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  1. Introduction Having someone to hold your torch so you can have both hands free is useful in many situations, especially if they are good at pointing it where you want to see and of course, not in your eyes. When no such brilliant helper can be found, a head torch can do just as good a job. Head torches come in many different varieties, ranging from low CRI - high output, to illuminate large areas to high CRI - low output, for illuminating closer, with better quality light. Sofirn sent us one of their head torches to review, that can combine both: The Sofirn HS20. The Sofirn HS20 is a dual head lamp, with independent controls for a high output - low CRI and a low(er) output - high CRI emitter. This sounds like a brilliant idea, so let's delve into it and see how they've done! Unboxing The Sofirn HS20 comes in a generic brown box with the company logo stamped on the top and a sticker specifying the exact model it contains. The torch and all the accessories are tucked inside in no particular order. The accessories include a 1m (3ft) long USB A to USB C charging cable, 2 spare O-rings, the head strap and the manual. The torch itself comes protected in a bubble-wrap bag. There is a label on the torch, held with a rubber band, reminding the end user to remove the insulation paper from the battery (which is shipped inside the torch) so the torch can function. The design of the Sofirn HS20 makes it a dedicated head torch, as it is not convenient to operate in hand. It consists of a tube, with 2 end caps and a protrusion in the middle of the tube, which houses the 2 emitters and their optics. On top of the protrusion there are 2 buttons, to control the 2 emitters separately. The emitter on the left (as you face the torch) is a Cree XHP50.2 inside an orange peel reflector. Despite being marketed as a spotlight, this configuration with a large dye emitter and a shallow, orange peel reflector is not going to focus the light into a narrow beam and have a lot of throw. I consider it instead to be the high output option. The emitter on the right is a Samsung LH351D CRI90 behind a TIR optic, which is protected by a glass lens. This is marketed as a flood light and indeed the TIR optic makes it floody. It is also the high CRI, lower output option. One of the end caps is marked with the USB symbol. The other has the mandatory CE / RoHS / do not throw in the bin markings. Unscrewing the USB marked end cap reveals the USB C charging port. Unscrewing the other end cap reveals the battery, with the insulating paper on top. The battery is a Sofirn branded, button top, 3000mAh, 18650, Li-Ion battery. A brass puck at the back of the driver PCB makes contact with the positive terminal of the battery while a thick, good quality spring on the end cap makes contact with the negative terminal. The torch fits securely in the silicone cradle of the head band and the straps are soft and adjustable. Build Quality The build quality of the Sofirn HS20 is... OK. All parts fit together nicely and the anodization is uniform but there are some milling defects that can be seen under the anodization, especially on the edges of the milled grooves at the back. This has no functional consequences whatsoever, of course, but it detracts from the aesthetics. Specifications The specifications of the Sofirn HS20 as found on the company's website can be viewed below. The high output Cree XHP50.2 emitter has a CCT of 6000K-6500K and a CRI of 70 while the high CRI Samsung LH351D emitter has a CCT of 5000K and a CRI of 90. The USB C port facilitates fast charging with 2A current and can charge the included battery in 2.5 hours. User Interface The Sofirn HS20 features one switch per emitter, for fully independent control. From OFF: Click throw / flood button to turn on throw / flood emitter. Press and hold to select modes low / medium / high. Click to turn off. Double click throw / flood button to turn on throw / flood emitter on Turbo. Click to turn off. Triple click any button to activate lock out. The flood emitter will flash twice. Clicking any button while in lock out mode will make the flood emitter flash twice to indicate the torch is in lock out mode. Triple click throw / flood button to go out of lockout mode and turn on the throw / flood emitter. Press and hold throw / flood button to turn on throw / flood emitter on Eco mode. Keep holding for more then 1sec to go to and cycle through the standard modes: low / medium / high. Click to turn off. From ON: Click the throw / flood button to turn off the throw / flood emitter. Double click the throw / flood button to go to Turbo on the throw / flood emitter. Click to return to the previous mode. Triple click any button to cycle through throw / flood / throw + flood. Long press the throw / flood button to select modes low / medium / high on the throw / flood emitter. Click to turn off. The switches are also lit, to provide information on the battery level. Modes and Run Times The Sofirn HS20 has 5 modes for each emitter: Eco, Low, Medium, High and Turbo. The output of each mode for each emitter as well as the 2 emitters combined together, according to Sofirn, is shown in the following table. My measurements are in the table below in orange, while the company specifications are in black. It looks like the specifications of the Sofirn HS20 are quite accurate! Size Comparison Here is a side by side photo of the Sofirn HS20 with the Sofirn HS10. The Sofirn HS20 is quite compact for a dual emitter head torch with a 18650 battery. Photometry I took some photometry readings with an Opple Light Master Pro. The results are in the following table. The CCTs of both emitters seem to be warmer than spec. The CRI readings are what is expected. On the other hand, it looks like the Opple Light master pro has trouble reading the Duv of the Cree XHP50.2 emitter, which, as you can see in the following photos, taken with a white balance of 5500K, is definitely not on the rosy side. The photos show the Sofirn HS20 on the right, compared to the Sofirn HS10 on the left. The Sofirn HS10 uses a Samsung LH351D 5000K emitter, which is the same with the Sofirn HS20 flood emitter. On the first photo we see the Sofirn HS20 spot light, on the second the flood light and on the third, both. Beam Profile As there are 2 emitters with their separate optics in the Sofirn HS20, we have 2 beam profiles and of course, the combination of both. The first photo shows the beam profile of the spotlight, with the Cree XHP50.2 emitter and the shallow, orange peal reflector. The second photo shows the beam profile of the floodlight, with the Samsung LH351D emitter and the TIR optic. It is obvious that the first has a tighter hot spot than the second and as it also has more output, it is certain it will throw further. In the last photo, we have the combined beam profile of both emitters. Beam Shots Here are some beam shots of the Sofirn HS20 flood light, spot light and dual emitters, at Low, Medium, High and Turbo. The following video shows a comparison of the Sofirn HS20 to the Sofirn HS10, on Turbo, using both emitters of the Sofirn HS20. The distance to the end of the alley is 70m. Driver The driver of the Sofirn HS20 features thermal step down, reverse polarity protection and low voltage protection. It is a FET driver and uses PWM on all modes to control the output. The PWM is of high frequency and not visible to the eye. Here is the PWM when only the spotlight is on: Here is the PWM when only the floodlight is on: And this is the PWM with both emitters on: The camera can see the PWM but the eye cannot. Current Draw The following table shows the current draw of the Sofirn HS20, using the included battery. Charging The Sofirn HS20 comes with USB C onboard charging. The battery included with the Sofirn HS20 is rated at 3000mAh and I measured it at 3043mAh. The battery's internal resistance was measured at 50mΩ. It looks like the battery included with the Sofirn HS20 is of high quality. The torch has under voltage protection and turns off when the battery voltage drops to 2.88V. Charging the battery of the Sofirn HS20 is very easy. Just plug the included USB A to USB C cable and any USB charger that can provide the required maximum current of 2A into the USB C socket on the torch to charge it. Using a lower output charger will still work but the charging will be slower and take more time. There is also support for USB C to USB C cable charging. The indicative LED next to the USB C socket will turn red while the battery is charging and green to indicate a full charge. Charging the Sofirn HS20 battery from 2.88V to 4.12V, where the charging terminated, took 2 hours, 28 minutes and 2 seconds, which is in accordance with the 2.5 hours charging specification. The maximum current drawn was 1.7688A. Output & Runtimes The Sofirn HS 20 is rated at a maximum output of 2700 Lumen and a maximum throw of 136m. I do not own a multi thousand dollar worth integrating sphere, just a logging Lumen meter and a home made integrating tube. The array is calibrated with 3 separate, professionally measured lights and gives me consistent results, but there is definitely room for error and deviations are to be expected. Running the Sofirn HS20 with the included battery and using both emitters yielded a maximum output of 2616 Lumen at turn on and 2456 Lumen at 30 seconds (ANSI). That is very close to spec. The outputs of the spotlight and floodlight emitters were also up to spec. You can see the full runtimes of each emitter separately and both together, on Turbo, in the graph below. Here are the first 10 minutes, in greater detail. I measured the throw of the Sofirn HS20, using the included battery and both emitters, at 138m (4732cd). The spotlight was measured at 127m (4002cd) and the floodlight at 71m (1271cd). Conclusion The Sofirn HS20 is a value for money, dual head torch that includes a high CRI floodlight and a high power spotlight with independent controls and an intuitive and simple user interface. It comes with a comfortable, adjustable head strap, USB C 2A charging and a 3000mAh 18650 battery. The build quality is good and the design is very functional, but the finish could be better aesthetically, as there are some small imperfections in the milling, under the anodization. The driver uses PWM to control the output in all modes, but the PWM is high frequency and not visible or in any way tiring to the eye. The driver also has thermal regulation, low voltage protection and reverse polarity protection. If you are in the UK, you can purchase the Sofirn HS20 from Amazon for £56.99, minus a 10% voucher available at the time of this review. From anywhere in the world, you can purchase it from the Sofirn Website for $41.99 plus the tax for your country. For Greece, the tax is $5.46 and brings the total cost to $47.45. Let us summarise the pros and cons of the Sofirn HS20. Pros + Dual emitters, 1 high output Cree XHP50.2 and 1 high CRI Samsung LH351D, with independent controls. + Simple and intuitive user interface. + High and true to spec output. + Temperature regulation, low voltage protection and reverse polarity protection. + USB C 2A onboard charging with USB C to USB C support. + 3000mAh 18650 Li-Ion battery included. + Comfortable and adjustable head strap. + IP68. + Value for money. Cons - Small imperfections in the milling, under the anodization.  TheLAB.GR Thanks to Sofirn for providing the torch for review Polymeros Achaniotis 13/04/2022
  2. pol77

    Sofirn Q8 Pro

    Introduction There are not many occasions in my every day life where I need more than an EDC sized torch, but there is always some excitement and a smile when wielding a torch of larger proportions and ridiculously high output. Today is such an occasion, so with some excitement - and a smile - I present to you the most powerful torch Sofirn has to offer: The Sofirn Q8 Pro. The Sofirn Q8 Pro is a soda can type torch which promises high output, long run times, a good user interface and other interesting features, all at a very affordable price. Let's put that to the test, shall we? Unboxing The Sofirn Q8 Pro comes in the usual unassuming, generic brown cardboard box that Sofirn likes to use. If it keeps the cost down, I am all for it. Only, in this case, there are two boxes. Inside one of them, we find the torch, protected in bubble wrap, a 1 meter long USB A to USB C charging cable, 2 spare O-rings for the battery tube and 1 spare O-Ring for the bezel, a spare button cover and the manual. The other box contains the optional holster and diffuser, found on the company's website but not offered on Amazon.co.uk at the moment. The torch comes with a little tag, secured around the body with a rubber band. The tag explains that there is an insulator in the battery compartment, stopping the batteries from making contact and thus rendering the torch inoperable, for safe shipping. The insulator needs to be removed before the torch can be used. The Sofirn Q8 Pro is a black, cylindrical light, 132mm long and with a diameter of about 59mm at its widest point, which is the front bezel. The body features knurling which allows for a secure grip without being too aggressive. The button is rubbery, textured and slightly raised, so it is easy to find by touch, but can also be pressed while in a backpack or in a (very large) pocket. Thankfully, there is a lock out option to cover that contingency. The area around the button has some heatsinking in the form of fins, while at 90 degrees to its right there is a rubber flap. Lifting the flap, reveals the USB C charging port. Another 90 degrees to the right, at the exact opposite side of the button, we find a standard 1/4" threaded hole that allows the torch to be mounted on a tripod. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so I will not presume to tell you if the Sofirn Q8 Pro looks good or not, but I can definitely say that it is an elegant and unassuming design that seems to mean business. That is even more true about the business end of the light, which features a quadruple orange peel reflector with deep enough cups to add a bit of throw. The emitters at the bottom of those cups are 4 Cree XHP50.2 6500K LEDs. The battery compartment can be accessed by unscrewing the light into two halves and contains 4 batteries. The front side has an insulator covering which must be removed to reveal the circular battery contacts. The threads are square cut, come pre-greased and operate smoothly. The batteries are Sofirn branded 18650 Li-Ion and rated at 3000mAh. The inner circular battery contact is for the positive contacts of the 4 batteries while the outer circular battery contact gets the negative via the metal body of the battery compartment. The metal body of the battery compartment gets the negative from the batteries through 4 thick double springs at its bottom. The thickness of the springs, the fact that they are double and the whole design seems capable of transferring the power of the batteries to the driver with minimal losses. It is also easy to mechanically lock out the torch by unscrewing the battery compartment by half a turn, thus breaking the contact between its non anodized lip of the battery compartment and the outer circular contact of the head. The driver is secured with 2 screws, which can be removed to access its other side. There, we see 2 black and 2 red cables, that transfer the current from the driver to the emitters. I am not sure why double cabling was preferred to using a bigger gauge cable, but it certainly will help to transfer power with less resistance. The 5 white cables are for the switch and its indicative LEDs. There are no programming pads on the outer side of the driver to update the firmware of the ATTiny85 chip that controls the torch, but the easy access to the inner side means that the same can be accomplished with a SOIC clip directly on the chip. With the insulator out of the way, the Sofirn Q8 Pro s ready for action, which is indicated by the 2 green LEDs on the switch. The diffuser is plastic and fits on top of the torch when it tail stands, but is loose and will fall if the torch is lifted up and tilted. It can also break if it is dropped. I would definitely prefer a silicone diffuser. The holster is adequate and closes securely via a hook and loop stripe at the front. It is functional but I would prefer it if it was made from a thicker material. The back features both a sewn belt loop, as the most secure option and another that is secured via hook and loop, to allow fastening the holster to a belt without unfastening the belt. The holster also features a plastic D ring. Quality The build quality of the Sofirn Q8 Pro is very good and on par with other Sofirn lights. The fit and finish are excellent, the knurling is of good quality and the anodization is without any flaws. The addition of a stainless steel bezel is welcome and adds protection and aesthetics. Specifications The specifications of the Sofirn Q8 Pro, as found on the company's website, are as follows: The torch features 4 Cree XHP50.2 emitters with a CCT of 6500K (cool white - there is also a neutral white version at 5000K) which provide a maximum output of 11000 Lumen and a maximum throw of 400m. It is powered by 4x 3000mAh 18650 Li-Ion batteries, is USB C rechargeable and incorporates a power bank function. The Sofirn Q8 Pro is made of aluminium and is 134mm long and 59mm wide at the bezel. The weight without the batteries is approximately 408g (I measured 418g without the batteries and 604g with the batteries). The Sofirn Q8 Pro is water proof rated equivalent to IPX8. User Interface The user interface of the Sofirn Q8 Pro is a love or hate deal, as the light features the Andúril2 UI. Personally, I love it and deeply enjoy the fact that it is feature packed but still provides simple, quick and intuitive access to the basic functions. Others hate it and consider it too much work, as the manual is extensive and even the flow chart found at the company's website can be intimidating to look at. Andúril2 offers a Simple UI, which the torch comes set to, that allows for all the basic functions, while remaining relatively simple. 10 clicks and hold the last, and you enter the magical realm of the full Andúril2 experience. Give it a chance! You will love it! In my experience, after the initial shock, it is very easy to start using Andúril2 and have an occasional look at the flow chart to remind oneself of the more advanced functions. An important thing to do when you take any Andúril2 light out of the box is to perform a temperature calibration, as the light will depend on it to perform proper thermal control and balance brightness with temperature. That is also the best time to set the temperature limit. I find 50°C to be a good temperature limit and the tests done in this review were done on a calibrated light and with a 50°C temperature limit. Size Comparison The following photos offer a direct size comparison of the Sofirn Q8 Pro to the Olight X7R. the Sofirn Q8 Pro is slightly longer but has a smaller diameter at the head. Tint and Beam Shots The tint of the Sofirn Q8 Pro is the cool, greenish (above BBL) tint that is expected of the Cree XHP50.2 emitters. It is very similar to the tint of the Olight X7R. The XHP50.2 used in the Sofirn Q8 Pro are not high CRI. We can also see from the angle of the beams that the Olight X7R has a floodier beam pattern than the Sofirn Q8 Pro. The beam pattern of the Sofirn Q8 Pro is a product of the LED type and size and the reflector it uses. With the 5x5mm Cree XHP50.2 emitters and orange peel reflector, it is not surprising that the result is a floody beam but the depth of the reflector cups adds some throw. There is a wide hot spot surrounded by a corona ring and a smooth flood of light. I tested the Sofirn Q8 Pro over a distance of 70m. The following video shows a comparison of the Sofirn Q8 Pro to the Olight X7R. Driver The driver of the Sofirn Q8 Pro is a linear, unregulated driver that uses PWM to dim the light, on all levels, except, of course, on full. The PWM is visible to the camera but not visible to the naked eye, on any level. Even though I prefer constant current drivers, PWM is an efficient and cost effective way to achieve LED dimming and if it is done at a high enough frequency, as seems to be the case here, it is not a problem. The driver features thermal regulation, low voltage protection and reverse polarity protection. Current Draw The lowest setting of the Sofirn Q8 Pro (floor of the ramp) only draws 3mA. The top of the ramp draws 8.03A and Turbo requires 22.4A. You can run the Sofirn Q8 Pro with all 4 batteries or with 3 or 2 or even 1 battery. Each of the batteries provided with the Sofirn Q8 Pro can output up to 10A (tested) so in order to get full brightness on Turbo you need to use at least 3 batteries. All measurements were taken with all 4 batteries in the torch. Charging The batteries included with the Sofirn Q8 Pro are rated at 3000mAh and I measured them to be right around that number (2953mAh / 3016mAh / 3032mAh / 2997mAh) The torch has under voltage protection and turns off when the battery voltage drops to 2.9V. The batteries' internal resistance was measured at around 50mΩ (50mΩ / 53mΩ / 54mΩ / 40mΩ). It is clear that the batteries included with the Sofirn Q8 Pro are of high quality. Charging the Sofirn Q8 Pro is very easy. Just lift the rubber cover and connect the provided cable or any other USB C cable to the charging port and its other end to a charger. Both USB A to USB C and USB C to USB C cables can be used as well as any charger, including the ones that support PD. This is very convenient as you can charge the Sofirn Q8 Pro with any USB C cable and charger you have at hand. The blue indicative LEDs on the switch blink while the light is charging and stay steadily on when the charging is completed, at 4.19V. Charging the Sofirn Q8 Pro from 2.9V to 4.19V took 4 hours, 51 minutes and 7 seconds. The maximum current drawn was 2.8385A, so a charger that can provide at least 3A is recommended to achieve the fastest charging speed. A charger is not provided with the light but you can use your phone charger. Power Bank Function A very nice feature of the Sofirn Q8 Pro is its ability to function as a power bank. When the power bank function is in effect, the red indicative LEDs turn on. There is no information available regarding the current that the power bank function can provide through the USB C port so I had to investigate. I found that the Sofirn Q8 Pro can provide a maximum steady output of 3A for 2 hours, 19 minutes and 19 seconds. The output is very stable and the end of the test the voltage of the batteries was 3.15V. The power bank function provided a total of 34.8759Wh while discharging the batteries from 4.19V to 3.15V. Charging the batteries from 2.9V to 4.19V requires, as we saw in the previous section, 48.9621Wh. This means that the power bank function has a efficiency of over 71%, without even taking into account that there is still some energy remaining in the batteries as the power bank function stops when their voltage drops to 3.15V and they can still be discharged to 2.9V by using the torch. Output & Runtimes The Sofirn Q8 Pro is rated at 11000 Lumen output and 400m of throw. I do not own a multi thousand dollar worth integrating sphere, just a logging Lumen meter and a home made integrating tube. The array is calibrated with 3 separate, professionally measured lights and gives me consistent results, but there is definitely room for error and deviations are to be expected. According to my measurements, the maximum output (at turn on) was an impressive 14310 lumen, which is 30% more than the advertised 11000! ANSI output (at 30 seconds) was 13365 Lumen and 45 seconds it was still 13320 Lumen. Then the output declined steadily to 8859 Lumen at 1 minute, 4396 Lumen at 1.5 minutes and 2277 Lumen at 2 minutes. It remained at that level until 00:05:45 and then dropped to 1359 Lumen. The rest can be seen in the graphs below. The first graph is the full runtime graph that my equipment can record with a sampling interval of 5 seconds. At 29 hours, 9 minutes and 55 seconds, the Sofirn Q8 Pro was still on, with an output of 0.5 Lumen. Most of the action happens in the first 5 hours though, so here is a graph that shows that part of the runtime in greater detail. And here are the first 10 minutes. The temperature was very well controlled, as you can see in the runtime graphs. The head and body temperatures are very close, which shows the excellent thermal conductivity of the torch. The torch was temperature calibrated, according to the manual, and the temperature limit was set at 50C. The actual temperatures near the button and on the body of the torch can be seen on the graphs and were kept well within the set limit. All in all, the Sofirn Q8 Pro gave outputs of over 1000 Lumen for over 3 hours and 40 minutes, when turned on at Turbo, which is very respectable, especially considering the very high initial output. Usage at more moderate levels, will of course, result in higher runtimes. The maximum intensity of the light was measured at 52241cd, which translates to a throw of 457m. That is 14.25% more than the 400m advertised. Conclusion The Sofirn Q8 Pro is a value for money, soda can sized torch that will not disappoint. Its aluminium body is well made and hard anodized and the fit and finish is beyond its price point. The size and weight are good for its output rating and the 4 provided 3000mAh 18650 batteries allow for ample runtime. The maximum measured output of 14310 Lumen is 30% over the advertised 11000 Lumen, which is very impressive, and the beam profile is well balanced. The tint of the Cree XHP50.2 LEDs is a cool, above BBL (greenish) tint and the CRI is low, but this is countered by the high lumen output these emitters allow the torch to achieve. The driver is linear (unregulated) and uses PWM to dim the output, so PWM is present at all output levels, except on Turbo. The frequency of the PWM is high enough to not be visible to the naked eye and did not tire me when using the light. The Sofirn Q8 Pro can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk in a kit with the batteries but not with the diffuser and holster and the cost at the moment this review is written is £89.99. Sofirn have provided a 30% discount code for the readers of this review, which brings the price down to £62.99. That is a very competitive price for a torch that can provide over 14000 Lumen and incorporates USB C charging and a power bank function at 3A. The discount code is: polymeros30 For the rest of the world, the Sofirn Q8 Pro can be purchased directly from the Sofirn website on its own, as a kit with the batteries or as a kit including the batteries, diffuser and holster. Disclaimer: I get absolutely no percentage of the sales or any other personal benefits from Sofirn, except for the fact that the torch was provided for review free of charge. Let's list the Pros and Cons of the Sofirn Q8 Pro: Pros + Value for money + Maximum output of 14310 Lumen (of 11000 advertised) + Maximum throw of 457m (of 400m advertised) + Power bank function at 3A with good efficiency + USB type C charging at 3A + Aluminium Alloy construction with good fit and finish + Low Voltage Protection which turns off the torch when the battery voltage drops to 2.9V which preserves the health of the batteries + Thermal regulation + Well balanced beam + 4x 18650 Li-Ion 3000mAh (actually measured) high quality batteries included + Low power, charging and power bank function indicator LEDs on the switch + Andúril2 UI + Lighted button with indicative LEDs + IP68 + Compatible with all button top 18650 batteries + A diffuser and a holster can be purchased from the company's website at low cost Cons - The driver is not regulated and uses PWM to dim the emitter - The quality of the optional holster could be better - The optional diffuser is made of plastic while a silicone diffuser would be better  TheLAB.GR Thanks to Sofirn for providing the torch for review Polymeros Achaniotis 01/10/2021
  3. pol77

    Acebeam E70-AL

    Introduction This review is brought to you by a stroke of good luck. I was looking at the Acebeam E70-AL as the design and specifications had caught my eye, when I stumbled upon a giveaway the company was doing on BLF. Tyche ruled in my favour and upon receiving my prize, I decided that a review was in order. Acebeam is well known amongst torch enthusiasts as a higher end company and both their products and their price tags reflect that. The Acebeam E70-AL may not be the most value for money option available but the specifications and quality are way beyond what you will find in budget friendly lights. Are you interested to see what the Acebeam E70-AL has to offer? Let's start at the beginning. Unboxing The Acebeam E70-AL comes in a white box with a clear window that allows a view of the light. The box emphasizes the 5 year warranty and the high efficiency, constant current boost circuit, both attesting to the high quality of the Acebeam E70-AL. The back side of the box does not offer any more information on specifications, but rather the company address, a few QR coded links and the usual certification logos. The top and bottom have no print, so nothing to show. One of the longer sides lists the possible applications of the light while the other shows if the battery is included, the LED colour temperature and a warning regarding safe usage. Regarding the LED choice, there is 6500K which is what my prize came with, 5000K and another option not depicted on the box, which has recently been added to the company's website, a 95+ CRI 4500K LED. The 6500K and 5000K are 6V LEDs while the 95+ CRI 4500K is a 12V LED and comes with a different driver. The output of the 6500K emitter is rated at 4600 Lumen, the 5000K 10% less (according to an company representative) and the 95+ CRI 4500K emitter at 2500 Lumen. The box features magnetic closure and opens like a book to reveal its contents and a thank you note from the company. The accessories include a charging cable, 2 spare O-rings, a storage bag and a lanyard not pictured here as it came attached to the light (as seen in the photos above). The leaflets include the manual, a warranty card, safety instructions and a note explaining the battery is in the light and the insulation sheet needs to be removed before use. I removed the lanyard to better show the light, which features a unique design. The Acebeam E70-AL is made of aluminium and has flawless machining and anodization. The anodization of the main body is black and there is an inner tube which is anodized blue. The design is very harmonious and pleasing to the eye. The bezel is crenulated and the head features alternating circular and oblong designs which work well together. The 8 oblong grooves are meant to house 12x2mm tritium vials according to Acebeam, but are not deep enough to completely cover them, measuring only 1.60mm in depth. As the glass tritium vials are very fragile, protruding equals 100% chance of breaking. There are some hard to obtain 11.5x1.4mm and 10x1.5mm tritium vials that would fit nicely but even if you can find them, the colour choice is quite limited. I would suggest to Acebeam to either make the grooves deeper by 0.5mm or, if not possible, to not advertise them as fit to house 12x2mm tritium vials. The body of the light features a helix design, with cut outs revealing the blue anodized inner tube and creating a beautiful visual effect. It also features 6 oblong grooves where it connects to the head that are meant to house 6x1.5mm tritium vials and are perfectly sized for it. The tail part of the tube features tapped holes where the simple and functional clip comes pre-attached. There are 3 sections at the back end of the body. One with the clip installed, one with tapped holes, where the clip could be moved to - no idea why though - and one with bigger holes, where the lanyard came pre-installed. Removing the lanyard is very easy but re-installing it requires thin tweezers, hence why the company probably opted to ship the light with the lanyard already installed. In total, the Acebeam E70-AL features an intricate design which looks quite busy but still harmonious and pleasing to the eye. The machining of such a design is not an easy feat, especially with the level of detail and quality we see here. The business end of the light comes with a protective plastic film, which must be removed before use. Under the protective film, we can see the shallow orange peel reflector and the Cree XHP70.2 emitter. The combination of such a large LED with the shallow OP reflector guarantee a very floody beam. The back end of the light is quite simple. It is where the switch for the operation of the light is located. I like the simple, recessed design of the switch which allows the light to tail stand and helps to protect from accidental activation. The web address of the company is printed in white, which I find unnecessary and deducting from the aesthetics of the light. I do not mind the name of the light and the hot warning symbol printed at the front, but I would also prefer it if the CE and crossed out bin symbols were omitted. The head and body unscrew to reveal that the battery ships inside the light, with the positive terminal insulated for safety. The threads are square cut, smooth and come nicely greased. The battery is an Acebeam branded 21700 Li-Ion battery, rated at 5100mAh and it features a USB C port near the positive terminal. Both battery contacts feature thick, good quality springs. These are probably adequate, but I would have still liked to see double springs or spring bypass wires in such a powerful light, to reduce the resistance even further. This would not have changed the brightness, as the Acebeam E70-AL features a boost driver, but could have helped a little with efficiency and run times. As mentioned before, there is an inner tube, as the light features an electronic switch at the back and both the negative terminal of the battery and the switch need to be connected to the driver. On the driver end, the silver ring seen on the perimeter contacts the outer tube and connects to the battery negative and the two gold plated contacts near the perimeter connect to the inner tube and transfer the switch presses. The spring in the middle of the driver makes direct contact with the positive terminal of the battery. Having springs on both ends makes the light resilient to bumps and drops, as the battery is suspended between two springs under pressure and is not likely to momentarily disconnect and turn the light off. Quality We have already seen the extraordinary quality the Acebeam E70-AL has, for a production light. Even at close inspection, both the machining and the anodization are perfect. No edge is sharp, not a single spot less than perfectly anodized. This is indeed a top quality light. Specifications The specifications of the Acebeam E70-AL, as mentioned on the company's website, can be seen in the following table: The Acebeam E70-AL is made of aerospace grade aluminium which has premium type 3 hard anodization. It features the very powerful Cree XHP70.2 LED which allows it to achieve an impressive maximum brightness of 4600 Lumen. The maximum throw distance is 240m, which means that the light is very floody, as expected from the configuration of the LED and the reflector. The Acebeam E70-AL is quite resilient and sturdy, with an IP68 water proof rating and a 1m impact resistance User Interface The user interface of the Acebeam E70-AL is simple and intuitive. Despite featuring a recessed button, a lock mode and the ability to hard lock the light by unscrewing the head 1/4 of a turn, a double click is required to turn the light on. This prevents accidental activation of unlocked lights and protects even the most careless of users from accidental activations, which would be disastrous with such a powerful light. The user interface of the Acebeam E70-AL is as follows: From Off Double click to turn on (with memory for the 4 main modes), click again to turn off. Click and hold from off to turn on at Moonlight mode. Keep holding until if flashes three times to lock the light. Click and hold again to unlock into Moonlight mode. Triple click for Strobe. Click to turn off or double click for Turbo. From On Click to turn off. Hold to cycle through the main modes (Low, Mid1 ,Mid2, High). Double click for Turbo. Double click again to return to previous mode. Triple click for Strobe. Click to turn off or double click for Turbo. From Turbo, click to return to previous (before Strobe) mode. There is no way to go directly from Strobe to a previous, non Turbo mode. The rated output and runtimes of all the modes can be seen in the table below. Beam-shots The beam pattern of the Acebeam E70-AL is exactly what can be expected from a large emitter combined with a shallow, orange peel reflector. The light is very floody, with a large hot spot and a lot of spill. I tested the Acebeam E70-AL outside, over a distance of 70m. The following video shows a comparison of the Acebeam E70-AL with the Emisar D4V2 Ti (with 4 Cree XP-L HI 5000K emitters) and the Fireflies E07 (with 7 Nichia 219b sw45k emitters). Driver The driver of the Acebeam E70-AL is a digitally regulated, constant current boost driver, which should be able to maintain constant brightness regardless of the battery voltage and also features smart temperature control, reverse polarity protection and low voltage protection. Very refreshing to see such a high quality driver. There is no PWM in any of the modes. Tint and Size Comparison The tint of the Acebeam E70-AL is cool white at 6500K (5000K and 4500K with high CRI options are also available) and it is definitely above BBL and distinctly green. This is by no means a pleasing tint nor is the light high CRI. The intend was to maximize output and efficiency. In the comparison photo below, you can see the Acebeam E70-AL in the middle, compared to the more neutral tint of the Emisar D4V2 Ti (with Cree XP-L HI 5000K emitters) on the left and the much rosier tint of the Fireflies E07 (with Nichia 219b sw45k emitters) on the right. The above photo also offers a size comparison between the lights. The Acebeam E70-AL is not a light that can be easily carried in your trousers pocket, but it fits fine in a winter jacket or a backpack. Battery and Charging The battery included with the Acebeam E70-AL is a 21700, rated at 5100mAh and features onboard USB C charging. The specifications of the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port, as shown on the company's website, are listed in the following table: I measured the capacity of the battery at exactly 4716mAh which is rather low. The battery's internal resistance was measured at 26mΩ. The light has Low Voltage Protection and turns off when the battery voltage drops to 2.7V. Charging the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port is very easy. Just connect the provided cable or any other USB C cable to the charging port and its other end to a charger. Both USB A to USB C and USB C to USB C cables can be used as well as any charger, including the ones that support PD. This is very convenient as you can charge the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port with any USB C cable and charger you have at hand. The LED on the battery lights up red to indicate that it is charging and turns green when the charging is completed, at 4.14V. The Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port took 6 hours, 22 minutes and 27 seconds to charge from 2.7V to 4.14V. The maximum current drawn was 0.899A, which is low for a 21700 battery and explains the very long charging time. A charging circuit which can support 2A charging would have been much better. As the specifications indicate that the standard charging current is 1A, I can't help but wonder if it would be OK to charge the battery at 2A through a charger with large enough cradles to fit a protected button top 21700. A very nice feature of the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port is its ability to function as a power bank. This is facilitated by the USB A port on the included charging cable, but a USB C to USB C cable can also be used, even for devices that do not support power delivery. When the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port is functioning as a power bank, its indicative LED turns blue. There is no information available regarding the current the battery can provide through its USB C port so I had to investigate. Anything above 2.7A and the circuit would immediately reset. I gradually reduced the current until I found it to be initially stable at 2A, which is a good output. Unfortunately, this only worked with a fully charged battery and after 40 minutes of drawing 2A, the circuit started resetting. At the end of the test, and after countless resets, the battery voltage was 3.14V. I tempered my expectations and tried drawing 1A from the battery and this seems to be the maximum supported current for the power bank function, as the battery was able to maintain it with stability for 3 hours, before the circuit reset a few times and then turned off. I would have much preferred it if it had turned off without the resets, as I am not sure if they could damage any sensitive equipment being charged. The battery voltage at the end of the test was 2.99V. The Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port is a battery packed with nice features such as onboard USB C charging and power bank functionality, along with a large 5100mAh capacity. Nevertheless, the actual capacity of 4715mAh and the slow charging speed leave something to be desired, especially considering the $23.90 price tag. EDC Bulb Along with the light and battery, my giveaway prize included a nice little accessory which adds a lot of value to the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port. It is the Acebeam EDC Bulb. The Acebeam EDC Bulb attaches to the top of the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port and connects to the battery's USB C port to draw power. The installation and operation are explained in the animation below. The specifications of the Acebeam EDC Bulb as found on the company's website, are in the following table: This tiny plastic attachment adds a lot of functionality to the Acebeam E70-AL and is a must buy, especially since it normally costs only $3.99 and is currently on offer for a mere $0.10. Unfortunately, it is also out of stock. The modes that the Acebeam EDC Bulb supports, along with their respective run times, are listed in the table below: The Acebeam EDC Bulb is so simple and at the same time so useful and nicely implemented! It really adds value to the Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port. Current Draw The Acebeam E70-AL has a low parasitic drain that is below the ability of the clamp meter to measure. The Moonlight mode only draws 20mA. The Low, Mid1, Mid2 and High modes need 83mA, 216mA, 748mA and 1.961A respectively and Turbo required 10.40A. These values are rather low for the Lumen output and attest to the efficiency of the driver and emitter combination. Output & Runtimes The Acebeam E70-AL with the 6500K emitter is rated at maximum of 4600 Lumen and 240m of throw. I do not own a multi thousand dollar worth integrating sphere, just a logging Lumen meter and a home made integrating tube. The array is calibrated with 3 separate, professionally measured lights and gives me consistent results, but there is definitely room for error and deviations are to be expected. According to my measurements, the maximum output (at turn on) was 4494 Lumen, which is short of the advertised 4600 but still very close to the specs and definitely within the error margin of my equipment. ANSI output (at 30 seconds) was 3805 Lumen and the rapid output decline continued down to 1210 Lumen at 57 seconds. It then stayed stable at a very impressive for the size of the light 1218 Lumen for a further 1 hour and 54 minutes! After that, it stayed for 5 minutes at 153 Lumen and finally dropped to 53 lumen for a further 53 minutes, before it turned off. The temperature regulation was very good and the body of the light was within the ability of a person to hold with bare hands. The test was done indoors, without any cooling or ventilation, so the results will be even better outside. The following graph shows the first 10 minutes of the Full Runtime Graph in greater detail. The stability and efficiency of the Acebeam E70-AL are truly impressive and make for a very usable and reliable light. In contrast to the unregulated drivers used in more budget oriented lights, the driver of the Acebeam E70-AL features a constant current output, providing a stable and constant light output and long run times. Turbo output is short, as dictated by thermal regulation and the laws of physics, but it is there for the short bursts that it may be needed for. High output is incredibly steady and lasted for an impressive 1 hour and 55minutes, after the turbo activation, which is 10 minutes more than what the specifications say. According to the specifications, the maximum throw of the Acebeam E70-AL is 240m and the maximum intensity 14400cd. I measured 210m and 11005.28cd. I charged the battery of the Acebeam E70-AL with an external charger to 4.20V, to see if I can squeeze any more performance out of the light but the gain was minimal, increasing the maximum output from 4494 Lumen to 4561 Lumen, the maximum throw from 210m to 214m and the maximum intensity from 11005.28cd to 11437.92cd. Therefore, I think that the company's decision to terminate the charging at 4.14V and thus increase the longevity of the battery is correct. Conclusion The Acebeam E70-AL is a light that emphasizes quality. The machining is intricate with no imperfections or sharp edges. The type 3 hard anodization is uniform and without flaws. The driver is fully regulated and provides constant current output without any PWM on any of the modes, while being very efficient. The Cree XHP70.2 emitter contributes to the high output and efficiency of the light. The User Interface is simple and functional and extra care has been taken to prevent accidental activations. The size is normal for a 21700 light and not too easy to fit into trousers pockets, although not impossible. I would prefer to carry the Acebeam E70-AL in my backpack or in the pocket of a winter jacket. The optional Acebeam IMR21700NP-510A with Built-in USB C Port battery features USB C onboard charging and Power Bank functionality while the Acebeam EDC Bulb optional accessory adds a lot of usability and value. The Acebeam E70-AL can be purchased directly from the company's website and the cost at the moment this review is written is $94.80, including the battery and shipping, worldwide. The light without the battery costs $74.90, but keep in mind that only button top protected 21700 batteries that can provide at least 10.40A of current will work. Let's list the Pros and Cons of the Acebeam E70-AL: Pros + Digitally regulated constant current boost driver which provides stable output and high efficiency with no PWM. + High Turbo output for the size of the light. + Long runtimes. + Impeccable and intricate machining. + Perfect type 3 hard anodization. + Aerospace grade Aluminium Alloy construction. + USB type C charging integrated in the battery. + Low Voltage Protection. + Quality springs on both sides of the battery. + Smart ITS Temperature Control. + Simple and intuitive UI. + 6 slots for 6x1.5mm tritium vials. + IP68. + The battery provides Power Bank functionality. + The Acebeam EDC Bulb optional accessory is very useful. Cons - The 8 slots on the head meant to house 12x2mm tritium vials are only 1.60mm deep and cannot protect the fragile glass vials so are not fit for purpose. - The battery is expensive. - The battery takes a long time to charge. - Actual battery capacity is 4716mAh instead of 5100mAh. - A holster should be included.  TheLAB.GR Thanks to Acebeam for doing the giveaway and Tyche for providing the light for review Polymeros Achaniotis 24/08/2021
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