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Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch

Flashlight blogging.

As Les said: A Maglite is a gateway drug to a serious flashlight addiction.

I have two flashlights. One is for the home and one is for the truck. For home use, I like the Surefire G2 Nitrolon. It’s lightweight and has a conveniently located on button on the rear. Push on and push off. This light is exceptionally bright and is capable of temporarily blinding and disorienting someone. So, don’t point at your face. Should something go bump in the night, however, it’s a good go to flashlight. It also has a very wide coverage area. I’ve used it to light up half my backyard before. The only downside is that the battery life is only about an hour and a half. Not usually a problem but not a light you want if you’re going to need a light for a long time. For that, we have the flashlight I keep in the truck.

For use in the truck, I like the Streamlight Twintask. It’s a good flashlight compromise. It’s small and fits easily in a pocket. And it has two modes. One for a decent, long lasting LED light for when you need a light for a while. Run time is about 40 hours, I hear. And one mode for the brighter non LED light. The brighter light is good enough for lighting up a decent sized area. And the LED light is fine more most uses. And the button location is not the most convenient.

Unlike other fancy flashlights, both of these are reasonably priced.

You got any recommendations?

Update: As noted before, a handy tip for gun nuts: Your non-gun-nut friends will dig your flashlights. I’ve given away each as Christmas presents and both were well received.

21 Responses to “Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch”

  1. JD Says:

    I carry a LED Lenser V2 and it works well. Made by Coast I like it since it has six bright LEDs that are white one one switch and one bright red led for at night on the other. A nice addition is the two switches are different colors and textures so you can tell what you are turning on in the dark. All runs on three AAA batteries and easy to carry every day in a pocket.

    Just my $.02

  2. Robb Allen Says:

    Curse you. Now I have to listen to that damned song to get it out of my head.

    Not too big of a problem being that it’s my favorite TMBG song.

    All I have is one of those Maglites that’s the size of your forearm and requires D cells. Lighting is poor, but it makes one hell of a weapon in short order.

  3. Tom Says:

    what’s with all the references to that song lately?

    I’ve been to a bunch of message boards, and seen it elsewhere on the web within the last month. Is it some kind of subconscious thing or what? Something just being picked up?

    Anyway, if you have old maglites sitting around, grab one of the LED bulbs, not a fan of the color temp but the run time on the $8 @ walmart type run for days.

    These guys
    are nice too

  4. guy Says:

    I’ve got a couple 3d-cell maglites with aftermarket LED bulbs in them – one in my jeep, the other next to my bed. They run for 30 hours and are plenty bright for me. They will also survive flying off the top of my jeep at 60mph and ending up with just a few scrapes.

    The goto light I keep next to my computer is a 2AA-cell mini-mag with an aftermarket LED bulb – that runs for 6 hours with decent NiMH batteries – I use it all the time so rechargeables are nice.

    On my keychain is a AAA ARC-P light. Older, but tough as nails and bright enough to work on an ailing vehicle on a moonless night. Battery last about 6 hours in that one as well.

  5. ka Says:

    I am no fan of the Surefire’s simply because of the batteries they take. If mine goes out, I can’t just grab a pack of AAs to recharge. There are plenty of LED style lights that are bright, with rear push button switches that take commonly available batteries.

    I’ve tried to make it so that all of my gear takes the same size of battery. GPS, flashlight, and two-way, all take AAs.

  6. ZerCool Says:

    Flashlights – my other big addiction.

    I have:
    MagLite 4D LED in my truck
    MagLite 2D LED in my wife’s car
    Surefire G2L in my hunting clothes
    Leatherman Serac S2 daily carry
    Husky “tactical” 2D LED by the bed ($30 at Home Despot, 200 Lumens. Holy crap it’s bright!)
    Several AA MiniMags scattered around, a couple with LED upgrades.
    Several Black Diamond LED headlamps – one in hunting clothes, one in glovebox, one in basement, one in Bugout Bag…
    Streamlight Survivor rechargeable – that lives with my fire gear.

    The MagLites and the Serac are my go-to lights, though.

  7. Brian Says:

    Lightwave 4000 for my multi-cell led behemoth. Not stunningly bright, but uber-long runtime.

  8. Firehand Says:

    Surefire now has a G2 with a LED lamp; 80 lumens and about 12 hours runtime. And you can get the lamp to upgrade your old light.

    I’ve got a very nice LED light I picked up at Cabela’s that uses two AA batteries, 45 lumens for about 12 hours. However, it was $20 when I got it; now the damn thing is $40.

  9. Billy Beck Says:

    SureFire for fucking ever. I can get batteries for my E2L Outdoorsman anywhere with a decent selection of camera batts.

    Never in life would it have occurred to me to spend this much money on a flashlight. It was a gift, and it shook my world. (Remember: I’m a lighting director. Lights is what I do.) Mine’s rocked-up for 80-lumen output (the guy who gave it to me is an engineer at SureFire) which other models do, stock. (I heartily recommend the E1B Backup.)

    It’s amazingly powerful for something so handy to carry. I never leave the house without it, even in broad daylight, and it always pays its way. When I’m working, it puts every other flashlight on deck to shame. Really: I’ve seen Maglite guys just put theirs away when I switch that thing on. I wish I could tell you how many times, over the years, when I’ve seen guys peering up at a truss maybe twenty-five feet in the air, with a Maglite, perhaps looking for a loose connection at a critical moment and trying to decide whether it’s necessary to climb up there. I’m tellin’ ya. This thing throws and hits hard when it gets there.

    I don’t mean to come on like the Sales Dept. The person who gave me this is a fan of my blog, and now I’m a big fan of his gear. That’s all there is to that. But I’m a big fan, sure enough. The E2L is essential in my kit now, and if I ever lose it, I’ll pay whatever it takes to get another one.

  10. Dan Are Says:

    I keep a Streamlight Microstream clipped in the V neck of my polo shirt usually. Tiny, but packs 20 lumens. It’s good for general use but in a pinch could be used tactically, the switch can be used instant-on but can be locked on by pressing the same tailcap switch harder. I also keep an Olight T10 on me (in a zippered wallet with some emergency stuff). The Olight puts out 185 lumens and lights up out to 100 yds and beyond, but goes through 3V batteries fast at that output. I keep Surefires in the car and home, purely for tactical emergencies, since the 3V batteries have such a long shelf life.

  11. Nomen Nescio Says:

    i carry a Fenix L2T, all day every day, whenever i’ve got my pants on. i use it as much in “broad daylight” as at night. when you’re as near-sighted as i am, there’s an awful lot of situations when you might think you have enough light but could really use an extra spot.

    the L2T isn’t “tactical” bright, it couldn’t dazzle anybody, but that’s okay. it’s negligibly light on my belt, eats regular AA batts, makes those batts last forever, and is plenty bright enough for just about anything that isn’t self-defense. i love it.

    (no, you can’t have one just like it. Fenix retires their models quicker than snowballs melt in hell, probably so no competitor company will have time to one-up them. my flashlight’s already long obsolete and replaced in their product lineup…)

  12. Rivrdog Says:

    Always with me while packing, a Mini Mag-Lite LED.

    Around my neck on a cord when navigating my boat at night, a Mini-Peli-light Red LED (tiny, but takes LR-44 cells, which will NOT be there after SHTF). By my side in the wheelhouse, 2ea lead-acid rechargeable hand spotlights with 55W headlight lamps. The boat has 1,030 AH of 12 VDC power, 2X 105-amp alternators, interior lit with CCF fixtures, several LED area lanterns on hand.

    In my survival vest/inflatable PFD, a Super Peli-Light with Xenon bulb ((2X “C” cells).

    In the truck, a Mag-Lite 4D with 3W Luxeon Star bulb. A small AA Garrity light with tungsten bulb backs up the Mag-Lite. A Glorp LED (4AA) area lantern on hand also.

    In the gun room, another 4D Mag-Lite 3-watt, and a Garrity LED crank-lantern. Gun safe has manual, not electric lock.

    In the survival house, several LED Crank-lights and two 6 volt Garrity hand lanterns with Xenon bulbs. D-Cell adapters on hand for those lanterns. 24ea 2400 MAH Rechargeable NiMH AA batteries available, recharged monthly, with numerous D and C adapter shells. 2X change of AAA NiMH cells for 4 Midland FRS radios on hand. Rechargers of 110 VAC and 12 VDC types available. 2 different emergency sources of 110 VAC (generator and inverter) plus mains power available, and 260 AH of 12 VDC storage. 50# case of candles on hand.

    Yes, I believe St. Lucia IS my patron saint.

  13. Linoge Says:

    I carry a Surefire 6PD with an aftermarket LED bulb in it on a daily basis. I understand they now sell 6Ps with LEDs built into them, but the aftermarket was not that much more expensive overall.

    Interesting note, however – the TSA has let me fly with this thing at least 10 times now, and never once batted an eye, crennelations or not.

    And, after having dealt with their service department, and been impressed by their quality, Surefire is pretty much all I will buy in the future.

  14. Jake Says:

    Hmmm. I seem to take the opposite tack to many here. I tend to buy inexpensive (though not necessarily cheap) lights. That way, if I accidentally leave one somewhere (on a scene, in an ambulance, etc.) or it gets damaged, I’m not out $30-$100 to replace it. So, what do I have?

    In my squad jacket – A no-name, 21 LED light. It’s compact, only 1-3/8″ diameter at it’s widest and 3-1/2″ long, with a pushbutton momentary switch or twist to lock on endcap. This one is very bright for it’s size, and up close has even out-shined the big “box-lights” we keep on the trucks. I found this one on sale at a drug store for about $8. It uses 3 AAA batteries.
    Also in my jacket, a little “Eddie Bauer” branded keychain light (1 LED) to use for a penlight, since the assessment bag is never within reach when you want the penlight (or the penlight is dead). I don’t remember how much I paid for this one 5 years ago, but it wasn’t much more than $10. It uses 3 button batteries.

    In my car – One of those “crank to charge” 3 LED lights. It was a Christmas gift from someone at the office. It stays in the car since I won’t have to worry about batteries if I need it two years from now.

    In my nightstand – a little 1 LED light with a similar push/twist switch to the big one in my jacket. This is my “wake up in the middle of the night” light. It’s bright enough to have some dazzle effect on anyone looking at it (especially if they’ve been operating in the dark by flashlight) without dazzling me (since I’ve had my eyes closed for hours in a dark room). It uses one AAA battery, and cost me about $12.

    By my computer – A Brinkmann 1 LED light. This is one of the early affordable white LED flashlights. I’ve never really liked it, but the light output is a bit better than a mini-maglight and I’ve had the same batteries in it for about 3-4 years without trouble. This is my “the power just went out” light, and not much more. I don’t remember how much I paid for this one. It takes 2 AA batteries.

    Like I said – inexpensive, but effective. And I won’t be upset if something happens to any of them.

  15. Unix-Jedi Says:

    Right now I’m carrying a rechargable Streamlight (60 Lumens.)

    But the wishlist is:

    230 lumens. LED. 4 hour runtime. or 8 hours at 125 Lumens. And a strobe that I’ve been told can induce nausea even in daylight.

    If you want to keep AA compatibility:

    120 Lumens.

  16. Aaron Neal Says:

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say Rivrdog’s afraid of the dark… but I do know better, and I know light is pretty much always better than dark.

    Personally, it’s a SureFire 6P always on my belt, and a Maglite 3Dcell on my desk. General working tasks are carried out by a variety of inexpensive flashlights, and (my current favorite) a Ryobi I got last month that works with my rechargeable 18v Li-Ion Ryobi power packs.

  17. Jason Says:

    I like the Surefire E2D myself

  18. Robb Allen Says:

    Granted, all of this is superfluous.

    In 6 days, there will no longer be darkness to worry about.

    The unicorns will see to that.

  19. Dan Are Says:

    Robb, are you suggesting, to paraphrase Monty Pithon’s The Life of Brian, that the sun shines out his arse?

    Unix-Jedi, the Olight T10 puts out 185 lumens off only one 3V battery-and is EXTREMELY compact. Amazing to have that much output from a thumb-sized device. I also paid $7 for an extra barrel, because their lamp can also work off an AA if needed. It also has variable output, a strobe, and the SOS feature.

    Anyone have experience with the aftermarket 4-6 D cell Maglite replacement LED, supposedly 500-600 lumen?

  20. Billy Beck Says:

    U-J: {blink} Wow. You know, just because I know what I see, it doesn’t mean that I always know what’s in the market.

    Thank you.

  21. Bry Says:

    The problem with alkaline lights is that when you need it a year later, the batteries have oozed all of their lifeblood into your (now needed) flashlight, rendering it useless for (a) your immediate task, and (b) forever after that.

    I have a Surefire L4 that I really love, but now I carry my Fenix TK-10, which is twice as bright.

    And the batteries don’t bleed.


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