Klarus Mi1C Flashlight Review

Preface
Official Specs
Versions
Price
Short Review
Long Review
  What's Included
  Manual and Packaging
  Build Quality and Durability
  Size
  Retention
  Power
  User Interface and Operation
  Modes
  LED and beam
  Tint vs...
  Beamshots, Runtime, etc table.
  Comparisons
Conclusion
  What I like
  What I don't like
Up Next
Notes

Preface

Here’s a tiny Klarus light, rivaling the Olight S1 Mini in size – easily one of (if not the  smallest 16340 light available.  This one’s different, however, as it has an aspheric lens.  While it’s true that these might not have all the uses of a TIR or reflector lights, don’t discount it too quickly; these are greatly useful little lights.  Read on for more!


Official Specs and Features

Versions

There are three colors in this series:  Obsidian black (seen here), Exquisite Rose (red), and Mil-Spec Olive Drab.  All those colors have aspheric lenses.  These all include a cell.

There’s also a ‘special metal’ version, which includes two metals: copper and titanium. These have a reflector.

Strangely there is no special metal version with an aspheric, and no aluminum version with a reflector.  And unfortunately (for me) there’s no brass in any version.

Price

The price on these is around $48.95 (including at GearBest).


Short Review

I happen to really like this little light, even if it gets canned for lack of usefulness since it has no reflector or TIR.  The mode spacing is a little strange, and the stepdown from High is brutal, but I like the aspheric!

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Klarus Mi1C
  • Klarus 700mAh 16340 (not pictured)
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Manual

20171230-IMG_9096.jpg

Package and Manual

Quite a nice little package on this Klarus.  It’s a slip fit box, but not the normal type.  And as a bonus, there’s a little red ribbon which makes separating the halves very easy.  Inside, the light lives in a foam cutout.  The cell is shipped in the light but it’s physically isolated with a little slip of plastic.  That’ll need to be removed before use.  There’s also a GearBest inventory sticker, but fortunately in this case it’s on the side, and obscures nothing.

The manual is good.  It’s two sided, with one side in English and one in chinese. Here’s a manual pdf.  Huge thanks to manufacturers to making these pdfs available – really my preferred way to read manuals!!  Thanks Klarus!

The manual does a great job of describing features and specs and the UI and whatnot, and is well organized.  It’s also pocket sized, when folded.

Build Quality and Disassembly

Astute readers of my blog will note that I’m a huge fan of the pineapple style “knurling” (which isn’t really knurling, but that’s beside the point).  And this is very well finished.  There are some large cooling fins on the head, and a collar style, steel pocket clip.

The tailcap is smooth and unadorned.

20171230-IMG_9106.jpg

It’s possible to disassemble this light by unscrewing the head and tail.  The tail end (which is the end you’d use for cell changes) has very nice square cut threads, and is unanodized.  The head is triangle threads, but that’s not a problem since one would really never need to access this.  The cell tube is not reversible.  There’s a logo screen printed just inside the tube to indicate which direction the cell should be inserted.  Unusually, the cell goes with the negative end toward the emitter.  But that’s usual for these very small lights.

I was not able to remove the bezel which holds in the lens, but that’s not to say you couldn’t.  I currently have Nintendo 2DS thumb from playing “a little bit” of Mario Kart 7.  That’s just the facts.

Size

Officially (Head) 19.8mm x (Body) 20.5mm x (Length) 54.5mm.  Net Weight: 27g (0.95oz) (w/o battery).

This is probably not the smallest 16340 light available, but at this point I’d consider it basically a wash.  This thing is tiny!!  Below see it compared to the Olight S Mini, S1 Mini, and the Four Sevens Mini Mk II Titanium.

Retention

The Mi1C ships with a collar-style stainless steel pocket clip installed.  This can be removed – the head unscrews from the light and the clip may be taken off.  There’s an o-ring helping it to stay in place though, so you’ll have to go over that.  I didn’t remove it to see if there remains a gap, but the o-ring does stay in place so the light should retain waterproofness.

20171230-IMG_9102

There’s also a magnet in the tailcap, which is easily strong enough to secure this light.  The spring in the tailcap is removable but the magnet seems to be glued in.

20171230-IMG_9117.jpg

There’s no lanyard included, but the pocket clip is prepared – there’s a hole in the mouth of the clip, and three in the shoulder.

Power

Klarus provides a “700mAh” 16340 with this little light.  While the light doesn’t have on-board charging, the cell does.  This operates by means of micro-USB.  Note that a micro-USB cable isn’t included.  Note that the fit of this cell is very snug.  So snug that after my use of this light, the plastic wrap on the bottom corner is wearing through.  (More on this later!)  Other cells, for example a cr123a, seem to fit just fine.  The manual states a working voltage up to 4.2V.

20171230-IMG_9116.jpg

I runtime tested the light on High, and Medium.  Both tests were cooled.  Notice that on High the light is MUCH brighter than on Medium.  This isn’t an accident in testing – the modes actually are that different.

runtime_1.png

I’m including a zoom of the first few minutes, to get a better view of what the light does on High (since the long run on Medium kind of obfuscates it).  There does seem to be some temperature controlled output, but a little rough.

runtime_2.png

I also tested the charging of the cell, even though it’s not “on-board charging” strictly speaking.  When using the cell’s built in charging, here’s the result:

chargetime.png

The cell charges at around 0.32A, which is probably 0.5C.  Charging is also extremely stable in the CC phase, and pretty normal in the CV phase.  The cell doesn’t test to listed capacity though, at around 620mAh (and I always test a little high, too!).

Now what I mentioned about the cell above.  I accidentally dropped this 16340 in my MC3000 at 1A charging (carelessly) and the charger shut off due to temperature protection.  The setting was 45°C, and the cell was quite hot.  I got the temperature back down and the cell still works, but it no longer fits in the Mi1C!  So be careful with your cells, and bear in mind that the fit in this light is tight.

User Interface and Operation

There’s a single switch on this light.  It’s a side e-switch.  It’s small but a normal size for a small light (and the same size and texture and clickiness as many Olight switches.)  The UI is fairly intuitive.

20171230-IMG_9137.jpg

20171230-IMG_9107.jpg

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
 Off Click On (Memory)
 Off Hold Moonlight
 Off Double Click Strobe (fast, alternating)
 Strobe Double Click SOS
 Strobe Click Return to previous state (including off)
 On Click Mode cycle (L>H direction)
 On Hold (short) Off
 Any Hold (long) Lockout (confirmed by double flash)
 Lockout Any Lockout indicator (double flash)
 Lockout Triple click Unlock
 Off Triple click Battery indicator*

* Only with Li-ion 16340 cells.  Three flashes = 70-100%, two flashes = 30-70%, one flash = <30%.  When below 10%, the light will flash twice every three minutes.

That UI looks a little complicated (if you think long tables are necessarily complicated) but in general use it’s pretty simple, and unlikely that you’ll get an inappropriate mode accidentally.  I am pleased that the light offers a battery check option!!

Modes

 

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Mode Measured Lux Tailcap Amps
High 600 72m 11760 1.91
Medium 45 5h37m 1051 0.06
Low 10 32h 234
Moonlight 1 6d 46

Note the absolutely massive jump from Medium to High in drawn current.  Low and Moonlight are so low I can’t even measure them, but high draws 31x the current of Medium.  I’d really prefer a bit more even mode spacing, but appreciate the high of High.

LED and Beam

Klarus chose a Cree XP-L HI.  Maybe that’s an odd choice for an aspheric – it’s an emitter normally chosen in throwers.  I can’t find an official reference to the temperature of this emitter, and GearBest calls it “6500-7000K”.  The beam is unusual enough that it’s hard for me to get a fix on the temp, but I really don’t think it’s as cool as 6500-7000K.

20171230-IMG_9105.jpg

The beam is as aspherics should be: very floody.  Like super floody.  It’s not a mule, however – differing in the edges of the beam (they’re like…. “thicker” than a mule’s beam).

20171230-IMG_9110.jpg

As I said above:  People are going to crap on this beam profile, and say how useless it is.  I respectfully disagree, and I love it.  It’s great for stuff!  All sorts of stuff!  Stuffy stuff.  I like mules too, in fact, and the normal use case is making shadow hand puppets on the wall with my kids.

Tint vs BLF-348

20171231-IMG_9275.jpg

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Klarus Mi1c
Emitter Cree XP-L HI
Emitter Notes V3
Cell 16340
Glamour Shots Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]
Runtime Chargetime
LVP? Switch to Low
Claimed Lumens (lm) 600
Lux (Measured) 86 lux @ 2.727 m
Candela (Calculated) in cd 639.5
Throw (Calculated) (m) 50.6
Throw (Claimed) (m)

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

To be sure, there aren’t that many aspherics out there, much less 16340 XP-L HI versions.  The closest thing that comes to my mind excluding the emitter, is the McGizmo Sundrop.  I have the Sundrop XR-U, and I like it a lot.

Conclusion

What I like

  • High output is great
  • UI is nice on a user level, and very functional on a super-user level
  • Build quality is great
  • Cell is included

What I don’t like

  • Modes are strangely spaced
  • Cell fit is [too] tight out of the box

Up Next

This week I have Lumintop and Convoy on tap!

Notes

  • This light was provided by GearBest 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.  Note I’ve upgraded that sheet so that now, you may subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!
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