This is a quick-and-dirty comparison of the new Liteflux LF5 SSC multi-level to my old 2-stage LF1 that I modded with a USVOH SSC emitter (both in 1AA format). The goal is to see if it's worth upgrading for those of us who already modded the earlier light. Note that this new LF5 light has also been added to my Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!.
New LF5 on left, old LF1 modded with SSC on right
On Hi/100% with Duracell Alkaline
Note that although both are nice and "floody", the LF5 seems to have a much narrower spillbeam width than other AA lights I've seen.
Method: All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's FR.com method. My relative overall output numbers are typically similar to his, although generally a little lower. You can directly compare all my review graphs - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another.
Hi/100% mode on NiMH (Duracell 2650mAh) or alkaline (Duracell)
Hi/100% mode on an AW Protected 14500 (750mAh)
Low/15% mode on Duracell alkaline
More detailed runtime data can be found on my multi-level AA roundup comparison review.
Liteflux LF1 (modded with SSC)
- Very well built light, pleasure to mod
- Output and runtime on Hi is excellent on all battery types, comparable to newer SSC/Cree lights
- Output on runtime on Low is acceptable in 1AA form, but lower than current-controlled/PWM lights since LF1 uses a resistor for low mode.
- Although not shown, runtime on Low in 2AA form is horrible on LF1 (about half that of 1AA!), as the resistor seems to be optimized for 1AA configuration only
- Light comes as a nice kit with wooden presentation box, diffuser tip,red/blue/yellow filters, extra o-rings, small keyring attachment, and thread lube (nice touch! A+)
- Uses high frequency PWM, with no noticeable flicker (haven't tested the rate yet)
- Standard mode is set to 15% and 50% output, and I've set user-defined to 100% for tests above, but you can adjust it to any of wide range of levels
- Output is consistent with other top-of-the-line modern Cree/SSC lights, but with some of the best regulation I've seen on AA
- On Hi (100%), runtimes are quite good on 14500 and NiMh, but disappointing on alkaline - the LF5 underperforms the LF1
- On Low (15%), output and runtime is increased over the LF1, as expected given the resistor-basis of that light.
- Lowest level is about ~0.3 on my output scale (which would be somewhere between 0.5-1% of max output). To give you a comparison, that's just slightly brighter than my SSC-modded 1st gen VB-16 on level 2. Runtime on alkaline was 15 days at this level.
- Twisty Interface is a bit unusual and takes some practice at first (e.g. turn all the way tight for off, turn back 1/4 turns for on modes), but it allows you to completely bypass strobe/SOS modes if you want
- Build quality seems good, but you may need to "tighten" the retaining ring in the head from time to time, as I've noticed it can "loosen" up with a lot of testing and switching. Basicaly, if the white dot on the head no longer lines up with the Liteflux name on the body tube when fully tightened, you'll need to adjust the ring or the mode switching won't work properly. To do this, turn the visible ring until the holes line up with the true retaining below the surface. A slight turn of the true retaining ring is likely all you need.
- If you haven't modded your LF1, then this is definitely a significant upgrade all the way around (if you don't mind the twisty over the original clicky)
- If you have modded your LF1, then you'll have to decide if the extra lower modes with longer runtimes are worth it for you to upgrade. LF5 is able to go all the way down to <1% of max output (in user-adjustable modes), with a continuous runtime of 2 weeks on alkaline at this level.
- Runtimes on alkaline on the LF5 seem unusually low compared to other lights at similar intensities - including the LF1 on Hi
Don't forget to check out my multi-level AA roundup comparison review for more runtimes and comparison to other lights.