KDLitker E6 (21700) Flashlight Host Review
Who still uses P60 flashlights… I do! You could inexpensively too with the KDLitker E6 (21700) P60 flashlight host!
Official Specs and Features
Here’s a link to the KDLitker E6 (21700) flashlight host product page. While this isn’t really a review of the drop-in used in this host, I’ve included a bit of data about it, so here’s a link to that as well.
This host is specifically the 21700 version, which you could assume means there are other versions – there are. There’s an 18650 version as well, which is simply known as the “E6.”
The KDLitker E6 (21700) flashlight host ships for $12.99. That’s just the host. You’ll need a drop-in, which will have an emitter, driver, and reflector (etc?). Drop-in prices vary greatly, from the $11.99 seen for the one reviewed here, to >$300 in some cases.
KDLitker killed it with the E6 (21700) host. It’s an absolutely fantastic host. The build quality is great, the look is great, the price is great. And of course, it’s great that you can use any drop-in you’d like. There is one non-standard part on the host, which I would have expected to be standard – the head is not the same as other P60-type lights. We can understand some of the threading not matching (more on that later) but not so much on the head. However, if you don’t plan to swap the head (you probably don’t plan to) then this is no problem.
Long Review of the KDLitker E6 (21700) P60 Host
The Big Table
Most of this table pertains to the almost-random drop-in I’m using here, so bear that in mind. Your specifics will relate to whatever you drop in!
|KDLitker E6 (21700) Flashlight Host|
|Emitter:||Cree XP-L HI (4000K) (with separate drop-in)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$12.99 ($11.99 for drop-in)|
|“100%” Runtime Graph for selected drop-in|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||800|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||571 (71.4% of claim)^|
|Candela per Lumen||39|
|Claimed Throw (m)||–|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||972lux @ 4.845m = 22817cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||302.1|
|All my KDLitker reviews!|
^ 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).
- KDLitker E6 (21700) Flashlight Host
- Spare switch cover (green)
- Spare o-ring
- Cleaning cloth
KDLitker E6 (21700) P60 Host Package and Manual
The box is fairly flimsy, but the host is adequately protected.
There is no manual.
Build Quality and Disassembly
As I said above, the build quality of this inexpensive host is extraordinary. For $13, this is a ridiculous value. If you really need 21700 support in your P60 flashlight, this is the host for you. Period!
Here’s the top-down view:
You’ll see some knurling all over the body – smartly there’s a good ring of knurling right around the head, where you’ll need it for swapping the drop-in.
The tailcap removes easily, over these very smooth threads. They are anodized, appropriately lubed, and square-cut. You’ll remove the tailcap (not the head) for cell swaps. I mentioned some sizing issues in the Short Review – you’d rightly expect the tailcaps between this and “standard” P60 hosts to not be compatible. This is a 21700 flashlight host, so the cell tube diameter is bigger.
The switch parts are accessible. They’re just held in place with this aluminum retaining ring.
However, on the front end, the head doesn’t relate to cell size anymore – the cell is tube-contained. Yet the head threads are non-standard (at least they don’t fit any of my other P60 hosts.) This is a little bit inexplicable, but it is what it is. If you plan to never use a different head on your P60, then this won’t be a problem.
Included with the host is a lens, which appears to have AR coating.
That bezel is removable, too.
Drop-ins are inserted in the usual way. You could either drop them into the head and screw the head down, or drop them into the body, and screw the head-on. Either way is typically just fine.
These KDLitker drop-ins are quite nice because it’s possible to modify them very easily. The reflector screws out, as seen below.
It’s also easy to get to the emitter and driver if you wish to change either or both of those.
As I said above, the threads are not the same on this KDLitker E6 (21700) flashlight host as on other P60 hosts I have. Below you can see the Solarfore carbon fiber head “on” the E6 (21700) – it’s not attached in such a way that will operate, though.
Here’s a better view of the threads. The overall diameter is the same (or close enough) but the threads are different – this is a bit of an infuriating difference. If the threads were “P60 threads” here, you’d be able to use something like the Cryos cooling head, for great heat dissipation.
At left below is an Oveready P60 light. Those head threads are the same as the Solarforce head, seen at left above.
Size and Comps
Dimension: 136mm (L) x 32mm (Dia. of Head) x 28mm (Dia. of Body)
Weight: 96g (Flashlight Host only)
If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo). If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).
Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+. Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple. A very nice 18650 light.
And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light. I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.
Below you can see the Solarforce L2C, the KDLitker E6 (21700), and the Oveready P35, which I reviewed here.
Just to draw out the point one more time – you fully expect the tailcap size to be different (and it is) because of the larger diameter cell. But you’d fully expect the head to be the same as the standard, but it’s not.
Retention and Carry
Mainly (and also “only”) intended carry means for the KDLitker E6 (21700) flashlight host is this included lanyard.
It’s a simple lanyard and attaches to the tailcap. The tailcap has holes on both sides, but the holes are single. This means that tailstanding the E6 will be a little problematic.
There’s no pouch or belt clip or anything else included with the E6 (21700).
Power and Runtime
As the product title states (and I’ve stated over and over), the KDLitker E6 (21700) is suited for a single 21700 lithium-ion cell.
The cell is installed in the normal way – positive end toward head.
Power isn’t just quite as simple as what this specific host will allow, though. Drop-ins can have their own voltage requirements or ranges. In this case, I’m using the KDLitker P6-XPLHI drop-in, which has an acceptable voltage range from 3V to 9V. That means 2-up cells are fine (or even 3-up, with CR123!). But this is a 21700 host, and there isn’t an extension for 2-up cells. So testing was done mostly with a single 21700 cell.
Since this article is a review of the host itself, and less so on the drop-in, I’m providing just one runtime graph. This is the highest mode of the drop-in, which is described as “100%.” The product page does claim 800 lumens, but I measure a fair bit lower than that claim.
The output tracks down as the cell voltage drops, too. I’d much rather see a flatter regulation. At around 145 minutes when the output drops to zero, the light is actually still on, but the driver is providing a form of low voltage protection.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps @4.2V||Tailcap Amps @8.4V|
Pulse Width Modulation
The lower two modes have PWM but the highest mode doesn’t seem to. This isn’t visible, anyway.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.
User Interface and Operation
The mechanical switch that is included in the KDLitker E6 (21700) is a reverse clicky.
There’s a nice positive action in the switch, with quite a bit of resistance.
Even if the lanyard gets in the way of tailstanding, the switch doesn’t – it’s not proud.
Since the switch is accessible, you could swap in a forward clicky if you wish. Also, the actual user interface for your light will be specific to the drop-in and driver it contains. This specific drop-in (which I do like, and recommend!) operates as follows:
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory)|
|On||Tap||Mode advance (LMH direction)|
This driver has two mode groups – three modes or 5 modes. The three modes are simply LMH, but the 5 modes add Strobe and SOS. They’re in the main group, too, so cycling the modes from “On” is the same, you just end up cycling through Strobe and SOS, too. Strobe and SOS are memorized as Low
LED and Beam
For me, the emitter in my KDLitker E6 (21700) is a Cree XP-L HI in 4000K. That’s one of my favorite emitters.
You’ll have a choice during the ordering process of smooth or orange peel reflector. This is the smooth version.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.
I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
KDLitker E6 (21700) P60 Host Conclusion
What I like
- High quality with low cost
- Very good build quality
- 21700 support
What I don’t like
- Head threads prevent using other standard P60 heads (like the Cryos)
- No extension for 2×21700
- PWM of the driver in the selected drop-in
- This light was provided by me for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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