New Flashlight Confusion

So I want to get a new very powerful flashlight and I am slightly confused:

Initially I wanted to get this, but it went out of stock: UltraFire 7XT6 7 x CREE XM-L T6 3-Mode 4200LM White Flashlight w/ Strap - Black (4 x 18650)

Then I saw theese, which are even better on paper:

RichFire RF-344 5235lm White 3-Mode LED Flashlight w/ 7 x Cree XM-L2 U2 - Black + Silver (4 x 18650)
RichFire RF-343 4500lm White 3-Mode LED Flashlight w/ 6 x Cree XM-L2 U2 - Black + Silver (4 x 18650)

Can you please tell me if there is something wrong with these chinese companies pricing?
What makes the top flashlight cheaper, than the bottom one, when it is better?

Also a few lame questions?:
1 - XM-L2 U2 is the best LED currently, apart from the rare U3. Correct?
2 - The specs for the 7x model says the current is 7A, but how is this distributed between the emitters? I am trying to see where it stands according to this table ?
3 - What is the actual lumens to be expected?
4 - What about the expected actual runtime with 4 x 18650? 2-3 hours realistic?
5 - Is there anything brighter in this price bracket (under $50)?

Thank you :slight_smile:

The big problem with these is that you have no idea how good or incredibly awful the thermal path is on these. The first clones had a decent path, but it's getting really bad with the newest clones and offshoots. Lumens are always a big issue too. I think it's very unlikely that either of those lights has a different driver than those used in other SRK style lights, so I don't believe that 7A current claim at all. You should see greater output because the LED's are more efficient when run at lower currents.

Don't believe bin claims either, especially from a no name company. That could kill whatever efficiencies having more emitters would have provided.

You'd be better off with something that doesn't have a clone yet, like a Supfire M6. Or even the Solarstorm T4. If you mod them with a BLFDD driver and put those emitters on Noctigon mcpcb's and you'll see nearly 5000 lumens.

Welcome to the forum , CYPER .

DX says that it draws 7A. Those 7 emitters are almost certainly in parallel. That would mean 1A per emitter. From CREE’s data sheet on the XM=L2 U2, that would be 412 lumen per emitter. 7x412=2884. DX’s false “honesty” states that the theoretical lumen output would be 6300, but the actual is 5235. That would NOT be true. All that, if you can believe the 7A draw, so who knows?
If it indeed does draw 7A then each of the 4 cells, also in parallel would be pushing 1.75A. If you had Panasonic 3400’s, you get get 2 hours. Anything less than those cells would give you less runtime.
$33 seems like a decent price for what it is.

Hi CYPER and welcome to the forum.

Unless you are willing to modify them, I would stay away for these lights. I like to mod lights and I still stay away from them as they are just too much of a hassle to fix all the problems they are plagued with these days. They were OK at one time, but companies are now making them cheap as possible (and I mean real cheap) and selling them a prices based on the reputation they had built in the past. Richfire seems like an appropriate name for these lights. Someone is getting rich selling these cheapos and the poor emitters are on fire dying prematurely due to no thermal connection to the shell. It may be that these 2 particular lights are no so bad, but it is highly unlikely.

I would recommend the Supfire M6 for this format of light. Same price range and a very high quality light. More emitters is not a good thing in my opinion. In this small of a light, I think 3 or 4 emitters is the limit. After that point, you are just getting flood and limited throw. The emitter reflector dishes become smaller diameter and shallower as more emitters are added. A wall of light sounds good in theory, but it's also a wall that you can not see beyond. Fine if you just want to illuminate the immediate area. To me, you get plenty of flood with 3 and 4 emitters.

Best wishes on your decision.

LOL

+1

Always a gamble buying such lights these days. Some of them require quite a bit of work in order to become decent.

Welcome to the forum CYPER

I have no intentions, nor knowledge on modifying these. I just want to get a decent flashlight and judging by the reviews on DX most of these are good value for money.
For example the first one has 5 guys giving it 5 stars.
I biught MTE SSC P7 C-Bin 900-Lumen 2-Mode LED Flashlight and X2000 Flood-to-Throw Zooming Glass Optics Cree P4-WC LED Flashlight (1*18650) from DX at the end of 2009 and these still work great, apart from the loose connection, when twisting the cap on the MTE.

I was mostly interested in the reasons behind the big price difference between 2 seemingly equal flashlights.
Also if 7 emitters are too many, is there a better flashlight on DX that is as bright and as cheap as the 2nd one from my 1st post.

Thank you.

Only useful to the extent you are sure the person writing the review is not being paid for writing favorable reviews. You’ll get better advice in the forums here than you will at most any seller’s site.

I think it's as much stupid reviews on ebay, Amazon, etc. complaining that the light gets hot. Manufacturers 'fixed' the 'problem'.

It is very easy to be confused if you believe product descriptions of cheap flashlights with vague origins. Mainly because they have very little to do with reality.

After a few bad purchases most realize this and will only buy flashlights after seeing a favorable review by someone they trust, for instance on this forum.

It seems that the number of easy marks are going down. So more serious flashlight manufacturers and resellers actually give flashlights away to people to review, in order to sell. Interesting development...

CYPER, to answer your questions, the first one does not include batteries or a charger while the 2nd does -- that's why the 2nd one is a lot more money. Also in general, the XM-L2 U2 is the brightest 3.5-4V LED around, but the new XP-L could be brighter, depending...

I agree with above comments, but it's up to you to take the chance - you could get lucky with it. Both lights have the XM-L2 emitters. The batteries are probably not too good though - we stay away from those Chinese cells, mostly. If the LED's are truly a U2 bin, not a bad deal on paper.

History and experience has shown us here that there's lots of garbage out there with this particular style light, and the more and higher rated emitters doesn't mean it will be brighter. Also reviews may have good intentions, but it's so hard to determine relative - one guy's brightness is another guy's disappointment. Again, you could get lucky - if you order one, let us know how it works out!

Thank you for your keen observation skills. I don’t know how I missed the included charger or batteries, lol :slight_smile: Now it makes sense.

I will definitely get one as I only want it for the WOW factor and not because I need it. One review perfectly describes why I want it:

In regards to the batteries I will get 6 of the trusted ones from DX: TrustFire Protected 18650 3.7V True 2400mAh Rechargeable Lithium Batteries (2-Pack)
And 2 of these charges: http://www.dx.com/p/digital-li-ion-18650-battery-charger-6105#.VBiTb_ldUph

I would not go as far to believe that all reviews on the site are fake or paid. I think most of them are genuine for real people :wink:

Best wishes on your order. I sincerely hope I was wrong and you get a good light. You may very well get a decent light.

The most important thing to check on the light will be the connection of the pill to the head of the light. That requires pulling the driver which sounds like something you're not ready to do. In lieu of that, you could unscrew the bezel to remove the o-ring and lens. If the reflector just falls out, the light has a "floating" pill (<- check 2nd picture in link) that is not connected to the head. This is a very bad thing if you plan to use the light for anything other than short "Wow" bursts. I would demand a refund if that is the case. Take pictures for evidence. Be very careful handling the reflector. The finish on it is very fragile and you don't want to touch the reflective finish.

Please keep us posted and best wishes again.

If I were you, I would consider getting an i4 charger, and sanyo 2600mah cells…
Do yourself a favour, and spend a bit of time on the forum gathering info on the light/batteries/chargers you are/should be considering, there are many people on here with plenty experience which may prove helpful to you.
Welcome!

It's been proven TrustFire cells have been cloned with an inferior design, again, you could get lucky. The Sanyo's and i4 charger I agree with. I think we've all been there, done that... I got a few UltraFire and TrustFire cells I don't touch accept in extreme desperation Smile - when tested for capacity, they always show much lower than rated.

Define much lower please. The ones I linked to has many reviews stating that they are very close to the advertised mAh. I find it hard to believe that all reviews are faked or from people who don’t know what they are talking about.

I have also used these since the end of 2009 and they still work.
And the charger I used them with was the cheapest on DX and apart from one of the LEDs being inconsistent it still charges.

Btw is that i4 charger you are speaking of the Nitecore Intellicharge i4 V2
If it is it looks very similar to this faked one I assume SingFire US-UC1 4-Slot Intelligent Universal Battery Charger
I might get it, cause it is quite cheap at Amazon.

I stand corrected - you could be ok with those cells - DX is emphasizing "true" etc. I've had a couple TF 2400 flames die over time while never had a failed Japanese cell, but your call again.

Illum has the i4 charger for $13.49, plus shipping but in US. Oops - your in London... GearBest has it for $20.21 --> $19 after promo code of MAXY Smile.

I would check GearBest thoroughly for pricing comparisons.

Is this the same thing?
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Nitecore-Intellicharger-i4-Battery-Charger-For-18650-26650-Li-ion-Ni-MH-Cd-LB0445/1906323798.html?currencyType=GBP&af=ppc&isdl=y&src=Google&albch=Google&aff_short_key=6vYvMRFf&gclid=CjwKEAjwv9-gBRD5ofn2jd2N0UUSJACcdils5-M21s5wUDjIq3FY1H2IJVQTHmddsJuCPqzKX7aa-RoCn4nw_wcB

Yes - just make sure you get the proper power adapter/plug. i4's also have a car adapter I think...

Whatever you do, NEVER, EVER buy from lightmalls.com. And be careful, because the same company has a couple of other websites. I purchased two CREE hunting lights in June 2013. They are powerful enough, but both lights started blinking off from poor connections. Then the first time I dropped one (from a sitting position so very short fall) the bulb separated and there is no way to fix it. Now neither light works. I have fully charged, quality batteries from a local battery specialist store.

Also, lightmalls did not include the DC charging cord for my i4 intellicharger. I have now been corresponding with ‘Sunny’ at lightmallls for 3 months. Sunny continues to respond with the most insane responses as if I had not provided enough info. I have provided the order number at least 7 times and the STRING of emails has ALL the info. To date, Sunny continues to stall.

Notice there are NO REVIEWS on the lightmalls.com site. Wow, wonder why. These are the most incompetent thieves, wait, they are very competent thieves…very incompetent business people.

Next purchase is from a reputable company with reviews and testimonials.

Of the now 29 emails we have exchanged, here is an excerpt of the either gross incompetence or outright stalling by Sunny. Notice I made it VERY easy and plain and the order number is in every email. I even sent the original order confirmation from lightmalls.com

On Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 1:14 AM, sales <sales@lightmalls.com> wrote:
Hi billy

Problems:

  1. The bulb in one flashlight came off the mounting and there is no way to fix it.
    Sunny’s response: Please tell me your order number and which model flashlight , so that I can know how to help you .

2. The second flashlight worked intermittently, but now has quit working and will not turn on.
Sunny’s response: Please tell me your order number and which model flashlight , so that I can know how to help you.

3. I received the Nitecore i4 Intellicharger, but the cord to plug into an automobile outlet was not in the box.
Sunny’s response: Please tell me your order number and take some pictures to show me what else do you want .

Best regards
Sunny

Date: 2014-09-05 05:13
To: sales
Subject: Re: Fwd: lightmalls.com: New Order # LM00021252
NO, NO, NO! Please just follow numbers 1, 2 and 3 under Solutions!

AGAIN…
Order # LM00021252

I purchased two Cree lights UniqueFire HS-802 green long range LED MO310

Problems:

  1. The bulb in one flashlight came off the mounting and there is no way to fix it.
  2. The second flashlight worked intermittently, but now has quit working and will not turn on.
  3. I received the Nitecore i4 Intellicharger, but the cord to plug into an automobile outlet was not in the box.

I have two new batteries purchased here that are fully charged so that is NOT the problem.

Solutions to problems above:

  1. Send replacement part (lightbulb assembly) or a new flashlight.
  2. Send a replacement flashlight.
  3. Send the DC charging cord.

My purchase order info is all in this email thread.