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[OP]
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Jan 8, 2007
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LF: flashlights

Good day folks,

Looking for advice from the torch heads out there. Trying to find flashlights for home use, camping, and potentially in an industrial work environment. Would like it rugged, usable when wet, zoomable, and option to use a standard AA/AAA battery and/or those rechargeable 18650 batteries. I really prefer to have just on/off, no need for modes. They are an annoyance.

Any recommendations?
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Mar 6, 2003
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The criteria are too wide ranging.

You're not going to find a light that takes AAA and 18650. Zoomable lights are rare so that eliminates most lights. For camping you probably want something that has a moonlight AND low modes to not kill your night vision. If you are in a tent, the last thing you want is to turn on a 500 lumen light after waking up in the middle of the night.

Budget? Good lights cost more.
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and getting the stuff I want without paying full price like Joe Shmoe did.
This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.
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Mar 28, 2005
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warpdrive wrote: The criteria are too wide ranging.

You're not going to find a light that takes AAA and 18650.
Sorry to say, but you are wrong.

I bought a two-pack of these last year.
They take either three AAA or one 18650 battery and is zoomable as well.
Solid metal construction, but it does have three modes - on, flashing and SOS morse code which might come in handy in an emergency.
The light is quite bright, there is no dimming function so at night just turn it on under a blanket.
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01MYY ... UTF8&psc=1

PS: The problem I found was finding a decent 18650 battery that comes even close to its amp-hour rating - so far I have just been using triple A's.

PPS: Just read through some of the amazon reviews,
Yes, probably not 1500 lumens but brighter than any other LED flashlight at double or triple that price.
Didn't realize it until I read the review that the mode cycling includes three brightness settings, but it does.
Dropped the flashlights a few times since I bought them, no damage.
My flashlights are about 6 months old, work as well as new.
I'm wondering if the negative reviews on amazon have some ulterior motive - having to cycle through the modes can at times be annoying, but it's clearly spelled out that you have to do that so it's not really a 'negative' - if you don't want that, then buy a different flashlight.
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krs wrote: Sorry to say, but you are wrong.

I bought a two-pack of these last year.
ok. So I am wrong that such a light doesn't exist. I wouldn't buy that light though. It doesn't look high quality and not having mode memory would drive me nuts. I doubt it puts out 1600 lumens either.

For the OP, I suggest you drop the requirement of AAA, or zoomable, and there are lots of well made lights that can do the job...most of the good lights that I've used are optimized for rechargeable cells, and have good beam patterns that are not adjustable. You also want a flashlight with good color rendering index that doesnt wash out colours (too blue or too yellow of a light beam)

Zoomable lights are a gimmick to me, you need to get a light that has a beam pattern with good hotspot with enough spill suitable for close and medium range use. You definitely want a light with ultra low, low and high modes for bedside use or camping use. It should have mode memory, Most good lights are water resistant, and if it's built well, you can drop it and it won't break. If you opt for a 18650, get a light that can be charged without taking the battery out. Also, for camping I would actually suggest a headlight as well. For industrial use, you probably don't want to go with a light which is too small....heft and battery life is more important.

So far I like lights from Zebralight and Olight for my use. Also check out https://www.armytek.com/ which is a Canadian

I would buy a headlamp for camping, a small handheld light for general use and maybe a larger long range light for industrial use.
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and getting the stuff I want without paying full price like Joe Shmoe did.
This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.
[OP]
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Fantastic feedback. You are the exactly the sort of user I was hoping would respond. I know there's a community of folks like you out there, but I'm not quite ready to plunge into it. I don't have a big budget nor is this my passion; but I prefer to buy things once and things that work (if budget permits it).

I guess ultimately I'm after two solutions. One personal, for the outdoors stuff - camping, hanging out by the bonfire on weekends during the summer...

The other, something for my work. I'm in an industrial manufacturing environment and could use something to help in those hard to reach places. Small palm of your hand 2xAA style, maybe with a magnetic base, that'd be great.

The issue is the market is flooded (no pun intended) with garbage products and I don't even know where to start sifting thru it all.

I agree re:beam pattern but if I'm getting myself into $100 territory I'm not interested. Seeing prices like $20 or max $40 for a set of torches is what I would consider my budget.

Really like the sound of a torch that can be recharged without removing battery! I have kids, so no doubt it'll get dropped.

FYI, I did buy a Fenix L2D wayyyyyy back in the day. That was my splurge and it's still a solid light 15 years later. I do have an appreciation for this.

Cheers for the good conversation.
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You'll have to hang out at BudgetLightForum if you want to get a set of lights for $40. Lots of good discussion around affordable lights.

The cheapest of my lights cost $50 (everyday carry light, 4sevens mini mk ii), and the one I use a lot is my Fenix UC35 which is 100$ so I'm not going to be much help here. I really like my UC35 as a general use light so I can recommend it if you can splurge (look for this kind of light which can charge with a charging base or direct USB charging)

I also have other various lights, but the two I use the most are those.
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and getting the stuff I want without paying full price like Joe Shmoe did.
This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.
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Mar 28, 2005
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djeffery wrote: I bought one of the Tac lights you see the fake army guy sell on TV for my son for scouts and cadets camping trips. Liked it, so I ordered this 3 piece set for the house from Amazon. Bright, zoomable, small, cheap. Uses AAA batteries.

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01N6G ... UTF8&psc=1
This "wowlite" is the same one I bought (post #3), except I bought the two flashlight package instead of the three light package because it was cheaper on a per light basis.

The quality of the construction is excellent, much better than wehat I expected for the price.
And from what I just read, the newer version will always start at the high setting and one can then cycle through the 5 modes wheras the older version would go to the next mode every time it's turned on.

Compared to what warpdrive is suggesting, we are really talking apples and oranges - a $7.- light vs a $60.- light.
And as to 'rechargable' - I had rechargable flashlights in the past; they usually weren't charged and ready to go when you needed them - andf even when they were, once the battery was exhauset one needed AC to recharge them.
I much prefer a flashlight where one just pops in a new battery when needed.

In the end, it all depends what one is looking for.
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krs wrote: And as to 'rechargable' - I had rechargable flashlights in the past; they usually weren't charged and ready to go when you needed them - andf even when they were, once the battery was exhauset one needed AC to recharge them.
For lights that I want to store in a drawer for years, I don't use rechargeable cells. A lot of cheap lights have parasitic drains (they slowly drain the battery by keeping the circuit active even when they are off). The best batteries to use for flashlights are lithium disposables. They have a shelf life of 20 years....

You can buy Lithium AA/AAA batteries (Energizer Ultimate) or CR123. That way you will always have a light when you need it.

the other HUGE problem is that regular alkaline cells self destruct if stored. I've had many lights destroyed by alkaline cells leaking (Duracells, Kirkland, and Energizer Alkalines...it doesn't matter the brand, leaking is an inherent reality of alkaline cells).

A lot of 18650 lights can use either AA or CR123 batteries as secondary cells in a pinch.
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and getting the stuff I want without paying full price like Joe Shmoe did.
This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.
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I bought 4 sets of these water resistant Ultrafire flashlights that do seem to fit all the OP's criteria and have been using them for over a year now. They come with CREE XM-L2 (6 grid lines on chip) led chips that give 1K lumens of light output, uses 26650 included, can use 18650 with the nylon sleeve, and 3 AAA with included adaptor, 5 modes, zoomable, bike mount and charger. I have two installed on my kid's bikes with blinking function so people can see him day or night and I have one installed on a baby stroller. The fourth I kept for myself around the house. Price was around 20 a kit that comes in its own plastic box.
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[OP]
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Jan 8, 2007
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vkizzle wrote: $15.97, plus an additional $2.00 off coupon.
Don't over think it.

CREE XML T6 LED Taclight As Seen On Tv with Adjustable Focus and 5 Light Modes for Camping Hiking Emergency (2 Pack)
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/B01J8B219 ... UTF8&psc=1
What's the difference between the one you posted and this one

Light Tactical Flashlight, 1600 Lm Ultra Bright - Cree Xml T6 Led Taclight As Seen on TV with 5 Light Modes https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01MYYZICX/ref ... ZCbZW5AAKK
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Slawek wrote: What's the difference between the one you posted and this one

Light Tactical Flashlight, 1600 Lm Ultra Bright - Cree Xml T6 Led Taclight As Seen on TV with 5 Light Modes https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01MYYZICX/ref ... ZCbZW5AAKK
Honestly, they're all copies of each other.
Drop the "tactical" expectation and it's a perfect flash light for emergency ligting etc...
[OP]
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Jan 8, 2007
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vkizzle wrote: Honestly, they're all copies of each other.
Drop the "tactical" expectation and it's a perfect flash light for emergency ligting etc...
Cheers, ordered

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