Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

Wurkkos

selfbuilt

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Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more!

Warning: Pic heavy, as usual.

Worm005.jpg


Lumintop has recently launched a series of colored aluminum Worm lights, their 1xAAA offering (previously available only in polished stainless steel).

Specifications:
  • Emitter: CREE XP-E R2
  • Max Output / Runtime: 60 lumens / 1 hour
  • Low Output / Runtime: 10 lumens / 4 hours
  • Dimension: 72mm * 14mm
  • Light Mode: Low - High
  • Battery Type: 1 x AAA
  • Shipping Weight: 0.4lbs
  • MSRP: unknown for the aluminum versions, but stainless steel version retails ~$29
Worm006.jpg

Worm007.jpg


Worm003.jpg

Worm002.jpg


Packaging is very reminiscent of my 4GREER WS1 1xAAA light. Inside the plastic clamshell with magnetic closing clasp is the light, extra o-ring, and small split ring. The stainless steel version also comes with a keychain clip. Manual is printed on the back of the cardboard sleeve.

Worm019.jpg
Worm018.jpg

From left to right: Duracell 1xAAA NiMH, Lumintop Worm SS, Al Black, Al Red, 4Sevens Preon1, ITP A3 EOS Upgraded (XP-G), Titanium Innovations IlluminaTi, Maratac 1xAAA, Klarus Mi X6.

All weights without battery

Worm Aluminum: Weight: 14.3g, Length 72.0mm (battery installed, off), Width 14.1mm (bezel)
Worm Stainless: Weight: 27.3g, Length 72.0mm (battery installed, off), Width 14.1mm (bezel)
Klarus Mi X6: Weight 16.2g, Length 72.9mm (battery installed), Width 12.8mm
4Sevens Preon 1: Weight 15.3g (with keychain clip), Length 75.6mm, Width 14.0mm (bezel)
4Sevens ReVo:: Weight: 11.3g , Length 72.7mm (battery installed), Width 12.9mm
ITP EOS A3 Upgraded: Weight: 11.6g (no clip), Length: 69.7, Width 14.1mm (bezel)

The Worm is quite reasonable in size for the class.

Worm011.jpg

Worm010.jpg

Worm008.jpg


The stainless steel body has a polished look, and is heavier than the aluminum. The aluminum versions come in the standard keychain colors (i.e. black, gold, blue, purple, red).

Lettering is subtle on all lights, sharp and clear on the colored aluminum. While there is no knurling to speak of, the concentric ridges on the body help with grip. I found the light can be operated one-handed, but extra grip on the head would help.

Tailstanding is possible on both models. The stainless steel version has a more open tailcap appearance.

The Worm uses a spring in the tailcap, like many lights in this class.

The stainless steel version features a GITD o-ring in the head, between the lens and bezel.

Video Overview

NEW: Normally at this point in the review, I like to show the emitter/reflector and beamshots. But I’m trying something new - video reviews showing both the basic build and user interface. Check it out below. Beamshots will follow after the user interface and circuit discussion.

[video=youtube;e2hWs60YAKU] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2hWs60YAKU [/video]

Video was recorded in 480p, but YouTube defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the 360p icon in the lower right-hand corner, and select the higher 480p option. :)

User Interface

Turn on by fully tightening the head/bezel against the body. The light is off when the bezel is loosened slightly.

Light comes on in Lo output to start. To select Hi, twist the head off and then back on again within 1 second. This will advance to the next level in the following repeating sequence: Lo > Hi > Lo, etc..

There is no memory mode.

No PWM/Strobe

Here’s a nice find – there is no sign of PWM on the Lo mode of the Worm. :) It thus seems to use current-control for its low mode.

There is no strobe feature.

Beamshots:

And now the part you’ve all been waiting for. ;)

Worm009.jpg

Worm015.jpg


The Worm comes with a lightly textured reflector (OP) and uses a XP-E emitter. Centering of the emitters wasn’t already perfect, but acceptable on all my samples.

EDIT: As you can probably tell above, it looks like the stainless steel version has an XP-G emitter, not XP-E. Not sure if that's standard now or not (the packaging says XP-E R2 on all lights). Probably won't make much of a difference for output or runtimes, though.

Which brings me to the white-wall beamshots. ;) All lights are on 1xAAA Sanyo Eneloop NiMH, about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences. All beamshots taken immediately upon activation.

Worm-Beam001.jpg
ReVo-Beam001.jpg

X6-Beam001.jpg
EOSA3-XPG-Beam001.jpg


Worm-Beam002.jpg
ReVo-Beam002.jpg

X6-Beam002.jpg
EOSA3-XPG-Beam002.jpg


Worm-Beam003.jpg
ReVo-Beam003.jpg

X6-Beam003.jpg
EOSA3-XPG-Beam003.jpg


I find most 1xAAA lights to have fairly diffused beams, with broad hotspots. The XP-E-based Worm has a slightly more defined hotspot than the XP-G-based lights

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 any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

I have recently devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lighbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

Throw/Output Summary Chart:

Effective November 2010, I have revised my summary tables to match with the current ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.sliderule.ca/FL1.htm for a description of the terms used in these tables.

Worm-FL1-Summary-1.gif


Output is fairly high for a XP-E R2 light, closer to many of my XP-G R5 lights (although again, the stainless steel version seems to be using an XP-G - the aluminum ones all have XP-Es). Throw is reasonable for the class.

Note that Lo on the Worm is comparable to many three-level light’s Med mode.

Output/Runtime Comparison:

Worm-HiEne-1.gif

Worm-MedEne.gif


Worm-HiL92.gif


Worm-HiAlka.gif

Worm-MedAlka.gif

Worm-LoAlka.gif


The two-level Worm shows excellent regulation and runtime at both levels. :)

There is no difference in performance between the stainless steel and aluminum versions – both seem to use the same circuit.

Potential Issues

Light is two-mode only, with Lo/Hi closer to most light’s Med/Hi (i.e., Worm lacks a typical Lo mode).

Head lacks any knurling or other grip items, so the light may be difficult to activate/switch single-handed.

Light lacks a pocket clip.

Preliminary Observations

I am so used to seeing three-mode 1xAAA lights, that any discussion typically begins with the merits/issues of the specific mode sequence. :rolleyes: Thankfully, that is not required here – the Worm comes on in Lo first, followed by Hi if you loosen/tighten switch. Very simple and straight-forward. :)

Build and beam pattern are good, no significant issues. I would like to see some extra grip elements on the head to help with single-handed use. The ridges on the body do help with overall grip.

Current-controlled circuit performance is excellent – very flat regulation, and top-of-class runtimes at both levels. :thumbsup:

There are a few minor differences in construction between the stainless steel and newer aluminum versions (i.e. slightly simplified construction on the aluminum). But either one works well, and I like that tailstanding has been maintained. You also get your typical choice of colors in the anodized version.

I’m not generally a fan of stainless steel lights (i.e. too heavy), but the material works well in the 1xAAA size. The extra weight is negligible, and adds a feeling of increased sturdiness. I personally like the polished look in this case, but bead-blasted might resist showing scratches better.

All said and done, if you don't mind the two-level design with no typical Lo mode, this series of lights makes for another good everyday carry option for a keychain.

----

Lumintop Worm samples provided by Lumintop for review.
 
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shao.fu.tzer

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

Nice review Selfbuilt... I was thinking of picking one of these up for my honey... I wish it were a one mode so I could QTC it...
 

geckoblink

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

The YouTube video is private?
 

candle lamp

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

Thanks for your very nice review and effort!
The light looks good and has good runtime with eneloop. :)
 

skyfire

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

this Worm has really peaked my interest...

Can i ask how the thread tolerances are? is there alot of thread play? how much do you have to loosen the bezel, before it doesnt activate if you press downward on the bezel?

thanks for yet another great review!
 

selfbuilt

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Can i ask how the thread tolerances are? is there alot of thread play? how much do you have to loosen the bezel, before it doesnt activate if you press downward on the bezel?!
All these 1xAAA lights have some play. The worm is certainly no worse than typical in how much you need to loosen the bezel. I would say it is above average in thread play for the lights I have tested. There is some play, but not excessive.
 

yowzer

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

The stainless one looks like it has an XP-G instead of an XP-E... which did you use for the output and runtime tests?
 

selfbuilt

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

You have a good eye - yes, it does indeed seem like the stainless steel version uses a XP-G. :thinking:

The packaging clearly says XP-E R2 on all of them, and the aluminum versions all look the same. :shrug: For the runtimes, I have identified the stainless steel "SS" and aluminum light "Al" (the black sample). As you can see, there is virtually no difference in output or runtime.

For beamshots and output table measures, I only used the aluminum version. Since overall output is the same, I suspect the XP-G SS version may have a slightly broader hotspot with less throw. I will double-check next time I do output measures, and report back.
 

robostudent5000

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

Head lacks any knurling or other grip items, so the light may be difficult to activate/switch single-handed.

i got an aluminum one of these recently and can confirm that one-handed operation is difficult. the surface of the head is slippery smooth and hard to grip.

plus the threads have a lot of slop. about the same as an iTP A3. the head requires almost a half turn to lock out.

other than that, i'm pretty happy with the light.
 

kreisler

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

thanks for the great review. is it really true that the Lumintop goes on for ~7hours in its Low mode for all tested battery types (Alkaline, Eneloops)? (you never test Energizer on Medium/Low mode, how come? ;-)

the official specs say "4 hours".
(most shops sell the SS version with R5 emitter these days)
 

selfbuilt

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

thanks for the great review. is it really true that the Lumintop goes on for ~7hours in its Low mode for all tested battery types (Alkaline, Eneloops)? (you never test Energizer on Medium/Low mode, how come? ;-)
Because L92 lithiums are expensive. :) I don't typically test lo/med modes on L92 lithiums, for this reason.

But based on the performance of the other cells, I have no reason to expect they would do any worse. The Worm runtime is impressive.

Oh, and despite what my runtime graph labels say, my SS version is also a XP-G R5. :sssh: Performance doesn't seem any different from the XP-E R2 versions, though.
 

kreisler

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

sorry double post
 
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kreisler

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

last night i ordered a Worm SS Cree R5 only thanks to your measurement graphs. The graphs of the Worm are beautiful.. much more convincing than the PWM-controlled light by iTP A3..

I think compared to the Klarus Mix6 (Titan/..) the Worm light is actually fully useful due to the larger diameter reflector (14.1mm bezel vs. 12.8mm bezel). brighter and throws further than the Klarus, with the same amount of spill. Lifetime guarantee (nice service, in theory!). Physically, the pics with your hand, there doesnt seem to be a substantial difference:
X6013.jpg
Worm019.jpg


So, if size (volume, diameter) and weight are absolutely acceptable (i will have to see...!), than i wont regret having chosen the Worm over the Klarus, iTP A3, Olight i3, Revo and others (IlluminaTi, Maratac, ..). And for sure i wont buy another AAA torch for myself then.

The only REAL disadvantage of the Worm is: it doesnt have an ultra low mode, i.e. something between 0.5-4.0 lumens like all the others. once i have the worm i can determine how important the ultra low mode to me is. if i feel that i am missing something really important or useful, i might return it for a full refund and simply give up on the AAA-idea. i mean.. for what purpose did i order the EDC by Xeon, the acclaimed E03?? (has yet to arrive.)
E03021.jpg


haha :nana:

There is a clone (Okay, who cloned whom?) by UltraFire. it's half the Lumintop price, a little longer, double as heavy, has 5 modes, is much much brighter and it eats 10440 batteries. Users of the UltraFire like the classy look and the built quality but do criticize the net weight of 42grams. (The Lumintop net weight is 27.3grams; with eneloop AAA, the total is 39.4grams.)
 
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kreisler

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

Here some additional info:

they only say no 10440 because it heats up too fast, so for those who dont give a sh*t about how hot their lights get, their worm will burnout on them. (or lesser lifespan)
i am posting the following info in selfbuilt's review too. this is what Mike at Lumintop replied to me:
Mike said:
Many thanks for your email. Lumintop Worm can not run with 10400
battery. The working voltage range is 0.9V-2.2V. the currents is about
250mA. If you use 10400 battery, the worm will burn out.
(...)
Yes, you are right, it would burn the driver not the LED. You are a
professional user. :)

hope this helps :nana:
 

brightnorm

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

After receiving my Preon with its smooth head I found it almost impossible to use one-handed. Although a narrow band of skateboard tape fixed that I decided to never again order an AAA/AA light that was so ergonomically deficient, even if it was a superior light.

When function is prisoner to design the results are almost always negative. The question is why a fine company like Lumintop or 4Sevens would permit this to happen.

Brightnorm
 

shelm

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

thanks for the many great reviews selfbuilt!
i am seriously considering getting one of the worms. such great runtimes and regulation.
i want one or two!! :D
 

selfbuilt

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

What would be the difference between XP-E R2 and XP-G for the lumintop?
Basically, my results show there isn't much of a difference between these emitters in this light. The XP-G version has a slightly more broad hotspot, but performance is otherwise comparable (i.e. output and runtime don't seem to be very different).
 

jorn

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Re: Lumintop Worm (1xAAA, XP-E R2) SS & Aluminum Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS and more

Someone asked to see the worm's driverboard in another thread, posting it here so we can keep all the worm info in one thread. sandwitch is "potted" with a thick layer of epoxy. (the led is not original, a neutral xp-g from cutter) waiting for a hi cri xp-g:devil:
scaled.php


img6339d.jpg
 
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