Review:Update of Imalent DM21T Discount code included

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Terry White
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Review:Update of Imalent DM21T Discount code included

IMALENT DM21T 2016 XPL HI 1000LM Tactical LED Flashlight

BangGood was nice enough to allow me a discount coupon code to add for anyone interested in a possible purchase. Use the same URL just below this announcement then when you go to checkout enter coupon code  6b97a9  Normal retail price on this light is $45.95 U.S. This coupon code will lower the price to $29.89 U.S. 

That is a pretty good discount.

Enjoy

 

You can find this light here https://goo.gl/0Rgf4C

And for the NCR18650B protected cells you can find those here https://goo.gl/ir3IWk

 

Today I will be reviewing the Imalent DM21T Tactical flashlight. The light was provided to me by BangGood.com for my honest and unbiased review.

For those of you that may not know Imalent us a China based company founded in 2010, so they are a fairly new company when compared to many of the flashlight companies. They are creating some very innovative ideas.

Let’s get started.

 

There are 2 versions of this light, both use the Cree XPL Hi emitter. This is the I guess I will call it the standard version, the other model is identical except the emitter is a neutral white tint. I am sure I saw a review of it a day or two ago.

Main Features:
  1. Utilizes XPL HI LED, up to 1000 lumens maximum output
  2. Rotate the tail cap to get infinite brightness, one-handed operation, ease to use
  3. Designed for fast adjustment of brightness and various modes
  4. Built-in USB charging interface
  5. The charging circuit utilized constant voltage charging mode
  6. Both flashlight head and tail were physically constructed with reversed battery protection
  7. All conductors surface were connected with gold plating, making it to the lowest conducting resistant possible and antioxidant.
  8. Can fit multi-functional flashlight holster
  9. Ultra-clear tempered glass lens anti-scratches and impact resistant
10. Optimized deep quality metal reflector to maintain great throw distance and wide spread beam pattern
11. The flashlight body made with Aerospace-grade aluminum alloy
12. Military Grade Specification hard anodized HA Type Manufacturer description.

What’s in the box.

Package included:
1 x IMALENT DM21T 2016 XPL HI 1000LM LED Flashlight
2 x O-ring
1 x Usb cable
1 x Holster
1 x User manual

I am going to add a picture here of a small part of the user’s manual, it is pretty important so I thought it would be a good idea to include it.

 

 

Unpacking…

Believe it or not this arrived to the East coast of the U.S. from BangGoods warehouse in China in 9 days. That is the best shipping time so far. I normally receive my orders from them in 12 to 14 days which is also a very good shipping time. This one got here quick.

It arrived in a grey shipping bag wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap and the box inside was in perfect conditions when I opened it. The box is well designed and items are packaged well for shipping.

Inside I found just as it was described. 2 spare O-rings one large one small, a USB cable, the flashlight of course, and a holster. The holster is made of nylon and elastic but thicker than most and feels durable. I did take it to work with me last night. I kept it on my belt for the whole shift which turned out to be 13 and a half hours. I used it a couple of dozen times with no issues for removing it or replacing it into the holster.

 

I did try some of my 30q cells and a few others unprotected cells are just a bit too short.  And there is a reason for that. Imalent did not design this model with low voltage protection. If you do decide to use and unprotected cell and there are very simple ways to make even a 30q work and work safely but, if you drain the cell too far the light will not shut off. It will just keep going until the cell is dead.

So best bet with this light is a good protected cell. There are a ton of companies either making or putting their label on protected cells now days. I like to go with something I have used and know I will get decent current not great but decent and excellent capacity. So for testing I will be using a Panasonic 18650B 3.7V 3400mAh, I have used these quite a bit and they work great and the capacity is excellent. IF you wish here is a URL for the same cell from BangGood http://www.banggood.com/1PCS-NCR-18650B-3_7V-3400mAh-Protected-Rechargeable-Lithium-Battery-p-90678.html?rmmds=category

I will also just for the purpose of lumen testing use one of my Rofis 18650 cells. I am pretty sure of the actual manufacturer and know I can get just a little more current from it.  Both are protected cells and work perfectly in the DM21T

 

Very well centered emitter...

 

Well machined metal reflector.

Nicely polished.

Shot of the wheel on the tail cap. Clockwise to brighten and counter clockwise for dim. I know some will not care much for it. Turns out I like it.

Shot of the tail on/off switch and USB port. Cover on here.

Here is a shot of the bottom of the head, no spring and would have been a nightmare to get out. 

Here is emitter and MCPCM, I was surprised to see copper so many use aluminum. I started to check to see if it was glued into place but did not see much need to. I have no plans of modding it right now so just leave it where it is, almost perfectly aligned.

 

Fit and finish.

They have done a good job on the machining. Nice square cut, smooth threads, all of them were well lubricated. The knurling is only on the battery tube above the tail cap and below the head. Not too much and not too little. Comfortable to hold, not head or tail heavy.

The reflector is aluminum and highly polished. There are few tiny flaws that can be seen with a 2x or 4x glass but, they do not seem to cause any issues. There is a tempered glass lens with some type of scratch resistance, and a decent seal at the top.

The Tail switch ad USB cover seem to be a single piece. The USB flap opens easily takes a micro USB (included) without trouble and the flap closes well enough to seal. I do not know to what extent it seals but it does stay closed.

The only time I will trust any light enough to immures it in water is if it is a diving light. Otherwise all that matters to me as far as water resistance is  keeping out the rain and occasional drops on very wet ground or even into puddles. I am a certified diver and the only lights I would take into water are my diving lights.

 

How it works.

The operation of this light was a first for me. Operating this light is very simple. Compared to most lights made now that you have a half click for this mode and a double click for a different mode and hold 5 seconds then click 5 times to go to a setting you will probably never use, this light is very refreshing.

You simply click the tail switch and the light comes on. If you need it brighter the dial located on the tail cap clockwise and if you want to dim the light turn it counter clockwise. Any time in any setting and that includes from off, if you need the strobe just press and hold the tail cap for about a third of a second.  I am sorry but there are no more instructions for me to talk about it really is that simple.

 I was no sure if a dial on the tail cap would really work so easily. Well, it turns out that it works just fine. There is a bit of delay anytime you either raise or lower the light level but, it is so slight that you must be trying to notice a delay to notice it. For the most part when you turn it up the light brightens and when you turn it down it dims.

The dial is not nearly as tight as I had anticipated it to be, many would say it is not nearly tight enough. If it was not designed as a tactical light I would probably agree but, being a tactical light you really do not have the time to make sure your thumb or finger is set securely enough on the dial to be able to turn it because it is a bit too tight. Or if you mount it to a weapon when the time comes to crank the light up you want to be able to turn that dial as fast as easily as possible. I served with the Mecklenburg County Sheriffs’ office for several years as assistant range master and later as range master. I would love you have had a light with this design to test on the combat and tactical range back then.

Time for some lumen testing and my closing thoughts and remarks.

I didn’t check the current, it really would have been a pain and I do already know from reviews of the sister model that the current will be right around 2.6A. I got 780 lumen with the Panasonic 18650B, then I realized that I had one more protected 18650 that might just get a bit more from it. A Panasonic NCR18650PF Protected 2900mAh, and it fit. Got 830 lumen with that cell. If you read this and are thinking that is still not 1000 lumen. An integrating sphere works very well when you keep it calibrated but, keep in mind that certain lights are going to read lower. Throwers always read lower because they focus the light much tighter and it does not bounce in the sphere as well. A really tight reflector like the one used on this DM21T causes it to throw a lot more than flood so the same applies. It really kind of does both, it throws very well then opens up to a nice flood. I could easily be 100 to 150 lumens low for that reason. A Rofis KR20 which I used in a short video for this light it has a reflector that has an excellent balance of both throw and flood so it measures out almost dead on in my sphere. It is close enough that I am not concerned with it. A light off by several hundred or more I have a problem with but, seeing this light in almost total darkness along with lights I know to have a correct lumen output and I can see that if it is low it is not but maybe 100 to 150 lumen.

 

My own thoughts. It’s a great light with a lot of potential and I like the dial, I like that a lot. Super-fast access to strobe if you need it, USB charging, polished metal reflector, scratch resistant glass lens and its only about $45.00 normal everyday price. I like the light a lot.

Is it perfect, of course not? I would love to see voltage protection added and some changes to the board so it can accept cells like a 30q. It is slim enough that I would like to have had a belt clip.

No light is going to be perfect this one is no different. I would buy this light, I would probably buy 2 and I would mount one on a rifle I need a light for. That dial would be perfect for that use, the other I would use at work. I come into a lot of situations that I need to change light modes fast and again the dial is pretty hard to beat.

Bottom line.

I absolutely recommended this light. Just remember that it is designed to use protected lithium ion cells so if you do purchase one make sure you have some that will fit, I have named 2 here that I know will fit and worked great.

For beam shots I did make a short video. There was a time I did a video for everything, I have gotten away from that. It is easier to show someone in video. I do wish I had taken the extra time to set up the better video camera but, hopefully this should do okay.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Terry White

Edited by: Terry White on 03/22/2017 - 05:21
Terry White
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Thank you very much...

Terry White

jimahi
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Thanks for the review Terry!

I do agree that the light is easy and intuitive to use. But just so folks are aware, I’d like to add some of my more critical observations to your thread…

I bought this light because of the control ring operation and I was somewhat disappointed. I would be hesitant to recommend this light unless someone _really _wanted a light with a brightness control ring.

I wrote more details in my comment in the DM21TW review thread that was posted earlier, but I’ll summarize them here:

  • Relatively slow (and noticeable) PWM
  • Not waterproof
  • The charging circuit will indicate green (fully charged) if the circuit is not complete (if either the head or tailcap is slightly unscrewed). This could leave you with an unexpected dead battery.

Sloppy control wheel:

  • Feels gritty when turning
  • Rattles when you shake the light
  • Inconsistent low level (if you wiggle the wheel at the lowest level, it will jump around to different low brightness levels). I could get mine to go down below 10 lumens, but not consistently. Sometimes it is stubborn and will only go down to about 20-30 lumens.
  • The wheel does not control the brightness in a visually linear way. The wheel has about 120 degrees of rotation. The full brightness range is almost reached within the first 40 degrees (1/3) of rotation, leaving very little perceived brightness change over the remaining 2/3 of the wheel travel.
  • The lag when turning the wheel is _usually _short, but I have seen it take several seconds to respond on more than one occasion
Terry White
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Thank you for your reply... Give me a little bit and I will check and re-check the items you have mentioned here.

Terry White

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I will be uploading a second video shortly.... I hope it will at least let you or any readers know that at least as far as the light I have tested, I do not have most of these issues.

 

Update.... Sorry for some odd reason my ISP is very slow tonight. I have a 60mps connection so it is normally just a few minutes. The video is still uploading.. Currently it says about 8 more minutes. I will get it up and posted shortly.

The issue with the charge indicator showing fully charged falsely. I tried over and over for 2 days now to get that to happen. The only way was if I ether loosened the head or tail cap or if I had a cell in the light that is was no designed for. If the correct recommended lithium ion cells are used and the head or tail cap are not loosened (no clue why anyone would even try that) I can find no problem. I almost always charge my lithium cells in a charger that will give me detailed information. The USB charging is a good idea and very useful, and I have to say as far as my own tests it does work as it should on this light. I personally prefer not to use it on any of my lights. But again for the record it does work on the DM21T.

 

As to the subject of PWM. I fully know and understand that the majority of light lovers such as ourselves prefer to never see PWM. To a certain extent I am right there with everyone.

Here is the thing. It has been many years since I could notice minor PWM without video of some kind, it is very hard to see just by looking. I have checked it with every light I own and/or test just for my own knowledge. I to date have not even spoke of it in a review as your average person looking for a decent flashlight would be totally lost trying to figure out what I was talking about.

The PWM with this light if you are using a HD camera is easily noticeable if you get close enough to it. I have noticed it on many lights I own some that cost 5 or 6 times the amount of this one. 

This is a very young company so we could possibly see any PWM issues solved very soon. Honestly though, as long as I can not see it with my own eyes I do not even worry about it.

Follow up video.

Terry White

jimahi
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Thanks for the follow up Terry! I didn’t mean to make more work for you Sad

To answer your questions in the video…

I did not put mine in water. As was suggested in reviews of the old model, you can try an air test by blowing gently into the head end and seeing if any air come out the tail. I tried this and the air comes fairly easily out of the tail. After doing the air test I didn’t want to try putting it in water. My guess is that if this was in 1 meter of water, you would start seeing tiny bubbles coming out of the tail. Imalent claims IPX-8 which means it should be able to be continually operated in a submerged environment. I wouldn’t feel comfortable operating the DM21T underwater for an extended period of time, let alone feeling sure that it will survive even a quick immersion. At the very least, water would get into the USB connector on mine since it doesn’t have any way to securely close. IPX-8 is a pretty strong water resistant rating. Based on your experience with dive lights, would you agree this is IPX-8 as stated in the specifications?

The way the charging indicator works: when you plug a charger into a disconnected tailcap, the red LED flashes a couple times and then the green charged LED indicator comes on. As an old electronics designer, this is undesirable behavior. A better behavior would be that the charging LED flashes quickly to indicate a problem with charging. The way I found it was that I was charging the light and moved it around a bit on the table (to make room for another project). I looked a little later that night at the light and it indicated fully charged so I took out the battery to check the termination voltage. The battery read 3.95 volts which got me scratching my head. I then realized that when I moved the light, the head or tail must have come loose, causing the charging process to stop and the light to turn green. I do agree that many folks tend to use an external charger (like myself), but those that rely on the internal charging system should be aware of this behavior. It is a minor issue, and requires that the user make sure that the tailcap and head are nice and tight before charging. And don’t do something to cause them to come loose during the process or that will terminate the charging cycle. The USB connector has to be pulled out and re-inserted to start the charging process again. I’m guessing that behavior is due to the way this charger is designed. This is an in-line charger and there is no direct path from the positive end of the battery to the charger, so the charger has no way to directly measure the battery voltage. It probably terminates the charging when the current drops to some threshold. So without a path, the current is zero and the charger defines that as done. This also means the charger cannot directly measure the low voltage of an over-discharged battery before trying to charge it. As the review of the DM21TW noted, this light does not have low voltage protection and it will over-discharge an unprotected cell. There are good reasons the manual has a warning against using unprotected cells.

The response behavior of the brightness ring on mine is similar to yours. It is pretty sensitive to slight rotation changes at the lower end and the brightness increases a good bit with only a little rotation. Some may see this as a good thing – a quick change from dim to bright with only a little rotation. I find it a bit too sensitive at the low brightness end.

I usually am not bothered by PWM if it is fast enough, but I found myself distracted a few times by the PWM when using the DM21T around the house. I didn’t even think about this when ordering, but I probably would have hesitated pushing the buy button if I knew the PWM was only around 500 Hz. This is an important buying decision to many folks. Also, there is a slight whine that can be heard from the tailcap. It is not too loud, but can be slightly annoying in a quiet environment. This may be of concern to those folks that like to hold the light up next to their head like they do in the cop shows – you are putting that whine right next to your ear. I wasn’t specifically testing for whine, I just happened to notice it when holding it up to look at something on the car.

I bought this light for the novelty, and it is indeed a novel design. It works well enough to keep it in the “pile of lights” that get used now and then. I hope I don’t sound too negative, but I’m just trying to point out some of the less desirable aspects that folks might see in what is otherwise a unique and novel light.

Terry White
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It's no problem or extra work. I did kind of make it sound like that. It was much warmer the night of the second video so I actually enjoyed the time outside. I tested some of my own modified lights they are going to friends after I finished so I would have been out there either way.

The rating systems in place for water and impact resistance from a diving standpoint. That is simple. If I see IPX8 I already know it's not suitable for diving. Pressures at even 10 to 20 feet are far different than a couple of meters. I will not even wear a watch diving if it is rated any less than 30ATM. I have people ask me all the time why would I need a watch rated that high when there is no chance I could ever dive that deep. There is a lot of what I call read between the lines on what depth a timepeice can survive. I own a ton of so called certified diving watches but only 3 have ever been on my wrist during a dive.

Water at diving pressure can do all kinds of things to personal items  like watches, electronics, lights. I've seen and learned this the hard way. Unfortunately most of my diving experience I am not able to share and when I say that most people understand right away why. But I can tell you the most afraid I remember being in my life and I'm 50 years old was when a light failed during a dive. After that I never trusted anything except my own gear (suit, tanks, regulator) and of I needed a watch or light I would use the highest rated I could find.

 

Lol I've gotten way off base here. Simple answer is I would not consider taking anything IPX8 rated on a dive. Not even at shallow depth. Far to many other factors involved. I do however trust that rating for most normal daily consumer use.

I think in the future we will see this light evolve. I'm very curious what the next evolution may be.

Terry White

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Updated... Now with a discount coupon code... Information and the coupon code are at the top of the orignal review posting.

 

Enjoy...

Terry White