Review: Unbranded 18650 XM-L U2 Flood to Throw Flashlight / Headlamp Combo

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Sharpthangs
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Review: Unbranded 18650 XM-L U2 Flood to Throw Flashlight / Headlamp Combo

Unbranded 18650 XM-L U2 Flood to Throw Flashlight / Headlamp Combo thingy

Headlamp Mode

 

Battery:

18650

Switch:

Forward Clicky

Modes:

5, no memory

LED Type:

CREE XM-L U2

Lens:

Aspheric plastic

Tailstands:

Yes, a little wobbly

Price Paid:

$34

From

Ebay Seller Keygos

Comes with

Light, Headband, 2X Ultrafire 18650, Bicycle clamp, Charger

Pros: 

  • Extremely Bright.  Good balance on driver between brightness and heat.
  • Great beam pattern in flood mode.  Typical emitter spot in throw.
  • Comfortable in headlamp mode.
  • Amazing flexibility for the whole system.  Interesting design.
  • Quality components, although we’ll talk about construction in a second.


Cons:

  • Zooming is a bit too easy for my taste.  This might be fixable.
  • No memory.
  • Lots of components were not tight when I received the unit.  Had to screw things together, but easy enough.
  • O rings are undersized which makes me doubt water resistance. Again fixable.  
  • Would like lower low.  
  • Package arrived crammed into unlabeled box that was falling apart.  

Summary:
  • Long story short, this is a very interesting design, and you get a lot of bang for the buck.


I’ve always been a sucker for Zebralights and the Ultrafire UF-HX series where you can carry the light in your pocket and use it for a headlamp if needed.  I’ve been wanting a flood to throw zoomer for a while and stumbled upon this unit on Ebay.  Why not the best of both worlds?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CREE-XM-L-U2-LED-Headlamp-Zoom-Headlight-Bicycle-Light-Flashlight-Torch-Zoomable?item=251060235556&cmd=ViewItem&_trksid=p5197.m7&_trkparms=algo%3DLVI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D5%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D8897711351938132651#ht_4331wt_825

There’s a lot of stuff going on here.  It’s a zoomable flashlight!  It’s a headlamp!  It’s a bicycle light!  It’s an XM-L U2!!

I can say that everything pretty much works as intended with the possible exception of the bicycle light.  I have not tested this, but given the ease with which it zooms, I feel you might get some zooming action if you were riding with this off road.  

Features / Value: 5 stars +

You get a lot for the money on this one.  2 batteries.  A charger.  A sturdy bicycle clamp.  The Headband. And that’s not even counting the actual unit.  

Design / Build Quality: 4 stars

I would rate this higher except that several components were loose on my unit when I got it, including the headlamp bracket and the pill assembly.  Nothing that wasn’t easily corrected, but a little sloppy.  I bumped it up a little due to the fact that it is so easy to switch between flashlight and headlamp mode, and the fact that the headlamp is so sturdy when assembled.  Anodization seems fine, with no major flaws.  

Battery Life: TBD

Will get runtimes if there is interest, but here are the tailcap draws:

High: 2.0 A
Med: 1.2 A
Low: 0.7 A

Driven well enough to be bright, but not enough to get too hot since you can wear this ON YOUR HEAD.  After 15 minutes of use on high, it is hot, but not uncomfortable to hold.  

Light Output: 5 stars

This sucker is bright.  As bright as my Ultrafire HD2011 XM-L T6 driven at 2.5 Amps or an XM-L T6 P60 driven at 2.5 Amps.  And with no hot spot in flood mode.  Beam has some artifacts from some shiny bits around the emitter, but I understand this is fixable with some well placed matte paint.

Summary: 4 ½ stars

I am anxious to see how this does on one of my many camping trips, but either they really thought this one out, or a lot of things went right.  The extension of the head on the headlamp bracket gets the light out far enough to get over the brim of a baseball cap without blocking the beam.  The head tilts enough to make a dandy reading light with a nice floody beam.  Aspheric lens gives a nice beam pattern. Good balance on the driver where you wouldn't mind putting this near your noggin.

Also, makes me wonder what would be possible if this were done with a P60 type head on the unit that could be interchangeable.  Could make a very flexible system.  

Now for the important stuff:

PICS:

Comparison

L to R: Ultrafire UF-H3, Combo Unit, Ultrafire HD2011, Ultrafire WF-502B all 18650s X1.

On a Hat!

In headlamp mode on my stinky, well-worn fishing hat.

Basically, the body of the flashlight becomes the battery pack on the back, and the head screws on in front.

A thick O ring (it also came with a spare) holds the body in place on a groove in the bracket.

Up close

Up close and personal

Disassembled

Head disassembled.

Let me know if you have any questions/requests.

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:30
Sharpthangs
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Possible Beamshots or more Pics if there is interest.

dthrckt
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yes please

thanks for the review

although now i'm torn between this and another (similar but headlamp only)

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Sharpthangs
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Anything specific you want to know?  

ledoman
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How wide is a flood beam?

viktori
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Yes, please, this looks interesting. Pocketable and head-mountable all in one.

I'd like to see back of the head, the assembly to the body, and more shots of the wire contact. And beamshots. Smile

This is my flashlight collection.

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Sharpthangs wrote:

Anything specific you want to know?  

specifics on the lens would be great if you have calipers - outer diameter, diameter of convex portion, focal length

also wondering what the (non switch) end of the battery tube looks like when in headlamp config

thanks

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Tecmo
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That’s a pretty unique setup there. Thanks for reviewing it, pretty cool it you ask me!

jacktheclipper
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I like the concept .

Cool

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Thanks, interesting light.

Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

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Great review.

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Sharpthangs
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Outer diameter – 28.3 mm
Convex diameter – 21.0 mm

How do you measure focal length? Would be happy to oblige….

Here are some better shots of the end of the battery tube when in headlamp configuration.

You can see how the O ring holds the battery holder in place. It is extremely stable.
The curly tail wire goes around the left side of the headband to the emitter.

The top of the plug adapter. This replaces the emitter head, which then moves to the front of the headband.

The inside of the plug adapter.

Sharpthangs
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It is a relatively narrow flood beam, but very even.

Compared to other pictured lights at 1 foot from the wall:

  • WF-501B – 15 inches
  • HD2011 – 17 inches
  • UF-H3 – 19 inches
  • Combo unit – 12 inches

Beam shots to follow, if I can get my wife’s camera to work….

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Hey, thanks!

Can you post the pictures of the flashlight head, when it’s removed from the body, as well as the wire connector on the head side?

Viktor

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Sharpthangs
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Here are some more pics of how the head attaches to the headlamp base.

It basically just screws on like it was the flashlight body.

In this one, you can see the pivot bolt and wire connection into the back of the emitter base.

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Aaaaah, very cool concept!

Thanks for the detailed pics! Smile

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Wow,really appreciate this…

Focalprice:http://www.focalprice.com/

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thanks for those measurements.

If moving the head all the way forward gives you a focused emitter image for a beam (ie you see the lines in the emitter) then to measure focal length you can unscrew the bezel, remove the lens and measure from the edge that the backside of the lens sits on to the top of the emitter’s dome (edit: or to the pcb is fine too…)

but be careful so you don’t ding the top of the dome!

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Sharpthangs
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Ok, I give up on editing the placeholder above. Here’s your beamshots!

Taken from 24 inches from a (mostly) white wall (I have small kids). All units on high.

WF-502B

HD2011

UF-H3

Combo Unit in Full Flood

Combo Unit in Full Zoom

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a bit more narrow flood than I’d prefer, but I’m pretty sure I’ll end up buying this one.
thanks for all the details.
I bet I’ll end up ditching the headband and attaching both parts to a hat.

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I think my next steps on this are:

1) Replace all the O rings with something a little higher quality.

2) Use the straw trick described on another thread and paint the area around the emitter with matte black paint to get rid of the “Ring of Fire” effect seen in the above throw picture. You can really see the machining marks on the emitter head in the beam up close. At distances, you can’t see anything.

3) Per Viktori’s excellent thread on dismantling the head on a Keygos M12, I did the same on this unit to find same metal ring around the inner tube. I’ll probably try a couple of different O rings here to find one that makes the Zooming smoother and gives more resistance.

Viktori, did you find a good size O ring that makes for a good replacement?

Thanks for the comments everyone.

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Very nice first review! Thanks a lot for your time and effort. I moved this into the “Headlamps” category since it’s rather unique.
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Thanks for the review Sharpthangs!

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Excellent review. I’ve seen the same light on Manafont and was interested in it overall build. Looks like I may order one for winter shoveling duty. Thanks for all the review work.

Sharpthangs
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Wanted to give a quick update.

Took this camping this weekend, and it has solidified itself as a favorite.

A few points:

  • Really wished it had memory. It is too bright to turn on High mode every time. I learned to cover it until I could click it down to low, which wasn’t too bad.
  • Very comfortable in headlamp mode long term, and only used one battery all weekend.
  • Shining across a lake, it out threw my 501B XM-L 2.8 A in High.
  • Really wished it had a lower low. The low is usable for reading, but still too bright.
  • Was worried that the zoom would shift while wearing in headlamp mode, but it didn’t move once, even during some night hikes around the lake.

For the money, this thing is great.

AnimalMother
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Can it outthrow a sipik sk68?

Sharpthangs
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It’s my only Zoomie, so I don’t really have a good feel.

It definitely out throws everything thing else I have, but that being said, I’m more of a flood guy, so that isn’t saying much.

You just gave me a good excuse to buy a Sipik. Ha.

AnimalMother
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All the sk68 i have are different brightness dont know why lol but the one from campingsurvivals on ebay was by far much brighter the others. I ordered another from him and it had a xre and not as bright for some reason as the one with the ez1000.
I ordere this light. I hope it comes soon. It seems like what i have been looking for. I can’t wait to test out!

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Where did you get it from, if you don’t mind me asking?

I have started seeing them on Aliexpress as well as a couple of different sellers off of eBay.

Since I don’t have any other zoomies, I would welcome your opinion on how it compares.

Good Luck.

AnimalMother
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Sharpthangs wrote:
Where did you get it from, if you don’t mind me asking?

I have started seeing them on Aliexpress as well as a couple of different sellers off of eBay.

Since I don’t have any other zoomies, I would welcome your opinion on how it compares.

Good Luck.

I got mine that pulls 2.4amps from a Ebay Seller called campingsurvivals. This SK68 is much brighter then my other ones and can throw farther wit the EZ1000. I ordered again and I did not get the same light. I got one with a EZ900 which should throw better but it had different driver behavior I am guessing?

I order the Unbranded 18650 XM-L U2 Flood to Throw Flashlight. I hope it comes soon. I like 18650 flood to throw lights.

AnimalMother
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Oh yeaj, forgot to say. This light is branded. It’s a keygoa. Dunno what model.

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