All the rage currently is this Lumintop GT Nano 10180 thrower – and I couldn’t be happier to have one in my hands! I was excited about it from the start, and it’s just as fun as you think it should be. Read on for some thoughts and testing!
Official Specs and Features
There is only one version of the Lumintop GT Nano 10180 micro thrower.
These go for $39.95 in most places right now.
I don’t think this light could be more fun. It’s the least expensive “most impressive” light I own, and punches way above $40. If $40 is within your range of “buy it because it’s fun not because I need it” then absolutely go and buy one of these right now.
The Big Table
|Lumintop GT Nano|
|Emitter:||Osram CSLNM1.TG Flat White (1mm)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$39.95 at nealsgadgets.com (referral link)|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|LVP?||Warning, then off|
|Quiescent Current (mA):||0.19|
|Charge Port Type:||Micro-USB attachment|
|Power off Charge Port||–|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||450|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||285 (63.3% of claim)^|
|Candela per Lumen||76.2|
|Claimed Throw (m)||300|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||760lux @ 5.045m = 19344cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||278.2 (92.7% of claim)^|
|All my Lumintop 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).
- Lumintop GT Nano Flashlight
- 10180 Cell
- Keyring and hook
- Micro-USB charge attachment
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
The GT Nano looks exactly like you want it to look. It has all the accents of the bigger GT lights – it’s really a nano copy of those. It’s fantastically executed.
A tiny fly in the ointment here is the labeling – I’d love for the font to have matched the others in the series too. It’s stretched out, which really makes you notice that these Nano lights are nano. Also the serial number – someone apparently forgot to press the “iterate” button on the laser etch machine, and so most of these have the serial number A0001S. This doesn’t really bother me – by and large I think serial numbers are superfluous on flashlights (except on lights so high end that they don’t even have serial numbers. What I would like to know from Lumintop though, is if the serial number can be used to tell if the light has an aluminum pcb (first iteration) or copper pcb (updated iteration). Because there is another serial number out there in the wild – and it’s not 002….
The switch was hard to shrink on these tiny lights (nor would you want it to be any smaller).
The tail end has a spring, while the head end has only a brass button for contact.
The threads here are triangle cut, anodized, and smooth enough.
The head has some thin cooling fins, and the body toward the head has some thicker cooling fins, too.
Here’s the charging device. Below pictured with the plastic screw in protector.
Size and Comps
Weight: Approximately 17g without cells
Dimensions: 24 x 52.5mm
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 formats.
Here’s my GT family. I don’t own nearly all of the options.
And just because it was a fun way to involve some family around my house, I took some photos of an American Girl doll which suits the scale of this tiny light perfectly!
American Girl dolls have their own money apparently, and here’s a scale shot with their $1 bill.
Retention and Carry
Only a lanyard is included for carry of the GT Nano. It attaches through a loop on the tailcap.
No other means of carry is included with the GT Nano. There is no pocket clip, no magnet, and no pouch.
The American Girl doll was able to use her satchel, though.
Power and Runtime
The Lumintop GT Nano is powered by a single lithium-ion cell. What ships and is intended for the light is a single 10180 cell – a tiny cell! These are rated at 80mAh capacity, which is a tiny capacity.
The cell is standard – slight button top.
The 10180 fits into the GT Nano in the usual way – positive (button) end toward the head.
Here are a couple of runtimes. The output on this light is quite fantastic (even disregarding just the actual throw of it). You’ll note a couple of stepdowns in the runtimes – the light flashes a few times at every step down.
These runtimes are very short but, again, this is an 80mAh cell. You can’t possibly expect extended runtimes.
However, being that a 10180 cell has the same diameter as an AAA cell, and thus same diameter as a 10440 cell, I went searching for a tube that might fit, and also accept 10440 cells. I found one!
This is the Nitefox K3 (which I reviewed) (and is still available on amazon – referral link!). It screws in perfectly. And not only that, but it suits the overall aesthetic of the GT Nano series perfectly, too!
I went ahead and tested a couple of runtimes with this setup, because I wondered, just like you probably do. Surprisingly the runtimes aren’t that much longer. Probably twice the length after the stepdown and with initial output a bit higher but overall – well you’ll have to make the decision if it’s worth while for yourself!
Note that the body of the GT Nano will fit the K3 as well, but the K3 isn’t really made for lithium-ion cells – you’ll likely kill the driver in the K3 if you try that setup.
Also note that the manual says the GT Nano draw 2.5A on turbo. If that was the case (meaning if turbo was limited to 2.5A) then the 10440 wouldn’t have any affect on the emitter at all. But what this statement seems to mean is that a 10180 can only output 2.5A, which is what turbo is, thusly. However – and bear this in mind – the driver actually seems to be unregulated, meaning it’ll take whatever current you give it. So a 10440 cell has a higher max discharge, and you might experience some blue output. If you do, cease use of that cell. It’s “too good” for this light. There’s my disclaimer – use a 10440 at your own risk! (Read below for max current data.)
The GT Nano also has a charge adapter. Lumintop includes a cable – USB to micro-USB. It’s a very short cable.
Also included is a “charge head.” It’s brass, and has some plastic bits for protection. The plastic dome on the top (below) actually has charge indicators, too. Red for charging, and green for charging complete.
The little plastic bit seen below just unscrews – I suppose it’s just there for protection.
Here’s how the charge head fits the GT Nano. It of course can’t be used while the flashlight head is installed.
Charging is a reasonable 0.1A, or around 1C. Charge is very consistent, and terminates reliably at 4.18V. Both very good things.
I like this charging enough that I can say unequivocally that I support purchase of the GT Nano just for use with charging your other 10180 lights!!
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
Narsil has PWM on moonlight (left) and 2 other intermediate modes. Turbo doesn’t have PWM though, and the 15% doesn’t either. I don’t notice the PWM on any mode, however.
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, with 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
The user interface is a single side clicky. An e-switch, with a red indicator. The switch looks huge on this tiny light, but overall it’s still not a huge switch.
It’s also very domed, and has a sort of “squishy clicky” action. I also found the switch to be maybe 70% reliable – I could not always count on a click to do what I expected. (This did not diminish my opinion of the light, though, even if it should have. It’s just too much fun.)
The UI is exactly as on the other GT lights. This will be a copy paste of that UI. I also always set these lights to stepped for testing, since it gives specific modes for testing. But ramping is all the rage, and I like it fine too, so it’s nice to be able to switch between the two.
The UI itself is a version of Narsil, by Tom E. The version my light shows is Narsil 1.3. (Check this by clicking 3x, then 2x, then 2x, and the version will be blinked. 1 blink, pause 3 blinks.)
The UI is much too complex for my usual table, and I’m not going to undertake that here. This Cheat Sheet is not my work! but is very useful, and thorough.
There are two groups. One group has ramping, one group has discrete modes. It’s possible to switch between ramping and discrete easily. The default is ramping, and to switch to modes, first turn on the light, then hold the switch for 3.2s. It’ll blink twice, pause, and blink once. At that point, click once. This disables ramping. Once this is done, put the light down so you don’t change other settings (which is very easy to do.) There are other things you could do to expedite termination of programming, but just skip it, and wait.
Narsil is wonderful firmware. It’s extremely versatile, and possible to change many (most? all?) of the settings about the light.
LED and Beam
The beam selected for this Nano thrower is an Osram Flat White emitter. Really the perfect choice. It’s specifically a CSLNM1.TG, the 1mm version of Flat White. This means it’s cooler (maybe 6500K), but also the emitting surface is smaller (1mm squared) so the throw is excellent.
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 (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
- No light that is more fun for fewer dollars
- Performance is excellent
- The “to scale” vs other GT’s is incredibly well done
- Very good charging
What I don’t like
- Switch on my copy is unreliable
- Output on Turbo claimed at 2.5A, but in fact seems unregulated
- 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!
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