Warning: pic heavy, as usual.
The T40CS is a new high-output "thrower" light from Sunwayman. It looks remarkably like the Surefire UB3T, but how does it perform? Scroll on, gentle reader …
Manufacturer's Reported Specifications:
- LED: CREE XM-L T6
- Control Scheme: Tactical Forward Click Tail Switch with Side press button switch for mode changes
- Three modes: Constant output, Hidden strobe, Hidden SOS
- Runtimes (Using two 2600mAh 18650 batteries)
- High: 788 Lumens for 1.5h
- Medium: 220Lumens for 8h
- Low 20 Lumens for 60h
- Strobe: 788 Lumens
- SOS: 788 Lumens
- Constant current circuit provides constant output for life of batteries
- Effective range of 500 meters
- Battery Compatibility: 2x18650, 4xCR123A (Not Included)
- Working voltage: 5.5~16.8V
- High quality reflector maintains great throw distance and spread with an ideal beam pattern
- Length: 225mm
- Head Diameter: 64mm
- Tail Diameter: 25.4mm
- Weight: 273g (Without Batteries)
- Body Material: Aircraft Grade Aluminum Alloy
- Finish: Military Specification Type III Hard Anodized
- IPX8 Waterproof to 2m
- Ultra-clear tempered glass lens resists scratches and impacts
- Included Accessories: tactical ring, holster, O-ring, rubber cap
- MSRP: ~$120
Packaging is a sturdy cardboard box with built-in packaging foam. Inside is the light (with removable grip ring attached), belt holster, extra o-rings and tailcap boot cover, manual and Sunwayman product inserts.
From left to right: Redilast Protected 18650; Sunwayman T40CS, Surefire UB3T, JetBeam M1X V2, JetBeam BC40, Thrunite Catapult V3
All dimensions are given with no batteries installed:
Sunwayman T40CS: Weight: 296.7g, Length 227, Width (bezel): 63.5mm
Surefire UB3T: Weight: 311.1g, Length 229mm, Width (bezel): 63.1 mm
JetBeam BC40: Weight: 226.3g, Length: 224mm, Width (bezel): 48.5mm
Thrunite Catapult V3: Weight: 434.8g, Length: 254mm, Width (bezel) 58.0mm, Width (tailcap) 35.1mm.
Skilhunt X3 (no extender): Weight: 251.8g, Length: 193mm, Width (bezel): 44.1mm
Olight M31 (no extender): Weight: 258.1g, Length 209mm, Width (bezel): 62.3mm
Overall dimensions (and styling) are very similar to the Surefire UB3T (although that light is only 3xCR123A).
As always, Sunwayman has outstanding quality anodizing – in a rich, dark brown-grey. There is not much real knurling, except for a band around the tailcap. The T40CS does have a number of raised concentric rings near the head of the light (presumably to help with grip and heat dissipation). Body tube has familiar Synwayman styling. Overall grip is certainly decent, although I note there is no apparent clip or lanyard attachment point.
Labels are fairly minimal, but clear in bright white against the dark background.
Light has a flat stainless steel bezel ring. The light cannot tailstand
Rear tailcap is a forward clicky switch. Note the square-cut screw threads at both ends of the battery tube, fully anodized at the tailcap for lock-out.
There is a secondary side switch near the head. This switch is an electronic switch, and controls the output levels of the light when on. Scroll down for an explanation of the interface.
There is also a spring in the head, allowing you to use the newer high-capacity flat-top 18650 cells. All my flat-top 18650 cells worked fine in the light.
The T40CS uses a forward tailcap clicky for on/off - press and release for momentary on, click for locked on.
Mode switching is controlled by the electronic switch in the head. When On, clicking the side switch puts the light into a standby Off mode. Click again to turn the light back on. Press and hold the switch to cycle between Hi – Med – Lo, in repeating sequence.
The light has memory with the side switch – if you put it into standby mode, it remembers the last level used and returns to it when you switch back. Note there is no memory if you click-off or unscrew the rear tailcap – the light will always come back on in Max output when connecting/activating the rear tailcap.
There are "hidden" strobe and SOS modes, accessed by double-clicking the side switch when on. Double-click once for strobe, double-click twice for SOS. Double-click again to return to constant on.
For a more detailed examination of the build and user interface, please see my video overview:
Video was recorded in 720p, 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 to 720p options, or even run full-screen.
There is no sign of PWM that I can see, at any output level. Either they are using a frequency that is too high for me to detect, or the light is actually current-controlled as claimed.
Strobe is a tactical 12.5 Hz.
If you twist-off or click-off the light at the tailcap, there is no standby drain (i.e. the physical switch is off).
However, with the light on at the tailcap, there is always a current to the emitter – even when in the "standy off" mode of the side switch.
Unfortunately, I am not able to measure it accurately, as I need to use the 10A port on my DMM. Because the light always comes on in Max output when connecting at the tail (Max measured at 1.47A on 2x18650, if you are curious ), I would blow the uA/mA port if I tried to get a more sensitive reading. After switching the side switch to standby, I recorded 0.003A - which would translate into 36 days for 2600mAh 18650 batteries.
But again, that is only a crude estimate on the 10A port. In any case, I recommend you store the light locked out at the tailcap (clicked-off, or twisted-off) when not in use.
The T40CS uses a Cool White XM-L emitter, well centered on my sample (with a hint of black centering disc around it, as you can see in the top pic above). Reflector is not very deep for the head diameter, but it is remarkably smooth – this has to be one of the most polished reflectors I've seen. The lens also seems remarkably clear, with a very noticeable anti-glare coating.
As an aside, the reflection is so good on the T40CS that you might have noticed some apparent lettering in the pic above. Here's a blow-up:
That is the mirrored reflection of the front of my Canon S5 lens (in reverse, it reads "CANON ZOOM LENS 12X"). Don't think I've ever seen that reflected before.
And now, what you have all been waiting for. All lights are on 2xAW protected 18650 (3xCR123A for the UB3T), 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.
The T40CS is definitely a superb thrower for a XM-L-based light, with a sharply defined hotspot. I would say it slightly out-throws all of the competition above. Of course, that comes at a cost – it also has more prominent beam rings than any of the others.
Spillbeam width is also quite wide on the T40CS, likely due to the wide - but less deep than typical - reflector.
And now for the outdoor shots:
These beamshots were done in the style of my earlier 100-yard round-up review. Please see that thread for a discussion of the topography (i.e. the road dips in the distance, to better show you the corona in the mid-ground).
You can see the excellent throw of the TC40S, with a tight hotspot (i.e. much narrower than the UB3T). Hotspot is closer in size to the Thrunite Catapult, but spillbeam width is noticeably wider on the T40CS. You can also see the beam rings on the T40CS.
Beam tint is always variable, but my sample is slightly warm for a cool white (compared to the UB3T, which is slightly cool). Again, YMMV ...
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:
My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the 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.
As you would expect from the beamshots, max output and throw are excellent on the T40CS – top of class, in fact.
Although hard to provide reliable estimates, I would say Sunwayman's 788 lumens ANSI FL-1 spec is very reasonable (and maybe even a bit conservative).
The T40CS shows excellent output/runtime efficiency, on both the Med and Hi levels tested.
Regulation pattern is also extremely flat at all levels tested.
When taking into account the higher capacity 18650 cells used by Sunwayman (2600 mAh), ANSI FL-1 runtime values are reasonable. My Med mode runtime was a bit lower, but my estimated output level is closer to ~300 lumens (compared to the 200 lumen spec).
Light always comes on in Max mode, unless you turn "off" by the side-switch (which is actually a standby mode). The standby current is hard to measure accurately, but seems to be high enough to fully drain 2x18650 in just over a month.
The light lacks knurling as such, although the various build elements do help with grip.
Light lacks a clip or lanyard attachment ring.
While an excellent thrower, the light has significant beam rings.
The T40CS is a solid, high-output "thrower light", very reminiscent in overall styling to the recent Surefire UB3T.
I'm impressed with the level of throw of the T40CS, given the size of the reflector. Although it is fairly wide (the light uses a 2.5 inch bezel diameter), it is not as deep as most throwers in this class. But it is clearly designed for maximum throw, and projects a well-defined hotspot a good distance (in keeping with, or slightly exceeding, the other high-output thrower lights compared here).
Spillbeam width is wider than typical for this class, likely due to the unique reflector dimensions. The high-gloss polish of the reflector, along with the crystal-clear anti-reflective coating of the lens, produce a very distinctive beam. But note there are also quite noticeable beam rings.
Max output and throw are top-of-class for a XM-L light. Runtime efficiency and circuit regulation patterns are excellent at all levels tested.
The dual-control rear tailcap on/off switch and electronic mode-changing side switch is interesting. The user interface with the side switch is thoughtful, and I am glad to see the strobe modes are "hidden" behind a double-click. Note that the standby current seems high enough to warrant storing the light locked-out when not in use, but short periods should be fine.
Overall build quality is excellent. Grip is acceptable, although I wish they had thought to bundle a wrist lanyard and lanyard ring for the light.
Is this a "poor man's" UB3T? I suppose in some ways it is – the body styling certainly gives a comparable impression. Max output and throw are similar (the Surefire FM24 diffuser even fits the T40CS perfectly). But of course, the beam patterns are quite different (i.e., the UB3T uses a TIR optic). The user interfaces and battery configurations are also different.
At the end of the day, the T40CS stands on its own as an impressive light, with its own distinctive interface and beam pattern. Another 2x18650 high-output "thrower" light for you to consider, and at a more attractive price point than some.
Sunwayman T40CS provided by Battery Junction for review.