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Old 16-06-2014, 20:44   #1
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The Flashlight Thread

Knife thread. Gun thread. Anchor thread. Whatever man. Time to separate the posers and wannabes from the true sailors. Show us your flashlight!!!



Actually, I am just looking to purchase highest quality general-purpose and hoping you could offer recommendations. Lately we have been using cheapies after I bought a couple 8-packs for $15 at the club store. They are okay and we have so many of them lying around all over the place that not having light hasn't been a problem for most our needs.

That said, you can polish a turd all you want and still end up with a turd. These cheapies are turds and I am looking to buy reliable with good performance. I had Hubbel in the past that I liked. Pelican looks good. Suggestions?

And hey, life is short. Besides general purpose, how about spotlights? Headlamps? Diving? Mini? What do the pros use?
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Old 16-06-2014, 20:53   #2
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

I like the cheap ones that have a block of LEDs on the face and a single LED on the end. The cheapest of these has a hook. The slightly better has a hook, a stand and a magnet to help you place it where you need it.

Headlamps are only useful if you are working alone, and you can't always point them to the best advantage.
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:14   #3
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

Our kit:

- 3D cell LED Maglite torch. Powerful and great battery life. Mounting clips available so it can be stored at a good location.

- Petzl tika led headlamp with red, flashing, low and high white beam. One for every crew member. High beam powerful enough to check the sails, windvane and foredeck from the cockpit. Low beam good for reading. Red light for nightshifts. We use the flashing function when traveling with the dinghy at night. When sleeping while sailing I wrap the band around my wrist so I don't have to search for it in the dark when something happens.

In the grabbag there is another headlamp and a dynamo torch.
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:19   #4
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

Pelican are good, they've expanded beyond dive lights but they remember how to build a durable light. Dive lights are good on boats because they often have no switches to fail, as well as being solidly waterproof.

There are a number of vendors selling "ALETO" "2000 LUMEN CREE LED" lights on ebay, around $10 from China. These are fairly solid aluminum and some use a lithium "surefire" battery with a 3xAAA insert, so you have two options for power. The 2000 LED is a fairy tale, they focus from about 12' down to 12" and the 2000 LED measurement must be when it is condensed down to 12". But, they are bright and compact and inexpensive, with different flash patterns as well. Some of those focus wide/spot, others are fixed dive lights like copies of the classic Pelican.

MagLites are of course a standard. Way better prices in Costco and the company stands behind them.

I'd also suggest putting some dielectric grease generously on the battery contacts. That way when they leak--as they do so often these days--you can just wipe off the mess, it doesn't attack the metal contacts.

(I've had both of the leading brand names leak in things recently. One set dated 2015 the other 2023. Nice, huh? They replaced the victims but that still doesn't help when you're in the dark and need a light.)
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:24   #5
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregts View Post
Our kit:

- 3D cell LED Maglite torch. Powerful and great battery life. Mounting clips available so it can be stored at a good location.

- Petzl tika led headlamp with red, flashing, low and high white beam. One for every crew member. High beam powerful enough to check the sails, windvane and foredeck from the cockpit. Low beam good for reading. Red light for nightshifts. We use the flashing function when traveling with the dinghy at night. When sleeping while sailing I wrap the band around my wrist so I don't have to search for it in the dark when something happens.

In the grabbag there is another headlamp and a dynamo torch.
Which model petzl tikka do you have?
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:55   #6
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Pelican are good, they've expanded beyond dive lights but they remember how to build a durable light. Dive lights are good on boats because they often have no switches to fail, as well as being solidly waterproof.

There are a number of vendors selling "ALETO" "2000 LUMEN CREE LED" lights on ebay, around $10 from China. These are fairly solid aluminum and some use a lithium "surefire" battery with a 3xAAA insert, so you have two options for power. The 2000 LED is a fairy tale, they focus from about 12' down to 12" and the 2000 LED measurement must be when it is condensed down to 12". But, they are bright and compact and inexpensive, with different flash patterns as well. Some of those focus wide/spot, others are fixed dive lights like copies of the classic Pelican.

MagLites are of course a standard. Way better prices in Costco and the company stands behind them.

I'd also suggest putting some dielectric grease generously on the battery contacts. That way when they leak--as they do so often these days--you can just wipe off the mess, it doesn't attack the metal contacts.

(I've had both of the leading brand names leak in things recently. One set dated 2015 the other 2023. Nice, huh? They replaced the victims but that still doesn't help when you're in the dark and need a light.)
I've got a selection of dive lights that I've collected over years. The new LED lights are great. They are very bright and the batteries last a long time. I use rechargeable batteries in them because they don't seem to leak if you leave them lying around for a while.
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Old 16-06-2014, 22:09   #7
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

Seems like if I ever had a problem with a flashlight with a switch, it was the switch that was the problem and I have generally had good experience with O-ring twist-types.

I usually put e-tape around the bulb holder so I can turn them on and off essentially one-handed by biting down with my mouth. It's harder to do with the larger ones, the Hubble I had was just small enough. Also had a really robust spring clip that was handy. I had it for years but unfortunately it sprouted legs and walked off one day.

+1 for some grease, I tend to use lanolin.
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Old 16-06-2014, 22:12   #8
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregts View Post

....

- 3D cell LED Maglite torch. Powerful and great battery life. Mounting clips available so it can be stored at a good location.

...
One of the few I've found that hold up well in the tropics.

Almost all the current rash of cheap LEDs are junk that don't last.
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Old 16-06-2014, 22:33   #9
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
One of the few I've found that hold up well in the tropics.

Almost all the current rash of cheap LEDs are junk that don't last.
There is a 3 cell mag Lite in the bilge of our boat that has been there for several years. It has a coating of oil on the nice rounded surfaces and is impossible to pick up with the grabbers we have. I wonder if it will still work if I ever get it out. It's a red one so I can see it down there waiting.. I wish it were magnetic.
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Old 16-06-2014, 22:37   #10
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

I have the AGX Ultra 1000m & the BBX Super 500m, excellent products....

http://www.metem.eu/collections/all
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Old 16-06-2014, 23:00   #11
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

I always carry mini Maglite with red lens - just switched to an LED version.

At night I have a Petzel Tikka XP (set for red light) with a Core battery around my neck. It goes on my head when I need it.
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Old 16-06-2014, 23:29   #12
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

I recently got this large LED flashlight for picking out buoys. The beam is narrow and goes astonishingly far. I've never seen anything like it. Far, far better than any hand held searchlight I've ever owned.

Marinebeam Ultra Long Range CREE RLT Illuminator
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Old 17-06-2014, 00:16   #13
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

Store bought high power LED


Roll your own LED


The heat sink is needed, it gets hot after 10 minutes of use.


Solar charged LED


The small green cell is the lithium that gets charged by the solar panel.


The Coleman I really like, 550 lumens about as bright as the old white gas lanterns.


Powered by (8) 10 ahr Nimh "D" cells.
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Old 17-06-2014, 00:45   #14
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

nice gear, deckofficer.

Greenhand, there are time we've both wanted to use headlights at the same time. Now, both of us have one.

Delancey, we have a 200,000 candlepower spot that has a rechargeable battery. The light has too much scatter, so I have to go far forward to deploy it in a way that Jim can see what he needs to see to place the boat, and it hopeless in the rain or fog, as it glares off the droplets and back into our eyes. Great in the clear for illuminating boats 1/4 mi. away.

I hope dive lights are better now than when we got our Pelican light. We never had one hold up well ever, and battery replacement was before each use. Not too encouraging. We have one little Maglite that Jim's sister brought him about 20 yrs ago, still good. to me, lights are something that you just continue to experiment with.

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Old 17-06-2014, 04:45   #15
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Re: The Flashlight Thread

That's a nice light deckofficer! Is there a brand? How about waterproofiness? Lanyard holes? How's the battery life on that thing?
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