JETBeam Jet-III M - A Layman's Perspective

AardvarkSagus

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JETBeam Jet-III M - Reposting since the original was lost to the data crash. Submitted for consideration for the review forum.

JETBeam shows off their versatility with the Jet-III M. It's designed to be an all-around utility light with it's fingers into all the various markets, but does being a jack of all trades make it an unfortunate master of none?


JETBeam Jet-III M

Meat and Potatoes

The Jet-III M is just about the size of any other typical 2xCR123A light, however it packs the punch that until very recently was reserved for much larger incarnations. Housed within its expertly crafted exterior is an R5 bin Cree XP-G LED with all the benefits that we have come to know and love from this bastion of quality. On High, the JET-III M produces a stunning 355 lumens of blinding output. Whether you are navigating a dark room, a vast warehouse, or the great outdoors, such a quantity does a fantastic job illuminating your way.


Cree XP-G

Utilizing a precise smooth reflector, JETBeam has succeeded in making this light into a relative thrower. In spite of the tighter focus of the hotspot though, it still is floodier in practice than it appears thanks to a very wide light-blending corona to the beam. The final result is an excellent multi-purpose beam designed for mid-range distances that is still somewhat capable in extremes of the spectrum.

JETBeam's user interface for the Jet-III M has to be one of the most versatile aspects. No matter what level of light you would prefer, it is available to you with JETBeam's "Infinitely" variable, user-selected mode. In practice, the Jet-III M is strictly a two mode light, with the bezel tightened position occupying the standard max output. The bezel loosened position however is where the magic happens. This level is programmable to any brightness from "barely find a keyhole in the dark" all the way up to the maximum volume of light. There is even an entire gamut of strobes, beacons and SOS's to choose from if that suits your taste better than a constant output. Activation of the programming mode isn't unnecessarily difficult, nor is it easy to accidentally access. This deliberate location seems very well thought out and executed.

The fit and finish of the Jet-III M is superb as any JETBeam I have yet seen. The machine work is both expertly designed and implemented. The light is very attractive and solid feeling. The anodizing is a flawless pewter gray color that is seen on relatively few lights outside of JETBeam's lineup. The spring steel double direction belt clip is a very nice touch, though I still would have liked to see a quality holster included by default once a light reaches this size.


JETBeam Jet-III M

Constructive Criticism

Nicely shaped though the beam is, there is still a number of minor artifacts in the beam. JETBeam does offer your choice of smooth or textured reflector and in my opinion, the textured reflector is probably going to be the better option between the two. The smooth doesn't create too many distractions during actual use, but it is still noticeable.

When changing the user selected mode of the Jet-III M, the light requires you to enter the programming menu and switch the light off for 3-6 seconds when the desired output was reached. The longer 6 second time is required for the lower voltage input when using an 18650 cell, but in my experience this would often stretch to more like 10-12 seconds before it would actually remember your choice. Earlier than that and you would just find yourself in the next stage of the programming menu, often times strobing yourself unexpectedly. For the impatient, 10+ seconds feels like quite an eternity with no light. Thankfully most people will find a good mode that suits their needs and rarely stray from it, but it is still an enormously annoying wait.


JETBeam Jet-III M

Conclusions

A well constructed general use light with a whole lot of style. My gripes on this one are admittedly quite minor because I am quite pleased with it over all. I think it looks fantastic and operates beautifully. The programmable 2nd level is especially useful. This is the type of light that you get when you don't know what your needs really are. It will safely cover all the bases.

Provided for review by the kind folks at JETBeam.
 

slowbra01

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Mar 14, 2011
Messages
25
I first caught a glimpse of this light a little over a month ago and have been scouring the net ever since for more info and reviews of the light. Then the forum crashed. Thanks to google and plenty of patience, i was able to read through a review using google's cached pages.

So i've had this light for about a week or so now, and in my first few days of use, a friend of mine instantly asked me to order one for him as well.

This is my first purchase of any flashlight of this quality and caliber and am hooked! I cannot say enough good things on the versatility of this light in its ability to choose the level of brightness i desire. I was absolutely blown away that such a package can emit so much light! The beam from the op reflector is nice and smooth. The machining and color is perfect. The two way clip is nice and tight. I personally have nothing negative to say other than it's price point. I wish it were only $10 so i can buy everyone one of these.

A couple of the answers i was looking for that took some searching were:
1 - yes it works with flat top 18650's. These newer ones have an extended + end to make good contact with flat tops.
2 - AW batteries are considered the best and preferably the protected cells (at least that's what i've come to believe from all the recommendations here)
3 - Pila charger is recommended(by many) although there are many others to choose from.

I do wish it came with a sheath.

The batteries i ordered came a few days after my light and i ended up buying cr123's at walgreens and that was a raping that my wallet took. $18 for a pair. So buy rechargeable 123's/18650's or buy cr123's online.

This is my gateway flashlight to yet another addiction!
 

Captain Spaulding

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Oct 25, 2009
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Sacramento, CA
Does the light run at the same high lumen output when using 18650s instead of 2x cr123?

Yes, it does. Specs:

CR123*2: 355 Lumen, 1.7 Hours
RCR123*2: 355 Lumen, 50 Minutes
18650*1: 355 Lumen, 2.5 Hours

Thanks for posting the great review back up Aardvark.

This is one of my most used lights and usually the one I reach for when reaching for an 18650 cell light. On low mode it will run forever on an 18650 and I like how there is no difference on high (at least by specs and my eyes) between using 2XRCR123s or 1X18650.

I have several Jetbeams and though I really like the Raptor series, the UI on the Jet III M is awesome. Especially when you REALLY need to make sure that the light comes on full blast every time. Making sure the head is tight is easier in the dark than fumbling with an adjustment ring to make sure youre on high. I have my second mode set to the low low 90% of the time and its pretty much the perfect low for me.

Jetbeam is my favorite Chinese Manufacturer. Great performance, and IMHO, some of the sexiest lights made. :hitit:

EDIT: oh yeah, with the low profile Crenelated rings up front and on the rear it really rocks!
 
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lpd226

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Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
44
Just bought this setup for my cousin as a surprise to mount to his m249 when he ships out to Afghanistan in a month. Think he'll like it?

Jetbeam jet III M R5
Jetbeam pressure switch mount with constant on button
1" weapon mount
 
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LED_Thrift

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Mar 30, 2005
Messages
1,874
Location
Northern NJ, USA
Thanks for the info Captain Spaulding. That was the answer I was hoping for because I would want to run it on 18650, but I would not to sacrifice any brightness at max output. It's great that I can have both.

Thrifty
 
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