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Lumintop GTA Review: Thrower Flashlight
Lumintop GTA specifications
|LED||OSRAM KW.CSLNM1.TG (“WF1”)|
|Beam intensity||85,000 cd|
|Battery config.||1*14500 / AA|
|Review date||December 2021|
Lumintop has really been on a roll these past few years. Between the countless iterations of the FW series lights (originally the FW3A) and all of the GT models, Lumintop has really made a dent in a lot of enthusiast’s pocketbooks. Oh, and let’s not forget the recent “Thor” lineup of LEPs. Let’s just say that Lumintop has been nailing it lately.
One of my favorite mass-market Lumintop lights is the Tool AA V2.0. It’s just so versatile, easy to use, easy to carry, and inexpensive. And the Lumintop GT Micro is a pretty neat small 14500-based thrower. But what happens when the Tool AA V2.0 and the GT Micro have a baby? You get the new Lumintop GTA.
The GTA arrived in a fairly standard-looking box. A paperboard sleeve over a cardboard box. The box is lined with white cut-out foam in which the light and accessories are neatly arranged. Functional, no-nonsense. Inside the box I found:
- Lumintop GTA
Flashlight in use
When I first opened the box, my initial reaction was “aww, look at that cute little thing!” And yes, it looks just like the big-boy throwers just downsized. To be honest, it seems a bit long compared to most AA-sized lights, but then again most AA lights don’t have the large reflector that the GTA does. It’s still small enough to slip into a pants or jacket pocket.
The body of the GTA is quite round and easily rolls around on a table top. The tailcap houses the only switch, a typical reverse-clicky switch. The tail is what I refer to as a “saddle style” which can help with activation while wearing gloves or the like. That style does make it less tail-stand friendly, but it can still do that if the need arises.
Aside from the head, the rest of the body is exactly the same as what you’d find on Lumintop Tool AA V2.0. If you took the battery tube and tailcap off of each model and set them next to each other, you wouldn’t know the difference. And just like the body and tail, the pocket clip is a carry-over from the Tool. It’s not perfect but it works well enough.
Build Quality, and Warranty
The body and tail of the Lumintop GTA have a matching diamond-pattern knurling, just like its Tool AA V2.0 kin. Lumintop doesn’t mention the exact type of anodizing that’s covering the aluminum body. Considering that both the GT Micro and Tool are listed as having HA III coating, that’s a pretty safe bet here. Whatever it is, it’s satiny and nicely done.
The machining is very clean and there are no rough areas. The threads are smooth and square-cut. The heat-sink fins are finer than what’s on the GT Micro and there are more of them. Overall, the build quality of the Lumintop GTA seems top-notch.
Lumintop’s warranty is as follows:
- Within 30 days of purchase: free repair or replacement
- Within 5 years of purchase Lumintop will repair the product free of charge
- Lifetime warranty: if repair is required, they’ll charge for parts accordingly
LED, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
This is the star of the show! Lumintop packed the GTA with an OSRAM KW.CSLNM1.TG. That is what’s sometimes referred to as the “White Flat 1mm” or “WF1” for short. The WF1 is one of the throwiest LEDs on the market. The LED is nicely centered in a generously-sized reflector (for an AA light). Put those things together and you’ve got a pretty tight beam that can really reach out there.
The smooth reflector is protected by a sheet of AR-coated glass. The GTA arrives from the factory with a film over the glass to keep it in pristine condition until it gets into your hands. The bezel has light crenulations and has a small ring of matching knurling that ties in nicely to the body tube and tailcap.
Using my Opple Light Master, I got the following measurements:
- CCT: 6435
- CRI: 67.7
- DUV: 0.0020
Dimensions and size comparison
- Length: 113 mm / 4.45 inches
- Head diameter: 36 mm / 1.42 inches
- Body diameter: 19 mm / 0.75 inches
- Without cells: 55 grams / 1.94 oz.
- With a Shockli 14500: 75 grams / 2.65 oz.
- With an Eneloop: 80 grams / 2.82 oz.
Flashlight comparison: Lumintop Tool AA vs GTA etc
Lumintop GT, Lumintop Tool AA
Driver & User Interface:
This is one area where the Lumintop GTA picked up the Tool AA genes instead of those from the GT Micro. The UI is a very simple clicky-switch style.
Available modes: Low, Medium, High, Turbo
- Single click: turn on in last used mode
- Single click: turn off
- Half press: switch modes
- 6 clicks: strobe mode
- Yes, mode memory is present
- N/A (clicky switch)
Low voltage warning:
- None observed (aside from light flickering with a NiMH or alkaline)
- There’s a single strobe mode access by 6 quick half-presses
- None (tail-switch)
- I measured 19.6 kHz PWM with both Lithium-Ion and NiMH cells. This is fast enough to not be visible by the naked eye.
Batteries & Charging
The GTA is available from Lumintop with their USB-C charging 14500 battery. That’s a good option if you need a battery and/or charger or plan on gifting the GTA. Mine did not come with a battery so I used a Shockli 14500 (button top, 1000 mAh, black) for most tests. I also used a 1900 mAh Eneloop NiMH cell as well as an inexpensive AC Delco alkaline AA battery.
In general, I don’t recommend alkaline batteries for flashlights because (1) they can’t deliver very much power, and (2) they have a tendency to leak and destroy electronics. You can certainly use them in a pinch though. I’d recommend using a quality 14500 lithium-ion for high-output or a good LSD (low self-discharge) NiMH such as an Eneloop / Fujitsu for consistent (albeit restricted) output.
I don’t have a flat-top 14500 on hand to try, but I do not believe that those will work in the GTA. Just like the Tool AA, the GTA has physical reverse-polarity protection.
And lastly, this is one selling point vs the GT Micro. The GT Micro is lithium-ion only. You can’t use an AA, so bonus points to the GTA!
For current measurements, an ANENG AN8008 multimeter and UNI-T UT210E clamp meter were used. Lux was measured by a UNI-T UT383 BT at 10 meters. Lumens were measured in a homemade lumen tube using a TSL2591 sensor, calibrated with a Maukka calibration light. The temperature was monitored with a MLX90614 IR temperature sensor. The batteries used were:
- Shockli 14500 lithium-ion (black, 1000 mAh)
- Eneloop 1900 mAh NiMH
- AC Delco alkaline AA
Lumen measurements (for each mode)
|Mode||Amps at start||Specs||@turn on||@30 sec||@ 10 min|
|Low, Li-Ion||53 mA||10||11||–||–|
|Med, Li-Ion||224 mA||55||57||57||55|
|High, Li-Ion||1.3 A||230||280||271||236|
|Turbo, Li-Ion||2.7 A||550||616||558 lumens||430|
|Low, NiMH||37 mA||3||3||–||–|
|Med, NiMH||212 mA||25||21||21||20|
|High, NiMH||800 mA||95||110||109||107|
|Turbo, NiMH||4.4 A||240||339||220 lumens||192|
|Turbo, Alkaline||–||240||159||120 lumens||100|
- N/A (tail switch)
Whew, with the GTA accepting 3 different chemistries (4 if you include lithium primaries), I did a LOT of runtime testing. I’ll try to be a bit brief:
- Turbo, Lithium-Ion: this started out at 616 lumens and slowly decreased as battery voltage dropped. There were no step-downs. The light dropped under 10% output at 33 minutes. The light shut off around 45 minutes. Max temperature was a toasty 71°C.
- Turbo, NiMH: this started out at 339 lumens and quickly dipped to 220 lumens. It stayed around there for most of the rest of the run. It hit 10% output at 35 minutes and then petered along at 3 lumens until it hit 2 hours. Max temperature was a fairly hot 61°C.
- Turbo, Alkaline: alkaline cells really aren’t made for this kind of output. Mine started at 159 lumens and stuck around 100 lumens for most of the run. It hit 10% output at 24 minutes and then hung on for a while at 5-ish lumens. Max temperature was 48°C.
- High, Lithium-Ion: started out at 280 lumens, slowly decreasing as the battery drained. Took 1 hour and 17 minutes to hit 10%; stopped completely at 1 hour and 24 minutes. Max temp 50°C.
- High, NiMH: started out at 110 lumens and held steady until it began dropping out at 1 hour and 40 minutes. Petered along at 3 lumens until 4 hours and 17 minutes.
- High, Alkaline: the poor AC Delco AA battery couldn’t even support High mode too well. It began at 106 lumens and slowly dropped down, really dipping at 33 minutes. Like NiMH, it continued on for a long time around 3 lumens; it began flickering at 1 hour and 16 minutes.
- Med, Lithium-Ion: it began at 57 lumens and slowly dropped, finally cutting off at 6 hours and 8 minutes.
- Med, NiMH: it started at 21 lumens and stayed steady until dropping at 10 hours and 27 minutes. It held on at 3 lumens until 11 hours and 57 minutes.
For the throw measurements, I tested the GTA at 10 meters using my UNI-T UT383 BT.
|Turbo||85,000 cd||109,300 cd||661||723|
Beam shots of the building are taken at 15 m (16 yd) using a Pixel 6 set to ISO 200 with 1/10 second exposure time
Beam shots of the playset are taken at 30 m (33 yd) using a Pixel 6 set to ISO 200 with 1/2 second exposure time. The trees in the background are around 65 m away.
- Lumintop GTA
- Wuben E6
- ThruNite Archer 2A V3
- Lumintop Tool AA
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.
- Really throwy for an AA light
- Simple UI
- No step-downs
- Multi-chemistry (AA / 14500)
- A bit big for an AA light
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
5 stars: ★★★★★
The Lumintop GTA is a sweet little light. It combines the proven performance of the Tool AA series with the crazy throw performance of the GT Micro. If you want a fun little, easy-to-use thrower the Lumintop GTA is an awesome choice.