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Old 12-14-10, 02:02 PM   #1
CptjohnC
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Bargain Lights

At least one of my local Costco warehouses (Centreville for you Northern Virginia types) has (had?) 3 packs of 3-AAA LED tactical flashlights for about $17. Nominal rating of 100 lumens on high, and claims 'half brightness' on low, plus a strobe mode, for the flashers. Machined aluminum body, o-rings for water seal, rubberized end cap. NOTE: These are NOT the $100 for 2 set on their website.

I'm not trying to claim that they are as good as the super high quality/ uber bright lights out there, but for a bargain price, they are bright enough to see reasonably well by, and way better than my Walmart/ Target specials (they are significantly brighter than my previous ~brightest~ "bell" multi-LED 4-AAA light), and cheaper, to boot. The cheapest equivalent lights I've seen are 100-110 lumen tacticals @ aforementioned big box retailers for about $13-5 Ea.

I think they'd make great back up lights, if you're already running quality lights as primary, but they seem bright enough (in my opinion -- obviously YMMV) to work as primary for someone with a mostly urban/ MUP commute, and on a budget. I've only used them a couple of times, so no predictions about long term service or such.
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Old 12-14-10, 02:14 PM   #2
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I bought a set of these. One is mounted with two crossed hose clamps onto my commuter. They're brighter than the 1W PB light I also have on that same bike. I use them on high and its pretty decent for 15mph. I'm not sure I'd go a lot faster than that on a dark road, but that's not a serious problem for me -- on the flats at least.

NimH AAAs are good for at least my regular roundtrip commute and I've got a charger at work. With the hose clamps it takes a screwdriver to get the light off, so I just pop out the battery carrier.
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Old 12-14-10, 03:59 PM   #3
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I've got these on a few bikes as well as the $16 Robisens from Dealextreme and these seem equal in brightness. I use the two fish lock block knockoffs from China ($2 w/ S+H on eBay - search V2 flashlight mount and select lowest price + shipping).
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Old 12-14-10, 06:48 PM   #4
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Bummer. I don't have Costco here .
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Old 12-14-10, 09:40 PM   #5
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I just bought a 2 pack of 180 lumen Guidesman "tactical" style 3AAA flashlights for $13 at Menards. Pretty nice, and they have an adjustable beam and hi/lo/flash/sos modes. Worth checking out if you have a Menards near you.
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Old 12-15-10, 11:19 AM   #6
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I just bought a 2 pack of 180 lumen Guidesman "tactical" style 3AAA flashlights for $13 at Menards. Pretty nice, and they have an adjustable beam and hi/lo/flash/sos modes. Worth checking out if you have a Menards near you.
Wow, it wasn't that long ago the Fenix L2D premium put out that kind of light was the best you could get in a flashlight - for something like $65 each.
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Old 12-15-10, 11:31 AM   #7
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Wow, it wasn't that long ago the Fenix L2D premium put out that kind of light was the best you could get in a flashlight - for something like $65 each.
Check out what $65 can get you on DealExtreme, 900 lumen light with charger and spare 18650 batteries:

http://www.dealextreme.com/products....pagesort.price
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Old 12-15-10, 11:43 AM   #8
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I got both the 100 lumen 3 pack for $17 and the 900 lumen 2 pack for $100 from Costco.
I agree that in an urban setting with lots of street lights, this would suffice as a
primary light(100 lumen 3 pack). Heck, I've been riding with a Planetbike 1/2 watt headlight for years.

But the 900 lumen light really packs a punch, this is the 1st light that I used that I got comments from
drivers and pedestrians on how bright my light is. Since these are flashlights that didn't come with
mounting hardware, I've used a strap to attach them to my helmet(one at a time). Now I can focus
the beam on what I choose, straight ahead looking for potholes or diagonally at a car approaching the
intersection I'm on.




Quote:
Originally Posted by CptjohnC View Post
At least one of my local Costco warehouses (Centreville for you Northern Virginia types) has (had?) 3 packs of 3-AAA LED tactical flashlights for about $17. Nominal rating of 100 lumens on high, and claims 'half brightness' on low, plus a strobe mode, for the flashers. Machined aluminum body, o-rings for water seal, rubberized end cap. NOTE: These are NOT the $100 for 2 set on their website.

I'm not trying to claim that they are as good as the super high quality/ uber bright lights out there, but for a bargain price, they are bright enough to see reasonably well by, and way better than my Walmart/ Target specials (they are significantly brighter than my previous ~brightest~ "bell" multi-LED 4-AAA light), and cheaper, to boot. The cheapest equivalent lights I've seen are 100-110 lumen tacticals @ aforementioned big box retailers for about $13-5 Ea.

I think they'd make great back up lights, if you're already running quality lights as primary, but they seem bright enough (in my opinion -- obviously YMMV) to work as primary for someone with a mostly urban/ MUP commute, and on a budget. I've only used them a couple of times, so no predictions about long term service or such.
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Old 12-16-10, 09:58 AM   #9
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I got both the 100 lumen 3 pack for $17 and the 900 lumen 2 pack for $100 from Costco.
But the 900 lumen light really packs a punch, this is the 1st light that I used that I got comments from
drivers and pedestrians on how bright my light is.
I am so glad someone has these; I actually contacted Costco about them, because they sounded really good, but I felt the listing left way too much out (size, etc...). These run on rechargable lithium batteries, right? But no charger included? Did you just buy (or have) a separate charger?

How's the battery life? Are they about the size of the three pack ones, or much bigger? Do you have the ability to compare them to, say, the 200 lumen lights that proliferate for about $30?

I'm thinking about taking the plunge on them, but $100 is a lot unless I'm sure they'll do the job, though I guess I could just do it, and return them if I'm not pleased :-/.
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Old 12-16-10, 10:17 AM   #10
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Wow have the prices gone down! How tough are these light? Anyone do drop tests on them, or put them on strobe and toss them into a hot tube for fun? I'm going to have to spring for these if they are truly good products, though I guess they priced the lights, so if one fails, you have another for cheap. But that it just wasteful.
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Old 12-16-10, 01:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Check out what $65 can get you on DealExtreme, 900 lumen light with charger and spare 18650 batteries:

http://www.dealextreme.com/products....pagesort.price
Yep, times have changed for the better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CptjohnC View Post
I am so glad someone has these; I actually contacted Costco about them, because they sounded really good, but I felt the listing left way too much out (size, etc...). These run on rechargable lithium batteries, right? But no charger included? Did you just buy (or have) a separate charger?

How's the battery life? Are they about the size of the three pack ones, or much bigger? Do you have the ability to compare them to, say, the 200 lumen lights that proliferate for about $30?

I'm thinking about taking the plunge on them, but $100 is a lot unless I'm sure they'll do the job, though I guess I could just do it, and return them if I'm not pleased :-/.
I've read they come with an 18650 battery (I think 1 per light) but no charger. You can get a charger on your own, the electronics forum would know what to get there.
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Old 12-16-10, 01:49 PM   #12
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PB 1w seems a be seen light , older 4AA super spot, also a 1w LED, oddly enough is a better see by light.

lens diffusion or that it has more voltage behind it is the difference? , Who Knows ?.

2 kinds of bargains short term disposable ones ,
and long term use for decades ones..

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-19-10 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 12-19-10, 07:11 AM   #13
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Bummer. I don't have Costco here .
I've seen them on Amazon.com, a bit pricier than Costco:

http://www.amazon.com/TechLite-Maste...2764135&sr=8-1
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Old 12-19-10, 07:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by CptjohnC View Post
I am so glad someone has these; I actually contacted Costco about them, because they sounded really good, but I felt the listing left way too much out (size, etc...). These run on rechargable lithium batteries, right? But no charger included? Did you just buy (or have) a separate charger?

How's the battery life? Are they about the size of the three pack ones, or much bigger? Do you have the ability to compare them to, say, the 200 lumen lights that proliferate for about $30?

I'm thinking about taking the plunge on them, but $100 is a lot unless I'm sure they'll do the job, though I guess I could just do it, and return them if I'm not pleased :-/.
Runs on 18650 li-ion batt., no charger included. I ordered one from Dealextreme:
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.936

I wanted to hold off on saying how long the batteries last, here's why. The batteries
that came with the lights were charged, but I have no idea if they were fully charged,
halfway or 1/4 charged. I commute about 2 to 3 hours a day, and after 2 days I can
see that the light intensity has fallen off. I switch from flashing to high depending on
the situation.

As far as the size goes, the 900 lumen light is about 3/4 of an inch longer than the
100 lumen light. The main body is about the same thickness and the head is about
an 1 and 1/2 in diameter. I'll try to get side by side photos and exact measurements
later.

I only have a Planetbike 1/2 watt Blaze and the 100 lumen light to compare it with.
I'll post a video review when I get the charger, if somebody lends me more lights; I
can also use those in the next comparison I'm doing.

If it wasn't carried by Costco I probably wouldn't have bought this. $100 is a lot of money
for me, and I wouldn't buy a $50 light unless the seller would back it up. But I'm really
happy with the performance so far. Videos and photos to come as soon as I get my
charger, if someone can lend me an 18650 battery charger I can do the testing right
away
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Last edited by 1nterceptor; 12-19-10 at 08:48 AM. Reason: missing word
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Old 12-19-10, 07:37 AM   #15
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Wow have the prices gone down! How tough are these light? Anyone do drop tests on them, or put them on strobe and toss them into a hot tube for fun? I'm going to have to spring for these if they are truly good products, though I guess they priced the lights, so if one fails, you have another for cheap. But that it just wasteful.
Ask and ye shall receive

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Old 12-19-10, 11:09 AM   #16
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Nice vid. I could tell the difference between the spot and flood. The flood had a slightly dimmer aura around the hot spot, yet was still brighter than the normal spill. Probably would have been more noticeable if this was done outside.
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Old 12-20-10, 08:11 AM   #17
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Ask and ye shall receive

Thanks for the comprehensive review.
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Old 12-20-10, 09:48 AM   #18
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Over the weekend at costco, the $17 three pack was gone. There was a $20 three pack. Slightly different packaging but the flashlights look about the same. Now claiming 150 lumens. I don't even have a guess if they're really at all different.
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Old 12-20-10, 10:55 PM   #19
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Yes... video is very helpful.
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Old 12-21-10, 12:33 AM   #20
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Great! We are getting 2" or more of snow tomorrow. I wasn't planning on going anywhere but work, but with that kind of deal....

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Old 12-21-10, 11:20 AM   #21
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Great! We are getting 2" or more of snow tomorrow. I wasn't planning on going anywhere but work, but with that kind of deal....

Just like mrosenlof, the same Costco I bought my lights from 2 weeks ago are out of stock already, Clifton,NJ.
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Old 12-21-10, 11:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
PB 1w seems a be seen light , older 4AA super spot, also a 1w LED, oddly enough is a better see by light.

lens diffusion or that it has more voltage behind it is the difference? , Who Knows ?.

2 kinds of bargains short term disposable ones ,
and long term use for decades ones..
Did you mount both on the same location? Handle bars or helmet?
I just started mounting my lights on my helmet and to me it's much
better than on the bars.

Yes, Planetbike lights are designed to last for years and they've been
around awhile so folks have plenty of experience with them. These lights,
Techlite from Costco are unknown and really cheap. But that doesn't
necessarily mean they're trash, that's partly why I did my testing. I
dropped one twice from a height of 6 feet and one I soaked for 10
minutes in a bowl of water. They both worked fine afterwards.
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Old 12-21-10, 11:33 AM   #23
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Nice vid. I could tell the difference between the spot and flood. The flood had a slightly dimmer aura around the hot spot, yet was still brighter than the normal spill. Probably would have been more noticeable if this was done outside.
Yes, I did notice the difference afterwards when I watched the video, but while I was filming;
I had a hard time seeing the difference.
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