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Posted: 9/22/2011 9:42:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/1/2011 10:28:53 PM EST by bionicmonkey]
Sf help me out. I have a habit and it needs feeding. Trying to decide which route to go. Basically my choice is between the fenix hl11 and the fenix tk21.

H11 Link
Tk21 Link

The tk21 good: it is insanely bright and could be both an edc light and a weapon light, and it runs on 18650's which I can recharge off my solar panel. This makes it a good choice for a primary light since it can run anywhere from 5 lumens to 468 lumens with no power grid and the rechargeables I already own.

Tk 21 bad: On the down side, some people have noted issues with the lit basically beating up the battery at full power and kicking down to high (180) lumens and also i have a number of hand held lights of this size so one could argue that it would be only a slight improvement over my t1 at 225 lumens with rcr123s that can be recharged.

H11 good: I have a headlamp now but it has only one mode, isnt that bright, isn't power regulated, and runs off AAA which I feel are vastly inferior to AA. The H11 is power regulated, runs of 4 AA, can provide between 5 and 277 lumens. I do tend to use the headlamp quite a bit and this would be a big improvement

H11 bad: not nearly as sexy as the tk21. Wonder if the h20 is a better product given the remote battery box.

Help me cooler heads of the SF, whichever light I get I would expect it to be one of my primary lights for any disaster, so from that perspective what would you choose?

Link Posted: 9/22/2011 10:20:24 PM EST
In my experience, there aren't many situations where you need a Stupidly Bright™ headlight.

99 percent of the time, a headlight that is merely Decently Bright™ is more than adequate for the job. Almost none of the situations where you need a Stupidly Bright™ light require you to wear it on your head - Usually, you can hand-carry it.

So, at the risk of muddying the waters a little more, I would suggest that you buy one or two cheap LED headlamps from your favorite local department store - anything from Eveready, Rayovac or Petzl that runs on a single AA cell should work just fine - and then order one of these bad boys for your main SHTF flashlight:



Runs on 4 AA cells, produces almost 470 lumens at full power for about 2.5 hours, has adjustable brightness (runs almost a full week at the lowest power setting), has a rugged carbon fiber-reinforced housing, and costs less than 80 bucks. Basically, it does everything the TK41 does, but does it with commonly-available AA cells instead - for a tad less money.
Link Posted: 9/23/2011 2:58:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/23/2011 2:59:09 AM EST by Surf]
Originally Posted By Skibane:
In my experience, there aren't many situations where you need a Stupidly Bright™ headlight.

99 percent of the time, a headlight that is merely Decently Bright™ is more than adequate for the job. Almost none of the situations where you need a Stupidly Bright™ light require you to wear it on your head - Usually, you can hand-carry it.

So, at the risk of muddying the waters a little more, I would suggest that you buy one or two cheap LED headlamps from your favorite local department store - anything from Eveready, Rayovac or Petzl that runs on a single AA cell should work just fine - and then order one of these bad boys for your main SHTF flashlight:

http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/4151/jetbeampa40.jpg

Runs on 4 AA cells, produces almost 470 lumens at full power for about 2.5 hours, has adjustable brightness (runs almost a full week at the lowest power setting), has a rugged carbon fiber-reinforced housing, and costs less than 80 bucks. Basically, it does everything the TK41 does, but does it with commonly-available AA cells instead - for a tad less money.


Stupidly Bright™
Decently Bright™


How much does SF owe you when we use these terms?



Stupidly Bright™ TK40 and the Fenix Headlamp on high. Forgot which model, but it is the one with the 4AA batteries on back. Get first a good headlamp. Then a EDC. Then a Stupidly Bright™ light

Decently Bright™

FENIX TK-10 - DAILY CARRY
FENIX LD15 - DAILY CARRY

FENIX TK-10 WEAPON LIGHT WITH LARAUE MOUNT - SAFE
SUREFIRE 6P LED WEAPON LIGHT WITH LARAUE MOUNT – GOTO RIFLE

SUREFIRE 9P BAUER BAG
SUREFIRE G2 (BLACK) BROWN BAG

SUREFIRE G2 (BLACK) car
STROBE LIGHT
SUREFIRE G2 (YELLOW) car
STROBE LIGHT

MAGLIGHT 3D LED BULB
MAGLIGHT 5C BEDSIDE
MAGLIGHT 5D LOFT

DURACELL 2D BATHROOM
PETZAL DUO HEADLAMP

BRINKMAN HEADLAMP – BEDSIDE
BRINKMAN HEADLAMP – WORKBENCH

HEADLAMP – CRASHPAD
RED STROBE – CRASHPAD

BIKE LIGHT – CRASHPAD
RED STROBE – CRASHPAD


PELICAN SUPER SABRE LIGHT – BAUER BAG

KRILL LIGHT HAM RADIO BAG

GREEN STROBE W/PETZAL

PELICAN AAA – LIFE VEST
PELICAN AAA – LIFE VEST


Link Posted: 9/23/2011 9:13:12 AM EST
Originally Posted By Skibane:
In my experience, there aren't many situations where you need a Stupidly Bright™ headlight.

99 percent of the time, a headlight that is merely Decently Bright™ is more than adequate for the job. Almost none of the situations where you need a Stupidly Bright™ light require you to wear it on your head - Usually, you can hand-carry it.

So, at the risk of muddying the waters a little more, I would suggest that you buy one or two cheap LED headlamps from your favorite local department store - anything from Eveready, Rayovac or Petzl that runs on a single AA cell should work just fine - and then order one of these bad boys for your main SHTF flashlight:

http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/4151/jetbeampa40.jpg

Runs on 4 AA cells, produces almost 470 lumens at full power for about 2.5 hours, has adjustable brightness (runs almost a full week at the lowest power setting), has a rugged carbon fiber-reinforced housing, and costs less than 80 bucks. Basically, it does everything the TK41 does, but does it with commonly-available AA cells instead - for a tad less money.


Ok, wow - that is badass.. and runs on rechargeable AA's too so that works well for solar charging. and it neatly resolves the output issue of the tk21, with a bigger brighter spot than the tk40. niiiice. well played, sir!
Link Posted: 9/23/2011 10:23:56 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/23/2011 11:23:12 AM EST
that PA40 looks good on paper. Anyone have first hand exp with the brand? I've been planning to get a TK41 for Christmas but that PA40 is alot cheaper and only needs 4 cells which might be worth the lower output. Wonder how the throw compares to others such as the TK41 or the TK21?
Link Posted: 9/23/2011 12:18:16 PM EST
This guy Review

posted this runtime plot ;



http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff97/selfbuilt/2011/4AA-HiAlka.gif
Link Posted: 9/23/2011 1:42:32 PM EST
Thanks Skibane - I have always been a fenix fan, but the jetbeam offerings seem to be a cut above, so I am getting a jetbeam.
Link Posted: 9/23/2011 3:04:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/23/2011 3:17:37 PM EST by Skibane]
Originally Posted By oldrock:
that PA40 looks good on paper. Anyone have first hand exp with the brand?


I have one - and fuckin' love it.

Physically, it is very, VERY similar to the Fenix LD40 - some of the parts look almost interchangeable - But it uses the much brighter, more efficient Cree XM-L T6 LED. The "Medium" brightness setting produces almost as much light as the LD40's "Turbo" setting - but runs for around 250 percent longer on a set of batteries.

Originally Posted By bionicmonkey:
This guy Review

posted this runtime plot ;

http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff97/selfbuilt/2011/4AA-HiEne.gif

http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff97/selfbuilt/2011/4AA-HiAlka.gif


Those run time plots are with Sanyo Eneloops, which have somewhat less capacity than the 2500 mAH batteries specified by JetBeam in rating their run-times.

Originally Posted By oldrock:
Wonder how the throw compares to others such as the TK41 or the TK21?


The TK41 will throw much, MUCH farther, at the expense of some spill. The PA40 uses an "orange peel" reflector that produces a wide, "floody" beam with a pretty large hot spot in the center. It'll light up a football field pretty well, but won't light up a radio tower several thousand feet away like the TK41 will.
Link Posted: 9/23/2011 3:28:39 PM EST
I use to try alot of flashlights and their performance always led me to find another.


I finally settled on streamlights Stirion and Stinger series lights. There both rechargable on 110 volt or 12 volt power, their LED so they are super bright and the Stirion is small enough to mount as a rifle light.

All and all, I am very happy with these two and they elliminated the need to collect batteries.

http://www.streamlight.com/product/class.aspx?cid=1

Link Posted: 9/23/2011 3:55:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By Skibane:
In my experience, there aren't many situations where you need a Stupidly Bright™ headlight.

99 percent of the time, a headlight that is merely Decently Bright™ is more than adequate for the job. Almost none of the situations where you need a Stupidly Bright™ light require you to wear it on your head - Usually, you can hand-carry it.

So, at the risk of muddying the waters a little more, I would suggest that you buy one or two cheap LED headlamps from your favorite local department store - anything from Eveready, Rayovac or Petzl that runs on a single AA cell should work just fine - and then order one of these bad boys for your main SHTF flashlight:

http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/4151/jetbeampa40.jpg

Runs on 4 AA cells, produces almost 470 lumens at full power for about 2.5 hours, has adjustable brightness (runs almost a full week at the lowest power setting), has a rugged carbon fiber-reinforced housing, and costs less than 80 bucks. Basically, it does everything the TK41 does, but does it with commonly-available AA cells instead - for a tad less money.


That looks great, and it'll take willpower not to buy it.

Just to add $.02, in the recent blackout I found that carrying around the bright flashlight (Malkoff MD2) 24/7 got to be heavy/bulky. I wanted to always carry something because you'd be halfway down to the basement during the day before you realized the power was out and you need a flashlight. I ended up using one of the Fenix E01s I got for my kids (which is only 10 lumens but is actually adequate for an awful lot in a blackout). So I got a Fenix LD-15 for that role, it has a high and low and is really small.

But if I did not already have the Malkoff, that Jetbeam would already be ordered.
Link Posted: 9/23/2011 4:28:47 PM EST
Just before I clicked buy, I found this guy
http://www.batteryjunction.com/jetbeam-jet3-m-xml.html

Same xm-l emitter, 450 lumens, but cr/18650 based like I originally was looking for in the tk21 but without the kick down to low power mode issue. It came down to standardizing on 18650 vs AA and how many charger types I could run in tandem off the solar panel at any given time.


Link Posted: 9/23/2011 5:40:12 PM EST
man that must be a really efficient setup to get those run times at that lumens rating. I am tempted to get one but that TK41 is just so much of a thrower that I may have to hold out for that one as my Christmas gift. I might just have to buy that PA-40 for myself though if I can find a deal on it. I am a sucker for bright flashlights... wife thinks Ima nut since i already have maybe 20 of them
Link Posted: 9/23/2011 9:01:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/23/2011 9:01:57 PM EST by Skibane]
Originally Posted By bionicmonkey:
Just before I clicked buy, I found this guy
http://www.batteryjunction.com/jetbeam-jet3-m-xml.html

Same xm-l emitter, 450 lumens, but cr/18650 based like I originally was looking for in the tk21 but without the kick down to low power mode issue. It came down to standardizing on 18650 vs AA and how many charger types I could run in tandem off the solar panel at any given time.


It's definitely a lot smaller and more "pocketable" - but the shorter run-time and inability to run commonly-available batteries would be deal-breakers for me.

Specialized batteries are fine for specialized applications (i.e., weapons lights, small EDC lights, etc.) - but IMO, a "workhorse" flashlight should run on the same batteries that most of your other gear runs on. Most of my other gear runs on AA cells.
Link Posted: 9/23/2011 10:27:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/23/2011 10:34:46 PM EST by fixer]
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Specialized batteries are fine for specialized applications (i.e., weapons lights, small EDC lights, etc.) - but IMO, a "workhorse" flashlight should run on the same batteries that most of your other gear runs on. Most of my other gear runs on AA cells.


BINGO!!!

for weaponlights 123s are great. but for GP stuff, AA is much cheaper to feed.

for some of the small EDC lights you can get very similar lights in either 123 or AA, but the 123s have a longer runtime and sometimes more lumens. there's a tradeoff. can't really say one is wrong and the other is right because they both work.. it's imply a matter of what fits your needs and logistics.

i'm not a big fan of AAA powered lights. have a few, but have never been entirely happy with them. Fenix has a nice 1 AA headlamp that's about $40, still need to get one of those to try, but this Jetbeam PA40 posted above that takes 4 AAs seems like a good light and cheaper than the similar Fenix. i'll have to get at least one of each now, at least by the end of the year. the Jetbeam PA40 seems to be the light that both a buddy of mine and i have been looking for recently.

whatever you use you've gotta keep a supply on hand. if you don't buy 123s in bulk yer still getting raped on the price. buy 20 or more at a time and things get better.

as a sidebar, i'll note that there's a Nebo Tac 180 light that runs on 3 AAs and runs about $30, priduces 180 lumens and looks like it could be a decent, economy priced, but bright AA light. http://www.amazon.com/Nebo-Tac-180-Army-Flashlight-5587/dp/B005FRUX28
Link Posted: 9/24/2011 6:19:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By bionicmonkey:
Just before I clicked buy, I found this guy
http://www.batteryjunction.com/jetbeam-jet3-m-xml.html

Same xm-l emitter, 450 lumens, but cr/18650 based like I originally was looking for in the tk21 but without the kick down to low power mode issue. It came down to standardizing on 18650 vs AA and how many charger types I could run in tandem off the solar panel at any given time.



FYI, coupon code "cpf2011" gets you 5% off at battery junction. Nice looking light –– if you get one, pls post a review.

-Slice


Link Posted: 9/24/2011 3:28:07 PM EST
Darn you guys... I added the PA-40 to my Christmas wish list along with the TK-41 that I have been lusting over for a couple of months. Wife does my Christmas shopping in October so I will definately be sneaking into my present early (just to function test it of course). Like others have said, I am a big fan of the AA battery platform since I have 32 eneloop cells that drive all my portable stuff.
Link Posted: 9/24/2011 4:24:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By CTF250:
I use to try alot of flashlights and their performance always led me to find another.


I finally settled on streamlights Stirion and Stinger series lights. There both rechargable on 110 volt or 12 volt power, their LED so they are super bright and the Stirion is small enough to mount as a rifle light.

All and all, I am very happy with these two and they elliminated the need to collect batteries.

http://www.streamlight.com/product/class.aspx?cid=1



no offense but main stream light makers just cant compete output wise nor price wise against companies like Fenix and jetbeam. while i do like streamlight lights my Fenix blows them away for the same price. what happens when the batteries die in either of those rechargeable lights? you cant just run down to the corner store and buy a new one. we have a couple of the Strion LED HP lights on our ambulance and they are good for that and have a nice through but the run time isnt that great for the size of the light. your looking at $25 to replace the battery. $25 worth of rechargeable AA's or even 18650's would last you a LOT longer and with the AA's you can get them anywhere rechargable or not. unlike most here, i like having a mix of batteries and lights so each like has its place. that way i dont use up all my batteries on one light and not have batteries ready to go for those just in case times.
Link Posted: 9/24/2011 6:14:21 PM EST
Originally Posted By HomeSlice:

Originally Posted By bionicmonkey:
Just before I clicked buy, I found this guy
http://www.batteryjunction.com/jetbeam-jet3-m-xml.html

Same xm-l emitter, 450 lumens, but cr/18650 based like I originally was looking for in the tk21 but without the kick down to low power mode issue. It came down to standardizing on 18650 vs AA and how many charger types I could run in tandem off the solar panel at any given time.



FYI, coupon code "cpf2011" gets you 5% off at battery junction. Nice looking light –– if you get one, pls post a review.

-Slice




ah crap - I already bought before you posted that! Will post a review.

Also - for those stating the AA vs CR that AA is better in general - please note that I will run this off rechargeable 18650's only so the "cost" to run is negligible and run off the solar panel, zero. also the availability post SHTF is irrelevant because again it continues to run off the rechargeable 18650's. Alkalines are crap for runtime as the voltage drops, and then you are stuck with the choice of chucking half-used batteries because the output is below spec or using them till dead with reduced output. if you get the rechargeable AA's then why not use the rechargeable 18650's which have more power?

Will post a review when the light shows up - should be in next friday.
Link Posted: 9/24/2011 6:41:40 PM EST
Originally Posted By bionicmonkey:
Originally Posted By HomeSlice:

Originally Posted By bionicmonkey:
Just before I clicked buy, I found this guy
http://www.batteryjunction.com/jetbeam-jet3-m-xml.html

Same xm-l emitter, 450 lumens, but cr/18650 based like I originally was looking for in the tk21 but without the kick down to low power mode issue. It came down to standardizing on 18650 vs AA and how many charger types I could run in tandem off the solar panel at any given time.



FYI, coupon code "cpf2011" gets you 5% off at battery junction. Nice looking light –– if you get one, pls post a review.

-Slice




ah crap - I already bought before you posted that! Will post a review.

Also - for those stating the AA vs CR that AA is better in general - please note that I will run this off rechargeable 18650's only so the "cost" to run is negligible and run off the solar panel, zero. also the availability post SHTF is irrelevant because again it continues to run off the rechargeable 18650's. Alkalines are crap for runtime as the voltage drops, and then you are stuck with the choice of chucking half-used batteries because the output is below spec or using them till dead with reduced output. if you get the rechargeable AA's then why not use the rechargeable 18650's which have more power?

Will post a review when the light shows up - should be in next friday.


most run rechargeable AA's because of price and if needed you can run the light off standard AA's. 18650's are nice and all but price can be an issue as well as the risk of burning your house down because of charging runaway or even shorting out of the cell while in the light. 18650's arent the best thing out there for most people. and for the price of 2 18650's and a charger you can buy 8 AA, 4 AAA and a charger which are sanyo eneloops which are probably the best batteries out there today. im with you though, i like 18650's and can usually get a few from friends when there laptop battery dies since usually there is only one bad cell out of the 6+ that causes issues.
Link Posted: 9/24/2011 6:52:40 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/24/2011 6:53:32 PM EST by Skibane]
Originally Posted By bionicmonkey:
if you get the rechargeable AA's then why not use the rechargeable 18650's which have more power?


In a word: Compatibility.

Unlike 18650's, the number of devices that can be powered with rechargeable AA cells is almost unlimited - FRS radios, GPS receivers, ham/CB/VHF marine talkies, AM/FM/shortwave portable radios, test equipment, radiation survey meters, cell phone chargers, portable TV sets, red dot sights, kerosine & propane burner ignitors, depth finders, digital cameras, motion sensors, calculators, game cameras, smoke & CO detectors...not to mention an infinite variety of flashlights and lanterns.

The 18650 format has a few advantages in certain niche applications - but adopting it as your default SHTF battery is a HUGE mistake, IMO.
Link Posted: 9/24/2011 7:09:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By bionicmonkey:
if you get the rechargeable AA's then why not use the rechargeable 18650's which have more power?


In a word: Compatibility.

Unlike 18650's, the number of devices that can be powered with rechargeable AA cells is almost unlimited - FRS radios, GPS receivers, ham/CB/VHF marine talkies, AM/FM/shortwave portable radios, test equipment, radiation survey meters, cell phone chargers, portable TV sets, red dot sights, kerosine & propane burner ignitors, depth finders, digital cameras, motion sensors, calculators, game cameras, smoke & CO detectors...not to mention an infinite variety of flashlights and lanterns.

The 18650 format has a few advantages in certain niche applications - but adopting it as your default SHTF battery is a HUGE mistake, IMO.


I have plenty of AA and AAA devices, but I dont consider it a primary for high-end lighting, where I have CR123 and 18650 as the standard battery. Mostly thats a feature of the collection of lights I have accumulated as AA based tactical lights with real output seem to be a recent innovation. AA and D cover the general purpose applications. As with Ammo, my thought process is that one should not rely on resupply so I keep a good supply of them including CR123 and have rechargeables for all. Your point is valid tho, having a single type like a single calibre would make things easier.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 3:41:47 PM EST
I think alot of people like the humble AA battery. In SHTF, it will probably be the most available battery by a long shot and I am a huge fan of the eneloop rechargables. I have 32 of them including 8 never used ones and a 110ac, 12v and solar charger which gives me a versatile way to power all my portable devices from flashlights to lanterns to radios, game cameras and even a portable alarm with motion sensor. One thing I didn't have is a really powerful flashlight that operates on AAs. That changed today since I broke down and ordered a Fenix TK-41. The thing that pushed me over the edge is learning that the TK41 can also operate with 4 batteries as long as you limit the turbo mode to short bursts and can accept about half the runtime. That feature makes it even cooler and did I mention it can light up objects about 5 football fields away!
Link Posted: 10/1/2011 10:28:03 PM EST
Originally Posted By HomeSlice:
Originally Posted By bionicmonkey:
Just before I clicked buy, I found this guy
http://www.batteryjunction.com/jetbeam-jet3-m-xml.html

Same xm-l emitter, 450 lumens, but cr/18650 based like I originally was looking for in the tk21 but without the kick down to low power mode issue. It came down to standardizing on 18650 vs AA and how many charger types I could run in tandem off the solar panel at any given time.

FYI, coupon code "cpf2011" gets you 5% off at battery junction. Nice looking light –– if you get one, pls post a review.

-Slice


Well here goes:

Took the new jet beam III M and my fenix T1 out to walk the dog tonight, with the intention of doing a little compare and contrast. Ended up using the jet beam in 2 unusual siuations and very happy yo have had it.

The build quality seems very good althouh the one item I might improve is the. Tail cap switch -it is a little mushy.. Dropped in a 18650 and it fired right up in full output mode. The beam quality is very good and as expected from the XML emitter, it has a massive floody beam with tons of spill, IMHO best for up to 100 yards, although light does go a lot further than that, it's a little dim and diffuse for my taste past that. The t1 has a much tighter spot that reaches 125 to 150 yards despite being 200 lumens less intense, but at the cost of a more tunnel vision type experience, whereas the jet beam is light a floodlight. Personally, I find the flood far more useful. Beam output was certainly believably twice the T1, and da aimed constant during the 50 minute walk.

At one point I came across a coyote about 75yards away and was easily able to light him up plus the area around him to know if there was a whole pack or what. Another incident involved a sudden barking and approach of a loose dog. The big flood mAde it easy to find it and I'd the ankle biter. He approached to about 20 yards and seemed to be too blinded to approach any further.

Still love my t1, but the jet beam is certainly my new fav.


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