Several years back when I found this place and learned about all the cool lights out there I started buying here and there. I mostly bought cheap lights to see if I liked it enough to get better lights. I bought 3-4 decent lights from Convoy and another familiar named company or 2.
Well now most of the cheapie lights are failing for one reason or another. I still have 3 good ones left to hold me until I get things squared away.
I’d like to pick up a few lights for around the house use, taking the dog out at night, repair jobs and such and being out camping, fishing or hunting. Instead of asking for recommendations for several different lights and situations, I thought I’d ask about brands. Can you all tell me some brands of budget lights that are of good quality, or at least decent quality and reputation? I like Convoy. I’ve also looked at a few other brands but they were more than my budget would allow. Is WOWTAC a decent brand?
Feel free to recommend anything you care to, be it a model of light to check out or a brand. I’ll take all the advice I can get.
Thank you all kindly for your time and help.
So far Sofirn seems to be doing great - minor issues here and there but generally solid and well made, and they continue to honor warranties and make parts available, which is great. Wurkkos is an offshoot brand of Sofirn and they are following suit nicely. At this point for a number of reasons I would balk heavily at anything from Lumintop. Ultratac may be out of the game now but they’re pretty good, too. I think WildTrail is also worthy of mention but I can’t tell where they are at the moment…had some hiccups but great lights if they solve the small issues. Some of the Astrolux/Mateminco lights are well worth considering, too, just depends on the model…the drawback there is service and parts, since everything goes through Banggood unless you do Mateminco direct (still spotty). Skillhunt, too. Only overseas for now, but Pioneman seems to be gathering a following - new brand, very convoy-like and I think Simon said that it is a friend of his that started it up.
If you don’t mind a little step up in price, Hank’s models (Noctigon and Emisar) are really a bargain in terms of the quality and features you get.
Not sure about Wowtac. I’d say any time you see a light you’re interested in, read up here and look for youtube reviews also.
The big caveat is that we’re still in budget category for most of these, even though the quality has really improved tremendously from what we typically saw not that many years ago. The electronics and assembly are still fair-to-middlin’ so issues or failures are to be expected…and learning to solder and disassemble various lights can sure come in valuable.
To get correct answers, you have to write your budget first and what for light will be used. I ques Wowtac is a budget subrand of respectful Thrunite and Convoy is a king of handheld flashlights as always.
Convoy is my favorite. A lot of that is all the diverse offerings with mechanical switches, the ability to select mode groups and whether or not to use mode memory, and different options for emitter and color temperature.
For some things, I like Sofirn. Their AAA flashlights are still the best.
I agree with Correllux, I’d stay away from Lumintop. At one time their products were of good quality, but now they’ve gone downhill. Silently degrading products without warning and not letting anyone know. They’re not what they once were.
HOWEVER, on a lighter note, I could sing the praises of Sofirn, Convoy and Wurkkos all day long. Every manufacturer has their “bag egg” products, but these three are excellent brands for budget lights. Convoy especially has a plethora of lights to suit your needs. Whether you need a small and powerful flood light, something to spot deer from a mile away, or something that’ll last for hours on a long hike. I could be a Convoy rep haha!
Highly recommend looking through all three companies’ line-up. You’ll find something to suit you
Another thing to consider is if you prefer FET+ linear or fully regulated lights. I prefer the latter, which turns me off to Astrolux and Sofirn (although I do have an SC31 pro which is quite fine). I have one Convoy and two more on the way, the one I have now is the 4x18a and while the UI isn’t perfect, it’s very impressive for the price. The other issue with Convoy seems to be a lack of floods, side button lights, but that’s another topic.
Most of my recent purchases have been Thrunite, a bit out of the strictly budget category, but I feel they offer excellent value, great regulation and runtimes, and come with a full set of accessories. While I don’t have any Wowtac lights, I would consider them as they are a sister brand to Thrunite.
Sofirn do offer the SP33S that has a boost driver, and the SP35 which has a buck driver. Having said that, the Convoy M3/M3-C seems to be a better alternative to the SP33S in terms of sustained lumens. OP, most other Sofirn lights don’t have that kind of quality driver. There’s always the BLF Q8 though