What are the current, truly quality budget offerings?

24 posts / 0 new
Last post
slmjim
Offline
Last seen: 43 min 4 sec ago
Joined: 02/04/2018 - 17:49
Posts: 107
Location: Derby City - Home of The Louisville Slugger
What are the current, truly quality budget offerings?

Hi all,

 

As a newcomer to the high-performance budget light scene, there are many brand names I've never heard of. Trying to understand the quality hierarchy of brand offerings has got me a little perplexed.

 

It seems that most of the " ***fire " brands are populated with inferior knockoff emitters, poor drivers and questionable build quality. GB, BG and, perhaps especially Amazon reviews aren't to be trusted because casual flashlight users aren't well educated as to what's possible, they just know that their new ***fire (or whatever) unit is very bright, with no other experience to compare. They may not even relate poor spectrum output to anything being amiss, if they notice it at all.

 

I'm unwilling to support knockoffs of any kind. I'd prefer a quality, known brand emitter such as  CREE, Samsung, etc. in anything I buy.

 

In reading through the fake CREE emitter thread, among others, I saw a few mentions of particular brands that are considered to be trustworthy:

 

"...established Brands and reputable sellers will have real Cree emitters, (Such as Convoy, Thorfire, Manker, Thrunite, Nitecore, Olight, Foursdevens, etc."

 

I also saw Streamlight, Surefire, Maglite, and Pelican mentioned in a much older thread.

 

Are these brands still considered good value, offering solid build quality and genuine, high-quality brand-name emitters?

What are some other current brands that offer quality builds along with assurance of receiving genuine emitters, not inferior knockoffs such as LatticeBright, et al?

 

Thanks for your time gentlemen. And ladies, if there are any here.

 

slmjim

Great... Carnac the Magnificent tells me I just signed up for yet another expensive hobby.

will34
will34's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 12/18/2012 - 00:12
Posts: 3410

Convoy
Eagleye
Thorfire
Zanflare
Sofirn
KD lights

The key to not receive latticebright LED flashlights is to not buy $4.99 flashlights with 20,000 claimed lumens on ebay or aliexpress.

hIKARInoob
hIKARInoob's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 41 min ago
Joined: 08/28/2016 - 08:15
Posts: 3774

Jaxman

FmC
FmC's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 42 min ago
Joined: 03/31/2013 - 05:23
Posts: 2086
Location: Brisbane, AU

Sounds like you are itching to buy… Big Smile

You can’t go wrong with a Convoy C8.

You have the advantage of LED choice & some customization, when ordering through the genuine Convoy sore, plus the BLF discount, if you message the owner, Simon.

jf_smm
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 05/30/2016 - 12:29
Posts: 421
Location: NorCal

I would drop the maglite from the list. They’re still made very solid but way under-powered so far. When they catch up I’ll buy one for old time’s sake.

PS – welcome Thumbs Up

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Online
Last seen: 10 min 50 sec ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 11204
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA

BLF A6, and a lot of other lights made for BLF.

cellguy
cellguy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 09/12/2012 - 15:59
Posts: 836
Location: Indiana

I picked up a Thorfire TG06S last week. I think it was asround $11 on Amazon. Fantastic little light.

Current Favorites:

BLF Q8, Thrunite TC20, Convoy L6

 

 

 

Speed4goal
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/11/2016 - 13:03
Posts: 1204
Location: Bay, St. Louis Mississippi

will34 wrote:
Convoy
Eagleye
Thorfire
Zanflare
Sofirn
KD lights

The key to not receive latticebright LED flashlights is to not buy $4.99 flashlights with 20,000 claimed lumens on ebay or aliexpress.

+1 nailed it right there perfect list.

The only reason to buy a cheap light like the 501, or 502 is for a host. But for about 5 dollars more $10 11 dollars you can get a quality convoy host from mtnelectronics

2/9 Fox Co (2009-2015) Semper Fi 0311/0331 Rifleman/Machine Gunner
Blf has changed a lot since I've been here. Lots of snow flakes and easily offended over nothing. When the forum use to be great and people joked around and could take a joke. It's a forum it's not that serious. Let's make BLF great again!

hIKARInoob
hIKARInoob's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 41 min ago
Joined: 08/28/2016 - 08:15
Posts: 3774

One thing about the Zanflare though, is that it’s a really good budget light, if you wait and use a good discount code for it. For example, the F1’s MSRP is $40. Standard Gearbest’s discount code today reduces that to $24. But the last couple of months, the price went down as low as $13, and even $10. Love
… We’re talking seriously good value here. Cool

Tumbleweed48
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 23 min ago
Joined: 11/12/2012 - 23:21
Posts: 672
Location: Canada

I still think Convoy offers the best value for expenditure.

I don’t care how much you pay, you’re not going to beat the quality of an M2 or an ‘S’ anything, or an L6. More money might buy you something fancier, but it won’t buy anything any more robust or functional.

Of course, the ‘big brands’ are good too, and more prestigious if that’s important. I have Olight, Thrunite, Fenix and several others – but the Convoys still impress the heck out of me, and they’re a delight to mod any time I feel like upgrading drivers or emitters.

Pulsar
Pulsar's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 5 days ago
Joined: 07/29/2011 - 00:41
Posts: 5834
Location: Maine

Can’t forget about solar force if you are looking to have a p60 host.
Astrolux, emisar, utorch to name a few more. Some of the older trustfire and ultrafire lights were solid, bit have no clue about now.

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Online
Last seen: 4 min 17 sec ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 5917
Location: nyc
Pulsar wrote:
Can’t forget about solar force if you are looking to have a p60 host.

Yep, the L2M is quite nice, too. Forward-clicky switch, convertible from an 18650 to 18350 with the 2-section tube, nice and flexible.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Online
Last seen: 4 min 17 sec ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 5917
Location: nyc

Wotdahell… 2nd post that didn’t “stick” after hitting “save”.

Speed4goal wrote:
The only reason to buy a cheap light like the 501, or 502 is for a host. But for about 5 dollars more $10 11 dollars you can get a quality convoy host from mtnelectronics

Anyway, the ’502 is an awesome host, and I still EDC one every day.

You can build whatever kind of drop-in you want, change them on the fly, and the ’502 is a little beefier than the ’501 and conducts heat better. Great finish, buttery smooth threads that are dead silent, not a hint of scratchiness to them.

Dunno the quality of recent ones, but the quality of those ’502s from 2-3yrs ago were almost Convoy quality. Back then, they came with genuine Crees or at least good LatticeBright clones. The switches were solid, never even a hint of failure in my EDCed light. And they were hella bright, at least 500lm or more. Of course, they were always H/M/L with damned blinkies, so the first thing you do is toss the emitter/driver and use the rather beefy pill for the emitter/driver of your choice.

Then again, generic C8s were similar, decent emitters (‘though CW), solid hosts, beefy pills, good switches, etc. Then quality nosedived fast in just a year or so. Then, they started coming out with fake LBs, barely an XP-E sized chip, making at best 2-digit lumens. Seriously, a nice tight hotspot due to the smal emitter, but barely 70-80lm. Plastic reflectors(!), scratchy threads, thinwall battery-tube, pure garbage through and through.

So, you might luck out with a good ’502 to use as a host, or you might not. Worst case you spend 5bux on a light that you can give to someone you hate.

But the ones I have… flawless.

Plus, I love the design of the ’502. Perfect feel and balance. Try one (or more).

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Zulumoose
Zulumoose's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 10 min ago
Joined: 04/13/2017 - 09:25
Posts: 787
Location: South Africa

Don’t forget Klarus, and the very good quality smaller lights from Jetbeam and Utorch. I have an Mi7, Jet-U, and UT-01. Quality performers each with unique characteristics. Nitecore are not often budget, but the keyring models are fantastic, particularly the Tip.

Beam me up!

SKV89
Online
Last seen: 3 min 25 sec ago
Joined: 12/10/2017 - 12:46
Posts: 1532
Location: US

BLF A6
Emisar series
Haikelite

Franz
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Joined: 04/03/2013 - 04:09
Posts: 638
Location: Brasil
Pulsar wrote:
Some of the older trustfire and ultrafire lights were solid, bit have no clue about now.

Yeah, the TR3T6 was my war tank for 2~3 years with 6 hours per day average. The only bad thing is that not water proof, a simple whash can fill the reflector, mine occured that and even with water drops growing up through those leds the light still worked for a long time until the driver burn, after that it run in direct drive without driver, very bright and alot of heat

I cannot has luck anyore with trustfire after that, TR-J12 worked few months afet I shaked hard that pulling some cables, TR-T1 I replaced the driver 2x it only need a little fall and the driver break Facepalm , TR-A9-2 CRAP Crying

I decided not buy trustfire anymore after that, but TR-J20 still have my attention, if the price was lower….. Tired

Zulumoose wrote:
Don’t forget Klarus…….

Darkus? No this brand not suposed to be in reliabe list….

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54493

I need to thanks my friends here specialy FlashPilot to help my problem solve Thumbs Up

So, budget and reliable for me is Thorfire for sure, my S70 still works after almost 2 years and tons of hours of ceiling bounce and “high falls” Innocent

WARvault
WARvault's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 16 hours ago
Joined: 01/21/2018 - 03:09
Posts: 26
Location: Grampians, AU

I have a pair of Singfire flashlights. SF-348 AAA light and a SF-75B 18650 light. Both nice stainless bodies and both came in cheap, <$5 an <$10 respectively. I would rate them as exceedingly adequate!

pavol77
pavol77's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 4 days ago
Joined: 01/22/2018 - 16:07
Posts: 42
Location: Slovakia - Bratislava

Hello
I also want to buy the Thorphire TG06S for $ 11
had a discount or a coupon ???
thank you for the reply

 

pavol77

Buttkicker
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 11/04/2017 - 11:45
Posts: 83
Location: Leeds United Kingdom

The UTORCH UT-02 is an absolute bargain along with the Astrolux MF-02 which for the price with coupons is quite unbelievable value for money

Nightcore ST-7
Astrolux MF-02
Astrolux MF-01
Utorch UT-02
Thrunite V6 catapult
BLF GT Gigathrower
Astrolux MF-04

Lexel
Lexel's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 47 min ago
Joined: 11/01/2016 - 08:00
Posts: 4155
Location: Germany

Jetbeam has some very nice budget lights with good quality
Or Sofirn
Astrolux S41 over app or with coupon is a steal

wle
wle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 53 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 853
Location: atlanta ga

utorch UT-01 is a great $10 light, small, very bright, good UI

Astrolux S1/ BLF A6 is a great light, great UI, about $15-30, uses 18650 for good run time/brightness

cellguy
cellguy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 09/12/2012 - 15:59
Posts: 836
Location: Indiana
pavol77 wrote:

Hello
I also want to buy the Thorphire TG06S for $ 11
had a discount or a coupon ???
thank you for the reply


 

I just checked Amazon and it looks like the sale is over. I paid 16.20 and received a $5.67 discount, $10.53 total on 1/30.

Current Favorites:

BLF Q8, Thrunite TC20, Convoy L6

 

 

 

kramer5150
kramer5150's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 05/19/2010 - 13:43
Posts: 2109
Location: Palo Alto CA

Just casting my vote for Thorfire and Convoy. No complaints about either. Solid builds and materials, legit Cree emitters, and they include extra O-rings and wrist lanyards. Really liking my thorfire D26, came with a nice protected 18650 and a nice USB charger. Although I prefer 26650 cells with it.

slmjim
Offline
Last seen: 43 min 4 sec ago
Joined: 02/04/2018 - 17:49
Posts: 107
Location: Derby City - Home of The Louisville Slugger

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Helps a lot.

 

slmjim

Great... Carnac the Magnificent tells me I just signed up for yet another expensive hobby.