What would you do differently if you started get into flashlights?

50 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

ChibiM
ChibiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 05/09/2011 - 10:25
Posts: 6308
Location: Holland
What would you do differently if you started get into flashlights?

What would you do differently if you would get into flashlights right now?

 

Skip the eBay junk?

Get a better charger from the get go?

Spend more money on a soldering iron?

Let your other half manage your money?

Don't become friend with the mail delivery guy?

Get a larger cupboard?

Build a secret hiding place before you told your family about your new addition?

Get a Zebralight and be done with it?

 

Juslearnin
Offline
Last seen: 32 min 41 sec ago
Joined: 12/11/2019 - 03:15
Posts: 23

I would not buy one today, because I Would know something better will come out tomorrow.

Think how much money I would have saved.

richbuff
Offline
Last seen: 15 min 11 sec ago
Joined: 09/22/2015 - 20:38
Posts: 398
Location: Prescott Az

Interesting question. I would do nothing different. I got into real performance flashlights October, 2014, with the Four Sevens MMU-X3. I quickly decided that my range was the Acebeam Eagletac  Fenix Four-Sevens  Manker  Nitecore Niwalker Noctigon Olight Thrunite niche.

That is, I quickly decided that I was done with the routine ultra junk that I struggled with for decades, and after spending time and effort in reading about real performance flashlights in various forums on the world wide web,  I decided to also simply skip the HDS LRI Malkoff McGizmo Muyshondt Okluma Oveready Peak Pelicans Prometheus TexasLumens TNC class of flashlights, even though they are very nice, and lots of nice people enjoy them.

 

I think I did well with sticking with the niche that I selected. I have not yet purchased any  Armytek Elzetta JetBeam Klarus MecArmy Streamlight Sunwayman Surefire Zebralight lights. Before I do, I want to add Astrolux Fireflies and Sofirn to my collection.

I very much like the Emisar, Imalent,  Lumintop, and Nightwatch that I have focused on recently.

That reminds me. The only thing I messed up on was not ordering half a crate of single 21700 cell Nightwatch NSX53 triple XHP50.2 before the supply dried up.

Of people, places and things, people are far and away the most important. In the category of secular things, the most spiritual things are flashlights. Whatever amount of spiritual happiness I can derive from secular things, flashlights have far and away given me the most.

 

Think of how evil the average person is, and realize half of them are eviler than that.

 

bikenber73
bikenber73's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 54 min ago
Joined: 11/12/2011 - 15:09
Posts: 2079
Location: Maryland USA

Not buy anything until Convoy was created and then use it as my base line.

I have drawers full of “fire” lights that I ….. a) do not even think about using anymore or b) broke trying to mod them into what Convoy has to offer now at the same price.

sp5it
sp5it's picture
Offline
Last seen: 41 min 18 sec ago
Joined: 12/25/2012 - 07:51
Posts: 995
Location: Poland

I always was restrained about flashlights. Most of them are crap. There is only a few worth buying and using.
And yes, Zebralight is one of them Smile I edc SC600W MKIII Hi. Just perfect light.
I also build a few, modded a few, killed a few.
Nowadays full regulated max mode, tint and high CRI is a key factor.
Mike

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that. George Carlin

 Anyone offended by my signature please fill Complaint Form. Thank you.

Agro
Agro's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 05/14/2017 - 11:16
Posts: 5974
Location: Ślōnsk

1. Start with cheap-but-not-too-cheap to learn what kinds of lights do I want before buying expensive stuff
2. Not buy multiple copies of the same light because it’s so cheap. I don’t have many redundancies like this…but I have some and it’s just a waste.

Sirstinky
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 32 min ago
Joined: 11/02/2018 - 17:07
Posts: 529
Location: Vancouver, WA

I seriously got into this hobby in 2017 after being interested for a long time. The tech has changed so much in 10 years. Not much changed since 2017 though so tech has hit sort of a ceiling.

Here’s what I learned:
Get a good soldering iron
The right tools are important for modding
You usually get what you pay for
Research things
Be careful buying from China, i.e. shop smart
Buy good batteries

peg matite
peg matite's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 41 min ago
Joined: 01/02/2019 - 17:47
Posts: 252
Location: EOK

Be more selective with lights.

Don’t buy Li-ion batteries on Amazon.

Unheard
Offline
Last seen: 18 min 15 sec ago
Joined: 01/16/2019 - 11:38
Posts: 560
Location: Germany

Now that you’ve mentioned it: Buying a 16340 Zebra. And a 47s mini Turbo while they were available.

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 5 min ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 13782
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA

We learn from our mistakes, so there are plenty of flashlights that I would not buy.

I would just get the ones I really like, which is a very short list.

NeutralFan
NeutralFan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 9 min ago
Joined: 03/20/2014 - 19:22
Posts: 993
Location: Wisconsin, USA

It’s been a fun journey so far. I did get some ZebraLights early on, but it was more fun to modify and make my own flashlights. I should’ve gotten a better soldering iron sooner.

And I shouldn’t have made that spreadsheet that lists all the flashlights that I’ve purchased and made over the years. The grand total was quite the surprise! Facepalm

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

bushmaster
bushmaster's picture
Offline
Last seen: 39 min 7 sec ago
Joined: 07/09/2017 - 15:40
Posts: 413
Location: Colville, WA USA

It’d be nice to start out knowing that “long-throw” isn’t really as useful as flood most of the time.

Keep your nose in the wind and your eyes along the skyline.
Del Gue

anonymous_user
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 46 min ago
Joined: 05/23/2019 - 21:59
Posts: 235
Location: CA, USA

1. Start with a cheaper light
2. Maybe start with high CRI from the get go as well
3. Actually ask for flashlight recommendations in addition to doing individual research
4. Buying batteries either before or at the same time as getting a light

jp9mm
Offline
Last seen: 27 min 14 sec ago
Joined: 03/30/2020 - 12:14
Posts: 70

I’m just starting now. Think i’m doing good with emisar d4v2 and sofirn sc31b Smile

CNCman
CNCman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 48 min ago
Joined: 04/07/2018 - 10:10
Posts: 545
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast

Sirstinky wrote:
I seriously got into this hobby in 2017 after being interested for a long time. The tech has changed so much in 10 years. Not much changed since 2017 though so tech has hit sort of a ceiling.

Here’s what I learned:
Get a good soldering iron
The right tools are important for modding
You usually get what you pay for
Research things
Be careful buying from China, i.e. shop smart
Buy good batteries


.
GOOD JUDGMENT COMES FROM EXPERIENCE, AND A LOT OF THAT COMES FROM BAD JUDGMENT.
.
I purchased one light from Ebay with 2 × 18650 and a T6 led zoomie and it sparked my interest. It was very bright compared my previous lights.
But I never purchased another one from Ebay after finding BLF.
.
Sirstinky , my experience also Thumbs Up

CNC & Manual Machinist. Think outside the box too long , cannot find your way back in.

Never give up, Never surrender. Make someone Smile today.

ChibiM
ChibiM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 05/09/2011 - 10:25
Posts: 6308
Location: Holland

I would probably start with some Convoy or Sofirn flashlights. Pay a little more for good batteries and skip the eBay stuff. Pay a little more for a good charger.

gravelmonkey
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 48 min ago
Joined: 08/17/2012 - 20:28
Posts: 301
Location: South West UK

Don’t remember the date I started, a little after the Fenix LD20 was released.

If I started over, I’d focus on quality over quantity for cells- skip the dubious li-ion cells from banggood etc and spend the money on cells from reliable sources.

Get into the habit of selling what I don’t like rather than hording on the chance I’ll mod it to my liking.

Agree about not buying duplicates of lights because they’re on offer.

Geuzzz
Geuzzz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 10/25/2015 - 10:27
Posts: 1188
Location: Netherlands

Probably would do things differently (buy less), but the times way back when we modified cheap sk68s to impress our friends were probably most fun.

Now I have to buy expensive titanium flashlights to get the same kick and I am bored faster.

will34
will34's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 12/18/2012 - 00:12
Posts: 3774

Not spend any money on grails/shelf queens that I don’t plan to really use because flashlights technology become obsolete pretty fast…

The Battery Boy
The Battery Boy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 17 hours ago
Joined: 05/09/2020 - 21:36
Posts: 22

What would you do differently if you would get into flashlights right now?

I would seek professional help as soon as I recognise the signs of addiction. The very first step is admitting to yourself that you have a problem.

It would be useful to note the contact details of self-help organisations.

tatasal
Online
Last seen: 4 min 34 sec ago
Joined: 02/15/2012 - 08:40
Posts: 5379
Location: Far East

Not much different compared to the beginning, for I happen to see from a local dealer a led light ( after a very long while since my college 2D Maglight ) then discovered and surfed in Candlepowerforums and got into the buy-once, cry-once wagon.

So I bought the ‘better’ ones at that time (2012) the Pila IBC charger, Powerex Maha MH-C9000 and the iCharger 108B+ hobby charger (in order to test laptop pulls when only a few 18650 brands were available then, and only state-side). Cells from China were all the dreaded Ultrafires, etc.

As for the lights l bought the Zebralight SC600 (X2) and the Klarus XT11.

I didn’t have the good luck with the SC600 though, as one of them failed its switch 2 times and was sent back to the factory twice too.

xevious
xevious's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 7 min ago
Joined: 02/27/2013 - 21:55
Posts: 1488
Location: Hoboken, NJ USA

I wouldn’t do it all that much differently, except I probably would have bought a dozen Liteflux LF2TX flashlights when I had the chance to get one on closeout. I paid $60 for mine and 5 years later sold it for $150. Had no idea it would become so desirable.

Yokiamy
Yokiamy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 35 min 57 sec ago
Joined: 10/18/2016 - 15:47
Posts: 2387
Location: Netherlands

Learn from your mistakes, the best tip ever.
If you start with quality lights you will be spoiled.

Its like starting with a brand new mercedes as your first car instead of an old beater.

PBWilson
Offline
Last seen: 53 min 24 sec ago
Joined: 08/24/2016 - 17:49
Posts: 987
Location: Rochester, NY

I think I got into flashlights at the right time. The BLF A6 was out and tested by many individuals before I dipped my toe in the waters. I got one (actually an Astrolux S1) and my family still uses it to this day.

My next lights were a Zebralight SC600w HI and a H600Fd III, which are both wonderful lights and have worked perfectly for me on many adventures. I don’t know if I’d get them again because of the cost and within a year or so, a number of excellent lights were released that were real contenders.

What I would do differently is this:

-No CW emitters or unappealing tints even if the light is a solid design or inexpensive
-Wait until lights were tested before hitting the “Buy” button
-Not be swayed by massive amounts of lumens (although it can be fun)
-No strange or annoying UI (subjective, I know)
-Buying only if it fits a niche in real use (size really does matter to me)
-Not buying duplicates that don’t get used
-Using quality brands of batteries only
-Supporting dealers and brands that support the buyer if things go wrong (this can be a challenge)
-Informing family and friends on what a quality AND affordable light really is BEFORE they waste their money

Jack Kellar
Jack Kellar's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 10 min ago
Joined: 03/09/2014 - 14:21
Posts: 1911
Location: Throwing bolts at anomalies

1. Never bought locally through MercadoLivre, the South American branch of eBay
2. NEVER purchased a M@g-lite, all of them were utter wastes of cash and Eneloop manglers
3. Gotten a BLF A6 instead of any 18650 Thrunites, even though the TN12 2014 served me fairly well
3.1. Failed that, never swapped the NW 4000K-ish TN12 that broke on me for a CW one with hidrous green shift
4. Gone to Lumintop for AA lights instead of insisting on the Thrunites, which were all just a ball ache (so much so that I lost my T10 v1 and didn’t miss it at all
5. Waited until 2016 to buy any Convoys, and directly from Simon at that, because Biscotti is to me like wild singletrack is to a mountain biker
5.1. Failed that, gotten a Biscotti driver to swap on my first S2 right away instead of buying a near-exact copy with Biscotti
6. Purchased a decently potent soldering iron that actually melts the solder for more than a split second

Yokiamy
Yokiamy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 35 min 57 sec ago
Joined: 10/18/2016 - 15:47
Posts: 2387
Location: Netherlands

Jack Kellar, i disagree with point 2, maglites were the bomb in the 90’s

e1000
Offline
Last seen: 48 min 26 sec ago
Joined: 04/07/2018 - 19:57
Posts: 234
Location: LA, CA

Start sooner

Jack Kellar
Jack Kellar's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 10 min ago
Joined: 03/09/2014 - 14:21
Posts: 1911
Location: Throwing bolts at anomalies

Yokiamy wrote:
Jack Kellar, i disagree with point 2, maglites were the bomb in the 90’s

Lemme expand on my point:

Mag was the brand for utility lights back in incandescent days. So much so that in South America, they are practically a luxury item. Over here, you spend on a Mag as much as a US guy spends on a Surefire. No exaggeration.

Problem is that this price tag remained for the LED line, and local sellers know this. I legit spent the equivalent of 60 dollars (in the exchange rate back in the day) in one 3D and a 2AA Minimag. Both of which failed. Before that I purchased a 2AAA Mini Mag and was disappointed with the total lack of regulation. Then I bought a camo 2AA Mini that actually worked, but the twilcap spring dented the flat ends of my Eneloops to such a degree that I was afraid they would stop working within weeks. Thank goodness that didn’t happen.

ADDENDUM: I started to legitimately collect lights in 2012, and incans were already long outdated by that point.

Yokiamy
Yokiamy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 35 min 57 sec ago
Joined: 10/18/2016 - 15:47
Posts: 2387
Location: Netherlands

I still thought i was the bomb in 2012 with my incan Maglite, until my colleage told me those maglights were hopelessly outdated.
That was the start of all trouble. I got a led upgrade which gave me 200 Lm ! After that i found out that newer LED’s existed, and look where i ended up…

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 29 min 56 sec ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 9037
Location: Berkeley, California

Buy more AA and 2xAA lights, because they’re easier to give away to people I wouldn’t trust with li-ion charging.

Zappaman
Zappaman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 25 min ago
Joined: 01/01/2018 - 23:27
Posts: 325
Location: Kansas

I would wait, read more, and try not to jump on “deals” which often don’t turn out quite like expected back when it all started… a few (or was it six!) months ago. Facepalm

Batteries are one of the big unknowns and after getting a good charger/tester I started returning them to eBay and buying them from better sources. Also knowing WHAT battery a light needs (no a Q30 isn’t the ONLY battery to covet) helps as low drain batteries work GREAT in a lot of lights (and the latest LT1 lantern)… and they CAN be way cheaper by the dozen if you wait and watch for the deals KNOWING what you want BEFORE jumping on a deal.

So more advice is get good “stuff”, but give yourself TIME for a deal to happen. Again, BLF rocks for spotting deals too.

I guess I’m lucky I got into this habit just a few years ago, I read about some older members who have a lot of lights that WERE da’ **** not too long ago. Wink With that said, it’s taken me just over two years to accumulate a few dozen lights, and a good surplus of “parts” for mods.

Several in this post also mention selling unused lights off and I can see that being a smart thing to consider about now. But not wanting to be a local reseller and shipping is stupid expensive lately for we small operators. So maybe I’ll donate them to local concerns like I did my city manager for reading water meters. Thing is, you don’t know you need a higher power light until you GET one.

But over-all I have zero regrets for any light I’ve bought BECAUSE I did check it all out here on BLF before buying. I travel and hunt/fish a lot and have many hunting friends and hosts in several states that I spend time around the fire with. I have gifted many lights to a larger group of hunters and land owners in the several states I hunt in. They make a REALLY thoughtful gift and are a natural fit for where we are at any given moment… the middle of nowhere!

Final thought though… I have spent about 40 hours or so on modding lights (and I’ve had a tech bench since I got my first HealthKit in the 70s). I enjoy modding, although there were some hard lessons when I got started (on the old C8F 18650 hosts which were a challenge that cost me a few drivers, and about 5 tail springs… actually my cat ate one of those driver’s ICs). Anyway, I am observing new lights coming out this year and seeing that for the price, it’s getting to NOT be worth my time modding most lights coming out lately. The latest C8G from Sofirn HAS all the features I USED to have to “build” into a host that cost twice as much when done with a custom driver, sliced domes, tail bypasses, and TIME.

LONG AND SHORT… better lights from a few manufacturers (listening to BLF) are cheaper than they have ever been for the features they have today. And tomorrow… who knows? So that is my excuse to stay topped off with lights anyway Big Smile

ZappaMan

Pages