Hi! I've always had a 'thing' for bright lights but have just recently found these great LED lights you folks use. A friend pointed me to an Ultrafire C309 which has an XP-G R5 and claimed 320 lumens. The hotspot is bright and big and fades very gradually into the corona/spill. It's really a great light, especially for $30, but:

1) It illuminates great with 3 aaa for detailed viewing up to 12 feet. I got my 18650s and am charging them - I'm sure the light will be brighter with that. I will need to have similar illumination out to 25-35 feet.

2) the color flattens out depth, especially with green objects. I need a warmer colored beam

I'm using these lights in the forest with no trails. Sometimes tree & brush are close, often they're not. Often I'll be driving and want to see across the road into a fairly open forest that starts about 30-50 feet away and I'll want to see into it as far as the trees will alow up to a total of 200' I imagine.

So I *think* I'll need 3 lights, all neutral to warm light, preferably 'high CRI':

A. 1 very floody, bright light for the immediate area up to maybe 10-15 feet.
B. Something just like the C309 but with a brighter high with a medium that's similar to the 309 but warmer
C. something that will throw 50 - 200 feet with a hotspot at least 3 feet wide at 50 feet that will alow me enough light to see color and detail. This will be used from the car so it could even be the Kong light (http://www.king-cart.com/cgi-bin/car...ct_match=exact)

but I doubt I need that power even if it wasn't 20 - 40x my desired price

OK, maybe "C" would need to be 2 different lights, but at least I'm not asking to light a match at 300 yards
.

Some common questions (list from CP forums)

1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?

____I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.


2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! Smile

I'd rather order 1 $75 light than be dissatisfied with 3 $25 lights, but if a $30 light will do the job, that's even better.

____I’m flexible, tell me what you gotJ.

3) Format:

____I want a flashlight. for any or all
____I want a headlamp. For A this would be fine

4) Flashlight-specific format/size: numbered in order of preference:

____Keychain size. this would be fine if it existed
1____Every day carry small (2-4 inches).
_2___Every day carry medium (4-7 inches).
_3___Holster carry.

5) Emitter/Light source:

____LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness) Which is why it's in this forum

6) Manufacturer:

____I want to buy a light from a traditional mass producing manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
____I would consider getting a light that is pieced together (for example a “host” or flashlight body from one manufacturer, and a “drop-in” emitter from another source). Under the right circumstances, this path can provide more options to the consumer to meet specific needs, and can often be easily upgradeable as technology improves.

I want good heatsinking but am not willing to risk soldering. I will turn a screwdriver and I would order parts from various places


7) What battery type do you want to use?

18650 one or two; four or six if they are in a 2 or 3 x2 arrangement


8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).

See above. I'm walking in trailless areas so there will be tripping over things.
I will carry A&B with me as I walk, possibly using both at the same time

9) Throw vs. Flood: At what distance will you be most likely to use this light? Select all that apply.

__A__Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work)
__A,B__Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement)
__B,C__5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard)
__C__30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
__C__50-150 yards/meters (I live in a very rural area/farm with wide open spaces)


10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum output).

I will have extra, charged 18650s in plastic containers but walking around it's massively inconvenient to change them plus easy to lose them. Hopefully A & B wont die at the same time.

_C___30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed)
_A,B, C if possible___90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
____3 hours + (I critically need this light to run on max for extended periods in between battery changes/charges). 3+ hrs would be great if possible, but I'm not counting on it


11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.

Mostly____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
_But if I can afford it___Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Caving, Survival).

My C309 is pretty well built. Running it over with a car wouldn't hurt it, but I don't have the knowledge to judge the innards.

12) Switch Type and location (choose all that apply) PLUS
13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.


Side clicky would be first choice but I don't mind rear clicky. I'd prefer no tighten/loosen (could it still be weatherproof if you did that?) but if it was otherwise perfect I'd consider.
I love the idea of switching modes separately from turning on & off and I think high, 75%, 50%, 25% are great modes to have. I don't really care about blinking of any kind. I think sos would be more useful than strobe unless strobe also confuses large, predatory animals. A forward ring to select modes is great. My C309 uses a light touch of the rear clicky to change modes and then you turn off & on with a full press in the selected mode (it turns on in last mode used) and that works well. Infinitely variable levels would be terriffic if it was affordable.


14)Material/Finish/Coating

____Anodized Aluminum – prefer III but II will do if it's otherwise great

15) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any below.

weatherproof/dunk proof prefered.

I don't have any test equipment for lights and not even a tripod but I will show a few beamshots for the C309 with 18650. Usually the light is a lot brighter than the photos reveal because I'm hand holding at 1 second and the photo's still too dim.

C309 outside - looks much brighter. It was foggy so I thought I had a better beam shot about 40 feet.


This was a 1 sec exposure but the beam looks much brighter IRL. I could easily have read a non reflective sign or seen a salamander climbing that wall


C309 wall, about 8 feet away. Looks a little brighter IRL


C309 on left, UltraFire U4-MCU with XR-E Q5-WC on R because I know a few of you have it


spill shot:


So what lights do you think I should look at? Links to low priced sources would also be appreciated Thank you for your time!

Bob C.