[Review] Wuben E19UV - 2xAAA UV Penlight

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gchart
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[Review] Wuben E19UV - 2xAAA UV Penlight

Wuben kindly invited me to review their new E19UV 2xAAA Penlight with 365 nm UV. Thank you, Wuben (and Jelina!) for providing this light for review.

This review first appeared over at 1Lumen.com – be sure to check out some of my other reviews over there!




INTRODUCTION:
Wuben was established in 1981 and has been producing flashlights for decades. Most of that time was spent as an OEM, but in 2016 they launched their own line of flashlights. I’ve owned several Wuben flashlights over the past few years and have been really impressed with their overall quality. My first Wuben was the I331 Iron Man. It was a very well built flashlight with handsome machining and great finish, elegant, but a bit large for a 14500 light. I have also owned the Wuben E05, which has been one of my favorite 14500 flashlights, save for hold-for-off action. And the Wuben TO50R… what an awesome flashlight. It has the most complex driver I’ve ever seen, and it’s ridiculously bright and high-CRI.

All that said, I generally am impressed with Wuben lights. But I’ve never tried a UV Wuben, so I was curious what I was in for with the E19UV. Pictures online looked really nice. And I knew I could count on quality. That left performance… how would the E19UV shine?




WHAT YOU’LL GET:
The Wuben E19UV arrived in a handsome presentation box with a clear window that allows you to see what’s inside. Sliding the formed plastic tray out of the box revealed the sturdiest tray I’ve ever seen. It’s contents were as follows:

  • Wuben E19UV
  • 2*AAA alkaline, pre-installed with protection disc
  • Spare o-rings
  • Manual




HANDLING OF THE LIGHT
The Wuben E19UV feels about like any penlight that I’ve handled. It’s slender and slides easily into a pocket. The knurling provides a small amount of grip. The light is operated by a single reverse-clicky switch that protrudes from the tailcap and has a decent amount of travel. With the button sticking up like it does, you absolutely cannot tailstand the E19UV… but why would you?

The pre-installed pocket clip provides anti-roll duties. The clip itself is… functional. It’s pretty run-of-the-mill. A bit on the thin side, but given how lightweight the E19UV is, it works just fine.




BUILD QUALITY, KNURLING, THREADS, AND ANODIZATION
When it comes to build quality, Wuben never disappoints and the E19UV is no exception. It’s just a gorgeous flashlight to look at (just not at the UV LED, mind you!). The knurling on the body and tailcap are a wide diamond pattern and not very aggressive. It provides some slip resistance, but more than anything it’s a visual distinction.

The threads are triangle cut. Very smooth and clean. Normally people are all about square cut, but these are deep enough and clean enough that I don’t have any problem with them being triangle cut.

I was pretty much in love with the color (I like blue a lot) until my wife had to ruin it for me and informed me that the E19UV is (fittingly) violet/purple. I’m colorblind so I’m just going to pretend that she didn’t tell me that. Either way, it’s a wonderful departure from the endless line of black-bodied flashlights out there.




LEDS, LENS, BEZEL, AND REFLECTOR
The Wuben E19UV employs a 365 nm UV LED. Wuben hasn’t said which one exactly. In searching around, it’s die profile seems to match the LiteOn that djozz tested here. It fared well in his testing.

Sitting in front of the LED is a piece of “unique black color filter lens” glass. For the uninitiated, that’s code for “ZWB2 filter” without getting into the wrong side of a patent dispute.

The combination of 365 nm and “black glass” is a one-two punch when it comes to UV. Generally speaking, 365 nm is the magic wavelength for making things fluoresce the best. And the filter helps to eliminate any visible light that gets generated.




DIMENSIONS:

  • Length: 13.3 cm / 5.24 inches
  • Head diameter: 1.48 cm / 0.58 inches
  • Body diameter: 1.26 cm / 0.50 inches
  • Weight with batteries: 46 grams
  • Weight without batteries: 23 grams

Flashlight Size comparisons:

  • AA & AAA lights, from left to right: Fenix E25, Wuben E19UV, Skilhunt M150, Olight i3UV EOS
  • UV lights, from left to right: Wurkkos WK30, Wuben E19UV, Olight i3UV EOS




DRIVER & USER INTERFACE:
In the world of complex e-switch drivers, sometimes it’s nice to come across one with a simple UI. That’s definitely fitting for the E19UV. And let’s be honest… as much as I like Anduril, no one needs Anduril to check the authenticity of their currency. Or to find dog pee. Or whatever you do with a UV light.

MODES:

  • Low and High

From OFF:

  • Single click: on (last used mode)

From ON:

  • Half-click: rotate between Low and High
  • Single click: off

Mode memory:

  • Yes, there is mode memory

Low voltage warning:

  • Not specified

Strobe/blinkies

  • None

Lock-out mode:

  • None

PWM

  • PWM was not detected

The only other thing worth noting about the modes/UI is that there is a “flash” that happens when going into low mode, be it from Off or High. I’ve seen this in other boost drivers. It’s a bit strange but not particularly troublesome in a UV light.




BATTERIES AND CHARGING:
The E19UV comes with two alkaline AAA (LR03) batteries. Alkaline and NiMH batteries are recommended. Lithium-ion batteries (10440) batteries are prohibited (and not tested).




PERFORMANCE:
For current measurements, a ANENG AN8008 multimeter was used.

Amp measurement

  • Low: 102 mA (spec: 165 mW)
  • High: 850 mA (spec: 850 mW)

When it comes to UV lights, you can talk a good game, but seeing what shows up when you light it up in a dark room is what counts. And frankly, I’m not sure if I want to know what is going to light up in some rooms of my house. Or the next hotel room that I stay in. But I felt like checking currency was a good way to tell just how well the Wuben E19UV performs.

For these tests we’ll put three lights up against each other head-to-head:

Wuben E19UV: 365 nm with black filter
Olight i3UV EOS: 395 nm, no filter
Wurkkos WK30: 395 nm, no filter (newer versions have 365 nm)

First test: Non-fluorescing black mat
This shows just how little visible light is coming out of the Wuben. You can’t hardly tell that it’s there. The Olight and the Wurkkos on the other hand are quite obviously emitting a lot of visible light.

Left to right: Olight i3UV EOS, Wuben E19UV, Wurkkos WK30

Second test: $20 bill security strip
United States $20 notes have a security strip embedded in them that fluoresce green when subjected to UV light. In this test, all three UV lights cause the UV strip to pop out. But the Wuben has a distinct difference: because of how little visible light it emits, the security strip is pretty much the only thing being illuminated. With the other two lights, you can see the security strips, but it’s less obvious because of the visible light.

Left to right: Olight i3UV EOS, Wuben E19UV, Wurkkos WK30

Third test: $100 bill security strip
United States $100 notes have a security strip embedded in them that fluoresce pink when subjected to UV light. Unlike the $20 bill, the strip in the $100 bill is notoriously dim and somewhat difficult to detect. In this test, I could only see the UV strip using the Wuben E19UV. This is possibly because it uses 365 nm wavelength instead of 395 nm. Or it could be because the other two emitted so much visible light that it washed out the UV strip’s visibility. Either way, only the Wuben aced this test.

Left to right: Olight i3UV EOS, Wuben E19UV, Wurkkos WK30




PROS:

  • Very elegant looking
  • Two modes
  • Black filter = very little visible light
  • 365 nm, the sweet spot for many UV applications

CONS:

  • Reverse clicky switch
  • So-so pocket clip
  • Flash going into low mode


OVERALL RATING:
Excellent ★★★★★
I really couldn’t ask for more in a pocketable UV light. The combination of 365 nm wavelength and the black filter glass is great for making things pop out without washing them in visible light. And it’s really nice to look at and hold. If I had to pick something that I would change, it’d probably be the reverse clicky switch. I almost always like reverse clicky, but for inspection lights, forward clicky can be beneficial for momentary operation / quick inspections. But that’s grasping for something to nitpick about. The Wuben E19UV really is a great UV penlight!

peg matite
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Yes the $100 bill is a real test for these lights. Admittedly a fatter light, but the Alonefire 365 nm shows it very well for a $17 light in 18650 format.

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gchart said:
Third test: $100 bill security strip
United States $100 notes have a security strip embedded in them that fluoresce pink when subjected to UV light. Unlike the $20 bill, the strip in the $100 bill is notoriously dim and somewhat difficult to detect. In this test, I could only see the UV strip using the Wuben E19UV. This is possibly because it uses 365 nm wavelength instead of 395 nm. Or it could be because the other two emitted so much visible light that it washed out the UV strip’s visibility. Either way, only the Wuben aced this test.
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