[REVIEW] Wuben TO40R Cree XPL2, 1x18650) *first look*

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FPV
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[REVIEW] Wuben TO40R Cree XPL2, 1x18650) *first look*
  • Wuben TO40R review (Cree XPL2, 1×18650)*

Disclaimer: The product was provided by the manufacturer for this evaluation free of charge. No other compensation (monetary or material), discount or rebate was given and my opinion was not influenced by the manufacturer. This review is my impartial, personal and honest opinion.

With the TO40R Wuben are announcing another model from their TO-series that comes with a Cree XPL2 emitter and a single, rechargeable 18650 battery. The flashlight has an integrated battery charger and can be charged with a standard USB cable. The product came in full OEM retail packaging (therefore it appears to be a production flashlight) and is equipped with 2 electronic side switches (no mechanical clicky switch at the tail), and a pocket clip.
According to Wuben this product is not available on Amazon yet, a retail sale date is to be announced.
I would like to express my gratitude to Jelina from Wuben flashlight who helped me with logistics. This is the first time I have been working with Wuben and I hope it will not be the last time!

Wuben product details and specifications:
(as stated by the OEM on the product website and/or the manual)

Emitter
Cree XP-L2

Max Output
1200 Lumens

Max Beam Distance
220 m

Max Runtime
125 hrs

Battery
18650

Working Voltage
3.7 v

Modes
5

Special Modes
2

Length
130.2 mm

Bezel Diameter
25.4 mm

Tube Diameter
25.4 mm

Weight
93 g

Waterproof
IPX8

- Utilizes CREE XPL2 LED with 100,000 hours lifespan
- Powered by 1*18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery
- Max output up to 1200 Lumens
- Max beam distance up to 220 meters
- Max runtime up to 125 hours
- Micro-USB charging
- Dual Side e-switch lockout function
- One click access to Turbo and Strobe
- Remaining battery power display
- Aluminum alloy vacuum plating smooth reflective cup
- Thermoelectric separation copper substrate for better heat dissipation
- Advanced temperature regulation (ATR) technology Digitally regulated output maintains constant brightness
- Reverse polarity protection
- High-strength aerospace aluminum body
- Mil-Spec hard-anodized for extreme durability Impact resistance 1.5 meters
- Waterproof level IPX8 (2 meters)
- Mode memory: yes (except turbo, strobe)
- Low voltage protection: side switch indicator when battery voltage low
- Electronic & physical lockout

Measurements and real life use (3 days of use)

Current measurements:
- Max measured current: DMM measured 2.57A with the included 2600mAh cell
- Measured with included protected Wuben cell 2600 mAh (charged up to 4.18V in this light)
Moon: 0.01 A
Low: 0.06 A
Medium: 0.33 A
High: 1.27 A
Turbo: 2.57 A

Other measurements to follow:
(Max current: DMM measured with a Samsung 25R)
(Max current: DMM measured with a Samsung 30Q)

Measured physical dimensions of flashlight:

- Length: 131.1 mm
- Bezel diameter: 25.4 mm
- Bezel opening (OTF) 19.4 mm
- Head diameter: 28.8 mm (widest point)
- Body diameter: 30.0 mm (widest point at clip)
- Body diameter: 25.0 mm (without clip)
- Clip groove diameter: 23.0 mm
- Clip groove width: 4.9 mm
- Clip width: 6.4 mm
- Clip length: 49.6 mm
- Switch length: 18.8 mm
- Switch width: 9.8 mm
- MCPCB shelf: not accessible atm
- Driver: not accessible atm
- Maximum cell length: 70-74 mm
(protected cells DO fit, longest cell I have is about 72, there is some space left)
- Lanyard hole width: 7.0 mm
- Lanyard hole height: 2.0 mm
(there are two holes in the tail cap, one per side)
- Length of battery included (protected, button top): 70.0 mm
- Diameter of battery included (protected): 18.70 mm
- Battery tube ID: 18.60mm
- Battery tube OD: 22.30 mm
measured at square threads at the end, widest point
- End of battery tube to driver: 71.5 mm
- Tube thickness: 1.6 mm
(measured at the squared threads, end of tube)
- Tail cap finger groove height: 21.7 mm
Tail cap height: 26.0 mm
- Tail cap OD: 25.4 mm

Host / Build:

- Weight: 18650: 95 g without cell, ~142 g with included cell
- Switch type: Momentary / two electronic side switches (grey color)
- Mode switch protrudes slightly more than I/O switch
- Body material: Hard anodized aluminum: black
- Lens: Glass, medium AR coating (no visible tint shift to me)
- Anti-roll and tail-standing capable
- Waterproof to IPX8 (not yet tested)

– Electrical:

- Operating voltage: 2.8V to 8.xV (wasn’t able to confirm this yet)
- Battery: One 18650 or two CR cells
- Low-voltage protection: Yes
- Thermal protection: Yes
- Power can be locked out by loosening the tailcap, or by entering electronic lockout
- Reverse polarity protection is included in this flashlight, but it might not protect the cell (not tested)

Standby drain

There is insignificant parasitic drain on the circuit when the flashlight is switched off and not physically locked out. It appears that this drain will not change when the electronic lockout is enabled.

Normal standby: 22 µA
Electronic lockout: 22 µA

Packaging

The TO40R comes in a high quality product packaging which looks more luxurious than a regular flashlight packaging. While unboxing you can tell that some nifty marketing manager put some serious effort into designing this box. The black box has key product facts printed on the outside and invites the owner to open the box. After sliding the top part off, the inside of the product box looks organized and conveys a certain haptic feel only higher quality prosumer products used to have. In fact, opening this box brings back memories when I opened my first Apple Macbook Pro packaging years ago.

The product was safely cradled in enough packaging material that no harm was done while embarking on the long journey from Asia. (Please note that the Wuben flashlight comes with a battery inside this flashlight host. In order to avoid accidents, activation or discharching there is a small plastic disc on the negative battery side which has to be removed before using the product. This is a nice safety feature.).

Bundled in the retail box with the evaluation flashlight:


1× 18650 2600mAh battery (protected cell) (3.8V at delivery)
1x USB charging cable (higher quality than usual cables)
1x Lanyard (not tested)
1x spare O-ring (not tested)
1x User manual
1x Warranty card
1x Product certificate



Physical appearance & functionality

- High quality craftsmanship with full black finish (no silver/polished parts)
(there are absolutely zero issues with anodization or machining)
- Decent light output for a single cell/single emitter setup
- Hot spot is focused and without issues and good ratio of throw & spill
- Very comfortable knurling and attractive overall design
- Good, sturdy pocket clip (can be worn/mounted lens up or down)
- One of the best USB port covers I have seen; when closing it pushes the air out and seals the port confidently. When opening the flap you can actually hear how air gets sucked back in.
- Near silent operation of the flashlight is possible (almost no clicking sound when using the e-switches, the switch boots are silicone)
- The reflector is smooth, the lens is AR coated (medium)
- In addition to electronic lockout you can physically lock out the light by opening the tail cap approximately 1/4 turn
- The tail cap does have finger grooves (not flat) but the flashlight can tailstand
- Neither the bezel nor the head can be easily unscrewed (need to find out whether really tight or glued)

User interface

The light is operated with two electronic side switches. There is an indicator LED under the switch to indicate battery charging status, it does not operate as a breather LED to find the flashlight in a dark environment.

Some people might prefer the opportunity to use a single e-switch instead of two (for ease of use), but I like the proposed 2 switch solution. As long as you can find the switches on the side, there don’t seem to be any other issues when using the flashlight. The switches are relatively flat and do not protrude in excess (the W switch protrudes a tiny bit more than the I/O switch). Since there is no indicator or “breather” LED when the light is switched off, it would be difficult to find the switches when wearing gloves in a dark environment; other than that specific scenario I don’t foresee problems in finding or using the switches.

U/I from off:
Click I/O switch to turn on the light on the last mode used (“moon”, low, mid, high, turbo)
Long press “W” switch for direct access to strobe
Electronic lockout feature: press and hold both side switches simultaneously for approximately 3 seconds and the light confirms with a brief light flash that the electronic lockout is enabled. The light remembers this lockout unless you physically lockout the device (if circuit breaks, the electronic lockout is “forgotten”). Therefore it is not possible (or required?) to lock out the flashlight both physically and electronically.

U/I while on:
Push on/off electronic switch to turn off the light OR
Push “W” switch to change to the next mode (if switched off, flashlight remembers last used mode).

While there are a multitude of opportunities with a dual electronic switch, I believe the proposed U/I is a practical switch implementation. With two electronic switches you no longer need double or triple clicks for special modes. I also like the fact that you can get to both strobe and turbo from either the ON or OFF state. There is no direct access to moon but – given the relatively high level of light output in moon – this might be a moot point. If you are in a dark environment and you forgot to memorize the last mode you have used (like we all do), you can either switch the light on and be surprised, or go straight into turbo or strobe mode. Personally, I would have preferred one direct access path to moon (instead of strobe) and one direct path to turbo but this might be my preference.

Accidental activation of the flashlight could happen when carrying, but you can lock out the flashlight or open the tailcap to make sure this can not happen.

Other actions:

- Loosen tailcap: Turn off completely, and lock out power.
- Click I/O switch and W switch for 3 seconds: enable electronic lockout (confirmed with 1 second main LED emitter flashes on “moon” mode)
- Click I/O switch and W switch for 3 seconds while electronically locked out: disable electronic lockout (confirmed with main LED emitter goes into and stays in “moon” mode until switches released)

While switched on, a long press on the W switch enables permanent strobe. Another short click on the W switch disables strobe and the light goes back into the last mode it was in. So far so good.
When the light is on, a long press on the I/O switch brings you straight to permanent turbo. Another short press DOES NOT bring you back to the last mode the light was in; the flashlight simply switches off. If you want to go back to the last mode used you have to click the other switch (W) and not the I/O button. I do not believe this is a problem at all as long as you know how to use the light.

One aspect that is definitely missing is having the battery indicator or the main led flash if you are trying to turn the light on when it has been locked out electronically. For new users or a regular person it could otherwise be confusing as to why the light doesn’t switch on.

Beamshot comparison
The smooth reflector of this flashlight combined with the XPL2 results in a visible yellow corona around the tight hotspot. I believe this is normal with this emitter and is not in any way a “fault” with this light. The spill is very good and makes this flashlight a great all-round talent.

I will take beamshots comparing the TO40R to other similarly sized XPL2 lights and upload them in the follow-up post in this thread.

Individual beamshots
TBD
(coming up)

Charging feature

This flashlight can charge the battery with an integrated charger. There is a micro USB port in the head, opposite to the I/O and mode switch. Remove the protective flap and insert the micro USB cable. Charging is indicated with three different states with a LED under the I/O switch:
red (flashing) empty/near empty (below 30%)
blue (flashing): charging (30%-99%)
blue (constantly lit): fully charged
(Please also see the picture below)

The integrated chargers pulls 0.96A from an Apple iPad 3 charger (12W charger) with a high quality USB cable. You can use the flashlight if the charger is connected, if you do switch on the flashlight while charging the amp draw increases to approximately 1.03A for the higher modes. On “moon” mode while charging the measurement showed approximately 0.98A. Moon mode is flickering when a cheap USB cable is used while charging. To avoid this please use the included cable or another, high quality USB cable.
The termination voltage is at 3.18V 4.18V, this is excellent.

(These measurements were taken from a very cheap, eBay sourced, USB ammeter/voltmeter and a HarborFreight free DMM – yes, a new DMM is on my shopping list!)

Temperature

Like most newer flashlight there is a thermal regulation to protect the electronics, emitter and the user.

Long term temperature measurements with IR thermometer:
All measurements were taken at room temperature (24°C) and at the hottest point of the flashlight head after approximately 5 minutes. I did not touch or handle the light while I was measuring and there was no airflow or air conditioning. These values are only approximate and not scientific.

Moon: remains at room temperature
Low: remains at room temperature
Medium: 26° C
High: 33.9° C
Turbo measurements:
1 minute Turbo: 43.3° C
2 minutes Turbo: 45.9° C
3 minutes Turbo: 46.8° C
The device remains stable around this mark, so the thermal step-down appears to be around the 45°C-46°C mark. This is a very good value to aim for because the flashlight feels warm to the touch but not hot or dangerous. Apparently this step-down feature will also stop the process of heating up the flashlight any further. A long-term test (“putting the light into turbo for hours”) has not been carried out yet.
The integrated flashlight head design and thermal step-down leads to significantly lower temperatures of the flashlight body and tail compared to the head.

Mod factor:
This part shall describe the ability for seasoned flashlight enthusiasts to open and modify the product. In the first instance, neither the front bezel (part of the overall head) nor the entire head could be separated from the flashlight. Yes, you read that right – I wasn’t able to remove the entire head from the battery tube. Without tools only the tail cap can be unscrewed and detaches. I do not know whether I need different tools or the flashlight is actually glued together. Either way I will follow up on this.
Even though this light comes with an integrated charger and USB port, this manufacturing process might boost confidence for the IPX8 rating.

Conclusion
The Wuben TO40R is a great everyday flashlight with exceptional build quality and craftsmanship. The light has a sturdy clip, a great U/I and will be a trusted partner for almost any outdoor, professional or leisure activity. Since this is the first Wuben flashlight I ever laid my hands on, I must say I am impressed with the packaging, accessories, overall quality and ease of use. They flashlight is an excellent performer with great feeling of quality.
The TO40R also goes into the right direction with their latest electronic switch UI. There are no weird double or triple clicking exercises required for any features and the driver has features I didn’t expect and I like the two switch U/I. Since there are no glaring technical issues, this product is ready to go to market.

What I liked about this flashlight:
+ High output for a single emitter light
+ Good implementation of a 2 e-switch U/I
+ Excellent high quality craftsmanship and finish of the entire product
+ Nice, sturdy clip; flashlight can be worn lens up or down
+ Knurling very mild, evokes high-end quality feel and looks
+ All black, tactical look and near silent operation possible (almost no clicky sounds, no reflective surface parts with the logical exception of lens, emitter, reflector)
+ Accepts larger 18650s or 2x CR cells (included cell is protected, button-top 18650)
+ No visible flicker
+ Excellent square-cut threads at battery tube end at the tail
+ Momentary, direct access to both Turbo and Strobe with long press on I/O or W switch from off
+ Square threads on the body tube
+ Good tint, not colored by a bad AR lens coating
+ The size and shape feels good, very ergonomic and perfect fit for my hand
+ Anodization is of great quality, seems durable and high quality
+ Spring in the tail cap seems strong and of good quality
+ The head design is good at spreading the heat, I do not anticipate dangerous situations
+ High quality product box with sleek design

Neutral aspects:
- The bezel and head could not be disassembled and appear glued (no easy modding)
- The driver is not accessible at the moment due to glued assembly of head/bezel (no easy modding)
- It would be great if memory mode could be user specified (on/off)
- Skinny, unprotected 18650 batteries rattle a tiny bit
- Electronic lockout is disabled when physical lockout occurs (this is expected, though, and not a problem)
- 142 g weight with the included cell: Not a problem for me, but not the lightest flashlight in this class
- LED under I/O switch does not work as a “breather” LED which could be handy if flashlight is displaced in a dark environment. This is not a “must-have” but a nice feature.
- Yellow corona around the hotspot (this is because of the emitter, not the flashlight); this doesn’t bother me
- No indication of electronic lockout when trying to turn on the light while locked out

Aspects I did not like:
- “Moon” mode is unfortunately too high and no momentary/direct access to moon
(unfortunately I was not able to find a feature where you can disable memory mode either, so there is no easy way of knowing how much light will come out when switching it on)
- Side switches difficult to use in very specific scenarios, mainly in dark environments with gloves on. Otherwise they do not present a problem. (Trick: Orientate the clip between your fingers exactly where the switches align with your thumb and this is solved!)

Further notes about this review:
- Beamshots will follow when I get home at night.
- My light box is illuminated with 6000K LED light strips, please take this into account when looking at the pictures which have not been altered (except resizing)
- I apologize that my light box is not up to standards at the moment, I am working on a new variant and I might replace the pictures.
- Please post any questions you may have, I am more than happy to go into details or answer any inquiry if I can.
- There will be additional pictures in the second post going forward
– Please feel to submit constructive criticism about the way I have written this review

Appendix:

http://www.wubenlight.com/product/1031
!{width:45%} http://www.wubenlight.com/Upload/pictures/20180305/2018030517023434.jpg!

Wuben posted on Facebook about this light:
https://www.facebook.com/wuben.torch.7/posts/215140219225399

Edited by: FPV on 03/09/2018 - 15:02
FPV
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Reserved for beamshots

zak.wilson
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MicroUSB when Wuben had previously been offering USB-C lights? That’s… backwards.

Ceilingbounce – flashlight testing and runtime graphs for Android

Zulumoose
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Charging terminates at 3.18V, surely you meant 4.18, right?

Beam me up!

FPV
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Zulumoose wrote:
Charging terminates at 3.18V, surely you meant 4.18, right?

Yes, thanks for catching this one and apologies for the confusion. I meant 4.18, measured with a DMM right after charging finished.
Truck
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Thanks for the review. does anybody know where/when I can buy this light?

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Truck wrote:
Thanks for the review. does anybody know where/when I can buy this light?

Thanks! This product is not available yet, according to Wuben. You can contact Wuben here on BLF or on Facebook, I believe they will sell them on Amazon going forward – but don’t take my word for it, feel free to contact Wuben to understand their distribution strategy on this one.
bmwsancho
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wow, very sleek looking light. any chance you can heat up the head and open it?
thank you for the detailed review. Thumbs Up

Let us know when the beamshots are ready to go

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bmwsancho wrote:
wow, very sleek looking light. any chance you can heat up the head and open it? thank you for the detailed review. Thumbs Up

I heated up the head last night and it still won’t open (tried using tools, straps and other tools I found). Don’t want to give up but also don’t want to destroy the light. Let’s see how I’ll do it Smile

bmwsancho
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Is this light available yet? looks pretty cool. thanks for the review.

praveendk
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What is the color temperature of this led ???
I could not find this anywhere.
Thanks

igoriokas
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I just like this light!
Has anyone succeeded to unscrew the head?
Can’t stand the CW tint ;(