Wuben X-2 Owl Review (3X LH351D, 1800 Lumens, USB-C)

Wuben is back at it with another Kickstarter project, this time with a smaller version of the side by side X series light using 2X 14500 batteries and 3 LED’s. Wuben sent me this early production prototype to take a look at and help them promote the Kickstarter campaign for the light. The Kickstarter ends December 1st 2022, so if you are watching this before then make sure to check out the link in the description below, and if not ill try to find some links to where you can get it after.

 

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Link to the Kickstarter

Check out the Kickstarter for the Wuben X-2 Owl at http://bit.ly/3ErUEHf

 

Packaging & Accessories

Since this was a prototype it didn’t come with a box, or any of the accessories. If you buy one I would expect a full retail box, charging cable, and lanyard at a minimum. 

 

Construction & Design

The looks of the X-2 Owl is similar to the X-1 Falcon that I took a look at a few months ago, but smaller. It’s the same design language as the X-1 headlamp that Wuben also debut in 2022. So more squared off, sharp angles, and kind of a cyber space-aged type look.

The light is made from aluminum and is being offered in 3 color options, a standard black anodizing, a gradient ramp that’s a white fading into blue, and then the “white” MAO version I have here. I’m becoming a fan of the Metal Arc Oxide coating look even though it’s not the most durable finish around. The front and rear pieces are black and I think this is smart as it should help with durability. There are also going to be copper versions, and 4 different anodized titanium versions too. The light is offered in two LED options, the Samsung LH351D, and an Osram P9. Not every LED and body material/color combination are available currently.

The lights are held together with several screws, my Wera Hex Plus 1.5mm keys were able to unscrew them, and there was no thread locker that I could find. The rear specifically says “Do not disassemble” but I had to at least take a peak inside. What I found was a pair of what I assume are 14500 batteries in a pack, labeled as 2000mAh, 3.7v.. I couldn’t fully remove the battery pack so it must be attached to wires inside to the switch and charging port circuitry. I’m guessing removing more of the screws would get this to a place you could actually replace the batteries if you wanted to, but it would be a somewhat complicated process and may involve a soldering iron. Most consumers are not going to do this, even most flashlight enthusiasts.

Edit: I did go ahead and remove some more screws and the battery has wires coming out from it that are soldered directly to the circuit board. Totally replaceable if you should choose to, you just have to work a bit and solder. 

 

 

 

 

The button section appears to be the same as what Wuben used on the X-0, it’s a hatch system that covers the button and the USB-C port cover. It’s an interesting design, and while it doesn’t offer much water protection for the port, the port itself is waterproof. I will note, that because of this design using lockout is a must as this large switch is easy to press when carried in a pocket or bag. The hinged lid for lack of a better word is magnetically attracted. There are 2 sprung silver-colored magnets that it rests on. There was definitely some engineering that went into this. 

 

Retention

My prototype didn’t come with any of the retention options that Wuben is promoting on the campaign page. It looks like it has a lanyard option that attaches at the rear on one side with a metal clasp. This lanyard looks like it doubles as an integrated USB-C charging cable too, which is neat. 

 

My light did ship with the large improved clip that’s on the rear of the light. This is a very large clip that takes up the entire rear of the light pretty much. I don’t see myself carrying this in my front pocket, due the size. You could in theory put it in your rear pants pocket (In lockout mode), but I think for many people this will be a light they put in a bag and this is what Wuben shows in their material. The clip works well to fit onto molle webbing, which you might have on a bag or vest. Unfortunately, the clip is facing the wrong direction to clip this on to the top of a hat, the lights a little heavy for that too IMHO. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the light at 3.35” long, 0.80’ wide, and 1.55” thick. I measured it as 4.33oz with the clip installed. The light is IP68 water and dust rated. 

 

LED & Beam

There are two LED options for the Wuben X-2 Owl. There is the Osram P9 which produces a few more lumens and I believe is a cooler white and the Samsung LH351D emitter which is a more neutral white and high CRI. Each version has 3 of the same LED’s, in a linear setup, each with optics. I have the Samsung LH351D version, and on my Opple Meter I measured the CCT at 4468K, and 96Ra (CRI). DUV was right in the middle, with no green tinge which was nice. The beam here does have a profile that mimics the shape of the physical light at shorter distances, at longer distances it diffuses and is unnoticeable. There is PWM here in all the modes, it’s pretty fast and I can’t see it with my eyes or camera.

 

Night Shots

Night shots can be found on the video. 

 

Outputs

Below are the outputs I got at the 30 second mark in terms of outputs and the percentages of claimed outputs with the Samsung LH351D emitter

.

  • Turbo – 1750 – Lumens – 97.2% of Claimed
  • High – 312 – Lumens – 78% of Claimed
  • Medium – 80 Lumens – 80% of Claimed
  • Low – 7 Lumens – 140% of Claimed (Take this with a grain of salt)

Wuben’s official Outputs.

https://i.imgur.com/LSgRi5c.jpg

 

Heat & Runtime

I did my testing with my Owl here that has the Samsung LH351D LED’s. I did this in the default output levels for each mode (they are adjustable). Turbo lasted about 90 seconds and after stepdown was about 600 lumens. This was then very consistent out to 1:17:00 when the light turned off. Max heat during this time was about 43C (Uncooled), at the 40-minute mark. 

I also did runtime comparisons with 3 modes, Turbo, High, and Medium. Turbos total runtime was 1:17:00, High was 2:50:00, and medium was out to just shy of 11 hours.

 

UI

The interface seems to be the same as the X-1 Falcon, so here is what I had written up for that. My light arrived in Lockout mode, so 4 presses of the button unlock or lock the light. Single press to turn on, long press once on to cycle through the 4 main modes. Double press from anywhere to get to turbo. The light does have blinking modes that you can get to from anywhere by triple pressing. Triple press again to cycle between strobe and SOS modes.

 

The unique aspect of this light is the programming mode, It allows you to adjust the preset value of the 4 main modes by one on Clicking and holding and the light will ramp up slightly and blink when at the top of the range. Just stop when you reach the brightness you want and it will memorize it. There are upper and lower bounds on what each mode will do too. Consult your manual to see the exact ranges and directions.

 

Recharging

As mentioned before there are two 1400 Liion batteries internally witht a total capacity of 2000mAh according to Wuben. These are non user replaceable. I did my recharging testing by first running the light untl it shut itself off. I then hooked it up to my tester and in this case used an Xtar 45W USB-C power source (With my own cable rated for 100W), and the light charged in 2:37:00. Max amperage during this time was right at 1A. The charge curve here I felt like was a tad harsh at the beginning, many lights tend to ease into it at the beginning while they are sensing the battery’s charge level, this did’t do that, just straight on with as much as it wanted. I did some subsequent testing and had no trouble charging via USB-C to C, or with chargers supporting USB-C PD. The light will work in Low, Medium, and High while charging. The light will still operate on low, medium and high while charging too.

 

Conclusion

The X-1 Falcon was a pretty large light, so making a smaller version is a logical step to take. The X-2 Owl I think will be a size that ends up being a better fit for people and a good combination of output with runtime. I’m not sure the switch version here makes a tons of sense, it make the use of lockout mandatory whenever the light is in a bag or pocket. While neat and different accidental activation is really easy if not using lockout modes. 

I like that Wuben is offering this in so many colors and materials from the beginning nearly. While I’m not a huge fan of established companies using Kickstarter, this does give them a good method to determine the demand for more specialty materials, or emitters. The LED choice here is good with the LH351D seeming to be the default choice for most lights, it’s a good neutral white, high CRI option. The beam profile is decent despite the emitters being in a line. Too bad here though that the batteries are not more easily replaced, it seems like that would be a fairly simple thing to do, even if you had to use a screwdriver to do it a few years down the road. So overall a solid option, if you want a form factor that’s a bit different or a flashlight that doesn’t look like your typical round light.

The Kickstarter campaign here runs through the end of November 2022, so if you are interested in looking more at it and picking one up check out the link below in the description on where you can find this one. It looks like they are expecting to ship these out pretty soon, in January of 2023, so you won’t have to wait very long.

Link to the Kickstarter

Check out the Kickstarter for the Wuben X-2 Owl at http://bit.ly/3ErUEHf

Astrolux WP1 Review (A rebadged LEP thrower from Jetbeam?)

Today I have the Astrolux WP1 LEP flashlight. It’s capable of 250,000 candela, and 480 lumens out of the included 21700 Liion battery and it’s UI is a control ring. If you have seen my review of the Jetbeam RRT M1X Raptor you might notice a few differences more on that further on in my review. Thanks to Banggood for sending this light to me and providing a discount for my viewers. 

 

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Get the Astrolux WP1: https://ban.ggood.vip/XSaT for $165.95 by using code BGYX06

Other Flashlight Deals from Banggood https://ban.ggood.vip/XSaQ

 

Packaging & Accessories

The Astrolux WP1 comes in a large plastic case with a handle, on the front is a large sicker showing the light and listing a few headlining stats. On the back is another sticker showing a runtime chart and links to various social media platforms. 

As far as accessories the light comes with an unbranded 5000mAh, 21700mAh battery with MicroUSB recharging onboard, A basic lanyard, an extras bag with 2 red orings, and spare tail cap, manual and a basic holster.

 

Construction

Astrolux brought out 2 LEP style flashlights earlier in 2021 that appear to mirror the Jetbeam RRT M1X and  M2S WP-RX, in physical appearance and closely in performance with the main difference being the engraving on the body. I suspect the parent manufacturer for Astrolux is Jetbeam. The anodizing Jetbeam useses is a somewhat distinct gray in the flashlight industry, and it’s being used here as well. Side by side they look the same anodizing wize.

Starting at the tail you have a forward click mechanical switch and 2 tails where you can attach a lanyard. It will tail stand but it’s not very stable. There is minimal knurling on the tail and body tube that add some grip. Threads are square cut, nicely greased and anodized.

You do have a rubber tactical ring which is nice to allow you to cigar grip the light if you wish. The body tube has flats milled in for the labels and a little added grip. The body tube is also removable from the head, but not reversible. I was able to swap around the head, body, and tail from the Jetbeam RRT M1X as well. The orings on the WP1 are the same distinct red color as the Jetbeam.

The head features the rotating ring controls, with a total of 5 detents that are just over 180 degrees in total movement. They feel ok, not super crisp but not mushy either. I like rotary control on a light like this, they are simple and they work great with gloves on which is important this time of year. The bezel of the light is non removable. It does stand proud of the “lens” and the cuts in the side allow for some light to leak when head down.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 158.3mm, minimum diameter at 24mm on the flats of the body, and maximum diameter of 36.7mm on the control ring. Weight with the supplied battery is 230g. The light is IPX8 Water rated. Here are few photos of similar lights or competitors that I own.  

 

Retention

Retention options with the WP1 are the included lanyard which can be attached at the tail cap and then the holster. The holster has a velcro front cover and is made with a neoprene lined ballistic nylon. On the rear it has a belt loop that’s attached with a button and velcro. 

 

Emitter & Beam

So instead of an LED, the WP1 uses a LEP or Laser Excited Phosphor. Astrolux calls this the WP-T2 LEP (Same as Jetbeam). LEP’s work by using a blue laser emitter on a layer of phosphor to create a “whitish” beam that is then sent through a convex lens. 

The result is a beam that’s extremely concentrated. At 8ft it’s less than a 5 inch circle, it also has basically no spill like your traditional flashlight does. This concentrated beam does spread out a little at distance but it’s not as much and my night shots show that. When I compare it to my Jetbeam RRT M1X the beam here is larger, in shorter distances, but still quite small by LED flashlight standards. The tint here definitely has a blueish tint to it. There was no visible PWM to the eye or camera.

 (Astrolux on the Left, Jetbeam on the Right)

 

Heat & Runtime

I expected that this light would produce more heat because of how intense it was but it doesn’t Maximum heat I saw was about 36C during testing, and that’s a regulated temp. With the smaller body it does get about 4 degrees warmer than the larger Jetbeam model. It does seem to have a timed stepdown, to 40% relative output after 3 minutes. Compared with other LED based throwers I have this is good, given the other LED based throwers generally produce a lot more heat. 

Total runtime starting on high with the included fully charged 5000mAh battery was 5:14:00 with several step downs along the way. After 12 minutes your running at about 30% relative output but you can bump back up manually. When the light shut off I measured LVP at 2.974v. You don’t need a high output battery for this light either with the maximum amperage requirement I measured under 3A. So since this light is using a non proprietary button top protected battery (Long in length) you can choose based off of capacity rather then performance. 

 

UI

The UI here is simple with the rotary switch at the front. It’s 5 position switch with detents at every point, total rotation is just over 180 degrees. Starting from the left most detent and working clockwise you have low, medium, high, strobe, SOS. The switch at the rear is a your on and off control without a momentary mode as it’s a forward clicky switch. Strobe is very fast here, almost to the point of it not being useful as a strobe. 

 

Recharging

Recharging here is accomplished with the included unbranded (My guess is it’s the same battery Jetbeam supplies with their lights) 5000mAh 21700 battery. The battery itself has microUSB built into it, with a small LED at the positive side. Red when charging, green when charged. I would have loved to see USB-C instead here, especially on a premium light. It took a lengthy 7:31:00 to fully charge this battery which is quite slow, the fastest charge rate I saw was .75A, and it only decreased from there for the remaining 6 hours. Fully charged the battery measured 4.206V. 

My recommendation would be to use your own charger like the Vapcell S4 Plus or Xtar VC4SL and charge at a more reasonable rate. This battery can very safely handle a 2A charge rate and that will cut the charge time to more than half. I tested the capacity of this battery with my VapCell S4 Plus charger at 4719mAh. 

 

Pro’s & Con’s 

Pro

  • Simple Name
  • Good size for in the hand use & filters are available to make the LEP more practical for more tasks
  • The control ring is easy to use especially with gloves
  • Beam here is wider and slightly more practical.

 

Con’s

  • Strobe is too fast
  • Wish it came with the optional diffusers to make it more practical
  • Not inexpensive. 
  • LEP tint isn’t great, very cool white.

 

Conclusion

Given this lights apparent similarity with it’s sibling Jetbeams cousins, I would say go with whichever you can find the best deal on. Banggood is known for it’s coupons so it might end up being the Astrolux versions. From a physical and performance stand point I can’t tell a lot of difference. I don’t have both to do direct comparisons on but from reading in the forums and looking at them, and comparing the Astrolux WP1 to my Jetbeam RRT M1X Raptor I think they are likely the same. 

The big difference between the two models are their size of head and a bit of styling. The Astrolux WP1 here is a much smaller design thats easier to fit in the hand 

While LEP’s are really fun, and the performance is incredible, I struggle to find many uses for them in general. The hot spot here is a bit larger then my other LEP’s which makes it better, but realistically this isn’t something most people need and still quite small with no spill. It does work well for that smaller hand held search light application, signaling, and possibly on a hunting rifle at lower settings or with filters but this isn’t something you would want to take camping or be super useful in a power outage. That said it has pretty solid performance, and a LEP is something every flashlight obsessed individual should have in their collection.

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

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

 

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Construction

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

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

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

 

Size and Weight

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

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

 

Retention

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

 

LED & Beamshots

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

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

 

Runtime & Heat

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

 

UI

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

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

 

Recharging

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

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

Packaging

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

 

Pro

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


Cons

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

 

Conclusion

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