Skilhunt M150 Flashlight Review

I have a long history of enjoying Skilhunt lights.  In particular the UI but I also loved so many of the iterations of the H03…  This is a new 14500 light which boasts on-board charging, includes a cell, and also works with NiMH.  Read on for more testing!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

There’s just one version.

Price

I got this from Skilhunt, not a retailer, but it looks like the price is hovering around $40.


Short Review

This is a good little light.  I like the Skilhunt UI, except that on this one it goes up then down instead of cycling from high back to low.  The charging works right and the included cell is good too.  The light tentatively charges NiMH cells even though it doesn’t claim to (actually specifically claims not to, so be careful).  Overall it’s a good light.  I’d love to see a better emitter choice in it, though.

Long Review

The Big Table

Skilhunt M150
Emitter: Cree XP-L2
Price in USD at publication time: $39.90
Cell: 1×14500
Turbo 1 Runtime Turbo 2 Runtime
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): Negligible
On-Board Charging? Yes
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? Yes, NiMH level modes except T1.  With cell, all modes including T1.
Claimed Lumens (lm) 750
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 755 (100.7% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 110
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 153lux @ 4.892m = 3662cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 121.0 (110% of claim)*

 

Cell: 1xAA (NiMH)
Turbo 1 Runtime Turbo 2 Runtime
LVP? Not really
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): Negligible
On-Board Charging? Yes
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? Yes, NiMH level modes except T1.  With cell, all modes including T1.
Claimed Lumens (lm) 240
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 244 (101.7% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 61
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 50lux @ 4.75m = 1128cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 67.2 (110.2% of claim)*
All my Skilhunt 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).

What’s Included

  • Skilhunt M150 Flashlight
  • Skilhunt 800mAh 14500 cell
  • Charge cable (USB to proprietary magnetic)
  • Lanyard
  • Manual

Package and Manual

Full featured package, including many of the details about the light – UI, output levels, etc.

The manual is also very comprehensive.

Build Quality and Disassembly

Skilhunts are usually fairly well built lights, and this one is no exception.

The threads are square cut and lubed an appropriate amount.

The spring on the tailcap is very springy – so much so in fact that when screwing down the tailcap to close the light, quite a bit of pressure has to be applied.

That spring is also removable, so that the magnet can be removed.

Inside the cell tube is a sticker indicating that the cell should go with the positive end toward the head.

The head end doesn’t have a spring; just a brass button.

The tailcap has a ring to allow a lanyard attachment and also room for the magnet.

Size and Comps

Officially:
Length 84.0mm
Head diameter 21.0mm
Body diameter 18.0mm
Weight: 34 g (without battery)

Retention and Carry

A pocket clip is included.  It’s a pretty good clip.  Very thin, but easy to use and get over a pocket.  The shoulder is not thick enough for any kind of pants pocket.  I just need more room in the shoulder.

Also included is a lanyard, which attaches either through the pocket clip (less recommended) or the tailcap, where there are two holes for this express purpose.

The tailcap has a magnet, too, which is plenty strong to hold the light.

Power and Runtime

The M150 runs on a single li-ion cell.  It uses a 14500 cell, and Skilhunt includes an 800mAh version.

That cell is a button top, but any type cell that fits should work fine – the positive end doesn’t have any physical protection that will prevent it.

The M150 also operates on a 1.5V AA sized cell such as NiMH or Alkaline.  The output with these will be greatly reduced, but every mode is available.

I tested runtime on Turbo 1 and Turbo 2.  First 14500, then AA (NiMH).

Using a 14500 cell, the light exhibits LVP, shutting off around 3.1V.  Output steps down along the way, but the modes are very flatly regulated.

Using NiMH, the light also exhibits LVP at a conservative 1.1V.

The light also has built-in charging.  There’s a connector opposite the switch.  One end is a USB plug, and the other is a proprietary magnetic connector.

The connection works well.

Charging on a 14500 cell commences at around 0.9A, which is plenty fast for an 800mAh 14500 cell.  Charging looks very good.

The manual states a bit ambiguously that only Li-ion cells should be charged in this light but I found NiMH can charge, but it’s not “real charging.”  Basically it seems that the light provides non-trivial but minimal power to a cell, so eventually you’ll have a charged cell.  Since that’s a terrible way to charge a NiMH cell, I do not recommend it (and to be clear Skilhunt doesn’t either).  BUT in a pinch it can be done.  The graph below is over 10 hours of charging, and only ~700mAh has been put into the cell.

Modes and Currents

14500 first:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
T1 750/340/200 1/30/60 755 1.73
T2 480/340/200 3/30/60m 494 1.03
H1 340/200 30/65m 346 0.71
H2 170 90/85m 173 0.34
M1 60 7h 61 0.12
M2 15 25h 9 0.03
L1 1.5 100h ~ ~
L2 0.2 50d ~ ~

AA NiMH last:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
T1 240/100 70/60m 244 1.28
T2 150/100 160/10m 143 0.68
H1 100 280m 87 0.42
H2 45 10h 37 0.19
M1 20 22h 19 0.08
M2 7 49h 7 0.03
L1 1.5 105h ~ 0.01
L2 0.2 55d ~ ~

PWM

No PWM at all.

14500 first:

AA NiMH last:

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 M150.  It’s a side e-switch, with an indicator in the center.  It’s a big secure switch, with a very positive but quiet click.  I very much like this switch.

The cutout for the switch in the head is the same size as the charge connector, and while it’s hard to distinguish between the two while holding the light, I found that it didn’t matter; I’ll just pinch the light with both spots between my fingers, and activate the light.

The UI is a lot like previous generation Skilhunts, but it adds that clicks go up to the top then back down through the modes (instead of the next click from Turbo being Low).  I sort of get this change, but it’s not one that does it for me.

There are two mode groups.  Mode A and Mode B.  To switch between these Modes, hold the switch from off, for 5s.  The light will flash a few times to indicate the change.  Mode A is the more traditional Skilhunt option, and the one I’ve used here for the review.  It has more output levels.

Mode A Table:

State Action Result
Off Hold 5s Group switch (Indicated by 3 flashes on main emitter)
Off Hold 1.5s Lockout
Lockout Hold 1.5s Unlock to low mode
Lockout Click Turn switch indicator on/off
Off Hold 0.5s Low (L1 or L2, whichever was last selected)
Off Click On, Mode Memory (Switch indicates battery level for 5s*)
Off Double Click Turbo (T1)
Any Triple Click Strobe (memorized strobe)
On Hold (0.5s) Off
On Click Mode advance (LMHTHML cycle)
On Double Click Advance between sub levels (ie T1 goes to T2 and back, M1 goes to M2 and back) – Memorized to the selected Submode. (Including Strobe**)
Strobe Click Main mode (memory)

Mode B Table:

State Action Result
Off Hold 5s Group switch (Indicated by 3 flashes on main emitter)
Off Hold 1.5s Lockout
Lockout Hold 1.5s Unlock to low mode
Lockout Click Turn switch indicator on/off
Off Hold 0.5s Low (L1 or L2, whichever was last selected)
Off Click On, Mode Memory (Switch indicates battery level for 5s*)
Off Double Click Turbo (T1)
On Triple Click SOS
On Click Off
On Hold Mode advance (LMHTHML cycle)
Strobe Click Off

* Battery indicator: Constant Blue: 80-100% power.  Flashing Blue: 50-80% power.  Constant Red: 20-50% power.  Flashing Red: <20% power.  If cell is below 3.0V, the indicator switch flashes 3x every 2 seconds.
** Strobe subgroups: S1=Fast strobe, S2=Beacon, S3=SOS.

Mode A and Mode B are both useful and very similar except a few important, polarizing things.  A requires a hold for off.  B requires only a click for off.  B removes access to the sub modes, and two of the strobes (beacon and fast strobe).

If B had the submodes, this light could be a must-have.  It’s pretty good as it is!

LED and Beam

The emitter Skilhunt has chosen for the M150 is a Cree XP-L2.  The reflector is moderately deep, and orange peel.

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

14500:

AA (NiMH)

It’s easy to see the difference in output between NiMH and 14500!

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

14500:

AA (NiMH):

Of course those two above should be the same, since the emitter doesn’t change.

I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Complete package
  • Runs on both 1.5V cells, and 3.7V cells
  • Skilhunts UI has something for everyone (and I like the UI)
  • The button is perfectly clicky and ‘pinch to click’ opposite the charge port works nicely too
  • Nice charging built in

What I don’t like

  • There are a lot of angles on the body.  It’s not uncomfortable to hold but….
  • Pocket clip shoulder is too shallow.
  • Charging requires a proprietary charger cable

Notes

  • This light was provided by Skilhunt 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 BangGood and GearBest coupons. Please subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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