Warning: pic heavy, as usual.
The M11R is the new version of the M10R from Sunwayman, which I reviewed previously. The M11R features a number of refinements over the older series light, which I will describe below. Sunwayman seems to have decided to the give the light its own name – the M11R is labeled as "Mr. Elfin" on the head.
Reported Manufacturer Specifications:
- LED: CREE XM-L U2 LED
- Output and runtime of three constant output modes: (uses one CR123A): 180 Lumens (1.5hrs) - 60 Lumens (10hrs) - 4 Lumens (70hrs)
- Turbo Mode: 230 Lumens (uses one 16340 battery, do not run the light continuously at turbo mode for more than 10 minutes)
- Two Hidden Modes: Strobe, SOS
- Digital Sensor Magnetic Control system, slightly twist the rotator ring to select from different modes
- Constant current circuit, constant output
- Effective range of 130 meters
- Uses one single CR123A (RCR123A/16340) battery
- Working voltage: 0.9~4.2V
- High quality OP reflector maintains great throw distance and spread with an ideal beam pattern
- Length: 2.95" (75 mm)
- Head diameter: 0.9" (23.2 mm)
- Weight: 1.6 oz (45.5 g) (battery excluded)
- Aerospace-grade aluminum alloy
- Military Specification Type III- hard anodized body
- Waterproof, in accordance with IPX-8 standard
- Ultra-clear tempered glass lens resists scratches and impacts
- Tail stand capable- can be used as a candle
- Accessories: Clip, Holster, O-ring, lanyard
- Also available in Natural finish
- MSRP: ~$75
Standard Sunwayman packaging included a belt holster, lanyard strap, extra o-rings, manual, warranty card and product insert. A sturdy clip is attached to the light by a pair of hex screws (no allen key was provided).
From left to right: CR123A; Sunwayman M11R, V11R, M10R; JetBeam PC10; Thrunite Neutron 1C; Zebralight SC30; 4Sevens Mini 123.
All dimensions are given with no batteries installed:
Sunwayman M11R: Weight 45.8g, Length: 76.4mm, Width (bezel): 23.1mm
Sunwayman V11R: Weight 50.5g, Length: 84.3mm, Width (bezel): 23.1mm
Sunwayman V11R with AA extender: Weight 59.70g, Length: 100.5mm, Width (bezel): 23.1mm
Rofis JR10: Weight 75.0g, Length (max): 110.6mm (angled): 92.9mm, Width (bezel): 24.8mm
Jetbeam PC10: Weight: 50.5g, Length: 93.6mm, Width (bezel): 22.6mm
Jetbeam BC10: Weight: 46.6g, Length: 90.3mm, Width (bezel): 23.2mm
Lumintop ED10: Weight: 21.5g, Length: 70.4mm, Width (bezel): 20.7mm
Thrunite Neutron 1C: Weight: 45.2g, Length: 91.5mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm
The M11R is certainly small for the class (one might even say "elfin-like" ).
The build is a nice update to the earlier M10R in a number of ways.
First, a comment about the anodizing – my sample came in a tan-finish, but I understand natural-finish is also available. All labels are fairly small and muted (given the lighter anodizing background).
Actual knurling has been added to both the body tube and control ring, enhancing grip. This makes the control ring easier to access by feel, and improves overall gripability.
There is also a sturdy clip attached, held in place by two screws on the base. Despite this, the light can still tailstand. There is also a split-ring attachment point off to one side of the base, which would allow the light to hang straight if put on a keychain or carabineer-style clip.
Screw threading size and diameter has not changed from the early Sunwayman lights, which means you can still mix-and-match heads and bodies across all models. Screw threads are anodized, for head lock-out.
With the head fully connected to the light, there are four options available on the magnetic control ring dial.
The first position is labeled "Off", but this could more accurately be called a stand-by mode.
The other three positions are labeled with Roman numerals (I, II, III), and refer to the relative output levels (i.e. Lo, Med and Hi, in that sequence). Turn the ring from Off through I, II, and III for the desired output level. Note there are firm detents at every output level.
There is a "hidden" strobe mode, which you activate by rapidly switching into the Hi mode twice (i.e. Hi > Med > Hi). Switch to any other mode to deactivate strobe.
And that's pretty much it. For a more detailed examination of the build and user interface, please see my video overview:
Video was recorded in 720p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 480p to 720p options. You can also run full-screen.
There is no sign of PWM that I can see, at any output level – I presume the light is current-controlled.
Strobe is a fairly typical fast "tactical" strobe, just under 12 Hz in my testing.
Due to the electronic switch design, the M11R will be drawing a small current when the head is fully connected and a battery is installed. Sunwayman reports this current as below 50uA in the manual.
When I attempted to measure this with my DMM, I got somewhat variable readings. For 1xCR123A installed, I measured between 40-50uA current. For a 1xRCR, I measured between 20-35uA current. Taking the average current readings for each battery type, that would give you just 3.5 years for a 1400mAh CR123A, and just over 3 years for a 750mAh RCR.
Those are pretty negligible power drains – and you can always break the circuit by simply the loosening the head a quarter turn.
The M11R has a fairly typical looking head for a light this size. The reflector is lightly textured (i.e., LOP). Emitter was not perfectly centered on my sample, but it was pretty good.
And now the white-wall beamshots. All lights are on Max output on 1x AW protected RCR in the first set of panels, followed by 1xCR123A in the second. Lights are 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.
And now on primary 3V 1xCR123A:
Again, about what you would expect for a head this size.
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 devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox 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. Effective March 2012, I have updated the Max Output ANSI FL-1 lumen estimates to represent peak output measured at 30 secs (my earlier gray tables were based on a later time point for Max output). Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables.
The reported 180 lumens Hi output spec on 1x CR123A seems a little understated in my testing, and the 4 lumen Lo output spec definitely seems overstated.
Although I didn't put it in the table, output at the ANSI FL-1 measuring standard on Med was an estimated ~65 lumens on 1xCR123A in my testing. But that number doesn't really tell the whole story - the regulation pattern is not perfectly flat initially at this level (see my runtimes below for more information).
On 1xRCR, the reported 230 lumens Hi output spec again seems understated for what I observed.
FYI, I estimate ~80 ANSI FL-1 lumens on Med 1xRCR.
Also, the reported 130m Beam Distance spec seems considerably optimistic, on either battery type. That would require 4,225 lux @1m, which is pretty far from what I measured, even on 1xRCR.
As you can see, the M11R on Hi is not as heavily-driven as some lights in this class (in keeping with its smaller build).
Overall output/runtime efficiency on Hi was reasonable for the class, but nothing more. Note that the reported 1.5 hour runtime is believable, as the ANSI FL-1 standard is time to 10% initial output.
Like my Sunwayman V11R, on primary batteries the M11R has a pronounced drop-off in output on Med, over the first ~5mins or so. While initially over 80 estimated lumens, the light eventually leveled off at something a little under ~40 estimated lumens. This makes the ANSI FL-1 standard of measuring between 30 secs to 2 mins somewhat less than meaningful (i.e. ~65 lumens in my testing, when measured that way).
And again, runtimes were reasonable at the Med level, but nothing more. The 10hr runtime spec for Med is very consistent with my findings (although overall output observed here is lower than the rated 60 lumen spec).
UPDATE MAY 12, 2012: With AA-extender in place:
Given that the control ring is an electronic switch, a standby current is present whenever the head is fully connected (i.e. even when the switch is set to "Off"). However, this current is at a fairly insignificant level (i.e., >3 years before a CR123A or RCR would be fully drained, based on my measurements). And you can always lock-out the light by twisting the head a quarter turn.
The pocket clip will scratch the anodizing on the head during battery changes, unless you physically hold it back. No allen/hex key was provided for the removing the pocket clip.
As before, relatively few screw threads hold the head onto the body – but this means the light continues to be backward compatible with all the earlier M- and V- series lights.
The reported ANSI FL-1 specifications do not seem very accurate for Max/Min output or throw, but do seem accurate for runtime.
The M- and V-series lights from Sunwayman have always seemed to me to be quality offerings in the CR123A and AA-class of lights.
The M11R has certainly come a long way from the first Sunwayman light I ever tested – an engineering sample M10R with a Cree XR-E emitter and a circuit that lack regulated support on RCR. I am glad to see Sunwayman continue to enhance and improve their offerings.
The M11R fixes a few of the remaining issues from the most recent M10R generation – specifically, the lack of suitable tactile differentiation of the control ring from the rest of the head, the lack of sufficient knurling/grip elements on the body, and a weak clip that can easily be pulled off. All of these are greatly improved on the new M11R. I particularly like the sturdy clip that is held in place by two hex screws (although it may scratch the anodizing on the head during battery changes). I also like the fact that the light can tailstand (even with the clip), and has a split-ring holder that won't interfere with tailstanding or straight-hanging.
Of course, there are some trade-offs to go with that – the clicky switch is gone now. This keeps the light shorter, but mandates the use of a standby current when the control ring is in the Off position. Sunwayman has wisely kept this current very low (below 50uA), which is pretty negligible (i.e., would take years to drain a battery). And you can always cut the current by loosening the head a quarter-turn, thanks to the anodized screw threads.
Speaking of anodizing, that is something else that has changed – Sunwayman has introduced a tan-finish coating for the M11R (reviewed here), in addition to their standard natural anodizing. I've always been a fan of the quality and color of the original natural Sunwayman anodizing, but options are generally good thing.
It's also interesting to see that Sunwayman has kept the threading consistent, on every iteration of the M- and V-series pocket lights. You can safely "lego" the various heads and bodies, to your heart's content.
The selection of output levels on the new M11R is good – on both 1xCR123A and 1xRCR. We have certainly come a long way from the first version of the circuit. I personally like the very low Lo mode (although my sample is clearly lower than the specs). In fact, the specs seem a little less than accurate on this model for both Hi and Lo (which is odd, since they seem pretty solid on the V11R I have also just reviewed).
IMO, the M11R is a nice upgrade to the line. The experience and maturity of the manufacturer shows here - they have continued to build on, and enhance, an existing product line (i.e., didn't just scrap it and start over). With the various options to mix-and-match parts across the current and previous M- and V-series lights, there should be enough options here for everyone. If you want to see how a clicky switch and continuously-variable control ring perform, please check out my recent V11R review.
M11R was supplied by Battery Junction for review.