First budget 18650 light - Solarforce?

Hi all,

I recently posted in the Multiple AA section and was advised by a few people to get an 18650 flashlight as it will be used sometimes for geocaching. My Klarus P2A hasn't even been shipped (and I don't know if it ever will be with DD) but I already feel the urge to go 18650!

So far I have on my shopping list:
3000mAh Protected TrustFire 18650 batteries
XTAR WP2 II charger

I am tempted to build my own light by buying the body and drop in separately. I am looking at the Solarforce L2 and L2P but I can't decide if the finish on the L2P is worth it (I quite like the grey L2P and the ones with black matte finishes). Plus I REALLY like the look of this L2:

Also the part where I am struggling most is the drop in. I have heard that the Manafont UF XM-L is very good, but the cheaper one on DD has caught my eye (I think there are 2 versions of it and I wouldn't know the differences or which to choose). Or is XM-L not a good idea for me?

I would consider a different whole flashlight (under $23 due to customs charges in the UK) so all advice is appreciated.


I would stick with the UF dropin. I bought a few of the DD drooins and had trouble with the driver coming loose. You can’t go wrong with the SF stuff plus they are shipping super fast right now. My last two orders, two days to New York!

If you go for the cheaper L2 be advised that many here dislike the bezel on that light.... also known as the "pocket destroyer". I would factor in the price of an alternative bezel.

SoloarForce L2 with the ManaFont UF drop in is a good choice, it was my first LED flashlight as well.

I still don't have anything else I prefer better after having about 10+ flashlights now.

I just purchased two SolarForce L2P bodies, XM-L dropins, and pocket clips. I already have a hand full of 18650s and a Turnigy Accucel6 charger. I wouldn't exactly say I "built" the light, "assemble" would be a better word. That said, they are nice lights. If I were to lose one of the lights, I would immediately order the parts for another.


Ok sounds like the Manafont drop in is the one to go for.

Ok thanks for that Vectrex, is it the pointy bezel that is pictured that you are talking about? Which other one would you suggest? Just a flat one?


The L2T with the UF drop in from Manafont is about as good as you can get for less than $40 bucks. The L2T has a non pointy bezel. You might want to add the Solarforce clip on it as well.

Hmm L2 vs L2P vs L2T

Thanks for complicating my choice more kbark, I am so indecisive!

This Bezel is the cheapest one but doesn't provide protection for the aluminum head . I would go for this one (which i would prefer) or that one depending on which style you like better. Is tailstanding important to you? I personally like reverse clickies better on multi-mode lights than forward clickies as I don't have to "preset" the modes before fully engaging. I own 2 L2R and an L2T ... I somehow wish the L2T would have a reverse clicky and tailstandabililty. I should have gone with a grey L2P... or shell out some money and get the beautiful blue one.

The tailstandability comes at a price though... accessibility decreases. (use with gloves and so on)

Vectrex is right. The forward clicky on the L2T is not ideal for multi mode drop ins. I have a blue L2P and it is awesome.

Choices, choices. Just buy one of each!

Hello firestarter03, I've sent you a PM...

The L2P seem to be also forward now... so look out

You might want to consider a clone like the 504B wih a dropin of choice. Pretty similar and functional like a genuine solarforce for much less. If you grow on the body later perhaps then it's time for a solarforce if you really wish a better (but same basic functionality) host. The solarforce is indeed quite a step in the fit and finish but other than that functionality is about the same. If going for SF directly i would throw an eye on the L2P and not bother with cheaper alternatives. The L2P is possibly one of the top best p60 hosts around if not the best. Comes at a price tho.

Another option would be a DD special Ultrafire 504B silver with XM-L for about 15usd alotgether and a almost mandatory driver swap for a KD 2,8A DIY modes driver. Under 20usd. Can't beat the flexibility of this setup if you look at price/performance.

Otherwise yes, the manafont XM-L hi-med-lo dropin is excellent but i prefer linear regulators instead sinc surrent drops quite fast and the brightness drops considerably fast. (but that's me, ymmv).

You can also get a C8 but it's not available usually with no disco modes. Under 20usd usually and many like it. Myself excluded, reason being the aesthetics only. I grew on the MRV host (also known as F15).

Tailstanding doesn't seem that much of a big deal to me, but then again I only have a massive maglite at the moment so it might be something I think about when I get a decent LED flashlight. I think I am going for a grey L2P:

They all seem to say 'Tailstand forward clicky version' - do you think this is an issue?

Tailstanding doesn't seem that much of a big deal to me, but then again I only have a massive maglite at the moment so it might be something I think about when I get a decent LED flashlight. I think I am going for a grey L2P:

They all seem to say 'Tailstand forward clicky version' - do you think this is an issue?

not really ... more a matter of preference... some strange people actually prefer forward clickies... cough,cough ;-)

Budgeteer has a point when he recommends the Ultrafire 504B ... it is a very close copy of the SF L2 with an already flat bezel, reverse clicky and tailstanding. You can get the hosts rather cheap at LT (coupon?).

ITC is the ebay site for solarforce

the one above it the older //last years model ... the new model is the more matte color like the L2p ..

no matter what you get from solarforce they are quality lights . :P

L2 2011 for 26$ with dropin :

Notice, this is not All-In full power dropin.

I’ll second that recommendation. You can always add an L2P tailcap to the order. That way you have the parts to make it tailstand or not or forward/reverse. :slight_smile:

Solarforce added also a couple of other sale-items on their FB site.