[REVIEW] Nitefox UW360 utility light

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slmjim
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[REVIEW] Nitefox UW360 utility light

Welcome to my first review for BLF.

This is a review of the Nitefox UW360 utility light.

https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Rechargeable-Magnetic-Warehouse-Recreation/dp/B077N2M5BT?th=1

 

My purchase of the UW360 was graciously subsidized by Nitefox under the terms they published in an earlier thread.

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1318906#comment-1318906

 

The UW360 uses what appear to be four COB-type LED's.

 

It's a utility-type light intended for general shop use, or as a source of illumination wherever a small, portable, decidedly floody light is needed.

 

Color temp is fairly neutral. There is no “spot”; this is decidedly a flood light with no attempt made to focus the output of the four LED's.

 

The UW360 arrived quickly from Amazon. It was packed in a hard plastic box.

 

Inside the box were the light with the protected Nitefox-branded 2,600mAh 18650 button top cell stored inside the tube. The wrap also displays a capacity of 9.6Wh. The cell was isolated from the (+) contact spring for shipping by a plastic disc. Also in the box were the USB charging cable, 8cm dia. steel disc intended to stabilize the UW360 in the upright position when placed on a horizontal surface, and the single sheet of instructions.

 

The magnetic base will support the light horizontally on a ferrous surface.

 

The magnetic base will also support the light hanging vertically head-down from an uneven surface, such as the tubular saddlebag guard as seen here.

 

Or at an angle.

 

The disc will support the light vertically with the flex tube formed at a 90 degree angle. The light will not stand in this configuration without the use of the disc.

 

The screw in the magnetic base teases the possibility of attaching the disc semi-permanently to the base.

 

But the hole in the disc is larger than the head of the screw.

 

There is no hook for hanging the light vertically by the LED head. I think a hook, recessed slot, tethered loop or other means means of hanging the light by the LED head would be useful. Of course, soft wire could be formed for this use if needed.

 

Inside the tail end of the battery tube we find a spring for the (-) contact.

 

The switch head of the light has a spring for the (+) contact.

 

Unprotected cells will work, but Nitefox recommends against them, as there is no LV or reverse-polarity protection built in to the light.

 

The membrane switch is likely water resistant, and offers a tactile click when actuated/deactuated.

 

The USB port has a rubber cover that is tethered to the head's base, opposite the switch.

 

I did not test water resistance, nor does Nitefox make any such claim. I doubt the flex neck tube is water resistant, and the LED head assembly is definitely NOT water resistant at all.


Inside the LED head we find nothing more than the LED's mounted on the aluminum plate. The plate is approx. .5mm thick. When considered to be a heat sink, the head only became vaguely warm after a run on H of three hours.

 

The LED's are covered by a clear plastic window. The window is not protected by any sort of raised edge or bumper, so laying the light down with the window facing down may result in scratching of the clear window. I'd like to see some means of protecting the window from scratches, such as a raised surround or O-ring encircling the window.

 

Interestingly, the Nitefox name does not appear anywhere on the light itself.

 

The Nitefox-branded cell arrived at a resting voltage of 3.834v.

 

Running a discharge/refersh test resulted in a capacity of 2,629mAh as calculated by an Opus 3100 v2.2.

 


Modes are H>L>OFF. There is not a lot of difference in output between H and L. I do not yet have the means to measure lumen output, so I'll defer to Nitefox's specs of H=300 lm/7.5 hrs, L=100 lm/19 hrs. I would like to see an third, single-digit-lumen moonlight mode, something appropriate for reading in a darkened room, for instance. As it is, L is too brilliant for use when reading in a dark environment, resulting in long recovery time needed for good night vision.

Runtime testing was performed on L, as I felt not much was to be gained by running on H in terms of useful output.

After 36 hrs. of continuous use on L, output had dropped noticeably, but was still useful.

After a continuous run of 62 hrs. on L, output had dropped to something that would be useless in any environment other than closeup use in a pitch black environment. I had expected the LV protection to trip before this point, but it had not done so. Testing the cell immediately after removing it at the end of the 62 hr. run, it displayed 2.435v on my DMM. After resting for an hour, it had recovered to 2.455 v. I then re-charged the cell using the built-in port. It terminated at a resting voltage of 4.130v. A capacity test at this time on the 3100, after using the built-in charger in the light, showed 2,655mAh.

 

A beamshot, as it were. The UW360 is on L, the Acebeam M-10 is on M.

 

The Nitefox UW360 can be a fine addition to any shop or homeowner's portable lighting collection. I think it's a good value, and the fact that it comes with what looks like a quality, protected 2,600mAh 18650 cell increases it's value.

 

Things I like:

Good value from a quality manufacturer.

2 year warranty from Nightfox.

A quality protected buttontop cell of suitable capacity in included.

Useful runtime.

Neutral tint.

Powerful magnet.

Built-in USB charging.


Things I'd like to see improved:

A third, single-lumen / moonlight mode for when brilliance is neither needed or desired.

Reverse polarity & LV protection in case an unprotected cell were to be used.

Scratch protection raised bumper surround for the LED's window.

A means to hang the light vertically by the head.

Better waterproofing of the flex tubing itself, where it enters the switch head and LED head, and the LED head assembly as a whole.

Provision made to enable the disc to be semi-permanently attached to the base via the screw.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

slmjim

 

 

 

 

Great... Carnac the Magnificent tells me I just signed up for yet another expensive hobby.

Smile! It makes others wonder what you've been up to.

everydaysurvivalgear
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Great review mate looks like a handy light.

Lightbringer
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Nifty little bugger, ain’t it?

I actually like the CT on this one, just warm of neutral.

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bushmaster
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I dunno. That is one ugly illumination tool. If I were using that light to score with chicks broke down along the road,…….I wouldn’t play hard to get. JMO

Keep your nose in the wind and your eyes along the skyline.
Del Gue

atbglenn
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bushmaster wrote:
I dunno. That is one ugly illumination tool.

Agreed. It looks like it came from the Dollar Store.

Boycott Nike

Lightbringer
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All I know is that it works pretty well, so who cares what it looks like? When you’re trying to do newspaper puzzles (ie, smudged dark gray print on grainy light gray paper), it lights up the area quite nicely.

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atbglenn
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Lightbringer wrote:
All I know is that it works pretty well, so who cares what it looks like? When you’re trying to do newspaper puzzles (ie, smudged dark gray print on grainy light gray paper), it lights up the area quite nicely.

It may perform well, but it looks cheaply made. It may not stand the test of time.

That said, it may be more reliable than Imalent flashlights.

Boycott Nike

Lightbringer
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atbglenn wrote:
It may perform well, but it looks cheaply made. It may not stand the test of time.

Yeah, I hear ya. Being that there’s no NF name on it anywhere, it may’ve been something generic they may’ve just wanted to sell.

But the head has to be as lightweight as possible to not have it be way too top-heavy, so that’s not an issue. The battery tube? Yeah, could’ve possibly been metal, but plastic also seemed to be a decent choice to hold the membrane switch, etc., as well as cut down on weight if it’s supposed to hang sideways just by magnetic-suck action. Big Smile

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