Review: APEX 5T6 (5 x Cree XM-L T6 | 4 x 18650)

…and flux capacitors instead of batteries, if you want more than 2 seconds of runtime. :3

oh DOC! can i get few more of those flux capicitors for my delorian!

Excellent review!
I still think that this flashlight needs another LED in the middle…


I’ve just received this (the cool white version), and am extremely disappointed by the output.

I also have a Nitecore TM11 (cool white), and my TM11 is BRIGHTER than this Apex 5T6 … no doubt about it. Tested with the same four 3100 mah fully charged batteries, doing celling bounce tests. Not only is the TM11 is brighter, but it has a wider spill beam.

Build quality and finish is _excellent _though, and its one good looking torch.

Don’t know if I received a dodgy sample, but I’m e-mailing RIC about this and hoping he comes up with a good solution.


Update: RIC suggested I measure the current to the led - I’ve done so and am getting only about 1.1 - 1.2 A per lead, meaning much less than “3000 lumen” in total! I’m assuming its just mine that’s dodgy … but also note from others’ measurements the Apex 5T6 is not as bright as claimed.

Thanks for saving me $100+ dollars.

based on Match’s XM-L graph you should have around 2125 - 2250 lumen at 1.1 - 1.2 Amps per led :wink:

Also wondering what size the reflectors are… They remind me of these 18mm reflectors from DX:

Are they a direct replacement? This light with OP reflectors should be a nice flooder…

Hey there JustFit … true, my Apex may produce around the 2200 lumen mark - though _still dimmer _than my Nitecore TM11 - but what I was disappointed about was that I paid money for a “3000 lumen” flashlight and it certainly wasn’t anywhere near it.

If you don’t have anything around the 2000 lumen mark, the Apex will blow you away and you’ll love it! As mentioned the build quality, design and finish is really top notch. However if you want a 3000 lumen product, look elsewhere.

YMMV … other samples may be brighter than mine - I think mine is just a bit “dodgier” than normal …

For the money its still a good product, and RIC looked after me well.

Cheers all,

or you can mod it to 3000lumen
Any suggested replacement driver?

Some great discussions here….

Yeah most definitely this is not a 3000 Lumen light. I think its only around 2000-2250 OTF. Ceiling bouncing it against my TR-J12 the two are about the same, If anything the Apex is maybe a little less. But it could also be the warmer color tint of the Apex playing tricks on my eyes.

Numbers don’t lie!!! Look at the graph and plots. The skyray king has a very stable ceiling bounce output, with relatively little thermal dimming, Despite its LEDs being driven harder than the Apex. IMHO they made a big mistake on the Apex not copying the thermal design of the SR king. The king has its LED heatsink thermal pasted directly onto the aluminum plane that spans the inside diameter of the heatsink bezel. Screws sandwich the LED heatsink between the Aluminum plane and reflector array assembly. The Apex is a completely hollow tube, where the LED heatsink only contacts the bezel around the perimeter. It also looks like they could have used more thermal paste, and a better conducting one like AS-5.

I took the fam out to see a local firework show and had the Apex on HI for a good 30 minutes straight during the night-walk home. With the cool night air circulating it got warm but was no where near hot enough to cause concern. So I think its definitely a GREAT constant-on kind of task-flood light and most importantly for me NO DISCO!!! (that element alone keeps the SR king off my list).

I’d take mine apart if I could, but mine is SOLIDLY built. Seriously I pulled a ligament/muscle in my left wrist wearing rubber gloves trying to unscrew the Bezel on my light. I would add a copper plate and some AS-5 under the LED heatsink. It looks like theres plenty of room in there to play around. I would be a little hesitant to mess with the current sense resistors though, without having a backup source for the OEM driver.

EDIT I just looked at the graph more carefully, focusing more on the Apex VS J12 and my two lights seem to exactly match the data presented in the plots. At no point in my ceiling bounce comparisons does my Apex appear brighter than the J12. The J12 also gets warmer to the touch, and seems to thermally dim at a faster rate than the Apex.

I just killed 1 driver and I have 1 waiting for me . I’ll bench test the new driver with a test load and should be able to
reset and keep it alive. Hopefully output should be set according to spec but i can say that none of the Apex drivers i tested were close…

Can I ask where did you get the extra driver? I’d love to get my hands on a legit ~1.7A board.

where you can get extra driver, I would like to play with some too

I purchased the driver from Ric. I did ask that someone test the driver before it shipped.

for the review _the_!

Guess ric should post it on the web to sell it like the dry :bigsmile:

I would also add the possibility of employing U2 emitters. That alone would up the ante.
As Chicago X implies, it also seems that it is underdriven. How much could it cost to change that?
About the Center Emitter - I’m not convinced it needs it but I woudln’t be against it - and it would probably be difficult for the manufacturer to add (not to mention the lack of heat sink in the middle).
The solid copper heatsink would certainly be a plus:

  1. It would more easily allow the addition of a 6th emitter.
  2. It would allow the existing emitters to be more highly driven - either by a higher output driver - or by 2 drivers.

By the way, I would be interested in this wide-beam light if it had NW emitters as an option.
And last, but not least, I really like the look and the handle!

What is the driver size?

Hi kramer, the strobe function in the SR king is a ‘hidden’ function. When you cycle through modes normally with the electronic switch it goes like this: High -> Med/Low -> Off. You can cycle through a hundred times and you will only ever experience high and low.
However if you want strobe (which nobody does) while it is on you hold down the button for ~2 seconds and then it will switch to strobe mode, another click of the button and it returns to high, then you can cycle through as normal.

The SR king is a great utility light because of the wide spill beam, so if you’re using it to walk your pets at night it’s great (I prefer floodier lights over throwy lights when I am by myself at night as it makes it easier to pinpoint a moving target if necessary [I know, I’m paranoid.]), plus the has rated it to be a tad brighter than the Apex, and coupled with the almost non-existent thermal sag and perfect ratio of flood to throw it’s one of the lights necessary to be in your possession.

EDIT: The side switch is also excellent for one handed operation, now you can just keep a firm grip on it as long as you want.

Ric, for what it’s worth I’d suggest a total re-visit of this light.

Big heatsink behind the emitters.
Drive these out to about 2.8-3 amps each.

The reason I say this is that this light is obviously a good design, well built and has the size/build to cope with higher output.
Except the guts obviously need some serious tuning to allow that.
At the moment it’s a great lloking beefly light that doesn’t compare to some of it’s compititon (King, Dry, TJ12).
It should really be a light putting out between 2700-3300 lumens of the face.

Totally understand the dollars would skip up, but it would be worth it. You could let us know the price and we’d get numbers,
but as she is, there just isn’t enough performance difference to justify pulling the trigger. Build, looks and function do.