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Thread: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

  1. #1

    Popcorn Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Warning: a LOT more pic heavy than usual.



    The D25-series from Eagletac has recently been updated with all new "Clicky" models (i.e., lights use a tailcap clicky switch to control on/off and perform some mode changes).

    There are actually a large number of battery models, circuits and emitters available in this line, and I won't be covering all of them here. Instead, I have four models on hand for review: the D25C XM-L U2, the D25C XP-G S2, the D25A XP-G S2, and the D25LC2 XM-L U2, all in cool white. Not examined are the D25A, D25C2, the alternate circuit version of the D25LC2 (with XP-G emitter), or any of neutral-tint emitter options.

    Since this is a lot to make sense of, I will start out with a general overview of the line, with common build features described. I will then examine each specific model in detail – presenting size comparisons, beamshot comparisons, throw, output and runtime testing comparisons (all relative to others of their respective classes). Finally, some general comments at the end.

    Before I get started, here are the general Manufacturer specs on the D25 Clicky line, and specific specs on the models I am testing. Note that finding accurate specs on this series can be complicated, due to all the options (i.e. the common bundled manual only presents general ranges). Below are taken from the Eagletac website technical specs for each model reviewed here. Note also that outputs and runtime typically refer to output group 2 (Moonlight) where available, and not the default output group 1. I will explain all of this later in the review.

    Common D25C Clicky-Series Specs

    • All lights available with XM-L U2 or XP-G S2 LED emitters, in Cool White or Neutral White tints
    • Two groups (1 & 2) output, selected by twisting head/bezel
    • Three levels brightness and seven hidden modes (strobe, beacon, SOS, flash, etc) at group 1 (head loosen)
    • Turbo output and tactical strobe output at group 2 (head tighten)
    • Stainless steel bezel coated with durable titanium in dark grey
    • Syntax ultra-clear glass lens w/ harden and both-side AR coating
    • Type III finish / aerospace grade aluminum
    • Stainless steel pocket clip in highly polished finish (A and C)
    • Light orange peel (LOP) reflector for maximum output and a smooth beam
    • Gold and silver plated contacts (made with brass and copper)
    • Superior knurling for improved grip
    • IPX-8 waterproof
    • Reverse Clicky
    • Heavy Duty Holster with self-retention device
    • Mil-Spec Paracord Lanyard w/ quick attachment clip

    D25C Specs
    • OTF Lumens for Cree XM-L U2: 277/182/22/0.5 lumens
    • OTF Lumens for Cree XP-G S2: 219/149/22/0.5 lumens
    • Note: With moon-mode setting disabled, lowest output will increase by about 6 times, to 4 lumen, and the second lowest output will double, to around 65 lumen
    • Runtime: 0.9/1.6/10/150+ hrs
    • Powered by 1x CR123 battery
    • Voltage range: 1.8V-3.2V Li-ion
    • Dimensions: Head Diameter 0.78 inches (20 mm), Body Diameter 0.78 inches (20 mm), Length: 2.9 inches (75 mm), Weight: 1 ounce (29 grams)
    • Using a 3.7V RCR123A Li-ion Rechargeable battery direct drives the LED at maximum current level (up to 750 LED lumen from XM-L and about 550 LED lumen from XP-G). Limit each usage to less than five minutes (or less than one minute each with freshly charged Li-ion for the first couple times). Hold the light in your palm to help remove heat from the LED. If you find the flashlight too warm to hold, turn off the light to allow the light to cool down. Do not leave the light running unintended. When using a Li-ion cell, all brightness levels will become the highest output (except the lowest mode). Expected runtime is about 20-30 minutes.

    D25A2 Specs
    • ANSI FL-1 Lumens for Cree XP-G S2: 219/149/22/0.5 lumens
    • Note: With moon-mode setting disabled, lowest output will increase by about 6 times, to 4 lumen, and the second lowest output will double, to around 65 lumen
    • Runtime: 1.4/2.5/16/200+ hrs
    • Powered by 2xAA batteries
    • Voltage range: 1.8V-3.0V Li-ion
    • Dimensions: Head Diameter 0.85 inches (21 mm), Body Diameter 0.7 inches (18 mm), Length: 5.7 inches (146 mm), Weight: 1.9 ounce (54 grams)
    • With moon-mode setting disabled, lowest output will increase by about 6 times, to 4 lumen, and the second lowest output will double, to around 65 lumen

    D25LC2 Specs
    • ANSI FL-1 Lumens for Cree XM-L U2: 548/370/50/5 lumens
    • Runtime (2xCR123A): 1/1.8/15/100+ hrs
    • Runtime (1x18650): 1.5/2.4/25/150+ hrs
    • Powered by 2xCR123A, 2xRCR123A, or 1x18650 li-ion
    • Voltage range: 2.7V-9V Li-ion
    • Dimensions: Head Diameter 0.9 inches (22.5 mm), Body Diameter 0.85 inches (22 mm), Length: 4.5 inches (115 mm), Weight: 1.7 ounces (49 grams)
    • Note X-G S2 version uses a different circuit with longer runtimes



    All lights come in comparable packaging, including a belt holster with metal button clasp, wrist lanyard, extra o-rings, manual, and warranty card. A sturdy clip is attached to the light by either a pair of small hex screws (D25C), or under a removable ring cover (D25A2, D25LC2). A representative D25C sample is shown above.

    Build Overview:

    I'm going to quickly run through the bodies in sequence, highlighting differences between each model/version as I go.

    D25C:








    The D25C build is remarkably petite for a 1xCR123A clicky light (see detailed size pics and measurements later in the review).

    Anodizing is a glossy black (HA = type III). All labels are fairly small and very clear (sharp and bright against the black background).

    Knurling is present over most of the body, with an additional band on the head. This makes grip good, and the light is easy to twist single-handed.

    The head has a large and flat-ended stainless steel bezel (with a dark-finish). Reflector is a light orange-peel (LOP) textured reflector. I'll talk more about reflectors and emitters in the beamshot section of the review.

    Screw threading is fairly fine in the head, and not anodized (which is understandable, given the twisty features).

    There is no spring in the head, but a raised disc around the center contact is used to prevent reverse-polarity accidents (i.e. need to use batteries with a raised top).

    The stainless steel pocket clip is held in place by two hex screws near the base.

    Both my D25C samples could tailstand perfectly, as the low-profile reverse clicky is slightly recessed. Switch feel is about typical for a small reverse clicky.

    There is also a split-ring attachment point off to one side of the base, if you want to put it on a keychain.

    D25A2:








    The D25A2 is also quite small for its class (again, see detailed size pics and measurements later in the review).

    Anodizing, knurling, and labels are comparable to the D25C, all in excellent shape. The head and reflector look similar to the D25C, but are actually slightly larger (again, scroll down for measurements and more info).

    The black-coated stainless steel pocket clip is the standard clip-on style variety, but it is firmly held in place by a removable screw ring. Unscrew the ring to remove the clip.

    Screw threading is slightly larger than the D25C, and is of comparable number, size and width at both ends of the battery tube. This means that the head and tailcaps are reversible on the battery tube. This thus allows you change the clip orientation by simply exchanging the head and tail regions (i.e., clip-up or clip-down). It also means that there is no anodization for tail-cap lockout, as the head-twist mechanism has to be able to work at both ends.

    Unlike my D25Cs, my D25A2 sample was very wobbly when attempting to tailstand. You could probably adjust this slightly by loosening the switch retaining ring in the tailcap, but I doubt I could ever get this sample to tailstand securely.

    There is now a removable lanyard attach ring on the tailcap.

    D25LC2:











    The D25LC2 is generally similar to the D25A2 described above (scroll back to see a discussion).

    Again, this light is surprisingly small for a clicky-switch light that can run on protected 18650. To support the wider batteries, the overall diameter of the D25LC2 is also wider, across its entire length (scroll down for detailed measures and specs).

    My D25LC2 was slightly wobbly when tailstanding, but acceptable.

    The D25LC2 comes with a 2xCR123A plastic insert, to prevent rattle. Remove the insert for use with 18650 cells.

    Because of the raised contact ring around the positive contact in the head, only small-button top 18650 batteries will work in the light. No flat-top or wide button-top batteries will work.

    User Interface

    The UI is typically common across the models, although there are some small differences.

    Turn the lights on by pressing the tailcap reverse clicky (i.e., press and release for on).

    With the head tight, you get Turbo output. Soft-pressing the clicky switch will advance you to Strobe. Soft-press again to return to Turbo.

    With the head loosened, you get the programmable state (actually available in two groups, as I will explain in a moment). In head-loosened state, you change output modes by soft-pressing the clicky switch. The basic sequence is: Lo > Med > Hi > in a double-repeating loop. If you continue to cycle past two series of Lo/Med/Hi in the head-loosened state, the light enters into the "hidden" strobe modes. The full proper sequence is thus:

    Lo > Med > Hi > Lo > Med > Hi > Strobe I > Strobe II > Beacon I > Beacon II > SOS I > SOS II > Low-flash > etc.

    Note the manual incorrectly describes the SOS modes as preceding Beacon. All of these modes are described in the next section of this review (i.e., oscilloscope traces).

    Most of the lights have optional mode memory, which saves the last setting used of the head loosen state if you want. To toggle mode memory on or off, do three loosen-tighten head twists (starting from tight), while on. According to Eagletac, mode memory is not available on the D25A clicky model, but I don't have one to test. I can confirm that it wasn't available on my D25LC2 either. Both my D25C samples and my D25A2 had toggle-able memory modes, as expected.

    UPDATE June 6, 2012: Note that if you have mode memory turned on, the light always retains your location in the mode sequence (even when turned off/on). This means that if you advance through the constant output modes, you have to go through all the strobe modes to return to the constant output modes again (i.e., not really "hidden" any more, if memory is on). But if memory mode is off, BMX discovered there is a useful "shortcut" to jump you back to the first Lo mode, no matter where you are in the sequence. Just soft-press and hold the switch for more than one second, and the light reverts you back to the first output state (i.e., the first Lo mode). In essense, this works like turning the light off and on, but without the clicking required (i.e., with memory mode off, it always comes back on at the start of the sequence).

    But you aren't done yet! You also have the option of two possible groups of constant-output modes in the head-loosened state. You switch between alternate output groups by doing a tighten-loosen head switch three times in a row (starting from loosened, this time).

    The default group 1 is what I refer to in this review as Lo1/Med1/Hi1. The alternate group 2 is also referred to as "Moonlight" by Eagletac, and I refer to these as Lo2/Med2/Hi2 in the review to distinguish. This is where things get a bit confusing - basically, this second set has lower outputs at the Lo and Med level, compared to the default group 1. How much is variable though (e.g., the D25LC2 just has a slightly lower Lo, it doesn't really have a true moonlight mode like the D25C and D25A2 do). See my Lumen Summary tables at the end of the review for more info.

    Note that contrary to what the manual says, mode memory (if available and turned on) works for both groups of output modes (manual says it only works on group 1 modes). At least it worked on both groups for all the D25C and D25A2 models I tested, which were the only models have the mode memory option in the first place.

    Oh, and to add to the complexity, the Eagletac ANSI FL-1 output and runtime specs typically refer the lower output "Moonlight mode" group (group 2), not the default group (group 1) that the lights actually come set to. If you look up more detailed technical specs, they will generally tell you how to convert for the group 1 Lo/Med.

    I realize that may sound confusing, but it isn't so bad when you get used to it. Basically, you have access to the max mode (head tight) and three constant output modes (head loosened) at any given time. You just get to choose between two groups/sets of the lower output modes. I provide detailed tables giving you the estimated lumens at each mode output level in the "General Output/Runtime Comments" section later in the review.

    In the meantime, to help show all of this better, 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.

    PWM/Strobe

    There is no sign of PWM that I can see, at any output level – I presume the lights are current-controlled.

    I did detect some high frequency noise as shown below:

    D25A2 Lo:



    D25A2 Med/Hi:


    Noise was in the range of ~1kHz or ~4kHz. None of this is visible to the eye, however. There was no sign of noise on the Turbo or Moonlight modes.

    The "hidden" modes are as follows (in sequence):

    Strobe modes:

    Strobe I:


    The first strobe mode is a standard tactical strobe, about 9.4 Hz. The head-tightened strobe mode is comparable to this mode.

    Strobe II:


    The second strobe mode is an alternating or "oscillating" strobe, switching between 6.5Hz and 16Hz roughly every 2 secs.

    I haven't bothered to show the SOS modes, but the two options simply vary in their frequency. Note that despite what the manuals say, SOS is actually present after the two Beacon modes, not before.

    Beacon modes:

    Beacon I:


    The first Beacon mode is 1.6Hz, with a roughly 50% on/off cycle of light.

    Beacon II:


    The second Beacon mode is of variable frequency and variable duration. Pattern seems completely random.

    The Low-Flash mode (i.e. low output, slow frequency):



    The Low-Flash mode was at reduced output, with a slow frequency of 0.37 Hz (i.e. one flash every ~2.7 secs or so). Basically, this is a third Beacon mode (just lower power and even less frequent).

    There is no stanby-drain on any of the lights, due to the physical clicky-switch and head-twist mechanism.

    Beam:

    All members of this D25 Clicky family has small, reasonably deep reflectors in a light orange peel (LOP) finish. Emitters were fairly well centered on all my samples. I will provide detailed beamshot comparisons for each specific model below, compare to their respective class/battery type.

    For all white-wall beamshots below, all lights are on Max output on battery described (I use AW protected Li-ions). 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.

    Testing Method:

    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.

    And now, the comparative analysis of all the lights:

    -------------

    D25C:




    From left to right: CR123A; Eagletac D25C; Lumintop ED10; 4Sevens Mini 123; Zebralight SC30; Olight i1; Thrunite 1C; Jetbeam PC10; Eagletac D25C.

    All dimensions are given with no batteries installed:

    Eagletac D25C: Weight: 30g, Length: 76.0mm, Width (bezel): 20.0mm
    Sunwayman M11R: Weight 45.8g, Length: 76.4mm, Width (bezel): 23.1mm
    Sunwayman V11R: Weight 50.5g, Length: 84.3mm, 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
    Olight i1 Stainless Steel: Weight 48.1g, Length: 63.9mm, Width (bezel): 20.4mm
    Thrunite Neutron 1C: Weight: 45.2g, Length: 91.5mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm




    1x 3.7V RCR













    1x 3V 1xCR123A:






















    -------------

    D25A2:



    From left to right: Duracell AA NiMH; Eagletac D25A2, P20A2-II, P100A2; Fenix LD20; 4Sevens Quark AA-2; 4Sevens Quark Mini 2AA; JetBeam PA20.

    All dimensions are given with no batteries installed:

    Eagletac D25A2: Weight: 54.8g, Length 148.5mm, Width (bezel): 21.0mm
    4Sevens QAA-2 X (Tactical tailcap): Weight: 60.1g, Length: 149.1mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm
    Jetbeam PA20: Weight: 82.52g, Length: 160mm, Width (bezel) 22.6mm
    Jetbeam BA20: Weight: 70.2g, Length: 156.4mm, Width (bezel) 23.2mm
    Thrunite Neutron 2A: Weight: 76.4g, Length: 250mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm


    2x NiMH (Eneloop)























    -------------

    D25LC2:



    From left to right: CR123A, Protected 18650, Eagletac D25LC2, 4Sevens Quark 123-2, Thrunite TN12, JetBeam PC20, Nitecore IFE2, Lumintop ED20, Zebralight SC600

    All dimensions are given with no batteries installed:

    Eagletac D25LC2: Weight: 50.0g, Length: 116.3mm, Width (bezel): 22.5mm
    4Sevens Quark Q123-2 X (Regular tailcap): Weight: 44.6g, Length: 112.7mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm
    Jetbeam PC20: Weight: 60.0g, Length: 127.5mm, Width (bezel): 22.6mm
    Lumintop ED20: Weight 84.4g, Length 121.6mm, Width (bezel) 25.2mm
    Spark SL6: Weight 77.8g, Length: 125.5mm, Width (bezel) 30.9mm
    Thrunite TN12: Weight: 64.0g, Length: 126.9mm, Width (bezel): 24.1mm
    Zebralight SC600: Weight 87.2g, Length: 107.8mm, Width (bezel) 29.7mm


























    General Output/Runtime Comments:

    Ok, that's a LOT of data up there. Let it me distill it down for you.

    The first general observation is that the D25 Clicky models were all excellent performers in terms of output/runtime efficiency. Clearly, there are very efficient current-controlled circuits in use in all models examined here, with very flat stabilization patterns. Note there is a time step-down on Turbo a little after 3 mins have passed. Note also that Hi is typically slightly lower than this stepped-down level.

    The second observation is that initial output (prior to step-down) is eye-poppingly bright on every model, for its respective output and battery class. These are some of the highest outputs I've seen for these classes of lights – and with sone of the smallest builds, to boot.

    Another observation is that each light's output levels are remarkably consistent across all battery types supported (i.e., the reported output specs are independent of battery type).

    All of the above comes at certain cost, however. The wider circuit range of the D25LC2 means you lose the true "moonlight" level (i.e., group 2 outputs are lower on Lo/Med than group 1, but not that much lower). And the restricted range of the D25C means RCR is not fully supported (i.e., you only keep the two group Lo modes, but lose all the Med/Hi/Turbo to direct-drive). This is the price you pay for outstanding efficiency and perfectly stabilization.

    All that being said, there seems to be something a little off in Eagletac ANSI FL-1 numbers. Runtimes specs seem fairly accurate at the Hi/Turbo levels, but seem overly optimistic looking by the Med levels (note that I don't test lower levels). The reason for this become apparent when you look at my estimated lumen output values – they typically all exceed Eagletac's published specs by a noticeable amount.

    Here are detailed tables comparing my lumen estimate to Eagletac published "OTF" or "ANSI FL-1" specs, for each light. Lo1/Med1/Hi1 refers to the default group 1, and Lo2/Med2/Hi2 refers to the alternate "Moonlight" group 2.

    D25C XP-G S2


    D25C XM-L U2


    D25A2 XP-G S2


    D25LC2 XM-L U2


    The Eagletac "Moonlight", or group 2 output levels, typically only differ from the default group 1 levels at the Lo and Med outputs. The degree of difference is variable (i.e., the D25LC2 doesn't really have a true "moonlight" level, just a somewhat lower Lo). And the reduction in the Med levels would be hard to see for most people (although I can pick it up in my lightbox). In any case, Hi and Turbo levels are always the same between the mode groups.

    At the Med levels, my numbers are definitely higher than any of Eagletac's published specs for these lights. I don't why the numbers are so off, but this explains the lower runtimes I observed on Med – my lights are all brighter than spec, and therefore don't run as long.

    At the end of the day, the fundamental point remains that the D25 Clicky offerings all have excellent output/runtime efficiency at all levels. It just seems that the absolute value of many of those levels is higher than the specs indicate.

    Potential Issues

    Flat-top cells won't work in the lights, due to the physical reverse-polarity protection. Only cells with small button-tops will work.

    Due to the customized (and potentially voltage-restricted) circuits in each model, not all battery types may be fully supported. The D25C-series lights on 1xRCR loose Med/Hi/Turbo to direct-drive (at extremely high output). The multi-power D25LC2 doesn't get a true "moonlight" mode (just a slightly lower Lo/Med) in the second group.

    Published ANSI FL-1 specs don't seem entirely accurate. Reported output level specs seem understated on Hi/Turbo levels (but runtimes are accurate). Med level output specs seem considerably understated (with runtime specs proportionately overstated). However, overall output/runtime efficiency remains excellent at all levels tested. See my runtime graphs (and comments above) for more information

    Screw threads are not anodized for lockout on the D25A2 or D25LC2. However, the battery tubes are reversible, allowing you to switch the direction of the clip.

    Mode memory (and the ability to toggle it off or on) was only available on my D25C and D25A2 models. It was not available on my D25LC2, and Eagletac reports it is not available on the D25A either.

    There was some noticeable tint shifting at the default group 1 Lo level on some lights, consistent with current-control.

    Preliminary Observations

    To summarize this rather long round-up, the D25 Clicky line is a diverse, innovative, and very efficient series of flashlights from Eagletac.

    I am impressed by the relatively small size of the lights in this family. The builds were of consistent good quality, with good attention to detail. I quite like the nice touches like tinted stainless steel bezels, decent knurling, thoughtful clip designs and ergonomics, etc.

    Performance is particularly impressive across the line, both for max output as well as overall efficiency at all levels, on all supported batteries. But there's a reason for that – each light model (and sometimes different emitter versions within a given model) has its own customized circuit. This is quite different from most "family" series of lights, where identical heads/circuits are used between models to keep manufacturing costs down (and maximize lego-ability).

    The high degree of customization here (along with a good base current-control circuit design to start with) is what allows Eagletac to squeeze out class-leading efficiencies in many categories. But it also means some limitations (e.g., each circuit is optimized for a limited voltage range specific to only those supported cells). Please see my "General Output/Runtime Comments" and "Potential Issues" sections above for more of a discussion.

    One thing that people may find confusing is to having to choose between output level groups - i.e., the Lo/Med/Hi set as default, or the optional Moonlight/Med/Hi (where Med is slightly less output than the default group Med). Personally, I would just like to have seen a consistent Moonlight/Lo/Med/Hi and be done with it.

    At the end of the day, this incredibly wide degree of body, emitter and circuit customization gives you a lot of choices, in all battery classes. I can't recall seeing another series with so many available options (e.g., right down to cool and neutral tints). But of course, that many options may be overwhelming for some (and may lead to shortages of specific models that are more popular than others). Finding proper specs and descriptions can also be an issue, so I recommend you check out the detailed sections of this review for more info on any particular model you are interested in.

    ----

    D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 were supplied by Eagletac for review.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 06-06-2012 at 05:41 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Orcatorch T20.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* jmpaul320's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    i have the d25c... great light... had a flickering issue, new head is on its way from eagle tac... they have great customer service!

    great review!!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    the D25A (1.2V Eneloop) is much much lower in output than any of the other D25 models (all of which run on 3.0V+ !!). maybe that's why Eagtac didnt supply it for review?

    thanks for your efforts. it's been some time that selfbuilt reviewed an Eagtac torch. note that the T20C2 MkII can be equipped with a 626 ANSI lumens XML U2 LED module!! Maybe time has come to update your 2-year old review

    your D25 series review will get even more users hooked on the Eagtac's. Very attractive, stylish torches they are!!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    I'm always astonished and the level of detail, accuracy, and sheer time it must take for your reviews selfbuilt...very well done indeed! I was particularly interested in your results since I own the XM-L U2 versions of the D25C and D25LC2 clickys, with the Ti-D25C on the way (with a newer driver). The two things that also stands out to me is (1) the enormous output of these lights in such a small form factor with 16340's and 18650's respectivly which your data confirms, and (2) the excellent beam paterns and tints seeming almost neutral for an XM-L U2 emitter(s). Yes they are not perfect and I too am confused as to the different electronics driving each light (probably due to size limitations from model to model), but am truly impressed with what EagleTac has accomplished with these products.

    Once again, thanks so much for your considerable time and effort in your reviews...I always learn so much from your testing and observations.
    Last edited by cyclesport; 05-29-2012 at 06:18 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Great review, selfbuilt!

    Finally the fog has been lifted over this mode selection thing -- it all seems so confusing on paper, especially because the modes differ between the models!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Just wanted to add in, I have the EagleTac D25A clicky with a neutral white XP-G and on moonlight mode, there is very noticeable PWM. However, the only way to notice it is to look at the emitter and shake the light from side to side. Walking with the light doesn't show the PWM, I am assuming it is because the output is so low.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Bwolcott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    are you kidding me the single rcr 123 version put out 770 lumens!now I want one bad!!!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Quote Originally Posted by shelm View Post
    the D25A (1.2V Eneloop) is much much lower in output than any of the other D25 models (all of which run on 3.0V+ !!). maybe that's why Eagtac didnt supply it for review?
    Possibly, but more likely was lack of availability. This isn't the first time that a 1xAA version of a family was unavailable for review - in the real world, the 1xAA models seem to be among the hardest to keep in stock.

    thanks for your efforts. it's been some time that selfbuilt reviewed an Eagtac torch. note that the T20C2 MkII can be equipped with a 626 ANSI lumens XML U2 LED module!! Maybe time has come to update your 2-year old review
    Yes, it has been awhile (although I did review the XM-L version of the M3C4 a year and half ago). No major reason, I just wasn't asked recently. Given the number of requests that I get from all manufacturers, I do not typically solicit lights for review (too little time - I typically have to turn down a fair number).

    In this case, I had received a number of requests from members here to review the G25C2, so I touched base with Eagletac. They had a shortage of that model, so asked if I would do the D25 Clickies instead. And here we are ...

    I presume the sample models they sent me reflect what they had available. Although I do notice everyone always likes to send cool white emitters (presumably for max output).

    Don't know what the G25C2 situation is like, but certainly willing to review that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclesport View Post
    I'm always astonished and the level of detail, accuracy, and sheer time it must take for your reviews selfbuilt...very well done indeed!
    Thanks, this was definitely a more complicated review, with all the differences between models. Probably my longest round-up review yet.

    I too am confused as to the different electronics driving each light (probably due to size limitations from model to model), but am truly impressed with what EagleTac has accomplished with these products.
    Possibly, but I suspect it is more a conscious choice to optimize the performance of each specific model. When you use a common circuit across body builds, you inevitably play to a bit of the "lowest common demominator." Not all the lights will take avantage of the full voltage range of the common circuit, which is fine - but you take an efficiency hit for every extra "unused" feature (e.g., boost and buck is less efficient than just boost, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by kaabob View Post
    Finally the fog has been lifted over this mode selection thing -- it all seems so confusing on paper, especially because the modes differ between the models!
    Thanks. I presume you mean from the video? I tried to describe it clearly in the UI section, but sometimes it is just easier to show it in use. It is not as complicated as it sounds on paper. Part of the problem is our limited vocabulary (i.e., is that group or a set? is that different from a series? or an option? or a selection? aargh ....).

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik1213 View Post
    Just wanted to add in, I have the EagleTac D25A clicky with a neutral white XP-G and on moonlight mode, there is very noticeable PWM. However, the only way to notice it is to look at the emitter and shake the light from side to side. Walking with the light doesn't show the PWM, I am assuming it is because the output is so low.
    That's likely some sort circuit flicker. There is no PWM to speak of on any mode I examined. But flicker is always possible, depending on the tolerances of the components at lower currents. I will double-check all my samples to see if I can notice any.

    EDIT: Just double-checked, and all my lights are firmly flicker-free on their moonlight/lowest Lo mode. It's likely you have a problem sample. It can be difficult to reliably produce current-control at low currents, and I've seen other makers have issues on this front. If it is distracting, you might want to consider a RMA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwolcott View Post
    are you kidding me the single rcr 123 version put out 770 lumens!now I want one bad!!!
    Well, not for long - and that is too high a drive current for regular ICR Li-ion, only IMR cels would be able to handle it. I also doubt the emitter/circuit would last long from repeated use. Eagletac's warning about cooling and limited use with frequent periods of rest should be well heeded.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 05-30-2012 at 11:53 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Orcatorch T20.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    [QUOTE=kaabob;3952690]Great review, selfbuilt!

    I don't think this can be said enough!!! As always top notch info.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    +

    One complaint about this review,
    selfbuilt,, how on earth will future reviews be better than this one?!...




    btw, I'm an early adopter to the D25LC2 Twisty/neutral, I'll never part with it.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* djans1397's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    WHAT! Are you serious?! Who seriously goes to the trouble of using a clicky on their ligts only to make it a REVERSE clicky? I appologize as it might just be me, but come one! I love the momentary feature that the forward clicky offers. I was excited to try the Eagletac clicky series out and have been waiting for these to come out. Unless they offer a tactical switch for these like 4sevens did for theirs, I think I'll pass

    Nice review though selfbuilt. Very thorough as always and much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Dan
    For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Ephesians 5:8 NIV)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    I miss the forward clicky feature also, but the amount of light out of the tiny D25LC2 is way to nice to worry about the clicky for me.

    By the way Selfbuilt, great review. However I believe in your video you demonstrate the "memory" feature in the D25LC2 and how it will always come on at the last output setting. You only show it coming on on low. This is where it will always default to. There is no memory if you shut it off on medium. Where you turn it back on it is still on low. No memory.
    I don't have my booklet handy but I am pretty sure it says that this feature is not availble on the D25LC2 model. I will double check the wording when I get home.
    Fenix TK35/TK21 U2/PD32/LD12/E01/ Romisen RC-T602/ Klarus XT2C/ EagleTac D25LC2 Clicky, Thrunite TN31. , Olight s10, Eagletac D25LC2 factory mod XP-G2 with 2amp driver. Eagletac D25C Ti XM-L U2, D25C ti XP-G2

  13. #13

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Quote Originally Posted by djans1397 View Post
    Unless they offer a tactical switch for these like 4sevens
    no torch is perfect, i agree i would have preferred a torch with tactical momentary activation. when mode selection is done thru the tail clicky only (either reverse clicky or forward clicky, doesnt matter), then we always lose the ability to send in morse code (cp. Fenix LD20 or all Zebralights). If we want to have a tactical switch (cp. Jetbeam BA20, Klarus P2A, Quark), then mode selection has to be done thru twisting the head. Only few (and typically expensive) lights have a UI which successfully combines a forward clicky with head position and head twisting operation (cp. Eagtac T-series).

    the D25C/D25A would be perfect imho if it was .. basically a Quark:
    + reversible pocket clip
    + tactical momentary activation
    + full support for Li-Ion's with buck boost driver (and no eaten modes)
    + mode memory on the D25A
    + large selection of accessories (Fenix accessories fit the Quark!)

    but then again why would i want a D25 if it works like a Quark Tactical -- we already own a Quark, dont we? The D25's UI resembles the UI of the Quark Regular and the Fenix LD20 and neither of them has tactical momentary activation. None of the Zebralights have it!

    so i am thinking that the features set of the D25 is en par with the competition, and if one likes Titanium, then worth considering a purchase.
    Last edited by shelm; 05-30-2012 at 03:25 AM.

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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    So I looked at the manual and it does say 'not on the D25A'. So I guess my confusion is based in the fact that I can't get any memory function to work. I do the three twists as described but the light will only come on on the low setting.
    Should it not work for medium also? Selfbuilt, can you get it to do so for a level other than low?
    Fenix TK35/TK21 U2/PD32/LD12/E01/ Romisen RC-T602/ Klarus XT2C/ EagleTac D25LC2 Clicky, Thrunite TN31. , Olight s10, Eagletac D25LC2 factory mod XP-G2 with 2amp driver. Eagletac D25C Ti XM-L U2, D25C ti XP-G2

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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Yet another outstanding review. Thanks.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    I'm curious as to your opinion selfbuilt. You commented that the emitter/circuit might not last long from repeated use on the XM-L U2 version of the D25C. Could you venture an educated guess on this light's longevity if the light is used frequently with 16340 3.7v Li-ion's in turbo (750+ lumens) for 10 to 40 seconds at a time never letting the light get uncomfortable to hold? Having two of these used in this manner, I'm concerned I may be dramatically shortening their lives?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Hi all, thanks for the support.

    I made an error in the original report - the D25LC2 does have a second group of lower output modes, they are just not as low as the other lights. So, while the D25LC2 doesn't have a "moonlight" mode per se, switching to the second set does work (with Lo and Med both a bit lower). Note you are not likely to notice this by eye (which is why I missed it at first!), but my lightbox confirms a second group of Lo/Med is there. Here's the update table from the review:



    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    One complaint about this review,
    selfbuilt,, how on earth will future reviews be better than this one?!...
    I don't plan to repeat this mamoth exercise if I can help it ... hopefully future model series will have less diversity to have to measure and report on.

    Quote Originally Posted by djans1397 View Post
    WHAT! Are you serious?! Who seriously goes to the trouble of using a clicky on their ligts only to make it a REVERSE clicky?
    It's not surprising to me - forward clickies (by their physical nature) are bigger switches. If you want to incorporate a clicky into a small slim-lined design (and keep tailstanding), reverse clicky is the only way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by loquutis79 View Post
    However I believe in your video you demonstrate the "memory" feature in the D25LC2 and how it will always come on at the last output setting. You only show it coming on on low. This is where it will always default to. There is no memory if you shut it off on medium. Where you turn it back on it is still on low. No memory.
    Quote Originally Posted by loquutis79 View Post
    So I guess my confusion is based in the fact that I can't get any memory function to work. I do the three twists as described but the light will only come on on the low setting.
    Should it not work for medium also? Selfbuilt, can you get it to do so for a level other than low?
    You are right - the mode memory is not working on my D25LC2 either. But it does work on both my D25C and D25A2 models. Odd (the manuals only say the D25A is missing it).

    BTW, I realize I forgot to explain this in the review initially - but model memory is actually a toggle-able feature. On all my models, it came set as off by default. To activate mode memory, do three loosen-tighten head twists (from tight) while on. Do it again to toggle off. I've just added that point to the UI section.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclesport View Post
    I'm curious as to your opinion selfbuilt. You commented that the emitter/circuit might not last long from repeated use on the XM-L U2 version of the D25C. Could you venture an educated guess on this light's longevity if the light is used frequently with 16340 3.7v Li-ion's in turbo (750+ lumens) for 10 to 40 seconds at a time never letting the light get uncomfortable to hold? Having two of these used in this manner, I'm concerned I may be dramatically shortening their lives?
    It is really hard to say. Those kind of maximal direct-drive levels are definitely not recommended or good for the emitters. There was some concern when 10440 Li-ions started to be used in some keychain lights that you could suffer from thermal runaway, potentially destroying the emitters rather quickly (and unpredictably). Not sure how much of that was theoretical.

    Practically, it is clear that sustained heat (in a small body unable to effectively transfer it) is bad for emitters. If you used judiciously, for brief periods to time to point that the light doesn't get too warm, you are probably going to be ok. But no guarantees here - it's really hard to know what the emitter/circuit tolerances are for this kind of use/abuse.
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  18. #18
    Flashaholic BWX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    I orderd a D25LC2 (18650 XM-L U2) a couple days ago before this review. It looked to be smaller than my Spark SL6 800cw but just about as bright. It looks like this data confirmed that.. especially since Turbo on my Spark only works with very freshly charged 18650 batts and only for a very very short time.. so mostly the highest I get from it is ''high'', not ''turbo'' anyway. Looks like my new EDC.
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  19. #19
    Flashaholic zenbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    I've been enjoying the selfbuilt reviews the past couple of short months that I've fallen to flashaholism and would like to say thank you selfbuilt for all your hard work in bringing out all these great details, technical observations and measurements and general overviews of the lights that we might not otherwise not know enough about to make sound purchase decisions (was that sentence long enough to make a point?).

    I really love my EagleTacs in spite of a spotty experience while early adopting a new clicky. I still wound up with a clicky-verty tube for D25C and love it! I think EagleTac has a great series on their hands with D-series in either twisty or clicky flavors!

    Once again thanks for this excellent work and all your previous reviews. You are a credit to the illuminated!
    EagleTac D25C S2; P20A2 MKII S2; P100C2 Q5; Fenix TK21 U2; LD01 R4; E05 R2; E01
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    I second this ^^^^^^

  21. #21

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    I love my D25C clicky.......what a pocket rocket!

  22. #22

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Thanks for the support guys. And for the newer members,

    Quote Originally Posted by BWX View Post
    I orderd a D25LC2 (18650 XM-L U2) a couple days ago before this review. It looked to be smaller than my Spark SL6 800cw but just about as bright. It looks like this data confirmed that.. especially since Turbo on my Spark only works with very freshly charged 18650 batts and only for a very very short time.. so mostly the highest I get from it is ''high'', not ''turbo'' anyway. Looks like my new EDC.
    Yes, my Spark SL6 is about the same brightness initially. The D25LC2 drops down less than the Spark does, after the timed step-down. Interestingly the SL6's Hi mode is almost about the same as the D25LC2's. The SL6 does have more throw, of course.

    But keep in mind my Spark SL6 review is almost a year old, and my sample only had a T6 output bin. There may have been improvements on the model since then.
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  23. #23
    Flashaholic BWX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Yeah I think my SL6 is the T6 too.. I'm sure I'll be happy with the D25LC2 from what your saying.. It'll fit my use perfectly. I have bigger badder lights for more throw/power etc. I love the size to output ratio on the D25LC2 more than anything!
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Yowza! Thanks for the awesome review Selfbuilt!

    The D25LC2 was my first light. I really like it, but I wish I had gone for the neutral tint instead of cool white (now that I have some warmer lights). The D25C neutral looks like it might be my next purchase. Surprising that it is both dimmer AND brighter than the D25LC2! If anything could improve the D25LC2 it would be a firefly mode.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* jhc37013's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Excellent review their selfbuilt, top shelf stuff for sure thanks for all the time and effort for all our members.

    I have the D25LC2 Clicky and it's the second best 18650 EDC light I have, second to the SC600 however for it's size and weight the D25LC2 is second to none.

    When I first got my D25LC2 Clicky I thought I had a bad sample because it did not have a memory mode no matter how many times I did the head twist and also it did not have memory, like you said the manual says only the D25A is not suppose to have these features. After talking with some other members and trial and effort I found out my light was fine it just functioned a little different than I anticipated.

    So to further elaborate on D25LC2 the moonlight mode is not really a moonlight mode more of a energy saving mode, enabling the moonlight mode drops the low a little but it's still not moonlight mode, also medium is lower while high stays the same. The best way to see a difference is to do a ceiling bounce test, it's easier to see the difference in the two different medium modes (m1/m2) but it's a lot tougher to see the difference with the two different lows (L1/L2) but you can see if you look hard enough while doing the ceiling bounce test if you focus on an object on the floor in a corner of the room.

    There is no memory mode on D25LC2 as you mention, if you have the light on in medium if you turn if off for longer than 1.5secs it will come back on in low. However it does sort of have a memory because it does remember if you have the moonlight mode toggled off or on.

    So if you like the slightly brighter low1 and med2 it will keep that memorized after you turn the light off, alternatively if you enable moonlight mode for the slightly dimmer low2 and med2 it will keep that memorized as well.

    It would have been nice if the D25LC2 had a true moonlight mode but all things considered it's still one off the best 18650 EDC light's out there right now.
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  26. #26
    Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Thanks for the review
    No Eagletac for me, no support for flat-18650 head -and the 2AA version, is just like mine Fenix E21.
    Latest review(s): Olight R20 - Olight SR Mini - Fenix TK35UE

  27. #27

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Quote Originally Posted by kj2 View Post
    No Eagletac for me, no support for flat-18650 head -and the 2AA version, is just like mine Fenix E21.
    Yes, the lack of flat-top support will be an issue for some.

    But I'm surprised about the Fenix E21. On Max, my D25A2 (XP-G S2) has about twice the initial output of my E21 (XP-E R3), and exactly the same runtime on NiMH. On the E21, you also only get two modes (i.e. you also have a much wider range of modes on the D25A2). But the E21 still manages better throw, thanks to its larger head and smaller emitter ... I presume that's why you find them equivalent?
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  28. #28
    Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Yes, the lack of flat-top support will be an issue for some.

    But I'm surprised about the Fenix E21. On Max, my D25A2 (XP-G S2) has about twice the initial output of my E21 (XP-E R3), and exactly the same runtime on NiMH. On the E21, you also only get two modes (i.e. you also have a much wider range of modes on the D25A2). But the E21 still manages better throw, thanks to its larger head and smaller emitter ... I presume that's why you find them equivalent?
    I like throw indeed
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    And if I may, as a relative newbie flashaholic, I'd like to offer my interpretation of the term "moonlight" mode. I may be entirely wrong, but I think some folks are thinking of "firefly" mode when the term "moonlight" mode is referenced.

    It seems that I've understood the following (primarily from readings in CPF, but subject to change and totally open to correction! lol):

    Moonlight Mode =
    Rather low lumens (10, 7, 5, 3, etc.) for generalized low light needs such as night vision preservation, night reading, generalized battery conservation and so forth.

    Firefly Mode =
    Ultra low lumens (3, 1, .5, .03, etc.) primarily for extreme runtime needs such as elevator entrapment, lost in wilderness, map reading, and so on.

    So in my mind, when I did briefly own a D25LC2 Clicky, it did have a "moonlight" mode.


    Disclaimer: I may be totally wrong, but at the chance of utterly embarrassing myself, if my unusual observations can help clarify an item of curiosity or contention or even inspire a different way of viewing a subject.... then that risk I shall shamelessly sometimes take! Hey! I should put this statement in my signature once I realize there's not exactly a whole lot of point in listing my lights there anyway.
    EagleTac D25C S2; P20A2 MKII S2; P100C2 Q5; Fenix TK21 U2; LD01 R4; E05 R2; E01
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  30. #30

    Default Re: Eagletac D25 Clicky Series Round-up Review (D25C, D25A2, D25LC2 - XM-L & XP-G)

    Quote Originally Posted by zenbeam View Post
    And if I may, as a relative newbie flashaholic, I'd like to offer my interpretation of the term "moonlight" mode. I may be entirely wrong, but I think some folks are thinking of "firefly" mode when the term "moonlight" mode is referenced.

    It seems that I've understood the following (primarily from readings in CPF, but subject to change and totally open to correction! lol):

    Moonlight Mode =
    Rather low lumens (10, 7, 5, 3, etc.) for generalized low light needs such as night vision preservation, night reading, generalized battery conservation and so forth.

    Firefly Mode =
    Ultra low lumens (3, 1, .5, .03, etc.) primarily for extreme runtime needs such as elevator entrapment, lost in wilderness, map reading, and so on.

    So in my mind, when I did briefly own a D25LC2 Clicky, it did have a "moonlight" mode.


    Disclaimer: I may be totally wrong, but at the chance of utterly embarrassing myself, if my unusual observations can help clarify an item of curiosity or contention or even inspire a different way of viewing a subject.... then that risk I shall shamelessly sometimes take! Hey! I should put this statement in my signature once I realize there's not exactly a whole lot of point in listing my lights there anyway.
    There's not an official definition (AFAIK) of the terms "moonlight" or "firefly." I'm pretty sure it's just semantics. I equate the term "moonlight" with "sub-lumen". The times I have seen "firefly" it has been used to describe output below 0.1 lumens.

    Selfbuilt measured the "moon" low on the D25LC2 to be 15 lumens. Mine is bright enough to be seen shining on the wall 20' across a fully lit room, definitely not what most would consider moonlight. The D25C on the other hand has a 0.5 lumen moon low which I would consider a true moonlight mode. But again... semantics... no true Scotsman...

    All I know is that I blow out my eyeballs if I turn on the LC2 after being in a pitch-black room for several minutes.

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