I Got On a Flashlight Kick

john_pifer

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Ive heard that Surefire has a good reputation for reliability and durability.

What makes that light worth $219?

I see that they claim 1000 Lumens for 2.75 hrs on 2 CR123s. That seems like a great runtime.

I don’t see any mention of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Will it accept those also?

You did mention you were looking for a light to keep in your vehicle. If it’ll only be used rarely, and you never want to take it out, maybe a CR123A light would be a good idea.

I wonder if the lithium disposables are more resistant to leaking than alkaline. I had a Coast Polysteel (3xAAA) that I kept in my wife‘s vehicle, and one or more of the batteries leaked and ruined the flashlight.
 
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I'm looking at the MDC Bodyguard V2 one as it's one of the few lights they offer that can use common 18650 cells. It uses Cool White (6200K) Cree XP-L LED which is a bit dated by today's standards, and not everyone likes that color temp, but it's a personal choice I guess. It seems to have only one output mode: high, with automatic stepdown after the first 8 seconds. So pretty much nonexistent UI and older cool white emitter for $200? Yikes! A $25 Chinese flashlight will run circles around this Malkoff, but if the requirement is "not made in China" then it is what it is. Although AFAIK not all components in a Malkoff light are domestically sourced. But apparently the build quality is very good. If you need a light that's built like a tank, then maybe it's not a bad option.
 
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I see that they claim 1000 Lumens for 2.75 hrs on 2 CR123s. That seems like a great runtime.
There is no way it can sustain 1000 lumen output for 2.75 hours. The way these specs are given is assuming it starts at 1000 lm, but then quickly (within a minute or two) steps down to 50% or 30% of the initial output for the remainder of that time. That's how most flashlights are rated.
 

JHZR2

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While I understand lights built around alkaline AA or AAA platforms have gotten a lot better than my experiences with such lights in the past, I think those holding onto the disposable battery mindset, are not doing themselves any favors, unless that nod to nostalgia is what floats their boat.

Ive gotten very sufficient performance out of NiMH cells in LeD lights. If I need something brighter, sill use a light with a tool battery. I have Milwaukee and Makita lights that run in 12 or 18v platforms.

im personally not a fan of no name Chinese batteries in no name Chinese lights. Seems like a recipe for a li-ion battery fire. Remember when e-cigs were burning up people? I’m guessing that these lights use protected cells and avoid abuse, but I just haven’t found a major utility. The small high power lights I’ve messed with are either too bright,mor too hot, and not that useful.

While most of my lights run on 18650 Li-Ion cells, I do own a few AA ones, too. I usually run them on Eneloops or similar NiMH rechargeable cells. Some of these lights like UltraTac A1 are dual rated: can run on AA/NiMH or 14500/Li-Ion. The smaller form factor is useful to keep in the car, kitchen drawer, or backpack or to give to a kid without having to worry that he'll blind himself. On evening walks, I usually carry something larger though.
Im a fan of the A1 and just got one of the smaller ones, K1 or something. One of the A1 units I got came with a li-ion cell. For at home or my pocket it’s fine. For the ones I keep I. The cars, no way id let li-ion cells bake in the hot car. So I’m a big fan of that dual rating…
 

JHZR2

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What? There's no such thing as too bright....
Sure there is. If you’re working in dark spaces, or in places where mounting would result in glare, lights can be too bright.

I have two 12v Bosch lights that don’t turn down far enough and can be annoying to use because they’re too bright. Same with the really big bright halogen lamps. Sometimes they’re perfect, other times, it sure would be nice to be able to turn them down…
 
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Sure there is. If you’re working in dark spaces, or in places where mounting would result in glare, lights can be too bright.

+2

I have a highly specialized flashlight that I use for photography at night. It is fully adjustable for color, saturation and brightness. It is only occasionally that I need the brightest setting but in close quarters I sometimes need to set it on the dimmest setting.

LOL I also use the very same flashlight while working on the car.
 

JHZR2

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+2

I have a highly specialized flashlight that I use for photography at night. It is fully adjustable for color, saturation and brightness. It is only occasionally that I need the brightest setting but in close quarters I sometimes need to set it on the dimmest setting.

LOL I also use the very same flashlight while working on the car.
What do you have? Lighting for photography and car work are my needs. Not throwing a signal beam two miles. :)
 
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It is a good reminder that even though lithium cells are now commonplace, when things go wrong, they can go more wrong than with nicad/nimh/alkaline cells.

https://www.candlepowerforums.com/forums/smoke-and-fire-hot-cells-and-close-calls.107/

Some quick reading of links in above^, many of The vape/ E-cig devices seem like they are modified for max smoke with low resistance coils, and require cells capable of delivering 30+amps.

Seems likely cells pushed this hard, especially if not specifically designed for powering such loads, would become far more dangerous.
I am not sure the amp draw of my Armytek c2pro max on its turbo 2 setting of 3720 lumens, but I suspect less than 15 amps

I've been guesstimating at the capacity remaining in some of my 18650 cells.

The $9.19 Peetpen L21 Vikas linked, and of which I bought 3, came with 1800 mah(claimed) 18650 cells, one of which was overdischarged to 2.06v. While I have no good data on their actual capacity/ quality, yet, their heatshrink wrapping, upto the button top seems to be quality.



The cheapo headlamps I bought through Ebay, 2 for 10$, with 18650 cells soldered in place, are lasting about 2.5 hours with a 250ma draw( at 4.12v), and requiring ~700 mah to return to 4.12v from 2.91v, which I consider dim uselessness.


I am considering putting my Panasonic cells in these, as the cells they come with are highly questionable. Likely rewrapped recycled laptap batteries. I had a reclaimed laptop battery phase. They were are jokes in comparison to the panasonic cells, but likely superior in capacity to the cells which came in these cheapo headlamps.


My one, many year old, Panasonic NCR18650b cell, recently, from a rested 3.69v, required 1400mah to return to 4.18v, according to my USB meter. This battery was once placed within a cheapo chinese headlamp with a dual 18650 holder that mounted on the back of the head. it came with its own charger, and that charger took this cell, and its twin, to 4.56v. This was 2014 or so. Tossed that charger.


As far as 'too bright', I do believe the 'turbo' modes, to be mostly useless as they are far too bright and heat so quickly, but I also view it like a sports car. Cant always use the power, but it is nice to have. When I get to drive a 3.8 second to 60 sports car, I feel obligated to find someplace where I can put my right foot to the floor in first, Lift, pop it into second slam right foot home, and feel the rear drift, and other places shift from first, to 5th sedately.

Almost all my regular DC powered light sources, have dimmers. I employ voltage buckers as opposed to PWM dimmers/ motor speed controllers, as the buckers do not cause whining, and will dim the LEDs far more before they shut off completely .

For workbench tasks, I found the High 550 lumen setting of my Olight H2R was often way more than needed, but the medium of 150 lumens often not quite enough. Its 1 lumen moonlight mode was not enough for comfortable reading in bed, but its 30 lumen low setting was far too much.

In this regard my Armytek C2promax warm at high @ 440 lumens should be great for workbench tasks, and had a 4.6 lumen moonlight mode which is perfect for nighttime reading in bed. The 3720 Lumen rating on Turbo 2 is ridiculous. I'll rarely ever use it, and have not yet used it for long enough for the temperature protections to kick in, but I am glad that amount of power is there, on tap, 3 clicks away.

Those cheapo lights linked above are nice, in that one can hold the button and dim them slowly, instead of a set moonlight, low, medium, high, turbo1 turbo 2 ect, even though these cheapo lights are ~ 140 lumens max.

Ideally, I'd love a high capacity IPX8 headlamp with high CRI and ~4000K color with the ability to choose flood or throw and any point in between, as well as any output level from 0.4 to 2000 lumens, and magnetic tailcap charging which I once thought of as unnecessary, is now highly desirable.

I love the 5000mah capacity of the Armytek 21700 cell, but the extra size and weight is noticeable when mounted to forehead for a while, and I prefer to use the Armytek in my Olight H2R headstrap, as it is more comfortable, although difficult to twist to aim up or down within the strap.

I am eager to see how the Sofirn hs40 performs, when it arrives, especially at a price at less than 1/3 of the Armytek c2 pro max. I think its 300 lumen medium setting should be great over the workbench, but high of 800 way too much, and turbo at 2000 lumens a nice novelty, like when I get to drive the Corvette, and find a place to safely mash the pedal and feel the raw power.
 
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I love the 5000mah capacity of the Armytek 21700 cell, but the extra size and weight is noticeable when mounted to forehead for a while,
Yeah, the weight is a big issue for me when it comes to headlamps. While I do own a few 18650 powered headlamps, I never use them because they feel too heavy/clunky on my head. My most frequently used headlamp is a little Olight H04 that runs on two AAA cells. The low mode is great for reading. The high mode is bright enough for work at an arm's distance.

The Sofirn HS40 looks similar to my Skilhunt H03. Let us know what you think of it once you get it.
 

john_pifer

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I am eager to see how the Sofirn hs40 performs, when it arrives, especially at a price at less than 1/3 of the Armytek c2 pro max. I think its 300 lumen medium setting should be great over the workbench, but high of 800 way too much, and turbo at 2000 lumens a nice novelty, like when I get to drive the Corvette, and find a place to safely mash the pedal and feel the raw power.
Not sure if I mentioned it here, but I also have a Sofirn HS40 on its way here (on the slow boat from China).

It’ll be my first good headlamp.
 
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What do you have? Lighting for photography and car work are my needs. Not throwing a signal beam two miles. :)
Brace yourself. It ain't cheap!

 
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Yeah, the weight is a big issue for me when it comes to headlamps. While I do own a few 18650 powered headlamps, I never use them because they feel too heavy/clunky on my head. My most frequently used headlamp is a little Olight H04 that runs on two AAA cells. The low mode is great for reading. The high mode is bright enough for work at an arm's distance.

The Sofirn HS40 looks similar to my Skilhunt H03. Let us know what you think of it once you get it.
I once thought the same way until I got the Fenix HM65R just over 2 yrs ago. The body is magnesium/alloy and even with an 18650 it's quite light and definitely not bulky for my use. Really pushing the boundary as I just recently received their HP30R V2.0... at first I hesitated as the stated weight is right around 1 lb. due to dual 21700 cells and yes it has some heft to it, but once in place it's barely noticeable. I find Fenix headbands to be the absolute most supportive/comfortable of any headlamps I've had. I didn't 'need' the new beast, but will come in handy doing early morning strolls to our community mailbox, maybe walking through the cemetery across the road, etc.
 

john_pifer

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I once thought the same way until I got the Fenix HM65R just over 2 yrs ago. The body is magnesium/alloy and even with an 18650 it's quite light and definitely not bulky for my use. Really pushing the boundary as I just recently received their HP30R V2.0... at first I hesitated as the stated weight is right around 1 lb. due to dual 21700 cells and yes it has some heft to it, but once in place it's barely noticeable. I find Fenix headbands to be the absolute most supportive/comfortable of any headlamps I've had. I didn't 'need' the new beast, but will come in handy doing early morning strolls to our community mailbox, maybe walking through the cemetery across the road, etc.
Now that’s one serious headlamp!
 
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Now that’s one serious headlamp!
It is no doubt and not practical for typical/daily use, but there when I need that serious amount of light/battery capacity. I buy lights like I do tools... quality and something that will function 100% when I depend on it. Go to some of the light forums and look at the tons of posts of some guys having dozens and dozens of lights they barely touch, more life shelf queens. Then some buy high output lights just to burn holes in things, lmao, take beam shots in fog, that sort of thing. To each their own of course, but yeah Fenix makes some high quality lights with functionality/longevity in mind.
 
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Not sure if I mentioned it here, but I also have a Sofirn HS40 on its way here (on the slow boat from China).

It’ll be my first good headlamp.
Do you think that light could illuminate a trail for mountain biking? I have lights for mountain biking, but I could always use more. The problem I have with mountain biking lights, is that they’re really only good for the bike - I’d like to buy something that I don’t have to use exclusively for a mountain bike, and have the light sitting around doing nothing 90% of the time. Seems like such a waste to me.
 
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Do you think that light could illuminate a trail for mountain biking? I have lights for mountain biking, but I could always use more. The problem I have with mountain biking lights, is that they’re really only good for the bike - I’d like to buy something that I don’t have to use exclusively for a mountain bike, and have the light sitting around doing nothing 90% of the time. Seems like such a waste to me.
They usually have brackets for a bike light that you can also use the flashlight outside of the bracket.

 
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For the bike light, you need balance of throw and spill or you could have overwhelming spill? May be having two different lights would be good for bike, one for spill and one for throw.
Agreed. Most headlamps have a fairly floody beam pattern - not ideal for biking where you want some throw as well. I find my Convoy S2+ with XPL HI emitter provides a nice balance of flood and throw. Works great for biking.
 
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They usually have brackets for a bike light that you can also use the flashlight outside of the bracket.

Nice, thank you. I was just curious if this particular light that I was asking about is capable of doubling as a trail light and regular flashlight. After doing some research it appears that it might.

And I’m also looking for something that can mount to the top of my bike helmet, easily. I already have a few handle bar mounts. I’m not sure if this head strap device can be used on/with a bike helmet. Or if I could modify this to fit.
 
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