Jetbeam RRT01 Review 2020 Version (Rotary EDC, Nichia LED, High CRI, 950 Lumens)

Jetbeam has a new version of the RRT01 Raptor out for 2020. If you remember back to last summer I reviewed the 2019 version of the light and loved it. The 2020 version adds an Optional Nichia emitter and changes how the rotary ring and UI work as well as being more flexible with different battery versions. Thanks to JetBeam for sending this to me to look at and review. 

 

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Versions

There are now 3 versions of the Jetbeam RRT01 that all share the same name. There is the original from about 8+ years ago, the 2019 version and now the 2020 version. Each having their own differences in performance, batteries, and LED. I do wish JetBeam would have added a V1, V2, V3 or used a different name with the light so it was easier for the consumers to tell the difference. The easiest way to tell the difference between the 2019 and 2020 is to look at the tail. The 2019 has a place for 3 tritium vials, whereas the 2020 has a button on the tail cap.

 

Packaging & Accessories

The packaging of the RRT01 is very Jetbeam, it’s a blue and black retail hanging package with all the details you need on the outside and side panels. As far as accessories, it depends on the version you get. My kit has the optional 2x extensions tubes that allow you to use 18500 and 18650 batteries in the light. In addition to this  it comes with a 1100mAh JetBeam branded 18350 battery with microUSB charging onboard, 3 extra  orings, an allan key, 2 extra screws for the clip (Not torx), and replacement rubber boot for the rear switch in gray. You also get a lanyard, manual, and other paperwork. 

 

Construction

The light is made from aluminum and anodized a warmer light gray with the control bezel being a silver. It’s nice to see a different anodizing color here. Machining is very good. Starting at the tail, there is a bezel around the center mechanical on/off button. When the button is in the off state the light doesn’t tail stand super well, but when the light is on the button has retracted enough that it tail stands great, so really a pretty thoughtful design as it helps you find it when you want to turn the light on. 

The body section of the light has knurling around it with 2 flats with the minimal labeling on each side. The light then grows to match the size of the head and control ring. Threads are wide, square cut and non anodized. By default the light will fit 18350’s and CR123A batteries which are great sizes for EDC but if you want more runtime you can insert one of the extensions and use a 18500 if you have them or add both if you want to use a 18650. Just remember to use a protected battery as this light doesn’t have LVP. When the extension are in place it’s a little less elegant I think and heavy in the head. 

 

The rotary control ring has some areas milled into it to give grip. It has a detent on both ends of the control area. From 0 to 100% is about 160 degrees of rotation. There is no detent in the control ring for the 2020 version of the light. The ring moves quite easily, I would like to just touch more resistance. The rotary really allows you to dial in the exact amount of light you want very quickly.

The head has an aluminum bezel that’s mostly built into the light and not proud. It is not glued but you will need a tool to get it loose. The glass lens is double anti reflective coated and it has a deep reflector with a light orange peal.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 91mm in it’s shortest configuration. Each extension adds 15mm to the overall length of the light. Maximum diameter on the head of the light is 26mm, and minimum diameter at the head is 24.5mm. The extensions are slightly larger in diameter coming in at 26.46mm vs the 26mm of the head of the light. 

Weight in it’s shortest configuration with the included battery and clip is 114.6g. With a 30Q and the 3x extensions came in at 153.9g. 

 

Comparisons

The most obvious comparison with the RRTR01 2020 is the 2019 version and the lights look very similar. The largest difference is that the 2019 version is shorter without the tail switch. The lens’s are a little different too, the 2020 lights lens has a light orange peel and is deeper and the bezel is smooth. The diameter of the head is slightly longer too. The extension tubes fit either light. When you put the extensions on the light looks a little funny to me, it seems longer and the proportions are just off a little. For an 18650 light it’s a little on the long side when compared to the FW3A. 

 

Retention

The RRT01 like it’s predecessors are using the “standard” steel flame pattern clip meaning most aftermarket clips on the flashlight market should fit here. THe stock clip is a little longer than many at 61mm. The screw holes are hex head instead the more common torx. 

 

In the pocket it carries reasonably well. The slotted tail bezel that’s around the tail button sticks up a little more then I want but does protect the button well from accidental activation. It’s still deep enough I consider it deep carry. I found the short length to be about perfect in the pocket, it’s doable to carry with the extensions on and an 18650 but it’s center of gravity is more to the head. 

 

LED & Beamshots

There are 2 LED’s offered in the RRT01 Raptor (2020), a Cree XP G3 offering 80 CRI, and a Nichia 219C at 90CRI. I have the latter and it’s a nice warm 4000k. For me this is a great combination of tint and high CRI. JetBeam claims both are rated for 950 lumens, and that would be higher then I would expect out of a Nicha 219C as they typically don’t put out quite as much light as the Cree XP G3, so I take that with a grain of salt. It’s enough light to do the job easily. The beam here is nice for EDC, it has some center spot, about 20% of the beam and then fades to a useful spill. The rotary is very smooth and makes this light infinitely variable sub lumen up to 950. See the video version of this review for my Nightshots.

 

Heat and Runtime

Runtime here is very linear, I started my test with the included 1100mAh 18350 battery on full power. Output here was very linear and seems to not be regulated super well. There really isn’t much of a stepdown and the light ran above the 40% relative output out until 28 minutes. At 34 minutes the light shut off when LVP on the battery kicked in at 2.94V. The runtime here surprised me a bit, it’s rather short but then again this light doesn’t have much of a step down. It does get warm and the highest temp I saw was 59C around the 17 min mark. 

I then tested with a 3000mAh 18650 battery. You need to use a protected battery with this light, I didn’t do that my first test and the result was the light ran until the cell was dangerously low right at 1V. I was not happy about ruining a battery here, but the result was significantly longer runtime. FL1 was at about 95 minutes, total runtime was just at 1 hour and 40 minutes. You can see thermal regulation kick in at the top end a bit. 

 

UI

UI here is pretty unique to most other flashlights but it works pretty well. The RRT01 2020 version adds an on off switch at the tail of the light and combines with the rotary function in the head to change the brightness of the light. Once on rotate the ring to the right to increase in brightness, increase to the left to decrease in brightness. It is truly infantly variable as fast or as slow as you want. On my light I can turn the ring about 1/12 of the way before the LED begins to turn on. 

 

This light does have an infinitely variable SOS and strobe modes as well. When on just rotate to to the maximum brightness setting and then to the left slightly 3 times and you get SOS, do this 4 times to get strobe. You can then dial back the brightness if you want. To exit just turn the light off and it goes back to normal.  

 

Recharging

The light includes a 1100mAh Jetbeam branded 18350 battery that has onboard microUSB that you plug into the side of the battery. It has a multicolor LED on top that goes red when charging and green when charged. LVP is built into the battery and it stopped at 2.94V. Charged it stopped at 4.16V. When I plugged it in to charge I did notice the top of the cell got pretty warm, about 110F but this quickly dissipated. My guess is it’s doing this at first to gradually limit current going into the battery at the start of a charge. Overall the battery took 92 minutes to charge, and the maximum charge rate I saw was around the 70 minute mark at 1A. It’s a little odd to see that high of charge rate at the end of the charge cycle. 

 

Pro’s

  • Nichia LED, my biggest complaint with the 2019 version of this light was the LED that was chosen.
  • I am a sucker for a rotary interface, it works here well but requires shifting your grip to turn on then adjust the output.
  • I like the anodizing color here, a warm gray, almost sand color.
  • Nice overall EDC light with options to go to 18650 too.

 

Con’s

  • No Low Voltage Protection, must use protected cells if you plan to run the battery to exhaustion,. . 
  • A little awkward with the extensions installed, it throws the balance way forward.
  • Confusing naming with the previous versions of the light.
  • On the expensive side with the extension kit

 

Conclusion

The JetBeam RRT01 is the 3rd irrieteration of the light that shares the same name, while confusing for customers it’s a light I am enjoying. I really like rotary interfaces, I think they should be done on more flashlights as it’s intuitive and easy to operate for people of any age. The addition here of the on/off button on the tail instead of detents in the rotary makes the light less likely to come on in a pocket or when not in use but I think detracts from the overall rotary aspect of the light That said it still works pretty well but just requires you to change grips when using the light to turn it on and adjust the output.

The inclusion on some version with the extensions is smart, allowing you to use more battery types, it’s kind of an after though on design but it works reasonably well, especially if you want the extra runtime of an 18650, just be sure to use a protected battery since the light itself doesn’t have LVP. 

The optional Nichia 219C emitter here is great. One of the features I liked least about the 2019 version was it was cool white and it’s great Jetbeam listed to this user feedback myself and others had. Overall this is a fun edc light, it’s a little on the expensive side but one I can still recommend. Make sure to check my links in the description as I will list any coupons or sales I get where you might be able to get a discount. 

Banggood has a 30% off coupon for the 2020 version of the Jetbeam RRT01 at https://ban.ggood.vip/V8ca by using code:  BGRRLM

 

Lumintop HL3A Headlamp Review (2800 Lumen, 18650, Multiple LED)

Are you a fan of the FW3X series of lights but ever wished there was a right angle version you could use as a headlamp and had a magnetic tail? If so, your light has arrived, with the Lumintop HL3A, in a nutshell it’s a right angle version of the FW3A. Thanks to Lumintop for sending this to me to review. Since I have reviewed several other FW series of lights I will try to keep this review a bit shorter. 

 

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Packaging and Accessories

Packaging of the HL3A is similar to the other FWXX series of lights, but larger because of the additional accessories. It’s a brown retail box with a line drawing of the light on the front but limited technical info. Inside accessories include an extra o’ring, pocket clip, and a nice headband. The headband here is nice, it’s a 3 piece design and the elastic has the silicon grip material around the inside.I especially like the orange accents, it really brightens up the light and helps with visibility too. 

 

Construction

The light is made from aluminum and is hard anodized in a fairly flat black. Machining here is good, what I expect from Lumintop. The tailcap here is magnetic and quite strong. It’s a one piece design with the body tube and features a small lanyard hole. The body piece has a square stubbled knurling that looks almost milled in place, it’s fairly aggressive for a headlamp. The threads are long on this model, raw, and square cut. 

The head is kind of large to accommodate the 3 LED’s. It sticks out a ways from the body, more then most of your typical right angle lights. There are very shallow reliefs milled into the sides and tops, more for style then heat dissipation I think. Inside there are springs on either side of the battery. The button is large, and flat on the top of the light. It’s an electronic switch and presses easily and it should work with gloves well too. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length of the light at 81mm, diameter of the body at 23.4mm, and length of the head at 34mm. Weight for the light with a battery without the clip is 102g. 

For an 18650 headlamp the HL3A is quite short and small yet the head still has a decent amount of thermal mass. However this makes it less suited for pocket EDC in my opinion. The head just sticks out further then I want. That said the magnetic tail here is a nice addition and it’s quite strong. 

The headband is good as mentioned before, it has an orange silicone mount for the light. While you can unthread the head while on the mount to change the battery it’s more difficult than removing the light itself.

LED & Beamshot

My example of the HL3A here is running three Cree XPL-Hi Cool White at 6500k. I like the XPL-Hi emitter but Cool White isnt my favorite tint. Thankfully there are other LED’s and tints available including Cree XP-L HI 5000k, Nichia 219C 4000k, and SST20 at 4000k. The XP-L Hi’s produce the most peak lumens at 2800, the Nichia’s about 1600 lumens. 

The beam is using a Carclo style optic here, the specific part number isn’t mentioned but it does a good job of creating a flood. Good for even diffused light up close and decent amount of distance too at higher outputs. No complaints here.

Runtime

For my runtimes I used a Sony VTC6 battery. The light will accept button tops or flat top cells but for max output I would recommend a non protected battery and the light is using factory calibration. On turbo the HL3A instantly starts stepping down in output, possibly quicker then any other light I have measured. At the 30 second mark where the FL1 standard is, it’s making significantly less light than it does when you turn it on, but here is where I set the 100% of relative output. At 1 minute it’s making 50% of this value and at 2 minutes it’s making 20%. Here it remains stable for 7 hours of runtime before stepping down a few more times and running at its lowest mode. LVP here isn’t a defined value, just the lowest output. If you decide to purchase this light just expect the bulk of the output to be about 20% of it’s claimed peak value. That said this is more than enough for most close up headlamp tasks.

Maximum temps I saw during my runtime was 35.2 (95F) degrees celsius at the 35 second mark.

 

UI

The UI here is standard Andruil, and I think it ‘s pretty well suited to a headlamp. I will link to my FW3A review in case this is your first time seeing Andruil and include the diagram below. It looks a little complicated but once you get a hang of it, it works pretty well 

Mechanical lockout here isn’t an option due to those exposed threads and single tube design. 

 

Pro’s

  • Small and Compact
  • Andril firmware allows you to really set the light level where you want and need it for optimal runtime. 
  • Several LED’s and tints to pick from.
  • Magnetic Tail

\Con’s

  • Max output starts decreasing almost instantly

 

Conclusion

If you need a headlamp with a lot of output for a very short amount of time with a good UI and good build quality the HL3A is a good choice. To me it’s disappointing how quickly it starts to ramp down in output that’s true of most of the FWXX series of lights, so it’s not surprising. That said I like the rest of the light quite a bit. Andril adapts itself well to a headlamp with either the ramping mode or stepped modes. 

 

The Carclo style optic gives you a nice even beam that you can even customize if you wish by swapping it out. Modding potential here is pretty good as you can get easy access to the LED’s through the front. Other emitter mods, turboglow are all options here too. I think the reliability here should be pretty good too due to the design changes vs the FW3A. It has a single tube design, and no tail cap issues because there isn’t a tail cap. The head also has retaining rings inside so there is less to move around and cause an issue. 

 

So if you love the FW3A and wished there was a right angle version to use it as a headlamp, this is your light. Go check it out.  

 

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/8namuJR

Pickup the Lumintop HL3A at http://www.lumintop.com/hl3a.html

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

Lumintop FW3A Review (Triple LED 18680 EDC light) BLF Designed

The Lumintop FW3A is a EDC style, small form factor triple LED flashlight that enthusiasts on the BLF forums designed and programmed during the past 2+ years. It takes design inspiration in several places from high end custom lights, and brings it down to an economical price. BLF was able to get Lumintop to agree to manufacture it and the rest is history. There have been a lot of reviews on the light so far, but here is mine. I purchased my original FW3A here in gray, but am thankful for Banggood for sending me the FW3C copper version of this light so that I can show it off and review it for my viewers.

 

Youtube Version of this Review: 

Packaging

Packaging is nice at this price point. Lumintop designed a brown cardboard box with a line drawing of the light with a few specs on the outside. It has a slip cover and inside the lid folds out to reveal the light protected by cut foam with the paperwork on top. One of the important things that comes with this light is a little reminder to no open it from the tail side, and only open from the head side. This is because the tail assembly is where many of the difficult clearances are set and small parts are. More recent versions have added a retaining ring in the light which helps keep things together, but the best place to install a battery is by taking off only the head. Accessories are limited, with a couple of o’rings and the manual. 

 

Construction

The switch in the light is a metal electronic switch in the tail and has very little travel but a positive click. This combined with the inner tube construction allows for the eswitch to work and give all the different functionality of the UI. That said it’s very important that the tail of this light is screwed down tight and not removed for reliable function. In my copper light there is now a retaining ring added which helps with this situation.

The body of the light is tapered, and this just makes it more ergonomic, it fits well in the hand and works better when clipped to pants or a bag. Threads are beefy, square cut and raw base material. 

The head is two pieces, first on the outside you have the diamond knurled piece where the pill of the light and driver is and then you have the very top part where the Carclo 10511 semi clear optics sit. If you have a turbo glow gasket like I do in my copper FW3C here, it’s as simple to install as inserting it between the LED board and optic. 

One final note on the construction of this light. The FW3 series of lights was designed with modders in mind. As a result, no glue was used in the construction of the light and that combined with a light at this price point made the light a little finicky. A good amount of people needed to troubleshoot their lights upon first getting them and as a result there is an extensive help thread over on the BudgetLightForums. 

 

Personally I have been pretty lucky, my original gray aluminum light here was perfect out of the box and worked well, I did have a loose retaining ring in the head that I tightened down just to keep it working well into the future. 

 

My Copper light here was a different story, it ended up having a slight problem with the location of the oring on the inner tube which made it not work reliably. After about 15 minutes of troubleshooting using the thread I will have a link to below I got it working again. It did have a design revision in the tail with the addition of a retaining ring to keep it from falling apart on removal. Most problems I have seen are usually fixable but there have also been some bad LED’s reported too. 

 

Size | Weight | Carry

I measured overall length at 93mm, maximum diameter was 25.4mm and minimum diameter on the body at 21.5mm. Weight with the battery (VTC6) of the aluminum bodied light at 98.1g, and the copper FW3C with the same battery is 170.6g. 

 

While watching this light develop over the 2+ years I was part of the vocal minority asking for a deep carry clip option. So far one hasn’t been made, but after carrying each light for a while I am not sure it really needs one. The clip is pressure fit between the tail and body of the light with an oring on either side. You can attach a lanyard on either the tip or top of it. It’s no secret that I don’t often EDC a 18650 light but with the FW3A it’s been a very pleasant light to carry in a front pocket. For me the shortness and small diameter combined with the taper on the body really make it a pleasant carry. While the copper adds weight I don’t notice that it’s too heavy and I like the way it looks.

LED | Beam Shots | Heat

The FW3A series of lights is available with a number of emitters. Banggood currently has 4 of them. 2 XPL-HI options at 5000k and 6500k, producing about 2800 lumens, and then a Nichia 219C at 4000k producing about 1600 lumens and a SST20 at 4000k a little under the XPL-HIs. The later two are 90+ CRI models. The Nichia is the least powerful of the bunch while the XPL-HI are the most output. Nielsgadgets also offers a XP-L Hi in warm white at 3300k. What I have here is a Warm White XPL-Hi in my Gray FW3A, and a SST20 in my Copper FW3C.  Thanks to that Carclo 10507 optic, the beam patterns for a triple is quite good, large hot center and fairly even spill. Throw is easily past 200 meters. Heat is considerable on this light especially on the higher outputs. 

 

SST-20 Emitters at 4000k 

 

XPL-HI at 3300K

 

Runtime

Runtimes and outputs on this light are basically what you should expect out of high performance hot rod like this with a limited amount of thermal mass. So in the normal UI you have high mode, and then a very limited “turbo”. Here is a graph that shows what 1 minute on Turbo looks like and we can see after 20 seconds it steps down ? of relative output,  Normal high mode starts to ramp down fairly quickly and stabilizes at about 9 minutes, but at a considerably less output. Long term the light sits about 40% relative output for well past 200 minutes. Overall runtime on this light is 100% thermally driven due to it’s mass and only having air to cool it. 

The light does have low voltage protection onboard, so running unprotected batteries is fine and recommended for best performance here, but in my testing I couldn’t get find where exactly this kicks in at becaused the light runs quite low but never shut off in over 300 minutes. 

 

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 a variable 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.

 

Firmware Flashing

Not all the FW3’s are coming with the latest version of firmware on them. It’s relatively easy to flash your own firmware if you want with only needing a computer, and inexpensive programmer. If this is something you would be interested in having me demonstrate on video, let me know in the comments below and I will add it to my list of future videos. 

 

Mods

Lots of mods are available around this light. First and easiest are probably the Turboglow gaskets in a wide variety of colors, I have a lava colored one here in my Copper light and I quite like it, I think I will probably get a green or blue one for my aluminium version here soon. You can also get turbo glow to replace the tail switch, and a piece of sapphire glass for the lens, and tritium drilled optics. Since the light doesn’t have any glue an LED swap to something else is also pretty easy. Firmware is also flashable too, if you would like to see a video on how to flash firmware on the FW3A lights to make sure you have the latest version of Andril let me know in the comments below. 

Pro’s 

  • Nice value for what your getting with a wide variety of materials and colors to choose from. 
  • While this started as just 1 line it’s spawned an entire family, with different LED choices, Material Choices, and soon a single emitter version, and a version that takes a 21700 battery for extended runtime.
  • Highly customizable, lots of emitter and material choices too.

 

Con’s

  • It’s a little bit of a fiddly light, for the BLF editions the decision was made to not glue anything for easier modding, the result is sometimes you have to just play with things a bit to get it to work reliably. I had this problem on my copper one, but not my original. 
  • While I appreciate the small as possible size, that also means not a lot of thermal mass for heat dissipation and that means this light gets hot, from head to tail, pretty quickly on higher modes.

 

Conclusion

For me this is the enthusiasts light of 2019. It wasn’t a surprise since most of the development has happened on the forums in the open, but I don’t think anyone anticipated how popular this light would be and how it would spawn so many different versions. It’s really amazing that so many volunteers give their countless hours away to produce a flashlight for the community. Their hard work really shows through on this one. I have a couple different BLF designed lights and I don’t regret any of them. If you are a flashlight enthusiasts, collector, or EDC community member and you don’t have an FW3 series of light at this point, I would strongly encourage you to pick one up today, you won’t regret it. 

 

Personally I don’t EDC a ton of 18650 light in my daily activities due to their typical larger size. That said the FW3 series of lights has been the exception. That tapered body makes a big difference in carry and so does the short overall length. While I would prefer a little deeper clip the included clip is pretty good. Modding capacity of this light is also very high, with people doing tons of things, and the aftermarket producing parts to add glow buttons, glow gaskets, drilled tritium optics, and more.

 

Below in the description I will have links to the different versions (Many colors of aluminium, Titanium, copper, etc) of the FW3 series of lights that Banggood is carrying currently as well as the TurboGlow gasket I have in my copper light here. 

 

If you are a flashlight enthusiasts, collector, or EDC community member and you don’t have an FW3 light at this point, I would strongly encourage you to pick one up today, it might not be your one and only EDC light but it will be one to have a ton of fun with at an affordable price and will impress you for its abilities for the money and size. I recommend it! 

 

Full Image Gallery on the FW3A: https://imgur.com/a/97Do9Mt

 

Pickup the Copper Lumintop FW3A From Banggood for $54.90 with Coupon Code BGLFCF2 at https://ban.ggood.vip/Ia5w

 

The Turboglow Gasket I am using can be found at https://ban.ggood.vip/Ia5u

 

Original Grey Edition: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/KKm36YwdNE

Blue Edition: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/3mvm6R7ysc

Olive Edition: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/3GK3BEThb5

Purple Edition: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/DDD3Bd1EQ8

Titanium Edition: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/Gm3K0EfYQ4

TurboGlow Button: https://www.banggood.com/custlink/DvDD6huEsA

 

Troubleshooting Thread:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/66960

 

Useful Information on the FW3A lights and Troubleshooting:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67058

 

User Manual:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0031/0155/6806/files/Anduril_-_FW3A_user_manual.pdf?16