Flashlights with inbuild chargers issues/water issues

Most of the flashlights I’ve bought to date have inbuilt chargers.
To keep things simple and consistent, I only buy version with USB-C.

Out in the heavy rains last week with my current fav EDC (right angle torch) and it went flat/turned off.
Discovered moisture on the inside of the lens and now wont function correctly (dismantling to dry it out)

CHANGED my thinking with built in charging as its likely water went through the flimsy rubber grommet/cover, they all seem to have over the charging point as it always pops out brushing a finger over it etc

Still like the convenience of inbuilt charging but really for max robustness and reliability in wet weather, muddy conditions, very dirty/dusty etc etc, a torch without these charging points I think is far superior as they are totally sealed.

So something to keep in mind for future purchases as to the use conditions its likely to be used. Will now be looking for models without a charging point for more robustness when used in wet conditions :slight_smile:

Definitely a consideration while carrying and using.
Fortunately they’re not ALL flimsy rubber grommets.
My Sofirn HS10 and IF25A have port covers that have a great seal, Rovyvon A33 has a metal shroud with o-rings so no issues there.
But yes, it’s amazing that they’ve been at this a while and don’t have it quite figured out.
The A33 benefits from the Boruit D10 design, it seems like we’d see more like this.
OR they could come up with a standard magnetic charging system. Standard. As it is we have (I think) 3 brands with their own magnetic charging pucks.
Maybe that could be a BLF project? (said mostly in jest because I know these flashlight companies don’t want their stuff to work with anyone else’s).

Bart, if your light isn’t fried and you’ve dismantled it you might consider putting conformal coating on the driver.

Some I’ve seen you (partially?) unscrew the flashlight’s o-ring sealed body to reveal the USB port. I can’t remember which brand/ model though? Perhaps it was the Boruit mentioned above.

Yep, my Sofirn HS40 has the same grommet/cover as your IF25A. Its built well and happy with it, would buy again but not if its to be used in storms.

These covers get knocked out soooo easily under real world work conditions and not a problem except for when its wet. They say its an IP68 rated water proof light that can work in heavy rain or temporarily submerged which is probably true under very careful lab conditions. In the real world work conditions, there is no way I would stand by that selling point with any brand that has a similar designed port cover/seal….at least that’s been my experience.

The design of that Boruit charge port looks great with a hard o’ring type seal when screwing the cap down.

Yeh, light still works, havnet been able to fully dismantle, not sure how to get any of the boards out so just the lens cover & top button cover has been removed and appling gentle heat/warmth every now and then to assist with evaporation over the next week.

That would probably be the one. I was on their website a day or two back. They make some nice flashlights, but the exchange rate is a killer for me.

I do not like built in chargers for three reasons:

Water entry point (proven here)

You cannot use the light while charging. With an external charger, you can swap batteries and you are able to continuously use the light.

There have been too many post here on BLF where users mentione internal chargers charging to dangerous voltage levels

I always test the internal chargers on the lights I get that have them. One was still charging at 4.25v when I stopped it while the rest, around 10 or so, all stopped between 4.15v to 4.20v. How high the voltages were during charging is anyone’s guess.

I never use the internal chargers and just consider them as emergency backups.

My Astrolux Mf01 mini didn’t survive 10 seconds in very shallow water. Well it works, but the charging port is clogged by thermal paste or some other blue goo.

Plus when it’s dark I’ll often try to click the charging port instead of the switch.

Besides, the primary (only?) function of a flashlight is providing reliable illumination .

If a charging port potentially endangers that it should not be there in the first place.


Does anyone else dislike charging ports for aesthetic reasons and for hand-feel? When I am holding my SP36 my finger keeps wanting to explore the soft spot. It’s like having something stuck between my teeth. It’s probably worse on small tube lights though where they stick out like a giant bulging zit on an otherwise clear face.

No offense meant if you like them. I know for traveling the flexibility is nice.

I also don’t like the ones with the charging port on the opposite side of the switch because many times the port cover feels similar enough to the switch that I keep pressing it to turn the light on

Beveling the flap with a double edge razor will make it less likely to catch on things and open up.

Another issue is the flap, when you are in pitch dark, you think the flap is the power button. Remember if you are using a flashlight, chances are it’s already dark. Last thing you need is being confused over a power button. It may be an emergency you are dealing with.

Yes, my feelings exactly. USB charging is great for anyone who does not already have a decent charger. So good for muggles. For something as dependable and easy to operate as possible, I will happily do without.

Not all flashlights rely on the flap to keep water out. Some from Fenix and Nitecore have the usb port water-tight itself. Fenix hm50r v2 is an example.

Zanflare F1 has inbuild microusb charging with good water protection.

I have no water issue with usb-c rubber cover on my flashlight:

maybe that was a bait post?…ok, I’II bite :wink:

…Your example is what I’d call a “lab test” that’s in an ideal “wet” situation where you have time to verify it’s in place before carefully “placing” it in the water. It’s the same carefully orchestrated test the manufactures would do to water rate their product

However in the real world of use in the rain, in the dark, having it pulled in/out of your pocket in the rain, climbing through fences, hands all over it, changing brightness, turning it on/off, swapping hands, picking it up off the ground after it slipped from your hand etc etc. :slight_smile: the rubber covers could never possibly stay in place 100% of the time….as happened to me.

They serve their purpose for easy quick charging on the go, traveling and dry environments….and I like them. I’ve several brands, style of rubber cover, size of torch and they all perform poorly at staying in place in real world hard field conditions.

My point is the style of “seal” (a rubber push in cover/grommet) is hit and miss with reliability in a “wet” field situation….might I even say not fit for purpose particularly if the torch is to be rated as waterproof. The only reliable seal would be the few torches that have them under a screw cap with an o’ring the cap screws back down onto….or no charging port at all. I just think the manufactures could do a lot better in the design of the port if they are going to water rate the torch.

My post was not provocative, I will explain what I think more accurately.
I noticed that the rubber cover on the Wurrkkos and Sofirn is much larger than the milling of the USB port, so when you insert the cover it almost presses.
I find it difficult to remove the cover when I have to recharge, even though it is perfectly adherent.
While on the Convoy M21F the rubber cover is not so firm and so under pressure, so maybe it could happen what you say, but the M21F is not IPX8 certified like the Wurkkos or the Sofrin but only IPX4.
In the last review I am writing a flashlight has completely flooded but the water has entered from the head and not from the USB port, but this you will be able to see when I publish it.
The take home message is that you cannot generalize, each flashlight is different, but so far on the IPX8 certified ones I have never had problems with flooding during use in the field and I often use them also to go mountain biking and they have taken water quite a lot.
So with which flashlight did you have problems and what IPX certification did it have?

tkx for the additional context Argo.

Sofirn HS40

Point 5 says of the web page:
5. TOUGH & Waterproof: IP68-rated waterproof flashlight can work well in heavy rain. This light can be temporarily submerged under water for a while (up to 2 meters) in case of accidental falling while you are boating or fishing. Its durable aluminum body and shock-resistance endure rough handling.

IP Rating definition
So based on the code, it should be able to survive being submerged.

Sure, I’d accept that as a lab test but in the real world no way :slight_smile: Most rubber gromet seals would be the same regardless of brand. Are they good torches, sure are but in wet and dark conditions having rubber grommets as a seal is a weak point open to failure with heavy handling….not strapped to a handlebar of a bike.
Torches with similar rubber grommets would be a IPx1 at best due to the likelihood of these rubber grommets moving with constant handling in a field situation and therefore not able the really withstand much…if any water.