Since 26650 and 21700 cells are in a similar ballpark for mAh, which one do you (anyone) think will be the one to get the most R&D work in the future to make one take the lead?
I’m thinking from a consumer standpoint as well as a manufacturer.
For a consumer, we’ve obviously got to deal with what’s available, but to look back over the last year, there have been a good number of 21700-equipped lights that have or are being developed. It seems that they went quickly from “Yeah, they’re used in Teslas.” to “Which high-output light do I want to buy today?” I’d guess that more will become available because it’s slimmer than a 26650 for a similar amount of power. Then again, I like the feel of the 26650 lights I have. Maybe it’s because they have a similar size to the venerable Maglight. They don’t need recharging often and my Shockli cells are solid performers (if they fit in the light, that is).
For a manufacturer, they’ve got to consider form factor (the extra size over an 18650) and the availability. I don’t know about the availability for larger orders but if a larger manufacturer were to decide on using something different than an 18650, I’d guess that they would want to know that they (or the customer) could easily get their hands on them and offer several choices (mAh, high drain, protected or not).
There’s obviously a lot I don’t know about them or other industries that use these cells so the point may be moot. Maybe the flashlight industry isn’t big enough to drive these kinds of decisions and has to use whatever they can get or follow the decisions of another completely different industry.
For me, I don’t often use a light with a cell smaller than an 18650. My Emisar D4 is small enough to carry easily. My new Sofirn SC31 is smallish and handy and I’ve been using it a lot, even though it’s not what you would call high powered. I am still interested in the FW3A, not necessarily for the potential power, but for the small size and the nice price. Still, I’m getting excited about single cell lights that might be a bit bigger, but pump out some stellar lumens or can run for a looooooong time at more sane levels. (D4S or the soon to be released Fireflies E07 or maybe a Wuben with a XHP70.2)
Bottom line: it’s good to be shopping for a new light right about now!
I don’t need a 21700 light, but I could be lured into buying a 21700 Emisar.
I have the D4 and D1S and don’t really want to get back into 26650s, so that might be a good option if the price was kept more towards the D4 than the D4S. I’ve got a lot of 18650s and don’t see the personal need to switch over to the bigger cell.
I carry lipstick lights everyday, so that’s where I’m coming from and they’ve been more than adequate for this city slicker.
That’s been pretty much my same POV for a long while, but I do like, for example, the 21700 version of the C8F, because to use a high-draw cell in it properly, any 18650 would likely be 2800mAH at best, while the 21700 is almost double that.
And it just looks better, given the bigger head. An 18650 tube on a C8-type light just looks kinda skinny on it. At least the thicker tube from the 21700 gives it a bit more “balance”.
And I can always drop in an 18650 even without the sleeve.
I’m not sold on the copper head. I have the copper-titanium D4. It looks beautiful and feels great in the hand.
But it’s sooo heavy. I feel it bumping around in my pocket due to the weight. It’s heavy enough that it actually caused a pen I had in my pocket with the light and my keys to drill a hole through the bottom of my pocket. That doesn’t happen with ligher weight lights.