Cheapest BRIGHT 18650 beater light? C8 knockoff with upgrades? Something else?

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777funk
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Cheapest BRIGHT 18650 beater light? C8 knockoff with upgrades? Something else?

I have a few C8 clones and for under $10, they’re pretty bright.

The clones have small LEDs compared to the real Convoy and the fit of the reflector is pretty sloppy.

So can I put something brighter in it that I can direct drive? I don’t like modes. I like on and bright. I don’t leave lights on for more than a minute typically for what it’s worth.

thanks in advance for any advice!

A few Clonevoy Cee8s and one real Cee8 (direct drive – bright!)
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raccoon city
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Instead of garbling your signature, you could convert a non-garbled sig to an image file, preferably a maximally compressed png.

It would look a lot better, and the search function wouldn't be skewed.

(It would be tougher to update, however.)

...

Good luck in your search!  :BEER:

Rusty Joe
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Not sure I understand what you want. You can get just any beater light one-mode C8 from China.

Lightbringer
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I bought a bunch of those C(rap)8s just to use as hosts. Ain’t worth the bother, as decent C8s can be had for cheap.

And by the time you swap the emitter and driver (ignoring the switch, reflector, etc.), it’s probably costing more than a decent off-the-rack C8.

Still, I had to learn my lessons the hard way, and have a bunch of those C(rap)8s. At least you can mod the Hell out of ‘em without feeling guilty. One of my faves is a ~4500K XP-E2 with 1-mode driver. Simple on/off, nothing to gum up the works.

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777funk
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The real Convoy is much better obviously, but with knock offs being $7… Is there a cheaper option? Talking bang for buck here. The C8 is old tech now, but it’s the only good cheap light I’ve experienced first hand which is why I ask.

I’m seeing it as $7 for the knock off and no cost to silicone the reflector tight vs almost $30 for a real Convoy C8. That leaves me about $20 to buy a nice LED star (maybe an XHP70) that can be driving with only one mode.

I’m talking quantity here, I need 4 or 5 lights that will be grab and go for different locations (kitchen, car, basement, shop, etc).

A few Clonevoy Cee8s and one real Cee8 (direct drive – bright!)
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777funk
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Rusty Joe wrote:
Not sure I understand what you want. You can get just any beater light one-mode C8 from China.

Yes… but the reflectors are different sizes. My SK68 or 98 for instance are modded to direct drive and are not as bright as the C8. I’ve even put the same LED in the SK98 as the real C8 (Convoy) and there’s no comparison. The C8 blows it out of the water.

A few Clonevoy Cee8s and one real Cee8 (direct drive – bright!)
EbaySK98s
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Jack Kellar
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Where in the world are you buying your C8 that it costs 30 bucks? You pay so much less with Simon.

Also, you want on-off at full blast? Biscotti mode group 12.

777funk
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Just saw that they’re only $18 from Mtn Electronics. Didn’t realize that the real thing was that cheap.

I put an unused xhp70 I had laying around in one just now and ran it direct off of 2 18650s. I’ve only ran it a few seconds at a time. Need to look up the specs on that LED.

A few Clonevoy Cee8s and one real Cee8 (direct drive – bright!)
EbaySK98s
EbaySK68s (direct drive) Best Bang for Buck!
ThroughNight Ti
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Sirstinky
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777funk wrote:
Just saw that they’re only $18 from Mtn Electronics. Didn’t realize that the real thing was that cheap.

I put an unused xhp70 I had laying around in one just now and ran it direct off of 2 18650s. I’ve only ran it a few seconds at a time. Need to look up the specs on that LED.

A 6v xhp70 ran direct drive off high drain cells pulls big current and is capable of very high output, talking 15A-20A and around 5500 or more lumens. A 70.2 does more lumens. The trade off is huge amounts of heat and short battery life.

777funk
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Sirstinky wrote:
777funk wrote:
Just saw that they’re only $18 from Mtn Electronics. Didn’t realize that the real thing was that cheap.

I put an unused xhp70 I had laying around in one just now and ran it direct off of 2 18650s. I’ve only ran it a few seconds at a time. Need to look up the specs on that LED.

A 6v xhp70 ran direct drive off high drain cells pulls big current and is capable of very high output, talking 15A-20A and around 5500 or more lumens. A 70.2 does more lumens. The trade off is huge amounts of heat and short battery life.

Battery life isn’t all that important to me. I usually have max 5 minutes of run time and usually only a minute or so. So this may be the way to go! Thanks.

A few Clonevoy Cee8s and one real Cee8 (direct drive – bright!)
EbaySK98s
EbaySK68s (direct drive) Best Bang for Buck!
ThroughNight Ti
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Boaz
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It becomes an interesting trade off as to when too cheap is more of a problem than just spending more money . 

Hypothetically that's what we're all here for in the first place ...or rather that's what this place used to be . One of us "taking one for the team" and reporting on whether it's worth the price of admission,worth trying ,useful as a host or pure garbage .

  If you're clever and wait long enough some really epic deals will come along .You need to be ready to jump ..and on some jump with both feet .

  I think beater lights are very important and probably get as much or more use than most lights . 

Sorry I don't have an answer for you since brightness is the least important part of a flashlight for me.

 

The last C8 clones I bought were like 4 for ten bucks .Total Lohans  . To get bright you need to have good parts and halfway decently designed lights ,and great batteries . Buying trashy lights and modding them to make them acceptable can cost more than just buying a good host .Otherwise you need to buy a switch ,springs ,driver ,mcpcb,emitter etc...and still end up with crappy ano , a worthless pill ,lame wires and a bad reflector.   Convoy on sale is hard to beat , Convoys modded well are nice lights .My beaters are 2$  3 mode zoomies, and $8 /d10 /EHL0628 king of the budget headlamps

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

                            

       Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

777funk
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Boaz wrote:

It becomes an interesting trade off as to when too cheap is more of a problem than just spending more money . 


Hypothetically that’s what we’re all here for in the first place …or rather that’s what this place used to be . One of us “taking one for the team” and reporting on whether it’s worth the price of admission,worth trying ,useful as a host or pure garbage .

….

Yep, I’ve bought a dozen or 20 china SK68 lights based on a recommendation from someone here. STill have many of them 5 years later. Many of them have needed work, but I have lots of wire and solder so it’s not a big deal really. My kids and I have lost some of them and abused others to where the lenses are so scratched they’re soft and dim now. One real light may last as long as 5 of these… but…

I feel $20 on these was better spent than $300 or more on real lights. I don’t mind having one or two really nice flashlights, but for the quantity side of things. Beaters also have their place as someone mentioned above.

I should also note my experience… the switches on the sk68 clones have lasted. The SK98 clones seem to eat switches for some reason… Maybe the big 18650s vs AAs and 14500s.

A few Clonevoy Cee8s and one real Cee8 (direct drive – bright!)
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777funk
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Sirstinky wrote:
777funk wrote:
Just saw that they’re only $18 from Mtn Electronics. Didn’t realize that the real thing was that cheap.

I put an unused xhp70 I had laying around in one just now and ran it direct off of 2 18650s. I’ve only ran it a few seconds at a time. Need to look up the specs on that LED.

A 6v xhp70 ran direct drive off high drain cells pulls big current and is capable of very high output, talking 15A-20A and around 5500 or more lumens. A 70.2 does more lumens. The trade off is huge amounts of heat and short battery life.

Interesting. I ran the xhp70 direct off of 8V today and it seemed to get dim fairly quick (probably less than 5 minutes of run time). Either it’s draining the 2 samsung 18650s or the LED is having trouble. It was pretty bright when I first started running it.

A few Clonevoy Cee8s and one real Cee8 (direct drive – bright!)
EbaySK98s
EbaySK68s (direct drive) Best Bang for Buck!
ThroughNight Ti
Always looking for a better light!
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Sirstinky
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777funk wrote:
Sirstinky wrote:
777funk wrote:
Just saw that they’re only $18 from Mtn Electronics. Didn’t realize that the real thing was that cheap.

I put an unused xhp70 I had laying around in one just now and ran it direct off of 2 18650s. I’ve only ran it a few seconds at a time. Need to look up the specs on that LED.

A 6v xhp70 ran direct drive off high drain cells pulls big current and is capable of very high output, talking 15A-20A and around 5500 or more lumens. A 70.2 does more lumens. The trade off is huge amounts of heat and short battery life.

Interesting. I ran the xhp70 direct off of 8V today and it seemed to get dim fairly quick (probably less than 5 minutes of run time). Either it’s draining the 2 samsung 18650s or the LED is having trouble. It was pretty bright when I first started running it.

I have experience with these emitters (the 70.2) and if you can keep them cool and fed you get crazy output. Texas Ace on here tested a 400k one to like 20 amps and 9000lm and it had more to give. But that’s over 100 watts. If you don’t properly cool it, the output drops fast as it heats up, and your batteries may be sagging depending on the cells as well. Series setups need some kind of bms to keep them safe. 2S also isn’t ideal to direct drive a xhp70. It can be done, but 12v configured xhp and 4S is much better. I’m building a light based on one and the light output is mind boggling.

Macka17
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I’m more than happy with the Convoy C8+ Sofurn and others.
With the C8+ and the C8T sofurn being fav’s.

For cheapies. I go back 6/7 + yrs ago
UltraFire . C8/Q8 Speshuls in beginning.

ONE I kept over the yrs to play with.
Firstly with a 26mm Drop in. XM-l Then XP-l.
Bypassing springs, Thermal grease. and putting decent end cap switches in there.
It’s not too far behind the Astrolux C8 XP-L?.

I’ve got a latest drop in, $14. in mail. Aliexpress…
a (supposed) step UP from the XPL Hi???

CREE XP-L HI V3 1600lm 10×7135 Driver Brass Base LED Drop-in for C8 Flashlight

Model No.: LC-C8-V3-710

Specification:

1. Light Source: CREE XP-L HI V3
2. Brightness: 1600lm
3. Light Color: Cool White 6500K
4. Driver:10×7135 Constant Current
5. Input Voltage:3.7V-4.2V
6. Working current: 3.5A
7. Modes: (1)1-Mode:100%High (2)5-Mode:High>Middle>Low>Strobe>SOS
8. Size: 25.7mm(Diameter)x14.5mm(Height)x6.5mm(Spring Height)
9. Net weight: 25g
10. Application for Ultra-Fire C8 Flashlight

We’ll see when it gets here hey.
Not keen on 6500 Cool White But. Hey. Around $32ish AUD for several variants on a supposed heap of junk.
That’s still working every week, usually most days by back upstairs door
and fun to do my clumsy playing with.
Well worth it I reckon.
The Convoy C8+ XPL hi cost me similar in the one hit. Nicer body though.

But. They do have a place in things. Not the be all, end all. (though close)

Wanting any stronger. Longer/wider beams.
I just pick up one of my stronger/Longer/wider beam, torches instead.
That’s what they there for.

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Sirstinky wrote:
2S also isn’t ideal to direct drive a xhp70. It can be done, but 12v configured xhp and 4S is much better.

I’m going to have to disagree here. 4S just has twice as many problems with cell balance, and now you have issues with fitting FOUR batteries in a light. Two is pretty simble with a hosts like L6 or L2 with extension tube, or single-cell hosts with small cells (18350×2 or something).
For voltage mismatch, it’s also twice as bad. This scales linearly. If 8.4V is too high for the 6V emitter, 16.8V is still going to be too high for the 12V emitter.
And as for boost drivers, it’s harder to boost to 12V compared to 6V.

In general, I prefer to increase the V side of the power equation (power = voltage * current), but it isn’t really practical here.

EDC Rotation: ZL SC62(w) | Jaxman E2L XP-G2 5A | Purple S2+ XPL-HI U6-3A | D4 w/ Luxeon V | RRT-01 | Purple FW3A, 4000K SST20
EagTac D25C Ti | DQG Slim AA Ti | Jaxman E3 | UF-T1 by CRX | Nitecore EX11.2
L6 XHP70.2 P2 4000K FET+7135 | Jaxman M8 | MF02 | Jaxman Z1 CULNM1.TG | Blue S2+ w/ ML Special
Unfinished: Supfire M6 3xXHP50.2, Sofirn C8F, Sofirn SP70
Others: Nitecore EC23 | Nebo Twyst | Streamlight ProTac 1AA | TerraLux LightStar 100

Sirstinky
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Scallywag wrote:
Sirstinky wrote:
2S also isn’t ideal to direct drive a xhp70. It can be done, but 12v configured xhp and 4S is much better.

I’m going to have to disagree here. 4S just has twice as many problems with cell balance, and now you have issues with fitting FOUR batteries in a light. Two is pretty simble with a hosts like L6 or L2 with extension tube, or single-cell hosts with small cells (18350×2 or something).
For voltage mismatch, it’s also twice as bad. This scales linearly. If 8.4V is too high for the 6V emitter, 16.8V is still going to be too high for the 12V emitter.
And as for boost drivers, it’s harder to boost to 12V compared to 6V.

In general, I prefer to increase the V side of the power equation (power = voltage * current), but it isn’t really practical here.

Good points. 4 cells adds complexity for sure, and For 4S a buck driver or direct drive is preferable. Direct drive anything is going to stress emitters, cells, etc. My takeaway is reducing the current requirement and stress on parts like switches that have to take 15, 20 amps. 5 or 6 amps is more manageable.

wle
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i would just get convoy s2+ for $10 or so

great light
can get a warm LED
pattern is a bit too ‘throwy’ and i miss anduril – but this is biscotti, it is not too bad a UI

wle

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777funk
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I have a bunch of knock offs now and some were so bad (mainly the shelf the star ‘mounts to’ or should I say sits loosely on) I had to return them. I’d wonder if any of these knockoffs have a billet (or even one piece) shelf.

I put an xhp70 (original) in one and ran it off of 2 18350s direct drive. I only turn the light on for seconds at a time (the heat sinking in this cheap knockoff is not up to the task). But it’s the brightest light I’ve ever seen first hand! I think I have $25 including the little 18350s. I’m pretty happy with it for what I use it for (quickly light up the back to see if there’s a coyote or other predator).

I tried the same light with 2 18650s (full size) and it draws 10 amps vs drawing 5 with the short 18350s. I think 5a is plenty anyways. It is brighter of course with more amps, but it’s nice having it in the normal compact C8 package.

A few Clonevoy Cee8s and one real Cee8 (direct drive – bright!)
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Yokiamy
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https://nl.aliexpress.com/item/32889563626.html?spm=a2g0z.12010610.81483...

Just buy this one, tell Simon youre BLF member and he will even give you 15% discount.
If you buy a knockoff, you will get knockoff quality
This is good Convoy quality

777funk
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Yokiamy wrote:
https://nl.aliexpress.com/item/32889563626.html?spm=a2g0z.12010610.81483...

Just buy this one, tell Simon youre BLF member and he will even give you 15% discount.
If you buy a knockoff, you will get knockoff quality
This is good Convoy quality

Looks to be a little cheaper at MtnElec ($18) and already in my country (USA). I assume they’re the same light?

A few Clonevoy Cee8s and one real Cee8 (direct drive – bright!)
EbaySK98s
EbaySK68s (direct drive) Best Bang for Buck!
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Sirstinky
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777funk wrote:
Yokiamy wrote:
https://nl.aliexpress.com/item/32889563626.html?spm=a2g0z.12010610.81483...

Just buy this one, tell Simon youre BLF member and he will even give you 15% discount.
If you buy a knockoff, you will get knockoff quality
This is good Convoy quality

Looks to be a little cheaper at MtnElec ($18) and already in my country (USA). I assume they’re the same light?

Yes it’s the same light. You will be paying shipping for it though so it brings the price up. Takeaway is you’ll get it in 5 days instead of 30 (due to shipping delays from China). I think it’s worth it. I bought a Sofirn sp10s Friday evening from Andrews on with Prime, free shipping total order was $18 and will be here today. Difference in price was like $4.00 vs buying from Sofirn direct or on AE.

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Well, if you’re looking for a cheap Convoy c8 for $17.99 at MTN, better hurry up as unfortunately Richard is not stocking complete flashlites any longer and has just a few left.

777funk
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Ordered one from MTN a few days ago. At this point, I can make the knock offs work although they’re complete junk compared to the real convoy IMO. I wish Mnt’s sales wouldn’t discontinue that light. The best balance of quality/price I know of.

A few Clonevoy Cee8s and one real Cee8 (direct drive – bright!)
EbaySK98s
EbaySK68s (direct drive) Best Bang for Buck!
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Sirstinky
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allcool wrote:
Well, if you’re looking for a cheap Convoy c8 for $17.99 at MTN, better hurry up as unfortunately Richard is not stocking complete flashlites any longer and has just a few left.

Bummer! I’ll try to grab one!

777funk
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777funk wrote:
Sirstinky wrote:
777funk wrote:
Just saw that they’re only $18 from Mtn Electronics. Didn’t realize that the real thing was that cheap.

I put an unused xhp70 I had laying around in one just now and ran it direct off of 2 18650s. I’ve only ran it a few seconds at a time. Need to look up the specs on that LED.

A 6v xhp70 ran direct drive off high drain cells pulls big current and is capable of very high output, talking 15A-20A and around 5500 or more lumens. A 70.2 does more lumens. The trade off is huge amounts of heat and short battery life.

Battery life isn’t all that important to me. I usually have max 5 minutes of run time and usually only a minute or so. So this may be the way to go! Thanks.

I ended up doing this and I think it’s great! I only let it run for 10-15 seconds at a time but it’ll light up an entire back woods.

The dome on the LED is the same size as the hole in the reflector. I just bring the star shelf up to where the reflector pushes the star down slightly. I run it off of two 18350s and the ones I have give 4.5amps worth. I need to get some real ‘high drain’ 18350s. I tried it with a pair of good 18650s and I’m getting 10.5 amps. I need to compare the brightness difference at night. It’s probalby not too much brighter with the 10amps and of course the tail cap will not go on whereas the 18350s fit (ultra bright compact light).

I haven’t let it run for longer than say a minute and I probably won’t. It gets pretty warm. I wouldn’t call it a product that could be sold to the mass public. I’m sure it’d fail with leaving it on for long periods. But I know to keep it short.

A few Clonevoy Cee8s and one real Cee8 (direct drive – bright!)
EbaySK98s
EbaySK68s (direct drive) Best Bang for Buck!
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777funk
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Ok… I’ve come full circle on this thread! I just got my order from Mnt Electronics today and it contained a Convoy (real) C8. I have my modded 2× 18650 extended tube clone (Ultrafire) C8 from ebay (Mnt had an extension tube that fit only this one clone (Ultrafire) of my two clones and a real Convoy). The tube was for a supfire m2 z and was part numberEXT-TUBE-M2Z. The clone has been modded to direct drive an xhp70 emitter. While it is brighter (probably 1.5x the size and a little more brightness vs the stock convoy), the Convoy is nearly as bright in reality and every bit as useful. It’s also a cleanly designed product instead of a hacked up mod.

My other real Convoy is direct drive. I now realize this is a needless mod. The direct drive pulls 2.9 amps and the stock convoy with the brain still intact also draws 2.9 amps on high. So… messing with it is foolish. All you gain is losing several useful and well thought out modes.

So… the winner is… the real convoy in my opinion.

I also tested a direct drive XHP50 in the other clone… it uses 2× 18350 and is the same brightness and beam size as the stock convoy. I spent about the same with mod parts and the junk knockoff light, but have more time into it.

So again… stick to the real Convoy. It’s a great light right out of the box.

You may already know this if you’re into mods… but hopefully it’ll save someone some time. The XHP70 2× 18650 modded light is nice… I’m not regretting it… but it’s not worlds better than stock.

Buy the real Convoy! It’s great!

A few Clonevoy Cee8s and one real Cee8 (direct drive – bright!)
EbaySK98s
EbaySK68s (direct drive) Best Bang for Buck!
ThroughNight Ti
Always looking for a better light!
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