XM-L direct drive


Flashlight Enthusiast
Aug 10, 2008
Well my XM-L generic X8 clone from KD came today. It's like they're not even trying anymore. No labels, whateverfire brand, nothing but a piece of paper saying T6 XM-L. It has a 5 mode 2.8 amp driver as measured at the tailcap. Well I really just bought it for the emitter and the nice orange peel reflector. I transferred those to a Uniquefire X8 and wired it for direct drive.

Everyone's fears about direct drive can be answered now. It behaves very similarly to an MC-E direct drive. Right around 3.5 amps with a fresh unprotected 18650, which are my lowest resistance cells so it's a very nice candidtate for direct drive.

But strangely even enough the beam profile is perfectly smooth it's kinda annoying because the hotspot is clearly yellowish but the flood is blue tinted. Nothing different from these half dome type lights but the extra brightness makes it more noticeable. This smaller light even out throws my P7 with a 55mm head and total light output puts the P7 at 2.8 amps to shame. The XM-L really is all it was cracked up to be!

And boy is this thing bright. Ceiling bounce test is very noticeably brighter than the MC-E at the same current. Definitely +1000 lumens at 3.5 amps if you extrapolate from the datasheet. And it seems to run just fine, no severe overheating as long as you get the heat sinking done well, and in my experience the Uniquefire X8 seems to have very good heatsinking because the pill screws into the head which is a nice sized chunk of aluminum. This is my new wow light.