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  1. #1
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    Why are P7 flashlights not being sold much in the US?

    Ok, it's been at least a year, if not more since P7 flashlights on the cheap hit Dealxtreme. 500+ lumens or some ridiculous number like that for $35 or so. I bought one, and it delivers the goods, for real. Everyone who gets a working one loves it.

    So what's up with companies like Fenix NOT having P7 flashlights in stock? Seriously; if you go to the US-based tactical flashlight distributor websites, you won't see a single P7 flashlight there. You're pretty much stuck going Dealxtreme to get them - I don't have anything against Dealxtreme, but I would gladly pay even double the amount that they charge for a good quality-controlled distributor of P7 flashlights as have been done with Romisen, Terralux, etc.

    Why aren't US flashlight entrepreneurs all over this one? It seems like a total no-brainer win solution for them. Corner the market instantly, make 100% profit if you're ordering in bulk and charging nearly double your wholesale price (probably $50-$60) and also profit off selling the chargers and batteries. All for a little QC and working with the distributor for returns. What am I missing?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    The TK40 fenix light has been out for quite a while.. It is way overpriced and uses aa cells insead of 18650.s.. It uses a MC-e emitter but very comparable in output to a P7, would I buy one, hell no.. Why pay 160.00 for a light when I can get something comparable from shining beam for 1/3 the price.

    https://www.fenix-store.com/product_...roducts_id=696

  3. #3
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    How many people truly have a need for a flashlight that powerful? IMO 98% of US flashlight sales are for utility models and the percentage of people willing to learn the care and feeding of rechargeable batteries is also pretty low. They want flashlights which use disposable batteries they can buy anywhere and not have to think about things. Try to buy 18650 batteries at your local drug store or Home depot.

    There may also be a question of legal liability that worries importers as shining a P7 flashlight direct into the eyes at short distances may worry the lawyers. Those things are BRIGHT. After all due to similar risks the legal limit on the output of standard laser pointers is regulated. I have a green laser pointer I use for astronomy that is higher powered and I have to be careful to not point it at anything but the sky. I would hate to damage anyone's sight by pointing it at them.

    Less risk with LED bicycle lights as they are normally mounted on a bike and would be harder to point directly at most peoples eyes when mounted. I personally would never use something that bright as a helmet light as it is far more powerful than needed for such a use IMO.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
    How many people truly have a need for a flashlight that powerful? IMO 98% of US flashlight sales are for utility models and the percentage of people willing to learn the care and feeding of rechargeable batteries is also pretty low. They want flashlights which use disposable batteries they can buy anywhere and not have to think about things. Try to buy 18650 batteries at your local drug store or Home depot.

    There may also be a question of legal liability that worries importers as shining a P7 flashlight direct into the eyes at short distances may worry the lawyers. Those things are BRIGHT. After all due to similar risks the legal limit on the output of standard laser pointers is regulated. I have a green laser pointer I use for astronomy that is higher powered and I have to be careful to not point it at anything but the sky. I would hate to damage anyone's sight by pointing it at them.

    Less risk with LED bicycle lights as they are normally mounted on a bike and would be harder to point directly at most peoples eyes when mounted. I personally would never use something that bright as a helmet light as it is far more powerful than needed for such a use IMO.
    I HIGHLY doubt that this is the reason that P7s are not being imported. You can buy, today (for a lot of money), HID or LED flashlights or bike-mounted lights, including helmet-mounted lights that burn brighter, and significantly so, than a P7 flashlight. And despite the price, these hi-emitters are used regularly by night riders, and for sure, legality of using such bright lights hasn't been a significant issue despite years of practice. If those super-burners are on the market in the States, "over-brightness" can't be the reason for the lack of P7s here.

    And while I agree that the average american would have absolutely no use for a P7 light with a special battery, there is a significant niche market in bike lighting that eats this stuff up. After all, companies like Dinotte, Light & Motion , Niterider, survive by catering to this crowd.

    I actually suspect that these major companies are terrified of "cannibalizing" their own sales. The moment a major company like Light & Motion introduces a true P7 flashlight at <$80, it might render a lot of their flagship products obsolete - if not in function, certainly in price.

    Still, major carriers like Shiningbeam and Batteryjunction have been slow on the draw with P7s, and they have no special products that would be cannibalized. What's the deal?
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  5. #5
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    As I noted, when mounted on a bike they are harder to aim at someone. Apparently even the tactical flashlight makers consider the P7 overkill or they would have lights using it available.

    As you noted too it is a niche market and apparently sellers like Battery Junction do not see adequate demand. Email them requesting P7 flashlight products. If enough people do then they will appear I expect.

    The P7 lights small enough to be used as bicycle lights have quite limited run time per charge. They appeal to riders who want lots of light on the cheap, regardless of run time, while most commercial high output bike lights use external battery packs to give longer run times which many riders need.

    The Magicshine bike light may well be eating into the P7 flashlight market for cyclists in the USA too as it has a longer run time and plenty of light for most riders at a reasonable price.
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  6. #6
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    Here is one american source for P7 flashlights.

    http://e-lectronics.net/advanced_sea...hp?keywords=p7

    Note that they are honest about output, listing it as 400 Lumens rather than the 900 that many sellers claim.

    Battery Junction also had one but it is listed as discontinued so likely it had problems or was a poor seller.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Go visit www.candlepowerforums.com. People collect LED flashlights. And $100 isn't considered expensive. Maybe they all own $200 beater bikes and wear shorts and a Fruit of the Look tshirts when riding :-)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Both P7 and MC-E based flashlights are being sold be US venders. The prices of course are higher than DX, but at the same time the quality and qualitycontrol is MUCH better, and should you have a problem there is an actual warranty that is worth something.

    Personally I think that Shining Beam offers the best bang for the buck.

    Some of the newer and more powerful emitters will soon be out as well via US venders.

    Here are some links to different lights sold from US venders. Some of the venders sell the same lights, so search around for price, because I didn't; I simply looked for different lights.

    http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...LI-Cree/Detail
    http://www.4sevens.com/product_info....oducts_id=1899
    http://www.4sevens.com/product_info....roducts_id=696
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/lumapower-dx1-p7.html
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/itp-a6-pole-star.html
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/lumapower-mvp-p7.html
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/ultra...-sk-ultra.html
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/olight-m30-triton.html
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/lumap...xtreme-ex.html
    http://blackforce.stores.yahoo.net/jetm1x.html
    http://blackforce.stores.yahoo.net/lufap7he.html
    http://www.lightjunction.com/index.p...1&keyword=mc-e

  9. #9
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    With the exception of the shiningbeam offering - wow, pricey! $100+! That's 3x more than DX - although I suspect that's likely what it takes to have good QC and cust service. These guys are generally kind of big as well, especially the Fenixes. Still, good helpful links.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agarose2000 View Post
    With the exception of the shiningbeam offering - wow, pricey! $100+! That's 3x more than DX - although I suspect that's likely what it takes to have good QC and cust service. These guys are generally kind of big as well, especially the Fenixes. Still, good helpful links.
    Well, they aren't total crap quality like DX lights. I have yet to have a DX light that's lasted more than a year.

    Personally I wonder if DX doesn't sell seconds, as I've had Romisen lights from DX and Romisen lights from Shining Beam. All my lights from DX (three of them) have died, both my lights from Shiming Beam work flawlessly.

    Personally I like the stuff from Shining Beam and also the Solar Force line of lights, which are available from several US stores. Both of these are decent quality products which offer great value.

    I forgot to mention Lighthound.com as well.

  11. #11
    Fred J.G. dwilbur3's Avatar
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    I suspect it's mostly a battery issue. A P7 goes thru AA batteries pretty quickly and the lithium ion batteries aren't that common over here.

  12. #12
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    I've wondered as well. I think the light manufacturers aren't used to the current rapid rate of improvement in emitters, and their R&D isn't set up to take advantage of it.

    They better figure it out, though - right now, companies like Dinotte and Niterider have better optics and enclosures, but at what cost? The Magicshine, for $80, *destroys* a $150 Dinotte on light output.

  13. #13
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    I've got the Shiningbeam that Ziemas mentioned above in post #8. It is $60 to your door.
    Quality is very good.
    I've also got a DX P7 that cost ~$35. I had to drill out the circuit board and run it direct-drive after the modes quit working.
    Seems you get what you pay for.

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