Would you buy it again?

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hIKARInoob
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richbuff wrote:

The only light that I have bought two of is the inimitable Acebeam X65.  If no successor is apparent soon, a third one may be procured.


Lights that I would like to buy again, but just not currently necessary: X45 70.2, TN42, TK75 quad XHP70 , TM06s quad XHP50.2, P60 quad XPL.


All of my other lights would be nice to buy again, too.


High performance lights are the only thing that ever made me want additional arms and hands. If I had four arms and hands, my best (current) config would be two X65, one TN42 and one X45 70.2. Add a Giggles and a DX80 if I had six arms and six hands.


 

Sir Buff, are you aware of the Acebeam X70? It’s evil alright. Evil

richbuff
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hIKARInoob wrote:
Sir Buff, are you aware of the Acebeam X70? It's evil alright. })
Sir hIKARInoob, make that eight arms and eight hands.

That is 8 x XHP70.2, according to the active topic thread in the German forum, now at 38 posts.

Rev 22:15

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hIKARInoob wrote:
Agro wrote:
Haikelite MT02: NO, it is a better thrower than Emisar D1, but just slightly; yet it’s way bigger and heavier. Bad UI. And I liked UT02 so much more…

Interesting. Compared to D1 it has triple the capacity. MT02 is able to maintain max output fairly well (larger body and non FET drive). But… driver is just not reliable, so I cannot recommend it either.


Triple capacity and likely higher efficiency as well. And somewhat better performance (both hotspot size and intensity). I wouldn’t go as far as to recommend a D1 to a person who looks at MT02. But I walked switching between them and was amazed by how close their outputs were.
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• Olight SR52UT – NO
I love the quality & throw, but nowadays there are better performers.

• Thrunite TN4A Hi NW – YES
I’d recommend this light to anyone, and would replace it if I needed to

• Led Lenser P5.2 – YES
I know there isn’t much love for LL on this forum, but I’m a huge fan of the format, zooming mechanism and matte finish. The plastic lens sucks though. Only zoomie I’d ever buy.

• Led Lenser P7qc – NO
RGB flashy modes are nice with white diffuser & feels good in my hand – but the white output is pretty poor. Will probably try a NC SRT9 when I can afford it.

• Fenix CL25R – Not sure
Probably superior quality compared to most other camping lanterns, but I’ve been wondering whether there are any other good ones that cost less.

• Thorfire VG15S – YES
Great format, similar to S2 but with moonlight mode & thermal stepdown

• Convoy S2+ Hi 3A – YES
I guess I was unfortunate to get a light with a very loud induction buzz that I can’t get rid of, no matter how tightly I screw the head to the tube. But since others on here are huge fans of this brand, I’ll be ordering more in the future. GITD ring is a nice touch.

• Thorfire C8s – YES
I didn’t realise this kind of quality existed for such a low price, until I got this light! Will be ordering a Convoy C8 to compare.

• Imalent DT70 – NO
I love the output – when I received the light, I had never experienced anything like it. But c’mon, Imalent – how difficult can it be to build a circuit that charges to 4.20V,and displays the correct voltage? So built-in charging is pretty much useless except in emergencies, and that tiny frosted display sucks. And it needs a decent medium mode at 2.5 – 3klm. Exaggerated lumens claims don’t exactly make a company sympathetic, either. Step up your game, Imalent!

• Astrolux MF-01 219c – YES
Unbelievable light at that price – I need another one & have put down my name on the GB V2.0 list.

• Lumintop Prince Mini – YES
Bought for a friend

• Thorfire TK4A – YES
Bought for my mother, would recommend as a cheaper alternative to TN4A

• Convoy BD06 4C – YES
My first 26650 light, great warm tint (would be nice for camping) & good runtime. Output a bit low though, so this might become my first moddling project. Also need to find a diffuser for it.

• Olight S Mini Ti – YES
She is such a beauty!

• Emisar D1 3A – YES Love

• Olight i3E EOS silver – YES
Despite only having one mode, the output, quality and 5 year warranty make this a winner for me.

Astrolux A01 – NO
Next mode memory, WTF?

• Convoy L6, Imalent HR20, Nitecore TIP SS Tropical, Nitecore NU10 – YET TO RECEIVE

hIKARInoob
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Flying Luminosity wrote:

• Imalent DT70 – NO
I love the output – when I received the light, I had never experienced anything like it. But c’mon, Imalent – how difficult can it be to build a circuit that charges to 4.20V,and displays the correct voltage? So built-in charging is pretty much useless except in emergencies, and that tiny frosted display sucks. And it needs a decent medium mode at 2.5 – 3klm.Exaggerated lumens claims don’t exactly make a company sympathetic, either.

• Astrolux MF-01 219c – YES
Unbelievable light at that price – I need another one & have put down my name on the GB V2.0 list.

Spend just a bit more on that display to get a slightly bigger sharp bright blue OLED display, and the light would become so much more appealing (apart from reliability issues)… The light would also look so much cooler on Youtube vids for increased sales or not?
The DT70 was two days ago probably accidentally priced too low. It was $108, which is the lowest price I’ve seen. But with that cash you can also get the MF01 with four high drain batteries. Different light of course, but come on it’s an easy decision for me… MF01 alright.

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hIKARInoob wrote:
Flying Luminosity wrote:

• Imalent DT70 – NO
I love the output – when I received the light, I had never experienced anything like it. But c’mon, Imalent – how difficult can it be to build a circuit that charges to 4.20V,and displays the correct voltage? So built-in charging is pretty much useless except in emergencies, and that tiny frosted display sucks. And it needs a decent medium mode at 2.5 – 3klm.Exaggerated lumens claims don’t exactly make a company sympathetic, either.

• Astrolux MF-01 219c – YES
Unbelievable light at that price – I need another one & have put down my name on the GB V2.0 list.

Spend just a bit more on that display to get a slightly bigger sharp bright blue OLED display, and the light would become so much more appealing (apart from reliability issues)… The light would also look so much cooler on Youtube vids for increased sales or not?
The DT70 was two days ago probably accidentally priced too low. It was $108, which is the lowest price I’ve seen. But with that cash you can also get the MF01 with four high drain batteries. Different light of course, but come on it’s an easy decision for me… MF01 alright.


Or even better, save it for a month or two more to pay for a Giggles.

hIKARInoob
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Jack Kellar wrote:
Or even better, save it for a month or two more to pay for a Giggles.

I’m actually interested in Floody Giggles… Evil

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astrolux s42:NO:the UI is too bad and complicated, the water sealing is very poor

convoy s2+:BIG YES: a good light with or without modding, only drawback is the stock UI quite bad

haikelite sc02:yes, the output is great, the tint is very nice
olight X7:nope, it’s a good light, but expensive,with that price i can buy 2 lights with almost(or over ) same output
utorch ut01:not sure, it has great UI, great output, but if not lucky the switch will fail
astrolux A01:not sure:the tint and build is great, the UI is acceptable
haikelite mt07s:yes, for who wants a really “big and bad boy”
olight i3s CU:yes to who wants brone thing

Forgot my pen

Flying Luminosity
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Jack Kellar wrote:
Or even better, save it for a month or two more to pay for a Giggles.

Most definitely! How can anyone live without being able to light up a ten storey tower block over a mile away? Cool

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Zanflare f1: no, I prefer Lumintop edc25 much more.

Brinyte b58u: yes, best medium size thrower for modding.

Thrunite tn40: hell yeah.

Thrunite tn 42: hell yeah.

Brinyte b158: of cource, great zoom fl.

Astrolux s41: yes, what could I say…

Lumintop torpedo 007: yes, I don’t know why but I really like feel of it???

Imalent dt70: no, it has great flood and throw but the runtime on turbo is too short

Skilhunt h03: I love it, especially with “Lexel mod”.

Astrolux s1/ Blf a6: yes, one of the best.

Convoy l6: yes, the reference.

×

to be continued…maybe…

Disclaimer: All flashlights mentioned above has been bought with “extreme” discounts thanks to Fin, Freeme, M4DM4X and others

hIKARInoob
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Thrunite Mini TN30 (2016): YES

It’s “only” pumping out 3600 lumens. Next generation sodacan flooders pump out around 10000 lumens for a lot less cash. … But a lot of these flood monsters have trouble finding the “sweetspot” after it’s reached max temperature. Thermal management is often not optimised for the light, and output after a couple of minutes drops down well below what the light is capable of. You can also tell easily by the temperature of the light at steady state is just warm, although a couple of minutes ago it was much much warmer. Just based on the steady state temperature you know that the light should be able to output more. It’s a shame, because the light has sufficient power to do so…

This is not the case with the Mini TN30 (2016). It only pumps out 3600 lumens, but it pretty much stays there until batteries are depleted. There is thermal protection that could drop the output just a bit, but it’s a fairly stable and controlled process, nothing radical.
4S battery configuration, and 3S 3V led configuration, so you also don’t have reduced output with depleting cells.

Overall, Thrunite lights have a rock solid reputation, and failure seems to be an isolated case. As a matter of fact, I have not read a single case about a failed Mini TN30. Tint on neutral white is pretty bad; good neutral white spill, but yellowish hotspot. Beam is also not ideal either…. But to me this light is just a clear winner nevertheless. It’s bright and stays bright.

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hIKARI, do you think it’s comparable to the Convoy L6?

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Jack Kellar wrote:
hIKARI, do you think it’s comparable to the Convoy L6?

Last week I happened to have taken a long walk with the L6. L6 “suffers” from what I’ve described. It’s a 6V led with 2S battery configuration, so output reduces with time. L6 does not have thermal management either. My eyes don’t notice after 15 minutes or so, as we don’t perceive light intensity linearly. But the light itself reduces in temperature; this is something I feel easily. The light should get hotter, but that is not the case.

In terms of total light output it is indeed very comparable; it’s pretty much the same. But beam profile is very different. The L6 has a typical single emitter, reasonably large reflector beam profile. The Mini TN30 on the other hand has a much wider spill, and larger less intense hotspot.
My personal gripe with single emitter lights like the L6, Lumintop SD75 or Solarforce S2200 is that there is no illumination right in front of me. The spill beam starts like two or three meters in front of me, and the left and right in front of me is pure darkness. So no matter how many lumens such a light produces, it’s always dark right in front, and left and right of me. I find this not too pleasant when I’m in the woods. So basically this means that a light like the L6 illuminates “what’s over there”, but I prefer illumination “right here where I’m standing” as well.
And this is why I like soda can flood lights a lot; this is what the Mini TN30 does.

L6 is an amazing light, and it really depends on the environment to make it shine. But when I’m in the woods, I just prefer a wider beam profile.

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Manker E14 – No, Emisar D4 is a nicer light with a better UI.

Acebeam K60- Yes, amazing performance great balance of flood and throw.

TN40SVN- Yes, love lighting up the city block using 500k lux at 9k lumens.

Lumintop Toolvn- Maybe, it is a nice light but very expensive. Lumintop just came out with the EDC-05 that puts out about the same lumen, throws farther, and has a magnetic tail.

Noctigon M43 Meteor- Of Course,classic nuff said.

BLF GT- nope, a little to unwieldy for me.

Sc600 MK III HI- yes, UI is intuitive and it has great mode spacing.

Klarus G20- nope, hate the UI and it says 3k lumens but its barley 2k only rocking 5k lux.

Emisar D4- yes, great pocket rocket to show off and is also practical.

Eagletac TX25c2vn- yes, great size to throw combo. 65k lux at 1500 lumens is fantastic in my opinion.

TN42vnCFT90, TN40Svn, K60 TX25c2vn40

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<> Klarus XT12GT – YES
<> Convoy C8 – NO – Not the version I have.
<> Klarus XT1C – YES – Very nice light.
<> Nitecore MH25GT – NO
<> Astrolux S1 – YES – Very nice EDC – I use it a lot.
<> Lumintop TD16 XP-L Hi (x2) – YES
<> Armytek Pred Pro v3 – YES – Very nice light for smaller pieces of property.
<> OdePro TM30 – Freebee – I would recommend it on the budget end.
<> PKDL PR-1 – YES – Very nice light – Far cheaper than Surefire – Surefire beware.
<> PKDL PRXYES – Very nice light – Far cheaper than Surefire – Surefire beware.
<> JetBeam II Pro – YES – Very nice light
<> EagleTac M25C2 – NO – Maxtoch showed me the real meaning of throw.
<> MaxToch M24 Sniper U3 – YES – Very nice thrower
<> Convoy S2+ Custom 365nm UV – YES – Custom build by DJBurke
<> Maxtoch 2x Shooter U4 – YES – (A step above the M24). Very nice thrower
<> BLF-GT (x2) – YES – The number speaks for itself. – Define torch.
<> Acebeam K70 (x2) – YES – The number speaks for itself. – Very nice thrower. – I might trade one for the K60.
<> Nitecore TM26GT – On the way.
<> Noctigon Meteor M43 Nichia 219CT 90+ CRI – On the way.
<> Niwalker BK-FA30s – YESI think so – Have not tested yet.
<> Fenix TK75vn XML2 – On the way.
<> Astrolux MF-02 – On the way

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BLF A6 XP-L 5A YES. Best everyday light. Very good fit and finish. UI is a good compromise between complexity and flexibility. Good range of brightness settings.

Convoy L6 Yes. I don’t use the big thrower that often but it does the job well. The simple two switch UI is a good match for the light.

BLF Q8 XP-L Maybe. I’m not a fan of my big flooder. I use it often enough that I’d probably get it again unless something better comes along. The UI is too darn complex. I also don’t much care for the beam pattern or the tint. I may try different emitters someday.

Ultrafire W-51 COB Worklight @ $5.99 Yes. I use it all the time. Absolute bargain at $5.99 This inexpensive light has visible PWM on low, so don’t use low ever.

Convoy S2+ Grey XML-2 U2 1B 7135 × 6. 3/5 mode UI @ $6.99 Yes. This light is a bargain at $6.99 I bought this for the host but ended up putting in my car. Not a fan of the 3/5 mode UI or 1B. Audible PWM on medium and low. Low is too bright. I am going to swap to an A6 driver which will improve the light but at a cost that makes me wonder if I should have just bought a second A6.

Convoy S2+ Desert Tan XPL-HI U4-7A 7135×8 3/5 mode UI. @ $12.99. I can’t decide. I like the desert tan finish. The low CRI 7A tint looks odd. Eight 7135s are a poor match. There is almost no difference between medium and high. All that high does is make the light get hot and the battery run down faster. Then I needed to take a long series meter readings in a dark room. Low was perfect for that. If I was going to get this again, I’d want 7135×6.

LuminTop Tool black Nichia 219BT $9.99 Not for me. Maybe as a gift. After I tried the light, I gave it away. Don’t care for it.
LuminTop IYP365 Nichia 219BT $11.99 Ask me again in a year. I want to like this light. I like the idea but not the execution.

LuminTop Tool AA XP-L @ $18.99 As a gift, Yes. For me, probably not. I like this better than the AAA version. Not sure if I’d use it enough to justify the price.

Skillhunt H03 NW – Maybe. It is well made with a good beam pattern for a headlamp. I don’t use it enough to justify buying it. I would recommend it though.

Convoy C8 XML2 U2-1A @ $13.99 No, not at this price. I don’t like the cold tint and the UI is annoying. I bought it to modify but TBH it isn’t worth what I paid. EDIT: Now has BLF A6 driver. I like it better with the A6 driver but is it worth $18.36?

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lumintop tool AAA – yes, though one leaky AAA ruined the switch and I lost another one

like “lightbringer”, i too hate the M/L/H interface it’s even worse than it looks, MLHMLH becomes ML HML HML after 2 presses. it’s actually REVERSED from LMH. it just happens to start on M – yuck!

dqg tiny 18650 – NO – switch broke, bad design AND poor manufacturing

Utorch ut01 – YES

nicron B10 UV- yes

BLF A6/Astrolux A1 18650 – YES YES (not wild about 18350 option though)

Manker U11 – no, switch broke, very bad design

XTAR WK42 – yes even though it broke and is unavailable, still a great tiny 16340 light

thorfire tk18 – PROBABLY, though it is very large

singfire SF-348 -= YES, great light for its price, great give away, though i never use it Smile

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Lightbringer
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Andrew_Debbie wrote:
LuminTop Tool black Nichia 219BT @ $9.99 Not for me. Maybe as a gift. After I tried the light, I gave it away. Don’t care for it.

Beautiful light, beautiful beam (shape, CT, tint, CRI), great feel, rugged… but the UI just pisses me off.

Simple L/M/H, or should I say, M/L/H no mem, so even in pitch-blackness it starts on M and ruins your night-vision, unless you cover the front lens with your hand and bap it a second time. Kinda defeats the purpose of convenience.

If they’d add memory, or have it start on L, it’d be great, but that one quirk ruins it for me.

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hIKARInoob
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Lightbringer wrote:
Beautiful light, beautiful beam (shape, CT, tint, CRI), great feel, rugged… but the UI just pisses me off.

Simple L/M/H, or should I say, M/L/H no mem, so even in pitch-blackness it starts on M and ruins your night-vision, unless you cover the front lens with your hand and bap it a second time. Kinda defeats the purpose of convenience.

If they’d add memory, or have it start on L, it’d be great, but that one quirk ruins it for me.

I had the same philosophy, but changed my mind after I got my Lumintop IYP365 with same M-L-H UI. The reason is simple. Most of the time I use such a light (for everyday use), I want Medium, and not Low. Only rarely, for me pretty much never, am I in a situation that I want low, and preserve my night vision.

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Exactly. M/L/H with no memory is not for me. With a small light I usually want low. Jumping from L to H is annoying.

It would be much better if there was some way to choose a L/M/H mode.

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Andrew_Debbie wrote:
Exactly. M/L/H with no memory is not for me. With a small light I usually want low. Jumping from L to H is annoying.

It would be much better if there was some way to choose a L/M/H mode.

Yeh, at least to just have memory, so you can reset it to L or H or whatever you expect to want next.

Most of my lights that I don’t keep specifically for setting trees on fire, I keep resetting to L if not F. So should I need it next, I won’t blind myself.

Or if no mem, then have it start on L for the above reasons, then a simple bap of the switch for M, then another for H if that’s what you actually need, isn’t too inconvenient. Any AAA light is not going to be kept for lighting up a whole room via ceiling-bounce…

Anyhoo, like I said, it’s a great little light except for the start-on-M.

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In compiling this list, I’ve only included those lights which are still available for purchase at the time of writing. It would be a lot longer otherwise Smile

Astrolux S41 / S41S (both with Nichia 219B)

NO: these are a nice design and I really like the 5000K 90+ CRI light, but the quality control is awful. This seems to be a recurring theme for Banggood’s in-house lights.

I bought two S41 lights, and one developed a faulty driver. I bought 2 S41S lights, and one had a faulty switch out of the box. Easy repairs, but it doesn’t inspire confidence.

The driver also overheats very easily, which in turn disrupts the mode change timing until the circuit cools down again.

I’m still using them, though. One S41S is on permanent duty as a desk lamp in a position where it would be awkward to get mains power, and one S41 is under my pillow. I normally lean towards throwier lights, but high CRI flood is actually an advantage for both of these jobs.

I was carrying one of these lights on my belt for a while, but that role currently falls to a stock Convoy Desert Tan S2+ (until I build one with a Nichia 219B). The S41 under my pillow will also be replaced by a Convoy host with a Biscotti driver and a Nichia 219B at some point. The desk lamp S41S is staying, however.

Notes: I’ve only used these lights with the 18650 body tube; I never use 18350 cells. They work well with 10A protected NCR18650GA cells, as long as you leave the lights stock. Spring bypasses would probably trip the cell protection. My cells are the EagTac 3500mAh ones, which are nice and short at 68 – 69mm.

Quality control on spare 18650 tubes is just as inconsistent as on the lights themselves. Some tubes are so tightly bored that they barely accept unprotected cells, never mind the protected cells I want to use, but other tubes accept protected cells without any trouble at all. Playing the spare tube lottery is really annoying.

BLF A6 with 3D LED

NO: these are a nice design, but quality control is a problem. This seems to be a recurring theme for Banggood’s in-house lights.

I bought two of these, and one of them had a switch failure within an hour or two of delivery. Easy repair, but doesn’t inspire confidence.

Another thing to watch out for is that the 18650 battery tubes are quite tight. A couple of my protected EagTac 3500mAh cells won’t fit. The ones that do fit work well, though. I left my lights in stock form. You might get away with spring bypasses when using 10A protected cells, but I didn’t feel the need.

Quality control on spare 18650 tubes is just as inconsistent as on the lights themselves. Some tubes are so tightly bored that they barely accept unprotected cells, never mind the protected cells I want to use, but other tubes accept protected cells without any trouble at all. Playing the spare tube lottery is really annoying.

Coast HP1

NO: I bought this zoomable AA light after seeing a cheap deal on Amazon and reading lots of good reviews on the Amazon page.

It’s solidly built and has the promised light output, but the beam pattern is horrible throughout most of its range. It looks like the Eye of Sauron with a hangover. The only time you get a decent beam is at (or very near) full flood or full zoom.

I normally carry a small low-grade light in my backpack to give away to anyone I might encounter who desperately needs a light. The “changing a tyre in the dark” scenario, basically. The HP1 is the current giveaway item…

Convoy S2+ (3/5 mode 3×7135 driver & XML2 T6-3B)
Convoy S2+ (3/5 mode 4×7135 driver & XML2 T4-7A)

Was YES, now NO: these are excellent quality lights and work exactly as they should, but they’re now superseded by the new Biscotti driver equipped versions.

This older version uses an orange peel reflector and an XM-L2 LED as standard, so it has a floodier beam and less throw than the new S2+ design.

One very nice thing about the Convoy S2+ is that it accepts both protected and unprotected 18650 cells. This is especially important with the 3/5 mode driver because it has a low voltage warning – the light blinks to let the user know that it’s time to change the cell – but it doesn’t actually have a cutoff, so it can drain unprotected cells to destruction.

I advise anyone using an old model S2+ to always use protected cells.

Convoy S2+ (Biscotti 3×7135 driver & XP-L HI U6 3A)
Convoy S2+ (Biscotti 8×7135 driver & XP-L HI U6 3A)

YES: these are excellent quality lights and work exactly as they should. The ability to choose from 12 different Biscotti mode groups is really useful, because there’s something for almost everyone. I can honestly say that the Convoy S2+ is second to none when it comes to sheer value for money.

This version is only available in stock form with the Desert Tan colour, but you can ask Simon Mao at Convoy to upgrade any other colour of S2+ to a Biscotti driver for a small fee. The stock version also has an LED upgrade to XP-L HI, an AR lens and a smooth reflector for a narrower beam and extra throw compared to the old S2+ design.

One very nice thing about the Convoy S2+ is that it accepts both protected and unprotected 18650 cells. This is less critical for the Biscotti version than it was for the older version, because Biscotti shuts the light off to prevent irreversible damage to unprotected cells, but it’s still nice to have the option.

I like the added line of defence, safety wise, so I always use protected cells even when it isn’t strictly necessary.

Convoy BD01 with Biscotti driver and XM-L2 T6 3B

YES: I really like this light. It’s my favourite BD-series design and I consider it excellent value for money. The Biscotti firmware offers a choice of 12 mode groups, so there’s an option to suit almost everyone.

The build quality is excellent, the light’s compatible with both 18650 and 26650 cells, protected or unprotected, and it’s a nice size to hold, especially when wearing gloves. Every BD01 is built with an 8×7135 driver, taking full advantage of the light’s heat dissipation capacity. The BD01 does not overheat, even when run continuously at full power until the cell runs out.

Going back to cell compatibility for a moment, I can tell you that all of my 18650 cells fit perfectly using the adapter rings supplied with the light. You’ll find the adapter rings tucked away under the spring inside the tailcap. This is a nice touch, because you’ll always have them ready if you need them.

Unfortunately, some protected 26650 cells are too wide. This is not Convoy’s fault, because the BD01 is correctly sized to the 26650 standard. It turns out that some protected cell manufacturers are decidedly sloppy about how much bigger their cells get when they add the protection parts. For example, the Keeppower protected 5200mAh 26650 fits the BD01, but the Keeppower protected 6000mAh 26650 is too wide.

You can charge the BD01 from USB, but only by using an included proprietary adapter. Although that puts you at risk of losing the adapter, you can still charge the cell outside the light as normal (there’s no BD04-style cell carrier getting in the way). The proprietary adapter system does have the benefit of keeping the light sealed and waterproof at all times, however. There are no USB ports or rubber covers to worry about.

The light has a decent amount of throw, because its larger size allows it to accommodate a correspondingly larger smooth reflector. It also has a much more prominent side switch than most side switch designs, so you can find it by touch in the dark, even when wearing fairly heavy gloves. That’s a crucially important point for me, because I always wear gloves outside.

Convoy BD04 with Biscotti driver and XM-L2 T6 3B

MAYBE: this is a solidly built zoom focusable light with Biscotti firmware, so you can choose from 12 different mode groups. All BD04s are supplied with a 4×7135 driver, which is a good design choice for this light.

It can be charged from USB using an included proprietary adaptor. You can’t plug a micro-USB cable directly into the light, so you’re at risk of losing the adaptor. It also uses a cell carrier, so charging the cell outside the light is a pain. The proprietary adapter system does have the benefit of keeping the light sealed and waterproof at all times, however. There are no USB ports or rubber covers to worry about.

Please note that the cell carrier means that this light will not accept most protected cells. My EagTac protected 3500mAh 18650s are unusually short for protected cells, and they barely fit. Unprotected cells fit well, though, and the Biscotti firmware includes proper low voltage protection that turns the light off when the cells run low, instead of draining them to destruction, so they should be safe.

If you like this style of light, it may be worth considering. It doesn’t have as wide a zoom range as some other zoomable lights, though. On my unit, this means that it falls ever so slightly short of maximum throw, and maximum flood is significantly less floody than something like an SK68.

The reason I rate this light as a “maybe” is that I don’t normally go for zoomable lights. I basically bought this one to indulge my curiosity.

As I lean towards throwier lights, I’m better off buying lights which are designed for that job, because they do it more efficiently than a zoomable light ever can. This is a fundamental aspect of the zoomable design; they’re much more efficient in flood mode.

I’ve kept my BD04, though – flood mode will do nicely as an adjustable area work light.

Convoy BD06 with Biscotti driver and XM-L2 T6 3B

MAYBE: This light has a lot in common with the BD01 (see above). The BD06 is slightly smaller, but somewhat less throwy as a result. Everything else is the same. It’s a very nice light; the only reason I say “maybe” for the BD06 is because I prefer the BD01 for its extra throw, and the size difference doesn’t bother me.

Convoy AAA EDC with XP-E2 5000K

MAYBE: this is a nicely built single mode light in stainless steel, running at a useful 50lm. Designed to hang from a keyring or lanyard using an extremely solid tail attachment point, it twists at the head to turn on or off.

One clever aspect of the design is that the head doesn’t detach, so you can’t accidentally open the light by twisting it on or off. Instead, the light opens at the tail for changing its single AAA cell.

The only reason I rate this light as a “maybe” and not a “yes” is that I have several BLF-348 lights with very similar functionality. I simply prefer the BLF-348 for its high CRI LED.

EagTac / EagleTac D25A Clicky – Nichia version

NO: this is a reasonable light with a 4500K 90+ CRI Nichia 219B LED, and it takes a single AA cell, which is an underserved segment of the market when it comes to high CRI lights. It’s also very compact for its class.

Unfortunately, the twist-head mode group selection is a bit temperamental – the threads needs regular cleaning, or the light starts to behave strangely. It also has a significant preflash when entering low mode. Finally, I find the 4500K colour temperature to be just far enough away from my preferred 5000K to irritate me.

If you like 4500K high CRI, and you don’t mind doing maintenance a bit more often than usual, this light might still be worth a look. The latest version has been updated to the Nichia 219C LED, which yields a bit more output, but the 97 lumen maximum is still quite low by today’s 1×AA standard.

Fenix E01

YES: this AAA light is solidly built and works exactly as intended. It only has a single 13 lumen mode generated by a basic 5mm LED, but it’s very efficient, virtually indestructible and it will drain its cell right down to the dregs. Great for a last-ditch emergency light.

Personally, I prefer the Fenix E05 2014 and carry one of those instead, because I like having the three modes, but I’m quite happy to have my mothballed E01 tucked away here in the house.

Fenix E05 2014 edition

YES: this AAA light is excellent quality and works exactly as it should. I’ve had one on my keyring for a few years now.

It’s not high CRI, so I normally use the BLF-348 I always carry on my belt, but it’s much more efficient than high CRI lights, and it has a 3-mode low-medium-high sequence with no memory. If I’m down to my keyring and my last AAA cell in an emergency, I want it to last as long as possible, low CRI or not. An efficient light that always starts on low does exactly that.

Fenix LD02

YES: this AAA light is excellent quality and works exactly as it should.

I used to carry LD02s on my belt (before I got my BLF-348s) and my keyring (before I got my Fenix E05 2014). Nowadays, I have one in my backpack as a backup to the BLF-348 on my belt, so I can reserve the Fenix E05 on my keyring for outright emergencies.

The LD02 is low CRI, but more efficient than the equivalent high-CRI light, and it has 3 modes, so it makes a good fallback light. The mode sequence is medium-low-high without memory, which I find ideal for the light’s intended use.

Fenix UC35

NO: it’s a high quality 18650 light that works exactly as specified, but the LED is low CRI cold white and the side switch for mode changes is impossible to find by touch in the dark when wearing gloves. That combination is a deal breaker for me.

If you’re not bothered by those points, then it’s a solid light with reliable built-in USB charging. You can plug a micro USB cable straight in, without any silly adaptors, and the socket is waterproof even if the cover falls off – something very few USB chargeable lights offer.

The UC35 is very throwy for its form factor, and it has well-spaced modes. No moonlight, though, which is fine by me, my eyesight’s not remotely good enough for that, but moonlight / firefly mode users will see it differently.

Another interesting thing about the UC35 is that it has noticeably more tolerance for the heat emitted in high output modes. The extra metal it needs to house the USB charging parts allows it to hold for 5 minutes at its 960 lumen maximum, instead of the 3 minutes most lights like this offer. Then it steps down to 480 lumens.

It also steps down from 480 lumens to 180 lumens after 30 minutes, which I don’t think is really necessary here in Scotland, but might be needful in a hot climate. You can always bump it back up to 480 or even 960 lumens if you need to, though.

The UC35 is relatively expensive, as normal with Fenix lights, but if you like Fenix’s design choices, you’ll get what you pay for.

Ironically, mine is still riding about in my backpack as a completely waterproof USB charger and spare 18650 holder for the 18650 lights I actually use. Oh, and it has an emergency flashlight built in, too Smile

Haikelite HT08 Neutral White

MAYBE: this isn’t built to the standard of a company like Convoy, but it’s built well enough and is actually an OK light, despite a couple of notable flaws. It’s definitely better than most of the cheaper 18650 zoomable lights.

Unusually, the HT08 uses a Fresnel lens, as opposed to the aspheric lens most zoomable lights use. The Fresnel lens is flat, so the HT08 protects it with a flat glass lens in front of it. I consider that a significant advantage compared to an easily-scratched plastic aspheric lens.

It’s also relatively unusual to get zoomable lights with neutral white LEDs, despite the much better light quality (at least to my eye). I’ve only seen the Convoy BD04 with one, and there might be one or two others (the Brinyte B158, maybe?) The vast majority use cheap, nasty cold blue-white LEDs.

Another less usual aspect of the HT08 is that it zooms with a rotating motion on a screw thread, instead of sliding in and out. This has the advantage that it stays where you left it – it’s very hard to accidentally knock it into a different position – but you pay for that with the disadvantage that it takes several seconds to go from full focus to full flood and back. I quite like this turn-to-zoom system, but not everyone does.

The notable snag with the HT08 is that it loses a lot of light in focused mode. This is an attribute of virtually all zoomable lights (Fenix’s FD-series lights being a notable exception), but the HT08 is particularly bad here, because the head’s inner machining design left more metal in there than it needed to, and that metal simply gets in the way of the light.

There have also been reports that some HT08s have poorly machined tailcap threads. I’ve been careful with mine, and it’s been OK so far, but I can feel that it would be very easy to cross-thread if I forgot to treat it with care.

Finally, part of the reason I say “maybe” for this light is that I don’t usually go for zoomable lights. Like the Convoy BD04, I bought it to indulge my curiosity, especially with respect to the Fresnel lens. Flood mode on the HT08 works really well, though, so it’ll be staying in my inventory as another adjustable area work light.

Matches

YES: these lights can only be used once, with low output and short runtime, but their combustion-based power system provides the crucial ability to light a larger fire for heat in an emergency. For that alone, their low cost represents excellent value for money.

Nitecore MT06MD

YES: this is my only Nitecore light, but I really like it. It has a 5000K 90+ CRI Nichia 219B LED, which is my gold standard, and it offers three useful modes – 4, 45, and 180 lumens – in low-medium-high sequence.

It has no memory, so it always starts in low, which I like for the fact that you can’t accidentally dazzle yourself at night because you forgot what mode you left it in last time.

I don’t usually have much use for modes as low as 4 lumens – my low light vision is dire – but the MT06MD turns out to be perfect for examining electronic parts and whatnot at point blank range. I’m always using it to read resistor colour codes or tiny print on SMD components.

The MT06MD has also become my favourite light for wandering about the house at night, displacing the Astrolux S41 that used to have that job. The long 2×AAA form factor and very subtle grip ridges machined into the light just feel so nice in hand.

One last point about the MT06MD: it has a very capable boost driver. It will run two AAA cells right down to 0.8V between them, which means you can even use a single AAA cell with a dummy cell and still get a useful amount of light and runtime.

No wasted power here, especially if you like to use primary cells. I normally use NiMH, but it’s nice to know that I’d get full use of my emergency lithium primary cells if it ever became necessary. It is a good idea to avoid running NiMH cells right down to zero, though, because that will put you at risk of reverse charging one of the two cells.

SK68 clones and derivatives

NO: these things are horrible. Cheaply built, fragile drivers and worst of all, cheap, nasty blue-white LEDs. Some people like them and say theirs are much nicer than that, but I’ve never had any luck with them.

Sofirn SF13

MAYBE: this is a solidly built 2×AA light with 4 useful and well-spaced output levels, unfortunately let down a little by its irritatingly slow mode changes. However, it can often be found at an excellent price, and it’s perfectly serviceable as a general household utility light.

This light seems to have flown under the radar a bit – there are very few accounts from people who’ve bought one – so I’ve created a dedicated thread with more details:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60050

Unbranded zoomable 3xAAA / 18650 light

NO: see my comments on the SK68 clones, above – same deal, basically.

Wow. I never expected this post to turn into a whole set of mini-reviews Smile

Jason56
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Meteor m43! So much power in such a small package! Love

wle
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Lightbringer wrote:
Andrew_Debbie wrote:
LuminTop Tool black Nichia 219BT @ $9.99 Not for me. Maybe as a gift. After I tried the light, I gave it away. Don’t care for it.

Beautiful light, beautiful beam (shape, CT, tint, CRI), great feel, rugged… but the UI just pisses me off.

Simple L/M/H, or should I say, M/L/H no mem, so even in pitch-blackness it starts on M and ruins your night-vision, unless you cover the front lens with your hand and bap it a second time. Kinda defeats the purpose of convenience.

If they’d add memory, or have it start on L, it’d be great, but that one quirk ruins it for me.

I hate that quirk too, will go add it to my Tool recommendation
wle

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

Blazer296
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I will try to stick to just “stock” lights for this to keep the list size down.

Thrunite TH20. If you dont have a good headlamp, just get one already.
-This one has ramping, runs on AA or 14500, comfortable, reasonably priced, good quality.
Dont know why I waited so long to get a “GOOD” headlamp.

built Convoy L6 (ok, just one mod light) w/TA driver, smooth reflector, and 4K XHP-70.2 = Absolutely! This instantly became my favorite “all around” use large light. The host is excelent quality, thick smooth threads, just great all the way around.
I keep seeing everybody call it a thrower, and it does well, but to me its a well rounded light. Plenty of usable spill, and a large hot spot with some impressive reach. Even with the smooth reflector, its not the super focused beam I think of when I think thrower.
Pair of unprotected Shockli 26650 powering it to ??? Sorry, I dont have a clamp meter yet. Lets just say plenty bright, and it gets hot pretty fast.

Astrolu S41 = yep. good to go as it is. Is currently one of my edc lights. Only thing I’d like to see different is double tap for full turbo mode, and not have it as part of the “normal” mode rotation. But that is just me being picky.
This one may get modded soon…………but I have 2, one with a stainless bezel, so it’s ok right? Wink

Convoy BD01 = most definitely , I have a “06 on the way now, and probably another couple of whichever one I like better after I get the chance to compare them. Not sure what one I will have several of.
—This light, I just love the way it fits in the hand. None of my other lights feel so ????comfortable? well fit? I don’t really know. The diameter, switch placement, and solid feel of this light is just exactly my idea of a good edc house/vehicle light.
The throw was surprisingly good for stock, and better still after I swapped in a xpl-hi. Light output is good for a 3A light, and with the 5200mah 26650 behind it it last a good while.
The built in charging works with any phone charger cord with the micro usb end, so I can charge it almost anywhere.
If I had to make a negative for this light, it would be the “connector” piece for charging. Better than a rubber flappy thing for waterproof purposes, but it wouldn’t be hard to loose. I did end up shaving mine down so it fits inside the tail cap under the spring. Now I always know where it is.
If I had to get rid of all my flashlight gear but 1 light, it would be a hard fight to decide between this and my mod Thorfire TG06.

Since I mentioned it, I’ll throw in another “mod “ light, though it has become more of a host with custom guts at this point.

Thorefire TG06 w/H17F driver, and older dedomed xp-g2. I edc this in a shirt pocket all the time for the past year or better.
Pretty tight beam, and decent throw for its size.

Its the non-S version, though I like it enough I stocked up 3 extras (s-version) to have if something happens to this one.
This is my favorite single cell driver as well, 2 mode groups, with modes in any order -at any level you want up to ?6? modes I think, and double tap can be any mode you set it at any level you set it to.
Kinda a pain to set everything up, but you can have everything just how you want it.

Main edc mode group = Simple/single mode setting, with a “turbo” hidden if I should need it. ~1.5A on, and full fet double tap.

-The second “mode group” is currently my indoor/camping set. firefly, a “bright” moon mode, and ~1.5A, again with turbo on double tap.

In my “No” category, I am not going to make any friends………

Convoy S2.+ = Sorry guys, I just dont get it. I have tried several combo’s, and the only one I liked at all was a triple. In that case, I’d rather have my Jaxman E2L.

C8 = One of my “have to get one” lights. Again, maybe I expected too much, not really a fan. It throws better than my EE-X6s, but not by as much as I expected. I still prefer the X6 styling as well.

Trustfire TR3-T6 = stock, meh output, and modes suck. Stupid blinkies you cant avoid….. to mod, heat transfer kinda sucks. If you want a multi emitter in this basic style to mod the TR-J18 is way better. fairly thick shelf on that one, handles heat pretty well. Look for a thread on my next version of it soon.

Boro
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BLF SD 10 – yes – great battery life, handy
ZL 600w IV + – yes – stays bright for small light, nice UI
K40M – yes – great tint, well designed
SC02 – yes – well built, value, mode spacing right
D4 – yes – fun, very adaptable with wonderful options
TIP – yes – most versatile light, key-chain, hat, etc.

Scallywag
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  • Jaxman E2 L - Yes, and I'm sure I will at some point. I love this light, and end up carrying it over my EC23 and my D4. I can't quantify why, I just love it. The only way I'd improve it is a hidden moonlight mode. 
  • Convoy S2+ - Probably not. The PWM is audible on low and medium to me. I don't like the beam pattern - for floody I'd prefer my E2L, and it doesn't throw. I'm planning to put the moonlight special driver from mtn electronics in it, and an XP-L HI. May even switch to SMO reflector, but I'm going to try the OP first. I really like the warm white though.
  • Nightcore EC23 - No. I like the one I have, but I'd build something in the future. The side switch is a tad easy to activate in-pocket, and it does have a yellow donut. I'm considering modding it, but I'm going to mod other things first. I'd like this a lot better with a tailswitch instead. I also think the XHP35 HI may have been nicer here, or maybe OP reflector to try to address the donut on the HD.
  • Supfire M6 - No. While I like the one I have, because I'm going to mod it, I'd probably buy a Q8 if I did it over. That said, the thing has more throw than I thought. Actually a big fan of its beam pattern.
  • Emisar D4 - Yes, but only to replace. I'm terrified to carry it without locking it out, but that makes it hard to use. It's a really fun fidget... It's incredibly floody. I think I learned I like throwers, after owning 100% flooders. So I kind of find it makes me want a D1/D1S badly. It also makes me wish those models came in the cyan wink
Phlogiston
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Blazer296 wrote:
Convoy BD01 = most definitely , I have a “06 on the way now, and probably another couple of whichever one I like better after I get the chance to compare them.

[Good review of BD01]

My BD06 is a very nice light, so I like the sound of that BD01. Just ordered one from Convoy – in under the wire before Chinese New Year Smile

borset5
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Convoy C8 – YES. I had them 8 different modified and gave them away to friends. Now I have only two and I feel I need to buy new ones. Smile Very nice flashlight to play with modifying and to have it prepared in the house and car for all-around needs. I have to try some C8 in XPL HI version.
Olight M2X-UT Javelot – YES. I love this flashlight and have two of them. Very light and easy portable but fantastic even in its original form (without mods). I use them very often and I like everything from them so maybe I will also buy version M3X-UT.
FandyFire YL-U2 Warrior – YES. I know, it’s just a FandyFire…. Smile But I like this flashlight so much I will buy more if they would not be discontinued. It is not heavy at all and it has very usable UI. One key for direct turbo mode and another key for normal turn on/off. Output is just great for lighting whole room or my driveway.
Nitecore TIP (Nichia) – YES. It’s my workhorse now (I repair household appliances) and I have it everyday with me, always in my pocket. Very reliable light with just perfect output what I need it for. Will buy new version also with protection against accidental turning on. Yes, now pocket becomes hot sometimes. Smile
Astrolux S2 – YES. Nice light and I use it in original form, unchanged. Bistro UI is great. Size of this flashlight is very good also, for me much better than C8’s.
Astrolux A01 – YES. Tiny little thing but I like it a lot! Have three of them in a cars and traveling bags… Still want some more.
Astrolux S42S – YES. One of my best buys last year. I love it. And yes, I am curious now about buying another one or similar Manker or even better Emisar…. :/

Courui D01 – NO. I don’t find anything special about this flashlight. Maybe I don’t know how to modify it successfully or there is something else… For me it is too bulky, heavy and inefficient (not thrower, not flood beam).
Astrolux MF02 – NO. Sorry, I don’t find it as wow flashlight. It is very nicely made and has strong beam but because of Olight Javelots (one modified) I find MF02 nothing so special. I like it but will not use it often. It will be nice for collection. Oh yes, maybe the most what I adore is that breathing feature. It stands here on shelf and breathes… Smile

Andrew_Debbie
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Update:

Convoy C8 XML-2 U2-1A with BLF A6 driver $18.36 total cost. Maybe. Was no before the mod.

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