Reviewer's Note: The Connexion X2 2xAA extension and TurboForce kits were provided by Ricky at Lumapower for review.
Warning: Pic heavy!
A little something new from Lumapower:
Lumapower has recently announced a series of upgrades to the Connexion X2 (1xAA) and Encore (1x18650, 2xR/CR123A) lights: a 2xAA battery extension tube for the X2, and further-throwing TurboForce heads for both models.
The 2xAA battery tube extension warrants additional runtime tests (see below), but the TurboForce kits simply allow you to swap a wider head with larger reflector on the X2 and Encore (i.e. doesn't change the emitter/pill/circuit). This review will focus on the X2 upgrades - please see my Encore review for an update with the TurboForce head.
First off, here's what to expect with the new TurboForce head:
(TurboForce head is on top on the left, standard head is on the bottom on the left)
Here is with the TF head installed:
As you can see, the TF head adds a bit of height and extra width to the head, but it is not a huge difference (i.e. not like the D-mini or anything). Build quality is consistent with the rest of the X2 design (i.e. type III black HA).
Note the TF head unit can separate into two-parts, allowing you to directly access the reflector.
How do the beams compare?
Clearly, the TF head has a much narrower beam with greater throw. How much greater? Lumapower claims 4X the lux readings.
The manufacturer's claim is pretty consistent with my findings. Note that raw lux doesn't indicate how much further it throws. For that, you need to compare the square roots of lux (i.e. 4X the lux means 2X the actual throw).
How about the 2xAA extension tube? Here it is with the standard head installed:
And here it is with the TF head installed:
The 2xAA extension tube is good fit at both ends of the light, no gaps or threading issues to report. Fit and finish is consistent with my 1xAA X2 body, although the extension tube is slightly more matte finish on my sample. Obviously, the 1xAA clip is of less value for a 2xAA-sized light, but this is of course removable (and if nothing else, it serves as an effective anti-roll device now).
See my original X2 review for a discussion of the user interface.
All lights are on Hi/100% on 2x Sanyo Eneloop. Distance is about 0.5 meters from a white wall. The X2 2xAA is using the standard head.
As shown previously, the standard head on the Connexion lights has a relatively broad (and dimmer) spillbeam than typical in the AA class. IMO, this is actually fairly useful for an EDC light (i.e. more "floody"). The TurboForce head has a slightly narrower than typical spill for an AA class light (scroll back up the first part of this review for a comparison to the standard head).
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 standard head Connexion has the lowest peak throw of all my 2xAA lights, while the TurboForce head is about typical for this class. Max output for the 2xAA version of the X2 is on the low side for this class of light - likely due to the fact that the circuit was optimized for 1xAA performance (see the output/runtimes for more info).
Not surprisingly (since the circuit/pill is unchanged from the 1xAA X2), output levels at Lo/Med/Hi are basically the same with the 2xAA extension tube in place. As such, this translates into improved runtimes at all levels. Although I haven't done the Lo mode runs, runtime has approximately doubled on Med, and nearly tripled on Hi on NiMH. See my 2xAA round-up review for comparisons to other 2xAA lights.
Max output in 2xAA form remains the same as 1xAA. Otherwise, see my 1xAA X2 review for general comments about the Connexions.
I am generally a big fan of the 2xAA class light for general-purpose use, so I'm glad to see Lumapower offer the 2xAA extension tube. Fit and finish were perfect on my sample, with no issues.
I will be adding this light to my 2xAA round-up shortly, so you will be able to compare it directly to other lights of this class. In terms of output/runtime efficiency, it generally holds its own well. But maximum output remains limited the 1xAA levels (since the circuit was originally optimized for that power source).
Basically, you can look at this extension tube as a simple way to extend the runtimes of your Connexion X2.
As for the Turboforce, I am sure this will become a welcome upgrade for many. I personally like the shallow reflector of the original head, since it provides a nice "floody" beam. But with the TF head, you now have the option to produce a more typical beam pattern with a decent amount of throw. Note that you are not getting D-mini levels of throw here - the TurboForce kit brings the Connexion more in keeping with typical non-slim lined lights.
I am not sure if Lumapower will be shipping lights with these options installed by default, but you will certainly be able to purchase them as upgrades to existing lights directly from Lumapower or through their dealers shortly.