How should a beginner spend $300?

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liteyear
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How should a beginner spend $300?

Signing up here has been one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done lately. It’s been fun reading & learning. Thanks to everyone who has communicated with me via the back-channels and in my intro thread.

Until this week I hadn’t given much thought to flashlights for many years. My only LED flashlights are Coast HP1, Coast G19 & some Harbor Freight giveaways. Otherwise, Maglite 3D & 4D incandescent lights have been around the house and in the cars.

I’m ready to get some hands-on knowlege of tint, color rendition, batteries, chargers, UIs, etc.

With $300 to start, which lights (& tints), batteries & charger(s) should be first? I live in a large, metro area and don’t hunt, night-fish or crawl through pipelines with headlights on. Rather, I might have to change a tire in the dark, find some stuff in a couple of poorly lit attics and/or search a couple of acres for “what’s making that noise.” Again, car & home applications.

$300 isn’t firm if $150 will do or $500 would be more fun. I’ve got a short list from some others here, but anybody else got suggestions for how to spend my money?

Again, thanks for letting me in the club.

DavidEF
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Are you looking to do any flashlight building or modding? Or, are you content (for now Crazy ) being a consumer only?

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

lawallac
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Do yourself a favor and get yourself a BLF Q8. You should be able to pick one up with a code or discount for 40-65. Prob the best light you’ll get for that money. Then get one of the new Emisar lights, D4, D1 or D1S. I’d also highly consider one of the Convoy L6. Consider tints. Many new people find through experience that neutral tints make it easier to resolve colors and that can be useful. But others genuinely like 6500 k. Lots of good chargers. I’ve had really good luck with Xtar chargers. Batteries, don’t get fixated on a brand name. The cell inside is what’s important, but it’s important that it’s a genuine Samsung, Panasonic, or LG.

cellguy
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Never skimp on quality batteries and charger. Lots of good options to choose from. Basically stay away from anything the has fire in the name (except Surefire). Look for OEM brands like Panasonic, LG and Samsung. Avoid garbage like Trustfire, Ultrafire, Tenergy and Nuon. The XTAR VP2/4 or Nitecore D4 are solid, easy to use Li-ion chargers.

Current Favorites:

BLF Q8, Thrunite TC20, Convoy L6

 

 

 

liteyear
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DavidEF wrote:
Are you looking to do any flashlight building or modding? Or, are you content (for now Crazy ) being a consumer only?

Consumer first. Probably not ready to start modding just yet. Still trying to get my head around tints, throw, flood, UI…all the details.

patmurris
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I love to spend other people money! Evil

Lii 500 charger – $25
BLF A6 3D tint – $25
BLF Q8 – $50
Samsung 30Q button top x 4 for the Q8 – $22
Samsung 30Q flat top x 4 for A6 and other lights – $20

Total $142 – all items can often be found cheaper on sale or with coupons

That would be for what seems like a decent starting point with two must have BLF lights.

Edit: Now let’s spend some more…

Convoy C8 XPL HI classic small thrower – $20
Emisar D4 XPL NW amazing 18650 pocket rocket (and water boiler) – $60
Jetbeam Jet I MK robust EDC twisty AA/14500 light – $15
Jetbeam Jet µ same thing even smaller AAA light – $12
BLF or Singfire 348 AAA one mode SS tube light – $8
Sanyo UR14500P x 2 – $10

That’s another $125 for 5 other good and useful lights and a couple 14500.

ARsee
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OP, if you want "a" nice flashlight, pick your liking.

Next, get in the single-item-check-out<->restraining-order<->no-trespassing line, so you can not return to this establishment.

cellguy
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Any of the BLF special editions are solid. A6, Q8, X5. Convoy L2, L6, C8 or S2. Thrunite TC20 or TN42 if you want something more high end/best in class. Emisar D1/D4 are can’t miss options too.

Current Favorites:

BLF Q8, Thrunite TC20, Convoy L6

 

 

 

Dman7777
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patmurris wrote:
I love to spend other people money! Evil

Lii 500 charger – $25
BLF A6 3D tint – $25
BLF Q8 – $50
Samsung 30Q button top x 4 for the Q8 – $22
Samsung 30Q flat top x 4 for A6 and other lights – $20

Total $142 – all items can often be found cheaper on sale or with coupons

That would be for what seems like a decent starting point with two must have BLF lights.

This here is a really nice start, when you get the a6, also get the 18350 battery tube. You can get it as the astrolux s1 which is the same light. It is a real sweetheart with the short tube. https://m.banggood.com/Astrolux-S1-XPL-1600LM-7-4modes-LED-Flashlight-18650-18350-p-1012721.html?rmmds=detail-bottom-alsolike

If i were going to add one more light to this list it would be something smaller like the olight s1A. This really fits nicely in the pocket but you can still hold on to it, it has a great beam, and super low moon mode.
https://olightworld.com/olight-s1a-baton

Persechini
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What I can recommend from what I have:

  • Emisar flashlights – the D4 is really cool, puts out a lot of power from s small host, albeit not sustained. The D1 is more practical and has the same cool user interface
  • Convoy S2+ host + MTN-electronics 17mm FET+1 driver + a couple of emitters with different tints (cool, neutral and warm). This would be a modding starter kit as you would only need to solder 2 wires on the LED board, super easy, results in a great flashlight if you don’t want to mod any further, output still can be raised if you like to keep modding.
  • Batteries with higher capacity for longer run times: Sanyo NCR18650GA or Samsung 35E. They both can sustain 10A discharge, so you are not trading capacity for all that much discharge rate. If you only buy a handful for now, the 30Q will give performance on lights that make use of higher drain without giving up to much capacity. The Sony VTC5a (lower capacity and higher discharge) and VTC6 (same capacity as 30Q, higher discharge) are also popular choices on the forum
  • A headlamp
  • Lii-500 charger
  • Nitecore TIP (the high CRI version)

What I’d get if I had the budget:

  • BLF Q8

What I wouldn’t get if I was starting:

  • Any luxury materials (flashlights made completely out of copper/titanium) or special editions
  • Anything from more expensive brands
  • Flashlights that run on a battery type I don’t already have. I’d start with 18650s, and only after a while flashlights that use 18350s, 16340s, 26650s, etc

In my Tree

My collectionEmisar: D4 / D1 / D4 (broken) ― Convoy: C8 Clear / S2+ Clear / S2+ / S2+ UV / S6 ― Nitecore: Tube / Thumb / Concept 1 / HC30 / HC33 / TIP / TIP CRI / TINI ― Lumintop: Tool AAA / Tool AA / HLAAA / EDC05 ― Sofirn: SF10 / SF12 / SF12 / SF14 / SF14 / SF14 / SP10A / SP10A (gifted) ― Jaxman: E3 ― UTorch: UT01 ― Trustfire: Z2 ― Skyfire: SF-065 (trashed)

liteyear
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lawallac wrote:
Do yourself a favor and get yourself a BLF Q8. You should be able to pick one up with a code or discount for 40-65. Prob the best light you’ll get for that money. Then get one of the new Emisar lights, D4, D1 or D1S. I’d also highly consider one of the Convoy L6. Consider tints. Many new people find through experience that neutral tints make it easier to resolve colors and that can be useful. But others genuinely like 6500 k. Lots of good chargers. I’ve had really good luck with Xtar chargers. Batteries, don’t get fixated on a brand name. The cell inside is what’s important, but it’s important that it’s a genuine Samsung, Panasonic, or LG.

Thanks. Others have said similar things!

Just saw your light collection – WOW!

liteyear
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patmurris wrote:
I love to spend other people money! Evil

Lii 500 charger – $25
BLF A6 3D tint – $25
BLF Q8 – $50
Samsung 30Q button top x 4 for the Q8 – $22
Samsung 30Q flat top x 4 for A6 and other lights – $20

Total $142 – all items can often be found cheaper on sale or with coupons

That would be for what seems like a decent starting point with two must have BLF lights.

Edit: Now let’s spend some more…

Convoy C8 XPL HI classic small thrower – $20
Emisar D4 XPL NW amazing 18650 pocket rocket (and water boiler) – $60
Jetbeam Jet I MK robust EDC twisty AA/14500 light – $15
Jetbeam Jet µ same thing even smaller AAA light – $12
BLF or Singfire 348 AAA one mode SS tube light – $8
Sanyo UR14500P x 2 – $10

That’s another $125 for 5 other good and useful lights and a couple 14500.

Now that’s a list! Thanks for taking the time to do this. It’s a big help as I try to figure out whether I like cool or warm, which UIs I like, battery issues, etc. Much appreciated.

liteyear
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cellguy wrote:
Any of the BLF special editions are solid. A6, Q8, X5. Convoy L2, L6, C8 or S2. Thrunite TC20 or TN42 if you want something more high end/best in class. Emisar D1/D4 are can’t miss options too.

A couple of people sent PM’s that suggested lists very similar to this. With 2 or 3 saying the same thing, my confidence goes way up. I appreciate the suggestions.

liteyear
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Persechini wrote:
What I can recommend from what I have:
  • Emisar flashlights – the D4 is really cool, puts out a lot of power from s small host, albeit not sustained. The D1 is more practical and has the same cool user interface
  • Convoy S2+ host + MTN-electronics 17mm FET+1 driver + a couple of emitters with different tints (cool, neutral and warm). This would be a modding starter kit as you would only need to solder 2 wires on the LED board, super easy, results in a great flashlight if you don’t want to mod any further, output still can be raised if you like to keep modding.
  • Batteries with higher capacity for longer run times: Sanyo NCR18650GA or Samsung 35E. They both can sustain 10A discharge, so you are not trading capacity for all that much discharge rate. If you only buy a handful for now, the 30Q will give performance on lights that make use of higher drain without giving up to much capacity. The Sony VTC5a (lower capacity and higher discharge) and VTC6 (same capacity as 30Q, higher discharge) are also popular choices on the forum
  • A headlamp
  • Lii-500 charger
  • Nitecore TIP (the high CRI version)

What I’d get if I had the budget:

  • BLF Q8

What I wouldn’t get if I was starting:

  • Any luxury materials (flashlights made completely out of copper/titanium) or special editions
  • Anything from more expensive brands
  • Flashlights that run on a battery type I don’t already have. I’d start with 18650s, and only after a while flashlights that use 18350s, 16340s, 26650s, etc

Thanks for the tips on dipping my toe into modding. Those details will help me order! Also, I like the advice about batteries. This whole thing is about to get really interesting.

Lightbringer
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cellguy wrote:
Basically stay away from anything the has fire in the name (except Surefire).

And Thorfire. Generally good stuff.

And genuine(!) UltraFire, at least as far as lights.

cellguy wrote:
Look for OEM brands like Panasonic, LG and Samsung. Avoid garbage like Trustfire, Ultrafire, Tenergy and Nuon.

But then there are fakes of even good brands and models (eg, the 30Q, HG2, etc.).

Generally, Fasttech and GearBest will sell the genuine articles over in China, and lots of places here in the states (I’ll let someone else rattle off some names).

Avoid fly-by-night sellers on Fleabay and the like. You’ll likely get a cell filled with sand or flour…

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patmurris
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liteyear wrote:
patmurris wrote:
I love to spend other people money! Evil

Now that’s a list! Thanks for taking the time to do this. It’s a big help as I try to figure out whether I like cool or warm, which UIs I like, battery issues, etc. Much appreciated.

Regarding Tint, CRI, UI, batteries and other considerations, you won’t really know until you’ve tried a few dozen lights, and own a drawer full of batteries. LOL

Anyway, whatever your preference are, you often end up liking a light for just one reason (cute, small, bright, cheap, easy to use, material…) regardless of all other qualities. Facepalm

Lexel
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Samsung 18650-30Q are often for 12.99$ with coupon
or Sony VTC6 for 16.99$

Convoy S2+ desert tan below 20$
Convoy C8 XPL HI around 20$

Jetbeam Jet-1 MK 12.99$ coupon
Keeppower or e-fest 14500 protected

Headlamp
Skilhunt H03 25.99$ coupon
Nitecore HC60 36.99$ with coupon

BLF Q8 48$
Astrolux MF01 78$ coupon
Astrolux S41

Nitecore TIP CRI 217 or Tini with coupon 20-30$

jon_slider
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none of the following lights are your typical Low CRI 6000k Cool White
they are all High CRI 4000k

18650 option.. read review: JAXMAN E2 Nichia this light also has an 18350 option (this light offers a choice of either 4000k or 5700k, both high CRI) It uses PWM, which gives it a demerit in my snobby view

“Light” Pocket carry,
AAA Lumintop Tool w Nichia, the Titanium version is most pocket friendly read review

AA.. this Zebralight read a review of a similar Zebra

16340 Olight S1 Mini High CRI definitely read this review

keychain USB rechargeable: Manker Lad w Nichia

Notes and suggestions
Storing Lights with LiIon cells in a hot car may not be wise, but there are plenty of cheap Cool White, Low CRI 18650 options.
Eneloop AAA and AA are Fun, for me. Imo AA Eneloop is a candidate for car storage, thought disposable Ultimate Lithium are better.
Using unprotected lights with unprotected cells may not be wise
For lights that do NOT have built in low voltage protection, use protected cells
Buy lights that have a way to let you know when the battery is getting low, so you don’t have to take the cells out and use a meter on them repeatedly and unnecessarily.

What I carry most

the range of color they offer me (two on left are modified)

gravelmonkey
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Can’t really go wrong with a convoy S2+.

For headlamp, have a look at skilhunt H03, coupons always available somewhere to bring the price down to around $30.

Lumintop tool is a nice AAA light with a satisfying tail clicks (well, more satisfying than the practical twisty switch most AAA lights use)

If another batch is ever made, the BLF-348 is really nice for the money.

Fun-wise, Emisar D4 is pretty rediculous for size:output, comes in multiple “flavours” of LED so you’ll have to make a choice! Puts out a floody beam. I don’t routinely carry mine as I find the side switch is a bit too easy to press, it’s more of a “take if you know it’s going to be dark” kind of light.

TN42 is also a fun one, throws a beam of light rediculously far, Astrolux M02 might give it a run for itsoney, cost wise, but I’ve not looked at any of the reviews.

liteyear
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Lightbringer wrote:
cellguy wrote:
Basically stay away from anything the has fire in the name (except Surefire).

And Thorfire. Generally good stuff.

And genuine(!) UltraFire, at least as far as lights.

cellguy wrote:
Look for OEM brands like Panasonic, LG and Samsung. Avoid garbage like Trustfire, Ultrafire, Tenergy and Nuon.

But then there are fakes of even good brands and models (eg, the 30Q, HG2, etc.).

Generally, Fasttech and GearBest will sell the genuine articles over in China, and lots of places here in the states (I’ll let someone else rattle off some names).

Avoid fly-by-night sellers on Fleabay and the like. You’ll likely get a cell filled with sand or flour…

Bought a loudspeaker once that came with a brick inside the cabinet. I appreciate the heads-up about batteries. I’ll stick to names that are known for reliability & service.

Lightbringer
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liteyear wrote:
With $300 to start, which lights (& tints), batteries & charger(s) should be first? I live in a large, metro area and don’t hunt, night-fish or crawl through pipelines with headlights on. Rather, I might have to change a tire in the dark, find some stuff in a couple of poorly lit attics and/or search a couple of acres for “what’s making that noise.” Again, car & home applications.

I’ve seen the recs for things like the Q8 and such, but for a good light for a “beginner”, I can recommend a few things.

  • Boruit RJ02 headlamp — Hands-down the most useful light I have for “doing stuff”, whether it’s grubbling around in bags or a cabinet, when you don’t give much thought to holding the light with one hand and grubbling around one-handed with the other. Having both hands free is a breath of freedom you can’t appreciate until you experience it, and then you’ll NEVER want to go back. They’re <10bux each, so get 4-5 of ‘em. Seriously. Built-in charger, so all you need is a usb cable and you’ll never even have to open it up.
  • Convoy S2+ tubelight — General purpose almost-do-anything light. Get some 20mm TIR lenses which’ll just drop-in and replace the reflector, no soldering or anything needed, and you’ll be able to go from spot to flood in whatever increments you want. Get a few of those to play with, a 6×7135 and the LED with the 4C tint. You’ll thank me later.
  • Convoy C8 or variant, eg, the Sofirn C8F — No collection is complete without a mini-thrower like the C8, period. All the C8 variants, that’s a thread in itself. The new Sofirn I mentioned with the side-switch kicks ass.
  • Jetbeam Jet-I, Sofirn SP10B, for AA/14500 lights — if you want a pockettable EDC light, either of these will do nicely, a twisty like the Jetbeam or side-clicky like the Sofirn. The Jetbeam automatically locks out when you untwist it (duh), and the Sofirn has an electronic lockout, or just untwist the end-cap a half-turn or so.

I happen to EDC a nice simple 1-mode ’502 (Ultrafire WF-502B), a dinosaur in today’s flashlight world, but I like drop-ins and being able to throw a new one together in one sitting if I want to. Forgot where I left off trying to use a 26mm TIR lens instead of a reflector, but that would be awesome…

Then, after all that, yeah, if you want to piss away some bux, get gee-whizzums lights like the Q8 and such. Nothing wrong with Q8s, as I got 2 of ‘em, but they’re Special Purpose lights that’ll otherwise end up being shelf-queens like my L2s and such. You’re not gonna carry one around in your bag, let alone on your person, so… why?

One of my faves, ‘though of course no longer available, is the Sofirn SF31W, in warrrrrrm-white. Wonnnnnnderful. Beautiful beam, great color, nice UI, quickly became my go-to light at home, especially at night.

liteyear wrote:
$300 isn’t firm if $150 will do or $500 would be more fun. I’ve got a short list from some others here, but anybody else got suggestions for how to spend my money?

Gimme. Evil

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Lightbringer
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patmurris wrote:
Regarding Tint, CRI, UI, batteries and other considerations, you won’t really know until you’ve tried a few dozen lights, and own a drawer full of batteries. LOL

What he said…

Seriously.

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liteyear
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Thanks! Good list and overlaps with some others, which is a good sign.

liteyear
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Interesting! I like your EDC lights. At this point photos of beams make me uncertain of what I’m going to like, but it is really helpful to see what others use after trying many different lights.

Thanks.

liteyear
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Lightbringer wrote:
liteyear wrote:
With $300 to start, which lights (& tints), batteries & charger(s) should be first? I live in a large, metro area and don’t hunt, night-fish or crawl through pipelines with headlights on. Rather, I might have to change a tire in the dark, find some stuff in a couple of poorly lit attics and/or search a couple of acres for “what’s making that noise.” Again, car & home applications.

I’ve seen the recs for things like the Q8 and such, but for a good light for a “beginner”, I can recommend a few things.

  • Boruit RJ02 headlamp — Hands-down the most useful light I have for “doing stuff”, whether it’s grubbling around in bags or a cabinet, when you don’t give much thought to holding the light with one hand and grubbling around one-handed with the other. Having both hands free is a breath of freedom you can’t appreciate until you experience it, and then you’ll NEVER want to go back. They’re <10bux each, so get 4-5 of ‘em. Seriously. Built-in charger, so all you need is a usb cable and you’ll never even have to open it up.
  • Convoy S2+ tubelight — General purpose almost-do-anything light. Get some 20mm TIR lenses which’ll just drop-in and replace the reflector, no soldering or anything needed, and you’ll be able to go from spot to flood in whatever increments you want. Get a few of those to play with, a 6×7135 and the LED with the 4C tint. You’ll thank me later.
  • Convoy C8 or variant, eg, the Sofirn C8F — No collection is complete without a mini-thrower like the C8, period. All the C8 variants, that’s a thread in itself. The new Sofirn I mentioned with the side-switch kicks ass.
  • Jetbeam Jet-I, Sofirn SP10B, for AA/14500 lights — if you want a pockettable EDC light, either of these will do nicely, a twisty like the Jetbeam or side-clicky like the Sofirn. The Jetbeam automatically locks out when you untwist it (duh), and the Sofirn has an electronic lockout, or just untwist the end-cap a half-turn or so.

I happen to EDC a nice simple 1-mode ’502 (Ultrafire WF-502B), a dinosaur in today’s flashlight world, but I like drop-ins and being able to throw a new one together in one sitting if I want to. Forgot where I left off trying to use a 26mm TIR lens instead of a reflector, but that would be awesome…

Then, after all that, yeah, if you want to piss away some bux, get gee-whizzums lights like the Q8 and such. Nothing wrong with Q8s, as I got 2 of ‘em, but they’re Special Purpose lights that’ll otherwise end up being shelf-queens like my L2s and such. You’re not gonna carry one around in your bag, let alone on your person, so… why?

One of my faves, ‘though of course no longer available, is the Sofirn SF31W, in warrrrrrm-white. Wonnnnnnderful. Beautiful beam, great color, nice UI, quickly became my go-to light at home, especially at night.

liteyear wrote:
$300 isn’t firm if $150 will do or $500 would be more fun. I’ve got a short list from some others here, but anybody else got suggestions for how to spend my money?

Gimme. Evil

You raise an excellent point. When I start looking at each light, I’m sure I’m going to lean toward lights I can imagine actually using. But, a couple of shelf-queens…maybe just a couple. Steve

Terry Oregon
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Lightbringer wrote:
  • Convoy S2+ tubelight —  Get some 20mm TIR lenses which'll just drop-in and replace the reflector

Lightbringer, can you give me some more info on what the TIR lens is, and where to get it?  I'm only familiar with the orange peel reflector (for the S2+) sold at Aliepxress.

Terry

 

My reviews: , My personal collection of lights LINK,  J5 Tactical V1 Pro review LINK,  Thirteen Optical Sensors review LINKZebralight SC700d review LINK,  Ray-O-Vac Super Power Sportsman review LINK,  Convoy S2+ color combos LINK,  How To flash D4V2 LINK,  Convoy S21A LINK

nquinn
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A practical post just to counter everyone else on here and be a bummer:

You probably shouldn’t spend $300 on flashlights, especially since you don’t plan to do anything outdoors. Hell, a $6.50 bojuit headlamp would be fine. (Though an upgrade to the skilhunt h03 would probably be better).

HAVE to spend $300? I’d aim for variety but still not blow a ton of money.

Buy:
- Charger (home): Miboxer C4-12 for speed or Folomov A4 if you want cheaper. Even liitokala 500. $20-$30ish
- Charger (portable): Liitokala 100 for ~ $2-$3
- Batteries: (2) NCR18650GA for capacity, (2) Sony VTC6 for more power (~$6/battery)
- Headlamp: Skilhunt H03 still. Not worth the extra for zebralight. $25
- Small EDC: A zillion options here. If you are actually carrying it AA or AAA might make sense. I hate heavy things in my pockets. Zebralight is the most loved but $80ish. I’d just get something like a Lumintop Tool AAA Nichia, etc. Here’s a favorite AA thread: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/57352. Manker E11 looks pretty nice. AA gets you a lot more capacity than AAA (2500 vs 900mAh).

Optional:
- Handheld: Emisar D4 ($40) or BLF A6 ($25). For high power.
- Throwy: Sofirn C8T ($18) or splurge on Emisar D1S ($40)
- Lantern: no good option right now, wait for the BLF project to be ready ($40ish)

Notice that these are nearly 18650 lights. That’s because I think in most use cases they just make a lot more sense than AA. Headlamp/hiking? The h03 is super light and AA models like the Thrunite Th20 are mere ounces lighter. Handheld for home? No reason to be small. Same for throwy. Only an EDC I’d say justifies AA or AAA if you are pocketing it.

Typical battery capacity/weight ratio:

3500mAH 18650 / 47g = 75mAH/g
2550mAH eneloop pro / 30g = 85mAH/g
950mAH eneloop pro / 13g = 73mAH/g

Surprisingly I thought 18650’s almost always won this battle. Looks like the eneloop pros are actually more dense. (The standard eneloops at 2000mAh are only around 66mAH/g)

Newlumen
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Here is my list..
Emisar d4 xpl hi 6500 or 5000k tint.. $58
Emisar d1s. $40
Blf q8 .. maybe $50 with the discount ?
Acebeam L16.. $90 ??
Fenix tk35ue. $110

Itsme
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and then once you spend your first 300 on some awesome lights, start saving another 300. It can get addictive lol

Finnno
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nquinn wrote:
A practical post just to counter everyone else on here and be a bummer:

You probably shouldn’t spend $300 on flashlights, especially since you don’t plan to do anything outdoors. Hell, a $6.50 bojuit headlamp would be fine. (Though an upgrade to the skilhunt h03 would probably be better).

HAVE to spend $300? I’d aim for variety but still not blow a ton of money.

Buy:
- Charger (home): Miboxer C4-12 for speed or Folomov A4 if you want cheaper. Even liitokala 500. $20-$30ish
- Charger (portable): Liitokala 100 for ~ $2-$3
- Batteries: (2) NCR18650GA for capacity, (2) Sony VTC6 for more power (~$6/battery)
- Headlamp: Skilhunt H03 still. Not worth the extra for zebralight. $25
- Small EDC: A zillion options here. If you are actually carrying it AA or AAA might make sense. I hate heavy things in my pockets. Zebralight is the most loved but $80ish. I’d just get something like a Lumintop Tool AAA Nichia, etc. Here’s a favorite AA thread: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/57352. Manker E11 looks pretty nice. AA gets you a lot more capacity than AAA (2500 vs 900mAh).

Optional:
- Handheld: Emisar D4 ($40) or BLF A6 ($25). For high power.
- Throwy: Sofirn C8T ($18) or splurge on Emisar D1S ($40)
- Lantern: no good option right now, wait for the BLF project to be ready ($40ish)

Notice that these are nearly 18650 lights. That’s because I think in most use cases they just make a lot more sense than AA. Headlamp/hiking? The h03 is super light and AA models like the Thrunite Th20 are mere ounces lighter. Handheld for home? No reason to be small. Same for throwy. Only an EDC I’d say justifies AA or AAA if you are pocketing it.

Typical battery capacity/weight ratio:

3500mAH 18650 / 47g = 75mAH/g
2550mAH eneloop pro / 30g = 85mAH/g
950mAH eneloop pro / 13g = 73mAH/g

Surprisingly I thought 18650’s almost always won this battle. Looks like the eneloop pros are actually more dense. (The standard eneloops at 2000mAh are only around 66mAH/g)


Portable charger…Miller ML102, or Nitecore F1, or Folomov A1 Smile

Btw, you cannot compare mAh to draw conclusion about energy density, if voltages are different —> LiIon still wins

Spread love, it pays off

Newlumen
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Sometimes i spend like $900 in one day on the flashlights.. lights are addictive.. i am telling you.. enter as your own risk. Lol.

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