New User Gone 18650 Crazy

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Night Breaker
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New User Gone 18650 Crazy

Hi everyone,

I had to join this forum because I enjoy it very much, and I've learned a lot from many of the knowledgeable, veteran posters on this board. I'm planning to continue reading and learning from all of you because, like all of you, I've caught the bug, to my wife's slight dismay.

For some reason 18650 flashlights appeal to me, and so far I'm remaining committed. I'm currently attempting to acquire 1) single-18650 lights with as small a form factor as possible (lights similar in size to the UltraFire P10-R5, or even smaller if possible), and 2) single-18650 lights that throw well, and that have the UltraFire U80-style form factor.

Small-size 18650 lights I have/use (or have ordered):

UltraFire P10-R5 (5-mode) -- This light's form factor is ideal to me. This $18 (from DX) light operates flawlessly, and it seems to exhibit only slightly less spill/throw than comparable size T6 lights. I'd absolutely love a black UltraFire P10 in 3-mode with a T6 or U2 emitter.

UltraFire V6-T60 (3-mode high/med/strobe) -- Just received this yesterday. This light is only slightly larger than the P10-R5, but it is has slightly more brightness/throw. However, operation seems glitchy. Sometimes the light works fine. But many times it won't come on (pressing switch again remedies this). I'm not experienced enough to determine if its the switch or other component. Going to use it and experiment with different batteries to newbie troubleshoot. Paid $24 from DX (not feeling great about purchase so far. This might be returned...).

UniqueFire/Kingston UF-2100 (3-Mode T6) -- Recently ordered 2 a few days apart. Paid less than $15 each using the BLF code on DD. I hope these work well... I like this size light. Based on the positive reviews, I'm hoping at least one of them works flawlessly...

Single 18650 throwers I use/ordered, or am contemplating now:

UltraFire WF-502B -- I added a one-mode U2 emitter not too long ago. Nice light output and I like the form factor, but I'm detecting an extremely slight/occasional but consistent "flicker" during output (barely perceptible), and emitter or switch seems "glitchy" - sometimes emitter is low, and then turning it off and on corrects this. I'd like this light a lot if it operated flawlessly. Had P60 shell on hand and dropped a $16 U2 emitter from Kaidomain into it (now they sell them for $11). Knowing what I know now, instead of upgrading my WF-502B, I would have ordered: http://www.kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=11251

I've also recently ordered an UltraFire C8 T6 5-mode light from eBay for $16. http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130579738166ssPageName=ADME:X:AAQ:US:1123 Honestly, I only ordered this light because of the price, even though I knew this light might not arrive with T6 emitter as listed... living dangerously, rolling the dice.

Right now what I plan on purchasing next is a single-18650 thrower with clean form factor like the UltraFire NH-T60 (two-mode version) http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafire-nh-t60-ha-ii-xm-lt60-2-mode-1000-lumen-white-led-flashlight-with-strap-1-x-18650-55907, but this $30 light costs more than my personal $20 per-light limit, a rule I only break occasionally. So I'm waiting for restock on what I think is a U80 knockoff: http://www1.shenzhen-wholesale.com/high-power-cree-xml-t6-led-aluminum-f...

or:

I might return my new UltraFire V6-T60 to DX and order either the UltraFire NH-T60 or the  UltraFire UF-980L. I really like the form factor of the NH-T60, but I understand the light output on the UF-980L is higher, so I'm torn here. But I'm starting to think that maybe I shouldn't fool around -- it might actually be cheaper to pull the trigger on the UF-980L and get a good light.

Related to the above possible purchase: would I have a better chance of getting a flawless-operating NH-T60 or UF-980L by ordering from someplace other than DX?

Thanks in advance for any input, feedback, and advice.

Joe

Edited by: Night Breaker on 10/09/2011 - 07:10
ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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Hi Joe and welcome.  Yea my wife thinks I'm ocd when it comes to flashlight.  I have been buyin the crap out of them.  Probably spent over $700 or more on flashlights, chargers and batteries in the last 4 months or so.  But I have slowed down some.  But  I still watch out for good deals.

ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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I will recommend the Keygos KE-5 from redlog off of ebay.  you can buy one for less than $25 shipped.  Go check out my thread I have on here.  One of my favorite lights.  I would have to say for it's size it is my favorite. 

ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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Here ya go buddy.  This is one light that every member ought to buy.  I solidy recommend it.  You won't find a better light for the money unless if theUltrafire C8 will beat it in which I doubt that it will.  But I do have one coming so I will be able to compare. 

 http://www.ebay.com/itm/1300-Lumens-CREE-XM-L-XML-T6-LED-EK5-Flashlight-Torch-/160661497679?pt=US_Flashlights&hash=item25682be74f

Be sure to buy from that seller.  Mine burns over 3 amps at the tailcap with most batteries. 

E1320
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Welcome to BLF Joe

I have the KD U2 drop in also paid $16 and it is only driven to 2.2 amps I switched it to a 3 amp 3 mode driver and woke it up. I would be glad to change the driver in yours for you send me a PM.

Definitely spring for a UF 980L you are more than welcome to try mine if you are ever down by UNH.

I would also consider the new Shiningbeam S-Mini XML for a small 18650 light it can't be beat.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

CheapThrills
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E1320 wrote:

Definitely spring for a UF 980L 

 

I´ll give a second vote for 980L. It is a keeper.

I bet it is heatsinked better than that DX alternative + very good form and better looking.

Not at all as big, as I was first thinking.

fnsooner
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CheapThrills wrote:

E1320 wrote:

Definitely spring for a UF 980L 

 

I´ll give a second vote for 980L. It is a keeper.

I bet it is heatsinked better than that DX alternative + very good form and better looking.

Not at all as big, as I was first thinking.

I'll third the motion. This is one of my favorites, budget or not. I use it all the time in Direct drive to test all my 18650 cells. With a DMM of course. 

I caught the 18650 fever about a year ago. I was all loaded up with various Nimh powered flashlights and thought my flashlight spending craze was over. Cool

Night Breaker
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Thanks all for the info.

ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS -- thanks for that link to the U80 clone. I plan to order that one.

E1320 -- thanks for the link to the Shiningbeam S-Mini. Never saw that one before. I plan to but that one too.

E1320
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You should hit up Reverendjim for some of his 18650 mini nukes you can't beat them for the price and he is almost out so send him a PM.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/4189

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

Foy
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I'll 4th the 980L recommendation and . . .

 

welcomeFoy

No referral links and nothing embedded . . . ever.

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Night Breaker
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This is why I joined this forum, to receive good advice from people who are knowledgeable.

The consensus seems to be that the UltraFire UF-980L is the way to go, so this is what I'm going to get. Trying to buy inexpensive U80 clones will probably only yield unreliable lights, so this route will probably end being more expensive and aggravating in the long run.

I hope the UF-2100 lights I ordered recently work as well (or at least one of the two I ordered anyway). These and the UF-980L are the types of lights I'm looking for.

The 18650 seems to be a powerful power source, and I think it's a fun challenge to obtain lights that use this battery in as small of a form factor as possible in terms of physical size of light (for EDC), and of course performance. Accordingly, Shiningbeam S-Mini is now on my list to investigate, as well as the "18650 mini nukes" from Reverendjim, both suggested by E1320. But first I'm going to test the UF-2100s I'm getting to see if they're any good.

I also think it would be fun to acquire the "ultimate" single 18650 light that is the most powerful in terms of light output/throw while still maintaining as small a size as possible. The U80-shaped lights seem to meet this criteria for me, and they look good as well, but I've never held one. They look pretty ergonomic, but reliability and light output are most important obviously... which is why I'm going to start with a UF-980L.

Thanks all for your advice and welcoming me to the forum. This message board is very interesting. I'd like to contribute to it as I learn more.

P.S. My UltraFire V6-T60 seems to be increasing in reliability as I use it. I cleaned and lubed the threads. Seems to work fine now. Is this common? Real newbie here. Sorry. If it remains reliable I'll keep it and use it. Powerful light and form factor is nice -- it's pretty small. The 3-mode high/med/strobe is okay, but I prefer high/med/low (I'm picky). It heats up quick on high, but on my job I don't keep my handheld "searchlights" on for extended periods.

Joe

Fightin14
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vote for the uf-980 I love mine. It is great. It throws like crazy. Not great for everyday use/ carry but when you are out in a field at night / or on the water you all of a sudden become the man.