Review: APEX 5T6 (5 x Cree XM-L T6 | 4 x 18650)

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Glenn7
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FlashPilot wrote:
Glenn7 wrote:
it’s just funny how the owners stick up for what they have bought without thinking about the math – also to me there is more to a light than just the wow factor, I use mine as a tool for work and can run the apex for half an hour at a time without worry of cooking it.

Funny? Even more funny is that you didnt seem to take note of the reply the OP left for you in post 15, explaining that the same cells were used in both lights… with another image of the same graph I re-posted above.


Well I’m not trying to be smart or a wise guy I’m just having an opinion like you are – you say I didn’t read the post above but did you? He also said it wasnt scientific and to take it with a grain of salt.
I didnt say the tm11 was as bright as king/dry/apex, but the tm11 has been measured in a sphere to be 2000 lumens OTF, so holding the apex and the tm11 together I see my apex as 50ish% brighter and after 8 min the tm steps down but apex is the same brightness and isn’t hot to touch like the tm. Darkside said basically the same thing above. So the king is brighter than the tm11 no doubt – they use the same 3 xml’s but king is driven harder but I see no differance in size of the body to the tm and as the tm is driven lower and still gets almost too hot to hold after 8 min surely you can’t tell me the king is doing fine other than for short bursts of a few minutes without doing some damage to it soon. (but I guess that’s whats good about budget lights)
The TM11 came out first and the king was a copy (because i said its a ripoff) you seem touchy about the king because you own one and I’m sorry I didn’t mean to offend (I don’t doubt that it may be brighter than the apex/dry as I have never had one) technology changes fast and brighter things will always come out as I have found in this apex.
I look like i am new to this forum, but I have been buying and selling lights for over 20 years (especially led lights in the last 8 years) costing anywhere up to $2000 each for custom lights – this isn’t to boast all I am saying is I’ve had tons of the brightest production and rare custom lights out there made so I can honestly say I know a little, I have just recently got back into the buget lights as I’m finding them more fun of late as they are cheap and the quality has become better and the suppliers are happier to push the boundaries for the sake of a sale, but in all honesty I would trust my life to a custom any day.

One thing I have noticed with the cheaper Chinese lights are they aren’t consistent in manufacturing and output – example: I have bought 3 exact same custom lights they are all the same in tint/output/finish and reliability because they hand made and the LEDs are hand picked, I have bought 10 of the same (what I thought was good value cheaper lights to help coworkers get a half descent light and they still complain is expensive for a light) and there are inconsistencies between almost every light in color/tint/output/bad threads/chips.

Rant over.

indenial
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Great review, but I think this light is a bit of a disappointment – for the price.

IMO, this proves that the Skyray King is still the best value out there by far. I just wish they’d do something about the awful color!

My name is indy, and I've been a flashaholic since 2004.

Chicago X
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Thanks for the review, _ the _ !!!

This thing is dying for a solid copper heatsink, a center emitter, and 2 DRY drivers. J)

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

War Dogs, Making it Home - Rescue Dogs for Returning Vets

Shadowww
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Chicago X wrote:
Thanks for the review, _ the _ !!!

This thing is dying for a solid copper heatsink, a center emitter, and 2 DRY drivers. J)


..and flux capacitors instead of batteries, if you want more than 2 seconds of runtime. :3
attitude
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Shadowww wrote:
Chicago X wrote:
Thanks for the review, _ the _ !!!

This thing is dying for a solid copper heatsink, a center emitter, and 2 DRY drivers. J)


..and flux capacitors instead of batteries, if you want more than 2 seconds of runtime. :3

oh DOC! can i get few more of those flux capicitors for my delorian!

weird i just get addicted to flashlight like in a blink of an eye.

FX-32
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Excellent review!
I still think that this flashlight needs another LED in the middle…

d337944
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Guys

I’ve just received this (the cool white version), and am extremely disappointed by the output.

I also have a Nitecore TM11 (cool white), and my TM11 is BRIGHTER than this Apex 5T6 … no doubt about it. Tested with the same four 3100 mah fully charged batteries, doing celling bounce tests. Not only is the TM11 is brighter, but it has a wider spill beam.

Build quality and finish is _excellent _though, and its one good looking torch.

Don’t know if I received a dodgy sample, but I’m e-mailing RIC about this and hoping he comes up with a good solution.

Cheers
d337944

Update: RIC suggested I measure the current to the led – I’ve done so and am getting only about 1.1 – 1.2 A per lead, meaning much less than “3000 lumen” in total! I’m assuming its just mine that’s dodgy … but also note from others’ measurements the Apex 5T6 is not as bright as claimed.

jb1
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d337944 wrote:
Guys

I’ve just received this (the cool white version), and am extremely disappointed by the output.

I also have a Nitecore TM11 (cool white), and my TM11 is BRIGHTER than this Apex 5T6 … no doubt about it. Tested with the same four 3100 mah fully charged batteries, doing celling bounce tests. Not only is the TM11 is brighter, but it has a wider spill beam.

Build quality and finish is excellent though.

Don’t know if I received a dodgy sample, but I’m e-mailing RIC about this and hoping he comes up with a good solution.

Cheers
d337944

Update: RIC suggested I measure the current to the led – I’ve done so and am getting only about 1.1 – 1.2 A per lead, mean much less than “3000 lumen” in total! I’m assuming its just mine that is dodgy, so I’m waiting to hear back from RIC whether he’ll send a replacement head (I don’t have the tools or skills to resolder any kind of replacement driver for this flashlight) or provide a partial refund.

Thanks for saving me $100+ dollars.

JustFit
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d337944 wrote:
Guys

I’ve just received this (the cool white version), and am extremely disappointed by the output.

I also have a Nitecore TM11 (cool white), and my TM11 is BRIGHTER than this Apex 5T6 … no doubt about it. Tested with the same four 3100 mah fully charged batteries, doing celling bounce tests. Not only is the TM11 is brighter, but it has a wider spill beam.

Build quality and finish is excellent though.

Don’t know if I received a dodgy sample, but I’m e-mailing RIC about this and hoping he comes up with a good solution.

Cheers
d337944

Update: RIC suggested I measure the current to the led – I’ve done so and am getting only about 1.1 – 1.2 A per lead, mean much less than “3000 lumen” in total! I’m assuming its just mine that is dodgy, so I’m waiting to hear back from RIC whether he’ll send a replacement head (I don’t have the tools or skills to resolder any kind of replacement driver for this flashlight) or provide a partial refund.

based on Match’s XM-L graph you should have around 2125 – 2250 lumen at 1.1 – 1.2 Amps per led Wink

Think twice, act fast! 

keltex78
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Also wondering what size the reflectors are… They remind me of these 18mm reflectors from DX:
http://dx.com/p/18mm-12mm-aluminum-textured-op-reflector-for-cree-led-em...

Are they a direct replacement? This light with OP reflectors should be a nice flooder…


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

d337944
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Hey there JustFit … true, my Apex may produce around the 2200 lumen mark – though _still dimmer _than my Nitecore TM11 – but what I was disappointed about was that I paid money for a “3000 lumen” flashlight and it certainly wasn’t anywhere near it.

If you don’t have anything around the 2000 lumen mark, the Apex will blow you away and you’ll love it! As mentioned the build quality, design and finish is really top notch. However if you want a 3000 lumen product, look elsewhere.

YMMV .. other samples may be brighter than mine – I think mine is just a bit “dodgier” than normal …

For the money its still a good product, and RIC looked after me well.

Cheers all,
d337944

lols
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or you can mod it to 3000lumen
Any suggested replacement driver?

kramer5150
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Some great discussions here….

Yeah most definitely this is not a 3000 Lumen light. I think its only around 2000-2250 OTF. Ceiling bouncing it against my TR-J12 the two are about the same, If anything the Apex is maybe a little less. But it could also be the warmer color tint of the Apex playing tricks on my eyes.

Numbers don’t lie!!! Look at the graph and plots. The skyray king has a very stable ceiling bounce output, with relatively little thermal dimming, Despite its LEDs being driven harder than the Apex. IMHO they made a big mistake on the Apex not copying the thermal design of the SR king. The king has its LED heatsink thermal pasted directly onto the aluminum plane that spans the inside diameter of the heatsink bezel. Screws sandwich the LED heatsink between the Aluminum plane and reflector array assembly. The Apex is a completely hollow tube, where the LED heatsink only contacts the bezel around the perimeter. It also looks like they could have used more thermal paste, and a better conducting one like AS-5.

I took the fam out to see a local firework show and had the Apex on HI for a good 30 minutes straight during the night-walk home. With the cool night air circulating it got warm but was no where near hot enough to cause concern. So I think its definitely a GREAT constant-on kind of task-flood light and most importantly for me NO DISCO!!! (that element alone keeps the SR king off my list).

I’d take mine apart if I could, but mine is SOLIDLY built. Seriously I pulled a ligament/muscle in my left wrist wearing rubber gloves trying to unscrew the Bezel on my light. I would add a copper plate and some AS-5 under the LED heatsink. It looks like theres plenty of room in there to play around. I would be a little hesitant to mess with the current sense resistors though, without having a backup source for the OEM driver.

EDIT I just looked at the graph more carefully, focusing more on the Apex VS J12 and my two lights seem to exactly match the data presented in the plots. At no point in my ceiling bounce comparisons does my Apex appear brighter than the J12. The J12 also gets warmer to the touch, and seems to thermally dim at a faster rate than the Apex.

DarkSide
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I just killed 1 driver and I have 1 waiting for me . I’ll bench test the new driver with a test load and should be able to
reset and keep it alive. Hopefully output should be set according to spec but i can say that none of the Apex drivers i tested were close…

 


kramer5150
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DarkSide wrote:
I just killed 1 driver and I have 1 waiting for me . I’ll bench test the new driver with a test load and should be able to reset and keep it alive. Hopefully output should be set according to spec but i can say that none of the Apex drivers i tested were close…

Can I ask where did you get the extra driver? I’d love to get my hands on a legit ~1.7A board.

lols
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where you can get extra driver, I would like to play with some too

DarkSide
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I purchased the driver from Ric. I did ask that someone test the driver before it shipped.

kramer5150 wrote:
DarkSide wrote:
I just killed 1 driver and I have 1 waiting for me . I’ll bench test the new driver with a test load and should be able to reset and keep it alive. Hopefully output should be set according to spec but i can say that none of the Apex drivers i tested were close…

Can I ask where did you get the extra driver? I’d love to get my hands on a legit ~1.7A board.

 


fishinfool
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 for the review _the_!  

 

 

 

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

lols
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Guess ric should post it on the web to sell it like the dry :bigsmile:

KumaBear
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I would also add the possibility of employing U2 emitters. That alone would up the ante.
As Chicago X implies, it also seems that it is underdriven. How much could it cost to change that?
About the Center Emitter – I’m not convinced it needs it but I woudln’t be against it – and it would probably be difficult for the manufacturer to add (not to mention the lack of heat sink in the middle).
The solid copper heatsink would certainly be a plus:
1) It would more easily allow the addition of a 6th emitter.
2) It would allow the existing emitters to be more highly driven – either by a higher output driver – or by 2 drivers.

By the way, I would be interested in this wide-beam light if it had NW emitters as an option.
And last, but not least, I really like the look and the handle!

KumaBear

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What is the driver size?

Slewflash
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kramer5150 wrote:
So I think its definitely a GREAT constant-on kind of task-flood light and most importantly for me NO DISCO!!! (that element alone keeps the SR king off my list)

Hi kramer, the strobe function in the SR king is a ‘hidden’ function. When you cycle through modes normally with the electronic switch it goes like this: High -> Med/Low -> Off. You can cycle through a hundred times and you will only ever experience high and low.
However if you want strobe (which nobody does) while it is on you hold down the button for ~2 seconds and then it will switch to strobe mode, another click of the button and it returns to high, then you can cycle through as normal.

The SR king is a great utility light because of the wide spill beam, so if you’re using it to walk your pets at night it’s great (I prefer floodier lights over throwy lights when I am by myself at night as it makes it easier to pinpoint a moving target if necessary [I know, I’m paranoid.]), plus the has rated it to be a tad brighter than the Apex, and coupled with the almost non-existent thermal sag and perfect ratio of flood to throw it’s one of the lights necessary to be in your possession.

EDIT: The side switch is also excellent for one handed operation, now you can just keep a firm grip on it as long as you want.

Slewflash 

warmurf
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Ric, for what it’s worth I’d suggest a total re-visit of this light.

Big heatsink behind the emitters.
Drive these out to about 2.8-3 amps each.

The reason I say this is that this light is obviously a good design, well built and has the size/build to cope with higher output.
Except the guts obviously need some serious tuning to allow that.
At the moment it’s a great lloking beefly light that doesn’t compare to some of it’s compititon (King, Dry, TJ12).
It should really be a light putting out between 2700-3300 lumens of the face.

Totally understand the dollars would skip up, but it would be worth it. You could let us know the price and we’d get numbers,
but as she is, there just isn’t enough performance difference to justify pulling the trigger. Build, looks and function do.

_the_
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I had an opportunity to take quick beamshots. All of them are 2.0s, f/5.0, ISO80, WB Daylight

APEX NW:

 

King NW:
 

  

APEX vs. King (mouse over for King)

=the=

 

Pavithra_uk
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the wrote:

I had an opportunity to take quick beamshots. All of them are 2.0s, f/5.0, ISO80, WB Daylight

APEX NW:

 

King NW:
 

  

APEX vs. King (mouse over for King)

Apex looks like more flood than King.

gearjunkie
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Brightness looks about the same to me with the Apex looking more floody than the King. The tint in the King also looks a bit cooler.

Sirius9
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lols
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Can someone tell me which is the sense resistor for the driver and how to calculate for the output current, I’m thinking of modding it.
Thanks

DarkSide
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You can ask Ric for the updated driver, at 8.5amps

 


Rod911
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DarkSide wrote:
You can ask Ric for the updated driver, at 8.5amps

So when this was originally released, how high was it driven?

I’ve got the original DRY triple (non boosted Turbo, just the H/M/ L strobe settings) and I’m now looking for something a tad bit brighter and I think that this maybe it.

edit: got my settings wrong.

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