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Thread: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

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    Flashaholic* AardvarkSagus's Avatar
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    Default Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Lux-RC FL33

    There are expensive lights that are pretentious, expensive lights that are powerful, but basic tools, and then there are the true luxury items. The Lux-RC FL33 definitely falls into the latter category.


    Lux-RC FL33
    Meat and Potatoes

    Like I said, not all pricy flashlights are created equal. Not by a long shot. Lux-RC has set the bar pretty high however with their FL33 line of lights. One look at their website shows exactly how much pride they take in their product. The FL33 definitely falls into the semi-custom flashlight arena that I have only delved into once before. That experience was an incredible joy, but I think this may have surpassed it.

    The current product order page at Lux-RC.com is simply a flashlight builder. What options do you want in your torch? There are plenty to choose from. From battery types to LED color temperatures, lens focus to indicator color, the total number of combinations is staggering. You can even choose what semi-precious gemstone you would like to use as your power button! I have actually found myself just toying around with the builder to see what kind of cool light I can make that day.

    After the sale as well Lux-RC continues to brag about their product by maintaining a database where you can look up your torch by individualized serial number and see all the details about that particular light including build date firmware version and more. This was particularly interesting to me since my review sample was left entirely up to the discretion of Serge, the proprietor. Of course, this same information was included in the documentation, but it's quite a service to make this available and online, especially for those who might not happen to be the original owner.


    Lux-RC FL33

    The light itself definitely lives up to its hype. This is quite simply one of the most polished lights I’ve ever seen, both metaphorically and literally. The exterior of the light, instead of being simply anodized aluminum like virtually the rest of the field of flashlight options, is coated with a black Titanium Nitride ceramic coating. This treatment leaves a beautiful exterior that completely sets it apart visually from every other flashlight I’ve tested. Of course, this is helped along by body styling that doesn’t simply rehash the “tube with some interesting marks” concept so often regurgitated by other manufacturers. Bold, deep heat sink fins ring the light directly behind the head allowing for incredible heat dissipation, and the curvaceous body leaves the impression of some advanced alien technology discovered somewhere offworld. Build quality is exquisite. Sharp edges are nowhere to be found. Threading is smooth and uniform. This light is a joy to carry.

    Looking down the barrel of this torch, you begin to see some of the magnificent electronics that compliment the exquisite body design. Skipping traditional reflectors, Lux-RC has stationed a trifecta of LEDs behind tiny collimator lenses. These prove quite nicely why I prefer lensing to reflectors. The beam emitted from my trio of 5000k XP-G2 LEDs is one of the smoothest and creamiest floody lights I've yet come across. The closest I've seen is the multi-LED high output monsters by Lupine, that just so happen to use a somewhat similar lens system. Any ringy artifacts that might be present in a single LED are completely cancelled out by having several in such close proximity.


    Triple XP-G2

    At it’s simplest, this FL33 is a 2 mode light. Click the electronic switch once and it ramps up immediately to full power, 2A per LED. This is an incredible amount of light out of such a small torch. From off you can press and hold the button for a few seconds to get instant access to low mode. Incidentally, this super low is the only point where I can detect any sort of PWM with this light, and even then it is so fast I can’t see it unless I’m specifically looking for it. When the light is on High, pressing and holding the button for several seconds will allow you to select a custom user preferred medium mode. This can be incredibly useful for those times when low doesn’t quite give you enough light, but High will kill the meager battery life quicker than you would like. Beyond that, you have access to a number of signalling options and even a “tactical” option where the light turns on at 100% without ramping only as long as you hold the button. What use this light is as in a true tactical setup is somewhat questionable with such a small button on the side of the light, but it’s still an interesting option to be presented with. These extra modes are tucked out of the way enough that I have to consult the manual, or at least the included quick-start guide anytime I want to access them.

    Beyond the basic features, there is still a lot going on under the hood of this work of art. Behind the window, intermixed with the main beam LEDs is a secondary red LED that flashes intermittently, just bright enough to make an excellent locator beacon to help you find your light in the dark. Surrounding the multipurpose power button is an LED ring that functions as a battery indicator, pulsing green, amber, or red when you shut the light off depending on the state of your cell. By special order you can have the head filled with dry nitrogen, in order to prevent lens fogging at low temperatures, and there is active thermal protection to prevent damage to your LEDs. My review model is the T50 which runs on a single 18500 cell, but the 3.0-9.9V FL33 is available using anything from a single CR123A/16340 to a pair of 18650 cells. It is simply that versatile.

    Constructive Criticism

    Honestly, after carrying this torch for quite some time, I have really only found a couple of small points of contention with it. The Lux-RC FL33 has a definitive inductor whine that is present in varying pitches through almost all outputs. Thankfully, at my favorite full power the whine is either so high pitched that it has reached levels beyond my acute hearing, or it is actually not present at all. The remainder of the time it is relatively quiet, except when you are actively setting the user preset mode. That being said, I sure would be a lot happier not having to deal with this at all, especially in a light of this caliber.


    Lux-RC FL33

    The user interface is, well, not my favorite. It is useable, especially as a 2 mode torch, but once you add in that user preset, it feels a lot like the interface found on Lupine’s monster lights (about which I have also routinely complained). I suppose that designing a variable user interface that only has a single button as the sole method of control is no mean feat. Quite honestly I’m not sure I’m up to the challenge of improving upon it. I’ll have to give it some more direct thought. All I know is it seems to be a little cumbersome.

    Conclusions

    I love this light. Period. I don’t know what it really is about it, but I really enjoy using it. At work, around the house, camping. It has quickly become one of my absolute favorite lights, and will likely be on my short list of EDC items for some time to come. It’s not an absolutely perfect experience, but the overall light is just so darn nice that I am willing to overlook its few shortcomings.

    One rather important point I should note. My review sample is classified as a V2.5. It mostly comprises of the V2.0 hardware, but there are just a couple features of the new V3.0 that snuck in for the ride. Any new orders however will have the full advancements of version 3; things like a 4th customizable LED in the head that is used for low modes, a new light engine with full programmability by the user including motion sensor, light sensor, full constant current regulation, TiCN coated Stainless steel parts for better durability etc.


    Lux-RC FL33

    Provided for review by the kind folks at Lux-RC.
    Last edited by AardvarkSagus; 08-01-2013 at 02:26 AM.

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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Haven't finished reading your review yet, but it looks like a great job so far. I'm glad to finally see someone talk about my dream EDC. Still struggling to put enough money aside to get my own.
    Cataract, Shiny things specialist.
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  3. #3
    Flashaholic* dlmorgan999's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    That's a very nice review. It makes me all the more anxious to get my 2x18650 v3 light that I have on order.
    Here is a list of my lights.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    I've lusted for these lights for months now. They're out of my price range but still - you've got to have something on your dream list, right?
    Great review. If you can, would you post a shot of the light in your hand?

    - Tim
    "The search for The One True EDC is not a path leading to a door, but a road leading forever to the horizon." - StarHalo

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    *Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    I have chalked up much more than enough in my PayPal after selling away most of my lights that are hoarding in the house and this looks like something I could use the cash on, but I am having reservations on its toughness, especially considering how thin the "neck" is. How tough and reliable can this be to withstand all the rigors and drops?
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

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    Flashaholic* stienke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by pjandyho View Post
    I have chalked up much more than enough in my PayPal after selling away most of my lights that are hoarding in the house and this looks like something I could use the cash on, but I am having reservations on its toughness, especially considering how thin the "neck" is. How tough and reliable can this be to withstand all the rigors and drops?
    You can order one with the underwater head , they look massive and I prefer the looks over the 'standard' head.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* f22shift's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    this is my favorite custom light. i love the design. the longer ones look like a modern light saber to me.

    did you get to keep it? or have to return it. i just want to play with one to get it out of the system haha.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by stienke View Post
    You can order one with the underwater head , they look massive and I prefer the looks over the 'standard' head.
    I think the heat sinking would be pretty bad with the underwater head. If its going to be used underwater then it should not be a problem.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

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    Flashaholic* BenChiew's Avatar
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    Default Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Is the maker represented in CPF?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by pjandyho View Post
    I have chalked up much more than enough in my PayPal after selling away most of my lights that are hoarding in the house and this looks like something I could use the cash on, but I am having reservations on its toughness, especially considering how thin the "neck" is. How tough and reliable can this be to withstand all the rigors and drops?
    Here is a drop test video of last years version:

    Click Here to view my lights

  11. #11

    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by BenChiew View Post
    Is the maker represented in CPF?
    He has an account here but is best reached by email. Serge is an excellent individual to deal with.
    Click Here to view my lights

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Wow! The drop test video is showing a very impressive performer! Honestly I wasn't expecting any lights to survive the 40 meters drop since the impact would be too great at the velocity that it is traveling down. Pretty convincing video I would say, and you are crazy to do that to the light.
    Last edited by pjandyho; 08-01-2013 at 09:19 AM.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* BenChiew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    That drop test is extreme.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by pjandyho View Post
    I have chalked up much more than enough in my PayPal after selling away most of my lights that are hoarding in the house and this looks like something I could use the cash on, but I am having reservations on its toughness, especially considering how thin the "neck" is. How tough and reliable can this be to withstand all the rigors and drops?
    Let me reassure you that once you hold one in your hand, you'll feel different. This is 'the' one light that make me want to sell off most of my collection because it has everything I need in a light and IMO make most of the other lights seem outdated. I ordered a second one within 48 hours of getting my first one, and it is my most EDC'ED light at the moment.

    With it's high output especially running on 2 cells, I will advise ordering one of the finned head as it will cool down the light considerably.

    Let me know if you wanna one feel one in your hand before deciding. I'm away on a photography trip now and should be back in a few days.

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk 2
    WTB --> any vintage, cross-hair logo Surefire, SW01 tailcap; Ku's SWM V-series 18500 tubes; PM me if you have a SPY007 XM-L2 SWGG for trade!


  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by Silgt View Post
    Let me reassure you that once you hold one in your hand, you'll feel different. This is 'the' one light that make me want to sell off most of my collection because it has everything I need in a light and IMO make most of the other lights seem outdated. I ordered a second one within 48 hours of getting my first one, and it is my most EDC'ED light at the moment.

    With it's high output especially running on 2 cells, I will advise ordering one of the finned head as it will cool down the light considerably.

    Let me know if you wanna one feel one in your hand before deciding. I'm away on a photography trip now and should be back in a few days.

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk 2
    Yeah that would be real cool! I was looking at the website and could not decide how I would like to customize it. Maybe we could meet up and I can take a look at it. Thanks for the offer!
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  16. #16

    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by pjandyho View Post
    Yeah that would be real cool! I was looking at the website and could not decide how I would like to customize it. Maybe we could meet up and I can take a look at it. Thanks for the offer!
    No worries Andy...will PM you my number when i head back home this weekend.

    btw. If you were to order a new one now, you should be getting the latest V3 light engine. The old V2 light engine are limited to 3amp input currently he but the new V3 engine should not have this limitation, although it will consume twice as much and drain the battery twice faster.

    Using a special tool, user can easily create program or download any UI they desire (no limitation), so it's fully user programmable. Another unique feature of this new light engine is that user may also incorporates motion sensing into the light's UI (eg, when you pick up the light, it automatically turns on in moonlight mode, or when you put down the light, it automatically turns off when left idle for a certain period of time).

    V3 engine also comes with a more accurate and programmable temperature control so it's even more safe running at high current

    btw. Both version of heads are waterproof up to 100M

    Yes I love this light

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk 2
    WTB --> any vintage, cross-hair logo Surefire, SW01 tailcap; Ku's SWM V-series 18500 tubes; PM me if you have a SPY007 XM-L2 SWGG for trade!


  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Not so sure if I like to program in motion sensor control. Wouldn't it be turning on in my holster should I be jumping around. I am not too sure about getting this yet. I am thinking of getting either another McGizmo or Surefire E2DL Ultra but I reserve my decision till I have seen your light.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  18. #18

    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by BenChiew View Post
    That drop test is extreme.
    there is another vid, far less extreme


  19. #19

    Default Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Where are they based?
    I can't find any info about them, the website is less then minimal...

  20. #20

    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by Silgt View Post
    Let me reassure you that once you hold one in your hand, you'll feel different. This is 'the' one light that make me want to sell off most of my collection because it has everything I need in a light and IMO make most of the other lights seem outdated. I ordered a second one within 48 hours of getting my first one, and it is my most EDC'ED light at the moment.

    With it's high output especially running on 2 cells, I will advise ordering one of the finned head as it will cool down the light considerably.

    Let me know if you wanna one feel one in your hand before deciding. I'm away on a photography trip now and should be back in a few days.

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk 2
    Which LED and optics did you choose?

    - Tim
    "The search for The One True EDC is not a path leading to a door, but a road leading forever to the horizon." - StarHalo

  21. #21

    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by sinnyc View Post
    Which LED and optics did you choose?

    - Tim
    Mine's a Samsung 5000K...by far the whitest of white beam of all my lights...it's pure snow white without a hint of blue or green tint

    btw. Lux-RC is based in Russia and they supply light engines to Oveready and (previously) Mac's Customs
    WTB --> any vintage, cross-hair logo Surefire, SW01 tailcap; Ku's SWM V-series 18500 tubes; PM me if you have a SPY007 XM-L2 SWGG for trade!


  22. #22

    Default Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Moscow??

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by riccardo View Post
    Where are they based?
    I can't find any info about them, the website is less then minimal...
    You are so right! It is the least user friendly/information friendly company I've ever seen. For 6 months I've tried to get information on the Lux-RC Fatboy and it's as if the light doesn't even exist. The pics of it are from December. I mean come on it's 2013 you should be able to get all of your answers on a product with a simple Google search.

    Silgt do you know any specifics (including a release date) on the Fatboy?

  24. #24

    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by BeastFlashlight View Post
    You are so right! It is the least user friendly/information friendly company I've ever seen. For 6 months I've tried to get information on the Lux-RC Fatboy and it's as if the light doesn't even exist. The pics of it are from December. I mean come on it's 2013 you should be able to get all of your answers on a product with a simple Google search.

    Silgt do you know any specifics (including a release date) on the Fatboy?
    You can PM Serge here on CPF. His username is Lux-RC. He does check the board with some regularity and he does respond although it may take a while. Or check this post and you'll find his contact email.

    - Tim
    "The search for The One True EDC is not a path leading to a door, but a road leading forever to the horizon." - StarHalo

  25. #25
    Unenlightened Dface's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    BeastFlashlight, riccardo Lux-RC is developing exclusively on this site. Google translate.
    Last edited by Dface; 08-01-2013 at 03:16 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Thanks guys I'll get in touch with him when my budget allows. Man when I first saw that Lux-RC Fatboy I was expecting hundreds & hundreds of posts on it it looked so incredible. So I was shocked at the silence about it

  27. #27
    archimedes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    Thanks for the great review, AardvarkSagus !

    I recently got a chance to finally use one of these torches, and am quite impressed .... The build quality is immediately apparent, of course they are very bright, and the styling is strikingly functional.

    At first, I was not sold on the appearance. But they seem to look better in person than in photos, somehow ... at least to me ?

    The coating on mine (TiCN on Al?) is showing rather substantial wear, however. I would really like to see DLC-coated Ti tube(s), instead, if possible
    ...
    Wanted - (nothing for now) ... Thanks CPF !

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    that's it! Can't take anymore! I'm putting 20$ a week in a box till I have enough to order one. Why do I read these threads?
    Cataract, Shiny things specialist.
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  29. #29
    Flashaholic* AardvarkSagus's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the compliments guys. This really has been one of my absolute favorite lights so far, and ice seen quite a few over the years.

    As for more specifics on my light, it came with Cree XP-G2 (R5 bin) in 5000k and narrow clear lensing. Even then, its not terribly much of a thrower, though its insanely bright at 2A per led. Mine has seen some relatively hard knocks during testing, but nowhere near that 40m fall. Its still looking pretty good despite some minor dings.

    As for disclosure, yes, this light is mine now, but believe me when I say that is not the reason I am giving it such high praise. It really is this nice of a light.

    Serge has mentioned that he would also like me to review the V3 model when its complete. While it won't be DLC over Ti, I can't wait to see how the SS bezel and tail cap help preserve it even more than this version.

    Sent from my TouchPad using Tapatalk 4 Beta

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  30. #30

    Default Lux-RC FL33 T50 review - A Layman's Perspective

    I was asking where is their base because I'm often in Moscow, if they are there I'd like to see and touch the light before deciding to pull the trigger...

    I'll contact Serge..

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