ZeroAir Reviews: Imalent DT70

Preface

After having liked the DN70 so much, I reached out to GearBest to try to get the DT70.  In fact users on reddit were interested too….  GearBest came through, and here’s the review of the Imalent DT70!  It’s a lot like the DN70, but has four times the emitters, and four times the cells!!


Official Specs and Features

Versions

There’s only one version of the DT70.

MSRP

This hefty light weighs in at a hefty $289.95.  However, with this review I have a great sale price, which you can check out on my coupon spreadsheet.  That price is around $150.


Short Review

This light is as ridiculously impressive as it is bright.  So so bright.  The UI is good like the other D series Imalent lights.  I do wish low was lower, but on the flip side, this light is just so bright….

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Imalent DT70 “Flood King”
  • Charge cable
  • Spare O-rings (2)
  • Nylon pouch
  • 18650 x 4 cells, 3000mAh, Imalent brand
  • Manual

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Pictures

Here’s the full album, some beamshots, a couple runtimes, and a couple chargetimes.

Package and Manual

This large light ships in a large thick cardboard box.  It’s sealed with an Imalent authenticity sticker.  Once removed, the front of the box folds open, to reveal the contents. The box is printed with a little bit of information, but not much.

The DT70 is held very securely in foam, and there’s a ribbon to help pull the light out (needful, since the foam holds the light very securely indeed).  Then there’s a cardboard box that has all the other goodies – nylon pouch, o-rings, cable, manual… it’s all in there.

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The manual is printed on a single sheet of paper, with English on one side and Chinese on the other.  It’s a fine manual.

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Build Quality and Disassembly

Much like the DN70, the DT70 is very sturdy.  With four cells inside, it’s also quite weighty.  Everything about this light has a great feel.  The body (or “cell holder”) is open at only one end, and the threads on that end are big fat square cut threads, and lubed pretty well.  The head has two big brass contact rings, and offers little access to the driver.

The details on the bezel are seen below.  I’m fairly sure this bezel is removable but with some effort I never budged it.

20170721-IMG_2784.jpg

Otherwise there’s really not all that much to disassemble.  Note the negative terminals on the body – they aren’t exactly springs, and they’re certainly not buttons….  I can say they’re springy, and they do make great contact.

Funny note, the head and tail of the light are about the same length.

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Size

Officially the DT70 is 146mm x 70mm (head), 50mm (body).  Coincidentally that’s about the same size as a dollar bill.

20170721-IMG_2773.jpg

It’s a looooot bigger than the smaller, single emitter brother, the DN70.  These lights aren’t really all that dissimilar – the DT70 being nearly four DN70’s strapped together.  But the DN70 uses a single 26650 and an OP reflector, and the DT70 uses four 18650s, and also has OP reflectors.  So they’re similar, generally.

20170721-IMG_2788.jpg

Retention

The only option provided for carrying this light is the nylon pouch.  It’s a good pouch.  Directional, and open on the bottom.

There’s no belt clip, no lanyard, no anything else.  The pouch is good for this massive light, though.

Power

Four 18650 cells are required for running this light.  Not just four cells – the light requires high drain, button top, protected cells.  Unprotected cells will actually work, but are not recommended.  Imalent provides four cells, too!  When the light arrives be sure to remove the plastic shipping-protector that isolates the cells.  And the truth is that this light will actually work with just 2 cells – the bays are secure enough that they won’t rattle, too.  All modes work with just 2 cells.  The cells are all in the same orientation: positive end toward the head.

I did a runtime on turbo….  note that this light is so bright I had to do a nonstandard test.  But the relative output is still accurate.  I used the provided cells on Turbo with no cooling.  Terminating voltage was 2.95 for all cells – light shutoff on it’s own (ie, it has LVP).  Then I did a runtime on turbo with cooling.  Note that the output is practically exactly the same, without regard to temperature.

runtime.png

One more thing about the output.  Turning the light off does reset the turbo.  So once the output drops, which happens about 1.5 minutes in, the light can be turned off and back on and it’ll be high output again.  This won’t last long, and the light will step down again soon (less than 1.5m, that is).

Also I’m really not sure what my thermocouple was touching in these tests.  But this light gets hot.  Much hotter than the recorded max of 43ish degrees.  It gets hot enough that you’ll want to be ready with your finger on the correct button to turn it off….

Here’s the charge port on this light.  It’s a standard micro-USB, and that rubber boot is thicc!!  It’s easy to manipulate too; this is probably my favorite charging cover that I’ve used to date.

From the end of the runtime, I did a chargetime test.  Charging was started at 2.95V.  Chargetime terminated (9mv trickle) at 4.13V.  The Nitecore 4 bay charger only required about 10 minutes to get them up to 4.20V, and the added mAh was negligible.

I ended up doing two chargetime tests, since I did two runtimes too….  The performance was similar, and can be seen below.

chargetime.png

I’ll note that I wasn’t able to charge this light with just any USB cable.  I am not even sure what was different about the cable I tried….  But the cable that ships with the light was successful at charging.  I tried a different random cable, and it also worked.  So 1 for 1 with the stock cable, 1 for 2 with non stock cable.

And one more note on “Power” since I don’t think I said it elsewhere – this is pretty solid charging for these four cells in this big light.  Averages out to about 1.6A, or 400mAh per cell.  This is good – I almost never want my cells charged fast, and 0.4A (per cell) suits me just fine.

User Interface and Operation

There are two switches on the DT70, and they’re separated by an OLED screen.  My OLED screen seemed to have a bit of schmoo behind the cover.  It didn’t really detract from using the light, but it was visible when looking into the display.

There is a power switch (that looks like a power indicator) and a mode switch.  These two switches are the only way to operate the light.  They’re fairly easy to find without looking at the light, and not too hard to distinguish from the USB cover.  Still, they’re approximately the same size and shape, and I did have to search for them from time to time.

Now on to the UI.  The UI is very simple.  The power switch (the right most when holding the light in a ‘light forward’ manner) turns the light on and off.  There is mode memory, so in whatever of the three main modes you turn the light off, so will it come back on.  The three modes cycle L>M>H.  Turbo is not part of the main modes, and is accessed by the other button (aka the Turbo button).

Holding the turbo button from any state will enter momentary Turbo.  Holding the Turbo button for around 2 seconds or more will cause the light to stay on in Turbo.  From turbo, clicking the power button will return the light to the previously used mode.  Holding the power button will turn the light off.

This is one of my complaints about the DT70 – when using the light for turbo (as one should with this light), one must switch grips and buttons to turn the light off.  This annoys me much more than it should, but I always felt like the turbo button should return the light to another state.  It doesn’t in fact – clicking the turbo button when the light is in turbo does nothing. Does nothing as far as output is concerned, that is – it does cycle the OLED display between output and voltage.  I find that to be useless.  (Note that the OLED reads the output mode name, not the actual output strictly speaking – so the OLED will say 16000 lm even well after the light has stepped down and is clearly no longer making 16000 lm.)  I find this mode “name” being displayed as an integer value of output to be a little deceiving.  Ie I wish it just said “Turbo” instead of a number, and “Low” “Medium” “High” for the other modes.  But I do understand it….

Double tapping the mode button from any state will enter the Strobe group.  Double tapping while in strobe will cycle the strobe modes.

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The OLED display has a very slow refresh rate – you’ll probably notice this if you’re sensitive to PWM but it’s it’s no big deal; it’s just the OLED.

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Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime
Low 80 40h
 Medium 1000 5h30m
 High 8000 2h
 Turbo 16000 1h30m

LED and Beam

The DT70 has four emitters – Cree XHP70’s, which have been dedomed (likely shaved) by Imalent.  There is approximately 1mm of “dome” on the emitter.  The tint is fairly neutral to my eye.  Of course compared to something with famous tint, then it begins to not fare so well.  But just using this light alone, I doubt you’d ever have any issue with the tint, at all.  The beam profile is as you’d expect from a light with these big emitters, in shallow OP reflectors – it’s almost a rose patterned beam.  The shape of the four reflectors means that the spill has basically four levels of brightness.  At any distance, and particularly if you don’t rotate the light in hand, this probably won’t be too noticeable and for me is certainly not an issue.

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The tail of this light actually says “Flood King.”  Now I’d dispute that (Meteor probably gets that moniker) but I can say that this beam profile is likely more useful than an actual “Flood King.”  Throwing over 600m makes this light quite useful.

Tint vs BLF-348

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Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Imalent DT70
Emitter Cree XHP70
Emitter Notes 4 emitters, dedomed
Cell 18650×4
Runtime 18650×4
Chargetime 18650×4
Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k] 18650×4
LVP? Yes
Claimed Lumens (lm) 16000
Lux (Measured) 2700
At (m) 5.985
Candela (Calculated) in cd 96714.61
Throw (Calculated) (m) 621.98
Throw (Claimed) (m) 1100

Conclusion

What I like

  • Output is just wow.
  • Simple UI
  • On-board charging works well, and is useful.
  • Complete package light (including cells, charging)

What I don’t like

  • The OLED doesn’t to much for me
  • Buttons can be hard to locate in the dark
  • Stepdown is quick and dramatic.

Up Next

Next I’ll have the Nitecore MT22A flashlight!  And I have a charger upcoming, and another keyboard, too!

Notes

  • This light was provided by Gearbest.com for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons.
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