[Review] Lumintop/TLF/BLF FW3C - 3× XP-L HI/SST20/Nichia 219C

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Mocarny
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[Review] Lumintop/TLF/BLF FW3C - 3× XP-L HI/SST20/Nichia 219C
Lumintop/TLF/BLF FW3C

 



3 in 1 review. At the end there will be a summary for those who like only particulars, in each topic I will color the key sentences for those who read a little more (and don't like my sense of humor and want to be sad), and a long waffling for everyone else. Enjoy!


For VERY large photos: click -> on the photo page right click -> "Open image in new tab"

This pure beauty flashlight was provided by Lumintop for review (and for fun after that) - thank you.  Party 

I also got this promotion code for you:

20% discount code: LMT09
Use for an order over US$20.
Store: www.lumintoponline.com

But idk when it expires...

Table of Contents:

- General parameters
- Package content
- Appearance, parameters
- UI, runtime
- PWM
- Waterproof
- Light pattern, tint
- Beamshots
- Usage and my experiences
- Nitpicking
- Gallery
- Summary



General parameters

LED: 3x XP-L HI or SST20 on DTP MCPCB
Optics: TIR Carclo 10511 (slightly frosted)
Lens: AR coated
Flux: Max 2800lm (XP-L HI)
Throw: 10 000 cd ANSI ~ 200m (XP-L HI)
UI: Anduril
Battery: 18650 unprotected flat top, shorter than 66mm, high drain >10A
Driver: FET+7+1
Waterproof: IPX8
Weight: 119,2g
Size: 92,5mm x 25,5mm head
 
And all that stuff like LVP (low voltage protection), mode memory (if you want), thermal protection (if you want), smooth or stepped ramping and a whole bunch of other things that I've no idea they exist - so read this BLF Anduril topic  Wink 



Package content



Looks something like this:


Immediately after opening you should see: "DON'T DISASSEMBLE THE TAIL"



























 


...

And the flashlight

Copper versions are in that protective foil, the flashlight came shiny and without patina (it was only fingerprinted in one spot), but all the other photos were taken after some time when the flashlight has already got some patina - but it was shiny before. Only small dark dot, about 1mm was on the head, maybe you could even see it on this above picture.

With a copper version we got two spare o-rings and this tactical rubber...this...round black thing.


And also a detailed and long manual - a lot of informations and if you have never had Anduril flashlight, it will probably be the first manual you'd want to read carefully

Generally very elegant packaging, perfect for a gift in my opinion. A simple ecological cardboard box with a professional flashlight inside.


Appearance, parameters


Dimensions: 92.5mm x 25.5mm head
Weight: 119.2g. The copper version is quite heavy ...

 

Size comparison




From left to right:

- Copper bezel with o-ring

- Copper lens...wait, not copper, but has AR coatings at least

- Carclo 10511 optics, slightly frosted


- 3 LED's (on DTP MCPCB), in this case SST20 4000K


According to SKV89's tests:

Copper SST-20 4000K w/ stock Carclo and glass lens
lumens: 1,974
CCT: 3972
DUV: -0.0012
CRI: 95.2
R9: 83.8
Rf: 93
Rg: 102

Other tests confirm this SST20's Duv is great, and we also know the flux is about 1974lm - in my test with Sanyo NCR18650GA I got 1723lm

 

- Copper pill


- Copper battery tube

Is indeed made of copper.

Copper tailcap with e-switch. Unfortunately, my copper version doesn't have that nice click-sound switch, like in the first FW3A's batch - the switch is silent and depressed now. Sad

Fun fact: The problem with parts falling out of the tailcap has been solved - I could not remove them even by force. I don't recommend changing the battery from the tail anyway, just as they recommend - the tailcap needs to be screwed on really well and tightly, otherwise there are problems with connecting and the flashlight gets information that the switch is pressed all the time.

- Clip. The clip is not copper. Let's not talk about it.

 

UI, runtime


UI

Anduril!
Nothing more to say, just read this thread:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/65241

However, I advise you not to click a bunch of times without any reason, and if you want to show someone your flashlight, better set it to Muggle mode.
For example, I just changed the manual mode memory to automatic, I don't even know how or when ... Eh, again BLF and searching and searching...

Ok, I found it... okay. It was actually easy, because I had already studied the whole manual and I know more or less when what changes, but the first time it was not easy to solve "wow what happened?"

Runtime

I didn't know how to check it, so I did the test starting from the maximum level (not Turbo), i.e. 8x7135

I ended the test here, because there is only 4% brightness, and I've learned nothing from this runtime - I can't say this is High mode, because the brightness dropped very quickly (due to overheating), so it makes no sense. At least we can see that after the temperature has stabilized, the brightness remains constant, and the flashlight tried to achieve the highest brightness at a safe temperature.

Two other charts from the first two minutes at full power, Turbo

No cooling


Fan cooling

You can see that there are practically no differences, in both cases about 30s to a drastic decrease in brightness, so the flashlight heats up so much inside that any air cooling would help. Also keep in mind that my copper version is better at heat dissipation than the more popular aluminum, so if you have aluminum, the brightness will drop even faster.


PWM


I checked on the lowest mode: YES, PWM is visible. But no visible PWM on higher modes.



But it's a very fast PWM, you can see other, slower (but still fast and quite ok) PWM:

 

And there is a...bad PWM. Is it already a strobe, or still a low mode?  Facepalm 

 

Waterproof


2h underwater in my lovely clea...ok anyway, it is under(some)water

Any moisture inside, test passed

Light pattern, tint



The dot in the center is the center of the beam (approx.), each line at an interval of 15cm.

Very wide beam, reached far away from my scale, as you can see diameter at least 120cm, but with good spot and a decent throw

And a little bit of this


And that


White balance was set to auto, because the purpose was to show the light pattern more than tint, but maybe the WB stayed unchanged, so tint is also correct.

For sure it performs (tint) better with Sapphire glass than with stock AR coated glass.

 

Beamshots



ISO200, t2s, f/3,5 WB set to sunlight

Let's light up the forest







Sky was a bit bright, but quite dark overall






Usage and my experiences
(you should probably read this carefully if you're considering buying this light)



I took it for a walk in the forest a few times. My impressions? Used TIR optics works well with throwy SST20, the light is well diffused, shines very wide, but also has a decent throw. 1x7135 was enough for walking in the dark, so quite a small brightness - but wide and throwy enough for pleasant walking. It was good to have that powerfull Turbo, which really makes an impression in such a small flashlight. The brightness drops very quickly, but I only use Turbo for a moment in the forest, a few seconds to see if there is anything far ahead. I normally walk with low brightness, 1x7135 or higher, maybe...something like 4x7135

What can I say about the tint and color rendering: Both things are very good, I enjoyed this tint in the forest, especially now in autumn beautifully showed the contrast between green and yellow leaves.

My impressions are very positive, I also use it at home to illuminate at night, sometimes when I read at night, I set it to Candle mode and it pretends to be a candle pretty well, I also set the candle mode when taking a bath, nice moody atmosphere + music, you should try it. Wink

I used to use an Android application that was supposed to help me fall asleep by generating various sounds, e.g. driving a car, forest, rain, thunder - setting rain in the forest and thunder in this application + turning on the Lightning storm mode in the flashlight is impressive. I have not tried, but imagine setting it by the window in Storm mode + this app and you can have a regular storm on demand. Cool  Of course, cold white light works better with storm mode.

I advise you to carry this copper light in a holster, the copper is soft, I carried it once in a bag with other flashlights without any cover (maybe on an hour walk) and it had visible scratches and abrasions. Convoy's holster fits, FW3C is a bit short, but this is not a big problem.




E-switch originally made a pleasant clicking sound, in my copper version it is silent and very soft-clicking (so it's hard to notice when I clicked it - and imagine wearing gloves...). The FW1A has a pleasant clicking switch, so by swapping parts like I did, we get a light, well heat dissipating and nicely clicking version of the EDC flashlight.

However, the copper version is heavy. Not as light and practical as the aluminum one. And there is no aluminum version with copper pill to combine lightness with good heat dissipation. But if you have another FW3A or FW1A, you can swap parts because they are interchangable.



Copper version weights 119.2g


And aluminium one (it's FW1A actually) 57.3g


And with copper bezel and a pill 78.1g


So just a little more, and much better heat dissipation. I recommend replacing the pill with the bezel, because it also heats up, not just the pill itself (as it is in the titanium version)

It is true that this way we get another flashlight, completely impractical, with average heat dissipation, heavy and with silent and soft-clicking switch.

But the best flashlight is worth the sacrifices



Nitpicking


So everything about all flaws.
I can complain that my version was a little fingerprinted (and patina-covered in that places) when it came. It doesn't bother me, but someone may want to have a perfectly polished flashlight. It also had a small dark dot on the head, maybe 1mm in diameter - again, it was ok for me, but maybe FW3C needs more quality effort. Another thing is a very soft clicking, silent switch, without that nice noisc click as it was in the first batch of FW3As. Big minus for this button.

Gallery










Summary

 

FW3C is a copper version of the popular FW3A - an aluminum EDC flashlight not much bigger than a 18650 cell, but high-power, with 3x SST20, or Nichia, or XP-L HI diodes. Turbo works shortly, but it makes an impression - the copper version dissipates heat better, but it's couple of seconds anyway. Great EDC flashlight with Anduril software - impressive. Packed in an elegant cardboard box, in my opinion a great option for a gift. Aluminum versions come in different colors - I think I will gift someone the blue one Wink

The most important question: Do I recommend it? Definitely yes - the copper version is of course more expensive, but cool for flashaholics, and after some time it covers with a unique patina, so you can say that there is no other such copper version. I don't have aluminum, but it is definitely more EDC. So if you considering FW3A.FW3C, it depends on you - real need of EDC flashlight - so Every Day Carry - you probably should get FW3A. STC flashlight, so SomeTimes Carry  Silly - you can consider getting FW3C. Or FW3T with a copper pill  Cool 

 

Pros:
+ small size, perfect EDC
+ high power
+ SST20 4000K with great tint
+ IPX8
+ Anduril
+ smells nicely, like a copper  Thumbs Up 

 

Cons:
- the switch is soft-clicking and without that cool click sound that was previously

About host - threads, knurling o-rings and so on
Rating: 8.5/10 Because minus for this switch.

About light - UI, tint and so on
Rating: 9.5/10

BUT if I were to judge this modded version with a copper pill and ring, and an aluminum tube and tailcap with this better noisy click switch, then:
Overall rating: 9.8/10 - I'd give 11/10 if there was no visible PWM



1 - very bad flashlight hurts to look at, terrible quality, not worth any (even very low) price
5 - average flashlight - for the average, non flashaholic person "great"
10 - flashlight meets all my expectations in a given category (e.g EDC, headlamp, thrower), it's durable and neatly made, perfect light tint, worth its (even slightly inflated) price


I hope you enjoyed!
Edited by: Mocarny on 10/20/2019 - 09:32
Mocarny
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Last seen: 1 hour 33 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2019 - 04:03
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Location: Poland

Reserved for updates

I will continue using this flashlight and after some time I will update you with more precise thoughts Party

nobody
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Joined: 01/12/2019 - 04:58
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Nice review.  Loved the detail and the pictures.  I don't have the copper version,  but I DO love this light.