Budget LED flashlights for C-cells or D-cells for under 20 $? Suggestions? Update: With self-built 4xAA XP-G R5

Hi there,

I bought and looked at many AA/AAA/18650 lights. But after having contact again with some good'ol Maglites... I wanna have a bigger light... mainly because I always misplace my little lights. (where is that damn Maratac SS... oh.. in my pocket.. lol ).

I made a list what's available from Kai and DX some time ago (with the old prices):

112 Flashlight 3W (3*c)
SMALL SUN ZY-777 CREE Q2 1-Mode Flashlight (3*D)
Police 3W 3*C SSC P4 Flashlight
POLICE(3W) SSC P4 Flashlight
Police 3W 3*C Flashlight
Police-3W Luxeon Long-Runtime LED Flashlight (3 x C-Cell)

Am I missing some good deals, or newer emitters? C/D-cell lights haven't been updated in a while, can't find Q5 or R2 budget lights anywhere.

Suggestions are welcome...

Update 1:

ZY-112 5W 3xC Flashlight Torch Black 8.92 more for modding I guess

Some slightly more expensive flashlights

SmartFire M-504C Cree Flashlight (4xC Cells) 28.55 and a Review of a similar light

SmallSun ZY-C56 Cree Q3-WC (3*D) 31.90

As you have just found out, there aren't a lot of options out there - at least that I know of.

The LED Maglites are good value in the US, but not anywhere else on the planet. Round here they want about $50-60 for them.

The incandescent Maglites aren't very good but are often found cheap in retail stores here - the last two (2D) I bought cost about 9 euros each in a retail store clearance. Add the $23 showerhead LED dropin and you get a lot of light.

Personally, I think that 4D and larger Maglites are too big to be useful - though they can be fun.

I've really enjoyed the 3 x D cell maglite. In the US, you can purchase a 2 pack of maglites equipped with the newer Rebel emitters and redesigned body with deep reflectors. (pack contains one 3 x D and one 2 x AA maglites with Duracell batteries and holster). I paid $25 per package before Christmas at Costco and bought several as gifts. The 3 x D will burn for days if left on. Also, it will accept 4 x C cells if you invert the tail spring. I get used C cells free with 80-90% capacity remaining so I usually keep it loaded with C's. To bad these aren't distributed cheaply around the world because they are far higher quality/tougher than most Chinese lights, and extremely reliable.

The SMALL SUN ZY-777 CREE Q2 1-Mode Flashlight (3*D) SKU: S008923 looks interesting. Id like to see the pill, switch and heat sinking inside before I buy. It might make for a good mod host. I wonder if its a P60 dropin.

The Smallsun would also be my favorite of the above. But it seems no one bought it before.

I also saw the SmallSun ZY-A21 Cree Q3 3-Mode which is a 4XAA, but I dislike the large_head/thin_body ratio.

A little disappointing that there are no newer LED available in the budget segment. So my new plan:

I will try to set up a P60 4xAA light. A L2 Flashlight Body Tube with Extension Tube + Solarforce L2 Flashlight Extension Tube would make a nice 18P light = 4xAA. Together with a R5 drop in ... wait the SB 1400 mA driver has a voltage range of up to 6 V ... hehe just had an idea and Ebay Germany has just the spacer I need.

Sounds perfect. It will take even the fattest of AAs and should fit nicely in an 18mm tube. And it is a lot cheaper than 15mm copper plumbing pipe which is what I think of for such things.

Compared to the usual prices for metal tubing, that is an excellent price.

I'll be very interested to hear how you get on with this.

L2 Flashlight Body Tube with Extension Tube and spacer (2m) are already ordered. I got some requests from friends, if I can build more than one. ;-)

I've had this one above in my kaidomain wish-list for a while (waiting for some other sucker to review it first :)

SMALL SUN ZY-777 CREE Q2 1-Mode Flashlight (3*D) 17.99

On the subject of the Mag ebay showerhead, they told me that they're getting a new batch of warmer ones next month (only $2 more). May have to get that (and a new maglite to go with it, still deciding on 4-5D or 2D with 6aa's in series).

The best price for a 2D or 3D Maglite here in Germany is about 24 € = 31 $. Together with that drop in that would make it a ~55 $ light. For that kind of money I would rather buy a nice QUARK or something else. My new 4XAA plan is also more versatile 1/2/3 18650 or 3/4 AA with one flashlight and most important ... a nice beam.

Well, if you were looking for the indecently long AA light: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.44713

got to admit one thing about C and D cell flashlights! if they had quality leds in them, youd never replace batterys

the LED maglites i have are UTTERLY useless against EVERY FLASHLIGHT I OWN.... even the 9 LED ones from Ocean state job lot outshine it!!! stupid 3 watt luxeon!

this is prior to the new rebel luxeon ones tho

either way, there is one thing the maglite is good for

thats right, my next project.... instead of making a pocket rocket with an SST-90, i decided it would be better to use one of my many useless Maglite batons sitting around

a 3 cell gives me the option to use it for either 3 Ni-MH OR 3 li-ions (and drastically reduce the incoming amperage with a higher voltage!)

since a regular mag (3 cell) puts out a sad 70 lumens, side by side with the older LED mag, id say they are about the same, the led MIGHT be 90 lumens at best!

that zy-112 looks like a great option for a p7 mod tho!

Agenthex - look at post #3 of this thread.. LT had it for ages (well kind of)... they already made a VIDEO.

xP.1337 - for Mag modding you might consider the new batch of FUSION 36 drop ins

yea 400 lumens... honestly, i dont see how they get that rating with STANDARD leds lol

those look like nichia leds. not exactly powerful. either way, id rather mod to 2250 lumens and have that WOW factor flashlight lol

Some people over at CPF said that the Fusion 36 is nearly as bright as a P7 or a MCE... but all flood. If I had a Mag already, I would have pre ordered it. The certified "Don's Optical Tree Test"™ has given out over 300 Lumen. They are now available in warm white to get rid off that purple tint.

And your link to BRITELUMENS is just the heatsink, you need the P90 emitter, driver, special batteries and so on. This will add up to a nice amount of money.

But good luck with that and show us your results, even if it will not be a budget light anymore.

They are Nichia GS/K1 LEDs - with 6 good cells they will do 400 lumens:

Lumens at 0, 30 and 120 seconds.

Fusion 36 dropin 3D NiMH 251 248 242

Fusion 36 dropin 6D NiCd 347 335 321

Fusion 36 dropin 5C Alk. 358 343 314

Fusion 36 dropin 6D NiMH 398 386 368

yea but my point is for that money, id rather have a pocket flashlight. the MCE p7 i have, with the shining beam regulator would blow that out of the water

and its under 40 bux for that! (including 2 CR123 lithium primaries, which draw 2.8amps on the nose)

a mag is 30 bux, then anotherr 25 for that.... and only 400 lumens.... no thanks lol

where as, sst-90

mag for 30

LED for 50 (direct from avnet)

custom driver circuit (maybe DD if i stay with Ni-MH) ill say 20 bux since im gonna build it myself out of components

heat sink 28 bux

so at worst a 150 dollar project, with 2250 lumens, seems like a better use of a mag. something that size is NEEDED for.

which btw is a budget flashlight. why? cause its the best lumens per dollar out there!

but hey, to each their own!

I just think that the Mags are not the best hosts for an SST-90, even if they are better heatsinked. There are likely better hosts, which deal better with the heat from an SST-90. In a 150 $ project the 30 $ for the host is almost the smallest investment and in my book 150 $ is not budget any more, even if it is worth the money. But you are right - to each their own - and I can understand the fascination of a "standard Mag" with 2250 lumens with included bragging rights.

BTW do you have an actual application for such light output, or do you just wanna have it? (which is totally fine by me )

And I wanna see photos of the whole modding process and beamshots ... maybe you can convince me to shell out 150 $ too.

lol i will post pics once i start getting the parts in. all i have right now is two mags

for me, i sell alot of these budget flashlights (buy em in semi-bulk, 10 at a time and resell) to friends and craigslisters lol

people do it cause they know if they have a problem with a flashlight, ill replace it for them, and take care of the whole over-seas returns processes lol

sooo, i want to prove my flashlight knowledge to some skeptics (the Surefire devotees lol)

the MTE p7 mod was pretty impressive to most. most people have never seen a 900 lumen flashlight before

however, the maglite would be the ultimate flashlight.

with 3 D sized cells it should last a decent amount of time, even at 9 amps. at over 2000 lumens its comparable to HIDs, except no expensive ballasts!

yada yada yada

as far as practical goes, yes and no. I want it for show, but when im out hiking, it would be nice to have that much power in my book bag.

thats where i think about having modes on something that bright would be nice.....

thing with modes is, im not an EE, so im not very good at designing circuitry lol

since i have two mags, ill probably have a p7 build and an SST-90 build.

the p7 will be for usability. with Ni-MH i should get at least 2 hours of battery life on high. (3 D cells) and maybe more with Li-ion!

the SST-90 can be usable as a high beam on my car :-D

speaking of, once i get back on that bandwagon, the SST-90 and SST-50 should be the answer to my LED headlight questions. so power is taken care of, now onto optics and cooling lol

How hard would it be to mod a 2d mag with a sst-50? I know where to get the driver and heat sink but what else would i need? metal reflector ! glass lens !!

I was thinking of using C nimh cells to drive it would that work?

Sorry for all the questions but have the modding bug now after seeing this.

Once FNF comes back (If it does),take a look there.

C Ni\MH are the best way to do it - but they need to be Cs that can handle a lot of amps - the junk that Maplin sells won't cut it.

If you can get a big lump of copper machined to fit then all is good. 3Cs will do a good job. Look up the Varapower 1000 (http://www.lambdalights.com)

If you email Kevin he'll probably tell you