Newbie Advice For Flashlight Xmas Gift For My Father

Hi, I came across your excellent forum and am looking for advice for the brightest 18650 flashlight for under £20 (I’m in in the UK) for a christmas gift for my father. He will be using it as general use flashlight for anything and everything from walking at night to using it when doing repairs on his car.

After research, I have come across these:

Convoy C8 XM-L T6-3C (£10.86):

Convoy C8 XML2 T6-4C (£10.36 after BLF discount code):

Ultrafire CREE XM-L T6 C8 (£9.98):

TrustFire 3T6 (£16.99):

1) Which of these would you recommend? Or are there other options that would be a better choice?

2) Is the BangGood Convoy C8 XML2 better than the FastTech Convoy C8 XM-L? As they are both very similar in price

3) Is the 3T6 significantly brighter than the C8 models and worth the extra price? (The difference in physical size isn’t an issue. And we already own 2x 18650 protected batteries)

4) The BangGood has two options, the “XML2 T6-4C” and the “XML2 T6-4C SMO”. What does the SMO mean? And which is the better one to get?

Thank you for any advice :slight_smile:

If your dad doesn’t know how to take care of lithium ion batteries it can be very dangerous to give them to someone with no knowledge of how to use them.
Does he know how to store, charge, and use them ?.
I don’t want to put you off, but it is important.

1). The C8 is a very good all-around light, it’s reasonably pocketable (and you can buy a sheath or make a lanyard if that doesn’t work).

2). I would advise the one with the 3C tint as 4C is going to have yellower light, where the 3C will look like sunlight. Do some research into Banggood and Fasttech and decide which you’re more comfortable ordering from. There are many, many places from which to buy C8s. If you have a soldering iron and decent skills with it you can even buy a host and put the emitter and driver in it yourself, which gives you even more options.

3.) The 3T6 has three emitters as opposed to one. They’re driven less intensely than a single-emitter light but because a LED’s output is a logarithmic curve three emitters each driven at one amp put out more light than one emitter driven to 3 amps. IIRC the 3T6 puts out ~ 1200-1600 lumens stock. You have to be careful though, there exist clones of the 3T6 with inferior drivers (and in my case the emitters were physically separated from the heatsink with epoxy). 16 GBP sounds a little cheap for a genuine Trustfire, I’d pass.

4.) ‘SMO’ refers to the reflector, indicating a smooth surface. ‘OP’ is ab abbreviation for Orange Peel. Smooth reflectors give a tighter, more focused beam, orange-peel reflectors give a wider, smoother spill. Get whichever you think you need more, throw or spill.

[EDIT]: StyXSIS is right, Li-Ions require a higher level of attention given that the chemical energy in Li-ions, combined with their relative fragility. There are plenty of AA-powered lights that are decent enough. A real Trustfire 3T6 will even run on 4 rechargable AA’s (albiet only for 20 minutes…)

Thanks for the responses.

I will be sure to advise my dad about the best storage and charging practices for Li-Ion batteries.

I have researched into both BangGood and FastTech. FastTech seems to be more popular and reputable, BangGood does have a couple of bad experience reports but generally I would feel comfortable ordering from either as I will have PayPal protection if anything did go wrong.

The BangGood is an XML2 whereas the FastTech is an XM-L.

1) Would I be right in assuming the BangGood torch will therefore theoretically be brighter than the FastTech as it has the newer LED?

2) Does this look like a genuine TrustFire TR-3T6 for £19.53 from DealXtreme? :

Thanks again

what about the Xintd X3 at banggood, that can use 3x aa batteries so no li-on worries there.
Other wise the Convoy C8 from banggood as it is on offer here so you can get 15% off it rather than the 8% BLF gives. Option wise the XML2 T6-4C for a warm yellowy light or XML2 U2-1A for a whiter light but not the SMO (smooth) option as that just increases throw and won’t suit the uses you listed.

Actually another contender would be the Convoy M1 or M2 from banggood, they should be a bit more floody than the C8 which may be preferred also you could get $4 off of these from this Banggood christmas rush time - free $4 coupons to be won easily

oh and you say you already have some protected 18650 batteries, what are they?

bgfmc code will give you better discount on BG convoy C8 (£9.57).

You know, the fake I bought looked real in pictures and the only way I found out later that it was a copy was

-Anodizing wasn’t as good as on my X9
-No Trustfire sticker on the inside of the battery tube at the tail end
-Driver did not look like a real 3T6 driver
-LED’s were wired in series, real 3T6 has them wired in parallel.

I know that the one Fasttech sells is a real 3T6, and you can even get the stainless-steel-bezel version as well. 20 GBP is kinda in the ballpark for a real one, but being DX you likely wouldn’t see it until next year. :smiley:

Thanks for the advice. With the new discount codes, I can get:

Convoy C8 for £8.76
Convoy M1 for £10.18
Convoy M2 for £14.17

They all use the same LED and the same driver, so I assume they are all the same brightness?

I don’t understand why there is such a large price difference between the three torches, I cant find any details of what exactly is different between them each apart from the physical appearance of them.

Are there differences between them apart from the physical appearance?

Thanks and sorry for all the newbie questions but I just want to get a good torch for my father!

I have 2x of the green Panasonic 16850 batteries which I believe are decent quality

I went ahead and ordered the “Convoy M1 7135*8 XML2 U2-1A” because it has the brass inserts that the C8 does not have and there is not much price difference between them. Now hopefully it arrives in the post before Christmas!