Harbor Freight has an LED 3-cell flashlight for $20 that I think will be of
interest. I bought one the other day, and I am very pleased with it. It is
build like a Mag-light in quality, and puts out about as much light as a
normal 3-cell flashlight, but uses about half the power--about 2/3 watt. My
big metal Eveready flashlight uses about 1 1/3 watts. My 2-cell Rayovac
uses even more: 1.5 watts.
The light pattern of the LED light is different. Instead of a "spot" of
light, it throws sort of a "cloud." At first it seemed strange, but I think
it is actually better, because the light is very even, not having light and
dark bands and streaks.
Usual disclaimer--I have no financial interest in or connection to Harbor
We live 50 miles from one of their stores, but had to be in the neighborhood
last weekend. Unfortunately, they were sold out of the flashlights, which I
was going to buy. Thanks for the report. I'll get one for sure now.
"Leo Lichtman" wrote:
I have a 'Inova X5' 5 diode light a neighbor gave me for Christmas last
I like it fine! Like other's have noted, it's only good as a close range
flood, but thats 97% of my flashlight use anyway. It's a little shorter
and larger in diameter than a AA Mini Mag, but about the same size all
in all. It's light is very white... especially viewed side by side with
a regular flashlight.
It has a good bit of 'on' time on it's original batteries, but hasn't
noticeably dimmed. It uses 2 3V Lithium #123 cells that look like they
may be expensive.
I also have one of those little single diode, button cell keychain
lights another neighbor gave me. At first I didn't see myself having
much use for it, but now wouldn't be without. It's great, use it several
times a week. Thought it would be tough on the button cells, but doesn't
seem to be...
I've had one of those on my keychain for years. The boss was always
sending me off to check on the serial numbers of computers under
somebody's desk and that was just the thing to see well enough to read
numbers, and no trouble to keep with me all the time.
"Karl Vorwerk" wrote:
I've got one of those strapped to the .30-06 "lion tamer" I needed to
start carrying about 2 months ago. A mountain lion in the area has
decided that we run a "lion snack bar", and has helped himself to a
sheep hors d'oveur twice now - So I don't step out the door
(particularly after sundown) without the rifle in hand and ready for
action. I like the weight (or lack of it) of this little light for the
purpose, but the jury still hasn't returned a verdict on it overall. I
do note that it's definitely a close range light source - Beyond about
20 feet, everything goes "soft focus", and out beyond about 15 yards,
the only things you can actually see with it are highly reflective
items. (license plates, bike/car/roadside reflectors, critter eyeballs,
etc) I'm sorta down on the way it seems "foggy" - Not sure what that's
about, but when I turn it on, it's more or less like being in a really
light fog - Nowhere near enough to intefere significantly with vision,
but somewhat distracting. I've known for years that I see a tiny
distance into the UV band, and suspect I'm catching just the very edge
of the UV spillover from it. The idea at least makes some sense, since
the "white" LEDs are, operationally, a lot like a flourescent light -
They actually make UV as their "native light", which causes a phosphor
"translator" to glow in the visible range to actually produce the useful
light - the idea makes even more sense when I think about the fact that
I get an almost identical "haze" off regular flourescent bulbs.
Plus: long battery life - Streamlight has had one set of batteries,
still going strong, since I started using it. My 3-D Mag-lite is on its
second set, with less run-time on it, and it's looking like I'll want to
put a fresh set in it within the next week or two.
Plus: Compact and lightweight
Plus: vibration (like being strapped to a fired gun) seems to be a
non-issue for it, unlike conventional flashlights whose bulbs tend to
give up after just a few shots. (Longest I've ever had a Mag-lite of any
size in such an application last has been 9 shots before the filament
broke and left me in the dark)
Minus: Short range
Minus: The "Flourescent haze"
Minus: (And this one for me is a big one after being used to Mag-lites)
Fixed-focus beam .
All in all, it's one of those "neat gadget - but is it *REALLY* useful,
or is it a short-lived gimmick?" items. I'm still trying to decide. (And
pondering mount-rings to sling the Mag-lite on the rifle)
On Fri, 05 Nov 2004 15:09:00 GMT, Don Bruder
vaguely proposed a theory
......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
Just as well he has not decided to go for a horse's doover! *****************************************************
Have you noticed that people always run from what
they _need_ toward what they want?????
Without him being in *SERIOUSLY* desperate mode, he's not likely to
tackle a full-size horse. One of the several ponies or one of the
mini-donks wandering around the place, on the other hand, might look at
least somewhat like an entree. A situation I'd be far less than pleased
with. As far as I'm concerned, the sheep are 150% expendable - I hate
the damn things. Stupidest creatures on the planet. I swear the entire
species time-shares a grand total of three - count 'em, THREE -
brain-cells amongst 'em. But since part of my "earn my keep" involves
keeping the stupid, stinking, ugly, mindlessly blatting things alive...
For my nickel, the lion is welcome to the sheep. And the sooner he wipes
the last of them out, the happier I'll be. Downside is that in the
process, he gets the idea this is the local lion-deli, and when the
sheep are gone, he moves on to the ponies and/or donks. Not to mention
the perils of living with a lion coming and going...
In the balance, I've got nothing personal against him (or her) aside
from the "Oh shit - lions eat humans, too..." consideration, and in
fact, I thank him heartily for killing two of the worthless sheep, but I
do have a problem with threats to the equines. And that problem tends to
manifest as the threatener developing an acute case of lead poisoning.
A single 1-watt Luxeon LED can compare favorably with a Mini-Mag 2AA
in brightness and "reach".
It is certainly possible to make one of those adjustable from flood
to spot by changing the position of the LED in the parabolic
reflector. I don't know of a commercial offering that does this, but
they probably exist. Luxeon's work best in a reflector a bit larger
than found on a minimag because the Luxeon itself is a bit larger
(about .236" dia) than the tiny bulb in a minimag 2AA. A reflector
1" dia or larger works quite well. The best small reflectors I've
found are the ones that come with the expensive replacement bulbs for
Pelican lights. They're machined out of aluminum and are a deep
parabola that works very well with a Luxeon. Ya just have to machine
enough off of the back of the reflector to get the Luxeon into it.
The streamlight "tasklight" (which uses a Luxeon) also has an
excellent reflector but it's not very adjustable. I don't like that
light because it relies on contact thru the rear threads of the body
that can be flakey.
I think there are Luxeon "modules" that you can put in some Maglight
bodies, but that would probably be offensively heavy for rifle-mount.
On vacation in Wales, I saw a sign, "Slow Sheep". How true.
On the other hand, young ones are quite tasty and a wool blanket
is nice to have on a cold winter's night.
As for being the stupidest creatures on the planet, I guess you
have never driven in a country where reindeer wander across the
Here in Southern California a woman out mountain biking almost
got eaten by one a few months ago. It developed into a tug-of-war
between her friends and the lion.
Also in California, about a year or so ago, an older gentleman
was attacked by one, but he survived by cutting the lion's throat
with his pocket knife!
Do you think it could be practical to mount a reflector type Luxeon LED
*under* the barrel of a rifle? That "Home Depot" lantern you fixed up for
me is brighter than the 'original' and weighs only 11.5 oz. It is 4 inches
diam and 4 inches long. I've dropped it on the floor and havent broken it
I have never actually calibrated it, but I am confident that anything big
enough to be seen at 100 yards will be brightly illuminated by this stubby
lantern with the LED. The spot in probably 10 or 15 feet diam at 100
I got a couple from Princess Auto. One is a 12 LED, 3D cell unit, the
others are 3 led 3 AA units - blue LEDS
Both types work VERY well. The big one cost me $17 Canadian, and the
little ones $4.88 Canadian each, IIRC.
Aluminum construction, just like a Maglite.
You either haven't seen one using a Luxeon, prefer taking your shots
from at least 50 meters or have really bad night vision. I can count
shingles on my neighbor's roof from that distance with a light I made
using a 3-watt Luxeon, though my night vision sure ain't what it was
40 years ago.
This is just a luxeon side-shooter mounted in a base. $39.95 but if
you have a lathe you could make it for under $10. I wouldn't use the
side-shooter, though. I've had better performance in parabolic
reflectors with the lambertian high-dome Luxeons. I know that's
counter-intuitive, but that's what I (and others) have found.
On that same site is the Pelican "recoil: whole light for $44 or so.
"Recoil" has nothing to do with rifles; they mount the LED backwards
shining at the reflector. This design might not survive recoil or
shock well, depends on how they mount the LED.
Yes, but for rifle mount I might use a smaller reflector. BTW, that
weight is with batteries; the basic light only weighs a few ounces.
4 AA cells would run it just fine, though only for a couple of hours.
The reflector out of a D-size maglight works well if ya cut the back
off of it -- the blue part. It doesn't work as well as the big guy,
but it does pretty well -- considerably brighter and better beam
collimation than a 3-cell maglight.
[ ... ]
[ ... ]
Mine (the one marked "Smith & Wesson" from MSC uses two normal
AA cells, so the cost is a lot lower.
Note that the usual clue that the batteries are getting weak
(light gets more orange) does not work with these. There is no color
shift -- I simply notice a major increase in brightness when I replace
the batteries after some weeks of use. (And, yes -- the batteries do
last a lot longer than the Mini MagLite with equivalent hours of use.)