Flashlights advice

ive been happy with the sofirn lights off amazon. I have the BLF Q8 which is way over powered but has a nice ramping power switch and will drop down to a moon light setting, its about the size of a soda can. I love the C8F which is smaller and still has awesome output. budgetlightforums has alot of good writeups on those lights. I only use samsung or LG cells and charge off a smart charger. They have some new offerings with neutral light rather than the white light which might not have as high of output but more usable yellow light.

Ive used my nitecore TIP the most , its always on my keychain and is more than enough for most camp activities.

I also have a ton of smittybilt tr-9 lights in different spots around the house and in vehicles. They survive the kids beating on them, they are waterproof and have a trick rotating switch. Deepest i had one was 92' on a deep dive and still working 2 years later. Just make sure to lube the rotating switch as there is a small spring and detent ball under the ring. A few i have disassembled and packed full of grease which helps a ton.
 

RAFoutdoors

Retired Explorer
I too use Streamlight rechargeable and non rechargeable flashlights. I have used them for 35+ years of L.E.
I think they are a good value and they have a limited lifetime warranty. I remember laughing at a coworker for spending $320 for a Streamlight flashlight back in the early 80s but he laughed when that flashlight became the industry standard (which brought the price down). Great customer service. I have a Stinger charger and a Strion charger mounted in my Tahoe and multiple flashlights for each. I have Streamlight headlamps, Siege lanterns, and smaller LED lights using disposable lithium batteries . I also use their weapon mounted lights.
There are cheaper flashlights flooding the market but I like the quality, value and reliability of Streamlight products.
 

TripLeader

Explorer
I heard about Olights a few days ago. Maybe it was here, either that or another forum.

They seem ok. I'm intrigued.

Link:
 

jadmt

Well-known member
I too use Streamlight rechargeable and non rechargeable flashlights. I have used them for 35+ years of L.E.
I think they are a good value and they have a limited lifetime warranty. I remember laughing at a coworker for spending $320 for a Streamlight flashlight back in the early 80s but he laughed when that flashlight became the industry standard (which brought the price down). Great customer service. I have a Stinger charger and a Strion charger mounted in my Tahoe and multiple flashlights for each. I have Streamlight headlamps, Siege lanterns, and smaller LED lights using disposable lithium batteries . I also use their weapon mounted lights.
There are cheaper flashlights flooding the market but I like the quality, value and reliability of Streamlight products.
I remember when finally going from the big mag light to the stinger streamlight to the streamlight strion. My maglight is at least 30 years old and I still keep in on a charger in the garage I have the kit to make it LED and some day I will lol. I think the Strion is my fav of all time, weighs nothing and it holds a charge for ever, unlike the maglight and stinger.. Also love the TLR-1. I wish I would have thought about the lifetime warranty on the stinger.
 

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BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
I don't get to buy everything top of the line, but I've always been a Surefire snob.
Totally rocking my original 1P still! Surefire was the orginal and still rocking the compact tactical flashlight world......melt your eyeballs.
 

MiamiC70

Active member
I love my Streamlight CR123 flashlights. However, I picked up a few Anker brand rechargeables on Amazon for stupid low prices and of the 3 I have all have performed spectacularly.
 

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DirtWhiskey

Western Dirt Rat
I've got dozens. And yes I've burnt a shameful amount of hours on CPF. My favorite light so far is the Skilhunt H03 RC. I use it in the wilds exclusively and have put all the others on shop, work, car and drawer duty.


I like angle head lights because they do so well in hand or on head. I also exclusively use 18650 cells in the field. Lighting, charging etc. The most robust rechargeable format IMHO. I have cells that are 10 year old and still performing well. you can use it with stacked CR123s in a pinch. Remember that batteries die, that's just what they do. If you have a non replaceable "rechargeable" battery, you throw the whole thing in the garbage when (not if) the battery is toast. So rechargeable but removable/replaceable is key. This one I mostly bought because of its programmable nature (lots of modes), lack of PWM noise, massive throw when needed and warm natural tone. You never think you need more modes until you need more modes. Legit 1200 lumin blast mode with good heat dispersion. I can stretch out use in the field for upwards of 10 days. Nifty magnetic charging port on the end and removable tail magnet for mounting on metal. I usually Chuck the crappy headbands and use a $5 Nite Ize band. Weight 1.5 oz (!!)

I dropped on in a cold lake at 12k feet with the light on in the day (don't ask) and swam out and got it at night when I could see it. Now if they would only add power bank output functionality I would finally stop shopping for lights...
 

chet6.7

Explorer
I use a Klarus brand because I like the switches.I walk at night,I can access the strobe feature with one button to alert drivers as they approach.I have a Streamlight that has a strobe feature but I have to click the switch several times at the right pressure to get the strobe.
 

BigSwede

The Credible Hulk
I don't like flashlights that require exotic batteries, chargers, or charging cords. All of mine are AA or AAA powered, so I can easily swap batteries when needed. Some of them are pretty damn bright too, plenty bright for my needs anyway.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I don't like flashlights that require exotic batteries, chargers, or charging cords. All of mine are AA or AAA powered, so I can easily swap batteries when needed. Some of them are pretty damn bright too, plenty bright for my needs anyway.
Legitimate point. That's mainly why I stick with my old Gen 3 SPOT because it take 4 x AAA Energizer Lithiums so no need to carry or find anything special except 4 spares.

But anymore CR123 are just about as ubiquitous as AA & AAA in that most grocery stores and Walmarts have them. The 18650 rechargeable batteries use USB typically, so also pretty common.

My problem is that I dislike fixed or proprietary batteries. I'd consider an InReach if it was possible to just carry a spare common type battery, for example.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
I don't like flashlights that require exotic batteries, chargers, or charging cords. All of mine are AA or AAA powered, so I can easily swap batteries when needed. Some of them are pretty damn bright too, plenty bright for my needs anyway.
I used to think this way. But when your out in the bush/backcountry, your not likely to find someone selling batteries. 18650 or similar cells have a ridiculously high power density, and they can be charged from a vehicle, portable power pack, etc. Or just bring a spare pair.

My 25$ amazon headlamp with 18650s lasts well over 20 hours on high power. I expect to get a few hundred charge cycles minimum from the cells. If I drop it in a lake, it gets stolen, or stepped on, no big loss.
 

ducktapeguy

Adventurer
I stopped using flashlights once I started buying headlamps. Headlamps are much more versatile and useful if you use lights a lot.

On the high end, probably out of your $50 price range, is Surefire. Yeah they're good, but IMO way overpriced for what you get. If your'e willing to stretch the budget, there are many decent brands in the $50-$100 range. Olight, Zebra, Spark, Fenix all make decent lights. Options like Streamlight, Pelican, Black diamond, Petzl, etc, are a bit cheaper and are ok, but targeted more for mass market consumers. They're fine, but there are better options from the other companies I mentioned if you're willing to spend a little bit more.

I've used lights from each make, and they all have the advantages and disadvantages. Unless you're a flashlight geek, you probably won't notice much difference. Some have better user interfaces, some are slightly more comfortable, but in the end they all do the same thing. Really depends on how you use the light. Multiple brightness level is useful because you can have everything in one light, a power thrower and low output long lasting night light. Some will have added features light battery level indicators, strobe functions, etc, but really don't add much functionality.

For batteries, there are a lot of choices, but if you use the lights daily, recharageable Li 18650's are hard to beat. They are a little heavier than a AAA, or even a AA powered light, but the amount of power you get out of them is no comparison. You'd have to carry multiple changes AAA or AA batteries to equal the amount of energy in a single 18650. Plus you'll never be able to match the current draw required for some of the really high power (1000+ lumen lights). I switched standards to rechargeable 18650 a long time ago and never regretted the choice. Unless you plan on living out in the bush in Africa with no way of recharging, battery accessibility has never been an issue.
 
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