Mini Review: POP lite T33 (BEAM shots added) a Led Lenser clone/copy/alternative - heads up and info

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Chicken Drumstick
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Mini Review: POP lite T33 (BEAM shots added) a Led Lenser clone/copy/alternative - heads up and info

First up, I intend to do a full review of this torch and it’s sister torches, but that’ll be next month.

Anyhow, this is just a heads up for now and some summary info.

Led Lenser as a brand doesn’t get much coverage here on BLF and is oft slated on other flashlight forums. I’ve never owned or even held a Led Lenser, but I was curious what they are like.

After some contemplating I decided that while you could get lucky on ebay and maybe snag a P7 for £35, they are generally pricey alternatives to buy (retail shops in the UK listing them at £50-55+).

By luck however I stumbled across POP lites, I don’t know much about them and the main POP lite website seems to contain very little info and not even the torches that DX stocks. But they appear to be Led Lenser style lights or copies. I know Led Lensers are built in China, so I wonder if these actually hail from the same factory.

DX seems to list several models from single AA, multiple AAA and even an 18650 one.

I’ve initially opted for the “T33” which is a 3xAAA XP-E torch.

However I will also be getting the T34 4xAAAA (P7??) and the T31 3xAAA but with an XR-E. Once these arrive I’ll do a full review and write up on them.

___________________________________

Ok to some useful info:

POP lite T33

Bought from: http://dx.com/p/pop-lite-t33-cree-xp-e-r3-220lm-white-led-zoom-flashligh...

Cost: £15.00 ($24US) so substantially cheaper than a Led Lenser

Claimed Specs:

-XP-E R3
-Input 4.5v 3xAAA
-Digital regulated 900mA
-220 Lumens
-1 mode
-Reverse Clicky
-PMMA optical lens

Observed specs:

-The switch is actually a forward clicky
-regulation unknown

That trade mark TIR optic that Led Lenser have, even with similar naming style behind the lens



Construction:

There is only one way of describing this light, it feels quality and substantial. The knurling is fairly mild but the machine work is first class. But it feels good in the hand and is very easy to hold and use.

It appears black smooth matt anodising, I’ll have to see how this wears. It has a similar look and feel to the anodising as the 2012 Solaforce L2M.

Fit and finish is again superb, not a single blemish or mark and everything feels quality.

Zoom control is the best I’ve encountered, very very smooth and easily operated with one hand. I love SK68’s, but this does make them feel and look like the cheap lights they actually are by comparison.

Switch:

The tailcap has an exposed switch so this light cannot tail stand, but it does make using the switch easier by comparison.

One thing very noteworthy is the feel of the switch, it does not appear to be a rubber boot as is normal. The switch feels like a piston style switch with rubber coating. This means it is probably the best feeling switch in my entire flashlight collection. No play, just 100% positive feel.

The torch has momentary, this is something I’ve missed on many of my other lights. Being single mode it also won’t change modes on you while using the momentary.

The switch is light to use and has a positive click when fully engaged.

Output and Beam:

First up, this is not an XM-L being driven at 3 amps, so don’t expect it to be offering up extreme lumens.

I’ll add beam shots in my final review. But for now I’ve compared it to my SK68’s and these are my findings.

SK68 on an Eneloop vs T33 POP lite

The T33 is brighter flood and more throw. It easily out performs the SK68.

SK68 on a 14500 vs the T33

On flood the SK68 is slightly brighter, but the T33 has superior throw.

There is some other info you need to know here though.

The T33 in flood mode creates a flood beam some 3 or 4 times bigger than that of the SK68. This is a ‘significant’ difference. Indoors this giant flood will light an average room up wall to wall, while the SK68 cannot manage this. If you zoom the T33 to a similar size beam as the flood SK68 then it has comparable or brighter illumination.

On full zoom the T33 creates a circular hot sport rather than a projection of the LED. This makes it far nicer to use and as you don’t have the wires from the projection, it makes what ever you light up far more clear and visible.

Concerning rings….

The T33 is not a ring free beam. In flood mode it has a giant hot spot (bigger than the SK68 flood) followed by a faint ring that is an even larger spill beam.

On full zoom there are several rings around the hot spot.

In practice when using the torch outside, the rings when fully zoomed aren’t noticeable as actual rings, but do offer enough moonlight grade spill that you could walk and navigate by, while having the intense hot spot in the centre.

On flood, you do notice the single ring, but it actually isn’t as distracting after you are used to it.

Battery carrier:

The battery carrier is part of the tailcap, it has gold coloured contacts (like a Led Lenser) and feels very solid, well constructed and substantial. I’m using 3x NiMh AAA’s in it. It did come supplied with 3 alkaline cells and a nice box with foam inserts.

Performance:

I personally think being 1 mode suits this torch perfectly. Ok moonlight and ultra low output lovers will not like this. But for my use it is ideal.

Let me explain. This light will do just about anything for any situation.

On full flood it has good output, but it is not so blinding that it’ll glare if you shine it at your hand. This means on full flood it will almost perfectly illuminate a close up area, such as the table in front of you, something under the bonnet of a car, or inside a computer.

If you need to light up something slightly further away you can zoom the light about half way. This will light up a room with ease and give it pretty good range.

Move outside and if you need some distance, zoom it all the way and it’ll throw a beam that’ll embarrass some high output XM-L’s.

From flood to zoom the tint doesn’t change as it does with an aspheric and nor does it seem to lose lumens on full zoom like aspherics do.

In a side by side comparison with a Solarforce L2M running an 18650 and an Ultrafire XM-L T6 (2.5-2.8amps on high). This little T33 can still out throw it and out flood it. Although on flood it is obviously less bright than the XM-L.

The T33 is also shorter and more pocket friendly than the L2M.

Conclusions:

For the lumen junkies or anti zoomy fanatics this isn’t for you. For everyone else this is a highly versatile well built pocket sized torch that runs on common AAA batteries.

And I think it is it’s versatility that really shines through. For something fairly small that fits in my pocket it seems it is usable for just about any situation.

It probably doesn’t have the longest runtime ever, but is comparable to other lights running on other battery sources. Some may miss the lack of other modes, but I find this refreshing that it doesn’t really need them. The use of the zoom means you can distribute the light so that it is useful from lighting up something 4 inches away to 200 feet+ away.

+construction and quality
+brilliant tail switch
+performance
+beam
+zoom control
+power source
+size
+throw
+versatility

-no anti roll
-no clip
-not a 100% perfect beam (ie not completely ring free)
-will not tail stand
-unknown on if it is regulated

UPDATE:

Here are some beamshots. These compare an SK68 on an AA and a Trusfire Z8 on a 14500. Sorry for the lowish quality of the pics, they are off my iPhone rather than my SLR I normally use.

Please note all images are using default auto settings on the iPhone and the images have not been edited or altered in any way.

A thing to note is how much wider the flood beam is on the T33 vs the aspheric counterparts. And the full throw hot spot is a lot more intense.

SK68:

Trustfire Z8:

POP lite T33:

If you are white wall hunting you’ll note the T33 doesn’t have a perfectly clean beam, with a single distinctive ring in flood mode which separates a giant hot spot and the outer spill. And in full zoom there are a couple of dull rings around the hot spot.

What these images convey is, in real world use you don’t really notice the rings in the beam at all. In full zoom mode the faint rings that exist do offer up enough moonlight style spill that you could navigate by, in contrast the aspheric flashlights don’t really offer up any. I personally prefer the TIR, it’s “dirtier beam” actually makes it more useful overall.

In these pictures I wanted to show again the area of the flood ability of the lights, the T33 lights up a much larger area than the SK68 does. It once again shows that while the beam isn’t 100%, in outdoor use you can hardly detect the rings in the beam.

SK68:

Trustfire Z8:

POP lite T33:

____________________________________

Note:

I fully understand many users on here will probably not like this torch, but I personally have found it appeals a lot and is very good in many different uses and situations. As a torch to gift to a non flashaholic that won’t be using Li-ion, I think such a torch has a good wow factor combined with good usable ability.

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:07
jacktheclipper
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Cool

Werner
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Is the Head removable?
Have you comparison the zooming Part? This is what makes led lenser special a zooming tir…

I have seen some led lenser on fast tech for really good prices but I never have seen one opened up, and so I don’t know if the driver is removable.

Toph
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If you are after a Lenser for a good price try LightMalls, http://www.lightmalls.com/high-performance-200-lumens-led-lenser-p7-8407.... They sell them very Cheap, P7 $28.80 Au. I bought the P5, P7, P14 & P17 from there much cheaper than ebay, or anywhere else i have found. Curious to see how the Pop Lites compare to the Lensers.

Damn Addictions

Chicken Drumstick
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Werner wrote:
Is the Head removable?
Have you comparison the zooming Part? This is what makes led lenser special a zooming tir…

I have seen some led lenser on fast tech for really good prices but I never have seen one opened up, and so I don’t know if the driver is removable.


I don’t know if the head removes, it looks like it should separate, but hasn’t undone with ease, so I’ve left it for now. I can see a retaining ring at the positive end of the body tube below what would be the driver, it looks removable, but access seems limited as you’ll need something to reach the entire length of the body tube.

The lens is most certainly a TIR optic and my guess would be it is the same or very similar to the Led Lensers.

lionheart_2281
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A Led Lenser P5R was my favourite torch until I stumbled across this forum.

Now I just think they are overpriced, old technology.

A good example of this is their flagship X21R:

7 leds only putting out 1600 lumen!!! AND IT’S ABOUT $500!!!

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lionheart_2281 wrote:
A Led Lenser P5R was my favourite torch until I stumbled across this forum.

Now I just think they are overpriced, old technology.


Retail they may well be over priced. But I paid £15 quid for this POP lite, now that’s pretty cheap tbh. Cheaper than buying a new incan Mini MagLite for instance.

As for old tech….

Not really. Ok it’s an older XP-E emitter, but just look at how many Ultrafires, Trustfires and so on still run Q5’s.

The body material and anodising would appear to be just as modern as other makes. The switch too. And the TIR is arguably more modern.

Don’t get me wrong, I know what you are saying, but I think it’s being overly harsh. And lets face it many of these more modern torches have poor PWM, far too many modes, poor user interface and overheat too easily. I’m not truly convinced such things are really an advancement.

lionheart_2281 wrote:

A good example of this is their flagship X21R:

7 leds only putting out 1600 lumen!!! AND IT’S ABOUT $500!!!


The price is high, but then if they can sell them at that and make money, who is to really complain?

The output is still quite good overall, remember these are probably XR-E’s and it’s not as if you’d actually say it’s dim and candle like.

I also don’t know of another zoomy light at any price that can match the X21R’s output and throw. A well driven XM-L won’t be at 1600 lumens OTF and with an aspheric on zoom it’ll be a heck of a lot less.

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CD, is this what the flood looks like on your T33?  Fastech sells it for $22 and here is their beamshot of it in flood:

I have to say it's possibly the ugliest beam I've ever seen.  Does yours look like this?

I will admit the throw beam is pretty sweet!

Chicken Drumstick
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It doesn’t quite look like that, although a poor photo of it could make it look like that I guess.

The inner circle does exist on mine, but it is far less pronounced, it is also similar in size/area to the entire SK68 beam (maybe slightly bigger).

I admit white wall hunting will show the beam at it’s worst. However shine it at something useful or use it outdoors and it becomes a none issue.

I’ll try and get some comparison beam shots when it gets dark tonight.

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Chicken Drumstick wrote:
It doesn't quite look like that, although a poor photo of it could make it look like that I guess. The inner circle does exist on mine, but it is far less pronounced, it is also similar in size/area to the entire SK68 beam (maybe slightly bigger). I admit white wall hunting will show the beam at it's worst. However shine it at something useful or use it outdoors and it becomes a none issue. I'll try and get some comparison beam shots when it gets dark tonight.
Good to hear it.  Now if it only took 18650 in place of the AAA carriage. Sad
Chicken Drumstick
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The T62 uses an 18650, but is a little more pricey

http://dx.com/p/pop-lite-t62-cree-xr-e-q5-180lm-4-mode-white-light-zoomi...

It’s also an XR-E and slightly lower output. I did wonder if it might be a prime candidate for an XP-E2 swap though.

Chicken Drumstick
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I’ve got some beam shots taken tonight. I’ll upload them tomorrow.

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Thanks for the review, I was curious about this light ever since I have seen it at dx. And being me (and for some others? Smile) the question is: is it moddable? I suppose the led is on some kind of pillar, like the XR-E led lensers, really curious how that can be worked on.

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Great review CD, that’s some very useful information. I’ve never even taken a second look at these lights but from what you’ve said.. I want one Big Smile

Thanks for sharing

Chicken Drumstick
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djozz wrote:

Thanks for the review, I was curious about this light ever since I have seen it at dx. And being me (and for some others? Smile) the question is: is it moddable? I suppose the led is on some kind of pillar, like the XR-E led lensers, really curious how that can be worked on.


I still don’t know how modable it is. I’ve updated the pics in the op and you can see the one of the battery tube. There is definitely a retaining ring of some kind down there, but no idea how you are meant to get to it.

I have so far been unable to unscrew the head either, it has a visible join, but is either tight, sealed or something else. As I haven’t been wanting to damage the light I haven’t tried as hard as possible, but it certainly has a reluctance to move.

Chicken Drumstick
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I’ve updated the pics in the OP and have added some beam shots.

Smile

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/POP-Lite-T72-2-x-C-Cell-CREE-Q4-2-mode-LED-Adjustable-Focus-Flashlight-Torch-New-/271704844356

For some reason, I can’t get the image to show.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

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I ordered a POP Lite t62 from IceBay.com because it was cheaper than from DX, but I have no confirmation email and the Web site is not working. I guess I’ll see in a few weeks whether I really get something and what it is.
My Fasttech Lenser P7.2 convinces me that these lights really have reproduced Fresnel’s lighthouse work and therefore have a big advantage in terms how much light they put into the spot. I don’t know why there aren’t more lights like this. Other companies wouldn’t really have to do there own optics or risk law suits, because one could just scale down a lighthouse design and mold it in clear plastic.
The t63 appears not to have its own optics. It looks like they used the optics from smaller lights but made the head bigger than necessary to maintain the looks.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

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Hey folks,let’s dig up this topic once more…

Yes Fritz, IceBay says to have it in stock, but i ordered one few days ago, got a refund because they say it’s damaged… (?)

It was actually the second time i tried there, more than a year back they suddenly didn’t have it in stock..

DX still has 2 POP Lite zoomies (4×AAA and 2×C) and Fasttech has a 1×AA zoomie.

Some on ebay too but rather pricey…

So i looked for Led Lenser but the prices are totally insane.
Frankly i think Pop Lite is quite expensive too.

All this because of an interesting TIR design…
How long should the patent last anyway?
Hmmm…

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I’ve got a thing for Lensers myself. I was a bit surprised that the Poplites are not that cheap at all… Shop around and you can find some nice Lensers for reasonable prices; well at least reasonable for a Led Lenser anyway…

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hIKARInoob wrote:
I’ve got a thing for Lensers myself. I was a bit surprised that the Poplites are not that cheap at all… Shop around and you can find some nice Lensers for reasonable prices; well at least reasonable for a Led Lenser anyway…

Well, i just decided to order the POP Lite T72/B from DX and so i did.
Hope i’ll like it. Smile

It’s an at least 4 years old model… Facepalm Big Smile