LED flashlight

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  #1  
Old 10-19-16, 07:29 PM
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LED flashlight

I've been putting off buying an LED flashlight since it was just so hard to believe the claims and the prices of some that were reviewed seemed awfully high along with the special batteries required. Those with the big names like Surefire, Fenix, Streamlight, Maglight, etc.

So I'm at Wally World and decide to see what they have since it would be easy to return if I didn't like it. Saw a couple of real cheapies and some that were a bit pricy. Finally chose one with a metal body, 3 operational modes, and push/ pull focus, uses plain old AAA alkalines.. Poor labeling (I didn't know how the modes worked) and no instructions, but not hard to figure out. Less than $10 and it illuminates better than anything I've ever had. Shined it on a house 2 down and across the intersection and I could have easily seen a cat, let alone a person. Bought another for my car and one for ex's use when she travels.

Thought the focus might be an issue since pulling back or placing it lens down puts it on wide beam, but that's plenty to light the room, garage, or the yard area around the house. Quick push and it's on narrow beam.

WM brand Ozark Trail 200 lumen, with focus and modes, 3 batteries included.

There's another similar model with 250 lumens for $3 more but I wanted the cheapest with the listed features.

Highly recommended
 
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Old 10-19-16, 08:08 PM
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I have several three-cell (C-size) Maglights and I have converted them all to the LED bulb. Smartest move I ever made. I also have two or three small lanterns (use the 6-volt lantern battery) that have LED bulbs and they last forever.

The best is my Streamlight (the kind of lantern often used by firefighters) that I retrofitted with a three-bulb replacement head; that baby REALLY puts out the lumens! I have it set up as a power failure light and it lights up half my house and I think the battery will last more than ten hours.

The WORST LED flashlights are the pocket models that are about an inch in diameter and three and a half inches long. Often given away as a promotion or with a free coupon at Harbor Freight. No matter where I have picked one up they are universally bad, requiring shaking and banging to get them to work. It's a real shame as they could be nice lights if a little more care had been used in their manufacture.
 
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Old 10-19-16, 08:18 PM
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uses plain old AAA alkalines
That is what disappoints me when I check out LED flashlights. Imagine how long they would work with a couple of D cells traditionally used in full size flash lights. Stupid to cripple their potential is my opinion.
 
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Old 10-19-16, 09:19 PM
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Depends on what you want Ray. Hard to hold a D cell light in your mouth as you do some repair requiring both hands. I have a 3 D Maglight and a 2 C. I found the hand comfort much better with the 2 C and I could still shoot 2 handed. This new LED is even better.

Furd I agree on those give away lights...real junk. How did you convert to LED? I thought they had kits at one time but maybe I was thinking of the Xenon bulbs? Seems like LED would need a new reflector and lens as well as the bulb holder at the least
 
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Old 10-20-16, 01:30 AM
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Vic, do a Google using Maglite LED upgrade. Lots of choices.
 
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Old 10-20-16, 03:11 AM
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I upgraded both my D cell maglites to LED. Best thing I ever did. I also bought a Vander LED 2000 lumen tactical light at a gun show On pinpoint it is awfully bright, and is adaptable from the proprietary rechargeable battery to AAA if you want.
 
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Old 10-20-16, 05:04 AM
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I agree that LED's are the way to go. The trouble with the high end units is that they are never where I need them and must go looking for them. Those small give-a-away are not junk in my mind. I have many and they all work well. You get what you pay for. They do a great job of keeping in a women's purse or in a car glove box or just hanging around the house. When ever I have a need for a flash light, in spite of having several high-end units I always seem to have a cheapy at arms length. Now in terms of having two hands to work with, nothing beats those headlamp units. I now as many of those hanging around the house as the cheapo's. And they always work. Wouldn't be without one in each area of the home.

Those mag lites are great and I have one. But I never had a real use to have that intense light. To each his own.
 
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Old 10-20-16, 05:10 AM
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One big drawback to any flashlight that uses alkaline batteries is their limited output. They're great because you can get batteries anywhere but alkalines simply can't dump their charge fast enough to feed the high powered lights that are available. If you really want something bright look for a light powered by 18650 lithium or CR123. Many will allow you to stack two CR123 together in place of one 18650. CR123 can be bought almost anywhere and they last a long time. 18650 are rechargeable and hold a charge quite well when sitting unused. For an intermittent or rarely used light I'd go with CR123 but if you use it a lot like for night hunting then 18650 is the only way to go.

Unfortunately price can largely dictate quality and how well the light actually meets the specifications. Most/all lights come from China, even the high priced brand names like Olite, Fenix and Surefire. There are numerous cheap copies claiming crazy specifications. My 5 year old Olite M20 rated at 200 lumens has outshined every cheap 1000 lumen light and every alkaline powered light I've put it up against. They aren't cheap but if you want bright the premium lights are tough/impossible to beat.
 
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Old 10-20-16, 01:18 PM
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CR123 can be bought almost anywhere
Around here since the RS closed I have 2 choices, Wally World and Wally World. When I last checked it said they had 6 in stock and there were only 2 on the rack. Not a reliable option. I'd rather be able to slip an extra pack of 4 AAA's in my pocket or the glove box. I'll deal with 1 1/2 hrs on high or 5 on low.

Of course I could buy online but that means a pretty large order.
 
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Old 10-21-16, 05:25 AM
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My Walmart carries CR123 though they are hard to find in the store. The cheapest source in my town is Lowes.
 
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