Keep 26650, or switch to 21700?

PaladinNO

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I need some recommendations here, from those with experience with both the "new" (to me) 21700 cell, and the older 26650.

TL;DR:
Does the 26650 offer anything the 21700 does not?

I currently have a single 26650 EDC, the Acebeam EC50 Gen II plus a spare 26650 battery, that I bought before the 21700 came to market.
And I am looking for a couple larger EDC's (3000+ Lumens), but should I stick with the 26650 cell and get another 26650 light for the spare battery I already have, or sell everything 26650 and go with 21700 lights instead going forward?

I don't want both, I like being able to use the same battery in different lights, and I already have AAA / AA for the smaller lights, 16340 and 16650 for my "specials", and lots of 18650 lights.

For the record, I am already going down the 21700 route by default as it is, with a new headlamp, and an EDC I missed was 21700 (thought it was 18650, and as I missed that, I had to order 21700 batteries to go with it).
 
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Ocelot808

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You should be aware that the 26650 format has been around for over half a decade and because of the proliferation of 21700 as the new standard size the supply of quality 26650s has really begun to dry up, especially in the last 6 months. Also the development of refined cell chemistries is focused on 18650 and 21700 sizes. Every indication that 26650 is on the way out. So it's a good thing to focus on 21700 lights for a future investment. Used to be sheer capacity was 26650s trump card but the latest 21700 cells can match them, up to 5600mAh.
 

ampdude

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I'm kinda surprised by that, I thought 21700's were going the way of the Dodo since Tesla is no longer using them. I'm still about 16,17, and 18mm cells though. Don't need any bigger.
 

PaladinNO

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@Ocelot
Thank you. Honestly, I already suspected as much, as I haven't seen any 26650 releases recently, and general availability has been dwindling (not that general availability has ever been good here in Norway...). Almost everything recent has been 21700, or 18650.

But in that case, I would need a decent replacement for my Acebeam EC50 gen. II. Preferably 5000K, and floody.

Any specific floody 21700 EDCs I should make a note of? I don't need anything fancy, like magnetic or direct USB-C charging.
I like Fenix lights, and at least that brand has decent availability here, so I am currently looking at Fenix E35 v3.0. Nitecore MH12 v2 is also available here as a more throwy option.

...Knowing me, I'll probably just buy some 21700 lights to try out. And my wallet is already crying.
 
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3_gun

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I have both, use both, like both. That said if I had to pick, I'll go 21700. My duel channel Hank 21700 lights are about 4 1/8", slightly bigger than 18650 lights. And with the duel channels set up for my needs I "usually" only run a single channel, doubling my battery life. Good thing too since D4k Hank lights need high amp batteries to hit peak performance they're usually around 4000mah, giving the edge to the 6200mah 26650 batteries in my D4sv2 Hank lights. Being able to set up Hank lights w/Anduril really make a HUGH difference in what I carry & how I use them. I have Fenix, Acebeam, Lumintop, Olight, Skilhunt, etc that all fill a need but Hank lights get about 50% or more of my normal use daily.
 

Guitar Guy

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I like the 21700 and I like Fenix lights very much. I recently got the TK20R V2.0. Runs on a 21700, 3000 Lumens, a bit throwy, but with good spill too. Has a charge port, but it's hidden under a threaded metal collar with rubber o-ring, so no worries about water or dirt entering. I usually just charge in a charger anyway. There's also a battery level indicator LED under there too, which I find very useful.

I like it a lot. It's a good size and very bright. You can check out you tube video reviews to see the beam.


I've also been eyeballing the Acebeam L35, and will most likely order one.

 
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Ocelot808

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But in that case, I would need a decent replacement for my Acebeam EC50 gen. II. Preferably 5000K
I would highly recommend the Acebeam E75.
Very high build quality all purpose floody type EDC light with included 21700 cell available in a variety of colors and CW or NW emitter choice. Of which I suggest the chef's kiss Nichia 519A NW 5000K 95CRI option: spectacular natural color rendering and an incredibly smooth even beam without artifacts, 3000 max lumen. The 519A is a highly prized enthusiasts LED. It is wonderful thing to find it as a factory option. Should be available for around 90€. Not inexpensive but has Acebeam's excellent solid quality that will last for many years to come. The E75 has enjoyed an enthusiastic reception from buyers mainly by virtue of its premium Nichia LED performance. I swear by mine as an ideal all purpose, do anything kind of lighting tool.

In case you were not aware, unprotected flat top 21700 cells can fit as direct replacements for 26650 cells if you make a spacer to fit the larger tube diameter's empty space. You can use just about any material, from a simple rolled up strip of paper to a plastic sleeve made to fit. This gives you the option to keep some of your older 26650 lights and not have to worry about not getting replacement cells. And allowing you to just stick with one 21700 size thay fits most of your needs new and old.

I recommend 3 21700 cells. For the majority of applications the Samsung 50S (also rewrapped as a Vapcell T50) is an incredibly versatile performer. 5000mAh capacity with a large 25A CDR (continuous discharge rating) gives it a huge latitude of applications.

For maximum runtime, provided the load is less than 12.5 Amps the Vapcell F56 5600mAh is the cat's meow. Equal to or better than most 26650s.

Last but in fact the best 21700 design available, the Molicel P45B is the best outstanding high current power cell on the market. 4500mAh capacity with astonishing 45 Amp CDR for very high output lights.

I hope this is helpful to you and wish you the best in making your decisions. Cheers!
 

thermal guy

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Malkoff switched from 21700 to 26650. I asked gene why and he just said more capacity. Makes sense to me.
 

orbital

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+

Really hard to argue with these.

66.6mm long, no unnecessary pcb
illumn has them
 

orbital

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Unprotected cells in series keeps life exciting!
+

I have around ten lights in series voltage, never an issue w/ discharge, length, voltage, or anything else.

actually don't have a single pcb battery in all my lights,, not sure how many lights I own.

___________________________________________

edit:: counted fifteen lights in my collection that are in series,,
11 of those are in the 2X config. like a 2x18500 or 2x26650 (batteries end to end)

~ I may have a couple 2x18350 lights around here, but I didn't count them
 
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PaladinNO

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I would highly recommend the Acebeam E75.
Of which I suggest the chef's kiss Nichia 519A NW 5000K 95CRI option. Should be available for around 90€. Not inexpensive but has Acebeam's excellent solid quality that will last for many years to come. The E75 has enjoyed an enthusiastic reception from buyers mainly by virtue of its premium Nichia LED performance.
Thank you for all that information. The described config sounds really good. Don't have any 519A lights, but I have some with the Nichia 219B chip (NW), like the Jaxman E2. I'm a real fan of CRI90+ lights, so CRI95 sound perfect!

Sadly though, no model from Acebeam is available here. It seems I was very lucky when I managed to get my EC50 back in the day. Options are available on Ebay, and an Acebeam E75 5000K, 3000 Lumen CRI 90+ (chip not specified in the listing) costs around 100 EUR.
I will pay that without a second thought to get the light that I want, so I'll definitely keep an eye on it. Want to get rid of my current EC50 first though.

Of brands that I find several models available locally, I see Olight, Fenix, Nitecore and Led Lenser. Once the EC50 is off my hands, I think I'll pick up a Fenix E35 v3.0 first. Available for equivalent of 90 EUR.

A question though: there is a decription I have seen a few times around here now, "Hank light" and "D4V2". Didn't mean anything to me, but I assumed it was a custom light config. So I googled it and found "Hank Wang" and "Emisar", is that correct?

I googled it further, and I found this light:
Emisar (?) Noctigon K9.3

...No idea what this is, but I REALLY like the look of it! Probably due to being a Zelda fan. ^^
And I liked the chip offers. 9x E21A 3500K + 3x W1 Osram Green sounds like a funny combo.

Once I got the lights I need, I always go for some fun ones later (like my Fenix TK76 - completely useless for what I need, but the novelty of the sheer size of that light never wears off), so a Noctigon K9.3 is already on the wish list. :)

Thanks again!
 
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PaladinNO

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Small update here:
I traded with a friend my only 26650 light, the Acebeam EC50 (+ spare battery), for a Fenix TK75 2013 yesterday.

What I mostly wanted was his TK75 battery carrier, because that fit and worked with my own TK75 2018.

So my path is clear now. And 21700 is my way forward. Already got this on order:
2x Nitecore NL2150
4x Samsung INR21700-40T flat-tops
Nitecore UMS4

I had to get some unprotected flat-tops for my Fireflies PL47MU - and a replacement Fenix 21700, because when I tried one of my week old Fenix 21700's from my HP30R in the PL47MU, after the seller told me "any 21700 will work" (9x Nichia E21A)...I bent both the cap and bottom of the cell. And it didn't even light up at all.

Current 21700 wishlist:
Acebeam E75 (per @ Ocelot808 recommendation - took a closer look at it, and it looks great!)
Emisar Noctigon K9.3
Emisar DT8K
Fenix E35 v3.0
Fenix ARB-L21-5000
 
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PaladinNO

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An update a month later:
I have to say that 21700 lights are outperforming their 18650 counterparts in pretty much every way, and the selection of 21700 lights compared to 26650 lights is MUCH larger.

So since January 2, I've received quite a list of 21700 lights:
Fireflies PL47MU
Emisar Noctigon K9.3
Emisar DT8K
Sofirn Q8 Plus
Sofirn IF22A
Sofirn IF23
Fenix LR35R

So I'm really happy with the switch, and going away from 26650 cells.

One thing about the Sofirn Q8 Plus though - the cells aren't standard. It's like they got a 1mm riser on their otherwise standard 21700.
The Q8 Plus does NOT work with my Samsung 40T's, because the positive isn't making contact inside the light. And not even Sofirn seems to offer the cells used in the Q8 Plus as a backup set.

IMG_1483_25_.jpg
 
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