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Thread: Klarus AR10 (XM-L2 U2) Review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic BugoutBoys's Avatar
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    Wink2 Klarus AR10 (XM-L2 U2) Review

    Klarus AR10







    Manufacturer Specs:
    Output/Runtime (1x18650): Turbo 1080lumens / 1hr 40min – High 450lumens / 3hr 45min – Medium 150lumens / 11.5hr – Low 10lumen / 220hr
    • Utilizes CREE XM-L2 U2 LED for a maximum output of 1080 lumens
    • Main Light has 4 lighting modes and 2 flashing modes
    • Battery: 1x 18650 or 2 x CR123A ( Do not use 16340 batteries)
    • Size:144mm(5.67")(Length)*24.8mm(0.97")(head)*24mm (0.94")(body)
    • Net Weight:93g (without battery)
    • Working voltage:3-6.4V
    • Reflector:Newly designed reflector that provides both focused and floodlight, offering perfect spot illumination
    • Lens:Toughened ultra-clear tempered glass, scratch-resistant and wear-resistant
    • Material:Aircraft grade aluminum, Military III hard anodic oxidation
    • Body colour: Black
    • Water proof: IPX-8 for use in adverse weather conditions




    In the box

    The AR10 comes with a deep carry pocket clip, quality lanyard, spare O-ring, Klarus rechargeable 2600 mAh Li-ion battery, and a USB cable (Not pictured)



    Appearance
    The AR10 is made from aircraft grade aluminum with a HAIII anodized, black finish.
    The finish is not reflective, but it isn't Matte either.
    The knurling is very similar to most Fenix flashlights of this class. The cuts are diamonds and are raised for better grip with good aggressiveness.
    Overall there isn't much in the anti-roll area of this flashlight. not much other than the USB cover and button are preventing this light from rolling. If you add on the belt clip, then your anti-roll is pretty good.
    The markings are a mid-tone gray which makes them not stand out as much as some other manufacturers' lights.
    The feel of the light is good and sturdy with the only moving part being the head.
    There is no tactical clicky switch, so the bottom of the light is flat with magnet inside

    My sample came free of any scratches or chips in the finish





    The Interface
    The AR10 is completely controlled by the side button. To activate the light, simply press the side button. There is about a half second delay upon pressing the button until the light comes on (At least on my sample). To cycle through modes, simply click the side button. The modes on this flashlight cycle from highest to lowest, unlike most other flashlights that cycle from lowest to highest. To turn the light off, hold the side button for about a second.
    To access strobe, double press the side button. To turn the light off when it is in strobe, simply click the side button.
    To turn the light on in turbo mode, press and hold the side button from the off phase, rather than just clicking it.
    To activate SOS mode, simply double click to enter strobe, and double click again.

    The AR10 does have mode memory and will come on in whatever mode you last had on (other than strobe). I find the strobe to be very easily and quickly accessed by just double pressing the button.

    Everything is the same whether the head is rotated or straight.







    Physical tests

    The AR10 is IPX-8 waterproof to 2 meters





    I submerged theAR10 in water completely while rotating the head and clicking the side button and no water appears to have entered the flashlight.

    The AR10 is completely current controlled, so I detected no PWM on any of the modes


    When the AR10 is on, there is a small LED inside the side button that will light up either green, orange or red. Green = 70% - 100% battery. Orange = 30% - 70% and red = less than 30%

    The AR10 also features a thermal step down rather than timed. It detects the internal temperature of the flashlight and renders output based on the reading.

    There is also a USB recharging port on the side of the AR10. The flap opens to reveal the micro-usb slot where you can recharge the flashlight. The LED inside the side button will be red whilst the light is charging and green when it is finished.







    There are springs in both the front and the back of the battery tube for the AR10







    The AR10 also can tail stand extremely well because the bottom is flat




    Comparison
    From left to right:
    Fenix UC30, Nitecore P10, Nitecore MH12, Klarus AR10



    The AR10 features a CREE XM-L2 U2 LED emitter and an OP (Orange peel) textured reflector for a smooth beam.




    Beam Profile

    The AR10's beam profile is very smooth and does not have any artifacts due to the textured reflector. There is also no visible donut hole!


    ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/60



    ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/250



    ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/2000



    Beam shot
    The first fence is 82 feet away. the second fence is 232 feet away. The far trees are 376 feet away.
    Zoom up on the picture to see the distance better. The tree trunks are easily visible at that distance. Dark objects are harder to see but anything neutral gray and brighter is visible.




    Personal Opinions

    The AR10 is my first flashlight from Klarus and I must say that I am very impressed with it. I am usually one to like tactical flashlights better than ones controlled by a side button; however, this flashlight has proven itself to be extremely useful. I was skeptical about the rotating head but now I see it as a very useful and useable feature especially partnered with the magnetic bottom. The light can me stuck to a metallic surface and the light can be angled to be very helpful!

    I personally am not a fan at all of the delay on activation of the flashlight. I like flashlights to instantly come on when I press the button. If this is being used as a work light, that is not much of a problem though. It hasn't bothered me when I am casually using it. This light is not meant to be a tactical or weapon mounted flashlight, so this is not too much of a problem if not used for that.

    I like the deep carry pocket clip tremendously! This is probably the sturdiest belt clip I have ever felt for a flashlight. The metal is thick and clips on tightly to the flashlight body.

    I think that the textured reflector was a very good choice for this flashlight. If this is being used as a work light, it doesn't need insane throw. The textured reflector gives it an amazingly smooth beam profile which I am definitely a fan of!
    I am also glad that there is no PWM. Overall, the AR10 has an amazing beam.
    Of course the waterproofing is a great feature to have, especially for this flashlight. I can see this being a very valuable light to use outdoors, as a worklight, or keep in the car.

    I like the battery readout feature in the side button. This is great so that you know when to charge the flashlight. The USB recharging function is also great for this light so that you don't have to remove the battery to charge it.

    One of my only issues besides the activation and deactivation delay is the mode spacing. I feel that the first 3 modes are too close together. The first 2 are barely noticeably different from each other. I also would like a 1 lumen moonlight mode, but 10 lumens is sufficient!

    Pros
    high output
    sturdy
    magnet base
    rotatable head
    battery readout
    quick access strobe feature
    waterproof to 2 meters
    double springs for shock resistance
    good throw
    very smooth beam pattern
    USB rechargeable

    Cons
    Lack of a "moonlight" mode
    Delay in activation and deactivation
    A bit on the "long" side for EDC, but still doable


    Bottom line

    I would recommend this to someone who wants a small portable work light, or camping light. This would definitely come in handy for each of those purposes!


    AR10 kindly provided by Klarus for review
    Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Ryp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Klarus AR10 (XM-L2 U2) Review

    Definitely an interesting light. Great review!

  3. #3
    Flashaholic BugoutBoys's Avatar
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    Default Re: Klarus AR10 (XM-L2 U2) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryp View Post
    Definitely an interesting light. Great review!
    Thank you! I like it, I think it is a solid design.
    Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you

  4. #4

    Default Re: Klarus AR10 (XM-L2 U2) Review

    Thanks for your review, I have been looking at this flashlight for a bit but haven't been able to find much firsthand info on it. I work in the restoration industry so I have been looking for a work light that has some utility and portability. The rotating head and the magnet will come in handy. I'm new here but lurking on this forum brought me to settle on the nitecore mh20. Great light and i got a great deal but I didn't anticipate how bright it would actually be indoors. Actually too bright for a lot of my closeup/inspection work. Will keep for camping or outdoor use, but I'm again in search of a small light for work. This place is great; I guess I've picked up another expensive hobby. Thanks everyone for your time and efforts.

  5. #5

    Default 🔦 Klarus AR10 (XM-L2 U2) Brightness Issues

    I just got my AR-10 today and am both happy with it but also mystified. After charging it, I shined it against the ceiling. I'm not one for throw in most of my lights because I just don't have any bigfoots in the woods (and if I do, I don't want to know). But here's the rub. I also have a very nice little Klarus XT2C with a XM-L T6 with an advertised brightness of 450 lumens max. It's a deceptively bright light because when I checked the instructions I was surprised it wasn't more...much more than 450.

    I have a Nitecore SRT7 (960 lumens) that has a greater throw and a bright hot spot, but unless I shine both lights side-by-side at the same surface, I can't tell the difference. The Nitecore is only minimally brighter dead center, and of course the XT2C has plenty of spill. But I can tell the Nitecore is brighter by looking, but it's close.

    Now for the AR-10. I did another side-by-side comparison, this time between the XT2C and the AR-10. Both lights against the ceiling showed plenty of flood. But though the AR-10 had just slightly more spill, the 450-lumen XT2C was noticeably brighter dead center! Not a lot brighter, but enough to register on the naked eye. So I'm just wondering, how can this be? Almost as bright as a Nitecore 960-lumen and just a little brighter than the AR-10 1060-lumen?

    What's going on? Using 18650 batteries, shouldn't the newer lights be significantly brighter than the 450-lumen light? The Turbo on the AR-10 is rated at 1060 while the High rating is 450. But the 450 High setting of the XT2C is significantly higher than the High setting of the AR-10 (both 450 lumens) and at least just as bright dead center than the Turbo.

    As for all of these lights, I'm very impressed. Not only with their highest settings, but with the great runtimes at the lowest settings.

    One more observation. I also have some 10-13 lumen Fenix E01 lights. The other night I got up to let the cat out. I turned on my Fenix and the whole room lit up! Ten lumens is far more useful than many think and I can do well with 1 lumen. Going downstairs to let the cat out, checking the water heater temperature or the fuse box -- 1 lumen works fine. I prefer 5-10 lumens, but the newest XT2C has an advertised 11 lumens for 190 hours and the AR-10 advertises 10 lumens for 220 hours. And during a protracted time without electricity, having low levels of light for long periods of time might be far more valuable than bright light.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 🔦 Klarus AR10 (XM-L2 U2) Brightness Issues

    Thanks for the review

    I think this rotating head design is a great idea, but you hardly ever see these lights reviewed. I have three of the Rofis AA / 2xAA cell versions, and this 18650 one from Klarus is tempting me, cool white or not

    I wish they'd included a 50lm mode, though, and a 1Hz or 2Hz beacon mode like the Rofis lights have. Wouldn't mind seeing the 10lm mode bumped up to 15lm, either, with a moonlight mode added as compensation for those of us who like lower levels.
    Phlogiston is the main constituent of Magic Smoke.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic BugoutBoys's Avatar
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    Default Re: 🔦 Klarus AR10 (XM-L2 U2) Brightness Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post
    Thanks for the review

    I think this rotating head design is a great idea, but you hardly ever see these lights reviewed. I have three of the Rofis AA / 2xAA cell versions, and this 18650 one from Klarus is tempting me, cool white or not

    I wish they'd included a 50lm mode, though, and a 1Hz or 2Hz beacon mode like the Rofis lights have. Wouldn't mind seeing the 10lm mode bumped up to 15lm, either, with a moonlight mode added as compensation for those of us who like lower levels.
    This is my first rotating head light and I didn't think I would like it at first, but I actually do! I definitely think it would benefit from a moonlight mode though. Maybe a different UI as well but other than that I like it!
    Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you

  8. #8
    Unenlightened hakuin's Avatar
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    Default Re: �� Klarus AR10 (XM-L2 U2) Brightness Issues

    Great review, thanks! Just ordered one of these.

  9. #9
    Unenlightened hakuin's Avatar
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    Default Re: �� Klarus AR10 (XM-L2 U2) Brightness Issues

    Just got the light. I like a lot of the features, but not used to the touchy side-switch. I inadvertently turned on the light when picking it up. Is this switch unusually-sensitive, or just a common concern with the design?

  10. #10
    Unenlightened hakuin's Avatar
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    Default Re: �� Klarus AR10 (XM-L2 U2) Brightness Issues

    Well, IDK if this is what others do, but I found by twisting the clip to cover the lower portion of the side switch, it acts as a mechanical barrier to accidental-contact with the switch...

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