Anybody up for a "Guided Learning Session"? The one to learn is me!

I'd like to build a new light, but am totally new to it and I need advice.

After reading around, it seems that some of the lights press the technology quite a bit. What I would like to build is a light that is close to the top in performance, but not so bleeding edge that it is liable to fry on me or blow up. I now know that I prefer throwers and I also know that I like a neutral color, neither warm nor cool. My budget is about $60 including battery and charger. Everything else is negotiable.

I don't have paypal, therefore I am limited to purchase via credit card. Also I live on Guam, so there is absolutely no place for me to find parts. Another factor is that it takes a long time for orders to get here coming via USPS which is the only way to ship here at a reasonable cost.

Anyone up for guiding me through the process of helping me choose the right parts from the right place?

Thank you,


Other than wanting NW tint, you've left a lot open. Battery type/size? Host? Beam shape? Rough lumen output? What type of U.I? (Since you're looking at NW, I can't recommend the xp-g R4 3D tint enough!)

These are some questions that you'll need to think about before starting your build.

If you're unsure, one of the best/easiest starting points is a good ol' P-60 host of some type. Then build the drop-in to your specs. Therer has probably been more written on building these than any other light. Simple, functional, and it will give you insight to all that goes into a light.

Once you decide what you want in reference to the questions above, post back, and I/we'll help you in figuring out the rest.

^ What he said

A p60 Host ..

Then build the drop in ...

All you need is to decide on emitter - then the empty pill to go with it , and the driver you wish to use ..

Start window shopping and check out the DIY Flashlight

+ there are a few DIY guides about .

Another day at work for 13.25 hours and this is what I've got:

I'll stick to a P-60 host if it fits with the lumen requirements which I ask you help me with.

I would like a good thrower now that I'm sure what it means. I see that the xp-g R4 3D can do up to about 460 lumens, a bit shy of my goal. Is there any other NW emitter in or near my range? If not, I could try the xp-g R4 3D. I have never seen a 460 lumen LED light before. How would it compare to those old lantern battery powered flashlights of the 70's? LOL

I realize that I'm going to have to deal with heat, but I don't see that as a real stopper.

So it's bedtime. I don't know what body to get. Lots of questions. I appreciate all your help and thank you,


Buy the solarforce L2 body and the "neutral" q2 5a (warm end of neutral, but pretty good overall) drop-in at DX. Then get this:

Nobody sells an off the shelf neutral xml. E1320 might build some custom drop in's, but only with 1D tint.

You can also buy with CC on paypal without creating an account (use "guest" option when paying).

Is this the one you mean?

Thank you,


Get it from the manufacturer:

It's the best quality possible for ~that price. Just get the color you like.

Drop in:

It's the best (and only neutral) 18650 flashlight you can buy for $25.

Would it be a good idea for future projects to get the 2 extenders as seen here?:

That dropin can handle 3 18650's, so go for it. :)

Just be careful when using multiple lithiums to make sure they're same level. Putting full ones in with partly charge/empty is potentially dangerous.

O.K. I ordered both plus a battery charger and trustfire protected 2400ma 18650's. The body has the 2 extensions. I added Fujik.

What should I use a driver?



Huh? That's all you need. Just put the drop-in in the host (I would recommend wrapping in some alum. foil for conducting heat), add batteries and enjoy the beautiful light. :)

I've been working on this at very slow burn for a couple of years. You guys have bumped it up a few notches.


I may have made a mistake. I ordered this:

In the description of the item it doesn't say it comes with a tail switch assembly. I have sent an email to solarforce, but so far have no reply. Does anyone know if the one I ordered comes with a tail switch assembly?



No it comes with everything you need. It's basically their standard L2 + 2 ext. tubes. Just add drop-in, easy peasy.

Thanks. The sight is a wee bit lacking on that specific item group.


Yeah, their photographer needs to stop take pics of their black lights on the black background. :D. SolarForce is good folks, though, so even if you ever have a problem they'lll sort it out.

Good to know.

Now I've got a problem though. I budgeted $100 for this project, and I've only spent $77.45. Wow, this is fun!

So far I've ordered a TR-001 battery charger, 4 trustfire flame 18650 protected batteries, a Cree Q2 drop in, Fujik thermal glue, a Solarforce L2 black body with 2 pc 18650 extender SET and a CREE LED 7W Q5 Zoomable rechargeable Flashlight Torch from another thread!

Now I've got to spend the rest.

Should I get another pill with the $22.55? I'm a technician by trade and good with a soldering gun. I can see now I've opened up can of worms... How do you guys handle the 3 to 5 week waiting factor? I could see making small purchases every week.


You've already got some fujik on the way, and you know how to solder... that just sceams "make your own drop-in" to me. You just need an emitter, a driver board, and a pill/reflector.

E1320 has a nice pictorial thread over here. His parts list will have you well under budget, with the exception of the driver boards, as they're sold in 5-packs.

Then go nuts, have fun, and if you get too addicted to stop, you can start selling them to tourists as custom 'taotaomona hunting lights'