Review: Calling Mr. Bond - APEX 5T6 (5 x XM-L T6 | 1-4 x 18650)

Mr. Bond, I'm forever impressed by the ubertech gadgets and high-powered (& even higher-dollar) automobiles at your disposal. If I were to create a wishlist of said gadgets/autos, they'd easily fill a small tome. In spite of this, since I first started following your exploits in “The Spy Who Loved Me”, I’ve yet to witness you wield a hi-powered torch. I suppose this is because Q isn't a flashaholic, but fortunately for you, I am.

The name is BB, turboBB... I'm pleased to make your acquaintance, James (if I may).

I happen to be testing a torch I purchased a while back that might be of interest to you on a future mission:

What?, my lab is a bit dark? Yes, it's by necessity due to the type of testing I carry out. Here, let me get the lights:

What you see (and not necessarily For Your Eyes Only) is an APEX 5T6; the latter part of the name means it has five CREE X-ML LED's in T6 output bin but I suppose that's lost on you so never mind that. All you need to know is that it's welding-glasses piercing bright! However, before you go running off with it trying to blind every villain in sight, there are a few details you should know...


Dimensions:150MM(L)*70MM(Head)*50MM (Body)
Weight: 500 gram
Material: 6061-T6 Aluminum; Grey color
Emitter: 5 x CREE T6 1A / 5x T6 3C Neutral White
Current: 8.5A on High ; 3.5A on Mid ; 850mA on Low
Lumens: 2800~3000 lumens
Powered by 4× 18650 (not included)
Modes : High>Mid>Lo With Memory
Switch: Tail cap click switch
With stailess Steel handbar (Removable)

The box it comes in fittingly has a flame-engulfed skull since that’s the likely fate of baddies who may be unfortunate enough to cross your path:

There is a lanyard that can help secure the torch when necessary. There is also a spare o-ring included but given the condition of what (few) items you've managed to return to HQ, I suppose maintenance and care aren't exactly your forte so never mind that too...

James, this torch will be quite unlike any you’ve previously experienced. For starters, the head features a raw aluminum crenellated bezel:

...which I’m sure would suit you just fine in the event you need it for strike purposes; not that I advocate violence mind you; however, I do suppose you employ it as effectively as a diplomat uses choice words to persuade others on a different point of view (but I digress).

The crenellations also allow you to easily see if you've left the 5T6 on when placed bezel down:

The lens isn't AR coated but rest assured there are still plenty of lumens that are getting out of it:

Let me move that lamp out of the way so you can can see those five XM-L emitters without glare. Notice how each is perfectly centered in its own mini reflector? This is critical for LED torches w/smooth reflectors as if it's off, it can create a weird beam profile or artifacts.

There are ample cooling fins to help the torch shed heat but in my testing, it hasn't really gotten all that hot:

This should be good for those exotic tropical locales you frequent.

There are four flat sides to the torch of which two feature laser engraving:

Coincidentally, this particular sample even features your agent number:

There are a total of five hex bolts at the end of the torch of which two are used to secure the handle:

The other three really serve no purpose beyond adding weight and acting as stands to offset the other two so as to allow a stable foundation when you set the torch down for use in candlelight mode (which I'm certain you'll find creative uses for no doubt).

While the SS handle is removable you might find it quite useful (besides, it's the only means to attach the lanyard).

The switch is at the end of the light and is a mechanical reverse-clicky, which means the button must be depressed and then released before it'll turn on (I know you hate following instructions James, but I've prepped a UI section for you on the proper usage of this torch).

While the 5T6 runs on batteries, they aren't the typical off-the-shelf variety that you can simply waltz into your local Tesco and drop a few quid on. The 5T6 requires 18650-sized Lithium-Ion cells and runs optimally on four of them but can still light up on a single
cell in a pinch:

Here's an example of the latest one I was recently sent for testing.

You install the batteries by removing the head and as there is this flat surface for the positive battery contact, you will need to use button-top cells (just be sure to insert them all positive-side up please). There is a spring for each battery within the tube that will help apply upward pressure so they make proper contact w/the base of the head:

Yes, I know, Q would've likely installed a miniature generator capable of supplying infinite power for itself and a power port for all your other gadgets, but need I remind you that he isn’t a flashaholic?

Operation is pretty straightforward in that there are three levels depending on how you like your villans; Well done, Medium, Rare; and always in that order. When you fully depress the switch and let go James, it'll always turn on in the mode that was last memorized. So if last you used the torch you were vaporizing a villian, it'd come on in Well Done. To change output levels, with the torch on, you just lightly depress the switch half-way (so that the torch goes off) and then let go and it should cycle to the next level. The level is also memorized through battery changes. Yes James, I know Q could've made it respond to voice commands but need I remind you that he isn't a flashaholic?

Again, given how you treat agency-issued goods, I think you'll have absolutely no interest with what I'm about to tell you. I feel that you should still pay attention as it's important to understand the limitaton of any device you operate especially given the mission criticality for some. This is not to mention the transparency M would like into what she might be paying for.

The 5T6 is built rather solidly if not spectacularly. It should certainly stand up to the "TLC" you lavish upon your equipment and opponents alike. The anodized finish is done in grey although I'm uncertain if it's Type II or III. Regardless, it is applied evenly with none missing between crevices or sharp edges:

Using the flash on a camera is the easiest way to expose any potential mismatching that might not be caught by the naked eye under regular lighting:

As you can see it's perfectly matched. However, do me a favor will you James? If I lend this to you, promise the next time you meet up Jaws (you guys have been friends since Moonraker right?), might you trouble him to chomp on a corner and I should be able to determine the finish based on the marks left.

Just tell him not to bite on the laser engravings, they are nice and sharp w/no blotchiness and I'd prefer to keep it that way:

The bezel at the tip threads on flush w/no discernable gaps:

All in all, a very solidly put together torch but if I were to levy any criticisms at it, it'd be that the threads aren't square-cut so due care should be excercised when threading the head on/off so as not to strip them. It should be kept well-greased as I did get a bit of grinding especially in the state it was received since there was minimal applied.

The edges of the SS handle could've been better chamfered so as not to dig into the hands when gripped. Despite its relative thiness, it should however be able to stand up to all but the most demanding activity you can throw at it.

Last but not least, there is roughly 3-4mm of play before the rubber tailcap cover touches the switch:

It gives it a slightly mushy feel before the switch is engaged (however once engaged, the switch does have a nice solid tactile click to it). This is more a personal preference so I'm not sure you'd feel the same James... James, are you listening?

Indoors (5m)




For details of the above indoor shots and comparo vs. many other lights, please check Epic Indoor Shots Trilogy

Whitewall Hunting
Exposure settings in sequential reading-order from top left: 1/25, 1/100, 1/800, 1/1600 @ f2.9 on AWB (light is ~.4m to wall / camera ~.59m):

500ft (152.4m) beach shots

For details of the above outdoor shot and comparo vs. many other lights, please check
this thread.

Below is a video comparo featuring the APEX 5T6 @ 13:20. As mentioned in the video, please ignore all my comments re: over-compensation, apparently that only happened on the LCD and was not actaully recorded in the video so there was no artificial increase in output caused by any video exposure compensation:

The relevant battery stats are provided above each runtime graph along with:
- Voltage of the battery at the start and end of the test
- Current draw
- Actual runtime using ANSI FL1 (first in HR and then in M so for the RL3100 on High, read this as 1.4hrs or 83min)
- NEW (as of May 2012): Lumens measured on my PVC LMD @ 30 seconds
- Also for High, captured the temperature: ambient, the head/fins at start and the max it reached (fan was used for all bats)

NOTE: I just got in some RediLast 3400's for runtime testing. They will become a standard part of these tests going forward and will replace the 3100's.

The 5T6 is not regulated on Max and at initial turn on, can hit 2500lms but will immediately start dropping. With the RL3400's, total time to 50% of initial output after 30 seconds was ~125 min and to 10% was 186 or just over 3hrs. As can be expected, the XTAR 2600's featured shorter runtimes w/50% hit by 100min and 10% @ 112. There is a low voltage warning (via blinks) that will kick in when the cells are near 3V, one should pay heed to change the batteries ASAP.

Tempertaure wasn't too bad at 113F max, I unfortuantely forgot to hit the temp button on the Fluke before graphing the XTAR run thus it was saved as mv. Will post an updated chart if I figure out the formula to conver that to F but it shouldn't deviate too much from the RL3400 run.

If an adapter was made, I suppose the 5T6 could run on a single 26650 battery. I'll post that runtime if I ever rig up something.

James, taking all things into consideration, I'd feel comfortable if this torch should ever find itself accompanying you on a future assignment. It's not the most compact by any means but it should serve quite ably for specific missions where you absolutely need to have light and lots of it. I mean, it would've completely obliterated that pathetic amount of light you shot out from the flare gun from what mission was that... ah yes, From Russia with Love.

I realize Nobody Does it Better when it comes to doing what you do and while it doesn't necessarily have to be this particular torch, for Her Majesty's Secret Service's sake James, please get yourself a proper torch (and don't ask Q for suggestions lest I need remind you yet again that he isn't a flashaholic! )

I know this light has been out for a while but I had a particular theme in mind for this review but just couldn't pull it all together so shelved it for a bit. However, was able to put in my research and have nearly wrapped it up. Got a few sections to go which should be up shortly. Hopefully you Bond fans enjoyed it (I blame it on the serial no...)

EDIT: In the unlikely event you haven't already, check out this excellent review of the 5T6 by _the_:

nice !!

nice review turboBB. I watch almost all ur youtube videoes. Anyways what’s a review without ever talking about the beamshots? throw distance and spill? It’s like pitching us a ferrari and no 0-60 mph stats. Just my 2 cents.

Definitely amusing, hope to see some actual measurements like your normal reviews though :wink:

Thanks for the creative and well-written review.

Wow, that's a very sharp lookin' torch! Thanks for the awesome review and beautiful pics turbo beep beep!

Ouu, I just love it, here’s mine against EYE30 0:)

I put some Carbon-Fibre look-alike sticker on all four flat battery case area & the handle as well.

Nice themed review. I still like the Mjölnir one best tho :wink:

Thx guys!

Indoors & Outdoors shots added w/links to threads that have comparo's vs. many other lights. Runtime will come later but in initial testing, it features unregulated output. I measured approx. 2200-2300 lms @ 30 seconds and lux @ 1m to be 19K. However, that can be quite inaccurate at this range since the beam is definitely not fully collimated yet given the spread of the 5 emitters.

Thanks for the review. The James Bond theme definitely keeps it interesting.

You make great pictures and a comprehensive review too. Thanks !

Thx gearjunkie & blord!

All, runtime & output section now posted. Def not 3000lms but still pretty bright nontheless (although non-regulated).


Thanks very much! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

Thanks for a great review. Entertaining also :wink:

Just got a ThruNite TN31 today and am comparing the 2 lights. What I notice is the ThruNite is brighter and has a brighter hot spot and seemingly brighter spill, it has less flood. What I like in my lights like these is light to come to my feet for walking so I can see everything, the Apex does that great, lights up the ground and around in in a perfect 180 degree bubble. The ThruNite does not, there is dark area until you get to the spill. I hope I am describing this correctly or well enough that people will know what I mean, but overall I think I prefer the Apex to the TN31 and will either return or sell the TN31 and keep the Apex. I will give it a couple more days to decide but as of now that seems to be how I am leaning.

Hi all (new one in this forum)

Is there a chance that the tail cap fit exactly to the head lamp ?
I mean can you screw the tail cap to the head lamp without the battery body, with or without the switch plate with springs ?

I know … strange question but I always like to transform all of my flashlights to bike lights or just like a OLIGHT x6 style that I like

Just an idea :

I usually make these tale caps my self but maybe this one is ready


This maybe the first light I will sell. The PWM is really annoying me as I don’t really use the high mode often on this light. I think I’ll stick with the (original) DRY.

Nice review ,and the flashlight is nearly the same as FandyFire 5 X Cree XM-L T6 ,I wonder if anyone can post a review of fandyfire .

This kind of flashlight can be installed a rat tail switch?A lot of times when I push the tail cap switch,the wire always was broken.And for this flashlight,can we changed its bulb into SS-T90?