LUPINE Piko TL MiniMax / oh, budget light forum ":o)

Making it a poor benchmark for comparison on price. That, and they put out many times more light in say HID so you do get something for your money. And automotive, just as like in lights for bicycling, you can pay far more for no more performance, in fact sometimes less. But I do get personal preference. Theres a torch that was handmade for around $400. It has a makers stamp, and blue o rings. But its limited run. You can get one that isnt hand stamped by its original maker, these are made by approved people, and are a bit less in $$, still not cheap though.

But its a nice looking light.

Got a reply back from Lupine. Wish he would have addressed more of DBCstm’s issues. Just posting it to add more info about the light for those interested:

Hello Patrick,

I somehow tend to stay out of such discussions, so please keep me out of it. There are allways some people who claim, Lupine is build in China, too expensive and whatever.

Fact is, he can visit our facility and measure the output with me if he likes to do that. …you can tell that to him. Where is he living?

Piko TL is using a copper board. The technic we use to bound the LED to the copper board is world wide unique. No other well known, or noname company does it the way we do it.

The LED is soldered directly to the copper, there is no layer in between.

In fact even we were surprized how big the performance increasement had been between copper and aluminium.

Its is german but these guys have been testing the Piko TL up and down and it reaches the 1:20 hours.

Of course there are tolerances but if you measure 1200 or 1150, or 1250 Lumens. This should not be the point to discuss. …btw Francis later did remeasure the lights with a different result.

Piko TL MiniMax never was been build to be the ultimate runtime light. It is the smallest unit with an extreme output.

Our lights are expensive to build since every small detail is optimized to low weight and output. Only small part of the light is not made by Lupine. E.g. the housings are machined in Taiwan.

…for simple reason. We can no way get them in Germany in such a small number we need at the price our customers would be willing to pay for it. Othervise the light would be even more expensive.

Last but not least he is wrong on the cooling fins. There is no big difference if the cooling are like this, or even without. The colling fins are too small any way to play a big role in the performance. The key technology is the controlling of the LED, in terms output and efficency in termsn of runtime.

Best regards,

Stefan Kraus

Dale is right about the specs saying they use an aluminum board.

The 6 emitter ones kind of remind me of led lenser X21.

And I seriously doubt that you will quit buying more lights even you get this one. :slight_smile:
It does not work, I tried.

Figuring out exactly what you expect from a light and getting a light that meets those needs does help slow things down though.

:smiley: this is most laughable part J)
Sorry Lupine for busting your party but while you were contemplating your fame the rest of the world did not sleep in hibernation,
direct copper bonding is not new and it’s not even expencive…

All my lights are on Noctigon or SinkPAD, with many of those directly bonded to several ounces of copper, even 8 ounces under the copper star. I have documented dozens and dozens and the performance at that power level is not attainable out the front with a TIR optic. Not at 30 seconds, nor at 80 minutes. I’m not the only one with this documentation, many others here have done the same thing with very similar results.

The light is on the small side for 2 emitters, it will get hot, the cooling fins COULD actually help that on a moving bicycle if indeed they were facing the correct direction. But alas, they are not, and as such are not likely to make much difference to the overheating of the body, the emitters, the driver and the cells.

I wish it weren’t so. Really, I do. Then I could run my MT-G2 in the little chopped AA MiniMag even harder. :slight_smile:

Edit: I remember the question posed as to where I am. This could be relevant…if the factory testing was done on the light in extreme cold conditions heat would not come into play. Come to Texas, test it on a 114º day, and you will see that heat does, in fact, have a lot to do with output and run time! Days like that, it’s still 100º at midnight. I would assume these lights are sold on a worldwide basis…

I believe you misunderstand. They're not saying bonding is unique, but the process they use is. Examples we commonly use is hot plate, soldering iron or a flame underneath. Some of us use solder and others use soldering paste. Lupine could very well be using a process that isn't exactly matched by anyone else.

So, maybe someone should plunk some bucks down on the table and send one of these to HKJ for testing?

ok, I re-read that and you are probably right, but what else could they use that could be so much better and so much revolutionary? silver soldering!?

It's probably automated somehow. Everyone on this board does it by hand, which usually works well, but it could surely be a lot better even if the difference is difficult to measure. What matters is that they're using direct bonded copper, and maybe that's all that matters since Lupine probably won't share the details of their technique. I know several other premium brands use copper boards, but I've seen very few of them verify that they are using direct bond boards.

If it perfectly met my requirements I might just do that, but my requirements are different than those that drove the creation of this light. For me the H52 is near perfection. Add variable output via a control ring and a lanyard hole without adding weight, and it'd be my Jesus light.

I am confused by this statement. The housing is the only thing unique about the light. Everything else in it, except maybe the driver, can be bought off the shelf… and yet he says that the housing is only thing that they DON”T make?

I don’t get it.

I hear ya, just purchased a vortex scope for one of my rifles. Gotta spread it out.

Regarding direct bonding, we’ve seen tests now that show that direct bonding doesn’t offer much of an advantage at lower drive currents. The Lupine isn’t driven that hard, probably 1.5A per led.

Even if Lupine had managed to build a magical driver that had 100% efficiency, the drive current could not exceed 1.8A per LED [(2mAh*7.2V)/1.33h = 2(3.0Vf*1.8A)].

Here is Match’s direct-bond-to-copper thread for reference. He used a copper slug for the test, not a Sinkpad or Noctigon.

If they use copper why they clearly show and Alumium MCPCB on their website? EDIT seems they are not on their website anymore, but can see here

Also I doubt they have any idea what every other manufacture does, unless they bought every flashlight and broke it down.

The claim is this: "The LED is soldered directly to the copper, there is no layer in between." that is the what they mean by bonding technique, as simply means what circulates around.

Anyway, you want a company that makes a lot of money to tell you their manufacturing process is simple and that you could have access to it? No, it needs embellishing and a degree of mystery like "our way", can't blame them for that.

Not just that.

Note they aren’t saying nobody does direct copper bonding. They’re saying no other “well known or noname company” does it the way they do. They might well be correct. We as flashlight enthusiasts routinely install copper boards with direct copper bonding in our lights… but name a stock flashlight that actually comes with direct copper bonding without any modification.

TN32 or K40L2! maybe!? not sure!

They use a copper Board in the 2013 Version with 1200 lumens. You can buy an upgrade kit for old version. Show me another light where you can do this.


The light is completely developed in Germany and nearly all parts are produced in Germany. (Housing = Taiwan, LED+Boards =China)

They have a superb Customer Service and they offer the complete range of accessoires.

That are the reasons why the lights are more expensive.

The pictures with the Al Board are from the older 800lm Version.

MBI is making a new Zeus 14500 light that is not only direct bonded but has the thermal pad directly bonded to the copper heat sink itself, as far as I know it’s in the way of machining out the star and creating an elevated pad in the heat sink that rises up through the star and the emitter sits directly on this heat sink. This will be the only mass produced light that I’m aware of that does this. There is also a plan to have legoable parts for future swaps and emitter changes.

This light is due by April.

Edit: This is a custom style light made in Japan, should be selling in the $150 range. It will even come with it’s own custom made high discharge 14500 cells. MBI has had these cells made to order and this light will be very unique, high powered, and solidly built like no other before it. A production light built like a custom. Even the pcb is proprietary, with the design and UI completely handled by the owner himself, with every step, every resistor ok’d by Guy after thorough testing.

MBI Zeus, in preparation