1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

Inova X5

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Lee1959, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. Lee1959

    Lee1959 Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    5
    [​IMG]

    Again this is a review I wrote up for another site but this light is also easy suitable for EDC so I will put it here as someone might be interested in it. The review is strictly the opinion and experience of the reviewer and your mileage may vary.

    The Inova X5 is a two cell personal pocket flashlight which uses CR123 Lithium batteries and 5 5MM LEDs recessed into a steel honeycomb bezel. Price is normally around $30, can be picked up on Ebay sometimes cheaper, or they are carried in stock at Target chain stores. The light is slightly over 4.5” long and 13/16” wide which is about .5” shorter in length than the 2 AAA version Minimag, and about 1.25” shorter than the AA Minimag and about 1/8” narrower at the bezel. I will use the Minimag lights as comparison flashlights because almost everyone either has one, or has used one and they are the most likely encountered personal carry flashlights currently. For this light I am including what is considered the highest selling flashlight in the world, the ubiquitous Eveready 2 D cell economy plastic light, you know the type.

    The light is activated by twisting the butt cap of the light, or pressing on the rubber capped butt for momentary usage. It is made of aluminum with stainless steel bezel containing the leds. The finish is hard anodized III in either black or silver which should keep it nice for a long time.

    This is the third incarnation of the X5 Inova light in their X series of flashlights. The first
    Had a fluted body which was changed in the second version to a body with flats cut into the sides. The latest version uses more powerful 5 MM Nichia LEDs which boost the output considerably, but unfortunately cut the battery life about 50%.

    This is currently the only version sold by Inova, sometimes you will find older versions sold by vendors that have not worked out their stock yet. The new version lights come with a lanyard, a few of the first new versions came with the old versions sheath but they are fast disappearing and the lanyard will be the only option.

    I drop tested it from 5 feet onto my wood deck half a dozen times and then dropped it in a pail of water and it was not effected by either test what so ever.

    Specifications: (some technical specs beyond my ability borrowed from Flashlightreview.com I will use their output and throw specifications for review against other lights on their site which I highly recommend one peruse before buying any flashlight )

    Length: 4.5 “
    Light Source: 5 5MM LED
    Battery : 2 CR123 lithium batteries
    Diameter: 13/16”
    Output: 2000
    Throw: 225
    Battery Life: 6.5 hours to 50%, Approx. 13 hours to dead (my test)
    Weight with battery : Unknown but on par with the AA Minimag

    Minimag AA and AAA version Comparisons:

    AAA
    Length: AAA 5 “
    Light Source: Minimag Bulb
    Battery: 2 AAA Alkaline
    Diameter: AAA 11/16 bezel 7/16 tail cap
    Output: 200
    Throw: 465
    Battery Life: 40 Min. to 50% , 2 hours to dead

    AA
    Length: 5.75 “
    Light Source: Minimag Bulb
    Battery: 2 AA Alkaline or Lithium Batteries
    Diameter: 15/16” at bezel 11/16” at tail cap
    Output: 580
    Throw: 884
    Battery Life: 40 minutes to 50%, 5 hours to dead


    Eveready 2 D cell Economy light
    Length: 8 “
    Light Source: Standard flashlight bulb
    Battery: 2 D Alkaline Batteries
    Output: 1000
    Throw: 884
    Battery Life: at my test on the last one of these I had last year was 3 hours to dead



    Pluses: Very bright close range flood beam it will light up a large room or the back yard in about a 40 + foot radius very brightly. For its size it throws a huge amount of light for a very decent run time, about 15 hours in my test. CR123 lithium batteries have a shelf life of about 10 years which is much longer than Alkaline batteries, and AA Lithium batteries are considerably more expensive than CR123s. It still slips nicely in the hip pocket for a night walk or even EDC and is comfortable carried this way, especially if it is held in place along the pocket seam by a wallet or something. It is water resistant. Built like a tank, this is one tough little light. Twice the overall output of a D flashlight puts it out way out of the class of minimags in output, but not in throw.

    Minuses: I liked the first versions sheath much better than the cheap lanyard included in the latest version. CR123s are more expensive and harder to find than AA Alkaline batteries. The newer LEDs cut down the battery life in half of the older version. In cold weather I am thinking this flashlight will need some kind of wrap around the body as I think the finish might be a bit slick in cold hands. Some people would prefer a click switch to twisty. This light is unique in that the batteries face backwards compared to other lights and the user must remember this as I am not sure if it will damage the light to put them in wrong, but it could.


    Conclusions:

    The Inova is a very well built flashlight. It is a very good light for home uses and most urban areas where distance is not needed. It provides excellent close range light  many times brighter than either minimag,and actually being much brighter than a 2 D Flashlight, but without the throw of either of those lights. It is old technology compared to some newer LED lights, but makes up for that by being brighter for a longer time period than some of the new high powered LED lights.

    Actually, when compared, this small package put out almost as much overall output (but no where near the throw) as the 3 D cell Maglight which put out 2300, for a longer runtime, which totally blew me away.

    Battery life for the two cells is very good, less than it was, but still excellent. Hard anodize III makes it a very durable look that will last. Throw is not even with the Minimags which is not unexpected, especially given the long battery life.

    This is a favored light lately, one I stick in my pocket often when I am traveling at night or working at night around the house inside or out. Especially in areas I know that I won’t need a long distant light. Sometimes, but not often, I will even drop it into my front pocket and take out the Inova X1 and the X5 lays well in the large front pocket. I find the CR123s have a long flat output, not dimming starting almost immediately like most Alkaline battery lights and dimming continually till dead which I like. I solved the possible slickness of the body by wrapping a rubber band around the light, I like rubber bands (they are just too handy)and tend to wrap them places in case I need one.
     
  2. Lunal_Tic

    Lunal_Tic Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    5,517
    Likes Received:
    18
    This is also a great light for back up to a 2xCR123 incan light. It will run on batteries that won't deliver enough for the incan and still put out light for a long time. In my case I pair it with a Surefire G2 or Streamlight Scorpion and when either of those drop in output I swap the X5 batteries into them so it also doubles as a battery holder for the incans.

    -LT
     
  3. hanzo

    hanzo Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excellent light. I have the first and second versions of this model. I am curious how much brighter version 3 is.

    I pair v.2 with a Streamlight Scorpion for car use while v.1 stays at home to serve power failure duty with all of his other light brothers and cousins.

    While the X5 is waterproof, I cannot imagine using a floodlight for diving, except maybe to attract fish or for a real emergency backup. UK's are awesome for diving.
     
  4. Lee1959

    Lee1959 Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    5
    I find that lately the X5 is my most used light, period. Working from home now, I am often found, especially now in summer, in t-shirt and shorts or sweats. The X1 never leaves my pocket of my jeans, or pants I currently have setup with my belt and other EDC stuff, and I usually grab the X5 and toss it in my shorts or sweat pants pocket, sometimes even my t-shirt pocket. My around the house EDC is pretty simple in that.

    The X5 does everything in an around the house light I could want, and has a very nice runtime, I dont forsee any other light taking its place too soon.
     
  5. gordonk

    gordonk Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    2
    Good review :) I have an X5 on my belt and a Gerber Infinity loose in my pocket. Between these two, it probably covers the majority of things I require a lite to do - I do have others, though ;D I also was not impressed with the belt pouch, so I made my own :) I carry a SureFire 6P in my Fatboy Jumbo for the high powered stuff, and a Mini-mag with the Nite Ize upgrade as a backup. As far as batteries, you should be able to source the SureFire ones reasonably cheap. Up here, I'm able to get them for about $2.50 CDN each if order a dozen, $3.00 in singles. Stateside, I believe they can be acquired even cheaper. That's a LOT less than $7-10 at most places. In doing some research, my plan was that when the SureFire used up it's batteries, I could use them in the X5 - that regulated circuit in the 6P, I believe cuts in at around 50%, so that should leave lots of juice for the X5. I was actually concerned about the cost of batteries as well when I started researching this, but because I'm using the higher powered lights less frequently, the cost of of operation is not really that high - well, unless you start to add accessories :) If I get into a situation that requires longer runtimes, I also carry a Dorcy Metal Gear, which has a fair amount more punch than my Gerber or Mini-Mag (runs on 3 AAA's). We had a power outage in our building not too long ago, and the IT guys borrowed my Metal Gear - they were pretty surprised at how bright it was for the size - that is, until I powered up my 6P ;D

    - gord
     
  6. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    5,753
    Likes Received:
    20
    I have an X5-HA. :D The machining is very delicate, and the finish is superb. I've moved to brighter lights, but this is still used for nightime reading.
     
  7. Slonie

    Slonie Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the old HA-III Natural color X5 too,  which is why I was surprised to read in this review that the normal model is also HA-III? Is that correct? Either way, I love my X5. It might lack the punch of the 1watt and above lights but it does great for 90% of tasks and that includes running out the batteries that my 6P balks at.
     
  8. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    5,753
    Likes Received:
    20
    Unless Inova has updated their specs, the "regular" version is Type II anodizing.
     
  9. Lee1959

    Lee1959 Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    5
    You are quite right, it is last I read also type II, not sure why I put type III, I may have gotten carried away with my I's and did not catch it when reading it.
     
  10. Slonie

    Slonie Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just wanted to make sure I wans't going nuts!

    HA-III X5...

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Lee1959

    Lee1959 Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    5
    Thats an X5??? Looks more in size like an X0 in that picture, at least to me, is your hand fairly small?
     
  12. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    5,753
    Likes Received:
    20
    Slonie, that's a special edition X5-HA that was sold by CountyComm a while back. I have one as well. All others are Type II anodize; that's why I referred to them as "regular" in my previous post.
     
  13. Slonie

    Slonie Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    :laugh: I guess that's why people typically post items of known size for scale comparisons! :p