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#1 Koopa

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 04:04 PM

Hey all, I'm shopping for a new flashlight(s) for Christmas. Its been a while since I was last in the flashlight market, and all these funny buzzwords have got me wrapped around the axle. I turned to Google to get a grip on the terminology, but its just not clicking for me. What is a lumen? candlepower? candela? lux? And what numbers am I looking for in a flashlight? Can someone illuminate me? Would you shed some light on my problem? :bulb:



#2 Quietmike

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 06:03 PM

Most makers use lumens now, but here is an article describing all the measurements.
http://sustainabilit...ng-light-levels

As for the numbers to look for, that will depend on the use, and what's important to you.

Edited by Quietmike, 20 November 2015 - 06:05 PM.

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#3 PSDRyan

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 06:04 PM

There are a lot of lights out there in a lot of prife ranges.

A lumen in laymens terms is basically how much light it puts out. It doesn't describe the beam, which can be focused (spot) and appear very bright, but in a smaller area, or flood, which will appear slightly less bright but cover more area. Lumens also doesn't really tell you how far the beam "throws". Some bright ass lights can fall off quickly, where others reach out there.

You can buy bright lights for cheap, but good brands you pay for have better switches, electronics, and better LEDs generally. Most any aluminum body light these days will be physically durable.

< 200 lumens is going to be like your basic old school flashlight. Ok for some light use, but I'd avoid it.

200-500 lumens is a decent general purpose light.

500-1100 lumens is more tactically oriented. Gun lights, etc. Good for searching, blinding people, etc. Less battery life generally.

> 1100 they make them, they're cool. They're also expensive and big.

#4 PSDRyan

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 06:10 PM

FWIW

My duty pistol, patrol rifle, and all my home weapons have streamlight TLR1-HL lights mounted. The switches have been great, and I like the beam.

For my main patrol light, I started with a streamlight stinger that was a hand me down. Eventually the tail switch quit working. Streamlight sent me a new tail cap for free.

Now my main light is the streamlight protac HL USB. I have a detailed review on here somewhere and love it.

I've also got a surefire 6P that started life as incandescent and i converted to LED. I've had it for 10 years and it's seen a ton of use, fallen off aircraft, taken a ton of abuse, and will not quit. At 200 lumens or so, it's just not up to snuff for work purposes. Surefire makes durable, great products. They're just more expensive than streamlight.

There's other brands out there that are good, but those are the 2 i trust most.

#5 DeathwatchDoc

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 07:16 PM

All my lights are Streamlights...


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#6 Corbs

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 05:52 AM

PSD Ryan did a pretty good redux. Though I'd say 200 lumens is alright, wasn't that long ago we thought 60 lumen surefire lights were blinding. That said I carry a for sevens maelstrom regen mmr-x on duty, its 800 lumens and USB rechargeable. Awesome light.

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#7 Koopa

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 09:38 AM

Alright, thank you all for the info.

 

I own 3 Streamlights already, and I'm very happy with all of them.  I have the TLR-1 HL on my Glock, the Vantage on my fire helmet, and the Knucklehead on my fire coat. They are top notch.  I would be inclined to continue being loyal to Streamlight. What I'm looking for is a dual purpose tactical light for EMS duty and for EDC. I want as much light as possible (obviously), while keeping it pocket sized.

 

@PSD Ryan, I really like the specs on the ProTac HL USB, but how well does it fit in a pocket? At 6 1/2 inches, it seems a little large.

 

At this point it looks like I'm partial to the ProTac 1L or 2L simply on the factor of size. I'm open to other suggestions though.



#8 Quietmike

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 09:55 AM

Take a look at the Klarus XT series.
Their dual tailcap switch is the best in the business for a tactical light IMO.
The main switch is on/off and the smaller switch changes brightness.
Or the smaller switch can be pressed first to give a blinding strobe.
Very good battery life with rechargeables.

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#9 PSDRyan

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 12:13 PM

Its not bad in a pocket. On duty, I actually carry it in my left front pocket instead of on my belt, and it doesn't bother me a bit.

Here's a pic in the back pocket of my Vertx pants. The bezel touches the bottom of the pocket, but still get full engagement of the clip.

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Here's a pic in the front left pocket of the same pants. Doesn't bottom out.

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#10 MightyP

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 09:10 PM

I am also a fan of Streamlight. I have the HL2 and HL3. PSDRyan's review of the HL USB was great and it's what I want to get if I ever get back into a department. As it stands now, I keep the HL2 in my car for emergencies and the HL3 sits in a drawer without batteries.

The HL3 is 1100 lumens and was easily as bright as the squad spot light, but it would use a set of CR123 batteries in under an hour. Plus, LED flashlights get hot quick.

I now have a cheap Thrunite light I use. Less than $25, 250+ lumens, fits in all my pockets and I don't stress if I lose it.

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#11 Koopa

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 09:33 PM

Okay, maybe it is a little more pocket sized than I thought. Thanks for the photos.

#12 Corbs

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 03:39 PM

Koopa, if front pocket carrying in jeans, I find the limiting factor is not length below the pocket clip, but length above it.

When seated, the part at the top is what will dig into your body, the lower part is parallel to your leg anyway.

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#13 pira114

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 06:33 PM

Koopa, if front pocket carrying in jeans, I find the limiting factor is not length below the pocket clip, but length above it.
When seated, the part at the top is what will dig into your body, the lower part is parallel to your leg anyway.


That depends. It's true if you wear jeans or pants with horizontal pocket angles. But I wear cargo pants that have almost a vertical cut to the pocket opening. So the length above and below is an issue.

I don't want it sticking too far out so that it catches on stuff, flags me as someone who has "gear," or digs into me when I sit. But it also can't be too long below the clip because the pocket angles enough that on the extreme outside of the pocket, it slants towards my inner thigh. This just limits how long of an item can be on that side.

#14 Corbs

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 06:15 AM

Yep, that's why I specified jeans, with more of a slant cut on pockets it's not nearly the same issue. Best of all is the special knife/light pocket on Arc'teryx combat/talos pants, but I can't really wear those as everyday clothing.


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#15 Koopa

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 05:21 PM

This is the information I was looking for! AoM is a fantastic resource in so many regards.

 

http://www.artofmanl...shlights-guide/






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