Solarforce L2P

Hi everyone,

i am new to this forum and this is my first post. I must admit that it is not everyday that I decide to sign up for a forum and ask for help but I think in the case of flashlights, I have no other choice.

At the moment, I am limited by the time needed to make a decision. I am also in Australia, where my options are much more limited in terms of shipping and cost.

I’d like to find a flashlight to take night crabbing with me. It needs to be waterproof up to a certain depth which is knee height and it needs to be able to light up an area in front of me in the water so I can see where the crabs are in the water.

Now, I tried going to but the amount of choices there are there are overwhelming. Everything from the new to old model, hosts, drop ins, etc. I just do not know where to start. I just want a simple torch for my purpose and a set of batteries that will last me at least 2 hours.

Can anyone here provide me any help? I do not know anywhere else I can ask for advice.


Blue Mana

The SolarForce line of flashlights are generally of good quality. They make really good hosts, however, their P60 drop-ins aren’t the best. They are made good, however, are only mediocre performers. There is much better out there. A good Panasonic 3400mah 18650 cell would provide you with the run time you seek, as long as you keep current to a decent amount.

For what you are looking for, this would be a good P60/D26 size setup, in my humble opinion:

Host: Solarforce line (L2P, L2T, L2N, P1, P1D, L2M w/extension) Model this would be solely your preference. I like them all, so I bought them all :wink:
Drop-in: Something with AMC7135 chips, either custom made, or this XM-L2 P60 Drop-in module ALXM2 (I personally like the T6 3C with the OP reflector, and the 4 mode driver setup. It was my daily carry for a very long time.)
Battery: Panasonic NCR18650B Protected 3400mAh

Solarforce is not waterproof. You need a dive light.

I have had multiple SFs in water PLENTY of times. I take my L2M caving almost once a month. I have dropped it from 10ft up, in 3ft deep water, and it was perfectly fine. Apparently ymmv though.

Thanks Edeekeos,

1. Can you tell me whether there is any difference between having two modes to up to five modes? What is OP as opposed to SMO, and which one is better for me?

2. Will any Solarforce drop ins do the same thing or is there one that would suit my purposes better?

3. If I buy the batteries you mentioned, will I need to buy a specific charger for them or will generic chargers do?

My understanding now is that the host is the handle where the batteries and inserted and the host refers to the actual head where the light bulb is put in. I hope that is right. If something has 5 different light modes, is it activated by twisting the head?

Also I heard someone talk about UF being useful, what is that?

Thanks for the input.

- Blue Mana

For seeing past the water’s surface you need a dedicated thrower. Ideally one without any flood. A pure thrower.

I don’t know too much about the import fees in Australia but from what I hear the post will hold like everything that comes in til you pay import duties but the Pelican Recoils would be perfect for this particular use just very expensive in Australia. Pretty much twice what we pay for them in the US.

If you can order from the usual Chinese vendors and are willing to wait this one would work well. Waterproofing is hit and miss with any Chinese light though.

The P60’s will flood more which might impair your vision through the water due to reflections but should light up nicely when held below the surface. The L2P is very waterproof and the nice thing is even if it floods they can be repaired and the module replaced. 18650 batteries and multi-mode lights should offer plenty of runtime on a high capacity 3000 mah and maybe one backup battery, use good Panasonic cells as generic-fire’s are notoriously over-rated.

I prefer 4 modes. Moonlight-Low-Medium-High, but this is solely personal preference. In your case, it would be good to have multiple modes, to better maintain run-time. OP and SMO designate the reflector texture. OP-orange peel, this will give a very floody beam. SMO-smooth, this will give a very distinct beam, with a bright hotspot. SMO will be what you need in this case.

As far as charger, I would invest in a nice one. Charging Li-Ions shouldn’t be skimped on. I use hobby chargers, but I think the Nitecore I4 chargers are decent. Someone will know better than me.

The word ‘HOST’ represents the head, body, and tailcap of the light. Basically, the light without a light engine. ‘DROP IN’ represents the P60/D26 size drop in light engine, in this case.

I have that recoil thrower linked in the post above. In it’s stock form, it’s ‘decent’. It defiantly throws, but it lack’s with output, and the tint is atrocious. Personally I would avoid it for this mission, but that’s me.

A P60 can throw like a sumbitch, but it will need to be something dedomed, and driven kinda hard. There are people who can build some sick dropins to do just this.

Hi Mr Krab,

If the cost of that flashlight in America is 14.42, then I would not mind paying double this amount in Australia if I could obtain it locally as it would still be cheaper than buying the Solarforce L2P with a separate drop in.

Another bonus is I would get a local warranty and I do not need to worry about getting the Host and Drop In separately. Out of interest, which Australian site did you happen to see this flashlight advertised for double the price on?

Whichever flashlight I get, i will be submerging underwater to see if it gives me a better view. This begs the question that if the host is water resistant, does the quality of the seal between the drop in matter? Could a bad drop in cause water to leak into the drop in or into the host?

Thanks for the input Mr Krab.

- Blue Mana

There is a difference in dropping a light in water for a minute and using a light underwater for 3 or 4 hours, have many SF lights and the tailcaps are not waterproof.

I’m sure a SF could be made “Waterproof” however at what expense?

I’d really look at a dive light if you’re planning on getting it wet for more than 3 minuets + at 2.5ft or less depth. Most non diving lights while they can withstand being underwater really just don’t hold up for longer periods of use.

Dive lights will have a good throw and output as well with a good build in general which sounds more suitable for this purpose. You can probably get away with cheaper lights since this isn’t necessarily as crucial as a dive light, however I’d recommend doing all the maintenance on them regardless.

Hi Southland,

i know that SF state on the website that the flashlight is waterproof but if it isn’t, then what else could I get that is reasonable and that can be shipped to Australia for crabbing?

Most diving torches have much poorer luminance but I am happy to take any recommendations :slight_smile:

- Blue Mana

Send a PM to MRTdiver, the guy that started the thread linked to below. He has tested lots of dive lights and some are pretty low in price. dive light

dive light
Use the search function on this forum and there are a lot of dive light threads. I used to dive a lot but haven’t since I got into led lights so not really sure which one’s are the best.

From what I’ve read so far, in summary:

1. The L2P is not waterproof even though it says it is on the Solarforce website
2. A lot of other torches that say they are ‘water resistant’ may not be either so I am better off getting a dive torch
3. That I should get a torch with little spill and pure throw if I am not submerging it in the water.

I am keen now on the New-CK36 Recoil Cree XR-E Q5 250lm 3-Mode White Light Flashlight - Grey (1 x 18650) recommended earlier but some of the reviews on seem to mention that it is only good for ‘distant’ lighting. Does this mean the torch will not be good for my intended purposes?

I don’t have much time to do research on torches so I’d be happy to pull the trigger tonight or tomorrow on the torch on this link New cheap 26650 diving light at DX if the Recoil Thower is not for me.

Similarly, I could buy the torch on this site as it says it is waterproof.

But again, down to the point, is this torch likely to be waterproof because it says it is or not? And is there anything wrong with it?

Thanks everyone with their help. I’ll be happy to make a decision tonight or tomorrow. Please let me know if any of you have any final advice to give. I appreciate all the feedback so far.

- Blue Mana

I’ve had my Solarforce about 4 feet deep lighting a hot tub for hours at a time. No water ingress. The secret is keeping the o-rings lubed, some people will scoff because it can affect the o-rings but white lithium grease repels water and helps prevent water ingress. I also sealed the tailcap rubber with some silicone adhesive. The very front lens o-ring I made sure to wipe with some of the lithium grease before installing.

Hello Blue Mana,

I will not recommend the ebay flashlight for diving. I have this and like the design, but two long NCR18650B Panasonic with protection will not fit and more important for you: I would never go with this into water for more than 10 seconds. The o-rings aren't good (one break within a week) and thin.

Take a look at a expensive brand flashlight for example like the Fenix TK35 (here in Germany it cost round about 100€, US roudn about $110). It has IPX8. Protected against water immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 2 meter.

But it is not waterproof: You should not use the buttons under water, not dive with the light in the water.
You could be lucky and no water will get inside, but you could also have bad luck and damage your flashlight.
I read both about small diving experienceswith the TK35.

Mr_Krabs idea is good to made a flashlight more water resistant. Another idea is not to change the mode under water. If the rubber on the tailcap wouldn't be used under water, it should be waterproof for your depth.
Lubed o-rings are really important.

For 100% waterproof I would choose a diving flashlight. Here are two:

Cheap (under $12 - with BLF $11,08), 1x 18650 not the best quality, but the reviews say, that it will be waterproof for diving.

Better quality (not plastic), magnetic switch, 2x 18650, price if you use BLF as a coupon: $31,30 (I'm not sure if the NCR18650B Panasonic with 3400mAh (I got some with 70,3mm) will fit, I would go for the Panasonic 2900mAh protected (69,2mm) - price for a pair: $13,23 (with BLF 5% less). Shipping of battereis could be exensive, but often their are one shipping service, which cost less: I could choose for Germany: DHL express (really expensive ~$35) or Malaysia Post for only $0,68. If you order value is higher as $20 it would be free
I friend of a friend needs a diving flashlight and I ordered this for him 8-9 months ago. It workd well (stepless brightness, qualiy was good, massive battery tube (good heat transmission), but not powered with 3A in the highest level (I think it was round about 2-2,2A). This is why it has 600 lumens and not 900. I tested it in a pool for round about 30 minutes down to 2 meters, dive with it a little bit etc. and the person who wants it has never called me with anger. I think this would happened, if there were any problems.

Hi everyone,

thanks for all the input. In the end I decided on the following items:

1. New-CK36 Recoil Cree XR-E Q5 250lm 3-Mode White Light Flashlight - Grey (1 x 18650) for use above water. Although the review says the torch is water resistant, so I may experiment and submerge it underwater from time to time. Please let me know if anyone has experience and knows this not a good idea.

2. I also decided on the Cree XM-L U2 500lm 8-Mode White Diving Flashlight - Grey (1 x 18650 / 26650) to put at the end of a stick and put underwater so I have a second view.

2x Panasonic NCR 18650 B 3400mAh Lithium Li-Ion NCR18650B battery ncrb 3400 - hoping that it will work with the above torches

Buwave, I wish I had read your review earlier. I would have liked to discuss with you the difference between the diving torch you recommended and the one I bought and whether the batteries I purchased would have fit into either one of them.

Anyway, please feel free to let me know if I made the right choice. Constructive criticism welcome. Thank you again to every one of you for giving me help and have a great weekend ahead.

Mate, if you're just going down to a inlet in Mando', YOU DO NOT NEED A THROWER.
If indeed you are only going knee-deep, you're not going deep enough for them big ones.

Take it from someone whose weekend ritual is to go down with a bunch of mates and catch bag within two hours. Record is 28 minutes.

This is what you need.
A flooder.
Not a completely pure flooder like the eBay zoomies, but something with a lot of spill, and really bright.

Mr. Krab is a crab, he's secretly trying to protect his own species. You are going to miss a whole lot if you have just a tiny identification area.

With regards to SMO/OP, I'd go for OP, it'd smooth out the projection and really helps shape identification. SMO is more prone to artifacts if it doesn't sit perfectly and rings on the beam won't help you identify your prey.

Here are my recommendations:

Charger (No, you can't use a normal charger.) - Nitecore Intellicharger4 v2 from FastTech and AU Cable (if you don't have a spare lying around.

Optional - a nice big Li-Po Charging bag.

Submerged Torch (for mounting on the end of your scoop net) - Trustfire TR-J1 or TR-J2 (They aren't driven very high, around 2.2-2.4A on max) nb. remove the attack head bezel to get a nicer, wider beam. Go for the TR-J2 because it's cheaper and comes without the bomb battery and charger which are useless.

Handheld (you want something relatively small with which you can still use two hands to scoop) - I lend out Solarforce L2P, L2N and L2T, even a Ultrafire 504B all with ~2.4-2.8A, some of the 2x18650 capable. All have been dropped in the water sometime, all have not had any ingress whatsoever. Just keep those O-rings lubed.

Headlight - really anything >500lms running on 2x18650 batteries. I use a Nitecore HC50, which I only put on medium to see where I'm going. Your first instinct if you miss something will be to turn your head towards it. This also could potentially replace your handheld and leave both hands free for battling. It makes you look like an idiot, especially if you have puffy hair, but c'mon, it's crabbing. I lend out this and this.

MONSTER, for the unarmed bucket b*tch - I personally assign a Roche M170 to whoever is holding the
captives crabs. There are better alternatives available now, the Solarstorm SP03 claims 2m submersible.

Batteries - I am personally a bit wary of using my precious Panas in the water. I also wouldn't use any included batteries or chargers. Be sure you know what you're doing, these are volatile little suckers.

Biggest bang for buck, Sanyo UR18650FM Flat-Top and Button-Top or Panasonic NCR18650.

If you're feeling REALLY adventurous and cheapo - buy 2 of these and take them apart. They have 8 Samsung ICR18650-28As each. You might need some of this shrink wrap if you damage the original casing though.

26650s - Trustfire. Some people will flame me for this, but these have been proven to be very decent. They fit into the Convoy L2, but I don't think the L5. King Kong 26650s are slightly more expensive.

Accesories - get wrist straps. Made for WiiMotes, phones, whatever. It'll allow for you to drop your handheld at any moment and go HAM for that monster that's belting away. eBay, 2 bucks for 10 pcs.

In bad conditions (last week Friday there were 25km/h winds, high tide around 6:30, arrived around 8) I use a full length Convoy L2 (as big as a 4D Maglite). Has a nice spot for depth penetration a nice even spill.
An overly bright spot in other conditions is counter-productive as it distracts from identifying objects in the spill.
Currently out of stock everywhere, but a Convoy L5 is probably just as nice with a bigger spot.


Don't forget your crab gauge. Happy Hunting.
I shouldn't be telling you this. Less crabs for me.

Hi Ramblings,

I wish I had read your post earlier. I’ve unfortunately, already bought the torches listed above. The charger I got was the UltraFire 3.6/3.7V Battery Charger. Do you know whether that would be compatible with Australian wattage requirements?

It is 120v/60hz in America and 220v/50hz in Australia, and the ultrafire one I got states: Power source 100V/220V auto AC switch. Do you know if this is sufficient or should I cancel the order?

Just on the side:

What locations other than Mandurah do you recommend? I was thinking of going to Pinjarra on Sunday, let me know if you can recommend any good locations :slight_smile:

I’m thinking of purchasing the eveready dolphin (100lm) in the meantime before I get my order in since it is apparently waterproof. Do you know if that would be any good.


- Blue Mana

Well, you'll use the torches you bought and realise why I said what I did.

The charger should be fine, but it'll most likely make high pitched squealing noises like it's a kettle about to boil the lithium.

Your dolphin will most definitely just sit in your shed collecting dust after you get some lithium powered flashlights. Might be good for modding, but you'd probably max out around 500lms (XM-L @ ~1.5A) before you hit some real heat problems. But if you chuck in a holder capable of 4 batts (recommend 2s2p), that could give you over 8 hours of runtime on max!

Best time is meant to be low tide coming in, so on Sunday that's after 6:40am and 5:53pm. I've caught plenty on the reverse anyway. Pretty full moon this Sunday, should be easy.

John St, Coodanup and the whole stretch there is great for noobies. Low level water 'til the drop off. Relatively sheltered.
Quickest way from Fwy South is to exit Mandjoorgoodap Dr.

Starting to get a little over fished though.

The rest are trade secrets.