Opinions on budget XP-G torches (the hosts in particular)?

Nil Einne

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Planning to buy a 18650 light, primarily for my bicycle handlebar. Leaning to an XP-G R5 because of the good price and efficiency (many suggest little point for a P7 or MC-E on a P60 at least if you want extended run times) but am having trouble choosing which one.

Kaidomain has several cheap P60 host XP-Gs which are where I'm leaning. There is the 501B for $14.15 10068, 502B for $16.01 10066 and 504B for $18.54 10345. There is also the Seraph clones such as the ever popular Skyray on DX $21.14 32749 (-8.4V) and the Uniquefire R5 also on DX $22.35 32720. Then there's the UltraFire C1 on KD $19.44 for a -4.2V one 10158 or $21.32 for a -8.4V one 10199.

(I've ignored the ones which are the same as those I listed but more expensive.)

The quality of the dropin (regulation etc) and build quality is so variable I'm kind of think there's no point looking for something good, just pay attention to any recent reviews and cross your fingers hope for the best. Well the the dropin supporting -8.4V will of course be useful if I want to extend the host and use 2x 18650 so I don't have to swap batteries while cycling although I'd pay a pit more for that.

And it comes down a to the host. Considering my use I do expect to have the light on full for very long periods, although it'll be cooled somewhat when I'm cycling. The 501B is attractive as the cheapest but the 502B is bigger so would generally have better heatsinking and only about 15% or $2 more. The 504B has a flat and therefore perhaps the best bezel, less likely to reduce spill but of course is even more.

Any excellent light that someone recommends that isn't on my list (will consider other stores but I do live in New Zealand so anything in the US is likely to be expensive due to shipping). Or other recommendations/thoughts? As you may gather, I'm function over form here, so don't are what they look like provided they work :p I will consider P7 or MC-E if others strongly recommend them but not likely to spend more then $35 and I'm unlikely to be look at any of the higher quality brands but far more expensive for good performance lights.

BTW, I posted a similar question in another forum http://budgetlightforum.cz.cc/node/390 a few days ago which has a few more not important details.

Cheers
 

LEDninja

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There seems to be a problem with the cheap XP-G drop ins. Go to DX look up the 501B with XP-G. There are 2 reviews. 150% failure rate. 2 torches bought both failed. One reviewer got a replacement. It also failed.

Here is the CPF thread on the XP-G drop ins. There seems to be an awful lot of problem units.
Quick look at the DX R5 single mode drop in
https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/270143
 

Zatoichi

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I can't help from experience, but after looking around I've ordered myself a Skyray-R5 from DX. The reviews look okay. I also ordered some 30mm o-rings with it as it seems the lens can be loose and require a second o-ring. This looks to be the only recurring problem with them from reading the reviews.

If you want to play safe with budget host and dropin, I'd probably go with a Solarforce L2 with R2 (either Solarforce or DX) dropin. The Superbright R2 drop-in from DX is 3.7 - 18v. I don't entirely trust their R5 drop-ins yet, based on what I've read.
 

sol-leks

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I have a skyray and it has been great for me so far. I haven't had a chance to really put it to the test endurance-wise, but I am very happy with it.
 

^Gurthang

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I'll second using a SolarForce L2 for a bike light. I own both a UF/SkyRay SR5 Seraph clone and a SP-6. I wouldn't use the SR5 on a bike, don't beleive it could take the beating. SP-6 probably would but the L2 is rugged and less $$$.
 

Vball

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I just got one of the Romisen RC-2R4 II R5 lights from Shiningbeam it would be a great light for a bike it has two modes, built like a tank, and doesn't seem to get hot.

The two modes are pretty close in brightness but it should burn quite a while on the low setting. I got might for under 35 with a Blue Trustfire 18650 battery. Darn nice light and is going to be very hard to beat for the price.

The guy who runs Shiningbeam is on this site. I'm sure he could answer any questions about shipping and such. Just look for him in the marketplace section if your interested.
 

fatmother123

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I recommend the Ultrafire WF-504B/Uniquefire L2 body. Regardless of the drop-in used, the body is one of the best chinese clone bodies out there.

I also recommend use of a Solarforce extension tube (kd or ebay) with 2x 18650, and a single-mode drop-in that can take the voltage. The DX single-mode XP-G Uniquefire L2 takes up to 8.4V. Runtime for hours at high brightness! $22 + $5-7 for the extension tube.
 

Ecolang

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I recommend the Ultrafire WF-504B/Uniquefire L2 body. Regardless of the drop-in used, the body is one of the best chinese clone bodies out there.

I also recommend use of a Solarforce extension tube (kd or ebay) with 2x 18650, and a single-mode drop-in that can take the voltage. The DX single-mode XP-G Uniquefire L2 takes up to 8.4V. Runtime for hours at high brightness! $22 + $5-7 for the extension tube.

Agreed entirely- this body is entirely interchangeable with the Solarforce ones but costs less. And doesn't have the nasty spiky bezel that Solarforces seem to ship with by default.

Entirely makes sense to me as long as the application can cope with the length.
 

Nil Einne

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Yeah I've been thinking of getting an extension tube although probably in the future. While I don't usually cycle for that long, not having to change batteries while cycling due to the longer runtimes would be nice and of course you'll get higher brightness for longer since most of the cheap drivers don't boost so power is no longer regulated as the voltage falls (depending on the vf of the LED of course). The disadvantage I guess is you can't rely on brightness to know when the cells are getting too low so have to either guess from runtime or rely on the cell protection (or well take off the extension and test with only one cell). Also efficiency will almost definitely be lower
 

rekd0514

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I recommend the Ultrafire WF-504B/Uniquefire L2 body. Regardless of the drop-in used, the body is one of the best chinese clone bodies out there.

I also recommend use of a Solarforce extension tube (kd or ebay) with 2x 18650, and a single-mode drop-in that can take the voltage. The DX single-mode XP-G Uniquefire L2 takes up to 8.4V. Runtime for hours at high brightness! $22 + $5-7 for the extension tube.

Sweet based on this and some research I grabbed me some new lights. I was looking at the Solarforce L2, but this is a much better deal as long as everything is working. The only thing is the wait sucks!

06105 Digital Li-Ion 18650 Battery Charger x 1 Pending $7.52 -
20392 TrustFire Protected 18650 3.7V True 2400mAh Rechargeable Lithium Batteries (2-Pack) x 2 Pending $9.68 -
24201 UltraFire 504B HA-III Cree R2-WC 220-Lumen LED Flashlight (1*18650/2*16340) x 2 Pending $13.99 -

Total: $ 54.87


This will be my first light with lithium batteries and will be the last light I get for quite some time. I went straight to an 18650 light. :) I am excited to see it compared to the RC-N3.

I now have:

Akoray K-106 Q5 5 mode
Romisen RC-N3 II R4 2 mode
Ultrafire 504B R2 1 mode
 
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fatmother123

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I think an XP-G would have been worth the extra few bucks. Consider changing your order or getting an XP-G dropin; I find the larger hotspot and higher efficiency to be superior to XR-E or XP-E on the bike.

That particular light you linked says:
Battery Configurations:1 x 18650 / 2 x 16340 rechargeable Ii-on batteryVoltage Input:2.7~4.2, 4.2V max
Be careful before you feed it 8.4 V from a 2x li-ion setup; the spec is obviously wrong, contradicting itself.

ku.33550 This is what I'm thinking...

Also why did you get two lights?
 
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rekd0514

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Well, the extra cost for the Uniquefire L2 didn't seem worth it to me for $7.50 more. The R2 has more throw and the R5 P60 drop-ins from DX are supposed to be unreliable as of now from what I have read.

I only plan on using 1*18650 cell in it so I won't reach 8.4v. :) I only see it as "2.7~4.2, 4.2V max".

I won't be using it on a bike either. The 2nd light is for my brother or father if you must know. :D
 
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Nil Einne

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I've commented on this in other threads but FWIW in my case I've decided against the 6105 charger. Some early reports were great, saying it does CC/CV and importantly 'terminates properly'. More recent reports are less good, and report it not obeying CC/CV and more importantly trickling charging. The situation is somewhat confused by the fact that people often say sku.13820 is the same as sku.6105 (although from my analysis I'm not convinced) but I've seen at least one report on this very forum referring to something that is either 6105 or at least looks like it instead of 13820 with the same issue. If you plan to set it on timer or manually remove the cells quickly then perhaps it will be fine but for me, I will prefer a charger which appears to have a decent charging profile at the current time.

The Solarforce R5 dropin is actually fairly cheap at the mo for itc_shop on eBay, not that much more then the DX. But it's 1 mode and I prefer some different power settings and also some reports suggest it doesn't work that well with 1x18650 (although it's unclear to me if it's really worse then the typical DX ones or people are just expecting more, it's obviously not a boost driver so dimming with low voltage depending on the Vf of course is to be expected). In terms of the body, the Ultrafire L2 with extension tube from PB/LT seems a decent price since combined with the DX R5 dropin it's only about $2.50 more yet you get the extension tube.
 
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StackNZ

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These suck. I had one, it turned angry blue after 4 days of receiving it. I immediately turned it off before the LED burnt out, and when i unscrewed the reflector, the LED came off with the reflector.
 

Nil Einne

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These suck. I had one, it turned angry blue after 4 days of receiving it. I immediately turned it off before the LED burnt out, and when i unscrewed the reflector, the LED came off with the reflector.

Sorry but for clarification are you referring to the Solarfore XP-G R5 1 mode drop in or some other drop in?
 

rekd0514

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I've commented on this in other threads but FWIW in my case I've decided against the 6105 charger. Some early reports were great, saying it does CC/CV and importantly 'terminates properly'. More recent reports are less good, and report it not obeying CC/CV and more importantly trickling charging. The situation is somewhat confused by the fact that people often say sku.13820 is the same as sku.6105 (although from my analysis I'm not convinced) but I've seen at least one report on this very forum referring to something that is either 6105 or at least looks like it instead of 13820 with the same issue. If you plan to set it on timer or manually remove the cells quickly then perhaps it will be fine but for me, I will prefer a charger which appears to have a decent charging profile at the current time.

The Solarforce R5 dropin is actually fairly cheap at the mo for itc_shop on eBay, not that much more then the DX. But it's 1 mode and I prefer some different power settings and also some reports suggest it doesn't work that well with 1x18650 (although it's unclear to me if it's really worse then the typical DX ones or people are just expecting more, it's obviously not a boost driver so dimming with low voltage depending on the Vf of course is to be expected). In terms of the body, the Ultrafire L2 with extension tube from PB/LT seems a decent price since combined with the DX R5 dropin it's only about $2.50 more yet you get the extension tube.

I think I will just set a timer or alarm when charging cells, so I think it will be all right.

I would've got the Uniquefire L2, but I'm sure it has the same 32953 R5 drop-in that people are having bad luck with. I will possibly get one when they become more reliable and by the that time the price will probably be lower as well. Also it will be nice to have the added runtime of the R2 at ~3 hours vs 50 minutes.

Just to clarify, what is PB/LT?

[advertising links removed - DM51]
 
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Black Rose

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These suck. I had one, it turned angry blue after 4 days of receiving it. I immediately turned it off before the LED burnt out, and when i unscrewed the reflector, the LED came off with the reflector.
That eventually happened to both of the ones that I bought. Very frustrating.

The good thing is that I ended up with a really good XP-G specific reflector, so I rebuilt them with new LEDs and drivers.
 
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