Need help finding an adjustable, super bright LED flashlight

You’re right ChibiM. I never believed it was really 2000 lumens like as advertised, but all the reviews said “Wow, this is so bright”. Then I go mine, and my opinion was “Wow, this is nothing special”. But how do you shop for a flashlight when everyone lies? So I came here for help.

I discovered even after 14 hours on the charger the battery still doesn’t charge above 4.06v. And there was no brightness increase from the extra charge. So I am thinking my battery is a primary concern. I will buy a good battery first and try that. Then I will go with 18sixfifty’s upgrade suggestions and see how much boost I get from them. He recommended this emitter and this driver for upgrading my flashlight. This morning he also recommened this battery, but I’m not sure I want to go unprotected.

Sounds like the cell you have is of dubious quality; maybe the charger too.

That driver does state it has low voltage protection. It dims the light though it does not shut off. That coupled with a good charger that will shut off the charge at 4.2 volts can help protect an unprotected cell. That and common sense, when the light begins to dim. However, so far I somehow prefer protected cells too, though I have a couple unprotected as the protected ones won’t fit one of my lights.

And I’ll add that is a great place to buy from.

You could choose a protected cell as long as it is made to deliver the amps that drive and LED will want. Ask Richard the owner of what he thinks about the driver / battery. He will answer any inquiry you make.

Thanks everyone. I ordered the protected battery and both flavors of this emitter for now. The driver takes 10 days to make, so I thought I would try my luck without it. I will let you guys know how it goes when I get my new stuff installed. Thanks again everyone!

I wouldn’t recommend that FET driver as it would be a crazy amout of heat, and if your light doesn’t have a good solid thermal path, you could end up burning your emitter or even desoldering from the PCB. The FET drivers are for serious hot-rod mods. I’ve not seen the internals of your light, but some zoomies have poor heat sinking, with hollow pills and a bad path to remove heat to the outside of the light.

Assuming a 17mm driver will fit your light:

This is a great general-purpose driver: QLITE REV.A 7135*8 3.04A LED DRIVER - 17mm
At 3A, it pushes a lot of power for a small-sized light. It has a good selection of modes available, including no blinkies and a very low Low mode.

If you would like to maximize throw, you could replace the unknown “XM-L” emitter with an XP-G2. This would give you a smaller but more intense hotspot when zoomed. You would have fewer lumens than the XM-L2, but properly driven, would still be twice the lumens of your current emitter:

Protection is less critical on single-cell lights. A quality charger won’t over-charge an unprotected cell, and a quality driver will have low-voltage protection built in as well. I use unprotected in several of my single-cell lights.

My driver board is a 20mm, and so is the emitter board. I know many people like intense hotspots, but I hate them. I don’t like having to wave my light around and build a full scene in my imagination. Maybe as my eyes get older my opinion will change.

Don’t assume that any charger won’t overcharge an unprotected cell.
Make sure by reading the reviews
Get one that a reliable reviewer (HKJ is the only one) has assured will completely shut off, not trickle charge endlessly.

Then get a voltmeter and check it after it’s been in the charger and finished and make sure it doesn’t get overcharged.
You can always get a flaky one, even when you’ve been told it’s a good model.

You know why lithium-ion cells require careful, precautionary handling, right?
And why you should never inhale if a cell vents.

Keltex, it looks to me like there is a solid thermal path in this flashlight body. I understand the concern, but I think I would want a driver without limits and a turbo mode on a timer. So for 30 seconds you get everything, then it kicks down to the brightest sustainable power level. That’s what I picture.

Post pics when it’s done! :bigsmile:

I do like the super-focused hotspot. I’ll take a flashlight out into the country and use it to sweep for deer/pigs, etc. Small hotspot with minimal spill works best for this.

You likely won’t have a “solid thermal path” in a slide-type zoom flashlight.
Those have an airgap between the slidey part and the battery tube, so the hot part is inside the air gap inside the slidey part.
The heat has to go back past the driver into the battery area.

Some heat in zoomies does get out to the slidey part, around half from feeling the temperature of an SK-68. I put silicone heat sink compound on the sliding o-rings. I once also put copper to narrow the air gap.

Here’s an example of a custom job on a zoomie I did for a friend: Mod: Zoomie with MT-G2
Not here to sell one (too tied down in other projects) but just to show you what a custom zoomie light might look like.

There are many who do custom work. Some, like me, only when asked and others would answer a wtb post. If you’re interested, I’d suggest you look at the kinds of mods different members do and go from there. As far as particular lights, I’m not up on them all, I just alter them to suit. OL and I are both building modified UltraFire 502B’s with 6V LEDs as prizes for the BLF DIY competition but those are somewhat different from the run of the mill alterations. Others with more sophisticated tools can provide different options.

Alright, I got the new battery and emitter the other day and played with it a bit. The new battery is exactly 20 grams heavier than the old one, so I was happy about that. But putting it in didn’t boost the output. So I went ahead and installed the new L2 emitter. That did make a modest boost in output. So since I had things apart I did some testing. The LED was still only drawing 0.96A. Using direct-drive I can get 2.18A through the LED. That was definitely brighter. So I placed an order for the FET driver. Those measurements were with the new battery at the 50% SOC that it arrived at. The old one was also at 50% SOC during testing.