[REVIEW] Cheap 14500 flashlight with COB light side and little modding

27 posts / 0 new
Last post
mizou51
Online
Last seen: 3 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 01/17/2016 - 12:06
Posts: 257
Location: France
[REVIEW] Cheap 14500 flashlight with COB light side and little modding

Hello

I wanted to share my experience with this cheap flashlight from GEARBEST. I bought it at 3€ !
http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights/pp_674262.html
I didn’t expect much from it at this price tag to be honest. I doesn’t come with 14500 battery and i choose a keeppower protected one because i think the driver is a cheap one.

Quality
The host is maded from aluminum, anodization is good but seems not as good as convoy.
The reflector is in plastic and not very well center drilled (see the pict below)

Output and beam profil:
It is rated 280lm and first impression it’s less. I think 150-200lm range maxi
The beam is also more of a thrower because the led die is very small compared to the reflector. For a EDC light or a “helplight” for my workshop it is not appropriate use. A floody light is better in my opinion (that’s why i modded the led)
Side COB light is very bright and very useful.

Modding:
i found a mcpcb with the same size and swap with a XML LED. Result is that i get double output from the front light and that’s now a floody light. I’m very very satisfied with the new beam. I didnt changed the driver and it does not output lots of amp to the led but the host don’t have any pill of sit for the mcpcb. I think it“s better to keep the led at low amp driven for temp and runtime because of the 14500 capacity.

Runtimes:
I will add here the runtimes

Conclusion
I very very satisfied witht this cheap light. The only cons is the lack of a tailcap magnet!!!

If you have any question don’t hesitate.
I’m sorry for my poor english and i hope you understand me.

Edited by: mizou51 on 08/14/2017 - 16:01
vwpieces
vwpieces's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 07/17/2016 - 19:49
Posts: 1794
Location: PA, USA

Been seeing a bunch of those around the net. Different branding, some skywolfeye.
Thanks for posting this as I have interest in utility lights like these. Good to see it uses a normal 16mm MCPCB.

Definitely would like to see some runtime results.
What modes or sequence and I assume its a tail switch. Hopefully no stupid blinky…

Sorry missed the Video at first. Answered my questions.

mizou51
Online
Last seen: 3 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 01/17/2016 - 12:06
Posts: 257
Location: France

yes there is the “stupid” blink mode for the cob side light only.

I also did some runtimes with the 14500 850mah protected keepower

Only side COB light: 47min
Only front XML2 light : 42min

The host heat up to 55°C approx.

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 35 min 23 sec ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 875
Location: Portugal

Hi mizzou51!
Is there any possibility for you to tell the measures of the reflector, please?
Outside diameter of the top, inside diameter of the hole for the and height if the reflector!

Thank you in advance Thumbs Up

BTW, if you want to had a magnet to the flashlight, you can try to glue a ring magnet (Ex: Convoy store in AliExpress) on the tailcap, or some flat magnets in the clip (using heat-shrink tube)! I made it with almost all my flashlights and it works fine Wink

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

Reviews : Amutorch S3 - XPG3-S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 - XHP70.2 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / 

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5                             Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses on: XML2 / XPL-HI                             Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)

 

mizou51
Online
Last seen: 3 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 01/17/2016 - 12:06
Posts: 257
Location: France

Yes for sure i’ll do measurements tomorrow

For the magnet i did order magnets at gearbest and waiting for them. I was thinking to glue them (same idea Wink

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 35 min 23 sec ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 875
Location: Portugal

Thank you very much Wink I’ll be waiting for the information then Wink

I guess that there are better materials than those I used, but I glued mine in “flat” tailcaps (Manker E11 and Sofirn SP32) with “alpha cyanocrylate” glue. If you want take a look at the results here: http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1152340#comment-1152340 Smile

Thanks again!! Thumbs Up

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

Reviews : Amutorch S3 - XPG3-S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 - XHP70.2 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / 

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5                             Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses on: XML2 / XPL-HI                             Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)

 

mizou51
Online
Last seen: 3 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 01/17/2016 - 12:06
Posts: 257
Location: France

here are the specs for the reflector :

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 35 min 23 sec ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 875
Location: Portugal

Hi mizou51!!
Thank you very much for sending the photos with the measures! It will help a lot in what I have in mind!
Btw, and sorry for this request, can you tell me the height of the reflector, please?
It is not necessary a photo, just the measure please Wink

And thank you very much once again Thumbs Up

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

Reviews : Amutorch S3 - XPG3-S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 - XHP70.2 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / 

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5                             Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses on: XML2 / XPL-HI                             Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)

 

mizou51
Online
Last seen: 3 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 01/17/2016 - 12:06
Posts: 257
Location: France

MascaratumB wrote:
Hi mizou51!!
Thank you very much for sending the photos with the measures! It will help a lot in what I have in mind!
Btw, and sorry for this request, can you tell me the height of the reflector, please?
It is not necessary a photo, just the measure please Wink

And thank you very much once again Thumbs Up

oups i did a wrong copy past. It’s corrected.

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 35 min 23 sec ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 875
Location: Portugal

Eheh, no problem! Thanks for the help on this!
Just to say, I want to see if the reflector will be suitable to make a mod in another light ! This is the closer I get in terms of measures Wink
So I think I’ll try to get one of these flashlights, take its reflector and maybe the other one works!

Thanks once again Wink
Best regards Thumbs Up

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

Reviews : Amutorch S3 - XPG3-S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 - XHP70.2 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / 

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5                             Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses on: XML2 / XPL-HI                             Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)

 

Martini
Martini's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 11 hours ago
Joined: 05/07/2014 - 04:29
Posts: 644
Location: I da ho

Thanks for the review, it’s always nice to see such a thorough review of a truly “Budget” light here on BLF.

I’ve seen these online and thought about ordering one because I like the COB side light, but I was worried it would be complete junk. Looks like it would be worth my time to pick one up and do some easy mods on it.

scdaf wrote:
It’s important to have your restraints within walking distance, lest someone needs restraining. Wink
mizou51
Online
Last seen: 3 min 8 sec ago
Joined: 01/17/2016 - 12:06
Posts: 257
Location: France

Martini wrote:
Thanks for the review, it’s always nice to see such a thorough review of a truly “Budget” light here on BLF.

I’ve seen these online and thought about ordering one because I like the COB side light, but I was worried it would be complete junk. Looks like it would be worth my time to pick one up and do some easy mods on it.

yeah if you have a 14500 spare battery that’s a very good budget light for home use. Just need to glue a neodynium magnet

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 35 min 23 sec ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 875
Location: Portugal

Hi mizou51!
I just received a similar flashlight and it is really a deal!
I bought it for 1,84€, so it’s really cheap and pretty good to indoor use!! Especially the COB light! Thumbs Up

The output is not the greatest but I guess this is really good for a cheap light! There would be a lot of things to change, of course, but the UI is the only thing I’d change radically.
Starting on a lower mode and then the higher would be the first thing; then, I’d add the possibility to jump the “front light” modes directly to the COB (as sometimes a more floody light is needed); and perhaps I’d drop the blinks on COB light.

But, overall, I’m quite happy with this, so thanks for your review and comments! And also for the measurings you’ve done!
I’ll probably take the reflector and lens out (to use it in other light), and I’ll put a TIR lens (if I manage to…).

Thanks again Thumbs Up

DB Custom said: "Hide your billfold, cut up your credit cards... you're a perfect candidate for full blown flashaholism and will soon need dedicated flashlight cabinets. [...] Have fun! Modding is next... :P" 

Reviews : Amutorch S3 - XPG3-S3 /  AM S3 vs Neal 219c  /  Amutorch AM30 - XHP70.2 / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF14 & SP10A / 

Mods and tricks: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5                             Convoy S2+ TIR Lenses on: XML2 / XPL-HI                             Others: Convoy S2+ Mini (Biscotti 3 & 1*7135)

 

eas
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 07/14/2014 - 18:53
Posts: 491
Location: PNW

Thanks for the review. I picked up one of these on AliExpress for ~$2.20. Great for the price. I wish it didn’t have “next mode memory” though.

My blog with battery pack teardowns, reverse engineering and other battery-related info:

http://powercartel.com

Laptop smart battery PackProbe

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 230
Location: Dark side of the Sun

Good review, just received mine today from Aliexpress. Bought mine for 2$ but it has a stupid “Enjoydeal” branding etched on the host.
Overall it’s a good light for the price but it can’t tail stand, but that’s okay since it can head stand while using COB mode.
It also has the Next mode memory which is very annoying.

Update:
Apparently there is also a zoomable version of this light.

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 230
Location: Dark side of the Sun

I have taken the current measurements when using an eneloop pro and estimated runtime

Battery – Eneloop Pro 1.2V | 2500mAh | 3Whr

High – 535mA – 0.64W ~4.5Hrs
Low – 150mA – 0.18W ~16Hrs
COB – 565mA – 0.68W ~4.3Hrs

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

ifratos
ifratos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 32 min 51 sec ago
Joined: 07/31/2017 - 07:19
Posts: 82
Location: Romania

Mine is labeled “probe shinny” ,bought from Alie usd 2,12.
I swaped the led with XP -G2 neutral ,usd 0.79 on Alie , and I am very satisfied how it light up now.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.( Gen.1:3)

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 230
Location: Dark side of the Sun

you know any way to disable the cob blinkie? or maybe disable next mode memory?

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

ifratos
ifratos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 32 min 51 sec ago
Joined: 07/31/2017 - 07:19
Posts: 82
Location: Romania

Sorry but I am not so good to modding ,just swaping leds ,reflectors,drivers…..basic .
Hope other members can help , I am interested too.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.( Gen.1:3)

Ricez
Offline
Last seen: 34 min 25 sec ago
Joined: 09/09/2010 - 12:32
Posts: 46
Location: uk

I got one from Aliexpress and it appears to be a different manufacturer or they are cutting costs. Mine lacks the white bush that sits between the LED and reflector. The tail spring looks smaller and it doesn’t have the 4 holes to unscrew the switch housing. The body looks thinner too

It weighs: 33.96g

Mine has low mode on the cob and flashing on the main LED

Next mode memory just ruins a great light.

Fresh eneloop:

560mA cob low
1.8A main high
(1.8A) flashing main
1.8A cob high

I guess you could just swap the outputs on the driver to have low COB and flashing main or low main and flashing COB

The body allows an AA to rattle around a bit and the driver has “CX-WFL50” printed on the bottom

kotobuki
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 10/17/2016 - 09:41
Posts: 177
Location: US
Quote:
maybe disable next mode memory?

You need to install a resistor, parallel with the capacitor on driver board with value from aroud 1MOhm to 2MOhm.
This trick will discharge capacitor in a certain time after you switched OFF the light, so it will turn ON at first mode next time.
If you click fast enough when ON, those functions still work like normal.
Hope it helps.

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 230
Location: Dark side of the Sun

what about the pencil graphite method? will that work?

*Update * : I don’t think that might work since I believe the light is writing it’s mode to eeprom because the light remembers next mode even after days of no use.

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

kotobuki
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 10/17/2016 - 09:41
Posts: 177
Location: US

Quote:
pencil graphite method

I don’t know that method.
Quote:
I don’t think that might work since I believe the light is writing it’s mode to eeprom because the light remembers next mode even after days of no use.

With the cheap flashlight likes this, I don’t think it remembers last mode by writing any things to memory, just run pre-programed modes.
Lagittaja
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 32 min ago
Joined: 11/28/2017 - 19:24
Posts: 6
Location: Finland

I received one from AliExpress as well, 1.77€ or 2.06$.
Store name Black scorpions.

Mine also very thin body wall, AA rattles. No washer under reflector, no holes to unscrew switch housing.
Modes are cob hi/lo, main hi/slow flash.

Current draw with pretty fresh “noname” alkaline
1.76A cob hi/main hi
0.56A cob lo.
Let’s assume that the AA maintains (briefly), say, 1.2V under the load so it would be about 2.1W
Let’s take say 10% off because of driver efficiencies (nothing’s perfect), we’re left with 1.9W.
With a typical forward voltage of 3.1V, assuming it’s a real XP-E (I doubt) we’d have about 0.6A forward current which would be about 150% relative flux if it’s a real XP-E (I doubt).
So ballpark 150-180lumen output seems reasonable to me.

I actually prefer this UI vs the slow flash on cob and only hi on cob.
Reason being that I mainly bought this light for the side cob so I feel it’s more useful to have hi/lo on cob rather than normal and flash.
Also I’d say the flash is more useful with main light as it’s quite throwy.

Nice and really budget light for modding but the AA rattle out of the box is a bit unfortunate though not hard to fix.
Overall 3/5, would buy again.

Edit: If you want to take this light apart, it’s really easy.
The cob “lens” holds the cob in place by one small plastic peg which goes through the cob led pcb.
So you need to pop the cob “lens” off first and after that the whole assembly slides out the front.

Push the lens up from here

And/or lever the lens up (with something slim enough, mini screwdriver or something) and pull/slide it “away” from the front of the flashlight.
The way the lens goes in is that you first put one edge of it in (towards the front of the light) and then you push the rest of it down, making sure cob pcb hole and lens plastic peg are lined up. (Hope that makes sense)

After that you can gently push the driver/pill/main led combo out the front of the light (long screwdriver through the tube or something) while making sure the cob led follows, might need to push the pill and then the cob led and then the pill and so on.
The wires are bit fragile looking so be gentle.

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 230
Location: Dark side of the Sun

Do you have a picture of your flashlight’s driver?

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

Lagittaja
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 32 min ago
Joined: 11/28/2017 - 19:24
Posts: 6
Location: Finland
DoubleA wrote:
Do you have a picture of your flashlight’s driver?

I do now.
https://imgur.com/a/HJcfS
Hopefully those are of use, won’t open it again until I have a replacement led+mcpcb Silly
If anyone wants to remove the mcpcb from the pill/driver piece, it’s tight but it will come off once you apply enough force.
I used a small flat head screwdriver and just lever it up from there. It also takes a bit of pressure to put it back in, level that is. Grabbed a bit bigger flat head that time..

I’m thinking about swapping the led to a Nichia 219B or C in 5700K.
Or maybe just a XP-G2 in something like 5000-5500K. I don’t know yet.

I’ve also found some TIR optics from AliExpress, from Yajiamei Optics store. Thanks to MascaratumB’s Amutorch review where he linked to their store.
These cobbled/bead lenses should just about fit this host
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/CREE-XP-E-XP-G-lens-Diameter-17mm-Bead-s...

Edit: Also my reflector is different type as well as different dimensions.
https://imgur.com/a/QD9lq

P.S. Oh and yes, the main LED color is afwul, the beam profile isn’t nice, pretty much everything is quite hideous about the main LED but at least it’s a standard 16mm mcpcb so easy to swap Big Smile

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 230
Location: Dark side of the Sun

Thanks for those pics. I don’t see any MCU or am I wrong? Sick

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...