Cheap 18650 torch that isn't junk

PoorerthanPoor

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Ive got loads of 18650 batteries around since im a vaper and im getting really tired of the cheap costco cree lights slowly draining batteries and I hate buying AAA's for em.

I am pretty much looking for something that would be a good bit brighter than the costco lights (think they claimed like 160 lumens). So I would like something that would really light up the neghbors evergreens if someone is hiding in them. My desires and specifications aren't too specific just something as cheap as possible while yet being pretty darn bright. I had found some suggestions for an ultrafire 510 while searching the forums but that recommendation was from 3 or 4 years ago and I was kind of wondering what the best bang for the buck is now. I of course would like to spend around $20 but if brightness and quality were much much more a bit higher price point I could be swayed to spending somewhere around $40 although id rather not since my use is mostly just needing a bright cree light to sit on the night stand.

So
#1 As bright as possible for the price
#2 Keeping the price around $20 but if brightness or feature seat vastly improve I could stretch up to maybe around 40

Thanks in advance!
 

oneinthaair

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Why not spend $95 on a Zebralight SC600 MKII L2 1100 LM or $85 on a SC62 1020 LM awesome UI, very small and pocketable, quality made, bright as Deleted




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Norm

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thedoc007

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I'd recommend SKU 1358902 on Fasttech, the Ultrafire WF-501b. I have ordered a bunch of these lights (at least 7 or 8). I use them for beater/loaner/backup lights at work, and they do that job very well. One died early, but all the others are still going strong. The brightness rating is accurate, unlike many ****Fire lights. The silver color looks sharp, knurling (grip) is good, the tint is good if you like cool white, they are actually water resistant (fully submerged with no leaks), it has a useful beam profile (geared more toward throw, but with a decent amount of flood), threads are actually quite smooth if you clean and lube them, and it is under $13.

As I said, every one of the lights I purchased from Fasttech has been consistent. I can only speak for that one model, though - I know there are other models that are of dramatically inferior quality. If you go for ultra-cheap lights, you have to be willing to accept a bad one now and then. They are a FANTASTIC value, though.

If you don't like taking a chance, you could also look at the Convoy series of lights. They are usually quite simple, but their quality is on par with $100 lights from other manufacturers. The Convoy M1 would be similar to the Ultrafire, but with higher build quality, and multiple modes. And the good news, it is also quite affordable. You can get them for under $20 from Fasttech, or Mountain Electronics/Illumination Supply for under $25. I bought mine from Illumination Supply, and am very happy with it, especially for the price. If I showed it to a random person, they would be hard pressed to explain why it is a quarter or a fifth of the cost of similar lights.
 

Timothybil

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I'm going to hit the high end of your range, and maybe a touch more. Check out the Lumens Factory Seraph 6. It comes with two CR123a, but is bored out to accept 18650 as well, which is what I have in mine. I have had this light for several years, and really like it a lot. It uses an XP-G in Neutral White, with levels available of 5%/30%/100%. At full on it is over 300 lumens. I live on the North side of my block, and standing in the alley I have lite up the front of the house on the South side of the street between us, so me in alley, house on south side of alley, then house on other side of street facing me. It sells for about $50 USD. If you really like high CRI lights, purchase the Seraph 6 from the Lumens Factory website, then send Customer Support an email identifying yourself and your order number, and ask them to substitute the high CRI D26 module for the Neutral White one. There will be no extra charge for doing that.
 

CelticCross74

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Since youre familiar with Fasttech already you should get one of the many excellent Convoy lights. I mean come on...you get to choose the emitter and even the driver in most cases. 1000 for real lumens for what $25-$40? So far Convoy has a very good reputation here Ultrafire or any brand with "fire" in the name..notsomuch
 

ven

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Another vote for convoy,many types and lots of choice in tints too. Imo offer excellent value,the build is on par(sometimes above) other more expensive brands.

As mentioned,check out the convoy m1 and m2,also for a smaller light the s- series.
m2


Another good light imo is the roche f8,this at the moment is used daily in work as an edc. The build is excellent,low/med/high/strobe/sos . Also has memory so no need to keep going through the modes. I tend to use medium most of the time as high is far too bright for my use in work.

Eagle eye x2 another cheap ,well made light


:welcome:
 

Chicken Drumstick

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Why not spend $95 on a Zebralight SC600 MKII L2 1100 LM or $85 on a SC62 1020 LM awesome UI, very small and pocketable, quality made, bright as Deleted




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Some of you guys are delusional I'm sure of it. Chap here asks for a cheap light and even says $20, so you post just about the most expensive off the shelf light you can get.
 

Chicken Drumstick

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Ive got loads of 18650 batteries around since im a vaper and im getting really tired of the cheap costco cree lights slowly draining batteries and I hate buying AAA's for em.

I am pretty much looking for something that would be a good bit brighter than the costco lights (think they claimed like 160 lumens). So I would like something that would really light up the neghbors evergreens if someone is hiding in them. My desires and specifications aren't too specific just something as cheap as possible while yet being pretty darn bright. I had found some suggestions for an ultrafire 510 while searching the forums but that recommendation was from 3 or 4 years ago and I was kind of wondering what the best bang for the buck is now. I of course would like to spend around $20 but if brightness and quality were much much more a bit higher price point I could be swayed to spending somewhere around $40 although id rather not since my use is mostly just needing a bright cree light to sit on the night stand.

So
#1 As bright as possible for the price
#2 Keeping the price around $20 but if brightness or feature seat vastly improve I could stretch up to maybe around 40

Thanks in advance!
The Zeusray from dealmetic.com (use Google to find them). They are $7.99 and brilliant, even in stock form. So good that CPF's own modder is selling them under his "vn" banner, only his cost $40-70+

But the stocker is fine how it is IMO.

There is a review in the Budget section.

Middle one:



_________________________________

Or check out Convoy. Again use Google or buy from somewhere like Banggood.

The S series are very nice and pocket friendly. The latest S2+ is about $20 and you can choose the LED tint and drive current.

Superb quality and performance for the budget.

 

Chicken Drumstick

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Since youre familiar with Fasttech already you should get one of the many excellent Convoy lights. I mean come on...you get to choose the emitter and even the driver in most cases. 1000 for real lumens for what $25-$40? So far Convoy has a very good reputation here Ultrafire or any brand with "fire" in the name..notsomuch
Don't buy Convoys from FastTech, I think they are all still sporting last gen XM-L's. Other places sell later XM-L2 equipped ones.
 

CelticCross74

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Fasttech sells both XM-L and XM-L2 Convoys. If you scroll down far enough on the left of the screen in the flashlights section you can specify XM-L2 but Banggood has the most XM-L2 Convoys I have yet seen. I am trying to learn the Convoy options as when you know what to pick when it comes to drive current and emitters you can get sweet results as seen here on this forum. One member here got a Convoy M1 or M2 cant remember but he knew his options well enough to end up with a 750+ OTF lumen light that had this incredible amber tint not only that the beam profile itself was great. When it comes to quality all the Convoys seem to be missing is a major brand name on it. The fact you can get a 1000+ lumen S1 for $20 that isnt chintzy crap is flat out amazing...
 

JasonJ

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They are advertising it as having an XM-L U2-B1. How would the later gen XM-L's be referred?

Link Removed, Please see the banner at the top of the page - Norm
 
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Chicken Drumstick

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XM-L2


So the emitter name is the XM-L, XM-L2, XP-G, XP-E, XP-L bit. This is an emitter made by a company called CREE.

U2 = is the brightness bin. Leds are grouped by type into different brightness categories. Although most of this is marketing, as people always want the brightest, even if it's not the best or they won't visually see a difference.

There are lots of brightness bins, U3, T6, T5

B1 = This will be the tint colour. Tints are also grouped. Generally the best tints are not the highest output bins. But you really won't tell output by eye, but tint is obvious at everything you point the light at.

Banggood have a good choice and their website is a bit easier to pick. You search for the make/model torch. It will display several hits with Convoys, pick the driver current you want (the more 7135 chips, i.e. 8*7135 is more than 4*7135) the more current, so brighter on max, but gets hotter and with shorter runtimes.

Then from the listing you just click which emitter option you want.
 

PoorerthanPoor

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1st off, thank you Norm.

The zeusray looks pretty interesting boasting some crazy 2,000 lumens and adjustable beam but I saw that you can't actually but it now its only a "pre-order"? Dunnno about that.

I totally don't mind spending $20 for something of much greater quality like the convoy vs $13 for the 501b.

CelticCross, who said I was familiar with fasttech already :p


So,

Convoy is looking like it might be a good choice, but it looks like it might not be a good idea to order from FT because they have an older model emitter (im going to be honest, I don't know what an emitter is or how the brightness bin and tint color will really effect things, heck I was okay with the costco one for the most part besides the idle battery drain and using AAAs). I am trying to understand the driver part, the more chips = more lumens when set on its brightest mode but it will emit more heat? Are we talking about getting hotter over seconds or minutes? I rarely have a flashlight on for more than a few minutes and a lot of the time its under a minute if I really think about it, like I said, my main use is to keep on the night stand so I can light up some of the vacant houses around me to make sure there aren't some kids hanging around them.

Is the difference in the M1 and M2 just the body of the flashlight (the shape of it) or is it more involved?

Next question, should I get an XML2 T6-4C or XML U2 1A or XML T6-4c or XML U2-1B (those seem to be the options on banggood)?


Thanks a ton for all the help so far!
 

Chicken Drumstick

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Re: the Zeusray. You have to watch 'Chinese' lumen claims, they are usually lies. Doesn't mean the product isn't good though, just don't believe at the specs as 100%. Reviews are often a better source of what is going on. The Zuesray with a good battery will pull a lot of amps, mine does ~3.75amps. That's a health 800 lumens OTF and probably 1000 lumens at the LED.


-Convoys.

If it was me I'd opt for the 8*7135 version. If you are likely to want to use it on max output for say 20 mins, then this will get too hot. The 6*7135 would be better. If you only use it how you say, for only a few mins at a time, you'll have no problem.

Personally I like Neutral White tints over Cool White tints, especially if outside and near anything green (countryside type of thing). NW just makes everything look so much nicer.

CW is fine for indoor use and more urban areas, although my preference is still NW.

I would pick the T6-3B as a starting point. Nice tint, but not too warm. I'd also advise going for the latest S2+ (the red one) as it comes with a new style metal switch, which is better than the old rubber booted ones, better than most premium lights if I'm honest.

I can't seem to PM you, but if you PM me I can send you a direct link.

XM-L2 T6-3B


XM-L2 U2 (probably 1A)
 

ChibiM

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I dont think you can go wrong with either....XML or XML2, as you might not even notice the difference... at least not in great amounts.

T6-4C is actually my favorite tint. its quite a Neutral white, which is a little on the warmer side.... compared to an T6 1A tint.
the T6-1A looks quite a bit whiter white.. so to say.
the T6-1A will look brighter than the T6-4C if you mainly care about output.
don`t know really about 1B, as I don`t think I have any with that tint.
 

ven

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1st off, thank you Norm.



Is the difference in the M1 and M2 just the body of the flashlight (the shape of it) or is it more involved?

Next question, should I get an XML2 T6-4C or XML U2 1A or XML T6-4c or XML U2-1B (those seem to be the options on banggood)?


Thanks a ton for all the help so far!

The m1 has a slightly larger reflector so will throw a little further than the m2.
Tint wise is up to you,do you prefer the cooler tint or one that is more neutral/warm:)

I have both and like both,i was quite surprised by the 4c as very warm on my m2. Still it kicks out an impressive amount of light for its size,nice smooth beam.
Little bit of discussion on the m1/m2 here
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?383190-Convoy-M1-or-M2
 

Chicken Drumstick

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Op, my mistake thought you said S2.

The M1 and M2 are superb also, I have one of each! :D




Both are great, although I slightly prefer the M1. The XM-L2 is still floody enough for close up work, but the slightly bigger reflector means it'll throw further too. But still pocket friendly.
 

jjp888

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Yup go for the convoys.I personally prefer the s2 and s2+.
Go for 4*7135 with 4c tint.It will surely satisfy you all your needs at about 17$.
But always remember you get what you pay for ,dont expect many years from it.From my experience convoy brand gives the most for 20$ range.
 
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