Wuben F5 Lantern & Fill Light Review (500 Lumens, 3 Tints, USB-C)

Today I am taking a look at a new Lantern and video fill light from Wuben with the F5. It can produce 3 tints, at 3 different brightness levels each, up to 500 lumens. It has an internal 5200mAh battery that can power the light and also be used to charge your devices. Thanks to Wuben for sending this to me to review and take a look at. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

The Wuben F5 packaging is a nice box with a photo of the light and it’s lumens and battery size at the front. On the back you get a few more stats about the light and the box seals.

Included accessories is a rubberized lanyard, USB-A to C charging cable, and a metal 2 way S binder. The manual is usable but could use some polish by a native English speaker. 

 

Construction

The F5 is made from plastic all around. The build quality feels solid, with the front diffuser feeling a little hollow. The front panel is domed and acts as a diffuser for the approximately 90 LED’s underneath. The sides and back panel are all one piece and available in a dark green or black color. 

Each side of the light has a feature, with the top having 4 LED power and locator LED’s. On the left hand side when looking straight on you have the port cover for the USB-C input, and USB-A output ports. Opposite that you have the 3 buttons to control the light, on/off, and up/down buttons. On the bottom you have a ¼ 20 brass grommet to connect into for mounting or for use on a camera. On the back you have a raised circle that features a fairly strong magnet inside that easily supports the lights weight to mount on metal surfaces. Around that is a hinged metal ring with a fairly stiff hinge. You can use this as a small kickstand to prop up the light or to put your finger through to hold the light in a more secure way. One corner is drilled to accept the included lanyard. 

 

Retention

As mentioned previously there is the included rubberized wrist strap that attaches at the corner of the light. On the back there is the magnetic ring that supports the weight of the light well in any position on a variety of ferris surfaces. There is also that metal ring and stiff hinge acting like a kickstand or finger hold. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the size at 78.8mm by 84.6mm by 33.7mm. I measured weight at 206.5 grams without the lanyard. The light is IP64 rated. So it’s dustproof and rated for submersion upto 1 meter. The light does not float. 

 

LED & Beam

There is no mention of exact emitters that are in use here but I can tell you there are 3 tints in this lantern, 3000k, 4500k, and 5700k. I can’t say exactly what CRI is here but my guess is somewhere in the 70-80 CRI, so pretty standard. There are a total of 30 emitters the 3000k and 5700k tints, 60 in total. For the neutral white mode the light actually runs both emitters at the same time. The beam is very even and diffused thanks to the frosted lens/diffuser on the top of the light. 

Exact outputs here vary based on the tint being used but Low ranges from 7-10 lumens, Medium 120-140 lumens, high 430 to 500 lumens with step downs from 230 to 300. 

 

There is some PWM here, especially in the lower output modes. I can’t see it with my eye but I can with my scope. The images here are from the warmer 3000k mode.

 

Runtime & Heat

Runtimes on the F5 are quite good, I did my runtime tests with a full 5200mAh internal battery on each color mode, in the top brightness. All 3 exceeded Wubens runtime numbers with warm white being 11:25:00, Neutral white and cool white both at 10:09:00. 

All 3 tints sustained theirs for about 8 minutes before stepping down to about 65% relative output. Basically this is a great light for long sustained outputs, perfect for that lantern application. Heat was really not worth talking about here, the sides and back stayed at room temp and only the front diffuser slightly heated up to be just warm.

 

UI

To turn the light on or off it’s a quick press on the center on/off/mode button. Wuben mentions stepless dimming here, and I don’t want anyone to get confused, this light does have steps, it’s not a light with ramping. That said the changes between modes are a soft fade. You have a plus minus button to adjust brightness in 3 steps. To change tint’s once on it’s a quick double press. The order it goes is cool white, neutral white, warm white. 

 

The battery indicators on the side also have what Wuben calls a Breathing LIght, I would call this a locator function. The lights fade in and out slowly to help you locate light in the dark. Useful for if your camping or trying to find it in a bag. This can be turned on or off if you triple click the central button with the light off. There is a lockout mode as well if you press that center button 4 times. 

 

Recharging

The Wuben F5 has a 5200mAh lithium ion battery inside. It’s non user serviceable. On one side of the light it as a large port cover that’s covering the USB-C port for charging, and a USB-A port to use it as a powerbank. There are 4 LED’s on the side that give you charge status when charging  and discharging. These values are a little different depending on the mode so make sure you consult the manual for the exact. 

 

For charging the light does support USB-C to C which is great to see, and in my tests took 3:22:24 to charge to full. Max charge rate I saw was 1.7A. 

As a powerbank I ran a discharge test at 2A, 5V which is the maximum it can output and it did this for 1:31:00. Capacity after conversion was measured at 3039mAh. So not the most efficient circuit here. 

 

Pro’s

  • 3 Built in Tint options with every light
  • Long runtimes for a pretty compact package
  • Charges via USB-C to C
  • Can be used as a powerbank
  • Strong Magnet, ¼ 20 grommet, and finger ring retention options

 

Con’s

  • Non user serviceable battery
  • Only 180 degrees of light instead of 360.

 

Conclusion

Lanterns are not the most exciting light in your collection but possibly one of the most useful. The Wuben F5 is up there in my opinion with the BLF LT1 I looked at last year. It’s smaller and doesn’t output in 360 degrees like a true lantern does, but it has a host of other features that make it useful for both the enthusiast and general user. 

The ability to run all 3 tints at 3 brightness levels really is great, for me I will definitely leave it in warm or neutral tints. The light is nice and diffused too.

I feel like the size and weight here are right. As much as I love the BLF LTF, it’s big, and heavy, the Wuben F5 is a reasonable size here and has more output/battery life then lanterns from larger brands and for less overall cost. 

If you don’t have a lantern in your go bag, I would strongly recommend one. This would be a great addition to that tornado, hurricane, earthquake or general power outage situation since you can use it to provide 10 hours of light on high, or 20 hours on medium, and use it as a powerbank to keep your phone topped off. Safe to say I am a fan and I do recommend it.

Nitecore MH12S Review (1800 Lumens, USB-C PD, 21700)

Today I have the Nitecore MH12S, this is a new model in a long light of MH series lights from Nitecore. It’s marketed as multitask hybrid series light. It produces 1800 lumens, contains a 21700 battery that’s included and is USB-C PD rechargeable. Nitecore did provide this light to me to review.

 

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Packaging & Accessories

The MH12 comes in a typical Nitecore retail package in the trademark black and yellow color scheme. Something that’s a little different is it doesn’t have the typical runtime chart on the back, only a long list of features, and on the side a list of use cases and accessories. Accessories included with the light itself is a 5000 Nitecore (non proprietary) button top 21700 battery, a 18650/CR123 Battery magazine, tactical holster, USB-A to C charging cable, lanyard, 2 spare o’rings, and a pocket clip, along with your normal paperwork. 

Construction

The MH12s is made from aluminum and anodized black. Machining & fit and finish are good, with no obvious problems detected. At the tail cap there is a quiet tall mechanical switch that protrudes and it takes some effort to actuate. The lanyard attachment point is on the rear tail cap and decent sized hole. Inside there is stiff springs at either end, and threads are anodized, fine and well lubricated. 

 

The body tube has minimal knurling but does have some on each end, you have 3 areas in the middle for the clip or tactical finger loop (not included) should you want. The body tube is glued to the head. There is a minimal anti roll ring at the front, it’ has limited effectiveness with anything but a flat surface.

The button (eswitch) on the head is aluminum as well, with a hole in the middle for power indication status, the button is relatively small and hard to find at night by feel alone, especially with gloves. There is minimal fins for heat dissipation. Opposite the button there is the USB-C charging port, the silicon cover here is well integrated and stays put without trouble. 

Up at the front there is a minimal bezel that does allow light to escape when standing on its head, it protects the anti reflective coated glass lens, and smooth bezel underneath. 

 

Size and Weight

I measured the overall length at 141mm, max diameter on the head at 29.5mm, minimum diameter on the body at 25.5mm. Weight with the included battery was 149.2g. The light is IP68 water rated and submersible to 2M along with the standard 1M of impact resistance.

It’s a long long light but within 5mm of the Thrunite TT20 and Olight M2R Pro, but narrower then both. 

 

Retention

The MH12S has quite a few retention options. It comes with a pocket clip, lanyard and a tactical hostler but is also compatible with a tactical ring that Nitecore offers separately. The pocket clip can attach facing either direction on any of the 3 ribs in the middle of the light. It’s not a deep carry clip as a good ¾ of an inch sticks op out of your pocket when put in the lowest position. My clip was slightly out of spec and doesn’t make contact with the body of the light. A little modification with some pliers should improve this situation but is a little disappointing to see on a brand new light. 

You also get a plastic belt holster that the light can be pushed into. You can put it in heads up or heads down, and it’s a tight fit. If done correctly at allows you to mount to access both the side buttons and top button from the holster. The lanyard attachment point should you choose to use that is on the tailcap. 

LED & Runtime

The light features a Luminis SST-40 W LED in cool white at 6500k. The good news here is that it’s not as blue as some older Nitecore lights which I appreciate. On ultralow and low power modes I get a slight green tinge but this disappears at higher power levels. The beam itself is small defined hotspot in the center and a large spill of less light. True to it’s name this is a nice all around beam, good for walking the dog, hiking, or more tactical uses if you wish. 

There are a handful of battery options here, the light comes with Nitecore 5000mAh 21700 battery, which will be most users primary cell, but with the battery magazine (Spacer) the light comes with it will also run 18650 and 2x CR123A batteries or RCR123. A battery capable of 8A discharge or more is needed to be able to access Turbo’s 1800 lumens or you will be limited to High’s 1050 instead. No PWM was present in this light, and I did verify this with my oscilloscope. 

 

Official outputs are listed as the following. 

  • Turbo – 1800 Lumens
  • High – 1050 Lumens
  • Mid – 300 Lumens
  • Low -50 Lumens
  • Ultra Low – 1 Lumen
  • Strobe/Beacon/SOS – 1800 Lumens

 

Heat & Runtime

I did my runtime and heat tests with the included 5000mAh Nitecore battery in uncooled conditions (More realistic). Turbo had a pretty quick step down from the 1800 lumens within the first minute and a half but it was a gradual step down and continued this trend from the 0:43:00 mark to 2:46:00 it was quite stable at 40% relative output, before it did it’s LVP warning and stepping down to 5% relative output and shutting off at 3:23:00. Max heat I saw during this time was 46C at 0:10:00.

I also ran a runtime test under the same conditions but only going to high mode, and here the light was able to sustain a much higher output for longer in comparison to turbo. Around 80% relative output or better for 3:26:00, with at total runtime of right at 4:00:00. So if you don’t need turbo this is the best mode to use for sustained output and runtime. 

 

UI

The light has 2 modes, first the daily mode which is the lights default and how I tested and then a tactical function. When in daily mode the light does have a memory function for all modes except SOS and Beacon. When in tactical it will only memorize turbo or strobe. 

 

For daily mode the light turns on with the tail switch, and then you use the e switch up front to change modes, and it cycles through all 5 non blinking modes. There are no shortcuts to jump to turbo or turn on ultralow when off. If you press and hold the mode button when on the light will go to strobe instead of cycling through modes. It’s a little different from many lights but is easy enough to understand but might be hard to remember if switching to many other lights.

 

Recharging

The MH12S has onboard USB-C charging, thats capable of being charged via USB-C to C and USB-C PD, another nice change to see. USB-C to C is finally going mainstream on flashlights. I charged the included 5000mAh Nitecore battery (non proprietary) from LVP at 2.947V to full at 4.198V in 3.5 hours. Max charging rate I saw was 1.9A at the 1:30 mark. The charging curve here looks a little funny with a lot of drops to near zero as detected by my meter, this also caused it to cut a little short the graph. I don’t think this is a problem for charging the cell just a bit different. The light will also charge 18560’s with the adapter if you want to. 

Pro

  • Simple interface but lacks shortcuts to moon or turbo.
  • Good all around beam
  • Not as cool white as past Nitecore Lights.
  • Wide selection of compatible batteries (21700, 18650, CR123A, RCR123A).

 

Cons

  • Seems long
  • Pocket clip did not make contact with the body without modification and it’s deep carry
  • Only one LED and tint option
  • UI has no practical shortcuts, requires cycling through brighter modes to go lower. 

 

Conclusion

The Nitecore MH12S is a solid general use light. I like that NItecore has taken a step away from ultra blue emitters but do wish they would offer a more neutral or warm tint option, in the MH series of lights since I believe these better represent the multifunction roll the lights were designed for. 

This isn’t a light I will probably EDC in my pockets due to the clip design and relatively long nature of the light, I do like it’s slim nature though. I think this is a better jacket pocket light or utilize the holster it comes with. The UI here isn’t my favorite but I can live with it. Overall I like the beam profile here of the light, and with the 21700 it has a great runtime, and it’s super great to see USB-C being implemented with full support and PD support. 

Klarus G15 Review (4000 Lumen EDC Flood, 21700, Cree XHP 70.2)

Welcome to 2020 and for my first review of the year I have the new Klarus G15 a small form factor 21700 EDC style light capable of upto 4000 lumens on Turbo from it’s Cree XHP 70.2 LED. Thanks to Klarus for sending me this early sample for review and evaluation. 

 

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Packaging and Accessories

Packaging here is a nice high quality cardboard box with a picture of the light in front being part of the model number G15. The sides list the battery, capacity, and charging speed, and a highlight of the specs, including the 5 year warranty. On the back you have a more detailed spec chart and list of features. The light is IPX 8 water rated.

Included accessories are the Light itself, Klarus Branded 5000mAh button top protected 21700 battery. It’s listed as a 15A capable battery. The battery itself is long coming in at 74.7mm. Also included is a spare oring, Klarus branded lanyard, Felt pouch, manual and MicroUSB charging cable. 

 

Construction

The light is made from aluminum and anodized a smooth fairly glossy black. The tail is flat allowing for the light to tail stand, but it’s non magnetic. The tail has been cut on the side to allow for the lanyard to attach. The body and tail are all one piece, with the long clip only attaching on the rear section. It allows for deep carry and it’s fairly stiff. The milling on the body tube to provide texture looks like the profile for an involute gear and then has 6 flats milled into the light. I like the pattern here, it’s a little different, provides good grip without being too aggressive. The flashlight only disconnects between the head and the body. The threads are raw aluminum, and beefy square cut with grease.

 

 

The head features the same button we saw on ST15R and XT21X in 2019. It’s a silicone button with an illuminated sliver of light around it that indicates battery status and goes Green/Red/Yellow. There is minimal milling on the sides for heat dissipation. Opposite the button is the flush fitting silicone port to protect the MicroUSB charging port. It’s at a standard depth and there is plenty of clearance for larger cables to fit. The head has minimal branding and labels on it, and light bronze color. The front bezel is smooth, and it looks like it will unscrew with the right tool. The lens is anti reflective coated glass, surrounded by a deep orange peel reflector with the large XHP70.2 LED at the center.

 

Size & Weight

I measured overall length of the Klarus G15 at 122mm, maximum diameter in the head at 27.5mm between the button and the charging port, and minimum diameter on the body at 23.24 between flats. Weight with the included battery and clip is 142.1g. 

Looking through my light collection I don’t have a ton of 21700 sized lights that are super comparable here. Lights that I have that are similar are most often using an 18650 or end up being larger. I settled on comparing it to the Olight M2R Pro since they use the same battery and are physically similar. The Olight is a bit longer here, and heavier and is more tactical in nature. It’s also more of a thrower where the G15 is more about flood. 

 

LED | Beamshot | Runtime

The Klarus G15 is using the Cree XHP 70.2 LED in a cool white 6500k tint. Being a 70.2 LED there is tint shift across the beam but it’s not as dramatic as I have seen from a few other lights. There is a slight increase in intensity in the center but this is more of a flood style light then a thrower. The spill is very wide and fades into nothing without a cutoff. 

Mode Spacing here as you can see in the table below is ok but could be improved. There is quite a bit of difference to the eye between medium at 500 lumens and high at 2000 lumens. An additional mode in between would be nice. That said to the eye here is a difference between high at 2000 lumens and Turbo at 4000 but it’s not nearly as much as you might think. 

 

Brightness Outputs from Klarus

Specs Turbo High Med Low Moonlight Strobe Beacon SOS
Brightness 4000

lumens

2000

lumens

500

lumens

100

lumens

1

lumens

4000

lumens

500

lumens

500

lumens

Runtime 1.2

hours

1.5

hours

6

hours

28

hours

200

hours

2

hours

120

hours

18

hours

My runtime’s didn’t match Klarus’s all that well. For my first runtime test I started the light on Turbo uncooled and the light steps down pretty aggressively quite quickly about 4 minutes before starting a seasaw motion as the light heated up, and them stepped down to cool off but then what was nice is that it went brighter again as thermals and battery power allowed. The average output for the first hour was somewhere around 60% relative output. The next hour was very stable at about 45% output, before the light started to step down slowly and small bumps at first before LVP kicked in at about 185 minutes of total runtime. Other major manufactures, namely Olight have started to be very honest about what their high lumen lights can do before stepdown and I believe Klarus should do this as well, it would be more honest then to suggest their lights can do 1.2 hours on turbo or 1.5 hours on high. Reality is no light can do this but it’s not obvious to non flashaholics. 

Overall heat was well managed with the active thermal controls here. At 1 minute I measured 92F, at 2 minutes at 98F, and at 10 minutes I measured 96F. LVP kicked in at 2.688v which is lower then I would like to see. 

 

UI

UI here is simple and straightforward and it has 8 total output modes. 5 of those modes are constant on, and 3 are forms of blinking. From off, long press on the button to get to moonlight mode at 1 lumen. Press again and hold to get to low, keep pressing to cycle through low, medium and high. Double click to go to turbo. Tripple click to go to the blinking modes. 

 

The light also features memory mode for modes other then turbo, moonlight, or the strobes. It also had lockout mode, but I personally just break contact with the battery as it’s easier and faster. 

 

Recharging

The light recharges with a standard MicroUSB cable, this is a little frustrating given the price of the light and that it’s a new release for 2020 where USB-C should be the standard. I recharged the included 5000mAh battery from LVP at 2.825V to Full at 4.13v in 3 hours and 35 minutes with a maximum charging speed of 1.99A. As the battery capacity filled up charging slowed down as expected. I saw no problems with the built in recharging on this light. 

 

 

Pro’s

  • Compact size for a 21700, nice fit and finish
  • I enjoy the new gear tooth milling in the body
  • Easy interface
  • Active thermal controls.

 

Con’s

  • MicroUSB instead of USB-C, at least the charging speed here is fast at 2A
  • Pretty cool LED tint with some of the characteristic XPH 70.2 tint shift across the beam

 

Conclusion

If you are looking for a compact 21700 style EDC flood light with an electronic switch up front, the G15 could be a good choice for you. It was a surprise to see active thermal management here that allowed the light to get brighter again after step down after it cooled off. Not enough lights do this in my opinion. I like the new texture here on the body of the light, hopefully it’s something that stays, I think it’s just about perfect for EDC, not too much to rip up your hand or pocket but definitely better than standard diamond knurling. 4000 Lumen turbo mode here isn’t quite as impressive as the numbers suggest, it’s not significantly different from the high of 2000 lumens. That said it’s really a light that’s best run on the lower output modes anyways for a more useful runtime. Hopefully in 2020 we see Klarus switching to USB-C (That support USB-C to C) in their higher priced lights and we can be hopeful that we will see something other then cool white too for us enthusiasts like myself that prefer warmer and neutral tints. With all that said I can recommend the Klarus G15 with reservations.

 

Thanks for watching to the end of this video and continuing to support me. Without your views, comments, and likes it wouldn’t be possible for me to continue to bring videos like this to you guys. I look forward to 2020 being a fun year and I have a few ideas for giveaways and other fun events for those of you who are viewers and followers on social media of the channel.  

Full Image Gallery on this review https://imgur.com/a/9b3UVcV

 

Pickup the Klarus G15 at Battery Junction http://bit.ly/2udnN8F 

Read more about the Klarus G15 at https://www.klaruslight.com/Products/GSeries/724.html