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Imalent MS08 Review: High Power Flashlight
Imalent MS08 specifications
|Beam intensity||136,000 cd|
|Material||Aluminum + plastic casing|
|Review date||November 2021|
If you’re into high power flashlights, you should already know Imalent. I said ‘should’ because your knowledge might be dated.
The Imalent MS08 is at the time of review, the latest addition in their MS series. We’ve reviewed a couple of MS series already, including the Imalent MS03, MS06, and last but not leas, the brightest flashlight of the world: Imalent MS18.
When you compare them, they look quite similar in terms of design features. But the MS08 has something unique, namely a plastic shell with 2 cooling fans. The shell can be removed by a single screw with your nails. Especially helpful if you just use it on lower modes. And last but not least, Imalent claims and output of up to 34,000 lumens. We’ll test that, of course.
The MS08 arrived in a pretty good-looking box. It has a carton sleeve with a picture on it, and 2 specs: 34,000 lumens, and 738 meters..The box itself doesn’t have much writing on it either. Inside the box you can find the following:
- The flashlight: Imalent MS08 with skeleton shell
- 2 charge cables
- 2 O-rings
- Spare screw for the plastic shell
Flashlight in use
One of the first things you’ll notice upon opening is the futuristic-looking MS08. But what you’re looking at is the plastic housing that is supposed to keep the flashlight cool by 2 built-in fans.
The fans blow wind onto the flashlight (not away from it) and the hot air leaves through the holes in the plastic housing. The housing itself has a tiny battery built-in, and lasts for a little short of 2 hours (1 hour and 52 minutes). It needs to be activated manually and is not electronically connected to the flashlight, so there is no temperature controller connected to the fans.
You push the switch for the fans (at the back) for on, and off, and there is only a single speed. You need to use the switch on the MS08 for power and mode switching, separately. So keep that in mind that you need to keep a charge in the battery for the fans to work. Otherwise, your light can probably not spread the heat, and even overheat? I will share some images to show how hot it can get, without the cooling fans.
The benefit of using this plastic cover is to protect your fingers from burning, lol.
There are 2 indicator LEDs that can be activated on each side. That way you can easily find the flashlight back in the dark. But it also helps to tell you where NOT to push, because the switch is very hard to find in the dark. It’s actually impossible without having some guidance.
This has been said a couple of times in our reviews, and I hope Imalent will improve that on their next power houses. It’s just a little too difficult to find the switch when it’s pitch black outside.
In terms of size, it’s definitely a soupcan-sized light, even with the plastic case.
There’s no lanyard attachment toward the rear, so you kind of have to use the holster. But if you have large pockets in your coat, it might even fit.
Also, if you have a large enough diffuser, you can make it tailstand pretty stable since the rear end is flat.
Build Quality, and Warranty
When it comes to Imalent, you can easily see the similarities between all the Imalent MS flashlights. The coating looks the same, the knurling/machining and threads.
I’d love to see a little more smooth finish when it comes to anodization, and smoother edges to make it look a little higher-end. And I wouldn’t complain if it had a stainless steel bezel either :–)
Threads came lubed, and are square cut. And to keep water out, there is a single rubber, nicely lubed o-ring.
Imalent also included a holster that feels okay. It has velcro strap at the back, a sown loop, and a plastic ring to attach it to a belt or something.
- Free Repair/Replacement within 15 Days after Receipt
Within 15 days after receipt and under normal use, any quality problem with your IMALENT flashlight, you can either send the light to repair or a new one of the same type with same specifications will be replaced; if the same model has been discontinued or not able to be replaced timely due to other reasons, another model with same or better performance will replaced instead;
2. 60 Months’Free Repair
Within 60 months after receipt and under normal use, any quality problem with your IMALENT flashlight, you can send it to repair for free;
. Lifetime Limited Maintenance
IMALENT provides you with lifetime limited maintenance for your flashlight, after the 60 months’free repair period ,any probems with your flashlight,IMALENT can repair and maintain it ,repairing fee will be charged on an actual cost basis,no labor cost charged;
The warranty is nullified in all of the following situations:
1.The product(s)is/are broken down, reconstructed and/or modified by unauthorized parties.
2.The product(s) is/are damaged through improper use.
3.The product(s) is/are damaged by leakage of batteries.
LED, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
In order to reach the claimed 34,000 lumens, Imalent choose 8 CREE XHP70.2 LEDs. These LEDs can produce a lot of lumens, and are currently one of the most powerful used in flashlights.
All 8 LEDs sit in a shallow LOP (light orange peel) reflector, protected by a
Sometimes I get the question: which flashlight can maintain 10,000 lumens for 1 hour or more. That’s not reality my friends. No handheld is going to be able to sustain 10,000 lumens for more than couple of minutes in this day and age.
However, Imalent mentioned in their ads, that it can sustain 10K lumens, so that’s a pretty bold statement, and of course, we’re here to test that.
But, whatever the results are, I’m always excited about testing high-power flashlights, even if they can’t live up to the expectations.
With the use of my Opple Lightmaster I was able to get the following measurements inside my styrofoam integrating sphere:
- CCT: 5347
- Ra: 66.5
This means a relatively neutral/cold neutral beam. But the CCT numbers move up and down, so in reality, it can be a bit warmer/cooler. And the Ra (CRI) is a little low as well, but that’s not an issue with these high power flashlights.
Oh, and people who ask for High CRI, high lumen flashlights… don’t think that’s very realistic either. Just point 5,000 lumens to anything closer than 10-20 meters and you can’t even tell what color the object is in the middle of the hotspot… not because of the lack of CRI, but because of the brightness.
Dimensions and Imalent MS08 size comparison
The following measurements of the MS08:
- Length: 123.58 mm / 4.87 ”
- Bezel diameter: 74 mm / 2.91 ”
- Body diameter: 51 mm / 2 ”
- Empty: 443.4 g / 15.64 oz
- With batteries: 660.8 g / 23.31 oz
- Plastic shell: 122.6g / 4.32oz.
- With batteries and plastic shell: 783.4 g / 27.63 oz
High Power Flashlight comparison
Size compared to other High power, soupcan-sized flashlights
Driver & User Interface:
The Imalent MS08 has a pretty straight forward UI, without any fancy hidden modes.
- Low, Middle Low, Middle 1, Middle 2, High, Turbo
- Single-click: to last used mode ( mode memory)
- Double click: Turbo
- Triple-click: Low mode
- 4+ clicks: Lockout
- Press and hold: turn on indicator LEDs on 2 sides of the head (repeat to turn them off again)
- Single-click: off
- Double click: Turbo
- Triple-click: Low mode
- Press and hold: Cycle through the menu from Low to High
- To Turbo: double click from Off and On
- To Low: 3 clicks from Off and On
- To Strobe: there is no strobe
Blinky modes menu:
Low battery warning:
- The red indicator light flashes on the side
- 4+ clicks from off. The green indicator lights blink 3 times to indicate the lockout mode is activated. Repeat 4 clicks to deactivate again. You can also do 5 clicks or 10 clicks.. works the same.
- Not visible
Batteries & Charging
Imalent provides 3 high discharge batteries with the MS08. These are button top cells, and are labeled: Imalent MRB-217P40S, and if you look at the following pictures, you can see some text behind the wrappers, indicating these to be Samsung INR21700 40T. These are good, high-quality cells. There is only 1 thing that I don’t like so much about the text on the wrapper, saying these have protection boards, but our fellow reviewer Owen took the wrapper off, and only found a spacer, without any electronics. That’s a minus point for Imalent, not so much for the review.
You could use your own button tops, but flat tops won’t work. Oh, and if you use protected cells, make sure they have their cut off high enough!
Charge speed is about 2A… and takes between 6-6.5 hours to charge with the included charger. Batteries are charged to 4.18 V.
The 2 indicator LEDs on both sides of the flashlight are lit red during charging, and turn solid green when finished.
The plastic shell has a tiny battery built in, that is charged with the same kind of charging cable as the batteries inside the flashlight. The battery inside the plastic shell can run for almost 2 hours. Enough for Turbo mode and High mode, just not enough for Middle 1. Even though in my runtime tests, I turned the fans on for Middle 1, but they stopped working after 2 hours.
All output numbers are relative to my homemade Integrating Sphere. It is set up with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter for measurements including a Kenko PRO1D ND-16 filter. The base measurement is done with a Convoy S2+ that has been tested at 255 lumens.
For Amp readings, I use a Fluke 77III DMM. For higher amps I now use a Fluke 325 True RMS clamp meter. For microamps, I use a cheap DMM with an easy-to-use micro amp setting.
All of my readings were taken from fully-charged Imalent MRB-217P40S batteries (Samsung INR21700 40T). The measurements at turn on, and 30 seconds were done manually. The 10 minutes readings were taken from the runtime test.
|Modes||Specs||@ turn on||@ 30sec||@ 10min|
|Turbo||34,000 lm||25,745 lm||19,615 lm||6,049 lm|
- 35 µA (tested this with a single battery)
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
First off, this boring looking graph, showing all runtimes in 1 graph.
Next up, are 2 graphs, zoomed in for the first 10 minutes of the runtime tests, and the other 60 minutes.
Turbo (cooled) starts off just above 25,000 lumens (claimed 34,000) and within less than 1 minute drops to roughly 6800 lumens. It slowly decreases output with a few quicker drops until it turns off at 56 minutes.. The last measured output was around 1670 lumens. (Specs: 45s + 53min)
High (cooled) started at almost 8800 lumens and the first visible drop is around 3 minutes, when it drops to roughly 6600 lumens. It keep reducing output till it turns off at 54 minutes. The last measured output was also around 1670 lumens. (Specs: 60 min)
Middle 2 (cooled) 2 starts at around 3850 lumens, and slowly decreases output till it turns off at 1 hour and 29 minutes. The last measured output was roughly 1750 lumens. (Specs: 1h 30min)
Middle 1 started at around 1630 lumens and slowly decreased till it died at 5 hours and 4 minutes. Last measured output was 560 lumens. (Specs: 4h 50 min)
Middle low starts around 616 lumens and slowly decreased output till it dies after 19 hours and 20 minutes. Last measured output was roughly 160 lumens. (Specs: 19h)
Low starts around 357 lumens and reduces output slowly. Around 2 hours and 21 minutes it’s at 300 lumens, and after 15 hours and 36 minutes it reaches 200 lumens. After 34 hours and 53 minutes the light turns off.. the last measured output was roughly 100 lumens. (Specs: 30h)
The batteries were at around 2.8V after each runtime test, so the LVP works.
Next up is a runtime comparison between Turbo mode, with, and without cooling. And some thermal images taken to see how hot the light gets without the cooling fan/shell in Turbo mode.
From these tests I can conclude the following:
- The manual states: High efficient circuit, can be constantly on at 10,000 lumens (This is not true)
- The manual states: The Maximum output of 34,000 lumens (this is not true)
- The manual states: While using the high output mode, the flashlight will generate a lot of heat. When the flashlight body temperature reaches 50 degrees celsius, the brightness will decrease to 10,000 lumens in order to ensure safe, comfortable use and prevent discomfort from overheating. When the flashlight body reaches 65 degrees Celsius, the flashlight will not Activate turbo. (you can see from the thermal images that it still heats up to higher temperatures that are uncomfortable to hold the flashlight in your hand with)
Measurements were taken indoors at 5meters (after 30 seconds) with a professional Hagner E4-X Lux Meter.
|Mode||Specs||Candela measured||in Meters||in Yards|
|Turbo||136,000 cd||60,000 cd||490||536|
Hmmm.. it’s a little sad that I can’t even reach half of what it claims in terms of candela. I retested it at almost 7 meters, and the numbers were still the same.
Imalent MS08 vs Olight Marauder 2 vs Acebeam X50 etc.
High power flashlight competitors
Hover your mouse over any particular line to see data points! Or select a flashlight at the bottom of the graph to highlight that particular graph. (Are you on a mobile phone? Hold your phone horizontally).
Here is the list with most of the high-power flashlights we reviewed in this category (Category: high-power soupcan sized flashlights).
|Flashlight (and Link)||Max. Output||after 30sec|
|Acebeam X45 II||17,972||17,116|
|Imalent MS12 Mini||68,773||46,750|
|Manker MK38 (SFT)||16,013||13,129|
|Olight Marauder 2||14,251||13,964|
|Name and model||Lumens||Lumens|
(Interactive line graphs below)
Hover your mouse over the lines in the graph to see more details.
Or click on a name at the bottom of the graph to highlight the specific runtime.
For the following beamshots I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 and a 50mm lens. manual settings: ISO1600, 1/4sec , F4, 5000K
The shed is about 65 meters / 71 yards away, and the trees/fence at around 200 meters.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Imalent. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Very bright
- Pretty small compared to its bigger brother MS18 and R90TS
- Includes high quality batteries
- Includes a nice holster
- Cooling built into plastic shell so you can choose to use the fans or not
- Not reaching claimed distance or output, nor maintains claimed output
- No electronic connection between fans and flashlight, meaning they don’t activate at certain brightness leve/ heat level
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4 stars: ★★★ ★
Yes, it’s bright, and yes, it’s very powerful, but unfortunately, not as powerful as Imalent claims it to be. I couldn’t get near specs with output nor throw. Definitely worth 4 stars if you don’t keep their specs in mind.