Review: Sky Ray 9xT6 - The King of HOT Rods?

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FMcamaroZ28
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Review: Sky Ray 9xT6 - The King of HOT Rods?

SKY RAY 9xT6 - The King of HOT Rods?

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★★

  Main

Summary:

Battery: 2/3x26650 or 18650 
Switch: Reverse Clicky
Modes: 5: HI, Med, Low, Strobe, SOS
LED Type: 9x XML - T6 1A
Lens: Glass (no coating)
Tailstands: Yes
Price Paid: $67 + $19 shipping
From: http://www.cnqualitygoods.com/goods.php?id=1716
Date Ordered: 11-4-12

 

Pros:

  • BRIGHT. Seriously. With 9 LED's driven as modestly as they are, this thing puts out a huge amount of light.
  • Multiple battery configurations.
  • All LED's were centered perfectly, domes were nice and clear.
  • Machining was great throughout body, my copy came with no imperfections.
  • Feels great in hand with great weight and balance.

Cons:

  • 3x protected Keeppower 26650 MNKE's don't fit. The tail-cap does not screw down completely.
  • Threads came dirty and unlubed.
  • Reflector could use better construction.
  • Even though it is capable of running in a 2-battery config, the output is seriously reduced.
  • Gets extremely hot during long runs on high.

 

Features / Value: ★★★★

9 LEDS

 

The Sky Ray is an interesting light. Featuring 9 T6 LED's in shallow reflectors seems like a great deal for just around $85 bucks. It stays flexible with battery configurations due to the included PVC pipe 26650 to 18650 adaptors - and seems to be regulated so that output is the same on either battery. It has 5 modes: Hi, Med, Low, Strobe, SOS. Like many of you, I could do without the blinky modes and really dont see a need for them on this "hot rod" of a light. I can't imagine this light staying on anything other than "high" for its entire life. Who is going to break out a light thats twelve and a half inches long and run it on low? I cant say many lights can really be just one mode, but this is one of them.

 

 Extender

 

The included extender tube allows the light to be used in either 2 or 3 battery configuration. This is nice, but in initial testing shows that this cuts out the ability to use HI mode. Testing was done with 2 panasonic 3100 protected's at ~4.00V so it may react differently fresh off the charger, but I'm still working on that. That is really where the star comes off for this section. You should be able to use all the modes when only using two batteries, but I have not found this to be the case. 

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★

Build quality appears to be excellent. CNQG states that it uses HAIII anodizing and don't have enough experience to determine the difference between HAII and HAIII but the finish is impeccable on this light. It has a glossy black color and it was even across all parts, including the extension tube. There is no knurling on the body, but variations that go down through the main tube. The head heatsink fins are scalloped in a way to fit your thumb for a bit until it gets too warm.

 

 Overall

BREAKDOWN

 

Threads were triangular cut - and there seems to be a TON of them. The tail-cap takes a full TEN turns to lock down. The front threads for the head were about half in number, but I assume this was made so that you can't assemble the light incorrectly. There is a single O-ring in every place that there should be.

 

 Threads

 

The tailcap design seems well made, but has a very stiff spring. It has created some marks in the rear contacts of the batteries i am using. It comes with a GITD switch.

 

Tailcap

 

Taking off the front glass lens shows that the reflector is in there tight. I was not able to unscrew it with an amount of force I am comfortable with. I am not versed in modding new lights so this is as far as the light will be taken apart. It is functional enough but the quality could have been better here. It has rough edges on the corners that go down into each led, but functionality does not seem to be affected.

lens

Lens

head diam 

reflector

by iteseldf

whole head

body

Tailcap

Looks like my copy found its way to the wrong assembly line.

10,000 Chinese lumens!!! I'm not sure where the Xenon is hiding in there either!

 

chinese lumens

 

UPDATE: I went and got a infrared thermometer today to take temperature readings reveal some interesting information.

I ran the light for 30 minutes, taking temperature readings at every 5 minute interval on high.

Ambient temp was 65°F

 HEADMIDDLETAIL
0:0061.1°F 61.4°F62.5°F
0:05116.8°F79.0°F74.1°F
0:10152.5°F97.9°F88.0°F
0:15175.6°F115.8°F101.3°F
0:20191.5°F126.0°F106.8°F
0:25198.7°F134.1°F115.0°F
0:30199.7°F140.5°F122.4°F

 

After 30 minutes the head temperature was just short of 200°F!! (93.3°C for our friends overseas)!! 

Certainly not something you can hold in your hand, at least near the head. I let it continue to run but it just about leveled out at that point.

OK SO how about the innards of this baby?? It should have some good heatsinking to get that hot???

It opens gracefully right underneath the head where the smallest amount of thermal grease has been applied.

open

 

A single stripped screw holds the ALUM reflector on.

A copper slug would be a perfect match to go in here!


 

screw

 

Here's the driver. Upgrades should be easy!

 

driver

 

Out comes the reflector

reflect

 

LEDS! Looks like we can even use some better heatsinking! They are thermally greased right onto the head assembly itself. There is a fairly thin piece of alum as the heatsink for them.

 

leds

 

 

Battery Life:  ★★★★

Still in testing, however During the temperature testing I did some battery life tests with the Keeppower 26650's.

The batteries I am using are brand new 3800mAh MNKE IMR's from Kumabear.

Although they don't allow the light to be fully screwed down they are the only 26650's I have, and definitely work.

Running on high for exactly 30 minutes brought 3x26650's down from a fully charged 4.2v to 3.68v. Depending on how long you run your batteries down I am going to say a preliminary estimate of 1:10 if you run down to 3v.

For this amount of output, I would say that's pretty good. Testing is still taking place for medium and low measurements and I will update accordingly. (Just need the time!)

I will also test some protected Panasonic's as soon as they charge up.

TAILCAP READINGS. Pulled from a fellow forum member Werner while i get some better leads for my DMM.

 

 Voltage High    Medium Low  
12.6V 6.20A 1.80A 0.67A 
11.8V 5.95A1.80A 0.70A 
11.0V 4.70A1.40A 0.55A 
10.5V 3.90A1.15A 0.40A 
10.1V 3.10A 0.95A0.35A 

 

Light Output: ★★★★★

Sky Ray says 5000 Lumens. The actual light says 10,000 lumens. Anywhere near that? Of course not. Some other sites state about 3500OTF lumens. But output sure is incredible. The Sky Ray 9xT6 is by far the brightest light i own. It puts out a huge, huge amount of light with a large hot spot and a ton of spill. I have outdoor beamshots coming, but here is a comparison to the Solarforce M8.

I don't own a light meter, and not very many lights to compare it to. The best we can do is beamshots.

MOUSE OUT FOR SKY RAY, MOUSE IN FOR SOLARFORCE M8

Beamshots are taken at 3' away from wall @F/2.8 and 1/60 Shutter

SkyRay Beam Mouse OUT M8 Beam IN

UPDATED 12/1/12 - Beamshot vs Skyray KING NW.

Batteries were at 3.80V. Beamshots taken 3' away from wall @F/2.8 and 1/60 Shutter.

MOUSE OUT FOR SKY RAY, MOUSE IN FOR SKY RAY KING NW

VS SKY RAY

 

If you have any other requests let me know.

 

Summary: ★★★★★

This being my first review, and I'm pretty new to the flashlight world. This light is the biggest and brightest LED that I own and don't regret my purchase for a second. The quality is excellent and if you have a Maglite 3D, the size is about the same. I love this damn thing for its sheer power...even though in day to day life it's total overkill. If you can find it on a closeout it may become one of those lights to own just to say that you can.

Size comparison to other lights:

comparison

MAGLITE 6D - SKYRAY 9XT6 - MAGLITE 2D - SOLARFORCE M8 - COAST HP550 - CRELANT V9CS - HD2010 - SKYRAY KING NW

 

I am still doing a lot of testing with this thing and will continue to update this review.

 

So please, let me know what you want to see or make any comments that you think will be beneficial. This community has been great to me and I would love to give back!

Thanks for listening!

-FM

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 11:54
warmurf
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Excellent review!! Hope you do more!

I have one of these bad boys- hugely bright, handles heat very well, good run time, modes are well spaced. The only thing I wish it did was put out the advertised 5000+ lumens, but that was always sus I guess.

That aside these lights are well built, great blend of flood with some throw and a heaps of fun.

Cheers!!

MRsDNF
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Terrific review FMcamaroZ28. What is the diameter of the reflector and head?

My current and or voltage measurements are only relevent to anything that I measure.

Budget light hobby proudly sponsored by my Mastercard and unknowingly paid for by a hard working wife. 

djozz said "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

_the_
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Thanks for the review! Very nice review for a first one. Good job!

I think the reflector is not plastic (nor glued). Judging by your photos, the construction is probably something similar to my Keygos 7T6. The reflector is connected to the pill with one screw (from inside of the pill, under the driver), and the whole assembly can be screwed out towards the bezel. See this picture:

 

Do you have a DMM? How much is the current draw at tailcap?

=the=

Disclaimer: Above post might contain referral links, but only to items that I myself have bought, tested & approved. Or items that, based on my experience, can be considered as good deals & worth sharing.

FMcamaroZ28
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Thanks very much guys!

When i get home today:
-Try to unscrew the reflector and bring light to the pill
—Update with the reflector measurements -
-Update with weight measurements!
—Learn how to and do tailcap readings.-
—Battery run time tests. Brought my charger to work and charging the 26650’s now.-

Keep the requests coming!

rufus001
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I have this light too and it is fantastic for the price. I doubt there is an unmodified light out there for under $500 that can put out the over 3500 OTF lumens that is puppy can. Except for HID’s of course.

nqcken
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i have been waiting for a review of this light, first the j18, than the x100, now this. i think i am going to add this to my light farm! didn’t someone see this light for $67? guess i can put this next to my sky ray king………

ken

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FMcamaroZ28
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That was where i bought it – its $67 plus shipping which was around $19 to NY.

You can see that in the review dialog box.

Chicken Drumstick
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This looks kinda cool I admit.

my9221
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Thanks for the beamshots & reviews. It’s huge difference between skyray & m8. Skyray stings my eyes.

FMcamaroZ28
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Updated with temp info and battery tests. When the light cools down im going to try getting to that pill.

MRsDNF
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That's one hot light. You could nearly use it to boil water.

My current and or voltage measurements are only relevent to anything that I measure.

Budget light hobby proudly sponsored by my Mastercard and unknowingly paid for by a hard working wife. 

djozz said "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

Tecmo
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Good job man! Hope you keep the reviews comin’

sb56637
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Thanks very much for the review! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

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

attitude
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whats next light gonna be ? 12x XML ? ^^

weird i just get addicted to flashlight like in a blink of an eye.

texaspyro
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attitude wrote:
whats next light gonna be ? 12x XML ? ^^

Meh, too dim… http://budgetlightforum.com/node/15483

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Great review. Now I’m going to have to purchase it since it should easily outshine my Trustfire TR-J12.

Richie

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very nice review, and ive been waiting for a review like this for the past 3 months.
ive been highly considering purchasing one but always past it up.
hay does this have more flood than the king?

FMcamaroZ28
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Tonight when I get home from work I will post the reflector and other measurements since I just got a caliper.

And I will do a beam shot vs. The king for you.

Mine is NW though.

Richie086
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Just placed my order with Ric for one of these. Also ordered 3 X TrustFire Protected TF 26650 3.7V 5000mAh Li-ions from Manafont to go with it. The Trustfire batteries work so great in my J12, I see no reason they won’t perform just as well in this light.

Richie

attitude
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Richie086 wrote:
Just placed my order with Ric for one of these. Also ordered 3 X TrustFire Protected TF 26650 3.7V 5000mAh Li-ions from Manafont to go with it. The Trustfire batteries work so great in my J12, I see no reason they won’t perform just as well in this light.

only scared they are fakes and are not 5000mah as advertised. its about same price as king kongs raised cap 4000mah why not get them instead. ?

weird i just get addicted to flashlight like in a blink of an eye.

Richie086
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attitude wrote:
Richie086 wrote:
Just placed my order with Ric for one of these. Also ordered 3 X TrustFire Protected TF 26650 3.7V 5000mAh Li-ions from Manafont to go with it. The Trustfire batteries work so great in my J12, I see no reason they won’t perform just as well in this light.

only scared they are fakes and are not 5000mah as advertised. its about same price as king kongs raised cap 4000mah why not get them instead. ?

Manafont has been the place to purchase them from in the past. My original set of 3 were real and performed fantastic in my Trustfire TR-J12. The Trustfire 26650’s were never actually 5000mAh, but always tested from forum reports at 40000-43000mAh consistant. They are also protected cells, but I will look into the King Kong’s for my next purchase since they are getting good reviews. Thanks.

For Reference, below are the tests for the Trustfire 26650 cells as reported from members, Benckie and HKJ

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/9416

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/9551

Richie

Haterade
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That reflector is outrageous

I like copper

attitude
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its actually not that much bigger then mag 2D which is decent size.

any beam shots comparison to the skyray king pease Smile

weird i just get addicted to flashlight like in a blink of an eye.

pseudox
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attitude wrote:

any beam shots comparison to the skyray king pease Smile

Also interested in seeing this too since I own the king and been looking at the 9x for the while now, wondering if I should pull the trigger on it

FMcamaroZ28
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First thing tomorrow morning I will post it.

Sorry guys!!

FMcamaroZ28
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Updated with SKYRAY KING Beamshot comparison and caliper measurements.

Let me know of any other requests, & thanks for the kind words everyone!

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FMcamaroZ28 wrote:
Updated with SKYRAY KING Beamshot comparison and caliper measurements.

Let me know of any other requests, & thanks for the kind words everyone!

The Skyray King is a pretty bright light, but the Skyray 9 really blasts it out of the water. I can’t wait to get mine, hopefully it’ll arrive next week.

Richie

attitude
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YES I HAVE ANOTHER REQUEST Smile thanksw bud

some Beam shots comparison on the throwing distance compare with some of your thrower, i know its a flooder but it looks like the hotspot can have atleast a 250 yard throw ? dunno give it a go against the HD2010 or something Smile taping my fingers waiting for the shots hehehe

weird i just get addicted to flashlight like in a blink of an eye.

FMcamaroZ28
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I have an HD2010.

I also have a Crelant 7G5 with collimator. I’ll do both since that’s my best thrower.

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