Need a compact 18650 flashlight

alan-31

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I was asking for a AA flashlight before but I've been convinced to get one that uses the 18650 so it lasts longer. I need the following:
- single 18650 flashlight and if possible with a good charger and battery included
- No flash modes (strobe or SOS etc). Just Low, Medium and Hi. Or Low and Hi.
- Memory
- Uniform circle of light
- Zooming so I can adjust the flash/throw features. I prefer 'flood' most of the times
- Compact! Something like this
- Adjustment rings for selecting brightness would be nice but not necessary.

I can spend up to around $30, $15 being the ideal.

If I have to I can also buy a popular 5 mode light and buy another circuit board to replace/modify/solder the electronics to get rid of strobe modes.
 

Mr Floppy

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- Compact! Something like this

That's a Sk68. The 18650 version is the Sk98 and it is not that much bigger. Comes in all sorts of flavours including a 3 mode with no flashies (there is also one that is listed as 3 modes but it's hi, low and strobe so be aware)
 

cjmorris

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You are asking for a lot at that price. The nitecore ec20 is a awesome light. It's a little over your budget and not exactly what you asked for but it's a light you will love if you save a few more dollars.
 

alan-31

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That's a Sk68. The 18650 version is the Sk98 and it is not that much bigger. Comes in all sorts of flavours including a 3 mode with no flashies (there is also one that is listed as 3 modes but it's hi, low and strobe so be aware)
Thanks! I searched that model now I've checked different versions of it but all of them had strobe modes. Do you know where I can find some without strobe?

You are asking for a lot at that price. The nitecore ec20 is a awesome light. It's a little over your budget and not exactly what you asked for but it's a light you will love if you save a few more dollars.
Oh. Yea I see its $50. I read the user manual and I like some of the features it has e.g.:
- long-press to turn on ultra low-power mode
- click twice rapidly to access flashing modes otherwise they stay hidden (smart design that most other flash lights don't have).
- power level indicator

I can spend $50 for that if thats what it takes, yea why not. It will be my main flashlight and I deserve a better one.

So what about the batteries and chargers? I think I need two batteries (one as a backup) and a charger. I could get those from DX after seeing their reviews - or maybe not. I need a decent quality battery that lasts, not something that starts declining in charge capacity after a few months (like bad batteries from China).
 

Richwouldnt

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The batteries carried by Mountain Electronics and Illumination supply are all good quality so take your pick. They also have a decent selection of chargers and both are USA companies with good prices. At the moment ordering batteries from China is a real problem as most sellers are shipping by surface mail which can average two months or more to the USA. Post offices are not allowing international air shipment of batteries.
 

ChrisGarrett

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Convoy S2 3/5 mode single (only) 18650 light in silver/grey. It has blinkies, but you can lock them out, so you get L>M>H with memory.

Simple enough.

About $17 with free shipping from FastTech.

Choice of driver boards (1A, 1.4A, 2.1A and 2.8A) and tint bins.

They have the newer version the S2+1 with XM-L2 emitter that's a tad shorter at 117mm, than the S2's 124mm.

Same choice of driver boards and tint bins.

It's ~$17 as well.

No focus, but most of us don't roll that way anyhow.

Chris
 

Ryp

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Olight S20R, $70 but already includes an 18650 and charger.
 

Mr Floppy

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Thanks! I searched that model now I've checked different versions of it but all of them had strobe modes. Do you know where I can find some without strobe?

Sorry, the one I had in mind was the Zeus Ray which is actually a SK73 clone, but it does have strobe and SOS. It's a 5 mode with memory.
 

cjmorris

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If you want to keep the cost down ultrafire chargers and batteries are cheap. For not to much more you can get a xtar vp2 charger. It's a big upgrade for a good price.
 
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alpg88

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convoy c8, about 25bucks, if you want something small, go to shining beam dot com site he sells s-mini, that is not much bigger than 18650 cell itself, about 30bucks.
 

alan-31

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Convoy S2 3/5 mode single (only) 18650 light in silver/grey. It has blinkies, but you can lock them out, so you get L>M>H with memory.

Simple enough.

About $17 with free shipping from FastTech.

Choice of driver boards (1A, 1.4A, 2.1A and 2.8A) and tint bins.

They have the newer version the S2+1 with XM-L2 emitter that's a tad shorter at 117mm, than the S2's 124mm.

Same choice of driver boards and tint bins.

It's ~$17 as well.

No focus, but most of us don't roll that way anyhow.

Chris
Thats a nice site (fast tech). I made an account there. There's lots of variations for Convoy S2 there.
The guidelines say I cannot post any links to the website so that sucks.

The main questions I had are:
- There's so many models of the S2 and other models like S8. Whats the difference and what should I look for? I found a few lights with XM-L2 so I guess I should get those.
Is 500 lumen enough for me? I've been used to 120 lumen from the little AA-powered Sipik SK68 so I should be happy with 500 although I found one with 1000 lumen too.
- There was one light with 1000 lumen and it has a button on the side to control brightness. Is that extra button more convenient or should I get a regular light with a single clicky to make it less complicated?
- Comparing to the biuld-in drivers for various S2 models, what are the advantages of having other driver boards?
- REALLY hoping I can get a floody type of light like this. Is it easy to change the lens on S2 so I can get zooming from throw to flood?

Batteries/charger:
- The battery charger/power bank I found is: "ENB 1A 1/2/3*18650 Li-ion Battery USB Emergency Charger Power Bank" - $13 - I like this because I can charge it using my existing USB charger and it has a backup LED light too.
- Batteries are: "Panasonic Protected NCR18650A Rechargeable 3100mAh 3.7V 18650 Lithium Batteries" - $14
Sounds good for the batteries and charger?
 
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Richwouldnt

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Double check with Fasttech but last I looked if you order with batteries in the same order as the rest it will all come by surface mail and take up to 2 months to get here. Are you willing to wait that long? Why I suggested USA battery sources if you are in the USA. The ENB battery pack and charger will probably be slow for a charger due to limited input power, particularly if it has three batteries installed.

Look at the dimensions as for EDC you want a compact light. Single 18650 lights vary a lot in size from good pocket size to ones with large reflectors and longer overall length. Higher current light versions put out more light maximum but also get hot a lot faster. Everything is a compromise. No one can tell you how many lumens output is enough FOR YOU! I have lights that put out as much as 7000 Lumens in Turbo mode. Not a pocket light though. A side switch is more likely in general to be operated accidentally in the pocket in my experience.

Figure this as a first 18650 light and as you gain experience you will decide to add more or lose interest in lights as a hobby. You will still have a serviceable light.

Lights cannot be converted from fixed to zoom that I know of and the S2 is not a zoom light. You can get a diffuser however to give approximately the beam effect in your photo.
 

Eon Puzzle

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In another current post,
NoNotAgain mentioned "The 18650 cell has more capacity than most CR123 cells do, plus one less interface."

Since the Mag-Tac 310 lumen light is being considered here ( here is the ref. topic ),
and since it uses CR123 batteries, NoNotAgain's post suggests that 18650-powered light might be a better selection for this specific purpose.

Thus, is there a compact ( within these parameters - here is the ref. topic ) 18650-powered light that is comparable to the Mag-Tac 310 lumen light? The title of this topic "Need a compact 18650 flashlight" seems to fit this inquiry perfectly.
 

alan-31

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Aug 26, 2014
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Double check with Fasttech but last I looked if you order with batteries in the same order as the rest it will all come by surface mail and take up to 2 months to get here. Are you willing to wait that long? Why I suggested USA battery sources if you are in the USA. The ENB battery pack and charger will probably be slow for a charger due to limited input power, particularly if it has three batteries installed.

Look at the dimensions as for EDC you want a compact light. Single 18650 lights vary a lot in size from good pocket size to ones with large reflectors and longer overall length. Higher current light versions put out more light maximum but also get hot a lot faster. Everything is a compromise. No one can tell you how many lumens output is enough FOR YOU! I have lights that put out as much as 7000 Lumens in Turbo mode. Not a pocket light though. A side switch is more likely in general to be operated accidentally in the pocket in my experience.

Figure this as a first 18650 light and as you gain experience you will decide to add more or lose interest in lights as a hobby. You will still have a serviceable light.

Lights cannot be converted from fixed to zoom that I know of and the S2 is not a zoom light. You can get a diffuser however to give approximately the beam effect in your photo.
Thanks, I'll check with Fastech about the battery shipping. You're right, I checked the Shipping page and the batteries take 45-60 days.
Still not satisfied with the flashlights (hard to find the one with all the stuff I want) and I'm not in a hurry to buy a light so I might try the DIY section of the forum. I can order the parts and assemble.


In another current post,
NoNotAgain mentioned "The 18650 cell has more capacity than most CR123 cells do, plus one less interface."

Since the Mag-Tac 310 lumen light is being considered here ( here is the ref. topic ),
and since it uses CR123 batteries, NoNotAgain's post suggests that 18650-powered light might be a better selection for this specific purpose.

Thus, is there a compact ( within these parameters - here is the ref. topic ) 18650-powered light that is comparable to the Mag-Tac 310 lumen light? The title of this topic "Need a compact 18650 flashlight" seems to fit this inquiry perfectly.
Someone mentioned this cheap light (I have many of its AA models). Search 'SK98'. One thing is it has strobe and I dont like that.

You can also search this and click the first link:
"Convoy S2+ T6-4C 996-Lumen 2-Group 3/5-Mode LED Flashlight"
Its 117mm, less than 5 inches.
Also 1000 lumen (claimed) and has the new XM-L2 light source. These are designed better than the cheap SK98 lights e.g. the strobe modes are hidden.
But it says it has "Next Mode" memory. If that is: Goes to the next mode whenever I turn it off, I dont think I like that but it might be something else so I'm checking it out. Here's what I found from another forum, how "next mode" works so maybe its OK:
- "If you leave the light on for at least two seconds before turning it off, the next power on will be in the same mode. If you only leave the light on for less than two seconds before turning it off, the next power on will be in the next mode."

"Nitecore EC20" has also been suggested in this post and its 5 inches (but $50, at your limit). Its 1000 lumen is probably more accurate. Its also XM-L2. But I'm thinking at this price they should have adjustable zoom for changing flood/throw. I like floody lights. I'm not going to buy any of these and will try DIY to see if that works for me better.
 
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