What would happen if you took an AA Lumintop Tool and made the body out of TurboGlow instead of metal? Well that’s what we basically have here with the Lumintop Gift-G1 a flashlight where most of the light is made out of TurboGlow and copper. It’s available in a number of colors and has both Cree and Nichia emitter options too. Thanks to Lumintop for sending this to me to review. It’s a fun light so let’s take a closer look.
The Gift-G1 comes in a small cardboard box with minimal information on it, on the back you have the emitter chosen and the body color of the light. Inside accessories include the light itself, yellow lanyard, 2 spare orings. A glow ring and 14500 battery are both optional. No pocket clip is included with the light, more on that in a minute.
The Gift-G1 is made from TuboGlow with an internal aluminum sleeve for electrical conductivity, and at the head, the pill is made from raw copper. TurboGlow if you don’t know is the premium solid glow in the dark material. It has a much longer glow life then normal glow in the dark material. While there are several color choices available, especially with the Gift-G1 such as Lava, Red, Rainbow, Pink, Purple, Blue, and Green, I went with green because it’s the brightest color that lasts the longest.
The tail cap has a semi translucent black button inside and it has RGB LED’s underneath. These LED’s come on when you have a liion battery (14500) in the light, so you get a neat effect on the sides of the LED’s slowly fading between Red, Blue, and Green.
Internally the parts are the same as the AA Tool, and interchangeable if you have both lights. There is an aluminum tube under the TurboGlow for conductivity. At the head of the light there is a exposed raw copper pill with light engraving of the Lumintop name, and model number. It’s a nice functional heat emitter too.
Lastly at the front the front bezel is TurboGlow and easily unscrews to expose the TIR style optic. This exposes the MCPCB. This makes the light very easily modded if you wanted to do an emitter swap.
Size & Weight
I measured the length at 88mm, minimum width on the body at 19.21mm, diameter at the head at 21mm. Diameter of the glow ring is 30mm. Weight with the light, 800mAh Keeppower 14500, and Reylight Lan/Pineapple clip is 70g. The light is IP68 rated.
The Gift-G1 comes with a yellow lanyard as the only factory supplied retention option, that can be attached via an optional anti roll ring/cigar grip ring. This works if that’s how you want to carry the light like this, but for me if I am going to EDC a light I need a pocket clip, so I went through my lights to see what I had that might work, and I found that the clip from my Reylight Lan/Pineapples V3+ work decently well here, You basically get the entire cap section sticking up out of your pocket (20.5mm) which is a bit much for me, especially when running a 14500 and having the tail cap light up but it’s still better than no pocket clip.
I should note, with a clip like I had, I had more then one person stop me and said the light in my pocket was on when in fact it was just the tail cap LED’s or TurboGlow glowing. So it did draw some attention to itself.
LED & Beam Shots
The Gift G1 here is available with a Cree XP-G3 LED in cool white, or a Nichia 219C LED in Neutral white which is what I choose. It can be powered off of a AA or 14500 battery. I will include a chat here showing the claimed outputs for each emitter and battery combination.
I found the beam pattern to be nice for EDC, It’s got a medium large hot center with a large dim spill, good for general shorter range and medium range tasks good for maybe 200ft max. One quick note about TurboGlow is it really lasts a lot longer than your traditional GITD material. With this light when you use it, you get light leakage around the front of the light so it continuously charges it. It makes for a lot of fun, kids love it. I found no visible PWM here to the eye or camera.
Heat & Runtime
As mentioned before the light will run from 2 different power sources, either a AA 1.5v battery or a 14500 3.7V battery. You get the best performance and tail cap LED’s only if you run with the Liion 14500 but I did test both battery types.
With the 14500 the light stepped down from 100% relative output after 2 minutes and then ran at 55% relative output and declined in a slow manner. To me the curve looks unregulated. Total runtime was 1:10:00 but after this the light staid on in it’s firefly mode for about 2.5 additional hours. Maximum heat I saw was 48C at the 20 minute mark. The exposed copper does a nice job here with heat dissipation and adds some style points too. The light does have LVP.
I did my AA test with a Amazon Basics High Capacity NiMH battery. These have proven to be good performance in the past, and here we saw a very flat output curve maintaining 98% relative output for 2:12 minutes. Heat here was minimal and I saw the peak being 36C at the end of the runtime.
The UI here is simple, it’s a 4 mode light, starting at the lowest mode. Once on, you can half press the mechanical button to go up in modes. There is a strobe mode, to access that, once the light is on, click give it a half press 6 times to get to strobe.
There is memory when the light is off for 3 seconds this will memorize the setting and the light will come back on to that desired setting. That said my light has a firmware bug, and this only works with a 1.5v battery, if I use the 14500 Liion, memory mode doens’t work. Lumintop confirmed that they are aware and plan to fix it on the next batch of lights.
Choice of Body colors and Emitter options
Good beam profile for EDC
No clip is included, but there are options on the market that fit.
The glow ring isn’t included and without it or a clip it leaves a gap on the body of the light.
Memory mode firmware bug.
The fun with the Gift-G1 is the TurboGlow body, it’s availability in several colors, and the LED’s in the tail cap that change color when using a 14500 battery. Inside it’s basically a Lumintop Tool which is a good EDC style light. For me the let down was no pocket clip, a must on a light this size if I am going to EDC it but luckily the clip from my Reylight Pineapple fit to make it more usable on a daily basis for me.
I think this would make a great gift, a nice addition to a flasaholics collection since there are very few lights made from so much TurboGlow or a gift for a child (kind of expensive) to get a kid into the hobby if you like.
Today I am taking a look at a preproduction sample of the Nitecore MH11. This is the basic, budget model for Nitecore in their MH series, and they advertise it as the least expensive 1000 lumen Nitecore model available today. That said it still comes with an 18650 battery and has onboard USB-C charging or it can be ran with 2x CR123 or 2X 16340. Thanks to Nitecore for sending this to me to take a look at along with this Nitecore Tiki in blue. I previously reviewed the green glow in the dark models so ill include a link to that below.
The light I received didn’t come in a box, since it wasn’t printed yet, but I will include a picture of what it looks like. My light came with a USB A to C cable, 2 extra orings, hand lanyard and a pocket clip. I believe the retail light will also come with a basic holster.
The MH11 is made from aluminum and anodized in a hard black finish. It appears to be the same finish as the MH12S I reviewed recently. The overall design is simpler than recent Nitecores, a cost cutting measure I would assume to make machining time quicker. At the tail cap you have a single large mechanical on off button on the tail that servers as the on/off switch and mode button. It’s flanked by wings that can protect it but also server as attachment points for the lanyard. It does tail stand either when on or off but isn’t the most stable.
Inside there is a dual spring in the tail cap, and threads are anodized, and ACME cut. The clip only attaches at the rear of the light. Knurling on the body is pretty standard diamond shaped, fairly knocked down, so the light isn’t super grippy. It does have 2 flats milled on the sides with the branding and model number laser engraved.
On my sample the flats don’t line up with the head, but then again the head doesn’t have any buttons on it so is there really a top or bottom? The light does disassemble into 3 pieces. The head itself has a very simple heat diffuser at the front thats shallow. The USB charging port cover runs horizontally across the light. It’s well concealed and didn’t pop loose easily. The front has a crenulated bezel thats shallow. It has a glass lens with a smooth and deep reflector.
The light comes with a branded lanyard that seems to be standard on most Nitecore lights. It also comes with a pocket clip that attaches at the rear of the light only. It’s reasonably deep carry with about 13.5mm of the light sticking out of pocket. The bad news it has a very large step off the body of the light without a ramp. It will catch a pocket every single time and requires 2 hands to put back in. Not a great design in my opinion..
Size & Weight
The length is 128mm, max diameter is 24mm, minimum diameter is 22.5mm. Weight with the battery and clip is 110.8g. The light is IPX68 waterproof, and water resistant to 1 meter. Here it is when compared with a few other lights.
LED & Beam
The NItecore MH11 is running a Cree XP-L2 V6 LED in cool white, no exact tint data is given but it’s pretty typical. The beam does have tint shift across it and it’s not a super smooth beam. The center is hot and intense, with a bit of yellow/green as you move into the spill, and some blue on the outer fringes.
Official Outputs are the following. There is quite a jump between high and turbo.
Turbo 1000 Lumens
High 230 Lumens
Mid 50 Lumens
Low 3 Lumens
My scope didn’t measure any PWM here which was a bit surprising.
Heat & Runtime
I did my testing with the included 2600mAh 18650 battery. The light will also run on 2x CR123a or 2x 16340’s but you loose the ability to recharge the smaller batteries. With the 18650 Turbo is good for 4:20 before the light steps down. It will then run for 1:48:00 at about the 50% relative output. At the 2 hour mark it’s running on it’s low mode of 3 lumens for another 3:10:00 before LVP kicks in at 2.907v. Max temp I saw was 46C at 3:45.
I do wish they would have included a larger capacity battery. 2600mAh is pretty low capacity and larger capacity batteries are minimal additional cost.
The UI here is very simple, the light has one button and it serves as your on/off as well as mode button. It’s a mechanical button that takes a decent amount of force to use. The light has memory that remembers where you left off, so it’s possible to turn it on in turbo if that’s what you last used. It’s a simple 4 mode light and it goes from lowest to highest output and restarts at the top. You can half press the mode button to cycle between modes once the light is on. There are not shortcuts or blinking modes.
You can recharge this light via the onboard USB-C if your using the included 18650 battery. The battery itself is a standard button top cell, so other brands will work here, nothing is proprietary. Charging does work via USB-C to C which is nice to see on a budget light. Charging here is a little strange, with it not being a constant current charging algorithm like we see in most other things. Periodically the charging rate here drops to zero every few seconds. My charging graph shows this but it’s not complete since as the cell charges it tirkcs my charger. Real charging time is closer to 3.25 hour. Max charging speed I saw was about 1.2A at the beginning of the charge. The battery measured 4.102v when full.
You do have an LED on the side of the head of the light that glows blue when charging and slowly fades in and out. When the light is full this goes solid. This same side LED acts as a low voltage warning and comes on when the light is needing recharged.
No proprietary battery
Can take CR123a, as well as 16340 batteries.
Simple interface, for a basic light.
Beam has some artifacts.
2600mAh battery is included.
Pocket clip has way to large of step, it catches pants every time.
The MH11 is an interesting offering from Nitecore. As a light it’s basic but does everything most people need from a flashlight. The build quality is still good, but it does feel like a more basic design and the anodizing feels the same as Nitecores more premium models. The UI is basic, but functional. While I appreciate the use of USB-C for charging and it’s C to C compatible.
While I don’t always comment on price I kind of have to here, given how this light is being marketed. The MH11 is more affordable than many Nitecore models for it’s output, it’s still more expensive than other well regarded brands that I have reviewed here that offer budget lights.
It’s hard for me to recommend it for that reason if budget is one of your top priorities. That said if you were looking for a solid, basic light, from a company that’s been in the LED flashlight industry since the beginning this would be a decent place to start. It also has a very simple interface that anyone could understand which is a big selling point sometimes.
Packaging here is a very small retail hanging box. It’s made of plastic and has a few stats on the outside and a clear window to see the light inside. Accessories include a 700mAh 16340 battery with microUSB charging on the cell, a microUSB charging cable, extra oring, and clip. Outside the box came a fairly traditional lanyard with some leather straps at the joints.
The light is made from titanium, the exact alloy is unknown, but it looks and feels of it. The finish is a fine bead blast and almost semi gloss as a result. The tail is flat, non magnetic and there are additional “required” laser engravings here. You have a spot for a small diameter through the lanyard here, which might be a good idea due to the size of the light.
The clip on the light is designed to fit at the rear, for a head down carry. It’s the clip on type and is a pretty tight fit. The body section has different linear millings on it to add some texture and style. Thread on the body are square cut and have the slight grittyness/galling of titanium. The tight threads, and strong spring at the rear mean with the battery in it’s a little hard to get the threads started sometimes.
The head looks like you could reverse the clip here but in practice it doesn’t work very well, due to the wrong angle of the clip. The head grows in size slightly with some very shallow fins and anti roll “rings”. The button here is nearly flush fitting and also titanium. It’s hard to find and makes no noise when pressed which makes it even harder to locate. The front bezel is thin in depth but thick in diameter. It spins freely but doesn’t seem to unscrew.
Size & Weight
I measured the length at 50.85g, max diameter at 22mm, minimum diameter at 20.5mm. I measured the weight with the battery and clip installed at 49.1g. The light is rated for IP68 so not completely waterproof but good for 30 min of water at 1.5m.
The light has 2 retention options, first is the push on clip, it’s designed to fit at the rear of the light. While it can rotate it’s a tight fit and will scratch the light. The clip allows for a very deep carry but amount of space at the top of the loop is too small for any material that I tried.
The other option is to use the included lanyard at the rear of the light. This lanyard is a little more fancy than normal with a bit of leather on it and it didn’t fit in the box.
LED & Beam
The M3 uses Cree XP-G3 LED with the S4 bin. It’s very cool white, and fairly harsh to my eyes. I would guess it’s about 6500-7000k. The orange peel reflector under the anti reflective coated lens, is actually pretty small, at about 9mm in diameter, and it’s decently deep. That said the beam is mostly flood, it has a semi large hot spot but it’s not very defined. Personally I prefer a TIR style optic in a light like this.
As far as output Chansky claims 700 lumens, but comparing it to other lights I have I have my doubts about this. That’s confirmed by a few others reviewers. Mode spacing is decent but it lacks a firefly mode. Modes spacing is 5, 30, 150, 700.
I noticed no PWM to my eye or camera. On my oscilloscope there was a bit of sawtooths to the lower modes. Nothing to worry about.
Heat & Runtime
I did all my runtime tests with the included 700mAh 16340 battery. When I tested the battery itself in my Vapcell S4 Plus charger that I reviewed last year it came in right at 704mAh which is great. The light will also run off a CR123A if you want, but expect less runtime.
Overall effective runtime on this light in my tests was 1:05:00. LVP kicked in at the 2:15:00 mark at 3.13V. Turbo on this light steps down very quickly, at the 30 second mark, It’s able to maintain this after step down for most of it’s runtime thought. Max temp I saw was 54C at the 1hr mark.
The UI on this light is simple but a little different from many others. From off, to on you have to press and hold the button, and the light comes on in low. If you keep holding the light will go to strobe. Once on you have 4 modes, and at any time you can do a single press to go up modes. Long press will turn the light off. There is no memory modes or shortcuts. The biggest issue I have with the UI is finding the button, it is almost flush, and the same color when looking at it so it’s hard to feel and hard to see.
Recharging is accomplished on the included 700mAh battery via a built in MicroUSB port on the battery. The charging time here is pretty long at 2:09:00, and on the slow side at 0.34A. This is certainly on the safe and conservative side for a battery this size. The battery itself has LED’s on top like many cells with onboard charging, red when charging, green when charged.
Titanium body with a nice fit and finish
Very small, and short size
Very cool white, floody beam
Button is hard to find, has no tactical feel, impossible to use with gloves.
Expensive list price
The Cyansky M3 is a good first attempt by the new company of an EDC style flashlight. While it’s expensive because of its titanium construction that also what caught my eye and why I wanted to take a look. The front lens assembly is a little different construction from what’s more commonly seen, and the result is a very floody beam. I personally prefer a TIR optic in this type small EDC light.
In a future light I do hope they improve the button locatability with maybe a button with some texture on it, add some additional space on the clip so that it fits better over more materials, and offer an LED that more neutral, maybe even high CRI even if it sacrifices overall output.
Because of the well thought out UI, activation in the pocket isn’t an issue, it just takes a second to remember you have to press and hold to turn on, making it different from most other flashlight UI’s.
Let me know in the comments below on your thoughts on ths Cyansky M3.
Jetbeam has a new version of the RRT01 Raptor out for 2020. If you remember back to last summer I reviewed the 2019 version of the light and loved it. The 2020 version adds an Optional Nichia emitter and changes how the rotary ring and UI work as well as being more flexible with different battery versions. Thanks to JetBeam for sending this to me to look at and review.
There are now 3 versions of the Jetbeam RRT01 that all share the same name. There is the original from about 8+ years ago, the 2019 version and now the 2020 version. Each having their own differences in performance, batteries, and LED. I do wish JetBeam would have added a V1, V2, V3 or used a different name with the light so it was easier for the consumers to tell the difference. The easiest way to tell the difference between the 2019 and 2020 is to look at the tail. The 2019 has a place for 3 tritium vials, whereas the 2020 has a button on the tail cap.
Packaging & Accessories
The packaging of the RRT01 is very Jetbeam, it’s a blue and black retail hanging package with all the details you need on the outside and side panels. As far as accessories, it depends on the version you get. My kit has the optional 2x extensions tubes that allow you to use 18500 and 18650 batteries in the light. In addition to this it comes with a 1100mAh JetBeam branded 18350 battery with microUSB charging onboard, 3 extra orings, an allan key, 2 extra screws for the clip (Not torx), and replacement rubber boot for the rear switch in gray. You also get a lanyard, manual, and other paperwork.
The light is made from aluminum and anodized a warmer light gray with the control bezel being a silver. It’s nice to see a different anodizing color here. Machining is very good. Starting at the tail, there is a bezel around the center mechanical on/off button. When the button is in the off state the light doesn’t tail stand super well, but when the light is on the button has retracted enough that it tail stands great, so really a pretty thoughtful design as it helps you find it when you want to turn the light on.
The body section of the light has knurling around it with 2 flats with the minimal labeling on each side. The light then grows to match the size of the head and control ring. Threads are wide, square cut and non anodized. By default the light will fit 18350’s and CR123A batteries which are great sizes for EDC but if you want more runtime you can insert one of the extensions and use a 18500 if you have them or add both if you want to use a 18650. Just remember to use a protected battery as this light doesn’t have LVP. When the extension are in place it’s a little less elegant I think and heavy in the head.
The rotary control ring has some areas milled into it to give grip. It has a detent on both ends of the control area. From 0 to 100% is about 160 degrees of rotation. There is no detent in the control ring for the 2020 version of the light. The ring moves quite easily, I would like to just touch more resistance. The rotary really allows you to dial in the exact amount of light you want very quickly.
The head has an aluminum bezel that’s mostly built into the light and not proud. It is not glued but you will need a tool to get it loose. The glass lens is double anti reflective coated and it has a deep reflector with a light orange peal.
Size & Weight
I measured the length at 91mm in it’s shortest configuration. Each extension adds 15mm to the overall length of the light. Maximum diameter on the head of the light is 26mm, and minimum diameter at the head is 24.5mm. The extensions are slightly larger in diameter coming in at 26.46mm vs the 26mm of the head of the light.
Weight in it’s shortest configuration with the included battery and clip is 114.6g. With a 30Q and the 3x extensions came in at 153.9g.
The most obvious comparison with the RRTR01 2020 is the 2019 version and the lights look very similar. The largest difference is that the 2019 version is shorter without the tail switch. The lens’s are a little different too, the 2020 lights lens has a light orange peel and is deeper and the bezel is smooth. The diameter of the head is slightly longer too. The extension tubes fit either light. When you put the extensions on the light looks a little funny to me, it seems longer and the proportions are just off a little. For an 18650 light it’s a little on the long side when compared to the FW3A.
The RRT01 like it’s predecessors are using the “standard” steel flame pattern clip meaning most aftermarket clips on the flashlight market should fit here. THe stock clip is a little longer than many at 61mm. The screw holes are hex head instead the more common torx.
In the pocket it carries reasonably well. The slotted tail bezel that’s around the tail button sticks up a little more then I want but does protect the button well from accidental activation. It’s still deep enough I consider it deep carry. I found the short length to be about perfect in the pocket, it’s doable to carry with the extensions on and an 18650 but it’s center of gravity is more to the head.
LED & Beamshots
There are 2 LED’s offered in the RRT01 Raptor (2020), a Cree XP G3 offering 80 CRI, and a Nichia 219C at 90CRI. I have the latter and it’s a nice warm 4000k. For me this is a great combination of tint and high CRI. JetBeam claims both are rated for 950 lumens, and that would be higher then I would expect out of a Nicha 219C as they typically don’t put out quite as much light as the Cree XP G3, so I take that with a grain of salt. It’s enough light to do the job easily. The beam here is nice for EDC, it has some center spot, about 20% of the beam and then fades to a useful spill. The rotary is very smooth and makes this light infinitely variable sub lumen up to 950. See the video version of this review for my Nightshots.
Heat and Runtime
Runtime here is very linear, I started my test with the included 1100mAh 18350 battery on full power. Output here was very linear and seems to not be regulated super well. There really isn’t much of a stepdown and the light ran above the 40% relative output out until 28 minutes. At 34 minutes the light shut off when LVP on the battery kicked in at 2.94V. The runtime here surprised me a bit, it’s rather short but then again this light doesn’t have much of a step down. It does get warm and the highest temp I saw was 59C around the 17 min mark.
I then tested with a 3000mAh 18650 battery. You need to use a protected battery with this light, I didn’t do that my first test and the result was the light ran until the cell was dangerously low right at 1V. I was not happy about ruining a battery here, but the result was significantly longer runtime. FL1 was at about 95 minutes, total runtime was just at 1 hour and 40 minutes. You can see thermal regulation kick in at the top end a bit.
UI here is pretty unique to most other flashlights but it works pretty well. The RRT01 2020 version adds an on off switch at the tail of the light and combines with the rotary function in the head to change the brightness of the light. Once on rotate the ring to the right to increase in brightness, increase to the left to decrease in brightness. It is truly infantly variable as fast or as slow as you want. On my light I can turn the ring about 1/12 of the way before the LED begins to turn on.
This light does have an infinitely variable SOS and strobe modes as well. When on just rotate to to the maximum brightness setting and then to the left slightly 3 times and you get SOS, do this 4 times to get strobe. You can then dial back the brightness if you want. To exit just turn the light off and it goes back to normal.
The light includes a 1100mAh Jetbeam branded 18350 battery that has onboard microUSB that you plug into the side of the battery. It has a multicolor LED on top that goes red when charging and green when charged. LVP is built into the battery and it stopped at 2.94V. Charged it stopped at 4.16V. When I plugged it in to charge I did notice the top of the cell got pretty warm, about 110F but this quickly dissipated. My guess is it’s doing this at first to gradually limit current going into the battery at the start of a charge. Overall the battery took 92 minutes to charge, and the maximum charge rate I saw was around the 70 minute mark at 1A. It’s a little odd to see that high of charge rate at the end of the charge cycle.
Nichia LED, my biggest complaint with the 2019 version of this light was the LED that was chosen.
I am a sucker for a rotary interface, it works here well but requires shifting your grip to turn on then adjust the output.
I like the anodizing color here, a warm gray, almost sand color.
Nice overall EDC light with options to go to 18650 too.
No Low Voltage Protection, must use protected cells if you plan to run the battery to exhaustion,. .
A little awkward with the extensions installed, it throws the balance way forward.
Confusing naming with the previous versions of the light.
On the expensive side with the extension kit
The JetBeam RRT01 is the 3rd irrieteration of the light that shares the same name, while confusing for customers it’s a light I am enjoying. I really like rotary interfaces, I think they should be done on more flashlights as it’s intuitive and easy to operate for people of any age. The addition here of the on/off button on the tail instead of detents in the rotary makes the light less likely to come on in a pocket or when not in use but I think detracts from the overall rotary aspect of the light That said it still works pretty well but just requires you to change grips when using the light to turn it on and adjust the output.
The inclusion on some version with the extensions is smart, allowing you to use more battery types, it’s kind of an after though on design but it works reasonably well, especially if you want the extra runtime of an 18650, just be sure to use a protected battery since the light itself doesn’t have LVP.
The optional Nichia 219C emitter here is great. One of the features I liked least about the 2019 version was it was cool white and it’s great Jetbeam listed to this user feedback myself and others had. Overall this is a fun edc light, it’s a little on the expensive side but one I can still recommend. Make sure to check my links in the description as I will list any coupons or sales I get where you might be able to get a discount.
Banggood has a 30% off coupon for the 2020 version of the Jetbeam RRT01 at https://ban.ggood.vip/V8ca by using code: BGRRLM
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.
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.
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.
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.
Use of the Samsung LH351D LED’s is nice
Exposed copper even though it’s coated
Internal Build quality
Easy to bump and have the light turn off
Clip is easily bent
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.
Olight has another raw copper light out for all you copper fans with the Olight i5T Cu. This is a special edition of the i5T which has been released in several different editions in 2020. It’s a 2 mode light taking a AA battery with a deep cary pocket clip. It’s similar to the Olight i3T but larger. Thanks to SkyBen for sending this to me to review.
There are a couple of versions of the i5T from Olight. There as a Shot Show edition they gave out to people, it was aluminum with a neutral white emitter, A CoVID relief special edition that was sold, it was aluminum and had some blue anodized accents on it, a normal black anodize and desert tan models, and the one I have here the in copper. Everything except the shot show edition has the standard cool white emitter.
Packaging and Accessories
The i5Tcu came in what I would call a gift box. It’s a heavy duty white cardboard that’s finished nicely with a color photo on the front and a limited amount of details on the back. Inside the light was vacuum sealed in plastic with an anti oxidizer packet to prevent any patina from forming until it arrives in your hands. The only included accessory was the manual and GemTec AA battery that came preinstalled.
No complaints here on construction quality, Olight does a nice job with these, and is one of my favorites when it comes to their raw copper machining. Everything is nicely chamfered, and polished. It also comes in the least oxidized state of any of the copper flashlights I have. The overall design here is a largely a scaled up version of the Olight i3T with a few differences. At the tail the buttons appear to be the same, as the i3T. The proud switch has a hard plastic edge and then a rubberized grip at the very top. It takes quite a bit of force to active the switch which I like. This one won’t come on in your pocket on accident. I do feel a bit of cell movement internally when pressing the switch which feels a little unnatural.
The knurling on the tail cap is mostly horizontal with just a touch of vertical, mine seems to be not perfectly centered, like it is on the i3T. Not sure if this is intentional or just a slight manufacturing issue, either way it adds a nice amount of grip to unscrew the tail for battery replacement and style. Internally the tail section is made of copper too, and has nicely cut square threads that need a bit of grease.
The pocket clip is push on style but fits tightly, more on retention in a minute. The body itself has the double line spiral as the i3T does. It’s fairly deeply cut and the walls have minimal chamfer. It’s mostly for style but adds some grip to. The head is very plain, it has the model number and serial engraved into it and does not appear to come apart or it’s a one piece design. The lens appears to be plastic and be a one piece with the optic and reflector.
Size & Weight
I measured the length of the light at 95.5mm, diameter at 17.9mm and weight with an Amazon Basics High Capacity NiHM and clip at 112.3g. It’s a pretty heavy light, but that’s what you expect for copper
When I compare it to other similar lights I have, the diameter is a little smaller than my Reylight Pineapples or Ti LAN or the copper variants. Length wise it’s a little shorter too. If you liked the Olight i3T it’s just a little longer and slightly larger in diameter. It’s fairly comparable in size to the Olight M1T Raider, but smaller diameter and slightly longer.
Retention on the i5T is good. I like to EDC 14500 lights, they are a good balance of size, weight, and most importantly diameter. This is especially true when I am wearing shorts. The i5T has a reasonably deep carry pocket clip, and on the copper model it’s a bronze PVD colored finish that fits pretty well especially after the light takes on some patina. It has a reasonable amount of room for material at the top too. It is using Olights dual direction clip which some love to hate. I will say my original clip on my i3T did snag not go back into shape. Olight did offer a replacement but it was only available in black, not the original PVD bronze copper it came with. It would be kind of nice if Olight included an extra clip with these special editions since they don’t seem to have spares.
LED & Beamshot
The i5T Cu here is running an Osram P9 LED in cool white. That said it’s not Olights typical 6500k, it’s warmer and more neutral, I would guess somewhere about 5500k or so. It does have a bit of a green tinge. The beam is using what Olight calls a PMMA lens. It creates a beam that is mostly a spot, with minimal flood. Good for EDC. There is a bit of PMW on low according to my oscilloscope and camera but I don’t notice it with my eye. If you are sensitive this may bother you.
Runtime & Heat
The i5T Cu is designed to run with 1.301.5V batteries so Alkaline and Ni-Mh batteries primarily. As you know from watching my other reviews I don’t run any light with Alkalines because they leak. Olight has provided the i5T with an Alkaline from the factory, so get it out and replace it with a high quality rechargeable Nickel metal hydride instead.
For my testing I used an Amazon Basics High Drain cell, Previous testing shows these are slightly above 2500mAh, so basically on par with Eneloop Pro’s for half the cost. Peak output is right at 300 lumens and the light holds this for a timed 3 minutes before stepping down to right at 50% output where it runs for for just short of 2 hours and 30 minutes before stepping down and ran at it’s lowest mode. This time was the FL1 standard of 10% relative output. It eventually turned off completely at 5 hours and 45 min. There is no Low Voltage protection built in to this light, so my battery had a voltage of 0.9V when I pulled it out. So when the light gets very dim, it’s time to switch the battery. Maximum heat I saw was 30.4C at the 3:30 mark.
I had read a few accounts of people running this light with Lithium Ion batteries so I wanted to test that too. Olight doesn’t recommend this and neither do I after testing. The light isn’t built for this at all, while it does substantially increase the output you will damage the light if you continue to do this due to the immense heat and increased voltage lowering the life of the LED. The light also doesn’t have low voltage protection so I used a protected KeepPower 800mAh cell to protect the battery from damage.
Total runtime with the Liion was 23 minutes to the FL1 standard, 31 minutes till protection kicked in. It’s a pretty linear decline until the 20 minute mark where voltage really starts having an impact on output. Temps are the big story here, this is the hottest light I tested when run this way and that makes sense given this is outside it’s designed mode of operation. Here a bit of a table of time and temps.
Temp in C
Temp in F
As you can see the light gets dangerously hot, super fast. At 30 seconds it’s 36.1C at 3 minutes it’s 53.4C, at 9 minutes it’s 69.3 C, and at 15 minutes it’s 72.7C. To put this into a frame of reference most adults will have 3rd degree burns after 2 second exposure above 65C. So for this reason alone this light should not be run with Liion batteries it’s unsafe.
UI here is super basic as it’s a 2 mode light. The light always comes on in it’s lowest 15 lumen mode and then if you press again you get the higher 300 lumen mode. There are no flashers or anything else. It would have been nice to see another mode to give you an ultra low 1 lumen mode.
Copper! With a great surface finish
Carries Well in the pocket
Good beam characteristics for EDC
Only Cool White is offered to the Public, there are probably better LED choices here too.
No moonlight mode
Pretty Middle of the road performance here. It would be nice to see 14500 support.
The Olight i5T Cu is a nice special edition light for general EDC, especially if you like the patina and characteristics that raw copper can develop over time. Olight’s timing is pretty good too with the positive antimicrobial characteristics of copper.That said you pay the price in weight here for copper, and I wish they would have went with a different LED and a more advanced driver. This is a basic light and it’s low mode is still too high for many who want a 1 lumen or less mode. Other then that it’s a nice high quality light I enjoy having around and I think you will too if you are a fan of raw copper.
Today I have a special light on my review table, the Frelux Synergy 2. If you are a long time subscriber you may remember that in October of 2018 I reviewed the original Frexlux Synergy 1 side-by-side flashlight. The Synergy 2 is the larger big brother and brings lots of new improvements and upgrades to the side-by-side format, and is almost entirely made in the USA. Let’s settle in for a longer review and look at the Synergy 2.
Packaging for the Synergy 2 is a custom made cardboard box. It’s basic, but neatly done with just the Frelux logo and slogan on the top. The inside flap has a quote and a US flag to remind you the light is made in the US. Inside, the light is protected by a laser cut black foam protector. Accessories are a Frelux sticker and little quick start manual with a link/QR code to download the full manual.
Construction and Machining
The Synergy 2 is made from US sourced 6061 aluminum. It is offered in a large variety of anodizing colors with Black, OD Green (what I have here), and a blue being the core colors at the time of review. The clip is made of grade 5 titanium and is also available in raw, gold, and blue colors.
It’s a side-by-side battery design, with the batteries in a parallel circuit. At the front of the light you have two brass contacts that have physical reverse polarity protection provided by a circuit board surrounding these contacts. The result is a light that’s a little picky on 14500 batteries if you decide to run those. Button tops are required, and watch the diameter of your cells too. Frelux has a list of tested batteries that are known to work with the Synergy 2, and it’s probably best you stick to those. VapCell’s 1100mAh models seem to be the best option (14.09mm). My 800mAh Keeppowers (14.41mm) were a bit too large in diameter.
The Internal Construction is a neat design; you have a brass threaded rod spanning the length of the light that threads into the head section, goes through the middle and tail section, and then the tail nut tightens everything in place and provides compression on the o-rings on each section to provide water resistance. The switch up front is an electronic switch, but it’s a very satisfying feeling too; it’s solid and crisp. The switch also has a mechanical lock feature which I recommend using during carry. Just rotate it clockwise and the button physically can’t press the e-switch. There isn’t any visual sign it’s locked, which is a little disappointing, but it’s an effective solution and keeps the UI simple. The Synergy 2 doesn’t carry a formal water rating, but Ben has tested it in a 8ft column of water overnight without a problem, so it should be ok in most situations.
The tail brings the light all together; externally it has a nice USA engraved on one side of the black button and the battery orientation diagram on the other. The tail nut is a cool piece it’s what holds the entire light together and holds the clip on the light (along with the dovetail) during battery changes via an o-ring, which is a nice improvement over the Synergy 1. Internally there is a circuit board with three springs-two for the batteries and one for the brass center rod.
One of the reasons why I enjoy this light is all the machining content that is shared on the Frelux Instagram page. I am a want-to-be machinist. I enjoy watching several YouTubers make stuff, and just want a machine to play with. Ben of Frelux produces these lights in his home shop with a Brother CNC machine. Make sure you check out the video version of this review for some of this machining footage.
What’s somewhat unique here is how he has setup the 4th Axis on his machine along with the four sided pallet design, to maximize his machining times and get the most work done per cycle. With the pallet design it’s almost like a 5th axis machine. He designed a tool that mounts in the mill to allow the mill to rotate the parts in the fixture and continue machining without human interaction. The Synergy 2 took all of this into account during the design process. It allows him to maximize his time while the CNC is running to get the next pallet of parts ready and do other finishing and assembly tasks. The end result is a light that was designed with production and keeping the overall final product affordable in mind. All tumbling and anodizing is done in house for tighter tolerances on quality. Even the soldering of sub components, finish assembly, packaging, and shipping are done at the Frelux headquarters.
Size and Weight
I measured the overall length at 95mm, width at 41.6mm, and thickness at 21mm not including the clip. Weight with Vapcell 14500 batteries is 6oz or 170g. This makes for a decently heavy light for its size and material. This design inherently has more material left after machining than a typical cylinder light. More aluminum could be removed through more complex machining internally, but it would greatly add to the complexity and overall cost. As far as competition there really are not many other side by side AA lights on the market to compare it to, so can we say class leading?
The retention of this light is interesting. I have to first start with the size and how that impacts its pocket carry. I enjoy carrying a 14500 sized light, especially in warmer months as I wear more shorts. Since cargo shorts are no longer fashionable or accepted in my house, the result is less pocket space and an EDC to suit. With jeans it’s a bit of a different story. I find that despite the added width of the side by side format, there is still room for the light in my left front pocket and my phone deeper down in the jeans pocket. It’s too big for the coin pocket that you typically find on the right front side of many jeans. This is where the Synergy 1 was just about the perfect size.
That said one of the Synergy 2’s new features is it’s tension adjustable pocket clip. This is a neat design, the clip is retained in a dovetail in the tail section and then the tail nut that holds the tail section on to the light controls the clip’s ability to slide closer or further away from the body, thus setting the tension. It can be very tight or fairly loose, so it’s adjustable to a variety of different pocket materials. That said the very end of the clip isn’t flared out much so it can sometimes be a little hard to get started onto a pocket. Frelux does include a small adhesive vinyl sticker to place where the clip makes contact with the body to help prevent excessive wear on the anodizing. It’s a nice touch but I wish more then one was included in the package.
Grip in the hand is still fairly comfortable. If I choke up a bit I can still get all 5 fingers on the light. It’s a kind of modified pistol grip, if your thumb is on the light jimping on the top, the jimping on the bottom ends up fitting well with my middle finger. I do wish the jimping was slightly deeper and a little more aggressive.
LED & Beamshots
The Synergy 2 is using a Samsung LH351D LED at 5000k and 90 CRI. This is a great emitter in my opinion and is quickly becoming one of my favorites that’s in current production. It’s a nice combination of tint, output, and high CRI. It’s surrounded by a smooth fairly deep reflector, with an anti reflective coated glass lens on top. There is just a hint of tint shift in the very center of the beam. I only noticed this when shining it at full power onto a white surface, it’s not noticeable during real world use. The resulting beam does have a pronounced hot center and ring at the edges before you get into the spill. Practically this isn’t a bad thing and the deeper reflector helps the light throw better than I initially expected. That said, I would prefer to see an orange peel reflector to smooth that transition out a little further.
This light is using a driver that Frelux had designed specifically for this light and it’s circuit boards are produced and populated in the USA. It has a ramping UI that I will speak more about here in a minute. The light is capable of running on the three most common chemistries of AA sized batteries. Standard Alkaline batteries, Ni-MH producing a maximum of 250 lumens, and Lithium Ion 14500’s producing a maximum of 700 lumens. The driver features memory, Low Voltage Protection(LVP), and temperature protection as well. No PWM was noticed with either battery type.
Heat and Runtime
I ran three runtimes a few times with this light to see the differences. I focused on rechargeable batteries since that’s what most people will run this light with most of the time.
For my test with 14500’s (Lithium Ion) I used 2x VapCell 14500’s. Mine happened to be flat tops which won’t run in this light, but thankfully some small 1mm magnets worked to get around this until my button tops arrive. I got three minutes of the highest output before this light stepped down due to thermals. As you can see the heat continued to increase here but everything was pretty tame, peaking at 33.4C (which is basically body temperature). It’s a safe temp, almost too safe, as I would prefer a bit longer runtime for a little more heat. From there the light ran at 42% relative output for 2 hours and 13 minutes, before stepping down to about 18% relative output and running for another 10 minutes before shutting off. LVP was measured at 3V for each cell.
Next for my runtimes I tried with some older Eneloops (4000mAh Total). Simply put the output here is extremely stable for the entire runtime, and the light ran until 2 hours and 20 minutes of output. The last test I did was with some Amazon Basics High Capacity Ni-Mh batteries. These are said to be rebranded Eneloop Pros but at about ½ the cost. Mine averaged 2475mAh each after testing the cells independently. Overall runtime here was 3 hours and 4 minutes. The extra roughly 800mAh buys you about 45 minutes of extra very stable runtime. Heat on either Ni-Mh was basically ambient temps.
While the light does run on the three different chemistries of batteries, it’s my opinion that the best option is really lithium ion 14500s as these give the most output and still a good amount of runtime for an EDC style light of this size. Alkalines should be the battery of last resort due to their lower output and potential for leaking; it would be a shame to damage the light from preventable corrosion. Since the batteries are in parallel the light will run with only one battery if you wanted. Same outputs, but just less runtime. It can be a weight savings measure or if there was only one cell left in the package in an urgent situation.
The driver has one odd quirk that you should be aware of if you run the light until low voltage protection kicks in. If it takes longer than 30 seconds to change the batteries there is a good chance the light won’t turn back on with fresh cells. The solution is to just leave the tail piece off for 2 minutes to reset the driver. The technical reason for this is there are two sets of code for each voltage range the driver operates on. This could have been eliminated but it would have increased the driver’s parasitic drain, which no one wants.
The Synergy 2 is using its own UI system, but don’t let that be a worry. It’s simple and familiar. It’s a simple ramping UI. From off, a long press of the button will give you a shortcut to the lowest mode of output. From here a long press again will start the light ramping up in brightness which takes about 2 seconds to reach the top output. Unlike other flashlights there is no flash to let you know you’re at the top or bottom of the range, but this isn’t an issue as the light just stops and doesn’t cycle over. While ramping you can stop anywhere and press the button again to reverse your direction of the ramp. Double press from on or off to jump to maximum output. There are no blinking modes on the Synergy 2, and I don’t miss them personally.
Great emitter choice, nice tint and high CRI
Multi Chemistry battery support (Alkaline/NiMH & Liion)
Impeccable Fit and Finish
Made in the USA!
Lots of color options but they are not always all available or published.
No moonlight mode, lowest mode of operation is approximately 2 lumens with Ni-MH batteries and 5 lumens with 14500s.
The light is a little picky about the length and diameter of 14500s
The side-by-side format takes up a decent amount of pocket real estate.
The Frelux Synergy 2 is a unique light in the flashlight market. It’s a custom light in the sense that it’s made by one man in his garage in the USA, to exacting standards. Everything about it but the LED and eSwitch are custom designed for this light and made in the USA. Ben machines the light himself, anodizes them inhouse in a variety of colors, solders the USA made circuit boards, and does final assembly and testing himself (and sometimes with the help of the kids). The result is a light that has very tight quality control and superb attention to detail.
It has creative design features too, like you can mix and match body pieces with other Synergy 2’s to create your own color and button combinations. The door is open to different materials for the body sections and buttons too, if he chooses to make this not only a custom light but a highly customizable one too.
The adjustable tension clip is a smart design that I find works pretty well, and being deep carry I find it’s retention is good tool. It stays in place too during battery changes, which is an upgrade over the Synergy 1. This isn’t all the clip does though; it can also be used to tighten the brass nut that keeps the center section mounted to the head too.
The Synergy 2 does all this at a price that’s less than your typical custom light that’s made in the USA. It’s a light I have thoroughly enjoyed watching develop on the Frelux Instagram account, and mine will definitely be in my EDC rotation. I imagine I will carry it more when I am wearing jeans vs shorts due to its width, but that’s largely a personal preference with how I carry a knife and smartphone too.
These are truly custom made lights at this point, with Frelux taking preorders and then producing lights in batches and finishing them to your color specifications. So if you are interested in one, be prepared for a potential wait. Wait times so far have been fairly reasonable in my experience, with Frelux being careful about how many preorders they take. So if you want one, make sure to join the Frelux Facebook page and follow them on Instagram too so you know when preorders open.
Overall this is a fun light and one you should definitely check out if you want to get something unique, custom designed, and made in the USA.