XTAR has a new dive light out. It’s an interesting light, with dual emitters that fits both flood and spotlight cases, and has a ridiculous output level. There’s removable battery pack, OLED display, two switches – just a lot going on! Read on to see how the light works!
Just one version of this light!
Price and Coupon
Looks like these are going for around $330, but if you buy on the official XTAR Alibaba site there’s a $20 off for purchases over $200. Unfortunately that doesn’t even cover shipping.
While this light isn’t one intended for my usual EDC style use, it seem like it’d be very fitted for actual diving. The buttons are large and easy to press. The output is good (thought not measuring up to the claim) and the modes are almost all dead level flat. (Even the highest mode seems to only step down because of temperature, which will not be a problem under water.)
- XTAR D36 5800 Dive Light
- XTAR BP36-3500 Battery Pack
- Charge cable (Wall plug to barrel plug, 12V)
- Spare o-ring
- Lanyard with rubber cover
- Latching plastic carry case
Package and Manual
There’s no box with this light, because it ships in a latching plastic case. The case doesn’t have holes for locking. There are stickers describing the light and also specs and features.
Here’s the manual.
Build Quality and Disassembly
Of course this light must have impeccable built quality, if it’s to be used on dives. Everything about it supports the notion that it’s fit for this task.
The light is built with long tight threads on the tailcap. Not only that, the body is one of the more difficult lights to unscrew that I’ve handled – that’s probably good. Built this way, it’s practically impossible for the light to accidentally be dislodged and wetted.
The switches are also heavily waterproofed. There’s not a lot of grip surface on this dive light but that’s likely intentional. You’ll necessarily use the wrist strap, so the grip becomes superfluous: it’s probably more important that the grip isn’t overly grippy. So there’s one rubber area right around the head, diamond pattern and thin knurling, and that’s it.
The body only comes apart at the tailcap; I didn’t disassemble it further.
The threads are thick and the lube is very thick too – much thicker than normal flashlight lube. The threads are very nice but you’ll likely need gloves or a gripper on, to get the cap fully tightened.
The battery pack is not able to be disassembled.
The electronics end of this light have nice thick springs – three springs. The battery pack has a positive, negative, and common connection. To be sure, I don’t know why this is. Also the battery will fit in only exactly one orientation, and it’s not possible to get the battery into the light in any other way.
This light is Waterproof IPX8 (Underwater 100 meters) rated, but I imagine I don’t have any water around me more than 10m deep. I tested the light in water, but I didn’t do any diving. The light works fine after this wetting. I also manipulated the buttons while it was underwater, with no issues whatsoever.
Size and Comps
Officially this light weighs 454.3g, and is 57mm (Head dia) * 52.5mm (Body Dia) * 167.5mm (Length).
Retention and Carry
The main means for carrying this dive light is the rubberized lanyard that attaches on this tailcap loop. This is a firm connection.
This loop is also not removable, which means the light can not tailstand. Not that you’d need it to, since it’s very specifically a dive light.
The knurling is present but very shallow. I like this knurling, but it’s not very grippy. There’s also a tripod mount on the head end of the light, which isn’t a terrible balance point.
Power and Runtime
The D36 5800 runs on the included battery. It’s a 10.8V (nominal) battery pack is almost assuredly built of three 18650 cells in series. I expect these are high capacity, low drain cells, since the claimed capacity is 37.8Wh. This is probably a good choice for this dive light. I don’t dive but mainly because I’m chicken, and I’d want a 100% certain tool if I was diving – XTAR is certifying that the battery is acceptable, instead of leaving it up to the user to pick any random cells. This is especially important since they’re in series.
The battery (and yes, “battery” – a battery is made of cells. Normally our lights use cells (singles), but this light uses a prepackaged set of 3 cells!). The battery has three terminals – that’s unusual – maybe someone will explain it in the comments. There’s a positive and negative terminal which read 12V across when full. Not sure what the common terminal does! I will say that this setup meant I wasn’t able to test the current drain for each mode.
As I said above, the battery is keyed. It’ll only go in one in exactly one orientation. As seen at left, it’s not right. At right, the battery is in place properly. The tailcap does not have to be installed in order for the light to operate.
I tested the output on 5 modes. First, the highest output, which is both emitters working full force. The claim is 5800 lumens, and I measured around 4000. That’s quite a difference in reading vs claim. I have no special explanation for that, but I will say that my measuring device is an amateur, home made device.
The stepdown is at around 10 minutes – either way 4000 lumens for ~10 minutes is good. Very good, and that’s just with fan cooling. Note the temp spike right at the stepdown – I expect that the stepdown is temperature based (sensibly). So underwater, where heat won’t be any issue at all, this light could potentially churn out 4000 lumens (or more!) for much longer. The stepdown is to around 1100 lumens, then another around 800, and then the light shuts off. The OLED gives warnings, and always displays the amount of time calculated to be remaining on that mode, so it won’t necessarily leave you stranded. But the shutoff is quite abrupt with little fade, and the light does not come back on.
The highest mode with a single emitter claims 4200 lumens, and I measured around 3200 lumens at 30 seconds.
Below is the middle mode of the flood output, of 2100 lumens. I measure it at around 1700 lumens and the output is astonishingly flat for over two solid hours.
The highest output with the spot emitter has a lower output but is also astonishingly flat.
With the included battery, must also be built in charging. XTAR includes a wall wart charger, which outputs 12V at 2A. The barrel plug is just a common 12V barrel plug.
I jumped through some connection hoops to log a charge cycle. I won’t claim this cycle is indicative of charging in a perfect scenario, but we can at least be given some idea that the charge current is around 1.3A, up to 1.5A, and that’s at 12V. So 1.5A is around 18W, a non-trivial rate. This also shows that the capacity is around 3400mAh, too.
User Interface and Operation
There are two buttons on the D36 5800. They’re under an OLED screen. The buttons are very proud, very round, and quite clicky. There’s also nothing else on the light like them, so it’ll be impossible to mistake them for any other part of the light.
Here’s just a brief rundown of what the display does. The light has two images of output – when both emitters are on, both are show on the display. When one or the other is on, one or the other is shown on the display. It’s useful to memorize which is which, but the the icons are also specific. The flood beam has a “crown” shape (flared outward) and the spot has a more “straight upward” icon.
Each mode also displays the remaining runtime.
We’ll call the right most button the “Power” button, and the left most button the “Mode” button. Hey aren’t labeled otherwise.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click Power Button (PB)||On (4200 lm Flood)|
|On||Click PB||Emitter option advance (Flood, Spot, Flood + Spot, Off)|
|Off||Click Mode Button (MB)||Lock and battery capacity display|
|On||Click MB||Mode advance (HML direction)|
|Flood||Hold MB 1.5s||Blink 2100 lm Flood|
|Blink or SOS||Click MB||Return to previous mode|
|Blink or SOS||Click PB||Advance to Spot modes|
|Spot||Hold MB 1.5s||SOS 750lm Spot|
|Off||Hold PB 3s||Lock|
|Locked||Hold PB 3s||Lock, to 4200 lm Flood|
Yes, unfortunately as far as I can read the manual, the only way to get the light to OFF is through the very highest output mode.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
LED and Beam
There are two emitters in this light. They are Cree XHP35HI D4 (for the spot) and Cree XHP70.2 P2 (for the flood). Both are great choices for their respective uses. The bit XHP70.2 has a white reflector, which is very shallow – not really much deeper than the dome is high. The Spot emitter has an orange peel reflector, which isn’t very deep.
Below, view a beamshot on the Flood+Spot output, of a claimed 5800 lumens.
Next is the Flood output, three modes.
And finally, the spot output, of three modes, too.
Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)
There really are no low modes on this light, so it’s hard to compare this to a low output light like the BLF-348.
The Big Table
Spot + Flood output:
|Xtar D36 5800|
|Emitter:||Flood + Spot|
|Power off Charge Port with no Cell?||–|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||5800|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||4000 (69% of claim)*|
|Claimed Throw (m)|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||247.5|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||529lux @ 5.38m = 15312cd|
|Xtar D36 5800|
|Emitter:||Spot, Cree XHP35HI D4|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||1600|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1100 (68.8% of claim)*|
|Claimed Throw (m)|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||227.1|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||688lux @ 4.33m = 12899cd|
|Xtar D36 5800|
|Emitter:||Flood, Cree XHP70.2 P2|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||4200|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||3300 (78.6% of claim)*|
|Claimed Throw (m)|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||98.2|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||145lux @ 4.078m = 2411cd|
|All my Xtar reviews!|
What I like
- Seems like a light built well enough for diving.
- Dual beam output
What I don’t like
- Off requires going through Highest output
- Tailcap is difficult to tighten fully
- No proper low mode (is that needed in a dive light?)
I should have another XTAR item finished for tomorrow – A charger! And on Friday, another light. Next Friday will be an unusual Fun Fund Friday – stay tuned!
- This light was provided by XTAR 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!!