Originally Posted by PharmrJohn
OK. $149 for a flashlight? $249? OMG. Sorry, I am a newb........and I am going to ask. Why? No I haven't tried one. I can see that coming up. I did a little research. Just a little. I am actually in the market for a good little flashlight, but there is no way on God's Green Earth that I am going to spend that kind of cash on a flashlight. Well.....at least until I have tried one out.
How about the TK20? Seems reasonably priced. I can see spending $50. And telling the wife I spent $20. Is that wrong?
My CCW light is a Surefire G2 ($34). As it comes, that is 65 lumens and is pretty bright. I added the 120 lumen lamp ($25), it takes 15 seconds to drop in and makes the light a non-lethal weapon at close range. From across a parking space at night or dark room it will wipe out your target's vision. At 20 feet it's like pressing you eyeballs to a truck's high-beams. So I leave the 120 lamp in always.
I carry it in a Raines pouch ($12), with 2 spare batteries.
At 120 lumen, that's about 20 minutes of effective light for 2 batteries. The 123 lithium batteries cost $12 for 6 or $4 for 2. (Surefire comes with a pair inside; never by one if it doesn't include the first batteries.)
So for $83 I carry my G2 and spare 2 spare batteries. In perspective, my CCW light is still cheaper than any of my wife's trips to JC Penny or Stage. Hell, I bought a new pair of summer weight Belleville boots today and the cheapest pair was $99.
About those $150 and $250 lights. What you get with those is less size, weight, and most important, multi or dual mode lights. That is, you can use it like a normal light and extend the battery life 3x, or use it like a tac light which is a weapon in its own category really.
My G2...it's just good for turning night to day. I wouldn't use it to try and read in the car at night or such...but in any limited visibility emergency it's worth the $83 to have it on my belt when I'm not at work.
I use the $300 lights at work. But Uncle Sam buys those. Mounted under a PEQ-15A, I suppose Surefires are chump change. I've been accustomed to those lights, and can say fairly confidently, that in CCW use most of the features on those you won't need with maybe the exception for those that demand the smallest and lightest 120 lumen device.
If you really wanted to go cheaper...I saw the Streamlight Scorpions recently. It's a 120 lumen LED light about the size of a G2. Brightest LED I ever saw. Uses the same batteries but runs about 3 hours, supposedly. They are less than $50. Make sure you find the Scorpion C4, it meets the DoD minimum specs. If I was boycotting Surefire, a C4 would be my next choice.
Tranter said something I really think is very wise. A light like a Surefire is an investment. And he said there are things to economise on and things not.
You either understand value vs need or you don't. Some people will buy a $1,500 Italian bird gun or a $900 deer rifle, but then buy a $30 Chinese knife. Which are you likely to need more often? A good knife of course.
Same thing with a light. A $600 CCW pistol and either no light or some $10 Wal-Mart mag-light? It does not get a good grade on the common sense exams.
One last thing. An insanely bright light in your hand applied at the onset of a confrontation can cause a threat to retreat before you even need to present your pistol. That alone is worth a lot of $$.