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Thread: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

  1. #1

    Wink2 Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Warning: pic heavy, as usual.

    UPDATE JUNE 24, 2013: I understand from a user here that there are now two versions of this light - the current-controlled sample tested here (without mode memory), and visually-detectable PWM-controlled version (with mode memory). I have not seen the latter version, and have no specifics on its performance or other characteristics.





    The ED15 is the 1xAA member of the Lumintop ED-series of lights. I reviewed the 1xCR123A/RCR ED11 a few months back. Note the ED15 supports standard AA cells only (i.e., 14500 Li-ion is NOT supported). Let's see how it compares to some others I've reviewed recently …

    Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
    (note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).

    • CREE XM-L2 T6 LED
    • HIGH OUTPUT / RUNTIME: 220 lumens / 1.3 hour
    • MEDIUM OUTPUT / RUNTIME: 35 lumens / 10 hours
    • LOW OUTPUT / RUNTIME: 2 lumens / 100 hours
    • BATTERY TYPE: 1×AA
    • Function: 2 Ways to Control Dimming System:
    • A. Press the tailcap switch ON/OFF to switch between 3 output modes: Low, Medium and High. The light has no memory, so its mode will reset to Low after 2 seconds off.
    • B. Loosen the head to switch to Strobe mode. Press the tailcap switch ON/OFF to switch between 3 modes: Strobe, Flash and Slow Flash. The light has no memory, so its mode will reset to Strobe after 2 seconds off.
    • LENGTH: 3.9 inches (100.2mm)
    • DIAMETER: 0.86 inches (21.9mm)
    • WEIGHT: 2.1 ounces (60g)
    • MSRP: ~$55

    As with my ED11, my ED15 was a pre-release review sample. I don't have retail packaging for the light, and don't know what extras it will come with. A clip-on style pocket-clip and decent quality belt holster was included with my review sample.




    From left to right: Duracell AA NiMH; Lumintop ED15; Thrunite Neutron 1A; Nitecore MT1A; Foursevens Quark QAA; Fenix E11; Zebralight SC52.

    All dimensions are given with no batteries installed:

    Lumintop ED15: Weight: 59.7g, Length: 100.1mm, Width (bezel): 21.2mm
    Zebralight SC52: Weight 39.5g, Length 79.0mm, Width (bezel): 22.6mm, Width (max) 25.4mm
    Zebralight SC51: Weight: 37.4g, Length 80.5mm, Width (bezel) 21.1mm, Width (max): 22.6mm
    Nitecore MT1A: Weight: 54.6g, Length: 104.6mm, Width (bezel): 22.7mm
    Nitecore SENS AA: Weight: 26.1g, Length: 82.7mm, Width (bezel): 19.8mm
    Nitecore EZAA: Weight 20.9g, Length: 85.0mm, Width (bezel) 16.6mm
    Rofis ER12: Wright: 35.5g, Length: 96.2mm, Width (bezel): 18.6mm
    Tiablo E2A: Weight: 45.7g, Length: 101.2mm, Width (bezel): 19.9mm
    Xeno E03:: Weight: 48.1g, Length 96.7mm, Width (bezel): 21.5mm
    Xtar WK25B: Weight 42.9g, Length: 102.3mm, Width (bezel): 22.5mm

    Like the ED11, the ED15 is relatively compact for a 1xAA light with a clicky switch.








    The overall build is fairly solid, with a decent weight for the size. The ED15 features black anodizing (matte finish), with clear white labels. Although it does have a considerable amount of knurling on the head and body, it is not very aggressive. Especially with the pocket clip attached, I'd say grip is good.

    On that note, the pocket clip is of the clip-on style, and holds onto the light only as securely as typical for that style. It is reversible, so you carry the light in either orientation (although deep pocket carry isn't really possible).

    The tailcap features a reverse-clicky tail switch (i.e., click and release for the light to come on). Reverse clickies are typically low profile, facilitating tailstanding. There is a stylish shiny tailcap retaining ring at the base of the boot cover.

    Tailstanding is pretty good on my sample, although there does seem to be a slight instability due to the raised tailcap regions not being very wide. On the plus side, you can easily activate the switch with a thumb or finger, depending on how you plan to carry the light. There are split-ring/lanyard attachment holes on the side of the raised tail cap regions.

    Screw threads are standard triangular cut, and are in good shape on my sample. They are not anodized for lock-out, however, given how the interface works (scroll down for an explanation).




    The light has a slightly scalloped bezel, with a relatively smooth reflector. Although smooth, the reflector doesn't seem as shiny as most (i.e., perhaps a very fine texturing). It is also slightly deeper than most lights in this class (but that probably won't enhance throw too much, given its overall size). Cool white XM-L2 T6 emitter was not perfectly centered on my sample, but is not bad.

    User Interface

    The interface of the ED15 is the same as the ED11. There are three constant output modes and three blinking modes.

    Turn the light on/off by the forward tailcap switch. Lightly press and hold for momentary, click (press and release) for constant on. You can advance modes by clicking off-on quickly, or soft-pressing the switch from on (i.e., partial press and release, without a click)

    With the head tight against the body, you can access the following constant output modes in sequence from on: Lo > Med > Hi, in repeating loop.

    With the head loosened, you can access the following blinking modes in sequence: Fast Strobe > Slow Strobe > Beacon, in repeating loop.

    There is no mode memory – the light always comes on in Lo (or Strobe, with head loosened) if you leave it off for more than a few seconds.

    Video:

    For information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview:



    Video was 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.

    As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information or clarifications before publicly releasing the video.

    PWM

    There is no sign of PWM that I can see, at any output level – I presume the light is current-controlled, as with the ED11.

    Fast Strobe:


    Strobe is a standard "tactical" high frequency strobe, measured at 9.7 Hz.

    Slow Strobe:


    Slow strobe is a one-second On pulse, followed by one-second Off, in repeating sequence

    Beacon:


    Beacon mode is a quick flash once every ~3.4 seconds.

    Beamshots:

    All lights are on Max output on Sanyo Eneloop AA NiMH. Lights are 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.













    Beam pattern is as you would expect for a XM-L2 light with this size reflector – a fairly big hotspot and decent sized spillbeam. It looks pretty similar to the other XM-L lights shown above. Scroll down for full output details in my tables.

    Testing Method:

    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).



    The output is quite good on 1xAA – pretty much the same as my Thrunite Neutron 1A. It is not driven as hard as the recent Zebtralight SC52, though. Similarly, throw is quite reasonable for the output level and size.

    What you can't tell above is that there is a timed step-down after 3 mins runtime – see my runtime graphs below for more info.

    Note that the ED15 does NOT support 1x14500 Li-ion 3.7V. You are likely to blow the circuit if you try.

    As an aside, the XM-L2 T6 emitter used here should perform equivalently to a XM-L U3 (given the change in the output bin numbering).

    Output/Runtime Comparison:









    Thanks to the timed step-down at 3 mins, the ED15 has excellent overall regulation and efficiency on Hi. It is also quite a good performer on Med. In fact, overall efficiency and runtime patterns on both levels – on all cells - seems quite similar to my Zebralight SC52, when matched for output.

    Not shown above, but I estimate the Med mode to be 30 lumens on NiMH. My estimate are thus very close to the official Lumintop ANSI FL-1 specs.

    Potential Issues

    Because the selection of output modes is organized by head twist (i.e., head loose vs head tight), no physical lock out is possible (i.e., screw threads can't be anodized). However, the recessed reverse clicky switch should reduce the risk of accidental activation.

    1x14500 Li-ion 3.7V are not supported (standard AA cells only).

    The light lacks mode memory, and always comes on in Lo (or Strobe, depending on the state of the head twist).

    Switch is a reverse clicky, so no momentary mode is possible.

    Tailstanding was slightly unstable on my sample, likely due to the small surface area of the raised tailcap ridges.

    Preliminary Observations

    Like the ED11 (1xCR123A/RCR), the ED15 is a nice little light in the standard 1xAA class. It has a simple yet functional interface, with excellent regulation and output/runtime efficiency for the class.

    The light is reasonably compact for a clicky-switch style light, and overall construction seems good. Switch feel is about typical for a reverse clicky. The simple user interface worked well in my testing, and I like that the blinky modes are "hidden" behind a head loosening from the constant output modes. Some people may have preferred a memory mode, but failing that, I personally like having the Lo mode start found here.

    Output and circuit performance is excellent. Like many lights, the ED15 steps down to a lower Hi after 3 mins of continuous runtime. It is not as bright as my Zebralight SC52, but it is in the same general class of most XM-L-based AA-lights (at least initially). Overall regulation and runtime are remarkably similar to the SC52, when matched for output level. It is unfortunate that the ED15 does not support 1x14500, but it does have excellent current-controlled circuity on standard cells, for the 1xAA class.

    Output mode spacing is generally good, although some may find the low-lumen Lo mode fairly dim compared to the Med/Hi levels. Beam pattern is very clean, with no artifacts on my sample. Overall pattern is very similar to others in the XM-L class. Note that the XM-L2 T6 emitter used here should perform functionally exactly the same as a XM-L U3.

    The ED15 is a nice little AA light, very straight-forward. Worth considering if you plan to use only standard AA cells (i.e., alkaline, NiMH or Energizer L91 lithium).

    UPDATE JUNE 24, 2013: I understand from a user here that there are now two versions of this light - the current-controlled sample tested here (without mode memory), and visually-detectable PWM-controlled version (with mode memory). I have not seen the latter version, and have no specifics on its performance or other characteristics.

    ----

    ED15 was supplied by Lumintop for review.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 10-09-2013 at 11:07 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Nice review, and nice light! I like that UI, and would just wish for a deep pocket clip option.

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    On that note, the pocket clip is of the typical clip-on style - but it seems to hold onto the light fairly securely. It does not seem to be reversible though, so you are limited to bezel-down carry only.
    From the pictures, it looks like bezel-up carry. Or I've got my terms confused. I don't wear hats, and I can't think of any other use for that clip. Is there one?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Thank you for another great review - this time of a light I may actually buy if it becomes available on the Swedish market. I would however prefer a version with three high modes with the head tightened, and three lower modes with the head loosened, and no flash or strobe. I have to admit, though, that I don't know if it would mean a trade-off in runtime. Perhaps thinking that this light has six (3*2) "mode slots" to which you could assign any output or strobe / flash pattern you desire, is simplistic.

    By the way, I think you accidentally called the AA cell CR123A in the caption for the #5 picture from the top. I hope I don't come off as someone who looks for small errors and misses the big picture - I certainly try not to.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by pepekraft View Post
    Nice review, and nice light! I like that UI, and would just wish for a deep pocket clip option.
    From the pictures, it looks like bezel-up carry. Or I've got my terms confused. I don't wear hats, and I can't think of any other use for that clip. Is there one?
    Sorry, I had that reversed. And in fact, you can flip the clip around - although in neither orientation is deep-pocket carry available. I've revised the description.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swede74 View Post
    By the way, I think you accidentally called the AA cell CR123A in the caption for the #5 picture from the top.
    Good catch, thanks - fixed.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Looks like a very nice light! A clicky that doesn't require twisting for level changes is great feature for a single AA.

    I'm curious about the step-down. Isn't that unusual for a light at this level (220 lumens)? Or is it unusual for an AA light over 200 lumens to NOT have a step down. I was shopping for an AA light for a bit and don't recall any others having that.

    That said, the step down doesn't look dramatic.. 20%?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by LuxClark View Post
    I'm curious about the step-down. Isn't that unusual for a light at this level (220 lumens)? Or is it unusual for an AA light over 200 lumens to NOT have a step down. I was shopping for an AA light for a bit and don't recall any others having that.
    That said, the step down doesn't look dramatic.. 20%?
    Actually, it's more like ~40%. My relative output scale from the lightbox needs to converted to estimated lumens. I get ~140 estimated lumens after step down (~230 lumens before). I expect it's more to increase runtime than for thermal reasons.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Thanks for another great review, as always. I do have one question regarding PWM. I know you are using a soundcard's software to test for sign of PWM, and for the case of ED15 you do not detect the use of PWM. How ever with my ED15, I can see PWM on low & mid mode when waving the ED15 in front of me.

    I am not sure if thats what you call PWM, but when waving, the light ray do not look like a complete straight line, but multiple broken line. Well its hard to describe, but I think you get what I mean. However, I cant see the PWM in daily use. May be only when I dug down into my PC and shine it onto the CPU fan.

    This may be too much to ask, but do you mind trying it by waving the light in front of you, Instead of using the soundcard? I just want to verify if my particular unit has this problem, so that I may sent it back for repair. Thanks again.

    Oh, as for the clip, are you sure its reverseble? Because I tried but the lower grove near the tail just a tad too narrow for the clip to go on.
    Last edited by jamjam; 06-21-2013 at 11:24 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by jamjam View Post
    How ever with my ED15, I can see PWM on low & mid mode when waving the ED15 in front of me. I am not sure if thats what you call PWM, but when waving, the light ray do not look like a complete straight line, but multiple broken line. Well its hard to describe, but I think you get what I mean.
    I understand - what you are describing is some sort of high frequency flicker. It could be due to PWM, but can be elicited by anything that causes a re-occuring signal of sufficient intensity in the visually-detectable range. Basically, there's no way for you to tell what the pattern of the flicker is due to, without an oscilloscope (to see the waveform directly)

    On my ED15, there is no sign of flicker visually (and I am sensitive to it, when present). The oscillope would have picked it up as well - it is far more sensitive than my eye. I frequently come across current-controlled lights that have re-occuring signals - often, these are outside the visual range, or too weak to be detected.

    It sounds like your sample has a circuit defect causing vidual flicker. Personally, I would contact your vendor to see about a replacement.

    Oh, as for the clip, I meant that it is reverisble in the sense that you can angle it the other way (i.e., clip part toward the head). You still need to attach it to the center-most groove, as it is the only area wide enough.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 06-21-2013 at 12:29 PM.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Thanks for the feed back. When you type LD15, I assumed you meant ED15?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Yes, I meant ED15.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Yes, I meant ED15.
    Just got a reply from Lumintop regarding the PWM. It appear that there are two version of ED15, one with mode memory and one without. The one with memory uses PWM, and vise versa. Its not common for manufacturer to produced a different version with and without memory mode. Its must be some kind of limitation with the original circuit design that they have to resolve with PWM.

    But I am going to giveaway my ED15 as a gift, so its good to have mode memory for those who isn't a "flashlight geeks" like us. Not everyone prefer their light to always come on low mode first. LOL...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by jamjam View Post
    Just got a reply from Lumintop regarding the PWM. It appear that there are two version of ED15, one with mode memory and one without. The one with memory uses PWM, and vise versa. Its not common for manufacturer to produced a different version with and without memory mode. Its must be some kind of limitation with the original circuit design that they have to resolve with PWM.
    Thanks for letting me know - I'll add a note to the main review.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    UPDATE JUNE 24, 2013: I understand from a user here that there are now two versions of this light - the current-controlled sample tested here (without mode memory), and visually-detectable PWM-controlled version (with mode memory). I have not seen the latter version, and have no specifics on its performance or other characteristics.


    I‘ve did some runtime test and it seems that performance wise there are identical. I got almost the same runtime on high mode, and close to 90 hours of low mode until my enelope ran down to 0.89v. At this point the brightness still doesn't change, so I assume it will hit 100 hours but then the cell would probably be over-discharged. Beside that, I will do a runtime test on mid mode when I have time.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by jamjam View Post
    [/I]I‘ve did some runtime test and it seems that performance wise there are identical. I got almost the same runtime on high mode, and close to 90 hours of low mode until my enelope ran down to 0.89v. At this point the brightness still doesn't change, so I assume it will hit 100 hours but then the cell would probably be over-discharged. Beside that, I will do a runtime test on mid mode when I have time.
    Thanks jamjjam ... but I would expect there to be no difference on high, since the emitter should be running full power (even on a PWM light). Typically, PWM is only used on the sub-maximal modes (although there are rare exceptions). Where you should see a difference is on Lo/Med ... so I'm curious to hear your runtimes on Med.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Thanks jamjjam ... but I would expect there to be no difference on high, since the emitter should be running full power (even on a PWM light). Typically, PWM is only used on the sub-maximal modes (although there are rare exceptions). Where you should see a difference is on Lo/Med ... so I'm curious to hear your runtimes on Med.
    I can detect PWM on low & mid mode, and even the 3 mins step-down hi. But not the initial hi at the first 3 mins. The memory mode will take 5 sec to reset. When I turn off the light at mid, after 5 sec it will still come on mid. But if I turn on the light before 5 sec, it will advance to next mode. I think its a standard mode memory function. I will report back when I've finished with the mid mode runtime test.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Just finished my runtime test on med mode with fresh enelope. I only manage to get 7:30 hours before it drop to low mode at around 0.97v. It seems to differ from you 9:27 hours. But I can not be sure that the med mode on both our version are at the same lumens brightness since I don not have a lux meter. By looking with my bare eye, the med mode seems to be quite similar to my H51w at mode M1, which offer around 8 hours+ runtime. And I made a mistake in my previous reply about the runtime on low is 90+ hours, I just check my data its only 81 hours at around 0.97v. Sorry for that.

    Since there are different versions of ED15, and mine is not a defected unit, I am not sure if Lumintop will agree to exchange them for a none PWM version. But I will sure try. Hope this info helps.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Thanks for the results jamjam.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Does this light have parisitic drain?
    S.O.S. - Really? Seriously?!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by bhds View Post
    Does this light have parisitic drain?
    No. It has a physical clicky switch, so there is no drain when clicked off.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Thanks Selfbuilt. I was looking at getting another Fenix E11 (new version) but I may have to give the ED15 a try.
    S.O.S. - Really? Seriously?!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Anyone know where I can purchase the ED15? The only place I can find is on Ebay.
    S.O.S. - Really? Seriously?!

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    Quote Originally Posted by bhds View Post
    Anyone know where I can purchase the ED15? The only place I can find is on Ebay.
    i ordered one a week ago from wallbuys whom is a cpfmp dealer/supporter.
    i specifically asked them for the no memory, no PWM version. they didnt carry it, but put in a special order with lumintop for me.
    communication with wallbuys was good. i havent received the light yet so cant comment any further.
    price was better than the prices i saw on ebay.

    i like the mode spacing, w/o memory. around 2 lumen low is ideal for me, and what ill be using most on it. also, love auto-step down. haha im a lazy flashlight user.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    skyfire,
    Did you contact them through their website or the marketplace? I want to get the same light, simpler UI the better.
    S.O.S. - Really? Seriously?!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Lumintop ED15 (XM-L2, 1xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

    i contacted them through the marketplace through PMs. they sent me a paypal invoice, for the payment transaction.

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