need help with a good EDC flashlight

Hello all. In an attempt to be more prepared for all situations I’m on the hunt for a dailycarry flashlight. I’m a vaper (ecig user) so I already have a handful of Panasonic cgr18650ch and Sanyo IMR both in unprotected flat top.

I’m looking for the following;
Top priority:
-under $25. That’s what I have to spend right now.
-small enough to fit in the pocket or comfortaby/unobtrusively on a belt
-I would like at least 15 hours of battery life on a use able low
-fairly rugged and water resistant enough to survive a drop in a puddle or a night out in the woods
-good useable general purpose beam. It’ll be rare that I need to see out past 50m with it, but I would like it to be very useable at 30m

What would be nice:
-SUPER CANDLEPOWERS on high mode. Just in case I need it. Battery life is far more important though
-low voltage cutoff/indicator Yeah, its lazy but I’m used to having in in my zmax and I don’t usually use protected batteries.
-able to take most any 18650 battery and possibly 3xAA/AAA in case of emergencies.
-water proof. As in will survive a run through the washing machine unscathed.
-mod able and modular. I solder pretty well on larger PCB so I’d like something that can grow with me
-a quality belt clip or a good belt case (can be purchased separately but must be within budget)
-a color to the colder end of the spectrum
-no silly flash/sos/strobe. If I need these functions I’ll perform them manually

Don’t let anything in the second group steer me away from a good light but the first group in nonnegotiable. Thanks for any help to a new

So far all I got is:

With one of these in it:

The experts will be here to help soon, hopefully.

A little higher price, but a good reputation.

Led Lenser on Amazon.

I find a lot of lights that fit what you want all except the burn time. The above one seems like it might be a good one though. I do not own one or know much about it, maybe someone here does.

Another P7 on Fasttech

Notice none of the above use a 18650 though. :frowning:

500 lumens… ( So they say ) EDC smallest 18650 on the market……

your not going to get 3aaa, let alone 3aa in an 18650 tube. You can squeeze them in a 26650 tube and use a sleeve for 18650, but that’s pushing it for comfortable in a jeans pocket.

Since you can solder, why not build rather than just buy? It would let you pick an ideal driver, emitter, tint and host and its not so difficult to do. I carry a couple of lights I’ve built, an 18650 tube and a slightly larger 18650 torch. I’m still refining my ideal spec, but I’m pretty sure this next iteration will be it……for now.

One thing is, once you build one, you’ll find yourself itching to try other things, use an xm-l, you’ll want to try an xp - g2, use a driver with what you think is a low enough low, you’ll be hunting for a moon low driver.

Build an 18650, next you’ll be looking at 14500 or 16340. The good news is parts are fairly cheap, you could easily buy a half decent edc for $25, you could build one for much less, just my two pennies worth.

Wow you guys are quick!

I’ve been looking at the convoys and the Roche f12 on the same site. A lot of choices but that was the led I was leaning towards (u2 1b). It seems there is a diminishing return in the power vs brightness dept. I’m sure I wanna skip the 2.8 and probably 2.1 amp designs, but will 1 amp be enough?

This looks pretty good. But I’m afraid I just can’t swing any higher on the price. I’m working on a knife too and I can’t afford to skimp on that

I figured the 3xaa was a pipe dream. 18650 only is perfectly OK, I almost always have a spare battery on me
How much of a project is a diy light? The afformentioned knife will be a project cut from bar stock so I don’t want to swamp myself with too many in depth builds at once

I happen to like neutral and now even slightly warm tints, so I’d go for a 3C or warmer tint. Tint is subjective though, if you like cooler tints, the U2 1B will do just fine.
I’d pick a Convoy M1 (little bigger head, little more throw) or Convoy S6 (tube light, nice flood). If you want a holster, the one suffested by tallboybass looks good for either light.
If you really want that 3xAA/3xAAA emergency support, you need to move up to a 26650 light. They still work with 18650, but they also accept 3xAAA carriers.
This is one I’ve been interested in (do not have it yet), and it’s right at your price limit with the BLF coupon code:

This will not be comfortable in a pants pocket though.

+1. S3 will give you a bit more flood.
2.1A is what you need :wink:

Don’t know, I was trying to get you to the 20 hours on low… :slight_smile: Is there any flex in the 20 hr. spec?

This is mostly for emergency use. I’ll almost always have a spare battery with more than 1/2 charge in my zmax (ecig mod) and I find it highly unlikely that I’ll need 30 hours of continuous light between charging opportunities. I’ll go back and edit the op. Is 15 hours on low pretty easy to achieve?

Wow that does tick all the boxes doesn’t it… I need bigger pockets… do they make an 18650 only model?

depending on the host and driver choice, assembly can be completed in anything from ten minutes to an hour (yes disbelievers, I assembled an oem d4/convoy m1 with a blf a8 driver and xm-l 4c in the time it took mrs gords to go to the loo, in the living room, getting the tools out and tidying up took longer than asembly and testing lol)

I would suggest a convoy m1 or m2 with a qlite driver from fasttech and your tint choice of xm-l/xm-l2, pick the star for 4 mode moonlight to high and you’ve got a pretty damned nice light with both a killer run time on moon and low and an impressive high.

If you need it smaller and pre assembled, a 2.1a tube from fasttech should be good, try not to get hung up on lumens, tint, though a personal choice gives much more pleasure in use than pure high output, also consider a small light really will heat up even at 2a for extended run times, thats what medium is for.

It does? Over budget and too big for yer britches! :wink:

OK so maybe I just like the way it looks. But but but… its waterproof. And if I get 26650 batteries it’ll run a long time right? :bigsmile:

it’ll run on an 18650 with a sleeve, you can do the 26650 cells and charger next time, also, be sure to post your knife build up, plenty will get a kick out of that.

Better change your OP to $26.77 limit, 26650 optional & biiiiiig pockets! :wink: You know I’m kiddin’ with ya, right? :bigsmile:

I’ll be sure to post pics when the cutting starts. Right now I’m still whittling wood slats trying to get the right shape. Steel is too pricy to mess the design up more than once.

Absolutely, I’m glad to get a good razzing already. I’ve decided I can’t walk around with something the size of a red bull can my pocket, everyone will think I’m happy to see them. So I’m thinking a convoy s5/s6 in 2.1 amp with a u2 1b and belt sheath sounds about right. Are the differences in the Sx line mostly cosmetic?

I'm liking this S3: I got the IOS version, set for 2.8A with a XML U3 on copper and get about 800 lumens out of it - not sure about 30 meters though, because it's more of a flooder with it's OP reflector. I just got in the S3 host from FT for another similar build. Also got the S4, but it maybe doesn't meet your drop-in-puddle requirement because of it's open holes around the reflector.

I just received a Convoy S2 2.1A U2 1B. I'm planning on adding the "stainless steel clip" FT also sells. I don't like the 1B tint though, too purplish for me. I would not call 1B a "pure white".

Also, my 2.1A next to a 2.8A similar light (T6 3C though) is nearly as bright. Not sure what the runtime would be on low though. You might look into a DIY host & qlite driver (from Int'l Outdoor Store) to get a lower low mode.

Oh, if you like the clip idea, the S2 & S6 take the clip (of course the S4 already comes with it).


What do you think of the light otherwise? Quality build? And what does the beam look like?