Wuben E05 Flashlight Review

Preface

Wuben is still hitting the scene hard.  I’ve reviewed a Wuben before, the TO10R.  The build quality is great, and I was interested to see if Wuben would keep that trend going.  They sent the E05, which I believe has just been released, and here’s my review and test of it!


Official Specs and Features

Versions

There’s just one version of this light.

Price

Looks like these are going for around $40 on amazon.  Is that too much to pay for a simple AA light? (Read on, it’s not just a simple AA light!)


Short Review

I knew right away just by how this light felt in hand that I would like it.  I ended up liking it even more than I expected.  It’s well built, smart, and has great output!

Long Review

The Big Table

Wuben E05
Emitter: Cree XP-L HD
Price in USD at publication time: $40.00
Cell: AA
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? No
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): ?
On-Board Charging? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 150
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 200 (133.3% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 45
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 87lux @ 2.998m = 782cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 55.9 (124.2% of claim)*
All my Wuben reviews!

 

Wuben E05
Emitter: Cree XP-L HD
Price in USD at publication time: $40.00
Cell: 14500
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): ?
On-Board Charging? Yes
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell?
Claimed Lumens (lm) 900
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 950 (105.6% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 130
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 224lux @ 4.252m = 4050cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 127.3 (97.9% of claim)*
All my Wuben reviews!

* Standard measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included

  • Wuben E05 Flashlight
  • Wuben 750mAh 14500
  • Lanyard
  • Felt carry pouch
  • Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Diffuser
  • Manual and paperwork

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Package and Manual

The package is plastic with some cardboard bits, and a riveted on hangtag.  The package shows off the light rather well, and has useful information.

Here’s the English portion of the manual:

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Build Quality and Disassembly

Like I said above, I was impressed by this light from the moment I had it out of the package.  It just feels solid, and like a nice quality light.

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It has a nice ‘flashlighty’ look.  And as silly as that might be, it’s something I enjoy about a flashlight.

The cell tube comes completely out, and is not reversible.  The light is built with the intention that the tailcap will be removed for cell swaps.  That is to say that the tailcap threads are square cut and generally more robust than the finer threads on the head.  Both sets are anodized; it’s possible to lock the light out with a short twist.

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The positive contact looks like it’d prevent use of flat tops, but the soft pad doesn’t really prevent any access.  The positive end does not have a spring; it’s just a brass button.  The tailcap has a spring.

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The tailcap has a nice bit of knurling, and is big enough too, to provide good grip.

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Size

Officially this light is 88mm long, and 23mm in diameter (at the widest, excluding the clip).

There are many AA lights in this size range.  The ReyLight Pineapple for example, is just longer.

And the E05 is much shorter and also quite thinner than the Convoy S2+.

Retention

A pocket clip is installed from the factory.  It’s a good clip, with the flip over style that allows carry bezel up or bezel down (with a strong preference toward bezel up.)  The clip isn’t reversible, and even more, it must live in a very specific place on the head of the light, much like some of the newer Olight clips.  This doesn’t bother me – in fact I quite like it because it makes a reliable landmark for finding things, like the switch.

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Just a detail shot of the pocket clip hugging the head.

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Also included is a felt pouch, (which you can see above, “what’s included”).  The light fits easily in the pouch, with plenty of room (and even swims just a little).  The baggie has a drawstring.  This is not something I would use, but I suppose if one needs to carry the charge cable, and maybe a spare cell, this would be a good solution!

There’s a magnet in the tailcap too, and it’s plenty strong to hold the light in any orientation.  The tailcap has a retaining ring with divots, so it’s likely possible to remove that magnet if you wished.

Power

This is an AA sized light, and supports primary cells, NiMH, and Li-Ion chemistry.  Wuben includes a 750mAh 14500 Li-ion cell.  Thus, the 14500 is the primary power source for this light.

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The included cell is a button top, and has a micro-USB slot for charging.  More on that later.

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I performed a few runtimes.  Most importantly, a Turbo run with the included cell.  I didn’t prove it in this test, but later show that the light does have LVP, and that seems to happen around 3V.  It’s possible to reset the light to Turbo, but the initial (very good) output of >950 lumens isn’t reached again.  Furthermore, the turbo rest at around 50 minutes would seem to indicate that the Turbo stepdown isn’t timed, and is likely heat based (as you can see the heat rises sharply when output is >950 lumens).

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An output test on High, with the included 14500 cell is incredibly flat.

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A runtime with an IKEA LADDA AA NiMH cell doesn’t allow for Turbo; High is the highest option.  And High for the 14500 and NiMH are (or should be) essentially the same output.  They are, roughly, but the 14500 clearly holds output much more stable than the NiMH cell.  The light also doesn’t seem to have real LVP with a NiMH cell, but the output gets so low toward the end of the runtime, it’d be hard not to notice.  And NiMH cells are more robust in the Low Voltage regard anyway.  So it’s not the worst fact that there’s no NiMH LVP.

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I’d intended to do a Medium NiMH test, but managed to just do a second test on High.  So no new info, but hey I did the work, so here’s the graph.

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In all tests, the switch indicates when the cell voltage is low.  It flashes red to give the user a warning. The manual says that the switch will indicate more than what I’ve stated, but I wasn’t staring at the runtime to watch the switch. I did not note these events when testing with the bench power, however.

Power 100-90%: Blue light constant (Stops off after 5s)
Power 90-41%: Blue light flashing (Stops after 5s)
Power 40-16%: Red light constant (Stops after 5s)
Power <15%: Red light flashes constantly

The “stops after 5s” for each of the higher power warnings mean that they’d really be pretty easy to miss.

As I mentioned above, the cell includes on-board charging.  I don’t typically like this solution, but I do like that there’s a cell included.  There’s also a charge cable included, for attaching USB power to the cell directly (via micro-USB).

Here are two repetitions of charging the cell.  Identical, and occurring at around 0.33A, which is around 0.5C – fine charging.  And the capacity tests quite higher than the rated 750mAh, too.

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A final note on power:  the light has a handy cell polarity indicator silk screened right on to the body.

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User Interface and Operation

There’s a single, side, indicating e-switch on the E05.  It’s a little proud, rounded, and a great level of clicky.  It’s branded with the “W” of Wuben.  As I said above regarding the indexed clip:  it’s nice that the clip is indexed, because that makes finding this switch very easy.

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Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click On (Mode Memory)
Any Double Click Strobe
On Click Mode Advance (LMHT)
On Hold (~2s) Off
Off Hold Turbo
Off Triple Click Lock (Signified by single main LED flash)
Lockout Click Blue Switch Indicator
Lockout Triple Click Unlock (and “On” to Low)

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 900/300 3/60 (LiIon only) 950   2.44
(LiIon only)
High 150 3h (LiIon)
2.5h (NiMH)
170
200
0.23 (LiIon)
1.06 (NiMH)
Med 30  11h (LiIon)
6h (NiMH)
42
40
0.04 (LiIon)
0.20 (NiMH)
Low 1  115h (LiIon)
50h (NiMH)

– (LiIon)
0.01 (NiMH)

Something that can be noted about the output, and coupled with the data here is that the driver of this light is boosting the NiMH voltage by requiring more current for each mode.

LED and Beam

The emitter of choice here is a Cree XP-L HD. This sits behind a smooth, fairly shallow reflector, which provides a beam with a broad hotspot and reasonable spill.

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The soft diffuser sits easily on the head of the light.

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AA (NiMH, LADDA) Beamshots:

Wuben 750mAh 14500 Beamshots:

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

The 348 has a 10440 cell installed, so it’s a little brighter than usual (sorry about that).  Unfortunately that doesn’t change the fact that the tint of the XP-L HD is it’s weak point.

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Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Here’s a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com.  There are a ton of lights in this size and category.  This one is exceptionally well built, and I have to say I like it as a complete package.  For $40, with all the features it packs, I consider it a fairly good value.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Full package light
  • Great output (and for more than a minute) of over 950 lumens
  • Hits it’s throw and output numbers
  • Great build quality
  • Magnet
  • Indicating switch

What I don’t like

  • The tint doesn’t really suit me, and won’t suit many enthusiasts
  • The indication of the switch could be better (ie, the 5 seconds for the higher power warnings isn’t really helpful)

Up Next

Next week I hope to have another full week!  I look forward to reviewing items by Nitecore, Fenix, Acebeam and more!  Stay tuned!

Notes

  • This light was provided by Wuben for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  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. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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