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Thread: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

  1. #1

    Wink2 Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    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


    Beamshots:
    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.

    Runtimes:
    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.

    Key observations:

    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



    Liteflux LF5

    • 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.


    Conclusion:
    • 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.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 01-17-2008 at 10:40 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Thanks Selfbuilt,

    I really appreciate your time and all the others that take the time to do these test. It really helps in evaluating lights that we cannot see or test first hand in a store.

    I typically read all reviews to gather data to allow me to make a wise decision on my next purchase. In this case I already made a purchase of the Liteflux LF-3 and am very happy. I may purchase an LF-5 but you can only have so many lights.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Quote Originally Posted by regulator View Post
    I typically read all reviews to gather data to allow me to make a wise decision on my next purchase. In this case I already made a purchase of the Liteflux LF-3 and am very happy. I may purchase an LF-5 but you can only have so many lights.
    Thanks regulator. I'm sure that light is very nice as well.

    Frankly, my only issue with the LF5 is the relatively poor performance on alkalines (which won't be an issue on the LF3/LF4). Note that it's not "bad" per se, just not up to the competition.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    The runtimes in the first graph don't match the graph.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Love the design of the LF5. Something unique for a change. Many thanks for your efforts, SelfBuilt.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Quote Originally Posted by cave dave View Post
    The runtimes in the first graph don't match the graph.
    Corrected - thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by swxb12 View Post
    Love the design of the LF5. Something unique for a change. Many thanks for your efforts, SelfBuilt.
    That's certainly true - the light stands out from the pack for its design. I wish it was a bit easier to switch into user defined mode one handed, though (haven't been able to manage more than SWx1 single-handed so far). Probably just takes more practice.

    Wider spill beam width would also be nice, to take better advantage of the floody SSC emitter. But the diffuser tip is a good design - unlike the new Fenix diffuser, it doesn't make the light look like another ... ah ... hand-held device .
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  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Grubbster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Wider spill beam width would also be nice, to take better advantage of the floody SSC emitter.
    Amen! I wish they had kept more with the shallow reflector style of the SSC LF2. I love the beam on that thing.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Quote Originally Posted by Grubbster View Post
    Amen! I wish they had kept more with the shallow reflector style of the SSC LF2. I love the beam on that thing.
    I have to agree ... I find myself preferring the wider beam on my home-made LF1 SSC-mod.

    Maybe it's just me, but I'm also finding it hard to reliably SW one-handed. I think the light's timings needs to be a tad slower (or my hand needs to get a little faster ).

    FYI, I've updated the main 1AA review thread with the last of the LF5 runtimes. Cheers!
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Just updated main post to point out that user-adjustable low mode seems to be somewhere between 0.5-1% of max output, according to my lightbox.

    For fun, I've just started a runtime at this level on alkaline. I expect it will take several days-weeks to rundown the battery, so I'm not doing this run continuously in my lightbox - I will instead just very measure output at regular intervals.

    Results should be interesting - I'll post them here and my main review thead.
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  10. #10
    Flashaholic* nanotech17's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Thanks - i love my LF5



  11. #11

    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Just to update: my runtime test of the LF5 on its lowest setting has now reached 1 full week with absolutely no change in output on alkaline.

    I've added the output level to the low graph in the main post to give you a visual idea of how low this is. I will update the runtime graph and main post when it finally dies.

    At this rate, it could be awhile - but on the positive side, it makes a nice night-light for my office with the diffuser installed.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Cool! I wanted a long runtime option - nice to see this can go as low as the HDS it seems.

    I just received my LF5 today and my first impression is that it is well machined, smaller than I was expecting having used a LM301 which is quite a bit heftier. The threads are a tad bit grainy - I'll clean them tonight and apply some teflon lubricant. It has a very deep reflector compared to my Peak Pacific or HDS. Tint is quite nice - and quite bright on maximum.

    As for programming/setting, one issue is that it is a digital light. In standard mode going from P1 to P2 there is a split second delay. It doesn't go dark, it just takes a split second for the circuit to engage. When performing a SW from P1>P2>P1 in standard mode one thing it took me awhile to learn is that you can't wait for the light to responde or it's too late. I kept toggling back and forth as quickly as the light would cycle and that is too long. You have to toggle between the two levels more quickly and for example, from P1 standard mode (15% brightness) to P2 (50%) it will stay lit as if in P1 only mode. When you have one in your hand this makes more sense but basically you need to toggle it pretty quickly. Once I did that it worked as expected at least in standard and user adjustable mode. Using visual cues on the body is helpful to know you've moved it enough. While not exactly intuitive, it does work more closely to the HDS than, say, how the Fenixes appear to work. You can go from off to low, medium, and high, back to low or medium, without cycling through any other modes. From what I can see this is about as close to my understanding of the flupic as is available in a production light. It remembers the last mode as well, which is a great feature to me.

    I have not tried to set any of the levels other than user adjustable to max - which is pretty darn bright. At default levels P1 is lower than my Peak Pacific LuxIII High Power, and P2 is brighter. Max is a good deal brighter to my eye in daylight.

    Overall, a nice package. I'll see if I can smooth out the mechanism with some lubricant (applied what came with it but it seems to need a real thorough cleaning first).

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* MarNav1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    I like the old LF1 with a Turbohead personally, haven't modded one yet though.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    That runtime is crazy. Just to my eye test - LF5 default low (15%) is definitely brighter than secondary on my HDS 42. I managed to reprogram LF P1 to a lower level - not the lowest but between lowest and secondary (defaults) on my HDS. The programming gets a lot easier when you tinker with it for awhile.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Quote Originally Posted by Gatsby View Post
    That runtime is crazy. Just to my eye test - LF5 default low (15%) is definitely brighter than secondary on my HDS 42. I managed to reprogram LF P1 to a lower level - not the lowest but between lowest and secondary (defaults) on my HDS. The programming gets a lot easier when you tinker with it for awhile.
    Thanks for your comments Gatsy.

    I agree with you completely - the interface takes some getting used to. You need to develop a "feel" for where P1/P2 are, and SW "blindly" until you get what you want. For people looking for some sort of immediatew tactile or visual feedback, they are going to be disappointed at first. But once you get used it, it's not so hard. I just wish I could do more than 1xSW single-handed. I also agree the threads could use come work.

    The only other thing I would like is a step-wise progression in user-programmable mode when going from max to min (or vice versa). Right now, it does it in a linear, not logarithmic, fashion - which means that you have a few split seconds to choose a really low level, and lots of time to choose a near maximal level. Not very convenient if you are trying to get something between 0.5% and 15%.

    But otherwise, it's a great light - the poor man's HDS.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Selfbuilt - thanks for all your reviews - they were instrumental in informing my buying decision. And you're right - it meanders on up from 50% to 100% then blinks, and meanders on ... down ... but wait it's going really fast and then it's at lowest! You've got to move quick on the lower levels and 100% is quite bright and noticeably brighter than 50% "primary" there aren't a lot of distinctions between the higher levels.

    In daylight I've figured out the two points on the body where P1 and P2 are determinable so SW means just hitting it past those two marks. Not bad for SW1 or SW2 which is most of my use. But you have to be deliberate for anything over 3 it seems. Still direct access to modes rather than cycling is well worth it to me.

    If they made this light with a solid feeling switch I'd think about buying the AAA and the CR2 versions as well! As it is, it is still a very usable design and I'm surprised it hasn't gotten more "ink" here since it does a lot of what people have asked for - easy to ignore and avoid strobe and SOS, a really low low (really, really, really low like the HDS if you want), pretty simple two stage operation, with a fairly easy to access burst, remembers the last mode, programmable levels in the three main settings, not to mention a bunch of programming for the strobe adn sos funtions and surprisingly over discharge protection (which you'd think would be real popular particularly in the CR2 and CR123 size lights - but useful for this if you use 14500's).

    I'm quite surprised people haven't been all over this light as the UI seems a lot more user friendly once it is customized for how seemingly lots of people here use/want to use/their lights. It is not perfect - I'd add a switch and logarithmic step up as you mention like the HDS, but it is a lot closer to CPF consensus and a lot closer to much more expensive light functions (including a lot of two stagers) than anything else it seems and is priced around the $50 point. Heck even the diffuser and filters are well executed - I can actually see using the diffuser as a tent light feature - I don't know what it's made of but it really works well and glows nicely...
    Last edited by Gatsby; 10-05-2007 at 02:19 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    selfbuilt - the dot on the head of my LF5 actually sort of varies in terms of where it aligns - sometimes spot on, sometimes a bit "past" the name, sometimes a bit "before" the name. Is this normal?

    I've tinkered with the retaining ring in the head but it seems to move more or less freely inside the head - kind of seems to spin around but does not seem to tighten down on anything. Am I doing this correctly?

    THanks!

    Phil

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    hello Gatsby,

    there two holes on the retaining ring. beneath the ring, there another two holes. you need to align the top and bottom holes, then turn the whole assembly to tighten it or loosen it.

    using a sharp tweezer, poke through the top holes and rotate the ring while at the same time exert downward pressure on the tweezer. you will feel the bottom holes are engaged when the tweezer suddenly sink in further.

    then rotate to tighten or loosen the 2 stage assembly.

    regards,
    khoo

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Hey Thanks Khoo!

    I've been enjoying the LF5 and carrying it regularly.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Quote Originally Posted by LED Cool View Post
    there two holes on the retaining ring. beneath the ring, there another two holes. you need to align the top and bottom holes, then turn the whole assembly to tighten it or loosen it. using a sharp tweezer, poke through the top holes and rotate the ring while at the same time exert downward pressure on the tweezer. you will feel the bottom holes are engaged when the tweezer suddenly sink in further.
    Thanks for the update Khoo.

    I had to do this a couple of times on mine during early testing, when it would periodically loosen up with repeated battery changes, mode shifting, etc. I found that a just a touch of tightening restored everything.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Just updated main post: LF5 continuous runtime on lowest setting on alkaline was 15 days. Very impressive!
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Hi Selfbuilt, thanks again for a very good review. You should know that they are very appreciated.
    I agree with the above comments about the looks, it's great. Doesnt look like every other AA light since Fenix L1P, really stands out. And from what I can see from the beamshots, I like the beam a lot too.

    A question though, about the UI. Heard that it's reaaaaally complicated. How does it work? Couldnt find any description on the manufacturers thread.

    And does it work as usual with a 14500 battery? I would assume so since it uses PWM, but I'm not sure.

    EDIT: Crap, just saw that they are out of stock. Oh, well, might be for the best, shouldnt buy lights anyway. And maybe they release a clicky version, that would be great!
    Last edited by Lobo; 10-17-2007 at 12:49 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Works fine with 14500.

    The basic UI is simple, 1/4 twist for low, another 1/4 twist for high.

    Extra features and programming can be a pain, lots of twisting. I use the "press" method, uses thread play as a switch activation.

    They will have stock in a few weeks.

    Nice light. Just trying to decide if I should keep mine or sell it to fund other projects...



  24. #24
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    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Quote Originally Posted by gunga View Post

    Nice light. Just trying to decide if I should keep mine or sell it to fund other projects...


    Is that a hint or what?
    You got a PM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Liteflux LF5 vs. LF1 SSC-mod: BEAMSHOTS and RUNTIMES

    Have Liteflux stopped making these? I can't seem to find one on their website.

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