I’m going to buy an FW3A as they’re about to go on special on AliExpress, but not sure if I should get the SST20 4000k or the 219CT 4000k. Which one would have the most throw? Pros/cons of each?
I have several FW3A lights ( around 10 ) — The SST20 run very hot, therefore step down very fast — As far as throw goes, this type of light isn’t really known for throw — out of all of mine I like the XPL versions the best — I set the top of the ramp around 800 lumens and it holds it pretty well — If you can find an original FW3A , they’re the best
If you cannot find an original FW3A, ToyKeeper recommends the Emisar KR4 over the newer Lumintop FW3A lights.
The KR4 is more expensive, but according to TK, it's way better than the newer FW3A lights.
KR4 is also considerably larger and heavier. If you’re looking for a really small 18650 light, it’s not a good choice.
Good to know!
I never got a KR4 because I was lucky enough to get two original FW3A's when they first came out.
And now I prefer lights with one emitter over several emitters.
Really good advice so far - I’m looking for something very compact, basically the smallest type of 18650 light with good CRI which is why I thought of the FW3A. If there are any original FW3A on AliExpress, would someone please share a link. The prices at the moment just seem to be almost too good to pass up on the Lumintop store.
I have a FW21 Pro XHP50.2 and that is way too floody for my liking. The FW3A seems like a good EDC due to size if I can get one slightly more throwy than what my FW21 Pro is like. Of course I don’t expect any small triple to throw like my FW21 X9L (my one is copper so a little heavy for EDC or I’d carry it everywhere)…
I still carry frequently carry around my FW3A from the original group buy it currently has 2700k SST20 with zircon 802 filter. It has kaidomain triple optic which pairs well with SST20 for a tighter hot spot. CSNLMN1 would be your best bet for throw in a triple.
It sure would be nice to have a few CSLNM1s in it. I just played around with my SST20 FWAA and I don’t mind the beam pattern on that. An FW3A with the same emitters would certainly be more throwy than that. But yeah I know how they heat up, my Sofirn IF25A with 4 SST20s gets disturbingly hot for the amount of light it puts out.
What’s the XP-L Hi like? I don’t have any lights with that. I get the CRI will be lower but more powerful as well?
i don;t think an FW3A can be a good thrower - it is too short, usually throwing means a long , deep, reflector
either that or the reflector has to be larger diameter than the fw3a can support
I wouldn’t even bother with the modern FW3A tbh.
Too many poor changes making it a worse light.
Good info here on the FW3A in the opening post, including issues with the current version and LED comparisons:
I am very happy with my two early editions; one is from the first run with a slightly newer firmware reflash. It is really too bad they messed with it in the wrong direction.
I have the originals, and they are my favorite lights. I wouldn’t touch a new one, I think they have been ruined, sorry to say. I haven’t been in the loop enough recently to recommend an alternative, but surely there are some.
Is the HL3A Just as bad now?
The fw3x is currently 40usd before tax thanks to the Ali summer sale. It has a buck driver with very good sustainable brightness (better regulation than the 7+1+fet original). It has a brighter moonlight mode than you may be used to. The fuse values are set wrong from the factory, so you will need Hank’s flashing kit to stop certain functions from running slowly, like battery check. Switch seems to be fine on mine and on other’s.
Like racoon city mentioned above, the single emitter, throwier beam profile is more versatile outdoors. Rrt01, sp10pro, zebralight sc64 will be similarly sized. If you need a tail switch, original fw1a and kr1 are your options.