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btl5008

looking for a new EDC light

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Found where I'd gotten that single AA light , and minimal specs ( it's 1 watt ) so should be apx. 120 Lm .

My favourite toy store. Princess Auto . I was in error on the price though, $4.99 not $3 . They've also got ( for $29.99 ) a 950 Lm CREE , that uses either 3 D cells or 3/6/9 AA in an insert. High / low / off on a side button and there is a battery life indicator ( green / red ) over the button. 

I put a plastic disk in it so it shan't get turned on bouncing around in the tool box. ( actually standard practice for me on any that I intend to store loaded but not right at hand ) . Think of it as a safety for flashlights.

 

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this is about my favorite EDC light, Not a Fancy expensive light but never the less has saved my tail a few times. 

Bushnell TRKR Multi-Color Flashlight, 250 Lumens: CREE LED technology • 3 Light Modes: White, Red, Blood Tracking • Momentary On switch with intelligence • Aircraft grade aluminum • Pocket Clip • Impact-resistant construction • Lifetime bulb • Powered by 2 AA batteries (Duracell batteries included) • Tested to ANSI FL1 Standards:  •High Setting • 250 Lumens • 1 hr 30 min Run Time • 112 M Beam Distance • 1 M Impact Resistance  •Red Mode:  • 13 Lumens • 5 hr 45 min Run Time • 13 M Beam Distance •Blue TRKR Mode:  • 6 Lumens • 5 hr Run Time • 7 M Beam Distance

 

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30 years ago I used to carry a home made red LED light ( ran for ever compared to the incandescents of the time, and just as bright. ) Great for not messing with night vision too, but trying to read a road map with the major highways drawn in red xD couldn't see a trace of them. Soon as I could order white LEDs I'd built a few flashlights. Not at all impressive by today's standards but a full 40 hour work week on a 4 AA headlamp that wouldn't last 6 hours with the original bulb showed what was coming.

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Recently picked up a Thrunite Archer 1A V2, very nice build quality. Emitter is very warm and it takes a while to get used to as most of my lights are either neutral or cold but the small form factor and dual switch system works out well for me.

I can't see myself returning to bigger lights frankly...

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They are good. Sometimes a large light has it's place though, run time at brightness. Comes down to that old "No free lunch" issue. 950 Lm for 12 hours isn't going to happen from 2 AAs .  That is the rating on a $30 light with 3 D cells. The small lights trade time for intensity, so either very feeble for 120 hours to blinding for 30 mins.

If you have access to a Princess Auto store. it is worth checking out the 1 watt single AA lights. At $5 I just bought some to give away to friends here. Compared the output to a Fenix E20 using 2 AAs ( $60 when I bought it 5 years ago ) and the $5 light is actually brighter. Also tried them out with NiMH which often doesn't work all that well with the drop from 1.5 v alkaline to 1.2 v from the NiMH, and didn't see any difference.  Drawing 800 ma will kill the battery in about 3 hours.

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The cheaper alternatives to all of these flashlights would be something like these:

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/UltraFire-E17-CREE-XM-L-T6-2000Lumens-cree-led-Torch-Zoomable-cree-LED-Flashlight-Torch-light/750867177.html?spm=2114.01020208.3.21.iajdzN&ws_ab_test=201556_5,201527_2_71_72_73_74_75,0_0


http://www.aliexpress.com/item/high-quality-Mini-Black-CREE-2000LM-Waterproof-LED-Flashlight-3-Modes-Zoomable-LED-Torch-penlight-free/32243736117.html?spm=2114.01020208.3.1.iajdzN&ws_ab_test=201556_5,201527_2_71_72_73_74_75,0_0


http://www.aliexpress.com/item/R1B1-LED-Waterproof-Torch-Flashlight-Light-Lamp-New-Hot-Mini-Handy/1191791128.html?spm=2114.01020208.3.52.iajdzN&ws_ab_test=201556_5,201527_2_71_72_73_74_75,0_0


I own every three of them, so:

-The first one and the strongest one is really powerful flashlight, where XML T6 diode is powered by 3 AAA or one 18650 battery. Really good flashlight, and for the price/quality, it's like Morakniv in knives world. Unfortunately, not waterproof, but will work in emergency situation, tested... It has gaskets which unfortunately leak (maybe it's just mine)
It doesn't have 2000 lumens as Chinese claim, but it is more than enough to illuminate everything
- It has "zoom" function

- Second one is less powerful, but powered by only one AA battery, has a nice pocket clip and looks good. Maybe a better EDC choice as it is smaller than first one. All functions and capabilities like first one, just smaller and weaker. Also has zoom function

- Third choice is least complicated, least powerful of all. Also powered by one AA battery, which in my case is more expensive than the flashlight itself is inserted inside months ago, and still working like new. It is not powerful at all, but it can last more than 15 hours of constant illumination. Doesn't have zoom options, doesn't have flashing modes, only one, and it just flashes. Claimed to be waterproof, but I haven't tested this one.

Picked up 10 of the third to play with. For the price they are fine, but they lie in a major way on their specs. No rubber gaskets so forget water proof. Claim 3 watts but measured with fresh alkali batteries ( 1.59 volts ) the brightest was drawing 160 ma so just over 1/4 watt. Work on NiMH at slightly reduced output ( 100 ma measured so 0.12 watts ). Do like the recessed rear button, switch works well and the light is fine for finding things in the dark, so over all still a good deal. Power trade off on a 1.2 volt 2600 maH NiMH that's 26 hours, so can expect a day of run time on a fresh charge. Quality control ... nope. LED intensity and colour is all over the place between samples. But when the light costs a fraction of the rechargeable battery hardly a surprise ;) so cheap I can see tossing one pre-loaded with alkali batteries into pretty much every bag, tool box etc. I have, as opposed to keeping a couple of batteries in a plastic pill bottle and an empty light.

Compared to those Princess Auto $5 lights .. two I have on hand draw .8 watts and .95 watts with the same fresh batteries, so close to the claimed 1 watt. They don't claim waterproof but do have a rubber seal. Using NiMH they draw around .75 watts.  At the draw rate expect 3 hours to a flat NiMH battery. These may actually come from the same factory in China, lots of similarity on the case designs but a bit better work on the latter.

So my take on these, great shrugger lights but I'll keep the Princess Auto generic in my pocket.

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Decided to try a little experiment. I've been wanting to work with some 14500 LiIon cells on a couple of projects so ordered a batch in. ( 1$ each ) I'll see if I can melt one of those lights :ph34r: . Side note, it looks like those P.A. lights are no longer available.

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Decided to try a little experiment. I've been wanting to work with some 14500 LiIon cells on a couple of projects so ordered a batch in. ( 1$ each ) I'll see if I can melt one of those lights :ph34r: . Side note, it looks like those P.A. lights are no longer available.

Oooo. I'd like to see some pictures of what you're doing if at all possible. Sounds cool! :)

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Oooo. I'd like to see some pictures of what you're doing if at all possible. Sounds cool! :)

May be awhile yet, 56 days shipping + 7 processing for the batteries. Ordered yesterday ground transport from China. Should have them this year. 3 possible results. 1) They actually were made to use 14500 cells and are 3 watt lights. 2) The smoke will leak out. 3) The smoke will leak out with sound effects. 

I'll be using a VOM to measure current in place of the tail switch on the first try and that should avoid option 3

I've been asked to design a LiIon battery charger so I'll even be getting paid for some of this B|

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May be awhile yet, 56 days shipping + 7 processing for the batteries. Ordered yesterday ground transport from China. Should have them this year. 3 possible results. 1) They actually were made to use 14500 cells and are 3 watt lights. 2) The smoke will leak out. 3) The smoke will leak out with sound effects. 

I'll be using a VOM to measure current in place of the tail switch on the first try and that should avoid option 3

I've been asked to design a LiIon battery charger so I'll even be getting paid for some of this B|

Paid to tinker in ways you would've already tinkered. Nice :D

I'm surprised they give you an actual estimate on shipping days instead of saying 2-3 months roughly. At least you know when to look out for them in the mail!

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http://www.aliexpress.com/item/high-quality-Mini-Black-CREE-2000LM-Waterproof-LED-Flashlight-3-Modes-Zoomable-LED-Torch-penlight-free/32243736117.html?spm=2114.01020208.3.1.iajdzN&ws_ab_test=201556_5,201527_2_71_72_73_74_75,0_0


- Second one is less powerful, but powered by only one AA battery, has a nice pocket clip and looks good. Maybe a better EDC choice as it is smaller than first one. All functions and capabilities like first one, just smaller and weaker. Also has zoom function

 

Try Putting a CGR17500 Li-Ion rechargeable in it B| at least twice as bright ( which also means regulated and designed to work with these, or it would be much brighter for a little while ). Tight focused the small square is visually about as bright as direct sunlight at one meter with an Li-Ion installed. Very intense work light at 10 cm.

Can pull 4 of those Li-Ion batteries out of one RS62 or RS57 video camera pack ( if the local "The Source" store hasn't tossed them yet, maybe a free item. Discontinued stock )

Otherwise the 14500 Li-Ion are a AA size, so a little looser fit but should work well too ( the 17500 are harder to find ) and selling for < 1$ US. Those lights are on for $3.91 US till Monday. Considering the massive shelf life on a charged Li-Ion these look like a great choice.

Only thing I'm temped to do is put it in the milling machine, make a new flat on the centre ring, and drill and tap to reverse the clip. Would be a nice hands free clipped onto the cap that way. :)

Side note on charging Li-Ion ********

Three charge modes. slow trickle is a "conditioning" charge, should have a time out, if the battery fails to reach 3.7 volts.

Current limited for fast charge, max rate is 70% of rated storage per hour, time that out at 2 hours.

Final charge is voltage regulated ( 4.2 volts for a 3.7 volt cell ) also should have a time out if the charge current stays too high, indicating an electrically leaky cell.

Cell temperature should be monitored and a shut down in place for overheat , also a good idea to disable the charger below 5 C .

If you design a current and voltage limit regulator and use a small source ( solar panel ) this should be an easy design project.

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Mini-7W-1200LM-CREE-LED-Q5-14500-battery-Flashlight-Torch-Adjustable-Focus-Zoom-Light-Lamp/32378239493.html

This looks pretty much the same for $2.99 US .

Edited by Gary_Gough
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Cool, that's a nice information :) I also thought about putting Li-ion in this flashlight, it should be designed to handle the voltage. And speaking of Li-ion, i tried connecting a 18650 cell to the smallest flashlight of three I mentioned, and it worked for a few seconds much brighter, but then, the diode was fried in no time..

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Cool, that's a nice information :) I also thought about putting Li-ion in this flashlight, it should be designed to handle the voltage. And speaking of Li-ion, i tried connecting a 18650 cell to the smallest flashlight of three I mentioned, and it worked for a few seconds much brighter, but then, the diode was fried in no time..

You beat me to that ( still waiting for some 14500 that are in the mail, ground shipping from China ) I think we can safely say the 3W on the outside of the case is missing it's leading decimal point. Still , a fine shrugger light. If I had to lower a running light into raw sewage to find a sludge level optically, they'd be my first choice ( and yes that could well happen at some of the places I work ).

 

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I also thought about putting Li-ion in this flashlight, it should be designed to handle the voltage.

I had one go intermittent ( at the price I'm not shocked at all, don't expect a 72 hour burn in as part of the manufacturing process ) Probably a cold solder joint as it works until shut off, and then again after it's sat for awhile. This prompted me to see how it's made. They are actually serviceable B| and are using a pulse modulated voltage boost / regulator circuit. Very nice.  

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LOL - I carry a bit of a "hillbilly" flashlight solution. 

My "real" lights (in various kits/pouches etc) are "Walmart-special" aluminum 3-AAA LED flashlights-   Don't  remember the brand-name, "OutdoorTrail", or something like that, but marked "OT-150L" -  150 lumen - good enough for a $10 light.  Using these for 5 years or so and never failed yet.  I keep a couple inches of red "taillight repair tape" stuck to  them, in case I need to hide or preserve night vision. Not at all "tactical" or rechargeable, but cheap, reliable and dang sturdy.

The lights that get the most use are "EverReady" 1-LED/2 AA battery 'penlights' - clipped to inside pocket of EDC vest, near my desk, in bedside holster, etc. At 5 bucks a pop, you can stick one or two anywhere you might want a light RIGHT NOW.

I try to call it "frugal", not "cheapskate" :)

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On 2015-11-12 at 5:06 PM, AlexSRB said:

Cool, that's a nice information :) I also thought about putting Li-ion in this flashlight, it should be designed to handle the voltage. And speaking of Li-ion, i tried connecting a 18650 cell to the smallest flashlight of three I mentioned, and it worked for a few seconds much brighter, but then, the diode was fried in no time..

Revisiting.. I got a set of 10440 Li-ion to try in the Thrunight Ti. Don't even try to look into the working end :D you can set the light pointing up on a table and light a room. Also got some of those 7 watt 1200 Lm $3 lights to try. Work well with 17500 and 14500 cells. I did find the original similar units shut down with Li-Ion batteries, not damaged though and the lights are back to normal with a AA 1.5 volt.

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Revisiting here. I bought 10 of these. http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Mini-7W-1200LM-CREE-LED-Q5-14500-battery-Flashlight-Torch-Adjustable-Focus-Zoom-Light-Lamp/32378239493.html

and enough 14500 Li-Ion cells to load them all a few times. Results so far, they are rock solid dependable, and quite bright. At about $4 with battery I've put them everywhere, Laptop computer bags, lunch bag, winter coat pockets, bed side, jacket pocket.... and they will run ok on AA batteries 1.5 and 1.2 volt, if needed. Check for 14500 in the listing if you buy some as the identical looking ones (Pocketman) will shut down after they have been run at 3.7 volts. Doesn't seem to actually hurt them and they run fine on 1.5 volts again, but you would like them to light when you push the switch. Seems to be a design bug in the electronics.

With Li-ion it's a good idea not to run them too flat, so frequent swaps and charges don't hurt ( if they are below 3.6 volts they are almost discharged, which is still full intensity. ) that said I've also recharged a few Li-Ion cells that were below one volt when tested, and got a useable amount of power back into them, almost 1/2 of rating. They have a very low self discharge rate so hold up well even if you ignore them for a year.

 

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I posted my preferences earlier in this thread. Those preferences haven't changed. I have added to that an older flashlight that I lost 4 years ago and recently found again, a Fenix E15 ( 2011 version ).
The lights you listed @btl5008 are particularly nice. And while I can't speak about the Thrunite, I know that the Fenix LD01 and the LD12 strike an excellent balance between beam distance, peak beam intensity, run time, and peak output. I really like the Fenix line of flashlights.
But I wanted to mention something else in this thread that came to me while I was walking the dogs. Every night I take the dogs out for their final outing of the day. Of course its dark outside. But what do I grab? Neither my E05, or E12. I grab either my Black Diamond Storm, or my Black Diamond Cosmos Headlamp. In fact I always have a headlamp in my EDC bag. Of course I don't carry it on my person if my bag is in my car, but headlamps are an option that I really haven't seen come up on these threads. However, I the love hands free aspect of headlamps. They are invaluable when you are doing things at night and may need both hands at times, That's why I use one while walking the dogs at night. They especially come in handy should you break down in your vehicle at night and need both hands to make repairs....... or find yourself walking wooded trail at night and need both hands to clear obstacles.... or......? Just a thought......
I also carry with me my Fenix PD32UE when I walk the dogs. I don't actively use it when I'm out. However, every once in a while something gets into Fred the Head Garbage dog and he will occasionally take off and I need a flashlight with more beam distance, intensity, peak output, and run time.
I guess what I'm saying is that if I know for sure that I am going to be in the dark, my headlamps and PD32UE become my preferred EDC lights. My E05 and E12 kind of become of little use to me. Those 2 lights are meant for 'in case' I find myself in darkness, not knowing for sure if I'll end up there.
So, while accessing your lighting needs, always consider what you know you're going to get into.
 

Edited by PappyHiker
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I sort of look at the EDC being what I have when something happens that I didn't expect. As such it's function is often to get me to the tool that suits the job, or fill in. Power failure, the Thrunite will let me go to the coat hooks, coat has a headlamp ( coby ) hanging under the toque, so while I'm not carrying it, the head lamp is still what I'll be using while firing up the gen set.  Or the Dollar store Voltax beside the bed does the same. So what I really want in an EDC is that it works every time. Adjustable is a bonus but on is what counts.

Carbon zinc batteries and alkaline both have a tendency to leak in storage. I've had to hammer then out of a Fenix that still worked with them swollen to silly, and eating the aluminum case. 

Now that I'm finding sources of free Li-Ion cells I'm definitely getting to try them, and must say they seem like a great choice. My early experiences were with some CR123 that failed if you dropped them. Turned out that was a design fault in one style and brand.  Dissected one of those dead Li-Ion and found a mechanical fault, and a fully charged cell.

I really like the low self discharge rate, I have a 15 year old "C" cell that has been sitting on a shelf since new, and it's still got a full charge ( spare for an instrument that's not being used ). Also the chemistry is such that, while a leak would be toxic it's not corrosive ( volatile organics as opposed to caustic ).

Speaking of trying out... The Dollar Store lights use 3 AAA cells, quite prone to fail. I was looking at some orphan Li-Ions (18 mm diameter, 500 mm long ) and figured why not. 3.7 volts in a 4.5 volt light, so can't hurt. Well it turned out to be brighter ( lower internal resistance ) so now a rechargeable light with a spare holder and three AAA in a sealed plastic pill bottle.

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