What is the brightest budget light?

What's the bightest/highest lumens(1000+) light out there in the budget world?

Man that is asking a lot......time for me to look around.

The Romisen RC-T6 is probably nudging 500 lumens on high. http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.15686

Some of the 2 x 18650 lights would be worth a look. http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.18071 comes to mind.

But 5-700 lumens is probably your lot unless you want to modify something yourself.

There are some beamshots here of the brighter lights I own. All of these are budget lights except the Fenix. Most of them, I've had for a while but I'm not aware of much that's brighter for not too much money. Note that these beamshots are NOT comparable to my usual ones as the test range is rather more reflective than usual

DX has a few lights running the Luminus SST-50 emitter that could be capable of a lot of light if driven hard, but their stock drivers don't

Aurora SH-45 - http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.33618

Aurora SH-44 - http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.33619

Aurora SH-43 - http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.33617

Aurora SH-42 - http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.33616

Aurora SH-40 - http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.33615

This one claims 1200 lumens but that will be right!! Even at 800 it is still pumping out a lot of light but look for Romisen RC-T6 beamshots, the beam will be like that, but brighter. That is, assuming they can actually get them from the factory - I've just cancelled an order for one after three months of no stock - I strongly suspect they only ever had a test batch and the factory decided they were uneconomic to produce at that price. I ordered one the day DX announced it.

There's a review here of an other large 600 lumen light.

There are alternatives.

Get a 2 D Maglite

Get two of these lithium ion D cells (Assuming you already have a charger that can charge lithium batteries) from Kaidomain. $34 These cells do need to be treated with respect and recharged when the light starts to dim.

Get one of these shortened springs - the standard Mag spring is too long for this purpose $4

The bulb we are going to use runs way hotter than the Maglite one and will melt the plastic lens and reflector.

So we get a KD smooth metal reflector for most throw and an ugly beam $13

Or an orange peel one for a prettier but less throwy beam $15

We are up to $53 assuming the more expensive reflector

Get a glass lens KD's fancy coated one for $6 or be a cheapskate like me and get 5 uncoated ones for $3 from DX We've now spent $51-59

Then drop ten dollars on a pair of ROP bulbs which Lighthound are out of just now. These are a 24W and an 11W bulb which are being a bit overdriven by the two lithium cells. the H bulb is the high power one and has a pointy top. It will run for an hour on these cells and give over 1000 lumens up to maybe 1200-1300 if you start fixing resistance and generally shortening the life of the bulb - which is not a long time to start with.You'll get around two hours on the low bulb.

Under $70 that's the most light you are going to get at present.

Anyone who knows better, please feel free to correct me.

Hey don any beam shots of the moded mag

There is one here near the bottom of my WF-503B review. http://www.jayki.com/flashlight_review_board/6165.

The other one is near the end of another review here. http://www.jayki.com/6484

Next time I'm out of town where I've got more room, I'll drag out the bigger lights and do some comparisons. If I can get all the batteries charged and the roads aren't blocked with snow and, it must be said, if I remember to bring the lights, I have to go about 70 miles out of town on Sunday so may be able to get some beamshots in the evening.

It was a green Mag 2D that I got when TKMaxx were selling them cheap modded as per the recipe above.

The head

KD metal reflector, DX glass lens

The parts

The cells have a recessed top, they are held together by magnets - you need to either buy a shortened tailspring or cut down the Mag one.

The beam

The light on the left is a just-received LED thrower which may be making 350 lumens, the ROP is a bit down on output, it is the back door light for dog spotting and it hasn't been charged for a couple of weeks.

You can see that the ROP has maxed out the sensor while the LED hasn't. And it is a very bright light.

Easy mod, pretty cheap, runs for an hour and heaps of light. I have a 6D one running on 6 LSD D cells which can be brighter than this but is not currently working - Mag switches have been cheapened I think and don't like 4-5A through them. They used to be good for 10A.

Cool Thanks mate, looks like you have decided what lite i should get next for me :-)

I can't find a UK source of supply for the 3854 bulbs though and stuff from the US may well end up hitting you for import duty and VAT. A pack of two bulbs, 1 high, and 1 low is $10 + $14 P&P. That is safely below the UK import duty limit and seems a bit steep when the flat rate envelope they use costs $5.25 (or did 2 years ago - no idea what US postage rates are). Pelican have a European base in Germany but their website doesn't show the bulbs. That works out at £15 for the two bulbs so is safe for import duty etc. Two packs of 2 comes to $34 £22 which means some VAT and the 8 quid clearance charge by the Post Office. Two packs in the same envelope will probably cost you more!

The high bulbs don't last a huge time - maybe 6-10 hours, they are being brutally overdriven. I'm actively looking for a European source since I'm on my last high bulb.

That TR-1200 looks interesting, but if it's unattainable.

I like the idea of the ROP, which I've wanted to build anyway. I'm also looking at these or something similar, I don't care if they're led, incandescent, or hid.





Thanks for the great suggestions

In the case of Maglite design, I'd have to say that the cloners beat Maglite in their own game. I really don't like the maglight switch, it's too small. I used to work outdoors at night in the cold and snow with a D-cell Maglite, and with gloves I just couldn't operate that switch. The chinese lights that have a big, bulging, tailcap clicky switch are far superior for access with a fat, gloved thumb.

Thanks for the nice pictures as usual, Don!

The first one is a WiseLED clone at a fraction of the price. Here's a CPF link to it. I suspect it'll have a beam like the romisen RC-T6, not a thrower, but pumping out so much light you won't notice. It will have quite a fat body to accommodate the 3x18650s in it but it is short.

the second one to me offers nothing that a well-sorted ROP won't for less money - you pays your money and you takes your choice. Using C lithium cells and a 2C Mag will make it slimmer than the 2D, and possibly slimmer, though longer than this incan light.

I've always fancied an Ostar light, though those 6 die LEDs are a couple of years old now and need about 20V to light up - battery life is likely to be short.

the last one, Costco in the US periodically clear out HID lights for less than $80. Worth looking through CPF Marketplace for a look.

There's several of those I'd fancy myself if I didn't already have comparable stuff. If the KD Ostar one were half the price I'd probably get one. Looks like it'd run off a car battery too.

Excellent list here guys. Want me to make it sticky at the top of the forum list?

These things are fun - just not necessarily the most practical of lights. Got a new one yesterday which has a small problem, the battery needs to be pushed the best part of a centimetre down into the tube, the spring loaded tail post is about 4mm long. Doesn't work very well...


I hope that wasn't a $40 - $50 model that arrived not working Don?

It's a Raidlight Spear clone. I ordered one with a Q5 emitter in it and got one with an MC-E in it. Multi-die emitters don't really make a lot of sense in a dedicated thrower. However, it was lighting up roofs brightly about 350m away last night as I took the dog round the local swamp park. Did a quick bodge with some magnets to push the cell deeper into the barrel.

Just been brazing some small coins together to add length to the contact post which should fix the flickering issues. Pity the torch ran out of gas. Plan was to braze the coins together then wrap heatshrink round the outside and use it as a spacer. Come to think of it I have some battery spacers for one of my chargers.

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=259443. CPF does have its uses.

Also has pics of an insanely expensive ROP which to me totally misses the point.

If I wanted to go down that road I'd go for Philips 5761 bulbs, soft start and silly, silly money. But rather a lot of light.

12V / 100W halogen spotlights are the most Lumens / $$.

They typically are in the ~1300L (bulb lumens) range. I got this one for $19.



At $79, the Stanley HID is also a real bargain. It will out-throw an Olight ST90. I am not sure what its lumen output is though.

Where did you get that one for 19 bones.....those are not even at that price range.....I have a 55w BD light that my wife bought for me years ago and that only gets used once in awhile.

$19.? Now that's what I call a budgetlight! :D

This was used for long range.....but the only thing that i didnt like about it was that the continuous use was only 10m......