New and need help selecting a flashlight

I’m new to flashlights and this forum. I posted once before asking about multiple aa or aaa flashlights and was quickly informed that 18650 batteries are much better. So now I’m asking for more help! I have opened up my mind to other battery sizes and would like to know what the best budget light is. my primary uses would be for a night stand light and to check my yard. I like the throw of my 3d led Maglite but that’s been turned into my car light. I like to be able to see far off outside and then flood with bright light inside, I need a good do all light basically. I would like to stay around $25. I’ve been temped by a Coast light at my local Wal-Mart, that claims to have 1000 lumens, but its about twice as much as I would like to pay. My main concern with using a light that’s not AA, AAA, C, or D cell is availability of the batteries. I know they can be found online, if you have a favorite site and battery feel free to suggest that also, but can they also be found in stores like Wal-Mart or Office Max? Anyhow, please suggest the best do all light and battery set up you can think of! Thank you!


Rechargeable 18650 batteries have more energy—but aren’t readily available
at retail outlets like AA, AAA, & D’s are.
I suggest starting with standard battery types before moving into 18650
lithium battery territory.
No light can do it all in terms of your needs of flood & throw—but for a
relatively powerful light, using standard batteries—
I’d recommend the ( 4 x AA) StarryNight SA-22.

Then maybe move to a Solarforce L series light, which uses commercially available
(2 x) cr123 batteries.

start here

there are no wrong answers.

If you don’t like it after a while, all of them o this list can be modified to better reflect what you later want.

To some degree it is better to start somewhere and move up the curve of what YOU want, to the try to find the holy grail aka the perfect (fill in the …… blank).

Or talk to T-Man


for smaller lights

it will be plenty and is a very nice light.

Out of my entire collection of Olights, Nitecores, Thrunites, Fenix’s, Led Lensers, Thorfires, and Supfires; my absolute favorite is the Convoy S2+. About $15. Highly recommended.

It has just the right size and feel for use around the house or walking the dog. The beam is a perfect balance of throw and flood for such purposes. The steel button is a pleasure to use. The low-medium-high output spacings are very usable. It takes either flat-top or button-top 18650 batteries. It comes in a choice of colors (my favorite is blue). In my opinion, the only thing missing from this flashlight is a true ultralow/moonlight mode.

There are several choices of emitters:

  • XML2 U2-1A or XML2, 1A tint or simply XML2, Cool White
  • XML2 T6-3B or XML2, 3B tint or simply XML2, Neutral White
  • XML2 T6-4C or XML2, 4C tint or simply XML2, Neutral White

There are many more, but I’d like to focus on these three choices for you.

  • The 1A tint is the most common LED tint. Bright and is what you expect.
  • The 3B tint is a more neutral tint, less blue.
  • The 4C tint is neutral with a bit of warmth added.

Reference: Tint Chart

I recommend that you NOT choose the boring 1A tint. IMO, after the initial fascination with bright lights fades away, you will yearn for subtler, richer, more aesthetic beams.

So, I’d suggest that start your consideration with the 3B tint. Still relatively bright and within most people’s expectations, but with the barest hint of warmth.

And if you are the risk-taking type, I’d suggest you try my favorite tint: 4C. It is basically white, but with a kiss of sunshine added to it. I use my 1A lights to see. I use my 4C lights to experience.

Note: If you are the conservative type, choose the 1A. You won’t be disappointed. (And you’ll never know what you missed. 8) )

Recommended vendors:
Simon at Aliexpress:
Richard at Mountain Electronics:

If you decide to buy from Simon, send him a message via Aliexpress messaging asking him for 15% BLF discount on the purchase of the Convoy S2+.

what suggestions did you get for multiple AA lights? i would suggest maybe trying a Nitecore ea41? it used 4 AA batteries it is a good mix between flood and throw…

it is higher in cost then your budget almost double depending on what deals you can find! it is best run on NiMH batteries not alkaline but you can use any standard AA. so if you want to add extras you will need to spend the extra money.

i was the same way with batteries now most of my light run on lithium-ions but it takes some getting use to and don’t get me wrong they can be dangerous but all batteries can!

The good thing with using NIMH is you can set and forget for charging which lithium you can not! depending on your chosen charger of course!

there maybe cheaper and better options out there for AA battery lights i am not sure maybe scroll the threads here and check out what you can find….

mind you i did you buy AA batteries the other day for like $15 AUD they are worth about $80 AUD retail so in this way you could afford to use standard batteries i guess

i feel every one needs to have a few AA and AAA flashlights around for emergencies cause the batteries are so easy to come across!

Going from your mag light even if your picked up a Ultrafire Q5 you maybe surprised how bright it is on a single AA battery!

Welcome to BLF!

Does your budget of $25 include the battery and charger? A good battery and charger will run about $16 alone. My recommendation here is going to run slightly over $25 for everything ($30.96 total)

I’m going to recommend bypassing the lights that run on regular batteries and go directly to the Li-ion powered flashlight (1000 lumens) with 18650 battery and charger.

Your main concern (availability of the batteries) won’t matter because a good 18650 Li-ion battery can last for many years so you basically won’t need to buy batteries anymore. Most of my 18650 batteries are over 3 years old with well over 100 recharges and they’re still running as strong as they were when new.

This Flashlight (XML2 U2-1A OP):
This Battery:
Samsung 26F Protected
This Charger:
Nitecore-UM10 Li-ion Charger

Total: $30.96 (using discount code BLF) Shipping is free.

This flashlight has a larger and deeper reflector than the Convoy “S” series therefore an improved ability to “see far off outside and flood with bright light inside”

This is one of the best and most popular budget flashlights. You will have a great light for night stand, security and to check the yard.
And may even launch you into a new hobby. :wink:

You could get 2 batteries if you want to keep a spare handy for when the other one needs charged or is on charge, but it’s not necessary.

Also here is the same flashlight in 3B tint (Grey color instead of black) (XM-L2 T6-3B):
Gray Convoy C8 / USA warehouse
The 3B (neutral) tint will improve color rendering, especially outdoors.

If your price limit of $25 is for the flashlight alone (plus batteries and charger) I recommend this one:

UPDATE: There currently is a discount coupon code for this flashlight. Enter this code during checkout: X6XPL It drops the price from $25.57 to $20.99
Eagle Eye X6 XPL-HI ($20.99 with code X6XPL)
Samsung Protected Battery
Nitecore UM10 Intellicharger

$34.35 total

+100 :slight_smile:

First off, I’m new here also, but welcome.

Some of the replies that have already come in have pointed out that with one or two good cells and a quality charger, you are pretty much set for batteries for a good long time. I am amazed at the length of time that my BLF A6 runs on a single charge, and all of the cells that I am using in it so far have been salvaged from laptops with whatever charge has been left in them. (Note that this is not recommended for some flashlights or at all for electronic newbies, the BLF A6 has voltage protection built into the firmware.) I have an Xtar VC2plus charger on a slow boat from china thanks to a very good deal with Banggood and M4D M4X so I’m looking forward to seeing what an fully charged cell will generate!

At the risk of offending some people, I don’t like ‘vaping’. On the other hand, the sudden proliferation of vape and e-cigarette stores EVERYWHERE (at least around where I live) means that there are 18650 cells and chargers available in your area in retail locations that you may not normally frequent. If you can stand to be in the cloud of whatever the heck that stuff is you can get some cells and advice on chargers that you can fondle in person.

But if you are going to order a light, get advice here (but not from me!) on what cells are recommended and order them from the same supplier at the same time, get a charger as well and you will be good to go.

I’m new here in this forum but have been lurking for quite a while. I have few lights but am familiar with the basics of a flashlight. I have started with AA/AAA lights way back in 2006, Led lenser P3, and Led Lenser P5, both lights are still with me and have been used and abused but still works fine.

Out of curiosity and wanting to experience one cell flashlight that goes over the 105 lumen power of the P5, I bought the Olight i1, which i was very reluctant and really thought about it if getting a specialized cell light is worth all the trouble it might bring, I am someone who likes to have a spare something with me, especially a battery. Much to my surprise, i didn’t have a hard time with using a lights with CR123A as a power source. Of course, i have to buy a couple or RCR123A and few non rechargables.

AA/AAA lights are great but doesn’t have much power (brightness) on them, the advantage is that the power source is readily available. Just get some Energizer lithium to avoid leakage.

CR123A / 14500 / 18650 lights have more power in them but you have to deal with carrying extra battery and the trouble of recharging them, good thing is that there are lights now that accept both 14500 and AA, like my Olight S15. :bigsmile:

I definitely favor the 18650 over consumer battery types even for beginners. Alkalines are terrible under load, so you pretty much need NiMH or lithium for a high output flashlight. If you’re buying batteries and a charger, might as well go 18650 and get twice the energy density of everything else, including other Li-ions. Also, throwing away batteries is SO last millennium.

I currently have a 3 D cell led Maglite and also a Maglite xl50 ( which has decided it only wants to stay on when it wants). I really like how handy the Maglite xl50 is but its reliability isn’t setting well with me, one day ill try and figure out why its doing that and fix it.

Hi dmspit

I have recommended the Concoy C8 to you. Today I received 2 of these from FastTech. I think they are both “Fake-ish”
They both have bad focus, compared with some I already had. They are not as bright.

So, consider carefully where you may order from. I also have some UltraFire C8s and they have been less than optimal.
Do yourself a favor and head over to Simons Aliexpress site when/if you order a Convoy C8.

There you are sure of getting the real deal, can specify tints and switching modes.

Thank you all for all of the help. I seemed to have gotten my maglite xl50 back and working which is great because I love that light, probably because I don’t have any other experience with quality lights. As far as buying another light I was have to check out the convoy c8 and s6 along with that eagle eye x6. I’ve warmed up to the idea of 18650 batteries, they seem to be the best option as of now. Cr123a disposable batteries are readily available around me so that is also another option. I was check out Simon at alkieexpress and see if their are any deals I just can’t pass up. I feel flashlights may be my next financial downfall. Thanks again and keep the advice coming.

I agree with MontyPyfon about Simons Aliexpress site.

Here are links for the C8 and battery/charger from Simon Convoy Aliexpress:

You can choose the different customization for the flashlight, here’s my recomendations:

default 7135*8
XML2 T6-3B 5000-5200K
Modes customization #(2)5%low—–30%mid—–100%high (unless you want the strobe/blinker)

Flashlight in black

Flashlight in grey

Nitecore UM10 Digicharger

Samsung batteries (2pcs.)

With Simon you must take minimum of 2 batteries, I previously gave you links to Banggood shop instead of Simon because there you don’t have to take 2 batteries, to try and keep closer to your budget. It wouldn’t hurt to have the spare battery but if that puts you over budget the Convoy C8’s from Banggood have been reported to be legitimate not fakes.

I also still recommend the Eagle Eye X6 XPL-HI over the C8 (Links in my previous post) I think its a nicer light and should have longer throw.

Which one would have more flood? Also are there versions that take two 18650 batteries? They’re both too large for me to carry in jean pockets so I might as well have the extra run time, granted I’d probably never run it out but it never hurts.

The Convoy L4 is a similar size and configuration to the C8, but has a different driver that can handle two 18650s in series. It comes with an extension tube, giving you a choice between size and runtime. It also has a separate mode switch, which I find to be preferable to changing modes with the power switch.

I’m don’t know which one has more flood, I could do a comparison later but I believe they are pretty close in the flood department.

No they aren’t “front pants pocket” EDC style lights. I realize that’s not what you were asking about here (your primary uses would be for a “night stand light and to check my yard”) However the X6 is a good bit more compact than a C8, it will fit in your pants pocket for the purpose of going out to check the yard etc. and it has a nice pocket clip for that purpose. I think it’s a lot smaller in person than what it appears in the photos. The c8 does not have a pocket clip.

For the few dollars more you’ll pay over a C8, the X6 is more compact, more solidly constructed, has better heat management, and a nicer style overall. I believe you will find it has decent flood for your intended use.

C8 / X6 Size comparison (length x head diameter):

C8: 145mmx44.5mm

X6: 135mm x 40mm

Here’s a comparison photo (courtesy of unknown00101’s 2014 X6 review)

Left to Right: Sk68 - Convoy S2+ - Eagle Eye X6 - Solarforce L2 - Convoy C8

(Click the photo to go to the review, which has some beamshot comparison between the X6 and a Convoy C8)

The newer version X6 with XPL HI that I linked in my previous post will be brighter with more throw than the one in the review. (rated 1200 lumens vs 860 lumens)

There is also an X6 Neutral tint version available but it’s not the brighter XML HI.

The X6 XPL HI can also be bought at this Aliexpress store: Eagle Eye X6 CREE XP-L HI V21A 1200LM 4Modes LED Flashlight 18650
There is a thread here on BLF about it from the store owner: EAGLE EYE X6 XPL HI V21A 1200lunens LED flashlight Free shipping $22.13 (now $21.59)


The XPL HI emitter ( HI= High Intensity) is a fairly recent advancement in LED design that is drawing lots of attention in the flashlight world. It’s becoming more available in production flashlights and is probably going to be the emitter of choice that will be used in the upcoming custom BLF X6 Special Edition Version 2 flashlights. BLF X6-SE v2 & X5 Group Buy


Neither the X6 or the C8 are available in a 2-cell version. For a 2 cell light the Convoy L4 that zak.wilson recommended is a great option, its like a high quality C8 with side switch for mode changes (along with the rear switch for on/off) and the option to use either one or two batteries, seems to me like a lot more bang for your buck for around $10 more than a C8. It also can be ordered in the T6-3B neutral tint as well as other tints. Here’s some links for it:

Convoy L4 Simon Aliexpress
Convoy L4 at Banggood
Convoy L4 at GearBest
Convoy L4 Review

Here’s another one to consider for a 2 cell light, it has the batteries loaded side by side so it’s much shorter and compact to carry in your rear pants pocket or coat pocket. Its really bright with excellent throw and decent spill. It has been very popular with members here on BLF:
Small Sun ZY - T08 1000 Lumem LED Flashlight

I’m not sure if its a good idea recommending a 2x in series light to someone so new to flashlights?

Thanks for all the help beam0. I really appreciate it. I now need to justify why I need one or two or 8 flashlights…. How do those lights compare to a maglite xl 50 or a 3 d cell led maglite? I’m now also vastly curious as to why a light with batteries ran in side by side series is a bad idea for a newcomer.

The short answer is they can vent or explode.

For better answers and safety info start with these threads then have a good look around BLF.

This thread has some links to another forum with more images of what can happen when things don’t go as planned.

Edit- Also a good place to start Lithium-ion Safety Concerns - Battery University