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Flashlights


fm2176

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So, I bought a Streamlight ProTac HL 5-X today.  It was admittedly an impulse buy, as I clocked out on break and happened to check out the flashlight case.  When I saw the 3500 lumens claim I figured "why not?"  Flashlights are one of those tools that we sometimes take for granted, and over the years I've owned many different types.  The Mag-Lite was king some 20-odd years ago, and I had everything from Mini-Mags to the six-D cell light I'd use for my unarmed security guard job.  Despite being quality lights, though, the Mag-Lite design was showing its age even back then.  The incandescent bulb and standard batteries were susceptible to damage, leading to damaged or destroyed lights after a few months of riding in a vehicle or sitting in a closet.  I started buying SureFire lights in the early 2000s, and a 20-something year old SureFire M951 weaponlight is still mounted to my AR15.  As I've started buying handguns with rails, I've begun adding lights to those. Some of my handgun lights are also laser sights, and most, if not all, have a strobe setting designed to disorient an assailant.  I don't yet have night vision (well, somewhere I have a 25-year-old GEN1 device bought from Kmart) but do have infrared lights and filters for the M951.

 

Of course, head lamps are nice to have, though I have a habit of misplacing them.  I have Milwaukee, DeWalt, and other brands but probably couldn't locate a single one at the moment.  Speaking of those tool brands, I'm sure that many of us have a handheld work light compatible with our cordless battery platform of choice.  Lights like the basic DeWalt DCL040 are still very useful, and I own the DCL043 spotlight along with a few other more specialty lights.  The 12v Max DCL510 is a favorite, and I used to keep them stuck to the fridge and to the entry doors of my house.  As odd as it may seem, I've even used the Milwaukee M12 Rocket lights as large flashlights of sorts.  Going into the crawlspace at my former residence, I'd use them for both light and to keep my hands out of the muck.  Sometimes I find myself using a cordless drill or impact driver as a flashlight, and the LEDs on most of those definitely come in handy when working in dark places.  

 

Growing up, the Everready D cell light was ubiquitous, and a six-volt lantern was the go-to for more serious lighting needs.  Now, those are almost laughable compared to what can be had.  Of course, we also nearly all keep a flashlight on our person at all times these days in the way of a smart phone.  They aren't perfect, but in my mind, they've taken the place of the key chain LED light, with similar brightness and lighting quality.  

 

Anyway, what's your "go-to" light?  Do you keep multiple lights handy; in roadside emergency kits, 72-hour bags, or as part of your everyday carry?  Do you view the often-bundled work light as an added value to a new cordless tool kit, or as just another cheap accessory that gets tossed behind the workbench?  Is your cell phone the only light you own and/or need?  In my opinion the flashlight is one of those simple tools that can get extremely specialized and complex.  Any is better than none, but sometimes you wish you had that one light that would make the job or task at hand that much easier.

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Streamlight Stinger LED, has been the best flashlight I ever owned. I spent up to get a quality flashlight years ago when I started a side hustle doing Home Inspections, and it is definitely a great light. I bought so many cheap flashlights thinking it gives off light.... that's good enough. Boy was I wrong.

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14 hours ago, RT29 said:

Streamlight Stinger LED, has been the best flashlight I ever owned. I spent up to get a quality flashlight years ago when I started a side hustle doing Home Inspections, and it is definitely a great light. I bought so many cheap flashlights thinking it gives off light.... that's good enough. Boy was I wrong.

 

Very true, this is why I don't understand why some people are fine with their do-it-all smart phone when it comes to lights.  Light quality and color are important, as are focus and brightness.  My new Streamlight is great for distance lighting on high, but is overwhelming if I'm looking under my hood.  

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Picked up a Nebo DaVinci 10000L today.  What can I say, I like darkness, but there's no substitution for a bright light in some situations.  This one has Turbo, High, Medium, Low, and Strobe settings, with the strobe having a fast/slow flashing pattern for maximum disorientation.  

 

Before long I need to get a store brand generator or two (50% off with the employee discount) and ensure that my flashlights are charged or have spare batteries nearby and that the DeWalt Power Station is ready to go.  Also, need to locate and top off the Ridgid and Ryobi batteries for the fans.  Hurricane season will be here soon, and though I've lucked out so far, I want to ensure that we are as comfortable as possible should there be a prolonged power outage.

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