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Thread: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

  1. #1
    gunga's Avatar
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    Default >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    For consideration for flashlight reviews


    Lumapower Mentor Tool-Light review

    Mentor: Websters Dictionary defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide”. What better to guide you through the night than a Lumapower Mentor?

    Lumapower has come out with a new line of lights, named, the Tool-light series. This series features high-performance value lights that emphasize solid construction and high efficiency.
    The Mentor is the first model of the series and runs on 1 or 2 C cells. It can run effectively on alkaline cells but achieves highest performance when used with NiMH cells.

    Ricky at Lumapower sent me a neutral tint (Cree Q3 5A bin) review sample of this latest release. Here’s a thorough evaluation of this solid light.


    Specs and Information

    The mentor is a multi-mode C cell light that has 3 levels, selected by the forward clicky. It features an enhanced version of the Lumapower EDC UI, named “Smart UI” and will be described below.

    The specifications (as quoted from Lumapower) are as follows:

    Standard LED: Cree XR-E
    3 versions are available to satisfy most anyone!

    Q5 (WC/WD) Version: (Max ~200 Lumens) (Standard model)
    R2 (WC/WD) Version: (Max ~225 Lumens) (Higher output model)
    Q3-5A version: (Max ~150L Lumens ) (Neutral tint model)

    Powered by 2xC-size Alkaline or NiMH batteries, the MENTOR can also be used on 1xC for emergencies (with lower output).

    Runtime: 2.5hrs on high (2 x C 5000mah Nimh)
    - 3 output levels (no SOS/Strobe, low-medium-high mode sequence)
    - 2-way memory locking system (Smart UI)
    - Electronic battery polarity protection
    - Forward clicky with momentary-on. Tailcap lockout available.
    - Square threads
    - Double side AR-coated lens
    - OP textured reflector
    - Anti-roll features and tail-stand capable
    - Type III Hard Anodized (Black)

    Standard 2xC Dimensions:
    - Overall length : 171.2mm
    - Max. Diameter : 45mm
    - Body Diameter : 33.2mm
    - Weight : 220g (without battery)

    The included accessory kit is sparse and includes just a few items. I have been informed that Lumapower does have many optional accessories planned so stay tuned. The included items are:
    - Spare (black) o-rings
    - Spare (black) switch cover


    First Impressions: Solid construction, Size, Ergonomics

    Well, after using mostly smaller EDC lights almost exclusively, the Mentor was quite the change.

    It’s definitely not an EDC (every day carry) type pocket light, but is a purpose built utility light that emphasizes performance as well as flexibility. It’s also the only 1-2 C cell, multi-mode utility light available today (apart from modded Maglites of course).

    The light is surprisingly hefty with thick walls, and rugged construction. The head itself is quite heavy so there is a fair amount of mass for effective heat sinking. Threads are thick and square to ensure longevity and the light just feels tough. The knurling is quite good, but could be a bit more aggressive. The finish is smooth and consistent with few if any flaws.

    While the light is quite solid, it is still much smaller than the typical 2C Maglite.

    The light tailstands, but the anti-roll feature is quite subtle and confined to raised ridges on the tailcap. The light will still roll on slight slopes. Perhaps more pronounced ridges or flats on the head would be more effective.

    A glow ring is found around the AR coated glass lens, and the tailcap switch uses a glow-in-the-dark boot. The tailcap threads are anodized so lockout is possible and the clicky switch feels firm and crisp. Lockout can also be achieved at the head and the middle of the battery tube (it splits to allow 1 or 2 cell use).

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

    The Mentor feels good in the hand, and lends itself quite well to the typical overhand grip. A light of this size may benefit from the use of a side clicky, but that would increase length and require a major redesign.


    Smart UI: The New, Versatile Interface

    The biggest innovation of the Mentor is the newly developed “Smart UI”. This UI is a refinement of the Lumapower EDC UI. It offers the typical memory mode (light must be on for second to lock mode memory) as well as the ability to lock in any one mode for tactical use or signaling.

    Here’s how it works: the light must be on for at least 1 second or more to set the mode memory. At this stage, turn off the light and quickly pulse the light on 4 times (within 1 second). Upon the 4th half-press, the light is locked into the memorized mode. Now the light is locked into that brightness setting and works like a single mode, forward clicky light. To unlock the light, simply repeat the above procedure. The light is now back to a 3-level interface (low-medium-high sequence) with mode memory.

    EDIT:

    BTW, updated the review above. 4 half presses locks in the Smart UI. I just tended to hold the 4th press, which doesn't work. 4 quick half presses locks and un-locks the Smart UI as stated in the Lumapower instructions.


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

    Locking the mode is a bit fiddly initially, but once learned it’s easy to change from multi-level to single level interface. Reducing the number of half-presses may help but his could lead to the accidentally activation of the mode lock. Adding some kind of mode-locked indication would be helpful though. In any case the Smart UI should satisfy many different types of users.


    Battery availability and compatibility

    The Mentor is compatible with alkaline cells, but like most high powered lights, runs much brighter and longer with NiMH cells. In a pinch, I found NIMH AA cells (in AA to C cell adapters) to be quite effective. The Mentor is not compatible with Lithium ion C cells (max 4.2V). This has been confirmed by Lumapower.
    Battery availability should not be a problem with this light.


    Useful levels

    I found the levels on the mentor to be quite well spaced and useful.

    Without actual specs, my estimates are 5-8 lumens (low), 60-70 lumens (medium) and 150+ lumens (high) for my Q3 5A neutral tint model. The max output drops to about 70-90 lumens when used on a single cell.

    The Mentor low mode is useful for dark adapted eyes and should provide nice long runtime, even on alkaline cells.

    Medium is a great general purpose level, and maximum can be used for spotting distant objects. I did detect mild heat build up on maximum, but the light did not become uncomfortable to hold.

    Surprisingly, PWM (pulse width modulation) is used for dimming the light. I don’t have the tools to measure, but estimate that the frequency was above 1 Khz. I did not detect any PWM flicker in use, though it can be observed by shaking the light quickly.


    Beam, tint quality

    The Mentor uses the Cree XR-E emitter. My sample has the neutral 5A tint emitter and provides a pleasing warm beam, with a hint of pink.

    This tint has proven very popular as it tends to emphasize greens and browns as well as providing a pleasing glow to skin tones. It does lose about 20 - 30% efficiency compared to the cool white bins (Q5/R2 bins) so one must chose between tint preference and absolute maximum output. Conveniently, Lumapower offers Q5, R2 Cool white LEDs as well as the warmer Q3 5A tint. This should please most users.

    The Mentor uses a textured reflector, that appears to be the same as that found in the new Lumapower D-mini Ex (The CR123 powered MC-E light). The beam consists of a very wide, flood with a very pronounced, tight hotspot. Oddly enough, the beam is very similar to a Maglite with LED insert.

    This beam profile is effective for throw and the wide flood is soft and smooth but a broader hotspot with a smoother transition to spill would be more useful for general purpose use. The current profile tends to be a bit too tight for close or medium range use. Luckily, adding a diffuser of some kind would easily solve this.

    The emitter was perfectly centered.


    Other notes

    The Mentor has a smooth bezel ring that is easily removed without tools. I believe that this could be lead to useful accessory bezels (stainless perhaps?) to make the light more rugged or just to enhance appearance.


    Upgradabilty

    For modding types, the Mentor is not glued or potted, so there is easy access to the led and driver. I have not tried to disassemble the head (yet). Lumapower has hinted that future upgrades may be in the works, so the light can be updated with the latest LED/driver etc. as technology evolves.


    Summary

    The Mentor is a very solid offering in the new Tool-light series. It has rugged construction, excellent build quality, and three well spaced levels in a clever new interface. It’s also quite unique since it runs off one or two commonly available C cells.

    Lumapower has taken a solid concept, the 3 mode EDC series, and made it more versatile with lockable smart UI. I look forward to the upcoming new models in the Tool-Light series!
    Last edited by gunga; 09-13-2009 at 09:13 PM.

  2. #2
    gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    And here we have the photos!

    Here's the light and accessory package. Mostly just spare o-rings and switch boot.



    The battery tube can be split to allow use of 1 or 2 C cells. 2 cells are needed to achieve maximum output, but 1 cell can be used in a pinch (100 lumens is not bad!)



    Here's one way to use your eneloops with the Mentor!



    The LED (a cree XR-E Q3 5A) is perfectly centred. The OP reflector seems to be the same as that found in the D-mini Ex. Note the glow ring around the bezel and the retaining ring.



    The back of the light engine is clean and seems very solid. No exposed circuit board to be damaaged.



    The retaining ring is easily removed for disassembly of the head, cleaning the lense etc.



    Note the solid, square threads. The knurling is quite good also.



    The tailswitch has a glow in the dark boot. A fairly thick lanyard can be mounted.



    The tailcap thread are anodized allowing lockout. You can also achieve lockout at any of the other threaded junctions.



    Here is the 2 cell confiiguration next to a cell for scale.



    Here is the 1 cell configuration next to a cell for scale.



    The light is a lot smaller than the typical 2 C Maglite.



    ALso, when used in 1 cell confguration, it's not much longer than the small Nitecore D10.



    Here's how small the light is when used in 1 cell configuration.



    2 cell configuration in hand



    1 Cell configuration in hand

    Last edited by gunga; 09-09-2009 at 05:45 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Mine was delivered today
    But I'm not home and don't get to play with it for a few days
    Hurry up and post some pictures! I want to see if the beam is as flawless as my D-Mini EX. And show us those square cut threads too please.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Will this operate on one Lithium Ion C cell?
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
    -- Albert Einstein

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    i wonder if with a 3.?v (p7?) capable led and a single li-on C cell this would be more desirable to cpf members?

    an almost off the shelf single C li-on cell P7 3 mode light


    all you gotta do is swap out the led?

    can it be done?

    If and when the the big dookie hits the fan, and global chaos ensues, i want a couple of quality AA lights within reach.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Quote Originally Posted by jabe1 View Post
    Will this operate on one Lithium Ion C cell?
    Battery availability and compatibility

    The Mentor is compatible with alkaline cells, but like most high powered lights, runs much brighter and longer with NiMH cells. In a pinch, I found NIMH AA cells (in AA to C cell adapters) to be quite effective. The Mentor is not compatible with Lithium ion C cells (max 4.2V). This has been confirmed by Lumapower.
    Battery availability should not be a problem with this light.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    someone here will make it work
    i do like the idea of a tiny P7 with good runtime.
    and ill be happy to buy it
    If and when the the big dookie hits the fan, and global chaos ensues, i want a couple of quality AA lights within reach.

  8. #8
    gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    I haven't fully disassembled the head so can't say how easy it is to swap drivers/LEDs, however I think Lumapower indicated that they offer alternative light engines in the future. I think I saw it in the marketplace thread.

    Yes, don't use Lithium Ion batteries in the Mentor.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Okay, photos posted! Sorry, no beamshots at the moment. I can add them later but just have not had time...

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    Flashaholic* Federal LG's Avatar
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    The small one (with just 1 battery inside) is sweet! Looks cute!

    "I LOVE THE SMELL OF LITHIUM BATTERIES IN THE MORNING..." - Kilgore

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    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Thanks for the great review!

    Seems like a nice light.

    The reflector and bezel shape reminds me of a D-mini.

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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Federal LG View Post
    The small one (with just 1 battery inside) is sweet! Looks cute!
    That's exactly what I thought
    This thing is just begging to be modded with an MCE LED and a new driver for a single LiIon C size cell.

    Great pictures and review, gunga!

  13. #13
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Quote Originally Posted by rmteo View Post
    Battery availability and compatibility

    The Mentor is compatible with alkaline cells, but like most high powered lights, runs much brighter and longer with NiMH cells. In a pinch, I found NIMH AA cells (in AA to C cell adapters) to be quite effective. The Mentor is not compatible with Lithium ion C cells (max 4.2V). This has been confirmed by Lumapower.
    Battery availability should not be a problem with this light.

    Is 1 Li-ion C cell OK then?
    Norm

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    Default Re: Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    Is 1 Li-ion C cell OK then?
    Norm
    According to Ricky at Lumapower "1xC size should be Alkaline (but not Li-ion)"
    From this thread http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...d.php?t=197880
    I have not seen a statement saying absolutely that this light can't run on a single LiIon cell, but I got the impression that it is not designed for that voltage.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    Is 1 Li-ion C cell OK then?
    Norm

    nope...

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    Default Re: Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Great job Gunga!

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    Flashaholic* Kilovolt's Avatar
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Very interesting Gunga, thanks for sharing.

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    Flashaholic* jhc37013's Avatar
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Nice review seems like a pretty nice C light.
    I would like to see a MCE in a light that large these days though.

    I wonder what other models Lumapower is gonna use square threads in.
    My flashlight collection HERE

  19. #19
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    To Gunga--


    Very nice review !






    Tell us, if you can . . . .


    How " water-proof " is it ?

    Any specific " IPX " rating mentioned ?


    If not, then does it look like it could survive being
    dunked in a bucket of water for a few seconds ?



    And one more thing, when yer' not busy . . . .


    Could you please measure the Current Draw (at the tailcap)
    on Alkaline Batteries ?


    At all 3 brightness levels, if you would be so kind.

    (although, i'm most interested in Medium mode)


    Since i'd probably NEVER use rechargeable C-cells,
    i'd wanna' know the Drain-rate on plain ol' Alkalines.


    Thank you, Gunga.


    PS: Recently saw a TV special on the Beautiful city of Vancouver, Canada.
    They were showing the massive Shipping Operations at the Port there.
    I said to myself: " Hey, that's where Gunga lives ! "

    -

  20. #20

    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Burgess View Post
    (although, i'm most interested in Medium mode)


    -
    i bet it will run for 5+ hours on medium.(maybe 8)
    If and when the the big dookie hits the fan, and global chaos ensues, i want a couple of quality AA lights within reach.

  21. #21

    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Hi Gunga,

    Thank you very much, a great job you done.

    BTW, our test on Medium-out runtime with 2xC-size NiMH (4500mAh)
    last for 11 hours.

    With 2xC (Alkaline) at Medium-out,it last for 6 hours.

    Best regards,

    Ricky - Lumapower CS
    welcome to www.lumapower.com
    We do accept Paypal : sales@lumapower.com

  22. #22
    gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Hi guys, thanks for the feedback!

    Burgess, yep, that's me in the background waving.



    I'll try to get you current readings but might not get to it till next week.

    The light is fully o-ring sealed, so I suspeect like most lights, IPX8 or so.

    ...

    EDIT: I have been informed that there is an o-ring on the lens retainer. I'll check again when I get home tonight. That being the case, all junctions are o-ring sealed.
    Last edited by gunga; 09-10-2009 at 11:39 AM.

  23. #23
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    to Ricky - Lumapower CS --


    Thank you for those Run-Time numbers on Medium.




    _

  24. #24
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    I got mine today.
    Adding to gunga's excellent review-
    With two AccuEvolution C cells, mine draws 33mA on low, 220mA on medium, and 1.22A on high.
    With one AccuEvolution C cell, mine draws 73mA on low, 215mA on medium, and 2.20mA on high.
    Notice the current nearly doubles with the single cell. You still get very nearly the same amount of light on high with one cell as with 2. That's not how I thought the light was going to work, but I like it. I can't really see any difference in the output of the light between one cell and two. That's good news for those of you who like the looks of this light in it's stubby configuration; you get the same light at the cost of runtime.
    I'll get out my light meter later and measure the actual light output with each cell configuration.

    I have tested my AccuEvolution C cells with a CBA II and they run right at 4.6Ah. So, a rough approximation of runtime using 2 cells would be 139 hours on low, 21 hours on medium, and 3.7 hours on high. Using one cell would get about 63 hours on low, 21.3 hours on medium, and about 2.1 hours on high.

    My light does produce a very low level, high pitch regulator inductor whine on low and medium, but is silent on high.

    This light is extremely mod friendly It's very easy to take apart. The pill has a large shoulder that screws down against a big fat chunk of aluminum so heatsinking should be outstanding. This light is just begging for an MC-E emitter

    Gunga's description of the beam was dead on. It has a really tight hotspot with a huge, but fairly weak spill beam. Very much like an LED maglite.
    Just the opposite of how this very same reflector looks in the D-Mini EX, MC-E light. In that light, the beam has a wide (although very bright) hotspot and a huge, very bright, perfect spill beam.
    Did I mention that this light is just begging for an MC-E emitter
    Last edited by cheetokhan; 09-11-2009 at 02:40 PM.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* DUQ's Avatar
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Hey Gunga; will you be bringing this light to Ottawa?
    LED's impress but Incans satisfy

  26. #26
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    If you guys want to see it, I'll bring it!



    Cheetokahn, I find the spill on the D-mini EX to be very wide and a bit dim for my tastes. I'll check it out some time again with stock configuration.

    I currently have a standard D-mini head on my Ex (with diffusion film) and it's a wicked bright, wall of light, flood. Love it. I'll have to get a neutral tint MC-E in there sometime.

    Please note, from observation, the reflector on the Mentor and D-mini Ex seem to be the same. So if you like the MC-E beam on the D-mini Ex, it would look the same on an MC-E in a Mentor.

    I haven't taken a look at the pill yet so don't know how easy a mod would be. You'd have to ask Ricky if that is feasable.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* PhantomPhoton's Avatar
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Thanks for the review.
    Answered some of my questions. Sounds like the PWM is not >1Khz if you can "shake" it and detect the blinking.
    I like the sounds of the UI and the forward clickie. Oh so many lights, so little money...
    Neutral white, it's the new black.

  28. #28
    gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    I beg to differ. I think the Avenger is rated at 1.2 KHz and and I can detect the pwm if I shake it really quickly.

    BTW, updating the review. 4 half presses locks in the Smart UI. I just tended to hold the 4th press, which doesn't work. 4 quick half presses locks and un-locks the Smart UI as stated in the Lumapower instructions.
    Last edited by gunga; 09-14-2009 at 10:52 PM.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* bigchelis's Avatar
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Gunga,

    How is the throw on this Lumapower mentor. I like this one for a trunk/camping light. It makes a perfect candidate for all my NiMH C cells and Alkalines. At 200 lumens for 4 plus hours
    Surefire 6P with Malkoff M60 simple, bright, efficient.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* MattK's Avatar
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    Default Re: >> Photos Posted << Lumapower Mentor: Detailed Review

    Gunga will surely chime in on this shortly but the Mentor is definitely a serious thrower.

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