Unbranded 26650 LEP FLASHLIGHT REVIEW: 500 LUMENS
|Brand / Model||Unbranded 26650 LEP (from Nealsgadgets)|
|Beam intensity/distance||N/A / 1800 meters|
|Review date||September 2020|
For this particular flashlight, I can’t really comment anything on its brand or history. It’s an unbranded LEP flashlight, available from a select amount of sources. I refer to it as unbranded LEP or Nealsgadgets LEP, since he sells this particular LEP flashlight.
In the following pictures you can see a simple, yet strong storage box. The box contains the flashlight and a holster. Inside the holster are the lanyard and the USB-C charging cable. There are no o-rings and there is no manual. The user interface is quite easy, so a manual isn’t particularly necessary. Here is a quick overview of what you get:
- The flashlight
- USB-C charge cable
Handling of the light
It’s bigger than I initially expected. I have quite a few LEP Flashlights, and this is standing out from the rest. The others are 21700 and 18650 style flashlights, while this one is a 26650. This means its battery tube has a larger diameter. And I like that much better than the regular slim 18650 flashlights out there because it fits nicer into my hand.
Since it’s a 26650 type flashlight, the other dimension has to match, so it’s also a bit longer than the 18650 and 21700 LEP flashlights. It has a single switch, which is located just below a small LED screen. In terms of its location, I would have liked it to be located a little closer to the front, but that is just nitpicking. The screen shows v2.5 when you insert the battery and screw the tailcap back on. This is probably the firmware version. When you turn the light on, the screen shows 1800m, the Voltage, and the temperature. The Voltage doesn’t seem to match up with the real Voltage, but I don’t know if the driver uses that Voltage for the Low Voltage Protection. I will get back to this topic later down the review.
The flashlight includes a low-quality holster, which should do just fine, but don’t expect anything like Olight quality. The same can be said for the lanyard. It’s a simple, cheap lanyard, and I wouldn’t suggest using it too often. I tried to stretch it with some strength and it didn’t break. So it should be okay to use!
Tailstanding: Yes, it can tail stand.
Build Quality, Knurling, Threads, and anodization
Although this is probably one of the cheapest LEP flashlights available, it doesn’t look too bad. The knurling on the body looks good, but feels smooth. There is no glue used anywhere on the threads, so you can take everything apart. The tailcap has a bronze/copper looking spring that is kept in place by its shape. There is no solder used. It reminds me of my first Olight flashlight I got back in 2013 or 2014. Please take a look at the pictures to understand what I’m referring to.
There are a few very tiny spots visible in the maching of the light, but this isn’t problematic at all. It looks like this LEP light is going to help bring the price down of its competitors. Many people would like to get into LEP flashlights if they weren’t so expensive.
There is a lot of lubrication on the threads near the tailcap.
LED, LENS, BEZEL, AND REFLECTOR
The specifications don’t mention anything about the type of laser. This could be a problem in some countries I suppose.
The bezel is made of stainless steel and looks pretty strong. There is 1 flat glass lens at the front, and a convex lens behind it. You can get access to the convex lens by unscrewing the head. It doesn’t have any glue, so all parts can be disassembled. The bezel on mine is rather tight and difficult to unscrew by hand.
One thing that I quite like is the head has a lot of threading, and when you start twisting the head, you can see the beamcolor changing. You can probably finetune the beam intensity by unscrewing the head.
The beam start at a color close to white, but still with a hint of yellow, and when you start unscrewing the head, it will shift into the blue colors as well.
- Length: 177 mm ( 6.97 ”)
- Head diameter: 44.88 mm ( 1.766 ”)
- Body diameter: 32.91 mm ( 1.274 ”)
- Empty: 292.3 g ( 10.31 oz)
- With 26650 battery: 380.6 g ( 13.43 oz)
Size compared to other LEP flashlights
From left to right: Acebeam W30, Weltool W4, Jetbeam RRT M1X raptor, Jetbeam M1X wp-rx, No-brand 26650 LEP, Nextorch T10L, Jetbeam RRT M2S, Jetbeam M2S WP-RX, Weltool W3 PRO, Fenix TK30, Nextorch T7L, Acebeam W10 gen2.
Driver & User Interface:
- Single-click: nothing (to last used mode, mode memory)
- Double click: Strobe
- Triple-click: Lockout (but it’s not working)
- Press and hold: turn On
- Single-click: switch Display between Temperature and Percentage
- Double click: Strobe
- Triple-click: nothing
- Press and hold: turn off
- There is only 1 mode, and strobe
Blinky modes menu:
- There is only 1 strobe mode. Double click from On or Off
Low battery warning:
- There is none as far as I could tell
- Triple click from Off. But it doesn’t work. If you press and hold the button again, the light will turn On.
- Not visible by eye
Firmware / UI Conclusion:
The UI is very simple and straightforward. The lockout doesn’t work.
Batteries, DISPLAY & Charging
The built-in charging charges at a rate of roughly 1.5A. A 5000mAh battery takes about 3.5 hours to charge. The LED display shows the percentage while charging, and the battery Voltage. The voltage shown on the screen is likely under load. When you switch the light on, it almost instantly shows 3.9X Volts, even when it’s a fully charged cell. About 30 minutes after the flashlight shut off, I turned it on again to see the battery Voltage and it showed: 2.84V. But when I took the battery out and inserted it into my SkyRC MC3000 charger, it showed 3.08V.
18650 batteries will fit with an adapter, even though a 21700-18650 adapter works, it rattles. You better get a real 26650-18650 adapter. The battery influences its performance, but I will get to that in the section below.
It has 2 separate charge ports. 1 for charging, and 1 to use it as a power bank feature.
A 21700 flat top, unprotected can fit, but really tight. I wouldn’t recommend using a 21700 for that matter. It’s a shame most 26650 batteries only hold about the same capacity as a 21700 battery. At least most of them are around 5000mAh, just like a 21700.
The discharge port (power bank feature) is a standard USB A. It discharges somewhere between 1.3 and 1.7Amps. Or maybe it depends on the device, but my phone started pulling around 1.7A and dropped to 1.3 within a few seconds.
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.
Amps were measured with a Fluke 77III, at the tailcap.
|Mode||Amp at start||Manufacturer’s specs||@30 seconds||@Startup|
|26650||3.73 A||450||498 lumens||515 lumens|
|40T||450||533 lumens||552 lumens|
Measuring current with just the original Fluke probes resulted in about 2.7A. Solid copper cables helped to bump that to 3.73 Amps. The higher amps the battery can handle, the brighter the light gets, even at only a small fraction. There was also a noticeable difference between a Samsung INR18650 30Q, Samsung 21700 40T and the HTY 26650 I got from Banggood.
In terms of lumens, it overperforms with all the batteries. Now, let’s see how it performs in terms of throw and runtime.
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
This unbranded 26650 LEP has no regulation whatsoever, so the runtime graph shows a steady decline in output over time. This type of runtime graph reminds me of Maglites, from the old days. There are no step-downs, just a smooth decline in output. LVP kicks in at 3 hours and 12 minutes. When I turned it back on, the Voltage showed 2.77V on the screen, but when I inserted it in the charger, it showed 3V.
Measurements were taken both indoors and outdoors with a professional Hagner E4-X Lux Meter. I took measurements at 20 meters.
- Samsung INR18650 30Q: 932000 cd = 1931 meters / 2112 yards of throw
- King Kong 26650: 992000 cd = 1992 meters / 2179 yards of throw
Throw is almost 1 million candela, which is really good for its size.
One of the things I noticed is the threading on the head. You can unscrew the head slightly to get a slightly different focus. I still got the best readings tightened all the way down. Your miles may vary.
I made a graph to show how this bad by compares to the other major competitors. These are all small LEP flashlights.
However, it does not compare to the big boys. It really falls in between, and the major difference is the lack of any regulation. We reviewed all these LEP flashlights.
For the following beamshots I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 and a 100mm lens. manual settings: ISO1600, .5sec , F4, 5000K
The tower is 650 meters / 710 yards away.
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.
- One of the cheapest LEP flashlights
- Throws really far
- Power bank feature
- USB-C charging
- No parts are glued
- Lockout mode doesn’t work
- Accessories are very basic
- No regulation
4 stars: ★★★★
While other brands are all ranging between 280-360 USD this is the first sub 200 LEP flashlight I have come across. In terms of reach, it outperforms all the smaller LEP flashlights. Its performance literally falls in between the smaller and larger LEPs. For the money, this is definitely worth considering!