BLF GT (giga thrower) review, made by Lumintop
The BLF GT is a "Giga Thrower" flashlight developed by members of budgetlightforum.com in collaboration with flashlight manufacturer Lumintop.
The project started back in 2016 and slowly rolled out in the following year, until December 2017 when the 2nd iteration of the light was developed and accepted by the BLF team to start production.
While it is hard to add this to the best flashlights of 2017, it definitely fit in the list for 2018! And the farthest throwing lights!
I ordered mine in 2017, but received it months later. The pictures probably don't do justice to the actual size. To see the light in person is what it makes so special.... Let's take a look what this Lumintop throw monster has to offer.
Handling of the light
Holding the BLF GT it definitely isn't one of the easiest lights to handle one-handed. If you have small hands, this light might not be your kind of light. I probably think for most people who bought one won't have it much in their hands anyway. It's a lot of fun playing with it, but not too practical.....for me.
If you are only using 4 batteries (it works on 4 and 8 cells) you should put the carrier with the batteries towards the backside of the light. This helps having the balance a bit! Otherwise it is really front-heavy.
Unfortunately I noticed that the holes for attaching a carry-strap are not lined up straight, nor are the flat parts on the body matching with the side switch. If you attach the strap the button is actually on the bottom of the flashlight, and not on the top.... A con? See the pictures below. The tailcap has the other attachment point, which can be moved around... its loose.
The body diameter is also a little on the wide side, but this is to be expected for a 4*18650 battery tube including battery carrier!
Because I also do photography I own a Manfrotto tripod with a 029 head. This head takes the Manfrotto hexagonical quick release plate! And guess what! The flashlight doesn't fit. If you look at the pictures above, you can see the ring they put into the tripod hole, but the head is too close to the hole to attach to the quick release plate. Of course there is a way around this, but that would include an extra attachment, which not everybody owns!
Threads print and anodizing.
The anodizing is done well. But I am not 100% satisfied with it. It looks easy to get fingerprints and dirt on the anodizing. I don't really like the way they did that!
As seen in the picture, the print is done well. Nothing to complain here, but it isn't very exclusive either.
Threads came completely dry. This can be a con for some people. For me this isn't really a problem. Somehow I don't mind it at all. As it give me the opportunity to clean the threads and put new lube on them. The O-ring however is lubed. Also the threads are a little on the loose side when screwing it into the head.
Lens, bezel and reflector
The reflector is made out of aluminum and is smooth. But not smooth as butter! At least mine has some noticeable machining rings.
- Diameter inside 118mm (4.6")
- Diameter outside head: 135 mm (5.3")
The bezel is just plain black, not stainless steel unfortunately. This means that a drop on the concrete can have the bezel damaged and making it impossible to take the bezel off. Also it is really hard to get the bezel off by hand! It couldn't do it.
The battery carrier has a metal construction. You have to use Button top batteries! But they can be very snug. I used protected NCR18650B panasonic batteries, and they fit but tight.
Unprotected, flat top batteries don't fit in the original carrier! The carrier has an extra layer for extra protection for reverse polarity.
However, this plastic "washer" can be take off so it is possible to use Flat Top batteries, as I have tried. See the pictures. The problem with unprotected flat top batteries is that they are almost too short for the carrier! They work, but if you bump the light, the light can turn off!
You need to use 2 battery carriers in able to get the light working. However, you don't need 8 batteries. If using only 4 batteries, put them in the carrier towards the tailcap for better balance. And use the empty carrier towards the head.
Dimensions and weight of the BLF-GT:
- Length: 315 mm (14.4")
- Diameter head: 135 mm (5.3")
- Diameter battery tube: 56mm (2.2")
- Weight empty 1800 grams (3.9 pounds)
How to mod the battery carrier to fit flat tops.
WARNING: This will void your warranty if something goes wrong! Only do at your own risk! Removing this "protection" will open the possibility to inserting batteries the wrong way and therefore damaging the light internals and batteries.
The BLF-GT uses the Narsil driver firmware developed by BLF member Tom E.
Download here: BLF GT manual
Default UI: ramping
This UI has a smooth ramping between 0% and 80%, while still be able to switch to the 100% Turbo mode.
- Turn on: single-click, last mode memory (last use level of output)
- Ramping output level: press and hold
- Reverse ramping: while ramping in one direction, release button briefly and press + hold again
- Instant TURBO: double-click
- Turn off: single-click
- Ultra-Low mode: from OFF: press the button and release as soon as the GT turns on.
- Strobe: 1. double-click for TURBO, and 2. double-click again
(Use single-clicks to cycle forward through the different types of strobes, but you have to be quick: If resting on a strobe longer than 1.2 seconds it locks in and the next single-click is OFF. Press+hold at any time to cycle backwards through the strobes.)
- Battery status: triple-click (4 blinks, with a short pause, and then 1 blink would indicate 4.1V average per cell, as an example)
- Electronic lock-out: 4 clicks and to re-enable again 4 clicks.
- Momentary ON mode: five clicks (loosen and re-tighten the tail-cap to return to normal operation)
- Factory reset: triple-click (battery status mode), then double-click (driver temperature mode), double-click again (firmware version mode), then press&hold for about 2 s. Four blinks confirm a successful reset.
Alternative UI: Mode-sets
The GT is by default using the Smooth Ramping mode. However, the GT can also be operated using a more conventional MODE-SET style user interface. (See next section for detail on how to set UI options).
Using the MODE-SET UI the output does not ramp, it steps from one mode to the next using single-clicks, just like with a usual flashlight.
- Turn on: single-click
- Next mode: single-click (within 1.2 sec)
- Previous mode: press + hold
- Last mode [100%]: from off: press+hold
- Turn off: single-click (after 1.2 sec)
- Strobes: press+hold. Single clicks to cycle through all Strobe modes. Press+hold to cycle backwards through the strobe modes.
- Battery status: from OFF: single-click followed by press+hold. How to read the Voltage: if there are 4 blinks, a short pause, then another 1 blink, it would indicate 4.1 V average per cell.)
- Electronic lock-out: from OFF: double-click followed by press+hold, same to re-enable again.
- Factory reset: from OFF, single-click followed by a press+hold (battery status mode), then double-click (driver temperature mode), double-click again (firmware version mode), then press+hold for about 2 seconds. 4 blinks confirm a successful reset.
Backlight of the switch: The backlight of the switch is turned on by default, when the flashlight is turned off. If you don't want to use this backlight you can simply turn off that future by quickly switching the power on and off. Unfortunately it will only stay off till next use.
The parasitic drain is ~250 μA with the light turned on, and ~150 μA without.
The button however they used is BLACK, so the backlight is really hard to see! Wonder why that is.
The momentary on only works when you tap 5 times while in the ramping mode. It is not accessible while being in any "mode sets". It seems like you are only able to get out of this mode when doing a complete turn-off, like turning the battery carrier.
- Nope... nothing to worry about.
Max output in Ramping mode: 2A
Turbo mode: 2.5A
Farthest throwing production LED flashlight with reflector.
Measured at 10 meters / 32.8ft:
- 830 kcd in Turbo (4 batteries Panasonic NCR18650B 3400mAh)
- 940 kcd in Turbo (8 batteries Panasonic NCR18650B 3400mAh)
I can't seem to get mine pass 1Mcd.. I measured at 20 meters and still couldn`t touch the 1 Mcd. It might be my poor and cheap lux meter? Who knows.
It is really the best LED Flashlight thrower on the market in 2018. If you are looking for something less throwy but with great punch and still throws farther than your eyes can recognise anything, take a look at the Acebeam K65 I have reviewed. Being a thrower, it does not enter the brightest flashlight list by any means!!!
The first picture is an older Google Maps picture (road is now closed for vehicles). And I am standing at the yellow spot. The rectangular spots are the ones seen in the following beamshots. After the day-time picture follows the control shot. And last one is the BLF Q8 for comparison.
BLF GT flashlight by Lumintop at Amazon
BLF GT XHP35 version discount code at Banggood (China)
Use code: 7f96f5
BLF GT70 XHP70.2 version with discount code at Banggood (China)
Use code: 7bc5b3