Tag Archives: Jetbeam

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

JetBeam WL-20 (Tri-Color rotating head Hunting Light)

On my review table today I have the JetBeam WL-20 a flashlight designed for hunting. It can be mounted to a rifle with optional accessories jetbeam produces. This light has 3 colors (White, Red, and Green) and features 2 LED’s per color. Thanks to JetBeam for sending this for me to take a look at. Let’s take a closer look at how Jetbeam achieves this multicolor hunting light.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/6Z11Bit
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
The package is similar to other recent JetBeam lights with a blue and black cardboard box. On the outside it has highlights and on the back is a runtime chart. On the inside is a plastic shell that houses the light and all the accessories. It’s a pretty full package. Included with this light is the Flashlight itself, it comes preinstalled with a Jetbeam protected button top Jetbeam 18650 with microUSB recharging. Also included is a branded holster with a bit of padding, Plastic D Ring, velcro belt loop, lanyard and microUSB charging cable. It comes with a small bag of spares including an extra red o Ring and rear tail button boot.






Construction
The head of this light is what sets it apart from some of the others, it rotates around the body. This allows the side by side lens configuration to only show 2 of the 6 total LED’s in the light at a time. Between colors it’s a heavy detent that almost requires two hands to operate. It makes a louder click moving between modes. Staying with the head of the light it’s and the rest of the light is made from aluminium that’s black anodized. The front bezel of the light is unanodized and has a short but sharply milled front bezel. The lens is glass with anti reflective coating. The lens is interesting as it has two deep recesses for the side by side LED configuration, with part of the middle reflector cut out.


The rest of the head has some milling for heat sinks and areas milled out to provide a bit of grip to turn it left and right. The body below is much smaller in diameter and 4 flats with knurling in between. It’s smoother knurling. On two of the flats an edge has been milled in for style and to aid in grip.

The Tailcap has one main on/off button that stands proud and is a textured rubber. It’s a pretty stiff button and can be used as momentary or a full press for a lock on. Next to the button are two paddles, these are metal and are similar to what you would see on a tactical light but with less grip. These are used for mode selection and act as pure momentary switches. The tail has small holes for attaching the lanyard, no paracord here. The light doesn’t tail stand due to a slightly proud center tail button and being unstable in this configuration.

Threads were square but and very smooth but dry. The Oring is a little larger than usual and is red rather than black. The WL20 use a stiff dual spring arrangement in the tail cap. In the head there is also dual springs but these are much less stout.

Overall weight with the included battery is 218 grams. Maximum diameter at it’s widest point is 42mm, minimum diameter is 26.5mm. Length is 146mm and the light is IPX8 water rated.

LED/Runtime/Drain
This light uses a total of 6 LEDs. The White LED’s are Cree XPG3 S4 LEDs in a very cool white. The Red and Green LED’s are only mentioned as “3535”. The lens is deep and it produces a beam pattern that was better than I expected. It’s a bit egg shaped in the spill but the hot center is pretty round at short distances. At longer distances it’s pretty normal.



Runtime
Jetbeam ships this light with the 2600mah microUSB rechargeable battery. However the offical runtimes they give on the package and in the manual are done using a 3500mAh cell. All my tests have been done with the 2600mAh cell that shipped with the light. To save time I won’t go into depth describing runtime just give a few facts and provide the graph.

White – Total runtime was about 150 minutes with flashing near the end. Turbo (1000L was good for about 5 minutes before stepping down to high. Step downs are hard steps.

Red – Total run time was 140 minutes with slow decline but it ran at 80% most of the time before an abrupt end and LVP kickin in.

Green – Total run time was 130 minutes with 1 small step down after 90 minutes. The end was and abrupt shut off in 3 short stages.

UI
The UI of this light depends on which color mode you have it in. In all 3 modes, the large round button at the tail cap is your main on and off. The momentary paddles work for momentary and will cycle the light through modes if that color has one. To rotate between colors rotate the head of the light left or right. It has a strong and audible detent.

In Green this light has one brightness level at 300 lumens. Paddles work for momentary, center button is on/off and can be momentary with a ½ press.

In Red this light has two modes, 125 lumens and 20 lumens. The paddles work for momentary and will cycle between modes. If it’s on a constant on the paddles just will cycle modes. High is the default red mode and it does not have memory in this mode.

In White this light has 4 main modes and strobe. Eco is 20 lumens, Low is 120 lumens, high is 330 lumens, and Tubro and strobe are 1000 lumens. The light will start off in turbo if using the main on/off. From there you can use the paddles to advance to eco, low, high and back to turbo. When off hitting the paddles will give you strobe, or from on a long press on the paddles will give you strobe.

Recharging and the Battery
The WL20 comes with a Jetbeam branded button top 2600mAH battery that has built in microUSB for charging. It says it’s rated for 1A charging speed but in my testing the best I got was 0.73A this resulted in a empty battery taking 4 hours 40 minutes to recharge. Personally I will use a more traditional charger instead.

A note about durability of this type of battery in a light designed for possibly mounting on a rifle. The additional circuit board not only makes the battery longer than a typical 18650 but it adds an additional possible failure point due to recoil. In a hunting environment you probably won’t be taking lots of shots, but in a more tactical environment you might be. I would recommend using a button top battery battery without protection instead for better durability.

Pro’s

  • One handed operation and rotating emitter.lens setup make it unique and it works well.
  • Heavy detents and big buttons make it easy enough to use with gloves but it almost takes two hands to rotate the head into a different color mode.
  • Brightest Red and Green modes I have tested thus far
  • Throws pretty well and has a decent beam pattern for the side by side LED configuration.

Con’s

  • It’s relatively heavy, while you could mount it onto a firearm I don’t think you would want to because of the weight and battery.
  • The white emitter has a very cool tint.I would prefer Neutral White or warm white myself and for the UI to start in eco first.
  • I would prefer the white emitter mode to have one addition moonlight mode since Red is still too bright for up close work.
  • Head rotation is almost too difficult, especially while wearing a cast.
  • The manual and packaging are not in sync as to which LED’s are in use in the light.

Conclusion
I was pretty interested in how this light accomplished it’s multi color LED’s and how much that would compromise beam quality. The good news is it was a lot better than I expected. It’s not a perfectly round beam but it doesn’t have many artifacts or ugly pieces too it.

As a weapon light I think there are better options that are smaller and better suited to attaching directly to a rifle. However as a hunting light that you might hand hold or use to get to a tree stand or blind and then use after the shot I think it would work fairly well. It has the strongest green mode on a light I have tested and that can be useful for finding a blood trail. It’s nice to see that the red mode has two brightness levels but the low is still a bit too bright for my liking for up close work.

This is a niche light, and won’t apply for the vast majority. For those that do need a hunting light that’s multicolor this is certainly an option for you that should work pretty well.

Learn more at the official WL20 website http://www.jetbeamlight.com/products_show289.html and it can be found on Amazon as well https://amzn.to/2zFCLq4

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

JetBeam HR30 Headlamp Review (USB-C, 20700 Compatible, Red+White LED’s)

This is my first light from Jetbeam that I have reviewed. It’s a new headlamp design from them and the first light I have tested with USB-C recharging. It’s really nice to see USB-C starting to make it’s way to flashlights as it’s the new standard. Thanks to Jetbeam for sending this to me to look closer at.

Full Image Gallery for this Review: https://imgur.com/a/pps2Oqk
The YouTube version of this Review:

Packaging
My packaging got a little mangled in international shipping but the just of it is a relatively large box with images of the light front and relevant info on the back regarding ratings and runtimes. Inside is a large plastic try housing the HR30 Headlamp, Jetbeam branded battery (2600mAh), unassembled head band and bracket, pocket clip, 2 spare O rings, a USB 3 to USB-C cable, relevant paperwork (Manual, warranty card). This is on par with Nitecore packaging but not up to Olight standards as of late.






Construction
The body of this light is built with aircraft aluminum that’s hard anodized. The part around the front with the button and LED is black plastic with a hexagon pattern in it that’s visually nice. It is held in place with 4 very small 0.050 inch hex screws. The button is rubber coated and clicky, the lens and main LED extend a bit. It’s a relatively small lens and reflector. The red LED are flush.

The body tube is flanked by two nicely machined end caps that are asymmetrical. They have spiral knurling that’s one direction and go in different ways from each other. This looks great but isn’t very grippy. The larger end that has the USB-C charging under it is magnetic enough to hold up the light and battery but not with the strap attached as well. The other end the tail cap has a spring under it to hold the battery in place and allow for the 3 types of batteries to be used in the light. Threads under each tail cap are standard design, relatively small and well greased from the factory. The central section of the light is ribbed. This when in the head strap is what holds the light in place and allows for rotational adjustment. The light has markings on each tail cap and some on the body. Each are helpful and less about marketing or legal phrases.




The head strap on this light is 3 strap design. The top strap is not removable due to the fused clips at each end. It comes partially disassembled. It’s a black and gray elastic with no additional reflectors or branding other then what look like flames. The front that actually holds the light is interesting. It’s built fairly stiff plastic with the strap providing the only padding on your forehead. The two hoops are injection inserted and a much more flexible rubber. To attach or detach the light remove each end cap and it slides on with some force. Not the easiest thing to do and it’s definitely a two handed job. The little triangle in the center is what holds the light in place as it rotates in the holder a full 160 degrees.



This light includes an optional clip. Less for EDC and more for clipping on to a pack or bag. It’s pretty stout and stiff and works well. The only negative is that you have to remove the headband prior to attaching the clip.

Weight as shipped with the included battery without strap or clip is 110G, with the 20700 battery it’s 124G.

This isn’t the lightest or smallest in it’s class but it’s not extreme either. I think it’s solidness and ability to take a 20700 make up for the additional weight.

LED + Runtimes + Temps
This light uses a Luminus SST40 N5 LED. No color temperature is given by jetbeam. It’s on the warm side but there is a pretty strong green tint to it. Inside this bothers me outside, especially against grass or trees with leaves it’s less noticeable. Not my favorite tint. From reading about this LED CRI is about 70. It’s not an LED that is in use much.

The beam is pretty smooth after about 10 feet and really throws well for how shallow the reflector is.

UI
The UI of this light could stand a bit of tweaking in my opinion. To turn it on from off you have to press and hold about ½ a second to come on. If you do a quick press from off you get battery check mode. I found myself getting into this alot at first. Once on in normal mode you are presented with memory of where you last were. By default it starts off in Eco = 5 Lumens, then to Low at 50 lumens, mid at 150 Lumens, High at 400 Lumens and Turbo at 950 Lumens. Last mode up in the normal group is a red. I found red to be just the right brightness. Enough so you could see your feet and 1-2 feet in front of you but dark enough to no feel like it was too bright to read a map.

The light does have low voltage indication where it starts blinking the Red LED’s when power drops below 20%. Problem is this is hard to see unless you have something up close.

I would like to see some shortcuts added, double click to turbo and triple click to red. Take red out of thee normal modes and maybe quad click for battery check instead of a fast press.

Battery Compatibility
This light can take 3 different battery types. It comes with a button top Jetbeam branded 2600mah battery. When in use with this cell there is an included small plastic sleeve to keep things from rattling. You can also use 2 CR123A cells which I suspect will rattle a bit due to the smaller diameter. The light can also use an unprotected 20700 battery without the sleeve. THe battery tube itself isn’t in the center. It’s off axis and slightly cam shaped.

Parasitic Drain was measured at 4.0uA.

Runtime on the included 2600mah
I tested runtime with the included JetBeam branded 2600mah battery. Turbo predictably ran for 3 minutes before falling rapidly to about 55% of relative output for a large bulk of the time. For the next 130 minutes it was fairly stable. At the end I saw one more large decline in output to 20% relative output and then the light shut off due to low voltage protection. During the batteries last 20% the red LED’s flashes letting you know the power was low. Total runtime was about 145 minutes on 2600mah.

Runtime on a 20700 battery
Thanks to reddit user /u/mcfarlie6996 for sponsoring a 20700 battery for me. I didn’t have one (Or have any lights that took them) and it was great to test how much more runtime you can get with minimal size and weight differences between an 18650 and 20700. Total runtime with the 2600mah 18650 that was included was 145 minutes, The total runtime on the Panasonic 4000mah battery was a very impressive 260 minutes. Thats 44.2% more run time for only an additional 14 grams in weight. Output curves were pretty similar between the two batteries with the main difference being that 55% relative output was about 220 minutes in length. With a 20700 battery it makes the JetBeam HR30 be the longest duration headlamp I have by a large margin.



Charging
This light uses USB-C for recharging. The port is built into the threads on one of the ends. To get enough clearance you must remove the cap. It would be nice if there were more threads so you could leave the cap attached. A nice heavy duty USB 3 to USB-C cable is included with the headlamp for use when recharging.

The charging status indication isn’t my favorite. First you have a small LED near the USB-C port itself that is always green. This tells you when electricity is flowing but that’s all. During charging the light comes on in Red mode on the main LED’s and for much of the time it’s a slow flashing red mode. When finished the flashing goes solid charging is complete. Having the main red mode LED’s come on is just too much. Not only does this consume a decent amount of power it’s also very bright and annoying. It would prevent you to charge in a bedroom overnight, or in a tent if you were camping. In my opinion it would be better if they put a multi color LED at the port instead of the green and used it to indicate status.

Pro

  • USB-C charging but the charging indication via the main red mode is goofy. * Multi Cell capable including 20700 support!
  • Huge runtime on a 20700 battery, just at 260 minutes.
  • 160 degrees rotation inside the head mount
  • Beautiful machining on the end caps.

Con

  • Charing indication status is too much, just use a multi color LED near the port.
  • For a light of this price range 2600mah battery is low. 3500mah or a 20700 would give the light a good bit more runtime for minimal additional cost and make the runtimes listed on the box accurate.

Summary
It’s nice to see USB-C make its way to flashlights offering onboard charging. It’s the connector of choice for easier to use, higher power capabilities in this application. It’s also nice to see a headlamp add the capability to run a 20700 battery in addition to the 18650’s, and CR123. This is an application where the little bit of extra size doesn’t matter much to me but that additional runtime is valuable. 42% more runtime with a 20700mah battery over the included 18650 for only 14 Grams in additional weight is well worth it in my opinion. The HR30 has engineered this pretty well with the included spacer for 18650’s.

The UI of the HR30 takes some getting used to, with battery check being so easy to activate when you want a continuous mode instead. If you switch between a lot of different lights like I do you will probably activate it accidently. I hope that Jetbeam decides to move the red mode out of the recharging indicator and go with a multi color LED in the port instead. A few UI shortcuts to Red mode, and turbo would really improve the light too.

I would advise JetBeam to hire a native English speaker to proofread their manual and marketing materials. It seems like a basic thing but it would polish their image to be free of grammatical errors and mistakes. In today’s gig economy this is easy and inexpensive to do.

I like the HR30 headlamp and think it’s best in an outdoors setting due to the tint of the UI and the runtime that a 20700 can add. It’s built well with very good machining and a pretty attractive design. In my opinion it’s too big to use as an in pocket EDC but with the clip it could easy attach to a bag or backpack strap to light up whats in front of you.

I will have a link to the Jetbeam website on where you can see more about the light. It’s available at many retailers online too.