Thursday, June 18, 2009

Flashlight Review

Remember the website I mentioned some time ago, about having very good prices, world wide shipping and some neat stuff listed?
Remember that I placed an order?
Well, guess what the mail man delivered today…
(by the way, I’m not associated with DX in any way, I just found out they have great deals that’s all)
Back to the flashlights;

Top to bottom:
SacredFire NF-007 Cree P4-WC 110-Lumen LED Flashlight (1*AA/1*AAA/1*CR123A)
Akoray Cree Q5-WC 6-Mode Memory 200-Lumen LED Flashlight with Clip (1*AA/1*14500)
Romisen RC-C3 Cree LED Flashlight Gray (1.3V~4V CR123A)
That’s some serious flashlights for pretty much 45 USD, including shipping. (which may take a month or more) and these little gems are worth every cent.

Comparing them. The second one from the left used to be my keychain light. Older 1 Watt model.

SacredFire NF-007 Cree P4-WC

Generic older 1Watt LED

Akoray Cree Q5-WC

Romisen RC-C3 Cree LED

I’ll do a small first impression review, and throw a few tips out there for those considering upgrading from those old Maglites or Xenon lights.
For those that have been living under a rock for the last couple years and believe that LED lights are weak and too purple bluish to bother with, let me tell you that the light emitting diode technology has advanced like nothing else.
All 3 lights are fitted with Cree LEDs, some CREE LEDS are slightly better than others, the P4 is a bit weaker and the Q5 is among the latest, brightest models, but without getting into much detail they are all powerful enough for most needs, including tactical or security lights.
Brightness isn’t a problem any more, Crees are my favorite and one of the best in today’s market.
What you want to take into consideration with these lights is not only brightness but also durability and also important battery availability.
All three flashlights are very well made, with solid aluminum bodies.
The Lumen data on DX is clearly overrated, but all of these models produce +100 lumens with fresh batteries.
Another thing you’ll notice, they all use just one battery.
In my experience you often find yourself with just one battery available, for any given reason. Or you managed to scrounge a single battery out of a toy. If your light requires more than one battery to work, you’re out of luck, but if you have one of these you are good to go.

Sacredfire NF-007

This little light uses a single AA battery… or a single AAA… or a single CR123A. If that’s not versatility, I don’t know what it is!
Man, this flashlight would have come in handy so many times.
I’m sure that no matter where you are, you can manage to get your hands on a single AA or AAA battery.
It’s well made, has a bright glow in the dark clicky tail on/off switch.
Lumens is manufacturer rated at 110 and it seems pretty accurate to me, and the run time is 50 minutes, also an accurate estimation for that lumen/battery ratio.
50 minutes isn’t that much time, but this is still a great little light, versatile, and you’d do well to combine it with premium rechargeable AA batteries if you expect power to go down often.

RC-C3 Romisen

This little guy is a favorite of many people as a pocket EDC light, and I can see why.
This light uses a single CR123A battery, which may or may not be that common depending on where you live around the globe.
It’s made by Romisen, which I’m now learning has overall top quality construction in spite of the modest price. Feels small but solid, the twist on/off switch feels right, not hard but enough resistance to know it wont twist on its own. The o ring fits tightly.
This one is the brightest of all three (about 200 lumens) , but the battery only lasts for 30 minutes or so. Better rechargable batteries may perform better, but anyway, clearly its more of a tactical light, not something you’d do well with if you have to go without power for a couple days.
For EDC and emergency use, the size/brightness ratio is very hard to beat.

Akoray Cree Q5-WC

Maybe God rested on the seventh day, but a bunch of years later he got busy and made the Akoray Cree Q5-WC.
This flashlight is just perfect. The screw threads are thick, and it has double O rings.
The body quality is very good, there’s an overall quality feel about it.
This light is advertised as 6 mode ( which would have sucked) but actually came with a 3 mode memory. Low-High (about 200 lumens with good batteries) and strobe mode. It uses a single commonly available AA battery.
The great thing about having the high and low mode is that, as I was mentioning before, today LED lights are sometimes TOO bright, maybe more than you need, and needlessly eating up the batteries.
Imagine getting caught in some accident, locked somewhere, spending a couple days without power or even walking out of the woods when you lost track of time and night catches you by surprise.
When it’s dark, and once your eyes used to the darkness, you don’t need a small piece of sun in your pocket, a moderate amount of light will do well enough for you to see where you step. How does this work? Simply use your 200 lumen light and see for yourself: It’s not only illuminating, the entire spot you are aiming at next to your feet looks bright white. That’s’ wasting energy.
So this, well made light has the high and low feature which I love, plus the strobe. But the good part ( and something they apparently forgot to mention) the modes are fully customizable!

Tapping the clicky tail (not on/off, but lightly tapping) changes the modes. It has a memory feature that brings you back to the mode you last used. Tap 6 times quickly and after flicking once it starts getting brighter, and you tap again when it reaches the desired brightness for mode one. It flicks twice and it starts again, you tap when it reaches the desired brightness. Then I flicks 3 times for mode 3, it starts getting brighter in case you want a low-mid-high setup. If you don’t tap when it reaches the maximum brightness, it starts with the strobe modes again, slower at first and getting faster and faster. Now instead of tapping and going back to mode 1, click on it and turn the light off. The mode 3 will remain as you programmed it.
I set it to a minimum mode 1, about 15 lumens or so, this will give me over 24 hours worth of light with good batteries, plus a high lumen security option and a strobe mode as well.

That’s about it guys. A few months later I’ll let you know how they are holding on.



Anonymous said...

Thanks so much FerFAL for the much anticipated review! Although I mentioned that I was going to order some after your initial post, I decided to wait.

Waiting is over ... the one that impressed me the most for my tactical needs was the multi-functional 'Akoray Cree Q5-WC'! As you know, good 'bright-strobe' tactical lights run into the $hundreds$.

Thanks again for your excellent review and feedback!

John Geerman
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA

Bones said...

These little Q5 and P4 lights are a great value for brightness, price, size and quality.

However, if you crave maximum brightness, the 900 lumen P7 lights are the kings.

Thanks for the excellent flashlight porn, FerFAL!

McClarinJ said...

I ordered the SacredFire and the Akoray Cree Q5-WC immediately after your prior post. When they arrived a few days ago I at once made the Akoray my every-day-carry set on strobe function, which is how I would want to use it if faced with a burglar or assailant.

Two days ago I ordered ten re-chargeable lithium-ion batteries and an LI battery charger from so I can take advantage of the greater brightness using 3.6v batteries.

Anonymous said...

Be sure to let your son 'field test' all 3 lights, FerFAL. That will give a really good idea of their durability. So far my best success with 1AA lights, has been Fenix.


D said...

Great timing! My Nitecore D10 literally snapped in half last night. I have been looking for a new light all day today, and then I saw your post!! I just ordered 3 of the Akoray Cree lights for the same price as one of the Nitecore. Remember in survival lingo "2 is 1 and 1 is none", so I guess if I ordered 3 then that is 2. Thanks again!

FerFAL said...

John Geerman, you're welcome man, glad you liked it.
Bones, 900 lumens sounds like a beast!
Blogger McClarinJ, today I received DX's Nano charger (very neat! very good reviews too), for Cr123 3,6 V battries, and a few batteries as well.
Everthings works well so far, the rechargable batteries where even charged already.
The flashlights are clearly brighter with the rechargable 3,6 V batteries.
Vic303, I LOVE my Fenix LDO1 with cree Q5 LED. It's amazing and still keychain size, everyone should own one of those.


Bro. Brandon B. said...

huh. Funny, i was tooling around on candlepowerforums last week and due to some reviews ordered two of the same lights you did!

How they shipped to freaking Argentina faster than to Pennsylvania, I don't know. I'm still waiting on mine. :-P

I'm also finally getting off my butt and ordered a decent battery charger with a bunch of AA rechargables. Have you used/ gotten any LSD (Low self-discharge) batteries yet? I'm ordering a few. The Eneloop brand is very popular, but it seems that Sanyo's are as good and cheaper. Something you may want to look into for any flashlights that are used enough that you want rechargeables, but seldom enough that you don't want the power to drain out.

FerFAL said...

Hey BBB,

what did you order?

The Eneloop ones are good. I have some Sony CycleEnergy, that hold on for some long time after charged.
I ordered some Soshine and they have good reviews, came already charged with a nice AA battery case too.
Maybe Argentina is closer. :)
The Ultrafire CR123 seem to be ok too.
You're right about rechargable batteries if you plan to use them a lot.


Bro. Brandon B. said...

I'm trying to steer away from CR123's as I'm trying to standardize on AA's. Anyways for flashlights , just today I got the Romisen RC-G2
and the AKOray K106
I'm very impressed with both of them so far. I also ordered a couple of 14500 batteries and a charger for the AKOray, as I don't mind carrying a different battery so long as it can still take AA's in a pinch.
BTW I used a bit of liquid silicone on the threads of each flashlight per a recommendation I saw and it makes them open and close much smoother, easier on the threads.

For regular rechargable AA's I got some Titanium 2000's
for the premium usage LDS AA's, I got Titanium 2100's
And I also picked up a La Crosse BC9009
I'm pretty excited about all these new toys at once. I'll let you know how I like them after I've broken them in for a few months.

Anonymous said...

Good review. Any opinion on the different pepper sprays?