Greetings everyone! Forgive the lack of posts in recent history, but the life of a father working two jobs has kept me very busy until now. But, on the bright side (pun intended, sorry) I’ve got a few flashlight reviews on the way, and hopefully some other new material too.
I’ve had the pleasure to review one of Lumintop’s lights before, the capable (if poorly named) Lumintop Tool, so I was excited to test out the Lumintop TD-16 when I got a review light in the mail from one of the US Lumintop distributors, Lucky Light Bank.
On first look, the light isn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen – the business end is wider than the rest, sacrificing some of the sleek look of other lights in this range. The torch is powered by a single 18650 battery, and when I first turned it on, I was genuinely impressed by the light output from such a small light and minimal power source. The light is purely a spotlight – no floodyness here, but the light has some real punch. At a recent camping trip at Hopeville Pond State Park in Connecticut, I was able to easily shine the opposite site of the pond (~600 feet) and amply light up the trees. It’s got two click switches, one on the tailcap toggles the light on and off, one near the head changes between the light’s three intensities (35, 220, and 1,000 lumens). With that said, let’s jump into the rubric:
Overall Brightness – 10/10
It could be brighter, but why? The light’s 1,000 lumens provide all the illumination needed for the vast, vast majority of foreseeable circumstances. The only brightness complaint I have is the big jump between the medium and high mode (e.g., I wish there was another level at 500-700 lumens), but I docked it points for that in the “other” rating (below.)
Width of beam – 5/10
Without mincing words: this isn’t the light for floodlighting scenarios. This is obviously a drawback for some things, but it does allow the light to have superior throw. I’ve used it mostly for road cruising purposes, and it suffices for that to be able to hold in my lap easily and pinpoint the snake, salamander, or other critter from a ways away. I haven’t used it for much night hiking yet, but I would imagine a floodier light would be best for such a scenario if you’re the type who scans everywhere (as opposed to pin-point searching) when hiking.
Throw – 10/10
I’ve already lauded the throw for the TD16, but simply put one more time – this light has a long reach. I’m confident that one could shine up small animals in trees from hundreds of feet distance, and it’s extremely useful for spotlighting mammals.
Water/Light Penetration – 9/10
A tight, bright beam like this means more water penetration – the only caveat is that in murky water the light might be too bright and catch floating particles too readily and obscure ones’ vision.
Battery – 7.5/10
This is my second light that uses CR123’s or a single 18650, and I understand the benefit of the battery (from what I understand one 18650 is about as powerful as 3 AA’s), but I’m still not sold on it because it’s limited availability- That is, if my flashlight dies, I can’t stop at the corner gas station I will likely find AA’s, but I’m not likely to find 18650’s, especially when traveling abroad.
Size – 9/10
It’s much more pleasurable having this guy sit in the side pocket of the car or in my lap during a road cruise than some of the bulkier parts of my arsenal (Fenix’s TK41 and 45), so a good score here for size. My only critique is that the flashlight’s head seems excessively large compared to the body size. I don’t think that’s necessarily a reflector problem, but I think the head may’ve been made bulkier to accommodate the strike bezel head, which I don’t foresee ever having a use for – But I suppose some people like the sort of gimmicks like strike bezels.
The normal retail price, is, I think, overpriced considering Lumintop’s relatively-newcomer status. It retails right around $100. That said, Lucky Light Bank did send a 20% code, and $80 isn’t a bad deal for the ’16.
Dependability – 10/10
I’ve had no problems in over a month of use – I will update appropriately if something changes with that.
Ruggedness – 8/10
The TD16 comes with a nice looking holster. That holster fell to tatters mere hours after opening the box. Now, this isn’t a problem with the ruggedness of the light – but for a $100 light, a decent holster would be of benefit.
Other – 8/10
Ok, this is where the light loses some points, but it may only be an issue for some folks. First, I’m just going to come out and say it: there’s nothing sleek or attractive about this light – it’s ugly. Despite the fact that it’s really bright, and an overall well made light; it looks like one of the cheap Chinese lights you’d get off ebay for $3.99 that works for a few weeks before breaking. It’s none of these things (except Chinese), but there you have it. If ugliness isn’t an issue for you (and it really isn’t much of one for me, but it’s worth mentioning), you should be fine. The other minor problem is the fact that there are only 3 brightness modes – a forth somewhere between the mid and high setting would be desirable. For some uses, the light cycling goes from ‘not enough’ to ‘way too bright.’ The light also comes with an anti-roll O-ring around the outside, and despite my initial dubiousness that it’d ever be useful, it does a good job of keeping the torch from rolling off my lap when I’m driving.
OVERALL SCORE – 83.5/100
Despite a somewhat low score, I’m not trying to say that this is a bad light – there are just some little things here and there that effect its likeability for my purposes in comparison to some other lights. That said, I don’t think it would be a bad purchase if you’re in the market.
One last thing – the folks that sent me this light also sent me a code for a 20% discount on any of their lights, and they’ve got a nice selection of lights (most of them prime eligible). Their store is at http://goo.gl/Lz7to9 – and the 20% off code is BLLJosh8 – They’ve got a nice selection, and I would particularly recommend the Lumintop Tool ( https://fieldventures.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/equipment-review-lumintop-tool-aaa/ )
Coming up in the coming weeks will be some other flashlight reviews, including some new offerings from Fenix, so stay tuned.