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Thread: Helius Sigma IX keychain flashlight Review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default Helius Sigma IX keychain flashlight Review

    Helius Sigma IX Review

    Hey folks today we will be reviewing one the best looking flashlight on market currently. This flashlight is a powerful all In one micro sized flashlight.
    The Helius Sigma IX is a key chain flashlight that packs enough tritium that you will never loose it even in the day time. I can seriously see it glowing in the daylight!
    The Sigma IX is a capable and complete micro flashlight with a fit and finish of the best in its class. Its all you need to carry as a key chain flashlight. Its small and compact and really good looking. The Sigma IX even has its own built in micro USB charger.
    The Helius Sigma IX was sent to me by Helius for review I believe this is there first flashlight under this name.



    First of the build quality of the Sigma IX is very good its hard to get stainless steel lights to work right. The body of the Sigma IX is made out of polished stainless steel that would be the first standout. Other flashlight in this category may look similar but they might be aluminum. I do own a Quantum SS but that is brushed stainless and not polished.
    The sigma comes shiny and ready to use no polishing needed here. Seeing as the Sigma is stainless steel it does attract finger prints but they easily wipe of. Their does appear to be a coating on the Sigma which will help with the longevity and keeping scratches away.
    If you did want to take the coating of the Sigma it would polish up really shiny but its really not needed from the factory. Its got one of the better polishing jobs already. I know all about polishing flashlight no suss!

    The Sigma is one of the most unique looking flashlight on the market currently it is certainly a standout. I know I keep saying this but this is probably the reason why you would buy the Sigma. Its unique and eye catching look its not like it had 10000 lumens. Its hard to find a flashlight that really stand out now days especially with micro sized flashlights they all look the same.
    The Sigma has no knurling as such and no button or switches. The Sigma IX is a twist to activate flashlight. For an EDC flashlight this is my favorite system it makes pocket activation near impossible. The Sigma is very easy to twist and turn on and change modes it has 2 modes in total.
    The threads that hold the head to the body are cut really well but for some reason Helius didnít grease the threads. So my threads on the Sigma where a bit lose fitting without the grease. This is kind of a design issue seeing as the USB charger sits under the head on the body on the Sigma.


    I am not sure if you are really meant to grease the threads. I just read the manual it says you are lol. Any ways I did grease the threads and now they have no play what so ever. The head and body are connected rock solid. If you use to much grease you will probably end up with some grease in the USB port. This is a problem on all similar design key chain flashlights. I am using silicone grease not petroleum jelly. The last time I used petroleum jelly on a SS flashlight it ate the coating..Either way I would suggest using some sort of grease because rubbing stainless steel against each thread will create a lot of friction and wear which may lead to issues.
    I can actually feel more friction now with the silicone grease on the threads. Either if you grease the threads or not there is no way the head will come of seeing as there is 6 lines of threads to hold the head in place. It does take a while to spin the head off.

    The stand out design wise would be on the back of the Sigma it has a tritium vile which should be good for output for at least 12 years.
    The tritium sits inside the Sigma which has slit in the stainless steel body so you can see the tritium glow very easily. Its super bright this makes a great EDC feature because you can find your Sigma easily in the dark. If its attached to your keys you are winning I should give one to my mum she always misplaces her keys.

    The machining on the Sigma IX is very good overall the best I have personally seen on a SS flashlight. The only issue I can find in the whole light is a slight burr where the gaps are for the tritium. If you slide fingers across with a bit of force they kind of catch on the gaps. Its not bad but they could round the edges of a bit to make it smoother.
    I am guessing this would have to be done by hand and would be time consuming. I am not sure if you could round of such an edge on a CNC machine it might have to be filed down. Leave a comment of you know the answer? Its not really much of an issue it will not cut you of tear any thing it just feels a tad bighty.

    The tritium is removable which I think is a good option. You can buy tritium in all different colors so you can make your sigma look even more unique. The tritium is 23mm long and is 8mm in width. After doing some research I can find other tritium that come in similar size containers that should fit with a bit of work. Also For safety the tritium has a few layers of clear material to keep it safe. The tritium should keep on glowing for at least 12 years I believe. Then it will dull a bit but keep on shinning at around half brightness. Half life of tritium is 12 years.

    The Sigma is on the larger side when comparing it to other micro sized flashlights. Its about twice as long as Cooyoo quantum SS but its still smaller then a flashlight like the Nitecore tube.
    *Dimensions *

    • Weight 33 grams


    • Length: 69mm


    • Width: 13mm

    The Helius Sigma is IPX8 rated to (underwater up to 2 meters). The Sigma has a drop resistant rating of 1.5m. So this would help make the Sigma a good EDC option. House Keys are always abused so a flashlight has to be able to keep up. The micro USB port is hidden under the head of the Sigma IX. This is a good choice it will heklp to keep dust and water out of the USB port. This also means to to charge you MAY need to take the head off. I say may because it really depends on what USB cable you use. Having the USB port under the head is a double edge sword. It helps with waterproofing but it may also help with losing the head if you are not careful. Not every one is me and not every one will have this as a problem!

    The body of the Sigma has enough mass to stay cool even when left on high mode for a long period of time. While testing the run times the Sigma did not heat up at all.
    The sigma uses a standard set up for these micro style key chain flashlight. The one main difference is the battery that is used in the Sigma. The included cell is a tad smaller then the standard 10180 that we have seen in many key chain flashlights of recent. The Sigma uses a 10150 lithium cell which is slightly smaller then the 10180. Run times are the same as other similar sized flashlights but I did see a bigger drop of in output compared to a 10180 flashlights. The difference in output drop is not that substantial. I donít usually do run time test but I was interest to see how the Sigma compares to other flashlights of its size. I ran the Sigma on high till the battery was completely flat 2.7v the instructions say 2.7v is the cut of. The test lasted 2 hours and 30 minutes in total. This was a real surprise from the Sigma although the light was dim it was still useable and still had a bit juice left in the tank.

    Output wise the Sigma IX manages to stay with pack while using a smaller cell.
    The Sigma boasts a good high mode coming in at 130 lumens max. While low mode is 20 lumens. This is good mode separation 20 lumens is still a very useable amount of light.
    The Sigma is a using a Cree XPG2 with TIR optics this is standard or I should say in common with other similar sized flashlights on the market. The tint of the XPG2 is actually fairly warm I would say some where around 5000k. That would be more of a neutral white tint right?. I also ran my own output test comparing the Sigma to the Quantum I will leave a chart here.

    The driver set up seems pretty standard with 2 modes and a green/ red charge indicator. After running the battery flat it would seem that the Sigma does not have low voltage protection and or mine did not kick in. This is a shame and is an area Helius could improve upon. Its weird the instructions does say working voltage 2.7-4.2 volts.
    I release that most if not all of the similar sized flashlights do not have low voltage protection but I would say the same in their case its needed for this style flashlight.
    The Sigma does have a built in micro USB port for charging the 10150 cell. Charging time takes around 1 hour for a flat cell. The charging current is so low it charges at 0.05amps so about 50milliamps charging took around 1 hour.
    Charging red LED
    D
    Charge Complete green LED


    Output and Modes


    • Low mode: 20 lumens at 4.5 hours


    • High mode: 130 lumens at 0.5 hours (30min)


    • Peak beam intensity: 621cd


    • Beam distance: 49m

    My measured output


    • High mode: 132 lumens


    • Low mode: 26 lumens

    f
    As I said earlier my testing shows the battery has a good run time overall on high mode I got 2 hours and 30 minutes in total. The light was still working fine but the battery voltage was around 2.7v so I called it off. Output drop is linear in a sense after about 30 minutes you see a big reduction in output the light steps down to low mode. The light will continue to dim as the battery drains which brings up the run time. Helius rates the included battery at 90mah I charged the cell while connected to USB volt meter and it charges at 50mah and it takes about an hour total so I would say the MAH is closer to 50-60mah. Some 10180 have been rated around the same capacity. The cut of voltage for the inbuilt charger is good it comes in at 4.21 volts so spot in perfect.

    The UI on the Sigma is super easy it only has 2 modes in total. You twist the head to turn on the Helius. First mode you will see is low mode then twist further and you get high mode. This is a UI I like! No memory mode but its not needed at all seeing as you only have to twist a tiny bit to change the modes.
    *Included in the pack *

    • Sigma IX


    • 10150 battery


    • Micro USB cable


    • 2 spare O-rings


    • Key ring attachment


    • User guide


    Overall the Helius Sigma IX is a standout flashlight. It has a few little quirks that can be worked out or worked around. Its an eye catching flashlight and I donít think it matters what I say because if the Sigma IX already caught your eye you are probably already buying one as we speak. Its a shelf queen flashlight that has earned its place on the finest shelves.
    Alright now for output test all these pics are taken at ISO 800
    Low mode i took 2 pics the beam is very spread out it is 4 meters to the door.

    High mode 10 meters to the fence

    10 meters to the tree

    Helius Sigma IX Left and Cooyoo Quantum Right

    Helius Sigma IX Left and BLF348 Right

    Helius Sigma IX Left and Thorfire PF03 Right

    Helius Sigma IX Left and Hugsby XP1 Right

    Helius Sigma IX Left and Lumintop tool Right

    Thanks for taking the time to read!

    Regards Chris

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* MAD777's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helius Sigma IX keychain flashlight Review

    Great review. I bought mine for its good looks and bargain price for an included tritium vial.
    The tritium makes it a good nightstand light, however it's low mode is not moonlight and therefore a bit bright for nighttime navigation to the bathroom.

    But, moonlight isn't common on most two mode flashlights.

    I'll add that the company's delivery speed and communication through PM was beyond outstanding.

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