Need recommendation for my first general purpose 18650 flashlight (Zanflare F1, Eagle Eye X6R, Convoy C8)

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rhymeguy
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Need recommendation for my first general purpose 18650 flashlight (Zanflare F1, Eagle Eye X6R, Convoy C8)

Hello people,

For the last few days I’m struggling to make decision between the following flashlights:

  • Zanflare F1
  • Eagle Eye X6R
  • Eagle Eye X2R
  • Convoy C8 XML2
  • Feel free to recommend something else

My budget is around $30 and I would need 2 18650 batteries, so around ~$45 in total.
I would like to hav eon-board charging option since I don’t have dedicated battery charger yet.
For the batteries I’m thinking about https://www.gearbest.com/batteries/pp_186582.html (ok choice?)

Edited by: rhymeguy on 05/27/2018 - 18:08
toddcshoe
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If you have a C8 on your list. Take a look at this one. A bit over budget but really worth it. No built in charging but I have a few single cell chargers laying around. I could send you one.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Sofirn-C8F-Triple-Reflector-Tactical-LED...

BlueSwordM
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@rhymeguy if you need a good all around light, I would recommend this Kaidomain C8:
http://kaidomain.com/p/S026928.KDLITKER-C8_2-Cree-XHP50_2-Neutral-White-...

Quite the nice and good light. Quite powerful and has a good UI.

No USB charging though.

Nooner
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The Thorefire C8S has an XML2 led.

In this post http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60338 there is a code for the kit that includes a battery and charger.

Everything you need for $19.99.

It’s almost identicle to the Convoy C8 you mentioned in your original post.

pennzy
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I second the Sofirn C8F. It made all my other C8 flashlights obsolete.

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Quote:
I would like to hav eon-board charging option
I understand the tempation to go that route, but honestly I would advise against it. Don’t limit yourself by looking only at lights that have on-board charging. My advice would be to purchase a dedicated charger to have better visibility/control over the charging process and better charging. Some of these on-board chargers don’t charge the cells fully or charge very slowly – OK to use as a last resort, but probably not the best to use as a primary charging method.
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toddcshoe wrote:
If you have a C8 on your list. Take a look at this one. A bit over budget but really worth it. No built in charging but I have a few single cell chargers laying around. I could send you one.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Sofirn-C8F-Triple-Reflector-Tactical-LED...


Is the output really 2580 lm? Has anyone been able to verify this? And if so, how long does it stay at that level before stepping down?
Nooner
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Also the batteries you linked will work fine in any of the lights you listed.

However you might consider a cell with a high discharge capacity. Not essential for the lights you mentioned. But perhaps a light you get in the future could use the extra amperage delivery.

The Sofirn C8F (others have recommended) would require a high drain cell. The Samsung 30Q would fit the bill. Isn’t too expensive.

BlueSwordM
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@Pete78743, you are right. It doesn’t reach 2580 lumens.

In fact, it reaches 2800 lumens at 30 secs with an appropriate cell:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/57817

For a beginner though, I would not recommend a C8F. A FET light is not really appropriate, as brightness drops as the cells voltage goes down. A constant high, but not extreme, light output is what it really needed.

As I stated before, the Kaidomain C8.2 would be the best bet between power, and runtime. A Samsung 30Q would be your best bet:
https://liionwholesale.com/collections/batteries/products/samsung-inr186...

Kaidomain C8.2:
http://kaidomain.com/p/S026928.KDLITKER-C8_2-Cree-XHP50_2-Neutral-White-...

Lightbringer
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As usual, I’m gonna ask first before anything else… whaddya gonna do with it?

Grubble through dark basements/attics? Walk the dog at night? Spot owls in trees? Etc. Ie, close-in work where you want something floody, or farther-out spotting where you’d want a thrower?

For a general purpose light, I’d recommend the Zanflare F1 or the Nitefox UT20, both of which have built-in charging, aren’t overly high-strung and will let you use even laptop pulls (as I often do), and are nice easy to carry tubelights.

I got 4-5 F1s, and just got a UT20. I’m really impressed with both as far as build-quality.

The F1 never comes as a kit, so you’ll have to buy a separate cell for it. You can, if you’re willing to wait, pick up a F1 for 20bux on a flash sale if/when GB offers it, else it’ll be priced something obscenely higher if not (like, double, 40bux).

The UT20 can be had through Amazon for 23bux currently without a cell. They (Nitefox) have a decent 2600mAH cell with protection and built-in charger(!!), too, for 10bux. That’s actually cheaper than getting the kit (light + regular cell). The cell’s pretty good, ‘though it’s 5A max drain, and clocked in over spec (something like 2610mAH for a 2600mAH-rating). The light doesn’t draw more’n 3A or so, so it’s plenty.

For a “starter kit” of an 18650 light, either one of these is perfect.

If you’re not emotionally attached to a built-in charger, there are so many other lights out there, but they’d of course require a separate charger. Get a LiitoKala 100 or 202 and be done with it. Under 10bux for sure.

And look, later on, you can get bigger, beefier, even almighty chargers (seriously!).

But as far as 18650 lights, the S2+ is an old standby, and you can substitute TIR lenses from spot to flood. Or use it as-is with its reflector. Thorfire and Sofirn also have a nice assortment. My SF31WW (yes, warm-white!) is a keeper, albeit discontinued. Then there are those lights that take drop-in modules.

While the C8 is highly regarded, especially the C8F, C8s in general are throwers, not suited too well for close-in work. Certainly not for, say, lighting up the ground in front of you on a dark trail. You’d be blinded by the small but intense hotspot, whereas the spill will be almost useless after you’re so blinded. Best to get a nice flooder, like an S2+ with a 60° TIR lens swapped in.

Like I said, it depends what you wanna do with it.

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eas
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If you want us to help you break a tie between tube lights and larger-headed, thrower lights, you might want to give us more information about your version of general purpose use.

Without that info, I’m going to suggest a tube light, since they fit more pockets than a C8, or X2R.

The X2R and Convoy S9 (side switch) are both nice USB rechargable 18650 tube lights. Of the two, the S9 is a little more compact, thanks in large part to the side switch.

The Zanflare F1 is nice too. It is brighter than either the X2R or the S9, but it is also somewhat larger.

I’m not going to steer you away from a USB rechargeable light. The X2R, S9, F1 and probably the X6R, all do a good job of recharging, and it’s convenient in your first 18650 general purpose light, even if you also have a proper charger. When you end up getting more lights, or you decide you need extra batteries, you can get a separate charger.

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Lightbringer
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Almost forgot… how long are you willing to wait to get your light? Anyplace overseas, like GB, FT, BG, AX, etc., you’ll be waiting several weeks to over a month, at minimum. If you want it faster, you need Amazon. They won’t be as good pricewise (like I said, 40bux regular price for an F1 there, vs maybe as low as half that from GB if you’re willing to wait for a flash-sale).

In this case, and I don’t want to sound like a shill for Nitefox or anything, but the UT20 (light-only) and the cell with built-in charger will be all you need to get started. It’s a decent cell as-is, and it works well with the ’20.

One alternative I forgot to mention is the Thorfire TK18 kit. The light, charger, and Thorfire cell (pretty good) can be had from BG, but dunno if the codes are still good for it. Check the threads to see if so. I’m not even going to guess what the prices would be, but the group-buy or whatever for the ’18 was a damned good price. Got my kit long ago, but am still waiting for my light-only.

In general, Thorfire and Sofirn have good cells in their kits, so I wouldn’t be afraid of using those cells, and would recommend them without hesitation. Other no-name Mystery Cells can be crappy rewraps pulled from recycling bins that are 1-2 charges away from going supernova. I’d give away those cells to someone I hate.

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Lightbringer
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eas wrote:
The Zanflare F1 is nice too. It is brighter than either the X2R or the S9, but it is also somewhat larger.

I keep hearing people say that, but I don’t get it. It’s marginally longer, it’s a bit heavier (because it’s built like a tank, and not the 007 kind), but I don’t see it as “bigger” the way lots of people seem to make it a dealbreaker.

But to me, the S9 is just anæmic, dunno why all the hype. Don’t see the appeal at all. I’d rather stick to the old workhorses of the S2, S2+, S3, S5, etc.

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RaVeN
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Another one is the Klarus ST10. Review here: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/58587

Smaller/lighter than the Zanflare F1 and from a more reputable brand. Comes with a 2600mah battery included.

You will have to look for a coupon but I believe you can get it in or close to your price range with one.

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I second and third the Sofirn C8F suggestion. It has a nice amount of flood lighting but still throws pretty dang far. I’ve been walking my dog at night with mine and running it on medium you’re getting way more light than you would from a flashlight from a department store. The runtime is really not bad at all. You don’t have to walk around with it on turbo or high all the time. I use mine on low most often and it’s still brighter than my other regular flashlights. Low or med will give you plenty of run time. I couldn’t be happier with mine.

Sofirn C8F
Convoy S2+
Ultrafire WF502-B(dead)
Sofirn SF36

Agro
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Lightbringer wrote:
As usual, I’m gonna ask first before anything else… whaddya gonna do with it?

Grubble through dark basements/attics? Walk the dog at night? Spot owls in trees? Etc. Ie, close-in work where you want something floody, or farther-out spotting where you’d want a thrower?

For a general purpose light, I’d recommend the Zanflare F1 or the Nitefox UT20, both of which have built-in charging, aren’t overly high-strung and will let you use even laptop pulls (as I often do), and are nice easy to carry tubelights.

I got 4-5 F1s, and just got a UT20. I’m really impressed with both as far as build-quality.

The F1 never comes as a kit, so you’ll have to buy a separate cell for it. You can, if you’re willing to wait, pick up a F1 for 20bux on a flash sale if/when GB offers it, else it’ll be priced something obscenely higher if not (like, double, 40bux).

The UT20 can be had through Amazon for 23bux currently without a cell. They (Nitefox) have a decent 2600mAH cell with protection and built-in charger(!!), too, for 10bux. That’s actually cheaper than getting the kit (light + regular cell). The cell’s pretty good, ‘though it’s 5A max drain, and clocked in over spec (something like 2610mAH for a 2600mAH-rating). The light doesn’t draw more’n 3A or so, so it’s plenty.

For a “starter kit” of an 18650 light, either one of these is perfect.

If you’re not emotionally attached to a built-in charger, there are so many other lights out there, but they’d of course require a separate charger. Get a LiitoKala 100 or 202 and be done with it. Under 10bux for sure.

And look, later on, you can get bigger, beefier, even almighty chargers (seriously!).

But as far as 18650 lights, the S2+ is an old standby, and you can substitute TIR lenses from spot to flood. Or use it as-is with its reflector. Thorfire and Sofirn also have a nice assortment. My SF31WW (yes, warm-white!) is a keeper, albeit discontinued. Then there are those lights that take drop-in modules.

While the C8 is highly regarded, especially the C8F, C8s in general are throwers, not suited too well for close-in work. Certainly not for, say, lighting up the ground in front of you on a dark trail. You’d be blinded by the small but intense hotspot, whereas the spill will be almost useless after you’re so blinded. Best to get a nice flooder, like an S2+ with a 60° TIR lens swapped in.

Like I said, it depends what you wanna do with it.


I agree, “general purpose” means very different thing to different people and getting the use sorted out is really the first step that needs to be taken. Also, personally I wouldn’t consider single-emitter C8 to be general purpose.
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Hi rhymeguy,

I’m new on this forum, and don’t have the knowledge and experience of all these fine people who have taken time to give you great advice.
…but recently I had to start, just like you, wanting to buy something good on a budget. So I have learned a great deal from my experience.
My first mistake was buying cheap batteries…Don’t! – for a few dollars more I could have bought a well known brand.

I agree with some of the others who have said don’t go for a rechargeable flashlight because you are limiting your options.
I bought my first charger secondhand at less than a quarter of the price and it had hardly been used. Works very well.

If your overall budget is $45 including batteries, I would buy a LiitoKala 202 charger or similar, as Lightbringer advised, currently $7.99 at Banggood.
Batteries like Samsung 30Q – currently $11.59 at Banggood (for 2). (You can actually get 4 for $18.69 using coupon code on this forum.)
That leaves you with about $25 for the flashlight.
I first bought a Convoy C8 and they currently start at $15.99 on Banggood. (various prices for different options)
There is a general coupon code “4BLF” which will take another 9% off flashlights as well.
I liked the Convoy so much that I bought a second one. It suits me for taking dogs for walks at night and finding them in the bushes and trees.

If you don’t want the Convoy, the $25 will be very close to getting you one of the other flashlights recommended on this post.
You might just need to spend a few dollars more.
Look at some of the posts on this forum with discount coupons, flash sales etc. including M4D M4X’s website.

Be prepared with batteries and charger, because once you become a flashlight junkie, you’re going to need them!

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I like the Sofirn SF36 (NW) and 36W (WW) as a general purpose/utility light. Slightly larger than the typical tube light, but smaller than a C8. I don’t see any crazy deals on it at the moment, but the NW version with battery and charger is just under $20 on Amazon with the current 20% off coupon. Really pleased with tint on the XP-L V6, similar to the BLF Q8.

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Or you could save yourself a lot of money and cut to the chase . An 14500/AA in your pocket and a BLF Q8 for a blaster. These are the two lights I find myself using daily. The C8F comes in third.

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NItecore TIP on the keyring, Sofirn SF14 in the pocket, BLF A6 in the car, BLF Q8 on the nightstand, and an L2 or C8 as a searchlight/thrower.

Skilhunt H03 for headlamp flood, Xanes D25 for a more throwy runner/biker, and Boruit RJ-02 for the toolbox.

That’s my needs met, the rest are/were for fun and to try things out until I found what worked best.

I wouldn’t want to be without the TIP, A6, Q8, and H03, or have to choose between them.

Still plenty of lights I would like to have, but none will really fill a need.

Beam me up!

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pennzy wrote:
Or you could save yourself a lot of money and cut to the chase . An 14500/AA in your pocket and a BLF Q8 for a blaster. These are the two lights I find myself using daily. The C8F comes in third.

I was gonna suggest something like a SP10 or TK05 loaded with a 14500. 500-600 lemons from an “AA” light is pretty impressive, and you don’t have to run it full-tilt all the time.

I keep trying to burn off over a hunnert AA alkaleaks by intentionally using my SP10s for, well, everything. Damned things seem to last forever, but I don’t want to toss ‘em when they’re just half-dead, so…

Except when I want to go outside and want a good blaster at my side will I take something bigger, but for most things, yeah, those little donks are pretty capable.

And the beams for small-diameter reflectors in AA lights are nice and diffuse, so they’re great for lighting up what’s in front of you, etc.

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Thorfire vg10s? Very cheap, throw in between a c8 and a tubelight.

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Lightbringer wrote:
eas wrote:
The Zanflare F1 is nice too. It is brighter than either the X2R or the S9, but it is also somewhat larger.

I keep hearing people say that, but I don’t get it. It’s marginally longer, it’s a bit heavier (because it’s built like a tank, and not the 007 kind), but I don’t see it as “bigger” the way lots of people seem to make it a dealbreaker.

But to me, the S9 is just anæmic, dunno why all the hype. Don’t see the appeal at all. I’d rather stick to the old workhorses of the S2, S2+, S3, S5, etc.


Sorry, but F1 is bigger than S9, and I, personally, wouldn’t call it marginal
I remember you disputed it before and I, from my end, never understood it honestly. Wanted to put up a photo of F1 next to S9, but got tied up with something else

Granted, F1’s got higher output, sturdier…all that, but S9 is small, elegant

Wondered where that perception comes from, and only thing that comes to my mind may be this American sense of beauty that usually involves size.

Remember a girl I knew in Germany who once told me, after being asked what is she missing from USA, saying…bigger things (!!) And boy, was I surprised on my first visit to US – after having a cup of coffee you end up with a pile of garbage, plastic spoons, plastic bags, both regular sugar and artificial sweetener, filter, condensed milk…..and coffee maker itself “oversized” by the way. A grandpa next to me ate a very big turkey sandwich
Then you enter a gentlemen’s room only to find a urinal bowl that is a few, or several, times the size of those in Europe…

You are lucky you haven’t encountered a Japanese Smile

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F1 next to S2+, and S9 is a tad shorter than S2+ actually
A bit unfortunate angle, but still clearly shows that F1 is bigger, both length and diameter

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Lightbringer
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Finnno wrote:
Sorry, but F1 is bigger than S9, and I, personally, wouldn’t call it marginal

Granted, the S9 is smaller and lighter, but it’s also an 18650 light.

Finnno wrote:
I remember you disputed it before and I, from my end, never understood it honestly. Wanted to put up a photo of F1 next to S9, but got tied up with something else

Granted, F1’s got higher output, sturdier…all that, but S9 is small, elegant

And this is my point. That it’s only got (just looked it up) 580lm out the pipe. Take a 14500 light like an SP10 or TK05, and they’re in the same 500lm-600lm range, and lots smaller.

Granted, there’s no on-board recharging, but it’s, as I mentioned, anæmic compared to other 18650 lights that push out twice the lemons.

Finnno wrote:
Wondered where that perception comes from, and only thing that comes to my mind may be this American sense of beauty that usually involves size.

I holster a ’502 as my “real” EDC light, but nowadays I’m also pocketing an SP10.

Edit: And that’s what I wanted to mention, that with the same output, you could be using a 14500 light, and have it be lots smaller. So to me, instead of filling the gap between much brighter 18650s and much smaller 14500s, and getting the best of both worlds, the S9 is kind of the worst of both worlds, almost as big as most other 18650 lights, but with the lesser output of 14500 lights.

Finnno wrote:
Remember a girl I knew in Germany who once told me, after being asked what is she missing from USA, saying…bigger things (!!) And boy, was I surprised on my first visit to US – after having a cup of coffee you end up with a pile of garbage, plastic spoons, plastic bags, both regular sugar and artificial sweetener, filter, condensed milk…..and coffee maker itself “oversized” by the way.

Huh? Where were you getting your coffee?

Here, you ask for a coffee, you get it in a cardboard cup, made with milk/cream/sugar/nutrapoison, whatever you ask for, and walk out with… the cup.

Go to a 7-11 and you build your own, from doll-sized cups to a nice big pail of it, but you roll yer own. Me, I like Colombian roast, a few packets of honey, some French-vanilla creamer, and some half’n‘half. Oh, and a coupla shots of Stōk.

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Lightbringer wrote:
Finnno wrote:
Sorry, but F1 is bigger than S9, and I, personally, wouldn’t call it marginal

Granted, the S9 is smaller and lighter, but it’s also an 18650 light.

Finnno wrote:
I remember you disputed it before and I, from my end, never understood it honestly. Wanted to put up a photo of F1 next to S9, but got tied up with something else

Granted, F1’s got higher output, sturdier…all that, but S9 is small, elegant

And this is my point. That it’s only got (just looked it up) 580lm out the pipe. Take a 14500 light like an SP10 or TK05, and they’re in the same 500lm-600lm range, and lots smaller.

Granted, there’s no on-board recharging, but it’s, as I mentioned, anæmic compared to other 18650 lights that push out twice the lemons.

Finnno wrote:
Wondered where that perception comes from, and only thing that comes to my mind may be this American sense of beauty that usually involves size.

I holster a ’502 as my “real” EDC light, but nowadays I’m also pocketing an SP10.

Finnno wrote:
Remember a girl I knew in Germany who once told me, after being asked what is she missing from USA, saying…bigger things (!!) And boy, was I surprised on my first visit to US – after having a cup of coffee you end up with a pile of garbage, plastic spoons, plastic bags, both regular sugar and artificial sweetener, filter, condensed milk…..and coffee maker itself “oversized” by the way.

Huh? Where were you getting your coffee?

Here, you ask for a coffee, you get it in a cardboard cup, made with milk/cream/sugar/nutrapoison, whatever you ask for, and walk out with… the cup.

Go to a 7-11 and you build your own, from doll-sized cups to a nice big pail of it, but you roll yer own. Me, I like Colombian roast, a few packets of honey, some French-vanilla creamer, and some half’n‘half. Oh, and a coupla shots of Stōk.


Hotel room, a plastic bag holding multiple plastic bags inside, two (2!) spoons, regular sugar / sweetener, plastic cup, packet of ground coffee, filter, napkin, milk etc….each in its own bag inside. A single cup, and you cant avoid a pile afterwards
Of course, this may have been an exception to how it is done normally, but that was my first experience, and that’s why i mention it

Lightbringer, as for me my personal favorite is JetBeam Jet-1 MK, which is roughly same output as S9, but still, S9 is, as far as I know, smallest 18650 (“standard” size) light with USB charging, with decent quality. Of course, 18650 will also provide more enrgy compared to 14500

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Finnno wrote:

Lightbringer, as for me my personal favorite is JetBeam Jet-1 MK, which is roughly same output as S9, but still, S9 is, as far as I know, smallest 18650 (“standard” size) light with USB charging, with decent quality.

This new one from Skilhunt is smaller: http://www.skilhunt.com/product-detail/m200-usb-magnetic-charging-flashl...
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Finnno wrote:
Hotel room, a plastic bag holding multiple plastic bags inside, two (2!) spoons, regular sugar / sweetener, plastic cup, packet of ground coffee, filter, napkin, milk etc….each in its own bag inside. A single cup, and you cant avoid a pile afterwards

Well, yah, but that’s different. To be “accommodating” they have to throw in all that crap.

What would you expect otherwise? An actual sugar-bowl, small ewer with creamer, etc.? I’d hate to have to deal with the bug problem from having exposed edibles all over the place! Big Smile

Or have a dispenser of all the packets, and have people “empty” them with each stay?

Finnno wrote:
Of course, this may have been an exception to how it is done normally, but that was my first experience, and that’s why i mention it

Hey, if you know a better way to do it…

Finnno wrote:
Lightbringer, as for me my personal favorite is JetBeam Jet-1 MK, which is roughly same output as S9, but still, S9 is, as far as I know, smallest 18650 (“standard” size) light with USB charging, with decent quality. Of course, 18650 will also provide more enrgy compared to 14500

Yeah, I got two Jet-Is and a Jet-II.

Also got more Convoys than I know what to do with. S2s, S2+es, S3s, S5s, C8s, complete, hosts, white, UV. I think I bought Simon that new pool he’s got with all the Convoys I collected over the years.

So I got nothing at all against Convoy, just question why the S9.

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

Finnno
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RaVeN wrote:
Finnno wrote:

Lightbringer, as for me my personal favorite is JetBeam Jet-1 MK, which is roughly same output as S9, but still, S9 is, as far as I know, smallest 18650 (“standard” size) light with USB charging, with decent quality.

This new one from Skilhunt is smaller: http://www.skilhunt.com/product-detail/m200-usb-magnetic-charging-flashl...

Man you need a proprietary or special cable for this Skilhunt thing. That alone kinda negates the concept of S9, or better still don’t like non-standard experiments

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Lightbringer wrote:

Yeah, I got two Jet-Is and a Jet-II.

Also got more Convoys than I know what to do with. S2s, S2+es, S3s, S5s, C8s, complete, hosts, white, UV. I think I bought Simon that new pool he’s got with all the Convoys I collected over the years.

So I got nothing at all against Convoy, just question why the S9.


Well that was the question you had from the beginning

Again: if you voluntarily “limit” your choice to 18650, and 18650 only, which is understandable (or you want more energy than 14500), AND you want USB, also understandable…than you in the S9 niche. As simple as that

Of course, “lemons” dont bother you all that much and ~500lm is Ok, which could be fine for some, believe it or not Smile

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Lightbringer wrote:
Well, yah, but that’s different. To be “accommodating” they have to throw in all that crap.

What would you expect otherwise? An actual sugar-bowl, small ewer with creamer, etc.? I’d hate to have to deal with the bug problem from having exposed edibles all over the place! Big Smile

Or have a dispenser of all the packets, and have people “empty” them with each stay?


Never saw this in Europe, not even in hotel rooms, that tells something. Maybe even the coffee example can be questioned to some extent, but you have numerous other examples, industrial products, consumer goods, urban planning, motor vehicles, food…even medications

Spread love, it pays off

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