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Gear Review: L10 flashlight from L3 Illumination

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by tmedina, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I just received the L10 from SBflashlights.com

    It's made by L3 Illumination and has gotten fairly good reviews on by CPF and Budgetlight forums.

    It runs on a single AA battery. You have a choice of emitters: the Nichia 219 (it's a neutral tint, versus the "cool" or "warm" of other LEDs) or the XPG2, which is a brighter output with a "cool" tint. The Nichia 219 is a neat tint, but I don't get enough of a benefit from the change in tint to really care, so I opted for the higher output. The Nichia 219 is also a couple of bucks more; I bought one for a friend and she loves the neutral tint.

    You also have a choice of three or four modes (disclaimer: data copied directly from the website, including the lack of runtime on "medium"):

    Four modes of output:
    firefly(0.09lumens 147 hours)
    Low (3 lumens, 30 hours)
    Medium (30 lumens)
    High (120 lumens, 1.5hrs) (Tested with Ni-mh battery with actual capacity 2500mAh)

    Three modes of output:
    Note: 3 mode model removes Firefly mode of .09 lumens. Low, Medium, High only.

    Personal observations:
    I bought this mostly as a toy; I was curious about the "firefly" output level and I like having a long-running AA flashlight, even though I'm mildly famous for my intense dislike of multi-modes. I haven't had a chance to abuse it yet, but for $19 + shipping (the whole thing was roughly $22, I think), it's still a good buy even if it can't survive extraordinary abuse.

    So far, I've been pleasantly surprised. The firefly mode is absolutely functional for maneuvering through a dark house, or reading labels. I could probably navigate a bay full of sleeping troops, but fortunately I haven't needed to test that one.

    Once you start using the firefly mode, the "low" mode seems insanely bright. Cycle up to the full "high" and your reaction is a whole lot of "whoa!"

    The tailcap is particularly noteworthy - it achieves both a secure anchor point for split rings while still keeping the tailstand feature. Fenix lights (the E01 and E05) put the split ring in the lip surrounding the base. The L10 actually has a nub inside the lip with a hole to accommodate a split ring. Personally, I think this is just cool.

    The flashlight body is perfectly smooth, so you have no anti-roll features. You can buy a clip for $2.50 when you order your light. The clip snaps on to the body - it isn't loose, but it isn't secured enough to clip outside your pocket, either. But it does provide a measure of anti-roll if that's your thing.

    I'll try and get pics up tomorrow just for sake of completion.
     
  2. twin63

    twin63 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for posting this. I've been on the fence about ordering one of these. I'm usually up later than everyone else in my house, so I have come to like low-low modes to keep from waking anyone - especially when we have the grandkids staying overnight. I can use my Quark AA or my HDS EDC 120...I guess I'm just looking for an excuse to buy another light:rolleyes:.
     
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  3. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    If you buy it, I'm definitely interested to hear how the firefly mode worked for you.
     
  4. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have had one since they first started shipping and I got extras as gifts as well.

    Its funny but "Normal" people who I have given these to just don't understand the Firefly mode at all? Not one little bit!
    We are just special-ized I guess?

    Anyway I have several lights with equally low modes and these L10 are my least favorite of them easily. They are also easily the least expensive with the feature so take that for what it is worth.
    I am not trying to crap on your review but just giving my impression of the L10.

    I like the low and in general the range of levels but the light just feels like a cheap light to me and I use others instead.

    I am a fan of Low Low modes though for sure and while camping play with them constantly. I think in a lot of emergency situations these lights that can go low and save batteries will come in very handy.
     
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  5. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    No worries - not everyone will agree on their impressions of the same thing. You aren't hurting my feelings any. :D

    Having spent a couple of weeks without power and having to milk battery life, I can appreciate the firefly mode. I think it takes that specific kind of experience before people really do appreciate a "very low" mode. Or having to navigate around a house full of sleeping grandkids. :D

    EtA: @EZDog: what other lights do you have with the "low-low" modes?
     
  6. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have several Zebra,Eagletac,Predator and HDS Rotary,P60's and the King to me the Peak QTC.

    They are all capable of really low output but so far the Peak is the simplest to use in general.
    I experiment with getting to the lowest low it will hold with no flicker and then leave it on for the duration of my camping trip usually.
    I have 3 Logan 17500 with different heads and the nicest feature is that the low mode still has some decent throw,just Low Throw!
    The other great thing about the Logan is that it will take a lot of different batteries for different run times or battery availability.

    The Predator is one of those light you just have to try to understand and it too throws like crazy at any level and it can be programmed with 15 different Low Lows if you want on one"Line" of programming and then up to 15 other levels on another"Line".truly unique and nicely built too.

    The HDS Rotary is also as good as everyone says and about as handy as you can get like the Peak but with reliable presets.

    The ZL is just the ZL,the lows are amazing.I use the SC80 or SC600 as a lantern by sliding on a diffuser cap made of a pill bottle or folm cannister depending on the size.

    I am into lows too!

    Ed
     
  7. jds1

    jds1 Loaded Pockets

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    Nice review. I have been enjoying my 219 version as well. I also find the super low level to be quite useful.

    Jeff
     
  8. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Wow - these AA lights are current-controlled!

    A lot of AAA lights followed the pattern of the Preon ReVO - the Klarus Mi series, Nitecore T series, and last revision of the Fenix LD01. However, most AA lights use PWM circuits, as evidenced by the fact that they can handle a wide range of voltages.
     
  9. Southpaw

    Southpaw EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    To me, the L10 is the best AA light out there for its price per performance ratio. It's less than 25 a great even spread of lumens and a beautiful beam.
     
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  10. fyrpiper

    fyrpiper Loaded Pockets

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    I have one and love it! My only issue is I've not been able to get a split ring on it that will lay inside the rim and allow for tail standing. Ended up taking the ring and lanyard off for EDC. Maybe if the hole-to-notch angle were different one could file a second slot in the rim to allow a split ring to lay flat enough for the light to tailstand
     
  11. fyrpiper

    fyrpiper Loaded Pockets

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    Also, I wonder if they plan on releasing a AAA version? That would be pretty flicking sweet too...
     
  12. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Photos (from a cellphone - sorry about that)

    A close-up of the tail cap. As Fyrpiper noted, you can't tailstand -and- use the split ring. But I like this design more than Fenix's approach. And if they moved the nipple to the edge of the lip, I bet you could probably get a split ring *and* a tail stand.
    Closeup of tailcap with lanyard point/keyring point.

    A comparison for relative size. The E11 is actually a little longer and a little thicker than the L10.

    Size comparison: Fenix E11, L10, Bic lighter

    And a solo shot.

    Solo shot of L10
     
    Last edited by tmedina, Apr 8, 2014
  13. Here Comes The BOOM

    Here Comes The BOOM EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Thanks for the review! I have my eyes on one of these for a while now.

    ps: I asked the mods to move this to the flashlight section.