Review: LIE REN KC-01 (A cheap 18650 XM-L Zoomie from DX) - Now with outdoor beamshots!

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_the_
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Review: LIE REN KC-01 (A cheap 18650 XM-L Zoomie from DX) - Now with outdoor beamshots!

LIE REN KC-01

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★

 

Summary:

Battery: 1 x 18650
Switch: Reverse Clicky
Modes: 5 (High, Med, Low, SOS, Strobe - With memory)
LED Type: Cree XM-L T6
Lens: Plastic, aspheric
Tailstands: Yes 
Price Payed: $13.40
From: DX
Date Ordered: March 2012

 

Pros:

  • Small
  • Good grip because of the tail design
  • Tailstands
  • Bright enough
  • Nice & even flood
  • Rotating zoom
  • Build quality (for the price paid)
  • Orange bezel (is different!)

Cons:

  • Small connector makes the light twisty with some cells
  • Not a thrower (quite large hotspot when zoomed in)
  • Strange SOS (very fast)
 

Features / Value: ★★★★

The light comes in a standard DX envelope and is well & tightly wrapped into bubble wrap. No photo of that, but I'm sure you all know how it looks like.

No extra accessories are included.

 

Features are normal for a zoomable light: "Standard" five modes (including disco modes) with memory and rotating zoom.

UI is also pretty normal: Click on, half-click to change modes, click off. Reverse clicky suits well (because this is a multi-mode light).

Value for money: Very Good! A nice zoomable light for a small price.

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★

Design is good. The small size makes it possible to really keep this in your pocket. Tail design really adds to the grip, so the light feels very secure in hand. Rotating zoom is easy to operate with one hand.

Bezel and tail are "tactically" shaped, but not too aggressive / sharp.

 

Everything except the tail cap took apart.

 

And here's the internals of the tail cap:

 

As a positive surprise, the light was easy to take apart. Every piece was attached into each other with threads, as can be seen in the following photos.

First unscrew the bezel. This gives the access to the ring behind the lens.

 

Then unscrew the ring which was behind the lens. 

 

Then unscrew the head (towards the tail!) and pill. Note also a retaining ring on top of the pill.

 

And finally unscrew the retaining ring and take off the reflective foil and clear insulator ring => All taken apart, emitter visible. Nice and easy!

 

The pill looks good with long enough threads and it felt quite solid as well.

 

The threads were smooth and well lubed. O-ring felt tight and was sitting tightly in it's slot.

 

There's an interesting detail in the tail of this light: The small connector on the left shorts some cells, effectively making this light a twisty (Tighten the tail -> light goes on!). It doesn't bother with some other cells and it can be covered with plastic if needed.

 

Some measurements:

Length: 120.6-128.6mm

Head diameter: 34.5mm

Body diameter: 24.9mm

Weight: 147g with cell (= ready to use), 99g without

 

And same + some more dimensions as photos:

 

And the bottom line in the quality: Machining is a bit rough at some parts, but nothing else to complain. Very good for this price!

 

 

Battery Life: ★★★

Ok.

I measured the current draw to be 2.0A on high, 0.9A on med and 0.3A on low -> theoretical runtime would be over 1h on high and over 7h on low.

 

Light Output: ★★★

The tint is ok. Beam is good on flood mode, but quite ringy when zoomed in. This can be seen in the following white wall beamshots (ISO200, 1/160s, F4, WB: Daylight)

 

High mode, zoomed in (= "throw")

 

High mode, zoomed out (= flood)

 

 

Med mode, zoomed out (= flood)

 

Low mode, zoomed out (= flood)


Beam angle, zoomed in (= "throw") 

 

Beam angle, zoomed out (= flood) 

 

  

Summary: ★★★★

Nice little 18650-capable zoomie with XM-L emitter. Feels good in hand and fits in pocket. For this low price, this little light will, for sure, get a: Recommended!-stamp.

 

The End (pun intended).

 

Thanks for reading & watching. Hope you enjoyed the review!

=the=

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:20
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Thanks for another excellent review, _the_. Nice looking light for the $. Reminds me that I don't think I've seen a review - or indeed any comments - on the Romisen which it's based on, and which is still on my shopping list! Btw, DX seem to have stepped up a gear in sending it to you double quick (by their standards, anyway!)

dthrckt
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A++ review!

it looks like file could make that bezel take the 28mm lenses that have more lens and less lip.

and, depending on the current focal length, the ahorton ones from nitro might work great it this light.

_the_
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dthrckt wrote:

A++ review!

it looks like file could make that bezel take the 28mm lenses that have more lens and less lip.

and, depending on the current focal length, the ahorton ones from nitro might work great it this light.

Thanks!

That's so true. And the focal length can be adjusted by turning the ring behind the lens (and making it thinner / adding a O-rings).

=the=

 

JohnnyMac
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Very nice review! I like that light. For an 18650 zoomer it's one of the nicer I've seen and the only one to use a Romisen design. If that lens was only larger but it still seems to throw well. How about some outdoor night shots? Heck of a light considering the price. Almost forgot, is the pill solid or hollow behind the emitter?

jacktheclipper
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Cool

What I do

 

E1320
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Great review thanks for sharing.

I have been looking for an XML zoomie to use on my bicycle locked in the zoom out position, this one looks like it would be perfect with the rotating zoom.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

fishinfool
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Very nice review!  Thanks _the_!

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

jopat
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Nice review. Thanks for posting this review.

 

 

I thought its assembly will be almost identical to this, but I was wrong.

dthrckt
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since DX raised their price...everybuying is cheaper

http://www.everbuying.com/product139856.html

scaru
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Thanks for the review! Any chance of beamshots at night?

_the_
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All the following beamshots are taken with these settings: 44mm, 2s, f/5, ISO200, WB 5000K, distance to building about 90m.

 

Control
 

 

LIE REN KC-1 (Flood)

 

LIE REN KC-1 (Throw)

 

Yezl T9 (Flood)

 

Yezl T9 (Throw)

 

Trustfire Z5 (Flood)

 

Trustfire Z5 (Throw)

 

..and some mouseovers (mouse over for LIE REN)

LIE REN vs. Yezl (Flood)
 

 

LIE REN vs. Trustfire (Flood)

 

LIE REN vs. Yezl (Throw)
 

 

LIE REN vs. Trustfire (Throw)
 

As you can see, the LIE REN has a bit narrower flood and wider zoom, but it compares well in brightness.

Ps. More beamshots coming soon: Some throwers & multi XM-Ls (as soon as I have time to make edit those)

=the=

 

Langcjl
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Nice review.

Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

dthrckt
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nice beamshots

what a cool spot for a house (assuming it doesn't get flooded Silly )

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And thanks for the mouseovers .

Cool

Mouseovers Rock .

What I do

 

Fritz t. Cat
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I have one on order from Everbuying.

the wrote:

dthrckt wrote:

A++ review!

it looks like file could make that bezel take the 28mm lenses that have more lens and less lip.

and, depending on the current focal length, the ahorton ones from nitro might work great it this light.

Thanks!

That’s so true. And the focal length can be adjusted by turning the ring behind the lens (and making it thinner / adding a O-rings).


I might try that, but the travel is so short that it may not be able to be increased enough for some lenses that could be made to fit. Also filing it out without a lathe seems tedious.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

Fritz t. Cat
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What I received from Everbuying works, but the quality is too poor to be worth modifying. It says UltraFire and not Lie Ren on it, and it looks different from the pictures.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。