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Thread: Object/Subject Review: Skilhunt K11

  1. #1

    Default Object/Subject Review: Skilhunt K11

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    Skilhunt has been a respected flashlight brand for several years now, run by TongAn Technology, based out of China. This is my first experience with a Skilhunt flashlight, and I'm excited to share the experience with you .


    Thanks to Skilhunt for providing the K11 for review.


    I値l be reviewing the K11 in two sections: first, I値l discuss the light objectively (the facts about the light itself), then I値l discuss the light subjectively (my impressions about the light's performance when used for specific applications). If you have any other specific applications you'd like the light tested for, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

    3-Minute Overview

    Below is a video "quick review" you can watch in just a few minutes, if you're not up for reading the full review right now:


    This video is available in 720p HD, but defaults to a lower quality. To select the playback quality click the settings button (looks like a gear) after you've started the video.


    Objective

    Manufacturer's Specifications

    Price: $100 (?)




    Packaging




    The K11 comes packaged in a stylish cardboard box, a sticker on the side indicating the specs and the LED tint (cool or neutral white). Inside, the light and accessories are nestled in a foam cutout.

    Construction




    The K11 is a very compact light that runs from a single 18650 lithium ion battery, or two CR123 lithiums or two 16340 lions. The body is made from aluminum, coated in a black hard anodizing that helps to prevent general wear on the light.



    The K11 uses a Cree XM-L emitter, which is already a floody emitter, in a small and textured reflector, which means the beam is pretty floody and best suited for close work. The head itself is protected from impact by a thick stainless steel ring.



    The head of the light has a slightly raised and beveled ring to help prevent the light from rolling on a flat surface. Behind that are a few cooling fins that help dissipate heat quickly. Behind the fins is the electronic side switch, covered in a yellow rubber boot. Just beneath the switch is the Skilhunt logo, and the model number is on the opposite side of the logo.



    The body is covered with light diamond-shaped knurling, to help improve grip.



    The tail has no switch, only a flat raised ring that provides a two cutouts for lanyard attachment.

    Now, let's take the light apart!



    For general use, the light comes apart into two pieces: head and body.



    Inside the head, a spring makes electrical connection with the positive terminal of the battery. The threads between the head and body are square cut and anodized, so they have a smooth action and should hold up to wear. Inside the battery tube, another spring at the bottom makes electrical connection with the negative battery terminal. With springs at both ends, the K11 can accept a wide range of battery sizes, both flat top and button top, and can give some protection to the battery in case of an impact.



    Because the tail is flat, the K11 can do a stable tail stand.



    Dimensions




    Accessories



    My review sample included a lanyard with lobster claw, two spare o-rings, and a warranty card and manual.


    User Interface

    The K11 has a fairly simple UI, using a single side switch to control four modes.

    To turn the light on, you hold down on the switch for about one second. The K11 will turn on in the mode you used last. Then, clicking the side switch quickly will advance you to the next mode in the sequence Low -> Medium -> High -> Turbo. Holding down the switch for about a second will turn the light off.

    It is important to note that with this setup, there is no "momentary on" function.


    Action Shots

    You can click on any of these shots to see them full size.

    Light in Hand



    White Wall (Low, Medium, High, Turbo)
    ISO 100, f/3.3, 1/20"


    BeamSlice


    MugShot


    Indoor Shots (
    Low, Medium, High, Turbo)
    ISO 100, f/3.3, 1"



    Performance

    Submersion: I put the K11 under about a foot of water for an hour, clicking the switch several times. I could find no evidence of water damaging or entering the light.

    Heat: I noticed no significant heat buildup with the K11.

    PWM: I could find no evidence of pulse width modulation on any mode.

    Drop: I dropped the K11 from a height of about a meter onto various surfaces, including grass, carpet, packed dirt, and wood. There was no functional or cosmetic damage to the light.

    Reverse Polarity Protection: The K11 does claim to have reverse polarity protection, so I intentionally inserted the battery backwards and tried to turn it on. Nothing happened with the battery in backwards, and when I re-inserted it correctly the light resumed normal operation.

    Over-Discharge Protection: The K11 claims to blink "three times every two minutes" when the battery voltage gets low, and this is consistent with my measurements.


    Spectral Analysis


    All light that we see as white is actually made up of several different colors put together. The relative intensities of the different colors in the mix are what determine the tint of the white we see. For example, cool white LED's have a lot of blue, and warm white LED's have more red or yellow. This measurement was done on a home made spectrometer. The plot below the picture is corrected for the spectral sensitivity of the human eye. Note: the peak in the 900nm region doesn't really exist, it's a piece of the second-order spectrum that's showing up here because of the high intensity of the light source.

    Output and Runtime


    ANSI FL-1 runtime ratings are the time it takes for a light to fall to 10% of it's original output (counting from 30 seconds after turning the light on).

    The vertical axis of the graphs below represents a relative brightness measurement using a home made light box. The horizontal axis is time in hours:minutes:seconds. Runtimes are stated in hours:minutes:seconds. These graphs may be truncated to show detail.

    Mode Comparison

    Turbo


    High


    Medium


    Throwing Distance

    ANSI FL-1 standard for stating a light's throwing distance is the distance at which the peak beam intensity (usually at the center of the beam) is 0.25 lux. I calculate throwing distance and candela (lux at 1 meter) by measuring peak beam intensity at five different distances and using the formula lux*distance^2=constant.

    Peak Beam Intensity: 11433cd
    Throw Distance: 214m

    Subjective Review

    Quick break down:

    + Compact
    + Simple design
    + Near perfect regulation in High and Medium
    + Logical output levels
    + Simple UI
    + Smooth beam
    + Tint on the neutral side of cool
    + Smooth threads, good construction

    - UI a little sluggish
    - Poorly regulated Turbo

    The Skilhunt K11 is one of those lights that just feel comfortable as you use it. The side switch is at just the right spot, the dimensions and simplicity of the head and body are compact without being too tiny,and overall it seems that Skilhunt has gotten all the little details right.

    The number one thing I like about this light is it's compactness and simplicity. There are tons of lights running from a single 18650, but the standard is to be much bigger and bulkier than this. The body of the K11 isn't much larger than the battery it uses, and the head has only a slightly larger diameter than the body. True, it could be made more compact by making the head the same diameter as the body, but that would decrease the room for a reflector, drastically reducing the throw of the light. As it is, the reflector seems just the right size to still grab the enough light to throw a good spot for a decent distance.

    Along with it's simple looks, the UI of the K11 is very simple also. I've said before that clicking through a cycle of modes is not my favorite, but with the K11 though you do click through the mode cycle, you can turn it off from any mode, and it does go from low to high, so you don't have to move through modes too high to get to the lower. Also, the modes of the K11 are very reasonably chosen. While many lights are striving for super-high max output, the K11 goes for a more reasonable set of lower modes space closer together. As said before, the K11 is a compact light, and while it isn't completely devoted to flood, it's definitely not a long range light, and seems designed mostly for indoor use or outdoor use at close range. For the kinds of things the K11 is for, you don't need 900 lumens all the time, 480 is just fine, and that means the K11 can include more modes at useful levels without getting cluttered.

    On that note, one thing that I am disappointed with in the K11 is the Turbo mode's runtime graph. In my mind, Turbo is a sort of "maximum output available" mode, where I can expect that maximum must drop as the voltage drops and will only remain at it's top value for a short time. So, normally I'm prepared to accept such a slope as I see on the K11's Turbo graph. However, with Turbo being only 480 lumens, it seems to me that it shouldn't be too difficult to make a more flat regulation for a decent amount of time at that level. With current technology, I think it would be possible.

    Overall, the K11 is a very well-made, compact light. Aside from the regulation on Turbo, Skilhunt has covered all the little details that come together to make a very impressive device that does just what it should. If you're looking for a compact light that has reasonable output levels, the K11 would be a very good choice.

    Long Term Impressions
    I'll fill this part in after carrying the light for a while. If nothing get's added here, either I find nothing else worth noting about the light, or I end up not using it often.
    Last edited by Bigmac_79; 04-21-2013 at 05:24 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Skilhunt K11 [In Progress]

    Nice looking light, I love the simplistic look.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Skilhunt K11 [In Progress]

    Ok, the objective portion is complete (except outdoor shots), the subjective portion should be filled out soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by weekend warrior View Post
    Nice looking light, I love the simplistic look.
    I agree, it does have a good simple look to it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Object/Subject Review: Skilhunt K11 [In Progress]

    OK, the subjective portion is complete, just need the outdoor shots and this review will be complete.

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