Review: Fandyfire Rook (Cree XM-L T6 | 3 x AA or 3 x 14500)
Fandyfire Rook (XM-L T6 | 3 x AA or 3 x 14500)
Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★★
|Battery:||3 x AA or 3 x 14500|
|Switch:||Side switch, electronic|
|Modes:||3: High, Low, Hidden Strobe|
|LED Type:||XM-L T6|
|Lens:||Glass, AR coated|
|Date Ordered:||October 2012|
- Nice tint (for a CW)
- Bright with 14500
- Low voltage warning (with 14500)
- Thermal protection
- Long runtime with alkaline AAs
- No low voltage protection with AAs -> "Moonlight mode" after four hours
- Alkaline, NiMH, Li-Ion - everything goes => Good for converting people to flashaholics(!!)
- Significantly smaller than King -> pretty pocketable
- Side switch
- Hidden strobe
- Tailstands perfectly
- Great design & build quality
- Flat bezel, stainless steel
- Comes in a nice box, lanyard included, very good for gifting!
- Operating instructions included (in plain English)
- PWM on low mode (~125Hz)
- No option for lock-out
Features / Value: ★★★★★
The light comes in a nice black box:
..which contains the light itself, good lanyard, one extra O-ring and a manual (in English!)
Another shot showing the manual:
Features are good: Two modes (about 800 and 240 lumens OTF with 14500, 200 and 80 with AA) + an easily accessible strobe in case you should need it.
One of the main features is the compatibility with many battery types and drastically changing characteristics when changing the cells: You can think this light both as a safe beginner light with AAs (moderately driven, long runtime, doesn't get hot), and a real flashaholic light with 14500 (well driven, as bright as my Shadow TC6!, throws pretty well).
I noticed a strange glitch once with brand new AA alkalines (about 1.6V): The light went to low voltage warning mode. When the AAs were just a bit depleted (or when NiMHs were used) there were no issues.
UI is good: Electronic side switch (press 2s for on/off, short click to change mode). The light always starts on High mode. Strobe can be turned on by fast double-clicking the side switch (well hidden, doesn't activate by accident).
There is small parasitic drain of 1.35mA, which can be considered negligible (>2000h, nearly three months to drain the batteries).
Unfortunately there is no option for locking out the light, but considering the 2s delay to turn it on, that shouldn't be a big problem.
Value for money: Very good!
Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★
Design is very nice. Short, thick, good handle. The handle fits my hand perfectly and the side switch is in a good location.
Color of anodizing is also good in my eyes and to top of it, bezel is both stainless steel and flat!!
The anodization is very good overall, glass lens looks nice and durable (+ is AR coated!). Let's see some details..
Cooling fins, side switch, and a nice way to attach the lanyard:
A well centered emitter:
The threads were smooth, but very dry (requires lubing):
Another photo of the body with the batteries:
A look to the inside. Three cells in a triangular formation and nice springs at tail. Looks great!
Side clicky can be simply screwed off:
...which reveals the electronic switch: (Note also the well designed O-ring, which keeps in place and is tight enough)
The bezel can also be screwed off pretty easily, allowing removal of the lens and thick O-ring under that:
The lens is AR-coated, as can be seen in this photo:
Next thing to remove is the reflector, which was flawless:
The reflector is also quite thick & heavy, which is good for absorbing heat: (weighs 18g)
After removing the reflector we have clear visibility to the emitter, which sits on a large star, glued to the head with some thermal compound. There is also a plastic centering ring, making sure that the emitter stays perfectly centered. As the driver is glued (or just very tight press fit), this is as far as I would go for disassembling the light.
Head diameter: 41mm
Body diameter: 37mm
Tail diameter: 39mm
Reflector diameter: 38mm
Reflector depth: 27mm
Weight: 257g with 3 cells (= ready to use), 188g without
..and here's some pictures confirming the measurements:
This light is actually unbelievably small, for example when compared to King and Darth:
..or small AA lights like Balder SE-1, Xeno E01 and Quark AA²:
And the bottom line in the quality: Great light, absolutely nothing to complain!
Battery Life: ★★★★★
Good! Three batteries will allow fairly long runtimes, especially with AAs.
I measured the current wit 14500 and got results of 2.5A on high and 0.8A on low (PWM 124.3Hz, 30.1% duty cycle).
In real life test, the light did give about 4h runtime on high with AAs + fifth hour of "Moonlight" (first 30min more or less regulated, declining in a quite linear manner after that):
Two photos of the "moonlight" mode (light running 5th hour with alkaline AAs):
When trying the same with 14500, something weird happened:
When the temperature of the head did go near 50 degrees Celsius, the light output dropped drastically, keeping the temperature below 50 for the rest of the runtime. I think it was some kind of temperature protection kicking in, but I'll have to re-test in lower ambient temperature to make sure.. Please stay tuned. A funny thing to notice is that there was no PWM during this period of lower output, and I could change modes "normally".
Anyways, the runtime with 14500s was 1h28min until the low voltage warning kicked in and the light started flashing.
Light Output: ★★★★☆
But for a light this small, I would still classify it as "very bright" (with 14500). Ceiling bounce was measured to be on par with Shadow TC6 on high!
I estimate (ceiling bounce + "known" references) the light output to:
- about 800 lumens on high with 14500s
- about 240 lumens on low with 14500s
- about 200 lumens on high with AA alkalines (a bit less with NiMH)
- about 80 lumens on low with AA alkalines (a bit less with NiMH)
Some white wall beamshots (1/100s, f/5, ISO80, WB: Daylight)
AA alkaline High:
AA alkaline Low:
Tint comparison. "Normal" CW (TF Z5), Rook, and NW (Xeno E01) - (1/100s, f/5, ISO80, WB: Daylight)
Note: It's not green to my eyes in real life!
Outdoor beamshots are canceled due the rain, slush & fog. Sorry about that. I'll add them as soon as the weather gets better..
Very good, small flashlight with nice design and finish for anyone, from beginner to flashaholic. Just throw in correct cells depending on your mood and you'll get what you want.
Verdict: Highly recommended!
The End (pun intended):
Thanks for reading & watching. Hope you enjoyed the review!