What are the top 3 must have 18650 budget lights?

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Speedsix
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I am just getting into 18650s after being shy about starting a new battery type but now I got a 18650 light, I want more. In a nutshell, what are the top three lights to get? I hear Ultrafire UF-2100 and Ultrafire C-8 thrown around a lot. Would they be on the short list?
BetweenRides
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A Solarforce Lxx should be on

A Solarforce Lxx should be on your list. I'm a relative noobie on them, but I absolutely love my L2P.

CheapThrills
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BetweenRides wrote:A

BetweenRides wrote:

A Solarforce Lxx should be on your list. I'm a relative noobie on them, but I absolutely love my L2P.

 

One Solarforce for sure, just in case you want to easily test & update for new leds/drivers with P60.

C8 is a very basic light, gets often referred, other lights compared to it´s size and feats. Very cheap also, I would probably get one or if more $ available, the Xin-TD C8.

2100 could be the one, if small size and cheap pricetag are preferred.

luxi
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I don't have tons of

I don't have tons of experience with budget lights, but here are some I think are must-haves:

- TrustFire TR-3T6 (one of the brightest budget flashlights, with pretty good throw given that it's very floody; optional extension tube which adds to the already good runtimes; can even use AAs in a pinch).

- Keygos KE-5 (for it's price- brightness- and size ratio, it can't be beat).

FandyFire STL-V6 (excellent thrower).

 

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I think, a Solarforce is a

I think, a Solarforce is a must-be. I like my Solarforce Lego (favorite combination at the moment: L2p blue head and tail, grey L2 body, SS permium flat bezel). If you do not like the design of Solarforce, take the Skyary SR-R5 body (Lumens Factory Seraph P6 clone)

The Uniquefire 2100 is nice (because it's smaller), but it getting really warm/hot on high after 8-9 minutes.

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The Ultrafire UF-H3 is a very nice headlamp.

The Ultrafire UF-H3 is a very nice headlamp.

However most/all protected 18650 cells don't fit.

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hmmm....

Skyray STL-V2
Trustfire R5 A3
some multi-xml

Leelou
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Speedsix wrote:I am just

Speedsix wrote:
I am just getting into 18650s after being shy about starting a new battery type but now I got a 18650 light, I want more. In a nutshell, what are the top three lights to get? I hear Ultrafire UF-2100 and Ultrafire C-8 thrown around a lot. Would they be on the short list?

They get mentioned a lot not because they are two of the best 18650 lights but because they are the best 18650 lights for their price. The 504B is another one for a cheaper alternative to SF P60.

The UF-2100 is a pocket rocket edc. C8 is a decent thrower all around light. How about a headlamp for the third one, say the UF-H3? Although it's tint could be better and needs a waterproofing mod.

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Like what the others have

Like what the others have already said, Solarforce is a definite must have. I have an L2.

Ultrafire UF-H3D is not that durable in my opinion. One fall from your pocket and it's all busted. Cry

 

 

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There seem to be a few

There seem to be a few versions of the 2100; any concensus as to whether one of them is better thought of than the others? Or is one of them maybe best avoided?

Leelou
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gloomywarfreak wrote:Like

gloomywarfreak wrote:

Like what the others have already said, Solarforce is a definite must have. I have an L2.

Ultrafire UF-H3D is not that durable in my opinion. One fall from your pocket and it's all busted. Cry

My UF-H3 has fallen several times from 3 feet high on tiled floor(because the the magnet is too weak). Still works perfectly. Just saying. 

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1)Solarforce, I'd pick the

1)Solarforce, I'd pick the P1, but any Lxx is fine

2) XIN TD C8, hands down the best C8 style thrower

3) S-mini for a small, reliable, longest-running 18650. Get the XM-L if you want more flood and a warmer tint, the XP-G if you want more of a thrower and a cooler tint.

 

Hey look, three lights and not a single blinky mode to be found!

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Trooplewis has made some fine

Trooplewis has made some fine suggestions and Bob K has great advice. They've both saved me the trouble of typing that all out.

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Ok here's the best 3 budget

Ok here's the best 3 budget lights for the money. 

I'll rank them in the order I think. 

1. Keygos KE-5-for $20 to $25 shipped off ebay-no other light I have will touch it for the money. 

2. CITIPOWER X7 for around $18 shipped off ebay

3. CITIPOWER X5-$15 shipped off ebay

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I have a Fandyfire HD2011. I
I have a Fandyfire HD2011. I like it but would like one smaller for general carry. I also want a thrower since the Fandyfire is more flood. Ideally, i would like a forward clicky with pocket clip and only two modes. High and low. In as small a package as possible. This would be my ideal pocket thrower.
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And I'll tell you one more

And I'll tell you one more good one to have.  I still love this light.  One of my first 18650 light I believe.

Trustfire TR-1200 Q5 for about $35 shipped

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/trustfire-tr-1200-cree-q5-wc-5-mode-1200-lumen-white-5-led-flashlight-2x18650-3x18650-4x16340-57380?item=54

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Good stuff

CheapThrills wrote:

BetweenRides wrote:

A Solarforce Lxx should be on your list. I'm a relative noobie on them, but I absolutely love my L2P.

 One Solarforce for sure, just in case you want to easily test & update for new leds/drivers with P60.

C8 is a very basic light, gets often referred, other lights compared to it´s size and feats. Very cheap also, I would probably get one or if more $ available, the Xin-TD C8.

2100 could be the one, if small size and cheap pricetag are preferred.

I've got a 2 cell Trustfire similar to the C8 but with a head that's 56+mm that I'd get again over the C8 (which my son has).  

Otherwise, I these recommendations are pretty good starting points . . a P60, a larger reflector, and a straight tube . . not going to pay  much less but you could pay a lot more and not get much more for your money until you jump up to more LEDs in the head and more batteries to drive them.

Might argue for a thrower, but really the XMLs seem to be pretty decent already.

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The whole 18650 list as far

The whole 18650 list as far as I'm concerned could consist of just the Ultrafire T-50. Other than specialty lights like a dive light or an aspheric thrower the T-50 covers it for me.

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Speaking from what i have and

Speaking from what i have and used:

  • HD2011 (I like it better than my UF2100)
  • C8 XM-L
  • Solarforce L2T

Also for consideration:

  • UF-H3
  • Skyray King
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My current  Top 3 18650
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I am a huge fan of my

I am a huge fan of my UltraFire UF-T50 and Shadow JM07 Pro. Both of those are a little more expensive than a lot of the lights in this thread though.

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single cellKdc8 xmlTf

single cell

Kdc8 xml

Tf x9

2100

SF L2T with 3 mode manafont drop in

Uf H3

 

Don't limit yourself to 3

 

 

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Anything Solarforce in a

Anything Solarforce in a 18650 would be my choice.  My fave is the L2P.

 

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I wasn't limiting myself to
I wasn't limiting myself to just three. I just wanted to see what the good ones were by how often they are included in your votes. What was hot 1-2 years ago may have been replaced by something much better now. My knowledge of 18650 is limited.
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oldbobk wrote:Speedsix,     

oldbobk wrote:

Speedsix,

      Honestly, one of these, any one of them, may be all you'll ever need. Any other light will be disappointing. You can get brighter lights, but you'll have to spend a lot more. And P60 lights? Forget them! Oh, they have their uses as weapon lights, but if you have a C8 and a P60 on the shelf, increasingly the P60 will get left behind. The P60 is a relic, a more economical Surefire, if you will. Now there is no reason to put up with the intentionally poor heatsinking (the Surefires started out as incans) and impaired light output due to the reflector size.

 

Funny, when I still had some C8's, they were left on the shelf more often.

I guess the reason was larger size, too throwy for general use and my P60's just seemed to always have the best driver + LED -combo soldered in. Smile

 

I still agree: for long runs in high power P60 is not the best choice, it loses some power because of heat.

Reflector is also small, not throwy and light can be still made smaller if needed.

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Speedsix wrote:I have a

Speedsix wrote:
I have a Fandyfire HD2011. I like it but would like one smaller for general carry. I also want a thrower since the Fandyfire is more flood. Ideally, i would like a forward clicky with pocket clip and only two modes. High and low. In as small a package as possible. This would be my ideal pocket thrower.

that should have shut down 99% of the comments right there

You already have a small 18650 light  with the hd2011/about the same as the uf 2100.

You won't get any light to give you more throw in this form factor or smaller unless you change emitters..the only answer I'm guessing is an xpg S-mini . i think trooplewis has one ,you might want to ask him .i thought ric from cqg had a host  the same size or a S mini clone ...?? If you want two mode You may need to make it yourself

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Are there any differences

Are there any differences between the HD2011 and the 2100? I've seen the 2100 at least from FandyFire, UniqueFire, Ultrafire...

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IMO..Keygos Ke-5 for under

IMO..and all my lights have to have a short form factor as they are all for bicycle applications.

Keygos Ke-5 for under $20 shipped

Keygos M10 for under $23 shipped.

JM05 CLONE FROM DX for $25 shipped. http://www.dealextreme.com/p/new-260-cree-xm-l-t6-5-mode-1000lm-white-led-flashlight-w-strap-1-x-18650-1-x-26650-121481

 

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taz wrote:Are there any

taz wrote:

Are there any differences between the HD2011 and the 2100? I've seen the 2100 at least from FandyFire, UniqueFire, Ultrafire...

And don't forget the Yezl Z1. 

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BetweenRides wrote:taz

BetweenRides wrote:

taz wrote:

Are there any differences between the HD2011 and the 2100? I've seen the 2100 at least from FandyFire, UniqueFire, Ultrafire...

And don't forget the Yezl Z1. 

That's also a clone? Great, so all perform the same or one stick out of the lot?

 

For 18650 I also like the TR801, the Roche F12 and this one.

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As you are looking for budget

As you are looking for budget offerings, I'll go like the others and say:

  1. P60 host of your choice with MF 3-mode XML dropin
  2. XM-L C8
  3. UF 2100 (I don't own this one, but would like to)

Kicking things up a notch from the budget territory:

  1. STL-V2 or similiar
  2. Trustfire TR-3T6 or J12
  3. P60 host of your choice with MF 3-mode XML dropin

I don't have the first two from this list; they are on my short list of lights I want though...

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