Sunwayman F40A

Sunwayman F40A review:

Introduction Sunwayman F40A

Sunwayman called this little fella "the little colonel". Its a tri-color flashlight with small LEDs next to the main XM-L2 LED.

Short intro:

Sunwayman currently had 3  models within their Falcon Series. All of the flashlight included multi-color leds. The list is as follow:

  1. The F10R (CR123/16340) reviewed
  2. The F20C (2*CR123/2*16340/1*18650)
  3. The F40A (4*AA)

Some might think that Sunwayman copied Nitecore here, with their multi color-led lights. Sunwayman already had mult-color LED flashlights before Nitecore probably even started. Sunwayman had a flashlight called the M40C back in 2010.

What you get:

  • Flashlight Sunwayman F40A
  • White diffuser for softer light 
  • A Lanyard
  • 2 spare O-rings
  • Warranty card, small brochure and the manual
specs

Handling of the light

My first impression was that this light might be slippery because of the lack of good knurling. But somehow the matte finish gives more grip that normal anodized flashlights. So the grip isn't as bad as it seems! I was actually positively suprised at how well this thing holds. 

One more noteworthy detail is the difference in control buttons compared to the D40A.  These ones are much better than on the D40A. I still don't advise to use this nor the D40A with handgloves.
The F40A on the left, D40A on the right:

sunwayman-f40a-7

Anodizing 

The anodizing is done properly, as I couldn't find any blemishes.  There were no scuffs or scratches visible! The prints are also clean and done well as can be seen in the next picture:

One thin I noticed was that the XML2 Led, was off-center. Unscrewing the bezel, and screwing it back on helped it to center it much better. So if yours has the same problem, do this, and it might fix it. The centering ring doesnt work properly in this light, it will shift sideways. 

Battery carrier:

Fortunately there is none. This is better than the D40A which uses a battery carrier. and that`s what most people prefer over the D40A, that uses one. This way you can easier change the batteries. Check the pictures below.

The batteries are in series. Although the specs say working voltage to be from 2.8V to 6V. I couldnt get it to work with only 2 AA batteries, so therefore can be a con in emergency situations. 

Threads

Dry as bone 
It`s not one of the smoothest lights in history either. Twisting the tailcap needs a little more elbow grease than with a normal tailcap. This is due to its design, which is probably taken from the Nitecore EA4 and EA8.

Some lubrication would had been nice. On a second though it can be a Pro as well, because you can use your own lube, and no machining pieces will stick onto the lubrication when being shipped. Some dust and dirt can be a little annoying in the threads. So this way I could clean the thread before applying lube.

sunwayman-f40a-13
sunwayman-f40a-14

Lens and reflector

 

Check out the next few pictures. The reflector is 25mm in diameter and has the same depth, also 25mm. The reflector is smooth that can help the light "throwing light" further than with an orange peel reflector. It gives a nice beam.

Dimensions and weight:

See the table below for the details. I compare it with the SWM D40A, also being a 4AA flashlight.

Sunwayman F40A Sunwayman D40A
Length 11 cm 12 cm
Diameter head 42 mm 40 mm
Reflector diameter 25 mm 34 mm
Reflector depth 25 mm 34 mm
Weight 182 grams 170 grams
With 4*eneloop AA 286 grams 274 grams
Throw (manufacturer) 13200 cd 24800 cd
Throw (my measurement) 13375 cd 23500 cd

User Interface:

The F40A has 2 buttons. 

  • M-button (changing modes)
  • Power button (On/Off)

The SWM F40A has 4 main modes and a firefly-mode

  • Turbo (steps down after 3:30 minutes)
  • High
  • Medium
  • Low

Power button: ON/OFF
M-button: change modes, Turbo-High-Medium-Low

Firefly mode:

  • Press and hold the "M-button" for 2 seconds to enter moon-mode (firefly) either from OFF or ON

Mode memory:

  • works instantly..(also for firefly-mode)

2 Blinkies:

  • SOS: From ON (in a main modes, double-click "M-button"

Strobe:

  • From OFF or ON,  double-click the "power-button".

4 Special modes: Tri-colored modes:

From OFF, Press+ hold the power button for 2 seconds to enter the special colored modes.  To change modes withint this interface, use the M button. 

  1. Red (5mm leds)
  2. Blue
  3. Police signal strobe #1 : red andblue (Youtube video here)
  4. Police signal strobe #2: red,blue and white  (Youtube video here)

 

Electronic Lock-Out

  • From OFF, press and hold the Powerbutton AND M button at the same time. The light will flash which indicated that it is in the Lock-out. Repeat this to return to normal use. 

 

PWM

Nothing I could detect.

Performance:

The test was done with 4 eneloop AA batteries (3rd generation) The output modes are like: 100%-60%-30%-5%.

My measurements :

  • Turbo: 100%
  • High: 59%
  • Medium: 27%
  • Low: 5%
  • Firefly <1%

This means that the output levels are very well layed out, and that this one is a very useful and bright flashlight. It doesn't come on the list of brightest flashlights out there, but still a very good contender!

Runtime:

Turbo mode. Lux numbers were recorded every 5 minutes.

Turbo stopped down after 3:30 to High mode. Because I recoreded it each 5 minutes, the drop can"t be seen in the graph.
The F40A continued in High for 85 minutes, and at 90 minutes it dropped to Medium, when it finally dropped to Low at 93 minutes.
The runtime is about 1.5hours in High mode (starting from Turbo), using standard AA eneloop batteries.

Throw:

The F40A is definitely not one of the greatest throwers, but is on the other hand a very nice all-round flashlight.  The throw I measured with the F40A was 13375cd while the D40A measured 23500cd.
The D40 is therefore the better thrower. The spill on the F40A makes it good for indoors and close up.  And with the white diffuser the Sunwayman F40A is a great outdoor, camping light.

Beamshots

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

Overall conclusion Sunwayman F40A

Postive points:

  1. Uses 4*AA batteries (great for around the house with kids (read:safe)
  2. Bright (as bright as the SWM D40A)
  3. Only 11cm tall
  4. Better control buttons than the D40A
  5. Disco mode.. If you call that a Pro.
  6. Doesn't use a special battery carrier
  7. Real Firefly mode
  8. All strobe modes are hidden.

Negative points

  1. Threads came dry, unlubricated
  2. Main XML2 led was off-center
  3. Can't use just 2AA batteries.
  4. Matte finish. (can be a pro) but blemishes are easier to notice.
  5. Multicolor leds. (or was that a pro?)
  6. Buttons are relatively close and therefore can be difficult to use.
  7. Output has a stepdown after 3.5 minutes. (but acceptable because of the exessive heat)
  8. There is no holster included
  9. Not cheap

Where to buy:

Sunwayman F30R, (sibling with 3x16340) Amazon.com