Flashlights are pretty awesome these days

So back in aught-five, I bought myself a fancy-ass LED flashlight, the Streamlight ProPolymer Luxeon 4AA. It was pretty hot shit. Three times the brightness of a Mini-Maglite (44 lumens vs. 15) in a smallish size with a 5 hour battery life, plus none of the fragility or beam artifacts of legacy incandescent lights. Not bad at all.

But you know what’s advanced a lot in the last five years? If you guessed that the relevant answer for this purpose is “flashlights,” then you have a fine knack for the obvious.

I just got a fancy new light (4Sevens Quark AA2 Tactical). Compared to that aught-five light, it’s much smaller, uses half the batteries (2 AAs instead of 4 AAs), has a peak brightness that’s like four times higher (206 lumens), and is enormously more efficient at lower brightnesses, such that it can run for 5 hours at 85 lumens. That’s twice the brightness, half the batteries, and the same runtime as my old light.

I know I should be used to rapid improvement from computers, but it never really occurred to me before that LEDs were subject to Moore’s Law. (Technically they’re not. Wikipedia Pete tells me that they’re subject to Haitz’s Law, which is pretty close to the same thing.)

I look forward to buying, ten years from now, a floodlight that runs for 24 hours on a single AAA.

One of my favorite minor things about the internet is finding out about these weird subcultures. Three that I’ve come across:

Headphones- there are some serious headphone people out there. When there are threads, complete with photos, about modding $15 headphones, you KNOW it’s serious.

Then knives. I love knives, even had a pretty good collection back in the 90s. I gave most of it to my nephew when he got into survivalist/paramilitary/soldier of fortune type stuff. I kept a couple of knives for sentimental reasons. Even so, I have nothing on real knife fans.

Finally- flashlights. Holy Jebus! I had a huge Maglight for the longest time, the kind you could beat someone to death with. I may have given that to my nephew too, I don’t remember. Right now I’m using a Garrity G-Tech® GT-1LED, which I gather is 4 lumens(1 LED, right?). I like it because it’s small but not too small, light as in not heavy, and cheap as in not costly. I couldn’t beat anyone to death with it though.

Having been to flashlight forums, I have a burning urge to get ahold of a 200 lumen flashlight. The one I have now is plenty for anything I’ve needed to do with it, I can’t imagine what it would be like to take out the trash at night carrying one of those 200 lumen jobs. My neighbors would probably think it’s a police helicopter looking for someone.

Links please :) :)

I have a bad feeling about this. The kind of feeling I get right before I spend money I’m supposed to be saving.

Flashlight geeks got nuthin’ on laser geeks.

Except the ability to navigate in the dark.

Candlepower forums:


Yeah but they can’t blind airline pilots. Laser guy wins, hands down.



So, the equivalent of Head-Fi or BGG is probably the Candlepower Forums. Although I think both BGG and Head-Fi are vastly better places. CPF is more like Consimworld, in that it’s full of information but also full of kinda creepy old dudes with military fetishes plus also terrible graphic design.

The particular light I got is available here. I can vouch for the light itself being awesome, but from what I read on forums, their customer service is of the “small company being overwhelmed by growth” variety – that is, if something goes wrong, they’ll make it right, but it’s going to take more time than you think it should. If you want one, coupon code “CPF8” saves you 8%.

My old flashlight, which they still sell but which I wouldn’t really recommend any more, is here.

Note also that if you buy a AA-using flashlight, you’ll want to get good batteries for it, which pretty much means Eneloops (since regular NiMHs have too much self-discharge for something that might spend a lot of time switched off).

Fuck I just bought one. I’m such a technology whore.

I went with small, big throw, big power.

This guy:

I needed a light for work and damn that was cheap.

Why do I want to buy a flashlight just from reading this thread? Damn.

My brother keeps sending me LED flashlights for various gifts. They are cool, but the versions I get always use expensive-ass batteries that cost me a lot more then what it would take for a couple of AA’s. One tactical style flashlight he sent me uses one of those pricey camera batteries that are bigger then AA’s. The one he sent me for Christmas this year is tiny and uses four expensive watch style batteries.

Kind of puts me off the whole technology, to be honest.

Yeah, the really high-end ones can’t do their job with AAs, but I refuse on principle to even think about buying something that needs fancy batteries.

Ah yes, those halcyon days at HeadWize building amps.

Everyone should get a small high power flashlight and put it next to your bed. You could even blind intruders with it. Of course, then you are cursed to live the rest of your life playing games and watching movies, wondering why everyone has such dinky flashlights or none at all when they walk into that dark forest.

Never did get the appeal of knives. My first encounter with that type was someone in college reverently showing me his new knife.

My favorite flashlights are the ones you can hand-crank to power by hand. There’s never any danger that if I need them, they won’t have charged batteries in them. One time I was in a blackout for almost a week when I was living in Birmingham, Alabama. No way would a normal flashlight have lasted that long. But with these small little flashlights, you just turn the crank for a bit, and there you go, it works again.

I got a tiny little hand-cranked keychain flashlight for Christmas. It’s awesome. The LEDs are sufficiently bright, unlike most keychain flashlights, and it seems to hold a charge forever.

Um dude, we want to BUY, not look!! Where’s the damn link where I can buy the thing?

:) :)

Damn you, Lorini, and your viral marketing. Don’t post the link, make 'em do the work, lure 'em in. http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.24220

I just bought this flashlight: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.21478, batteries and a charger. $21.88 big ones, Lorin1! $21.88! I hope you can sleep at night.

I was misled. I thought the title read “fleshlights.”