Review: BLF-348 (SingFire SF-348) Nichia Special Edition Flashlight (Runtimes, Output, Etc)

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mhanlen
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Review: BLF-348 (SingFire SF-348) Nichia Special Edition Flashlight (Runtimes, Output, Etc)

Hey there BLF! I finally finished my review of the BLF-348 after they’ve all been sold out. When the group buy was still active I purchased two, which at under $8, was a steal. In the review I test the output, make beamshot comparisons, and do runtime tests. This light holds up just fine to prolonged 10440 use, although it does get a bit hot near the head of the light. Make sure you use a 10440 cell carefully if it isn’t a protected cell, because the light does not seem to have low voltage protection built in for lithium ion batteries. What else… Hmm… it’s under 5 minutes? It’s short and sweet(?), and to the point. Let’s hope the next group buy goes through.

Edited by: mhanlen on 01/02/2016 - 22:24
_the_
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Thanks for the great review! Classy, short and to the point with no nonsense - just like the light reviewed. Smile

I really hope the 2nd batch will happen. We are at 500pcs at the moment and the MOQ is 800pcs, so we still need some more reservations..

=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.

mhanlen
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the wrote:

Thanks for the great review! Classy, short and to the point with no nonsense – just like the light reviewed. Smile

I really hope the 2nd batch will happen. We are at 500pcs at the moment and the MOQ is 800pcs, so we still need some more reservations..

Nice! I put a link to that thread on my YouTube description so hopefully it’ll drive a little bit of traffic to the GB.

_the_
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mhanlen wrote:
I put a link to that thread on my YouTube description so hopefully it'll drive a little bit of traffic to the GB.

Thanks! I think we already got a couple more reservations because of your review.. Smile

=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.

jacktheclipper
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Like the haircut

1dash1
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Another great video review! Beer

Rule 1-1 as it applies to life, take it as it comes.

djozz
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Thanks for the nice video! The runtimes are useful to know, and that it runs without problem on a 10440 battery. 

Streamer
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GREAT REVIEW!    I carry this everyday clipped in shirt pocket.  Can't beat it.    Got  spares coming too.  It's that great.

mhanlen
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the wrote:

mhanlen wrote:
I put a link to that thread on my YouTube description so hopefully it’ll drive a little bit of traffic to the GB.

Thanks! I think we already got a couple more reservations because of your review.. Smile

I just looked at that thread, maybe so!

jacktheclipper wrote:

Like the haircut

It was about time. Best $18 dollars I spent that day!

1dash1 wrote:
Another great video review! Beer

Thank you, I’m having a beer right now.

djozz wrote:

Thanks for the nice video! The runtimes are useful to know, and that it runs without problem on a 10440 battery. 

Yep, no problem at all. Just don’t hold it near the lens.

Streamer wrote:

GREAT REVIEW!    I carry this everyday clipped in shirt pocket.  Can’t beat it.    Got  spares coming too.  It’s that great.

It’s a no brainer at this price.

EricE.
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Great review thanks.

KeepingItLight
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Thanks for another good one! The time and effort you put into these is much appreciated. Here are the data I extracted from the vid.

BLF-348 – Measurements by MHanlen
BatteryLumensCandelaDistanceRuntime
Eneloop AAA48193271 hour
Efest IMR144001767445427 minutes

I could not tell for sure, but I think you were joking about the "thermal regulation" offered when running on Li-ion. I take the flickering to be a sign that the driver is overheated. Component values in the driver are evidently changing as they cyclically heat up and then cool down.

My own choice is not to use Li-ion. I think this light runs too hot on that battery.

mhanlen
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KeepingItLight wrote:

Thanks for another good one! The time and effort you put into these is much appreciated. Here are the data I extracted from the vid.

BLF-348 – Measurements by MHanlen
BatteryLumensCandelaDistanceRuntime
Eneloop AAA48193271 hour
Efest IMR104401767445427 minutes

I could not tell for sure, but I think you were joking about the “thermal regulation” offered when running on Li-ion. I take the flickering to be a sign that the driver is overheated. Component values in the driver are evidently changing as they cyclically heat up and then cool down.

My own choice is not to use Li-ion. I think this light runs too hot on that battery.

I was being serious. I’m making an educated guess based upon a few things. First the brightening and dimming. I’ve done many video runtime tests now, and the only lights I’ve seen do this are ones with thermal regulation. The Noctigon Meteor and the Xtar H3 are examples- and if you watch my video reviews you can see this happen during the runtime test sections. Another piece of evidence: This thread here shows the BLF-348 light being disassembled with a 7135 chip used on the driver.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/43668

And this says that 7135 chips have built in thermal regulation.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/34609

I might be wrong though, so someone feel free to correct me as to why this isn’t true. Also, one other thing. The light does not have built in low voltage protection, so be careful about running the battery for the full runtime.

Dallas
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Thanks for the great video. I really wasn’t thinking I needed one of these. I think you helped change my mind.
Oh yeah, that copper tool looks sweet! I’ll Check out that video next. 8)

KeepingItLight
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KeepingItLight wrote:
My own choice is not to use Li-ion. I think this light runs too hot on that battery.

mhanlen wrote:
This says that 7135 chips have built in thermal regulation.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/34609

I might be wrong though, so someone feel free to correct me as to why this isn't true.

I'm learning something here. Thanks.

Is the thermal fold-back a self-defense mechanism of the 7135 chip? Is the chip protecting itself from damage? That would be good thing. But how late in the process does the protection kick in? By the time it gets that hot, are other driver or emitter components at risk?

With a stainless steel host, the problem is that once it gets hot it stays hot. It takes a significant amount of time for one to cool down.

I will be reading this thread to learn more. For the time being, however, I will stick with my original decision. The fact of the flicker tells you the BLF 348 runs too hot on Li-ion. It's nice to know that at least the 7135 is trying to protect itself, but that does not make a flickering light any more useful.

As always, the user plays a big part in this. For those in need of brighter output for limited periods of time, there should be no issue with Li-ion. Just remember to turn off your light if you feel it is overheating. For me, that would mean before it starts flickering.

mhanlen
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KeepingItLight wrote:

KeepingItLight wrote:
My own choice is not to use Li-ion. I think this light runs too hot on that battery.

mhanlen wrote:
This says that 7135 chips have built in thermal regulation.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/34609

I might be wrong though, so someone feel free to correct me as to why this isn’t true.

I’m learning something here. Thanks.

Is the thermal fold-back a self-defense mechanism of the 7135 chip? Is the chip protecting itself from damage? That would be good thing. But how late in the process does the protection kick in? By the time it gets that hot, are other driver or emitter components at risk?

With a stainless steel host, the problem is that once it gets hot it stays hot. It takes a significant amount of time for one to cool down.

I will be reading this thread to learn more. For the time being, however, I will stick with my original decision. The fact of the flicker tells you the BLF 348 runs too hot on Li-ion. It’s nice to know that at least the 7135 is trying to protect itself, but that does not make a flickering light any more useful.

As always, the user plays a big part in this. For those in need of brighter output for limited periods of time, there should be no issue with Li-ion. Just remember to turn off your light if you feel it is overheating. For me, that would mean before it starts flickering.

It’s not a flicker. It’s a steady ramping up and down its something you may not notice while you’re using it. Personally, yes the light is kind of small for this sort of heat. I’d use a larger light for prolonged on/off times. But since this is a pocketable EDC light, it’s great for uses ranging a few seconds to a minute or two. I’m more inclined to use an eneloop in the light anyway. I think 40ish lumens in a tiny EDC is more than enough… If I need 170 lumens or more I usually carry a bigger light, with a bigger cell. But this tends to be one of those places that likes to push the limits of what lights should do.

KeepingItLight
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mhanlen wrote:
I'm more inclined to use an eneloop in the light anyway.

Me, too.

A multi-mode version of this flashlight would be more suited for Li-ion. With lower modes available, you could just change modes when high got too hot.

mhanlen
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KeepingItLight wrote:

mhanlen wrote:
I’m more inclined to use an eneloop in the light anyway.

Me, too.

A multi-mode version of this flashlight would be more suited for Li-ion. With lower modes available, you could just change modes when high got too hot.

Yep. But look at the Noctigon Meteor. No light that size can handle 4000-8000 lumens for more than a few minutes. It has thermal regulation built in, because it has to, to protect the light from damaging itself. I don’t know how advanced the 7135 thermal regulation is, but it’s temperature controlled… And I the meteor also gets just as hot to hold too. I also own other lights that get just as hot too handle too. The 348 though is still very holdable even after 10 minutes. But yeah… Less heat equals a longer life to the internal components.

hank
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Can you sum up the results for those of us who are text-based?

mhanlen
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Here is the basic data KeepingItLight formatted from the video.

BLF-348 – Measurements by MHanlen
BatteryLumensCandelaDistanceRuntime
Eneloop AAA48193271 hour
Efest IMR104401767445427 minutes

Is that what you’re looking for? If you’re curious about anything else just ask.

mhanlen
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DEL wrote:
mhanlen wrote:
Here is the basic data KeepingItLight formatted from the video.
BLF-348 – Measurements by MHanlen
BatteryLumensCandelaDistanceRuntime
Eneloop AAA48193271 hour
Efest IMR104401767445427 minutes

Is that what you’re looking for? If you’re curious about anything else just ask.

The throw calculation with an Eneloop seems off…

But great videos!

How so?

Edit: Oops… It is. It should be multiplied by 2. Good catch, I’ll annotate the video. I skipped the final step when doing calculations.

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Funny that no one notice its the wrong battery format in the table.

I love this little light! But I’m a little disappointed about the CRI. Not much difference with regular CREE 3D tint, only slightly better but close.
By the way someone know the best place to get the best 10440 battery?

mhanlen
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Omega_17 wrote:
Funny that no one notice its the wrong battery format in the table.

I love this little light! But I’m a little disappointed about the CRI. Not much difference with regular CREE 3D tint, only slightly better but close.
By the way someone know the best place to get the best 10440 battery?

I think the efest 10440 is the best regarded 10440. I think. I don’t know if any international stores carry it. Mountain electronics ships certain things overseas, but I don’t know if Liion cells are included.

Fixed the table. I’ve been viewing this on my phone and never looked close at it. I’m a bonehead.

DEL
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Too many tables now…deleted my comment above for clarity Smile

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Watched it. Good review Smile There is a mistake though when you point out using eneloops vs lithium stating that lithiums run brighter and longer (if i heard correctly :P)
Anyways, that is really nitpicking as the runtime test you did shows what to expect of the light. When will the dual emitter BLF UV light review be out? :D!

Never ever forget and forgive. Niwal**er new kid on the block trying to act tough.
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/24847
Do not support this brand.

DINODIRECT – SCAM COMPANY. DO NOT BUY
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/11324?page=2#comment-254983

mhanlen
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MountainKing wrote:
Watched it. Good review Smile There is a mistake though when you point out using eneloops vs lithium stating that lithiums run brighter and longer (if i heard correctly :P) Anyways, that is really nitpicking as the runtime test you did shows what to expect of the light. When will the dual emitter BLF UV light review be out? :D!

You did hear correctly. I wrote the script days before I did the testing, and while thats true in some lights- its not true in this one. But the testing and my voice over during the runtime section was accurate. When I watched it before I uploaded it, I didn’t catch that. You’re right, it is contradictory. Oops! I added an annotation to explain that better.

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I just have to chime in and say that none of the drivers in BLF-348s that I have taken apart included a 7135. All were a normal boost driver.

-Clark

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cbrake10 wrote:
I just have to chime in and say that none of the drivers in BLF-348s that I have taken apart included a 7135. All were a normal boost driver.

Ok then, do you know what chips ARE on the driver? It looks like 7135s to me, from the photos in this thread I can’t make out the numbers on the chips. The wording in that post lead me to believe that it uses 7135s. Then there’s the post #1174 in the BLF-348 thread where I was told 7135s employ thermal regulation…

The main thing is… the light appears to be thermally regulated on a li-ion battery. Do you agree? I was making an educated guess as to what was causing the brightness fluctuation. It LOOKS like thermal regulation. I have run this light several times with a 10440 for 10-30 minutes and it operated just fine.

cbrake10
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mhanlen wrote:
cbrake10 wrote:
I just have to chime in and say that none of the drivers in BLF-348s that I have taken apart included a 7135. All were a normal boost driver.

Ok then, do you know what chips ARE on the driver? It looks like 7135s to me, from the photos in this thread I can’t make out the numbers on the chips. The wording in that post lead me to believe that it uses 7135s. Then there’s the post #1174 in the BLF-348 thread where I was told 7135s employ thermal regulation…

The main thing is… the light appears to be thermally regulated on a li-ion battery. Do you agree? I was making an educated guess as to what was causing the brightness fluctuation. It LOOKS like thermal regulation. I have run this light several times with a 10440 for 10-30 minutes and it operated just fine.


Ah that could definitely cause some confusion. He was attempting to mod the driver by adding a 7135. But you are correct on all points. I’ll take a look to see if I can find which boost ic the driver uses.

I’ve been curious as to the fluctuations as well, although mine do it on alkalines and eneloops.

edit
Here is a photo of the driver. I haven’t been able to identify the crucial part in the middle that appears to be marked “J2NL” which is the boost converter, presumably similar to the “CFC2S” found on the nanjg 110

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/41090?page=17#comment-853953

-Clark

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cbrake10 wrote:
mhanlen wrote:
cbrake10 wrote:
I just have to chime in and say that none of the drivers in BLF-348s that I have taken apart included a 7135. All were a normal boost driver.

Ok then, do you know what chips ARE on the driver? It looks like 7135s to me, from the photos in this thread I can’t make out the numbers on the chips. The wording in that post lead me to believe that it uses 7135s. Then there’s the post #1174 in the BLF-348 thread where I was told 7135s employ thermal regulation…

The main thing is… the light appears to be thermally regulated on a li-ion battery. Do you agree? I was making an educated guess as to what was causing the brightness fluctuation. It LOOKS like thermal regulation. I have run this light several times with a 10440 for 10-30 minutes and it operated just fine.


Ah that could definitely cause some confusion. He was attempting to mod the driver by adding a 7135. But you are correct on all points. I’ll take a look to see if I can find which boost ic the driver uses.

I’ve been curious as to the fluctuations as well, although mine do it on alkalines and eneloops.

edit
Here is a photo of the driver. I haven’t been able to identify the crucial part in the middle that appears to be marked “J2NL” which is the boost converter, presumably similar to the “CFC2S” found on the nanjg 110

Looking at that datasheet, it seems the PAM2803 does have a temperature regulation. So if that’s the chip used then it explains the behavior of the light. So I guess it doesn’t use a 7135 but another similar looking chip with built in thermal regulation. Does that sound like an accurate statement?

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I certainly can’t argue haha. Honestly I didn’t take the time to read the data sheet. I got too focused on finding the exact product. Though our part is a 6 pin it does appear to be close in size to a 7135.

I have modded one with some stacked 10k resistors in place of the R50 and while output has dropped to my desired level I’m led to believe I’ve caused it to run out of spec. It will randomly jump to full (unmodified) brightness and stay for periods of time.

-Clark

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cbrake10 wrote:
I certainly can’t argue haha. Honestly I didn’t take the time to read the data sheet. I got too focused on finding the exact product. Though our part is a 6 pin it does appear to be close in size to a 7135.

I have modded one with some stacked 10k resistors in place of the R50 and while output has dropped to my desired level I’m led to believe I’ve caused it to run out of spec. It will randomly jump to full (unmodified) brightness and stay for periods of time.

Has it improved your runtime?

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