JETBeam BC10

March 27th, 2011
by Dave Wise

JETBeam has historically been a purveyor of middle to high priced lights with serious attention to quality. Their “B” series intentionally brings up the bottom rung of their model line, but does it live up to the JETBeam name?

JETBeam BC10

JETBeam BC10

Meat and Potatoes

The JETBeam “B” series represents a step into a wider world for this company. A new set of budget offerings that still manage to exude quality. Offering a two stage interface akin to base models from other companies, the BC10 is an excellent mix of new technology and simple usability. Changing between modes is as simple as twisting the head tightened for high and slightly loosened for low.

JETBeam BC10

JETBeam BC10

Utilizing one CR123A cell to power today’s most common powerhouse LED, the Cree XP-G, JETBeam has not skimped when it comes to output. Pairing the XP-G’s superb efficiency with its characteristically excellent emission pattern, the BC10 projects its 270 lumens in a beautifully smooth beam, aided in that endeavor by a lightly stippled reflector. The spread of the beam is very middle of the road. It is a good all purpose pattern balancing moderate flood and throw. As usual with this LED, there is still an excellent transitional corona and decently bright spill assisting in eliminating any “tunnel vision”. The BC10 has a very excellent level spacing also, providing a useful general purpose mode with a very bright high mode on top of that.

JETBeam BC10

JETBeam BC10

The machine work on the BC10 is top notch. Every corner and edge has been smoothed to a comfortable finish. The anodizing seems thick and durable. Of interesting note, the knurling is definitively less aggressive than many lights I have seen lately, though it still provides adequate retention. It’s just much less chance of being a pocket shredder. Even the tension mounted pocket clip has been smoothed so there are no rough edges.

Constructive Criticism

Speaking of the pocket clip, It is really quite a tight clip, which is somewhat unusual for this type of mounting method. Generally tension mounted clips are prone to accidentally falling off with the slightest tug, but this model appears to be nearly immune to such afflictions. However, this death grip on the barrel of the light also transitions to becoming difficult to use. The clip is so tight it takes a very concentrated effort to be able to use at all. Add to that the fact that the clip rubs against the head of the light, potentially scratching the anodizing on the head with each successive mode change, and you see why my light will be growing old without this particular accessory.

JETBeam BC10

Pocket Clip

Conclusions

Clearly JETBeam hasn’t skimped on the quality in order to make this new budget line a success. These lights seem to be about all the little extra touches, from the forward clicky to the quality lanyard (one of the minimally few lanyards I will actually leave in place beyond the review period), JETBeam looks to have gone the distance to make quality light affordable, rather than the other way around.

JETBeam BC10

JETBeam BC10

Provided for review by the kind folks at JETBeam.

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Posted in CR123A, Cree XP-G, LED | Comments (2)

2 Responses to “JETBeam BC10”

  1. TQ Says:

    I tried one of these out today, but it wasn’t for me. As often as I use a light, even with it’s current size it is too easily fumbled. 2AA Quarks for me, I recon.

    I have been intrigued since I read your review on the AA models and saw what others had to say about it, elsewhere.

    The switch wasn’t as bad as I had expected, I had seen statements that the switch plunger under the boot was too small, but it was okay.

    The clip seemed just about right overall, and no concerns about scratching the ano- but the reason for this leads to one of it’s faults:

    High and low aren’t much different. You won’t be twisting it much and scratching the ano if you keep fresh batteries in it, because it is nearly pointless. If you use it as designed, you will want to switch it on half an hour BEFORE you need a low level, while depleting the battery for this privilege. I just don’t have that kind of time or money to actually get into the low mode. This is silly.

    Also, in my testing, the run time on high to 50% by eye was no where near the claims on the box. A little more than half an hour, and it got HOT – which is always hard on equipment.

    Lastly, the output on high seemed consistent with an AA2 Quark, 150 – 200 lumen range. Oh well. Seems the ANSI numbers changed nothing. SSDD.

    The best part of the whole deal was selling it 2 hours after I received it to someone who needed a modern pocket light.

    I was able to offer them a great deal on it, since it wasn’t the right light for me- That part felt really good, but reinforced my notion that even this budget model is priced above what I would pay, if I were to buy it again.

  2. Dave Wise Says:

    Wow, sorry you had such a bad experience with this one. I don’t seem to have nearly as much trouble with mine. Yes, low isn’t really a low, but more of a general use level, but it’s accessible even with a full cell for me. Nicely lower than the full brightness. Also, I seem to be getting some pretty decent power out of the top end. Nothing that would cause me to doubt its claimed numbers.

    Well, at least you were able to “pass the torch” to someone else who was in need, and hopefully it will be a nudge into a larger world. I suspect that the budget portion of these lights invites more sample variation into the mix than you see with higher end models.

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