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Need help - Best flashlight for home use
Old 11-27-2011, 08:44 AM   #1
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Need help - Best flashlight for home use

There are times when you just gotta have a flashlight. Actually, there are a lot of those times. All the flashlights we've bought have been terrible - even the MagLite, which has a great reputation, or great PR at any rate. (We joke that if the moon is bright enough to see a burglar, the MagLite would be great for conking him on the head!)

Can you all shed some light on the situation - by recommending a really good flashlight? Are the LED ones all they are cracked up to be?

Thanks,

Amethyst
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:54 AM   #2
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I've had good luck with the Maglites over the years and especially like my LED version. LED in itself doesn't mean much - you can get an LED light at the dollar store. The difference is in the quality of the battery holders and the bulb / lens end. If you want a really good flashlight shop at a police / fire fighter supply, but be prepared to pay.

Batteries tend to be a weak point, especially if you don't use the light much. You might want to look into lithium batteries.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:02 AM   #3
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I love my Ray-O-Vac battery powered (6 V) plastic lantern (square shaped flashlight with handle) for medium size area illumination and my SnakeLight (D batteries) for tight space illumination. Both are 1980s vintage and still going strong.

I also own an American Camper standing lantern type (D batteries) bought in the early 2000s. It is more of a power outtage emergency lantern than a flashlight.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:25 AM   #4
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This brand is used extensively by LEO and military:

SureFire Flashlights - Your source for the most complete SureFire Product Line
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:54 AM   #5
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You want the brightest flashlight in the world: The "Torch".

The light is so bright it WILL set fire to objects when brought close to its lens.



Just the perfect Christmas gift for your favorite pyromaniac. You want to get it now before they make it illegal. Just search for "Torch flashlight".
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:24 AM   #6
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Hands down the best flashlight I've ever used was the Pelican SabreLite 2000.

-Submersible
-Very tough
-Bright light
-Twist top (rather than a switch) to turn it on/off
-One guy i worked with dropped his 13 stories onto concrete, and it still worked good as new.

http://www.amazon.com/Pelican-2000-0.../dp/B000P1HUXO
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:50 AM   #7
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we have a plethora of flashlights and lanterns, but most sit in the camper in the driveway. If we need them (power outage, etc.) its easy to get them. Inside the house we have a pair of Eco-I-Lite flashlights I got at Costco. They plug into the wall, have lithium ion batteries, keep themselves charged all the time and when the power goes out they automatically turn on. They also have a small light on the base that turns on when the sensor sees that the room is dark, but you can shut that off if you like. Pretty handy and under $20 for the set.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:15 AM   #8
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I have a normal flashlight that uses D cell batteries. However, since a flashlight is so seldom needed, when I need it often the batteries are low and the light is dim. So, I like Brewer's solution and may look into it at some point.

Last week I got the free flashlight app for my iPhone. I am hoping that will be useful for brief needs, such as light for unlocking my door when returning unexpectedly late.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:20 AM   #9
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Yes, LEDs are really a great technology for flashlights. The batteries last 8 times as long and the LEDs, unlike incandescent bulbs, last virtually forever. One important difference to note is that each LED, for the most part, is pre-focused and put their light out in a fairly narrow beam. So, it's difficult to make an LED flashlight with a variable-focus beam (like a traditional Mag-lite).

For cheap and reliable flashlights, I've been impressed with these compact units from Harbor Freight.

They won't light up a city block, but they're plenty good enough for doing most things around the house. Small (AAA batteries grouped in a separate holder), water resistant (sealed with O-rings), aluminum, easy to turn on and off (I'm not a fan of Mag-lite twist switches or those flimsy slide switches on cheap flashlights). The battery contacts/springs hold up well--if the batteries are good, they will make light. Best of all--$2 for two, so you can buy a bunch and sprinkle them all over the house. Like scissors--buy lots of them and put them everywhere to reduce household arguments.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:34 AM   #10
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My flashlights were always dead since I rarely used them. Now I have a couple of LED lights sitting in the charger -- they come on when I pick them up and automatically light up during a power failure. Very handy.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:47 AM   #11
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The original aluminum body durable flashlight was made by Kel-Lite Industries. They were reliable and nearly indestructible and every cop in America carried one. Streamlight came along and made just about the same light, but with rechargeable batteries and a high output light - Kel-Lite bit the dust. Maglite copied the idea, but IMO, didn't do it as well as Streamlight. Surefire started out making laser sights and later weapon mounted lights. The weapons mounted lights sort of morphed into tactical flashlights. From what I see on their website Surefire is not currently making rechargeable lights.

Best light for most any purpose is the Streamlight SL: SL Series | Streamlight

They are not cheap (about $90 on the internet for the SL20X - but I've seen them cheaper at law enforcement supply stores). But they last forever - I still have two that I bought in the early 1990s that I use daily. I carried them at work for years before retiring, and the only problem I ever had was a battery pack that went bad a few years ago.

Streamlight also make rechargeable lights that come in a variety of other configurations: Products | Streamlight
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Yes, LEDs are really a great technology for flashlights. The batteries last 8 times as long and the LEDs, unlike incandescent bulbs, last virtually forever. One important difference to note is that each LED, for the most part, is pre-focused and put their light out in a fairly narrow beam. So, it's difficult to make an LED flashlight with a variable-focus beam (like a traditional Mag-lite).

For cheap and reliable flashlights, I've been impressed with these compact units from Harbor Freight.

They won't light up a city block, but they're plenty good enough for doing most things around the house. Small (AAA batteries grouped in a separate holder), water resistant (sealed with O-rings), aluminum, easy to turn on and off (I'm not a fan of Mag-lite twist switches or those flimsy slide switches on cheap flashlights). The battery contacts/springs hold up well--if the batteries are good, they will make light. Best of all--$2 for two, so you can buy a bunch and sprinkle them all over the house. Like scissors--buy lots of them and put them everywhere to reduce household arguments.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:56 AM   #13
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I have a good quality LED headlamp by the bed. It works just as well in your hand, but gives you the option of having your hands free.
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:03 PM   #14
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I have this flashlight (bought it from Best Buy)
Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: 1-WATT Led Metal Flashlight

and I love it.

Only one LED bulb, but plenty bright. Flashlight measures about 6 inches.
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:07 PM   #15
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I have a craftsman led light that has 2 AA batteries and is just about the best light I have ever owned. it never goes dead and has incredible light for the size and weight. I use it for hunting and going to the tree stand before daylight and coming back after dark. it is so small you can put it in your pocket and not even know its there. cost about 10 dollars at sears.
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:13 PM   #16
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.................
For cheap and reliable flashlights, I've been impressed with these compact units from Harbor Freight. ...........
These are free from Harbor Freight with any purchase. I have about a dozen of them. Their main shortcoming is that they don't like vibration (like riding in a glove box). The front lens comes out and so does the LED pack. But for the price..............

http://a.slickdeals.net/attachment.p...8&d=1321258743
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:28 PM   #17
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I have a good quality LED headlamp by the bed. It works just as well in your hand, but gives you the option of having your hands free.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:58 PM   #18
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This brand is used extensively by LEO and military:

SureFire Flashlights - Your source for the most complete SureFire Product Line
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I own five different Surefires, for different degrees of brightness, and placed in different locations.

The one I keep by the bed is an L5 (100 lumens, 7.2 oz.) and is a great general purpose light.

When I go out in the evening, I slip an L4 in my pocket (120 lumens, 3.4 oz.). Very bright and so lightweight you forget you have it.

In case of late night visitors, there is an M4 handy (225 lumens, 11.6 oz., and useful as a defensive weapon). This replaced a 3 D-cell Maglight which has been relegated to the basement.

There's another kept in the car, another in DW's purse. You get the idea. You want the kind that will be most useful in each situation.

Surefires are far from cheap, but I have never had a failure in seven years, and battery life is at least as good as claimed.

You can easily get by with cheaper flashlights, but the way I look at it, when you need a flashlight, you really need it, and a high quality light is worth its cost for the peace of mind it gives me.

Streamlights are good too; I have a couple of them. The Surefires just seem more rugged.
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Old 11-27-2011, 02:17 PM   #19
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A good place to look at discussions and reviews on flashlights is candlepowerforums. There are a lot of folks on there that take their lights seriously. Some have collections of flashlights they talk about and post pictures of the light patterns produced by each. Lots of testing, reviews, and discussion of the latest items to enter the marketplace also.

I have a lot of different flashlights and do like the LED ones for battery life and bright lights. I like to keep a LED keychain light on each set of car and housekeys as they are very cheap (Meritline or even dollar stores) and provide an emergency light when needed. My Maglite would be great as a weapon although I don't find it any better than cheap ones as a flashlight.
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Old 11-27-2011, 02:41 PM   #20
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I have found the best is a rechargeable spotlight. I got one at HD for $10 and it is 1 million candle power. It takes a few hours to recharge and lasts for years. I use it every night when I take my dog out 3 or 4 times a night. I've seen similar ones in Walmart for maybe $15 but I think they were 2 million CP. Easy and fast to recharge and always ready to use. I'd never buy another flashlight again.
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