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Old 11-17-13, 12:13 PM   #1
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Calling Windy; Best sub $10 every day carry flashlight?

I've found that I really should carry a flashlight, particularly with being somewhat visually impaired. So Windy or anyone else, any suggestions for a good inexpensive small flashlight? Would prefer it to take AA's.
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Old 11-17-13, 12:22 PM   #2
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Sometimes Harbor Freight has coupons for a free one.
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Old 11-17-13, 12:30 PM   #3
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Yea, unfortunately I moved kind of recently, so there's no Harbor Freight near me anymore. Otherwise I'd go pick up like 3 of those. One to carry, one for the car, one for the home desk.
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Old 11-17-13, 01:30 PM   #4
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this uses aa or lithium 14500 the 14500 is way more bright and rechargeable http://www.amazon.com/FordEx-Group-3...rds=Sipik+SK68
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Old 11-17-13, 01:42 PM   #5
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That's the one I've been looking at, and I'd order it in a second, but it ships from HK, and I really don't want to wait a month! Maybe I'll check out the Army Surplus store or just pick one up at walmart or something.
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Old 11-17-13, 01:56 PM   #6
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Sometimes Harbor Freight has coupons for a free one.
I have several of those and I am here to tell you... they are not dependable. I thought having more than one would mean redundancy... but no, each one has found it's own special way to die.

And when do you reach for a flashlight... when you really need one.
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Old 11-17-13, 02:53 PM   #7
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Home Depot and Lowes have decent small LED lights. Personally I like the 2 AAA mini maglite but it's $15.
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Old 11-17-13, 02:56 PM   #8
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Benz - check out candlepower forums - they have some threads on relatively cheap lights. I'm not sure they have many recommendations at $10 or under - but possibly. My experience with lights under $10 hasn't been real good. They work for a while, then fail for no reason.

If you can spend $30, I would recommend this light: http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...k--Cree/Detail
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Old 11-17-13, 02:56 PM   #9
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http://www.amazon.com/AFUNTA%C2%AE-F...&keywords=SK68 try this it comes with a battery and charger
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Old 11-17-13, 05:07 PM   #10
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As a stagehand I'm typically working in the dark. Flashlights, like multi-tools are a frequent topic of discussion and it surprises me how much money my fellow employees will spend on a flashlight.

I have a $50 HD LED model. It's the Coast PX45 or some such. It's very reliable and that's a key to the more expensive models, the parts are longer lasting and as a result it'll pretty much turn on every time I reach for it.

But I find myself using my iPhone 90% of the time.
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Old 11-17-13, 07:20 PM   #11
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http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006E0QAFY/...M3C_SC_3p_dp_1

Bought one of these wondering if it was junk. Got it, loved it, bought one for each car. The beam is adjustable from wide to narrow. The narrow beam is quit bright and is good for 30-40 yards. Single AA battery and fits in a pocket.
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Old 11-17-13, 07:22 PM   #12
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I usually buy an old 50s, 60's 70's flashlight used at a GoodWill store or at a flea market or any other such place. If you make sure it works and the guts are in good shape it'll prob end up being the most dependable flashlight you can buy, but it will not met your "AA" requirements.
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Old 11-17-13, 07:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will G View Post
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006E0QAFY/...M3C_SC_3p_dp_1

Bought one of these wondering if it was junk. Got it, loved it, bought one for each car. The beam is adjustable from wide to narrow. The narrow beam is quit bright and is good for 30-40 yards. Single AA battery and fits in a pocket.
How long did it take to get to you? As I mentioned earlier, it says it ships from Hong Kong and will take up to a month. I suppose I probably will get a couple of those.

Edit: oh, it says 10-22 days now. Eh, I guess I just be patient for a change.

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Old 11-17-13, 08:26 PM   #14
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How long did it take to get to you? As I mentioned earlier, it says it ships from Hong Kong and will take up to a month. I suppose I probably will get a couple of those.

Edit: oh, it says 10-22 days now. Eh, I guess I just be patient for a change.
Bought it through Amazon and I don't remember how long to get it but, IIRC, it wasn't that long.
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Old 11-18-13, 06:18 PM   #15
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Shipping time and costs from HK/China doesn't make much sense for $10. When you're saving hundreds of dollars on big-ticket items, then that's a good source.

Lowe's has a great LED flashlight in the $10 range:
Lux-Pro LED Handheld Flashlight, Item #: 503197 | Model #: LP200C



It has a built-in boost-driver, so you can use a single AA battery instead of needing 3xAAA batteries that don't last very long. More compact too, as it's barely larger than a AA battery.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 11-18-13 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 11-19-13, 12:02 AM   #16
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I went to Lowe's today to get some of the above Lux-Pro flashlights to replace some dead 2xAA incandescent plastic flashlights in my wife's glovebox. They were out of them, but I found an even better deal:

$2.97 Utilitech LED Handheld Flashlight, Item #: 472904 | Model #: DFL-23



Runs off single-AA battery w/built-in boost-driver. Barely larger than a AA battery and fits into your pocket even better than the Lux Pro. Has 2.5x the battery-life too at 5-hrs, but not quite as bright. Still about as bright as a 2-D incandescent MagLight in a package 1/50th the size. Best part is it's only $2.97. Ended up buying three of them and going give some to my nieces & nephews for Festivus!

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Old 11-19-13, 12:40 AM   #17
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Also, be wary of the claims from overseas vendors.
For example: 1600LM Lumen Zoomable CREE XML XM-L T6 LED Flashlight


Looking up the Cree XM-L T6 specifications sheet.pdf, we see that:

1. page-3... XM-L T6 @700mA = 280 lumens, 1000mA = 388 lumens, @2000mA = 692 lumens
2. page-5... RelativeFlux, 1000mA=137.5% of 700mA=385lm, 2000mA=250% 700mA=700 lumens, matches above
3. page-5... RelativeFlux, 3000mA=325% of 700mA output = 910 lumens maximum
3. page-5... ElectricalCharacteristics, ForwardVoltage@ 3000mA = 3.33v, PowerConsumption=3.33v*3A= 10 watts = 910 lumens

That's 910 lumens off the LED's surface. After going through the reflector and zoom-optics (not as efficient as simple reflector), you're looking at 70% or 910*.70 = 637 OTF or only about 40% of the claimed output at best.

However, they claim that this light consumes only 8-watts, versus the 10-watts maximum output. That puts the consumption at (pg.5): 2500mA*3.25v = 8.1w and 805 lumens @ 2500mA. Final result is 805lm*.7 = 563.5 lumens or only %35 of claimed output at best.
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Old 11-19-13, 01:49 PM   #18
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If I had to use a cheap light, I would stick with incandescent or get multiples of really cheap ones. The problem is that if you have a cheap LED light, you will also have a cheap, failure prone driver. If it has a powerful and modern emitter that it drives hard, it will need some serious heat sinking, which definitely is not happening for 10 dollars out the door or shipped to you. At best, it will be thermal throttled like maglite's craptastic drop in design.

danno is most certainly correct about how chinese manufacturers manipulate the lumens numbers, but I would give that little to no consideration for a budget option, because I would primarily want something that works reliably or that I could get cheap additional backups.
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Old 11-20-13, 12:54 AM   #19
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Ah good point, then those cheapo Harbour Freight ones with the 3xAAA batteries would be fine. Just direct-drive with no boost/regulators in between.

Too bad they never have free coupons for the colourful ones, just the boring black ones.
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Old 11-20-13, 07:55 AM   #20
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I have seen mechanics use those HF lights with great success for the long term, and they aren't bad for what they are, but the 2.97 model you mentioned, at the price and being able to get 2 or 3 within the stated price range, and especially if you can direct drive it without too much trouble, I think those might be cooler.

My main point was that I wouldn't suggest trying to squeeze high numbers from a low budget, rather seeking reliability/cheap enough to be disposable and perhaps battery life while having at least enough lumens for the tasks at hand. But at least these days good lumens is pretty standard, as opposed to the garbage of 15 years ago.
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Old 11-22-13, 03:06 PM   #21
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I picked up 4 of these before our summer family camping trip. I was surprised how well they worked reliably. they are the perfect brightness and compact size for their intended purpose. which was stowing in each car door so that when we returned to the campsite at night each person could independently do what they needed to do, whether it was go to the bath house, brush their teeth at the solar shower, look under seats for lost earrings, go to tent for something. I recommend them for select purposes. just be sure to load them with the good batteries.

http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...uctId=12176910
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Old 11-22-13, 05:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
I went to Lowe's today to get some of the above Lux-Pro flashlights to replace some dead 2xAA incandescent plastic flashlights in my wife's glovebox. They were out of them, but I found an even better deal:

$2.97 Utilitech LED Handheld Flashlight, Item #: 472904 | Model #: DFL-23



Runs off single-AA battery w/built-in boost-driver. Barely larger than a AA battery and fits into your pocket even better than the Lux Pro. Has 2.5x the battery-life too at 5-hrs, but not quite as bright. Still about as bright as a 2-D incandescent MagLight in a package 1/50th the size. Best part is it's only $2.97. Ended up buying three of them and going give some to my nieces & nephews for Festivus!
That looked good enough to get me to go to Lowes to get some for stocking stuffers, and they didn't find any of the ones they were supposed to have. So I ordered some online, and they canceled that order because they didn't have any.So I went somewhere else and bought something a little nicer.
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Old 11-22-13, 06:17 PM   #23
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I picked up 4 of these before our summer family camping trip. I was surprised how well they worked reliably. they are the perfect brightness and compact size for their intended purpose. which was stowing in each car door so that when we returned to the campsite at night each person could independently do what they needed to do, whether it was go to the bath house, brush their teeth at the solar shower, look under seats for lost earrings, go to tent for something. I recommend them for select purposes. just be sure to load them with the good batteries.

http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...uctId=12176910
Those look good, also free 2 day shipping with Amazon Prime . I'm really stuck on AA though, I've got like 100 of them. And I expected them to be crappy because I ordered them cheap, but they last forever, so I've got to get rid of them, lol.

I'm going with this one. Basically the same one as Windy recommended, but a bit pricier, with free 2 day shipping through Amazon Prime.
http://www.amazon.com/Cree-300LM-Mini-LED-Flashlight/dp/B006VPPERC/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8&colid=15H5OABL3NL9T&coliid=I2QODPYP00Y3B3
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Old 11-22-13, 06:24 PM   #24
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Those look good, also free 2 day shipping with Amazon Prime . I'm really stuck on AA though, I've got like 100 of them. And I expected them to be crappy because I ordered them cheap, but they last forever, so I've got to get rid of them, lol.

I'm going with this one. Basically the same one as Windy recommended, but a bit pricier, with free 2 day shipping through Amazon Prime.
http://www.amazon.com/Cree-300LM-Mini-LED-Flashlight/dp/B006VPPERC/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8&colid=15H5OABL3NL9T&coliid=I2QODPYP00Y3B3
youre going to love it just remember if ya want it better order a 14450 lithium cell(same exact size of a akiline aa but like 4 volts)and you can recharge it the light you ordered is a must have if you collect lights it will blow ya mind
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Old 11-22-13, 07:43 PM   #25
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Nice. I think the regular AA's will suit my purposes, but I might go for the good ones soon.

I also got a Stanley brand ratcheting screwdriver for like 6 bucks. Man I love Amazon Prime.
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