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Thread: Review = BALDER SE 2 1 x 18650 XM-L

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* old4570's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Melbourne - Australia

    Default Review = BALDER SE 2 1 x 18650 XM-L

    Balder SE2 review - Manufactured items home page .
    Purchased from International Outdoor : Took about two week to arrive .
    Spec;s from Balder ....

    1. Mil-Spec Type III Hard Anodized finish.
    2. Made from Aluminum alloy, really strong.
    3. Water proof to IPX-8 standard.
    4. Precision Aluminum reflector (Orange Peel)
    5. Simple operation. High-Medium-Low. No SOS and strobe modes
    6. Single 18650 for stronger beam and longer runtime
    7. Tactical switch for momentary on.
    8. Prominent runtime
    9. Advanced Cree XML-T6 LED


    1. Dimension: Head diameter 33mm, Tail diameter 26mm, length 138mm
    2. Cree XML-T6 LED
    3. Lumen and runtime:
    Single 18650:
    Maximum output of 500 lumens for 1.5 hours
    Medium output of 120 lumens for 10 hours
    Minimum output of 20 lumens for 150 hours
    4. Material: Aircraft Aluminum Alloy T6061
    5. Weight: 110g (without battery)
    6. Water proof to IPX-8 standard
    7. Battery: Single 18650
    8. Accessories: O-rings, userís manual, lanyardoptional accessories, holster(optional accessories)

    Some Pictures :

    Priced around $35 , the Balder SE2 is targeted squarely at the more budget minded flashaholic , or anyone looking for a decent entry level flash light that performs without a high price . After reading all the spiel [ or hype if you will ] about the SE2 , well I just had to have one . So the question begs , is it worth the hard earned ? And the answer is YES it is , for $35 you are getting a lot of flash light for your money . Think Surefire quality for a Solarforce price , and you start to get the picture , not that Solarforce isn't good [ cos it is ] , but the Balder SE2 seems to just take it another step forward when it comes to value for money .
    Lets move onto performance before you burst :
    Low = 0.016A for 3 lumen
    Medium = 0.75A for 210 lumen
    High = 2.5A for 630 lumen
    Balder say's the light is regulated , I found this a hook I had to bite , and test .
    Test for regulation : Run the light for 5 minutes , then test output and voltage ..
    Results are as follow : Used a IMR 18650 to speed up the test [ 1600mAH or less capacity ]

    Start = 4.2v and 630L
    5 minutes = 4v and 590L
    10 minutes = 3.89v and 550L
    15 minutes = 3.82v and 554L
    20 minutes = 3.73v and 520L
    25 minutes = 3.63v and 450L
    30 minutes = 3.58v and 460L
    35 minutes = 3.5v and 406L
    40 minutes = 3.39v and 346L
    Now right here the light died on me , stone cold dead ! and refused to fire up .. At first I thought it might be some sort of protection built into the light , but even a fresh cell did nothing , dead , no current flowing ..
    Wow I was in shock I can tell you , one test run and a dead light ... Out of desperation I tried reverse polarity for like a fraction of a second , just in case it was some sort of built in protection .. And with a fresh battery installed it came back to life . Damn I tells you , for a second there , a few minutes actually , I thought a had a dead Balder , but thankfully no .
    Lets check heat sag :
    Start 645L
    1 minute - 600L
    2 minutes - 588L
    3 minutes - 585L
    4 minutes - 579L
    5 minutes - 574L
    Now for those beam shots :

    OK Conclusion :
    A really well made light , regulation looks to be excellent ... The build quality is just , superb at this price point , nothing negative to say about the physical quality : The beam is very cool white with just a little purplish blue towards the very edges of the beam . The clip looks to be nice and sturdy for such a trim item , but Im not sure it inspires confidence , even though it functions just fine :
    If there was anything negative for me to say , it would be the HUGE jump or should that be drop in output form medium to low , dont get me wrong , 3 lumen is fine , but you go to 210L from there , and then over 500 lumen . I would have loved to have seen another level in there between medium and low , something around 30 - 50 lumens [ but thats just me ] .
    There is no mode memory to speak of , the light starts on High and then goes to medium and then low , speaking of low , PWM looks to be around 290 - 300 Hz . The light is fitted with a OP reflector , but its not heavily OP . The light will tailstand but not overly well as the rubber clicky boot extend past the tailcap ever so slightly making tailstanding just a little unsteady ..
    Due to the design of this light , you can remove the head and use it as a candle ... Oh darn !!!!
    Just remembered to check how this light will take to longer batteries such as the Xtar 18700 or the Panasonic 3100 with protection and bad news .. This light is some what battery challenged , and you may most likely end up crush fitting your longer batteries in the Balder SE2 [ glad I checked , been a long day , lots of home work ] , if you dont take great care . This light surely wants shorter batteries ...
    There is a plastic spacer inside , that the spring loaded plunger goes into , plunger towards battery , spring towards driver as the pill screws in ... Removing the plastic spacer and plunger would improve internal space greatly , and if one has the skill , solder on a spring to the + contact on the driver .
    Anyhow , Im running a Sanyo 2600 in this light [ fits well ] , yes a unprotected one .. And Im very happy with it .. If you really want to run longer cells , it would be an easy mod ..

    Tactical Forward Clicky
    Glass Lens
    Excellent Anodizing
    PWM around 290 - 300 Hz
    Functional Clip
    Tailstands - A little unsteady
    OP Reflector
    Cool white beam - with minor tint change towards edges [ Better than the usual ]
    Fit and finish is superb
    Threads are really smooth
    3 Modes [ No junk modes ]
    Will not accept longer batteries [ crush fit ] so be carefull
    Over discharge protection @ 3v [ be aware ] you may need to reverse polarity if the light refuses to run after activating protection
    Well regulated
    Seems to transfer heat from the emitter well
    Emitter is not glued - but the way the head screws on - it pushes the base down + there is thermal compound
    Looks to be a press fit driver [ may be hard to mod to after market ]

    Well , if your looking for something other than a P60 , dont mind using unprotected cells [ light has built in protection for overdischarge @ 3v ] and want something thats a quality item , well , there is the Balder SE2 ..
    If one had to give it a score out of ten , it would have to be 8 ..
    Wobbly tailstand , battery challenged , and activating the protection leaves you [ left me ] with a dead light , a real bummer if you didnt know how to resuscitate it back to life .. Perhaps not a Noob friendly light , but if your a savy flashaholic , you just might want one of these in your collection .
    I have to say , NO BUYERS REMORSE here !

  2. #2
    Enlightened Gothmog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Review = BALDER SE 2 1 x 18650 XM-L

    Nice Review,

  3. #3

    Default Re: Review = BALDER SE 2 1 x 18650 XM-L

    At least it has a protection circuit... I've fried a couple of lights changing batteries without my glasses on.
    "No mas" led lights for me without it.

    Nice review, thanks.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic Draven451's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Review = BALDER SE 2 1 x 18650 XM-L

    Nice review! I have a Balder SE-1 XM-L and love it!
    "Light up the Darkness"

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* radu1976's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Red Deer, AB, Canada

    Default Re: Review = BALDER SE 2 1 x 18650 XM-L

    Nice review !
    Is the light regulated on HIGH mode ? The brightness seems to go down from the beginning
    BTW, how does it feel in hands ? The tailcap is wider than the mid body, it's a bit different comprative to other 18650 lights .

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Georgia Highway 441

    Default Re: Review = BALDER SE 2 1 x 18650 XM-L

    great review, thanks! EDC+ carries these in the states so i'll have to grab one there!
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
    my lights - review of PrecisionWorks - that's Gucci Mane in my avatar

  7. #7

    Default Re: Review = BALDER SE 2 1 x 18650 XM-L

    Nice review

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