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

Wuben X-0 Knight Review (EDC, LH351D, Kickstarter Preorder)

Wuben has a new EDC light they are currently offering via Kickstarter. It’s the X-0 Knight and it’s a twist on the right-angle light we typically think of in headlights but this time around more focused for EDC. It’s a modern design and a big chunky boi. Thanks to Wuben for sending this to me, if you are interested I will have a link to the Kickstarter preorder in the description below. The Kickstarter will be running through July 16th 2022.

 

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Check out the Wuben X-0 Knight on Kickstarter at https://bit.ly/39vySXB

 

Packaging & Accessories

This is a preproduction sample and really only came with a charging cable and spare orings. The clip and battery are preinstalled. The packaging and accessories will be different in the production version.

 

Construction & Design

The Wuben Knight is a twist on the right angle we more commonly see on headlamps. It has sharper, hard angles to it that to me are modern. They have 4 color options, the Black and white versions are made from aluminum with the black being normal hard anodized and the white being what they call Micro Arc Oxidations which is what I have. I thought this was a Cerakote finish at first and it has a silver tint to it. The other dark gray and Green are both made from titanium. The green is my favorite because it has a circuit board pattern anodized into it. 

The top has an operating and battery status indicator as well as a metal cover that acts as the USB-C port cover and the switch pad. 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. The hinged lid for lack of a better word is magnetically attracted. There are 2 sprung brass-colored magnets that it rests on. There was definitely some engineering that went into this. I will talk about the pocket clip in the retentions section and the lens in the LED section.

The body also features 4 milled slots and 2 on top, for 6mm x 1mm tritium slots if that’s your thing. At the bottom is the round magnetic cap. This is a strong magnet and has no trouble holding the light up. It does unscrew but they have chosen to make it a little difficult. I ended up using an adjustable jewelry wrench to get it open. Once unscrewed you can replace the 18350 battery inside.  

 

Retention

The W0 Knight is designed to be an EDC light and comes with a milled aluminum pocket clip preinstalled. It was quite close to the body and retention was good, however, I bent it pretty easily pulling it out of my pocket one day. It’s just slight and something I could probably fix if I removed the Torx screws and rebent it. It’s a reasonably deep clip but still kind of a chunky carry in the pocket due to the diameter here. The tail is magnetic here as well. There are milling marks in the clip, not sure if those will be tumbled out in production or not.

Using lockout is an absolute must if you’re going to EDC this in the pocket. When carried the lens is facing your pants, and it’s very easy to turn on with the large loose paddle over the switch. This will burn holes in people’s shorts and pants if you’re not careful. You can lock and unlock with 4 quick clicks. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 57mm, width at 33mm (From clip to lens), and depth at 24mm. I measured the weight at 2.94oz with clip and battery. The light is IP68 water rated. Important here to say that it’s the port itself is water-rated due to the construction. Here are a few comparisons with lights that I have that are most similar. 

 

LED & Beam

The Wuben X-0 Knight has 2 LED options, an Osram P9 LED, and a Samsung LH351D which I believe I have. I tested the light with my Opple meter saw 4950k tint with a CRI of 96. It’s a pleasant neutral white and the TIR optic is good for EDC tasks because you get that hot spot for a bit of throw, but also get a significant amount of flood while in a compact package. Mode Spacing here is reasonable from the moon at 1 lumen, to high at 250. However, Turbo is a huge jump up to 900 lumens. To the eye, it’s not as big as it seems but it’s still big. There was no PWM detected.

 

Output Measurements

Heat & Runtime

Turbo on the LH351D was good for right about 50 seconds before it reached it’s normal output around a measured 200 lumens. This lasted out to 2:15:00 which isn’t too bad for a 1100mAh battery. I did another runtime test comparing Turbo, to High, and Medium. Runtimes are expected with less bright modes being more efficient. The heat peaked around 35C which is just above body temperature so comfortable to hold in the hand.

 

UI

Default UI is pretty similar to many other flashlights. From off a quick press turns the light on in the last mode used, and then long-pressing causes the light to cycle in from moon to low to med to high. Double press to go to turbo. Direct to low can be accessed by long pressing when off. To get to strobe just double click when the light is off or on turbo. 

There is also a programable mode where you can slightly adjust the outputs of each mode, however, the manual only told about this and not actually how to do this. I presume they will fix this before the Kickstarters ship.

Locking is critical in this light and is easy to use, click four times quickly from off to lock and again do this to unlock.

 

Recharging

Recharging is done via the USB-C port on the top. It’s a semi-exposed port but has been waterproofed although debris could be a problem. The total charging time of the 1100mAh 18350 battery was 1:33:00 with a total charging rate right at 1A.

I will note here again that the battery is removable but tools are required to do so. I used a watch wrench but I think a pair of snap ring pliers would work but your chance of scratching would be much higher. It would be nice if Wuben included a simple tool here to help, or changed the milling in the bottom of the light so that you could use a coin. 

 

Final Thoughts

The Wuben X-0 Knight is advertised primarily as an EDC light. While most people think of right-angle lights more as headlamps they work pretty well as EDC too. For me this is probably a little bulkier than I want to carry with shorts on due to its diameter at least with shorts on. 

 

That said I think this is a unique design. I like the exterior look myself, and I like it’s being offered from the beginning with different colors and materials. It’s great they are offering it a neutral white and what appears to be a high CRI LED. I will again remind you if you pocket carry this please use lockout (4 fast clicks) or you have a strong risk of melted pockets)

I do think it would be great to see a small headstrap included so you could use it as a headlamp if you wanted. I do think some type of wrench should be included to help open the tail cap to change the battery out, otherwise, you really need a tool here to help you. 

One small note here is this is being offered as a Kickstarter preorder. Call me old-fashioned but I still think of Kickstarter as a way for small companies to get funding to turn around and make their first product. Wuben is a midsized flashlight manufacturer, well established for many years now. They don’t exactly fit the mold for a startup company, but they are not alone in using Kickstarter as a marketing platform. It seems to be the standard these days. The project has exceeded it’s funding goal so the risk of not getting your light should be minimal.

So some interesting design choices on this one make the exterior kind of unique but the inside seems to be a pretty solid EDC offering if the diameter isn’t an issue for you. Let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

 

Check out the Wuben X-0 Knight on Kickstarter at https://bit.ly/39vySXB

Wuben G2 Review (500 Lumen, P9 LED, Flat Keychain Light)

Wuben has a new flat keychain style light out with the G2. It’s a little different with the LED being on the flat side, with a wide large reflector, USB-C rechargeable, and can crank out up to 500 lumens in turbo.

 

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Pickup the Wuben G2 at https://www.wubenlight.com/products/wuben-g2-mini-flashlight

Use code “LRG220” to save 20%

 

Packaging  & Accessories

The packaging is a nice clear box, with the product labels being stickers on the top and bottom. Inside the box includes the light, USB-A to C charging cable, a gray plastic clip, and manual. 

 

Construction & Design

The G2 is flat light, with the reflector on the flat side. Its body is made from aluminum and is available in 3 colors currently, black, Blue, and Green which I have here. The ends are both plastics. At the bottom end there is a plastic keychain ring that twists on and off, it can be a little tricky to put back on. Under this is a magnet that is strong enough to hold the light vertically on a painted metal surface without an issue. 

In the middle is the P9 LED and TIR optic. On the sides there is the connection point for the pocket clip which I will talk about more in a minute. 

 

At the top is the USB-C charging port. It has a silicone flap covering it. It’s not a very tight fit. The light doesn’t have a dust or water rating as a result. This is an area for improvement in future versions. Next to the charging port is the switch. It sits nearly flush and I had no issues with accidentally activating it.

 

Retention & Size

Size here is 2.3” x 1” x 0.36” thick without the clip. Weight is 1 ounce without clip. There is no water or dust rating officially for the light. With that flap I think it would probably struggle to meet the standard specs.

Retention options include a plastic clip that clips on the rear of the light in some indentions. This isn’t necessarily a light or clip designed for front pants pocket EDC but more to strap on to a bag, hat, etc. The clip is stiff. It also has a split ring attachment that twists off to reveal a magnet underneath too. 

 

UI

The UI on the G2 requires a Long press to turn on when the light is off. This really mitigates accidental activations in my experience. The light has a memory mode to the last previously used setting. To adjust between the 4 modes when turned on, just press the button. The double press goes to turbo.

 

LED & Beam

The LED being used here is an OSRAM P9 LED. My Opple meter measured 6050k at 68 CRI as well as some PWM on high. The beam is mostly flood with a small hot center thanks to the TRI style optic. A good beam profile for up-close work for a light this size. 

 

Outputs, runtimes, temps

Official outputs on Turbo were 500 lumens, and I measured 437 lumens initially, with a fast decline in under a minute to around 190. High is rated at 200 lumens, I measured 190. Medium is rated at 65 lumens I measured 61 at 30 seconds. Max heat I saw on the body of the light was 36C near the end of the runtime. Total runtime starting in Turbo was 40 minutes as well as in High mode. Medium lasted out to 2 hours of runtime which is longer than quoted. 

 

Recharging

Internally the light contains a 280mAh lithium polymer battery. When I tested the capacity I got slightly more than this at about 314mAh. The total charge time here via USB-C was 1 hour. The light is USB-C PD compatible but you don’t get any benefits of the charging speed here with such a small battery. There is a small LED near the button that goes red when charging, and blue when charged. 

 

Final Thoughts

At less than $20 with my discount coupon, the G2 is a decent keychain light. I like the small thin nature, it’s smaller and thinner than most car key fobs and produces a good amount of light for its size. It’s smaller than some of the Nitecore lights I have like the TIP which is similar but larger than some of the Royvon lights. 

I don’t like that the silicone port covering the USB-C port is more of a flap. It’s not really a seal, and the light carries no water rating as a result. I did pour some water on it in the sink and it was ok, but it definitely won’t survive a full submersion. Hopefully, they can come up with a better cover in the future. 

 

It has a really broad floody beam but with a super small center hots spot, thanks to its TIR optic. It works for the close-range tasks it’s designed for pretty well. The cool white LED isn’t my favorite but it works. Overall a decent keychain light for the money.

 

Pickup the Wuben G2 at https://www.wubenlight.com/products/wuben-g2-mini-flashlight

Use code “LRG220” to save 20%