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New Maglite (?) Torch: Recommendations Please

Discussion in 'Brights, Gizmo's & toys' started by bearbait, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. bearbait

    bearbait Full Member

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    Hi,

    My ancient and well-loved Maglite 2 cell AA torch finally gave up the ghost so I'm in the market for a replacement.

    I thought I'd go for the newer LED equivalent to this, which seems to be called something like the Mini Maglite Pro 2 Cell AA LED.

    Any comments on this torch?

    Any equivalents to this I should be looking at before stumping up?

    Many thanks for your input...
     
  2. Old Bones

    Old Bones Settler

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    There a gazillion led torches on the market, and I'm sure you'll hear about lots of them, but frankly, why do you want another Maglite? Its just a brand, and one that almost totally missed the boat on LEDS.

    Fenix seems very popular, and there are loads of brands on these two sites alone - http://www.flashaholics.co.uk/ & http://www.torchdirect.co.uk/ . I've got a LEDLenser P5E AA torch, simply because its fair cheap at Cotswolds (£17.50) and its fine for me, although I'd like brighter and better when I can afford it.

    If you give people a guide to what you want to use it for, size and price range, I'm sure there will be lots of suggestions.
     
  3. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    This is useful, it's used on the torch forums. You don't need to answer all the questions.




    Recommend a Torch Checklist:

    Copy and paste this list into your first post. Filling in the form will not only give others a better idea of your requirements, but also get you to think about them.

    (Don't worry about all the questions, just the ones you feel strongly about!) Please mark "x" inside the [ ] to indicate your choice.

    1: Short Essay Question: What do you intend to use this light for?

    2: Price Range: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest!

    [ ] £1-£15
    [ ] £15-30
    [ ] £40-60
    [ ] £80-120
    [ ] £120- ...
    [ ] I have no limit!

    3: Format:

    [ ] I want a torch
    [ ] I want a headlamp.
    [ ] I want a lantern.
    [ ] I want a portable spotlight.


    Length:

    [ ] 1-2 inches. (Keychain sized)
    [ ] 2-4 inches. (Pocket carry)
    [ ] 4-9 inches. (Holster carry)


    Width:

    [ ] I prefer a long narrow light.
    [ ] I prefer a short wide light.
    [ ] Doesn't matter.


    Weight:

    Lights of a similar size can be very different in weight and may turn the perfect sized light into a paper weight. In general lights of the same size will stack up like this; plastic and aluminum will be your lighter choices brass, stainless steel, bronze will be heavier. I won't put numbers here because everyone has a different weight sensitivity. For the purposes of EDC specifically I'll limit the choices here to the more easily carried sizes pick 2 sizes to represent a range of weight.

    [ ] Very light, can't tell it's there.
    [ ] Light, no heavier than a few keys or a small car remote.
    [ ] Medium light, about the weight of a AAA MiniMag
    [ ] Medium, slightly heavier than a AA MiniMag
    [ ] Heavy Medium, can of Coke
    [ ] Heavy, PDA or small digital camera

    4: What kind of "bulb".

    [ ] LED - more rugged, unlikely to burn out in your lifetime, more efficient (longer runtimes). Modern LEDS now far outshine incandescent and the beam colour tints are getting very good for revealing colour at night. Should your application require picking out colours, then look at warm/neutral or high CRI (colour rendition index) tints. There's a slight loss in lumens for the warmer LEDs.
    [ ] Incandescent - can be very bright, more accurate color rendition, burn out or can be damaged more easily, shorter runtimes, very noticeable dimming as batteries deplete
    [ ] HID - like new car headlights in color, very, very bright, can be had in lights as small as a Mag 2 D cell but generally larger spotlight sized lights, no dimming turns off when battery depletes
    [ ] Don't care, just want the best fit for my needs.

    5: What batteries do you want to use?

    Alkaline batteries are easier to find and less expensive but don't pack as much stored energy and are don't work well in cold temperatures. Lithium batteries have long shelf life (10+ years, great for stored emergency lights) and are not as affected by cold but must be kept dry and are more expensive. They tend to produce the most power for high lumen applications. Rechargeable start expensive, but if used frequently pay off quickly.

    [ ] I want common Alkaline batteries. (AA, AAA, C, D)
    [ ] I want lithium batteries. (coin cells, CR123, AAA, AA...)
    [ ] I want a rechargeable system. (an investment, but best for everyday use). This covers rechargeable lithium and Nickel Metal Halide (NiMH).

    6: How much light do you want?

    Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).

    [ ] I want to read a map, find a light switch/keyhole, or get around the house at w/o disturbing anyone. (5-10 lumens)
    [ ] I want to walk around a generally paved area. (15-20 lumens)
    [ ] I want to walk unpaved trails. (40 lumens)
    [ ] I want to do Caving or Search & Rescue operations. (60+ lumens)
    [ ] I want to light an entire campground or dazzle an intruder. (100+ lumens)

    7: Throw vs Flood

    Which do you prefer, lights that flood an area with a wide beam, or lights that "throw" with a tightly focused beam? Place an “X” on the line below. Sometimes a flood is better particularly closer up or indoors. You won't have to "sweep" the light back and forth to see what you need to see. You can also just set it down pointing the general direction rather having to point it right at that which you are working.

    Throw (distance)----------------------|----------------------Flood/close-up

    8: Runtime

    Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims (like some LED lights). but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries. Understand that runtime is a function of brightness and capacity of your batteries. If you want 6 hours you'll either have big batteries or dimmer light, they haven't made a setup yet that lights up like the sun, runs all night, and fits in your watch pocket.

    [ ] 20 min. (I want the brightest light for brief periods)
    [ ] 60-240 min. (1-2 hours)
    [ ] 240-360 min. (4-6 hours)
    [ ] 360+ min. (More than 6 hours)

    9: Durability:

    Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.

    [ ] Not Important (A “night-stand” light.)
    [ ] Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood.)
    [ ] Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box.)
    [ ] Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Survival.)

    10: Switch Type:

    [ ] I don't care.
    [ ] sliding switch (Stays on until slid back.)
    [ ] clickie switch. (Stays on until pressed again.)
    [ ] momentary switch. (Only stays on while held down.)
    [ ] rotating switch

    11: Switch Location:

    [ ] I don't care.
    [ ] I want a push or sliding switch on the body near the head.
    [ ] I want a push switch on the back end of the body.
    [ ] I want a rotating head switch.
    [ ] I want a rotating end-cap switch.
    [ ] I want a remote control.

    12: Operational Modes:

    Check all that apply.

    [ ] A simple on-off is fine for me.
    [ ] I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
    [ ] I want multiple light levels. (some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
    [ ] I want a strobe mode. (blinks to show location.)
    [ ] I want a tactical strobe. (Flashes rapidly to disorient an opponent.)
    [ ] I want S.O.S. flashing

    13: Is it important whether the body is metal or plastic/composite?

    In this case "plastic" and it's variants does not mean "cheap" or poorly made. In many applications a plastic bodied light is preferable, hard use and water resistance comes to mind; think caving or lights that get dropped or abused.

    [ ] I don't care.
    [ ] I want a metal-bodied light.
    [ ] I want a plastic/composite light.

    14: Special Needs:

    Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Circle any below or write in your own comment(s).

    [ ] Red (night vision preserving) filter
    [ ] Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________)
    [ ] Waterproof – how deep: _____________
    [ ] Non-reflective/dark finish (stealthy/hard to find)
    [ ] Polished silver or brightly colored finish (for easy locating)
    [ ] Corrosion resistant or hard-anodized finish
    [ ] “Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
    [ ] Built-in second (or spare) lamp or filament
    [ ] Belt/Jacket clip
    [ ] Holster
    [ ] Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    [ ] Other
     
  4. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Exactly what happened to your Maglite? They have a lifetime warranty so a one for one replacement might be possible.
     
  5. Trotsky

    Trotsky Full Member

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    I upgraded my old AA mini maglite to LED just before this year's moot, if your maglite isn't utterly wrecked you could do the same. The upgrades are available online and just plug in where the old bulb goes. Santaman2000 makes a fair point too.
     
  6. neoaliphant

    neoaliphant Nomad

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    Ive got about 4 original nonled m,aglites which i use as carcass spares for my main maglite which has led upgrade and tailcap

    ive sticking with maglite as I have lots of accessories, the glow wand etc.

    ive also got an early led version but i dont like it as much.


    i did a comparison, i found a usb torch that gets its power from a power bank, this means that as its small i can mount it as a headlamp, albeit on side of head using my maglite headstrap, said torch has higher lumens by the look of it and was 59p

    also and heres where it gets geeky

    i can use an arduino and relay to turn it off and on to make custom strobing patterns, and made it show i can type a message on phone, send it to the arduino via usb cable/bluetooth, and arduino will turn it in to morse patterns and flash with the morse code...

    basically maglite gear does have a lot of accessories

    i also have a p7, while brighter, its basically a small spotlite, is a bit heavy and chunky.
     
  7. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    Just noticed you asked about equivalent torches. I'm afraid there aren't any others as out dated as the Maglite. Surefire?. No they're also living on their name alone. Both have loads of accessories, it's the only way to sell these dinosaurs.

    Two brands I like are Eagletac and Zebralight.
     
  8. Jared

    Jared Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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  9. homesicksteve

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  10. C_Claycomb

    Mod

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    And just to make matters even more complicated ;)...

    The amount of light and overall battery life you can get from current (even from 3 years ago) single AA LED torches, such as the Fenix LD09, 10 and 11 is vastly greater than you would get from those old double AA Mini Maglites. Unless you need a lot more light, or want the extra hand filling length, give consideration to a single AA torch.

    Another thing to think about is the beam pattern. While I am a fan of my Fenix, the reflector does not throw a very long beam. Some of the LED lights have adjustable collimator lens which allows for a much greater throw at the expense of simplicity and bulk, but the difference is small.
     
  11. bilmo-p5

    bilmo-p5 Maker Plus

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  12. scarfell

    scarfell Forager

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    A USB rechargeable, 200+ lumens will do a great job (higher the better, esp if it has intensity control)

    these days the price difference between an 10,000 hour and 5,000 hour LED is tiny. (hours before it starts reducing light and needs replacing)

    Dont worry about brands, although ypu may way to get a UK guaranteed one (electronic engineering is part of my job, and i can tell you that its not about who makes these things, but who controls quality; chinese made & british/EU quality is a great option (US quality isnt so consistent, sorry cousins lol))

    Worth getting yourself a charge pack to carry with the torch, make it at least 3 times the size of the torch battery and you'll get at least 2 charges (check out solar powered battery packs too :) ...but read the instructions carefully, you will never recharge a battery in a few hours from a handheld solar pack, at least not for another 10 years)
     
    #12 scarfell, Oct 16, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  13. C_Claycomb

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    Sorry, don't agree with Scarfell :) AA batteries last plenty well enough that you can do a pretty long trip with just one in the torch, and carry another as spare. No need to have a bulky charge pack. AA batteries can be found in most places in the world if you are really out for a round the world trip and makes the whole thing simpler and more robust than a rechargeable. Bad enough to have to worry about charging phones and cameras, which do not last all that long, without choosing a light that needs charging too.
     
  14. scarfell

    scarfell Forager

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    Sure AA do the job, but they are expensive and very environmentally unfriendly, not to mention inefficient in comparison to modern recharable lithiums. You can get very high capacity charge packs that are the same size and smaller than a 6 inch smartphone

    It's not true that modern batteries have a short life, in fact they can contain more charge than non rechsrable, if you are careful to buy the right capacity (marked in mAh on the pack). My main recharable 290 lumen LED torch will run at full power for 8hrs continuous on a single charge, and its smaller (1/3 weight) than equiv maglight) (never run it full 8hrs, but I'vs used it 5hrs without any drop in brightness)

    Tbh the environmental issues alone are a big enough problem for me to recommend ditching non echarable batteries for everything
     
    #14 scarfell, Oct 17, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  15. homesicksteve

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    AA Rechargeable Eneloops are the way forward....:)
     
  16. Leshy

    Leshy Full Member

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    +1 for eneloop. Top notch
     
  17. neoaliphant

    neoaliphant Nomad

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    The thing is a lot of us have a battery pack anyway for phones, so its not like were taking extra. in fact uually if you look at size and weight they are smaller than the same amount of AA if you look at charge. ive gone through several AA in a weekend before.
     
  18. C_Claycomb

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    Guess I use a light less than others! I had a single 123A head torch which used the same battery for at least three weeks of actual camping, might have been five weeks. I know that 123As are much more power dense, but multiple AAs in a single weekend :yikes:.

    I haven't tried Eneloop, keep hearing good things about them. None of the other rechargeable AA batteries that I have used have held charge anywhere near as well as standard AAs. They have simply run down while sitting unused in the torch.
     
  19. Old Bones

    Old Bones Settler

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    Agreed - pretty much every petrol station, mini market and corner shop around the world sells AA's. You can have rechargable's, throwaways, or do whatever you like (many torches will allow you to use more than one type of battery anyway, such as AA/CR2). When my wife goes off on work visits to the developing world, I give her a little AA torch to use (the Romisen G2 was a cracking value torch), simply because they work, and the batteries are easy to get hold of.

    Its whatever suits the person and the situation, but since AA and AAA or so easy to get, its always worth having at least a small spare torch which use those.
     
  20. Corso

    Corso Full Member

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    ...and again with feeling :)

    but I agree I've several keychain lights that out perform any Maglite out there
     

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