[Help] New to the Flashlights world, looking for a good tactical one.

modded lights are great but they arent widely available for everyone, great quality production lights stands out a bit to avoid risking your life on cheap lights with no specifications.

Ask me tomorrow just had a bad night

Thanks for helping out.
The Convoy M1 seems to be the best choice, but I don’t want to spend almost double then I planned.
Maybe in few weeks I’ll sell the flashlight I’ll buy, and buy the M1.
Also, I couldn’t find any pressure switch for it.

About the batteries - I have Antec and PowrRocks powerbanks.
Both are broken but has working rechargeable 18650 batteries inside.
Are they a good option? I believe they are protected because these powerbanks are really high quality. (and also 3000mAh)
And can I make a USB chrager for them using the broken powerbanks?
And about the CR123A battries - can I use 2 of them instead 18650?

Hello and welcome!

I put a light on my .22 for dealing with late-night predators, first a Xenon incan and then an LED upgrade, and found some useful information. I’ll skip the mounts since you’re using your Service Weapon which probably has Picatinny Rails or some other mount already installed. Just get standard Scope Rings for your base. One or two will usually do (depending on recoil).

As for me, I found the Ultrafire 501b to be the best, since it’s just-about the lightest P60 host & uses standard P60 drop-ins. The notion of heat is valid, but IMNERHO on a weapon light you probably won’t leave it on long enough to get hot in the first place. If you leave it on too long, it becomes a target. Plus it’s hard to hold the remote switches that long.

As for remote switches, what I did was to buy a “complete” tailcap & remote switch, then took the switch part out & installed it in my own tailcap. That link will take you to eBay, which may or may not be available to you. Use needle-nose pliers or a small hemostat to disassemble/reassemble the endcaps. That’s assuming you can’t find one pre-made with a tailcap for your torch…

The implication of a Weapon Light is that you’re going to need illumination at a distance, which is called “throw”. None of the P60 hosts (no matter how well constructed) are going to “throw” light as far as your weapon’s effective range!! The best you can hope for is to buy an “optic” like one of these from Carlco (not an afflink, nor do I recommend them, just FYI) with a “Narrow” beam less than 15° to push as much light as you can downrange. OTOH, my neighbor has had nothing but praise for the C8 form factor. It uses essentially the same body (as far as the Mount is concerned) but has a much bigger head (you may need taller mounts) for a dramatic lot more “Throw”.

I can’t imagine why you’d want “zoom” on a weapon light, but I have no use for “zoomies” anyway, so I’m no help there at all.

As to batteries, and you already mentioned scrounging from “dead” packs, a good charger is more important than any particular battery, especially if you scrounge them from “high-end” (i.e. Dell, HP) packs. I can imagine a difference between batteries, but generally there’s not enough performance difference to worry much. Just visualize the proverbial bell-shaped curve & remember almost all the 18650s you’ll scrounge fall in that flat spot at the top. My best charger is a Miller ML-102, which requires a USB port or micro-USB cellphone charger, but you’d be better served by the advice of the others here re: chargers!!

If you’re interested in Modding, “buy the cheapest and replace the LED” is more expensive than you may think. It can work, but it takes a lot of engineering to pull it off. You are definitely in the Right Place for ongoing, extreme-level help/advice/education in that regard, but you’ll need to ask more questions to get more answers. I would recommend (for weapon-light throw) using an XP-G2 with the highest-current, single-mode driver you can find, just to get things started.

Hope this helps. I’m just

Dim

Speaking of the C8 form factor, I am about to mount a Convoy L4 onto my moms .22 rifle. The L4 has dual switches and a large reflector so I think it will serve well for her intended purpose of scanning the field at night when the coyotes attack the chickens. It is $30 rather than the usual $15 C8.

Sry for the long post, many questions… :bigsmile:

So your recommend for me is to take the Ultrafire wf-501b XP-G2?
(from reading here

It seems that the XP-G2 isn’t one of the brightest LEDs, so why should I chose it?)
Btw, the heat doesn’t really matter for me as long it doesn’t make and damage to the flashlight and/or risk of using it…
I don’t think it’ll be on for long, but you can never know…
And by high current you mean highest mAh usage? (less runtime more brightness?)
And what about the wf-502b?

About the zoom - I understand I have to give up about this.
I thought it’s a basic features in flashlight, because It seems to be necessary for daily use,
Like when need to light a far object without getting close to it.
But I guess that if the flashlight is strong enough you can live without it.

Now for the batteries - so you say the power bank batteries are good?
I’ll have them next to me in few hours so then I’ll check if they have both tops flat. (is that the only type of them that will work?)
This chrager seems to be exactly the thing I was looking for, also useful as powerbank… (I have 4 3A 18650 batteries.)
Can it charge protected batteries? Because it says unprotected.
And last thing I didn’t understand how this able to chrage different size batteries (not that this really matters.)

Okay, another last thing - which color should I take?
6000K? 7000K?

Meanwhile I found this (found many XP-G R5)
502b 450lumens couldn’t find current
http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=181590235682&alt=web
Is 450 lumen enough?

Also found this -
501b 900lumen xm-l2 t6 + gun mount and switch
http://www.fasttech.com/products/1601/10000911/1626602-ultrafire-wf-501b-1-cree-xm-l2-t6-1-mode-900lm
(or 800 lumen one with lower K color)

Possible to find 1-2$ cheaper but it’s very convenient to buy everything together.

http://www.fasttech.com/category/1601/led-flashlights/MTI1PTE4NjUwfDUxPUJsYWNrfDEzNj0x/

A couple of thoughts. First, what weapon are you mounting the light on? Handgun? Long gun? In any case you want something that will take the recoil and not screw-up. Stick w/ a single mode light, no chance of output changes when you don’t want them.

What batteries? LiIon rechargeables? Lithium primaries (CR123)? If you’re in the field then stick w/ CR123s, no charging needed and the cells will last 10+ years.

I’d suggest a SolarForce L2T. It’s a clone of the Surefire Z series weapon-lights, its tough and will mount easily. Add a single mode XM-L2, a charger + 2-3 18650s, and a dozen CR1234s and you’re good to go.

I think I need some answers before choosing a flashlight.

  1. Batteries - I have these (2 of each) Dropbox - Error - Simplify your life
    Can I use them? They don’t have both sides flat… (can I remove the bump some how?)
    Also, can I use 2 cr123 batteries instead? Which configuration is better?
    Btw, someone just told me I can get cra123a batteries for free at the radio department anytime,
    so that can help with saving money.
    And if flashlight supports cra123a batteries or 16340 does it mean it supports the other one as well?

2. Light color - any major difference between 6000K-8300K? Which shade is better for me?

3. Can this chrager charge protected batteries?
http://www.fasttech.com/product/1137904-miller-ml-102-universal-usb-smart-charger-version
Can it charge 18650 batteries with a “bump”?

4. I’ve been searching around for information and found this topic - Cree, Luminus, Seoul Semiconductor, and Nichia LED comparison
Can I just assume that the one that generating most lumens at, let’s say, 300mA, is the brightest one?
So if the led and the battery are determinate the lumens, how does the host matter?
Is hosts are just for zooming, different glass in the front and heat management?
I think I’m missing something important… :~

5. So let’s say I bought this flashlight -
http://www.fasttech.com/products/1601/10000911/1626602-ultrafire-wf-501b-1-cree-xm-l2-t6-1-mode-900lm
It says 900 lumens at 2.5Ah. Can any battery run at 2.5Ah?
Or do I need a specific battery that can?

Bump…

It isn’t so easy at all brighter means not more useful…
Because a light like a 502 with xml will make more lumens but if you are outside and shine on a far object the xpg2 will be better to see it.
There is lumen and throw necessary. But this depends on what you want. A deeper reflector gives more throw but is also bigger in size(like a c8). There is also a differents if the reflector is smooth(thrower) or orangepeel(Floodier). Given the same current and reflector a xpg2 will throw further than a xml because the light emitting surface is smaller.

I wouldn’t recommend a 502 because they aren’t so reliable and good build like a convoy. Convoys are the best budget lights, high quality cheap price.
If you want p60 like the 502b check out solarforce, these have nice hosts and drop ins which are useable with either 18650 and cr123a.
They also offer forward clickyswitch which is what most soldiers like.
Your batteries have no label? Why? what cells are this?
The miller charger will charge them if it are 18650 liion cells.
I read here somewhere that the cheap wires switches tend to fail, is this something you need.
Light colour depends on what you like 3000k is warm white 5500k is around neutral white like sun light and above there is cool white/blue tint.

If I give up the zoom function I definitely need a flashlight that designed to throw light…
So the xpg2 with smooth reflector is the best even it’s much less bright?
And as I said before I want to but a simple flashlight, if It won’t be enough I’ll buy another one.

My batteries are li-ion (came from 2 different powerbanks),
3000mAh, 2 micr18650f8 and 2 mrc18650 (I think).
Both couples are definitely rechargeable.

And I didn’t understand about the cr123a batteries.
If I can use 18650 battery I can also use 2*cr123a batteries,
Or the host need to be modified for using both types?

The driver(electronic circuit) has to be build for the use of cr123.
One 18650 has 4.2V fully charged, if you now use two cr123 these have 2*3V so 6V.
That is why on some drivers there is written 3-6V or such things.
The dimension of 18650 are 18mm diameter and 65mm long
a cr123 is 16mm in diameter and 34mm long
That is why cr123s in a flashlight for 18650 can rattle a bit, if this disturbs you could use tape to make it thicker.

The batteries in the picture look naked, if this is the case you should shrink wrap them. Search the forum for info about that for example here
Most flashlights use the aluminum body as a path for negative connection(like on cars) if the bare cell has contact with a bad spot of annodization in the inner tube you could get problems for example a always on flashlight.

You also should be aware of modes, in most cases it is useful to have different brightness which can be select with a short off/on over the power button. But I am unsure if this is very useful for a rifle mount because it will always change the mode if you only shine it momentarily…maybe a one mode drop in is the best….

Have you checked solarforce?
Dropins available with different modes.
really good quality and the dropins also work for cr123s, wiresswitches also available but it will cost around 30$ for a light and dropin and 15$ for the pressure switch tail cap.

maybe some of the p60 connoisseurs can chime in because I don’t have different dropins to compare…
If you are curious how the different led behave in terms of throw and light output you can simply buy a second dropin for your p60 host. That is the advantage of this style of light.


I wouldn’t call a p60 host a thrower, because of the small reflector. You can search the forum for the threads of hunters searching a light. The most guys seem to favor C8 or a Jacob a60 because of the throw…
If you give up the cr123a compatibilty a convoy C8 maybe a good candidate.

Actually I peel 2 of them because they had glue and some sponge from the powerbanks.
I have some shrink tunes at home so I can fix that if necessary.
It okay that they have the + bump? And that the bumps are different?
Cause I’ve seen 18650 that has flat at both sides.

About solarforce, 30$ is too much currently. As I said,
If ~10-15$ flashlight won’t be good enough I’ll but a better one,
So I’ll probably take ultrafire 501/502b.
I just need to know if my batteries will work with it and with the chrager I mentioned.

If the + bump is the highest point of the cell it will work in every case if that isn’t the case some flashlights/driver which don’t have a spring on the positive side can’t make contact. If the batteries are quality cells can be only found out if you have the shrink wrap and Google the numbers which are written on it.
If they have a too small bump to make contact you could make a solder blob on them, if you have a soldering iron.

Your batteries are not protected. protected means they have an additional circuit on them check this for example pictures

The miller charger can charge 18650s, so it should work with your cells.

Thanks!
I understand that smooth reflector won’t be good if the led is perfectly centered,
What I assume will happen in a cheap flashlight.
Can I replace the reflector itself or replacing it means replacing the whole drop in?

The orangepeel reflector give a smoother hotspot and spill, smooth reflectors sometimes produce rings which you can see if you shine on a white wall. In nature it often is no problem but some dislike it.

Yes, These 502b are p60 Hosts, that means you can simply change the dropin.
You can also build a dropin by yourself if you want.
These Dropins have the disadvantage to be not ideal in thermal management, because they naturally have a bit of air between them and the flashlighthost. some people wrap them in aluminum/copperfoi to make better contact to the housing and to be able to drive the LEDs with higher currents… Search the forum for info.
http://flashlightwiki.com/P60
http://flashlightwiki.com/DIY_P60

I had some time yesterday so I saw some reviews on youtube,
and I wasn’t very impressed of the wf-501B throw. (Curenntly it’s 25$ for everything I need.)
I saw the ultrafire C8 which is much better thrower,
but but almost couldn’t find any with 1 Mode (I defenitly need 1 mode only)
Is it possible to mod 5/3 mode to 1 (High only)?
I saw this guide -

but i’m not sure this is the right way… he removed the driver.

and can I use this kind of thing in case I won’t have available 18650 battries,
and is this tube can replace shrink wrap them?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1PCS-18650-Battery-Tube-1PCS-AAA-Battery-Holder-for-Flashlight-Torch-NEW-/221621799701?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3399b04b15

It is possible to mod it to one mode, the way this guy makes it is just a direct drive…you often can simply remove a capacitor or do other mods if you have a soldering iron…
As everybody said a c8 is the way to go for a small thrower…
Convoy c8 is great value for money, driver is well known and modeable. 13.99$ with coupon: NEWC8CM

3xaaa to 18650 adapters onlly work in lights which are made for it. Theses adapters are usually around 21mm wide and don’t fit in a 18650 battery tube which is around 18-19mm wide…

Defenitly buying it. (isn’t this the same as Ultrafire C8?)
Can I mod it to 1 mode with soldering iron?
What does it means 2 group mode?
Do I tell them which I want or I have both and have the ability to switch?

The form is similiar on all c8 but the convoy has superb quality. Much thicker material, better anodizement and goodthreads.
These convoys have a nanjg105c driver which has two mode groups in stock. You can switch between the groups if you switch the light on in low, wait some seconds until it blinks, half press and now you are in the other group.

It can be modded to one mode by bypassing the controller, that would give you always high 2.8A.
These drivers also can be reprogramed with other firmware which has your dreammodes. You will need a computer with USB and a USB programmer for some bucks…this would be the best because you would maintain batteryvoltage detection.