ReyLight Gemini Review (Triple SST-20, 18350, 304 Stainless Steel)

Reylight has a new more budget entry to their existing line of Triple LED EDC style flashlights, the Reylight Gemini. The Gemini makes a few design and material changes over the Dawn and Krystal models to reduce cost to make this a more affordable light. Full disclosure, Rey at Reylight is a friend and send me this light to evaluate and review. I will do my best to remain impartial and give an honest review.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/diecFej 

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YouTube Version of this Review: 

Packaging

Packaging consisted of an unbranded plastic case that clamps on all 3 sides, with an oring in the lid, and with foam inserts to keep everything from moving during transport. The light comes with a pocket clip attached and 3 GITD tail cap boots that are currently shipping, make sure to check my social media and I will post a picture when they arrive. 

I do think Reylight should consider including a paper manual with the lights they sell or at least a link on the website to the UI. Even though it’s a pretty common UI (Bistro) a lot of first timers end up asking questions in the Reylight Facebook group that could be answered with the manual. 

 

Construction

The Gemini is made from 304 Stainless Steel. This isn’t a super common material used on flashlights. In talking with Rey he liked the solid and cool feel of steel, and how it can take a high polish. The downside is that it does weight a bit more, I will cover that in the size and weight section.  

The Gemini uses a forward clicky switch with a textured silicone boot over the button. It’s pretty deeply recessed which allows the light to tail stand without and issue. While there isn’t any place on the tail for a tritium vial like all of the previous Reylights, I really like how this button feels when used, without any slop like you sometimes see on metal buttons. It’s a nice touch to come with 3 additional colors (Green, Orange, Blue) to add some personalization. The only negative I see with this design is it does collect some dust around the boot of the light and wall. 

The walls of the Gemini are pretty thick in diameter, I think this is one thing where the light could be made a bit smaller in diameter while still feeling good in the hand and it would reduce weight. The body tube has a large diamond pattern milled in using what looks to be a round nose ball mill. The edges of the diamond are not chamfered over so this provides some grip without being too aggressive. 

The head is mostly smooth. There are 4 larger teardrops with circles to give the light some design. You can see some milling marks inside these. The head has a non removable bezel that 4 semi circles cut into it to give a little relief and allow light to escape.The lens in use is a sapphire lens which provides superior scratch resistance and is surprising at this price point. A green glow oring is a nice touch too.

Stock clip is the same design that was on the Reylight Dawn but made of a relatively thick stainless steel that’s been nicely tumbled. Retention out of the package was quite good and I don’t think people will have a big issue here with clips getting caught or bent on things. There is plenty of room at the top for various thicknesses of pants. It does like to hold onto your parents a bit more than normal and i think this is because the clip touches the body at a place where it grows in diameter. The screw pattern is also “standard” so other clips on the market such as steel flame will fit if you want to replace the clip or personalize your light further.

Last thing I will mention is that since this light is made of steel my advice would be to put a light coat of oil on it just for preventative measures to prevent rust. If you are a knife guy, most pocket knives are made of stainless steel and depending on the alloy used some can pit and rust even if they are “stainless”. This light is the same, depending on how much you use it, your sweat, and climate it’s possible you could see a little rust. I noticed just a tiny spot on mine, that has basically disappeared after a very light coat of Ballistol. 

 

Size & Weight/Comparisons

When I first heard this light was going to be made of stainless steel, I was worried about the weight. Stainless steel isn’t a lightweight metal but I was surprised that it’s lighter than copper and brass by 12.45% and 8.05% respectively. That said Titanium blows it out of the water with it being 54% lighter. The weight I measured the stainless steel Gemini was 133.9g without the battery.

Size wise this is pretty similar to a lot of triple LED lights on the market that take 18350 batteries. I measured it at 80mm. This is very close to the dawn at 82mm. Maximum diameter at 25mm, minimum at 23.5mm. In the photos below I compare it to the Reylight Dawn in copper, and the Emmisar D4 with the 18350 tube installed.

LED/Beamshot/Runtime/Heat

The LED in use in my Gemini is SST-20 in 4000k in high CRI. Also available is the Cree XPL-HI in 6000k. While I am a big fan of the Nichia 219 B/C that Reylight typically offers, it’s not the most efficient or cost effective LED in the market any longer. The high CRI version of the SST-20 is 95. 

Reylight claims 2000 lumens on turbo mode with the SST-20 LED’s and 3000 lumens with the XPL-HI LED’s.

 

Heat

This light does get hot pretty quickly on higher output modes. This is pretty common on triples. This light does thermal cycle pretty fast within about 1.5 minutes on turbo output, and if you keep pushing it it gets too hot to hold. Unfortunately my infrared thermometer doesn’t like the highly reflective steel here so I didn’t get a good reading on an actual number.

 

Beamshot

The beamshot is fairly even for a triple. Nothing perfect but nothing glaring either. The opic in use here is the same size as a carclo 10507, but a Chinese version. 

For my runtimes I did both a standard uncooled test and a cooled test where I had a fan blow across the light. In both I used a Keeppower 1200mAh battery.

 

For the cooled runtime test the light had a seesaw output as it delt with heat for 25 minutes while still providing the most output it can as the battery declines in voltage.. For me the amount it decreases by is just a little too much too often. My advice would be to use the least amount of light to get your task done with this light rather then maximum output to conserve power and keep the light output as stable as possible. Total useful output time was 45 minutes, but 25 minutes of that saw the highest output and seesaw outputs. 

Uncooled runtimes were actually longer due to the light ramping down due to heat and staying lower to manage the heat, thus using less overall power and more runtime. 

We saw similar output patterns with the Reylight Dawn in Titanium, but my Reylight Dawn in Copper was better about this because its ability to dissipate heat to the environment is much better. The good news here is since the light is running a modified Bistro the firmware parameters can be modified to change the runtime behavior. It isn’t all that uncommon for Triple LED lights to reduce output in an extreme to manage heat, but most stay lower, requiring the user to bump up when they need more output. Low voltage protection kicked in at 2.904v. 

 

To show this ramping down and up due to heat I shot a 6 minute video of this happening and sped it up https://youtu.be/jTCe-K_ZHOI?t=785

 

UI

The light uses a modified Bistro firmware, with 23 total modes. Pretty standard with lots of configurable options if you like. Chances are you probably own a light with Bistro already here, so nothing new to learn.

 

In the default mode you get 5 brightness modes in a pretty linear outputs, starting low and going high. In the default configuration memory mode is turned on.

 

I will leave some links to where you can see more about the firmware and a helpful diagram if your going to change anything on the light such as thermal controls. Or mode groups 

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54621

 

Pro

  • Pretty affordable 
  • Good LED choices available in nice tint’s and a high CRI option available.
  • NIce build quality for the price
  • Sapphire Lens – Superior scratch resistance and a great value at this price.
  • Standard Clip screw pattern.

 

Con

  • No tritium slots on this light, that’s something ReyLights have been known for. But it would increase cost of production.
  • Bistro in the default settings is pretty temperature sensitive and this light cycles from very bright to dim when it gets hot. This can be improved in the UI by changing the temp threshold.
  • Stainless steel conducts heat well so when it’s hot, it’s HOT!  

 

Conclusion

For the price point of around $100 this is a pretty affordable high value light. Stainless steel wouldn’t be my first choice for material for a flashlight but it does work here. It’s a bit heavy but I like the overall design. If you are used to carrying a copper light, stainless steel won’t be much different in wait. I could see future version getting a little thinner maybe, and other materials being used too. I think a brass or bronze here would be neat. I like the diamond pattern on the body, and that it’s aggressive but not too much so far. Retention is very strong on the light. It’s a little disappointing that there are no tritium slots as that’s something Reylight has been known for. If you are looking to dip your toes into the semi custom flashlight market this would be a good place to start at an affordable price point. 

 

Check out the Gemini on Reylights website at http://bit.ly/335LAEd 

ReyLight Copper LAN & Pineapple Review(14500, Nichia or XPL Emitter, Raw Copper)

On my review table today I have the ReyLight LAN V3, and ReyLight Pineapple V3 both in solid copper. This light can use AA, or 14500 sized batteries and is designed with upscale EDC in mind. Thanks to ReyLight for sending them to me to do a review.

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

Packaging
Packaging is the same as the V3 Pineapples and Ti LAN’s. It’s a nicely fit box with a slip over sleeve printed to look like Bamboo. The Pineapple box has the light printed on the front in a wire form. The LAN box has the Chinese character I believe on the front. On the back is the FL1 Standard chart showing runtime and lumens with a 14500 and AA battery. The tells the simple instructions. Inside the light is held in place with black foam, and the only extra you get is the clip and 2 orings. These copper lights do come sealed in a bag to prevent oxidation.






Construction
The big difference in these lights that instead of using titanium on the LAN, or Brass on the Pineapple, ReyLight has went with copper for both lights. The copper used on both lights has a very thin UV cured coating on it to protect it from immediate oxidation during production. This thin, I can smell the copper on my hands after handling it. With enough use it should come off, or I found that 100% acetone (Use it in a well ventilated area please, available in the nail polish area of your favorite big box store) will remove it with minimal effort.

At the tail on the Pineapple, this is the same as the brass version, only a different material. Tolerances on the button are improved. I get less side to side rattle and none up and down.

On my Copper LAN I have the optional rear bezel that can accomodate 12 pieces of tritium. Unfortunately it seems the tolerances on this part are not as good. I get more side to side rattle and some up and down rattle. This trit holder is also slightly larger than the body size of the light.

Body tubes on both models are the same as their brass or titanium counter parts. The LAN has 3 rectangles milled for aesthetic design. The Pineapple rings provide some functional grip as well. The heads are the same on their respective models as well, no big change. Rey does have some GITD O rings that can be put on the exterior of the head on the LAN for added effect. Both lights feature a bezel that let’s light escape when face down. One thing to note is that to change the battery, on the V3 lights, it’s the head that’s designed to be removed, and the tail stay in place.





Weights
Ti LAN weight without battery was 64.8g, Copper LAN without battery was 109.5g.
Brass Pineapple without battery was 93.7g, Copper Pineapple without battery was 98.6g.

LED/Runtime/Heat
ReyLight offers a choice of LED on these two copper lights. The standard LED option is the Nichia 219C in about 4000k with 90 CRI. Optionally there is the Cree XPL LED at 6500k. In my lights the Nichia is in the Pineapple, and the Cree is in the LAN. The reflector is the same in each light, with a medium orange peel, and double anti reflective coated glass. Beam pattern is very similar, and in my opinion good for EDC. The hot center is a medium size and fades out to a moderate amount of spill. Personally I prefer the Nichia emitter myself because of the warmer tint and higher CRI but it’s nice to see Rey is offering options.



Heat
When using a 14500 and running on high the light can get fairly warm. The V3 driver does contain basic thermal control which is an improvement over V1 and V2.

Runtime
For my runtime tests I used a protected button top Keeppower 14500 800mAh battery. Both lights use the same driver, and are very similar physical designs, so rather then compare to each other by model I am going to compare the two different emitters since that is the main difference between the two I own. Either model is available with either driver.

The Nichia emitter total runtime was about 95 minutes. Turbo lasted for just a couple of minutes, before the light took a step down due to thermals and ran at a declining 50% relative output with a steady decline that was fairly linear. At the end the light did a brief step up before low voltage protection kicked in.

The Cree XPL emitter had a very similar pattern. Total runtime was shorter, at a total 75 minutes, after a few minutes the lights stepped down to slightly above 55% relative output and its curve was a little more steppy, not quite as smooth. At the end the light did step up briefly before low voltage protection kicked in.

UI
This is the 3rd generation of the Reylight Driver. With the Nichia emitter it has, moon (0.2 Lumens), Low (8.5 Lumens), Medium (90 Lumens), and High (470 Lumens) with a 14500 battery, along with memory mode. On a AA Moon is 0.2 Lumens, Low is 3.2 Lumens, Medium is 30 Lumens, and High is 130 Lumens. A 14500 really wakes this light up in terms of output..

Carry
I am a big fan of the ReyLight Pineapple and LAN series of lights for EDC. I like the 14500/AA form factor for EDC. It’s enough light to be useful for EDC tasks without being too large in a variety of front pants/shorts pockets. While not the thinnest light in this class I don’t find it to be too large either. The Clip was reviews for V3 of these lights making it a bit more substantial. I have not had a bending or catching problem with this design. It carries reasonably deep in the pocket too. The gap that the clip provides on the light is required, if you want to run without a clip Rey sells a small titanium washer to take the clips place.



Pro’s

  • Almost Raw copper, the coating is super thin (Can still smell the copper though the coating) and easily removed with acetone, but will stay in place if you want to preserve the untarnished look.
  • The LAN has a new optional tail design that’s slightly larger but with 12 places for Tritium, the total light holds 16 trits.
  • LED options, including a warm, high CRI Nichia emitter.
  • Pretty affordable for solid copper.

Con’s

  • Tolerances with my fatter 14500 batteries (KeepPower) are tight in the battery tube. You need the help of a strong magnet to remove them on the LAN, the Pineapple body tube isn’t quite so tight. Olight’s 14500’s work well as do Enloops and Duracell rechargeable NiHM batteries. This got better as I took the batteries in and out a few more times.
  • Some button rattle on my LAN with the optional tail to hold a larger amount of trits.

Conclusion
The ReyLight copper LAN and Pineapples are very similar to their previous Titanium and Brass models but now with Copper as the material. While copper is heavy, it’s not so much extra weight that I notice a difference when either light is in my pocket. I like how they carry in my pocket, and I love the 14500 tail click form factor. I love that I can easily strip the coating off the light and have it patina. I plan to do that with my LAN for sure. The only thing I can fault a little bit are the tolerances. The battery tube seems slightly undersized for my Keeppower 14500 batteries and sometimes create a bit of a vacuum when trying to remove cells making it a little more difficult. This has gotten better the more I remove the battery from the light. Button tolerances are something that has been the achilles’ heel of the Pineapple and LAN designs. While things are mostly better the button may bother some people. Personally it doesn’t bother me, especially for a custom style light at this price point.

Despite this the ReyLight LAN and Pineapple are for me one of my most carried models of lights on a daily basis month over month because of the size and function. For me it just works really well and they are one of my favorites. I also think they are a great value for a entry level custom light. I am glad to offer copper to my brass and titanium families.I am looking forward to building that copper patina over the next few months.

Ordering
RayLight has a Facebook group where Rey keeps everyone up to date on new models, and other info. Right now it’s the best place to find and order a light direct from him. https://www.facebook.com/groups/221544235032559/

You can also email him direct and pay with Paypal Rey@reylight.net

He also now has a web page and is working to get international orders working. https://www.reylight.net/

Reylight Ti-LAN Review

Today I have the Reylight Ti Lan on my review table. Thanks to Rey at Reylight for sending me this light at a discount so that I could review it.

Photo Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/vtqan
YouTube Review:

The Ti Lan shares many of it’s features and design characteristics with the Reylight Pineapple so if you like it you will like the Ti Lan and save a few ounces.

Construction
The Ti Lan is made from beautiful titanium alloy that has been bead blasted as it’s finish. I like this because I think it shows fewer scratches because it’s bead blasted. This can be debated but the Ti LAN is also offered in a polished titanium.
The machining is good and the finish is uniform. The TI LAN differs from the Pineapple the most in the design of the head https://i.imgur.com/T1DHpD6.jpg , battery tube and tail piece with space for 6 tritium vials. https://i.imgur.com/CyKY2js.jpg This one has 3 round side panels and on one there is a light surface level etch of the logo. Threads are nicely cut and plenty of them. When installing the battery, instead of unscrewing the back of the light I would recommend unscrewing the head and installing the threads that way. https://i.imgur.com/fB6N0M0.jpg My Ti Lan kind of disassembled itself when I unscrewed the rear cap. I will put a little locktight on the threads to solve the problem. The lens has a very light orange peel, and the glass is hardened with antireflective coating. The rear piece of titanium does unscrew to remove the clip or to aid in Tritium install.

This light has really been designed for Tritium inserts all over. There are a total of 10 cutouts on the light. 3 are on the body of the head https://i.imgur.com/T1DHpD6.jpg , you have 6 through holes in the bezel https://i.imgur.com/0d3YMbn.jpg of the tail cap, and 1 in the on/off switch cover itself. If you are unfamiliar with Tritium, it’s a radioactive form of Hydrogen gas. It’s used in Flashlights, high end watches, and firearm sights enclosed in small glass tubes that are lined in phosphorus.

While the titanium saves some weight, this isn’t a super light weight flashlight for it’s size though. All measurements are without batteries.

Pineapple V2 in brass is – 3.2 oz
Ti LAN in titanium – 2.31 oz

Length = 96.15mm
Diameter of the head 21mm

LED & Modes
This light is a tail click, that tailstands https://i.imgur.com/4JJnsqM.jpg. I have not had any issues with it turning on accidentally in my pocket. The LED in use is the Nichia 219C in neutral white. This isn’t the highest output LED but the light quality makes up for that in my opinion. It’s probably a high CRI but this isn’t specifically stated. Light color is similar to my BLF 348 which is high CRI. Neutral white is just really nice and high CRI provides more accurate colors. I will trade these over more lumens anyday for every day practical use.

Modes
I like that this light starts on moonlight, however moonlight is so low at 0.02 lumen that you have to be in nearly pitch black for it to be useful. That said the 3 remaining higher modes are pretty useful especially when running a 14500 lithium battery. On screen now is a table of the light’s performance with both types of batteries. As you can see there is a big performance difference between AA NiHM batteries and 14500 LIthium batteries. Max of 110 lumens with a AA isn’t class leading, however with a 14500 it’s a lot better. I use the lithium batteries in it as my EDC to get that extra boost in performance. On High with a 14500 this light gets hot, really hot when ran for 5+ minutes. It does not step down due to temp. On my standard temp test (1 minute high it got to 101F At 5 minutes this was up to 135F. I have parts for a new rig to measure temp and lumens on the way in the next month or so. I don’t hear any buzzing in the lower modes with the Ti Lan like my first generation Pineapple had.https://i.imgur.com/dSTCT2o.jpg

I don’t have any major issues with the pocket clip. https://i.imgur.com/khtWeXJ.jpg It fits pretty well on my pants pocket and stays in place. It’s a capture clip, and non reversible. If you were to remove it, it would leave a visible ring on the light. I do wish it was slightly deeper carry as I do with most knives and flashlights but it’s not too bad. I don’t care for the nib opposite the clip for a lanyard but this can be fiiled down. No lanyard is included and it’s a very small hole. The light is IPX-4 water resistant but i did not test that. I did bend the clip once during carry but this was my own fault. I was able to take it off and bend it back on the table pretty easily.

The Ti-LAN has a new box that I like quite a bit. https://i.imgur.com/YcP7dTm.jpg It has your lumen and runtime chart and basic operating instructions. Considering Reylight is a very small company its’ very nice and does the job well.

Conclusion
This is a really nice EDC light in my option. It’s not tactical, but instead super practical and definitely attractive looking. It sits well in my pocket and is comfortable to EDC, and a lot of that I attribute to being a nice diameter. I am a Titanium fanboy and I really like how the bead blasted finish looks. With a AA battery or NiHM battery the performance is behind the curve, and about what you would expect out of a smaller non neutral white AAA light. However with a 14500 the performance is pretty good, combine that with the neutral white high CRI LED and a tail switch this becomes a great EDC in my opinion.

The Ti LAN is now available available on Amazon with Prime shipping. It makes it fast and easy to get a great elegant EDC light.

Coupon
Use the code J6PSMOWA on Amazon to get the Reylight Ti-Lan for $59
Sandblasted http://amzn.to/2fTPIn0
Polished http://amzn.to/2y416mJ

ReyLight Brass Pineapple – Review

Here is my video review of the ReyLight Brass Pineapple. It’s a great EDC flashlight in Neutral White, and high CRI.  I definitely recommend using this with a 14500 battery for increased performance. It’s truly one of my favorite EDC lights I have at the moment. The Brass is a little heavy but it’s a price I am willing to pay for its great looks.

To purchase this light at Banggood please use this link http://bit.ly/2ncJb8x