So much crap

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weiser
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So much crap

Please excuse my rant but I'm starting to get bored with the general 'budget flashlight' pool and it seems they're primarily a bunch of regurgitated designs outfitted with the same innards for the most part. I feel I can't satisfy my thirst for a great new budget light when I can't ignore that they're mostly all just a slight variant of the same ol' concept. I'm gonna rack my brain so much to the point where I can't even enjoy searching for a new flashlight. Of course, I exclude Surefire from being exempt as a higher end manufacturer because I'm rarely impressed with anything new they come up with. 

 

Okay, I'm gonna take a deep breath, try to forget everything I just wrote and hope for the next best thing at the next best price Smile

 

mizjif
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Perhaps this is the point that i've gotten too as well. So I find myself looking at (and purchasing) nitecore's, fenix's, and sunwaymans (although I am purchasing alot less than I was). I don't worry about quality issues and the designs and features etc. are awesome. Meanwhile, budget brands like Shadow are releasing original and seemingly quality budget lights which keep my interest. Ric keeps a good tab on stocking new and interesting lights, and manafont is not bad at it either. Otherwise, as of recent, the budget scene has been boring me and I have been ordering things like the Nitecore D10, Spark ST6-460NW, Nitecore Infiliux IFD2 and the soon to be Sunwayman V10A lol. Lots of money, but lots of goodness in them as well. 

fishmaniac
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Perhaps it's time to take a break from your addiction and step away for a while. Just like alot of other addictions, what made you happy last time, usually doesn't cut it today.

Good luck my fellow flashaholic.

mizjif
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fishmaniac, you may have a good point here. I am definitely trying to distance myself from this 'addiction', but mainly because I am a student again and funds are tight lol. But I see where you come from. 

weiser
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mizjif wrote:

Perhaps this is the point that i've gotten too as well. So I find myself looking at (and purchasing) nitecore's, fenix's, and sunwaymans (although I am purchasing alot less than I was). I don't worry about quality issues and the designs and features etc. are awesome. Meanwhile, budget brands like Shadow are releasing original and seemingly quality budget lights which keep my interest. Ric keeps a good tab on stocking new and interesting lights, and manafont is not bad at it either. Otherwise, as of recent, the budget scene has been boring me and I have been ordering things like the Nitecore D10, Spark ST6-460NW, Nitecore Infiliux IFD2 and the soon to be Sunwayman V10A lol. Lots of money, but lots of goodness in them as well. 

 

YES! You named probably my favorite new brand at the moment. I don't know who they are or where they come from but over all they seem to have distanced themselves from the 'unknown' budget realm. Right now this is the kind of product I'm seeking and is what keeps me going. Their stuff isn't too cheap compared to the competition yet they're still nowhere near the elitist manufacturers either. I think they could carve out a nice niche for themselves and cater to both markets. However, I doubt that will ever come to fruition. Eventually you choose one or the other and the markets helpyou do that. I've been trying to find out who makes their lights but to no success. Oh well.. just keep em' coming!

trooplewis
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I've changed my buying habits a lot for that reason (and especially after my disappointment with a KD C8).

Now, rather than buying 3 or 4 $15-25 lights per month, I buy 1 or 2 lights in the $40-100 range.  I'm a much happier flashoholic now, plus I get my lights much faster (since I don't order from HK much).

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

weiser
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I think one almost needs to make a specific goal, like find the perfect light in terms of quality and price for a certain use. Since, for me, I almost get the most satisfaction out of researching. If you can make it a quest to find that perfect light (considering cost, of course) then you keep the spark alive. Well.. that's me anyway. Even if I can afford it (and I probably can't) making it a challenge to find the right light at a great deal makes it all that much more exciting. But you have throwers, and flooders, and barn burners, and EDC, etc. You still have a lot of categories to keep you going Smile It's like the difference between scouring a flea market vs impulse buying off of QVC.

kaknut
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I used to buy cheap stuff then modify to beat any expensive light. But now that really powerful lights are sub $100 it's more costly to mod than to buy. I would rather buy from a US distributor than wait weeks for shipping from China also.

Got fed up with 5 mode crap too, love a good UI like, Jetbeam or Zebralight. Money well spent.

I will still mod with LEDs but it's more for Home lighting now or something really extraordinary that I can't purchase.

I like nuts

Boaz
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You can always give yourself a budget and stay within that range ..say 500$  or whatever number you decide to devote to your hobby and keep that as the budget part of budget light forums 500 .99cent lights or one titainium light.Search all you like .....you can only spend this much ..or start selling something to buy something else. f you've burnt out in 2 months I'm scared for your next addiction ...take up something cheap like collecting small lengths of string ..Or food in the shapes of dead presidents

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

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Budgeteer
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Well it is true that nost nre things are lame newish envelope on old stuff. Afterall they must sell those 2 zillion P4,Q2,Q3 emitters they still have around and are going very cheap lately.

Cmon, who buyes P$,Q2 flashlights nowadays?

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

gcbryan
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weiser701 wrote:

Please excuse my rant but I'm starting to get bored with the general 'budget flashlight' pool and it seems they're primarily a bunch of regurgitated designs outfitted with the same innards for the most part. I feel I can't satisfy my thirst for a great new budget light when I can't ignore that they're mostly all just a slight variant of the same ol' concept. I'm gonna rack my brain so much to the point where I can't even enjoy searching for a new flashlight. Of course, I exclude Surefire from being exempt as a higher end manufacturer because I'm rarely impressed with anything new they come up with. 

 

Okay, I'm gonna take a deep breath, try to forget everything I just wrote and hope for the next best thing at the next best price Smile

 

I agree with you for the most part but don't just follow the crowd or buy indiscriminately. Just because there's a Group Buy going on where you can saive 15% on your 10th XM-L light with strobes and clickies you don't have to join.

Don't buy lights if they are not exactly what you want even if they have BLF pasted on the side. If you don't like strobes or clips, or crenelated bezels or whatever make sure you don't have any among your lights.

An ITP A3 is a somewhat different kind of light and it's still budget.

A Zebralight is unique and while maybe not budget it's less than you will probably spend buying several lesser headlamps until you ultimately buy it anyway.

How about a single AA light with no strobes and a head no larger than the body.

Maybe one small ramping light or one smaller throwe with only one mode.

However not looking around very hard and only ordering from DX will get you burned out quickly with a bunch of sameness.

Squidboy
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I think perhaps you should approach this from a slightly different angle. Why not try building/modding your own ultimate light.

You probably have a favourite amongs the flashlight bodies use it as a base and build it yourself. Buying the parts will be in the same ball park as a decentish budget light and you can end up with a light that does what you want for the lenght of time you want

The other benefit of course is if you busy modding your not looking at more lights on the web.

On a similar note , I tend to find my light purchasing goes in bursts about 18 months apart, I need to see inovation and change between what I have and what I want.

 

 

Candlepower (abbreviated as cp) is a now-obsolete unit which was used to express levels of light intensity.

Candlepowerforums (abbreviated as cpf) a website, also obsolete.

Nautic
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Do I feel the CPF "only expensive lights are good" spirit here?

Cheap quality is good - Expensive crap isn´t

Langcjl
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I couldn't disagree more. It seems to me that new stuff is coming out pretty fast, I know my budget won't allow me to keep up. It seems to me that the xpg was here and gone in the blink of an eye. As soon as I started having fun with the XMLs, triple XMLs came out. The dedicated XML throwers are very new. I just got my first two lights with variable output. New brands are coming out that fill a nich between budget and pricier lights.We are starting to get more choices in XML tints. I think things are moving right along.

Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

Boaz
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Nautic wrote:

Do I feel the CPF "only expensive lights are good" spirit here?

    +10

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weiser
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haha, thanks for the feedback guys. Just to be clear, this was more of a rhetorical rant. It's similar to a rhetorical questions in that it doesn't really have a solution Big Smile

 

I was just venting certain annoyances but I'm fully aware of all the nuances and what I need to do to keep the hobby alive and exciting. I was mainly just pointing out there really is mostly crap out there in the budget flashlight world, however, that doesn't mean I'm gonna switch over to the dark side that is overpriced, elitist - but still made in China - flashlights. You just have to mix things up and make new challenges for yourself. I also agree about following the new product introductions, like LED evolution up to XM-L, triple XM-L, etc. But then you run into the tv/computer dilemma: There's always something newer and better right after you buy the so-called 'latest and greatest' Big Smile

Boaz
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Budgeteer wrote:

Well it is true that nost nre things are lame newish envelope on old stuff. Afterall they must sell those 2 zillion P4,Q2,Q3 emitters they still have around and are going very cheap lately.

Cmon, who buyes P$,Q2 flashlights nowadays?

I do ...

it's silly to think that a 20% increase in efficiency really means anything .

You know the inverse square law that says to see a doubling of light you must increase power times 4

 

so 250 lumens is half as bright as 1000 lumens ..

The emitter has reached the end of it's battery capability on a 18650 and there isn't anything new on the horizion for batteries ...

In my humble opinion you ought to be focused on hosts and builds forget the emitter....

 what does the body look like and feel like .

is it a solid platform for modding ? heatsink/pill,clicky

the next thing is U.I. or driver...

emitters are the easiest thing to change and should be the least of anyones concern.

even not modded a q3 with a nice tint is unbeatable

140 lumens which is 3 times as much as a surefire /cop light 8 years ago  is one seriously nice amount of light .

 I agree with you that their prices on the older stuff should be lowered to move it out quicker but Asians have a different way of moving product and it doesn't involve drastic reductions ..to blow it out like they do in other parts of the world .

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    Still selling diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

Boaz
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weiser701 wrote:

haha, thanks for the feedback guys. Just to be clear, this was more of a rhetorical rant. It's similar to a rhetorical questions in that it doesn't really have a solution Big Smile

 

I was just venting certain annoyances but I'm fully aware of all the nuances and what I need to do to keep the hobby alive and exciting. I was mainly just pointing out there really is mostly crap out there in the budget flashlight world, however, that doesn't mean I'm gonna switch over to the dark side that is overpriced, elitist - but still made in China - flashlights. You just have to mix things up and make new challenges for yourself. I also agree about following the new product introductions, like LED evolution up to XM-L, triple XM-L, etc. But then you run into the tv/computer dilemma: There's always something newer and better right after you buy the so-called 'latest and greatest' Big Smile

   My first question to you would be ..What are you calling crap ?? because to say all budget lights are crap is somewhat overstated ..being the master of overstatemnets ..I know .. So specifically .. what lights do you have  , or have specific knowledge of and think are ..crap ?

 

what lights do you not like ?  and why.

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    Still selling diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

brted
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Nautic wrote:

Do I feel the CPF "only expensive lights are good" spirit here?

For some people that's the answer. If you don't want to spend the money and just want a bright light, then budget is the way to go. If you want infinitely variable output, programmable UI, maximum performance, etc., you have to go higher end. In fact pretty much if you want anything other than a reverse clicky that switches between 5 modes (sometimes 3 modes, but usually still includes strobe) you have to go up market.

I do think there are just a ton of very similar budget lights out right now. There are so many big XM-L lights and triple XM-L lights out right now. Not particularly budget at $50 or so, but the JETBeam triple XM-L is something like $500? I'm surprised at the number of XR-E budget lights still out there.

Personally I can't justify spending more than $60 or $70 on any flashlight. So a lot of that stuff is out of range for me. I did throw my name in on the Dino Sunwayman deal if it comes to fruition. I'll believe it when I have it in my hands and it works the way it is supposed to (not a Sunwayman reject or fake).

Another aspect of it is I don't want 100 flashlights. I was buying a lot trying out different things, but I have just about everything now. So it takes something pretty special to get my attention now. Other than the Tank007, I haven't bought much lately. The last light was Manafont's fake Lumapower MRV host as a home to a neutral XM-L I had, so that was mostly a mod (and turned out pretty nicely, though bigger than I want to usually carry and not a whole lot better than a P60).

trooplewis
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I think it depends on what "expensive" means to you.

Most of my lights work OK, but on many of those it took some tweaking to get rid of flickering or just plain old 'no Workie' issues. One (Trustfire F15) flat out died. I'm not a big proponent of $100+ lights (i own one) but lights in the $30-50 range seem to give me more satisfaction than lights in the $10-25 range, and I have not had to repair any of the $30-50 lights.

Does that make me a CPF'er?

 

Another take on this is the guys who whine and complain when their $15 Chinese light doesn't work like they thought it should. Jeez, that is why it is called CCC, cheap Chinese crap. A certain percentage of them (my experience is about 1 out of 5) don't work as advertised. It's still a bargain for the other 80%, but the failure rate is sort of a given.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

agedbriar
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Langcjl wrote:
I couldn't disagree more. It seems to me that new stuff is coming out pretty fast, I know my budget won't allow me to keep up. It seems to me that the xpg was here and gone in the blink of an eye. As soon as I started having fun with the XMLs, triple XMLs came out. The dedicated XML throwers are very new. I just got my first two lights with variable output. New brands are coming out that fill a nich between budget and pricier lights.We are starting to get more choices in XML tints. I think things are moving right along.

I'm with Langcjl.

I still have a superb Fenix TK11-R2 that I rarely use, since my newer budget lights give me more satisfaction. I would have three more Fenixes laying around if it wasn't for my family, who do not care if the flashlights I gave them don't muster more than a couple hundred lumens.

Foy
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I'm not sure how overstated "all budget lights are crap" is.  That's why I find it difficult not to evangelize hosts like an L2i, for example.  Sure, it's not $3 but top quality like that for under $10 is a hard find.  Every time I ever got talked into a six dollar 502 or 503B, the quality was abysmal.  I'll take an L2 for $11.50 over junk at half the price all day long.

Foy defines "budget" as not paying $89 for a 120 lumen Surefire 6P or $75 for a Led Lenser with an XR-E.  I actually used to think $50 for a Quark was a great deal.

Like many here however, I am looking for something different.  I already have two L2s and three L2Ps so, when something like an L2T comes along, it's pretty cool.

Foy

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VFMaddict
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Nautic wrote:

Do I feel the CPF "only expensive lights are good" spirit here?

+102

Actually, this whole thread raises a question.

Is it just a love of lights that brings you here or is it a love of lights and a love of getting a real bargain?

For me the latter is just as important to me in everything I do.   I am, as my screen name says, very much a ValueForMoney addict    That's why I always overclock my PC's, not excessively these days but at least to get the performance of a processor costing twice what I paid.   I feel the same about lights.

"You are making progress if each mistake you make is a new one."

Remember - Most great discoveries start with maki

mizjif
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How could I have forgotten modding. Modding, which I could have only done with the help of members here, is one of my favorite things about the budget light hobby. I have swapped xm-l's into some AA lights and hearing people go 'WOW-THATS AN AA LIGHT?' is rewarding. Swapping in a preferred tint or just customizing a light the way you want is a very enjoyable aspect of this hobby that I forgot to mention. 

 

When it comes to the part that is getting old, I mean that I am just sick of seeing 100 variations of the C8, or of the trustfire tr-1200 body with different names on it.  I LOVE to watch new lights pop up, but after seeing all the anusfire and fandyfire versions flooding the sites I tend to frequent, it just gets old. However, the occasional 'original' gem pops up and it is all worth it again. 

trooplewis
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VFMaddict raises a good point. Maybe Value should be a target as well as or in addition to Budget.

I have bought some $30 lights that I thought had great value

I have purchased some $15 lights that were a terrible value.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

mizjif
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Although the shadow tc6 that I bought was in the neighborhood of $50 shipped I Feel for the price, it is the best made 'budget ' light I have ever purchased:)
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mizjif wrote:
Although the shadow tc6 that I bought was in the neighborhood of $50 shipped I Feel for the price, it is the best made 'budget ' light I have ever purchased:)

I feel the same. But there is a "but'. It seems not everybody got the same package, if you think of all the accessories it's well forth it. Since some got no accessories at all, the light should have been cheaper with $8. or stuff like.

agedbriar
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Let's rename this board to Value Light Forum.

If you think about it, it's good value what we are after, not just low price, right?

gcbryan
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I agree with the poster who mentions not being interesting in seeing hundreds of copies and variations of the C8 (as an example). I also am like the poster who says that they don't want to own 100 lights.

With few exceptions I haven't paid more than $30 for a flashlight. I haven't paid more than $40 for anything other than a dive light and for some of my headlamps.

I think it's the lack of choices if you can solder that can get frustrating something. It's finding something different. There are too many lights that all have clickies, sharp bezels, strobes, etc. On the other hand find what you want is part of the fun.

There are ways to modify without soldering as well....just different modifications.

kaknut
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I love buying a light for $22 and have be super reliable with no contact issues etc for years. But the problem is when you buy 4 different lights for friends and family and they all develop issues over time. I wish I had just recommended something more expensive but more reliable.

As regards to buying the latest LEDs, I agree with Boaz. Sometimes a better reflector and glass lens with a better circuit makes for a killer light rather than a poorly put together XM-L light.

My Romisen RC-U4 is still kicking with an XR-E @ 1amp and is marginally less bright that my XP-G lights driven at 1.5amps.

It's ok to skip a few LED generations, a few percentage points in efficiency sometimes just isn't work it.

I like nuts

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Same old budget lights got you down???? Just buy some nice budget knifes like Sanrenmu 710 or an Enlan EL02 or just anything that sparks your attention from those manufactures.

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