Wuben L50 18650 Flashlight Testing and Review
Today I’m reviewing the Wuben L50 18650 flashlight – not the newest flashlight, but it’s what I have in my hands from Wuben. Read on for some thoughts and testing!
Official Specs and Features
I am unclear on the versions of this light. There are older versions that have a different emitter, and this Osram P9 emitter version ships with a manual that states “Version 3.2” so… There are other versions – I think I’ll say that and stick with it.
These are listed at $27.99 on Wuben’s site. They’re available for $29.99 on amazon. And sale prices look to have been as low as $15 in the past! Even better, it looks to be $20.36 on Amazon right now (referral link)!
Here’s a 20% off coupon, too:
I don’t think there’s anything exceptional here. The light is too big, micro-USB is not the preferred charge port type anymore, and the cool white of Osram P9 just makes this a non-starter.
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Osram P9 HI|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$27.99
$20.36 on Amazon right now! (referral link)
Here’s a 20% off coupon, too:
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (mA):|
|Charge Port Type:||micro-USB|
|Power off Charge Port||with cell: all modes
without cell: no modes
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||1200|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||999 (83.3% of claim)^|
|Candela per Lumen||12.8|
|Claimed Throw (m)||200|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||439lux @ 5.57m = 13620cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||233.4 (116.7% of claim)^|
|All my Wuben reviews!|
^ Measurement disclaimer: Testing flashlights is my hobby. I use hobbyist-level equipment for testing, including some I made myself. Try not to get buried in the details of manufacturer specifications versus measurements recorded here; A certain amount of difference (say, 10 or 15%) is perfectly reasonable.
- Wuben L50 18650 Flashlight
- Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
- Spare o-rings (2)
- 18650 (2600mAh, standard)
Package and Manual
This sticker on the tailcap… It peeled off this (bad) way from this site, but I was able to peel from the other side and take it off cleanly.
Build Quality and Disassembly
This is a well-built light. No real complaints about it, really, as far as build goes. It’s just so very long! The feature set and build quality actually remind me of some similar Nitecore models.
The body doesn’t have any knurling. That’s surprising, but not bad.
The head is (strangely) ever so slightly bigger in diameter. Also appears to be thread locked, so removal for emitter changes could be problematic.
The head has a minimal cooling fin surface.
Only the tailcap is removable, and the threads there are unanodized, square-cut, and moderately long.
Both head and tail have springs.
Size and Comps
Weight: 90g (without cell) / 138g (with cell)
If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo). If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).
Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+. Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple. A very nice 18650 light.
And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light. I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.
Retention and Carry
A pocket clip ships installed on the L50. It’s a friction fit clip and fits only on the tail portion of the light.
The clip does not reverse, and also does not interfere with tailcap removal. Below is what I view as the “clip hug” photo.
Also included is a lanyard, which attaches only to the tailcap. There are two holes here, and only on one side.
Below is how I attach lanyards…. this prevents interference when tailstanding.
Power and Runtime
The L50 is powered by a single lithium-ion cell. An appropriate cell is included – a 2600mAh “ABE2600C” Wuben branded cell. This is fairly low capacity by today’s standards.
The cell is completely standard. I found even the shortest 18650 unprotected flat tops work in this light just fine. And with the springs on both ends, you’ll probably have luck with longer 18650s, too.
Below are a couple of runtimes. Nothing spectacular – the light steps down after around a minute, then holds fairly steady at 600 lumens for around 1.5 hours. This kind of regulation is great, and we should see it more – though I’d like for the top-end output to last longer than 45 seconds.
High is fairly well regulated, too.
On bench power, the light does eventually shut off – in my tests around 2.5V. But I think when using a cell, you’ll experience shutoff around 2.7V. In the test on “High” the light did shut off, and when I tested the cell (after much time for bounce-back) it was 3.07V.
There is a “main emitter warning” – when the power remaining would allow only 30 minutes of runtime (in any mode) the main emitter will flash 3x every 5 minutes as a warning. I’m surprised Wuben didn’t leverage the indicator on the tail here.
Also included on the L50 is on-board charging. This is through a micro-USB port in the tailcap. There’s a press in cover, which stays attached due to being molded with the switch cover.
An appropriate cable is included – USB to micro-USB.
Charging is another thing that’s very much like some Nitecore’s I’ve had. I tested multiple setups and multiple USB ports and they all seemed to bounce to zero in this way. It would seem this kind of charging is a feature and not a fault…. or at least it’s intentional. Still, 2h33m charging is not bad at all, and there’s no trickle – when the indicating switch goes from red (charging) to green (charge complete) charge has actually stopped (even if the cell could still hold more energy).
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
What you see below is not PWM, but a sawtooth output. Not visible to the eye.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, which is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.
User Interface and Operation
A single switch controls the Wuben L50. It clicks very much like a mechanical switch (reverse clicky) but I’m not sure it is. With the charge port in the tail too, there’s a lot going on in the tailcap. However, bench testing indicates it’s probably a regular ol’ reverse clicky.
The switch is accessible from two sides, and protected by two shelves on either side – the switch isn’t so proud to prevent tailstanding.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (Mode memory)|
|On||Tap||Mode advance (Eco > Low > Med > High)|
LED and Beam
Wuben chose an Osram P9 emitter for this light. I saw places that referenced an “Osram P9 HI” but the emitter here is clearly not the “HI” version of anything, and I’m unfamiliar with an Osram P9 HI anyway.
The reflector is smooth and deep – this accounts partly for the length of the light of course.
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)
I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.
I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Full package for around $27 – or $20.36 on amazon!
- User interface is very easy
What I don’t like
- Cool white Osram P9
- Light is very big
- Tail light indicator is underutilized
- This light was provided by Wuben for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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