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Thread: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

  1. #91
    Flashaholic* Rosoku Chikara's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by J_C View Post
    ...The rear switch broke. It wasn't worth fixing...<snip>
    Did you take the switch apart and examine it? There really isn't anything in there to "break." (Much like ancient cars that almost "cannot be killed," the Sipik SK68 uses very simple parts, so short of electrical failure of the driver itself, there really isn't much in there that can truly go permanently wrong. Everything is extremely easy to take apart and put back together again.)

    In any case, many many satisfied users will attest to the fact that they have used their Sipik SK68 and/or clone on a daily basis for years without switch failure. (I guess you must have gotten unlucky. Such things do happen. If the flashlight is DOA or fails within the first day or two, even those direct from China sellers are usually happy to send you a replacement for free.)

    Anyway, let's just "agree to disagree" and call it a day.
    Last edited by Rosoku Chikara; 03-01-2014 at 04:57 AM.
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  2. #92

    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    i certainly don't need all the things that my SRT7 can do. i bought it as an expensive toy. most would buy a flashlight of that quality because they really need it.

    if $4 flashlight gives you all that you need in a flashlight then i would agree in saying why pay more?

  3. #93

    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by J_C View Post
    I pay more so I don't have to deal with all the generics and I'm especially not going to go to even further hassle of remembering all the generic brands and models to list. The whole point is NOT to do any of this, not to buy, order, break, then discuss inferior lights that have already proven to me to be a false value for regular use.

    I feel the same way about many items like pocket knives, other tools, clothing, etc. Give me quality over quantity. I only use one at a time.
    As Rosoku Chikara already mentioned, this is an common misconception. You cannot buy quality with money. It is either there or it is not. If you see piece of junk, it does not matter if it costs $4, or $400 --- that is still an piece of junk. The observation that higher priced items have better quality is absolute nonsense, especially when talking about "chinese flashlights". Usually, the expensive "branded" piece and the "non name" piece are machined on the same equipment, in the same plant by the same worker. It just so happens, that one ends up in the bin for sale to "those guys from America who ordered that we stamp XYZ on it, and paid crazy money" --- while the other ends up in the bin "we need to sell this stuff". As you ca imagine (or probably, you can't), more attention will be paid later to sell the "other" bin items to happy buyers.

    It is just a cultural difference. If, the $40 Sipik SK68 was made in Sweden and the $4 one in China, one could argue that perhaps, might be, the Swedish one could posses some nice qualities. Or at least some absurd attention to detail. But truth is, both are made in China. It is just that one is sold by a Chinese seller direct from factory at $4 (and no taxes of any kind paid in the chain), while the other one.. you know, feeds a lot of union leaders in the chain.

    Sad reality.

  4. #94
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by danbi View Post
    As Rosoku Chikara already mentioned, this is an common misconception. You cannot buy quality with money. It is either there or it is not. If you see piece of junk, it does not matter if it costs $4, or $400 --- that is still an piece of junk. The observation that higher priced items have better quality is absolute nonsense, especially when talking about "chinese flashlights". Usually, the expensive "branded" piece and the "non name" piece are machined on the same equipment, in the same plant by the same worker. It just so happens, that one ends up in the bin for sale to "those guys from America who ordered that we stamp XYZ on it, and paid crazy money" --- while the other ends up in the bin "we need to sell this stuff". As you ca imagine (or probably, you can't), more attention will be paid later to sell the "other" bin items to happy buyers.

    Sad reality.
    Sorry but I disagree.

    Some of what you say may be correct re products made on the same machines in the same factories but in general, there is very little quality control or attention to detail on most budget (eBay rubbish) lights. Some do not work at all straight out of the box and need to cleaned, lubed or soldered before even functioning at all. Thermal paste under the emitter is often missing completely or pills are hollow to save half a cent in material. Threads are crap, material is thin, anodising is simply paint, o-rings are missing, broken or wrongly sized, drivers are the cheapest 3 mode available, etc......

    The whole "Budget" sub-community of flashlight junkies is aware of this which is why there is so much discussion around finding the little gems that can be "modded" into something more useful and satisfying.

    Some will buy nothing less than Surefire, HDS, Malkoff, etc. For some of us, this is unaffordable and might not be good value for money.

    But there are the likes of Fenix, Olight, Armtek, Thrunite and others - Chinese lights that cost a little more. To say that these lights (for which you pay a little more) are the same junk you can buy for $4 on eBay is absolute nonsense!

    Unfortunately, the general public is not aware of any of this. What they get is ripped off by sellers making vastly inflated claims regarding output, beam and runtimes.

    And that is what the OP was talking about when this thread started.

  5. #95
    Flashaholic langham's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Yeah, but I mod a lot of cheap garbage lights and have had a lot of success. In fact there has only ever been one light that I got and didn't bother with, and it was one with a hollow pill as mentioned above. I was attempting to build a light with batteries and a charger for less than $20 for secret santa, didn't work out. I built someone a $15 drop in for a Surefire light and when I said that I always wanted a surefire he asked me why when I could make lights as bright as I do for so cheap. The truth is that I would love to have a Surefire for the above mentioned attention to detail and QC. They have wonderful anodizing that is top notch smooth and hard. That being said I own several Thrunite flashlights a Supbeam and some generic stuff, but no other expensive lights. I just can't justify the price tag. If you want quality you are going to have to do some modifying yourself. You can buy a Surefire if you want, but they have ancient leds that have poor lm/watt ratings. To the above guy with issues, I always advise that people make sure of a few things, fist that the tail switch isn't the problem. You do this by taking the tail switch off and using something to short the body to the - terminal of the battery. Then you make sure the battery isn't the problem. Then you take off the optics/reflector to ensure that nothing is shorting the led leads. And then you should take the pill out and ensure that the wires for the positive and negative are not shorted/broken. The pill itself may also not have a good connection to the negative, or the body. These steps normally help, and if they don't well a SPIK isn't all that expensive just buy 5 more.

  6. #96

    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrispyCritter View Post
    That's why I always look at rating and review before buying things. I bought a "Ultrafire 1000 LM WF-502B CREE XM-L T6 5-Mode LED Flashlight Torch (With Batteries and Charger)" for under $15..so far very happy for the price. Also have another one coming without batteries for under $8. I'm sure this one will be fine too. So for around $22 I got 2 lights w/batteries and a charger. So far I gave the light 5 stars (can change it later if I have issues) even though I knew the claims are "exaggerated" about the batteries and lumens.
    I would no more buy an Ultrafire battery & charging combo, than rent a camel and ride it to work everyday!

    Every light I own is a name-brand $50+ light.

    For a little while now, I've become interested in reading review posts from people who've bought Sipik's and Sipik clones. I've become absolutely amazed at the positive reviews they've received. They rave about how bright they are, even with just an alkaline battery...all the while ASSUMING they're looking at a 300lm beam! They even marvel at the "square" zoomed-in effect of the LED! I keep asking myself, have they ever even SEEN the beam of a Fenix (or any other regular-priced flashlight) before? What are they comparing this inferior light with to even "think" that it's even worth a few dollars? Would they even know the difference between a $5 light or a $50 light if each hand held one?

    Anyway, I saw a Sipik-type 300lm zoomable clone on Amazon for $4, which had over 1000 mostly positive reviews! It's in the mail to me now. I'm anxious to compare it to any 1 AA cell (comparable) light that I own. I want to prove to myself that either these lights are better than I assume, or that most of the reviewers don't have a CLUE as to what a quality flashlight looks or feels like.
    Last edited by RBWNY; 03-13-2014 at 12:07 PM.

  7. #97
    Flashaholic* uk_caver's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Well, they could be comparing it with some ancient incan, or a N*5mm LED light they got free with five gallons of fuel, and they may be legitimately impressed and happy with it.

    I can't expect other people to share my particular feelings towards lights.
    I'm very headlamp oriented, and have personal requirements stressing durability/reliability, runtime, beamshape[s] and controllability, but I'm not greatly bothered about cosmetics or immense output, or light weight.

    Some people would get a genuine kick out of the quality feel of a perfectly-finished light, some people not so much.

    Some people don't need a light they can particularly depend on.
    Some people do, and might be able to get a more trustworthy light by paying for one, if they know the background of various brands and models.

    Having said that, when it comes to Li-Ion cells of unknown quality and cheap chargers, maybe it's more a case of a Ford Pinto than a camel...

  8. #98
    Flashaholic langham's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    I don't like any stock chinese lights, but modded you can't tell the difference. For $50 I can make a light that you can not touch with a stock light of comparable size, of any price. The Thrunite Linx is almost and exception to this, because it has such a nice driver. Other than that though they are made out of solid aluminum and have nice pills usually the Spik's are good quality. The lens is plastic though so it does scratch. I have only owned a couple, but the little ones that run off of a AA are great. You can put a 14500 in most of those and get that 300lm mark that you are looking for, but they will get hot pretty quick.

  9. #99

    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Personally I usually choose lights in the $60 - $100 range. Fenix, zebra, nitecore. The reason is they're tough enough to be dropped a whole bunch and not break, blindingly bright, have a nice UI, are pocketable, have been 100% trustworthy so far, and are cheap enough that when the next led comes out or the tech gets smaller or whatever I can upgrade. Usually about once a year. Could I spend $300 per light? Sure but would that light be $240 better then my night core p12? Not a chance. As you get to the highest end gear the added functionality comes at an ever more expensive premium. I also have a light to use as an emergency self defense pocket stick. So if I have to pound someone with it I'd rather it be reasonably priced and easily replaceable. So basically it's because of the speed at which the tech is being developed and upgraded, and the exceptional value for the functionality you get in a "budget light" that I choose them.
    Now take knives for example. Here is tech that's moving slowly. This is a place where I'll spend the $400 - whatever to have the best. My $400 busse combat TGLB is gonna be just as tough and sharp as the best knives available 10, 20, even 30 years from now. And for that added money I get a no questions asked lifetime of the KNIFE warrenty. So basically if my kid breaks it 50 years from now because he decides to pound it through a railroad track with a sledge hammer busse will give him a brand new one. Give me that type of warrenty and longevity and sure I'll fork over even an extra $500 for the best. But with the way things are moving I'll stick to my "budget" lights.

  10. #100
    Flashaholic langham's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    I see your point Coldblooded, I personally don't like to get the newest and best flashlight. I like the ones that I have so I just upgrade the ones that I have. There aren't very many flashlights out there that I think would be worth spending more than $200 on. I like having cool lights as much as the next guy, but count me out for the more expensive lights. I like my cheaper lights more anyway, they just feel more manageable.

  11. #101

    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    I know, check out this latest malarky, where they're claiming a ludicrous 5300 mAH for 18650s.

    Mislabeled batteries are very likely the cheapest of the cheap, and in the 1500 mAH range -- if the buyer is lucky.


  12. #102

    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Oh, wait, it gets even better...

    The false claims for 18650 cells are up to 6,000 mAH now.

    It's mind-boggling, but people who don't know any better are being misled.


  13. #103
    Flashaholic langham's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    I like that, can you imagine if that were real though? You would never have to recharge. I don't know why anyone would buy one of those no way you should believe they are real.

  14. #104
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    Buttrock Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    The average joe has no CLUE what it even means....he just sees the 3000 mah are more $ than the 2000 mah, so higher must be better, and then he sees a 10,000 mah, and figures, "well, this must be the best, I don't see any higher (until next week), so I'll get the top of the line 10,000 mah suretocatchfire premium ultra super fancy 18650. I mean, heck, its only $10 for 5 of them. I can't believe those RIP OFF ARTISTS selling ONE 3400 mah 18650 for the price of FIVE 10 THOUSAND Mah 18650....the NERVE!

    And the 20 million lumen CREE tactical genuine Royal British Army flashlight was only $8 too, WITH real aerospace aluminum! I LOVE eBay!"

    Last edited by TEEJ; 04-22-2014 at 12:43 PM.

  15. #105
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    The average joe has no CLUE what it even means....he just sees the 3000 mah are more $ than the 2000 mah, so higher must be better, and then he sees a 10,000 mah, and figures, "well, this must be the best, I don't see any higher (until next week), so I'll get the top of the line 10,000 mah suretocatchfire premium ultra super fancy 18650. I mean, heck, its only $10 for 5 of them. I can't believe those RIP OFF ARTISTS selling ONE 3400 mah 18650 for the price of FIVE 10 THOUSAND Mah 18650....the NERVE!

    And the 20 million lumen CREE tactical genuine Royal British Army flashlight was only $8 too, WITH real aerospace aluminum! I LOVE eBay!"



  16. #106
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    The average joe has no CLUE what it even means....he just sees the 3000 mah are more $ than the 2000 mah, so higher must be better, and then he sees a 10,000 mah, and figures, "well, this must be the best, I don't see any higher (until next week), so I'll get the top of the line 10,000 mah suretocatchfire premium ultra super fancy 18650. I mean, heck, its only $10 for 5 of them. I can't believe those RIP OFF ARTISTS selling ONE 3400 mah 18650 for the price of FIVE 10 THOUSAND Mah 18650....the NERVE!

    And the 20 million lumen CREE tactical genuine Royal British Army flashlight was only $8 too, WITH real aerospace aluminum! I LOVE eBay!"

    I had to walk a fried through this, and even showed them this thread. They couldn't believe it. It was both hilarious and eye-opening to see their reactions.

  17. #107
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    The average person probably doesn't care about capacity of rechargeable batteries, but they do care about brightness of their lights. When I looked to upgrade to 14500 in my clone light to increase brightness (so I heard), I just typed "14500 battery" and pretty much bought the first result on Amazon. Both 14500 batteries are in my younger siblings' hands, ready to be left in the cheap chargers for days on end, forgotten. Fortunately they have such abysmally low capacity that there is probably little risk of venting or explosion. A brand new 14500, light used a minute a day on high, dead after a week.

  18. #108
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by LanthanumK View Post
    The average person probably doesn't care about capacity of rechargeable batteries, but they do care about brightness of their lights. When I looked to upgrade to 14500 in my clone light to increase brightness (so I heard), I just typed "14500 battery" and pretty much bought the first result on Amazon. Both 14500 batteries are in my younger siblings' hands, ready to be left in the cheap chargers for days on end, forgotten. Fortunately they have such abysmally low capacity that there is probably little risk of venting or explosion. A brand new 14500, light used a minute a day on high, dead after a week.
    I wouldn't be leaving ANY kind of Li-Ion cell in "younger siblings" hands or "left in cheap chargers". Strongly suggest you acquaint yourself with any of the many care and handling threads here at CPF. Low capacity has absolutely nothing to do with risk of venting or explosion unless it is to make it more likely due to the chance that these crappy cells have no or fake protection circuits.

    If you really must use 14500s, get a quality brand and a decent charger and have a think about whether you should be putting these in the hands of kids (if that is the younger siblings you refer to) at all.

  19. #109
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    BTW the brand is Ultrafire. I tell them to remove the batteries as soon as the charger turns green but occasionally they forget. I used the battery for a few months before passing it on.

  20. #110
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by LanthanumK View Post
    BTW the brand is Ultrafire. I tell them to remove the batteries as soon as the charger turns green but occasionally they forget. I used the battery for a few months before passing it on.
    These can be dangerous. You really should not let kids play with them.

    Although, to be fair, I have a younger sibling, but he's in his 50's.



    BTW - Where in NJ are you?

    Last edited by TEEJ; 05-03-2014 at 01:54 PM.

  21. #111
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    The average joe has no CLUE what it even means....he just sees the 3000 mah are more $ than the 2000 mah, so higher must be better, and then he sees a 10,000 mah, and figures, "well, this must be the best, I don't see any higher (until next week), so I'll get the top of the line 10,000 mah suretocatchfire premium ultra super fancy 18650. I mean, heck, its only $10 for 5 of them. I can't believe those RIP OFF ARTISTS selling ONE 3400 mah 18650 for the price of FIVE 10 THOUSAND Mah 18650....the NERVE!

    And the 20 million lumen CREE tactical genuine Royal British Army flashlight was only $8 too, WITH real aerospace aluminum! I LOVE eBay!"


    It's not just Ebay. As Amazon has made it easier for sellers to list items for sale through their web site, and even provide distribution and warehousing for the sellers, their seller claims have gotten to be ridiculous too in many instances. 15 LED, 18,000 Lumen flashlights and 4000 mAh batteries are only examples that you can find offered on there. Some even with "Amazon Prime" free two day shipping included for Prime members. I REALLY wish that Amazon would monitor sellers listings for obviously false claims as Amazon buyers now need to be as knowledgeable and educated about what they are buying as eBay buyers do.
    Last edited by Richwouldnt; 05-18-2014 at 11:33 AM.

  22. #112

    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by Wentil View Post
    Oh, wait, it gets even better...

    The false claims for 18650 cells are up to 6,000 mAH now.

    It's mind-boggling, but people who don't know any better are being misled.

    6000mAH????!! "Genuine" or not...it's a ____-FIRE"......For ME---'Nuff said!!
    I'd bet serious $$ that dropping that last "0"....would better equate to the TRUE mAH output!!!!
    YMMV......but I'd RUN.....NOT WALK....away from this kind of "deal"!!!!

  23. #113

    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    XML T6 gives near 1000lm only when the current comes to 3A which must make the flashlight heats very quickly! And part of lm will loose when using, so a flashlight with a single XML T6 can never ever gave 1000lm! Sellers who claim products give 2000lm are just wanna catch your attention. But actually 500lm is bright enough for daily use.

    About 18650 battery, do you really believe 4000mAh at $3 each? I don't think so.

  24. #114
    Flashaholic langham's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    The Thrunite Lynx is a single XM-L2 and is 1000lm OTF, and it doesn't get that hot. Using direct copper mounted led and a large surface area head the led stays relatively cool.

  25. #115

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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by Brain2014 View Post
    XML T6 gives near 1000lm only when the current comes to 3A which must make the flashlight heats very quickly! And part of lm will loose when using, so a flashlight with a single XML T6 can never ever gave 1000lm! Sellers who claim products give 2000lm are just wanna catch your attention. But actually 500lm is bright enough for daily use.
    2000 lumens from a single XM-L2 is still fantasy...but you can get at least 1600 lumens out of one. Vinh does it all the time. But for stock lights, as far as I know, claiming more than AROUND 1000 lumens is a red flag. It is possible, but caveat emptor! If you see any claims that look high, check it out first, and you might save yourself a hassle.

    As for 18650s, currently 3600 mAh is the maximum.

  26. #116

    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by thedoc007 View Post
    2000 lumens from a single XM-L2 is still fantasy...but you can get at least 1600 lumens out of one.
    1600 lumens from an XML2? Looking at the spec sheet, you'd probably need to put 5 or 6 amps into the LED to get that kind of output. How long would the LED last being driven that hard? The spec sheet tops out at 3 amps.

  27. #117

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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by Etsu View Post
    1600 lumens from an XML2? Looking at the spec sheet, you'd probably need to put 5 or 6 amps into the LED to get that kind of output. How long would the LED last being driven that hard? The spec sheet tops out at 3 amps.
    Vinh is a modder here...regularly boosts XM-L2 to 6.5 amps or so. Up to 1750 LED lumens. And I have yet to hear of an LED dying because of it. Drivers, yes, but not the LEDs. If you heat-sink it well, and don't run it for too long at one time, it seems to be fine. I'm sure the life will be reduced, but if it goes from 50,000 hours to 5,000 hours, that is still a pretty long time. By the time that goes, you'll probably either have a light to replace it, or at least want an emitter swap. Not really a big drawback in my opinion.

  28. #118
    Flashaholic langham's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    You can't run a light that hard for very long anyway without active cooling, if you just calculate the waist heat you will realize why. The led is very inefficient after 2.8A anyway and driving it that hard doesn't help. The battery will get hot as well so the light will not be able to be held after just a couple minutes. The lifespan is reduced, but not as much as you would think and if you run a light for less than a minute at a time it will take a long time to run it for even 1000 hrs. Most of the lights that he makes are bought by collectors and are rarely used for anywhere near the life expectancy of the light. He will typically put multiple modes in anyway and those are the ones that you would use most.

  29. #119

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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    Quote Originally Posted by langham View Post
    You can't run a light that hard for very long anyway without active cooling.
    That really depends on the light, and the ambient conditions. I have a K40vn, for example. Around 1600 lumens, 6-6.5 amps. And I can run it for fifteen minutes (at the highest level) non-stop in cool weather, and indefinitely in cold weather (well, until the cells run out). Three cells have no trouble at all delivering two amps each. And the host is large and well heat-sinked, so it isn't that big of a deal most of the time. Certainly isn't a one minute maximum, like you said. Even in hot weather, it can do more than that without trouble.

    You are certainly correct that it generates more heat, and is less efficient, but it also allows amazing throw. If you de-dome and boost current, you can often triple the throw of a stock light. To me, that is well worth it, in most cases.

  30. #120
    Flashaholic langham's Avatar
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    Default Re: CAUTION !! Misleading budget battery and lumen claims

    I know that a host the size of the K40 will allow that kind of dissipation. I have a modded TN31 with a 5mm*31mm copper heatsink that I made myself that will run for a while before getting too hot to handle. The topic lead me to believe that we were discussing a single 18650 host not a 3*18650 host, which based on your estimation of 15 minutes with a host that size would be pretty difficult to pull. My TN31 can run untill the batteries run out on Hi in any conditions less than 110F and still be held, but it has a massive copper heat-sink and is far from stock in relation to heat-sinking to the body of the light.

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