DIY Host Recommendation.

I am going to be building my first DIY light using a XM-L2.

The problem I am running into is that I can't find a host that isn't junk.
I read some reviews that say after 2-3minutes the light just becomes to hot to hold then some that the host has a terrible beam.
Other ones take months to arrive. I would like a US shipper, or an international seller that offers faster shipping upgrade that isn't incredibly expensive.

I just don't know what to look for.

Aside from the XM-L2 emitter, I would like:

  1. Clickly Tail (with a tail stand if possible, not necessary).
  2. Pocket Clip.
  3. Less than $20.

My current junk light has zoom, and when not zoomed in, it's all flood. So I use the zoom alot. I've been hesitant losing it.

I kind of like a more tactical looking light. Something like a Solarforce L2N but with a belt clip.

Also, can I buy a pre-built light then just use it's host + pill?

Can anyone with experience help me find a good host to build my first light on?

Thank you.

A convoy S2 would make a good EDC host, several people on here have built lights with them and I have an equivalent (C20 from Fasttech). Heat is a function of drive current/ output, so how much of that your host will take before getting hot is a simple function of size - big finned host = lots of current, very bright, small EDC host = lower current, not as bright.

All depends on what you want out of it and what your criteria are, so some more info on that would be useful. To some people an EDC is something small, to other people anything they can carry with a shoulder strap counts as an EDC :slight_smile:

Get the Solarforce, a decent drop in, and you will be happy. It is a good quality host and if you want to play barbie with it you can dress it up any way you want.

any tube light is going to get hot driving an emitter at 3a, be it xm-l xm-l2 or xp-g2, I have a 26650 tube with pretty good mass and that gets hot after 15 to 20 minutes on high.

As matt says, to have a cool running light, you either have to cut back on the drive current or……just use the modes, treat full current as a turbo with medium and low as your regularly used modes.

My recommendation would be to look at the convoy range of hosts, illumination supply do carry assembled lights but I’m not sure about the hosts.

If your looking at solarforce lights and do want to do a build, this is a good one too

this is one of my work edc’s and it really does handle 3a very well given the outside dimensions, I’d certainly prefer this over a p60 host as I really just dont like them.

I agree with the S2. Very good quality host.

I built one with:
FastTech: Convoy S2 Host SKU 1277400 $14.57
FastTech: 8* AMC7135 2800mA LED Flashlight Driver Generic SKU 1127403 $2.92
International Outdoors: CREE XM-L2 U2 1C LED on Noctigon XM16 MCPCB $5.92

Lights up my backyard like a stadium. It will get hot after a while on high but frankly I don't ever need it on high for long periods of time. Usually its on medium, which never gets especially hot.

Solarforce has a pocket clip you can buy for the light, I got one for my L2T but it was leaving marks in the body so I took it off. Check out for a US source of Solarforce stuff, they’re pretty fast too.
mdlightsource might have a Crelant that you would like, but they’ll be harder to configure/modify
Illumination Supply has a bunch of Convoy lights, maybe the M1 or M2 would be what you’re looking for. I didn’t see just the host, so if you want to build your Convoy light I would recommend Fasttech for the host, and intl-outdoor for the driver (Qlite).

Thanks for the replies and suggestions.

I consider my current light to be an EDC and it's not "small". :X
Just meant that I didn't want one of those huge mag light's that weight 10lbs. I don't need it to pull my pants down when it's clipped on my pocket.
I'm going to take EDC out of my title.

Longest I've ever left my current light on was 10min and max temp it went up to was 88.9F MAX of the entire light, so something around that size would be ideal.

My Current Light:
Length: 160mm
Diameter: 42mm(Bezel/Head) - 26mm(body)

Looking for a host that can put out the max brightness of the XM-L2 for 10minutes+ and not get overly hot, with a pocket clip.

convoy s4 would fulfill your requirements, and is not too bad to build, I put one together on thursday with a 3a 3 mode nanjg and xm-l 4c for my bosses wife to use dog walking.

Be warned though, it won’t take protected cells with the stock components, I can probably persuade one of the shorter protected 18650 cells to fit using a brass nipple on the driver and a shorter tail spring but I cant guarantee that will work.

I personally carry an edc18650 host from intloutdoor, I use and ld25 driver and xm-l 4c, no spring on the driver. that will take protected cells but you can induce mode changes due to the lack of driver spring. I don’t bang my lights about so its not an issue but it’d be annoying if you used it as a bike light for example.

Just finished putting together a Convoy S2. Used an XM-L2 5B1 emitter on copper and a qlite driver. The anodizing and threads on the host are nice, there is plenty of room for any length 18650 cell. The switch also feels nice. My only complaint is how the driver retaining ring works on the pill; it is a pain so I ended up just soldering the driver directly to the pill (which won’t work if you have low-powered soldering iron).

Heat just comes with light . If it doesn't get hot ..something is very wrong .

The light you keep linking to is about a 12$ light .... The original was 42$ When it comes to the actual body (you probably get what you pay for ) What you're asking for is something LOTS of people here would like to find . You will be very hard pressed to find a cheap ready made light with a sweet body.Not to mention everyone likes the feel and look of something different.Old lights are out too since chinese vendors don't dump stock like western businesses do.They hold onto and keep the price up / or raise it ...until it sells.

Keep your eyes open to deals like the olight I6 or lights that sold for good money and hopefully you'll find a moddable host you really love .

Hosts from ric at cnqualitygoods or Convoys may be your best bet for now ..convoys are basiclly just diy hosts with fastech and now others offering you some extra choices to boot .

Hang around long enough and you can almost tell just by looking at it online whether you'd like a light or not .