Which budget lights have you found to be similar to non-budget lights?

It seems that many budget lights have features that we don’t really care for but are willing to accept (or to mod) because of the price. Budget can mean whatever you want it to mean for this thread.

There are some budget lights that have avoided many of these characteristics (for me anyway). Maybe we can list a few of them. I haven’t been around here in a while and maybe some new ones have come out.

This subject is subjective of course but use your own standards.

For me the UF-T50, the ITC A3 and the Thru-nite TI all fit what I’m talking about.

In general I guess I’m talking about lights that have hidden strobe and non-crenelated bezels. Some may have different switches from the standard tail clickies.

Have some new lights come out that are as popular as the UF T-50 was for example?

My only non-budget modern light is a Maratac copper CR123. I don’t recall seeing anything about a copper budget light. I also like starting on low mode, but for most purposes I prefer zoomies.

Not much difference price-wise between budget and non-budget in my example, but I’ve mentioned the UF-K21 before:


I got this awhile ago from FT, and was really impressed with its brightness.

I’d also had my eye on the Xtar WK21 for a long time, and I finally got one a couple of weeks ago (from md-lightsource), and now that I have both the UF-K21 and the WK21, I am still impressed with the UF-K21.

Thread that you might find interesting..

Expensive lights and their budget sibling

When I started backpacking, some time around 1960, I carried a stub of a candle and built a fire. Next I got a polyethylene AA light for 69 cents (budget). I don’t remember what I used when I lived in Europe. After I came to the Bay Area, I found a Tekna Microlith for $20 (non-budget in those days). I guess I lost that somehow and got a Tekna Monolith that I still have. The Monolith focuses and uses a CR123, the Microlith had fixed focus and used a slightly larger lithium cell, the first I had seen. They also used the first krypton incandescent bulbs I had seen. I also had some candle lanterns, which were better in terms of run time and light output, when one didn’t need throw.
I would say that then, there was nothing to compare with the Tekna lights for their intended purpose. The poly AA worked, but the Teknas were better in every way. Nothing else was light enough to carry in the mountains.
If I were still backpacking, I would probably use red and white plastic button cell lights.
The Monolith is sealed by only one o-ring. The focusing lens has a skirt that slides over the o-ring in its groove in the body. It twists to turn off and on and to zoom.