Current recommendations for a decent budget light?

Hi, not sure where to start, but I’m looking for something that’s not too large, zoom to throw the light further if needed, not sure which LED etc is best regarded atm, I have a bunch of genuine LG HG2’s I’m not using. But I’m okay with 21700 or 26650 if the overall light is not too large, and if I can find a good battery.

How is USB port built into the torch for charging regarded? It seems like a good idea, being able to charge anywhere if needed, is it bad?

So, “Zoomies” as they are commonly referred to, aren’t always held in the highest regard. Compared to other types of lights, they often have more issues with water resistance and dealing with heat. However, they fit certain use cases extremely well, and some of our members love zoomies the most! There’s two really cool, recent options for zoomies I’d recommend looking at right now: The Convoy Z1 and the [On The Road Z821](404 page here”:“REVIEW”: On The Road Z821 - Zoomable – 1x18650 – 940 lumens [Pic Heavy] ).

USB-charging built into the light has its pros and cons. For some of us, it often makes modding the light difficult (or, modding it is easy, but we lose charging). To others, it’s a critical point of failure for water resistance. Other possible cons are charger compatibility (Micro-USB vs USB-C, and in many cases USB-C not working with C-to-C charging), proprietary standards (there’s several “magnetic charging” methods used by various manufacturers that use a special USB cable), battery compatibility (some lights, like some Olights, require a special battery to use on-board charging), and increased size of the light to accommodate the circuit and the physical port itself. On the flip side, USB charging is awfully convenient sometimes. Many of us do not carry 18650 (or 21700, 26650, whatever) chargers everywhere we go - but it is much more likely you’ll be able to find a USB charger handy, whether on your person, in your car, or from someone nearby - even a nearby shop!

Anyways, I say all this to inform. Know the pros and cons of features, and know how you plan to use your light, and pick the right one for you!

Also, the r/flashlight subreddit maintains a list they call their “”Arbitrary list of popular lights”“: , which they update twice a year (more or less at each solstice). It features a variety of popular lights in several different categories, with some brief details about the light like why it’s good or what options are available. None of the options listed are objectively bad, and they try to have enough in each category to suit a variety of tastes.

Also, Welcome to BLF!

I won’t buy a light with usb charging due to past experience with Chinese USB charge circuits. I’ve even had usb charge fail on flagship android phones after a year of use. A lot of people seem happy with them, though.

Well it’d be nice to have to illuminate something further away just in case, and apart from that some tiny cheap torches to chuck in different bags, car etc, so there’s always one around.

Speaking of waterproof, it would be cool to have something I can use for snorkelling down a few metres, I did try to make something in a clear soft plastic tube with a 10W led strip and lipo and seal the ends up, though for that I might diy again as I’d want specific colour for photos/video.

I still have a bunch of old Eneloop XX batteries which are still great, didn’t go through many charge cycles, could get regular Eneloops for longer charge shelf life, but the current capacity is much lower than a 18650 etc, though maybe it’s better for an emergency torch.

I’m really indecisive to what I want or need, but thanks for the list too, I’ll have a look

Sofirn/Wurkkos make nice diving lights, specifically the SD- and WK-series.

SD02, SD05, WK20, WK20S, etc.

Just chipping in with my two cents. As someone who has recently returned to the world of good lights I must say that the quality and intensity of new LED lights with li-ion batteries has turned me right away from zoom lights. I used to think they were the ant’s pants but new lights, even small pocket EDC-type lights, put out out so much light that a zoom isn’t necessary. I’ve got small lights that fit in my pocket that will light up the ground at my feet but also something 50-100 metres away. If you regularly need to light up things that are 100-200 metres away you would be better off buying a purpose built long-distance spotlight. Spend some time reading reviews that include beamshots (photos of the light in action) and also youtube videos to see how effective a small, but well designed, light can be.

Many torch newbies want zoom lights, but then soon realise that the zoom is unneccessary. An XP-L based light will give a good mix of flood and throw.

If you want a zoomer, buy a couple of these and some 14500 batteries.