Review T50 LED with turbo red pill
Ludicrous Lumens T50 with upgraded Red LED
I recently purchased a T50 with an upgraded pill for my rifles which include air (sub and FAC), Rim through to centre fire.
I have always liked and recommended the T20 as being a good performer and a value for money bit of kit that punches above its weight for such a small and light, compact bit of kit.
I put my money where my mouth is and bought two – white and IR. It is a go to light and would recommend it to anyone looking for a decent all-rounder especially IRO NV IR illumination. If you have a high output floody LED installed, it is a great picker up light too when trying to find dropped game.
I bought the T67 a few months back too and whilst it undeniably has some very long legs………however, it is not IMHO a gun mountable light. It’s just too big and heavy.
If the money differential wasn’t so great, the Nightmaster is better as it is more compact and certainly much lighter and rifle friendly.
However, the price differential is something that cannot be ignored so my T67 is mounted with a handle and is used as a long range spotter and back-stop checker. To make the T67 a worthwhile contender, the deep depth of metal on the T67 head needs to be much thinner and could easily be reduced to shed a lot of weight. Actually….I think this could be applied to the body tube too.
The other thing I have thought about is to split the head and then set up a torpedo battery that can be remote on the rifle or wired to the battery in a pocket or similar. The latter puts you make into a wired solution which is not a great option but it’s a better solution than a full fat T67 on your rifle.
The T20 is an excellent performer but it has never had the legs I would feel comfy with for checking out the scene beyond the target in the cross hairs at the longer testing ranges. It isn’t a slouch but range is range and over engineering light output capability has always been a personal mantra. You can back it off but in the field, you can’t magic up extra.
The exception here is the IR version which is very capable unless you are straying into long range centre-fire NV where the T50 or T67 in IR will accommodate your needs.
So….it was with interest that I decided to buy a T50 with white and green and a turbo driven red LED.
There are better made lights out there in terms of precision engineering…..even to the methodology to switch pills with greater ease. However, for the money, the T series are built well and the finish of the external coating is actually very good and will wipe clean if it gets into grubby conditions.
But in terms of basic build quality V’s Performance V’s value for money, the T50 is a really good compromise that does work well in the field on top of an air, rim or centre fire rifle. If I asked for an LED torch that will cover all the bases, then the T50 is definitely worth very serious consideration. (Note, it is generally considered an unwise thing to use rechargeable cells in a heavy recoiling centre fire as the repeated banging will destroy the cells. It is better to use primary cells (throw-away).The other issue is recoil can be sufficient to break the electrical connection and turning off the light or changing the mode…….
The LED in red is a 3 mode (Low, Medium & High) model and it is driven harder than the standard red. I have been impressed with how it performs in the field.
I have done a number of reccies and also hunting sessions with it now and have to say it’s been a hit with me and it’s going to be a keeper. The guys I have shot with have been impressed too surprising them with how good this torch is in the field from close range spooky stuff to long range sitters.
It has been used on a rifle and in low mode has allowed you to adjust the lens and therefore the size of the beam at target to suit Air to rim ranges. I have not tried it on the centre fire but its range is certainly up to the punchier calibres. If I did use it for centre fire, I might consider having a lamp man rather than gun mounted as above.
The green has also proved to be interesting – better than I was expecting if I am honest but I found to my eye that the retinal eye reflection of smaller eyed quarry such as rabbits was easier for me with the red.
Maybe I am being unfair so I will give the green a better chance before I make stronger observations. It will certainly be interesting to see if using the different LED colours gives you more visible spectrum shooting before you have to switch to IR for pest control. I have not tested the green on the longer range distances so maybe it will prove more suited for the long stuff where red may be losing its ability to get there and back to the MK1 eyeball.
In terms of beam, the T series as indeed most aspherical lens torches are designed to throw the impression of the LED a good distance. On the right unit when the beam is at optimum focus, you will see the image of the LED emitter itself even down to where the - and + leads attach. The upside is long long throw well beyond the man in the streets expectations and it can be measured in terms of hundreds of yards for the T50 & 67.
The downside (if it is a downside) is that there is very little spill so when the focus is tight, the beam is a square of light. This is quite handy especially in the field where a conventional high output torch would light up and disturb as massive area. On a golf course with residential housing, this is not a good thing. The other advantage is that the very small amount of spill that is there will get eye bounce if close to the main beam so if you are a lamp man, you can get the rifleman onto spot before dropping the beam and illuminating the target for the shot and you don’t disturb half the county.
Funnily enough, I tend to set the square LED light pattern in a diamond shape so the corners point N S E & W. If I am lamping for someone, I will use one of these as a pointer for the rifleman to find the target point in their scope and then shift it onto target when they are ready. Also, as the north south is the widest vertical span, you can cover more vertical area when scanning and maybe catch something closer. This is especially so on the T50 which has a bigger footprint compared to the T67
Also, if you are in a vehicle, you can open the beam up to cover a larger area but still contain it to your cone of fire – again, not illuminating way beyond your arc of fire or even beyond your rifles shooting range. No point lighting up targets when they are well out of range. If you avoid this you will get more chances than a Wembley Stadium floodlight.
When the heads are opened up, the intensity of the light drops very quickly indeed. However, the payoff is that the cone will go very wide and it will be a very even wall of light unlike traditional torches where you will have a bright spot surrounded by spill light. This is really good in a low mode as you can cover a very wide area, get eye bounce without necessarily spooking quarry.
The T50 beam at it tightest is not as tight as the 67 but for hunting that isn’t actually a bad thing as the beam is easier to work with. But it isn’t no slouch either and it is certainly useable on a centre fire so long as the recoil isn’t too savage.
The T20 is adaptable depending which LED you put in as some are better at flooding whilst others are better for throwing. Basically, to throw the LED needs to be as small as possible but as the pill gets bigger, it becomes floody.
From a personal perspective, I feel there is great benefit in stripping these units down and removing the manufacturers grease if there is any at all. The tail cap is easy but the lens head is a bit more time consuming and the right tools are needed and a patient hand.
Currently, there is no disassembly tool you can use for the lens retaining collar or indeed the LED pills themselves and maybe the maker/supplier could consider this as an option to develop in the future. It isn’t impossible but you might have to hunt for the right tool especially to get round the domed lens.
However, when stripped, cleaned and an appropriate grease is applied everything is much silkier. It is worth the effort in my opinion.
A decent mount is essential……preferably one that allows for correction IRO windage and elevation as the pill size does mean you have to get the light onto the ret.
I use the one supplied for the Nightmaster as it has quick release for a piccy/weaver rail and the controls for windage and elevation are not too bad. I was always concerned that the adjustor screws would perhaps unwind and get lost in the field but to date (touch wood), this has not happened.
The finger screw that attaches the mount to the rail is a pain though as you cannot get enough tension to ensure a secure fixing so I have used metal putty to make a tab which is a lot easier to get the pressure you need to tighten and release.
It is also quite flexible as it will take 25 and 30mm bodied torch tubes which is handy so long as you don’t lose the insert which is distinctly possible.
In the field this unit will give you a good run for your money. I have not timed it but it was being used as a spotter and ran long enough to put a bag of 50 rabbits on the deck in one session.
I went for the twin cell version for this reason but I also carry spare cells so if for any reason I run out of juice, a couple of minutes has you back up and running on full and spare 18650’s take up no space at all.
It uses the lemming principle of warning. It will keep running until it hits the edge of the cliff then its straight down and game over. It isn’t an issue if you know and carry the right kit. I also always carry back up lights…..been caught out too many times by light or battery failures in the past.
I also bought some of the Samsung 18650 protected cells – 10 to be exact. Sadly one had a loose positive button so is defunct but the performance I am getting is certainly acceptable. I am a bit of a torch and battery snob so I usually only buy AW’s but the top of the range are over £20 a pop so I also wanted some workhorses for the less expensive non premium branded lights I own and use.
A note of caution here…….batteries of the same designation (such as 18650) do not always share the same dimensions either in length or diameter or indeed, protection circuits or button or flat top cells.
If you are in any doubt, always ask the manufacturer of the torch for their advice.
The Samsung’s are longer and chunkier than a lot of the cells I use and whilst I managed to get all to insert, one torch didn’t connect as the Samsung was too long.
In fairness, this is a top end high output torch that chucks out a huge amount of light and will slip in a pocket of your jeans without too much inconvenience. It is very battery fussy and if it isn’t a high end spec battery, it just won’t work. It is also a digital interface whereas the T series are simple clicky lights……
You can get a tape switch if you want to remote turn on but I gave up on these as it takes a surprising amount of pressure to press and hold and I found it was affecting my shot placement slightly. I leave the light on and edge the target till I am onto it and then drop for the shot.
On this point it would have been nice to see a spare clicky as this is a component that can fail with cheaper lights. That said, I have had no hint of this on my T series lights. Still it is handy to have…….Generally it is an easy fix but probably best done when not out in the field.
It is also worthwhile getting an intelligent charger like Nitecore or Fenix – they do some intel chargers for very reasonable money. I have quite a few lights now so a 4 cell is handy and I am thinking of getting another charger due to the number of cells and how much they get used
I got the lights from Ludicrouslumens (as in I bought them myself) and the green LED was supplied for testing so I will either buy it or return it. Watch this space.
Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them.
Hope this proves useful to someone
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