My teacher recently told me that I write as if I am talking in person, I am not sure if that may or may not be a nuisance when you read, so if it is, I apologize and please tell me and I’ll fix it.
A month or two ago, I received an F30C by Andy over at Nitefighter. My reviews usually never take this long, but I’ve been having it rough for some time (school ended on June, 7, fortunately).
Back to the review:
Before I received the F30C, unfortunately, the first unit he sent to me was lost by the shipping agent, and he kindly shipped another one as soon as he could. He answers emails very fast in case anyone was wondering, usually by the next morning.
First, I figured it would be better if I included the official specs…
-LED: Cree XM-L T6 cool white;
-Max Output: 750 lumens;
-Battery Type: 2xCR123A / 1x18650 battery
-Run Time: High -2.5Hrs
Low- 50Hrs, 75Hrs(ex-tube)
SOS - 15Hrs
-Material:Aero grade aluminium alloy
-Finish: Type III hard anodizing - (The good, “high quality type”)
-Size: Ø25.4mm x 220mm,
-Accessories: Holster, Lanyard, Clip,Spare o-rings,Ex-tube
…as well as my first impressions:
The flashlight was shipped via DHL, and the box was rather simple and gave the most important specs in a big sticker. I guess they like being “green”, which I personally liked, small box and using every little space in it. So, when I took out the flashlight, I thought, “wow, that’s a nice color”. The only other flashlight that I have with that color is the Klarus XT20. It’s a nice shade of grey, and the steel bezel made it look “classy”. The reflector is medium sized, compared to the TK41’s bigger reflector and the Viking X’s smaller one. For those of you wondering, yes, it throws a good distance. The light’s shape reminded me of the Xeno G42 I believe it was called, (the XP-G R5 thrower). As in, the good solid mass and slightly-bigger-than-body-head.
And so, here is the F30C:
Note: On my unit it was marked as a test sample and some numbers on the box, but I really doubt you’ll see this on yours.
The F30C is made up of three basic parts, as usual in most flashlights: the head which has the ample and deep reflector, the body for the batteries, and the tailcap.
However, when used with the extension tube, there are four parts (duh).
The tailcap is quite interesting, it doesn’t have knurling, but it has a pattern of raised ridges around the circumference, so I guess it sort of counts as knurling? It’s very “grippy”. The lanyard attachment holes at the end are different though. On one side there is a full oval opening, but on the other side there are two halves. I guess it’s in case you don’t want the lanyard to slide or have a lot of play. Oh well, the more options the better, huh?
Inside the head, there is a spring on the positive contact, so it is possible to use flat tops 18650.
It also, numerous times when I dropped the light, absorbed the impact and kept the light and the battery unharmed. The strike bezel isn’t as sharp compared to my other lights, and really don’t think it will have much “pain capability”, but it compensates it with superior thickness, and does a really good job protecting itself from falls. The LED is well centered on my unit.
In the pictures you can see a “CAUTION HOT” sign, and while it does get warm after extended periods, I never found it egg-boiling hot. Apparently, from what I’ve gathered, it’s a good sign the heat transfer from the LED to the metal is working, keeping the LED cool.
I have a Cree budget light, as some would call it, in my household, my family has a nickname for it, “China”, because it came from, well, china . Anyways, the light actually has an extension tube installed, and the body was originally a 3 X CR123 body.
So I figured that if it fits on the F30C, it’s possible to power it with 2 X 18650. And booyah! The thing actually worked! I could even interchange tailcaps, but I don’t, I like the F30C’s one much better. The clip BTW is very easy to put on, and also very reliable. Did I mention it was shiny? (For you tactical fellers, I have a feeling you won’t be putting a shiny clip)
I realize I took many pictures comparing the F30C to the Viking X, because one, I think they’re more alike than the rest of my lights. They both use an XM-L, have clips, and same power sources.
The clip is very similar to design compared to the Viking, but not the same color, and not as difficult to install. I found the Viking’s clip to be stronger, in my opinion.
The F30C has a bigger head and a tighter hotspot.
The F30 is longer and heavier basically.
The body tube has two o-rings at both ends and the tailcap has a spring as well.
The holster that comes with clearly wasn’t an afterthought, it has good seams, and a hole at the bottom in case you use the light with the extension tube.
I find the F30C in a medium size light class, not small like the LD12, nor a full size light like the TK41. Some pictures there with stuff to let you know the relative sizes of the lights.
(All pictures have equal intervals, on my camera, I lowered the exposures by intervals of 5 units)
Nitefighter F30C vs ArmyTek Viking X
Nitefighter F30C vs ArmyTek Predator OP Reflector
Nitefighter F30C vs Fenix TK20
Nitefighter F30C vs ArmyTek Predator SMO Reflector
Note: I don’t own any CR123 nor RCR123, so I wasn’t able to test it out with the 3-cell configuration, but I’m positive it will be able to hold up just as fine.
2 X 18650
1 X 18650
The Nitefighter has a similar, but different UI as the ArmyTek Viking X. On the Nitefighter, when the head is loosened, it comes out in Turbo, its highest output (did I mention its bright?) or strobe. Those are the only modes in that position. Now, when the head is tightened, I found there is a high, which is almost the same thing as turbo, (there was barely a difference), medium, which was still bright, and low, which was in the range of a decent-low to a bright-low mode. Sufficient for trips to the bathroom at night. When you have the head tightened, if you click on and off three times, you’ll get SOS. Ironically, turning the light on and off is the only way to change outputs, so I don’t know if that counts as some would put it, “hidden blinky modes”.
The Light as a Whole:
This flashlight, if I was to somehow be forced at gunpoint to describe the light in one sentence, I guess it would be: “Point it at your face and turn it on, trust me, it’ll speak for itself.”No, but seriously, I never thought a flashlight powered by a single 18650 would ever be capable of such output. Without offending either, I didn’t expect a new company to release these light cannons just starting off. Boy, was I wrong. If you like throwers, awesome, me too, and this light does the job. If you prefer flooders, awesome too, so do I LOL, and this has a good spill angle and a nice, corona that smoothly diffuses into the spill. Its versatile.
The only nitpick that I found was the UI on the head-tightened, because I frequently had to teach my little siblings how to use the light, and I would usually end up in SOS in the middle of the demonstration, and I thought, well, I should probably tell the ladies and gents over at CPF about this.
And while it’s not a tremendous “OMG!” issue, I have to admit, it was sometimes annoying, and I think I’m a pretty positive and outgoing person (but perhaps not that patient?). Other than that, I like it, my family liked it, and my little sister always wants to sleep with it.
My dad, on the other hand, went to work with it. He works as an aviation technician, we call him the “plane-fixer”, and sometimes works some hours at night. So, when he came home, he said all his buddies loved it and were crazy over it, asking where he got it and stuff. Yeah, not exactly your usual Dollar store flashlight LOL. I’m not sure if I ever did or even say anything though, I just didn’t know where to start. So for now, I imagine they say that “darkness fears my dad’s light stick”.
So all in all, nice color, tight beam, bright, stylish, “lego-able in my book”, versatile, solid, and awesome.
Here is to hoping I haven’t made Andy mad yet with the time it took to finally get this together. I had the light since towards the end of March.
The Nitefighter F30C was kindly provided by Andy over at Nitefighter
I hope you guys enjoyed this review, if you have any questions, I will always be glad to help out.