Review: SmallSun ZY-T27 XM-L T6 5-mode - Zooming Flashlight

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old4570
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Review: SmallSun ZY-T27 XM-L T6 5-mode - Zooming Flashlight

SMALLSUN ZY-T27 XM-L T6 5-MODE – ZOOMING FLASHLIGHT – Review

By old4570

This review was kindly made possible by Lights Castle
Link to sponsors product page

Info from sponsors product page

Weight: 235.00 g
Dimensions: 6.50 in x 1.57 in x 1.57 in (16.5 cm x 4.0 cm x 4.0 cm)

Price @ time of review $22.22
Brand: SmallSun
Model: ZY-T27
Emitter Brand: Cree
LED Type: XM-L
BIN: T6
Color: Cool White
Number of Emitters: 1
Voltage Input: 3.7V
Battery Configuration: 1 × 18650 (not included)
Circuitry: 2000mA
Brightness: 685lm
Runtime: 2 hours
Number of Modes: 5
Mode Arrangement: Hi > Mid > Lo > Fast stobe > SOS
Mode Memory: No
Switch Type: Reverse clicky
Switch Location: Tailcap
Lens: Coated glass lens
Reflector: Smooth Aluminum / SMO
Clip Included: Yes
Beam Range: 400 meters
Other Features: Water resistant; HA-III; Zoom-to-throw
Other Accessories: 1 x Remote pressure switch (70cm)

This review is kindly brought to you by Crystal from LightsCastle.com ..

The ZY-T27 is certainly an interesting light , now Im not the greatest fan of flood to throw [ later ] , and one of my pet dislikes has been the push pull head , where the Smallsun differs from the mainstream , is the focus ring . Turn it anti clock wise for flood and clock wise for a tightly focused beam . The focus ring works a treat , and has some sort of spring loading to maintain location , and I have no complaints here , it works as it should , and after several days of playing [ err Testing ] with the light , there has been no issue with the focus mechanism . Due to the design , working out actual lumens out , can be a little tricky . My light box said 750Lumen , but the ceiling bounce test says 500 Lumen , and due to the beam profile [ full flood ] I would guess the truth is somewhere in between . The light is 5 mode , starts on high [ no mode mem ] and goes to med – low – Strobe – SOS , the switch is a forward clicky , and is very responsive [ Just right for a clicky ] . Now the reader may have noticed the plug in the tailcap , thats for a remote switch . Now I got really excited about the remote switch , I thought it might fit one or more of my other lights , but such was not the case , from my entire light collection , there was not a single match for this tailcap . Otherwise , once again , it functions as it should [ remote switch ] , so if you like weapon lights [ possibly a bow mounted light ? ] then the Smallsun may interest you .

Some performance figures

High – 2A – 500L Ceiling bounce – 750L Light box – 21000Lux @ 1M throw
Med – 1A
Low – 0.25A

Now I did like the current draw figures , there about where I like them for a XM-L . Now what was some what average , was the throw [ 21000Lux ] . Any half decent XM-L light with a reasonably sized head is going to give you similar output [ throw ] , XM-L does not look to benefit from focusing nearly as much as a XR-E . The other issue is the design , the LED [ emitter ] sits in a rather ? how to put it politely ? flimsy pill , its lacking mass . Now this does unfortunately result in a fair amount of heat related sag , throw went from 21000 to 16000 inside one minute , and was on a some what downward spiral , though slowing down . The pill really wants more mass to handle the heat generated by the XM-L emitter .

Using the light

Now to be fair , the ZY-T27 is just fantastic in full flood , it lights up the back yard or the inside of the house without a hotspot . This means you are actually able to take in far more of whats going on around you , than with a normal flashlight , as the hotspot does tend to draw ones attention . The provided clip looks to be decent quality and be up the the task asked of it . In fact the Smallsun ZY-T27 is functionally excellent , and the only real negative is the heat related sag . And relating to that [ sag ] I can see where the push pull design would be superior , as rather than the emitter moving , the lens is moved back and forth , allowing the emitter to be stationary , and there for better thermally managed . Flood “ It really does flood , even in low , the output is just – so nice and usable , medium is almost as good as high , and with the sag in high , I would recommend medium as the mode of choice for any use that would run over 30 seconds or so .

Throw “ Really ? – The spot is so small at close range , its almost useless . And even a focused XM-L emitter , its not much chop when compared to a large head fixed reflector equipped thrower , in fact , unless your a serious fan of Flood [ I like flood ] , the flood to throw lights are more of a trick pony than a show pony [ show me the light ] .

Last Word

A very interesting design , just needs better thermal management , and this host may be of intense (?) interest to modders , either swap in a XR-E emitter for a really hot thrower , or possibly swap out the driver for one supplying less AMP’s or beef up the pill to add some mass so it can handle the heat the emitter produces better . @ $22.22 its not an expensive light , nor is it a bargain light , but it does offer opportunities . As it sits , I would recommend running the light in medium mode , as the output [ flood ] is substantial , even in medium . Ive gotten used to having this light around , the flood mode is sweet , and really great for locating small screws dropped on the floor , and even better around the house .

Clicky – Just right
Focus Mechanism – Works , no issues
Tailstands – no
Remote switch – Yes , and it works
Anodizing – Good , even color .
Belt Clip – Small but sturdy – and decent quality .
PWM – Yes – Medium and Low modes, thankfully on the faster side .

I would like to thank Crystal from LightsCastle.com for giving me the opportunity to test the Smallsun ZY-T27 – Thank you !

 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
old4570
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Beams , you can really see how the flood makes seeing everything so easy , and there is no distracting hotspot …

 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 ….

 

jacktheclipper
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Cool

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

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

dthrckt
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thanks for the review.

unfortunately, i’m hugely disappointed.

I thought this would be an awesome weapon light to mod w/ color emitter.

but…the twist mechanism moves the pill, not the lens. I need this tailcap threaded for a uniquefire UF-t20 – I’ll mod a pile of them and take them to a gun show Smile

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Girls can shoot!

apt323
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dthrckt wrote:
thanks for the review.

unfortunately, i’m hugely disappointed.

I thought this would be an awesome weapon light to mod w/ color emitter.

but…the twist mechanism moves the pill, not the lens. I need this tailcap threaded for a uniquefire UF-t20 – I’ll mod a pile of them and take them to a gun show Smile


Same here wish that the pill was fixed. Was excited about this light but not so much anymore. Dangit. Off again to search for the perfect light

Thanks for the review and you time old4570

Tecmo
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Thanks for the review!

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

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

David3800
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Hi, This review was good. I bought two of them :bigsmile:

I was wondering if there was a way to make the pressure switch not cycle through the different modes? Or make the whole thing not cycle through the different modes. I didn’t realize it would cycle through them all like that with the pressure switch and really would rather have a single mode.

I was able to get most of the light apart without breaking it, but not sure on how to remove the existing board.

This is some info for the driver board that I found: 1*Cree 5W regulated power output, Output current: 1.25A, 16.8mm diameter base, 5.5mm overall depth, Voltage: 3V-18V, Fully regulated circuit design.

I also haven’t done anything like this since I got an electronics kit when I was a kit that my dad didn’t help me with.

old4570
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OK if you have the head apart ! 

Remove the silver reflector around the LED to get to the emitter solder points .. Unsold-er the wires

The actual driver is a press fit , if you want to save it , gently , very gently tap it out . 

There is no solder-able material for the new driver , so it needs to be press fitted , if its undersized , you can build up the edges with wire and solder .. 

 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 ….

 

David3800
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Thanks a lot!

I’ll give it a try and provide an update whenver the board gets here.

Thanks again!

That Ninja Guy
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Interesting, thanks for the review!

joe1512
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Quote:
Throw “ Really ? – The spot is so small at close range , its almost useless . And even a focused XM-L emitter , its not much chop when compared to a large head fixed reflector equipped thrower , in fact , unless your a serious fan of Flood [ I like flood ] , the flood to throw lights are more of a trick pony than a show pony [ show me the light ] .

This part doesnt really make sense to me. Throw is kind of supposed to be useless at close range…thats why its called THROW. Obviously you want as small of a spot as possible.
According to the pictures it seems to have a reasonably tight hotspot. You can’t really expect a light with a 1 inch diameter to throw as well as one with a huge 4 inch reflector, right?
And everyone knows that XM-Ls are lousy for throw naturally due to their big size and viewing angle.

I must be misunderstanding you on that part…can you clarify what you mean?

The whole point of a XM-L F2T is to have greater floody capability and more overall lumens. An XR-E F2T is going to have better throw of course, but its 200ish flood lumens is kind of weak.

The trick is finding an XM-L that has decent focus ability, and is actually driven hard enough to give a significant light advantage. Most of them are under 2 Amps which is weaksauce.

cabfrank
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(i learned a new word today…i love this forum!) and i am still looking for a small zoomie exactly as you described, especially with focus ablility which means good throw. i’m not sure there is one out there, unless it is a mod.

cabfrank
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thanks for the review!

old4570
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joe1512 wrote:
Quote:
Throw “ Really ? – The spot is so small at close range , its almost useless . And even a focused XM-L emitter , its not much chop when compared to a large head fixed reflector equipped thrower , in fact , unless your a serious fan of Flood [ I like flood ] , the flood to throw lights are more of a trick pony than a show pony [ show me the light ] .
This part doesnt really make sense to me. Throw is kind of supposed to be useless at close range...thats why its called THROW. Obviously you want as small of a spot as possible. According to the pictures it seems to have a reasonably tight hotspot. You can't really expect a light with a 1 inch diameter to throw as well as one with a huge 4 inch reflector, right? And everyone knows that XM-Ls are lousy for throw naturally due to their big size and viewing angle. I must be misunderstanding you on that part...can you clarify what you mean? The whole point of a XM-L F2T is to have greater floody capability and more overall lumens. An XR-E F2T is going to have better throw of course, but its 200ish flood lumens is kind of weak. The trick is finding an XM-L that has decent focus ability, and is actually driven hard enough to give a significant light advantage. Most of them are under 2 Amps which is weaksauce.

throw performance is poor !  When compared to reflector throwers ...  Thats what I mean ...  

Increasing Amps wont help much , just make it hotter - sag more , maybe kill it faster ..   

 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 ….