I’ve been trying to dig out information on inexpensive 26650 (and 18650) flashlights & hosts for modding. Unfortunately this seems harder than it should be. Over on the budget light forum, people have put a lot of time and effort into reviewing and discussing flashlights, and flashlight parts. Unfortunately, a lot of that information ends up getting buried and obscured.
There is a forum for reviews of 26650 lights, but some reviews are placed in the 26650 discussion forum and/or in threads on other lights/topics. This blog post is my attempt to share what I’ve unearthed.
To be clear my interest is not primarily on ready-to-use lights. I’m interested in hosts (flashlight bodies without the LED emitter or driver), and/or working flashlights that I can gut. If some of the guts are worth keeping, so much the better.
In the end though, the key considerations are:
- Cost: <$10 for a single cell light with a <30mm reflector. $<15 for 1-2s lights with larger heads. For a really sweet host, I’d be willing to pay $20-25.
- Quality: If I’m going to invest any time and/or money into building or modding a light, I’d like to use a host that has more going for it that just the price. I’ll know it when I see it, and when I do, it’ll probably resemble the following
- Anodized threads
- Square threads
- Integrated shelf
- Brass pills, retaining rings
- Chamfered edges
- Recessed tailswitch
- Gratuitous un-anodized/finished aluminum.
- Gratuitous shiny/glossy
- Shitty threads
- Uneven seams
- Bad finish.
- Convoy makes a variety of nice lights and hosts. I’m not going to say much about them here though, because everyone either knows about them, or will, just as soon as they need to. None of their 26650 lights fit my target price for modding, but I’m listing them anyway because they are exceptionally solid and well made, with lots of thermal head-room.
- L2 1-2s “thrower”
- L6 2s XHP70.2 monster
- BD01/BD06 seem more like finished lights to me than a good modding platform. Also, at $30, outside my price range.
- AKA: Windfire F-13, Raysoon RS F-13 Paizen U2-Z6
- JKK26 Complete light ~$20. USB charging/powerbank
- KL-S26 Host, ~$19 37x32mm reflector
- Shadow JM05
- Shadow JM07- side switch version of the F-13
- Trustfire A8 Ultrafire??
- Solarstorm K2 / Trustfire TR-A9-2
- SharpEagle XC / Warsun X60
- SharpEagle ZQ-JJ
- UniqueFire UF-220
- UltraFire DV-S9
- Supfire L5 wsideswitch 2s, slighly flared head
- Supfire L2
- Supfire L6 is basically a SupFire XC8 (C8) with a 26650 tube
- Convoy/XinTD X3
- Lots of kockoffs.
- Yetzel Y3?
- LuckySun FX3/XXX990