Flashlight dumb questions


I think the General Info forum is the best place. If the questions are of a general nature.
For detail on drivers and such the Mods or No stupid questions is the place to go.
But you are right, the No stupid questions is kind of vast…

Ask away, there is a great deal of knowledge here.
Along with some err… “Characters”
All of which makes the BLF an interesting place.
All the Best,

BTY is CRC - Cyclic Redundancy Check? :partying_face:

Best advice I can give is: keep your hand on your wallet, it’s going to be a rough ride.

You just started it……ask away!

Objectively speaking, it seems to me that your perspective is kinda coming from fear, and from your other threads/comments at least part of that seems rooted in stories or info that were maybe slightly exaggerated and/or from situations that don’t apply universally, especially to the most common lights/designs that we use today. To be sure, knowing and learning is good, and also to be sure, lithium does pack more punch than alkalines and such, but really things are generally quite safe these days. Some basics help you keep it that way (like not putting cells in backwards, simple stuff mostly).

There are lots of knowledgeable folks here, of all levels and expertise, so you will definitely get an answer to a question. We’re waiting for your questions though, so ask away! As was said, you can always search the forum for answers, or message someone.

I believe there are some reasonable 18650 suppliers in Canada. If not, shipping from the US is not that expensive.

If you’re really financially strapped, though, it’s probably best to not take up a new money-burning hobby. If you want a flashlight for some practical requirement, that’s fine, just say what the requirement is and someone can probably help you (maybe even send you some old lights), but that’s a bit different from being into flashlights as recreation/education for their own sake.

People here tend to rationalize being into flashlights but really it’s not much different than being into drinking fancy beer. You do it because you like it, not because it’s somehow worthwhile. The hobby doesn’t have to be super expensive, but you should only do it with income that is really disposable. If that’s difficult for you right now, I’d say postpone any significant flashlight purchases til better times. Flashlights are a purely non-practical outlay once you have 5 of 10 of them and are still buying more

That said, if you do buy some lights, get the best ones you can afford, rather than the cheapest in a category or making the big mistake of seeking “bang for buck”. If you buy the cheap one first, you’ll still want the good one, so you may as well skip the first step.

On CPF there is a “recommend me a light” checklist, that at least will identify some questions you should ask yourself: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/flashlight-recommendation-checklist-updated-mk-ii.372269/

If you post your answers here, people here can make suggestions. CPF itself is also not dead yet, in case you want to ask there too.

Fwiw, Sofirn has a Canadian shipping depot: Ship from Canada
I’m not crazy about any of the lights on that page, but you could do worse.

some lights come with cells
that might make it cheaper
i would say convoy s2+ is a great option, it is a good light, $15 usd, you can learn from that what your real requirements are…

I’ve bought some from there. Legit cells, free shipping and was quick for me. Save you a bit of coin…… Also found out that a good cell does make a difference in a light.

Hey thanks for the link! :slight_smile: Easy peasy now for ordering batteries and good prices too. :+1:

Yeah, that’d be fine. At some point you’ll want a “real” charger, and I’ll keep harping on you about getting a cheap multimeter until you get one. :slight_smile: But run what you have for now that’s perfectly fine.

Thought of something else….while you’re learning the basics of cells and whatnot. Owning those Olights with their unique/proprietary designs can really throw you off track a little. Most lights are more basic and have used similar designs for many years now. Either is fine, but generally people that tinker or might want to try to repair their own lights if they fail tend to appreciate the more traditional designs that are easier to access or mod. So you hear a lot of people talking on those terms or making suggestions, but in your head you’ve got the Olight programming to also understand (or overcome). Sorta…maybe. Once the terms and parts feel comfortable and you grasp more of it you’ll see that the safety concerns are much more minor than what you’ve been worrying about.

The plus side to all this normal traditional light design is that you can save money, have tinkering fun, and not need to worry about finding “special” batteries or charging cords and stuff. So if you want to own only a few batteries, you can move those from light to light to light and not really have to think about it, and use the same charger for those normal cells without having to think about brand or size (because we have the gift of pretty-smart chargers these days…and that’s awesome).

and 18650 means charging is fairly infrequent [they seem to store at least 2 weeks worth of my typicals usage]

Yes to the charging in another light. As long as there is nothing “special” about the battery arrangement.
If this is going to become a hobby, Correllux recommendation of a cheap meter and “real” charger to evaluate batteries is to be heeded.

If money is truly tight, the Convoy line is hard to ignore.

All the Best,

you can also get single cell chargers for like $2
they may be slow, 200-500ma, and no fancy metering
just a red/green LED - maybe


—oh - that should be all the charger you ever need…


Keep in mind, asking a question like “what’s the best light out there that I should get?” or “teach me everything about flashlights” isn’t likely to get much of a response. They’re way too vague. Analysis paralysis, and all that.

“What light should I get?”, well, whaddya gonna DO wittit? Searching a huge field for critters is one thing, carrying a keychain light to plunk a key into a hole is another. And one thing that flat out pisses me off is getting shot down at each suggestion.

What about light X?

Too big.

Light Y?

Too small.

Light Z?

Don’t want a sideswitch.

ad nauseam, like, wtaf??, to the point you wanna tell the asker to go f himself. Why wrack your brain coming up with suggestions when the SOB is just gonna find something to DQ the suggestion whose initial question was too vague to begin with?

And someone once asked publicly where to get XYZ, and I suggested something and even looked up and provided a link on Amazon. And I got back a snotty “Duuh, I’m not even in the USA”, like I’m supposed to just know that, and the person’s location field was either blank or had some cutesy text instead of an actual location.

And while people are generally helpful, no one really likes to spoon-feed. If someone wants to be taught “LED Emitters 101”, all the different types of LEDs, color, tint, CRI, etc., uhhh, no. There are plenty of articles already written about that. But if there’s a question about something specific, like, “Okay, I see the same LED described as ‘3V’, ‘6V’, etc., so what does that mean?”, that’s at least specific enough to warrant an answer.

Places like ‘flashlightwiki’, ‘battery university’, etc., are out there, and lots of info can keep you busy for quite a while. Digest all you can, and lot of people will be more than happy to fill in the gaps.

Good charger…you’re set.

A multimeter will let you check a lot of things. In this case, simple voltage checks, but with that you can assure yourself that the charged cell coming out of the Xtar or out of a built-in light charger is where it should be (previously you were wondering about that). You can also check cells that have been sitting unused on the shelf for awhile to see if they have self-discharged to any degree that points to degraded life. And if you want to try to get a reasonable estimation of total mAh capacity of your cells, you can drain them down to something close to the factory specs (usually 2.5v, depends)…check with the multimeter to see where the voltage is, drain a little more if need be, and when you’re at that low voltage, charge them back up at a low rate until they’re full……see what the charger tells you for how many mAh it put in.

You don’t need all of that, but it does help you learn and understand and to keep tabs on battery health (more important if you buy cheap cells or get cheap cells with lights you buy…laptop pulls…cells that you’ve used a ton for a few years, etc). The charger you bought will serve you really well, though…good choice. One tip, since this is new to you…two tips….try not to let the spring-loaded charging bar contact thingys snap back (either with no load, or smacking onto the bottom of a cell where it might dent it), and when you go to insert or remove cells, pull the cell back enough to get good clearance and tilt it in/out carefully (so that you don’t tear the wrap, mostly). Other than that, sit back and enjoy the light show. :slight_smile:

DMMs are like $5 at harbor freight

Don't buy a $5 harbor freight meter ..Such garbage .It's as bad as buying a flashlight from them .. best to sharpen up a rusty screw driver and fall on it ..

But it’s perfectly fine as long as you’re not measuring mains voltage.

The Sofirn sc31pro has Anduril correct? Keep in mind that its voltage reading may not be perfect. Also this is the kind of a situation where having a DMM would be handy. So you can have another way to double-check the voltage of your batteries.