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Old July 23, 2011, 07:41 PM   #26
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Thanks for all the input guys.

I wanted the light for nightstand & glovebox use.

Choosing a light is 2X more complicated than choosing an HD pistol!

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Old July 23, 2011, 09:53 PM   #27
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Any LED flashlight that uses AA batteries.

I carry a Streamlight PT2AA, which may be longer than you want (6"), but my requirements are probably different from yours. It is very bright (brighter than my full-size, incandescent Streamlight) and the batteries last a long time.

LEDs are a welcome advancement in flashlight technology.
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Old July 24, 2011, 11:42 AM   #28
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Another way to look at it: How about asking for what gun to buy on a flashlight forum?

Seriously though, check out Candlepowerforums. It's generally a good group of folks, and well-moderated for content (I'm a Mod there, so I should know, LOL)
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Old July 28, 2011, 10:48 AM   #29
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I've got the new Elzetta with strobe and it's great. If you haven't checked out Elzetta yet, may be worth your time. You can configure them however you want (different bezels - standard or strike) and different tailcaps depending on your use and your preference. I love mine...and made in USA!!
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Old July 28, 2011, 12:21 PM   #30
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+1 for candlepowerforums. I wanted to check out the same type of thing and they have great reviews of a million flashlights, not to mention more technical information that you can shake a stick at.

I ended up buying a fenix Pd20 R2 for about $55. 190 lumens. It can light up my back fence (70 yards away) at night about the same as my dewalt flood light connected to the huge 18v battery. Very happy, great quality.
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Old July 28, 2011, 07:13 PM   #31
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When I was on the Police Dept most officers carried streamlights a lot still do all over the country. I have a Streamlight Ultrastinger in my Car and a Stinger DS Led in my headboard and a SL-20x on my wife's side of the bed.
Retired LE, M.P., Sr. M.P. Investigator F.B.I. Trained Rangemaster/Firearms Instructor & Armorer, Presently Forensic Document Examiner for D.H.S.

Last edited by armsmaster270; July 28, 2011 at 07:20 PM.
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Old July 30, 2011, 03:32 PM   #32
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Protected Cell Issue

Watch out for protected CR123 lithium cells. They are great for shelve life and high current delivery, but most of the cells are protected. That means they have a built in circuit that shuts the battery down when it goes below a certain voltage setting. This is done to prevent high current that could cause a fire. The problem is that the shut-off occurs without warning. So if you are using them in a tactical situation you could loose light without warning.

Alkaline and ni-mh rechargeable don't have this issue. They just get dim and that's your warning they are getting low.
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Old July 30, 2011, 04:37 PM   #33
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I have a couple of Surefires and several Fenix's. Surefire for weapons and the Fenix's go in vehicles, lay around the house, etc.
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Old July 30, 2011, 06:32 PM   #34
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Yes, I also have Surefire. They are great lights, but the protected cells is an issue. I have had my Surefire go from on to dead in a second due to the cells cutting off. I now try to get lights powered by AAA thru D size.

Now I admit if you always make sure to keep new fresh CR123's then you won't have an issue, but I am cheap and try to get the most out of my 123 cells.
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Old July 30, 2011, 07:55 PM   #35
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I have a handful of Fenix and 4Sevens lights.
Can't go wrong with either one, and they have a lot to chose from, depending on what features (size, output, modes, user interface) you are looking for.
You can get an awesome light for under $100.
For the uses you mentioned, I would make sure to get something that has a wide range of output levels. Also, you don't need crazy lumens, even for "tactical" uses (I hate that word). 300 lumens is SUPER bright, and a little overkill indoors.
Here's what I carry in my pocket:
I think something like that would make you more than happy, as well as make you buy more flashlights (you'll find other "niches" that need to be filled - although this is a superb all-purpose light).
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Old July 30, 2011, 09:02 PM   #36
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General comment about run times.

I have tested run times on most of my lights. I am a flashlight geek so I have quite a few. Some are $200 plus down to some low cost Costco lights.

I find a good rule of thumb is to take about 70% the advertised run times and that's about what you will really get. Still not a bad number for most modern LED's.

BTW, I find some of the low cost lights have as good run times as the expensive lights. Of course now days most all are using some type of Cree LED.
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Old July 31, 2011, 12:28 PM   #37
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tac lite

I bought a mag lite 150 (i think ) it is led cost $30. throws more lite then my surefire and uses 3AAA s. It has a hi and low setting and a strobe. its rugged. Just my 2cents worth.
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Old July 31, 2011, 02:45 PM   #38
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Now there are two many good lights out there to name. When LED's first became bright enough to be useful there were only expensive lights using them, usually with CR123 batteries. Now you can buy low cost lights all over that have at least 150 lumen's and run on AAA or AA batteries. And they are mostly with good regulated run times.

You can go to Sears, Target, Cosco and similar stores and buy lights that would have cost you $150 plus just a few years ago for low cost, or order off the net.

PS, incandescent flashlights are dead. For anything up to 700 lumens LED's are the way to go, for more lumens then HID's are the way to go.

Last edited by madmag; July 31, 2011 at 02:54 PM.
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Old August 1, 2011, 08:45 PM   #39
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I'm surprised that no one really commented on features that you might want ... or if they did, I missed it in my scan.

Anyway, for a SD/HD light, my calculus is VERY different than for pretty much any other use. First off, I always look for a light that I can pulse on ... as in, carry off through the house or yard and with a semi-depression of the switch get a momentary pulse of light. Unfortunately, most of the lights mentioned in this thread click on and pulse off ... I don't understand why they would be designed that way, but it must be simpler (cheaper!) electronics that way. The second thing I look for is single mode ... at least from the switch. If you pulse off most multi-mode lights, they wake up in the next mode, so if you bump your tailcap you can go from a max light that you want to a strobe So ... for my SD/HD lights, the SOS and strobe functions are negatives, not features. I have a couple of great Fenix EDC lights and I'm thrilled with them ... but after trying many of the lights mentioned in this thread, my current SD/HD light is a SureFire 6P with a ~200 lumen drop-in single mode P60 LED module that I probably picked up at DealExtreme. The SureFire switch just seems much more reliable (than the imports) to me and I think that the prices on the 6P lights are falling due to the impending extinction of incandescent bulbs, so this combo is quality without breaking the bank.

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Old August 19, 2011, 07:59 AM   #40
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If you want a tough bright light you can't do better than a Surefire 6P with Malkoff P61 drop in. They do have complete lights for sale now and I'm sure the quality is first rate I just don't have any experience with them. Some of the made in China lights will give actual OTF lumens but with most of them you are lucky to get half the output they claim.
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