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#279329 - 02/02/16 06:21 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: haertig]
jds Offline
Stranger

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 13
For my purposes of having an Every-Day-Carry (EDC) flashlight that is always with me (ie on my key-ring) I carried an "Arc-AAA GS" (premium) flashlight for about ten-years.

After reading Doug Ritter's review of the Surefire Titan. I bought myself the "Titan A" model and have been EDC'ing it for almost a month. Like the ARC-AAA, the Titan-A carries well on my keychain, runs on a single AAA lithium battery (can also run on alkaline). The Titan-A has a 15-lumen output on its "normal" mode of operation (compared to 10-lumens for the ARC AAA). Additionally, the Titan-A has a "turbo-mode" -- which causes the light to put-out 125-lumens albeit with a very-short battery-life.

The one feature of the ARC-AAA which I like but is lacking in the Titan-A is that the ARC-AAA will automatically drop down its output to "moon-mode" when the battery is running low. yielding some hours of reduced additional light and a very noticeable warning before the light goes out completely. In contrast, the Titan's rated output of 15-lumens is available for 8.5 hours and then reportedly drops-off to nearly nothing without warning.

Thus, my perfect EDC keychain light would currently be an incarnation of the "Titan-A" with a "moon-mode", and would have the reflector coated with a long-lasting clear-coat glow-in-the-dark paint (ie. Strontium Aluminate with Europeum doping) so that when the light is turned-off, the reflector continues to glow. For examples of such paint see...

http://glow.glowinc.com/glow-in-the-dark-paint/new-category/

I know I'm probably sounding picky -- but when you ask for peoples' definition of the "perfect flashlight" -- you're bound to generate a flood of very-particular responses!

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#279336 - 02/03/16 02:33 AM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: sybert777]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 959
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Must have:
LED
Remember last brightness setting
Low output around 10 lumens (this will do for 90% of the daily use)
LONG run time on low
About the size of a fat Maglite
Water resistant (ideally 1m or 2m rating)

NO BUTTON CELLS

Nice to have:
Able to use rechargable Li-ion standard size batteries

Dream light
Able to charge battery with USB or magnetic charge cable
Able to charge other devices with USB out

I currently EDC a Fenix PD35. It checks all the boxes on the must and nice to have lists.

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#279339 - 02/03/16 07:26 AM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: sybert777]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2698
Too many flashlights for too many uses.

For keyring EDC, I have a Thrunite TI Titanium. Runs on 1xAAA, super-low low and 180lm high. Pretty good for a keyring light.

Primary EDC light right now is a Nitecore MT10C. Runs on 1xCR123A or a 18350, crazy awesome output for the size and excellent runtime on lower modes.

My most commonly used larger flashlight is another Nitecore, the MH12. I use an 18650 which can be recharged via the onboard USB port.

I'll need more info on your requirements to make a specific recommendation.

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#279341 - 02/03/16 11:10 AM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: sybert777]
sybert777 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 299
Loc: 62040
Thank you all for the replies. I'm currently devising a few lights to try to make. I did mean to be more specific, however, I have come to a realization that there is no such thing as a jack-of-all-trades flashlight. Allow me to separate this into categories, and I want your requirements for each. EDC, General use (Thing Surefire G2 size, under 6"), and Vehicle/Heavy Duty.

EDC will be keychain or Pen-light sized.

Gen. Use will be average size; 1" Bezel, 5-6" length.

Vehicle will be rechargeable, biggest and brightest of the bunch, most likely useful for self-defense (Crenellated bezel).


Hey Phaedrus, it sure has been a long time. How've you been holding up? I've been moving left and right, hopefully I'm done for a while.
_________________________
International Military Sales PLUS

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#279342 - 02/03/16 01:37 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: sybert777]
williamlatham Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 232
Loc: Stafford, VA, USA
And even here we cannot agree. While I have a DR Photon on my keys, it is not my goto EDC light (too small). That happens to be a Steamlight Protac 1L (single CR123). Could be better, but is the best compromise of size and light output. High and lo output (180/12 lumens) and strobe (blah), with tail click.

General use is almost always a headlamp, backed up with my EDC for throw as necessary.

Regards,
Bill

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#279343 - 02/03/16 06:16 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: williamlatham]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
Let's dive into some Science Fiction now.

One of the major reasons of disagreement is the button functionality. That could be resolved making the internal controller programmable. So you just connect your flashlight with the USB cable to your PC, or establish a BT connection with it from your phone, start an app, and build the button-light behavior in any way you want, or select a ready made profile from the list, or even download it from the fan-site. It could be even possible to have a button command to change the profile entirely to another one without connecting to the app (i.e. changing it as the changing conditions dictating). Even better yet - make the light controllable from the phone directly too! I believe I saw such a flashlight in a prepubescent stage at least announced a while ago.

The second one is the battery. To me it's obvious that it must be removable/replaceable and rechargeable. For us, ETS folks, always tending to carry a spare battery, most likely a LiPO with integrated protected charge pump would be ideal. When depleted you just replace it with a spare and setup the empty one for charging from an AC/DC source, a powerbank, the sun, or some standard battery found or scavenged. That would work well for those standardized on AA or CR123, or not standardized on anything but USB port.

The shape/casing must undergo the same transformation as the one of the modern smartphones. A minimalist functional battery+LED+button+charging port(maybe) capsule, and infinite possibilities for the replaceable outer shell (waterproof/shock proof to any rating wanted, any mount type required, extended external battery, integrated solar charger, and what's not).

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#279345 - 02/03/16 09:44 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: sybert777]
Brangdon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1200
Loc: Nottingham, UK
For me EDC means single AA. Needs to give good results with Eneloop, and support Lithium as a backup. Alkaline if nothing else is available. Currently I am preferring quite a floody beam, about 90 degrees wide, with no hot-spot. Switch-on must default to dim, with no chance of accidentally getting full brightness.

General use means 18650 or two CR123. Probably should have a hot-spot with some spill, with an adaptor to make it floody.

Colour tint should be warm for both. Colour rendition matters to me more than brightness.

Both should be configurable, to trade brightness against battery life. It should be quantised, not continuous: my one problem with the D10 is that I never really knew how much life a given brightness level would give me. Currently I think the Zebralight interface almost gets it right: 3 main levels, with 2 sub-levels for each, with the second sub-level programmable to a range of options. My current EDC is their SC5Fw, with a high of around 500 lumens and can manage 1 lumen for a fortnight. Their main mistake is defaulting to high. Photo Freedom also has a good UI.

Multiple buttons or controls would be best, if it doesn't compromise water-proofing. My Surefire U2 sets brightness to 1 of 6 levels with a ring around the head, and a clicky at the tail for on/off (soft press for momentary).

Strobes are nice to have only if they don't compromise UI.

I wouldn't buy a light that didn't work with rechargeables, or which only supported a single battery chemistry.

I've no idea about "heavy-duty" torches. My "general purpose" light outputs 1,000 lumens and is good for everything I do, but I don't do search and rescue.
_________________________
Quality is addictive.

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#279346 - 02/03/16 10:52 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: sybert777]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 952
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Since I have bright flashlights everywhere in my cars and house, I just carry a little $4 aaa from deal extreme in my pocket. Low lumens so even the free harbor freight zinc batteries and hybrid rechargables last a long time.

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#279347 - 02/03/16 11:10 PM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: sybert777]
Phaedrus Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 1905
Loc: Great Plains
Originally Posted By: sybert777
Hey Phaedrus, it sure has been a long time. How've you been holding up? I've been moving left and right, hopefully I'm done for a while.


Very busy! I took the Exec Chef job in a place in MN late last year. It's keeping me hopping. I don't want to move again anytime soon, either.


Originally Posted By: sybert777

EDC will be keychain or Pen-light sized.

Gen. Use will be average size; 1" Bezel, 5-6" length.

Vehicle will be rechargeable, biggest and brightest of the bunch, most likely useful for self-defense (Crenellated bezel).


I use a Fenix E01 as my key chain EDC. It's got a really angry purple tint but so far I haven't found anything enough better to replace it (especially given the durability and low price). Eventually I could see getting a Peak Eiger or Prometheus Beta QR for the keychain.

The Surefire G2 is a great light, and the 6P is great with a Malkoff dropin. I'm very partial to Elzetta for the 'tactical'/EDC category.
_________________________
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#279350 - 02/04/16 03:32 AM Re: I need tour ideas of the perfect flashlight! [Re: sybert777]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1403
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
my choices for your three categories... actually four... I EDC two lights...a AAA Eneloop 2014 E05 on the key ring, and the AA Eneloop Solar Force Z2 in a pouch along with a spare G42 magazine

the Solar Force L2M has a low voltage (.8-4.2v) XP-G R5 smooth reflector with 18560

the 3 x cr123 Solar Force L2N with tube extension has a long throw M3 head (XM-L2 3 mode)

with a tube extension added to the L2M, with the lower voltage module it works with 2 x AA


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