Asking advice for a better red led light

I use a red led light for shooting rats inside dairy barns. My current set up is this Ultrafire WF-501B Philips Luxeon K2 Red LED Flashlight 18650 - - which has worked OK for me.

Things I like:

  • compact size
  • runs several hours on a single 18650, perfectly adequate for my needs
  • cheap :bigsmile:
  • doesn’t get hot after prolonged use
  • a clear diffuser with scotch tape converts too bright throw into nice, even glow

Things I don’t like:

  • when first energized light flickers for 10 to 20 seconds, this pulsating looks like movement to the rats and they run. Light is steady after flickering stops
  • I like to use a remote pressure switch sometimes, but each time I activate the light it seems to restart the flickering cycle :tired:

Also, the remote switch I purchased ( died last night. It feels exquisitely cheap so am not surprised but want another.

Any recommendations for a better light? I do not need a powerful thrower - In fact I have a high dollar green light for coyote hunting - but for short range rat shooting I am good with a solid budget red light. I am Ok buying another 501 host and a reputable drop-in. I am not set up for soldering/modding so need drop-in components if I am ‘building’ my own.

*I saw some older threads suggest my WF-501b actually comes with a different LED than the stated Luxeon K2. Any way to confirm this just so I know what I have?

I have a P-60 one I made with this Red XRE driven to 1.7 amps it’s very bright.

Manafont also sells the same one in a P-60 drop in not driven as hard as the one I built it will blow away the Luxeon one you have now.

This pressure switch works good it has three button constant on, off and hold on.

All these parts will work with your current 501B host.

Are you sure? I ordered this switch from MF some time ago and I can’t remember that it had 3 different functions. All 3 contact switches are connected in parallel and act the same - works only when you hold down the button. It uses stiff spring inside the switch part and I found quite difficult to maintain constant contact without flickering.

I use these from Wallbuys. It has 2 switches - reverse for locking light on and momentary. Very nice to use.

I have had a lot of issues with remote switches so appreciate any feedback on preferred ones to buy.

I know about not spinning the tailcap around the wire - been there, done that.

I am positive the one I got works that way, but I have heard other people got the one you did with 3 momentary switches. I am not sure which one they are shipping now.

I prefer Solarforce hosts, not certain if your current pressure switch works with Solarforce, but there are Pressure Switches that are compatible. The red Xpe and xre are 620-625nm red, I think the K2 is 630nm+ and may be slightly seeped red (only noticeable side by side) I love my red Xpe dropins, I got a Solarforce red xre and a red Xpe made by VinhNyugen that runs at 1.7amps or more depending on the cell.
You won’t need a hard driven dropin, 1 to 1.4 amps will give you better runtimes

We do a lot of work with data capture from Reconyx cameras and research has shown the animals reacting to the red in the visible part of the IR spectrum. Have you thought about grabbing one of the DIY IR emitters from Fasttech and pairing it with suitable driver and 25mm host? Mount it on your firearm with a Picatinny Rail and Weaver Mount, and use an IR scope for target acquisition?

Help me understand how that would work…? I am wandering around in the dark and unable to see the rats without some kind of illumination. I use red to minimize reaction. Some react to it, some not, some react to it but take a moment to long too react. If I use IR (which I do have an IR emitter because I have a cheesy night vision setup) then I still would not be able to see them, right?

*I gave up on my night vision camera because I was forced to observe things through a very tight field of view in a video camera screen. It became tedious and sometimes dangerous to wander the barn at night without any light. Holding the camera out in front of me while I wander around also made my arms and back ache. I’m satisfied with the shooting opportunities using a diffused red light although would gladly consider this other option you mention if it works better!

Sorry, didn’t realize you had to wander around. We used to sit on a bale of straw overlooking their favourite ingress, view through scope, and wait. Doesn’t the noise of you wandering around defeat the stealth advantage?

The configuration of where I shoot rats doesn’t give me Clear fields of fire. I wish! The cows are constantly moving and clog up my view. I have to keep moving around to find rats that are out in the open. It isn’t as bad as it might sound. Trust me, I’m still finding a lot of rats to shoot.

Any noise I make is not a big factor given there are 100 or more cows also moving around peeing and pooping and farting loudly!

Gotcha, makes sense. I think that the solution for moving around is possible, but not if you have to pay for the equipment out of your own pocket.

Just a shot in the dark here (excuse the pun), could you put a few red ‘always on’ flood lights illuminating the area perhaps, or would that also mean the rats would spot you too easily as well?

If you also shoot sporting clays at the range, you must have a pretty good score with all this real world practice you’re getting.