By - DwayneCarterTheThird
I think the best deer spotting light on the market right now is probably the [Manker MK37](http://www.mankerlight.com/manker-mk37-compact-lightweight-searchlight/). It's similar to an RT90, but uses a TIR optic instead of a reflector. The TIR optic has much less spill up close, which makes it easier on the eyes at night. It doesn't have integrated charging, so you'll need a battery charger. It uses the sbt90.2 emitter, which is just ridiculously bright and throwy.
The [Manker U22 Gen3](http://www.mankerlight.com/manker-u22-iii-pm1-sft40-usb-c-rechargeable-long-range-flashlight/) with sft-40 emitter is a single cell light with the same TIR optic, and should give a slightly more toned down experience. It has integrated usb-c charging though. You can get this with the sbt90.2 emitter also, but battery life will be measured in minutes.
[Acebeam](https://www.killzoneflashlights.com/collections/flashlights/acebeam) also makes some great lights. The L18 and L19 are good TIR throwers, that include usb-c charging on the battery, so you will still have to take it out to charge. The K30gt is a sbt90.2 sodacan like the MK37, but uses a reflector. It does have a nice carry handle, and much better thermal performance, but you'll still need a separate charger.
The [Convoy 4x18A](https://www.reddit.com/r/flashlight/comments/p4z7sp/grizzlys_convoy_guide/) is pretty much just a RT90 in size, but less expensive. It's got usb-c charging on the light, and a UI that isn't great, but isn't absolutely terrible either. It's one of the best value sbt90.2 sodacans you can buy. Aliexpress links are blocked on reddit, so I linked to Grizzly's Convoy Guide, which has good links.
I will say, anything using the sbt90.2 emitter is not going to run off of the charging cable. You'll need the batteries. It'll charge the batteries at like 2 Amps or so, but that emitter pulls 15-20 Amps easily.
EDIT: Added links
Awesome! I appreciate all the recs. I'm curious tho, what would you recommend for a non sodacan style thrower? Something thats got a little better battery without trading off distance too much
The Manker U22 Gen 3, Acebeam L18 and Acebeam L19 that mezekaldon already mentioned are great non-sodacan ones.
The L18 and L19 can use the batteries with a USB-C port built into them as mentioned, and they'll last longer on a battery because the LED they use isn't super power hungry. They are definitely spotlights, with very little spill. the beam is narrow, but plenty big for spotting deer at distance. You can always keep a spare battery in the car to swap out if it gets low.
The U22 Gen 3 with sft-40 LED (not sbt90.2) will use a bit more power and therefore have less battery life than the acebeams (though still pretty good), and will step down from heat on turbo sooner than the Acebeams. The benefit is it will have a larger hotspot which could be an advantage depending on the intended range. There is also a version of the U22 III with the same LED as the Acebeam L18 (the osram CSLPM1) that performs the exact same as the L18.
Just keep in mind the range your dad will be spotting deer at - that will dictate what he needs. Take any manufacturer rated throw number and divide it by 3 to get "realistic throw".
The U22 gen 3 sft-40 is good for spotting out to about 300 yards
The Manker MK37 (sodacan light) is good out to about 320 yards
The Acebeam L18 is good out to about 340 yards
The Acebeam L19 (and imalent RT90) is good out to about 440 yards.
The L18 or L19 are probably the way to go IMO if you don't want a sodacan light. They're purpose-built long range hunting lights. The U22 gen 3 would also be an excellent choice.
Would you get the RT90 or the L19? Having a very tough time deciding. RT90 has amazing flood ontop of the throw but I feel like it drains the battery 5x as fast as the L19 while needing 3 more batteries. I love the flood but idk if its worth the extra batteries and drainage.
If you need a purpose-built spotlight for spotting deer at range, the L19 is the best choice. However, it doesn't have flood, so you'd need to carry another light for walking/hiking with. A small pocket flood light or something.
The RT90 has enough flood to use as a light to walk with, and in short bursts, can put out a lot of throw on turbo. It will step down from heat and drain the batteries very quick on turbo, but a short ~20-30 second burst of throw every so often might be all that's needed. You'll still have decent battery life if you're using turbo conservatively, and if it's in a car it can be topped off frequently if it's kept plugged in when not in use.
I personally don't like the RT90 because of the built-in proprietary battery pack. You can't swap out the batteries for new ones when it's drained, or when the batteries inevitably wear out over time. Regular batteries are much cheaper. I'd much rather get the MK37, Convoy 4x18a, Convoy 3x21a, Convoy L7, or Acebeam K30-GT. All of those use regular cells, so you could just get a spare set or two of batteries to swap out if the battery drains.
I think the L19 (or L18), and another small pocket light, or headlamp for walking with is the best choice. For a deer-spotting light that's what I'd use.
I think the Manker MK37, Convoy L7, or Acebeam K30-GT are my personal choices for something with both flood and throw like the RT90, but also have replaceable batteries.
Would you buy a K65 GT if it were on sale for less than the K30 GT and L19 with batteries?
Depends. It's an excellent light. Basically just a super-sized K30-GT. But it is pretty darn massive. Not a problem if it's in a car most of the time, but hiking with it would be a pain.
Take a look at the size measurements of it. If the size doesn't bother you, it's an awesome light.
If you are considering the Imalent RT90 then also look at the Convoy 4x18A. It is similar, probably better, and cheaper.
They both use an SBT90.2 LED, which is great for putting out a lot of light (at the cost of a lot of power/battery drain) with a large long-throwing beam that also creates plenty of flood to light up the area and not just a tight spot.
EDIT: I have never tried to run my 4x18A while plugged in.
Also, here is a good review:
[Grizzly’s Updated Convoy 4X18A SBT Review](https://grizzlysreviews.wordpress.com/2021/11/25/grizzlys-updated-convoy-4x18a-sbt-review-still-incredible/)
EDIT 2: If you don't want the flood or spill, and just want a tight beam, you'll probably want something with a larger reflector (head) and maybe even a different LED. Osram W1 or W2 LEDs are great at creating far-reaching tight beams (and more efficient than SBT90.2, so less power draw and less heat).
For an SBT90.2 light with larger reflector consider Thrunite TN42v2 (a bit above $200 budget unless you get it on sale).
For W1 or W2 light, maybe Noctigon K1. (You can also get this with an SBT90.2 LED, but I would recommend getting a light with multiple batteries, such as the others previously mentioned if you get a light with SBT90.2)
The Thrunite TN42 v2 has a coupon code if you buy it direct from [Thrunite's store](https://thrunite.com/tn42-v2-batteries-included/). The code "tn42v2" at checkout will drop the price to $209.96.
Good info, thanks! I wish I had know that when I bought mine a few months ago :)
Am I able to have 2 different brands of batteries in the same device? I only have 2 18650s and im struggling to find one that doesn't need 3 or 4. Otherwise I would either have to get 3 or 4 new ones of the same brand, or use the 2 I have and get 1 or 2 new ones and hope it doesn't explode.
Absolutely not, very dangerous. You want a matched set, aka "married" batteries. They should all be discharged and charged equally and at the same time, never pull one out and use it in something else and then put it back in, never substitute.
Edit: basically, get four new batteries, put them in the light, and never take them out; use the built-in USB to charge it. If you need to have a second set, just be sure to keep them marked or otherwise separated.
You can get trusted high quality batteries from 18650batterystore.com for pretty cheap. Samsung 30q are popular and well regarded 18650 batteries. So are Molicel p26a, and Sony/Murata vtc6. Don't get batteries from Amazon.
Please review important lithium ion battery safety information [here](http://budgetlightforum.com/node/45314).
It is highly recommended to buy quality cells from a trusted distributor like [illumn](https://www.illumn.com/batteries-chargers-and-powerpax-carriers/batteries.html?___store=default#undefined) or [liionwholesale](https://www.illumn.com/batteries-chargers-and-powerpax-carriers/batteries.html?___store=default#undefined). See [this page](http://www.torchythebatteryboy.com/p/dangers-of-ultrafire-18650-batteries.html?m=1) for the dangers of Ultra/Trust/X-Fire batteries and other poor quality cells.
^(I AM A BOT. PM WITH SUGGESTIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS. SEE MY) [^(WIKI)](https://www.reddit.com/r/BrokenRecordBot/wiki/index) ^(FOR USE.)
Does protection on batteries matter a lot? I saw some 21700 35a batteries on the 18650batterystore for like 6 dollars and it seems too good, but the brand is Lishen and they aren't protected
Most flashlights you will see recommended here will have built-in low voltage protection and do not require protected cells. In fact many of the more powerful lights specify to use unprotected cells.
I've never used Lishen batteries or seen them recommended.
For 21700 I use Samsung 40t or Molicel p42a.
Okay perfect. Thanks for your help!
For hunting or for looking?
for looking. Mostly just spotting from the road in a truck
How far is far? How much run time does he need?