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Thread: Supbeam X40 Rechargeable Light [ 3xXM-L2 U2, 3x18650 ] Review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Arrow Supbeam X40 Rechargeable Light [ 3xXM-L2 U2, 3x18650 ] Review

    Reviewer's note : Supbeam X40 was supplied by Supbeam for review.

    The X40 is the high-output light from Supbeam, using 3x XM-L2 U2 1C emitters, with in-light charger, and running off 3x18650.





    The X40 comes in the hard cardboard box packaging. Included inside is the light, user manual, warranty card, USB charging cable, AC/DC adapter with USB interface, car charger with USB interface, extra o-rings, tailcap rubber switch boot, lanyard, holster.
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    Manufacturer Specifications from SupBeam website & user manual :
    - LED: three Cree XM-L2 LED with a lifespan of 100000 hrs.
    - Max 3480 lumens output using 3 * 18650 batteries.
    - Infinite brightness magnetic control ring (minimum brightness : 3 lumen, fully variable from minimum 28 lumen to maximum 3480 lumens, Strobe
    - Working voltage: 4V to 13V.
    - Max runtime: 1200 hours.
    - Max beam distance: 518 meters.
    - Peak beam intensity: 72000lux(1 metre distance).
    - Impact resistant: 1.2 meters.
    - Waterproof to IPX-8 standard, 2M.
    - Size: 181(L)x 68.00(bezel diameter) unit: mm.
    - Weight: 520g without battery.
    - Stainless 304 bezel and rotate-ring
    - Can directly recharging
    - Aircraft grade aluminum body structure.
    - Premium type III hard anodized anti-abrasive finish.
    - Ultra-clear tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating.
    - Momentary forward click tactical switch.
    - Strobe mode for tactical and emergency use.
    - Smooth reflector for max light output.
    - Highly focused beam for maximum distance.
    - Tactical knurling for firm grip.
    - Streamlined body design.
    - Mechanical reversed polarity protection design for battery carrier.
    - Intelligent highly efficient circuit board design for max performance and long run time.
    - Specially designed for Military, Law Enforcement, Self-defense, Hunting, Search & Rescue and Outdoor activities.
    - Intelligent temperature controlled light output for user safety and may vary between flashlights, batteries, and environments.

    * Notice : The above mentioned parameters (tested with three 3100mAh batteries) are approximate and may vary between flashlights, batteries, and environments.
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    The hard (type III) anodizing is black, with no chips or damage on my sample. The labels on the body are clear, bright white against the background. There is a label mark on the control ring that lines up with the labels on the head. The manufacturer, model name, are on the battery tube. The knurling is present over battery tube only. The X40 build is similar in size and shape to K40 by Supbeam.
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    The light has 2 parts (i.e. head and battery tube), and there is a battery carrier in the tube.
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    The light has a stainless steel scalloped bezel ring and a waterproof o-ring between the bezel ring and reflector. There are a lot of cooling fins on the head. The head base of the light has a positive contact spring to contact with the positive contact of the battery carrier.
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    The light uses a ultra clear tempered lens with anti-reflective coating. The purple hue is reflected on it. The X40 has a smaller head than K40 and uses three cool white XM-L2 U2 1C emitters, each emitter is well centered in their own deep and smooth reflector. The aluminum reflector is nicely finished.
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    There is a control ring, located below the cooling fins. The distinctive aspect of the light is a magnetic control ring in the head and continuously infinite variable interface. Output or mode switching is controlled by the control ring. There are totally four detents. Each mode is set in a detent of the ring. The control ring feel is very nice (i.e., smooth, not very loose, not very stiff). So you can easily distinguish four modes by clear and firm detents.
    The continuously infinite variable output switching including 3 lumens and Strobe are controlled entirely by the control ring. The light has eight slight indents on the control ring to help with feel. There is a white label mark (▼) on the control ring that lines up with the labels on the head. The individual constant output levels and Strobe are labeled on the head. You can count detents to figure out what output level you are set to even in the dark.
    The total traverse of the control ring is about 130 degrees of the light.
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    There is a positive contact surrounded by black plastic on the front of the battery carrier.
    Also you can see the another contact point surrounded by inner contact rim and outer rim on the rear of the battery carrier. Those contacts are the positive contact, the input port for 5V charging, and the negative contact for the battery carrier respectively.
    The light uses a metal battery carrier that holds 3x18650 cells in series. It is sturdy and well-made. The positive contact plate is slightly raised, and the negative contact spring has good elasticity in the carrier. So all types (i.e., true flat-tops, wide and small button-tops) of 18650's work fine. Longer & wider cells may be somewhat tight, but all my protected high capacity (2600~3100mAh) cells fit. You should insert the battery carrier in one direction into the battery tube (i.e., it's not reversible). You don't need to worry about that too much, as the battery carrier has the physical reverse polarity protection. But you should be careful to insert the 3x18650's into the battery carrier in the correct polarity.
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    As you see the fully loaded battery carrier with unprotected & protected cells, I don't have any issue to insert my shortest & longest 18650 cells into the carrier. But the positive contact plate may catch on the heatshrink on the flat cells when removing them. So I need to first depress the cells towards the negative spring before removing them. Note that some cells with wider dia. will have difficulty when inserting or removing from the battery tube. The battery carrier introduces little rattle if you shake the light laterally when it's fully loaded with 18650's unprotected. But no rattle with the protected 18650 cells installed in my sample. Note that only 3x18650 li-ion cells can be used in the light (i.e., it doesn't support multiple CR123A or RCR123A due to 4~13V working voltage).
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    Screw threads are triangular cut, but seems good quality. Note that both male & female threads on the head & tube are anodized for head lock-out. They are smooth with no cross-threading or squeaking on my sample.
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    Mostly the battery tube continues the cylindrical shape with four flat and long rectangular surfaces. As with the K40, The diamond-shaped knurling is presented over most of the battery tube except four flat, long rectangular sides, and it's a bit aggressive on the handle, helping with grip. The gripability seems good.
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    The another distinctive aspect of the light is a built-in charging port for 3x18650's based on a magnetic dock. You can see two metal circular contacts and the tiny LED indicator for battery power status. Inside the battery tube, there are three contact springs (i.e., middle, inner, and outer spring) which are connected to the three same positioned contacts of the battery carrier. The switch is the forward click switch which allows the light to be momentarily activated by half-pressing the switch while not affective the mode changing which is completely controlled by the control ring on the head. The switching travel is slightly longer than average, with strong resistance and provides audible click when engaged. The X40 can tailstand perfectly due to the raised side areas and there are the lanyard attachment holes. There is cut-out facilitate easily access to the switch.
    The charging device consists of USB charging cable, AC/DC adapter with USB interface, car charger with USB interface. AC/DC adapter and car charger have the LED power indicator.
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    You can use one of the three charging device to charge 3x18650's in the light.
    The charging cable attaches to the tailcap contacts directly through a magnetic connection. I feel this magnetic pull is somewhat stronger than I would expected. The LED indicator shows you two charging status. It will illuminate constant red under normal charging conditions. When charging is complete, it turns to constant green. The initial charging current is 500mAh, and the termination current is 10% of the initial charging current. The light uses CC/CV charging.

    I did a simple charging test with Panasonic NCR 18650 (3100mAh) unprotected li-ion cells in the light. The resting voltage before charging was A(4.18V), B(3.88V), C(4.11V). After charging (over 6 hours), resting voltage for the cells was A(4.20V), B(4.15V), C(4.19V). I found something interesting when the charging rate was 2 hours, the LED indicator switched to constant green, the resting voltage of the B cell was 4.09V. The other cells have the same voltage as 6 hours charging rate.

    The LED indicator shows four battery status. It will show green steadily when the battery capacity is more than 50%. If the battery capacity is 30~50%, it turns to orange. In case of showing red, it means the battery capacity is 10~30%. The red color indicator will blink when the battery capacity is less than 10%.
    Unlike the K40, the tail cap seems to be screwed to the battery tube and sticked together by some sort of locite, so I couldn't remove it from the tube even with tools.
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    You can attach the lanyard came with the light as shown above. I found it's easy to attach the lanyard without a split ring. The light can tailstand with the lanyard attached.
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    From left to right, VicLite 18650 protected, Blackshadow Terminator, Niteye Eye40, SupBeam X40, Fenix TK75, Xtar S1.

    The head size & body weight excluding battery of the following lights are as follows :
    X40 - 68mm / 519g, TK75 - 87.9mm / 506g, S1 - 83.4mm / 877g.
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    Measured Dimensions & Weight


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    X40 comes with a nice nylon holster with a velcro strap on the head. The light fits in the holster head-up only.
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    The light is a good size with a proper weight to manage it. The operating the control ring with two fingers (i.e., thumb and index finger) is relatively easy, but difficult with the thumb only). The build feels solid and robust, and handling & balance of the light is good like K40. The overall build quality is very high.
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    User Interface

    On-off is controlled by the tailcap forward switch and output switching is controlled by the control ring in the head. Turn the light on-off by the tailcap clicky – press for momentary, press and release (i.e., click) for constant on.
    With the tail switch on, there are four options available on the control ring. As mentioned earlier, there are firm detents at each mode.

    The four control ring modes are 3lumens -> infinite variable Min. output -> infinite variable Max. output) -> Strobe, arranged clockwise if you have the light in hand pointed away from you. Note that 3lumens is dimmer than infinite variable Min. output. As mentioned earlier, the total traverse of the ring is 130 degree of the light, and you can switch back and forth with ease one-handed. The traverse between Min. and Max. output range is about 115 degree.
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    PWM



    The light shows no sign of PWM at any output levels of the infinite variable outputs. But it seems only 3lumens shows the very slightly flickering similar to PWM, but neither too noticeable nor too visible. Supbeam confirm that there comes to a process of discontinuity detecting on 3lumens output, but it's not PWM. It' seems to be a little complicated than that.
    They say the light is actually current-controlled on all modes. I notice there is no buzzing sound on my sample.
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    Relative Output Comparison


    [New 13.06.29]
    The numbers on the above table are not Lumens but Lux, measured at 30 seconds after the point the light is first turned on in my home-made integrating box (i.e., those numbers do not directly denote the lumens output comparison). All measured lux values in my integrating box are just converted to relative output percent for each light. You will compare each light's output percent in each column. [New 13.06.29]
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    Runtime



    On Max. (Turbo), I don't see any sign of flat regulation. The light shows decay in output (i.e., the light slowly drop in output). This is not a problem, as you will not be able to notice the gradual drop in output over time easily (i.e., the reduction is gradual enough that you will not notice it in practice until 60% initial output). I think it's difficult for 3x18650's to provide the regulated power needed to keep flat regulation.
    On about 75% of Max., the light is well regulated, and there is a step-down in output of 25% after one minute of continuous runtime. That isn't a timed step-down. It seems to be due to the initial thermal sag and the insufficient power supply mainly.
    On about 50% of Max., flat regulation is evident.

    The runtime for 10% output of Max. output for various 18650 is as follows.
    1) 3xVicLite protected (2600mAh) : 86 min.
    2) 3xNLTEK protected (3000mAh) : 73 min.
    3) 3xPanasonic unprotected (3100mAh) : 109 min.

    * Note that the original cell of the NLTEK is LGABD11865 (3000mAh), and its maximum charging voltage is 4.35v for full capacity. But charged it 4.2v for runtime test, so the capacity is about 2700mAh reduced with about 300mAh.

    The runtime for 75% & 50% output of Max. output is as follows.
    1) 75% - 3xVicLite protected (2600mAh) : 119 min.
    2) 50% - 3xVicLite protected (2600mAh) : 115 min.
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    Beamshot

    1. White door beamshot (about 50cm from the white door)
    - ISO100, F/10.0, 1/200sec, Auto white balance


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    - ISO100, F/10.0, 1/400sec, Auto white balance


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    - ISO100, F/10.0, 1/800sec, Auto white balance



    The X40 has a nicer circular focused hotspot than most lights in the multi-emitters category. The hotspot is well focused, almost circular with a defined edge. The light has fewer spill beam artifacts than the S1, but has more spill beam artifacts than TK75. The beam has a cool side.
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    2. Indoor beamshot (about 7m from the target)

    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1/10sec, Auto white balance


    - Control Shot
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    - X40
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    - TK75
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    - S1
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    3. 55m Outdoor Beamshot

    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance


    - Control Shot
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    - X40
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    - TK75
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    - S1
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    4. 60~65m Outdoor Beamshot

    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance


    - Control Shot
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    - X40
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    - TK75
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    - S1
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    5. 140m Outdoor Beamshot

    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance


    - Control Shot
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    - X40
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    - TK75
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    - S1
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    Thanks for watching!
    Last edited by candle lamp; 06-28-2013 at 03:50 PM. Reason: [New 13.06.29]
    Latest Review : Spark SP2-NW Review

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* madecov's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supbeam X40 Rechargeable Light [ 3xXM-L2 U2, 3x18650 ] Review

    Nice review
    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

  3. #3

    Default Re: Supbeam X40 Rechargeable Light [ 3xXM-L2 U2, 3x18650 ] Review

    Your neighbors must hate you. Nice review though!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supbeam X40 Rechargeable Light [ 3xXM-L2 U2, 3x18650 ] Review

    Thanks for all of your support!

    Quote Originally Posted by weekend warrior View Post
    Your neighbors must hate you. Nice review though!
    I like winter because days are much shorter in winter than in summer and my neighbors have an early night.
    These days (summer) they stay up till late, so my taking a beamshot at 2~3 a.m. cause me to be overslept in the morning. I, however, like my neighbors.
    Latest Review : Spark SP2-NW Review

  5. #5

    Default Re: Supbeam X40 Rechargeable Light [ 3xXM-L2 U2, 3x18650 ] Review

    Thank you candle lamp, excellent work as always!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic HIDSGT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supbeam X40 Rechargeable Light [ 3xXM-L2 U2, 3x18650 ] Review

    what is the runtime of high mode?
    Fenix TK 75, EagleTac MX25L3C, Olight SR96, Olight SR95S, Microfire K3500, Wolf-Eyes K500, AE PL24, Surefire G2Z Combat light.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supbeam X40 Rechargeable Light [ 3xXM-L2 U2, 3x18650 ] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by HIDSGT View Post
    what is the runtime of high mode?
    The runtimes on max. on 18650 (2600mAh, 2700mAh, 3100mAh) are 86min, 73min and 109min respectively in my test.
    Latest Review : Spark SP2-NW Review

  8. #8

    Default Re: Supbeam X40 Rechargeable Light [ 3xXM-L2 U2, 3x18650 ] Review

    Candle Lamp-

    Another terrific review (as always). Almost a month late with my comment here, but it looks clear to me that the TK-75 out-throws the X40 and the S1 easily. Would you agree? Photos can sometimes be deceving. What is your veredic?

    Everytime you light-up the mega torches at you neighbors apartments, I can hear them (here in Florida)say: "there goes that crazy CandleLamp dude playing wth his flashlights!!!"


    Keep those great reviews coming!


    Best wishes from Florida, USA.


    Jaime

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Supbeam X40 Rechargeable Light [ 3xXM-L2 U2, 3x18650 ] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    Candle Lamp-

    Another terrific review (as always). Almost a month late with my comment here, but it looks clear to me that the TK-75 out-throws the X40 and the S1 easily. Would you agree? Photos can sometimes be deceving. What is your veredic?

    Everytime you light-up the mega torches at you neighbors apartments, I can hear them (here in Florida)say: "there goes that crazy CandleLamp dude playing wth his flashlights!!!"


    Keep those great reviews coming!


    Best wishes from Florida, USA.


    Jaime
    Thanks for your support. Jaime!

    Yes, throw is better on the TK75 compared to both X40 and S1.

    So you want me to hear my neighbors nagging and keep playing with the lights?

    Better be a tiresome neighbor than a good.
    Latest Review : Spark SP2-NW Review

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