Review: JETBeam C8

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xelario
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Review: JETBeam C8

JETBeam C8 is an all-purpose flashlight with built-in charging.


MANUFACTURER SPECIFICATIONS




Not mentioned in the image above:

Quote:

LED: XM-L2 T6
Battery: 1*18650 (included)
Lens: coated mineral glass
Material: Aluminum alloy, Mil-spec HAIII

There is no mention of compatibility with 2*CR123A, but I put a couple in and it seemed to work fine, although do it at your own risk.


PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES


JETBeam C8 comes in a clamshell packaging with all the usual information and a clear view of the flashlight itself.



To the left you can see a space for 18650 cell, which is occupied by a USB LED light. It’s a little add-on from a retailer who sent me this flashlight for review, the 18650 is inserted into the light itself.


The back of the packaging has more information and a Micro-USB charging cable visible.



Opening this packaging is easy, it is not one of those hard to open “welded” shut packages.
The informational insert opens up into a manual.



Besides the manual you get the flashlight, a JETBeam branded 2400mAh protected 18650 cell (inside the C8 in my sample), a lanyard, a Micro-USB charging cable (290mm long), two spare O-rings, a warranty card and a “Certificate of Approval”.



The included JETBeam JL240 18650 has a plastic insert around its contacts to prevent accidental activation in shipping and depleting the cell due to current bleed.



It has over-charge, over-discharge and short circuit protection, 4A maximum current.
I measured it to be 18.5mm in diameter and 68.8mm in length.
In my tests over-discharge protection tripped at 2.5V, not the more usual 3V.



Looks like it‘s not just a rewrapped cell with a protection circuit added.



GENERAL LOOK AND FEEL


JETBeam C8 has a classic flashlight shape, with an electronic switch on the head.


LuckySun BLF D80-SE | JETBeam C8 | EagleEye BLF X6-SE | Convoy M2 | Convoy C8 | Nitecore MH25


Machining is perfect, I found no sharp corners, chips in anodizing or any other defects in my sample.

C8 rolls easily, as the only thing that can impede rolling is a flat part of the head near the switch.


HEAD


The bezel is completely flat, there are no crenellations.



Lens is mineral glass with antireflective coating.
Reflector is smooth with a slight wave pattern near the bottom. It’s hard to say what the purpose for this pattern is, but it’s supposed to smooth out the corona around hotspot, it fails, because corona is very ringy (very noticeable on a white wall, but in real use not so much).



My sample uses a cool white XM-L2 LED, according to the manual it’s a T6. Newer revisions are supposed to come with a U2 binned emitter. The LED is perfectly centered using a white plastic centering ring.
Serial number, brand and model name are laser engraved on the bezel part of the head, right above the electronic switch.



There is an RGB LED behind the switch. It shows battery charge level while C8 is on. Green color means 100%-50%, blue 50%-10%, red 10% and less. It also blinks red while a cell is charging.



Micro-USB charging port is on the other side of the head, covered with a rubber flap.



Threads on the head are anodized, allowing for lock-out. There is a spring on the positive terminal, allowing flat top cells to be used.



BODY TUBE


Body tube does not have any markings on it. Diamond pattern knurling is not very aggressive, but not slippery either.
Red O-rings stand out. Also, there are vacant grooves for installing two more O-rings. So the two spares can be installed for added water resistance.




Threads are triangle cut and anodized. They came pre-lubed and feel smooth in action.



Inner diameter of the tube is 19mm, supplied 18650 fits fine with room to spare.



TAILCAP


Tailcap has the same knurling pattern as body tube.
There is only one lanyard hole. I would prefer there were two, so that installing a lanyard would not impede tailstand ability, which otherwise is great – the tail is flat, so C8 can tailstand and is very stable.



The threaded hole in the tailcap is used for installing an optional window breaker.



The whole tailcap is anodized allowing for lock-out. Electrical contact with both battery and body tube is made by the spring.



UI


JETBeam C8 has three regular modes (High, Mid, Low) and one special mode (Strobe). It also has mode memory and will remember last regular mode used, but not strobe. Manual says the flashlight has to be off for two seconds to remember current mode, but in my sample it is remembered instantly.


From off:
a) Hold for 0.3 sec to turn on to memorized mode.
b) Double click to get Strobe.


From on:
a) Click to turn off.*
b) Hold to cycle regular modes (High > Mid > Low > High…).**
c) Double click to get Strobe.


*If you’re in Strobe and got there from a regular mode, one click will return to regular modes, and only a second click will turn off.
**You have to hold for about 1 sec for it to start cycling and as you start to fall asleep, cycling starts, and it’s fast, ~0.4 sec, so you have to be quick to release after it cycles to your desired mode. Also, if you start from off and don’t release the switch (from off hold to turn on and don’t release after it’s on), it will not start cycling unless you release and start holding again.


To me personally this UI is kind of strange. I am more used to “click to turn on and off, hold to change modes” UI (for example, Olight S15). Of course, “hold to turn on” is nothing new, but in other lights it’s usually “hold to turn on and off, click to change modes” (Fenix E35 UE). There is also “click to turn on and change modes, hold to turn off” (Skilhunt H02). But this UI is something different. After using other lights it throws me off constantly. If I click and it doesn’t turn on I immediately know I need to hold. And after it’s on to change mode I automatically try to click- it urns off… So this “short hold to turn on, long hold to get to fast mode changing and click to turn off” UI feels very awkward to me.


Spacing between Mid and Low could be wider. And I‘d appreciate a fourth mode (Moon).


MEASUREMENTS


Throw was measured with included JL240 cells and HS1010A light meter from distances of 3 and 5m, 30 seconds after start. I got an average of 13277cd or ~230m, which is pretty close to manufacturer spec of 243m.


Standby current is about 62uA, but there are spikes to more than 80uA every 2 seconds.


Current draw:
High – 2.6A
Mid – 0.7A
Low – 0.2A


CHARGING


Charging is done via a Micro-USB port on the head of the flashlight. Charging port is covered with a rubber flap.



While the cell is charging, indicator LED is flashing red. When the cell is full it turns to constant green.
I discharged the included 2400mAh 18650 cell (to 2.5V, that’s when protection trips) and put it on charge in the flashlight. I used Blitzwolf 40W USB charger, which supposedly can give out up to 2.4A, so there shouldn’t be any bottlenecks. At the start my USB meter showed 0.82A and charging current slowly dropped throughout the process.
About 5.5 hours later charging terminated at 0.06A and the cell was at 4.18V.


PWM


I consider myself very sensitive to low frequency PWM and spot it easily in normal use, but didn’t notice any while using C8. A closer look (“wave it around really fast” test) revealed PWM on Mid and Low modes. Oscilloscope measurements showed that C8 uses PWM at 4kHz. Manual claims “constant current circuit”, but it’s not the case in my sample.



CONCLUSION


I really like the quality build, look and feel in the hand, indicator LED. C8 tailstands very well, unless you attach a lanyard. It could have also been up to 6mm shorter, but that would mean losing ability to attach the optional window breaker (does anyone actually uses it?). I’m missing a Moon mode and rings in the corona are noticeable.
But the UI is my biggest gripe (and that’s not even considering I prefer Low>High mode order). Overall, I think it’s a good flashlight with a bad UI.


JETBeam C8 was provided by SkybenTrade on Amazon for review.
Thank you for reading.

djozz
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Thanks for the review!

I think this light is pretty long for a side-switch light, they missed an opportunity here. Further I find the looks rather boring but I like the RGB behind the switch.

But a T6 led in a current model, even considering it is out for a year now, shame on Jetbeam!

akhyar
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Thanks for the review.
I had the C8 for about 6-7 months but sold it to my brother-in-law due to some gripes that you mentioned.
I even included the window breaker and red filter, in addition to the stock 2400mAh protected battery which is a bit fat due to the thick sleeving.

I don’t like to press and hold the power button for about half a second to switch on the light and I found the low mode to be quite high.
A low mode of less than 5 lumens would be better for my usage.

xelario
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djozz wrote:
But a T6 led in a current model, even considering it is out for a year now, shame on Jetbeam!

My sample could be from an old batch, because on JETBeam’s website it’s advertised as having a “premium CREE XM-L2 (U2)”.

will34
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Nice review, I’ve seen the C8 as low as $35, maybe the specs aren’t remarkable but a great kit for beginners or to giving it away.

Martini
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I like that it has a side switch, but I sure wish they had made it shorter to fit in a pocket, and left that threaded part for the gimmicky window breaker off. Thanks for the review.

scdaf wrote:
It’s important to have your restraints within walking distance, lest someone needs restraining. Wink
The Miller
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Thanks for the review!
Ha I expected a completely different look when I read C8 Wink

MRsDNF
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The Miller wrote:
Thanks for the review!
Ha I expected a completely different look when I read C8 Wink

Yeah. I had the same thought. Trust Jetbeam to build a different C8. I suppose it will do there marketing a load of good when someone searches C8.
Thanks also for the review. Smile

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

The Miller
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Hahahaha the cloners take FIRE and jetbeam takes C8 Wink