Tag Archives: Flashlight

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Nitecore MH12GTS (1800 Lumen, 18650, 1” Tactical)

The Nitecore MH12GTS is the upgraded version of the popular tactical MH12GT. It features and upgraded LED, 1800 lumen max output, microUSB charging, and an included 18650 battery. Thanks to the NitecoreStore.com for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/9gaIWVC

The YouTube version of this Review:

Packaging
This light comes in a Nitecore standard black and yellow retail box. On the outside there is quite a bit of info on the light. On the inside the light sits in a plastic tray with all the accessories and manual underneath. Included accessories are the light itself, lanyard, microUSB cable, pocket clip, tactical ring, NL1835HP 3500mAh button top battery extra orings and a velcro pouch.






Construction
The Nitecore MH12GTS is made of machined aluminum and his hard anodized a mostly glossy black. Starting at the tail cap, it has large lanyard holes on either sides, and does tail stand. The sides are cut down to allow for a finger or thumb to access the off center silicon textured button. It’s a pretty stiff button for a full click and mechanical. Opposite the button is a flat facing port cover for the USB charging port. The cover stays in place pretty well. The USB port underneath is waterproof and I will test that later in the review. Spring inside the tail cap is stiff and dual construction



This uses a dual tube style construction, from what I can tell the inner tube is not removable. Threads are a steep ACME cut and unanodized at top. The tactical ring on this light is threaded. I like this and means that it won’t’ freely spin like happens on many other light designs with a similar ring.There is an oring above the tactical ring.The body tube has smooth knurling but has horizontal lines milled in to break this up and then for the flats where the labels are they are milled a decent amount lower. This provides a bit more grip. The body tube looks like it’s removable but I can’t get it to budge. Further up the light has an anti rotation ring that’s small.



The head of the light has minimal heat syncing and heat hasn’t been a major issue here because the light does step down. The button is metal and has a clear Status indicator ring around it with a blue LED underneath. The head is pretty smooth. The bezel is smooth and the glass is anti reflective coated. The reflector is fairly deep for a 1 inch light and the LED is nicely centered.

The pocket clip on this light slots in right below the tail clip on the body tube. My first clip didn’t fit very close to the body of the light. I contacted Nitecore store and they promptly sent me a new one which was a much better and closer fit. I would prefer a clip that allows for deeper carry personally but this seems to not be what is done on most lights similar to this one.

Size/Weight/Water/Comparison
I measured length at 144mm. Maximum diameter is 35mm at the tactical ring, max diameter of the body is 26mm. Weight with the battery and pocket clip is 153.1 grams.

Size comparison with the Olight M2R Warrior is that they are very similar in diameter. The light is shorter at about 15mm. The nitecore is slightly lighter.



LED/Beam/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XHP35 HD LED in cool white. It’s capable of producing upto 1800 lumens in turbo mode. It throws pretty well due to that deep reflector. Overall the beam has a hot center and about 4 distinct rings. It’s not a very smooth transition to spill. The brightest hot spot has a bit of discoloration in the very center. This is easily noticed straight on against a surface that’s all the same texture and color such as drywall or concrete. It’s noticeable at distance as well.

Turbo 1800 Lumens
High 900 LUmens
Mid 240 Lumens
Low 70 Lumens
Ultra Low 1 Lumen
Strobe/SOS/Beacon 1800 Lumens

Power and Runtime
This light is capable of running on 18650’s, CR123a, and RCR123A. 2× 18350’s is not recommended due to too high of voltage. To access Turbo you need cells capable of 8A or more. Total runtime with the included 3500mAh battery was 142 minutes. Turbo run time starts decreasing almost immediately. It has a run time of about 3 minutes. When the light steps down you are getting about 45% relative output for about 20 minutes. Between 20 minutes and 142 minutes the light is pretty stable between 45% and 35% relative output for 120 minutes. Heat is pretty well managed.


Turbo Runtime

Full Runtime

One thing worth noting is that the manual says “When using an IMR 18650 battery and the power level is low please stop using the product when the power level is low to prevent damage to the battery. An IMR battery is what the light ships with. This suggests that the light doesn’t have low voltage protection for this type of battery built in, so using protected cells would be a good idea. Lucky the one that ships with the light is protected.

UI
The tail switch on this light functions as only an on and off. It takes a decent amount of force to press, I think this is good for a tactical light.

For normal operation this light has 5 modes, UltraLow, Low, Mid, High, and Turbo. When the light is on the mode button cycles through them. Memory mode is strong on this light and works everywhere except strobe.

Momentary access to turbo is possible if the light is on by holding the Mode button for 1 second, if you let off it returns to what mode you were in previously.

Strobe on this light isn’t at just one rate. It’s pretty fast and then alternates between fast and really fast. I like it, I just wish strobe wasn’t so easy to access with just a double click of the mode button. When in st4robe you can also get to Beacon or SOS by long pressing on the mode button. To exit a special mode just short press on the mode button to return where you were previously.

Direct access to moonlight mode can be accessed with the light is off by pressing and holding the mode button, while actuating the tail button, so it’s a 2 hand operation.

Recharging
This light has recharging via microUSB on the tail cap of the light. There is a rubber flap that protects the port from dust and moisture. The port is also conformally coated, so it’s protected from moisture even if the flap is open. To test this I dunked it in water and then blew some air in the port with my mouth and proceeded to charge it without issue. There is also a small blue LED built into the tail cap to show charging status. Blinking blue means it’s charging, solid blue means it’s full.

The disappointing thing about charging via USB on this light is the speed. I saw charging speeds at it highest at only 0.64A. So for the included 3500mAh battery that means a full charge took me 10 hours, 9 minutes. This is really slow in 2018 for a premium light. I would expect a minimum of 1A these days, if not closer to 2A to cut down on the charging time substantially.

Pro

  • Comes with a nice high capacity Nitecore battery
  • Waterproofing even with the USB protective cap off
  • Quick access to ultralow 1 lumen mode

Con

  • Slow onboard Recharging .64A means using onboard recharging takes forever.
  • Beam throws well but has a slightly more dim area in the direct center.
  • Not a big fan of double click to strobe, I would prefer double click of the mode button to go to turbo and triple click for strobe.

Conclusion
The Nitecore MH12GTS is a pretty nice tactical style light with a good amount of throw for its compact size. The UI takes a little while to get used to but if this was a light you used often I think most would like it. I like how it’s able to use a pretty wide variety of power, including primary and flat top unprotected 18650’s. I like that Nitecore has put a lot of effort into making the USB port waterproof. I can get past the beam irregularities in normal everyday use, but the slow charging time is hard to live with on a premium light. Overall it’s a nice showing here from Nitecore and one that will be especially useful for a nice throw in a small diameter light.

Link to the NitecoreStore for the MH12GHTS https://www.nitecorestore.com/MH12GTS-1800-Lumen-Long-Throw-Flashlight-p…

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

[Review]Lumintop GT mini (18650 Thrower – Mini Giggles)

For the past few years forum members have been designing a huge thrower flashlight called the BLF GT, an 8× 18650 thrower. Lumintop was the manufacturer, and it was a great success, but very pricy. Lumintop decided to make a much more reasonable, smaller, and more affordable version which I have here today to review. The Lumintop GT mini takes what was learned from the BLF GT and shrinks it to a light capable of 1200 lumens and a throw out to 700+ meters, in an easy one handed pocketable light. Thanks to Banggood for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/oUqIr4C
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Lumintop typically has nice packaging and the GT mini, is no different. The brown box had an outer brown cardboard sleeve with a line drawing of the GT mini, the inner box just has the Lumintop name on it. No info on this light is listed externally other then if it’s Neutral or Cool white with a sticker on the end (Probably from Bagngoogd). Inside the light is packed in form fitting white foam. Accessories that came with my light were 2 extra o’rings and a purple unbranded lanyard. I prefer the orange lanyards that Lumintop used to use. A short 18350 tube is also available for this light. It’s a $5 extra to get it separately or get order it from the beginning for a few extra dollars.



Construction
Lumintop does a nice job with their lights and this is no different. It’s made from aluminium that’s been hard anodized in a near mat black. Threads feel nice, although they were dry from the factory. The tail cap is flat, but indented in the center. It looks like you could fit a thin magnet in if you desired. The lanyard hole is small as well but that’s not a major issue. The tail cap has 6 small flat areas to aid in grip. The light includes dual springs in the tail cap. Threads are fine, and have a slightly flat profile on top.





The body tube has flat diamond knurling that’s medium grip. It has some concentric areas turned in it to break up it into 4 blocks, and then 4 flats milled into it for writing and orientation. The spring on the head is short, stiff, and single :). There isn’t any physical reverse polarity protection on the head. The head itself has a series of rings with varying degrees of depth of cut to dissipate heat. The button has a silicone rubber feel to it and is slightly raised. Underneath is a LED that has various functions. The rest of the head is relatively smooth with small cuts for style near the edge. The reflector is deep and smooth. The LED is nicely centered. The front bezel is lightly crenelated and is not glued on. The lens is anti reflective coated.




My only build complaint is that the flats on the body tube, where the labels are for the light don’t line up with the power button when screwed all the way down so that the light is operational. Aesthetically this bothers me, but it’s also a small operational thing as well because I like the flats to line up with the button because it’s easier to find the button in the dark. Since this light by default has a lit up button it’s less of an issue. It seems not all the lights are affected by this by reading on Budget Light Forums.

Size/Weight/Water Rating/Size comparison
I measured length at 132mm, width at it’s largest at 50mm, and at it’s narrowest 23.3mm. Weight with an 18650 battery is 200 Grams. The light is rated for IPX68.

In comparison to other throwers, The GT mini is the same length as the Thrunite Catapult V6 but the head is head and body tube are smaller. Compared with the Convoy C8+, the GT mini is a good deal shorter (no tail switch), and has a slightly larger sized head.

LED/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XPL HI LED and is available in cool or neutral white. Mine that I am testing here is in neutral white which is my preference. This is pretty warm for neutral white which I don’t mind. Probably around 3800k or warmer. It uses a FET driver to achieve around 1200 maximum lumens in Turbo mode.

For runtime I used a 3400mAh Protected Thrunite battery. Step Down was pretty fast and pretty agressive on this light. It really stepped down pretty low and quickly after 2.5 minutes. It stepped down again at 3.5 minutes to 10% relative output. This is great for thermal and overall runtime but less practical for actual use. It requires you to either bump up again repeatedly to get brighter levels. Overall runtime was over 300 minutes but this was at about 10% relative output. Heat was not too bad, the head got to about 105F.

UI
This light uses the popular NarsilM V1.3 firmware. I won’t pretend to be the expert on this firmware as it offers a lot of options. It’s a firmware designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. What I like about it on this light is that it’s ramping, meaning the light doesn’t have predefined levels by default. This can be switched if you don’t like ramping but I will stick with the default for this review. The manual does a nice job of explaining the firmware. Full ramp from low to high is about 2.5 seconds. The light flashes at the top and bottom to let you know where it is. It has a shortcut to turbo if you double click. If you double click again from turbo you get into the strobing modes, and double click to exit. The switch has a green LED under it, this is on when the light is off, but not when the light is on. This can be turned off with turning the light on and off in rapid succession. Battery status, and lockout are also available, as well as momentary. It really is pretty much all here including setting the UI back to factory default. Make sure to give the manual a read or two to make sure you have a grasp of the capabilities.

Pro’s

  • The Neutral white version is a pretty warm tint which I like.
  • Lumintop have a nice build and packaging quality, on par with an Olight or Acebeam.
  • Glowing power button
  • Manual is different (in a good way vs the standard ones from Lumintop)
  • Great value thrower
  • Small 18350 tube available and included in some versions of this light.

Con’s

  • The body tube has flats, with labels and they don’t line up with the button, this is annoying to my “OCD”.
  • Large and Aggressive stepdowns in the runtime
  • Large head, small body tube makes it a little less ergonomic. I imaging this is even more so with a 18350 tube (Disappointed on isn’t included).

Conclusion
At the current sale price (With coupon) this is a high value thrower light. Unlike it’s big brother the BLF GT, the Mini is affordable, and easily fits in one hand. It offers great firmware, good build quality, and a long runtime even though it steps down a little fast for my liking. With the 18650 body tube it fits fairly well in the hand, but I can imagine the 18350 tube will be a little weird to hold on to, and get fairly warm to hold. That said I will probably buy one because of the novelty factor on my next Banggood order. With all the new throwers out this year, the GT mini ranks high on my list because of it’s firmware and neutral white options and that its been heavily influenced by enthusiasts.

Banggood has offered a great coupon for the Lumintop BLF GT mini: https://goo.gl/B6V9vT  Get it for only $32 with the coupon code: ab8a87

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Convoy C8+ in Sand (Best Budget Thrower for the $?)

Today I have a Convoy C8+ in the new Sand color to take a look at. The C8+ has a deep smooth reflector and works as a great budget thrower. For those of you who don’t know Convoy they have a reputation of providing great quality lights for very low prices. This sand colored C8+ was provided to me by Gearbest Link) to take a look at and I thank them for that.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/RjhQeXu
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is pretty much non existent. My C8+ came in a white cardboard box that got got crushed a bit during shipping.The light doesn’t come with any accessories other than a lanyard that was already attached. Nothing on mine was tight either so make sure you tighten up the front lens and body/tail caps prior to first use.

Construction
The C8+ is made of aluminium and is anodized with a color they call sand but it’s pretty close to the Cerakote color Burnt Bronze which I happen to really like. Starting at the tail cap you have a black rubber clicky button. It does full click and momentary. There are lanyard holes on both sides and the light will tail stand. Threads are ACME cut and were lightly greased on the rear. On the body tube the knurling is pretty deep and aggressive. I like the diamond pattern.



The head itself has lots of cooling fins milled into it. It gets larger to accommodate the large and deep reflector which is what gives allows this light to throw. The front bezel has very shallow crenulations. It’s very easy to remove, allowing the smooth reflector to come out and access to the emitter circuit board. This is an easy light to mod.


In the hand I find it’s mostly comfortable. It’s a little short with the larger head unless you grip up on it, it works pretty well in a cigar grip.

Length was measured at 142mm, diameter of the body tube is 25.2mm, diameter of the head is 44.5mm and empty weight is 145 grams. No claims about water rating was made but it has orings everywhere I would expect so it should be pretty decent. It survived a brief sink test.

LED/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XPL HI LED that’s available in 4 different color tints. (6500k, 5000k, 4200k, 3000k). Mine is in 4200K which I quite like as a neutral white. I don’t notice any tint rainbow to it. Beam pattern is consistent with a deep reflector thrower. Small, hot center, with minimal spill and a hard cut off. High mode is listed as 1100 Lumens.

For my runtime test I used a 3500mAh NCR18650B battery. Light fall off started to occur pretty fast and it was a very linear drain for the first 80 minutes down to about 45% relative output. At this point the light started taking larger decreases down to where it shut off at 130 minutes.

UI
This light is using revised UI from Convoy. It’s a little hard to describe in words as there are several modes, so ill include the Diagram that Convoy Publishes. The light has 12 mode groups that you can switch the light into by entering configuration mode by doing a bunch (10+ taps or until the light stops turning on and you will be in config mode) By default from what I can tell I believe the light I received ships in mode 1 which contains 0.1%, 1%, 10%, 35%, 100%, Strobe (Fast then Slower, then fast), Biking (Steady on at about 50%, with super fast strobe every second), and then a battery check that counts out voltage. The light does have memory and momentary. The good thing is between the 12 modes offered there is just about something for everyone and it’s not too hard to switch if you have the directions handy.

Pro’s

  • I love that the C8+ comes in a wide variety of tint options, make sure to pay attention when ordering.
  • It’s great value for the money, for under $30 shipped it might be the best thrower for the money.
  • Moddable – Lots of mods exist for Convoy lights, I think I will do the glowing tail cap for this one.

 

Con’s

  • While I love the new “sand” or burnt bronze color it does feel a little chalky to the touch, and I know some people dislike this.
  • On the larger side of things, not EDC-able in a front pant pocket (Works ok for a coat)
  • Barebones packaging, no extras, or manuals included.

 

Conclusion
The Convoy C8+ is a great bargain 1× 18650 cell thrower. For under $30 shipped to the USA it’s hard to find a better thrower with as many tints as the Convoy C8+ offers and as many operating modes. I love that it comes in 2 main tints (Black and Sand) and that the light is pretty moddable. This Convoy is pretty well built and is a nice value. If you don’t mind waiting for overseas shipping this is a great value thrower.

Gearbest has provided a coupon code of “ConvoyC8” to allow you go get this C8+ in Sand for $19.99 at https://goo.gl/VckBeo (Affiliate Link)

———————————-

Up Next I have several lights (Thrower, Headlamp, and more) so make sure you are subscribed to my Youtube Channel so you won’t miss the next review.

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Olight i1R Keychain Flashlight Review & Giveaway

I have reviewed several keychain style flashlights and due to size, I end up taking many of them off. This is where the Olight i1R is different. It’s seriously tiny yet is a completely functional bright light for brief uses offering 5 and 130 lumen modes. Thanks to Olight for providing this to me to take a look at. I am also doing a giveaway over on my Youtube channel an Olight i1R to a lucky viewer in North America.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/QvnqSTC
YouTube Version of this Review + Giveaway:

Packaging
With such a small light it also has a small packaging. The i1R packaging follows the recent several Olights of being a white heavy cardboard box with a plastic tray inside. It contains the light itself with its built in battery and split ring already attached, a olight branded micro USB cable and the manual.



Construction
This light is built from nicely machined black anodized aluminum. The light has a little bit of straight knurling on the head that provides good grip to twist the light on and off. Twist off the head completely and you get the microUSB connector for recharging. The light weights 0.42 ounces and is only 41mm in length. It’s also IPX-8 rated and I can attest it will survive a few drops from waist height onto ceramic flooring.




Compare to a few other small lights and objects.

https://i.imgur.com/naJ06cR.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/IS4qEgw.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/kHePoYY.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/5TAXPm5.jpg

On the back there is a simple diagram showing you which way to turn the light to make it work. From off, turn it clockwise and first you will get low, keep twisting and you get high. Turn to the light left until it turns off.

LED + Runtime + Charging
The LED in use is a Philips Luxeon TX in a pleasant cool white. The beam pattern is smooth with no artifacts or hot spot.

The battery is an internal and sealed lithium ion 10180. This is unfortunate. It’s also been mentioned that it doesn’t have low voltage protection over on Budget Light Forums. At this price point I can live with a sealed battery but I think it really needs LVP for protection. Overly discharging the cell once isn’t that dangerous but charging it again can be more dangerous. For a light that’s aimed at the mainstream consumer it’s something that it should really have.

In Low mode of 5 lumens, Olight rates it as being able to produce light for 7 hours, and on high 130 lumens, it’s rated for 20 minutes. I made one discharge graph from high and it lasts a bit longer than 20 minutes. It creates a S curve as it discharges losing lumens slowly the entire time. I stopped my test at 30 minute mark and the battery measured 2.82V.


Charging is accomplished via the built in microUSB port that can be found if you completely unscrew the head. There is a fairly bright red LED under the white plastic positive end that stays on until the light is charged when it turns green. Charging happens fairly slowly as you would expect from a small battery like this. In my test it took 65 minutes at 0.08A maximum speed.

Giveaway
Olight has provided me a brand new i1R in the box that I will be giving away to a viewer on June 12th 2018 to my North American audience. I will be using Glem.io and have a link in the description below. To enter you will need to make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel. I will have a few other ways you can increase your chances at winning in the description over on YouTube.

<a class=“e-widget no-button” href=“https://gleam.io/i2Cnr/olight-i1r-giveaway” rel=“nofollow”>Olight i1R Giveaway</a> <script type=“text/javascript” src=“https://js.gleam.io/e.js” async=“true”></script>

Conclusion
The Olight i1R is simple but effective keychain light that is really small and lightweight. It’s not exactly what enthusiasts would want since it lacks a removable battery and Low voltage protection, however at this price point of under $20 I think this will be a hit. My girlfriend wants it to replace the Nitecore Tiny she had had on her keys because it’s smaller and won’t activate as easily. I think for what it is this is a perfectly adequate light and plan to put it on my keychain for a backup light to use for short periods of time. I do think it should have LVP added and hopefully they are able to do that. Overall I like the Olight i1R because of it’s small size, relatively high output and affordable price. Check it out at the Olight Store. or on Amazon.

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Nitecore EC22 Review (Infinitely variable brightness 0.5 – 1000 Lumens)

The Nitecore EC22 is a single emitter small diameter 18650 light with a rotary switch instead of a more traditional button. This allows Nitecore to make a light that instead of having preset modes make it infinitely variable and ramp via the smooth rotary on the front of the light. Thanks to Nitecorestore.com for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/XRkJ8Gg(link is external)
The YouTube Version of this Review

Packaging
The packaging is Nitecore’s standard Black and Yellow retail hanging box, with pictures of the light, and details on the back. Inside the box is a plastic tray with the light itself, holster, lanyard and extra origin. The holster here is a more basic model and it almost looks like it was designed for a shorter light. The EC22 fits but ther just isn’t much room for the velcro to latch. It does have a D ring and velcro belt loop.




Construction
This light is made from nicely milled aluminium and hard anodized black. It’s pretty narrow for an 18650 light. There is some fairly smooth knurling on the tail cap and body tube. The tail cap has a large recessed flat that would have fit a magnet or tail switch if Nitecore chose to do so. However in the EC22 it was just left blank with a large lanyard hold for easy of mounting.


The clip is “Titanium plated stainless steel” I believe this is most likely a TiN based PVD coating used to increase scratch resistance. The clip can attach at the rear of the light for tip down carry or closer to the middle for use on a hat as a headlamp. I wish the retention was a bit tighter out of the box but you can tighten the clip up by bending it if you wish.

Closer to the front there is a 6 sided hex anti roll ring. At the front there is the rotary switch in machined aluminum. It could use a bit more grip in my opinion as it’s a bit stiff. Threads are square cut and nicely greased with an oring on each side of the body tube.


Maybe I am a little OCD but for me on lights with a milled flat on the body tube with writing it should line up with the button. Unfortunately my example of the EC22 suffers a bit in this regard because to have it line up with the button it won’t make contact. It requires just a touch more rotation to make contact and this makes the flats off axis.

Size/Weight/Water Rating
The EC22 is thinnest at 25.5mm and thickest at 26mm. Overall length is 128.7mm. Weight with a Nitecore IMR 3100mah battery is 126.8G. Water rating is IPX8.

Switch and UI
The UI of this light is very simple due to the linear rotary switch near the front. There is a strong detent on the switch and when you turn it on or off it makes a click that you can hear and feel. The rotary switch rotates clockwise, in my right hand this feels pretty natural to use your thumb and push back. Either way it’s a smooth operation but has decent resistance. I do wish it had a bit more aggressive grip on it due to its resistance. It can be turned on with one finger but is easier with two. I don’t see this light coming on accidentally in your pocket or bag. The light starts in the lowest output it can do which is below a lumen and the further you advance the rotary switch the brighter it gets, do the reverse to turn it off. From off to full is 270 degrees of rotation.

There is no extra modes on this light, shortcuts, or memory mode. This makes it really easy to use.

LED + Runtimes + Temps This light uses a Cree XP-L HD V6 LED in cool white. It’s pretty standard cool white, not too cool and not warm. I don’t notice any significant cree rainbow in this emitter. The reflector is smooth and the lens is anti reflective coated. This light will work with button top batteries and flat tops. It’s nice to see Nitecore evolve into using both types on several recent lights.

Beam Shot
The beam does have some artifacts at the 5-6ft range. I think the bezel causes some distortion as well as the LED Die itself as its kind of square distortions. The reflector itself doesn’t get that close to the LED itself which could be part of it. At further distances it’s not as noticeable.

Parasitic Drain I measured at 1.5uA

Runtime
I did my runtime testing with a Nitecore branded IMR 3100mah button top protected battery. As you can see from the graph the light does have active thermal controls. You can see this as the light ramps down from turbo it dips down, cools off and then for a short time increases in brightness before settling in to about 55% of relative output for a solid 80 minutes. The next 25 minutes the light decreases significantly in output smoothly as the battery runs out. Total runtime of usable light with this 3100mah battery is just at 160 lumens which is quite good. Longer runtimes can be expected for lower outputs as well. Heat was not an issue.

Pro

  • Really easy to use interface once you know which direction the rotary switch operates.
  • Large lanyard hole and tail standing design.
  • Can use flat tops and button top batteries.

Con

  • Body tube flats don’t line up with the button on my example.
  • Pocket clip should have better retention and I would prefer deeper carry.

Conclusion
Nitecore isn’t afraid to try new things with their flashlight designs. For me a rotary switch like this is new and I like it. It’s a little stiff but I expect this to loosen up a bit. I really like the infinitely variable light output this has and I think a rotary switch like this is a decent way to do this. It makes its operation very logical. I think if Nitecore wanted to make a “Tactical” model they could add an electronic switch to the tail cap to add some shortcuts but this would complicate the UI. If you have not tried a light with ramping output it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite features when done right. The output beam isn’t as smooth as I would like to see but I don’t think a non flashaholic would notice this. For me it’s not a deal breaker for what is otherwise a nice flashlight. Thanks again to Nitecorestore.com for sending this to me to evaluate.

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

FiTorch ER16 Review (1000 Lumens XP-L2, 16340,18350,USB Recharging)

FiTorch is a newer brand to me and this is the first light I have looked at from them. It’s designed for EDC use, has onboard charging via micro USB, magnetic tail cap, and a deep carry pocket clip.Thanks to Banggood for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery https://imgur.com/a/vswz9

YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is a black orange retail style box complete with a hanger. On the rear you get lots of details such as lumens, runtime, battery, and other ratings. Inside you get the light itself in a plastic try along with the accessories including the deep carry clip, lanyard, branded belt holster, and one oring. The holster is made of black nylon, is branded with a sewn in flag. It’s belt loop is fixed, and it doesn’t have an oring. It’s sides are elastic so it fits the light well. You will need to be careful with button placement so you don’t accidently turn it on.




Construction
This light is made from aluminum that’s hard anodized black. Machine is above average quality and inline with the price of the light. The tail cap has circular groves running around it as knurling with 4 pockets milled in to provide extra grip This light unscrews in the middle which is a little different from many. There isn’t any knurling on the body tube but it has enough cuts to provide grip. Threads were nicely greased and fairly fine. For a light of this size it has quite a few threads.


The front end of the light a hexagonal area milled out that contains the button and USB charging port opposite the button. This are is milled out to act as a heat sync The button itself is flat and metal, it’s a floating style button. I do recommend using lockout with this light if your going to carry it in a front pocket. Around it is a small clear bezel with multicolor LED’s under that acts status indicator for power level and onboard battery charging. Further forward is a smoothly milled area where the emitter and lens are.

The bezel is not removable as a front piece itself, itls a larger component and it’s lightly crenulated. The lens itself is anti reflective coated glass. The reflector smooth and fairly deep, and the emitter is nicely centered.


This light is rated for a 16340 battery but there is quite a bit of extra room in the tube when your using a 16340 so I decided to try a flat top 18350 that I had on hand. I had to add a magnet in the center of my flattop to make the light work again because of the physical reverse polarity protection built in but it will work and there is still a bit of extra space left in the tube. With the 16340 battery installed I didn’t have rattle because of the pretty strong spring in the tail.

The light has a strong magnet that very easily holds the light’s weight on a metal surface both horizontally and vertically. No weak magnets here, it’s the way it should be. It’s strong enough that it holds the battery in place too even though there is a spring in between.

93.3mm in length, 27.7mm at it’s thickest (Button) and 23.7mm at it’s thinnest.
Weight with my KeepPower 16340 is 91.3g
Water Rating is IPX8

For a 16340 EDC light it’s a little bigger than I expected. For a front pocket EDC the more lights I test the more I have determined diameter is one of the most important factors and the ER16’s is just a little bigger then I would like. If you have an Emisar D4, it’s pretty similar to that in diameter and length. Lengthwise the ER16 pretty decent. This being said it carried nicely in a couple pairs of jeans. I really liked the clip on the ER16. It’s sturdy and deep carry to where there is almost none of the light showing above your pocket, exactly like I like.

LED + Runtimes + Temps
The ER16 uses a Cree XP-L2 LED in cool white, defined hot center. Output on turbo is 1000 lumens. Medium is 340 lumens, medium is 100 lumens and low is 3 Lumens. I would like to see high be a bit higher and low be a bit lower under ideal circumstances. The beam has a definite hot spot with a decent amount of spill. The light throws better than I expected too. Easily out too 100 yard which is pretty good for this size of light.

Runtime
For my runtimes I used a Keeppower 800mah 16340 battery and an Aspire 1100mah 18350 for comparison. Turbo lasts for about 5 minutes on the 16340 decreasing as voltage drops. It’s more stable on the 18350. The light does step down as you can see from the graph. It’s making usable light out to about 90 minutes. With a 18350 medium lasts a bit longer but the biggest difference with is how much longer low runs for. It makes usesable light out to about 150 minutes before entering low mode at 3 lumens. If you can use an 18350 instead of a 16340 do it, because there is almost no penalty in doing so.

UI
The UI of this light goes as follows Turbo > High > Mid > Low > Turbo. It’s unfortunate it starts in turbo. I think this limits it’s practical EDC use because many times you don’t want to start off at 1000 lumens. There is memory but it’s pretty short in how long it remembers. You can double click to get to strobe and single click to exit that mode.

Lockout is accomplished when the light is off pressing and holding the switch and the indicator will briefly flash red letting you know its locked. Doing the same thing will unlock it and low mode will come on in the main beam.

Voltage check is well done on this light. From off triple click the button 3 times in a row. First you get green flashes showing the first number of the voltage so 3 would be 3 volts then you get red flashes showing the next digit. So 3 green 1 red would be 3.1V.

Charge Graph
This light has onboard USB charging via a micro USB port on the body. As I mentioned earlier the unfortunate thing is that this microUSB port is buried deep requiring a longer then average cable to recharge. For me this kind of defeats the purpose of MicroUSB recharging if I can’t use a standard cable. The light can charge at 1A but it didn’t hold there for to terribly long only about the first 30 minutes before it started slowing as the battery (800mah Keeppower 16340) reached capacity. Terminating voltage was 4.1V. Total charge time was 1 hour and 9 minutes.

Pro
*Quick charging for a 16340
*Fits 18350’s by surprise, nice for extra capacity
*Sturdy deep carry clip and a strong magnet
*Throws well for an EDC light

Con
*Extra deep micro USB connector means most standard cables won’t work for recharging.
*Wish the UI would start on low instead of Turbo.

Conclusion
The FiTorch ER16 has some pretty stiff competition in this size and use case. For me the ArmyTek Prime C1 probably wins out due to it’s slightly thinner profile and button that is less prone to accidental activation. However the ER16 throws further and has a smoother beam profile over the Prime C1 Pro. My recommendation for FiTorch is that they make the UI start on low, and not recess the microUSB connector quite so far so that you could use a standard cable to charge it. If you don’t mind these things the ER16 is a nice light that charges pretty quick and has a strong magnet. It will work well in an EDC application for you.

You can pickup the ER16 on Banggood if you have any questions please let me know below.

Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Acebeam UC15 Review (1000 Lumens)

Keychain style flashlights have been a popular item over the past several years. Today I have the Acebeam UC15 which is advertised as the brightest flashlight of this style currently available. It can produce up to 1000 lumens briefly out of it’s main emitter. This light also has a red and UV emitters as secondary modes too. Thanks to Acebeam for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/R7d5C(link is external)
Youtube Version of This Review: (Subscribe today! I am trying to hit 10k subs)

Construction
This is a solidly built light. The body and tail cap are made of a fairly thick walled aluminum. With batteries it’s a little heavier than I expected weighing 52 Grams. Mine here is in silver, but it also comes in a dark blue, black, and pink colors. Size wise it’s large then the Nitecore TIP and has no onboard charging. It seems a bit almost overbuilt for a keychain light but hopefully that means it stands up to hard use. Inside the springs are quite stout and gold plated. That said in the hand it feels better built.



Installing the batteries is easy if you know what your doing and potentially disastrous if you don’t. The manual surprisingly doesn’t tell you how to install the batteries. Since this light includes a hex wrench I initially thought you needed to remove the two rear screws, however this is incorrect. Instead just unscrew the lanyard attachment on the rear of the light and the back cover comes off. Insert two batteries of like chemistry positive end first and then put back on the cover and screw the lanyard loop back on to attach.

This light has a pretty substantial clip. More so than any other light in this size class I have seen. It uses two small hex head screws (wrench included) to attach to the body. This clip is very stiff and sticks out from the body of the light further than most. I think this is intended more to be clipped on to a hat with a bill and it should attach here quite securely. Be Careful not to cross thread the hex screws. They are small and it’s easy to do. A nice trick I always like to do is to rotate the screw backwards until it falls into place then switch directions to tighten it down.

LED, Run-times, and Power Source

This light uses a Cree XP-L2 LED for it’s main white emitter. There was initially some confusion here but it seems that the website and package are all in agreement. This light also has a Cree XPE-R2 LED for the red emitter and a Nichia 267A for the UV emitter. Only the white emitter has a reflector which is quite large, smooth and reasonably deep for a small light as well as a anti reflective coated glass lens. The red and UV emitters are surface mount parts with glass lenses over them. The red emitter is quite strong, enough so I wish it had a low mode. UV is rather low output but that’s common.


This light has 2 power source options, 10440 lithium batteries or AAA alkaline or NiMH rechargeables. It can also run on only one battery. To reach the full 1000 lumen output you do need the lithium batteries. Acebeam lists that turbo mode as lasting for 1 minute 46 seconds so it’s timed, after that it drops to 200 lumens, then 10. On AAA cells the maximum is 250 lumens, 82, and 10. Run-times for the Red and UV modes are similar regardless of the battery at between 1.2 and 1.6 hours.

I ran my own run-times on main emitter in the brightest modes with both battery types. With the 10440 batteries you had the nearly 2 minutes of a falling turbo before a longer than anticipated about 70 minutes of flat output in the 200 lumen range. However after that was over the output stopped completely. With the NiHM batteries (AmazonBasics) I had the a little more 250 lumen of output that was nearly flat, and at the 55 minute mark it took a sharp decline and then dove a bit more before a straight fall to the bottom at the 63 minute mark.

UI
This light uses a single electronic button which has an LED indicator under it. The button takes a firm press and makes an audible click. Memory mode is present on all modes. If you single click the light returns to where you previously was, including strobe. From off if you long press you go to the white driver, in low mode by default. From off you can double click to go straight to turbo and triple click to enter strobe. In any mode if you hold the button it cycles through each mode. When in white, a fast double click will allow you to go up in to higher white modes.

Packaging
Packaging is very nice, It’s a full retail box with all your important info on the front and back. On the side it does have Nichia listed with a check box so maybe we will see a Nichia offered as a main driver. We can only hope however I don’t think this will be very likely. Inside the light sits in foam, and to the side you have the pocket clip, hex wrench, and below are the instruction. They are decently written but a bit sparse for my taste.




Summary
This is more than your average keychain flashlight. I have tested the Nitecore Tip CRI which I liked, and I have tested the Astrolux K1 which had the 3 LED modes like the Acebeam UC15. The UC15 feels better built then these others but at a weight penalty. It uses batteries that are more accessible but I to an enthusiast I don’t know if that’s a benefit as I think many would have access to other lights for more dedicated tasks like a headlamp. That said this is a nice options for an upgraded nicer keychain light or pocket carry. Red mode is quite bright and UV mode can come in handy here and there. If you are looking for a keychain type light that has lots of extra features or a lot of output in such a small package, definitely check out the Acebeam UC15.

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Olight M2T Warrior (1200 Lumens, 18650,18350,XHP35 HD CW)

The Olight M2T is a brand new tactical model introduced in late January 2018 at Shotshow 2018. It shares many things with it’s more expensive brother the Olight M2R. I reviewed it a few months ago and if you have not watched or read that review I recommend doing so. Thanks to Olight for sending the M2T to me to look at.

Full Image Gallery for this review: https://imgur.com/a/LaFOs
Video version of this review:

The Olight M2T shares a lot in common with the M2R. During this review I am going to compare the two alot. The easiest way for me to summarize this is to use some car analogies. Hypothetically let’s say the following. The M2T and M2R are the same model at their heart. The M2R is the fully loaded model, it has all the optional features, extras, and costs the most. The M2T is a mid range trim level model. Its performance is very similar but it has a few differences to reduce costs, such as the removal of the recharging system, and different tail switch, only one choice in emitter, etc. This is going to be a longer review, so grab your popcorn and let’s get at it.

Construction
Olight has excellent fit and finish for production lights in my opinion and this one is no different. Apart from the new tail cap on the M2T, the light is very similar in aesthetics and build quality to the M2R. The anodizing is a smooth high quality gloss black Starting at the top you have a signature blue Olight bezel with some mild crenelation in it. Below that you have the aluminum head and body. There are tier drop cuts in the head for heat dissipation and design. It has a nice hex edges to help it keep from rolling away on a flat surface. It’s a slightly different style then the M2R has, with fewer cuts. It does still have a completely milled flat edge opposite the button to serve as a locator. On the front side you have an electronic switch surrounded by a nice blue bezel with an LED in the center that is used for Low battery notification, lockout notification. Below that you have large square cut grip panels on the body of the light giving added grip and something a little different from traditional knurling. You can attach the two way clip at either end of this main body tube for head up or down carry.

 M2T on Left



At the tail end you have a new version of the switch that’s in the M2R. On the M2T this tail switch loses its recharging and magnetic features as well as its ability to tail stand. It’s replaced with a proud black rubber boot that has a dot pattern on it for texture. It still has the half press for momentary turbo and full press for lock and is silent. To full lock it does take some definite pressure. This switch operates and programs the same as the M2R. More on that in a minute. The tail cap of the M2T will fit on the body of the M2R and operate normally but not the other way around. Labeling is kept to a minimum, with branding near the head is always done so it can be read from left to light not as you rotate the light. The branding is at 2 and 10 positions when looking head on. The CE mark is opposite the button.

This light is rated IPX8 for moisture and dust and rated for 1.5M drops. I measured it’s length is 130mm it’s with at its narrowest point is 24.5mm and 27mm at its widest point. Weight was measured with an 18650 battery at 146.2G.

Inside this light uses a dual tube design which allows for the use of the two electronic buttons and the non proprietary battery. Do not remove this inner tube, it’s held in with an O ring and is hard to impossible to put back in place. Threads on the tail are a nice stout square cut.

LED & Runtimes
The Olight M2T uses a Cree XHP35 HD LED in cool white, this is the only LED and tint offered at this time. While I prefer a neutral white this isn’t so cold in tint that I dislike it. I did notice a little tint shift in the outer edges, but I think that blue bezel of the light also might be a factor in that. Depending on your power source maximum output (depending on your mode) is 1200 lumens compared with the 1500 lumens on the M2R. My M2R is neutral white so it doesn’t reach that full 1500 lumens and to me the two lights look the same brightness and the biggest difference is the tint. The beam is pretty even in shape. It has a smaller hot center and the spill is bright. At a distance it’s more like a flood then thrower, however for it’s narrow size it goes a good distance. It’s a very useful beam I find out to 100 yards.


Runtimes
I ran my tests with an Olight HDC battery that had a 3500mah capacity and a maximum continuous discharge of 10A. The M2T only ships with 2 CR123A batteries in a spacer tube instead of the high drain non proprietary Olight 18650 battery that was in the M2R. This is disappointing to me as to receive the best performance and longest runtimes, an 18650 is required. The light is also compatible with Flat top batteries, I had no issues with a Sony VTC6. Runtimes were good and what Olight is advertising. The light still has a timed Tubro mode which is 3 minutes. It then runs on high for 127 minutes before stepping down and running on moonlight mode. The graph tells the story. This light will also run safely on 2× 18350 batteries. I confirmed this with Olight that 8.4V is safe for the driver and that the batteries physically fit. I was unable to get a full working voltage for the driver though.


UI
Like the M2R the M2T has a rear button that provides momentary and full lock operation as well as a button up front for the full range of modes with shortcuts. One of the complaints I had about the M2R was that in normal mode you were limited to Turbo1 and not the brightest turbo which was only available in Tactical mode. The M2T fixes that by only having one turbo mode which is how it should be. The rear momentary switch was also slightly reprogrammed for an improvement. Now you have momentary on with a soft press, release and it will turn off. A firm press on this button will lock the light on in turbo for 3 minutes before it timed step down kicks in. You also have access to momentary strobe if you press in and keep holding the light goes into strobe at it’s new 13 cycles per second rate. The button up front has a total of 5 modes from Moon to Turbo with shortcuts to Moon (From off Press and hold) to Turbo (Fast double click), or Strobe (Triple click from off). Press and hold to advance in modes and there is memory. Pretty standard for recent lights from Olight. It’s an interface I like. Lockout is available but personally I just unscrew the tail cap ever so slightly to achieve the same thing. I thought the mode spacing is pretty good on this light.

As a Tactical and EDC
This is designed with tactical use in mind and it certainly could be used for that but I think it makes a good EDC option too. The proud tail button is easy to turn on if it gets any pressure. Given that the light comes on in Turbo when this happens I don’t recommend taking any chances, and I use mechanical lockout with just a quarter turn of the tail cap. It also offers an electronic lockout if you want to use that. The new clip is the same that is on the M2R and I like this dual clip. It can go on either end of the light and can be used either way. It allows for ultra deep head down carry which is what I like. For tactical use the strobe mode has been adjusted to 13hz and is now more easily accessed if you want it but not accidentally by holding the tail button down in the locked position for about 1.5 seconds. You can also get to it by triple clicking the front button. The bezel isn’t aggressive which is the way I would prefer it personally as it makes a better EDC and is less threatening in most situations.

Packaging & Accessories
Packaging on the M2T is now a bit smaller and less intensive to the M2R. I suspect this is to reduce overall costs and also make it easier to open. It is still very high quality but is now a white box with a pull through design. Inside the light sits in a nice tray, underneath it is a read before first use card, manual, lanyard, and holster . The holster design is different on the M2T. It’s less premium holster then the M2R. Gone is the latching clip, and extra padding, and metal grommet drain holes. Instead a heavy duty weaved nylon, with a velcro flap is the main holster. It still has a plastic D Ring and nylon belt loop. This is a more standard quality holster you see from other brands.







Conclusion
The Olight M2T is a still nice but lower cost version of the M2R. While it doesn’t have all the features of the M2R like magnetic recharging, it does have a few improvements in my opinion like only one Turbo mode, the melding of Tactical mode into normal operation. The new tail switch in the M2T is good, it’s a bit too easy to activate in the pocket so lockout is necessary. I do wish Olight would have shipped the light with an 18650 battery even though it doesn’t come with built in recharging. I guess that’s against what they do with their R series but it’s how the light gets the best performance in both output and runtimes I think it’s sub-optimal shipping it with CR123 batteries instead.

So which one do you pick? If you want Neutral white, recharging or a magnetic tail cap the M2R is the clear choice. If those are not important features or you want to save a little money the M2T is a good choice then. I do recommend running the M2T with a higher drain 18650 battery so make sure you have one of those too. I think the M2T will make a good choice of rifle light as well. I plan to test this when I get a mount that works for the light. Until then I think this might be the light that goes in my go/Tornado bag along with a few spare 18650 batteries. Let me know how you would use you your M2T. You can pick up the M2T on OlightStore.com.