so, how do your views change on what makes a light good?

Like anyone i guess, I only thought of reflector lights, thats all i knew. Really a 4-D maglite was “coolness” back then, i was a delivery driver.

then, i got into LED lights, lol… and after a couple small reflector LED lights? I found ZOOMIES. I instantly liked zoomies and they became my favorite for quite some time. I LIKE being able to not have a “flood” light AND a throwy reflectored light both, one decent zoomie can do the work of both.

As a delivery driver? even a comparatively SMALL zoomie, not even modded past “budget stock driver” was great. MUCH smaller package than the big maglites, i could zoom in to see a distant house number, and zoom OUT for walking dark paths and seeing around my delivery vehicle at night.

I liked zoomies so MUCH, they were all i looked at, i acquired several low budget zoomies… and i even got several of a 1504 group buy, i mean, if i like little ones? a couple BIG zoomies with some more juice would be even better. (they were, lol)

==

recently? i have started to get back into liking reflectored lights.

what people claim is my “802 variant light” (brinkman brand from tractor supply couple years ago) is pretty small and light. No zooming to mess with. single 18650, smaller head but with deep reflector. Throwy light, but, just enough spill for walking around and in rooms.

i was amazed with its “only on LOW mode” blown driver? that on 120ma, the deep reflector was still a “useful” around the room and yard light. Huh…so, it deserved a driver. Nothing major; i got a batter driver for one of my 1504 group buy lights, so, i recycled the driver from that to the 802-style light.

started carrying it on the house remodeling job i am on. Dark basement with the power off, getting in and out of the dark house with the lights not installed yet. Staying overnight on the work site. Big yard to scan too. I stayed overnight with this light, so, i got to put it thru its paces.

if i thought it was “useful” with only a “single mode 120ma driver” because of the deep reflector? with an amp or two, its WAY better, naturally.

The owner had a fire and friends over and i stayed all night. I played with HIGH as little as possible, and “concentrated” on LOW mode, which is running around 120ma in this driver too. It touched the charged battery (decent laptop pull 18650) so little, i even started to use HIGH when in the basement a little, and walking back and forth form the firepit to the house (i was working while the boys were playing) then stayed myself all night and worked till dawn.

man, right off the bat? this thing got switched ON as it got dark, ans STAYED ON mostly in LOW mode (120ma) all NIGHT LONG. Battery went from over 4 to high 3’s… hardly touched the battery. I even started using HIGH when i didnt HAVE to, just because i could.

HIGH (about 1 amp with cheap HF DMM with stock thin leads) with the deep reflector is well over 100 yards, and LOW 120ma with that reflector is still VERY useful. Good for a dark room, walking in the dark, and even 50 yards looking around.

the small diameter head i found poking into the “beer holder” of the folding chair, the beer holder has a mesh bottom? made a nice little night light between my friend and me at the fire all night… this is the prerfect small light to take fishing, and expect to run it in LOW mode all night and not touch the battery. I can still use HIGH here and there and its no problem.

I am really impressed with the usefulness and versatility of this small light single 18650 light with its XPG-1 emitter.

even my 2 used “ultrafire” cheapies i carried around as “backup” run this thing decent, as the driver isnt beating the snot out of the batteries. The small diameter deep reflector REALLY makes this light.

I’m still “married” to my zoomies? but… lets just say i am having a brief but enjoyable “affair” with this rediscovered reflectored light…

===

i doubt i will give UP on zoomies? but, this little gem is worming its way into my heart. I could see a xpg2 on copper and a driver with higher HIGH, medium where this driver does HIGH… and the same low LO mode… would just make my day.

never thought i would want ANYTHING but a small zoomie for fishing or working on a jobsite? but… this is pretty cool.

=

moving from “dyed in the wool” zoomie fan, to… enjoying a reflector light? is a BIG change in preferences… anyone else’s preferences unexpectedly change when you run into a “game changer” light like this one has become for me?

Nice story
My wife loves her cheap zoomie because of the lack of hotspot, no matter what quality lights I show her, she will not change, however a AAA BLF 348 she has now with her pens.
I like the versatility of zoomies, when I want to check our island in front there are two trees with a zoomie I can shine between them and see more then having them reflect the light of a non zoom.
Anxious to play with the cometa!

I started with zoomies only and could only imagine having that type of light but have seen the versatility of the large fixed lens reflectors and now use both.

I like my Brintye B158 when taking the dog for a walk, the wide beam with no hotspot is perfect to see where I’m walking around town where the lighting isn’t good, I’m waiting for a Uniquefire UF-1405 to come so I’ll see what that’s like.

When I take the dog for a walk in the countryside park over the road where it’s very dark I like to take the Convoy L2 with XHP70 or the Thorfire S70. The advantage being that I can see further with a massive beam of light so it makes me feel more secure and I can bash someone over the head too if I need to.

I liked the idea of the zoomies, but really liked smaller lights. I got the DQG Tiny III 18650 last year and finally had a great all around EDC light with enough battery life to actually use. In fact, I started to find more uses for having a light as I have NO worries this tiny 18650 light would leave me in the dark…

Living in a desert area, I have come to appreciate the reach out and touch it style of my B158 though… And am eagerly awaiting the Cometa GB to commence…zoomies are great all around lights…

I like zoomies. I love their versatility. I have found that the wide flood beam is more useful for my typical use cases than the hotspot + spill beam of regular lights. It makes it easier for my eyes to quickly dart back and forth without “tripping over” the brighter hot spot in the middle.

The most recent big change on what makes a flashlight good for me is discovering neutral, warm, and high CRI lights. Suddenly, the blue and sometimes purplish tints of cool white flashlights look ugly to me.

Now I want a neutral, warm, or high CRI zoomie, which has been hard to find. The closest one so far is the Convoy BD04, since Convoy lets me pick an LED tint. I haven’t found a Nichia 219 zoomie yet.

The opening question: so, how do your views change on what makes a light good?

My view changes with every new flashlight that I try out. Every new purchase adds another data point into my knowledge base.

My view changes with every new situation that arises where a flashlight is used or could have been used. Some situations are more obvious than others. A power failure might immediately call for the need. Walking from the supermarket to my parked car might not raise my attention, until I trip over something.

My view changes upon reflection. This forum is instrumental in providing new information, testing my preconceived notions, and giving me different viewpoints on the subject.

My view changes over time, not just because of the above, but because my outlook is slowly changing. I am less inclined to be enamored by bells and whistles, I am more inclined to focus on practical things. For example, I used to think that infinitely variable (ramping) UI’s were the greatest thing. Now, I much prefer set modes ML-L-M-H or L-M-H-Turbo, where I can get to a known lighting output quickly without a whole lot of fiddling around and guesswork.

Just my two cents on the subject. O:)

Totally AGREE! I find myself going back and building lights with simple UI’s, mechanically and thermally reliable, something I or anybody else can depend on!!! :wink:

I saw some zoomy incandescent lights half a century or so ago. Some had moving reflectors and some lenses. I think the first one I had was my second Tekna lithium battery light, for backpacking. That is a lens type twisty. Incandescent zoomies always have very irregular spots. I still like zoomies.
My current trend is to pay more attention to an artistic, or at least less repulsive, shape.
I like the unusual.

Recently, the only thing that has changed is me preferring medium flood lights as opposed to previously preferring narrowish beam lights. I’m still not a fan of all spot throwers or zoomies but did spend some time planning a 1504 build that I never found the money for. lol.

I started with a Dealextreme 1xAA zoomie and was so impressed with its performance and build quality over four years ago.

Way down the road my hobby/addiction has resulted in 400+ torches, headlamps and five Grand Children who I’ve enlightened:)

I wanna know more about this 802 Brinkman
from tractor supply.

Bigger than S2+ ? M2 ? C8 ?

My views have changed little over the years…

I’ve moved up in cell size and Max lumens

this is the light i am talking about…

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/brinkmann-lithium-tactical-flashlight

i paid too much, but, thats like any retail purchase VS what you can get it for online and overseas. At the TIME, i was wondering if i had bought a “c8” style light i was hearing so much about at the time, lol…. some guy told me it really looked like a “801/802” series light, and that 802’s were “noted for being little throwers”, so, it all made sense.

you can see in the picture, going byh the 18650 in the picture for reference of sizes? its short, not much longer than my hand. The head diameter isnt wide, not really… and the only thing that makes this light for me? is that deep reflector. I mean, when 120 milliamps gives you “useful” light, and the ability to scan a large yard and see 50 yards away? thats saying something for the reflector.

I mean, its NICE to have uber powerful lights? and big head aspherics? but… when i want simple, small and light, and i just want the flashlight to “be just a flashlight” for reasonable circumstances? run all night? this seems to be it, for right now.

8 hour nightlight, and still used HIGH a few times when i felt like it, and still didnt touch the battery much.

if this IS really a 802 light? i cant figure out for the life of me, why they fell out of favor. Seems like the c8 kind of replaces it? but, judging by beamshots all over the site, the c8s are a little floodier. This is throwy-er… like i said? its my perfect fighing light.

Thanks. Kinda looks like C8 with deeper reflector.

as far as what qualities MAKE a light, though?

i got my hands on my first china zoomie, tractor supply had a couple a ways back… man, i never looked back. First was the cool novelty factor, then the idea it would FLOOD up close in my delivery vehicle… and SPOT things far out when focused. MAN, i tried everything delivering before that. I had a “spot”light… and i tried a “flood”light too… too big and heavy… you about need BOTH in the vehicle depending on you need to light up a yard or light up far out… the maglite incan was a little wimpy compared to modern lights, but… it DID have the focusing recflector in its favor.

i mean, a 10 dollar zoomie at a retail store… should have been prolly a 5 dollar purchase online form china, but… man, that little china zoomie made me happy. As i got a few more cheap zoomies? and got into 18650s? heck… done deal.

but… a lot of guys a couple years ago? on here? They were HEAVY against zoomies. The attitude was “they suck as a thrower, a well designed reflector is better! They suck as a flooder! A good flooder is better! They are half-@$$ed about everything they do! Its just a one trick pony novelty act!”

which i always felt was a little harsh… the zoomie is the COMPROMISE, so you dont have to have 2 flashlights. Its SUPPOSED to be half good at everything and inbetween too. (plus, i admit i like the “wow” factor when i show a zoomie off, and it IS a novelty)

but, a small cheap china-tastic zoomie that fit in my pocket easy? was so perfect for delivering, walking, everything?? i couldnt picture ever liking a reflectored light again.

i will always probably like zoomies BEST, the zoomie will be like my “wife”… but… this is no longer an EXCLUSIVE marriage, lol… i wanna have a fling with the occasional reflectored light again. I didnt think a reflector light could DO that for me again.

My view has changed. Night bike riding with cool whites for years. Then buying my 1st neutral tint light opened up a completely better visual picture. I still buy cool whites flashlights, but my collection of neutral tints is expanding.

yeah, I initially wanted “the brightest!” which was of course the coldest whitest tints… after i de-deomed a few XML2s… i started liking the warmer tint.

compared to basic photography? The coldest whites are “washed out” slightly… I am not a complete “tint snob” now by any stretch, but, i can definitely appreciate a warmer tint.

I haven’t become a tint snob but I’m not as enthusiastic over the cooler (cold?) but more powerful emitters now. I’ve also learned that once you have enough lumens it’s the beam profile which makes the difference between a good light and not-so-good one. Plus I’ve become an 18650 fan both for size and power. Can’t see me going back to Incan flaslights either. Not a fan of my one zoomie (UF SK68 clone) but I’ll give a B158 a try someday before I call that decision final.

Phil

My views have changed quite a bit over the last 10 years.

First, I wanted “brighter, brighter, brighter.” Every year a new LED emitter advancement would take place and put older lights to shame. I ended up amassing a few too many lights because of this… And well, it was somewhat warranted as the efficiency of emitters was getting so much better than what once was. The momentum on increased brightness has slowed a bit though… which means affordability of “reasonably bright” is terrific.

Today emitters are so capable and there’s so many tints available. Now, it’s not so much the power as the tint quality. Warmth and realism is more important to me than brightness. And since lights are becoming VASTLY so affordable compared to what was available years ago, you can easily outfit yourself with a variety of lights with different capabilities.

Bottom line? Tint, battery efficiency, UI design, and beam quality (minimal artifacts) are most important to me. Features are important as well, but one can easily own several lights with multiple models having different features.

NOTE:
I think the latest feature of built-in charging capability (meaning you plug the light directly into a USB port to charge) is a phenomenal step forward. You’re essentially getting a capable charger for “free” with your light. Super convenient, providing of course the charging is efficient. Independent chargers are probably a bit faster to achieving full charge, but that offsets convenience and portability.

right before i got into zoomies? i had a few cheap reflectored LED lights, naturally paying too much and getting too little “retail”, lol… i finally bit the bullet and bought a bigger, nicer, higher powered LED reflectored light. Again “retail”, so i paid too much, but…

its probably the one light i own that “looks” like some of the bigger, nicer lights i see shown off on here… I’m no expert on machining fit and finish and am not an anodizing expert? But… it all looks/feels/touches like quality.

THAT light had a build in charger, which was why i bought it. I didnt OWN any chargers nor lithium ion batteries at the time, and i felt it was nice to get into them. 2-Series 18650, built in charger, and as a bonus it charges my cell phone so its a power bank too.

since the light also came with 12v car and 110v home chargers and a nice usb cord? it was extra convenient.

really, theres no REAL reason that light “sits” and just gets the occasional top off charge to sit once again, other than i am not a delivery driver anymore. It was kept charged up between my seat and console, if i wanted a BIGGER light to grab up.

yes, the built in charger is convenient, nice,a great feature. ONE of these days i might pick up a budget single lithium light with a built in charger. They are convenient, as long as the phone charger fits the charging slot on the light.

What changed for me was my opinion on tint. I used to love that cool blue color until I got my first neutral white in my Ti3. Then I got the even warmer S10nw and loved that thing. Even though I still love them I recently got RUINED by the BLF 348 tint. I now want as many high lumen nichias as possible.