LumaPower M1 Hunter (Cree)

5 Stars

Light Type: Cree XR-E LED
Light Class: Outdoor / Specialty

Hello readers! As you should be aware, I have ceased "regular" reviewing due to pressures on my time. I am, however, going to continue adding an occasional review here and there, being much more selective on the lights I accept and when I accept them. This one caught my eye (and burned my retina) when I found that it was using one of the new high efficiency Cree XR-E LEDs and was available with two different reflectors, one smooth for great throw, and one textured for a smooth beam.

LumaPower is pretty new on the flashlight scene and this light is a serious entry into the field. Its output easily beats a Surefire P60-based 2 x 123A battery light (such as the G2 or 6P) by producing an estimated 115 lumens steadily for more than an hour. It also comes with either a 2 stage switch (optional 1 stage), smooth or optionally a textured reflector, extra O-rings and a spare tailcap cover which glows in the dark (installed cover is black).

Body: The body is made of thick machined aluminum with a hard anodize (type III) coating for serious durability. On the side is an easily removable clip (just unscrew the head and slide it up and out) and spiral texturing to assist with grip. The spiral grooves really don't help all that much with grip to be honest, but I think the only way it'll slip out of your hands is if you are careless due to the flange at the tailcap. The light can be fully disassembled. It is not glued or locktite'd at any of the screw-thread joints. Machining fit and finish is very good.

Bezel/Head: The front of the light head has a scalloped design for two purposes. First it serves to allow light to seep out if you place it down face first while on, thereby reminding you that you are burning up your batteries, and second the raised teeth could serve as an impromptu striking surface in a self-defense situation.

An anti-reflective (AR) coated lens window protects the reflector and Cree XR-E LED inside. The smooth reflector provides about 40% greater distance-lighting-ability (throw) relative to the textured reflector. The textured reflector provides a smoother beam with wider hotspot for closer-range applications.

Both reflectors are made of aluminum with a highly polished coating inside.

Output: The white light produced by the LED has no detectable hue or color tint in the white beam.

By my estimates it is producing about 115 lumens on the High setting, which means it outclasses both the P60 and the brighter P61 incandescent modules used in many Surefire 2x123A lights in terms of lumens output. It runs for an hour regulated with two 123A cells while the P60 runs for about an hour with declining output, and the P61 only runs 20 minutes. Regulation in the M1 with primary 123A cells is solid and flat on the high setting. In essence, it outperforms all 6V, 2-123A cell-powered, incandescent lights on the market that I am aware of, even those with high output lamps. By the way, the Low setting with 123A cells produces about 47 lumens. See this page about how I calculated these lumen estimates.

It can also use 18650 rechargeable 3.7V Lithium-Ion cells (commonly known as the Pila 600P) to produce slightly less output but still have great runtimes.

Runtime to 50%
123A High Smooth
7050 (83.94)
8300 (83.00)
1 hr 21 min
123A Low Smooth
2900 (53.85)
3400 (34.00)
6 hr 10 min
123A High Textured
5100 (71.41)
as above
as above
123A Low Textured
2200 (46.90)
as above
as above
18650 High Smooth
6500 (80.62)
7600 (76.00)
4 hr 10 min
18650 Low Smooth
1280 (35.77)
1570 (15.70)
26 hr 38 min
18650 High Textured
4700 (68.56)
as above
as above
18650 Low Textured
1000 (31.62)
as above
as above

All throw readings are in Lux at one meter. The numbers in parenthesis are for comparison in the Comparison Charts.

Beam at one meter at target center Smooth vs. Textured

Here's a fun image trick - Mouse over (no click needed) to compare Smooth vs Textured

Runtime Plot: Here we can see the real advantage of the Cree LEDs. About twice the output as previous high output LEDs but with about the SAME runtime as the previous ones. So the efficiency is about double that of previous LEDs. This really brings LEDs up to the level where they can directly compete with many incandescent bulbs.

Runtime completed with "Titanium" brand batteries. More information on runtime plots is available HERE.

Runtime completed with "Titanium" brand batteries. More information on runtime plots is available HERE.

Runtime completed with Pila brand 600P 18650 batteries. More information on runtime plots is available HERE.

Runtime completed with Pila brand 600P 18650 batteries. More information on runtime plots is available HERE.

Switch: The switch is user replaceable. At the time of this writing this light comes with a 2 stage reverse clickie. Press once for low, second time gets you high and last click turns it off. A single-stage tactical click switch is in the works and may even be done already. Note that on this sample the HA-III anodize of the tailcap was a *slightly* different (darker) color than the rest of the light. Not a big deal.

Seals / Water Resistance: O-rings protect the light at all potential points of water entry. Dunkable at the least.

If it gets wet inside, just disassemble as much a possible without tools and let it dry before using again.

Ergonomics: It's about the same size as most 2x123A cell lights, so no surprises here.

Size compared to a common 2AA aluminum light

Batteries: Two 123A cells power the light. I would recommend Titanium brand cells for $1.00 each (here's a review) or BatteryStation or Surefire brand cells for less than $2 each. I would not recommend purchasing these cells at retail stores since they cost $10 a pair or more in most retail stores! Be aware that there are some inherent risks in using lights powered by multiple 123A cells, so take appropriate precautions. Insert the batteries positive first. The light has a reverse polarity protection system built in so the negative side of the battery cannot touch the positive contact at the base of the head.

Don't be surprised when your normal 123A cells have some extra room around them when you put them in. A single 18650 rechargeable (Pila 600P) Lithium Ion cell can also power the light, and in fact the barrel of the light is cut extra wide inside so that this type of battery can be used. If you decide to use an 18650 cell, you will need to remove the head from the barrel of the light and put an included screw into the positive contact at the base of the head. It will only tighten so far before the brass fitting you put the screw into freely turns. That's OK, there's no need to tighten it further.

The 18650 cell does not have a nipple contact so the screw is needed. If you leave the screw in, the reverse polarity protection is defeated and the light can be damaged if you insert cells the wrong way. POSITIVE always goes toward the head of the light. Do not insert the screw if you will only use 123A cells.

To change out the batteries: unscrew the tailcap, drop out the old cells, place in new cells observing proper polarity. Reattach the tailcap and you're ready to go.

Accessories: The sample received includes 3 spare O-rings, a Glow In The Dark (GITD) tailcap cover, two screws for use with 18650 cells (only one is needed, the other is a spare) and a sample single stage tailswitch. I believe this extra switch comes with the light but don't hold me to it - no guarantees. A holster is not yet available from the maker, but I have been told that a Ripoffs CO-30 will fit this light.

Conclusions: Kicks butt. Great implementation of the new Cree LED. Super regulation with 123A cells and great (and economical) runtimes with the 18650 rechargeable cells. The LumaPower M1 puts all the 6V 123A incandescent lights to shame as far as I'm concerned. It's not cheap, but at $15 each for 6V incandescent lamp assemblies, this LED light will pay for itself over time since the bulb will never need changing.

Quick Facts Table:

Item Reviewed.......................... LumaPower M1 Hunter
Review Date ............................. February 2007
Country of Origin ...................... China
Case Material ........................... Type III anodized aluminum
Case Features .......................... Textured for grip, pocket clip
Case Access Type .................... Unscrew tailcap
Switch Type ............................. Single or Two-stage reverse clickie
Reflector Type ......................... Smooth or textured
Lens Type ................................ AR coated glass
Bulb Type ................................. Cree XR-E LED
Beam Type ............................... Spot-type
Beam Characteristics ............... Depends on reflector
Throw (Lux) at 1m (click for description) see table above
Overall Output (click for description) see table above
Battery / Power Type................ 2 x 123A or 18650 Li-Ion
Battery Life (advertised) ........... n/a
Battery Life (test results) ........... see charts above
Environmental Protection ......... O-ring seals
Weight (oz.) with batteries ....... 5.3 oz. (need to convert to grams?)
Special Items of Note ............... Accessories included.
Warranty .................................. unknown, but customer service by the supplier seems very good
Retail Cost ................................ ~79.00 US$ at time of review. See this page for dealers, or


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