Brightness abounds in so many forms. The latest Lumintop is another take on the keeping huge lumen output into a compact form factor. How well does it compare to existing offerings?
Meat and Potatoes
The Lumintop PS03 is a huge output light in a relatively small package. Sporting triple Cree XM-L2 emitters powered by a quartet of 18650 cells, this torch isn’t exactly tiny, but for a max output of 2,800 lumens, it is surprisingly portable. Those 4 cells all ride in a fairly sturdy internal battery chassis. This carrier is constructed so it’s totally reversible, though the direction you install the cells isn’t. Unlike some of these multi-cell setups, you aren’t able to run this light with fewer 18650’s than maximum in an emergency, but that reduces the danger from too much load from any individual cell.
The XM-L2s sit behind a large triple optic lens, focusing their collective beam into a relatively floody pattern. The marketing materials say it’s a textured lens, but that just isn’t true. It is fairly free of beam artifacts however thanks to 3 overlapping patterns, and the floody focus makes for very smooth light. Of course, the best feature of an optical lens collimated beam is the lack of a hard edge to the beam’s extremity. Instead it softly diminishes to zero output rather than abruptly cutting off as you normally see with a reflector.
Construction is quite excellent throughout the light. From the body itself to the battery carrier, it feels like a very well put together little torch. The quad 18650 setup is also amazingly easy to hold, despite the enormous girth compared to other lights. It feels more like you’re holding a flashlight from the old D-cell days, but I never found it annoyingly large. The anodizing appears thick and smooth over its entire surface, and the laser engraved logos are crisp and professional. There are no rough or unfinished edges found to cause discomfort. Even the relatively thin stainless steel bezel ring isn’t as sharp or scratchy as some I’ve seen. The side mounted electronic switch is easy to find, but I never had any problem with accidental activation. It’s not a tactical style switch, since you still may have to fumble with the light’s orientation a little before locating it, but this isn’t meant to be a tactical torch.
User interface on the PS03 isn’t exactly my favorite. The light is turned on and off by pressing and holding the switch, rather than the simple click that we’re all familiar with. Once the light is on, a standard click will cycle modes from low up through turbo, and a rapid double click will activate strobe. It takes another press and hold to shut the light back off. This is a bold choice by Lumintop, intended no doubt to prevent accidental activation, but I found it hard to get used to. Admittedly, I did the majority of my testing of this light side by side with another similar format torch that had a single click for activation, but I only found myself having trouble with this one. It wasn’t a two way street.
The PS03 comes with a detachable lanyard loop and a miniscule wrist lanyard. Normally I’ve been prone to just ignoring these since they seem to be packaged into virtually every light these days, but since this Lumintop put such a distinct effort into providing the attachment point (which, while removed becomes a ¼-20 threaded hole for tripod mount), I thought I should at least try it. Honestly, I really think this is the worst lanyard I’ve tested yet. I loaded up the 4 cells into the light, threaded the ~6” lanyard through the hole, and put it around my wrist. Holding the light up at shoulder height, I just let the light drop. I really don’t think the lanyard offered any resistance at all to that much falling mass. That flimsy string attachment snapped so easily it might have been made out of wet tissue paper. Manufacturers: I don’t mind a lanyard, but if you are going to include one, make it worthwhile, otherwise it’s just wasted expense.
This is a powerful beast, and one that you don’t have to worry about running out of juice anytime soon. Because of that it’s incredibly useful. I suspect given enough time the UI oddity would not feel so strange, but it is noticeable for now. You can’t argue with the beautiful floody wall of light though.
Provided for review by the kind folks at Lumintop.