Review: UltraFire XG-V3 (1x18650)

16 posts / 0 new
Last post
_the_
_the_'s picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/08/2011 - 06:22
Posts: 3646
Location: Finland
Review: UltraFire XG-V3 (1x18650)

 UltraFire XG-V3 CREE XP-G 4-Mode 350-Lumen White LED Flashlight with 8X F5 LED Colorful Light (1*18650)

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★

 

Summary:

Battery: 18650
Switch: Reverse Clicky
Modes: High - Custom (infinitely variable) - Strobe - SOS
LED Type: Cree XP-G (bin not defined)
Lens: Glass
Tailstands: Yes
Price Payed: $38,00
From: DealExtreme (Offers)
Date Ordered: October 2011

 

Pros:

  • Infinitely variable light output (ramping)
  • Lots of features (which leads to a con: a bit complicated UI)
  • Good battery life (low can be set as low as 0.02A) 
  • Unique design (among budget lights)
  • Stainless Steel (bling-bling)
  • Looks cool, but is very
  • A real Shelf Queen

Cons:

  • UI is a bit complicated (explained below)
  • Light output on high (maybe my expectations were too high)
  • Color leds look fancy but are of no use - to be modded to use white leds instead (not a real con, since those are off when using the main led)
  • A bit heavy (doesn't bother me, but I thought it might annoy someone)
  • Requires really small Torx key for disassembly (review will be continued when I get one)

 

Features / Value: ★★★

Infinite amount of modes: High, Custom, Strobe, SOS.

Eight colored F5 leds: 2 x Red, 2 x Green, 2 x Blue, 2 x White (in that order)

UI is a bit complicated, but quite useful as soon as you get used to "quad-click" (off-on-off-on).

Quad click operations:
1) Turn on in high mode -> Light flashes after 2s -> Quad click -> F5 led mode (main led turns off, all color leds are on)
2) Turn on in F5 led mode -> Light flashes after 2s -> Quad click -> Main led mode (F5 leds turn off, main led is on)
3) Turn on in low (Custom) mode -> Light flashes after 2s -> Quad click -> Ramping starts -> Turn off when desired level of light is reached -> Turning on memorizes this setting.

Operation in main led mode:
Switch modes with half-click: High->Custom->Strobe->SOS

Operation in F5 led mode:
Half click to switch mode: All F5 leds on -> Flashing two by two: Reds, Greens, Blues, Whites, .. (color changes about 1/s)

Uses 1 x 18650

A bit pricey, but hey: It's unique!

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★

Design is unique among budget lights. Of course it's a matter of taste, but I like it very much!

Build quality is good. Feels solid & good in hand. Quite heavy.

Tailcap works flawlessly. Click is quite noisy, but even the rubber part is not wobbly at all. Feels like very high quality.

Threads were amazingly good. Slightly lubed and no dents whatsoever. 

Lots of mass for heat transfer & cooling. Good also for longer runtimes.

Measures (no photos this time, sorry):

Length:                        120mm
Diameter:                    32mm
Reflector diameter:    18mm
Tailcap diameter:       22mm
Weight:                        204g (without battery) 

Some more shots: (sorry, could not resist)

 

 

Battery Life: ★★★★★

Didn't have time for real runtime tests yet, but must be good with tailcap currents of:
High: 1.15A, Low: Down to 0.02A -> theoretically almost 2h runtime on high, longlonglong with low.

 

Light Output: ★★★☆☆

Below average. Small reflector, not driven very hard. But then again, it's not the main purpose of this light.

I got a lux reading of about 4kcd (measured at 2m, calculated back to 1m).

Smooth reflector gives a bright, quite sharp hotspot. Flood is ok, not even so ringy.

White wall beamshot (1/125s, F/2.8, ISO200)

 

Emitter & reflector:

 

Summary: ★★★★

A very nice "Shelf Queen", which has infinite brightness levels and feels good in hand. I'm very happy that I purchased it!

This is a light, which you don't really need - BUT you want it. I know that you want it really bad!

I will open the light and maybe also try to mod it with 5mm white leds - as soon as I find a suitable Torx key for the screws. 

 

The end: (pun intended)

 

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed the review. Smile

=the=

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:21
alfreddajero
alfreddajero's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 5 days ago
Joined: 01/14/2010 - 00:28
Posts: 1798
Location: Virginia Beach VA

Nice review and nice light of course.......

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

okyeung
okyeung's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: 05/03/2011 - 00:03
Posts: 377
Location: northern california

Thanks for the great review.  I am looking forward for the light.  Are the color lights really so gimmicky?Sealed  My daughter like them.

3

_the_
_the_'s picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/08/2011 - 06:22
Posts: 3646
Location: Finland

XTAR 18700 2600mAh do fit, but are quite tight (diameter "too" close to tube diameter) => might be hard to get them out.

Color lights are actually a matter of taste.. They are kind of cool (at least for some time), but white ones would be more useful in the long run.

Ps. Now, after I have had this light for a few days, I would even pay the full price of it. It's just so cool and unique!

=the=

 

Luminous
Luminous's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 6 days ago
Joined: 11/08/2011 - 16:37
Posts: 121
Location: Bay State

"This is a light, which you don't really need - BUT you want it. I know that you want it really bad!"

So very true.

Thanks for that review!

_the_
_the_'s picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/08/2011 - 06:22
Posts: 3646
Location: Finland

Update: The required Torx key is T7. Got it now, will disassemble the light during the next weekend..

=the=

 

tim817
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 3 months ago
Joined: 09/16/2011 - 07:55
Posts: 199
Location: Lone Star State

 I love this light. At $38 it is a great deals. Super cool looking light. I have it as the same time as my Fenix TK45, but spend more time playing with it.

_the_
_the_'s picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/08/2011 - 06:22
Posts: 3646
Location: Finland

Finally got time for disassembling this light. I have to admit that this one has more parts than any flashlight I have disassembled this far.. Smile

When I opened the light, I immediately noticed that also the internal build quality is GOOD!

Hope these pictures will tell more than thousand words:

 

The 5mm leds seem to be quite easily replaceable: Just unsolder, insert new, solder and cut legs.

I'll try replacing them as soon as I have time. Will keep you posted.

=the=

 

JohnnyMac
JohnnyMac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/12/2011 - 16:03
Posts: 8859
Location: Eastern PA

Thank you, _the_!!!!  You have just inspired me to take mine apart tonight and replace the LEDs with all clear! Should turn it into a quite useful table lamp that will run for days with just 8*5mm LEDs running. Smile

It's also a pretty sweet piece of engineering by the looks of it.  I am looking forward to seeing how the pill and emitter are set since it is such a narrow point in the light.  Better pics for everyone to see of that area would be appreciated. Whatever background you used for your pics...those pics are great! Cool

Johnny

_the_
_the_'s picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/08/2011 - 06:22
Posts: 3646
Location: Finland

Learn From My Fail:

1) The 5mm leds are NOT directly replaceable with these from DX, as there's no lip in the bottom part of the original ones => you have to grind the lip away

2) Be careful when removing the original leds! There's a tiny tiny copper ring in the hole where leg of the led goes. The copper ring is connected to even smaller wire inside the circuit board and I managed to destroy one of those wires. Repairing the wire was not easy, so I gave up (for tonight).

So, my first attempt failed. Hope you can learn something from my fail. Smile

 

The area between driver and emitter can be seen in the first photo. Here's a magnification of it:

Nothing fancy there: Emitter sits on a seemingly thin pill, which looks to be pressed to the ss part (didn't take that apart - leads were winded around each other, but you can open it up just by unwinding them - just enough to replace the leds) . Normal red and black leads come through the pill (from driver to emitter), but there's one more thick red lead, which seems to be the negative(!!) connection between body and driver. Driver itself is connected to F5 led board, as can be seen in the second last photo in my earlier post above.

=the=

 

JohnnyMac
JohnnyMac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/12/2011 - 16:03
Posts: 8859
Location: Eastern PA

Well, I modded my light tonight and all went well until I was grinding flush the led soldering points. I accidentally grazed that damned trace on the pcb and all but two of them light up now.  I will need to hit the Shack tomorrow and get some conductive trace paint to repair it.  Will upload pics tomorrow from my pc.

Also, be forewarned that the o-ring and battery tube are a rascal to get back in place when reassembling the light!

JohnnyMac
JohnnyMac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/12/2011 - 16:03
Posts: 8859
Location: Eastern PA

_the_
_the_'s picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/08/2011 - 06:22
Posts: 3646
Location: Finland

Looks cool. Hope you will get those two leds fixed soon.

Did you use these leds and ground away the lip? How is the brightness with those and did you check the tailcap current with them? Runtime with F5 leds must be really good!

=the=

 

JohnnyMac
JohnnyMac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 days ago
Joined: 04/12/2011 - 16:03
Posts: 8859
Location: Eastern PA

LEDs fixed.  A "Circuit Writer" pen from RadioShack fixed the damaged trace. Once dry I insulated it with a coat of clear nail polish, reassembled the light, inserted battery and BAM! All lights working.

Pics and details in the following thread:  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/5863

Johnny

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 59 min 21 sec ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 7053
Location: The Light

A belated thanks to _the_ for this review. Sorry I missed it before! Very well done. And what a unique light...!

Frontpage'd and Sticky'd

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

Jaygnar
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 12 months ago
Joined: 11/13/2011 - 15:21
Posts: 145
Location: Six feet underground (in my basement "media room"