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Thread: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!)

  1. #1

    Buttrock Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!)

    Crelant is a company that's been known for some time for what's been it's flagship light, the 7G5. The 7G5 has been one of the most highly considered lights for a powerful light with long throw, and still is. Now, Crelant has made an attempt to outdo itself with the 7G9. Running off 3x18650 lithium ion batteries in parallel, it boasts 1020 lumens from a single XM-L, nestled in a very large, deep reflector. With a few other big throwers coming out into the market, Crelant is here to show it's still in the game.


    Thanks to Mark at MD Lightsource for providing the 7G9 for review.

    Iíll be reviewing the 7G9 in two sections: first, Iíll discuss the light objectively (the facts about the light itself), then Iíll discuss the light subjectively (my impressions about the light's performance when used for specific applications). This is a large, dedicated thrower, so I'll be reviewing it as such. If you have any other specific applications you'd like the light tested for, let me know and I'll see what I can do.


    4-Minute Overview

    Below is a video "quick review" you can watch in just a few minutes, if you're not up for reading the full review right now:


    This video is available in 720p HD, but defaults to a lower quality. To select the playback quality click the settings button (looks like a gear) after you've started the video.


    Night Walk

    Below is a "nitewalker" video of the 7G9's performance at night on a trail. I apologize for the graininess of the video, my camera take pretty poor video at night.


    This video is available in 720p HD, but defaults to a lower quality. To select the playback quality click the settings button (looks like a gear) after you've started the video.


    Objective

    Manufacturer's Specifications

    MSRP: $142



    Packaging




    My review sample came in this brown box with a bit of foam for cushion, wrapped in plastic. I believe this sample to use the same packaging as the market version. Included in the box are the light, the user guide, lanyard, spare o-ring, spare rubber switch cover. (Note: mine arrived with the user guide for the V9=T6 instead of the 7G9 user guide, so I contacted mark and he emailed the correct one to me.)


    Construction Quality



    The 7G9 is a large light, but it's been built as compact as possible to do the job. It uses 3x18650 batteries (only one pictured) in parallel, which makes the body pretty thick. The head, being designed to for long throw, is even thicker. The 7G9 is make from an aluminum allow, and has a black hard anodized coating to protect it from wear. This light has an extremely solid feel, and you'll see the walls of the light are very thick. This not only makes the light sturdy, but also helps with heat management.

    Let's take a closer look, starting at the front and working back.



    The 7G9 uses a Cree XM-L U2 emitter, currently (6/17/12) the best efficiency high-brightness emitter available. This means it's the best at converting energy to light instead of heat, which allows higher brightnesses before the temperature starts to damage the emitter. The LED is well-centered at the bottom of a deep, wide, very smooth reflector. The size and shape of the reflector are designed to focus as much as possible of the light into a spot in the center of the beam, which the smooth sides (as opposed to textured) make sure that very little light is scattered. A stainless steel bezel protects the lens and reflector in case of impact to the head. The crenelations on the bezel allow light to shine out when the stood on it's head, and match with the style of the rest of the body.



    The Head is a solid piece, with head dissipation fins both on the large portion near the reflector, and the smaller portion near the emitter itself. I've been unable to open the head with out the use of tools, but judging by the weight, the head seems to contain a large heat sink. The head also has a few large grooves milled out of it, which help provide some grip. The body of the 7G9 has very even, light knurling, with a few smooth ovals cut out to print on. The tail section has several shallow grooves cut into the side for more grip. Overall, the 7G9 has a very imposing appearance.



    Of the three smooth ovals cut out from the body, one has the Crelant logo, one the model information, one the power source.



    The tail has four raised crenelations, which provide easy access to the switch while maintaining the ability for a very solid tail stand. Each crenelation has a hole to attach the lanyard. The switch is a mechanical forward-click switch, which recognizes half and full presses.

    Now, it's time to take the light apart.




    Without the use of tools, the 7G9 comes apart into two pieces: head, and body-tail. The tail does not separate from the body.



    Iside the head, you can see the Crelant logo and website printed in the center. The ring in the middle makes contact with the positive terminals of the batteries. This ring does not turn freely, as on some other 3x18650 lights we've seen, so you can see that the friction from the batteries has caused some light scraping here. Also, it seems that with this design a flat top cell would not make contact, but my AW's work just fine, and they're the flattest I have to test.



    The body of the light does not have a separate battery carrier, but rather a three-leaf clover design cut through to house the batteries in a solid chunk of metal. I found that my Callies' Kustoms 18650s (the fattest brand I know of) can not fit in unless I remove their labels. With the plastic stickers removed, they slid in and out just fine. No other cells I tested had any trouble fitting. In the picture on the right, you can see the three springs to make contact with the negative battery terminals at the tail of the light. it would be worth your time to click on that picture to see an enlarged version .



    The threads of the 7G9 are non-anodized, which means you can't loosen them to lock-out the light, so be sure to remove the batteries if you won't be using it for a while. The threads are not quite square cut, but more of a trapezoid shape, and feel solid and smooth when loosening/tightening. An o-ring is included to help with waterproofness.



    When the batteries are inserted and the springs uncompressed, a significant portion of the batteries stick out (this is great if you neglected to remove the stickers from your Callies' Kustoms before putting them in, because it gives you a way to pull them back out ).

    Accessories



    The only accessory the 7G9 comes with is a lanyard. The lanyard has a lobster claw clip with a small split ring. The lobster claw does not fit into the holes for the lanyard, you have to put the split ring through a hole then put the claw on the split ring.

    Dimensions



    *The measurement of the battery tube diameter is take from one side to the other (perpendicular to the radius of the light itself), but the separate tubes seem to overlap just slightly. So, one battery at 18.6mm can just barely fit in, but three 18.6mm batteries can't because they run into each other. This is why I had to take the stickers off of my Callie's Kustoms to make them fit.

    User Interface

    The 7G9 has a very simple user interface. There are three modes available, High > Medium > Low. The switch is a mechanical forward-click switch. A half press will give momentary activation: the light will come on in the mode after the one you used last, and stay on until the switch is released. A full press will click the switch into the constant on position using whatever mode is after the one you used last, and the light will remain on until the switch is clicked again. To change modes, turn the light off, then back on within about a second, and it will advance to the next mode in the High > Medium > Low sequence.


    Action Shots

    Light in Hand



    White Wall (Low, Medium, High)
    ISO 100, f/3.3, 1/20"



    Note: Up close there are a few artifacts in the beam just outside of the spot, but these fade and blur together once you get a few meters away.

    BeamSlice


    MugShot


    Indoor Shots (Low, Medium, High)
    ISO 100, f/3.3, 1"




    Outdoor Shots (Control, Low, Medium, High)
    ISO 100, f/3.3, 2.5"





    Long Range (Control, High)
    ISO 100, f/3.3 (or less if optically zoomed), 5"

    Tree at about 60 meters



    Building at about 175 meters



    Digital zoom of same building at about 175 meters



    Down river to bridge construction at about 330 meters



    Optical zoom (lowered aperture to f/5.9) of bridge construction at about 330 meters




    Performance

    Submersion: I put the 7G9 under about a foot of water for about an hour, clicking it on and off and cycling through the modes several times. After the test, I can see no evidence of water having entered the light, and there is no noticeable change in performance. This is not surprising, as the entire light is sealed up tight except for the separation between head and body, and there is an appropriate o-ring present there. My only concern here is that the o-ring seems slightly too loose, so it's come off a few times when changing batteries. If you loose the o-ring, you can't count on waterproofness anymore.

    Heat: When running the 7G9 on high, I found that it gets noticeably hot, but not too hot to hold. The huge mass and the cooling fins do a good job of dissipating the heat.

    PWM: I can detect PWM on Low and Medium modes by viewing the 7G9 through my camera using a very fast exposure, but I cannot see the PWM during normal use, and I can hear no inductor whine. High mode shows no sign of pulse-width modulation.

    Drop: I dropped the 7G9 from a height of about 1 meter onto various surfaces including grass, carpet, packed dirt, and wood. The light shows no signs of damage to form or function. I can't say the same for the wood.

    Reverse Polarity Protection: Crelant makes no claims of reverse polarity protection for the 7G9. Looking at the ring in the head, it seems that only button tops on the positive end of a battery would make connection here, thus giving a mechanical reverse polarity protection. However, I tested the light with some "flat top" AW cells (inserted correctly) and the light worked just fine. Also, some AW cells have small dots on the negative end, which would increase the possibility of contact with the positive terminal of the light if inserted backwards. So, the conclusion is that the light might protect itself from a battery inserted backwards, but you shouldn't count on it.

    Over-Discharge Protection: I can find no evidence of direct over-discharge protection, however, the light is mostly unregulated, so you'll know it's time to recharge when it get's dimmer.

    Spectral Analysis

    All light that we see as white is actually made up of several different colors put together. The relative intensities of the different colors in the mix are what determine the tint of the white we see. For example, cool white LED's have a lot of blue, and warm white LED's have more red or yellow. This measurement was done on a home made spectrometer. Note: the peak in the 900nm region doesn't really exist, it's a piece of the second-order spectrum that's showing up here because of the high intensity of the light source.



    Output, Current Draw and Runtime


    ANSI FL-1 runtime ratings are the time it takes for a light to fall to 10% of it's original output (counting from 30 seconds after turning the light on). *My estimate for the Low mode run time is calculated from the current draw measured for Low mode and the battery capacity used on the other modes.

    Note: The vertical axis of the graph below represents a relative brightness measurement using a home made light box. The horizontal axis is time in hours:minutes:seconds. Runtimes are stated in hours:minutes:seconds. These graphs may be truncated to show detail.

    Mode Comparison


    High with 1, 2, or 3x18650


    You can notice that several of the plots have a downward spike to zero near the end. The 7G9 seems to have a single quick low-voltage flash off that some of my tests happened to capture, and some did not.
    Throwing Distance

    ANSI FL-1 standard for stating a light's throwing distance is the distance at which the peak beam intensity (usually at the center of the beam) is 0.25 lux. I calculate throwing distance and candela (lux at 1 meter) by measuring peak beam intensity at five different distances and using the formula lux*distance^2=constant.

    Peak Beam Intensity: 67,760cd
    Throw Distance: 521m


    Subjective Review

    Quick break down:

    +Approaches 70k candella, over 500m throw
    +Built like a tank
    +Good heat management
    +Great throw
    +Tight spot
    +Reasonable mode spacing
    +Great price
    +Surprisingly nice tint (warmer end of cool)
    +Can run off 1, 2, or 3x 18650
    +Battery tubes drilled out, no separate battery carrier
    +Looks intimidating
    +Did I mention it can throw?
    +Can tailstand (but I can't imagine why you'd want to?)
    +Good balance in hand
    +Good grip

    -Bigger batteries have tight fit
    -Outdated UI
    -Might be uncomfortable in smaller hands
    -Little/no regulation
    -No support for primaries?

    Let me start by saying this: the 7G9 may well be the best throw per dollar available (3.7 m/$ ). As I've been testing this light, I find the it pretty much reaches to the edge of visible distance for me. In the shot above zoomed in on the bridge construction equipment, I couldn't see that with my naked eye, only with the optical zoom on my camera, and the 7G9 was lighting it up.

    The 7G9 is just a well thought out piece of engineering. The solidity of the light is very impressive. I'm especially glad to see that the batteries are held in the body of the light itself, not a battery carrier. That alone is going to be huge in preventing damage. Also, the sheer amount of material used adds both strength and heat handling ability. Crelant certainly didn't skimp on the heat fins either, as there are a ton.

    I only have a few things I wish were different about the 7G9. The first is the UI. I'm just not a fan of the click-click-click to advance interface. There are so many better options. Ideally, in the future I'd like to see Crelant do something similar to the 7G9 (maybe a 7G9 v2?) with a side switch instead of a tail switch. With a light this size, the overhand hold can start to get awkward. Also, a very easy fix that Crelant could even do in the next production batch would be to ever-so-slightly widen the battery tubes, allowing thicker batteries to fit more easily.

    One thing Im a bit disappointed in is the apparent lack of support for primary cells. I never use CR123's, but I like to have the option if need it. The 7G9's specs list that it can handle 6 volts, so I shot an email to Crelant to ask for sure. I'll give an update when they respond. Either way, it's not too big a deal, because this isn't really an emergency preparedness kind of light, but I still just like the option.

    By looking at the ring inside the head that makes contact with the positive battery terminals, it looks like the 7G9 would only accept button top cells. However, I tested it with both AW 2900mAh and AW 31000mAh cells, both considered "flat-top" cells, and they all worked just fine. I guess their tops must be just slightly raised and I can't see it, but those are the flattest I have to test.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that this light is big. It fit's great in my hand, and I prefer this chunky format to a long skinny "plunger" light for most situations, but for some people it might be big enough to be uncomfortable. Having a light with three cells in parallel isn't for everybody, but I like it a lot.

    Overall, this light is a great option for a no-frills long thrower. Crelant has kept the cost down by making sure this is bright and throws well, not adding much fancy. If you already have a dedicated thrower, thats great, but if you're looking for one, few lights are going to throw better than the 7G9 even close to this price range.


    Long Term Impressions

    I'll fill this part in after carrying the light for a while. If nothing get's added here, either I find nothing else worth noting about the light, or I end up not using it often.
    Last edited by Bigmac_79; 06-25-2012 at 12:09 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    Review begun, including some long range beam shots!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    Throw measurement and High mode runtime graph added!

    Throw: 67,760cd / 521m
    Runtime on High (until 10%): 4hr 5min

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigmac_79 View Post
    Throw: 67,760cd / 521m
    Pretty close to what I got. Cool!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    Quote Originally Posted by rufus001 View Post
    Pretty close to what I got. Cool!
    Thanks for your input! Would you mind sharing what you measured?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    Nice, I like this light

  7. #7
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigmac_79 View Post
    Thanks for your input! Would you mind sharing what you measured?
    I got 63k converted from 6 metres. But taken under less than ideal conditions with a cheapo light meter so I'm happy you've replicated the results. Well near enough.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    Quote Originally Posted by rufus001 View Post
    I got 63k converted from 6 metres. But taken under less than ideal conditions with a cheapo light meter so I'm happy you've replicated the results. Well near enough.
    Thanks for those numbers. I took mine from five different distances, converted them back to 1 meter, and averaged the results If I remember correctly, I think they ranged from about 65k to 68k.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    Text added to construction and UI sections!

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    very nice, 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

  11. #11

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    still over 20,000 lux off tn31 ?

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    you do such great reviews, thank you!
    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

  13. #13

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    Quote Originally Posted by hahoo View Post
    still over 20,000 lux off tn31 ?
    I don't have a TN31, but based on the numbers others are measuring, yes, it looks like the TN31 is more focused. So, if you regularly need to view objects more than 520 meters away, it seems the TN31 would be a better choice, otherwise, the 7G9 is probably going to give you wider coverage in your target area. (Same amount of lumens, approximately, just a different distribution).

    Quote Originally Posted by tobrien View Post
    you do such great reviews, thank you!
    Thanks

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* madecov's Avatar
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    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    Very detailed review. Thank you
    In god we trust.........all others are suspects
    There are no problems in life that can not be solved with high explosives or small arms
    Too many new lights to list

  15. #15

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Coming Soon!)

    Quote Originally Posted by madecov View Post
    Very detailed review. Thank you
    Any time

  16. #16

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!) (In Progress)

    Quick video overview posted to beginning of review.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* madecov's Avatar
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    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!) (In Progress)

    Does the body construction help in heat management? There is an awful lot of Aluminum there.
    In god we trust.........all others are suspects
    There are no problems in life that can not be solved with high explosives or small arms
    Too many new lights to list

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* ^Gurthang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!) (In Progress)

    Looking at the lights body pics I see that the G9 has a max volt rating of 6.25 so it could use CR123s [6X] but not RCR123 / 18350. Good work w/ your review very informative.
    ^G When I reply, threads die....

  19. #19

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!) (In Progress)

    Quote Originally Posted by madecov View Post
    Does the body construction help in heat management? There is an awful lot of Aluminum there.
    Yes, the large mass is very helpful. I can't get the head apart to be sure, but it feels like it contains a large heatsink of something denser than aluminum. The cooling fins are very helpful as well. Considering the high output, I'd expect this light to get a lot hotter than it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by ^Gurthang View Post
    Looking at the lights body pics I see that the G9 has a max volt rating of 6.25 so it could use CR123s [6X] but not RCR123 / 18350. Good work w/ your review very informative.
    You're right, I noticed that voltage rating as well. Before trying it, I contacted Crelant to see what they would say about using CR123's. It seems like the flashlight could handle it alright, but I've heard that CR123 cells can have trouble at high discharge currents. I'll update here when I hear back from Crelant about this.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!) (In Progress)

    Runtime/output plots and more beamshots added, including throw to a bridge at about 330 meters!

  21. #21

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!) (In Progress)

    Subjective review finished, and spectral graph uploaded. This review is complete

  22. #22

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!) (In Progress)

    "NiteWalker" video of the 7G9 added to beginning of the review! If you don't want to scroll all the way back up to see it, here it is:


  23. #23
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!) (In Progress)

    Oh boy,, I am running out of excuse's for the missus. I think you have done another excellent review Bigmac 79. Another Crelant coming up for the collection. Just got to work out what to say to the missus...,

  24. #24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Sylvia View Post
    Oh boy,, I am running out of excuse's for the missus. I think you have done another excellent review Bigmac 79. Another Crelant coming up for the collection. Just got to work out what to say to the missus...,
    Thanks for the compliment! If you get in trouble, just tell her it's my fault.

    Sent from my mobile device. Please excuse brevity and typos.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!)

    crelant claims 700m throw, but ur testing only got 521.

    would it be safe to say they overrate the throw on most if not all of their lights then?
    Last edited by cruzer; 12-03-2012 at 08:07 PM.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Bwolcott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!)

    Quote Originally Posted by cruzer View Post
    crelant claims 700m throw, but ur testing only got 521.

    would it be safe to say they overrate the throw on most if not all of their lights then?

    yes most companies do though
    Asilaydying1984 ON YOUTUBE

  27. #27

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!)

    Quote Originally Posted by cruzer View Post
    crelant claims 700m throw, but ur testing only got 521.

    would it be safe to say they overrate the throw on most if not all of their lights then?
    LOL

    Its safe to say about every light out there does that...as they take optimum conditions and use ANSI tests to get their numbers....and we use work around rube goldberg tests to try to get a handle on the same thing. So, sure, our numbers will be different generally...especially if we don't know the true beam convergence distance that is used by the OEM to get THEIR numbers.

    In short, the "real #" is the MAX number obtained at ONE distance that maximizes the Lux. So some lights will need to be measured at 10 meters, and some at 5, and so forth. The longer the light's ultimate throw distance, typically, the further you need to measure the lux at to accurately back-calculate to the lux at 1 meter #. (As ACTUALLY measuring at 1 M, ironically, give s the "wrong 1 M #", and so forth)

    For lights with over 500 M ranges, 10 meters may be required for example to allow room for convergence. (Averaging the Lux at different ranges is not going to improve accuracy...it simply lowers the eventual lux at 1 M value)


  28. #28

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Crelant 7G9 (Over 67k lux!)

    sorry im a noob!

    but thanks lol

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