Today I am taking a look at a new light from Wuben with the X-1 Falcon. What I have here is a preproduction sample, but the light has now been formally announced. Wuben has been around for a while but isn’t super well known. They are not afraid to try things, and they have done that here with the X-1 Falcon. It has 3 Cree XHP 70.2 LED’s and 2 21700 batteries in a side-by-side configuration in a very rectangular package. Thanks to Wuben for sending it my way.
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Learn more about the Wuben X-1 at https://www.wubenlight.com/pages/x-1
Packaging & Accessories.
Since this was a preproduction light, mine came in a plastic hard case, with a paracord style lanyard and a USB-A to C cable (Who doesn’t have a ton of these at this point 🙂 ). I was also able to request a copy of the manual. I suspect the full version will have the full retail box, Charging cable, Storage bag (According to the manual), and normal paperwork. I will note the manual I have is a little rough in the translations. There looks to be an optional bike mount too.
Construction & Design
The light is made from aluminum and anodized black. It’s a bit of a unique design being a large rectangle. The corners are angled and have extra milling into them as well as milled channels on the sides, top, and bottom for style. To me it’s a “space age design” and kind of reminds me of something you would see in a Sci-Fi movie or something.
The most unique aspect of the design is functional too, right under the button the light has a passageway for active cooling with a heat sync under and a small fan on the right-hand side. The fan is thermally controlled, and it only comes on when it gets hot enough and turns off when it cools. You can hear it slightly and feel it too if holding it near the top. I suspect the fan is why I don’t see a formal water rating either for this light and also why I didn’t really want to test this myself. Opposite the fan is the USB-C port with a silicone cover. It’s tucked nicely away.
The light is a very solid feeling in the hand. The button sits at in a pretty natural position, where you want to rest your thumb. It’s not a small light and one I will probably put the lanyard on. It has some harder edges and isn’t the most ergonomic thing, but it’s not uncomfortable either.
While they don’t advertise the batteries are replaceable, it is if you remove the 4 screws on the tail cap. So here is what I found inside.
Up front is the unique shaped lens to fit the 3 emitters side by side. It’s an anti-reflective coated glass lens with a short orange peel reflector where the 3x Cree LED’s sit behind.
According to the manual, the light will ship with a Storage bag that looks like a holster, and a lanyard. Since this is the prototype I only have the lanyard to show you. You guys know I am not a big lanyard user but on this one, I will be installing it. I think with the size and weight here a bit of extra security when in use is a good idea.
Size & Weight
I measured the length at 128.4mm, width at 56mm, and depth at 28mm. Weight is 13.42oz or 380.5g. Like I said it’s very solid feeling light, and the heft adds to that. There is no official water rating on this light, I imagine do to that fan. I would imagine it would handle light rain ok, but definitely don’t submerge it. I don’t have a ton of lights like this to compare it to, but here are a few that I choose to give a size reference.
LED & Beam
This light is running 3x Cree XHP 70.2 emitters in a side-by-side configuration. With my Opple meter, I measured 5369K tint, and 65Ra. The DUV here indicates it does have some green in the tint, which I tend to see more on lower power output. This isn’t uncommon from these LEDs but not too overpowering. Minimal PWM on lower outputs.
The beam itself isn’t completely round, the hotspot is more oval than round. It’s not pure flood but pretty close, there is a minimal large hot center and a significant amount of spill around. The outer edges of the spill does mimic the shape of the reflector too.
Outputs for the most part looked pretty close to what was claimed on my homemade lumen tube with the exception of Turbo. My lumen tube and the different adapter sizes are really designed for round lights, I didn’t custom design a rectangular one for this light, so that may be where part of the losses are. Even with that, it’s about 74% of the claimed max output. I have to also mention this is a prototype so there may be some slight differences in it too. It could also be part of the programming mode which I will explain later.
Heat & Runtime
Let’s start with Turbo for my Heat and Runtime tests. Turbo as expected here doesn’t very long, right at a minute and heats up the light quickly to 47C within the same amount of time. From there it steps down to about 2200 lumens where it runs happily for the remainder of the 2 hour runtime. Peak heat ended up being about 55C. I think it may have gotten a little hotter, but my tape stretched and didn’t hold the thermal couple as tightly.
The small internal fan seems to be thermally reactive, not coming on until it reaches a certain temperature, instead of coming on automatically in certain modes. I can’t say how much of a difference this really makes, but I would guess it helps mostly that middle LED that’s less exposed to outside air, and has a smaller surface area with the casing.
I did a comparison testing Turbo, High, Medium, and Low as a comparison between each other. Turbo and High were identical basically. Medium ran out to 5:37:00 just under 1000 lumens, and low for 12:30:00 at 200 lumens or so.
My light arrived in Lockout mode, so 4 presses of the button unlock or lock the light. Single press to turn on, long press once on to cycle through the 4 main modes. Double press from anywhere to get to turbo. The light does have blinking modes that you can get to from anywhere by triple pressing. Triple press again to cycle between strobe and SOS modes.
The unique aspect of this light is the programming mode, It allows you to adjust the preset value of the 4 main modes by one on Clicking and holding and the light will ramp up slightly and blink when at the top of the range. Just stop when you reach the brightness you want and it will memorize it. There are upper and lower bounds on what each mode will do too, so I will show you the chart here rather than explain it.
The light uses 2 internal 21700 batteries, while not advertised to be user replaceable, they are pretty each to reach by removing the 4 (PH#1 Sized) screws at the tail. The included lights are flat tops, unprotected LG INR21700M50T 5000mAh according to the wrapper and have springs on both ends inside of the light.
On the left-hand side of the light, just behind the grill air exhaust, there is the USB-C charging port protected by a silicone cover. It’s a little different design but works well here and stays out of the way nicely. What’s neat is this light will charge at 9V instead of the lower 5V like most lights. This means a little faster-charging speed if your charger supports it. Completed the charge in 2:44:00 which is impressive considering the light has 10,000mAh of batteries inside it, about 41Wh. I had no issues charging it with USB-C to C or with a PD charger.
You don’t typically see a lot of side by side lights, especially larger cells like the 21700’s in this light. This is a hefty package but it feels very solid. I like the space age, Sci-Fi type design here, and it seems Wuben is the only one doing that really.
The UI here is easy to use, and the programming feature of each mode is kind of cool too, it helps you dial in exactly the mode spacing you want within reason. High, medium and low had impressive runtimes, but I wish Turbo lasted for more than a minute, especially with the fan and the compromises that have been made to accommodate it, like water resistance.
I really appreciate here that the batteries are replaceable with a bit of work. That should lead to a long life, on what I am sure will be a higher-priced light. It’s a unique beam pattern that I found to be just fine during normal use. The XPH 70.2 isn’t my favorite LED, but here it’s not too cool white, and the tint is’t overwhelmingly green so it works.
So all in all a solid offering, in a different format, with a modern design, and something a little different in the flashlight world. I like that Wuben took the chance with the X-1 Falcon to be different. Let me know what you guys think of the X-1 in the comments below.