Best Option For A Compact Zooming Flashlight - 14500 / 18650

If you want compact you'll probably like one of these:

Pretty nice for $3.

Cheers for the suggestions, I do have one of these\_=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl

which I guess is the same as the sipik SK68 and would guess the Meco was using the same LED but just in a slightly different design.

Are these all copies of what was originally an Ultrafire torch and if so would the original Unltrafire be that smidge brighter, I think this is one on the link here

I like the one I have but of I could just get that bit brighter would be better, maybe mines just a cheapish copy that’s not that great as I really doubt it’s close to 350 lumins

What are dealextreme and one other I see pop up quite a bit is miniinthebox like to deal with, if you google their names with review after there are some horrendous reports on them, I know banggood are OK from buying RC stuff.

I don’t think anything from Ultrafire is original, and I think Meco is just a new name for the old company to try to shake their bad reputation.

Anything you buy you’ll have to modify, no matter how much it costs you originally.

If you want a clone of the Sipik SK68 go to eBay and don’t spend more than $2 postpaid.
You can put a decent emitter in, with 2 touches of the soldering iron.
Next time RMM makes more drivers you can get the BLF SK68:

I’m less of a fan of the SK-68, and prefer it’s bigger brother, the SK98. I purchased an SK98 off eBay for $4.99 shipped and it seems much more useable than the 68.

On any of these ultra-cheap zoomies, count on an emitter upgrade at minimum, and preferably, a driver upgrade. Otherwise, you are likely to end up with a three-mode next-mode-memory driver behind a poor-tint, reduced efficiency, LatticeBright emitter.

I like these about 100 times better than the sk68 or the sk98. the size is much better /smaller and the options for making it a better zoomie happen without spending all that much money . Overall feels better ,more pocketable and useful …like any of these cloned clones of a clone the goal is to find ones with 3 modes a solid pill and an emitter that isn’t a lattice bright . i like the supfire f3-l2 too and think the zeusray isn’t a horrible light either

If you're looking for brighter than the little XP-E sk68 or Meco then you might like the Sk98 or Zeusray as suggested above. They aren't as pocketable, but they're much brighter.

There was an 18650 sized flashlight big brother to the Meco I linked above, but I haven't seen them in maybe a year. That one sounds like it would be ideal with great pocketability, zooming, and performance.

Yep. often called the “#3 Zoomie” (from the list of AA/AAA lights under $10).

Bought a lot from a variety of places. Out of maybe a dozen, I’ve gotten just one with a solid pill — which is hosting a Rebel emitter (10mm square board)
I bought copper disks from Etsy that, filed down a bit,fill the opening (the 10mm squares just barely sit on the “ledge” at the four corners, without the added surface.

That messes up the perfect focus of the emitter but they still focus to a perfectly satisfactory small spot.
Filing a millimeter off the slidey part (on the end opposite the lens) lets the lens slide a bit closer to the emitter, making an even wider flood.

If someone made good pills for these they’d be the ultimate AA zoomie. But at $2-3 apiece, nobody would bother.

The BLF-SK68 15mm drivers fit in them and work fine.

I second that. This shape of light is the smallest available in 14500 format. Half the size of a Sipik 68 and pretty much just as bright. Great size for pocket carry.

If you want to upgrade these:

  • For the 14500 size lights, order a 15mm driver from Mountain Electronics. For 18650 lights order a 17mm driver. He offers regulated ones (with 8x7135 chips), and FET drivers (maximum power, but output isn’t as stable).
  • For emitter, I recommend the Nichia 219C for 14500 size lights. Beautiful beam pattern and runs well even on low-powered cells at low voltage. However, if you want maximum possible output order a 5000K XPL HI emitter and use in an 18650 light with FET driver. Such a setup in a Sipik 98 should give you over 40k lux.
  • If you want maximum possible throw, you could try a FET driver with dedomed XPG2. However, I don’t recommend this setup. Flood mode won’t be nearly as bright as either of the above recommended emitters and the tint will be far worse (usually an ugly greenish).

Is anyone selling a 14mm Noctigon board or Sinkpad with a Nichia on it? That’d be the right size for the #3 zooomie.

I know, I should buy a grinder as pictured at 14mm Copper MCPCB for XM-L's anywhere?

I never hear too much about this light…it looks like a reasonably easy light to mod and a option for people who really dislike the shape and feel of the sk68 … These silly lights having no model numbers or names makes it difficult to track people reviews, reaction,responses to lights.

one i keep meaning to buy /try.

Honestly…until you get into the 2-3A range…a copper sinkpad isn’t going to help all that much…if there is a hollow pill, the simple act of epoxying the star to the pill then filling the hole behind the star with JB Quickweld goes MUCH farther, Permanent thought.

I only quoted this one as it was the 1st that mentioned upgrades after my last post.

I have what I’m guessing is a Sipik SK68 clone from fleabay, I’m pretty much at home with a soldering iron as I’ve flown remote control things for quite a few years but would like to start simple and don’t even know what an emitter is ??
I’d guess the LED but could be 110% wrong but whatever it is where can I buy a quality replacement and what do I need to solder, where the best place for me to start researching things like this …… I#d also really like to get one of the SK98’s up to a decent standard as well so again any pointers in that direction would help.

I’m about to google both of them and I have absolutely no idea what difference drivers make but will also google that as well but any shortcuts to save me reading through a load of irrelevant stuff would be appreciated …… especially with suggested replacement parts as I’d have no idea if I’m taking something that’s not good and replacing it with complete garbage at the moment?

I also really want to do this with the SK98 as I think for what I want them for and combination of both torches working well ……… especially if the 98 is that much brighter will cover most on my needs.

Here's the giant reference thread on pretty much everything you could ever want to know about flashlights and LEDs. :)

Here's a nice source for terminology.

Here's a solid starting point in an SK98. It's great in stock form for $8, and if you wanted to you could upgrade the LED/driver in the future fairly easily. It's around 700-900lm (ignore the chinese lumen claims).

Be a bit careful of links in that FlashlightWIKI page.
I just looked up QTC and clicked a link supposed to be to BLF and ended up in China somewhere.
Don’t just click — look at the link. For example that one turned out to be “”

That’s no longer a good link, somebody else owns it (presumably owns the whole site at
But “” should be correct.

I didn’t check the rest of FlashlightWIKI’s links, but one out of one is cautionary.


Blimey, there’s some bedtime reading there :bigsmile:

OK, I’m seriously interested in upgrading the SK 68 I have but how much improvement will it actually make

Things I like about it, the focus goes down to something really small and I’ve googled “Upgrade SK 68” and seen some comments saying the focus isn’t as good after a new emitter is fitted …. interested to see what people’s thoughts are on that.
Things I don’t like are the colour of the light and it seems a bit “mushy” when zoomed half way, becomes clearer as you zoom right out, it’d be nice if the total zoom wasn’t quite so square but that’s not a big problem, just look better if it was a bit “rounder”.
Also, I was trying to find out how to do it (surprised there don’t seem to be any videos on it) and one of the 1st things I saw is to remove the pill there are two “cut ins” on the edge …. use a angled pair of pliers to go into the “cuts ins” and turn it anti clockwise to unscrew ……… all well and good :slight_smile: ……. but mine hasn’t got any “cut ins” :~

Is there a dummies guide for this anywhere or any type of video I can watch …… alternatively does anyone happen to know of anyone in the UK that sells upgraded versions as that’d be my preferred route unless it cost silly money in relative terms???

Again in terms of recommendations thought it might be worth pointing out things I like / dislike about this / other torches, I have a Coast HP1 and it’s a great torch, the wide beam is good and the hard focused beam is good but everything in between is mush with this big black unlit space in the middle, and whilst not bothered about strobe it could at least do with a 2nd lower setting to not churn the battery …. whilst I have 14500’s I’m actually consiering just using it with AA rechargeable’s as it’d be more of a happy medium.

I have also bought (although it’s being sent straight back in the morning as it’s faulty) an LED Lenser M1, cracking piece of kit (apart from it’s intermittent fault) the only thing I’d otherwise change in a perfect world it is that the beam went a bit narrower like the SK 68 when it’s at it’s furthest zoom.

I only mentioned the others because whilst I didn’t want to say issues as it sounds like a gripe and it’s not …… it’s just mentioning what I personally like and think could be improved in case peoples experiences with different emitters / drivers have given different noticeable results.

EDIT: The M1 on full power is more powerful that the other 2, if there was any way the SK 68 could become as good I’d have a very big :bigsmile:

What is wrong with the lenser? I’m not familiar with them, but could it be something simple like dirty threads?

Are you using your flashlight with AA batteries? If so, perhaps all you need to do is get 14500 li-ion batteries and a li-ion recharger. Output will approximately double with the change of battery type.

I’m not that familiar with the Led Lenser M1, but from reading its spec’s, my guess is that the SK68 on 14500 (claimed at 600 lumens) would about equal the M1 (300 out-the-front lumens).

And if you’re worried about blowing your flashlight using the higher voltage, read through the Amazon review comments. You’ll find anecdotal experiences of people using this flashlight with li-ion batteries without any problems.

Battery and charger on the cheap (use discount code LED2015GB for 8% off):

Smaller size, yes. :slight_smile:

Better performance, meh. :ghost: