Olight’s beloved M3X Triton gets an upgrade, and by golly it sure is pretty.
Many people are familiar with the 800 lumen Olight M3X Trition XM-L LED, and has been one of the more popular flashlights on our site. To make a good thing even better, Olight tweaked a few things to make the Olight M3X XM-L2 throw farther, and have an even brighter beam.
Bumping the outdated XM-L LED to the brand new XM-L2, the M3X Triton bumps its output from 700 all the way up to 1000 ANSI lumens. There is definitely quite the difference between the old and new versions of the light, especially in the beam distance. Granted that the previous Triton model had a fantastic beam projection, the latest version is pushing distances of 580 meters, which can light up a great amount of land/building/sky/etc. This, combined with the larger emitter of the XM-L2 allows an excellent combination of flood and throw, which is rare to find in lights these days.
While this light is brighter and has a better beam projection than the last model, the best part about this new light is the price. With all of these great new features, the one thing that remains the same is the price. The new torch comes with the same price, set up, but a better performance than the 700 lumen version. The only question to ask yourself, is why you haven’t checked out this light for your next choice?
As of recently, it seems that this is the season of the flashlight companies to release their biggest and baddest flashlights. With Nitecore unveiling its TM26 Quad Ray and MH40, JETBeam releasing the DDR30, and Blackshadow (the underdog that is rising quickly in the ranks) producing the Terminator, it was only natural for the boys and girls of Fenix to show of their new powerhouse: the TK75.
Hosting three CREE XM-L U2 LED’s in the deep reflector, this light can push up to 2600 ANSI lumens. Using the deep reflector for the three XM-L’s allows the beam of the light to be more concentrated than others, which helps boost the throw distance of the light, while maintaining a fantastic flood beam as well.
The interface of the TK75 is perfectly tuned for any flashlight user with the two button layout on the side of the light. The first button is used to turn the light on and off, while the second button allows the user to quickly access the other modes on the light, leaving out the annoyance of twisting the head, or trying to access secret features from a one button switch.
One thing that definitely gives this light a competitive advantage over the other lights is the optional battery extender. Attaching the extender to the light will not only give the user a good defense mechanism (kidding), but will also increase the run time, which is incredibly helpful for long periods of use.
For anyone that has ever purchased a light on our site, you’ve probably noticed the long list of filters that let you choose the characteristics of the LED by type or by the Color Rendering Index (CRI). With the selection that we carry in store, it can become quite cumbersome to keep track with the specific functions and characteristics of each LED and it’s output; which is why this guide has been designed to inform those on all of the modern and most popular light emitting diodes on the market, and some recommendations for lights that use the specific LED or CRI.
Things To Keep In Mind:
Not All Lumen Ratings Are Equal: Check to make sure which lumen rating system the box is using. ANSI tends to be the truest rating, since it measures the light’s beam at three meters out for three minutes. Some companies try to use the OTF (Out The Front) and LED ratings to make them more appealing, but it only hurts you if you don’t check for the ratings first.
Find The Right Use: Finding the proper LED for the specific tasks is crucial. Make sure to take into account what you will be using the light for mostly. Larger LED’s have better flood, and smaller LED’s tend to have better throw. Also, if you only need a light with a high and low mode, then it is not important for you to get the brightest light with the most modes.
Check The Kelvin Rating: The Kelvin rating is measuring the color temperature of the LED, ranging from cool white to High CRI. Keep in mind that the warmer the tint, the weaker the beam will be for the light. If you don’t have a preference in beam color, and want the brightest output, stick with cool white. Photographers tend to choose neutral white or high CRI for its color balance, and makes a great tool to manipulate foreground and background lighting.
Read The Instructions/Maintain The Batteries: This is possibly the most important step of the flashlight process. Read ALL of the provided instructions and information to make sure your light has all the modes that you require, and can run specific battery types. The most common issue with this is the use of RCR123 batteries in lights that cannot run rechargeables. If a light that cannot use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries is being powered by said batteries, it is most likely that the light will overheat, and can ruin the light. If you are using AA Alkaline batteries, make sure they are not left in the light for an elongated period of time, or the batteries will corrode inside the light, and make it inoperable. Flashlight companies will not cover these issues under their warranty services.
XP-G R5: One of three XP-G LED modules that are manufactured by CREE, Inc., the XP-G is a small diameter diode that is used mostly in everyday carry (EDC) lights, or for long distance illumination. On an EDC light, the R5′s size allows the beam of the light to have a better throw with a smaller amount of flood. On lights that have a large, deep reflector, the beam is incredibly focused with a well-defined hot spot and can illuminate long distance targets even better than an EDC light. This LED has a lifespan around 50,000 hours and (on some lights) has a maximum output of 650 lumens.
(Examples: Nitecore EA1/EA2/EC1/EC2, Zebralight SC51)
XP-G S2: The sequel to the R5, the XP-G S2 LED has the same properties and characteristics of the R5, but it is slightly brighter and more efficient with battery consumption than its counterpart. This diode is manufactured by the CREE corporation as well, and can be found in a few special edition lights, and Fenix recently converted most of their EDC line to the S2 LED from the R5.
(Examples: Fenix LD and PD series, Niteye TS20, Armytek Predator, Armytek Viking S)
XP-G2: The latest and greatest XP-G diode from CREE, the G2 LED has been a huge success for small torches by being able to increase the lumen output by 20% while keeping the battery consumption consistent. By doing so, the smaller lights (especially those that are only powered with one battery cell) can produce even more light, which makes them that much more appealing. Foursevens was the first company that we carry to use the new G2, and thus far EagleTac has used it in their D series lights. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the flashlight market was using this diode by the end of 2013.
(Examples: Foursevens Quark Pro and Tactical Series, EagleTac D series, Olight M20s-G2)
XM-L T6: One of the brightest LED’s that can be found in most weapon lights and heavy-duty lights, the XM-L T6 can produce an incredible amount of lumens, and is even more impressive when they are used in a cluster. The XM-L LED is a perfect choice for those that are looking for a fair amount of flood, as the size of the LED produces a larger hotspot which is better for illuminating a larger area (flood). There have been some complaints regarding the tint of the beam having a greenish hue, but it does vary from light to light and will not affect the performance in any way.
(Examples: Sunwayman V20A, Blackshadow Queen, Blackshadow Rook)
XM-L U2: The newer and brighter version of the T6, CREE’s XM-L U2 (Bono not included) is a more efficient LED by allowing a longer runtime and 7% lumen output increase. For those that found the T6 LED’s to be a bit cumbersome with the greenish tint, the U2′s tend to be much closer to the cool white, and rarely have any green coloring in the beam.
(Examples: EagleTac T20C2 XM-L U2, EagleTac G25C2, Sunwayman V11R, Fenix TK35, NiteCore EC25)
SST-90: Meant for larger lights, the Luminus SST-90 is an incredibly large LED that boasts an incredulous amount of power. This diode has been designed specifically for professionals that require a lot of light for a long amount of time. The max output for these LED’s can reach lumen ratings of 2,100, but they come at a price.
(Examples: Olight SR90/SR95, 4Sevens Maelstrom s18, Foursevens MMU-HD)
SBT-90: Besides the spelling, the Luminus SBT-90 has a completely different purpose for its use. Instead of focusing on raw power and flood, the SBT-90 is typically 45-50% weaker in lumen output, but makes up for it in throw. By removing the dome from the LED, the SBT-90 is able to focus the beam into one solid point with very little spill, which has been known to have a range of up to 820 meters (2690 feet). This makes it a great candidate for those that own a large amount of property, and need to be able to light up crops/stock/etc. from long distances. However, while the reduction in output makes this LED weaker compared to the SST-90, the price tends to be higher for lights that use this new LED due to the substantially increased throw of the light. If you wish to have more power, and aren’t really looking for the throw capabilities, it’s best to stay with the SST-90.
(Examples: Olight SR95 UT)
SBT-70: The latest and greatest in ultra-throw technology, the SBT-70 takes the same approach as its predecessor, but has a boost in output and throw. As seen in the new SR95S UT (notice that the Intimidator series adds another letter for every new addition. Pretty snazzy, right?). Believe it or not, the upgraded and improved performance of the LED did not cause an increase in price, and tends to reflect that in the price difference between some of the lights that use the SBT-90 and SBT-70.
(Examples: Olight SR95S UT)
We will keep this document live, so that any new LED’s that are added to the market can be added onto here. There are plenty of other LED’s out there, but these tend to be the most common among flashlight companies. As always, let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about our posts.
There’s a lot of people that tend to think that the bigger or brighter their flashlight is, that the better it will be. However, a big and bright light won’t be of any use if it is out of power, and being stuck in the dark without a light source can be trouble. That is why it’s always a good idea to have a backup light or a key chain light, just like the Nitecore T2S flashlight.
Powered by a single AAA battery, the Nitecore T2S is not a powerful light, but it is a reliable light. The small body of the T2S allows the user to attach the light to almost any point (key chain, backpack, pocket, etc.) that can be easily accessed if needed be. By using a twist head interface, the light can cycle through three modes: low, medium, and high, allowing the light to keep a small profile and making it easy for anyone to use. The body of the light is constructed out of the same heavy duty aluminum as the other higher end flashlights, and even maintains the IPX-8 waterproof capability, making it a great light for handling almost any element.
The largest of the Niteye Bike light series, the B30 has three CREE LEDs that produces a turbo output of 1000 lumens. The light has the same functions and capabilities as the Niteye B20 and B10, but the additional LED creates an even more impressive amount of flood for those late night trail rides. The mount of the B series lights allows the B30 to be mounted to almost any diameter tube, and the high number of threads on the screw ensures that the light will not come off unless done so by the user itself. With the pressure pad attached, the user can easily access all of the B30′s modes by simply pressing the switch, and can be attached to the handlebar with the velcro that is included.
In the second installment on the bike light trilogy, the Niteye B20 bicycle light is the B10, but double the LEDs and double the lumen output. By increasing the output to 1200 lumens, and distributing it between two CREE XM-L LEDs, the B20 is able to create a larger area of flood, which is perfect for mountain bikes that need to navigate quick turns and any possible surprises that cannot be seen outside of their peripheral vision. This medium-sized bike light has the same battery set up as the other B series Niteye bike lights, which allows the light to have an incredibly long run time thanks to its four 18650 cell battery pack. The mount of the light allows the B20 to be attached to the handle bars of the bicycle, or to any other surface if necessary. The pressure switch is used to cycle through the modes of the B20, making it simple and easy to use during any bike ride.
After many requests, we have finally decided to expand our light selection to start carrying illumination tools for cyclists. Better known as bike lights, the ability to mount a light source to the handlebars of a bicycle can really extend any expedition well into the night and early morning. Being easy to use and durable to handle any kind of accidents is necessary, which is why we have picked up the Niteye B10, B20, and B30 bicycle lights.
Starting with the review of the smallest of three lights, the single XM-L LED Niteye B10 packs a great amount of light into such a tiny body. The light produces a turbo output of 600 lumens that has multiple modes that can easily be accessed through its pressure switch. By using four rechargeable 18650 batteries, the run time of the B10 is almost double of a traditional flashlight, making it a perfect choice for those long hauls into the night. The light can easily be mounted to any handlebar with the light’s ultra sturdy mount, which will hold the light snugly to the bike to prevent any movement or slips.
For a compact bike light, it’s tough to match the B10′s durability and superior runtime, not to mention how little room is necessary to use it.
The TF20 is one of many tactical rotary flashlights under the Niteye company, which has shown a lot of promise in their performance and unique application of a rotary ring into a type of light to where the ring is usually seen as taboo. What makes this light stand out from its counterparts is not necessarily it’s applications, but it’s size.
The super slim profile on the TF20 allows the user the ability to pocket the light, or even use it in the holster in a more concealed manner. The light itself is powered by two CR123′s or a single 18650 to produce an output of 480 lumens from its CREE XM-L U2 LED. The modes can be accessed through the infamous Niteye ramping ring that allows the user to select a custom output for the light that includes a hidden strobe feature. The body of the light is constructed of a heavy duty aluminum and the ring is made of stainless steel, making the light very durable and shock resistant. The durability of the light is only complimented by the waterproof IPX-8 rating, making the TF20 a perfect choice for an EDC light or makes a great camping light.
Previously, we covered the new Transformer series from the Rofis flashlight company: an adaptive flashlight that can pivot 90 degrees to be used as an angle light. This time, the light in review is the more power model that is larger and more powerful than the JR series.
The Rofis TR51 is the company’s first attempt at producing a high power handheld flashlight that can be used to illuminate objects at long distances. Using four CR123′s or two 18650′s to power the CREE XM-L U2 LED, the TR51 can produce up to 880 lumens, and combined with a smooth and deep reflector allows a perfect combination of flood and throw. The double tube isolation of the battery cells acts as a more comfortable grip for the user, and allows easier access to the side switch on the flashlight to access the four preset modes.
For those looking for a solid large light that has a great ergonomic design that compliments the output and performance of a high quality light, the Rofis TR51 makes a great choice for any situation or task.
Surefire flashlights are as American as apple pie and baseball, and is most likely a household name for any flashlight enthusiast. Recently, Surefire has decided to expand its market of flashlights into the realm of headlights, with their brand new Maximus headlight.
Using an internal rechargeable battery, the Surefire Maximus can produce up to 500 ANSI lumens from it’s high-power LED, the Maximus headlight is designed to handle extreme conditions, and the ramping function interface to control a custom lumen output combines ruggedness with luxury for a fine quality light. The Maximus has been designed to rotate up and down to 90 degrees, allowing the light to be directed in any specific way as necessary by the user of the light itself.
While performance is important to the user of the flashlight, comfort can also be a big issue, and having a sweat-filled headband can ruin the appeal of any headlight user quickly. By using the Breathe-O-Prene forehead pad, the Maximus is placed comfortably on the user’s head, and actually wicks away moisture from the pad, which will keep the forehead virtually dry and will keep the pad from smelling.
For a rechargeable headlight produced by the biggest name in the flashlight world, the Surefire Maximus sets the standard for all high quality headlamps.