Looking for a nice flood-to-throw flashlight

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-JOE-
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Looking for a nice flood-to-throw flashlight

I've been browsing these forums for a while now so I finally decided it was time to get some knowledge and make an account.

I am looking for any versatile flood-to-throw flashlights. I prefer 1x18650 but I am open to other options as well. I am looking for a light that is a little more flood than throw. It is something that will be used in the vehicle for when I need a light but don't have one of my main flashlights with me.

I recently ordered some 18650 zoomies just to give them a try. Overall I really like them because of the versatility. I like the consistent wide flood without a noticeable hotspot (great for working on things and lighting large areas).

SmallSun ZY-T620 - I thought this light was going to be the best but I was sadly mistaken. For flood the beam is too narrow and not as bright as the B06 or the C55. The throw is the best out of all my zoomies but that is to be expected. It's not a STL-V6 by any means but it's not much worse than my old HS-801 for usable throw. It is a very underwhelming light because the flood and lack of overall brightness.

CANSO B06 - It has the most open and usable flood of the three. It also has the most flood-to-throw travel. The throw beam is very weak because of the distance from the emitter. Overall a great flood light but really lacks in throw.

NEW-C55 - This light impressed me a lot for overall brightness. The flood beam size is between the ZY-T620 and B06. The C55 is about the same brightness as the B06 when adjusted to the same size. It throws better than the B06 by far and is a better overall light. It just doesn't have as wide of flood as the B06 (XM-L).

That is my list of current zoomies just to get an understanding of the possible comparisons.

Edited by: -JOE- on 04/26/2012 - 01:05
Burlap Bag
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Diameter and distance (focal length) actually come into it.

I'd say the ratio (diameter)/(focal length) is what matters for the efficiency. The LED has a tiny lens by itself, but the cone of light is what, around 45+45 degrees so 90 degrees total? Probably even wider. That means that to catch all that light, the lens has to be twice as wide as the focal length.

The f-number of a lens (like you have a bright lens on a camera, f 2.0, or a not so bright f5.6) is defined as (focal length)/(diameter). This means you need an f 0.5 lens to catch all light. Oops.

Now, it is not only about catching light, but also about focusing. The longer the focal length, the narrower the beam will be. But with the lens diameter equal, it means less light to enter the lens. So let's see:

- double the focal length -> spot is twice as narrow, 1/4 the area.

- double the distance from the LED means catching a quarter of the light (within reason as the LED is a bit focused already).

So, a longer focal lenght with the same diameter means a tighter throw but one that is not brighter.

To look at the bright side:

- The diameter determines the throw beam center brightness. If you need throw, diameter is it (actually a smaller/more concentrated LED chip helps too).

- A shorter focal length (thick lens, close to the LED) means the throw beam is wider (but still as bright).

Do throwers exist that use dial optics, with an extra, fixed, tiny focusing lends on the LED to direct all light into the big moving lens? That would definitely help!

 

raccoon city
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Welcome to the monkey house, -JOE-.

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Burlap Bag wrote:

Do throwers exist that use dial optics, with an extra, fixed, tiny focusing lends on the LED to direct all light into the big moving lens? That would definitely help!

 

I've never seen one, but if you stumble across one, let us know.

I have a feeling though that anything with that high a degree of focus will end up more laser like than flashlight like, and the mechanical focus probably won't be as durable as the sliding zoomies. Flash light lens aren't as focusing as camera lens either, lacking the optical focusing abilities.

Flashlights mostly use the reflector to shape the beam, with the exception of the aspheric lens. The zoomed in part of the zoomies uses optimal positioning of the emitter in the reflector to the aspheric capture all the light and collaminate the beam. Either way, that all only applies to throw, which is only half the equation of a zoomie light. The floody part of the light is in the ability to put the LED further forward in the reflector so that you increase the spill out the sides. 

As for other zoomie lights, I've heard good things on the LED Lenser lights for their zoomies, but they're a bit pricey. Also they use TIR lenses for better light capture. http://www.ledlenser.com/family/flashlights/Full-Size

TODO List:

Acquire more parts.

Devise cheap way to make TIRs.

Rub some bacon on it.

Finish something that I 

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Welcome to BLF, -JOE-. Are you by any chance related to _the_?

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Hey Joe, welcome to BLF. I'm certainly not an expert on ashperics, but I have 3 of them.

Citipower g7 - meh ~ $7 off ebay

Ultrafire Sipik clone - Absolutely the best bang for the buck, especially on an AW IMR 14500. ~$7 off ebay. Anyone I show this light to is either amazed, wants me to get them one or both.

MXDL Cree Q5 3 Mode Zoom - A bit brighter than the Sipik clone, with much longer run time on 18650 and flexibility of 2 battery formats. Disco mode is annoying and useless, but very useable Low and great High. ~ $14.31 at Quality China Goods site or $11.99 at the QCG ebay site or $9.99 at DinoDirect. I even found a comparison video review vs LED Lenser P7 - great if you enjoy techno...

viktori
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Keygos M12. Very bright, very wide flood, quite good on zoom.

You'll have to replace the spring/oring that holds the zoom/head in place, but mostly that's it.

Takes 1 x18650 or 1x 26650.

Here is more info:

Good luck!

Viktor

This is my flashlight collection.

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cone wrote:

Welcome to BLF, -JOE-. Are you by any chance related to _the_?



Nope, -JOE- is just my username for all of my forums.


BetweenRides wrote:

Hey Joe, welcome to BLF. I'm certainly not an expert on ashperics, but I have 3 of them.

Citipower g7 - meh ~ $7 off ebay

Ultrafire Sipik clone - Absolutely the best bang for the buck, especially on an AW IMR 14500. ~$7 off ebay. Anyone I show this light to is either amazed, wants me to get them one or both.

MXDL Cree Q5 3 Mode Zoom - A bit brighter than the Sipik clone, with much longer run time on 18650 and flexibility of 2 battery formats. Disco mode is annoying and useless, but very useable Low and great High. ~ $14.31 at Quality China Goods site or $11.99 at the QCG ebay site or $9.99 at DinoDirect. I even found a comparison video review vs LED Lenser P7 - great if you enjoy techno... 



I'll defiantly get one of those G7s just to try because I am also going to be getting a SIPIK clone with a Q5. I might get a couple other AA/14500 lights to because they can run off of AA batteries so they make great gifts.

That MXDL was actually one that I was considering and for $9.99 it's worth a try.

 

viktori wrote:

Keygos M12. Very bright, very wide flood, quite good on zoom.

You'll have to replace the spring/o-ring that holds the zoom/head in place, but mostly that's it.

That does appear to be a nice light but I'm not sure what you mean by replace the spring? I can see it needs an o-ring but by spring are you talking about the one on the driver?

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Hi -Joe- welcome to the madness Smile

viktori
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-JOE- wrote:

viktori wrote:

Keygos M12. Very bright, very wide flood, quite good on zoom.

You'll have to replace the spring/o-ring that holds the zoom/head in place, but mostly that's it.

That does appear to be a nice light but I'm not sure what you mean by replace the spring? I can see it needs an o-ring but by spring are you talking about the one on the driver?

Nope, I mean the spring that holds the head (for zooming). Originally there is no oring for the head, just a piece of "springy" metal.

You can see it here.

Viktor

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I found that I could substantially increase the width of the flood mode on my zoomies by modifying them to allow the lens to retract closer to the top of the LED.

Some zoomies with narrow floods leave a large gap between the LED and the back of the lens.  This can be corrected sometimes with something as simple as cutting a strip of aluminium sheet and using its as a spacer to prevent the pill from screwing completely into the body.

Other lights need more radical work, such as filing down the pill or filing down the body to allow the head to retract further into the light and closer to the LED.

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I don't have one myself but the 18650 sized EDI-T P4 available at dealextreme looks like an interesting light.

The smaller 1xCR-123 EDI-T T11 was one of the best small budget zoomables I've seen, with a comfortable cylindrical shape, a wide spill, extremely tight zoom, and multiple brightness settings including a ramping infinitely variable brightness  (the only zoomie I've ever seen that came infinitely variable brightness, even if it's based on rather slow PWM).

The P4 looks like the same thing, but with more knurling and in 18650 size.  Might be worth checking out.

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Good luck!   So far, all the XM-L ones have been way underdriven which makes them kind of worthless relative to an XR-E emitter that throws much much better.

Your best bet if you want a real thrower is shiningbeam.com  check out their Romisens that they customize.  They have actual XR-E emitter with a recent Rev bin which is a big efficiency boost.  Way better than P4s and Q3s and the usual crap.

You can also get an XP-E or XP-G for various compromises between better overall brightness and flood, but less throw.

If someone actually made a decent flood to throw, they would sell a lot.  Id love to see a triple-barrel XR-E one for reasonably priced. (50 bucks or so).  Led Lenser made a huge 7xXR-E emitter light with flood to throw which is pretty awesome. But the price is awesome too(in a bad way) and it hasnt been updated in years.

-JOE-
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How about these lights?

TANK007 TK736

YEZL T9

SS-A100

 

 

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Hi Joe, welcome. CopperTop loves that SS-A100! Search his old posts. Very very wide flood with excellent runtime. I've read good things on that Tank too. Me, I just ordered the Poppas W-878 due to 26650 ability.

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Aloha and welcome to BLF -JOE-!

 

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BetweenRides wrote:

Hey Joe, welcome to BLF. I'm certainly not an expert on ashperics, but I have 3 of them.

Citipower g7 - meh ~ $7 off ebay

Ultrafire Sipik clone - Absolutely the best bang for the buck, especially on an AW IMR 14500. ~$7 off ebay. Anyone I show this light to is either amazed, wants me to get them one or both.

MXDL Cree Q5 3 Mode Zoom - A bit brighter than the Sipik clone, with much longer run time on 18650 and flexibility of 2 battery formats. Disco mode is annoying and useless, but very useable Low and great High. ~ $14.31 at Quality China Goods site or $11.99 at the QCG ebay site or $9.99 at DinoDirect. I even found a comparison video review vs LED Lenser P7 - great if you enjoy techno...

 

 Oh no !!!...The MXDL also is sold as a small sun and is one of my worst lights  ...I remember having long loving discussions with budgeteer over which one of us got the worst version of this pathetic light ..It has to be me .Mine is so bad you can just pull the tail straight off ..if I said cross threaded it would be being too generous . that would insinuate it ever was threaded .Even if I drilled a set screw to hold the tailcap on the light is anemic in every way known to man .

 I've bought a lot of bad lights .. this one is in the top ten .

The definition of a good flood to throw is the throw...Any one can make a floody light .take the head off  or lose the reflector ....Lots of people fawn over certain flood to throw lights but

the "good ones" In my personal opinion...throw

if you're looking for more of a flood than your search should be easier and an xpg or a xml will work for you .

I'm always looking for a nice body ..  [Between rides ...if you like that style than the tank 736 is exactly what you want ] if you're looking for a nicer flood to throw buy a tank /romisen/ or an edi-t....the jump in quality is just like.... a solarforce  vs a ultrafire

EDi-T  P-4 is a great light if you can find it ..(it took me a year) I have 3 edi-t lights and I assume they all have similar quality ..yet still cheap at about 13$

Edi-t  T-11 is a nice little light too  cr123 version with ramping as well

I have the tank 737 too which is a twist head but feels very well built and does 3AAA or 18650 too 

 Tank lights impress about everyone whose ever had a flashlight ..and romisen lights are almost never spoken poorly of .

three companies that almost universally don't make a bad light ...  in the budget world that speaks volumes

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T.H.Cone
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-JOE- wrote:

cone wrote:

Welcome to BLF, -JOE-. Are you by any chance related to _the_?



Nope, -JOE- is just my username for all of my forums.


You know I was kidding, right?  Well, hopefully, in time, you'll learn to take very little of what I say seriously.  Very, very little.  

This isn't your preferred battery format, but I have this Romisen from Shiningbeam and it is quite nice.  Use "BLFuser" for a small discount, 6% if memory serves, and it will around $15 to your door.  Get yourself a few AAA Eneloops and you'll be all about it.

fidem, prae caeteris omnibus praeter honestatem

 

 

Don't be confused, my Username has been changed from "Cone" to "T.H.Cone".  I'm still the same clown.

-JOE-
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A "good' flood-to-throw light in my opinion is one with a balance between flood and throw. For instance my SkyRay ZY-C10 throws far but it's almost a dedicated thrower compared to my other zoomies because it's lacks flood. However I do agree that an XML can only be good if you are wanting more flood than throw.

I originally thought about getting a Rominsen but I read that it isn't as bright overall as the other lights mentioned. I also believe that it is twist style and not slide. I prefer the slide.


I have heard a lot about the Edi-T P-4 so I will add that one to the list.

What about a Trustfire Z5 or Z6?

-JOE-
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Ya I knew that you were joking.

I'm not sure that a light ran off of AAAs can compete with some of the lights mentioned. I really like the 18650 batteries and I think that I will be able to get a lot better performance out of them. That it is nice looking light for $15 though.

Lensman
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Joe, and anyone else who hasn't yet got one of these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190529994052?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=...

Most definitely a budget offering, but IMO one of those incredible bang-for-the-bucks lights where you really can't go wrong. Don't know how seriously to take the '2 left' tag, but it could be true. I have two of them, seriously thinking about pulling the trigger on a third one. They can't last forever at this price..

T.H.Cone
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I don't know about the standard one, but the one from ShiningBeam has been modded so it is brighter than it you would think.  It is however, a twisty, but you can still adjust it with one hand.  Personally, I think the biggest drawback with that light is it has no memory and, therefore, always starts on high.

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Don't be confused, my Username has been changed from "Cone" to "T.H.Cone".  I'm still the same clown.

-JOE-
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I actually think it not having memory is a plus. I use high on my lights 90% of the time. I wish all lights had no memory and were 2-mode (High-Low).

 

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I'm mixed feelings about no memory  starting on high  the upside is you don't have to see a strobe .

 

less strobe is a huge plus for me //but i'd rather it start always on low

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-JOE-
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How about a LIE REN KC-01?

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-JOE- wrote:

How about a LIE REN KC-01?

Well. I like it more than my Yezl T9. Did you already see my review of it?

It's my current favorite FTT in 1x18650 format.

=the=

 

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Welcome to BLF

I have a thing for the EDI-T P4 also. I have a couple of them kicking around great little do everything light. Awesome knurling and threads, nice tint, super long run time if you get the ramping mode 18650 one and it fits in your pocket. Can't be beat for the price, good luck finding one.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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I have both the EDI-T P4 (18650) and T11 (16340) zoomies from DX. I love both. Great uniform cylindrical body and thus very comfortable in the pocket. Both are about equal in brightness. Wide flood, tight zoom. Superb value at less than $12 each. 

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psion wrote:

I have both the EDI-T P4 (18650) and T11 (16340) zoomies from DX. I love both. Great uniform cylindrical body and thus very comfortable in the pocket. Both are about equal in brightness. Wide flood, tight zoom. Superb value at less than $12 each. 

I have both as well ...I know Edi-t made (makes ) the AA/14500 version of this light and wonder why no one has ever seen it ??? 

It's in a cool metallic blue on their site .

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-JOE-
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_the_ wrote:

-JOE- wrote:

How about a LIE REN KC-01?

Well. I like it more than my Yezl T9. Did you already see my review of it?

It's my current favorite FTT in 1x18650 format.

What got me interested was your beamshot thread where it beat the Z5 in flood and throw.

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