[Review] Wuben E05 - Impressive eSwitch 14500

Wuben E05

I was kindly offered this light for review by Wuben. And umm… I’m blown away. This light is a BEAST.

Edit: it is now listed on Amazon. The list price (as of Nov 5, 2018) is $39.95. Given the brightness, excellent construction, and everything that comes in the box, I feel like that’s a pretty fair price.

Packaging: the E05 arrived in a nicely presentable box with a bunch of goodies: 750 mAh 14500 with built-in micro-USB charging, a micro-USB cable, fabric pouch, silicone diffuser, lanyard, spare o-rings, intro cards, and instructions.

My youngest was anxious to help me with the unboxing

. .

LED Tint: I’ll just start with my least favorite part of this flashlight. The LED is a cold white (think 1A-ish) XP-L2. Some people like cold white. I’m not a fan. So I’ve got a 4000K 80-CRI XP-L2 being delivered today that’ll be swapped in (see post #2).

Modes & UI: the E05 has four well-spaced modes that go L > M > H > T > L > M … with memory. The UI is pretty good: click to turn on. Click again to change modes. Long-press for off. There’s direct access to Turbo from Off via a long-press. Double-click for strobe, another double for SOS. There’s also electronic lock-out (in addition to physical).

|Measured Lumens|2|42|181|1058 → 414|
|Measured Runtime|?|?|181min|63min|
|Spec Lumens|1|30|150|900 → 300 (14500 only)|
|Spec Runtime (14500)|115hr|11hr|3hr|3+60min|
|Spec Runtime (Alkaline)|50hr|6hr|2.5hr|n/a|

Styling & Build Quality: The E05 has a nice, elegant style to it. No aggressive knurling or crazy designs. Even the stainless crenelated bezel is pleasantly understated - the crenelations are only ~0.3mm tall. The glass is AR coated and the LED is perfectly centered. Due to how the (removable) clip mounts, it’s always perfectly opposite the switch. Speaking of the clip, it’s of the rare S-shape (double loop) style that can be used either direction. The signature Wuben “W” switch is set into a stainless surround and covers a blue LED that is used as a battery indicator. There’s also a subtle GITD (glow in the dark) ring at the base of the head. The tailcap houses a strong magnet that easily supports the weight of the light.

Runtime Measurements: The E05 appears to be VERY well regulated. Beautiful flat output. And my estimation of turbo (1058 lumens) is even higher than spec’ed (900 lumens). That’s impressive for a flashlight of this size. When LVP kicked in, the flashlight completely turned off. At that point, I measured voltage at 3.14V. Perhaps a bit on the conservative side, but (in my opinion) better safe than sorry with LVP.

Conclusion: the Wuben E05 is a little powerhouse! 1000+ lumens from a tiny 145000 flashlight? Color me impressed. I really don’t know what this will sell for when it hits the market, but if I were in the market for an e-switch 14500 light, this would definitely be in consideration. Pro’s: great output, decent UI, nice styling, lots of extras in the kit. Con’s: cold white LED with smooth reflector (doesn’t help the XP-L2 any), slightly too long of a long-press for Off in my opinion.

With the included battery; square-cut smooth lubed threads

The head… looking good, non-aggressive crenelations on stainless bezel

The blue indicator light used for monitoring battery levels

Just hanging around with the tail magnet (and showing off that double-loop clip!)

And now for some comparison shots:
Left to right: UltraTac A1, Klarus Mi7, Wuben E05, ThorFire TK05, Sofirn SF14 V2.0, Sofirn SF14

Emitter Swap

The stock LED is a cold white XP-L2, similar in color to my stock Klarus Mi7 but with the XP-L2 tint shift. I prefer neutral emitters between 4000K and 5000K. I ordered a 4000K 80-CRI XP-L2 V3 from Arrow (XPLBWT-00-0000-000HV340G) and swapped it in last night. I’ve heard the Easy White 80 CRI XP-L2’s weren’t as bad with tint shift, but on mine it’s still pretty bad looking. I also picked up a 5000K version (XPLBWT-00-0000-000HV250G) that I might try.

What you see after unscrewing the bezel and removing the gasket (note: the reflector is stacked on top of the lens and bezel ring)

Inside the head after removing the MCPCB, which is 16mm DTP copper

New emitter has been reflowed, the old one next to it

Original beamshot against my flat white ceiling

New beamshot in the same location

Specifications: the output numbers actually didn’t change hardly at all
|Original Lumens|2|42|181|1058|
|New Lumens|2|43|181|1066|

I’m still not fully satisfied with that beam, but I’m not sure if I want to mess around with it any more. I might try the 5000K 80-CRI XP-L2, though I had that destined for another light. I also have some LH351D’s sitting around that I might try.

Don’t forget the triple click to Turbo from ON :wink:
I’ll be looking for your mods mate !!
This surely is a great light and the long press for OFF is the only thing that bugs me the most! Other than that…you’ve said it, it is a very nice flashlight :wink:
Thanks for the review!! :+1:

Thanks for your review! Nice photos!

I like that it can memorize turbo mode as well. This means you can use it as a tactical flashlight. I’m into 14500 size and their 1000 Lumens had my attention. That is until…

I’m familiar with the UI, and yuck. First a long press for off (reminds me of an Astrolux S42) and double clicking brings on the strobe and sos. I’d be in the blinky modes accidentally all the time. I’ll be back when they put in some ramping and drop the blinky modes or allow them to remain disabled.

The wee one looks happy enough with it (Empty box?) :slight_smile:

Oh she was loving it. Unfortunately everything was still in the box. It was quite a battle to wrangle it from her.

At least there is direct access to turbo. And when you use the direct access feature, it’s just a short click to turn it back off.

Not perfect but good enough for my uses.

Factory Specifications table has been updated. Which leads me to…

Ponderings & Pure Speculation: the spec and measured runtimes on 14500 seem to match up too well. My measurements were spot-on to the minute with the specs. How on earth could my High runtime test end just before 181 minutes (like 180.5 minutes), with a factory spec of 3 hours (180 minutes)… that’s too perfect! And battery voltage still being at 3.19V afterward? Likewise during the Turbo test… it cut out at 63 minutes, ending with the battery at 3.14V. Spec is 3+60, exactly my measured time. I’ve never seen a manufacturer time the cutoffs, so perhaps it is purely coincidental. Or is it?

I might need to re-run a couple of these tests with different batteries (such as the 900 mAh Soshine ones I have sitting around) and see if the times are consistent or if they change.

WooW, that is on spot :open_mouth: Nice measurements, yours and…Wuben’s :smiley:
BTW, what Soshine batteries do you have if I may ask?
The Sanyo 14500 (unprotectect flat top), Efest 14500 (unprotectect flat top) and Sofirn 14500 900mAh (unprotected button top) don’t work on my, due to the flat top (first 2) and due to length (sofirn) :zipper_mouth_face:

I hope you can make some pictures of the driver, when you’re modding it.

Nice review by the way :+1:

These are the ones I’ve got. Ugh, now that I see that price again (less than $8 for 4 batteries), I’m tempted to get more even though I don’t need them :person_facepalming:

They’re shorter than the included Wuben battery, but they work ok. If I hit the light hard with my hand it’ll flash due to losing contact, but I have to force it to happen.

Thanks. And I don’t think I’ll be able to get pics of the driver, unfortunately. The tube appears to be glued to the head. At least I can’t twist it with my hands, and I don’t have strap wrenches to try. Thankfully the stainless bezel isn’t glued and I can attack the emitter that way.

Nice looking light and I like the UI. I am really interested to get my hands on one to give it a try
I like 14500 lights for the form factor. Will it run on AA just in case you need a quick battery if the one in it dies?

Yup! Works just fine with AA. You just don’t get Turbo mode.

Cool. Thanks for the review and intro to what could be a nice edc light.

Emitter Swap: complete (see post #2)

Hum, much better tint now on the flashlight :wink: And improved lumens :smiley:
And thanks for pointing out the batteries! I’ll probably need to get one or 2 that are longer than mine, so that I have some spares. These Soshine may be some candidates :wink:

Hey Gchart, do you have any idea if a 16mm MCPCB from MTN is a drop in?

Im not too comfortable reflowing just yet.

It should fit fine. The only thing is I don’t remember if it’s a 1mm or 1.6mm thick MCPCB (I’m thinking 1mm, but I didn’t measure). Worse case if you use a 1.6mm and it was a 1mm is that you’d have a tiny gap between the stainless bezel and the head. You might be able to sand down the gasket a bit to add clearance. What LED are you thinking about swapping in?

Probably a warm XPL2 like you did.