Looking for some suggestions on a few different lights (Warning: Long post...TL;DR at bottom)

Hey guys, I’m looking to get a little more serious about flashlights (rechargeable and non-rechargeable) and I was hoping you guys could give me some advice.

My current experience with flashlights is that I used to have a 6 cell D Maglite back in the day and the nicest flashlight I own right now is a Surefire G2 with a Cree LED conversion I bought off DX. I’ve been lurking on these forums for a little while and I decided to go ahead and post. I was hoping you could give me some suggestions for the criteria I have.

1. Pocket Light
I am looking for a pocketable flashlight I can carry with me when I am CCW’ing. I would like it to be something that runs off disposable batteries such as AA’s or CR123’s, to be as small as possible while still having a high output, a tailcap switch, and a pocket clip. As this will be something I am carrying along with a gun, reliability and quality take a small precedence over price, so I was looking to spend maybe $50-60 max. Currently, I am looking at the Fenix PD22 S2 (200 lumens, Cree XP-G S2 LED, 1 x CR123) and I was wondering if you guys have any other suggestions for a superior light that is around the same price or cheaper.

Fenix PD22 S2 - $55 on Amazon - Amazon.com

I ended up buying the Fenix PD22 S2

2. Headband Light
I would like to purchase a headband light for night walks, changing tires, rummaging through my trunk, night time shooting, or just basically any time I need both of my hands. I don’t know a whole lot about headband lamps, so please bear with me. I would like this headlamp to run off AA or CR123 batteries, have a flood pattern, a headstrap, adjustable brightness, and I would like to keep the price of this headlamp around $30-$40 but I could be talked into more if there really is a huge difference in quality/reliability/brightness etc.

I was looking at:
Princeton Tec Byte - $14.15 - Amazon.com
UltraFire UF-H2 - $29.20 - http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/ultrafire-ufh2-q5-modes-cree-led-headlamp-aa14500-p-4184
Fenix HL30 - $44.79 - Amazon.com
ZebraLight H502 - $69 - http://www.amazon.com/Zebralight-H502-AA-Flood-Headlamp/dp/B0087T6CAI/

I decided to go with the ZebraLight H502 and the Princeton Tec Byte…because its only money, right?

3. General Purpose Lights
I am looking for some budget LED lights I can keep around the house and in my Jeep for general and emergency use. Size isn’t really a huge concern as they will normally be on a nightstand or in a backpack. Again, I would like these to run off disposable batteries (AA, C, D, CR123, etc) since these aren’t really going to be something I am going to be using regularly and I would rather not have to worry about keeping the batteries topped off. As I don’t really have an intended use in mind for these other than general purpose, I don’t really care too much about the beam pattern. Honestly, I just want something that is as bright as possible while still using disposables. I will probably be buying 2 or 3 of these lights, so I’d like to keep the price at or under $20 a piece if possible. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I went to Home Depot and picked up some of those Defiant 500 lumen XM-L 3C lights for $20 each

4. Absurd Super Light from Hell
I want to buy a flashlight to play with. Something that is hilariously bright (1000+ lumens). This will be more of a toy than something I need to rely on in a pinch. The ability to tinker with it would be nice but is not required. Rechargeable batteries are fine here. LED’s would be preferable. I am open to either tight beams, regular beams, or flood lights. Here are the 2 lights I have been looking at so far:

TR-J12 (5 x Cree XM-L T6) - $53.81 shipped - http://dx.com/p/tr-j12-cree-xm-l-t6-5-led-4500lm-5-mode-memory-white-light-flashlight-2-x-26650-3-x-18650-112817
Apex 5T6 (5 x Cree XM-L T6) - $90.45 shipped - http://www.cnqualitygoods.com/goods.php?id=1630

Does anybody have any other suggestions in the up to or around $100 range before batteries?

Ordered the Sky Ray 9xT6 (9 x Cree XML-T6, 3 x 26650) and 4 Trustfire “5000 mah” 26650 batteries

5. Batteries
5a. I was wondering what is the best/cheapest place to source good, quality disposable batteries. Last time I purchased CR123’s, I bought a pack of 20 Rayovac lithium CR123’s from Botach Tactical for $22 with free shipping. Is this still the best deal? Is there a forum member that sells batteries around the same price?

5b. For the super flashlight, I’m assuming I’m going to have to pickup some 18650’s to power it. What brand should I buy? Where is a good place to buy them from? Are the protected Panasonic 3100mah 18650’s top notch?

Ordered 2 pairs of Trustfire 3000 mah 18650’s from fasttech.com

5c. What is a cheap, but safe charger for 18650’s that could charge up to 4 at once?

Got the Nitecore i4 from fasttech.com

I also ordered the XinTd that ChiggerPepi recommended because IOM (It’s Only Money)


  1. I need a pocket light that is small, powered by 1 CR123, tailcap switch, as bright as possible, and a pocket clip around $50.
  2. I need a headlamp that has a strap, is powered by AA, AAA, or CR123, adjustable brightness, floodlight, as bright as possible, and costs around $30 but I could be talked into $70.
  3. I need some general purpose flashlights, powered by disposable batteries, size doesn’t matter, beam doesn’t matter, as bright as possible, around $20 or less.
  4. I want a super ultra bright flashlight to play with, size doesnt matter, runs off rechargeables, uses LED’s, at least 1000 lumens (the more, the better), up to around $100 before batteries.
    5a. Whats the cheapest place to get good, high quality disposable batteries?
    5b. What 18650 batteries should I buy?
    5c. What charger should I buy that can charge 4 18650’s at once?

first post SPAM (look on the threads a wee bit more dude)

Why is the first post spam?

I don’t see why it’s spam… Appears legit.

Cpf link Nazi?

If the op didn’t put up links, how would we know what he’s looking at?

How ’bout the wonderful formatting on first use here on BLF?

I’m luving the forum, but it does impose arcane methodology at times when posting (for example try posting a link to a jpg in a server account that happens to have the !/exclamation mark in the name: doesn’t work). Anyway….

:slight_smile: if you think it’s legit, you can spend the time answering question #5 and the question’s three subsections: 5a, 5b and 5c.

If you’re not tired after that, you can finish with questions 1-4.

Would you prefer that I make separate posts for each question? Would that make you feel better? I genuinely am curious on each question I typed up, so if there is anything I can do to accommodate you, I will try my best.

Make yourself at home, oRAirwolf!

There's no rule against asking a lot of questions, so your post is fine.

I bet you'll get good answers to your questions in less than 12 hours.

The least I can do is welcome you to the forum. ;)

I don’t have suggestions for all, but I have a few:

1. I only have a couple small pocket lights, but my favorite for sure is the Balder HD-1
It takes AA or 14500. It’s really bright (although it heats up in a hurry on high with a 14500!) It’s tiny, I often forget it’s clipped in my pocket, and you can select your tint on checkout.
The only downfall I’ve found is the fact that to turn it off you’re required to hold the mechanism down for almost two seconds.

2. Get the Ultrafire UF-H2 if you’re on a budget, and the ZebraLight H502 if you want the best quality.
Just keep in mind the Ultrafire has visible PWM.

5b. Get the TrustFire 3000 if you’re on a budget, or the Panasonic 3400 if you want the best quality.

5c. Nitecore i4

6. You can’t not get one of these: XinTD

I agree with ChiggerPepi on his Number 6 suggestion XinTd is a must have.

Thanks for the suggestions so far!

I’m gonna wait on the pocket light and see what else crops up. That light looks nice though. The output is pretty absurd!

I went ahead and bought an XinTd based on your suggestions with the U3 LED and the 5 way switch. I also bought 2 pairs of the Trustfire batteries and the Nitecore i4 charger you recommended. I’ll probably buy some Panasonics for whatever über light I end up getting.

So my understanding of the visible PWM on the Ultrafire UF-H2 is that it will manifest itself as flickering? Does the ZebraLight have the same problem?

Thanks again!

6. Small Sun ZY T08 here

6. FandyFire HD2010 here

5b. search KumaBear on this forum

5c. buy 2 Xtar SP2 here

edit: Got the 6. from looking at ChiggerPepi’s post, anyway, you need these 2 lights.


To answer your question about PWM:

It’s basically an ultra high speed strobing/flickering. The driver does this to “dim” the light. The good quality PWMs are ultra high frequency and cannot be “seen”. Unfortunately, way too many of the budget lights use a lower frequency PWM, and although maybe not noticeable with more or less stationary use, with any high speed movements (even sometimes just moving your eyes) it can be noticed. Some people don’t seem to care about it. It annoys the me a lot. Zebralight claims they use a non-PWM style driver for dimming, so it doesn’t have this problem. Their lights are also much more expensive.

Alright so I ordered the Fenix SD22 S2 as my EDC/CCW light, the Zebralight H502 headband light, and a Princeton Tec Byte headband.

Along with the XinTd, Trustfire 3000’s, and the Nitecore charger, I am down to the über light and some general purpose flashlights.

I think I’ve narrowed down the super light to a Sky Ray 9xT6…Trying to figure out what batteries to get for it. I know it needs 26650’s, but it seems that they need to not be flat tops and not all of them fit.

Still hoping for some suggestions on cheap (under $20) disposable/enerloop powered Cree flashlights

Im reading this question and the first thing that came to mind was
” Now that’s one f—kn thought out and helluva a first post Bravo”

I wouldn’t think spammers would put this much research and
validity into a post, 1st or 1000th… but that’s just my opinion…

Sure beats ” Hey, just got into lights and im not sure what tint
is more appealing in an EDC with SMO reflector, help” I love
my mag,

Well done Wolf

I’’m not going to lie, I was a little confused by that spam accusation myself, but everybody else has been very cool and helpful. I genuinely appreciate your kind words.

Yeah, don’t let one guy with an itchy typing finger bug ya. If he really thought you were a spammer, he would’ve hit the spam button and let the rest of us vote. (And way off topic, ‘spammer’ isn’t even the right term, here.)

So, welcome aboard. Try and keep your wallet safe.

Personally I consider any post in Comic Sans to be worse than spam.