Sofirn SC31 Pro Review & Giveaway ($27, 2000 Lumens, USB-C, SST40, 18650)

Sofirn has a new low cost EDC 18650 light out with the SP31 Pro. It features an SST40 LED capable of 2000 lumens and available with 2 different tints and onboard USB-C charging for a very low price. Thanks to Sofirn for sending this to me and providing a discount to my viewers. I also have a SP31 Pro to giveaway so make sure you check out the description of this video and top comment on how to enter to win. 

 

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Enter the Giveaway https://gleam.io/Xmkd9/sofirn-sc31-pro-5000k-kit-giveaway

 

Pickup the Sofirn SP31 Pro from Amazon. Don’t forget to click the Coupon code on the page for an additional discount too.

5000k Kit https://amzn.to/39JoSGf with Coupon DCNKLHS3

6500k Kit https://amzn.to/39yFJLC

 

Packaging

Sofirn won’t win any packaging contests but for lights that are sold online I don’t really give any bonus points for spending more in this area. It’s functional, generic, and does the job. With the light you get a Sofrin branded 3000mAh battery (Light only options exist), USB-A to USB-C Cables, lanyard, and spare orings, button cover, and USB port cover as well as a decent manual. 

 

Construction

The SC31 Pro has nothing I can find wrong with it, it’s a budget light but all the edges are chamfered anodizing is consistent, and markings are good. Starting at the tail, it’s slightly recessed but still tail stands well, non magnetic. The lanyard attachment point is on the tail as well. Internally you have a single spring and what looks like room for a magnet if you wish. 

 

Threads are square cut and nicely greased. The body tube has one pocket clip area milled into it, but the tube is reversible so it could go on the front or back. There is standard diamond knurling and it’s about average grip. 

The front of the light is removable. Internally it has a pretty stiff spring and it should work with all non proprietary 18650 batteries. Externally there is a silicone button thats fairly flush, the button has some texture to it to help you find it, and 2 LED underneath that work as a locator, and battery status indicator when charging. Minimal milling on the sides for heat dissipation. The USB-C Charging port on the rear has a rounded cover with a large flat. Mine fits pretty well and is out of the way. The head itself has a minimal bezel with no crenulations. There is a reflective coated glass lens, smooth reflector and LED centering is good. 

 

Size and Weight

The SC31 Pro is very similar in size and dimensions to the popular Wurkkos FC11. And for good reason, Sofirn is the parent company to both companies. I measured the SC31 Pro at 115.7mm in length, minimum diameter at 24mm, maximum diameter at 26.5mm. Weight with the battery and clip was 110g or 3.88oz. It’s IPX7 water rated.

 

Retention

The SC31 comes with a basic lanyard that attaches at the tail cap if you want. The pocket clip is decent but not as deep carry as I would like with 22mm of the light sticking up out of your pocket. It is a friction fit clip but fairly tight. If only this was a deeper carry clip it would be even better. 

 

LED & Beam

The LED that’s being used here is the Luminus SST-40 LED. It’s available in both Cool white (6500k) and Neutral white, and I have the latter here in 5000k. It surprised me a little as mine has a bit oa a rosy tint, it’s nice despite being only 70 CRI. It has a smaller hot center, with a medium amount of spill. There are some some kind of ugly outer edges in the beam with reflections off the edge of the reflector and bezel. Maximum output is rated at 2000 lumens and with the ramping modes you can adjust it to anything you wish. The light does have PWM but it’s minimal and only visible with my oscilloscope. This is expected since its running Andruil. 

 

Heat and Runtime

One thing that I have started doing is comparing my lights running Andruil as they come from the factory and then after thermal calibration. While I firmly believe that lights should come calibrated from the factory the reality is for the money here they don’t and that’s a shame because it’s worth doing. ZeroAir has a good writeup on this in his reviews, and I followed that and the difference in my lights were impressive. Turbo runtime went from 1:50 when uncalibrated to 3:05 after calibration, with peak of that being right at 2 minutes. So if you get this or any Andruil light it’s worth going through the calibration procedure. Output was also roughly 13% better during most of the duration too. This does effect overall runtime going from 7:05:00 uncalibrated to FL1 to 4:05:00 when calibrated to FL1 but this is a trade off I am willing to take for more output and a less aggressive thermal restraint. Max temp I saw when calibrated was 41C but this is my own setting and was at the 7 min mark. 

 

UI

The Sofirn SP31 Pro here uses the Andriul firmware by Toykeeper. It’s standard Andruil but I did notice one difference at the top and bottom of the ramp I don’t get the blink like I do on say my FW3A, and most other Andruil lights. I like this. By default the light ships in ramping mode, there is a stepped mode too. Andruil is good but complex. It’s highly configurable (for example you can change the behavior of the backlight switch) so make sure to take some time to understand it fully. 

 

Recharging

The Sofirn SC31 Pro has onboard USB-C charging. It supports USB-C to C charging cables as well as USB-C PD in my tests. It’s great to see a budget light support this. Total charge time of the included 3000mAh 18650 battery from LVP at 2.780V to full at 4.145V was 2:30:00 with the maximum charging rate just at 1.88V. I have no complaints here, and it’s great to see at budget prices.

 

Pro

  • My NW SST40 LED here in 5000k has a really nice tint with a rosy hue
  • Fantastic value for a complete kit
  • Andruil firmware is a love it or hate it thing, but it provides a lot of options for the enthusiast or budding flashaholic. 

 

Cons

  • The pocket clip here is a small letdown, it’s not as deep carry as I would have hoped. 
  • Non magnetic tail, although easy to modify to make magnetic. 
  • Edges of the beam are a little ugly. 

 

Conclusion

I am not ready to call this the Wurkkos FC11 killer since it’s an extremely similar light made by the same parent company but what I will call it is an extremely good value for a slightly more advanced light because it has Andruil UI. While I love the LH351D in my FC11 the tint here in the SC31 Pro is better in my opinion, slightly brighter, but you do lose the high CRI of the LH351D. 

 

The Andruil UI is complex, and that may be a turn off for some new to the hobby, but for a noob there is muggle mode. Take some time and study the diagram to understand how it works and I think you will enjoy it. Build quality here is appropriate for the price, nothing is bad but it’s also not class leading. This is a great all around light for the money here and I have no hesitation recommending it, especially at the price Sofrin has offered to my viewers with the discount you can find in the description. About $25 at the time of filming. 

 

Enter the Giveaway for the Sofirn SP31 Pro Kit (5000k) https://gleam.io/Xmkd9/sofirn-sp31-pro-5000k-kit-giveaway

Olight Warrior Mini Recall News!

Here is the link to the official Facebook group post on the matter https://www.facebook.com/groups/Olight/permalink/3455317721188648

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Klarus XT11 GT Pro Review (2000 Lumens, Cree XHP 35 HD, USB-C,18650)

Today I have a newer light from Klarus the XT11 GT Pro. This is an update to a light that Klarus has made previously. Klarus (Affiliate) sent this to me earlier in the year for review, and I appreciate their patience as it took me a little while to get to it. 

 

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Construction

The XT11GT Pro is made from aluminum and is anodized in a smooth medium gloss black anodizing. Visually it’s different then the standard XT11GT. It features the same tactical tail cap, with the large center button being a mechanical switch with a grippy silicon cover and the paddle on the side to allow for mode selection. The paddle was upgraded to aluminum here for incredibility. The clip is a clip on, non fixed and rotates around the body of the light. It’s not deep carry with it leaving about 32mm exposed from a pocket. 

The body is milled with small horizontal lines going around the body of the light and then it has small relieves milled in. It’s a nice change from traditional knurling and provides a good amount of grip. The threads are nice and square cut and it’s a dual wall construction. The head and body tube appear to be once piece. As we get to the head of the light it grows in size, It’s got a built in anti roll ring that adds some style and nicely disguises the USB charging port cover. This is definitely one of the better designs I have seen for this. 

The bezel is a little aggressive and the outer edges have some sharper sides. It’s a gunmetal color and stainless steel I believe. It’s easily unscrewed by hand. Inside is a anti reflective coated glass lens, a fairly deep smooth reflector 

 

Size and Weight

I measured the length at 139mm, minimum diameter on the body at 25mm, maximum diameter on the head at 35mm. Weight with the included battery and clip was 169.2g. 

For an 18650 light it’s a little on the long side, but that’s not unexpected with the deeper reflector. Here are some comparison shots with the light and some others.

 

Retention

Your 2 Retention methods on this light is with the included pocket clip. Unfortunately this isn’t deep carry carry with about 32mm of the light exposed if you do decide to use the clip. With the size of this light that’s ok, as I think it’s more of a bag or coat light myself. The included holster does the job pretty well too, no complaints there. 

 

LED & Beamshots

The XT11 GT Pro is using the Cree XHP 35 HD LED in cool white at 6500k. This is an interesting choice of LED”s since it’s officially been discontinued by Cree. That said plenty of existing stock still exists and Klarus must feel like they have enough to meet the expected demand of this light. The beam it’s self is a good all arounder. The deep smoother reflector means the light has a fairly small hotspot and it throws pretty well but there is also spill to allow for short and medium range light. So a good all around beam. 

The light will run on 18650 batteries which is how I will use it, but it will also run on 2x CR123a batteries which is nice as a backup. As a result the working voltage is 2.8V to 6.4V/ No PWM was observed. 

 

Runtime & Heat

I measured runtime with the included 3100mAh battery. Turbo runtime was 50 seconds before stepping down to 90% and then it ran for another 2 minutes 10 seconds before settling at 30% relative output where it ran for an additional 1:37:00. Total runtime was 2 hours. Max Heat I saw was 42C at 1:35. 

 

UI

Like many of Klarus recent lights this has 2 modes of operation, a Tactical and a Outdoor setting. The tactical mode allows the main button on the rear of the light to go to turbo, and the paddle to be a shortcut for strobe that you can lock on by holding for 2 seconds.

I primarily tested the light in it’s outdoors setting though. When in this setting the primary button on the rear is a shortcut to turbo both as momentary or locked on. Once on you can use the paddle to decrease the modes from turbo, high, Medium, and low. You can also use the paddle when the light is off to start in moonlight mode and then increase in output for each push. It’s a system that works better then I expected and is pretty intuitive once you use and get it.  

 

Recharging

One of the updates the XT11 GT Pro has is USB-C charging. Unfortunately it doesn’t support USB-C to C or USB-C PD charging. So you need to use the supplied (or similar) USB-A to USB-C cable to charge the light. The port cover here is nicely shaped and fits well into the side of the head. It’s one of the better executions I have seen of this in 2020. 

I charged the included 3100mAh battery from LVP to full in a total time of 3:23:10. It wasn’t the fastest charging rate, as the maximum I saw was right at 1A. There is a small LED indicator light built into the side of the light to act as a battery charge state indicator. Green is anything more then 70%, orange is between 30-70%, and red is less then 30%, red flashing is less then 10%. 

Packaging

My light is a super early production light (Serial number 17), and doesn’t have a box so I can’t comment on that. I can tell you the accessories it came with. My light came with a 3100mAh button top protected IMR 18650 battery, a Klarus branded lanyard and a USB-A to USB-C charging cable. It also came with a nylon, Klarus branded holster. It has a Dring and velcro belt loop. It seems to be solidly made. 

 

Pro

  • I like the outdoor UI setting here once you get the hang of it but it’s a little different.
  • Nice size in the hand for an all around light if you want your buttons on the rear.


Cons

  • Seems expensive
  • Cool white only
  • No true moon light mode, lowest is 10 lumen output
  • No USB-C to C compatibility and slow charging

 

Conclusion

My conclusion for the Klarus XT11GT Pro is that it’s a good all around light general purpose light. The 2 UI modes allow you to use it tactically if you want or use it in the outdoor mode which is more appropriate for everyday uses like power outages and camping. The beam is useful with enough throw and spill to do both jobs pretty well. What I don’t care for is the asking price I am seeing at the time of filming. It’s high in my opinion currently. Around $50-60 would make it a good value but at nearly double that I would struggle to pay full price. So if you’re interested I would watch for a sale or coupon. 

Olight Olantern Review (360 Lumens, Flicker Bulb, Olight Fan Request)

Olight Olantern Review (360 Lumens, Flicker Bulb, Olight Fan  Request)

Today I have the Olight OLantern, before you change to the next video, this isn’t a boring battery powered lantern. It’s the result of numerous requests to Olight, so lets see if they delivered what the fans really want or not. Thanks to Skyben on Amazon for sending me this to look at and allowing me to tell you the truth on it. 

 

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Pickup the Olight Olantern from Skyben on Amazon.

Green: https://amzn.to/3lQkiKh

Gray: https://amzn.to/2VXfb0x

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XANAD Case: https://amzn.to/2KABHqb

 

Packaging & Accessories

Olights packaging is the nicest in the production flashlight world, it makes me wonder how much extra goes to packaging. The lantern is a big heavy duty cardboard box with photos of the light on all 4 sides. Very little information is on the exterior. It opens up throughout the bottom and is a tight fit. It sit’s on the box of accessories which include the manual, a microfiber cleaning cloth, an extra long MCC3 charger capable of up to 2A, and the flame flicker bulb. 

 

Construction

The lantern itself is made from a polymer front top top bottom. It’s available in a gray, red, and the green you see here. A rubber texture has been applied to a few areas for extra grip, the top cap, and bottom tail cap. The middle section is a hard thick, dense polymer. The lens or globe is a clear acrylic and while it will scratch it seems to be reasonably scratch resistant. It has a bit of a reflector built into the to help distribute light. This globe twists off from the body to allow you to swap out the emitter from cool white to the flickering flame, and there is a oring around this connection. Inside around the emitter is aluminum as is the blue ring around the exterior.

The electronic button is in the front and and has a slight backlit edge. This servers as a power indicator and helps you find the light in the dark. The light is motion sensitive so once you pick it up it comes on. 

The bottom rubber piece is scalloped and relieved internally to allow the light to charge while standing up with ease. There are 3 screws in the bottom that allows the light to come apart fairly easily. While the battery isn’t designed to be user replaceable it is quite easy to remove it. It connects to the circuit board with spring loaded pins. There was some debate early on if this was a rebranded product or an Olight original design and after looking inside I am confident it’s an Olight design, as all the circuit boards do have Olight copyrights on them. Internally its pretty simple design. 

 

Size & Weight/Competition

Length with the handle folded in was 135mm, with it unfolded 191mm, maximum diameter on the base was 65mm. I measured the weight at 346.5g. Water rating is only IPX4. So it can handle splashes from all angeles but no more.

A lot of people will compare the Olight Olantern to the BLF/Sofrin LT1 because the lights end up being near the same price. The Olantern is lighter, and smaller, with less features, a more simple but less useful UI, and longer charging time. The two are in different leagues really. The Olantern is probably better to hand to a non enthusiast and in terms of weight but in almost all other aspects the LT1 in my opinion is the better lantern. 

 

Retention

The lantern has a handle that is a metal hanger and coated in the same rubberized coating, at the top it has a plastic piece with a dip in it. This looks a little funny but is actually really useful, as it allows you to hang the light on a wire or rope and not have it fall off. I could see this being used in a tent, or with a rope strung between a few trees while camping etc. 

I do enjoy a case for my BLF LT1, and the OLantern will fit in the one I have for my LT1 here but with a good amount of extra space leftover. The XANAD case does double duty well.

 

LED & Beam

The Olantern has 2 LED Modules, first the primary is a cool white module with 3 output settings. No emitter or tint data is given for either. It’s quite cool white my guess is 6500k or cooler. The beam is pretty even but if you wanted to diffuse it even more I have seen people put thin paper inside the globe for more diffusion. 

The other is the flame module, it’s 1 mode only and flickers, and is quite warm, with an orange tint. I really wish this had more output and 3 modes like the main module did. 

 

Olight lists the official outputs as the following.

  • High 360 lumens
  • Medium 120 lumens
  • Low 30 lumens
  • Flaming Module 1 Lumen

 

Heat & Runtime

I tested runtime on the highest output on the main cool white module, and got 6:55:00 so a little better  then what it’s rated for. During this time it decreased in output ever so slightly but ran this entire time at 90% of relative output which is good. It does get a little warm during use, especially around the blue metal band, with peak temps in my uncooled environment at 39C. This was around the 2 hour mark.

 

My flaming module runtime test fell a tad short of the claimed 80 hours of runtime. I recorded only 46:42:00, due to the length of time this took I didn’t run this one again to see if my results improved. 

 

UI

The UI here is very simple. Single press turns the light on to the last mode it was used in. Long press to go to the next mode, and mode progression is L, M, H. There is no short cut to the highest or lowest output. The flaming module has only one mode, so it’s just on or off.

 

One kind of neat and useful feature is the illuminated halo around the side switch, it reacts to motion to help you find it and to save power, so if you bag was to move it was in or you pick it up but can’t find the button in the dark it will start glowing a dim green so you can find it. 

 

Recharging & Power

This light runs off of a proprietary battery pack consisting of 4x 1900mAh 18500 batteries for a total capacity of 7600mAh. This is a custom battery pack and is designed to be non user replaceable. As mentioned above it’s quite easy to get into the light however though so if Olight made this battery available as a replacement I think it’s something the average person could replace. Recharging is done via the Olight magnetic MCC3 charger you get on recent Olights. It will operate while charging, and has the standard green when charged, red when charging. 

 

Charing time here is very long, from empty where the light shut off I measured it taking a full 8:30:00  to recharge, Peak charging speed I saw was 1.38A. This is a pretty conservative recharge rate. If you were charging off solar power it would be best to top up then expect to get a full charge in a day in most places. Comparing this to my BLF LT1 which had a capacity of 12,000mAh but charged in 10:15:00. This is still along time but also a battery that’s 4,400mAh larger.

 

Areas for Improvement

I see 3 major areas that olight can make improvements to on the next Olantern. The first is the waterproofing, this is only rated for IPX4 which means it can repel splashes from any angle but more then this may cause problems. This means it’s ok in the rain but isn’t to be submerged. The lantern only has one Oring between the globe and module, this surprised me for the price point the lights at, and Olights usual good build quality. 

 

LED Tint – This shouldn’t surprise anyone if you know Olight you know they like that cool white tint. They might say that’s for the best performance, or most amount of lumens but in this case neither are the most important, quality of light and runtime are the big things you want for area illumination. With the replaceable “bulb” design Olight could easily come out with an addon or have given people the choice. Even better make the tint variable like the BLF LT1. 

 

LED Storage – The flaming “bulb” is fun, but it’s output doesn’t make it super useful for more then just ambiance. The problem I see is there is no way to attach the extra blub to the light, or store it, so I see it is more likely to get lost. Hopefully version 2 corrects this. 

 

Conclusion

Lanterns are not something you think you need, till you have one and then if you are like me you will find yourself using it more and more. It’s great for camping but also if you lose power frequently or live in an area with storms. This is great for those areas getting hit by tornadoes and hurricanes or this time of year blizzards. 

 

At first I wasn’t impressed with the design here from the photos, I didn’t find the light attractive and was kind of put off by the mostly polymer construction, but once I got it in hand it felt better built than I was expecting. That said this is a space that has competition in it, not only from other lantern or lantern like products but also from silicone cones to put on top of your existing flashlights to act as a diffuser. All of those make the normal asking price here hard to swallow in my opinion. It’s a useful amount of light and it feels solid in the hand but I just had higher expectations for the normal asking price.

I don’t think this is the light that the hard core Olight fan was asking for but it’s not a bad place to start. Hopefully Olight decides to make some revisions and come out with a version that is has the ability to shift the tint, swap in other bulbs, is more water resistant, and is a better overall value. If they do that I think it will appeal to more enthusiasts and be the light that the hardcore fans really wanted. Until then you have a pretty well built light for the mainstream at a high price point when it’s not on sale. 

Acebeam TK18 Review (3000 Lumens, LH351D, Triple Emitter, EDC Flashlight)

Today I am taking a look at the Acebeam TK18 in Aluminum. This is triple LED light thats powered by an 18650 battery and is available with 3 different LED options in 3 different materials. Today I have the Aluminum light with the Samsung LH351D LED’s. Thanks to Nitetorch for sending this to me to look at and review.

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging on the TK18 is a nice white pull out box with a line drawing of the light on the front. On the side it has all the LED options and materials on it marked with small stickers. Inside you get an assortment of things, such as the light, an optional Acebeam ARC18650H-310A 3100mAh battery, 2 spare orings, button cover, branded lanyard, and a USB-A to MicroUSB charging cable that has a optional area to plug in another cable to say charge your phone if needed.

 

Construction

The TK18 is available in 3 different materials, Aluminum which I have here, a raw copper, and a titanium. The anodizing here is a flat black that reminds me kind of Armytek since it’s a little chalky. Starting at the tail as always the only button on this light is a nice contrasting gray silicone, and recessed. It’s an electronic switch so it doesn’t take much pressure to actuate, and it’s non magnetic. The lanyard attachment point is on the tail cap as well.

Inside the threads are anodized, square cut and nicely greased. There is a inner tube in this light which is a little surprising with it’s small diameter. In the tail cap there is a short spring as well. The body tube has small rectangles for grip, these are short and everything is nicely chamfered, it’s similar to a frag pattern but smoother and less harsh. The pocket clip only attaches near the head of the light on the body tube and is non captured. More on that in a minute. The front of the body tube does have a retaining ring in it so the battery can only slide out from the rear. 

The head features a spring as well inside, on the outside it’s pretty basic and has minimal heatsinking. The front bezel does have crenulations and has a nice patinated copper color. The edges of it are a little up, especially considering this is a bezel up EDC. Underneath is a carillo style optic, with a glass ARC lens on top. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 105.27mm, minimum diameter on the body at 22.28mm, maximum diameter on the head of the light at 25.19mm. Weight with the clip and the Acebeam 18650 battery was 109.1g. The light is IPX8 water rated. Here are a few pictures of similar lights so you can see a size comparison.

 

 

Retention

The Acebeam TK18 comes with a dual direction pocket clip that attaches on the front side only of the body of the light. It’s a pretty long clip in comparison to the light and it’s fairly deep carry with about 9.5mm sticking up out of your pocket, but the retention to the light could be a little better. I also didn’t care for the bezels sharpness here when EDCing it in a front pocket, my hand caught it once or twice. The clip does also allow for you to attach it to a baseball hat if you want, that side is fairly stiff.

 

LED & Beam

The LED’s in use on my light are the Samsung LH351D in cool white. At this point I think I have all major tints of the LH351D, and unfortunately cool white happens to be my least favorite just because of the tint mainly. In the TK18 you do have that carillo style optic which puts out a pretty even beam like most triple LED lights. It’s fairly floody but can throw at the higher powers, great for EDC and this is a smaller diameter light then a lot of triples. No PWM was observed. 

Stated mode spacing with the Samsung LH351D CW Emitters and a 20A 18650 in Power Mode.

  • Ultra Low – 3 Lumens
  • Low – 80 Lumens
  • Med – 200 Lumens
  • High – 1000 Lumens
  • Turbo – 3000 Lumens

 

Stated mode spacing with the Samsung LH351D CW Emitters and a 20A 18650 in Eco Mode.

  • Ultra Low – 3 Lumens
  • Low – 80 Lumens
  • Med – 200 Lumens
  • High – 630 Lumens
  • Turbo – 1450 Lumens

 

Heat & Runtime

I did all my runtime tests with the included Acebeam ARC18650H-310A 3100mAh battery. You need a battery capable of at least 20A sustained to get close to the rated outputs. The light will also run off 2 CR123A batteries with about half the normal outputs in high and turbo but similar overall runtimes. My tests were unknowingly done in Eco mode, read the directions guys. I will put some graphics of what Turbo mode looks like at the end. 

 

In Eco I was able to hold turbo 1450 lumens for 5:30 before stepping down and this was pretty good. Step down was 55% of relative output where it held till the 2:17:00 mark. Starting at 2:00:00 the light starts flashing, dropping output down near 20% then back up to 55% to let you know the battery is getting low. This continues as the light does it’s last major step down to 6% relative output for the remaining hour. Total runtime in Eco from Turbo was 3:15:00. I saw max temps of 52C at the 10 minute mark in Eco. 

Here are 2 graphs of what output was like in Power mode with the same supplied battery. 

 

UI

You have 2 main UI groups with this light, an Eco and a Power mode, by default the light ships in Eco mode. To switch between them you have to lock the light (From off press and hold for 5 seconds), While locked click 10 times and the light will go from low output a higher output and this will mean the light is in power mode. It’s a similar action to go back to eco.

 

Normal operation is a short press to turn on where you last left it (Not for ultra low or turbo) then press and hold to cycle through each mode steps (Low, medium, high). Double click at any time to get to turbo, triple press to get to strobe. It’s a fairly simple UI thats similar to many other lights. Just read the manual for switching between eco and power.

 

Recharging

My light came with the Acebeam ARC18650H-310A 3100mAh protected button top battery. It has a MicroUSB port on the side for charging and is pretty long a 69.95mm in length. It also has an LED indicator on the positive terminal side, it’s always green when charged, but does turn off when fully discharged.I charged the light from LVP at 2.961V tyo Full at 4.168V in 2:31:35. Max charge rate I saw was 1.1A. The charge curve started off slow as I like to see then increased substantially and then trailed off. No issues here other then it’s a bit slow. 

 

Pro’s

  • I find this as a good looking light with the copper colored accents
  • Small diameter for a dual tube, triple LED light.
  • On the pricey side for not having a battery that comes with all packages. Aluminium is fairly affordable.

 

Con’s

  • No tint data for the LED choices are given, the LH351D’s here are cool white, quite floody.
  • Doesn’t seem to hit 3000 lumens when compared to other lights, this is supported by a few other reviewers. 
  • Front bezel needs to be toned down a little for a head up EDC light.

 

Conclusion

The Acebeam TK18 is an interesting light overall. Visually I like most of the look here, the aged copper colored accents are nice, I wish the clip didn’t have the Acebeam website on it, because I think that’s a little distracting. It’s pretty thin for a triple LED too, which helps it cary well in the pocket. It’s as narrow as many of the competitors single LED lights. That said I don’t care for the semi aggressive bezel when carrying. 

 

While I typically love the Samsung LH351D emitters, here I would probably recommend you go with the Nichia 219C instead to get high CRI and hopefully a warmer emitter. You give up some output but I am ok with that. The UI here is easy to follow but I don’t care for the Eco and Power settings, it adds unnecessary complexity. It’s nice to be able to use CR123A too in a pinch, it’s not something you see that often anymore. Overall if you were looking for a small diameter triple and wanted something a bit different with LED options that was reliable this would be a solid choice, just make sure your using a very capable battery for max performance.

Acebeam L17 Review (160,801 Candela, 1400 Lumens, Awesome Thrower)

Today I have a new compact tactical thrower from Acebeam. They boast that the L17 which easily fits in your hand will throw out ot 802 meters. It runs off an 18650 and features a Osram LED. Thanks to Acebeam for sending me this new model. Let’s take a detailed look. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

The light does come in 3 different versions, a white or Green LED version both capable of 800 and 820M of throw respectively, and a Red LED version that’s capable of 460M of throw. T

The standard package is a nice retail box with a line drawing of the light and the LED lumen and distance ratings on the box. On the back side there is a lot of stats and detailed info, good for any retailer looking to sell this. Accessories that are included is the light with the clip and tactical ring installed on the light. It comes with a lanyard, spare button cover and 2 spare orings as well as the standard paperwork and manual. You also get a nylon holster that’s branded Acebeam that has a D ring and belt loop with a button. 

Acebeam offers a couple of additional accessories on their website that will work with the L17 but are not sold in the standard version. First is a 10A rated 18650 battery with microUSB charging and a remote pressure switch for only $10 which is a good price. 

 

Construction

The L17 is made from aluminium and is hard anodized in a flat black. In the tail is the e-switch for the light and it’s truly silent. The cover is a rubber boot that has medium texture that sits just under the bezel. Internally, the tail has a single stiff gold coated spring and then an additional contact to the inner tube of the light. Threads are anodized, square cut and smooth. 

There is a tactical ring on the body which serves as a cigar grip point, the lanyard attachment point and adds reinforcement/lock for the clip on pocket clip. Both the tactical ring and pocket clip are removable should you wish. It’s a nice way to add quite a bit of security to the clip without making it permanent. The body tube itself is plain and features no knurling, I would like to see a little more grip here or closer to the head. 

The head itself is glued to the body. The head has some decorative milling around it and it helps dissipate some heat. The bezel is aluminum and has some modest large crenulations for a tactical light. The lens is glass with a Carclo TIR lens inside designed to enhance the throw. 

Size and Weight

I measured the length at 140mm, minimum diameter of the body tube at 25.5mm, and maximum diameter of the head at 40mm. Weight with an 18650 battery is 196.9g,

 

 

Retention

You have a couple of retention and carry options with the L17. It does come with that nylon holster for belt carry. It’s a basic holster but does the job well. You also have that pocket clip. The clip is 1.4 inches from the top of the light so it’s definitely not deep carry. 

LED & Beamshot

Acebeam doesn’t specify which LED exactly is in the L17 only that it’s an Osram. I asked my contact for clarification and they said it was an Osram KW CSLPM1.TG which is a mouthful but good to know exactly whats in it. It’s a very throwy LED that Acebeam has put a TIR optic on top with a glass lens. It’s different looking than your traditional optic and this is designed for all throw. 

The result is a light that has virtually no spill, it’s all focused on the center in a tight pattern. The combination of the optic and LED choice explain the claimed 160,801 candela rating here at 1400 lumens in Turbo mode. Tint here is cool white but I don’t detect much blue in the beam. In my night shots it stands up pretty well to some of the competitors using different LEDs but this has a tighter more focused beam. I didn’t notice any PWM here.

Specs below are for the White Version I have. The Green version throws slightly further. 

  • Turbo – 1400 Lumens – 160,801 Candela
  • High – 370 Lumens – 42,025 Candela
  • Mid – 150 Lumens – 23,409 Candela
  • Low – 50 Lumens – 11,025 Candela
  • Ultra Low – 15 Lumens – 3,600 Candela

 

Heat & Runtime

I did all my runtime and heat tests with the supplied (optional) Acebeam 3100mAh battery that was sent. It’s a 10A battery so keep that in mind for what you decide to put in this light and choose something with at least htis rating. Total runtime was 4:35:00. In my runtime tests I saw Turbo last for 3:30 before stepping down to right at 50% relative output. This is also where I saw maximum heat at 64C (147F) so this definitely gets hot and that thermal protection kicks in to limit output. The light maintained this 50% output for a total of 1 hour before stepping down again to about 4% relative output. My advice would be if you plan to use this light on Turbo for more then once past step down is to wear gloves. It only takes exposures above 60C for more then 3 seconds to get 1st degree burns.

 

UI

The L17 uses a pretty traditional and simple interface. When Off long press on the rear tail switch for ultra low (15 lumen), single click to turn off. Single press to turn on to low, long press to cycle modes. Double click to go to turbo, and triple click to go to strobe. 

 

I will say mode spacing here isn’t super common. Ultra low is 15 lumens and throws really well for not much light. Next is low at 50 lumens, Mid is 150 lumens, high is 370 lumens. Acebeam says this will go 410 meters. Next is Turbo the full 4500 lumens or 160,801 candella. 

 

Pro’s

  • Nice to see colored LED’s being offered here instead of just a filter. I could see this being popular with a hunter with the green tint option. 
  • Very tight and compact beam with great throw
  • A fairly compact bezel which makes this more accessible.
  • Silent Tail Switch & good vibration resistance.

 

Con’s

  • The light gets incredibly hot during turbo before step down. Wear some gloves or hold the back of the light.
  • Big steps between High and Turbo. 

 

Conclusion

I can recommend the Acebeam L17 if you’re in the market for a fairly compact 18650 powered thrower with basically no spill. I am typically not a big fan of tactical lights but the UI on this light is pretty non-tactical so it works out well. 

 

This isn’t the light to take with you when hiking, or for EDC or for walking the dog to see right in front of you. It would be great for a security guard who was needing to point out a specific spot on a house or inspect something from a distance. It’s also just a lot of fun to impress your friends or significant other, it’s a lot of power and so focused. It’s probably the next best thing to a LEP light.

 

https://www.batteryjunction.com/acebeam-l17.html

Meote FM1 Review (Dazzler or Dud?)

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. 

 

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Packaging and Accessories

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.

Retention

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.

UI

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. 

 

Pro’s

  • Use of the Samsung LH351D LED’s is nice
  • Exposed copper even though it’s coated
  • Auxiliary LED’s

 

Con’s

  • Internal Build quality 
  • Beam Pattern
  • Easy to bump and have the light turn off
  • Clip is easily bent

 

Conclusion

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.

 

Banggood is offering 20% off the Meote FM1 using https://ban.ggood.vip/Ugny and coupon code BGCP1PC

See Banggood’s other July Flashlight sales https://bit.ly/3jGzsSl

Wowtac H01 Review (Headlamp, $16, 16340, USB Rechargeable)

Wowtac has a new headlamp on the market with the H01 and it’s been getting some positive buzz in the flashlight community for it’s low price and high value. It’s running a Cree XP-G2 LED, a 16340 battery, and has onboard recharging. Thanks to Wowtac for sending it to me to take a look at. Wowtac has provided a discount using my code below for the month of July, so if you like this one be sure to check that out and save a few dollars.

Wowtac has provided a discount code to get 20% off the H01 for the month of July by using code 20LiquidRetr at https://amzn.to/3iKFu3Q bringing the final price down to $15.99.

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Wowtac’s package is a small cardboard box with everything packed in tight. Good luck getting it to fit like it arrived ever again. The outside has just the brand, model number and emitter. In this case it’s a cool white. Included in the package is the light itself, a Wowtac wrapped standard 16340 battery, a basic Wowtac head strap, microUSB cable for recharging, 2 extra orings and a spare usb cover, and the manual.

 

Construction

The light is made from aluminum and machining is pretty good for the price, my only small complaint is the milled heat syncs in the rear of the head still have slightly sharp edges. The tail allows for it to tail stand but there is no magnet. There is nuzzling in the body section that’s pretty standard. Threads between the head and body tube are anodized, short and square cut. There is only a spring in the tail of the light with the head having a small brass post. 

The head has the microUSB charging port directly to the left of the emitter when looking at it head on. The port cover sits flat but the little pull tab does stick out more then I would like. On top the semi transparent silicon covers the button and sits slightly domed and smooth. There are LED underneath that are used to indicate the battery charge level and during recharging. The lens is a deeply recessed TIR style optic held on with a exterior retaining ring. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 67mm, diameter of the body at 21mm, maximum diameter of the head at 22mm. Weight with the battery was a light 47.7g. The light is IPX8 rated.

 

Comparisons to other 16340 sized headlamps.

Retention

 

No clip is included with the H01 which is a little disappointing but I can see why they did this given the price point and it would have been a tail down carry most likely given how the body profile is cut. The headstrap itself has a silicone mount with 2 loops and the light will mount in either direction. The straps are black with Wowtac woven into them. There is no silicone grip strips on the inside of the around the head design. I found the headband comfortable with how small and light this light is.

 

LED & Beamshot

The H01 is running a Cree XHP G2 LED in cool white. No specific tint is given. This does the job pretty well without any undesired tint issues like the XHP-G3 LED has so I appreciate Wowtac making this selection. My beam pattern here has a centered hot center from the TIR with a good amount of spill. There is a big of a square pattern to the spill of the beam, it’s especially noticeable at shorter ranges. There is some PWM in the middle modes, but it’s not anything I notice or my eye does. 

 

Specs

  • Turbo – 614 Lumens
  • High – 198 Lumens
  • Medium – 62 Lumens
  • Low – 16 Lumens
  • Firefly – 0.5 Lumen
  • SOS – 176 Lumens

 

For my nightshots see the video version of this review.

 

Runtime & Heat

For my runtimes I ran the light with the included 650mAh 16340 battery. Turbo in my tests lasted for 70 seconds, a little shorter then what Wowtac quotes, from there it continues running in the 35% relative output while slowly falling over the next 80 minutes following the decline of the batteries voltage. It’s a regulated driver but the regulation isn’t’ the best. The FL1 standard comes in at 1 hour and 27 minutes of total runtime but the light continues making light out to 2 hours and 13 minutes. The last 30 minutes of runtime the light does flash on and off every  few minutes, it’s impossible to still notice if you’re using the light at the time. When the light completely shut off I measured the voltage at 2.895V. Maximum heat I saw was 42C.

I did try to run this light with a CR123A battery as it physically fit’s in the light but the driver isn’t designed for the lower voltage range and you end up getting the low power warning which is the light flashing on and off in kind of a beacon mode.

 

UI

UI here is pretty standard from WowTac and Thrunite. Long press from off to get to the firefly mode. From off a quick press gets you low, and holding the button down then starts the light progressing up it’s 3 available modes. The light does have memory mode in the normal L-M-H modes. Double press takes you to Turbo, and Triple press gets you to the only blinking mode SOS. 

 

Recharging

Recharging the light is accomplished via the onboard MicroUSB port on the side of the light. The LED’s under the switch turn red when charging and blue when charged. While it would have been great to see USB-C here, but this light was built with a low target price so MicroUSB it is. I measured the total recharging time to take 1hr and 33 minutes, maximum charge rate was 0.52A, so just below 1C. I measured the charged battery at 4.15V.

Pro

  • High value, small and lightweight
  • Standard 16340 Battery
  • Neutral white may be available in the future.

 

Con

  • Unlike many other headlamps it’s not designed for pocket EDC use, there isn’t a pocket clip or tail magnet. This does help save cost.
  • Driver isn’t designed to use a CR123A battery and gives a low voltage warning if one is used. 
  • A bit of a square pattern to the spill of the beam

 

Conclusion

If you have watched my reviews before, you know I am a headlight proponent. I use a headlamp often around my house and car when cleaning, doing home repair projects, and just other stuff, because it allows me to have both hands free. The Wowtac H01 offers a good, low cost, basic headlamp that gets the job done. It has enough runtime on the lower modes for moderate sized tasks and is a great value for getting a complete package here with the battery included, and fast shipping from the US. If you want longer runtimes of light with a larger battery it’s going to be better suited.

 

My con’s list isn’t that big of a deal given the cost here and the focused headlamp only use. It’s been a while since I have seen a light with this square of beam pattern, it’s not my favorite for sure but something a non flashaholic won’t notice probably. I can recommend the H01 if you’re looking for a small low cost, rechargeable headlamp with decent runtimes, it’s certainly a much better option then genetic headlamp options from brands you have never heard from that’s available on Amazon.

 

Wowtac has provided a discount code to get 20% off the H01 for the month of July by using code 20LiquidRetr at https://amzn.to/3iKFu3Q brining the final price down to $15.99.