New and need help selecting a flashlight

Let me sum up safety:

  • Use quality cells from Panasonic, Sony, LG, Sanyo or Samsung, or a rewrapped protected battery based on one of those
  • Again, use quality cells - especially not any brand with “fire” in the name (though I guess Surefire sells an 18650 now, and that’s OK)
  • Use a good charger - anything from Nitecore, Efest or Xtar should be fine
  • When using batteries in series, make sure they’re the same kind and the same level of charge
  • Stop using batteries when they’re low (in most cases, the light will get very dim and may start blinking), and recharge them within days, not weeks or months

That last bit is especially important with two in series, or they can be severely over-discharged or even reverse-charged, which will damage the battery and may cause it to vent. A quality battery venting isn’t all that dangerous or dramatic, but it does ruin the battery and could damage the device it’s in.

Does anybody know if the L4’s low-voltage warning works with two cells in series? If not, I would recommend non-experts not use it that way.

Update: this is the driver from the Convoy L4. It does have a low-voltage warning for two cells in series at 5.8V.

You’re welcome, I’m glad to help!

The standard LED Maglights are not even in the same league as these. The Mag XL50 is a small pocket light with 100-200 lumens max. It is bright to the average person, however I once gifted one of those and felt bad about it because the output was so weak compared to what I’m used to in a light that size.

I assume the 3D mag you have is the standard version (168 lumens) not the ML300 (625 lumens)? Compared to the standard 168 lumen 3D mag light these lights will “completely blow it out of the water”

The 625 lumen ML300 series 3D mag appears to be quite an improvement over their previous designs, however these 18650 powered lights will easily have as much if not more output and you’re comparing a pocketable size light that pretty much fits in your hand to one that is a nearly foot long and about one pound in weight, and eats batteries that you will have to keep replacing. So based on size alone there’s no comparison.

Since your asking about the side by side configuration I assume you are interested in the Small Sun ZY-T08 that I linked. That one runs the batteries in parallel, not series. Parallel configuration is safer than series it cuts the current drain in half, it also provides the option to run a single battery at the same brightness. The ZY-T08 is said to be an excellent thrower.

Here is a link to a nice review on the Small Sun:


With any Li-ion flashlight you should have a voltmeter/multi-meter to check battery voltages, especially for multi cell lights. Even a cheap one will do for checking battery voltages (or the free one from Harbor Freight Tools w/coupon with any purchase) For single cell lights you could get away without one if the light has a built in low voltage indication feature.

The other posts with the links provided above answer the safety concerns for a 2 cell series flashlight (batteries usually end to end) and multi battery lights.


For the 2 cell lights consider they are larger in size, and the battery run time for the single cell lights are pretty good, especially on the lower levels. Whats nice about the X6 is its compact size, so its more portable if you decide to take it along on a walk, hike, outing or trip, instead of it being a home use only light.

Compared to a 3D mag light you will be surprised how it outputs so much better for its size. With 3 brightness levels you can lower the output when needed to conserve battery power for extend run time. Just get 2 of the Samsung 26F batteries and you can keep the spare handy if needed.

The Samsung 26F cells from where I linked reportedly are good, but here is another place to buy them that was linked in another reply as well (USA based and the owner is forum member here) Although they’re a few dollars more than the ones from the Chinese shop you can be more certain you are getting the high-quality Seiko protection circuit:

Another option for checking voltage is a charger with a digital display like the Nitecore D2. If you have no other use for a multimeter, that’s a good option. It’s a pretty inexpensive charger.

Good point, the single bay Nitecore DM10 I linked has a digital display however I don’t believe it displays actual voltage but shows remaining battery power as a percentage, which should be sufficient to check your battery status.

The better choice would be dual bay Nitecore D2 zak recommended as it does display voltage and would also be useful if you want to charge 2 batteries simultaneously.

Here’s a reputable USA shop that sells the D2 for a low price:
Even after shipping charges the price is still lower than GearBest.

Wow I really need to buy one of these! I thought my maglite xl50 was crazy bright so now I’m really curious about how the x6 would compare! I have a volt meter already so I’m able to check batteries. We also have a few vaporizing shops around now so that answeres my concern about local availability if I ever needed to get them. I also heard a commercial on the radio today about a battery warehouse in my town and they said they carry nonstandard battery sizes for flashlights, so ill have to go check that too. So the eagle x6 is the next light I will hopefully buy very soon! I’ve seen the batteries you recommended, if I didn’t have a $25isj price range are there batteries you’d recommend over them? Thanks again.

Dude… dmspit… welcome aboard.

You’ve been given a TON of excellent info in this thread, plenty to get started and then some, so I don’t have anything to add other than I have some of the lights mentioned, and their AWEsome.

You’re in for a world of shock when you get a good quality li-ion powered light for the first time. At this point, i personally get teary eyed whenever I see someone using a pathetic 5-15 lumen incan flashlight…

related story: fire rescue crews and police showed up to my neighbors house to investigate a possible gas leak/fire hazard… only ONE out of probably 8 guys had a decent LED light. The rest were struggling to see in the dark with half dead incan lights with horrible beam profiles… I would be seriously concerned about their ability to do their job with the lights they had. I honestly got worried for them.

Also, I’d start putting cash aside to budget for your new addiction.

You probably won’t be using either of you Maglites anymore :wink:

Yes, the Samsung 26F battery I recommended has been reported to perform equally if not better than the higher priced Panasonic NCR18650B, so for the money the next better protected battery choice would be this one: Sanyo/Panasonic NCR18650GA Protected 3500mAh

Highly recommended If you can afford it, it is the “top of the line” protected 18650 and will have longer runtime before needing recharged, and also provide higher amperage draw for extra output in certain lights.

Yes, the Samsung 26F battery I recommended has been reported to perform equally if not better than the higher priced Panasonic NCR18650B

On what metric? Certainly not total capacity - not according to HKJ’s tests:

That NCR18650GA also doesn’t appear to exceed the capacity of the old -B.

What the 26F will do is keep output stable in most regulated lights for about 5 minutes longer before it starts to trail off. The Sanyo UR18650FM is the winner in that department though.

LG MJ1 3500 mAh cells look to be pretty good, and they’re around $8 from both Illumn and Mountain Electronics. I’d go with those.

Also you may want to consider this:

There is currently a group buy in the works for a custom BLF Special Edition X6 (version 2). The group buy consists of a set of 2 flashlights the X6 and a “mini” version called the X5. The X5 uses a smaller size 14500 rechargeable battery. (the 14500 is basically the same size as an AA) Either of the Nitecore chargers can also charge a 14500.


The flashlights are being custom made to BLF members preferred specifications and will have more output than a standard X6 when used with high discharge (unprotected) IMR batteries. You can still use high capacity protected batteries in them for longer runtime, then later when you are more comfortable working with Li-Ion batteries you can try the unprotected high discharge batteries for “turbocharged” output.


You must buy the set, they will not be available separately for the group buy. You can choose your set either in the usual black aluminum, or a set with a stainless/copper X6 and an all copper X5 (for double the price).

EDIT: The price of a set in black aluminum is estimated to be around $45/set, so you can think of it as getting a custom X6 for $25 and the X5 mini version for $20, which are really great prices and would replace both of your Maglites. Also there will be some waiting involved to go this route, the flashlights are still in the pre-production prototype/testing stages and will hopefully be available for order by Christmas :wink: .


The flashlights user interface (UI) will be more technical than a standard X6, but will allow for user configuration of preferred of mode selections.

For guaranteed availability and price you must commit to a set in the group buy thread here:

I don’t think the prices are firm yet.

See posted prices just above the sign-up lists.

Sorry, I don’t know about the metric. The statement was not derived from my own testing or comparison of battery graphs. That’s why I used the words: has “been reported” to perform equally.
I’m not a battery expert, and don’t claim to be, to clarify I only recommended batteries that have “been reported” to be good through my own research here on BLF.

The comparison was based on a post by a member here who did use HJK’s comparator and stated that the 26F had more “usable” capacity because they measure the Panasonic B’s capacity down to 2.5vdc, and since we typically would not be running a light when battery voltage is that low.


Here is the post/thread where I got the info comparing the 26F to the NCR18650B.

This is the actual quote by (bugsy36):

“I used the battery tests on HJK’s comparator. I found that in most cases the Samsung 26F have me more usable capacity than the Panasonic B’s because they measure the Panasonic capacity down to 2.5vdc”


Another consideration for the comparison was price, with the 26F at $3-$6 a peice being around half the price (or less) than the NCR18560B.
I recommended it to the OP here for that reason since he had a $25 budget.

I personally would like to learn more about the comparison between the 26F and the NCR18650B, and if the 18650B is really worth nearly double the price?

The protected LG MJ1 3500 mAh is $9.45 at Mountain (we’re talking protected cells here for the OP) It appears Illumn doesn’t sell the protected version.


For myself I’d like to learn why the LG MJ1 is a better choice than the Sanyo/Panasonic GA? (both unprotected) It does appear to be a good deal at $8 a piece if they’re pretty much equal.


Zak, I’m not sure why but none of the links in your last post seem to be working, at least not for me, it shows “page cannot be displayed” Could you check them please?

Maybe it’s a glitch with my system but I checked and all other links in the thread work, including your link to the L4 driver in one of your previous posts.

Thanks for pointing that out, I edited my post with the correction.

For some reason I thought the alum set was estimated at $40, did it get raised at some point? (Or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention when I read it)

Zak, I’m not sure why but none of the links in your last post seem to be working, at least not for me, it shows “page cannot be displayed” Could you check them please?

Textile doesn’t like the parens in the URLs. I tried escaping them a couple different ways, but they neither seems to work right and I don’t feel like fussing with it anymore.

I see what you’re saying about the 26F; its discharge curve is very close to the NCR18650B at say, 3A until it hits around 3.3V and promptly falls on its face. The NCR18650B continues to trail off slowly. HJK tests to 2.8V, by which point the voltage is dropping so fast that a series or boost light that ran them down to 2.5 would get less than a minute of extra runtime.

So if the 26F is that cheap, then yes, it’s a good value.

I think protected cells are overrated and a false sense of security and rarely recommend them, even to beginners. Use a good charger. Physically protect batteries from shorts. Only install identical batteries in the same state of charge in series. Know how your devices respond to low voltage; in the case of the L4, there’s a cutoff whether it’s using one cell or two. My main exception to that would be a series light without a low-voltage shutoff like the Fenix TK61.