Here’s a light that I’ve sort of already reviewed before…. at first glance. The DM21C looks like a big version of the LD10, but is not really. This is an 18650 light, and the cell can be removed. Everything needed is included, and it has two switches. Read on for more!
Official Specs and Features
Just one version
This light goes for $49.95 at GoingGear.com (referral link). I’d recommend getting it there since that’s where I got mine and also they’re a pretty cool company.
Very reminiscent of the LD10 despite the differences, and I liked the LD10 enough. It has a nice reflector, a good emitter choice, and is very pocketable. The switch is hard for me to actuate, and the charge connection is proprietary, though, so there are some negatives too. All in all, a neat little light.
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Cree XHP35 HI|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$49.95|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||?|
|Power off Charge Port with no Cell?|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||2000|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1721 (86.1% of claim)*|
|Candela per Lumen||16|
|Claimed Throw (m)||355|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||1762lux @ 4.259m = 31961cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||357.6 (100.7% of claim)*|
|All my Imalent 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).
- Imalent DM21C Flashlight
- Imalent 3000mAh 18650
- Charge cable (USB to proprietary magnetic)
- Nylon pouch
- Pocket clip (friction fit)
- Spare o-rings (2)
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
No real concerns to mention on build quality. It’s good, and nothing is concerning about it.
There is not much going on in the way of cooling, but such is with tube lights. You’ll also note that there’s not really much in the way of grip – there are boxed in the center, but they don’t really give much grip area.
Imalent has done a bit of printing on the tailcap including this battery direction logo – more on that later.
Also the little OLED display, which Imalent seems quite fond of.
The bezel unscrews easily, allowing access to the emitter with little difficulty.
The bezel threads are different from the tailcap threads. These are very fine and triangle cut.
The tailcap threads are not fine and are square cut. They’re good threads, but quite long.
The head end has a spring, and the tailcap has just a button. This button is contacting the positive end of the cell.
Size and Comps
Officially: 122mm x 26mm, and weighing 75g (empty), or 123g with cell.
This is not a short light (I consider the Convoy S2+ long already) but much of that can be excused – the deep reflector, the dual e-switch, and the charging, all explain a bit of that length.
Retention and Carry
There’s a typical nylon pouch for carry. The light will fit in either bezel up or down orientation in this pouch.
There’s also a pocket clip, which fits only on the tail end, and so is bezel-down only carry. This clip is friction fit, and not deep carry at all.
I did notice that the clip fits about like a Convoy S2+ clip, and indeed that clip does work fine. Good for a deeper carry.
Power and Runtime
The DM21C is powered by a single lithium ion cell, and an appropriate one is included. It’s a button (ish) top cell, and claims 3000mAh.
Other button top cells will work just fine in this light, but flat tops will not make contact, and will not work.
Pay special attention to the cell direction indicator on the tailcap. The cell goes in to this light “backward.” The negative end goes toward the LED.
The cell is a 3000mAh 18650, and has an Imalent wrapper.
The button is different from usual – slightly bigger. Doesn’t affect performance of course.
Here are a couple of runtimes. The light does step down pretty dramatically, but the manual states that it will, so kudos to Imalent’s honesty there. I measured the output being a bit lower than specification, unfortunately, but 1721 lumens is still a lot for an 18650 tube light.
The 1400 lumen mode also has a planned stepdown, but both highest modes do seem to last a bit longer on high output than the manual specifies. So that’s good.
The LVP cutoff is sharp and clear. By the time the light shuts off, the OLED display has already been indicating that the cell was low for some time.
The OLED display on the side of the light displays the output mode (ie “2000” or “1400” etc) and also cycles to the cell voltage. This is a nice feature. The OLED display is quite dim.
As mentioned, the DM21C has built in charging, too. This is by way of a magnetic connection on the tail of the light.
The charge cable is proprietary, and I found it very frustrating to use. It’s nice in one sense because it allows for very good weather-sealing on the light.
But I found it very cumbersome to actually get connected right. I had to be very specific when connecting to actually get a clean connection. When charging, the OLED display shows four bars as a battery level. When charging is complete, the OLED shuts off.
Here’s a charge graph. Charging looks great, and takes under 4 hours.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
What is seen here isn’t really PWM, it’s … something else.
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
Like the LD10, the DM21C has an e-switch on the tail. Unlike the LD10, the DM21C has two e-switches on the tail. One is for power, the other is for modes. The power button is slightly raised, and the mode button is much bigger.
When the light is on, the OLED cycles in this way: Output, then cell voltage.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click Power Switch (PS)||On (Mode Memory, except special modes (2000/Strobe/20))|
|On||Click Mode Switch (MS)||Mode advance (200/600/1400)|
|On||Hold MS||Infinite adjust (Output increases by 10 lumens from starting point to 2000 lumens, blinks twice, then goes back down to 200 lumens, and blinks twice.)|
|Any||Double click PS||2000 lumen mode|
|Turbo||Double click PS||Strobe|
|Turbo or Strobe||Click Either||Off|
|Any||Triple click PS||20 lumen mode|
|Off||Click PS 4x||Lockout|
|Lockout||Click PS 4x||Unlock|
|Any||Hold PS||Voltage check|
LED and Beam
Imalent has opted for the Cree XHP35 HI in the DM21C. That’s a nice emitter in general, but this one is quite cool. The reflector is smooth and deep.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)
Test light is on the left.
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Complete package including cell
- Built in charging works very well
- Doesn’t require special cells
- Infinite adjust
- It’s just possible to differentiate the switches without looking
- Throw is good for a tube light
What I don’t like
- Proprietary charging
- Lack of much grip area
- I wouldn’t really call this a tactical light….
- 20 lumen low isn’t really low enough (despite testing at only 12 lumens)
- This light was provided by Going Gear for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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