$12 eBay 'C8' variant XM-L mini-review/impressions

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keltex78
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$12 eBay 'C8' variant XM-L mini-review/impressions

A couple of weeks ago, I won a late-night auction on eBay for a C8 XM-L flashlight for $12.71. The light arrived yesterday, 11 days later, and I'm very happy with what I received!

The light is not quite the same as any of the other C8 lights I've sold/gifted to others. It has the same style as the normal C8s, but there are a couple of differences. My light is a bit longer than the standard C8, and instead of three ribs around the neck, mine has four. The biggest difference is the reflector. Per Manafont's C8 reflector listing, a standard C8 reflector is ~32mm deep. The reflector is my light is ~41mm deep! The light has a standard-appearing body with UltraFire branding, and is printed with "Cree XM-L T6" on the opposite side. What flashlight did I actually get??? Manafont has a deep reflector flashlight that is the same length as mine with some cosmetic differences...

This light does have an aluminum reflector and a glass lens. There is a scratch on one edge of the emitter dome that affects beamshots against a wall, but outside in normal use, it isn't noticeable.

I checked the tailcap current and found that it is mildly driven at ~2.2A at high. Medium and Low draw is ~1A and ~.2A respectively. I'm waiting on an order from Hank for an AR lens, GITD O-Ring, and Nanjg 105C driver that was ordered for this light. I think this light will be a good candidate for the driver swap...

Overall, I'm quite satisfied with this $12 light... Money MouthCool


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Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Edited by: keltex78 on 03/21/2012 - 10:37
garrybunk
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Hmm, sounds nice for +/-$12!  About that deeper reflector, I'm wondering if that is a "C10".  Isn't a C10 like a C8, but with a deeper reflector?  Did a quick search on C10's, but nothing exactly like yours that I found. 

Can you compare beams with a C8?  Smaller hotspot?  More throw? 

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques

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keltex78
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I don't have a C8 on hand right now to compare, but my light appears to have a tighter/more defined hotspot. The hotspot on this light appears to be ~ 8-9" at ~10'.  It doesn't seem to throw quite as well as a C8 on DD high, but I would imagine that's due to the 2.2A high versus the 3+A DD current.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

garrybunk
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keltex78 wrote:

It doesn't seem to throw quite as well as a C8 on DD high, but I would imagine that's due to the 2.2A high versus the 3+A DD current.

Yeah that's true, forgot about it being driven so mildly.  Guess we'll have to wait until after your mod for a full comparison.  Might give you another excuse to buy a C8 so you have one available  to compare too!

Oh, link to the Ebay seller you bought this from?  Edit:, saw in the "What you got today" thread that it was Ebay seller "1buycart", however an advanced search on Ebay tells me that seller ID doesn't exist. 

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques

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keltex78
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The sellerID is xustore0598. Here's a link to the listing I won...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/160751765908


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

keltex78
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I guess nobody knows what light this actually is. Frown

I didn't feel like waiting for the nanjg driver I have on order, so I installed my spare XM-L driver I had stashed in my kit. It's this driver from DX: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/5-mode-led-driver-circuit-board-for-flashlight-dc-2-8-4-2v-106796

I actually like this driver; I thought the no-memory/odd mode arrangement would be weird, but it works out really well. It always comes on in Medium which is still quite bright, second click goes to Low, while a third takes you to High. High is a DD-high too, so this can provide 3+A from decent cells.

This light is obviously much brighter now than with the original 2.2A driver. I would compare it to a combination of the flood from my P60 XM-L with throw roughly comparable to my TR-1200 but in a much smaller package. I have not yet checked output with my light meter to compare, but hope to do so soon. I have a C8 on order from MF for someone else and will do a side-by-side comparison once it has arrived to determine what difference the deeper reflector makes on the beam. Beamshots may be coming soon...Cool

I really do like this light; it's more substantial than a P60, but still small enough to be conveniently portable. If I only knew what light I have! Undecided


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

garrybunk
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Doesn't sound bad for $12!  So the "no memory" on that driver means it always starts back at Medium.  Interesting and I think I like the sound of it as well.  The one or two "no memory" lights I have always starts in the next mode (rather annoying). Thanks for sharing the info on the light and driver.  Will be interested in hearing the comparison to a C8.

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques

, MTBR’s Lights & Night Riding Forum
NOTE: Now hosting my photos from my Google account. Post up if you can’t see them. Older photos hosted on Photobucket or Flickr may disappear (PM me if you want access to them).
dthrckt
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sounds like a great budget light, for my purposes - ie size, better heatsinking than p60, price, and I pretty much count on doing a driver swap anyway...

thanks for posting

edit: thanks for the driver info, too, forwarding to ian

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keltex78
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garrybunk wrote:
So the "no memory" on that driver means it always starts back at Medium.  Interesting and I think I like the sound of it as well.

The nice thing about this configuration is that you don't have to cycle through the annoying Strobe/SOS modes. I'll try to do some measurements tonight and find out what the current draw is on the Medium/Low modes.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…