Interesting and useful COB LED 2x18650 magnet work light I bought.

Lynx_Arc

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I don't have pics for this but here is an Amazon listing of the light. I bought mine on Ebay and got one with Orange trim for about $1 less it says China on the listings of this item 9000 lumens COB is keywords for this light there and on ebay it can be bought in up to 4 different Colors Red, Orange, Green, Black. On Amazon I found a Black version but to be honest I recommend a color like Red or Orange as it is higher visibility.

The light came in a cardboard box and upon opening it I found it fully assembled with a micro USB cable and small manual. The instructions were ok but I had to figure out you have to remove a small screw on the bottom where the magnet is to slide off the battery compartment. Mine didn't come with any batteries so I found a matched set of 2 18650 batteries and installed them. Be careful to install them easy as there is copper contacts on the + end that look sharp and could be slightly damaged if you slammed the batteries in. After you install the batteries you slide the cover on and I recommend putting the small phillips screw back in (#1) to keep the light together as the magnet is pretty strong and with 2 batteries the light has some weight to it. You can if you don't have 2 batteries only install 1 as they are in parallel you will only get 1/2 the runtime of 2 cells however and it could affect the balance perhaps.

After I got the batteries installed the switch is on the back of the light it has 3 "positions" that is 3 places it can be clicked on namely Power (symbol) + and - to the left right of that. To turn it on click once for the twin LEDs in the end of the pivoting LED light assembly, again for the COB in the assembly and again for OFF. One really nice things about this light is in both spot and flood modes you can ramp it up/down and it has memory at each type of light so you can set it to come on bright or dim. The light dims down pretty low too. I estimate the COB to be around 300 lumens with a more neutral/warm tint which is pleasing to use, the twin spot LEDs have an optic to focus them into a pleasing somewhat floody overlapping circular throw that leans more to blue but more of a neutral blue compared to a warmer COB.

In use the light is somewhat bulky and weighs in at a little under 10oz. The dimensions are accurate in the description just under 6 inches long by a little under 2 inches wide by a little under 1.5 inches thick closed. Open the dimensions are about 10.5 x 2 x 1 to 1.5 inches. The light opens up and has two levels of swivel to it, a clicking swivel that is the joint itself that sticks out about 3/4 of an inch and there is a joint after that giving it a little over 180 degree range to it off the joint itself. You can stand the light on the end (magnet) and have it it pointing about 5 degrees past 90 to -90 degrees from straight up. The swivel works well but the clicking main joint is a little quirky such that when you "collapse" the light to compact you have to fumble with it till you get used to it as it wants to hang if you don't have it lined up pretty straight and it is hard to grab the light assembly to pull it out of compact size.

In use the magnet is very strong I was able to stick it to a metal cabinet and swivel the light to all positions but on my fridge sometimes the magnet couldn't quite hold it sideways it would turn slowly but did hold it on the fridge well. There is a wire loop on the end to hang it with it isn't a hook though and one "feature" about it that I discoverd is when you sit the light down with it pivoted 90 degrees backward you can swing the loop around and it has a sort of spring to it that keeps the light from falling over so you can use the light on a lower mode on a non magnetic table for a reading or working light.

I charged the batteries I put in it even though they were already at 4.09v I wanted to see if the charger worked. It has 5 small green LEDs in a tiny window just above the switch on the back and I noticed 4 of them lit up and after about an hour charging it stopped blinking the 5th LED and was fully charged. Charging is done via a removeable rubber port on the top edge of the light where the swivel is. There is a nice rubber cover that you pull back that exposes a standard USB port for using as a power bank and a micro USB for charging. The cover fits very nicely such that you wouldn't notice it was there without looking hard at it.

I highly recommend this light I think it is a very good buy at around the $20 price especially if you like 18650 power and being able to replace the batteries, having 2 batteries instead of 1 like many lights, and being able replace them is the main reason I decided on this design. The ramping modes work very well and I am estimated low on the cob to be around 5 lumens or so should run for a very long time.

I looked at dozen of these type of lights and almost bought a single 18650 cell one but decided on this one. I will likely buy more of them when I have the funds and give some out as a gifts to family and friends. The light doesn't feel cheap at all I expected it to feel like cheap thin plastic but the main shell of the light feels like a rubberized plastic. It feels very solid in construction almost too heavy and solid.

Oh, and finally as the light assembly closes on a bottom lip I was thinking you had to open it to use the spot light function but the deigners were smart to have holes for the light in the bottom lip area (base) so you can use it as a flashlight with it in compact mode. About the only thing that I think could be considered is an extra magnet on the back side so you can "store" it on a flat metal surface where it won't stick out that much. I have this light stored on top of my metal cabinet now. I did try it on on the top edge of my fridge as it doesn't have a light in the freezer section even on low mode it allowed me to see in it. They make a single cell only version of this light that is narrower and I think may have a digital battery meter to it but it is not much cheaper and harder to locate. Before I forget I am not sure it will take protected cells or button top but if someone really wants to use them I will take the battery cover off and see if the springs have enough room left to suffice. The batteries fit very snugly in the light with contact at top and springs at the bottom.
 
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Lynx_Arc

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Thanks Lynx_Arc,
I ordered one, it should arrive tomorrow.
Kewl beans, I hope you enjoy it like I do mine. The light is far from perfect but I used mine the other day to help someone repair a car and the ability to swivel the light helped a lot since the car was a Corvette there wasn't a metal hood to attach it to I had to set it on top the radiator opened up pointing at the engine to change out a thermostat. I ran it for about 2 hours I think.
 

Poppy

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I got mine a couple of days ago, and like it :thumbsup: thanks again for the recommendation. For less than $20 US, it's a go getter.

Considering that it has memory, I wonder what the discharge rate is. It will probably be left at the Florida house, and so it won't be re-charged for months at a time (during the summer months).

The ON-Off button was hard to find in the dark, by feel only. If I wasn't a little familiar with the light, I may not have found it.

This morning, before anyone got up, and the sun was still down, I ceiling bounced the COB light, and at 50% it did a good job of lighting the open floor plan, kitchen/dining/living room area.
 

Lynx_Arc

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I'm glad you like it. I haven't checked the standby current rate and I use it often enough I charge it every week or so once it drops to 3 bars as I have laptop salvage batteries that likely are around 2000mah each.
Ok I just took mine apart and pulled out my DMM (Fluke 77IV) and here are the measurements:
Standby current is 0.06ma (60 uA)
Twin LEDs H=345ma L=8ma (max)
COB LED H=350ma L=8ma (max)
I figure the H figures are likely a little higher than measured as I used additional wiring and clip leads to insert a test plate between a battery terminal and also voltage of the batteries can come into play as mine isn't fully charged (4 bars).
I'm guessing the circuitry to drive both COB/LEDs is the same driver which would explain why the currents for both are pretty much the same. at 60uA drain two 3000ma batteries (6000mah) theoretically would take about 11 years to drain the batteries so I would say just check it every year or two and recharge it when it drops from 5 or 4 bars.
I would add if you used 3400mah batteries you could probably get 20 hours on high and 800 hours or around a month on low?
 
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Lynx_Arc

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I have another COB light (no separate LED) that is a little brighter and has weird red/blu flashing mode that rotates through a bunch of differing flashing pattern. It has L/M/H and... get this.... can take 1-4 18650s has power bank function also. Nowhere near 1000 lumens as it claimed but I got it off ebay for $5 including shipping. I'm always looking for interesting 18650 based lanterns and work lights (not flashlights) but it is hard to know which ones have replaceable batteries and the ones that come with batteries that are permanently installed often are lucky to have a 2000mah battery in them. I got one very interesting headlamp that detaches from the hadlamp bracket, has a magnet on the end and COB/LED array with ramping also. The 18650 battery is soldered in it and likely a 1200mah one at that.
I have another light with installed battery with a LED/round COB/and UV smd chips (2) that I like that has two magnets and a pocket clip and is barely larger than an 18650 itself.... very compact. I found a flexible 3AAA smd chip lamp with magnetic base that if you put a dime instead of the spring and take out the 3AAA holder it runs well off an 18650 cell. I had another one of these with a COB chip but ruined it by tinkering and the COB wasn't able to handle the higher power.
 

Lynx_Arc

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One further thing I want to add is the rubber cover for the recharging and power bank connectors is like serveral other rubber covers on devices, hard to get off with your fingers and it stays "connected" in the middle about a 1/8 inch strip in front, it comes loose at the back and you swivel it forward. I guess the rubber cover is a good and bad thing as I don't think the light is rated beyond splash resistant (if that) but it would keep dirt and debris out so for working on stuff like cars and large appliances it is probably a good thing. One other gripe I have is the power level LEDs are recessed so far that you have to look directly at them or off to one side to see the 5th one when charging but they do all blink as it is charging and it takes awhile to charge the light from 2-3 bars to full likely the charge rate is about 1A and declines as it reaches full gradually. It would have been nice if it could charge at 2A rate as 2 3400mah 18650s could have you waiting 7 hours or more to fully charge from almost dead but having up to about 20 hours (maybe more) of runtime on high I just recharge mine when it drops to 3 bars in use.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Not sure giving it away is liking it so much..... LOL.
I use mine often to check plants when it gets dark for bugs as they sometimes come out at night to snack I have a few plants on the patio in pots and in this excessive heat (near 100 still) I sometimes water the ones growing in small pots either early in the morning before I go to work or after dark when it isn't blazingly hot out.

I saw a smaller version of this light on Amazon that only holds one cell a 2 pack for about $21 that tempts me but the drawbacks would be too weak of a magnet with only 1 of them and not a good of a LED beam with only 1 LED plus if the COB light is the same LED then runtime would be half. I just don't have the funds to spare for more lights at this time so no, I'm not giving mine away because then I wouldn't have one.... LOL.
 

Tim The Enchanter

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What is interesting about this (perhaps an owner could confirm) is that it may/should/does (?) maintain a constant output.

The 3x AA-cell COB units that are now all over the place for $20 for a 3-pack are absolutely great in terms of their INITIAL light output (I think many CLAIM 400 lumens with a low output of 200), but they are obviously direct drive (or a simple current limiting circuit) and (at least the ones I have tried) they ski-slope down in output.

I have not searched this suggestion as it just came to me, so harpoon me if it has been done, but a listing of these COB creatures, with basic specs (anyone with a basic light meter can assess output maintenance) would be REALLY handy.
 

Tim The Enchanter

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Looking at the picture in the Amazone link, it looks like the two 18650s MIGHT be rigged to run in parallel (the picture is cut off that shows the 18650s, so just a guess.

By the way, I am not mister-super-anal about output maintenance, it is just that the retail store units are (unfortunately) SO bad, that something a little flatter on the output curve would be a huge improvement.
 
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Poppy

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It would be cheaper to run them parallel because the higher voltage of running them in series 7.4 volts, would require more electronics.

If you look at the difference between the different battery chemistries, and how they lose voltage as they discharge, you'll see that alkaline batteries drop voltage very quickly compared to NiMH, and LiIon.
When voltage drops, LED output drops, and so does it's milli amperage demands on the battery, so Alkalines drop output rapidly, but then can maintain lower and lower outputs for a relatively long time.
NiMH and lithiums, stay at higher voltages much longer, but then drop off like falling off a cliff. SO... the takeaway is NiMH, and Li Ion batteries will maintain a much higher output than a alkaline fed LED light for a lot longer, but when it has spent its capacity, the output drops off very rapidly, sometimes without much warning at all.

The alkaline fed light will likely run for a longer period of time, but at a disappointedly low level of output.
 

Poppy

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I don't know which cob lights you are referring to.
Here is a little review I did of the only 3 AA cob light I own.


in post # 12 of that thread I did a little run test with a set of Duracell NiMH cells.
 

Lynx_Arc

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I seem to be unable to figure out how to do multi quoting but to the questions Tim asked
1) I didn't check for regulation but (to me) it seems like the output doesn't noticeably drop at all as the power meter (5 bars/dots) goes down so I would say it may be somewhat regulated as I've not run it down to where it shuts off I almost always recharge it when it drops to 2-3 bars.

2)The batteries are in parallel which is good because you can run it off a single battery if you can't recharge it for lack of a power source. It is not easy to swap batteries as there is a screw to remove, the lid cover is tight takes some effort to slide off and the contacts for the batteries are made such that you have to carefully insert the batteries (sharp edges)
The built in recharging works fine. I have several cheap 3AA lights that don't have a spot beam or adjustable or a magnet on the edge/end just one in the middle of the back side. The 3AA version I have is 1 mode and isn't regulate new batteries are noticeably brighter than half depleted batteries.

About the only thing I don't like is instead of a hook to hang it there is a square loop of thing metal, I guess you need a caribeaner or something when there is no way to hang it on a mail or end of a branch.

I want to get a second one of these but my finances are pretty well shot. Surprisingly I use the beam function more than the COB LED on it as I use it more as a flashlight than a lantern but having the flood light when needed on occasion has pretty much kept me using it vs a flashlight.
 

Lynx_Arc

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I think that these COB lights are a crossover between a lantern and a flashlight as lanterns are typically 360 degrees of light while these are about 140 degrees or so essentially landing in a "half lantern" category. Lanterns are usually made to stand up while these lights have to be held or stuck to a vertical piece of metal to throw light outwards.
I have mixed emotions on COB lanterns as I think the SMD type LED chip lanterns have a more equal flood of light, COB lights tend to have color/tint issues or a banding of light that is a little uneven coming out of them.

All that said I think COB lights are very useful as they pretty much replace blocks of 5mm LEDs in lights for about the same price. After using my 3AA COB work lights and noticing one of them is about 1/2 as bright as the other vs the 2x18650 that seems to be the same brightness throughout the battery life. As someone with weaker eyes it gets harder to focus when the light fades on you.
 

GarageBoy

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Surprised that there isn't a warm version or fancier version of these things. I prefer these to lanterns as you don't blind yourself, but you can still throw out a lot of light
 

Lynx_Arc

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Surprised that there isn't a warm version or fancier version of these things. I prefer these to lanterns as you don't blind yourself, but you can still throw out a lot of light
The COB on mine seems to be neutral to warm but the throwing LEDs are a bit more cool in tint. You can blind yourself with these but they have to be closer to your eyes and since they are adjustable in output you can reduce it to not blind yourself easily.
 

Lynx_Arc

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I just thought I would update this thread now it has been well over a year since I bought my light. I have not been able to budget getting another light at all and have been using this light in the summer to check my plants as the bugs come out to eat them and also in the daytime it is sometimes more than 100 and in the mid 90s even in the early evening. I've also discovered a secret that I never thought of: I can use the condensate water from my central AC to water my plants with saving me up to about 10 gallons a day or several hundred a month. I know it some effort to only save about $15 over a few months as here we are charged about that much for 1000 gallons but the AC is running over 6 months a year so about $20-$30 savings a year perhaps on water.

Anyway to continue the light is still working fine no problems in fact aside from the bulkiness of it which is both a disadvantage and advantage I have grown to like it even more. I used to don a headlamp to tend to my plants but in the heat I would soak the headband with sweat and the headlamp that I use at home is a Fenix HL60R and I don't have a spare for it and having used it a few times I actually find the COB light in ways preferrable as I can set it down and shine it up at the plants or use the magnet on poles to hands free tend to things and on my AC unit to empty the water from the bucket a few times a day. I do use the dual LED beam also and find that unlike my headlamp it is more floody and the ramping function is useful to dim it a little. I can also put it between my arm and sort of clamp it to my body as it is big enough to hold it that way too or even put it on my shoulder holding it between the side of my head to it to carry something but in that not as elegant as a headlamp. My headlamp I don't tighten the strap very tightly and if I lean over too much sometimes it falls off my head as my clear hair on top must be more slippery.
Micro USB charging works well although I'm not thrilled with removing rubber covers to get to the ports I realize that they are needed. As the light I have is yellowish orange if I set it down I can see it better than black anodized aluminum too.

I do plan on getting another one of these and also if my finances improve want to gift these to friends and relatives that would be able to care for them properly as having lithium ion batteries requires a little more care than alkaleakable lights that you could throw in a wood chipper and not blink twice etc.

Oh, one thing I wish they would change is the way the charging lights work. The 5 LEDs are like small green dots and the display sits back about 1/8 of an inch (maybe a little less) and is a narrow window and blinks only the end LED which at times if you don't position it right you can't see blinking and when it is charged all 5 LEDs stay on fully, no blinking. In other words you have to check the light to see if it is done as often the narrow line of sight of the last LED is too small to see or at the wrong angle. Also it is hard to grab the COB LED flip out section you sort of have to grab the side and flip it to pop it out but once you get used to doing that it is not a deal breaker.

I still store this thing on top of a metal cabinet standing up on the magnet end but you can store it on the top of a fridge too as the firm grip of the magnet will keep it from falling off it is a lot stronger than I thought it would be initially as I use it on old rusty painted metal poles outside and it doesn't even slide. Only on slick painted surfaces does it want to move but not fall off at all.

They have a single cell model of this light that is tempting but the way I use this light I prefer the double cell model as the wider COB I think is considerably brighter with a wider flood and the dual LED beam also benefits fom double the LEDs plus having two magnet points can make it more stable when attacked to a vertical surface. I doubt I will ever use the power bank feature on it but you never know.

Another note: I do have a 3AA Black & Decker swiveling magnetic clamp light and aside fro the clamp part and the stronger magnet on it I prefer this rechargeable light over it hands down. The B/D clamp light can use NIMH but they are a tight fit and the output on the beam is not brighter on high and the light weighs about 5 times as much and isn't very good for a flood light either. If someone else has any other 18650 based COB lights that have removable batteries for a sort of utilitarian flood light drop me a post here. I'm an advocate of 18650 use as you can source used batteries for next to nothing that give good performance and less hassle than alkaleak based lighting or built in rechargeable light that likely have smaller battery capacity and with that less light per charge. I've considered modding other lights to 18650 use but realized that in some cases you can buy comparable lights for cheaper that are better... like this light.
 
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