Generally the single mode 1xAA lights can handle a 14500 but there’s always a risk. With that said for about $4 buy three of them and then see if they work and then you can try a 14500 in one of them and if it doesn’t burn out then you have a couple backups for spare parts or for general use. If it does burn out then you have a modding host and two other ones to use and swap parts between in case one doesn’t work right.
That’s the thing with Chinese budget lights, if you go bottom of the barrel cheap don’t expect them to work perfectly without at least at the minimum a complete teardown, cleaning, lubing and reassembly and often they need to have thermal compound reapplied and maybe a solder joint redone, or a contact washer between the pill and body or for me even as far as switch dissasembly cleaning and modification.
If you’re looking for the best light in this category that will likely work right out of the box, then you want the Sipik SK68 with an XP-G2 led not that old XR-E Q5. You’ll likely get better tint with a second generation Cree die than an older one.
Totally OT -
I almost ordered a Convoy S3 clone to DIY but that would be my first attempt entirely. Am I likely to get it right and be happy with the finished product? I can solder…
Not sure of what parts I actually need or get to chose from. I have the parts from my broken “Unbranded 18650 XM-L U2”: Review: Unbranded 18650 XM-L U2 Flood to Throw Flashlight / Headlamp Combo. I think i burned up the emitter so it would really just be the ‘clicker’.
I have bought no less than 18 of those (they are GREAT as gifts)
Yes it can hold a 14500, but it runs VERY warm, I highly recommend disassembly, putting a notch in the pill, applying a small bit of NOALOX to the threads to help with heat wicking from pill to body, I will even go so far as to gently pull the plastic ring holding in the emitter and put a small bit of artic silver heat sink compound under the base on the little shelf it sits on, it's a hollow pill so it doesn't wick heat as well as if it had a solid bottom to sit on (to use thermal cement or epoxy to bond it down to help heat transfer)
Here is a shot of the driver, both a boost ckt for 1.5vdc, and a linear regulator for 3.7vdc
I know they aren't the best pictures but hope it helps