Review: Lumintop Worm 2-mode 1x AAA

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kreisler
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Review: Lumintop Worm 2-mode 1x AAA

Lumintop Worm 2-mode 1x AAA

 

kreisler's Overall Rating: ★★★★

 

Summary:

Battery: 1x AAA (Alkaline, NiMH)
Switch: twisty
Modes: 2 (Lo - Hi)
LED Type: XP-E R3 / XP-G R5
Lens: glass
Tailstands: yes
Price Payed: US$19.90 / US$29.99
From: HKE
Date Ordered: February 2012 

Pros:

  • timeless attractive design, classic looks; reminds of Ti (titanium lights)
  • holds up great against popular premium 1x AAA lights!
  • highly efficient driver w/ superior constant brightness regulation
  • current regulated, no PWM, no flickering
  • 2012 version with improved tint bin, minimized greenishness on Hi
  • 2012 version with higher output LED
  • ANSI FL-1 Standard rating present
  • ANSI FL-1 Standard rating outperformed(!!)
  • surprisingly bright on both levels (measured 68lm/14lm!!)
  • worm-like elongate runtimes (measured 7.0+ hrs!!)
  • very high built quality
  • rugged construction, potted driver
  • longevity, FREE life-time no hassle warranty
  • sturdy keyring attachment point
  • secure grip with fingers, lips, etc
  • surprisingly light-weight (Alu)
  • amazing throw (Alu)
  • secure tailstand
  • never gets hot in unattended tailstand mode
  • variety of finish colors: black, blue, red, purple, yellow, SS
  • full lego-ability with iTP A3, Olight i3, Tank E09, ..

Cons:

  • not the cleanest beam profile in hotspot, corona and spill area
  • no-PWM-but-current-control produces greenish tint shift on Lo
  • no official support for 10440's (*CYPM*)
  • no ultralow Low, no extra blinky modes
  • no pocket clip; must be purchased separately (Fenix LD01)
  • maybe too serious (looks, 2-modes only, runtimes) haha
  • expensive for what it is ... a 1x AAA keychain light!

Relative:

  • smooth finish, 1-dry-handed operation easy only if oil-lubed properly
  • unscrewing the aluminum pill requires melting of glue
  • Alu is thrower, SS more of an allrounder


Preliminaries:

This review contains photographic material from google images, my own PC scans in RL size (click to enlarge!) and other sources. Before anything else I suggest that you read selfbuilt's objective professional review of the Worm. It contains stimulating photos and graphs, a video presentation (similar to Marshall's video), exact measurements of ANSI FL-1 Standard lumens and runtimes, beam shots and enough details to inspire you to buy the product or to turn you off for good. The purpose of this review is to verify some measurements (runtimes, weight), be more subjective, share my enthusiasm and personal opinion, and finally compare it with other desirable 1x AAA keychain lights of mine. I liked the Worm so much that i bought both the Aluminum (Alu) and the Stainless Steel (SS) version. So, above all you need to like the Worm's esthetic optical design which was btw copied by Brinyte, Ultrafire, Sky Ray, MaxToch, FandyFire, UniqueFire, and maybe even more budget light companies! And first off, the heads of the Worms are interchangeable and also nicely compatible to iTP A3 (Olight i3) and Tank007 E09 and vice versa:

Worm with different heads (mouse over vs. mouse in)(hoover mouse in/out!)

This is important to know because you might already own an A3 or i3 (maybe with a broken head) and would like to make use of their light-weight aluminum body (or vice versa), e.g. you may want to keep the not very light-weight Worm SS body as shelf-queen and use the amazing Worm SS head on the iTP A3 aluminum body. Such a custom setup is likeable for a change or when the SS's performance is appreciated but not the SS's total weight. In the above picture you could tell that the driver contact disc of the A3 sits 1mm deeper in the A3's head but this fortunately does not pose a problem thanks to the perfect machining of the Worms: as you can see the A3 head screws just exactly on the Worms' bodies to establish electrical contact with the A3's driver disc. There is minimal gap left between the Worm's first rippling and the bottom edge of the A3's head. Just perfect!

 

Worm revision history:

Since the Worm is a current-controlled light, which is rare with 1x AAA lights!, it suffered from poor 'tint performance' in comparison to PWM-controlled light such as the iTP A3. In earlier Worm revisions (2011 and earlier) the light was visibly greenish on Low-mode, and the SS used to be greenish even on High-mode because of its then tint bin of the XP-G R5. To talk figures, early tint bins of both the XP-E R2 and the XP-G R5 were either 1C0 or 1T0. That drama belongs to the past.

Since 2012 all Worm LED's come in 1A0 tint bin, i.e. with "no more greenishness", or let's better say with much reduced greenishness on Low-mode and no more visible greenishness on High-mode. This is excellent news to late adopters of the Worm!

Worm Alu. The Alu originally came with a Cree XP-E R2 emitter, a LOP-textured reflector, and a red driver disc. The current 2012 production version comes with a Cree XP-E R3 emitter in 1A0 tint bin, a SMO reflector, and again with the same red driver disc. In other words, the Alu is a little brighter now and has an improved tint bin. Personally, as an early adopter of the Alu i didnt see anything wrong with the tint or brightness; both were good on my sample.

Worm SS. The SS originally came with a Cree XP-E R2 emitter, a LOP-textured reflector, and a black o-ring at the lens; identical to the early Alu! At some point the LED was replaced by a Cree XP-G R5 emitter (with said really greenish tint and moderate light output). And to reflect the emitter update this was accompanied be the installation of a GITD lens o-ring. The driver disc was golden and looked clearly different from the Alu's red driver disc. The change from XP-E R2 to XP-G R5 was meant as "improvement" and to give the SS a distinctive superior touch also because the SS is more expensive and constructed with small differences. The Alu's construction realized 1:1 in stainless steel material would result in a too heavy-weight Worm. So in 2012 Lumintop improved the SS again, this time for real! Now it comes with an updated, i.e. with the 1A0 tint bin, Cree XP-G R5 emitter, much higher output, and a red driver disc. The GITD lens o-ring stayed in place while the reflector was changed to a SMO reflector, a design decision which i dont understand too well because imho in small lights with a big LED the best choice has to be a OP-textured reflector to smooth out beam profile irregularities, asymmetries, or corona artifacts which are naturally produced by minimal LED eccentricity and the big LED form factor. In any case, the updated XP-G R5 alone with higher output --now spec'ed as 70 lumens (but higher in reality as we will see!)-- and nicer tint is a most desirable improvement over the 2011 SS. The 2011 SS was meh, the 2012 SS is outstanding!

To cut it short, both the 2012 Alu and the 2012 SS have in common the SMO reflector and red driver disc and the 1A0 tint bin in their respective higher output Cree power LEDs. And when you order it, you really want to get this instead of the older 2011 or pre-2011 revisions. Dont buy old Worm stock from your preferred dealer!

 

What you get:

The Worm is sold in anodized aluminum (sometimes called "Worm 2" or "Worm II"; colors: black, blue, red, purple, yellow) and in stainless steel. The Alu and SS look similar in their rippled design and perform about similar but since the PCB, the LED, the material wall thickness, the length, the weight, the tail, the lens o-ring and the packaged accessories are different, we need to distinguish between the two. Alu or SS, which to buy?? Some specific difference in detail may be crucial in your purchase decision, e.g. the difference in weight. 

The cardboard packaging is quite nice and welcome because it gives you the feeling that you're not acquiring a bulk no-name (or XXXFire) light. Lumintop is neither a well-known brand nor a prestigious brand imho and their brand name&logo sound/look cheapish, nonetheless they produce ANSI FL-1 Standard rated flashlights of high quality and some reputable international flashlight dealers carry Lumintop in their sales program (HKE, Going Gear, LightJunction, Tactical HID, Pacific Tactical Solutions, SBFlashlights, EDC+, FrogWild, LED Flashlight Source, TBFlashlights, ..). Although the emitter was updated and improved in both the Alu and SS, the packaging is still the original same old cardboard box saying "Cree XP-E R2". There isnt even a sticker (adhesive label) which states "Now With Cree XP-E R3!" or similar to reflect the changes. Taking the new Olight i3 as reference and into account that the i3's brightness declines within the first few minutes and that the actual ANSI FL-1 lumens output of the Alu is more like 68 lumens, then the Worm beats (or equals) the i3 in all categories (Impact Resistance, Peak Beam Intensity, Beam Distance, Max Light Output, Water Resistance) except for Max Runtime (measured 18hrs vs. measured 7hrs) where the Worm lacks an Ultralow Low.

Now check out the 2 cardboard boxes. They are identical for both the Alu and the SS. A color checkbox for "Purple" is missing and a "Titanium" version was never produced:

The back covers operation instructions, a 13-digit wtf UPC, and important contact details (phone, email, homepage, fax):

Supplied with the Alu is 1x o-ring and a medium sized split ring. The SS comes with a clamp-keychain-mini split ring combo but no o-ring wtf. The transparent plastic box may state "Lumintop" or not:

Here a more professional photo of an untouched SS sample, very attractive looking:

 

Features / Value: ★★★☆☆ / ★★★★★

I dont know what to write here.

Please read again the Pro's, Con's and Relative's. Everything already said there in clear words.

If the number of possible brightness levels, the number of blinky modes, the existence of an ultralow Low ("Moonlight mode"), the official support of 10440's, the support of Protected 10440's, a user-programmable interface, ugly nonskid knurling, anti-roll bezel, easy non-destructive disassembly, blazing brightness, tint options, Preon P0-like tininess, something fun to play with, a pre-packaged pocket clip, pouch, holster, sheet, etc. is very important to you, then the poor worm loses here because it misses such "features". On the other hand:

Some people dislike very low modes and prefer a Fenix E01-like usuable output on "Low"; 2-modes is simple, foolproof and reduces frustration about mode-skipping, and is a matter of fact more practical on a little light like this; having any kind of tint options is rare with 1x AAA lights (Preon P2, DQG Tiny III) and you could always implant a new LED if you really wanted to; knurling, original anti-roll design, pocket clips would ruin the elegant noble looks (Preon P0) and question its targeted use as keychain light; most users detest blinky modes, especially on 1x AAA lights where they seem really impractical (Klarus MiX6); glued threads of aluminum pills is a normal thing (iTP A3, Olight i3); you never get holsters or similar FREE stuff with 1x AAA lights; and something to play with plus blazing brightness on 10440's?? geesh, and why dont you grow up?

haha

Cmon let's get real! The Worm is nothing but a simple torch, 2-part, with rear spring, o-rings, glass lens, reflector, and aluminum pill which hosts the 10mm round LED star on one side, and the potted driver with the contact disc on the other side, and 2-modes: Low - High. So why do you let me write so much about it and repeat myself all over again?? Haha, ha (again).

If i had to pick out particular points which i personally dont like about my Worm samples (and it is unfair to make any generalizations about them because Lumintop continually strives to revise and improve the Worm series!), then i would spontaneously name 4 things and nothing else but them:

beam beauty (SS, Alu), tint (SS, Alu), weight (SS), and 10440's support (SS, Alu).

Beam beauty is a big deal to white wall hunters although such artifacts (starry hotspot, asymmetric corona artifacts, not very clean hotspot itself: can all be present in Worms!) are common or worse in other 1x AAA lights (Tank E09) because of physical reasons (optics, relative dimensions of reflector vs. emitter) and vulnerability to manufacturing tolerances -- just saying that perfection does exist (Klarus MiX6, Fenix LD01), naturally at a higher price.

Tint was a major concern in all older Worm revisions (2011, and pre-2011) and isnt any longer in latest production batches but in practice you are still challenged by acquiring such a fresh production sample, since local vendors may still carry old stock. -- just saying, no matter how "less greenish" your 1A0 tint bin 2012 sample looks, the prime examples of premium non-greenish tint and beautiful beam pattern are still a mile stone's throw away: the Klarus MiX6 and Fenix LD01, to name again the same two popular products by leading Ch*nese flashlight brands.

Weight is mitigated by swapping the SS body. You can use the Alu body, the Olight i3 body, the iTP A3 body (aluminum or titanium), or the Tank E09 body. Or other bodies with identical threads.

10440's support is peculiar and there is no official support for 10440's *CYPM*, and most flashaholics dont even own or use Li-Ion's in their expensive 1x AAA lights, so not much of a gripe here for users other than kiddos. You thought that iTP A3 is a freaking monster on 10440's (safe op)? True. Beats the Tank E09 on 10440's (very safe op) by double! Then you should see Fenix LD01 on 10440's (unsafe op). Beats the iTP A3 by double!! Having seen what is possible with 10440's (from safe op to unsafe op) the adventurous user will be bored by Eneloop brightness levels even if they are as high as Worm SS 2012, Fenix LD01 R4 or Tank E09 at around 80 ANSI lumens.

In the remainder of the review you will learn in detailed manner about the "features" that you do get with the Worms, especially the Worm SS 2012. Apart from the looks and top-notch built quality, it's all about perfect flat constant brightness regulation with no turbo down-step (and with no PWM!), industry-leading integral brightness, very serious runtimes, no heat issues to be feared, outperforming ANSI FL-1 STANDARD ratings, longevity thru rugged construction and FREE lifetime no hassle warranty, low price and high throw (Alu), perfect as integral keychain member, and its timeless beauty. A torch to please the general user incl. ladies or females if not the kiddo (who wants to play and have fun with his/her new toy) or the Li-Ion maniac (who wants to glare, burn and poof haha). The Worm is neither a toy nor a tool. But. The Worm is an attractive looking keyring pendant which, when needed, will illuminate your happiness in a reliable fashion. Buy one get one free Quote cpf user code kreisler banned During check out Everything nature is green Come help the dinos and free the energy God loves you When excellent prices today stop spamming

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★

The SS is of outstanding built quality with a scratch-resistant polished surface and very good keychain attachment point, has minimized play or wobbliness in the precision-machined threads, and one may believe that its solid, hefty construction with a head massivity (i.e. the ratio between the head mass and the total weight) of only 34.5% guarantees its ruggedness and indestructibility but that's not the point or purpose of the SS version. Ruggedness, drop resistance, impact resistance of the SS hasnt been confirmed (ANSI FL-1 Standard, cant be the same as the Alu's, can it?), and you buy the SS rather for its timeless classic looks -- one may find it elegant attractive or boring unexciting, all a matter of taste. And because it's compacter and lighter than the 4 budget light competitors, see review section further below (Ultrafire, Brinyte, ..). Let's go over some details:

Size impression. So small, cute and elegant looking in RL. When i first saw this design in selfbuilt's review i didnt like it mostly because i felt distracted by the relative size of competing keychain lights. But let's be honest, sizes of lights such as the original iTP A3 (1-mode) and the Fenix E05 are exceptional, those were tiny! The current model Olight i3 has now grown to the sizes of the expensive Klarus MiX6 (cp. length) and the Worm (cp. volume). In practice, to me, the iTP A3, MiX6 and Worm feel equally small and perfectly suited for keychain carry. So please dont be concerned about its relative size (volume). The Preon P1 with a clicky ... *that* is a big 1x AAA keychain light if you ask me!

 

Weight. The manufacturer specs tell us that the weight of the bare Worm Alu should be "9grams" without keychain and 17g with keychain, and the weight of the Worm SS is not given anywhere. Well, well. Since this is my review you better trust my own exact measurements with a FC50:

 

Worm Alu (bare)

manufacturer

Worm SS

manufacturer

Worm Alu (?)

selfbuilt

Worm SS (?)

selfbuilt

Worm Alu (bare)

kreisler

Worm SS (bare)

kreisler

headN/AN/AN/AN/A5.400g [5g]9.361g [9g]
bodyN/AN/AN/AN/A7.699g [8g]17.753g [18g]
head+body9g14g14.3g27.3g13.100g [13g]27.117g [27g]

As you can see, never trust the manufacturer's specs until you did your own measurements! In the above table "(bare)" means that i removed all split rings, keyrings, keychains, pocket clips, clamps/claws, batteries, etc. if such things had been present (cp. iTP A3). With 13.1grams the Worm Alu is really light-weight! The Worm SS is more than double as heavy and that's quite a bit since the Alu loaded with 1x Eneloop AAA (11.7grams) doesnt even weigh as much as the Worm SS by itself. In RL and in thin pants/shorts, a loaded Worm SS (~39grams) does feel incomfortable imho as bottom pocket rider and one might wish a pocket clip, however in standard jeans/thick trousers and in casual EDC rotation the Worm SS together with a bunch of keys feels acceptable riding at the bottom of your pockets. Just keep in mind that the weight is the main disadvantage and possibly a deal breaker of the SS version although it is still more light-weight than the 4 direct competitors (UltraFire SA-R2, Brinyte BR-S2, Sky Ray S2, MaxToch ED2R-7) from the budget lights sector. And granted you got some lego parts (e.g. from A3, i3, E09, ..) you could always swap the SS body if the weight really bothers you.

Maybe the main reason why the SS feels so hefty or heavy is its compact size. If the torch had the extended size (volume) of a Fenix LD10 or 4Sevens Quark both of which are popular EDC flashlights for pocket carry, e.g. with a pocket clip, with the same weight, then you'd think "hey this Lumintop is awesome light-weight!". It's the conjunto of dimensions and weight, in physics called mass density, which makes you think that something is heavyish or rather light-weight.

Threads. The threads are machined very precisely and clean and, after removal of the o-ring, are much less wobbly than on the iTP A3 EOS Upgraded or the Olight i3, and especially on the SS there is no play in the threads. It takes a little less than 3.0 full turns to disengage the head; on the A3 it takes a little more than 4.0 turns fwiw. Measurements with my digital caliper prove that my two Worms are high precision machined products with tight manufacturing tolerances, maybe that's why the threads are not machined any longer. As with any other 1x AAA light the threads are not square-cut yet fine enough so that accidental loss of the head is very unlikely. Twisting action on both the Alu and SS is very smooth (i use superlube oil to reduce friction on the o-rings and in the threads). Only the slippery surface (polished steel, anodized aluminum) makes 1-handed operation less easy:

Beautiful shiny finish. The surface is brilliantly polished yet very scratch resistant so no need to worry about keys dangling against the torch. With typical usage the SS will keep its good looks, really. What rather bothers are finger prints. No matter how clean your fingers are, a single touch and you got a finger print!

Tail. Have a look at the nice sturdy tail. Minimal machining marks. I heard of people misusing the SS tail as beer bottle opener lol:

Hmm.. not a big deal but why not mention it.. the edges of the tail. In practice they dont pose any issue and the tail area is reserved for a split ring (or your single keyring!) anyway. I am just saying that if feels awkward and a litte harsh when you let your finger slide over the gap. Basically the tail is a 'ring' attached to the bottom of the torch via 2 mini 'bridges'. I wouldnt call their edges sharp or problematic but i might prefer rounded edges wherever viable. Since anything else on the SS is well rounded and smooth and pleasant to touch'n feel, the square-edginess of the tail ring doesnt harmonize in feel with the big rest. Chamfering every edge at the tail area would alleviate the disharmonious feel. Not a big deal:

On the following picture (PC scan) you can see a few micro-scratches on the SS polish but for the most part the white stuff are fine dust particles. I am the filthy reviewer haha. The machining marks at the tail area gives us an idea how the ring was produced:

Driver contact disc. The PCB of the Worm comes with an elevated plus contact. That's something which people were missing in, for example the Preon P0 and its original Eneloop problem:


Also note that the driver discs look different between the Alu and the SS. The golden disc as seen here was installed in earlier revisions of the SS:


Such protruding 3-dimensional plus contacts (poles) may come in handy when you, for whatever reason, wish to experiment with flat-top cells or with installing copper sealing washers. They also protect the contact from abrasion, i.e. mechanical wearing down through the twisting action. It's definitely a quality feature of the built. Another quality feature is the potted design of the driver. I am informed that the head is glued and that the aluminum pill cant be unscrewed with tweezers without the help of heating. Modders who'd like to swap the emitter will find out about the nice built quality of the potted driver once they unscrew the pill.

In newer Worm SS production versions the driver disc seems to be adopted from the Worm Alu and we get the red driver disc, and also a SMO reflector (difficult to see in the picture). The SS keeps the GITD o-ring and has an updated XP-G R5 emitter with 1A0 tint bin:

Thickness. Looks like the SS walls are thinner than the Alu body walls. I am still wondering how they produced the rippled design. In any case the rippled design ensures the immense rigidity of the body. The body is practically impossible to get deformed:

At the lens are you can see the difference in wall thickness again. Also take note of the different emitters. In late 2011 both the SS and Alu were equipped with LOP reflectors and back then the SS already got a Cree XP-G R5 (rated 70 lumens) and a GTID o-ring at the lens. Of course you cant see it from the picture but this SS had a very greenish XP-G R5 (1T0 tint bin):

Reflector. First versions of the Alu were equipped with a Cree XP-E R2 and a LOP (light orange peel textured) reflector and a black o-ring, as seen in the following photo grabbed from the Lumintop site. These Alu versions were manufactured and sold in 2011 and before. Actually i dont know when exactly the product was released to market. Could have been in 2010 or 2011. The very first SS version had the same XP-E R2, LOP reflector and black o-ring:

Then, in the SS, o-ring and emitter was swapped as "improvement" in late 2011. Here a good view with the introduced changes (GITD o-ring, greenish XP-G R5): 

 

Finally in 2012 Lumintop improved the SS for real and installed a new XP-G R5 with non-greenish tint and also a SMO reflector:

Same kind of improvements for the Alu in 2012. See below a photo the Alu with a yellow body. The newer production versions of the Alu come with a SMO reflector and the Cree XP-E R3 LED. For the Cree XP-E R3 Lumintop chose the same non-greenish tint bin 1A0. Furthermore this new LED is brighter than the original XP-E R2. If your copy has a SMO reflector, then afaik it also got the newer emitter with the higher output and improved tint bin, congrats:

O-ring. In the following photo you can see the SS with a smaller LED, namely the original Cree XP-E, a black o-ring installed, and the old LOP reflector which produced a very large hotspot. This is apparently the old version of the SS before Lumintop swapped the emitter in the SS from XP-E R2 (rated 60 lumens) to XP-G R5 (rated 70 lumens). By the way it should not be underestimated that the deepish body rippling ensures extremely secure grip with fingers, lips, mouth, etc. Have you ever held the slippery Klarus MiX6 with your fingers or the iTP A3 bezel down? There is nothing to hold on and only the friction forces between your skin and the smooth metallic surface would hold the torch and prevent it from sliding away. If the Worm was soaked in soap water, you could still hold it fine with your fingers because of the grooves. Imho those are more pleasant to touch and feel than actual aggressive knurling. Nobody needs aggressive knurling on the entire surface. A keychain light should slide fast and easily in and out of a trouser pocket and not rub against the pocket fabric (see EOSLAMP SP11). At the same time the body should provide enough grip so that the torch wouldnt slip through your holding fingers. The Worm provides the good of both worlds:

The very old version of the SS didnt come with a GITD lens o-ring. The GITD is more like a gimmick and doesnt have a substantial glowing effect neither does it influence the beam/tint to any extent .. except at 1cm distance to a white sheet of paper. The o-ring can be regarded as optical embellishment of the SS head because it looks green at daylight (and true GITD elements would look colorless/white as we know!), very pleasant happiness green dino:

Keyring hole. The following scan is to show how sturdy and precisely machined the keyring hole is. A perfect bore and its wall looks substantial enough that the user doesnt need to fear a breakthrough of the keyring Buy at dinodirect We have the best prices. And spam spam kadahh in case the hole ever fails, you still got the FREE lifetime no-hassle warranty. Contact your local dealer and he'll provide a replacement copy, no problem! Just be reminded that you dont get such a free replacement service from XXXFire brands, Olight or iTP: 

Practical considerations. Look closely at the following picture to see the difference between the two setups. For the SS i am using a single keyring of 2.0cm diameter with the 2 keys engaged, and the keyring is attached around the 'bridge' to the tail ring. This way you can tailstand the torch firmly. As you will see further below this setup works comfortably, and there is no need to use a second splitring (mini splitring). Also note that the keyring is "thin" or not double-layered (double-winded) like a standard splitring. I dont know where i got this thin splitring from but be informed that such a practical thing exists! For the Alu i could use the thin splitring to great effect too but here i am exemplifying the use of the provided mini splitring in series with a standard keyring. Both rings are double-winded as you can tell. In the general case for the Alu this is the preferred setup: using two split rings in series, a small one plus a standard-sized one.

Tailstand. The following scan shows the 2 Worms in tailstand mode. You can imagine how easy, fast and securely you can tailstand them. Even with the keys or keyrings attached:

The following pictures demonstrates that the SS can tailstand okay even if the mini splitring is attached to the tail ring. Remember that these are scans from my flatbed scanner. Here i am thinking that the keychain clamp could be removed because it adds unnecessary weight and bulkiness to the system.

Slimness. Who on earth needs the keychain with the clamp? The following scan shows how slim and comfortable the single-keyring-setup already is. Nobody likes a bulky collection of keys and system of keyrings on the keychain. Our aim is to minimize the total size, weight and bulkiness of our bunch of keys. Thanks to the generous keyring attachment point of the SS, we need just 1 single (thin) keyring to which we engage the torch, the keys and the shopping cart coin. What a nice compact bunch of keys! Just take off the keychain clamp, please:



Keychain attachment point. The keyring attachment point of the Alu is similar to Olight i3's design, sturdy. selfbuilt didnt like how the split ring couldnt move or swivel all the way around:

This is true for the Alu too, and either you live with it by using another ring in series, i.e. 2x split rings in series, or you use the large single-winded special splitring (as shown in the next picture). In the following picture with two rings in series the key and the Alu can be kept flat and slim. Not bulky:

In the following scan you can see that the large single-winded splitring can swivel all the way around .. because its diameter is larger than the torch's diameter. Counting from bezel down position we dont get the the full "360°" rotational freedom but swivel action between 7 o'clock and 18 o'clock, i.e. (11/12 *360°=) 330°. For sure this is much better than the swivel restriction with the supplied small splitring. But dont ask me where i got this large single-winded splitring from, i cant remember, sorry! Maybe Lumintop should supply such a thing. Also note how i exchanged the Worm body. Here i am profiting from the low weight and red color of the Worm Alu body plus the amazing integral brightness of the Worm SS head:

In the following scan i aligned three items. You can see that the SS is a little shorter. For the Alu, i installed again the thin single-winded splitring. Sorry for the poor picture:



The typical attachment point at the SS tail is the tail ring itself as seen in the above picture and you would use the supplied mini split ring as joint between the torch and your main keyring. It is also possible to use the bridge as attachment point. However, a standard split ring (e.g. 2.0cm diameter, double-winded) doesnt do the task too well mainly because the gap (height) between the SS tail and the tail ring isnt high enough to accommodate swivel action of a double-winded splitring:

Using the bridge as attachment point. Luckily a single-winded splitring can swivel more or less well all the way around ("360°"), back and forth:



Let it be noted that the tail ring design consumes space, effectively adds length to the torch, and feels a little awkward because of the multiple edges in the tail area. And even in the above solution the splitring can swivel only 97% comfortably back and forth. The best attachment point i've seen so far was designed on the Klarus MiX6; its disadvantage, the MiX6 cannot tailstand properly. So the SS provides an acceptable compromise between secure tailstand and sturdy keychain attachment point. It is difficult to devise a tail which offers both worlds to my better liking. The most popular example is how Olight tried to improve the design from iTP A3 (excellent splitring attachment point) to Olight i3 (secure tailstand). Epic fail. Let me know if you find a 1x AAA keychain light which offers a 100% agreeable and likeable solution to the problem. Truely a challenge.

Pocket clip.  A pocket clip is not included in the packaging. Not a big deal if you take the Fenix LD01 pocket clip which fits beautifully and very snug despite the smooth anodization. I highly recommend the LD01 pocket clip for use with the Worm, if you really need/want a pocket clip for it. Anyone with 14.0mm 1x AAA lights should have this professional clip:

Works extremely well to be clipped to the front brim of your baseball cap. The upper clip is the old Fenix LD01 clip which slides easily on the slippery smooth surface of anodized aluminum. The lower clip has a high-friction grip on the stainless steel. To remove the clip without leaving micro scratches i let superlube oil suck into the slit before pulling the clip off.

Last but not least, diffusers. Apparently, any 14.0mm or 15.0mm diffusers will work here. Since 14mm diffusers do not exist (well.. have you found some?, i havent.), i use the white hard plastic Tank007 15.0mm diffuser which i got from DD for ~US$2.50. Since 15mm is a little too wide, i placed a stripe of tape (e.g. 3M Durapore™) at the diffuser's orifice to effectively reduce the orifice's diameter. Perfect fit now:

See the SS head on the Alu body and the Tank007 diffuser on top, in Low-Mode (and dont be distracted by the seemingly blueish or greenish emitted light, it's the f*cked up color rendition of my Hewlett Packard PC scanner lol):

 

Battery Life: ★★★★★

Safe operating voltage is 0.9 ~ 2.2V as stated by Lumintop but you may run the driver as high as 0.9 ~ 3.0V. Running the torch with 10440's would fry the driver, and let's leave this statement/assertion like that. Nobody needs to prove or refute it .. because the torch is already surprisingly bright with 1.2V Eneloops and the body is too short to fit Protected 10440's anyway. At some point in future i might test unprotected 10440's in the Worm, i am curious myself lol. ( EDIT UPDATE: i know some answers so send me a PM for new info regarding 10440's in the Worm thx )

At this point it is instructive to note that, as is always the case with Cree power LED's, the runtimes heavily depend on the particular cell model (Alkaline, NiMH, Eneloop) and the cell sample (cell#1, cell#2, ..). While Eneloops are perfectly suited for medium discharge currents as observed in my tailcap readings with aged Varta Longlife Accu Ready2Use NiMH cells freshly off the charger we get a totally different discharge behavior, same holds valid for Alkaline cells:

tailcap reading at Worm Alu:

Worm Alufresh Eneloopdepleted Eneloopfresh Varta NiMHfresh Alkaline
High-mode0.535A1.300A0.840A1.411A
Low-mode0.091A0.299A0.098A0.104A

tailcap reading at Worm SS:

Worm SSfresh Eneloopdepleted Eneloopfresh Varta NiMHfresh Alkaline
High-mode0.524A1.542A0.621Atba
Low-mode0.089A0.306A0.092Atba

Actual real life runtimes. Now this is where things are getting serious! Namely the most prominent strengths of the Worm are its highly efficient driver and the perfect constant brightness regulation over the long runtimes. I couldnt believe the amazing runtime results measured by selfbuilt so I had to verify them by running two batches of tests. For the first series I used brand-new Eneloop AAA HR-4UTGA cells freshly off the charger (measured 800mAh+ effective capacity) and then was observing the beam intensity closely and didnt clock but the elapsed time:

Worm Aluconstant brightness regulationdimming period to unusable level
cell#1, High-mode79min13min
cell#2, High-mode75min (772mAh consumed)testrun interrupted
cell#3, Low-mode7h8min7min

Each row of the table reads as this, e.g. for Worm SS in High-mode with Eneloop cell#1 (see below): "The torch maintained constant brightness for exact 74 mins after which it dropped out of regulation. The light would then begin to dim just a little but noticeably and from that point on, within 10 mins, dims quickly down to unusable light output level."

Worm SSconstant brightness regulationdimming period to unusable level
cell#1, High-mode74min10min
cell#2, High-mode74min (751mAh consumed)testrun interrupted
cell#3, Low-mode6h59min5min

So with freshly charged brand-new Eneloops we get almost 80 mins on High-mode (This result surpasses selfbuilt's measurement.) and over 7.1 hrs on Low-mode (This result confirms selfbuilt's measurement.) for the Worm Alu, whereas for the Worm SS High-mode runtime is more like 74 mins and almost 7.0 hrs in Med-mode. Yes, on my two samples the runtimes between the Alu and SS versions differ as described and we shouldnt wonder because their LED's arent the same: XP-E vs. XP-G!

And with my aged Varta Longlife Accu Ready2Use NiMH 800mAh cells freshly off the charger (measured 550mAh effective capacity) runtimes are shorter than with brand-new Eneloops: Worm Alu [Worm SS] in High-mode, ~53mins [~60mins] very bright, then very slow continuous noticeable  dimming sets in, and after a total of 1h47min [2h08min] i would interrupt the testrun because the light had reached a moonlight-like brightness level and i could finally stare directly into the LED without getting too blinded. For comparison purposes, selfbuilt's measurements with different cell types resulted on the lower side and summarize as follows:

Worm AluEneloopAlkalineEnergizer L92
High-mode62min24min80min
Low-mode6h49min7h0minnot tested

In my second batch of tests i stopped the testrun after a pre-defined time period, quickly took out the Eneloop cell, measured its remaining offline voltage (which can be assumed to approach the discharge voltage under load), let it rest and recover for 2-3 hours, and finally recharged the cell with a C9000 machine at 0.5C to indicate the consumed capacity. When the cell's voltage severely drops after crossing the magical 1.2000V resting voltage mark, basically the light drops out of regulation too, so the discharge time until the cell is depleted to 1.20V is about equal to the regulated runtime in that mode:

High-mode (Worm Alu w/ XP-E R2)
testrun stoppedremaining offline voltagerecoverable after 3.0h tocapacity consumed
Eneloop cell#1 & testrun#11h15min~1.04V1.2166V746mAh
Eneloop cell#2 & testrun#21h16min~0.92V1.2156V773mAh
Eneloop cell#3 & testrun#31h17min~0.87V1.1972V785mAh
Eneloop cell#4 & testrun#41h18min~0.83V1.1737V760mAh

In High-mode, the Worm Alu has a runtime of 77mins. Considering how bright and throwy the light is such a long runtime is impressive. selfbuilt had once clocked about ~60mins for both the initially brighter iTP A3 XP-G R5 and the Worm Alu, however according to my extensive runtime tests (as you can see here!) the Worm beats the iTP A3 by 17mins. It is true that the iTP A3 is brighter in High-mode (in the first 10 minutes only!), but it is also true that the Worm runs longer.

In Low-mode runtimes are getting unbelievably long:

Low-mode (Worm Alu w/ XP-E R2)
testrun stoppedremaining offline voltagerecoverable after 3.0h tocapacity consumed
Eneloop cell#1 & testrun#17h0min~1.166V1.2190V739mAh
Eneloop cell#2 & testrun#27h6min~1.129V1.2093V724mAh
Eneloop cell#3 & testrun#37h7min~1.129V1.2097V749mAh
Eneloop cell#4 & testrun#47h8min~0.83V1.1787V780mAh

From the above table we can conclude the Low-mode runtime to be over 7.1h. Amazing! Keep in mind that this number holds true only for original Sanyo Eneloop AAA cells, and not for any other NiMH LSD cell brand product, Eneloop clones, generic NiMH cells, Lithium primaries or Alkalines.

Now let's check out the runtime performance of the Worm SS 2012 sample:

High-mode (Worm SS w/ XP-G R5)
testrun stoppedremaining offline voltagerecoverable after 2.0h tocapacity consumed
Eneloop cell#1 & testrun#11h20min~0.90V1.1903V768mAh
Eneloop cell#2 & testrun#21h20min~0.89V1.1863V769mAh
Eneloop cell#3 & testrun#31h16min~0.89V1.1882V783mAh
Eneloop cell#4 & testrun#41h17min~0.87V1.1891V769mAh

more testruns:

1h8min ~0.86V 1.1818V 776mAh

1h8min ~0.84V 1.1768V 754mAh

1h10min ~1.09V 1.2201V N/A

1h11min ~0.88V 1.1870V 789mAh

1h13min ~0.92V 1.1993V 758mAh

1h14min ~0.8xV 1.1924V 744mAh

1h14min ~0.87V 1.1848V 746mAh

1h15min ~0.94V 1.2083V 763mAh

1h15min ~0.91V 1.2024V 732mAh

1h16min ~0.89V 1.1882V 783mAh

1h16min ~0.86V 1.1766V 780mAh

1h17min ~0.87V 1.1891V 769mAh

1h17min ~0.93V 1.1967V 765mAh

1h20min ~0.90V 1.1903V 768mAh

1h20min ~0.89V 1.1863V 769mAh

 

Low-mode (Worm SS w/ XP-G R5)
testrun stoppedremaining offline voltagerecoverable after 2.0h tocapacity consumed
Eneloop cell#1 & testrun#17h9min~0.86V1.1731V786mAh
Eneloop cell#2 & testrun#27h5min~0.85V1.1773V778mAh
Eneloop cell#3 & testrun#37h0min~0.91V1.1803V774mAh
Eneloop cell#4 & testrun#46h55min~1.14V1.2048V754mAh

Wow. This is a beautiful consistent set of runtime test data (3 runs were done with the same Eneloop cell "2", so no wonder) and it tells us that the true runtime (50% brightness) has to lie between 6h55min and 7h0min. Let's be generous and round up, the Eneloop runtime in Low-mode for the Worm SS be determined as 7.0hrs. Fantastic number!! I was able to reproduce and confirm selfbuilt's result who had measured 6h49min for the Worm Alu. So i am still wondering why the Lumintop webpage says "ANSI FL-1 STANDARD 4.0 hours". It's clearly more than that!! F***ing 7.0hrs for Christ's sake!!!

 

Light Output: ★★★★★

The manufacturer spec'ed the Alu's output on High roughly as "60 ANSI lumens FL-1 Standard". Dont be fooled by this low-sounding number because after the 10th minute on the Worm is as bright as the iTP A3 XP-G R5 (spec'ed as "96 lumens"), namely both a level of 68 ANSI lumens, and brighter than Olight i3 ("70 lumens") and Klarus MiX6 ("85 lumens"). The reason for this is that the brightness of A3, i3 and MiX6 decreases in the first few minutes until it is fully regulated for rest of the runtime. In other words, while the actual light output of the Worm is around 68 ANSI lumens --and that's what Lumintop should have published!!-- and constant throughout the battery life of an Eneloop cell (77mins.), the reader should beware of manufacturer specs of other 1x AAA flashlights because in most cases the published data (e.g. iTP A3 96lm, MiX6 85lm) is true only for the first few minutes of a freshly charged Eneloop cell. Clearly, as to brightness the Worm competes in the same arena as the iTP A3 XP-G R5 with Eneloop cells unless the user has freshly charged cells and turns the light on for a few seconds only: With freshly charged Eneloops the iTP A3 indeed produces 96lm, and with freshly charged 10440's the iTP A3 becomes a freaking monster with over 200 lumens, easily!

Light output?? This complete review section could be summarized as "on Eneloops, the Worm SS is clearly brighter than iTP A3, Olight i3, Tank E09, and Klarus MiX6", period. Woosh, this is a bold statement!! Nothing has been said about the Worm Alu so far and to what extent this statement is true. To refine the statement and be more specific about the details we can say

"peak brightness with 100% freshly charged Eneloops during the first few seconds might be higher with iTP A3 and Tank E09 but directly after that, i.e. when all lights have dropped into constant brightness regulation, the Worm SS outshines them all. the Worm Alu is a few lumens less shiny than the SS but even at its lower level the Alu's time integral over the cell's runtime would beat the rest too incl iTP A3 and Tank E09".

This general statement is correct and complete and you dont need to know more. The Worm SS's brightness kicks a*ses! For further details, feel free to read on. Since i dont possess any lumens lightbox or continuous recording luxmeters à la selfbuilt or HKJ, you need to study the table and graphs of the old Worm version (April 2011) and then believe me that my new Worm SS (Feb 2012) sample exceeds those brightness levels by quite a bit and that this was my main motivation to put some efforts in this review section even without luxmeters, measurements or graphs! So here it goes:

The following animated GIF (click to enlarge!) shows my five AAA lights loaded with freshly charged Eneloops (resting voltage 1.54V!!) and their brightness recorded shortly after switching them all on on High-mode (t=1min). The next shot was taken 17mins later (t=18min). Counted from the left,

  1. Worm SS 2012 (rated "70lm")
  2. Tank E09 (rated "120lm")
  3. iTP A3 XP-G R5 (rated "96lm")
  4. Worm Alu 2011 (rated "60lm", measured 68lm)
  5. Klarus MiX6 (rated "85lm").

At t=1min, you can see that #2 is the brightest closely followed by #3, or maybe it's the other way round? #3 is a badly regulated light, has its maximum brightness right after turning the light on, and reaches within 10mins a sort of constant brightness regulated level at a considerably reduced output on a par with #4 who started off at this level, namely 68lm. #2 is a freaking cell discharging monster (2C discharge rate at t=0min) and no wonder the brightest during the first quarter of an hour, however its integral brightness** has to be the lowest because after 33mins the light is off.

(click to enlarge!)

HINT: the lumens output is proportional to the black core area

At t=18min, you can see that all lights have declined in brightness yet at different degrees. All torches feel hot (#4) or very hot (#2, #3) except for #1 (warm) who has the largest heat sink with 17.753g body mass and only 34.5% head massivity. The brightest light is either #1, #2 or #5. since #5 is still misrepresented in the GIF, it's not #5. Counting only the black core area, then #1 is the brightest; counting the whole black-brown darkish area, then #2 would be the brightest. #2 is also the hottest torch of all and with the highest consumption of electric charge (current x time). Only a lumens lightbox measurement at this point could clearly determine the winner with the higher lumens output. But more importantly see how #5 did its known High-down step (already at t=3mins), #3 has become one of the dimmest because of its bad regulation, #2 has lost much momentum as well and is having a hard time to keep up the high current draw, whereas #1 has practically maintained its initial high brightness and is still going strong. At this point, #1 is clearly brighter than #3 (and #4 and in reality also #5), and a few minutes later also than #2 because #2's cell is already depleted by then haha. selfbuilt's graphs prove that the Worms have perfectly flat regulation and together with the long runtimes the Worm SS can be nominated as "the brightest light of the 5" (in the sense of brightness averagedintegrated over the cell's full runtime, i.e. the cell's life time integral). To this complicated conclusion have we come through the analysis of selfbuilt's graphs plus my animated GIF. In reality or practice, however, things are much easier: Given an arbitrary Eneloop cell, e.g. at 1.40V, and doing a side-by-side comparison of the 5 lights with white wall shots or ceiling bounce tests, then take my word that the Worm SS illuminates your objects/areas brighter albeit not by much. Appears like better illumination and higher lumens output. Momentarily and also over the remaining cell's life. The difference in typical brightness between the 5 is little though: they are in same order of magnitude and at such low lumens levels (65-75 lumens range) other things play a more important practical role, e.g. hotspot size and spill area size: the here not discussed Fenix LD01 R4, a light which i purchased after i had finished writing this Worm review, possesses a deep reflector to produce a very(!) tight spill area plus an intense big hotspot all in "pure-white" premium tint. Rated at 72 ANSI lumens only, the Fenix appears amazingly brighter than any of the here discussed 5 AAA lights. I would even bet that after taking exact measurements (selfbuilt never measured the LD01 R4, yikes!) both the typical brightness and the integral brightness indeed prove to be higher, so that we'd at least have some numerical proof on the paper. Check my BLF review of the Fenix for more info on it. It's the best of the 6, and also the most expensive of the 6, hooray.

For the old 2011 Worm Alu (spec'ed at "60lm") selfbuilt had measured 68 ANSI lumens, which means that Lumintop had underrated it. Taking into account that my 2012 Worm SS is noticeably brighter than that and even brighter than selfbuilt's measured 78 ANSI lumens of the iTP A3 XP-G R5, i would estimate off the top of my head that the spec'ed "70lm" are underrated as well and the true output be ~80 ANSI lumens. Yet as mentioned, those numbers dont count much because ANSI lumens are taken 3.0mins after activation (with a freshly charged Eneloop) and in a typical practical situation, the Worm SS is perceptibly brighter than the iTP A3 already. And its brightness for sure beats for example my Xeno E03 V3 XML NeutralWhite on High-mode with Eneloops (rated 111lm) and even runs longer than the Xeno!! The Xeno runs exactly 60mins on its High-mode with Eneloops whereas the Worm SS runs for 74mins. Brighter and longer, unbelievable isnt it?? -- but it's true (or maybe my Xeno is a lemon hehe)! Btw, the Xeno is a very poorly performing light with Eneloops. This is at least true for my personal XML NeutralWhite sample!

This can finally be demonstrated in visual detail with the following Hi-Res picture on High-mode where i loaded the three lights with any (almost fully charged!) Eneloop cells. This is a much better representation of the brightness differences you actually perceive in real life, in practice ... the Worm SS *really* outshines the iTP A3:

High-mode: Worms vs. iTP A3 XP-G R5

(hoover mouse in/out!)

...and at this point in time the Worm Alu has about the same lumens output as the iTP A3, as predicted by selfbuilt's graphs (you need to quantify the pure black area to verify this).

Another method of comparing relative lumens output is by looking at their radiation through a 15mm white hard plastic diffuser. In the following 8-frame animated GIF which was shot with freshly charged Eneloops and as quickly as possible because of the steep decline in brightness of the iTP A3 before it reaches the point of stabilization.

Worm Alu: light off - Lo - Hi - Hi (iTP A3) - light off - Lo - Hi - Hi (iTP A3) - ...

You will see that at this point in time the iTP A3 is still brighter than the Worm Alu. It means that i was quick enough to take the shot. Only later, after 10-15mins, should be the iTP A3 as bright as the Alu:

(click to enlarge!)

Worm SS: light off - Lo - Hi - Hi (iTP A3) - light off - Lo - Hi - Hi (iTP A3) - ...

You will see that at this point in time the iTP A3 is already dimmer than the Worm SS. It means that i was not quick enough to take the shot. And it also means that in any practical or "typical" situation the Worm SS indeed outperforms the iTP A3:

(click to enlarge!)

If you enjoyed these animated GIFs, i've collected a few more in some other thread for iTP A3, Tank E09, and Klarus MiX6. Use them to get an idea of relative brightnesses.

On Low-mode the Worm produces about 14lm (spec'ed roughly as "10lm") as measured by selfbuilt and there doesnt seem much competition at this class. Go figure the famed Fenix E01 is advertised as "13lm and 21hrs" and in RL doesnt run longer than 6h50mins, in other words the Worm even beats the Fenix competition!, both the Fenix E01 and the Fenix E05! In the below picture the iTP A3 is set to Med-mode (spec'ed as "22lm") and only a little brighter to the eye than the Worm. But what a gigantic difference in actual measured runtimes!

iTP A3 140min@"22lm"

vs.

Worm Alu 427min@14lm

Low-mode: Worms vs. iTP A3 XP-G R5

(hoover mouse in/out!)

 

The following picture (left side) visualizes that the Worm's "Low-mode" is nearer to the medium modes of some known 3-mode torches (iTP A3, Klarus MiX6; but not the Tank E09 which is the #1 brightest and has a rather bright Med-mode!) and much brighter than their low modes (right side).

Ultralow Low's are fashionable these days, 4Sevens sells lights with Moonlight Mode, Thrunite calls it Firefly mode, etc. Okay, if you really think that ~10lm isnt low enough for your needs then that's the deal breaker here. Personally i am satisfied with the 2 modes: 68lm ("iTP A3"-like) versus 14lm ("Fenix E01"-like), these two levels are well-spaced. However some flashaholic might miss the ultralow Low of a Klarus MiX6 (measured 0.8lm, rated 3lm) or a Preon P0 (measured 0.17lm lol), i.e. a third mode.

 

Beam beauty / Tint: ★★★

RL beamshots provided by SashiX proud owner of Worm Alu 2012 with SMO reflector.

( ...tba... )

Selfbuilt had published a series of white wall shots in his review, and you might find them helpful or not. Lumintop dealers and the manufacturer posted on their websites photos with beam shots too. Note that these are old photos with the old versions of the Worm Alu and Worm SS. They do give you an impression of the old Worms' throw and old tint. Here is what i could find so far.

Check out the greenish tint around the hotspot while the light is on High-mode. This has to be tint bin 1C0 or 1T0:

The following white wall shot is not very helpful nor very representative imho. Tint and beam profile of the Worms are generally not as beautifully round, artifacts-free and 100% symmetric:

The following picture is rather interesting. It exemplifies the Worm in outdoor use. Quite a rare occasion to have a 1x AAA keychain light manufacturer think of their product as outdoors thrower. Yet it's true, the Worm Alu has a really tight and intense hotspot which make the torch rather throwy than anything else. You could still use it indoors especially for searching for things, spotlighting objects or corners, candle-mode ceiling bounces, etc i.e. for specific illumination tasks. For close-up range more general illumination tasks (reading a book, working at a desk or table, etc) i dont find its beam profile very suitable. The Worm SS has a larger hotspot and its profile is similar to the iTP A3 XP-G R5's, which makes it more of an allrounder than the Worm Alu:

The following picture is from the old Worm SS on High-mode. The center is nice and white, the spill slightly greenish. On Low-mode, the old Worm SS produced a greenish beam both in the center and spill areas like a 4Sevens Quark X. Go figure the distance of the torch to the magazine on the table is rather far. If you are sitting yourself at this (or any other) table and flash the light on the magazine, the hotspot would look smaller and too intense. Yes you can illuminate the entire page of such a large magazine with the Worm SS but for this the torch must be held at a distance of 1.0m, so this beamshot is a little misleading:

 

In the following picture you can see that the influence of the GITD o-ring is only to be noticed when the head touches the white sheet of paper or is within 1.0cm distance from it ("white paper beam shot at 1cm distance" lmao). It's again the old Worm SS where the beam (hotspot and spill) had significant amount of greenishness on Low-mode and High-mode:

The new Worm SS 2012 has the 1A0 tint bin, which means that greenishness has not been 100% fully eliminated -- it's a Cree XP-G R5 after all! -- but nicely reduced and is now comparable to other XP-G R5 lights of its price class (iTP A3 XP-G R5, ..). Keep in mind that PWM-regulated torches like the iTP A3 will always look less greenish on lower modes than current regulated lights because the latter usually produce a tint shift (to remarkable greenishness, yuck!) when driven with suboptimal low currents. This physical phenomenon was discussed in depth and explained on the inet and forums (CPF, ..), and even leading innovators in the field struggle with the decision to replace PWM-regulation on ultralow Low-modes by current regulation (see reviews for Zebralight SC51 vs. SC80).

Dont feel turned off by the poor tint performance of the older Worm revisions. The tint should not be of major concern any longer when you are interested in this product. I do mention this subject repeatedly in this review to warn you about old production stock from your preferred dealer and also knowing that premium tint is possible with current regulated XP-G R5 emitters, see for example Klarus MiX6 (white/purplish) and the best of the best, the Fenix LD01 release 4 (pure white/least greenish). They are 50$ lights and you dont need to go there just for the better (my promise!) tint performance. 50$ for a AAA keychain light?? Get outta here this is the BFL! Silly

 

Holding up against the competition: ★★★★★

Call them competition or call them counterfeits. The rippled stainless steel design seems popular with a growing number of Chin*se flashlight brands and OEM companies, and on DX many customer think that this is the most beautiful flashlight design. If you are open to budget lights, google to find out more info on them:

MaxToch ED2R-7: 3-part, Waterproof IPX-6, Stainless Steel, Cree XP-E R2, SMO-reflector, 3-Mode, 225-Lumen, LED Flashlight (AAA/10440), rated voltage 3.3V/rated current 750mA, Dimensions: (7.85 cm x 1.45 cm x 1.45 cm), Weight: (40 g); US$??

SZOBM ZY-M5: 3-part, Waterproof IPX-8, Stainless Steel, Cree XP-E R2, SMO-reflector, 5-Mode, ?-Lumen, LED Flashlight (AAA/10440), Dimensions: (7.9 cm x 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm), Weight: (45 g); US$15.88

UltraFire SA-R2 : 3-part, Waterproof IPX-8, Stainless Steel, CREE XP-E R2 WC, SMO-reflector, 5-Mode, Memory, 240-Lumen, LED Flashlight (1*AAA/Protected 10440), 0.5~4.2V, Dimensions: (7.8 cm x 1.4 cm x 1.4 cm), Weight: (42 g); US$16.60. some reviews exist, also see CPF; Runtime: up to 30h

Brinyte BR-S2 : 3-part, Waterproof IPX-6, Stainless Steel, Cree XP-E R2, SMO-reflector, 5-Mode, Memory, 0.8-4.2V;  AAA/10440; 240 Lumen, Dimensions: (7.85 cm x 1.45 cm x 1.45 cm), Weight: (45 g); US$10-20 / EUR27.90
Current:1000MA(10440)/300MA(AAA);
Runtime: 30minutes(li-ion)/150mintues(AA); -High power&long runtime -Low voltage protection -Constant output

Sky Ray S2: 3-part, Waterproof, Stainless Steel, Cree XP-E R2, SMO-reflector, 5-Mode, Memory, 120-Lumen, LED Flashlight (AAA), 2.75-3.05V, Dimensions: (7.88 cm x 1.45 cm x 1.45 cm), Weight: (56 g); US$16.99 / US$18.23

FandyFire XG-V5: 2-part, Waterproof, Silver, CREE XP-G R5 WC, SMO-reflector, 5-Mode, Memory, 350-Lumen, White LED Flashlight (1 x 18650), 2.5-4.2V, Dimensions: (11.5 cm x 2.2 cm x 2.2 cm), Weight: (106 g); US$18.30

UniqueFire G6: 2-part, Waterproof, Stainless Steel, CREE XM-L T6, SMO-reflector, 5-Mode, Memory, 600-Lumen, LED Flashlight (1 x 18650), 2.5-4.2V, Dimensions: (11.4 cm x 2.26 cm x 2.26 cm), Weight: (123 g); US$22.79

Sky Ray G6: 2-part, Waterproof, Stainless Steel, CREE XP-G R5, SMO-reflector, 5-Mode, Memory, 600-Lumen, LED Flashlight (1 x 18650), 2.5-4.2V, Dimensions: (11.33 cm x 2.27 cm x 2.27 cm), Weight: (135 g); US$21.20

SZOBM ZY-C16: 2-part, Waterproof, Stainless Steel, CREE XP-G R5, SMO-reflector, 5-Mode, ?-Lumen, LED Flashlight (1x 18650), Dimensions: (11.3 cm x 2.3 cm x 2.3 cm), Weight: ("110/130" g); US$18.81

 

Lumintop Worm SS : 2-part, Waterproof, Stainless Steel, Cree XP-G R5, OP-reflector, 2-Mode, 70 Lumen max, AAA (no 10440!); Dimensions: (71.46 mm x 13.95 mm x 13.95 mm) (thickness of threads: 1.00mm, min body diameter 12.45mm, tube inner diameter:10.70mm), Weight: (27.1 g); FL-1 Standard: <42m beam distance, 1.5m impact resistance,<540 cd peak beam intensity, 4h+ max runtime, 2.0m water resistance; Runtime: ~7h (test by selfbuilt); no PWM; perfect constant current regulation; US$29.95

Lumintop Worm Aluminum : 2-part, Waterproof, Aluminum (Black/Blue/Red/Yellow), Cree XP-E R2/R3, OP-reflector, 2-Mode, 60 Lumen max, AAA (no 10440!); Dimensions: (72.22 mm x 14.00 mm x 14.00 mm) (thickness of threads: 1.00mm, min body diameter 12.52mm, tube inner diameter:10.76mm), Weight: (13.1 g); FL-1 Standard: 42m beam distance, 1.5m impact resistance, 540 cd peak beam intensity, 4h+ max runtime, 2.0m water resistance; Runtime: ~7h (test by selfbuilt); no PWM; perfect constant current regulation; US$19.95

My thoughts: the Lumintop is smaller, lighter, 2-part, professional and serious. The UltraFire isnt listed officially on the UltraFire website neither is the Brinyte, which seems to be affiliated with UltraFire. The UltraFire and Brinyte look 99.5% identical (well, i dunno!). Due to their weight none of them is suitable for everday pocket carry ... except for the Lumintop Worm Alu (and SS).

 

Summary: ★★★★

Imho this is a product which one primarily buys for its optical appearance, the unobtrusive design, the classic looks. And if you love its looks, then why not go all the way down and buy the expensive and better performing SS version? In either case both Worms offer enough else to appreciate apart from the worm-like looks, btw who could have imagined regarding worms for once as something attractive? The Lumintop Worm is a light-weight, elegant looking, inexpensive, serious light harmonically suited for everyday keychain carry with truely outstanding built quality and efficiency. The Alu's intense beam allows for unexpected impressive throw (looking for things, spotlighting objects, candle-mode ceiling bounce, outdoor activities, walking paths) while its tight hotspot is not the optimal beam pattern for very close-up work of longer duration where one may prefer more evenly-lit broad illumination (reading comics, Preon P0, iTP A3, Worm SS). With the variety of color choices and nice packaging the Worm appeals to a large array of potential buyers, male or female, young and not so young, also recommendable as successful gift to non-flashaholics. All in all it is a rather simple unexciting torch (flashaholics, no 10440's!) which will just last you forever for four reasons: 1. unfailing 2-modes only; 2. no operation with hazardous 10440's; 3. superior built quality; 4. FREE lifetime no-hassle warranty.

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:12
MountainKing
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Keisler, you totally sold me on the lumintop...Gotta love current regulation and I find the 10/60 lumens mode PERFECT for my EDC chainlight.

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.

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

Streamer
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Who has worm for best price?    Kreisler, your link to Amazon.com shows "unavailable".

 

UPDATE:   never mind Smile   Ebay has them as low as $16 shipped.

joerch
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I have the Ultrafire SA-R2, a pretty nice and bright light, it is brighter than the Tank E09 and the EOS A3 (all on eneloops) and using  10440 it is brighter than the E09 (I use a IMR10440 from bestinone)

Big difference to the other lights is the twisty at the rear end which makes single hand operation not possible, although I do not like the disco-modes as the light has memory too.

I like it anyway, maybe I can do some measurements later.

SashiX
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Yeeeaahhhh Silly

EDIT: hm, you said that Tank is "a tick brighter" but... what about regulation? Perhaps it's brighter at the beggining but afterwards... :~ AFAIK, Lumintop has deadly flatline regulation Flat Stare

kreisler
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SashiX wrote:
AFAIK, Lumintop has deadly flatline regulation :|

well, i have yet to confirm this Tongue Out

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
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f e n i x l d 0 1 r 4


ENELOOPS:

tailcap readings.

tailcap readings with freshly charged Eneloops (1.54V)...vs...depleted Eneloops (1.20V)

Med: 0.207...0.657A

Lo: 0.022...0.041A

Hi-1: 0.655...1.750A

Hi-2: 0.448...0.551A

comment: as expected, amperage rises with falling cell voltage. this way the brightness is regulated constant.

 

actual runtime measurements.

Eneloop runtimes on Hi:

1.54V, cell#2, 2h0min, @0.83V ->1.1494V, N/A

1.55V, cell#8, 1h44min, @0.83V ->1.1691V, 798mAh

1.54V, cell#6, 1h37min, @0.88V ->1.1848V, 749mAh

1.54V, cell#7, 1h35min, @0.98V ->1.2008V, 745mAh

1.54V, cell#5, 1h35min, @1.01V ->1.2103V, 772mAh

1.54V, cell#6, 1h34min, @0.91V ->1.1934V, 761mAh

1.54V, cell#2, 1h33min, @0.96V ->1.1966V, 742mAh

1.55V, cell#7, 1h32min, @1.13V ->1.2268V, 728mAh

1.54V, cell#8, 1h31min, @1.15V ->1.2356V, 737mAh

Eneloop runtimes on Med:

1.54V, cell#8, 3h24min, @0.83V ->1.1577V, 811mAh

1.55V, cell#2, 3h15min, @0.88V ->1.1761V, 755mAh

1.54V, cell#8, 3h12min, @1.09V ->1.2000V, 740mAh

1.55V, cell#7, 3h8min, @1.11V ->1.2039V, 753mAh

Eneloop runtimes on Lo: TBA

1.55V, cell#2, 31h45min, @0.85V ->1.1617V, 772mAh

 

note:

down-step from Hi-1 to Hi-2 occurs after ~7mins (6min53sec, to be exact!)

no matter which voltage the cell has, in High-mode the torch comes on always on Hi-1, for example in series you'd get something like this:

#1, 0.655...0.768A, then down-step (from 0.768A) to 0.448A

#2, ...0.823A, then down-step to 0.xxxA

#3, ...0.838A, then down-step to 0.481A

#4, ...0.862A, then down-step to 0.487A

#5, ...0.872A, then down-step to 0.xxxA

#6, ...0.926A, then down-step to 0.510A

#7, ...1.055A, then down-step to 0.551A

#8, ...1.750A, then drops out of regulation

If you sum these intervals, the (max. possible) accumulated runtime on Hi-1 is about 49min (7*7min), or in other words, if you need max brightness you could turn on and switch to Hi-1 (period#1), then after ~7mins, cycle thru the modes again to High-mode (Hi-1; period#2), for a total of 7 periods. After that, when you're in your 8th period, the cell is becoming depleted and you get only a few more minutes (< 7min) on Hi-1 until the light completely drops out of regulation: the light would dim steadily within minutes from 1.750A to low light output.

 


10440's:

The older PWM-regulated LD01 versions (Q4, Q5, R2, R3) were known to support 10440's, see the many CPF references. So what about the current version, the LD01 R4 which is not PWM-regulated but current-regulated (no PWM confirmed!)? First let's start off with this link from authorized Fenix dealer Lighthound:

http://www.lighthound.com/Fenix-LD01-Cree-R4-AAA-Flashlight-HA-III-Black-Finish-can-use-10440-batteries_p_3377.html

The product sales webpage states clearly that the LD01 R4 black aluminum version can use 10440 LiIon cells! There are "hundreds" of Fenix LD01 threads on CPF and often the 10440's topic is included in the discussion, most of which date from 2008-2010 and cover the PWM-regulated versions. i've selected the most relevant or interesting threads, may they be helpful related reading (in no preferred order):

I did enough reading, i've had it! :tired:, now i just go ahead and use 10440's for the sake of this review:

 

tailcap readings.

tailcap readings with freshly charged Protected Ultrafire 10440 (4.215V resting voltage)...vs...depleted cells (3.600V resting voltage; within seconds switftly drops/sags down to 2.750V under load, shortly before the protection trips):

Med: 0.890A...0.105A

Lo: 0.169A...0.019A

Hi: 1.316A...0.187A

comment: on Hi, for a cell with 300mAh capacity, the initial discharge current is 4.4C which is way beyond the 2C safety specification of 10440 LiIon cells which says that the continuous discharge rate of a 10440 cell should not exceed 700mA. Assuming that the actual capacity of 10440's (often rated with a nominal capacity of 500mAh or 600mAh, see Trustfire or Ultrafire 10440 cells lol) is somewhere between 250mAh and 350mAh the initial discharge current calculates to between 3.7C and 5.3C. 320mAh would be a generous bet, and this calculates to 4.1C. However, since the light is not regulated on Li-Ion's, amperage decreases with decreasing cell voltage, the light gets dimmer and dimmer on Li-Ion's and there is no continuous (or constant) 4C discharge rate to be feared. In fact, on Hi the discharge rate continuously declines from 1.3A (4C, 4.215V) to 0.2A (0.6C, 2.750V).

FYI, even if a torch (the PCB and the LED) can withstand for example 4C with proper cooling, it doesnt mean that you or the torch are safe. Continuous constant 4C is a hazardous discharge rate for normal 10440 LiIon cells and it could lead to poof or kaboom. in practice you are safe to discharge at 4C for short periods of time, e.g. for 20sec time intervals. for the sake of this detailed review with tests and measurements, i am venturing continuous discharge tests on Hi mode (and on the other 2 modes).

 

actual runtime measurements.

Protected 10440 runtimes on Hi, until the protection trips:

cell1 (marked): 20m27s (60sec intervals) / 28m12s (full run) / 25m24s (full run) / 18m36s (60sec intervals)

cell2 (unmarked): 17m37s (90sec intervals) / 20m15s (full run) / 20m37s (full run) / 20m13s (full run)

Protected 10440 runtimes on Med, until the protection trips:

cell1 (marked): 33m26s / 32m50s / 31m38s / 30m16s

cell2 (unmarked): 26m25s / 25m48s / 25m8s

Protected 10440 runtimes on Lo, until the protection trips:

cell1 (marked): 2h19m31s / 2h18m46s

cell2 (unmarked): 2h7m4s / 2h8m36s

 

some details of the runtime measurements.

Now let's put some efforts in measuring tailcap current and cell voltage in detail during the above testruns, especially on Hi-mode. See the following discharge graphs of continuous runtimes (marked cell on Med, unmarked cell on Hi) to get an idea of how fast the current decreases within the first 2mins (="120,0" on the x-axis) both on Hi- and Med-mode. The above 2 underscored numbers are taken directly from this measurement graph:

measurements and graph by kreisler, UT61E and Excel2010, thx to HKJ for helping with it

you can clearly see that the light is not regulated on 10440's. if it were, then the current would increase(!) with progressing runtime, to stabilize the brightness ( wattage = amperage x voltage ). the LD01 R4 on 10440's, when time progresses voltage decreases (because the 10440 cell is being depleted) and amperage decreases! therefore the light dims. no constant brightness on 10440's! what else can you see from the above graph? you can see that shortly before reaching 7.0mins continuous runtime on Hi-mode, the light drops in amperage from Hi1 (~0.86A) to Hi2 (~0.76A) .. in a similar way as we have been observing with Eneloops. this means that the light uses a built-in timer (capacitor?) every time when you switch the light to Hi-mode, and this is independent from the cells (Eneloops or 10440's). Anything else we can see from the above graph? Well, the actual "average continuous" current draw on Hi-mode is ~0.8A (2.5C), and ~0.55A (1.5C) on Med-mode, which is way below the initial 4.4C. You ask me: So kreisler is 2.5C finally a safe discharge rate yes or not or what?? And i answer: Get off my back thx haha and simply enjoy the next visualized 3 testruns, all on Hi-mode, but this time conducted in short intervals.

Each interval has a length of 90sec runtime:

unmarked 10440 cellaccumulated runtimeoffline voltage at rest
interval 00'0''4.200V
after interval 11'30''4.06V
after interval 23'00''4.024V
after interval 34'30''3.952V
after interval 46'00''3.898V
after interval 57'30''3.856V
after interval 69'00''3.807V
after interval 710'30''3.788V
after interval 812'00''3.744V
after interval 913'30''3.703V
after interval 1015'00''3.676V
after interval 1116'30''3.535V
after interval 1217'37''tripped at 2.750V

Each interval has a length of 60sec runtime:

marked 10440 cellaccumulated runtimeoffline voltage at rest
interval 00'00''4.200V
after interval 11'00''4.09V
after interval 22'00''4.03V
after interval 33'00''3.97V
after interval 44'00''3.90V
after interval 55'00''3.83V
after interval 66'00''3.81V
after interval 77'00''3.79V
after interval 88'00''3.77V
after interval 99'00''3.75V
after interval 1010'00''3.74V
after interval 1111'00''3.73V
after interval 1212'00''3.72V
after interval 1313'00''3.71V
after interval 1414'00''3.69V
after interval 1515'00''3.68V
after interval 1616'00''3.66V
after interval 1717'00''3.63V
after interval 1818'00''3.54V
after interval 1919'00''3.42V
after interval 2020'00''3.29V
after interval 2120'27''tripped at 2.750V

Same cell, same 60sec interval length, just another testrun, this time with stricter pauses of exact 9.0min between each interval:

marked 10440 cellaccumulated runtimeoffline voltage (after 9min rest)
interval 00'00''4.20V (4.200V)
after interval 11'00''3.93V (4.116V)
after interval 22'00''3.88V (4.063V)
after interval 33'00''3.84V (3.996V)
after interval 44'00''3.82V (3.949V)
after interval 55'00''3.79V (3.904V)
after interval 66'00''3.76V (3.867V)
after interval 77'00''3.74V (3.839V)
after interval 88'00''3.72V (3.816V)
after interval 99'00''3.71V (3.797V)
after interval 1010'00''3.69V (3.780V)
after interval 1111'00''3.67V (3.766V)
after interval 1212'00''3.66V (3.750V)
after interval 1313'00''3.64V (3.731V)
after interval 1414'00''3.62V (3.708V)
after interval 1515'00''3.60V (3.691V)
after interval 1616'00''3.56V (3.676V)
after interval 1717'00''3.45V (3.578V)
after interval 1818'00''3.22V (3.376V)
after interval 1918'36''tripped at 2.750V (3.212V)

The above tables are more detailed than graphs and they can be helpful to determine how much runtime you got left if you check your (unprotected, for that matter) 10440 cell with a digital voltmeter. For example, when you remove the cell and it has been resting and the DMM measures 3.80V, then it means that you got only ~10mins on Hi-mode left, if you use the light intermittently for 60-90sec intervals. Likewise, if it measures the magical 3.60V limit, then you got 2-3min left (= 2x 60sec, or 2x 90sec) before the voltage under load reaches the (another magical) 2.75V limit. I mean, on the LD01 it's easy to notice when you just have reached the 2.75V limit: the light isnt bright anymore!! haha. No, seriously. As soon as you notice a considerable drop in brightness on Hi-mode (or Med-mode), it means that the light has passed the 2.75V limit (e.g. down to 2.10V) and you must stop using the light by all means. Then let the unprotected cell recover (e.g. up to 2.50V) and finally feed it to your charger and hope that the charger accepts the overdischarged cell. As a general rule, if the cell's resting voltage has reached 3.5999V (=2-3mins on Hi-mode left), you should stop using the cell and go recharge it. The above tables are also helpful/valuable for you for reproduction purposes: if you can reproduce the above measurements (tailcap readings with freshly charged cells, voltage readings after 60secs or 90secs of usage on Hi-mode), then it means that your copy performs exactly as my sample. Fenix has high production quality standards and we should assume that all produced LD01 R4 units perform equally well and safe (e.g. with 10440's) but users all over the world (amazon, forums, google, wiki, ebay, haha) do report about stupid tints, malcentered emitters, and dying specimen.

The above 3 tables (containing 4 sets of voltage measurements) generate these line graphs with interpolated points. The 3 blue lines (=resting voltage of cell1 or cell2) share an interesting common characteristic: after 16mins of accumulated Hi-mode runtime, the lines would part from that intersection on! The resting voltage at that time is ~3.67V which is therefore a critical voltage in the LD01 R4 so to speak:

measurements and graph by kreisler, UT61E and Excel2010, thx to HKJ for helping with it

comment: as you can see from my published multiple runtime tests on 10440's, continuous runtimes heavily depend on the state and quality of the particular cell. there seems to be a considerable quality difference (capacity difference) between cell1 and cell2, both of which were bought together in the identical 2-pack from DX. also note that the runtimes got shorter with each test run! indication of cell degradation and cell aging? You're asking 'hey kreisler i've seen such shaped line graphs before! is it coincidence that the Fenix LD01 R4 10440 discharge curve (amperage vs. runtime) looks so similar to battery discharge curves (voltage vs. capacity)?' and my answer is 'well observed, well well! maybe it has something to do with DD'. haha.

duh.

and last but not least note that continuous runtimes are longer than using the light in intervals. the interval method, e.g. max 60-90 secs on Hi1 with 10440's, may be healthy for the Cree XP-G R4 LED's life but dont wonder about the short accumulated runtime. the high initial discharge currents (e.g. 1.316A with a freshly overcharged 10440 cell) when you switch on (or to) Hi1-mode do explain why accumulated runtimes from the interval method have to be shorter in sum.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE (DISCLAIMER):

since the LD01 R4 is not certified for use with 10440's i do not recommend or encourage feeding 10440's. during the many runtime tests conducted for the sake of this review (and for the sake of giving complete information, which was btw never done before! so this is a world-premiere for the LD01 R4 --- a full-fledged review!!!) there was no harm done to my LD01 R4 copy and other users on cpf report the same: their LD01 R4 copies do withstand the high current/high voltage of protected or unprotected 10440's without problems. however, in all fairness, this is no guarantee that your copy will not fry at some point. my strong advice is: DO NOT USE 10440's IN YOUR LD01 R4! the point is: the light is incredibly bright on Eneloops (conservatively rated 72lm) and it looks even brighter because of the tight beam (tight spill + very tight hotspot, rated 50m throw), the LD01 R4 produces higher actual brightness and runtimes than the Klarus MiX6 (rated 85lm lol), you also got the most perfect beam beauty and the best possible pure white tint and in both it beats the legendary premium MiX6 which comes itself with immense beam beauty and pure white tint. in other words, it's already the #1 top best performing 1xAAA keychain light (and many people who "know" the long-existing Fenix LD01 product are not aware of this sensational fact), so why would you desire or risk driving the light beyond design specifications? for what good reason? out of boredom? or maybe simply because you are extremely curious, possess tons of dollars and dont mind possibly ruining a perfectly working #1 top best performing 1xAAA keychain light? well, if you're curious, which is a valid good reason imho, then this detailed review (and up to this date, it's the only existing review of the R4 version of the LD01!!!) should have satisfied your §$%&! curiosity. 10440's in the LD01 R4: I've proven that it works, i've proven that it rivals the iTP A3 XP-G R5 on Hi, i've shown that you get 3 distinct (even if bad-spaced) modes, i've clocked continuous runtimes, i've measured accumulated runtimes, i've measured amperages both on fresh and on depleted cells, i've been ruining (=wasting) my cells with the multiple and repeated test runs, i've published full amperage discharge graphs on Hi and Med, and i've created several animated beam slice GIFs which visualize the absolute and comparative brightness. so what else could you possibly be curious about?? all you need to know about 10440's in the LD01 R4 is presented in this kicka$$ review so your curiosity (about this sort of info) is herewith officially satisfied, and it cant be named anymore as reason why you would want to risk it. in any case or which other personal reason you might have .. the LD01 R4 is really(!) not designed to run on 10440's: you lose a real Lo! With 10440's on Lo, the LD01 R4 is as bright as on Hi with Eneloops. that's a real bummer and kills many possible uses of a versatile keychain light (preserving night vision, reading a book at total darkness). a keychain light without a real Lo is inacceptable, you'll realize this in practice in the long run believe me. there are lights which you can run with confidence on 10440's so use them if you need to wow your fellas: the iTP A3 XP-G R5, the Tank E09, and others. Here a suggestion: if you are beyond the 30 months Fenix warranty period and dont care much anymore for yours (e.g. because you got better ladies at home), then ..etc..


brightness levels, given freshly charged 10440's:

lo (eneloop) < med (eneloop) < hi2 (eneloop) < lo (10440) < hi1 (eneloop) < med (10440) < hi (10440):

ANIMATED GIF

jojo


*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
esrevenge
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kreisler wrote:
The Worm is more for "serious use" (conservative 2 modes, timeless design, top built quality) .. whereas i do get more play and fun from the Tank E09: 3 modes, a tick brighter, 10440's support, and even throwier.

Hi bro, very good post thanks.

 

Can you help me decide something please...should I get the stainless Worm or a colored aluminum one?  I cant really decide...Stainless is 30$ so that makes it a big purchase for me...(above my mental impulse to buy-now), and the Aluminum is only 17$...but if you could only pick one, what would you get since you have them both in hand...is the stainless one really nicer?  Or too heavy, etc??

 

Thanks!

kreisler
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i guess you cant wait until the review huh? lol

actually i am taking back .. i ve just retested the brightness E09 vs. Worm with fresh Varta 1.2V NiMH cells. The Worm throws further and is brighter (peak beam intensity).. By the end of this week i should have completed the relative comparison.

SS or Alu? There is little which counts for the SS, except for the key attachment point. It is considerably heavier. Good to EDC it to a party (for the bling). If you dont mind the Olight i3-type of mini split ring attachment point (i use a special large thin split ring for the Worm Alu), then believe me this is an easy decision. Alu.

But most importantly, do not get old stock of the Worm but a latest production sample. Lumintop cares a lot about optimal LED's (brightness, tint bin), as mentioned.

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
SashiX
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esrevenge wrote:

... the Aluminum is only 17$...

Where?

 

kreisler wrote:

SS or Alu? There is little which counts for the SS, except for the key attachment point. It is considerably heavier. Good to EDC it to a party (for the bling). If you dont mind the Olight i3-type of mini split ring attachment point (i use a special large thin split ring for the Worm Alu), then believe me this is an easy decision. Alu.

AFAIK, SS has XP-G R5. 

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kreisler wrote:

But most importantly, do not get old stock of the Worm but a latest production sample. Lumintop cares a lot about optimal LED's (brightness, tint bin), as mentioned.

Where to get the new stock? How to differentiate the  old from new stock? Is the difference between old and new that much?

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.

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

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SashiX wrote:

SashiX wrote:

Got Lumintop Worm today Smile (took 2 weeks). Thought it will be a little bit smaller, but it's small enough.

What can I say? 2 modes, CC (i.e. no PWM), SMO (instead of LOP, as shown in selfbuilts review, so "normal" artifacts are slightly visible). LO mode is very usable (14 lm if I remember well), so no need 1 extra turn Smile (low-low, about 2-3 lm, is too low for me). And HI... man, I'm quite impressed Big Smile It's even brighter than I thought it would be. It's quite difficult to rotate the head with one hand, but no prob, it will not turn on accidentally. (I lubbed threads previously). Machining is very nice. The only "bad thing" was the front/lens o-ring. It was slightly out. Will try to put it right later. In short, nice light for $17 I paid.

UPDATE: I can also see veeeery small donut hole or something like that (because of the SMO I think). The tint, btw, is very nice, almost pure white on veeery slightly warm side Silly

Hi SashiX, congrats to your Worm! Sorry to hear about the lens o-ring (limóng onó¿). SMO reflector? Wanna share some pix?

let's validate the integrity of your emitter (XR-E, XP-E, R2, R3, ..)

I've measured Eneloop runtimes, see OP.

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
SashiX
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Kreisler, thanks for pasting my comment here, couldn't find this thread yesterday :bigsmile:

Yup, came with SMO reflector. I think LOP will smoothen a little bit better those "normal" artifacts when you use SMO. I've made some pic using my phone and magnifying glass :bigsmile: Don't know if it's R2 or R3 Flat Stare (they, AFAIK, should be the same, visually). I still need to buy new NiMh.

The upper-left part of the o-ring is slightly out.

kreisler
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nice photo, thanks!!

here a picture from my past :bigsmile:

yours looks nicer. so whaddya think?

boring torch? *GGG*

btw, time to update your signature, and kick the dealer's a$$ for sending the o-ring issue

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
MixoMaxo
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is xpe R3! ...at that time is what you wish xD but you really ordered that color?

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MixoMaxo wrote:
is xpe R3!

:quest: Embarassed

( two me looks like xpe R2! )

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
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As I said before and AFAIK, visually, R2=R3 Flat Stare How do you know if it's R3, mixo?

Yup, I ordered that color and, Kreisler, as for "kickin' the dealer's a$$ for sending the o-ring issue"... I'm on it :bigsmile:

Anyway, I think LOP would be a bit better in such a small light. (but SMO will throw better Silly ).

Will take some beamshots later.

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kreisler wrote:

MixoMaxo wrote:
is xpe R3! ...at that time is what you wish xD

:quest: Embarassed

( two me looks like xpe R2! )

read all evil, don't need another baby that cry about his R2 or greenish xpg xD

...and my mobile connection prefer JPG images instead of PNG ty xD

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SashiX wrote:
Will take some beamshots later.

danos la corona y el no-hagas agujero graXias xD

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
MountainKing
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That was one fantastic review. Hats off mate. Any clue where can I buy the 2012 version on ebay that ships to Mauritius free?

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.

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

MountainKing
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Would the XP-G really matter over choosing the XP-E version?? You totally sold me on getting one of these RIGHT NOW MATE. Im fighting the urge to buy one atm waiting for your reply...

Ok you bought this from hkequipment and he trades on ebay too....Can you please confirm if these are the 2012 versions?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LuminTop-WORM-II-Cree-XP-E-R2-LED-2Mde-Flashlight-Pu-/370592608637?pt=US_Flashlights&hash=item56490a717d

OR

http://www.hkequipment.net/?sp=&p=6&cat2=174&cat1=64&cat0=1&id=860&cat1=64&cat0=1&new=&more=&s=380aef6b2456dfaef8109a9eab60c2da&lang=en

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.

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

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hi MountainKing,

SashiX has the Alu 2012 model and he could comment in detail on his sample (tint, brightness). runtime of the Alu is miniminimally higher (~80mins vs. ~74mins, and i am still running runtime tests) but in terms of light output, hotspot size (as seen in the table and animated gifs), the SS 2012 is an outperformer and i am highly surprised. I had the SS 2011 and it was extremely greenish and with low light output. So there is now a boost in improvement in the SS 2012. Amazing output, especially its integral brightness, and tint on low-mode is less greenish than it used to be. On high-mode the tint is slightly greenish and comparable to the typical greenishness of the iTP A3 XP-G R5 which everybody loves; the Klarus MiX6 has a much better tint, no doubt. I am running the Worm SS head on the Worm Alu body (to save weight) but i could run it also on my iTP A3 body (to save weight).

So it's a little difficult to decide between SS and Alu. It depends on the purpose, really. If you need a great great AAA torch, then better just go with the Tank E09 (i dont mind the low-frecuency PWM. i find it cool!) because it has all versatility and safe operation with a total of 6 brightness levels (3x Eneloops, 3x Protected 10440's). And the head is supereasy to twist. If weight matters to you a lot (the Klarus MiX6 Ti weighs 12grams!), then you should have a spare body (iTP, Olight, Worm Alu, E09) .. also in order to queen-shelf the shiny SS body.

I wont recommend the Worm SS as torch if it has to be your ONLY 1x AAA torch for a flashaholic. If a flashaholic plans to own just 1 torch (of the 1x AAA form factor), then i will always recommend the Tank E09. (or the iTP A3, or even the Fenix LD01, for those who dont want to fiddle with the E09's insulation issue new out of the box). However, in any other case (non-flashaholic, or flashaholics with 1 other AAA-sized torch), i would full-heartedly recommend the Worm. My personal nods goes to the Worm SS. The weight is still acceptable (compare with Preon Revo SS, Rofis ER10 SS, Klarus Mi10 SS, Fenix LD01 SS, and any other 1xAAA SS model), and personally i can just swap the SS head onto my Alu body.

btw, the review isnt 100% done yet. Once it is, i will change the thread title. SashiX wanted to contribute a set of beamshots, and i wanted to run a few more runtimes in low mode (SS).

The SS is more like a piece of jewelry (with the best output on Eneloops one could imagine, integralwise), and the Alu is thrower -- not too suitable for reading books ;). too bright, too tight hotspot, too intense.

Maybe SashiX can share more of his experiences?! Smile

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
Lensman
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Awesome review kreisler. I started reading out of curiosity and a sort of politeness; after all, someone puts this much work in, the least I can do is to read it. I wasn't really interested in buying another AAA light, but by the end I was on the point of 'adding to cart'. Be very interesting to compare the Worm/s to the Brynite PD03B


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Lensman, you know that i get commission from Lumintop when you buy this torch from your preferred dealer dont ya?

Smile

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
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Hmm... Well, whatever they're paying you, you should put in for a raise Money Mouth. You put more into these reviews than the manufacturers ever do, that's for sure.

I checked your link to the Fenix clips. They're a steal at $1.50, shame it's a 10 bucks minimum spend. Group buy, anyone? !4 mm seems to fit a lot of AAA lights, including Black Cats..

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Lensman wrote:
Be very interesting to compare the Worm/s to the Brynite PD03B

check my sig. the HKE is LD01 release 4. i always wanted to own a Fenix for the sake of it. i've checked a guy's LD01 r4 and i am absolutely stunned by its built quality and performance. After the first few minutes it does a down-step to reduced High-mode (AND FROM THEN ON THE WORM SS 2012 IS BRIGHTER UNTIL THE WORM SHRIVELS AFTER A TOTAL OF 74MINS.) but until then it is brighter than any other AAA torch i know of, on Eneloop; and it's difficult to compare it to Tank E09's 1.6-1.8A (ampere) brightness because of the very different beam profiles -- The Tank E09's lumens output on Eneloops is still dazzling: very wide spill, very bright spill, and throwy intense hotspot. The Fenix has a very narrow beam and spill, and also a throwy intense beautiful hotspot. No matter how you try to compare their typical brightness (e.g. by ceiling bounce, by diffusers, by lumens lightbox, by throw, by animated GIFs/PC scans, ..), it's like comparing apples with pears. So a subjective evaluation of typical brightness is more apt. And imho the Fenix "appears brighter" -- and appearance is what counts!

Disregarding 10440's, on Eneloops the best of the best 1x AAA keychain torch is imho the Fenix LD01 r4. No PWM, the most beautiful, clean, and pure white beam (and it beats the Klarus MiX6 which looks purplish in comparison lol!) on all levels, it runs longer than the Klarus MiX6, i.e. over 90mins on (reduced) High-mode. Almost breath-taking! (shill shill hehe).

On the inet (except for amazon customer reviews) i couldnt find any detailed review of the R4 release, so i am going to do it. There's also the R5 release (in stainless steel) reviewed by HKJ but that seems again a different story: HKJ measured a runtime of 65mins, which doesnt correspond to my measured 90+ mins for the R4.

Beam perfection and beam beauty of the Worms and the Tank E09 are on the lower end and their tints likewise. The Fenix has everything: perfect beam beauty (and an usually deep reflector) and tint, plus the breath-taking High-mode runtime and the highest brightness (typical and integral)! Last but not least, its size (dimensions) is still small and its lighter than my steely-looking lights (Klarus, iTP, Worm).

It's a pity that selfbuilt never reviewed the R4 release.

And i would think that the Fenix beats the Brinyte PD03 too Wink

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
Lensman
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"And i would think that the Fenix beats the Brinyte PD03 too"

I was going to reply that it should do as it's twice the price. But then I found this: http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/fenix-ld01-e01-edc-flashlight-p...
Looks like a good deal.

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Lensman wrote:

"And i would think that the Fenix beats the Brinyte PD03 too"

I was going to reply that it should do as it's twice the price. But then I found this: http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/fenix-ld01-e01-edc-flashlight-p...
Looks like a good deal.

Maybe i should cancel my order with HKE? haha

(joke. not cancelling. HKE has great after-service and perfect email communication. i shop there with full trust and carefreeness. They also offer Best Price, via e-mail request.)

Yes, it's a great deal (if one prefers a "free E01" over the perfect service of HKE)!!

Lensman if you're not in a hurry, then you can wait for my LD01 review where i try to confirm and reconfirm the assertions of my last post (e.g. runtimes, typical brightness, integral brightness, tint, beam profile). Just let me if you are *really* interested in a torch i own (worm, ld01) so that i can point you to some (unwritten) info Wink

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
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Thanks kreisler, (though it's hard to believe there could be anything left out of the above review!)
No, I'm in no hurry. Gonna see how well I get on with the Brynite for a while. If I buy another AAA anytime soon it'll probably be a Black Cat. Only one mode, but so cheap. And I'd really like to try a keychain clicky to compare with the PD03B's twist operation.

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Lensman wrote:

Lensman wrote:

Kreisler: "which DX clone Lensman?"

This one, the Lumintop: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/waterproof-sa-r2-stainless-steel-cree-xp-e-...

It was reviewed on a Russian forum with video, costs ~16.00$, and DX customers like it. HKJ has it too, and it was mentioned on both BLF and CPF.

From the Russian review i would think that it is VERY well-built because you can disassemble it fully, all by screwing: fantastic construction. video (PWM-regulated): it seems to host both Protected Trustfire AND Protected Ultrafire 10440's.

You dont have it, i dont have it, thus it's difficult to evaluate its beam quality, runtimes, brightness, regulation, tint(!) (hello Vectrex Wink ), and other relevant data. My quick eval from the distance is: 79mm may be fine as keychain light but its 45g *without* battery are not something i would want to carry on my bunch of keys. The Quark X AA weighs ~45.523g (hehe). After having carried the Worm SS for some time i have determined for myself, personally i would *never* go over the weight limit of the Worm SS. In other words, i would never carry the Ultrafire SA-R2 as pocket bottom rider or attached to my keys.

Yes, has 5 modes, support for Protected 10440s, and will be brigther than Worm -- but it would weigh tooo much for my liking (and maybe i am a lil pu*sy haha). It would sit on my shelf and nothing else.

Because of that, i have no interest in buying or using it or owning it (not even as gift, or free review sample -- no thanks). i'd rather have interest in the Brinyte PD03!!, so that i can spare my original Fenix LD01 Wink

If the Brinyte and Fenix perform equally well, then there's no *need* to get the Worm or Ultrafire unless you'd desire the latter for their stainless steel blinky blinkiness Love

 

You interested in SA-R2 or Worm SS? if i had your Brinyte, i wouldnt be. Honestly. Smile

Your thoughts?

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh

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