Fenix E18R V2.0 Review (1200 Lumens, 16340, USB-C)

Fenix has a new small higher performance EDC with the updated FenixE18R V2.0. This is running a Luminis SST40 and a 1634 battery. Its biggest competitor would be the Olight Baton 3, and I will be using that as a comparison throughout the review. Thanks to Fenix for sending this to me to look at and review, all opinions are my own.

 

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Get the Fenix E18R V2.0 at Fenix-store.com and save 20% for first-time orders.

 

Packaging & Accessories

The packaging here is a nice fully decorated retail-style box. The outside has some of your typical stats on the back. Inside the light is in a plastic tray, but what I really like here is that the accessories underneath are held in place with an extra piece of plastic. While this is minor it really helps to put everything back into the box with ease. If you save boxes and everything that comes with a light like I do this a useful bit of packaging. Accessories include the light itself, preinstalled pocket clip, lanyard, 700mAh Fenix branded battery, USB-A to C charging cable (short), layard, extra orings, port cover, warranty, and manual,

 

Design & Construction

The E18R V2 is made from 6061 aluminum, and hard anodized in black in a smooth semi-gloss anodizing. The tail is mostly flat, and strong magnetic. It tail stands without an issue despite it only having 2 outer wings. The tailcap as very shallow straight knurls on it for minimal grip.

The body has very fine circular grooves milled into it. They provide a minimal amount of grip but on a light this small I feel like the clip help gives your fingers something to lock on to. The threads on the tail are anodized and inside there is a spring only on the rear of the light. The head is glued onto the body tube, and the clip only attaches in one position but isn’t captured in terms of rotation.

The head has a slightly raised area around the electronic switch. The switch has a metal button cover with LED in the center to give the battery and lockout status. The accent colors here are a rosy copper color that I think is attractive. The USB charging port is opposite the button, and the port cover here is very secure as it has an additional hook to hold it in place.  The lens is plastic TIR with a flat top, with no additional cover to protect it. The light has basically no bezel, what bezel it does have is flat.

Lastly, the markings on this light should be mentioned, they are laser engraved, and nicely aligned. I like that they hid the CE mark, and it contains the typical hot warning near the head. What I hadn’t seen before but think is a decent idea is very small directions under the switch to remind you how to lock and unlock the light.

 

Retention

The primary retention method with the light is the dual direction pocket clip. It’s designed primarily as a lens up carry clip which isnt’ my personal favorite method. When carrying this way it leaves about ½” of light sticking out. The same can be said If you flip it over. The clip is also one of the 3 ways to do lockout on this light if you slide it over so it physically covers the switch. 

You also have the two lanyard attachment points on the rear of the light. In hand it’s pretty small, the body design doesn’t aid much in grip but the clip does when installed giving you a place to lock into.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 66.64mm, and the diameter at the head at 21.1mm. I measured the weight with the clip and battery installed at 1.9oz. The light is IP68 water rated and impact resistant to 1 meter. In comparison to the Olight Baton 3, the E18R V2 is just slightly longer. 

 

LED & Beam

The Fenix E18R V2.0 is using the Luminis SST 40 LED in cool white. On my Opple meter, I measured it at 5278K with a 62 CRI. So a fairly neutral tint but a pretty low CRI. There is PWM but it’s extremely fast, I don’t think anyone will notice it. 

The beam profile is pretty typical of a TIR-style optic. A reasonably large hot center with minimal spill and no artifacts. Good for short-range EDC tasks and throws further than you think in the higher output modes when needed.

 

Outputs & Mode Spacing

For my output measurements I tested on my Texas Ace calibrated PVC lumen tube, it’s not professional measuring equipment but usually a pretty good approximation. Outputs here were very close to Fenix’s claim, the only place I saw a difference was turbo and that was only by 30 lumens or so short. 

Mode spacing here not taking into account Turbo is 4 modes from 1 to 350 lumens. They are well spaced inside this, and I appreciate they included a true 1 lumen moon mode here. Turbo on the other hand is kind of off the charts at 1200 lumens.

 

Heat & Runtime

For my heat and runtime shots, I used the Li-ion battery the light came with. Turbo stepped down after 1:45 down to the 600-lumen range. The heat peaked around the 6:00 mark at 46C. The light ends up being very stable at about 11 minutes of runtime around the 400-lumen mark and runs out till 42 minutes before seeing a large stepdown and running in moonlight mode out till an hour. 

I also did a runtime test comparing Turbo, High, and Medium modes that you can see in this graph. 

 

UI

The UI is a little different from many other flashlights, so it might take a few minutes to understand if you’re coming from Olight, Thrunite, Nitecore, Sofirn, and others. To turn it on you have to long press. To increase in modes once on long press and the light will cycle from moonlight mode up through turbo. The light does have memory for all modes except strobe and turbo. If you shut it off in Turbo it will come on again in High next time. There is no shortcut to turbo, you have to incrementally get there. You can access moonlight mode by long pressing from off. If you hold the button too long when turning off the light will also go to strobe. Double pressing is a shortcut to strobe. To turn off you long press again. To lockout, the light double tap when off, same to unlock. You can also unscrew the tail cap slightly or cover the switch with the pocket clip.

Personally, this isn’t my favorite UI, and I would prefer there to be direct access to turbo with a double tap, and strobe is a triple tap. I find myself instead putting the light into strobe when I want turbo. Long pressing to turn off isn’t my personal favorite either.

 

Recharging

The light has onboard USB-C charging opposite the e-swtich on the light. I had no issues charging via USB-C to C or PD. I ran all tests with the included Fenix 700mAh branded battery. I tested the capacity of this battery at 685mAh on my Vapcell S4 Plus charger which I reviewed previously. 

Charging from LVP of the battery at 2.973V to full when charging stopped at 4.163V took 1:21:00. Charging speed was right at 1C for most of the charging, and the charging curve looked pretty typical.

The light is capable of running a few different battery types. The manual notes that it can run a standard button top 16340, but may not be able to achieve peak performance. Same with a CR123a which is nonrechargeable. LiFePO4 16340’s are strongly not recommended due to the lower voltage the charging circuit isn’t designed to handle these.

One thing to note is that the battery level indicator is specified to only work with the Fenix branded ARB-L16-700P battery the light comes with.

 

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to like about the Fenix E18R V2.0. I like the design of the light physically I think it looks pretty good with the bronze-colored accents. There isn’t a ton of grip on the body tube but for me, the clip makes up for that. The tint here doesn’t seem to have any noticeable undesirable green tint. While I tend to like more neutral or warm emitters I understand why they went with cool white here to maximize the number of lumens and because it seems that’s what the segment of the market this light is aimed to prefer and it’s not super blue.

I like that battery here isn’t proprietary, and that it can run on CR123a’s in a pinch but with reduced performance. Another plus is that it uses USB-C for charging instead of a proprietary system.

A few things I wasn’t a fan of either, like UI here with no direct access to turbo, and where strobe is only a double pressor extra long press when turning off. I am not as much of a fan of lens up carry with 1/6th of the light sticking up out of my pocket and the switch being right at the pocket hem of your pants or shorts.

Overall a pretty solid light. If you like Olight but want to try another brand that’s similar but different I think this would be a good place to go. The UI will be a change for sure, but it’s a well-built light with a good beam thanks to the TIR lens and above-average build quality.

Get the Fenix E18R V2.0 at Fenix-store.com and save 20% for first-time orders.

Fenix TK20R V2.0 Review (3000 Lumens, SFT70 LED, 21700, USB-C)

Today I have one I am excited to bring you, it’s from a New brand on the Channel with Fenix and the TK20R V2. Through the years I have gotten a lot of questions on Fenix and what I thought of specific models and I and I just didn’t have the experience to answer, so I was excited when Fenix reached out to start working together. This is the first of 2 reviews for Fenix you will see in the coming weeks. 

 

The TK20R V2 is an updated light that’s using a Luminis SFT70 LED, producing 3000 lumens, has onboard USB-C charging of the 21700 battery. You can check out more at https://www.fenixlighting.com/ The light I was sent is preproduction, and actually has a Luminus SST70 LED, however that has been changed in the production light to a Luminis SFT70 LED. 

 

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Here is a link to the USB-C Cable I used in the video https://amzn.to/3Dwt0rA

 

Packaging & Accessories

I received a preproduction light, and final packaging was not ready at this time. Accessories that came with mine included a USB-A to C charging cable, the light, and the branded button top protected 21700 battery (ARB-L21-5000). Mine came with a velcro patch as well, not sure if this is normal or not. Other things that are expected to come with the production model include a lanyard, holster, 2 spare orings, user manual and warranty card.

 

Construction & Design

I am only going to hit the high points here, and let the photos and video do the rest of the talking. The light is made from T6061 aluminum and nicely anodized black. At the tail cap you have 2 protruding buttons, a larger round mechanical switch that takes a good amount of force to push, and then a smaller rectangle mode button. The light does not tail stand as a result.

The pocket clip only mounts on the rear of the light. The body tube has concentric ring knurling like texture on the body, this provides a good amount of grip and looks nice I think. 

The recharging port cover is worth noting here, instead of using silicone rubber covers like many manufactures do to seal the USB-C ports, Fenix’s solution on the TK20R V2 is to have a retained aluminum cover that twists one full revolution to reveal the port. It has orings at the top and bottom and lots of anodized threads, so it’s silky smooth. Also under this port cover is the battery level indicator and recharging status LED. This just makes sense to me and has nothing to catch, or get in the way like the silicone covers sometimes do. 

 

Internally there is a stiff spring at the front of the light as well as in the tail, threads are smooth, square cut and a bit dry. Up front the head is glued in place but the bezel is removable. There is a crenulated bezel made of aluminum protecting the AR glass lens, deep smooth reflector and nicely centered LED. 

 

Retention

Since this is a pre production prototype I don’t have the lanyard or holster that the light will ship with in it’s final form. What I can talk about is the pocket clip. It only attaches at the rear of the light and is relatively narrow for the lights size. It’s stiff and does a good job of retaining the light in my front pocket, with about 1” of the light sticking out. 

 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 152mm, maximum diameter at the head at 34.1mm, minimum diameter in the body at 26mm. I measured the weight here with the battery and clip at 203.2g or 7.17oz so a little on the heavy side. The light is IPX8 water rated and drop resistant to 1.5M.

LED & Beam

The Fenix TK20R V2 is using the Luminis SFT70 LED in cool white. The light I was sent is preproduction, and actually has a Luminus SST70 LED, however that has been changed in the production light to a Luminis SFT70 LED. My Opple meter shows it as 6035k and 67 CRI when on in turbo. In lower lumen modes it warms up slightly to around 5600k and has a notably green tinge to the beam to my eye. The beam has a pronounced hot spot in the center and minimal spill with some tint shift noted. Parasitic Drain was measured at a very low 1.8uA. There was very minimal PWM here, it’s basically constant current. 

 

Below are the official outputs from Fenix. I will note the mode spacing is pretty good to the eye here. 

Official Total Outputs for the SFT70 verison

  • Turbo – 3000 Lumens
  • High – 1000 Lumens
  • Medium – 350 Lumens
  • Low – 150 Lumens
  • Eco – 30 Lumens
  • Strobe – 3000 Lumens

 

Heat & Runtime

For all of my runtime tests I used the included 5000mAh battery and measured the % of relative output change, not total output (lumens). Starting with Turbo it lasts for about 2:20 before reaching equilibrium. During this time the light peaks at about 45C. It runs at this equilibrium very steadily out to the 3 hour mark.

I ran the same test and compared turbo to high and to medium modes for total runtime. You can see in the graph that High in green had a few more stepdowns but ended up at a very similar total runtime as turbo. Medium is a very flat output curve out to 7:40:00 mark where it begins stepping down several times, eventually shutting off at 9:18:00 when LVP on the battery kicks in at 2.89v.

 

UI 

UI here is very simple. The light has 2 buttons on the rear tailcap of the light. There is the larger power button which Fenix is calling the Tactical switch, it’s a forward clicky switch with momentary, and then the smaller button which they are calling the function switch. You can half press the tactical switch to turn the light on in the last mode used before locking fully on. Once on you use the function switch to cycle through the 5 modes in a linear manner. The light does have memory mode. At anytime you can press and hold the function switch to get to strobe mode. 


Recharging

I already talked about how the recharging port works on the TK20R V2, it’s under the aluminum nut that unscrews from the base of the head. It’s nice robust design. Also inside that port is your LED battery status indicator and charge indicator. When recharging it starts as red, and goes green when charged. The light is not capable of being used when charged. It does support C to C charging but has no PD charging support.  

The light is powered by a Fenix branded button top, protected 21700 battery (ARB-L21-5000) with a capacity of 5000mAh. I tested the capacity with my Vapcell S4 Plus charger and came away with 4863mAh. I tried the light with an unprotected button top battery and had no issues. 

Charging itself using the onboard USB-C port and included battery from LVP at 2.89v to full at 4.226v took 2:38:00. The light has a soft start charging when the battery is low before it jumps up to about 3A at the very beginning, and it falls as the battery charges. So a bit of a different curve then what I typically see.

 

Final Thoughts

I am excited to see Fenix on the channel. It’s a brand that I can find locally at two different sporting goods stores, and a LGS, which I think can be appealing to many people if you need something of quality and don’t have the time to wait for an online order. Of course they can be found online as well. 

As for the Fenix TK20R V2, It’s a pretty nice semi tactical light. The controls are easy to use, and strobe is easy to access if you want it. It has a useful beam that’s a good combination of flood and throw without making too many compromises. That said it is still cool white, and at lower tints the LED does have a pretty strong green tinge neither are my personal preference but at the higher end of the consumer market where this light is aimed won’t care like enthusiasts do. The USB Port cover design here is really nice, and I am surprised more lights don’t do something like this.

You can pickup this new release and other Fenix products at https://www.fenixlighting.com/ I will have a link in the description.

Vezerlezer ED10 Review (2200 Lumens, SST40, USB-C, New Brand)

Today I have the first light from a new company Vezerlezer with the ED10. No idea if I am pronouncing the company name correctly or not. This is a 18650 based light, with an SST40 LED, onboard USB-C charging and a side mounted switch. Thanks to Vezerlezer for sending it for me to check and providing a discount code for 30% off good till 2023. 

 

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Pickup the Vezerlezer ED10 from Vezerlezer at https://bit.ly/VEZED10

Use code CTZK5A8E to save 30% off the ED10 until 2023

 

Packaging & Accessories

The ED10 packaging is a nice retail style box, with a black, green and gray color scheme and various flashlight stats through out. Accessories that come with the light include a branded lanyard, extra oring, pocket clip, USB-A to USB-C cable, and a 2600mAh battery. 

 

 

Construction & Design

The ED10 isn’t breaking any new ground in terms of design but it does what it does pretty well. I am only going to hit the highlights here. Machining and anodizing are what I would expect in this price range but the edges are lacking champers around the head. The tail cap is flat, allowing it to tail stand and is non magnetic. 

There are quite a few markings on the light, with the logo, URL, model and company name appearing no less than 4 times, and they seem to be masked before anodizing, if scratched a bit it reveals bare aluminum at least on the tail. 

The body has a nice spiral shallow knurl in it. It reminds me of the Klarus ST15R I tested a while back. It provides a minimal amount of grip though. The pocket clip mounts at the rear of the body tube and the tube is non reversible.

The light does come into 3 pieces, with springs on both the head and tail. The head has a large anti roll ring, the switch is a metal eswitch with a near silent operation and a RGB led indicator at the center. The head has a large bezel that is removable, Inside is a lightly orange pealed reflector. What’s kind of unique is the reflector threads into the head which isn’t super common. As a result of all of this, it should be an easily modified light. 

 

Retention

Retention options with the Vezelezer ED10 are the included lanyard which attaches best on the side of the tail cap, or on the pocket clip. Your other option is the pocket clip. It’s a fairly deep pocket clip but the way mine is bent near the body it catches going into your pocket a bit. I think I can probably fix this with some pliers if I wanted to. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured length at 4.4” or 112mm. Maximum diameter at 1.1” (28mm) at the switch area, and minimum diameter of 0.96” (24.5mm). Weight with the cell and clip was 4.59oz or 130.2g. The light is IP68 rated and drop rated to 1.5m. Here are a few comparison photos to similar lights. 

 

LED & Beam

The light is running an SST40 LED in cool white. My Opple meter measured the tint at 6076k, and a CRI of 67 when in high mode. The beam profile is what I would call normal, primarily a central focused beam with minimal spill with no strange artifacts. PWM is present on all modes, it’s very a rapid PWM and I have a few graphs that show this from my Opple meter on high and turbo. Parasitic draw was measured at 20uA which is ok.

Official Outputs

  • Turbo – 2200 Lumens
  • High – 1400 Lumens
  • Medium – 560 Lumens
  • Low – 128 Lumens
  • Eco – 30 Lumens
  • Moon – 1 Lumen

Heat & Runtime

For my Relative output Runtime graphs I ran the Vezerlezer ED10 with the included 2600mAh battery. Turbo lasted to 2:40 with peak heat coming about the 3 minute mark at 51C. You can see active thermal protection on the light working through out the runtime as it takes little steps up and down to keep the temps regulated just under 50C before eventually turning off as power runs out at 1:40:00.

In my relative output comparison graph where I am basically comparing the runtime curves to one another (not total output), Turbo and high look very similar with high being slightly longer in runtime like you would expect but not in medium mode. Medium mode 

UI

The ED10 has 2 UI modes, stepped or ramping. To switch between them with the light off hold the button for about 5 second till the light flashes then let go. In stepped the light has memory mode. From off if you turn on and keep pressing the light will step up all the way to turbo and it stops. You have to press the button again to then step down. Anywhere you stop on that ramp, the next button press will step down. This is logical but takes time to get used to.

 

In ramping mode it behaves just like you would expect, except it only ramps to high mode, and you have to double press to go to turbo. The ramping is quite fast, and seems to be on a curve instead of linear. With the moon to mediumish being quicker then medium to high or so, maybe that’s because it leaves out turbo? In any mode triple click to get strobe.

 

Recharging

The ED10 charges via USB-C under a silicone cap opposite the e-button. The silicone cap fits well and stays out of the way. While charging the button turns into a charge indicator, red when charging, green when charged. The 2600mAh battery ended up testing 2694mAh, so that’s good.

Unfortunately C to C charging does not work here, so stick to the included USB-A to C cable. The charge curve here looks fine, it’s quite flat during the constant current charging for 2:32:00 minutes, but not very fast peaking at right around 1A. LVP is around 2.94v and the light charges the battery to 4.16v.

 

Final Thoughts

Not knowing what to expect from a brand new company I would say they have a pretty solid offering here for a first attempt. The exterior design is a nice size, I like the body tube milling rather than just standard knruling but you do pay in a bit less grip, and the port cover fits well. The beam properties are solid too, nothing really negative to say other then my standard gripe of cool white. 

That said there is room for improvement. The tail cap is just begging for a magnet with how flat it is, the pocket clip has that edge that catches on pockets, and they have went a bit overboard with the branding in my opinion on the light. I wish the battery was a larger size for the money being spent, 2600mAh isn’t that much in 2022 and the light really should be capable of C to C charging.

 

There are those firmware flaws that I mentioned in the UI section that another reviewer had found, None of them are deal breakers for me but they should be fixed. Ramping here is maybe a touch too fast in my opinion but I would rather it be faster then too slow. 

 

So in all a decent first attempt from a new model. The UI is easy to use, and the beam is suited just fine for EDC or general use. If they offered LED tint’s I think they could be a serious competitor with brands like Sofirn and Wurkkos for quality budget offerings. With the discount code that Vezerlezer has provided I think that puts the ED10 about where it should be price wise but it’s original MSRP is a bit too high to be competitive. 

 

Nitecore TM9K Review (9800 Lumen Tiny Monster)

Today I have Nitecore’s newest pocket rocket the TM9K TAC part of the Tiny Monster series of lights. It has 9X Cree XP-L2 LED’s that produce up to 9800 lumens in it’s turbo mode, USB-C charging and an internal 21700 battery. Thanks to Nitecore for sending this for me to check out and review. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging is a nice black box, I would even call it kind of elegant with the light on the front and minimal information around it. The rear has a few stats and high points. The light does include a 5000mAh 21700 battery that non user replaceable (Sealed). Other accessories include a pocket clip, lanyard, lanyard threading tool, paperwork and nylon case for carrying on your belt. The case is the odd ball here as it doesn’t seem like it’s designed to fit this light but it does, it’s als0 feels lower quality then I was expecting when compared with everything else.

 

Construction & Design

The light is made from aluminum and hard anodized black. Machining here is good quality with no sharp edges, and all the finishes are even. All the fins, angles etc mean the light won’t slip out of you hand and doesn’t roll on a table easily. It will not tail stand, but will stand on it’s face. The tail switch has dual buttons, a mechanical on/off switch that is rubber coated and stands proud and then a flat paddle switch that is the mode button for the light. It’s got a nice texture to it but is a little hard to find, especially with any type of gloves. The tail cap has light knurled more for style then grip and is glued to the battery tube.

The battery tube is lightly knurled with flats. Given the size of the head I think it looks short but is long enough to fit a 212700 inside. One note here about the battery tube, it is sealed from the factory. My guess is they did this for financial and liability reasons, as well as to limit complaints if someone was to put in a protected or non high drain battery to prevent the light from reaching it’s claimed performance.

The head is a one piece design with the body tube, which is better for thermal transfer and this light will take anything it can get. There are heat fins, the usual markings etc. The front bezel I believe is stainless steel but finished in a smoked finish. It allows for light to escape out the side, and could be used for striking. The lens below is glass, AR coated. Below that appears to be a custom optic to fit the 9 LED’s. 

Warranty here is typical of other Nitecore higher end lights. 15 day DOA/Exchange policy, and a 5 year warranty for manufacture defects, I assume this does not cover normal wear of the battery.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the weight as it is out of the box at 219g, length at 127mm long, minimum diameter at 24.3mm, maximum diameter at 42.2mm. The light is IPX 68 rated. Here are a few photos with similar multi emitter lights that I own. 

 

Retention

The lights has two retention options that it ships with. First is a pocket clip. It attaches near the top of the battery tube but about 1” down. I think it’s a generic clip that just happens to fit this light, since it doesn’t make great contact with the body. Not super practical to actually use as a pocket clip in my opinion due to the head diameter, but you could clip it onto a vest or something. 

The second option is a generic lanyard that attaches via a hole in the tactical ring. Nitecore has included a piece of floss to make threading easier. The hole is incredibly small though and I had to use dental floss to get the lanyard installed.

 

LED & Beam

The TM9K TAC has 9X Cree XP-L2 emitters inside. No official tint data is given but it’s more neutral than I expected, other reviewers have reported in the neighborhood of about 5600k which is a nice change over the typical very cool white. It should be no surprise that this is a very flood light, it has no defined hotspot, and when bounced off a ceiling or wall in turbo it’s almost like it has a diffuser inside. 

 

Official Outputs

  • Turbo – 9800 Lumens – 280M
  • High – 2000 Lumens
  • Medium – 500 Lumens
  • Low – 130 Lumens
  • Ultra Low – 30 Lumens

 

Runtime & Heat

The big story here is how long turbo lasts. While the light is rated for 9800 lumens, it only produces this in Instant Turbo, and it does so for about 5 seconds before starting to stepping down. So not FL1 standards to get to that 9800 lumens. This is due to heat, as it gets warm very quickly. Just some informal measuring, the light got to 114F exterior temperature with a non contact thermometer in 2:30 while running through turbo and step down via momentary mode before shutting off, . 

I also ran a runtime in the highest mode the light will stay in for about 6 minutes before stepping down massively to about 25% relative output where it runs for 2:45:00, the remaining runtime is pretty linear out to 4 hours. From here the light runs in it’s lowest mode of just a few lumens a total of about 24 hours. This is below 1% relative output and not graphed. Max heat during the High runtime was at about 45C at the 7 minute mark. 

 

UI

The basic UI here is simple, The large round mechanical button servers as the on/off for the light. Once on your paddle is your mode selector. The light progresses from low to the higher modes linearly. It has memory to remember where you were previously. When on you can triple press it quickly to get to strobe, or long press to get to turbo. When off you can also long press to go to turbo. There is a lockout here that I won’t go into detail on but it would probably be a go idea to use when transporting the light. 

 

Recharging

As mentioned before the light ships with an internally sealed 21700 battery that’s not user replaceable. Recharging is accomplished via a USB-C port on the side under well fitting silicone cover. It will charge via USB-C to C or PD chargers. Nitecore says it charges in under 5 hours via USB-C PD, and in my experience that came in at 4:16:00 to charge. You can charge even faster if using a QC compatible charger, in right at 3 hours. When recharging you get a blue LED on the tail cap that flashes, and it goes solid when charged. It’s not possible to turn on the light when recharging.

 

Final Thoughts

The Nitecore TM9K TAC has a ton of output for it’s small size but it’s drawbacks make this one hard for me to recommend without serious reservations. The main two being the very short duration of turbo output, and built in non replaceable battery.

Other then those, it’s a pretty good, pocket rocket of a light, when not in turbo the runtimes and temps are reasonable, and build quality/machining are what I would expect in this price range. Reasonably neutral tinted LED’s are a nice change here too but a low CRI. UI is easy enough to use too. I like that it works well with USB-C but would have liked them to go with USB-C PD for faster charging rather then the QC standard. Ultimately this one is geared to a more mainstream non flashaholic audience, and for that segment of the market I would think most people would be happy with it and amazed at how much light it puts out in Tubo, however short that may be.

Pickup the Nitecore TM9K TAC from the Nitecore Store and get free shipping with https://shrsl.com/3ar1f

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