Today I have yet another version of the Lumintop FW3A, this time with the FW4A with 4 LED’s in the head instead of 3. Output increases from 2800 lumens to 3600 lumens depending on the LED thats chosen.
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Packaging here is the same box as the FW3 came in but only with FW4A on it. LED tint is still a sticker on the side of the box. Inside the light is protected with foam. Accessories is the same too with the FW4A including a silicon GITD diffuser that fits over the head of the light.
The Lumintop FW4A is basically an FW3A with a slightly larger head. The tail, clip, and body tube are identical to the FW3A. I have no issues with the machining or build quality*. There does seem to be less options at least from Lumintop direct in colors or materials for the FW4A, but since it’s reusing so many parts you can mix and match anything from the body or tail cap with other variants to make your own look. In it’s stock form it’s made of aluminium and anodized in a gray slightly blue color. One difference I have noticed is the serial number is laser engraved on the tail, and the clip color is now silver on the FW4A, where it was more of a dark gray on the FW3A I have.
*The FW3A had a lot of reliability issues early on, It’s far from a perfect design in that regard. That said retaining rings have been added to the tail cap to keep it’s contents in place better, and hopefully improve the button issues. The head also has things same retaining ring. The inner body tube is still subject to some movement so it’s still best practice to only open the light from the front. If you run into trouble the Budget light forums are still the best place to go for “how to fix your light”. Most issues are fixable from what I have seen if you want to trouble shoot. My light had no issues and continues to be reliable.
Size & Weight
I measured the length at 92.8mm, Minimum diameter on the body at 21.5mm, and maximum diameter on the head at 28.5mm. This is only a 3mm increase in the diameter of the head over the FW3A. I measured the weight with the battery and clip at 110.8g. That’s only 12.7g heavier then the aluminum FW3A I have. It’s
Retention is decent but I wish the clip was deeper carry from the factory myself. The increase in size with the FW4A is negligible from the FW3A, and it’s less than many of the “custom” triple emitter lights I carry on a regular basis.
LED & Beamshots
The FW4A is available with many different emitter options, like much of the FWXX series of lights. My light here is running the Cree XP-L HI LED in cool white at 6500k, and while 6500k isn’t my favorite tint, the XP-L HI LED’s are not bad for a non high CRI option. With the XPL-HI Lumintop says you can get 3600 Lumens vs the FW3A 2600. Other LED tints that are available are the Luminus SST20 4000k 90 CRI producing about 2100 lumens. Nichia 219C at 4000k, and a Cree XP-L HI in a neutral 5000k tint. All LED options are mounted on a copper PCB to help with heat dissipation.
The beam with the FW4A is floody with a more soft focused hotter center. Mine here has the clear optic, but frosted is also available. The center is fairly round and has a small amount of tint shift in the middle. The outer spill is rather square in shape, almost star-like. I don’t notice it outside but notice it instead more close up when really looking.
Beam with the diffuser
Heat & Runtime
I received a comment on my HL3A review that I really should calibrate my FWXX series lights before I do a heat and runtime test. While I still firmly believe that if this is necessary it’s something the factory should do (Or be burned into the firmware) I decided I would do my heat and runtime tests both uncalibrated and then calibrated just to see what the difference was.
So my first test with with the light uncalibrated and a Sony VTC6 and started in Turbo. Pretty much instantly the light starts decreasing in output, at the 30 second mark where the FL1 Standard is taken the light had declined about 400% from where it started. This sounds like a lot and it is but it’s still quite bright and to be expected. The light reaches equilibrium of about 60% relative output where irt runs for 2 hours and 35min, and eventually gets down to 10% output at 3 hours and 32 minutes of runtime. Maximum temperature I saw was 38.7C (101F) at the 13 minute mark, the bulk of the output was around the 36C mark.
The calibrated runtime was a different story, what calibration does is sets the room temp of the light and then you can raise the ceiling. I raised it an extra 25 degrees if my memory is correct. I used the same battery and after and with everything cooled off I ran it again. What I saw here was an initial drop from turbo but much smaller and a bit of a step at the 20 second mark before decreasing again. At the 30 second market the calibrated light was putting out a bit more output, and was 2.8 C warmer. The next 11 minutes though output increased again slowly as temps were allowed to increase slightly. Total runtime was only 1 hour and 42 seconds but you ended up being able to run a big brighter without stepping down as far. Maximum temperature I saw was 57.2C (134F) at the 24 minute mark. While this is quite hot it was much later than the uncalibrated mark and it’s adjustable too if you don’t want to go as hot. I would agree with the commenter, calibrate your lights, it’s worth a few minutes of your time.
The UI here is standard Andruil, and it works well. I will link to my FW3A review in case this is your first time seeing Andruil and include the diagram below. It looks a little complicated but once you get a hang of it, it works pretty well. It doesn’t bother me that the flashing and special modes are a little hard to locate as I personally rarely use them. As mentioned before I did “calibrate” the temp sensor on this light and I ended up using a video I found on Youtube to do it rather than use the diagram. For me it just worked a little better.
My conclusion is the FW4A is yet another nice light in the series. It’s a lot of output in a very small package and quite a minimal increase in size. That said with an increase in output it’s a step up in heat too. The FW4A at least right now has less modding potential then the FW3, but if it catches on and becomes more popular you may see different optics, and tuboglow being offered too.
A light like this is more aimed at the enthusiast market with the Andriul UI and somewhat dangerous nature of so much power in a small size and finicky nature that the FWXX series lights can be, that said it’s still alot of fun and pretty affordable too.
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