BangGood sent a light from probably the most popular, inexpensive enthusiast brands: Convoy. This is the Convoy M3, a “wall of light” 26650 cell light, and one that’s been discussed excitedly recently. Here’s my testing and thoughts; hope you enjoy!
Official Specs and Features
Here’s a link to the official product page at BangGood.
There’s just one body style of the M3, but it’s available in four different temperatures: 3000K, 4200K, 5000K (seen here), and 6500K.
This is an impressive, inexpensive light. It doesn’t quite hit the specifications, but max output will be largely cell dependent anyway. Still a great fun light, and well built.
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Cree XHP70.2 (5000K)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$33.99
Buy yours at BangGood!!
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||0.00017|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||4300|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||3389 (78.8% of claim)*|
|Claimed Throw (m)||–|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||1754lux @ 4.319m = 32719cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||361.8|
|All my Convoy reviews!|
* 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).
- Convoy M3
- 26650 to 18650 adapters (not pictured)
Package and Manual
The box I received was a bit beat up, and I didn’t get any manual.
Build Quality and Disassembly
This is a chunky light, with Convoy-typical anodizing, and otherwise very good build quality.
The anodizing is a bit chalky, but not as chalky as Armytek, for example.
The knurling is bit and beefy, and probably technically not really even knurling. It provides a little grip.
The head has some cooling fins, which help as the light draws over 8A on Turbo!
Note below that the tailspring is already bypassed, for great high current performance. There’s no switch or anything in there – the brass retaining ring holds a small pcb with no electronics. The back of this pcb has two pads that pass the current through to the tailcap. This seems a bit overly complicated, but there’s probably a great reason for doing it this way (Probably easier to build this way!)
The threads on the tail end are big thick square cut anodized threads, with an appropriate amount of lube.
The mcpcb is also held in place by a brass retaining ring, and the spring on this end is also bypassed.
The cell tube is not reversible. The head end has unanodized threads, and is also larger in diameter than the tail end.
Here are the two o-ring adapters for 26650 to 18650. I quite like this solution.
The big bezel unscrews easily, and reveals the emitter, reflector, and lens.
Size and Comps
This is not really a small light.
Most notably in the head area – the reflector is fairly deep, so the head is quite long.
Retention and Carry
There’s not anything included to facilitate carry of the M3, but the tailcap does have two large holes where a lanyard could be attached. There is no pocket clip nor is there an area to attach a pocket clip.
Power and Runtime
The M3 is designed to run on a single 26650, but with the included o-ring adapters, also works well with a single 18650.
Since I have grossly more 18650 cells, and they’re of known higher quality (since I’ve tested most of them up to 20A), I tested the M3 with the Sony/Murata VTC5D 18650, seen below (and reviewed yesterday). That cell is rated to 35A, and I tested to 20A. So it should be plenty for testing the M3.
The fit with the adaptor o-rings is absolutely perfect – better than many of the other adapters I’ve used, in fact.
Here’s a runtime on Turbo. There’s a stepdown to approximately High after just over 2 minutes. The M3 claims to be temperature controlled, so that could be a temperature triggered stepdown, even though I’m seeing only 37°C or so on the external. Output at 30s of 3450 lumens is well short (80%) of the claimed 4300 lumens. Even at 0s, the output is only around 3500 lumens, which is well short of the claim. Still, 3500 lumens isn’t a bad output.
The output on High is very well regulated until the point the light shuts off (52 minutes).
In both cases, the light exhibited LVP, which seems to kick in around 3.2V.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned. Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!
User Interface and Operation
There’s a single switch on the Convoy M3. It’s on the head, and it’s a very clicky e-switch. The cover is black, and it is not translucent.
The UI is surprisingly simple, especially since Convoy has at their disposal quite sophisticated UIs. But simple is appreciated.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory)|
|On||Hold||Mode Advance (LMHT)|
There is no direct access to turbo once the light is on. There are no strobe modes. There is nothing more to the UI than that.
LED and Beam
The emitter is a Cree XHP70.2, and in my case, the temperature is 5000K. The reflector is quite deep, solid aluminum, and lightly orange peeled. There’s a white centering ring, too.
The lens has some antireflective coating.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….
Here’s a link to a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com. I use that site a lot!
There are some compelling competitors to this light, but even the cheapest among them is nearly 3 times the price of this convoy. The Thrunite TC20 reviewed well, but lacks the throw of the M3.
What I like
- Good build quality
- Includes 18650 adapters, and works well with high drain 18650
- Good mix of throw, output, and price
- Low price
- Nice choice of emitter temperatures
What I don’t like
- Doesn’t hit output specs
- Quite long
- This light was provided by BangGood for review. I was not paid to write this review.
- This content originally appeared at zeroair.org. Please visit there for the best experience!
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