Newbie - Advice Please - Best Value High Lumen Torches (Search and Rescue)

i would say this:

you have a big, good light

before getting something else, including recommendations, you need to use that one for a while and think what you like about it, and what could be better for your use case.

surely that one has enough ‘lumens’.

the pattern is a major factor.

you might think a zoom, which can go from wide to narrow, is good
frequently they lose MANY lumens, for various reasons, which can be improved on, but it costs money and weight

i’d say get a single 18650 convoy for about $30, see how much more convenient it is, and think it worth carrying that big heavy one for the 2% of cases where a small light is enough,…


Some great responses, thanks all, I appreciate it.

In the UK, to be honest, Searches are rarely more than 4 hours in length before returning for breaks but can be 8 hours. My search and rescue covers non mountain areas (Lowland Rescue) so vehicles tend not to be too far away so no Blizzard bags required thankfully. It’s just essential I have light, but if I can light up a forest / field it makes life a lot easier.

I do indeed plan on carrying 2 High capacity / range torches for redundancy. I have smaller pen size torches (head and jacket mounted) for ultimate backup and will suffice as well as for close up work or medical interventions etc. BEcause oif the redundancy and the possiblity of losing or breaking them, I am not concerned about warranty, just wish them to be budget priced in the first place.

So I am interested in the BLF Q8 at the moment which I think will provide a good resilliance or indeed a main torch. Also, some idiot will always arrive a with a gas station wind up torch because they forgot their torch or batteries and will need somehting more heavy duty.

If I go with the Q8, does anyone know of any belt holsters which may cater for its size and shape please? I have a tactical torch holster that my other one fits. The wider Q8 would need something a bit more specific.

Not sure about current availability, but Sofirn previously offered a Q8 holster. Their version of the Q8 is also reported to be throwier. I only have the BLF version though.

Yeah, that’s why I prefer the original Q8, as it’s got a better CT/tint and is floodier.

If you want throwier and cooler anyway, then at least look at the Airpro DC7, as it’s got built-in charging, so no need to buy a 4-bay charger. (Forget about charging? You ain’t gonna want to recharge your Q8 one cell at a time…)

And it comes with a screw-in D-ring and lanyard, but you can just get a camera-strap and use it as a sling (as you could with a Q8 as well).

The DC7 doesn’t have full Narsim as a UI, but a lobotomised version that still does ramping, stepping, shortcuts to moonlight/turbo, etc., all the good stuff, so you won’t miss much.

Astrolux ft03 xhp50.2 version. This has a combo ot throw and flood. 4300 lumens, usbc rechargeable. Can often be found for around $35.00

Another option is the newly released ft03 SBT-90.2 on a groupbuy beginning today. This beam will have lots of throw with a large hotspot. Find the groupbuy in the threads.

Read this persons experience on astrolux “warranty”


Or do a search on astrolux issues on BLF

If the light doesnt work do you actually save money? :wink:

One person’s experience does not sway my opinion. Even multiple negative experiences. Things happen when thousands of an item are produced. Example: Just look at anything you buy on Amazon. almost everything has at least a few 1 star reviews. I own several lights from Astrolux and have had zero problems.

You got lucky, Astrolux quality isn’t the same as other brands, they’re cheap, but hey, this is budgetlightforum, so they’re on the right place here

Hello fellow Londoner. Welcome to the forum.

Do you use yr astrolux for SAR, purposes?

Well how about caving?

Or how about for something less demanding like hunting?

Does it sit in a pack that gets thrown around all the time? Or mostly on the desk/shelf?

Another one from recently on BLF … tons more with a search


This is why you always use Paypal when importing stuff

Yeah but how about if it dies a year down the road

Astrolux literally has no warranty …

I use mine as a hobbyist and camping/hiking. Mine get thrown around quite a bit (you can buy a nice belt pouch for them at about $4.99) that will keep them nice and safe.

I am not an Astolux fanboy, just a consumer sharing his honest experience with a product.

As far as issues go, I have seen the posts regarding Astrolux qa issues. But that goes for many manufacturers. I saw posts of the blf gt, fw3a, LT1, and more all with issues. In other groupbuys, not near as many units get sold as with the Astrolux. One version of the ft03 by itself is over 4000 units sold I believe. Simple math will tell you with more units sold there are more chances for issues. At just 1% of 4000 that’s 40 issues, that is to say if only 1% had a problem.

My best advice is to YouTube the ft03 or whatever light you are thinking of choosing so you can get a good idea of the beam pattern.

Simple math will tell you that unless its DOA, there is literally no warranty on astrolux lights, not even a ship to china one

ANY light can have issues, its how the brands deal with em than count

Maybe to a drop test on yr astrolux?

In a high use outdoor environment these lights will get dropped

How much as i share your standpoint, it seems he is quite reluctant. Lets talk about flashlights again.
Wisdom comes with the ages, and by experience, he will learn (someday)

I fully agree they will most likely get dropped with heavy use. Even minimal use. Accidents happen. My response is simple. Is the warranty of an Astrolux the same as an Olight? Imalent? Or many other brands? Of course not. But neither is the price. If you want a light with a great warranty get an Imalent. Just know that you are paying for that warranty. If you don’t mind not having a warranty and understand that you can buy 3 Astrolux for the price of a comparable Imalent, then do that.

The way I look at it is if I go cheap and it breaks after 6 months, for $35 I still got my moneys worth. You could buy a $300 name brand and still be screwed in a year when the warranty is over.

Expecting a budget brand like Astrolux to have the same warranty as bigger brands when they have far less the profit margin just doesn’t make sense.

Oh we arent talking about the same warranty, but ANY warranty after 30-60 days

In fact there might not be any warranty after SEVEN days as this astrolux buyer who was missing a USB charging port on their light found out :wink:

That’s why you pay with PayPal or a major credit card and file a dispute if something like that happens. Credit card terms of service state that you have to be 100% satisfied with a transaction. If you are 99% satisfied, that is grounds to dispute the charge.

Anyway, back to flashlights. Buy lots of them and test them all. Sell or give away the ones you don’t like and keep and use the ones you do. It’s all part of the fun.

For your SAR work, I agree with lightbringer (I usually do) to buy or build a simple 1 mode light that gives you a good balance of flood and throw and always have that with you. Then rotate out another more “fancy” light to test them all. Hell, it’s only money and you can’t take it with you when you die. :wink:

A paypal dispute might get u banned from banggood,

Does that matter?

Well depends if you wan more astrolux products :wink:

Well, it isn’t called Ban good for nuthin’ :smiley: