Review: Sunwayman D40A 4xAA XM-L2 Flashlight

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relic38
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Review: Sunwayman D40A 4xAA XM-L2 Flashlight

Sunwayman D40A (4xAA, XM-L2)

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer's Mod Host Rating: ★★★★★

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Summary:

Battery: 4xAA (Alkaline or NiMH)
Switch: Side, dual electronic switches
Modes:

H 100%, M 50%, L 10%, Moon, with memory

Hidden: Strobe, SOS, Beacon, Police Strobe

LED Type: Cree XM-L2 unidentified flux bin, est. 1A or 1B tint bin
Lens: AR Coated Glass
Tailstands: Yes
Price Paid:

Reduced cost review sample from Wallbuys

Reg. price was $77.58, Group Buy price was $58

From:Wallbuys
Date Ordered:Ordered 5/21, shipped 5/30 (supplier delay), received 6/7

 

Pros:

  • Excellent finish
  • Excellent machining, perfectly square anodized threads
  • Integrated pill, good size with a nice star mounting surface (emitter is not glued down)
  • Good heatsinking on head, great for modding
  • Excellent reflector, aluminum OP, deep
  • Perfectly centered emitter
  • Excellent mod host, best in class (compared to EA4 and TR-A9)
  • Very well built cell carrier, simple to use
  • Directly accessible moon mode! (hold power button when light is off)

Cons:

  • Integrated pill is good for thermal transfer, but can make emitter access difficult.
  • Buttons could sustain damage from a direct hit (but less likely than on an EA4)

Features / Value: ★★★★★

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★

 

Battery Life: ★★★★★

Light Output: ★★★★★

 


Overview

The Sunwayman caught my eye as soon as I noticed it.  I really like the Nitecore EA4W, everything but the delicate button.  I fear it getting sheared off.  Seeing that Sunwayman went with a lower profile UI, and some snazzy looks, I jumped at the chance to get one.

I usually do not bother reviewing the packaging, but because it was done rather well, I'll post some images.

box

box

box

Opening the box, we find the light well protected on the bottom and sides, not too much on the top though.

box open

Under the light we find the paperwork.  The manual is written English (by someone who understands English) and Chinese.

papers

On the final level we have the holster, lanyard, and spare O-ring.

accessories

Enough packaging, now let's get on to the light itself.

On the front we can see the Sunwayman alternative to a bi-level switch; two buttons.  One power button, one mode button.  Their use, together and separate, IMO provides the most flexible UI I have seen so far.  More on that later.  First, let's take a look.

standing

The buttons have a short travel and give a good positive feedback with a click.  I've always found the first level click on the EA4 to be too soft.  There is an indicator LED between the two buttons.  Perusing the manual provided no information on it.  Running down some cells, tells me it is a low battery indicator.  The (red) LED comes on when the cells are getting low.  As the cells become more depleted, it flashes a few times and turns steps down to the next mode.  Once it reaches low, it will not step down anymore and just turns off. The light will not turn back on until you replace the cells (or just loosen and re-tighten the body).

On the other side is the lanyard hole, the light hangs on a slight angle:

standing

Head on.  Beauty.  No more needs to be said.

front

 

The handling is nice, it fits in the hand really well.  I find that for my larger hands, I am partially gripping the heatsink area. The knurling is just about perfect and provides a good amount of grip.  The buttons are well placed for top-side thumb activation, or bottom-side index finger activation.

hand1

hand2

The light comes apart between the body and head. The three main parts are the head, body, and battery carrier.

parts

Here we can see to top of the carrier, the tail, and the driver cover plate.  The carrier has a novel design; it is polarity insensitive.  Both ends of the carrier provide positive at the center and negative on the ring.  Of course, the individual cells need to be inserted with polarity in mind.  The positive is delivered to the driver via a center spring.  Negative is returned via the large metal cover plate.  This design seems to work well; there is a slight rattle from within the carrier when shaking the light, even when fully loaded and tightened down on the head.  I did not find this bothersome, as it did not occur while handling the light.

parts2

The threads on the body and head are perfectly cut, square, smooth, almost totally dry, and anodized.  This light does provide a lockout by loosening the body about an eighth of a turn.

threads

In the front end of the head, we find the nicely finished stainless steel bezel, O-rings, AR coated glass lens, a deep aluminum OP reflector, and the XM-L2 emitter on a very large star.  The pill area is integrated into the head.  The reflector seats onto the star with a plastic emitter centering ring .  There are O-rings where they should be and they are perfectly sized.  The star is screwed down to the pill surface and has plenty of thermal compound.  A quick turbo run verifies that there is a good thermal path to the outside.

The reflector is surprisingly deep.

head bits

 

The driver is retained with a large metal plate, held in with three small Philips screws. After removing the screws, the plate falls out and the driver can be puled out, There are two well sized emitter wires, and a 5-pin bundle that goes to the switches and indicator LED.

driver 1

The driver itself appears to be well made, and developed by paranoid engineers (chips are de-labeled).

driver2

The battery carrier also appears to be well made.

carrier

Compared to the Nitecore EA4/EA4W, the size is very similar.  The D40A is slightly longer. I prefer the feel of the D40A in the hand, although both are quite easy to handle.

D40A vs EA4

Before I forget, a couple more shots, with the nice lobster-claw lanyard:

lanyard

and, in the holster.  The light easily slides in an out, head up or tail up.  The holster features a fixed belt loop, a Velcro belt loop, and a D-ring for fastening options.

holster

 

User Interface

The user interface of this light may take a little getting used to... if you need to use the 'disco' flashing modes. 

To just use the light for the main output modes (plus Moon), it's quite simple:

  • To turn on the light, press Power.  It will turn on in the last output level used.
  • To change the output level, press Mode.  It cycles through the four main modes (T, H, M, L).
  • To turn the light off, press Power.
  • To access Moon mode, while the light is off, press and hold Power.  After about 1.5s it will enter moon mode. Turning off in Moon mode memorizes this so the next time, you can just press Power.
  • To directly access Turbo mode, while the light is off, quickly press Power twice.  When the light is turned off and back on, if the previous mode was moonlight, that mode is restored instead of the Turbo.

To access the additional 'disco' modes:

  • For Strobe, with the light in any mode, quickly press Mode twice.   
  • For SOS, with the light on, press and hold Power for 1.5s.
  • For Aviation Strobe (quick pulse every three seconds), with the light off, press and hold Mode.
  • For Police Strobe (three strobes every two seconds), with the light on, press and hold Mode.

The 'disco' modes are cancelled with a press of either button.  When accessing any 'disco' mode, the light memorizes the last output level used for next time.

Lockout Mode:

  • To lockout the light, while on or off, press and hold both buttons for 1.5 seconds.  The light will flash very quickly and turn off.  Subsequent button presses have no effect.
  • To exit lockout, press and hold both buttons for 1.5 seconds.  The light will exit lockout and turn on.

Physical lockout can also be achieved by loosening the body about 1/8th of a turn.

For me, I find this UI easier than the EA4 interface.  The EA4 does it with one button, but here I cannot accidentally activate turbo when I want low.  Also, I really like having a Moon mode.

One extra nice thing; if you press the Mode button to exit Moon mode, the light always enters Low.  This saves you from being blasted by Turbo after being dark-adjusted.

Beamshots

The beam is buttery smooth. (Note: these beam shots are too dim.  I need to retake them).

Turbo:

turbo

High:

high

Med:

med

Low:

beam low

Moon:

Moon

Compared to the EA4W.  In all fairness, this light should be compared to the EA4 L2 (both for output and price).  I like this light enough that I anticipate it receiving a NW XM-L2 emitter upgrade in the near future.

beams

 

Measurements

Dimensions:

  • Overall Length: 120.7mm
  • Bezel Diameter: 40.1mm
  • Head diameter (widest point): 42.1mm
  • Body Diameter: 39.1mm
  • Tail Diameter: 40.0mm
  • Reflector Inner Diameter: 33.7mm
  • Reflector Outer Diameter: 34.7mm
  • Reflector Depth: 34.4mm
  • Reflector Emitter hole Diameter: 7.4mm
  • Lens Diameter: 37.6mm
  • Lens Thickness: 2.04mm
  • Emitter star diameter: 28mm
  • Driver diameter: 37.5mm
  • Carrier diameter: 35.1mm
  • Carrier length: 60.9mm
  • Longest supported cells: 50.6mm

Weights (without batteries):

  • Overall: 166g
  • Head: 106g
  • Body Tube: 28g
  • Carrier: 32g

Performance (stock, 5.5V supply, uncalibrated measurement equipment):

  • Light Output: ~875 lumens at start, ~869 after 30s (slightly lower than spec, but note the low thermal sag, very promising)
  • Beam Intensity: ~24.7kcd, right on the specification
  • High: ~515 lumens
  • Med: ~209 lumens
  • Low: ~28 lumens
  • Moon: ~1 lumen

Power Source Options: 4xAA, Alkaline or NiMH.

Switch type: side, dual electronic switches

Modes: Turbo (2.18A), High (0.95A), Medium (0.33A), Low (0.05A), Moon (0.004A), Strobe, SOS, Aviation Strobe (Beacon), Police Strobe

Mode Memory: Yes, while powered. Resets to Turbo when powered down.

Standby current: ~11uA when off, ~313uA when locked out (What?)  The manual stated 30uA, but I measured higher and somewhat confusing results for lockout mode.  Not excessive, but when leaving light for weeks at a time, use the physical lockout method or remove the cells.

Conclusions

The Sunwayman D40A may just be the best light available in the 4xAA soda can style format today.  I may do an emitter swap in the future; for a tint upgrade, not for output.

As shipped, this light is highly Relic Recommended.

As a mod host, Relic Recommended. Although, most will not feel the need to modify this light at all.  It just works great as it is.

Thanks for reading! searchID8934

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Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 11:43
relic38
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Reserved

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Tecmo
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Nice review. I like the mode spacing. I don’t know if this is that much better to pay the price premium over the EA4.

tatasal
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Your review is spot on. I just received mine too. Very nice light, this.

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Great review Relic38. Wink
I got one on the way from Wallbuys. Should be here in a day or two. Nice reading while a anxiously await the mailman dropping off a Sunwayman box. How is the throw, Would you classify it as a thrower or more of a good combination of both throw and flood.

relic38
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Tecmo wrote:
Nice review. I like the mode spacing. I don’t know if this is that much better to pay the price premium over the EA4.

IMO, it is worth it. This light best compares to the EA4 L2 which is currently in the same price range.
The three things that make it worth it for me? Moon mode, a better switch, and a decent thermal design.
If you are after a neutral light, the EA4W is the only option right now, short of modding.

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Great review Relic38!!!

Waiting for XM-L2 T6 3C Wink

zeremefico
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Already ordered one from doingoutdoor.
Nice review.

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borstar_micke
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Thx for a great review!

Really looking forward to getting mine soon.
Snagged one from WB for less than my EA4! Smile

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Looks like a good light and it makes me wish my EA4W had a moonlight. Thanks for the review!

ezarc
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Thanks for the review, I’d like to see a 8 AA version with the same diamiter head as this 4 AA one.

I like the OP reflector too, I wish more lights would use them.

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Very nice at the group buy price.

The low mode should be lower.

jpil
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Great review Relic38, thanks!

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Available @fasttech 152.61
Dear MAP, please don’t screw us again.

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Very nice and convincing review. I really want this now!

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Thats a serious looking price there at FT.... take in account that you can use the BLF code even to get it lower!

about the same price as WB, with their funny hiccup in their system!

zeremefico
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ChibiM wrote:

Thats a serious looking price there at FT…. take in account that you can use the BLF code even to get it lower!

about the same price as WB, with their funny hiccup in their system!


You are right, I forgot.
Total price UNDER whatever!!!
I suggest candidate buyers to hurry up.

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zeremefico wrote:
Available @fasttech .
Dear MAP, please don’t screw us again.

It would be very wise to delete the price from your post…

 

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Cool

What I do

 

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zeremefico wrote:

You are right, I forgot.
Total price UNDER **!!!
I suggest candidate buyers to hurry up.

And I suggest to you NOT TO ADVERTISE the price… Flat Stare
Btw, nice review relic38:)

 

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Fixed prices!
Peter Griffin rules.

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It is really going downhill with me now, just ordered one from fasttech (149 with blf code ;-)), and I have no money for it at all. I need a new coat, but now I have to wear the old worn out one this summer, with my girl complaining on how shabby I look. 

zeremefico
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djozz wrote:

It is really going downhill with me now, just ordered one from fasttech (149 with blf code ;-)), and I have no money for it at all. I need a new coat, but now I have to wear the old worn out one this summer, with my girl complaining on how shabby I look. 


You are on the right path.

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A fantastic review of what looks to be a fantastic light! Smile
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zeremefico wrote:
Fixed prices!
Peter Griffin rules.

can’t be too cautious around this MAP guy,
he is one seriously annoying PITA, let me tell you Wink

 

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I really like this flashlight. It’s surprisingly well made and takes nihm and drive the led well. Perfect beam profile with a great innovative UI. The feel of the buttons are tactile and provides confidence reassurance.

Great review Relic.

How bright is bright enough...

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Sirius9 wrote:
zeremefico wrote:
Fixed prices! Peter Griffin rules.
can’t be too cautious around this MAP guy, he is one seriously annoying PITA, let me tell you Wink
Hehehe, this never ends. There are some misleading things in life like terms PITA and poop deck

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Thank you for the review! ^^ It seems like a lot of attention to detail was made during the design. Now if only a manufacturer could just combine the best of EA4W and D40A!

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zeremefico wrote:
There are some misleading things in life like terms PITA and poop deck

PITA = Pain In The @ss ! or is it something else?
In serbian language “pita” is actually a “pie”, like: apple pie…

 

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Updated the review with Standby current measurements.
Off: 1mA
Locked out: ~2mA
Manual states standby at <30uA. Just a bit off the mark.
I don’t know why locked out draws more, but it does.
I suggest anyone leaving the light for weeks at a time remove the cells or use the physical lockout method, loosen the body about 1/8th of a turn.

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zeremefico wrote:
You are on the right path.
The path to ruin and bankruptcy. J)

BTW, this thread just cost me 149 from FT. You guys are despicable!

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