Been thinking about the last year, the torches I've purchased early on, and the ones that I've gotten in the last few months. When I first started, I didn't have a clue what I wanted, as long as it was bright and cheap.
Lately I've gotten more fussy, more specific in my taste. I've gone away from 18650 lights to ones that are AA powered, ever since the "day without electricity" here in San Diego. But more than that, I find that I'm willing to pay more for some things. Curious if you guys look at functions and feel the same.
1) I'd gladly pay $5 more for a light with no blinkies
2) I'd pay another 5 or more bucks for one that has a 'moonlight' Low (i.e. 2-4 lumens). I like the long, extended runtime and the fact that you can read by it and not bother your partner.
3) And I'd pay another $2-4 for one that has a Neutral or Warm white rather than cool white. Almost like I'm going back to incandescent, only brighter.
4) I prefer lights that I can control with a side clicky, as long as it is a good one. I have a couple with side clickies that will turn on accidentally in your pocket, that's bad. I like carrying a light in the traditional, underhanded style, and side clickies work best with that.
I did order another 18650 light lately, the XIN TD. It's not an AA light, but it doesn't have blinkies, and it does come in neutral white. 2 out of 4, not bad. Looks like a nice quality light.
I agree with most of your list. I’m not into warm tints and neutral can mean different things to different people.
White is fine with me. I can do without excessive blue however.
No blinkies, crenelated bezels and I’d greatly prefer a protruding tail cap button if it’s a tail switch and for anything larger than AA I’d prefer a side switch for the reasons you’ve mentioned. A momentary feature would still be nice.
I’d like to be able to get behind the front glass lens to diffuse it from behind. I’d also pay extra for the light to look good Not fins, rings, etc.
The one thing not mentioned and one of my biggest pet peeves is proper knurling. The majority are missing it. I'm not sure how much cost it adds to the machining of the body but it would be well worth it IMO.
More Gunmetal or Silver or Stainless Steel options.
- Choice of Modes and tints. I hate Disco modes. If they are going to be included, needs to be in a hidden location like the Balder BD-2, because I guess there's a chance that sometime in the future I'll actually use it.
- Better, more accurate and complete product descriptions with lots of pictures of exterior and all interior parts. I tend to research lights to a ridiculous degree and it would be nice to actually trust the product info on a website and not have to search 3 forums to get answers to questions we all have.
- Faster shipping with tracking info and a no hassle guarrantee that is actually honored. I'm in ConUS and I am increasingly going to sellers like Shiningbeam, SBFlashlights, Lighthound, etc. that have decent prices and get me what I ordered in a few days. I don't have the patience to play the DD/DX lottery and wait 4-6 weeks to get a light or worse find out they don't have it anyway or sent me the wrong one.
- Reverse Clicky. I have two lights with Forward Clicky and I've decided I just don't like it. I've never had a light with side switch, except maybe a Maglite.
- A little more effort going into design. A little bling like a stainless bezel goes a long way.
Troop, can't wait to hear your impressions on the XINTD (C8 I presume?). Looks like an inexpensive, nice quality light, and it comes in Gunmetal...
More color choices, especially in muted earth tones, and well designed pocket clips that allow for lens up, lens down, or no clip options. Honest and accurate websites would be worth paying a bit more for too.