I've purchased tactical lights and lasers from Dealextreme and I've not been very happy with most of their products.
They ARE bright, but they fail easily. Every single gun mounted flashlight or laser has failed after a few trips to the range. All of them. They just can't handle the shock.
Several have arrived in non-functional
condition and warranty replacement is a pain in the ass and takes too long.
I've also purchased battery chargers and one actually caught fire. Most of the others died after a few sessions. Most of the CR123 rechargeables I've gotten also die after a few cycles
The hand held stuff is fine if it arrives in working condition. Don't drop it or get it wet.
All of them had Cree LEDs but I don't think the LEDs are failing. I think it's the switches and the overall build quality.
Another thing to note about LEDs. They give no warning of imminent death like a dimming incandescent. Sometimes it will flicker for second then its darkness. It's on, then off. Sometimes if you wait a bit you can get it to come back on for a few seconds but that's it.
Also, rechargeables also don't hold a long standby charge. They discharge when not in use much faster than conventional batteries.
You can buy good quality industrial versions of Duracell and Energizer at industrial supply places for plumbers and electricians and such. They are much cheaper in bulk and I've had good success with Energizer Industrials of all sizes.
Even the crappy quality stuff can have a place. Like before TSHTF.It's cheap enough to be disposable.Make sure you have backups and good quality stuff for when TSHTF. You don't want to risk you and your families lives on flashlights that die when you have an intruder.
I’ve recommended DealExtreme because of the great prices, free shipping world wide and overal good quality.
Of course the flashlights are no Surefires or Fenix, but I still think DX is worth mentioning with those warnings, not top quality and the shipping and customer care can be a bit ineffective.
Having said that, I’ve bought 7 LED flashlights so far, and they all work well. The black keychian LEDs I bought (10 pack) was very cheap, lights are ok, and only one had a flicking problem. Still, cheap and the 9 others work well, 11 hours of light and can stand a fair amount of abuse.
The flashlights I own and reviewed here in the past, they do get dim before losing power completely. But It’s FAR better performance than incandescent bulbs. Beisdes, multimode LEDs can run for over a day in low mode.
Here are the reviews in case anyone wants to take a look:
Gear review: Flashlight and charger
As you correctly explain, Cree LED emitters aren’t the problem. After all, it’s the same LED used in much more expensive lights such as Fenix flashlights. (which are just excellent and I love the one I have)
The problem is quality control and build. I mostly bought items with 3 or 4 stars, and very good comments, so I suppose that helped. Minor issures such as tightening a loose lamp or adding some silicone arent much of a problem, at least in my opinon.
There’s lots of junk, but there’s also some nice LED flashlights in DX. I say so because I just like some of their stuff. There’s no affiliate program so, unlike Amazon, I don’t get a single buck if people buy there, I just think there are some good deals to be found and is worth recommending (with those warnings)
As for gun mounted weapons, forget it. You need to buy a very well made light to take the shock. Maybe modding it with a better switch, more silicone or even hot glue to tighten things up, but its better to get a quality weapon light.
Something like this is needed:
Streamlight TLR Tactical Lights Tactical Light
or if you have the money for it, something like this ....(drooling)
Streamlight Flashlight Weapon Lights TLR-2 w/Laser
Same with scopes. There are a few at DX but I doubt they can take the shock, at least in most cases.
The Trustfure RCR123 batteries and Nano charger, I have a couple chargers and several batteries, both have worked well for me so far, and I use them often.
After some testing, use and trowing around, I keep this 10 buck Q2 Trustfire light in my nightable. I’ve used it enough and ended up trusting the little light a lot.
UltraFire WF-602C Cree Q2-WC 5-Mode 150-Lumen LED
As always, best thing to do is test stuff. Sometimes you find items like these, cheap and functinal.