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Old 09-12-2019, 07:39 PM
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Default Dumb Flashlight Question



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Ladies and gentlemen, I have questions about the types of flashlights y’all are using and packing away for use in future SHTF type scenarios.

For the past 40+ years I have relied on various Maglite products. For the past few years, they seem to be increasingly shoddy and unreliable. Back in the 70s and 80s I used Maglites in some extremely harsh conditions and they were frequently horribly abused. You couldn’t hurt them if you tried.

Nowadays, they seem to last about a week or two and then become pieces of pretty aluminum that don’t do anything. Many of the maglite flashlights that we have purchased in the last few years cease to function even before the first set of batteries runs down. This is absurd. A once high quality item becomes useless as soon as I remove them from their packing.

I am becoming increasingly frustrated trying to find rugged and reliable flashlights and/or lanterns.

Are you folks having these issues with them or am I nuts?

What types, brands, etc do y’all use? Does anybody still make a flashlight that can stand up to daily use, or survive being dropped down a mineshaft?

Or are they all made from recycled trash in China?

Thanks
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:57 PM
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`

My EDC lights is a Streamlight Polytac. I have several now & really like them.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001S0IN46

They now make a rechargeable & "Duel Fuel" version, along with some other variations.

https://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-8...gateway&sr=8-2

https://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-8...gateway&sr=8-3

https://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-8...gateway&sr=8-7

https://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-8...gateway&sr=8-4


I have a Gerber Omnivore on my shotgun, but they quit making it, too bad I really like it, lots of battery options too.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014BMC2S


I have a lot of MagLite D-cell lights, mostly 3 cell, but a couple 4 cell & one 6 Cell I've had since the early-mid 80's. I also have a few smaller mini & solitaire lights too. I also buy those packs of cheap ones you see at wal-mart or hardware stores etc. where there's a pack of 10 or 12 lights for about $12-$15. I throw them in drawers, hang them on hooks etc. Even those cheap ones I usually end up losing them instead of them stop working. I've got a few of them that have been around for at least 10 years now too. I've tried surefires, I call them ****fire, cause they are flaming crap. Won't ever buy another ****fire flashlight, either streamlight or maglite for the heavy lifting.

Also you're generally going to want different lights for different things. You'll probably want a different light for EDC than you have mounted to a pistol & another different light for the tool kit in your car.
.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:19 PM
Sharkbait Sharkbait is offline
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I just use headlamps these days.
Black diamond http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com...ch?q=Headlamps
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:14 PM
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If you like your maglight case, you can buy an LED replacement bulb that will give you longer run times.

I really like the Ryobi One+ lights.
The area lantern has a LED that will light a room for a long time, and also has a USB power supply for your phones.

If you want a super bright spotlight, Ryobi has one of them as well.

I bought a whole card of cheap Eveready LED headlamps at Sams club a few years ago.
I think there were 5 or 6 for 25 bucks with batteries.

LED has made the older bulbs pretty much obsolete.

I also bought a few aluminum LED flashlights on Amazon. One is a weapon light that uses CR123 lithiums. Then bought about 50 lithium CR123s for it. The flashlight was cheap and dead simple, but extremely rugged. And the lithium batts last a LOT longer, are lighter, etc.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:18 PM
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I have multiple types. My every day use light is a LED headlamp with a rechargeable battery - it leaves my hands free for feeding livestock and milking chores at 4 AM. I also have a Streamlight, some different sizes of Maglights (had them for several years, so they're still decent) some wind-up type lights, and several others whose brand names I can't think of offhand.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:28 PM
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Hard to go wrong with streamlight. I have never purchased something from them that I felt I overplayed for.

Black diamond headlamp stays in my backpacking gear. Has suffered abuse like it was designed for it.

Nitecore makes some good lights also but they are pricey.

Lots of people rant and rave about the O LIght
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:58 PM
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Since LED bulbs became available, my only real concern is whether or not a flashlight is waterproof. First thing I do when I buy a flashlight is sink it under water for a few minutes. If it leaks, I use an O ring set I bought at Harbor Freight and some RTV sealant to make it waterproof.
The main problem is batteries corroding a flashlight's innards. I've gotten so I only keep batteries in one flashlight, and with the others I tape the batteries to the light's outside so if they corrode they won't damage the inside.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:46 AM
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I haven't touched a maglite since LEDs where invented.

I know a lot of people here seem to have an almost religious devotion to them but frankly I am 100% done with maglites, I really don't care what they once where, they are a silly obsolete light at this point.

Quote:
Black diamond headlamp stays in my backpacking gear. Has suffered abuse like it was designed for it.
Same. I have two black diamond ReVolts and so far they have been great and taken a lot more abuse than even my petzls did. They are without question my EDC...don't even leave my bed without one in the morning on and it stays on until I go back to bed at night.
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:24 AM
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For around the house and in the car all I use now are the Ryobi One+. I’ve got three that I put Led bulbs in them and have been amazed at how long the battery last. I haven’t tested them but since I replaced the bulbs I haven't had a flashlight die, and I’m using the small 2500 mAh batterys. I wind up using the battery in one of the tools and recharging when I’m done.

Highly recommend.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:33 AM
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Lots of rechargeable batteries (and chargers) for:

Energizer lanterns (wait for sale and use a coupon tp get for $5 at Walgreen's) and/or use points to get price even lower

Floating plastic lantern
El cheapo plastic floating LED flashlight with lanyard

Headlamp
Gun light
Small, cheap metal LED flashlights ($1-$5)
Electric car flare/warning light thingees

Also have inflatable solar light, keychain LED, lots of LED Christmas lights, and multi-power weather radio that has a flashlight function.

If you have an ultrastinger flashlight, replace the halogen bulb with LED head because if (when) it falls or hits something the bulb will stop working. Internal battery is rechargeable, so 12V car and AC chargers.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:32 AM
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Mag light LED, are not to bad. Some times, you have to stretch out the spring.
So it makes good contact, and they work fine.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:45 AM
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I use Petzl headlamps. I keep one in each vehicle, one in my tool box, and two in my backpack.

Nice to have your hands free when your putting up a tent or working on something.

https://www.rei.com/product/109855/p...-headlamp-2018
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slclarry View Post
For around the house and in the car all I use now are the Ryobi One+. I’ve got three that I put Led bulbs in them and have been amazed at how long the battery last. I haven’t tested them but since I replaced the bulbs I haven't had a flashlight die, and I’m using the small 2500 mAh batterys. I wind up using the battery in one of the tools and recharging when I’m done.

Highly recommend.
Thanks, I just ordered an LED to upgrade one of my Ryobi older style lights.
Don't know why I hadn't thought of doing that already.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:37 AM
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I bought 1/2 dozen of these in the listing link below a couple years back for family members.
They are inexpensive, durable, bright & none of the bunch has failed.
Your experience might vary, but the ones I handed out have been top-notch.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultrafire-C...7986aa9be80705
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:02 AM
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I bought LED bulbs for my D cell and AA Mag lights. I use Eneloop AA and Tenergy D cells.

I like my necklace Photon II, Streamlight Nano, and NiteCore Tube (rechargeable).

I like my old Streamlight head lamps that have 4 bulbs and use 3 AAA Eneloops - 1 green 270 hrs, 2 whites 130 hrs and 1 Xenon 2 hrs.

I have a few china head lamps (<$15) that use two 18650's. They are really nice for the money and came with both AC and car chargers.

Almost everything I have has a lanyard of some sort - less dropping down a mine shaft.
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Old 09-14-2019, 02:05 AM
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I used to be a mag light fan as well and have dropped them all from my collection. I now use fenix and surefire. The Surefire G2X series is great and you can use 16650 rechargeables. For Fenix I would recommend the PD35. I also have stopped using any sort of alkaline batteries in my lights as they always leak and ruin the flashlight. I now just buy the energizer lithium‘s and rechargeable lithium ion and things seem to be great.
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Old 09-14-2019, 03:33 AM
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I haven't bought a genuine Maglight in at least 10-15 years. Every one I've ever had developed some trouble or other within a year or two, after which they were an expensive club. Worst thing is that if the alkaline cells leak you cannot get them out for love nor money. For a while I got by with cheap plastic ones, some of which I converted to Li-Po cells and LEDs long before LED lights became a "thing" on the market. I still have two of them. Not very bright, and only marginally waterproof, but 100% reliable.

No more Maglites for me. Or indeed anything that uses alkaline cells.

Now I'm mainly using one Nitecore P12GT hand-held, a Thrunite TH10 headlamp which throws such a long, bright beam that I can easily drive my old Ford tractor at night, and a Nitecore HC60 that throws a much wider beam but not as far.

All three use 18650 Li-Po cells which never leak and retain their charge for years. I've stripped a good many older laptop battery packs for 18650s - I now have about two dozen in the rotation.

I wish I could buy more of the TH10s, but the model is discontinued.

Useful SHTf tip: You can charge three Li-Po cells in series directly off a 12v lead-acid battery in a pinch without risking an overcharge. Just be sure all three are in an equal state of charge to start, by connecting them in parallel for a couple of hours.
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:05 AM
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I very rarely find my self in a situation where I need a flashlight AND DON’T want my hands fee!!

For me head lamps are my go too, if I don’t want to wear it I can carry it in my hand just like a flashlight (do it all the time taking the dog out), but it’s much more difficult to stay a flashlight to my head when I need my hands free!

LED is the way to go now and days, I got the Black Diamond Storm the first of this year as I wanted something that could both be bright when needed or easily dimmed without clicking through a million different brightness levels, colors, strobes and all the other B.S. and this thing is the best $40 I have spent in a long time!!!! I will be buying a few more of them ASAP. I work in the telecom industry so I’m working out by the roads in all sorts of weather and in doors in tight spaces and needed something that can cover all my needs and the cheep head lamps just couldn’t fit the bill. I must say that this model is the perfect one for a general everything do it all head lamp with GREAT battery life!! I can’t recommend it enough!!!
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:40 AM
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Failed to mention that the variable brightness selections that LED lights have is a great feature. I almost never put mine up to the highest setting, which does wonders for battery life. Once I'm dark-adapted, I can walk around in total darkness using only the "firefly" setting on the headlights. A fully charged 18650 can support that for days!
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavrilo princip View Post
The main problem is batteries corroding a flashlight's innards. I've gotten so I only keep batteries in one flashlight, and with the others I tape the batteries to the light's outside so if they corrode they won't damage the inside.
Quoted for truth.

Either change to rechargeable batteries or disposable Lithium.

I use both.

No more Alkaline batteries for me.
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