Awesome review ! Thank you.
Awesome review ! Thank you.
selfbuilt, thank you once again for an excellent review. I have been edc'ing a NC EX10 (as well as an NC D10) and this light looks like a potential alternative. I like the fact that there is a method to ramp up / down but still retain a memorized user-defined level. This was one of my beefs with the NC lights; you can set a user-defined level but once you ramped up or down, you lose the setting.
I also like the low voltage over-discharge protection system and potential to run 2xAA, although I was hoping for the ability to run 1xAA.
One question for owners of this light; I noticed there is a four-prong Ďstarí on the base but I canít see if there is a hole in any of the prongs. Is there a hole in one of those prongs for a lanyard?
As for the issue with the sample light and suggestion that there is potential for biases: first; I commend selfbuilt for his disclosure that there was an issue with the sample. Second; about the defects in the samples and othersÖ some other very well-known manufacturers have also experienced defects, issues and failures so Iím not surprised that LiteFlux has a few. If there were a disproportionate number, then I would be concerned. But, it sounds like they have solid CS and some of these issues seem isolated. Considering the quality of this light and the good things Iíve heard about the LF5XT (although Iím not a fan due to its size), I think this is a solid candidate for a main edc light.
For me, I tend to search out selfbuilt's reviews whenever I find out about a new light that interests me... and I appreciate selfbuilt's reviews since they do tend to be even, he states facts, then observations, provides comparisons to other lights and often provides context as well. I find there is more than enough information from his reviews for me decide for myself whether the light suits my needs.
Thanks for another excellent review. Not to take anything away from Eric, I'd also like to tip my hat to BabyDoc; his comments prior to this review made me take the plunge and get this light. I waited and got the warm tint and I'm not the least bit disappointed.
I've not had time to play with the 2nd UI yet, but if the light didn't have it, I'd still be happy with just the simple one.
I am having one problem that I haven't seen mentioned yet. I've had my light come on 3-4 times in my jeans pocket (the small 'change' pocket).
Has anyone else experienced this and are there any suggestions for preventing it? Could I have a sensitive switch? Would the tightening or removing some lube mentioned here affect this?
I suppose a stiffer spring under the switch would help prevent accidental turn-on, but you could also just unscrew the tube about a 1/8 turn for lock out. I've not had this problem yet, but with the low pressure needed it's easy to imagine.
Thanks Lite_me, I appreciate your response to my question.
Now, I only wish they had included a detachable clip... perhaps a LiteFlux rep is reading this thread...
I've just started to get some time working with this light... it's pretty remarkable alright. And a not insignificant feature... the battery tester! Fantastic... seems to do a really precise measurement, presumably under load... it's now my official battery tester for CR123s and RCR123s. Oh....... and the beam is buttery smooth.
Last edited by DHart; 02-03-2009 at 09:55 PM.
I think it is measuring under load, since you'll get different readings depending on which brightness level the light is set on when you do the test.
The battery voltage readout under load is the best extra feature on this light. You will notice different voltage at 0.2% and 100%.
I went and tried it again on max. This time I used a CR123 and an AW RCR123. The light showed 2.5V and MM showed 2.83V with the primary. With the AW the light showed 3.9V and MM 3.86V.
So, I would say the light measures under load. The AW is new and apparently not affected by the voltage draw.
UPDATE: The 2 replacement samples from LED Cool arrived, and I've re-done several runtime tests. Below are the results, with sample #1 referring to the original LF3XT that I bought, and #2 and #3 are the replacements LED Cool sent.
I don't know about you, but I cannot believe how little output/runtime variability I'm seeing here! Recall those are traces from 3 different lights.
Of course, I've used the same RCR cell for all Li-ion tests, and Surefire batteries from the same lot for the primary runs, to try to minimize my variables. But honestly, I typically get at least that much variability when I re-run the same light in my lightbox repeatedly.
I must say, I'm very impressed that 3 samples of the LF3XT could produce such extremely good output and runtime concordance on 4 different battery/output configs.
One area where the 3 lights differ is in how well focussed the reflector is. Here's the revised summary chart:
That is a little more understandable, since the reflector/pill focus would be manually set at the factory. The human element tends to add some variability.
Thanks again to LED Cool for the replacements.
P.S.: These results have been added the main review text in posts #1 and #2.
Thanks for doing this extra testing, selfbuilt. Your dedication to accuracy is most commendable. We really appreciate your work.
Makes me feel even happier to be a LF3XT owner.
selfbuilt, thanks again for adding these additional samples in your review and letting us know in the other thread I started on the LF3XT. I haven't seen it mentioned here and hopefully I didn't miss it. I believe you said the newer samples had slightly better focus in the reflectors. Do the new ones you have still also have the excellent beam pattern with very little or no 'Cree rings' ?
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selfbuilt - Thanks for the extra, extra reviews. great to see that focus (throw) seems to be the the only real variable. Hopefully LiteFlux has recognized and are trying to improve on this area.
Thanks for the great review, and the new additions selfbuilt. I am still anxiously awaiting to see the results of the 1xCR123A Min - Primary (Surefire) runtime test. Any eta on that?
I am with Geoff(Flying Turtle)....Very happy to be a LF3XT owner. I carry this light with me every day.
Thought I'd add a couple of beamshots of relevance... comparing my LF3XT to other 1-cell pocketable lights on max output.
LF3XT - RCR123
Romisen RC-N3 Q5 1*RCR123
E1B - CR123
L1 - RCR123
L1 - CR123
Last edited by DHart; 02-07-2009 at 11:44 AM.
OK, here are some detailed comparisons:
As you can see, there is no great difference in the beam patterns. However, my lux meter shows that the replacement samples have ~10% and ~20% more throw than the original.
Here is how the front ends look:
Again, there is no great difference here. Upon examining the lights individually, it looks to me like the light with the greatest throw has the emitter slightly less recessed into the reflector than the others. Again, the difference is slight, and well within the variability I would expect for a manually-adjusted feature during assembly. The consistency is actually fairly good.
Last edited by bondr006; 02-08-2009 at 05:22 AM.
I don't think there is a posted runtime for the Novatac that low. But based on an earlier HDS runtime thread in CFPMP (where I seem to recall that many months was observed), it would simply take too long to test. Suffice it to say, I would expect at least weeks of continuous runtime for the LF3XT on its lowest level.
another great review , congrats ,, i still love my lf3xt
The LF3XT is one of my faves... alongside my EDC (Romisen RC-C3)
I add my thanks to those who appreciate your testing all 3 samples.
It's nice to know that the quality control, except for sample #1, is fairly consistent. I guess that doesn't surprise me considering most people aren't complaining about any consistent problem. Your sample #1 failing in the way it did seemed unique, at least among those who have reported problems here. I wonder if we will ever hear back from LiteFlux with regards to what went wrong with #1 after they get the chance to examine it.
While I hear people asking Khoo to select warm or neutral samples, it is my impresson from people's descriptions, that the tint doesn't vary that much between units. Most people say their lights are neutral to cool. Do you see any tint variability with the samples you were sent?
Selfbuilts sample shots look very similar to me. I have experienced 2 samples of the LF3XT. Mine and my brothers. Both were purchased from EliteLED about a week apart. Ours are vastly different in tint. Mine is mostly white looking with an ever so slight rose tint to it. Most noticeable in the spill. Not at all bad tho, I like it. My brothers is very warm. It's the warmest Q5 I've ever seen. It's almost as warm as my one Rebel light. And being that warm, it's not as bright looking as mine either. When compared, they are very different. About as vast of difference as I've seen in two samples of the same light. I was quite surprised when I saw his. He's trying to get used to it. He prefers mine, and frankly, so do I.
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."
I have also seen a difference in the tint of different LF3XT's. When I was over to Geoff's(Flying Turtle) house, we compared ours, and my LF3XT was quite a bite warmer as opposed to his very neutral white tint.
Of my 3 samples, I would say #1 was indeed slightly warm, where as #2 and #3 are about as neutrally-white as you could expect for this class of emitter (with #2 being the ever so slightly warmer of the two). The comparison beam pics capture the difference well.
Now that I've done the runtimes, I will be sending the original defective light #1 back to Khoo for Liteflux to examine. I will let you know if I hear anything back in regards to the source of its failure.
And sample #2 is now on my belt as my new EDC for the time being, replacing my NiteCore D10 GDP which has occupied that spot for the last couple of months. I will let you know how my EDC experience with this light goes over the next few weeks.
P.S.: The battery voltage read-out feature is fun, since I plan to run on RCR for the next little while.
selfbuilt... it would seem that with your experience with so many lights that your choice of the D10 and LF3xt as your EDCs, that these are among the 1-cell lights receiving your highest acclaim? Or do you just rotate EDC lights frequently to check them out more long term?
Although I can't EDC everything I get, I do try to test out significant new lights for a couple of weeks of EDC use to see how I like them (and find out how they perform in real use). I then typically update my reviews with any relevant new observations. FYI, that's how I discovered the narrower beam of the LF5XT wasn't a problem in use - I simply automatically adapted how I carried it to suit my needs.
In-between testing, I have tended to revert to the D10 (originally Cree version, then later the GDP, carried in the Fenix L1D holster). I like this light for its interface, ease of use, battery flexibility and size - very small, but still comfortable in my hand (in contrast, I find the EX10 a bit small for my relatively long fingers, but YMMV). I generally prefer 1xAA-size lights, and run on Li-ion. Prior to that, the NDI was probably my other longest-running EDC.
The LF3XT has a great interface and relatively good size (about the minimum length I like, and the maximum width). I'm trying it out in the Fenix P3D holster. We'll see if I revert I revert back to the D10 after this, or carry on with the LF3XT ...
Lemme think .. EDC's I've known and (mostly) loved ... Fenix L1D, JetBeam C-LE, Rexlight 2.1, Novatac 120P, Nitecore Defender Infinity, JetBeam Jet-I MK IBS, NiteCore D10-Q5, Liteflux LF5XT, NiteCore D10-GDP ... and the beat goes on.