Recommendation for 3 mode drop-in

My first post here, so hello to everyone! It seems like a very friendly group of folks. I am Joanne and live out in Las Vegas. I spend a lot of my free time camping, and more recently, exploring old mines. Following are the details that will give a background for my question.

When I started exploring I purchased a Princeton Tec Apex Pro to mount on my helmet. As you probably know, that particular light runs on CR123A primaries. Additionally I purchased a Streamlight PT2L as a pocket light. It also runs on CR123A primaries. This combination worked well for me but I am finding that I don’t care for the ongoing cost and inconvenience of using the 123 primaries.

I am now rethinking and refining my lighting setup. I have recently acquired a new headlamp from a dear friend in England who manufactures a limited number of headlamps specifically for mine exploring. It has one bare LED for flood and a reflector/LED combination for throw. It is powered by a 3 x 18650 battery pack for great run times. I purchased a Turnigy Accucel 6 charger so I can recharge the battery packs from my truck battery when we are out on multiple day exploring trips. Next, I am going to mount my Streamlight on the helmet as my emergency backup light. The storage life of the CR123A batteries are a benefit since the backup light should rarely be used. The light’s throw and run time are adequate to get me out of most of the places I go.

I need to replace my pocket light and I am thinking of a Solar Force L2P with a pocket clip, running on a single 18650, and a three mode drop-in. These lights take a ton of abuse so I don’t want a fancy, high-dollar light. Soooooo, here’s where I am looking for some input. I would like a drop-in with some spill but good throw since I use this light to illuminate shafts or deep stopes. I realize that there are better throwers than this configuration, but I need a light that easily fits into my pocket and runs off rechargeables.

What would be a good choice of a three mode drop-in for this host/battery configuration?

Also, does the L2P come with a glass or plastic lens?

Thanks in advance,


I would recommend the Solarforce low voltage drop in so you can get all the juice out of your batteries in an emergency it will drain the batteries down to nothing in an emergency.

Stay away from direct drive and budget drop ins when putting a light together for something as critical as mine exploration.

I have made some custom drop ins for just this purpose with extremely low firefly low modes that will run for days on one battery.

The L2P is a great choice for this application and it comes with a glass lens. Ligthound also carries those if you don't feel like waiting for a shipment from China.

I recommend Lumens Factory 3 Mode High CRI Dropin.

Photo below is on high mode (190 lumens)

While we are on this topic, what is the best value these days in XM-L P60 drop-ins? I need to get a couple 3-mode XM-L drop-ins, prefer SMO reflector, but have not watched the market for a few months. What to you think is the best value with decent brightness? Still Manafont? Please don't tell me DD or CQG, I just won't go that route.

Well, I ended up buying two L2Ps, Solarforce low voltage XML dropins, and pocket clips. I assembled them, dropped in freshly charged 18650s, and out came some wonderful light. It appears to be a bit brighter than the Streamlight, but the hotspot is much larger and has wonderful spill.

My only complaint is with the fact that the power button is recessed so far into the tail cap. It's not a design problem as much as it is a problem with my hands. I have some arthritis in my fingers so I want to use my thumb to turn the light on and off. Unfortunately my nails are a bit too long for me to get my thumb down in to press the button. I saw where one of the guys did a beautiful job grinding the crenelates in his tail cap. Mine won't look that nice but hopefully they will allow me to easily turn the light on and off.


Do you have a pic of that recessed switch?

Have you tried using your finger knuckle (if that is the right word) to operate switch? It probably requires two handed operation, but will probably be easier than operating with long fingernails.

Knuckle switching works on all my flashlights, and as far as I can feel, knuckles are much stronger than fingertips for this.


The tailcap from the L2T will work.

I have been happy with Solarforce 3 mode xml drop-in. OTF lumens on high is around 500.

Hi Viktor,

I don't have a photo right now. I can certainly use two hands to turn it on but for me it would be more convenient to be able to turn it on with one hand. I carry a light in my pocket when I am out mine exploring and want to be able to grab it out and turn it on with one hand. If I am hanging on a rope then I must be able to turn it on with one hand. I will most likely grind the tail cap to resemble a tactical tail cap.


So, you manage to maintain long fingernails and hang from ropes at the same time? :)


I got to try out my new light in a mine today and I have to say that I am REALLY pleased with it. The particular mine has some very large stopes in it and the light could light up every nook and cranny that I pointed it at. I will be interested to see how it holds up under the kind of use that I will give it. I will be heading to England this summer to do some exploring there so it will be exposed to a seriously wet environment.

Victor, yes I can generally keep my nails and hang from ropes. I walk into shop and my nail lady will ask, "So what were you doing THIS time?"


Oh yeah,

I forgot to say thank you all for the suggestions and information that I needed! I don't mind spending money on items that work well, but I just hate to waste my money on junk that doesn't work, or overpriced and under performing items. You guys helped me find a good price/performance (that is what I call VALUE) light for my money. Thanks!