Review: Trustfire X8 XM-L T6 5 Modes

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Review: Trustfire X8 XM-L T6 5 Modes

 Trustfire X8 XM-L T6 5 Modes

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★★

 

Summary:

Battery: 1x18650 or 2x18650
Switch: Reverse Clicky
Modes: Hi-Mid-Lo-Strobe-SOS with mode memory
LED Type: XM-L T6
Lens: Glass
Tailstands: No (added oring to the rubber cap and tailstands ok now) 
Price Paid: $51.70
From:Manafont
Date Ordered: 5/12/2011 Received 5/28/2011

 

Pros:

  • Really bright white spot beam
  • Wide deep SMO reflector.
  • Excellent build quality and machining.
  • Led mounted on large threaded brass pill screwed onto reflector and head for adequate cooling .
  • Belt clip.
  • Can be used with 1 or 2 18650's.
  • Mild crenalated SS bezel with GITD o-rings 
  • Good bedside weapon. Blind em' and club em'

Cons:

  • Came with a lanyard in the box but no clip to attach it to the light. Other versions have this clip included
  • Coating scratched a bit when putting on belt clip.
  • Threads does not come lubed

Features / Value: ★★★★★

I purchased this light from Manafont with registered mail and delivery took a bit longer 16 days. It was packaged in a box wrapped in brown paper. Inside was the X8, a lanyard and a belt clip. I was impressed with how solid the light was and the size of the head with that Stainless Steel bezel. With the 2 batteries installed, It was balanced quite well. The size and bulkiness of the head makes this a nice little club. 

This light has 5 modes: High(3000mA) >Mid(1800mA)> Low(900mA)> Strobe(1500mA)> SOS(3000mA). High is insanely bright and focused to a 4.5" hotspot from 4' away. Mid is quite bright and will probably be the most used for a good balance of heat and runtime. The low is still quite bright and very useable. The blink modes don't bother me as much but id prefer them to be hidden. Switching between modes is made easy with the reverse clicky switch at the tail. 

At its price point, The X8 can easily compete with more expensive lights. It is brighter and throwier than the Trustfire F15 XM-L and the UF 3mode dropin. Different kits sold at the other internet stores also offer 2 batteries, a charger, a clip and additional O-rings and lens for not much more money. Either way you won't be disappointed by this light. 

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★

The build quality is outstanding. This is my second trustfire light next to the F15 and im quite happy with how they're constructed.The coating is nice and smooth. Its more of a dull finish. The body comes in 5 sections. The massive head is the first thing you'll notice about this light. Its got a Stainless steel bezel with mild crenellations which break up the smooth look of the light. Its got a clear glass lens not sure if its got a coating on it. Round cooling fins line the area where the head attaches to the body. Inside is where this light really amazes me. This is the largest pill i have come across. The XML is mounted on this brass pill and it is then screwed onto the deep smooth reflector and this dropin is screwed onto the head. Think p60 drop times two. NO need to put aluminum foil to make the dropin contact the body. There should me more than enough material to help wick away heat from the LED. The solder joints where the contact springs reside are not pretty but they work. The large outer spring is not centered and the solder looks messy but it has no effect on its performance.

The body comes in 3 pieces to allow for 1 or 2 18650 lions. It will probably also take 2x16340's. The threads did not come lubed but they were quite smooth with no binding. Dual GITD orings are found on the body joints which should keep the occasional rain away. I would've taken a clip for the lanyard instead of the GITD orings i can't see anyway.

There is a contact spring on the head and a brass cap on the negative tailcap side. The switch functions as it should and mode changes effortless. Tailstanding is impossible as the rubber button sticks past the cap. when i tried to make it stand it changed modes on me so it is very sensitive.. I was able to use the tailcap from the TF F15 and it allowed this light to tail stand.

 

 

 

 

Heatsink reflector

 

Led/driver pill

Led/driver pill

 

Dropin combo

 

Head assembly

 

 XML

 

Lens/Bezel

 

Switch breakdown

 

 X8,F15,Uf 501A,Nitecore Ex10

Uf 3mode xml wf501a 16340 (left), TF F15 (middle), X8 (right)

X8 is much brighter than the F15 but pic shows hotspot size pretty well.

 

X8 (left) F15(right)

 

 

 

Battery Life: ★★★★


Battery life should be over an hour with two cells according to the small piece of paper included from trustfire. Its going to be a lot less with one cell and using on high. Medium should last much better as its using a bit over half the power. 2 16340's should work with the extender removed. So far ive been happy with how long the battery has lasted. The batteries fit with no rattle unless you really shake it. I guess the only real precaution to using multiple battery lights is to always make sure that both batteries are charged and possibly as close a voltage to one another. Even with protected batteries the main issue would be matching the voltage as close as possibe as to not weaken the stronger cell after multiple uses. 

 

Light Output: ★★★★★

This is the brightest light i have so far. It is easily brighter than the UF 3mode XML dropin and the TF F15 T6. The Ultrafire UF-980L have been the light to have here at BLF lately but this light could be easily comparable to it. The X8 throws quite well, with its bright small spot it out throws the F15. It still has enough spill though to light the area around the spot. All the T6 tints i have seem to be similar as they are all on the cool side. The only exception is the Solarforce 1mode i have which appears to be somewhat warm. 

1x18650 2.8A=high  1.1A=mid 0.2=low

2x18650 1.37A=high 0.59A=mid 0.13A=low

 

added 7/17/2011:

Testing for regulation.

10mins on 5 mins off

 

4.18    4.03    3.95    3.87   3.80  3.76  3.74   3.67  3.55   3.04v

1.54a  1.53    1.50    1.53   1.55  1.55  1.57    1.61   1.67  1.95a

 

Summary: ★★★★

Overall i am happy with this light. Its got impressive brightness and throw with good heatsinking. It can be used with 1 or 2 cells that gives it more flexibility. I was dissappointed when i did not see a clip for the included lanyard. after emailing Jim@manafont.com he said that it used to come with the clip but now it does'nt. I guess i can use the lanyard on my other lights. Even thought the threads came unlubed they were still clean and bind free. I was really impressed with the build quality of the X8. From the SS bezel, to the size of the head/heatsink, double O-rings, clear glass lens. It is the amount of light and how far it can project it that will impress anyhone who tries this light.

6/5/11 I was trying some beamshots tonight between the X8 and F15. I had both lights on for 10 mins and noticed the F15 really hot and the X8 just hot but not unbearable. after a few minutes of being shut off the F15 was still really hot but the X8 was just warm. I guess the heatsinking works well on this light. maybe adding the thermal paste on the threads helped too.

03/04/16 

 

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Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:22
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Nice review! The head on that light is giant. Did it come with all that thermal compound, or did you add that? It is really nice to have a big throwy light that you can rely on to stay bright for a while. The downside is that it is a lot to carry around (though still not bad compared to a 2D or 3D Maglite and the output far surpasses any Maglite, well any stock Maglite).

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For some reason, I really like plungers; I think it is an awesome look.  I 've been waiting for the right one to come along - thanks for posting this.

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brted wrote:

Nice review! The head on that light is giant. Did it come with all that thermal compound, or did you add that? It is really nice to have a big throwy light that you can rely on to stay bright for a while. The downside is that it is a lot to carry around (though still not bad compared to a 2D or 3D Maglite and the output far surpasses any Maglite, well any stock Maglite).

I just added all that figuring that its not really something ill be messing with much and it would'nt hurt if it would help with heat transfer. Ill probably get some arctic silver soon. probably comparable to 3c maglite in size.

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sb56637
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Great job with the review James! Thanks a lot. Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Interesting light. What would you say is competition for this light in this price bracket with approximately the same style? The UF-980L appears to be a very different form factor. As for the style of the X8, it looks like Trustfire C8 might give it a run for the money, but not if you want 2x18650.

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sb56637 wrote:

Great job with the review James! Thanks a lot. Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Interesting light. What would you say is competition for this light in this price bracket with approximately the same style? The UF-980L appears to be a very different form factor. As for the style of the X8, it looks like Trustfire C8 might give it a run for the money, but not if you want 2x18650.

Thanks! theres not really too many multi cell XMLs out there. theres also the Solarforce M8 for $85.99 and kd has one $37.81

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Ah, so this is really a pretty good deal in a category that doesn't have a lot of options.

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Awesome review there James!  

 

 

 

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Great review! The only thing keeping me from an X8 is my funds or lack there of. One day though...one day...

sb56637 wrote:

Great job with the review James! Thanks a lot. Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Interesting light. What would you say is competition for this light in this price bracket with approximately the same style? The UF-980L appears to be a very different form factor. As for the style of the X8, it looks like Trustfire C8 might give it a run for the money, but not if you want 2x18650.

I don't think that the C8 can give it a run. The Trustfire F15 and the C8 have the same emitter and lens, so what you see against the F15 is what you should get with a C8. While in the pic the hot spot doesn't look any brighter than the F15's, it certainly is smaller. That X8 reflector is very narrow and deeper than it is wide and makes for a fabulous thrower. I'd bet it has quite a bit more reach than a C8/F15.
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I hope it´s ok, to post my beamshots here...

b

Driver of X8 is chanched, but with orig. driver, i measure with one 18650 = 3,14A....not really less bright Wink

The KD C8 is modded and much brighter, as the orig. KD C8!

In the beamshots it look´s like, X8 has a little bit brighter hotspot, but i mean, hotspot of Brinyte is little bit brighter. (only a very little bit) Wink

 

 

 

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Andi wrote:

I hope it´s ok, to post my beamshots here...

Thanks for posting those pics Andi. Driver change might be in my future

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JohnnyMac wrote:

Great review! The only thing keeping me from an X8 is my funds or lack there of. One day though...one day...

sb56637 wrote:

Great job with the review James! Thanks a lot. Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Interesting light. What would you say is competition for this light in this price bracket with approximately the same style? The UF-980L appears to be a very different form factor. As for the style of the X8, it looks like Trustfire C8 might give it a run for the money, but not if you want 2x18650.

I don't think that the C8 can give it a run. The Trustfire F15 and the C8 have the same emitter and lens, so what you see against the F15 is what you should get with a C8. While in the pic the hot spot doesn't look any brighter than the F15's, it certainly is smaller. That X8 reflector is very narrow and deeper than it is wide and makes for a fabulous thrower. I'd bet it has quite a bit more reach than a C8/F15.



Deeper reflector doesn't make smaller hotspot. It just makes bigger spot at the cost of smaller spill. Frontal area and good focus is what's needed for "throw".

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agenthex wrote:

JohnnyMac wrote:

Great review! The only thing keeping me from an X8 is my funds or lack there of. One day though...one day...

sb56637 wrote:

Great job with the review James! Thanks a lot. Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Interesting light. What would you say is competition for this light in this price bracket with approximately the same style? The UF-980L appears to be a very different form factor. As for the style of the X8, it looks like Trustfire C8 might give it a run for the money, but not if you want 2x18650.

I don't think that the C8 can give it a run. The Trustfire F15 and the C8 have the same emitter and lens, so what you see against the F15 is what you should get with a C8. While in the pic the hot spot doesn't look any brighter than the F15's, it certainly is smaller. That X8 reflector is very narrow and deeper than it is wide and makes for a fabulous thrower. I'd bet it has quite a bit more reach than a C8/F15.



Deeper reflector doesn't make smaller hotspot. It just makes bigger spot at the cost of smaller spill. Frontal area and good focus is what's needed for "throw".

From what i see when shining the p60,F15 and X8 on the wall from the same distance, the larger the reflector got, the smaller the hotspot became. brightness got brighter too. just my observation. 

Fixed the tailstanding issue by adding an oring on the rubber tailcap cover. moved the boot deeper into the cap so no more mode changing or wobbliness.

03/04/16 

 

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agenthex
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A "larger" reflector isn't the same as wider reflector though. The p60 size is much smaller than the other two.

The x8 as a more expensive light probably has better reflector than F15, and perfect focus. With the F15, they probably just took the xr-e one, slapped it on and hoped for the best. Also, the f15 comes with OP reflector so "hotspot" size doesn't really indicated the "hot" part of the spot if you used that to compare.

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Fixed tailstanding problem by adding an o-ring to the rubber tail cap. I was disappointed that it did'nt come with a clip for the lanyard but i made one from some thin ground wire. i just bent the wire around the body and shaped it with a small loop to attach the lanyard. I really like this light a lot and i find i use it more than my other lights.

03/04/16 

 

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FlashPilot
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Thanks for the great review James. You talked me into one and it just arrived today. Initial impressions were a "jaw-dropping" surprise in how well built, finished and designed this light is. You certainly took several fantastic shots of your X8 but the photos simply dont do this light justice. It looks far better in person. Out of the zillions of other "x"-fire lights that I have, this one boasts the best overall quality. I concur with all of your observations. The large deep reflector does an amazing job of keeping the hotspot small and tight for greater range while still having plenty of spill. I was equally as impressed with the hosts ability to wick away heat through the head and into the surrounding air. It offers great heat exchange that actually works throughout a long run period. I kept mine on high for about 30 min in a 75 degree F room and it reached a certain temperature, but never got to hot to hold by the head. Again, Im amazed. I'll eventually need to get some thermal paste. I like the way you applied yours, but its probably unnecessary... but it sure cant hurt. All I have at this moment is thermal glue, so the paste will have to wait. This host also lends itself to easy mods as newer emitters become available.

Tail cap readings on high with 1 & 2 18650's were about .16A higher than yours... nice production standards so far!

Mine came with the clip already attached, a nice braided nylon and metal beaded lanyard, two spare lens, a spare clicky already mounted to a threaded "clicky drop-in", MANY spare GITD o-rings (in fact, all the o-rings on my sample are GITD). I probably would have wanted the clip if mine didnt come with one. It is SS, rather stiff and robust, but you arent missing a whole lot without it. IMO, it looks cool but isnt very functional. With the head so large, I think deployment would have been easier if the clip provided a heads-up carry position. The way yours came, tail-up carry with a long lanyard hanging down the outside of a deep pocket will probably be a far better choice. With the head being the last part to come out of a pocket, it could easily get snagged and the lanyard might allow for fast rotational movement to be applied in getting it past. Sounds good in theory anyways. My emitter came perfectly centered and focused in the reflector. The distributor for mine is unknown but I could probably ask.

Mine came used and was in brand new condition. I suspect that someone was in desperate need for money and needed to part with it quickly. Its sad to think that somewhere there might be one less flashaholic in this world.

Gawking again at this light just now, its still actually difficult to believe that this is a Trustfire. I might need to see what the gutter-nazis-mods on CPF have to say about a light that gives so much bang for the buck against what their paying contributing vendors offer. Besides, its been a while since Ive even been to the other place, but then it would be like ones admission to enjoying herpes to say they enjoy the constant mod ridicule in a place called hell.

Anyone on the fence? BUY THIS LIGHT BEFORE THE MANUFACTURER SCREWS IT UP! Would you concur James?

So far, no light has beat the sheer intensity of my early production TR-1200 (another light they screwed up after initial production) accept an Olight with SST-90  and a 3 x XML mag. I'll have to wait till dark to run these two against each other before I find a champion.

I probably wouldnt have bought this light if it werent for this review. Thanks again James!

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Hmm... this or the 3 * XML skyray. At least both have drivers instead of the usual XML direct draw.

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agenthex wrote:

Hmm... this or the 3 * XML skyray. At least both have drivers instead of the usual XML direct draw.

What????

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I was wondering out loud which is better for $50 or so. Both are big boys that put out a lot of light. The other one on the surface seems more for the money (3 times the emitters) but build quality looks better here.

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You're welcome Flashpilot! Im glad you really like this light as much as i do. I posted a real good deal on ebay a week ago for the X8 so whoever got it got a great light for almost half the price. I still enjoy this light and use it daily. I was testing it last night against the F15 after i swapped the F15 driver to the UF MF 3 mode dropin and the X8 was still a better thrower. Heat is no real issue. specially using it with 1 18650 it takes a while before it heats up. the body stays warm but not hot so you can still hold it. I would trade the blinking modes for lower modes but that is for a future upgrade. If you want it to tailstand a small oring to bring the boot up will do it. Im  in search for an aspheric lens that might fit, just a curiosity. there should be enough threads to adjust the lens for a good focus. I'd still recommend this over the more expensive lights. I was thinking about the jetbeam BC40 but i think the X8 is still brighter and throwier at around the same pricepoint. Manafont sells it cheaper with less extras. the other stores vary on price and extra items. If you want a bright, throwy light, this is the one to get that is somewhat budget with good build quality and functional heatsinking. Can't wait to hear the results from those lights. Thanks Flash!

03/04/16 

 

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agenthex wrote:

I was wondering out loud which is better for $50 or so. Both are big boys that put out a lot of light. The other one on the surface seems more for the money (3 times the emitters) but build quality looks better here.

Ah... gotcha! I wasnt to impressed overall with 3 x XML's. If you need a massive amount of flood with medium throw, nothing beats it for efficiency.

Ive found that most single emitter XML's provide far more range and still maintain a decent amount of spill. But what the heck, might as well buy both if you cant decide.

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Lol, the "budget" light philosophy!

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I think this might be my next light . single xml big reflector.

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agenthex
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62mm head on that one. How big is this one?

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agenthex wrote:

62mm head on that one. How big is this one?

46mm outside head dia. think how far it would go if it was a deep 62mm.

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You're welcome James. Alright, I admit it. I was the lucky ebay'er! I havent put this light down for about an hour now... it just feels so proper in the hand. I have 30 new 18650's that need to be discharged and this seems the correct light to do it.

62mm head on that Sky Ray? From the pics, the aspect ratio looks much wider than it is deep - as compared to the X8 lens. I guess you never know if its effective till someone tests it against a known powerhouse. Lens quality plays such a large part in transimitting lumens instead of absorbing them.

Im waiting for detailed reviews and pricing for the Fenix TK70, with its massive reflecting surfaces and 3 x XML. Initial Russian beam shots show it to be one absolute hell of a photon blaster. But it will still never equal 3 x X8's bound together... and will always weigh a ton and a half... and rival the length of a baseball bat. Now it is I who is day-dreaming aloud. I think Im done with multi-XML's for the time being. It was fun to own one of the best but equally as satisfying to have sold it.

Darkness approaches.

Cheers!

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62mm is even bigger than the SF masterpiece at 57mm.

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FlashPilot wrote:

You're welcome James. Alright, I admit it. I was the lucky ebay'er! I havent put this light down for about an hour now... it just feels so proper in the hand. I have 30 new 18650's that need to be discharged and this seems the correct light to do it.

62mm head on that Sky Ray? From the pics, the aspect ratio looks much wider than it is deep - as compared to the X8 lens. I guess you never know if its effective till someone tests it against a known powerhouse. Lens quality plays such a large part in transimitting lumens instead of absorbing them.

Im waiting for detailed reviews and pricing for the Fenix TK70, with its massive reflecting surfaces and 3 x XML. Initial Russian beam shots show it to be one absolute hell of a photon blaster. But it will still never equal 3 x X8's bound together... and will always weigh a ton and a half... and rival the length of a baseball bat. Now it is I who is day-dreaming aloud. I think Im done with multi-XML's for the time being. It was fun to own one of the best but equally as satisfying to have sold it.

Darkness approaches.

Cheers!

Im glad someone here got that light. 

I keep mine under the bed just in case it is needed for other purposes. the head has enough weight on it to do damage.

I wish there was a driver mod like dropping a blob of solder to get rid of the blinking modes for the x8.

 

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Location: USA

Your detailed comments are much appreciated James. Mine is actually a fixed 3 mode (as advertised). High, medium, strobe. I havent found a Nanj style switchable program group mode yet but I am completely satisfied. It remembers the last mode without being finicky about it, and it will spend most of its life remembering high mode. I just emailed the seller about this. If its been modded, I'll post my findings here. I definitely appreciate a 3 mode far more than the 5 mode disco dancing wand. Yell

All in all, its the steal of the year to date in power LED's and quality; even at Manafont pricing. Its been a while since Ive been this satisfied with a flashlight.

About 1.25 hrs till dark here. Laughing

FlashPilot
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Joined: 05/10/2010 - 16:07
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Location: USA

My camera has auto white balance/auto everything mode only, so it does a lousy job at comparing beam shots between lights.

TR-1200 vs. X8:  Indoors, the 1200 looked like it would eat the X8 alive and I was actually quite disappointed. At 6 feet from a white wall, the 1200 beam would completely overlap and blot out the X8 beam and appeared to have a whiter tint. The XML T6 showed its characteristic green hue when comparing the two lights side by side. I was less than anxious to run outside and see my new light get trounced by a cheap ageing 1.5 year old multi-xre rig. After bringing 4 brand new 18650's to 4.18V, off I went into the night air with a light in each hand. After initial turn-on, I immediately noticed that the X8 was in fact brighter and whiter in tint with its beam, and showed slightly greater range. Power lights need range and composition to show off their stuff, and thats how they were designed and intended. After some time, Ive determined that the X8 is roughly only about 15% brighter to my naked eyes than the 1200 while exploring the limits of range. But the beams are distinctly different. The 1200 has a much wider beam, beginning at about 3 feet away from my feet when held at waist level, while the X8 beam is far more concentrated and starts about 7 feet away from my feet. The spill from the X8 is also brighter and for a much longer distance, however the massive wide angle spill from the 1200 is perhaps 30% wider, thus illuminating a much wider swath in the beam pattern... quite brightly at that, and it illuminates much more ground at close to mid-range. In sheer range illumination, the X8 wins, but not by a huge margin, with the spill also throwing much farther in the beam pattern (perhaps by as much as 50% farther than the 1200). In fact, the whiter tint of the X8 gives more definition to the target at the edge of its beam cut-off, therefore it tricks the eyes into thinking its even brighter than it actually is. Both are exceptional pieces and have different advantages over one another. All in all, I would chose the X8 but I would still want (and need) a properly fitted 1200 in my collection.

The TR1200 was a great light during the first production run and ran 5 XRE Q5 emitters full tilt. Subsequent production runs were built with a weak driver and the light suffered accordingly. Also, heat sinking in the 1200 was less than adequate, forcing me to build a small copper sleeve to allow the pill to contact the head and transmit heat. It was actually a lot of work by trial and error to make it conduct heat properly. Someone on this forum found another supplier that sold the same light under another brand (Small Sun or Sun Way comes to mind, but Im not sure). With my early example, one advantage is that the 1200 can accept 3 x 18650's and will run fully regulated until protected cells bang the PCB and cut power after cell depletion. It only runs regulated with 3 x 18650's, not with 2. No cheap 18650 lights that I have come across are truly regulated; instead, allowing most protected cells to be discharged all the way down to 0.0V if left on.  Thats right... very few protected 18650's will disconnect power when undercharged unless their is a regulated circuit pulling proportionally more amperage from the cells at voltage drops, and usually during a high discharge load. Thats because there are so many different lights available that draw a wide range of current that its impossible to design one circuit to handle all the varying load requirements. Sensitive protection PCB's, as found in 14500's & 16340's are much more likely to work correctly on most lights because they can be designed with a narrower operating load range than what the all-mighty 18650 has to contend with. Maybe protection should be left to the designs of the flashlight driver, but that would be asking far to much from most cheap light manufacturers; and they would probably be extremely unreliable and perhaps even dangerous. More expensive lights already do this while utilizing various methods.

No doubt about it, I love my X8!

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