By this point you probably thought I’d reviewed all the FW series light. You’d be wrong. Today I have the FW21 Pro, and there are others in the series I haven’t even ever seen! The FW21 Pro is a “triple” Cree XHP50.2 emitter light, with a bigger head for better heat-sinking. Read on for more testing!
Official Specs and Features
I think there’s only one version of the FW21 Pro. There’s the non-pro version of the FW21, which is a triple too, but much more in the FW3A format. Still utilizes the 21700 cell, though!
The light alone goes for $69.95. It’s available with the Samsung 30T you’ll see in this review, for an additional $6.
You can purchase the light at lumintoponline with the 15% OFF Promotion code: LMT21P15J
This is probably my second favorite in the FW series. (The first is of course the FW3C Brass. 😀 ) I think it’s the highest quality build of any aluminum FW lights. The output is high, and I like the use of a 21700 cell. The larger head makes the light very flashlighty.
The Big Table
|Lumintop FW21 Pro|
|Emitter:||Cree XHP50.2 (three)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$69.95 ($59.46 with coupon above!)|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||?|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||10000|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||9240 (92.4% of claim)*|
|Candela per Lumen||2.5|
|Claimed Throw (m)||325|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||160lux @ 4.28m = 2931cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||108.3 (33.3% of claim)*|
|All my Lumintop reviews!|
And just for fun….
|Lumintop FW21 Pro @ startup measurement|
|Claimed Throw (m)||325|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd||1336lux @ 4.146m = 22965cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||303.1 (93.3% of claim)*|
- 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).
- Lumintop FW21 Pro Flashlight
- Samsung 30T
- 21700 to 18650 adapter
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Grip ring
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
As I said above, I think the FW21 Pro has the highest build quality of any of the aluminum FW series lights. I also greatly appreciate the bigger head and more heatsinking.
The extra girth from being a 21700 light suits the overall build just fine.
Good knurling, as usual. Useless on the tailcap, as usual.
What would really be neat is if these cooling fins were knurled! That’s where you need the grip, since it’s the head that should be removed for cell swaps.
The body retains the FW aesthetic.
The inner sleeve is carried over from the other FW lights too. This is what allows the tail-e-switch to work properly.
Both head and tail have a big spring.
The tailcap has a retaining ring. I found that just when unscrewing the tailcap the retaining ring could unscrew. So be aware of that.
Here is a breakdown of the switch parts.
Threading on the head and tail are different – impossible to get them backward.
Size and Comps
Weight: Approximately 120 g without cells. I weight it at 184g with cell.
Size: 40 mm Ø head x 102 mm length x 28mm Ø head
Retention and Carry
The included way for carrying the FW21 Pro is the standard collar style clip. It works well for belts and whatnot but for pocket carry the head probably gets in the way more than you’ll like. It’s not reversible.
The clip has a couple of holes which are good for a lanyard, but you’ll need to bring your own to this party.
Also included is this “tactical” ring – I wouldn’t consider it a tactical ring, but just more of a grip ring. This isn’t a tactical light. You’ll have to remove the tailcap to install this, and there’s an o-ring you’ll end up fighting with…. If you want my opinion then don’t bother installing this. It doesn’t end up adding a worth vs the trouble it is to install.
Plus if you counted up all the FW series light problems and traced a source, I bet 84% would be due to messing with the tailcap. So just don’t bother unless you really need it installed.
Power and Runtime
The FW21 Pro is powered by a single lithium ion cell. It requires a 21700, but there’s an adapter for use with an 18650. I recommend 21700 cells of course, and I also recommend you buy the package that includes the Samsung 30T. For just $6, it’s a good deal. Also runs this light very well!
The Samsung 30T is a flat top unprotected 21700.
Here are a couple of runtimes. Normally I just do Turbo once and then let the light stepdown and trickle off, but we already know how Andúril does in that scenario. So this time every time I walked past the runtime apparatus, I reset the light to Turbo. Turbo lasts about the same amount of time in each case, but gradually has a lower and lower maximum. Turbo in this case is the absolute highest output – double click from on.
Same scenario as above with High. Reset it a bunch of times. But in this case, output remained at approximately the same limit, which is nice. High in this case is the top of the ramp.
Andúril utilizes fast PWM for the lower modes.
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
The UI on this light is just like the other FW I’ve reviewed, so there’s no point rewording it.
The interface for this light is a tail clicky, but unusually, it’s an e-switch. That’s a bit of a coup, and something not many manufacturers are doing (in tail-switch form).
The button itself is metal (with that rubber cover under), and has a very minimal amount of travel (1mm or less). Despite being a very big switch, it’s possible to actuate from anywhere on the surface – even the tiniest fingernail on the very edge will still work.
I checked the firmware revision of my review copy (15 clicks from off) and it appears to be a 20190928 version of Andúril.
I’m dropping in ToyKeeper’s newest UI diagram, which includes some features my light does not have. The firmware reset, for example, and also the secondary emitter options – but the graphic itself as a whole is much better.
Here’s a UI table anyway!
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory)|
|Off||Click 2x||Highest Hybrid Mode|
|Off||Click 3x||Blinkie Mode Group|
|Off||Click, Click, Hold||Strobe Group (Mode Memory Strobe)|
|Strobe Group||Click 2x||Strobe Cycle (Candle > Bike Flasher > Party Strobe > Tactical Strobe > Lightning Storm)|
|Blinkie Mode Group||Click 2x||Blinke Cycle (Sunset > Beacon > TempCheck > BattCheck)|
|On||Click 3x||Switch between Stepped and Smooth Ramp|
|On||Click 4x||Ramp Configuration|
|TempCheck||Click 4x||Thermal Configuration|
|Beacon||Click 4x||Beacon Configuration|
|Candle||Click 3x||30 minute timer to off|
|Strobe Group||Hold||Heighten selected mode (Make faster or brighter)|
|Strobe Group||Click, Hold||Lessen selected mode (Make slower or dimmer)|
|On||Click 2x||FET Turbo|
|Ramp Configuration||[Wait for Single flash] Click N time for level N.||Selection of the “Low” you like best by clicking 1, 2, 3, etc. where 1, 2, 3, etc are different levels of low.|
|Ramp Configuration||[Wait for Second flash] Click N time for 1+Turbo-N.||Selection of the “Ceiling” you like best by clicking 1, 2, 3, etc. where 1, 2, 3, etc are different Ceiling levels.|
|Ramp Configuration||[Wait for Third flash] Click for how many steps you want in Stepped mode.||Sets Number of Steps.|
|Thermal Configuration||[Wait for First flash] Click for N times for N degrees C.||Displays Current Temperature.|
|Thermal Configuration||[Wait for Second flash] Click for N times for 30C + N.||Sets Temperature Limit.|
|Beacon Configuration||[Wait for First flash] Click for N times N seconds per flash||Sets Beacon Speed.|
LED and Beam
In the FW21 Pro are three Cree XHP50.2 emitters. Each of these has a short reflector. The beam has a good spot in the center with a fade to nothing. It’s a surprisingly tight beam for the setup.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
Test light is on the left!
I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Great build quality
- Samsung 30T for only $6 more is a good deal
- Output is practically madness
- Very flashlighty
What I don’t like
- No good way to carry
- There’s a “good” temperature 50.2, and this temperature is the other one.
- This light was provided by Lumintop for review. I was not paid to write this review.
- This content originally appeared at zeroair.org. Please visit there for the best experience!
- For flashlight related patches, stickers, and gear, head over to PhotonPhreaks, another site where I write!
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