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31
General Flashlight Discussion / Re: Nitecore i4 Intellicharger ?
« Last post by Rebel on November 03, 2014, 09:47:35 PM »
I was thinking of getting the Nitecore D4 charger. Anybody got any opinions on it?
32
Lights Buy/Sell/Trade / Re: FS Surefire HL1-A LED helmet light
« Last post by BRIGHTSPOT on October 20, 2014, 01:48:58 AM »
price reduced to $49.99
33
Lights Buy/Sell/Trade / NEW, SKILHUNT H02R(reflector version) 860 lumens headlamp
« Last post by skilhunt on September 03, 2014, 02:07:27 AM »
Hello guys,

New, SKILHUNT H02R(reflector version) 860 lumens headlamp
http://skilhunt.com/products.php?xing=,0,15,%&ting=3




H02R (reflector version)

LED: CREE XM-L2
Max output: ANSI 860 Lumens
Max runtime: 120 hours
Max beam distance: 123 meters
Max peak beam intensity: 3800cd
Waterproof: IPX-8
Impact resistant: 1.5 Meter
Battery: 1x18650 or 2x CR123A
Rated Range: 3V ~ 9V

Dimension:
Length 110mm / 4.33 inch
Head diameter 25mm / 0.98 inch
Body diameter 22.8mm/0.9inch

Weight: 58g / 2.05oz (without battery)
Accessories: Headband (Detachable straps with silicone holder ) , clip, lanyard, magnet replace O-ring, Operator痴 manual, Warranty card, Spare O-ring
34

Outdoor Shots[/FONT]
ISO 100, f/3.5, 2.5"
For a cool, neutral, and warm tint I took a shot of the max and min brightness, and two arbitrary medium brightnesses in between.






Performance

Submersion:  Imalent claims IPX-8, but the switches and screen make me nervous, so I have not yet tested this claim.

Heat: The SA04 steps down in brightness after about 3 minutes, so heat is not an issue.

PWM: I detected no PWM on any output level of any emitter of the SA04.

Drop: I dropped the SA04 from about a meter onto various surfaces (including grass, carpet, dirt, and hard wood), and found no cosmetic or functional damage.  However, I do recommend care because it seems a fall on a bad angle could crack the screen.

Reverse Polarity Protection: The SA04 claims reverse polarity protection, so I inserted the batteries backwards and tried to turn the light on, then corrected the batteries and the SA04 resumed normal function with no evidence of damage.

Over-Discharge Protection: The SA04 has a battery level indicator on the screen, which displays a decreasing number of bars then begins to flash when the battery level drops, and this is your cue to change the batteries.


Spectral Analysis




All light that we see as white is actually made up of several different colors put together. The relative intensities of the different colors in the mix are what determine the tint of the white we see. For example, cool white LED's have a lot of blue, and warm white LED's have more red or yellow. This measurement was done on a home made spectrometer. The plot below the picture is corrected for the spectral sensitivity of the human eye. Note: the peak in the 900nm region doesn't really exist, it's a piece of the second-order spectrum that's showing up here because of the high intensity of the light source.

The colored emitters:





Additionally, I've included the comparison of the maximally cool, maximally warm, and even (neutral) balance alongside the colored modes.  Remember that many tints in between the extremes can also be achieved:


I apologize for the misleading color coding, the spectrometer software picks the line colors without asking my opinion :shrug:

Output and Runtime


ANSI FL-1 runtime ratings are the time it takes for a light to fall to 10% of it's original output (counting from 30 seconds after turning the light on).

The vertical axis of the graphs below represents a relative brightness measurement using a home made light box. The horizontal axis is time in hours:minutes:seconds. Runtimes are stated in hours:minutes:seconds. These graphs may be truncated to show detail.

As you can see in the chart above and in the graphs below, the max cool mode can get brighter than the max warm mode, and the max both mode is not the sum of the two.  Most likely there is some maximum current the circuitry can provide, and of course the cool emitter is more efficient with that current so it is brighter when receiving max current.  When the emitters are balanced, they likely both receive about half of the max current, and operate a bit more efficiently than then would at higher currents, thus giving a brightness greater than either one singly, but not the sum of the two.

Mode Comparison


Max Cool


Max Both


Max Warm



Throwing Distance

ANSI FL-1 standard for stating a light's throwing distance is the distance at which the peak beam intensity (usually at the center of the beam) is 0.25 lux. I calculate throwing distance and candela (lux at 1 meter) by measuring peak beam intensity at five different distances and using the formula lux*distance^2=constant.


If you take the time to calculate that the ratios here don't quite match up with the ratios of the lumen outputs, good job you :thumbsup:.  I believe that the two separate beams were not quite joined up at the distances I measured for the throw, and I expect the ratios would match better if I were able to measure the throw at a longer distance.


Subjective Review

Quick break down:

+ Variable tint
+ R, G, B beams
+ High brightness
+ Variable brightness
+ Large tint range
+ Large brightness range
+ Touch screen
+ Compact
+ Powered by common AA's
+ Dual front beams converge nicely

- RGB beams ringy
- UI takes time to learn
- Jumpy regulation

As far as I know, this flashlight is truly one of a kind.  Not only does it use a touch screen to control it's many output options, but I can't think of any other light that effectively has a variable tint main beam.  It isn't too uncommon for a light to have multiple emitters, sometimes of differing tints, but here Imalent has designed them so that two emitters of very different tints contribute to the same beam, and the relative brightness of the two emitters is adjustable so that the combined beam can have the a tint anywhere in between the two.  The cool beam is very cool, not quite where I would call bluish but very close.  The warm beam is extremely warm, probably one of the warmest I own, and certainly warmer than many incandescents.  I usually put the slider about halfway between the midpoint and the fully warm end, giving a beam that's a bit warmer than what I consider neutral. 

Many of us are familiar with variable brightness flashlights.  Almost all high-end modern flashlights have multiple brightness levels to choose from, and there are now many options for lights with "infinitely variable brightness" -  so many brightness levels that the transition between them appears smooth and stepless.  The biggest contributor to the usefulness of an infinitely variable brightness light is it's user interface.  I've already covered the SA04 interface in detail in the video review, so I won't re-hash how it works, but I do want to make some comments. Until now, there have just been two ways to adjust infinitely variable brightness that I can think of. The first was done by holding a button, and the light would ramp up or down, and you'd give a signal to stop when you wanted, kind of like playing a slot machine . Obviously not them most convenient method for controlling infinite brightness. Then, we saw the magnetic control ring, which allowed a user to rotate a physical ring in either direction to increase or decrease the brightness at will. This was an infinitely superior method of controlling infinite brightness, because the user was given complete control to fine tune to the desired output, and you never had to pass through settings too bright on your way to a dim setting, or vice versa. Now, we're seeing control of infinite brightness using a touch screen, similar to what many of us are familiar with on our modern phones or tables, but on a smaller scale. There are quite a few advantages and disadvantages of the touch screen interface, and because I see the control ring as it's main competitor, I'll focus on that comparison. First, the control ring has the advantage of being easier to manipulate with gloves or cold/wet fingers, etc., being a physical mechanism. The control ring also is more intuitive for the same reason, an so far has been easier for me to use without really thinking about it. The touch screen has the advantage of giving visual indication of the chosen output level, and also requires no moving parts. I am very curios to see how the screen holds up under long term use and abuse, but so far it has survived my drop test, and of my three Imalent light's I've tested, only one has a small scratch on the screen from being in my bag with other objects. It seems to me that the screen will be more resistant to things like dirt and grit, where the ring would be more resistant to impacts. I've never yet had a failure of a control ring on any of my lights, but I've read several reports of such, so we'll see how well the touch screen holds up in comparison over the long term. Next, so far the control ring has the advantage of smoothness of control, as the touch screen can make the output a bit jumpy due to my large fingers and it's relatively small size. In the end though, the biggest possible advantage and disadvantage of the touch screen is going to be it's versatility. So far, Imalent has used the screen to adjust infinitely variable brightness, make mode changes, and display the battery level. However, there are potentially many more was of implementing the screen to display various information, control various functions, etc. Depending on how well these functions are implemented (or not), the screen has the potential for surpassing usefulness, as we've seen in the area of mobile phones.

So, for the SA04 in particular, the interface is a bit tricky to get used to, as I expected for it's combination of two physical buttons with a touch screen that has a brightness slider and another on-screen button. However, once you practice with it a bit, it gets pretty comfortable, and I wouldn't hesitate to use it in a high pressure situation. If desired, you can choose the tint you like best and from then on it can be easily used only as an adjustable brightness light, and you can ignore the extra emitters and flashy modes without much fear of activating them by accident, which I consider to be an important feature.  I found that after testing, I mostly left it on the same tint setting and rarely fiddled with it much, though I did have a few situations where I switched from my warm-ish setting to neutral to get maximum brightness for seeing something far away.  This light has opened up some fun possibilities for testing my tint preferences and the usefulness of various tints for different tasks.

As I touched on earlier, the tint range for the SA04 is great, and I don't think I'd ever need a warmer or cooler beam than is available.  In addition, the brightness range is excellent, reaching from about 0.1 lumens to almost 900 lumens.  In my testing it didn't quite reach the claimed 930 lumens, but at this brightness that small of a lumen difference is very hard to see, so I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.  This does bing up one of the negatives though, and that's the jumpy regulation pattern.  I understand the initial 3 minute stepdown, this is a standard feature for many high brightness lights, and is pretty understandable when using AA's instead of lithium ion batteries.  However, after the stepdown the brightness is rather erratic.  There is an attempt at regulation, which I appreciate, but I'd like to see some of the smarts used to design the rest of this light and have them work out some flat regulation patterns :thumbsup:.

The only other bigger improvement I'd like to see is with the RGB emitters.  I can't see what's going on inside the head and how much of the space is filled with electronics and such for all the modes and the touch screen, but looking from the outside, the RGB emitters are just mounted on a flat portion of the reflector.  I'll put the picture here again for reference: 

I'd like to see the RGB emitters set down a bit further into the surface of the reflector, and that flat portion made into a small parabolic reflector for each, or possibly covered with a soft diffuser.  As it is, the RBG beams a very ringy, and it looks like there is room in the head to fix that.  Most RGB beams I've seen on other lights are very ringy as well, but with the extra room here in the reflector surface I think the SA04 has room to smooth them out.

The other points to mention are that this light is pretty compact, even with all it's extra features, and it uses four AA batteries, which are very common and easy to find.  The overall construction of the SA04 seems very solid, and the style is appealing.  It's heat dissipation fins are a bit shallow, but with the 3 minute stepdown heat is never a problem.

Overall, the SA04 is certainly a unique light, and I'm impressed with the way that Imalent has included so many features in such a compact form, and managed to keep them all working smoothly!  There is no other light I know that can do what this one can, so if the variable tint, variable brightness, and RGB options look good to you, then this is the light you want!


Long Term Impressions
I'll fill this part in after carrying the light for a while. If nothing get's added here, either I find nothing else worth noting about the light, or I end up not using it often.
35
my reviews on facebook!
Don't forget to click "Like" after the page loads!

to my YouTube channel!


Imalent is a relatively new flashlight manufacturer, and has debuted with a set of lights that feature a touch screen based user interface. The SA04 sports four separate emitters: a cool white XM-L2 and a warm XM-L2 for variable a variable tint main beam,  and two red/green/blue combo emitters.


Thanks to Imalent for providing the SA04 for review.


I値l be reviewing the SA04 in two sections: first, I値l discuss the light objectively (the facts about the light itself), then I値l discuss the light subjectively (my impressions about the light's performance when used for specific applications). If you have any other specific applications you'd like the light tested for, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Video Review

Below is a video review of the SA04. Due to my old image hosting site closing down, I've got new restrictions on image uploads and have replaced the "Construction" section of my reviews with a more detailed video review.

[video=youtube;7aYRI3tTaeQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aYRI3tTaeQ[/video]
This video is available in 1080p HD, but defaults to a lower quality. To select the playback quality click the settings button (looks like a gear) after you've started the video.


Objective

Manufacturer's Specifications

Price: 93 USD




Product Manual




Dimensions




Plus, here's a few shots with some good detail.











User Interface

The SA04 has four emitters controlled by two physical buttons and a touch screen.  It is capable of producing a wide range of tints for it's main beam by adjusting the outputs of the cool and warm emitter.  The main beam overall brightness can be adjusted, and it can also be set to Strobe, Beacon, or SOS (all brightness and tint adjustable).  It also has Red, Blue, and Green modes (not flashy or adjustable).  To discuss the UI in detail here would be tedious and redundant, so instead of typing the whole thing I refer you to the video at the beginning of the review.


Action Shots

You can click on any of these shots to see them full size.

Tint Shifting (Many arbitrary positions)


Light in Hand


MugShot



BeamSlice



White Wall
ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/20"
When very close to the target, you can see the separate beams and their convergence.
For a cool, neutral, and warm tint I took a shot of the max and min brightness, and two arbitrary medium brightnesses in between.





Indoor Shots
ISO 100, f/3.5, 1"
For a cool, neutral, and warm tint I took a shot of the max and min brightness, and two arbitrary medium brightnesses in between.




36

Spectral Analysis




All light that we see as white is actually made up of several different colors put together. The relative intensities of the different colors in the mix are what determine the tint of the white we see. For example, cool white LED's have a lot of blue, and warm white LED's have more red or yellow. This measurement was done on a home made spectrometer. The plot below the picture is corrected for the spectral sensitivity of the human eye. Note: the peak in the 900nm region doesn't really exist, it's a piece of the second-order spectrum that's showing up here because of the high intensity of the light source.

I noticed an interesting feature of the UV emitter soon after turning it on.  Not only does it emit a significant amount of visible light, but when on high it looks white and when the output is dimmed it looks more yellow.  You can see by the spectrum of the UV emitter that there is much more UV than visible light emitted, but that the spectrum of the visible light changes for the low output. See the comparison below:



Also, I've included an overlay of the graphs so you can see the difference between the cool and neutral emitters.



Output and Runtime


ANSI FL-1 runtime ratings are the time it takes for a light to fall to 10% of it's original output (counting from 30 seconds after turning the light on).

The vertical axis of the graphs below represents a relative brightness measurement using a home made light box. The horizontal axis is time in hours:minutes:seconds. Runtimes are stated in hours:minutes:seconds. These graphs may be truncated to show detail.

Mode Comparison


Max Cool


Max Neutral



Throwing Distance

ANSI FL-1 standard for stating a light's throwing distance is the distance at which the peak beam intensity (usually at the center of the beam) is 0.25 lux. I calculate throwing distance and candela (lux at 1 meter) by measuring peak beam intensity at five different distances and using the formula lux*distance^2=constant.




Subjective Review

Quick break down:

+ Three infinitely variable emitters
+ Very nice neutral flood
+ Good throw
+ High power UV
+ Touch screen very responsive
+ Independent memory for each emitter
+ Good beam pattern on all emitters
+ Nice style
+ Wide output range

- Not as bright as claimed
- Little or no regulation after 3 minutes
- UV emitter has significant visible output
- Learning curve on interface

I'l start by saying, this has been my first Imalent light to review, and I believe one of their first to make, and I've been favorably impressed.  The certainly have a ways to go before perfecting the art, but I'm very glad to see a company willing to try some new ideas and make some non-standard flashlights, and I hope to see more innovation by Imalent in the future.

So, the most obvious thing about this light is it's touch screen.  I've already covered the interface in detail in the video review, so I won't re-hash how it works, but I do want to make some comments.  Until now, there have just been two ways to adjust infinitely variable brightness that I can think of.  The first was done by holding a button, and the light would ramp up or down, and you'd give a signal to stop when you wanted, kind of like playing a slot machine ;). Obviously not them most convenient method for controlling infinite brightness.  Then, we saw the magnetic control ring, which allowed a user to rotate a physical ring in either direction to increase or decrease the brightness at will.  This was an infinitely superior method of controlling infinite brightness, because the user was given complete control to fine tune to the desired output, and you never had to pass through settings too bright on your way to a dim setting, or vice versa.  Now, we're seeing control of infinite brightness using a touch screen, similar to what many of us are familiar with on our modern phones or tables, but on a smaller scale.  There are quite a few advantages and disadvantages of the touch screen interface, and because I see the control ring as it's main competitor, I'll focus on that comparison.  First, the control ring has the advantage of being easier to manipulate with gloves or cold/wet fingers, etc., being a physical mechanism.  The control ring also is more intuitive for the same reason, an so far has been easier for me to use without really thinking about it.  The touch screen has the advantage of giving visual indication of the chosen output level, and also requires no moving parts.  I am very curios to see how the screen holds up under long term use and abuse, but so far it has survived my drop test, and of my three Imalent light's I've tested, only one has a small scratch on the screen from being in my bag with other objects.  It seems to me that the screen will be more resistant to things like dirt and grit, where the ring would be more resistant to impacts.  I've never yet had a failure of a control ring on any of my lights, but I've read several reports of such, so we'll see how well the touch screen holds up in comparison over the long term.  Next, so far the control ring has the advantage of smoothness of control, as the touch screen can make the output a bit jumpy due to my large fingers and it's relatively small size.  In the end though, the biggest possible advantage and disadvantage of the touch screen is going to be it's versatility.  So far, Imalent has used the screen to adjust infinitely variable brightness, make mode changes, and display the battery level.  However, there are potentially many more was of implementing the screen to display various information, control various functions, etc.  Depending on how well these functions are implemented (or not), the screen has the potential for surpassing usefulness, as we've seen in the area of mobile phones. 

So, for the EU06 in particular, the interface is a bit tricky to get used to, as I expected for it's combination of two physical buttons with a touch screen that has a brightness slider and another on-screen button.  However, once you practice with it a bit, it gets pretty comfortable, and I wouldn't hesitate to use it in a high pressure situation.  If desired, it can be easily used only as an adjustable brightness light, and you can ignore the extra emitters and flashy modes without much fear of activating them by accident, which I consider to be an important feature.

The combination of three different types of emitters I have found to be very useful.  The main emitter is focused pretty well and set fairly deep, so that it throws a bit better than you would see in other lights with the same bezel size.  It's a cool white, and the beam is free from any noticeable artifacts, which would not be the case if the other emitters shared it's reflector.  The flood emitter is a great touch.  I appreciate that it's side mounted so that it doesn't interfere with the throw of the main beam, and the diffuser ensures that the flood beam is smooth and well distributed over the whole area you point it at.  Being side mounted means you might have to use a less convenient grip at times, but the alternative would be to force it into the same reflector as the main emitter, or greatly increase the bezel size to fit another emitter in the front without compromising the main emitter.  The ultraviolet emitter is a very nice feature, as there are few lights that incorporate both UV and visible light in one package, but many people will have a use for both during their job or hobby.  You'll see in the performance chart above that the lumens rating I measured is very low for the UV emitter, but this is due to the face the lumens are only a measure of visible light, and though the UV emitter does put out some visible light, it puts out much more ultraviolet light that you won't be able to detect until it fluoresces on something.  You can take a look at the spectral graphs to see approximately the ratio of visible to UV light output.  That being said, it seems to me that this light does put out more visible light than other UV emitters I've seen, but I'm not sure if that's due to it's manufacture, if it's fluorescing it's own dome, or something else.  Imalent has claimed it's a CREE XP-E emitter, and I'm working on getting a hold of the data sheet (I've contacted CREE because they don't have any info about a UV emitter that I can find on their site, I'm guessing they don't make it any more).  I'll also note here that the EU06UV is actually the alternate version of the EU06, and the standard EU06 has a red emitter in place of this UV emitter.  When I took a look under the diffuser, it's a straight shot to the emitter, so it looks like a modder would have a fairly easy time of swapping in any other color of XP-E you like. :thumbsup:  Finally, each of these emitters has a very wide output range, and the output that you select is memorized independently, which I've found to be very useful.

A couple negative aspects that I'd like to see Imalent work out as they grow: first, this is a very smart light, but it has poor regulation, and I'd like to see some improvement there.  Next, max output figures are lower than what I measured.  And finally, I think the button/screen combo UI has some room to be worked out and make a bit smoother to learn.

Overall, the EU06 UV is a great entry into the flashlight realm by Imalent, and as I said, I'm excited to see what this company does in the future.  If you like high tech and want a cutting edge flashlight with a lot of options and features, it's hard to beat the EU06 UV!


Long Term Impressions
I'll fill this part in after carrying the light for a while. If nothing get's added here, either I find nothing else worth noting about the light, or I end up not using it often.
37
my reviews on facebook!
Don't forget to click "Like" after the page loads!

to my YouTube channel!


Imalent is a relatively new flashlight manufacturer, and has debuted with a set of lights that feature a touch screen based user interface.  The EU06 sports three separate emitters:  a cool white XM-L2 for throw, a neutral white XP-E for flood, and an ultraviolet XP-E for fluorescence.


Thanks to Imalent for providing the EU06 for review.


I値l be reviewing the EU06 in two sections: first, I値l discuss the light objectively (the facts about the light itself), then I値l discuss the light subjectively (my impressions about the light's performance when used for specific applications). If you have any other specific applications you'd like the light tested for, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Video Review

Below is a video review of the EU06. Due to my old image hosting site closing down, I've got new restrictions on image uploads and have replaced the "Construction" section of my reviews with a more detailed video review.

[video=youtube;Qy1a2f023h0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy1a2f023h0[/video]
This video is available in 1080p HD, but defaults to a lower quality. To select the playback quality click the settings button (looks like a gear) after you've started the video.


Objective

Manufacturer's Specifications

Price: 90 USD





Product Manual




Dimensions




Plus, here's a few shots with some good detail.








User Interface

The EU06 has infinitely variable output from each of it's three emitters, in addition to Strobe, Beacon, and SOS from it's main emitter, each of these also available in infinitely variable brightness.  These modes are controlled by two buttons on one side of the head and the touch screen on the other side.  The interface would be tedious to describe in type here, so I'll refer you to watch the video above which describes the interface in detail.


Action Shots

You can click on any of these shots to see them full size.

Light in Hand


MugShot
Cool Throw, UV Flood, Neutral Flood


BeamSlice
Cool Throw, UV Flood, Neutral Flood


White Wall
ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/20"
Cool Throw, UV Flood, Neutral Flood, each at Max, two middle positions, and Min




Indoor Shots
ISO 100, f/3.5, 1"
Cool Throw, UV Flood, Neutral Flood, each at Max, two middle positions, and Min




Outdoor Shots

ISO 100, f/3.5, 2.5"





Performance

Submersion: Imalent claims IPX-8 on the EU06, but after inspecting some of the seals I'm just not confident enough to submerge it yet.

Heat: The EU06 is programmed to only give max output for 3 minutes before dropping down, so it never gets more than warm.

PWM: I could not detect PWM on any output level of any emitter of the EU06.

Drop: I dropped the EU06 from about a meter onto various surfaces (including grass, carpet, dirt, and hard wood), and found no cosmetic or functional damage.  I'm nervous about the screen though, as it seems a landing on the wrong angle could easily damage it.

Reverse Polarity Protection: The EU06 claims reverse polarity protection, so I inserted the battery backwards and tried to turn the light on, then corrected the battery and the EU06 resumed normal function with no evidence of damage.

Over-Discharge Protection: A battery icon on the screen gives you a rough idea of the battery life, and it begins to flash when it's almost depleted, so that's your signal to change the battery.

38

Spectral Analysis


All light that we see as white is actually made up of several different colors put together. The relative intensities of the different colors in the mix are what determine the tint of the white we see. For example, cool white LED's have a lot of blue, and warm white LED's have more red or yellow. This measurement was done on a home made spectrometer. The plot below the picture is corrected for the spectral sensitivity of the human eye. Note: the peak in the 900nm region doesn't really exist, it's a piece of the second-order spectrum that's showing up here because of the high intensity of the light source.

Output and Runtime


ANSI FL-1 runtime ratings are the time it takes for a light to fall to 10% of it's original output (counting from 30 seconds after turning the light on).

The vertical axis of the graphs below represents a relative brightness measurement using a home made light box. The horizontal axis is time in hours:minutes:seconds. Runtimes are stated in hours:minutes:seconds. These graphs may be truncated to show detail.

Mode Comparison


Max


Arbitrary Middle Setting


Throwing Distance

ANSI FL-1 standard for stating a light's throwing distance is the distance at which the peak beam intensity (usually at the center of the beam) is 0.25 lux. I calculate throwing distance and candela (lux at 1 meter) by measuring peak beam intensity at five different distances and using the formula lux*distance^2=constant.




Subjective Review

Quick break down:

+ Variable brightness
+ Built-in charger
+ Touch screen
+ Large brightness range
+ Comfortable to hold
+ Battery level indicator
+ Simple interface
+ Mode memory
+ Smooth beam
+ Flood/throw balance

- Weird regulation
- Not 1000 lumens

As my third Imalent light to review, the DD2R has the quality and the quirks I've come to expect from Imalent. ;)  The DD2R seems to be their simplest model currently offered, and was easy to pick up and use right away without any special effort to learn the UI.  The most obvious distinguishing feature of the DD2R is it's touch screen that controls the variable brightness, so I'll begin with some notes on my evaluation of the touch screen.

Many of us are familiar with variable brightness flashlights. Almost all high-end modern flashlights have multiple brightness levels to choose from, and there are now many options for lights with "infinitely variable brightness" - so many brightness levels that the transition between them appears smooth and stepless. The biggest contributor to the usefulness of an infinitely variable brightness light is it's user interface. I've already covered the SA04 interface in detail in the video review, so I won't re-hash how it works, but I do want to make some comments. Until now, there have just been two ways to adjust infinitely variable brightness that I can think of. The first was done by holding a button, and the light would ramp up or down, and you'd give a signal to stop when you wanted, kind of like playing a slot machine . Obviously not them most convenient method for controlling infinite brightness. Then, we saw the magnetic control ring, which allowed a user to rotate a physical ring in either direction to increase or decrease the brightness at will. This was an infinitely superior method of controlling infinite brightness, because the user was given complete control to fine tune to the desired output, and you never had to pass through settings too bright on your way to a dim setting, or vice versa. Now, we're seeing control of infinite brightness using a touch screen, similar to what many of us are familiar with on our modern phones or tables, but on a smaller scale. There are quite a few advantages and disadvantages of the touch screen interface, and because I see the control ring as it's main competitor, I'll focus on that comparison. First, the control ring has the advantage of being easier to manipulate with gloves or cold/wet fingers, etc., being a physical mechanism. The control ring also is more intuitive for the same reason, and so far has been easier for me to use without really thinking about it. The touch screen has the advantage of giving visual indication of the chosen output level, and also requires no moving parts. I am very curios to see how the screen holds up under long term use and abuse, but so far it has survived my drop test, and of my three Imalent light's I've tested, only one has a small scratch on the screen from being in my bag with other objects. It seems to me that the screen will be more resistant to things like dirt and grit, where the ring would be more resistant to impacts. I've never yet had a failure of a control ring on any of my lights, but I've read several reports of such, so we'll see how well the touch screen holds up in comparison over the long term. Next, so far the control ring has the advantage of smoothness of control, as the touch screen can make the output a bit jumpy due to my large fingers and it's relatively small size. In the end though, the biggest possible advantage and disadvantage of the touch screen is going to be it's versatility. So far, Imalent has used the screen to adjust infinitely variable brightness, make mode changes, and display the battery level. However, there are potentially many more was of implementing the screen to display various information, control various functions, etc. Depending on how well these functions are implemented (or not), the screen has the potential for surpassing usefulness, as we've seen in the area of mobile phones.

Compared to the other two Imalent lights I've tested (the SA04 and the EU06), the DD2R is much simpler to use because it has fewer functions.  With only a single emitter and single physical button, it's much easier to get the hang of it.  Pretty much the physical button turn the light on and off and the touch screen controls the output.  As with the other Imalent models, the range of output is excellent, with a minimum output of less than one lumen.  Unfortunately though, the DD2R's max doesn't hit the claimed 1000 lumens, but I measured closer to 725 on several tests using 18650 or 2x16340 batteries.  The only other real negative for the DD2R is that the regulation pattern is a bit weird.  I prefer to see a more flat regulation, where the DD2R kid of has this series of kicks back up after the output drops a bit.  It works, but is just a bit weird.

Other than that, Imalent has done well at putting together all the little things that contribute to a well polished light.  The construction is sturdy, the threads are smooth, the beam has no artifacts, it's comfortable to hold, has mode memory, etc.  The beam pattern is a good balance of throw and flood, making this a pretty good general purpose light for mid-range use.  It also has a built-in USB battery charging port, which is becoming more more common on a lot of high end lights these days.  Over the past few months my appreciation for the charging port has really grown, especially in situations where I might be out of the house or out of town for a while, because it means I don't have to pack my whole battery charger, I can just grab the light and it's charging cable.  I do wish that the charging port on the DD2R was a micro-USB instead of a round port, because the micro-USB has become such a great standard and I already have quite a few of those cables around the house.  But I won't be picky, just having the charging port is great ;).

Overall, the DD2R is a light that's a real pleasure to use, and a great introduction into the touch screen flashlight idea.  If you're looking to try out the new touch screen UI, the DD2R is a well designed light that's simpler and cheaper than the other Imalent models, making it a great place to start.


Long Term Impressions
I'll fill this part in after carrying the light for a while. If nothing get's added here, either I find nothing else worth noting about the light, or I end up not using it often.
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Imalent is a relatively new flashlight manufacturer, and has debuted with a set of lights that feature a touch screen based user interface. The DD2R is the simplest of their lights that I've reviewed, featuring a single emitter controlled by a touch screen, with a USB charging port built-in.


Thanks to Imalent for providing the DD2R for review.


I値l be reviewing the DD2R in two sections: first, I値l discuss the light objectively (the facts about the light itself), then I値l discuss the light subjectively (my impressions about the light's performance when used for specific applications). If you have any other specific applications you'd like the light tested for, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Video Review

Below is a video review of the DD2R. Due to my old image hosting site closing down, I've got new restrictions on image uploads and have replaced the "Construction" section of my reviews with a more detailed video review.

[video=youtube;Za2crNzePrY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za2crNzePrY[/video]
This video is available in 1080p HD, but defaults to a lower quality. To select the playback quality click the settings button (looks like a gear) after you've started the video.


Objective

Manufacturer's Specifications

Price: 72 USD





Product Manual




Dimensions




Plus, here's a few shots with some good detail.










User Interface

The DD2R uses a single side button and a touch screen to control a single emitter.  The operation is fairly complicated, so instead of trying to type it I will ask you to watch the demonstration in the video above.


Action Shots

You can click on any of these shots to see them full size.

Light in Hand


MugShot


BeamSlice


White Wall
ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/20"
Shots taken at Max, Min, and two in-between brightnesses


Indoor Shots
ISO 100, f/3.5, 1"
Shots taken at Max, Min, and two in-between brightnesses


Outdoor Shots

ISO 100, f/3.5, 2.5"
Shots taken at Max, Min, and two in-between brightnesses



Performance

Submersion: The touch screen makes me too nervous to attempt the submersion test, I'll update this if I do the test after getting more comfortable with the DD2R.

Heat: The DD2R steps down from it's max brightness after 3 minutes, so heat is not an issue.

PWM: I detect no PWM on any output level of the DD2R.

Drop: I dropped the DD2R from about a meter onto various surfaces (including grass, carpet, dirt, and hard wood), and found no cosmetic or functional damage.  However, it never landed directly on the touch screen, which I consider is likely the most sensitive part.

Reverse Polarity Protection: The DD2R does not claim reverse polarity protection as far as I can find, so be sure to insert the battery correctly.

Over-Discharge Protection:  The DD2R features a battery level indicator on the touch screen that begins to flash when the battery needs to be replaced or recharged.

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