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Imalent SR16 review: lumen monster
Imalent SR16 specifications
|Flashlight category||searchlight / work light / lumen monster|
|LED||16*CREE XHP50.3 Hi|
|Max. output||55,000 Lumens|
|Max. beam distance||1,715 meters|
|Max. beam intensity||736,000 cd|
|Battery config.||Battery pack (4*21700 4000mAh)|
|Onboard charging||DC port 19V|
|Review date||November 2022|
If you’ve visited scrolled through our website, you may have noticed our Imalent reviews. And if you checked some of our buyer’s guides, including the Brightest Flashlights on planet earth, you must have noticed a recurring them. There is basically only 1 brand focusing on getting the most lumens possible in a hand-held flashlight. And that’s Imalent
After producing so many high lumen flashlights, Imalent decided to give it a little twist, and change a few things. 1 of them: finally they included a carry handle (with built-in switch). And the other is 16 CREE XHP50.3 Hi instead of the popular CREE XHP70.2 in most of its other lights.
A summary: The SR16 is a high power, long-range flashlight… and the rest.. you’ll read below
Imalent sends the SR16 in their familiar black and blue packaging with the following inside:
- Imalent SR16
- Carry handle with switch (already installed)
- 19v DC charging adapter
- Spare O-rings
- Allen screwdriver
- Spare fallen screw for the handle
Flashlight in use
Like I mentioned in the intro, the SR16 comes with a carry handle, with a built-in switch. Until recently, most handles that were shipped with flashlights weren’t electronically connected to the flashlight. They sometimes had a fan built-in (like the Acebeam X70) but you couldn’t change modes or turn the light on/off.
Brands like Manker, and Acebeam started implementing switches in their handles, so you didn’t need 2 hands anymore. And that’s a really great feature. So, the SR16 also has a built-in switch, although not very obvious, and maybe even unhelpful for 10% of the population.
Why? Because it’s located on the left side of the handle, near the place it connects to the flashlight. For 90% of the population, who are right-handed, that is fine, but it won’t be too helpful for the other 10%. You could still use your index finger if your left-handed, but that’s just a little less comfortable than using your thumb IMHO
The flashlight itself uses an electronic switch that is located 90degrees from the handle, also on the left side. Both switches can be used interchangeably. You can turn the light on with 1, and turn it off with the other etc. I haven’t noticed any ‘special’ features with either of them.
And unfortunately, Imalent still hasn’t upgraded the switch. It’s still hard to find (without the handle attached).
The body of the light is housing 4*21700 batteries and is therefore pretty wide. And the carry handle is therefore a very welcome accessory. And you don’t need to use the handle, as it’s removable, and you can still use the side switch. This is something that the Acebeam X75 doesn’t have. You lose all features once the handle is removed.
Another benefit of the handle is that it serves as an anti-roll feature.
And since the tailcap uses a flat charge-port cover, you can make it tail stand.
But one thing I missed is a proper tripod mount. Especially with this size flashlight, it could be important to have one.
Build Quality, and Warranty
Imalent’s build quality is pretty good in terms of materials used, etc. There had been some issues in the past with the red-light trouble. But during my testing (which is only limited to about 1-2 weeks of testing) I didn’t find anything worrisome.
Anodization is done pretty well, and I like the rougher machining on this SR16, compared to its bigger siblings, the MS12 and MS18.
The handle is adequately strong, and has a switch built into it. When removed, it exposes 2 pogo pins, and an indicator LED. Unfortunately, the indicator LED is VERY hard to see when the handle is attached, and I think this is a design flaw.
With the handle installed, you really have to search for it in order to see it. In my opinion, the indicator LED should have been on the side of the handle, and not ‘inside’. I hope the following pictures can show more clearly what I mean.
There’s a DC charging port in the tailcap, covered with a metal flat screw-on plate. This makes the SR16 able to tailstand.. in case you wondered.
Imalent’s warranty (from their website)
- 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:
- The product(s)is/are broken down, reconstructed nd/or modified by unauthorized parties.
- The product(s) is/are damaged through improper use.
- The product(s) is/are damaged by leakage of batteries.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
Unlike many of Imalent’s other offerings of high-power flashlights, they went with the CREE XHP50.3 Hi LEDs for the SR16. Most of the other high-power flashlights use CREE XHP70.2’s or 70.3’s. The CREE XHP50.3hi are a great combination of high power and throw.
They are perfectly centered in 16 shallow, smooth reflectors. While the XHP50.3 Hi’s are ‘throwy’, the shallow reflectors would normally produce a wide beam. So this is a good combo.
The reflector is protected by a glass lens, with AR coating, which is again protected by a relatively flat bezel, with several small cutouts.
I used the Opple Light Master III to measure the beam temperature and tint, in 2 modes, the lowest and highest.
- CRI Ra 69.4
And Turbo mode:
- CRI Ra 71.9
And believe it or not, the beam still has a clear hotspot, and a bright spill.
Dimensions and size comparison
|Length||154 mm||6 in|
|Head diameter||109 mm||4.3 in|
|Body diameter||56 mm||2.2 in|
Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter, and to the nearest tenth of an Inch.
|Weight in grams||Weight in Oz.|
|Without handle:||1164 g||41.1 oz|
|With handle||1207 g||42.6 oz|
Weight is rounded to the nearest gram, and to the nearest tenth of an Oz.
High Power flashlights comparison
Size compared to other high lumen flashlights, and the world’s most powerful flashlights
Group 1, soupcan flashlights from left to right, rear row: Imalent SR16, Imalent MS08, Imalent MS12 Mini, Imalent MR90, Acebeam X45 II, Acebeam X75.
Front row, left to right: Acebeam X80 GT, Acebeam X80 GT2, Imalent RS50, Acebeam X50, Manker MK38
Group 2: Lumintop GT94X, Imalent R90TS, Acebeam X70, Imalent MS12, Imalent MS18
Front row: Imalent MR90, Imalent MS12 Mini, Imalent SR16, Imalent X75, with a combined total of over 500,000 lumens!
Driver & User Interface:
The SR16 has 2 switches that can be used interchangeably. There is 1 built into the body, and 1 in the handle. They both work the same, but having the one on the body, makes the light still usable when you remove the handle. So the number of clicks etc.. work for both switches.
- Moonlight, Low, Middle Low, Middle 1, Middle 2, High, Turbo
From OFF: (with either switch)
- Single-click: to last used mode ( mode memory)
- Double click: Turbo (and another double click for strobe)
- 3 clicks: moonlight mode
- 4 clicks: Lockout
- 5+ clicks: nothing
- Press and hold: turn on cooling fans (repeat to turn them off, if not in Middle 1 or higher)
From ON: (with either switch)
- Single-click: off
- Double click: Turbo
- Triple-click: Moonlight mode
- Press and hold: Cycle through the menu from Low to High
- To Turbo: double click from Off or On
- To Strobe: 2 times double click (it will first enter Turbo, before entering Strobe)
- To Moonlight: 3 clicks from On and Off
- Yes (single click from off returns to last used mode)
Blinky modes menu:
- Strobe: double click from Turbo (so if you are in any mode, double-click for Turbo, and do another double-click for Strobe
Low battery warning:
- The red indicator lights turns on, but it’s almost invisible.
- 4+ clicks from off. The green indicator blinks 3 times to indicate the lockout mode is activated. Repeat 4 clicks to deactivate again. Unlike some other Imalents, you really need to click 4 times. Other Imalents would lockout with any number of clicks, more than 3..
- Not visible
I like that Imalent included a real Low mode, and added a switch to the handle. I just don’t particularly like the way the indicator LED is hidden, even though I usually don’t check it much anyway.
Batteries & Charging
Imalent chose to use a built-in battery pack rather than separate cells. They also did that on the MS12, MS12 mini, and MS18. A battery pack has some benefits but also several drawbacks. Here’s a short list:
- Need to stop using the light when batteries are empty (can’t replace batteries and continue, although you can buy a spare battery pack)
- Can’t replace batteries easily when they turn bad
- Can’t use your favorite battery charger
- Have a set of batteries with the same use (so can’t accidentally mix discharged and charged batteries)
I’m not 100% sure if it’s a feature, but I could continue using the light when the power was plugged in.
The power adapter for charging has an output of 19V and 2Amps and I measured at about 35watts. Charging took me 2 hours and 09 minutes. During charging, there is a red light, which turns green when charging is finished.
The battery packs for the MS12 Mini, the MR90, and the SR16 seem to be the same. I tried the battery pack of the MR90, and it worked on the SR16. I also tried the MS12 Mini on the MR90 which also worked. So that way, you can have a backup battery pack.
At this point in time, maybe it’s time for Imalent to move to USB-C charging? And use the battery pack as a power bank, and charge it with any kind of USB-C charger? Just a suggestion.
The output measurements in this review are based on my homemade integrating spheres, each equipped with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter. For consistency and accuracy, a calibration light (Convoy S2+ with 249lm and a Convoy S2+ with 261lm) is measured prior to each set of lumen measurements.
For high-output lights, one of the lux meters uses an ND camera filter to prevent the lux meter to max out. This is either the Kenko PRO1D ND16 up till about 80,000 lumens or Gobe ND32 for anything above.
All of my readings were taken from a fully-charged battery pack.
The measurements were taken manually at turn on and 30 seconds. The 10-minute numbers are taken from the runtime graph.
|Specified lumens||At turn-on||30 sec||10 minutes|
|Turbo||55,000 lm||53,657 lm||43,115 lm||8,956 lm|
I didn’t test the runtime test in Moon mode, as it is supposed to run for 98 hours. I have too many modes and flashlights to test, so I usually keep them within 24 hours. When I have time, I sometimes let it run for 2-3 days, but that doesn’t happen too often.
Imalent SR16 battery life and runtime graphs
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Gobe ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
|Mode||Specified runtime||Measured runtime (ANSI FL1)||Time till shut off|
|Low||7h||6h 40min||6h 40min|
|Mid Low||3h||3h 05min||3h 05min|
|Mid 1||1h 54min||1h 57min||1h 57min|
ANSI FL1 standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning it on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.
Imalent SR16 Peak beam intensity and beam distance measurements
Measurements were taken outdoors at 10 meters and indoors at 5 meters with a Hagner E4-X Lux Meter. Measurements were taken 30 seconds after turn on. I used the 5 meters measurements, as they were a few percent higher than the 10-meter measurements.
|Specified||Measured||in meter||in yards|
|Turbo||736,000 cd||472,500 cd||1375 meters||1503 yards|
|Turbo start||736,000 cd||612,500 cd||1565||1712|
Before I tested throw, I already ‘knew’ it wasn’t going to reach the specified distance or intensity. This is a recurring theme with Imalent, unfortunately. I’m not saying that 1375 meters / 1503 yards is bad, but it would have been nice if it reached the claimed 1715 meters.
Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object).
Imalent SR16 vs MS08 vs RS05 vs MS12 mini.
Below you can see the dark blue line, which is the SR16. It’s just below the 10,000 lumen line for 40 minutes straight.
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.
A week before I did these beamshots I went for a walk on a dyke (we have lots of those, here in the Netherlands) which really showed its potential. A treeline a couple of hundred meters away, behind some fields, was lit very brightly.
For the following beamshots, I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 with a 50mm lens. Manual settings: ISO1600, 1/4sec, F4, 5000K
The shed is about 65 meters / 71 yards away, and the reflective fence is about 200 meters.
These following flashlights are compared:
- Acebeam X75
- Imalent MS18
- Imalent MR90
- Imalent SR16
- Imalent MS12 Mini
The first set of pictures are white washed.. just like you would see in person. I know this is not the best comparison, so the next set will show some longer-distance shots.. Hopefully, they will do a bit more justice. At least you should be able to see that it’s also a good thrower.
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 powerful, and reaches over 50,000 lumens at turn-on and over 40,000 lumens after 30 seconds.
- Removable carry handle with built-in switch
- Can be used without the handle!
- Finally, a real low-output mode (albeit still relatively bright for a ‘Moon light’ mode)
- Cooling fans keep the temperature in check, and sustain a high brightness.
- No tripod mount
- Battery indicator LED position is designed poorly. Hard to see in normal use.
- Not reaching claimed beam intensity (candelas/throw/distance)
- Cooling fans are still noisy and don’t seem to be temperature controlled.
- The switch is still difficult to find when the handle is removed
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: ★★★★
Imalent has been adding more and more high-power flashlights to its lineup. The SR16 is another crazy bright flashlight, running on a battery pack with 4*21700s. I really like that they added a carry handle with a built-in switch. And if you don’t like using it, you can remove it, and use the ‘normal’ switch.
There are a few quirks though, including the noisy fans, and hard-to-see battery level indicator.
In terms of performance, it’s doing a pretty good job. Both in lumen output and in throw.