New to flashlights

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withoutink
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New to flashlights

Hi,

I am relatively new to flashlights, although about 4yrs ago I bought a Fenix PD35 (which I love) and a FourSevens Quark Mini – prior to that, I used pretty much only Mag flashlights with the LED swap….

I am getting in the hobby due to my fascination with EDC gear. My main goal it to find good quality lights that fill the various roles I am looking for in flashlights.

I ordered the following two lights yesterday:

  • Convoy S2+ L2 7135×8 XML2 U2-1A
  • BLF A6 XPL 3D

Looking to also buy two flashlights to keep in my ‘get home bags’ in my cars.

Plus considering the Convoy C8+ or M21A as an inexpensive thrower.

Cheers-

Withoutink

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Edited by: withoutink on 10/05/2019 - 19:39
Engine Guy
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A good budget thrower would be something like a C8 with the SST40, I’m really impressed with the LED for the output and being a small size it throws very well. Cant go wrong with a C8!
Another thrower to consider is the Freflies E01, great quality, and way smaller then a C8.
As for gear bag, a good light would be an S2+ with… again the SST40, around 1800 lumens, or the S21A (the 21700 version), with 2300Lumens.
These have the smaller reflector, so they will have a good balance of hot stop and flood. Plus these lights are almost indestructible.
Another thing to consider for gear/car bag, is having a usb rechargeable light like the Sofirn SC31B, theres a discount code coming out any day for around $7.
I have the Nitenumen X1 and Soshine TC14 on order right now from Fasttech, these are both cheap/budget usb lights which will be in my gear bag / truck.
If youre a noob, I’d also recommend the FW3A, and the Emisar D4 for edc lights, very small / big power edc lights, you wont regret buying these 2! Theyre right up there with the ZT 0630… a must for edc gear.

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AlexGT
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Welcome to BLF! For inexpensive thrower, I would recommend the Astrolux FT03

https://www.banggood.com/Astrolux-FT03-SST40-W-2400lm-875m-NarsilM-v1_3-USB-C-Rechargeable-2A-26650-21700-18650-LED-Flashlight-Mini-Torch-p-1420116.html?ID=6137985&cur_warehouse=USA

BLF group buy and discussion here:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/65210

withoutink
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Engine Guy wrote:
A good budget thrower would be something like a C8 with the SST40, I’m really impressed with the LED for the output and being a small size it throws very well. Cant go wrong with a C8! Another thrower to consider is the Freflies E01, great quality, and way smaller then a C8. As for gear bag, a good light would be an S2+ with… again the SST40, around 1800 lumens, or the S21A (the 21700 version), with 2300Lumens. These have the smaller reflector, so they will have a good balance of hot stop and flood. Plus these lights are almost indestructible. Another thing to consider for gear/car bag, is having a usb rechargeable light like the Sofirn SC31B, theres a discount code coming out any day for around $7. I have the Nitenumen X1 and Soshine TC14 on order right now from Fasttech, these are both cheap/budget usb lights which will be in my gear bag / truck. If youre a noob, I’d also recommend the FW3A, and the Emisar D4 for edc lights, very small / big power edc lights, you wont regret buying these 2! Theyre right up there with the ZT 0630… a must for edc gear.

Thanks for all of this, I just ordered the following lights a moment ago:

  • Convoy C8+ XPL Hi – V2 1A
  • Convoy S2+ SST40 (5000k)

For the C8+ I opted for the XPLHi since it seems to have a more defined spot and less flood, which is what I was looking for. I took your advise on grabbing a seconf S2+ this time with the SST40 in 5k. Since all my other lights are cool white, I figured grab one that is more neutral.

As far as the other, I have added them to my wish list for later.

Question re: Sofirn SC31B – where is the coupon code going to be good for? And where can I keep an eye out for it – $7 sounds like a treat of a price Smile

Cheers-

Withoutink

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withoutink
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AlexGT wrote:
Welcome to BLF! For inexpensive thrower, I would recommend the Astrolux FT03

https://www.banggood.com/Astrolux-FT03-SST40-W-2400lm-875m-NarsilM-v1_3-USB-C-Rechargeable-2A-26650-21700-18650-LED-Flashlight-Mini-Torch-p-1420116.html?ID=6137985&cur_warehouse=USA

BLF group buy and discussion here:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/65210

Thank you! I just ordered the C8+ a moment ago, but I added this Astrolux to my wish list on Banggood. If the C8+ doesn’t do it for me, I will give this one a go. Thanks again

Cheers-

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Engine Guy
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here:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/69319

XPL-HI is not bad, but only about 1/2 the lumen of the SST40, not sure of the CD difference, but I’m sure the SST40 would out throw the XPL-HI anyway. I wonder if the SST20 would out throw the XPL-HI, I believe it would. Some of the more knowledgeable guys can tell you that.

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zak.wilson
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1A is not the tint most of us would get for a C8. Cooler color temperatures have more visible backscatter, making it hard to see what you’re illuminating far away.

Low-CRI SST-20s typically out-throw XP-L HIs in regulated flashlights. High-CRI SST-20s are about equal, but the improved color rendering helps you see objects that don’t stand out against their background. I own a C8 with a 95 CRI SST-20 (4000K), and I think it’s worth giving up a bit of output.

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Engine Guy
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I have a NightWatch Seeker NS22 SSt40 (one of my favs), it out throws my Kaidomain C8 XHP35 to my surprise.
This is with a 41mm head, compared to the C8s 45mm head, so it does it with a smaller reflector.
The odd thing it at around 10ft distance the C8 seams to have a bit tighter/brighter hot spot, so I expected it to throw farther.

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withoutink
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zak.wilson wrote:
1A is not the tint most of us would get for a C8. Cooler color temperatures have more visible backscatter, making it hard to see what you’re illuminating far away.

Low-CRI SST-20s typically out-throw XP-L HIs in regulated flashlights. High-CRI SST-20s are about equal, but the improved color rendering helps you see objects that don’t stand out against their background. I own a C8 with a 95 CRI SST-20 (4000K), and I think it’s worth giving up a bit of output.

For $20 I can buy another – God knows these will be better than each of the $30 3D Cell Mags I have bought Wink – I guess it will be a good test.

When looking at Simon’s store – I do not see an option for the SST-20, only the XPL HI, Nichia 219C, and the SSt40 (which only comes in 5k or 6500) Can you link to which you would recommend and its config if there are options on the page

Cheers-

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withoutink
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Engine Guy wrote:
here:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/69319

XPL-HI is not bad, but only about 1/2 the lumen of the SST40, not sure of the CD difference, but I’m sure the SST40 would out throw the XPL-HI anyway. I wonder if the SST20 would out throw the XPL-HI, I believe it would. Some of the more knowledgeable guy can tell you that.

Thanks again, I signed up for a code, I hope I end up getting one.

Also, I suspect if I dig the C8+ I will most likely get another one in which case I will get the newer SSt40 – or the one Zak talks about above

Cheers-

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Lightbringer
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A car bag, bugout bag, Zombie Apocalypse bag, etc., are all typically going to get neglected, so it’d be best to have long-life primary cells in there, like ’123s or lithium primaries, else low-discharge NiMH cells like eneloops or amaloops.

And never ever ever ever ever use alkaleaks in any lights.

Regular Li cells aren’t suited to temperature extremes inside a car, from freezing in the winter to baking in the summer.

Just keep that in mind.

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Engine Guy
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So keeping them in the car is just bad for the cells, or are there some dangers also?

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withoutink
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Lightbringer wrote:
A car bag, bugout bag, Zombie Apocalypse bag, etc., are all typically going to get neglected, so it’d be best to have long-life primary cells in there, like ’123s or lithium primaries, else low-discharge NiMH cells like eneloops or amaloops.

And never ever ever ever ever use alkaleaks in any lights.

Regular Li cells aren’t suited to temperature extremes inside a car, from freezing in the winter to baking in the summer.

Just keep that in mind.

Yeah, I know that the heat here in Georgia would be no good for the Li batteries… I have a box of 123’s singles and double stacked for use in the lights.

Cheers-

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Lightbringer
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Engine Guy wrote:
So keeping them in the car is just bad for the cells, or are there some dangers also?

If too cold, they won’t supply much current ‘til they heat up. If too hot, well…

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

zak.wilson
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withoutink wrote:
When looking at Simon’s store – I do not see an option for the SST-20, only the XPL HI, Nichia 219C, and the SSt40 (which only comes in 5k or 6500) Can you link to which you would recommend and its config if there are options on the page

For some reason, Simon won’t list the C8 with an SST-20. I asked him to a couple times and he said he would, but that was months ago.

He will, however sell you one. Just buy the 219C model and put “SST-20 4000K” in the order notes.

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withoutink
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zak.wilson wrote:
withoutink wrote:
When looking at Simon’s store – I do not see an option for the SST-20, only the XPL HI, Nichia 219C, and the SSt40 (which only comes in 5k or 6500) Can you link to which you would recommend and its config if there are options on the page

For some reason, Simon won’t list the C8 with an SST-20. I asked him to a couple times and he said he would, but that was months ago.

He will, however sell you one. Just buy the 219C model and put “SST-20 4000K” in the order notes.

Awesome, thanks for these details, I just ordered a second c8+ with the SST-20 4000k

Cheers-

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rb0nd007
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I’m deciding on the c8+ as well.

Does the xphi batter last longer vs the sst40? Does the sst40 have more flood?

I’m waiting for a coupon code for the c8+ in sand.

Thanks and enjoy!

Engine Guy
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The SST40 will have a bigger hot spot then the XPL-HI, so yes more floody if using the same reflector.
But its also twice the lumens, so it will throw surprisingly far. Very similar to the XHP35.

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rb0nd007 wrote:
I’m deciding on the c8+ as well.

Does the xphi batter last longer vs the sst40? Does the sst40 have more flood?

I’m waiting for a coupon code for the c8+ in sand.

Thanks and enjoy!

Thanks!

So what I heard was the xpl-hi has more a concentrated spot, and doesn’t generate as much heat or drain as the sst40. That’s what I heard in some reviews anyway, not sure about the validity of it though. That’s why I initially ordered the xpl-hi version. I ended up just ordering a second one as well, a SST-20 4000k version, I was told to ask Simon to swap the led in the order notes. Hopefully that works as intended Smile

Cheers-

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KeepingItLight
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For walking/hiking, my preference is for headlamps. I like to keep my hands free so that my arms can swing with my normal gait.

As an amateur photographer, I have a strong preference for high CRI 90+ and neutral tint, around 5000K. Theses days, I do my best to get these, otherwise, no sale. But these are subjective choices where there is no right and wrong. The only thing that matters is what you like. Unfortunately, the best way to find out what floats your boat is to try out a few flashlights and see! That means spending cash on a few lights you may end up not using.

If you plan to take pics or vids using the illumination of your flashlights, you need to worry about something called PWM (pulse width modulation). None, is best, with high-frequency as a possible second best. Frequency needs to be high compared to your shutter speed and/or frame rate.

My EDC is a tiny AAA model, the Astrolux A01, that I fuel with NiMH (Eneloop). 'Natch, it's got both high-CRI and 5000K, and virtually disappears in my pants pocket. For nighttime outings when I do not anticipate needing a flashlight, I carry a second EDC, the Kronos X5.That one runs on a Li-ion 14500 battery. I like it because of its small size (14500 is the same size a AA), and it has a bit more throw than your typical 18650 tube light. Fits easily in a jacket pocket. 'Course, when I am planning a real nighttime outing, I use my ZebraLight H600Fd III headlamp. It's another one that has high-CRI and 5000K, and it's currently on sale for "only" $69. (I think it's going to be discontinued soon.) Along with the Zebra, I carry a ThorFire C8s, a C8 model that I like, but nevertheless would not buy today. Instead I would get one of the high-CRI, neutral-tint SST40 models mentioned above. For indoor use and/or close work, I like the perfectly smooth beam of a zoomie set to flood. Were I shopping today, I would get the Jaxman Z1, XHP50, warm white. Not high-CRI, but you can't always get what you want. From what I can tell here, the Z1 has a kind of sucky UI, as well. Maybe I need to do more thinking about that one.

For a bug-out bag, we're talking about flashlights that will be little used. Therefore, fancy bells and whistles (i.e., high-CRI, neutral-tint, no PWM) are low priorities that are probably not worth spending money on. In my car, for instance, I have a Nitecore P12GT, running on 18650, backed up by CR123A primary batteries. Low-CRI, but I don't care. More important is the orange diffuser/traffic wand that Nitecore sells as an accessory.

BTW, I like what Lightbringer said about using lithium primaries or rechargeable NiMH for lights in a bug-out bag. As far as I know, the problem with rechargeable Li-ion and the hot sun of a vehicle is not that stuff explodes. The issue is degradation. Battery internal resistance rises. 'Course, this is the Internet, and I am not a flashlight engineer, so take my advice with a grain of salt!

All of the lights mentioned above were purchased a couple of years ago, so the rationales for my choices are more relevant than the specific models. Hope this helps.

Kindle
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…and so, it begins.

Welcome to BLF! You’ve clearly done your homework as you’ve made some solid choices so far.

withoutink
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KeepingItLight wrote:

For walking/hiking, my preference is for headlamps. I like to keep my hands free so that my arms can swing with my normal gait.


As an amateur photographer, I have a strong preference for high CRI 90+ and neutral tint, around 5000K. Theses days, I do my best to get these, otherwise, no sale. But these are subjective choices where there is no right and wrong. The only thing that matters is what you like. Unfortunately, the best way to find out what floats your boat is to try out a few flashlights and see! That means spending cash on a few lights you may end up not using.


If you plan to take pics or vids using the illumination of your flashlights, you need to worry about something called PWM (pulse width modulation). None, is best, with high-frequency as a possible second best. Frequency needs to be high compared to your shutter speed and/or frame rate.


My EDC is a tiny AAA model, the Astrolux A01, that I fuel with NiMH (Eneloop). ‘Natch, it’s got both high-CRI and 5000K, and virtually disappears in my pants pocket. For nighttime outings when I do not anticipate needing a flashlight, I carry a second EDC, the Kronos X5.That one runs on a Li-ion 14500 battery. I like it because of its small size (14500 is the same size a AA), and it has a bit more throw than your typical 18650 tube light. Fits easily in a jacket pocket. ‘Course, when I am planning a real nighttime outing, I use my ZebraLight H600Fd III headlamp. It’s another one that has high-CRI and 5000K, and it’s currently on sale for “only” $69. (I think it’s going to be discontinued soon.) Along with the Zebra, I carry a ThorFire C8s, a C8 model that I like, but nevertheless would not buy today. Instead I would get one of the high-CRI, neutral-tint SST40 models mentioned above. For indoor use and/or close work, I like the perfectly smooth beam of a zoomie set to flood. Were I shopping today, I would get the Jaxman Z1, XHP50, warm white. Not high-CRI, but you can’t always get what you want. From what I can tell here, the Z1 has a kind of sucky UI, as well. Maybe I need to do more thinking about that one.


For a bug-out bag, we’re talking about flashlights that will be little used. Therefore, fancy bells and whistles (i.e., high-CRI, neutral-tint, no PWM) are low priorities that are probably not worth spending money on. In my car, for instance, I have a Nitecore P12GT, running on 18650, backed up by CR123A primary batteries. Low-CRI, but I don’t care. More important is the orange diffuser/traffic wand that Nitecore sells as an accessory.


BTW, I like what Lightbringer said about using lithium primaries or rechargeable NiMH for lights in a bug-out bag. As far as I know, the problem with rechargeable Li-ion and the hot sun of a vehicle is not that stuff explodes. The issue is degradation. Battery internal resistance rises. ‘Course, this is the Internet, and I am not a flashlight engineer, so take my advice with a grain of salt!


All of the lights mentioned above were purchased a couple of years ago, so the rationales for my choices are more relevant than the specific models. Hope this helps.

Wow! Thank you so much for the indepth reply, I will add these to my – lets research document Smile I really appreciate the information!

Cheers-

Withoutink

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Kindle wrote:
…and so, it begins.

Welcome to BLF! You’ve clearly done your homework as you’ve made some solid choices so far.

Thanks!

Seriously!! I think I bought 5 flashlights in the past 36hrs or so xD

Cheers-

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Kindle
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withoutink wrote:

Thanks!

Seriously!! I think I bought 5 flashlights in the past 36hrs or so xD

Don’t worry, almost everyone here understands and has been in the same boat at some point.

My advice for right now is slow down a bit until they arrive and spend some time learning what you like and don’t like before you buy the next batch.

zak.wilson
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KeepingItLight wrote:
I would get one of the high-CRI, neutral-tint SST40 models mentioned above.

Doesn’t exist. It’s the SST-20 that comes in 95+ CRI; the SST-40 doesn’t offer any versions with guaranteed CRI yet.

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Kindle wrote:
withoutink wrote:

Thanks!

Seriously!! I think I bought 5 flashlights in the past 36hrs or so xD

Don’t worry, almost everyone here understands and has been in the same boat at some point.

My advice for right now is slow down a bit until the they arrive and you have spent some time learning what you like and don’t like before you buy the next batch.

Amen

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It's a pleasure to have you onboard, withoutink!

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zak.wilson wrote:
KeepingItLight wrote:
I would get one of the high-CRI, neutral-tint SST40 models mentioned above.


Doesn't exist. It's the SST-20 that comes in 95+ CRI; the SST-40 doesn't offer any versions with guaranteed CRI yet.


My bad. Thanks for the heads up.