SolarForce L2M and L2C P60 Host Review, and Solarforce Drop-In Review

Preface

A long time ago, in a land far far away, emitters were expensive, and modding was hard and unusual.  And sites with modding supplies were rare!

Back then, there were P60 light.  Buy a host, buy one or many drop-ins, and boom, tons of options!  P60 lights were an easy way to try different emitters or modes or whatever, without actual modification.

They still are!  Though modding is possibly more common now, and certainly easier (due to tons of helpful videos etc), P60 is still around and available.  So that’s what I’m reviewing today!  Some of the most common P60 hosts, and one of their available drop-ins.


Official Specs and Features

Solarforce L2M

Solarforce L2C is apparently not available any more!  Shame!!

Solarforce 3-mode Drop-in

Versions

There are a ton of options from Solarforce (although apparently no more L2C any more).  Even just the L2M linked above has options since it unscrews to a 18350 host too, just with what’s included!

Price and Coupon

The L2M is on sale now for $12, but is host only.  The drop-in linked here is around $28, but sales are often available.  So complete light for around $40.


Short Review

I still love my Oveready Lava light (which is a P60 light too) but for the cost it’s just about impossible to beat these Solarforce hosts.  Particularly the L2C host, which has many carbon fiber accents – I love carbon fiber.  (If it was carbon fiber and also had orange bits… I can’t even…)

Long Review

What’s Included

I bought three packages, and that’s what’s seen below.  Each package includes only the host, but of course drop-ins may be added.  Note that the pocket clip seen below is an add-on item, too!

Package and Manual

These lights ship in cardboard packages with plastic fronts to allow easy viewing of the host.  The boxes hare highly printed on the back, but it’s all specs on the host, since no drop-in is included by default.

And as a result, no UI or specs since any drop-in could be included.

Build Quality and Disassembly

All these hosts are quite sturdy.  One thing I’ve noticed on every P60 host I’ve had is that the threads are long – it takes a lot of twisting to get either the head or tail off the body.

The L2M in 18650 format can be seen below.  The 18650 version actually is just the 18350 host with an extension tube.  That doesn’t add much to the thickness of the body, though.

Here’s the same light with the extension removed.  The 18350 body has the branding and model number.

And here’s the L2C, which is the carbon fiber host, and is only an 18650 light.

Here’s a view of the threads on the head end of the L2C.  Like I said above, they’re long threads.  It takes tons of twisting to get the head on or off.

Here are the parts of the L2C laid out.  Body, drop-in, head.

Both hosts have an aluminum sleeve in the head which is standard sized.  Any standard P60 drop-in will fit in these hosts.  I say “standard” because there are some “P60” drop-ins which are not standard.  Malkoff, for example, makes parts that look like they’d fit, but are smaller than this host requires.  Oveready Lava hosts (and possibly other of their hosts) fit these drop ins, but do seem to require a spacer o-ring for best contact.

And here’s the drop-in in question.  It has a thick spring for positive contact, and a big thick spring for negative contact.  You might find some other setups, often just a single spring in the center.

This particular model is labeled with the specifics (XP-L Module, Five modes, 2.7-9V) and the label color.  (Other mode options have labels of a different color.)

The cell isn’t held in place, so can be installed from the head or the tail.  (This is particularly convenient when installing a new drop-in, since these actions require so much twisting!)

It’s normal for the drop-in to stick up a little.  The head will tighten it down properly.

One of the huge benefits of P60 lights is that the parts are very interchangeable.  Here’s the L2M head on the L2C body.

And here’s the Oveready Lava head on the L2C body (!! woo orange and carbon fiber!)

And it works, of course!

Size and Comps

The lights in hand!  My exactly average sized hand.

Here’s the best look at the thickness of these hosts.  Slightly thicker than a Convoy S2+.

Retention and Carry

Nothing is included with just the host, but a pocket clip is available for around $5.  It’s a collar slip, and thick and very sturdy.  It fits all the P60 lights I have, but I can’t say that it’s necessarily universal.

The clip also has a tiny lanyard hole, and as the clip is a collar clip using a lanyard there would be secure (though, an odd spot for a lanyard).

Power and Runtime

The L2C is powered by only an 18650.  The L2M can be powered by an 18650 or the extension tube removed to allow use of an 18350 cell.  And since this particular drop in can handle up to 9V, 18350×2 may be used in the longer tubes can.  Due to springs on both the tail end and the drop-in (which should be  standard), any type 18650 may be used.  And this particular drop-in doesn’t have high current needs, so just about any 18650 and most 18350 cells will work just fine.

Interestingly the two hosts do seem to have different performance with the same drop-in.  I could quite nail down what causes that.  It doesn’t seem heat related, and the drop-in seems to be spaced the same from the lens in both.

Here’s the highest mode with an 18650 on the L2C (carbon fiber).  The drop-in isn’t controlled, and just seems to track voltage down to the shutoff.

Output in the L2M is higher (and throw is also farther).

User Interface and Operation

The switch is a forward clicky mechanical switch.  This means it’s possible to use the switch as a momentary switch.  It’s big, clicky, and the rubber boot has Solarforce branding.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click On (Mode Memory)
Off Half Press Momentary (and mode advance)
On Click Off

I have the 5 mode drop-in, which is 3 steady modes with two strobes (strobe and SOS).  Unfortunately the strobe modes can not be avoided.  So cycling through the mode always involves these two strobes.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
High (4.2V) 830 1.61
Mid (4.2V) 0.46
Low (4.2V) 0.01
High (8.4V) 830 0.72
Mid (8.4V) 0.37
Low (8.4V) 0.08

LED and Beam

My drop-in has a Cree XP-L HD, and an orange peel reflector.  The head of P60 lights is big(ish) and that allows (in this case) for a deep reflector.  The beam as a medium sized hot spot with quite a bit of spill.

The modes do cycle HML on this drop-in.

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

The Big Table

Solarforce L2M
Emitter: Cree XP-L V6
Cell: 18650
Runtime Chargetime N/A
LVP? Yes (drop-in dependent)
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? n/a
Claimed Lumens (lm) 830
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 661
Claimed Throw (m)
Throw (Calculated) (m) 205.1
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 313lux @ 5.796m = 10515cd

 

Solarforce L2C
Emitter:
Cell: 18650
Runtime Chargetime N/A
LVP? Yes (drop-in dependent)
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? n/a
Claimed Lumens (lm) 830
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 492
Claimed Throw (m)
Throw (Calculated) (m) 182.6
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 318lux @ 5.121m = 8339cd
All my Solarforce reviews!

* Standard measurement disclaimer:  I am an amateur flashlight reviewer.  I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment.  I test output and such in PVC tubes!!  Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

Conclusion

What I like

  • Ability to try a bunch of different emitters, modes, optics, etc.
  • Build quality of these hosts is good
  • Carbon fiber!

What I don’t like

There’s not much to not like!


Up Next

Next week I hope to have some cell reviews complete, and more light reviews, as usual!  I have something probably unexpected that I’m looking forward to getting into in the next couple of weeks.  Stay tuned!

Notes

  • This light was provided by Me for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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