I Got On a Flashlight Kick

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Jul 18, 2020
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Somehow I’ve gotten on a flashlight kick.....



Life’s too short for crappy, dim flashlights!
serious question: is that any reason you opt for a flashlight over a headlamp? After getting used to a high intensity headlamp, I can't imagine using a flashlight for....anything?

I have one of these mounted to a head strap with a Garmin mount: https://www.outboundlighting.com/products/hangover-bike-helmet-light

While I originally set it up for trail running, I pretty much use it for everything now--from working on stuff to late night dog walking. Why hold a flashlight?
 

john_pifer

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serious question: is that any reason you opt for a flashlight over a headlamp? After getting used to a high intensity headlamp, I can't imagine using a flashlight for....anything?

I have one of these mounted to a head strap with a Garmin mount: https://www.outboundlighting.com/products/hangover-bike-helmet-light

While I originally set it up for trail running, I pretty much use it for everything now--from working on stuff to late night dog walking. Why hold a flashlight?
Youre right - headlamps are very handy, and I use them a lot while working with my hands.

Flashlights are handy for inspections, or when you’re looking for something, or when you just don’t want to put on a headlamp for whatever reason.

I have a Sofirn HS40 on order, and I can’t wait to try it out on some night runs!
 
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I have an awesomely bright Petzl headlamp that allows me to see for about 70ft in the dark. Its awesome watching the animals eyes reflect even from super far away. A lot more critters than I knew were out there.. I love this light, fits great, tilts well, has a near dimish setting, and a super bright solid beam setting.. My problem is, its dims after about a week, about a total of ten mins of solid use. I mean it dims down to the point where I may as well have my older single bulb Petzl headlamp. I use the highest quality batteries I can find, and I just feel like the peak brightness should last longer than say 20 mins. And then it gets so dim its kinda worthless in the woods (taking dog for poops). I know for a fact my 10 year old Petzl is kinda bright, and stays that way for over at a minimum of 30 mins. I've used it night hiking / partying plenty of times.

Any suggestions for the longevity of the lamp? All the contacts are mint, batteries are brand new (been through at least five sets in three months), its super bright when bats are first installed, I'm just both disappointed and frustrated at the design. Yeah, awesome, its got a high lumen rating, yeah its SUPER bright, you can see very far away, but god ****, its only bright for 10 mins? Really?

Do you think its a defective unit, or just par for the course these days.. Like I said my 10 year old headlamp lasts for three hours at a decent amount of brightness, brighter than the new one when it dims after about 10 mins. Bummed out.
May be defective, I have not had that experience with my new Petzl that I received for Christmas. My old one still works, but the headband stretched so much I can't use it without a hat.
 
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I also had a bunch of cheap single AA sized flashlights that all cropped out after a few months, maybe a year. I ended up with a Convoy S2, and eventually bought about 4 more in different colors, brightness and color temps.

They seem to be well made at a great price.

I recently switched work and ended up needing a flashlight a lot more often, and started looking for a smaller, single AA sized EDC flashlight. I wanted a simple moonlight/medium/high output, tail click and a neutral-warm color. I wanted something that could handle nimh and lithium voltages, but ended up with a Lumintop model. that I only use Eneloop rechargeables withy. Not expensive, but better than the cheap lights.

A good flashlight is great to have!

I also agree that headlamps are essential tools for camping, snowblowing and other work in dark, cramped spaces. I wanted one that I could turn on to red and turn off, without having to cycle through a bunch of white modes to preserve night vision.
 
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Are there any headlamps that are dedicated throwers? Both headlamps and flashlights have their place, IMO.

Different tools for different jobs, I guess.
Agreed. I'll carry a flashlight in my pocket every day, not a headlamp, and I'd absolutely opt to use the flashlight in hand than the headlamp at home.
 
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Here are some of the ones that I have and use. The platinum one front center is my favorite. It is a 12 year old Coleman. They quit making that model. It is sturdy and has taken a beating.

IMG-5023.jpg
 
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Under the hood
What’s your favorite light for camping?

While there is no shortage of good quality, good value flashlight options, finding an electrical lantern is more difficult.

That void was filled, though not completely, by the Sofirn BLF LT1. If you like their flashlights, you'll like the lantern.

But, it's not perfect. The metal construction and resulting weight makes it more of a camp lantern than a backpacking lantern. And, being derived from the Q8 soda can light, it's a bit tall as well. And for some, the lack of a red mode is an omission.

That said, there aren't many alternatives to a well-made, rechargeable lantern with good run times, high-CRI, tint ramping, and on-board bi-directional charger. It also runs Anduril firmware, but I'm not a member of that cult who believe that it is the be all/end all, and everything must have it.

A lot of people may scoff at a ~$60-70 lantern as well, but considering the few alternatives, the LT1 has become popular for good reason, and just a lot of hype from the crowd.

Sofirn also recently introduced a little brother, the LT1S, which is quite different internally, more compact, and a single-cell light. Those who have them seem to like them, but it has yet to generate the same enthusiasm. I think it's a good start, but lacks the same level of value.

Since you've caught the bug, I hope your SO is the understanding type.
 

john_pifer

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While there is no shortage of good quality, good value flashlight options, finding an electrical lantern is more difficult.

That void was filled, though not completely, by the Sofirn BLF LT1. If you like their flashlights, you'll like the lantern.

But, it's not perfect. The metal construction and resulting weight makes it more of a camp lantern than a backpacking lantern. And, being derived from the Q8 soda can light, it's a bit tall as well. And for some, the lack of a red mode is an omission.

That said, there aren't many alternatives to a well-made, rechargeable lantern with good run times, high-CRI, tint ramping, and on-board bi-directional charger. It also runs Anduril firmware, but I'm not a member of that cult who believe that it is the be all/end all, and everything must have it.

A lot of people may scoff at a ~$60-70 lantern as well, but considering the few alternatives, the LT1 has become popular for good reason, and just a lot of hype from the crowd.

Sofirn also recently introduced a little brother, the LT1S, which is quite different internally, more compact, and a single-cell light. Those who have them seem to like them, but it has yet to generate the same enthusiasm. I think it's a good start, but lacks the same level of value.

Since you've caught the bug, I hope your SO is the understanding type.
Good post!

Youre making me want one of those lanterns!

LOL. I think she’d rather me play with a few flashlights than get back into sportbikes!
 

john_pifer

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What's a good basic flashlight I can keep in my car? (No made in china)
I’ve read that it’s difficult to get a flashlight that’s 100% made in USA.

In case you’re not aware, being made in China is no longer synonymous with poor quality in all cases.

Id recommend the Sofirn SP10v3. Small form factor, 1000-lumen, 90-CRI, Samsung LH351D diode, 14500 lithium-ion rechargeable (or AA alkaline, or NiMh) batt, built-in USB-C recharging, long runtime, etc, etc, etc, for $17.39 to your doorstep. It’s on sale on their site right now.

Id get that, as long as you don’t mind waiting a bit for it (Sofirn is shut down for Chinese New Year holiday right now).

This absolutely blows hardware store brand alkaline battery flashlights out of the water, for about the same, or less money.

And there’s no way in you-know-where that it could be made in USA and sold for anywhere Close to that price.

Heck, reading over those specs, I think I just talked myself into ordering one, maybe two of these!

 
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Id get that, as long as you don’t mind waiting a bit for it (Sofirn is shut down for Chinese New Year holiday right now).
And if you don't want to wait, you can get it from Amazon for $19.50 with promo code FWP7MKD4.


The only issue is that turbo output is very short lived in such a small light, but the 350lm high mode should be very usable.

EDIT: Some reviews note somewhat high parisitic drain on Li-Ion cell, so this light is probably not a good candidate to keep in the car for long, unless you use AA/NiMH cell instead.
 
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john_pifer

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And if you don't want to wait, you can get it from Amazon for $19.50 with promo code FWP7MKD4.


The only issue is that turbo output is very short lived in such a small light, but the 350lm high mode should be very usable.

EDIT: Some reviews note somewhat high parisitic drain on Li-Ion cell, so this light is probably not a good candidate to keep in the car for long, unless you use AA/NiMH cell instead.
Wow! Where did you find that Amazon code? You’re great at searching out these deals!

That’s actually cheaper than I can get it on the Sofirn site, since I’ve already used the discount codes they offer on their site.
 

john_pifer

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Since I got interested in flashlights, I’ve heard the name Malkoff a lot, on the forums, Facebook pages, Reddit, etc.

A lot of people seem to like them. I don’t know anything about them.

A quick glance at their page shows a lot of lights that are >$100. When I see that price, I start thinking about the fact that I could get several cheaper lights for that money. Just how I think.

@Quattro Pete may know something more about them.
 
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