Solarforce L2E review / overview

chrisinhove

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 23, 2013
Messages
5
My new Solarforce L2E has arrived.

This is a new model with 90degree head to take standard P60 led drop-ins, and either one or two 18650 batteries, with the second battery extender included.

Also in the box comes spare O rings and gitd switch boot.

I have never used an angle light before, and I really quite like the feel of this in hand. Not better, but different, as they say. The clicky on the tail cap is definitely not an intuitive placement, however, unless you use the lamp inverted.

I'm no machinist but the standard of fit and finish seems at very least up to recent, high Solarforce standards. Threads are all neat and nicely greased. A tiny speck of anodising was missing from the from of mine.

The only knurling is diamond pattern on the switch head (matching that on the extension tube) and ribbed on the magnet casing lid.

The main feature is the heavily square grooved head, which I hope and assume to be a big plus for heat management. It remains a solid lump, however, and quite weighty.

There is a painted 2-way spring steel clip that works in either direction. It is neat but first impressions are that it struggles to hold the lamp still, due to this weight, and certainly on thinner clothing fabric. Right way up, the crook of the clip is quite low down the lamp, meaning it wants to tip. Like the tail switch, it works better with the lamp inverted.

Similarly, the head magnet struggles to hold the lamp when on a steel surface which is heavily coated. It will hang vertically OK, but when latched on sideways can spin or slide, but this will depend on how the steel is coated. It slowly slides all the way down the side of my 'fridge, for example.

The magnet is housed loose beneath the screwed cap on the top, so it could be easily upgraded (you can find alternative 24mm dia. x 5mm higher grade disc magnets cheap on eBay, and I have one on order already). The magnetic feature could also have been more useful if it had two top magnetised surfaced, one each at 90 and 45 degrees, perhaps.

The big surprise, however, is that none of the joints match the other L2 lights. Although it comes with an extender tube, this won't fit anything else. It screws together with my Lumapower D mini VX Ultra SST50 but won't operate.[emoji19]. The lack of usual Lego-type fun is a bit disappointing.

The switch isn't interchangeable, either, although the gubbins inside may well be. A reverse clicky is specified as standard, but to be honest all my Solarforce switches appear to function in exactly the same way, however specified (they look different, internally, though - how can that happen?)

This is therefore a stand-alone light, rather than an true addition to the L2 range. Perhaps the reduction in other component sizes is for weight reduction to make up for the heavier head.

The head itself has an internally mounted bezel which obviously isn't as protective as the various L2 items which screw in but lap over the top.

Internally, the head is anodised so appears to rely upon the end of the drop-in spring for electrical contact. Could this mean some 3rd party drop-ins without springs won't work? I'm thinking Sportac, which is what ultimately I bought this host for. Perhaps I will need to order the Surefire version with spring rather than the square shouldered version for standard Solarforce hosts.

I think Solarforce should be applauded for bringing to market a new and unusual P60 host, however. It is well made, and functions nicely albeit within it's design limitations. Could it be better? Yes. Would I pay the price for that better lamp? Maybe not.

Do I recommend this? The L2E will be of primary interest to those of us already invested in this p60/18650 format, and they need no advice from me ( i.e. Yes! You know you want it!)

To a user in need of a sturdy 90degree light, for attaching to a pack or harness; Yes. And most definitely if already a p60/18650 user.

To the more casual flashlight user who would also have to buy the whole other necessary kit & caboodle to use this, I would struggle to recommend this over the standard and cheaper Solarforce hosts.

(If you have already read this review on EDC forum, then my apologies, but you should have already noticed by now).

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how2

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
226
Location
london
Solarforce lights look nice but I'm not to fond of drop-ins. There is always a heat transfer issue.
 

chrisinhove

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 23, 2013
Messages
5
No format will achieve universal support. Personally, I find the significant advantages of the P60 format outweighs it's significant disadvantages! YMMV!
 

RI Chevy

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
3,600
Location
Ocean State
P60 equals user versatility! Simple as that. If you use the right drop ins, there is not issue at all with heat transfer.
 

T.H.Cone

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
5
Chris, I'm am a big fan of the P60 format and EDC on everyday. I nearly always carry in the lower left tool pocket of my carpenter pants. I was wonder if you knew if the L2E, given its design and increased size, could be carried in that style of pocket?

Thanks.
 

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