Dropins/Bulbs Explained

What Is a Dropin/Bulb?



A dropin is exactly as it sounds, something that drops right into its host.  These are also known as bulbs, modules, P60 bulbs etc.  No tools are required to install a dropin, it justs drops right in.  Dropins can vary differently from different manufacturers.


The Solarforce L2 along with other manufacturers have created a flashlight designed specifically for these P60 dropins, this allows for quick and easy upgrades for advancing LED technology.  No tools such as a soldering iron are required in upgrading your light, just unscrew the head of the flashlight and swap dropins, it's that easy.


So what's all this business about modes and V(Volts)?

 Technology has advanced greatly, in all forms, and that includes flashlights.  These dropins are equipped with circuit boards can control the brightness of the LED via different mode settings.  These modes can be changed with a half tap of the reverse click tail switch of the Solarforce L2.  However if you are using a different host, the main idea to switch modes is to "break the circuit"  by turning it off and to reengage it, this lets the circuit board know to change modes.  Modes, as you've seen, can vary between 1, 3 and 5.  If you are looking for something simple, 1 mode is probably your best bet.  The reason why there are different voltage grades is to maximize performance and runtime/burntime of each specific dropin.


Your choice of modes is all on your preference, some prefer to have the SOS and Strobe function of the 5 Mode LC-1 dropin, while some do not and prefer the 3 Mode.  Personally I like the 3 Mode because I can still have the high mode while having the battery saving low mode for emergency situations or things that need only a small amount of light to get the job done.


So how many Volts do I need?


If are purchasing something like the L2m, the host does not allow for much voltage variation above 4.2V (1xCR123/1xRCR123).  So the use of a dropin that is for .8-4.2V is probably your best bet. However, since Solarforce along with other dropin hosts are very versatile, you can add an extension tube to run more than 1xCR123/1xRCR123.  If you plan on doing this a dropin designed for 4.2V-8.4V is for you.


If you are purchasing the L2 this can be more tricky.  You can have a voltage of 4.2V from 1x18650, 6V from 2xCR123, 8.4V from 2xRCR123, and even more with extension tubes.  If you are interested in a 1 mode with very long runtime, the 6v-18v dropin with 1x18650 will give you 4 hours of dimming output, while 2xRCR123s will give you 1:30 hours of constant brightness. 


If you are sure you only want to use 1x18650, .8-4.2V, providing 2:30 hours of output.


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