Review: Skyray King (3xXM-L - 4x18650)

Skyray King

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★


Battery: 4 x 18650
Switch: Electronic side switch, Reverse clicky
Modes: 3: High, Low + hidden strobe
LED Type: 3 x XM-L T6 3C (NW)
Lens: Glass
Tailstands: Yes
Price Payed: $79 + shipping
From: CNQG
Date Ordered: March 2012


  • Bright!! (-er than my DRY!)
  • Available as NW
  • Good runtime with four cells
  • Side switch (suits this format very well)
  • Well spaced modes
  • Hidden strobe
  • Tailstands well (and can be used to illuminate the whole room )
  • Good build quality
  • Nice color (something else than "normal" black / silver)
  • Comes in a nice box, lanyard included, suitable for gifting!


  • PWM on low mode (~200Hz)
  • Positive pole of the cell needs to be smooth, or it carves the metal from driver board (see image below)

Features / Value: ★★★★

The light comes in a nice package:

..which contains the light itself, nice lanyard, one extra O-ring and a manual (of some sort - Chinese only!)

Features are good: Two well spaced modes (about 2200 and 300 lumens OTF), nice electric side switch (reverse clicky) and hidden strobe in case you should need it.

UI is good: No memory, so the light always starts on high, which is the most used mode in this kind of light. Another click and you can enjoy the low mode - third click to turn the light off. Strobe is initiated if the switch is pressed two seconds when the light is on.

If anyone is worried about the electronic switch turning on accidentally, I can comfort you by saying that the light can be locked out simply by unscrewing the head about 1/8 - 1/4 turns.

FX-32 and DrJones measured the parasitic drain, which was 1.5mA, which can be considered negligible (with four cells totaling about 10Ah), so no problem there either. Thanks to both of you for helping with this important measure!

Value for money: VERY good. This must be currently the best 3 x XML-L budget light!

Design / Build Quality: ★★★

Design is nice. Short, quite thick and with side switch. Fits my hand perfectly and at least I like the side switch better than DRY's tailcap switch.

Color is a matter of taste. I hesitated at first, but have learned to like the color very much. IMHO the color looks even better in real life. [Maybe the Enzo Ferrari "syndrome" kicked in: "The car is beautiful when it wins" -> "The light is beautiful when it's brighter than competition" ]

The anodization is good overall, glass lens looks nice, and the switch feels as good as an electric switch can feel, so let's see some details..

Cooling fins and the electronic switch:

Three well centered NW emitters, ready to push out some serious amount of lumens:

The threads were smooth, but very dry - requires lubing. The O-ring is well placed and it keeps in place very well:

A look to the inside. Four cells in a smallest possible formation. Nice! Also longer cells like XTAR 18700 fit fine without any problems.

Note the scratched metal on the driver board. It was caused by a sharp edge in the positive pole of some of my XTAR cells!

And please ignore the small dents in the end of body tube - they were caused by my current measurement actions..

Another photo with the cells inside the body tube. This shows how the positive poles are pressed against the driver when screwing the head to the body.

Some measurements:

Length: 133mm

Head diameter: 59mm

Body diameter: 50mm

Tail diameter: 54mm

Weight: 531g with 4 cells (= ready to use), 341g without

..and here's two pictures confirming the measurements:

This light is actually unbelievably short, for example when compared to DRY:

And the bottom line in the quality: Absolutely nothing to complain! Surprisingly good in all aspects!

Battery Life: ★★★★

Good! Four batteries will allow fairly long runtimes.

I tried to measure the current and got results of 5.2A on high, 0.45A on low. [NOTE: The wiring required for the test might cause the result on high to be too low, especially when comparing it to the output (and measurements on thaicpf)] Edit: Re-did the measurements: about 7.5A on high and 0.65A on low. [But I think the wires were still restricting the current. Most probably this monster is eating somewhere between 8A and 9A]

This would give almost 1.5h runtime on high, and over 15h on low!

Light Output: ★★★★

This light is a bit brighter than my DRY NW, so I would classify this as "very bright". Ceiling bounce was measured about 10% higher than DRY on high, and the beamshots below seem to confirm this.

There is some thermal sag, but less than with DRY in Turbo mode, especially the first 10s were bad for DRY. The big body with nice fins seems to take the heat quite well!

Ceiling bounce figures for a five minute run indoors, ambient temperature 24 degrees Celsius (DRY Turbo vs. King High):

After the five minute run the DRY was "almost too hot to touch". King was only "hot", significantly cooler than DRY.

I estimate (ceiling bounce + "known" references) the light output to:

- over 2000 lumens on high (maybe around 2200-2300?)

- about 300 (or a bit less) on low

Beam intensity (measured at 4m, calculated back to 1m):

DRY NW Turbo 20.1kcd

King NW High 22.7kcd, Low 2.7kcd

Two white wall beamshots (WB: Daylight)

Outdoor beamshots (Distance 90m, camera settings: 70mm, 1.3s, f/8, ISO400, WB 4800K)



Comparison to DRY NW on Turbo: (Mouse over for Skyray King)

Summary: ★★★★

Very good flashlight with nice finish for anyone who wants to put out massive amount of neutral white lumens.

This light is actually my new favorite 3 x XM-L and has replaced the DRY NW in most cases.

Highly recommended!

The End (pun intended):

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

Cool looking light, great review! Thanks for posting, -the-. I've thought about getting a Dry, like this better. Such an unusual color.

Great review many thanks for this,

i have some questions:

is the Light regulateded?

What about the runtime?

Do the Xtar 1700 fit?

Can you measure the lightoutput, how many lux at 1m?

Thanks for answering, Frank

Great review _the_! A 5-Star review!

I think you can include a measurement of the parasitic current (around 1.51mA), that's and interesting (and not so useful) info.

Awesome review _The_....One question, are the three reflectors for the KING the same size and depth as the DRY? 5.2a on high mode is amazing!

Thanks for putting all this together to share with us.

So because they're in parallel does that mean it's sucking 5.2A from each cell? That would be ridiculously too much for the XM-L. It would basically be counterproductive. Although, I don't quite know how to translate 4 cells powering 3 emitters that are also in parallel. For my feeble brain it seems like it's overboard.

No, total input current is 5.2Amps (in the’s measurement) that means that the current divides into four because they are in parallel. One voltage, four currents. In this case, each cell gives around 1.3Amps.


This is an important review. I don't regret buying the Dry but if I had it to do over again, I would gladly pony up the extra $20 for this 4-cell powerhouse. This form factor is hard to make pretty but the King almost manages to do it. I love how the tube is cut round for the batteries and the side switch is to die for.

Better looks, higher quality and the piece de resistance; mo lumens!


So I have to cycle through low and strobe everytime I want to turn it off? That may be a dealbreaker for me. My Coleman MC-E does that.

No, you would just cycle through low mode. The strobe mode is sort of hidden.

Although, I don't like the concept of cycling through any modes to turn a flashlight off. It seems clumsy to me. And with these budget lights I'd rather not have an electric switch. It just seems like there's one extra thing to go wrong.

Just think of it as a double-click when in High and one click when in Low :)

YOu could be right about the switch though. That's what putting me off too

Nice _the_ review.

IMO 5.2A = 1.73A per LED(not include other factor ),still too far from 2000 OTF. May be something wrong about measurement or anything both Sky Ray King and DRY .

Someone measured Sky Ray King is around 1600-1800 OTF.

1.73A in bare lumens would be 600, for the XM-L T6 efficiency bin. So emitter lumens. Now we need to take into the consideration the reflector and the glass. That will cut a certain percentage from the light. I would go with POK's 1600 lumens estimation.

Is it not possible to just measure the current draw on one 18650 and divide that by 4? Or is the current draw on 1 cell too high?

And at 1600 lumens, it can't be brighter than the DRY on Turbo then but according to the's pictures, the King is brighter.

That is our estimation based on the current, which is not a precise one, as the current reading itself may not be precise.

My flux estimate is nearly 2400 lm, so I think each LED gets >3A.

But how are you obtaining that flux estimate? Light box? Lux meter? Power draw?

DRY turbo


DRY Turbo


Pics taken from ersecu of Taschenlampe forum.

Both torches are CW. Looks like DRY still has the lead to me, which is inconsistent with most tests so far from the and drjones.

Damn, some great pics there!

Not sure should I or shouldn´t I...

Well, it would be interesting to make a measurement with that integrating sphere and compare it to my previous DRY´s figures.

I re-did my wiring for current measurement and got now results from 7.0A up to 7.7A, which might be nearer the real value. [I'm still not sure about the wiring.. It might still restrict the current a bit?]

Holding the wires and operating camera at the same time isn't easy, but here's some kind of proof of the measurement:

And as I was at it, I thought that I would measure the beam intensity at the same time (@4m, calculated back to 1m):

DRY NW Turbo 20.1kcd

King NW High 22.7kcd, Low 2.7kcd