Lumintop ED15 review

Lumintop ED-15

First impressions:

My first impressions was quite positive. I was happy to find the including holster (even I usually never use one) and some spare O-ring, lanyard and extra switch boot.
Just holding the light it felt like it would be a very nice EDC light. With the great knurling on the body, this is definitely a pleasure to hold and use. But the tail switch left me with a few questions. 

What`s in the package?

  • The ED15 flashlight
  • A Holster 
  • Lanyard 
  • Spare O-ring
  • Extra rubber switch boot
  • The manual
graph
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Knurling:

The ED15 is from 2014 has great knurling, on the head as well as on the body. This results in a very easy operation by twisting the head to enter the Main-modes and Blinky modes.
It has very very smooth threads.. which reminds me of the Olight i6 with its very smooth threading. Love that one.
At the same time, this is a good occasion to warn people about the blinky modes, which can be entered by unscrewing the head (slightly).. And because the threads are so super smooth, it doesn`t take much force to accidentally enter the blinky modes. So Beware!

The ED15 doesn`t have any sharp edges. So you woulnt have to worry to much carrying this in your pocket.

Anodizing

The Anodizing seems to be done well. No blemishes I could find. The prints on the ED15 are very clear. Check out the pictures below.

Clip:

The ED15 acame with a clip attached that is quite stiff and strong.
It`s not a deep carry pocket clip. If you did so, 40% of the light would stick out of tyour pocket. (pointing towards the tail).
The good thing is, its reversible.  It does work well clipped on my baseball cap. Great for keeping you hands-free!

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Size

Typical dimensions for this kind of light. Fairly basic and straightforward. Not that it`s a bad thing!

Length101mm
Width: 22mm
Weight:

60grams without battery
85grams with AA*1 battery

Size and weight comparisons.

1*AA lights: Lumintop ED15 Spark SF5 Olight S15 Eagletec D25A Sunwayman V11R Fenix LD12
Length 101mm 85mm 87mm 87mm 100mm 105mm
Dia 22mm 21.5mm 19.5mm 18mm 23mm 21.5
Dia head 22mm 24mm 23mm 18mm 23mm 21.5
Weight

grams

60 52 46 24 60 54

PWM:

There is none to be found, not in low, nor in high.

Lens and reflector

The lens has a diameter of  17/18mm . It also has a coating. It's Using a smooth reflector get a bit of throw, but it`s still not very effective as a thrower.  The ED15 can also Tail-Stand, however due to the shape it will not be very stable.

Threads

Threads came lubed, and are a pleasure to use. It feels as smooth as butter! behind the Threads,there is an O-ring, that will keep the water out. It sports a XM-L2 led, that was well centered on my sample.  The tail can be opened with a tweezer supposedly, but I used a Watch Opener tool.

very high PWM

User interface

Very simple and straight forward, which is a big plus! The switch is a Reverse Clicky, so the ED15 will not work as a Momentary On. 
The clicky feels very responsive. But you really need to push the button with the tip of your thumb, as its really difficult to push it with the lower part of your thumb.

  • Full click and release to turn the light on.
  • Half clicks to change modes.

The main modes: on eneloop AA

  1. Low       (output 1.7% current draw 1.25%)
  2. Medium  (output 18.6% current draw 16.8%)
  3. High       (output 100% current draw 100%) with built in timer, after 3:30 min. it will drop to 40% output) 
                         (using a 14500, the output drops from 100% to 53%)

Blinky modes:

  1. Strobe
  2. Flash
  3. Slow Flash (beacon?)

This light doesn`t have an SOS mode. Kinda strange. Most lights with any kind of blinkies, usually have some sort of SOS mode. But the ED15 doesn`t.

I usually don`t use any blinky modes myself, but I thought the way they implemented the blinky modes on this light, is definitely much nicer than some budget lights at which you have to cycle through all blinky modes to enter the main modes, or even just turning the light off. This is one thing I noticed doing this flashlight review
You just have to twist the head a few % ccounter clockwise to enter the blinky modes.  Changing blinky modes works the same as the main-group-modes.

Mode memory

According to the manual, this light doesn`t have any memory mode. 
But according to my testing, the light HAS memory mode. It has a 4 seconds Off-Time mode memory. I have tested it many times, to understand how this memory works, But it`s not an On-Time memory, but an Off Time memory.This means that if the the light is turned off for more than 4 seconds, the last used mode (main or blinky) will be memorized.

If you turn the light on again before those 4 seconds, it will cycle through to the next mode.

PWM

YES, but it has very fast PWM.
It`s kinda noticeable in Low and Medium, but only if you wave the light in front of your eyes. 
I couldn't find it in High mode. 

Performance

The ED15 has 2 versions, both look identical though. The way you can distinguish the difference, is looking at the contact plate of the driver. This flashlight doesn't make it to the brightest flashlights list currently available.

Current draw on eneloop AA:

  1. Low      0.02A
  2. Medium 0.27A
  3. High      1.60A

Current draw on lithium 14500:

  1. Low      0.02A
  2. Medium 0.27A
  3. High      1.87A

Run-time on AA

Measured the run-time twice.
First time with a standard AA eneloop 3rd gen. (which wasn`t full probably)
Second time with a standard AA eneloop 2nd gen.
The last test came out quite a bit better, as the battery came off the charger about 1 hour before testing.

Run-Time is a rough 110minutes.. After 110 minutes it dropped quickly, until it was at 0% ceiling bounce output within 5 minutes.
STEP DOWN
As you can see, it has a Step Down after 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
you can enter the Higher output mode again, if you change modes, back to High again.
The specs say, that it has a Run-time of 1.3hours in High mode.. its a little deceiving. Yes, its true, but not at the claimed 220lumens.
(the step down is a safety feature especially for using 14500 li-ion cells.

I would say it to be roughly 100 lumens for about 110 minutes on AA.
My preference would be to have no Step Down for AA cells, but only for 14500.

Throw

At a 5 meter distance, I measured a throw of 1000cd.... 😉
Which is basically the same as the Sunwayman V11R XM-L2 NW, which I tested it against at the same time.
So, the smooth reflector doesn`t really help for throw.

Ceiling bounce (not comparable with lux numbers measured by other members, because of the different test-setup)

AA:
High has a ceiling bounce of 21lux , which is equal to the Sunwayman V11R XM-L2 NW @ 21lux.

14500:
High has a ceiling bounce of 83lux, which is more than the Sunwayman V11R XM-L2 NW @ 66 lux.

Beam shots

Control shot:(Shot with Fujifilm F200EXR M mode f3.3 0.5sec iso 400)

AA
Sunwayman V11R (NW)

Lumintop ED15 AA

14500
Sunwayman V11R

Lumintop ED15 14500

Low lumens test:

ITP A3, Lumintop ED15, Sunwayman V11R, Fenix LD12

Here a group shot for size comparision.

Conclusion

The good:

  • Great grip, excellent knurling
  • Excellent build quality
  • Threads are smooth
  • Works on AA and 14500
  • 14500 gives a nice boost in output
  • Run-time is quite long for high mode on AA (see also cons)
  • Blinky modes are hidden, but easy accessible
  • Has a step down, to not overheat the light with 14500 (see also cons)
  • Comes with holster, extra o-ring and spare rubber boot

The bad:

  • Step down at 3:30minutes even with AA (thats a pro for 14500, a con for aa)
  • According to manual the runtime of 1.3hours @ 220lumens is unrealistic, because of he step down.
  • The light is glued, so I couldnt open it up, therefore not so much modding possibilities
  • Not much throw
  • Price could be a tad bit lower for what you get.

Where to buy Lumintop ED15 alternatives

 at Amazon.com