This review is intended as a companion piece/update to my original Lumintop TD15X review, posted earlier this year.
There have been a few build and circuit changes since that early review sample, including the option for a Neutral White emitter. Lumintop has also developed dedicated battery tube options for multiple cell configurations, which I will also be showcasing here.
To begin, the "official" specs for this light haven't changed much. I've bolded below the updated information from my original review.
- LED: CREE XM-L T6 LED Cool White (Neutral White now available)
- Max Output / Runtime: 720 lumens / 1 hour (2x18650), 580 lumens (1x18650)
- Middle output / Runtime: 200 lumens / 4 hours
- Low output / Runtime: 20 lumens / 35 hours
- Length: 5.83 inches (148mm), Bezel Diameter 1.50 inches (38mm), Body Diameter 1 inches (25.4mm)
- Weight: 5.3 ounces (150g)
- Light Mode: Low-Middle-High-Strobe
- Waterproof IPX-8
- Battery Type: 2x CR123A batteries, 2x RCR/16340, 1x Li-ion 18650 or 1x 17670 battery
- Battery Type with 1 x Extension Tube: 3x CR123A batteries, 3x RCR/16340
- Battery Type with 2 x Extension Tube: 4x CR123A , 2x Li-ion 18650 or 2x 17670 batteries
- Precision reflector creates smooth, optimized beam
- Coated tempered window resists impact, 99% Transmission of light, protect the reflector and LED
- Four output mode by loosen and tighten the bezel to switch - lowest for longest runtime, highest for maximum light, and strobe for tactical
- High-strength aerospace aluminum body, Mil-Spec hard-anodized for extreme durability
- Tactical tailcap switch - press for momentary-on, click for constant-on
- High ductility steel clip provides multiple carry options
- Anti-reverse protection circuit
- Weatherproof O-Ring sealed that keep moisture, dust and dirt outside of your flashlight
- Wear resistant square thread
- Stainless steel crenelated Strike Bezel and scalloped tailcap provide further defensive options.
- Intelligent memory circuitry memorizes last mode when activating the light.
- Combat Ring with anti-rolling design for secure hold in all conditions
- Included accessories: holster, lanyard, body clip, two spare o-rings, and a rubber switch boot.
- Estimated MSRP ~$99
I note the official support for 2xRCR now. Clearly, the circuit could always handle the voltage (i.e. it takes 2x18650 after all). So is there a reason 2xRCR is now officially supported? Scroll on ...
Basic packaging hasn't changed much either – the light comes with a removable lanyard ring and clip (attached), and includes one battery tube extender (CR123A length), wrist lanyard, decent quality holster, spare o-rings and boot cap, and replacement cover for the attached pocket clip.
So what has changed in the overall build? Aside from the option for a Neutral White emitter, the only change I noticed is in the contact plate in the head:
Left is the new TD15X (with a red circuit board and spring on the positive contact), right is the original TD15X (with a small raised contact point).
Otherwise, the build is unchanged, right down to the screw threading. You can easily mix-and-match parts from early purchases (e.g. extension tubes). Please see my original TD15X review for a detailed discussion of the build, or the video overview presented later in this review.
Something new that Lumintop has sent along are dedicated battery tubes for 2x18650, 3x18650 and 4x18650. This latter size is a surprise to me, as I didn't think the circuit support that many cells.
To date, they have only released these in the Asian market, but I understand they are interested to see if there is significant interest in the Western market as well. So speak up if you would like to see these offered at a vendor near you …
Shown above is the 2x18650 body tube, compared to two extenders on the regular body tube.
One nice feature is not having to worry about getting multiple extenders. I found the 2x18650 and 3x18650 worked well with all my various length cells. I haven't tried running the light on the 4x18650 battery tube.
Screw threading is of course exactly the same on these body tube replacements (i.e., you use the existing head and tailcap). Note the lack of anodizing on the tailcap end of the tubes. You should still be ok for lock-out given the anodizing within the tailcap, though.
One thing these dedicated 2x, 3x, and 4x battery tubes lack is a clip or grip ring attachment point. While they have some ridge detail to help with grip, they lack dedicated knurling.
User interface is unchanged on the TD15X. For a more overview of the build and user interface, please see my video overview:
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, or even run full-screen.
As before, no sign of PWM on the TD15X – I believe the light is current-controlled for its Lo/Med modes.
Strobe is unchanged from previous, 9.8 Hz on this sample.
First, here's a comparison of the original TD15 (XP-G R5) and Cool White TD15X from my original review:
TD-15 (XP-G R5) on the left, TD-15X (XM-L) on the right.
The new samples don't look any different, but here are a few pics of the Neutral White emitter version:
Below I'm showing the new Cool White sample on 1x18650 ("TD15X #2"), followed by the Neutral White sample on 2x18650 ("TD15-X Neutral"), on max output, on 1x18650. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall).
Sorry, I think I had the camera on automatic white balance (at least for the cool white shots), so tint differences are minimized. In real life, both the Cool White and Neutral White versions are comparable to other lights using these designations.
Scroll down to my summary tables and runtimes graphs for more info.
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.
I find my more recent Cool White version is not driven quite as hard on 2x battery sources as my original sample, but is otherwise pretty comparable. The Neutral white version has slightly lower output and throw, as expected.
On 1x18650, the newer TD15X Cool White seems largely unchanged from my earlier TD15X Cool White.
On 2x and 3x battery sources, there has been a clear change from the original build – the output now steps down after 5 mins runtime on max. This gives considerably longer runtimes now.
In my original review of the TD15X, I expressed concern about the sustained drive levels on 2x and 3x battery sources (and the concomitant heat produced). With the new step-down feature at 5 mins, these concerns are largely assuaged.
User interface in unchanged, and strobe is still located on the main sequence with the Lo, Med, Hi modes.
New dedicated 2x, 3x and 4x 18650 battery tubes have only minor ridge detail to help with grip (no clip or grip ring attachment point).
The TD15X has been a popular model for Lumintop. It was one of the first dedicated thrower XP-G lights (in its original TD15 form) to jump on the XM-L bandwagon.
I am glad to see the circuit update with the step-down feature after 5 mins on 2x and higher battery sources. I was always concerned about sustained drive levels (and heat) on the original model, and this is a thoughtful safety precaution. As a bonus, it also gives you much longer runtimes. This presumably also explains the official support of 2xRCR now - the drive currents are not as heavy on max.
The option for a Neutral White emitter is something that I am sure many will appreciated here.
The new dedicated battery tubes are an interesting option. I am not sure how well multiple extenders work on the standard body - tolerances can get tricky as you go to greater number of cells (i.e. need 2 extenders for 2x18650, 4 extenders for 3x18650, etc). I had no issue with any of my 18650 cells on the 2x and 3x dedicated battery tubes.
AFAIK, Lumintop has only released these dedicated battery tubes for sale in China so far. Feel free to let them know if you would like to see them available in the rest of the world.
For more information and greater discussion of the TD15X, please see my original review here.
Lumintop TD15X and battery tube samples provided by Lumintop for review.