Vosteed Rook Review (1800 Lumens, 3x Nichia 519a, 18350)

You may have seen my posts on social media and my first short here on Youtube on this but here is a review of it. Introducing the Vosteed Rook, a first collaboration flashlight with Reylight. It’s EDC focused, featuring 3 Nichia 519a LED, a USB-C Rechargeable 18350, battery, and a choice of 5 colors, Red, Blue, Black, Gray and Orange. What I have here is a prototype that’s in bead-blasted aluminum, with a different clip design. This is a Kickstarter project that is already funded but joining it’s the best way to get a Rook early and at a discount. Hurry though because the campaign ends early January 3rd, 2023. Full disclosure I helped Vosteed make an intro video for the campaign and my link below is an affiliate link. 

Due to this and a few other changes, this won’t be a full review, but it will be pretty close. Thanks to Vosteed for sending this to me to review.

 

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Join the Kickstarter Campaign for the Vosteed Rook https://bit.ly/RookLR1

 

Packaging & Accessories

My prototype here was too early to have any of the packaging you will get. That said I have bought several Vosteed knives and the packaging is top-notch I expect nothing different from the Rook. Yours will come with a 18350 battery with USB-C recharging onboard, and if the campaign reaches $30,000 you will also get an EDC Pouch and Vosteed Patch. 

 

Construction & Design

The rook is made from aluminum and will be anodized in a number of colors initially. Red, Blue, Black, Gray, and Orange. Its design takes inspiration from the Rook chess piece. It features 7 places for 1.5 x 6mm tritium vials, 3 in the tail button which my prototype doesn’t have, and then 4 in the tail section of the flashlight. The button here is a mechanical reverse clicky button, meaning you have to press the button all the way to turn the light on, and then half presses will change modes. The button itself takes a little more force to press and is flush with the top so it tail stands well, and should help prevent accidental activations. Tolerances here are better than the Reylight Pineapple/Lan series so there is less side-to-side play but there is still a rubber disk below so keep that in mind.

The light uses a standard “steel flame” screw spacing, so it will have a wide variety of clip compatibility. Right now I have a standard Reylight clip on it, as my prototype came without one. It’s a tad too long and hits the head section which results in a scratch on this raw anodized bead-blasted aluminum. The production light will have a redesigned clip to add some style and take care of this issue. The clip will be the attachment point for a lanyard if you wish too. In the hand it feels pretty good and the recessed area on the body gives your finger a place to index. 

The light does come into 3 main pieces the tail section, body tube, and head section. There isn’t any knurling on the light but ther various aspects of the design give you something to hold on to that should be adequate for many EDC situations. This isn’t a tactical light designed for extreme or tactical conditions. 

The head has a smooth bezel, a very scratch-resistant sapphire lens, TIR style Tripple optic, on top of the LED’s. The result is a pretty nice beam profile I will get into later on here.

I will grade the light as easy to modify emitter-wise, the main pill unscrews easily and gives you access driver and mcpcb should you want to dedome the LED’s or replace them with something else. 

 

Size & Weight

My prototype is going to have a bit of difference from the production light on size and weight. I know the production light will be slightly longer, have a different clip, and battery, and be anodized. So I won’t give too many specifics here. The diameter is 24mm, the length is 74 and the light is IPX68 water rated. Normal use scenarios shouldn’t be an issue. 

 

User Interface

The Rook is using the Reylight Programabale interface from the most recent version of Reylight’s popular Pineapple, Pineapple Mini, and Lan lights. It has 4 preprogrammed modes with different brightness outputs, by default it ships in mode 2, Moon, 10%, 40%, and 100% output. You can toggle memory mode on or off, as well as moonlight on or off. SOS and Strobe are only available in programming mode 4. The interface is pretty easy to use once you have the light set to how you like it. When changing modes though I would recommend consulting the manual. 

 

LED & Beam

The Rook comes with 2 LED choices, the Nichia 519a LED which is what I have here or Cree XPL Hi LED’s. Both are good choices, but for me I will be sticking to and recommending the Nichia 519a LED’s myself. As mentioned in previous reviews these are the most popular LED’s among enthusiasts in 2022 due to their highly desirable tint, ease of dedoming, high CRI, and increased output over previous similar LED’s. 

On my prototype here with the Nichia 519a LED, on my Opple Meter, I measured 3848k tint, with an RA of 97. The tint was very neutral and pleasing. These should dedome nicely too if you want to push it a bit rosier. The beam here is a very even large hotspot from the TIR reflector and has a minimal spill. It’s ideal for short and medium-range EDC-style tasks. On the higher mode, it does a decent job of lighting up things up to about 100 years I would say. There is PDM here on the lower modes, but it’s fast and I don’t see it with my camera or eye.

A quick note on Outputs, I didn’t get the claimed outputs on my sample. The peak output I saw was just shy of 1400 lumens in my lumen tube. I theorize this is because of a few things. #1 I am using a prototype and I know there were planned minor changes to the driver. #2 The two LED options that are being offered, Typically Cree XPL Hi LED’s will have more output than the Nichia 519a I have in my example. My runtime graphs in the next section will give you a rough idea of what’s happening.

 

Heat & Runtime

Here are the heat and runtime graphs. The light sustains its maximum output for around a minute before starting to step down and stays above 1000 lumens for about 2 minutes. Starting on Turbo total runtime was 72 minutes or so and the maximum temp was a very warm 75C. I then did a comparison runtime between Turbo, Hight and Medium runtimes. High runtime gains you an extra hour or so of runtime, and medium goes out to an impressive 9 hours 20 minutes. 

 

Recharging

As previously mentioned the light will be shipping with a 18350 battery that has USB-C recharging onboard. My prototype didn’t come with this battery, however, so I was unable to test this feature further. I can report the light will work with a standard flat top or button top 18350 battery. The light does have reverse polarity protection and LVP protection.

 

Conclusion

I am a fan of the Rook, it has the makings of what should be a nice, reasonably affordable EDC light in the 18350 form factor. A great LED choice here with the Nichia 519a, and Cree XPL Hi LED options for those that want a cooler tint. Combine that with a solid familiar user interface and it makes for a good all around EDC light. 

It’s worth noting these are “small batch” lights from a single maker. While not a true custom, are CNC produced, they are likely assembled by just one or two people. Both Vosteed and Reylight are small companies with just a handful of employees or a single entrepreneur. That said they both have some of the best customer service I have seen in the industry.

Aluminum may turn off some people here but it really is a great material for flashlights, and among the best in terms of cost, weight, machineability, heat dissipation, and durability. That said I wouldn’t be surprised that if the Rook is a success, we see more specialty materials in the future or a 18650 body tube to increase the length and runtime. Be on the lookout for a few stretch goals the campaign has tool. 

If you are interested there will be a link below that does help support the channel if you decide to back the Kickstarter. As always I’m interested in what you think of the Rook and if you will be picking up one. This is likely my last video for 2022, but I have lots more planned for early 2023, so make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss the next one. 

Join the Kickstarter Campaign for the Vosteed Rook https://bit.ly/RookLR1

Acebeam E70 Mini Review(Triple Nichia 519a, 2000 Lumens, 18650)

Acebeam has a new light, in the E70 Mini, it’s a smaller version of the E70 but this time it’s running on an 18650, and runs triple Nichia 519a LED’s. The Nicha 519a LED is the new hotness in the enthusiast flashlight communities. It’s the successor to the popular Nichia 219b, but the new version is brighter, and more importantly, has become known for being very neutral and rosy if you want. Thanks to Acebeam for sending this to me, and these thoughts and opinions have not been influenced by anyone. 

 

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Pickup the Acebeam E70 Mini from Acebeam Direct at https://shrsl.com/3m7bt and save 10% (on any Acebeam) with the code “Liq10”

Or get it on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3AUDYrF

Package & Accessories

The E70 Mini arrived in a white retail package with a clear window showing the light inside. Pretty minimal info on the package, but it is surprisingly compact. Inside the accessories and extras included, a 3100mAh button top protected 18650 battery with onboard USB-C charging, Short USB-A to USB-C charging cable, Acebeam Lanyard, spare o-rings, warranty card, and manual. 

 

Construction & Design

The E70 Mini for all intents and purposes a scaled-down version of its larger brother the E70 with a few minor exterior changes. For now, it’s available in aluminum that’s anodized matte black. It’s a premium feeling of anodizing, and the inner tube is the same blue aluminum we have seen on other E70 versions and the RX Ryder. I would expect to see different colors or materials of the E70 Mini at some time but for now just aluminum.

 

The tail features the same style of a flat metal button over the eswitch, it has a shiny finish that matches the clip well and is probably made of stainless steel like the clip. It has some interesting mounting options at the rear I will cover a bit later in the review. The light will tailstand too but it’s not magnetic.

The body tube has the same milled pattern as the E70, with a similar inner liner of blue aluminum and at the top 6 slots for 1 x 6mm tritium tubes, where the head has slots for 6 more. Threads on the body are square cut, and anodized. Inside you can see the spring at the tail, and head. Longer batteries or protected batteries are required, here, unprotected flat top 18650s are just too short to make contact. The bezel on the head is made from the same steel as the clip and rear switch. It has a crenulated bezel but it’s not sharp. The bezel does unscrew pretty easily too which should make maybe dedoming those LEDs (A popular thing to do with the Nichia 519s) possible without too much effort. The TIR optic sits behind an anti-reflective coated piece of glass with an o’ring keeping everything watertight.

 

Retention

The rear of the light has 3 wing like parts spaced out evenly around the light, and each is unique, you have the stock clip that comes on the light, with spacing that’s slightly wider than the more standard “Steel Flame” style clip, but to the left, there are threaded holes that fit the standard “Steel Flame” sizing, and then the third has larger unthreaded holes for the lanyard. 

The clip itself is stamped steel but slightly curved and uses a milled piece to make it stand out a bit. I found this to be a fantastic clip. It reminded me more of a custom light with this clip than a production light. It carries pretty deeply in the pocket too. I like the glossy finish here, it seems to almost take on a little color with oils from your hands. I carried this around the 4th of July holiday and found it to be nice and secure in shorts. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 111.34mm in length, 25.96mm at the head, and 23.39mm at the body. Weight with the Acebeam battery and clip installed came in at 124.8g or 4.4oz. It’s impact resistant to 1M and water-rated to IP68 (2 Meters). Here are a few photos of similar sized or spec’d lights that I have in my collection. 

 

LED & Beam

As mentioned the E70 Mini is using the latest LED from Nichia the 519a. This LED has quickly gained a cult-like following over on /r/flashlight and on the BLF forums because of its great neutral tint, that leans to the rosy side of things and high CRI. With my Opple meter, I measured 4973k and 97 CRI. The DUV of the light is very neutral as you can see. It’s the most neural emitter I have seen in a production light this year for sure. No PWM was observed either.

The TIR optic here produces a large even hotspot with basically no spill. It’s in that middle ground between thrower and flood, good for EDC type users, and the optic does a good job of diffusing that there are 3 LEDs here. I will be interested to see if people dedoam the light as that show make it throw a bit more, and rosy up the tint. I measured the parasitic draw at 72.1µA.

 

Outputs

I measured outputs in my Texas Ace PVC Lumen tube and came a bit short in most of the categories, but everything was within 80% of the claimed lumens after 30 seconds.

 

Heat & Runtime

I tested my runtimes with the optional 3100mAh Acebeam battery. Turbo was good for right at a minute before stepping down to around 500 lumens. The heat peaked at 57C (135F) at the 1:15 minute mark, so this is mostly a thermal-based step-down. You can trigger turbo manually again and I did this during filming some night shots a few times and the light did get hot enough where it was too hot to hold. Running from turbo after the initial step down is pretty flat for 1:45:00 then gradual step downs for another 45 minutes till it shuts off.  

I did runtime measurements for Turbo, High, Mide 2 and Mid1 as well and plotted them all on one graph here. Turbo and High give the same total runtime which was a little bit of a surprise. Mid 2 was good for 3:51:00, and Mid1 shut off just shy of 8 hours. 

 

UI

The UI here is as far as I can tell the same as what was in the full-size E70. It’s a little different from other lights but easy enough to understand once you know you have to double press to turn on and it’s this element that builds safety into not turning on accidentally. 

 

To turn the light on you can double press the tail switch to turn the light on in low, the light does have a memory so if it’s recent it will turn on in the last mode used excluding turbo. Once on, long press and hold to advance into the 4 available modes. Double press to turbo, triple to strobe. The light also has moonlight mode which you can access from off by long pressing, as well as lockout. Lastly, to turn off it’s a simple quick press to turn off.

 

Recharging

The Acebeam E70 Mini doesn’t have onboard USB charging. Instead, it has an optional Acebeam battery with onboard USB-C charging on its side. I had no issues charging via USB-C PD, or C to C cables on a variety of chargers. The battery is a 3100mAh button-top protected cell that I measured at 3049mAh in my Vapcell S4 Plus charger. 

I measured LVP of the cell at 2.931V and charged the battery to full at 4.131V in 3:02:00. Charging curve looked good and the battery charged at an average of around 1A, definitely on the conservative side. The battery does seem to have a powerbank feature, that I can charge my Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with. With a meter and load, I was able to pull 2A without a problem. 

 

Final Thoughts

I had a positive review of the Acebeam E70, mine was in brass and has the High CRI LED, but it was too big and heavy for a front pocket EDC for me. The E70 Mini solves that problem, with the smaller size it still fits nicely into my hands, but the smaller diameter and lighter weight make it much more carryable. It’s still not a small 18650 light with its dual-wall construction but it’s a lot more doable. 

The best part for me might be the LEDs and beam pattern. The Nichia 519a LEDs live up to the hype for me. I have done LED Swaps on one of my Reylight LANs and a Reylight Pineapple Mini in Timascus where I dedomed it too and the result is just a pretty much perfect tint in my opinion. If you are a tint snob it’s a fantastic LED. It’s not the brightest LED available but it produces one of the best quality light/tints in my opinion right now. The TIR optic makes for a very usable beam too.

It’s not perfect, the UI here with the long press to turn on takes getting used to but it’s really only that small change. It’s not ideal in my opinion but it does provide extra protection so that it won’t come on accidentally in your pocket. It also doesn’t accept flat top unprotected batteries which I happen to have a fair number of. I do wish turbo lasted a bit longer before stepping down on its own too without retriggering, and the markings on the light don’t line up with the clip on my light. I do really like how they put some markings inside the battery tube to hide them.

This is probably going to be my new pick for someone wanting to spend between $50-100 on a 18650 sized flashlight with a tail eswitch, especially if LED and Tint is important to them. While there are cheaper ways to try a Nichia 519a LED this would be a great way to get into one with a great light around it. 

Pickup the Acebeam E70 Mini from Acebeam Direct at https://shrsl.com/3m7bt and save 10% (on any Acebeam) with the code “Liq10”

Or get it on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3AUDYrF

Wuben X-0 Knight Review (EDC, LH351D, Kickstarter Preorder)

Wuben has a new EDC light they are currently offering via Kickstarter. It’s the X-0 Knight and it’s a twist on the right-angle light we typically think of in headlights but this time around more focused for EDC. It’s a modern design and a big chunky boi. Thanks to Wuben for sending this to me, if you are interested I will have a link to the Kickstarter preorder in the description below. The Kickstarter will be running through July 16th 2022.

 

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Check out the Wuben X-0 Knight on Kickstarter at https://bit.ly/39vySXB

 

Packaging & Accessories

This is a preproduction sample and really only came with a charging cable and spare orings. The clip and battery are preinstalled. The packaging and accessories will be different in the production version.

 

Construction & Design

The Wuben Knight is a twist on the right angle we more commonly see on headlamps. It has sharper, hard angles to it that to me are modern. They have 4 color options, the Black and white versions are made from aluminum with the black being normal hard anodized and the white being what they call Micro Arc Oxidations which is what I have. I thought this was a Cerakote finish at first and it has a silver tint to it. The other dark gray and Green are both made from titanium. The green is my favorite because it has a circuit board pattern anodized into it. 

The top has an operating and battery status indicator as well as a metal cover that acts as the USB-C port cover and the switch pad. It’s an interesting design, and while it doesn’t offer much water protection for the port, the port itself is waterproof. I will note, that because of this design using lockout is a must as this large switch is easy to press when carried. The hinged lid for lack of a better word is magnetically attracted. There are 2 sprung brass-colored magnets that it rests on. There was definitely some engineering that went into this. I will talk about the pocket clip in the retentions section and the lens in the LED section.

The body also features 4 milled slots and 2 on top, for 6mm x 1mm tritium slots if that’s your thing. At the bottom is the round magnetic cap. This is a strong magnet and has no trouble holding the light up. It does unscrew but they have chosen to make it a little difficult. I ended up using an adjustable jewelry wrench to get it open. Once unscrewed you can replace the 18350 battery inside.  

 

Retention

The W0 Knight is designed to be an EDC light and comes with a milled aluminum pocket clip preinstalled. It was quite close to the body and retention was good, however, I bent it pretty easily pulling it out of my pocket one day. It’s just slight and something I could probably fix if I removed the Torx screws and rebent it. It’s a reasonably deep clip but still kind of a chunky carry in the pocket due to the diameter here. The tail is magnetic here as well. There are milling marks in the clip, not sure if those will be tumbled out in production or not.

Using lockout is an absolute must if you’re going to EDC this in the pocket. When carried the lens is facing your pants, and it’s very easy to turn on with the large loose paddle over the switch. This will burn holes in people’s shorts and pants if you’re not careful. You can lock and unlock with 4 quick clicks. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 57mm, width at 33mm (From clip to lens), and depth at 24mm. I measured the weight at 2.94oz with clip and battery. The light is IP68 water rated. Important here to say that it’s the port itself is water-rated due to the construction. Here are a few comparisons with lights that I have that are most similar. 

 

LED & Beam

The Wuben X-0 Knight has 2 LED options, an Osram P9 LED, and a Samsung LH351D which I believe I have. I tested the light with my Opple meter saw 4950k tint with a CRI of 96. It’s a pleasant neutral white and the TIR optic is good for EDC tasks because you get that hot spot for a bit of throw, but also get a significant amount of flood while in a compact package. Mode Spacing here is reasonable from the moon at 1 lumen, to high at 250. However, Turbo is a huge jump up to 900 lumens. To the eye, it’s not as big as it seems but it’s still big. There was no PWM detected.

 

Output Measurements

Heat & Runtime

Turbo on the LH351D was good for right about 50 seconds before it reached it’s normal output around a measured 200 lumens. This lasted out to 2:15:00 which isn’t too bad for a 1100mAh battery. I did another runtime test comparing Turbo, to High, and Medium. Runtimes are expected with less bright modes being more efficient. The heat peaked around 35C which is just above body temperature so comfortable to hold in the hand.

 

UI

Default UI is pretty similar to many other flashlights. From off a quick press turns the light on in the last mode used, and then long-pressing causes the light to cycle in from moon to low to med to high. Double press to go to turbo. Direct to low can be accessed by long pressing when off. To get to strobe just double click when the light is off or on turbo. 

There is also a programable mode where you can slightly adjust the outputs of each mode, however, the manual only told about this and not actually how to do this. I presume they will fix this before the Kickstarters ship.

Locking is critical in this light and is easy to use, click four times quickly from off to lock and again do this to unlock.

 

Recharging

Recharging is done via the USB-C port on the top. It’s a semi-exposed port but has been waterproofed although debris could be a problem. The total charging time of the 1100mAh 18350 battery was 1:33:00 with a total charging rate right at 1A.

I will note here again that the battery is removable but tools are required to do so. I used a watch wrench but I think a pair of snap ring pliers would work but your chance of scratching would be much higher. It would be nice if Wuben included a simple tool here to help, or changed the milling in the bottom of the light so that you could use a coin. 

 

Final Thoughts

The Wuben X-0 Knight is advertised primarily as an EDC light. While most people think of right-angle lights more as headlamps they work pretty well as EDC too. For me this is probably a little bulkier than I want to carry with shorts on due to its diameter at least with shorts on. 

 

That said I think this is a unique design. I like the exterior look myself, and I like it’s being offered from the beginning with different colors and materials. It’s great they are offering it a neutral white and what appears to be a high CRI LED. I will again remind you if you pocket carry this please use lockout (4 fast clicks) or you have a strong risk of melted pockets)

I do think it would be great to see a small headstrap included so you could use it as a headlamp if you wanted. I do think some type of wrench should be included to help open the tail cap to change the battery out, otherwise, you really need a tool here to help you. 

One small note here is this is being offered as a Kickstarter preorder. Call me old-fashioned but I still think of Kickstarter as a way for small companies to get funding to turn around and make their first product. Wuben is a midsized flashlight manufacturer, well established for many years now. They don’t exactly fit the mold for a startup company, but they are not alone in using Kickstarter as a marketing platform. It seems to be the standard these days. The project has exceeded it’s funding goal so the risk of not getting your light should be minimal.

So some interesting design choices on this one make the exterior kind of unique but the inside seems to be a pretty solid EDC offering if the diameter isn’t an issue for you. Let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

 

Check out the Wuben X-0 Knight on Kickstarter at https://bit.ly/39vySXB