Imalent MS18

Imalent MS18 review (100,000 lumens) (100K lumens)

Introduction:

Imalent is the first major flashlight brand that claims a 100,000 lumens flashlight. Just 4 years ago, 10,000 lumens were at the top. Back in 2018 Imalent shook the flashlight community with the announcement of the Imalent MS12 with 53,000 lumens. Now the Imalent MS18 has almost doubled that amount. Therefore it is mentioned in our brightest flashlights list!

Imalent is still a relatively new player on the market, but as we have seen in the past years, they have been one of the most innovative brand on the planet. Think about OLED displays and tint mixing capabilities. And now the Imalent MS18 with a whopping 100,000 lumens.

I ordered the double kit, including the R90TS head to review as well.

What you'll get:

  • Imalent box
  • Storage box
  • Shoulder strap
  • Spare O-rings
  • Charge adapter
imalent-ms18-specification

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Handling of the light

The Imalent MS18 is a big boy! And with this size of light, I would have preferred a bit more grip!

Just above the power switch is a little OLED display that indicates the lumen output. The switch remained the same from the MS12 and is a flat iron button, which by itself is a little hard to find in the dark. I would like to see them address this little issue. In many cases this isn't really a problem, but if you're in the dark, a kind of physical indicator would be welcome. Something along the lines of a protruding switch or a ridge of some sort. This lumenmonster is not going to be carried in your pocket, where it could accidentally be activated.

Fortunately it comes with a shoulder strap as well. It's a little too heavy to use for an extended period of time. As you can see, they upgraded the attachment points for the strap. Instead of attaching it directly to the body and bezel, they now have a dedicated ring on the head, and a attachment to the tailcap.

2-pieces

The MS18 actually just consists of 2 main parts, the head and batterypack aka body. The batterytube consists of a built-in charge port and 8 pieces of Samsung 40T 21700 cells.
Before you use the flashlight, make sure you'll remove the plastic washer between the head and battery tube. Unscrew the battery pack to remove.

Tailstand?

  • Yes it can, but not very stable! I don't see any value in doing that.. but just so you know it possible.

Build Quality and Anodizing 

Imalent has always been pretty good with their built quality, and the Imalent MS18 is no exception here.  It is a very decently built flashlight with good anodization.  I couldn't find any weird spots or missing anodization. They also upgraded the carry strap attachments. Where the MS12 has the clips attached to the bezel and tailcap, the anno would damage. They found a workaround and added a special attachment ring on the had, and on the tailcap they used the metal charge cover for the attachment point. Not the best idea, but better than damaging the anno in my opinion.

If the cover gets lost, you won't be able to attach the strap anymore. And since it's rather small, losing the cap is very possible.

Please have a look at the following pictures to see the machining on the body tube, which looks very good. Although this is not my favorite style of machining, it is certainly done well, just like it should for this pricey beast.

Fans

The Imalent MS18 is one of the dozen flashlights with and integrated active cooling system. It uses 2 fans that get activated when the light is set to 22,000 Lumens and above. Their is liquid inside the system to cool the light even quicker. This is what Imalent says about the cooling system:

Built-in heat pip radiator with excellent heat dissipation, and equipped with an inlet and outlet fan silent, waterproof, heavy wind, which is a perfect combinatin of great energy and technology.

Well, the fans are NOT quiet! They are very noisy!
And besides that, the torx screws are filled with a substance, probably silicon or glue so you can't easily unscrew them to take off the fan covers.

In the following pictures you can see some details, and the copper fins on the inside of the head.

Threads and O-rings

This is where it's get a little questionable. I'm not sure if its because of the size and weight of the flashlight, or because of the lube, but the threads are damaged. The anodization is missing on parts on the threads. This is a real con in my opinion. A $600 flashlight shouldn't have this problem! And there is only 1 O-ring, while the MS12 had 2 O-rings. So maybe 1 o-ring was missing. Threads came lubed though.

Imalent MS 18 LEDs, Lens, Bezel and Reflector

1 XHP70.2 LED not enough? How about adding 12? Oh no.. how about 18?
The Imalent MS18 uses 18 CREE XHP 70.2 LEDs for maximum output. The LEDs are centered very well in the Light Orange Peel (LOP) reflectors.

Using an LOP reflector means that the beam is smooth and doesn't focus merely on throw. The Imalent R90TS is another story.

The bezel isn't removable by hand, nor is the battery pack from the battery tube.

Dimensions Imalent MS18:

  • Length Imalent MS18: 265 mm / 10.4"
  • MS18 head diameter: 130 mm /  5.1"
  • Width body : 58 mm / 2.3"

Weight:

  • Weight Imalent MS18: 1878 gr / 66.26oz.
  • Weight Head: 1081 grams / 38.16 oz.
  • Weight Body incl battery: 797 grams / 28.10 oz.

From left to right:  BLF Q8, Haikelite MT03 TA, Acebeam X45 II, Imalent MS12, Imalent MS18

imalent-ms18-22
imalent-ms18-45

User Interface:

The Imalent MS18 uses almost the same sophisticated User Interface as the MS12.

Modes: 8 with mfg lumens.

  1. Low (700)
  2. Middle low (2000)
  3. Middle I (5000)
  4. Middle II (10,000)
  5. High I (22,000)
  6. High II (30,000)
  7. High III (60,000)
  8. Turbo (100,000)

From OFF:

  • Press and Hold: Activate the mini LED light above the switch (extremely dim)
  • Single click: last memorized output
  • Double click: Turbo output
  • Triple click: Screen turns on to show Voltage
  • 4x click: Activate Fan
  • 5x click: Lock out

From ON:

  • Press and Hold: Change output from Low to High
  • Single click: Turn Off
  • Double click: Turbo output
  • Triple click: nothing
  • 4 clicks: nothing
  • 5-10 clicks: Turn Off

I don't really like the way to change modes. I'm not a big fan of press and hold for changing modes. So this is just my personal opinion. I rather like a Magnetic control ring, or a Click to change modes.. I

OLED Screen:

Instead of showing the Mode you are in, the screen will show the Lumen setting you are in. Starting at 700, it increases to 60,000 with pressing and holding the switch. The display will show the Lumens for about 2 seconds, and then the Voltage for about 2 seconds. I would rather see the Lumen setting everytime it jumps to the next level instead of Voltage first.
Also any number above 10,000 is difficult to read.. because there are so many 00000's

Built in Switch Indicator Light:

When you press and hold the switch, it will turn on the indicator LED above the switch. This is extremly dim, but could be useful to locate the switch in the dark. I prefered to have a physical switch locator as well.

Low battery warning:

The Low Battery warning is also a little lame since you have to watch the OLED display to see whether the battery is running low. It will show a battery icon blinking every X seconds. I would have preferred the flashlight blinking or a red indicator light..

Strobe:

It's not in the main mode group, but you can enter Strobe mode by a double click from Turbo! There are no other blinky modes like beacon or SOS.

Lock-out mode:

You can enter this mode by clicking 5 times when the light is off. The screen will show a LOCK symbol. When you do another 5 clicks the lock out mode is deactivated, and the display shows an open padlock.

PWM

I couldn't detect any.

Batteries and charging:

You don't need to buy any batteries for this bad boy. There are 8 pieces of samsung 40T 21700 batteries. The package includes an adapter with an output of 19V and 2A. The charge time should be about 4.5 hours. When the batterypack is empty it will show a battery symbol on the screen. See picture below.

And it also took 4.5 hours to charge!

Performance:

My integraged Sphere only measures up till about 4000 Lumens, and anything above this is difficult to measure consistantly. I used a ND filter to cover the dome of the luxmeter. Tests done with the SkyTronic LX-101 Lux meter with integrated sphere that is calibrated with a 136lumen Convoy S2+.
I don't know how trustable the numbers are above 5000 lumens, since the output is just so brutal it the styrofoam ball becomes a lightbulb itself. So Its very possible that the numbers are skewed at that point. So please take my Lumen measurements with a grain of salt!

Lumens measurements vs (MFG):
I did a second measurement after the R90TS was so close to the Manufacturer's specs.. And the difference was noticeable. Maybe the batteries werent fully charged during the first test.. Here are the latest (and improved) numbers

MFG Lumens My Measurements
Imalent MS18 700 914 Lumens
2000 1888 Lumens
5000 4152 Lumens
10,000 7503 Lumens
22,000 13,784 Lumens
30,000 19,812 Lumens
60,000 51,849 Lumens
100,000 71,661 Lumens

 

Runtime:

Runtime was measured using the Android Ceiling Bounce App, that was developed by a Budgelightforum member. The MS18 was put on a table pointed towards the ceiling to measure the runtime. The stepdown is noticeable in fast incremental steps. The Fan is running full power. The funny thing is that Turbo uses so much battery, that the Fan spins slower than when it steps down. So when the brightness decreases during the step down, the fan starts spinning faster.

Turbo output is about 1 minute when it drops down to about 25% output. Then it slowly decreases till it's to about 2 %... I don't know exactly when the low voltage warning turned on.. Because Im not watching the display all the time!

Throw:

Since this light is such a beast I have to be careful measuring the throw in our garden. The neighbors might call the police :... Lol No, it's not a Tactical flashlight by any means, lol. 5 meter measurement was taken indoors. The battery wasn't fully charged, but it hadnt been used very much either.

  • Total Throw measured at 5 meters: 350,000 cd / 350 Kcd (1183 meters, 0.74 miles)
  • Total Throw measured at 10 meters: 370,000 cd / 370 Kcd (1217 meters, 0,75 miles)

I did another test tonight, with a full battery and got some suprising numbers. Keep in mind that the numbers show from startup. So after 30 seconds the output and throw would have been decreased. But I am happy to have measured 540.000cd 540 Kcd at startup! Pretty impressive for this kind of light!

Beamshots

 For the following beamshots I dialed down my camera, so the brightest lights wouldn't just result in 1 white picture. This way the most powerful lights are easier to distinguish!  Canon 50mm F4 ISO1600 1/40 sec. So the brightness in these pictures don't really show what you see in person!

Still dialed down in order to see the difference between the most powerful ones. The MS18 would just be a bright white picture without any details.
As you can see, the Imalent MS18 is a serious beast!

Overall conclusion

Pros:

  1. Extremely bright (the most powerful torch today)
  2. One of the few flashlight with active cooling (including fluid)
  3. Includes a carry case + carry strap
  4. Improved over the MS12
  5. Easy UI

Cons

  1. Numbers on OLED screen are a bit hard to read
  2. Anodization on threads isn't done very well
  3. I'm missing an O-ring
  4. Activating Turbo sometimes happens accidentally.
  5. Not so much grip/knurling on the body

Author: Marco

Overall Rating: Good

I have been extremely interested in this flashlight from the time I heard about it. Now I have been able to test it, this is 1 rediculous lumen monster. You can clearly see the difference between even the MS12 and the MS18. However, there are a few things I didn't like, as I have written in the Cons section, above. This would lead me to give it between 3 and 4 stars.. If you are looking for the brightest flashlight in the world.. Then there is nothing out there that can beat this, as of Q2 2019. Simply breathtaking output!

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