PK Design Lab
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    955

    Default Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Okay, this is my first actual review ever done so please bear with me and my amateur skills. There will be no lumens or Lux readings and definitely no driver information. I do not have the tools or equipment to measure them.

    Just a few days ago, I read up about a light from Home Depot claiming to be a huge thrower for a small price. It was the Defiant 3C thrower. To my disbelief, I checked their website and saw the light myself. I looked at the photos and saw that they look similar to today's 1x18650 reflector throwers. Based on the price, I knew that the lens and reflector is plastic but for this low amount of lumens, it wouldn't melt.

    There were two lights at the store: 3D and 3C version. I picked the 3D version for two reasons. One, I wanted the XM-L emitter and the lumens it can pump out. The 3C held an XP-E/G? I'm not too sure since the package blocked me from being able to see the emitter clearly. Two, the bezel diameter is MUCH larger than the 3C by far and would make a much better thrower once an XP-G2 emitter is placed in.

    The light utilizes a similar driver you would see from many of the budget lights from China. High>Low>Strobe. The driver itself looks very similar. However, with the increase in voltage, the driver managed to put out 2.85a on high and 0.76a on low.

    Now lets let the photos speak for themselves...

    Here's the light removed and laid next to the actual packaging:



    The logo on the light:



    Bezel. Noticed the fins machined on this light?



    Here's one thing I'd like to mention about this light. As a amateur machinist, I noticed that the milling/lathe work and final finish before anodizing on the light is not smooth. As a result, you can see the machining marks clearly on the body of the light. For the price you pay for, the machine quality is better than what I'd expect.



    Here's the massive tail-cap. This thing is huge and majority of the unit is solid aluminum.



    Here's how big the light is when I am holding the it. Note that I weight 145lbs and am 5'7". Expect that I have a relatively smaller hand than the average male American.



    The threadings are standard 60-degree, V-shaped throughout the whole light. I noticed that the pitch is different throughout the light but do not have tools with me right now to say which pattern belongs to which part of the light.

    Here is the tailcap's threading:



    Here's the inside of the tailcap: I thought this is unique how the tail-cap unit is covered with this plastic housing rather than an exposed retaining ring just for the rim of the tail-cap. Upon inspection of the inside, I've noticed that the design is a retaining ring keeping the switch onto the tail-cap.



    Now onto the business end of the light. Looking at it, it's a standard cool white emitter--possibly a T6 emitter as they are commonly used in all B&M stores featuring an XM-L emitter:


    Here is a close up of the emitter itself:



    The beamshot on a white wall displays multiple rings outside of the hotspot. However, the hotspot itself is surprisingly round once past 10 yards of distance even with regards to the finished of the reflector:



    With the bezel removed is the entire pill of the light and is quite common with many manufacturer lights.



    For a $29.99 light, they did a very good job with machining the pill to seat the MPCB board. It is just slightly off from fitting snugly. I was surprised that a mass-produced light has this close of a fitment and is not a custom work.



    Here is the contact side of the pill. It all has a plastic housing to thread and keep everything compressed:



    With the plastic removed, there is something unique with this light that I have not seen in many production lights before: This is all the emptiness that you see in the pill. The rest of the pill (including the top 3/4) is a giant aluminum slug. This is how Defiant managed their heat. It is threaded onto the thick body. After running it for 15 minutes on high, I decided to stop because the pill did not get any warmer.



    Here are the three lights I will be testing and currently have in my inventory: Preon 0 with an XP-G2 5000k on a 10400 cell (donated from tobrien), Eagletac D25LC2 XM-L NW, and the Defiant ArmorMax 3D. My Surefire 6P with triple 219 is out of commission.



    Here's the business end of the 2 lights:







    Please forgive the phone quality pictures. This is actually better at capturing light in the dark than my digital camera. Now for a little outdoor shoot at 9PM PST. All lights were set at their maximum brightness:

    Control 1. The car is 40 yards away:



    47's Preon 0 with XP-G2 5000k:



    Eagletac D25LC2 XM-L NW:



    Defiant ArmorMax 3D:



    Control 2. The tree is roughly 150 yards:



    47's Preon 0 XP-G2 5000k: It did not do a good job reaching the tree but did light up the nearby surroundings.



    Eagletac D25LC2 XM-L NW: It did reach the tree but barely noticable in the photo and in person.



    Defiant ArmorMax 3D: The light managed to hit the tree with no problems. It could reach out further but do not have a long enough distance nearby to take photos without arousing suspisions with the neighbors.





    For a light at this price, I was surprised with its overall quality. The plastic lens and reflector will need a replacement for anyone that is interested in doing a modification to improve the throw and/or overall brightness of the light. I see that this light has the potential for increased throw with a light modification. If anyone plans on keeping it stock and running it on primaries, the plastic lens and reflector will suffice. Thank you for taking your time with putting up with my first time review
    Last edited by Tiresius; 05-09-2013 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Grammar Fixes
    Matt

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    955

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    ~Reserved for future modifications photos~
    Matt

  3. #3

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Nice job!


    Could you post a few pics showing all three lights in the comparison next to each other?

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* bigchelis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Morgan Hill, CA
    Posts
    3,367

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Nice find. This light looks like it can be modified pretty easily and the 3D form/factor is one I prefer for my tool bag!
    Surefire 6P with Malkoff M60 simple, bright, efficient.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    955

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    Nice job!


    Could you post a few pics showing all three lights in the comparison next to each other?
    I thought about standing them next to each other and taking a far away shot of them. The Defiant light is just too big to make them stand side-by-side. I will need to borrow a neighbor's 3D Maglite for this size comparison.
    Matt

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    955

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Quote Originally Posted by bigchelis View Post
    Nice find. This light looks like it can be modified pretty easily and the 3D form/factor is one I prefer for my tool bag!
    That's what I thought too the moment I pull the pill out. I could not believe how heavy the slug is and thought about how much I could push this light with the replaced lens and reflector.
    Matt

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Northern New Jersey
    Posts
    1,876

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    I'd be interested in seeing a comparison of the 3D maglight with the LED to this light. I don't know what emitter is in the mag, but it is definitely smaller than an XML

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* bigchelis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Morgan Hill, CA
    Posts
    3,367

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiresius View Post
    That's what I thought too the moment I pull the pill out. I could not believe how heavy the slug is and thought about how much I could push this light with the replaced lens and reflector.
    I think this light most likely has just a XML, but with XM-L2 and 4A~5A of current it could really be impressive.
    Surefire 6P with Malkoff M60 simple, bright, efficient.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    955

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    bigchelis, are the Tenergy D NiMH cells safe to use at 4A? I've read an older post about them being quite reliable for a NiMH cell. I'm hoping to get direct replacement cells without doing any mod to fit them.
    Matt

  10. #10

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiresius View Post
    I thought about standing them next to each other and taking a far away shot of them. The Defiant light is just too big to make them stand side-by-side. I will need to borrow a neighbor's 3D Maglite for this size comparison.
    Well, also because those are the lights who's beams you used to compare it to. IE: It gives a sense of scale as to what this light was compared to, as all we really saw were the beams. Its nice to at least lay the three on a table and shoot them as a group, etc.


  11. #11
    Flashaholic* bigchelis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Morgan Hill, CA
    Posts
    3,367

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiresius View Post
    bigchelis, are the Tenergy D NiMH cells safe to use at 4A? I've read an older post about them being quite reliable for a NiMH cell. I'm hoping to get direct replacement cells without doing any mod to fit them.
    Tenergy NiMH Cells are arguably the best in the industry at high current. Mine are over 2yrs old and still going strong. I have discharged them at well over 30A with no issues. I think even at 20A the cells will sag very little if any.
    Surefire 6P with Malkoff M60 simple, bright, efficient.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    955

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    It's updated. All four lights stacked next to each other. Note that this guy is huge.
    Matt

  13. #13

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiresius View Post
    It's updated. All four lights stacked next to each other. Note that this guy is huge.
    LOL

    You're not kidding!




    Its like a Goliath vs 3 wee Davids!


  14. #14
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    955

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    LOL

    You're not kidding!


    Its like a Goliath vs 3 wee Davids!

    Exactly This guy's quite massive and can be used as a bat if needed. If you thought the Maglite is tough, think again. If this guy drops on your toes without the rubber protection, you'd: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5reDsSIiAk
    Matt

  15. #15
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norcal
    Posts
    1,052

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiresius View Post
    bigchelis, are the Tenergy D NiMH cells safe to use at 4A? I've read an older post about them being quite reliable for a NiMH cell. I'm hoping to get direct replacement cells without doing any mod to fit them.
    4A is no problem with NiMH Tenergy D cells. I've run that with a 6D ROP light. And the cells don't even get warm! These cells are capable of MUCH more than that.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    955

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Quote Originally Posted by StorminMatt View Post
    4A is no problem with NiMH Tenergy D cells. I've run that with a 6D ROP light. And the cells don't even get warm! These cells are capable of MUCH more than that.
    Which cells should I use? The LSD ones or a certain color cell? There's the green, blue and white ones.
    Matt

  17. #17
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norcal
    Posts
    1,052

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    With Tenergy, you have the blue cells (older HSD), the blue and white Premium cells (HSD), and the green and white Centuras (LSD). I have not heard the greatest stories about the older blue cells. So I would avoid them in favor of the Premium or Centura batteries. Choose here according to your needs. If you tend to use your batteries within a short time (like a job, hike, or camping trip) and will fully charge your batteries beforehand AND want maximum runtime, go with he Premiums. But if you use your light intermittently and want something that's always ready to go, go with the Centuras. Centuras are also good for all-around use because even LSD D batteries have an insanely high capacity. And neither is any slouch when it comes to delivering amperage.
    Last edited by StorminMatt; 05-10-2013 at 10:32 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    I picked up this light over the weekend and tried it out in the woods with very little ambient light. I am very happy with how far it throws (with some usable spill), and the beam is pretty good for a Home Despot special. The build quality is very solid... the amount of aluminum you get is probably worth the price tag alone I appreciate the review, -- it was instrumental in my decision to buy this light, and I feel like I was well informed.

    Given the weight and the way the UI/modes are designed, it will live in my tool bag in the trunk of my car most of the time. Though the plastic lens feels cheap, it is probably better suited to this use-case than glass anyway. Likewise with the tailcap clicky... though it's not the most ergonomic placement for the switch in a light this big, it seems less likely to turn on accidentally (especially when the rubber boot is installed).

    Due to the form factor, this light invited comparison to the old Maglite DD and DDDDD incans I have lying around. The incans obviously don't fare well when comparing output, which is not a surprise. However I had forgotten how terrible the beam quality is on the Maglites. Out of curiosity, I took a look at Amazon to see what the DD LED Pros (274 lumens, about half the output) were going for these days.... the prices are comparable, but I'm afraid to try one of the newer Maglights since I'm pretty sure the beam will be nasty on those as well due to the legacy focusing head design.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Georgia Highway 441
    Posts
    4,204

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    great job with this review!
    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

  20. #20

    Default Re: Defiant ArmorMax 3D Review

    Great job on the review thanks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •