Advice for a under $50 flash light.

At the moment I just have a old 4D Maglite from the 90s, I haven't used it for years because it would chew through $10+ worth of batteries in about 20 minutes.

The other day my brother got a tiny flashlight supplied to him by where he works, its about the size of a lighter and amazingly bright. At first I thought about upgrading the Maglite to LED's but from what I read after doing very little research is that its cheaper just to buy a new flashlight.

At the moment I have been looking at this, would it be a good buy?

I really dont like the ones with the bulky heads but other than that I am open to pretty much anything, Im just looking for the brightest light for the cheapest price.

Thanks in advance if anyone can help.

First, I would recommend getting rechargeables for the Mag lite. Tenergy seems to be a good brand, I think the best bang for the buck, outside of Epay, is or something like that.

Since you linked to a light that uses the 18650 rechargeable cells, be warned that any light that uses those will drive your costs up above the $50 limit. If you are OK with those cells, probably the best starting point would be a Solarforce L2 body with a Manafont Ultrafire T6, 3 mode P60 drop-in. From Manafont, you can grab a set of Trustfire 18650 batteries (the new "3000 mah" Flames are supposed to be real good) and a charger. I haven't done the full math, but that should put you in the $50-$60 ballpark and give you a good all around light.

If $50 is a hard ceiling, then you should look at AA or AAA lights.

Welcome ezarc .

I suggest that you do a little research here at BLF before you buy .

Wow , first let us know the battery of choice ...

AA AAA or Li-ion like CR123A / 16340 / 14500 / 18650

For a flashaholic or not ?

@ jonhobart

The maglite hasn't been used in years and probably never will be again.

I looked up the SolarForce L2, depending where I look I have seen at least 5 different versions and the cheapest one already has a T6 and is 1000 lumens for $19.60 here but it doesn't look the same as the others. Maybe fake? The others were $40+ but I'm not too keen on buying a torch in parts, especially that none of them look the same and probably aren't the same ones I found as you suggested. Also without any reviews or anything to compare it to its hard to say one way or the other if its good (not that I doubt it wouldn't be)..

Also the battery type doesnt really bother me as long as its a bright light.


Thanks for the welcome, I have been looking for a around this site for 3 days before signing up today. There is a lot of good info here but nothing I can use to make a decision.

Any battery is fine, I don't have any batteries that I would want to use.

Flashaholic? Not exactly, but I'm very interested. I have been looking at poorly written Chinese websites for over a week now at 1000s of flashlights and thought I would ask for some advice before I waste money on something I'm not happy with.

The new L2 or L2T with 3 mode XM-L

I have a L2 with 3 mode XM-L on the way ...

Ultrafire C8 flashlight $25

Trustfire TR-001 charger $10

Trustfire "flame" protected 18650 batteries $11

total = $46

that's probably one of the best starter sets you can find if you're looking for relatively reliable brightness under $50 total.

get them from Manafont. they're one of the more reliable HK dealers around, relatively speaking.

a pre-assembled Solarforce XML might push you a little over $50 including the charger and batteries, but it might be worth it. if you get a Solarforce, get it from those are the real ones.

Buy this body .

These batteries .

This dropin .

And this battery charger .

I own , use , and enjoy these products .

But although many of the other forum members will agree that this is a good starter setup , your individual wants and /or needs may be different from mine .

For example check out this thread ...

The C8 with Batteries and charger is an excellent suggestion. I lucked out and got a Kegos KE-1 off ebay and I think they are the same light. Amazing amount of light from a small package. My favorite light for dark nights outside.

However, I still really like this one for its overall usefulness. It still blows people away on high with the 14500s. The mid is a very useful amount of light -- as much as your old mag light -- and decent run time as well. Great light for working on things.

A very cheap but good charger.

Some 14500 batteries if you go the R5 route.

Glad that SWMBO doesn't read this;-) just realized that I have about $80 into my two favorite lights. Hmmm. Then there is the P60 XM-L bringing me up to a C note in flashlights, batteries, and chargers. Could likely live without the P60 once I got the C8 (KE-1). It really is nice to have all three though;-)



Thanks for the links, do you think that drop-in would fit the TrustFire Z5? I really like that light but the drop-in with reflector I assume would brighten it up a lot if it fits.

@how crazy is this

That R5 isn't really what I'm after but I might put it on the wishlist to buy at a later time to keep in my tool box. My brother has a little ZebraLight thats very useful under the car and around engine bays.

For reviews of the Solarforce lights, go to the 18650 forum. They are highly regarded.

The Z5 does not appear to be a drop in style of light .

Add to that it is a flood to throw , which does not do as good a job of flood or throw as a light dedicated to one or the other .

Keep reading . You will not only learn about the various capabilities of flashlights , but your personal needs in a light might be clarified more as well .

If you're really looking for the Brightest light at the Cheapest price, and you can deal with the light being ugly (LoL) then take a look at this one...awesome if you like throwers.

$18 on Amazon, super bright, super throw, decent spill...

180 lumens but awesome throw, runs on 4 AA (use Eneloops or some other LSD battery).

Right. Z5 is not capable of using drop ins.

BUT I disagree with your comment of flood: Z5 is my current go to light if I need a floody light. It gives a really nice, uniform, bright enough flood. Good for in house tasks, car repair etc. Throw isn't that good, but then again, it is still available in case you need it.

That being said, I strongly recommend a single-18650 light for beginners. For example the above mentioned C8 + good batteries + reliable charger. That is a very good package even for a non-flashaholic (or flashaholic in training :))

For example:
- KD C8 $25.86
- 2x XTAR 18700 from BLF group buy (ask Serena first) $13.50
- XTAR WP2 II charger also from Serena $15.99
Total: $55.35

Goes a bit over $50, but it's worth it.

Ezarc , I should probably warn you that you might end up buying several different lights even if you think you've found The Perfect Light .

This place has that effect on people .

That set-up jack put the links up for should be the first kit a budding flashaholic should buy. And, his warning is so true; once you experience the performance of an XM-L equipped L2, you'll soon be Paypaling your way right out of a marraige.


My personal picks would be..

The KD C8

Or if you wanted a little more throw I have been very happy with my C10 from DX

For budget chargers I would recommend anything in the Xtar line.

There are lots of good choices for batteries. Xtar, Hi-Max and check out the Rev Jim for panasonic batteries, he is selling them for a crazy low price! I would not recommend any battery with Fire in the name, Ultrafire's being the worst. For a couple $ more you can have a battery with a proven track record. IMO its not worth saving a couple dollars on a craps shoot.

Thanks everyone for the input, I decided to go with a solar force L2 and the MF T6 3 mode drop in.

Although the combination I like consists of 2 of the solar force flash lights so I may but another later down the track and end up with 2 of them or give one to my brother.

The solarforce will be an absolute awesome option! You will not be disappointed! Which batteries and charger did you end up getting?