What was your first White LED Flashlight?

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brjones
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What was your first White LED Flashlight?

White LED flashlights have come a LONG way. Let's do a little "back in my day..." to compare how far we've come. Try to remember price, date, and other details like tint, energy usage, etc.. Perhaps even mention what is your "best" LED light today as a comparison.

 

My "first" was the Eternalight. Remember that? Odd little thing, cool design at the time. 4 exposed (5mm?) LED's, all ranging in tint from blueish-white to purple Laughing out loud . No reflectors whatsoever. Flaky membrane buttons (once watched it come alive on its own). $35? + shipping + "packaging fee" from a random discount/closeout catalog (Heartland America). Got mine... circa 2004? Probably still holds the record for number of modes, and UI still could've been better. Came with 3 AA Energizers already loaded. Replacing batteries required unscrewing the housing--but this was the ETERNAlight, remember? You don't NEED to change batteries! Actually, I only did replace the batteries once, and the originals weren't dead. Still works--still on 2nd set of batteries!. Even without the flaky buttons/UI, totally obsolete for my purposes. Still by today's standards, very long runtime though. Too heavy to velcro under a hat bill, despite my hopes. Very pocketable though, with flat, wide shape. Just guessing: around 25 lumens on high?

 

OMG--they're still in business!

Still making the "Ergo"! $40 directly from the website!! omg! Site almost unchanged since <2007!

Gotta love the domain name! Techass!

http://www.techass.com/el/elm3/elm30.php

 

Unlike your "first time", the "second time" is harder to remember... drawing a blank on my 2nd (something from DX years later).

 

My 'best' white LED flashlight today: Solarforce L2P hosting a Manafont Ultrafire 3-mode XM-L drop-in with an OEM Surefire Z41 twisty switch (soon to be Solarforce crap S7 twisty switch modded to Oveready Zero Resistance).

- Circumcision, regardless gender, by definition causes sensation loss, and thereby usually causes difficulty later in life. Oppose amputation of children's genitals. ALL children. http://tinyurl.com/haszs6o

Edited by: Anonymous (not verified) on 08/14/2012 - 15:43
Budgeteer
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This one:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/romisen-cree-rc-n3-3-mode-led-flashlight-1x...

Long ago parted with it and before knowing how to swap a driver.

kragmutt wrote:

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

Don
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This one. The "driver" was a resistor. It was supposed to be suitable for two rechargeables. It wasn't! It smelled truly horrible when it burned.

The infamous Golston

My first mod - replacing the resistor with one that wouldn't burn. It was fearsomely bright by the standards of the time - I measured it at 75 lumens recently.

 

My second one.

CR123 light

The bottom of its reflector wasn't very well finished and when I tightened the head down it shorted the driver and killed the LED. Replaced it with a strange blue tinted 3W LED which was a third of the price of a Luxeon 3 and another resistor "driver".

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Haggai
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DX C30.

Well, actually one of those 2$ 2-LED "no battery" dynamo rechargeables, but I don't think they count.

Aleister
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I am new into lights - about 6 months - so my first light is doing great even right now: Aurora AK-P7 2 mode (by resistor).

But the first light I ever bought myself should be, 25 years ago, a mini maglite with 1-2 lumens output (focusing too Laughing).

 

 

Let a flooder be my wife and a thrower be my mistress

Hobbyfotograaf
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The Fenix LD20 Q5 was my first led-flashlight.

how2
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Don wrote:

This one. The "driver" was a resistor. It was supposed to be suitable for two rechargeables. It wasn't! It smelled truly horrible when it burned.

The infamous Golston

My first mod - replacing the resistor with one that wouldn't burn. It was fearsomely bright by the standards of the time - I measured it at 75 lumens recently.

 

My second one.

CR123 light

The bottom of its reflector wasn't very well finished and when I tightened the head down it shorted the driver and killed the LED. Replaced it with a strange blue tinted 3W LED which was a third of the price of a Luxeon 3 and another resistor "driver".

Don's second light was my first light.

jamesearljonesi...
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my first high power led light was a lowes taskforce. 

i stuck a 18650 in there and it was really bright but started to smell funny. 

03/04/16 

 

8 lives left

Davx
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My first led Flashlight was this http://www.dealextreme.com/p/3-in-1-15-1-3xaaa-flashlight-10-white-led-5... also i f i don't know if it can be consider a real flashlight.

My first "real" flashlight was a 501 body with a q2 in it.

"There are always new jobs, women, and apartments......there is only ONE BLF." - Chicago X (27/03/2012)

brjones
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No, I think the 'unreal' flashlights count more! Kind of trying to trace what people were buying when 'white' LED's emerged, and were a novelty.

 

'Squeeze light'! Yes! My family had an incandescent one. Piece of crap. Great way to get Carpel Tunnel.

 

Come to think of it, my '2nd' I believe was a white 3-LED mini-mag drop-in (my first drop-in!). Fry's sold both the Nite-Ize kit (with clicky switch) and an almost identical kit branded "Balboa", I think. Stupid me, I got the Balboa, and the switch died prematurely, but the beam was slightly superior to the Nite-Ize. Still have the drop-in. But my mini-mag is dissembled, in disarray, and will probably never be used again. I truly had a love-hate relationship with the Mini Mag. Mostly hate.

 

Drifting off-topic: anyone remember the Radio Shack (Tandy in Europe) "free" multi-C cell plastic flashlight BODIES they used give away as a promotion every year or few for awhile back in the late '80s? I think RS was hoping you'd buy the batteries for it there. Can't remember if those came with a bulb, but the 'thing to do' was to buy RS's krypton bulb to 'hot rod' it. Remember the batteries leaking onto my friend in a tent in the middle of the night.

- Circumcision, regardless gender, by definition causes sensation loss, and thereby usually causes difficulty later in life. Oppose amputation of children's genitals. ALL children. http://tinyurl.com/haszs6o

Hrvoje
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TerraLUX TLE-5 led upgrade for Minimag 2AA, then TerraLUX TLE-6EX led upgrade for Mag 4D, then P60 drop-in for SureFire 6P. Then the disease began...

okwchin
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My First LED experiences are all DIY. First were combinations of batteries connected to batteries, with resistors. The first torch format one was a double 5mm Amber LED connected to 2AA batteries via a resistor with a switch, in a PVC pipe with cork ends to hold the LED, switch and batteries. 

 

Later there were designs for boost converters for single white emitters and Those were my first White LED torches, in various packagings. Each with a slightly different boost driver design. Everything was put together from plans, Even had to manually draw the circuit board with permanent marker before etching!

It Still works! Even the sliding switch mechanism was rebuilt from tinned wire. I think I was 14y at the time.. 

Emitter is Plug and Play, Can connect any 5mm emitter onto this host. But the emitter must not be disconnected when powered, otherwise the buffer capacitor on the output charges up and when reconnecting the emitter :POOF:

 

D10 with 4C tint XP-G on Minimum output, vs 5mm White (not a very bright emitter, prob 6000mcd or something) (this driver is very light on the emitters, low drive current)

D10 vs Green 14000 mcd LED

Lots of room

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

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This 50 lumen powerhouse I purchased about 15 years ago because it looked like a "serious" flashlight in the package. (and its $40 price meant it had to be a "professional" torch)

It is actually very robust.  Much more so than its output would suggest

As you can see, this 3-mode wunderlight has hit the ground several times from significant height, always bezel end first of course.

It's a sad light really but the 10 LEDs are white and it does turn on when the button is pressed.  Which is not too damn often.

sst90host?Foy

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okwchin
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Does it have a suitable design to take a SST-90 and sink a minutes worth of heat? hehe. Maybe...

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

Foy
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Here's picture of the insides I took a long time ago.

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Piers
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The first white light I remember having was an LED Lenser V2 Mini Moon it's also the only one I've ever lost.

I got it in Feb-March 2001, it has that odd coloured beam yellowish in the middle and purpley-blue around the edges.

Everyone was amazed by it. Sadly I left it on a desk in an office I was installing network cable in, sadly someone pocketed it rather than handing it in Sad

 

 

old4570
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Don wrote:

This one. The "driver" was a resistor. It was supposed to be suitable for two rechargeables. It wasn't! It smelled truly horrible when it burned.

The infamous Golston

My first mod - replacing the resistor with one that wouldn't burn. It was fearsomely bright by the standards of the time - I measured it at 75 lumens recently.

 

My second one.

CR123 light

The bottom of its reflector wasn't very well finished and when I tightened the head down it shorted the driver and killed the LED. Replaced it with a strange blue tinted 3W LED which was a third of the price of a Luxeon 3 and another resistor "driver".

 

My first also / Romisen RL-B7  = Still have it , but now XM-L T6

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Foy
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Pook: I've got something like that.

Mine is blue.  I think it came with another light I bought, probably 15 years ago.

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Oldienea
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That was about ten years ago. It was a small LED lenser, possibly a V2 and crazy expensive. It used three AAAA batteries, that were so difficult to get. I sold it on.

jacktheclipper
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An old XJC B-12 . It came in a nice box with an 18650 and a charger .

What I do

 

nightcrawler
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Fall of 2003 I discovered this little classic in my local home improvement store. This is a little later model of the same light (which I still have and still works just fine.)

Dorcy AA LED Flashlight

 

It led me to search for 'LED flashlight' on Google, which led me to CPF, which led me to start FlashlightNews, which led me to get ticked off at CPF's management, which led me to start FlashlightNews Forums, which eventually led me here.

All because of one little LED flashlight...go figure!

rizky_p
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Mine was Ace hardware Luxeon III(china made) light driven by 2xAA, surprisingly waterproof i left it at 0.5m under water in the swiming pool overnight and no single drop of water inside. I changed it to SSC P4 since and now it still in by box without driver hoping to get a new lease of life.

brjones
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Wow, an Indonesia member! Welcome, rizky_p! Seen you around here before but didn't notice your location--hello! They have ACE hardware in Indonesia? Just products, or the actual hardware stores?

- Circumcision, regardless gender, by definition causes sensation loss, and thereby usually causes difficulty later in life. Oppose amputation of children's genitals. ALL children. http://tinyurl.com/haszs6o

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My first LED light was an unbranded, clear anodised 9x5mm LED cluster light, resistor regulated, 3xAAA, around 1999. Back then, I was admittedly ogling at the then-new LL lights with those funny names like "V²" or "photon pump" and the ridiculous pricetags, but never bought one. More sense then money.

My second LED light was this one:   http://budgetlightforum.com/node/2175#node-2175

I got it sometime around 2000, and was really proud of it. It had the air of "professionality", or at least I was convinced of that.

Despite a few more 9-LED and 12-LED cluster lights, it wasn't until late 2009 that I looked into LED lighting more seriously, again. I tried to modify a minimag with a "super-bright 5000K" white 5mm LED, directly driven off two alkalines. This didn't satisfy me for long, and in spring 2010, I replaced my crude first attempt at modding with a proper terralux TLE-5EX conversion which I used for well over a year.

 

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jamesearljonesisascab wrote:

my first high power led light was a lowes taskforce. 

i stuck a 18650 in there and it was really bright but started to smell funny. 

If my foggy memory recalls accurately, my first "real" LED light (other than some run of the mill 5mm LED) was also a TaskForce from Lowes.  I remember my brothers showing off their 1W LED torches and being amazed at the output.  Saw this one at Lowes and had to have that 1W beast!  Oh, how times change!!
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my first was a White LED keychain with a 5mm led. when the battery died, it got tossed.

my first hand held white led light was a Maglight 2AA incandescent with a cheap 5mm 3LED drop in module that i got at walmart. little bit blue tint. i think i lost it somewhere.

the first that had some usable output was a Coleman max with a XR-C (i think) led. 3AAA. fairly green tint. still have it. it may get some mods soon. 2nd light from the right. you can see the green compared to the rest of the lights.

Brian

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Old thread but a good one! I'll contribute my history here...

My first LED light was the $5 Dorcy 1x AAA light from Wal-Mart (the first-gen model I found described here: http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews/dorcy_aaa.htm)

I loved this light because it really did make a useable amount of light as compared to a micro-mag, and about half the price. So I've been a true BLFer since the beginning. After I bought this, other family members went out and bought the same light because they liked mine so much. After owning this light a couple of years, I eventually modded it using an updated Nichea 5mm LED that allowed me to gain a little brightness over the stock emitter. I tried adding a side-emitting white LED at one time to experiment with getting some use from the reflector, but my results were pretty dismal.

My next LED lights were Mag-mods. I had an LED Mag long before Mag released their own. My first attempt was an array of 36 5mm LEDs that fit the head perfectly and connected using the factory bulb post connector so the mod was completely reversible. My second mod was an early XR-E P3 (IIRC) emitter with no optic, but that was rather dismal. I eventually added a DX 52mm OP reflector that improved performance somewhat. It was better than a factory mag, but wasn't great. I finally purchased the 3x XR-E reflector from DX, ground it to fit, and installed 3x R2 emitters, each driven via a separate driver. This took up ALL available space in the head of the light, so it was necessary to remove the bulb post and solder directly to the switch. This combination worked VERY well and made the brightest Mag-Lite I had seen. The batteries leaked in that light, so I have just completed pulling it apart and cleaning it, and am in the process of replacing the drivers with the single 3x emitter driver from DX. This Mag has seen a lot and has been the test-bed for a lot of LED mods. When I soldered to the switch, I used one of the JST connectors from DX (a great investment for modding) so all of my mods are now modular. I can pull a mod and connect another without resoldering.

My other Maglite is a hard-driven XR-E R2 installed with a good 50mm optic from DX making a very impressive thrower than can throw 1,000 yards...

My first real LED flashlight was the single-mode 501b with XR-E R2 from DX. The original driver failed so I replaced it with the 5-mode AMC7135 driver with the mode group selection set to the 2-mode hi-low only. I still like this light.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

kramer5150
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Pretty dreadful... IIRC.

Hand crankers from around 1990-2000 (a forgettable flashlight era for me).  I was cleaning out the garage 4-5 years ago and found these in a pile of junk.  Snapped this pic before tossing them in the can.  You can see the pry marks on the silver one from me taking it apart to try and fix it.  These things completely SUK, 5-6 minutes of rigorous hand crank for 2-3 minutes of unusable light. 

... this awful turd from around that same time, $25 at big-5.  I got raped on this one, I was over-joyed though, at least I didn't have to hand crank it!!

More turds from that same time span...  I realized early on that 3AAA stinks, same goes for N size cells, Led Lensers don't smell much better for the $$.  The mag incan was a pretty good light looking back, alkaline cells eventually puked their guts and killed it.

my fave light from about 1984-1992 era was this fulton anglehead.... solid tool.  I upgraded it with a Radio-hack halogen lamp and a glass lens that I pulled form an old ray-o-vac light.

 

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Hmm, maybe a fauxton.

 

After it, I bought some China-made flashlight with Finnish brand with 4 x 5mm LEDs, 2 x AA.

LED´s started to burn out one by one first evening, got second one as replacement, same deal.

After that I took a while without LED´s.

 

First real powerful LED light was Black Cat! Used it with POS batts and thought it was broken -> bought more lights and since then I have been in forums.

First REAL, SERIOUS, WORKING LED-light was Romisen RC-C6, I gave it away when I sold my iTP A1 as a freebie.

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Great thread here.  My two relics from the past and the first LED flashlights I purchased are perhaps 7 or more years old, could even be 10 years old.  The first takes 3 "D" alkalines and may have cost $29.00+ and the smaller uses 4 "AA" alkalines and likely cost $24.00.  The larger has perhaps 109 or might actually have 128 LED's and the smaller may be about 50 LED's.  Both are approximately 7000k or higher color temp.  As I'm sure you're aware, the beam, or lack-there-of is all flood.  I did always like the side-body clickie on them though.  They were rarely used and remain in like-new condition on my display shelf.

 

 

 

Richie

jamesearljonesi...
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JohnnyMac wrote:

jamesearljonesisascab wrote:

my first high power led light was a lowes taskforce. 

i stuck a 18650 in there and it was really bright but started to smell funny. 

If my foggy memory recalls accurately, my first "real" LED light (other than some run of the mill 5mm LED) was also a TaskForce from Lowes.  I remember my brothers showing off their 1W LED torches and being amazed at the output.  Saw this one at Lowes and had to have that 1W beast!  Oh, how times change!!

Just finished it up today. swapped driver for solarforce single mode xml driver and xml U2 from led dna. also chopped off an inch to accomodate a 18650. a little jb weld and voila! updated for today.

03/04/16 

 

8 lives left

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