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Lumintop GT3 Review: 18,000 LUMENS
|Beam intensity||85,600 cd (580 meters)|
|Modes||Multi (NarsilM v1.3 firmware)|
|Blinkies||Multi (NarsilM v1.3 firmware)|
|Reflector||Light orange peel (LOP)|
|Review date||December 2020|
Update: the new batch of Lumintop GT3 flashlights will include a lanyard and run on Anduril firmware instead of NarsilM. And don’t forget to check out our review of its successor, the Lumintop GT3 Pro
Lumintop has become a very popular brand amongst flashlight enthusiasts. Especially on the Budgetlightforum (BLF). In the past few years, several projects were done with the help of members of the forum. Meanwhile, it has produced many new flashlights that are based on firmware developed by a few BLF members.
The Lumintop GT3 is another flashlight in the GT series with the first being the Lumintop BLF GT, which we reviewed as well, of course. The GT3 is a high-power flashlight running of 4 batteries with 3 large XHP70.2 LEDs. And for a price just above $100, this might become a great seller.
Lumintop used their common style cardboard packaging. There is nothing to really complain about, but it does feel a bit cheap. It’s rather difficult to remove the actual box from its cover. There aren’t many accessories included. The box contains the following:
- The Lumintop GT3 flashlight
- 1 Spare O-ring
- Lanyard attachment ring
- Lanyard attachment tripod screw
Handling of the light
It feels like any standard soupcan light. It’s short and fat. The 4*18650 batteries make the body feel large, and slippery. There is some machining, but I wouldn’t call that knurling. Therefore the flashlight itself can be a bit slippery.
Fortunately enough, Lumintop did include a lanyard attachment ring. It can be used as an anti-roll feature at the same time. On 1 side of the flashlight, you can find a tripod mount, covered by a metal screw with a hole. On the opposite side you find the switch. It’s a single electronic switch.
At first I thought this was using the popular Anduril firmware, but I was wrong. It uses NarsilM v1.3 firmware, adapted by BLF member Texas_Ace. You can easily operate the flashlight one-handed.
Unfortunately, Lumintop didn’t include a lanyard, but the lanyard attachment ring is already in place. It’s easy to make one and cheap to get one.
Tailstanding: no problem.
Build Quality, Knurling, Threads, and anodization
Its design looks pretty nice. Nothing wrong with the materials or machining. The machining is very smooth. So smooth it doesn’t really help with holding it tight. There is actually no knurling on the body.
Its threads are anodized and lubed. They run pretty smooth. The metal lanyard attachment ring is held in place by a black rubber o-ring.
LEDS, LENS, BEZEL, AND REFLECTOR
How is the Lumintop GT3 able to claim a 18,000 lumen output?
From the Soup Can Flashlights I have, most aren’t reaching any higher than that. In fact, most aren’t reaching even 10,000 lumens. So, if the Lumintop GT3 can push out 18,000 lumens, they must be doing something interesting.
At the heart of this beast are 3 LEDs. And no, we aren’t talking about 5mm LED diodes, but about 3 CREE XHP70.2 LEDs that each can produce 6000 or more lumens. All 3 LEDs are very well centered in a triple reflector. And the inside of the reflectors have an orange-peel finish to make the beam as smooth as possible. This will also play down any artifacts in the beam like sharp edges, strange beam colors etc.
Reflector and LEDs are protected by a stainless steel bezel and AR (anti-reflective) coated lens. And yes, the beam is pretty smooth! Check out the outdoor beamshots at the bottom of this review.
Also, make sure you remove the protective film before using it! No, I didn’t make that mistake this time, but you may!
- Length: 130.9 mm / 5.15 ”
- Head diameter: 68.1 mm / 2.68 ”
- Body diameter: 50.9 mm / 2 ”
- Empty: 470 g / 16.6 oz
- With battery: 654 g / 23.07 oz
High power flashlights: Soup can size
Size compared to other high power flashlights.
Driver & User Interface:
Update: the new batch of Lumintop GT3 flashlights will use Anduril firmware instead of NarsilM.
Instead of the very popular Anduril firmware, but the NarsilM v1.3. This firmware was designed by BLF member TomE, and adapted by BLF member Texas_Ace. See more info on this firmware here: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54635
When you increase brightness, the end of ramp is not Turbo. The end of ramp I would call “High mode”. You can only activate Turbo by a double click.
- By default, it has a smooth ramping menu.
- You can change this, in the firmware, to 12 other mode sets.
- For all mode sets, I refer to the link above.
Default mode: FROM OFF:
- Press and hold: Low
- Single-click: to last used brightness setting, mode memory
- Double click: Turbo
- Triple-click: Battery voltage check
- 4 clicks: Lock Out mode, repeat to unlock.
- 5 clicks: Momentary On mode for signaling (unscrew battery to go back to normal settings)
- Press and hold: Smoothly ramp up and down
- Single-click: turns the flashlight Off
- Double click: Turbo
- Triple-click: Battery voltage check
- 4 clicks: Lock Out mode, repeat to unlock
- 5 clicks: Momentary On mode
LOW BATTERY WARNING:
- According to the manual it does blink when it reaches 3V. Mine started blinking from the last output drop around 4 hours.
- Yes, the Lumintop BLF GT3 has a special Lock-out mode. You can get there from either the On or Off position by doing 4 rapid clicks.
- Nothing that I could notice by eye, which is what counts.
FIRMWARE / UI CONCLUSION:
The UI can fit most people’s needs. If you don’t play with the switch too much, you’ll be fine. Just use the ramping mode, Turbo, and Low, and that is good enough for this type of light! The Momentary ON is also pretty cool though, in case you need to do some morse coding… or annoy your neighbors. For all the other customizable settings I would refer to the manual if you can understand it. It’s not easy to understand it though, good luck.
Batteries & Charging
Although more and more flashlights are starting to use built-in charging, the Lumintop GT3 doesn’t have it. You need to use button tops in order to use it. Flat tops won’t work because of the mechanical reverse polarity protection.
This means you need high quality batteries like the Samsung INR18650 30Q or the Sony VTC5A, VTC6 etc.
You need to insert 2 batteries with the positive terminal first, and the other 2 with the negative terminal first. The tailcap has 2 pins that fit exactly in 2 slots. They added some white plastic on these pins so you can line them up much easier. It’s interesting to see how this type of tailcap is still involving.
All output numbers are relative for my home-made 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.
|Flashlight||Mode||@ 30 sec||@ start|
|Lumintop GT3||Bottom of ramp||2.75 lm||2.75 lm|
|Samsung 30Q*4||Top or ramp||6611 lm||6754 lm|
|Turbo||15168 lm||16267 lm|
Lowest output is again difficult to measure because of the ND filter in use. But the numbers aren’t really bad!
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter. I didn’t change anything for the test, so the stepdown is temperature controlled.
The second runtime graph is probably a bit clearer. The horizontal lines are line up for every 1,000 lumens. So you can see that after 5 minutes both Turbo and High (top of ramp) drop to below 2000 lumens. Turbo drops to roughly 1060 lumens after 17.5 minutes, and High does the same but at 23.5 minutes. Both run for a few more hours before their next drop. But at that point, they already decreased output to roughly 400 lumens. When the batteries run low, the flashlight starts blinking as a Low Battery warning.
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.
Measurements were taken at 5 meters distance with a professional Hagner E4-X Lux Meter.
|Turbo (30 sec)||80,500 cd||567 meters||621|
Lumintop is showing the following specifications: 85.6 kcd and 580 meters. My measurements at 5 meters were 81 kcd at start, and roughly 80.5 after 30 seconds. That’s definitely not bad for a lumenmonster like this.
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 reflective fence about 200 meters. You see that all 3 are pretty close at startup. I would be hard-pressed telling the difference.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost, by Lumintop. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Very bright
- Easy to operate with the standard ramping menu
- No PWM
- The body feels a bit slippery
- No lanyard or carry strap included
- Not reaching the claimed output
- Doesn’t maintain a high output
4 stars: ★★★★
Even with the few cons I found, the GT3 is still an interesting flashlight for the price. It doesn’t maintain its high output for very long, but that seems to be the norm these days. Besides these cons, you’ll get a nice flashlight with lots of features and an easy-to-use default UI.