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Best Red LED flashlight for amateur astronomers?

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#1 jayhall0315

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 03:22 AM

Which one is the standard so to speak?



#2 seawolfe

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 07:59 AM

Most people here tend to recommend the DIMMEST red light you can get.  The dimmer the better.  Personally, I have one of those headlamps the a lot of people, especially at star parties, detest.  But I've covered mine over with red fingernail polish so that it is very dim.

 

That said, there are two adjustable hand held flashlights you could look into.  They are both similar but put out by two different resellers.  One is by Celestron and the other that I know of is put out by Orion.  Both have a dimmer dial so that you can bring up the intensity when needed and get the light as dim as you need.

 

Check 'em out!



#3 Feidb

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 08:55 AM

I use a small flashlight with screw-on red filter over the lens. It does double duty when needed.



#4 RTLR 12

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 10:03 AM

I use a Rigel adjustable red/green flashlight. The green is great for reading charts and still maintain your night vision.

Stan

#5 izar187

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 11:25 AM

Which one is the standard so to speak?

http://rigel.datacor...flashlight.html



#6 YetAnotherHobby

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 12:25 PM

I used to own the Celestron flashlight. About the only thing I liked about it was that it was rectangular so it didn't roll off into the darkness when I set it down. But having it hanging around my neck on a lanyard meant it was always banging into the scope, and the light it provided at full blast was not really adequate (for me, at least) to easily read charts.

 

I now have an extremely tiny Petzl headlamp with a single LED that is only 26 lumens. It doesn't interfere with viewing and weighs next to nothing. Runs a long time on one watch battery. It's not obnoxiously bright but it's bright enough that I can easily read charts with it.

 

Geoff



#7 StarStuff1

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 12:46 PM

Quite a few years ago I started using an Orion DualBeam astro flashlight. I'm sure there may be better options out there but this light has served me well.



#8 bumm

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 05:13 PM

I'm very happy with my Rigel Skylite.  Turn the knob one way for white light, the other way for red light.  Both variable.

                                                                              Marty



#9 smeyer8015

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 07:36 PM

Got this at my local K-mart

 

http://www.amazon.co...B/dp/B001F0RCIC

 

Put a piece of red tail lamp repair tape over the LED section to dim down the 2 red LEDS. When switched to the single white LED, it provides and even dinner red light.

Don't accidently keep going bright Krypton lamp.

 

Scott



#10 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 11:24 PM

I have a Rigel also. Mine only has a red bulb because I am easily confused...



#11 jayhall0315

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 11:34 PM

Thanks gentlemen. I almost purchased a Rigel LED finder for my Orion XT10g, but the Telrad had slightly better reviews.  I will give the Rigel LED flashlight a shot, thanks!



#12 darkstar3d

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 01:16 AM

I bought two of the Celestron units. Not a fan of them, but they are adjustable in intensity. And I don't blind people by directly shining a bright red light in their face. That has happened to me more than once the last few months.



#13 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 11:51 AM

The only problem I have had with the Rigel is that I had to put a piece of electrical tape around the joint in the case.

 

Before the electrical tape, I kept accidentally pressing the catch that released the bulb assembly. This caused the flashlight guts to fall onto the floor of the observatory which was inconvenient and made me look even less credible in front of visitors.

 

Other than that, the light has worked well.



#14 Gastrol

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 12:17 PM

I keep a roll of 3M red vinyl tape and use that to cover the lenses of all sorts of flashlights I have laying around, including my headlamp.  The tape works quite well.



#15 mich_al

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 05:18 PM

I use the Celestron. Among its advantages it has is that it has survived being dropped many times.  The only damage is that the lens broke on one of those drops.  I've used it now a couple of years without the lens.



#16 lamplight

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 06:52 PM

The only problem I have had with the Rigel is that I had to put a piece of electrical tape around the joint in the case.

 

Before the electrical tape, I kept accidentally pressing the catch that released the bulb assembly. This caused the flashlight guts to fall onto the floor of the observatory which was inconvenient and made me look even less credible in front of visitors.

 

Other than that, the light has worked well.

Me too! Same problem. Pita. They have a new design out that hopefully is better. In all other regards its a good rugged, long lasting red,led that dims nicely. 



#17 bumm

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 10:58 AM

My Rigel Skylite has never fallen apart, so maybe I have the newer design.  It's easy for me to remember which way to turn the knob for red or white light, too.  (forward for white, backwards for red.)  My only gripe was that the lens lights up around the edge.  I painted that flat black, because I hate any light coming back at me.

                                                                                             Marty



#18 SteveG

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 03:44 PM

I purchased a Rigel just a few years ago. I didn't care for the larger size, but it got good reviews so I wanted to give it a try.

 

There was not much to like about this light. It has a translucent body, so the red or blue light spills out around the edges of the body, and in your eyes where you don't want it. The dimming wheel was stiff and hard to adjust. The body uses rubber grommets at its joints, so it feels loose, like it's coming apart in your hand. It lasted exactly 2 seasons, before the dimming wheel broke off. The wheel failed and the hub where it attaches to the shaft, so there was no repairing it.

 

It looks like they've redesigned these lights since mine, so you might have better luck.

 

I've had an Orion dual beam for 25 years that works excellent, has a solid feel and fits nicely in your pocket.



#19 jayhall0315

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 06:46 PM

Just out of curiosity, what do you veterans think about this model:

 

http://www.amazon.co...=I2OM06PW90A8ZK

 

Several reviewers note it is excellent for astronomy purposes and it seems much better made than the Orion, Celestron or Rigel models.



#20 izar187

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 08:11 PM

Ideally you want adjustable red.

So that it can be dimmed down to an absolute minimum, for true retinal dark adaptation.

 

In truth, if the light is small enough, then you can close your fingers together over the end of it , before bringing it to shine on your chart or data tables.

Then you let out only enough of the beam to show you the smallest part of the page you need, with the least amount of red light you can see it with. 



#21 backwoody

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 09:16 PM

Just out of curiosity, what do you veterans think about this model:

 

http://www.amazon.co...=I2OM06PW90A8ZK

 

Several reviewers note it is excellent for astronomy purposes and it seems much better made than the Orion, Celestron or Rigel models.

I think this light would be too big and too bright.  Might be OK when packing up to leave, but 3 LEDs is too much when viewing.  Look for a red light that you can dim, or with variable intensity.



#22 OrlandoMatt

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 12:43 PM

Yeah those headstrap lights that do bright, brighter, and red work great, I use mine every viewing session.  Or if you want a really good cheap one, go over to any Army/Navy store and ask them for a "Moonbeam" :)



#23 Rocketlawnchair

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 03:41 PM

Another vote for the Rigel dimmable light.  I would never buy a light without a variable dimmer now.



#24 steveyo

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 04:18 PM

Yeah, I just use a $20 little headlamp from the local hardware store, with white and red beams.  I have a couple around the house and I always take the one with lowest batteries to keep it from ruining night-vision. I'm probably going to find some of that red tape to dim it further.



#25 Glen A W

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 02:28 PM

The Rigels are good when they are new.  I bought two, a small one and a big one, in April.  The rheostat (or is it a potentiometer?) is already going bad in the large one.  I cannot get the really dim light any more.  The small one is actually brighter on the white setting and it does not shine light around the edge of the lens when you use it.  But, if you drop it, it will fly apart and you may lose the black parts in the grass.  And, the thumbwheel came loose from the rheostat and had to be glued on in addition to tightening the screw.

 

What I really like these two lights for is hanging from the focuser on my Dobs at start parties.  It gives a nice clear red view of the base and where to stand when looking through it.

 

Glen




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