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In the last few years I’ve had various small LED flashlights ? including one very convenient one that just recharged in the 12v outlet in my Ranger. That one stopped working after a year. There seems to be as many flashlights on the market as there are belly buttons. I know there are the high powered LED’s that could light an outside Christmas bonfire ? from 50 feet away but that’s not what I need. I just need something compact and reliable and I think for no more than $50 and could last for hopefully 5 at least years. Any suggestions?
 

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I prefer LED flashlights/headlamps that use replaceable batteries. Rechargeable batteries in cheaper LED flashlights do not last, in my experience - but then, I have not bought any of the high end LED flashlights. My go to flashlights are the now defunct Walmart Ozark Trail brand two AA cell aluminum LED flashlights.
 

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I think I used a mini Maglite (AA battery size) back in my pizza days (pre cell phones). Small enough to fit in a pocket, tough enough to survive drops, but not especially bright.

I have a C battery size Maglite in the garage, which rarely gets used, but kills batteries anyway.

Neither of those is LED.

In October, I bought a Coleman LED flashlight for my RV, at an outlet in NY. This has an awesome feature that separates the batteries from the circuitry and is supposed to keep them from draining when not in use.

Would love to hear of better ideas.

Mike
 

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Headlamp? I don’t want to blind the customers. If only I had clothes that could glow and light up everything around me? I could see it now customers dogs ? going nuts watching me walking up to the front door looking like I was from outer space.
 

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Pen style light, I have one similar to that.
 

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I think I used a mini Maglite (AA battery size) back in my pizza days (pre cell phones). Small enough to fit in a pocket, tough enough to survive drops, but not especially bright.

I have a C battery size Maglite in the garage, which rarely gets used, but kills batteries anyway.

Neither of those is LED.

In October, I bought a Coleman LED flashlight for my RV, at an outlet in NY. This has an awesome feature that separates the batteries from the circuitry and is supposed to keep them from draining when not in use.

Would love to hear of better ideas.

Mike
This is the one I bought, appears to be discontinued?

https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-verizon&ei=r4jOXdffJs2Kggei24LACA&q=coleman+silver+flashlight+&oq=coleman+silver+flashlight+&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.3..33i160.1652.12589..13540...0.1..0.127.1562.0j14......0....1.........0i71j0i67j0j0i273j0i131j0i22i30j33i299.Zc0Lu2c1tz4#imgrc=HhLRtHKmCzq3OM:&scso=_C4rOXYmWBJHm_QagyqCYAQ50:2772.952392578125.71435546875.761962890625.666748046875.1904296875.90478515625.90478515625.428466796875.952392578125.2857666015625.2857666015625.90478515625.142822265625.1904296875.7142333984375.1904296875.047607421875.047607421875.8095092773438.5714416503906.71429443359375.952381134033203

This one has a normal of/off switch.
To lock the battery, you need to turn the bezel. Looks like they integrated the battery lock feature into the switch on the newer ones.

I bought the silver one because I got tired of trying to find a black flashlight in the dark...

Mike
 

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I have an "Atomic Beam" flashlight that was a Christmas gift..its an adjustable LED one that can focus the light beam to a small square,or "flood" a large area..it is very bright and fairly rugged,you may have seen the TV commercials for it ,a company called "Bulb Head" is who imports them...

I have probably a dozen of those little LED flashlights that take one AA battery,they work well but the aluminum casing needs to have the cap threads greased with vaseline or something similar,otherwise it will "weld" itself to the case and you'll destroy it trying to unscrew the cap to replace the battery..
I carry at least one on me all the time,my sight isn't that great and I need a bright light to see things better..

I never cared for the Maglite ones,they had the same issue with the cap corroding from battery juice and welding together permanently..the bulbs are expensive,break fairly easily,and the batteries do not last long in the bigger ones either..

If you get anything from Harbor Freight that uses batteries,I suggest getting rid of the cheap crappy batteries that come with the item--they like to weep and destroy the contacts and circuit board inside the LED flashlights,or weld the cap on !..

I wouldn't buy their batteries either..I use mostly Panasonic or Sunbeam batteries from the dollar store,or Energizer or Duracell's..worth it,you get what you pay for..
I have a Duracell in one flashlight that has an expiration date of 2002 ,its still bright and my multi-meter says its still making 1.45 volts!..and it shows no sign of leakage..
 

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I think I used a mini Maglite (AA battery size).....Small enough to fit in a pocket, tough enough to survive drops, but not especially bright.

I have a C battery size Maglite in the garage, which rarely gets used, but kills batteries anyway.
Mike
.....
I never cared for the Maglite ones,they had the same issue with the cap corroding from battery juice and welding together permanently..the bulbs are expensive,break fairly easily,and the batteries do not last long in the bigger ones either..
Ditto on Maglites. I have a Mini Mag that was converted to led back in the day with an expensive kit from Maglite plus a larger "D" cell powered Maglite and both eat batteries in no time flat. I quit using them altogether except for on demand extreme emergency situations.
 

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Headlamp? I don’t want to blind the customers. If only I had clothes that could glow and light up everything around me? I could see it now customers dogs ? going nuts watching me walking up to the front door looking like I was from outer space.
So I'm thinking you won't consider this..?
 

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At the time (pre-Nirvana, early 90s), they were the best you could buy, and were standard issue for police (the D battery size can double as a club). Other than converting the line to LED, they don't appear to have developed much since then.

Mike
 

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Get a Surefire light if you want ultimate reliability. I've had my 6P since 2009. It was originally incandescent but I converted it to LED via a Malkoff drop-in module soon after purchasing it. Works as good as ever and SF stands behind their lifetime warranty if you do have a light that fails. I just sent in an old LX2 that I've carried & used daily since 2013 (?) to them, it still worked but was getting dim and I could see what looked like discoloration on the emitter (the actual LED) so I called them up, got an RMA and that light is on its way back to Surefire as I type this. The rep said if they can't fix it and don't have any more of that model in inventory, they'll send me a brand new EDCL2-T (WAY newer/better model) and given my experience with them in the past I have no reason to doubt his word.

This one seems to fit the bill for you. It's 2 mode so you don't need to use the full brightness of it unless you want to, and I see them on Amazon for a little over $55 for the two mode version.

https://www.surefire.com/illumination/flashlights/g2x-pro.html

It may not be for you however, as it uses CR123 lithium batteries which are reasonably priced if bought direct from Surefire BUT Surefire also sells rechargeable ones for it too.

And no I don't work for SF nor am I sponsored in any way. It's just that I am really impressed by their service, and that means a lot these days.
 

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Okay I'm back. Had to jump out of here for a bit but I also wanted to say a few more things.

Elzetta reportedly makes good lights as well, I'd be willing to try one of their products if I needed another light right now. Lifetime warranty. I have no personal experience with these guys at all. https://www.elzetta.com/

Streamlight is pretty decent, not my first choice anymore but I have had a couple of their products as backup or work lights. Lifetime warranty but I have no experience with their warranty process. https://www.streamlight.com/

Surefire and Elzetta are made in USA, or were last time I checked. They probably do use some foreign components like emitters but whatever, and I'm not sure where Streamlight makes their stuff.

As far as the Chinese lights go, well there are some decent brands and not so decent brands. If you're truly interested in a good light that will last you awhile, I recommend checking in over at CPF (https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forum.php) and doing some reading and/or post the same question you asked here.

Seems like a lot for a simple flashlight, but at one point I was where you are now. Got tired of Maglite always failing on me so I went to a Streamlight TL-2, then Surefire 6P, E2L, LX2, EDCL2-T in that order, and with that LX2 out for repair or replacement, I may end up with a second EDCL2-T. My one buddy still likes his LED Maglites but he also tells me I can tear up an anvil with a glass hammer and that he's never had trouble with his mags. Hmm. All of mine started flickering!

Just shop around and don't be afraid to spend some money on a real light. Nothing is indestructible but usually you get what you pay for but (sometimes you DON'T get what you paid for)! Find a reputable company and you'll probably find a light that you'll never need to replace again.
 

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While you're trying to decide pick one of these up for $4 with a 20% off coupon. I bought one last night. Had been using the cheap $1 LEDs and thought it might be marginally better.

Holy cow this thing lights up a nice area w/o being harsh. 50yds long by 30ft wide in my pitch black field. My others would barely light 10ft in front of you. Great buy.

https://www.harborfreight.com/3-34-In-32-LED-Flashlight-63735.html
 

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I like my headlights. Did not think I would till I tried one a customer loaned me. Now its about all I use. The hands free operation is great. Try walking on ceiling joist in a attic with tools in one hand and materials in the other or any other two handed operation were the light beam needs to follow you. Both have adjustable led beams and an irritating strobe.
 

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Both have adjustable led beams and an irritating strobe.
Hahaha "irritating" strobe, I love it! I personally refuse to buy any headlight, flashlight, worklight... ANY light... that has a strobe and/or blinking feature as part of the main cycle of the thing. I hate having to click through the useless (and as you said, irritating) blinky modes every time I use the light, so I refuse to buy them anymore. This puts a LOT of lights out of the question for me but most of those are junk anyway.
 
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