Review: Balder SE-2 [ better regulated version ] XM-L 1x18650

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old4570
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Review: Balder SE-2 [ better regulated version ] XM-L 1x18650

http://mybalder.com/product/html/?60.html  Link to Manufacturers Product Page ( Balder SE-2 ) 

 I would like to thank Balder for making this review possible :

After my first review of the Balder SE-2 ( earlier version ) , seems many were not happy with the regulation , personally I thought it not to bad for a $35 flash light , but apparently I was in the minority . And Balder themselves were also not happy with the lights regulation , and therefore the light was modified to a much higher level  . Seem Balder was not happy just producing a good light ,  they want to bring prospective customers the best possible flash light , no matter the price point targeted . $35 is the point where budget becomes mid priced , and is within the means of the budget minded , and Balder wants to bring a quality product to this segment of the market , something to entice people to quality , and the Balder SE-2 does just that . 

old review @ BLF , FLN and CPF 

 

Spec's from Balder

Features:

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

Specifications:

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, user’s manual, lanyardoptional accessories, holster(optional accessories)

 

 

About the Regulation

Now while I was happy with the first light , many were not , so lets see how the newer SE-2 does ..

Testing Procedure : 

I ran the battery down in another light , and at various voltage levels tested the new SE-2 for output . And as can be seen the light maintained regulation all the way to 3.65v [ Battery Voltage  measured outside the light ] So taking into account voltage sag under load etc , it would be quite a bit lower in actual use .. [ running ] I measured a maximum of 3A current draw from the light , which slowly dropped to 2.8A around 3.7v and still maintaining regulation , leading me to think that driver efficiency may actually increase as the battery depletes , ( as regulation was maintained ). Now when the light falls out of regulation , it lets you know with a short strobe . And every time you turn on the light once the battery can no longer maintain regulation, there is a short strobe, to let you know your no longer in regulation . 

High - Starts 690L and stabilizes @ 750L / Current draw started @ 2.3A and stabilized @ 3A 

Once the light warms up , it starts @ 730L and climbs to 750L

Medium - 170L - 0.51A

Low - 11L - 0.032A

 

 

 I have nothing to complain about [ ok , the rubber boot for the tail clicky stops tailstanding as it protrudes a little to much ] , this is a Flashlight that is evolving to become the best in class , in fact it would be near on impossible to match the quality and performance at this price point . Balder seems to be making a serious effort to bring quality to the lower end of the flash light market , and I can only applaud them for doing so . The Balder SE-2 represents  a monumental effort on behalf of a company to lift standards , to bring better products to consumers , and be competitively priced . Balder has brought out the gauntlet and smacked the budget segment silly , and the only question begging an answer is , who is going to pick up the gauntlet ? 

 

  Im very pleased to be chosen to review the updated SE-2 , and I must say it has not disappointed . Very much like the first light tested , the build quality is just fantastic , anodizing , fits , machining of the threads , everything is top notch . The Balder SE-2 is giving prospective owners fantastic value , that used to come at a much higher price point , and competes with the likes of Olight - Fenix - Jetbeam just to mention . Im not sure how Balder is doing it for the price , but if you can afford $35 , I cant think of a better place to spend it  than on a Balder SE-2 . 

 

OP Reflector 

Well centred emitter

Excellent Anodizing 

Excellent Cut Threads

Excellent fit between parts

Functional clip 

3 modes [ No memory - No junk modes ] Starts on High 

Regulated output 

Does not tailstand as clicky rubber boot sticks out the back some 

Above average beam 

 

  Other than not tailstanding , the Balder SE-2 is brilliant , especially considering the selling price . With what I have seen so far I can only highly recommend this light , for anyone looking for a single 18650 solution to there lighting needs . There is nothing to complain about ( well , not from me ) , and I can see this light becoming my No1 to reach for light around the home or when I go for a evening walk , and I have to confess the earlier SE-2 was nudging the No1 spot for my evening walk light  , seems the updated version is going to be a shoe in for my single 18650 light of choice .

  If there is no competition forthcoming to the Balder SE-2 in 2012 , it could very well be the light of the year ! ( Its quite possibly that good )  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:20
C-channel
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Thanks for the update. It's nice to know that companies care about performance rather than simply go for mass roll out of products. 

Are the sets at intl outdoor upgraded too?

 

Thanks

How bright is bright enough...

Runtime VS Lumens...

BanglaBob
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Now you've done it. You've got me wanting one.. . (I've got to stop reading these posts). I like the power levels and the fact that there are no blinky modes !

I'll wait awhile though.. I just received a shipment 3 days ago and I have another order on the way Tongue Out

Lights out! That's when things get interesting...

BetweenRides
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Very nice, thanks for the update, old. It would seem that this is now the budget version of the BD-2, minus some of the design bling and hidden strobe modes. Looks like a solid buy.

old4570
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It does look like Balder is trying to make the best possible flash light , for a reasonable amount of money . 

This light really impresses . 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

SashiX
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Thanks, Matt. Could you post that graph with runtime scale? I mean lumen/minutes, not lumen/Volts. Thanks.

luvbelly
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I just posted on your review thread for version one of this light.  I have been interested in this light since it came out and just can't resist any longer. Ordered one up this morning.  It will be my first experience with anything from Balder.  Thanks for the updated review.......I think, LOL.

zeroed4x
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old4570 wrote:

It does look like Balder is trying to make the best possible flash light , for a reasonable amount of money . 

This light really impresses . 

Yes they most certainly do. This is one of my next lights when money permits. My EDC is the SE-1 and I love it.

Balder is a great balance of fine quality, features and performance.

------------

 

JohnnyBravo
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Thanks Old, for your review/input.  I'd like to give my SE-1 a bigger brother.  Can you suggest where I can get the "newer" version, and how I can be certain I've got it?  Certain wording/specs on packaging or something?  I've emailed Martin at Balder - awaiting his reply...

"Better to have it and not need it; than to need it and not have it." and, "I have more than I need, but not as many as I want."

JohnnyMac
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Great review and a really nice light. Thanks! I will be adding this light to my short list. Wink

JohnnyMac
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I aLmost forgot about the clip. How durable is it, really? I have to say it looks like the flimsiest thing ever. Undecided

zeroed4x
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JohnnyBravo wrote:

Thanks Old, for your review/input.  I'd like to give my SE-1 a bigger brother.  Can you suggest where I can get the "newer" version, and how I can be certain I've got it?  Certain wording/specs on packaging or something?  I've emailed Martin at Balder - awaiting his reply...

I'm also waiting for the reply............

------------

 

old4570
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Good question , how to make sure you get the revised version ? 

Id be contacting Balder , to see who they recommend . 

As for regulated run time , if you stuff in  2600 Sanyo , the light pulls 3A and slowly drops to around 2.8A or a little lower , then you not going to get an hour out of it on high .

Maybe in the neighbourhood of 45minutes , dont forget , everything from the first review remains true for this light except for the regulation . 

The CLIP ! 

Its good , not great , but functional , if you plan on heavy duty stuff , then maybe not the best ..

As long as it remains on the light , it should not break ..

I would like to see Balder do away with this clip , for something with no room for problems ..

I could see where , if this light were worn on a belt or something , problems could arise if the going got rough [ Held in place by the clip ] 

Think of the clip , as , for light duty . 

I think Solarforce got it right with there clip design ( 2nd time around ) 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

my9221
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old4570 wrote:

Good question , how to make sure you get the revised version ? 

Id be contacting Balder , to see who they recommend . 

As for regulated run time , if you stuff in  2600 Sanyo , the light pulls 3A and slowly drops to around 2.8A or a little lower , then you not going to get an hour out of it on high .

Maybe in the neighbourhood of 45minutes , dont forget , everything from the first review remains true for this light except for the regulation . 

The CLIP ! 

Its good , not great , but functional , if you plan on heavy duty stuff , then maybe not the best ..

As long as it remains on the light , it should not break ..

I would like to see Balder do away with this clip , for something with no room for problems ..

I could see where , if this light were worn on a belt or something , problems could arise if the going got rough [ Held in place by the clip ] 

Think of the clip , as , for light duty . 

I think Solarforce got it right with there clip design ( 2nd time around ) 

My favorable EDC is SE-1 & I would like to have a brighter SE-2 revised version as well!

sb56637
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Great photography here Old! Thanks for the great review. Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

phoneix
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Dear Old4570. I had own a Balder SE-2 by myself at the moment. How can i realize it is old version or the new ?? I have no any tool to test the lumen, just my eyes

Ledsmoke
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And thank you for the review. That is some sweet pitures you're taking. Looks like a real sweet light.

Can you say a few word about the beam compared to a P60 format XML light. I'm not thinking so much about perceived brightness but rather its ability to throw and do it with a nice beam profile.

Being OP reflector I do realize that throw is not its main purpose but I do like a bit of throw in my lights and for example I really dont use P60 XML lights for anything, thats how bad it is for me. XR-E or XP-G are my favorites in this size light. 

So does it have a defined hotspot without the dreaded (by me) donut like appearance that XML lights are so good at making?

 

Once again TY for the review.

~ Ledsmoke ~

Dutch humor:

[quote=djozz]

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my9221
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Can somebody tell me where I can get the new version?

old4570
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Solarforce L2T with 1.4A driver = 7300lux @ 1 meter 

Solarforce L2 with SF XM-L = 8300Lux @ 1 meter

Solarforce L2 with Manafont drop in = 12300Lux @ 1 meter

Balder SE-2 = 16600 @ 1 meter 

 

It was brought to my attention : 

There is a slight blip or flash in low mode , every 7 seconds or so there is a slight pulse or flash , I used three different multimeters to see if I could read a current change and no go , I could detect none . Hmm , interesting , wow . I havent really used low mode much at all , as the light starts on high , I usually drop into medium , sorry about that guys . 

A slight flaw in what is otherwise a very polished product .

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

EDCPlus
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my9221 wrote:

Can somebody tell me where I can get the new version?

 

I have the new version in stock.

BetweenRides
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old4570 wrote:

Solarforce L2T with 1.4A driver = 7300lux @ 1 meter 

Solarforce L2 with SF XM-L = 8300Lux @ 1 meter

Solarforce L2 with Manafont drop in = 12300Lux @ 1 meter

Balder SE-2 = 16600 @ 1 meter 

 

It was brought to my attention : 

There is a slight blip or flash in low mode , every 7 seconds or so there is a slight pulse or flash , I used three different multimeters to see if I could read a current change and no go , I could detect none . Hmm , interesting , wow . I havent really used low mode much at all , as the light starts on high , I usually drop into medium , sorry about that guys . 

A slight flaw in what is otherwise a very polished product .

Ah, as I suspected, this is really a BD-2 budget version! Old, I believe what you have there is the hidden mode access point. When you put it in Low and it blinks, click off and then on again to access the second set of modes: Strobe and SOS in addition to L-M-H. When you return to Low and it flashes again, turn off and then on again to return to the 3-mode version.

The first shipments of BD-2 made no mention of this in the manual. It was discovered and updated in later versions.

old4570
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There seem to be no hidden modes , perhaps they were there but got removed , but the trigger point was left behind ??? 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

my9221
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EDCPlus wrote:

my9221 wrote:

Can somebody tell me where I can get the new version?

 

 

I have the new version in stock.

Could you pm me the price as well as shipping to CA? Thanks!

EDCPlus
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my9221 wrote:

EDCPlus wrote:

my9221 wrote:

Can somebody tell me where I can get the new version?

 

 

I have the new version in stock.

Could you pm me the price as well as shipping to CA? Thanks!

 

Please check my website (link in sig).  It will calculate shipping for you.

my9221
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EDCPlus wrote:

my9221 wrote:

EDCPlus wrote:

my9221 wrote:

Can somebody tell me where I can get the new version?

 

 

I have the new version in stock.

Could you pm me the price as well as shipping to CA? Thanks!

 

Please check my website (link in sig).  It will calculate shipping for you.

Backordered!

EDCPlus
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my9221 wrote:

EDCPlus wrote:

my9221 wrote:

EDCPlus wrote:

my9221 wrote:

Can somebody tell me where I can get the new version?

 

 

I have the new version in stock.

Could you pm me the price as well as shipping to CA? Thanks!

 

Please check my website (link in sig).  It will calculate shipping for you.

Backordered!

I just checked the stock status there are only 2 CW, and 1 NW left in stock.  Are you trying to buy more than 1 NW version perhaps?  I can't imagine why you'd get a backordered message otherwise...  Anyways, I don't want to detract from the review thread, if you have any questions or problems please send me a PM or email through the site thanks.

old4570
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Ok , after a few requests  I have just completed a runtime test to see how long the light remains in regulation :

 

 

Apparently there was some question of how long the light remains in regulation :  = 50 Minutes on a Sanyo 2600 

Now if you look close enough at the pictures you will see the light is sitting in Water [ yes - water cooling ] 

How ever all is not a bed of roses unfortunately . 

After some 18minutes , the light strobe'd and continued to do so once every minute for another 32minutes of fully regulated output ...

After 50 minutes the output dropped very quickly and  the light was doing 200 @ 51minutes and about 100 15 seconds latter . Batt voltage was 3.5v when I removed the battery .

I dare say , the SE-2 may need some more work ...  

So it would seem some were doing run time tests and the light began to strobe [ once every minute for me ] and they thought the light was no longer in regulation ..

What it could be is the voltage warning level , as the light pulls about 3A on high , there will be a lot of voltage sag under such current draw . 

So even though the battery has plenty of juice , the voltage sag kicks in the warning strobe ...

Im just wondering at what voltage the warning strobe is set for ?  [ maybe 3.5v or 3.6v ? ] With such high current draw , perhaps a much lower setting is needed ..

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

luvbelly
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This is what I have to read AFTER I order the light?

EDCPlus
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Wow... I'm going to do a full datalogging runtime test tomorrow on one of my lights in stock with the new driver.  I've not run it for more than a few minutes at a time, but never noticed any strange behavior like what you are describing.  Hopefully not all lights are like that.  I'll post my results tomorrow hopefully...

budynabuick
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EDCPlus wrote:

my9221 wrote:

Can somebody tell me where I can get the new version?

I went to purchase and the site states on back order 2-3 wks eta.

Keith

 

I have the new version in stock.

Slim Pickens
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Can you describe the voltage warning flashes in a little more detail?  Also, any chance you'll see how it behaves on RCR123 cells?  Last question: what's the size of the driver cavity?  This seems like a sweet light for the dough.

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