Klarus XT11 GT Pro Review (2000 Lumens, Cree XHP 35 HD, USB-C,18650)

Today I have a newer light from Klarus the XT11 GT Pro. This is an update to a light that Klarus has made previously. Klarus (Affiliate) sent this to me earlier in the year for review, and I appreciate their patience as it took me a little while to get to it. 

 

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Construction

The XT11GT Pro is made from aluminum and is anodized in a smooth medium gloss black anodizing. Visually it’s different then the standard XT11GT. It features the same tactical tail cap, with the large center button being a mechanical switch with a grippy silicon cover and the paddle on the side to allow for mode selection. The paddle was upgraded to aluminum here for incredibility. The clip is a clip on, non fixed and rotates around the body of the light. It’s not deep carry with it leaving about 32mm exposed from a pocket. 

The body is milled with small horizontal lines going around the body of the light and then it has small relieves milled in. It’s a nice change from traditional knurling and provides a good amount of grip. The threads are nice and square cut and it’s a dual wall construction. The head and body tube appear to be once piece. As we get to the head of the light it grows in size, It’s got a built in anti roll ring that adds some style and nicely disguises the USB charging port cover. This is definitely one of the better designs I have seen for this. 

The bezel is a little aggressive and the outer edges have some sharper sides. It’s a gunmetal color and stainless steel I believe. It’s easily unscrewed by hand. Inside is a anti reflective coated glass lens, a fairly deep smooth reflector 

 

Size and Weight

I measured the length at 139mm, minimum diameter on the body at 25mm, maximum diameter on the head at 35mm. Weight with the included battery and clip was 169.2g. 

For an 18650 light it’s a little on the long side, but that’s not unexpected with the deeper reflector. Here are some comparison shots with the light and some others.

 

Retention

Your 2 Retention methods on this light is with the included pocket clip. Unfortunately this isn’t deep carry carry with about 32mm of the light exposed if you do decide to use the clip. With the size of this light that’s ok, as I think it’s more of a bag or coat light myself. The included holster does the job pretty well too, no complaints there. 

 

LED & Beamshots

The XT11 GT Pro is using the Cree XHP 35 HD LED in cool white at 6500k. This is an interesting choice of LED”s since it’s officially been discontinued by Cree. That said plenty of existing stock still exists and Klarus must feel like they have enough to meet the expected demand of this light. The beam it’s self is a good all arounder. The deep smoother reflector means the light has a fairly small hotspot and it throws pretty well but there is also spill to allow for short and medium range light. So a good all around beam. 

The light will run on 18650 batteries which is how I will use it, but it will also run on 2x CR123a batteries which is nice as a backup. As a result the working voltage is 2.8V to 6.4V/ No PWM was observed. 

 

Runtime & Heat

I measured runtime with the included 3100mAh battery. Turbo runtime was 50 seconds before stepping down to 90% and then it ran for another 2 minutes 10 seconds before settling at 30% relative output where it ran for an additional 1:37:00. Total runtime was 2 hours. Max Heat I saw was 42C at 1:35. 

 

UI

Like many of Klarus recent lights this has 2 modes of operation, a Tactical and a Outdoor setting. The tactical mode allows the main button on the rear of the light to go to turbo, and the paddle to be a shortcut for strobe that you can lock on by holding for 2 seconds.

I primarily tested the light in it’s outdoors setting though. When in this setting the primary button on the rear is a shortcut to turbo both as momentary or locked on. Once on you can use the paddle to decrease the modes from turbo, high, Medium, and low. You can also use the paddle when the light is off to start in moonlight mode and then increase in output for each push. It’s a system that works better then I expected and is pretty intuitive once you use and get it.  

 

Recharging

One of the updates the XT11 GT Pro has is USB-C charging. Unfortunately it doesn’t support USB-C to C or USB-C PD charging. So you need to use the supplied (or similar) USB-A to USB-C cable to charge the light. The port cover here is nicely shaped and fits well into the side of the head. It’s one of the better executions I have seen of this in 2020. 

I charged the included 3100mAh battery from LVP to full in a total time of 3:23:10. It wasn’t the fastest charging rate, as the maximum I saw was right at 1A. There is a small LED indicator light built into the side of the light to act as a battery charge state indicator. Green is anything more then 70%, orange is between 30-70%, and red is less then 30%, red flashing is less then 10%. 

Packaging

My light is a super early production light (Serial number 17), and doesn’t have a box so I can’t comment on that. I can tell you the accessories it came with. My light came with a 3100mAh button top protected IMR 18650 battery, a Klarus branded lanyard and a USB-A to USB-C charging cable. It also came with a nylon, Klarus branded holster. It has a Dring and velcro belt loop. It seems to be solidly made. 

 

Pro

  • I like the outdoor UI setting here once you get the hang of it but it’s a little different.
  • Nice size in the hand for an all around light if you want your buttons on the rear.


Cons

  • Seems expensive
  • Cool white only
  • No true moon light mode, lowest is 10 lumen output
  • No USB-C to C compatibility and slow charging

 

Conclusion

My conclusion for the Klarus XT11GT Pro is that it’s a good all around light general purpose light. The 2 UI modes allow you to use it tactically if you want or use it in the outdoor mode which is more appropriate for everyday uses like power outages and camping. The beam is useful with enough throw and spill to do both jobs pretty well. What I don’t care for is the asking price I am seeing at the time of filming. It’s high in my opinion currently. Around $50-60 would make it a good value but at nearly double that I would struggle to pay full price. So if you’re interested I would watch for a sale or coupon. 

Acebeam TK18 Review (3000 Lumens, LH351D, Triple Emitter, EDC Flashlight)

Today I am taking a look at the Acebeam TK18 in Aluminum. This is triple LED light thats powered by an 18650 battery and is available with 3 different LED options in 3 different materials. Today I have the Aluminum light with the Samsung LH351D LED’s. Thanks to Nitetorch for sending this to me to look at and review.

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging on the TK18 is a nice white pull out box with a line drawing of the light on the front. On the side it has all the LED options and materials on it marked with small stickers. Inside you get an assortment of things, such as the light, an optional Acebeam ARC18650H-310A 3100mAh battery, 2 spare orings, button cover, branded lanyard, and a USB-A to MicroUSB charging cable that has a optional area to plug in another cable to say charge your phone if needed.

 

Construction

The TK18 is available in 3 different materials, Aluminum which I have here, a raw copper, and a titanium. The anodizing here is a flat black that reminds me kind of Armytek since it’s a little chalky. Starting at the tail as always the only button on this light is a nice contrasting gray silicone, and recessed. It’s an electronic switch so it doesn’t take much pressure to actuate, and it’s non magnetic. The lanyard attachment point is on the tail cap as well.

Inside the threads are anodized, square cut and nicely greased. There is a inner tube in this light which is a little surprising with it’s small diameter. In the tail cap there is a short spring as well. The body tube has small rectangles for grip, these are short and everything is nicely chamfered, it’s similar to a frag pattern but smoother and less harsh. The pocket clip only attaches near the head of the light on the body tube and is non captured. More on that in a minute. The front of the body tube does have a retaining ring in it so the battery can only slide out from the rear. 

The head features a spring as well inside, on the outside it’s pretty basic and has minimal heatsinking. The front bezel does have crenulations and has a nice patinated copper color. The edges of it are a little up, especially considering this is a bezel up EDC. Underneath is a carillo style optic, with a glass ARC lens on top. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 105.27mm, minimum diameter on the body at 22.28mm, maximum diameter on the head of the light at 25.19mm. Weight with the clip and the Acebeam 18650 battery was 109.1g. The light is IPX8 water rated. Here are a few pictures of similar lights so you can see a size comparison.

 

 

Retention

The Acebeam TK18 comes with a dual direction pocket clip that attaches on the front side only of the body of the light. It’s a pretty long clip in comparison to the light and it’s fairly deep carry with about 9.5mm sticking up out of your pocket, but the retention to the light could be a little better. I also didn’t care for the bezels sharpness here when EDCing it in a front pocket, my hand caught it once or twice. The clip does also allow for you to attach it to a baseball hat if you want, that side is fairly stiff.

 

LED & Beam

The LED’s in use on my light are the Samsung LH351D in cool white. At this point I think I have all major tints of the LH351D, and unfortunately cool white happens to be my least favorite just because of the tint mainly. In the TK18 you do have that carillo style optic which puts out a pretty even beam like most triple LED lights. It’s fairly floody but can throw at the higher powers, great for EDC and this is a smaller diameter light then a lot of triples. No PWM was observed. 

Stated mode spacing with the Samsung LH351D CW Emitters and a 20A 18650 in Power Mode.

  • Ultra Low – 3 Lumens
  • Low – 80 Lumens
  • Med – 200 Lumens
  • High – 1000 Lumens
  • Turbo – 3000 Lumens

 

Stated mode spacing with the Samsung LH351D CW Emitters and a 20A 18650 in Eco Mode.

  • Ultra Low – 3 Lumens
  • Low – 80 Lumens
  • Med – 200 Lumens
  • High – 630 Lumens
  • Turbo – 1450 Lumens

 

Heat & Runtime

I did all my runtime tests with the included Acebeam ARC18650H-310A 3100mAh battery. You need a battery capable of at least 20A sustained to get close to the rated outputs. The light will also run off 2 CR123A batteries with about half the normal outputs in high and turbo but similar overall runtimes. My tests were unknowingly done in Eco mode, read the directions guys. I will put some graphics of what Turbo mode looks like at the end. 

 

In Eco I was able to hold turbo 1450 lumens for 5:30 before stepping down and this was pretty good. Step down was 55% of relative output where it held till the 2:17:00 mark. Starting at 2:00:00 the light starts flashing, dropping output down near 20% then back up to 55% to let you know the battery is getting low. This continues as the light does it’s last major step down to 6% relative output for the remaining hour. Total runtime in Eco from Turbo was 3:15:00. I saw max temps of 52C at the 10 minute mark in Eco. 

Here are 2 graphs of what output was like in Power mode with the same supplied battery. 

 

UI

You have 2 main UI groups with this light, an Eco and a Power mode, by default the light ships in Eco mode. To switch between them you have to lock the light (From off press and hold for 5 seconds), While locked click 10 times and the light will go from low output a higher output and this will mean the light is in power mode. It’s a similar action to go back to eco.

 

Normal operation is a short press to turn on where you last left it (Not for ultra low or turbo) then press and hold to cycle through each mode steps (Low, medium, high). Double click at any time to get to turbo, triple press to get to strobe. It’s a fairly simple UI thats similar to many other lights. Just read the manual for switching between eco and power.

 

Recharging

My light came with the Acebeam ARC18650H-310A 3100mAh protected button top battery. It has a MicroUSB port on the side for charging and is pretty long a 69.95mm in length. It also has an LED indicator on the positive terminal side, it’s always green when charged, but does turn off when fully discharged.I charged the light from LVP at 2.961V tyo Full at 4.168V in 2:31:35. Max charge rate I saw was 1.1A. The charge curve started off slow as I like to see then increased substantially and then trailed off. No issues here other then it’s a bit slow. 

 

Pro’s

  • I find this as a good looking light with the copper colored accents
  • Small diameter for a dual tube, triple LED light.
  • On the pricey side for not having a battery that comes with all packages. Aluminium is fairly affordable.

 

Con’s

  • No tint data for the LED choices are given, the LH351D’s here are cool white, quite floody.
  • Doesn’t seem to hit 3000 lumens when compared to other lights, this is supported by a few other reviewers. 
  • Front bezel needs to be toned down a little for a head up EDC light.

 

Conclusion

The Acebeam TK18 is an interesting light overall. Visually I like most of the look here, the aged copper colored accents are nice, I wish the clip didn’t have the Acebeam website on it, because I think that’s a little distracting. It’s pretty thin for a triple LED too, which helps it cary well in the pocket. It’s as narrow as many of the competitors single LED lights. That said I don’t care for the semi aggressive bezel when carrying. 

 

While I typically love the Samsung LH351D emitters, here I would probably recommend you go with the Nichia 219C instead to get high CRI and hopefully a warmer emitter. You give up some output but I am ok with that. The UI here is easy to follow but I don’t care for the Eco and Power settings, it adds unnecessary complexity. It’s nice to be able to use CR123A too in a pinch, it’s not something you see that often anymore. Overall if you were looking for a small diameter triple and wanted something a bit different with LED options that was reliable this would be a solid choice, just make sure your using a very capable battery for max performance.

Acebeam L17 Review (160,801 Candela, 1400 Lumens, Awesome Thrower)

Today I have a new compact tactical thrower from Acebeam. They boast that the L17 which easily fits in your hand will throw out ot 802 meters. It runs off an 18650 and features a Osram LED. Thanks to Acebeam for sending me this new model. Let’s take a detailed look. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

The light does come in 3 different versions, a white or Green LED version both capable of 800 and 820M of throw respectively, and a Red LED version that’s capable of 460M of throw. T

The standard package is a nice retail box with a line drawing of the light and the LED lumen and distance ratings on the box. On the back side there is a lot of stats and detailed info, good for any retailer looking to sell this. Accessories that are included is the light with the clip and tactical ring installed on the light. It comes with a lanyard, spare button cover and 2 spare orings as well as the standard paperwork and manual. You also get a nylon holster that’s branded Acebeam that has a D ring and belt loop with a button. 

Acebeam offers a couple of additional accessories on their website that will work with the L17 but are not sold in the standard version. First is a 10A rated 18650 battery with microUSB charging and a remote pressure switch for only $10 which is a good price. 

 

Construction

The L17 is made from aluminium and is hard anodized in a flat black. In the tail is the e-switch for the light and it’s truly silent. The cover is a rubber boot that has medium texture that sits just under the bezel. Internally, the tail has a single stiff gold coated spring and then an additional contact to the inner tube of the light. Threads are anodized, square cut and smooth. 

There is a tactical ring on the body which serves as a cigar grip point, the lanyard attachment point and adds reinforcement/lock for the clip on pocket clip. Both the tactical ring and pocket clip are removable should you wish. It’s a nice way to add quite a bit of security to the clip without making it permanent. The body tube itself is plain and features no knurling, I would like to see a little more grip here or closer to the head. 

The head itself is glued to the body. The head has some decorative milling around it and it helps dissipate some heat. The bezel is aluminum and has some modest large crenulations for a tactical light. The lens is glass with a Carclo TIR lens inside designed to enhance the throw. 

Size and Weight

I measured the length at 140mm, minimum diameter of the body tube at 25.5mm, and maximum diameter of the head at 40mm. Weight with an 18650 battery is 196.9g,

 

 

Retention

You have a couple of retention and carry options with the L17. It does come with that nylon holster for belt carry. It’s a basic holster but does the job well. You also have that pocket clip. The clip is 1.4 inches from the top of the light so it’s definitely not deep carry. 

LED & Beamshot

Acebeam doesn’t specify which LED exactly is in the L17 only that it’s an Osram. I asked my contact for clarification and they said it was an Osram KW CSLPM1.TG which is a mouthful but good to know exactly whats in it. It’s a very throwy LED that Acebeam has put a TIR optic on top with a glass lens. It’s different looking than your traditional optic and this is designed for all throw. 

The result is a light that has virtually no spill, it’s all focused on the center in a tight pattern. The combination of the optic and LED choice explain the claimed 160,801 candela rating here at 1400 lumens in Turbo mode. Tint here is cool white but I don’t detect much blue in the beam. In my night shots it stands up pretty well to some of the competitors using different LEDs but this has a tighter more focused beam. I didn’t notice any PWM here.

Specs below are for the White Version I have. The Green version throws slightly further. 

  • Turbo – 1400 Lumens – 160,801 Candela
  • High – 370 Lumens – 42,025 Candela
  • Mid – 150 Lumens – 23,409 Candela
  • Low – 50 Lumens – 11,025 Candela
  • Ultra Low – 15 Lumens – 3,600 Candela

 

Heat & Runtime

I did all my runtime and heat tests with the supplied (optional) Acebeam 3100mAh battery that was sent. It’s a 10A battery so keep that in mind for what you decide to put in this light and choose something with at least htis rating. Total runtime was 4:35:00. In my runtime tests I saw Turbo last for 3:30 before stepping down to right at 50% relative output. This is also where I saw maximum heat at 64C (147F) so this definitely gets hot and that thermal protection kicks in to limit output. The light maintained this 50% output for a total of 1 hour before stepping down again to about 4% relative output. My advice would be if you plan to use this light on Turbo for more then once past step down is to wear gloves. It only takes exposures above 60C for more then 3 seconds to get 1st degree burns.

 

UI

The L17 uses a pretty traditional and simple interface. When Off long press on the rear tail switch for ultra low (15 lumen), single click to turn off. Single press to turn on to low, long press to cycle modes. Double click to go to turbo, and triple click to go to strobe. 

 

I will say mode spacing here isn’t super common. Ultra low is 15 lumens and throws really well for not much light. Next is low at 50 lumens, Mid is 150 lumens, high is 370 lumens. Acebeam says this will go 410 meters. Next is Turbo the full 4500 lumens or 160,801 candella. 

 

Pro’s

  • Nice to see colored LED’s being offered here instead of just a filter. I could see this being popular with a hunter with the green tint option. 
  • Very tight and compact beam with great throw
  • A fairly compact bezel which makes this more accessible.
  • Silent Tail Switch & good vibration resistance.

 

Con’s

  • The light gets incredibly hot during turbo before step down. Wear some gloves or hold the back of the light.
  • Big steps between High and Turbo. 

 

Conclusion

I can recommend the Acebeam L17 if you’re in the market for a fairly compact 18650 powered thrower with basically no spill. I am typically not a big fan of tactical lights but the UI on this light is pretty non-tactical so it works out well. 

 

This isn’t the light to take with you when hiking, or for EDC or for walking the dog to see right in front of you. It would be great for a security guard who was needing to point out a specific spot on a house or inspect something from a distance. It’s also just a lot of fun to impress your friends or significant other, it’s a lot of power and so focused. It’s probably the next best thing to a LEP light.

 

https://www.batteryjunction.com/acebeam-l17.html

Meote FM1 Review (Dazzler or Dud?)

Meote is a new flashlight brand on the market a collaboration between Banggood and one of it’s affiliate marketers. It’s first light is the FM1 and it features quad LED, available in multiple tints, multi color auxiliary LED, an attractive exposed copper and black body and running an 18650 battery. Thanks to Banggood for sending me this light for review. Let’s see if their first light is a dazzler or a dud. 

 

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Packaging and Accessories

The packaging here is pretty nice. It’s a black retail hanging box that looks pretty sharp with a picture of the light on the fron. Inside the light is shipped with foam surrounding the light. Accessories that come with the light a nylon holster that’s branded with Meote’s logo, It clips on to your belt with a clip, and doesn’t have a d-ring. Other accessories include 2 o’rings and a simple manual. The print is very small and I would suggest just going to ToyKeepers website to get a larger copy of the Anduril manual. 

 

 

Construction & Build

There are 2 versions of this light. First is the version I have here with the LH351D LED (Other LED’s are available), coated copper head and Andruil firmware. There is then the aluminum alloy version with anodized accents (Blue and Green), with NarsilM firmware.  The version I have here is available with the black anodizing, blue or sand. 

 

This light is built a little differently than other lights, it takes design elements from the FW3A but puts it’s own larger spin on them. Starting at the tail the mechanical switch has a metal button with the Meote logo etched in. It’s a loud button, probably the loudest I have. Inside it features a dual spring but they are rather weak which causes the light to shut off if bumped moderately when on. Inside the body section there is an inner tube that’s not secured one either end. Threads are square cut, raw and a bit rough. 

Body section has some basic grooves cut into it. The body section doesn’t split where you think it should when lining up with the head, instead it’s just behind the copper part of the light. The head itself has a large outer copper sleeve with fins milled in. They are coated to prevent oxidation. On mine it seems to be missing an oring but there is a place milled for it. Inside there is an anodized aluminum large retaining ring holding the pill in. The bezel is aluminum and crenulated holding in the quad optic. 

 

It’s worth noting here that at least with my flat top, unprotected high drain VT6 battery, it’s very easy to bump the light and have it turn off. A stronger/longer tail sprint would fix this.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 110mm, minimum diameter on the body at 21.4mm, and maximum diameter on the head at 30mm. I measured the weight with a Sony VTC6 battery at 185.5g. It’s not a light light.

Retention

The light does feature a reasonably deep pocket clip with large cap screws with a 3/32 hex head. Not typical of other flashlights. My clip was originally bent out from the body of the light and didn’t make contact. I was able to bend it back fairly easily as it’s soft steel. It also comes with a nylon case that’s decent. It has a clip on the rear instead of D-Ring.

 

LED & Beamshots

The FM1 is available with a number of LED’s, the one I have here is running Samsung LH351D at 5000k. I think it’s a bit warmer then that in my eyes and when compared with other lights. SST20 at 4000k and XPL-Hi at 6500k are also available. Meote claims the light produces 4980 lumens and that number is probably with the XPL-Hi LED’s but testing on BLF has said otherwise. I don’t have a current method I trust to accurately make a lumen claim myself.

Beam pattern has a decent amount of artifacts that you notice on the edges of the spill. I think it’s the crenulations that are causing most of this. Out of my D4 and FW4A it’s what I would consider the most undesirable beam shape. It’s mostly a floodly light and at a distance you don’t really notice a hot spot. 

There have been several reports of the driver on this light flickering during high output uses. My example doesn’t have that problem at least when I am running a Sony VTC6 battery. It’s worth noting here that at least with my flat top, unprotected high drain VT6 battery, it’s very easy to bump the front or back of the light and have it turn off. A stronger/longer tail sprint would fix this.

 

Heat and Runtime

No big surprises here in the heat and runtime category. It’s a quad LED light without a ton of thermal mass so Turbo output starts stepping down almost immediately and at 30 seconds it’s 3.5 times less light then when it started turbo. It does have active thermal regulation so we saw it step up and down slowly during the total 2 hour and 40 minute run time. Most of this was spent between 25%-40% relative output. FL1 was at 2 hrs and 32 minutes. Maximum heat I saw was 47C at the 12 minute mark. LVP came in at 3.02V.

UI

The Meote FM1 is using the Andril firmware we have gone over before with several other lights I have reviewed like the Lumintop FW3a, FW4a, FireFlies E07 and others so I will be brief. It provides the ability to run in a nice ramping mode, stepped mode, and has tons of extra features. Do seriously check out the diagram and practice with it so you use the light to the full potential if you decide to get one. I would also recommend doing a thermal config if you plan to use the light seriously. 

 

One thing some of the other lights I have reviewed have not had are the RGB auxiliary LED’s that this one does. You can adjust the brightness to low, high, or in a blinking color mode by 7 quick clicks when the main led are off. You can also adjust the color of the LED, with 7 click then hold from off. It can do static colors R, Y, G, C, B, V, W, rainbow which I have it in here, and volts mode which gives you a quick flash of the previous color then fades to the next. 

 

Pro’s

  • Use of the Samsung LH351D LED’s is nice
  • Exposed copper even though it’s coated
  • Auxiliary LED’s

 

Con’s

  • Internal Build quality 
  • Beam Pattern
  • Easy to bump and have the light turn off
  • Clip is easily bent

 

Conclusion

On paper I wanted to like ths light, It’s a little bigger than I typically want to EDC in the summer but I just liked the look of the exposed copper, it had a pretty good deep carry clip, high CRI LH351D led’s that are warmer, and aux LED’s are always fun too. So this had the potential to be a good light, but when I got my hands on it turned out to be a light I just didn’t enjoy very much. 

 

I have a hard time recommending this light. There are better options like the Lumintop FWXA series and Emmisar D4V2 for lights that do similar things. These don’t have the issues like this FM1 has, like a bump shuts the light off, the interior build quality, a flickering power issue some people on BLF have reported, a clip that’s not touching the body, and an undesirable beam shape. 

 

To me it feels more like a prototype than a finished product. A lot of these issues should have been caught during the development process and worked out before bringing it to market. Instead we are left with a light that just isn’t as good as it should have been.

 

Banggood is offering 20% off the Meote FM1 using https://ban.ggood.vip/Ugny and coupon code BGCP1PC

See Banggood’s other July Flashlight sales https://bit.ly/3jGzsSl

Sofirn SP33 V3 Review (3500 Lumens, Multi battery compatible, $32 price tag)

Sofirn has made an upgrade to their SP33 light after taking feedback from the flashlight community and come out with the SP33 V3 edition. It can use a several sizes of batteries such as a 26650, 18650, and even 21700’s. It features a Cree XHP50.2 at 3V LED and produces 3500 lumens in a pretty compact light and a very budget friendly price. Thanks to Sofirn for sending this to me to check out.

Sofirn is offering 36% off the SP33 V3 that’s available from Amazon by using the coupon LiquidRetro combine that with the click off coupon to save a total of 36% brining this to $32.24 before tax. Get it at https://amzn.to/32M5SoH

 

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Packaging & Accessories

 The SP33 has a bit of a more retail looking box then we have seen from them in the past. It’s a black and orange hanger box but it doesn’t have a photo of the light on it, just a night shot showing a very bright flashlight. Accessories that are included with the SP33 V3 Kit are The 5500mAh 26650 battery, 18650 battery adapter tube, USB-A to C charging cable, manual, and a lanyard with a couple extra o’rings. 

 

Construction

The SP33 V3 is made of 6061 aluminum and hard anodized in black. Machining is good for the price range, with no major concerns. Starting at the tail cap, it has a crown and one side has 2 holes for a lanyard attachment point. They are just a little to small to easily fit paracord in, but you might be able to if you are patient and creative. Knurling is straight and there are a few flats in place for style. This is different from the rest of the light but provide function. Inside there is a single short fairly stiff spring that provides compatibility with the many different battery types this light supports. Threads are ACME cut and were dry in my example.

The body tube is reversible and has a decently thick walls. There isn’t a place for a clip but that’s ok for a light of this diameter in my opinion. The knurling is standard diamond knurling and is done in four panels around the light and is of medium texture.

The head is a solid piece. In the center you have the flat plastic e-switch button with an LED in the middle used for power indication. Around the hexagon there are small areas milled in to help with cooling and give style. Opposite the button is the USB-C port for recharging. The silicon cover here is a bit large and does protrude slightly from the lights back, enough so it won’t sit flat on this port but in the hand this works fine and stays out of the way.

The V3 features a deeper stainless steel bezel with a few short but long crenelations. This has been lengthened on the V3 version. The lens looks to be uncoated mineral glass and is fairly thick. The reflector underneath is deep with an orange peel.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length of the light at 126mm, maximum diameter at 37.5mm, minimum diameter at 32mm. Weight with the included battery is 229g. 

I don’t have a lot of other great 26650 lights that are similar sized to compare it to. What I do have is the Wowtac A4 V2 I reviewed recently. It’s similar in length and diameter but the head is much larger. I also have the Sofirn SP36 I reviewed last year, its similar in length but has more diameter due to it’s 3 18650 batteries. 

Retention

Not much to say on retention here, there isn’t a place for a clip on the light, and it doesn’t come with a holster. The tail cap does have a place for a lanyard to attach if you wish. The light does tail stand without an issue.

 

LED & Beam Shots

V3 of this light is using a Cree XHP50.2 LED at 3V instead of the 6V version of this led. Tint is listed at between 6000-6500k, so cool white. On lower powers I do notice a bit of green tint shift on my example but it’s minimal. On higher powers you do notice tint shift across the beam. I would categorize the light as an all purpose beam, It’s fairly wide and the hotspot is so broad it’s not a thrower, yet it goes a good distance as you can see in my night shots. Sofirn quotes a throw of 275 meters and I think that’s a good number that’s in the ballpark.

V3 is using a FET driver instead of boost driver meaning it’s drawing more current from the battery thus the higher turbo output that’s seen here. You are going to want to use a good high quality high drain flat top battery with this light for maximum performance. It can accept 26650’s of all types, 18650’s of all types with the included spacer, or unprotected flat top 21700 batteries. The light has PWM on all modes according to my scope and solar cell setup. That said it’s pretty fast and my eyes or camera don’t notice it. 

 

Output is listed as:

  • Turbo 3500 Lumens
  • High 1600 Lumens
  • Medium 450 Lumens 
  • Low 150 Lumens
  • Moon 1 Lumen

 

Heat and Runtime

The SP33 V3 features Advanced temperature regulation without timed step downs, instead output will decline with the drivers internals reach 55C. Brightness will increase again when temps decrease, and we can see this in the runtime graph, as it’s a very seesaw motion. On average you’re seeing maybe a 20% swing in relative output over the life of the battery after the initial turbo step down. I didn’t notice it unless I was really focused on it on a 25 minute walk with the light. Turbo did start stepping down due to heat at 1 min 45 seconds, taking a little over a minute to step down to 18% relative output to cool. From here you can see on the graph it went up and down in terms of output as the flashlight regulated its own heat.

Total runtime on the included 5500mAh battery was 3:24:00. FL1 was at 3:11:00 and the maximum temp I saw during my runtime on the exterior was 48C or 118F so definitely very warm. All temps were taken at my ambient room temp of about 25C.

 

User Interface

 This light has 2 UI modes, default mode (mode 1) is a stepped mode that works logically. It has moonlight, low, medium, and high modes with memory and Turbo without. A single click turns the light on from off, and holding the button down cycles through modes. Long press when off turns on Moonlight mode and double click goes to Turbo. Triple click to go to SOS/blinking modes.

The second UI mode is a ramping mode. To switch between the 2 modes when the light is on do a quick quad press. Ramping is like many other ramping modes with a flash on both the top and bottom end. For me while I like being able to set brightness exactly where I want it, I don’t love the speed of the ramp here, it’s a little on the slow side. 

There is an electronic lockout when the light is off just quad click quickly. You can also mechanically lock it out with a slight twist of the tail or body tube. This is useful for such a powerful light os you don’t burn a hole in a bag or coat. 

 

Recharging

The light isn’t picky on the size of batteries used in the light diameter or size wise. It can accept 26650’s of all types, 18650’s of all types with the included spacer, or unprotected flat top 21700 batteries. The later having the most slop in the tube due to not including an appropriately sized spacer. I used the supplied 5500mAh Sofirn 26650 battery for my charging tests. LVP came in on the light at 2.895V, so a little lower then I prefer but acceptable. The battery measured as fully charged at 4.15V. 

The light does use USB-C for recharging which is nice to see. However it requires a USB-A to C cable (Supplied) to charge, and isn’t compatible with a C-C cable. When charging the small LED in the center of the button blinks red, and goes blue when charged. From LVP to full the light took 3 hours, 30 minutes. Maximum charging rate was 1.7A. 

 

Pro’s

  • Great budget friendly price for a lot of light in a good overall package.
  •  Is available in a few different versions, and battery options.
  •  UI is more “beginner friendly” than Anduril firmware.

 

 

Con’s

  • Still not fully utilizing USB-C to C, requires a USB-A to USB-C cable to recharge.
  • Very active thermal controls, with a good amount of change in output. 
  • No Neutral White tint option.

 

Conclusion

The Sofirn SP33 V3 is a low cost light with a lot of Output. Sofirn lists the light as making 3500 lumens. It runs on 26650, 18650 and some 21700 batteries so it’s widely compatible with the 3 most popular battery sizes today. 

 

It has features not usually found in this price category like USB-C charging (not compatible with USB-C PD (C-C) charging), active thermal controls, and a stainless steel bezel. The active Thermal controls are pretty reactive but they are smooth and I don’t notice it with my eye as much as the graph shows. I wish it was more widely available in Neutral white, they list it as an available option on their AliExpress store but I don’t see these available from other retailers. 

 

For the money especially with the discount Sofirn has provided makes this a really great value for the complete kit. It fits well in my hand and produces a ton of light. I can easily recommend this as a great high output budget light to pick up.

Sofirn is offering 36% off the SP33 V3 that’s available from Amazon by using the coupon LiquidRetro combine that with the click off coupon to save a total of 36% brining this to $32.24 before tax. Get it at https://amzn.to/32M5SoH

 

Nitecore SRT9 Revew

The Nitecore SRT9 is the latest light in the Smart Ring series of lights from Nitecore. It offers 8 different modes of light, including Red, Blue, Green, and UV led’s in addition to the main cool white Cree XHP50 LED. The [Nitecore SRT9]-https://goo.gl/qSmr7B was provided by https://bestlight.io Use code LIQUID and save 10% off your orders at https://bestlight.io/ including the Nitecore SRT9

Video Review https://youtu.be/BAJyr8pWEQg

Image Gallery Fullhttp://imgur.com/a/7F7gO

This entire light feels super solid, like it’s built like a tank. The walls where the cells are is pretty thick machined aluminum. The exterior design feels rugged and with all the cutouts it holds well in the hand. The body design isn’t too aggressive to tear up a hand or pocket. The head is more aggressive. I like how the labeling is minimal on this light too. The anodizing is good and even. It has a bit of a gloss to it.

This isn’t a small or lightweight flashlight. The side by side battery design I really like. It help keeps the light from getting too long and fits nicely in my hand. That said with batteries it’s pretty heavy at 11.4oz.

The head has some nice cooling fins on it as well as a warning to warn that it gets hot. The very front is steel bezel and finished with a silver paint/anodizing. The lense is recessed a bit for protection. The reflector itself has a light orange peel and then but outs for the 4 colored LED’s. I will go over beam pattern a bit later.

The tail cap is also very solid feeling. The latching mechanism takes some getting used to. https://youtu.be/BAJyr8pWEQg?t=2m21s You have to push both buttons/pins in at the same time to get the tail out while pulling. Even with practice it takes me a little bit. I find pushing them back in produces a very satisfying click and is easier. Don’t worry about this coming off accidentally, I just don’t see that happening. The bad is that there are no polarity markings on the tail cap, exterior, or interior of the flashlight. You can put batteries in backwards in this light. While there is reverse polarity protection it would be good if Nitecore would have put markings or keyed the tail cap in a way so it only goes in one direction.

This light is listed as having a beam distance of 246M, impact resistant to 1.5M, IPX8 water resistant.

This light uses a Cree XHP50 LED. It’s a quad package and pretty large die size.

It’s only available in a cool white tint for this light. Nitecore lists its range in this light as 0.1 lumens to 2150 lumens. In my testing and comparison to other lights 0.1 lumens isn’t accurate, I would put it more at 4-5 lumens. The UV LED is listed as having a 365nm light output. It’s not the brightest UV available. I am used to my Convoy S2+ UV being so strong. I think the best use for the UV is to check documents and money and also spot scorpions in your general vicinity while hiking. Red is listed at 13 lumens, green at 19, and blue at 3 lumens. When I tested the UV LED on money I got some interesting results.

On the US $20 bill both the SRT9 and Convoy S2+ UV lit up the security strip without a problem. However on the $100 bill the SRT9 didn’t show the strip, and the Convoy did. Not sure why, maybe the wavelength isn’t complete?



The Selector ring is how you change modes in this light. First you have an on off click button in the rear of the light which can be used for momentary operation. When on there is a blue LED on the side of the light that illuminates to let you know it’s on. It lights up about every 3 seconds. The reason this is there is because the light can be in on mode but you can have the selector ring in the “off position”. This also serves as a low voltage indicator when the light is on. The main selector ring is near the head of the light in a natural position when holding it in your hand. When in this off position if you move the ring to the right you feel a detent and then it starts ramping up the light. This allows you to dial in the exact amount of light you want or need. It’s a cool system. There is a detent at the top of this mode to let you know it’s reached the highest amount. Beyond this there is a fast strobe. Now if you turn the selector right to the left from the center position you get UV, followed by Red, green, blue, strobing Red/Blue, then White beacon mode. Color modes are not adjustable in brightness.

One thing I wish Nitecore would improve on the SRT9 is add some markings on the selector ring to index it. I plan to add a dot of white paint on the ring and body of the flashlight in the middle of the modes. That way I know if I turn to the left I get the colored modes, and if I turn to the right I have the ramping of the main flashlight.

Beam Patterns of this light are a little different. In white mode I was expecting distortion due to the cut outs for the color LED’s however it doesn’t really have one. https://youtu.be/BAJyr8pWEQg?t=8m39s The center is hot with plenty of spill. Nitecore claims this will go 245m and I could easily get it go 200. The color modes however each have significant distortion. You notice it the least on the UV color but Blue, Green, and red all have a lot of distortion and don’t always shine to the center. Run times vary due to all the different configurations available. On 18650 batteries nitecore quote the color modes as lasting for 48 hours, and white, on ultra low 250hrs, turbo for 1 hour.

This light can run on 4x CR123A or 2x 18650 batteries which is my preference for cost and runtime. I only had luck getting this light to run on button top cells. The unprotected flat tops I tried didn’t work. You can’t use magnets to create button tops for flat tops on this light due to the magnetic interference with selector ring.

This light does have a constantly running processor according to the manual. I measured the drain at 12.2mA. When I put this light through my standard 1 minute on Turbo it got to 90F degreese. When I was using it this weekend I found heat to be pretty well controlled and it didn’t feel too hot to hold especially for it’s output.

Packaging is standard Nitecore black and yellow box. Outside has a very retail look to it. Inside you get a plastic tray with the light, lanyard, holster, manual and an extra tail cap rubber piece. The holster is a nice heavy nylon thats shaped to fit this exact light. On the back it has a pretty heavy duty plastic D ring and a velcro belt strap. The front attaches with velcro. It’s decent quality.

The clip is a bit of an afterthought on this light. It’s nearly in the middle, and mounted so the head is up always. and at least on mine it’s not tight to the body. Given this light’s size I don’t see this as an EDC light. I don’t think I will remove mine because I do see some value in being able to clip it onto a pocket temporarily but I think I will use the lanyard for a more secure hand hold.

Summary
Over the weekend I took the SRT9 with me to a Milky Way photography class I went to. It turns out this isn’t the best light for that because it ended up being a bit too bright in red mode, and moon light was brighter than I was hoping for. However after everyone was done I played with it more and found it great to move between sites, and pack up the car etc. People including myself were impressed at how far it could throw. To me the best feature on this light is the selector ring. It works really well and makes it super intuitive to use. The colors and modes make this a very versatile light. I think it’s my favorite light in July.

Pro’s

  •  I really like the selector ring interface
  • This light feels like it’s built like a tank.
  • White beam pattern is good considering the cuts in the reflector. It throws pretty well.
  • It’s nice to have a light with some color options and a great interface to access them.

Cons

  • No polarity markings in the battery compartment. Read the springs on the bottom. Spring = Negative
  • I wish there was an external visual indicator for the beginning of the ramp.
  • Ultra low doesn’t seem to be the 0.1 lumens advertised.

 

Use code LIQUID and save 10% off your orders at https://bestlight.io/ including the Nitecore SRT9