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.
Today I have Klarus’s new Deep Carry EDC light, the E2. This is the second light in the Klarus E series, and I reviewed the E1 last year. Make sure to check the description for a link to that review. This light is designed with EDC in mind to minimize the size of an 18650 light while providing a good amount of output and features. Thanks to Klarus for sending this to me to take a look before it’s widely available.
I am trying to grow my instagram followers so I can share links to things in my stories so if you’re not a follower please go follow me @Liquidretro and as always I appreciate you liking this video and giving that bell icon a click if you like these videos on YouTube too.
Packaging is a nice white Retail box with a red hanging tab. It has a photo of the light on the front, with the model number prominently displayed.On the back and side there are stats about the light and a chart telling more specs.
Inside the package you get the following. The light itself, along with a Klarus 3600mAh 18650 battery, deep carry pocket clip, lanyard, extra o’ring, micro USB charging cable, and small gray felt bag.
The Klarus E2 is made from Aluminium and hard anodized a semi gloss black. It’s a nice fit and finish as recent Klarus lights have been. The tail and body are all the same as the E1 had. Starting at the tail cap, we have a dual switch design. The main switch is a larger round button that sits up somewhat proud, next to it is a paddle that acts and the secondary switch There is half a shroud built up around the larger button on the outside, to help it from getting pressed accidentally, and it’s the lanyard attachment point. This is nicely styled and works well from my experience but the downside is it’s not magnetic and it can’t tail stand.
Threads are anodized, acme cut, and fairly small. There are springs on both ends of the light, and a dual ring system in the head like we saw on the Klarus XT21X. The body section of the light has concentric rings milled into it which gives some grip but not a ton. The head of the light is one piece with the body, in fact the entire diameter of the light is the same. There are no buttons and only minimal labeling. In my example the laser engraved serial number is not straight. The clip fit’s up on the head, and does rotate around, it can be removed if you wish. Up near the very top there is a very small tricolor LED on the side of the light that’s used for a power indicator and when changing UI modes. The front of the light unscrews in theory, and under it is a plastic lens I believe. Under that is the reflector which is similar to a TIR style optic. As a result you can’t really see the LED underneath.
Size & Weight
I measured the length at 115mm, and the diameter at 23mm. Weight with the included battery and clip was 110g.
When compared to the E1 the E2 is 8mm longer, and the same diameter. For me for the lights I own, the Olight S2R II and S30R III, both being small 18650 lights with TIR style optics.. Diameter wise they are identical.
The light carries in my front pocket really nicely. It’s an incredibly deep pocket clip that can also be used to attach to the bill of a hat to use as a makeshift headlamp in a pinch. Being a head up carry, it does require you to flip the light around in your hand to turn it on without having a side switch. I found this a little awkward and I think I prefer a side switch for this reason on this style of light but it was a minor complaint. The slim diameter, relative shortness, and deep carry pocket clip make for a comfortable EDC in my testing.
LED & Beamshot
The Klarus E2 receives an upgraded LED and outputs from the E1. It’s using a Cree XHP35 HI LED in cool white. No tint data is given but it’s not crazy cool. The beam here is nice out of the TIR style flat optic, you get a hot center thats a majority of the light with minimal diffused spill and it throws further then you think with Klarus quoting 190 meters of 9025 candela.
High 1600 lumens
Medium 400 lumens
Low 100 lumens
Moon 8 lumens
Strobe 1600 lumens
SOS 60 Lumens.
Runtime & Heat
For my Runtime and heat tests I used the included Klarus branded 3600mAh battery. The lights high output of 1600 lumens began stepping down from the moment it came on and it was down to 46% of relative output at 1:10. This is an a much faster decline then I expected. The light does have some active thermal management and the light increased slowly over the next 4 minutes to 62% relative output before decreasing again around the 8:30 mark down to the 46% relative output. From here it sat pretty flat out to 10% relative output at 2:40:00 mark. Just before LVP kicked in on the light at the near 8 hour mark it did gain in brightness the last 20 minutes by 6 relative percent. You notice heat quickly on this light in high mode, the hottest I saw was 51.9C at the 45 second mark.
UI on this light is the exact same as the E1 and controlled all with the switches in the tail cap of the light. Like other recent Klarus lights, there are 2 UI modes on this light. Factory default mode is Outdoor Mode, which I found to work for EDC pretty well.
You have a paddle switch that starts allowing the light to work on low either in momentary if just clicked briefly or if you click and hold for about 1 second it will stay on. Once in the on position this paddle can be used to step through the lights 4 main modes in increasing order. 8LM, 100LM, 400LM, 1600LM.
Also on the tail cap is a larger round mechanical switch that will give you instant access to turbo. You can half press this for momentary or full press to lock on. Once the light is on you can use the paddle to cycle between modes.
To switch modes when the light is off, press and hold the paddle for 5 seconds and the battery indicator on the front side of the light will begin flashing red/green. Then click the large primary switch without releasing the paddle.
The second mode is a tactical setting where the primary button turns the light on to high, then use the paddle to change modes, and in tactical the light goes from high and decreases in brightness to medium (400 lumens), Low (100 Lumens), and then Moonlight (8 Lumens). To enter the strobe while the light is on, hold the paddle for 2 seconds. When the light is off, pressing the paddle will give you direct access to the strobe.
Lockout in either mode can be accomplished via unscrewing the tail slightly to reset.
The Klarus E1 again uses a proprietary battery here, where both the positive and negative terminals are on the traditionally positive end of the battery. The positive terminal has a plastic spacer around it that sticks out a bit. A normal flat top battery will work in the light with a magnet spacer but you will lose the recharging feature of the light. The light uses MicroUSB for recharging which is disappointing in mid 2020.
Speaking of recharging I charged the light from LVP at 2.86V to full at 4.18V in a total of 4 hours and 25 minutes. Charge speed was around and ranged from 0.66A to right at 1A. Definitely on the slower side but safe. What I didn’t like was the light’s LED indicator on the side changed from red (charging) to green (Charged) before the light was completely full. I got the full indicator an hour before the light actually stopped using current and I tested the battery here at 4V. It would be good to see the light actually go green when it was done charging instead of being almost done.
Good factory deep carry clip, but it only allows for tip up carry and it rotates a bit to easily.
Good fit and finish, it’s a good looking production light.
2 UI modes for users to pick from.
Minimal change from the Klarus E1
Proprietary battery, this time it’s larger capacity at least.
Doesn’t tail stand, or is magnetic, because of the dual button configuration on the tail cap.
Wasn’t a fan of taking it out of my pocket and having to change grip to turn it on.
Moonlight mode here is brighter at 8 lumens than the E1 which isn’t moonlight at all.
The Klarus E2 looks familiar because it is largely the E1 that’s slightly longer, with a different LED to produce more output (still in cool white only) and comes with the battery the larger capacity E1 should have shipped with originally.
I like it’s size for an 18650 light, it’s short, and about as narrow as possible. It has a pretty good UI and I love that it has the optional Outdoors mode or Tactical mode. The light isn’t perfect though, I found in my daily IT work I missed the ability to tail stand and a magnetic tail cap, and I didn’t love having to rotate the light in my hand when pulling it out of my pocket to use it. Moonlight mode is too bright here at 8 lumens, and it steps down super fast from it’s highest output. It’s good to see they went with the larger capacity battery here vs the E1. I hope before the light ships they revise the firmware to let the green charged light come on at closer to 4.2v vs the 4.0v it comes on in my example.
MSRP at a few retailers who are listing the light for sale now at the time of this video is about $70 which is a little on the steep side with the competition and a big step up from the E1. A drop in price would make the light more competitive. If you liked the E1 you will like the E2 as it’s basically the exact same light with a brighter LED and higher capacity battery that’s just slightly longer overall.
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.
In my last review I reviewed the Wowtac W1, but today I am taking a look at the Thrunite T1, the W1, bigger and slightly older brother. The T1 has been out now for a few months but this is my first time getting my hands on one. The light uses as larger 18350 battery with more runtime, a larger Cree XHP 50 LED with more output upto 1500 lumens, with tint options, and features ramping UI. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this over to review and look at.
Normal brown cardboard Thrunite box here, On one end is the line drawing of the light and it’s name, on the other is the emitter option that is in the light which here is the Neutral White option. The light comes protected in foam, and it’s accessories include the Thrunite branded button top protected 1100mAh 18350 battery, deep carry pocket clip, Thrunite branded lanyard, extra o’rings and USB port cover, MicroUSB cable for recharging and the user manual.
Construction and Description
The T1 is an EDC style flashlight that’s made from black anodized aluminum. It features a flat magnetic base with a pretty strong magnet. The clip attaches at the rear only of the light and is not fixed in place. It’s a dual direction clip, more on that later on in the review. The body has a milled texture that we have seen on other Thrunite lights like the TH10 V2, and TC15 I have reviewed previously.
Inside there is a large stiff spring, and a solid post in the head. It works with the rather long 18350 that comes with the light, and more standard unprotected sized batteries too without rattle. Threads are fine and square cut.On the head itself it has the eswitch that’s fairly quickly with LED’s underneath to indicate charging status. Opposite the switch is the MicroUSB recharging port and silicon cover. Water resistance here is good and it’s rated at IPX-8 and survives my bucket test easily.
The bezel has a large silver accent. The lens is anti reflective coated. Underneath is a large shallow reflector that swallows up the large Cree XHP-50 LED nicely. Centering is good on the LED within the reflector.
Size & Weight
I measured the length of the T1 at 70mm long, 22mm at the narrowest point, and 26mm at the widest point between the button and charging port. Weight with the included battery and clip came in at 71.4g. The light is IPX8 water rated.
The Wowtac W1 visually looks very similar to the Thrunite T1 but the Thrunite is large in pretty much all dimensions just slightly. For those that don’t know Wowtac is Thrunites sister brand. The two light share the same switch, clip, and charging port design. The bezels are the same style but dimensions are slightly different.
The Olight S1R Baton II is frequently compared to the T1 because it’s a popular light of this form factor. It’s smaller in all dimensions since it runs a 16340 battery. It only carries head up, which you certainly have to get used to. It’s much more visible in the pocket because of it’s blue bezel and reflector, vs the T1’s black tail cap in deep carry. Runtimes are better on the larger battery of the T1, as well as turbo is brighter with 2.5 times more runtime before step down and the T1 comes with a tint choice.
The T1 features a dual direction deep carry pocket clip which means it will clip onto the brim of a hat or batman mask if you want. The light carries with the tail up, deeply in the pocket which I like. I like to put the clip opposite the button on most lights like this because i can find the button easier by feel, but on this it interferes with the USB cover slightly when trying to put it in your pocket. Overall a good but not perfect carry.
LED & Beamshot
This light is using a Cree XHP 50 LED. Mine is in the neutral white tint, but cool white is also available if you prefer. The beam here is mostly floody from the short orange peal reflector, but has a large bright center to give it some spot. I do notice quite a bit of tint shift. The center is warmer and the spill is cooler with a bit of a blue tinge.
Runtime & Heat
For such a small light that produces 1500 lumens on turbo, the runtimes here were pretty impressive. Turbo lasted a solid 2 minutes before it was done stepping down gradually. It ran from 2 to 15 minutes at about 35% relative output, then stepped down slightly to 30% relative output for the bulk of the runtime out to 55 minutes. From here the light started to sag out to about 68 minutes and eventually stop with low voltage protection kicking in at 3.065V.
Heat here is manageable given the 1500 lumens turbo mode lasts for 2 minutes. At 1 minute I measured 109F, at 5 minutes 105F and at 10 minutes 103F.
Official lumen ratings were
Turbo 1500 Lumens then 408
Infinity High 685 Lumens
Infinity Low 15 Lumens
Firefly 0.5 Lumens
Strobe 550 Lumens
No PWM was observed via eye or oscilloscope.
This light features a ramping UI Thrunite is calling infinite UI. I like it quite a bit. If you long press from off you get firefly which is 0.5 lumen. If you single click to turn on the light will come on in the last ramping mode used. To adjust the ramp you long press and hold once one. Let off the button when you get to your desired brightness level. If you overshoot or undershoot each time you let of the button the direction reverses. Double click to go to turbo and triple click to go to strobe.
USB-C recharging would have been nice, to see here but instead we have good old MicroUSB. Since this isn’t a brand new model I won’t fault it too much. The included 18350 battery is a button top protected 18350 that’s on the long side at 39mm but it’s capacity of 1100mAh is the current maximum available which is nice to see no corners were cut.
I clocked the recharging of the battery at taking 2 hours 27 minutes to go from LVP of 3.065v to full at 4.125v. Maximum amperage I saw was 0.52A which is perfectly safe for a battery of this size.
Longer runtime, and turbo output then it’s competitors due to the 18350 battery.
Available in NW and CW
Less expensive then it’s Olight and Fenix competitors
Head down deep carry design.
Not a particularly attractive light or unique design.
Included protected cell is on the long side.
Ramping is a little slow for my taste but perfectly useable.
The Thrunite T1 is a light I would recommend to anyone wanting more runtime or more light out of this small form factor EDC style light, without breaking the bank. It’s slightly larger then the competition but you get a solid bump in runtime and output for that, while still being affordable and giving you a choice in tints.
I enjoy the ramping UI here but I wish it was slightly faster. I really don’t have much bad to say about the light. It’s one I can pretty easily recommend and it’s affordable.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lumintop has a new small keychain style light on the market that’s using using TurboGlow as part of the heads structure. It has a built in battery and microUSB recharging. Thanks to Lumintop for sending this to me to review.
The light comes in a small nicer cardboard box with foam holding it in place. It comes preinstalled with the non removable battery. Accessories include a short 5” USB-A to Micro USB cable and a split ring attached to a small chain and clip for attaching to your keys or other device.
The Glow I is made from aluminium and works off a twist design but is different from some other similar lights. First the tail cap is removable, and held in place with an internal neodymium magnet and indexing notches. Pull force to disconnect here I would guess is about 5-6 pounds. I think this is sufficiently strong for many scenarios but if you were concerned about it coming off accidentally a bit of superglue or JB Weld would make this more permanent.
I found the magnet here to be actually really nice. It means the light could server as a short under the hood light in your car at night if needed etc. The body of the light has a hole in the side the body is twisted all the way to the left reveals the microUSB charging port. There is a small internal LED in the port that goes red when charging, green when charged.
To operate the light you screw it to the right until it turns on. The light has only 1 mode and no UI to speak of. The head is captured so you don’t have to worry about it getting loose or lost during charging which I know has been a minor issue with other similar lights. The internal 80mAh 10180 battery is sealed and not replaceable.
The turbo glow barrel built into the head of this light, and serves as the walls of the reflector, meaning it’s directly exposed to the LED anytime it’s on. This means it gets charged up everytime the light is on, and since it’s turbo glow it’s much brighter and lasts significantly longer then standard glow in the dark material. It even does a pretty good job of charging and maintaining charge during normal exposure to room or sunlight.
Size & Weight
This is a small light, similar to the Olight i1R I reviewed a while back. It’s currently been my keychain light. I measured the length of the Lumintop Glow I at 45.3mm, maximum diameter around the turboglow at 15.6mm and minimum diameter on the body at 14mm. Weight was 16.4g without the keychain. It’s pretty comparable in size and diameter to the Olight i1R. See the photos below for other peers.
LED & Beamshot
The Glow I uses an Osram LED. No specific model or temperature is given but no surprise here, it’s cool white. Lumintop lists the output officially has 40 lumens. This is more than sufficient with the size and application here. The light is using an optic with a built in diffuser. The result is a pretty standard beam, floody, good for short range which is what you would expect with this light.
Runtime here out of the 80mAh battery was better then I expected. My total runtime was around 80 minutes, with the first 60 of that being near the 40 lumen mark and declining. The light actually ran significantly longer but it doesn’t have low voltage protection so it would be best after you notice the decline in output to charge it.
Charging took 1 hour and 10 minutes and the fastest I observed was 0.12A via the microUSB port. While that’s pretty slow this is a very small battery so that’s what you would expect.
Turboglow from the Netherlands is integral to the design and is really pretty effective.
Captured head although in theory the tail could come loose unintentionally.
Good size and construction
No Low Voltage protection here, or removable battery means you need to be careful about running the light too long and keep the battery topped up.
Non removable/replaceable battery
This is a neat little keychain light. I like that it’s small and compact but still has a decent amount of output for its size and task. The addition of authentic TurboGlow (Seriously if you have not tried TurboGlow it’s significantly better then any other GITD material) separates this light from the competition for me. It’s a clever design making the TurboGlow an actual part of the light body vs just an insert. I wish the light did have LVP to protect the internal cell since it cant be changed. The magnetic connection here is a give and take, it’s handy but if your concerned about the light dropping off unintentionally it’s an easy fix with some superglue or JB Weld. I don’t think it will be an issue for me. Let me know what you think of the Lumintop Glow I in the comments below.