FiTorch M30R Tactical Flashlight (1800 Lumens, 18650, USB Recharging/Powerbank)

A few weeks back I reviewed the FiTorch ER16 and was impressed with it. FiTorch is a relatively new brand but the execution of their design and manufacture is like they have been doing it for years. Today I have the new FiTorch M30R to look at. This is a full size tactical light that emphasizes USB recharging. Thanks to FiTorch for sending me an early release example.

Full Image Gallery For this Review: https://imgur.com/a/FqkZ5KA

YouTube Version of this Review: https://youtu.be/jguBIVzJe3k

Packaging & Accessories

Packaging on the FiTorch is typical hanging style retail box and filled with lots of product information on all of the sides.

 Inside the light comes comes with several extras.  First you get a button top 3400mah FiTorch branded battery, that’s also microUSB rechargeable itself. Next lanyard with stop button, an extra rear center button and oring.  The light include a nice holster. It’s nylon but has an inner layer of neoprene padding. It has a velcro front closure and a button belt loop with no D-Ring.   Lastly the light includes a microUSB to full size USB port to allow you use the light as a powerbank to charge a portable electronic.  I like this adapter with the included keychain better then larger cable that the ER16 had.

Construction

The construction of the FiTorch M30R is quite nice. Machining, fit and finish are is on par with Olight I would say.  The light is made from aluminium and hard anodized in a semi gloss finish. Starting at the head of the flashlight it has a crenelated raw aluminium bezel with fairly sharp edges. The lens is thick glass that doesn’t appear to have traditional anti reflective coating on it. The reflector is deep and smooth. The LED is nicely centered. The head has some nice milled areas in it that are for style mostly, Below that is the multifunction aluminum button with the LED indicator ring around it. It has a nice concentric circle pattern milled into it. Directly opposite the button is the micro USB port that can be used to charge the light or for it to use as a powerbank function.  This USB port is at normal depth and standard cables can be used.

The barrel of the light has the concentric grip pattern that I liked on the ER16. It looks great but isn’t the most grippy and worth noting on a tactical light. The clip is stiff, removable, but non reversible and non deep carry. The tail cap has more of the concentric grip with 6 areas milled out to provide more grip.

The very back of the tail has a rotating ring that has a locked, unlocked, locked position. This is a mechanical lock for the paddle switches on the very end that activate strobe. The detent is fairly light and I would like to see just a little more detent on these as it’s fairly easy for this to rotate. The very back of the light has a raised rubber button in the center that is On/Off in turbo. There are also two paddles on either side that activate strobe. More on this in the UI section of the review. There are also two loops where a lanyard can be added. Normal sized paracord should fit here but it would be a bit tight. Due to the center button this light won’t tail stand well. Threads on the tail cap are ACME cut and orings are beefy. They came nicely greased. On the inside there are springs on each end, on the tail cap it’s a dual spring. The light uses a dual wall construction similar to the Olight M2R. The head is not removable.

Size + Weight

This isn’t a small light. This is noticed most in the length that came in at 163mm, width at it’s largest point is 37mm in the head, and minimum diameter is 24mm on the body tube. Weight was 216g With the included battery. It is IPX8 rated and drop resistant to 2M. If I compare it in size to the Olight M2R the M30R is quite a bit larger in all dimensions.  The two are both tactical lights but the M2R is still EDC able where for me at I would need to use the pouch that came with the M30R on my belt to be considered an EDC.

LED + Runtimes

This light uses a Cree XHP 35 HD LED in cool white.  It has a deep smooth reflector covered with a thick mineral glass lens that does not have an anti reflective coating. The driver uses constant current so flicker isn’t an issue. Modes spacing is as follows.

Turbo is 1800 Lumens, High is 460 Lumens, Medium is 130 Lumens, Low is 20 Lumens. Strobe is 1800 Lumens, SOS is 460 Lumens. This is pretty even to the eye which I like. This light does a really nice fade between modes which I really like.

Beamshot has a small defined hotspot with rings as it spreads out on the spill.  I think these are the creation of the reflector and the front bezel’s polished nature. With the hot spot this light throws well as you would expect for a general purpose tactical light. FiTorch claims 328 meters. I measured parasitic drain at at 1.7uA.

Like most lights this timed down from turbo after about 4 minutes and ran at 48% of output for about 95 minutes. Further step downs were done in small steps over about 20 minutes.  That is nice you don’t have sudden fall offs of light output other then turbo. Total runtime was 170 minutes before LVP kicked in.

UI

The UI of this light is easiest to understand if we split it into what each button does. Starting at the front the multimode button is the normal flashlight modes and functions. From off if you press the side switch for about 1 second to turn it on in Low, quick presses will then allow you to move up in modes through medium, high, and turbo. Instead of cycling over, once you reach turbo pressing again will go to medium and continue down. Think of it as ramping but not infinite brightness. Strobe and SOS are not part of the main mode group. To activate them when the light is on a quick double click will go to strobe or SOS. To get the other (Strobe or SOS) exit by pressing and holding the button and then enter the Strobe SOS mode again with a double click. Pressing the button quickly 3 times from off will show a voltage check via the LED indicator ring and turn the light on low. The light also has a location beacon mode that flashes on and off every few second using the indicator ring and to activate that press 4 times in the off position.

The rear 3 switches are used for tactical mode in addition to the lock ring on the tail cap. When locked only the center button is able to work. The center button is a direct to turbo full 1800 lumens. When you unlock the tactical lock ring each of the paddles are capable of working in strobe at a full 1800 lumens. These work no matter what mode the light is in. So if you were in low mode and needed turbo just press the center button, and if it was unlocked just press a paddle to get to strobe.

No special batteries are required for this light to work. Flat tops work, as well as NCR18650B, so no high drain cells are required for Turbo. 2X CR123A are also an option for this light but it’s not rated for higher then 6V so two 18350 isn’t an option.

Charging

Apart from its tactical side, this light is all about USB recharging. On the light itself it has a Micro USB port  that allows for recharging at 2A speed. The button indicator  is blinking green during charging and solid green when charged before it shuts off. All tests were performed using the included FiTorch 3500mah battery and supplied cable, with an Anker QuickCharge 3.0 power adapter. Charging time from LVP cutoff to 100% using the external USB port was took 2 hours and 20 minutes. Most of the charging was between 1.8 and 2A.

The battery also has the ability to recharge directly via micro USB  but it’s much slower then recharging in the light. It has a Red and Green LED on top of the battery to give indication of charging or charged. I tested with the same charger as above but only received a maximum charging speed of 0.82A, and decreased as the battery reached capacity. Total time was a relatively long 5 hours 32 minutes.

The light can also be used to recharge another electronic device via the MicroUSB to full size USB adapter  and the appropriate cable for your device. I tested with my phone and was able to charge my Note 8 from 28% to 81% at 1.7A charging speed during this time the light got warm to the touch. While in powerbank mode you can use the light in low or medium modes as well.

Pro

  • Standard depth micro USB port allowing the use of standard cables.

  • Really nice machining and fit and finish.

  • Very nice fade between modes.

Con

  • I would like to see a strong detent on the strobe lockout from the tail switch.

  • I would like to see the Location beacon setting be a bit smoother in its on and off, similar to the Astrolux MF01.

Summary

FiTorch is definitely an up and coming brand that is paying a lot of attention to detail and execution in their machining and tolerances. As a newer brand they are doing a better job of this then many of the older brands they compete with. My hope is that they will start to offer some Neutral White LED options in the near future.

The M30R is a nice light, that’s designed with a purpose. This isn’t your typical in the pocket EDC light. Instead it’s designed for a more tactical use. Personally I am not a big user of strobe. However if you are the rear lockout allows you to get to strobe very easily. I wish this detent was a bit stronger so that it’s less easy to activate strobe. The interface is decent, with room for improvement. I like how the USB recharging is fast and uses a standard depth connector so a standard cable can be used. The LED and reflector combo seem to create a slight donut at distance that I can tell on wall, but less so outside. Overall a nice light for those needing tactical above practical.

Banggood has offered a discount coupon for $36 off the FiTorch M30R using the following link https://goo.gl/6EpH25 with coupon ‘a03396’ Learn more at http://www.fitorchworld.com/index.php?case=archive&act=show&aid=93

JetBeam HR30 Headlamp Review (USB-C, 20700 Compatible, Red+White LED’s)

This is my first light from Jetbeam that I have reviewed. It’s a new headlamp design from them and the first light I have tested with USB-C recharging. It’s really nice to see USB-C starting to make it’s way to flashlights as it’s the new standard. Thanks to Jetbeam for sending this to me to look closer at.

Full Image Gallery for this Review: https://imgur.com/a/pps2Oqk
The YouTube version of this Review:

Packaging
My packaging got a little mangled in international shipping but the just of it is a relatively large box with images of the light front and relevant info on the back regarding ratings and runtimes. Inside is a large plastic try housing the HR30 Headlamp, Jetbeam branded battery (2600mAh), unassembled head band and bracket, pocket clip, 2 spare O rings, a USB 3 to USB-C cable, relevant paperwork (Manual, warranty card). This is on par with Nitecore packaging but not up to Olight standards as of late.






Construction
The body of this light is built with aircraft aluminum that’s hard anodized. The part around the front with the button and LED is black plastic with a hexagon pattern in it that’s visually nice. It is held in place with 4 very small 0.050 inch hex screws. The button is rubber coated and clicky, the lens and main LED extend a bit. It’s a relatively small lens and reflector. The red LED are flush.

The body tube is flanked by two nicely machined end caps that are asymmetrical. They have spiral knurling that’s one direction and go in different ways from each other. This looks great but isn’t very grippy. The larger end that has the USB-C charging under it is magnetic enough to hold up the light and battery but not with the strap attached as well. The other end the tail cap has a spring under it to hold the battery in place and allow for the 3 types of batteries to be used in the light. Threads under each tail cap are standard design, relatively small and well greased from the factory. The central section of the light is ribbed. This when in the head strap is what holds the light in place and allows for rotational adjustment. The light has markings on each tail cap and some on the body. Each are helpful and less about marketing or legal phrases.




The head strap on this light is 3 strap design. The top strap is not removable due to the fused clips at each end. It comes partially disassembled. It’s a black and gray elastic with no additional reflectors or branding other then what look like flames. The front that actually holds the light is interesting. It’s built fairly stiff plastic with the strap providing the only padding on your forehead. The two hoops are injection inserted and a much more flexible rubber. To attach or detach the light remove each end cap and it slides on with some force. Not the easiest thing to do and it’s definitely a two handed job. The little triangle in the center is what holds the light in place as it rotates in the holder a full 160 degrees.



This light includes an optional clip. Less for EDC and more for clipping on to a pack or bag. It’s pretty stout and stiff and works well. The only negative is that you have to remove the headband prior to attaching the clip.

Weight as shipped with the included battery without strap or clip is 110G, with the 20700 battery it’s 124G.

This isn’t the lightest or smallest in it’s class but it’s not extreme either. I think it’s solidness and ability to take a 20700 make up for the additional weight.

LED + Runtimes + Temps
This light uses a Luminus SST40 N5 LED. No color temperature is given by jetbeam. It’s on the warm side but there is a pretty strong green tint to it. Inside this bothers me outside, especially against grass or trees with leaves it’s less noticeable. Not my favorite tint. From reading about this LED CRI is about 70. It’s not an LED that is in use much.

The beam is pretty smooth after about 10 feet and really throws well for how shallow the reflector is.

UI
The UI of this light could stand a bit of tweaking in my opinion. To turn it on from off you have to press and hold about ½ a second to come on. If you do a quick press from off you get battery check mode. I found myself getting into this alot at first. Once on in normal mode you are presented with memory of where you last were. By default it starts off in Eco = 5 Lumens, then to Low at 50 lumens, mid at 150 Lumens, High at 400 Lumens and Turbo at 950 Lumens. Last mode up in the normal group is a red. I found red to be just the right brightness. Enough so you could see your feet and 1-2 feet in front of you but dark enough to no feel like it was too bright to read a map.

The light does have low voltage indication where it starts blinking the Red LED’s when power drops below 20%. Problem is this is hard to see unless you have something up close.

I would like to see some shortcuts added, double click to turbo and triple click to red. Take red out of thee normal modes and maybe quad click for battery check instead of a fast press.

Battery Compatibility
This light can take 3 different battery types. It comes with a button top Jetbeam branded 2600mah battery. When in use with this cell there is an included small plastic sleeve to keep things from rattling. You can also use 2 CR123A cells which I suspect will rattle a bit due to the smaller diameter. The light can also use an unprotected 20700 battery without the sleeve. THe battery tube itself isn’t in the center. It’s off axis and slightly cam shaped.

Parasitic Drain was measured at 4.0uA.

Runtime on the included 2600mah
I tested runtime with the included JetBeam branded 2600mah battery. Turbo predictably ran for 3 minutes before falling rapidly to about 55% of relative output for a large bulk of the time. For the next 130 minutes it was fairly stable. At the end I saw one more large decline in output to 20% relative output and then the light shut off due to low voltage protection. During the batteries last 20% the red LED’s flashes letting you know the power was low. Total runtime was about 145 minutes on 2600mah.

Runtime on a 20700 battery
Thanks to reddit user /u/mcfarlie6996 for sponsoring a 20700 battery for me. I didn’t have one (Or have any lights that took them) and it was great to test how much more runtime you can get with minimal size and weight differences between an 18650 and 20700. Total runtime with the 2600mah 18650 that was included was 145 minutes, The total runtime on the Panasonic 4000mah battery was a very impressive 260 minutes. Thats 44.2% more run time for only an additional 14 grams in weight. Output curves were pretty similar between the two batteries with the main difference being that 55% relative output was about 220 minutes in length. With a 20700 battery it makes the JetBeam HR30 be the longest duration headlamp I have by a large margin.



Charging
This light uses USB-C for recharging. The port is built into the threads on one of the ends. To get enough clearance you must remove the cap. It would be nice if there were more threads so you could leave the cap attached. A nice heavy duty USB 3 to USB-C cable is included with the headlamp for use when recharging.

The charging status indication isn’t my favorite. First you have a small LED near the USB-C port itself that is always green. This tells you when electricity is flowing but that’s all. During charging the light comes on in Red mode on the main LED’s and for much of the time it’s a slow flashing red mode. When finished the flashing goes solid charging is complete. Having the main red mode LED’s come on is just too much. Not only does this consume a decent amount of power it’s also very bright and annoying. It would prevent you to charge in a bedroom overnight, or in a tent if you were camping. In my opinion it would be better if they put a multi color LED at the port instead of the green and used it to indicate status.

Pro

  • USB-C charging but the charging indication via the main red mode is goofy. * Multi Cell capable including 20700 support!
  • Huge runtime on a 20700 battery, just at 260 minutes.
  • 160 degrees rotation inside the head mount
  • Beautiful machining on the end caps.

Con

  • Charing indication status is too much, just use a multi color LED near the port.
  • For a light of this price range 2600mah battery is low. 3500mah or a 20700 would give the light a good bit more runtime for minimal additional cost and make the runtimes listed on the box accurate.

Summary
It’s nice to see USB-C make its way to flashlights offering onboard charging. It’s the connector of choice for easier to use, higher power capabilities in this application. It’s also nice to see a headlamp add the capability to run a 20700 battery in addition to the 18650’s, and CR123. This is an application where the little bit of extra size doesn’t matter much to me but that additional runtime is valuable. 42% more runtime with a 20700mah battery over the included 18650 for only 14 Grams in additional weight is well worth it in my opinion. The HR30 has engineered this pretty well with the included spacer for 18650’s.

The UI of the HR30 takes some getting used to, with battery check being so easy to activate when you want a continuous mode instead. If you switch between a lot of different lights like I do you will probably activate it accidently. I hope that Jetbeam decides to move the red mode out of the recharging indicator and go with a multi color LED in the port instead. A few UI shortcuts to Red mode, and turbo would really improve the light too.

I would advise JetBeam to hire a native English speaker to proofread their manual and marketing materials. It seems like a basic thing but it would polish their image to be free of grammatical errors and mistakes. In today’s gig economy this is easy and inexpensive to do.

I like the HR30 headlamp and think it’s best in an outdoors setting due to the tint of the UI and the runtime that a 20700 can add. It’s built well with very good machining and a pretty attractive design. In my opinion it’s too big to use as an in pocket EDC but with the clip it could easy attach to a bag or backpack strap to light up whats in front of you.

I will have a link to the Jetbeam website on where you can see more about the light. It’s available at many retailers online too.

Nitecore EC22 Review (Infinitely variable brightness 0.5 – 1000 Lumens)

The Nitecore EC22 is a single emitter small diameter 18650 light with a rotary switch instead of a more traditional button. This allows Nitecore to make a light that instead of having preset modes make it infinitely variable and ramp via the smooth rotary on the front of the light. Thanks to Nitecorestore.com for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/XRkJ8Gg(link is external)
The YouTube Version of this Review

Packaging
The packaging is Nitecore’s standard Black and Yellow retail hanging box, with pictures of the light, and details on the back. Inside the box is a plastic tray with the light itself, holster, lanyard and extra origin. The holster here is a more basic model and it almost looks like it was designed for a shorter light. The EC22 fits but ther just isn’t much room for the velcro to latch. It does have a D ring and velcro belt loop.




Construction
This light is made from nicely milled aluminium and hard anodized black. It’s pretty narrow for an 18650 light. There is some fairly smooth knurling on the tail cap and body tube. The tail cap has a large recessed flat that would have fit a magnet or tail switch if Nitecore chose to do so. However in the EC22 it was just left blank with a large lanyard hold for easy of mounting.


The clip is “Titanium plated stainless steel” I believe this is most likely a TiN based PVD coating used to increase scratch resistance. The clip can attach at the rear of the light for tip down carry or closer to the middle for use on a hat as a headlamp. I wish the retention was a bit tighter out of the box but you can tighten the clip up by bending it if you wish.

Closer to the front there is a 6 sided hex anti roll ring. At the front there is the rotary switch in machined aluminum. It could use a bit more grip in my opinion as it’s a bit stiff. Threads are square cut and nicely greased with an oring on each side of the body tube.


Maybe I am a little OCD but for me on lights with a milled flat on the body tube with writing it should line up with the button. Unfortunately my example of the EC22 suffers a bit in this regard because to have it line up with the button it won’t make contact. It requires just a touch more rotation to make contact and this makes the flats off axis.

Size/Weight/Water Rating
The EC22 is thinnest at 25.5mm and thickest at 26mm. Overall length is 128.7mm. Weight with a Nitecore IMR 3100mah battery is 126.8G. Water rating is IPX8.

Switch and UI
The UI of this light is very simple due to the linear rotary switch near the front. There is a strong detent on the switch and when you turn it on or off it makes a click that you can hear and feel. The rotary switch rotates clockwise, in my right hand this feels pretty natural to use your thumb and push back. Either way it’s a smooth operation but has decent resistance. I do wish it had a bit more aggressive grip on it due to its resistance. It can be turned on with one finger but is easier with two. I don’t see this light coming on accidentally in your pocket or bag. The light starts in the lowest output it can do which is below a lumen and the further you advance the rotary switch the brighter it gets, do the reverse to turn it off. From off to full is 270 degrees of rotation.

There is no extra modes on this light, shortcuts, or memory mode. This makes it really easy to use.

LED + Runtimes + Temps This light uses a Cree XP-L HD V6 LED in cool white. It’s pretty standard cool white, not too cool and not warm. I don’t notice any significant cree rainbow in this emitter. The reflector is smooth and the lens is anti reflective coated. This light will work with button top batteries and flat tops. It’s nice to see Nitecore evolve into using both types on several recent lights.

Beam Shot
The beam does have some artifacts at the 5-6ft range. I think the bezel causes some distortion as well as the LED Die itself as its kind of square distortions. The reflector itself doesn’t get that close to the LED itself which could be part of it. At further distances it’s not as noticeable.

Parasitic Drain I measured at 1.5uA

Runtime
I did my runtime testing with a Nitecore branded IMR 3100mah button top protected battery. As you can see from the graph the light does have active thermal controls. You can see this as the light ramps down from turbo it dips down, cools off and then for a short time increases in brightness before settling in to about 55% of relative output for a solid 80 minutes. The next 25 minutes the light decreases significantly in output smoothly as the battery runs out. Total runtime of usable light with this 3100mah battery is just at 160 lumens which is quite good. Longer runtimes can be expected for lower outputs as well. Heat was not an issue.

Pro

  • Really easy to use interface once you know which direction the rotary switch operates.
  • Large lanyard hole and tail standing design.
  • Can use flat tops and button top batteries.

Con

  • Body tube flats don’t line up with the button on my example.
  • Pocket clip should have better retention and I would prefer deeper carry.

Conclusion
Nitecore isn’t afraid to try new things with their flashlight designs. For me a rotary switch like this is new and I like it. It’s a little stiff but I expect this to loosen up a bit. I really like the infinitely variable light output this has and I think a rotary switch like this is a decent way to do this. It makes its operation very logical. I think if Nitecore wanted to make a “Tactical” model they could add an electronic switch to the tail cap to add some shortcuts but this would complicate the UI. If you have not tried a light with ramping output it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite features when done right. The output beam isn’t as smooth as I would like to see but I don’t think a non flashaholic would notice this. For me it’s not a deal breaker for what is otherwise a nice flashlight. Thanks again to Nitecorestore.com for sending this to me to evaluate.

FiTorch ER16 Review (1000 Lumens XP-L2, 16340,18350,USB Recharging)

FiTorch is a newer brand to me and this is the first light I have looked at from them. It’s designed for EDC use, has onboard charging via micro USB, magnetic tail cap, and a deep carry pocket clip.Thanks to Banggood for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery https://imgur.com/a/vswz9

YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is a black orange retail style box complete with a hanger. On the rear you get lots of details such as lumens, runtime, battery, and other ratings. Inside you get the light itself in a plastic try along with the accessories including the deep carry clip, lanyard, branded belt holster, and one oring. The holster is made of black nylon, is branded with a sewn in flag. It’s belt loop is fixed, and it doesn’t have an oring. It’s sides are elastic so it fits the light well. You will need to be careful with button placement so you don’t accidently turn it on.




Construction
This light is made from aluminum that’s hard anodized black. Machine is above average quality and inline with the price of the light. The tail cap has circular groves running around it as knurling with 4 pockets milled in to provide extra grip This light unscrews in the middle which is a little different from many. There isn’t any knurling on the body tube but it has enough cuts to provide grip. Threads were nicely greased and fairly fine. For a light of this size it has quite a few threads.


The front end of the light a hexagonal area milled out that contains the button and USB charging port opposite the button. This are is milled out to act as a heat sync The button itself is flat and metal, it’s a floating style button. I do recommend using lockout with this light if your going to carry it in a front pocket. Around it is a small clear bezel with multicolor LED’s under that acts status indicator for power level and onboard battery charging. Further forward is a smoothly milled area where the emitter and lens are.

The bezel is not removable as a front piece itself, itls a larger component and it’s lightly crenulated. The lens itself is anti reflective coated glass. The reflector smooth and fairly deep, and the emitter is nicely centered.


This light is rated for a 16340 battery but there is quite a bit of extra room in the tube when your using a 16340 so I decided to try a flat top 18350 that I had on hand. I had to add a magnet in the center of my flattop to make the light work again because of the physical reverse polarity protection built in but it will work and there is still a bit of extra space left in the tube. With the 16340 battery installed I didn’t have rattle because of the pretty strong spring in the tail.

The light has a strong magnet that very easily holds the light’s weight on a metal surface both horizontally and vertically. No weak magnets here, it’s the way it should be. It’s strong enough that it holds the battery in place too even though there is a spring in between.

93.3mm in length, 27.7mm at it’s thickest (Button) and 23.7mm at it’s thinnest.
Weight with my KeepPower 16340 is 91.3g
Water Rating is IPX8

For a 16340 EDC light it’s a little bigger than I expected. For a front pocket EDC the more lights I test the more I have determined diameter is one of the most important factors and the ER16’s is just a little bigger then I would like. If you have an Emisar D4, it’s pretty similar to that in diameter and length. Lengthwise the ER16 pretty decent. This being said it carried nicely in a couple pairs of jeans. I really liked the clip on the ER16. It’s sturdy and deep carry to where there is almost none of the light showing above your pocket, exactly like I like.

LED + Runtimes + Temps
The ER16 uses a Cree XP-L2 LED in cool white, defined hot center. Output on turbo is 1000 lumens. Medium is 340 lumens, medium is 100 lumens and low is 3 Lumens. I would like to see high be a bit higher and low be a bit lower under ideal circumstances. The beam has a definite hot spot with a decent amount of spill. The light throws better than I expected too. Easily out too 100 yard which is pretty good for this size of light.

Runtime
For my runtimes I used a Keeppower 800mah 16340 battery and an Aspire 1100mah 18350 for comparison. Turbo lasts for about 5 minutes on the 16340 decreasing as voltage drops. It’s more stable on the 18350. The light does step down as you can see from the graph. It’s making usable light out to about 90 minutes. With a 18350 medium lasts a bit longer but the biggest difference with is how much longer low runs for. It makes usesable light out to about 150 minutes before entering low mode at 3 lumens. If you can use an 18350 instead of a 16340 do it, because there is almost no penalty in doing so.

UI
The UI of this light goes as follows Turbo > High > Mid > Low > Turbo. It’s unfortunate it starts in turbo. I think this limits it’s practical EDC use because many times you don’t want to start off at 1000 lumens. There is memory but it’s pretty short in how long it remembers. You can double click to get to strobe and single click to exit that mode.

Lockout is accomplished when the light is off pressing and holding the switch and the indicator will briefly flash red letting you know its locked. Doing the same thing will unlock it and low mode will come on in the main beam.

Voltage check is well done on this light. From off triple click the button 3 times in a row. First you get green flashes showing the first number of the voltage so 3 would be 3 volts then you get red flashes showing the next digit. So 3 green 1 red would be 3.1V.

Charge Graph
This light has onboard USB charging via a micro USB port on the body. As I mentioned earlier the unfortunate thing is that this microUSB port is buried deep requiring a longer then average cable to recharge. For me this kind of defeats the purpose of MicroUSB recharging if I can’t use a standard cable. The light can charge at 1A but it didn’t hold there for to terribly long only about the first 30 minutes before it started slowing as the battery (800mah Keeppower 16340) reached capacity. Terminating voltage was 4.1V. Total charge time was 1 hour and 9 minutes.

Pro
*Quick charging for a 16340
*Fits 18350’s by surprise, nice for extra capacity
*Sturdy deep carry clip and a strong magnet
*Throws well for an EDC light

Con
*Extra deep micro USB connector means most standard cables won’t work for recharging.
*Wish the UI would start on low instead of Turbo.

Conclusion
The FiTorch ER16 has some pretty stiff competition in this size and use case. For me the ArmyTek Prime C1 probably wins out due to it’s slightly thinner profile and button that is less prone to accidental activation. However the ER16 throws further and has a smoother beam profile over the Prime C1 Pro. My recommendation for FiTorch is that they make the UI start on low, and not recess the microUSB connector quite so far so that you could use a standard cable to charge it. If you don’t mind these things the ER16 is a nice light that charges pretty quick and has a strong magnet. It will work well in an EDC application for you.

You can pickup the ER16 on Banggood if you have any questions please let me know below.

Klarus Titanium H1A Headlamp Review

Today I have a new headlamp the Klarus Titanium H1A. This is Klarus’s first headlamp, and as you can see this is is a multi emitter headlamp, with multiple buttons. It’s a dual fuel headlamp running on the included LIthium 14500 cell or alkaline/rechargeable AA batteries. Thanks to FlashlightZ(link is external) for sending this to me to further look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/GQwEL(link is external)
The YouTube Version of this Review:

Construction
The front and side shell of the headlamp itself is made from Titanium. It has a brushed finish and seems to have a clear coat applied over top. On each side there are little rubber notches that are glued on/molded on that give it a little extra grip. On top the buttons are silver plastic and are different sizes that correspond to the different LED’s.




The light pivots at the bottom and has 5 points of defined stops and a full 90 degrees. This is the easiest way to open the battery door and replace a cell. It clips on here at top. You can remove it from the strap which I like but I question if the all plastic pivot and mechanism can stand up to doing this repeatedly.

Inside the screws and springs are gold in color. The battery compartment thanks to the spring can accommodate longer 14500’s but you do need a button top battery.

Klarus markets the titanium in the outside of this light as being super durable, and very heat dissipation. While titanium is a strong and durable material it’s not the best for heat dissipation. Titanium has a relatively low thermal conductivity rating. For example Titanium has a rating of 19 watts per Meter C, Aluminum is 205-250 w/M C, and Copper is 386w/M C. In this the higher number is better means the material has better thermal conductivity and in this application that means it dissipates heat more efficiently. The benefit titanium has is that it’s very high strength for its very light weight which is why I suspect it was chosen here instead of it’s thermal properties. Klarus should just stress it’s high strength and lightweight instead of thermal properties.

The head strap band is one of the nicest I have seen on a headlamp. It’s very elastic, and two tone. The outside is a gray with the Klarus name weaved into the fabric. On the Inside the band is bright orange which might aid in finding it in the dark or in low light. There is also a thin strip of silicone embedded into this inside of the strap. This helps you keep it on your head, and would help it stay put on a clean hard hart or similar helmet.

Weight with strap and battery comes in at 96.6 Grams. Water rating is IPX6 rated. This means it will be just fine for rain and dust but not full submersion.

LED + Runtimes
This light takes a little different approach to others I have looked at recently by having 3 different LED’s. The main brightest emitter is a Cree XP-L V6 LED in cool white with a maximum of 550 lumens. It has 3 modes, High at 550 lumens, Medium at 100 lumens, and low at 30 Lumens. This emitter is almost all flood and even under the lens. The second white emitter is in the middle of the light, and is a Cree XP-E2 R2 LED with a warmer 4000k tone. It’s output is 50 Lumens on medium and 10 on low. This LED also has a Strobe feature at 50 lumens Lastly there is a Cree XP-E2 P2 Red LED that has one mode at 10 lumens and strobe at 10 lumens in red. I wish red had a lower lumen mode as it’s decently bright. On an alkaline or rechargeable AA battery the lumen outputs are the same except for Turbo which is 186 lumens instead of 550. You can run the main emitter and one of the smaller emitters at the same which is a little different.

Main emitter

Secondary emitter

Both

Red

Runtimes are timer based it seems. The light doesn’t get beyond slightly warm when in use for long periods of time. This is disappointing on turbo since it only lasts for about 3-4 minutes You can bump up again but it requires a manual trigger. Runtimes in the middle mode with the main emitter on the included Klarus branded 750 mAh was much longer at about 55 minutes before it dropped off significantly with runtimes ending at the 80 minute mark. The light does have low voltage protection and working voltage is 0.9V to 4.2V.

On a standard Enloop battery the output isn’t as much in Turbo and it’s shorter too at only about 2 minutes. But that middle output 100 lumens ran for nearly 115 minutes before a sharp decline over the next 20 minutes.

UI
On the main LED, the light starts off in high mode in a nice slow fade in, with another press it goes to low, and press again it goes to medium. I would prefer it start out in low, then go to medium and then to High mode. One could argue that if you want low mode you could use the secondary white LED instead of the main one for less output but I think it would be simpler UI wise if they all started in low and left it to the user to bump up in light as needed.

On the secondary LED’s the UI is similar. From off if you press and hold the secondary button you get the lower white output on the secondary warmer LED. Press again to get high output. To get red long press from the light being on to activate red medium mode, and to turn off press and hold.

The light also has a strobing red feature double click the secondary button from off to get into strobe and double click to exit. Lastly there is lockout and to lock/unlock press and hold both buttons for 3 seconds.

Charging
The included Klarus branded 14500 battery is a button top, it’s rated for 750mah, the protection cell on my charger didn’t care for this battery and I was unable to run a capacity test. The built in Micro USB charging on the 14500 is pretty slow. In my testing it was 0.34A for pretty much the entire length of charge. This results in pretty long charge times via USB, in my test it took 3 hours go go from full to empty. For a 750mah 14500 battery this is slow. When charging via USB you get a red LED at the top of the cell that goes blue/white when full. You can always throw it in a charger and charge at 1A faster. I wouldn’t recommend charging faster then 1A though.

What’s in the Box
Packaging is small and compact. The box is nice and designed for retail. Inside is a black and red zippered case, that contains the headlamp, strap, and battery. The battery was preinstalled and mostly precharged. The manual had no major translation issues and is available online from Klarus as well.


Packaging error?


Conclusion
I ended up liking this headlamp more than I thought I would at the beginning. The 3 different emitters are a nice way to give this headlamp alot of ability to cover a variety of situations. For me I this is going to go in my Go/Tornado bag because of it’s dual fuel capability. I generally prefer 18650 headlamps and have a 18650 based flashlight in the bag too, but from reading about peoples experiences after disasters the general consensus there are usually lots of AA batteries available. This headlamp gives me the ability to utilize those if I needed to and give me a headlamp which I find really useful. The case keep everything in one place and all together.

While I personally love Titanium and a large part of my EDC is all titanium, It’s really not necessary in this headlamp from a functional standpoint. It does give it more cool and style points though. FlashlightZ has told me an aluminum version is coming out later this year which should be a little less expensive. I think it would be cool if Klarus did some anodizing on the titanium version to make it a little more special and help justify the increase in price.

To find out more on the light visit Flashlightz.com

Olight H16 Wave, Hands Free Operation

The Olight H16 wave headlight, looks and shares many components with the HS2 that was released last year. The HS2 was a light designed for running, and the H16 Wave is designed more for every day normal use and features a no touch on/off ability. Thanks to Olight for sending this to me to review, let’s take a further look at the H16 Wave.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/hc07d(link is external)
YouTube Version of this Review:

Construction
The construction of the H16 is pretty similar to the HS2 but with a few changes. It appears the battery packs being used are the same in terms of design and capacity. They are encased in black plastic, have the 4 LED battery indicators and charge via microUSB with a silicone cover for the USB port. The straps are stretchy black elastic material with Olight printed on them and silver reflective aarrows. The cable the runs from the battery to the headlamp is one piece which differs from the HS2 where it was two pieces with a connection in the middle. It has a coil that’s allows the cable to stretch to adjust for different size heads.


The Head of the light is made mostly of plastic except for a metal heatsync behind the LED’s. I believe it’s anodized aluminum and it has cooling fins. The front side is plastic and houses the two LED,s and the lenses. Below it is the single blue button covered with a silicon cover. The wave feature I believe is either side of this. The blue button does illuminate when the wave feature is turned on.The light is removable from the strap but the battery is not. There is a bit of foam on the back of the light housing that combined with the strap is plenty of padding. Overall I find this to be adjustable and comfortable as a headlamp to use for several hours due to it’s low weight and padding.



Size/Weight
Weight including strap and battery is 120 grams. Size of the headlamp portion is nearly square at 40mm by 39mm and 25mm in maximum thickness.

LED/Runtime
The H16 Wave uses two Cree XP-G3 LED’s in cool white and places two different optics in front of them. The LED’s work together and you can’t use one at a time like you could on the HS2. For the optics you have a traditional TIR style optic for a beam that throws a bit and has a large hotspot. Mine does exhibit some oddities that I can pick out on a white surface. The other optic is checkered diffuser which creates a flood beam.

TIR Optic Beam Shot

Flood Reflector Beam Shot

Together (How it operates)

Runtimes on this light were good on the included 2000mAh battery pack. It was able to run starting out in High mode at 500 lumens for the 5 timed minutes and stepping down as the timer kicked in down to 350 lumens for another 130 minutes, and then down to medium at 100 lumens for about 15 minutes and then it went low at 5 Lumens for the remaining time. Total run time in my test was right at 140 minutes which is good in my opinion.

The light does have 4 small LED on the battery pack that when battery check button is pressed alert you to the charge status. It also has an audible beeper that will beep when the battery hits 10% and it will continue beeping for 10 minutes. You can stop the beeping by pressing the battery check button.

Charging
Charging the non removable battery is accomplished via microUSB. The light charges at a maximum of 1A and takes quite a while. From empty to 100% in my test it took just under 3 hours. The light will run while it’s charging but not on Turbo.

UI/Wave
The UI on the H16 Wave is simple, like most Olights. From off click the switch and you get High, click again and you get medium, click again and you get low. Starting in high is unfortunate, and I wish it started in low instead.

The wave feature allows you to turn the light on and off via a wave of your hand in front of the light. You need to be reasonably close to the light for this to work. Closer then 2 inches. The wave feature only turns the light on or off, and doesn’t change the mode. I would love to see a mode of the light where you could configure Wave to change modes instead of just on or off. To enable the wave feature when the light is on you long press on the single button and the light will very briefly flicker. You do the same to turn it off. The wave feature will reset to a default of off if it isn’t used within 1 hour.

Packaging
The packaging is similar to Olight’s other 2018 products. It came in a white retail box that was narrow and long. The sides have a few bits of information and the back has most of it. Inside the light is housed in plastic tray with a clear lid. Included in this was the headlamp itself already attached to the strap, the manual, and a nice long microUSB cable.





MSRP at the time of review is $59.99 with a 2 year warranty.

Conclusion
If you have read my previous headlamp reviews, or watched my videos you know I like headlamps and think everyone should have one. The H16 is a slight rethink on the HS2 and I think it makes it better for general users. The wave feature works better than I expected it to and I can see some situations where your hands might be dirty and you want to turn on the headlamp. This would require thinking ahead though and having it already in that mode. Instead of using the wave for on and off I think it might be more useful as a way to go from one mode to another. Like other Olight headlamps I have reviewed this one is built well and I don’t expect problems. I would have preferred a neutral white or warm white option but Olight seems to prefer cool white on most all their products instead. This would be a good headlamp to add to a hiking pack, to use around the house or for all you home mechanics as I showed earlier. Pick it up on Amazon or Olight Store.

Thrunite TC20 Review (XHP70.2 NW, 26650)

Thrunite gets a lot of positive attention with their flashlight models. I previously didn’t have one to review until recently with the TC20. The TC20 is one of the more recent designs from Thrunite(link is external) and I am glad they were able to send it to me for review. This is a 26650 based light, in neutral white capable of producing 3800 lumens and is microUSB rechargeable at 2 amps. Let’s take a closer look at it.

Full Image Gallery for this Review: https://imgur.com/a/BXRHr(link is external)
Youtube Version of this Review:

Construction
The TC20 is made from aluminum that’s been semi gloss black hard anodized. Machining is good with no sharp edges and everything lines up like it should with any printing, and flats on the body. The tail is non magnetic and slightly recessed. There is a small milled out area to attach the included lanyard as well. The tail cap and about ? of the body tube have a diamond knurling pattern that’s more on the aggressive side without being too aggressive to damage pockets. The head is milled from what looks like a solid piece of aluminum. It has 5 flats milled into the ring around the power button which helps control roll.

The button itself has a positive feel to it and makes an audible click. I believe it’s a metal top, with an LED in the center to indicate battery power level and charge status while charging. The reflector is deep and and has a nice orange peel to it. The glass lens is anti reflective coated. The silver colored bezel is removable and is used to contain the lens and reflector. Threads are large and square cut and unanodized. The spring in the tail cap is a double spring design.

!{width:80%}https://i.imgur.com/LgymZtP.jpg!https://i.imgur.com/LgymZtP.jpg(link is external)

Size and Weight
Length of the TC20 was 118.4mm, Maximum diameter was 42mm, minimum diameter was 33.55mm and weight was 238.7 grams. Compared to my Olight R50, it’s length was 132.4mm, it’s maximum diameter was 42mm, the minimum diameter was 33mm and weight was 258.8 grams.

The TC20 is IPX8 water rated which is great for a microUSB rechargeable light. Parasitic Drain was measured at a low 2.0uA.

LED + Runtimes
This light uses Cree XHP70.2 in neutral white as its emitter. I have tested a couple of other lights with the XHP70.2 and found the color rainbow effect where the tint of the beam is to be uneven. It was most noticeable on the eddges of the beam. However on the Thrunite TC20 this was much less noticeable, at distance outside I didn’t notice it at all. The LED is nicely centered in the reflector as well.

Outputs are good for a neutral white XHP70.2. I don’t have a way to independently verify Thrunites claims but in reading other reviews they appear to be accurate. Turbo is rated at 3800 lumens, High at 1800 Lumens, Medium at 320 lumens, low at 38 lumens and firefly at .5 lumens. Interestingly strobe is rated at 2280 lumens. Throw is rated at an impressive 320 meters.

Runtimes were close to what I expected with this light. Turbo starts to decline pretty rapidly which was a little disappointing, but high held for about 7-8 minutes. At that point the light was producing about 55% of its output and it saw one more decline where it held steady at about 40% of it’s output for about 90 minutes. This is still a significant amount of output for an extended period of time. At the tail end it was a pretty fast decline to zero where the low voltage protection kicked in and stopped output. Turbo to flat runtime was about 110 minutes.

One thing that’s interesting is in the manual it says not to use turbo for more then 10 minutes to protect the light, battery and it’s components. The light does get warm to the touch but never so hot that it feels dangerous to hold or like it could be damaging the light.

Beam Pattern
The beam pattern is pretty even, there isn’t a significant hotspot but there is a small less noticeable one. The beam is primarily flood but has a good amount of throw to it as well. In my outdoor shots you will see how well it really lights up a large area that’s approximately 100 yards in length. It’s a really useful beam in my opinion for general use especially when your looking to light up a large area at one time. See the video for more.

Charging
The light has built in USB charging via microUSB opposite the main mode button in the head of the light. To cover the port there is a beefier rubber cover that can be rotated out of the way. It can charge at a rate up go 2A which helps with charging speed greatly with the high capacity 5000mAh Thrunite button top 26650 battery that is included with this light. The light also works in Firefly, Low, and Medium mode. Thrunite includes a high quality USB cable with the light as well which I recommend using. If you see charging take over 2.5 hours make sure you look at your power source is providing a reliable, clean 2+ Amps.

UI
UI on the TC20 is basic and pretty logical. I like how they have chosen to keep strobe out of the main group of 3 modes (Low, Medium, and High). Turbo is accessible from any mode with a double click. Getting to strobe is slightly more difficult than other lights. You have to first be in turbo by double clicking and then double click again to go to strobe. I like this as I rarely have a use for strobe.

Moonlight mode is only accessible when the light is off by pressing the button and holding until it turns on. This light does have memory mode for the main 3 modes and you can return to it by just clicking the button once quickly. There is no software lockout mode.

The light also has a power capacity indicator in the main button. At 100% power it is a steady blue, at 11-20% power it’s red, at between 1 and 10% power remaining it flashes red.

Packaging
Thrunites packaging is a nicely executed and minimalistic. The light comes in a brown sturdy box with a line drawing of the TC20 and minimal info. It was held together with a clear rubber band. Inside is the lightself protected via foam with the battery preinstalled but using a contact protecting plastic disk that needs removed prior to first use. Under the foam is the USB cable, lanyard, holster, spare orings, side switch cap, and manual.






Comparisons
Compared with my Olight R50 which also has MicroUSB charging, and a 26650 battery the Thrunite TC20 is a shorter more compact design. It’s head is a bit smaller in diameter too. Knurling on the Olight is different, less aggressive. I do like the Thrunites more aggressive feel in the hand. Both fit well in my medium sized hand. The Olight has a beam that has a hotter spot and is designed for a bit more throw. It’s spill is less intense and has a harder cut off. The Thrunite TC20 beam is more even and seems to cover a wider angle. It’s neutral white LED really help bring out the natural color of things which I really prefer. Both are good lights lights, but for me the Thrunite TC20 wins out due to it’s slightly brighter, neutral white LED, and standard battery.


Pro

  • Relatively fast 2A charging on the included non proprietary 5000mah 26650 button top battery.
  • Neutral White Tint – but it does have some Cree Rainbow
  • Simple UI & Good mode spacing with Firefly
  • Nice fit in the hand and more compact than other similar lights.
  • I like that they include an extra side switch cap in the packaging.

Con

  • Cree XHP70.2 has some noticeable color shift across the beam, this has been similar across all of the XHP70.2 lights that I have reviewed, this is less noticeable at a distance.
  • No software lockout mode, but mechanical lockout works.
  • The holster is pretty basic, but functional.

Conclusion
I like this form factor for a light, it’s a good general purpose size for non pocket EDC uses. It would make for a great camping light or day/night hiking due to it’s runtime and good mix of throw and flood. For me it fits in the hand well without being too big or to small. I really like that Thrunite offers neutral white tints on many of their lights. I quite like this size of light, how well it tail stands and how much light it produces for a good amount of time without getting too hot. Thrunite has a presale running right now where you can save 20% off the cost of the TC20 by buying from their store http://www.thrunite.com/thrunite-tc20-3800-lumen-flashlight/(link is external) (Non affiliate).