I just picked up a 128 lumen,coast, 6 led's, and wasn't that impressed, "for in and outdoors". I am thinking double that, would be more in the area I want. I would like one that is not attached to the weapon, "but could be" ,put on a rifle. Surefire just costs too much for my brain to release $500.00 on a flashlight. I know it could save your life, but in this economy it's just too much money. Any other ideas.I picked this up at Home Depot, they have a pretty large selection suprisinglly, and they are Tacticle lights, not just flashlights.
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December 18, 2011, 12:52 PM
A Surefire G2 LED makes a decent handheld and can also be put on an AR-15 with a 1" mounting ring, of which many are available. Together that would be less than $100. You can also get a corded pressure plate that replaces the push-button end cap for about $30.
I don't really put much stock in the whole "blind the BG with the brightness" idea. I generally carry a Streamlight PT1AA. It's 50 lumens at it's brightest, and also has a low power, and a strobe setting. I like it because it takes 1 AA battery, is small and light, and cheap enough that I can get a couple of them and stash them in my BOB, glovebox, night-stand, etc.
I also carry a 5.11 "Light for Life" on duty which has a 270 lumen peak setting, is super lightweight, and recharges completely from empty in about a minute. It can also be charged 50,000 times before losing it's ability to store power. Meaning, you could charge it once a day for your whole life and never wear it out, hence the name. It's one of the best lights I've ever owned.
On a side note, I think it would be awesome if 5.11 would make another "light for life" but about the same size as a G2. I think there would be a tremendous market for a small handheld tac light that recharges in less than a minute and lasts a lifetime. No more 123 batteries.
EDIT: I just checked out the 5.11 site and saw their ATAC A1 which seems to perform the same function as the PT1AA, but with twice the output. I may look into that...
o Unforgiven o
December 18, 2011, 12:55 PM
You should be looking less at the advertised (and often inflated) output and more at the quality of the maker. Coast would be on the bottom end, while Surefire is at the top. Surefire has two models with 200 (often underrated) lumens costing about $100 and $90 respectively. The polymer G2X Pro/Tactical and the aluminum 6PX Pro/Tactical. Differences between them are the Pro version has 15/200 lumen modes while the Tactical only has 200 lumen mode. I bought a G2X pro as a gift this year and one for myself and I like them a lot.
G2X Tactical http://www.surefire.com/G2X-A-BK
G2X Pro http://www.surefire.com/G2X-B-BK
6PX Tactical http://www.surefire.com/6PX-A-BK
6PX Pro http://www.surefire.com/6PX-Pro
December 18, 2011, 01:09 PM
I'm with you, Gym, I've never been able to justify spending $100 or more on a flashlight.
Although the good ones I've seen were pretty impressive.
I'll probably have to break down and get a really good one eventually.
The 5.11 "Light for Life" sounds interesting.
December 18, 2011, 01:16 PM
There are a bunch of good deals on surefire lights on eBay.
Got one mounted on my shotgun with a pressure switch and one in the glove compartment in the car. Haven't found anything I don't like about it yet.
December 18, 2011, 01:18 PM
I want minimum 80 lumens, decided merely by experience.
I have a Surefire G2 which uses c123 batteries and has the standard bulb that they offer, not an LED.
My best little carry light is a EagleTac that uses one AA, has a single LED and has two light levels. The high level is advertised at 80 lumens and 8 hours of run time.
I plan on buying the upgrade LED for my Surefire G2, just because. Check out some of the flashlight forums, just like THR, it is pretty interesting. Cree seems to make some of the best LEDs. Professionals will tell you that the reflector is crucial to a good beam, which I put stock in as well. No, you don't need to spend $200, but we don't need $1200 guns either. Buy what makes you happy. It most likely won't be your last one either.
December 18, 2011, 01:19 PM
I paid a lot for my coast at Lowes. I wasn't overly impressed with it, but its the nicest light I've ever had and it sits on the night stand. I want a good light but they are more than I consider a flash light to be worth. I saw some off brand tac lights at the gun show yesterday. 120$ for a light laser combo and 4 settings. I was considering it for my G30 but it was only 180 lumens the guy said.
What would be in between a coast and a sure fire?
December 18, 2011, 01:21 PM
Most of them are bright enough for self defense; I am not going on the offensive with a searchlight, leave that to the police.
The main thing I want in a "tactical light" is on-off operation.
I don't want multiple brightness or strobe or SOS off of one switch as is cheap to program and advertise. A separate switch for different modes might come in handy occasionally but I don't want to have to select options to get continuous bright light.
December 18, 2011, 01:24 PM
Anyone tried the pelican led lights? I read great things about them but never handled one.
December 18, 2011, 01:24 PM
At least 180
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December 18, 2011, 01:31 PM
I carry a Surefire LX 2 Lumimax. Simple, strong with high and low settings. Push tailcap slightly = low power. Push it all the way = 200 lumens. Twist tailcap for constant on low. Twist some more for constant high.
This and a stout pen goes into high security areas without a glance. Not my first choice in defensive tools but it's better than fingernails.
December 18, 2011, 01:35 PM
I have both the g2 and a stream light. I like the stream light because it's super small but still has 180 lumen as well as 3 functions. high strobe and low. It does everything I want and is super small. The g2 is good for the price and is perfect for mounting on a weapon plus I've never had one not work for me. Both of these cost about the same at between $40-50.
December 18, 2011, 01:52 PM
The more the better, but you have to remember that at onetime before where LEDs were mainstream, the major manufactures such as SureFire, Streamlight, etc. used the incandecent bulbs on their *Tactical* lights and they were only rated at 80 lumens, 100 lumens, etc. I hope this helps. God Bless :)
December 18, 2011, 02:35 PM
a 128 lumen,coast, 6 led's, and wasn't that impressedThat's your problem right there!
There are Chinese Lumen's, and there are Surefire Lumen's.
And they are not the same lumen's!
No 6-LED or multi-LED light will put out nearly as much light as a single CREE type LED, as used by Surefire and others.
I would venture a guess that the old Surefire 80 Lumen incandesent bulb puts out more actual light then your 128 lumen 6-LED flashlight.
The new version of the 6P, the G2X uses a single LED producing an actual 200 Lumens.
December 18, 2011, 02:40 PM
at least 90
December 18, 2011, 02:45 PM
For a handheld, I'd go with something in the 300 lumen range with multiple intensity settings. Most of the time 300 lumen is overkill and can actually cause issues.
December 18, 2011, 04:49 PM
I have several lights in the 70-90 range. Try a test; wait until full dark. This is different in a city with a lot of ambient light than in the country, so 'full dark' will vary. Take your flashlight, let your eyes adjust to the gloom, and do a two second activation against a white wall. Now see how long it takes for you to be able to see in the dark again.
The reason most tactical lights stop shy of 100 lumens isn't because of a technical barrier or a cost issue, but rather due to the limit of the eye to readjust to darkness. If you want an all-purpose light that can be used well outdoors (where you need a lot more juice), there are several models with multiple brightness settings.
December 18, 2011, 06:06 PM
Anyone tried the pelican led lights?
Yes, absolutely loved mine. Wish I knew where it was now... my buddy had one as well, somehow messed up his tailcap switch twice, they sent him repacements both times, no charge, very fast.
I'm currently running Fenix lights (PD31 and PD30) and they are very satisfactory as well.
December 19, 2011, 02:00 AM
For EDC I have replaced my Surefire M3 with a Fenix PD-31 rated at 304 lumens.
December 19, 2011, 03:51 AM
I got this Surefire G2X and love it; it sits by my bed. At 200 lumens with one push of the button, it's very reassuring that you are getting bright light immediately.
A bunch of guys on our crew at work were into a "latest, greatest, tactical-cop" light fad for a couple of years. Mostly Surefires and Streamlights. Guys actually bragging that the things used special ($11 a pop) batteries. (was kind of funny, but that is another story)
One fellow came in with a Inova T-4 one day. Thing was so bright it would burn your freekin corneas out. It was like 225 lumens and came with a rechargeable battery and charger (12voltDC or 120voltAC) He bragged on the thing. After trying it myself, I was so impressed that I came off $125 and bought one. Been using it heavily for six months and have nothing but good to say about it. I don't use it "tactically", but it is on my side at work every day. It gets a lot of use. I only charge the thing for about 2 hours, once a week. Looks like some sort of gun mount could easily be had for it for a rail on a long gun. All I know is the thing works every time I click the button and it lights my pasture up at night. Highly recommend it.
I recently got a Streamlight TLR-1 rated at 180. That sucker is bright.
December 19, 2011, 12:20 PM
Me and my dad both swear by Fenix Flashlights. He has a TK12 and I have a Tk15. The 15 is really nice because it has 4 different power settings. I would not hesitate to buy them over surefire and streamlight.
December 19, 2011, 12:26 PM
I bought a UTG "tactical" light from CheaperThanDirt.com a little over a year ago... I've gone through a fair amount of batteries (200+ lumens), but a set of fresh batteries gives me plenty of output, the light is plenty bright and it's well made. I've dropped it, thrown it, stepped on it, kicked it, etc with no noticeable damage other than minor scratches in the finish.
I think I paid $60 or $70 for it, and it comes with two "handles" one with a rail mount and one without. *Edit to add: It also comes with a push button and a remote switch.* It's also got a good bit of weight to it along with a strike bezel... I wouldn't want to get hit with it.
I can't afford all that "top tier gear", so I get what I can afford. If it means replacing things when they break so be it, I will try something different next time... Quality can be found even among "cheaper, no-name" products.
December 19, 2011, 12:28 PM
With the blueish tint of most typical LEDs it is harder to identify your target than with a good xenon-halogen setup. And the terrain in front of you appears more two dimensional. As far as how many lumens, I would say a steady output of at least 60 lumens is the minimum for a tactical light. It's not really the quantity of light as much as the quality of it though. That said the newer breed of HCRI LED lights are better in this regard. I have one from Malkoff that is fairly impressive. Surefire is starting to get into the game now as well with a warm tinted version of their Saint headlamp.
December 19, 2011, 12:37 PM
With the blueish tint of most typical LEDs it is harder to identify your target than with a good xenon-halogen setup. Yep, but you're (much) less likely to incur a recoil-popped bulb with an LED than with a xenon-halogen. My xenon Surefire Remington 870 fore arm intermittently blew bulbs. It hasn't happened since I updated it to an LED.
December 19, 2011, 12:47 PM
To get an education on flashlights, head over to www.candlepowerforums.com. You can search about weapon lights. Also, a lot of good info about batteries. Just as Glocks get a lot of ink here, you will find many proponents of SureFire and Fenix over there. Hope this helps.
December 19, 2011, 12:50 PM
I just got a Fenix E21 (not for mounting to a gun) and I am really impressed with it, both in terms of absolute performance and value.
It has simple push button operation, it is bright, and it is supposedly water proof. It uses a Cree LED.
December 19, 2011, 09:48 PM
I have no use for multiple power settings or other features (strobe, SOS, "dazzle", etc.) that I'm never going to use on a "tactical" light. I want a simple "on/off" pushbutton tail cap switch.
More features means more complexity means more opportunity to do something with the light that I don't want it to do at the wrong moment under stress.
Press "On", release "Off". That's all I need.
December 20, 2011, 02:08 AM
None of these flashlights put out that much in the way of light, except for the fact that their light is mainly in one direction.
Look at the lumens output for a 60 watt incandescent bulb. They run around 800-850 lumens but that is in all directions. A 40 watt bulb puts out about 425 lumens.
December 20, 2011, 02:40 AM
Grab the light and shine it in your eyes. If it's bright enough for you to curse in discomfort, buy that flashlight.
December 20, 2011, 02:43 AM
Grab the light and shine it in your eyes. If it's bright enough for you to curse in discomfort, buy that flashlight.
I think I've actually done that with every flashlight I've ever purchased (though usually after buying it lol)
December 20, 2011, 03:07 AM
Look into a SOLARFORCE L2m body and then you can drop in any p60l type lamp. Anything from 80l to 460l. I like the Thrunite 460 lumen lamp for outdoor use. Bright cheap and tough. Look at the reviews of the L2m body and Thrunite p60 lamps.
I've had and liked surefires but they are so dammed spendy.
December 20, 2011, 09:06 AM
RhinoDefense has the right idea, but I can say from experience that trying out this method on your spouse may incur some unexpected and unwelcome response.
December 20, 2011, 09:44 AM
If you want great info on flashlights look up candle power forums. I use a trustfire 285 lumen light on an 18650 battery with a convex lens. It will throw a direct beam 100 yards all day.
December 20, 2011, 05:04 PM
Check this out, by Rayovac. Yes Rayovac. I've had one for several months now, and leave it with my HD weapon. Nice light and inexpensive. I paid 28 bucks at Meijer.
I think for a good, quality, bright light without breaking the bank, 4sevens makes some excellent ones. http://www.4sevens.com/index.php?cPath=297
I got a quark a while ago and have been carrying & using that more than my surefire or fenix.
They also rate the actual number of lumens instead of theoretical lumens that the cheap lights boast about but don't actually put out
If for bump in the night house use I would not want more than 120 lumens and 60 or more is plenty adequate to light up a room or temporarily blind someone. If you fire up your 800 lumen master blaster inside, the splashback off the walls will blind you as well.
December 20, 2011, 05:46 PM
Yep. I think the numbers are given more weight than they should. I carry a StylusPro in my pocket everyday and I'm still amazed at how much it will light up the dark places I walk through. They've even come out with a new version with double the lumens, which is crazy, but I'll see if I can't get it too. :D When we were hunting this past fall, my dad could see me up on the mountainside, hiking out through the woods at night from a great distance. All I had with me was this little 24 lumen stick. :o
December 21, 2011, 12:02 AM
The 128 that I picked up blinded the clerk in Home depot, "his idea". So I guess it's ok for my uses. If it can blind a guy in broad daylight then it will do more damage at night. The 200+ model was a big $45 dollars. I'll give this one to my wife and pick up the double power one for myself.I would prefer to spend the extra money on ammo and guns, the flashlight is just in case I have to go out back at night, my house is pitch black out back where I let out the dog. I tried it out and it lit up the whole area.
December 21, 2011, 11:50 PM
150 lumens min.
Candlepowerforum.com for information
Fenix, Zebralight, Surefire, Olight, Jetbeam and 4Sevens are all quality.
December 22, 2011, 12:21 AM
don't forget a good American manufacture, Maglite. I just bought a XL200 and it throws a good 170 lumen beam. I also bought a XL50 as a gift for a friend. I will know after Christmas how bright that one is.
I keep a Maglite LED - 2 D cell in the car and it lights things up better than my old 3 D incandesent.
December 22, 2011, 12:24 AM
I've bought a number of "tactical lights" over the past few years for m y lady and sons.
Since NJ doesn't permit gun carry, I'm forced to more "passive" means. My - and one son's - current carry is a 600 lumen light with a strobe feature. It works ! <MW
December 22, 2011, 01:04 AM
Another vote for Fenix, have the PD31 @ 304 Lumens it's super bright, has a nice UI as well(low/med/high/SOS, turbo/turbo strobe) and is really compact.