Companies could sell upgrades for their lights

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Bort
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Companies could sell upgrades for their lights

I am upgrading my mostly first gen XM-L collection by selling my old lights and buying some new ones. But it would be simple for a manufacturer to sell a pill upgrade, for example i sold two Convoy M1s and plan to buy one replacement Convoy M1 in which the only difference is the driver and LED chip.
Of course some would say upgrade it yourself but i am not able to use a soldering iron (long story) and a screw in upgrade would be much cheaper than a new light.
And simple upgrading would be good for hooking newbies on high lumen budget flashlights.

Thoughts?

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Edited by: Bort on 06/04/2021 - 12:35
GhostJoe
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The profit is the best interest for these companies, they would rather invest on marketing to make sure the consumers purchase every light they modified or upgraded.

cyberpunk
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What you describe is practically what many OEMs do. they update the driver and emitter, and sell the entire light product as a whole new world.
Designing, engineering, testing, packaging, distributing, and selling an upgrade pill would be as much work as selling the entire flashlight for a lot more money. In fact, it would be way more complicated explaining to wholesalers and end customers what a pill is and how someone would buy and use one.

The P60 design was a successful attempt at selling upgrades of flashlights; if you look at the flashlight world today you can see the concept didn’t survive.

Many OEMs do it this way, a car manufacturer prefers to sell an entire oil change to you – and not the filter, o ring, copper washer, oil and other parts as a kit. In fact, they hate it if you buy oil off of Amazon and bring it to the service.
Why does Apple solder in almost all computer components now? Thinner devices, less product complexity, streamlined production processes, etc… but also to avoid prosumer DIY upgrades.

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GhostJoe wrote:
The profit is the best interest for these companies, they would rather invest on marketing to make sure the consumers purchase every light they modified or upgraded.

While true the profit margin may be higher in selling upgraded pills and they may also get more repeat sales as it can be upgraded more than once as we have not reached the apex of LED technology.

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

Unheard
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Not too long ago I got a new pill from Rey. On request, you can nearly get anything from Sofirn. So, there are good companies that care for their customers. Oh, and got some parts from Jetbeam also.

The situation is not so bad.

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

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I think that the pill (including driver and led) is the most expensive part of a flashlight. Most people would rather get a new flashlight for a little more and keep or selling the old one.

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Unheard wrote:
Not too long ago I got a new pill from Rey. On request, you can nearly get anything from Sofirn. So, there are good companies that care for their customers. Oh, and got some parts from Jetbeam also.

The situation is not so bad.


Thats pretty awesome.
I wonder if i can get upgrades from Simon for my remaining Convoy?

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

Unheard
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Mail him.

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Unheard wrote:
Mail him.

Is he on BLF?

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

zoulas
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Upgrades would not work. There is shipping involved and labor. For what? What would you pay to have your M1 upgraded? The new one is $25.

If you are talking about buying parts and doing it yourself, its a different story. Remember many of these flashlights are not meant to come apart . The parts are glued together.

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zoulas wrote:
Upgrades would not work. There is shipping involved and labor. For what? What would you pay to have your M1 upgraded? The new one is $25.

If you are talking about buying parts and doing it yourself, its a different story. Remember many of these flashlights are not meant to come apart . The parts are glued together.


The chip is a couple bucks, the driver is a couple bucks at best, the pill is a few cents of metal.
The shipping is likely heavily subsidized on their their end.

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

cyberpunk
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Upcycling is one of the areas that has higher growth. People want to reduce waste, expand the lifetime of products, create something on their own, or simply appear cool and trendy. Telling someone you upgraded your flashlight showcases your skill, ambition, goal setting and technical prowess.

But that is just through the BLF lens. For the vast majority of consumers out there, a flashlight is nothing but a commodity. Something you pick up for cheap at a gas station or at Walmart. Or at Home Depot if you want “the real deal”. In those shops you will hardly find any products in this segment that can be easily upcycled by the average Joe. And why would they, it makes far more sense to sell them a new product. A new product sold will be reported as another sale. It is another order the wholesaler has to handle through them.

When I mention to friends that I build my own flashlights they give me weird looks. They appreciate flashlights when they need them, but they don’t understand why I would spend hours on BLF or browse parts to build my own. But these are the people who should be asking for the upgraded pills, etc.

I think a new generation, quality P60-type flashlight might work, but it would also take an enormous amount of customer education to explain the concept, the upgraded pills would have to be significantly cheaper than buying a new flashlight as well. And some customers simply want a different looking flashlight every other year…

I am on other forums with other hobbies or interests that gained a million people just because there was a pandemic and they had some time on their hands. I don’t think there are enough people who care that much about flashlights, who also want to mod them with an upgradeable pill, and then who’d be keen enough to actually order it as well. It is an interesting poll for a market research firm though, because I could be wrong.

zoulas
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Bort wrote:
zoulas wrote:
Upgrades would not work. There is shipping involved and labor. For what? What would you pay to have your M1 upgraded? The new one is $25.

If you are talking about buying parts and doing it yourself, its a different story. Remember many of these flashlights are not meant to come apart . The parts are glued together.


The chip is a couple bucks, the driver is a couple bucks at best, the pill is a few cents of metal.
The shipping is likely heavily subsidized on their their end.

You have to ship them the light also. What about the labor? For a $20 light?

What is the most you would pay? If a light was $500 I would pay $50. So on a $20 light how much would you pay maximum?

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Bort wrote:
Unheard wrote:
Mail him.

Is he on BLF?

Yes:

https://budgetlightforum.com/user/30339

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

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My opinion on this: I’ve spent a lot on modding older lights because I like them. It gives me good feelings to improve things. For sure, if Simon makes a new pill, it will be as expensive as a new light. So what? You keep your trusty old light full of signs of your use and make it better.

C’mone, that’s romance Love

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zoulas
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Ok but OP was talking about upgrading as an investment. As an investment, it’s a losing proposition.

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Likely.

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Back in the day of drop-ins, you had Ultrafire (C8, ’501, ’502, etc.), Solarforce (L2 series), NexTorch, the OG Suefires, and a plethora of mfrs who made lights that took drop-ins. Hell, even the Gen-I C8 had a pill instead of integrated shelf (Gen-II and up).

My cheap C8 clones used crappy thin Al pills but also accepted thicker heavier brass pills for real C8s. As long as not too high-strung, I could still use the crappy pills.

All my LEDs, drivers, etc., weren’t for upgrading lights, but for building custom drop-ins. Hell, half of what I bought from FT early on was empty D26 drop-ins. SMO/OP reflectors, XP/XM center holes, typische NANJG drivers, etc.

So I could change from a throwier SMO/NW/XP-E drop-in to a floodier OP/WW/XM-L drop-in to red/green/UV, whatever I had on hand. And they all worked interchangeably.

Those could be changed by hand, vs, say, an S2+ where you’d need some tools to swap pills. Doable, but not “in the field”.

Later, the craze for “integrated” lights with custom drivers, sideswitches, enough to wring out 1200lm or more, kinda pushed drop-ins to the wayside. You wanna swap anything, it’s major surgery, and that’s if the damned things weren’t glued shut. So unless you wanted to go that route, you had to settle for whatever crappy lumen-wringing CW emitter you initially got stuck with.

So unless you beat a host to Hell, it was worth it to just keep a bunch of drop-ins and swap as needed.

Tubelights like the S2+, too much of a pain to swap, even if building new pills is fairly easy, so you’d keep individual lights.

Newer lights that are like 100% custom with zero interchangeability except maybe for battery tubes (regular/shorty), you keep ‘em as you buy ‘em. Doesn’t pay to mod ‘em unless you’re really determined.

Would be nice to see pill-based lights make a resurgence, but I’m not holding my breath.

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well, “upgrading” just about anything in the cost range of an average flashlight does not make economic sense to a lot of people.

upgrading my clothes is something i do not do; i repair them, but i do not make them better than before.
additionally, i would not pay more to do so. fashion and flashlights are cheap enough to buy the newest
and donate or give away the functional older styles.

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Oh, c’mon… Who here has not at least once bought frills and turned a regular button-down into a puffy frilly Pirate Shirt?

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Lightbringer wrote:
Oh, c’mon… Who here has not at least once bought frills and turned a regular button-down into a puffy frilly Pirate Shirt?

Whines “ But I don’t want to be a pirate!”

This space for let.

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in answer, i once made a Nehru jacket,
but upgrade is not the word to use.

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Cosmo Kramer:  This pirate trend that she's come up with, Jerry, this is gonna be the new look for the '90s.  You're gonna be the first pirate!

Jerry Seinfeld:  But I don't want to be a pirate!

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raccoon city wrote:

Cosmo Kramer:  This pirate trend that she’s come up with, Jerry, this is gonna be the new look for the ’90s.  You’re gonna be the first pirate!


Jerry Seinfeld:  But I don’t want to be a pirate!

That’s the one!

This space for let.

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I wish companies would at least start making the heads more readily available with interchangable battery tubes. It seems to me they could make 1 universal tube for each battery size and the consumer could put any one of a dozen different heads on it they could buy seperately. The same battery tube could be used for throwers and flood in a wide array of led configurations. It would even be nice if the battery tubes were universal across brands. I know that would require some collaboration of competitors, but they did it with houshold lamps, electric outlets, DVD players, blueray, etc. They could do the same with battery tubes for flashlight heads. Then not only would my light collection be less costly, but would take up less physical space as well. Is the tube and grounding spring that different between my astrolux FT-03 sst40-w and the astrolux FT-03S…I don’t think so. Why cant they standardize battery tubes? It would save tons of aluminum.

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AFAIK, the only company that has been successful doing that is Maglite. Don’t the 2D—>5D use the same head?

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turkeydance wrote:
well, “upgrading” just about anything in the cost range of an average flashlight does not make economic sense to a lot of people.

upgrading my clothes is something i do not do; i repair them, but i do not make them better than before.
additionally, i would not pay more to do so. fashion and flashlights are cheap enough to buy the newest
and donate or give away the functional older styles.


A very large number of my flashlights are not cheap at all, unless you are very wealthy. Some cost over 200 dollars, but that is about the limit I am willing to spend, and I am financially secure. Sure there are decent led lights for 20 bucks, but we collectors seem to go for the more expensive lights as well. I am starting to be much more selective though. With over 200 flashlights, it is getting somewhat ridiculous, and I am thinking I may be more of a hoarder than collector.
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We can make it, better, stronger, faster.

https://youtu.be/93IDp6wkZZE

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Bort wrote:

I’m surprised that no one bothered to tell you that the Convoy M1 doesn’t have a pill to be able to get an upgraded one for replacement.

Most flashlights today have an integrated shelf, so there’s no possible way to provide an upgraded pill. A pill has poor heat transfer compared to an integrated shelf.

Learn to solder it’s not hard. I can do it and I’ve got terrible hand tremors

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Debatable.

Integrated shelves could be paper-thin, and it’s just like having a mcpcb mounted on another mcpcb on a chintzy little ledge.

Pills often come with assloads of snug-fitting thread-area for pretty good heat transfer. Lookit the S2+‘s pill as an example.

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Lightbringer wrote:
Pills often come with assloads of snug-fitting thread-area for pretty good heat transfer. Lookit the S2+‘s pill as an example.

Well, on most decent brands. Isn’t this why Simon moved away from pills on the C8?

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

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