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

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

 

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Link to the Kickstarter

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

 

Packaging & Accessories

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

 

Construction & Design

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

Retention

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

 

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

 

Size & Weight

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

 

LED & Beam

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

 

Night Shots

Night shots can be found on the video. 

 

Outputs

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

.

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

Wuben’s official Outputs.

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

 

Heat & Runtime

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

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

 

UI

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

 

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

 

Recharging

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

 

Conclusion

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

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

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

Link to the Kickstarter

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

Acebeam E70 Brass Review (95+ CRI, GT-FC40 LED, 21700)

Today I am taking a look at the Acebeam E70 in Brass. This is one of the many variants of the Acebeam E70 that have been made, in many different materials, a few colors, and with LED choices. The one I have here has a new special high CRI large format LED which I will talk about here later on in the review. Acebeam sent this one to me as a gift, but I decided I would do a review for you guys too as this one is pretty cool I think.

 

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https://youtu.be/fy3vVufv5WQ

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Pickup the Acebeam E70 at https://bit.ly/Acebeam 

 

Packaging and Accessories

A few notes on the versions of this light, you can go for a black anodized aluminum version, as well as Copper, Stainless Steel, a bead blasted or rainbow titanium and a polished brass which I have here. 

The packaging is a nice cardboard white box, with clear plastic window showing the light itself. In the case of the brass light it came sealed in a vacuum sealed bag, which I opened before I took pictures (a cardinal sin of flashlight reviewing). Acebeam sells this light with and without a battery, but everything else is included. A lanyard, manual, warranty card, and warning card, a Lanyard, extra orings, a felt drawstring bag, and a USB cable allowing you to use to charge the optional battery and use it as a powerbank.

 

Construction

Instead of covering everything on the design here I want to hit the highlights while you look at all the photos I have taken of the light. So somethings to note, the tail is flat so it tail stands well, on my version the electronic button in the rear is brass but this is normally stainless steel on the aluminum version.

The light uses a dual tube design, and they have chosen to mill out areas of the body tube to see the inner anodized aluminum blue tube. This creates a pretty unique look for a production light. It’s also a dirt trap, so probably not the light I would choose to go camping with but fun none the less. The body tube also has a place for 6 small tritium tubes milled, which isn’t seen commonly on production lights.

Threads are square cut and work well, although I had minor issues starting them on this light repeatedly. The head itself has holes drilled for style mainly and I like this look. The bezel is does unscrew and is quite sharp around the outer edges. The lens is mineral glass and the reflector has an orange peel. The internal connection points such as the springs are gold plated. 

 

Size & Weight

The E70 is a medium sized 21700 light, with length coming in at a measured 128mm in length, 30.2mm in diameter at the head. Weight with the battery was quite heavy on this brass model at 284.8g or 10.04oz. 

 

Retention

The light features a standard clip design with 2 screws, so your popular aftermarket clips will fit here. Kind of unique are the 3 predrilled locations for the clip. The stock clip is good but a little thin in my opinion for this lights weight. The front bezel is also pretty sharp, so I would personally think twice about EDCing this one inside a pants pocket, but it works great in a bag instead. 

LED & Beam

There are 3 LED options available in most but not all of the E70 varients. The base models use a Cree XHP 70.2 LED in either 5000k or 6500k at 70 CRI. Optionally on many but not all of the models there is a new Getian GT-FC40 LED at 4500k producing 95 CRI which is what I have. This required a driver change as well as this LED runs off of 12V instead of the 6V for the Cree. You take a decrease in performance though with the High CRI option at 2800 lumens instead of the 4000 the XHP 70.2 produces. 

The beam is a hot round center with some tint shift a rosy corona out into the spill. At distances this is mostly a flood light with the orange peel reflector and the massive doamless LED. It’s more pleasant to use in my opinion then a mule style flood since it does have a bit of optic but it’s not a thrower. Quite nice for normal tasks. 

 

Heat and Runtimes

I did my runtime testing with the optional Acebeam branded 5000mAh battery. Output on the GT-FC40 LED in my light here is somewhere between 2500-3000 lumens in turbo, and step down came at 1 minute and seems timed. It then ran at 35% relative output for 90 minutes, stepping down a few more times for total output at a little over 2 hours. While this is producing a lot of light, it’s certainly not the most efficient LED or driver combination I have seen. It also produces a significant amount of heat, that builds over time with this light in a pretty linear fashion. You are going to want gloves or turn it down for sustained use, max heat was at 1:30:00 at a crazy 84.9C (185 F). 

 

UI

The UI here took me a few times to get used to, but the more I use it, it’s become a good UI that builds in an element of safety. To turn the light on you can double press the tail switch to turn the light on in low, the light does have memory so if it’s recent it will turn on in the last mode used excluding turbo. Once on, long press and hold to advance into the 4 available modes. Double press to turbo, triple to strobe. The light also has moon light mode which you can access from off by long pressing, as well as lockout. Lastly to turn off it’s a simple quick press to turn off. This seems to be a change over previous versions of the E70.

 

Recharging

Charging is not built into this light. Acebeam sells an optional 21700 battery for an additional cost that has a USB-C plug on it. Recharging this cell took  2:07:00 to charge. You can use standard cells inside the E70, but you need to use a longer cell, like something that’s protected or a tall button top. 

 

Conclusion

My conclusion on the Acebeam E70 is it’s a nice higher end model of production flashlight with a lot of nice features that have been well thought out. I love that Acebeam continues to offer LED tint choices, and on this model different versions of LED’s. For an application like this I will take the GT-FC40 LED every day over a XHP 70.2, especially when I can get a warmer tint and high CRI. 

 

The brass and copper versions of this light are quite heavy with a battery, so if you were planning to use this as an EDC I would get one of the lighter versions like Titanium or even the Aluminum which also happens to be the most economical. I like that they included a standard clip configuration here so if you want you can further customize the light. I wish they offered a smooth bezel in the box too, this would make EDC in a front pocket a more pleasant experience. That said this is a bigger light and not one you will probably find me EDCing in my pants pocket often as a result. I will use it often for going on walks, etc. 

I can recommend this one without reservations, especially with the GT-FC40 emitter, it’s got a wonderful tint in my opinion and produces enough lumens for most tasks. That said it does get quite hot, but this isn’t because of the LED choice itself. 

 

Pickup the Acebeam E70 at https://bit.ly/Acebeam

Nitecore T4K Review “The Worlds Brightest Keychain Flashlight” (4000 Lumens, USB-C, 4 Emitters)

Today I have Nitecore’s new T4K the worlds smallest 4000 lumen light. This continues on Nitecore’s trend of coming out with increasingly larger, higher performance keychain style lights, with the TIP, TUP and now the T4K. Thanks to Nitecore for sending this to me to look at and review. I will have a link to where you can find it if you are interested. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging here is really stepped up, and it reminds me of Olight boxes with its magnetic closure and Thank you Message inside the front lip. The sides have some info and feature list on the back. Inside you get the T4k itself, a USB-A to C cable, a keychain clip, the manual and a warning about using lockout (Smart). 

 

Construction

The Nitecore T4K will look similar if you are a TUP owner, and it has a similar physical layout with a few changes. It’s made of a black anodized aluminum construction shell that’s held together with torx bits smaller than T4. On the top you have 2 buttons, a power and mode, as well as a small OLED screen that helps navigate the UI. It’s not necessary but I really like it. Branding is minimal which is nice as well.

 

On the front you have what looks to be a custom optic and flat face, when the light is on at the front you get kind of a side indicator like on a car at the seam which is kind of neat. At the back you have the USB-C port with no cover, and the mounting point. Nitecore says it can withstand 66 pounds of weight which hopefully is significantly more then you have on your car keys, but that should help it from getting caught too if pulled. This has a quick detach point too thats quite solid, and made of metal. I will talk more about the clip in the retention section.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 36.34mm width at 29mm, and thickness at the head at 25.2mm. Weight with the clip and quick detach is 76.3g. The T4K is IPX 54 rated which means splashing water and dust should be fine. 

 

This compares to the TUP which comes in at 53.9g and is smaller in all dimensions. If you are TUP owner and are happy with the size the T4K isn’t that much bigger but is larger in all dimensions. Here is a photo of a few other keychain lights that I have and you can see the T4K just towers over all of them. It’s even a little larger then the Olight S1R II Baton. 

 

Retention

The T4K has a few options for retention. First you have the pocket clip on the back. It’s a wide clip, that’s attached via small Philips screws which seem like an odd choice given the rest of the light is assembled with Torx. This clip allows the light to sit pretty low in the pocket, if you choose to carry it that way. I won’t due to it’s diameter but it also clips on to molle webbing pretty well. 

 

At the back there is a quick release mount to attach it to the included key ring or you could use a small diameter lanyard too. It has a spring mounted button to attach and detach and can withstand a pull force of 66lbs which is impressive.

 

LED & Beam

The T4K has 4x Cree XP-L2 V6 in Cool White, no exact tint is specified but it’s pretty standard cool white, not super blue. The beam pattern out of the optic is fairly round but far from perfect, it has a few artifacts but it’s only really noticeable on a wall or flat surface and not in use. It’s a large spot, with very minimal spill, a little surprising as I expected this to be mostly flood. Rather then tell you all of the official technical data, here is the slide from Nitecore. 

 

Heat and Runtime 

Turbo runtime is going to be easier if I show it here due to the sample rate of my light meter, so let’s do that. Remember that this is 4000 lumens and a very small light. At first it will run for 10 seconds, before stepping down, I can keep running retriggering turbo and you will see the graph on the screen get shorter and shorter as the light heats up. After doing this 6 times the light does warm up. The thermocouple on the side during my testing said 52C (126F) but it doesn’t feel too hot to hold in the hand. With the normal modes it only gets slightly warm. After these 6 turbo runs the battery voltage did drop from 4.2V to 4V. I do wish I had a thermal camera because of how this one spreads heat out on the bottom of the light and through the clip. Not your typical flashlight. 

 

Normal mode runtimes were pretty good, they have flat outputs until they run out of power, with a small spike at the end. I tested High and came up a little short of Nitecores official rating of 2:45:00, at 2:17:00. So you might take the other runtimes with a small grain of salt.

 

UI

This light ships with 2 UI, the default being “Demo” mode. Given the package is a sealed box without a window, I can’t think of a legit reason why the light has a demo mode, and why it would be the default. Nitecore says this is for EDC use, but I would prefer to manually turn the light off, if my task takes longer than 30 seconds. For practical use the user needs to switch it into daily mode by pressing both buttons at the same time while the light is off.

 

Daily mode is more straightforward and what you would expect. The light starts in moon light mode and linearly goes up. Ultralow mode is 1 lumen, then 15 lumens, 65 lumens, 200 lumens, and momentary turbo of 4000 lumens. This is the same as the Nitecore TUP except for the difference in Turbo output. The light has memory in this mode and will remember where you were last at. It has 2 buttons, basically a power and a mode button.

The light has direct access to low and Turbo. To access low, when the light is off (and not locked) press and hold the power button to access 1 lumen mode. To access tubo press and hold the mode button, and this is in momentary.

 

The light also has 2 lockout modes. Lock 1 is half lockout mode. It locks the power button but if you press and hold (about 1 second) the mode button you get access to turbo. To exit lockout you have to hold both buttons at the same time. In lockout mode 2 the light won’t turn on until unlocked. 

 

Recharging

Internally the Nitecore T4K has a 1000mAh lithium polymer battery. For recharging the light has a USB-C port on the rear. The interesting thing here is that it doesn’t have a cover to prevent dirt and water. I think it would be nice if it did but I suppose it’s fine that it doesn’t. We all carry around smartphones most with exposed ports and things end up being fine. 

 

Total charge time of the internal battery was 1:20:00, with max charge rate bing 1.1V at the 32 minute mark. The light does support charging via USB-C to C cable and via a USB-C PD charger which is the way it should be. It’s nice the display say the voltage of the battery as well. 

 

Pro’s

  • Nice to see USB-C being used here and full compatibility but a port cover would be nice
  • I like the screen, and it gives a lot of useful info like output, estimated runtime, and battery voltage.
  • UI makes sense here, just remember to use lockout if it’s being carried to prevent an accidental blast of 4000 lumens.

 

Con’s

  • Too big for the keychain name, it’s more of a jacket pocket light
  • Short turbo runtime but that’s to be expect at this size
  • Pricey if you think of it as a keychain light, not terrible if you think of it more as a pocket light.

 

Conclusion

My conclusion on the Nitecore T4K is it produces a ton of light from such a small package, but I don’t think it should be called a keychain light. It’s just just quite a bit larger than I want on my actual keychain especially if I try to put them in my pants pockets. I think it works better as a something to put in a jacket pocket. Runtimes on the lower modes are long enough that you could realistically go walk the dog with this one more then likely if you wanted, and the UI is such that it’s easy to boost from 200 lumens to 4000 lumens if you need more light. That mode spacing gap though is huge between 200 and 4000 lumens, A mode of 1000 or 1500 would be nice to bridge the gap especially if you could get a minute or two out of it. 

I don’t always talk about price but I feel like I kind of have to here, the current MSRP of the T4K is around $80 at the time of this review, and I feel like that’s on the pricey side for what’s targeted to a keychain light. It’s got the output, screen, and USB-C but that’s just a lot. 

 

The TUP might be more practical but the T4K is the output king. If you want something to impress someone with how bright it can be for how small it is the T4K does a great job of that and I can recommend it. 

AVHzY CT-2 USB Power Meter Review

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/2PFDmX1

The bare CT-2 Meter https://amzn.to/2Wkcqaz
The CNC Cased CT-2 Meter https://amzn.to/3bm3rcS

Check out all the offical specs at https://www.avhzy.com/html/product-detail/avhzy-ct-2-usb-power-meter-cnc-aluminum-alloy-casing