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DaveTN

Cheap flashlights that use a single 18650 battery?

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I bought a couple of good flashlights that use 18650 rechargeable batteries. Now I need 2 or 3 low cost small flashlights to leave around at various places.

Anyone have any recommendations? around maybe $25 or less each.

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10 minutes ago, billmeek said:

I bought one of these in Oct of 2016 and it's been a decent light the few times I've needed to use it:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X3L239O/

Most of the time when I need a flashlight, I use the one I always carry in my pocket which is a single AAA ThruNite Ti Cree XP-L V4 in Titanium alloy.

41FdeBOwKfL.jpg

The ThruNite lights are great. I have some of the black ones. All my 18650 lights are Fenix, and are outside the budget.

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Sub $25 I have no experience. I have 2 Streamlight Protac HL USBs, that I primarily use with 18650s. They are hard work lights that can't be killed. I usually EDC either a Streamlight Microstream USB or an Olight S1R2 Baton. Both of which I highly recommend. Olight does make a $50 light that is 18650 capable, and very slim and very powerful. 

 

I've always been let down by cheap stuff, so I quit carrying it and quit buying it. FWIW the Streamlight Microstream USB can be had most places for $30-40. The FDE version first click is high mode the plain black version first click is low mode... Not sure why they did that, but FDE in my opinion gets the advantage there.

 

Olight: 

https://olightworld.com/olight-s2-baton

 

Edited by 1fast4by

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2 minutes ago, 1fast4by said:

Sub $25 I have no experience. I have 2 Streamlight Protac HL USBs, that I primarily use with 18650s. They are hard work lights that can't be killed. I usually EDC either a Streamlight Microstream USB or an Olight S1R2 Baton. Both of which I highly recommend. Olight does make a $50 light that is 18650 capable, and very slim and very powerful. 

 

I've always been let down by cheap stuff, so I quit carrying it and quit buying it. FWIW the Streamlight Microstream USB can be had most places for $30-40. The FDE version first click is high mode the plain black version first click is low mode... Not sure why they did that, but FDE in my opinion gets the advantage there.

I have had electrical issues with real cheap lights. So, I consider Fenix a cheap light, and Surefire a good one. I own and use a lot more Fenix than Surefire.

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6 hours ago, mikegideon said:

I have had electrical issues with real cheap lights. So, I consider Fenix a cheap light...

I had problems out of the couple of smaller (AAA) Fenix lights I've owned.  The titanium ThruNite was only $20 has been one of the the most reliable flashlights I've owned.  For the last 2+ years I've carried it daily and really like the 162 lumens out of a AAA light.  I wish I'd bought a spare before they were discontinued. 

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I've gotten a couple good (IMO) flashlights at Lowes, have adjustable light beam, LED, always work when I push the button.  Luxpro I think is the brand, keep one or two in the RV and one in the truck.

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20 hours ago, mikegideon said:

The ThruNite lights are great. I have some of the black ones. All my 18650 lights are Fenix, and are outside the budget.

I EDC a ThruNite Ti3 AAA as well. Great little light.  Low is great for minimal light in the dark and high is darn impressive for a single AAA. 

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4 hours ago, billmeek said:

I had problems out of the couple of smaller (AAA) Fenix lights I've owned.  The titanium ThruNite was only $20 has been one of the the most reliable flashlights I've owned.  For the last 2+ years I've carried it daily and really like the 162 lumens out of a AAA light.  I wish I'd bought a spare before they were discontinued. 

You're right. I forgot about the Fenix on my keychain. It's unreliable. I haven't had any trouble out of the 18650 lights from Fenix.

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This is the Olight S1R2, from what Ive read and seen the S2 Baton (18650) performs similarly but with longer burn time.

For reference, my backyard there is about an acre and Im on a second story balcony.

HQpvY2O.jpg

DRVQJH1.jpg

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+1 for Olight.  I have them everywhere,  I love the magnetic tail cap.  They have some good deals on their website every so often.

 

 Olight.thumb.jpg.6458dd370e5ac19cb0376200cadf58f8.jpg

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I already have a PROTAC HL 5-X, FENIX PD35, & SureFire E2E. I have a Nitecore D4 charger and a bunch of 18650 batteries.

 I’m looking for cheap options for lights to lay around the house; not EDC.

It looks like Convoy & Sofirn have some options. Anyone have those that are a single 18650?

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The BLF A6 is a group-buy flashlight designed by gurus on BudgetLightForum about 4 years ago. It's currently on sale for $17.99 in black (~$21 in the non-anodized aluminum look). I have four of these lights. They are the brightest one 18650 LED light you can buy. I much prefer the 6500K 1A bulb, but the neutral is okay. The yellow is too yellow for my taste. A year ago, I posted on BudgetLightForum to ask what I could buy that was brighter than the BFL A6 in one 18650.  Multiple replies said, "Nothing. It's the brightest and most variable you can find." It has a turbo mode that lights up the night and even a firefly mode that's great for walking around the bedroom without disturbing your spouse. The Chinese company is a major vendor at BudgetLightForum and this is a quality LED light. I've had one failure out of my four lights in four years. It was the tailcap. I replaced it for $2. Shipping will take about two weeks if you pay the extra ~$1.50 for faster shipping.

https://www.banggood.com/BLF-A6-XPL-1600Lumens-74modes-EDC-LED-Flashlight-18650-p-991823.html?rmmds=search&ID=518106&cur_warehouse=CN

PS. While on bangood's website, check out the BLF Q8 powered by four 18650 batteries. This thing is bright... as in car headlights on high beam bright. It's currently only $49. 

PPS I have the Convoy version of the BLF A6. It's not as bright or as programmable. Since the BLF A6 can occasionally be bought on sale for $17.99, you might as well get it over the Convoy.

Edited by jgradyc
Fixed typo.

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My 18650 Thrunight is five years old, and still going strong.  I have an inexpensive Surefire made of (plastic?) that gives good light at 800 lm that cost just over $25 on ebay.  It uses 2 CR123s.  CR123s and AA, AAA may be easier find in a SHTF scenario?  Your 18650 should also use 2 CR123s (in case cross application was your goal.)  I have a 500 lm CR123 Baton, and a 200 lm (1) AAA Olight.  The AAA has no tailcap, so can't be carried in a pocket without accidental switching, but great on the tv table. There is a great resource at http://goinggear.com/.  Sounds like you have found the flashlight forums, already.  Don't know about others, but I much prefer neutral temp lights.

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On 4/25/2019 at 9:52 AM, tbenedict said:

If you need a work light, Harbor Freight has a decent 18650 based one that goes on sale for $20 occasionally.  Built in charger and comes with a battery.  Wouldn't pay full price for it though...

https://m.harborfreight.com/390-lumen-magnetic-slim-bar-folding-led-work-light-63958.html

They have a coupon through 04/30 for this light (or one very similar, at least) for $25.

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15 hours ago, jgradyc said:

The BLF A6 is a group-buy flashlight designed by gurus on BudgetLightForum about 4 years ago. It's currently on sale for $17.99 in black (~$21 in the non-anodized aluminum look). I have four of these lights. They are the brightest one 18650 LED light you can buy. I much prefer the 6500K 1A bulb, but the neutral is okay. The yellow is too yellow for my taste. A year ago, I posted on BudgetLightForum to ask what I could buy that was brighter than the BFL A6 in one 18650.  Multiple replies said, "Nothing. It's the brightest and most variable you can find." It has a turbo mode that lights up the night and even a firefly mode that's great for walking around the bedroom without disturbing your spouse. The Chinese company is a major vendor at BudgetLightForum and this is a quality LED light. I've had one failure out of my four lights in four years. It was the tailcap. I replaced it for $2. Shipping will take about two weeks if you pay the extra ~$1.50 for faster shipping.

https://www.banggood.com/BLF-A6-XPL-1600Lumens-74modes-EDC-LED-Flashlight-18650-p-991823.html?rmmds=search&ID=518106&cur_warehouse=CN

PS. While on bangood's website, check out the BLF Q8 powered by four 18650 batteries. This thing is bright... as in car headlights on high beam bright. It's currently only $49. 

PPS I have the Convoy version of the BLF A6. It's not as bright or as programmable. Since the BLF A6 can occasionally be bought on sale for $17.99, you might as well get it over the Convoy.

Thanks for that info. Is this the Convoy you have?

https://www.amazon.com/Flashlight-Portable-Handheld-Waterproof-Camping/dp/B07B2RP6BW/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=convoy+flashlight&qid=1556459953&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

I don’t really care about a super high output; my PROTAC HL 5-X @ 3500 lumens will light up a city block. I just need multiples of something in the house. It has to use one 18650 and I would like a tail cap switch with a separate mode switch. It seems anytime my dog thinks one of his toys is under the furniture; my flashlights are all in other rooms. :)

 

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15 hours ago, walthermitty said:

My 18650 Thrunight is five years old, and still going strong.  I have an inexpensive Surefire made of (plastic?) that gives good light at 800 lm that cost just over $25 on ebay.  It uses 2 CR123s.  CR123s and AA, AAA may be easier find in a SHTF scenario?  Your 18650 should also use 2 CR123s (in case cross application was your goal.)  I have a 500 lm CR123 Baton, and a 200 lm (1) AAA Olight.  The AAA has no tailcap, so can't be carried in a pocket without accidental switching, but great on the tv table. There is a great resource at http://goinggear.com/.  Sounds like you have found the flashlight forums, already.  Don't know about others, but I much prefer neutral temp lights.

I have two Surefire that use SF123’s. But I’m tired of buying them by the box. I really like my E2E incandescent, but my understanding is rechargeables aren’t compatible with it and the cost to convert it to LED is more than I paid for it, or even more than another light.

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Not exactly what you asked, but I have EDC my Streamlight Stylus Pro for several years now. It is a 2 AAA light. I personally always prefer AA or AAA lights. So much easier to find in a pinch. Plus at my house it seems like someone always misplaces the charger everytime I try to recharge batteries.

 It is about $20.  

http://amzn.to/2gNDE3D

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DaveTN

Have you looked over these?

budgetlightforum.com  18650 Flashlight Reviews

:shrug:

Edited by hughd

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Not what you asked for but the two free lights with coupon at Harbor Freight are great lights in a pinch. They have redesigned both of them and are pretty darn bright. 

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4 hours ago, DaveTN said:

Thanks for that info. Is this the Convoy you have?

https://www.amazon.com/Flashlight-Portable-Handheld-Waterproof-Camping/dp/B07B2RP6BW/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=convoy+flashlight&qid=1556459953&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

I don’t really care about a super high output; my PROTAC HL 5-X @ 3500 lumens will light up a city block. I just need multiples of something in the house. It has to use one 18650 and I would like a tail cap switch with a separate mode switch. It seems anytime my dog thinks one of his toys is under the furniture; my flashlights are all in other rooms. :)

 

I have the older Convoy S2. I think it's been replaced by the S2+. The difference between the S2 and the S3 is the LED. I think everything else is the same. The Convoy S2, S3, Astrolux (something), and (Astrolux) BLF A6 share the same frames. I've had the Convoy S2 for six years... good, dependable light, but it has only three non-blinking modes: high, med, and low. The BLF A6 has 5 non-blinking modes: turbo, high, med, low, and firefly. The Convoy, Astroxlux, and BLF all have tail standing, clicky tail caps. 

As hughd pointed out, budgetlightforum.com is the place to go to get inexpensive flashlight reviews. 

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5 hours ago, DaveTN said:

Thanks for that info. Is this the Convoy you have?

https://www.amazon.com/Flashlight-Portable-Handheld-Waterproof-Camping/dp/B07B2RP6BW/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=convoy+flashlight&qid=1556459953&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

I don’t really care about a super high output; my PROTAC HL 5-X @ 3500 lumens will light up a city block. I just need multiples of something in the house. It has to use one 18650 and I would like a tail cap switch with a separate mode switch. It seems anytime my dog thinks one of his toys is under the furniture; my flashlights are all in other rooms. :)

 

I'm not sure what you mean by a tail cap switch with a separate switch mode.

The Convoy, Astrolux, and BLF A6 have a tail cap switch. There is no separate switch for modes. You just keep clicking the tail cap to switch from one mode to the other. The BLF A6 is programmable to start in your preferred mode. The default is to start in firefly. From there, you can half click to low, half click to med, and half click to high, and so on. Or, you can skip straight from firefly to turbo with a click to turn it on and a quick full click to go to turbo. You can program it to bypass the blinking modes entirely. That's what I do. 

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42 minutes ago, jgradyc said:

I'm not sure what you mean by a tail cap switch with a separate switch mode.

I mean the light level. My Fenix PD35 is on/off with the tailcap switch and has a button on the side with memory for light levels. My Streamlight Protac HL 5-X is a very good well made light. But the more I use it the more I wish I had bought something else. it does everything with one button; and it sucks. Its not user friendly at all and I’ll never buy another set-up like that.

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2 hours ago, hughd said:

DaveTN

Have you looked over these?

budgetlightforum.com  18650 Flashlight Reviews

:shrug:

Yes, thanks. I found them the other day when I was looking around. 

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