Performance Review - Spotlightgear Shifter 1.0 and 4.0, Turbo and Rescue

subwoofer

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May 5, 2010
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Location
Hove, UK
Rather than a full in-depth review, this is a brief 'Performance Review' of the Spotlightgear lights.

Group1.jpg


From left to right with brief summary:
Shifter 4.0 (4xAAA) – Forward-clicky, 3-mode (High, Low, Strobe), Flood to Spot zoom.
Shifter 1.0 (1xAAA) – Forward-clicky, 1-mode (High, Low, Strobe), Flood to Spot zoom.
Rescue (12v rechargeable – fits into lighter socket) – Twist on, 2-mode (High, Flash)
Turbo (12v rechargeable – fits into lighter socket) – Twist on, 1-mode
Spark (4xbutton cell) – Twist on, 1-mode

I have run the lights through the same technical testing I normally carry out for a full review, and am presenting the results in a more concise way so you can easily see how they actually perform.



Batteries and output:



To measure actual output, I built an integrating sphere. See here for more detail. The sensor registers visible light only (so Infra-Red and Ultra-Violet will not be measured).

Please note, all quoted lumen figures are from a DIY integrating sphere, and according to ANSI standards. Although every effort is made to give as accurate a result as possible, they should be taken as an estimate only. The results can be used to compare outputs in this review and others I have published.


Spotlight Shifter 1.0 output modeI.S. measured ANSI output LumensPWM frequency (Hz) or Strobe frequencyLux @1m / Beam Range estimate
High (flood)111058 lux / 15m
High (spot)54 (48.75% of Flood output)0843 lux / 58m
Low36500Not measured
StrobeNot measured11.9Not measured


Spotlight Shifter 4.0 output modeI.S. measured ANSI output LumensPWM frequency (Hz) or Strobe frequencyLux @1m / Beam Range estimate
High (flood) ANSI285 (95.59% of the output of the bare emitter)No PWM but 71kHz noise detected on Oscilloscope130 lux / 23m
High (flood) Maximum377 – 3 minutes after switch-onNo PWM but 71kHz noise detected on OscilloscopeNot measured
High (spot)245 (85.9% of Flood output)No PWM but 71kHz noise detected on Oscilloscope7600 lux / 174m
High (flood) Bare emitter298 (104.6% of Flood output)No PWM but 71kHz noise detected on OscilloscopeNot measured
Low68No PWM but 71kHz noise detected on OscilloscopeNot measured
StrobeNot measured10.2Not measured


Spotlight 12V - Turbo or RescueI.S. measured ANSI output LumensPWM frequency (Hz) or Strobe frequency
Turbo330
Rescue840
Rescue StrobeNot measured3.44

Unfortunately I can't report on the Spark's performance as due to an undersized o-ring on the one I had, the head went missing in action…

Sparkgonemissing.jpg


The runtime graph shows the output traces for both the Shifter 4.0 and 1.0 running on maximum output and with a cooling fan.

The Shifter 4.0 has an unusual initial building up of the output up to around 375lm before dropping to a long run at 80lm. The Shifter 1.0 has a much more predictable general decline.

SpotlightShifter1and4Runtime.jpg


Taking a closer look at the first part of the trace, you can see the Shifter 4.0's output building up to a maximum at 3 minutes from switch on.

SpotlightShifter1and4RuntimeDetail.jpg


The trace for the Rescue and Turbo looks quite rough due to the low output levels showing the resolution of the measurement.

The rescue runs until it cuts out whereas the Turbo dims down to unusable output levels but doesn't go out suddenly.

SpotlightTurboRescueRuntime.jpg



A few additional comments:

The 12v Rechargeable lights have a range of accessories including:

A 12v USB charger - Very nice addition that makes the 12V range much more practical as it can be recharged with a computer or any other USB socket.

Headband – converts the light into a head torch. Unfortunately due to the positioning of the light, the outer spill falls onto the side of your face.

Clip - with rubberised feel finish, making a pocket clip or 'baseball cap headlamp'

12V lanyard/keyring - The rubber boot fits very securely allowing you to wear the light as a necklace.


The Turbo itself is a nice compact size and once in the lighter socket almost disappears. Although it has a charging indicator it has no fully charged indication. The beam dims quite rapidly and switch operation feels a bit clunky.


A step up in size, the Rescue has a good beam with broad diffuse hotspot. The rotating bezel/switch feels as if it might pop off when switching on and off, but has not done so. The strobe function adds to the versatility, especially as a cycling 'visibility' light. The rescue does have a charging and fully charged indicator.


The Shifter 4.0 looks very similar to some other brand with zoom function which also use a hybrid reflector/lens system (RLS). This RLS works very efficiently with minimal loss of total output even when zoomed to a tight spot (with 85.9% of the flood output).


Now one of my firm favourites, the Shifter 1.0 also uses the RLS zoom head to allow a small 1xAAA to focus its beam. The forward clicky operation and simple no-memory interface makes for a very usable light. Due to the size of the head, the zoom is less efficient when on spot (having only 48.75% of the flood output), but this is forgiven considering its very small size. A high of 111lm and a good hour of runtime around 70-80lm makes it a good performer as well.


Group2.jpg



Test samples provided by Spotlightgear.
 

Grizzlyb

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Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
402
Location
Amsterdam
My complements Subwoofer.

I like the simplicety of these 12volt rechargeables. Especially the Resque.
What I don't understand is, that with the Resque, you can see a red LED when charging and green LED when it is fully charged.
With the Turbo the LED stays red and never turns green. So I can't tell when the Turbo is fully charged.
Is that the same with yours?
 

subwoofer

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
2,498
Location
Hove, UK
The Rescue and Turbo are different with the charging indicator.

The turbo simply shows a red light when charging and never indicates a full charge (so you never know how charged it is).

The Rescue shows an annoying flashing red light when charging and then this turns green when fully charged. When driving at night , the flashing red charging indicator is very distracting, but obviously during the day there is no issue.

I've passed these comments back to Spotlightgear hoping they might update both to use a steady red light for charging and a green for full.

Of course another nice feature would be a way to turn on the red and green leds to use them as low level light sources, but this might be asking too much of the twisty interface.
 
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