P5 "Zhishunjia" Triple Review

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keltex78
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P5 "Zhishunjia" Triple Review

I’ve just received my “P5” light as purchased through GearBest here:

 http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights/pp_71050.html

 …for $15.47.

This light is also available from DX for $14.85: http://www.dx.com/p/zhishunjia-p5-3-x-cree-xp-e-q5-1000lm-5-mode-white-light-flashlight-black-silver-1-x-26650-323057






Contrary to GearBest’s description, this light did NOT have 3x XM-L emitters, but has three very cool-white XP-E emitters.



Although I really do like the external design of this light, is actually poorly built internally. The light does have a beacon switch that can be disabled by a long-press of the button. There is a charging port built into the side of the light, with a relatively fragile looking cover, but I have no way to test the charging function. This light is a surprising thrower, even with the triple emitters. It has a well defined hotspot with less spill than I was suspecting, but this is fairly well negated due to the following issue.

It is moderately driven at <2A on high, through the 3x XP-E emitters. Even at the reduced current, this light is hampered by the extremely poor heatsinking. After running a few minutes on high, some heat had transferred to the body of the light, but the output had visibly dropped, presumably due to thermal sag.

The second big frustration is the 5-mode (High-Medium-Low-Strobe-SOS) driver that starts in High, and has no way to turn off without going through the remaining modes. This is even more annoying if you are using the light on Low, as you get blasted by the full-brightness Strobe and SOS modes before the light will turn off. This driver also has extremely low frequency PWM on Medium and Low modes.



 

The three emitters on this light are wired in parallel. The individual aluminum bezels (emitter housings?) are threaded into the body of the light. Each housing has:

 

  1. A GITD O-Ring

  2. 2x (!) plastic 18mm lenses

  3. A plastic 18mm x 18mm reflector

  4. The XP-E emitter

  5. A thin threaded ring to retain the emitter, with no thermal compound/adhesive

  6. A steel spring clip to prevent the retaining ring from backing out(?)

  




 

The wires are long enough to allow the housings to be unthreaded, and they can be pre-twisted when reinstalling. Unfortunately, this design means the PCB has minimal contact through the retaining ring, into the aluminum housing, and then, through those threads, into the body of the light. It’s a very inefficient thermal path, which greatly reduces the utility of this light. I think that assembling the head and then potting the base with JB Weld would improve heat sinking immensely, but the light couldn’t be disassembled for repair or modification any longer.

The threads on the light are not anodized so it is not possible to lock out the E-switch. My multimeter isn't sensitive enough to measure the parasitic drain present on this light.

I would not recommend this light to anyone. If this light had better heat sinking, better emitters, and a better driver, it would actually be an interesting piece.  My intention had been to replace the emitters with XP-sized UV emitters to make a UV triple, but I don’t think this host is suited. I could install the emitters, but the poor driver and heat sinking render this light unsuitable for this purpose.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 11:53
dno36
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Bravo.......very strong review.

We did not expect these to be stellar in build, but this is pretty 'ratty'.

Even at $15 I would have to agree with you on it's lack of worthiness.

Mine is still coming from NY, 40 days and counting, and at $15 I'll probably wind up giving this one away.

My next step, if I finally get my light and it is a Q5, will be to seek some kind of restitution from the seller for the improper listing.

Thank You for the great review!!

The power of many minds working toward around a common passion.. & ..keeping the "B" in BLF

ImA4Wheelr
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Thanks for the review keltex78. Smile

keltex78
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dno36 wrote:
My next step, if I finally get my light and it is a Q5, will be to seek some kind of restitution from the seller for the improper listing.

I've just submitted a complaint through the GB Customer Service ticket system. I don't mind keeping the light as-is since it's actually kind of cool, but would like at least a partial refund due to the misrepresented product specification:

"Emitter Type: XM-L T6"


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

MRsDNF
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Thanks for the review. It looks to be disappointing all round. The anodizing finish looks strange in your first picture also, almost like it was sprayed on though l assume its not.

 

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.

 

keltex78
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MRsDNF wrote:

The anodizing finish looks strange in your first picture also, almost like it was sprayed on though l assume its not.

That's just the flash combined with the camera's auto-exposure. The anodizing actually seems particularly nice on this light. I'm not sure how durable it would be, but it looks good!


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

L4M4
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Thanks a lot for that review!

I had those lights on my radar for quite a time – but because of the low price I didn’t buy one so far – which is good as I see now.

Muto
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Bravo for getting it apart and explaining the parts.

This light is like a Odd Duck, so geeky it’s kinda cool.
Standing on it’s head it looks like an older Rocket.
Mine will stay stock.
Thanks!
Keith

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

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downlinx
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Thanks for saving my money, hope you get some return.

BLF Community Battery Pull Thread http://budgetlightforum.com/node/32720

pieman7
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I was waiting for a review on this specific light because I liked the non-conventional appearance. Too bad it’s not just as functional or well built. Putting the time into this review is much appreciated Smile

I’ll instead put the $15 into a different budget light or knife!

keltex78
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My attempt to escalate this issue up through the GB customer service isn't going so well at the moment...

My initial note:

"I purchased this light but it did not have the "XM-L T6" emitters described in the product listing:
"Emitter Type: XM-L T6"
The light I received has Cree XP-E emitters, which are inferior to the XM-L advertised."

Their reply:

"Thank you very much for your recent message. 
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused. 
Is that the problem with the item P5 3 x Cree XML T6 1000LM LED Flashlight,could you please send me a photo to show this problem?I will resolve it for you.
If any problem,please do not hesitate to contact us. 
Best Regards, "

I have followed up with a response repeating my initial complaint, and included a rudimentary explanation of the difference between the emitters (one is much bigger and brighter than the other)... and included a photo of the LED from the light I received, and a photo (stolen from the web) with a side-by-side view showing the difference between the XM-L and XP-E emitters. 


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

keltex78
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Okay; maybe I'm just being stupid here, but my plan is as follows:

  1. Replace the lenses with glass lenses: https://www.fasttech.com/products/1088100
  2. Replace the emitters with these 4500k XP-G R5 emitters: https://www.fasttech.com/products/1950305
  3. Re-assemble the light, potting the heads with JB Weld or similar as mentioned above

...Just because I can, and I don't like leaving things the way they are. I won't be able to do anything else with the light, but it should be some better than as received.

I could strip the factory driver and use it as a contact board for an E-Switch Nanjg mod, but I don't think the light is worth it. 


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Prometheus
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thanks for the review, u save me $15.

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Got to be a contender for the “Ugliest light of the Decade” award :Sp

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keltex78 wrote:

Okay; maybe I’m just being stupid here, but my plan is as follows:

  1. Replace the lenses with glass lenses: https://www.fasttech.com/products/1088100
  2. Replace the emitters with these 4500k XP-G R5 emitters: https://www.fasttech.com/products/1950305
  3. Re-assemble the light, potting the heads with JB Weld or similar as mentioned above

…Just because I can, and I don’t like leaving things the way they are. I won’t be able to do anything else with the light, but it should be some better than as received.

I could strip the factory driver and use it as a contact board for an E-Switch Nanjg mod, but I don’t think the light is worth it. 


Could you replace the reflectors with TIR’s? That might help a little.

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

keltex78
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I'm just going to keep the factory reflectors because they are okay, even thouh just plastic. The TIR option might be okay, but I don't think this light deserves me dumping any more $$$ into it than I already have. I found some compatible Aluminum reflectors on KD, but I don't feel like sending the money and waiting.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

dno36
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"""

Their reply:

"Thank you very much for your recent message. 
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused. 
Is that the problem with the item P5 3 x Cree XML T6 1000LM LED Flashlight,could you please send me a photo to show this problem?I will resolve it for you.
If any problem,please do not hesitate to contact us. 
Best Regards, "

I have followed up with a response repeating my initial complaint, and included a rudimentary explanation of the difference between the emitters (one is much bigger and brighter than the other)... and included a photo of the LED from the light I received, and a photo (stolen from the web) with a side-by-side view showing the difference between the XM-L and XP-E emitters."""

---> Actually a good sign as they responded quickly.

The service rep needs to take the listing error information and documentation to their supervisor before any restitution can be made. Hopefully we all will get a partial refund, then we will have a new (different, unique, kinda weird) light that we can doctor and play with at an even better price. Tx

The power of many minds working toward around a common passion.. & ..keeping the "B" in BLF

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How did you get the driver out? I’m still trying to figure out how to take it out without destroying it Silly

The only way to do a great work is to love what you do.

keltex78
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DayLighter wrote:
How did you get the driver out? I'm still trying to figure out how to take it out without destroying it :p

The aluminum retaining ring threads out normally, it just doesn't have the normal holes drilled to allow you to rotate it easily. I was able to grip it through the neck with a suitable pair of needle nose pliers and get it to rotate counterclockwise with a bit of effort. After that it threaded out easily. I filed a pair of notches into the edge to make it easier to work with in the future.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

keltex78
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I got a new response from GB regarding this, offering me a refund of 300 GearBest points, equivalent to $6 in store credit. I'm happy with the refund amount, but have asked that they process the amount as a refund to my PayPal account instead.

Their points system states "50 points = 1 US dollar. You can use points for up to 30% of the final item value" so I would still have to make a larger order to make use of the points. How they handle this would of course influence my decision to make future purchases there...


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Gebe
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Ah-h-h, all in all IMHO it’s worth $15.00. I realize all the shortcomings it has and I was critical of it in my report on it when I first received it but it’s still a decent light.

It has good throw and when it warms up on high it transfers the heat to my hand and unless you keep it on high for extended periods, it doesn’t get so hot that you can’t hold it.

Come on, we’re getting so spoiled and so critical that we now expect a $15.00 light to be top quality and have no flaws. Heck, just a few years ago we would have reveled in these cheap Chinese lights as marvels.

Again, I’m not really defending this light as a true bargain in this day and age of wonderful Chinese lights but for $15.00 it’s not all as bad as some imply. I’ve been using it a lot in the past few days and think it’s fine.

If you modders want to put an extra $20.00 and lots of work into it to “make it right”’ I say have at it! Truly my main complaint with it is having to cycle through all the modes just to turn it off.

If some folks are interested in it and for $15.00, I say go for it. It’ll make a decent car or truck or knock-around light just the way it is. Maybe it won’t last with a lot of use but we’re getting WAY overboard in our criticism of $10.00 to $15.00 lights. Smile

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Looks like this light is strongly inspired by the Fenix TK45 Smile

BLF = Buy Lotsa FlashlitesLaughing

keltex78
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Gebe wrote:
...for $15.00 it's not all as bad as some imply. I've been using it a lot in the past few days and think it's fine. If you modders want to put an extra $20.00 and lots of work into it to "make it right"' I say have at it! Truly my main complaint with it is having to cycle through all the modes just to turn it off. If some folks are interested in it and for $15.00, I say go for it. It'll make a decent car or truck or knock-around light just the way it is. Maybe it won't last with a lot of use but we're getting WAY overboard in our criticism of $10.00 to $15.00 lights. :)

I agree entirely; it's an okay (just okay) light with some limiting design shortcuts. I'm just disappointed that when I purchased this light, it was not as described by the seller. I hadn't seen this light before to know that other sellers had it listed as XP-E emitters; knowing this, my expectations would have been reduced, and I would have likely looked elsewhere. <shrug>

GearBest has agreed to refund me $3 toward the purchase of this light... I have suggested that they update the product listing which still lists this as an XM-L T6 light. If they don't fix their listing now, I'm sure there will be other disappointed customers coming along soon enough.


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

dno36
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MRsDNF wrote:

Thanks for the review. It looks to be disappointing all round. The anodizing finish looks strange in your first picture also, almost like it was sprayed on though l assume its not.

Yes MRs, it does have that appearance.

I have a metal railing company and we get items anodized quite often. We usually polish aluminum before anodizing, however sometimes we will bead-blast material and it give it more of a textured appearance. That is what this appears to be.

That being said, some of the anodizing looks funky like where the threading starts....

My light is scheduled to arrive today and I shall post support pics as well.

Cheers

The power of many minds working toward around a common passion.. & ..keeping the "B" in BLF