Review: Convoy L6 (XHP70, 2x26650)

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stephenk
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Review: Convoy L6 (XHP70, 2x26650)

Disclaimer
I won this Convoy L6 in a giveaway competition on another forum. The light was sent by GearBest – product page.

Introduction
The Convoy L6 is a high lumen beast of a light using a single Cree XHP70 emitter. This review is of the 5000k N2 3A Neutral White version of this light. Multiple other tint options are also available from cool to warm white.

Manufacturer specifications
Host: Black / integrated head
Modes: low 50mA – mid 200mA – high 1700mA – turbo 5000mA (Typical current) (Double click side switch ——> strobe)
Switch: 125V 10A forward switch in tail controls on/off, side switch controls the mode
Reflector: OP & Aluminum Alloy, maximum diameter 67.8mm, hight 48.2mm
LED: CREE XHP70 soldered on 20mm copper plate, the maximum flux is more than 3800lm
Waterproof level: IPX8
Battery: L6 runs on 2pcs 26650 batteries (max length 70mm each)
Head diameter: 75mm
Outer diameter of battery tube: 35mm
Inner diameter of the battery tube: 27mm
Flashlight length: 255mm
Light weight: 550g
Packaging weight: 761g

Packaging
The light arrived well protected in a plain cardboard box with foam packaging. This was within a larger box with bubble wrap.

Accessories
The only accessory provided in the box was a tactical ring. This can be swapped for a plain ring that is flush with the shaft. A lanyard, spare O rings, and spare lens would be nice, but would bump up the cost of a ‘budget’ priced light.

Build quality
This is my first Convoy light, and have to say I’m extremely impressed with the build quality. The threads are well lubed and smooth. O rings were in place in all the right places. The construction is solid – almost LED Lenser standard solid! The knurling is grippy, with an ergonomic feel (due to use of 26650 format). The emitter was well centred. There is a tactical bezel. No flaws found and works perfectly.

It should be noted that both +ve and -ve springs are bypassed, which is impressive in a stock light! The light is also easily moddable for those who are that way inclined.


There is no Convoy logo on the light which is odd, but maybe to improve grip?

This light is designed for 2× 26650 li-ion cells, with the Keeppower 5200mAh protected 26650s being recommended by Simon (Convoy) on the company website. Be aware that the maximum cell length that fits in this light is 70mm, and thus only the shorter 2015 version of the above mentioned cells will fit. Check with your seller before purchasing if in doubt. There was some wiggle room around the above mentioned cell so slightly wider cells should fit. As the cells are in series, only use unprotected cells if you know what you are doing and taken the necessary precautions.

There is apparently low voltage protection at 6V (approx. 3V per cell) and IPX 8 rating. This was not tested (as I didn’t want to face a 2× 9 hour charge time of the 26650s in an MC1).

User interface
No instructions were provided in the packaging. The tail switch turns the light on and off and can also be used for tactical/momentary on. The side switch switches between modes in the order of low>medium>high>turbo. There is memory, so the order will start with the previously used mode. A double click goes to strobe mode, and I did accidentally activate this a few times when trying to quickly cycle through modes. The strobe appears to be approximately 3 flashes/second. A quarter turn of the tail cap locks out the light. I like the simple but effective user interface.

I had a few issues finding the side switch in pitch black light, even with a silver ring around it. I would personally like a glow in the dark ring around the switch.

Brightness and beam
The light uses constant current, and thus high drain batteries are unlikely to significantly improve performance. However I would be interested to see this tested by other users with the right equipment. Cells must be able to handle the 5A draw.

5000k (N2 3A) is fantastic tint. Despite not being a dedicated high-CRI emitter, the colour rendering is good enough for most tasks due to the neutral tint. The hotspot is more yellow, and the smooth spill beam appears to be quite a pure white. Due to the orange peel reflector, there is absolutely no sign of the XHP quad die “donut” unless the light is within 1m of the illuminated object.



On the night I took test shots it was very smoky due to nearby bush fires. The neutral white beam noticeably cut through the haze far better than the cool white lights I had with me. I’m impressed by the fact that Convoy offer a range of tints for many of their lights, something that most manufacturers do not do. I’d love to see this light in the 5 other available tints!

The modes are well spaced. Based on a ceiling bounce test in comparison with ANSI lumen figures from other lights, I would estimate the modes at approximately 50-60, 220-250,1200-1400, and 3000-3500 lumens. Other reviewers with an integrated sphere should be able to provide far more accurate figures, particularly at the higher end. During 40 minutes of use, or which 20 was in turbo, I did not visually notice any decrease in brightness.

There is no timed or thermal step down when in turbo mode, so it is up to the user to control this aspect. This allow for longer use in cooler or breezier conditions. However, this light should not be left unattended for more than around 5 minutes in turbo mode. I have run the light on the highest mode for 5 minutes in 25 degree celsius heat and medium breeze – the fins were starting to get reasonably hot (but not too hot to touch), and the shaft was only slightly warm. I could have run the light in turbo for longer. In high mode, heat did not seem to be an issue.

There is no moonlight mode, but personally I see little need for a moonlight mode in large lights. I would use my keychain light for moonlight!

The light uses a current controlled driver with no PWM, and indeed no PWM was detected by the usual methods.

Images below are taken in a woodland, using turbo mode.


Pros:
Impressive brightness from a single emitter.
Nice tint (5000k) with decent colour rendering.
Good range of different tint options.
Simple user interface.
4 well spaced modes (from low to turbo) plus hidden strobe.
Excellent build quality.
Spring bypass.
Easy to mod.
Tail or head stands.

Things that would be nice to have, but would add to cost:
Thermal step down in turbo.
Lanyard.
Spare lens or O Rings.

Cons:
No instructions provided in packaging.
Side button not easy to find in pitch black.

Additional accessories I’d like to see for this flashlight:
Lens cap for protection.
Lantern diffuser (if it could handle the heat).

Conclusion
This is a low cost, high quality, high lumen flashlight with a simple but effective user interface. The value for money (per lumen) is impressive. This light has the “wow factor” – my wife and kids were highly impressed! Modders can easily push performance even further. This is my first Convoy light, and is unlikely to be my last!

Edited by: stephenk on 05/30/2016 - 07:11
tru3s1lv3r
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Nice review! Looks like I’ve got another purchase to add to my list of things to buy!

Aspiring Fhashlightaholic!

KawiBoy1428
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Wow heck of a review, your pictures are outstanding, very good job! Thumbs Up And a nice light too! Big Smile

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Andyman
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Nice! Thanks for the thorough review!

FlashPilot
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Well done stephenk! Thumbs UpThumbs Up Your beam shot pic (as captured through a smokey atmosphere) is worth a thousand words. It looks well controlled and properly focused with a very useful spill beam.

Thanks for your hard work.

ZozzV6
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Great pictures! I’m really excited to get mine with the same tint. I ordered a few days ago.

khas
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Great review, and very nice pictures well done here is a couple for you BeerBeer

WillyD
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Awesome pics! Thanks for the review. I love that beamshot pic.

The Miller
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Nice review

Thanks

So good low mode and no branding, two big advantages!

electricjelly
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Awesome review. You covered everything very well. Those pictures through the haze are epic.

I placed and order a few days ago and am anxiously awaiting it. I chose the same tint as you and based on your observations I think I made the right choice.

stephenk
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Thanks.
A link to the full size image (slightly post processed) is below:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stephenk1977/26711899613/in/dateposted/
The photo in the review was a unprocessed RAW file, re-sized to max 500 pixels.

firedome
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Thanks for the thorough review! Thumbs Up

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nqcken
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The OP mentioned a suggestion that a diffuser would be handy. As an interesting solution when i was car camping and had to bring my cpap, i also had a gallon jug of distilled water. You can see where this is going, snug that very bright light up against the side of the milk jug and it makes a terrific diffuser! it lit up the entire camp site with an almost eerie warm white glow. I realize not very hand if you are back packing but…

ken

teacher
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Great review!!!! Thank you….. Thumbs Up
I just ordered one from GB. Wink

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atbglenn
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Great review and pictures. I have the 5000K version coming hopefully next week.

patmurris
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Nice review and great beamshots!
I have the exact same one in the mail right now.

Tac Gunner
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nqcken wrote:
The OP mentioned a suggestion that a diffuser would be handy. As an interesting solution when i was car camping and had to bring my cpap, i also had a gallon jug of distilled water. You can see where this is going, snug that very bright light up against the side of the milk jug and it makes a terrific diffuser! it lit up the entire camp site with an almost eerie warm white glow. I realize not very hand if you are back packing but…

ken


I have used a milk jug as well and noticed than for some reason even a cool white light looks like it’s a warm white when diffused by the milk jug. It makes for a great lantern.

Nice review and thanks for the pics!

J-Dub74
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Very nice review!
I’m glad you like the L6. I’ve been to busy to do much posting ore reading on BLF lately but in the next few weeks I’ll be back in full swing. Well done and much appreciated. Thumbs Up

stephenk
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Extra beam shot!

The trees in the distance are 220m from the Convoy L6 and camera. The light is positioned just above the camera lens.
Objects 220m away are clearly illuminated in the hotspot, and the light is easily useable at this distance for picking out large animals, etc. I’m sure it can ‘usefully’ illuminate much further but this is the furthest I could test. The light has a great combination of flood and throw.

I will note that to the human eye, the colours in the beam look far more saturated than in this photo.

J-Dub74
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stephenk wrote:
Extra beam shot!

The trees in the distance are 220m from the Convoy L6 and camera. The light is positioned just above the camera lens.
Objects 220m away are clearly illuminated in the hotspot, and the light is easily useable at this distance for picking out large animals, etc. I’m sure it can ‘usefully’ illuminate much further but this is the furthest I could test. The light has a great combination of flood and throw.

I will note that to the human eye, the colours in the beam look far more saturated than in this photo.


Very nice beam shot! Thanks. Thumbs Up
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Thanks! Very nice light and review!

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BrianK
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Does anyone know what the current draw is in the various modes?

stephenk
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BrianK wrote:
Does anyone know what the current draw is in the various modes?

It is in the original post in this thread!
BrianK
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Right you are! I have no idea how I missed them.