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Thread: Review - Balder SE-2 updated version .. XM-L 1x18650

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* old4570's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Melbourne - Australia

    Default Review - Balder SE-2 updated version .. XM-L 1x18650

    http://mybalder.com/product/html/?60.html Link to Manufacturers Product Page ( Balder SE-2 )
    I would like to thank Balder for making this review possible :

    After my first review of the Balder SE-2 ( earlier version ) , seems many were not happy with the regulation , personally I thought it not to bad for a $35 flash light , but apparently I was in the minority . And Balder themselves were also not happy with the lights regulation , and therefore the light was modified to a much higher level . Seem Balder was not happy just producing a good light , they want to bring prospective customers the best possible flash light , no matter the price point targeted . $35 is the point where budget becomes mid priced , and is within the means of the budget minded , and Balder wants to bring a quality product to this segment of the market , something to entice people to quality , and the Balder SE-2 does just that .
    old review @ , FLN and CPF

    Spec's from Balder

    1. Mil-Spec Type III Hard Anodized finish.
    2. Made from Aluminum alloy, really strong.
    3. Water proof to IPX-8 standard.
    4. Precision Aluminum reflector (Orange Peel)
    5. Simple operation. High-Medium-Low. No SOS and strobe modes
    6. Single 18650 for stronger beam and longer runtime
    7. Tactical switch for momentary on.
    8. Prominent runtime
    9. Advanced Cree XML-T6 LED


    1. Dimension: Head diameter 33mm, Tail diameter 26mm, length 138mm
    2. Cree XML-T6 LED
    3. Lumen and runtime:
    Single 18650:
    Maximum output of 500 lumens for 1.5 hours
    Medium output of 120 lumens for 10 hours
    Minimum output of 20 lumens for 150 hours
    4. Material: Aircraft Aluminum Alloy T6061
    5. Weight: 110g (without battery)
    6. Water proof to IPX-8 standard
    7. Battery: Single 18650
    8. Accessories: O-rings, user’s manual, lanyardoptional accessories, holster(optional accessories)

    About the Regulation
    Now while I was happy with the first light , many were not , so lets see how the newer SE-2 does ..

    Testing Procedure :
    I ran the battery down in another light , and at various voltage levels tested the new SE-2 for output . And as can be seen the light maintained regulation all the way to 3.65v [ Battery Voltage measured outside the light ] So taking into account voltage sag under load etc , it would be quite a bit lower in actual use .. [ running ] I measured a maximum of 3A current draw from the light , which slowly dropped to 2.8A around 3.7v and still maintaining regulation , leading me to think that driver efficiency may actually increase as the battery depletes , ( as regulation was maintained ). Now when the light falls out of regulation , it lets you know with a short strobe . And every time you turn on the light once the battery can no longer maintain regulation, there is a short strobe, to let you know your no longer in regulation .
    High - Starts 690L and stabilizes @ 750L / Current draw started @ 2.3A and stabilized @ 3A
    Once the light warms up , it starts @ 730L and climbs to 750L
    Medium - 170L - 0.51A
    Low - 11L - 0.032A

    I have nothing to complain about [ ok , the rubber boot for the tail clicky stops tailstanding as it protrudes a little to much ] , this is a Flashlight that is evolving to become the best in class , in fact it would be near on impossible to match the quality and performance at this price point . Balder seems to be making a serious effort to bring quality to the lower end of the flash light market , and I can only applaud them for doing so . The Balder SE-2 represents a monumental effort on behalf of a company to lift standards , to bring better products to consumers , and be competitively priced . Balder has brought out the gauntlet and smacked the budget segment silly , and the only question begging an answer is , who is going to pick up the gauntlet ?

    Im very pleased to be chosen to review the updated SE-2 , and I must say it has not disappointed . Very much like the first light tested , the build quality is just fantastic , anodizing , fits , machining of the threads , everything is top notch . The Balder SE-2 is giving prospective owners fantastic value , that used to come at a much higher price point , and competes with the likes of Olight - Fenix - Jetbeam just to mention . Im not sure how Balder is doing it for the price , but if you can afford $35 , I cant think of a better place to spend it than on a Balder SE-2 .

    OP Reflector
    Well centred emitter
    Excellent Anodizing
    Excellent Cut Threads
    Excellent fit between parts
    Functional clip
    3 modes [ No memory - No junk modes ] Starts on High
    Regulated output
    Does not tailstand as clicky rubber boot sticks out the back some
    Above average beam

    Other than not tailstanding , the Balder SE-2 is brilliant , especially considering the selling price . With what I have seen so far I can only highly recommend this light , for anyone looking for a single 18650 solution to there lighting needs . There is nothing to complain about ( well , not from me ) , and I can see this light becoming my No1 to reach for light around the home or when I go for a evening walk , and I have to confess the earlier SE-2 was nudging the No1 spot for my evening walk light , seems the updated version is going to be a shoe in for my single 18650 light of choice .
    If there is no competition forthcoming to the Balder SE-2 in 2012 , it could very well be the light of the year ! ( Its quite possibly that good )
    Last edited by Norm; 01-28-2013 at 11:38 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Review - Balder SE-2 updated version .. XM-L 1x18650

    Thanks for the nice write-up. I have one and agree that it is a lot of light for the money for anyone wanting a quality 18650 without all kinds of seldom-used bells and whistles. I have been enthusiastically recommending it to many skeptical friends who think that it's not possible to get a very well made light for such a low price.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Georgia Highway 441

    Default Re: Review - Balder SE-2 updated version .. XM-L 1x18650

    yeah this is a great review, thanks!
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
    my lights - review of PrecisionWorks - that's Gucci Mane in my avatar

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* old4570's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Melbourne - Australia

    Default Re: Review - Balder SE-2 updated version .. XM-L 1x18650

    Ok , after a few requests I have just completed a runtime test to see how long the light remains in regulation :

    Apparently there was some question of how long the light remains in regulation : = 50 Minutes on a Sanyo 2600
    Now if you look close enough at the pictures you will see the light is sitting in Water [ yes - water cooling ]
    How ever all is not a bed of roses unfortunately .
    After some 18minutes , the light strobe'd and continued to do so once every minute for another 32minutes of fully regulated output ...
    After 50 minutes the output dropped very quickly and the light was doing 200 @ 51minutes and about 100 15 seconds latter . Batt voltage was 3.5v when I removed the battery .
    I dare say , the SE-2 may need some more work ...
    So it would seem some were doing run time tests and the light began to strobe [ once every minute for me ] and they thought the light was no longer in regulation ..
    What it could be is the voltage warning level , as the light pulls about 3A on high , there will be a lot of voltage sag under such current draw .
    So even though the battery has plenty of juice , the voltage sag kicks in the warning strobe ...
    Im just wondering at what voltage the warning strobe is set for ? [ maybe 3.5v or 3.6v ? ] With such high current draw , perhaps a much lower setting is needed ..

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* eebowler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Trinidad and Tobago.

    Default Re: Review - Balder SE-2 updated version .. XM-L 1x18650

    Thank you for the reviw!
    When was the last time you washed your feet?

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Overclocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Default Re: Review - Balder SE-2 updated version .. XM-L 1x18650

    Is that a forward-clicky that changes modes are you press it???

    What a joke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Review - Balder SE-2 updated version .. XM-L 1x18650

    I just picked up 2 of these from Lighhound store in Houston and they are a great value. Does everyone know there are strobe modes hidden? Just go to low and hold until it blinks. Then you have the additional 3 strobe types (plus hi-med-low). To eliminate the strobes, go to low again and hold for the blink then you're back to 3 modes.

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