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Thread: High-Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

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    Party High-Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    REVIEWER'S NOTE: This is my first High-Output/Multi-emitter Round-up Review, similar to my 1xAA , 2xAA and 1xCR123A/RCR Round-up Review threads. Note that most of the pics are taken from different reviews done up at different times, so exposure settings, relative scales, etc. may differ.

    For a discussion of the relative performance of various CR123A batteries, please see my comparison thread: CR123A Comparison Review

    UPDATE APRIL 27, 2010: Olight SR90 (SST-90) and Titanium Innovations L35 HID added to the review.

    Warning: this post is *very* pic and text heavy!

    The contenders:


    From left to right: Duracell AA battery, AW 18650 protected battery, ITP A6, ThruNite Catapult, Olight M30, JetBeam M1X, EagleTac M2XC4, JetBeam M1X (base configuration, no extenders).


    From left to right: AW 18650 protected battery, Neofab Legion II, EagleTac M2C4, JetBeam M1X, Tiablo ACE-G (base configuration, no extenders).


    From left to right: AW 18650 protected battery, ThruNite Catapult, Tiablo ACE-G, Lumapower MVP, JetBeam M1X (with extenders).

    (note the pic below is on a slightly smaller scale)

    From left to right, AW 18650 protected battery, Olight M30 Triton, JetBeam M1X, Tiablo ACE-G, Lumapower MVP TurboForce P7 (with extenders).


    From left to right: ThruNite Catapult, Lumapower MVP P7 TurboForce, Olight SR90, Mag 3-D cell incan, Titanium Innovations L35 HID


    Output/Throw Summary Chart



    Scroll down for an explanation of the testing methodology used to generate the table above.

    Size and weights (without batteries):

    • EagleTac M2C4: 351.7g. Height: 163mm, Width: 61mm (bezel), 25mm (body tube min width).
    • Eagletac M2XC4: 395.8g. Height: 160mm, Width: 49mm (tailcap max width), 25mm (body tube min width), 61mm (bezel)
    • ITP A6 Polestar: 209.9g. Length 174mm, Width (bezel) 48.0mm, Width (tailcap) 37.8mm
    • JetBeam M1X: 275.8g (no extender), 295.8g (with battery extender). Height: 204mm (239mm with battery extender), Width: 25.9mm (tailcap), 22.3mm (body tube), 62.7mm (bezel)
    • Lumapower MVP 3xCree: 329g (no extender), 385g (with extender). Height: 170mm, 238mm (with extender), Width: 58mm max (bezel)
    • Lumapower MVP TurboForce P7: 405g (no extender), 459g (with extender), Height: 200mm, 265mm (with extender), Width: 71mm max (bezel)
    • Neofab Legion II: 352.6g. Length 181mm, Width (bezel) 53.2mm, Width (tailcap) 45.9mm
    • Olight M20: 164.0g (no extender), 180.8g (with battery extender). Height: 178mm (212mm with battery extender), Width: 33.0mm (tailcap), 25.1mm (body tube), 42.9mm (bezel)
    • SR90: Weight: 1.6 kg (estimated), Length 335mm x Width 97mm (bezel)
    • Tiablo ACE-G: 259.8g (no extender), 292.3g (one battery extender). Height: 175mm (243mm with one battery extender), Width: 31.0mm (tailcap), 25.3mm (body tube), 56.8mm (bezel)
    • ThruNite Catapult: 339.3g (no extender), 410.5g (with extender). Length: 185mm (no extender) 250mm (with extender), Width (bezel) 59.0mm, Width (tailcap) 34.4mm


    Beamshots:

    UP-CLOSE BEAMSHOTS:

    Since the closest comparator for the SR90 is a HID, below is close-up show showing a comparison between the SR90 on Hi and my Titanium Innovations L35. Distance is about 0.5 meters from a white wall.





    This is only to show the differing beam profiles – note for example that the L35 HID has a much wider field of illumination than the SR90 (or any other LED), and has an off-white warm color temperature (4200K).

    To compare to the 2x18650 multi-emitter class, I have taken some shots of the SR90 on Lo. Distance is about 0.5 meters from a white wall. All other lights are on Max on 2x18650 AW protected Li-ion.

    1/25sec








    1/100sec








    1/1600sec







    NEAR BEAMSHOTS:

    Distance is about 5 meters from an unfinished and unpainted wall. Low exposure (1/100sec, f3,5) with camera zoomed in to better show you the hotspots.





    INTERMEDIATE BEAMSHOTS:

    Distance is about 10 meters from the "gremlin" target. Camera is zoomed in and focused on target to better show you the hotspots (1/5sec exposure, f2.7). Click on the images to bring up higher resolution photos.







    OUTDOOR BEAMSHOTS:

    To better compare the throw and spill of the lights, here are some outdoor shots focused on a point ~ 10 meters from the lights. Again, these were taken at different times for different reviews, so they may look a little different (e.g. I planted a tree at the end of last summer ).

    First, the SR90 on Hi, followed by the L35 HID and my cheapo SunForce “1M candplepower” incan (the latter or equivalent you can typically pick up at any automotive store for <$20):









    Both the SR90 and L35 do an admirable job of lighting up my backyard. Again, the L35 HID has a noticeable warm tint (~4200K), and is a brighter overall. The cheapo “1M candlepower spotlight” has a warm and highly distorted beam (i.e. more tighly focused with less spill, but with a lot of artefacts and distortions).

    And now to compare the SR90 on both Hi and Lo to the 2x18650 multi-emitter LED class:












    And here are some lower exposures to better show you the hotspots:












    LONG-DISTANCE BEAMSHOTS:

    CPF user HKJ has included beamshots of several of his high-output LED and HID lights. I urge you to check out his excellent round-up comparison of these big guns[/I].

    UPDATE: Some additional long-distance beamshots, to show you how the light compares to others in its class.

    Please see my recent 100-yard Outdoor Beamshot review for more details (and additional lights).









    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/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

    Throw values are the square-root of lux measurements taken at 5 meters from the lens, using a light meter, and then extrapolated back to estimate values for 1 meter. This is my standard way to present throw on these types of high-output lights, as the beams don't really have a chance to fully converge until typically several meters out

    Since some of the other lights take a couple of minutes to settle into their regulated output state, output and throw numbers are taken after 2 mins of continuous runtime.

    I can’t provide direct lightbox values for the larger lights (i.e. SR90, 1M CP spotlight and L35 HID) as they won’t fit in my milk carton lightbox. Instead, I have estimated lightbox output based on a comparison of ceiling bounce numbers to other lights where I can measure both. For runtimes, the larger lights are positioned an inch from the opening of my lightbox, and I adjust the recorded values to the estimated levels based ceiling bounce relative results. This is NOT meant to provide hyper-accurate estimates of output, but it does give you a reasonable good idea of relative performance over the runs.

    Output/Throw Summary Chart



    Runtime Comparison

    A comment on these graphs: There is a lot more to a light's performance than its runtime. I've tried to give some context for each light's overall performance and value in the individual light discussions at the end of the review. The purpose of these graphs is to simply let you quickly compare output/runtime at a glance. Note that there can be considerable variability in output and runtime between different samples of the same light.

    Lo/Med/Hi typically refer to relative output levels on multi-mode lights (in some cases, Min=Lo, Max=Hi). For continuously variable lights, I have tried to match variable output to similar values of the fixed multi-mode lights.

    First, the High Output SST-90 and HID-equipped lights:




    And now the 2x18650 Multi-Emitter LED lights:











    Light Reviews




    Eagletac M2C4 (SSC P7) and M2XC4 (3X Cree R2):
    • The M2C4 and M2XC4 use a similar build and interface, with a heavier heatsink on the M2XC4 and a deeper reflector/head on M2C4. Otherwise, they are fairly comparable in features and output levels.
    • Like Fenix, Eagletac appears to use a current-controlled low mode (i.e. no PWM) that produces very good runtime for its output level. The Lo mode is still relatively bright on both lights.
    • The lights use a battery carrier to hold the cells in a side-by-side configuration. Can run in 2x18650 or 4xCR123A/RCR.
    • Reflector designs are appropriate for the two models, depending on what pattern you like (scroll up for the comparison beamshots).
    • Light uses a rotary dial in the head to cycle through output modes. An optional forward clicky switch kit is included with the lights to control on-off (note: if installed, clickly switch will prevent tailstanding).
    • Lights have a significant stand-by current if controlled solely by the head dial. Lights can be locked-out, but you need to unscrew the head almost all the way. With the clicky switch installed, the current path is broken when off (so no need to lock out the head).
    • Overall build quality is generally high, with a very solid feel - but waterproofness can be an issue given the large number of screws and o-rings holding the various body pieces together. I recommend you check these regularly to insure they remain tight.
    • Light retails for ~$150.




    ITP A6 Polestar (MC-E):
    • The A6 is ITP’s budget entry into the multi-emitter realm, in this case running on standard AA cells.
    • I believe ITP uses current-control for its low modes, since I can detect no sign of PWM. The levels are well spaced, and the Lo mode is reasonably bright if not overly low.
    • The light uses a battery carrier to hold the cells in series, in this case in 6X config only (alkaline or NiMH).
    • Reflector is identical to the Olight M30, and is designed for a broad hotspot with minimal centre-beam "donut" (throw is correspondingly also reduced).
    • Light uses a reverse clicky located near the head (i.e. traditional consumer flashlight design). Hold down the switch to cycle through output modes. Light has a memory mode, retaining the last output used.
    • Light can be locked-out at the tailcap.
    • Overall build quality is lower than the other lights here, in keeping with its budget status. Weight is also the lowest among these lights.
    • Light retails for ~$80.







    Lumapower MVP (3X Cree Q5) and
    MVP TurboForce (SSC P7)
    :

    • The MVP was one of the first entries into the multi-emitter space, and is available in two flavors – the 3xCree MVP and SSC P7-equipped MVP TurboForce. Like the EagleTac offerings, the body/battery tubes of the two lights are identical – they differ only in their heads.
    • I don’t know if Lumapower uses current-control for its low modes, but I can’t detect any sign of PWM. The levels are reasonably well spaced.
    • The light can run on most possible battery configurations, except 4xCR123A/RCR is not supported on Hi (the batteries get too hot and may damage the circuit or malfunction themselves). 1x18650 is not regulated on Hi, and relatively low output.
    • Reflectors are customized to the two models, and both do their jobs well. The TurboForce has one of the widest reflectors I’ve seen on a P7/MC-E light (with correspondingly wide spillbeam).
    • Light uses a forward clicky on the tailcap to turn the light on/off. To switch modes, there is a mechanical "sidekick" switch located near the head. The sidekick switch works to change levels even when the light is off (i.e. it is a mechanical switch), and thus always retains the last setting used.
    • On my early review sample, the lights could not be locked-out at the tailcap.
    • Overall build quality is consistent with other lights out there, although I found the threads a little rough in some spots on my early review samples
    • Lights retail for ~$150.




    Neofab Legion II (Cree MC-E):
    • The Legion II (standard edition) is the long-awaited MC-E light by custom builder Neoseikan. Note that unlike the other lights listed here, this is not a mass-produced item from a commercial vendor.
    • The Legion II is current-controlled, so no PWM flicker.
    • Output levels are reasonably well spaced for a light in this class, although the Legion II won’t go as low as some of the competition.
    • The light runs on 3x18650 only.
    • Reflector is rather unique – incredibly deep and narrow, giving you excellent throw with minimal spill (i.e. very narrow spillbeam). Thanks to the heavy texturing, the quad-die "donut" effect is minimized.
    • There is no clicky-switch - the light is controlled an innovative spring control ring near the head. Please see my review for more info.
    • Light can tailstand.
    • Overall build quality is good, but as with all custom-made lights, can be quite variable from batch-to-batch (and even sample-to-sample). Few (if any) extras are included.
    • Light retails for $179, but availability may be limited and extensive shipping delays have been known to occur. Warranty support may also be an issue.




    Olight M30 Triton (Cree MC-E):
    • The M30 is one of the more compact offerings in the mutli-emitter space, designed for tactical use.
    • The M30 uses PWM for its low modes, at a noticeable 100Hz. This is likely a result of its dual-switch design, and may be an issue for you if you are susceptible to PWM flicker (I know I am).
    • The Med and Lo modes are lower than typical for this class, and output/runtime efficiency on both seem lower than I would have expected.
    • The light runs in 3xCR123A/RCR or 4xCR123A body forms (extender included), but 4xRCR is not supported. Can also run 2x18650 or 2x18500 (but not 1x18650).
    • Reflector is identical to ITP A6, and is designed for a broad hotspot with minimal centre-beam "donut" (throw is correspondingly also reduced).
    • Light uses a forward clicky at the end of the tailcap for on/off, with a secondary electronic switch located to side of the tailcap. This side switch controls mode switching, and can allow you to access strobe from off. Light remembers last mode used.
    • Light can be locked-out at the tailcap, and can tailstand.
    • Overall build quality is high, with an attractive kit of extras (including a good quality diffuser).
    • Light retails for ~$140.




    Olight SR90 Intimidator (Luminus Phlatlight SST-90):
    • The SR90 is part of a new class of very high output LED lights, using the new Luminus SST-90 “Phlatlight” emitter.
    • The high power draw of the SST-90 means the SR90 requires a 6x18650 battery configuration – supplied as a replaceable integrated cell with built-in charger adapter (similar to a laptop battery pack).
    • The SR90 is a two-stage light that is current controlled at its low mode (i.e. no PWM). It also features a “hidden” 9.5Hz strobe mode.
    • The Hi mode of the SR90 is approaching lower watt HID territory. The Lo mode of the SR90 is comparable to the Hi mode of the standard multi-emitter lights shown here. Output/runtime efficiency on both modes is excellent, with perfectly flat regulation.
    • Smooth reflector is massive, providing outstanding throw for this class of emitter. Coupled with the large heatsink and battery pack, size and weight of this light is significant.
    • Light uses a front-end mount switch (i.e. traditional consumer flashlight design) with good feel. Light remembers last mode used.
    • Light can tailstand.
    • Overall build quality is extremely high,
    • Light retails for ~$415 (with CPF discounts).




    JetBeam M1X (Cree MC-E):
    • The M1X is primarily a search-and-rescue type light, with one of the greatest "throws" in the multi-emitter space.
    • The M1X uses JetBeam’s standard broad-voltage "military" IBS interface (i.e. Max output and one continuously-variable mode, with option for various strobe/sos modes). PWM is high enough that I am unable to detect it.
    • Despite its outstanding throw and max output, the M1X is also capable of one of the lowest Lo levels – and is continuously-variable across the entire range.
    • The light runs in 3xCR123A/RCR or 4xCR123A/RCR body forms (extender used to be included, but I’m not sure if it still is). Can also run 2x18650 or 2x18500 (but not 1x18650).
    • Reflector is a work of art, with a two-stage structure designed to give you the best throw with the quad-die MC-E, while still maintaining good spill. There is a trade-off, however - the centre-beam "donut" effect of the quad-die is more prominent than probably any other light of this class.
    • Light uses a forward clicky at the end of the tailcap for on/off, with a head twist to switch between max output or user-defined mode. Light remembers last mode used.
    • Light can be locked-out at the tailcap, but cannot tailstand.
    • Overall build quality is very high, although number of included extras is limited.
    • Light retails for ~$140.






    Tiablo ACE-G (Cree MC-E)
    :

    • The ACE-G is one of the more substantial offerings in the multi-emitter space, but is limited to a single Max output mode.
    • The light runs in 2xCR123A/RCR or 4xCR123A/RCR body forms (extender included). Can also run 2x18650 or 1x18650.
    • The ACE-G reflector does probably the best job and balancing throw and spill - while minimizing the centre-beam "donut" – of any quad-die light in this roundup.
    • Light uses a forward clicky at the end of the tailcap for on/off (single-mode only)
    • Tailcap lock-out is possible, and light can tailstand.
    • Overall build quality is very high, although number of included extras is limited.
    • Light retails for ~$120.




    Titanium Innovations L35 HID (35W HID):
    • Since HID lights are quite different from LEDs, please see my detailed L35 review for a discussion of this light and the technology.
    • Light retails for ~$285 (with CPF discount).





    ThruNite Catapult (Luminus SST-50):
    Note: a new Version 2 of the Catapult is now available, with a new interface. Check out my V2 review for more info.
    • The Catapult is the first mainsteam thrower light using the SST-50 emitter. Like the JetBeam M1X, it makes an excellent search-and-rescue light.
    • The Catapult is either current-controlled, or uses sufficiently high PWM that I am unable to detect it.
    • Levels are somewhat compressed, with Med and Lo being higher than typical for lights in this class.
    • The light runs on 2xCR123A/RCR or 1x18650 in base form, or 2x18650 with included extender. It is NOT recommended to run 2xCR123A/RCR on Hi, due to excessive current draw.
    • Reflector is also a work of art – incredibly deep, giving you excellent throw, while still maintaining reasonably good spill. Thanks the single-die SST-50, there is absolutely no "donut" to worry about with the Catapult.
    • Light uses a forward clicky at the end of the tailcap for on/off, with a soft-press to advance modes (Hi – Med – Lo – Strobe). Light has no memory mode, and always comes on at Max output
    • Light can be locked-out at the tailcap, and can tailstand.
    • Overall build quality is very high, although number of included extras is limited at present.
    • Light retails for ~$150.


    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Although there is too much info to easily summarize here, there are a few common questions that can be quickly addressed.

    Which light has the most overall output?
    This is a moving target, as newer emitters and higher output bins keep coming out. All of these lights are rather bright, and most are fairly maximally-driven on Hi. The current stand out is the SR90, with its Luminus SST-90 emitter – this light is at least twice as bright as the other LED competition. And of course, HID lights are capable of much greater output.

    Among the “standard” multi-emitter crowd, I’d recommend you choose based on features instead of max output.

    Which light has the greatest throw?
    The SR90 has outstanding throw, thanks to its massive reflector and high output. Among the standard multi-emitter crowd, the JetBeam M1X and ThruNite Catapult both have excellent throw, thanks to their relatively deep reflectors. The EagleTac M2XC4 has very good throw for a 3xCree light.

    Which light is the most floody?
    Depends what you mean by "floody". The Lumapower MVP TurboForce, ITP A6 and EagleTac M2C4 all have fairly wide spillbeams, so up-close can illuminate a good wide area. And of course, the SR90 has a very wide beam as well, thanks to its large reflector. A good diffuser could help any light become more floody (the Olight M30 comes with one included, optional ones are available for the EagleTac lights). Alternatively, the Neofab Legion has the narrowest spill beam, which means it is good for illuminating objects at intermediate distances (i.e. more light is directed into the distance). Check out the beamshots above to help with this.

    Which light has the lowest Lo mode?
    The JetBeam M1X stands out as having the lowest Lo level. The Olight M30 and ITP A6 both have reasonably good Lo modes, with the Lumapower lights just a little brighter. Beyond that, most of the other lights are fairly bright on their lowest settings.

    Which light is the most efficient?
    The answer to this question depends on what specific output level you are interested in, and on what battery type (i.e. there is no universal answer). In general terms, "current-controlled" lights with pre-defined output levels (like the EagleTac offerings) are typically more efficient than PWM-based lights at those specific levels. However, PWM-based lights (like the JetBeam M1X) are typically capable of producing much lower output levels, which in turn translates into longer runtimes. You'll have to check out the runtime graphs to determine for yourself.

    One standout is the SR90 – thanks to the high efficiency SST-90 emitter, the Lo mode (which is comparable to the Hi mode for the standard multi-emitter crowd) is particularly efficient.

    Which light is the best built?
    I'm not touching that one with a ten foot battery tube. What I can say is that all the above lights are generally pretty sturdy, except for the ITP A6 which is more of a budget build. The Olight SR90, ThruNite Catapult, Lumapower MVP TurboForce and Tiablo ACE-G are probably the most "beefy", while the JetBeam M1X and Olight M30 are among the most "elegant", if that helps any.

    Hope you found the detailed comparisons helpful!

    P.S.: There's a lot of info above, so it's quite probable I've screwed up on the occasional detail - please don't hesitate to correct me if you spot an error or an inconsistency.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 07-24-2010 at 01:45 PM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Thanks for taking the time and putting this together I'm still on the fence as to either getting the Catapult or M1X. I've talked myself into getting one and then the other at least a dozen times a day for many days now. I could always do the CPF thing and buy both, but would have to purchase one at a time. So now I'm left with which one do I buy first........ These decisions brutal.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Wow, what an effort. Thanks for contributing so self-lessly.

    I did notice that the output/throw chart is duplicated in your post - just guessing that was not your intention.

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    Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    What a superb round-up! This is a wonderful resource for the forum.

    I'm moving it to the Reviews section and adding it to the "Threads of Interest" sticky there.
    Resistance is futile...

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    Enlightened Olef's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Having once upon a time done similar in-depth reviews of equipment (not flashlight related) I am in awe of your dedication and professionalism Mr SelfBuilt.

    Thank you!

    Olef

  6. #6

    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by 45cal4life View Post
    I'm still on the fence as to either getting the Catapult or M1X. I've talked myself into getting one and then the other at least a dozen times a day for many days now. I could always do the CPF thing and buy both, but would have to purchase one at a time. So now I'm left with which one do I buy first........ These decisions brutal.
    I know, it is a tough call. If I were you, I would focus on what features matter most to you. The Catapult definitely has the prettiest hotspot, but in real usage outdoors, I don't find the M1X's donut noticeable (unless you shine it at a uniform man-made structure - and even then, you get used to it). Personally, I've always been a fan of the flexibility of the JetBeam IBS circuit, but of course not everyone needs all the levels.

    At the end of the day, I'm sure you will be happy with either.

    Quote Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
    I did notice that the output/throw chart is duplicated in your post - just guessing that was not your intention.
    Yeah, that one was intentional. I usually leave the summary table for the "methods" section in the middle of the review, but found it was buried a little too deep this time. Since it is the same image, it shouldn't take up any extra bandwidth for download.

    FYI, I plan to have the summary table and runtimes updated automatically here when I test new lights (i.e. same filenames will be used for future reviews).
    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    What a superb round-up! This is a wonderful resource for the forum.
    Quote Originally Posted by Olef View Post
    Having once upon a time done similar in-depth reviews of equipment (not flashlight related) I am in awe of your dedication and professionalism Mr SelfBuilt.
    Thank you everyone for your kind words and support!
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* AFAustin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Great review as always, Eric. Thanks for all your hard work.

    One thing that I keep wondering about as to the super-lights such as these, is why there hasn't been a real move to make them capable of being updated with the next "latest & greatest" emitter, by means of a drop-in. Other than Dereelight and P60 type drop-ins, it just doesn't seem to be happening. These super-lights cost a pretty penny, and I hesitate to buy one knowing that it will be "old news" in 6 months.

    Thanks again for another wonderful piece of work.

    Andrew
    You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, "My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!" (Dave Barry)

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    Flashaholic Nos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    This should be a sticky, ust to honor your great work. Thanks for the great comparsion there is nothing missing in your review. Well done!
    proud Fenix T1 aspheric R2 owner

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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Great post - has been really helpful confusing me and making me now question whether it's really a JetBeam M1X I want. The Thrunite Catapult looks pretty good too, decisions, decisions.

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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Another monster review. Thanks for all the effort involved.

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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Your reviews are the gold standard by which all others are judged, Selfbuilt. This one is a shining example of that excellence. Your work is much appreciated.

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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by AFAustin View Post
    .......
    One thing that I keep wondering about as to the super-lights such as these, is why there hasn't been a real move to make them capable of being updated with the next "latest & greatest" emitter, by means of a drop-in.
    Andrew
    For good reasons IMO:-

    1) A drop-in can surely not have as good heat-sinking as when the led-heat-sink module is permanently built in. A built-in heat sink can be
    made much thicker and it can contact the walls of the body much more snugly.

    2) Electrical contact is surely less reliable with drop-ins because they can often be slightly loose and they often have a spring to make contact with the +ve battery terminal which doesn't seem to be the most reliable method.
    In layman's terms, "theory" means an idea. However "scientific theory" is fact because it requires proof.

  13. #13
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Awesome as always selfbuilt. How come you don't have a Fenix MC-E in there, TK30 or 40? Has nobody ever given you one to test or is there another reason....?
    Keen to see your numbers for consistant comparisons etc.
    Last edited by snala; 12-29-2009 at 02:39 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Thanks for all the support everyone.

    It really is a monster review (and bit awkwardly stitched together - sort of a Frankenstein's monster, I guess ). Glad you are enjoying it!

    Quote Originally Posted by AFAustin View Post
    One thing that I keep wondering about as to the super-lights such as these, is why there hasn't been a real move to make them capable of being updated with the next "latest & greatest" emitter, by means of a drop-in. Other than Dereelight and P60 type drop-ins, it just doesn't seem to be happening. These super-lights cost a pretty penny, and I hesitate to buy one knowing that it will be "old news" in 6 months.
    Quote Originally Posted by easilyled View Post
    For good reasons IMO:-
    I can think of one more - there really is no economic incentive for companies to do so.

    Most could offer combined replacement emitter/circuit/heatsink modules fairly easily - the only issue would be to insure consistency in matting screw threads for the reflector/head and body tubes. But since the guts of the light are where most of their profits originate, they are better off simply offering whole new models.

    Of course, even that isn't easy if they wanted to - we have seen a number of popular models change their threading diameter and design over time, so new production samples of the same light are rarely backward compatible. In many cases, I doubt this is a deliberate decision - it more likely reflects shifting use of individual production plants over time, to control rising costs, etc. Manufacturing is something of a commodity, especially in China, and few of the makers directly control all aspects of their flashlight builds (i.e. they farm it out to various plants, and likely rotate through them fairly often to keep prices competitive). By the very nature of the business, obsolescence is planned in to virtually every flashlight design.

    Quote Originally Posted by snala View Post
    Awesome as always selfbuilt. How come you don't have a Fenix MC-E in there, TK30 or 40? Has nobody ever given you one to test or is there another reason....?
    At this point in time, I am so swamped with requested reviews by various makers/dealers, I don't have time to review privately-purchased lights anymore. In any case, since the makers/dealers directly benefit from having their light compared to others, it seems to me they should be on the hook for supplying it.

    I would be happy to review one of the Fenix lights, if Fenix or one its dealers were to offer a sample for review (and accept my standard terms and conditions for all reviews, regarding impartiality of the review, etc.).
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  15. #15
    Flashaholic* yalskey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Fantastic review / round-up Self-Built. I'd pay a fair amount of money for such well done reviews as yours... but let's not give you any ideas!

    So..... what's the best flashlight?

    (...joking)

    EDIT: Wait a minute... you do have a donation link... I might send you a few bucks... HEY EVERYBODY, give Self-Built some well-earn dollars! LOL
    Last edited by yalskey; 12-30-2009 at 01:10 PM. Reason: added donation statement

  16. #16

    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Thanks yalskey.

    FYI, I am also working to update my 1AA and 1CR123A round-up reviews. Just waiting on the next batch of lights I'm testing.
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  17. #17
    Flashaholic* yalskey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Thanks yalskey.

    FYI, I am also working to update my 1AA and 1CR123A round-up reviews. Just waiting on the next batch of lights I'm testing.
    Totally cool. I've been in the market for a new 1AA EDC to replace my D10, which has been flickery upon switching since day one.

    BTW, speaking of multi-emitters, have you ever seen ElectroLumen's 12 x MCE flashlight? Talk about cooking an egg... LOL

  18. #18

    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    With the advent of Luminus SST-based lights, I'm sure if the title of this round-up is still accurate (I really intend it as a high-output light comparison).

    Not sure if I will add all SST-50 lights to comparison, but here's a couple of recent reviews for those interested:

    Lumapower D-mini VX Ultra (SST-50)

    Olight M21 Warrior (SST-50)

    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  19. #19
    Flashaholic* berry580's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    With the advent of Luminus SST-based lights, I'm sure if the title of this round-up is still accurate (I really intend it as a high-output light comparison).

    Not sure if I will add all SST-50 lights to comparison, but here's a couple of recent reviews for those interested:

    Lumapower D-mini VX Ultra (SST-50)

    Olight M21 Warrior (SST-50)

    That was exactly what i was wondering.

    Either way, great round-up review.
    Maglite 4D Incad., Solitaire, 3D LED Jetbeam Jet-I MKII R, Jet-III PRO Ti, Jet-Ti M, TC-R3 ,TC-10 Fenix LD01 SS Surefire C2 4Sevens Quark AA Ti, Quark Mini AA, Preon 0

  20. #20

    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by berry580 View Post
    That was exactly what i was wondering.
    The problem is finding a good title that everyone would recognize ... maybe I should call it a MC-E/P7/SST round-up? Problem is that not all the SST-50 lights are maximally driven (e.g. Olight M21), so I don't really plan to include all of them here.

    My intent is really to capture high-output lights ... but that's definitely a relative term (and a moving one at that).

    I'm open to suggestions ...
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  21. #21
    Flashaholic* yalskey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    selfbuilt:
    What about just calling it the "High Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up"?

    I agree, it is a moving target and kinda hard to name it something objective and something everyone will understand intuitively.

    Remember two things however:

    1) If you are worrying about people understanding the thread title, I think that's the least of your worries. Look at all the nerdy technical data in the review... if they can't sorta get what "High Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up" means, then they are probably in over their heads when reading the review. Therefore, the people who your reviews target are probably smart / knowledgable enough that "High Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up" is a pretty understandable title.

    2) You can always tweak the title as time goes on for the best fit. Let's say Cree comes up with a MC-F (LOL) emitter (Yeah, I know it doesn't work that way)... you could just throw that one in the title. Of course, as time goes on, these "High Power" LED's will become the "normal power" lights, and you'll have to "evolve" the title as things move under your feet.

    Anywho, this is probably one of the geekiest things I've commented on. The detailed particulars of a certain flashlight review thread... when you step back from it and see it in context, that's pretty geeky...... of course meta-analyzing it is even geekier! :-)

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    You could call it "High-Power-Emitter Round-Up" or "Large-Emitter Round-Up"
    In layman's terms, "theory" means an idea. However "scientific theory" is fact because it requires proof.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* was.lost.but.now.found's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    How about "600+ emitter lumen roundup"?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    There is one thing that really hit me in the face with this review.

    YOU STILL HAVEN'T FINISHED THE BASEMENT!. I guess with all this review work there just isn't time for the unimportant. lol

    Great roundup Eric. I enjoyed reading it.

    Bill
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    Albert Einstein

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    How about "2x18650 round up"?

    I think that's quite appropriate, why limited yourself to a few LEDs?

    edit: wait.... then there's the Legion II and A6... lol
    I think 'High output round-up" is OK
    Yes, its a relative term, but besides custom made lights, these LED light are probably indeed almost the brightest available on the market right now, so i can't see any conflicts. If even brighter ones come out, then i guess they can be considered as the next-generation stuff.
    Last edited by berry580; 01-15-2010 at 09:11 PM.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: High-Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by yalskey View Post
    What about just calling it the "High Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up"?
    Quote Originally Posted by easilyled View Post
    You could call it "High-Power-Emitter Round-Up" or "Large-Emitter Round-Up"
    Quote Originally Posted by was.lost.but.now.found View Post
    How about "600+ emitter lumen roundup"?
    Quote Originally Posted by berry580 View Post
    How about "2x18650 round up"?
    I think 'High output round-up" is OK
    Thanks for all the suggestions guys. All good, but for now, I think I'm going to go with "High-Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up", since that probably captures it best for most.

    I realize this may sound like an academic exercise, but it's really so that people can easily understand what's inside from the title. High Output and the various emitters should help with that.

    I also had to decide now, since I believe after ~30 days, thread titles can no longer be changed in the system.

    Thanks again!
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  27. #27
    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Thanks for all your great reviews!! and thanks to all the manufacturers, and dealers providing you with the lights to review.

    ive been really wanting a M1X, or tiablo ACE-G, but after seeing your pics, im leaning towards the M30 because of its size and form factor. but i have so many floody type lights, i want something with serious throw.

    ive actually convinced a friend/co-worker to buy a M1X because of my constance trash talking of his $15 light. ive know him over 20 years so the trash talking is ok

    guess ill wait to see his M1X before deciding, but its been weeks since buying a new light, and im getting that itch again.

    thanks again for the awesome review!!

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* yalskey's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions guys. All good, but for now, I think I'm going to go with "High-Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up", since that probably captures it best for most.
    Super cool... I win! LOL

    So, I'm entitled to a piece of all your action selfbuilt. When can I expect the royalty checks to start rolling in?



    Oh wait... you "Vanilla Ice'd" me. I suggested "High Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up" and you went with "High-Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up"... very clever sir. LOL

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* AFAustin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-emitter Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Quote Originally Posted by AFAustin View Post
    Great review as always, Eric. Thanks for all your hard work.

    One thing that I keep wondering about as to the super-lights such as these, is why there hasn't been a real move to make them capable of being updated with the next "latest & greatest" emitter, by means of a drop-in. Other than Dereelight and P60 type drop-ins, it just doesn't seem to be happening. These super-lights cost a pretty penny, and I hesitate to buy one knowing that it will be "old news" in 6 months.

    Thanks again for another wonderful piece of work.

    Andrew
    Well, maybe somebody is listening..... See Post #10: http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...d.php?t=212058
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: High-Output (MC-E/P7/SST) Round-Up Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & more!

    Thanks for the great comparison review. Your time and effort is greatly appreciated.

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