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Old 05-25-2010, 12:01   #1
mrdann
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Flashlight thread 2010

I am going to nights for the first time in 4 years. My old Magcharger and G2L seem outdated. Researching the newest generation of options makes my head spin. So......please discuss; What light(s) meets the following criteria?

1) Long run time (one charge or set of batteries should last AT LEAST a 12 hour shift)

2) Cheap to run (rechargeables have the edge, but what are the options and how long does it take for a full recharge?)

3) BRIGHT (200 lumens seems to be a good starting point, with the possibility of 500 or 700 or more)

4) Small size, light weight, and durability

5) Simplicity (I like ON/OF, with maybe, 1 or 2 lower settings to conseve battery life or avoid blinding oneself inside. I don't want to push some long convoluted combination of buttons to get the thing on/off).

Any input on these specific lights? Fenix TK40, 5.11 Light For Life, Magcharger with Terralux LED
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:33   #2
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1) Long run time (one charge or set of batteries should last AT LEAST a 12 hour shift)
No light is going that puts out a substantial amount of light is going to be able to last 12hrs of night work. Most high output light last less than 1.5hrs. If its that important you can pack an extra set of batteries they are small.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.33550 That is my personal favorite. You can get that light a charger and a rechargeable battery for $35 bucks. The light fits in a surefire holster for your duty belt and its beefy enough to survive at work. I use a much brighter bulb in a similar host but I paid a lot more for the bulb.
I think the question is how much are you looking to spend and what size of light are you looking for?
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Originally Posted by mrdann View Post
Any input on these specific lights? Fenix TK40, 5.11 Light For Life, Magcharger with Terralux LED
I like the output of the Fenix but I prefer lights that go on or off. I think 8 modes is hokey. The MC-E Led in a P60 size in my surefire clone and I love it but its not the latest and greatest out there right now. The rest of the lights you mention aren’t that great.

Last edited by rdrkt; 05-25-2010 at 12:35..
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:43   #3
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I think the question is how much are you looking to spend and what size of light are you looking for?
I like the output of the Fenix but I prefer lights that go on or off. I think 8 modes is hokey. The MC-E Led in a P60 size in my surefire clone and I love it but its not the latest and greatest out there right now. The rest of the lights you mention arenít that great.
I agree the 8 modes is "hokey".

I'll spend what I have to, but not more. There's a bunch of lights that seem to have less light AND less run time than the G2L yet cost 4-5 times as much. I don't get that.
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Old 05-25-2010, 13:39   #4
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Stinger
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Old 05-25-2010, 14:24   #5
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Streamlight Strion LED and Mag CHarger on carstops is what I use when I work midnights.
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Old 05-25-2010, 14:34   #6
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The Strion LED, IMO is absolutely the best, all-around, compact light out there. It's small enough to stick in to a pocket, but big enough to hold on to. It's rechargeable, it's bright, it has an intuitive dimmer and strobe system that does not result in confusion or problems, its bezel is designed to keep it from rolling away and its barrel is designed for rail mounting. It really is just a outstanding piece of equipment.

For a direct replacement to the G2LED, I would look at the Streamlight Polytac. The output is brighter than the G2LED with about the same run time and size. It also comes with a "click tailcap, which is WAY better than the G2's twist cap. It fits the V70 holster for the G2 both bezel up and bezel down. Amazon had them for $34 a few weeks ago. This light is so good for its price that I also think everybody should have one. My ONE complaint is that the momentary function on the taill cap is just a little touchy, which has caused a couple of "white light NDs" when popping it back in to the V70 holster.

For full-size lights, I still prefer the Streamlight SL20 with the low intensity LEDs. I think that they coiuld do a little better on the "primary" bulb for it, but coupled with the excellent low intensity LEDs (great for reading documents, navigating in the dark, etc), it makes the light a viable choice. I prefer the polymer one, but I understand why others prefer the metal. I also like what I have seen from the Pelican 8060. The lack of muiltiple brightness settings is disappointing though.

Finally, I also have been favorably impressed by the 5.11 Light for Life. It is lightweight and bright, charges extremely fast, has a decent switching system, etc. My problems with it are that the grip is simultaneous a little to thick and a bit on the thick side. I haven't dropped mine yet, but the extra bulk and poor grip are noticeable.

I would be very cautious about getting too caught up in the lumens game. Brightness is a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. I have seen this in going from the X200 to the X300 for a pistol light. The extra brightness makes for serious reflection problems when working indoors. I would say that you should consider the role of the light that you buy more than the brightness. I carry two compact lights one me: the Polytac on my belt with its single brightness level for "quick" work and the Strion LED in my pocket with the dimmer for more involved tasks. I also have the SL20XP-LED and the 5.11 LFL in the car...usually one of them is with me also.
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Old 05-25-2010, 15:05   #7
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+1 on the Strion LED. I haven't got ahold of the Strion LED HP yet but working on one. It may be the perfect cross between the strion and Stinger. For a duty size light I like my Pelican 8060. Keeps a charge for days and if something happens I can through in 4 C size batteries in a pinch.
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Old 05-25-2010, 15:09   #8
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How about the Fenix TK11R5 - 285 lumens for 2.7hrs or 60 for 14 hrs

or

the Olight M30 - 700 lumens for 1.5 hrs, 120 lumens for 9 hrs, or 8 lumens for 90 hrs

Both use rechargeable 18650 batteries OR CR123 batteries

Or

the newer PC300 Light For Life - 270 lumens, or 70, or custom setting for 1hr, but recharges in only 90 seconds

Strion LED - 160 lumens for 2hrs, 80 for 4, or 40 for 7 recharges in 3hrs but batteries come out for charging

Polytac -130 lumens for 3hrs uses CR123

G2LED - 80 lumens for 12 hours

My head is spinning.........

I'm a little surprised by the votes for Strion and Stinger. They were the "Go To" lights 4 years ago. Has nothing surpassed these since then?
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Old 05-25-2010, 15:10   #9
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I use an Olight M30. With 18650's the run time is pretty good. The interface is nice, single button on the butt of the light. You can carry standard 123's for backup.

LINK HERE.

Cop Talk

Last edited by rjrivero; 05-25-2010 at 15:11..
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Old 05-25-2010, 15:22   #10
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Pelican without a doubt.
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Old 05-25-2010, 15:24   #11
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Pelican without a doubt.
Yup. Mine is very bright, and small enough to stick in my side cardo pocket. I make a lot of traffic stops and rarely have a problem with it going dead in a 12 hour shift.
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Old 05-25-2010, 15:29   #12
mrdann
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Yup. Mine is very bright, and small enough to stick in my side cardo pocket. I make a lot of traffic stops and rarely have a problem with it going dead in a 12 hour shift.
Is this the 8060 or another model?

rjrivero,
How is the 700 lumens? As expected or gimmick? Hows the weight/size?
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Old 05-25-2010, 15:44   #13
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Is this the 8060 or another model?

rjrivero,
How is the 700 lumens? As expected or gimmick? Hows the weight/size?
7060 I believe... it's the smaller version that LAPD uses. It's small enough to carry in your cargo pocket but big enough, I think, you could use it if you were upcreek.
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Old 05-25-2010, 16:24   #14
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No one uses the MAG LITES anymore? Mine came in handy more than a few times.
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Old 05-25-2010, 16:42   #15
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rjrivero,
How is the 700 lumens? As expected or gimmick? Hows the weight/size?
They are out the front lumens. It's definitely bright. Almost too bright for inside search and clear. The medium setting is much better for that kind of use.

As for size comparison, here are some pictures that may help understand size.

With the tube extension:
Left to right:
Olight M30
Dorcy 41-4292 LED 6 Watt K2 Terminator
Mini Maglight
K2 Element
Surefire G2 Nitrolon
Surefire E2e
AA Battery
AAA Battery
CR123A Battery

Cop Talk

Without the tube extension:
Cop Talk

Last edited by rjrivero; 05-25-2010 at 16:42..
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Old 05-25-2010, 16:51   #16
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7060 I believe... it's the smaller version that LAPD uses. It's small enough to carry in your cargo pocket but big enough, I think, you could use it if you were upcreek.
A guy in my department used his 7060 in a fight. He ripped off the suspects ear with it.
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Old 05-25-2010, 17:07   #17
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A guy in my department used his 7060 in a fight. He ripped off the suspects ear with it.
lol... wouldn't mind hearing that one! No pun intended.
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Old 05-25-2010, 18:34   #18
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I use an Olight M30. With 18650's the run time is pretty good. The interface is nice, single button on the butt of the light. You can carry standard 123's for backup.

LINK HERE.
I second the recommendation for the Olight M30. I have been using one on duty for a few months now with no major issues. Lotsa light, good UI for tactical use, lotsa battery choices, good size. However, I changed to the smooth tail cap so it fits into all my regular 1" light pouches.
http://www.batteryjunction.com/olight-m30-tailcap.html

There is also a new M20S that has the same UI in a smaller, 6P size, 320lumen (probably 230ish OTF) single 18650 battery package.
http://www.batteryjunction.com/oligh...ps-m20-r5.html

The new Surefire Z2S looks great too, but with unknown rechargeable options.

Dennis.
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Old 05-25-2010, 18:37   #19
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It isn't on your list, but look at the Fenix TA21. Powered by two CR123s or a rechargeable equivalent. It has 12 modes, but instead of having to manipulate the tailcap switch in weird ways, the output is selected by a rotating dial around the flashlight bezel. Low modes give usable output and long runtime, whereas the high mode is like 225 lumens and will still go for 1.5 hours at that rate. A flashlight pouch from diamondback tactical fits it nicely and works on a ballistic nylon duty belt. Amazon has the light for $82, the pouch is $13, and so you can get out the door for less than $100 for a VERY usable light.
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Old 05-25-2010, 21:05   #20
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The state of the art in field lighting is pretty much LED these days. Longer run times and brighter lights are easy to have and come from a variety of manufacturers. I use a Stinger LED HP and a Stinger DS LED. My department has Magchargers or SL20s mounted in all of the patrol cars but I never use them except to lend to another officer.
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Old 05-25-2010, 22:32   #21
rdrkt
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I'm a little surprised by the votes for Strion and Stinger. They were the "Go To" lights 4 years ago. Has nothing surpassed these since then?
I think both are heavy and dim but cops are always afraid to try new things. The 6p sized light I use is lighter smaller and brighter.

Last edited by rdrkt; 05-25-2010 at 22:38..
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Old 05-25-2010, 22:48   #22
DaBigBR
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Strion LED - 160 lumens for 2hrs, 80 for 4, or 40 for 7 recharges in 3hrs but batteries come out for charging
Incorrect. The batteries stay in it and it is locked in to the "C" clamp style charger that the incan Strion and Stinger used. It uses the same charger and batteries as the incan Strion. In fact, I ordered my LED strion with no charger.
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Old 05-25-2010, 22:56   #23
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I want to add that I would be cautious about straying from Streamlight and Surefire. I know that the Fenix and Orlight (and other brands as well) lights are some of the biggest things going right now, but realistically we are still in first and second generation products from those companies when it comes to switching and construction...the LEDs have been upgraded repeatedly, but the same basic light is there.

I started buying Fenix lights at least three (maybe four) years ago. I have a P1, P1DCE, P3D, and the original T-1 (particularly the OD green version). All are decent lights, none are a Surefire or Streamlight. The T-1 was the first "tactical" light from Fenix. I wore it on my belt for over two years until the switch started shorting out. The light was manufactured for less than a year and then discontinued. It sits in a drawer now because it does not exist any more and no parts are available. I KNOW that if it were a Streamlight or Surefire that it would be fixed promptly and at no charge.

And don't get me wrong - I am absolutely NOT saying that the "other" companies make an inferior product, I'm saying that we don't know nearly as much about their products as we do about Streamlight or Surefire (or even Pelican). A lot of these "other" companies are relatively "decentrailized" in that their products are made overseas and distributed by HUNDREDS of sellers. Sometimes finding information for the "home office" to deal with issues can be difficult.
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Old 05-25-2010, 23:14   #24
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Finally, I also have been favorably impressed by the 5.11 Light for Life. It is lightweight and bright, charges extremely fast, has a decent switching system, etc.
"Extremely fast" charging is almost an understatement. A full charge in 90 seconds people, 90 SECONDS! 2 hours of runtime which is as good as (or better than) any decently bright halogen bulb, not that it matters because you can fully recharge in 90 seconds. Maybe everyone already knows that but I was amazed. Of course it's the newest thing out there and thus high dollar, but that's gotta be the technology that will take over eventually. Colleague of mine has both the compact and full size versions, and I was quite impressed with the brightness and weight (or lack thereof, they weigh almost nothing).

Otherwise my trusty standby has always been the Stinger XT/HP, which is small enough to fit on my belt and large enough to eliminate the need for a separate full size light. But a mid-shift dead battery left me lightless more than once.
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Old 05-25-2010, 23:32   #25
lawman800
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7060 I believe... it's the smaller version that LAPD uses. It's small enough to carry in your cargo pocket but big enough, I think, you could use it if you were upcreek.
Dang it... I had a pic of my lights lined up for size comparison. My duty light for nights is my Pelican M7060, the same one that LAPD uses. Our station has Streamlight SL-20X for issue but I never take it out of the charger bank. I prefer my Pelican. It's got 130 lumens and that's plenty bright for police work because it has a good throw and wide lighting path.

My Fenix PD30 has 230 lumens on high mode but the throw is narrow because it is a pen light, basically. The brightness is good but it is not of much use when I am looking into a big room or hallway. I need a good throw more than peak lumens.

Also, BigDR is right about too much light being a hindrance. I bought the Fenix TK40 just because of the 630 lumen peak output... it was fun the first few times to throw that much light out but when I used it indoors, I blinded myself with all the reflected light.

White walls or most light surfaces indoors will throw back obscene amounts of light when you hit it with 630 lumens. If I am going to use less lumens in a reduced mode, then the TK40 becomes a bit too big for general carry because I got the Pelican that works just as well and it's smaller and fits on my belt.
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