Lumapower Avenger GX Review: RUNTIMES, PICS, and more.

selfbuilt

Flashaholic
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
6,936
Location
Canada
Reviewer's Note: The Avenger GX was provided for review by Ricky at Lumapower. Please see his Dealer's thread in CPFM for more info.

Warning: Pic heavy!

Manufacturer's specifications, as taken from Lumapower's CPFMP thread:
  • LED : CREE XP-E R2
  • Input voltage : 0.9V – 3.3V (i.e. 10440 is NOT accepted)
  • Convertible design with both clicky and twisty style tailcaps included
  • Removable pocket clip allows bezel up or down carry
  • Removable swivel keychain holder and lanyard
  • GITD o-ring and tailcap cover
  • 3 Brightness levels with digital control, from Low to Medium to High
  • Forward clicky allows momentary option (half press to select output level, full press to lock it)
  • 1 second memory
  • With twisty tailcap, tailstanding is possible (i.e. candle mode)
  • Optimized for NiMH
  • Digital reverse polarity protection
  • Double side AR-coated lens
  • High reflective SMO type metal reflector
  • High grade aircraft T6061 aluminum
  • Aggressive knurling for better grip
  • Type III (HA) coating (black)
  • 75 lumens on Hi, nearly 90 mins on AAA NiMH
  • 20 lumens on Med, with 3 hours 40 mins runtime
  • 4 lumens on Lo, with 15 hours runtime
AGX-7.jpg


The Avenger GX is the latest 1xAAA light in the Lumapower “EDC” family of easy-to-use, easy-to-carry lights.

Like the Incendio (1xCR123A/RCR), Connexion (1xAA, 2xAA), and Encore lights (1x18650) I have reviewed previously, this light uses a simple three-stage current-controlled output circuit (i.e. no strobe or SOS modes). While typically not the brightest members of their class, the EDC line of lights usually show excellent output/runtime efficiency in a remarkably small form factor. Let’s see how the Avenger GX does ... :whistle:

AGX-2.jpg
AGX-9.jpg


The Avenger GX packaging is similar to the other EDC models. The light comes with a forward-clicky GITD tailcap installed, and the package contains a replacement twisty tailcap, manual, warranty card, keychain clip, wrist strap, two pocket clips (one black, one stainless steel), spare o-rings and black clicky tailcap cover. Not shown are the two 900mAh NiMH batteries Lumapower bundled with mine for testing purposes.

AGX-3.jpg

(from left to right: 1xAAA Duracell, LF2XT Natural, Lumapower Avenger GX, Fenix L0D, JetBeam Jet-µ, Nitecore EZAA, LF2XT Black)

Although a bit long for a 1xAAA light with the protruding forward clicky switch tailcap installed, the twisty tailcap lowers the height considerably. Overall weight and size feel fine to me, in either format.

Weight: 22.9g (with Clicky switch), 22.0g (with twisty switch)
Length x Width: 93.8mm (with clicky switch) or 86.7mm (with twisty switch) x 15.2mm (bezel widest portion)

AGX-4.jpg

AGX-5.jpg

AGX-7.jpg

AGX-8.jpg

AGX-6.jpg

AGX-12.jpg

AGX-11.jpg


Clicky feel is fairly stiff, so accidental momentary activation is less likely to occur (and you need a fair amount of force to lock-on). Note that there is no hole in the clicky tailcap for keychain carry (only on the twisty tailcap), so you need to wrap the keychain clip holder around the pocket clip on the clicky-version if you want to carry it on a keychain. :shrug:

Fit and finish on all portions is very good on my sample. The labels are clear and the type-III hard anodizing had no chips or flaws. Note that the head screw threads are anodized, so head lock-out is possible (no anodizing on tailcap threads). :thumbsup:

Knurling is fairly generous on the head – combined with the concentric raised portions, grip is quite good. The optional pocket clips would provide an anti-roll feature – they fit fairly snuggly, so there is little risk of them popping off accidentally.

And of course, the light can tailstand in the twisty version. :thumbsup:

AGX-10.jpg

AGX-1.jpg


The light uses the new smaller Cree XP-E emitter, currently with a cool white R2 output bin. I would estimate my sample is a WG-WH tint (i.e. on the warmer yellow-green end of the cool white tints), but of course yours could be different. For more information on tints and color perception, please see my Colour tint comparison and the summary LED tint charts found here.

Typically, most XP-E emitters I’ve seen have come with textured reflectors, thus virtually eliminating any potential Cree “rings” in the beam. I don’t know why, but the Avenger GX comes with a smooth reflector. This produces a more sharply defined hotspot, but also introduces a few rings into the beam.

Comparison Beamshots

All lights are on 100% on Sanyo Eneloop (NiMH), about 0.5 meters from a white wall.

1AAA-Beam25-1.jpg

1AAA-Beam100-1.jpg

1AAA-Beam800-1.jpg


The camera is accentuating the tint difference a bit, but the Fenix L0D (older Cree P4 model) does indeed have a slight bluish Cool White tint. The Lumapower Avenger GX is not quite as warm as it seems, although still on warm end of Cool White (maybe a WG-WH tint). The LF2XT is not as orange as the pic above suggests – a lot more yellow (4C neutral tint).

User Interface

The Avenger GX is very similar to all the Lumapower EDC lights – they all use a classic keep-it-simple interface. :kiss:

With the forward clicky switch tailcap installed, press the clicky for momentary on, click for lock on. The 3 output levels advance in sequence from Lo to Hi in repeating fashion by soft-pressing on the clicky.

Light has a memory mode to retain the last setting used when you turn it off (i.e. comes back on at that level). One improvement is that the memorization delay is only 1 sec now (it was ~2-3 secs on the original Incendio/Encore members of the family).

UPDATE July 6, 2009: Unlike other Lumapower EDC lights, the Avenger GX uses pulse-width-modulation (PWM) for its low and medium modes. This is common on 1xAAA lights, since it is apparently difficult to fit a current-controlled driver in such a small head. I tested the frequency I found it to be 1.31 kHz (i.e. 1310 cycles per second) on both Med and Lo on NiMH batteries.

Avenger GX on Lo
AGX-PWMLo.gif


Avenger GX on Hi
AGX-PWMMed.gif


Testing Method: All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for the extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

Throw values are the square-root of lux measurements taken at 1 meter from the lens, using a light meter.

Throw/Output Summary Chart:

1AAA-Summary.gif


Note in the comparison above that my Fenix L0D is an early edition with a Cree P4. Based on a 350mA drive current (where Cree Output bins are determined), a Cree Q4 emitter would be expected to be ~25% brighter on average, and a Cree R2 would be ~40% brighter on average, for the same drive current. Note there is typically a ~7% output range over which an emitter is binned, so those numbers are just representational averages.

Like the other members of the Lumapower EDC line, max output is kept at regulated level just below the max possible output for a given emitter emitter/battery combo. Please see the runtimes below for a more accurate picture of the performance of the Avenger GX.

Output/Runtime Comparison:

1AAA-HiNiMH.gif


1AAA-HiEne.gif

1AAA-MedEne.gif


1AAA-HiL92.gif


1AAA-HiAlka.gif

1AAA-MedAlka.gif

1AAA-LoAlka.gif


Output/Runtime Comments:

Please note that I do not have many modern 1xAAA lights to compare to, so take the representative runtimes shown here with a big grain of salt.

The members of the Lumapower EDC line-up consistently have slightly lower Max output compared to other lights of their class – but feature incredibly flat runtime regulation. The same can be seen here for the Avenger GX – especially on NiMH/Eneloop (which the Avenger GX seems to be optimized for).

What isn’t as impressive is the alkaline performance. :shrug: Of course, I don’t recommend running modern lights on alkalines (given the propensity of alkalines to leak and potentially damage the light they are in). The exception is L92 lithiums - like NiMH, the Avenger GX does well here (only Hi tested).

On Lo/Med modes, Avenger GX runtime performance is certainly acceptable. But based on this limited runtime data, the Avenger GX appears to be closer to what you might expect from a Fenix L0D with a Q2 emitter, as opposed to a R2 emitter. However, I suspect this is largely due to Vf variation among my samples. Since none of the manufacturers seem to buy emitters with defined Vf bins, you don’t know what you are going to get.

I have reason to believe my L0D (Cree P4) has a particularly low Vf (which would translate into longer runtime on lower output modes). My LF2XT #1 sample also seems to be an exceptionally strong performer, and may not be indicative of typical for that model. It is possible my Avenger GX just happens to have a LED with a relatively high Vf, leading to lower runtimes on Lo/Med. :shrug:

As always, don’t read too much into low mode runtime data from a single review sample. :rolleyes:

Potential Issues

With the clicky tailcap installed, the light is a bit longer than typical. Keychain carry in this format would also require use of the additional pocket clip, increasing bulk. The forward clicky switch is also a bit stiff, and I have some concerns for its long-term reliability (see post #2 for a discussion)

The smooth reflector enhances throw, but leads to greater rings in the beam compared to other Cree XP-E lights with textured reflectors. Still not as bad as a typical XR-E emitter with a smooth reflector, though.

Li-ion (i.e. 10440) cannot be used in the Avenger GX.

As is common on multi-stage 1xAAA lights, the Avenger GX uses PWM for its low modes. However the frequency is high enough (1.31 kHz) as to not be noticeable in everyday use (although it is detectable if you go looking for it).

General Observations

As with my previous reviews of the Lumapower EDC line, I generally like the approach Lumapower has taken with this series. Early EDC series lights had some issues regarding switch accessibility, anodizing, and general build construction. These were revised and improved over successive launches, and I am glad some of the improved features have made it into this new Avenger GX.

I particularly like the ability to switch between a forward clicky and twisty tailcap. :thumbsup: I can’t think of any other 1xAAA light where you can easily do this. I suppose you could stick a Fenix L0D/LD01 head on the Streamlight Microstream clicky body – but this is not a particularly elegant solution, IMO. Kudos to Lumapower for providing both options in the standard package. :grin2:

Speaking of the package, there are a good number of extras here. The pocket clip fits on very snug, and the extra color one is nice touch. The only thing missing is a better way to attach the clicky tailcap version to a keychain (i.e. maybe a removable clip ring?).

Circuit-wise, I continue to be impressed with the decision of Lumapower to go for just sub-maximal output on Hi on the EDC line. This typically provides for a nice balance of output, runtime, flat regulation, and low heat, which is preferable over running at full tilt (especially for lower capacity 1xAAA batteries). Med/Lo runtime performance was certainly acceptable, although not stellar on my sample (again, likely due to normal Vf variation and my lone review sample).

For a KISS light that moves through all modes in sequence, I’m glad to see no SOS or strobe in there. They are fine for lights with hidden modes, but you don’t want to see them all the time on an a simple EDC light like this one. And the Lo-Med-Hi sequence continues to make the most sense to me.

At the end of the day, this is not going to be a "sexy" light for those who like all the bells and whistles. But I think it does provide another reasonable choice in the EDC realm - especially for those that like a forward clicky. :)
 
Last edited:

selfbuilt

Flashaholic
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
6,936
Location
Canada
UPDATE: As expected, Ricky has graciously offered to send me a replacement tailcap and switch.

During testing, I began to experience some flickering and intermittent contact issues with the forward clicky switch. So I decided to take the switch out to see if cleaning would help.

I should note that Lumapower has always provided good customer service on lights that I have bought in the past, and I have no doubt they would quickly replace the switch if I determined it was at fault.

After removing the plastic retaining ring, the switch is supposed to pop out by applying pressure on the protruding clicky. Mine wouldn’t budge. :thinking: But I did notice additional holes to stick fine-point tweezers into on the inside portion of the switch. So I decided to see if I could disassemble the switch further in place, to track down the source of the problem.

:caution: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! The switch is NOT meant to be disassembled, and you are likely to break some of the internal connecting bits if you try (i.e. some of the plastic bits are rather fragile). But once I got started, I decided to see how far I could go (in the name of science ;)). Here is what I pulled out of the switch, in sequence:

AGX-13.jpg


Note that I still couldn’t remove the last major piece of the switch – it’s still stuck in the base of the tailcap.

The most obvious thing that struck me is the number independent pieces – especially all the springs. I would advise Lumapower to further refine the design of this switch. Although as I said before, I'm sure they would provide a replacement if you had any problems.
 
Last edited:

AFAustin

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 10, 2004
Messages
1,800
Location
outside of Austin, TX
Thanks, selfbuilt, for another great review. Somehow you manage to always be unblinkingly objective, while at the same time being very fair and even diplomatic towards the manufacturer. It is always a pleasure to read your work. :thumbsup:

Andrew
 
Last edited:

Marlite

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 7, 2006
Messages
257
Location
YVR
Selfbuilt another great review! Cannot understand how you can write reviews with all the detail, graphs, pictures and critical analysis faster than I can read them. You are a class act! I love my Avenger GX. :thumbsup:

marlite
 

gunga

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
8,057
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Great review Selfbuilt. Darn-it, you beat me to it!

:laughing:


BTW, the Avenger GX uses PWM. I believe it was HJK who measured the frequency. I can clearly see it if I shake the head, but I have not noticed it in use.
 

HKJ

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
9,715
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
BTW, the Avenger GX uses PWM. I believe it was HJK who measured the frequency. I can clearly see it if I shake the head, but I have not noticed it in use.

As usual it is a great review.

You are also correct, I measured the pwm and posted it in my AAA roundup.
My light sensor records this curve on the lowest setting:
LumapowerAvengerGXLowPWM.png
 

lumapower

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 12, 2006
Messages
143
Location
Hong Kong
Hi selfbuilt,

Thank you very much for great effort again.

So, I think I need to send you with spare batteries in complete series.

Best regards,

Ricky - Lumapoweer CS
 

selfbuilt

Flashaholic
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
6,936
Location
Canada
You are also correct, I measured the pwm and posted it in my AAA roundup.
Yes, I thought so. I could see the PWM when quickly waving the light around.
Doh! :ohgeez: I'm so sorry guys - I too had noticed the flicker out of the corner of my eye while doing the runtimes, and I meant to go and measure the PWM. Somehow this slipped my mind when I was writing everything up last night. :shakehead

Just tested it on both Med and Lo, and I get 1.31 kHz for both, which is bang on with what HKJ reported (I should have checked out your excellent 1xAAA round-up first ;)). Graphs added to the main post.

And of course, it makes perfect sense that it should use PWM. It's well known that it is difficult to squeeze a current-controlled driver in such a small head (i.e. this is why the L0D/LD01 use PWM). Like gunga, I don't notice it actual use (but it is detectable if you go looking for it).

P.S.: Looking forward to your GX review Mike - do I foresee another bare aluminum buffing job? ;)

Somehow you manage to always be unblinkingly objective, while at the same time being very fair and even diplomatic towards the manufacturer. It is always a pleasure to read your work.
Thanks Andrew. My main goal has always been to provide objective information to allow members to choose for themselves lights that meet their requirements. But at the same time, I am sensitive to the fact that manufacturers/dealers are trying to earn a living as well. Objective evaluation and fair and constructive criticism is in everyone's best interest, methinks. ;)

On the issue of runtime, I recognize the limitation on n=1 experiments. I am a quantitative person by nature, but it is easy to get misled from one sample, especially with the known variation in emitter Vf. Without additional data from other samples, I just honestly think it would be premature to draw any conclusions on overall efficiency.

And as for the switch, I appreciate again that this could be a one-off issue (hence my discussion in a second post) - although I think the disassembly pic does provide relevant info.

Prior to my "reviewer" days, I had personally purchased a number of lights from Lumapower, and was happy with the customer service. I recall once having to send back to Ricky a LM-301 that I bought that had developed a flaky driver, and got my same light returned with a new pill in less than 2 weeks turn-around time to Hong Kong (no charge). Credit where credit is due - and as expected Ricky, has already offered to send me a new tailcap and switch.

Shouldn't the LF2XT be a Q4 instead of a R2 in the legend? Unless you have a special prototype...:nana:
Just fixed ... let me know if you spot any other boo-boos. It's a lot of info to keep straight ... :whistle:
 
Last edited:

Burgess

Flashaholic
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
6,460
Location
USA
Great work, SelfBuilt !


:thumbsup:




Please note that some of yer' graphs have a Title of " 1xAA ",

rather than what it should be, " 1xAAA ".




My goodness, you certainly do crank out a LOT of data !

:wow:

_
 

selfbuilt

Flashaholic
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
6,936
Location
Canada
Please note that some of yer' graphs have a Title of " 1xAA ", rather than what it should be, " 1xAAA ".


My goodness, you certainly do crank out a LOT of data !

:wow:
Thanks, just fixed the labels (a browser refresh should show them for everyone).

And yes, it certainly is a lot of data to pump through. :sweat: You should see my used battery jar before I get a chance to take them to the recycling center ... :shakehead
 

MojaveMoon07

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
462
Location
U.S.
Concerning when the twisty tailcap is installed, may I ask someone to describe how you turn the Avenger GX on/off and how you adjust the brightness levels ?
 

lumapower

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 12, 2006
Messages
143
Location
Hong Kong
Hi MojaveMoon07,

Turn the LED head against the battery-tube.

Best regards,

Ricky - Lumapower CS
 
Top