Review: Ultrafire C12 XM-L T6 (Warning: Very picture heavy!)

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SaCRiiD
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Review: Ultrafire C12 XM-L T6 (Warning: Very picture heavy!)

Ultrafire C12 XM-L T6 Review Flashlight

 

Rating: 5/5 stars

Price Payed: $16.90 USD with free shipping

Date Ordered/Received: 29th of September 2012, received 9th of October, 2012

Link: Ultrafire C12 XM-L T6

After my initial purchase at Lightmalls.com, I was planning to purchase more from them. And I did. This flashlight outperforms the Ultrafire C8 that I had also purchased from Lightmalls, both of which are very good lights. Please note that there are other flashlights and batteries in the background of these photos, and they are NOT included. The Trustfire Flames are for size comparison and are not included.

 

To kick this review off, I would like to state some obvious facts. The C12’s design is rather similar to the C8, with the same body section and similar head style. Obviously, most of the “anti roll” bumps have indeed been turned into heatsink fins, but the style is still visible. The tailcap is similar to the C8, except that it has a more sensitive reverse clicky switch that engages a lot easier than the C8.

 

Heat fins on the C12's head

 

Design and Machining Overview

When I first picked up this light, I decided that I was a bit lighter than the Ultrafire C8, which would make sense, as the parts cut out for the heatsink would have reduced weight. It is about 195 Grams without a 18650 and 250 grams with. Obviously, this flashlight has a nice heatsink on the head section, and a very large pill for a light that size, which makes heat transfer rather efficient. This makes this flashlight good for high current mods.

The pill itself is has a nice cosy fit for the 20mm star, which seems to be press fitted into the pill.

The pill

There is some thermal paste below the star, but personally I would replace it with my own. The pill is also quite wide, with at least 5mm of aluminium around the star. It is also a screw in pill, which is another pro.

The driver is a 5 mode driver with the useful type of mode memory, like in the C8. The flashlight turns on on your last used mode. If you always use medium, you will not have to cycle through all of the modes to get there. You can just use medium, turn it off at medium and it will turn on on medium mode. I think that every flashlight should have that type of mode memory. It is lot easier than no memory or the memory that makes the flashlight go into the next mode when you turn it on. The driver does not have a label or anything, so I cannot say for sure what it is.

 

The reflector is exactly the same as the C8, so like the C8, this reflector is very deep and is great at catching all of the light from the XM-L T6. The reflector itself is made out of aluminium, and has a nicely polished finish on the actual reflecting surface. There are no scratches or any defects on the reflector. The glass is ordinary, uncoated glass which sits upon a silicone o-ring on the bezel. There is nothing special about it, no chips, no scratches, just what you would expect from a flashlight like this.

 

The tailcap is very similar to the C8 tailcap, except for the fact that the switch and tailcap cover is different. The C8 tailcap seems a little stiffer than this one, the tailcap that comes with this flashlight has a nice feel to it. Due to personal taste, I have changed the tailcap from boring black to a neon tailcap. I just think black flashlights look better with either an orange or blue tailcap.

The tailcap is also a bit longer than the C8s, with a spring forced solid copper plunger for maximum current transfer. I quite like the solid copper plungers, they are a lot better than the old spring ones. Like most Ultrafire flashlights, this too is a lego flashlight, I can swap any of the parts of the C12 and the C8 around without any trouble.

 

The body tube is very well milled, and has a nice knurling finish to it. 18650 rattle is minimal, especially when using double shrink wrapped batteries. On one side it has the usual Ultrafire trademark logo, with C12 engraved in the bottom right hand corner, and on the other side it has “Cree XM-LT6” with the cree emitter logo. All engraving is nicely done and is not wonky at all. Some might have thought that the anodisation on this flashlight may be dodgy, but it is perfectly fine. There are no chips in the anodisation, and there are also no missed areas or marks. The heatsink would have been a hard part to anodise, but it was done very well. As far as I can see, there are no patches of un-anodised aluminium in the heatsink, and there are no bubbles or anything. Also this flashlight has very nice threads, they are triangular. They came lubed as well!

 

And that wraps up the design and machining part of this review.

 

Current and Brightness

I do all current tests with a 18650 Trustfire Flames charged full and a “Digitech” multimeter with custom 30A leads. These are the results

High: 3.12A

Med: 1.1A

Low: 120mA

 

The Trustfire Flames are also from Lightmalls, and judging by the runtime and the hologram sticker, they are real. I do not have a hobby charger yet, so I do not know the actual capacity of these batteries. So this flashlight should be giving out a luminous flux of about 850-950 Lumens, which is great for a flashlight for that price. I did a ceiling bounce test, and the results were very good. The room was lit very decently, almost better than what my 11W Energy Saver bulb could do!

 

Here are the beamshots. My digital camera is a piece of s*** and does no allow me to change the shutter speed and half the other settings. So I am using the camera on my phone to deliver these unsightly photos. All beamshots were taken with a fully charged 18650 Trustfire Flames in the flashlight.

Trees are 50m away, ISO800, +3 EXP.

Yeah it is pretty grainy. 

 

Same target, same camera settings


Fence is 9m away, ISO800, 0 EXP

And that wraps up the beamshots. (you can uncover your eyes now; the worst is over)

 

Website Specs:

UltraFire C12 CREE XM-L T6 1200-Lumen 5-Mode LED Flashlight (1x18650)

• Model: UltraFireC12

• LED: Cree XM-L

• Brightness: Max Output 1200 Lumens (manufacturer rated)

• Color BIN: White (Looks like Neutral White)

• Total Emitters: 1

• Battery Configurations: 1*18650 rechargeable batteries (not included)

• Switch Type: Slight-contact (Actually Reverse Clicky)

• Switch Location: Side-way (Actually Tail switch)

• Modes: 5

• Mode Arrangement: Hi >Mid> Lo > Strobe >SOS

• Lens: Coated Glass Lens (Actually Uncoated)

• Reflector: Aluminum Smooth/SMO Reflector

 

It looks like they did not include current draw for some reason, usually the XM-L flashlights on most websites just have a very generic: “2300mAh Regulated Current”.

Lightmalls is not a bad site, they had the reputation of giving out scratched/fake flashlights before, and all of the flashlights that I have ordered came without scratches and if they are fake then they are very, very good fakes, and they might be better than the real thing.

 

Conclusion

So in conclusion, this flashlight is just stunning in every way. It is cheap, well made, has a good reflector and has a high current draw. What more could you want?

 

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:20
ChibiM
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Funny, I dont see any picture!

SaCRiiD
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Yeah I just put them in.
Had a bit of trouble with Imageshack…

ChibiM
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Now I see them! thanks

raccoon city
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chriszhou wrote:

My flashlights:

-Ultrafire C8 XM-L U2

-Ultrafire Sipik SK98 Clone

-Ultrafire C12

-Ultrafire HD2010

-Ultrafire Zoomie Smiling Shark Clone

It looks you've picked some of the best that UltraFire has to offer.   Wink

Also, excellent review!

MRsDNF
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Nice review chriszhou It sounds like your in the same part of the country as I am. The pill looks very similar to the HD2010.

 

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.

 

Ecig
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Have you reviewed C8 from lightmalls maybe?

Is it good quality/output?

Ecig
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Also, one important question in general and one important question for me personally…

1) Is reflector same size as ordinary C8?
2) tailcap threads seem little thicker to me, than standard C8 threads. DId you tried to fit some pressure switch on it?

Its a funny thing, regarding 2), Im ordering C8-sized flashlights continually, and recently I received same flashlights (from 2 different sources) with thicker tailcap threads. Same diammeter, but thicker.

The flaslight in question are C8 Q5 from Dinodirect and Small SUn C10 zoomie from manafont…

PS: Also important thing regarding price: lightmalls doesnt have free shipping for many countries. SO real price is around 20$. Not some astonishing deal…

edc
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Will the head lego with other c8’s. Great price!

 

http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums

SaCRiiD
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My C8 review is here

The reflector is exactly the same on the C8 and the C12.

Naturally, I like legoing flashlights, so I tried to swap the switches of the C12 and the C8 around, but they are a bit different, the C12’s switch retaining ring screws down a lot more than the C8’s. Using a C12 switch on the C8 tail did not really work for me, because the spring on the C12 puts a lot more pressure on the copper plunger. Also, the C12’s tail works fine on the C8. It is just a little tight, because of the extra length of the plunger. If you are using 18700 batteries on the C8 with the C12 tail, you might want to partially screw the tail on. But the threads seems to be the same.

I did not know that lightmalls did not have free shipping to some countries, on their website it says: “All shipping, free”. Is it paid shipping for a registered article?

SaCRiiD
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And also I gave the C8’s tail away. I had purchased 2 C12’s and I gave one away, I found the C12’s switch to be easier to push, so I changed them.
Now that I think of it, that was a stupid thing to do

SaCRiiD
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C12 with battery in vs C8 with same battery in

This shows how different pressure would be put on the battery plunger spring if you used a C8 with a C12 tail.

C8 pill vs C12 pill

As you can see, the C12 pill is a lot wider, and would be good for efficient energy transfer.

C12 Reflector vs C8 Reflector

I personally cannot tell the difference between these two reflectors, they are absolutely identical.

Heads swapped around

The C8 head does not fully screw onto the C12 body tube. The threads on the C12 body tube are a bit longer than the C8


You can see how there is a gap, it just stops turning when it just passes the o-ring

Two original flashlights side by side

dchomak
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Here is the reflector from the Keygos KE-303 compared to a C8. Too bad there are other problems with the light.
This reflector throws a nice tight beam with an XM-L, but the pill needs work

Tecmo
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Always nice to see a good review of a <$20 light!

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Thanks for another great review. I bought a C8 U2 from Lightmalls after reading your review, and agree with your comments. It is excellent quality, and as bright as my 5 x R5 light. I’m waiting to get my TR-J16 and will post some comparison beamshots.

And I’ve just placed an order for this C12 from Lightmalls – You should get some commission from them !

SaCRiiD
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Yeah I should get commission, but the thing is, I do these reviews for the fun of it. Just to let the world know what I think is good. If I get commission, it just gets too serious and makes it seem like a chore to do.

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No, I was just joking. Anything to do with commissions will mean the questioning of the bias in the reviews. And as it is, there is enough twisting of the truth elsewhere in Web-review-land !

Really, its thanks to people like yourself and all the other members here that we can come here and find out for sure if a products is really good or it sucks.

CheapThrills
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Thanks for a review and good pics!
I ordered 2 myself to see, how these compare to my former C8’s Smile

how2
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C12 right - C8 left

astodut
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so, which one is brighter, Lightmall C8 U2 or C12?

SaCRiiD
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The C12 is driven a bit better, and it seems brighter too. Yeah it is pretty strange, maybe it is because the colour tint of the C8 is NW and the tint of the C12 is slightly cooler.

astodut
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Chriszhou, I need your suggestion, should I buy c12 or kaidomain c8?

SaCRiiD
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Personally, I don’t really know, since I do not own a KD C8. Both are very good lights. The C12 might be a little better driven, and it does have better heatsinking.
But since I am unbiased, I cannot say for sure.

You can never know until you have both Wink

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I love your reviews, Chris. So how does the C12 compare to the C8 in terms of grip and feeling in the hand?

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And what about the lux? If this will upstage the U2 C8 in brightness, how is the throw?

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Replying to the Rusty Joe’s last two comments, I personally think that the C8 feels slightly nicer to hold in your hand, as the C12’s heatsink fins reduce the grippy area of the flashlight. You may find that with the C12, your hand might jut out past the end of the tailcap, which is definitely not that comfortable. That being said, the two flashlight’s body tubes are almost identical, so the knurling on both is nice and not too protruding. For some reason, the C8 also feels slightly heavier, but the actually weigh the same.

Since the reflector is the same on both the flashlights, and the U2 binned XM-L has the same dome as the T6, it might be fair the say that the C12 has better throw, only because it is driven a bit higher and can maintain the same amps to lumens efficiency for longer.

I do not currently own a lux-o-meter or whatever they are called, and do not intend of getting one any time soon, so I can’t tell you the exact lux value.

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I just got my C12 in the mail today. It is also very well built, confirming what Chris has found. Nice to know there is some consistency in the manufacturing !

I did a comparison with the C8 (both are from Lightmalls as per Chris’ reviews) and the C12 is noticeably brighter than the C8. I’d estimate between 5 and 10% brighter to the naked eye. (My DMM is playing up, so I can’t provide any measurements) I thought maybe it was the battery (using Trustfire 2400s), but swapping them around gave the same result.

Go figure – supposedly the C12 has the T6 and the C8 has the U2 – not sure what this means ??!

sb56637
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Thanks very much! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

CheapThrills
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CheapThrills wrote:
Thanks for a review and good pics! I ordered 2 myself to see, how these compare to my former C8’s Smile

Sorry, I forgot to update:

Both arrived in good condition. Quality was IMO better than in “generic eBay C8” flashlights.
DD random C8 was also in general worse.

These both were functioning good, taking both over 3A when measured from tailcap.
I remember getting a bit mixed values from some C8 ´s.

I think I can recommend these, will order some more shortly and post back how they end up! Smile

CheapThrills
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Received two more today.

They are in good shape, both pulling around 2.5 – 2.8Amps.
The other has white background around emitter die, the other one has black. Others emitter is a bit off from center but otherwise they are fine.

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Hi – newbie here!!! Nice review chriszhou… I ordered this based on your write up. I placed my order from lightmalls on February 10 and guess what – Chinese New Year Holiday in effect from Feb. 5 – 18. So still waiting.

But I went ahead and ordered Orbrtonic’s 18650 Smart Li-ion Charger and Two 3100mAh Panasonic Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries Kit for ~$45. Are these the right batteries for this particular light? (Yes, I am that new to flashlights!)

Thanks all. looking forward to a new addiction!

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