LUMINTOP TOOL AA 2.0 TI (TITANIUM)

LUMINTOP TOOL AA 2.0 TI flashlight review

Introduction:

Lumintop recently released the Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 Ti, which is an excellent small, lightweight and very easy to carry EDC flashlight.
The well known Lumintop tool already is famous for its value for money, they did already made a titanium version of the Tool, but now they released the Tool 2.0 Ti
I saw the light on Budgetlightforum.com where someone mentioned Lumintop were releasing this light soon, so I got in touch with Lumintop and they were kind enough to send me this flashlight for an extensive review.

What you'll get:

The flashlight comes in a brown recyclable cardboard box with the famous Lumintop bunny logo printed on it.
When opening the package, the manual is found, and below the manual, the light is revealed.
The beautiful Titanium light comes well protected and surrounded by firm black laser-cut foam. Next to the foam, another recyclable cardboard box is found with several accessories:

  • flashlight (with attached gold-painted clip)
  • spare o-rings
  • silicone diffuser cap
  • Lanyard
  • Soft fabric pouch, with Lumintop logo
  • Manual

It has to be said, Lumintop did an outstanding job on this light.

Brand / Model Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 Ti
LED Cree XPL-HD
Lumens 650 lm
Beam intensity rated 127m,  3420 Cd (which is wrong 3420 equals 116m, 4032 equals 127m)
Battery config. 1*AA / 14500
Material Titanium
Modes 4
Blinkies strobe
Reflector smooth
Waterproof IP68
Review date February 2020

Handling of the light

My first impression of the Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 Ti is very positive. It feels lightweight because of the titanium material, but it doesn't feel cheap. After inspecting the light, I could not find any flaws. It is well made and it also looks exquisite.
The knurling is great. It provides more than enough grip, and the blue-lighted tailcap adds a nice touch to it. (Keep in mind that the lighted tail cap only works with 14500 batteries. When using AA batteries it doesn't the lighted tail switch doesn't work)

The forward clicky provides enough feedback and works flawlessly. Tailstanding is also possible, which makes it a very practical light.  Together with the provided diffuser is serves a good function as a bed light lamp (although the low is not low enough since the lowest mode is still 16 Lm)

Its size makes it a very pleasant EDC light since it is slightly taller than an AA battery. It is really easy to hold, and after 1.5 weeks of use, it is currently my to go EDC flashlight. I'm quickly grabbing it for any practical use.

Build Quality, knurling, threads, and anodization

Knurling is done very well, Lumintop calls it ‘exclusive knurling’ as it does not only have the usual cross-sectional knurling, but there is also a small milled groove inside the cross-sections of the knurling.
The titanium light is fabricated very well, the threads are perfectly rectangular shaped and do match together perfectly.
One funny fact is that the tube is perfectly symmetrical, so you don’t need to take off the clip when you want to carry it reversed, you can also screw it together reversed.

The O rings seal the light exactly and do not show any signs of wear. No burrs or flaws are found. This light shows it is fabricated with very tight tolerances and it pays off very well.
Good job Lumintop!

LEDs, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector

Ok, let’s talk about the LED. I keep asking myself, why do so many manufacturers use Cool white LEDs in their flashlights?
Is it just my personal taste, or is it something that the market demands? Or is it just a financial reason for manufacturers?

The Lumintop Tool AA is advertised as using a Cree XPL HD LED, but it seems they have changed it to the XPL2-HD. This particular LED is known for its unfavorable tint and corona. The color temperature is Cool White (almost blue), not directly a bad thing, but especially during the evening and during midnight, this is way too blue.
A warmer tint or another emitter would have been a better choice. (or at least the option to choose another emitter such as the Samsung LH351D in 5000K, or the Nichia 219C in 4000K would make it a lot better.)

The light uses a shelf design to dissipate the heat, the light gets fairly hot on Turbo, so all the mechanical parts are designed very well.

Apart from that, the light is very user-friendly, it uses a traditional smooth reflector and the beam pattern provides a good mix of throw and flood, as can be seen in the beam shots.

Dimensions:

  • Head diameter: 89.5mm / 3.52 inch
  • Body diameter: 18.6 mm/ .73 inch

Weight:

  • Empty: 23.5 gram / 1.35 Oz ( I measured 38 gram)

Size compared to other EDC flashlights.

From left to right: Astrolux A01, Enogear AA, Amutorch SS, Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 Ti, Reylight pineapple, Reylight Ti Lan.

Driver & User Interface:

The user interface of this light is very easy to understand. The Lumintop Tool AA uses a mechanical forward clicky switch and therefore uses a traditional way of operating.
It features memory mode, and has 4 main modes, Low, Medium, High and Turbo. Strobe is hidden and is activated by 6 taps/clicks.

Modes:

  • Low \ Medium \ High \ Turbo \ Strobe (6 taps)

From OFF:

  • Press and Hold:Nothing, until you release the switch, then it will switch on
  • Single-click: last used memory
  • Double click: N.A. it will just cycle through its modes
  • Triple-click: N.A. it will just cycle through its modes

From ON:

  • Press and Hold: Switches OFF
  • Single-click: Switches OFF
  • Double click: N.A. it will just cycle through its modes
  • Triple-click: N.A. it will just cycle through its modes

Mode memory:

  • The light features mode memory.

Strobe/blinkies

  • 6 rapid taps activate strobe mode

Lock-out mode:

  • No electronic lockout. Mechanical lockout is possible by untwisting the head from the battery tube (body), not the tailcap from the body.

PWM

  • I could not detect any PWM by eye and I couldn't detect any PWM with a 14500 battery, using a digital video camera

Batteries and charging:

A very positive thing about this light is that is can take many types of batteries and cells. While it doesn't come with a battery or 14500 cell, it can take regular AA type batteries, Protected and unprotected 14500 cells and even rechargeable NiMh batteries.
Since it does not provide a USB or magnetic charging, you have to use a third-party charger.

Please read the performance section very carefully, please be aware of the problems with 14500 batteries in Turbo mode! The flashlight can overheat and cause it to die!

Another problem I have found is the heavy parasitic drain! Even as high as 10mA.  This means that the battery will be emptied within a couple of days/weeks, depending on the battery. It is recommended to remove the battery or to do a mechanical lockout!

Performance:

ANSI/NEMA FL1 Low Med High Turbo Strobe
Output 14500 16 LM 85 LM 360 LM 650 LM 360 LM
Alkaline 3.7 LM 28 LM 140 LM 220 LM 140 LM
Ni-MH 3.7 LM 28 LM 140 LM 270 LM 140 LM
Runtime 14500 37h 6h 9m 1h 19m 33m /
Alkaline 2.5days 11h 50m 49m 21m /
Ni-MH 2.5days 12h 30m 2h 33m 43m /
Distance 127m(Max)
Intensity 3420cd(Max)
Impact Resistant 1.5m
Waterproof IP68 (underwater 2m)
Size 89.5*18.5mm
N.W. 23.5g
Working Voltage 0.8-4.2V
Battery 1*AA/14500 Li-ion battery
Accessories 1*Spare O-ring, 1*Lanyard, 1*User manual, 1*Warranty card

Notice: The above mentioned parameters are lab-tested by Lumintop by using a Lumintop 3.7V/750mAh 14500 Li-ion cell, Eneloop pro 1.2V/2450mAh Ni-MH and Alkaline cells, it may vary due to the difference of environment and batteries.

Lux readings are done with a UNI-T UT 383 S Lux-meter, temperature readings are recorded with an infrared Non-contact thermometer, type Benetech GM-320. Current readings are done with a Yokogawa 734-02 Digital Multimeter

Amp measurement 14500 battery

  • Low: 0.065 A (23 Lm)
  • Med: 0.277 A (111 Lm)
  • High: 0.748 A (433 Lm)
  • Turbo: 1.81 A (851 Lm)

It seems the low mode is still quite high, using it at night will directly blind your night vision. A true 1 Lm low mode (or at least a lower low mode) would make it a perfect EDC light, and a perfect bedside light. For now, my Reylight flashlight stays on my night table, in despite of its larger size.

Lumen measurements (for each mode)

Note, For the Lumen/runtime results a deviation of +- 10% should be taken into account since I am using an integrating Lumen tube which is not officially calibrated, it is calibrated against lights with a known Lumen output.  

14500 cell

  • Low: 0.065 A (23 Lm)
  • Med: 0.277 A (111 Lm)
  • High: 0.748 A (433 Lm)
  • Turbo: 1.81 A (851 Lm)

AA Battery

  • Low: 7 Lm
  • Med: 40 Lm
  • High: 123 Lm
  • Turbo: 139 Lm

Runtime graph

Runtime test is performed with a brand new 14500 Keeppower protected 840 mAh cell.

runtime test 1
Test 1

During the runtime test of this light, the light suddenly went off after about 7 minutes!

The Tool AA Ti was too hot to handle. After cooling down and taking it apart, it became obvious that the light got too hot because the LED wire to the MCPCB just came off. It seems like it was a bad solder joint since there wasn’t any solder left on the negative pad of the MCPCB. (for those who are interested; they did solder the lead directly to the pad of the MCPCB and skipped the step of tinning the pad first, which causes suboptimal electrical- and mechanical contact)

The highest temperature I have measured was about 63 degrees Celsius. The temperature reading is not always very stable since it is very difficult to aim at exactly the same spot continuously with the IR thermometer, the last time I aimed a little different and read even higher before taking the final reading, so probably the light runs even hotter.

Luckily I was able to solder the wire to the MCPCB pad again, but I do not recommend this light to be used on Turbo for a long period since it gets very hot.

The Runtime test had to be re-done.

runtime test 2
runtime test 2

EDIT 2: so I charged the battery again and ran another test. At almost the identical time, the light went off again! After letting it cool down I took it apart, and now the positive lead to the LED had come off the positive pad of the MCPCB !

Luckily I was able to repair it (yet again). For now, I’m done with testing this light, maybe I will give it another shot later.

Warning!!!

Don't use Turbo mode when using 14500 batteries!

14500 batteries are not recommended!

Beamshots:

Mainly to compare the difference in tints. In the first picture, we have Reylight Ti Lan (Nichia 219c 4000K) left, compared to the Lumintop Tool Ti AA 2.0, right.
In the second picture, we see another comparison with 3 other flashlights, namely, Amutorch SS, Reylight Pineapple and Enogear. All of them using the same Nichia 219c 4000K emitter.

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

Overall conclusion

Pros:

  1. Lightweight
  2. Well built
  3. High output
  4. Luxurious design (titanium)
  5. Durable
  6. Box includes nice amount of accessories

Cons

  1. Gets too hot on Turbo with 14500 battery
  2. Cool tint (beam color temperature)
  3. Lowest mode is too bright
  4. High parasitic drain.
Peter

Author: Peter

Overall Rating: very good

Lumintop has released a beautiful lightweight EDC flashlight, that is well built, with durable titanium. It's not glued together and has a nice lighted tailswitch. It has all the ingredients for a good recipe.

However, there are a few cons.

My first concern is the Cool White (blueish) tint, they should have chosen a warmer tint.  The Lowest mode is still too bright. The last and probably most important thing, the light gets too hot on a 14500 battery.

This is found after performing 2 runtime tests where the LED wire came off the MCPCB due to excessive heat. Therefore, I will not be able to give it 5 stars, nor 4 stars. It's a great flashlight with NiMH batteries, but not with 14500 batteries. 

The second runtime test surprised me with the exact same effect, but this time, the other wire came off.
If Lumintop will improve these mentioned items, it will receive a higher review score. This beautiful light deserves some improvements.

3 stars

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Best batteries for Lumintop Tool TI AA

Panasonic Eneloop AA