KD C12 XPL HI

In this review I discuss the C12 and towards the end include details and beamshots of the C8 for comparison purposes.

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Sellers/Manufacturers Specs

The KD C12 with a XPL Hi comes in multiple models. The differences are in the modes provided and the type of reflector includes OP ("orange peel") or SMO (Smooth).


Below is a list of models along with a link to the Kaidmain site.

KD C12 C12SM1 Cree XP-L HI V2 6500K 1600 Lumens 1-Mode SMO LED Flashlight - Black (1 x 18650)

KD C12 C12SM3 Cree XP-L HI V2 6500K 1600 Lumens 3-Mode SMO LED Flashlight - Black (1 x 18650)

KD C12 C12SM5 Cree XP-L HI V2 6500K 1600 Lumens 5-Mode SMO LED Flashlight - Black (1 x 18650)

KD C12 C12OM1 Cree XP-L HI V2 6500K 1600 Lumens 1-Mode OP LED Flashlight - Black (1 x 18650)

KD C12 C12OM3 Cree XP-L HI V2 6500K 1600 Lumens 3-Mode OP LED Flashlight - Black (1 x 18650)

KD C12 C12OM5 Cree XP-L HI V2 6500K 1600 Lumens 5-Mode OP LED Flashlight - Black (1 x 18650)

 

At the time of posting this review all were priced at $21.91 shipped.

The torch tested is the KD C12 C12OM5 model.

The web site listed specifications of the tested torch are,


Brand:

KD

Model:

C12OM5

Flashlight Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Flashlight Color:

Black

Emitter Brand/Type:

Cree

Emitter BIN:

XP-L HI

Color BIN:

White 6500K

Total Emitters:

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Battery Configurations:

1 x 18650 Li-ion batteries (not included)

Voltage Input:

3.2V - 4.2V

Switch Type:

Clicky

Switch Location:

Tail Cap

Modes:

5

Mode Memory:

-

Mode Arrangement:

Lo(5%) > Med(30%) > Hi(100%) > Strobe > SOS

Circuitry:

Digital Regulated 2500mA Current Output

Brightness:

1600 lumens maximum brightness (manufacturer rated)

Runtime:

2 to 3 Hours (manufacturer rated)

Lens:

Coated Glass Lens

Reflector:

Aluminum Textured / OP Reflector

Carrying Clip:

-

Carrying Strap:

Yes

Other Features:

Waterproof IPX-4 Standard

Dimension:

160mm (L) x 45mm (Dia. of Head) x 25mm (Dia. of Body)

Weight:

165g (not include battery)

Package Content:

1 x KD C12 C12OM5 Flashlight


The torch length is approximately 15cm and the head size is 45mm.

The torch was delivered well packed in a bubble envelope and arrived undamaged/marked.

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From the left (Convoy S2, KD C12, KD C8 and Convoy X3)

The torch is very similar in length to the C8 model, only a few millimeters shorter. The key difference is the head design which included very large cooling fins to dissipate heat more effectively.

Below is a front on photo of the head, showing clearly the XPL-HI LED.

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Next is the inner section of the head. The aluminum reflector was removed reveling the Drop in which is brass. The LED board is copper.

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The torch dismantled

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The knurling on the body is very good. Somewhat smooth, but not slippery. The grip is good. The threads are slightly square and came with minimal lubing which is easily resolved. The torch is coated in black anodization. I cannot confirm if it’s type HAII. The quality is very good to excellent in finish. As mentioned earlier there are nil imperfections or chips in the supplied torch. Black O Rings included.

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The driver is a NANJG 105C 8x7135 with 380mA regulators. It has last mode memory. Although the model supplied has 5 modes it can easily be changed via soldering the appropriate star to ground.

http://www.kaidomain.com/p/S023810.Nanjg-105C-AMC7135-x-8-MCU-3040mAh-4-Group-2-5-modes-17mm-Circuit-Board


1. 2 mode, Low 10% - High 100%

2. 3 mode, Low 5% - Mid 30% - High 100%

3. 3 mode, Low 5% - High 100% - Fast strobe ( or low strobe 2hz, flash twice per second)

4. 5 mode, Low 5% - Mid 30% - High 100% - Fast strobe – SOS


On medium there is a just noticeable buzzing sound. It’s quite faint.


A close up of the drop in shows good quality soldering of the components to the PCB The voltage regulators are clearly labelled as 38A (380mA)

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Side vide of the drop in. The copper LED board is clearly visible.

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The tail cap is not the same as that of a C8. The button bulge at the end of the tail cap is not as per the C8. This torch can tail stand whereas the C8 cannot. Short lanyard came supplied and fitted to the torch.

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The torch bezel and Lens. The lens does appear to be glass. I suggested in my C8 review that the lens appeared to be plastic. On closer inspection it is glass. It is listed as coated.

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One surprise encountered was the inability of the torch to accommodate non protected batteries. On first receiving the torch I inserted a LG HE4 (65mm in length) and found it failed to operate. On substituting the battery with a protected longer Panasonic NCR 18650B (70mm length), the problem was solved. The Body tube appears too long to easily accommodate shorter unprotected cells. Later in this review I present some LUX readings where I use a LG HE4 in this torch. A small 2mm thick rare earth (neodymium) magnet was attached to the “-“ end on the cell. This overcame the tube size issue and enabled the torch to work effectively.


Photos below of the C12 (left) and C8 (right). The tail cap on the c12 differs, however the overall design is unable to deal with shorter 18650 batteries.

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Below are beam shots for the C8 and C12.

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Outdoor shots (distant tree is approximately 70m away)

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Tailcap and LUX readings.

led battery
tail cap current(high)
tail cap current
(medium)
tail cap current
(low)
kd c12 xpl hi v2 panasonic 18650b 3.02a 0.9a 0.15a

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When swapping the SMO for the OP reflector I didn't see the same results in the battery charts for the C12.



Summary


The KD C12 proved to be a good performer. Overall a good torch.

Below is a summary table comparing the KD C8 to the C12. Although the C12 scores well the C8 is just ahead on a few points, making it better choice. Given the price difference is minor I would recommend the C8 over the C12. Both are good choices, but if I had to pick one it would be the C8. The C12 driver was a 5 mode. I ignored the strobe and SOS in this review and focussed on the 3 normal light modes.

kd c8 smo/op
xpl-hi
kd c12 smo/op
xpl-hi
Host c8 host c12 host
LED xpl hi v2 xpl hi v2
Driver
kd v2 8 x 7135 (380ma)
3.04a
nanjg 8 x 7135 (380ma)3.04a
audible noise on medium
Tailcapcurrent
measured
~3.0a ~3.0a
Modes many variations set via solder tabs many variations set via solder tabs
Mode Memory yes last mode yes last mode
Battery Type 18650
(protected and unprotected)
18650 (length must be > 67mm)
Tail Stand no yes
Brightness very good good
Host/Torch Quality very good very good
Overall Assessment very good good

C12 Pros:

- Good driver delivers 3.0A on high

- 3 Light levels with Memory. LOW, MEDIUM and HIGH. Can be changed via soldering

- Price is good considering the XP-L Hi is new to the market.

- Can Tail Stand

- Clean beam pattern

- Good Mode Spacing.

- Doesn’t heat up to the point where it’s too hot to hold.


C12 Cons:

- Not as bright as the C8 tested

- Audible buzz on Medium

- Cannot accommodate shorter batteries without a spacer.


Reviewer : Rolz @ BLF

Source : http://www.budgetlightforum.com/node/41330#node-41330