LED flashlights

mubs

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I use a P60 host (Solarforce L2P) as a "pocket" light. That said, I don't keep it in my pocket too much unless I'm working on a project. I have a small CR2 powered 4Sevens Quark Mini on my keychain that's with me pretty much all the time. The MX25L3's are fun lights to take on a walk. :)
I have a keychain light that's with me always too!

The MX25L3 looks like fun, but the battery chemistry doesn't work for me. Not yet, anyway :pirate:
 

mubs

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My flashlights have completed their long trans-oceanic journeys and have finally landed in my hands.

Quick looks:

Sunwayman D40A Neutral is awesome. With the Nitecore NFD40 White diffuser, it puts out a wall of light! Haven't had a chance to try it in proper conditions. Very happy with this one.

Zebralight SC52W (neutral) is disappointing. Its high ouput is claimed to be 280 lm, but I can't tell that it is different from the 125 lm Fenix LD12. Perhaps in detailed testing I will change my opinion.

Fenix LD12 is excellent. Very happy.

Fenix LD01 is also very appropriate for my needs; it now sits on my keychain (Fenix E05 has gone into the drawer). Yet to test the LD01 in my daily routine. My parking is in the basement, and it is poorly lit there, I usually do a quick walk around the car with my keychain light and make sure the tyres are ok, no critter (like a kitten) is sitting near the tyres, etc.
 

Handruin

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I decided to try a Nitecore SRT6. I didn't get to play around with it until late last night but so far I can see quite a difference between it and my inexpensive DB power LED flashlight. The build quality and fit and finish feels excellent. It feels very solid in my hands when holding it and the coating is very nice. The quality of the beam of light is also cleaner and the LED color is also whiter. It also seems brighter than my other flashlight as well. I compared them both with fresh batteries so that it was mostly equal from the power source. Other than the inexpensive light and a Home Depot special light this one is a definite winner from all perspectives. I also really like the infinitely adjustable power to the LED. The rotary adjustment is very nice and fluid with well-defined clicks when switching to the SOS and flickering/pulsing.
 

Handruin

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Is the light output truly variable and linear?
As far as I can tell, yes. The ring rotates smoothly and the light changes ever so gently with the rotation. I can try taking a video of me rotating the adjustment ring to show how gradual the changes are. At the lowest setting I can look directly at the LED without hurting my eyes. While still watching it I can adjust it ever so slightly and see it increase also very slightly.
 

Handruin

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Nope, don't bother. Videos and photos are next to useless because the eye perceives brightness very differently. I'll take your word for it ;-)

Maybe someday I'll get one; was always interested in these variable output lights.
I just meant as a basic way to show the gradual progressive change in light intensity.

I took the SRT 6 with me to my buddy's house. Later in the evening we went into his back yard where it was pitch dark and played around with both lights. I'm really impressed with the quality of the light that comes out of the SRT6. When compared to the DB power 501b, the SRT6 has a cleaner spread, a whiter light, brighter, and subjectively throws farther. We were lighting up the tops of tall trees with no problems and illuminated the thick wooded area behind his house. For a small form-factor light, I'm really happy with it. I can only imagine what some of the stronger lights are capable of.
 

Handruin

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Aside from having a couple an EDCs, what other lights should I be looking at? :) The Nitecore TinyMonster series looks fun, but less than practical. I'm more likely to use a flashlight if I can keep it in my work bag or on me easily.
 

Handruin

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I don't have any other flashlights. I don't really understand what hotwires are from the small amount of searching I've done. Are they just hacked lights?

Those Eagletac lights look nice. I'd need to stockpile some more 18650 cells to get into something like that. Which LED bulb did you opt for in each of those?
 
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Really happy with the EagleTac lights I've played with. The one I got for a friend has a built-in LiIon battery and charger, so he doesn't need to worry about additional infrastructure.
 

Stereodude

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I don't have any other flashlights. I don't really understand what hotwires are from the small amount of searching I've done. Are they just hacked lights?
Hotwires are incandescent flashlights usually built into a Maglight body with a heavily overdriven bulb and a battery pack of something other than a few D cells like several Li-Ion cells. Frankly, there isn't a lot of point to them considering how bright LEDs have gotten in terms of a practical flashlight, but if you want something that can set fire to paper and has a runtime of a few minutes they can be fun to play around with.

Those Eagletac lights look nice. I'd need to stockpile some more 18650 cells to get into something like that. Which LED bulb did you opt for in each of those?
I got the Nicha LEDs for the MX25L3C and the MT-G2 for the MX25L3.
 

jtr1962

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Looks like the batteries are in parallel. Going by the output and guestimates of LED efficiency, it looks like maybe the light pulls 100 watts maximum from the batteries. If we assume a voltage of ~3.3V under load, then it's pulling 30 amps from the cells, or about 7.5 amps from each cell. Quite a few cells capable of that. Look here. I would personally pick something like the A123 LiFePO4 18650s. The capacity may be much lower than regular Li-ion, but it's capable of 30 amps, and it's a very safe chemistry. These LG cells look suitable also although they're not LiFePO4:

http://www.batteryspace.com/lg-lith...te---inr18650-mj1---iec-ul-un38-3-passed.aspx

http://www.batteryspace.com/lg-lith...a-rate---lg-18650hg2---iec-un38-3-passed.aspx

http://www.batteryspace.com/lg-lith...500mah-9wh---lg-18650he2---un38-3-passed.aspx
 

Stereodude

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What kind of batteries would be a good match for a Niwalker Nova MM15MB XHP70 LED Flashlight? Are the Keepower 3400mAh still appropriate for the higher discharge?
The 3500s are better than the 3400s for high current draw applications, but there are better high current batteries. The Sony VTC6 (unprotected) is the best of them, but are expensive and fairly hard to get. The vapers are buying them up like crazy. The Samsung INR18650-30Q (unprotected) is probably the 2nd best choice. I would not use unprotected batteries in a light where they are in series.

However, as I understand it the 7000lm is only for 10 seconds before it steps down and you get 3000lm. With four 18650 batteries in parallel I wouldn't worry much about the current draw during a burst lasting only 10 seconds. The draw after it steps down is much more modest.

What attracts you to this light?
 

Handruin

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Looks like the batteries are in parallel. Going by the output and guestimates of LED efficiency, it looks like maybe the light pulls 100 watts maximum from the batteries. If we assume a voltage of ~3.3V under load, then it's pulling 30 amps from the cells, or about 7.5 amps from each cell. Quite a few cells capable of that. Look here. I would personally pick something like the A123 LiFePO4 18650s. The capacity may be much lower than regular Li-ion, but it's capable of 30 amps, and it's a very safe chemistry. These LG cells look suitable also although they're not LiFePO4:

http://www.batteryspace.com/lg-lith...te---inr18650-mj1---iec-ul-un38-3-passed.aspx

http://www.batteryspace.com/lg-lith...a-rate---lg-18650hg2---iec-un38-3-passed.aspx

http://www.batteryspace.com/lg-lith...500mah-9wh---lg-18650he2---un38-3-passed.aspx
Thanks for the info on the power requirements to drive a light like this. I'd be hesitant to get into the LiFePO4 batteries if they needed a special charger. I already have a charger for the Li-ion batteries I use today with my existing 18650 light and like to reuse that if possible.
 

Handruin

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The 3500s are better than the 3400s for high current draw applications, but there are better high current batteries. The Sony VTC6 (unprotected) is the best of them, but are expensive and fairly hard to get. The vapers are buying them up like crazy. The Samsung INR18650-30Q (unprotected) is probably the 2nd best choice. I would not use unprotected batteries in a light where they are in series.

However, as I understand it the 7000lm is only for 10 seconds before it steps down and you get 3000lm. With four 18650 batteries in parallel I wouldn't worry much about the current draw during a burst lasting only 10 seconds. The draw after it steps down is much more modest.

What attracts you to this light?
I'd have to confirm that the light was in parallel like jtr suggested but I'm fine with playing it safe and using a protected cell even if I don't have the absolute best current from the cells due to the protection cutting them off.

The light I linked to is not the limited edition version of that model and it's rated to go to 6800lm in what they claim as turbo mode for 2.6 hours run time. Now I'm not sure if that's just an estimate based on a typical cell capacity or if that's the limit in time that it can sustain that output without damaging the light. The limited edition does get to 7000lm and I believe you're correct that it's limited to that with a short duration. I wasn't interested in that edition of the flashlight.

I'm attracted to the amount of light output it offers and thought it might be fun. The throw and size of area fill seemed pretty neat but I admit I haven't looked at a lot of lights with this amount of output to compare against. I started looking at the Nitecore Tiny Monster TM16 that was on sale on Massdrop but that ended last night. That one was rated at 4000lm and looked neat.
 

Stereodude

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I'd have to confirm that the light was in parallel like jtr suggested but I'm fine with playing it safe and using a protected cell even if I don't have the absolute best current from the cells due to the protection cutting them off.
I found confirmation that they're in series for this light, not parallel.

The light I linked to is not the limited edition version of that model and it's rated to go to 6800lm in what they claim as turbo mode for 2.6 hours run time. Now I'm not sure if that's just an estimate based on a typical cell capacity or if that's the limit in time that it can sustain that output without damaging the light. The limited edition does get to 7000lm and I believe you're correct that it's limited to that with a short duration. I wasn't interested in that edition of the flashlight.
The 6800lm is definitely duration limited. Look at the specs: Mode 5: 2625 lumens / 2.8 hrs, Turbo: 6800 lumens / 2.6 hrs If you get 2625lm for 2.8 hours you can't get 6800lm for 2.6 hours. The best I could find it that it steps down after around 5 minutes.

If you want a stupid bright light to play with similar to that form factor I'd look at one of Vihn Nuygen's modifications. Like this: http://skylumen.com/collections/v54-lights/products/tn36vn?variant=5603838980 Note, it has the batteries in series, but needs very high current batteries to power the turbo, ie: batteries good for ~11.5A, so things get interesting... Basically you need to use high current unprotected cells to get the performance, so you would need to use it carefully and not try to run it to the point where it shuts off. Of course the light is probably not very practical and is basically just a toy rather than a tool, so having to keep a rather watchful eye on the batteries isn't really that big of a deal.

As with everything it's all about what you want to do. I don't find these super bright lights all that practical myself. I have a Vihn modified BTU Shocker from several years ago. It's very bright (well was at the time, now other lights have well surpassed it) and the beam is quite focused, but it's not really a practical flashlight so I never use it. I don't find myself needing a pencil like beam with really long throw. Maybe some occasion will come up and I'll find use for it, so aside from pulling it out to impress people, it just sits collecting dust. More floody lights do get used by me, but I just can't see a 10,000lm floody light being very useful to me either.
 

Stereodude

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So my Astrolux S41 with Nichia 219b LEDs came yesterday. It's a fun little light. The turbo mode is just silly for the size of the light. The light also heats up rather quickly in the top few brightness settings and requires a very high current battery, but that's not surprising or unexpected. I'm using a Keeppower IMR 750 battery. I also got the 18650 tube for it and have a few Samsung INR18650-30Q cells, but haven't tried that combination yet.

I've got the Stainless Steel version on pre-order too.

Edit: Tried the 18650 tube + Samsung INR18650-30Q battery. It takes away a little bit of the charm of the light, by making it bigger and heavier, but there's a lot more to hold onto and it's still fairly small overall.
 
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LunarMist

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So I sort of accidentally bought a Dark Grey Noctigon 4*18650 Meteor M43 with Nichia NW 219CT LEDs. The $50 off coupon code didn't hurt. :bomb:

Do not look in flashlight with remaining good eye :beye:
What do you do with all these big lights, not international travel?
Based on the specs, the max brightness is not very much since it has a very wide beam.
 

Stereodude

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What do you do with all these big lights, not international travel?
Based on the specs, the max brightness is not very much since it has a very wide beam.
I play with use them. 6600 lumens is nothing to sneeze at, but yes it's not a throwing light. For that, my neutral white Convoy L6 arrived today, but I don't have any batteries for it yet. They're on backorder. :frusty:
 

LunarMist

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I play with use them. 6600 lumens is nothing to sneeze at, but yes it's not a throwing light. For that, my neutral white Convoy L6 arrived today, but I don't have any batteries for it yet. They're on backorder. :frusty:
I'm not familiar with that brand and if it is reliable. The batteries don't appear to be proprietary or did I miss that?
 

Stereodude

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I'm not familiar with that brand and if it is reliable. The batteries don't appear to be proprietary or did I miss that?
For which? I don't buy lights with proprietary batteries. The L6 uses 26650s and the Meteor M43 uses high current 18650s. I got Keeppower protected 26650 cells for the L6 and Samsung 30Q button top unprotected cells for the Meteor M43 since they're in parallel and the current draw is too high for protected cells.
 

LunarMist

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For which? I don't buy lights with proprietary batteries. The L6 uses 26650s and the Meteor M43 uses high current 18650s. I got Keeppower protected 26650 cells for the L6 and Samsung 30Q button top unprotected cells for the Meteor M43 since they're in parallel and the current draw is too high for protected cells.
Assuming I have a normal flashlight, what is your feeling about the IMR cells? I don't recall seeing them a few years ago.
 

LunarMist

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?!?! How can that be? :dunno: It's uncanny. :pale:

What do you really think of the IMR batteries of the NiteCore? Are they worth using compared to the 3.4Ah normal 18650s?
 

Stereodude

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What do you really think of the IMR batteries of the NiteCore? Are they worth using compared to the 3.4Ah normal 18650s?
That depends on the light and the battery. In theory IMR cells are supposed to have safer chemistry, but it seems to have turned more into a generic name for high current cells that may or may not have safer chemistry.
 

LunarMist

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OK, I will stick with the 3.4Ah NiteCores since the others have lower capacity. I figure they known their own light requirements, but am not sure why they make the IMR cells.
 
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