Review: Ultra Fire UF-980L

You can forget about the 180 day warrantee if you order this light from Manafont after waiting weeks for a replacement Jim at Manafont told me I had to desolder the driver mail it back to him so it can be repaired. It is easier for me to put a driver in from another light or a NANJG 105C from KD I have, hopefully I am the only one to suffer this failure since this s a very expensive budget light.

This thing with E1320 is an epic fail for Manafont as far as I'm concerned.


From where did anyone get the idea that there was a factory warranty? The ultrafire shop has a 180 day warranty (with the condition that the buyer pays the return shipping).

Guys, you were whacking the XM-L at 4A+ or so for several minutes to 15 mins? Respect! The diode can withstand tough abuse.....but under certain conditions. And there is useful lumens to be had at 4A plus, people have done that and with pictures to substantiate.

This is like trying to run a just average heatsinked poor 445 laser diode at about 1.9A / 2W+ power for minutes at a time.

Even at 2.5A, you do not switch it on for 15-20 mins tailstanded in such a 150mm long light (no hand to pull the heat).

When you flirt at the limits, you need serious stuff. (That's a RL-2088)

They probably ment that if you bought from the ultrafire store (if it was the ultrafire company you asked and not the store). And it's still clearly stated that the buyer will have to pay the shipping.

The light would cost a lot more than $43 if return shipping by USPS would be offered freely for everyone that breaks their light (their fault or manufacturer error). Can you even ship the light back for $43 using USPS tracked shipping?

But if Ultrafire promised 180 days warranty without mentioning the ultrafire-shop then ask them about it? Manafont has nothing to do with their promises.

Are there gains over 4A? Sure...a little less than 8 lumens...

I think Groucho Marx said it best: "Who are you going to believe...Me? Or your lying eyes?"

Alright, i stand corrected and I have been more than optimistic. LOL! The U-80 I have is doing about 2.6A here. I am not sure how is the design of the emitter/driver inside as its all sealed up.... but I'll see what batteries I have is gonna max out at below 3A (probably none). The reflector size/shape must be the same anyway for the comparison to be valid, ie no P60 vs U-80/980L shootouts. I'll take some pix when it arrives.

PS. I would believe that the U-80 and UF-980L have the exact same reflector. And the emitters, I don't think they (Cree) vary as much as the HID bulbs? (I'm actually much more into HIDs than LEDs, but LEDs are quite cute and lately the lumens capability are getting pretty decent).

Anyway, seriously...what is important is this....the UF-980L is usd43 shipped. Smile The TD15X has a bigger hotspot though. Whether or not that "useful lumens" is gonna be really useful, i'll leave it to the user and his/her budget. But if one wants a really bright XM-L and throws well, the Catapult is a good option @ usd143. (check out

For really big lumens, it'd still be my first love...HIDs. Laughing

(search for a post by oatmanutd for a shot between Fenix TK35, TD15X and UF-980L). I don't think he froze the UF-980L in a freezer anyway, and Thailand is not a cold place. And if the modes were selected wrongly for the Fenix/Lumintop it would be much much dimmer.

2100, that was an interesting comparison between the 980L and TD15X. The U-80 and 980L may indeed have the same reflector, but that's just a guess... I haven't handled either.

Oh, thanks for linking that youtube video on blue lasers....Now there's another thing I want to build!

445nm and 405nm lasers are VERY addictive. But extremely dangerous as well if not handled correctly. My UF-980L should be coming next week.

TD15X bezel diameter is only 38mm. The Ultrafires are both at about 40+ range (like 43mm). Not sure about depth, but the Ultrafires are pretty deep. I have seen some which are not so deep wrt diameter.

I completely agree that the 980L is insane and the gains over 3.0 amps are negligible but like I said in the review, that very fact, pushing the XM-L past all logic is what I find so endearing about it.

And with respect to E1320; we need to keep in mind that even after I have run my 980L on high for over 15 minutes trying to set my house on fire and over a week later, using it every day at work and at home, so far it has been dead reliable. Not one single flicker or hiccup. It is the equal of any light I have in terms of quality and reliability and it out performs all of them in terms of brightness. My experience might suggest that E got a bum light.


I am really hoping I got a bum light and after taking this thing apart I have noticed a couple things. The Ultrafire drop in from Manafont has the same driver and pulls the same amps with the same batteries also the new DX drop in I got yesterday also has an Ultrafire direct drive driver that pulls the same amps but with a strobe mode that is beyond ridicules. A strobe at 4amps I mean really WTF is this about never mind blinding the attacker this blinds me while I am holding the light. I still think the UF980-L, is a great light but with the number of direct drive XM-Ls increasing by the moment it is not your only option. I guess I expected more from Manafont when I hit the $43 dollar mark this thing does not look or perform like a budget light but it still is and no matter what you are buying an Ultrafire brand and if it burns out, shorts out or dies you will have to fix it yourself or pay to have it mailed to China to get repaired. FYI Manafont does test all of there lights before they ship and I have not received one DOA in dozens of purchases from them yet and my light worked fine for a couple weeks so hopefully my light was a fluke.

One thing to note, don't drive no XM-L on high esp if high/turbo is listed to be like 700 lumens OTF/Out the front (that's a lot!) for > 10 mins. Unless its a well designed 2-cell light (more thermal mass + somewhat more surface area). Good test would be just to hold the light, if its too hot, switch to medium. Very simple rule. Laughing That said, if you think the heat in the UF is bad check out these pocket rocket lights .

IncenDio V3+ Limited Edition (XM-L T6) 280 (1xCR123) / 600 Lumens (1xR123/16340)

Length: 77mm
Bezel Diameter: 21.5mm
Body Diameter: 21.5mm
Weight: 36g (w/o battery) <- yes that's 36 grams of heatsinking only.

For LEDs we have it good. For lasers, you don't get no thermal warning for some "designs" like 405nm Blu-ray, the LD will just die on you without thermal can stick it to a hardcore Noctua HSF heatpipes and all with dual 120mm and put dry ice on it, and it doesn't matter at all.

I don't think it is possible to feed any of these direct drive lights at 4amps for 10 minutes, none of the batteries I have will do that.

You want a pocket rocket, I would pay somebody to put one of these in there front pocket on high until the battery died, it would be really fun to watch.

Apparently the Manafont Ultrafire 3 mode drop-in and the UF -980L have the exact same driver so my dilema is over. I took a driver out of one of my Manafont drop-ins and put it in my UF-980L and put a NANJG 105C back in the drop-in, since I don't need direct drive in a smaller host.

Sheesh....that means the D26 drop in is capable of doing 4A+ as well? That's gonna roast stuff man.... LED surely would have sustained damage.

Yeah you have a good point there bro. IMR probably would do it for 10 mins before quitting, but the initial current dump i guess would fry everything first. LOL! I am wondering how's the discharge capability/curve of the new AW LiNiCoO2 NNP cells (i am not totally sure but i believe the newest Panasonics/Sanyos are also this chemistry?). They are like 18 bucks compared to 9 bucks of the IMRs, i quoted prices the cheapest i can find. I think the protected 18650s are approx 6A discharge capable. So it may not be that far fetched.

PS. Pocket Rockets. I nearly got the UF MCU-C7, but i settled for the Tank007 M10. Too bad its XR-E and not XP-E....but at 16 bucks shipped from Manafont for the 160 lumens claimed one (not the 140 lumens Q2 which is cheaper), only 69mm long 20mm wide, magnetic tail + Type III anodization and excellent built, i cannot complain. One of the smallest lights around, just 10mm longer than the 4Sevens Quarks. That bugger is super well made.

Well well E, that is very interesting but the best part is how easy a fix it is. (for someone like you with appropriate soldering skilz) Hope your light works great otherwise.


Thanks Foy it works exactly the same as it did before it melted down. I had a couple extra NANJG 105C 3 mode drivers that I put in the Manafont drop that I had in a little 501A which 2.8 amps will supply plenty of nut. Now do I go through the trouble of mailing the burnt driver back to Manafont? If it less than the $4 bucks I paid for the NANJG driver I will send it back.

Judging by Foy's pics, looks like there's no thermal paste under the star. First thing I'm gonna do with mine is go to work with Arctic Alumina.