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TM reader John writes: “I’m a stagehand, so I like to always have a small, bright flashlight on me tucked in my hip pocket.  But I was tired of losing my preferred (and expensive) Surefire Executive.  I took a chance on the Cree on eBay and it ROCKS. Smaller, brighter than the Surefire, LED, and CHEAP — $23 instead of $80! Construction is excellent – already dropped it a few times, no problem.”

I’ll admit that I’m skeptical — you gotta love when eBay sellers keep their IDs private.  Maybe it’s coated in lead-based black paint.  Anyway, while I’ve been happy with numerous cheap LED flashlights, I’ve yet to find a really bright one under the $40 mark.  But I’m a sucker for stuff like this.  Do any of you have experience with it?

Cree Cheap-Ass LED Flashlight [eBay]


11 Responses to eBay: Another Cheap-Ass LED Flashlight

  1. Kyle says:

    Go to dealextreme.com and search for cree. You will find many different models, some under $10 with free shipping. I’ve been ordering miscellaneous crap from them about a year now. All of it has decent. They have some really cheap precision screwdriver sets too. If you don’t use them often, but want them around, you can beat the price.

  2. Larry says:

    Looks pretty good, but the thing that raises a flag in my book is where it is coming from. Hong Kong is a long ways away to ship a small flashlight from. They do have a lot of positive feedback, however if you search the feedback and look for the negative ones, they read “took over a month to arrive” or some did not even recieve it. Others say that the seller does not respond to e-mails or questions. Other negative feedbacks are in foreign languages and I don’t have the patience to decode them to english… If it were me I would find a light from a seller closer to home.

    For what it is worth: I bought a cheap ($2.50) LED flashlight off the counter at my local Advance Auto parts. It is about 3″ long, has 3 AAA batteries in it, a push button switch on the butt of the light, and has 9 bright LED’s in it. Says Performance Tool on the case. I have had it for a couple of months, and haven’t even had to put in new batteries in it yet, and it gets used and abused in my tool box…

  3. Aaron Baca says:

    I wouldn’t touch an ebay flashlight with a ten-foot pole made of 5-dollar lithium batteries. If you go to Amazon, you can find plenty of Cree-powered LED lights. I just picked up a Fenix P1D-CE with a 5-watt Cree for $75.00 shipped second day. Not cheap by any measure, but certainly more economical than a Surefire by a long shot. If you do get a 123-cell powered light, be sure to pick up a rechargeable battery. It’ll pay for itself in 5 charges.
    This little light is stupid-bright and the same size as my thumb. You’ll get made fun of until you fire it up.

  4. Blind says:

    the few things I’ve heard about dealextreme.com seem to support that they are a decent company. Maybe not the quickest to ship to you though.

    I’ve got a Ledwave X-33 which i definitely think could be better (more durable lens for the main complaint) but I’ve been really happy with it.

  5. Dan says:

    Another vote for dealextreme. They can sometimes take a long while to ship things, and it’s not always obvious if that’ll happen or not, but things do eventually get through, and they’re certainly cheap, and have a stupidly large range of LED flashlights (normal, Luxeon, Cree, SSC, etc).

  6. perruptor says:

    Another recommendation for dealextreme. I’ve bought from them a bunch of times. Here’s what’s good about them:
    * Low prices on mostly reasonable-quality goods
    * FREE air-mail shipping. It takes about two weeks to the East Coast of the U.S.
    * They have user reviews, so if an item is a dog, you can find out before buying.
    * They are responsive. A battery charger I bought arrived with a broken plastic cover. I told them, and they replaced the whole thing without asking for the broken one back. Now I have two.
    * They accept PayPal.
    * My experience is that they email a shipping notice when they put the package in the mail.

    If you can wait two weeks, it’s worth it.

    A similar HK store is kaidomain.com. Similar merchandise, also low prices, PayPal, and free airmail, but no user reviews, and seemingly less responsive. Also, they put meaningless names on all their merchandise, sort of like Ikea, but using English words.

  7. Ron says:

    I use Husky LED lights. Brinkmann is fine too. Always carry a small light as U never know when U will need it. Ive been in quakes in buildings when lights went out and only light was my own. With our crazy times its best to be prepared for the worst.

  8. SC300 says:

    Yet another vote for DealExtreme. All of the stuff one buys at a retail store is made in China anyway. Why not get it cheap and straight from the source? I got a tactical flashlight with a Cree Q5 from there for $13. It works incredibly well and it’s pretty well built. I can’t even look at $80 Surefires anymore without laughing.

    Two caveats about DX though:
    1. Their stuff goes out via Hong Kong post, so it will get there in 2-4 weeks. If you need it now, buy somewhere else.
    2. Lame Paypal regulations have prevented them from shipping awsomely cheap shurikens and burning lasers (they used to carry and ship both).

  9. Marcus says:

    The flashlight looks pretty good.
    But it’s a little expensive.

  10. James says:

    Nice flashlight!
    I too have ordered successfully from dealextreme.
    Just one thing I’d like to point out, cree is not the brand of the flashlight.
    Cree is the name of the manufacturer who makes the led’s.
    Good brands to go for are romisen and ultrafire

  11. dave says:

    The thing people need to understand about Dealextreme flashlights is that they keep costs down using low cost materials (besides the LED itself), and it bodes ill for longevity and reliability.

    You may get a light and find metal burrs inside short it out or it needs anodization sanded off to make the intended electrical contact, or that it isn’t really waterproof as claimed, or not as bright as claimed, or can’t run off the full voltage range claimed, or it needs stripped down and all bare aluminum areas (that are to conduct electricity) need oxidation removed periodically.

    Their lights are a great value if you have the time to troubleshoot them and give them some TLC when needed, but they are not reliable enough nor long enough lasting to be reasonable if reliable lighting is crucial to your job… when it fails and you lose a lot of time or can’t get a job done, suddenly the initial purchase price savings seems not worth it.

    Obviously some of their lights are better than others. Some of the most reliable are the stainless steel models with twisty switch (because the stainless doesn’t have the oxidation degradation of electrical contact issues that the aluminum ones does, and the cheap tailcap switches they use do not last many cycles before failing). However a stainless light is significantly heavier than same thing in aluminum.

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