OK I got the Caveman T5 and the MG X-Thrower from shiningbeam. I am very satisfied with them. But I want to bigger now, right? Wanting something to ride in the truck, big and bad. Like the 3, 5, or 7 LED lights with three 26650's or 18650's in series. There seems to be a lot of choices around $50 to $75-80ish. TR-J12/16/18? Marsfire 318? Want a good reliable baddass light for a reasonable price. I read one thread here about one of the TR-Js that people were having trouble with the drivers dying.
Don't mind the XM-L in the T6 color but might like to try something a little more neutral.
Do you want a thrower, a flooder or something that will do both?
One thing I have noticed is how much I really like quality lights. Yes I know it’s going to cost more but it’s nice to have at least one high quality light around.
BTU Shocker, TK75 for throw with good flood. BlackShadow Terminator throws fairly good with lots of flood.
I’ll ask you some questions before we make any recommendations.
What are you going to use it for? Do you have an actual use, or are you using it to play and want something with a WOW factor? (I’m not going to lie, I have no real use for about half my lights, I just play with them).
Dedicated thrower: Good for spotting things far away, have minimal spill to increase contrast on target. Have very little real uses, but are very fun to play with and are the best for looking at long distances. Typically single emitter in a large reflector (TN31, SR95UT)
Dedicated flooder: Shines light with a wide angle, meaning it covers a large area. Very useful for working on things close up or until maybe 50 meters depending on the output. Typically has a small diameter reflector to increase angle of beam. Can have a single emitter (Zebralight) or multiple (SRK).
Flood + throw: These lights usually have super high lumen outputs, achieved by using more than one emitter. Achieves long throw through sheer output. Useful for looking for spotting things while covering a large area (Search and rescue). These typically have large reflectors (TK75, BTU Shocker). Not as good as a dedicated thrower for looking at further distances, and usually has the highest output out of these three categories.
I like those long flashlights too. It's a light you can hit people upside the head with like it's a bat. It might not work so well in real life though. These lights all seem to have an extension tube to go from 2-3 cells, and I think that joint won't hold up to batting practice.
Slewflash: You're right they are toys most of the time but they are pretty handy too. I'm looking for the big flood+throw megatorch. No real single purpose for it. Just putting out lots of light. Maybe useful out 4 wheeling at night.
I am waiting for my review sample to arrive but for the money it's looking like the Solarstorm SP03 might be the light to have for all around use. Throw and flood monster in a relatively compact package and can be had for under $100. Hidden blinky mode, removeable handle, IPX-8 waterproof. Sweet stuff!!
Oh yeah, I didn’t mention any UI preferences. I like the idea of hidden blinkys. Or no blinkys. The lights I have so far, MG X-Thrower and the Caveman, I got mostly because they only have hi/med/low and you don’t have to click through that crap every time you turn on the light (I hate that). Memory is good. But I suppose it wouldn’t be a deal breaker either way. It’s not like I’d be using the monster light all the time. I have the other two for that.
NiMHs are impossible to blow up and run at a lower voltage (1.2v). 26650 is the size of battery and it is a lithium ion battery. Holds a lot more energy and runs at 4.2 volts.
Li-ions are generally considered very safe, but under the circumstance of catastrophic failure due to improper maintenance, they tend to have extreme results.
I believe your Intellicharger will charge 26650's. All li-ions require certain precautions, especially when used in serial configuration. I don't really have a link to a "li-ion battery saftey" guide, perhaps someone else does. As stated above, failure to follow the precautions can have serious consequences.