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

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

I am unclear on the versions of this light.  There are older versions which 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.

Price

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)!


Short Review

I don’t think there’s anything exceptional here.  The light is too big, micro-USB is not the preferred charge port type any more, and the cool white of Osram P9 just make this a non-starter.

Long Review

The Big Table

Wuben L50
Emitter: Osram P9 HI
Price in USD at publication time: $27.99
$20.36 on amazon right now! (referral link)
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA):
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: micro-USB
Chargetime
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:  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

wuben l50 18650 flashlight what's included

  • Wuben L50 18650 Flashlight
  • Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Lanyard
  • 18650 (2600mAh, standard)
  • Manual

Package and Manual

wuben l50 18650 flashlight box

wuben l50 18650 flashlight back of box

wuben l50 18650 flashlight manual

This sticker on the tailcap….  It peeled off this (bad) way from this side, but I was able to peel from the other side and take it off cleanly.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight sticker

Build Quality and Disassembly

wuben l50 18650 flashlight laying on side feature photo

This is a well built light.  No real complaints about it, really, as far as build go.  It’s just so very long!  The feature set and build quality actually remind me of some similar Nitecore models.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight emitter photo

wuben l50 18650 flashlight tailcap with switch and port

wuben l50 18650 flashlight tailcap from side

The body doesn’t have any knurling.  That’s surprising, but not bad.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight tailcap from side

wuben l50 18650 flashlight side of body with logo

The head is (strangely) ever so slightly bigger in diameter.  Also appears to be threadlocked, so removal for emitter changes could be problematic.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight head with wuben logo

wuben l50 18650 flashlight pocket clip

wuben l50 18650 flashlight pocket clip

wuben l50 18650 flashlight pocket clip hug

wuben l50 18650 flashlight tailcap

wuben l50 18650 flashlight lanyard holes

The head has minimal cooling fin surface.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight head hot logo

Only the tailcap is removable, and the threads there are unanodized, square cut, and moderately long.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight tailcap removed

Both head and tail have springs.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight head and tail springs

wuben l50 18650 flashlight tailcap off cell installed

wuben l50 18650 flashlight on low

wuben l50 18650 flashlight lanyard installed

wuben l50 18650 flashlight lanyard the right way

wuben l50 18650 flashlight headstanding

wuben l50 18650 flashlight pocket clip off

wuben l50 18650 flashlight

Size and Comps

Officially:

Length: 138.6mm
Diameter: 26mm
Weight: 90g (without cell) / 138g (with cell)

If a light will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo).  If a light 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 format.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight beside torchlab boss 35

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.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight pocket clip hug

Also included is a lanyard, which attaches only on the tailcap.  There are two holes here, and only on one side.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight lanyard holes

Below is how I attach lanyards…. this prevents interference when tailstanding.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight lanyard install the right way

wuben l50 18650 flashlight lanyard

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.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight 2600mAh 18650

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.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight runtime graph turbo

High is fairly well regulated, too.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight runtime graph high

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.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight runtime charge port closed

wuben l50 18650 flashlight charge port closed profile view

An appropriate cable is included – USB to micro-USB.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight charge cable

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).

wuben l50 18650 flashlight charge graph

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
High 1200 1.5h 999 3.66
Med 400 2.5h 464 1.09
Low 75 8.5h 111 0.21
Eco 5 143h 10 0.03

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.  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

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.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight tailswitch

The switch is accessible from two sides, and protected by two shelves on either side – the switch isn’t so proud to prevent tailstanding.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight tailswitch profile

wuben l50 18650 flashlight tailswitch side profile

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click On (Mode memory)
On Click Off
On Tap Mode advance (Eco > Low > Med > High)
On Double Tap SOS
SOS Tap Previous mode

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.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight emitter osram p9

The reflector is smooth, and deep – this accounts partly for the length of the light of course.

wuben l50 18650 flashlight emitter on low

wuben l50 18650 flashlight emitter on

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!

Conclusion

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

Notes

  • This light was provided by Wuben 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!
  • Use my amazon.com referral link if you’re willing to help support making more reviews like this one!

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