Click to visit Lumintop new flashlights!
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

  1. #1
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Spark SL6-740NW




    Spark started with headlamps, and has added some flashlights to their lineup. This light is a high power XM-L light. The SL6-740NW has 5 brightness settings and both a side and a tail switch that are wired in parallel, i.e. they work exactly the same. The light is made of aluminum with hard-anodized (Type 3) finish.
    Note: This is the neutral white version of the light, it also exist in a SL6-800CW that is slightly brighter and cool white led.



    The light is delivered in a soft cardboard box with foam insert.



    The box contains the light, two extra o-rings, a diffuser, a holster and a general instruction sheet that has specifications for all flashlights models.



    The light has a LOP (Light orange peel) reflector with a XM-L led at the bottom. It has a thin aluminium bezel. A diffuser glass is supplied with the light, this can replace the original front glass for a broader beam (See beamshots).



    As usual on high power lights it has some cooling fins and it also has a switch on the head.



    The battery connection in the head is with two springs, the center spring is for the battery connection, the outer spring is for the tail switch.



    The threads on the battery tube are of the triangular type, both at the front and back, both are sealed with a o-ring.
    Because the threads are anodized, it is possible to lock-out the light.



    The body does not have knurling, but only some groves.



    The light includes an optional clip.



    The battery tube has a inner sleeve, that is used to transfer the tail switch signal.



    The tailcap has a spring for the battery connection, there is also two rings, one for battery power and one for the switch.



    The switch in the tail is countersunk, to prevent accidental activation and allow tailstanding.

    The user interface has multiple operating modes (These function can be activated on either switch):

    1. A short click will turn the light on in last selected mode or off.
    2. A slightly longer press from off will momentary turn the light on, it will turn off again when the switch is released.
    3. A long press will start brightness selection, first low, then medium 1, medium 2 and high, this sequence will be repeated until the switch is released, the selected brightness is remembered. This function can be activated from both on and off.
    4. A double click will activate super mode, use 1 or 3 or wait 5 minutes to get out of it.






    A holster is included with the light. The light can be used both bezel down or bezel up, but the best fit is with bezel up.



    Here is all the part the light can be disassembled in without tools.


    This light is not a tactical light, but more general purpose light. It has a very good stabilization with both a buck/boost regulator, the two switches makes it possible to activate it in both under hand and over hand position. Hiding the super mode is probably a good thing for battery life and heat, you will only activate it when you really need it. The included diffuser makes it possible to use the light for either flood or throw. I do also like the small and lightweight design.



    Technical specification and measurements



    This light is designed for 2xCR123 and 18650 batteries. All sizes of 18650 will work from 65 mm to 70 mm long with button or flat top.

    Measured size and weight:
    Length: 125 mm
    Diameter: 23 mm to 31 mm
    Weight: 112 gram with CR123 and 126 gram with AW18650-26

    The light uses a Cree XM-L T5 neutral white led.



    In the above table I have collected all modes, measured at 3.7 volt (i.e. with 18650 battery). I have also included off as a mode, because the light uses a small amount of power. All the estimated runtimes are with a 2600mA LiIon battery. The estimated lumen is scale from the specified maximum. The brightness is a relative measurement from a lux meter and scaled from the specified 740 lumen.
    The specifications does match very well with the measured/estimated value, except the low runtime probably is to optimistic.



    A voltage sweep at super high shows a very nice stabilization, this light has a buck/boost regulator! The sweep also shows that the light uses a lot of current, up to 5 ampere. Not all batteries can supply that, check my 18650 roundup to find useable batteries.



    High does also show a good stabilization and here the current consumption is down to a maximum of about 3 ampere.





    The two medium and the low level continues with the good stabilization.
    Also note that all the curves stops at about 2.4 volt, this makes the light mostly safe to use with unprotected LiIon cells. The 2900 mAh cells that can be discharged to 2.5 volt will be completely safe to use in this light, even in unprotected version.




    With this kind of stabilization the runtime curve can only be flat and it is. The light shows a very fine runtime on both CR123 and 18650 batteries.



    The super mode boost the output for 5 minutes. As can be seen on the curve the output drops due to heat, but when the light returns to high it will cool down and output increase again. Note: This test was done with a fan to cool the light (I am using same brightness scale on this curve as on the runtime curve).



    The light do not have pwm, but the low levels do have a lot of high frequence noise in it.



    Comparison to other Flashlights

    Fenix TK21 U2, Klarus XT10, Spark SL6-740NW


    Spark SL6-740NW with diffuser, OLight M20S S2, OLight M20S S2 with diffuser


    For the full comparison to other lights with graphs and beamshots see here
    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.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Excellent write-up as always HKJ.

    What do you make of the high frequency noise on the Lo and Med1 modes? Your setup is a lot more sophisticated then mine, but mine did seem to "lock in" on specific frequencies at times (i.e. ~21kHz and ~11kHz for Med1/Lo respectively). This made think these were PWM (but with a lot of extra noise). Either way, it's not visually detectable (except by shining on a fan), but it does seem curious.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Nitecore EA41.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  3. #3
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    What do you make of the high frequency noise on the Lo and Med1 modes? Your setup is a lot more sophisticated then mine, but mine did seem to "lock in" on specific frequencies at times (i.e. ~21kHz and ~11kHz for Med1/Lo respectively). This made think these were PWM (but with a lot of extra noise). Either way, it's not visually detectable (except by shining on a fan), but it does seem curious.
    I believe that it is the current regulation that is starting and stopping to adjust the current. This is sometimes a problem when a high current regulation has to deliver a low current, the regulation has problems adjusting to the low current and overcompensates.
    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.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    South Korea
    Posts
    1,137

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Great review! Thanks a lot. HKJ!

    The current draw for the super mode is 3276mAh in the table. And you say that
    A voltage sweep at super high shows a very nice stabilization, this light has a buck/boost
    regulator! The sweep also shows that the light uses a lot of current, up to 5 ampere.
    Is 5A just a value obtained by your equipment? I think it's not a current draw burn up by the light actually.


    What battery would you most recommend to use this light among 2600, 2800, 3000mAh 18650?

  5. #5
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    The current draw for the super mode is 3276mAh in the table. And you say that
    A voltage sweep at super high shows a very nice stabilization, this light has a buck/boost
    regulator! The sweep also shows that the light uses a lot of current, up to 5 ampere.
    Is 5A just a value obtained by your equipment? I think it's not a current draw burn up by the light actually.
    Current draw depends on battery voltage and the 5A is the maximum current draw just before the driver shuts down, due to empty batteries.
    For a LiIon battery the current draw will start at around 3A and then increase, until the light shuts down due to low voltage.

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    What battery would you most recommend to use this light among 2600, 2800, 3000mAh 18650?
    The Panasonic 2900 mAh, either as RediLast or unprotected.
    Last edited by HKJ; 07-20-2011 at 12:01 AM.
    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.

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    6,306

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Outstanding review... I was getting around to reviewing this light,, seems pointless after seeing this in dept review!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    I like the Beamshots and Detailed Pictures!! Excellent Review! It's smaller than I thought it was...
    Thanks for doing it..

  8. #8

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    I bought on www.sbflashlights.com. My flashlight have some defects, even don`t know what to do.





  9. #9
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    South Korea
    Posts
    1,137

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    duplicate! Sorry.
    Last edited by candle lamp; 11-08-2011 at 04:59 AM.
    Latest Review : Spark SP2-NW Review

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    South Korea
    Posts
    1,137

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    [QUOTE=candle lamp;3790185]
    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Current draw depends on battery voltage and the 5A is the maximum current draw just before the driver shuts down, due to empty batteries.
    For a LiIon battery the current draw will start at around 3A and then increase, until the light shuts down due to low voltage.
    Thanks for your reply.
    So will the current with 2xCR123A's start at around 1.9A and then increse to 5A? And the current with 1x18650 will start at 2.8A and then increase to 5A?
    Latest Review : Spark SP2-NW Review

  11. #11
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    [QUOTE=candle lamp;3790186]
    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post

    Thanks for your reply.
    So will the current with 2xCR123A's start at around 1.9A and then increse to 5A? And the current with 1x18650 will start at 2.8A and then increase to 5A?
    Something like that, the start values will be a bit higher, because neither CR123 or 18650 will be at full voltage with these loads.
    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.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Just stuck two imr 16340's in my new Spark SL6. Hmmmm what's that burning smell.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    South Korea
    Posts
    1,137

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by rufus001 View Post
    Just stuck two imr 16340's in my new Spark SL6. Hmmmm what's that burning smell.
    I'm sorry to hear that. 2xRCR123A or 2xIMR is banned.
    Latest Review : Spark SP2-NW Review

  14. #14
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    I'm sorry to hear that. 2xRCR123A or 2xIMR is banned.
    I should've checked. Totally my own fault.

  15. #15
    Enlightened kolbasz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Szombathely, Hungary
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Review of Spark SL6-740NW with measurements and outdoor beamshots

    Is it true that the new version doesnt steps down after 5 minutes from super mode?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •