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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Pick up the Wuben F5 at https://bit.ly/3xwOYqY and get 10% off by using the code CD10F5LR at checkout.

 

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.

Sofirn SC31 Pro Review & Giveaway ($27, 2000 Lumens, USB-C, SST40, 18650)

Sofirn has a new low cost EDC 18650 light out with the SP31 Pro. It features an SST40 LED capable of 2000 lumens and available with 2 different tints and onboard USB-C charging for a very low price. Thanks to Sofirn for sending this to me and providing a discount to my viewers. I also have a SP31 Pro to giveaway so make sure you check out the description of this video and top comment on how to enter to win. 

 

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Enter the Giveaway https://gleam.io/Xmkd9/sofirn-sc31-pro-5000k-kit-giveaway

 

Pickup the Sofirn SP31 Pro from Amazon. Don’t forget to click the Coupon code on the page for an additional discount too.

5000k Kit https://amzn.to/39JoSGf with Coupon DCNKLHS3

6500k Kit https://amzn.to/39yFJLC

 

Packaging

Sofirn won’t win any packaging contests but for lights that are sold online I don’t really give any bonus points for spending more in this area. It’s functional, generic, and does the job. With the light you get a Sofrin branded 3000mAh battery (Light only options exist), USB-A to USB-C Cables, lanyard, and spare orings, button cover, and USB port cover as well as a decent manual. 

 

Construction

The SC31 Pro has nothing I can find wrong with it, it’s a budget light but all the edges are chamfered anodizing is consistent, and markings are good. Starting at the tail, it’s slightly recessed but still tail stands well, non magnetic. The lanyard attachment point is on the tail as well. Internally you have a single spring and what looks like room for a magnet if you wish. 

 

Threads are square cut and nicely greased. The body tube has one pocket clip area milled into it, but the tube is reversible so it could go on the front or back. There is standard diamond knurling and it’s about average grip. 

The front of the light is removable. Internally it has a pretty stiff spring and it should work with all non proprietary 18650 batteries. Externally there is a silicone button thats fairly flush, the button has some texture to it to help you find it, and 2 LED underneath that work as a locator, and battery status indicator when charging. Minimal milling on the sides for heat dissipation. The USB-C Charging port on the rear has a rounded cover with a large flat. Mine fits pretty well and is out of the way. The head itself has a minimal bezel with no crenulations. There is a reflective coated glass lens, smooth reflector and LED centering is good. 

 

Size and Weight

The SC31 Pro is very similar in size and dimensions to the popular Wurkkos FC11. And for good reason, Sofirn is the parent company to both companies. I measured the SC31 Pro at 115.7mm in length, minimum diameter at 24mm, maximum diameter at 26.5mm. Weight with the battery and clip was 110g or 3.88oz. It’s IPX7 water rated.

 

Retention

The SC31 comes with a basic lanyard that attaches at the tail cap if you want. The pocket clip is decent but not as deep carry as I would like with 22mm of the light sticking up out of your pocket. It is a friction fit clip but fairly tight. If only this was a deeper carry clip it would be even better. 

 

LED & Beam

The LED that’s being used here is the Luminus SST-40 LED. It’s available in both Cool white (6500k) and Neutral white, and I have the latter here in 5000k. It surprised me a little as mine has a bit oa a rosy tint, it’s nice despite being only 70 CRI. It has a smaller hot center, with a medium amount of spill. There are some some kind of ugly outer edges in the beam with reflections off the edge of the reflector and bezel. Maximum output is rated at 2000 lumens and with the ramping modes you can adjust it to anything you wish. The light does have PWM but it’s minimal and only visible with my oscilloscope. This is expected since its running Andruil. 

 

Heat and Runtime

One thing that I have started doing is comparing my lights running Andruil as they come from the factory and then after thermal calibration. While I firmly believe that lights should come calibrated from the factory the reality is for the money here they don’t and that’s a shame because it’s worth doing. ZeroAir has a good writeup on this in his reviews, and I followed that and the difference in my lights were impressive. Turbo runtime went from 1:50 when uncalibrated to 3:05 after calibration, with peak of that being right at 2 minutes. So if you get this or any Andruil light it’s worth going through the calibration procedure. Output was also roughly 13% better during most of the duration too. This does effect overall runtime going from 7:05:00 uncalibrated to FL1 to 4:05:00 when calibrated to FL1 but this is a trade off I am willing to take for more output and a less aggressive thermal restraint. Max temp I saw when calibrated was 41C but this is my own setting and was at the 7 min mark. 

 

UI

The Sofirn SP31 Pro here uses the Andriul firmware by Toykeeper. It’s standard Andruil but I did notice one difference at the top and bottom of the ramp I don’t get the blink like I do on say my FW3A, and most other Andruil lights. I like this. By default the light ships in ramping mode, there is a stepped mode too. Andruil is good but complex. It’s highly configurable (for example you can change the behavior of the backlight switch) so make sure to take some time to understand it fully. 

 

Recharging

The Sofirn SC31 Pro has onboard USB-C charging. It supports USB-C to C charging cables as well as USB-C PD in my tests. It’s great to see a budget light support this. Total charge time of the included 3000mAh 18650 battery from LVP at 2.780V to full at 4.145V was 2:30:00 with the maximum charging rate just at 1.88V. I have no complaints here, and it’s great to see at budget prices.

 

Pro

  • My NW SST40 LED here in 5000k has a really nice tint with a rosy hue
  • Fantastic value for a complete kit
  • Andruil firmware is a love it or hate it thing, but it provides a lot of options for the enthusiast or budding flashaholic. 

 

Cons

  • The pocket clip here is a small letdown, it’s not as deep carry as I would have hoped. 
  • Non magnetic tail, although easy to modify to make magnetic. 
  • Edges of the beam are a little ugly. 

 

Conclusion

I am not ready to call this the Wurkkos FC11 killer since it’s an extremely similar light made by the same parent company but what I will call it is an extremely good value for a slightly more advanced light because it has Andruil UI. While I love the LH351D in my FC11 the tint here in the SC31 Pro is better in my opinion, slightly brighter, but you do lose the high CRI of the LH351D. 

 

The Andruil UI is complex, and that may be a turn off for some new to the hobby, but for a noob there is muggle mode. Take some time and study the diagram to understand how it works and I think you will enjoy it. Build quality here is appropriate for the price, nothing is bad but it’s also not class leading. This is a great all around light for the money here and I have no hesitation recommending it, especially at the price Sofrin has offered to my viewers with the discount you can find in the description. About $25 at the time of filming. 

 

Enter the Giveaway for the Sofirn SP31 Pro Kit (5000k) https://gleam.io/Xmkd9/sofirn-sp31-pro-5000k-kit-giveaway