Why do people collect flashlights?

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Why do people collect flashlights?

Just a general question really, but it'd be interesting to see what people think about why they or other people collect flashlights.  Also, what's the general opinion - is flashlight collecting in the main a mature guy thing or is this type of collecting thing equally spread age groups and genders?  So, why collect flashlights?  Answers on a postcard.......

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So that they can play snob with their high CRI/warm tint/monster lumens unreliable, warrantyless lights over the common “muggle” who just wants a simple reliable working light Wink

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i think its a man,s thing i dont smoke just drink in mo duration i love walking in the dark with my dog and with a great bright light Big Smile i think i have a torch fetish lol

Flying Luminosity
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Until a few years ago I was always walking my dog in the dark at night. Then I thought it would be a good idea to occasionally turn on my camera phone light, to warn other potential dog walkers about my presence. After that, I realised that it would be nice to be able to see in the dark, instead of just being seen. So I bought a crappy cheap zoomie from eBay, which I used for about a month until the switch was no longer working.

I bought another zoomie that cost about twice as much, with a ‘cool looking’ metal host that reminded me of a lightsaber grip. Once again, the switch failed after a few weeks, and I decided to invest more money and buy a ‘real’ torch from Torch Direct (a large UK seller). My choice was the Olight SR52UT, which had a lot of throw but far less lumens than more recent purchases. While I was waiting for it, I checked all kinds of reviews, which brought me to CPF and BLF. That’s when I found out that there was a world of flashlights that I had never known about, and I soon became hooked.

Now throw distance has become a lot less important to me, as I appreciate having plenty of spill so I can see what is right in front of my feet when I’m walking in in the dark. And with the recent NW/WW high-CRI offerings, those CW lights seem like they’re a relic from a distant past. Compactness has also become a lot more important to me, as well as a good UI.

While it seems quite a male-dominated hobby, there are others such as my (nearly 47 year old) self who provide the exceptions. But I’m only a collector / user and have no modding experience or the technical knowledge necessary for it, unlike a lot of very talented people on this forum.

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We are scared of the dark Big Smile

No really i have no idea?

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I like to be enlightened. Smile
And to “make” light.


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I don’t so much collect, as search for the perfect light – and I haven’t found it yet. Of course, no one light is the best for every situation, so I need a handful of different types. But then I don’t want to walk across the flat to grab one for looking in a drawer, so it’s best to have a few scattered. And so the not-a-collection grows…

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The thrill of seeing bright light flowing out a tube.

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Virtually every light I buy has an intended use (although some of those purchases don’t measure up and never get used). The “collection” part is an accidental consequence of upgrading my lights from time to time Smile

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Same reason people collect Coins, Hot Wheels, early 1900’s stainless dildos, Stamps, buttons, etc.

As a kid I quickly abandoned Hot Wheels for Electric Slot cars, (Aurora Thunderjets to be specific) because they did something on their own and you could work on them and soup them up. Taught me mechanics and electrical at the same time.
Later in life it taught me about collecting and how the original box can easily double the value of many items.
Also taught me how to look for and spot clones/fakes.

I now describe collecting flashlights to people by saying “Some people collect coins, I collect Flashlights because coins can’t find the keys in the dark!”
Always gets a laugh and explains it quick.
Then they usually ask what kinds of lights etc and you get to educate and maybe help some folks.
Still leary of pushing Li battery powered lights to Muggles though.

Need to get to work now and collect some $

The difference between Hoarding and Collecting is the illusion of Organization
.“I will get one of flashlight from patrol car”

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain

After the Apocalypse there will be only 2 things left alive, Cockroaches and Keith Richards

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Because I’m at the “ I Want “ stage of life —— it started around age 5 and still going strong at 57—— Big Smile

raccoon city
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Why do people collect flashlights?

Because dogs don't have money!

Besides, only people (and mermaids) collect things.


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Because it’s affordable, unlike classic cars..

Kame Sennin
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Why do people collect anything ?


I don't feel like i am collecting flashlights, not getting every model in every color but … well … to each task it's tool and one might have to test several tools to find the most appropriate for each task Wink

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I don’t collect lights. They seem to gather around me. I get parcels in the mail and I wonder “what’s this??” only to find it’s (another) torch. It’s like I’m the Flashlight Fairy’s favourite person and she keeps gifting me…. honest…. true story Blushing


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Something ready for any eventuality....panic buying for every new model at a cheaper price..

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So far I am inventing justifications to buy more lights. One for work (night shift), one on the key chain to always be on me. I live outside the city so several in the house one for every area in the house to go outside with and for when the light goes out (relatively regular event). One big thrower to scan the are outside the house. Two lights in the car, one small with a magnet, one larger but compact thrower in case I am somewhere I need it to look around.

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Chinaheart wrote:

Something ready for any eventuality….panic buying for every new model at a cheaper price..

Yeah, if you find yourself using the term “panic buying” for flashlights outside of a disaster or zombie movie, you might have a problem. ;0)

This space for let.

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We have bears with cubs in my neighborhood. & big ass bucks, and does with Bambi in tow.
Foxes. Raccoons. Not to mention the hoppy bunnies.

So, when my dog Moose & me go out for that last call to nature before tucking in, I
Take a bright light with us. Used to carry a torch before joining BLF.

Now I collect lights. Go figure.

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Phlogiston wrote:
Virtually every light I buy has an intended use (although some of those purchases don’t measure up and never get used). The “collection” part is an accidental consequence of upgrading my lights from time to time Smile

this is exactly it—not collecting per se, just acquiring things hoping they work or do what we want

i get something, it is close to what i want, i use it, then something better comes along

i’ve just about stopped though with FW3A and anduril UI


"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.

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Jerommel wrote:
Because it's affordable, unlike classic cars..

Beat me to it.  Except for me, it's vintage motorcycles.




Fear of darkness that is somewhat ingrained in our collective psyche by evolution.

Lights are useful tools as well as "toys"; a relatively inexpensive way to enable me to exert some control (illuminate) my immediate (dark) environment, out to hundreds of meters with the right device.  That's something our far and not-so-far distant forbears, tens of thousands of years removed up until mid last century, would have found very useful for survival, as the cooking/heating/wild-animal-defense fire would only illuminate a few meters out.  The same fire also advertised the presence of the individual(s) tending it, something that could often draw unwanted attention from other individuals harboring nefarious intent.  Having more ways to satisfy the desire to see what otherwise cannot be seen satisfies a primal defensive desire.  Perhaps that's why illuminating the darkness is so satisfying.


Then too...,


I'm a tool junkie.  Different lights for (sometimes subtlety) different uses.


Hate to admit it but...,


I got something' you don't.

I like to hear others say "Wow!" Cool!" "Lemme see that!"  etc.


Last but not least...,

The Fun Factor.

I'm a Technician by temperament as well as by trade.  The child within is a Tim The Tool Man Taylor-type gadget freak (More Power grunt grunt grunt...*). Flashlights are cheap, repeatable fun.  More lights = more ways for the Technical Child to have fun after the Necessity and Utility demands are met.




* - for those across the pond, a trademark utterance of the character played by comedian Tim Allen in the popular TV series Home Improvement.

Smile! It makes others wonder what you've been up to.

Time is more valuable than money.
You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.
Lost time is never found.

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According to my parents my first word was “lightbulb”, so, I’ve always been facisnated with light. I was also an electronics geek as a kid and LEDs were my favorite component. Back then it was just the dim red or green indicator lights but once we reached the point we’re at today it was inevitable that I would become mildly obsessed.

Maybe it’s because I was a boy scout as a kid or something but I just don’t feel right without a flashlight and a pocket knife on me.

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I don’t so much collect, as search for the perfect light – and I haven’t found it yet.

This. I don’t “collect” I “accumulate” and every now and then the discards box yields up giveaways for family and friends.

First I wanted a reliable amber light —- that took me through modifying lights to put in amber emitters, and learning about the different manufacturers, and learning about forward voltages and drivers.

Then I wanted a multiply capable light — that took me into making amber zoomies.

Then I learned about TK and Anduril and I started looking for the most me-friendly UI, which is a stern chase is a long chase situation as Anduril keeps getting better in some lights.

And somewhere along in there I learned about higher capacity cells and started scrutinizing my big steel battery box ….

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It’s fascinating.
I don’t know why.
Like cameras; I don’t know how they work; but I like what they do.

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” ~ U.S. Senator William H. Borah (1865-1940) affectionately known as the "Lion of Idaho"

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Really, it’s my wife’s fault. I asked for a flashlight for Christmas and she bought me _four. _

But, uh, more reasonably? I have an idea for what I want out of a light, or a mod I want to do, and try to get it right. The failures accumulate, but so do the successes. It’s neat to have a couple different form factors or types of light (like zoomie, thrower, flooder), and now I have a choice of what I want to “wear” each morning and that’s kind of nice.

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Way cheaper than collecting guns.

how crazy is this
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The other night when I was walking my dogs, it occurred to me that, I was carrying 5 flashlights on me. Does that make me a collector? A very old boy out playing? A technician in search of the perfect tool? Someone with OCD for flashlights?

Just ordered a high quality AA headlamp to “complete” my “collection”. OTOH, I might just have to get a BLF A6 or FW or perhaps a TH30 just to get the wow factor my “collection” is lacking. Does this make me a collector?

Who knows. Interesting question. I enjoy being able to turn night into day, have just enough light to avoid obstacles without disturbing others, or just plain see well enough to complete a given task regardless of ambient light levels. For some strange reason I also enjoy the feel in my hands and the looks of certain lights.

Perhaps a good deal of it is just being a very old boy. I remember playing with discarded carbon zinc batteries that the railroad crews would abandon along the tracks in my small town. These were big lantern batteries and were fun to tear apart. Those amazing lanterns put out a lot of light back then. Of course every one of the 5 lights mentioned above would put those lights to shame — even the tiny AAA that is in my pocket always. I just think that is cool.

how crazy is this
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Now if I were truly a collector I would have to have this:


With the kind of cell that I used to love to disassemble as a child.


Pretty sure my flashlight proclivity started with something very much like this.


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> lantern batteries

Yeah, I just helped an elderly neighbor buy two 6v batteries for her big old 12v fluorescent earthquake-cache lantern.

And that led me to this

I wonder when someone will build a lantern to use it.

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The LED changed the game completely, concerning flashlights. Consumer incandescent flashlights were boring. Surefire and a few other brands made some seriously impressive looking & feeling incandescent flashlights, but for major $$ to acquire. So little choice. Plus, you could forget about affordable miniaturized flashlights that had any decent illumination capability.

Now, with China manufacturing capable of achieving decent quality standards, so many reasonably priced highly capable LED flashlights are available and for not much money. It’s so easy to buy these on a whim. So, collecting is also easily facilitated.

Also, since LED emitter efficiency has achieved a phenomenal level now, compared to 10 years ago, what you buy today doesn’t feel “obsolete” all that fast.

Lastly, for us men, having hand held devices is a kind of “empowerment” thing. We love tools. We love to use them. And illumination is an important tool. I remember years ago finding myself in situations where a flashlight would sure come in handy and being frustrated. This was before cellphones had bright LED’s that could be used for illumination. Those little key chain lights were always so anemic. Today? Unbelievable the amount of micro illumination possible. An Olight i1R that’s half the size of a pinky on a large man’s hand can pump out 150 lumens. I keep one on my car fob key chain. I also pocket an AAA light at all times. Then a larger EDC when I’m heading out in the evening. I’m never without light. NEVER. Cool

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SIGShooter wrote:
Way cheaper than collecting guns.
And safer!