Brightest LED flashlight for $20-$25

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gherrmann19
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Brightest LED flashlight for $20-$25

Hello!!! Sorry for such the newbie question, but I have literally spent the last few days researching LED flashlights and feel more confused than when I started. Basically I am looking for a very bright light. I am going to be doing a lot of hiking and camping this year and want a nice bright, smaller, compact light. I bought an Ultrafire knockoff last year which I thought was bright until I watched some of the videos and post on different forums.

So my question to you is, if you had $20-$25 to spend, what would you buy? Ultrafire 502, 503, 504, 878…. too many to comprehend. OR maybe there is some other brand of entry level lights that I don’t even know about!! I am fine with going with the 18650 batteries or using the regular AA or AAA.

Thanks for your help!

pilotdog68
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Buy these:
Convoy C8 Flashlight

Samsung protected Batteries

Xtar MC1 Charger

It ends up closer to $35, but I think it’s worth it for sure

(if you do buy batteries from Fasttech, make sure you get USPS Expedited Battery shipping)

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

gherrmann19
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Thanks! One question about that setup, why the 2600mAH batteries rather than a 3000?

pilotdog68
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gherrmann19 wrote:
Thanks! One question about that setup, why the 2600mAH batteries rather than a 3000?

Mostly cost. A 2-pack of those samsungs is $10, a 2-pack of protected 3100mah panasonics is more like $14

Edit: In case you are seeing all of the ultrafire batteries that look like a great deal, ignore them. They almost always lie about their actual capacity and many of them are a fire hazard. Just buy good quality batteries before you get too invested in junk.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

ChibiM
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Although nice light, I don't think it's very great for camping/close up work. Maybe a zoomie? Flood for close up, and zoom for the time you want to see further away.

pilotdog68
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ChibiM wrote:

Although nice light, I don’t think it’s very great for camping/close up work. Maybe a zoomie? Flood for close up, and zoom for the time you want to see further away.


I guess each have their own preferences. When I’m hiking/camping I want a thrower with some spill (like the C8) and a floody headlamp.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

ChibiM
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True! To each his own. It was just a suggestion. Zoomies seem to pretty popular, so I expressed my thoughts Wink

1000 people 1000 ideas 

Tacoboy
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gherrmann19 wrote:
Thanks! One question about that setup, why the 2600mAH batteries rather than a 3000?

I think there is starting to be a price jump when your start going over 2600mAh (at least for quality name brand).

Here are some low cost Ultrafires flashlights with the Cree XM-L T6 and you can get two flashlights for about $13.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/361146245924?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2649&var=63...
Maybe 7 to 14 days shipping time, from China.

Set of 4 Trustfire 18650 3000mAh, $18.73
http://www.ebay.com/itm/141383193685?_trksid=p2060778.m2749.l2649&ssPage...
Takes 3-6 days shipping time, from California.

Set of 4 Samsung 18650 2600mAh, $18.65, use the “BLF” coupon code for a small discount.
http://www.banggood.com/4PCS-18650-3_7V-2600mah-Lithium-Rechargeable-Bat...
Shipping from China, might take around 20 days shipping time.

I would take the Samsungs over the Trustfires.

Battery charger, something simple single battery and cheap, $3
slightly better dual battery changer, $7
Name brand (and better) dual battery charger $15
Really nice Quad battery charger, $30-$40.

Tacoboy
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gherrmann19 wrote:
Hello!!! Sorry for such the newbie question, but I have literally spent the last few days researching LED flashlights and feel more confused than when I started. Basically I am looking for a very bright light. I am going to be doing a lot of hiking and camping this year and want a nice bright, smaller, compact light. I bought an Ultrafire knockoff last year which I thought was bright until I watched some of the videos and post on different forums.

So my question to you is, if you had $20-$25 to spend, what would you buy? Ultrafire 502, 503, 504, 878…. too many to comprehend. OR maybe there is some other brand of entry level lights that I don’t even know about!! I am fine with going with the 18650 batteries or using the regular AA or AAA.

Thanks for your help!

Here is a Sky Ray King 3X Cree XM-L T6 flashlight, Winning bid is usually around $13 and shipping is $6.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gold-SKYRAY-30W-3x-CREE-XM-L-T6-LED-6000-Lumen-F...
It will work with one or two or three or four 18650 batteries installed.
Guess you will want to order at least eight (or more) 18650 batteries for a camping trip.

bugsy36
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The questions are:

  1. How long do you intend to keep the light? If forever, buy the best you can afford.
  2. Will this be used indoors, outdoors, close up? You have already said hiking.

I would go with one of three lights.

  1. Eagle Eye X6 with 3C tint - EE lights are among my favorites and there is plenty documented about this light. (Use code "BLF" for an additional 8%)
  2. Convoy C8 with XML T6-4C if you want to bump power in the future. This is a quality light and was one of the most popular before the X6 became popular (Use code "BLF" for an additional 8%)
  3. Convoy M2 with XML T6-4C if you want to bump power in the future. This is a quality light and is popular. (Use code "BLF" for an additional 8%)

The C8 is the most throwy. The X6 has a nice balance and comes with a clip also.

Samsung 18650-26F Very good price and very good battery. There are higher capacity batteries but if you look at tests you will see that Low Voltage protection kicks in before you get the full capacity out of the higher capacity batteries. (Use code "BLF" for an additional 8%)

Nitecore D4 Very good price for a very good charger

It's the simple things that we take for granted that cost us the most

Ευκαιρία λέει πιάσε με από το μέτωπο γιατί μόλις έχω περάσει δεν θα με πιάσειs

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pilotdog68 wrote:
Buy these:
Convoy C8 Flashlight

Samsung protected Batteries

Xtar MC1 Charger

It ends up closer to $35, but I think it’s worth it for sure

(if you do buy batteries from Fasttech, make sure you get USPS Expedited Battery shipping)

or ship the batteries separately…believe it or not $1 laptop pulls will work GREAT in that light with nary a problem

And +1 on the Convoy C8 as well

gherrmann19
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Thanks for the feedback!! I like the look of the C8. I think thats the one I am going to go with.

gherrmann19
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Also does anyone have experience with the light in the link below? Zooms and takes an 18650. I doubt the 2000L is realistic but seems like a decent piece for the price.

http://www.amazon.com/Enjoydeal-Bright-Lumens-Adjustable-Flashlight/dp/B...

pilotdog68
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gherrmann19 wrote:
Also does anyone have experience with the light in the link below? Zooms and takes an 18650. I doubt the 2000L is realistic but seems like a decent piece for the price.

http://www.amazon.com/Enjoydeal-Bright-Lumens-Adjustable-Flashlight/dp/B...


Yeah definitely not 2000 lumens. Probably 1000 if you’re lucky, 600-800 is more likely. I personally don’t like zoomies because the vast majority of the cheap ones are very low quality. I can’t comment on that specific one though.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

tryps
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I can’t comment on that light but would rather not get it.

Take a look at Convoy lights for best value to price ratio. If you want a zoom light try the Convoy BD04 It has an inbuild charger and looks sturdy. Don’t know if there are reviews jet. But the seller is great, you can choose what led and sometimes driver you want and they’ll assemble it for you. My suggestion is XML2 T6-4C.

Add a high quality 18650 cell and use your cellphone charger and you’re good to go.

pilotdog68
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tryps wrote:
I can’t comment on that light but would rather not get it.

Take a look at Convoy lights for best value to price ratio. If you want a zoom light try the Convoy BD04 It has an inbuild charger and looks sturdy. Don’t know if there are reviews jet. But the seller is great, you can choose what led and sometimes driver you want and they’ll assemble it for you. My suggestion is XML2 T6-4C.

Add a high quality 18650 cell and use your cellphone charger and you’re good to go.


+1

If you want a zoomie that’s a good one, and a great store to buy from.

edit: I agree with the below post. A C8 and a good, reliable headlamp that runs on alkalines.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

sesgum
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Zoomie does not seem to be a good choice for your purpose because most of them are prone to water.

Besides a strong light like a C8, you also need a backup light that is small (to hold in your mouth) and with long burning time at a low setting for example thrunite T10 or Fenix E12. Or instead you should get a headlight to completely free your hands.

But the Convoy BD04 is a new one to me. It seems a quality light. Thanks for bringing it up.

gherrmann19
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Thanks. Is there a big difference between the XML2 T6 and the XML T6? I see on the one Convoy, you are able to select either of those. Not sure how much better the XML2 is than the XML.

pilotdog68
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gherrmann19 wrote:
Thanks. Is there a big difference between the XML2 T6 and the XML T6? I see on the one Convoy, you are able to select either of those. Not sure how much better the XML2 is than the XML.

You want the XML2 if its an option. IIRC it’s about 20% brighter. For outdoor use, you’ll want either a 3C or 4C tint probably.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

pilotdog68
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Are you still looking at the C8 at fasttech? If so, I would go with this one

The orange peel reflector will give a smoother beam (but not quite as much throw)

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

tryps
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I only suggested a zoomie you would at least get a decent one and don’t end up with nasty ultrahouseonfire lights. Convoy refelctor lights are great to: Convoy L4, C8, M2, M1, S3, S2+ are all great. So great that I have all of them. Choosing the led tint really sweetens the deal, no unknowns and you avoid blueish crappy light you get out of most cheapos.

keltex78
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The C8 is an awesome light, highly recommended. Another to consider, the ZY-T08 - $24.99 at Mtn but out of stock at the moment. $26.73 - 5% @ FT puts it close to your budget:

http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002537/1188301-small-sun-zy-t08-cree-xm-l-t6-635lm-5-mode-white-l

...That is if you want a thrower. 2x cells in parallel, so safe operation, with twice the runtime. You didn't specify if by bright, you wanted long range or wide flood.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Tacoboy
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gherrmann19 wrote:
Also does anyone have experience with the light in the link below? Zooms and takes an 18650. I doubt the 2000L is realistic but seems like a decent piece for the price.

http://www.amazon.com/Enjoydeal-Bright-Lumens-Adjustable-Flashlight/dp/B...

I’ve bought 7 of those Ultrafire WF-878s, I’m sure realistically they are 600-800L, I guess $10 is a fair price.
You can order them off eBay (shipped from China) for about $8-$9, free shipping and no tax.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultrafire-2200LM-CREE-XM-L-T6-LED-18650-26650-AA...

gherrmann19
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keltex78 wrote:

The C8 is an awesome light, highly recommended. Another to consider, the ZY-T08 – $24.99 at Mtn but out of stock at the moment. $26.73 – 5% @ FT puts it close to your budget:

http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002537/1188301-small-sun-zy-t08-cree-xm-l-t6-635lm-5-mode-white-l

…That is if you want a thrower. 2x cells in parallel, so safe operation, with twice the runtime. You didn’t specify if by bright, you wanted long range or wide flood.

I’m torn between flood and throw honestly. I favor a little more towards throw with still a decent flood. It looks like the C8 is able to satisfy that from what I can see.

keltex78
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I think you will be happy with a decent C8... Then the addiction will set in. First, a dedicated thrower. Then a dedicated flooder. Then....


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Tacoboy
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gherrmann19 wrote:
keltex78 wrote:

The C8 is an awesome light, highly recommended. Another to consider, the ZY-T08 – $24.99 at Mtn but out of stock at the moment. $26.73 – 5% @ FT puts it close to your budget:

http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002537/1188301-small-sun-zy-t08-cree-xm-l-t6-635lm-5-mode-white-l

…That is if you want a thrower. 2x cells in parallel, so safe operation, with twice the runtime. You didn’t specify if by bright, you wanted long range or wide flood.

I’m torn between flood and throw honestly. I favor a little more towards throw with still a decent flood. It looks like the C8 is able to satisfy that from what I can see.

You can get what I would assume are (decent?) knock-offs of the C8 for $8.09 each.
Buy two for under $20. ($8.09 + $8.09 + $1.59 shipping)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/371218265894?_trksid=p2060778.m2749.l2649&ssPage...

Chicken Drumstick
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Personally for the price of the Convoy I’d just buy one Convoy over two crappy ones.

tryps
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Chicken Drumstick wrote:
Personally for the price of the Convoy I’d just buy one Convoy over two crappy ones.

+1000

Cheapnes gets expensive if you buy cheapass lights, they are cheap for a reason.

One should at least aim a certain level of quality and look for a good deal there, same goes for batteries.

pilotdog68
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Tacoboy wrote:

You can get what I would assume are (decent?) knock-offs of the C8 for $8.09 each.
Buy two for under $20. ($8.09 + $8.09 + $1.59 shipping)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/371218265894?_trksid=p2060778.m2749.l2649&ssPage...

Why take a chance at possibly getting a “decent” knock-off when you can get a great quality Convoy C8 for only $16?

Edit: I see others beat me to the punch.

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

keltex78
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  1. The cheap light: $8
  2. An aluminum reflector (if shipped with cheap plastic reflector): ~$3
  3. A good driver (to replace the cheap 5-mode (next-mode-memory?), ~$4
  4. A good emitter: ~$5

So the cheap light could end up costing more in the long run... Innocent

Buy the Convoy - ENJOY!


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

tristanxoxo
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I’ll 2nd the X6 recommendation.

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