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Wuben X-0 Knight review: EDC flashlight test
Wuben X-0 Knight specifications
|Brand & Model||Wuben X-0 Knight|
|LED||Osram P9 (or Samsung LH351D)|
|Beam intensity||3,920 cd|
|Battery config.||Battery pack (1*18350)|
|Blinkies||Strobe / SOS|
|Review publication date||July 2022|
Wuben is an interesting company. They’ve been around for a long time and they really know how to build a quality product. And Wuben doesn’t just make “me too!” kind of flashlights. They come up with a lot of original designs and ideas; really not afraid to try something new and off the wall. And this new light – the Wuben X-0 Knight – is certainly different, and so was Wuben’s launch strategy. The X-0 Knight actually debuted on Kickstarter. I find that a bit unusual for an established company like Wuben, but they’re not the first big name to use crowdfunding platforms. I guess it can make a bit of business sense – done effectively, it’s great marketing. And you get to test the waters on a new product before jumping all in.
Just what is this new Wuben X-0 Knight? It claims to be the most powerful micro flashlight on the market. The X-0 truly is short, and putting out 1,100 lumens is impressive. It’s a rugged little right-angle light that wasn’t afraid to wipe the drawing board of flashlight design and do something fresh. Let’s dive into this interesting little guy!
Wuben lights have always arrived in really nice packaging. Sometimes over-the-top packing (looking at you, i331 Ironman). But I’m guessing the final packaging wasn’t quite ready yet for the X-0 Knight, as mine arrived in a rather plain black cardboard box lined with pick-apart foam and a sticker on the outside saying “Flashlight Review”. While this isn’t that packaging you’ll receive, it is much nicer than some early production samples I’ve gotten that were unceremoniously thrown in a bubble sleeve. In this cardboard box with pick-apart foam sat:
- Wuben X-0 Knight
- Battery (pre-installed)
- Spare o-rings
- Charging cable
I can’t confirm if this is the final list of what will ship in the production packaging. Well, I can about guarantee it’s not as I’m sure it will ship with a manual. Thankfully I was able to find one of those online.
Flashlight in use
The Wuben X-0, as mentioned earlier, has a really interesting techno-industrial design. It eschews the typical cylindrical design for a squared-off, rugged look. While it is very short, it is a bit squat (read: chunky)… somewhere between the dimensions of a size C and 26650 battery. I would say it is pocketable but it doesn’t disappear discreetly.
With its squared-ish design, this thing isn’t rolling anywhere. The tailcap, if you call it that (tail plug?), is actually rounded a bit, but it still tail-stands without any issues. That tailcap has a very strong magnet embedded in it that lets it firmly attach to any ferrous surface. The inside of the tail plug has a brass fitting with a slot that looks like you might be able to unscrew it and remove the magnet – I did not try that though. The blue clip is just as robust as the rest of the light. It is held on by two Torx screws.
The switch design is also very unique. It’s a blue metal flap that is hinged to lift way up and press back down. Pressing down on it operates the light, as you’d expect. But there’s more to it than that. Lift the flap up and you’ll see the USB-C port which is supposedly dust and water resistant, thus its IP68 rating. Wuben also mentions that the switch flap serves as a “stress relief toy” and I can attest to that – it really is a bit addicting to sit and flip that flap up and down. The flap is normally held in place by a couple of magnets.
Due to the strong magnet in the tail and it being a right angle light, the Wuben X-0 Knight is very suitable as a small portable work light: around the house or garage, area illumination while camping, or on a table top during a power outage. Since it is a small right angle light, it doesn’t seem very natural to use while walking around for extended periods of time.
Build Quality, and Warranty
The build quality with Wuben lights is usually pretty top-notch. In my testing, I’ve found nothing that says otherwise about the X-0 Knight. It feels extremely solid in the hand. While there are strong design lines, none of them are sharp. There are 6 slots to put tritium vials or glow tubes: four around the base of the light and two slots in the switch lever. Wuben had initially planned to have tritium vials as one of the Kickstarter stretch goals, but ended up needing to go in a different route because tritium vials can’t be delivered to many locations due to legal and shipping restrictions.
My X-0 Knight is made of the usual “aircraft grade” aluminum, finished in Type III Hard Anodizing. Some companies claim HA III and I don’t really believe them. However, this coating looks great and as an established company, I believe Wuben’s spec.
In addition to the black anodized aluminum version, Wuben is also offering other coatings and metals. There’s a lovely looking white aluminum version that uses micro-arc oxidation. There are two flavors of titanium models, too: “Gray” sandblasted and “Green” with an interesting circuit-board design. As a late addition, there is also now a brass version that has been added to the lineup.
- Free replacement within 15 days of purchase
- Free repairs within 1 year of purchase
- Free maintenance for 5 years for products registered on Wuben’s website
- Paid maintenance service for lifetime for products registered on Wuben’s website
- The battery is covered by warranty for 1 year
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
The Wuben X-0 Knight uses a unique TIR optic. I’ve noticed Wuben using this apparently same optic lately: the Wuben G2 and the Wuben H5. It makes a super-wide 175º beam angle flood pattern, but also has a fairly distinct hotspot. Another interesting aspect of this optic: Wuben electroplated the back side of the optic with a mirror-like coating that helps to reduce the light loss that is typically seen with TIR optics. I don’t have numbers to back it up, but I imagine this coating gives it a good efficiency boost.
By default, the X-0 ships with an Osram P9 emitter. This is one that Wuben has used a lot and it seems to be pretty good in terms of output and efficiency. It’s a standard-CRI emitter that clocks in at 6500K. But it’s not High-CRI and you know those enthusiasts… they just have to have a High-CRI option. So as a Kickstarter stretch goal that was attained, Wuben offered the Samsung LH351D 5000K 90-CRI LED as an emitter option. My review sample came with the Osram P9.
Opple Light Meter results:
- CCT: 6519K
- CRI: 72.7 Ra
- DUV: +0.0029
Dimensions and size comparison
|Wuben X0 Dimension||Millimeters||Inches|
|Wuben X0 Weight||Grams||Oz.|
EDC Flashlight comparison
Driver & User Interface:
Wuben went with a very straight-forward UI on the X-0. It is similar to a lot of other e-switch UI’s and took no time to pick up on during my testing.
Available modes: Moon, Low, Med, High, Turbo
- Press and Hold: Moon
- Single click: turn on, last used mode
- Double click: Strobe
- 4 clicks: Lockout
- Press and Hold: cycle through modes (Moon > Low > Med > High)
- 1 click: turn off
- Double click: Turbo
- Yes, will memorize any mode except Turbo, SOS, and Strobe
- To Low: long press from Off
- To Turbo: double click while On
- To Strobe: double click while Off or from Turbo
Low voltage warning:
- The indicator LED near the switch illuminates when turning it on and when changing modes to indicate the battery capacity remaining.
- It will also begin flashing red when the battery is low.
- The read-outs are:
- 90% or more: constant blue
- 40% to 90%: flashing blue
- 15% to 40%: constant red
- 15% or less: flashing red
- Strobe: double click from Off or Turbo, single click to exit
- SOS: double click from Strobe, single click to exit
- Yes, four clicks from off to activate Lockout. Four more clicks to unlock it.
- There is no PWM
Additional info on the UI:
One really interesting aspect about this is that the brightness of the normal modes can be adjusted! This is a rare and very cool feature. To do so, go to the mode you want to adjust and do a Click and then a Click-Hold (in Anduril lingo, a 2H) and the brightness will begin to ramp up and down with blinks at the top and bottom. Just release to select your desired brightness. The ranges are:
- Moon: 1-14 lumens
- Low: 15-49 lumens
- Med: 50-149 lumens
- High: 150-300 lumens
Wuben X0 factory reset
In case you get to a spot where you want to reset all of the levels back to their original settings, there’s a Reset function. First, go into Lockout mode. From there, single click, then pause, then double click, then pause, then triple click. It sounded a bit intimidating at first, but I tried it a couple of times and it’s actually pretty simple.
The only thing I don’t like about the UI: I would much rather that double click from Off would be a shortcut to Turbo instead of Strobe. I never use strobe, but I use Turbo all the time. Even so, getting to Turbo quickly just means that you need to click to turn the light on, then double click. Not terrible, really.
Last thing about the UI: you better get familiar with the Lock/Unlock procedure if you’re going to be putting this in your pocket or a bag or something. With the button taking up half the top of the light and turning the light on with a single click, you’ll want to keep it locked out.
Batteries & Charging
With a lot of lights coming with USB-C charging these days, there’s not a whole lot of reason to be removing batteries all the time. Nevertheless, almost all of us grab our pitchforks when a light has a built-in battery because a day will come that the battery won’t hold a charge for much longer (assuming you use and recharge your light on a regular basis). The Wuben X-0 walks a line between these camps; the battery is designed to stay in and not be easily removed. But you certainly can when the time comes to replace it, you just need some sort of tool to do so: split ring pliers or something like a camera lens spanner wrench or the like. It takes regular 18350 batteries and comes with one pre-installed. The stated capacity is 1100 mAh.
The X-0 has a USB-C port under the switch flap. The port is supposedly sealed to give the light an IP68 rating. It charges just fine with both USB-C and USB-A chargers. The charge rate is right at 1 amp. In my testing, it took 1 hour and 52 minutes to get a full charge from empty.
Wuben X0 Lumen measurements:
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 5 meters. Lumens were measured in a homemade lumen tube using a TSL2591 sensor, calibrated with a Maukka calibration light. Testing was performed with (1) the included Wuben lithium-ion battery.
Lumen measurements (for each mode)
|Mode||Amps at start||Specs||Lumens @turn on||Lumens @30 sec||Lumens @10 minutes|
|Moon||4 mA||1 lm||1.0||1.0||–|
|Low||24 mA||50 lm||12||12||–|
|Med||72 mA||150 lm||40||40||40|
|High||390 mA||250 lm||198||197||196|
|Turbo||3.1 A||1100 > 300 lm||1062 lm||1033 lm||236|
- 11 µA
|Mode||Specified runtime||Measured runtime (ANSI)||Time till shut off|
|Med||15 hr||14 hr 20 min||14 hr 20 min|
|High||2 hr 30 min||2 hr 39 min||2 hr 39 min|
|Turbo||1 min > 2 hr||2 hr 7 min||2 hr 7 min|
Turbo nearly hits Wuben’s lumen claim, I’d say my measurement is within a margin of error. It ramped down right before the 1 minute mark and then stayed steady. The max observed temperature was 45°C, so it stays relatively cool.
Based on my measurements, it looks like the X-0 Knight ships with each mode in its lowest brightness setting (note the adjustable brightness levels as described in the UI section). However, its advertised specs are based on the maximum brightness of each level. I don’t think that’s dishonest since it should be capable of each of those lumen claims in the respective modes, just know that’s not how Wuben is shipping these out.
ANSI FL1 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.
Throw numbers: Peak beam intensity
Throw was measured at 5 meters after 30 seconds from turn-on.
|Turbo||3920 cd||4350 cd||132||144|
Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: 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).
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.
- Wuben X-0 Knight
- Wuben H5
- Rovyvon S3
- ThruNite T1S
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Wuben. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Neat unique design
- Great power-size ratio
- Custom flood+throw high-efficiency optic
- USB-C charging
- Several material, finish, and LED combinations
- Strong tail magnet
- A bit chunky for pocket carry
- The switch is easy to active – lock it out when not in use
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
4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆
The Wuben X-0 Knight is a sweet, unique flashlight. I feel like there are only so many body styles in flashlights and even those that are intended to stand out end up looking like several lights already on the market. Wuben managed to break through that with a very unique looking, compact flashlight that is pretty bright for its size. The X-0 has great, regulated electronics and a familiar, easy UI. The ability to adjust the brightness of each mode is a rare and welcome addition. While compact lights are frequently excellent for EDC carry, there are two things holding that back for the X-0. For one, it’s a bit girthy. I carried it for a while and it was fine, but a little bit thicker than what I normally carry. And second, that extra large paddle-style switch is really easy to activate. That’s great when you want to turn it on, but not great when it’s in your pocket or bag. So locking it out is a must.
Wuben X-0 For Sale
1lumen selects and reviews products personally. We may earn affiliate commissions through our links, which help support our testing.