BLF Q8 Review and a Month of Use

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Winnowill1984
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BLF Q8 Review and a Month of Use

I am a Railroad Conductor, and I somehow only seem to catch trains that run at night. The lanterns they provide us are adequate (single mode 390 lumens powered by 3 C sized batteries) and built like the finest Dollar Store toy. There are times when I need to walk my entire 7,000 foot train for inspections and air tests. Again the lanterns they provide us do a good job but when something goes bump in the timber, or I hear a pack of coyotes a couple hundred yards away I wan’t to clearly see what it is. A light like the BLF Q8 serves this purpose well.
ThorFire contacted me asking if I’d like a Q8 for review. I received no additional compensation. Normally I carry a light for about a week to see what fits and what doesn’t for me. I decided on a good month for this one since, although it’s one of the best deals you can find dollar per lumen, the normal person would consider it a substantial investment.

The light comes packaged in ThorFire’s normal cardboard box with simple padding, the light, two manuals, spare orings, and a spare switch cover.

Build quality seems very good. Square cut and anodized threads (pictures in the waterproof test), good knurling, solid with no rattle anywhere, the glowing silicone switch cover is set well with no side to side or up and down wiggle, half of the light body is made of cooling fins, and well centered XP-L LED’s.

The operation of this light is very simple and has some advanced modes that I won’t go into but you can read the pictures of the manual for further clarification. To operate the light put in a freshly charged pair of 18650 button top batteries (they must be button top) into the carrier. I prefer Samsung INR18650-30Q but to each his own. Screw the head on and the light will flash a few times and the mode button will glow green. A single click will turn the light on, hold the button down and the light will ramp up from its lowest moonlight mode to the high of 5000 lumens. At this point the light will blink quickly indicating the highest point. To ramp down simply hold the button down again to lower the output. A quick double click will immediately bring the light to its highest output. I didn’t mess with the advanced options since I feel this fits my needs, and most of ours well. Oh and it will run on just a single 18650 for emergency use. That’s a huge plus.




From my testing the light steps down from its highest mode after about 3 minutes of use. The next level is slightly lower but in real world use not very different. It starts to warm up but doesn’t get uncomfortable to hold. To see how hot I could get the light I repeatedly let it step down, turned it off, and back on in it’s highest mode for 6 cycles. I then tested the temperature with a heat gun.


With practical use the light is just fine to hold for a while in its highest mode. After a few cycles, you might want to put some gloves on.

Some random and detailed beam shots.
High

High

Tree over 300 yards away.

Tree six feet away on moonlight mode.

Q8 lighting up a field.

Compared to a Olight X7 Maurader. The Q8 has less output but is more of a balance between throw and spill.

From a freshly charged set of 30Q’s I did a timelapse over nearly 90 hours of the flashlights drain from high. The average voltage of the batteries afterwards was 3.0 volt according to my Efest charger.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q6KbFcWZfA

Also I did a 1 hour test showing the step down from high using the same set of freshly charged batteries.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQkdDbnpiD4

One thing I like to do in my reviews is a somewhat realistic waterproof test. As in weather permitting, not just dunking the light in tap water. For this test I left the flashlight in a rocky river (tied to some good paracord of course) for half an hour. I found a shallow pool where the water was moving slightly.




The light had absolutely no water leakage in any part for this test….but….the waterfall test was a different story. I want it to be clear that the lights IPX8 rating covers sumbersion up to two meters for 30 minutes. Not water being forced upon it from a six foot waterfall. This is not a diving light.

The waterfall is directly to the right of the camera. You can see the waterfall in the background of this next picture. The light was left to bounce around on the rocks in the moving water for 15 minutes.

The light has a removable tail cap and this is where a very small amount of water leeched in the light. A quick wipe with my shirt corrected the problem. I checked again after 3 weeks and saw no issues.

Dry

Dry, and square cut!

Dry

Dry

Slightly wet

Dry

So using this light for slightly over a month at work and for late night walks made me realize that for most applications I don’t need the full 5000 lumens. I probably used closer to 1000 to 2000 lumens for most tasks where I needed a good deal of light. Now this is where this light really shines…..1000 lumen lights seem to be the standard now for slighty larger EDC lights. While I wouldn’t consider this an EDC light since it’s pretty much the size of a thin soda (beer) can, it will sustain those higher modes longer than a smaller 1000 lumen light. Not only for runtime, but the large amount of mass works as a great heat sink. There are a few times where it was really nice having the full brightness. While the light weighs about 1.5 lbs. when loaded with 4 18650 batteries its not bad for a 2 or 3 mile walk. For the outdoor enthusiast, the farmer, or anyone who just wants to light up a large area for fun the BLF Q8 is a great choice.

For anyone interested I’ve been given a 20% off Amazon discount code.

20% off coupon code for BLF Q8: CTEBZBJT
http://amzn.to/2ksErZ5

Edited by: Winnowill1984 on 02/22/2018 - 19:19
zespectre
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Very nice review. I’m working on one of the “Real World Reviews” for it myself though the fairly simple review I was writing got trashed after I wound up using the light for a bit of Search and Rescue and realized this light deserved a bit more depth.

A couple of technical notes.

1) Regarding temperature, “most” people find anything over 120 degrees F “uncomfortably hot” even though it won’t produce burns in the short term. I mention it to give perspective to the temperatures you show the head achieving.

2) Nyogel 760G on the threads and “O” rings does a LOT for overall water resistance on nearly every light I’ve ever used.

Somehow I completely missed that this light will run on a single 18650. Thank you for pointing that out!

Tonights forecast, 100% chance of dark.

cellguy
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I am curious, why would Thorfire reach out to you? Are you active on another flashlight forum? Your post history here would not indicate a manufacturer proactively wanting to work with you.

Current Favorites:

BLF Q8, Thrunite TC20, Convoy L6

 

 

 

Winnowill1984
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Thanks Zespectre. That sounds reasonable. Since it’s so cold here I might do an outdoor update to see how hot it gets.
Cell guy, no idea. I’m fairly active in some other Facebook flashlight groups, but not much beyond beam shot comparisons and mini reviews. I guess I just got lucky. But I’m also thankful that they allow me to review their lights from time to time. Beyond just text, I like to show my co workers what I’m using. Since I work with a different engineer nearly every trip, I expose quite a few folks to what’s out there beyond their Mini Maglite.

djozz
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It is nice to hear about the Q8 being used in outdoor situations and holding up. I am even fairly surprised how well it withstands water; whatever Thorfire rates it, we never designed the Q8 for submersion, but just made sure that the obvious open holes in the old SRK-type of lights (the switch was not sealed at all, the battery tube had a hair-thin o-ring) were re-designed with proper o-rings.

Thanks for the nice review!

Angler
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zespectre wrote:
1) Regarding temperature, “most” people find anything over 120 degrees F “uncomfortably hot”

I refuse to shower in water that cold. Big Smile

zespectre
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You and my wife

Tonights forecast, 100% chance of dark.

18650_noob
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Hi,

Just wondering if the Q8 has any discharge protection for cells without an inbuilt circuit?

Thanks!

BlueSwordM
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Yes it does.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

RobertB
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18650_noob wrote:
Hi,

Just wondering if the Q8 has any discharge protection for cells without an inbuilt circuit?

Thanks!

Yes, it has low voltage protection. You don’t need protected cells, but they will fit if that’s all you got. The light performs best with unprotected Sony VTC6’s, or Samsung 30q’s like the reviewer used. Good brightness/runtime ratio

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Throwing it in water? I never thought of going fishing with the Q8. Who needs bait and fishing poles! Just bring a Q8 and a net!

Quick story…..back in the old country, when I was very young, we use to go collect birds at night from trees. yes, collect. The birds were stunned by the light and you just picked them up with your hands. On too many occasions there was also a snake near by doing it’s thing. We ate the birds, but not very sporting.

Back to the Q8, it’s my first wow light that is fully usable. Cheap enough to not care for the scrapes and rugged enough to trust it in dangerous situations.

Moses came from the mountaintop carrying a tablet. The Words were....WITH GREAT LUMENS COMES GREAT REPONSIBILITY.

Lightbringer
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Spartan wrote:
Quick story…..back in the old country, when I was very young, we use to go collect birds at night from trees. yes, collect. The birds were stunned by the light and you just picked them up with your hands. On too many occasions there was also a snake near by doing it’s thing. We ate the birds, but not very sporting.

Y’know, the only thing I can picture after reading that is something like this…

Facepalm

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Spartan
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Lightbringer wrote:
Spartan wrote:
Quick story…..back in the old country, when I was very young, we use to go collect birds at night from trees. yes, collect. The birds were stunned by the light and you just picked them up with your hands. On too many occasions there was also a snake near by doing it’s thing. We ate the birds, but not very sporting.

Y’know, the only thing I can picture after reading that is something like this…

Facepalm

What? You never ate raw thrushes? Feather make for great roughage!

I suppose you kill the great meat flavor by cooking it! Me, just knock its horns off, wipe its nasty ass, and chunk it right on the plate!

Moses came from the mountaintop carrying a tablet. The Words were....WITH GREAT LUMENS COMES GREAT REPONSIBILITY.

18650_noob
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RobertB wrote:
18650_noob wrote:
Hi,

Just wondering if the Q8 has any discharge protection for cells without an inbuilt circuit?

Thanks!

Yes, it has low voltage protection. You don’t need protected cells, but they will fit if that’s all you got. The light performs best with unprotected Sony VTC6’s, or Samsung 30q’s like the reviewer used. Good brightness/runtime ratio

Thanks! I was thinking of using Samsung 20Qs and modding them with some solder or tin/metal to substitute for the button top.

Scientist
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Spartan wrote:
Throwing it in water? I never thought of going fishing with the Q8. Who needs bait and fishing poles! Just bring a Q8 and a net!

All you’d catch is a mess of BLFers

Please illuminate responsibly

teacher
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Nice review Winnowill1984, thanks for sharing!! . Thumbs Up

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

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