Jetbeam PL-190R Review (Full Color Photography & Video Light, USB-C)

Today I have the JetBeam PL-190R on my review table. It’s a photography and video fill light that’s capable of full spectrum colored light as well as white light. The fill light also features a 5000mAh battery that can be as a power bank as well. Thanks to Jetbeam for sending this to me to take a look at and review.

YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging

Packaging here is pretty minimal, it’s a clear folded plastic box, the light sits inside a try, and the only accessories that are included are the manual, and a USB OTG cable for allowing you to plug in another cable to use the fill light as a battery power bank as well. 

 

Construction

The PL-190R reminds me in shape and build quality to a modern smartphone but thicker. On the front you have a diffused plastic panel with some orange peel to help diffuse each LED. Around the edges you have a metal frame, it has ¼ 20 threads that enable you to mount the light in the portrait or landscape profiles. When mounted in a landscape format your jog wheels are on the left, and your mode and power button end up on the top right. In the lower right hand corner on the bezel you have the USB-A and USB-C connections. The back is made of glass and has a fairly small OLED screen in the top left corner.

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 129mm, width at 72mm, and thickness at 15.5mm. Weight was 216.4g. It’s roughly the same footprint as the previous model but thicker. 

LED | Runtime

The PL-190R has a lot of LED’s onboard, 220 to be exact. 120 of those are for the white light, with 60 being a warm white, and 60 being a cool white LED. When combined together you get a tint of between 2500k and 8500k. The remaining 100 LED’s are larger RGB LED’s used for the color.

 

The screen has a built in runtime estimator on it but I found it to not be very accurate. I did a test where I set the light to 4000k and 100% brightness. The estimate showed about 2 minutes 50 second, but the light goes on for significantly longer. My only guess is that estimate is before any change in brightness. Total runtime in this mode was right at 200 minutes. The first 50 minutes or so are at 90% relative output, and 170 minutes are above 80%. After the 50 minute the mark output becomes a little unstable with it stepping up and down slightly. This isn’t noticeable to the eye but could be in photo and video settings probably.

 

UI & Modes

Instead of buttons to change modes, and brightnesses the PL-190R is using dials which I prefer. It’s easier and quicker to use the dials then a button, once you understand the UI it’s pretty induative. The brightness wheel rotates continuously where as the mode dial allows you to rock the wheel up and down and click. I only had problems here with the brightness wheel at very low power, it’s sensitive enough to make the light almost flicker when down at 1-2% if shaken or vibrated too hard. 

This light has 3 modes of operation.

 

In white light mode, the light uses it’s 60 warm and 60 cold LED’s to make a mix of light to reach the desired tint. IT ranges from 2500k to 8500k in 100k increments. Brightness is controllable in 1% increments and the light is rated for up to 650 lumens at 8500k, and 570 lumens at 2500k. 

RGB mode is similar, but using the 50 RGB LED’s. It’s measuring tint in degrees of color gamut, and isn’t quite as fluid as as the white LED’s since everything is being done on each die vs a combination of 2 or more LEDs. It’s also adjustable for 0-100% intensity. The other rocker allows you to adjust the color, and then saturation level as well. Think of color as the course adjustment and saturation as the fine adjustment. I don’t have the equipment needed to give a lumen level for colored light, but generally RGB’s don’t put out as much light as the equivalently sized white LED. Personally I see this as being more of a photography or video fill light to light a tabletop scene and you will see in my night shots it puts out a decent amount of light.

The light also features a couple of modes that are programmed in. Practically for a filming/photography reason I don’t see these being super useful but it didn’t take any more space to do and it’s a seperate mode so I guess no harm is done including it. There are a total of 9 scene mode available including Lightning I, Lightning II, SOS mode, Club simulation, Color chase, Candlelight, Police car, Red and green flashing, and Blue and green flashing. These are fixed modes and its’ not capable of speeding up or slowing down the change, but you can control the brightness.

 

Recharging & Powerbank Functions

The PL-190R has a 5000mAh battery built inside. This is used to power the light but can also be used as a power bank. Impressively the light is capable of delivering upto 18W in powerbank mode, up to 12V or 3A appropriately. Unfortunately it doesn’t charge via a USB-C to C cable, so a A to C cable is required for modern devices. 

Charge time via the USB-C input was just under 3 hours and it charged at 2A no problem. 

 

Conclusion

The Jetbeam PL-190R is an interesting take on a photography fill light with the addition of color it becomes more capable as a video fill light as well. While not the only name in the game, it’s probably one of the better known flashlight companies doing this. There are other similar products from some other Chinese companies but none quite as bright or as many features.

For me I will probably use this as a photography fill light, for some supplemental lighting. If you don’t follow my instagram make sure you follow because this is where you will probably see this in use first. I will keep my original Jetbeam fill light as my video light since it’s smaller and I don’t need the color features for video work like this review. 

 

If you are interested I will have a link below to where you can find it on Jetbeam’s website and for a few US retailers I can find. 

 

Full Image Gallery https://imgur.com/a/wySE6Md

 

Purchase the Jetbeam PL-190R at BatteryJunction at https://www.batteryjunction.com/jetbeam-pl-190r-photography-light.html 

See more information on Jetbeams website at http://www.jetbeamlight.com/products_show308.html

Astrolux MF01 Mini (5500 Lumens, 7x SST20 LED, USB-C Recharging (Kind of))

Astrolux has gotten into the multiple LED flood and secondary LED’s with the MF01 Mini I have before me here. It’s available in 5 body colors, 3 material choices, and 3 LED tints with a high CRI option I have here. Thanks to Banggood for sending this to me and providing my viewers a discount. Make sure you check the description below if you are interested in this 5500 lumen light.

 

YouTube Version of this Review:

Get the Astrolux MF01 Mini at Banggood for $45.99 with Coupon code BGMF01Mini at http://bit.ly/340Nczj 

 

Packaging & Accessories

Packaging is consistent with other recent Astrolux lights. A white box with minimal info on the outside other then the lights name and a silver line drawing of the light. Inside things are packed nicely with foam for protection. Accessories on this one include the light itself, A basic lanyard, and 2 adapter tubes for 21700 and 18650 batteries. No charging cable is included here which is disappointing considering this light requires USB-A to USB-C. 

 

Construction

My MF01 Mini is made from Aluminium and has clear anodizing. They offer a variety of colors including black, olive green, a tan/gold, and gray. They also offer a special edition in Brass, copper and an aluminum copper combo. Machining is average, a few tool marks can be found on flat surfaces, they are smooth to touch and nothing wrong for a light in this price category.

The light tail stands well with the flat base, and the lanyard hole is at the base. Inside it has large stiff dual springs, this allows it to accept 26650, 21700, and 18650 batteries with the included adapters. Rattling was a small problem with the 18650’s but not an issue with the larger cells. The body tube has a crosshatch knurling patterning put on.

The head grows in diameter some, it has 4 gills milled in on either side for cooling. The switch is domed and sits prowd. It’s a silicone button and has texture on top. It has LED’s underneath to indicate charge status like other Astrolux lights. Opposite the button is the USB-C charge port. It’s covered by a silicon port cover and includes an area for the tab to sit. It’s out of the way no issues. The bezel on my light is aluminium however a stainless steel one is available for extra durability. There is a glass lens on top of the 7 LED optic. Underneath the optic you have the daughter board with the secondary LED’s. The light is IPX7 water rated, and I had no issues running it under a stream of water. 

Size & Weight Comparison

This is primarily a 26650 light, but other similar sized batteries can be run. I measured length at 112mm, Minimum diameter on the body at 33mm, and maximum diameter on the head at 44mm. Weight with a 21700 battery installed was 254.6g.

The Fireflies E07 is a similar light also with 7 emitters and secondary LED. It’s smaller in diameter and lighter then the MF01 Mini, but the MF01 Mini does a better job of dissipating heat. That said the Mini can run 3 different battery types which is handy. 

 

LED | Beam | Runtime

The MF01 Mini is using 7X SST20 LED’s. My example is using the 4000k tint, but 5000k and 6500k are also available. With the 4000k tint, the CRI is 95, less so on the cooler tints. The SST20’s have a bit of a reputation for having a bit of a green tint, especially at lower powers and that’s pretty apparent here. Andril firmware is great but it also means the LED’s can be driven very low and this is where the green comes out. At higher powers the tint is pleasing to me, it’s no Nichia 219 but not bad either. The beam is floody, with ever so slight hot spot in the center. For a floody light it throws decently well. 

The light also has secondary LED’s in 3 colors, under the optic. Green on the outside, blue in the middle, and purple/pink in the center. These LED’s are on all the time the light has electrical contact.They are somewhat adjustable if you take the bezel and optic off there are 3 pots where you can adjust the brightness of each up to a point. There is a current limit so it’s better if 2 of the 3 are bright.

Runtime

I did my long duration runtime test with a Keeppower 5200mAh 26650 battery since that’s really what this light was originally designed for. It does fit 18650 batteries and 21700 with the included adapters. Total runtime here with this battery was just shy of 400 minutes. 99% of this time was at about 15% relative output.  Turbo output is good for under a minute on this light and it continues ramping down fairly quickly.

Heat on this light surprised me, I expected it to get quite hot based on other lights I have that are similar hot rods but that isn’t the case in my example and it’s a bit of a problem. So heat at 1 minute was 81F, at 5 minutes was 83F, and at 10 minutes 82F. The problem with this the light will start stepping down pretty quick. After I calibrate the light this should improve and allow the light to stay brighter for longer with the byproduct being heat. Low voltage protection kicked in at 3V. 

 

UI

This light is using Toykeeper’s Anduril UI. It’s currently one of my favorites available as it has a ton of options and neat little easter eggs that commercial UI’s don’t include. By default the light comes in ramping UI which is where I left it. The ramping is fast and logical. A stepped mode is available that you can configure as well if you prefer. 

The light has thermal controls, you can configure beacon mode, as well as 5 types of strobe including candle mode, party strobe, and lightning storm. You access these with 2 taps and a hold, and then two taps to change modes inside this group. Candle and lighting mode are my personal favorite. How practical these are could be a point where one could argue, but I like that they are present and it just makes things fun. Due to how you access these strobe modes I would not call the light a tactical UI or tactical light as you have to remember a series of presses and pauses to get there. 

 

Personally I find the UI to be easy to use for what you want to do most often, but a little more complex to get to those modes you don’t use very often. This is a UI where you should take a look at the manual or at least the graphical manual for the UI and spend some time playing with your light to get the most out of it.

 

Recharging

This light has an onboard USB-C port for recharging, however it doesn’t support USB-C to USB-C cables, meaning you have to use a USB-A to C cable for recharging. For me this kind of defeats the purpose of having USB-C. Charging was reasonably fast, I charged my 5200mAh Keeppower 26650 battery in 3 hours and 30 minutes at a max rate of 1.85A. The battery stopped charging at 4.19V.

 

Pro’s

  • 5 colors, 3 tint’s available in Aluminum, Copper, Brass options are also available
  • High CRI (95)  available with the 4000k tint option
  • Versatile battery options with this light (21700, 26650, 18650 all work and the light includes spacer tubes

 

Con’s

  • Only support for USB-A to USB-C Charging. Doesn’t work for C to C.
  • With great power and lumens comes heat! 
  • The SST20 LED’s in my example have a pretty green tint at lower outputs

 

Conclusion

Good competition for the Fireflies E07, Pretty good value at around the $60 mark normally or about $46 with my coupon in the description at the time of this video release. I enjoy secondaries on lights like this. They use minimal power and make them different from the competition. Overall a pretty good value light, hopefully Astrolux and other flashlight manufacturers will soon allow their USB-C lights to use C-C cables! Make sure if you decided to pick this one up, to take advantage of the color options here both in body color and tint. Let’s support one less black flashlight! 

 

Get the Astrolux MF01 Mini at Banggood for $45.99 with Coupon code BGMF01Mini at http://bit.ly/340Nczj 

Full image gallery can be found at https://imgur.com/a/AGU2g8L

Banggood is also having some other #BGBlackFriday sales you may be interested in below.

 

From Nov 27th – 30th

Black Friday:  http://bit.ly/2OnCmwJ

Saving Tips:  http://bit.ly/37cNPYB

Carve up $1,000,000 Bonus:  http://bit.ly/2rT3aNz 

Home Garden Outdoor:  http://bit.ly/32TftGE

 

Groupbuy link: 

XANES® 1282 XHP70: http://bit.ly/35czCZM

Amount: Need 20 persons

Groupbuy price: $14

 

XANES 1102 L2 5Modes: http://bit.ly/3415AYQ

Amount: Need 2 persons 

Groupbuy price: $6.99

 

Olight M2R Pro Review (1800 Lumens, 21700 Battery, Neutral White, Faster Charging)

Today I have up for review the Olight M2R Pro. I have been critical of Olight in recent reviews with Pro models because they are not much different from their non Pro lights. However the M2R Pro is the first “Pro” model I think that’s worth of the “Pro” name. Thanks to SkyBen Trading for sending this to me to take a look at and review. I will have a link to their shop in the description below. Make sure to check it out. 

 

YouTube Version of this Review: 

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/SILnvUP

Pickup the Olight M2R Pro from Skyben Trading on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YP6P91F

 

Packaging & Accessories

Olight has quite a nice compact box for the M2R Pro. It’s white with a picture of the light on the front and throw and lumens numbers. On the back are more features, details and a spec table. The box itself is a magnetic side folder, that once inside you see the yellow warning card telling you to remove the battery protector. Once inside you see the light protected by it’s belt holster along with the accessories. 

Accessories that ship with the light are the Olight proprietary 5000mAh 21700 battery. It has the positive and negative as well as a plastic spacer on one side. You also get the dual direction pocket clip, standard Olight lanyard. The holster looks very similar to what came on the standard M2R. It’s pretty high quality, lightly padded, and has a plastic clip to secure the light, a hole at the bottom and a belt loop with a button. Lastly you get the new Olight MCC Charger that’s variable charge rate is capable of up to 2A. More on the charger later on in the review.

 

Construction

I am going to do some compare and contrast of the differences in the M2R and M2R pro for this section of my review. So if you haven’t seen my original review, make sure you check that out too. They are definitely similar but have differences as well. 

 

Size – The biggest difference between the standard and Pro M2R is the size. The standard light is using a standard button top protected 3500mAh 18650 battery, and is 130mm in length and about 25mm at the head in diameter. The M2R Pro is using a proprietary 5000mAh 21700 battery. As a result it’s grown in length to 136mm, and grown in diameter to 26.6mm in the head. Weight is up slightly to 180g a difference of 25g. 

 

Both lights are made from black anodized aluminum and share very similar styles. Starting at the head, the M2R Pro features a much more aggressive bezel. The points actually come to a point, more like a strike bezel. I wouldn’t want to EDC this bezel in my pants pocket because I think it would fairly easily rip the lining of the pocket. I have a few concerns about the longevity of the included holster as well. Thankfully the Bezel does screw off fairly easily, now all we need is for Olight to make a less aggressive model for people who want it. 

The lens on the M2R Pro is also different. Gone is the orange peel reflector and glass lens on the M2R. Instead a deep, plastic TIR type optic is in it’s place. This is a reflector and lens combo, that has no glass lens over the top. It means you can’t see the LED underneath either. The result on the beam pattern is a very focused hot center, and very minimal spill. 

Further down the head on the Pro we see similar but larger tear drops milled into the bezel. As we get to the switch area there is a similar anti roll ring except it has no milling on it like the M2R Standard had. Buttons are very similar but not exactly the same. The Pro is slightly shallower and silent when pressed unlike the Standard.

Bodies have another larger difference, the M2R Pro is more aggressive, each of the bars for lack of a better term are actually triangles that the points are slightly rounded. This really locks in better on your hands with or without gloves yet it’s small enough to still fit on the rifle mount that fits on the M2R. Internally Olight has went to a single tube design on the M2R Pro vs the dual tube design on the standard. They can get away with this due to that custom battery. 

The tail cap is also different on the Pro. Internally it’s contacts are different, and the battery goes in with the positive side facing the head, which is the opposite of most other olight’s including the M2R Standard. Externally they are similar, but the pro has a more beveled edge on top. On the very top the Pro features a revision of the button. The new button and charging surface is much more raised, the center is taller and has 3 prongs protruding from it. This makes it easier to actuate with gloves on. 

LED | Beamshots | Runtime

The Olight M2R Pro is using a Cree XHP35 in Neutral White, same as the M2R used, except in this application it’s driven a bit harder. Tint is pretty neutral white but does have a bit of green especially on lower power.

Olight lists the official output as the following. Outputs are thermally regulated.

Turbo – 1800 – 750 – 250

High – 750 – 250

Medium 1 – 250

Medium 2 – 60

Low – 15

Moon – 1

Overall Turbo is where you see the most difference with the modes on the M2R Pro about 300 more lumens, and 50 more on high. What I do like is that Olight is telling the step down progression and approximately how long each lasts on the box. Not a lot of brands are as up front as Olight is on this one. I applaud them for their honesty here. Heat on the M2R Pro was pretty well controlled. I measured for 10 minutes on Turbo and the hottest I saw at the 10 minute mark was 97F.

The beam pattern on the M2R Pro is pretty different then the Standard light. It’s got a hot centered beam with a much sharper cutoff and minimal spill which results in more throw. For a tactical light or one you mount on a weapon the Pro is the better choice due to that tighter beam and longer reach. Olight claims 300 meters on the Pro. 

For the first time that I can remember Olight is being upfront about runtimes and their progressions on higher level modes. My testing showed this was pretty accurate as well. Starting off on Turbo we cana see it lasts for just over 4 minutes, this is a gradual step down during that time. It then steps down to 750 lumens for what olight is saying is 145 minutes which agrees with my testing, then another 45 minutes before it shuts off. So total runtime from Turbo is 200 minutes. Lower modes obviously last longer.

 

UI

UI on the M2R Pro is similar to the M2R. The biggest difference I can see is in how the tail switch works. Now when you half press the button, you get medium 1 about 250 lumens, and then turbo 1800 lumens when you full press. This is in configuration 1, In configuration 2 the tail switch goes to turbo on half press and strobe on full press. 

 

UI is similar to other Olights but with some differences. Long press from Off to go to moon light mode, Double click to go to Turbo, and Triple click to go to strobe.There the front eswitch is mostly used as a mode switch but can be used to turn the light on and off from off as well. 

 

Recharging

The Olight M2R Pro features Olights new faster charging system. It’s capable of charging at 1A, 1.5A and 2A. This new magnetic charger looks almost identical to the old but it can be differentiated by the red background on the inside and new markings on the outside. This system is supposed to be smart and charge all your existing Olights (With the exception of the two pistol weapon lights that require slower charging) at optimal speeds. Getting the maximum speed out of the charger requires you got get the position just right I found out. It will start charging at pretty much any angle but it seems to be a little sensitive on the exact position rotation wise for maximum charging speed. If you really care about this get a in line USB voltage meter to monitor what’s going on. I have several that I have reviewed here on the channel if you need any suggestions.

 

I charged charged the included 5000mAh 21700mAh battery that came with the M2R Pro using this new charger. LVP on the battery kicked in at 1.84v and then I put it on the charger. I saw my charge time take 6 Hrs 15 minutes at 1.82A max. Charging seems to start slowly as it analyzes the battery, then ramp up, and then slow down at the end of charging. This is typical of Lithium ion charging and a good sign to see.

Pro’s

  • Much more user friendly to disassemble the head, but no glass lens on top.
  • Neutral White returns again.
  • Faster Charging system! 
  • New button on the rear is easier to operate and locate with gloves and has a more pronounced half and full step.

 

Con’s

  • Unfortunately Olight has replaced the standard battery configuration with a proprietary one. Using a normal 21700 with a magnet won’t work either.
  • I would love to see a less aggressive bezel be offered as an accessory or option.
  • No glass lens on top of the optic which means scratches will stay with the light.
  • Magnet still isn’t strong enough to hold the light in a horizontal position

 

Conclusion

The Olight M2R Pro is the first Pro series of light from Olight that I think deserves the name. It’s has some pretty significant differences from the standard M2R yet remains a similar light. I was a fan of the original M2R and I am a pretty big fan of the Pro as well. While I think the move to a 21700 battery was smart, I am disappointed Olight went to a customized proprietary battery version rather then keep the pretty standard button top 18650 they had in the M2R. I understand from a monetary reason why they did this and it allowed them to simplify the design of the light and minimize the size increase which maximizes compatibility with other accessories such as the rifle mount but it’s still disappointing to see standards be used. 

 

That said I am a fan here, I think the Pro version is a nice revision. I love the more aggressive milling on the body of the light, and the new smart charging system but that it remains compatible with the older accessories. The tail switch is nice as well and revised UI makes sense. I like how you can get half power with a half press and full turbo with a full press and lock on. The larger size of the light still remains compatible with the rifle mount and pressure switch as well for you guys looking to mount this one your firearms. The new beam shape gives you a better spot at distance. It’s nice to see they stuck with Neutral White here too. Overall I quite like the M2R Pro. 

Pickup the Olight M2R Pro from Skyben Trading on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YP6P91F

Lumintop EDC18 Review (2800 Lumens, Triple LED, Side Switch) & 11.11 Sales

The Lumintop EDC18 is Lumintop’s newest EDC style light. It borrows very heavily from the FW3A that was designed by the BudgetLightForums but built by Lumintop. It features the same light engine, similar optic and similar ideas. Lumintop however has refined some of the qwerks of the FW3A to gear it a little more two a consumer oriented EDC market. Thanks to Banggood for sending this too me to look at and review.

A quick word that if your watching this video shortly after it’s made live, Banggood is having huge 11.11 day sales on tons of things in their store including flashlights and other goodies. I will have links in the description below to where you can find the sales and the Lumintop EDC18. 

 

Pickup the Lumintop EDC18 at Bangood for $39.90 at http://bit.ly/2MXLwjR with coupon BG18

 

Banggood 11.11 Flashlight Sales (Limited Time) http://bit.ly/32tSnpO and Main Venue Sales: http://bit.ly/36jJylo 

 

YouTube Version of this Review: 

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/jiymjZR

 

Packaging

Packaging of the Lumintop EDC18 is the brown cardboard box that the FW3A had too. The outside slipcovers are different with corresponding photos of the light and the emitter on the outside. Not much detail on the outside, which makes sense. Inside ithe light is protected in form fitting white foam. The EDC18 came with a few more nice extras. It includes a lanyard, a deep carry pocket clip, magnetic tail cap, and glow in the dark silicone diffuser. 

 

Construction

The EDC18 is made from aluminium that’s anodized in a smooth eggshell black finish. Machining was good with no problems but mine did have a slight anodizing flaw on the heatsink that you can see under good lighting and then inside where the tube makes contact with the head it looks like some masking failed during anodizing. I will fix this after my review with a little sandpaper, neither are deal breakers and easy fixes. 

Starting at the tail cap, it’s flat and contains a strong magnet that can easily hold the light of the weight up in a horizontal and vertical position. There is a small hole in the back for a lanyard. Knurling on the tail cap and body are very shallow and no aggressive. I have found this type of knurling on other Lumintops to pick up and hold dirt easily. 

The clip is deep carry which is nice, it fits quite tightly but does rotate around the light. It does have a small shelf on it which I tend to not like but I have not found it to be a problem here. It’s reversible to either end of the light and at least on mine retention is good in the pocket but it’s not flush against the body when mounted at the rear of the light. I will make note that a deep carry clip is also available for the FW3A now too on NealsGadgets and I need to pick one up.

The head is where the largest differences are. Lumintop decided to give the EDC18 a little more mass in the head which is good for heat dissipation without much additional size. It’s got some milling to dissipate heat and add style. The only UI button is also found in the head. It’s a silicone button with a clear rabbit (Lumintop’s logo) and a green LED underneath, so when it’s got a battery installed it’s a glowing rabbit which is kind of cool. The switch underneath is an electronic switch and takes a decent amount of force to press. I didn’t have trouble with it in my pocket. 

The front of the head features a recessed lens with a polished aluminum flush bezel. Underneath is the bare carillo style optic. No glass lens is sitting on top like on the FW3A making this EDC “lens” more susceptible to scratching. This also isn’t a genuine Carillo optic, but instead a Chinese domestically made version. Performance wise they are very similar, it does look like mine has a slight flaw in it though. 

A quick note about the modality of the EDC18. The FW3A was a modders dream with no glue and built to change but this made the light a little finicky at times. The EDC18 takes a little different approach, it has retaining rings in the head and tail to keep parts aligned and a single piece body tube to make it more reliable. The bezel does unscrew so that you can swap out the optic, put a glow gasket in, or replace the opic with one with tritium etc. While the light is still moddable it’s less so then the FW3A.

 

Size & Weight

I measured length at 94mm, minimum diameter at the body tube at 25mm, and maximum diameter at the head at 27mm. Weight with included clip and my Sony VTC6 battery is 120.9g.

 

In comparison the FW3A in aluminum with the same battery and it’s clip it weights 98g. The FW3A is just a hair shorter and the head and tail are very similar in diameter. The biggest difference is the taper in the body on the FW3A. In my time carrying the light it makes a difference in how comfortable it is.  

LED/Beamshots/Runtime

My example of the EDC18 is using the Nichia 219C LED’s in about 4000k. For me this is one of my favorite LED’s and tint’s. It’s high CRI,  and just a slightly warm neutral color. That said it’s a “hot” LED and doesn’t produce as many lumens as the other LED’s being offered. The other choices available are SST20, Cree XP-L HI in Neutral White or Cool white. If your looking for all of the 2800 lumens here, go with one of the Cree emitters. For me I will happily trade a little performance for that preferred tint.

The beam here is nice and useful for EDC, it’s a fairly diffused light, not a thrower, and what we would expect from a Carclo style optic. 

Runtime on the EDC18 was very similar to the FW3A which makes since because it’s basically the same emitter engine. I did 2 runtime tests, the first being just showing the first 4 minutes in the highest output mode and as you can see this light heats up super fast and almost immediately starts to reduce it’s output. By about 4 minutes the light is stable and it runs here for well over 200 minutes. I stopped the test so the graph would be readable but let the light run and it was still at this output when I woke up the next morning. LVP kicked in about 2.87v.

 

As with the FW3A this light works best using the ramping firmware to bring it up to the level of light you need and not more, to maximize runtime and minimize heat. Thankfully that’s easy to do with Andril.

 

UI

This light is using Toykeeper’s Anduril UI. It’s currently one of my favorites available as it has a ton of options and neat little easter eggs that commercial UI’s don’t include. By default the light comes in ramping UI which is where I left it. The ramping is fast and logical. A stepped mode is available that you can configure as well if you prefer. 

The light has thermal controls, you can configure beacon mode, as well as 5 types of strobe including candle mode, party strobe, and lightning storm. You access these with 2 taps and a hold, and then two taps to change modes inside this group. Candle and lighting mode are my personal favorite. How practical these are could be a point where one could argue, but I like that they are present and it just makes things fun. Due to how you access these strobe modes I would not call the light a tactical UI or tactical light as you have to remember a series of presses and pauses to get there. 

 

For instance 4 clicks gives you lockout, and another 4 clicks unlocks the light, or you could just unscrew the head a tiny bit. If you activate momentary, the only way to clear it is to unscrew the head to do a full reset. 6 clicks from off gives you muggle mode which limits the lights output and output for a less complicated interface. 

 

Personally I find the UI to be easy to use for what you want to do most often, but a little more complex to get to those modes you don’t use very often. This is a UI where you should take a look at the manual or at least the graphical manual for the UI and spend some time playing with your light to get the most out of it.

 

Pro’s

  • Andril Firmware
  • Great extras’s are included like the deep carry clip, and diffuser
  • Magnetic Tail
  • More Reliable, less fiddly
  • Button top cells work here in addition to flat tops but no protected batteries

 

Con’s

  • Less modifiable then the FW3A, but this means more reliability
  • Larger profile makes it a little less pocket friendly.
  • Knurling is pretty smooth and minimal

 

Conclusion

My conclusion on the Lumintop EDC18 is that this version is a version of the FW3A that’s designed a more for the mainstream consumer. It trades ultimate compactness and modality for a slight increase in size, and a little more reliability. What this means is it’s less likely to have problems out of the box but your not going to be able to modify it like what people are doing with the FW3A. It would still benefit from everyone doing a thermal sensor calibration. 

 

The biggest difference is really if you want a tail or side switch because that’s the biggest difference for me. I honestly like both. I think for EDC I prefer the feel of the FW3A in my pocket because of it’s slightly tapered body (and deep carry once I get my deep carry clip) and slightly smaller size. That said there have been times I miss having a magnet in the tail, especially when at work. So for me it’s really hard to pick just one, I don’t think either are bad choices for a compact hot rod triple light. So I would if you can get the emitter you like in both, go with where you like your switch best, FW3A for tail switch, or the Lumintop EDC18 for a side switch. 

 

Pickup the Lumintop EDC18 at Bangood for $39.90 at http://bit.ly/2MXLwjR with coupon BG18

Olight Baton Pro Review (2000 Lumens, 18650, EDC, Magnetic Recharging)

Olight has  new light on the market the Baton Pro. This is an update to the older S30R II and shares a lot of features with the S2R Baton II I looked at a few months ago. Thanks to SkyBen Trading for sending this to me to review. I will have a link to their shop in the description on where you can pick up this or any other Olight. 

 

YouTube Version of this Review:

Purchase this light on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NyAG35 

 

Packaging

Olight has continued their white box theme of 2018 and 2019 and the Baton Pro is no different. It’s a white compact cardboard box, with a fold out top. On the front it shows the light, on the sides it gives a QR code and warranty time period (5 years). On the back it describes the light in pretty good detail and gives a runtime table. 

The light is held in a white plastic holder, underneath are all the accessories held in place with a cardboard warning to remove the plastic protector to operate the light. Accessories for the Baton Pro include the customized (Proprietary) 3500mAh 18650 Olight battery, Blue pocket clip, Standard olight lanyard, Revised MCC II Charger, instructions and brown felt Olight bag. 

Construction

If you have seen my review of the S2R Baton II you will notice a lot of the same design similarities on the Baton Pro. The light is made from aluminium and anodized a semi gloss black. Starting at the tail you will see the magnetic charging port. I did test the open contacts for safety with steel wool and didn’t have any issues. There is a magnet in the tail cap that is sufficiently strong to hold the light in a horizontal position on a painted steel surface. The tail also has a spot drilled in for the narrow included lanyard. The body tube and tail cap are all one piece. The bodies texture is a pyramid type design with the top milled off. It looks kind of like a corn cob. I like this new texture it provides quite a bit of grip but isn’t so aggressive it will tear up your hand or pocket. 

The head here is different from the S2R II, it’s a bit longer at the top. This allows for a different optic, and some decorative milled circles. The side button has an LED in the center used for low battery indication. It’s a slicker plastic feeling button not a silicone button. It’s surrounded by a gloss blue ring, an Olight signature. The clip is removable but fixed in place. The only markings on the light are the Baton Pro are the Name and the serial number. Opposite this is the Olight logo.  

The top of the light features a recessed blue Olight bezel. It’s a larger diameter as well as deeper then what was on the S2R Baton II, more similar to the S30R Baton II released a few years ago. On the top it’s engraved 2000 lumens and cool white. It features TIR style optic with a frosted center, clear cone and a flat glass lens on top. 

Size & Weight and Comparisons

I measured the length of the Baton Pro at 108mm, maximum diameter at 25mm, minimum diameter at 23mm. Weight with the included battery and pocket clip was 110g. 

Size wise the Baton Pro slots in the middle, it’s shorter then the S30R II with a narrower head, but not as short as the S2R II. Weight wise this makes it only 12 grams heavier then the S2R II, and within 1 gram of the S30R II.  While total output is a big jump up on the Baton Pro it’s more of an incremental change elsewhere. 

LED/Beamshot/Runtime

Olight doesn’t specify the LED that’s being used in this light officially only that’s it’s cool white. It’s tint is cool white and pretty similar to the S2R Baton II that was using a SST-40. My guess would be it’s the same LED but I can’t be for sure. Not naming the LED is a shame for a light in this price category from a big player in the market. This gives them production flexibility but isn’t good news for enthusiasts. 

The beam pattern with the optic has a hot center but alot more gradual spill then the TIR in the S2R Baton II. This new optic does seem to introduce some distortion mainly in tint it seems in the spill, where as the S2R Baton II is a harder cut off.

Officially output is listed at the following:

Turbo 2000 Lumens with step down to 600

High 600 Lumens

Medium 120 Lumens

Low 30 Lumens

Moon 5 Lumens

 

Mode spacing here on the normal modes excluding turbo is fairly even. It’s disappointing to see moonlight be so high at 5 lumens, to me this more like low not moonlight. The difference between high and turbo is pretty big. Now the interesting thing is it can sustain high (because it’s a lower output) for longer then average. Heat was well managed at the hottest it getting was 101F at the 5 minute mark. 

Runtime

In Turbo the Baton Pro only lasts for 1 minute before stepping down 60% of relative output around 600 lumens, for around 15 minutes. At that point medium is the bulk of this lights runtime at 150 minutes before stepping down one more time for another 40 or so minutes. Total runtime is just shy of 200 minutes. Total runtime is pretty good for a single emitter 18650 but that time is well below the advertised max output and a large majority of its under 200 lumens, a bit disappointing in the output regard.

UI

The Baton Pro has the standard Olight UI many of us have come to know, and I like with the slower fades from off/on and between modes. From off, long press to activate moonlight mode at 5 lumens. To turn on in normal modes single click the switch, to change brightness level hold the button and the light will cycle through the 4 available modes lowest to highest. Double click to access turbo. Triple click to access strobe. The light also features memory mode for normal modes. 

 

Lockout can be accomplished when the light is off by pressing and holding the switch for 2 seconds until moonlight mode comes on and immediately shuts off. If you then press the button the red LED under the power button will come on to let you know your in lockout mode. To exit lockout press the button for about 1 second until moonlight mode stays on. Personally I will just give the body of the light a ¼ turn to mechanically lock it out. The light features a short 3 minute timer, and a longer 9 minute timer. If these are setup (See the included manual) the light will automatically shut off when the end of the timer is reached. 

 

Charging

The new MCC II charger is like we saw on the S2R Baton Ii. It’s edges are chamfered, and it’s still magnetic. It can now charge at 1A. Charging Time from a completely empty battery to charged was 4 hours and 41 minutes. Maximum charge rate I saw was 0.80A. . I would like to see a higher then 1A charge rate on their updated charger. That said this is very safe and conservative charge rate for the included 3500mAh battery. Full voltage was 4.185v.

 

Pro’s

  • I like the revised design and grip. Its an increase in texture but not too aggressive.
  • Good Basic, familiar UI
  • Useful beam pattern, not a pure flood or thrower.

 

Con’s

  • No Specific LED or Tint is officially mentioned here. This is very disappointing from Olight but gives them flexibility during manufacture.
  • Moonlight mode is quite bright at 5 Lumens
  • Proprietary battery is necessary for onboard recharging to work. The light does work with flat top with a magnet or a button top for just lighting.

 

Conclusion

The Baton Pro continues Olights small incremental updates of their lights in 2019. It would appear that the marketing department is pushing for those big lumen numbers rather then the R&D department coming out with bigger innovations or filling holes in the product line (Like a lantern or a Bike light).

 

That said this light has some good features, I like the texture on the body, the small speed improvement in the charging system. It puts out quite a bit of light for it’s size in a good quality beam pattern. It’s disappointing they don’t say exactly what LED is being used here or the tint, only that it’s cool white. Hopefully they won’t continue this practice for future lights. Overall it’s a bright compact light with a good 5 year warranty.

Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro Review (Wireless, Balanced Armature. USB-C, Qi Recharging)

Soundcore (an Anker company) has a new set of higher end truly wireless earbuds with the Soundcore LIberty Pro 2. These are an upmarket product for Soundcore, and feature a balanced armature and a dynamic driver. They feature a neat case and pretty impressive battery life in my testing. Thanks to Soundcore for sending these too me to review and tell you guys about.

 

YouTube Version of this Review:

Pickup the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2Wk2sE8

 

Packaging & Accessories

Soundcore products have always had nice packaging but the Liberty Pro 2’s is above and beyond. It’s clear to me this package was designed with retail stores in mind. It’s textured in places and has a sharp eye catching design and lots of useful information to the consumer on the outside with all the stats and big features of the headphones. It’s a magnetic latch box so the consumer can look inside as well. Accessories include 3 sizes of ear wings, to help the fit in your ear, and then 3 sizes of each ear tip with duplicates of each. You also get a USB-A to USB-C cable for recharging the storage case. 

 

 

Construction

The Soundcore case is vital to the operation of these headphones as it’s how you recharge the headphones. It’s made of a soft touch plastic and the door on the top has an addictive slide mechanism. If you like to fidget with things you will find yourself sliding this back and forth. The case itself allows the headphones to turn on and off via magnetic retention. As far as recharging the case has USB-C on the back, and is able to charge on a horizontal QI charging pad. You have 3 LED’s on the front that give you  the battery status of the case. 

Battery life of the LIberty Pro 2’s is good, Anker rates it at 8 hours and at least in my testing that’s pretty accurate. I recently took these on a business trip this week and wore them for hours at a time through airports and never had them get close to 50% and even if they do get low a 10 minute recharge in the case gives you an impressive 2 hours of additional playback time. Overall the 500mAh battery in the case is good for 32 hours of playback time. Size wise the case is a little on the large size for me. In my front jeans pocket it worked but if I was in shorts or had smaller pockets I could see it being a little too big. Other brands have more compact solutions if that’s an important factor for you.

Sound Quality Comfort & Software

Soundcore has developed their own set of drivers for the Liberty Pro 2’s called the Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture.. For the mid’s and high they a customly developed Knowles (Well known in the audio industry) balanced armature combined with an 11mm dynamic driver for the lows. These are placed inside each other allowing for the sound to not have to be routed within the body of the headphones so that you have the best possible sound quality. This is a somewhat unique design that your not seeing on a ton of true wireless ear buds right not. 

Soundcore has then teamed up with 10 “Grammy Award Winning” audio producers to further tune and refine the sound profile of these headphones. Combine this with the soundcore app on your Android or Apple device and you have a choice of several audio profiles for your specific type of music. The app also has a customized hearing test where it analyzes each of your ears ability to hear a range of frequencies and builds a profile for you. See the video for how this works. 

 

So what’s my experience with these? Well as with any in ear headphone fit is key to sound quality, and I took my time here to find what works best for me, a balance of comfort, sound quality, and retention. I settled with medium sized ear wings, and small ear tips. Comfort was pretty good with this combo and fatigue after 5 hours straight was minimal. Retention was great, and I had no problem at the gym working on AMT’s and other machines, and I would feel comfortable running with these as well. 

 

Sound quality was impressive for a wireless headphone. Your music source is very important here, heavily compressed music, such as most streaming services you might not notice a difference, but I had some lossless files on my phone and on these I could tell the larger sound stage, clarity and accuracy. Bass was pretty good as well, with it being almost too powerful on some of the presets. So if you like Rap or EDM these should work pretty well for you at this price point. These do feature Bluetooth 5 asd aptX which both improve sound quality.

 

One disappointing thing is at this price point there is no audio passthrough which means for conversations you have to pause your audio and take out an ear bud to talk to someone. This proved a little frustrating in an airport until I reprogrammed the button on the top of the headphone to allow me to pause my audio.

 

These do feature Qualcomm’s cVc 8.0 noise reduction technology when making calls, combine that with a total of 4 microphones and at least in my experience call quality was surprisingly good. I have read some other reviews that not everyone had the same experience I had. This is a feature I rarely use because who makes calls anyways.

 

Pro’s

  • Great Sound Quality
  • Long Battery Life
  • USB-C and Wireless recharging
  • Built in Sound profiles are good and make a difference in audio quality.

 

Con’s

  • The earbuds themselves are a little big but retention is good for me
  • Case is on the larger side
  • IPX4 Water rated, while enough for sweat
  • No passthrough audio for conversations and you must use both earbuds at the same time.

 

Conclusion

For me these are by far my best pair of wireless headphones, especially earbud style ones. Sound quality wise they live up to their price point for me. Bass was impressive, while still maintaining crisp mids and highs. Music quality matters here more than most normal headphones. You might not notice the difference on your average streaming service. I was impressed with the battery life here as well, of the headphones themselves and the case. Not many people are going to be listening for 8 continuous hours, and even if you are 10 minutes in the case gives the headphones 2 hours of use. In my travels this week I never came close to needing to recharge. 

 

These only have minor disappointments, for me the lack of passthrough audio was unfortunate at this price point as well as these are just a little big. They are not something I want to lay down with if you are laying on your side. 

 

All this said these get a solid recommend from me if you’re looking for a more high end sound, and a premium wireless ear bud for most situations to work with all your devices. 

 

Full image gallery at: https://imgur.com/a/7pH27eM

Pickup the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2Wk2sE8

Olight Seeker 2 Review and Comparison (3000 Lumens, 21700, 3x Osram LED)

Today I am taking a look at the Olight Seeker 2. Now a few months ago I looked at the Pro version of this light, the one I am looking at today is similar but has a few differences to it. If you have not seen that review I will link to it and recommend you check it out as this is going to do a lot of comparisons and contrasts rather then a full review. Thanks to Skyben trading for sending this to me to take a look at. 

 

YouTube version of this Review:

Pickup the Olight Seeker 2 from Skyben on Amazon https://amzn.to/2nZR2sC 

 

Packaging & Accessories

I will quickly touch on packaging. It’s on par with the Seeker 2 Pro, same white box with a nice photo of the light with lumen and throw specs up front. On the back you have a runtime chart and some details about the light. 

Accessories with the Seeker 2 were less then the Seeker 2 Pro. You get the light itself, the same proprietary 5000mAh Olight 21700 battery (ORB-217C50), a standard Olight Lanyard with the helpful threading needle, and then a MCCA1 charger with the standard length cable. The Pro version of the light came with everything before and the L Dock, much longer charging cable, and a holster. 

 

Construction

The construction of these two aluminum lights are very similar. Here are the major differences that I see.

  • The anodizing is different on the Seeker 2 Standard. Rather then being the hard slick finish that most aluminum lights are the Seeker 2 Standard uses a mat almost chalky anodizing. It’s very similar to what you find on Armytek lights. It marks up fairly easily but usually rubs or washes off pretty easily.
  • The Seeker 2 doesn’t have the molded silicone grips that the Seeker 2 Pro has. This isn’t a huge deal to me, at least with dry hands the different anodizing kind of makes up for it. 
  • The front side switch is different between the two. On the Seeker 2 Standard the switch is more like recent Olights, it’s a more plasticy slicker feeling. It has a hole in the center for an LED for battery status indicator. The Seeker 2 Pro has nicer feeling rubber/silicon button as well as 4 LED’s on each side for battery power indicator and brightness status indicator. While these are really nice features I have no trouble with the standard button. 

Size & Weight Comparison

Length of the Seeker 2 came in at 126mm vs the Pro’s 128mm. Diameters of the head were identical at 35.4mm, the body tube at 27mm. Both lights roll around very easily when on their sides

I was a little surprised at the weight difference between the two lights. The Seeker 2 Pro weight in with battery at 197g while the Seeker 2 standard came in at 186.5g. 

 

LED | Beamshots | Heat

The Seeker 2 Standard is using a triple configuration of Osram LED instead of the Cree XP-L HD’s used Seeker 2 Pro. Olight doesn’t give us the model of Osram used in the light unfortunately according to official literature. Tint wise the Seeker 2 Standard has a tint that’s a bit whiter especially at lower power where as the Seeker 2 Pro is a little warmer/rosy tint. Beam pattern on the Seeker standard has a more defined hotspot and appears to be more focused. 

Seeker 2 on the left

Seeker 2 tint

Seeker 2 on left, Seeker 2 on Right

 

Runtimes on the Seeker 2 are also longer due to the different LED. Total runtime was more then 250 minutes for the Seeker 2 Standard. Turbo seemed to last slightly longer as well. The Seeker standard ran in high for just past 100 minutes, very similar to the Pro, but then it saw 2 pretty major decreases in the next 50 minutes but then ran on low power that was usable for over that 250 minutes mark. The slight differences in output are not that noticeable and I will trade it for more runtime. LVP kicked in at 2.958V

 

Outputs are listed as the same for all modes except turbo with the differences being only 200 lumens.

Moonlight  – 5 Lumens

Low – 50 Lumens

Medium 300 Lumens

High 1200 Lumens then 600

Turbo 3000 Lumens then 600

 

UI

UI on the Seeker 2 Standard is is very similar to other Olights and the same as the Seeker 2 Pro, and that’s great because it’s a simple UI that I like. From off if you long press on the button the light comes on in moonlight, which on this light is a little bright for my liking. When the light is on it starts in low, and then you can hold the button and it will cycle from lowest to brightest, just stop on where you want to be. The light does have memory mode for low through high. For tubo just double click and for strobe just tipple click. The light also features a lockout mode and timer that’s available.

 

Recharging

Recharging is pretty much the exact same as the Seeker 2 Pro. The Seeker 2 Standard is using Olights MCC1AL magnetic charging system..  observed maximum charging speed of .9A which resulted in a total overall charge time of 6.5 hours for the 5000mAh 21700 battery. This is a pretty slow, very conservative charging speed for such a large cell. Good for the overall lifespan of the cell if you can wait but Olight’s competitors lights that are using the same battery are generally charging at 2A which is plenty safe for this battery. The battery stopped charging at 4.135v.

 

Pro’s

  • More affordable without much sacrifice of features.
  • Increase in runtime and throw with the Osram LED
  • Relatively small sized light for a 21700 battery
  • Triple LED lights continue to go mainstream in 2019

 

Con’s 

  • 1A charging is pretty slow on a 5000mAh battery. 2A is still under 1C charging speed for this battery and what this lights competition is all doing.
  • No Change in the magnet, it’s still relatively weak only really sufficient for charging or holding the light perfectly horizontal.
  • No official word on exactly which LED is being used here, just the manufacturer is given.

 

Conclusion

The Seeker 2 is extremely similar to it’s Twin brother the Seeker 2 Pro. The 200 lumens difference in peak performance on turbo isn’t significantly different to the eye. The other physical differences are fairly minor or not deal breakers for me. 

 

Olights proprietary batteries like other manufactures branded cells tend to be pretty expensive and while I love the 21700 format, it’s proprietary nature and cost ends up being a negative for me. Luckily you should be able to use a standard button top 21700 and a small magnet if you want a less expensive second battery option and are ok with charging on an external charger. 

 

Personally my recommendation would be to go with the standard Seeker 2 here, and save the roughly $30 difference. While I like the rubber grip and battery and power level indicators I don’t think those two things are significant enough to warrant the price, thus making the Seeker 2 the better overall buy. With that $30 you could easily buy another battery for the light. Overall the Seeker 2 is a pretty good light and a better value then the Seeker 2 Pro in my opinion. 

 

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/g1BXxQn

Pickup the Olight Seeker 2 from Skyben on Amazon https://amzn.to/2nZR2sC 

Lumintop FW3A Review (Triple LED 18680 EDC light) BLF Designed

The Lumintop FW3A is a EDC style, small form factor triple LED flashlight that enthusiasts on the BLF forums designed and programmed during the past 2+ years. It takes design inspiration in several places from high end custom lights, and brings it down to an economical price. BLF was able to get Lumintop to agree to manufacture it and the rest is history. There have been a lot of reviews on the light so far, but here is mine. I purchased my original FW3A here in gray, but am thankful for Banggood for sending me the FW3C copper version of this light so that I can show it off and review it for my viewers.

 

Youtube Version of this Review: 

Packaging

Packaging is nice at this price point. Lumintop designed a brown cardboard box with a line drawing of the light with a few specs on the outside. It has a slip cover and inside the lid folds out to reveal the light protected by cut foam with the paperwork on top. One of the important things that comes with this light is a little reminder to no open it from the tail side, and only open from the head side. This is because the tail assembly is where many of the difficult clearances are set and small parts are. More recent versions have added a retaining ring in the light which helps keep things together, but the best place to install a battery is by taking off only the head. Accessories are limited, with a couple of o’rings and the manual. 

 

Construction

The switch in the light is a metal electronic switch in the tail and has very little travel but a positive click. This combined with the inner tube construction allows for the eswitch to work and give all the different functionality of the UI. That said it’s very important that the tail of this light is screwed down tight and not removed for reliable function. In my copper light there is now a retaining ring added which helps with this situation.

The body of the light is tapered, and this just makes it more ergonomic, it fits well in the hand and works better when clipped to pants or a bag. Threads are beefy, square cut and raw base material. 

The head is two pieces, first on the outside you have the diamond knurled piece where the pill of the light and driver is and then you have the very top part where the Carclo 10511 semi clear optics sit. If you have a turbo glow gasket like I do in my copper FW3C here, it’s as simple to install as inserting it between the LED board and optic. 

One final note on the construction of this light. The FW3 series of lights was designed with modders in mind. As a result, no glue was used in the construction of the light and that combined with a light at this price point made the light a little finicky. A good amount of people needed to troubleshoot their lights upon first getting them and as a result there is an extensive help thread over on the BudgetLightForums. 

 

Personally I have been pretty lucky, my original gray aluminum light here was perfect out of the box and worked well, I did have a loose retaining ring in the head that I tightened down just to keep it working well into the future. 

 

My Copper light here was a different story, it ended up having a slight problem with the location of the oring on the inner tube which made it not work reliably. After about 15 minutes of troubleshooting using the thread I will have a link to below I got it working again. It did have a design revision in the tail with the addition of a retaining ring to keep it from falling apart on removal. Most problems I have seen are usually fixable but there have also been some bad LED’s reported too. 

 

Size | Weight | Carry

I measured overall length at 93mm, maximum diameter was 25.4mm and minimum diameter on the body at 21.5mm. Weight with the battery (VTC6) of the aluminum bodied light at 98.1g, and the copper FW3C with the same battery is 170.6g. 

 

While watching this light develop over the 2+ years I was part of the vocal minority asking for a deep carry clip option. So far one hasn’t been made, but after carrying each light for a while I am not sure it really needs one. The clip is pressure fit between the tail and body of the light with an oring on either side. You can attach a lanyard on either the tip or top of it. It’s no secret that I don’t often EDC a 18650 light but with the FW3A it’s been a very pleasant light to carry in a front pocket. For me the shortness and small diameter combined with the taper on the body really make it a pleasant carry. While the copper adds weight I don’t notice that it’s too heavy and I like the way it looks.

LED | Beam Shots | Heat

The FW3A series of lights is available with a number of emitters. Banggood currently has 4 of them. 2 XPL-HI options at 5000k and 6500k, producing about 2800 lumens, and then a Nichia 219C at 4000k producing about 1600 lumens and a SST20 at 4000k a little under the XPL-HIs. The later two are 90+ CRI models. The Nichia is the least powerful of the bunch while the XPL-HI are the most output. Nielsgadgets also offers a XP-L Hi in warm white at 3300k. What I have here is a Warm White XPL-Hi in my Gray FW3A, and a SST20 in my Copper FW3C.  Thanks to that Carclo 10507 optic, the beam patterns for a triple is quite good, large hot center and fairly even spill. Throw is easily past 200 meters. Heat is considerable on this light especially on the higher outputs. 

 

SST-20 Emitters at 4000k 

 

XPL-HI at 3300K

 

Runtime

Runtimes and outputs on this light are basically what you should expect out of high performance hot rod like this with a limited amount of thermal mass. So in the normal UI you have high mode, and then a very limited “turbo”. Here is a graph that shows what 1 minute on Turbo looks like and we can see after 20 seconds it steps down ? of relative output,  Normal high mode starts to ramp down fairly quickly and stabilizes at about 9 minutes, but at a considerably less output. Long term the light sits about 40% relative output for well past 200 minutes. Overall runtime on this light is 100% thermally driven due to it’s mass and only having air to cool it. 

The light does have low voltage protection onboard, so running unprotected batteries is fine and recommended for best performance here, but in my testing I couldn’t get find where exactly this kicks in at becaused the light runs quite low but never shut off in over 300 minutes. 

 

UI

This light is using Toykeeper’s Anduril UI. It’s currently one of my favorites available as it has a ton of options and neat little Easter eggs that commercial UI’s don’t include. By default the light comes in ramping UI which is where I left it. The ramping is fast and logical. A stepped mode is a variable that you can configure as well if you prefer. 

The light has thermal controls, you can configure beacon mode, as well as 5 types of strobe including candle mode, party strobe, and lightning storm. You access these with 2 taps and a hold, and then two taps to change modes inside this group. Candle and lighting mode are my personal favorite. How practical these are could be a point where one could argue, but I like that they are present and it just makes things fun. Due to how you access these strobe modes I would not call the light a tactical UI or tactical light as you have to remember a series of presses and pauses to get there. 

 

For instance 4 clicks gives you lockout, and another 4 clicks unlocks the light, or you could just unscrew the head a tiny bit. If you activate momentary, the only way to clear it is to unscrew the head to do a full reset. 6 clicks from off gives you muggle mode which limits the lights output and output for a less complicated interface. 

 

Personally I find the UI to be easy to use for what you want to do most often, but a little more complex to get to those modes you don’t use very often. This is a UI where you should take a look at the manual or at least the graphical manual for the UI and spend some time playing with your light to get the most out of it.

 

Firmware Flashing

Not all the FW3’s are coming with the latest version of firmware on them. It’s relatively easy to flash your own firmware if you want with only needing a computer, and inexpensive programmer. If this is something you would be interested in having me demonstrate on video, let me know in the comments below and I will add it to my list of future videos. 

 

Mods

Lots of mods are available around this light. First and easiest are probably the Turboglow gaskets in a wide variety of colors, I have a lava colored one here in my Copper light and I quite like it, I think I will probably get a green or blue one for my aluminium version here soon. You can also get turbo glow to replace the tail switch, and a piece of sapphire glass for the lens, and tritium drilled optics. Since the light doesn’t have any glue an LED swap to something else is also pretty easy. Firmware is also flashable too, if you would like to see a video on how to flash firmware on the FW3A lights to make sure you have the latest version of Andril let me know in the comments below. 

Pro’s 

  • Nice value for what your getting with a wide variety of materials and colors to choose from. 
  • While this started as just 1 line it’s spawned an entire family, with different LED choices, Material Choices, and soon a single emitter version, and a version that takes a 21700 battery for extended runtime.
  • Highly customizable, lots of emitter and material choices too.

 

Con’s

  • It’s a little bit of a fiddly light, for the BLF editions the decision was made to not glue anything for easier modding, the result is sometimes you have to just play with things a bit to get it to work reliably. I had this problem on my copper one, but not my original. 
  • While I appreciate the small as possible size, that also means not a lot of thermal mass for heat dissipation and that means this light gets hot, from head to tail, pretty quickly on higher modes.

 

Conclusion

For me this is the enthusiasts light of 2019. It wasn’t a surprise since most of the development has happened on the forums in the open, but I don’t think anyone anticipated how popular this light would be and how it would spawn so many different versions. It’s really amazing that so many volunteers give their countless hours away to produce a flashlight for the community. Their hard work really shows through on this one. I have a couple different BLF designed lights and I don’t regret any of them. If you are a flashlight enthusiasts, collector, or EDC community member and you don’t have an FW3 series of light at this point, I would strongly encourage you to pick one up today, you won’t regret it. 

 

Personally I don’t EDC a ton of 18650 light in my daily activities due to their typical larger size. That said the FW3 series of lights has been the exception. That tapered body makes a big difference in carry and so does the short overall length. While I would prefer a little deeper clip the included clip is pretty good. Modding capacity of this light is also very high, with people doing tons of things, and the aftermarket producing parts to add glow buttons, glow gaskets, drilled tritium optics, and more.

 

Below in the description I will have links to the different versions (Many colors of aluminium, Titanium, copper, etc) of the FW3 series of lights that Banggood is carrying currently as well as the TurboGlow gasket I have in my copper light here. 

 

If you are a flashlight enthusiasts, collector, or EDC community member and you don’t have an FW3 light at this point, I would strongly encourage you to pick one up today, it might not be your one and only EDC light but it will be one to have a ton of fun with at an affordable price and will impress you for its abilities for the money and size. I recommend it! 

 

Full Image Gallery on the FW3A: https://imgur.com/a/97Do9Mt

 

Pickup the Copper Lumintop FW3A From Banggood for $54.90 with Coupon Code BGLFCF2 at https://ban.ggood.vip/Ia5w

 

The Turboglow Gasket I am using can be found at https://ban.ggood.vip/Ia5u

 

Original Grey Edition: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/KKm36YwdNE

Blue Edition: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/3mvm6R7ysc

Olive Edition: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/3GK3BEThb5

Purple Edition: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/DDD3Bd1EQ8

Titanium Edition: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/Gm3K0EfYQ4

TurboGlow Button: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/DvDD6huEsA

 

Troubleshooting Thread:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/66960

 

Useful Information on the FW3A lights and Troubleshooting:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67058

 

User Manual:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0031/0155/6806/files/Anduril_-_FW3A_user_manual.pdf?16