XP-G lights & heatsinking

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Nil Einne
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XP-G lights & heatsinking

I'm currently looking at purchasing an 18650 light, primarily for my bicycle handlebar.I'm leaning to an XP-G R5 because of the good price and efficiency but am having trouble choosing.

Anyway as some may know, Kaidomain has several cheap P60 host XP-Gs which are where I'm leaning. There is the 501B for $14.15 http://kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=10068, 502B for $16.01 http://kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=10066 and 504B for $18.54 http://kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=10345. There is also the Seraph clones such as the ever popular Skyray on DX $21.14 http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.32749 and the Uniquefire R5 also on DX $22.35 http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.32720, the UltraFire C1 on KD $19.44 for a 3.7-4.2V one http://kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=10158 or $21.32 for a -8.4V one http://kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=10199.

 

(I've ignored the 501, 502 and 504 at DX because they're expensive and the SuterFire G2 http://kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=10512 & Uniquefire L2 on DX $22.32 http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.33549 which appear to just be differently named 504B.)

 

The quality of the dropin (regulation etc) and build quality is so variable I'm kind of think there's no point looking for something good, just pay attention to any recent reviews and cross your fingers hope for the best. So it comes down a lot to the body. The 501B is attractive as the cheapest but the 502B is bigger so would generally have better heatsinking and only about 15% or $2 more I'm leaning to that. Considering my use I do expect to have the light on full for long periods, although it'll be cooled somewhat when I'm cycling. I recognise of course a good heatsinking body is useless if the dropin doesn't make good contact with the body so some modding may be necessary to give better contact.

Are the other bodies really that much better that others would recommend them instead? Or any other recommendations/thoughts? As you may gather, I'm function over form here, so don't are what they look like provided they work Silly

I'm aware that P60 based MC-Es and P7s recently became available and are fairly cheap but from what I've read these probably won't be better then the XP-Gs for long term usage since the heatsinking is inadequate (and XP-Gs are more efficient up to about 1.8A too). However if anyone feel free to give your thoughts.

 

Cheers

Edited by: Nil Einne on 06/25/2010 - 08:11
Nil Einne
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Some more details which don't really matter... I don't use a helmet light so it's the only front facing light I'll have. I cycle in suburban streets although street lighting in Auckland sometimes leaves a bit to be desired and it's possible I'll also use it on motorway cycle lanes (these are segregated but next to the motorway so they have some light coming from the motorway but aren't lighted themselves). I don't generally cycle that fast. So anyway both from what I've read and common sense, I gather I want a decent flooder. From what I've read an XP-G should just about cut it. A good P7 or MC-E might be better but the price difference seems a bit much particularly since the XM-L would probably be a much better alternative when it comes out.

Also this will be my first 18650 light (so yeah I will need batteries & chargers but I've decided to keep it simple), or actually first high powered LED light of any sort. I may buy a XM-L or something else sometime in the future so for that reason don't want to spend too much but also I'll likely keep this light as a backup so won't likely be changing the drop in anytime soon.

I do want at least 3 modes (a decent medium which I may use in some circumstances to save battery life and a low would also be useful for emergencies and the like, I think I'd actually prefer something like a 2/3, 1/3 and the normal ultra low/~10% but these don't seem to exist so...). Strobe is useless (while some like these for bicycle lights to increase noticeability, the road code in NZ says you can't have a flashing forward facing bicycle light and I don't see enough reason to disobey it) and so is SOSOSOS or SOS SOS although I'm not as anti as some people are so a 5 mode is fine.

As mentioned, I am willing to mod if necessary, so could replace the driver in the future if absolutely necessary.

alfreddajero
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With a dropin its really not necessary to mod them, just get another dropin or mod the driver with something better........i like the 504B because it looks like the Solarforce L2's.  As for 18650's it seems that the Flame ones are a big hit with some of us since they have good capacity and the price is right to boot.  As Don would put it with the flat SS bezel you will get a lot more spill from the light, i have the SF R2 3mode and like it- the brightness levels seem well spaced.  Now i guess its time for me to dwell into XPG's as well since im getting behind in emitter times. 

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

Nil Einne
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Modding I more meant either wrapping something around the driver to get better conductivity or yeah modding the driver (I'd ideally like ~1.4-1.8A for the bright light and the fact there's little point going past that with XP-Gs from what I've seen but the regulation on these still seems to be very variable at the current time with some of them even being DD and some of them still using the 1A that was the old max rating. Mind you I don't know if the heatsinking on the P60s is usually good enough for that anyway.)

 

But yeah the 502B bezel isn't so good from a light output perspective

alfreddajero
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Will i used RedBull tin to wrap the inside diameter where the dropin goes, this was a very good tip coming from Don and Brted.  Now when the light is on its not getting hot in one spot.

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

alfreddajero
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So did you decide on a light yet.Cool

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

brted
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The early KD R5 drop-ins had the LED set behind the bottom of the reflector, so a lot of light was blocked. The 502B I got from DX did not have that problem. But some people have reported problems with the 5-mode R5 at DX. If it burns out right away or is DOA you could get them to send you another one.

 

http://www.jayki.com/7007

Nil Einne
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Was planning to buy before the end of this week but took too long deciding so little point doing anything until Monday since none of the sites will process my order until then anyway (okay I will probably be at the end of the weekend que but bleh doesn't matter)

Nil Einne
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As an update I ended up getting:

'Solarforce' L2 with extension tube and XP-G R5 from Lightake with their 5%, as most will know, this isn't genuine but I never believed it was and by the time I purchased it this was pretty definite

2x 2x black/red flame Trustfire 2400mAh 18650 also from Lightake with their 5% (since LT bulk rates start at 2 this was cheaper then DX or eBay although I later found buyincoins which was cheaper with the 15% albeit I probably prefer LT anyway since BIC is still a bit of an unknown)

SheKor charger from KD

Bicycle mount from DX

Same bicycle mount and 18650 holders from Buyincoins with 15%

 

I briefly considered getting the genuine Solarforce L2 but while these have good build quality, I went back to the drawing board and decided the price was too high, particularly since tracking is compulsory (or at least thats what it seemed ITCshop told me) for anywhere other then the US so the price was $13.05 despite the IMHO misleading claim of worldwide free shipping. The price of the KD WF-502B has come down to $15.21 so if I got the genuine body+genuine dropin which is only 1 mode anyway it was $30.04 (well it could be $2 less, I never clarified if I need to pay the tracking fee twice) or nearly double the KD WF-502B. Even if I got a cheap KD dropin + genuine Solarforce L2 it would be $24.35. And I would still have no ability to tailstand (don't really think this is that important to me), the silly attack bezel which would reduce spill, no lanyard ability and no extension tube. Adding any of these would add quite a bit to the price.

 

The LT 'Solarforce' L2 was a bit expensive $22.79 compared to the KD WF-502B but I decided the extension tube + better body + probably better dropin + hopefully better support from LT was just about worth it. I'd actually been planning to get a DX XP-G R5 dropin since although these have had questionable reviews, DX have the best warranty on paper by far including return shipping which considering the high price of shipping in NZ is useful to me. However after analysing LT's dropin I realised it has a smooth reflector (admitedly not necessarily best for my purposes although rare) and actually looks very similar to the Skyray dropin which has gotten good reviews. Also I decided to hope I could count on Daniel to help me if I had major problems. So in the end I decided the extra price, particularly with LT's 5% wasn't worth it. I also considered getting a WF-501B/WF-502B  (this was before the WF-501B came down to ~$13) from KD for the dropin so I could have the extra body (I'm considering a red LED) but I wasn't sure these could take 8.4V so gave up on that idea.

midieval10
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Tell us how that goes! I went with the ITC Solarforce L2 + KD 501B so it will cost me a total of around $25. I bought Trustfire flames from buyincoins and also a cheap charger from there. I might get the Shekor charger if the one I'm getting isn't that great.

Nil Einne
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I've actually already got the flashlight and batteries and bicycle mount yesterday and no major complaints so far. I'm using it with 3xAA which work although it can't close properly (does go past the orings). The Shekor was only sent on Friday so can't use the 18650 until then. I was sorta hoping the AA would fit and work and while it doesn't fit as tightly as I hoped (perhaps about 4mm x 2 extra I was hoping it would be close to tight) it seems it'll be okay for emergency situations although I don't know about the waterproofing (but that seems to have bigger issues). Current draw seems a little less then I hoped, I was getting 1A at about 4V leads replacing the tailcap. Then again it seems to be bright enough.