best budget light in category : value for money

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
bengaltiger
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 02/26/2011 - 04:10
Posts: 91
Location: Sundarban
best budget light in category : value for money

I am planning to buy few lights....

best output (runtime is also important) please sugest I will select, if possible where to buy.

AA / AAA /16340 (budget USD 15-20) , more than USD 20 has to be special

18650 T6 / R5 (USD 15-25)

------

AAA / 10440

almost all are saying about ITP / Olight EOS

AA / 14500

Ultrafire C3 R5 according to flash-wiki

18650

bought UF-2100 from DD, is good light, dont know yet the runtime, output is good.

I like SF L2P, will buy probably.

Thanks,

BT

Edited by: bengaltiger on 11/15/2011 - 08:09
Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

I'd go for the U-20 Ultrafire rather than the C3 R5. And I probably own more C3's than anyone else here.

http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/ultrafire-u20-cree-xpg-r5-200lu...

 

 

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

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

VFMaddict
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 06/03/2011 - 08:47
Posts: 1454
Location: London

Don wrote:

I'd go for the U-20 Ultrafire rather than the C3 R5. And I probably own more C3's than anyone else here.

http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/ultrafire-u20-cree-xpg-r5-200lu...

Is the U20 that good on AA's (not 14500's), Don?

"You are making progress if each mistake you make is a new one."

Remember - Most great discoveries start with maki

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

Around the 110 lumen mark with NiMH. I don't seem to have measured the C3 R5 - but it has all the problems of the C3 design. Nothing that can't be fixed with some fine copper wire or on occasions a blob of solder, but most folk can't be bothered.

 

My stainless steel C3 with a Q5 is a fraction brighter (for a minute or so) on NiMH - I don't normally use alkalines at all.

 

The Mr.Lite J4 is comparable to the U20 on NiMH as is the BLF variant that starts on low instead of high.

 

I think the brightest light I have on AA/NiMh is the EastwardYJ J09 but it really, really means it about 1.5V maximum voltage - with a nickel-zinc cell it pulled over 4 amps! that is not survivable for more than a few seconds. A 14500 would kill it instantly. It does work with lithium primaries but they have the same internal resistance problems as alkalines so it is actually brighter on NiMH. Most lights that draw significant currents are.

 

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

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

bengaltiger
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 02/26/2011 - 04:10
Posts: 91
Location: Sundarban

I am sure there are many satisfied flashlight owners, so please reply that will help me & others a lot.

keltex78
keltex78's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 03/18/2011 - 10:15
Posts: 3705
Location: Texas

I also don't recommend the Ultrafire C3. The build quality is good, and the design is nice, but the body doesn't make good contact with the pill so you have to use a piece of wire to bridge the connection...


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

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

stevetexas
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: 08/24/2011 - 11:29
Posts: 594
Location: Republic of Texas

I joined here about 3 months ago and have bought about 20 flashlights, based on threads here.

I have three P60 hosts including the L2P with Manafont 3 mode XM-L dropin and coated glass lens installed.

For the XM-L, the C8 style light with the bigger reflector is a far greater performer and does not suffer from the heat transfer problems that all P60 types do.

If I were starting over, I would still get my Xeno E03 but I would skip past the P60 types and go for the C8 size.

I have the KD C8 now and like it so well that I have stepped up in quality by ordering an XinTD C8 also.

I have the UF-2100 and am very happy with it also.

In AAA size, I am very happy with my BLF special edition light, it's a great deal @ $15 with the BLF discount.  Old4570 reviews it here...

 http://budgetlightforum.com/node/4712

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/4347

 

 

 

how crazy is this
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 28 min ago
Joined: 09/14/2011 - 13:24
Posts: 408
Location: Minneapolis

Seriously,  I enjoy these discussions and always learn something from them. It is wonderful that so many share their experience so that we can make a good decision. The most important part of value for me is that it actually works for it's intended purpose and won't fall apart right away. That is a difficult judgment to make. Quality control can be difficult to gauge. That is why these forums are so useful. One bad light might not mean much -- unless it is yours. However when there are many then it is a pretty safe bet that it is a light to avoid.

Once we pass that critical threshold things get a lot more dicey. Heaven help me, I've currently got a bad case of Sipik zoom clone accumulation. Been hitting ebay and picking them up for mostly under $8. (One 3 mode cost $9) When I'm lucky on my bidding I can pick up 2 for the price of my TrustFire R5-A3. That is pretty serious value. As other threads have mentioned those little Sipik clones are great gifts for non-flashaholics. I want to give away more of them so they are a better value for the money to me than anything else I have found so far.

OTOH, I am intrigued by Don's suggestion of the U-20. My personal value pick in the AA/14500 (Actually specifically for use with 14500 but AA in a pinch), is the TrustFire R5-A3. I like this light because, as you can see from Don's charts, it hangs right in there with the brightest in its class. The heat management is better than the much more expensive Xeno EO3. It has a clip and fits perfectly in my EDC holster. The "low" actually mid mode is a very useful amount of light and has good run time. It is very mouth friendly and it tail stands.  Appears to be solidly built but only time will tell for sure. Given that all those things are important to me I don't know if the U-20 does any of that better to make up for not having a clip, being longer,  and costing more?

For the 18650 point my favorite would have to be one of the C8 variants. I really like my Kegos KE-1 although the KD C8 may be a better value if you get one with the 2.8 driver. Mine only pulls a little over 2. Again, this is a tough question of value. I have a P60 with an OP reflector. Some people really like the OP and the P60 format. I really like the C8 smooth reflector. Just puts out more useable light to me and throws farther than the P60. For right around 20 bucks I am blown away by these things. Could see the P60 if I was carrying it on a holster but I already have the R5-A3 for that. The C8 easily fits in a jacket pocket, is mouth usable if needed, and puts out a tremendous amount of light. Low is very usable and provides 25 hrs of run time. Really hard to beat in my opinion.

Wade

Vectrex
Vectrex's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 05/01/2010 - 15:39
Posts: 2778
Location: Gemany (according to my Black Cat)

1xAAA

ITP A3 R5 (very nice clip, no PWM) / Olight I3 R5 (don't like the non-reversible clip) / CQG S1 NW (love the tint)

 

1xAA

Sipik SK68/Romisen RC-29 if you like flood-to-throw, reflector based light are more versatile to me to my own surprise. (RC-29 has a sharp tail switch, which bothered me a lot, but still a very nice light)

Xeno E03 XM-L/XP-G NW (expensive, but worth the money: current controlled, no strobes, there is a Fenix clip that should fit, fits most Fenix equipmnent like diffusers etc.) / C3 SS 93mm length (way better than the alu version, but has strobes and is heavy)

I would like to recommend the Hugsby P31/P32, because they are still the most impressive value/money lights to me, but I won't because you can't be sure any more, what driver you will get. If you own 14500 and NiMH buy them anyway, I say. If you only have NiMH stay away from them.

I ordered the N-light B1 NW, but haven't received it yet, but on paper it is a nice light. I like that they included a diffuser and a metal box, no strobes, and maybe high PWM if it is the same driver as the B2S.

I ordered the Balder SE-1 XM-L, old 4570s review of the XP-E version looked nice, but unfortunately it has visible low PWM, but the price was too good to pass.

The Ultrafire H2 is an excellent alternative to the very expensive Zebralights, when you need a full-flood light (has low PWM though), useful clipped on clothes as an angle light and as a headlamp.

 

2XAA

Fenix E21 (my only premium light for a budget price, no strobes, bought from DD when it was $23-24... but even worth the $30 it costs normally)

 

186500

UF 2100 XM-L 3-mode($15) (no visible PWM on low, 1.7 A on high, but has strobes, Solarforce clips fits) or 5-mode (price range)

 

In general I now look for the following: cheap current controlled lights or lights with high PWM, with a sturdy clip (like the Hugsby P31/P32, Eastward YJ J09, ITP A3.....no wire thingy's!!!), neutral tint emitters, no strobes, 2 modes for AAA twisties (like the DQG Tiny II), 3 modes for AAA clickies , 3-4 modes on 1AA/2AA  (like the Xeno E03/N-Light B1/Balder SE-1) on high driven XP-Gs (up to 1.4-1.5 emitter-amps) and low driven XM-Ls (below 2 emitter-amps) , 3-5 modes on 18650 XM-Ls depending on how hard they are driven.

 

Lights that disappointed me, after they where praised so much here (maybe I just received bad ones):

Any alu C3 (designed to fail), TrustFire R5-A3 (bad wire clip, bad output on NiMH, smooshy switch), UniqueFire AA-S1 (bad wire clip, smooshy switch, horrible yellow beam colour, lousy efficiency), Black Cat AAA (contact problems, missing O-rings), C78 (switch problems), Eastward YJ J09 1AA (wanted the 4-mode.... DX sent me the 3-mode one which is high,high,strobe... argh) , Ultrafire M5 R5 1AAA (ringy beam, bad clip, only 1-mode), UniqueFire G10 CREE XP-G R5 6-Mode (next mode problem, too many strobe modes)

 

I don't own any 14500s, so my view is very eneloopish. Wink

bengaltiger
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 02/26/2011 - 04:10
Posts: 91
Location: Sundarban

excellent piece of info , I was looking for....

Thanks to all of you for the info.

I have lights in my mind , will post soon for some feedback...

-BT