. He has a Streamlight 5-cell as his main issue light, but they need to provide their own mini-light, for examining pupils, etc.

Should he just grab a mini-maglite or something similarly simple and mid-range priced, or would it be worth the cash to buy him a baby Pelican or something like that?

I'm sorry if this topic seems frivolous. I realize a mini-flashlight will probably not save his life. I just want to make sure he goes into his new job well-equipped. I did search around for a few other flashlight threads but they didn't much mention mini-lights.

Thank you

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Old September 18, 2010, 09:35 PM   #2
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This is my favorite light

Last edited by 1goodshot; September 19, 2010 at 07:07 AM.
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Old September 18, 2010, 09:38 PM   #3
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If I were in his situation I'd want a good quality LED flashlight putting out somewhere around 100 lumens or more that would run off AA rechargeables.

In a pinch you can go into any store and buy replacement batteries and if you buy a good charger you'll save a lot on batteries--especially compared to something that uses the typical CR-123 lithium batteries.

Fenix makes some decent lights--not super quality but mine has held up pretty well. Mine is a L1T V2.0. I don't like some of their other lights because they have a lot of modes and I got sick of getting into the wrong mode by mistake--also the tailswitch works more intuitively than some of the other Fenix mini-lights. This one is bright enough that you can use it as a tactical light but if he doesn't want something really bright he can go smaller--down to something that will run on AAA rechargeables. The L1T V2.0 can be dropped down to about 10 lumens by twisting the flashlight head for typical mini-light uses but you may want something smaller if you don't need the brighter mode.
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Old September 18, 2010, 09:50 PM   #4
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Your better off with a 4sevens, fenix, olight, solarforce, or nitecore.

If you really want to learn about high quality or perhaps good budget lights visit candlepower forums.
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Old September 18, 2010, 10:14 PM   #5
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Depends exactly what he needs and wants. If brightness is the major concern, the Surefire is probably the best, but on the expensive side, and the battery life is short (very short).

My personal pick would be the Inova XO3. Very bright, about 90% of what the Surefire puts out, uses the same lithium batteries as the Surefire, but with a much longer battery life because of the design of the LED bulb. Slightly longer than the Surefire, slightly thicker than a mini-mag lite. Cost around $50.

If he only wants a close range mini-light, and it doesn't have to have the extreme brightness or much range, then I'd pick the Inova X5. It is small (shorter than a mini-mag lite), easy to use, uses five LED bulbs, uses the same batteries as the Sure Fire and the Inova XO3, but battery life is much longer. It lights up a room nicely but don't depend on it for much farther than 10 or 15 feet. Costs about $30
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Old September 18, 2010, 10:28 PM   #6
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this is a good small one.
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Old September 19, 2010, 07:40 AM   #7
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See what the other officers are using and why. They may have already found something that fills the bill. Don't re-invent the wheel unless absolutely required.......

Also, check some of the "stylus" type lights, they may surprise you..... Personally I'd stay away from a light that requires a special or expensive battery as they may not be available when needed the most.
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Old September 19, 2010, 09:04 AM   #8
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lot's of good choices. Here is a site I have dealt with and they have been reliable.

Also, Target or Bass Pro has some good choices.

I agree that AA's are a good way to go. Low cost and they are available.

Be aware of one issue that occurs with CR123 type batteries. Most CR123's are protected. That means they will shut themselves off when they get very low to prevent high current danger. But if you are using the light at that time it will simply shut off. No gradual diming...just off. Now if you make sure to keep the CR123's fresh, then no problem, they are great for high current supply.

Last edited by madmag; September 19, 2010 at 09:12 AM.
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Old September 19, 2010, 01:18 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your help! I never even knew about the candlepower forums, which is awesome because I'm almost as big a flashlight nerd as I am a gun nerd.

I ended up buying the L1T V2.0 (I considered all selections carefully and appreciated them all very much), because I liked its brighter/dimmer mode and it's tailswitch.

Moderators, you can close this thread so it doesn't jam up the forum. Again, thank you all for the help. I can always rely on this forum.
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Old September 19, 2010, 02:11 PM   #10
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I had heard about the Surefires and thought that would be a great gift.
Then I looked at their web site. Good gravy. What makes a flashlight worth so much money? Methinks they can't be worth that much.
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Old September 19, 2010, 03:37 PM   #11
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What makes a flashlight worth so much money?
Good question. I have some fairly expensive lights. Surefire, Streamlight, and Wolfeyes. They are all over the $100 mark and my up-graded Streamlight is over the $200 mark....runs 300 lumen's with great throw.

Well, the truth is the expensive light niche is not what it used to be. At first, if you wanted a really bright LED then you had to spend the money. Now with Cree and other similar LED's floating around you can get 200 plus lumen's for about $30.00 or so. Now I do believe the Surefire types are still more rugged, waterproof, etc. But, like I said you can go to Target and get a nice tactical light for $30-$40 range.

Or try

He is a forum member. I haven't purchased one of his lights, but I read they are very good.

Last edited by madmag; September 19, 2010 at 03:45 PM.
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Old September 23, 2010, 08:17 PM   #12
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Can you imagine the perp getting hit in the eyes with a 300 lumen light just to check his pupils?

That would blind them for a week.

I agree about the reduced price lights available. I happened along an energizer 1 wat led at Target for 15 bucks that runs on 1 AA. It is perfect for my needs. One of the best finds I have ever made and I can buy a lot of batteries for the cost of the higher cost lights.
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