Solarforce vs. Solarfarce

58 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

brted
brted's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 5 days ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 19:44
Posts: 2371
Location: Atlanta
Solarforce vs. Solarfarce

Today I got the two Solarforce hosts I had ordered a couple of weeks ago, after asking for advice here.

First, I ordered a black Solarforce L2 with an extension tube from lightake.com. It was only $10.82 which was suspiciously low. After I ordered it, it was pointed out that it was certainly fake because it could tailstand and Solarforce lights don't do that except with a special tailcap that you can buy separately. Although Daniel from lightake had assured me that the Solarforce L2 is genuine (he actually said it was "ture"), this light is definitely more similar to the Solarforce knockoff Ultrafire WF-504B that I have.

Second, I ordered a genuine gunmetal gray Solarforce L2 on eBay from ITC_shop. It wasn't much more, only $11.05. While similar looking, the Solarforce is definitely better quality. It has big o-rings in the head and tail whereas the Solarfarce has a big one in the head, but a skinny, pretty ineffective one in the tail.

Here are the three lights: Solarfarce L2 (black, top), Solarforce L2 (gunmetal gray, middle), and Ultrafire WF-504B (silver, bottom):

Solarfarce L2 (top), Solarforce L2 (middle), Ultrafire WF-504B (bottom)

Knurling: The knurling on the Solarforce is more prominent with each diamond coming to a point like on a rasp. Each diamond on the Solarfarce is flat. The Solarforce knurling is better, but I think I prefer the Solarfarce.Maybe the Solarforce would be better if you were wearing gloves. You may have to click on the picture below to see the difference, with the Solarforce on the left and the imitation on the right.

Diamond patterned knurling: Solarforce (left) and Solarfarce (right)

Tailstanding: The Solarfarce, as already mentioned, tailstands. I don't need a light to tailstand that often and it probably makes the button harder to push, especially with gloves, but I think I prefer the tailstanding cap. Both clickies are about the same, the Solarforce might be a little better and seems better on half-presses to change modes. Although the genuine Solarforce clicky protrudes, I don't think it would be that easy to turn it on accidentally.

Lanyard: I don't like lanyards that much, but I'd rather be able to have one than not. The lanyard included with the Solarfarce feels kind of cheap. I like the one that came with my 504B better which has more texture to it.You have to buy a Solarforce ring separately if you want to attach a lanyard to it.

Tail threads of 504B, Solarforce L2, fake Solarforce L2

Anodizing: The anodizing of the Solarforce is a little more of an olive color than "gunmetal" which I would think would tends towards a bluish gray. It is pretty much perfect though. I was told one way you can tell a true Solarforce is to run your thumbnail down the side of a smooth part like the head and you will feel tiny little ridges, which holds true. The bezel is anodized all around and screws in very smoothly. The tail end of the body tube has some kind of rough anodizing, but it's not visible when the light is screwed together. The Solarfarce has shiny black paint (maybe anodizing) on the body tube, but the tail has more of a matte finish. The head is somewhere in between those. The picture of all 3 lights together shows the difference between the body tube and tail. It's not that big a deal, but it should be more consistent.

Conclusion: The Solarforce definitely deserves the praise it gets. It is well made in just about every way. I don't necessarily like all the choices they made, but for the price on eBay, it was well worth the money. To really make it perfect, I would still need to get a flat bezel ($5.76) and a clip ($5.01) which would about double the price of the host.

Edited by: sb56637 on 02/14/2012 - 08:18 Reason: sb56637 replaced budgetlightforum.cz.cc with budgetlightforum.com via Scanner Search and Replace module.
midieval10
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 6 days ago
Joined: 06/23/2010 - 00:05
Posts: 396
Location: California, USA

Awesome review! Now I want to buy the real Solarforce on ebay. What drop-in are you using? Do you know if I can buy a light like the Ultrafire WF-501B or WF-502B and use that drop-in to put in the Solarforce body? Would I need anything additional to make it work? Sorry I'm sort of new to flashlight modifications.

rzezniq
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 10 months ago
Joined: 07/02/2010 - 06:59
Posts: 81
Location: Poland

As long as you stay in voltage range the drop-in will work in solarforce.

brted
brted's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 5 days ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 19:44
Posts: 2371
Location: Atlanta

For now, I'm using one drop-in from a 502B that has an XP-G R5 (I installed a different driver on it, but I could have used the original 1-mode driver if I wanted). I'm also using one I put together myself from an empty DX drop-in plus a driver and XP-G R4 LED. You can definitely mix and match as long as you keep in mind the voltage range of the drop-in. All of my drop-ins work best with a single lithium ion battery. In fact I can't even use the extension tube because none of my drop-ins will take 8.4V.

how2
Offline
Last seen: 19 hours 33 min ago
Joined: 06/01/2010 - 10:26
Posts: 2478
Location: london

brted

 

From the pics you can really tell the quality. Lightake must make a big profit out off each unit.

midieval10
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 6 days ago
Joined: 06/23/2010 - 00:05
Posts: 396
Location: California, USA

brted wrote:

For now, I'm using one drop-in from a 502B that has an XP-G R5 (I installed a different driver on it, but I could have used the original 1-mode driver if I wanted). I'm also using one I put together myself from an empty DX drop-in plus a driver and XP-G R4 LED. You can definitely mix and match as long as you keep in mind the voltage range of the drop-in. All of my drop-ins work best with a single lithium ion battery. In fact I can't even use the extension tube because none of my drop-ins will take 8.4V.

Do I need to do any soldering/gluing if I just want to use the drop in straight from the 501B/502B?

brted
brted's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 5 days ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 19:44
Posts: 2371
Location: Atlanta

No soldering. All you do is unscrew the head, put the drop-in in there, and put it back together. You literally just drop it in.

midieval10
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 6 days ago
Joined: 06/23/2010 - 00:05
Posts: 396
Location: California, USA

brted wrote:

No soldering. All you do is unscrew the head, put the drop-in in there, and put it back together. You literally just drop it in.

Thanks! I would rep you if there was that system here Smile

fishinfool
fishinfool's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 03/09/2010 - 00:30
Posts: 4342
Location: Hilo, Hawaii

Has anyone tried one of these Thrunite's XPG P60 Dropin's?  I wonder if they are actually 493 lumens. 

http://www.sbflashlights.com/Thrunite-Dropins-c18/

I ask because I still need a dropin for one of my SolarForce L2m's.  I really like the Thrunite XPG 3 Mode 4.0-13V Dropin so I can use the 18650 extension tube and use 2 - 18650's.  Thanks guys!

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

Vectrex
Vectrex's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 days ago
Joined: 05/01/2010 - 15:39
Posts: 2778
Location: Gemany (according to my Black Cat)

Someone tested the older Thrunite's XP-G R5 (2.7-9V Input) over at CPF. But I think they are too expensive, I wish they sold the dropin of the SKYRAY S-R5 separately. It's been one of the best budget dropins so far.

midieval10
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 6 days ago
Joined: 06/23/2010 - 00:05
Posts: 396
Location: California, USA

Hey brted,

What was the price you paid for the real Solarforce L2 on ebay?

brted
brted's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 5 days ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 19:44
Posts: 2371
Location: Atlanta

midieval10 wrote:

What was the price you paid for the real Solarforce L2 on ebay?

$11.05. He had them on sale for 30% off. Then yesterday they were at regular price. Today they are 20% off (still a pretty good deal). If he goes 30% off again, I might pick up a black one, but I have more hosts than drop-ins right now so I don't need it at all.

midieval10
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 6 days ago
Joined: 06/23/2010 - 00:05
Posts: 396
Location: California, USA

Ok I just bought one from him. Now what's the best drop in for this thing? Thinking of getting 501B on DX with MC-E. Is that hole in your beam still there?

brted
brted's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 5 days ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 19:44
Posts: 2371
Location: Atlanta

Cool. What color did you pick? You got the L2 for 18650?

I put a different reflector with the MC-E and it is a little better (not a distracting black dot anymore), but it is still there. An XP-G R5 is probably the best bet: bright, decent throw, good beam quality, and efficient. With the MC-E, it is bright and floody enough that you get a lot of light bouncing off things that are close to you (the ground, overhanging trees, etc.) that those objects blind you from seeing stuff in the distance that isn't lit up as brightly. At least for me.

The XP-G has enough spill, but puts most of the light where you want it. If you don't mind 1 mode, the XP-G R5 is good and seems reliable based on reviews and my experience. The 5-mode seems more iffy. I was happy getting the 1-mode and swapping the driver out for a 3-mode. But if you don't want to install your own driver and still want multi modes, you probably need to get the 5-mode.

midieval10
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 6 days ago
Joined: 06/23/2010 - 00:05
Posts: 396
Location: California, USA

I was debating between the black and gray L2 18650. I decided to get the gray one just like yours Smile Thanks for the advice for the XPG R5 one mode. In Don's review he said his MCE's + sign can't be seen after 4 feet. In your pictures, there's a dark spot on your fence lol.

fishinfool
fishinfool's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 03/09/2010 - 00:30
Posts: 4342
Location: Hilo, Hawaii

Is gray the same as gunmetal?   Undecided

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

midieval10
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 6 days ago
Joined: 06/23/2010 - 00:05
Posts: 396
Location: California, USA

Yeah I think it's the Gunmetal Gray

midieval10
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 6 days ago
Joined: 06/23/2010 - 00:05
Posts: 396
Location: California, USA

brted,

Which one of the 3 has the best heatsinking? Also, how does the Solarfarce compare to the 504B?

brted
brted's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 5 days ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 19:44
Posts: 2371
Location: Atlanta

They could all probably use a few aluminum strips to get a tighter fit. I haven't done any duration tests on the 501B or the Solarforces yet, but I know the 504B tends to get hotter than the 502B which is a good thing. Part of that is because the inner diameter of the 502B is bigger plus the throat separates from the body tube whereas the 504B/Solarforces have one-piece body tubes and throat which will transfer heat better from the head. I'd expect similar peformance on the Solarforces, with maybe a little better performance on the real Solarforce because it feels heavier.

Here are measurements I took of the inner diameter of the heads of the lights. The drop-ins vary in diameter a little so the number of strips needed will vary from maybe 3 to 8 (for the 502B).

501B: 22.6mm; lightest weight

502B: 23.8mm; pretty heavy

504B: 22.5mm; medium weight

Solaforce L2 (fake): 22.5mm; medium weight

Solarforce L2: 22.5mm; heavier than the fake

ace0001a
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 05/22/2010 - 20:23
Posts: 128
Location: Sactown

I've chatted directly with a Solarforce rep and apparently there are Solarforce fakes out there, but he basically told me that it can't be helped in China.  Although the irony here is that a Surefire 6P clone gets cloned...while the Ultrafires are 6P clones to a certain extent too, but of course they're acknowledged to be made by Ultrafire.  As far as Daniel from Lightake saying they're genuine (despite his bad english), he is probably being honest with as far as he knows.  Afterall, he is a Lightake salesman and not their purchasing manager and so he only knows the information given to him.  With that said, since we all know the only Solarforce L2 that comes stock being able to tailstand is the L2P, the ones sold at Lightake are most likely are fakes...still for the price, you can't really complain.

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

ace0001a wrote:

With that said, since we all know the only Solarforce L2 that comes stock being able to tailstand is the L2P, the ones sold at Lightake are most likely are fakes...still for the price, you can't really complain.

 

And the L2r

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

ace0001a
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 05/22/2010 - 20:23
Posts: 128
Location: Sactown

Don wrote:

And the L2r

 

Oops, forgot about the L2r and L2i as those do tailstand as well...but I was thinking about the CR123/16340/18340 standard L2 model.

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

ace0001a wrote:

Don wrote:

And the L2r

 

Oops, forgot about the L2r and L2i as those do tailstand as well...but I was thinking about the CR123/16340/18340 standard L2 model.

 

Makes sense. Besides, I was just having a pedantic moment and you beat me as you remembered the L2i which I didn't. Never liked 3xAAA lights much which is probably why the L2i slipped my mind.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Nautic
Nautic's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 02/14/2010 - 14:01
Posts: 992
Location: Europe

The L2r do tailstand, but due to it being very topheavy (large head - slim tube) it topples over with the slightest shake

of the table or whatever you place it on

Cheap quality is good - Expensive crap isn´t

SPAMBOT
SPAMBOT's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: 07/16/2010 - 18:40
Posts: 484
Location: Old World

Does anyone know if you can use a C or 26500-cell in that SF L2i? The L2i could end up being very useful if it can take the larger li-ion cells.

Now with 100% all natural asbestos!

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

SPAMBOT wrote:

Does anyone know if you can use a C or 26500-cell in that SF L2i? The L2i could end up being very useful if it can take the larger li-ion cells.

 

I'd doubt it. If I read this CPF review correctly, the body tube is 25mm in external diameter. However, his dimensions don't make sense to me. I think he may have mixed up the L2i and r dimensions.

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=246286

ITC measurements imply that the first link is wrong

http://cgi.ebay.com/Solarforce-L2i-BLACK-AAA-battery-flashlight-body-/27...

It would appear to have a 32mm outside diameter. It probably has thick walls so a C may, or may not fit. If you reckon that the OD is 25mm for the L2r which takes 14mm diameter cells, I suspect that the inside diameter of the L2i will not be big enough.

But i don't own one and I've been wrong before and undoubtedly will be again. If I liked 3AAA lights I'd be prepared to drop $13 on it just to try it out. But I don't and I don't own any C lithium cells either. It would be quite expensive to find out.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Nautic
Nautic's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 02/14/2010 - 14:01
Posts: 992
Location: Europe

Total lengh incl bezel 175, tube outside 22, tube inside 14

Cheap quality is good - Expensive crap isn´t

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

Nautic wrote:

Total lengh incl bezel 175, tube outside 22, tube inside 14

 

Is that measured? I can't find my callipers but I'd have thought it was nearer 15mm inside diameter.

 

Found them. 14.9 or 15.0mm inside diameter - 21.8mm outside diameter.

 

On the basis of that and assuming the L2i has the same wall thickness I'd expect it to have an inside diameter of around 25mm which is likely to be too tight for a C.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Nautic
Nautic's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 02/14/2010 - 14:01
Posts: 992
Location: Europe

I measured it again. Inside tube 14,51 says my electronic callipers.

Cheap quality is good - Expensive crap isn´t

SPAMBOT
SPAMBOT's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: 07/16/2010 - 18:40
Posts: 484
Location: Old World

Did some caliper measurements on my L2r: body tube ID 14.51mm OD 22.13mm, head ID 28.67mm OD 32.00mm

 

Post #19 in that CPF thread says that the OD of the tailcap threads is 63/64*1" (or 25-ish mm), ID should be roughly the same so it seems that 26500's are out of the question then...

Now with 100% all natural asbestos!

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

Since my calipers have rust on them, yours are certainly more accurate than mine. 14.51mm sounds tight for some of the fatter NiMH cells. It is close to airtight with my junk 2700mAh cells. But the nice thing about P60 lights is you can pull the dropin out and use a stick to extract cells.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Pages