Review: Lumintop SD20 XM-L2 side switch EDC

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Chicken Drumstick
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Location: UK
Review: Lumintop SD20 XM-L2 side switch EDC

Lumintop SD20
XM-L2 U2
Side Switch

Torch provided by Lumintop for review.

Conclusion Summary:

This is a very nice EDC sized light, it seems to do everything very well and does nothing badly.
Good output, construction, feel and modes.

Manufacture specs:

These figures are not claimed as ANSI FL1 standard.

Also please note the wide supported voltage range that allows you to run 2xCR123a or even
2xRCR123. However I have opted to conduct all my testing using an 18650.

Info about my reviews and testing:

I like to keep my reviews fairly informal and not overly technical. There are plenty of talented
people with fancy measuring devices to offer more technical detail. What I want to do is give an
honest appraisal of owning and using this torch, and what a regular punter will make of it.

What’s in the box:

If you have purchased higher end flashlights, you will be accustom to getting a pretty standard set

of items with your flashlight, something many ‘budget’ lights don’t offer. Lumintop is no exception

and included with the torch is a very nice holster, a lanyard and some spare O-rings along with a
set of nicely written concise instructions, written in good clear English.

Exterior design and ergonomics:

The SD20 is a stumpy design, it is very short for an 18650 torch with a switch (rather than a
twisty). It does appear a little chunky, but is in fact no wider than many other torches in this
class. It does feel very high quality and solid. And there is plenty of material to make it robust
and help with heat dissipation.

The knurling is fairly smooth and pleasant to hold. On each side there is a flattened area of the
body, where on one side you have the crisp logo printed. This makes the overall grippiness of the
torch very good.

It is a very nice torch to carry and hand hold.

The side switch is rubber and while it feels a little squishy at first, you actually need a fairly
solid push to activate it. The switch also acts as a very good anti-roll device and works better
than many other anti-roll designs I have seen.

Lastly there is a rotary ring just below the tail cap, this has an eyelet for the lanyard to attach

to, and freely rotates around the body of the light. I’m not a huge lanyard fan, but this design
will prevent the lanyard from knotting up, as can happen when it is only attached to a fixed point
on the tail cap, as per most other flashlights.

The threads are square cut and have very little slop. The O-rings are heft and well fitting. And
the threads where suitably lubed.

The SD20 has a smooth stainless bezel, this means it is comfortable in the pocket, but the
stainless offers additional protection to the light and reduces the risk of the anodising rubbing
off the front of the light.

The SD20 also happily tail or head stands with no issues at all.

In fact, the tail standing is supremely stable, thanks to the stumpy design and flat tail cap. This

is an attribute I personally really appreciate, as I often find the need to tail stand a light,

as to light an entire room and then leave my both of my hands free. A torch that is easily knocked
over or needs to be leant against something is a pain. The SD20 is neither of these and you can
quickly plonk it down and it’ll stay standing.


The SD20 has a good size reflector for a tube 18650 torch. Slightly larger than some others,
without making the light too big. The reflector itself is a mild Orange Peel(OP). The emitter is
the current XM-L2 of U2 bin. My example it’s not quite 100% central in the reflector, but I’m being

picky, it’s very close and doesn’t seem to affect the beam at all.

The tint is what you would expect from a U2 bin, most would call this Cool White (CW). But I must
say it’s actually very pleasant and to my eyes appeared to have a very nice neutral colour
rendition. The light is certainly white, but it doesn’t feel cold like some CW emitters do, it
doesn’t have the yellow you normally associate with a warm or true neutral white emitter. Maybe a
better word for this would be ‘natural’, rather than neutral. I’m normally a huge NW fan, but I
honestly liked the light the SD20 emits.

The beam itself is completely artefact free. Despite the OP reflector, there is still a nicely
defined hot spot. But somehow the spill beam seems to be more bright than other lights I’ve used.
The beam is neither floody nor throwy, it’s a nice blend, that means it is ideal for almost any
use. Close up work, reading or out across the fields.

Switch, UI and performance:

Being an electronic side switch, there will be some battery drain with the light off, however this
is so low, it is almost negligible. A simple quarter turn of the tail cap will offer a complete
lockout should you want to store the light for longer periods.

The switch itself is of white rubber with the standard power switch symbol on it.

The switch is actually very nice to use and requires a firm press to activate. While offering a
nice amount of squish and give in the boot itself.

Where this really shows itself, is that it is very difficult to accidently activate the light. In
fact, I will be as bold to proclaim, this is the ONLY side switch torch I own that hasn’t turned
itself on in my pocket! I had decided I would no longer EDC side switch lights due to this very
problem, however Lumintop have proved me wrong in designing a side switch light where this is a
none issue.

The UI is very easy to use.

Long hold turns the light on and a long hold turns the light off again. If you aren’t use to this
kind of UI, then it might take a day to acclimatise, but it feels quite natural after a while.

The long press is only 1/2 – 1 second.

To change modes you simply perform a normal click of the button.

Mode sequence is:

High – Medium – Low

And it has memory that works as it should.

There is a hidden strobe via a double click. I like the fact this is hidden, but instantly
accessible by any On mode. This is how it should be. The firm switch means it’s almost impossible
to accidently activate strobe, but it’s there should you want it. A simple click when active will
return you to your output mode.

Personally I like this kind of UI, simple, robust and intuitive. For EDC use you rarely need more
than this.

There are 3 output levels:


If you are a moonlight fan, then you will probably be disappointed. That said, I found the modes
to be almost perfectly spaced.

High is great for outdoors or ceiling bounce indoors.
Medium is good for general indoor use.
Low is bright enough to be very useful and extend runtimes, but not so bright that you can’t use it

to map read or shine at your hand.

Lumintop claim 900 lumens from the SD20. Using my DMM and a freshly charged 2600mAh Sanyo ICR it
pulls 2.56amps on high. And out using the light it is noticeably brighter than my ANSI FL1 rated
Klarus XT2C (rated at 725 Lumens).

Despite the high output, the SD20 must have very good internal thermal management. The body does
warm up, but even after prolonged periods of use on high, it never gets excessively hot. And light
output appears to be rock solid and very well regulated, I could not detect any noticeable drop in
output visually.

In addition to this, I cannot detect any sign of PWM on any of the modes, nor is there a tint
shift between modes. This makes it a very nice light to use and rely on.


I have been EDC’ing the SD20 for the best part of 2 weeks now. In that time I have put it through
varied uses indoors and out. I have not found any gripes with this torch at all. It really is a
very nice EDC light.

The only thing I have found missing, is there is no pocket clip. I do quite like to EDC torches in
my jeans pocket and clip them to the inside of the pocket. That said, the SD20 has proven to be
quite comfortable in the pocket regardless, so I can’t really knock the light for this minor

It has however performed brilliantly as an EDC light and will be a torch I continue to use.

Beam shots & comparison:

Personally I do not believe in the use of white wall beam shots, as I never use any of my torches

shine at a blank white wall from a couple of feet away. Thusly, my beam shots are actually using
the torch as a torch.

In order to keep this review balanced, I decided to compare the SD20 to a couple of my other
favourite EDC 18650 lights, the Solarforce T1 XM-L U2 and the Klarus XT2C XM-L2 U2.

The T1 uses a gen 1 XM-L emitter and Solarforce claim 505 lumens, while the Klarus uses an XM-L2
and claims 725 Lumens (ANSI FL1).

The SD20 seems to be noticeably brighter than the Klarus or Solarforce and in my opinion has far
superior tint to the Klarus.

Video review:

Lumintop asked me if I would include a video review of the light, I haven’t done this before, so
apologies in advance.

All photos & video shot with a Pentax K-50.

Edited by: Chicken Drumstick on 11/06/2014 - 07:43
Ledsmoke's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 08/08/2011 - 16:05
Posts: 1995
Location: Denmark

Thank you for the review. A side clickie that does not turn on accidentally in my pocket? Nice. I love the idea of side switches. Just the daily use I am not so fond of...

This could perhaps remedy that Smile Thank you.

~ Ledsmoke ~

Dutch humor:


 I do not think that the BLF-community ben

ChibiM's picture
Last seen: 1 hour 21 min ago
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Posts: 6661
Location: Holland

Thanks for the review...

another Lumintop.. there aren`t so many reviews on Lumintop lights! thanks!

(except for the SD10 I think, the multichem. light)

Last seen: 6 years 5 months ago
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 09:53
Posts: 984
Location: CT

the website says its unibody, do you mind opening the front and checking?

how would you rate this as a mod host? (thinking of swapping drivers)

If you can’t blind them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullcrap.

The real currency in the world is not money, it’s trust.

zelee's picture
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Location: S.E.A

there is some 4WDs on your picture i like the last one (green?) since its pretty worn out 8)

Last seen: 5 hours 3 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2012 - 16:42
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Location: Southeast, PA

Went to the Lumintop website, but no pricing listed.
How much and where?

Looks like a nice light and love the pictures, Well Done!


The difference between Hoarding and Collecting is the illusion of Organization

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain

After the Apocalypse there will be only 2 things left alive, Cockroaches and Keith Richards

M4D M4X's picture
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Location: Austria (GMT + 1)
ChibiM wrote:

Thanks for the review…

another Lumintop.. there aren`t so many reviews on Lumintop lights! thanks!

(except for the SD10 I think, the multichem. light)

some got one for a review (so did i)

there will be some reviews the next days Wink

i do not work in "reviews, deals and codes" for the time being
maybe M4D M4X will return one day, but until then:


Chicken Drumstick
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 08/27/2012 - 05:00
Posts: 2762
Location: UK

Muto wrote:
Went to the Lumintop website, but no pricing listed.
How much and where?

Looks like a nice light and love the pictures, Well Done!


Afraid I don’t know anything about pricing. And I too have looked for this light for sale and not found it. Best bet might be to contact Lumintop directly and ask.
Chicken Drumstick
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 08/27/2012 - 05:00
Posts: 2762
Location: UK

musicmagic wrote:
the website says its unibody, do you mind opening the front and checking?

how would you rate this as a mod host? (thinking of swapping drivers)

Yep the head and body are all one piece. Only the tail cap unscrew. The bezel is either torqued very tight or glued. Not saying you can’t get it off, but I haven’t been determined enough to pursue it any further. As the head isn’t removable I think you’d have to do something with the switch to be able to remove the driver. As a mod host I’m not convinced this would be a good choice, lots of effort to dismantle it.