Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE review: RUNTIMES + BEAMSHOTS

selfbuilt

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Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE review: RUNTIMES + BEAMSHOTS

REVIEWER'S NOTE: This thread has been replaced with a new comparison review of the latest multi-stage 1AA lights:
Multi-stage 1AA Review - Part III: Runtimes, beamshots & more!
Please continue the discussion of the new lights on that thread - thanks!


The contenders:

From left to right: Jetbeam C-LE (group buy), DealExtreme X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX, DX X.1, Rexlight 2.0, Fenix L1D-CE
1AAsmall.jpg


Beamshots:
1AA%20Hi1-50.jpg


The relative output can be a bit misleading in the photo (i.e. the cool-tinted lights look brighter than they are). The MkIIX is probably the "purest" white of all the tints. The DX X.V and Fenix L1DCE are bit warm, and the JB C-LE, Rex 2.0 and DX X.1 are a bit cool. Here's a lower exposure to show you the hotspots better:

1AA%20Hi1-200.jpg


Summary Chart for 2650mAh NiMH on Hi/100%

1AA-summary.gif

All my output and throw numbers are relative for my light meter/box setup. Throw values are calibrated to Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com, so you can convert to approximate lux at 1m by squaring the Throw values.

Notes:
DX X.V, JB C-LE, and C-LE v1.2: X.V and original C-LE both use PWM at 73 Hz. Twist action is a bit stiff on both, due to battery tension. New v1.2 C-LE uses 317 Hz PWM (i.e. much less "flicker"), has improved threads, is thicker in diameter, and features a "memory mode" that retains last setting used
DX X.1 and JB MkIIX: Both use PWM at 120 Hz, build quality is excellent and roughly equivalent, but slight advantage to MkIIX in my case. Complex user interface, but manageable.
Rex 2.0: I opted for the black Rex 2.0, and mine doesn't retain the 5 sec smart memory feature on regular batteries - only on 14500. PWM freq is 94 Hz. Build quality is pretty good.
L1D-CE: Current-controlled, simple elegant user interface.
14500 Batteries: Although my L1D-CE, JB C-LE, and DX D.V. can all take 14500, they are not recommended and I don't want to run the risk given reports of people blowing their circuits on these lights.

Method: home-made lightbox a la Quickbeam's FR.com method. My relative overall output numbers are typically similar to his, although generally a little lower. You can directly compare the graphs - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another.

Runtimes:
"Hi" mode on NiMH (Duracell 2650mAh)

1AA-NiMH.gif


Med-Hi and Low modes on an AW Protected 14500 (750mAh) on two separate graphs clarity
1AA-AW.gif

1AA-AWLo.gif


A couple of comparable "Low" and "Medium" modes on alkaline Duracells, to allow you to compare relative output/runtime efficiency. Again on two graphs for clarity.

1AA-Med.gif

1AA-Lo.gif


Key observations:

DealExtreme X.V vs. Jetbeam C-LE vs C-LE v1.2
  • On Hi, lower output on X.V compared to original C-LE (from group buy), and with WORSE runtime. C-LE v1.2 has slightly increased output overall, and intermediate runtimes to the earlier two versions.
  • On Medium, similarly lower output and with lower runtime on X.V compared to C-LEs. C-LE v1.2 has greatly improved output and runtime, but at a cost: now has rapid drop-off to zero output (i.e. lacks the long "moon mode" of the earlier versions that switched into low mode for extended runtimes)
  • On Low, the X.V again has lower ouput, but now outperforms the original C-LE in time to 50%. The new C-LE v1.2 has about the same runtime as the X.V, but with twice the output! Note that unlike the original C-LE, both the X.V and C-LE v1.2 lack a "moon mode," and drop out of regulation to zero output very quicky.
  • Apparently, X.V uses an early version of the C-LE light engine (notice different head knurling), which has some efficiency problems at higher output levels
  • Update to v1.2 C-LE now includes 2sec "memory mode" feature that retains the last setting used - but with intermittent problems (see Conclusions at the end of the post)

DealExtreme X.1 vs Jetbeam MkIIX:
  • On Hi (100%), DX X.1 is noticeably dimmer then the equivalent MkIIX, but compensated by extended runtimes
  • Generally equivalent in all others modes and other batteries
  • Regulated output on 14500, but runtime not as long lasting as Rex 2.0

Rexlight 2.0:
  • Brightest light on NiMH initially, but at the expense of short runtime.
  • On lower modes, alkaline runtimes are similarly poor compared to DX, JB and Fenix lights.
  • Definitely seems to be designed to run best on 14500. Output on Hi on 14500 not as bright as DX X.1 or JB MkIIX, but much better output/runtimes overall (not regulated).

Fenix L1D-CE
  • On Hi with NiMH, considerably brighter than DX/JB models. Note quite as bright as Rexlight, but much longer runtime
  • On Med/Low, unbeatable output for comparable runtime of other DX/JB/Rex models

Conclusion:
  • On regular batteries, L1DCE best choice for max output (on Hi) or best output/runtime (i.e. on Med/Low, L1D-CE is 2-3 times as bright as most of its competitors, but with equivalent runtime). Need to go with one of the other lights if you want a lower low.
  • On 14500 batteries, DX X.1 or JB MkIIX are brightest and have regulated output, but Rexlight 2.0 has the best output/runtime ratio in all modes.
  • DX X.V is not as good a performer as the JB C-LE from the group buys in terms of either output or runtime in primary or high modes. Signficant improvements on threads of C-LE v1.2, as well as considerably improved output/runtimes in primary and low modes, but at the expense of loss of moon mode on alkaline.
  • New C-LE v1.2 memory mode is problematic, as contact problems quickly arise in every day use, resulting in missed modes, out-of-sequence switches, or restricted number of modes available. Threads and contacts need to be kept scrupulously clean if the light is to function properly.

There you have it! Should hopefully give you a pretty good overview for general comparison purposes.
:twothumbs
 
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ernsanada

ernsanada

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

:goodjob:
 
gunga

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

:wave:

Good job! SOme of the mode selections in the graphs are a bit confusing (you have a 30% in with the low mode etc) but the results do show that the Fenix has the most efficient circuit by far on the standard cells.

That's what I expected, but it's interesting to see. I was working on the assumption that the jetbeam C-LE was quite good on low too but I guess you didn't have time to complete that one...
 
matrixshaman

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Thanks for the great comparisons. I took the time to read the charts and am confused or I think I see an error. In the first chart the MKIIx and C-LE list runtimes at 1hr 42 min and 1hr 38 min. Based on the shown graph it looks like that should have been about 2hr 42 min and 2hr 38 min. :thinking:
 
selfbuilt

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Oops, thanks matrixshaman, you are correct - I just fixed the graph labels.

I know they are little confusing, but that's because I tried to limit my time to roughly equivalent settings of the lights (where possible). Hence the various modes on the more versatile MkIIX and X.1 lights, since I could better use those to approximate the Hi/Med/Lo of the others.

I know I said no requests Gunga, but I have been thinking of running the lower low modes of C-LE/X.V :). I'll see what I can do ...
 
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Weskix

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Never mind, after looking closer, I see whats going on there. Post Edited
 
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AFAustin

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Hi, selfbuilt.

Great chart, information, and key points. Thank you for a considerable amount of work on this. I have a weakness for nice little pocketlights, and with such an impressive selection these days, it's great to see the comparisons.

I've been very happy with my DX JetBeam C-LEs, and was tempted to try out the "lookalike" DX X.V to compare, but your info. has dissuaded me from that.

I've got a couple of Rexlights en route, and am wondering about using 14500s vs. NiMHs in them. I'm assuming your "relative overall output" numbers are the same from chart to chart? That is, e.g., would the Rexlight be approx. the same brightness (~40) at 45 minutes on both the NiMH and the 14500? If so, that is a bit of a surprise.

I have an "older" JetBeam MK II Lux III, and it has one of the smoothest, prettiest flood beams ever on a 14500, but gets warm pretty fast. Does the MK II Cree as well, or is it cooler running for extended periods? I've been put off by the overly complex UI of the latter, but I suppose you can simply stay in "basic" mode.

The L1D CE gets great marks in so many ways, but do I remember correctly that it only works in "high" on a 14500?

In any event, I always enjoy your posts, and thanks again for all this nice data. :thumbsup:
 
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G

Gary123

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

In your Key Observations, you have the Dex vs JB twice. And I double checked and the L1D will throw about 4 yards further around 50 yards than the MK.IIX, but the L1D also has a more focused spot. Hard to tell which is brighter.
 
selfbuilt

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

I'm assuming your "relative overall output" numbers are the same from chart to chart? That is, e.g., would the Rexlight be approx. the same brightness (~40) at 45 minutes on both the NiMH and the 14500? If so, that is a bit of a surprise.
Yes, the numbers are consistent from chart to chart. So, the Rexlight is clearly optimized for 14500, as it gives off more overall light (and a slightly longer runtime) on a 750mAh 14500 than a 2650mAh NiMH. Quite surprising indeed!

Actually, it reminds me a bit of my Ultrafire 602A1 (aka "VIPPA" on DX). That light only did ~1hr to 50% on NiMH, but ran an astonishing 90 mins on 14500 (compared to about 45 mins for the Fenix L1T at roughly equivalent brightness on 14500). I don't remember the exact values, but my impression was the Ultrafire on 14500 was about twice as bright as with NiMH, so that was quite a feat to get that much extra runtime.

I have an "older" JetBeam MK II Lux III, and it has one of the smoothest, prettiest flood beams ever on a 14500, but gets warm pretty fast. Does the MK II Cree as well, or is it cooler running for extended periods? I've been put off by the overly complex UI of the latter, but I suppose you can simply stay in "basic" mode.
My MkIIX gets hot very fast, especially on 14500. As for the UI, I thought I would be put off as well, but you quickly get used to it. I switch back and forth commonly now. Oddly, the X.1 is just slightly different enough to screw me up (e.g. turning off in the 15Hz strobe in advance reverts you to basic on the X.1, but not the MkIIX, where you need to proceed to the later strobe modes). It's not as confusing as it sounds in practice ...

The L1P gets great marks in so many ways, but do I remember correctly that it only works in "high" on a 14500?
I suspect you mean L1DCE ... I haven't tested it, but that's what I understand from others around here.

In your Key Observations, you have the Dex vs JB twice. And I double checked and the L1D will throw about 4 yards further around 50 yards than the MK.IIX, but the L1D also has a more focused spot. Hard to tell which is brighter.
Thanks Gary, fixed dthe uplicate. My overall output is based on a milk carton lightbox, but I find it matches well to a ceiling bounce test in a dark room.

Thanks for all the kind words everyone ...:)
 
AFAustin

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

I suspect you mean L1DCE ... I haven't tested it, but that's what I understand from others around here.

Quite right, L1D CE indeed---thank you and corrected. There are days when I wish all these torches were named "Fred" and "Johnny" and "Florence", etc., etc.----so all the jillion combinations of numbers and letters would no longer fry my ever decaying brain! :crazy:

Thanks again, selfbuilt, for a great post.
 
NoFair

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Great review. Thanks for doing this.

I just got 2 Rex-lights in HA nat yesterday (opted to wait) and they only pull 1.3-1.4A from a NiMH. This should give slightly longer runtimes than I'm seeing here and elsewhere. I'm wondering whether they have altered the circuit...

I have 4 14500 on the way so i haven't had the chance to test with those.

Sverre
 
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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Superb multi review on these popular AA lights. Your comparisons based on your testing with beamshots, runtimes, charts and persomal observations were presented in unbiased fairness.

My interest here was piqued by my recent acquisition of the JetBeam C-LE as the original JetBeam Mark I's perfect white beam had kept me happy a long while. I am more than pleased with the Jet C-LE as it has more functions than I need but has a perfect white beam, super HAIII, flicker free, beautiful design and small size. A jewel in my hand. Emil does it again!

It proves there is something for everyone here, just pick your favourite feature set.

Thanks again for your great reviews and observations.

marlite
 
Rob187

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Excellent comparison & review. Thanks.
 
PhantomPhoton

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Very nice comparison. The only thing I think is missing... Lumapower F1 and M3.
 
selfbuilt

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Thanks for support everyone.

I'll also see if I can do a composite group photo shot for the beam profiles tonight when it gets dark - no promises though!

My DMM and X.V are tied up at the moment on a low-mode alkaline run time test for gunga ;) (~10 hours in and still above 80% initial output - a good sign), but I'll check the current draw on my Rexlight when the run is done and get back to you NoFair.

[EDIT: Just tested current draw on NiMH in my Rexlight, and only get about ~0.75A draw on Hi mode. Used the appropriate 10A mode on my DMM, so not sure why it's so low.]

I'm curious how this run goes, based on the interesting behaviour of the X.V on my Medium mode test. You'll see in the graph that it dipped down to almost nothing, then jumped back up to ~15% original output and stayed there for at least 3 hours before I stopped the run. What's interesting is the light had actually changed modes to Low mode all by itself at this point (when I stopped the run, I verified the next mode was Hi, then strobe, etc., even though the run had started on primary medium). So it looks like the light switches to low mode on its own when the battery drops too far. Unfortunately, not sure if the C-LE would have done the same, because I stopped that run earlier.

Unfortunately no Lumapower F1 or M3 (big fan of my D-Mini and MRV, though :). But I am planning on picking up the new LM-31 when it comes out this month.
 
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pedalinbob

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Incredibly nice graphs, thanks!

I am considering the Fenix, as well as the Dex V, and it appears that the Fenix really has the electronics nailed.

I just found the description of the Fenix user interface. Seems fiddly. Head unscrewed, half-presses...whatever happened to simple lights?

Ultimately, I would like to see a simple on-off tail clicky, and a twist head with three positions (low med, high).

Anybody make one like this????
 
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x2x3x2

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Hi there, just wondering what are the spot lux numbers for the L1D CE and C-LE you used in the first 100% or High mode chart?

Seems like the relative output of the L1D CE is a little low. The L1D CE on high I tested has a spot of 1542 lux while my C-LE on high was about 817 lux.

That puts the L1D CE about 88% brighter than the C-LE, but in that chart it seems to be only about 20% brighter?
Perhaps there's some binning discrepencies at work or cos the Fenix uses a smooth reflector while the C-LE uses a textured one?
 
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selfbuilt

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Seems like the relative output of the L1D CE is a little low. The L1D CE on high I tested has a spot of 1542 lux while my C-LE on high was about 817 lux.
I agree with you - L1DCE should be scoring higher, proportionally speaking. The problem seems to be my milk carton setup does not accurately report the absolute magnitude difference of the brighter lights. This seems to be a fundamental limitation of this simple setup - the L1DCE seems brighter than my numbers indicate. I would trust Chevro's absolute estimates of lumen output a lot more, since he's built a much better "integrating sphere".

As for spot, I didn't report those values since I didn't think it would be a fair comparison - the L1DCE has a smooth reflector, so it should throw further than the rest which are all textured. Also, my light-meter is home-made and uncalibrated for Lux, although I have verified it is linear for throw within the intensities of all the lights in my collection (i.e. by inverse square law of decay with distance). Also, my throw numbers correlate beautifully with Quickbeam's FR.com, so I can directly report throw calibrated to his scale as follows:

Throw On Hi/100% with NiMH on FR.com scale (with estimated lux):
L1D-CE: 37 (estimated lux: 1350)
MkIIX: 30 (estimated lux: 900)
DX X.1: 31 (estimated lux: 950)
Rexlight: 30 (estimated lux: 900)
C-LE: 28 (estimated lux: 750)
X.V: 23 (estimated lux: 550)

[EDIT: Just revised the numbers above sightly, since I originally posted with the wrong battery type]

Note that my lux estimates for throw match proportionally with yours very well x2x3x2. But again, not sure if it's fair to report these numbers given the different reflectors (plus the fact that a slight misfocusing of the emitter could greatly influence throw, while probably not affect overall output very much).

Simply put: it's hard to relate throw to output, and while I have a lot of faith in my throw numbers (based on excellent correlation to FR.com), I think overall output is a better measure to compare lights. Unfortunately, my lightbox setup definitely seems to underestimate at the higher intensities, so the graphs above shouldn't be used to infer absolute brightness differences, except for lights that score in a similar range.

I hope that's clear - hope I haven't muddied things further for anyone :)
 
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atm

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Awesome info, thanks selfbuilt, this makes choosing the right light for my intended use much easier!
 
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nerdgineer

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Re: Rexlight, DX X.1 & X.V, Jetbeam MkIIX & CLE, Fenix L1DCE comparison review - RUNT

Thanks for your excellent data, selfbuilt. Nothing is more informative (and more work) than the runtime curve of a light....
 
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