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Thread: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    About 5-6 weeks ago I had posted a thread here asking for opinions on the Lumapower D Mini EX-2, as I couldnt find any good reviews anywhere, and the only 3 videos reviews on Youtube were in German! But I had previously bought a light that didnt have lots of reviews, and it turned out to be really nice, so I decided to enquire here, but I got no real responses.

    So I turned to my 2nd choice and bought the Zebralight SC600, which is a very good light, but I do have some issues with it, such as it's less than stellar throw on most modes, so I started wondering "what could've been", as the Luma D-Mini ex-2 is supposedly a good thrower with it's larger diameter reflector. So I bought it last week, and got it in today. Here's how THAT went:

    Well, I bought it from Illuminationgear, because they sold it with the optional battery extension tube that allows it to be used with 1-18650, as the standard battery tube only allows 1-CR123(or RCR123). I paid $105 with the optional extension tube.

    When I opened the package and broke it out, it looked like a nice light, but that all changed quickly! It has many screw on parts, and every single screw on part has threads that are MUCH too loose, so there is LOTS of play as you try to screw these parts together. Getting the parts together without stripping the threads was actually a bit of a chore, and aluminum is a soft metal so it strips easily if not careful. There was -zero- lube on the threads too.

    To change the battery tubes, you had to actually unscrew the cheap, insubstantial pill that housed the XML on top, and the threads on that small cylindrical piece of aluminum were even worse, and had already seen some strip damage. Not a single part with threads would actually become rigid til you tightened it up against the part you were screwing it onto. Sloppy, Sloppy!

    Next, the light didnt work with the longer battery tube. It took me a little while to figure out what was wrong, but then I noticed a little spring on the floor by my feet that had fallen out of the plastic bag the tube came in, which wasnt properly sealed from the get-go, so this weak little spring wasnt actually firmly attached to the interior of the extension tube. It just drops in and out, which means losing it later! That spring is necessary for a proper connection with the 18650 battery, and there is no spare.

    When I turned the light on, whether using a Panasonic CR123 or an Eagletac 3100mah 18650, I notices 2 new problems. First, the beam is sloppy! It had circles and lines all through it. Its the worst I've seen on ANY light, regardless of price!

    Secondly, the tint of the "alleged" XM-L LED inside was almost pure blue! Ever seen those cheap, $4 LED flashlights at drug stores that have 8 little 5mm LED's in the front, and their beam is blue? Well, the color tint of the LED in this light was almost as bad! I thought my XP-G R5 in My Jetbeam light was a little cool on the color scale, but the LED in this light made it look like the warmest LED ever made! I'm not really exaggerating too much here either. It was blue.

    Plus it wasnt very bright, even on the highest setting. My $52 Solarforce L2P with Thrunite 3 mode XM-L is brighter on high.

    The switch didnt seem to work too well either. A few times when I clicked the rear clicky to change modes, it just didnt change.

    The battery tubes were very thin walled. For $105, you'd think a light would be built more substantially. This light looked good from the outside, but this is a perfect example of how "Beauty is only skin deep." This thing was UGLY on the inside!

    So, I had it repackaged and dropped back off at the post office for return/exchange only about 3 hours after the mail man dropped it off! Illuminationgear fortunately has a light that costs about the same that I want to exchange this light for. It's the Eagletac G25 C2. I only wish I wouldve taken a closer look at it from the beginning, but I already had a P60 type light, so I wanted something different, which is why I made the mistake of buying the Lumapower D Mini EX-2.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    That's too bad. I had the original D-Mini and it was well made. I wonder if issues like this explain why LumaPower has largely disappeared from CPF commentary.
    I spend my days in the light thinking about flashlights in the dark

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Lumapower doesnt get much good CPF commentary lately. The new cheap EDC series was released recently but there were several issues with them, which left the impression that their new series wasnt well-thought-out, mature and thoroughly tested and nothing but a hush hush release.

    Illuminationgear is great.

    Lumapower maybe not so.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    i bought a neutral lumapower vantage as a gift for a friend. played around with it for a bit before giving it to him and was unimpressed with everything about it also. i hesitantly and regretfully gifted it to my friend. with that and after reading your thread, lumapower has become one of those brands that i will not consider anymore.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Sorry that you were so disapointed with the Lumapower D Mini EX-2 Highlandernorth. I was somewhat interested in this light too since the Lumapower IncenDio V3U with the XP-G R5 was one of the first 1 X CR123 lights I ever used as an EDC light. It too was a fairly ringy beam and had a slightly off-center led mounting, and the build quality was not the best. The UI was great though w/no disco modes and 4 levels by using the rear clicky only + it's one of those lights that you let you drive it hard and brighter with Li-ions. For $50 it also came with a cool diffuser wand that let you use it as a lantern and a nice pair of precision tweezers to remove the rear retaining ring (that I've used a lot on other lights). I've thought many times about getting the XM-L version of this light.

    I don't carry it as much anymore just because I have so many newer better & brighter small EDC lights that it doesn't see too much rotation but I thank you for your comments about the D Mini EX-2 since I can scratch this one off my wish list. I am surprised about your comments about the XM-L emitter being so blue in tint though? I must own 10+ lights in different configurations now with this emitter in U2 & T6's and have always been amazed at how consistant the beam quality, and tint is across such a wide variety of manufacturers and different applications. It's odd your example would be so blue?
    Last edited by cyclesport; 06-01-2012 at 12:11 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Not to steal your thread, but i recently bought a LM-21 direct from LP. Right out of the mailer I noticed it had a broken lens and the LED worked for about 5 minutes before giving up the ghost. When I contacted them, they did say they would replace it, if I shipped it back to Hong Kong. Not really sure why they could not have shipped a new lens and internals to me. I declined to ship it back due to the cost and hassle and told them as much.
    It was my first and probably last LumaPower.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclesport View Post
    Sorry that you were so disapointed with the Lumapower D Mini EX-2 Highlandernorth. I was somewhat interested in this light too since the Lumapower IncenDio V3U with the XP-G R5 was one of the first 1 X CR123 lights I ever used as an EDC light. It too was a fairly ringy beam and had a slightly off-center led mounting, and the build quality was not the best. The UI was great though w/no disco modes and 4 levels by using the rear clicky only + it's one of those lights that you let you drive it hard and brighter with Li-ions. For $50 it also came with a cool diffuser wand that let you use it as a lantern and a nice pair of precision tweezers to remove the rear retaining ring (that I've used a lot on other lights). I've thought many times about getting the XM-L version of this light.

    I don't carry it as much anymore just because I have so many newer better & brighter small EDC lights that it doesn't see too much rotation but I thank you for your comments about the D Mini EX-2 since I can scratch this one off my wish list. I am surprised about your comments about the XM-L emitter being so blue in tint though? I must own 10+ lights in different configurations now with this emitter in U2 & T6's and have always been amazed at how consistant the beam quality, and tint is across such a wide variety of manufacturers and different applications. It's odd your example would be so blue?


    ^I was surprised at the color tint of the XM-L that came in the D Mini as well, which is why i called it an "alleged XM-L." I own two other lights with XM-L's now, and both have nice, neutral beams. Not too yellow, but not blue whatsoever. But the LED in the D Mini was shockingly blue! No exaggeration, it was nearly as blue as those cheap 5mm LED's you see in lights on Ebay for $3-$5 apiece.

    But I just today remembered a couple other problems with the D Mini EX-2 that I forgot to mention yesterday. First of all, the o-rings were slightly too small and would fall out of the inside of the battery tubes and the head. Also, their diameter was too thin, so I dont think they'd hold back any water. That compared with the extremely loose fit between any 2 connections due to the poor machining process leading to poor thread patterns, would also allow moisture to easily get into the interior of the light.

    Poor planning, poor construction, poor quality control.

  8. #8
    gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    All my previous Lumapowers have been quite good, with reasonably solid construction. While I'm sorry to see this may not be the case any more. Let's let Ricky respond a bit before we jump to conclusions...
    Last edited by gunga; 06-01-2012 at 04:38 PM. Reason: edited for clarity

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    Flashaholic fishndad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    iv been interested for some time know in the V3U but guess ill take that 1 off my wish list.
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    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Quote Originally Posted by gunga View Post
    All my previous Lumapowers have been quite good, with reasonably solid construction. While I'm sorry to see this may not be the case any more. Let's let Ricky respond a bit before we jump to conclusions...
    I remember all of your great (and positive) LumaPower reviews back in the day.... at least they were great back then, weren't they?
    I spend my days in the light thinking about flashlights in the dark

  11. #11

    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Hi HighlanderNorth,

    I feel sorry to know the issues, and will forward the message to our Engineering team to study the details.

    Refer to BLUE tint of XM-L, this is the 1st time I get reported besides WARM.
    I will contact Tod to get more info. on that LED and report to the supplier.

    Refer to "SWITCH" doesn't changes MODE:
    The circuit with a Tactical Lock features, and user can Lock at any selected level or Unlock it.

    Refer to Contact Spring of D-65v: We have update the construction since few months ago.
    There is a new contact stick firmly connected to the battery tube.
    And we have sent spare parts to dealers.

    Refer to XP-G XM-L ringly effects :
    We already added new parts to resolve the ringly effects since 2 months ago.

    Hi shelm,

    There is 1 update (issue) for EDC series : LM21 with new switch which can help to improve the runtime.

    Hi alohasurftoad,

    Vantage drives at 620~650mA.
    It is not the BRIGHTES flashlight.

    Hi BaldGuy45,

    Since I am working under our company's policy, I cannot offer any free parts unless I get the RMA and send them inspection.
    Or I need to pay on my own. Sorry.

    Please feel free to contact me at sales@lumapower.com if you have any question, and we will do our best.

    Best regards,

    Ricky - Lumapower CS
    welcome to www.lumapower.com
    We do accept Paypal : sales@lumapower.com

  12. #12
    Flashaholic fishndad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Quote Originally Posted by lumapower View Post
    Hi HighlanderNorth,

    I feel sorry to know the issues, and will forward the message to our Engineering team to study the details.

    Refer to BLUE tint of XM-L, this is the 1st time I get reported besides WARM.
    I will contact Tod to get more info. on that LED and report to the supplier.

    Refer to "SWITCH" doesn't changes MODE:
    The circuit with a Tactical Lock features, and user can Lock at any selected level or Unlock it.

    Refer to Contact Spring of D-65v: We have update the construction since few months ago.
    There is a new contact stick firmly connected to the battery tube.
    And we have sent spare parts to dealers.

    Refer to XP-G XM-L ringly effects :
    We already added new parts to resolve the ringly effects since 2 months ago.

    Hi shelm,

    There is 1 update (issue) for EDC series : LM21 with new switch which can help to improve the runtime.

    Hi alohasurftoad,

    Vantage drives at 620~650mA.
    It is not the BRIGHTES flashlight.

    Hi BaldGuy45,

    Since I am working under our company's policy, I cannot offer any free parts unless I get the RMA and send them inspection.
    Or I need to pay on my own. Sorry.

    Please feel free to contact me at sales@lumapower.com if you have any question, and we will do our best.

    Best regards,

    Ricky - Lumapower CS
    Very nice i must say i hope FOURSEVENS is this responsive when they deel with my AA2x that stopped working after 2 weeks.
    Union Proud IBEW Local 683

  13. #13
    gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Yes, I'm sure they will. 4Sevens has always been quite responsive. Lumapower too.

    I have tested MANY Lumapower lights, and find the quality to be quite good. It might not be Surefire/HDS etc type quality, but generally quite good. ALso note, you will also find complaint threads about Surefire/HDS etc. People do run into bad batches in any light/product.

    Loose threads, could be an issue, but when screwed tight, the light should function fine. Still, I can understand it does not inspire confidence in build quality.

    The OP might not have understood the "smart-UI". Half click 4 times to lock in a mode. 1/2 click again, to unlock. It's not super intuitive if you don't know about it. Once yo udo, it's pretty easy to use.

    Tint, beam quality, well, it's sample variation, yep, could have been a bad sample.

    The spring in the 18650 tube, I've seen that on many Lumapower tubes in the past. I've never had a problem with it, since I don't change tubes in the field, but yes, it should be secured to prevent loss.

    Without pictures etc, it's hard to guauge exactly how bad this sample was, still sounds like a bad one. It can happen to most brands. I'll see if I can get a sample to review, I'd be surprised if they were all like this...

    As for lack of press? Well, Lumapower doesn't have the sexy appeal of the rotary UI (Suwayman/Jetbeam), the cult following of Surefire/HDS, even 4Sevens, but they still put out a pretty good product.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Quote Originally Posted by lumapower View Post
    Hi HighlanderNorth,

    I feel sorry to know the issues, and will forward the message to our Engineering team to study the details.

    Refer to BLUE tint of XM-L, this is the 1st time I get reported besides WARM.
    I will contact Tod to get more info. on that LED and report to the supplier.

    Refer to "SWITCH" doesn't changes MODE:
    The circuit with a Tactical Lock features, and user can Lock at any selected level or Unlock it.

    Refer to Contact Spring of D-65v: We have update the construction since few months ago.
    There is a new contact stick firmly connected to the battery tube.
    And we have sent spare parts to dealers.

    Refer to XP-G XM-L ringly effects :
    We already added new parts to resolve the ringly effects since 2 months ago.

    Hi shelm,

    There is 1 update (issue) for EDC series : LM21 with new switch which can help to improve the runtime.

    Hi alohasurftoad,

    Vantage drives at 620~650mA.
    It is not the BRIGHTES flashlight.

    Hi BaldGuy45,

    Since I am working under our company's policy, I cannot offer any free parts unless I get the RMA and send them inspection.
    Or I need to pay on my own. Sorry.

    Please feel free to contact me at sales@lumapower.com if you have any question, and we will do our best.

    Best regards,

    Ricky - Lumapower CS


    What you can do is contact Illuminationgear and ask them for the light I just returned, then take a look at it for yourself. The LED is very blue-ish, so maybe it was a "dud' accidentally mixed in with that batch of XM-L's, or you guys just ordered a batch with blue-ish tints. I'd also say to replace most or all the o-rings with slightly thicker diameter o-rings that fit snugly onto or into their respective housings.

    When threading one part onto another, I could feel lots of play between the 2 pieces, so when the threads are machined, I'd try and get their measurements a little closer to one another. The little pill that the LED was mounted on was the loosest of all, and it's threads were partially stripped from the start, and they were worn flat in most areas.

    That little spring that fell out of the long extension tube was very thin, and it was apparently made to just drop into the hole where it sits, but it isnt permanently attached there, so it just readily falls out. There should probably be a spare for that spring even if you permanently attach it, as it is a thin spring.

    As far as the click switch, I didnt try the tactical lock out function, I just tried switching between modes, but a few times it just didnt switch to the next mode, it just came back on in the same previous mode. I'd say it happened 1/3 of the time.

    I like the idea behind this light, and the ability to switch from 1-123 to 1-18650 with an extension tube, which makes it more flexible. I also like the larger diameter head for increased throw with the XM-L. The external feel of the light in my hand was good too. I cant judge the anodizing because I didnt have it long, but it looked good. I think the basic layout of the light is a good idea, it just needs the fine tuning to alleviate these issues, especially if it's being sold in the $95-$105 price range, as there is some stiff competition there, and many very good lights.

    If these issues are all ironed out I think it would be a good light.
    Last edited by HighlanderNorth; 06-02-2012 at 09:56 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Hi HighlanderNorth,

    Thank you very much for all value suggestions and I have just contact Illuminationgear to get in details and now waiting for their reply.
    Basically, we had already sent the new D-65v's upgrade parts (18650 extender) to dealers which with new design and no contact spring since the day of D-mini EX2 released.

    Best regards,

    Ricky - Lumapower CS
    welcome to www.lumapower.com
    We do accept Paypal : sales@lumapower.com

  16. #16

    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    I have reviewed several Lumapowers on my german website until now, and there was no problem ever with the quality of the lights or the strengh of the body. I've reviewed the Mini EX2 too, it worked without problems out of the box and also with the extension tube, and my sample was a well-done flashlight.
    The only thing I have to criticize is, that the light becomes darker with the runtime when using LiIon-cells (I don't know the english term for that, but hopefully I will learn soon, in German it's called "Regelung").

    Runtimes:

    CR123A battery: on power: 5.200 Lux
    after 5 minutes: 5.200 Lux
    after 10 minutes: 5200 lux
    after 20 minutes: 5200 lux
    After 30 minutes: 5100 lux
    After 40 minutes: 5100 lux
    After 50 minutes: 5100 lux
    after 60 minutes: 5,000 lux
    Later, after 67 minutes the light was rapidly darker. After 70 minutes, the measured value was 2000 lux 1600 lux After 75 more minutes were shown, after 80 minutes 1200 lux and 800 lux after 90 minutes, the test was aborted. The battery at this time had an open circuit voltage of 1.22 volts.

    3V RCR123 battery:
    on power: 5.200 Lux
    after 5 minutes: 5.200 Lux
    after 10 minutes: 5200 lux
    after 20 minutes: 5100 lux
    After 25 minutes, and displayed 4900 Lux started the lamp, rapidly become darker. After 27 minutes or 100 lux were displayed. The battery was removed and measured at 1.88 volts.


    16340 LiIon battery (AW, 750mAh)
    Immediately after turning on a peak of 13,600 lux was displayed. Within the first minute he fell off to 11,000 lux
    after 5 minutes: 10,400 lux
    after 10 minutes: 9600 lux
    after 20 minutes: 7200 lux
    After 25 minutes, and displayed 5200 lux turned off the lamp. The measured open circuit voltage of the battery was 3.35 volts immediately after removal.


    18650 rechargeable battery (AW, 2.600mAh):
    Here, too, more than 13,000 lux was measured at power. After one minute the score was 12 100 lux
    after 5 minutes: 11,300 lux
    after 10 minutes: 11,100 lux
    after 20 minutes: 10,600 lux
    after 30 minutes: 10,100 lux
    After 40 minutes: 9800 lux
    After 50 minutes: 9500 lux
    after 60 minutes: 9200 lux
    after 70 minutes: 9000 lux
    after 80 minutes: 8600 lux
    after 90 minutes: 7800 lux
    After 100 minutes or 5,000 lux were displayed. The battery was removed and measured with 3.29 volts open circuit voltage.

    Regards
    Walter

  17. #17

    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    thanks for measuring lux.
    the standard for measuring output is lumens. so please could you correct your numbers thanks?

    dont you have excel? it's by Microsoft

  18. #18
    Flashaholic fishndad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Quote Originally Posted by shelm View Post
    thanks for measuring lux.
    the standard for measuring output is lumens. so please could you correct your numbers thanks?

    dont you have excel? it's by Microsoft
    You are very critical or helpfull of others reviews.Mabey you could do it the correct way for all of us
    i put the smiley with a wink.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Quote Originally Posted by fishndad View Post
    i put the smiley with a wink.
    you again too??




    ( )

  20. #20

    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Quote Originally Posted by shelm View Post
    thanks for measuring lux.
    the standard for measuring output is lumens. so please could you correct your numbers thanks?

    dont you have excel? it's by Microsoft
    I'm not quite sure what "measuring output" means exactly, and I couldn't find a translation.
    I cannot measure lumens with my equipment, just lux.
    And of course I have excel on my computer. But I'm not familiar with it.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic fishndad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    You did good. thanks for the post keep up the interest.By the way always wanted to get stationed at Ramstein AFB.
    ever heard of it?
    Union Proud IBEW Local 683

  22. #22

    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Quote Originally Posted by fishndad View Post
    You did good. thanks for the post keep up the interest.By the way always wanted to get stationed at Ramstein AFB.
    ever heard of it?
    Not really. The only thing I remember is a plane-crash more than 20 years ago during a flight show.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    I should be getting a D-mini EX2 in for review. I'll post lots of pictures and detail, so people can check it out.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumapower D Mini EX-2 quick review: Dont waste your money!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lichtinsdunkel View Post
    I'm not quite sure what "measuring output" means exactly, and I couldn't find a translation.
    I cannot measure lumens with my equipment, just lux.
    And of course I have excel on my computer. But I'm not familiar with it.

    Thanks for your info about the light, and the lux measurements are good to know, although lumens are the norm, but if you cant measure that, then lux is certainly better than nothing.

    I think the word you might be looking for to describe your light losing brightness over time is, that it is "dimming" or becoming "dim".

    But I can tell you that I didnt own my D Mini ex-2 long enough too find out whether it had a "regelung" problem!

    How long ago did you acquire your D Mini EX-2? You didnt have any problems with fitment between parts, like with loose threads, or over or undersized O-rings, or with the LED being too blue? I wish I wouldve gotten hold of the light you got, then I couldve kept it!

    As of now, I am waiting on my new light, which I bought with the refund of the D Mini, its the Eagletac G25 C2...

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