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  #1  
Old 05-13-2013
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Best spotlight?

I am bewildered by all the choices of flashlights these days. I am looking for a good powerful handheld light for navigating channels at night and picking out marks, etc. LED or halogen? "Spotlight" shape or just a good strong flashlight? Rechargable vs plug-in cord vs ordinary disposable batteries? Marine brand vs "tactical" military types? How bright do I need (candlepower or lumens)? Got any lights you really love, or any lemons? Thanks in advance for your input.
Paul
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Old 05-13-2013
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Re: Best spotlight?

I use flashlights for work (stage electrician here) and I would never use anything less than LED today. All the advantages of Halogen (bright, excellant penetration) with none of the drawbacks (lots of heat and low battery life). Some LED lights also offer multiple modes that Halogen cannot offer. Low power, strobe, SOS, multicolour.

For a boat, I would want something made of plastic that floats. Lanyard or not, it is going to get dropped. If lands in the water, it will not sink, if it lands on the deck, you do not need to worry about it chipping the gelcoat. If it lands on your foot.. well.
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Re: Best spotlight?

Thank you. Now that I have narrowed it down to LED it will be much easier. I want to avoid any more power cords and chargers on my boat if possible, so the battery versions are looking good. I am not finding any floating flashlights with the type of power I want. right now I am considering two 850 lumen LED flashlights that run on special batteries--4 CR125s or 2 rechargable 18650s--, the NiteCore MT40 and the JetBeam BC40. Reasonably priced at $65-70. Evidently they are extraordinarily bright. In one review video they compared the brightness with a halogen Maglight and it was literally like night and day (the BC40 being day and the Maglight night). Waterproof to one meter and very durable. (btw, I wonder if the rapid strobe feature on some of these high intensity LED flashlights might double as a weapon for incapacitating pirates.) I'm still looking, but here are links to these two:

Going Gear - NiteCore Multi Task Series MT40 860 Lumen 4 x CR123 / 2 x 18650 CREE XM-L U2 LED Flashlight

Going Gear - JetBeam BC40 XM-L 830 Lumen Flashlight
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Old 05-13-2013
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Re: Best spotlight?

if you are looking there.. I would stay away from those specialized batteries. I do not know about the one, but while you can get 123 cells at the store, they are -very- expensive for what you get.

I get my flashlights for work from LED Bright Flashlights and Rechargeable Flashlights by LED LENSER. I carry the "P7" and most people who see it light up for the 1st time remark on how bright it is. They also make larger and brighter lights along with smaller. I chose the P7 because it fits in my beltholster with my multitool
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Re: Best spotlight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
if you are looking there.. I would stay away from those specialized batteries. I do not know about the one, but while you can get 123 cells at the store, they are -very- expensive for what you get.

I get my flashlights for work from LED Bright Flashlights and Rechargeable Flashlights by LED LENSER. I carry the "P7" and most people who see it light up for the 1st time remark on how bright it is. They also make larger and brighter lights along with smaller. I chose the P7 because it fits in my beltholster with my multitool
I agree that you should have some AA battery powered flash lights, and possibly AAA. I also think you should have several and if you need bright pocket-able lights there is no substitute for the higher voltage batteries. I like the 18650 because they are easy to recharge and can substitute 123 cells though when bought in one or two packs they are expensive. Not so bad if you buy in bulk packs. I avoid the Rechargeable 123 as I have not found the cells to have very long life. But you need several lights in my opinion, as they can go overboard. A good site for some fairly well made LED flashlights is Cheap Cree Led Flashlight Torch on Sale at Dealextreme - DX but it does take patience as they take a while to delver. They have button cell key-chain flash lights for 10 for $5 and I like to keep them hanging all over the place. They come in very handy even just looking into a locker. I think it is not unreasonable to have at least 5 flashlights on board, as you know you will drop one or have dead batteries in at least one!
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Re: Best spotlight?

Or perhaps this:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62NP5GThFo0
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Old 05-13-2013
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Re: Best spotlight?

my favorite spotlight is from ace hardware--rechargeable, cheapo and will even work after flying/bouncing from rail to rail inside a boat..btdt....lol...dont ask.....
was 16.95 usd when i was sailing gom in 2010. i bought 2 of em then---good bright lights.
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Re: Best spotlight?

Look at foursevens.com and fenix-store.com.

Generally don't buy a flashlight from normal channels as you'll be getting really outdated technology and generally avoid the usual marine spotlight type lights.

I'd go with a handheld because a modern AA handheld LED can throw more light than the old spotlights.

No matter what you get, make sure it rates its output in lumens which is a measurement of total light volume and the only number that can easily be compared between lights.

As examples foursevens has a quark 2 AA light that can do 280 lumen. On the extreme end they have one using cr123 batteries that puts out 1200 lumen (this is an absurd amount of light)

Fenix has a nice 4aa outdoor light that puts out 520 lumen max (ld41, 76$). I'd buy this if I needed a light right now.

All these lights have regulated outputs with variable output and an SOS mode. For comparison the old 4D maglight put out only 120 lumens.

EDIT: Oh didn't see your second post. Looks like you mostly concluded this. Nitecore is a good brand, I've had one of them before. But take a look at the 4AA Fenix. I think AA is a pretty big advantage.
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Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Best spotlight?

no reason to spend big dough on a freeking spotlight you willonly use rarely. the ace hardwre one is perfect...but, then , it doesnt say yottie on it, so it may be not what you seek, and the pricing is so lovely mebbe you would be put off by it..rodlmao.

given the choice in a few years AFTER purchase.. i would rather use the working cheepo than the i dunno why it doesnt work--sure cost a lot light....
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Re: Best spotlight?

there is a lot to be said for a cheapo plastic light. Have you ever taken one apart? If they were any simpler they would be fire behind glass. batteries, a lamp, a reflector, and some copper strips to connect the batteries to the lamp.

Their plus is that if you lose one, it is not a big deal, if you break one, oh well, If it gets corroded inside, you can clean them out..

their bad side is a miserable light pattern and output.
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