Upgrading a Cree flashlight with a drop-in?

I have a cree flashlight that I bought from china.

The flashlight has a XM-L T6 LED in it currently and I would like to upgrade it to a XM-L2 U2 LED.

It is powered by 1x UltraFire 3200mAh 3.7V 18650.

I am looking at these 2 drop-ins:



What I don't know is if they are the right size, or how to measure my size?

and I don't know which voltage to get. The 3.7V-4.2V or the 3V-18V?

Also, is the SMO/OP LED lamp removable from the drop-in?

Can I use a Drop-in LED to upgrade this flashlight? and which Drop-in should I use?

Thank you!

It would help if you put a link to the light that you bought and yes the reflectors are changeable on most drop-ins, Kaidomain has them as well.

Welcome to the Budget Light Forum

You don’t say specifically what kind of light you have, except that it uses an XM-L T6, 1x18650, and is from China. So I can’t tell you whether these drop-ins would work. Anyway, these drop-ins are P60 drop-ins. And they are meant to be used with a light that is a P60 host. A P60 host is simply a light which can accommodate interchangeable P60 drop-ins, so that you can easily swap emitters and reflector types by simply using a different drop-in. I don’t know whether your light is a P60 host, or whether it simply uses a fixed emitter. If it is the former, you could probably use one of these drop-ins (although there can be some fitment issues with some drop-ins in some hosts). But if your light is NOT a P60 host, then the light may need modifications in order to accommodate a P60 drop-in (if this is even possible). On the other hand, if the light is not a P60 host, you may be able to do an emitter swap on the light.

Hi and welcome to BLF CircaM

If you don’t mind, could you put up a link or photo which Chinese flashlight you bought ?

Have you disassembled your flashlight ? Does it have the same dropin you posted ?

The link you posted are P60 drop-in, and yes, the reflector is removable, in fact you can remove the emitter & the driver PCB as well, good for modding if require.

For a single cell flashlight, pick the dropin rated at 3.7-4.2v as most standard 18650 charged voltage is 4.2v.

Regarding your UltraFire 3200mAh 3.7V 18650 battery, UltraFire are low quality battery and their rated capacity is often over exaggerated.

Take some time to read HKJ’s review on batteries and chargers. http://www.lygte-info.dk/info/indexBatteriesAndChargers%20UK.html

Maybe you’ll change your mind and replace your charger and battery for real performance out from your flashlight.

Last but not least, you also need to get hold a multimeter to make some basic measurements. :slight_smile:

As others have said. You need to say what torch you actually have now. As some don’t use drop ins.

You might also want to research your battery a bit too. Most “Ultrafire” batteries are only fit for the rubbish bin and I suspect any claim of 3200mAh is completely fictional.

As far as p60 drop in’s go. My experience is, if you are running 1 x 18650, then a drop in working only to 4.2v will generally regulate better. Drop in’s that can support much higher voltage will often fall out of regulation quite quickly on only 4.2v, meaning if you run it on 8.4v it’ll offer more consistent light output.

Thanks everyone for the responses.

Here is my light and the LED Module:

I think that covers most of it!

Can anyone explain how to check my mAh with a plain multimeter?
I've only found ways to do it with a discharger and a logging multimeter.

Please let me know what you think.

Is that a copper ring? Don’t know what it’s doing there (I suppose it’s pressing the star against the pill! but why using copper if the pill is al)
You can’t measure mah with a plain dmm, most people here use a hobby charger, with implemented discharging measurements.
I have a logging fluke, but I think I can’t measure the mah, even having something to act as a discharger (ie a resistor). Maybe it’s time to read the manual…

I can test the battery for you……test done…it is bad. :wink:
A pair of protected good batteries is less than 15$ and will make you happy for a long time.

These ledmodules are no standard every light has a different size aluminium pill, what can be upgraded is the LED itself and the driver.
You can try to unscrew the brown ring with tweezers remove the led and press the driver through the holes underneath the led out of the pill.
Make a picture of these parts and measure the diameter of the driver…

To do this you need to solder some wires.

This is no copper just anodized aluminium, I have had this style before in a zoomie…

Did you loosen that ring? Is it there an aluminum star under the ring? I ask because it seems like the led is soldered to the driver, is it possible?

On mine it is a standard star just pressed down with this ring.
Of course is the led soldered to the driver, there is no wireless LED out there…not yet.
This light:

With this ring:

Thanks for the replies.

I am a bit afriad to go tearing it appart since I don't have any knowledge of what I'm doing and I'd hate to destroy this light.

If this is the only way to be sure, can you tell me how to do it in simple terms so that I don't break my light?

Also, can I get a Hobby Charger that will measure it for like $20 or $25 from somewhere?

I meant directly soldered to the driver pcb, without star (like those dqg) Next time I eat a lobster I’ll think of you :slight_smile:
Now I saw you pictures, I realized there is that black insulator there, it was what was confusing me

Quick and dirty answer is ..No.. a p-60 drop in won't work ......

The battery is pure crap... no tests needed .... it is a huge limiting factor here .

get a real battery , try the light.... and go from there .

driver and actual pill itsself will be the next area to look at .

I'd check amperage draw at the tail ..first with your battery ...then with a good battery

you can measure the driver diameter without disassembling it with a ruler or caliper.
Then you can order a new driver with your batteries, this will take 2-3weeks until it arrives. Measure current again and if you want to upgrade you can ask again here.
While things are on the way you can use your light how it is.
Is that a suitable plan?

I'm going to look into a hobby charger and some new 18650s.

It wouldn't surprise me if my 18650s are junk; 4x 18650s + 1 Charger + 1 Plug into light charger + Flashlight cost me about $18.

Probably going to buy an iMax B6 (http://www.skyrc.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=9).
They seem to be $22-25 shipped from the US on ebay. (Unless someone knows of a cheaper one)
Also found some in that price range from Amazon with SSS. If it's non-authentic, Amazon's A-Z Guarantee should correct it.

Does anyone have any experience with the B6? Obviously the authentic iMax one is going to be better, but is the Knock-off B6 that bad?

Can anyone link to some quality 18650s that ship from the US and are less than 7$ a battery?

[If this is going too far off-topic, someone tell me to make a new thread please]

Thanks again for all the replies.

If you’re willing to part with a lot more money then there are other options, but for $25 the B6 will do quite well. As for the knockoff B6 - these are practically the exact same thing as original - I wouldn’t be surprised if they came out of the same factory.

This is the best bang-for-buck battery out there currently, though unprotected:

This is and OK entry level protected battery:

And the good stuff:

Ordering Li-ion is a bit hard to do now as it has a chance to get rejected by customs though.

If you buy good cells, and you plan to use single mode cells, maybe it’s easier to use a standard charger: cheaper, smaller, easier to use, you don’t need to buy extra things, such as carriers or power supplies in some cases…
Just an idea.

I am going to take your advice and put the money I would have spent on the hobby charger into some decent batteries.

According to http://lygte-info.dk/ the TrustFire 2400mAh "does not hold the same voltage under load.".

Any experience with the TrustFire 3000mAh (Actual 2600mAh)?
They say "The capacity is nearly constant, independent on load. The batteries does keep a high voltage, until they are nearly empty."

I am thinking about getting the TrustFire3000mAh because FastTech says "lithium batteries are being classified into contraband" and all mail geos though "mandatory x-ray scans."

Do you know of any analysis of the Lg18650S3?
lygte-info.dk doesn't have the S3 analysed.

Also, are unprotected 18650s as unsafe as I have read?

EDIT: I just found a light on ebay that is almost exactly like mine: http://www.ebay.com/itm/130789564171 and I think THIS ONE, is he exact one I have.
It says it can also take 26650 batteries. Would I be smarted to buy a 26650 since it's more powerful than an 18650?

No, those TF3000 review were tested on initial batch, they were good at first. But afterwards, BLF users have had mixed reviews on later batch, and they degrade quite fast too. My own opinion of this is also not so good.

IMO, in general, TF2400 from a reputable vendor should do better in long run than the TF3000. Dealextreme and Fasttech has been selling good batches for some time. My recent TF2400 from FT even held better voltage under 1A load than Sanyo bought at the same time.

But I think you should try the $5 LG anyway (remember to use BLF discount code if you buy from FT). Single cell usage like your light should have no problem with unprotected cells, in fact it’ll perform better without the additional resistance caused by protective circuit. Read around about li-ion handling and charging safety, you should do fine with this.