Wuben E18 Flashlight Review

Wuben E18 Flashlight Review

The Wuben E18 is a flashlight that offers a Cree XP-G3 with a smooth reflector and a great switch. Check out the diamond knurling too!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

I only see one version of the Wuben E18.

Price

Looks like these are going for around $28, but the only place I see them is aliexpress. Here’s a link to the Wuben E18 flashlight on aliexpress.​


Short Review

I like a lot about this little flashlight. I love the build quality. I love the knurling. I do not like Cree XP-G3. Lithium-ion support would be a great addition, too.

Long Review

The Big Table

Wuben E18
Emitter: Cree XP-G3 (Cold White)
Price in USD at publication time: $27.99
Cell: 1xAA
Turbo Runtime Graph High Runtime Graph
LVP? ?
Switch Type: Mechanical
On-Board Charging? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 180
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 190 (105.6% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 8.9
Claimed Throw (m) 75
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 127lux @ 3.731m = 1768cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 84.1 (112.1% of claim)^
Claimed CCT
Measured CCT Range (K) 6200-7400 Kelvin
Item provided for review by: Wuben
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 E18 flashlight what's included

  • Wuben E18 flashlight
  • Alkaline AA cell
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Manual

Package and Manual

Wuben E18 flashlight box

Wuben E18 flashlight manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

Wuben E18 flashlight

I love the grip areas on the body here.

Wuben E18 flashlight diamond knurling Wuben E18 flashlight diamond knurling

Threads on the tail end are smooth and not too long.  I was unable to unscrew the head – maybe there is thread lock here.

Wuben E18 flashlight tailcap off showing threads

The tail end has a good spring.

Wuben E18 flashlight tailcap off showing spring

On the other end is just a button for positive contact.

Wuben E18 flashlight positive contact

Size and Comps

Length: 97mm
Diameter: 23mm
Weight: 63g (with battery) and is

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).

Wuben E18 flashlight in hand

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.

Wuben E18 flashlight beside torchlab boss 35

Wuben E18 flashlight with other aa 14500 flashlights

Retention and Carry

First, there’s a two-way pocket clip.

This friction fit clip can connect only on the tail end, but the two-way option does mean you can carry bezel up or down.  The pocket clip also has a couple of holes for lanyard attachment.

Wuben E18 flashlight pocket clip detail

The tailcap also has a lanyard hole attachment point.

Wuben E18 flashlight lanyard installed

Power and Runtime

Wuben includes a single AA cell with the E18.  It’s a primary alkaline.  I tested exclusively with NiMH chemistry, but performance between the two should be the same.

Wuben E18 flashlight with AA cell

The cell goes into the light with the positive end (button) toward the head.

Wuben E18 flashlight with AA cell installed

Here are the two highest mode runtime graphs.  Performance is not bad, but there are some pretty hefty stepdowns after an initial couple of minutes at the highest output.

Wuben E18 flashlight runtime graph Wuben E18 flashlight runtime graph

The light does shut off, but NiMH is more robust with regards to lower voltage anyway, so around 0.8V is fine here.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
High 180~50 30s~2.9h 190 2.32
Med 50 6.5h 51 0.25
Low 1 240h 0.00

Pulse Width Modulation

None of the levels display PWM.

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).  10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  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 tail switch here seems to be a mechanical clicky. It’s a reverse clicky, too, so mode changes are possible when the light is on.

Wuben E18 flashlight clicky switch

The switch is proud and domed, so tailstanding is not possible.

Wuben E18 flashlight clicky switch

I’d like for the light to be able to tailstand, but I do like the switch and cover still. The cover is hard and the action is very positive.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click On (mode memory)
On Click Off
Off Tap No action
On Tap Mode advance (LMH)
On Triple Tap SOS
SOS Tap Previous steady output

LED and Beam

The light really shows that it was released in (around) 2020 when we note that it uses a Cree XP-G3.  Fortunately, this emitter has fallen out of favor with manufacturers. It does offer great output but the CCT and beam profile are not often favored by flashlight enthusiasts (including me).

Wuben E18 flashlight emitter

The reflector used here is smooth and deep(ish).

Wuben E18 flashlight reflector Wuben E18 flashlight on Wuben E18 flashlight on

LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)

As the output gets higher, so does the CCT. That’s not great, especially since we’re seeing around 7400K by the highest level. CRI is not surprisingly fairly low.

Beamshots

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!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Good build quality
  • Simple user interface
  • Nice switch with very good clicky action
  • Reverse clicky (mode changes during use)
  • Diamond (or even “double diamond”) knurling is very comfortable

What I don’t like

  • Cree XP-G3
  • Doesn’t support 14500
  • Cost might be a bit high (but it could be an availability issue since this light is a couple of years old)

Notes

  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
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