Flashlight Review: JetBeam T6 (2016 model) 4350 Lumen

flashlight-23

The JetBeam T6 is a mid-sized flashlight, small enough to fit into the back pocket of your jeans, but one that packs a powerful 4,350 Lumen Turbo-mode punch. This flashlight is easily the most versatile flashlight I own and it has become my go-to flashlight in any situation.

Jetbeam is a respected brand but not as well known as its very popular sister brand Nitecore. I would think most flashlight aficionado’s have at least one Nitecore battery charger in their collection (I have three or four). Both JetBeam and Nitecore are brands of SYSMAX Industries.

flashlight-13

The flashlight is relatively small. It is 6″ in height (~15cm), 2″ in width at the base (~5cm) and 3.4″ in width at the front (8.5cm”). It fits my hands well and, as mentioned before, my jeans’ back pocket.

flashlight-29

Without batteries the JetBeam T6 weighs in at 1 pound and 3.3 ounces (545 grams).

flashlight-30

It is dwarfed by my Lumitop SD75 (also pictured with my Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone) despite having slightly more maximum light output!

flashlight-11

The T6 is powered by four 18650 lithium cells. Included with my T6 were four 3,400 mAh OLIGHT cells. OLIGHT is a respectable manufacturer which adds protection to the ubiquitous Panasonic NCR18650B. Unfortunately the protection circuitry on the cells I was sent did not function correctly. During testing I managed to discharge these cells below 3 volts.

flashlight-31

The T6 has four CREE XLamp XP-Ls, each of which have a theoretical maximum output of 1150 lumens. The T6’s stated Turbo output of 4,350 Lumens is easily achievable with these LEDs.

flashlight-12

flashlight-22

cree xp-l

JetBeam T6 has four modes (plus SOS). The modes are:

  • Turbo 4350 Lumen *
  • High 1500 Lumen
  • Medium 350 Lumen
  • Low 30 Lumen

Comparing the Lumen output to other flashlights, I believe they are accurate (or at least as accurate as my eyeballs are). I took the below photos with my camera on full Manual mode (to avoid the camera compensating for different light levels). The tree in the photo is 100 yards away.

flashlight-5

No Light

Low

Low

Medium

Medium

High

High

Turbo

Turbo

Switching between modes is easy. Double pressing the “on” button always switches the light to Turbo mode. Pressing the “on” button once turns on the flashlight to the last mode, and pressing again cycles through the different modes (Turbo > High > Medium > Low). Double pressing the SOS button always switches to Low mode. A single press of the SOS button activates the strobe function.

My main criticism of this flashlight, and of all multi-led flashlights, is that the beam is not perfectly round and so light is lost on the edges. The beam is cross shaped as you can see in the photo below:

flashlight-21

The atrocious diagram I drew below shows the beam angles, from the hot spot in the middle to the edge of the main beam.

beam angles

The small size of the flashlight comes with a compromise. It lacks a large heatsink and so the output is thermally throttled. If it overheats, the light output will decrease. This is only going to affect Turbo mode, which I found started to be throttled as it heated up to ~105 °F (~40 °C). The photo below shows the temperature, measured by K-type thermocouples, of the head and of the body just as it began to throttle.

flashlight-32

At an ambient temperature of around 69 °F (~20 °C) the flashlight took about 15 minutes before it started throttling output. The flashlight in this test was standing on its base, so it was a worse case measurement. If it had air moving around it (such as if you were carrying it) I would expect it to operate at a higher intensity for a longer period of time. According to the manual, it throttles output slowly until it is under 70% of the original output, or under 3000 Lumens.

I am quite happy with this compromise. I would rather have a small flashlight that decreases in output as it heats up, over a much larger flashlight, such as my SD75 which does not throttle but is about twice the size.

The runtimes are:

  • Turbo 1:48 hours (as measured by me) *
  • High 4-5 hours (as measured by me) **
  • Medium 21 hours (according to the specifications)
  • Low 300 hours (over 12 days, according to the specifications)

* I measured and wrote down exactly 1:48 hours, which believe it or not is exactly, to the minute, what the official specifications are. I can barely believe I have finally found a company that does not lie about the flashlight runtimes!

** The official runtime for High mode is 4:30 hours. I roughly got 5:30 hours, but in this test I over-discharged the batteries. I roughly estimate I got a good 5 hours.

flashlight-6

flashlight-18

When the batteries are below 20% an LED built into the buttons slowly flashes blue, when battery capacity drops below 10% the blue LED starts flashing fast.

The flashlight is well constructed. It has IPX-8 (immersion) water protection to a depth of 2 meters (6.5 feet). I did not test the water protection because I could see that the seals were more than adequate and well lubricated with silicone grease.

flashlight-14

flashlight-17

The specifications say it has 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) impact resistance. The glass has a double multi-coating (the blue tint seen in the photo above) for excellent optical transmission. The flashlight has standard 1/4″ tripod mount underneath, with plenty of space to actually attach to a tripod without any adapters (unlike my Lumitop SD75).

flashlight-16

Included in the attractive box is a manual, a spare o-ring, a shoulder strap (the clip on mine broke) and a free mini-keyring flashlight.

 

flashlight-24

flashlight-25

The T6 was supplied with a Nitecore Intelli i4 charger. This is easily one of the most popular chargers for 18650 batteries. It also charges Ni-MH and NiCad batteries.

flashlight-26

flashlight-27

flashlight-9

Jetbeam offers a 24 month warranty on both the flashlight and the charger.

The flashlight comes in three packages. The first is just the flashlight for $199.85, the flashlight plus batteries is $219.85 and flashlight+batteries+charger is $274.85. It can be purchased from Amazon or from Bensnail.com

As of September 2016, Using the promo code TFBT6D90 on Amazon knocks 10% off the regular price (I don’t know when this expires).

I wholeheartedly recommend this flashlight. It is incredibly powerful, but small enough to use day to day. The issue I had with the batteries is minor and I am sure they will replace my cells under warranty. If it worries you, just buy the T6 without batteries and use your favorite brand of batteries.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


Advertisement

  • PK

    Wasn’t this just on Massdrop? I feel like I just looked into this flashlight. Good to see a review.

  • noamsaying

    I have this flashlight. Really rock solid. Dropped from about 4 feet with no damage. The only beef that I have is that the clips on the shoulder strap are cheap plastic and quickly broke.

    • Looks like they have replaced the should strap plastic clips with metal clips, but my metal clip still broke. The strap is worth about $1 on ebay, so I am not concerned.

  • Amplified Heat

    You must either have huge pants, or a tiny butt, to carry something that bulky in your back pocket & still be able to do anything. At two bills, I think it at least deserves a proper holster.

    • If I was planning on carrying it around all day for work, then sure, a holster would work well. It is quite a small flashlight.

      • Roper1911

        Maybe for the output. But dear god! Its a frigging brick compared to my EC11 or MT10C

      • Jonathan Millican

        What is the candela value ? I see how many lumens but no candela.

    • JFloogrmheimer

      Seriously, you keep calling it “small,” but compared to what, an aircraft carrier? Never mind a holster, I’d want a shoulder sling or have it mounted on a vehicle.

    • Paul White

      I can’t be the only one that generally prefers lower lumen lights that are 1/3 that size (or hell, smaller). the LED revolution’s been great for me. Things like Streamlights Strion series or some of Fenix’s stuff. I mean sure theli ghts like he reviewed here aren’t any worse size/weight wise than the old mag lights, but man, I can go so much smaller and lighter for performance that 10 or 15 years ago would be utterly mind blowing.

  • Jonathan Millican

    Streamlight Stinger DS for 143.00 on Amazon. Far cheaper & Superior. It is also rechargeable with a extra battery.

    • M C

      With a maximum output of less than 700 lumens, a run time on low (170 lumens) that’s less than this Jetbeam on high (1500 lumens) and it uses NiMH batteries. Are you sure you didn’t mean to leave this comment on a review of a Maglite on some other website?

      • Jonathan Millican

        Spend your money however you want. It only matters to me how I spend mine lol… I work nights and I see flashlights of all name brands come and go & I stand by my first post. I’ll leave the Maglite reviews to you (haha).

  • Also comes in handy on hunting/fishing/camping trips; if you lose your camp stove, you can still cook eggs with it.

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    Excellent review! Thanks. I’m woefully ignorant on modern flashlights and this is good stuff.

  • kipy

    I use a JetBeam WL-S4 to take my pooch out for night poops out in the woods. Its about half the lumens of this model, but I can’t even imagine what 4350 would look like. One benefit of the one I have is it makes you feel like a damn Jedi when you’re holding it.

  • derfelcadarn

    As to the ambient temp remark as to throttling feature test being worst case scenario, the flashlight being held in a warmer hand(+20c degrees) it seems unlikely would improve performance.

    • RocketScientist

      Most of the heat dissipates from the head (where you typically do not hold it). Not much is going to conduct down the length of the thin sheetmetal of the tube and dissipate that way. So the effect of a barely-warmer-than-the-tube hand being in contact with it is not going to effect total heat dissipation much at all. Conversely, in regular use, its very common that you will be walking, swinging your arms, moving the flashlight from side to side, etc. Even a TINY bit of forced convection (breeze) across the surface of the considerably-hotter-than-ambient head will dramatically increase the rate of heat transfer compared to the free-convection-only test setup featured here. Of course actual test data would be needed to PROVE this, but i would be AMAZED if the light didn’t run noticeably cooler, or last longer before throttling, while being held in the hand and moved around slightly as during normal use.

  • nova3930

    I’m personally not happy unless I can boil water on my flashlight……

  • avconsumer2

    Eh. Charging looks like a pain. This is why I FourSevens. MMU-X3R is half the lumens, but when not charging my phone, I just plug in the micro USB. Can’t imagine needing much more light – even 2k is overkill for my purposes.