Lumintop CL2

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Lumintop CL2 Review: 4AA camping lantern

Lumintop CL2 specifications

Brand/modelLumintop CL2
LED4x Luminus SST20
LumensMax 650 Lumens (on Turbo)
Beam intensity135 cd / 46 m
Battery config.1-4*AA / 14500
MaterialAluminum
Modes5
BlinkiesStrobe, SOS, beacon
Reflector/OpticFrosted white plastic
WaterproofIPX8
Review dateJuly 2021

Introduction:

Lumintop is a well-known player in the flashlight market. They started in 2008 and are known for a wide range of flashlights, including the very famous Lumintop FW3A, and their Tool series

Today we review the Lumintop CL2, for which the abbreviation stands for Camping Lantern 2. To be honest, I don’t know what the 2 stands for, I haven’t been able to find out if they ever made a version 1. Perhaps this name was chosen to avoid getting into trouble with Klarus, as Klarus released the CL1 in the past, which might explain the naming. 

The CL2 is a lantern, really aimed at being used to put it somewhere you need temporary light, and in all honesty it does look a lot like the Sofirn LT1 in a slimmed-down form.

Package quality.

The Lumintop CL2 comes in a luxurious sturdy white cardboard packaging, which is very reminiscent of the well-known iPhone packaging where the box consists of two separate parts and the lid is lifted to view the contents.

The contents are well protected by luxurious black sturdy high density foam, on top of the CL2 is a pouch with a spare O-ring, a USB A to C cord, and a short manual. The contents are covered by a soft piece of synthetic foam. All in all, it is a good first impression due to the luxurious packaging and necessary accessories.

The package comes with:

  • Lumintop CL2
  • Spare O-ring
  • USB A to C cord
  • Manual

Flashlight in use

My first impression of the Lumintop CL2 is very positive. It looks very good at first glance, the lantern looks designed well and the quality seems to be very decent. The finish is very good and gives a solid and reliable impression. 

Compared to the Sofirn LT1, the size of the CL2 is quite a bit smaller, something beneficial, since this makes it a more versatile tool because it’s more compact. This handiness makes it easier to carry.

I personally experience the size of the CL2 as a very pleasant format, it fits comfortably in the hand, has a good grip and has more than enough grip, partly due to the choice of the ‘knurling’.

To replace the batteries, the entire tube must be unscrewed from the top of the lantern, the bottom of the battery tube is not removable. The flat bottom of the battery tube is screwed into the battery tube like a retaining ring.

In addition, the bottom has a standard camera tripod mount, allowing it to be placed on a tripod. Most persons will probably use the flat bottom to set the lantern down, its size allows it to be used on virtually any surface

The lantern is equipped with a foldable stainless steel handle, making it easy to hang the lantern on a hook or a tent pole or similar, making the CL2 ideal for camping, hiking or other outdoor activities.

When equipped with 4 batteries, the lamp feels a bit heavier, however, this is not a problem, its compact size makes it much easier to use and carry than larger lanterns such as the LT1.

The CL2 has an electronic switch with the well known Lumintop bunny on it. Rumours say there would be discussion with Energizer about the use of the bunny because of patent rights of Energizer, and as a result Lumintop decided to temporarily change the packaging so it is not provided with the iconic Lumintop bunny logo. 

The switch is equipped with lighting, which is not factory enabled. With 7 clicks, the switch lighting can be turned on and off. Personally I think that the position of the lighting is somewhat unfortunate, because only the ears of the bunny light up and the intensity is a bit low.

Another selling point is the built-in USB-C charging functionality, it is suitable for charging 14500 Li-ion batteries, with a charging speed of up to 2A.

Build Quality, and Warranty

 The build quality of the CL2 is spot on. The lamp feels solid, and gives the impression that it is well designed. When you shake the lamp you don’t hear any strange rattles,noises, or whatsoever. Everything is just well put together.

The pattern of the knurling is diamond-shaped and is relatively small, but deeply cut, which makes for a very fine and good grip. Because the diameter of the tube is a lot thinner it grips nicely in the hand.

The switch provides enough feedback for easy operation and the other material choices also seem to be well chosen. An interesting detail is the plastic diffuser; in terms of design, the lamp is very similar to the LT1, however, in the CL2 the outside of the diffuser is frosted, whereas the diffuser of the LT1 has a smooth outer side.

The matte exterior looks very nice, however it is more sensitive to dirt and makes it less easy to clean.

The housing is all aluminum and is finished by a matte black anodizing, with a white screen print on top of the lamp with the Lumintop logo, the warning HOT and the serial number. All in all, the lamp looks very good and has a well thought design.

The quality of the finish is reflected in the threads, the thread is rectangular and is slightly finer dimensioned than for example the LT1, but there is nothing to complain about, everything screws together smoothly and securely.

Warranty

Lumintop has a pretty comprehensive warranty policy, they provide full warranty on defects within 30 days of purchase, with the product being repaired or replaced at no charge

5 year free warranty; Lumintop will repair products free of charge if problems occur within 5 years under normal use. Products with built-in batteries are guaranteed for 2 years, accessories are guaranteed for 1 year.

Lifetime Warranty; If a product requires repair after the warranty period, charges will apply.

Warranty does not apply to parts subject to normal wear and tear, abuse, force majeure, or human error.

LED, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector

The CL2 uses 4 x Luminus SST20 LEDs in Neutral White. Lumintop doesn’t give any further details about the exact data of the LED, but it is clear that the lantern performs well. Lumintop has produced a very good lantern with the CL2. It is clear that it is a lot simpler than, for example (yes I am calling it, again) the LT1, where you can adjust the tint hue, among other things.

The LEDs are placed on top of the lamp behind a plastic diffuser to spread the light as evenly as possible, something that works very well. The light output is very good, especially when using 14500 batteries.

The design is a bit like a lighthouse, with the light at the top emitted in all directions.

The specifications indicate that the lamp is usable up to about 46m, so the CL2 really has its intended use as a local light source, it is certainly not comparable to a flashlight where you want to illuminate objects from a long distance.

Dimensions and size comparison

  • Length: 137,5 mm
  • Head diameter: 55 mm
  • Body diameter:  39mm

Weight: 

  • Without cells: 222 grams 
  • With cells: depending on battery type
  • with 14500’s 306 gr. (4x keeppower protected 800mAh)
  • With AA’s 315 gram

Flashlight comparison

In the attached photos I have tried to indicate the size, showing of course the biggest opponent the LT1. Because not everyone will be familiar with the size, I have included the well-known C8 flashlight as a reference.

Interesting detail; the Sofirn BLF LT1 is based on the BLF Q8, they share many parts with each other, the photo shows the original Q8 with flats on the battery tube, the newer Sofirn Q8 has the exact same battery tube as the LT1.

from Left to Right: Thorfire BLF Q8, Sofirn LT1, Lumintop CL2, Convoy C8.

Driver & User Interface:

In the main mode, the lamp has 3 intensity levels; Low, Medium, and High.

Moonlight is only accessible by holding down the switch (from off) for 2 seconds. Turbo is only accessible by double clicking (when switched on) in the main mode.

From Moonlight it is possible to switch to Low Medium and High, but not back to Moon, after High it switches back to Low.

Modes: Moon, Low Medium, High, Turbo

From OFF:

  • Press and Hold: after 2 seconds Moonlight, after 5 seconds Lock-out.
  • Single click: Last used memory (L,M,H)
  • Double click: battery check 
  • Triple click: N.A.

From ON:

  • Press and Hold: turns off.
  • Single click: next mode
  • Double click: Turbo
  • Triple click: Last used memory
  • 4 clicks: N.A.

Mode memory:

  •  The CL2 features mode memory

Shortcuts:

  • To moonlight: From OFF, hold for 2 sec.
  • To Turbo:  From ON, double click
  • To Strobe: From Moonlight, double click to access strobe. Strobe has 3 modes which can be cycled after entering strobe mode by a single click. hold 1 sec for OFF

Low voltage warning:

  • The CL2 features Low voltage warning, it will step down below 3.15V when using 14500 cells. 

The switch indicator will blink red when the battery voltage is 2,8V or below. 

Using AA it will step down at 1.15 V 

Strobe/blinkies

  • To Strobe: From Moonlight, double click to access strobe. Strobe has 3 modes which can be cycled after entering strobe mode by a single click. hold 1 sec for OFF

Lock-out mode: 

  • The light features lockout mode. Lockout can be enabled or disabled by holding the switch button for 5 seconds.

PWM

  •   I could not find PWM using 14500 cells

Button light

  • Standard the switch light will not be lighted. To enable or disable the switch light when the CL2 is switched on, click the switch button 7 times.

Battery indicator

  • From OFF, two clicks on the switch button will indicate the battery level by means of switch flashes.
  • 3 blinks = 5- ~ 100%
  • 2 blinks = 10%~50%
  • 1 blink = < 10% 

Batteries & Charging

The Lumintop CL2 can use different batteries, something that is very convenient because you can use whatever power sources you have available under different circumstances.

It can handle;

  • 14500 Li-ion 3.7 V
  • AA 1.5 V
  • NiMh 1.2 V

A big advantage is that AA batteries are available almost everywhere. The downside is that they are not rechargeable, so using 14500 batteries seems like a logical choice, especially since the lamp has a USB-C charging port, so you can charge it during the day via a powerbank, charger, or whatever.

NiMh rechargeable batteries can also be used in the CL2, the only downside to this is that it must be charged with an external charger, the USB-C port only supports charging 3.7V 14500 batteries.

Please note that 14500 batteries must have button tops, otherwise the battery may not make contact with the driver.

The CL2 features built-in USB-C charging. The charging rate is specified at max. 2 A at 5V, which is approximately the speed I have tested it with as well, which is more than adequate fot four 14500’s, since it won’t result in a very long charging period.

The USB-C functionality is not 100% compatible up to the standards, since the light won’t charge on a USB-C to USB-C charger (which most of my chargers are nowadays), charging only works with a USB-A to C charging cable.

Note; The USB-C charging function is only compatible with Li-Ion 14500 cells. AA or NimH charging is not supported.

Performance

For the test I have used 4 keeppower 800mAh 14500 cells, each time fully charged for each test.

Lumens are measured into my self made integrating sphere made from a 50 cm EPS sphere, together with a UNI-T 383 S Luxmeter. The whole setup is calibrated with a calibrated ‘ maukka ‘ (BLF member)  light.

For runtimes i have used the android app ceilingbounce (by BLF member Zack) as well as BLF member GChart his ESP setup.

for the NiMh i have used IKEA LAdda cells, for the AA test i have used regular available common on the shelf cells.

Amp measurement  

Amp measurement is performed by using a bench power supply set to 4,2V and connecting the leads to the driver, current is measured with a clampmeter type: UNI-T UT210-E.

Note: somehow I was not able to get the light in Turbo during the current measurement.

  • Moon:   0.005A
  • Low:   0.05A
  • Medium: 0.768A
  • High:  1.5A

Parasitic drain:

  • I was not able to measure parasitic drain

Runtime graph

As can be seen on the chart, in Turbo the light keeps its output pretty stable for the first 1,5 minute. After 1,5 minute it does stepdown to High, which is about 60% of its maximum output. 

After another 2,5 minutes another stepdown is executed, which is exactly as expected. Thius behavior is described in the manual, so the light will do 2 step downs on Turbo, one after 1m30s and the second after 2m.30s. This behavior is found during the test! 

The same behaviour can be seen during High mode. At first it performs at about 694 Lm, and is pretty stable. After four minutes it does stepdown to medium

Low and moonlight do not stepdown.

Lumen measurements (for each mode)

Lumens are measured into my self made integrating sphere made from a 50 cm EPS sphere, together with a UNI-T 383 S Luxmeter. The whole setup is calibrated with a calibrated ‘ maukka ‘ (BLF member)  light.

For runtimes I have used the android app ceilingbounce (by BLF member Zack) as well as BLF member GChart his ESP setup

14500

  • Turbo mode is maintained for the duration of 1m50 s, after which it will step down to HI mode for 2m.30s. After that it will perform another stepdown to MEDIUM  mode for 2h10m
  • High mode will be available for 4m, and will stepdown after that to medium mode for the duration of 2h10m 
  • According to the manual, Medium mode will not stepdown and will last for  2h + 40 m. I have found it runs for 4 hours, after it will stepdown to 15 Lumen, and will run for another 2 hours!
  • LOW mode is rated to last 15 hours, Moon will last 20 days (not tested)
ModeAmpsSpecsLumens @10minLumens @30 secLumens @ start
Moon2222
Low10202020
Med160267267267
High400444694694
Turbo65041811801180

AA

On AA the rated Runtimes are:

  • Turbo 5h, after which it will stepdown to HI mode, that will last 1h30m
  • High mode will last for 10h+ after which it steps down and last another 1h 30min
  • Medium will not stepdown and run for 22h
  • Low will last 48h and Moon 28 days.
ModeAmpsSpecsLumens @10minLumens @30 secLumens @ start
Moon2<1
Low514
Med2042
High5092
Turbo90156
  • Moon <1 Lm
  • Low: 14 Lm
  • Medium: 42 Lm
  • High: 92 Lm
  • Turbo: 156 Lm

When the CL2 is used on NiMh cells, there are only 2 modes available, which is Moon mode and probably Low mode, higher modes are not available. The output of Low is about 15 Lm on NiMh.

Throw numbers: 

Throw is measured @5m with the UNI-T 383S using 4 14500 Keeppower 800mAh cells

  • Moon : 0
  • LOW : 0
  • MED : 1.6 Lux = 40cd =12.6m
  • HIGH : 3,2 Lux = 80 Cd = 17.9m
  • TURBO : 6,2 Lux = 155 Cd = 24.9m

Beamshots

As mentioned earlier in this review, the CL2 is not really comparable with a regular flashlight since the intended use is just different. It is not made to throw, it is designed as a tool during outdoor activities where you need to have a light that lights up the near area.

I have tried to capture this on a photo, the images show the light on 14500 on turbo. You can see on the picture that it lights up the area pretty well.

The pictures with the LT1 are not set to a specific light intensity setting, this is just to show the difference

Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Nealsgadgets. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.

Final Verdict

Pros

  1. Great build quality
  2. compact size
  3. good output
  4. great runtimes (better than advertised)
  5. USB-C charging
  6. Easy to operate UI

Cons

  1. Switch backlight position
  2. Does fully not comply with USB-C standard

Explanation on star ratings:

1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues, much better options available at the same price – 3: Average: some defects or issues – 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended

Reviewer Peter
Author: Peter

4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆

With the CL2, Lumintop has delivered a fine piece of work, qualitatively the lamp looks good, it performs well, it comes with useful features like USB C charging, which in my opinion is really a plus.

The switch lights can be turned on and off, the UI is not as difficult as for example Narsil.

The light output is good, the tint hue is fine, the size is very practical, Runtimes are great, they match their ratings and Medium is even better than rated, I can really only think of pluses.

So are there no drawbacks?

The only thing I can think of is the position of the switch backlight, only the ears of the well-known bunny are lit. 

Second, the UI is not bad, but an option to choose from ramping or stepped modes would be nice (something Lumintop used with the GT3 with NarsilM).

Taking these things together, i would still recommend this lamp and it absolutely deserves 4,5 stars

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