Warning: Pic heavy, as usual.
Lumintop has recently launched a series of colored aluminum Worm lights, their 1xAAA offering (previously available only in polished stainless steel).
- Emitter: CREE XP-E R2
- Max Output / Runtime: 60 lumens / 1 hour
- Low Output / Runtime: 10 lumens / 4 hours
- Dimension: 72mm * 14mm
- Light Mode: Low - High
- Battery Type: 1 x AAA
- Shipping Weight: 0.4lbs
- MSRP: unknown for the aluminum versions, but stainless steel version retails ~$29
Packaging is very reminiscent of my 4GREER WS1 1xAAA light. Inside the plastic clamshell with magnetic closing clasp is the light, extra o-ring, and small split ring. The stainless steel version also comes with a keychain clip. Manual is printed on the back of the cardboard sleeve.
From left to right: Duracell 1xAAA NiMH, Lumintop Worm SS, Al Black, Al Red, 4Sevens Preon1, ITP A3 EOS Upgraded (XP-G), Titanium Innovations IlluminaTi, Maratac 1xAAA, Klarus Mi X6.
All weights without battery
Worm Aluminum: Weight: 14.3g, Length 72.0mm (battery installed, off), Width 14.1mm (bezel)
Worm Stainless: Weight: 27.3g, Length 72.0mm (battery installed, off), Width 14.1mm (bezel)
Klarus Mi X6: Weight 16.2g, Length 72.9mm (battery installed), Width 12.8mm
4Sevens Preon 1: Weight 15.3g (with keychain clip), Length 75.6mm, Width 14.0mm (bezel)
4Sevens ReVo:: Weight: 11.3g , Length 72.7mm (battery installed), Width 12.9mm
ITP EOS A3 Upgraded: Weight: 11.6g (no clip), Length: 69.7, Width 14.1mm (bezel)
The Worm is quite reasonable in size for the class.
The stainless steel body has a polished look, and is heavier than the aluminum. The aluminum versions come in the standard keychain colors (i.e. black, gold, blue, purple, red).
Lettering is subtle on all lights, sharp and clear on the colored aluminum. While there is no knurling to speak of, the concentric ridges on the body help with grip. I found the light can be operated one-handed, but extra grip on the head would help.
Tailstanding is possible on both models. The stainless steel version has a more open tailcap appearance.
The Worm uses a spring in the tailcap, like many lights in this class.
The stainless steel version features a GITD o-ring in the head, between the lens and bezel.
NEW: Normally at this point in the review, I like to show the emitter/reflector and beamshots. But I’m trying something new - video reviews showing both the basic build and user interface. Check it out below. Beamshots will follow after the user interface and circuit discussion.
Video was recorded in 480p, but YouTube defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the 360p icon in the lower right-hand corner, and select the higher 480p option.
Turn on by fully tightening the head/bezel against the body. The light is off when the bezel is loosened slightly.
Light comes on in Lo output to start. To select Hi, twist the head off and then back on again within 1 second. This will advance to the next level in the following repeating sequence: Lo > Hi > Lo, etc..
There is no memory mode.
Here’s a nice find – there is no sign of PWM on the Lo mode of the Worm. It thus seems to use current-control for its low mode.
There is no strobe feature.
And now the part you’ve all been waiting for.
The Worm comes with a lightly textured reflector (OP) and uses a XP-E emitter. Centering of the emitters wasn’t already perfect, but acceptable on all my samples.
EDIT: As you can probably tell above, it looks like the stainless steel version has an XP-G emitter, not XP-E. Not sure if that's standard now or not (the packaging says XP-E R2 on all lights). Probably won't make much of a difference for output or runtimes, though.
Which brings me to the white-wall beamshots. All lights are on 1xAAA Sanyo Eneloop NiMH, about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences. All beamshots taken immediately upon activation.
I find most 1xAAA lights to have fairly diffused beams, with broad hotspots. The XP-E-based Worm has a slightly more defined hotspot than the XP-G-based lights
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 any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.
I have recently devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lighbox values to Lumens thread for more info.
Throw/Output Summary Chart:
Effective November 2010, I have revised my summary tables to match with the current ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.sliderule.ca/FL1.htm for a description of the terms used in these tables.
Output is fairly high for a XP-E R2 light, closer to many of my XP-G R5 lights (although again, the stainless steel version seems to be using an XP-G - the aluminum ones all have XP-Es). Throw is reasonable for the class.
Note that Lo on the Worm is comparable to many three-level light’s Med mode.
The two-level Worm shows excellent regulation and runtime at both levels.
There is no difference in performance between the stainless steel and aluminum versions – both seem to use the same circuit.
Light is two-mode only, with Lo/Hi closer to most light’s Med/Hi (i.e., Worm lacks a typical Lo mode).
Head lacks any knurling or other grip items, so the light may be difficult to activate/switch single-handed.
Light lacks a pocket clip.
I am so used to seeing three-mode 1xAAA lights, that any discussion typically begins with the merits/issues of the specific mode sequence. Thankfully, that is not required here – the Worm comes on in Lo first, followed by Hi if you loosen/tighten switch. Very simple and straight-forward.
Build and beam pattern are good, no significant issues. I would like to see some extra grip elements on the head to help with single-handed use. The ridges on the body do help with overall grip.
Current-controlled circuit performance is excellent – very flat regulation, and top-of-class runtimes at both levels.
There are a few minor differences in construction between the stainless steel and newer aluminum versions (i.e. slightly simplified construction on the aluminum). But either one works well, and I like that tailstanding has been maintained. You also get your typical choice of colors in the anodized version.
I’m not generally a fan of stainless steel lights (i.e. too heavy), but the material works well in the 1xAAA size. The extra weight is negligible, and adds a feeling of increased sturdiness. I personally like the polished look in this case, but bead-blasted might resist showing scratches better.
All said and done, if you don't mind the two-level design with no typical Lo mode, this series of lights makes for another good everyday carry option for a keychain.
Lumintop Worm samples provided by Lumintop for review.