Author Archives: selfbuilt

Wuben X1 Falcon

The X1 is a very high-output flashlight featuring three XHP70.2 emitters running on two included 21700 rechargeable batteries. It features a distinctive build, with a built-in fan to maintain excellent thermal performance during max output.

  1. Introduction
  2. Manufacturer Specifications
  3. Package Details
  4. Build
  5. User Interface
  6. Circuit Measures
  7. Emitter Measures
  8. Beamshots
  9. Testing Results
  10. Runtimes
  11. Pros and Cons
  12. Overall Rating
  13. Preliminary Conclusions
  14. Acknowledgement

Introduction

I’m still working on clearing my backlog – the X1 sample was received in early November 2023.

Wuben came on the scene around the time that I was taking a break from flashlight reviewing. So I never had the opportunity to test one of their models until now. First up is their super-high-output X1, featuring 3x Cree XHP70.2 emitters.

The X1 has a distinctive build, with a flat side-by-side battery arrangement (2×21700). Coupled with a built-in fan for keeping the light cool during max-output operation, you have the potential for well-regulated sustained output. Does the X1 live up to its potential? Let’s find out.

Manufacturer Specifications

Note: As always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual runtimes.

FeatureSpecs
MakerWuben
ModelX1
Emitter3xXHP70.2
Tint6000 K
Max Output (Lumens)12,000
Min Output (Lumens)20
Max Runtime220 hours
Max Beam Intensity (cd)23,000 cd
Max Beam Distance (m)303 m
Constant Levels5
FlashingStrobe, SOS
Battery2x21700
Weight (w/o battery)-
Weight (with battery)379 g
Length128.5 mm
Head Diameter56 mm
Body Diameter28 mm
WaterproofIP55

Package Details






The X1 comes in the modern “cellphone box” style packaging common for higher-end lights today. Included:

  • Wuben X1 flashlight
  • Integrated 2×21700 4800mAh battery pack
  • Paracord-style wrist lanyard
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Belt holster
  • Manual

It’s a decent package, and I particularly like the enclosed belt holster for the light.

Build


From left to right: Wurkkos 21700 (5000mAh), Vapcell 21700 F56 (5600mAh), Emisar D4K, Wurkkos WK15, Armytek Wizard C2 Max, Wurkkos TS22, Sofrin SC29, Speras E21, Wuben X1 Falcon, Sofirn SC33, Sofirn SP35T, Cyansky P50R, Cyansky P25.






The X1 is a substantial light – hefty, but with good handfeel and ergonomics for the size. It is slightly heavier than I would have expected, which I suspect is due to a significant heatsink in the head. The switch is easy to access, and I find the user interface reasonably intuitive (scroll down for details).

The light features a relatively closed body design, and you are not meant to open it up or change the cells (i.e., note the do-not-disassemble notice on the base). Attempting to open it will likely void the warranty.

That said, there are small torx screws located on the plates holding the switch, the side fan and side heatsink, as well as the handle to the head and the tail to the handle. So if you are determined to open it, you should be able to easily enough with the right torx bit. This is handy in case of battery failure, since I know most would be concerned in buying a permanently sealed light at this price point. I think this is a reasonable compromise, as I find most side-by-side designs that are meant to have the cells readily changed can often have flimsy tailcaps that break easily. So at least you don’t have to deal with that here – you can open it if you need to, but you shouldn’t need to.

One of the notable build features is the built-in fan, that activates when running the light on Turbo. The fan cannot be controlled separately (it’s thermally-regulated), and I don’t find it too loud even on sustained Turbo runs (but it is noticeable).

You can see the heatsink and fan through the side slats on either side of the light. This is a thoughtful design feature to keep the light able to provide sustained max output. Of course, the fan is one more part that can fail (or get clogged with dust, debris, etc.). But typically, these sorts of fans are rated for a good amount of time.

There is a USB-C charging port for charging the batteries, located on the side under a dust cover. The cover fits well and is snug. This should provide very decent splash or rain resistance, but as always I don’t recommend dunking the light in water if you can help it.

The light doesn’t have a huge amount of ridge detail, but what it does have is fairly deep. That combined with its rectangular shape gives it pretty good grip (rolling is certainly not going to be a problem!). The light can headstand, tailstand, or sidestand stably (i.e., on all surfaces). Note there are a couple of small holes on the back for attaching optional accessories, like a clip or bike attachment.

Anodizing appears to be excellent on my sample, no obvious chips or damage. My sample came in all black, but I gather other colours are available for the body. I would describe it as a matte finish. Lettering is minimal, and not overly bright (but sharp and clear).

There is a small LED at the center of the switch, showing you charging or charge-remaining status.



The X1 comes with three Cree XHP70.2 emitters, located side-by-side in a common reflector with individual wells. The light is of course more of a flooder than a thrower, but it produce a decent center beam, with a wide but narrow spill, given this shape (scroll down for beamshots).

The center beam pattern is lovely, somewhat creamy yellow (i.e., a bit warmer than I expected for the 6000K, scroll down for tint measures). Even the periphery is remarkably even and free of artifacts – they have done a very good job on the reflector.

Impressively, I haven’t noticed any significant tint shifting across the main hotspot or corona (something that is common with single XHP70.2 emitters). That said, there is a bit of a tint shift to purple in the spill and periphery (but I suspect that is due more to the purplish anti-reflective coating on the lens).

The bezel is flat black aluminum.

User Interface

The X1 uses a straightforward user interface, and one that is very similar to many other lights.

To start, you need to realize the light is shipped in Lockout mode. Since you cannot easily remove the tailcap, this is unavoidable. To unlock the light, simply do 4 fast clicks of the switch.

Mode levels: Eco, Low, Med, High, Turbo, Strobe, and SOS.

From OFF:

  • Press-and-hold: Turns on in Eco mode.
  • Single-click: Turns On in last memorized mode (except for Turbo or flashing modes).
  • Double-click: Turns On in Turbo.
  • Triple-click: Turns On in Strobe.
  • 4 clicks: Deactivates Lockout mode.

From ON:

  • Press-and-hold: Advances through main output modes (again, except for Turbo or flashing modes).
  • Single-click: Turns Off.
  • Double-click: Jumps to Turbo. Press-and-hold to return to last memorized mode (Single-click turns Off).
  • Triple-click: Jumps to Strobe. Triple-click again to jump to SOS. Single-click to return to last memorized mode.

From Lockout:

  • 4 clicks: Disable Lockout.

Mode memory:

Yes, for constant output modes, except Turbo.

Shortcuts:

  • Lowest mode: Press and hold the switch from Off.
  • Turbo mode: Double-click the switch from On or Off.
  • Strobe: Triple-click the switch from On or Off.

Battery indicator:

When first activating the light, the indicator on the switch shows the battery capacity remaining (lasts for ~5 secs upon activation):

  • Solid blue: >90%
  • Flashing blue: ~40-90%
  • Solid red: ~15-40%
  • Flashing red: <15%

Low voltage warning:

Not that I’ve noticed – as you will see from the runtimes below, the shut-off is pretty abrupt.

Lockout mode:

Yes – turned on by default when shipped. You can toggled it off/on by 4-clicks from Off.

Reviewer Comments:

I find this interface very intuitive, similar to a lot of other lights (e.g. many of the Sofirn/Wurkkos lights with an electronic switch). The only inconsistency I’ve noticed is how you exit from the shortcuts to Turbo and Strobe/SOS (i.e., the first requires a press-hold, the other a click). Aside from that though, this is all very consistent and relatable.

Circuit Measures

No Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM):

Eco:
Eco

Lo:
Lo

Med:
Med

High:
Hi

Turbo:
Turbo

There is no sign of PWM, the circuit appears to be fully current-controlled. There is also no circuit noise on any level, which is always great to see. Note that circuit noise is not a problem per se, but I find that its absence (as in this case) bodes very well in terms of regulation and output/runtime efficiency. Scroll down to see actual results.

Strobes:

Strobe:


Strobe alternates between 9 Hz and 13 Hz every ~1.5 secs or so. Very disorienting and distracting.

SOS:

A standard SOS mode, relatively slow.

Charging:

The LED on the switch shows solid red when the light is charging. Changes to solid blue when the charging is complete.

The X1 has an interesting built-in charging circuit, as shown in the video below:

The X1 starts charging at a very low current (<0.05A) for a couple of seconds before ramping up to its full charging rate of just under 2.0A over the next 2-3 seconds. This slow ramp is a good safety feature, while the the circuit interrogates the state of the cells. Given its serial battery orientation, this is a reasonable charging rate by modern standards. The light charges at 9V.

Standby / Parasitic Drain:

Due to electronic switch, there is bound to be a parasitic standby drain when the light is not in use. But because of its fully enclosed physical build, I cannot measure it.

Emitter Measures

In this section, I directly measure key emitter characteristics in terms of colour temperature, tint, and colour rendition. Please see my Emitter Measures page to learn more about what these terms mean, and how I am measuring them. As tint in particular can shift across levels, I typically stick with the highest stably regulated level for all my reported measures.

As explained on that page, since I am using an inexpensive uncalibrated device, you can only make relative comparisons across my reviews (i.e., don’t take these numbers as absolutely accurate values, but as relatively consistent across lights in my testing).

X1 on Hi:

The key measures above are the colour temperature of ~5400K, and a negligible positive tint shift (+0.0047 Duv) toward slightly greenish-yellow at this temperature. For CRI (Ra), I measured a combined score of 82.

These values are slightly warmer than most cool white XHP70.2 emitters in my testing, bordering on neutral white. That is also a slightly better CRI than typical for the XHP70.2, although it is within the range of my testing. Unlike some other reviews of this light, I didn’t notice any significant chromatic aberrations across the beam profile (other then a slight shift to purplish in the periphery, likely due to the AR coating on the lens).

Beamshots

All outdoor beamshots are taken on my Canon PowerShot S5 IS at f/2.7, 0.5 secs exposure, ISO 400, daylight white balance. The bend in the road is approximately 40 meters (~45 yards) from the camera. Learn more about my outdoor beamshots here (scroll down for the floody light position used in this review).

Click on any thumbnail image below to open a full size image in a new window. You can then easily compare beams by switching between tabs.


As you can see above, the X1 puts out a huge amount of light, with a very wide beam profile (note that I am holding with the light with the widest aspect parallel to the ground). It’s a great flood light in this orientation, with a super-wide beam.

Testing Results

My summary tables are generally reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. In addition to the links above, please see my output measures page for more background.

All my output numbers are based on my home-made lightbox setup. As explained on that methodology page, I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values to estimated lumens. Note that my lightbox calibration runs higher than most hobbyists today, but I’ve kept it to remain consistent with my earlier reviews (when the base calibration standard was first established). On average though, I find my lumen estimates are ~20% higher than most other modern reviewers.

My Peak Intensity/Beam Distance are directly measured with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter.

X1 Testing Results

ModeSpec LumensEstimated Lumens @0secEstimated Lumens @30 secsBeam Intensity @0secBeam Intensity @30secsBeam Distance @30secsPWM/Strobe FreqNoise FreqCharging Current <3VCharging Current >3VParasitic DrainWeight w/o BatteryWeight with BatteryCCT (K)DuvCRI
Eco202727---NoNo2.0 A2.0 AYes (not measured)-380 g-----------------
Low400500500---NoNo2.0 A2.0 AYes (not measured)-380 g-----------------
Med1,0001,2001,100---NoNo2.0 A2.0 AYes (not measured)-380 g-----------------
High2,6003,7003,650---NoNo2.0 A2.0 AYes (not measured)-380 g5,4100.004782--------------
Turbo12,00012,00011,00019,500 cd17,800 cd267 mNoNo2.0 A2.0 AYes (not measured)-380 g---12,00020220 hours23,000 cd303 m5Strobe, SOS2x21700-379 g128.5 mm56 mm28 mmIP55
Strobe3,000-----9-14 HzNo2.0 A2.0 AYes (not measured)-380 g-----------------
SOS200-------2.0 A2.0 AYes (not measured)-380 g-----------------

The X1 seems to match fairly closely to the specs on most levels (although keep in mind that my lightbox’s relative calibration is generously high). The Turbo spec seems slightly over-stated relative to my testing however.

My NIST-calibrated luxmeter is accurately calibrated to an absolute standard, and similarly reports lower beam intensity on Turbo compared to the specs. But I find these throw measures very reasonable for these kinds of emitters and output levels.

To view and download full testing results for all modern lights in my testing, check out my Database page.

Runtimes

As always, my runtimes are done under a small cooling fan, for safety and consistency. To learn more about how to interpret runtime graphs, see my runtimes methodology page. Note that on average, my lightbox’s calibration seems to be ~20% higher than most modern reviewers.

Given the dual-cell and triple-emitter design, it can be a little hard to compare to most lights. I’ve thrown in the fan-cooled super-large Acebeam X75 for comparison at the extreme output end.

Max

Hi

What you can see above is that regulation is excellent, as is output/runtime efficiency  (i.e., more that twice the output or runtime compared to single cell/emitter lights). This is what you can expect from a good multi-emitter light on dual cells with good heatsinking – more stable and longer-lasting performance.

Since I expect many are interested in how the initial Turbo modes compare (i.e., how quickly and how far the lights step-down), here is a blow-up of the first few mins of runtime on max output:

The X1 steps down around the one minute mark, similar to many other lights (although to be fair, most lights aren’t driven as hard as the X1 on Turbo).

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Light has outstanding output/runtime efficiency.Max output is slightly lower than the specs indicate, although the rest of the output levels seem fairly accurate.
Circuit shows excellent flat-stabilized regulation, with thermally-mediated stepdowns (aided by built-in cooling fan).Light lacks a moonlight mode.
Solid and sturdy build, although heavier than I expected.Light is larger and heavier than most in this class.
User interface is very intuitive and similar to other modern lights.Due to the build, physical lockout is not possible, only electronic lockout.
Lockout mode (on by default when shipped) can be easily disabled/re-enabled.
Beam profile is remarkably clean and free of artifacts or tint shifting on my sample.

Overall Rating

Preliminary Conclusions

The X1 is one of my new favourite high-output, multi-emitter lights. Thanks to the built-in cooling fan (and hefty heatskink) it can sustain Turbo output for a reasonable amount of time without getting too hot to hold. But it can also maintain an incredibly bright Hi mode for an extended runtime. As such, this light helps fill a bit of Goldilocks “just-right” intermediate between a single-cell high-out light and my massive Acebeam X75. To be honest, I can’t think of many occasions when I would need more light (or runtime) than what the X1 can provide.

I find the light comfortable to hold and use (although it is a bit heavy), with a very intuitive user interface common to many lights. The inability to easily open up the light is actually probably more of a selling feature here, as I don’t have to worry about compromising waterproofness. And if one of the cells does eventually fail, I know I can access the tailcap reasonably easily.

Due to this design, physical lockout is not possible – and I have no idea what the standby drain is. I’m not too worried though, as I have not seen any drop in capacity from the initial battery read-out even when storing for several months. The electronic lockout is quite reasonable here.

While the extra bulk and weight many be an issue, the side-by-side design at least makes this still relatively easy to pocket.

Performance of the light is excellent across all modes, with flat-stabilized output and outstanding runtime. I do wish the light would give some kind of advance warning when the batteries are near shutdown – but you can always reactivate at the lower level to if you need to squeeze some extra light before recharging (and turning off/on periodically will allow you to check the charge remaining).

In summary, overall excellent build quality and performance in my handling. I’m impressed for my first Wuben light.

Acknowledgement

The X1 Falcon was supplied by Wuben for review. As always, all opinions are my own and the light received the same rigourous and objective testing as all other lights that I have reviewed. At the time of review, this light retails for ~$180 USD (~$240 CDN) o the Wuben website here.

Skilhunt ESKTE H150

The H150 is a compact headlamp flashlight with a floody beam with excellent colour rendition. It runs on a single included 14500 battery, or a regular AA battery.

  1. Introduction
  2. Manufacturer Specifications
  3. Package Details
  4. Build
  5. User Interface
  6. Circuit Measures
  7. Emitter Measures
  8. Beamshots
  9. Testing Results
  10. Runtimes
  11. Pros and Cons
  12. Overall Rating
  13. Preliminary Conclusions
  14. Acknowledgement

Introduction

I’m still catching up on my backlog of lights. This final version of the H150 was received from Skilhunt early last Fall.

Following on my review of the Skilhunt H300, Skilhunt released a more compact 1×14500 model under the new ESKTE brand name. This small headlamp is very similar, with a comparable user interface and magnetic charging dock. I don’t know if they plan to migrate to the ESKTE name going forward (I personally don’t find it rolls off the tongue very easily).

Like most Skilhunt lights, you can select your own emitter from a range of options. For the H150, you can select between the CREE XP-L2 Cool White 6500K, Nichia 519A Neutral White 4500K Hi CRI>90, or Nichia 519A Warm White 3000K Hi CRI >90.

I opted for my preferred tint, the Neutral White Nichia. As always, when it comes to headlamps especially, I recommend people consider high CRI options whenever possible. But the advantage here is that you can select the emitter option that best suits your needs.

Note that the original release of the H150 had a design issue that had a risk of shorting flat-top cells. That model was recalled, and all shipping H150s have a proper protection feature enabled.

Let’s see how the final shipping H150 does in my testing.

Manufacturer Specifications

Note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides. Scroll down to see my actual runtimes.

FeatureSpecs
MakerSkilhunt
ModelH150
EmitterNicha 519A
Tint5000K (Hi CRI>90)
Max Output (Lumens)480
Min Output (Lumens)0.2
Max Runtime50 days
Max Beam Intensity (cd)2,250 cd
Max Beam Distance (m)95 m
Constant Levels7
FlashingStrobe, SOS, Beacon
Battery1x14500/AA
Weight (w/o battery)33 g
Weight (with battery)-
Length79.8 mm
Head Diameter21.4 mm
Body Diameter-
WaterproofIPX-8

Package Details





The light comes in a fairly standard shelf-presentation style box, with a description of the features and characteristics printed on it. Inside is a professional looking package, with the cover tab under the plastic tray holder.

Inside the box, I found:

  • Skilhunt H150 flashlight
  • Skilhunt BL-108 800mAh 14500 battery (optional)
  • Headband & mounting bracket
  • Wrist lanyard
  • Carrying pouch
  • Pocket clip
  • USB magnetic charging dock (MC-10)
  • 2 Spare O-rings
  • Manual

It’s a very nice package, consistent with other high quality lights in this class. The headband mounting bracket looks particularly good, as it can rotate in discrete steps (and has a one-inch mount opening, compatible with MOLLE setups). It’s good that they included the pocket clip for carry too (although it is the simple press-fit variety). This is a good set of extras.

Note however that the original headband mounting bracket/clip cracked and broke the first time I tried to remove the light. Skilhunt informs that they became aware of this situation late last year, and changed the material of the clip to make it stronger (they are sending me a replacement). You should not experience any issues on currently shipping samples.

Build


From left to right: Skilhunt 14500 (800mAh), Armytek 18650 (3500mAh), Armytek Crystal, Armytek Wizard C2 Pro Nichia, Acebeam E70 Mini, Armytek Wizard C2 Pro Max, Skilhunt H300, Skilhunt (ESKTE) H150.








Like its larger sibling the H300, The H150 is a very compact build, with lots of design elements to help with grip (although the concentric rings on the body and tailcap are not particularly sharp). The headband bracket holds the light reasonably well. I like the inclusion of the pocket clip, in case you want to carry it as an angle-light clipped to you, bezel-up. I would say the overall size is pretty compact for a 14500 headlamp – definitely on the smaller size of ones I’ve handled.

There is a raised rubberized switch cover over the electronic switch. Underneath are a pair of red and blue LEDs, to signal various states of the light/battery. Switch feel is good, with a standard traverse/tactile feedback for an electronic switch.

There is a magnetic charging dock on the top of the head of the light (similar to the charging cable in the H300, but specifically rated for this model). One nice thing about magnetic charging docks is that waterproofness is not a concern – the light looks quite splashable/dunkable (although note that I do not test for this in my reviews).

Tailstanding is very stable, thanks to the flat tailcap (there is a side cut-out to allow you to thread the basic wrist lanyard through, if you wanted to carry it that way). Tailcap threads are square-cut and anodized, with good feel. I always recommend you keep a light stored locked out when not in use. Thanks to the anodized tailcap threads, you can do this easily by a simple twist of the tailcap.

There is a magnet in the tailcap, so you attached the light stably to any metal surface. A useful feature in worklight/headlamp model.

There is a standard spring in the tailcap, and a small raised post in head, which holds the button-top cell firmly in place. If you worried about whether or not you have one of the early recalled release, you can check the circuit board in the head for a small “V2” (for the safe version) printed next to centre contact post. And by the way, I respect Skilhunt for the decision to recall all the early samples that had the potential risk of shorting flat-top cells.

Anodizing is a flat gray in matte finish, and looks to be very good quality on my sample with no damage or issues. Skilhunt reports it is type III (hard anodized), and I see no reason to doubt that.

Inside, my sample came with the optional Skilhunt-branded button-top 800mAh 14500 battery.

The proprietary magnetic USB charging dock also comes with blue and red LEDs, to signal charging status. The magnet has a reasonably strong pull (not as heavy as some), and locks into place easily. Note the H150 charger is labelled as the MC-10 (the H300/M300 comes with the MC-20)

And in case you wondering, with the battery installed it is about half the weight of the H300 (i.e., 55g instead of 106g).


My H150 came with the Nichia 519A Neutral White emitter, and features a heavily textured diffusing optic. This produces a nice and even flood light. Scroll down to my Emitter Measures section to see how my sample performs.

The bezel is like the switch retaining ring, allowing you access to the optic and emitter.

Note that despite the charging dock on the top of the head, you can still headstand stably.

User Interface

The H150 uses the latest version of the standard Skilhunt user interface (UI), just like the H300. It has a reasonably good number of modes and features. You get two Low modes, three Regular modes (two Med modes, one High mode), two Turbo modes, and three Strobe modes – organized into those four mode sets.

One comment to make up front – the mode level labels are different from most lights in that the lower number for a given level is actually the higher output (so, for example, T1 is brighter than T2). That means the constant output modes, in sequence, are: L2 < L1, M2 < M1 < H1, and T2 < T1.

The manual doesn’t describe the three strobe modes, but for sake of this review I will refer to them as S3 = Strobe, S2 = SOS, and S1 = Beacon.

Let me break down the full interface for you:

From OFF:

  • Press-and-hold: Turns On in memorized Low mode (L2 or L1).
  • Single-click: Turns On in memorized Regular mode (M2, M1, or H1).
  • Double-click: Turns On in memorized Turbo mode (T2 or T1).
  • Triple-click: Turns on in memorized strobe mode (S3, S2, or S1).
  • 4 clicks: Activates the electronic Lockout mode.
    • Press-and-hold for momentary Moonlight (i.e., lowest Low, L2)
    • While in lockout, the switch indicator light will flash red every second, but that can be toggled off/on with a double-click.

From ON:

  • Press-and-hold: Cycle to the next level within the current mode level set (constant output modes only, doesn’t work for Strobe).
  • Single-click: Turns Off.
  • Double-click: Jumps to the memorized Turbo level (from Regular modes only), or back to Regular modes if already in Turbo (note this doesn’t work from Low modes or Strobe modes)
  • Triple-click: Jumps to the memorized Strobe mode (from Regular or Turbo), or back to most recent Regular or Turbo if already in Strobe mode.

Strobe modes:

  • Triple-click: Turns On in memorized Strobe mode.
  • Double-click: Cycles through the Strobe modes in sequence:
    • S3 – Strobe
    • S2 – SOS
    • S1 – Beacon

Mode memory:

Yes, each mode set retains its own memory for the last level selected in that mode set.

Shortcuts:

  • To Low (L2 or L1): Press-and-hold from Off.
  • To Turbo (T2 or T1): Double-click from Off or when On in Regular mode.
  • To Strobe (S1, S2, or S3): Triple-click from Off or when On in Regular or Turbo mode.

Low voltage warning:

When the battery is running very low (<3.0V according to the manual), the switch indicator light will flash red, and the main emitter will flash every couple of seconds. the light will shut off at 2.7V according to the manual.

Lock-out mode: 

  • 4 clicks from Off: Activates the electronic Lockout mode.
  • Physical lockout is also possible by simply unscrewing the tailcap.

Battery indicator:

Yes. The LED under the switch indicates the battery status for the first ~5 secs after turning on:

  • Solid Blue: >80% Battery power remaining.
  • Flashing Blue: 50-80% Battery power remaining.
  • Solid Red: 20-50% Battery power remaining
  • Flashing Red: <20% Battery power remaining.

These are identical to the H300, and seem reasonable to me.

Reviewer Comments:

Like many of the recent lights I’ve reviewed, I find this UI to be very reasonable, and relatively versatile. Of course, you are never going to please everyone with any given UI (e.g., I would like to see double-click reliably jumping to Turbo, and have the Low modes as part of a regular sequence without having to go through Off first). But these are really minor quibbles, the light does reasonably well.

One small thing I would like is the ability to independently turn on the the blue switch indicator, to serve as an additional “moonlight mode”. This is something the Anduril-based lights allow, for example.

Allowing momentary L2 when in the electronic lockout is a nice touch. But as always, I recommend locking out the light at the tailcap when not in use.

Circuit Measures

No Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM):

Like the H150, there is no sign of PWM on any level – the circuit appears to be fully current-controlled. This is also no sign of high-frequency noise at any level. This is refreshing – although PWM is very rare nowadays, it is not uncommon to see some (visually-undetectable) circuit noise.

L2:
L2

L1:
L1

M2:
M2

M1:
M1

H1:
H1

T2:
T2

T1:
T1

Strobe Modes:

S3 -Strobe:


S3 Strobe alternates between 7 Hz and 10 Hz strobes (1 sec for 7Hz, 3 secs for 10 Hz).

S2 – SOS:
SOS

A fairly typical SOS mode.

Beacon:
Beacon

Beacon strobe is nice and slow 1 Hz signalling strobe.

Charging:

The magnetic charging dock switches from blue (when power is supplied) to solid red when connected and charging the H150. Switches back to solid blue when the charging is complete.

Like H300, the H150 use a constant charging rate regardless of the initial battery voltage. I find ~0.80A to be reasonable for a 14500 cell, and will charge it relatively rapidly.

The 14500 came out at 4.14V fully charged with the magnetic charger. That is lower than typical, but is good for the health of the cell.

Standby / Parasitic Drain:

Given the electronic switch, there is a standby drain when a battery is installed – but I measured this as a negligible 14 uA with the installed 14500. Given the rated 800 mAh capacity, that would translate in 6.5 years before you would drain the cell. For a NiMH AA, I measured the drain as 4 uA. For 2450 mAh Eneloop AA, would translate into a ridiculous 70 years before the cell would be drained.  Either way, these are miniscule and not a concern. But regardless, I always recommend you lockout the light when not in use – either by electronic lockout, or better yet physically by twisting the tailcap.

Emitter Measures

In this section, I directly measure key emitter characteristics in terms of colour temperature, tint, and colour rendition. Please see my Emitter Measures page to learn more about what these terms mean, and how I am measuring them. As tint in particular can shift across levels, I typically stick with the highest stably regulated level for all my reported measures.

As explained on that page, since I am using an inexpensive uncalibrated device, you can only make relative comparisons across my reviews (i.e., don’t take these numbers as absolutely accurate values, but as relatively consistent across lights in my testing).

H150 on T2:

The key measures above are the colour temperature of ~4135K, and a small negative tint shift (-0.0052 Duv) to slightly rose coloured. For CRI (Ra), I measured a combined score of 95 (Hi CRI).

These results are very consistent with other Neutral White 519A emitters, which are known to run slightly rose-tinted. This remains one of my favourite emitters and tints.

Beamshots

All outdoor beamshots are taken on my Canon PowerShot S5 IS at f/2.7, 0.5 secs exposure, ISO 400, daylight white balance. The bend in the road is approximately 40 meters (~45 yards) from the camera. Learn more about my outdoor beamshots here (scroll down for the floody light position used in this review).

Click on any thumbnail image below to open a full size image in a new window. You can then easily compare beams by switching between tabs.


Unfortunately, my modern outdoor camera settings are designed for brighter lights, so the shots above are a little dark. But as you can see, the H150 is not as bright on max initially as the other lights shown above. The beam pattern is equivalently floody. Scroll down to see some actual runtimes.

Testing Results

My summary tables are generally reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. In addition to the links above, please see my output measures page for more background.

All my output numbers are based on my home-made lightbox setup. As explained on that methodology page, I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values to estimated lumens. Note that my lightbox calibration runs higher than most hobbyists today, but I’ve kept it to remain consistent with my earlier reviews (when the base calibration standard was first established). On average though, I find my lumen estimates are ~20% higher than most other modern reviewers.

My Peak Intensity/Beam Distance are directly measured with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter.

H150 Testing Results

ModeSpec LumensEstimated Lumens @0secEstimated Lumens @30 secsBeam Intensity @0secBeam Intensity @30secsBeam Distance @30secsPWM/Strobe FreqNoise FreqCharging Current <3VCharging Current >3VParasitic DrainWeight w/o BatteryWeight with BatteryCCT (K)DuvCRI
L20.120.090.09---NoNo0.80 A0.80 A14 uA34 g53 g---
L11.51.91.9---NoNo0.80 A0.80 A14 uA34 g53 g---
M2131616---NoNo0.80 A0.80 A14 uA34 g53 g---
M1809292---NoNo0.80 A0.80 A14 uA34 g53 g---
H1250295290---NoNo0.80 A0.80 A14 uA34 g53 g4,135-0.005295
T2320400380---NoNo0.80 A0.80 A14 uA34 g53 g---
T14806406101,850 cd1,580 cd79 mNoNo0.80 A0.80 A14 uA34 g53 g---
S3------7-10 HzNo0.80 A0.80 A14 uA34 g53 g---
S2------SOSNo0.80 A0.80 A14 uA34 g53 g---
S1------1 HzNo0.80 A0.80 A14 uA34 g53 g---
L2 AA-0.080.08---NoNo--4.5 uA34 g64 g---
L1 AA-1.61.6---NoNo--4.5 uA34 g64 g---
M2 AA-6.96.9---NoNo--4.5 uA34 g64 g---
M1 AA-2626---NoNo--4.5 uA34 g64 g---
H1 AA-8080---NoNo--4.5 uA34 g64 g---
T2 AA-130130---NoNo--4.5 uA34 g64 g---
T1 AA-190190---NoNo--4.5 uA34 g64 g---
S3 AA------7-10 HzNo--4.5 uA34 g64 g---
S2 AA------SOSNo--4.5 uA34 g64 g---
S1 AA------1 HzNo--4.5 uA34 g64 g---

As with the H300, I am finding generally good concordance of published specs with what my lightbox reports on 14500 – although as usual, my lightbox reports somewhat higher output on the high through Turbo modes on my sample.

The one difference is that my NIST-calibrated luxmeter reports slightly lower max beam distance. I’m not at all concerned for a headlamp (i.e., I like a floody beam). I am impressed to see a very low “moonlight” low mode (L2) here, which clocked in around 0.09 lumens in my testing.

I don’t have official specs for AA, but my NiMH results above show noticeably lower output across levels (as you would expect for lower voltage sources).

To view and download full testing results for all modern lights in my testing, check out my Database page.

Runtimes

As always, my runtimes are done under a small cooling fan, for safety and consistency. To learn more about how to interpret runtime graphs, see my runtimes methodology page. Note that on average, my lightbox’s calibration seems to be ~20% higher than most modern reviewers.

To start, I’m showing below how the highest modes of the H150 compares to its larger 18650 sibling, the H300.

Obviously, the H300 is capable of much high initial and sustained output (and runtime). But the key observation for me on the H150 is that both T1 and T2 step down relatively quickly to the H1 levels. And of course, it’s great to see flat-stabilized regulation at all levels.

Here is a blow-up of the first few mins, to allow you to better compare.

Max-extended

Basically, compared to the high (H1) level, the T1 turbo gives you about twice the output for ~1-1.5 mins, while T2 gives you ~40% more output for 3 mins. Personally, I don’t really see the point of of the intermediate T2 turbo level. It seems like they applied the standard user interface from the M300/H300 lights to this smaller form factor, without really considering its functionality.

Here is how the H150 compares to some headlamps I’ve tested:

Headlamps

All headlamps are a trade-off between weight and output/runtime (plus heat). Personally, I find the H1 and M1 levels of the H150 very useful for most typical headlamp tasks. And the flat-regulated one hour and ~3.5 hours of runtime, respectively, lets you plan for your activity. There may be the occasional task when I want an 18650-powered headlamp, but for the most part, the half-weight 14500 model suits my needs.

As mentioned above, the H150 will also run on a standard AA battery. Here is what I found with an Eneloop 2450mAh NiMH. Note this NiMH AA cell is about 11g heavier than the stock 14500.

As shown in my output tables above, the output levels of the lower-voltage NiMH AA are lower than the 14500 on all modes, as you would expect. But overall output/runtime efficiency is pretty comparable (e.g., M1 on 14500 is pretty close in output and runtime to H1 on NiMH AA). The T1 and T2 modes step down to the H1 level as the battery depletes.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
The light shows excellent current-controlled efficiency across all levels.User interface is fairly sophisticated, and reasonable for the class, but it does have some small quirks and limitations.
Circuit shows excellent regulation, with stable runtimes and generally reasonable step-down timing.There is not much differentiation in output or runtime between the two Turbo and single Hi levels.
Good range low-high output levels, with a true Moonlight mode.Magnetic charging dock performance is good but won't initiate a charge >4.0V resting.
Textured optic provides an extremely floody beam, with no real hotspot.
Standard AA batteries will also work in the light (with reduced output).
Very low standby drain.
Very light and compact build with good quality and decent feel.
Includes a bidirectional pocket clip, in addition to headband

Overall Rating

Preliminary Conclusions

The H150 is another great performer from Skilhunt. As with its larger sibling the 18650-based H300, it has a high quality feel, good design and some nice stylistic touches. Switch feel is good, and the user interface is very reasonable for the class. The charging dock worked well in my testing, consistent with others who use this magnetic design. The headband holds onto you head well, and I find this to be to a comfortable 1×14500/AA headlamp to wear and use.

In terms of circuit performance, it shows the same excellent output/runtime efficiency and regulation as the other Skilhunt lights. However, there is really not much to differentiate the T1/T2 levels relative to H1 level (at least on 14500). As always, it’s great to see the range of lower outputs, including the <1 lumen Moonlight mode here. And it is a great bonus that you can run standard AA batteries in this light – for reduced output, but with good spacing of levels.

The range of emitters offered is good, and I’m glad to have the Neutral White Nichia 519A option – one of my favourite headlamp emitters.

The overall build is comparable to the H300, so it actually makes it convenient if you have both models (i.e., save the H300 for when you need higher output or longer runtime, use the half-weight H150 for typical around-the-house maintenance). Beam patterns are fairly comparable too.

There is really not much else to critique here, it really is a great all-around compact headlamp/worklight. Another very strong option to consider, highly recommended.

Acknowledgement

The H150 was supplied by Skilhunt for review. As always, all opinions are my own and the light received the same rigourous and objective testing as all other lights that I have reviewed. At the time of review, this configuration of the light and battery retails for ~$50 USD (~$68 CDN).

Wurkkos TS10

The TS10 is a popular multi-emitter, 1×14500 light from Wurkkos that features the sophisticated Anduril user interface. Powerful, compact, and available in a wide range of build options.

  1. Introduction
  2. Manufacturer Specifications
  3. Package Details
  4. Build
  5. User Interface
  6. Circuit Measures
  7. Emitter Measures
  8. Beamshots
  9. Testing Results
  10. Runtimes
  11. Pros and Cons
  12. Overall Rating
  13. Preliminary Conclusions
  14. Acknowledgement

Introduction

I’m working through my backlog of lights – these TS10 samples were obtained at the end of the summer last year.

The TS10 series has a lot of love out there from flashlight enthusiasts. Relatively tiny and inexpensive, they pack a powerful floody punch with 3x CSP LEDs (with their high >90 CRI) in either Cool white or Neutral white, along with secondary red colour emitters. The body comes in various build materials (aluminum, brass, titanium, copper) and colours (in the aluminum version). Oh, and it features the sophisticated Anduril user interface.

Given my positive experiences with Anduril, I thought I’d see how this model performs. Wurkkos agreed to send me the Cool white version (in silver aluminum finish), and I personally ordered a Warm white (black anodized finish) to compare.

Before I jump into testing, I should point out that there is a new V2 of the TS10 recently released. My understanding is that it has some small circuit tweaks but should perform comparably to the performance seen here. Note however the secondary red LEDs have been replaced with RGB, giving you greater functionality (i.e., Anduril works well with secondary RGB emitters, see my Emisar D1 and D4K reviews for an indication of what to expect).

Manufacturer Specifications

Note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides. Scroll down to see my actual runtimes.

MakerWurkkosWurkkos
ModelTS10TS10
Emitter3xCSP LED >90 CRI3xCSP LED >90 CRI
Tint4000 K6000 K
Max Output (Lumens)1,4001,400
Min Output (Lumens)11
Max Runtime--
Max Beam Intensity (cd)4,150 cd4,150 cd
Max Beam Distance (m)130 m130 m
Constant Levels150150
Flashing66
Battery
Weight (w/o battery)32 g32 g
Weight (with battery)--
Length71.5 mm71.5 mm
Head Diameter21 mm21 mm
Body Diameter--
WaterproofIPX8 2mIPX8 2m

Package Details




The packaging for the TS10 is fairly basic, shown above for the “silvery” version of the coated aluminum. Inside the fairly simple cardboard box you will find:

  • TS10 flashlight
  • Wurkkos 14500 battery 900mAh (if ordered as part of the kit)
  • Single cell charger, with micro-USB cable (again, if ordered as part of the kit)
  • Bi-directional pocket clip
  • Wrist lanyard
  • 2 Spare body tube o-rings
  • Manual

The TS10 lacks any sort of in-light charging, but for an extra ~$2 or so you can get a Wurkkos 14500 battery and simple external charger. It’s nice to see the bundled pocket clip at this low price.

Build


From left to right: Mateminco 18350 (1200mAh), Mateminco SL02 (18350 body tube), Vapcell 18350 F14 (1400mAh), Emisar D1 (18350 body tube), Wurkkos 14500 (900mAh), Wurkkos TS10.















You have a lot of build options here, but I have opted for the basic aluminum construction. As you can see, the light has an inner aluminum sleeve that is anodized except for the end. This inner signal tube is what makes contact with the head ring, and allows the switch to control the light. I presume this same design is also true for the brass and titanium build options, but don’t know for certain.

The light is controlled by an electronic side switch in the tail, under a rubberized cover. Feel and traverse of the electronic switch is surprisingly decent, with a firm click and typical traverse. The tailcap edge is flat, with the switch ever so slightly recessed – so the light is able to tailstand fairly stably. There is no cut-out for the simple wrist lanyard, so you would need to attach that to the clip if you wanted to use (I personally don’t see the value).

Tailcap threads are square-cut with good feel, although note that the light comes bare with no lube. Thanks to the anodized signal switch tube, you can technically lock out the switch (for activation) by a twist of the head – but this is not recommended (scroll down for a discussion on this point). With the o-rings in place, I expect waterproofness to be decent. Indeed, I accidentally left one of these in my jeans pocket when it went the through the washing machine – despite banging around the wash the whole cycle, the light came out fully dry inside with no water entry.

There is a spring in the head in the tail, along with a flat disc contact in the head. Small button top cells are recommend.

The bidirectional stainless steel pocket clip attaches near the tail, and allows for head-up or head-down carry. It also serves as effective anti-roll device, which is appreciated.

There are a couple of options for the emitter LED, Cool white (6000K) or Neutral white (4000K). I have both on hand to test, and I don’t think you can go wrong with either, given the relatively Hi CRI nature of the CSP emitters. The lights also currently come with three red auxillary LEDs that are easily controlled with the Anduril user interface (at two different intensities). See the user interface section below for more information.

Unlike most of the lights I am reviewing these days, there is no built-in charger on the TS10. But if you buy the light with the battery kit (for an extra ~$2) you get a 14500 battery and a stand-alone micro-USB charger suitable for the 14500 cell.

There is no knurling to speak of, and only fairly minor ridge detail. So I recommend you use the included pocket clip to help with grip. Anodizing looks to be good quality (for presumed type II, give the colour range), with no damage on my sample. I would describe the black finish as matte, and the “silvery” as sandblasted. Note that the “silvery” colour option no longer seems to be available on the Wurkkos store.







The basic optic gives you a nice even beam. It doesn’t show up well in my desk shots above, but the beam is indeed very broad and floody. Scroll down for actual outdoor beamshots. There is no sign of AR coating on the lens (not that I would expect any, with an optic).

One great feature of this light is the 3 additional secondary red emitters built-in here. These can be turned on and controlled by the auxillary LED settings in Anduril.

Here is what they look like on the high and low output AUX settings:




In my handling, I find the High level for the AUX red LEDs is surprisingly bright – and the Low level is very low (scroll down for specific output measures).

And again, note that the new V2 of the TS10 currently shipping comes with RGB LEDs for greater functionality.

User Interface

As mentioned above, the TS10 uses the open-source Anduril 2 user interface (UI). Anduril has two distinct UIs mode sets: Simple and Advanced. The labels are a bit misleading, as both are fairly sophisticated – it is just that the Advanced UI has a lot of extra options not available on the scaled-down Simple UI. Both UIs have the option for a discrete Stepped level mode, in addition to the continuously-variable Smooth Ramping mode.

To switch from the default Simple UI to Advanced UI, you need to do 10 clicks from Off with a hold on the 10th click (10H), with 10 clicks (10C) to return to simple UI. Advanced UI has a lot more options available. It’s easier to show the UIs rather than explain them in words, so here is a helpful pic:

ui-diagram

You can also download a plain text-based manual from Anduril creator Toykeeper, or a more interactive one with version control here.

This implementation of Anduril 2 has eight discrete Stepped levels, which I’ve numbered in this review as H1 through H8 (with H1 being the lowest level, and H8 being Turbo).

According to the firmware Version Check, my TS10 Neutral white sample is model 0714. Full info is 2022-07-19-07-14 (version code is Year-Month-Day the firmware was compiled, followed by a 2-digit brand ID and 2-digit product ID).

Again, check the image and link above for more info, but here is a simplified description of the UI to get you started.

From OFF:

  • Press-and-hold (1H): Turns On in lowest output, in either Ramping mode or Stepped mode depending on which mode is enabled (and which UI you are in)
  • Single-click (1C): Turns on in last memorized mode used (Ramping or Stepped)
  • Double-click (2C): Turns on to Turbo (aka the Ramping max output)
  • Triple-click (3C): Battery check (voltage read out a single time) and basic flashing/strobe modes.
  • Triple-click-and-hold (3H): Special strobe modes, but only when in Advanced UI (remembers last strobe mode used)
  • 4 clicks (4C): Lockout mode. In lockout mode you have different options available:
    • Press-and-hold (1H): Momentary Moonlight
    • Double-click-and-hold (2H): Momentary Low
    • 4 clicks (4C): Turns On in memorized output level
    • 4 clicks and hold (4H): Turns On in the lowest level
    • 5 clicks (5C): Turns On in Turbo
    • 10 clicks and hold (10H): Configure the lock timeout threshold (in Advanced UI only), allowing you to pre-set the timeout time of the lock.
  • 7 clicks (7C): (Advanced UI only) Enters AUX/Button LED config for the next mode. There are four modes you can switch between; constant low, blinking low, off, constant hi. Click 7 times again to advance to the next option, in sequence. The light auto-memorizes the last option you select.

From ON:

  • Press-and-hold (1H): Ramps up (or Steps up, depending on the mode). Ramps/steps down if you do it again.
  • Single-click (1C): Turns Off
  • Double-click (2C): Jumps to Turbo
  • Double-click-and-hold (2H): Ramps down (or Steps down)
  • Triple-click (3C): Switch between Ramping and Stepped modes
  • 4 clicks (4C): Lockout mode (see above for options)

Mode memory:

Yes, the circuit memorizes the last constant On output level in either Ramping or Stepped modes.

Strobe/Blinking modes:

Yes, quite a few actually. The strobe/blinking modes are accessible from Off with a triple-click (3C) or triple-click-and-hold (3H), but in Advanced UI only. You can switch between strobe/blinking modes with 2 clicks (2C), in the following sequence (see testing results below to see what these look like):

Triple-click (3C):

  • Battery check
  • Temperature check
  • Beacon mode
  • SOS mode

Triple-click-and hold (3H):

  • Candle mode
  • Bike flasher mode
  • Party strobe mode
  • Tactical strobe mode
  • Lightning mode

Low voltage warning:

Sort of. In operation, the light drops in brightness in steps, and runs for an extended time at a very low level. Apparently it shuts off when the cell is ~2.8V (although I haven’t run it that long to confirm).

Lock-out mode:

Yes. In either Simple UI or Advanced UI, lockout is accessed by 4 clicks (4C) from On or Off (repeat to unlock). The lockout mode is unusual with Anduril, as it actually enables momentary operation in the minimum modes (see above).

Normally, I recommend you physically lock the switch out at the head, if you want to guarantee no accidental activation. However, there are reports that this causes issues for the circuit on Anduril lights with inner signal tubes. Specifically, bad data may be relayed to the circuit during reactivations (including inadvertently producing factory resets). As such, I recommend you store the lights either in electronic lockout mode, or with the batteries removed.

Factory reset:

There are two ways to do a factory reset of an Anduril light. This can be necessary sometimes if you get into trouble when programming, or if circuit glitches crop up. The easier method to reset the light is to loosen the head (breaking contact with the inner signal tube), press and hold the button down, and tighten the head while not letting go of the button. The light will flicker a bit and then rapidly ramp up – at the end of which it will make a very bright flash. Keep holding the button until it reaches the end of that bright flash. If you release it too early, the light will not reset.

If you find that method doesn’t work, you can use the standard 13H method shown in the diagram above. With the head connected, holding on the 13th rapid click will do the same as above – the light will flicker, ramp, and then bright flash. Personally, I find it a bit tricky to accurately count out 13 clicks and hold without hesitation on the last one. But this will do the job as well, if you can get the timing down.

Temperature check and thermal calibration mode:

This is a little complicated (and beyond the needs of most users), so I will just refer you to the diagram from the manual above. With default settings, I find this light steps down fairly quickly due to heat (unsurprising, given default Anduril settings are conservative and the thermal mass is small here). I have not tried to reconfigure my sample, since I find it plenty toasty as is. Note that if you get into any trouble (or wish to reset any custom configurations), you can easily reset the light to the factory defaults by 13 clicks-and-hold (13H).

Reviewer Comments:

Anduril is a sophisticated setup – a choice of Simple or Advanced UI, Stepped and Ramping modes, AUX LED control, etc. Of course, you will never please everyone, and I know many may prefer a simpler interface. But this light can easily be configured to run quite simply (i.e., you don’t need to use the all the features if you don’t want to).

Note that I found myself needing to reset these lights a few times in my testing, due to little quirks or bugs that cropped up (e.g., suddenly not switching between smooth or ramping, or not letting me reconfigure the AUX LEDs, etc.). These issues can happen in any Anduril light, but it seemed to me that this model was more prone to it. It may have to do with the known issue of physically locking out light at the head, which I did periodically during testing (this is an issue on Anduril lights with inner signal tubes). In any case, any issues that crop up can easily be fixed with a circuit reset (followed by reapplying whatever customizations you prefer).

Circuit Measures

No Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM):

There is no sign of PWM on any level, the circuit appears to be fully current-controlled. But as is common for budget lights with simple FET drivers running Anduril, there is non-visually detectable circuit noise at all output levels except max:

H1:
L1

H2:
L2

H3:
L3

H4:
L4

H5:
L5

H6:
L6

H7:
L7

H8:
L8

Again, this ~20 kHz noise is NOT visible to the eye, and is not a problem. It is typically a sign of a fairly basic driver though (e.g., I saw a similar pattern on the WK15 I recently reviewed). Interestingly, it disappears on the highest level.

Strobe Modes:

Note that for most of the strobe / flashing modes below, the actual frequency and intensity are both configurable. What I am showing below is the default speed and/or brightness setting. By pressing and holding the switch (1H or 2H) you can select the frequency. And in some cases, brightness is set from the last-used ramp level.

Beacon:
Beacon

Beacon strobe is a single flash every ~2.3 secs (so, <0.5 Hz) by default.

SOS:
SOS

A fairly typical SOS mode.

Candle:
Candle

Candle strobe is a continuous flicker, of varying intensity (again, accurately simulating a candle).

Bike Strobe:
Bike

Bike strobe is a bit unusual with Anduril. It is constant On at a lower level, with four brief flashes to max (over ~0.25 secs) every ~1 sec or so by default. It certainly is an attention grabber.

Party Strobe:
Party

Party strobe is a super-fast (and annoying) frequency of ~20 Hz by default.

Tactical Strobe:
Tactical
Tactical
Tactical

Tactical strobe is typically ~10 Hz by default, although I found my sample fluctuated between ~8.7-8.9 Hz.

Lightning Strobe:
Lightning
Lightning
Lightning

I’ve shown three 10-sec cycles above, so you can a feel for the frequency and intensity of light flashes. Lightning strobe is a fairly realistic lightning simulation, with variable intensity and time between flashes.

Charging:


The included micro-USB charger uses a single-stage charging mode of 1.0A. This is a high charging rate for a 14500 cell, and will charge it relatively quickly.

Standby / Parasitic Drain:

NOTE: My original drain measures were off by a significant amount. I have corrected them below.

With the switch disconnected and AUX LEDs set to off, I measured the standby drain as ~4 uA on both samples. For a 900mAh cell, that would translate into a little over 25 years before the cell would be fully drained (which, is completely negligible and not a concern).

With the AUX LEDs activated on the very dim Low setting, I measured the drain as 145 uA on both samples. For a 900mAh cell, that would give you just over 8.5 months before the cell would be drained. This is reasonable.

With the AUX LEDs activated on the very bright High setting, I measured a large jump to 13.5 mA and 13.2 mA on my two samples. Taking the average, that would fully drain the cell in about 67 hours (so, just under 3 days). While this is fine for the occasional use, it doesn’t make for a very effective or efficient Moonlight mode. Indeed, based on my experience, the low smooth Ramping minimum on the main emitters would likely have a much lower drain – with greater output with a better beam pattern.

Emitter Measures

In this section, I directly measure key emitter characteristics in terms of colour temperature, tint, and colour rendition. Please see my Emitter Measures page to learn more about what these terms mean, and how I am measuring them. As tint in particular can shift across levels, I typically stick with the highest stably regulated level for all my reported measures.

As explained on that page, since I am using an inexpensive uncalibrated device, you can only make relative comparisons across my reviews (i.e., don’t take these numbers as absolutely accurate values, but as relatively consistent across lights in my testing).

TS10 Cool white on H6:

The key measures above are the colour temperature of ~5770K, and a completely negligible tint shift (+0.0002 Duv). For CRI (Ra), I measured a combined score of 94 (Hi CRI).

These results are very consistent with other Cool white CSP emitters I’ve tested.

TS10 Neutral white on H6:

The key measures above are the colour temperature of ~3800K, and a slightly noticeably negative tint shift (-0.0038 Duv) to pinkish-red at this temperature. For CRI (Ra), I measured a combined score of 97 (Hi CRI).

These results are very consistent with other neutral-warm CSP emitters I’ve tested.

Just out of curiosity, I thought I’d measure the AUX red LEDs.

TS10 AUX Red LEDs on Hi:

The simple Light Master lightmeter that I am using is not rated for monochromatic sources, but the reading above is very consistent with a dedicated red light – it is well off the blackbody radiation curve at the red end of the spectrum.

Beamshots

All outdoor beamshots are taken on my Canon PowerShot S5 IS at f/2.7, 0.5 secs exposure, ISO 400, daylight white balance. The bend in the road is approximately 40 meters (~45 yards) from the camera. Learn more about my outdoor beamshots here (scroll down for the floody light position used in this review).

Click on any thumbnail image below to open a full size image in a new window. You can then easily compare beams by switching between tabs.



As you can see above, the TS10s produce a relatively floody beam, with tint to match the expected colour temperatures.

Testing Results

My summary tables are generally reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. In addition to the links above, please see my output measures page for more background.

All my output numbers are based on my home-made lightbox setup. As explained on that methodology page, I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values to estimated lumens. Note that my lightbox calibration runs higher than most hobbyists today, but I’ve kept it to remain consistent with my earlier reviews (when the base calibration standard was first established). On average though, I find my lumen estimates are ~20% higher than most other modern reviewers.

My Peak Intensity/Beam Distance are directly measured with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter.

TS10 Testing Results

TintModeSpec LumensEstimated Lumens @0secEstimated Lumens @30 secsBeam Intensity @0secBeam Intensity @30secsBeam Distance @30secsPWM/Strobe FreqNoise FreqCharging Current <3VCharging Current >3VParasitic DrainWeight w/o BatteryWeight with BatteryCCT (K)DuvCRI
4000 KRed AUX Leds (Low)-<0.001<0.001---NoNo1.0 A1.0 A145 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KRed AUX Leds (High)-0.190.19---NoNo1.0 A1.0 A13.5 mA29 g50 g---
4000 KSmooth Ramp Min-0.0150.015---NoNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KH110.210.21---NoNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KH2103.23.2---No3.9 kHz1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KH3501212---No6.4 kHz1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KH41304141---No19.7 kHz1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KH5300110105---No19.7 kHz1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KH6580260200---No19.7 kHz1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g3,805-0.003897
4000 KH7900600550---No19.8 kHz1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KH81,4001,9505003,980 cd3,380 cd116 mNoNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KCandle------NoNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KBike Strobe------1.1 HzNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KParty Strobe------22 HzNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KTactical Strobe------8.8 HzNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KLightning------NoNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KBeacon------1.7 HzNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
4000 KSOS------NoNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KRed AUX Leds (Low)-NoNo1.0 A1.0 A145 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KRed AUX Leds (High)-NoNo1.0 A1.0 A13.2 mA29 g50 g---
6000 KSmooth Ramp Min-NoNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KH110.270.27NoNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KH2103.93.9No3.9 kHz1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KH3501515No6.4 kHz1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KH41304747No19.7 kHz1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KH5300125120No19.7 kHz1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KH6580270265No19.7 kHz1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g
6000 KH7900610580No19.8 kHz1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g5,7700.000294
6000 KH81,4002,0007504,050 cd3,330 cd115 mNoNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KCandle------NoNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KBike Strobe------1.1 HzNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KParty Strobe------22 HzNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KTactical Strobe------8.8 HzNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KLightning------NoNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KBeacon------1.7 HzNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---
6000 KSOS------NoNo1.0 A1.0 A~4 uA29 g50 g---

There is a good dynamic range on the Stepped levels (you can go even lower on the Ramping minimum), consistent with other Anduril lights that use simple linear FET drivers (e.g., Sofirn IF25A, Wurkkos TS30S Pro). Scroll down to see how these TS10 lights perform in terms of runtime.

To view and download full testing results for all modern lights in my testing, check out my Database page.

Runtimes

As always, my runtimes are done under a small cooling fan, for safety and consistency. To learn more about how to interpret runtime graphs, see my runtimes methodology page. Note that on average, my lightbox’s calibration seems to be ~20% higher than most modern reviewers.

Max

Hi

Med

Lo

I don’t have a lot of 14500 lights to compare to, but the overall efficiency of these TS10 lights seems pretty good for the rated battery capacity.

It’s true they are not fully flat voltage-regulated at the highest Stepped levels (i.e., H6-H8), but they are at lower outputs. And even at the highest outputs, the variable pattern of output over time is still gradual enough that you wouldn’t see it in practice.

To illustrate, here is how the the first few minutes look on the max output:

Max-extended

Max output levels are consistent with other small lights, no real surprises here. Of course heat will be limiting on the max level, so I recommend you run the light on H1-H7 for best performance.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Very floody and high output beam for such a tiny light. Simple linear FET circuit, so light lack flat voltage-regulation on the higher output modes.
Very wide dynamic range of outputs, including true moonlight and two auxillary red output modesMax output drops rapidly on max output, due to low thermal mass.
Sophisticated user interface with AndurilAnduril user interface can be complicated for some, but it can be set to run in basic mode.
Hi CRI white LED emitters, in cool or neutral white colour temperature.Trying to physically lock out the light can lead to circuit glitches, due to presumed switch interactions with the inner signal tube during reconnection.
Tailcap electronic clicky switch included, despite small size.Larger hands may find it hard to operate, given tiny size.
Very low standby drain.
Variety of build materials available.
Good bidirectional clip included, despite budget cost

Overall Rating

Preliminary Conclusions

There is a lot to love with this little light. It’s a small but impressive build (and there are multiple build options available). It has a great high CRI floody beam (in two possible colour temperatures) with auxillary red emitters. And it’s surprising to see a tail switch in a light this small.

It features the sophisticated Anduril user interface, which I am a fan of given all the included features, options and customizations. I realize that it may be more complex than some would want, but you can always run it as a very basic light if you don’t want to use the multiple click options. Note that the use of an electronic switch with an inner signal tube in Anduril lights can lead to some circuit quirks if you try to physically lock out the head, so its best to rely on electronic lockout. It is also good to know how to perform a factory reset (see my User Interface section above for a discussion).

One of nice things about Anduril is that even bundled with a very simple driver, you get an impressive dynamic range of outputs (from ultra-low moonlight to super high output). You can easily choose between visually-linear ramping outputs or stepped levels. Of course, given the small thermal mass and simple circuit, max output will drop off quickly. You also won’t see the flat voltage-stabilization at the higher output levels.

But these are minor points, especially given the ridiculously low price you can find these lights at. I don’t usually factor price into my reviews, but it is remarkable how much you get here for so little. The range of build options is also very impressive. It’s a great all-around package with the included 14500 cell (and external battery charger).

I can see why people like to buy multiple versions of this light. It is super fun to play with, and incredibly versatile and powerful. And the addition of RGB AUX LEDs to the revised V2 of this light further enhances its versatility. Highly recommended.

Acknowledgement

The TS10 Cool white was received by Wurkkos for review, and the TS10 Neutral white was personally purchased. As always, all opinions are my own and the light received the same rigourous and objective testing as all other lights that I have reviewed. At the time of review, this light with an included 14500 cell and charger retails for ~$20 USD (~$27 CDN) shipped at the Wurkkos website.

Wurkkos WK15

The WK15 is a relatively compact, inexpensive, general-purpose flashlight running on a single 21700 battery. It features the common Cree XHP50.2 emitter.

  1. Introduction
  2. Manufacturer Specifications
  3. Package Details
  4. Build
  5. User Interface
  6. Circuit Measures
  7. Emitter Measures
  8. Beamshots
  9. Testing Results
  10. Runtimes
  11. Pros and Cons
  12. Overall Rating
  13. Preliminary Conclusions
  14. Acknowledgement

Introduction

I am still working through my backlog of lights – this WK15 sample was received late last summer.

I’ve reviewed a number of general purpose 1×21700 lights by Wurkkos and Sofirn, and have typically been very impressed with the performance and build for the price. I noticed a general lack of reviews on the WK15, which seems to be a particularly inexpensive model in this space. Wurkkos agreed to send me a sample to review.

Equipped with the popular XHP50.2 emitter, available in both the neutral white 5000K and cool white 6000K colour temperatures (I opted for 5000K). The WK15 rated specs are very similar to many competing models in this space, despite its relatively compact size. Let’s see how it performs in my testing.

Manufacturer Specifications

Note: As always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual runtimes.

FeatureSpecs
MakerWurkkos
ModelWK15
EmitterXHP50.2
Tint5000 K
Max Output (Lumens)3,000
Min Output (Lumens)1
Max Runtime500 hours
Max Beam Intensity (cd)11,892 cd
Max Beam Distance (m)218 m
Constant Levels6
FlashingStrobe
Battery1x21700
Weight (w/o battery)-
Weight (with battery)70 g
Length113 mm
Head Diameter27.8 mm
Body Diameter-
WaterproofIP68

Package Details




Unlike the modern style packaging of the newer higher-end models from Sofirn and Wurkkos, the WK15 comes in fairly basic packaging. Inside I found:

  • Wurkkos WK15 flashlight
  • Wurkkos-branded 5000mAh 21700 battery
  • Wrist lanyard
  • USB-C charging cable
  • 2 Spare O-rings
  • Manual

It’s a decent package for a “budget” build, but I would like to see a holster included. FYI, Wurkkos sells an inexpensive holster (small size for ~$2 USD) that fits this light.

Build


From left to right: LiitoKala 21700 (5000mAh), Vapcell 21700 F56 (5600mAh), Emisar D4K, Imalent MS03, Convoy S21E, Skilhunt M300, Wurkkos WK15, Wurkkos TS22, Sofirn SP35T, Cyansky P25, Nitecore P20iX, Acebeam E70.








The WK15 is a very compact 1×21700 light – its definitely on the smaller side of the lights I’ve tested in this class. It vaguely reminds me of the Fenix E35, although in a more basic build.

The tailcap is flat, with a lanyard cut-out area. It is able to tailstand stably. Tailcap threads are square-cut and anodized, with good feel. Thanks to the anodized tailcap threads, you can easily lock-out this light by a simple twist of the tailcap.

The electronic switch on the side of the head has red and green LEDs underneath to show charge status. Feel and traverse of the electronic switch is very similar to a lot of Wurkkos and Sofirn lights – it’s ok, but could be a bit tighter/firmer (i.e., hard switch covers always have some degree of play).

The light’s USB-C charging port is located on the opposite side from the switch, under a rubber cover. The cover fits pretty well – not too too tight, not too loose. I expected waterproofness is reasonable (i.e., more splashable than watertight).

There is a lot of traditional knurling on the light – not super aggressive, but more than most, producing excellent grip. Anodizing looks to be good quality for type II, with no damage on my sample. I would describe the finish as matte. Thanks to included bi-directional clip, the light will not roll on its side. The clip attaches firmly, and is good for both bezel up and down carry.

Inside, the light comes with a Wurkkos-branded standard-sized 5000mAh 21700 battery, with a slightly raised flat-top.

This is a solid little light, with good grip and handfeel. It does seem a bit more budget than the rest of the Wurrkos or Sofirn line – but that is in keeping with its lower price point.


The WK15 comes with a XHP50.2 HD emitter, in neutral or cool white tint (neutral on my sample). The reflector is fairly shallow and well textured (moderate orange peel, MOP). There doesn’t seem to be any kind of anti-reflective coating on the lens.

As expected, there is noticeable tint/colour shifting across the periphery of the beam, with a warmer yellowish white hotspot surrounded by a coolish spill and purplish shift near the edge of the periphery. This is a well-known issue with HD emitters of the XHP family, particularly obvious on the XHP50.2. The textured reflector normally helps to even it out, but I do find my sample is rather noticeable.

The bezel is flat black aluminum. So you can headstand stably, but you can’t tell if the light is on in that orientation.

User Interface

The WK15 has a straightforward user interface, and one that is similar to many basic Sofirn and Wurkkos lights.

Mode levels: Moonlight, Eco, Low, Mid, High, Turbo, and Strobe

From OFF:

  • Press-and-hold: Turns on in Moonlight mode.
  • Single-click: Turns On in last memorized mode (only Eco, Lo, Med and Hi can be memorized).
  • Double-click: Turns On in Turbo.
  • Triple-click: Turns On in Strobe.
  • 4 clicks: Activate Lock-out mode. Four clicks to unlock.

From ON:

  • Press-and-hold: Cycle between Eco > Lo > Med > Hi (in sequence).
  • Single-click: Turns Off.
  • Double-click: Jumps to Turbo. Single click jumps you back to last memorized mode.
  • Triple-click: Jumps to Strobe.Single click jumps you back to last memorized mode.

Mode memory:

Yes, for non-Moonlight, non-Turbo constant output modes.

Shortcuts:

  • Moonlight mode: Press-and-hold the switch from Off.
  • Turbo mode: Double-click the switch from On or Off.
  • Strobe: Triple-click the switch from On or Off.

Low voltage warning:

Not that I noticed.

Lockout mode:

Yes, you can physically lock out the light at the tailcap. There is an electronic lockout as well that you can trigger manually (i.e., no auto-lockout).

Battery indicator:

Not that I noticed.

Reviewer Comments:

A very serviceable and standard interface – easy to remember and use.

Circuit Measures

No Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM):

Moonlight:
Moonlight

Eco:
Eco

Low:
Lo

Med:
Med

High:
Hi

Turbo:
Turbo

There is high frequency circuit noise on all levels above Moonlight. This is common on a lot of inexpensive lights, and is not necessarily a concern as it is not visually detectable. I measured the frequency as just over 21 kHz on all modes from Eco through Turbo (note the last trace above shows an inaccurate lower value – the auto measure feature in the oscilloscope software sometimes gets fooled by slower harmonics).

Strobe:

Strobe is a constant 14 Hz.

Charging:

The switch button shows solid red when the light is charging. Changes to solid green when the charging is complete.

Resting voltage <3.0V

Resting voltage >3.0V

The WK15 has a two-stage charging feature, as seen on many good quality modern lights (i.e., where there is a lower initial charging rate when the cell is heavily discharged). I’m actually surprised to see it here, given the budget price. This is also a very high charging rate for the class, and will charge a 21700 cell quickly.

Standby / Parasitic Drain:

Yes, due to the electronic switch. I measured it at 1.7 mA, which is moderately high. For a 5000mAh cell, that would mean you would deplete the battery is about 4 months. But you can easily cut this current by a simple twist of the tailcap.

Emitter Measures

In this section, I directly measure key emitter characteristics in terms of colour temperature, tint, and colour rendition. Please see my Emitter Measures page to learn more about what these terms mean, and how I am measuring them. As tint in particular can shift across levels, I typically stick with the highest stably regulated level for all my reported measures.

As explained on that page, since I am using an inexpensive uncalibrated device, you can only make relative comparisons across my reviews (i.e., don’t take these numbers as absolutely accurate values, but as relatively consistent across lights in my testing).

WK15 on Hi:

The key measures above are the colour temperature of ~4800K, and a slight positive tint shift (+0.0103 Duv) to slight greenish-yellow at this temperature. I wasn’t able to get a reliable CRI (Ra) measure.

These values are consistent with the performance of a neutral white XHP50.2 emitter, and match my visual experience of this light. Note that there is a noticeable tint shift from yellowish hotspot to cooler white spill with purplish spillbeam edge, which is common to 50.2 HD emitters.

Beamshots

All outdoor beamshots are taken on my Canon PowerShot S5 IS at f/2.7, 0.5 secs exposure, ISO 400, daylight white balance. The bend in the road is approximately 40 meters (~45 yards) from the camera. Learn more about my outdoor beamshots here (scroll down for the floody light position used in this review).

Click on any thumbnail image below to open a full size image in a new window. You can then easily compare beams by switching between tabs.



As you can see above, the WK15 has a pretty traditional beam for this class.

Testing Results

My summary tables are generally reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. In addition to the links above, please see my output measures page for more background.

All my output numbers are based on my home-made lightbox setup. As explained on that methodology page, I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values to estimated lumens. Note that my lightbox calibration runs higher than most hobbyists today, but I’ve kept it to remain consistent with my earlier reviews (when the base calibration standard was first established). On average though, I find my lumen estimates are ~20% higher than most other modern reviewers.

My Peak Intensity/Beam Distance are directly measured with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter.

WK15 Testing Results

ModeSpec LumensEstimated Lumens @0secEstimated Lumens @30 secsBeam Intensity @0secBeam Intensity @30secsBeam Distance @30secsPWM/Strobe FreqNoise FreqCharging Current <3VCharging Current >3VParasitic DrainWeight w/o BatteryWeight with BatteryCCT (K)DuvCRI
Moon11.21.2---No21.25 kHz0.17 A2.15 A1.70 mA71 g140 g---
Eco101010---No21.25 kHz0.17 A2.15 A1.70 mA71 g140 g---
Low100150150---No21.25 kHz0.17 A2.15 A1.70 mA71 g140 g---
Med550590585---No21.25 kHz0.17 A2.15 A1.70 mA71 g140 g4,8150.0113-
High1,5001,5501,550---No21.25 kHz0.17 A2.15 A1.70 mA71 g140 g---
Turbo3,0003,5003,30013,500 cd12,100 cd220 mNo1.24 kHz0.17 A2.15 A1.70 mA71 g140 g---
Strobe3,000-----14.2 Hz21.25 kHz0.17 A2.15 A1.70 mA71 g140 g---

My WK15 sample very closely matches the reported specs for this light. I know my lightbox’s relative calibration is generously high for modern high-output lights, however.

That said, my NIST-calibrated luxmeter is accurately calibrated to an absolute standard, and similarly reports very consistent peak intensity throw to reported specs.

To view and download full testing results for all modern lights in my testing, check out my Database page.

Runtimes

As always, my runtimes are done under a small cooling fan, for safety and consistency. To learn more about how to interpret runtime graphs, see my runtimes methodology page. Note that on average, my lightbox’s calibration seems to be ~20% higher than most modern reviewers.

Med

Hi

Max

Consistent with the budget price, it looks like the WK15 is using a simple linear FET driver. Performance is extremely consistent with the Sofirn SP35T – basically, a direct-drive-like pattern where the battery resistance is ultimately regulating output over time. Sadly, there is no flat voltage-regulated performance here, unlike the higher-end TS22 for example.

All that said, performance is not bad – it is just very basic. Note however that both the Hi mode as well as the Turbo mode step down rather quickly, compared to some other lights. But the flip-side of that is the light certainly lasts for a reasonably long amount of time.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
The light has a solid build, with an electronic switch.Circuit is not voltage-regulated, producing a slowly decreasing output instead of flat runtimes.
The light has a serviceable basic user interface, easy to remember and use.The circuit is also noticeably less efficient than other current-controlled lights with flat regulation.
Price is reasonably low.XHP50.2 HD emitters produce well known tint shifts across the beam, with a yellowish hotspot, cool white spill, and purplish spillbeam edge.

Overall Rating

Preliminary Conclusions

The WK15 is a compact but solid light, with a decent physical build and good (if basic) user interface. You could do a lot worse for the price!

But as described above, the circuit performance is disappointing here. Similar to the Sofirn SP35T, you get a reasonable amount of light for a reasonable amount of time. But its performance just doesn’t compare to the fully-regulated competition, such as the efficient (but more expensive) TS22 in comparison. That said, the published output specs seem pretty accurate for this model, with a good range of output levels.

The XHP50.2 HD emitter is known for a lot of tint/chromatic variation across its beam, and this example is no different. I can’t specifically fault this model in that regard, but my WK15 sample is particularly noticeable.

Taken together, I find these drawbacks limit this light to a maximum 3.5 star rating on my subjective scale. This is still quite decent, and better than some equivalent models at this price point. But there are couple of others I might recommend over this. That said if you like a straightforward interface and grippy finish, this light does fit the bill for the budget class.

Acknowledgement

The WK15 was supplied by Wurkkos for review. As always, all opinions are my own and the light received the same rigourous and objective testing as all other lights that I have reviewed. At the time of review, this light retails for ~$25 USD (~$35 CDN) with battery included on the Wurkkos website here.

Sofirn SC33

The SC33 is a high-output, general-purpose flashlight running on a single included rechargeable 21700 battery. It features a well-regulated and efficient boost circuit for maximum performance.

  1. Introduction
  2. Manufacturer Specifications
  3. Package Details
  4. Build
  5. User Interface
  6. Circuit Measures
  7. Emitter Measures
  8. Beamshots
  9. Testing Results
  10. Runtimes
  11. Pros and Cons
  12. Overall Rating
  13. Preliminary Conclusions
  14. Acknowledgement

Introduction

I’m still catching up on my backlog – this SC33 sample was received at the end of last summer.

Following the release of the popular Wurkkos TS22 earlier last year, there was much interest in the enthusiast community to see a similar model with auto-lockout disabled. Wurkkos’ sister company Sofirn didn’t take long to come out with the SC33 to meet this need.

The SC33 features the Cree XHP70.3 HI emitter (which the TS22 was eventually upgraded to as well), available in both the neutral-white 5000K and cool-white 6500K tints. You can also get it as a kit with a Sofirn-branded 21700 included.

Let’s see how it performs in my testing.

Manufacturer Specifications

Note: As always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual runtimes.

FeatureSpecs
MakerSofirn
ModelSC33
EmitterXHP70.3 HI
Tint5000 K
Max Output (Lumens)5,200
Min Output (Lumens)10
Max Runtime300 hours
Max Beam Intensity (cd)26,750 cd
Max Beam Distance (m)327 m
Constant Levels6
FlashingStrobe, SOS, Beacon
Battery1x21700
Weight (w/o battery)110 g
Weight (with battery)-
Length131 mm
Head Diameter32 mm
Body Diameter-
WaterproofIP68

Package Details





The SC33 came in the modern “cellphone box” style packaging common for higher-end Sofirn and Wurkkos models. Included:

  • Sofirn SC33 flashlight
  • Sofirn-branded 5000mAh 21700 battery
  • Pocket clip (attached by three hex screws)
  • Wrist lanyard
  • USB-C charging cable
  • 2 Spare O-rings
  • Manual

It’s a decent package for a “budget” build, but I would like to see a holster included.

Build


From left to right: Wurkkos 21700 (5000mAh), Vapcell 21700 F56 (5600mAh), Emisar D4K, Wurkkos WK15, Armytek Wizard C2 Max, Wurkkos TS22, Sofrin SC29, Speras E21, Wuben X1 Falcon, Sofirn SC33, Sofirn SP35T, Cyansky P50R, Cyansky P25.









The SC33 is considerably heftier than the TS22 – the handfeel is quite noticeably different. From the pics alone, you might think this is a compact light – it is actually one of the most beefy electronic-switch controlled 1×21700 lights I’ve tested. This is a key discriminating factor to keep in mind, if you looking at the choosing between models.

While it is not as long as the Sofirn SP35T (with its physical tail clicky), the SC33 is heavier. Like the earlier Sofirn light, thie SC33 features a dual spring design. This makes the light very suitable for tactical purposes, but it does mean you have to accept greater length.

The SC33 is a distinctive build – most notable for the charging port in the tail and attached pocket clip. I’m not sure why they went this route for charging, since it also necessitates a dual-body wall design for the current path. This explains the greater width of the SC33.The charging port has a built-in rubber dust cover. This should provide decent splash-resistance, but I wouldn’t recommend dunking the light in water.

The pocket clip is affixed by 3 small hex screws. The clip is thus removable, but not something to swap on or off easily. Note it only positions the light in a single direction (i.e., bezel down). So it wouldn’t be suitable to mount on a ball cap, for example.

The electronic tailcap switch has a metal cover with circular ridge detail. I found the switch traverse and performance consistent with most modern electronic switches – a bit soft, but decent enough. It is a slightly audible click. Given the switch cover’s slightly recessed nature, it is able to tailstand stably (although is still near enough the surface that accidental activation is possible).

Body threads at the head are square-cut but not anodized – again, another aspect required by the tail charging feature. A physical lockout is not possible on this light, you will need rely on the an electronic lockout.

The SC33 uses a concentric ring design on the body, with some additional cut-outs, to help with grip. With the included clip installed, I would say grip is excellent. Also thanks to included clip, the light will not roll when layed on its side. Anodizing looks to be good quality, with no damage on my sample. I would describe the finish as matte.

Inside, the light comes with a Sofirn-branded standard-sized 5000mAh 21700 battery, with a slightly raised flat-top. There is a good size spring in the head, ensuring good contact.

There is a small LED at the base of the head, that shows the charging or battery charge status (scroll down for details).

This is a very solid light, with good grip and handfeel. But it is more substantial than most in this class, which also makes it less “pocketable”.



The SC33 comes with a Cree XHP70.3 HI emitter, which is my preferred high-output choice (due to the reduced colour aberrations compared to the HD emitters). The reflector is fairly deep and heavily textured (heavy orange peel, HOP). There doesn’t seem to be any kind of anti-reflective coating on the lens.

The bezel is crenelated aluminum. Scalloping is not too aggressive, but would do some damage if you struck someone with it. Light can headstand stably.

User Interface

The SC33 uses a straightforward user interface, and one that is very similar to the Wurkkos TS22.

To start, you have a choice between Stepped Ramping mode (default), or continuously-variable Smooth Ramping mode. To switch between these modes, click 4 times when the light is On.

Stepped Ramping mode (default) levels: Moonlight, Eco, Low, Mid, High, Turbo, Strobe, SOS, and Beacon.

From OFF:

  • Press-and-hold: Turns on in Monlight mode.
  • Single-click: Turns On in last memorized mode.
  • Double-click: Turns On in Turbo (or, if auto-lockout engaged, turns On in the last memorized mode).
  • Triple-click: Turns On in Strobe.
  • 4 clicks: Activates Lockout mode. Double-click to unlock and return to memorized mode.

From ON:

  • Press-and-hold: Advances through main output modes.
  • Single-click: Turns Off.
  • Double-click: Jumps to Turbo. Single click returns to last memorized mode.
  • Triple-click: Jumps to Strobe.
  • 4 clicks: Switch between Stepped Ramping mode and Smooth Ramping mode.

From Lockout:

  • Press-and-hold: Momentary Moonlight mode, until you release
  • Single-click: Nothing (does a double flash to show lockout status)
  • Double-click: Turn on in last memorized mode.
  • 4 clicks: Disable Auto-Lockout.

Mode memory:

Yes, for constant output modes.

Shortcuts:

  • Moonlight mode: Press and hold the switch.
  • Turbo mode: Double-click the switch from On or Off.

Battery indicator:

When first activating the light, the indicator on the side switch shows the battery capacity remaining (lasts for ~5 secs upon activation):

  • Solid green: ~75-100%
  • Flashing green: ~50-70%
  • Solid red: ~25-50%
  • Flashing red: 0-25%

Low voltage warning:

Yes, the main light will step down as the battery is running low. It will then turn Off at ~2.95V

Lockout mode:

No physically, only electronic lockout. Enabled by default, auto-lockout can be disengaged.

Reviewer Comments:

I find this interface fairly intuitive, with a click to turn On in constant output modes, and press-and-hold for Moonlight (from Off). Otherwise, press-and-hold advances modes, single click turns Off/On, and shortcuts/blinky modes are multiple clicks. This is the most common arrangement, and works well. And you have the choice of smooth ramping or stepped, which is appreciated.

Like most enthusiasts, I’m not a fan of auto-lockouts, so it’s nice to have the option to disable it here. But I should note that auto-lockout is engaged by default.

Circuit Measures

No Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM):

Moon:
Moon

Eco:
Eco

Lo:
Lo

Med:
Med

High:
Hi

Turbo:
Turbo

There is no sign of PWM, the circuit appears to be fully current-controlled. There is no circuit noise on any level. This is similar to the TS22, except that model showed some (non-visible) high-frequency circuit noise on Turbo.

Note that circuit noise is not a concern, as it common to many lights. But do find that its absence (as in this case) bodes very well in terms of regulation and output/runtime efficiency. Scroll down to see actual results.

Strobes:

Strobe:

Strobe alternates between 8 Hz and 14 Hz every ~2 secs or so. Very disorienting and distracting.

SOS:

A standard SOS mode, relatively slow.

Beacon:

A single flash beacon once every 2 secs (0.5 Hz).

Charging:

There is a small LED in the head which shows solid red when the light is charging. Changes to solid green when the charging is complete.

Resting voltage <3.0V

Resting voltage >3.0V

The SC33 has a two-stage charging feature, as seen on many modern lights (i.e., where there is a lower initial charging rate when the cell is heavily discharged). The initial charging rate here is ~0.3A, which jumps to ~1.5A once the cell is over 3.0V resting voltage. This is a decent charging rate for the class, and will charge a 21700 cell quickly.

Standby / Parasitic Drain:

Due to electronic switch, there is bound to be a parasitic standby drain when the light is not in use. But because of physical build, I wasn’t able to measure.

Emitter Measures

In this section, I directly measure key emitter characteristics in terms of colour temperature, tint, and colour rendition. Please see my Emitter Measures page to learn more about what these terms mean, and how I am measuring them. As tint in particular can shift across levels, I typically stick with the highest stably regulated level for all my reported measures.

As explained on that page, since I am using an inexpensive uncalibrated device, you can only make relative comparisons across my reviews (i.e., don’t take these numbers as absolutely accurate values, but as relatively consistent across lights in my testing).

SC33 on Hi:

The key measures above are the colour temperature of ~5725K, and a negligible positive tint shift (+0.0103 Duv) to a very slight greenish-yellow at this temperature. For CRI (Ra), I measured a combined score of 58.

These values are consistent with the performance of a cool white XHP50.2 emitter, and match my visual experience of this light. Note that there is a tint shift to more yellowish spill, with purplish spillbeam edge, as is common on XHP50.2 HD emitters.

Beamshots

All outdoor beamshots are taken on my Canon PowerShot S5 IS at f/2.7, 0.5 secs exposure, ISO 400, daylight white balance. The bend in the road is approximately 40 meters (~45 yards) from the camera. Learn more about my outdoor beamshots here (scroll down for the floody light position used in this review).

Click on any thumbnail image below to open a full size image in a new window. You can then easily compare beams by switching between tabs.



As you can see above, the SC33 has a similar tint and overall output to the TS22, although with a different profile – the SC33 is more throwy, and the bezel provides for a less sharp demarcation of the spillbeam edge.

Testing Results

My summary tables are generally reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. In addition to the links above, please see my output measures page for more background.

All my output numbers are based on my home-made lightbox setup. As explained on that methodology page, I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values to estimated lumens. Note that my lightbox calibration runs higher than most hobbyists today, but I’ve kept it to remain consistent with my earlier reviews (when the base calibration standard was first established). On average though, I find my lumen estimates are ~20% higher than most other modern reviewers.

My Peak Intensity/Beam Distance are directly measured with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter.

SC33 Testing Results

ModeSpec LumensEstimated Lumens @0secEstimated Lumens @30 secsBeam Intensity @0secBeam Intensity @30secsBeam Distance @30secsPWM/Strobe FreqNoise FreqCharging Current <3VCharging Current >3VParasitic DrainWeight w/o BatteryWeight with BatteryCCT (K)DuvCRI
Moonlight108.88.8---NoNo0.32 A1.50 AYes (not measured)12 g189 g---
Eco504747---NoNo0.32 A1.50 AYes (not measured)12 g189 g---
Low300310310---NoNo0.32 A1.50 AYes (not measured)12 g189 g---
Med750710710---NoNo0.32 A1.50 AYes (not measured)12 g189 g---
High1,8001,8001,800---NoNo0.32 A1.50 AYes (not measured)12 g189 g4,6500.005482
Turbo5,2005,2003,90018,000 cd10,000 cd200 mNoNo0.32 A1.50 AYes (not measured)12 g189 g---
Strobe5,200-----8-14 HzNo0.32 A1.50 AYes (not measured)12 g189 g---
SOS-------No0.32 A1.50 AYes (not measured)12 g189 g---
Beacon------0.5 HzNo0.32 A1.50 AYes (not measured)12 g189 g---

The SC33 seems to match fairly closely to the specs on most levels (although keep in mind that my lightbox’s relative calibration is generously high). Turbo is clearly over-stated however, as it only approaches that output on initial activation – and quickly declines by the ANSI FL-1 standard of 30 secs post-activation.

My NIST-calibrated luxmeter is accurately calibrated to an absolute standard, and similarly reports much lower beam intensity on Turbo compared to the specs. But I find these throw measures reasonable for this kind of emitter and output level.

Note that “Moonlight” is a misnomer here, as >8 lumens qualifies as a low in my view.

To view and download full testing results for all modern lights in my testing, check out my Database page.

Runtimes

As always, my runtimes are done under a small cooling fan, for safety and consistency. To learn more about how to interpret runtime graphs, see my runtimes methodology page. Note that on average, my lightbox’s calibration seems to be ~20% higher than most modern reviewers.

Max

Hi

Med

Performance is right where you would expect for a XHP70.3 emitter coupled with a good current-controlled, fully voltage-regulated, high-efficiency circuit. 🙂

It is very much inline with the Wurkkos TS22, but also the various Acebeam and Cyansky lights above. The only real difference is in the actual output levels (both initial and step-down) for each mode. Overall efficiency seems pretty consistent across all these well-regulated models.

Since I know many are interested in how the initial Turbo modes compare (i.e., how quickly and how far the lights step-down), here is a blow-up of the first few mins of runtime on max output:

The SC33 steps down sooner than the Wurkkos and the Acebeam lights, but to a higher stabilized level. As always, it’s your call which pattern you prefer.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Light has excellent output/runtime efficiency.Max output is lower than the specs would indicate (although the rest of the output levels seem fairly accurate).
Circuit shows excellent flat-stabilized regulation, with thermally-mediated stepdowns.Light lacks a true moonlight mode.
Solid and sturdy build, with securely attached pocket clipThere are some minor tint shifts across the beam periphery (common on this emitter class).
User interface is fairly sophisticated, and reasonable for the class.
Due to the charging port location and design, physical lockout is not possible, only electronic lockout.
Auto-lockout mode can be disabled.Light is larger and heavier than most in this compact 21700 class.

Overall Rating

Preliminary Conclusions

The SC33 is another strong showing in the high-output 1×21700 class of lights. I would have no issue recommending this light along with the similarly performing Wurkkos TS22, Acebeam E70 and P17, and Cyanski P25. It really comes down to the specifics on the user interface, output level spacing, and build.

There are a number of issues that resulted in losing a full star in my subjective rating system. One of the most significant is the tailcap location of the charging dock, which has required a dual-wall body tube design that significantly raises the size and weight of the light, and prevents physical lockout. While the electronic lockout is serviceable (and the auto-lockout can be easily disengaged), I still prefer a physical lockout on my lights.

The extra bulk and weight is a two-edge sword as well. This may be what allows it to run at higher step-down output level than some of the competition (i.e., extra heat-sinking mass). And some may prefer a heftier light like this. Personally though, I like a more compact light for easier pocketability and carry. I also typically prefer a bi-directional clip (the extra size here reduces the value of a reverse carry option).

Accuracy to published specs is not bad, but not quite as close as some of the competition. I wouldn’t let that hold you back, but I do encourage you to compare the actual performance of lights across my reviews. For example, if maximizing throw is important to you, you may want to look at one of the larger lights with bigger reflectors. More significantly to me, the light lacks a a true moonlight mode, which is disappointing (but may not matter as much to you in a larger light like this).

At the end of the day, I find this to be another quality light from Sofirn. It has a very serviceable user interface, and excellent performance. The price is also very good, especially for the battery-included bundle. As always, it comes down to the specific feature set and build you prefer.

Acknowledgement

The SC33 was supplied by Sofirn for review. As always, all opinions are my own and the light received the same rigourous and objective testing as all other lights that I have reviewed. At the time of review, this light retails for ~$40 USD (~$55 CDN) on sale on the Sofirn website here.

Acebeam L19 v2.0

The Acebeam L19 v2.0 a very long-throwing hunting flashlight, featuring a TIR lens for maximum throw with minimal spill. Powered by a single included 21700 battery, the light features dual electronic and tactical switches.

  1. Introduction
  2. Manufacturer Specifications
  3. Package Details
  4. Build
  5. User Interface
  6. Circuit Measures
  7. Emitter Measures
  8. Beamshots
  9. Testing Results
  10. Runtimes
  11. Pros and Cons
  12. Overall Rating
  13. Preliminary Conclusions
  14. Acknowledgement

Introduction

Catching up on my backlog, today we have the L19 v2.0 from Acebeam. It is a long-range hunting-style flashlight that can throw a beam of up to 1520m, or 2200 lumens (depending on which emitter you select). The basic model features the low-profile Luminus SFT40 (HI 6500K) which throws up to 1083m with 2200 lumens. However, for an increased cost, you can also select the Osram PM1 white emitter for 1300m at a reduced 1650 lumens. Alternatively, if you are willing to go monochromatic, you can get the Osram NM1 green emitter for max throw of 1520m at the full 2200 lumens. There is also apparently an IR emitter option as well. Acebeam thoughtfully sent both Osram emitter (white and green) editions for comparison testing.

Physically, the light reminds me of the Wurkkos TD01 I recently reviewed, although it is a bit longer and more substantial in feel. Like that light, there is a tailcap physical forward clicky switch, coupled with an electronic side switch in the head. The interface on the L19 is fairly unique though, as I will explain below.

Let’s see how it compares in my testing.

Manufacturer Specifications

Note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides for the samples provided for testing – scroll down to see my actual runtimes.

MakerAcebeamAcebeam
ModelL19 V2.0L19 V2.0
EmitterOsram PM1Osram NM1
TintWhiteGreen
ModeTurboTurbo
Max Output (Lumens)1,6502,200
Min Output (Lumens)12
Max Runtime94 days94 days
Max Beam Intensity (cd)422,407 cd577,600 cd
Max Beam Distance (m)1,300 m1,520 m
Constant Levels66
FlashingStrobeStrobe
Battery1x217001x21700
Weight (w/o battery)205 g205 g
Weight (with battery)284 g284 g
Length163.8 mm163.8 mm
Head Diameter60.0 mm60.0 mm
Body Diameter25.4 mm25.4 mm
WaterproofIP68 5mIP68 5m

Package Details





The L19 v2.0 comes in nice retail packaging, similar to other higher-end Acebeam. The hard-sided box comes with a magnetic closing flap. There are a lot of printed specs on the back, with everything secured in cut-out foam. Inside the box, I found:

  • Acebeam L19 v2.0 flashlight
  • Acebeam-branded 5100mAh 21700 battery with USB-C charging port
  • Belt holster
  • Wrist lanyard
  • USB-C charging cable
  • 2 Spare O-rings
  • Switch boot cover
  • Manual
  • Warranty card

This is a good package – I particularly like the included belt holster. These large head lights tend not to fit well into after-market holsters, so this is very convenient.

Build


From left to right: LiitoKala 21700 (5000mAh), Acebeam 21700 USB-C (5100mAh), Lumintop D3, Convoy M21F, Sofirn C8L, Wurkkos TS30S Pro, Wurkkos TD01, Acebeam L19 V2.0, Acebeam P17.












As previously mention the L19 v2.0 longer and a bit more substantial than the “budget” Wurkkos TD01. I do find the L19 somewhat top-heavy, due to the substantial TIR optic in the head.

The dual switch design is a little unusual. You do have a standard protruding forward physical clicky switch in the tail for on/off operation – but in Turbo/Strobe only. This switch is independent of the side electronic switch, which provides the full range and functions of the light. The switches do not work together – each controls the light separately, with the tailswitch taking priority. Scroll for down to the User Interface section more more info.

Feel and traverse of the main Tactical clicky switch is good, for both momentary (half-press) and clicked-on. The secondary Function switch is electronic, with a typical minimal traverse and feel. The side switch is flush with the light, and is hard to find by touch alone (although you can find by process of elimination, since the other side remains rounded with metal fins).

The unique dual switch arrangement requires a double-walled tube connecting the tailcap to the head (i.e., one to the carry the current from the tailcap switch, one to allow the electronic side switch to work). This design means that it is not possible to physically lock out the light – current is always available through the screw threads. There is an electronic lockout instead, which works for both switches (scroll for down for the User Interface section). Since the primary Tactical switch protrudes, tailstanding is not possible, and accidental activation is easy.

There is a grip ring just above the tailcap, allowing for a tactical cigar-type grip. There are cut-outs on the side of the grip ring for using the wrist lanyard. The body has decent grip, with cut-outs along the length and on the head. The light can roll fairly easily, given the large and relative smooth head – I recommend you headstand the light when not in use.

Anodizing is standard black, and looks to be excellent quality (it is rated as type III – Hard Anodized). It feels relatively thick, and is actually somewhat grippy, with a matte finish. It seems to very high quality, and I didn’t notice any flaws on my sample. There is an indicator light showing battery status when the light is first turned on.

As you can see above, there are springs in both the tail and the head, ensuring the cell is held securely in place.

Like the Acebeam P17, simply remove the 5100mAh cell and charge it through the integrated USB-C port directly on its positive terminal.





White Osram:

Green Osram:

The L19 v2.0 uses a distinctive large TIR optic, similar to the TD01 I recently reviewed (except with a thinner centre “column”). I’ve taken pics from a lot of angles above, so you can see how it generally obscures the emitter. Both the white and green Osram emitters are shown above.

The bezel is crenelated black aluminum – with a larger number of crenelations than typical, but they are not too aggressive (so you can still headstand stably). Scroll down for outdoor beamshots.

User Interface

The L19 v2.0 has a pretty unique user interface, with the tactical tailcap switch and side electronic switch functioning independently, and the tailswitch taking precedence. What I mean by that is that if you turn the light on by the side switch, clicking the tailcap doesn’t turn it off – it simply turns on the Turbo mode (with another tailcap click required to exit back to the previous side-switch setting). Let’s walk through everything in sequence.

Side switch available levels: Moonlight, Low, Mid1, Mid2, High, Turbo, Strobe.

Tactical switch available levels: Turbo, Strobe.

From OFF:

  • Tail switch, partial-press: Momentary On in Turbo mode.
  • Tail switch, single-click: Turns On in Turbo mode.
  • Side switch, press-and-hold: Turns On in Moonlight mode.
  • Side switch, press-and-hold >5 secs: Locks out the light (press-and-hold again for 4 secs to unlock the light.
  • Side switch, single-click: Turns On in last memorized mode (excluding Moonlight and Turbo modes, no mode memory for those).
  • Side switch, double-click: Turns On in Turbo.
  • Side switch, triple-click: Turns On in Strobe.

Since the switches control the light independently, the functioning of the light depends on which switch was used to activate:

From ON by the Tail switch:

  • Tail switch, press-and-hold: Strobe.
  • Tail switch, single-click: Turns Off.
  • Side switch, press-and-hold or single-click: Nothing.

From ON by the Side switch:

  • Tail switch, press-and-hold: Momentary On in Turbo (i.e., functions as if Off at the Tail switch, and Tail switch takes priority over the Side switch).
  • Tail switch, single-click: Constant On in Turbo (again, functions as if Off at the Tail switch).
  • Side switch, press-and-hold: Steps up to the next non-Turbo constant output mode (in sequence, Lo > Mid1 > Mid2 > High).
  • Side switch, single-click: Turns Off.
  • Side switch, double-click: Jumps to Turbo (or jumps back to memorized mode from Turbo).
  • Side switch, triple-click: Jumps to Strobe.

Battery indicator:

When first activating the light with either switch, the indicator on the opposite side of the Side switch shows the battery voltage:

  • Solid green: ~30-100%
  • Solid red: ~10-30%
  • Flashing red: <10%

That’s an unusually large range for solid green – most lights show a flashing green to differentiate lower charge status.

Mode memory:

Yes, when activating by the Side switch.

Shortcuts:

  • Side switch, press-and-hold (from Off): Moonlight.
  • Side switch, double-click: Jumps to Turbo (or jumps back to memorized mode from Turbo).
  • Side switch, triple-click: Jumps to Strobe.

Low voltage warning:

Not that I’ve noticed.

Lockout mode:

Yes, by pressing-and-holding the Side switch for more than 5 secs from Off (main beam will flash 3 times). Because of dual-wall design, no physical tailcap lockout is possible.

Reviewer Comments:

This is clearly intended primarily as a tactical light. But the dual switch interface takes a bit of getting used to. Case in point: when locked out electronically, the light cannot be turned On at the tailcap. But if you click the Tail switch into the On position, you will now not be able to unlock the light by the Side switch (i.e., need to have the Tail switch in the Off position to unlock the light). This gave me a bit of pause when I first encountered it out of the box – I needed to read the manual to troubleshoot the problem.

During regular use it also feels a little wonky to have the physical Tail switch take precedence over the electronic one when not in lockout (i.e., jump to Turbo when On by the side switch). And again, you have to click the Tail switch Off before you can regain control using the Side switch. A bit quirky, without a clearer tactile or visual indication of the status of each of the switches.

Circuit Measures

No Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM):

Moon:
Moon

Low:
Lo

Mid1:
Med

Mid2:
Med

High:
Hi

Turbo:
Turbo

There is no circuit noise or any sign of PWM on any level – the L19 v2.0 is perfectly flat current-controlled. 🙂

Strobes:

Strobe (White LED sample):

Strobe (Green LED sample):

Strobe is a consistent 8.4 Hz on both my samples.

There is no SOS or Beacon mode on the L19.

Charging:

The L19 v2.0 comes with Acebeam’s 21700 5100mAh battery with a built-in charging port. There is a small LED on the positive terminal of the battery, which shows red when the cell is charging, and green when it is fully charged. In my testing, resting voltage of the cell was ~4.19V at termination.

Resting voltage <3.0V

Resting voltage >3.0V

Like the P17, which shares the same cell, the Acebeam 21700 5100mAh battery shows an initial low USB-C charging current of ~0.20A when the cell is heavily depleted (<3.0V resting), which jumps up to ~1.15A once the cell is >3.0V resting. This two-current charging is a good design, and indicates a safe integrated charging circuit. The max charging rate is a bit lower than most lights/batteries in this class, but much better than the original version of this battery (e.g., E70).

Standby / Parasitic Drain:

I measured the standby current as 0.195 mA. This is a reasonably low standby drain, and it would take just over 3 years to fully drain the cell.

Emitter Measures

In this section, I directly measure key emitter characteristics in terms of colour temperature, tint, and colour rendition. Please see my Emitter Measures page to learn more about what these terms mean, and how I am measuring them. As tint in particular can shift across levels, I typically stick with the highest stably regulated level for all my reported measures.

As explained on that page, since I am using an inexpensive uncalibrated device, you can only make relative comparisons across my reviews (i.e., don’t take these numbers as absolutely accurate values, but as relatively consistent across lights in my testing).

L19 White on Med:

The key measures above are the colour temperature of ~5020K, and a noticeably positive tint shift (+0.0134 Duv) to greenish-yellow at this temperature. For some reason, I was not able to get a CRI (Ra) measurement on my light sensor.

This is my first Osram PM1 emitter, but these values are consistent with the rated specs for a cool white emitter, and match my visual experience of this light.

Let’s see how the green L19 compares – keeping in mind these budget light sensors were NOT designed for monochromatic light sources.

L19 Green on Med:

The key measures above are the colour temperature of ~5475K, and an extremely positive tint shift (+0.0611 Duv) to green at this temperature. There would be no point in trying to measure CRI (Ra), since it doesn’t apply for coloured emitters.

This is my first Osram NM1 emitter, but these values are consistent with the rated specs for a green emitter, and match my visual experience of this light.

Beamshots

All long-distance outdoor beamshots are taken on my Canon PowerShot S5 IS at f/2.7, 1 sec exposure, ISO 400, daylight white balance. The tree at the centre of the hotspot is approximately 90 meters (~100 yards) from the camera. Note the road dips down and turns away in the distance, out of the camera’s sight line. Learn more about my outdoor beamshot locations here.

Click on any thumbnail image below to open a full size image in a new window. You can then easily compare the overall beams by switching between tabs.



“T” refers to Turbo mode in the L19 beamshots above.

To help illustrate the hotspots better, I’ve also cropped the raw pictures around the centre of the frame. As before, click on any thumbnail below to open a full size image in a new window.



As you can see above, the L19 v2.0 is an incredibly focused thrower. It is throwier than the TD01, with a smaller hotspot and a bit less light in the periphery. Like the TD01, it also has some beam rings in the near spill of the periphery.

Testing Results

My summary tables are generally reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. In addition to the links above, please see my output measures page for more background.

All my output numbers are based on my home-made lightbox setup. As explained on that methodology page, I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values to estimated lumens. Note that my lightbox calibration runs higher than most hobbyists today, but I’ve kept it to remain consistent with my earlier reviews (when the base calibration standard was first established). On average though, I find my lumen estimates are ~20% higher than most other modern reviewers.

My Peak Intensity/Beam Distance are directly measured with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter.

L19 v2.0 Testing Results

TintModeSpec LumensEstimated Lumens @0secEstimated Lumens @30 secsBeam Intensity @0secBeam Intensity @30secsBeam Distance @30secsPWM/Strobe FreqNoise FreqCharging Current <3VCharging Current >3VParasitic DrainWeight w/o BatteryWeight with BatteryCCT (K)DuvCRI
WhiteMoonlight10.080.08---NoNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g---
WhiteLow60100100---NoNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g---
WhiteMed1220290290---NoNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g---
WhiteMed2470530530---NoNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g---
WhiteHigh870930900---NoNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g5,0200.0134-
WhiteTurbo1,6501,7501,600365,000 cd342,000 cd1,170 mNoNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g---
WhiteStrobe900-----8.4 HzNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g---
GreenMoonlight10.080.08---NoNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g---
GreenLow120115115---NoNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g---
GreenMed1330340340---NoNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g---
GreenMed2700660660---NoNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g---
GreenHigh1,2501,3001,250---NoNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g5,4750.0611-
GreenTurbo2,2002,2502,100465,000 cd439,000 cd1,325 mNoNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g---
GreenStrobe900-----8.4 HzNo0.20 A1.15 A195 uA204 g284 g---

Impressively, my L19 v2.0 samples seem to be fairly accurate for output measures – although I know my lightbox’s relative calibration is generously high for modern high-output lights. Moonlight mode is actually dimmer than the specs indicate, which is great.

My NIST-calibrated luxmeter is accurately calibrated to an absolute standard, and reports slightly lower beam intensity on Turbo than the specs. But this is still an incredibly impressive showing – the green L19 is the furthest throwing light I’ve tested.

To view and download full testing results for all modern lights in my testing, check out my Database page.

Runtimes

As always, my runtimes are done under a small cooling fan, for safety and consistency. To learn more about how to interpret runtime graphs, see my runtimes methodology page. Note that on average, my lightbox’s calibration seems to be ~20% higher than most modern reviewers.

Max

Hi

Med

The Acebeam P17 provides a great comparable here, as it has exactly the same battery. As you see above, the Osram emitters in the L19 are clearly being driven harder at the maximum settings, given the lower runtimes. They are also much lower output emitters, compared to the XHP70.3. But this difference becomes less noticeable at lower drive levels, such as the Med mode runs above.

The green Osram NM1 emitter certainly seems to have an output advantage of over the white PM1. But its hard to know how much to trust that result, as my home-made lightbox was never calibrated for monochromatic light sources.

You also see a nice regulated pattern here, unlike the competing budget Wurkkos TD01 model. And there is a less pronounced step-down on max compared to most other lights. Here is an extended view of the first minutes, to better show the difference:

Max-extendedThese results show the improved driver performance on L19 compared to the TD01.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
One of the furthest throwing lights I've tested, thanks to the TIR optic. User interface is unusual, with independent action of the side electronic switch and tactical physical clicky switch.
Multiple emitter options, allowing a good range of choices.Light cannot tailstand, and rolls easily on its side.
Circuit is fully voltage-regulated, with excellent efficiency. Physical lockout is not possible, only electronic lockout.
The light has a solid build with good handfeel, although there are some small issues (see Cons).

Overall Rating

Preliminary Conclusions

The Acebeam L19 v2.0 is clearly a more sophisticated build with better performance than the budget TIR-based Wurkkos TD01 that I previously reviewed – and so earns a higher rating above. Of course, it is also significantly more expensive as well.

While the TD01 had a very decent budget build, the hand feel and machining of the L19 is top-notch. The specific TIR optic and range of emitter options here allows for even greater focused throw (which is the whole point of these lights, after all). The improved circuit on the L19 also translates into better performance (i.e., greater sustained high output, and better regulated output over time, compared to the TD01). It’s also great to see Acebeam meet (or nearly meet) their published performance specs on these lights – something you don’t typically see with the budget makers.

The one area that I’m not convinced is entirely an upgrade on the L19 is the user interface – specifically, the independent functionality of the two switches. I understand this is unchanged from the v1.0 of this light, but it is new to me. And I appreciate this is primarily intended as a tactical light, with the physical clicky switch. But the interaction of switches in unusual. And while clear enough once you get used to it, there is something to be said for a simpler (and more consistent) overall user interface. This is especially true if you have many lights, or if you routinely loan your lights out to other people. The innovative UI here also necessitated a dual-wall body tube without thread anodizing, which means that you cannot physically lockout the light and need instead to rely on an electronic lockout (which is not my preference). Taken together, these quirks knock half-a-star off a top rating on my subjective scale.

This is my first experience of the low-profile Osram PM1 and NM1 emitters, and my experience is quite positive for both of them. The white PM1 clearly outperforms the standard low-profile Luminus SFT40 emitter for peak throw, which is what these lights are all about. But it is the green NM1 that really impressed me – noticeably greater throw and overall output, for equivalent runtime.

Despite all my years of reviewing, this is actually the first high-output hunting-style light with a green LED that I have tested. I had expected this to be less-than-practical in night time use, given the limitations of the monochromatic source. But a funny thing happens after you have been running the light for >30 secs or so outdoors – yours eyes begin to adapt to the tint, and it starts to seem subjectively significantly “whiter”. It soon feels like you are simply seeing the world more in black-and-white and shades of gray, rather than in the overwhelming shades of green when you first activate the light. This is actually quite practical for looking for contrasts or reflective objects. Of course, if you run the light for more than several minutes expect to experience a comparable rebound effect once you turn the light off – the world looks decidedly purple for awhile. It will take a similar amount of time for your brain and photoreceptors to adapt back to the current ambient light temperature and tint.

If you are looking for maximum throw with a standard LED, the L19 v2.0 is certainly a top contender in this class. I’ve impressed with the quality of the TIR optic, and its ability to throw a focused beam. Another quality light series from Acebeam.

Acknowledgement

The L19 v2.0 samples were supplied by Acebeam for review. As always, all opinions are my own and the light received the same rigourous and objective testing as all other lights that I have reviewed. At the time of review, this light retails for ~$120-135 USD depending on the emitter selected (~$160-180 CDN).

Emisar D1

The D1 is a high-quality Hank light built as a compact thrower, and running on a single 18650/18500/18350 battery. Features a wide range of customizable options, and uses the sophisticated Anduril user interface.

  1. Introduction
  2. Manufacturer Specifications
  3. Package Details
  4. Build
  5. User Interface
  6. Circuit Measures
  7. Emitter Measures
  8. Beamshots
  9. Testing Results
  10. Runtimes
  11. Pros and Cons
  12. Overall Rating
  13. Preliminary Conclusions
  14. Acknowledgement

Introduction

Following up on my inaugural Hank light, the multi-emitter Emisar D4K, I also purchased the popular 1×18650/18500/18350 pocket thrower model, the Emisar D1. Sorry it took me this long to get it, but life got in the way of my reviews for a few months.

As with other Hank offerings, there are a dizzying array of emitters to choose from, along with other customizable options. That is the point to all Hank lights – they are effectively custom-built, to your specifications, based on a wide range of options available for each build/model. That includes multiple options for the main emitter, auxillary/side emitters, circuits, body tubes, optics, accessories, etc. And as before, this light uses a newer implementation of the sophisticated Anduril user interface. Taken together, you can see how these lights are geared to the expert flashlight enthusiast market.

I will get into the specific options I chose below, but I opted for maximum throw here, to complement the very floody D4K previously reviewed. Let’s see how it performs in my testing.

Manufacturer Specifications

Note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides (although in this case, specific to my custom specs). Scroll down to see my actual runtimes.

MakerEmisar
ModelD1
EmitterW1 Osram CSLNM1.TG
Tint6000 K
Max Output (Lumens)900
Min Output (Lumens)-
Max Runtime-
Max Beam Intensity (cd)110,000 cd
Max Beam Distance (m)663 m
Constant Levels150
Flashing6
Battery1x18650
Weight (w/o battery)-
Weight (with battery)89 g
Length109 mm
Head Diameter35 mm
Body Diameter24 mm
WaterproofIP67 1m
WaterproofIP67 1m

Package Details



The packaging for Hank’s lights is fairly basic – a cardboard box with some hand-written description of the features selected. Inside is cut-out foam holding the light and your extras. Here is what I selected, reflected in the package above:

  • D1 in Dark Grey
  • Flat threaded switch ring
  • RGB switch backlight
  • LED: Osram W1 6000K
  • Optional 18350 body tube
  • Optional pocket clip

All lights also come with:

  • Wrist lanyard
  • 2 Spare body tube o-rings

In terms of emitters, Hank provides everything from this tiny Osram LED all the way up to the massive SBT90.2. Indeed, last time I counted there were 29 different options in total, including dedomed and monochromatic coloured LEDs. I choose the W1 cool white because it has the highest rated throw of any option (110,000 cd) albeit with the lowest overall max output (900 lumens).

I choose the RGB LEDs for the side switch given the versatility this brings, as explained below.

Build


From left to right: Vapcell F38 18650 (3800mAh), Skilhunt 18650 (3500mAh), Armytek C2 Wizard Pro Nichia, Acebeam E70 Mini, Skilhunt H300, Emisar D1, Mateminco Sl02, Armytek Doberman Pro.






The build is very reminiscent of the D4K. It is fairly compact, with relatively thin walled body tubes.

I opted for the stainless steel pocket clip, as I don’t find wrist lanyards very useful. This is great option, as the body tube allows placement near the head or the tail of the light (for stable head-up or head-down carry). I didn’t opt for the tailcap magnet, but that’s a good option if you are considering using the light as a work light (not so relevant as a thrower, methinks).

The light is controlled by an electronic side switch in the head, with a somewhat transparent rubberized cover. Feel and traverse of the electronic switch is good, with a firm click and typical traverse. There are a lot of options for the switch emitter LED, and I opted for the multi-colour RGB LED option. Although set to Off by default, you can configure the auxillary switch LED through Anduril to light up when a battery is connected (at two different intensities). See the user interface section below for more information.

I also went for the flat threaded switch ring, as I was worried the raised model might catch on clothing, etc. It is still easy to find the switch by feel, if you are leaving the standby indicator off.

The tailcap is perfectly flat, so the light is able to tailstand fairly stably. There is a small cut-out on the side for the simple wrist lanyard.

Threads are square-cut and anodized, with good feel – at both ends of the battery tube. Note there was no lubrication anywhere on the samples I received, so I recommend you add a good non-conducting lube for both the o-rings and the threads. I also always recommend you keep the light stored locked out when not in use. Thanks to the anodized tailcap threads, you can do this easily by a simple twist of the tailcap (or the head for that matter, in this case).

Same applies to the optional 18350 body tube I picked up. It’s a great way to turn then D1 into a true pocket thrower, to slip into a pocket or purse.

With the o-rings in place, I expect waterproofness to be good on this build.

There are conical springs in both the head and tail, sporting a fairly thick gauge. As such, be careful about using longer cells in this light – you may dent the cell if you use overly long cells. Note that Hank advises uprotected, flat-top, high-drain batteries only.

Unlike almost all the other lights I am reviewing these days, there is no built-in charger for batteries on the Emisar/Noctigon lights (or any bundled branded cells either). In keeping with the audience of flashlight enthusiasts, the assumption is that you have your own batteries and chargers on hand (and you can buy an optional charger from Hank).

Knurling is not particularly aggressive – it is really more of a fine checkered or line pattern. It does feel a bit more grippy than most lights I’ve handled these days, which typically seem to be a bit smooth. Combined with the ridge detail, I would say overall grip is pretty good. Note that the light can roll, but the switch button cover helps limit this. Anodizing looks to be good quality (for presumed type II, give the colour range), with no damage on my sample. I would describe the finish as matte.


Although unprotected high-drain cells are recommend, I thought this might be a good opportunity to try out the high-capacity 18650 and 18350 cells Vapcell has sent me (although they are particularly high drain). Note that the Vapcell batteries are fairly substantial, so there is a risk of denting the cells when using in a compact light with dual springs like this.




Except for the dedomed options, most of the D1 emitter options come with the smooth reflector shown above. I opted for the Osram W1 because of its tiny size and outstanding throw. Scroll down for actual outdoor beamshots.

Here is what the auxillary side switch RGB LEDs look like, shown on the High output level (colour modes in sequence):






You can configure through Anduril’s AUX setting the individual colours of the switch RGB LEDs, or have it cycle through all colours, or use it as a colour-coded battery voltage readout. You can set it to one of two intensities, or flash, or leave off.

In my handling, I find the High level for the side switch LEDs is surprisingly bright – and the Low level is surprisingly low (so low in fact that it doesn’t register in my lightbox). Here are a couple of pictures showing the side switch in ambient room light on an overcast day, first on High and then Low:

As you can tell, the Low setting is very dim – you can just tell that the blue LEDs are on in this case, but just barely. Here are a couple of pictures in the dark though:

It’s not exactly a perfect comparison, as I’m using my cell phone camera’s auto-adjust, but this gives you a general idea of the significant difference between the Aux output modes. Scroll down for current draws and output measures, where possible.

User Interface

The D1 uses the open-source Anduril 2 user interface (UI). Anduril has two distinct UIs mode sets: Simple and Advanced. The labels are a bit misleading, as both are fairly sophisticated – it is just that the Advanced UI has a lot of extra options not available on the scaled-down Simple UI. Note that both the Simple and Advanced UI now include the discrete Stepped level mode as well as the continuously-variable Smooth Ramping mode.

To switch from the default Simple UI to Advanced UI, you need to do 10 clicks from Off with a hold on the 10th click (10H), with 10 clicks (10C) to return to simple UI. Advanced UI has a lot more options available. It’s easier to show the UIs rather than explain them in words, so here is a helpful pic:

ui-diagram

You can also download a plain text-based manual from Anduril creator ToyKeeper, or a more interactive one with version control here.

This implementation of Anduril 2 has eight discrete Stepped levels, which I’ve numbered in this review as L1 through L8 (with L1 being the lowest level, and L8 being Turbo).

According to the firmware Version Check, my D1 sample (purchased in the summer of 2023) is model 0125. Full info is 2022-07-29-01-25 (version code is Year-Month-Day the firmware was compiled, followed by a 2-digit brand ID and 2-digit product ID).

Again, check the image and link above for more info, but here is a simplified description of the UI to get you started.

From OFF:

  • Press-and-hold (1H): Turns On in lowest output, in either Ramping mode or Stepped mode depending on which mode is enabled (and which UI you are in)
  • Single-click (1C): Turns on in last memorized mode used (Ramping or Stepped)
  • Double-click (2C): Turns on to Turbo (aka the Ramping max output)
  • Triple-click (3C): Battery check (voltage read out a single time) and basic flashing/strobe modes.
  • Triple-click-and-hold (3H): Special strobe modes, but only when in Advanced UI (remembers last strobe mode used)
  • 4 clicks (4C): Lockout mode. In lockout mode you have different options available:
    • Press-and-hold (1H): Momentary Moonlight
    • Double-click-and-hold (2H): Momentary Low
    • 4 clicks (4C): Turns On in memorized output level
    • 4 clicks and hold (4H): Turns On in the lowest level
    • 5 clicks (5C): Turns On in Turbo
    • 10 clicks and hold (10H): Configure the lock timeout threshold (in Advanced UI only), allowing you to pre-set the timeout time of the lock.
  • 7 clicks (7C): (Advanced UI only) Enters AUX/Button LED config for the next mode. There are four modes you can switch between; constant low, blinking low, off, constant high. Click 7 times again to advance to the next option, in sequence. The light auto-memorizes the last option you select.
  • 7 clicks-and-hold (7H): (Advanced UI only) Enters AUX/Button LED config for the next colour. The colours follow the sequence: Red, Yellow (Red+Green), Green, Cyan (Green+Blue), Blue, Purple (Blue+Red), White (Red+Green+Blue), Disco (fast random colors), Rainbow (cycles through all colors in order more slowly), and Voltage read-out (uses colour to display battery charge).

From ON:

  • Press-and-hold (1H): Ramps up (or Steps up, depending on the mode). Ramps/steps down if you do it again.
  • Single-click (1C): Turns Off
  • Double-click (2C): Jumps to Turbo
  • Double-click-and-hold (2H): Ramps down (or Steps down)
  • Triple-click (3C): Switch between Ramping and Stepped modes
  • 4 clicks (4C): Lockout mode (see above for options)

Mode memory:

Yes, the circuit memorizes the last constant On output level in either Ramping or Stepped modes.

Strobe/Blinking modes:

Yes, quite a few actually. The strobe/blinking modes are accessible from Off with a triple-click (3C) or triple-click-and-hold (3H), but in Advanced UI only. You can switch between strobe/blinking modes with 2 clicks (2C), in the following sequence (see testing results below to see what these look like):

Triple-click (3C):

  • Battery check
  • Temperature check
  • Beacon mode
  • SOS mode

Triple-click-and hold (3H):

  • Candle mode
  • Bike flasher mode
  • Party strobe mode
  • Tactical strobe mode
  • Lightning mode

Low voltage warning:

Sort of. In operation, the light drops in brightness in steps, and runs for an extended time at a very low level. Apparently it shuts off when the cell is ~2.8V (although I haven’t run it that long to confirm).

Lock-out mode:

Yes. In either Simple UI or Advanced UI, lockout is accessed by 4 clicks (4C) from On or Off (repeat to unlock). The lockout mode is unusual with Anduril, as it actually enables momentary operation in the minimum modes. There are other lockout modes available, as explained above. As always though, I recommend you physically lock out at the light at the tailcap, if you want to guarantee no accidental activation.

Temperature check and thermal calibration mode:

This is a little complicated (and beyond the needs of most users), so I will just refer you to the diagram from the manual above. With default settings, I find this light steps down fairly quickly due to heat (unsurprising, given default Anduril thermal settings are conservative). I have not tried to reconfigure my sample. Note that if you get into any trouble (or wish to reset any custom configurations), you can easily reset the light to the factory defaults by 13 clicks-and-hold (13H).

Reviewer Comments:

Anduril is a sophisticated setup – a choice of Simple or Advanced UI, Stepped and Ramping modes, etc. Of course, you will never please everyone, and many may prefer a simpler interface. But as this light is directed toward flashaholics, I think it is a very good choice.

Circuit Measures

Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM):

There is no sign of PWM on any level, the circuit appears to be fully current-controlled.

There is also no sign of high frequency noise at any level (unlike many of the budget Anduril lights with simple FET drivers).

L1:
L1

L7:
L7

L8:
L8

Nice to see the continued lack of circuit noise on these Hank lights – well done.

Strobe Modes:

Note that for most of the strobe / flashing modes below, the actual frequency and intensity are both configurable. What I am showing below is the default speed and/or brightness setting. By pressing and holding the switch (1H or 2H) you can select the frequency. And in some cases, brightness is set from the last-used ramp level.

Beacon:
Beacon

Beacon strobe is a single flash every ~1.8 secs (so, 0.55 Hz), by default.

SOS:
SOS

A fairly typical SOS mode.

Candle:
Candle

Candle strobe is a continuous flicker, of varying intensity (again, accurately simulating a candle).

Bike Strobe:
Bike

Bike strobe is a bit unusual. It is constant On at a lower level, with four brief flashes to max (over ~0.25 secs) every ~1 sec or so by default. It certainly is an attention grabber.

Party Strobe:
Party

Party strobe is a super-fast (and annoying) frequency of ~20 Hz, by default.

Tactical Strobe:
Tactical

Tactical strobe is ~10 Hz by default.

Lightning Strobe:
Lightning
Lightning
Lightning

I’ve shown three 10-sec cycles above, so you can a feel for the frequency and intensity of light flashes. Lightning strobe is a fairly realistic lightning simulation, with variable intensity and time between flashes.

Charging:

The Emisar D1 does not come with built-in charging. You will have look into stand-alone battery chargers.

Standby / Parasitic Drain:

With the AUX switch LEDs set to off, I measured the standby drain for the electronic switch as fluctuating between 15 and 19 uA, averaging to 17 uA. For a 3500mAh cell, that would translate into over 23.5 years before the cell would be fully drained – which is ridiculously low, and not at all a concern. Regardless, I recommend you store the light locked out at the tailcap when not in use to prevent accidental activation (which also disables the standby drain).

With the AUX switch RGB LEDs activated on the Low output setting, I measured the current drain as 34 uA. For a 3500mAh cell, that would give you over 11 and half years before a cell would be fully drained. This is similarly low enough to not be a concern, and could be useful as a signaling indicator for you (with the electronic lockout in place).

With the AUX switch LEDs activated on the High output setting, I measured the current drain as 450 uA. For a 3500mAh cell, that would give you almost 11 months of continuous runtime before draining the cell. That is very good as an impromptu Moonlight mode.

I haven’t measured it, but the smooth Ramping minimum current drain would presumably be higher than the AUX High mode. So this side switch on Hi could be considered a way to extend runtime with an extra (albeit much dimmer) coloured “Moonlight mode” by using the Aux switch emitters.

Emitter Measures

In this section, I directly measure key emitter characteristics in terms of colour temperature, tint, and colour rendition. Please see my Emitter Measures page to learn more about what these terms mean, and how I am measuring them. As tint in particular can shift across levels, I typically stick with the highest stably regulated level for all my reported measures.

As explained on that page, since I am using an inexpensive uncalibrated device, you can only make relative comparisons across my reviews (i.e., don’t take these numbers as absolutely accurate values, but as relatively consistent across lights in my testing).

D1 on L6:

The key measures above are the colour temperature of ~5700K, and a slight positive tint shift (+0.0101 Duv) to greenish-yellow at this temperature. For CRI (Ra), I measured a combined score of 71.

These results are consistent with the specs.

Just out of curiosity, I thought I’d measure the AUX switch LEDs set to blue and green.

Blue Button:

The simple Light Master lightmeter that I am using is not rated for monochromatic sources, but the reading above is very consistent with a dedicated blue light – it is well off the blackbody radiation curve (Planckian locus) at the blue end of the spectrum.

Green Button:

Again, we are well off the Planckian locus in the green area of the colour spectrum.

Beamshots

All long-distance outdoor beamshots are taken on my Canon PowerShot S5 IS at f/2.7, 1 sec exposure, ISO 400, daylight white balance. The tree at the centre of the hotspot is approximately 90 meters (~100 yards) from the camera. Note the road dips down and turns away in the distance, out of the camera’s sight line. Learn more about my outdoor beamshot locations here.

Click on any thumbnail image below to open a full size image in a new window. You can then easily compare the overall beams by switching between tabs.



To help illustrate the hotspots better, I’ve also cropped the raw pictures around the centre of the frame. As before, click on any thumbnail below to open a full size image in a new window.



As you can see above, the W1 produces a very focused beam, with excellent throw of the hotspot.

Testing Results

My summary tables are generally reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. In addition to the links above, please see my output measures page for more background.

All my output numbers are based on my home-made lightbox setup. As explained on that methodology page, I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values to estimated lumens. Note that my lightbox calibration runs higher than most hobbyists today, but I’ve kept it to remain consistent with my earlier reviews (when the base calibration standard was first established). On average though, I find my lumen estimates are ~20% higher than most other modern reviewers.

My Peak Intensity/Beam Distance are directly measured with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter.

D1 Testing Results

ModeSpec LumensEstimated Lumens @0secEstimated Lumens @30 secsBeam Intensity @0secBeam Intensity @30secsBeam Distance @30secsPWM/Strobe FreqNoise FreqCharging Current <3VCharging Current >3VParasitic DrainWeight w/o BatteryWeight with BatteryCCT (K)DuvCRI
Switch Green LED (High)-0.070.07---NoNo--91 g----
Smooth Ramp Min-0.870.87---NoNo--~18 uA91 g----
L1-1.11.1---NoNo--~18 uA91 g----
L2-1010---NoNo--~18 uA91 g----
L3-4040---NoNo--~18 uA91 g----
L4-120120---NoNo--~18 uA91 g----
L5-240240---NoNo--~18 uA91 g----
L6-420420---NoNo--~18 uA91 g-5,6950.010171
L7-660650---NoNo--~18 uA91 g----
L8900950890123,000 cd117,000 cd684 mNoNo--~18 uA91 g----
Candle------NoNo--~18 uA91 g----
Bike Strobe------1.3 HzNo--~18 uA91 g----
Party Strobe------20 HzNo--~18 uA91 g----
Tactical Strobe------10.3 HzNo--~18 uA91 g----
Lightning------NoNo--~18 uA91 g----
Beacon------1.3 HzNo--~18 uA91 g----
SOS------0.52 HzNo--~18 uA91 g----

Max output specs seem consistent with the rated max output. And my calibrated lux light meter actually reports slightly higher peak throw than the specs indicate – well done!

To view and download full testing results for all modern lights in my testing, check out my Database page.

Runtimes

As always, my runtimes are done under a small cooling fan, for safety and consistency. To learn more about how to interpret runtime graphs, see my runtimes methodology page. Note that on average, my lightbox’s calibration seems to be ~20% higher than most modern reviewers.

The D1 didn’t come with its own battery, so I used a lightly used Armytek 3500mAh cell for comparison purposes in the main runtimes below.

Max

Hi

Med

The highest two levels show a generally well-regulated sustained output around ~600 estimated lumens for about an hour so (after step-down in the case the L8 max output). Lower levels are completely flat-regulated. These results show that Hank is using a very good fully-regulated linear driver on the D1, at least with this emitter choice. The same would be true for other relatively low voltage emitters, whereas higher output emitters would require a boost circuit (and would thus perform differently).

The overall output/runtime efficiency of the Osram W1 seems decent enough in my testing, although it under-performs against some emitters in competing lights (e.g., the Cree XHP35, Nichia 144AR). As this is my first example of this emitter, I don’t really know what to expect – but these results seem reasonable. There are always higher output or more efficient emitters you can choose – but with reduced throw, of course.

As always, the light will have to step-down on the highest output level at some point, but it does so gradually in this case. Like the D4K, I am impressed by how high the step-down level is, and how well regulated.

To better show this initial step-down pattern, I’ve done some additional runtimes with another new cell, a Vapcell F38 3800mAh 18650 battery. The Armytek and Vapcell batteries are differentiated below by their rated capacity – 3500mAh vs 3800mAh.

The higher capacity Vapcell batteries consistently run proportionately longer than the lower capacity Armytek. However, as also seen on the D4K, they appear to step-down to a lower level on max output as well. This is likely due to the typical trade-off with higher capacity cells – they cannot handle high drain quite as well (i.e., high capacity and high drain are typically mutually exclusive, in my experience). Note that Hank advises the use of high drain cells only in the D1 – I’m simply using these batteries for consistency to my other reviews.

Now let’s see how it performs against other lights on 18350/14500, using a new Vapcell F14 18350 1400mAh battery:



The 18350 Vapcell wasn’t able to match the relatively high step-down level on max that the 18650 cell could, which isn’t too surprising. But it is still able to sustain the max mode for an impressive duration before stepping down.

Here’s a close-up of the first few mins:

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Good physical build with a lot of possible customizations - especially for the main emitter.No in-light charging feature.
Appears to use a good driver, giving you better regulated output and step-down levels than other Anduril lights running on simple linear FET drivers. While the light steps-down on Max, it does so gradually and stabilizes at a higher than expected level. This can be convenient, but I note it since it is different from most lights (i.e., may not be what you expect).
Even with the regulated driver, there is still a decent dynamic range of output levels - although without the <1 lumen moonlight levels now..Body walls seem a bit thin (although still structurally sound), and threads come non-lubed.
Unbelievably good throw with the W1 emitter, with a very clean beam profile.Anduril interface can be intimidating.
AUX LEDs are a nice feature for the switch button, and can serve as a reasonably effective ultra-low "Moonlight" mode.
Surprisingly affordable given it is basically a custom light (on a standardized form factor).

Overall Rating

Preliminary Conclusions

Like the D4K I recently reviewed, this D1 is a very strong performer from Hank. I love the small form factor, especially with the options for 18350/18500 body tubes. I’ve always had a fondness for tiny thrower lights, as a complement to a general-purpose light. This configuration of the D1 meets that desire perfectly – I’ve never had a light this small throw this far. And all that in an excellent build with the sophisticated Anduril user interface.

Circuit performance is excellent, with a fully-regulated linear driver coupled with this emitter, based on the performance shown above (i.e., fairly flat-regulated with excellent output/runtime efficiency). There seems to be a bit of trade-off here with the flat regulation – the Ramping minimum output is higher than most other Anduril lights I’ve tested (that typically use in contrast a simple non-regulated linear driver). But the side switch can serve as a reasonably effective and efficient additional ultra-low moonlight here. And in any case, I’m not looking for moonlight in a pocket thrower. 🙂

The sheer number of emitter options can be a bit dizzying here. Although I’m curious to how some of the other emitters perform, I’m not really looking for overall output or Hi CRI in a pocket thrower – its maximum throw I’m interested in, and the Osram W1 is just stellar in that regard.

And once again, I enjoy all the features and customization options that Anduril provides. The large number of modes and settings are great for providing options, and it isn’t that complex to manage once you get used it. Simply put, there is value in consistency. And so, the D1 and D4K make a great pair – a dedicated little thrower and an all-purpose general light.

Another great little light from Hank/Emisar – and quite reasonably priced, in my view.

Acknowledgement

The D1 was purchased from intl-outdoor.com for review. As always, all opinions are my own and the light received the same rigourous and objective testing as all other lights that I have reviewed. At the time of review, this light in this configuration (without battery) retails for ~$36 USD (~$50 CDN) shipped.

Mateminco SL02 EDC

The SL02 is a budget light that runs off a 18650 or 18350 battery, using the included body tubes and cells. Also includes auxillary RGB modes in the head and tailcap.

  1. Introduction
  2. Manufacturer Specifications
  3. Package Details
  4. Build
  5. User Interface
  6. Circuit Measures
  7. Emitter Measures
  8. Beamshots
  9. Testing Results
  10. Runtimes
  11. Pros and Cons
  12. Overall Rating
  13. Preliminary Conclusions
  14. Acknowledgement

Introduction

Mateminco is another new “budget” light maker that I’m become aware of since my return to reviewing. The SL02 is a new every-day-carry (EDC) model that they have recently released. It features a Lumileds HL2X as the main emitter, and auxillary Osram RGB emitters.

It also comes with both 18650 and 18350 Li-ion batteries, and body tubes to accommodate the two lengths. This is nice feature, as it adds flexibility in how you can carry. Plus it is comes with integrated charging, which is very convenient.

Let’s see how it performs in my testing.

Manufacturer Specifications

Note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides (although in this case, specific to my custom specs). Scroll down to see my actual runtimes.

MakerMateminco
ModelSL02 EDC
EmitterLumileds HL2X + Osram GWJTLMS1.EM
TintCool + RGB
Max Output (Lumens)1,287
Min Output (Lumens)10
Max Runtime-
Max Beam Intensity (cd)50,850 cd
Max Beam Distance (m)451 m
Constant Levels4
FlashingStrobe
Battery1x18650
Weight (w/o battery)75 g
Weight (with battery)-
Length117.4 mm
Head Diameter26.8 mm
Body Diameter25.8 mm
WaterproofIPX6

Package Details






The packaging for the SL02 is pretty decent for a budget brand. The hard cardboard box has a fairly minimalist style (although I did find the “Adventure” pictogram amusing – I don’t know a lot of people who fence these days). Inside, the light and accessories are well packaged in cut-out foam. Included in the package:

  • Mateminco SL02 EDC (in Green in this case)
  • 18350 body tube
  • 18650 and 18350 Li-ion batteries (unbranded)
  • Pocket clip
  • Wrist lanyard
  • 2 Spare body tube o-rings
  • USB charging cable
  • Manual

It’s a nice package – especially considering the low price.

Build


From left to right: Vapcell F38 18650 (3800mAh), Skilhunt 18650 (3500mAh), Armytek C2 Wizard Pro Nichia, Acebeam E70 Mini, Skilhunt H300, Emisar D1, Mateminco Sl02, Armytek Doberman Pro.














The body design of the SL02 is pretty unique. It comes with both a 18650 and a 18350 body tube, but the tubes are completely enclosed at the head-end. The reason for this soon becomes apparent – there is a USB-C charging port on the screw threads on the head-end of the body tubes. This means that you need to take the head off to charge the light, and so need to have the battery fully enclosed inside the tube with the tailcap in place.

The light tailswitch functions as a reverse clicky switch (i.e., you need to click-and-release for the light to turn on, scroll down for a description of the user interface). Feel and traverse of the switch is pretty good for the clicky action, a bit firm but decent. It’s a little harder to reliably flash the switch to switch modes (i.e., partial press), as you need to press it firmly enough that it might accidentally click off. But you can also rapidly click off-on to advance modes, so that does work just as well. Again, scroll down to see the user interface.

Screw threads are bare aluminum, with no anodizing at either end of the body tube. This means that there is no way to physically lock out the light. This is a surprising design nowadays. My best guess is that they were concerned about the charging current having to flow through the switch, and so they left the threads bare as an alternate current path.

There is no knurling on the light per se, just a couple of cut-outs and some ridge details on the head. This could make the light a bit slippery, so I recommend you use the wrist lanyard or pocket clip. The clip has the added value of helping stop potential roll of the light too. Anodizing looks to be good quality on my sample, for presumed type II (given the green colour). I would describe the finish as satin.

The batteries that come with the light are not branded, and seem like typical budget cells. The rated capacities listed on the wrappers are rather low, at 2600mAh and 1200mAh respectively for the 18650 and 18350 cells.

The tailcap is perfectly flat, and the switch cover is recessed just enough so that the light is able to tailstand fairly stably. There is a cut-out on the side of the tailcap for the wrist lanyard.

What is very distinctive are the RGB emitters in the clear surround of the tail switch cover, which slowly cycle through the output colours. These are actually on at all times when a battery is connected (although it turns off if you click the switch for the main emitter). The output is low – it is clearly meant as a “find me” feature for the light in the dark.

I was surprised to see these RGB emitters were actually on when I opened the box – the light doesn’t ship with a lock-out paper or plastic disc. This strikes me as a safety concern, as the light could in theory activate inside the box. It also means the battery could drain while stored in the unopened box. Scroll down to see a discussion in the circuit measures section of my review.

Here is a video of the slow cycling pattern of RGB tail cap:

Here are some stills, showing the various colours. Again, the emitters aren’t very bright, and so the current draw is fairly low. I’ve also found that the emitters to shut-off when the battery charge is low. Again, scroll down to circuit measures section.




The head of the light is also interesting. There is a distinctive looking optic that actually focuses the hotspot fairly clearly while diffusing the spill. There is a stainless steel bezel ring holding it in place, which is fully flat (i.e., no crenelations).





I have to say, that is a pretty distinctive optic. The main beam pattern is thus a combination of centre-beam throw and wide diffuse flood. Scroll down for actual outdoor beamshots.

But there is also a series of RGB emitters in the head as well. These are activated by clicking the switch (i.e., they are on the main sequence of output modes). Like the tailcap, these can only be activate in a continuous cycling mode (i.e., can’t select specific colours). But unlike the tailcap, these run in a far faster cycle, more of a “disco” mode, as shown in the video below.

Again, here are a bunch of stills showing some of the individual colours, as best I could capture given the rapid speed.










User Interface

The SL02 uses a very straightforward interface, as described below.

From OFF:

  • Soft-press: Nothing.
  • Press-and-hold: Nothing (light functions as a reverse-clicky switch, have to release to turn On)
  • Single-click: Turns On in last memorized mode used
  • Double-click: Turns On and then Off (i.e., individual clicks simply turn the light on and off).

From ON:

  • Single Soft-press: Advances to the next mode in the following sequence: RGB – Lo – Med – Hi
  • Double Soft-press: Jumps to Strobe mode
  • Press-and-hold: Turns Off (as it functions a reverse-clicky)
  • Single-click: Turns Off
  • Double-click: Turns Off and back On, and advances to the next mode (i.e., a rapid series of clicks works the same as repeated soft-presses).

Mode memory:

Yes, the circuit memorizes the last constant On output level as long as you leave it on for >2 secs. Any faster, and repeated off-on clicking simply advances modes.

Strobe/Blinking modes:

Yes, a single typical strobe mode (scroll down for measures).

Low voltage warning:

Not that I have noticed.

Lock-out mode:

Not that I can find. Note that the light lacks anodized screw threads, so this means it is always drawing a standby current (scroll down for measures). Furthermore, the tail RGB emitters are always active, slowly changing colours when a battery is present inside the light. There is no way to physically or electronically lock-out the light.

Reviewer Comments:

This is a fairly basic but serviceable interface. I’m not happy about the front RGB “disco”  mode being in the main sequence, and there is little to differentiate Med and Hi visually (scroll down for testing measures). But at least Strobe is hidden behind a rapid double-press of the switch.

My main concern is the lack of the lock-out, and the constant slow-cycling RGB in the tailcap. However, this current is minuscule (see below), and the tail RGB emmitters do shut-off once the battery runs down to a low voltage.

Circuit Measures

Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM):

Lo:
Lo

Med:
Med

Hi:
Hi

There is no sign of PWM, but there is high-frequency circuit noise on the Med and Hi levels at ~5.1-5.2 kHz respectively. This is high enough to not be visually detectable.

Strobe:

Strobe

Strobe is basically ~11 Hz by default.

Charging:

<3.0V


I measured the initial charging current when the cell was <3.0V as 1.1A, but it quick drops down to ~1.0A by the time the cell reaches ~3.0V. This differs from a number of recent lights that start at an initially low level and jump up to a high current – the SL02 starts at a decent current and drops slowly as the battery charges. Note that a 1A initial rate is quite reasonable for a 18650 cell, but I find it a bit high for the 18350 cell.

You can notice a red LED on the head of the body tube, indicating charging has started. Of note, the manual says you need to click the tailcap into the On position for charging to work – but this isn’t required on my sample. And I’m not surprised by that, given the non-annodized threads (i.e., switch status should be irrelevant).

One quirk that I noticed – the LED shows green by the time the charging drops to ~0.2A.

At this point, I stopped the charge and measured the resting battery voltage as only ~3.85V. So I reconnected and let it run until it seemed to stabilize at ~0.02A.


As this level, the battery was reading only ~3.95V.

At this rate, I’m hard pressed to imagine the cell ever reaching or exceeding ~4.0V with the built-in charger. While a nice feature to include (especially for the price), you are better off investing in a proper charger if you want to fully charge the cells to ~4.2V.

Standby / Parasitic Drain:

With the tail RGB LEDs on and cycling, I measured the standby drain for the tail switch as a low ~150uA. For the included 2600mAh 18650 that would translate into just under 2 years for the battery to be fully drained. And for the 1200mAh 18350, just under 11 months (assuming fully charged to start). This is surprisingly good for continuously emitting and cycling coloured LEDs.

As previously mentioned, there is no way to lock out the light at the tailcap, due to the non-anodized threads.

Emitter Measures

In this section, I directly measure key emitter characteristics in terms of colour temperature, tint, and colour rendition. Please see my Emitter Measures page to learn more about what these terms mean, and how I am measuring them. As tint in particular can shift across levels, I typically stick with the highest stably regulated level for all my reported measures.

As explained on that page, since I am using an inexpensive uncalibrated device, you can only make relative comparisons across my reviews (i.e., don’t take these numbers as absolutely accurate values, but as relatively consistent across lights in my testing).

SL02 on Med:

The key measures above are the colour temperature of ~5590K, and a noticeable positive tint shift (+0.0140 Duv) to greenish-yellow at this temperature. For CRI (Ra), I measured a combined score of 61.

These results are consistent with the specs, and other emitters in this class.

Beamshots

All long-distance outdoor beamshots are taken on my Canon PowerShot S5 IS at f/2.7, 1 sec exposure, ISO 400, daylight white balance. The tree at the centre of the hotspot is approximately 90 meters (~100 yards) from the camera. Note the road dips down and turns away in the distance, out of the camera’s sight line. Learn more about my outdoor beamshot locations here.

Click on any thumbnail image below to open a full size image in a new window. You can then easily compare the overall beams by switching between tabs.



As you can see above, the SL02 produces a relatively focused hotspot, with wide (but dim) spill. Overall output is of course lower than the higher output emitters above.

Testing Results

My summary tables are generally reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. In addition to the links above, please see my output measures page for more background.

All my output numbers are based on my home-made lightbox setup. As explained on that methodology page, I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values to estimated lumens. Note that my lightbox calibration seems to run higher than most hobbyists today, but I’ve kept it to remain consistent with my earlier reviews (when the base calibration standard was first established).

My Peak Intensity/Beam Distance are directly measured with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter.

SL02 Testing Results

ModeSpec LumensEstimated Lumens @0secEstimated Lumens @30 secsBeam Intensity @0secBeam Intensity @30secsBeam Distance @30secsPWM/Strobe FreqNoise FreqCharging Current <3VCharging Current >3VParasitic DrainWeight w/o BatteryWeight with BatteryCCT (K)DuvCRI
Low100.200.20---No---~150 uA74 g119 g---
Mid550470460---No5.1 kHz--~150 uA74 g119 g---
High1,2871,4001,20010,900 cd7,600 cd174 mNo5.2 kHz--~150 uA74 g119 g5,5850.013861
RGB100.900.90---NoNo--~150 uA74 g119 g---
Strobe1,200-----11.2 HzNo--~150 uA74 g119 g---

Beam pattern is relatively throwy, but nowhere near the beam specs (which are completely unrealistic for a light this size).

Output levels seem reasonably consistent to my lightbox measures for Med/Hi (noting that my lightbox calibration is generous), but the Lo/RGB are clearly much lower than the specs. Indeed, the Lo mode is actually a <1 lumen Moonlight in my testing.

These level spacings don’t really make a lot of sense to me – jumping from 0.2 lumens to 460 (Lo to Med) is too big a step. And there is little visual difference between 460 and 1200 lumens (Med to Hi) in practice. They would have been better off with a fourth true Lo level (in ~30-40 lumen range), and/or a reduced Med mode.

To view and download full testing results for all modern lights in my testing, check out my Database page.

Runtimes

As always, my runtimes are done under a small cooling fan, for safety and consistency. To learn more about how to interpret runtime graphs, see my runtimes methodology page.


Hi
Med

The SL02 is presumably using a linear driver, given the apparent direct-drive pattern above (i.e., the circuit is not flat voltage-regulated). Overall efficiency seem reasonable, especially given the lower rated capacity of the bundled 18650 cell. Runtime performance is similar on the bundled 18350 cell, as shown below.



There is a step-down on Hi, as shown below for the 18350 run:

This performance is reasonable for the actual output levels, but see my comments above for recommended output level spacing.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
In-light charging included, but it requires you to remove the head due to the screw thread placement.Mode spacing is unusual, with no real Lo (Moonlight instead), and a Med mode that is not visually that different from Hi.
Circuit is not flat-regulated, and seems to be direct drive. Overall efficiency is reasonable for the class though.RGB "disco" mode on the front emitter is part of the main sequence, and cannot be hidden.
Beam pattern is relatively focused for throw, with wider and dimmer spill than typical thanks to the custom TIR optic (although the specs are completely unrealistic).No ability to lock out the light, or disable the rear tail RGB emitters (which slowly rotate through output colours).
Tailcap RGB emitters provide a low-output "find me" feature for the lightIn-light charger terminated early at ~4.0V in my testing.
18650 and 18350 batteries are included (but are no-name cells).Reverse clicky switch is a bit stiff for mode changing.

Overall Rating

Preliminary Conclusions

The SL02 has a lot of distinctive features. Overall, it’s a pretty good package (especially so for the price), with a lot of versatility. That said, it belies its budget nature through many of the specific design choices, and their consequences.

Starting with the build, the tailcap design has a unique “find me” feature with slowly changing low-output RGB emitters. However, the lack of anodized tailcap threads (likely required by the in-light charging design) means there is no way to deactivate this feature without removing the cell.

I find the enclosed body tube chambers to be a distinctive build feature. Again, this is presumably required by the unique in-light charging design (i.e., the charger port is on the screw threads, so you need a way to close the chamber). However the charger terminates early in my testing (at ~4.0V). So it seems like these two unusual design choices were driven by a feature that is, ultimately, of somewhat limited usefulness.

For all that, the build seems solid enough, and well put together. It is also nice that they included both a 18350 and 18650 battery (especially at this price). But I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with cheap cells, and so I recommend you replace them with a quality brand name.

The beam pattern is distinctive, with its unique optic and uncommon emitter. Throw is good (but nowhere near the published specs). Output level spacing is not particularly well thought out in my view, and the user interface is very basic (with the front-facing RGB’s rapid-shifting mode as part of the main sequence). But actual output/runtime performance of the light is pretty good, thanks to the linear driver and efficient direct-drive pattern (fans of flat-stabilized output will need to look elsewhere though).

So, a mix of decent features and build, but with limitations. If you like the RGB features, that might make this more compelling for you. It’s certainly a pretty cool and distinctive optic. But personally, I’d prefer if more attention were paid to the user interface and main beam output levels.

Acknowledgement

The SL02 was provided by Mateminco for review. As always, all opinions are my own and the light received the same rigourous and objective testing as all other lights that I have reviewed. At the time of review, this light retails for ~$30 USD (~$40 CDN) shipped. You can purchase it directly here or with free shipping here.

Cyansky P25 V2.0

The P25 is a tactical-style, general-purpose flashlight running on a single included 21700 battery. It features the high output XHP70.3 emitter, in cool white.

  1. Introduction
  2. Manufacturer Specifications
  3. Package Details
  4. Build
  5. User Interface
  6. Circuit Measures
  7. Emitter Measures
  8. Beamshots
  9. Testing Results
  10. Runtimes
  11. Pros and Cons
  12. Overall Rating
  13. Preliminary Conclusions
  14. Acknowledgement

Introduction

This is the first Cyansky light that I’ve reviewed since my recent return to reviewing. Cyansky is another in a line of new makers that has sprung up in recent years. I’ve heard good things about their models, so was curious to test out this new version of the P25.

According to the specs, the P25 v2.0 features the XHP70.3 emitter (HD version, from the appearance), and is rated for relatively high output in the 1×21700 class. What really caught my eye here though was the tactical tailcap switch, in addition to the electronic side switch. That’s not something you see commonly any more.

Let’s see how it performs in my testing.

Manufacturer Specifications

Note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual runtimes.

FeatureSpecs
MakerCyansky
ModelP25 V2.0
EmitterXHP70.3
TintCool
Max Output (Lumens)3,600
Min Output (Lumens)5
Max Runtime80 hours
Max Beam Intensity (cd)10,800 cd
Max Beam Distance (m)208 m
Constant Levels5
FlashingStrobe, SOS
Battery1x21700
Weight (w/o battery)98 g
Weight (with battery)-
Length145.4 mm
Head Diameter30 mm
Body Diameter24.4 mm
WaterproofIPX8 2m

Package Details




The P25 comes in fairly basic packaging, nothing too fancy in its appearance. Inside the box I found:

  • Cyansky P25 V2.0 flashlight, in green for my sample (also comes in red or black)
  • Cyansky-branded 5000mAh 21700 battery
  • Pocket clip
  • Holster with velcro closing flap
  • Wrist lanyard
  • USB-C charging cable
  • 2 Spare O-rings
  • Manual

It’s a very decent package, and I am glad to see the holster included – very rare these days.

Build


From left to right: LiitoKala 21700 (5000mAh), Vapcell 21700 F56 (5600mAh), Emisar D4K, Imalent MS03, Convoy S21E, Skilhunt M300, Wurkkos WK15, Wurkkos TS22, Sofirn SP35T, Cyansky P25, Nitecore P20iX, Acebeam E70.










At 145mm, the P25 is one of the longest lights I’ve tested in the general-purpose 1×21700 class. This is in part due to the tactical forward clicky switch. This makes the light very suitable for tactical purposes, but it does mean you have to accept greater length. As someone with above-average sized hands with long fingers, I find the light comfortable to hold and use in either overhand or underhand grip – but some may find it long.

The tailcap physical forward clicky switch has a pleasantly firm action, with a solid click and predictable firm traverse. There are two raised tailcap guards that can serve as the lanyard attachment point. My sample is able to tailstand stably.

Tailcap threads are square-cut and anodized, with good feel. Thanks to the anodized tailcap threads, you can easily lock-out this light by a simple twist of the tailcap.

There is a raised side-mounted electronic switch on the side of the head, with red and green LEDs underneath to show battery charge status. Feel and traverse of the electronic switch is very similar to a lot of modern lights.

As there is no in-light USB charging (i.e., you charge the cell directly), I expected waterproofness is excellent here.

There is no real knurling on the light, but there are a lot of cut-outs to help with grip. The slightly raised side switch helps limit the ability of the light to roll somewhat – but the pocket clip is particularly recommended in that regard.  Anodizing looks to be good quality for type II (presumed, given the colour range available). I would describe the finish as satin.

Inside, the light comes with a Cyansky-branded standard-sized 5000mAh 21700 battery, with integrated USB-C charger and slightly raised button-top, along with a charge status led. There is a flat contact in the head of the light, along with a reverse polarity detection feature.

This is a solid and well-made light, with decent grip and handfeel. It is longer than most in this class, which is something to keep in mind.



The P25 comes with a XHP70.3 HD emitter, in cool white. The reflector is deeper than most and moderately textured (moderate orange peel, MOP).

As expected, there is some tint/colour shifting across the periphery of the beam, with a cool white hotspot surrounded by a yellowish spill except for a purplish shift near the edge of the periphery. This is a well-known issue with HD emitters of the XHP family. The textured reflector seems to be help even it out it somewhat though. There is an purplish anti-reflective coating on the lens, which is contributing to the edge effect that you are seeing in the desk beamshot above (scroll down for outdoor beamshots).

The bezel is flat aluminum. There is no scalloping to speak of, and the light can headstand stably.

User Interface

The P25 uses a fairly common general-purpose user interface, given the switch arrangement.

From OFF:

  • Tail switch, partial-press: Momentary On in last memorized mode.
  • Tail switch, single-click: Turns On in last memorized mode.
  • Side switch, press-and-hold: Nothing – but if you click the tail switch while holding down the side switch, the light will activate in Eco mode.
  • Side switch, single-click: Nothing.

From ON:

  • Tail switch, partial-press: Nothing.
  • Tail switch, single-click: Turns Off.
  • Side switch, press-and-hold (>1 sec): Switch to Strobe. Press-and-hold again to advance to SOS. Single-click at any time to return to constant-on modes.
  • Side switch, single-click: Steps up to the next constant-on output mode (in sequence, Lo > Med > High > Turbo).
  • Side switch, double-click: Nothing, simply advances two steps in output (i.e., this is not a short-cut to Turbo, as on some lights).

Mode memory:

Yes, for constant-on output modes, except Turbo. If turned off in Turbo, it will save as High.

Mode 1 Shortcuts:

  • Eco mode: Press-and-hold the side switch while turning on at the tail switch.
  • Strobe mode: Press-and-hold the side switch when already On.
  • There doesn’t seem to be a shortcut to Turbo that I have found

Battery indicator:

When first activating the light, the indicator on the side switch shows the relative battery voltage (lasts for ~3 secs):

  • Solid green: ~81-100% power remaining
  • Flashing green: ~51-80% power remaining
  • Solid red: ~21-50% power remaining
  • Flashing red: 0-20% power remaining

Low voltage warning:

Yes. When the battery is low, the power indicator flashes red 3 times per second, and the main LED light flashes 2 times every 3 minutes. When the battery voltage is lower than 3.0V, the flashlight will reduce the main LED to the Low mode.

Lock-out mode:

Yes, but physically – you lock-out the light by a twist of the tailcap.

Reviewer Comments:

This is a reasonable UI for a general-purpose light. It’s very similar the “general mode” of two-stage tactical lights, like the Sofirn SP35T. I would liked a shortcut to Turbo, though.

Circuit Measures

Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM):

Eco:
Eco

Low:
Lo

Med:
Med

High:
Hi

Turbo:
Turbo

Well, this is great to see – not only is there no sign of PWM, but there is not even any circuit noise on any level. It’s rare nowadays to see a current-controlled light without at least some high frequency circuit noise on some levels – well done Cyansky.

Strobes:

Strobe:

Strobe alternates between 6 Hz and 15 Hz every ~2 secs or so. Very distracting.

SOS:

A standard SOS mode, relatively slow.

Beacon:

Sadly, no beacon mode on the P25.

Charging:

There is no integrated charger on the P25 light – it uses a 21700 cell with a built-in USB-C charger instead. There is an indicator LED on the battery that shows solid red when the light is charging. Changes to solid green when the charging is complete.

Resting voltage <3.0V

Resting voltage >3.0V

The Cyansky battery uses a two-stage charging feature, as seen on many (but not all) higher-end lights and batteries (i.e., where there is a lower initial charging rate when the cell is heavily discharged). The initial charging rate here is ~0.13A, which jumps to ~1.2A once the battery reaches 3.0V resting. I presume it continues to climb from there. This is a reasonable charging rate for the class, but not as high as some others.

Standby / Parasitic Drain:

None. That is one of the nice things about a physical clicky switch, no standby current. 🙂 And you can always lock-out the light by a twist of the tailcap, to prevent accidental activation.

Emitter Measures

In this section, I directly measure key emitter characteristics in terms of colour temperature, tint, and colour rendition. Please see my Emitter Measures page to learn more about what these terms mean, and how I am measuring them. As tint in particular can shift across levels, I typically stick with the highest stably regulated level for all my reported measures.

As explained on that page, since I am using an inexpensive uncalibrated device, you can only make relative comparisons across my reviews (i.e., don’t take these numbers as absolutely accurate values, but as relatively consistent across lights in my testing).

P25 on Hi:

The key measures above are the colour temperature of ~5530K, and a positive tint shift (+0.0138 Duv) to slightly greenish-yellow at this temperature. For CRI (Ra), I measured a combined score of 69.

These values are consistent with the performance of a cool white XHP70.3 HD emitter, and match my visual experience of this light. Note that there is a tint shift to more yellowish spill, with a purplish spillbeam edge, as is common on XHP HD emitters.

Beamshots

All outdoor beamshots are taken on my Canon PowerShot S5 IS at f/2.7, 0.5 secs exposure, ISO 400, daylight white balance. The bend in the road is approximately 40 meters (~45 yards) from the camera. Learn more about my outdoor beamshots here (scroll down for the floody light position used in this review).

Click on any thumbnail image below to open a full size image in a new window. You can then easily compare beams by switching between tabs.



As you can see above, the P25 has a very clean beam profile, quite similar to my XHP70.2 HD-equipped Wurkkos TS22. Also, the minor tint-shift to purplish at the edge of the periphery is less noticeable than a number of other lights, like the Acebeam E70.

Testing Results

My summary tables are generally reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. In addition to the links above, please see my output measures page for more background.

All my output numbers are based on my home-made lightbox setup. As explained on that methodology page, I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values to estimated lumens. Note that my lightbox calibration seems to run higher than most hobbyists today, but I’ve kept it to remain consistent with my earlier reviews (when the calibration standard was first established).

My Peak Intensity/Beam Distance are directly measured with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter.

P25 Testing Results

ModeSpec LumensEstimated Lumens @0secEstimated Lumens @30 secsBeam Intensity @0secBeam Intensity @30secsBeam Distance @30secsPWM/Strobe FreqNoise FreqCharging Current <3VCharging Current >3VParasitic DrainWeight w/o BatteryWeight with BatteryCCT (K)DuvCRI
Eco51010---NoNo0.13 A1.20 ANo99 g171 g---
Low506060---NoNo0.13 A1.20 ANo99 g171 g---
Med200255250---NoNo0.13 A1.20 ANo99 g171 g---
High800940940---NoNo0.13 A1.20 ANo99 g171 g5,5300.010369
Turbo3,6004,4504,30014,300 cd13,800 cd235 mNoNo0.13 A1.20 ANo99 g171 g---
Strobe1,600-----6-15 HzNo0.13 A1.20 ANo99 g171 g---
SOS200-----NoNo0.13 A1.20 ANo99 g171 g---

Well, this is nice to see – my P25 sample actually performs higher than the specs in my lightbox. Of course, I know my lightbox’s relative calibration is generously high for modern high-output lights. But my NIST-calibrated luxmeter (which is accurately calibrated to an absolute standard) also reports greater throw than the specs. This is a good result.

To view and download full testing results for all modern lights in my testing, check out my Database page.

Runtimes

As always, my runtimes are done under a small cooling fan, for safety and consistency. To learn more about how to interpret runtime graphs, see my runtimes methodology page.

Max

Hi

Med

Another pleasant finding – fully flat-regulated output at all levels, with outstanding output/runtime efficiency. These results show a good boost circuit is being used, resulting in excellent performance across the board.

Another observation is that the Turbo mode (and step-down level) are very consistent with other top lights in this emitter class, like the Wurkkos TS22 and Acebeam E70. However, the Med mode (and to a lesser extent the Hi mode) is a little lower in output than most of the competition.

To better show you the step-down pattern on Turbo, here is an extended view of the first few minutes of the runtimes:

Interestingly, the P25 ramps down in output more slowly than most lights in this class – it takes over 6 minutes before you are down to the fully-regulated step-down level (which is a bit higher than the High level).

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
The light has a solid build, with a tactical forward clicky switch in the tail and a side electronic switch.Lacks a moonlight mode or a beacon/signalling mode.
Circuit is fully voltage-regulated, with excellent output/runtime efficiency.XHP70.3 HD cool white emitter produces high output, but no option for neutral/warm tint, high CRI, or greater throw.
The light has a serviceable user interface, comparable to other lights with this configuration.More expensive than competing lights.
Good range of output levels, actually exceeding rated specs.

Overall Rating

Preliminary Conclusions

The P25 from Cyansky is another example of a quality light from a new maker that has crossed my review desk.

Circuit performance is top-notch, with a highly efficient and well-regulated driver. This is something that I find to be quite variable among the new makers, but certainly speaks well here (and reflects that higher price point than most of the others). I’m also impressed to see this light exceed its reported specs – many makers over-promise and under-deliver, so it’s great to see the opposite here.

I like the implementation of the physical forward clicky switch – feel and function is good. The user interface is reasonable, and similar to other lights that have both a physical tailswitch and side electronic switch. That said, some competing lights feature a secondary “tactical” mode set as an option as well (and a shortcut to Turbo). As always, I would like to see an actual Moonlight mode as well (or at least something closer to it).

The physical build is quite solid and stable, if a touch long. There are some small aspects that detract a bit for me, such as the slippery finish with relative lack of knurling, flat aluminum bezel, and pretty basic clip. I would associate these with a more budget build typically. But the overall package is good, with the Cyansky-branded battery and holster.

It also comes with a modern high-output emitter, the XHP70.3 HD (cool white), which provides a lot of output and a smooth beam. That said, I would like to see some additional options, such as neutral white version (or high CRI model). For that matter, the HI edition of this emitter would produce more throw, and a cleaner beam with less chromatic aberrations.

At the end of the day, I found this to be a good light to handle and use. It’s really the combination of small touches to the build and UI that hold it back from top-of-the-line class for me. I hope the comparison results above will help you decide if it is right for you.

Acknowledgement

The P25 was supplied by Cyansky for review. As always, all opinions are my own and the light received the same rigourous and objective testing as all other lights that I have reviewed. At the time of review, this light retails for ~$100 USD (~$130 CDN).

Emisar D4K

The D4K is a multi-emitter Hank light built for general purpose use, and running on a single 21700 battery. It features a wide range of customizable options, and uses the sophisticated Anduril user interface.

  1. Introduction
  2. Manufacturer Specifications
  3. Package Details
  4. Build
  5. User Interface
  6. Circuit Measures
  7. Emitter Measures
  8. Beamshots
  9. Testing Results
  10. Runtimes
  11. Pros and Cons
  12. Overall Rating
  13. Preliminary Conclusions
  14. Acknowledgement

Introduction

Upon my return to reviewing this year, it became very clear that “Hank lights” have a huge following. The individual models are known commercially under the Emisar or Noctigon name, and can be purchased directly from Hank’s site at intl-outdoor.com.

The thing to understand about the individual models is that there really isn’t an off-the-shelf or “stock” version of a Hank light. Rather, any given model (and there many, in different form factors) is available with a wide range of options that you can select from – including emitters, circuits, button colours, optics, etc.. So all lights are effectively custom-built, within the range of the form factor.

Hank also uses the latest implementations of the open-source Anduril user interface. Taken together, this all points to the fact that these lights are primarily intended for flashaholics who understand what they are looking for. It is basically an opportunity to get a largely custom light assembled and shipped relatively quickly and cheaply.

Having reviewed a number of Anduril-equipped lights from more mainstream makers, I was curious to see how it would perform in a light specifically designed to take advantage of it. I’ll get into the details of my selected build below, but this is probably the best opportunity to take maximal advantage of the Anduril feature set. Indeed, the creator of Anduril, Selene (aka ToyKeeper) specifically recommended the D4K and D1 to me as good models to start with.

First up in this review is the quad-emitter, 1×21700 Emisar D4K. Scroll down for my specific configuration. I’m excited to see how it performs in my testing.

Manufacturer Specifications

Note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides (although in this case, specific to my custom specs). Scroll down to see my actual runtimes.

FeatureSpecs
MakerEmisar
ModelD4K
Emitter4xNichia 519A dome on
Tint4500 K CRI>90
Max Output (Lumens)3,800 (FET)
Min Output (Lumens)-
Max Runtime-
Max Beam Intensity (cd)-
Max Beam Distance (m)-
Constant Levels150
Flashing6
Battery1x21700
Weight (w/o battery)-
Weight (with battery)58 g
Length103 mm
Head Diameter28 mm
Body Diameter26.5 mm
WaterproofIP67 1m

Again, you can select other options here if you wish.

Package Details



The packaging for Hank’s lights is fairly basic – a cardboard box with some hand-written description of the features selected. Inside is some cut-out foam holding the light and your extras. Here is what I selected, reflected in the package above:

  • D4K in Dark Grey
  • Flat threaded switch ring
  • Cool White switch backlight
  • LEDs: 519A 4500K with dome on
  • Standard optic
  • Optional boost driver
  • Optional steel bezel (comes with one spare large o-ring)
  • Optional pocket clip

All lights also come with:

  • Wrist lanyard
  • 2 Spare body tube o-rings

Hank provides a lot of emitter and switch options. I choose the 519A 4500K dome-on to better match some of the other lights I’ve tested (there are plenty of de-domed options to consider as well). The cool white switch backlight can be used as a fairly bright “moonlight” (there are plenty of other options available here as well).

The boost driver was a key selection for me. I’ve tested many budget lights running Anduril that lack a boost driver (i.e., just running a basic linear driver, like FET). That translates into a fairly quick drop-down to a relatively low output level – with a “noisy” regulation pattern followed by a slow unregulated drop-off. With a good boost driver, you should be able to sustain better regulated runtimes, and at higher thermally sustainable brightness levels. However, the trade-off is typically lower dynamic range (i.e., lower highs and higher lows). Given how quickly (and how low) FET-based Anduril lights drop-off, I think that’s a reasonable trade-off for higher regulated outputs with a good boost driver. And for once I don’t mind risking the loss of the lowest modes, as the switch light (which can be independently controlled with Anduril) can serve as an effective “Moonlight” mode in its own right.

To see the difference between the D4K with boost driver and other Anduril-based lights with simple linear drivers, check out my discussion in the Runtimes section of this review.

Build


From left to right: LiitoKala 21700 (5000mAh), Vapcell 21700 F56 (5600mAh), Emisar D4K, Imalent MS03, Convoy S21E, Skilhunt M300, Wurkkos WK15, Wurkkos TS22, Sofirn SP35T, Cyansky P25, Nitecore P20iX, Acebeam E70.










To start, I opted for the stainless steel bezel because I find the these enhance the  structural stability of the light. Aluminum is a great material to hold (or work with), but it is rather soft – to better protect the head from falls, etc., I prefer stainless steel.

The stainless steel pocket clip is another great option, as the body tube allows placement near the head or the tail of the light (for stable head-up or head-down carry). I didn’t opt for the tailcap magnet, but that’s a good option if you are considering using the light as a work light.

The light is controlled by an electronic side switch in the head, with a somewhat transparent rubberized cover. Feel and traverse of the electronic switch is good, with a firm click and typical traverse. There are a lot of options for the switch emitter LED, and I opted for cool white here (assuming it would produce max output). As you will see in my upcoming review of the D1, I opted for the multi-colour RGB LED option on that light.  Although set to off by default, you can configure the auxillary LEDs and the switch LEDs through Anduril to light up when a battery is connected (at two different intensities). See the user interface section below for more information.

I also went for the flat threaded switch ring, as I was worried the raised model might catch on clothing, etc. It is still easy to find the switch by feel, if you are leaving the standby indicator off.

The tailcap is perfectly flat, so the light is able to tailstand fairly stably. There is a small cut-out on the side for the simple wrist lanyard.

Tailcap threads are square-cut and anodized, with good feel – at both ends of the battery tube. Note there was no lubrication anywhere on the samples I received, so I recommend you add a good non-conducting lube for both the o-rings and the threads. I also always recommend you keep the light stored locked out when not in use. Thanks to the anodized tailcap threads, you can do this easily by a simple twist of the tailcap.

With the o-rings in place, I expect waterproofness to be good.

There is a stiff cylindrical spring in the head, along with a fairly thick conical tail spring. Resistance is high, so be careful about using longer cells in this light – you may dent the cell (or circuit board) if you use overly long cells. Note that Hank advises uprotected, flat top batteries only.

Unlike almost all the other lights I am reviewing these days, there is no built-in charger for batteries on the Emisar/Noctigon lights (or any bundled branded cells either). In keeping with the audience of flashlight enthusiasts, the assumption is that you have your own batteries and chargers on hand.

Knurling is not particularly aggressive – it is really more of a fine checkered or line pattern. It does feel a bit more grippy than most lights I’ve handled these days, which typically seem to be a bit smooth. Combined with the ridge detail, I would say overall grip is pretty good. Note that the light can roll, but the switch button cover helps limit this. Anodizing looks to be good quality (for presumed type II, give the colour range), with no damage on my sample. I would describe the finish as matte.



I opted for the standard optic, since I expect this should produce a decently floody beam with the quad-519A emitters (dome on). It doesn’t show up well in my desk shot above, but the beam is indeed very broad and floody. Scroll down for actual outdoor beamshots. There is a slight greenish-tint AR coating on the lens.

One interesting feature of the circuit board is that there are actually 8 additional secondary multi-colour RGB emitters built-in here. These can be turned on and controlled just like the auxillary switch LED in Anduril.

Here is what they look like on the high output AUX setting, in sequence:






You can configure the AUX LEDs to select an individual colour, or have it cycle through all colours, or reflect the battery voltage visually. You can turn these on at one of two intensities, or flash, or leave off. The AUX LEDs are linked to the side switch LEDs, so setting changes apply to both. But of course the RGB features are limited to the AUX emitters (unless you also get RGB under the switch too, in which case they would be synchronized).

In my handling, I find the High level for the AUX/Switch LEDs is surprisingly bright – and the Low level is surprisingly low (scroll down for specific output measures). In fact, the white LEDs on the side switch on Low are virtually impossible to see except in complete darkness, and the AUX LEDs are very dim (so dim that they don’t register in my lightbox). Here are a couple of pictures showing both switches in ambient room light on an overcast day, first on High and then Low:

As you can tell, it doesn’t even look like the switches are on in the Low setting. But here are a couple of pictures in the dark, again on Hi and then Lo:

It’s not exactly a perfect comparison, as I’m using my cell phone camera’s auto-adjust, but this gives you a general idea of the significant difference between the modes. Scroll down for current draws and output measures, where possible.

User Interface

As mentioned above, the D4K uses the open-source Anduril 2 user interface (UI). Anduril has two distinct UIs mode sets: Simple and Advanced. The labels are a bit misleading, as both are fairly sophisticated – it is just that the Advanced UI has a lot of extra options not available on the scaled-down Simple UI. Both UIs have the option for a discrete Stepped level mode, in addition to the continuously-variable Smooth Ramping mode.

To switch from the default Simple UI to Advanced UI, you need to do 10 clicks from Off with a hold on the 10th click (10H), with 10 clicks (10C) to return to simple UI. Advanced UI has a lot more options available. It’s easier to show the UIs rather than explain them in words, so here is a helpful pic:

ui-diagram

You can also download a plain text-based manual from Anduril creator Toykeeper, or a more interactive one with version control here.

This implementation of Anduril 2 has eight discrete Stepped levels, which I’ve numbered in this review as L1 through L8 (with L1 being the lowest level, and L8 being Turbo).

According to the firmware Version Check, my D4K sample is model 0273. Full info is 2022-10-21-02-73 (version code is Year-Month-Day the firmware was compiled, followed by a 2-digit brand ID and 2-digit product ID).

Again, check the image and link above for more info, but here is a simplified description of the UI to get you started.

From OFF:

  • Press-and-hold (1H): Turns On in lowest output, in either Ramping mode or Stepped mode depending on which mode is enabled (and which UI you are in)
  • Single-click (1C): Turns on in last memorized mode used (Ramping or Stepped)
  • Double-click (2C): Turns on to Turbo (aka the Ramping max output)
  • Triple-click (3C): Battery check (voltage read out a single time) and basic flashing/strobe modes.
  • Triple-click-and-hold (3H): Special strobe modes, but only when in Advanced UI (remembers last strobe mode used)
  • 4 clicks (4C): Lockout mode. In lockout mode you have different options available:
    • Press-and-hold (1H): Momentary Moonlight
    • Double-click-and-hold (2H): Momentary Low
    • 4 clicks (4C): Turns On in memorized output level
    • 4 clicks and hold (4H): Turns On in the lowest level
    • 5 clicks (5C): Turns On in Turbo
    • 10 clicks and hold (10H): Configure the lock timeout threshold (in Advanced UI only), allowing you to pre-set the timeout time of the lock.
  • 7 clicks (7C): (Advanced UI only) Enters AUX/Button LED config for the next mode. There are four modes you can switch between; constant low, blinking low, off, constant hi. Click 7 times again to advance to the next option, in sequence. The light auto-memorizes the last option you select.
  • 7 clicks-and-hold (7H): (Advanced UI only) Enters AUX/Button LED config for the next colour. The colours follow the sequence: Red, Yellow (Red+Green), Green, Cyan (Green+Blue), Blue, Purple (Blue+Red), White (Red+Green+Blue), Disco (fast random colors), Rainbow (cycles through all colors in order more slowly), and Voltage read-out (uses colour to display battery charge). See the video in the section above for what Rainbow looks like.

From ON:

  • Press-and-hold (1H): Ramps up (or Steps up, depending on the mode). Ramps/steps down if you do it again.
  • Single-click (1C): Turns Off
  • Double-click (2C): Jumps to Turbo
  • Double-click-and-hold (2H): Ramps down (or Steps down)
  • Triple-click (3C): Switch between Ramping and Stepped modes
  • 4 clicks (4C): Lockout mode (see above for options)

Mode memory:

Yes, the circuit memorizes the last constant On output level in either Ramping or Stepped modes.

Strobe/Blinking modes:

Yes, quite a few actually. The strobe/blinking modes are accessible from Off with a triple-click (3C) or triple-click-and-hold (3H), but in Advanced UI only. You can switch between strobe/blinking modes with 2 clicks (2C), in the following sequence (see testing results below to see what these look like):

Triple-click (3C):

  • Battery check
  • Temperature check
  • Beacon mode
  • SOS mode

Triple-click-and hold (3H):

  • Candle mode
  • Bike flasher mode
  • Party strobe mode
  • Tactical strobe mode
  • Lightning mode

Low voltage warning:

Sort of. In operation, the light drops in brightness in steps, and runs for an extended time at a very low level. Apparently it shuts off when the cell is ~2.8V (although I haven’t run it that long to confirm).

Lock-out mode:

Yes. In either Simple UI or Advanced UI, lockout is accessed by 4 clicks (4C) from On or Off (repeat to unlock). The lockout mode is unusual with Anduril, as it actually enables momentary operation in the minimum modes. There are other lockout modes available, as explained above. As always though, I recommend you physically lock out at the light at the tailcap, if you want to guarantee no accidental activation.

Temperature check and thermal calibration mode:

This is a little complicated (and beyond the needs of most users), so I will just refer you to the diagram from the manual above. With default settings, I find this light steps down fairly quickly due to heat (unsurprising, given default Anduril settings are conservative). I have not tried to reconfigure my sample. Note that if you get into any trouble (or wish to reset any custom configurations), you can easily reset the light to the factory defaults by 13 clicks-and-hold (13H).

Reviewer Comments:

Anduril is a sophisticated setup – a choice of Simple or Advanced UI, Stepped and Ramping modes, AUX LEDs, etc. Of course, you will never please everyone, and many may prefer a simpler interface. But as this light is directed toward flashaholics, I think it is a very good choice.

Circuit Measures

Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM):

There is no sign of PWM on any level, the circuit appears to be fully current-controlled. There is no sign of high frequency noise at any level (unlike many of the budget Anduril lights with simple FET drivers).

L1:
L1

L2:
L2

L7:
L7

L8:
L8

Nice to see the lack of circuit noise on this model.

Strobe Modes:

Note that for most of the strobe / flashing modes below, the actual frequency and intensity are both configurable. What I am showing below is the default speed and/or brightness setting. By pressing and holding the switch (1H or 2H) you can select the frequency. And in some cases, brightness is set from the last-used ramp level.

Beacon:
Beacon

Beacon strobe is a single flash every ~1.8 secs (so, 0.55 Hz) by default.

SOS:
SOS

A fairly typical SOS mode.

Candle:
Candle

Candle strobe is a continuous flicker, of varying intensity (again, accurately simulating a candle).

Bike Strobe:
Bike

Bike strobe is a bit unusual. It is constant On at a lower level, with four brief flashes to max (over ~0.25 secs) every ~1 sec or so by default. It certainly is an attention grabber.

Party Strobe:
Party

Party strobe is a super-fast (and annoying) frequency of ~20 Hz by default.

Tactical Strobe:
Tactical

Tactical strobe is basically ~10 Hz, by default.

Lightning Strobe:
Lightning
Lightning
Lightning

I’ve shown three 10-sec cycles above, so you can a feel for the frequency and intensity of light flashes. Lightning strobe is a fairly realistic lightning simulation, with variable intensity and time between flashes.

Charging:

The Emisar D4K does not come with built-in charging. You will have look into stand-alone battery chargers.

Standby / Parasitic Drain:

With the switch and AUX LEDs set to off, I measured the standby drain as fluctuating between 45 and 50 uA, but with a very brief jump to ~285uA every 3 secs or so. It’s hard to provide a good estimate, so I’ve just gone with ~50uA for now. For a 5000mAh cell, that would translate into over 11 years before the cell would be fully drained – which is extremely low, and not a concern. Regardless, I recommend you store the light locked out at the tailcap when not in use (which disables the standby drain).

Note that ToyKeeper tells me this current jump quirk is due to a bug in this firmware version. There is an updated firmware for this model that resolves the current jump, and lowers the overall standby drain by ~15 uA or so. You can kit to flash the firmware yourself, but I haven’t tried this yet.

With both the switch and AUX LEDs activated on the Low AUX output setting (i.e., barely visible, except in low light), I measured the combined drain as 105 uA with current firmware. For a 5000mAh cell, that would give you almost 5.5 years before the cell would be drained. This is similarly low enough to not be a concern, and could be useful as a signaling indicator, especially as a colourfull voltage readout (with the electronic lockout in place).

With both the switch and AUX LEDs activated on the High AUX output setting, I measured the combined drain as 3.58mA. For a 5000mAh cell, that would give you just under two months of continuous runtime on the higher AUX mode. While this is fine for the occasional use, it doesn’t make for a very effective or efficient Moonlight mode. Indeed, based on my experience, the low smooth Ramping minimum on the main emitters would likely have a slightly lower drain – but for much greater output with a better beam pattern.

Emitter Measures

In this section, I directly measure key emitter characteristics in terms of colour temperature, tint, and colour rendition. Please see my Emitter Measures page to learn more about what these terms mean, and how I am measuring them. As tint in particular can shift across levels, I typically stick with the highest stably regulated level for all my reported measures.

As explained on that page, since I am using an inexpensive uncalibrated device, you can only make relative comparisons across my reviews (i.e., don’t take these numbers as absolutely accurate values, but as relatively consistent across lights in my testing).

D4K on L6:

The key measures above are the colour temperature of ~3950K, and a noticeably negative tint shift (-0.0048 Duv) to pinkish-red at this temperature. For CRI (Ra), I measured a combined score of 95 (Hi CRI).

These results are very consistent with other neutral-warm Nichia 519A emitters I’ve tested.

Just out of curiosity, I thought I’d measure the AUX LEDs set to red.

AUX Red LEDs:

The simple Light Master lightmeter that I am using is not rated for monochromatic sources, but the reading above is very consistent with a dedicated red light – it is well off the blackbody radiation curve at the red end of the spectrum.

How about the cool white switch emitter?

Cool White side switch:

The cool white switch emitter is very bluish to my eyes, so the ~9350 CCT with slight negative tint shift is very consistent with my observation.

Beamshots

All outdoor beamshots are taken on my Canon PowerShot S5 IS at f/2.7, 0.5 secs exposure, ISO 400, daylight white balance. The bend in the road is approximately 40 meters (~45 yards) from the camera. Learn more about my outdoor beamshots here (scroll down for the floody light position used in this review).

Click on any thumbnail image below to open a full size image in a new window. You can then easily compare beams by switching between tabs.



As you can see above, the D4K’s 4x Nichia 519A 4500K emitters perform similarly to the Acebeam E70 Mini’s 3x 519A 5000K emitters – but with a bit more output, and slightly warmer tint, as expected. Tint is pretty similar to my lower output Skillhunt M300’s 1x Nichia 144ART 4500K. In comparison, the the TS10’s 3xCSP 4000K emitters are considerably warmer in tint.

Testing Results

My summary tables are generally reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. In addition to the links above, please see my output measures page for more background.

All my output numbers are based on my home-made lightbox setup. As explained on that methodology page, I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values to estimated lumens. Note that my lightbox calibration seems to run higher than most hobbyists today, but I’ve kept it to remain consistent with my earlier reviews (when the base calibration standard was first established).

My Peak Intensity/Beam Distance are directly measured with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter.

D4K Testing Results

ModeSpec LumensEstimated Lumens @0secEstimated Lumens @30 secsBeam Intensity @0secBeam Intensity @30secsBeam Distance @30secsPWM/Strobe FreqNoise FreqCharging Current <3VCharging Current >3VParasitic DrainWeight w/o BatteryWeight with BatteryCCT (K)DuvCRI
Cool White Switch LED + AUX Red LEDs (High)-0.060.06---NoNo--3.6 mA65 g----
Smooth Ramp Min-1.11.1---NoNo--~50 uA65 g----
L1-1.51.5---NoNo--~50 uA65 g----
L2-1717---NoNo--~50 uA65 g----
L3-7474---NoNo--~50 uA65 g----
L4-220220---NoNo--~50 uA65 g----
L5-490480---NoNo--~50 uA65 g----
L6-860850---NoNo--~50 uA65 g-3,960-0.004895
L7-2,0502,000---NoNo--~50 uA65 g----
L83,800 (FET)3,1502,6506,320 cd5,720 cd151 mNoNo--~50 uA65 g----
Candle------NoNo--~50 uA65 g----
Bike Strobe------1 HzNo--~50 uA65 g----
Party Strobe------23 HzNo--~50 uA65 g----
Tactical Strobe------10.4 HzNo--~50 uA65 g----
Lightning------NoNo--~50 uA65 g----
Beacon------0.48 HzNo--~50 uA65 g----
SOS------NoNo--~50 uA65 g----

The effect of the optional boost driver shows up in the higher Ramping minimum output, compared to other lights that use simple linear FET drivers (e.g., Sofirn IF25A, Wurkkos TS30S Pro). Still, I’m actually quite impressed at the dynamic range of the main emitters on the D4K here – I had expected a lower max output, and even higher min output. Scroll down to see how it compares in terms of runtime patterns.

To view and download full testing results for all modern lights in my testing, check out my Database page.

Runtimes

As always, my runtimes are done under a small cooling fan, for safety and consistency. To learn more about how to interpret runtime graphs, see my runtimes methodology page.

The D4K didn’t come with its own battery, but I had a brand new LiitoKala cell (5000 mAh) that I used for the main runtimes below.

Max

Hi

Med

These results provide the opportunity to compare the optional boost driver on the D4K with a standard linear driver, as I alluded to in my build overview. Specifically, let’s take the example of the somewhat comparable multi-emitter Sofirn IF25A, which has a basic FET driver. The emitters are different, so you can’t directly compare overall output/runtime efficiency, but I think output levels and regulation patterns above are very revealing.

On Max, the IF25A starts out at a slighty higher initial output (~3400 lumens in my lightbox), but very quickly drops down to a “regulated” level of only ~700-800 lumens. It also shows a very “noisy” runtime pattern before dropping out of regulation. In contrast, the D4K with boost driver starts off at a slightly lower level (~3100 lumens in my lightbox) and drops off to a much higher regulated level of ~1300-1400 lumens. The regulated portion of the runtime also seems more stable on the D4K.

At the lower Hi levels, you can see the IF25A remains quite noisy at its regulated ~700-800 lumen level. But the D4K with boost driver is now perfectly flat-regulated at ~850 lumens.

At at the even lower Med levels, the IF25A shows a very typical direct-drive-like pattern of slow drop-off in output as the battery voltage drops (until some defined step-downs at the very end of the run). In contrast, the D4K with boost driver remains flat regulated at ~480 lumens until it steps down at the end of the run.

Again, you can’t exactly directly compare these two lights – you would really need to get the D4K without the boost driver to quantify the exact difference. But these results are exactly what I would have expected given their general similarities outside of the circuit/emitters. That is, you get about the twice the stably-regulated output level here, with only some loss of dynamic range. This speaks to the value of using a good boost driver. I wish other makers would offer this for their Anduril-based lights.

As always, the relatively low thermal mass here means that the light will step-down fairly quickly on the highest output levels. But I am impressed by how high the step-down level is, and how well regulated.

To better show this initial step-down pattern, I’ve done some addition runtimes with another new cell, a Vapcell F56 5600mAh 21700 battery.

The Liitokala and Vapcell batteries are differentiated below by their rated capacity – 5000mAh vs 5600mAh. Note as well that both are a good length (the Vapcell F56 in particular), so there is a risk of denting the cells when using in a compact light with dual springs like this.

Not surprisingly, there is not much difference between the cells over the first minutes. Effectively, the early runtimes above look equivalent for their initial step-down patterns.

Max-extended

This longer resolution is where you can see a difference. The 5600mAh Vapcell runtimes last longer, at a med-high level near the end of the runs. Harder to interpret is the slightly higher regulated output on the L7 run, and lower regulated output on the L8 max run, on the Vapcell. This may be just variation from one run to the next – but it could also be that the higher capacity Vapcell doesn’t respond as well to the initial high-drain on the max run.

I haven’t tried adjusting the thermal management settings (these are configurable with Anduril), but you should be able to slightly extend the initial output before step-down (at the expense of greater heat, of course).

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Good physical build with a lot of possible customizations.No in-light charging feature.
With the optional boost driver, you get better regulated output and step-down levels than other Anduril lights running on simple linear FET drivers. Best implementation of Anduril I've seen yet.Due to small thermal mass, light will step-down quickly on Turbo - but maintains a higher brightness level here than other budget lights I've tested.
Even with the optional boost driver, there is a surprisingly wide dynamic range of output levels, but you do lose the <1 lumen moonlight levels.Only unprotected, flat top cells should be used in the light. Longer batteries are likely to get dented by the stiff springs in this small build.
Excellent beam profile and tint with my chosen dome-on Nichia 519A emitters.Body walls seem a bit thin, and threads come non-lubed.
RGB AUX LEDs are a nice feature, in addition to the switch options.Anduril interface can be intimidating.
Surprisingly affordable given it is basically a custom light (on a standardized form factor).

Overall Rating

Preliminary Conclusions

The D4K with optional boost driver did not disappoint. This is exactly the performance I was hoping for with a better driver – a higher step-down level on max, and flatter regulation across the board. I was prepared for some loss of dynamic range, but it wasn’t as much as I feared – except for the loss of <1 lumen Moonlight modes on the main emitter. But you do have the switch LEDs and AUX LEDs which can serve as impromptu Moonlight modes. While not as efficient or effective as a true Moonlight on the main emitter, it is enough for me to not knock down the star rating. I strongly recommend you opt for the boost driver upgrade on this model.

The other customizable features are really a question of personal preference. Now that I know the switch backlight and front circuit board AUX RGB emitters can’t be independently controlled, I would probably opt for the RGB switch – in order the match the AUX RGB colours. But this is just a question of personal preference.

Although I think this light is worth 5 stars for the performance, I do miss seeing an integrated charging port (a minor issue given the target audience though). The physical build is also a little on the thin and lighter side for my tastes, but still seems robust enough.

Beam pattern was excellent with the standard optic and dome-on Nichia 519A emitters. I know a lot of people like dedomed emitters, but keep in mind that dedoming also tends to reduce the colour temperature significantly (i.e., these “4500K” temp emitters would wind up being a lot warmer after dedoming). Of course, that may be to your tastes, but I would suggest going with 5700K emitters if you plan to dedome.

As always, I find it a pleasure to work with the Anduril user interface. I know this UI is not to everyone’s tastes, but there is something to be said for the consistency of knowing what to expect when a light arrives. By definition, there are a lot of arbitrary choices that have to be made when building in an advanced interface (by that I mean that multiple clicks-and-holds will be required, and one selection is not necessarily better or worse than another). So this is where consistency can be a more highly prized feature – especially when you own a lot of lights.

Certainly a very positive experience for my first Hank light!

Acknowledgement

The D4K was purchased from intl-outdoor.com for review. As always, all opinions are my own and the light received the same rigourous and objective testing as all other lights that I have reviewed. At the time of review, this light in this configuration (without battery) retails for ~$67 USD (~$92 CDN) shipped.

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