If you saw the movie, "Men in Black," you will likely recall when the Will Smith character was issued his alien-fighting gun. It was diminutive in size, and Smith was scornful... until he pulled the trigger and blasted a big hole in a truck a couple blocks away.
Looks are sometimes deceiving.
At the recommendation of Bob T, who has NEVER steered me wrong, I ordered an LED flashlight from DealExtreme. The wait was somewhat agonizing [more about that later] but it ended Friday.
I opted for the AKOray K-106 model. (SKU #28546) $13.99, including shipping. (Bargain!)
When I opened the padded envelope and saw it, I wasn't overwhelmed. It's dark gray and machined out of aluminum, I believe. It's about 3.75 inches long and .75 inches in diameter. It has a chintzy-looking pocket clip, and a green control button on the tail cap. The lens is supposedly made of glass... a good thing, IMO, because it's less likely to get scratched up.
Since I'm something of a flashlight fetishist, I've got several small flashlights, including 3 LED models that use one AA battery (as does this AKOray). It seems like every AA-LED flashlight I've gotten has been meaningfully brighter than the previous, as the technology has improved.
I put a battery in the AKOray and pushed the button.
This is a bright flashlight!
Light output is supposed to be up to 230 lumens. It totally drowns out a Gerber "Firecracker" LED light that I got a couple months back at REI. (And it seemed "bright enough" before the AKOray arrived.)
It is advertised to have 60 minutes of life from a battery, on the high setting. (When the power is on, you can half-depress the power button to switch modes, which include bright, medium, dim, "SOS," and strobe flasher.) I'm sure batteries last longer when a lower power, or strobe-mode, is selected.
On the bright setting, this light is far brighter than any other LED light in my collection. It rivals a big D-cell "cop flashlight" I have. Definitely more than adequate for headlight duty. I anticipate using it mostly for headlight ("seeing") or strobe light ("being seen"), depending on the situation. Oh... and it should make a fine flashlight for camping and such, too.
I immediately ordered two more of these.
Of course, for bicycle duty, you need to mount it to the bike.
Bob T suggested the "universal nylon mount" (SKU 12000, $2.21). I also ordered a plastic "universal bicycle mount" (SKU 08274, $1.54).
The 12000 is the ultimate in simplicity... a piece of rubber with two grooves for flashlight and handlebar stem (or gun barrel, or whatever), with 2 velcro staps to hold everything in place. It is designed for the light to be mounted in parallel to the tube it's being hooked to... like a handlebar stem.
The 08274 snaps into place on the handlebar, and the flashlight holder screws down for tight installation. (Although the snap-over is a little loose for my handlebars... but still functional.) It is designed for right-angle mounting - like on handlebars.
I'm going to try to rig the universal (velcro strap) mount on my brain bucket, so I can have the option of a helmet-mounted light.
Time will tell:
1) real-life battery drainage,
2) long-term durability.
I will report my findings.
A little about DealExtreme... they are based in Hong Kong. Air shipping is included in all prices. The stuff I ordered arrived in 2 shipments; the mounts maybe 10 days after I ordered and the flashlight took a couple weeks longer, because they were on back order. If you need something now, DealExtreme probably won't work for you. Check out the website... they've got a little of everything. Actually a LOT of everything. (I happened across a combination prophylactic/electric-shocker gizmo... that might surprise somebody, huh? I didn't order it.)