Sofirn SP70 Review (5500 Lumen Thrower, XHP 70.2)

Do you miss the days of having an old big multi cell Maglight? If so Sofrins SP70 is for you. It’s  their new, flagship thrower flashlight and it’s the largest modern flashlight I own. It’s so big in fact that it ships with a shoulder sling. Thanks to Bangood for sending this to me to review. If you are interested make sure to check the links in the description below for the discount that’s currently being offered on this light. 

 

Pickup the Sofirn SP70 at http://bit.ly/2J2vZxr and use Coupon Code: FINSP70 to get the light for $50 (Maker sure to choose the Chinese warehouse for the coupon to apply correctly)

 

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/Nx69xfB

YouTube Version of this Review: 

Join my channels Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LiquidretroReviews/

 

Packaging

Sofirn doesn’t spend any time or money on their packaging like some flashlight companies do, instead its a basic brown cardboard box with nothing on the outside, and foam inside protecting the contents. Accessories include a set of spare orings, an extra button and some steel rings to make attaching the shoulder strap. It also comes with a shoulder strap since this is such a large light.

 

There are a couple of versions available of the Sofirn SP70. I received just the light itself, but Sofrin also has a kit version that includes 26650 batteries and a basic charger. I know both versions are available on Amazon, but it looks like Banggod is only selling the light only version. 

 

Construction

The light is made from aluminium and has a smooth black anodizing on it. Quality overall is good, no sharp edges or visible machining marks. It is a heavy weight coming in at 864.7 grams. The light is large enough I am going to take it apart here to talk about the various components and fit them on frame. 

 

The tail has a mechanical button covered with a silicone button with grip. It’s surrounded by two wings that allow the light to tail stand. One has a rather large slot milled in it to allow for the shoulder strap to attach. On the sides the tail cap has a 12 sides milled in to give some style and a bit of grip. Inside is a stiff dual spring. 

 

On the body tube tail end threads are square cut and anodized. The light does have a tactical ring, but on a light this big it’s more of an anti roll ring. It has two holes where you could attach a lanyard if you wanted. The center part of the body tube has nice diamond knurling on it, providing a good level of grip. Threads on the top part of the body tube are anodized, square cut making it reversible.

The inside of the head has two springs as well which is nice to see in a light this size. The button is on the lowest level nearest the body tube and fits my hand pretty well. It has green LED’s underneath that power on when the light is on. There is a good amount of milled in heat syncing on the light all over the head to help dissipate heat and reduce weight. I do like that they left some metal in directly under the button to give you a place to rest your pointer finger when you press the button. Also in the head just in front of the button is the other shoulder strap attachment point. The very front of the light has a lightly crenelated bezel that allows for the glass lens to sit recessed. The reflector underneath is has a heavy orange peal all around it.

Size and Weight Comparisons

This is the first light that was too long to measure with my calipers in one go, Length was measured at 250mm, Diameter at its largest (Head) was 90mm, and minimum diameter on the body section was 34mm. I measured the weight with two KeepPower 26650 cells installed at 864.7g, which makes it the heaviest light I have tested. That almost 2lbs of flashlight, no wonder this comes with a shoulder sling. The light is IP67 water rated.

I don’t have any modern lights this long or with this big of head to compare it to. Here is a Klarus XT32 Thrower that uses 18650’s. The Klarus isn’t a small light either but the SP70 just puts it to shame in it’s size. I will insert a picture of the Astrolux FT03 I reviewed last week on this channel for comparisons in size too.

LED/Beamshots/Runtime/Lumens

The Sofirn SP70 uses a Cree XHP 70.2 LED at 6000k. It’s got the usual XHP 70.2 falts but here at least in my example the Cree rainbow isn’t as noticeable. It’s a good emitter for tons of output and throw. 

 

hat brings me to the beam pattern here, while a good thrower it’s not as tight as beam as I was expecting. The hotspot is pretty good size and doesn’t have the usual hard edges you see no a lot of throwers. In my night shots you saw that bigger beam and even larger spill. 

Sofrin lists the following outputs for group 1 modes. 

Moon – 2 Lumens

Eco – 60 Lumens

Low – 400 Lumens

Medium – 1,200 Lumens

High – 3,000 Lumens

Turbo – 5,500 Lumens

Beacon – 1,000 Lumens

 

Although this light can run on 18650, for the runtime and the performance benefits I would recommend running with 26650 batteries instead. In my runtime graphs here you can see the difference between using 18650 and 26550 batteries. Turbo would be the letdown here, because it only lasts about 2 minutes while decreasing in output. The light declines over about 30 minutes to around 70% relative output. At this point we see a large decrease in output to about 30% for the next hour. From here we see small declines then the light runs at a very low output for another 130 minutes for a total runtime of 240 minutes on 2 26650 batteries. On 18650’s total runtime was similar but you only got about 50 minutes of effective light. 

LVP kicked in at 2.85V. I did notice the cells didn’t discharge evenly (2.85V and 2.89V) so if I was using this light alot I would rotate positions every once and a while after a full recharge. 

UI

This light has 2 UI modes. By default it came in a more conventional stepped interface by default, but it’s also capable of a ramping UI. I did my testing with the default UI. It has 6 mode groups from 2 lumens to 5000 lumens. The UI starts on low and goes up progressively. The light has a mechanical switch at the rear and then an e-switch up at the top. The mechanical switch does work as a momentary. You can have the mechanical switch on the the e-+switch off but this does increase the power drain on the light. When the light is on if you want to turn it off (standby) with the eswitch a quick press will do that. Longer presses make it cycle up in modes. Double click takes you to turbo. The light has memory, and lockout modes as well. Overall it’s a pretty simple interface and pretty intuitive. I like that beacon is hard to access.

 

Pro’s

  • Thermals are pretty well controlled, for as many lumens as we see here it doesn’t get too hot to touch.
  • That said I would prefer active thermal controls over timed step down but that is more difficult to do at this price point.
  • Huge output and good throw
  • Beacon isn’t part of the main mode groups

 

Con’s

  • It’s really big and appropriately heavy, your not going to EDC this light in your pants pocket. The big head size does make me a bit worried about damaging the glass lens with an impact.
  • XHP 70.2 has some cree rainbow.

 

Conclusion

If you miss the days of having a big 3 or 4 cell D Maglight that had some real heft to it and in the market for a high lumen, long distance thrower light, the Sofirn SP70 is a good option and fairly affordable as well. Everything about this light is big, from it’s throw, lumen output, spill, or gross weight. Sofirn has done a good job in the past year of listening to enthusiasts and turning out better and better lights. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite budget brands to recommend and the SP70 is their best large format thrower to date that I have tested.

 

Pickup the Sofirn SP70 at http://bit.ly/2J2vZxr and use Coupon Code: FINSP70 to get the light for $50 (Maker sure to choose the Chinese warehouse for the coupon to apply correctly)

——————————————————————————————

Bangood is also having their summer prime sales, June 25th to July 12th with lots of prizes available.

Enter to win prizes http://bit.ly/2RKRdm9

They are divided into 3 mains section: The Lead Up period, followed by the Warmup period and finally the Detonation period.

Lead Up? June 25th-July 2nd
Warm-up? July 2nd-July 9th
Blowout Sale?July 9th-July 12th

Shopping Guide: http://bit.ly/324vMBl
Must Buy List: http://bit.ly/326AtL1
Giveaways List: http://bit.ly/2JbArIY

 

Astrolux FT01 Review (Cree XHP 50.2, 2215 Lumens, 21700mAh battery)

Astrolux has a new larger light the FT01 with a Cree XHP 50.2 that takes up to a 21700 lithium ion battery and has onboard microUSB charging. Thanks to Banggood for sending this to me to take a look at.

 

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

YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging

Packaging on this light is a white cardboard lift off box. It has silver embossed image of the light but no real technical detail except for the sticker on the end denoting the model and color. Inside the light is well protected foam cut to fit the light. It comes with a lanyard, orings, a spare button and the manual. It also comes with a conversion tube that shipped in the light to hold an 18650 battery in the light.  

 

Construction

Starting at the tail cap it has a 3 lobe design that means it tail stands pretty well. You can attach a lanyard to any of the wings. The rubber button is easy to access the mechanical button underneath, and requires a decent amount of force to lock, but momentary comes on sooner. There is no knurling on the tail cap but instead smoothed over flutes, it’s not a lot of grip. Inside there are double springs in the tail cap. There are quite a few fine threads at both ends of the light, the tail section being anodized. The walls of the body tube of the light are quite thick.

 

The body tube has 3 panels of a flat diamond pattern milled into it. These would be fine on an EDC light but are not as grippe as I would like on a tactical light. The head of the light contains just a little area milled for heat dissipation  and aesthetics. The front button feels pretty tactile and has an audible click. The LED under it is used as an indicator when charging. The microUSB port opposite the button for recharging. The cover is very well done, it’s out of the way, and the tab doesn’t catch your finger. The bezel on this light is a a screw on aluminum piece. On mine it’s not round, with one side hanging over the body of the light a little, while the opposite side is a flush fit like I would expect, it has crenelations. The lens is glass and isn’t antireflective from what I can see. The reflector is deep and has an orange peel.  

 

This is a big light in all dimensions for what it is.I measured it at a length of 143mm, 37mm head diameter, and 29mm minimum body diameter. The weight came in with a Sanyo 20700 in it, at 250 grams.

 

I compared the light with a Lumintop ODF30 which uses a 26650 battery and the Lumintop is considerably shorter due to not having a tail switch and recharging but it just shows how big the Astrolux is for what it is.

 

LED/Beamshot

This light has a Cree XHP50.2 in a fairly cool white. My example suffered from pretty bad cree rainbow, the center was the cooler white, but then you got a pronounced green ring, before fading into the cooler white again, not my cup of tea. The reflector is deep, and has an orange peel.

 

Runtime

For my runtime tests I did so with 2 different battery sizes for this light. I used a LG HG2 (3000mAh) for the 18650, and then a Sanyo NCR20700 (4250mAh). Surprisingly both lights had relatively similar total runtimes, about 150 min and 170 min respectively. However the main difference you saw was that runtime after initial step down from turbo. Tubo lasted 2-3 minutes. Then with the 18650 you saw about 45 minutes of high before stepping down due to voltage. With the larger capacity 20700 I saw that high mode last for 65 minutes which is a nice real improvement.

 

UI

This light uses an easy interface. The tail switch is the on/off button and that’s all it does. The front button controls the modes. You have 5 modes in normal operation. Double click to access the shortcut to turbo. From any mode if you press and hold for about 1 second you get strobe. There isn’t memory on this light and it starts on low always.

 

For being marketed as a tactical light I don’t feel like the UI is very tactical. I would prefer a little quicker access to strobe for a tactical light. Having to press on at the tail and then long press on the front switch either takes 2 hands or changing your grip, neigher are ideal.

 

Recharging

Fastest I saw for the built in MicroUSB recharging was 0.72A, which means it took right at 4 and a half hours to charge the a 3000mAh 18650 battery. This is fairly slow by modern standards, I would like to see at least an amp. The side button acts as a power indicator, going red when charging. I will say the charging port cover is well designed, it sits flush and the tab doesn’t catch your hand at all.

 

Pro’s

  • I like that this works with a 21700, 20700, and an 18650 batteries with the included spacer.
  • Minimal branding and the light is available in a sand/gold color as gray and black

 

Con’s

  • It’s big, and heavy for what it is.
  • It’s expensive without a coupon, for not coming with a battery
  • Pretty bad Cree color shift rainbow.

 

Conclusion

It won’t be a big surprise but this isn’t a light I personally enjoy. It’s too big, heavy and the UI is more general purpose then tactical. I like that it comes in colors and you can use the newer larger generation of 21700 batteries. However for tactical useage you won’t find it on my belt or bag.

 

I do think this would be an ok light for someone wanting to get something basic for an older person in their life. It’s larger, and USB rechargeable. You could give it to them, and tell them to just use the tail on/off switch. Low is fairly high powered, and is probably brighter than many alkaline incandescent lights they had previously. The modes are easy to cycle through if they wanted and turning it off and on again resets it. Other then that I generally think there are better options on the market for most applications with this one.

 

Get the Astrolux FT01 for $55 with coupon code: BGDLH at https://goo.gl/ZhjsaA (Affiliate Link)

Sofirn SP36 (6000 Lumens, USB-C Charging)

Sofirn has a new light on the market called the SP36. It’s basically a smaller, lighter version of the BLF/Sofrin Q8 that has charging over USB-C. Instead of 4 18650 batteries, it’s using 3, but retains 4 LED’s. Thanks to Sofrin for sending this to me to take a look at. Remember to checkout the coupons at the end of this post if you are interested in this light.

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

Packaging
Packaging is pretty minimalistic. The light arrived in an unlabeled brown cardboard box with a bit of foam in the bottom. The light was in a thin sheet of bubble wrap. It arrived with a Happy/Not Happy card, a manual that while small print does a solid job of explaining things and does warn about using button top protected cells. It also includes a USB-A to USB-C cable which is nice given how USB-C is still an up and coming spec.

Construction
Construction of the SP36 is comparable to other Sofirn lights, and is good for the price range. The light is made from aluminum and anodized a semi gloss black. All edges are nicely machined. Threads are square cut but mostly dry. The tail cap is removable, and flat, it tailstands very well. Inside you can see 3 phillips screw holding the rear circuit board in place, these were very tight, but removable with the right driver and pressure. The board itself has 3 fairly heavy duty dual springs inside. The body tube has 3 bands of continuous heavy knurling on the outside, it’s a basic design but it’s effective. The inside has a seperator for the 3 batteries and when everything is screwed in I didn’t get any rattle.





The head is very reminiscent of the Q8, which this light is roughly based off of. Unfortunately the circuit board is glued in place, I tried removing it with a pair of snap ring pliers and ended up damaging the circuit board slightly. Reading on BLF the board is removable but it takes heat and a lot of work. The exterior of the head features milling on the sides for heat dissipation. On the front you have the only label on the light, it’s name. Below that is the button. It’s recessed into a milled area. Under the electronic button you have 2 green LED’s. Opposite the button on the other side of the light you have the USB-C charging port. It’s at normal depth and I didn’t have trouble with different cables I tried. The cover is tight fitting and stands proud a little bit. It’s rounded and comfortable in the hand. The bezel is smooth and flat, it’s all one piece so it’s not removable. The lens is glass and has some anti reflective coating. The optic is a deep quad with thin walls.




Unfortunately the head lacks a threaded insert for connecting the light to a tripod or for a solid attachment point for a lanyard. This is disappointing to me as I really like that on these larger lights, I think it helps for use with area lighting and lanyard attachment. I will have to look up some paracord work to use an attachment instead.

Size
The SP36 feels good in my hand. If the Q8 is just a little too fat, the SP36 should be about right. I measured total length at 125.25mm, maximum diameter at 49mm, minimum diameter at 45mm and weight with 3x Samsung 30Q at 436g.

Compared to the Q8 you really notice the difference in diameter in the head. There is a difference in size in the body tubes but it’s less than you would think. Only about 5mm of difference in diameter. The difference in weight with 30Q’s is 157g. While that’s significant both lights are heavy enough it’s hard to tell much of a difference when in use.


LED/Runtime/Heat
This light uses the Cree XP-L2 LED’s in the 5300-5700k range. Mine seems to be on the cooler side of this, I guess I will call it neutral white, better than cool white. Beamshot is more of a flood then the Q8, but with the 6000 lumens its enough power to throw ok too. Good general purpose beam. There are not any real artifacts i notice at 10+ feet. At shorter distance there are definitely petals in the beam due to the deeper quad reflectors.The head can be powered directly off USB-C but it won’t get anywhere near full brightness.

The light does have LVP (Kicks in at 2.8V) but Sofrin recommends using button top protected batteries. I didn’t have any of those I wanted to use with this light so I used button top Samsung 30Q’s for my runtime tests which worked well. Turbo (6000 lumens) ran on this light for 2 minutes before stepping down to a relative output putting it around 1200 lumens where the light ran and declined out to the 145 minute mark where it stepped down significantly over several steps over the next 30 minutes. At about 180 minutes the light effectively was at 0% relative output but still powered on out to 400 minutes.

The SP36 6000 lumens and smaller diameter means it gets warm, pretty quickly. At the brightest I measured the light at 1 minute at 104F, at 5 minutes at 107F, and at 10 minutes at 116F. This is quite warm, and the light gets even warmer, after about 20-25 minutes (I did a brief turn off, then turn on and run again) it was at 139F which is too hot to hold and is in burn you territory.

UI
NarsilM 1.2 Firmware with good ramping support. It has lots of options but it’s also easy to use. I love the ramping, it’s easy and intuitive and you can pick the exact amount of output you want. On this light there is no complaining when it comes to mode spacing. I plan on leaving my light at the default settings but if you do want to change things please consult the UI section of the manual. You need to read it more than once before attempting to make any setting changes. Things that are configurable are vast. You can disable ramping and go with 12 different mode spacing options, you can configure moonlight levels, thermal controls (Several), blink modes, mode ordering, LED locator feature, battery level indicators etc.

In stock mode the light also has memory mode, direct access to turbo with a double click. Triple click shows the battery level. 4 clicks to lock or unlock. When in max output mode double click to get to the different strobe modes.

Recharging
The SP36 features USB-C for recharging which is great. Unfortunately it only accepted a charge while using a USB-A to USB-C cable, not a C-C cable. It doesn’t support USB-C PD for faster charging meaning it took me 4 hours and 25 minutes to charge 3x Samsung 30Q batteries that were depleted. The peak charge rate I saw was 1.86A. With the ability for USB-C to draw more wattage from a compatible charger, and that this light has 3x batteries it would be nice to see this utilized but for the price here, I am just happy it has USB-C.

Pro’s

  • Proven Design & well built (Except for the glued in board)
  • USB-C recharging
  • Good NarsilM 1.2 firmware
  • Good pretty comprehensive manual, with some funny translation easter eggs. Very small print though.

Con’s

  • No Tripod mounting hold or place for a Lanyard. Kind of disappointing as this is a larger heavier light and I tend to use a lanyard with them.
  • XP-L2 LED’s in a cooler neutral white.I would love to see some different LED’s (warmer, High CRI, etc). offered here as would many on BLF. I would love to see something like a LH351D used on this light.
  • Heat – It gets really hot, fairly quickly and can get dangerously hot.

Conclusion
The Sofirn SP36 what you get when you take a BLF Q8 and reduce it by ¼ in most ways. It has one less battery, the body is narrower, and it’s lighter, but the spirit of the Q8 and SP36 are same. It gains USB-C charging which is great to see over MicroUSB, but it’s not gaining a big speed increase USB-C is capable of, so with 3 18650 batteries it still takes a while to charge. The built in charger does seem to add some cost over a Q8 which is to be expected. The SP36 is a good light, I think the decision between it and a Q8 variant comes down to how much you want built in USB-C charging and how much of a tint/LED snob you are. Both are great lights and I don’t see getting rid of either anytime soon.

 

Deals

Sofirn SP36 Light Only https://amzn.to/2WpSIrA
Sofirn SP36 Kit Version https://amzn.to/2WmgaGl

Save 20% on either light with the coupon code “B5LGDT2Y”

 

ReyLight Copper LAN & Pineapple Review(14500, Nichia or XPL Emitter, Raw Copper)

On my review table today I have the ReyLight LAN V3, and ReyLight Pineapple V3 both in solid copper. This light can use AA, or 14500 sized batteries and is designed with upscale EDC in mind. Thanks to ReyLight for sending them to me to do a review.

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

Packaging
Packaging is the same as the V3 Pineapples and Ti LAN’s. It’s a nicely fit box with a slip over sleeve printed to look like Bamboo. The Pineapple box has the light printed on the front in a wire form. The LAN box has the Chinese character I believe on the front. On the back is the FL1 Standard chart showing runtime and lumens with a 14500 and AA battery. The tells the simple instructions. Inside the light is held in place with black foam, and the only extra you get is the clip and 2 orings. These copper lights do come sealed in a bag to prevent oxidation.






Construction
The big difference in these lights that instead of using titanium on the LAN, or Brass on the Pineapple, ReyLight has went with copper for both lights. The copper used on both lights has a very thin UV cured coating on it to protect it from immediate oxidation during production. This thin, I can smell the copper on my hands after handling it. With enough use it should come off, or I found that 100% acetone (Use it in a well ventilated area please, available in the nail polish area of your favorite big box store) will remove it with minimal effort.

At the tail on the Pineapple, this is the same as the brass version, only a different material. Tolerances on the button are improved. I get less side to side rattle and none up and down.

On my Copper LAN I have the optional rear bezel that can accomodate 12 pieces of tritium. Unfortunately it seems the tolerances on this part are not as good. I get more side to side rattle and some up and down rattle. This trit holder is also slightly larger than the body size of the light.

Body tubes on both models are the same as their brass or titanium counter parts. The LAN has 3 rectangles milled for aesthetic design. The Pineapple rings provide some functional grip as well. The heads are the same on their respective models as well, no big change. Rey does have some GITD O rings that can be put on the exterior of the head on the LAN for added effect. Both lights feature a bezel that let’s light escape when face down. One thing to note is that to change the battery, on the V3 lights, it’s the head that’s designed to be removed, and the tail stay in place.





Weights
Ti LAN weight without battery was 64.8g, Copper LAN without battery was 109.5g.
Brass Pineapple without battery was 93.7g, Copper Pineapple without battery was 98.6g.

LED/Runtime/Heat
ReyLight offers a choice of LED on these two copper lights. The standard LED option is the Nichia 219C in about 4000k with 90 CRI. Optionally there is the Cree XPL LED at 6500k. In my lights the Nichia is in the Pineapple, and the Cree is in the LAN. The reflector is the same in each light, with a medium orange peel, and double anti reflective coated glass. Beam pattern is very similar, and in my opinion good for EDC. The hot center is a medium size and fades out to a moderate amount of spill. Personally I prefer the Nichia emitter myself because of the warmer tint and higher CRI but it’s nice to see Rey is offering options.



Heat
When using a 14500 and running on high the light can get fairly warm. The V3 driver does contain basic thermal control which is an improvement over V1 and V2.

Runtime
For my runtime tests I used a protected button top Keeppower 14500 800mAh battery. Both lights use the same driver, and are very similar physical designs, so rather then compare to each other by model I am going to compare the two different emitters since that is the main difference between the two I own. Either model is available with either driver.

The Nichia emitter total runtime was about 95 minutes. Turbo lasted for just a couple of minutes, before the light took a step down due to thermals and ran at a declining 50% relative output with a steady decline that was fairly linear. At the end the light did a brief step up before low voltage protection kicked in.

The Cree XPL emitter had a very similar pattern. Total runtime was shorter, at a total 75 minutes, after a few minutes the lights stepped down to slightly above 55% relative output and its curve was a little more steppy, not quite as smooth. At the end the light did step up briefly before low voltage protection kicked in.

UI
This is the 3rd generation of the Reylight Driver. With the Nichia emitter it has, moon (0.2 Lumens), Low (8.5 Lumens), Medium (90 Lumens), and High (470 Lumens) with a 14500 battery, along with memory mode. On a AA Moon is 0.2 Lumens, Low is 3.2 Lumens, Medium is 30 Lumens, and High is 130 Lumens. A 14500 really wakes this light up in terms of output..

Carry
I am a big fan of the ReyLight Pineapple and LAN series of lights for EDC. I like the 14500/AA form factor for EDC. It’s enough light to be useful for EDC tasks without being too large in a variety of front pants/shorts pockets. While not the thinnest light in this class I don’t find it to be too large either. The Clip was reviews for V3 of these lights making it a bit more substantial. I have not had a bending or catching problem with this design. It carries reasonably deep in the pocket too. The gap that the clip provides on the light is required, if you want to run without a clip Rey sells a small titanium washer to take the clips place.



Pro’s

  • Almost Raw copper, the coating is super thin (Can still smell the copper though the coating) and easily removed with acetone, but will stay in place if you want to preserve the untarnished look.
  • The LAN has a new optional tail design that’s slightly larger but with 12 places for Tritium, the total light holds 16 trits.
  • LED options, including a warm, high CRI Nichia emitter.
  • Pretty affordable for solid copper.

Con’s

  • Tolerances with my fatter 14500 batteries (KeepPower) are tight in the battery tube. You need the help of a strong magnet to remove them on the LAN, the Pineapple body tube isn’t quite so tight. Olight’s 14500’s work well as do Enloops and Duracell rechargeable NiHM batteries. This got better as I took the batteries in and out a few more times.
  • Some button rattle on my LAN with the optional tail to hold a larger amount of trits.

Conclusion
The ReyLight copper LAN and Pineapples are very similar to their previous Titanium and Brass models but now with Copper as the material. While copper is heavy, it’s not so much extra weight that I notice a difference when either light is in my pocket. I like how they carry in my pocket, and I love the 14500 tail click form factor. I love that I can easily strip the coating off the light and have it patina. I plan to do that with my LAN for sure. The only thing I can fault a little bit are the tolerances. The battery tube seems slightly undersized for my Keeppower 14500 batteries and sometimes create a bit of a vacuum when trying to remove cells making it a little more difficult. This has gotten better the more I remove the battery from the light. Button tolerances are something that has been the achilles’ heel of the Pineapple and LAN designs. While things are mostly better the button may bother some people. Personally it doesn’t bother me, especially for a custom style light at this price point.

Despite this the ReyLight LAN and Pineapple are for me one of my most carried models of lights on a daily basis month over month because of the size and function. For me it just works really well and they are one of my favorites. I also think they are a great value for a entry level custom light. I am glad to offer copper to my brass and titanium families.I am looking forward to building that copper patina over the next few months.

Ordering
RayLight has a Facebook group where Rey keeps everyone up to date on new models, and other info. Right now it’s the best place to find and order a light direct from him. https://www.facebook.com/groups/221544235032559/

You can also email him direct and pay with Paypal Rey@reylight.net

He also now has a web page and is working to get international orders working. https://www.reylight.net/

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…

[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

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)

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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.

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.