Reviewer's Note: The Connexion X2 was supplied by Ricky at Lumapower for review. The first-edition Connexion was purchased from Lighthound.com.
Warning: Pic heavy!
UPDATE: April 5, 2009: A 2xAA extension tube and TurboForce head are now available as upgrades to this light. I have added the TF kit results below, but please see my X2 2xAA review for full details of the extension tube.
UPDATE Feb 16, 2009: Runtime on 14500 Li-ion on Max added.
The X2 is the new revised version of the Lumapower 1xAA EDC light, the Connexion. I don’t have the official specifications for the new Connexion X2, which will only be released at the time of launch. However, I will point out the differences from the original Connexion that I own. This thread will be updated once full X2 specs are known.
Packaging has been updated from the original Connexion, and looks similar to new packaging I’ve found on the MVP/Turboforce lights I’ve reviewed recently.
Inside, the X2 comes well-packaged inside cut-out foam, with warranty card, spare o-rings, belt pouch (very similar to early Fenix models), and a pair of fine-tipped tweezers for accessing the tailcap switch (a nice touch). My sample also came with a Duracell Ultra and Energizer L91, but I suspect that was specific for my review.
UPDATE: I see from Lumapower's new X2 announcement thread on CPFMP that the shipping versions will also come with a removable lanyard, user manual, and extra tailcap button cover.
Weight: X2 37.4g vs Connexion 35.1g
Length: X2 92.1mm vs Connexion 92.2mm
Width: X2 19-20.7mm x 19-20.5mm (thinnest to thickest regions)
As you can see, overall size and dimensions are roughly unchanged from the original Connexion. Body design is very similar overall - in fact, I’ve found the heads are interchangeable on the two models. A couple of comparison shots are presented below (with the X2 on the left and the original Connexion on the right):
Fit and finish is excellent on my sample. I am happy to report that anodizing has finally been updated to type III (hard anodizing) on the X2. It is also a glossier black than the original Connexion, which was more matte finish.
Knurling has been raised and is more aggressive than the original Connexion (although still fairly mild as knurling goes). Additional knurling has been added to the head region, to help with grip.
Lettering is clear on my X2, although not as bright as my original Connexion. An extra “Lpower” label has been added to body flat under the clip area.
The clip has been elongated and is removable now. This is an improvement over the first generation Connexion, where the smaller clip was rather useless except as an anti-roll device (seems to have been a direct port from the smaller Incendio).
Screw threads retain the same diameter, but seem to be slightly better cut (there is also a layer of anodizing at the exposed end).
Tailcap GITD button cover seems to be of brighter color and GITD output.
As you can see, the tailcap switch can now be fully disassembled. The quality of the components seems higher than the Encore I reviewed recently (which had spacer breakdown debris inside the switch area). Note that the switch now has gold-plated side and main springs.
Looks like this is another area that has gotten a complete revamp!
Note that the head/reflector still easily unscrews from the pill region, allowing you to adjust the focus of the light somewhat (useful for reducing Cree rings). You can also run it in candle-mode with no reflector/head installed.
The reflector is generally similar in appearance, but may have a slightly different geometry (hard to tell – the difference is subtle).
The light uses the common Cree Q5 emitter. Tint was a pleasing premium white on my sample, with a slightly warm tint. Scroll down for beamshot comparisons to other lights.
AFAIK, both the Connexion and X2 are current-controlled for their low modes (i.e. no PWM). I saw no sign of tint-shifting across output levels.
UPDATE April 5, 2009: Lumapower has released a TurboForce kit for greater throw on their Connexion and Encore lights.
As you can see, the TurboForce heads adds greater height and width to the light, along with greater throw and a narrower spillbeam. See my X2 2xAA Extension and TurboForce kit review for more details on this new upgrade to the Connexion and Encore lines.
The X2 is very similar to the original Connexion – both are classic KISS lights.
Press the forward clicky for momentary on, click for lock on. Both lights have 3 output levels that you advance in sequence from Hi to Lo by soft-pressing on the clicky.
Lights have a memory mode to retain the last setting used when you turn it off (i.e. comes back on at that level). One improvement is that the memorization delay is only 1 sec now (~ 2 secs on the original Connexion).
Personally, I would have preferred a Lo to Hi sequence, but the memory mode is at least helpful to keep the light at the level you want.
From left to right: Duracell Ultra, Connexion X2, Connexion V1, Fenix LD10, Nitecore D10, Olight T15, LiteFlux LF5XT.
As you can see, the light is a bit longer than the Nitecore D10, but otherwise is one of the smallest 1xAA lights in my collection.
All lights are on 100% on Sanyo Eneloop. Distance is about 0.5 meters from a white wall.
Despite how it looks above, there is no real difference between the original Connexion and X2 beam patterns. I have left both maximally tightened, but you could easily unscrew the X2 head slightly to eliminate the Cree rings and broaden the hotspot to look just like the original Connexion.
Both lights have a relatively broad (and dimmer) spillbeam than typical in the 1AA class. IMO, this is actually fairly useful for an EDC light (i.e. more “floody”).
UPDATE April 5, 2009: For a comparison to the new TurboForce replacement head, please see my X2 2xAA extension and TurboForce kit review.
Testing Method: All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for the extended run Lo modes which are done without cooling.
Throw values are the square-root of lux measurements taken at 1 meter from the lens, using a light meter.
Throw/Output Summary Chart:
The Connexion and X2 are very similar in regards to the throw and output. Both have one of the lowest peak throws among my 1AA lights. Max output is about middle or the range, and Min output is among the lowest I’ve seen for a current-controlled light. See my X2 2xAA extension and TurboForce kit review for some recent upgrades to this light, including greater throw.
Note: Time to shutdown for the X2 on Lo on alkaline was ~ 4.5 days.
UPDATE Feb 16,2009: Lumapower informs me that the X2 can run on 14500 Li-ion. Below is a runtime on Hi.
Although the output levels don’t seem too different between the original Connexion and the X2, output/runtime efficiency (which was already quite good) appears to have been increased a bit further on the X2, especially on the Med-Lo modes.
The X2 seems particularly efficient on its lowest mode, where it ran for longer – and with a bit more light for most of the run – than the excellent Zebralight H50 (i.e. 4.5 days for the X2 vs 3.5 days for H50). It was however less tightly regulated than the H50.
There are no specific problems or issues that I have identified with the X2.
The quality of the threads on the body tube/head of the X2 appear to be improved over the original Connexion, but are still fairly limited in number.
Mode sequence remains Hi-Med-Lo only.
The forward clicky may remain slightly difficult to press for some, due to its fully recessed nature and somewhat stiff feel for lock-on.
The X2 is a noticeable improvement over the original Connexion in a number of ways. The X2 also appears to have a few improvements over the Encore (1x18650), which was a “second-generation EDC” light from Lumapower. Main improvements that I have noticed:
- Improved efficiency on Med-Lo modes (which was already decent)
- Reduced time lag for output mode memorization (now 1 sec instead of 2 secs)
- Improved knurling (raised and slightly more aggressive), with extra band around the head
- Improved anodizing – now glossier and hard-anodized (type III)
- Improved cut to the body/head screw threads (but same number and diameter as original Connexion)
- Longer clip, now removable
- Tailcap clicky now accessible – and the innards appear to be of higher quality than the Lumapower Encore (i.e. gold-plated contact springs on switch, no debris inside switch area, etc.)
- Brighter GITD tailcap button cover (although the GITD lens o-ring seems unchanged)
- UPDATE: Can now safely run on 14500 Li-ion, with all output modes maintained
I am sure there are more detailed changes that Lumapower will announce with the official launch of this light, but those are obvious ones I have noticed.
What hasn’t changed is the easy access to the emitter/pill and the somewhat focusable reflector (which compared to other lights has a wider spillbeam with less evidence of Cree rings). Both units can still tailstand.
The original Connexion was something of a port of the 1xCR123A/RCR Incendio to the 1xAA format. Although it had some limitations and build issues, I liked my review sample Incendio enough to buy a 1xAA Connexion. The X2 is a nice upgrade to the original.
But since most of these are incremental changes, I don't know if they would entice existing Connexion holders to upgrade. And those who didn’t prefer the build or UI of the original Incendio/Connexion may not see enough of a difference with the X2 to take the plunge.
But I think the more important point here is that Lumapower is finally using higher quality components on the EDC line. Even the “second generation” EDC light - the Encore – still had a ways to go on a number of build fronts. I’m happy to see the X2 (third generation EDC?) shows a continual improvement. It makes the X2 of worthwhile consideration for those looking for a simple-to-use 1xAA EDC light.
P.S.: Since completing this review, Lumapower has informed me that 14500-compatibility has been included with the X2 (wasn't available on the original Connexion). Review has been updated with Hi mode runtime graph for your reference.
UPDATE April 5, 2009: Please see my X2 2xAA Extension & TurboForce kit review for some recent upgrades to this light.