Recommend emergency flashlights for my cars?

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withoutink
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Recommend emergency flashlights for my cars?

I am putting together a couple of emergency kits/backpacks for our cars, in doing so I want to swap out the old Mag flashlights with something much nicer.

Looking for 2 flashlights that are handheld, inexpensive, reliable, with relatively long run times, something that can stand up well to the heat of Georgia (inside a car no less), has at least a few modes (moonlight, low, medium, high and a strobe would be optimal). These lights will most likely live in backpacks inside the trunk so I was thinking either single or double stack cr123’s would fit the bill.

I ordered a couple of Convoy S2+ yesterday, but I am not sure if they would work with the cr123s… So, I would love to get some recommendations.

Thanks in advance

Cheers-

Withoutink

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Edited by: withoutink on 10/06/2019 - 09:09
Lord_Polymath
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I’m looking for car lights too. What I’ve learned so far is that you shouldn’t use lithium ion batteries. Lithium primaries or Ni-MH rechargeables (eneloops) are a much better choice because they can tolerate the heat/cold and are safer. I’m looking at the sofirn sf11 (4 AA) and/or the Sofirn SP10S (1 AA). Also AA batteries are readily available.

Tumbleweed48
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I know it sounds ‘unromantic’, but I believe emergency flashlights for vehicles (that are left in the vehicle perpetually) should be rugged, cheap 2xAA lights from the hardware store, fuelled with Energizer Ultimate lithium primaries.

Let’s face it, most of us carry something better every day anyway, either on our person or in a bag of some sort. Vehicle lights tend to get forgotten until a genuine emergency shows itself – which might be years down the road, or (hopefully) never.

Tweakmeister
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18650 is fine. Something that mixes flood and throw with run time. Having the ability to recharge via USB is a plus.

I put some Fenix PD35tac’s in my vehicles (battery has USB micro plug) and made sure to unscrew them so they don’t suffer from parasitic discharge. They’ve come in handy.

Something more like a FT03 or TK75 is even better.

Lightbringer
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There are 18650 lights that can take a pair of ’123s, like the MH20 (compact) and SP32Av2 (tubelight).

Both are e-switch, so you need to lock ‘em out by unscrewing the tailcap a half-turn or so.

Or get a NexTorch from Illumn. Nylon-body P60 that comes with either a hotwire bulb or 1W LED kit. Not terribly bright (unless you upgrade the drop-in) but are nigh indestructible and have loooooong runtime.

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KeepingItLight
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In addition to the handheld flashlights you keep in the car, you may want a headlamp. Keeps your hands free in case you have to change a tire or look under the hood. Best is something with little or no hot spot. Skillhunt used to sell one that allowed you to remove the reflector so that it could be used as a mule (i.e., a flashlight with no reflector or lens). Unfortunately, I can't remember the exact model name.

Mules are great for close work. There is no hot spot at all.

I keep a cheapo AA headlamp in the car, and, and, on a good day, I may have my ZebraLight H600Fd III headlamp with me.

You may want to pack a couple of extra lights in the car so that your passengers will all have flashlights after a breakdown.

Lastly, I have Nitecore's orange diffuser/traffic wand.

drewski
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Literally anything is better than a 3x C cell maglight LED with e-switch. Mine can completely drain 3 fully charged Tenergy C cells in just a couple months with its parasitic drain. I like lithium 123s or AAs for my cars. Although I have kept an 18650 light in my car through the hot NC summer and semi-cold winter without any significant performance issues— not that I’m recommending that of course.

Macka17
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Same as “keeping light” Above..

I have a no name XML-Hi dual battery 18650 variable output headlight
gives good at zoom and spread, for a decent time.
Plus. in each car. again. No name. very nice build. XML With 18650 cells.
Wide to Zoom, with 100m usable pencil beam in the REAL dark.

In Caravan and boats. Haikelite HT08 Aspheric.
Bought as novelty. (quite interesting, and useful in fact).
Beam goes from full dia a foot in front of your toes
for a decent 50ft or more. To a usable pencil with flare either side.
Out to as far as you’d want in a close area as that .
I can see IN the windows of Ted’s kitchen across park.
at 82mtrs on Google.

You can stand at stern of 34 ft yacht. and it lights up the WHOLE deck of boat in the one spread
from your bloody toes. Amazing.
Not powerful. Not long ranging,
It’s usefully. Just GOOD for certain applications.

LedTed
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I used to keep (old style) ThruNite T10s in my and my wife’s cars. They are easy to stash, take easy to find batteries, and have the handy diffuser.

Enjoy the light show - LedTed

Boaz
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I have a few in my car but that's because I have a bazillion lights .

 the cheapie in my console is a free light I got from a vendor a long time ago . It's a plug in the lighter light . Kind of an odd side button two mode with next mode memory and a strobe in the mode order . It's a pure junk light that actually gets used more than you'd think . has either an xpe ? or a fake emitter with a bunch of throw for it's size . I'm guessing it's worth  about $5. but it's paid for itself ....Glad I didn't buy it Silly

I keep 18650 lights in the car but don't leave them there expecting them to be fresh as a daisy until the next coming ice age . Like any light I check / rotate /use or play with ...at a minimum once or twice a year. 

 I don't see bugout and my car as the same thing.The light in my car gets used 20 times a year and in a few years will be replaced with something better 

 If bug out is your game and you're not willing to ever touch a light than put a pack of lithium primaries  batteries in the light or  pack candles 

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

                            

       Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

firedome
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I do not like to keep anything expensive in the car, because it is subject to extreme temperatures or the risk of theft. So I keep a S2 in the glove box and a cheap 2xAA COB in the toolbox. I like the magnet on the COB.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light --- Plato

Lightbringer
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Was gonna suggest to anyone who’s not afraid of keeping an 18650 in a car, try the Nitefox UW360 worklight.

4 LEDs on an Al plate, magnetic base, membrane switch (high/low/off), gooseneck between base and head, quite nice to stick onto the side of the car if you’d need to change a tire, etc.

It’s a mule, so forget about throw, but it’s a quite nice area-light. I got 2 of ‘em, but use both of them indoors.

Oh, usb charging, too, and included (protected) cell.

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BOO5TED
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My vote is a Nitecore MH12GTS, it takes CR123s, 18650s and uses the same usb charging cable as my phone. I always have the usb cable in my truck so if the light is low I can plug it in to charge up quickly. I’m in ATL and that light has seen 120 inside the truck during the summer to single digit temps(only a couple times lol) in the winter and never had any issues with it.

"America has three cities, New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland."- Tennessee Williams

 

wle
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i would not get AA or AAA – you will ignore the light, it is hot in the car, the thing will leak, invariably when you need it, it won’t work
plus it may be corroded beyond repair
unless you can remember to check the thing 4x a year

also, what is its real purpose?

i only consider my car light ‘the last resort’ – since if i can get the main EDC light out, i won;t go for the inferior car light.
so it almost never gets used
except maybe to look at something inside the car at night, while driving – again how often is that?

I just have some $4 CR123A twisties that are super small, 1 mode only
CR123As – in addition to not leaking – also have super long shelf life, like over 10 years

i’m also in atlanta

wle

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--Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
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--Greg Lemond.
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amishbill
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Another Atlanta guy….

I’ve had some double AA lights in my car for a while now. They’re old, and surprisingly dim in comparison to the turbocharged lumen monsters I’ve gotten used to, but they’re simple and durable. Yeah… Dim. Maybe 100-150 lumens… But, let me tell you. when you’re stuck at night in the middle of nowhere, it only takes a handful of lumens to make the difference.

WLE – the answer you seek is non-rechargeable lithium AA. They have all the benefits of non-rechargeable CR123, with the bonus of also accepting standard AA off the shelf of absolutely any store you’re near.

I’ve thought of using something small, simple and internally rechargeable like the Sofirn SC31 as a car light. If kept out of direct sunlight (like in a console or glove box) I’m not overly worried about the heat they’ll be exposed to, and being able to recharge with a USB cable is a definite mark in its favor. All you need to do is remember to check them once or twice a year and top off their charge. Yeah – you’re not supposed to keep Li-ion full charged if you want the best life out of them… BUT, how much good is a light that only has a half charge when you suddenly need it?

DIY LT1 battery wrap image. "PDF on Google Drive":https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IHIEOi1NXu868IYNCzIM7D2Ulpxchmww

Fresh Sanyo NCR18650GAs already wrapped "for sale HERE":http://budgetlightforum.com/node/69120 if you like.

Lightbringer
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Youse can all use alkaleaks in AA/AAA lights just fine. Just keep the cells separate and in a plastic bag so that even if they do leak, the corrosive ick won’t go beyond the confines of the bag.

Spares too, in case the main cells take a dump.

But in those cases, I’d just skip those hateful little alkaleaks entirely and stick with NiMH cells or Li primaries.

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wle
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i;ve used the lithium 1.5V, not impressed, they seem to have very low total energy

i forgot nimh as an option, but they have pretty high self-discharge.

but again, if you carry a good light in your pocket, when would you realistically use a car light?

i also agree that li-ion is probably ok even in heat and cold, for a non critical use

wle

========
"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
--Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
========
It never gets easy, you just go faster.

--Greg Lemond.
========
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸
              __o
    __o     _`\<,_      __o
  _`\<,_   (*)/ (*)   _`\<,_
 (*)/ (*)            (*)/ (*)
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸
========

Lexel
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emergency light
use AA or CR123 primary lithium 3V battery

amishbill
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wle wrote:

i forgot nimh as an option, but they have pretty high self-discharge.


Older NiMH – can’t argue with you.

New “Precharged” NiMH have a much lower self discharge rate that the non-precharged versions. It’s worth looking into.

DIY LT1 battery wrap image. "PDF on Google Drive":https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IHIEOi1NXu868IYNCzIM7D2Ulpxchmww

Fresh Sanyo NCR18650GAs already wrapped "for sale HERE":http://budgetlightforum.com/node/69120 if you like.

Lightbringer
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Yeh, enelooops and amaloops are pretty good in that regard. LADDA cells (eneloops in drag), too.

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SIGShooter
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I keep a Sofirn 2 AA light, a cheap 3 AAA headlight, a 3 D cell maglite, and a 12v spotlight with the cable in my car. The maglite is something I have left over from decades ago and I figured I might as well leave it in the car. I have primary lithium batteries in the AA and AAA lights and also spare enloops in a plastic bag.

That’s on top of an Olight AAA light on the car key ring and a Convoy S2 that I normally carry.

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cm64
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I keep one of these in my car. Cheap & quite good for close up use.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32833798268.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.2...

buck91
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I switched from CR123 lights to AA lights running L91 cells in my trucks a couple years ago. No real reason other than I prefer a little larger form factor in my vehicles (easier to find, harder to lose, etc). Running a 5.11 XBT A6 in one truck which I am EXTREMELY happy with. Runs two parallel stacks of 3AA cells so it can run either 6AA or 3AA plus gobs of throw. I have a Coast HP14 in the other which is OK but I wouldn’t re-purchase. Not as bright as others out there, goofy zoomie head and worst yet the switch has been somewhat unreliable.

Since you are talking about CR123 lights I’ll tell you what I have run in the past and thats Surefire G2 lights. I actually really liked the old G2 incan I had in my glovebox for years. Surely those 65 lumens were Surefire lumens because the bang thing never let me down! I also have a G2L-FY which has the 120lm head. Obviously dated but they were both great in their day. I do like the 2-mode (Police model?) G2X I have that starts on high with a clicky tailcap.

If I was going to put a modern CR123 light in the truck it would be something like the Streamlight Polytac HP or the Lumensfactory Seraph 9 with or without Turbo head. I have a 3-cell Streamlight Protac iHL 3 in the gun cabinet which would be ideal as well. Right now I’m looking to buy or build a 4-cr123 compatible p60 module to use in a old Cabelas XPG host; just not sure how hard I can push it in the plastic host.

My goals with a truck light is to be able to spot addresses, scope out camping sites in state forests and other longer range tasks. It also has to have longer runtime options to allow for emergency use in roadside repair or other extended situations. Wonderful age in lighting, today. Many, many top notch options!

EDIT: I didn’t think of this until now, but when I paid-on-call fire I carried my Streamlight Survivor (LED) on my turn outs and used it often when working downed lines and such. Not the highest lumens compared to other lights but great LUX. Very useful that you could leave it on the 12v charging cradle, though that would be less useful for many people.

Lightbringer
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If only the Z1 would have onboard charging…

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TheIntruder
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I’m happy with the Sofirn SP32v2.

Well-rounded, very flexible, and can take CR123s if it sits in the car, or 18650s when it doesn’t.

jasontheguitarist
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I have a Rayovac Indestructible 2xAA and an Ultratac A1 with Ultimate Lithiums in both of them in my console. The Ultratac for the lower modes and floodier beam, and the larger Rayovac for a throwier beam. I don’t want to keep any of the good stuff in the car.

Unloco
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I use Zanflare F2 with white eneloops and a blister of 6 alkaleaks for emergencies.

Oli
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Wowtac A1S. It doesn’t have moonlight but it’s got a reasonable low and over 1000 lms on high. Reliable and not afraid to get dirty. It’s too big for me to EDC so it sits in the vehicle as a work light. I would certainly rely on it on in an emergency kit in the car. And it’s been $26 on Amazon.com now for quite a few months. The Convoy S2+ would work equally as well as an emergency kit light packed away in a car.

SKIF2
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Maybe I am too old fashioned, but still keep a few pcs of Sipik SK68 with Energizer AA Lithium inside. Cheap and simple for emergency light (the one you need from never to once in 10 yrs)

pennzy
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The cars are where I put all those $10 S2+ with the horrible tints that I have too many of.

nibble
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SKIF2 wrote:
Maybe I am too old fashioned, but still keep a few pcs of Sipik SK68 with Energizer AA Lithium inside. Cheap and simple for emergency light (the one you need from never to once in 10 yrs)

I also have a SK68 in each car, but with a LSD NiMH AA inside and a pair of alkaleaks in a zip lock bag as backup. They also have a white plastic cap fitted as diffuser to make them more useful for short range work.

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