I continue to have interest in brass lights. I never had the original Lumintop Tool (the tailswitch was unappealing to me). But I asked GearBest and received the brass version of the Ant, which is a side switch Tool (basically). Read on!
There are a few versions of this light. Two bodies: Stainless steel, and brass (seen here). I was fairly sure there’s a Nichia version, but I can’t see that now. What I have is a Cree.
Going price looks to be $35.95.
I like brass, I like AAA, and I like side switch lights. This one hits a bunch of checkmarks for me. I do wish the Nichia version manifest, and the UI could probably be a little better, but I’m very happy with this light!
- Lumintop Ant Brass
- Spare o-ring (2)
- Split ring
Package and Manual
The Ant ships in a Lumintop-standard cardboard box. There are reliefs which make opening the box very easy.
Inside, and to my surprise, the raw brass light is in a sealed foil pouch, to prevent oxidation of the light before it reaches the end user. This is a nice tough! Thought I can say that after a while of using the light, the finish is really still basically pristine.
The manual is a long slip of paper with English and Chinese. It’s not a bad manual. Descriptive and to the point.
Build Quality and Disassembly
I’m very pleased and a little surprised at the build quality of the Ant. I hadn’t handled a Lumintop Tool, but I got the impression they lacked a bit in build quality. This Ant does not – it’s great. Great finish, smooth threads, a nice big spring on the negative end, great cell fitment. Just overall nice quality light.
The tritium vial is nicely fit, too. There isn’t a sealing layer of Norland over it, but the slot the tritium fits in is perfect.
The light unscrews as follows. The driver looks to be threaded in, but I didn’t attempt to remove it. There appear to be two holes perfect for tweezer placement, for removing that driver. It would be a worthwhile effort in this little light, being that it’s Cree (and not Nichia…)
14.5mm x 73.5mm is the official size of the Ant Brass. It’s a small light indeed!
Not the smallest AAA light I have, though. Here it is beside the Olight I3E Brass.
There’s a friction fit stainless clip on the tail end of the Ant. That clip may be reversed to the head end, but that affords a much shallower carry. The clip is very sturdy and snug, but the mouth isn’t quite big enough for my taste. That is to say, I have to help it on to my pocket, when I’m clipping it.
No other means of carry are provided for the Ant.
Testing was done with a single AAA, a Ladda 900mAh from Ikea. (Sidenote: I love these cells. Buy them.)
Output can be seen below, on high. The light is ridiculously stable – in fact, the most stable I can recall.
User Interface and Operation
There’s a switch on the light – a side e-switch. The button is big, especially for this small light. The UI is simple (but unusual), too, with just four modes. The e-switch is a little weird. It mimics a forward clicky from off, but a reverse clicky if the light is on. The UI is as follows:
Click for on (always low). Click to advance modes (L>M>H>Off). Yes the modes must be cycled to reach off. To reach Strobe, enter Low, and hold the switch. Click to revert to low. Strobe may only be entered from Low (!!). There are no more options to the UI. (IE double click does nothing, long press does nothing except in low, etc).
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Mode Measured Lux||Tailcap Amps|
LED and Beam
Lumintop’s put a Cree XP-G2 in this light. I strongly prefer very warm emitters in brass lights, so maybe one day we’ll see this light with a 3500K Nichia or something similar, but this is ok. The reflector is orange peel, but the beam pattern is surprisingly spotty (very much a TIR type profile, which I do love).
Tint vs BLF-348
Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements
|Lumintop Ant Brass|
|Glamour Shots||Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||120|
|Lux (Measured)||122 lux @ 2.623 m|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd||839.4|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||57.9|
|Throw (Claimed) (m)||46|
There are really quite a few options in this class. A good example would be the JETBeam E01R. I haven’t tested this light but I did test the E10R version, and I was generally impressed. It’s not available in brass, but it does come with on-board charging, which is a great addition. And I generally like JETBeams. Same emitter too, but that one’s behind a TIR. Either would be a great choice.
What I like
- Brass (and raw brass, too!)
- Side switch is nice and big, and easy to find and press
- Great build quality
- Stupidly stable output on high.
What I don’t like
- Really don’t care for the UI. But I like how hidden strobe is.
- Cree XP-G2. Would be better with Nichia 219b/c.
- I’m not actually sure how raw the brass is. It looks verrrrry shiny.
Emisar D1S. Another JETBeam. Maybe a Nitecore… I have a lot of lights upcoming!!
- This light was provided by GearBest for review. I was not paid to write this review.
- This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com. Please visit there for the best experience!
- Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!! Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. Note I’ve upgraded that sheet so that now, you may subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!