BLF cooperative design/appearance specifications for flashlights?

Is it time for someone at BLF to start a thread to work toward design/appearance specifications for flashlights?
(For our purposes, both hosts and finished lights)

We could trust (grin) that specs people here designed would be adopted widely in China — because it would be better than anything they’re currently copying from one another, especially when the copies cut more corners each time they’re recopied.

Diameter for different battery sizes.
Standard thread spec for heads to encourage interchangeable battery tubes.
Type of aluminum (does thermal conductivity vary? hardness? ability to take and hold anodizing?)
Thickness for LED shelf or pill.
Surface area flatness for heat transfer.
Width of heat dissipation surfaces.
Say something like this, with threads added to screw in standard camera glass lenses:

(reminder, China does have design patents now; images borrowed from the web are for example only)

Clip depth and material.
Coating for emissivity to radiate heat away.
Water cooling. Steam whistle to indicate overheating……

But I’m dreaming.

Lots of possibilities. What would be interesting would be creating a better future. One good enough to steal.

Great idea.

Just thinking on this, a flashlight kit would be great.
The kit could include options for 1 or 2 cells in series and maybe another for 2s1p or the option to purchase these. Maybe 2 “pills” that could be all built up and ready to go. By pills, take a look at the Solarforce M8/M9 for an idea of what I mean by pill.
Two different heads, one for throw, the other for wide angle.
Think of it like a P60 but without the thermal limitations and the option to Lego parts.


A cat cowboy; someone with a lathe: maybe even someone with a law degree eventually …

But as evidence, we know multiple battery tubes can be made to fit a given flashlight head (currently)
(I haven’t seen that since the Arc flashlight)

How hard is it to spec threads and get them? (The wonderful thing about standards is, there are so many of them….)
(The SK68, #3 zoomie, 3W Police do it wrong, don’t lego because: copies of copies of copies, hand setting lathe, drunk operator …)

Is there an ideal thread to request for head, heatsink, pill and battery tube? Think of the lego-ing possible if that happened
(ask the guy with the lathe how hard they are to do — what pitch? Square not sloppy? Multiple starts, so there are two spiral cuts in parallel?

I am a very big fan of the P60, it can throw, be wide, be bright or dim. I have modules for 123A’s, and 2 18350’s. I would love to see a universal light kit.

This kit would include various options for batteries, various options for output from wide to throw, maybe a red and / or white diffuser and a charger that could work in the car or in the house.

I would love to help with a project like this, would not have any idea how to run a project like this.


Patience — accumulate ideas, see who might be interested in trying them.

Knurling, cutting metal — texture — what feels good? What feels too rough? (I know there are some lights with sharp enough edges I’ve taken a file to them to smooth them out.

Does some texture get dirty too fast? Is any particular texture easier to clean?

How about anodizing — versus black paint (grin).

Flat flashlights? I still have a few “Hi-Gain” 4xAAs with Fresnel lenses.

Take a power bank maybe? add a flat metal heat sink with a standoff, and emitter(s) and Fresnel lenses ….

Crux asked about Fresnel lens lights here: Has anyone had success with a Fresnel lens? How 'bout this one...

Lots of sources now for Fresnel lenses, for example

Copper Goodness for Dale's Solarforce M8 is what I’m talking about for the “pill” or light engine but in aluminum.
Where the P60 design has its flaws, this is ideal.

For reference, quoting ReManG from 18350 Battery tubes for BLF A6, Eagle Eye A6 and X6, as well as codes for short Convoy S2+ tubes in Blue and Red!

China does have standards — lots of them — including for threading.
PRC Standards System: standards Used in China

International thread standards

It might be interesting to ask a seller if they know what defines the thread used on a particular product, and if they can be sure to get the same each time the product is ordered, so older purchases will be compatible with newer purchases: “Lego Together”

That’s the idea — establish a BLF standard (choose one from among those already dialed in, in China, there must be buyers who do get s

The old “artisan” — clockmaker, gunsmith, millwright — did not make interchangeable parts. Instead each item was hand-crafted.

Today, probably each day’s run of a product from some China sources is unique — someone comes in, sets a lathe or computer controlled lathe to make threads, and runs out a batch. Or, cynically, maybe the ones within spec go to the big buyer, and the ones that vary too much go to the discounters. It’s a black box, how things get made.

We can get better.


China does have standards — lots of them — including for threading.

PRC Standards System: standards Used in China

International thread standardsquote]

Hank you hit the nail on the head. STANDARDS!!!

I have run an obscure ecommerce standards org in the past. It was like “Herding cats”!!!

I love the idea and I don’t want to torch it before it gets off the ground…but the parties need to see why it is in there best interest to standardize.

You would think we could get cars to run on one of three spark plugs, or oil filters, or belt lengths… but noooo… it just does not happen.

Yes it is maddening for us the deal with all the variation 200% agreed.

Let’s take only the threading for a jumping off point. What would it actually take to get who (meaning exactly who are we “speaking to” aka how many manufacturers are there?). Then what is our pitch to them to have them agree (and follow through two very different things) to use some standard sizes, and pitches?

If we had access to their labor unions (no wait that wont work) ok how about industry associations’ (no not the kind that are only fronts for sales) actual organizations’ where they meet to address industry issues (humm I don’t know of many maybe someone else knows).

I once was at a conference where an MIT guy s was speaking, his take away was, “frictionless commerce is not going to happen”. Yes consumers want it, but understand that what the consumer calls friction, many times the supplier calls profit!

The little guys will sign up in principal (often contingent to the big guys coming in) and the big guys will make sounds like they are interested to keep an eye on the trouble makers (us in this case) but the big guys will dig in their heels about making commodity parts that they only compete in price for market share.

.02 Worth

Again love the idea but I tried here in the states and in English I can not fathom how to get it done in China (and soon Bangladesh, Thailand, India, Myanmar, etc, etc.

Let me know how I can help.

> I tried it here in the States

Yeah. But the people making flashlight parts today will be making nuclear power and aircraft parts in a few years — if they aren’t already doing that.
We know how many ‘counterfeit’ below spec parts are being made, and mostly installed, worldwide.

I’m hoping we learn now to specify — and check — what we want made for us.

My experience is that every person involved has to
— flag anything that looks funny, inside or outside their area of responsibility, and send a note about it to the QC person
— have a checklist of everything spec’ed and a box to initial and date when that person checks that item on that day
— have the QC person collect all those lists, collate them, and make sure whatever item nobody checked today, gets checked
— have a handful of samples, not just one
— be willing to say no.

Being willing to say no is the really big, hard part.
I’ve been the only person at several jobs whose job was to say “No, not good enough.”
You don’t want to be a people person loved by everyone and try to do quality control right.
But in many situations, “There’s never time to do it right, but there’s always time to do it over.”

That’s what you have to be willing to hold out for. Not perfection, it’s not on the menu, but confidence it’s a good enough product.
(The folks doing GBs here have done better than that, sometimes much better than “good enough” — that’s why I hope for improvement (grin).)

Look at the fantastic, great products gotten out of the GBs lately. Yeah, imperfect. Yeah, the tricks you mention are how they screw up the product to save a penny when doing production runs.

And likely we’ll see the GB quality start to slip and be substituted — unless we watch it and keep making sure people know it’s happening.

Look at the DealMetic ZeusRay example. They could have owned the zoomie market, and now nobody’s buying their lights because they played the game to screw their customers.

Fast feedback — from a significant group — is the only leverage we have here. I think, sincerely, that better work will benefit everyone, and avoid meltdowns and crashes.

That’s different enough it might get us better results.

— ‘listen: there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go’ — E.E. Cummings

‘work as if you live in the early days of a better world’ — Dennis Lee

— “It never hurts to ask nicely.” — mothers, everywhere

So — how about the Convoy line as a BLF standard? Do they lego?

I recall reading that the S2+ will lego with the BLF X6, is that right?

Some very interesting ideas here but boy oh boy you’re going to have a hard time selling it to serious flashlight makers. I get the perfect world scenario but we aren’t there. Convoy sets a good standard for quality particularly in the budget realm but why would we try to make every part from every manufacturer fit together like Legos? Would it be fun for us… Yep. Would it be good for quality flashlight builders…nope. If UltraFire and Surefire lights can “Lego” together that might not be such a good thing in the long run. The idea has merit and I’m all for brainstorming so please prove me wrong…

Threaded P60 drop in. I believe will have big demand, some already want to start it but no further progress so far.