Review: Sunwayman T40CS (XM-L | 1 x 18650)

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Review: Sunwayman T40CS (XM-L | 1 x 18650)]IMG_0961

500 meters (1640.4ft) can be a pretty tall number when it comes to certain measurements or product specs. Consider that in spite of ancient civilizations' ability to construct amazing structures (pyramids, the Great Wall, etc.) the tallest one pre-20th century was the Eiffel Tower (300m) when completed in 1889. It wasn't until 1967 when the Ostankino Tower in Russia was built that a building first exceeded 500m in height (540m w/spire). The Freedom Tower (in background of above pic) due to be completed in 2013 will stand 541.3m tall (1,776ft).

On a different dimension, a dive watch with that water resistance rating is claimed to be able to withstand water pressures of 50ATM (or 734.8psi - to put that into perspective, that's about the weight of 4 adults each weighing about 180lbs but all of that weight is focused on one square inch).

In terms of Sunwayman's T40CS, 500m is the claimed effective ANSI beam distance (the calculated maximum distance at which a beam can project and still achieve a value of .25 lux). This is technically only feasible on paper (or a vacuum perhaps) since it does not factor in atmospheric dust/pollution.

Let's see how far it can really throw in real world testing.

- CREE XM-L LED, with a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours;
- Tactical Tail cap press button switch, slightly depress the side switch for different output modes and standby mode:

Three modes constant output, hidden strobe, SOS (below is the output and runtime of using two 2600mAh 18650 batteries)
Three constant output modes: 788Lumens (2hrs)- 220Lumens (8hrs)- 20Lumens (60hrs)
Strobe: 788 Lumens
SOS: 788 Lumens

- Constant current circuit, constant output
- Effective range of 500 meters
- Uses two 18650 or four CR123A batteries
- Working voltage: 5.5~16.8V
- High quality reflector maintains great throw distance and spread with an ideal beam pattern
- Dimensions: 225mm (length) x 64mm (head diameter) x 25.4mm (tail diameter)
- Weight: 273g(battery excluded)
- Aerospace-grade aluminum alloy
- Military Specification Type III- hard anodized body
- Waterproof, in accordance with IPX-8 standard
- Ultra-clear tempered glass lens resists scratches and impacts
- Tactical forward click switch with momentary on

The T40CS arrived in a sturdy cardboard box with ample foam lining just like the V60C:

I suspect this is the standard for their larger lights since the smaller ones in my collection only come in the typical thin cardboard box w/plastic window and inner plastic shell.

Additional items included were:
- Holster
- Rubber tailcap cover
- 1 x large o-ring
- 1 x small o-ring
- User manual
- Warranty card
- Mini product pamphlet

The T40CS joins it's smaller sibling the T20C, as the second light in the T series:

While the two share some design elements, the T40CS really bears more of a resemblance to the smaller of the V series lights: which case the front portion of the battery tube looks identical to that of the V10A/V10R Ti:

Regardless of which series it looks more like, given Sunwayman has established a consistent set of design motifs that is propagated throughout their entire line up, you'll easily recognize it as being one of their lights.

NEW 10/20: Incidentally, the T40CS is also their first light in a 2x18650 form factor:

The head measures 2.49in (64mm) in diameter. The flat stainless steel bezel was easily removed without any tools and secures an AR coated lens. A quick light tap and the lens/reflector drops right out:

The LED is perfectly centered by a black plastic holder which then fits into a massive and really smooth reflector:

EDIT 10/20: Apparently, the LED is NOT centered by reflector but perhaps the other way around. Modder's rejoice!! The reflector and lens are removable which allows easy access to the XM-L (neutral T40CS anyone?):

The throat of the light features two large cooling fins followed by four smaller ones as well as a multi-function soft contact side switch they've dubbed "Smart Magic Switch" (SMS) that is accented
by a
SS ring which adds a nice touch to the overall aesthetics:

There are three tactical rubber rings that can be re-positioned on the battery tube which allows customizing the grip to ones' liking:

The tactical tailcap doesn't allow it to tailstand but then again, given the size of the head and disproportionate weight distribution, it wouldn't be stable anyway:

There are springs at both ends of the light, however the white disc in the head serves to provide additional shock cushioning (more on this later):

The battery tube is sufficiently long and had no problems accomodating my longest and shortest batteries:

The supplied holster is of high quality and secures the light solidly against a belt or loop that can accomodate 1.5" width:


The T40CS is the largest of my 2x18650 turbo head lights (well, the M3LT is actually 2x17500 but close enough):

From L to R: RediLast 3100 | Klarus XT20 | SureFire M3LT | Sunwayman T40CS

Here it is amongst its kin:

From L to R: V10R Ti | V10A | T20C | V60C | T40CS

As with other Sunwayman lights I've owned/reviewed, overall quality is superb and the light feels very solidly constructed. The laser engraving is extremely fine and sharp:

The anodizing is flawless, however, the battery tube was a little darker than the head and tailcap:

With that said, I was able to induce the slightest bit of wobble at the point where the battery tube meets the head even with the two completely tightened. I contacted Sunwayman about this and they explained that given the T40CS' long throw capability, it was conceived to be mounted on a rifle for hunting/shooting purposes so they implemented a white plastic disc in the head (see pic in design/features section) to help with shock absorption.

If that disc is not thick enough, there is no stabilizing platform with which the battery tube can mate against. So I loosened the disc a little and sure enough the wobbling went away. They mentioned that the disc will be thickened so should no longer be an issue but just FYI in case you run into this.

The other area I'd point out as not being up to Sunwayman's standards would be the slight gap at the base of the SMS:

It remains to be seen how this impacts (or not) the waterproofing of the light. I'll test this and report back later.

NEW 10/24: To check whether the gap would cause a compromise with water resistance, I first ran the water at the gap full blast and then checked for water ingress - none. Next, I dumped the light without batteries into the sink and then carefully checked for formation of air bubbles around the SMS - none:

Once I was reasonably confident that there was no ingress of water, I dumped in batteries and repeated the testing figuring that if water did get in, it'd eventually short the light or trip the PCB:

I left T40CS in the sink for a few minutes and then removed it and checked the interior of the head and didn't notice any water. So in brief testing, it's been OK so far. This is obviously not stringent testing since the water isn't all that deep but I figure, if the gap was big enough to allow water in, it wouldn't take much depth to do so anyways.

There are two switches on the T40CS, one on the tailcap and the aforementioned SMS on the side at the throat.
The one on the tailcap is a forward clicky that provides momentary or constant on at Max level only and does not control any mode changes so can be used for signalling. It also acts as a master switch; the SMS is only operable if this switch is on.

All mode changes are done via the SMS (w/tail switch on) as follows:

Taking each row in order:

- From any mode if you Single-click the SMS, it'll turn the light on/off. When the light comes back on, it'll come on in the last mode that was memorized.
- From any mode if you Double-click the SMS, it'll activate the Strobe, this mode is never memorized.
- SOS mode can only be accessed if the light is currently in Strobe mode, in which case a double-click will cycle between the two. As with Strobe, this mode is never memorized.
- You cycle through the H > M > L (and always in that sequential order) from any mode except off by depressing and holding the SMS. Once desired level is reached, let go of the switch and it will be memorized for as long as the tail switch is on.
- From Off, depress and hold the SMS for 2 seconds or longer to instantly access Max (high). This will then become the new memorized mode.

Again, the tail switch is the master switch, once it is shut off, the memorized mode will be lost.

The relevant battery stats are provided above each runtime graph along with:

- Voltage of the battery at the start and end of the test
- Current draw as taken right before the test (to come)
- Actual runtime until the battery cut out (first in HR and then in M so in the case of the RL3100, read this as 2.0 Hrs OR 117 Min)
- For testing on Max (in which case a fan was used), temperature: ambient, the head at start and the max it reached

Axis: X = Time in Min and Y = Relative Output

I was able to slightly exceed the ANSI claims for runtime using AW2600's and exceeded them with the RL3100's. I'm pleased to see that Sunwayman continues to quote accurate figures for their runtimes and not inflate them.

All shots on Canon S3 IS using WB that yields the closest to what my eyes see (left = 1/13" @ f2.7 | right = 1/80" @ f2.7). Click on pics to load full size.

Please refer to this post for beamshots and comparo to 17 other lights.

Due to the large smooth and deep reflector, the T40CS is completely geared towards throw. As you can see, there are also some rings that is reminiscent of those produced by XR-E lights. I do also notice a slight donut phenomenon when the beam is projected onto objects greater than 4-5 ft away but as can be seen in the long distance outdoor beamshots below, this doesn't affect actual use outdoors.

New 12/11: Here are new indoor shots taken on a Panny FZ150 that has a wider angle lens than my S3. For comparo vs. many other lights, check here.




LONG DISTANCE (565ft / 172m)

I had initially thought this underpass would be long enough to accomodate testing out to 500m but alas, it falls well short and is less than half required. However, it's still of sufficient distance to give you a good idea of just how far this XM-L light can throw! Please click on this link for further details and comparos vs. other lights (including one XR-E).

SUPER LONG DISTANCE (1640ft / 500m)
Alas, I'm sure you're all sorely disappointed to reach this part of the review and find that there is nothing available yet. However, suffice to say I'm working on finding a new location that is pitch black and can accomodate testing out to 500m. More to come...

Given the tight hot spot, the T40CS isn't ideal for close distance purposes (around the house, walking the dog, etc). It was designed with one purpose in mind and that was to throw and it does that quite admirably. As can be seen from the initial set of long distance shots, the light is downright impressive for a XM-L and currently the best thrower in my collection by far (other than the XR-E). Even if the hotspot might not be as bright as the XR-E, the overall output beats it hands down!

However, I'm witholding my final conclusion until I'm able to carry out additional testing.



Disclosure: T40CS provided by Sunwayman for review.

Edited by: turboBB on 03/10/2018 - 19:06
jacktheclipper's picture
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Great review

What I do


BetweenRides's picture
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Incredibly thorough review! Can't wait to see the picture updates.

gen1.3_'s picture
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Great job BB!

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really nice pictures... 

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