How Does Wuben Push the Boundaries?
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I review the Wuben T1, a unique tactical flashlight with an interesting and clever tailswitch design I’ve never seen before.
General thoughts after a week of usage/size comparison/practicality/interesting things:
• Most of us know that Wuben makes a ton of EDC and general-purpose lights… but it wasn’t until recently that I realized that Wuben also has a tactical range of flashlights. The T1 stood out to me above the rest. Apart from it looking like a lightsabre, if you compare it to the others in the Wuben tactical range, this one is fully decked out with everything you’d want in a tactical light + some unique features I’ve never seen before. Surprisingly, it’s not even Wuben’s most expensive tactical light.
• What comes in the box: lanyard, USB-C charging cable, 18650 cell, instruction manual, and the light itself.
• Size comparison with other tactical flashlights (both 18650/21700)
Overall Construction, LED, lens, bezel and reflector
• Machining is high quality with intricate details around the battery tube/knurling. There are also some deep cutouts around the head that will help improve heat dissipation. Feels robust, and durable. The anodizing is slightly glossy black and a bit slippery. Thankfully, the knurling helps with this. There’s also a rubber/silicon tactical ring below the tailcap that guides your hand to the most balanced grip. The balancing point is just below the head of the light, which is perfect based on a standard grip. Also surprising given how large the head is.
• Hidden USB-C charging port – bottom part of the head unscrews. O-rings prevent water from entering. There’s also a battery indicator, similar to the ones I have on my Fenix lights. Large double-sided clip – it’s screwed into the head via two torx screws.
• The biggest surprise of all is the tailswitch. It’s a single switch that can be activated in three different ways (sidewards, half press, full press). This allows one-step access to stobe/turbo – super important for me in a tactical light. The T1 also tailstands.
• SST40 – with a large, smooth reflector. I wonder why they didn’t opt for an SFT40. Would have increased the throw even more. Crenulated bezel with glass lens.
UI – modes
• Two configurations to choose from – tactical and outdoor. Almost identical, except outdoor mode enables mode memory and allows access to all four brightness modes (eco, low, medium, high). Switch configurations through 5 x taps + 1 x full click. The light will blink to indicate config. Change.
• Very simple UI which is important in a tactical light. From off-half press for momentary high. Full press for constant-on high. Push the switch up or down for the strobe. When on, push the switch up or down to toggle between low/high. On outdoor mode, you can toggle between all four brightness settings instead of two.
• Special modes: constant strobe – hold the button up or down for longer than 2 seconds. SOS – double press the button up or down.
Performance – total output, beam profile, longevity, practicality
• CCT, CRI, Ceiling bounce test
• Beam profile: perfectly round hotspot with ample amounts of spill. The SST40 has the advantage here in producing a nicer, slightly diffused beam compared to the SFT40. This comes at a reduction in throw. The large SMO reflector does a great job in offsetting this effect.
• Pretty large for an 18650 light. I wonder why Wuben didn’t opt for the 21700 + 18650/CR123 adapter cartridge instead? The head of the light is large and a slight increase in the diameter of the battery tube would have been tolerable, given the advantage of the higher capacity 21700 cell. Not a deal breaker, 18650 provides enough juice for sustained output. Another positive is that you can use 2xCR123 primaries in this light as well for emergencies. The larger head also means improved heat dissipation.
• Limited accessories included – a holster would be nice. The clip is sturdy enough to carry on your belt though.
• No other LED choice – would be good to have an updated SFT40, XHP70.3 HI version too. The latter would pair well with the large reflector.
• No shortcut to ECO mode.
• This is a solid tactical flashlight fit for duty applications, and security patrol. The outdoor mode transforms the light into a general-purpose light as well for around the house or hiking.