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    Default >> Pictures posted! << Lumapower Avenger GX review

    This is for submission into the reviews section


    Lumapower Avenger GX review

    Here is the review of the new Lumapower Avenger GX. The original Avenger had promise, being the only available multimode AAA with clicky, but it suffered from some design problems when using varying lengths of 10440/AAA batteries and was a bit large for an AAA edc (see my review of the original Avenger for more information). The new Avenger GX is a nice update and delivers on the promise seen in the original in a more compact package.

    Ricky at Lumapower sent me a review sample of this latest release. I’ll use my typical edc criteria to see how this light stacks up!


    Specs and Information

    Alright, the Avenger is a multi-mode AAA light that has 3 levels, selected by the forward clicky (or the included twisty tailcap).





    The specifications (as quoted from Lumapower) are as follows:
    • LED emitter: CREE XP-E R2
    • Input voltage range : 0.9V – 3.3V (10440 is not compatible)
    • Convertible design with both clicky and twisty style tailcaps included
    • Removable pocket clip allows bezel up or down carry
    • Removable swivel keychain holder and lanyard
    • GITD o-ring and tailcap cover
    • 3 Brightness levels with digital control, from Low to Medium to High
    • Forward clicky allows momentary option (half press to select output level, full press to lock it)
    • 1 second memory
    • With twisty tailcap, tailstanding is possible (i.e. candle mode)
    • Optimized for NiMH
    • Digital reverse polarity protection
    • Double side AR-coated lens
    • High reflective SMO type metal reflector
    • High grade aircraft T6061 aluminum
    • Aggressive knurling for better grip
    • Type III (HA) coating (black)
    • 75 lumens on Hi, nearly 90 mins on AAA NiMH
    • 20 lumens on Med, with 3 hours 40 mins runtime
    • 4 lumens on Lo, with 15 hours runtime
    The included accessory kit is quite impressive. The many extras allow for some pretty flexible carry options:
    • clip (bezel up and down carry)
    • keychain
    • wrist lanyard
    • clothing clip
    Including both a forward clicky and the compact twisty tailcap is also a great bonus.



    Battery availability and compatibilty

    The GX is no longer compatible with 10440 Lithium Ion cells as its output is optimized for use with standard AAA batteries. This will disappoint those looking for maximum output at all costs, but is quite a sensible, practical choice.

    I don’t believe in using 10440 batteries in lights not designed for their voltage. Also when using lithium Ion cells, I prefer a light that has built in protection circuits to preserve the cells (10440 cells are too small to fit protection circuits). Most circuits give up a bit in performance on standard batteries when designed to handle the higher voltage of lithium ion batteries, so it makes sense to maximize performance on standard cells.

    Performance with nimh rechargeable batteries is impressive, and the light is still acceptable on the lower power modes when using alkalines. Keep in mind that alkalines do not provide good, long running performance with high power led lights.

    Battery availability should not be a problem with this light.


    Good interface

    The GX uses the now familiar 3 mode interface from Lumapower. The mode sequence is now low-medium-high, which seems to be a more sensible sequence for edc lights.

    There are no strobe or SOS modes, so the interface is simple, and no nonsense.

    The mode memory locks in at 1 second. This interface is easy to use, but is not ideal for rapid signaling since the light must be on for 1 second for it to retain its setting. In any case, I found it to be practical and easy to use.

    The light, like all the recent Lumapowers, has a forward clicky, and now features anodized threads in the head, which allows for lockout. By simply unscrewing the head you can lock out the light, preventing accidental activation. This is a welcome (and long overdue) feature.

    The forward clicky tailcap can be removed and replaced with the twisty tailcap. This cap shortens the overall length of the light and allows it to tailstand for use as a candle. It also provides a firm location for lanyard or split ring attachment.

    Using the GX as twisty is simple and intuitive, though some generous lubrication is needed for smooth switching. The switching on my sample was a bit stiff initially but loosened up in use.

    I personally preferred to use the GX in clicky configuration, but the twisty setup is very practical for pocket or keychain carry.

    I did note an interesting “feature”. The GX has the same thread pitch as Fenix and Liteflux AAA lights. I did some experiments and found the GX could be shortened considerably by using a body tube from a Fenix/Liteflux. The o-ring is exposed so this is not a viable option, but perhaps Lumapower can offer an accessory tube to make the GX even more compact? It would make the light just a bit more pocket able, and only a little bit longer than the popular Fenix L0D/LD01.



    Useful levels and good efficiency

    Lumapower has adjusted and tuned the levels of the GX for optimal efficiency on standard cells. I found the levels well spaced and useful.


    The Avenger has an excellent low mode (about 4 lumens) that is surprisingly useful and gives a nice extended runtime. This is actually almost too bright with dark adapted eyes, but is a great general purpose level.

    The maximum level (75 lumens) is impressive with standard cells. Performance is on par with a Fenix L0D/LD01 (rated around 75 lumens also). I did not detect any heat build-up when running on high. The light barely warmed up.

    PWM (pulse width modulation) is used for dimming the light. The measured frequency (see reviews by HKJ and Selfbuilt) was around 1.3 Khz. I did not detect any PWM flicker in use, though it can be observed by shaking the light quickly.


    Size, ergonomics

    As stated in my previous reviews, ergonomics can be a very personal matter. How does the light feel in the hand?

    The Avenger has improved knurling; allowing a firm grip and hand-friendly feel, but also being smooth enough to be pocket friendly.

    The GX is finished in smooth black hard anodizing, with no finish flaws. A natural finish would hide scratches better during keychain use, but the current finish is well matched and seems durable in use.

    I find the forward clicky to be very firm, with a very robust feeling. It latches on predictably, though it may be a bit too firm for some.


    Beam, tint quality


    The GX uses the new Cree XP-E emitter. The tint is slightly warmer than pure white, with a light yellow tint. I would guess an R2 WH bin. I tend to prefer warmer tints (5A, 5B, 4C) for outdoor use, but this tint was quite pleasant in use and the R2 bin is typically 20-30% more efficient than the typical warm/neutral tint Crees.

    The GX uses a smooth reflector, which may provide somewhat more defined hotspot, and more throw, but produces a beam that is disappointingly ringy. A mildly textured reflector would be a preferable.

    I found that my light had a emitter that was a bit askew, producing a slightly smeared hotspot in the beam. I tried a few minor adjustments and centering but I think a textured reflector would solve this problem. I may pop in a diffusion film at some point to clean up the beam.


    Carry options

    The Avenger GX is loaded with carry options!

    It comes with 2 clips: one black, and one chrome. I find the black one do be the more attractive option. They are both made of spring steel and seem to have good tension and a pretty sold feel; however I do find that they slide around the light a bit. My solution is to add a couple small o-rings under the clip. This keeps it solidly attached to the light and provides a good lip for those who like to use a cigar grip on their lights. I think a more defined slot on light body and firmer clamping would keep the clip from moving around.

    The clip also has a small hole in it for lanyard or split ring use. While this is an advantage (especially since the clicky tailcap lacks a lanyard hole) I would probably not use it.

    The twisty tailcap has a lanyard hole. It’s a shame this could not be incorporated onto the click tailcap.

    The GX package also includes a lanyard and clothing clip, so overall; there are a lot of included extras. Nice touch.


    Upgradabilty

    For modding types, the Avenger GX is not glued or potted, so there is easy access to the led and driver. Also a black switch cover is included for those seeking a more subdued look. I have not tried to disassemble the tailcap yet.


    Summary

    So overall, I’d say Lumapower has made a very nice update to the Avenger. It is a very sensible 3 mode light that fits into a unique market niche.

    It’s the only simple, multimode, AAA light with clicky. The fact that it includes a twisty option and many other included extras, just makes the overall package that much better.

    Good job Lumapower.
    Last edited by gunga; 07-14-2009 at 05:31 PM.

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