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Thread: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

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    Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Lumapower IncenDio V3 Upgrade review


    Here is my review of the new Lumapower IncenDio V3 Upgrade: the latest incarnation of Lumapower’s CR123 powered, Every Day Carry light (EDC).




    This light has been through quite a few iterations and shows the refinement of a late-generation product. Here’s a brief little history of the Incendio

    Mar 2008, V1, The Incendio is first introduced

    Sept 2008, V2, some improvements, such as a serviceable switch mechanism,
    removable, longer clip etc.

    Oct 2009, V3, The Incendio received a major upgrade, the body is now hard
    anodized and redesigned. Max output is increased, construction
    improvements, the smart UI is introduced.

    Now from Oct 2009 to current day (July 2011, about 1 year 9 months) we have 3 new iterations.

    V3 (R5 XP-G). A large circuit update, the light levels are rebalanced and now there are 4 modes (previously 3) and the LED has been upgraded to R5 XP-G.

    V3+, this is a major body upgrade, with a much improved clip, changed switch assembly allowing more reliable operation and easier activation as well as other construction improvements.

    V3U (upgrade). This is the final iteration with more construction improvements. These are subtle improvements, however. They include:

    - Removable circuit retainer upgrade, allowing easier driver upgrades in the future.
    - Added Brass contact between circuit and battery tube which means better heat
    management and electrical conductivity.
    - All new reflector design to improve beam profile.
    - Improvement on tail switch construction, which improves water resistance.
    - Add mechanical reverse polarity protection to protect driver circuit.
    - Lumapower's "Zero Bonding Construction" to the LED module to improve anti
    shock properties.


    While I can appreciate the refinements Lumapower has put into this light, and am quite impressed with the end product; I am hoping Lumapower takes all the lessons learned during Incendio development and just implements them all into future lights, the first time!

    The Incendio can run effectively on primary CR123 cells but achieves highest performance when used with rechargeable Lithium ion (hereafter referred to as Li-on) cells (RCR123).

    Ricky at Lumapower sent me a review sample of this latest release. I’ll do a thorough examination and see how it fares. Please note that some details have been re-printed from my previous V3 Incendio review as these have not changed.


    Specs and Information

    The IncenDio is a multi-mode CR123/RCR123 cell light that has four levels, selected by the forward clicky. It features Lumapower’s latest user interface, named “Smart UI” that will be described below.

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

    Standard LED: Cree XP-G
    2 versions are available:

    - R5 (Cool white tint) bin version: (Max ~350+ emitter lumens)
    - R4 (Neutral white tint) bin version: (Max ~320+ emitter lumens)

    The IncenDio achieves highest output using Li-on rechargeable batteries (such as RCR123’s). Using regular CR123 batteries (3.0V), one gets 240+ emitter lumens max output.

    Runtime: On Ultra: 75 minutes, on medium: 3.7 hours, on low: 35 hours (CR123)

    Brightness Levels: 5%, 15%, 40%, 100%
    7-350 lumens RCR123
    7-240 lumens (CR123)


    - 4 output levels (no SOS/Strobe, low-medium-high-ultra mode sequence)
    - 2-way memory locking system (Smart UI)
    - Ample knurling
    - Forward clicky with momentary-on. Tailcap lockout available.
    - Square threads
    - Double side AR-coated lens
    - Orange-Peel textured reflector
    - Anti-roll features and tail-stand capable
    - Type III Hard Anodized (Grey), T6063 aircraft grade aluminum

    Standard Dimensions:
    - Overall length : 80mm
    - Body Diameter: 20.0mm
    - Max Diameter: 20.5mm
    - Weight: 37g (without battery)

    The included accessory kit is generous and includes:

    - Stainless steel lanyard loop
    - Small holster
    - Extra tailcap button (black)
    - Extra o-rings (black)
    - rugged tweezers for adjustments and servicing

    - A special bonus for early adopters: a Lumapower diffuser kit, for lantern style use.

    Retail price for the IncenDio is about $60




    The holster is a bit on the thin side but seems effective. It has elastic sides to hold the light and can be belt mounted. The tweezers are a nice touch and are rugged enough for servicing the light. It seems odd that a wrist lanyard was not included.
    The diffuser kit is very nicely made and is an excellent, useful accessory. It fits on the head of the light and provides a lantern-like effect. I believe it is included for the first set of customers (100 or so), but will be an optional extra for later purchases.









    First Impression: Well Made, Compact Little Powerhouse

    The IncenDio impresses with its refinement and compact size. Construction is top notch with a handsome dark grey hard-anodized finish. All parts are well matched and no flaws were found in the finish; also the square threading is solid and smooth, and should be quite durable.







    There is an ample amount of knurling that is reasonably grippy without being too aggressive.

    The steel wire clip is much longer and stronger than before, as is very useful for pocket carry.




    While the knurling is effective, I do find the ergonomics of the light are greatly improved by adding a simple rubber o-ring to the light. There is a groove just ahead
    of the clip that is a perfect fit. The o-ring improves the gripping ability of the clip and also provides a secure ridge for a cigar grip.



    The clip is held in place by a stainless steel tailcap retainer that covers the entire back edge of the light. This provides increased durability as well as improved appearance. The re-designed retainer also improves button access and now has an o-ring groove to improved waterproofness of the tailcap assembly.




    It would be nice if Lumapower added a matching stainless bezel to the front of the light, but this would likely increase the length and cost of the light.

    The glow in the dark bezel o-ring and tailcap button are nice touches, and max output is very impressive for such a small light.



    Battery availability and compatibilty

    The IncenDio is compatible with Primary CR123 cells, but provides much more output using rechargeable Li-on batteries due to the higher nominal voltage of these cells (approximately 3.7V). Rechargeable CR123 cells are commonly referred to as RCR123 or 16340 cells.


    Good interface: Smart UI for single or multiple modes

    The IncenDio uses the now-standard Lumapower UI, named Smart UI (first released in the Tool Series Mentor light). Smart UI offers a four mode interface (low-medium-high-ultra brightness sequence with memory mode) but also offers the ability to lock-in any single brightness setting 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). Now the light is locked into that brightness setting and works like a single mode, forward clicky light.

    To unlock the light, simply pulse the light on 4 times within a second. The light is now back to the standard 4-level interface. Simple and effective.

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

    Locking the mode is a bit fiddly initially, but once learned it’s easy to change from multi-level to single level interface. Adding some kind of mode-locked indication would be helpful. In any case the Smart UI should satisfy many different types of users.




    Useful levels and pretty good efficiency

    I found the levels on the IncenDio to be well spaced, though the maximum output pushes the thermal limits of this design.


    The light has a good low mode (about 5 lumens out the front) that is quite useful and gives a nice extended runtime. This is a good, low general purpose level. Those seeking ultra long runtimes and night vision preservation may want a lower low mode.

    The maximum level (about 250 lumens out the front) is impressive but should mostly be used in shorter bursts. The light tended to heat up quite a bit, getting uncomfortably hot in about 5 minutes. This will please those looking for maximum output at all costs.

    The available levels are around 5 – 15 – 100 – 250 lumens (out the front using RCR123 batteries), a useful spread with even visual spacing.

    I’m glad to see that Lumapower added an additional light level and rebalanced the modes. Previous models had no real medium/low modes.

    PWM (pulse width modulation) is used for dimming the light. The measured frequency (as provided by Lumapower) 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

    The IncenDio has good knurling; allowing for a firm grip and hand-friendly feel, but is smooth enough slide into any pocket. It’s also one of the smaller lights in its class, but still feels good in the hand.



    The recessed tailcap button works well when used in a cigar grip and provides a solid feel with good feedback before latching on. The redesigned switch design improves access but those with very wide thumbs may still have problems. I did not have any issues.



    Overall ergonomics are good.



    Beam, tint quality

    The IncenDio uses the Cree XP-G LED for max output. The tint is a pure white with a fairly even colour temperature across the beam. While the output is stark and impressive, it is a bit cold for my tastes (of course my tastes are for warmer/neutral tints and are purely subjective).

    I did not notice any tint shift through the different levels.

    The IncenDio uses a textured reflector that provides some throw with a reasonably smooth beam. The beam has a broad hotspot and bright, medium-wide spill. There is evidence of the dreaded Cree “dark-halo” around the hotspot. This is quite surprising since XP-G emitters tend to produce a smooth beam with most reflectors. I’m a bit disappointed since this is effectively the 3rd generation of XP-G Incendios. I would expect a more uniform beam. Nonetheless, this was not very noticeable in use; I’m just used to near perfect beams from XP-G emitters.



    The emitter was well centered.




    Upgradabilty, other Notes

    For modding types, the IncenDio is not glued or potted, so there is easy access to the LED and the driver. Lumapower’s new “zero-bonding” construction means that all parts of the light are easily disassembled allow for future upgrades, servicing etc. I’m sure my Incendio will receive a few improvements in the future.

    The driver is held in place by a brass retaining ring and positive contact. These should improve conductivity and long-term durability as the circuit contacts are not subject to any mechanical wearing. The retaining ring also provides physical reverse-polarity protection.

    The tailcap switch module is a sealed unit for more consistent construction and activation.

    The body threads are anodized, allowing for switch lockout when slightly unscrewed. This will prevent accidental activation.

    The optional diffuser cap is great for lantern style use and is very well constructed. It seems much more refined than similar offerings from other manufacturers. It also fits many other popular lights since an extra foam strip is included to allow a snug fit on smaller-diameter lights.


    Here's a comparison with the popular EX10, Ra Clicky, and common AA battery.



    Here's the business end (yes the other lights are modded)




    Summary

    Lumapower has made an excellent, update to the IncenDio. It is a very compact four-mode light that serves well for everyday carry but can also impress at maximum output.

    The improved construction and detailing are well executed, with many subtle upgrades and a very effective clip. The interface is the versatile Smart UI that offers four modes but can also be easily locked into single mode use. The Incendio’s beam quality was good, but not as smooth as some competing products.

    Incendio V3+ owners should wait for a more significant update as the changes are subtle in nature and don’t warrant an upgrade. All other Incendio owners will appreciate the improved circuit performance, ergonomics and construction of the latest model.

    Those looking for a no-nonsense, CR123 powered, every-day carry light should definitely give this a look.


    Last edited by gunga; 07-19-2011 at 11:08 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Reserved

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    Flashaholic* Kilovolt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Quote Originally Posted by gunga View Post
    Incendio V3+ owners should wait for a more significant update as the changes are subtle in nature and donít warrant an upgrade. All other Incendio owners will appreciate the improved circuit performance, ergonomics and construction of the latest model.
    Thanks for answering my question even before it was asked!



    And thanks of course for sharing with us your impressions on this light.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Wow, that was fast! Yes, this is a subtle upgrade from V3+. There are improvements in construction, but the ergonomics and body are the same, as is the circuit performance.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* don.gwapo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Great review gunga.

    The new reflector seem's like for xm-l.

    The opening is too wide for an xpg imo.
    Pick the pooch!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default

    When I get some free time, I'll let you know how it is with xm-l.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Thanx,gunga!

    An excellent review.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic jbdan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Superb review I love my Incendio neutral!
    "You've stolen my heart, yes You have, You've wiped away the stains, broke away the chains, yes You have!" Leeland <><

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Hi gunga,

    Thank you very much for the review and great photos.
    I think I need to get a new camera as yours.

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

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Funny, all my very recent reviews are using a new camera.



    NIkon D5100. The stock kit lens (18-55) is light, optically quite good and does macro shots quite well. Great for reviews!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    THank you Gunga. I like the Incendio a lot for its features and small size. One of my favorite cr123 lights. I have the much outdated version 1 which could use an upgrade. This new version has a lot of updates that I like.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    good review.
    interested flashlight

  13. #13
    Enlightened MashBill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Great review. I love my V3+ and think it is often overlooked by many CPFers. The V3+ and my Trust 1 (running on a 14500) are a couple of my favorite 2 lights.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Thanks MashBill. I like my Incendio even better now that I have a neutral XM-L in it. Lumapower does not glue their lights, allowing people to mod if they want.



    Here's the mod



    But then I put a teflon shroud to clean up the appearance



    And the crappy beamshot. You may not be able to see it,. but the beam is a lot warmer, floodier, and cleaner.


  15. #15

    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Nice review, Gunga. Just sold my V3+ Neutral (not that I didn't like the light..) and this looks like a nice upgrade.

    But I sense an XM-L coming soon, and will probably jump on that, if a neutral emitter is offered.

    Having owned two of the previous Incendio versions, I can also say that the V3+ was a vast improvement, and it now seems to be even further refined.
    If we could get everyone in the world to close their eyes and imagine world peace for an hour, think about how serene it would be until the looting started. -Unknown

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    Enlightened nuphoria's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Great stuff, thank you

    Got a V3 which I will probably sell towards this one.
    Bring on the night...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    "But I sense an XM-L coming soon, and will probably jump on that, if a neutral emitter is offered."

    It's available right now at IlluminationGear.

  18. #18
    Enlightened LEDdicted's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel Sanders View Post
    It's available right now at IlluminationGear.
    Thanks, just ordered! Been waiting for this one. My first light purchase in quite some time.
    ...It makes people wonder!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Be sure to get some AW IMR16340s to go with it...nothing else in a 123 size is going to tote the load.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    I'll have to take a tailcap reading at some point... I do have some IMRs at home.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Gunga, you won't believe this....It pulled 2.4A on a 4.21v AWRCR123! It pulled 2.2A on a BatteryStation RCR. And it pulled 2.65A on an Redilast 2900 18650!!! This is my new favorite light! It has amazing output for it's size. I have nothing else like it.

    With the turbo head running on RCRs it has infreakincredible throw for it's size. No doubt, for throw it probably blows away ANYTHING in it's size range short of aspherics. What a POCKET ROCKET!

    I expect it will also pull 2.65A on an AW IMR16340. I will find out tomorrow when they get here.
    Last edited by Colonel Sanders; 08-15-2011 at 09:16 AM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    UPDATE!!! I retested running the current through the switch instead of with the switch removed and it will only pull a maximum of 1.7A on IMR16340s which gave a 2.98A tailcap reading.

    I also confirmed that there is quite a difference in brightness running at ~2.8A with the switch bypassed than at ~1.6A with the switch operating normally. The light gets hot QUICK running at 2.8A!

    Needs a better switch!

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default

    Do you think it's usable on max? Is it more manageable with the 18650 body?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel Sanders View Post
    And it pulled 2.65A on an Redilast 2900 18650!!!
    I wonder how much it will draw without an ammeter in the circuit.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Gunga, with the tailcap in place and pulling 1.6A I'd say it's very usable. I ran it 6 minutes (on an 18650) and recorded a temp of 125 degrees at the hottest point on the head. The starting temp was about 90. Not bad. I haven't tested the difference in temp between the 123 and 18650 bodies.

    I haven't tested the temp with the tailcap bypassed but I can easily tell that it heats up quicker. Is it usable like this at 2.8A? Not for long I think.

    HKJ, I've been using the same DMM for a good long while now and have used it to test current all the way up to about 5.8A (hotwire) and it has always seemed to show about what it should. It showed 3A on my then stock X10, for example, and then over 5A once direct driven. So, I don't think it's acting as too much of a restriction.

    Anybody have an idea on a better clicky switch that would fit this light? Running it at 2.8A is cool...uuhh, well hot really...but I hate having to treat this thing like a twisty.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Where do you buy the XM-L led that fits in the Incendio?


    Quote Originally Posted by gunga View Post
    Thanks MashBill. I like my Incendio even better now that I have a neutral XM-L in it. Lumapower does not glue their lights, allowing people to mod if they want.



    Here's the mod



    But then I put a teflon shroud to clean up the appearance



    And the crappy beamshot. You may not be able to see it,. but the beam is a lot warmer, floodier, and cleaner.

    Last edited by zell666hell; 11-20-2011 at 07:58 AM.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default

    Anywhere you can buy an XML on 15mm board (cutter etc).

  28. #28

    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Where the hell do you get a 15mm XML board at? All I can find is 14mm & 16mm.
    Link me to one plz.

    Quote Originally Posted by gunga View Post
    Anywhere you can buy an XML on 15mm board (cutter etc).

  29. #29

    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Nevermind, thanks gunga.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Lumapower IncenDio V3 Uprade review

    Anyone have any audible buzzing sound from the PWM?

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