Convoy L2 Flashlight Review

Preface

I’ve asked for this light over and over.  Finally someone at GearBest listened to me and agreed to send me one.  I’m excited – it should be far and away my best thrower, and I know Convoy as a great brand.


Official Specs and Features

Versions

There is one body available for this light, but at least 5 emitter [tint] options.  All Cree XP-L HI, with these tints:

T6 4C
U3 7A
U6 3A
U6 4B (This is the specific model being reviewed here.)
V2 1A

MSRP

Around $50, depending on tint choice.


Short Review

Throws like I hoped it would.  Wish it was exactly like the L6 in every other way.

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Convoy L2 Flashlight (Single 26650 body)
  • Extension tube for 2*26650
  • Lanyard
  • Tactical ring replacement

20170406-IMG_9964.jpg

Pictures

Here’s the full album, and some [indoor, outdoor] beamshots.

Package and Manual

The package is typical Convoy – white cardboard with a gold embossed logo.  Inside is a foam piece holding the light securely.

20170406-IMG_9961.jpg20170406-IMG_9962.jpg

There is no manual, but the UI and cell specifications are described on the product page.

Build Quality and Disassembly

The build quality of this light is literally exactly like the build quality of my black Convoy L6, which I was extremely pleased with.  The matte anodizing is very comfortable and itself provides quite a nice grip (aside from the knurling).

20170406-IMG_9971.jpg

Built quality is really very good and this feels like a very nice quality light.  The threads are huge anodized ACME threads and operate flawlessly.  The smooth reflector is clean and clear, and also free of aberrations.  The head has big, fat fins, which really help with cooling (notable since the output is essentially flat when the light is fan cooled.)

Typical of Convoy lights, this L2 is easy to disassemble.  Everything basically just unscrews for easy access.

Size

This is a 26650 light with the option of a 26650 extender (or 2×26650).  So it’s not a small light.  That said, the head of this thrower is actually quite reasonably sized – smaller in fact than the Convoy L6.  Confession moment here:  When I requested this light so intently, I thought it was exactly like the L6 aside from reflector (smooth vs OP) and emitter.  Turns out that’s not right.   The L2 is quite a bit smaller than the L6.  But much bigger than the Convoy C8.

20170406-IMG_9963.jpg

(Pictured above with the Convoy L6.)

Retention

Handheld is the way to go with this light.  In the single cell configuration it might fit well in a belt pouch, but pouches aren’t Convoy’s thing.  The tailcap does have two holes for the (included) lanyard, though.  The tailcap is the same as on the Convoy L6, in fact.

It might be nice if there was a shoulder strap type connection for this light but I don’t really miss it.  The L6 didn’t have one, and it’s bigger than the L2.  I can’t fault Convoy for this light not having one.

Power

The intended power source for the Convoy L2 is one (or two) 26650 cells.  18650 cells will work too (no adapter for girth is provided).

The as-shipped configuration for this light is with the single tube installed.  So as shipped, the light will accommodate one 26650.  Unlike the L6, the L2 has no special cell requirements – protected and unprotected alike will work fine.

While the GearBest product page does state it explicitly, I didn’t see it clearly when I was looking at this light.  The L2 product does include both the shorty tube and the extension tube. You’d probably know that by just a quick perusal of the page.  But I didn’t notice it.  So I was pleasantly surprised that both are included.

However, using the two cell option only gets you longer runtime – the output is essentially the same between the different configurations.  This is a buck driver – no matter that two cell can provide much more voltage (in the 6-7V range), this light operates at the voltage provided by one cell. Also since the cells are in series for the 2x configuration, it’d be ideal (for safety) to marry these cells.  Ie, you’re going to have to pick which you’d rather use, and/or have 3 cells total for this light.  Not that that’s a problem – I happen to have that.  But if you’re buying, it might be worthwhile to remember that.

Runtime was 2×26650 @ 4.2V.  When stopped, both cells were at 3.85V (stopped early).  I didn’t let the runtime go much further because I wasn’t sure what the voltage would be and I wasn’t looking to drain the cells to death (though, these were EVVA protected cells).  This is just to give an idea of driver performance.  Also, I did fan cool this runtime.  The light has basically flat out put until the point I remove the fan, at which point temperature goes up (still moderate temperature) and output begins to dip.  So the light clearly has some thermal regulation (which seems to kick in at a relatively low temperature).  All told, the flat/steady output on High looks great to me.

runtime.png

User Interface and Operation

A single forward tail clicky operates this thrower.

20170406-IMG_9969.jpg

It works just fine.  Unlike the L6, there is no side clicky.  I honestly miss that.  There are just three modes plus a strobe.  The UI is very straightforward (half press to cycle through modes) with one huge exception:  strobe can be accessed at any point with a double half press.  What that means is if you cycle the modes too fast?  BOOM STROBE.

Furthermore, cycling the modes must be done fairly quickly, or the light will stay in the previous mode; mode memory.  This means that there’s a finite (and possibly “small”) window to actually cycle the modes.  Is this a problem?  Not really but I did find myself getting strobed unintentionally.  And when that happens I slow down my clicks, which means sometimes I miss the cycle window.  Practice will make this very easy to fix, though.

One minor quibble about this UI.  There’s a preflash on low – I don’t notice it on any other modes, though.

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output^ Claimed Runtime Mode Measured Lux* Calculated Output (lm) Measured Amps Difference (Measured/Claimed) (%)
Low 80mA 400  53mA  63
Medium 900mA

4350

 712mA  79
High 3000mA 11770  2430mA  81

^ Normally this column will be measured in lumens.
* This category is as yet meaningless since I don’t have a calibrated sphere.  I’m still recording these values, and working on calibration.

LED and Beam

One of my favorite all time emitters is in this light:  The Cree XP-L HI.

20170406-IMG_9968.jpg

This is the U6 4B iteration, which provides a great tint.  Other users say that a warm tint like this cuts through fog and atmosphere much better than a cool emitter.  In minimal testing, and experience I have with throwers, I find this to be perfectly true.

The beam itself is all throw – on high modes of course there’s some spill but the intensity on this light is fantastic.

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Convoy L2
Emitter Cree XP-L HI
Emitter Notes U6 4B 4500-4700K
Cell 26650 26650*2
Runtime
Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k] 26650*2
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1000
Lux (Measured) 7760 8010
At (m) 4.236 4.204
Candela (Calculated) in cd 139243.081 141565.6642
Throw (Calculated) (m) 746.3057844 752.5042569
Throw (Claimed) (m)

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

I just don’t think there’s anything that really compares to this light.  There are some single 26650 lights with similar emitters (Utorch UT02 comes to mind [XHP35 HI]).  That light has a side switch and built in charging.  It was a fine light.  The Convoy outthrows it fairly dramatically, however.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Convoy build quality
  • Throw is fantastic
  • Tint is very nice
  • One and two cell options

What I don’t like

  • Preflash on low
  • [Too] Easy to access strobe
  • No side clicky like the L6

Coupon

I am sorry to say I don’t have a coupon for this light, but I still suggest buying it at Gearbest.  Here’s a coupon that should save you 8%!! i8fm3tsd


Up Next

Notes

  • This light was provided by GearBest.com for review.  I was not paid to write this review.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: