Speras EST MAX

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Speras EST MAX review

Speras EST MAX specifications

Brand/modelSperas EST MAX
Flashlight categoryTactical
LED1*CREE XHP50.3 HD
Max. output2,500 Lumens
Max. beam distance279 meters
Max. beam intensity19,400 cd
Battery config.1*18650
Onboard chargingUSB-C
Modes4
BlinkiesStrobe
WaterproofIP68
Review dateJanuary 2024

Review intro:

Since 2020, we have reviewed over a dozen Speras flashlights at 1Lumen. Our first review was of the dual-cell thrower flashlight, Speras T1.

We will review the Speras EST Max, which is the successor of the Speras EST tactical-style flashlight we reviewed previously. Both flashlights have 2 switches, but the Speras EST Max has a higher maximum output and a longer beam distance. However, we will check its actual performance.

Let’s dive in.

Package quality.

The flashlight’s packaging appears identical to that of the Speras EST. It’s a basic cardboard retail box with a clear plastic window, allowing customers to see the flashlight inside. This feature is particularly helpful when selling the product in stores as it gives customers a clear view of the product they are interested in purchasing instead of simply relying on a picture.

So what’s inside the box:

  • The Speras EST MAX
  • 18650 battery (proprietary)
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Lanyard
  • O-rings
  • Manual

Don’t forget to remove the insulating film between the battery and flashlight before your first use. Without removing it, the flashlight will not turn on.

Flashlight in use, Build Quality, and Warranty

The EST is a tactical flashlight with a large tail switch and an electronic switch for changing modes.

It’s very important to note that they can be used interchangeably. The rear switch is a tactical-style switch, giving you access to only 2 modes: Turbo and Strobe. You can not change the output with the rear switch. I quite like that for a tactical-style flashlight. On the contrary, the side switch gives access to Low, Medium, High, and Turbo mode.

It’s a long-press for on, a long-press for changing modes, but a single click to turn it off. That could be a little confusing for some people who are not used to this type of UI.

But, like with most UIs, if this is your main flashlight, you will soon get used to it. More information can be seen in the UI section of this review.

To carry your EST MAX, Speras gives you basically 2 basic options: using the pre-attached pocket clip or the included lanyard. If you don’t like those, you can always carry it in a pocket, or use your own holster if you’d prefer to carry it that way.

While handling, the tactical rear switch is mainly for tactical use in the overhand position. The side switch is more for EDC-style use, in the underhand position.

Something that I appreciate about Speras is the optional accessories they sell. For the Speras EST MAX, you can get a USB-C remote pressure switch, a flashlight mount (for your bike), or a dedicated holster. So, if you don’t have any of those yet, order it.

If you’ve never had a Speras flashlight before, you’d be surprised at how well this light is built. It has an interesting battery tube design and a beautiful, almost satin-looking black anodization. While the battery tube has no rough knurling, the wider head and pocket clip prevent you from dropping the light so easily.

The only part that can be unscrewed or removed is the tailcap. I understand that from a business perspective, but some modders may want access to the inner parts. Not me, though. The threads are anodized, giving you a quick way to turn the light off or lock it by unscrewing the tailcap just slightly.

Having all these features, I can definitely say this is a great tactical flashlight, but it is good for EDC as well. Some activities that I can see people using the EST MAX for include camping, hiking, biking (with the optional adapter), guard work, or even first responders.

Warranty:

1. Within 30 days, free replacement. SPERAS will provide 30 days free replacement service of purchase for any manufacturing defects if problems come into being in normal use; We will replace it with the same model. If the model has been discontinued, customers will receive a product with similar or improved model.

2. Within Warranty time: Usually we provide 5 years warranty, some may provide lifetime limited warranty( for example E1). Within the warranty time, any defects please contact local dealer or distributor for warranty support. We will repair or we replace a new product for you according the defects. 

LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector

Another update Speras made is the type of LED. With the original Speras EST featuring a Luminus SST40, the EST MAX now uses a CREE XHP50.3HD. This is probably the main reason why the maximum output increased from 1900 lumens to 2500 lumens.

The head is also larger, helping the beam distance increase from 211 meters to 279 meters.

This is due to the larger head size and the change from a TIR optic to a reflector.

The reflector is relatively deep, which I assume could be around 2-2.5 centimeters. It has a soft-orange peel coating, smoothening out some unwanted beam inconsistencies. There are none, but it could help make the beam a bit nicer.

To protect the reflector, they added an AR-coated (anti-reflective) glass lens and a pointy bezel that also serves as a window breaker.

When you look at the beam itself, there is a clear hotspot with plenty of spill and a soft (but distinct) transition in between.

Spectral measurements:  

I used a Sekonic C800 spectrometer to measure the flashlight’s beam center at a distance of 5 meters to get the following spectral measurements.

Mode:CCT:CRI Ra:duv
Turbo7031K70.9-0.0004

This basically means that the beam is pretty cold (7000K is cold), has a pretty average CRI rating (meaning that the Color Rendering is pretty average), and the tint (which basically shows whether a beam has a ‘pinkish’ or ‘greenish’ hue) is very neutral.

Dimensions and its competition

Dimensions: 

Speras EST MAXMillimetersInches
Length140 mm5.5 in
Head diameter30 mm1.2 in
Body diameter25 mm1 in

Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter and the nearest tenth of an Inch.

Weight

Speras EST MAXWeight in gramsWeight in oz.
Without battery:95 g3.4 oz
With battery143 g5 oz

Weight is rounded to the nearest gram and tenth of an Oz.

Speras EST MAX Flashlight comparison

Size compared to other Tactical flashlights (18650)

From left to right: Weltool T2R, Fenix TK11TAC, ThruNite TN12 v4, Speras EST MAX, Olight Warrior Mini 2.

Speras EST MAX UI : User interface and driver

The Speras has 2 separate switches with 2 unique UIs. There’s a mechanical forward clicky switch on the rear and an electronic switch on the side, with the rear switch for Turbo and Strobe and nothing else, and the side switch for low, medium, high, and Turbo.

You can use the switches interchangeably, but to a limited effect, it seems. But I’ll explain that at the bottom of this section.

The available main modes:

  • Low, Medium, High, Turbo

The available special modes (blinkies):

  • Strobe (alternating frequency)

How the UI works when the flashlight is still turned OFF:

  • Rear switch half-press: momentary on Turbo
  • Rear switch 2 half-presses: Strobe
  • Rear switch 1 click: continuous Turbo (or if half-pressed twice, continuous Strobe)
  • Side switch: Single-click: nothing
  • Side switch double click: Strobe
  • Side switch triple-click: nothing
  • Side switch press and hold: turns on in last used mode (include Turbo if you used the rear switch)

How the UI works when the flashlight is turned ON:

  • Rear switch half-press: nothing
  • Rear switch 1 click: OFF (except if you turned it on with the side switch.. if you do so, it will just turn on in Turbo)
  • Side switch: Single-click: OFF
  • Side switch double click: Strobe (contrary to what the manual states)
  • Side switch triple-click: nothing
  • Side switch press and hold: run through the modes from Low to Turbo

Shortcuts within the UI:

  • To Turbo: Rear switch single click
  • To Low: N/A
  • To Strobe: double tap rear switch

Mode memory:

  • Yes, see more info at the bottom

Blinky modes:

  • Only a strobe mode. This can be activated by double-tapping the rear switch or double-clicking the side switch. Strobe mode is not memorized, it will remember Turbo mode instead.

Low battery warning:

  • The side switch has a little indicator LED showing the charge status.
  • 70-100%: green solid
  • 30-70%: yellow solid
  • 10-30%: red solid
  • 1-10%: red blinking

Lock-out mode:

  • None that I could find. But you can unscrew the tailcap for a lockout.

PWM:

  • Not visible by eye

Firmware / UI Conclusion:

  • The UI is easy to use after a while. But if you are used to other UIs, it can be a bit confusing with a long-press for ON, but a click for OFF.
  • There is mode memory for the last used mode! At all times.. So if you use the side switch for the normal modes and you turn it off, it remembers the last used normal mode (low, med, high, or turbo). But if you decide to use the rear switch for Turbo or Strobe… this mode is also remembered with the side switch (if you used Strobe, it will remember Turbo). This could be a pro (for some) and a con (for some) at the same time.

Speras EST MAX Charging and batteries

Speras ships their EST MAX with a 3200mAh 18650 lithium-ion battery inside the light. To use your flashlight, you need to remove the insulating film first.

The battery measured 3.55V at arrival, a great voltage for long-term storage and shipping. But it doesn’t have a clear product code, but it says 3200mAh, HDC 10A. What surprised me a bit was the nature of this battery because it’s not a ‘normal’ 18650 battery but customized (proprietary).

Charging happens inside the flashlight via its USB-C charging port. Charging the battery should take 4 hours, according to the manual. In my test, I measured 4 hours and 14 minutes the first time and 4 hours and 16 minutes another time.

You can see from the runtime tests that I stopped the runtimes early because I feared the battery discharged too deeply. Fortunately, it wasn’t, and each time I measured the battery after each runtime, it measured between 2.83 and 3.03 volts. So, the charge time will depend on how deep you discharged the battery.

Besides 18650 batteries, the manual also mentions it can use 2*CR123 batteries, but that’s a mistake. It does not accept normal 18650 or CR123 batteries!

Charge typeFitsNo fitAvg. Charge time
Flashlight with onboard USB-Ccustom Speras 18650 all other 186504h 15min

I was able to use an Olight 18650 battery in the EST MAX, although it is not recommended. If you have multiple Olight batteries with similar features, you may also be able to use them. Please note that I am referring specifically to the 18650 battery with both terminals located on the front.

Performance test

This is the gear I used for testing:

GearPurposeLink to buy
Hagner E4-XMeasuring beam intensity (throw)Inquire at Hagner.se
2* Extech SDL400Lumens and logging runtimesAmazon.com, Amazon.co.uk,
Leica Disto D2Distance for throw measurementsAmazon.com, Amazon.co.uk,
Sekonic C-800 Spectrometer for LED measurementsAmazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
Uni-T UTi260BThermal Image cameraAmazon.com,

Lumen measurements:

How Lumens are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards How Lumens are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards: The ANSI FL1 standards specify that output in lumens should be measured 30 seconds after turning on, as this is the standardized time for measuring brightness according to the industry standard. This is why we focus on this part in our measurements.

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 before each set of lumen measurements.
One of the lux meters uses an ND camera filter for high-output lights to prevent the lux meter from maxing out. This is either the Kenko PRO1D ND16 for up to about 80,000 lumens or the Gobe ND32 for anything above.

All of my readings were taken from a fully-charged Speras 3200mAh.

The measurements were taken manually at turn on and 30 seconds. The 10-minute numbers are taken from the runtime graph.

ModeSpecifiedAt start30 sec10 minutes
Low10 lm32 lm32 lm– lm
Med100 lm131 lm131 lm129 lm
High400 lm471 lm462 lm445 lm
Turbo2500 lm2700 lm2400 lm555 lm
Turbo at 3.71V1813 lm1682 lm

I try to use rounded lumen numbers, except for maybe Low or Moonlight/Firefly modes.

Turbo at 3.71 was still enough for putting out over 1800 lumens at turn on. This is important for tactical use because you need a high output at any time.

Ambient temperature during testing:

  • 17-18 degrees Celsius

Speras EST MAX battery life and runtime

How Runtimes are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards About ANSI FL1 runtime standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning 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.

Runtime tests were conducted in my 50cm homemade integrating sphere, paired with the Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter. Temperatures from the moment the runtime test started.

ModeSpecifiedRuntime (ANSI FL1)Time till shut off
Low 180h
Med (17.3°C)24h22h 43min27h 57min+
High (17°C)5h 48min5h 57min6h 00min+
Turbo (19°C)3h 30min3h 34min7h 28min+

The Speras compared to other 18650 tactical flashlights in terms of output. You’ll notice that the maximum output is quite a bit higher than its competition.

Some of the best Tactical Flashlights we reviewed: These numbers are NOT from the specifications but are measured by our team. I removed the LEP flashlights that could fall into this category but aren’t comparable.

FlashlightBattery usedMax. Output (lm)@30sec (lm)Candela (cd)Distance (m)
Armytek Dobermann ProArmytek 3500 1071106831,606356
Armytek Predator ProArmytek 35001206119340,850404
Armytek Viking ProArmytek 35001999195829,069341
Brinyte PT18 proBrinyte 31001981192545,675427
Brinyte PT28Brinyte 31001705163617,800267
Cyansky P20Cyansky 26001740166514,405295
Fenix PD35 TacSamsung 30Q10309,400194
Fenix TK11 TacFenix ARB-L18-3500U1556148827,600332
Malkoff MDC BodyguardNitecore NL1835HP8722112,650113
Nitecore MH25GTSPanasonic 3400166929,000341
Nitecore P10 v2Nitecore NL183595695612,725226
Nitecore P20 v2Nitecore NL1835HP89389313,900236
Olight S2R Baton 2Olight ORB-186C32131812897,500173
Olight Warrior MiniOlight ORB186C35160915539,325193
Olight Warrior Mini 2Olight ORB186C351721165812,250221
Powertac E5R-G4Powertac 26001718160221,700295
Sofirn TF84Sofirn 310088111,600215
Speras EST MAXSperas 3200240055517,250263
Thrunite BSS v4Thrunite 31002336219014,775243
Thrunite TN12v4Samsung 30Q97818,250270
Weltool T12Weltool INR18-30P20001846 126,500711
Weltool T2RSamsung 30Q1589148641,750409
Wuben E12RWuben 31001426120010,575206

Here’s a comparison graph in output with some of the 18650 flashlights I reviewed.

Speras EST MAX peak beam intensity and beam distance measurements

About Peak beam intensity: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards About peak beam intensity 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). This means that the intensity has decreased so much, it becomes difficult to see darker objects, or objects that don’t reflect light. The columns ‘Meters’ and ‘Yards’ use rounded numbers.

Measurements were taken indoors with a Hagner E4-X Lux Meter. The measurements were taken 30 seconds after turn on.

ModeSpecifiedMeasuredMetersYards
Low175 cd225 cd3033
Med825 cd900 cd6066
High3200 cd3,250 cd114125
Turbo19,400 cd17,250 cd263287

Ambient temperature during testing:

  • 17.2 degrees Celsius

Beamshots

For the following beamshots, I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 with a 50mm lens. Manual settings: ISO1600, 1/4sec, F4, 5000K. It was around freezing point during these beamshots.

The shed is about 65 meters / 71 yards away, and the reflective fence is about 200 meters.

Explore and compare the beamshots, from the following flashlights:

  • Speras EST MAX
  • NEXTORCH TA30C Max
  • NEXTORCH TA20
  • NEXTORCH E52C
  • Olight Warrior Mini 3
  • Fenix TK11

Please note that the following beamshots are mainly intended to showcase the beam pattern and beam quality, rather than overall performance. These images are typically taken directly after activation, and in different seasons or weather conditions, and therefore do not fully represent its overall performance. For accurate performance metrics, such as output, beam distance, and runtimes, you need to look at the performance section of this review.

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

Final Verdict

Pros

  1. One of the brightest 18650 tactical lights
  2. Dual switch designs
  3. Tactical rear switch for instant access to Turbo and quick access to Strobe
  4. Onboard USB charging
  5. Ready to use package, includes a battery and charging cable

Cons

  1. Side switch UI is not very user-friendly
  2. Proprietary battery
  3. No instant access to Low mode (but not necessary for a tactical light)
  4. Does not maintain a sustained high output

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

Reviewer Marco
Author: Marco

3.5 stars: ★★★⋆

While our star rating provides a reliable indicator, we encourage you to read the full review to make an informed decision based on your own needs and preferences.

The Speras EST MAX is a pretty powerful flashlight with a 18650, combined with the CREE XHP50.3, but it’s a mixed bag. It has a proprietary battery and charging cable, so you don’t need to buy anything else. The customized battery enables the use of both the rear clicky-switch and the electronic side switch interchangeably. This aligns with the design choices from other brands like Olight and Nitecore.

It’s nice that the EST MAX comes with a battery and onboard charging, but the charging process is relatively slow, taking 4 hours and 15 minutes. And even though the output is pretty high for an 18650 tactical flashlight, it does not maintain its brightness very well, as evident in the runtime graphs.

I appreciate the rear switch that provides instant access to Turbo mode at all times (even if you are using the side-switch menu). However, I find the side switch user interface confusing and unnecessary. The long-press for turning on and the single click for turning off is particularly frustrating. If Speras could improve the secondary menu, this flashlight would be a much better option.

I can see myself giving it 4.5 stars if it didn’t have that secondary UI.

Buy your Speras EST MAX here

1lumen selects and reviews products personally. We may earn affiliate commissions through our links, which help support our testing.