Budget thrower advice

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tenohfive
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Budget thrower advice

I’m a little out of the loop so was hoping for some advice.

I’m on the hunt for a budget thrower. It doesn’t need to be especially functional, I’m perfectly happy with a pencil thin beam if need be. It’ll be mainly used for spotting wildlife over long distances in the brown countryside of a UK winter.
I’m aiming to spend £50 ($65) and whilst I could be tempted a touch higher, I can’t stretch the budget far.

What are my options? And will that budget give me a noticeable step up from my next throwiest lights (C8 & L6)?

Edited by: tenohfive on 10/15/2020 - 05:55
g_damian
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The most budget friendly option would be to swap LED in one of your light to W1, e.g.: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001238336707.html

tenohfive
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g_damian wrote:
The most budget friendly option would be to swap LED in one of your light to W1, e.g.: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001238336707.html

I’ve never felt comfortable putting in new emitters. Basic body mods I’m okay with, but for something where seating the emitter correctly etc makes a difference to performance – I’d rather pay a little more for someone else to do it.

TMaxxJJ
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manithree
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I’ve been informed by purists that lights like the L6 (I own an old Thorfire S70) are not technically throwers. But with a reflector that size, you get some distance. A real thrower with a pencil beam is what you want for longer distance. The focused beam throws farther, and less spill doesn’t blind you with up-close light.

I don’t own a Convoy L21A with the throwy luminus osram emitter, but I bet you would see a lot farther with that.

Another probably technically not a thrower, but I like my Astrolux FT03. That’s a lot more throw than most standard C8s, but probably not as much as the L21A.

Both of those fit in your budget.

tenohfive
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TMaxxJJ wrote:
Could you stretch to $90?

https://intl-outdoor.com/k1-21700-thrower-led-flashlight.html

It would be pushing it, but if it’s useable with 18650’s (I don’t own any 21700’s, and would have to budget extra for a couple) then maybe.
What would the extra budget be paying for over the next best option?

manithree wrote:
I’ve been informed by purists that lights like the L6 (I own an old Thorfire S70) are not technically throwers. But with a reflector that size, you get some distance. A real thrower with a pencil beam is what you want for longer distance. The focused beam throws farther, and less spill doesn’t blind you with up-close light.

I don’t own a Convoy L21A with the throwy luminus emitter, but I bet you would see a lot farther with that.

Another probably technically not a thrower, but I like my Astrolux FT03. That’s a lot more throw than most standard C8s, but probably not as much as the L21A.

Both of those fit in your budget.

It doesn’t take much to sell me on a Convoy, I’ll look into the L21A and see what the reviews say.
The FT03 hadn’t hit my radar (although the MF02 had) but I really am looking for a dedicated thrower, rather than something that’ll bludgeon it’s way out to 3/4 of a thrower.

TMaxxJJ
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I suppose the real question is how far do you actually need to see?

With regards to batteries for the K1, yes you can use 18650’s with an adaptor, which are cheap as chips. But if you were planning on getting more anyway, you may as well get 1 of 2 21700’s and enjoy the longer runtimes. The Osram emitters don’t pull much current so you could run it off a Samsung 50E for long runtimes (5000mAh vs 3000mAh of a 30Q for instance)

jp9mm
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tenohfive wrote:
TMaxxJJ wrote:
Could you stretch to $90?

https://intl-outdoor.com/k1-21700-thrower-led-flashlight.html

It would be pushing it, but if it’s useable with 18650’s (I don’t own any 21700’s, and would have to budget extra for a couple) then maybe.
What would the extra budget be paying for over the next best option?

manithree wrote:
I’ve been informed by purists that lights like the L6 (I own an old Thorfire S70) are not technically throwers. But with a reflector that size, you get some distance. A real thrower with a pencil beam is what you want for longer distance. The focused beam throws farther, and less spill doesn’t blind you with up-close light.

I don’t own a Convoy L21A with the throwy luminus emitter, but I bet you would see a lot farther with that.

Another probably technically not a thrower, but I like my Astrolux FT03. That’s a lot more throw than most standard C8s, but probably not as much as the L21A.

Both of those fit in your budget.

It doesn’t take much to sell me on a Convoy, I’ll look into the L21A and see what the reviews say.
The FT03 hadn’t hit my radar (although the MF02 had) but I really am looking for a dedicated thrower, rather than something that’ll bludgeon it’s way out to 3/4 of a thrower.

Not sure what a purist thrower is? (maybe need binoculars to use? lol)
The FT03 w sst40 is pretty good. I don’t think anything can beat it that costs 60$ and its only 30$

manithree
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jp9mm wrote:
Not sure what a purist thrower is? (maybe need binoculars to use? lol) The FT03 w sst40 is pretty good. I don’t think anything can beat it that costs 60$ and its only 30$

Actually, binoculars would be a great addition to a really focused thrower. They gather light at distance, but block out spill.

The sst-40 isn’t de-domed, so there are probably purists who would claim the FT03 is sub-optimal. But it’s probably a lot easier to focus than an xhp 70.

Unheard
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This is nice:

(FT03 w/ SST-40)

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

Monkeyboab
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I just got a Convoy c8 with a flat white, really impressed with its throw and it was under $20.

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Depending on size/weight and how “compact” you want, I’d push for the P30, GTmini, C8T, L2.

The L6 belts out brute-force light like a shotgun, but the L2 is more like a rifle.

Don’t want spill to wash out the foreground and ruin what you can see downrange, go for a zoomie. Cometa/Z1, down to a the 10buk Wowtec that’s on Amazon now.

Want red and green and white in a zoomie, try the Artemis.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

tenohfive
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TMaxxJJ wrote:
I suppose the real question is how far do you actually need to see?

With regards to batteries for the K1, yes you can use 18650’s with an adaptor, which are cheap as chips. But if you were planning on getting more anyway, you may as well get 1 of 2 21700’s and enjoy the longer runtimes. The Osram emitters don’t pull much current so you could run it off a Samsung 50E for long runtimes (5000mAh vs 3000mAh of a 30Q for instance)

‘Need’ doesn’t really come into it. I want to see as far as I can for the budget. 600m plus would be nice. Silly thing, but I just really like throwy lights.

L21A and FT03 are both looking pretty tempting, seems like Convoy build quality vs. charging convenience.
But I’ve not ruled out the K1 either. Am I right in thinking it’s another 50Kcd over the FT03 or L21A, and if so – how does that translate in real terms? I’m guessing at that distance we’re not talking too much more, for double the budget (and in real terms, the K1 is over-budget for me. Although I could stretch if I’ll see a noticeable difference.)

TMaxxJJ
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Bare numbers, the K1 with a white flat 1mm out throws both by a lot!

FT03 with SST40 – 200,000cd | 900m throw | usable 300m
Convoy L21 XHP35 HI – 227,500 | 954m throw | usable 318m
Noctigon K1 Osram 1mm – 650,000 | 1612m throw | usable 537m

I always divide the rated throw numbers by three to get a usable range that you can actually see

BurningPlayd0h
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This C8 w/ Osram WF2 has all the throw I will ever conceivably need. 750m+ FL1, possibly higher. The same or very similar emitters are now available in the M21A (C8 w/21700 tube), M21/26C (larger than a C8, smaller than L2) and L21A (L2 w/21700 battery tube) depending on how large a light you’re comfortable carrying and what battery format you want. 21700>26650 IMHO since the capacity is about the same and none of these require anywhere north of 10A drain.

I would really prefer a warmer color temp in a thrower (or… any light really) but honestly even around warmer lights at night it’s not too bad and the throw performance is just so much better than basically anything else out there right now.

SST-20 3/4000K is actually really great for a warm + high CRI thrower too, but you sacrifice a lot of output. While the K1 has the XHP35 HI available that is another (pricier) option as well. I like the C8+ because it is so compact compared to the K1, FT03, etc.

Geuzzz
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Convoy L21A Kw CULPM1.TG 8A will amaze you more than enough. And well within budget.

manithree
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TMaxxJJ wrote:
Bare numbers, the K1 with a white flat 1mm out throws both by a lot!

FT03 with SST40 – 200,000cd | 900m throw | usable 300m
Convoy L21 XHP35 HI – 227,500 | 954m throw | usable 318m
Noctigon K1 Osram 1mm – 650,000 | 1612m throw | usable 537m

I always divide the rated throw numbers by three to get a usable range that you can actually see

The L21 is different than the Convoy L21A with KW CULPM1.TG, that tenohfive is looking at.

Simon doesn’t list candela in the specifications, but he does say 1190 meters range. I don’t know how reliable the numbers are from Simon or Hank, but my money would be on no visible difference, especially with the 600kcd CULPM1.TG in the K1, and maybe only a slight difference with the 650kcd CULNM1.TG. The L21A would be 397m usable throw by your formula.

TMaxxJJ
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Ah, I missed it was the L21A. Still, 1190m equates to about 350,000cd. That’s quite a difference from 650,000cd, and an extra 140m of usable throw is a massive difference.

I have a modded aspheric that puts out 950,000cd, and the difference between that and a 600,000 light is very noticeable

manithree
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TMaxxJJ wrote:
Ah, I missed it was the L21A. Still, 1190m equates to about 350,000cd. That’s quite a difference from 650,000cd, and an extra 140m of usable throw is a massive difference.

You’re assuming that numbers from both manufacturers are reliable and comparable, which generally isn’t a good assumption. For example, is the reflector n the Noctigon K1 really so huge that it gets 600kcd with the exact same emitter as the L21A? I doubt it. Or if it does, it’s only for a few seconds.

ETA: These are manufacturer numbers that are believable: The K1 is 72mm, the L21A is 64.5mm. Is that really enough to make the difference between 350kcd and 600kcd (assuming they’re both parabolic and the K1 is deeper)? The L21A claims to run at up to 8A (dunno how long), so even if the K1 is much higher current, that just couldn’t be sustainable for very long unless there’s some serious magic with the heat dissipation.

TMaxxJJ
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Not so much an assumption, but personal measurements of torches from both manufacturers. So I generally trust their stated numbers, much more than some others! The K1 also holds up pretty well to dissipating heat.

See – https://1lumen.com/21700-reviews/noctigon-k1/

BurningPlayd0h
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AFAIK the K1 reflector was designed with the WF1/2 in mind, whereas the L21A is using the same reflector geometry as the L2 did. That may affect just how much throw each gets in a way that doesn’t really scale in line with reflector diameter.

K1 drives the W1 at 5A max and the W2 at 7.5A max.

TMaxxJJ
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manithree wrote:
The L21A claims to run at up to 8A

The non boost version of the white flat 1mm would burn out at 8A so that can’t be true

LTC
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It’s a CULPM1.TG….

TMaxxJJ wrote:
manithree wrote:
The L21A claims to run at up to 8A

The non boost version of the white flat 1mm would burn out at 8A so that can’t be true

TMaxxJJ
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I suspected as much, which explains the big difference in throw numbers. The 1mm will always throw further than the 2mm, boost or otherwise

tenohfive
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Hmmm. This is getting complicated.

I can buy into the suggestion that the K1 can reach out beyond what the L21A CULPM1.TG can, it’s a question for me of how much that extra reach is and whether it can justify literally twice the price tag. The L21A comes up at £36, the K1 is £74 delivered. Side note – that’s the W1 Osram CSLNM1.F1 flavour, is that the right one to be looking at?

I am tempted by the K1, I’ve wanted a properly throwy light for years and don’t want buyers regret. But it just shy of double the price of the next option. These things are never easy.

Another quick question, I don’t own any 21700 cells – just checking if I’ll need a new charger (obviously not if I get the K1.) I’ve got a handful of Lii-202 and Lii-100 chargers, plus an Xtar VC4 in a drawer somewhere. I’ve seen mixed comments on whether the Lii-202 will take 21700’s, it’ll take 26500’s but can anyone confirm?

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I have the Xtar VC4, 21700 will fit but with difficulty. I have a Sofirn battery and I need to use a magnet to make contact because the top is flat. Be aware that some batteries don’t respect the size standard.

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L21A with CULPM1, 8A, throws about 20 % further than the XHP 35 HI version. And that’s 9 usd cheaper.
manithree
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TMaxxJJ wrote:
I suspected as much, which explains the big difference in throw numbers. The 1mm will always throw further than the 2mm, boost or otherwise

I pointed out in#17 that the K1 is available with either of the osrams. But I still don’t see how that explains the difference between 350kcd in the L21A and 600kcd in the K1 with the exact same emitter.
The difference in reflector will make a difference, but that is a big difference.

TMaxxJJ
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tenohfive wrote:
Hmmm. This is getting complicated.

I can buy into the suggestion that the K1 can reach out beyond what the L21A CULPM1.TG can, it’s a question for me of how much that extra reach is and whether it can justify literally twice the price tag. The L21A comes up at £36, the K1 is £74 delivered. Side note – that’s the W1 Osram CSLNM1.F1 flavour, is that the right one to be looking at?

I am tempted by the K1, I’ve wanted a properly throwy light for years and don’t want buyers regret. But it just shy of double the price of the next option. These things are never easy.

Another quick question, I don’t own any 21700 cells – just checking if I’ll need a new charger (obviously not if I get the K1.) I’ve got a handful of Lii-202 and Lii-100 chargers, plus an Xtar VC4 in a drawer somewhere. I’ve seen mixed comments on whether the Lii-202 will take 21700’s, it’ll take 26500’s but can anyone confirm?

True, the K1 may be almost twice the price of the L21A, but it’s cheaper than buying both. Because I guarantee that if you get the L21A, you will always wonder what the K1 can do!

Where in the UK are you based? Maybe someone close by could show you a few different throwers so you see what numbers actually equates to in real life.

With regards to 21700’s, I also have a VC4 and Samsung 30T, 40T, and Molicel P42A’s fit fine

Yokiamy
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L21A with Osram culpm from Simon

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001594138171.html

If you are interested, i have a L21a with CSLNM1 that does over 500 kCd, (approx 550) but probably shipping from China is financially more interesting.
Ah, i do have the XHP35 version as well

tenohfive
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TMaxxJJ wrote:
True, the K1 may be almost twice the price of the L21A, but it’s cheaper than buying both. Because I guarantee that if you get the L21A, you will always wonder what the K1 can do!

You’re probably right there. I’m sold, and I’m trying to persuade myself it’ll be the last time I let that argument win with something that’ll realistically only see a few hours use per year.
But it’s done now. Ordered the K1 W2.1 CULNM1.TG.

Thanks for the advice everyone.

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