Warning: pic heavy as usual.
The 7G3CS and 7G6CS are new 1x18650-class lights from Crelant. They both share the same user interface, which is similar to the 7G5CS that I recently reviewed. Let's see how they compare to each other, and other lights of this class.
Note: as always, these are only what the manufacturer report on their website. To see my actual testing results, scroll down the review.
- CREE XM-L U3 bin LED
- Maximum output: 7G3CS: 500 lumen, 7G6CS: 715 Lumen
- 7G3CS Runtime: High output at 2A: 500 lumen max for 148 minutes. Low output at 0.01A: 1 lumen max for 100 hours
- 7G6CS Runtime: High output at 2.6A: 715lumen max for 95minutes. Low output at 0.01A: 1 lumen max for 128 hours
- 7G3CS: effective range of 200 meters
- 7G6CS: beam distance 28,500 cd, effective range of 400 meters
- High efficient constant current circuit and output-luminance
- Microcontroller drive circuit
- Tactical High Mode, and On side switch Infinitely variable brightness system
- Hidden Strobe and SOS, Quickly click 2 times side switch ---> Strobe , and quickly click 2 times again ---> SOS
- Working voltage: 2.7V--8.5VDC
- Battery Types Supported: 1 x 18650 or 2 X CR123A
- Mil. Spec. Type III hard anodized aircraft grade 6063-T6 aluminum alloy
- Color: Black
- Ergonomic grip with anti-roll design
- Tactical forward tail cap switch
- Bezel: stainless steel
- High performance aluminum smooth reflector with concentrated beam shot
- Waterproof: IPX-8 Standard (1.5m)
- Lens: Toughened ultra-clear coated and anti-abrasion glass
- Accessories: Lanyard, spare o-ring
- Stainless steel retaining ring on the bezel protects the head from drops and impacts.
- New hybrid reflector specially designed for CREE LED, which allows for better beam quality, efficiency and throw capability
- 7G3CS Dimensions: Length 134mm, Head Diameter 23mm, Weight: 92g excluding battery
- 7G6CS Dimensions: Length 173mm, Head Diameter 48mm ,body 25.4mm, Weight: 182g excluding battery
- MSRP: 7G3CS ~$48, 7G6CS ~$59
The 7G3CS and 7G6CS came in different packaging – cameo-colored display packaging for the 7G3CS (similar to the small pocket Crelant lights), and the newer cardboard box design for the 7G6CS (similar to the 7G5CS).
Inside for both lights were a clip-on style pocked clip, extra o-rings, a paracord-style wrist strap, and manual (again similar to the 7G5CS). There was no holster with either light. There's a removable metal clip ring included on the 7G6CS.
As I also noted in my 7G5CS review, the specs printed on the side of the 7G6CS box are not consistent. The beam distance measure ("400m") doesn't match with the beam intensity measure (28,500 cd = 338m distance). See my detailed testing below for an assessment of which number is more accurate (and for which battery type). Note also that although the box doesn't list a Med mode, the light is capable of a full range of outputs between Max and Min.
From left to right: AW Protected 18650; Crelant 7G3CS, 7G6CS; Thrunite TN11; Foursevens X7; Xeno G42; Rofis TR31C; Nitecore MH25.
Actual Measured Dimensions
All dimensions were personally measured, and are given with no batteries installed:
Crelant 7G3CS: Weight: 67.8g, Length: 135.0mm, Width (bezel): 25.1mm
Crelant 7G6CS: Weight: 218.7g, Length: 172mm, Width (bezel): 48.0mm
Olight S20: Weight: 51.8g, Length: 105.4mm, Width (bezel): 23.1mm
Eagletac D25LC2: Weight: 50.0g, Length: 116.3mm, Width (bezel): 22.5mm
Foursevens Quark Q123-2 X (Regular tailcap): Weight: 44.6g, Length: 112.7mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm
Foursevens X7: Weight 146.9g, Length: 151.5mm, Width (bezel): 38.7mm
Jetbeam PC20: Weight: 60.0g, Length: 127.5mm, Width (bezel): 22.6mm
Klarus XT11: Weight 133.0g, Length: 148.8, Width (bezel) 35.0mm
Nitecore MH25: Weight: 145.4g, Length: 160mm, Width (bezel): 40.0m
Rofis TR31C: Weight: 180.7g, Length: 153.0mm, Width (bezel): 39.8mm
Sunwayman C20C: Weight 57.6g, Length: 104.8mm. Width (bezel): 25.6mm
Thrunite TN10: Weight: 154.7g, Length: 145.5mm, Width (bezel): 35.1mm
Thrunite TN12: Weight: 64.0g, Length: 126.9mm, Width (bezel): 24.1mm
Xeno G42: Weight: 224.3g, Length 161mm, Width (bezel) 46.6mm
The 7G3CS is reasonable for a slim-lined light, although it is a little longer due to secondary mode switch. The 7G3CS is definitely at the larger end of both length and weight, in keeping with its relative "thrower" status.
The 7G3CS is a fairly minimalist build, with an integrated tailcap (i.e., light only opens at the head). Anodizing is a matte black, with no damage or nicks on my sample. Labels are bright white and clear, well centered, and include a serial number. The knurling on the battery tube is of mild aggressiveness, but the cut-out regions are fairly sharp. Grip as ok, but could be higher.
There is a spring in the head, so all flat-top high capacity cells should fit and work fine in the light.
The 7G3CS comes with flat-ended stainless steel bezel and tail rings. The light can thus headstand and tailstand (i.e., the tailcap is recessed enough to allow tailstanding).
Screw threads are traditional triangular-cut, but seem of good quality. They are not anodized at the battery tube/head interface, so I am afraid no lock out is possible. Note that I found the head a bit stiff to tighten, especially over the area where the o-ring is present. Oddly, there is anodizing on the screw threads below the bezel (where it serves no purpose).
As with the 7G5CS, the 7G3CS uses a forward clicky switch in the tail to control on/off. There is a secondary electronic switch in the head to control output modes. Scroll down for a discussion of the common user interface.
The 7G3CS uses the new U3 output bin of the Cree Cool White XM-L emitter. The 7G3CS comes with a relatively deep reflector for the class, lightly textured. Don't expect the light to be a thrower, but it should do better than most other slim lights with a shallow reflector.
The 7G6CS has a more traditional build, with a larger head. Anodizing is a similar matte black, with no damage or nicks. Labels are bright white and clear, again well centered, with a serial number. The knurling on the battery tube is similarly mild, but grip is enhanced thanks to the other build elements.
There is also a spring in the head, so all flat-top high capacity cells should fit and work fine in the light.
The 7G6CS comes a flat stainless tail ring, allowing tailstanding. The bezel has a slightly scalloped stainless steel ring.
Screw threads are again good quality triangular-cut, nice and deep. They are also now anodized at the tail, so lock out is possible again.
As with the 7G5CS, the 7G3CS uses a forward clicky switch in the tail to control on/off, with a secondary electronic switch in the head to control output modes. Scroll down for a discussion of the common user interface.
The 7G6CS comes with a much wider reflector than the 7G3CS, fairly deep for maximum throw (with a smooth finish). I would expect this light to throw very well for the class. The 7G6CS also uses the same U3 output bin of the Cree Cool White XM-L emitter.
User interface is largely unchanged from 7G5CS. Use the tailcap forward tailcap clicky for on/off - press and release for momentary on, click for locked on. The light always comes on in Max output mode (i.e., there is no mode memory).
Mode switching is controlled by the electronic switch in the head. When On, clicking (pressing and releasing) the side switch moves through the following modes: Hi > Lo > Standby off, in repeating sequence.
Double-clicking the side switch when On enters into the blinking modes, starting with Strobe. Double-click again to advance to SOS. A single click move you back the regular sequence, starting the in the Standby off (i.e., single click again to move Max, etc.). Turning the light off-on at the rear tailcap reverts you back immediately to Max.
Pressing and holding the side switch from On begins a continuously-variable ramp in output. Initially, the light ramps down from Max to Min, and then reverses back to Max, in a repeating loop.
Here's how it looks compared to other lights:
There is a slight pause when first holding down the switch. Then the light ramps down over ~8 secs. It holds the lowest level for about a second or so, and then ramps back up in the same ~8 sec timeframe. The light flashes 3 times when the max level is reached, and then starts ramping back down after a brief pause.
Unlike the 7G5CS, I didn't notice obviously discrete output levels along the ramp (i.e., it seems pretty continuous on the 7G3CS/7G6CS).
There is mode memory for the set level from the continuously variable ramp – as long as you don't turn the light off at the tailcap. If you only cycle through levels by using the side switch, the light will continue to come back to your temporarily memorized set level. This means you change the default Max or Lo mode temporarily – the light reverts to the standard levels for these upon rear switch reactivation.
For more information on the lights, including the build and user interface, please see my new video overview:
As always, videos were 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.
There is no sign of PWM on the 7G3CS or 7G6CS.
However, there is a re-occurring signal at a high frequency:
As with the 7G5CS, I detected a 15.45 kHz noise pattern at all levels, including Max. But not to worry - this signal is not PWM, and it is not visually detectable.
The 7G3CS and 7G6CS have a common, and typical, "tactical" strobe mode of 9.8 Hz.
Since the secondary switch is an electronic switch with a standby "off" mode, there needs to be a standby current when in this mode (with the tailcap clicky in the On position). I am not able to measure it accurately, however. As the lights always come on it Max output, this requires me to use the 10A port on my DMM (i.e., I would blow a fuse if I used my uA/mA port to connect the batteries to the light). When I switch down to the standby "off" of the secondary switch, the resulting current is too low for my DMM to read on the 10A port.
I presume this standby current is fairly low (given I couldn’t detect it on the 10A port). But to be on the safe side, I recommend you store the lights clicked off at the tailcap (or twisted off for lockout on the 7G6CS) when not in use.
And now, what you have all been waiting for. All lights are on 1xAW protected 18650, 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.
Due to the fairly deep (and narrow) reflector, the 7G3CS does not have a very wide spillbeam compare to other slim-lined lights.
As expected, the 7G6CS is heavily focused for throw. Note that the above are all on 1x18650 ... see my detailed testing results below for a discussion of various battery sources.
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. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).
In terms of output, direct comparison is a bit complicated. While the specs report higher Max output for the 7G6CS over the 7G3VS, on 1x18650 they actually have about the same output. Note that my lightbox tends to under-report heavy throwers somewhat – in practice, I believe the two lights are really putting out the same mid-500ish lumens.
To see the higher output on the 7G6CS, you have to run the light on 2x battery sources. Again, my lightbox values may be a little low for this throwy light, so the reported 750 lumen spec could be accurate. But note that the 7G3CS is also a bit brighter on 2x sources (though not as bright as the 7G6CS). There is clearly some difference in the circuits used on these two models, but Max output differences may not be as great as the specs suggest.
Note also that both lights are both brighter on 2x3.7V Li-ion than they are on 2x3V CR123A. I do not know if RCR is supported or not though - the specs don't mention it, although the circuit voltage range implies that they should work. See my runtimes below for a discussion of the 2xRCR results.
Given all this, it's a bit hard to know what to do with beam intensity. The first observation here is that the 7G6CS ANSI FL-1 beam specs actually seem accurate for Beam Intensity on 1x18650 (i.e., 28,500 cd is believable). But given the higher output on 2x batteries (where the output measures seem to be taken), I would expect even greater throw in that case. It's almost as if the reported Beam Intensity measure is based on 1x18650 (28,500 cd), but the Beam Distance measure is based on 2xCR123A (i.e., 400m).
(note: again, I do not know if 2xRCR are officially supported or not - please do not take my runtime tests as any sort of implicit evidence of manufacturer support).
On the 1x18650, there isn't much to distinguish these two lights – they have essentially comparable output/runtime curves at all levels tested. Note that the lights are only semi-regulated at best (i.e., looks a lot like direct drive, at all levels). Performance is reasonable for continuously-variable lights, but the 7G3CS and 7G6CS are not as long lasting as the defined-level current-controlled lights.
I've only test Max modes on 2xCR123A, but overall performance is again what I would expect for this class. Note the higher output and lower runtime on the 7G6CS.
Given the high discharge rates on Max on 2xRCR, I do not recommend you run these lights on Max on this battery source. Especially for the 7G6CS, where the ~19mins runtime leads me to suspect the cells are being discharged at at least a 3C rate (which is too high standard ICR chemistry Li-ion cells). But otherwise, both lights seem to function fine on 2xRCR in my limited testing.
One interesting point – on both 18650 and CR123A, at all levels, the lights reach an abrupt shut-off at ~10-15% initial output. This has nothing to do with the battery's protection circuit – it appears to be a basic feature of the lights' control circuits. As such, you could probably use unprotected cells in these lights.
In terms of runtime, the 148 min spec for the 7G3CS on max seems reasonable for 18650 cells (recall that ANSI FL-1 runtimes are time to 10% output). My 7G6CS sample has similar output (and even long-lasting runtime) on 1x18650, so I'm not sure where their 95 min runtime spec comes from.
Lights lack a memory mode, and always come on in Max. There is a temporary memory for the continuously-variable set level, as long as you don't click the lights off at the tailcap (i.e., memory so long as you only cycle through the side electronic mode switch).
Lights have a standby mode through the electronic side switch, which would require a stand-by current. But this is easily cut by clicking off at the tailcap switch, or locking out the light at the tailcap (available on the 7G6CS only – the 7G3Cs lacks anodized threads).
My initial 7G3CS sample had flickering issues, and needed to be replaced. I found the threads and o-ring a little stiff on both my 7G3CS samples, and recommend keeping them well lubricated.
As with the 7G5CS, the lights show an abrupt shut-down on all battery types and output level, as the batteries near the end of their capacity (i.e. ~10-15% initial output). On the positive side, this means you should be able to run unprotected cells if you wish.
The tailcap switch is recessed, and may be hard to access for clicked-on (especially on the smaller 7G3CS). The side switch button is fairly small, and may be hard to feel with gloves on.
The lights are unlikely to meet a standard of "water proofness", but seem reasonably water-resistant. Note that the "IPX-8" rating of most lights is actually ambiguous, as manufacturers typically don't provide sufficient information to assess the standard's required stringency level. See my post #8 below for more details.
I don't recommend you run the lights on max on 2xRCR, given the apparent high-discharge rates. It is not clear if RCR is officially supported on these lights, as it is not mentioned in the specs.
The 7G3CS and 7G6CS share a lot of features in common – as well as a great similarity to the 7G5CS reviewed recently.
The lights share the same interface, which is virtually identical to the 7G5CS. The main difference is that there seems to be more discrete levels available to the ramp, which is a couple of seconds longer now (but with less of a delay to get started). I liked this UI implementation when I first saw it in the 7G5CS, and these minor tweaks are in improvement in my view. Note there is still no permanent mode memory (i.e., if you click off-on at the tailcap, the light always comes on in Max).
In terms of performance, the output/runtime pattern was comparable for the two models – except the 7G6CS was measurably brighter on 2x battery sources. This is one issue that Crelant should clarify – the specs for the 7G6CS suggest the light is brighter overall than the 7G3CS, but this is not the case on 1x18650 on my samples.
Runtime is acceptable for continuously-variable lights, but can't match the defined-level current-control lights for efficiency or flat-regulation. But as with the 7G5CS, I saw no sign of PWM flicker in my testing.
Where the lights truly differ is in their physical build. The larger 7G6CS is one of the "throwiest" lights in this class that I've tested (even with the slightly lower output on 1x18650). The 7G3CS is fairly petite (although longer than some in the slim-lined class, due to the secondary mode switch). Overall, I like the physical builds, which have a quality feel. On the 7G3CS, I would just like to see anodized threads and a smoother thread action (proper lubing should help with that later point). Waterproofness of the secondary switch is also likely an issue (i.e., I would consider these lights "water resistant", not "water proof").
Given the continued relatively low price points for Crelant models, these lights seem to be excellent "budget" options for their respective beam pattern styles. Those looking for an excellent thrower in the 1x18650/2xCR123A class should be quite happy with the 7G6CS in particular.
7G3CS and 7G6CS provided by Crelant for review.