Review: Unbranded Yellow 4 x AA Diving Light (Cree XR-E Q5 | 4 x AA)

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_the_
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Review: Unbranded Yellow 4 x AA Diving Light (Cree XR-E Q5 | 4 x AA)

Unbranded Yellow 4 x AA Diving Light (Cree XR-E Q5 | 4 x AA)

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★☆☆

 

Summary:

Battery: 4 x AA
Switch: Magnetic side switch (Turn lever)
Modes: 1
LED Type: Cree XR-E Q5 
Lens: Plastic, TIR
Tailstands: No 
Price Payed: $11.70
From: verosale.com
Date Ordered: June 2012

 

Pros:

  • Seems to be water tight (didn't test in deep water though)
  • Lightweight
  • Uses easily available AAs
  • Yellow color is easy to find also underwater
  • Double O-rings
  • Lanyard included
  • Comes in a nice box

Cons:

  • LEAKS!! (Noticed after review -> Stars dropped from three to one)
  • Tight for some AAs (Eneloop XX fits barely, got stuck in the tube)
  • Build quality varies
  • Light output with alkaline AAs 
  • Switch lever doesn't feel robust

Unbranded Yellow 4 x AA Diving Light (Cree XR-E Q5 | 4 x AA)

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★☆☆

 

Summary:

Battery: 4 x AA
Switch: Magnetic side switch (Turn lever)
Modes: 1
LED Type: Cree XR-E Q5 
Lens: Plastic, TIR
Tailstands: No 
Price Payed: $11.70
From: verosale.com
Date Ordered: June 2012

 

Pros:

  • Seems to be water tight (didn't test in deep water though)
  • Lightweight
  • Uses easily available AAs
  • Yellow color is easy to find also underwater
  • Double O-rings
  • Lanyard included
  • Comes in a nice box

Cons:

  • LEAKS!! (Noticed after review -> Stars dropped from three to one)
  • Tight for some AAs (Eneloop XX fits barely, got stuck in the tube)
  • Build quality varies
  • Light output with alkaline AAs 
  • Switch lever doesn't feel robust

 

Features / Value: ★★★★

The light comes in a nice box.

 

In the box there were the light itself, a yellow lanyard, and four AA alkaline batteries (even though the page says batteries not included, so this might be a mistake at their end - YMMV). Operating instructions are printed in the inside of the box in bad English.

 

Main features are: Waterproof (for diving, 50m by manufacturer specs). That's it, nothing else. Smile

UI is easy: Turn the lever to either direction and the light turn on. Turn back to center to turn off. 

Here's a photo of the lever in on-position.

 

Off:

 

Value for money: Ok.

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★

Design is actually good. Clear functional form and no nonsense.

Build quality varies. My sample was quite ok, but the TIR optic was "interesting". Maybe the emitter didn't fit and someone decided to grind the optic to make it fit? There were also some glue marks in the front of the optic. These resulted in a ugly asymmetric beam pattern.

 

Also the bottom of the driver did show some (corrosion?) marks:

 

Let's see some more details..

The body tube with plastic threads and double O-rings. This is the only threaded connection in the light.

 

 

A flashlight requires some kind of lanyard for diving use, so there is a good place to securely attach the lanyard to the light.

 

Inside of the body tube: Not much, only thin metal plate with springs.

  

The pill is just dropped in to the body tube. Asymmetric slots guide it the right way around (for correct polarity). Note also the battery polarity chart on the wall of body tube.

 

The place where switch is located. Nothing comes through the tube -> switch seems to be magnetic.

 

A photo of the light disassembled:

  

 

Some measurements:

Length: 166mm

Head diameter: 42.2mm

Body size: 23.8 x 35.6mm

Weight: 224g with four cells and lanyard (= ready to use), 105g without

 

And the bottom line in the quality: Too many flaws in a simple light. Sad

 

 

Battery Life: ★★★★

Manufacturer promises "more than 120min". I didn't measure the TC currents / runtime yet, but my calculations based on output tell  that the runtime should be near five hours with Eneloop XXs. I'll come back and update this section with better data later.

 

Light Output: ★★

This light is driven low, most probably because the heat issues (and of course you can say "it's optimized for longer runtimes", which is surely needed when diving). The hotspot size equals to well known C8s and there is very little spill.

 

I estimate (ceiling bounce + "known" references) the light output to about 120 lumens

 

Couple of white wall beamshots (WB: Daylight)

Ringy and asymmetric beam (doesn't look that bad in the photo - way worse in real life!)

 

Beam pattern

 

 

Couldn't take outdoor beamshots due the lack of darkness. Sorry about that.

 

Summary: 

Cheap flashlight with no nonsense. Seems to be suitable for diving. Not-so-good / random build quality is a minus, but if you get a good one it's definitely worth the money.

 

Edit: I also noticed after writing the review that this sample also LEAKS from the bottom of the tube. I didn't notice it when doing the preliminary water proofing tests, maybe because the lanyard was partly blocking the small hole(?) I took the lanyard away to see if the light would float (it didn't) and immediately noticed some drops of water in the battery compartment. Maybe all these $8-15 dive lights from eBay / sellers like verosale.com are really factory rejects? (of Poplite?) That + failed testing would explain the corrosion in the driver as well.. Sad

 

Verdict: Not recommended! (= buy only if you want to gamble and/or love discussions with customer service)

 

The End (pun intended):

 

Thanks for reading & watching. Hope you enjoyed the review!

=the=

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:34
MRsDNF
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Thanks _the_. In Australia for jet skis you need a working floating torch onboard at all times. I have been after a cheap waterproof torch for this purpose for awhile. Would you mind seeing if this floats as for $11.00 it would do the job. Its never going to get used at night.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

Sharpthangs
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Yet another diver.

You, sir, have a problem. Wink

Nice review. That lever switch does look a bit dodgy.

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I noticed after writing the review that this sample also LEAKS from the bottom of the tube. I didn't notice it when doing the preliminary water proofing tests, maybe because the lanyard was partly blocking the small hole(?) I took the lanyard away to see if the light would float (it didn't) and immediately noticed some drops of water in the battery compartment. Maybe all these $8-15 dive lights from eBay / sellers like verosale.com are really factory rejects? (of Poplite?) That + failed testing would explain the corrosion in the driver as well.. Sad

Review updated to one star because of this.

=the=

 

agenthex
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I have a similar but apparently better light from buyincoins.com: http://www.buyincoins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=7430

It’s actually one of my favorites and IMO a great gift because it takes 4 aa, easy to use, AND it’s waterproof. The BIC copy is available on ebay with other color (incl dark gray for those who prefer to be less conspicuous). The circuit inside is just direct-draw with a resistor. The tint on mine are quite good (~6000K instead of usual ~8000K in cheapo lights), and general quality is better than the sample above. Can tailstand with minimal sanding of flat bottom. The BIC version is a more faithful D14 Lenser copy than the OP. The $30 POPlite is the most direct D14 copy (the cheap ones cut some corners).

The current draw is a bit challenging to measure since it has no tailcap and uses hall switch but with nimh’s it averages ~1A over the first 30 min or so (calced by measuring battery capacity after 30min). So ~2hr of bright runtime on nimh and then diminishing output. Alkaline have ~800mah capacity at ~1a so maybe 1 hour with those. Beware it runs very hot if left on since the heasinking to outside is minimal. I think some foil or similar might be a good idea if running for long periods. Also beware that magnetic switches have a parasitic drain so don’t leave the batteries for extended periods (like a month) or they will slowly run down. This is true for all magnetic diving lights.

Is the admin still around to sticky this review to the front page? This general design is unique and worthwhile.

Reading this makes you smarter: http://lesswrong.com/

Tecmo
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Thanks for taking one for the team. You never know when you’ll find a gem… or something like this…

agenthex
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Most likely some imperfection when the molds were joined (two halves), but shouldn’t be a problem in general with the design since the whole back piece is just a plastic tube. These are not seconds, but obviously not the best QA given these are at most $5 to manufacture.

Reading this makes you smarter: http://lesswrong.com/

_the_
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agenthex wrote:
It's actually one of my favorites and IMO a great gift because it takes 4 aa, easy to use, AND it's waterproof.

This general design is unique and worthwhile.

Welcome back agenthex!

What you said above is exactly why I decided to test these. They will make great gifts, but obviously I need to test each one separately.

I have another sample coming from an eBay seller, lets see if the quality is better.. Smile

=the=

 

_the_
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I tested the customer service at verosale.com

Wendy responded quickly and was very helpful: She instantly promised to send me a replacement (without any additional hassle)

Good job so far!

I'll keep you updated when I receive the new one.

=the=

 

sb56637
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Nice honest review on a less common flashlight. Thanks very much! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

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