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#141982 - 07/29/08 02:03 AM Tactical Flashlight Recommedation
SwampDonkey Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Hi ETS Forum Members,

Over the past 8 years I have carried a Streamlight Stinger XT rechargeable flashlight on the job. It has been a great light with 125 Lumens of output and a recharging port in both my truck and at home. The negatives are that it only has a 1 hour max. runtime, a single light output level and 30 hour xenon gas-filled bulb life. I had to replace the battery stick after about 5 years and now have to replace it again, which costs about $40.00 delivered through mail-order.

Being a toy junkie by nature, I got thinking that maybe I should replace the Stinger XT with a new high-tech LED tactical light instead of just ordering a new battery?

The specifications would have to be:

- Tough construction
- Tailcap switch with constant and momentary on
- 100 Lumens output minimum (more would be better)
- Under 8" in length, 1.5" in head Dia. and 11 oz in weight
- 2 - CR123 or rechargeable battery
- 1 hour runtime minimum (more would be better)
- Variable light output with increased runtime
- Adjustable beam size
- Black in colour
- Under $100.00

I am leaning toward the Fenex TK10, TK11 or P3D Q5 all which can be seen at this website http://www.fenixtactical.com/fenix-tk10.html, does anyone have any experience (good or bad) with these lights?

Or maybe the new Streamlight Stinger DS (Dual Switch) LED at 140 Lumens, a little heavy and large but I could use my current chargers. Seen here http://www.streamlight.com/product/product.aspx?pid=135

So my question to ETS members is, if you could buy yourself a new tactical light that will see a lot of use in the field, what would you buy?

Thanks

Mike



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#141994 - 07/29/08 03:27 AM Re: Tactical Flashlight Recommedation [Re: SwampDonkey]
Fitzoid Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 289
Loc: WI, MA, and NYC
I've never been quite sure what a "tactical flashlight" is -- I do know what a weapon-mountable one is -- just as I've never been sure what a "tactical knife" is. To me, a "tactical flashlight" is a 6D cell Maglite and I doubt most people carry them for their paltry output...

But that aside, after getting a Fenix L2D Premium, I've never looked back and my CR123A Surefires are in my glove box, where the batteries will stay good for a decade.

I have way too many flashlights and nothing is as bright as the Fenix. Yeah, the Surefires look cooler, but for brightness and battery life, I love the L2Ds, which run perfectly on 2 AA NiMHs. It will light up a large parking lot at 185 lumens (for 2.4 hours) and you can also run it at 12/53/107 lumens. I EDC one, along with a Proton.


Edited by Fitzoid (07/29/08 03:33 AM)
Edit Reason: Editing is fun
_________________________
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"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading." Henny Youngman

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#141997 - 07/29/08 03:55 AM Re: Tactical Flashlight Recommedation [Re: Fitzoid]
SwampDonkey Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the reply and input Fitzoid.

To me a "Tactical Flashlight" is one that you can count on performing in a serious, life-threatening situation. That is the only reason I could justify spending big money on a flashlight when there are many other, less expensive models that would do just fine for casual use.

My problem with Fenix lights is that I have never seen, handled or met a person that owns one. I am hoping that the folks at ETS to steer me toward or way from them.

Mike

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#142003 - 07/29/08 04:16 AM Re: Tactical Flashlight Recommedation [Re: SwampDonkey]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
The folks over on Candlepower Forums, including the LEO guys, pretty much all sing the praises of the TK10/11. The P3D is great, too, but it's different kind of light and not really a "tactical" light. People went crazy doing all kinds of torture tests with the TK10 on CPF and it took a lickin' and just kept on tickin'.

Just to throw out another option--Wolf-Eyes. The 2-cell Sniper model is built like a tank and I really like my Wolf-Eyes. I have the Sniper and the 3-cell Raider models, and have used them as incandescent and LED lights by swapping out the lamp assemblies. These work equally well with CR123 batteries, or rechargeable lithium-ion cells.

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#142020 - 07/29/08 12:38 PM Re: Tactical Flashlight Recommedation [Re: Arney]
pforeman Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 86
Loc: Iowa
Well, let's figure out first what you want the light for... "tactical" doesn't really say much. I got a Surefire 6P back when they first came out - I was working law enforcement/corrections and needed that kind of light. I've still got it and it puts out 120 lumins or what ever the word is and is blinding bright. That said it has a really short run time. Good for clearing a building, using for 'as needed' shots of light. If you need something else, this won't work.

I think you need to better define what you plan as the primary use for you light and what your expectations are.

Paul -

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#142022 - 07/29/08 01:10 PM Re: Tactical Flashlight Recommedation [Re: pforeman]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Yup. "Tactical," and "life threatening" can mean all kinds of things, some short termed, others lasting almost forever (or so it might seem). I also got a 6P when I was still patrolling, and love it to this day. I am sure that there are new and better lights out there, but I don't have the need to spend more money on lights since I still have that 6P's, plus a G2. If I were still working, I would probalby go with a Surefire Z2 CombatLight, just for use with a handgun...
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OBG

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#142023 - 07/29/08 01:10 PM Re: Tactical Flashlight Recommedation [Re: pforeman]
Fitzoid Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 289
Loc: WI, MA, and NYC
A couple of random thoughts:

1) Some people like to talk about flashlights surviving multistory drops onto concrete. However, 123A batteries will not be happy with this. (In fact, I'd replace them if a light fell any great distance. They have been known to explode.)

2) I've never had a problem with a fenix or a surefire. I don't know if I believe the fenixes are anodized as claimed, as the paint comes off where they get dinged. The surefires just get dings.

3) Here's a crazy one: I think flashlights should be yellow and have phosphorescent paint. Ever try to find a black flashlight that you dropped in the dark? Mine all have loop lanyards for that reason.

4) My main concern with a good quality light is its output. 185 lumens is amazing outdoors in the dark and can also temporarily blind someone. (Indoors, you probably don't need that much light.)

5) After reading lots of discussion about Xenon bulbs are better/are not better than LEDs in smoke, I've come to the conclusion they are at least certainly better in fog. I usually take a Surefire E2E camping, but the battery life is so bad so that I rarely use it. But I always carry the Fenix.


Edited by Fitzoid (07/29/08 01:48 PM)
Edit Reason: typo
_________________________
-----
"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading." Henny Youngman

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#142026 - 07/29/08 01:13 PM Re: Tactical Flashlight Recommedation [Re: Fitzoid]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
"...take a Surefire E2E camping, but the battery life is so bad..."

While it can for sure be a pain in the butt, now that C123's cost a buck or so apiece, instead of $5 or more, I don't worry about that quite as much, I just carry lotsa spares with me...
_________________________
OBG

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#142042 - 07/29/08 02:04 PM Re: Tactical Flashlight Recommedation [Re: Fitzoid]
SwampDonkey Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Hi all,

Thank you for the input and please continue the suggestions.

I counted them up and usually I have 5 lights on me when I am working.

- The Streamlight Stinger XT (Xenon bulb) on my belt (needs rechargable battery replacement)
- A Streamlight Scorpion (Xenon bulb) in my right chest pocket (with lanyard)
- A QuiqLite XP 440 ID (UV + White LEDs) on my left shoulder (for note-taking and ID checks)
- A small coin-cell LED light on my keychain (just plain handy)
- A second coin-cell LED light in my mini-survival kit on belt (not readly accessable)

The Stinger XT is the light that I use the most for general patrol work and therefore would proabally be the one used in conjuction with a weapon. The Scorpion is kept in reserve, but is often used on a lanyard during night patrol on snowmobiles or ATV's, as it is difficult to access a light on your belt when you have heavy clothes and mitts on.

Streamlight has also updated the Scorpion LED to C4 LEDs and now it produces 120 Lumens. The rubber armour on the Scorpion is nice because it is warmer in the winter and when you hold it in your mouth it is not hard on your teeth!

Mike

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#142045 - 07/29/08 02:23 PM Re: Tactical Flashlight Recommedation [Re: SwampDonkey]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Another possibility came to mind--the 2008 Inova T-series lights get good reviews from users, including LEO. Inova makes good, tough lights. The new T-series (the 2008 ones) is noted for having a "warm" beam for an LED that many people really like. In particular, the T4 would fit most of your specs except the adjustable beam part. The T4 and T5 are similar except the T4 uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and comes with a cradle (home or auto use). It's a bit above your $100 mark, depending on where you buy, but you wouldn't have to pay for batteries.


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