5C Defiant XM-L 625 Lumens at Home Depot

Defiant 5C (top) and 3C (bottom)

You can see the length difference.

Reflector is plastic.

Head apart.

Retainer ring holds reflector in.

As best as I can see, the hunk of aluminum the emitter sits on looks pretty substantial (I can’t be certain without taking it apart).

Unlike other unfortunate BLF members, the head was incredibly easy to unscrew from the battery tube, as there was a minimal amount of loctite.
I took it apart by hand with almost no effort. There was a bit of a grayish substance that sort of looked liked melted plastic on the threads, which I’m guessing is their version of loctite.

Top of battery tube.

Inside battery tube.

The 5th battery sticks out a bit when you put them all in the tube.

Top of spring sits below the threads.

Height comparison.

This should gives you an idea how far the spring sits inside the tailcap.

When I put it back together, I noticed the retaining ring wasn’t quite pressed into the slot cut inside the body of the battery tube.
A little push with a screwdriver fixed it in seconds, you might want to double check it if you can get the head off (this picture is after I fixed it).

The lights were sitting in a display in the front of the store, in the big aisle that runs in front of the cash registers. I practically had to call in Indiana Jones to dig up a Defiant 3C, so I’m betting the 5C is supposed to be on display in all the stores now.

Nice report Strict9. Thank you. Have you used it outside yet? If yes, how would you compare it to a stock DST?

Not yet…

Well this is interesting. I thought it was flickering a bit earlier.
I turn it on after it’s been sitting a bit. It is flickering.
Turn it on off a couple times and… no flickering.

I have a Sunwayman that does the same thing (M40C) when in medium brightness mode. It will flicker for a few seconds until it warms up a bit, and then stabilize, and stop flickering.
I had returned that light for a replacement; only to find the 2nd light does the exact same thing.

Okay. Leave the 5C sitting a few minutes, turn it on… it flickers. Immediately turn it off/on again, and the flickering stops.
I’ll experiment some more, it seems somewhat random.

I picked up a 2nd one, that I was going to offer to any BLF members that live overseas and really wanted one.
I’m going to try that one, and report back whether or not it has the same habit.
I think this one is going back to Home Depot tomorrow.

reminds me of the solarforce gladiator a bit

No flickering on the 2nd light :slight_smile:
I returned the faulty one at a different Home Depot (there are two locally, and I was closer to the the 2nd store); that store also had the lights on display in the front of the store.

I need to find a split-ring pliers big enough to get the reflector off (my Harbor Freight pliers won’t open wide enough), and make a pilgrimage to Surplus Shed next weekend to see what kind of lens options we can play with.

Did I just happen to get unlucky? Or is the 5C not as bright as the 3C?

Regardless, one thing I have to say about ALL of these Defiant lights is that the tint is pretty good. They all seem to be a nice neutral white without any of that infamous ‘XM-L Green’ that seems to plague SO many XM-L lights (including MANY that cost LOTS more than these Defiants).

Here is my review of the Defiant big guns as promised. As stated in my first post, the 3D 590 lumen ArmorMax is the best thrower, leaving the Super Thrower a close second and then the 625 lumen 5C Tactical in third/last, but not by a large margin. As far as output/overall brightness goes, the new 5C Tactical rules, with the ArmorMax 3D coming in at second place, and the Super Thrower third.

The 5C is undeniably the brightest and most powerful out of these in all around performance and the current king of all high output super flashlights available at offline stores. I have been collecting LED and HID lights for years and know just about all of the high output lights out there that can be found at regular retail markets such as hardware, sporting goods, etc. stores.

The ArmorMax 3D is the best tubular flashlight style thrower out of them all, and the DST is a really cool light to show off with because it has such a narrow laser-esque beam and looks like it could melt lead in the air. It certainly has the tightest and most narrow beam of the three due to its huge reflector, but the 3D ArmorMax is nearly on par in focus and its greater output allows it to generate more lux and throw even still.

The 5C really shows these two up though as it does outclass them in brightness and is supremely powerful. My humble opinion, of course, that the 5C is the better of these three lights due to being brighter.

Once again just so there are no misunderstandings:

*THROW: 590 lumen ArmorMax 3D > Defiant 490 lumen 3C Super Thrower > New 5C Tactical 625 lumen
*OUTPUT: 5C 625 lumen > 3D ArmorMax > Super Thrower
Now time for the pics and proof. I’ll just post links to these due to their size as they would skew the display of this page if they were inserted.

The lights (Right to left: 625L 5C, 3D ArmorMax, DST)


The reflectors:


Defiant Super Thrower:


ArmorMax 3D:


Tactical 5C 625 Lumen


Hope you enjoy the photos and can make a good decision on which one to buy now if you are looking to get a high output LED light. The ArmorMax 3D clearly has a larger yet still brighter hotspot than the DST. The 5C is simply the brightest of the three with a very uniform beam and clearly larger beam divergence than its two counterparts. All three had fresh Energizer alkalines.

If someone here a lot more knowledgable than you and there are plenty here in that category that will disagree on your take based upon foremost your juvenile approach to claiming your review is the final word, I’d suggest you take a more humbler tack unless you enjoy being rightly ridiculed for being a self proclaimed expert on flashlights - which obviously you ain’t.

Troll post reported. User appears to have not even read or properly comprehended the content of my posts before launching into negative assumptions and attacks.


I’m not going to pick sides between you two. I just want to thank UltimateLED for the review and comparison shots. Good info. Ultimate, have you tried those lights on far away objects? Does your assessment still stand in that situation?

The DST tube is too narrow to fit 26650’s. Can you tell me if the diameter of the 5C is larger? It would be great if you could give measurements of the internal diameter, but you can just see if the battery has more space around it in the 5c if you don’t have something to measure with.

Thank you again Ultimate for the time and effort. Good work. :slight_smile:

Lets all play nice please!There is enough room in this sand-box for all of us!-Rick

Thank you for your nice feedback and comment! Firstly to answer your questions.

“Ultimate, have you tried those lights on far away objects? Does your assessment still stand in that situation?” - Yes, I have done extensive testing and comparisons between these three lights, mainly throw tests of the DST and ArmorMax 3D because the two are so close and as far as practicality, they have basically the same beam range. That being said, in every test I have conducted ranging from 10 yards to 300 yards, the ArmorMax 3D consistenly beats the DST by a noticeable amount in hotspot/illumination brightness on every distant target I have tested them on. There is even a youtube video of some other person who owns these two Defiant lights and compares them, and it is clear that the ArmorMax edges out the DST in lux/throw/hotspot brightness by a barely noticeable amount, even though the DST has a more focused and smaller hotspot. Even with the DST’s lower beam divergence, my ArmorMax beats my DST in throw to the most distant of objects they can reach. Here is a link to the other person’s video I found on youtube. ArmorMax 3D starting at 1:03, DST at 1:34 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctYkc_P6kOI

“Can you tell me if the diameter of the 5C is larger?” - No, the 5C Tactical and DST have exactly the same battery tube diameter and are both barely wider than a C battery, making them as narrow as possible for any C light’s body, with the bulk of the lights being in front of the battery tubes at the switch/head areas where they have their big reflectors. So unfortunately you will not be able to fit 26650 cells into the 5C either. The seemingly best way to go would be to buy the Energizer rechargeable C’s and a family charger online as these two lights do consume a massive amount of power and need frequent expensive battery changes to remain at full brightness. Even fresh heavy duty/zinc batteries cannot even run these lights at more than 75% of their full brightness, so they require alkalines. I did take a pic of the battery tubes for you and will post the link here. 625 lumen tactical 5C right, DST middle, and ArmorMax 3D left as a bonus for reference.


As far as the 5C light goes in comparison to the other two, it is always clearly beaten in throw by them, but not by a large amount like you might think, thanks to its overwhelming output. It can reach just about anything the other two can but simply puts a less concentrated, more wide and uniform circle of light on the desired target. In a practical situation, the 5C light would be the best out of these because for most lighting applications, it is just as important to have close-up flood capability as it is to have a long distance throw, and the 5C excells at both. It depends entirely on the needed application though, which light is the best choice. The ArmorMax 3D is definitely the toughest and best beater/work light out of these due to it having a low mode and such a thick heavy construction. The 5C is the brightest and will be the best in the field in many practical situations.

The DST is the most beautiful looking out of these and might be the most impressive to other people for its super focused laser like beam, so it is a great choice for an enthusiast of high powered LED lights as it will likely be visually the most impressive to most people. And I love the strobe on the ArmorMax 3D because it is extremely disorienting and may prove useful in some nighttime self defense situations (I do not encourage using this light for this instead of escaping to safety, just saying I like this feature).

I hope this answers your questions fully and please feel free to ask me for any more pics or comparisons you would like. :slight_smile:

@ everyone, as far as any uncertainty concerning the throw difference between the DST and the ArmorMax 3D, I think very good evidence has been provided by my pics and the corroborating results in the video, showing the DST and ArmorMax 3D to be directly comparable in throw/lux and not the DST in the lead. Two different DST and ArmorMax 3D lights each have been compared now and posted on the internet and the results were exactly the same. This leads me to believe I do not have a defective DST or an over powered ArmorMax 3D. QC seems quite good on the Defiant line. All emitters are perfectly centered and the build quality is superb from the bezels to the tailcaps. If other people have experienced different results between these lights, then it would be interesting to see some pics because perhaps there might be some discrepancy/imperfection from model to model of the same light; i.e. some DST lights may be better than others in focus or tint, etc.

From the 3D defiant thread:

“I added some thick copper single strand wire that I stripped from the center of some heavy coaxial satellite cable. I wrapped the strands around a thin steel rod and made a few copper springs slightly longer than the stock ones already in the flashlight. Placing the new copper springs inside the stock steel ones was all that was required before reassembly. No solder required… its probably the fastest & easiest mod Ive ever done.

With Tenergy 10,000 mAh D nimh cells. Tail cap measurements 30 seconds after turn-on:

Before: 2.86A
After: 3.32A

Now Im contemplating an AR lens, if I can find one.

Significantly noticeable results for a SUPER EASY MOD.”

This simple little mod really woke the light up! :bigsmile:

Maybe I should try the solder wick trick (soldering it from the top of the spring to the tailcap).

It’s simple to do (I never bothered with it, even though I’ve known about it for a long time); and maybe it’s worth the payoff after all…

Welcome to BLF UltimateLED!

Please allow me to help you with the pics.. Here they are, with a reasonable size.

Defiant Super Thrower:

ArmorMax 3D:

Tactical 5C 625 Lumen:

And some mouseovers for easier comparison:

DST vs. 5C (mouse over for 5C)

DST vs. ArmorMax (mouse over for ArmorMax)

ArmorMax vs. 5C (mouse over for 5C)

Edit: This seems to be my post #1999 => SOON.....

Thank you again Ultimate. Very nice of you to take the time to give such comprehensive information. You make a good case. I want all 3 lights now. Someone early in the 3D thread said the 3D outperforms the DST too.

I finally got to see them at our HD. I didn't bother to buy one. I have played with the other Defiant lights and for the US, they are the brightest lights we can find in retail stores like HD. After modding several of these Defiant lights, I feel the overall quality is slightly sub standard. Plastic lenses, plastic reflectors, (many reflectors have lots of inclusions in the plating - dust and dirt particles), poor threading and soft aluminum, which means the threads start tearing up after continued battery changes. For the average Joe, they are a great light to toss in the pick up and use as needed. Kind of like what Maglite should have done to keep their market share going.

I finally saw this 5C in my local Home Depot. I had no desire to pick one up. There's just nothing about it that appeals to me. I also saw the 2 pack of 2AA lights which were marked down to $11.88.


2AA packs of Defiants?