A Review of a typical AS SEEN ON TV Light

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by Jeffrey51, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. Jeffrey51

    Jeffrey51 Active Member

    Aug 26, 2020
    A review of a light you should NOT buy!

    These have sold over the years for as much a $90 each to “unlightened” soles who fall for the “I’m an ex fighter jock, and this is what we use. See it runs under water and is so bright that you will instantly blind attackers” These adds should start up now that the holidays are approaching.

    Well, we shall see...
    By the way, you can buy these direct from China for $2-$5 each. And it’s the same damn light the TV guys are shilling.
    One of the problems that Flashaholics may have is well-meaning muggle friends who know you like flashlights.
    Not a big problem for me mostly, since I have like maybe 3 total. Friends that is….
    So what do you do when they give you a gift they think will be right up your alley?
    It’s a fancy flashlight they found on Amazon-Best Buy-Costco- Etc – Etc.
    After all it’s just like the Mil-Spec Tactical Operators SEAL Recon Ninja Rated light –
    As Seen on TV.
    And to them it’s the best thing they have ever seen.

    In my case, I smile nicely, thank them, and tell them “I haven’t gotten one like this before”.
    And hope they didn’t pay out the wazoo for it.
    Then try to find where it came from.
    Then come here and post a review (naturally).
    This is the Phixton Tactical & Military WT-04 rechargeable Flashlight Torch.
    This can be found on Amazon for about $20.

    Ad says:

    “About 1000 lumens, 20% brighter than xml T6.”
    “5000mAh battery”
    And checking the instructions:
    “Attack Head” (Better than a Rottweiler)
    “Further irradiation distance” (Light saber be-dammed)
    IPX6” (I don’t think so Tim)
    “Thankyou for choosing the Phixton flashlight from our store, which is made from high quality materials and has an ultra bright LED source.”

    I always try to buy from stores made from high quality materials.

    The light is the typical 3xAAA/18650 cheap aspheric zoomie that has been seen for years.
    It comes in a snap closure case.

    The case contains the Light, instructions, “5000mAh” 18650 button top battery, 3xAAA battery carrier, 18650 sleeve, USB-A to 3.5mm charging cable, 12v Cig lighter to 3.5mm cable, 110v USB power supply, and a “car clip” (for when “you ride a bike”).

    The Included Accessories

    The “car clip” is all plastic and doesn’t seem like it will hold up to much of anything.
    The instructions are in Chinglish, but are understandable (and amusing).

    With the light collapsed, the back view assures us that it’s an XM-L2

    With the head collapsed the LED is visible.

    Another shot with the lens removed

    Peering down the Rabbit Hole – I see a flat thin metal connector sitting a bit off center.
    Flat top batteries work fine.

    Be careful with a magnetic spacer. This is plated steel. You might leave the magnet behind.

    On the other end the threads are fine cut and not anodized. The spring is quite light duty.
    Surprisingly the threads and O-ring were lubricated.

    To use the 18650 there is a handy-dandy plastic tube to take up the space used by the 3xAAA battery carrier.

    The charge port is a 3.5mm jack. (Why not a Micro-USB alike all the rest of the world?)
    Peering inside the jack I think there is no waterproofing.
    The only thing keeping the cooties out is having the head retracted to the wide beam setting.

    Raylan Givens likes this.
  2. Raylan Givens

    Raylan Givens Never Forget

    Aug 18, 2015
    How many are you giving away at Christmas?
    AGENT P, Scaramouche and 1911 crazed like this.

  3. Jeffrey51

    Jeffrey51 Active Member

    Aug 26, 2020
    The UI.
    The switch is a reverse clicky.

    It cycles High-Med-Low-Blinky-SOS.
    Quick use of the switch changes the modes.
    The light has no memory.
    If you switch it off and turn it back on quickly it moves to the next mode.
    The directions say that after a turn off it will move to the next mode.
    That’s not quite true.
    If you let it stay in a mode for a few seconds then switch it off for a several seconds (like 10) it will default back to High.
    This is more acceptable unlike some light that always go to the next mode after powering it off.

    What’s it Look Like?

    This is my first zoomie. I’ve actually wanted one to see what it’s like for a while now.
    The tight zoom without spill could be useful for peering down some tight spaces.
    The beam on the widest setting is quite even.
    But it is not a very wide spread as can be seen in the photo.
    Wide Beam

    There are some artifacts, but they are not intrusive.
    Pulling the head out the hotspot tightens up and artifacts start to show outside the hotspot. These are dim compared to the hotspot.
    Mid Beam

    Zooming all the way out gives a square focused hotspot.

    The artifacts are noticeable but dimmer than the hotspot.
    Looks like something from a cheap horror flick.
    (The Zoomie Omen Part III)

    Taking a peak at the focused hotspot there is the signature Bat Signal.

    Color – 7500K maybe? It’s not noticeably nasty blue like some LEDs.
    Unless you shine something nice and warm next to it.

    Throw and Color

    Here is a shot next to a C8 with an SST-40 (definitely not a warm LED in it’s own right).

    As you can see the hotspot on the C8 is much brighter and should throw farther.
    The color temp was adjusted to 5700K (starts humming Blue Bayou)
    Taking a shot off center we see the hotspot. Same exposure zoomed out.

    Note the fall off at the upper right edge. And the same exposure showing the C8 falloff.


    5000MhA(!!!) 18650. OK Sure whatever you say.
    As of 2020 there is no such thing as an 18650 that makes more than about 3600mAhs.

    Mine tested 2030mAh. And 125mOhms,
    Looks like 40% of the rated value to me.

    It’s a button top.

    We see the battery claims to be protected. AND GREEN!

    I do see a ribbon under the wrap connecting the Positive to Negative.
    It looks like there is a PCB under the wrap at the negative end.
    However I ran the battery down to 2.56v and no protection kicked in.
    The light itself has no low voltage protection.
    I put a cell that was at 2.46v in there and it still lit up (if a lumen or two counts as lit).

    Charging the light using the built in charger requires using the special USB to 3.5mm jack.
    There is no charging indicator on the light.
    Instead the USB-A end has this lighted smiley face.
    It’s green if the light is not attached.
    It turns red when charging.

    When the charge cycle is done, it turns green.
    After the charge cycle completed there was no current being passed to the light.

    The included charger is rated at 500mAh.
    Using a high power USB source I measured about 0.6A at maximum charge.
    It might go higher with a lower resistance quality cell.

    Charging Cut off voltage

    I measured 4.12v on the Phixton branded battery when the charge completed. Not sure how long it sat before I noticed the cycle had ended. It wasn’t more than 30 minutes.
    Getting something like this makes me nervous.
    Cheapo cell, no protection(?), cheapo charging circuit (?) – kept in a bomb tube?
    What – Me Worry?
    At least it seems to work OK and nothing got hot.

    Measured – on my very uncalibrated light box.
    I used a Samsung 30Q to test the output and current draw. So that the crappy included battery would not bias the measurements.
    On the widest beam setting.
    High: 415Lm at turn on, 409Lm ANSI
    Medium: 190Lm
    Low: 96Lm

    Using the Phixton battery I measured
    High: 306Lm Turn on
    Medium: 140Lm
    Low: 66Lm
    Clearly the battery is limiting the output.

    Current Draw
    Once again using a fresh 30Q
    High: 1.35A
    Medium: 0.67A
    Low: 0.33A
    I saw no parasitic drain.


    I get a headache if the PWM is nasty.
    PWM Low: 230Hz with a 25% duty cycle – Very noticeable.
    Fails the finger wave test with blur to spare.

    PWM Medium: 461Hz with a 50% duty cycle – Noticeable, but not too bad
    I think the 50% duty cycle helps here.
    I could stand to use this if not a lot of motion was going on.

    PWM High: No PWM seen on the scope, the light is running a DC offset

    No problems using this in high mode.

    Run Time
    I used the included Phixton branded battery.
    Using a higher quality battery would yield substantially longer runtimes.

    Notice there is no stepdown. The light mirrors the battery voltage.
    Output drops below 250Lm at around 1Hr 15m.
    At 1Hr 45m it drops below 50Lm.
    I let it run for 2.4Hrs but cut the graph off as nothing interesting was going on.

    Low Voltage Protection?
    On high as the battery runs down the light gets progressively (and noticeably) dimmer.
    The light ran on a 2.46v test cell.
    As I mentioned the Phixton battery protection never kicked in.
    I may give the battery a go using a resistor to monitor the voltage to see if it cuts off below 2.5v.

    The metal tube feels quite thin. I’d like to see this one get run over by the Humvee!
    The zoomy head moves smoothly and doesn’t bind or move on its own.
    he head, when extended, only has a little wobble.

    So would I buy this? Hell no!
    The no memory – is annoying. But it jumps back to High if left to it’s own devices for a while.
    Will I use this? Maybe.
    The wide zoom is even enough to use in equipment rooms or mechanical closets when trying to spot something.
    As long as I don’t need a wider spill to see stuff I might trip over on the floor.
    Also if I need to peer down something where spill would be problematic – like cable fishing perhaps?
    I wouldn’t be heartbroken if I left it behind some place or need to loan it out.
    All the Best,

    Warning – Danger -Will Robinson
    With apologies to the Broadway show “Music Man”
    My friends we got Trouble.
    Right here in Zoomie city.
    That’s Trouble,
    With a capital T.
    That rhymes with B,
    And that stands for BOMB!

    Since the other specs on this light are basically fabricated.
    I thought I might give the 110v USB power supply a test to see if it was usable.
    It’s not!
    Testing the USB supply included with the kit – I got 4.32v with no load at the output.

    Not even close to the 5v expected from a USB power supply.
    I stuck an undercharged cell in the light and it did start to charge.
    I then tried a fully charged cell and it did not start to charge.

    Does this mean it’s safe? Not for me it isn’t.
    Then I thought about the 3x AAA battery carrier.
    I stuck that in the light populated with AAA rechargables.
    Yep, it started charging.
    I put some fully charged Alkalines in the carrier and it didn’t start to charge.
    I put some lower voltage Alkalines in the light and charging started.
    What happens when you charge 3 AAA eneloop cells in series cut off of over 4 volts?
    What happens when you charge Alkaline cells?
    In an aluminum bomb tube?
    Now I really feel like I cant give this away with a clear conscious
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
  4. Jeffrey51

    Jeffrey51 Active Member

    Aug 26, 2020
    Once again some of my images fail to link.
    I can see them in the editing window, yet try as I may, they disappear when I preview or post it.
    Any Ideas?
  5. Jeffrey51

    Jeffrey51 Active Member

    Aug 26, 2020
    Read the PS at the end.. I'm making a very special list....
    Raylan Givens likes this.
  6. Raylan Givens

    Raylan Givens Never Forget

    Aug 18, 2015
    Real talk... very good review. If I'm on the list I will know you don't appreciate my humor...lol....;)
  7. Jeffrey51

    Jeffrey51 Active Member

    Aug 26, 2020
    By the way, this light has 4200 something reviews on Amazon.
    The rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
    Ya' think there may be some shilling going on here?

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