Review: Blackshadow Darth NW (3 x XM-L | 3 x 18650)

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_the_
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Review: Blackshadow Darth NW (3 x XM-L | 3 x 18650)

 Blackshadow Darth NW (3 x XM-L | 3 x 18650)

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★

 

Summary:

Battery: 3 x 18650
Switch: Magnetic control ring + Tail switch, Forward clicky
Modes: 4: Low, Med, High, Strobe
LED Type: 3 x XM-L T6 3C (NW)  
Lens: Glass
Tailstands: Yes 
Price Payed: Introductory price $62 + shipping (current price $97)
From: FF
Date Ordered: September 2012

 

Pros:

  • Bright for the size
  • Significantly smaller than King -> pocketable power house
  • Available as NW
  • Good runtime with three cells
  • Two switches (Magnetic control ring + Forward tail clicky) =>
    • Easy to change modes
    • Strobe quickly available
    • Momentary on with any mode
    • Tail clicky can be used for Morse code without fear of changing modes
  • Well spaced modes
  • Tailstands well (and can be used to illuminate the whole room Cool)
  • Great design & build quality
  • Flat bezel
  • Comes in a nice box, lanyard included, very good for gifting!

Cons:

  • PWM on low and med modes (~125Hz)

 

Features / Value: ★★★★

The light comes in a nice red box:

 

..which contains the light itself, good lanyard, one extra O-ring and a manual (in English!) 

 

Features are simply great: Three well spaced modes (about 1700, 900 and 300 lumens OTF) + an easily accessible strobe in case you should need it.

UI is very good, one of the best I have ever used: Forward clicky tail switch (momentary on), the light always starts on the mode shown by the magnetic control ring. After turning the light on, you can rotate the control ring to change modes in the following order: Off, Low, Med, High, Strobe. The ring moves smoothly with clear steps on each mode. Off and strobe are at the end of the rotation, which is very handy: Strobe can be turned on quickly with one twist, without any need to stop thinking.

One advantage of this setup is that there is no parasitic drain if the power is turned off from tail switch.

To avoid the light turning on accidentally, despite of two switches being off, the light can be locked out simply by unscrewing the head about 1/8 - 1/4 turns.

Value for money: Very good!

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★

Design is very nice. Short, thick, good handle, and the magnetic control ring. What else would one need? The triangular handle fits my hand perfectly and the control ring (with option also for "Off") is as good as a side switch.

Color of anodizing is also good in my eyes and to top of it, bezel is flat!

 

The anodization is very good overall, glass lens looks nice and durable, and the magnetic control ring feels as good. Let's see some details..

Cooling fins and the stainless steel magnetic control ring:

 

Also the design of the lanyard "hole" is interesting:

 

Three well centered NW emitters, ready to push out 1500+ lumens:

 

The threads were anodized, smooth, and slightly lubed. The O-ring is well placed, feels tight, and keeps in place very well: 

 

Another photo of the body:

 

A look to the inside. Three cells in a triangular formation. Looks great! Also longer cells like XTAR 18700 fit fine without any problems.

 

Another photo with the cells inside the body tube. This also shows how the positive poles are pressed against the driver when screwing the head to the body. I'm not so concerned about that with this light, because the driver ring is significantly thicker than in King.

This is all that can be opened without tools or violence.

 

 

..but since I'm dedicated to BLF community, I decided to go further..

The driver can be disassembled by unscrewing the two screws on top of it:

 

Other side of the driver. Note also the screw in the middle of the wires, holding the reflector tightly.

 

Bezel, glass lens, O-ring and reflector removed. Emitters are located on a about 2mm thick aluminum "platform", which is integrated part of the head.

 

The head can be disassembled even further by twisting it hard, but I don't suggest doing so! Listen to me: Don't try this at home!

The magnetic control ring requires the correct tightness between these two parts, which is why the parts are glued together. On the other hand, if you are not happy with the tightness of the ring, you might open this seam and re-glue it to preferred tightness.

 

Here is the whole light disassembled:

 

Closeup on the bezel and lens:

 

Another shot of the head. Threads are very nice also here:

 

Some measurements:

Length: 138mm

Head diameter: 48mm

Body diameter: 44mm

Tail diameter: 47mm

Reflector diameter: 21mm

Reflector depth: 16mm

Weight: 451g with 3 cells (= ready to use), 307g without

 

..and here's some pictures confirming the measurements:

 

 

 

 

 

This light is actually unbelievably small, for example when compared to King:

 

..or XinTD C8 v3:

 

And the bottom line in the quality: Absolutely nothing to complain! Surprisingly good in all aspects! 

 

Battery Life: ★★★★

Good! Three batteries will allow fairly long runtimes.

I measured the current and got results of 5.0A on high, 2.3A on Med and 0.7A on low.

This would give about 1.5h runtime on high, 3h on Med, and over 11h on low!

 

Light Output: ★★★★

Let's make this clear: This light is not as bright as the King.

But for a light this small, I would still classify it as "very bright". Ceiling bounce was measured about 77% of King on high, and the beamshots below seem to confirm this. (Visible, but not big difference)

 

Thermal sag & runtime graphs coming soon. Please wait patiently. 

 

I estimate (ceiling bounce + "known" references) the light output to:

- over 1500 lumens on high (maybe around 1600-1700?)

- about 900 on med

- about 300 (or a bit less) on low

 

Some white wall beamshots (1/400s, f/4, ISO80, WB: Daylight)

High:

 

Med:

 

Low: 

 

 

Beam angle:

 

Compared to King (1/100s, f/4, ISO80, WB: Daylight)

Low:

 

King Low, Darth Med:

 

High:

 

High with reduced exposure (1/400s, f/4, ISO80, WB: Daylight)

 

Outdoor beamshots (Distance 50m, camera settings: 50mm, 2s, f/4, ISO200, WB 5000K)

Control:

 

High:

 

Med:

 

Low:

 

Comparison to King NW on High: (Mouse over for Skyray King)

 

 

Summary: ★★★★

Very good small multi-emitter flashlight with nice design and finish for anyone who wants to put out generous amount of neutral white lumens from a pocketable light.

As an owner of multiple lights, such as King, APEX 5T6, Roche F22 and this, I have noticed that I have had tendency of taking only this one for a walk during the last few days. Of course it might be only the "new light"-syndrome, but we'll see that in a near future..

Verdict: Highly recommended!

 

The End (pun intended):

 

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

 

=the=

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:20
scaru
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Thanks for the review _the_!

Pinetreebbs
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Very nice review. Thank you and especially for the full dissemble of the magnetic control.

DON KIDIK
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Nice job on the Review.Mines on the way from Ric.I feel a little more confident after reading your review.

Thanks
DON

DrJones
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Nice review, thanks Smile Can’t wait to get mine.

(Someone in my head tells me that it can be modded to 24*AMC7135…)

Haterade
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Thanks for the review and beamshots. That’s a purdy light.

I like copper

Langcjl
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Nice review, thanks. Looks like a really nice light.

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

jacktheclipper
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Cool

What I do

 

MattSPL
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Nice review. Thanks Smile

I definitely want this one. It looks like it would be fairly simple to swap the 3 LED’s for ones on copper stars :bigsmile:

Cheers
Matt

adyscarborough
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do we think the price will come back down??

_the_
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adyscarborough wrote:
do we think the price will come back down??

Ric said that it was a pricing mistake from the factory, so most probably not.

I have to say that, once again, Ric proved to be a very good seller - honoring the wrong price and shipping the already ordered lights without any hassle!

=the=

 

adyscarborough
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the wrote:

adyscarborough wrote:
do we think the price will come back down??

Ric said that it was a pricing mistake from the factory, so most probably not.

I have to say that, once again, Ric proved to be a very good seller – honoring the wrong price and shipping the already ordered lights without any hassle!


yes i saw that thread… i was just about to order one at the $62 price but realised id forgot to bank some money so didnt dare carry out the order what with other direct debits coming out that week…. ARRGGHHHH!!!!…. Really fancied this light aswell… oh well it looks like i may have to stump up the extra unless i find an alternative i like Smile
JohnnyMac
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Great review, -the-! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it but that could be because I'm just excited for mine to arrive and review.
MattSPL
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Can this light run off 2 cells like the SRK, or does it need all 3 to operate?

whokilledJR
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Another great review. Thanks the! Wink

how2
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You can now get it for $79.99

Chicago X
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Excellent review, thanks.

Your write-up was the first to clearly show the triangular body.  I think that was the final reason needed to place an order. Tongue Out

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

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Awesome review!**

kreisler
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how2 wrote:

You can now get it for $79.99

it is less if you buy 3 copies. minus 10$OFF (for orders over 200$) and additional -10$OFF coupon code, see cart

the price would be (196/3=) 65.33US$/pc shipped but why would someone want to buy 3 copies lol?

also dont forget duties when you import 3 copies.

anyway i am off the hook. waiting for tiny monsters. hehe Wink

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
rikr
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Great review!!! Thank you for all your work and time!!!

 

 

 New Collection / Old Collection

 
how2
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kreisler wrote:

how2 wrote:

You can now get it for $79.99

it is less if you buy 3 copies. minus 10$OFF (for orders over 200$) and additional -10$OFF coupon code, see cart

the price would be (196/3=) 65.33US$/pc shipped but why would someone want to buy 3 copies lol?

also dont forget duties when you import 3 copies.

anyway i am off the hook. waiting for tiny monsters. hehe Wink

Which Tiny Monster and how much?

CM2010
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Glad you like it, how do you find changing modes is it instant or is there a slight lag?

sesgum
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Great review! thank you for the useful information, the.

CM2010
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[/quote]

Which Tiny Monster and how much?

[/quote]

TM11, a few of us ordered got them for £95 shipped.

kreisler
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CM2010 wrote:
TM11, a few of us ordered got them for £95 shipped.

sounds like half price! Love

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
_the_
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MattSPL wrote:
Can this light run off 2 cells like the SRK, or does it need all 3 to operate?

Yes, even with only one (as long as the protection circuit doesn't trip)

 

CM2010 wrote:

Glad you like it, how do you find changing modes is it instant or is there a slight lag?

Yes. It's instant without any lag. And when turning the control ring slower, the mode will change in the middle of the steps.

I wonder what was the problem in your sample. Maybe opening & re-adjusting the control ring tightness would help?

 

+ Thanks to everyone for your kind words! That helps me to keep doing these reviews. Smile

=the=

 

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Thank you for the review. I can't believe how you just tore into that brand new flashlight like it was nothing. Unbelievable gung-ho reporting! You are _the _ man.

It just looks so small in those pics you've taken. Little and with a wonderful UI. I wonder if that low pwm can ever be corrected. That is a deal breaker for me. That low it too low for me to bite. I'd notice that in a heartbeat and get annoyed in a few more. Crying shame it seems to me.

~ Ledsmoke ~

Dutch humor:

[quote=djozz]

 I do not think that the BLF-community ben

kreisler
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Ledsmoke wrote:
That low it too low for me to bite. I'd notice that in a heartbeat and get annoyed in a few more. Crying shame it seems to me.

_the_, can you easily see the PWM when you look into the beam and shake the light slowly?

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
_the_
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You have to define "slowly", but.. Yes. I can see the PWM when moving my finger in front of the light. (I'd prefer not to look into the beam)

125Hz is quite slow, but I'm actually surprised that I haven't noticed it in any real usage => Doesn't bother me at all. (Of course I would like to have kHz PWM, but..)

=the=

 

kreisler
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_the_ wrote:
125Hz is quite slow

yep, steady hand with a waggling index would be "slowly" enough haha

Tank007 flashlights have normally a PWM frequency of 180~250Hz. Would it be higher, the whine would be more audible. The best-selling and much loved E09 has 230Hz (according to Tank007 Co.), which is slow but not too bad. I once tried to spot the slightest dirt on the bathroom mirror and wipe it clean with a piece of cloth, of course with fast moving arms, while illuminating the mirror surface with the E09. D*mn that was hilarious. Simply impossible to complete the wiping job lol. From that point on i knew that for a work light there should be no PWM at all. High frequency PWM .. sure, would solve the problem .. but how many budget lights do have high frequency PWM? Not in Romisen, Tank007, Skyray, or Black Shadow!

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
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Thanks _the_. Sounds like a really well built flashlight. What is controlling the friction on the rotating ring? Is it metal to metal? The tint appears slightly warmer than the King.

 

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.

 

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