Had to demo my Solarforce for work use.

I was at work, a familiar welder came from another hall to ask me with him.

(They know I´m used to order stuff & flashlights and that I can somewhat recommend lights for various uses.)

He had welding coordinator with him, insisted me to show "that flashlight" in use.

They are welding 5 - 10 cubic meter buckets for wheel loaders in mining. Buckets are all-rusty, hall is well lit, they have to inspect welding seams inside bucket in shade.

Reference light was UK4AA, which made almost visible (almost) spot at 1,5m from bucket whereas Solarforce lit the whole bucket up. Light used was old L2m with 2,8A XM-L and diffusor.

"Why can´t we have this kinda lights in here?"

Next questions from coordinator were, how much are these, can these hold up heavy use or dropping?

Took the light, put it on and tossed it some 30ft across the hall to concrete. Naturally it was still on. (I might note: light was already used, scratches and bruises, bought used as well.)

I gave it to test use mentioning price and saying that I´m going to take only few bucks from assembling them.

Otherwise they are cheap to upkeep since no need for AA alkies and very fair sparepart prices.

Let´s see how it goes.

My first thought was naturally to get:

L2 2011

Solarforce "not all-in" -driven 3-mode XM-L


Set of Xtar 2600mAh

Great set :D With UF dropin it will rock. Aahh, don't forget a holster (with space for spare cell would be nice I think)

I think the SF drop-in might be better off for this application because it isn't driven as hard. Will still be plenty bright enough but will offer longer battery life and less heat if it is left on high for long periods.

Or it could be 2xAA XM-L with SMO (XP-G with OP reflector) + batt/charger pack (Varta or GP, for example). I know XM-L with 2xAA will be less bright than with 18650, but it could be cheaper.

I think the L2R is getting hard to find though?

My thoughts exactly since I´m not 100% sure about how long runs they normally do with flashlight.

Might also say, they can´t tell difference between 2,8A and something a bit less, say 2A...

Well, it must be a bit of a culture shock after those UK´s (which cost about 35-50$ here...). SF whole set with batteries is about 95$. 68$

Probably no need to even get charger for everyone of them.

Company next door have LedLensers in use. Let´s see if these guys buy Solarforces, they are usually VERY picky about buying anything pricy, no matter how good or usable it is. i.e. if they can get 5% of quality for 50% less, you know what they choose...

? Must be some kind of currency conversion because I can get a complete SF setup with charger and batteries for around $50.

Oops, a typo. Calculated roughly L2, dropin from solarforce, 2$ shipping, WP2 from eBay (kelesecurity, EU plug, car charger), 2pcs of batteries from groupbuy.

Endedn up with something like 68$

What did you add to basket for 50$?

2 X trustfire flame protected 3000mah 18650s $11.70 shipped

Ultrafire WF-139 dual 18650 charger $13.50 shipped

Solarforce L2 2011 version with XML 3-mode drop-in $30.99 shipped

Guess it would come to $56 shipped.

I think that Solarforce set has 3v-6v driver but there is also available a 3-mode 4,2V max:


Also, I find it hard to justify WF-139 @ 13,5$ against Xtar WP2 if it is possible to:

-Speed up the charging from 450mA -> 1000mA (with options)

-Get free EU plug

-Get also car charging adaptor + spacers for other batteries to fit

-Possibility to charge cell phone via USB

-Better fit for those Long batteries...

-IMO overall better quality (Had one WF-139, powercord "cracked", did not luckily shock myself, touched the 0-lead)

Naturally this adds 8$+ but in my opinion its money well spent. At work, I´m pretty sure if they get these flashlights, they are not going to upgrade them anytime soon.

However on those batteries, you have point. Tested those and got more cap than Xtars yet they give also more amperage.

At least they seem to be good quality for the price.

Just a thought but if they are going to keep them around for a long time, for another $5 you can get the L2T with the 3 mode xml drop-in and have a more durable finish and a smooth bezel ring.

EDIT: Thought the L2T was an HAIII finish but I can't seem to confirm that anywhere?

Yes, I´ve been thinking between L2P and L2. After all, the finish will be gone quite fast...

I have seen some Lensers that have served a year or two. Almost more aluminum than ano left there but it is rather irrelevant as long as the body keeps it´s shape.

I recently made myself a long run light with an XML emitter, an OP reflector kit, a single mode 3-18v driver and a L2 body with extender. I measured the tailcap current and it was 0.7 amps for 7.2v (2x18650). The light it pushed out was more than enough for any outdoor activity. More than 3.5 hours at something like 500lumens and this is what I usually look for on a single mode flashlight.
Genuine SolarForce lights are a great step above Ultrafires. I’d prefer scuffs and marks to paint chips. My old L2 is more like painted. Maybe newer versions have a better finish.

You would be better off in my opinion getting BC40's at around $42 from dinodirect. They are an easier more intuitive UI, don't need assembly, the electronics are arguably better quality (Solarforce hosts are great, but the drop-ins not so good) and they are much brighter and efficient with long runtimes on 2 cells.

If this pushes the budget too far I might recommend many BA20 or P2a's from dinodirect at around $25 each, then a lot of eneloops and a single decent 8 bay charger. Eneloops last forever, again no assembly needed, arguably more reliable and efficient electronics, easier to pocket (slimmer) and none of the safety/maintenance issues of li-ions.

If you used L2's would you add anything (aluminium strips or copper foil etc.) to the heads to heat sink it better or just leave it?

I think I would stick with the tried and true L2. Plenty of parts to be found at cheap prices for years to come

Also would go with the low voltage Solarforce XPG drop-in

Would use copper tape acquired from a CPF member.

Very valid points for AA´s there. Cannot justify BC40, isn´t it a bit like thrower for close range? 1-2m use?

AA´s have just the problem, that they cannot be fixed with spare parts. Price is lower though so a new one is not such a big dieal.

Have to think about that...