It's a rabbit hole, isn't it?

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synerr
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It's a rabbit hole, isn't it?

Hello

I wanted to buy a flashlight. I had some simple requirements. I wanted it to take NiMh AA, but also 14500s, and in case of emergency a single use AA. I also wanted a very low light setting for checking on the kids without waking them up, a medium one for when taking out the rubbish, and a turbo one for spotting and chasing away cats fighting in the garden.

There seem to be many options out there, some really great, but none “quite right”. Either too expensive, or too cold, or rubbish CRI. Or that hideous twisty switchy thingy. And heck, if there’s an MCU inside, why shouldn’t I be able to upload my own firmware? Before I knew it I’ve spent a week checking specs, looking up reviews, taking my credit card out and putting it back in.

Now I’m feeling anxious. There has to be a light [pun intended] at the end of the tunnel. Today I came across this forum and it seems that the struggle is real, and not just mine.

B

High CRI or death!

TMaxxJJ
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You’ve spend a week looking at lights online and only just come across this forum?! Welcome along, I hope your credit card has a healthy limit Wink

synerr
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TMaxxJJ wrote:
You’ve spend a week looking at lights online and only just come across this forum?! Welcome along, I hope your credit card has a healthy limit Wink

Schoolboy error Smile I was searching on the usual Chinese stores and watching YouTube reviews. Thanks for the welcome.

High CRI or death!

will34
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Welcome to the forum!

The way I see it, there are many types of flashlight collectors here, but predominantly there are two types:

  • The one light to do it all collector: this person will try to obtain the closest thing to perfection there is and will incessantly seek for that one grail flashlight that will serve for years in every single situation. Every other light will be fill or backup lights.
  • The one light for each scenario collector: as the name implies this person will buy many flashlights, as long as they will at least be useful in one scenario, but knows that there can’t be one single perfect light and understands this is a rapidly evolving hobby (in the technical sense).

For many years I was the first type and searched for a long time spending quite a bit of $$ hoping to find the ultimate performing flashlight to finally cure the collecting addiction, only to later realize that what was grail 3 years ago it was obsolete today. And since then I have mostly bought budget lights, spending way less and having lot more fun.

BOO5TED
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Lumintop Tool looks to fit your requirements, pick up one with a nichia or have it modded with an led of your choice. My daily work edc is a Ti Tool with 5k Samsung LH351D and modded deep carry clip.

"America has three cities, New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland."- Tennessee Williams

 

 

synerr
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BOO5TED wrote:
Lumintop Tool looks to fit your requirements, pick up one with a nichia or have it modded with an led of your choice. My daily work edc is a Ti Tool with 5k Samsung LH351D and modded deep carry clip.

I had set my eyes on the Tool+Nichia but they seem to be unavailable wherever I checked. Could only find the Cree or the UV ones. Then I spotted a new listing for a Sofirn SP10 V3 and unable to find any details on YouTube tried Google instead and landed on this forum Smile To my delight it seems that some learned members are working with Sofirn to come up with an SP10 Pro which seems like it will fit my bill perfectly.

In the meantime if I find a Tool+Nichia at the right price I’ll probably get it! Thanks Smile

will34 wrote:
Welcome to the forum!

The way I see it, there are many types of flashlight collectors here, but predominantly there are two types:

  • The one light to do it all collector
  • The one light for each scenario collector:

For many years I was the first type and searched for a long time spending quite a bit of $$ hoping to find the ultimate performing flashlight to finally cure the collecting addiction, only to later realize that what was grail 3 years ago it was obsolete today. And since then I have mostly bought budget lights, spending way less and having lot more fun.

That sounds like my mechanical keyboard journey. And my swiss army knife one. And my …

Thanks everyone for the 2700K welcome.

High CRI or death!

BOO5TED
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synerr wrote:
BOO5TED wrote:
Lumintop Tool looks to fit your requirements, pick up one with a nichia or have it modded with an led of your choice. My daily work edc is a Ti Tool with 5k Samsung LH351D and modded deep carry clip.

I had set my eyes on the Tool+Nichia but they seem to be unavailable wherever I checked. Could only find the Cree or the UV ones. Then I spotted a new listing for a Sofirn SP10 V3 and unable to find any details on YouTube tried Google instead and landed on this forum Smile To my delight it seems that some learned members are working with Sofirn to come up with an SP10 Pro which seems like it will fit my bill perfectly.

In the meantime if I find a Tool+Nichia at the right price I’ll probably get it! Thanks Smile

Yeah the nichia ones usually go pretty quick when they are available. That Sofirn looks promising too, I just don’t care for side switches in smaller lights. 18650/21700 or larger is fine but smaller lights I prefer tail switches. To each their own. Thumbs Up

"America has three cities, New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland."- Tennessee Williams

 

 

mattlward
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Welcome! I really like the AA/14500 option for car use and storage. For my EDC, unless dressed up 2 times a year… an 18650 with an interface I like. Don’t be afraid of a rotation of EDC lights, makes life fun.

In the arena of AA/14500 lights for general use… I could not recommend the Convoy T2 more, minor flaw is that the battery tube internal diameter is just a whisker to small. The new T3 fixes that problem. I have been using that driver in my SHTF lights that are single AA, for my 2xAA lights I have been using the Jaxman M2 driver but the modes are not as good and it will not take 2×14500’s.

Skip phase one, never spend hundreds of dollars on a light unless money is not a issue in your life and collect away. The Convoy line is a very reliable line. Lumintops are not bad, but are more complex, in most cases.

And again… WELCOME!

Matt

EDC rotation:
KR4, SST-20 FA3 4000k (favorite!)
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (second favorite)
FW1A, LH351D 3500k (third favorite)
FW1A, XP-L Hi 3A
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
Emisar D4V2, brass E21A 3500k (night light of choice)

Lightbringer
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The old SP10B would be nigh perfection in that sense.

The A was L/M/H 2click for strobe (perfect for the gf), and the B was F/L/M 2click for H (perfect for me). Lots of confusion in the naming vs UI, though.

The S did something retarded that I didn’t even get any.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

hank
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I started with Arc flashlights, then moved to SK68 clones that I started to modify with better emitters.
Since then, well, you know how it goes, I have shelves full of formerly cutting edge flashlights.

My mother was right when she said “don’t buy that, there will be a better and cheaper model next year.”

She was right, technological progress has grown exponentially. Now it’s “next month”

I wish somebody would open up a used flashlight store, to which I could ship my ever growing stock of formerly cutting edge …..
Use the same model as the used bookstores, pay me five cents on the dollar once it sells, just help me get the old stuff out of the house.

Yes, honey, I’m trying to clear the stuff outta here.

PS, now I’ve started giving the old stuff away accompanied by a single-cell NiMH/Li-ion charger (there are a lot of those for sale now)
I just hope nobody I’ve gifted one to gets blown up or caught on fire. I never have started trusting people with li-ion batteries.

Lightbringer
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hank wrote:
I wish somebody would open up a used flashlight store, to which I could ship my ever growing stock of formerly cutting edge ….. Use the same model as the used bookstores, pay me five cents on the dollar once it sells, just help me get the old stuff out of the house.

Nah. That would Truly Suck. It’d be almost as bad as just throwing ‘em away.

Even cutting edge lights from 5yrs ago still beat the Hell out of a lot of commodity craplights sold at Big Box stores.

I see people crowing about the “999,000lm!!” GoolWolby or IXCQB craplight they bought which has a crappy Angry Blue emitter belching out a whopping 300lm, when I could whip out an AA light like an old SP10 or E03 that outshines it by at least double with a much better beam.

And even lights like Coast or LEDLenser are only finally getting on-board with more output and better emitters, but at heap big wampum per lumen.

People selling even BNIB lights at about half what they paid for ‘em is great for the buyer but sucks for the seller, just because the otherwise great light got obviated by a different light which does one teenytiny thing a little bit better. Add shipping costs which someone has to eat, and either the price gets high enough for the buyer to compete with current brand new light (ie, not worth it any more), or the seller still gets next to nothing (ie, takes a bath on it).

There’s gotta be a better way, but I haven’t found it yet.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

synerr
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mattlward wrote:

In the arena of AA/14500 lights for general use… I could not recommend the Convoy T2 more, minor flaw is that the battery tube internal diameter is just a whisker to small. The new T3 fixes that problem.

Matt

My needs are as basic as myself. Always in my pocket along a small magnifier is my Nitecore Tube along with a Victorinox Classic SD. For “taking out the trash” I have a Nitecore Tiki which I quite like. What happened here is the kids outgrew their battery operated toys leaving me with a stash of unmatched AA and AAA NiMhs. The logical option was to spend more than what the batteries are worth on a new use for them that takes a single AA and AAA. I impulse ordered a Mateminco CSF03 for the AAA but decided to research the AA purchase more wisely.

I had come across the T2, including the 4200K, but the specs weren’t clear about NiMh chemistry. Only that it supported AAs and 14500s. The T3 I can’t seem to find anywhere. Pre production?

Really touched by the warm welcome. It’s a rarity in 2021.

High CRI or death!

captainkirk
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Here is the T3

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003202639223.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311....

Looks like he has the 12 mode driver available now too…

Oh, you should be fine with NiMH, that is what I plan on using when mine arrive.

Welcome Aboard!

This space for let.

synerr
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captainkirk wrote:
Oh, you should be fine with NiMH, that is what I plan on using when mine arrive.

Tks. Ordered the 4 mode 3500K in blue. I prefer the Orange when new but the blue wears down nicely in pockets over time.

High CRI or death!

captainkirk
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Interesting read on how the orange wears, as that is the one I got for myself. I am hoping it is a little more gold in person. 3500K is the correct choice, two coming my way. I got a purple one for the wife. ;0)

This space for let.

zoulas
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These are truly gorgeous colors.

BOO5TED
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For the T3, is the 320lm using AA or 14500?

"America has three cities, New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland."- Tennessee Williams

 

 

captainkirk
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Pretty sure that is with the 14500.

Here is a recent review with the 351 emitter: https://zeroair.org/2021/02/08/convoy-t2-14500-aa-flashlight-review/

This space for let.

Correllux
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Welcome to the forum! Hearty thumbs-up from me for the Convoy T2 as well….the T3 you’re getting is basically the same light and I think you’ll love it. The lowest mode in the 4-mode driver is more than what we call firefly or moonlight but it’s still a very low setting, quite useful. Brightness will depend on whether you’re running 1.2/1.5 cells or 3.7 lithium. This light is just a little bulkier than many AA lights but still compact and pocketable – I actually like its size and prefer it over smaller ones. Not sure about the T3 but the T2 sometimes will be finicky with flat-top lithium cells…button top maybe a better choice but both work. If you’re in the market for good 14500 lithium cells I would highly recommend one of the three Vapcell models that you can buy at one of our usual battery suppliers (Liion Wholesale and Illumn being the most popular). There’s a gold 1000mAh, and two purple models (L10 and H10) and all in either button or flat top…four bucks each, give or take, depending. They’re far better than any other 14500 I’ve used with great legit higher capacity.

Sofirn will be coming out with an updated fancy AA/14500 light soon, too, if you like side switches and fun/complex firmware (tons of options). We’ll see what emitters they decide to use but usually they make pretty decent choices. I’m sure it’ll be a little more expensive than the T3 but it’ll offer a lot more, too.

The great thing about Convoy lights is that they are still very simple and easy to modify or to repair/replace parts if ever needed, and Simon does a great job making all of those parts available, and for cheap.

BOO5TED
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captainkirk wrote:
Pretty sure that is with the 14500.

Here is a recent review with the 351 emitter: https://zeroair.org/2021/02/08/convoy-t2-14500-aa-flashlight-review/

That’s unfortunate.

"America has three cities, New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland."- Tennessee Williams

 

 

raccoon city
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It's nice to see you, synerr!

I prefer compact 18650 or 21700 flashlights.

They're not much larger than 14500/AA flashlights, but an 18650 or 21700 cell has much higher capacity.

212_milla

synerr
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raccoon city wrote:

I prefer compact 18650 or 21700 flashlights.

That’s one of my projects for 2022. I’ve had an Anker 18650 flashlight for years and I love it but for 2022 I hope to get my hands on a ‘diy’ 18650 flashlight I can tinker with.

High CRI or death!