Review: Solarforce P1

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Foy
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Review: Solarforce P1

Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer: Clumsy Name - Not a Bad Flashlight

 

Did you know that Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GFRP) was first developed in the mid '30s?  If you did, you might also recall that Disneyland's "House of the Future" was built entirely of GFRP in 1956.  When the attraction was to be demolished about ten years later, the wrecking ball simply bounced off the structure.  Okay; so, we know high-tech plastic can be pretty amazing stuff.  Can it make a memorable P60 flashlight.  Yes.  Is the P1 amazing?  Not really.  There's nothing wrong with it but whatever advantages it has, I don't think it's worth $26.  Since I can find no glaring fault or outstanding weakness, I'm going to give it 75% Foyapproval.

Foyappro

Bottom line:  The P1 is a good flashlight.  My lengthy research (12 minutes) proves it doesn't need to be treated any differently than a metal torch.  It has typical Solarforce quality, its function has been flawless and it's not unreasonably ugly.  Some may even think it handsome.  Is having the heat effectively isolated from your hand worth $7 more than an L2P?  Foy does not think so.  $4 more will get you the spectacular new version L2 and an UltraFire XM-L drop-in howitzer.  YMMV

Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer: Clumsy Name - Not a Bad Flashlight

 

Did you know that Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GFRP) was first developed in the mid '30s?  If you did, you might also recall that Disneyland's "House of the Future" was built entirely of GFRP in 1956.  When the attraction was to be demolished about ten years later, the wrecking ball simply bounced off the structure.  Okay; so, we know high-tech plastic can be pretty amazing stuff.  Can it make a memorable P60 flashlight.  Yes.  Is the P1 amazing?  Not really.  There's nothing wrong with it but whatever advantages it has, I don't think it's worth $26.  Since I can find no glaring fault or outstanding weakness, I'm going to give it 75% Foyapproval.

Foyappro

Bottom line:  The P1 is a good flashlight.  My lengthy research (12 minutes) proves it doesn't need to be treated any differently than a metal torch.  It has typical Solarforce quality, its function has been flawless and it's not unreasonably ugly.  Some may even think it handsome.  Is having the heat effectively isolated from your hand worth $7 more than an L2P?  Foy does not think so.  $4 more will get you the spectacular new version L2 and an UltraFire XM-L drop-in howitzer.  YMMV

 

What I like:

- light weight

- feels great in the hand

- keeps heat away from the hand, as promised

- head cuts allow light to escape for night-stand duty

- daring design departure

- included 16340 sleeve

What I do not like:

- tail cap switch retaining ring loosens with cap after tightening

- mold lines

- won't accept a Foybezel  (unforgivable)

 

Solarforce P1 P60 Flashlight Host

$25.99  Solarforce-Sales  http://www.solarforce-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=FB&s=6&id=434 

ordered: 3-22-12

received: 4-7-12

designed for 2 x CR123/16340 or 1 x 18650 lithium-ion battery

Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (flame retardant added) and aluminum alloy

"HA III" finish

non-tail standing forward clicky tail cap switch with 14mm boot

"waterproof design"

plastic sleeve for 16340/CR123 use

selected manufacturer specifications/comments:

"ventilating" heat isolating grip

tail cap switch rated to 3 amps

34mm head, 136mm length

68g empty

what you get for $25.99:

- P1 host including head/glass lens, main tube and tail cap/switch

- white plastic sleeve for 16340/CR123 use

Flashlight arrived in flawless condition.

Because some folks thought heat from higher powered P60 modules might pose a problem in a "plastic" flashlight, the first thing Foylab engineers did with this P1 was try to melt it.  I put a fresh charged Solarforce 18650/2400 under my highest-current-pulling 3-mode UltraFire XM-L drop-in that measured between 3.75 and 4.05 amps at the tail.  After testing tail cap current, I turned on my new P1 at 10:48 pm and took the following remperature readings at the hottest point on the head I could find:

10:48 - 96° (fahrenheit)

10:50 - 116°

10:51 - 132°

10:52 - 146°

10:53 - 156°

10:54 - 170°

10:55 - 176°

10:57 - 183°

10:59 - 196°

11:00 - 200°

There was no deformation of any kind and the torch gave no indication of going liquid.  While the head was a toasty 200°, the flashlight body was hardly warm at all.  Performing this same test with an L2P would result in a battery nearly too hot to touch.  The battery in the P1 remained cool as a cucumber.  This is why I feel the P1 can handle a drop-in as well as any other P60 host . . . possibly better than most, even.

I must admit; the more I look at it the less ugly it seems.  What is interesting about the P1 is that it feels substantial without being heavy.  Solarforce says an L2P weighs 93g empty while the P1 is a svelte 68g.  Empty, it feels almost like a McDonald's straw and gets most of its heft from the drop-in and battery but even so; the P1 feels very light weight.

Head design allows light to escape for night stand duty and the provided plastic bezel is the only bezel that will thread on.  A heavy metal bezel is probably not in keeping with the design goals, I suppose . . . which begs the question; are there activities that specifically preclude the use of a metallic flashlight?  Solarforce makes mention of it being chemical resistant so, a hydrochloric acid shower with a P1 in hand shouldn't be a problem.

In certain light you can see the anodized tube, distinct from the GFRP through the "venilations."  From what I can tell, the tube and the tail cap switch components are all that is metal on the light.

I think things look a bit too busy up here.  Too many cuts, too many lines, too much going on.

The six "flutes" on the head are repeated on the tail . . .

. . . brand logo is a raised design, one opposite the other on each side . . .

. . . the color difference is less noticeable in real life but up close, the P1 simply can not avoid looking like plastic . . .

. . . much less so perhaps, were there no mold lines.

Web address for handy reference . . .

. . . I also think the residual glue on the inside edges of the "vents" are unsightly.

It's a small thing but worth mentioning; the tail cap switch retaining ring sometimes loosens when the tail cap is unscrewed.  Also, this is the only bezel you'll be using.

The aluminum tube looks like a press-fit/glue affair.  Probably a better solution than a ground strap/wire, I suppose.

Yes, L2/L2P head and tail caps will screw onto the P1, just like Solarforce said they would.  What they didn't say was how stupid it would look.

Foy is a sucker for extra stuff and I like that Solarforce included a 16340 sleeve.

My cat "Ted" has absolutely no sense of personal space.  Actually he has no sense.  Come to think of it, Foy does not have any sense for having Ted.

I'm not including beam shots because this light makes exactly the same beam with this drop-in as another P60 host would with this drop-in.

That sound you don't hear is me yawning every time I look at this flashlight.  What's to hate?  Nothing.  Okay; I don't hate it.

 

Foy

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Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:20
ezarc
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I am still considering buying one to keep in my glove box, maybe with one of the new IO drop ins. 


But I might have to wait to win the lottery first. 

fishinfool
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AwesomereviewandbeautifulpicsasusualFoy!  

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

_the_
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Great review Foy!

I'm still not sure whether I need this light or not.  :~

=the=

Disclaimer: Above post might contain referral links, but only to items that I myself have bought, tested & approved. Or items that, based on my experience, can be considered as good deals & worth sharing.

MagPap
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Great review. Thanks for the info.

Vectrex
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Great review... not so spectacular host... all the heat that is kept away from your hand is toasting the dropin. I really wonder what the die temperature of the emitter might have have been in this test, not to mention the faster aging of the electronic components of the driver. Well, I already stated my opinion about the host here and here and what I think of this design in a high power LED application. I still think it's more for low power LEDs and incan dropins. If they made the head and especially the collar out of aluminum, it would get a higher "Vectrex approval" rating.

jacktheclipper
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Great review .

I'm gonna give it  4 1/2 Beer

T.H.Cone
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I think it was a really classy move putting the cat's paw in there so we could get a better understanding of the relative size of the flashlight.  It was Ted's idea, wasn't it?  That's one smart cat.  

As for the shot of the shipping package, I think they must know they are sendig it to FamousFoy because every package I've ever gotten looks like it has received some very rough treatment.  One was ripped open to the point that I was amazed anything was still in there (it all was, actually).  I keep going back, though.  I can't help myself.

I think you're likely correct about the value, but I think the earth tone and yellow colors will suck some people in, me included.

Thanks again for the review.  I hope I didn't pass ezarc's invisible humor line on this one.  I was trying real hard to maintain a serious demeanor.  Glasses

fidem, prae caeteris omnibus praeter honestatem

 

 

Don't be confused, my Username has been changed from "Cone" to "T.H.Cone".  I'm still the same clown.

kbark
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I received mine yesterday and I'm disappointed in the the color. On the SFS website there appears to be a tan/sand version. I ordered the "brown" and what I got was a greenish brown light.

Meh...

junkiexl
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Great review Foy!

I got the yellow one and so far I'm loving it

Foy
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cone -

Solarforce does not even know Foy exists.  I've not ever received a review sample (I even asked one time) and my most important order arrived like this . . .

. . . this package contains an M8, an M6, a Masterpiece Pro 2, an L2X extended, two L2Ps, two L2s (sold lights to customers) six bezels and an SST-50 drop-in.  That thing with the hole punched through it is the SST-50 and it fell out of the package when the letter carrier handed it to me.  This is how much extra attention Foy gets on the most expensive single order I've ever placed.

And, while I'm carping about shipping packaging, not sure if I should blame Int'l Outdoor, Hong Kong Post, USPS or the entire country of Singapore for this team fail . . .

 . . . the amazing part was; not a single scratch on anything.

 

flashlightindustryignoresFoy

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CheapThrills
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Foy:

 

My Intl'O  packet with XinTD was also "like a ball", not like a box.

Components were somewhat bubblewrapped but in plastic bags. Luckily, they were in good condition.

 

Almost all of my L2's from Solarforce have had their package a bit twisted or cracked.

T.H.Cone
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Foy wrote:

Solarforce does not even know Foy exists.  I've not ever received a review sample (I even asked one time)

flashlightindustryignoresFoy

Oh, I bet they know all about you!  

However, I didn't mean to suggest you were "on the payroll" or otherwise biased, only that that particular package looked to be in much nicer condition then any they ever sent me.  It was more a commentary on how they take a carefree attitude when it comes packaging our lights.  I didn't honestly think they took extra care with your package.  I do take perverse pleasure in knowing that it is pretty much a crapshoot for everybody.

I'm almost as big a fan of those hosts as you are and I like to think I'm as objective as a self-interested human being can be and I assume you are too.  I've never came close to thinking you were a shill.  But, if you can get free swag, go for; I love free stuff too. 

fidem, prae caeteris omnibus praeter honestatem

 

 

Don't be confused, my Username has been changed from "Cone" to "T.H.Cone".  I'm still the same clown.

ri chevy
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Foytaculareview!  Laughing

trooplewis
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I ordered a yellow one a few days ago, along with the "new" solarforce 3-mode drop-in.

Yellow is a great color for flashlights, at least non-metal ones. Been wanting a yellow Streamlight for a year, but just not impressed enough with the beam to spend $50 on it.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

Foy
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cone -

I didn't think you were suggesting that at all.  I didn't mean to sound defensive - sorry about that. 

I wish they would hook a brother up with some swag.  I guess there's no reason to; I buy all their dang stuff anyway.  Mostly lately, I buy from Solarforce for people that say, "can you get me a light like you got for so-and-so?"

 

sorryFoy

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flashination
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Laser etching... for example a custom flame job [street rodder stlye], lightening bolts, a tribal design, cats paws or maybe even a nice paisley ectched P1 host.

 

 

 

 

 
 
'I pledge not to get drawn into cpf/blf arguments, & just understand that both places have their own merits'.

T.H.Cone
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Absolutely no need to apologize to me.  I was just trying to clarify my statements so that you didn't think I was being an a$$.

fidem, prae caeteris omnibus praeter honestatem

 

 

Don't be confused, my Username has been changed from "Cone" to "T.H.Cone".  I'm still the same clown.

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Great review. 

I bet that would be a great winter time coat pocket host.  Wouldn't feel as cold in the hand.

Foy
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LOL

There are times (very rare) when I very much want to offend.  The rest of the time I'm paranoid about doing it accidently.

 

Foy

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my9221
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Thanks for the pics & nice reviews. But this P1 is not my cup of tea!

Foy
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Yeah . . . I'm thinking it's not mine either.

 

Foy

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jacktheclipper
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Sgt.led over at CPF sanded the top of the body tube and the back of the bezel on a P1 enough that the dropin contacted the aluminum body tube . He said it improved the heatsinking .

Something to consider .

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Wink           :*

I want a P-1 that: will use a 26650 cell.

                            tail stand.

Then I would purchase one. >)

>)

"Yell  {"Old, Broken Butt,  Zeide"}&nbs

trooplewis
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I got my yellow P1 today, along with the "new" Solarforce drop-in. Very nice combination. A couple of observations about the P1

-It is very lightweight. Amazingly light, esp with 2 x cr123 in it

-Not a good glovebox light because the forward-clicky is exposed and may get accidently triggered

-Does not tailstand.

-I love it in yellow. Easy to find, low-glare, even the bezel is not glossy, but a flat black

-There is a small gap between the tailcap and the body, I presume for the addition of a Solarforce lanyard ring. I will probably drop an "o" ring in that spot to make it look more finished.

- If you are allergic to the fumes that fresh plastics give off, you may want to let this host sit out in your garage for a week or so. It comes out of the packaging with a real strong plasticky smell (I'm sure someone here can correctly name that odor) that some may not like. Give it a couple days to aerate.

This may be my favorite Solarforce light for use around the house. It's just cool.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

keltex78
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Actually, this is a very nice option to have available. I work at a power plant, where electricians are not supposed to have metal-bodied flashlights (everybody has a Mag though...). This is a good option for working in electrical enclosure where shorting/sparking, etc. is a bad thing. If I couldn't carry my normal P60 host and needed a nice light, I would definitely go for one of these... Probably the Yellow, even though it looks like a Pelican derivative. Now, why can't they just throw in some glow powder and make the ENTIRE BODY GITD???


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

T.H.Cone
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keltex78 wrote:
Now, why can't they just throw in some glow powder and make the ENTIRE BODY GITD???

 

How awesome would that be?!  All I can say is, "Coke in a glass bottle!"

fidem, prae caeteris omnibus praeter honestatem

 

 

Don't be confused, my Username has been changed from "Cone" to "T.H.Cone".  I'm still the same clown.

keltex78
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cone wrote:
All I can say is, "Coke in a glass bottle!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Coke

I love me some of that!


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

T.H.Cone
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I would push my Mother off a bridge for a Coke in a glass bottle.  Not a tall bridge, mind you, but a bridge nonetheless.  There is a tool store close to where I live that has an old Coke machine waaaaay in the back that only takes dimes.  Ten cent Coke.  Suckers!  Sometimes I go in there just for the pop.  

Evil, "HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

fidem, prae caeteris omnibus praeter honestatem

 

 

Don't be confused, my Username has been changed from "Cone" to "T.H.Cone".  I'm still the same clown.

NightCrawl
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You know what we call Mexican Coke in Germany? Coke.

keltex78
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At least here in Texas, you can buy Mexican Coca Cola in glass bottles (sweetened with Real Sugar!) at most any Wal Mart. You can even buy it by the flat at Sam's clubs. Most grocery stores have it as well! It's usually around $1/bottle and is much better than the corn-syrup sweetened Coke they manufacture in the USA...


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

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