Thrunite Archer Mini Review (400 Lumens, SST20, USB-C, Value)

For today’s review let’s look at the new Thrunite Archer Mini, an AAA-sized light with a tail switch, sealed 10400 lithium ion battery, and integrated charging. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this to me to take a look at with you. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Here is the packaging it’s just a thin white box with a pull-out plastic tray. The only accessories that come with the light are the pocket clip, USB-A to C charging cable, and manual. The battery is preinstalled and sealed (nonreplaceable).

 

Construction and Design

This is a simple flashlight in terms of design. It looks like the head or tail might unscrew but they are sealed. The light is smooth with no knurling or grip, to be honest, I don’t miss it here. The eswitch in the tail does stand proud and this can cause some accidental activations in the pocket so you will want to use lockout.

The head of the light unscrews enough to expose the USB-C charging port and LED indicator light. It’s a captured design so it doesn’t screw off entirely. There is a retention ring that can be unscrewed on the front of the light to remove the TIR optic and expose the LED.

 

Retention & Carry

The light features a snap on dual direction pocket clip that fits only in the tail position. It carries in the pocket deeply. I will note that with the raised and exposed button, I had issues with this light coming on in my front pocket unintentionally fairly frequently if the light was not in lockout mode. The good news is lockout is easy to access by just holding the button while the light is on until it shuts off and blinks twice. There is also a lanyard in the package if you wish to use it.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length of this light at 83mm, diameter at the minimum on the body at 14mm, and maximum diameter on the head at 17.2mm. Weight with the battery and clip came in at 35.9g just 1.26oz. The light is IPX8 water-rated and drop rated to 1.5M. 

 

LED & Beam

The Archer mini is using an SST20 LED with a TIR Optic. I measured the tint at 5594 CCT on my Opple meter and a RA (CRI) of 63. So surprisingly on the cool side of neutral white. However, the LED does have a tint that’s pretty green, especially on lower output modes, a known characteristic of the SST20. The beam is a pleasant chape out of the TIR optic, good for the range of tasks this light will be doing. There is a very minimal amount of PWM here on low, and none on high.

 

Output Table

Heat & Runtime

I did my runtime tests with the internal 320mAh battery. Turbo stayed near the rated number just shy of 3 minutes before stepping down to 150 lumen output for 50 minutes and then stepping down to zero for a full runtime of 1:07:00. Heat during this time peaked at about 31C.

I also did a comparison with high vs low modes. As you would expect low at only 20 lumens lasts a considerable amount of time 8:26:00 and is very consistent. 

 

UI

The UI here is very simple but different from what I have seen on most other lights. It’s a 2 mode light and from off a single quick press turns the light on in low, to get to High, you just double press while on or from off. To step down to low from high you have to shut the light off and start from the beginning. While on if you long-press when turning it off, the light will go to lockout mode without a visual indicator. So for me, this is frustrating, only because it’s not how I expect the light to use. Most people won’t have an issue with this. 

 

Recharging

The Archer Mini has onboard USB-C charging that can be found, after partially unscrewing the captured head of the light. Underneath you will see the charging port, and a small LED opposite it to give charging status when recharging. It stays red when charging, and goes blue when charged. The light charges with no issue via C to C cables as well.

Recharging the sealed 320mAh 10400 battery from when the light shuts off to full took 1:06:00 at a maximum speed of 0.32A, so right at a 1C charging speed. The light will operate while charging.

 

Final Thoughts

It’s good to see something different than just a traditional AAA style light. I like Thrunite has chosen to conceal the USB-C charging port here as it is more secure than a more traditional silicone cover. That said it’s a sealed design so you can’t replace the internal 10400 battery, or use Alkaline/NiMH batteries in a pinch which is nice thing to have for a light this size. 

The LED here is just slightly cool white, but with a pretty strong green tinge. The beam pattern with the TIR is good. I find the user interface here to be a little frustrating, just because it’s different than 99% of the other flashlights I own and test. This has gotten better the more I use it, and it’s an issue most people won’t have. I think it’s pretty well thought out but for me will take more practice. 

It’s pretty affordable for everything it brings, but this isn’t going to be the light I reach for when I want a AAA sized light, just because of the UI and LED tint. That’s not to say this is a bad light, it’s just not something that’s currently going to displace others from my pocket with more traditional UI’.

Folomov EDC C2 Review (2022 Version, Cree XT-E, 14300)

Folomov is back on the channel after a few years break with their new EDC C2. It’s a very small “EDC” style light running a 14300 battery, and a Cree XT-E LED producing 525 lumens. I am going to try and keep this one short but still through. Thanks to Folomov for sending this to me to take a look at. 

 

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Pick up the Folomov EDC C2 (2022 Version) at  Amazon: https://amzn.to/36y3fdP 

 

Packaging & Accessories

The name of this light is confusing. So to understand this you have to understand that in 2019 Folmov released a small light called the EDC C2. The new light is has printed on it “EDC” however the marketing material and manual say it’s the C2. I asked Folmov about this and they said it’s the same name as the old but a different design, LED, UI, with a similar battery. A real head scratcher why they would call the two the same when they are similar but quite different. So prepare for confusion in the market place for the purposes of this review I am going to call it the EDC.

 

Packaging is a small retail box in orange and gray will all the relevant info on the outside. Included accessories are the pocket clip, the 520mA 14300 battery, 2 extra orings, manual and USB-A  to MicroUSB charging cable.

 

Construction and Design

The light is made from aluminum, anodized black, with no construction or anodizing issues. The overall design is basic, the tail is flat and non magnetic. There is no knurling on the light and all the surfaces are smooth. Only the rear tail cap is removable and it’s not interchangeable with the previous model. Internally only the rear has a short spring, the front is a brass post. 

The button is an eswitch, with a silicone/plastic cover, with no LED under. The front bezel is brass, very flat and holds in the diffused TIR style optic. 

 

Retention

Your main retention is the pocket clip on this light. It’s a captured snap on style clip, and is in a tip up configuration only. The clip has plenty of room for pocket material. Mine is secure however its slightly away from the body. The very end of the clip is flared out and this makes it easier to snag on things like a seat belt.

The you could attach a lanyard (Not included), although there isn’t a dedicated mounting place on the light itself, I think the idea is to attach via the hold in the clip. Not the most secure design. You could put a split ring here to attach as a keychain light but again not the most secure option.

 

Size & Weight

Length is 42.4mm, minimum diameter on the body is 16.1g, maximum diameter is 17mm at the head. Weight with battery and clip is 24.2g. The light is IPX 8 water rated and drop rated to 2 meters.

 

LED & Beam

The LED being used here is a Cree XT-E LED in a very cool white behind a TIR style reflector to diffuse the light. My Opple meter measured between 5400 and 6100k with a 77 CRI but to my eye it’s cooler then that, probably closer to 6500k. The beam coming out of the TIR reflector is fairly diffused with a huge hot spot creating the flood and minors spill. A good beam for EDC. PWM is very minimal on all modes and fast.

Parasitic Drain was measured at 135uA which is pretty significant. This was a problem with the previous model and this light actually has a slightly higher drain rate. That said Folomov says this light is still good for 166 days of standby, but my recommendation would be to mechanically lock out the light instead to avoid the drain issue. There is a pretty big jump between high and turbo here, other then that mode spacing is good. 

 

Official Output numbers

  • Turbo – 525 Lumens
  • High – 150 Lumens
  • Medium – 50 Lumens
  • Low – 10 Lumens
  • Moon – 1 Lumen

 

Heat & Runtime

For my Runtime tests I did my usual tests of comparing the percentage of relative output of the light while measuring runtimes here. Starting in Turbo it lasts a good 3 minutes before it starts dropping all while heat climes to 45C  out at the 4ish minute mark. Turbo steps down considerably and then starts a very linear decline starting at about 30 minutes. Runtime out to FL1 at 10% is roughly 1:20:00 however the light still produces light out to 5 hours, just very very little between 0-1% of relative output. LVP Kicks in at 2.806v.

I did the same comparison test but with Turbo compared to high output. High on this light is only 150 lumens so it was able to sustain this for longer, the output here is very linear so possibly not regulated or it didn’t make enough heat to actually regulate itself. FL1 is out to 3:20:00, but again it keeps running just making very little light out to 7 hours. 

 

UI

The light has a low, medium, high, turbo mode progression. It has a memorized mode feature as well. Double click unfortunately takes you to strobe instead of turbo. Once in strobe you can double click again to cycle between Strobe, SOS, and beacon modes. Personally I find these blinking modes unnecessary on a light this small and would have preferred a shortcut to turbo. 

 

Moonlight mode can be activated by long pressing when the light is off. To turn the light off from any mode you have hold the button for half a second. 


Recharging

The light runs off of a 14300 battery with a capacity of 525mAh. It has onboard microUSB charging built into the battery. 14300 batteries are not common, a quick google search doesn’t bring up any listings for them and Folomov doesn’t sell replacements direct but mentions their resellers may in the future.

Charging is slow here which is what you want. It took 1:53:00 to charge from LVP at 2.806v to full at 4.128v. Max changing speed I saw was about 0.26A. No problems detected with the charging curve. 

 

Final Thoughts

My final thoughts on the EDC C2 (2022 Version) is that it’s an interesting space to be in due to it’s size. It’s small enough yet functional that this would make a great keychain light, but it doesn’t have a solid keychain attachment point.

 

Unfortunately what I loved about the older Folomov EDC C2 was the warm (3000k)  high CRI (98 CRI) Nichia 21A LED. The new light however uses a far inferior LED in my opinion, as it’s low CRI and very cool white. It’s user interface is less useful for a light this size, with a double click going to strobe instead of turbo. This is a small enough light your not going to use it to blind someone and practically I don’t know anyone that actually uses strobe for signaling. 

 

The new light is smaller, has a better pocket clip, and a nice TIR reflector, while not giving up any battery capacity. It’s still plagued by the high parasitic drain though that the older model had. So I have mixed feelings on the new EDC C2, it’s not bad but I don’t think the sum of the parts are an improvement for me over the outgoing model, mainly due to the LED being used here. However I am a tint snob and prefer warmer tinted lights to cooler tint lights and that’s a personal preference and your opinion may vary. 

Pick up the Folomov EDC C2 (2022 Version) at  Amazon: https://amzn.to/36y3fdP 

Nitecore MH11 Review (Most Inexpensive 1000 Lumen light from Nitecore)

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. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

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. 

 

Construction

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. 

 

Retention

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.

UI

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. 

 

Recharging

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.

 

Pro’s

  • No proprietary battery
  • Can take CR123a, as well as 16340 batteries.
  • Simple interface, for a basic light.

 

Con’s

  •  Beam has some artifacts.
  • 2600mAh battery is included.
  • Pocket clip has way to large of step, it catches pants every time. 

 

Conclusion

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. 

Klarus WL1 Review (550 Lumen, LED Worklight, White & Red, 180 degree rotation)

Today I have a new light from Klarus the WL1 Work light. This is a COB LED light with white and red LED, on an arm that rotates and pivots to allow you to place the light where you need it while working. If you have an old “trouble lamp” this is the 21 centuries answer, it’s battery powered, and USB Rechargeable. Thanks to Klarus for sending this to me. If you do any type of work on your car or house you will definitely want to stick around and watch this one. 

Pickup the Klarus WL1 Worklight from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3oXYhuR


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Packaging &  Accessories

Packaging here is nothing special, it’s a lightweight cardboard box designed for hanging retail. A nice photo of the light is printed on the front along with some detail all around. Inside the light is held in a plastic carton that’s fit to the light itself. Accessories include the light itself, a USB-A to Micro USB cable and a manual. 

 

Construction

The WL1 is made from plastic, and it’s in very Makita-like colors. It’s a solid feel but there are mold marks in various places and there doesn’t feel like there is a lot of glass reinforcing inside. The back has a rubberized grip that houses the switch, LED indicators, and above the USB port cover. The top’s silver plastic house 4 screws that I assume has some metal inside to reinforce the hinge mechanism.

 

The light bar itself is made of black plastic and folds out a full 90 degrees. It then is able to rotate clockwise 90 degrees so that the COB LED’s face outward when it’s in its most compact form. It can hold any position between this and does so with friction, there are no detents. The clear lens here is plastic.

On the bottom you have a fairly strong magnet that is more then capable of holding the weight of the light in any position. The sticker here that covers the sticker on mine is pretty easily scratched.  There is also a metal hanger that works well to hang it on a branch, wire, rope, or ledge. There is also a hole to allow the spot on the end of the light bar to poke out to use kind of like a normal flashlight.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 151mm in the folded position, and  the length in the unfolded position of about 325mm. I measured the weight at 171.6g. I don’t have another light thats similar to this to really compare it too but I did put a Convoy S2 for size comparison. The light is IPX5 water rated. 

 

Retention

On the bottom you have a fairly strong magnet that is more then capable of holding the weight of the light in any position. The sticker here that covers the sticker on mine is pretty easily scratched.  There is also a metal hanger that works well to hang it on a branch, wire, rope, or ledge

LED & Beam

The Klarus WL1 has 2 LED sources on this. First you have the main COB LED’s that provide your area lighting. No specific LED is mentioned here but the tint is 6500k, and produces a maximum of 550 lumens, with the other modes coming in at 220 and 22 lumens each. This same COB also has a red mode and produces 30 lumens which is fairly bright. Lastly there is a red blinking mode which no output is given but i would guess it’s the 30 lumens. Both in red and white modes the COB LED is quite even light, but the beam itself is more an ellipsis beam pattern. You do have a hard cutoff at the edges and there is distortion in color at the very edges. Neither are fantastic but for a work light I didn’t notice it during actual use. 

 

The light also has a single 5mm LED on the end of the boom, no data is given here and it’s not very bright. 

 

Heat & Runtime

The light has an internal 2000mAh battery, no size is mentioned but I would guess it’s an 18650 just given the size of the light. If so it’s a little disappointing it’s kind of lower capacity. The white light has 3 output modes, I did my first runtime test in high or 550 lumens, and the light was able to hold t his for about 5 minutes before stepping down to 90% relative output slowly. From there it stepped down again to about 50% relative output and then was pretty linear with the battery decline out to 2 hours of total output. Medium mode it was able to sustain 80% or greater out to 2:15:00/ Total runtime was 3:46:00. 

 

Red outputs were stable throughout, there was a small amount of almost continual design through the curve here. The light was able to sustain 80% relative output or better for the first 5:30:00 of runtime. Total red runtime was 6:45:00. Heat during both types of light was not worth measuring. 

 

UI

UI here is ok with some room for improvement. The button ison the rear of the right and flash with the grip. From off the light turns on in medium mode, a quick press again goes to high, pressing it again goes to low. Pressing it again goes to red, then to blinking red. Then back around. There is no memory so each time the light is off it will reset to medium white. If you long pres from anywhere the light switches to the LED on the end of the boom, and it has 2 modes. I think this could be improved by making red a double click, and have the light be L,M,H. 

 

Recharging

Charging on the WL1 is accomplished via a microUSB port on the back of the light just above the button. It’s a really linear curve, and not the typical charge curve I see for a battery. Total charge time of the internal cell was 3:58:00 so a fairly low charge rate. The first 20 minutes or so started out at 0.85A but then decreased from there. 

 

Pro’s

  • Priced around $30 at the time of filming
  • Built well for the price
  • Useful amount of area lighting
  • Magnetic base with hanger

 

Con’s

  • UI here could be a little better, I would have preferred the white light start with L, M, H. 
  • Cool white only
  • Could be a higher capacity battery or user replaceable.

 

Conclusion

If your current work light is a light bulb in a cage on an extension cord, or old school halogen bulb on stands the WL1 is a nice portable replacement. I found it really helpful when I did an oil change both under the car and in the engine bay. It’s not the best beam or tint but it’s a work light and it does a nice job at a pretty affordable price with a 1 year warranty from Klarus. 

I think this would make a nice Christmas gift if you have someone who likes to work on cars in your life, or likes to do projects around the house too. The portability to attach it magnetically to surfaces and then twist the light to exactly where you need it is nice. 

Pickup the Klarus WL1 Worklight from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3oXYhuR

Wowtac W1 Review ($26, 562 Lumen, 16340, EDC Budget Flashlight)

Wowtac has released a new small form factor EDC style light with the W1. It features a 16340 battery, onboard micro USB charging, deep carry pocket clip and tail magnet all for a very affordable price. Thanks to WowTac for sending this to me to review. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging for the W1 is much like other Wowtac models, with a brown cardboard box with minimal information. The box does suggest there may be a neutral tint version of this light eventually but it also might just be production flexibility. The included accessories is a Wowtac branded 650mAh 16340 battery, deep carry pocket clip, extra o’ring and recharging port cover, and microUSB cable as well as the manual. 

 

Construction

Construction of the W1 is pretty standard. The tail is magnetic and flat so the light tail stands well. It’s threaded for a lanyard (not included), and the 2 way deep carry pocket clip that snaps in place but can rotate. The body of the light is heavily diamond knurled. It feels nice in the hand for a small light. 

Inside the threads are square cut and anodized, the spring is relatively long in the tail cap. Inside the head there is a solid post instead of a spring. The diameter of the head is a 3.2mm larger in diameter then the body and 6 sided. It features an electronic button that requires a solid click with LED’s underneath to indicate charge status. On the back is the micro USB port and silicone cover that stays out of the way when in use. 

 

The front bezel is a bit thick and silver colored, it’s nearly flat with the glass lens with AR coatings. The optic underneath is wide and shallow with a light orange peel. The LED is nicely centered but seems small for the reflector.

Sizes, Weight, & Competition

I measured the Wowtac W1 at 68mm in length, 20mm in diameter at the body, and 24mm on the head. Weight with the battery and clip was 56.3g. The light is rated for IPX8 for 1.5 meters, so it will easily survive the bucket test here.

Comparing to Wowtac W1 to other similar lights, the two that are most similar are the Olight S1 mini Baton and Thrunite T1. The W1 look a lot like the T1 in design, with the body being knurled instead of milled and being overall smaller due to the different battery sizes in use. The Olight S1 Mini Baton uses the same sized battery as the W1 and is smaller overall. I will compare the beams between the two in my night shots. I do like that the W1 is head down for carry vs Olight’s head up design. 

Retention

The pocket clip is a push on style dual direction clip. It mounts only at the tail. It’s designed primarily for head down carry and does a nice job of being deep carry. However since the size of the head is larger I found myself needing to pull the pocket clip out a little to attach it to my jeans pocket easily.  Overall good but it takes an extra step to clip on to the pocket. 

LED & Beams Shots

The W1 features a Cree XP-G2 in cool white, while neutral white is mentioned on the package they are not available for purchase at the time of this review. The beam here is a little different. It has a small hot center, that throws decently well for a light this small. Then it has a wide, fairly weak spill. On lights this size I do generally enjoy a TIR style optic for EDC use because it does a good job of a blend of beam characteristics. There is Cree rainbow with this light in the beam with the center being warmer with some green tint and the outer spill being cooler.

There is some PWM in this light, its fairly minor and not noticeable to me by eye or by camera but I can see it via the scope. 

Wowtac lists the output specs of the W1 as the following.

  • Firefly 0.5 Lumens
  • Low 12 Lumens
  • Medium 60 Lumens
  • High 197 Lumens 
  • Turbo 562 Lumens with step down to 215 lumens after 1 min.

Heat and Runtime

Heat is well controlled on this light, after 1 minute I measured temperatures at 87F, at 5 minutes 95F, and at 10 minutes 98F. 

 

Runtime 

No big surprises were found in the runtime of this light. Turbo stepdown is large and occurs after 1 minute. From there the output fell as the battery depleted, We got another major step down at the 70 minute mark where the light faded into it’s lowest output of around 0.5 lumens till low voltage protection kicked in (2.88V) at 170 total minutes. Of this total runtime I would say about 70 minutes of that is useable light, not too bad for a 650mah 16340 sized battery. 

UI

The UI here is the same as many other Wowtac and Thrunite lights which is a good thing. When the light is off firefly mode can be accessed by long pressing on the power button. From off a single quick tap will turn the light on in the last mode it was in (not turbo or firefly). To change modes when the light is on long pressing will cycle through the modes in an increasing order, Low, Medium, High. To get to turbo, double click on the button from any mode. Triple click from any mode to get strobe. 

 

Recharging

Recharging the light is accomplished via the built in microUSB port on the head of the light. When charging the main button turns red, and then blue when charged. Charging from LVP at 2.88V to full at 4.142V took 1 hour and 50 minutes and the maximum charging speed I saw was 0.48A which is safe for this size of battery. 

Conclusion

The Wowtac W1 is another good budget light from Wowtac, especially if you’re interested in a new small EDC light. At the price point of around $25 for a complete kit, the W1 is a good value and pretty easy to recommend to people. I do wish they had a neutral white option, that and USB-C would set this light apart from the competition.

 

The beam pattern here isn’t my favorite with it being almost more of a thrower then a small area flood that is typically useful in EDC, at lower outputs the spill isn’t that useful. The light carries in the pocket pretty well, and also clips onto a hat easily for a quick access headlamp if needed. I wish the clip was slightly longer so it rested on the body and made getting it into the pocket just a little easier. All this said this is a high value light for the price and a nice inexpensive place to start if you want to start EDCing a flashlight in your pants pockets on a daily basis. 

 

Pickup the Wowtac W1 on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2UUwlMq

View the full Image gallery at https://imgur.com/a/JsOmc88

 

Wowtac is also looking for 100 volunteers to try the W1 flashlight on Facebook @wowtacflashlights and share their feelings and help WOWTAC improve. (follow us on Facebook and join our group, contact to get a free W1) There are also weekly flashlight GAW on WOWTAC Facebook page.

YLP Unicorn 1.0 Review (Samsung LHD351D, 90 CRI, 18650 EDC Light)

YLP is a Russian Flashlight manufacturer (Lights are made in China) that is new to the US market. Their name when translated roughly means bright ray. They have been known by enthusiasts for a few years but it’s been more difficult to buy their lights, having to use google translated versions of their website. Recently they have launched a US English version of the website and got in touch with me to take a look at some of their lights. The YLP Unicorn 1.0 has been on my radar since last year so I selected that to take a further look at and review myself. Thanks to them for sending this out and providing a discount that’s in the description along with links to follow me on various social media platforms. This will probably be a little bit longer of a review so settle back and enjoy. 

 

YouTube Version of this Review: 

Join the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LiquidretroReviews/ 

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liquidretro/ 

 

Packaging & Accessories

Packaging on the Unicorn 1.0 is a nice magnetic closure box full of printing, showing the light on the front, a lot of the highlights on the sides and more details on the back. It’s nicely designed without looking excessive. Inside the light is protected with some custom cut black foam. Accessories include a pocket clip preinstalled, a basic lanyard, and 2 extra o’rings. The manual that came with the light is in borth Russian and English. It’s pretty thorough but an advanced manual is available online as well and I will have a link to it in my description. One other thing to add, my light shipped in a box covered with cool Russian stamps on it too, definitely cool looking and not what I am used to. 

 

Construction

The light is made from aluminum and hard anodized in a gray/brown almost tan color. It’s a really nice color and nice to see something other then black. Machining here is good, with no complaints. Branding is extremely minimal with just the Unicorn 1.0 name and Unicorn logo on the rear of the tail cap, it doesn’t even say YLP on it anywhere! 

The tailcap itself is flat, and magnetic. The internal magnet is held in place with the tail spring so if you want to remove it, it’s easy to do so. You have a place for the lanyard to go on the side of the tail cap if you choose. Threads internally are beefy and square cut.

The knurling on the tail and body tube is aggressive, it feels good in my hands but you may see some accelerated wear of your pants under the pocket clip. It’s pyramid shaped with the tip left on. There is a Y shape milled out of the knurling to add some style to the light, you can see some tool paths in this but I think that’s done on purpose. The tube itself is not removable as it seems to be glued to the head. 

 

The head itself has shallow heatsyncs around about ¾ of the range. The button sits in a slightly raised block on the head but is then recessed inside this. The button itself has a clear silicone cover over it. Underheat there are red and green LED’s used for indicating battery voltage and as a locator beacon. The button itself is on the small side and may be a little hard to actuate with larger gloves on. The front of the light has a smooth bezel with the TIR optic in place. There isn’t glass over the optic so you may see some scratches over time. 

Size & Weight

The YLP Unicorn 1.0 is a pretty compact light for what all it offers. I measured it’s overall length at 102.2mm, maximum diameter in the head at 27.20mm, and minimum diameter on the body at 25mm. When compared to the FW3A is about 20mm shorter, and the Wurkkos FC11 is about 14mm longer. The Unicorn 1.0 weighed in  with a Sony VTC6 battery and clip onboard at 113.6g. Compared to the FW3A’s 98.2g, and Wurkkos FC11 at 111.8G. 

Retention

The Unicorn 1.0 features a reversible pocket clip with plenty of room in it’s top loop for thicker pants. It’s not super deep cary but I found it to carry quite well. As I mentioned earlier the knurling here is aggressive and while I like the feel in my hand, you might find it wears out your pants pocket a little faster them most lights, especially under the pocket clip. The magnet in the tail is quite strong and has no trouble holding the light. It’s also fairly easy to remove if you wish. I had no issues with it activating in my pocket during cary thanks to the recessed e-switch on the head of the light. 

 

LED & Beam

The YLP Unicorn 1.0 is using a 4200k Samsung LH351D at a minimum of 90 CRI. This is one of my favorite emitters right now and a fantastic choice for EDC in my opinion. It’s warmer in tint and doesn’t have any of the green that the LH351D in the Wurkkos FC11 had. My LED was nicely centered, and has a TIR style optic. The light doesn’t have a glass lens, which means overtime you might see a few scratches. Not a huge deal with everything else going on here. The beam pattern does have a defined hot center, and the transition to the spill isn’t the smoothest but it’s not bad either. 

One of the side effects of this light not being designed for huge output numbers is heat is well controlled and it’s also configurable in the UI if you want to push it a bit more. 

1 Minute = 90F

5 Minutes = 101F

10 Minutes = 104F.

 

I measured the parasitic drain of the eswitch at 22?A which is pretty minimal. I didn’t measure any PWM with my scope or eye.

 

Runtime and Outputs

Officially the light produces the following in it’s default UI. .

Turbo 850 lumens

High  450 lumens

Medium 170 Lumens

Low 40 Lumens

Moon 3 Lumens

Runtimes here didn’t have any big surprises from the regulated driver. I performed my tests with a 3000mAh Sony VTC6 battery but you don’t need such a high output battery in this application, a NGR18650GA battery would be a perfect comdination here. Turbo was good for just under 4 minutes, and we then saw stepdowns to 65% relative output. This continued to decline to about 50% output at the 30 minute mark or so but then the light started increasing in output as it cooled and the battery was able to keep up. This peaked at 60% relative output before a sharp decline to the lights lowest mode at the 130 minute mark where it continued running till LVP kicked in at 2.859V at 300 minutes. It’s nice to see active thermal controls on this one. 

 

 

UI

 This light has 4 different UI modes. By default it comes in what YLP calls Basic UI where the light has 5 discrete modes and memory mode turned on. It starts off in low and when you hold the button it starts ramping up about every second. When it gets to the top it automatically starts ramping down. Single click to turn off, Double clicking when on gets your to the maximum output. 4 Clicks gets you to battery check mode where the light flashes the batteries voltage. The way the basic UI works with it cycling up and then down instead of resetting takes a little getting used to as it’s different from a lot of lights and requires you to go up through high before going lower if thats what you want. 

 

The other main UI modes are UI1, which is ramping with memory mode turned on. UI2 which is ramping with memory on and the buttons light on, UI 3 is 5 modes, memory off, and starting on medium instead of low. 

The light has other advanced features which are best if you look at the advanced manual on the YLP website as you can adjust the thermal settings, and engineering mode where you can configure each UI mode through a series of clicks. These are complex and for time sake I won’t go over them in this review, but the manual has you covered and the translation is decent. You can find the full advanced manual here. 

 

Pro’s

  • Great overall size and clip
  • Wide acceptance on it’s battery type, flat tops, button tops, protected, unprotected it takes all the 18650 types.
  • Not another black light
  • Great LED and Tint
  • Very flexible user interface the default Basic UI does it for me just fine but ramping is available if you want it.

 

Con’s

  • Knurling is quite aggressive, and if EDCed in a pants pocket this will eat away at it over time.
  • Not the brightest light in this class but more than enough to get the job done with less heat and more usability.
  • Lowest output mode should be 1 lumen or less
  • Minor annoyance with the Basic UI, I would prefer it start back over on low after reaching top output rather then reversing back down through high, mediu, low etc. 

 

Conclusion

This is a light designed with practicality in mind instead of big numbers for a marketing purpose. As a result it can sustain itself on higher outputs without large stepdows. It’s using a high CRI LED with a pleasant tint and very useful beam pattern. For me it ticks all the boxes on what I want as a solid all purpose flashlight. 

I have taken it walking several times over the few weeks I have had it and it’s done great with that. It’s a useful beam pattern and I like the combination of tint and high CRI LED. It has a lot of UI options for you if you want, if not the default UI I enjoy. 

I hope we see YLP continue the Unicorn line of lights, making enhancements and tweaks as it goes along. At this price point it’s a lot of value, coming in significantly less than some of the well known brands that also share animal names. I look forward to seeing other lights from YLP, after reviewing the Unicorn 1.0 the bar was set high, lets see what they can deliver. I recommend the YLP Unicorn 1.0 without reservations.

If you are considering picking up a YLP Unicorn 1.0 make sure to check the description for a link to their English website and use the code in the description to save 15% off the price which helps cover shipping cost. 

 

Purchase the YLP Unicorn 1.0: https://ylplight.com/en/katalog/1/ruchnye-fonari/unicorn-10/

Use code “liquidretr” at checkout to save 15%

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

YouTube Version of this Review: 

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

 

Packaging

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

 

Construction

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Size & Weight

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

 

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

LED/Beamshots/Runtime

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

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

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

 

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

 

UI

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Pro’s

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

 

Con’s

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

 

Conclusion

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

 

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

 

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