Review: Palight C8 R5 (sku 6374 from Manafont)

As promised, here's a quick review of the Palight C8 I received yesterday from Manafont. I placed the order 3-7-11 and on 3-11-11 Jim e-mailed saying they were out of the silver version and offered the black one instead of waiting. So, order placed 3-7-11, received 3-26-11. 19 days which, as far as I'm concerned is an acceptable turnaround when we're talking $2 shipping Hong Kong Post. The price for the Palight today on Manafont is $17.99 but my invoice shows I paid $16.99.

Conclusions for people who don't care to read my drivel: For a $17 torch, the solidly constructed Palight is a great value. With its superb Cree XP-G/R5 emitter mounted relatively deep in a large, smooth refector, the Palight C8 makes a lot of light for not-a-lot-of money.

The down side: Fit and finish is adequate at this price point. There are no functional flaws but the aluminum has an almost-finished look/feel with a few nicks on some edges. The anodization is not impressive and it's easy to imagine this light looking old and used very quickly.

Emitter: Cree XP-G/R5

Battery Type: 1 18650

Maximum Voltage: I have no idea.

Switch Type: tail cap, reverse clicky

Modes: 5 mode; high/medium/low/fast strobe/SOS, last mode memory

Lens: glass

Reflector: smooth then flat around emitter

Amps at the tail: with 1 x 18650 (specs do not list CR123 as I originally reported so, can be moved in the correct forum (sir) if you like) <<<update>>>

highest measured

high: 1.60

medium: .50

low: .06

Light does not appear to be rated for water and therefore, I did not do a submerge/shower test.

The light arrived in my mail box packaged thus:

Upon unwrapping I found a somewhat shiny, six inch long flashlight with a smooth reflector in a head 1 3/4 inches in diameter.

The light arrived in good condition, slightly oily, with o-rings that were nearly dry. The laynard is a plus I suppose but I'm not overly impressed with the forgettable looks of this flaslight. It has what appear to be three cooling fins below the head that are probably aesthetic. I'm not sure if the XP-G is pushed hard enough to require a cooling solution but it does make me wonder if a more robust driver/emitter might benefit from this design.

Anyway, I took the light apart for inspection and to lube the threads/o-rings with NexTorch silicone grease. My other cat, "Marx" shared my wife's indifference to the Satruday afternoon flashlight photography session on our kitchen counter.

Reflective coating is a little rough around the emitter opening.

One curious thing on the tail cap contact plunger (is that what you call it?) is this little point that didn't get clipped after coming off the lathe. /speculation

It does not look this bad in real life but I included this close-up to justify my comments about the aluminum finish and anodizing. It almost looks like paint.

Beam shot on the left is a Solarforce Skyline I (XR-E/WC/R2) with 2 CR123s. On the right is the Palight C8 with one 18650. (XP-G/R5) Cactus in the corner is 55 feet away and both were taken at 1/4 second shutter speed @ f2.8.

As you can see, the Palight is no slouch. The hot spot is very defined and although the slightly smaller reflector is less deep than the Skyline, it throws suprisingly well. Of course, it does not have the near two block reach of the Skyline (dedicated thrower) but this is not a single purpose flashlight. The Palight will throw better than most XP-G equipped P60 style torches and has a spill brighter than many floody-only lights.

And therin lies this flashlight's raison d'etre; there are floodier flashlights that cannot throw as well and there are throwers that leave the critical two or three feet around your ankles completely in the dark, both costing much more than this flashlight. For the price of a mediocre lunch for two, the Palight C8 is a very bright, well built flashlight.

I give it 3 and a half out of 5 Foys.


GreatreviewFoy. IhopeyoufiledawaythattailcapnonsesnsethatcoulddamageyourbatteryFoy.

Very detailed pictures.

Good review ! ... Did you remove the protrusion from the neg plunger on the tailcap ?

I did. Wanted to get a picture first then, tapped it with a flat screwdriver and it popped right off.



Yep; had to break that sucker loose too.



Hey there Foy, those are some impressive close-up shots, and an excellent job with the teardown review. Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

I added one of your pictures to the top of the review for the frontpage teaser. And if you want, don't forget that here on BLF direct links to the product page where you bought the flashlight are permitted and even encouraged.

Thanks again for the nice review!

VerynicereviewFoy 8) What camera do you have/used?

Great pics


Thanks for the review, Foy. Like you, I saw the orginal thread on this light here and placed my order on 3/08. My C8 also arrived yesterday and I was thinking of doing a post on it, but you beat me to it. I also got the email that silver was not available and got the black one. For the poster that asked, here's the link to the products in question. The emitter was supposed to be a Q5, but this one came with an R5 and my price was also $16.99. Mine doesn't appear to be quite as beat up as yours, overall in very good shape. For the price it's fine, but I worry about using it as a bike light. Doing backyard tests it has flickered a few times and I've had to shake it to get it to come on, which are not good features on a bumpy trail.

A while ago I posted a review of this SSC P7 torch. The two lights looked to be almost identical in appearance, but on close side by side inspection, they are not the same body. The C8 has a whiter light, is a longer thrower (smooth reflector vs the orange peel on the P7 I guess) and is not as floody. This is good for me, as they complement each other if I choose to ride with both. With this light I also purchased two Ultrafire 3000 mah batteries and a cheap two bay charger, so for the same setup, I paid less than 1/2 for the C8 package vs what I paid for the P7 package. I know this is forum is about budget lights, but I actually feel better about my original purchase, which seems to be a much higher quality build, a two year warranty on the torch, charger and batteries and has quick shipping in the event of a warranty claim. On the other hand, the C8 has an additional mode (Hi/Med/Low) which will be useful. Glad I purchased the C8, now I'm up to 5 torches (+2 bar lights) and my wife is rolling her eyes - I think I might have a problem....

My camera is a Canon Power Shot SX20 IS.

I actually got this light because Squidboy posted a link. I think I'm going to load it with primaries and put it in my wife's car to roll around until she (hopfully does not) have need for it.


That head is actually 2 pieces (made to look like 1) -- can you take apart/unscrew the head? Or is it glued? If you can get the top part off, you could have a "candlestick" mode. I'm looking for something I know positively will do that. If anyone can mention if theirs is unglued too (esp if it's a different model, like the DX DIY one)--please let me know. I'm assuming they're all glued, as in the seller's dissembled pics, the head is still together.

Also, can you unscrew the pill from the head? I'd like to see what the pill looks like. I wonder if it's compatible with the other C8 variants (as well as its tailcap).

Your reflector looks different than standard C8-like models. Seems better--narrower, set up for throwing.

I sound like a broken record, but manufacturers need to start making interchangeable pills for this type of flashlight. And stop gluing pieces together. Most of these were made for P7 or MC-E's and therefore have pills which are already driven for 2.5-3 amps, and the stars seem to be as easy to replace as anything I've seen.

In my old Spiderfire P7 (same type of body as those discussed), I can't even unscrew the head from the flashlight tube. I ruined the finish baking it, scratched it using vise-grip pliers trying to unscrew it... ripped the boot, and later the switch died. I'd like to have one which worked, and came apart properly. I used to love it, but now I'm really mad at it. Recommendations on how to unglue my head would be appreciated. No success no matter what I do. I don't have a vise but I have a pen blowtorch. And yes I really want to be able to do candlestick mode.

The bezel unscrews, lens/reflector comes out and none of that is glued. (hope I didn't misunderstand the question) The emitter base screws in ala tail cap switch, with the two divots (?) I use my wife's tweezers to unscrew. Want me to take the emitter base out?


Yes Foy, I would much appreciate comparing your pill to the others. Others seem to be brass... yours is made out of....?

When I was talking about the head, I didn't mean the bezel. Even in my crap Spiderfire P7, I can unscrew the bezel and take out the 'lens', O-ring, and reflector. What I meant was the head itself--the part which twists off from the battery tube, to the part that screws to the bezel, is actually two pieces. The smaller piece screws onto the battery tube, and has those ridges.

I posted this question, and later on a clarifying graphic on Page 4 (even though link says page 3) of the Kaidomain C8 XM-L review. Didn't really get an answer at this point. I'll link to it here too, but here is a link to my post for reference.

Here is the graphic, borrowed from the C8 product page at Manafont. Notice how the grooved part (which attaches to the tube) separates from the upper part of the head. Does yours do this?

Although the Manafont one is a 3-mode, the thing I don't like about it is one of those modes is a STROBE. High-Medium-Strobe. Or I'd probably have ordered one.

They also have other 3-mode C8's, but all high-med-strobe. (I can find no reason why they're still making these with XR-E's!)

Their XP-G version shows the head fully unscrewed:

And their XR-E version shows the head screwed together even in the dissembled picture, which makes me wonder if they're sporadically glued, or if the photographer just didn't realize the head is actually 2 pieces:

It looks like aluminum but I'll see if I can get it out. I kinda wanted to anyway to see how it compares to a P60 style drop-in. Eyeballing it, they look very close in size.


I checked both my P7 and the C8, the appear to be glued.

Foy that pill is gonna be way bigger than the P60 pill. The general C8 type of design is definitely far superior for LED's overall than the outdated P60 design. Just either hasn't been standardized, or customizations aren't being sold yet (I think most designs are compatible, but can't prove it--BetweenRides: are your parts interchangeable?). I guess the Chinese need an American company to come with some standard for them to all agree on and then copy ;) .

Looks like my image links to Manafont have disappeared. They were there when I was previewing--were they there at some point? Too late at this point to add them back. But anyone could search Manafont for C8 and see the R5 and Q5 versions, and how one has the head totally apart (obviously unglued), and the other together (possibly glued, but not sure).

That PALight is an impressive thrower, much different than my Spiderfire P7; I'm sure most of that is in the (apparently) narrower reflector.

Looking forward to your updates.

These are lower quality than I would like. All I had was available dining room lighting so, ASA went up and so did the graininess.

Here's a shot of the spring on the back of the heat sink.

There you have it. Hope this helps.



Technically, I guess you could say the parts are interchangeable, but they don't fit together exactly. While the threads are the same cut, the threaded part is longer on the C8 than on the P7. So the P7 parts will fit the C8 fine, not so good a fit taking the body and end cap from the C8 and threading them into the P7. I also examined them each carefully and it appears the head is one solid unit - can't see a break in the metal. Foy's pictures of the disassembled head unit would seem to support that it is one solid piece. So while these all seem to be copies of one another, they are not exact copies.

Foy, thanks for the eye candy!

BetweenRides, thank you for testing interchangeability! Sigh, I wish they could just 'standardize'! I don't know what (if any) that flashlight design is a copy of, but there are just a ton of variants out there of it. I just call them 'C8' variants, but I sense that's not the original, just the most well-known. Heh, a Spiderfire P7 got sold in the for-sale forum today (not mine).