Need help finding hand held hunting light

Ok, I’m a newb here and to the world of high powered LED lights. I posted this same request on another forum and got ZERO responses, hoping fr a better (some) response here.

I am looking for a light to use while coon hunting. I have an LED caplight I purchased which is made specifically for coon hunting , by a coon hunter. Its something like 2000 lumens and 50,000 LUX. It is a pretty floody light with 3 modes. Its great for walking with and for lighting up a whole tree to locate Mr. Ringtail. But, its not ideal for everything.

I hunt with a scoped pistol, so I need to hold the light source in my hand in order to shoot. I can and do hold the cap in my hand but it is awkward.

Also because the light covers such a wide area, if there are small trees/bushes, limbs, leaves or other obstructions when shining up into the tree, there are shadows created and its harder to see and search the tree adequately to locate my quarry. I would like a hand held with a tighter spot, preferably adjustable so that it can be used as a back up walking light if needed and not illuminate a tiny spot on the ground.

The spot would be used in tree tops up to lets say 50 yds.

I carry other items with me that use AA’s and extra AA batteries (rechargeable Energizers) so my first thought is to stick with those for this light, but if ya’ll can convince me otherwise will consider 18650’s , etc. Primarily concerned with charging 18650’s.

Size is not critical, up to 4 AA’s in size acceptable, smaller obviously better.

Run time - prefer 2-4 hrs + on high, 12 hrs + on low.

Sorry for the long post, but figured more info would get better responses.

Welcome Eddie!

Is there a reason you can’t mount a light on top of your scope like coyote hunters do? There are plenty of mounting thingies you can buy. My recommendations would be different is you say you can mount a light.

I hunt, and have bought all kinds of high powered lights for longer distance coyote hunting. Lately I have been buying 1AA lights for around the house and such and really impressed with the light output. I don’t coon hunt but these lights sure seem to light up a large tree pretty good. I recommend you stick with 1AA or 2AA lights since it is easy to always have a spare battery or two on you.

I have this Romisen RC-G2 III and really like it. It uses 1AA and lights up my yard good. I wish it had multiple modes so I could run it on a lower output, but sometimes a simple single mode fits the bill.

I just ordered this Uniquefire AA-S1 single AA light a few moments ago. It is cheap ($7.30 on sale) but reviews are good. It is supposedly very bright and floody which should illuminate well for you.

Just a couple suggestions… :wink:

Edit - Soooo, just re-reading and thought of a better light since you want multiple modes. This Lighthound AA Tactical is very well reviewed here although I do not own it yet. It has multiple modes which you say you want. I don’t think you will get much over 2 hour runtime on high with any 1AA light, but I still think the 1AA platform is desirable due to simplicity. Swap another fresh AA in if you feel it has dimmed and you are good to go.

how about headlamp like this?

it should bright enough and can hold AA batteries and it should free your hands :slight_smile:

Thanks for the replies - glad I actually got some responses : ) .

wahoowad - I have considered mouting a light on the underside of the barrel, but it would be quite bulk with a light on top. The main reason I am hunting with the pistol is to reduce the bulk of what I am using. The more looking I am doing the more 18650’s seem to fit what I am looking for, would love to stay AA, but not a must.

DayLighter - I really like the specs for that headlamp, and the price, but I already have a head lamp that’s even brighter. Hunting with a scoped pistol, you can’t hold the pistol out in front of you with a head lamp on, the light just glares of the scope. I need a light I can hold in my hand just for shooting. I’d love a flashlight with those same credentials.

I would prefer a US shipped item, but best prices seem to be out of country. Lots of names I am not familiar with.

What about a Trustfire Z5? Specs look great, can get from Amazon, but reviews are not too good, and seen reviews saying lumens more like 200 than 1600 stated.

Hi Eddie, an xp-g/Xr-e driven at 1.4 - 1.7a would give you close on two hours out of a Panasonic 3400mah 18650.

I’ve got either a p60 host (solarforce is about the nicest budget p60 I believe) or something like this.

I do actually have a t2, I don’t personally like p60’s, but that’s just me. The t2 is very throwy, as throwy as my xm-l c8’s easily with acceptable spill too. I personally swapped my driver and emitter out, its a simple task if you can solder, I would go with a nw xp-g emitter and a nanjg 1.4a driver.

Or there is this light, again I have this host but with a different set up, but the xp-g2 should give you good throw, can be ordered with the modes you want and is very conveniently small.

I hope all this rambling helps, and the dealer I linked is very well liked around here. Welcome. :bigsmile:

gords1001 - Wow. Lots of info there, unfortunately right now, a build is just not something I have enough knowledge to do, unless you want to give me step by step instruction : ) . Hosts, driver, emitters, about all I know at this point is that they a flashlight components, but I don’t know one from the other. Electronics is not my forte, although I am willing to learn. An off the shelf might be my best bet for now. The light you recommended with the components suggested is one I’ll definitely consider.

I’ve seen mixed reviews in other places, what are the thoughts on zoomable lights here? I really would prefer this option. A good, fairly tight throw is a must for me, flood would be a bonus for walking with in the woods. Other lights I have considered MG X Thrower, Trustfire Z3, Coast HP14, Coast P7.

Also kind of considered a Fenix TK35 clone, just because its soo bright, but its not zoomable. Is there a zoomable version of this one?

Many people like zoomys, personally, their not my bag, I just don’t like the square emitter pattern you get with an aspheric (domed) lense over an led. This is what most zoomys will give you.

There are a few well liked examples on here, the sipik sk68 (aa or 14500 lithium cell) is the most noted.

There is also the popas w878, this is a 26650 (c cell lithium equivelant) but a sleeve can be used to allow an 18650 to be used.

I’ll be honest, its not my area, in the mean time, if you do decide you fancy doing a build, there will be plenty of help/advice available. No worries there.

The light I linked at the bottom is very much worthy of consideration, unless you need a bright light to stun the coons like you would lamping rabbits.

The other option would be to commission someone to order and assemble a kit light and then send it out to you. I would volunteer to do this myself, but I’m across the Atlantic and the shipping would be about six to seven pounds on top of the cost of the parts.

As an idea, this is the host I had in mind.

I like the OEM bodies, so no reason to believe this one won’t be a good one. You could then have it with either an xm-l for max output, or an xp-g2 for run time and greater throw. You’d also have the option on emitter (led) tint a neutral white may give better colour rendition when searching the tree’s, most of the cheap lights you order will be cool white, which is ok, but there are better options.

You also would be able to pick modes, generally people go for high - medium - low or visa versa, but you could have hi low, strobes etc or not have to deal with the strobes or have a driver where the strobes are hidden and accessible by pressing the switch at the right point to access them (i have this in a couple of lights and quite like it, I don’t have to see them, but their there if I want them in some emergency situation). You could also have your current (how bright the led will be) tailored to suit your specific output vs run time requirement.

Anyway, its something to consider, there are members here who would accept a commission I’m sure. I would happily build such a thing with just the costs covered, but as I say, the shipping might kill that for you.

If you do decide on lithium cells, please follow some advice on chargers and cells. Do not plump for the cheapest, they can be dangerous and for the sake of a couple of dollars on the set up, why compromise safety?

I like this zoomie Small Sun C10 . I have two of these one has a green led installed and the other a red led.

Going to be ordering the UF-T20 when the promotion hits.

Both are really well liked. Also can hardly beat a C8 type light with an XML for a nice spot and flood!

Ah, hello atp, I’d hoped you’d chime in. :bigsmile:

I think Rominsen RC-G2 was a great suggestion. It is a quality light. It has a one mode with a forward clicky like a tactical light and I think that perfect for hunting. It is a single AA so batteries are easy to find. It also adjusts from flood to spot and has a pretty nice tight spot without the square emitter of a zoom light which I dont like either.

For about $13 you really can’t go wrong. I have had one for years and I still like it.

Hi Eddie,

If you want to stick to a AA light you might look at the Fenix E21. It runs on 2AA has the runtime you are looking for has hi/low with no flashing modes is very well built. About the same size of a 2AA mini maglight but much better. It has a good center hot spot at 50 yd and some nice spill. About $35


If your headlight is as bright as you make it sound I think you will be disappointed with anything running off a single aa. Your required run time is probably best handled by carrying an extra battery also. I’d recommend something like this and carrying an extra 18650 battery or two. Try to get something with a neutral or high CRI tint. It makes a big difference in the woods. I think I saw a TK35 style light that took AA batteries instead of 18650’s. That might be a good choice for you also. I’ll see if I can find a link. I’m not a big fan of the zoomies so I’m not going to recommend one.

apt323 - with the exception of converting to 18650’s the C10 seems just about exactly what I want, and I am will to enter the 18650 realm, so this might be the right light to do so. Thanks! What would the burn time be hi/lo?

What is a C8 type light? Do they just have better throws, or are there models with zoom?

There are soooo many brands, and clones, its making my head spin LOL… thanks for helping me sort it out.

BTW what lumens should I be looking for for my uses? I’ve seen 150 to 1650? For my uses I often need to really illuminate a small area to be able to identify a coon that is flattened out on a limb or trying to hide in the very top of a tree. Like I mentioned my headlamp is about 2000 lumens but it lights up a huge area, I only need to light up a fraction of that, but want at least the same intensity in that small area. Distance isn’t all that far, but I hunt some very tall timber. I also don’t mind, or don’t think I would mind a square spot if that the only issue with a particular light you might otherwise recommend.

I did a little checking around and you check out the Nitecore EA4, Fenix Ld41, and Sunwayman M40a. Not zoomies, but you wont be disappointed.

A c8 is a small (6” x 1 3/4”) reflectored light, and my personal favorite form factor, I like a light to look mag esque ie head and body.

Here’s the link to arguably the best c8, they can be had for a lot cheaper or built.

The kaidomain c8 springs to mind as another favorite, you can also get pressure switches for them if you wish to gun mount.

It’s close on a 1000 lumen depending on exact spec, I’d guess the one I just assembled (c8 upgrade host from Cngq, xm-l u3 2.8a driver) at 700 - 800 lumen, they are a very nice little light that handle heat well, just you’ll need a couple of cells for a couple of hours on high.

The one I’ve built will be getting a new neutral white xm-l2 when it arrives along with a slightly higher output driver.

They are a very good choice if you go with one of the ones reviewed on here for example.

This is the keygos m10, my personal favorite of the c8 sized lights.

They are all reflectored though and not zoom models, you get some flood and some throw, but they are a solid light choice.

Hey gords! Thanks for explaining the c8

Eddie - should get atleast an hour of run time out of the c10. I have some shots of it zoomed tight some where on the forum will link them in a little bit.

Not a problem, as I say, its my current favorite form factor, just for me the m10 and 20 minutes with a soldering iron and the right driver/emitter makes the prefect pocketable light. Either that monster 3.7a driver I like or a played with nanjg and you have a solid bright light that’s both diminutive in size and able to handle the heat of a smoking xm-l…


I’m back to revise my recommendation. I just came in from my backyard where I was shining my 1AA Romisen RC-G2 III up into the canopy. I have a wooded lots with lots of mature oaks, pines and poplars and I could see how well it did.

I’m confident the 1AA Romisen would help me find a coon size animal up there if I knew it was there somewhere, especially if it’s eyes lit up (I don’t know if coons do that?). But I would want a bit more intense amount of light up there if I was scanning and hunting. For that reason I think 1AA will be marginal (work in some cases, maybe not all, depends on a persons preferences).

Instead perhaps you should step up and find a nice 18650 light. This will light things up no question. I would advise you to think about how you would hold the light as you scan and aim and consider the differences between the 2 main body styles. There are some cylindrical models with no bulbous head that are easy to hold and use. Then there are those with a larger head. I have both, just wasn’t sure if the bigger head would interfere with a 2 hand pistol hold if you use that. The C8 style are nice. So are the cylindrical. The good part is that lights are fun and cheap so don’t think about buying THE perfect light. I’d get a UltraFire HD2011 for around $10, and then ALSO a cheap WF-501b or C8 is gonna really light things up big time. also around $10. Getting 2 lets you learn and also gives you something for a buddy. Then as you use them and learn more you might get sucked in and decide to upgrade to something higher end.

I’m not dismissing the 1AA light, and think you would find plenty of opportunities to whip it out as you tramp around the woods at night. I still think you should get one of the ones myself or others recommended. But a 1x18650 will put some lightening in your hand.

Just lost a long reply I tried to post, so here’s a condensed version : ) .

1st thanks for all of the help and replies for a forum newbie!!

I’m pretty set on a zoomable, and think it may be time to take the 18650 leap unless there is a multiple AA, AAA light out there that fits the bill without getting too large. This means I’m going to need info on these, which ones, which charger and handling/charging procedures. I know enough to know there can be safety concerns.

I have a long weekend of hunting coming up next weekend, so I would like to have a light, batteries and charger in hand by next Thursday. Any US buying options? or an over seas seller that can deliver by then? Amazon actually carries several, none of the ones that have been mentioned here though : ( . Anybody shop with them or have another option that want take 2 weeks to get?

Tmart has a US warehouse

shiningbeam, lighthound are US based and ship fast for me