Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Lights of Lumintop: Two Lights Reviewed

The Lumintop lights reviewed are water resistant to IPX-8 2 meters.  A long dunking for this photo didn't phase them.

Lumintop Lights

Lumintop provided a TD16 and Tool AAA for this review.
Retail prices are $98.98 for the TD16 and $21.98 for the Tool AAA
I have to admit that I wasn't familiar with Lumintop, or their LED lights, prior to them contacting me about doing a review.  Looking through the company history on their website, Lumintop has been designing and producing LED lights since 2010, but only set up their US Amazon store about a year ago.  As I reviewed their current range of lights, I was intrigued by their designs.  It was obvious that Lumintop wasn't simply rebranding generic LED lights, but designing unique lights with some interesting features.  I was hooked.

I asked if I could evaluate the TD16 and Tool AAA lights in a single review.  I thought this pair of lights would cover just about any lighting needs I would have in a typical day.  The TD16 would fill the role of a general purpose tactical/practical light for use around the house.  The Tool AAA would be pocket carried all day for situations requiring just a bit more light.  The two lights proved to be a great combination.

I'll start with some overall comments about both lights.  I think Lumintop is doing a very good job with production and quality control.  With both ends of the price spectrum represented, I really couldn't see any difference in the quality of the two lights.  Both lights were well fitted and finished.  There was no grittiness in the threads and the black exterior finishes were smooth and even.  The stainless steel bezels on the TD16 were highly polished and free of machine marks or scratches.  Even the removable pocket clips were expertly finished.

One thing that caught my eye was a slight difference in the finishes on the TD16 and Tool AAA.  The TD16 finish was a bit less glossy than the finish on the Tool AAA.  My Tool AAA came with two tail caps.  One with the thumb switch and the other with the magnet base.  The finish on the two bases was different.  The thumb switch tail cap matched the rest of the Tool AAA.  The magnetic tail cap has the less glossy finish of the TD16.  It's not a huge difference, but for the fussy the difference is noticeable.      

Lumintop TD16 Tactical Light

The tactical/practical TD16 caught my attention because of the combination tail switch and secondary switch located in the light head.  I'm not a big fan of lights that require a series of rapid switch presses to navigate through various brightness settings and light programs.  Even though it might seem that two switches could complicate the operation of the light, the TD16 is very simple to operate.

The tail cap switch serves a single purpose.  Soft press the switch to temporarily activate the light.  Click the switch to fully activate the light.  There is nothing stealthy about the tail cap switch.  It clicks loudly when the switch is activated.  Click the tail cap switch again, and the light turns off with your last brightness setting stored in memory.

The side switch, located in light head, does nothing until the tail switch is activated.  With the tail switch activated, the side switch cycles through low, medium, and high settings with each fast push of the switch.  Pushing and holding the side switch half a second activates the three secondary programs of strobe, flash (signaling), and slow flash (signaling).  Fast presses in this menu will cycle through the three secondary programs.  A long push of half a second returns the light to the primary menu of low, medium, and high.

The TD16 can be weapon mounted with any 1 inch diameter ring mount.
For practical use, I would set the light on medium brightness and turn it off for storage.  When needed, I would start at medium brightness and adjust as necessary depending on my current lighting needs.  For tactical use, I would set the secondary program for strobe and the primary program for high before turning off the TD16.  If deployed tactically, the light would be activated in high brightness and a long push on the side switch would toggle the TD16 to strobe if needed.

While I have no way to properly assess the brightness of the light and verify the 1000 lumen maxium, I will make some comments on the quality of the beam.  The deep reflector delivers a very bright center with generous spill.  The TD16 easily fills a room with light while maintaining a bright central core for outdoor long range illumination needs.

You can make the TD16 into the light you prefer by adding or removing included accessories.  The clip, rubber tactical ring, and stainless tail bezel can all be mixed and matched to fit your preferences.  Alternately, you can remove them all and the TD16 can be a weapon mounted light when fit into an appropriate 1 inch diameter ring mount.  The TD16 package also includes a wrist strap lanyard, nylon holster, and spare O-rings and tail switch cover.  Oddly, batteries are not included.  You will have to add your own pair of CR123A batteries or single rechargeable 18650.

Lumintop Tool AAA Keychain Light

The Lumintop Tool AAA proves that good things can come in small, make that tiny, packages.  This single AAA keychain light caught my attention because it is fitted with a push button tail cap switch similar to AA and larger lights.  Additionally, the light can be fitted with an optional magnetic tail cap.  With the magnetic tail cap in place, the light can be attached to a metal surface and provide hands-free task lighting.  Reverse the pocket clip and the Tool AAA can be attached to the brim of a baseball cap and function as a headlamp.  It's a nifty little light.

The reversible clip allows you to use the tool as a headlamp.  Note the glow
 in the dark lens ring.
With the push button tail cap in place, the switch must be fully depressed to activate the light.  The switch does not allow for soft press temporary on.  When activated the light starts at medium brightness by default.  Half presses on the switch cycle through low, high, and back to medium brightness.

The Tool AAA with magnetic end cap provides plenty of  hands-free light
for an emergency tire change.
With the magnetic tail cap installed, the light activates when the tail cap is screwed down tight.  Again, the light is at medium brightness when activated.  Loosening the tail cap until the light goes out and retightening the tail cap will cycle through low, high, and back to medium brightness.  A useful tip I discovered is loosening the tail cap by 1/4 turn will turn off the light, yet pushing gently and holding down on the tail cap will activate the light.  If you plan to keychain carry the Tool AAA with the magnetic tail cap installed, you will probably want to loosen the tail cap by 1/2 turn to avoid accidental activation in your pocket.

As with the TD16, I have no way to verify the 110 lumen peak brightness of the Tool AAA.  Commenting on the beam quality, the Tool AAA is more of an area light than a spot light.  A central hot core is there, but spreads quickly as distance between light and target increases.  At the highest brightness level, the Tool AAA can illuminate a room quite well.  At short distance, it will certainly help you find that small item that just rolled off the table landed somewhere on the carpet.

The Tool AAA is available in 3 configurations.  You can order it with push button tail cap, magnetic tail cap, or with both tail caps as reviewed here.  If you don't keep AAA batteries around, make sure you add some to your order because the Tool AAA does not include a battery.

I found the Tool AAA carries great when clipped in that watch pocket that blue jean makers continue to sew into the top of the right front pocket.  That's where I will be carrying mine from now on.  I'll also be ordering a second Tool AAA that will stay in the car with the magnetic tail cap installed.

The TD16 and Tool AAA with their Snickers size comparisons.  The TD16 matches the king size and the Tool AAA is definitely fun size.

If you are interested in learning more about Lumintop lights, I encourage you to visit their website through the link at the start of the review.  I found their website to be exceptional in the information and detailed product views available to the visitor.  Lumintop sells their products through Amazon and have the following promotion available for anyone visiting their website or reading through this review.  Personally, I know a few people on my Christmas shopping list will be getting a Tool AAA from me this year.  Details on the promotion were cut directly from the Lumintop website and I have confirmed the code works correctly when entered into an Amazon.com shopping cart.

Every year Black Friday and Christmas are coming, are you ready? Now here is the surprise that we provide 20% off code special for every our VIP or Subscriber. It can be used for whichever product you choose in our store until 2015-12-31. The coupon is "LMTQGW20" and you can also share the code with your friends or families.