I bought a couple of cheap lights ($3) to try and put to use the 18650 lithium cells I've been harvesting from laptop batteries. One died, and the other started flickering/acting stupid after two nights out each. I should have known better. Better to spend $50 on one good light than to spend $5 to $10 apiece replacing cheapos on a monthly basis.
Back in the day, I would buy generic consumer lights (Ray-O-Vac, Eveready, Duracell, Coleman, etc. Even LED Maglites for $15 each).
None of them ever lived for 3 months. My 2AA alkaline-powered Olight I25 is still working fine after about 5 years and ~50 drops onto blacktop. I just bought this Thrunite TN12 to put my 18650 laptop cells to use:http://budgetlightforum.com/node/29069
I grabbed the 2016 model, updated from the 2014 version in the review. I'm impressed after a couple of nights out. The 18 lumen LOW mode is plenty bright enough to light up a bin without flushing the birds out of the trees across the parking lot. 1100 lumen max is brighter than a car high beam, I don't expect to ever need anything that bright.
I selected the "Neutral White" tint, which is real white (rather than blue or yellow). Very easy to see and grade dumpster food by. The "necrosis blue" 12K tint of cheap lights makes it impossible to discern rotten meat or see mold on baked goods. I haven't dropped or sent this one flying yet - hopefully it keeps on firing.