Updated! Review: Beamtech BT-950L from Tmart (Warning! Very picture heavy!)

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JohnnyMac
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Updated! Review: Beamtech BT-950L from Tmart (Warning! Very picture heavy!)

Beamtech BT-950L

Purchased from Tmart

Battery:1 x 18650
Switch:Tail - reverse clicky
Driver:East-092B  (3.26A at the tail on High)
Modes:5 - H>M>L>Strobe>OSO
LED Type:Cree XM-L T6 1C (judging from tint compared to other lights)
Lens:Glass
Tailstands:Yes
From:Tmart
Date Ordered:May 21, 2012
Date Received:May 24, 2012
Purchase link:   http://www.tmart.com/BeamTech-BT950L-CREE-SMLT6-1000LM-5-Modes-LED-Flashlight-Electric-Torch_p129243.html 

Specifications (from site):

  • Key Features LED flashlight, Flashlight torch
  • Light Color White
  • LED quantity 1pcs
  • LED bulb lifespan 100000 hours
  • Luminous flux 1000LM
  • Power by 1 x 18650 3.7V battery (not included)
  • 5 Modes High-Mid-Low-Strobe-SOS
  • Maximum range 300 m
  • Material Aluminum alloy(Body), Lens(Glass)
  • Dimensions 5.98" x 1.77" x 1.18" (L x Head.Dia x Body.Dia)
  • Body color Black
  • Package Includes 1 x BeamTech BT-950L CREE XML-T6 1000LM 5 Modes LED Flashlight Electric Torch

Pros:

  • Arrived from Tmart in just 4 days from ordering.
  • Excellent finish without any blemishes, scratches, chips or dings. 
  • Packaging arrived in great shape. 
  • Stainless-steel crenelated bezel
  • Glass lens 
  • Great throw 
  • Very bright 
  • Great tint. No green or pink tinge to it. Just white. 
  • Perfectly centered emitter. 
  • Thermal paste under star. 
  • Anodized threads on head and pill. 
  • Clean and ample threading. 
  • Nice switch feel. 
  • Crenelated tail cap
  • Extremely stable tail standing. 
  • Lanyard holes large enough to accommodate 550 Paracord. 
  • Excellent heat transfer. 
  • Bright as hell!!

Cons:

  • Has O-rings. Not a good one on the light. All too thin or too small or both. 
  • Not enough mass to shed the heat from the LED on high. Gets really hot really quick! Switch only rated for  1.5A but so far no issues with it.
  • No spring on the driver. Bumps on the tail change modes easily.


My Measurements:

  • Length: 151.71mm 
  • Head width & depth: 44.85mm x 44.76mm 
  • Tail width: 26.93mm/28.93mm 
  • Reflector (W x D): 39.93mm x 35.41mm 
  • Lens (W x D): 41.88mm x 1.6mm 
  • Driver: 17mm 
  • Emitter: 16mm 

Impressions:

I bought this light since it was a clone of the Keygos KE-5 and I wanted to see how the Beamtech performed compared to what I heard from the Keygos KE-5. The Keygos are known to have driver issues with some being well driven and many others poorly driven. It arrived in the usual bubble sleeve inside the usual white box. The box was in fantastic shape with no dents, creases or crushing. I can only credit this to Tmart, not Beamtech. Good on you, Tmart!

Upon removing the light from its packaging I found it to be free of any dings, scratches or ano blemishes. Threads were clean and ample but dry. Threads on the pill and the head are nicely cut and anodized. Glass lens was clear and appears to be uncoated. Reflector is clean and free of blemishes and the emitter was clean and perfectly centered.

Internally I was pleasantly surprised. The LED star (16mm) is mounted well with thermal epoxy and centered with the nicest centering ring I’ve seen on a light yet. Made of white nylon, the centering ring completely covers the PCB but has slots for the soldering to have room. It is thick enough to keep the reflector from shorting out the LED connections. The driver is unregulated and goes to direct drive on high with no visible PWM to me. Mind you I am not sensitive to PWM but while I am sure it’s there, it is reasonably high based on the fact that the driver is an East-092B and is the same driver used in my Ultrafire HD2010. The switch assembly is very solid with great feel and no sponginess. The spring is soldered onto the switch PCB and is secured by a threaded brass ring. The switch itself is only rated for 1.5A, and while one day it may fail, so far it has exhibited no issues. It is easily replaced, if need be, with any C8 switch.

The only flaws with the build quality were easy ones to fix. The O-rings were far too small and thin for the light body. I replaced these with 16mm GITD O-rings I already had. I replaced the O-ring between the pill and the head with a 20mm GITD I keep on hand. Also, I decided to place a second 20mm O-ring onto the pill to completely seal anay space between the pill finning and the head for positive water proofing. The thin bead of GITD that is visible also looks pretty good IMO. With these in place the connections are snug and should be very water tight. I removed the Stainless steel bezel to check the lens O-ring and could not see one. I popped out the reflector and found the O-ring was there but was so thin that it had squeezed past the reflector and was stuck in the head. Since the lens is roughly 42mm and the same size as that on a C8, I also had 42mm GITD O-rings I had on hand. After swapping the O-ring with the one I had on hand, everything fit together perfectly and I have no doubt that it is now water-tight.

The only remaining flaw (but not an uncommon one in many flashlights) is the lack of a spring on the driver for the battery positive. I found that light bumping of the tail will change modes easily. This may be exaggerated by my battery being a flat-topped Panasonic. Perhaps a cell with a “+” button will resist the mode changes better. I did not add a spring to the driver (yet) because I wanted to take my pics beforehand. I will probably add the driver spring tomorrow to make it perfectly rock-solid with flat-topped cells.

Performance:

Wow!! This baby is bright! It is direct driven and I tested around 3.26A at the tail.  Just like the HD2010, I was unable to measure any other mode but High with the tail cap off.

Along with the incredible amount of light, it also produces an incredible amount of heat. In defense of the light I will say that the entire light heats quickly and evenly which is testament that it wicks the heat from the LED and is doing its job well. That said, after tail standing for about 10 minutes it was so hot I was almost unable to pick it up to turn it off without going for a pair of gloves. With some breeze and/or hand-held blood cooling it shouldn’t be too much of a problem but still requires attention from the user. Definitely not a light for a noob or for lending out to a family member or neighbor.

The 5 modes all work well. High/medium/low are nicely spaced just as in the HD2010. Strobe is fast and brutal. “SOS” is actually OSO just like on the HD2010...useless!.

LED tint is a very nice white on mine with no green, purple or pink undertones to it.

The hot-spot is tight and well focused with very smooth, ringless spill in spite of the smooth reflector. It will easily out throw any C8 light while still providing ample spill for peripheral viewing. Being a clone of the infamous Ultrafire 980 it throws very well but not as well as the HD2010 obviously due to the reflector being smaller in diameter. I think this style of light is a perfect compromise between a dedicated thrower and a C8 style light. After having this I would easily choose it over C8 lights for all around usefulness.

Summary:

Aside from the O-ring issues I find this light to be pretty outstanding for a budget option! If you have a good variety of O-rings on hand for your other lights it’s really not much of an issue and I can recommend it for you. If you are just getting started and don’t have a bin of extra O-rings yet then you might want to reconsider the light if you plan on exposing it to anything more than a light rain.

Tmart provided fast shipping as usual and the light arrived with the box in good enough shape to be used in gift giving. 

If you want a crazy bright hotrod of a light that throws well for its size and aren’t put off by a couple easily resolved issues then it’s hard to beat this. At $27 it is still a decent value, especially when compared to the Keygos KE-5 which, aside from the occasional deal sells between $25 and $28 elsewhere. Add in the driver lottery with the Keygos and I would choose this Beamtech over the Keygos without hesitation. If Tmart can offer the BT-950L at a better price I think it would sell very well. At $22-$25 it would be an outstanding value but at $27 it’s just a value.

In short this light, with very little additional work, has quickly jumped to the front row of my “go to” lights!!

Now for the pics!
All pics are sized smaller for quicker loading of the thread.  As usual, clicks on my pics open to a larger resolution window.

Package as it arrived.  Great shape!

 

That is dust on the crenelated edge of the tailcap.
I forgot to wipe down all the edges before taking the pics.
 

The knotless lanyard on the light was added by me when the light arrived.
I call it the "Mac-lanyard" (Foy has the "foyzel" so why not?) and it keeps
metal rings and lanyard clips from damaging the finish.

The PERFECTLY centered emitter
 

Very clean threads

East-092B driver.  Same as in the UF HD2010.

The pill and cooling fins are all one piece.
Very nice smooth threads on this part.  Grease makes them look rough.

Sturdy nylon centering/insulator ring

Rear view of reflector and head

Front of head with bezel removed

View of SS bezel threading

Head parts removed

Head inner view of outer shell

Threads where head joins the pill

Here you can see the original O-rings.  Both too small and one too thin.

Here you can see the original O-ring for the pill-to-head joint.
I replaced it with a 20mm GITD I had.  Added a second to
the base where the pill meets the head. 

I replaced the original lens O-ring with a 42mm GITD.
All O-rings on the BT-950L are the same as on a C8.  Wink

Driver diameter

Tail cap without switch internals




Beamtech BT-950 on the left.  Keygos KE-5 on the right

Ultrafire HD2010 / Beamtech BT-950L / eBay Skyray A0 clone

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:20
JohnnyMac
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Aside from the anodizing being different shades (black vs charcoal) and a few internal differences (drivers & emitter isolators), these two lights almost look like they came from the same factory.  I prefer the Beamtech BT-950L for the slightly longer threads and better driver.  Other than that it's a toss up.

The larger hotspot of the BT-950 is, I believe, due to two things. The first being that it's driven at nearly twice the amps of the Keygos KE-5.  Second is the isolator on the Beamtech BT-950L keeps the reflector from sitting as low as the reflector in the Keygos.  This could always be changed if it bothered you.

Hope you enjoyed the show! I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your server. Wink

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Great review! Thanks for your efforts!

=the=

 

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Excellent review, Johnny Big Smile
Interesting, I thought it was 100% copy of Keygos, etc. but looking at that beam pattern… Keygos has more concentrated beam Flat Stare

JohnnyMac
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SashiX wrote:
Excellent review, Johnny Big Smile
Interesting, I thought it was 100% copy of Keygos, etc. but looking at that beam pattern… Keygos has more concentrated beam Flat Stare
Sashi, I suppose that pic is a bit deceiving. The Keygos was a stock KE-5 sent to me for a driver replacement. The pic was taken with it’s stock driver in high which only pulled 1.6A at the tail. The BT-950L was literally twice as bright and the sheer amount of light coming form it makes the beam focus seem a whole lot different than the Keygos.

Here is a pic with the white balance turned down way low to show the hotspots better. Mind you the BT-950L is still putting out at 3.26A in this pic compared to the 1.62 of the KE-5 Wink

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Very good review, thanks. For more pics, see this old deleted ForSale listing by Blinders http://budgetlightforum.com/node/9698 (LINK).  As Blinders and I both pointed out, there is an intermittent issue with this light where it may not turn on after you reassemble it, probably due to a short somewhere or inside the pill when it is pressed by the battery.  I had to reassemble mine 5 times for it go come back on.  JonnyMac, in your pics, you can see the white led spacer has a dark ring showing exactly where the reflector presses down.  That ring also overlaps the red and black wires and solder points, so maybe there's a short there too.  Just guessing, since i still don't know how the grounding works.

As for the different beam pattern from the KE-5, maybe it's just due to how far the LED emitter goes into the reflector, and a simple piece of paper or electric tape can change the distance, let alone a thick white nylon led protector.  Again, just guessing.

Thanks for the detailed pics.  Oh, maybe you got better packaging because you're one of their special friends (re: group buy etc).:)  Mine came all banged up as usual, and didn't even have the bubble wrap inside the white box... geez it's not like some bubble wrap is going to add any weight or anything to their minimalist envelope.  /rant  Smile

agesalter
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Great review, thanks for taking the time.

SashiX
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JohnnyMac wrote:
SashiX wrote:
Excellent review, Johnny Big Smile
Interesting, I thought it was 100% copy of Keygos, etc. but looking at that beam pattern… Keygos has more concentrated beam Flat Stare
Sashi, I suppose that pic is a bit deceiving. The Keygos was a stock KE-5 sent to me for a driver replacement. The pic was taken with it’s stock driver in high which only pulled 1.6A at the tail. The BT-950L was literally twice as bright and the sheer amount of light coming form it makes the beam focus seem a whole lot different than the Keygos.

Here is a pic with the white balance turned down way low to show the hotspots better. Mind you the BT-950L is still putting out at 3.26A in this pic compared to the 1.62 of the KE-5 Wink

, that make sense. Thanks, johnny Wink

jacktheclipper
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Cool

What I do

 

viktori
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Very nice review, thanks!

This is my flashlight collection.

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Nice work johnnyMac,I like the tint of this better and as much as I like the keygos,the beamtech seems superior to it.Thanks for the thorough review.

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Thanks for the review Johnny!

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

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Thank you for the nice review and the good pictures. I love the idea of your Mac-lanyard and will copy the idea for 1-2 flashlights – hope you will not sue me for this Wink

I have two Keygos KE-5 – one has the same driver (East-092B), the other the East-092 (do not find any difference between them).

Light up the darkness.

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Nice review Johnny. Thanks for taking the time.

Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

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Forgot to mention how clever the lanyard idea is .

Wink

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Buwuve wrote:
Thank you for the nice review and the good pictures. I love the idea of your Mac-lanyard and will copy the idea for 1-2 flashlights – hope you will not sue me for this Wink

I have two Keygos KE-5 – one has the same driver (East-092B), the other the East-092 (do not find any difference between them).

Happy to share the lanyard attachment idea. Have at it! Wink Just feed the para cord through the hole, clip a clean end on it, heat it to melt the cut then flatten with your finger to make a flange that won’t pull through the hole. No unsightly knot to deal with and it won’t come out unless you cut it out.

You got the good Keygos then. It’s just such a lottery with them that it’s nice to find an alternative like the BT-950L

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Thank you for the review and all the pictures JohnnyMac. Seems like a fair price for those in US with the fast shipping and all.
I just wish that it did not look like it was painted black. YMMV Smile

~ Ledsmoke ~

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cehowardGS
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Super Review!!

Has anybody got the BROWN copy of the Ke-5 for $17.48 and how does it compare to these ????

http://www.ebay.com/itm/110855707939?var=410102040158&ssPageName=STRK:ME...

70+, Old, Dirty and Fast..

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Louis from Tmart contacted me after seeing the review and has offered to do a group buy on the BT-950L. Just $22 with free shipping from the US. Great deal they are making for us!! Thanks, Louis!

See the details in Louis’ post: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/10786

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Thanks for a great review, JohnnyMac! You are killing my wallet. I've been thinking about getting a Keygos but was put off by the inconsistency. This looks like a killer deal with the Tmart discount.

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The 2nd post has been edited to add the promised comparison pics between the BT-950L and the KE-5. Enjoy!

rikr
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John, That was a very good review and the 950L seems like a really nice light. Thank you for all your time and work you put into it for us.

 

 

 New Collection / Old Collection

 
JohnnyMac
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rikr wrote:
John,
That was a very good review and the 950L seems like a really nice light. Thank you for all your time and work you put into it for us.
Thanks, Rick! I couldn’t believe just how well cloned your KE-5 and the 950L were. Even the machining marks looked identical. Only the ano color was different.

Did you see my other posts about the UF 980L (daddy of all these clones!) being only $21 right now at Tmart? Wish I had seen that before getting this! It’s a good light and all but for even less you can get what appears to be the original legend. Shocked

rikr
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Do you really think it’s as bright as the real 980L?

 

 

 New Collection / Old Collection

 
Tmart
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Hi,all

I think i should make Tmart’s coupon more showy to meet someone’s need, So i update it here.
Mind you that Beamtech BT-950L is in stock both in US & HK warehouse.

Coupon Code:BT950L (about 18%off, expires on 16th June)
Beamtech BT-950L $22

Feel free to contact us if you have any issues, and that is our honor to figure them out. Star

Tmart.com's Mission Statement:

To provide high quality products at low price.

To provide fast, efficient order turnaround.

To provide highest level of customers service.

Ecig
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Keygos also started to ship lights with such reflectors and Im not satisfied with it.

Reflectors in original KE5s were maybe the best thing in whole flashlight. Slightly elongated, not very curved (more flat), it made for a very good throw.

Now KE5s come (you cant be sure which one youll get) with different reflector, more similar to C8 reflector, more curved, so less throw

Ecig
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SO, in short, recently I received Keygos with exactly the same reflector as here, and Im not satisfied with it because I was used to great reflector on first KE5s.

Its so unfortunate Chinese suppliers change things just like this.

Its still a good flashlight, but it was a hell of a XML thrower before, with that different reflector…

And I think this Beamtech is pretty the same flashlight (maybe 100%) just branded differently,a s last KE5s, so I dont see a need to pay few bucks more for the same flashlight, just branded differently.

PS: Also, KE5 had problem with drivers, as far as I know, only for a short tim and it was corrected. All lights in last severalmonths, from different ebay sellers, came with good drivers.

PPS: And to correct the reviewer, Keygos sells at cca 21$, thats lowest price. So this is pretty the same flashlight, just worser version (good driver, but not good reflector like before…) same as Keygos, more expensive, and my reccomendation, buy it if you like Beamtech brand very much Smile

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To confirm that: I’ve just received last batch of KE5s from ebay (Redlog store), and flashlight is 100% indentical to Beamtech from this review.

Unfortunately, I might add, for me, because I liked old KE5 version much better…

Flashlight was paid $20,51

Its still great flashlight, it has same hotspot as Ultrafire HD2010 for example (I expected tighter hotspot from that wide reflector…)

But HD has nicer tint.

All in all, old KE5 was unbeateble, it had tighter hotspot, great XML thrower for such small, lightweight flashlight. Sad
Ill ask Keygos where can I get old version…

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cehowardGS wrote:
Super Review!!

Has anybody got the BROWN copy of the Ke-5 for $17.48 and how does it compare to these ????

http://www.ebay.com/itm/110855707939?var=410102040158&ssPageName=STRK:ME...

Who knows wich version is that.
MEabe exactly the same, too, as that beamtech.

But price is awesome. I’d go for it.

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Just had a look on eBay, redlogs doing the ke-5 for 13 quid, the bt-950 is more expensive BUT seems the proper driver is gaurantee’d, I would say from this review…. Just nearly pulled the trigger, please talk me out of it, the beer is not helping…. Upshot, I don’t have o-rings to sort it out, downside, I have a c8 so gitd o-rings would be useful…..

Arrrrghhh Love

Edited due to spell chucker

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gords1001 wrote:
Just had a look on eBay, redlogs doing the ke-5 for 13 quid,

13 quid?????

70+, Old, Dirty and Fast..

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