Review: Jetbeam BK 135A 1 x AA 3 mode Programmable

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old4570
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Review: Jetbeam BK 135A 1 x AA 3 mode Programmable

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Jetbeam BK 135A 1 x AA          http://www.jetbeamusa.com/products/BK135%252dA.html

 

 Discontinued - See PA01 [ Current model ]

 

 

 

From Jetbeam:

The new JETBeam BK135A is the smallest AA flashlight in the JETBeam line.  It features JETBeam's I.B.S. user interface, which allows the user to set any brightness level from 5-135 lumen on each of the 3 modes.  Also features 15 different strobe speeds, SOS, and other beacons to choose from.  Small enough to fit on a keychain, but bright enough to light up 1/2 a football field!  This latest edition comes in a limited camo finish.

 

LED Source: Cree XP-G R4

Max Output: 135 lumen

Reflector: Precision Metal Reflector

Lens: Coated Mineral Glass

Material: T6061 Aircraft Aluminum Alloy

Finish: HA III Military Grade Hard Anodized

Battery type: One AA Battery

Waterproof: IPX8 Waterproof Standard (US Military Standard)

 

. Three modes, with user programmable output levels 

. Stainless Steel Collar Bezel

. Anti-reverse battery protection

. Tail stand function

. SIZE: Diameter 17 mm, Length 90 mm

. Weight: 27 g (Battery not included)

. Output and runtime (AA X 1)

Maximum: 135 lumen / 65 Minutes

Minimum: 2 lumen / 50 Hours

 

Wow , what a nice light , I love the programmable modes (3) , and I really like the fact you can set up the modes the way you want .  Hi-Low-Med , Med-Low-High , Low-Hi-Med , Low – Med – Hi , or any combination + Beacons – SOS and 15 different strobe speeds to chose from , and I have gone with Lo-Med-High myself .  There is no mode memory to speak of , so it will always start in the first mode , but this is ok as you can set the mode’s up the way you want .  Each mode can be set to the light level you want , from about 5 lumen and up to max output .

 

Now to enter the ramping feature to set the output for the mode you have selected , simply tap the clicky 3 times , now it will ramp to the selected output you desire . To save the output level you want , just turn the light off for 2 seconds or more .  To enter hidden functions , strobe – SOS – beacon , chose the mode you want , tap 3 times , then tap one more time , and the light will automatically cycle through the functions , to chose a function , just turn the light off for 2 or more seconds when in the desired function .

 

Performance .

 

Now I did try some 5 different Nimh batteries to get an idea of the sort of performance one could expect with this light .

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Duracell  -  Low 4L – Medium 26L – High 170 and sagged to 150 L

Eneloop   Low 5L – Medium 26L – High 180 and sagged to 160L

Kodac     -  Low 5L – Medium 26L – High 170 and sagged to 150L

Vapex     -  Low 5L – Medium 26L – High 145 and sagged to 135L

Rayovac -  Low  5L – Medium 26L – High 160 and sagged to 145L

 

 Low was as low as I could get it , there was no going lower , I set medium to as near 25 Lumen as I could , as I like the 25-30L range for general lighting [ for when a little more is needed ] and high was simply set to Max .

 

 Current draw with the Eneloop was , 0.08A on low for 5L , which with that particular cell would offer around 27 hours run time . My setting for Medium drew some 0.4A , and would offer some 5 hours + run time .  Now I did measure some 2.36A on high , which would equate to about 1 hour run time , but , the light does get warm on high , so expect some heat if running for extended periods on high .


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Above Image offers a comparison against a few other lights . On medium the Jetbeam is actually 26L not 29L  , and the High on the Jetbeam in the picture is nearly spot on 135L , as I used different batteries in the test to the one when taking the beams . 

 

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The build quality of the Jetbeam is just wonderful , as one would expect for what I would call a premium AA light , fit and finish was just spot on , and the knurling is very fine (small) and well machined , in fact simply nothing to complain about . The clicky is firm without being overly so , and is very easy to use , even with the thumb . The light does tailstand , and came with a very nice quality lanyard . The light is packaged in a nice metal case , comes with a spare O-ring and rubber clicky boot , and a instruction sheet .

 

 Ok , I’m impressed , beam quality is very good , each mode is programmable , good output for a AA light [ And for now I would say its AA only – try 14500 at your own risk ] . I would rate the Jetbeam BK 135A as one of the best AA lights available , and while I did not set out to buy a Jetbeam [ I actually purchased a Nitecore – but it went missing in the post – and the seller offered a replacement light ]  , I must offer a heartfelt thank you to Joel Jacobson for offering the replacement .

 

  The BK 135A is no longer produced by Jetbeam , having been replaced by the PA01 , and the LED has been upgraded to XP-G R5 . So if you happen to be looking for a really good AA light , you might care to look at a Jetbeam . 


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Some Beams : 

 

JetLo.jpg

 

Jet30.jpg

 

JetHi.jpg

 


 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 - 17:06
FlashPilot
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What a great review Old. I particularly like your thumbnail selector and review layout. May I ask what software you used? Your beam target is a good choice because of the many different colors and textures it illuminates. Im sick of whitewall or grassy field shots that don't really give us much of an idea of how the beam tint and profile would look to the human eyes. Your review dispels of that annoyance all together.

It does look like a great AA XPG light, but Id probably expect nothing less from such a great company. The programmable driver sure makes AA lights among the most useful, especially when equipped with XPG. Also nice to see the typical eneloop battery performance speaking for itself in the lumens comparison. Great lights make use of great batteries. I'm sure you'll enjoy your Jetbeam for many years to come.

Budgeteer
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Great review old! Lovely flashlight too. I suspect it's got a fair amount of use due to features/pocketability.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

old4570
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There sure are a lot of blinky modes , but thank goodness you can simply avoid them ..

And if ever you are ship wrecked , its easy enough to chose SOS or a beacon mode .

But Yes I like it ...

 

The picture ....  I used Frontpage 2003 , I size and locate the pictures where I want + text , then use a screen capture ..

Then I edit the screen capture .. Its the long way of doing it but the result is worth it ...  Front page is a Web site / page making utility like dreamweaver . 

 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 ….

 

sb56637
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Very nice review Matt! Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

I do like the looks and features of this light, although I'd probably never buy one at that price.

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

fishinfool
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Another awesome review there old! 

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

old4570
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I hate it when I abuse words , I really hit NOW hard in that review ... (fixed now) Sealed

 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 ….

 

alfreddajero
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Looks to be a beefy light and should stand up to alot of abuse, may i ask does it not take lith's.  And as always wonderful and great read.

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

old4570
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Lithiums ?  might be a question for jetbeam , its only a slight voltage boost ...

 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 ….

 

alfreddajero
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Thanks for the reply back, just a question since nowadays every light out there go both ways now.

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

Firelight2
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I own a BK135a.  Great looking light.  Beautiful finish and grippy knurling.  Fees great in the hand.  The tint was a nice pure white.

Unfortunately, the light left a little to be desired in terms of heat management.  After running it for less than 5 minutes on high in my hand, the light overheated and fried.  After that the emitter would barely light up, but you could only tell by looking directly into the emitter..... and this from running it on a regular 1.5v AA battery.

I've since sent the light out for warranty repair and expect it to arrive back this week.  Hopefully the problem I originally had was just a product defect and it won't recur in the repaired light.

It's quite possible the light might run with a 14500 battery in it, but I wouldn't recommend it.  If I had a light die to heat issues on AA, I can only imagine how fast it would die on 14500. 

The emitter is mounted on top of the stainless steel collar in the center.  Steel conducts heat far less well than aluminum and any heat the emitter generates has to radiate through the stainless steal before it gets to aluminum. 

My recommendation:  Nice light (assuming it doesn't break like mine did), but don't plan on using 14500 with it.