HaikeLite SC26 – The 26350/26650 Fatty Review

Preface

After the unfortunate group buy fiasco, the SC26 also affectionately known as the Fatty (due to its appearance in 26350 format), is finally available through several online retailers.

It now sports a XHP35 HD or XHP35 HI LED, along with several other body colors.

With a choice of ramping UI and fixed modes UI, 2 different battery formats and 6 tritium slots – it all seems like we are on to a home run or is it?

Note: The model used in this review is the Silver/White Color (XHP35 HI NW) version.

There is a special discount code for this flashlight, click HERE to view it!

Packaging & First Impressions

This is what the light will come with as shown below.

  • Packaging is minimalist.
  • There are 6 tritium slots that will fit the 1.5mm x 6mm-sized tritium vials.
  • The threads and o-rings were mildly lubricated. Threads were rather smooth and clean (no gritty feeling).
  • The battery tube is not reversible.
  • The provided clip is supposedly not reversible but it will fit for slightly better head-down carry.
  • The clip has relatively sufficient tension to ensure that the light will stay clipped to any material to prevent the light from falling out. That said, a little bending helps to increase the tension substantially.
  • The side electronic switch requires a somewhat firm press to activate and is possible for accidental activation in pocket.
  • Anodizing of this sample is uniform in color but relatively thin.
  • The 26650 battery compartment holds a Klarus 26650 5000mAh battery with barely much room for a slightly thicker battery width. Larger capacity (fatter/taller) 26650 batteries might not be able to fit into the battery tube.
  • The more common 18650 and 18350 batteries will fit into the 26650 and 26350 bodies respectively, should you be unable to get ahold of the less common 26350 batteries.

Top:

Sides:

Box Contents:

Quick Overview (Manufacturer Specifications)

  • Body Material Options:
    • Black Aluminium
    • Brown Aluminium
    • Blue Aluminium
    • Green Aluminium
    • Silver/White Aluminium — This Review Sample
  • LED Options with Carclo 10622 Narrow Spot Plain Optic:
    • XHP35 HD CW (6500K)
    • XHP35 HD NW (5000K)
    • XHP35 HI CW (6500K)
    • XHP35 HI NW (5000K) — This Review Sample
  • Battery Format: 1 x 26650 / 1 x 26350 / 2 x 26350 ONLY
  • Output (XHP35 HD CW):
    • Ramping / Mode UI
      • Low (2 lumens)
      • Turbo (2050 lumens)
      • Note: for NW (Neutral White) and XHP35 HI variants, output tends to be ~10 to 15% lower than above specifications – due to LED limitations.
  • Dimension: 35mm (head/body diameter) x 125mm (length – 26650 tube) / 85mm (length – 26350 tube)
  • Weight: 98g (excluding batteries)
  • Battery reverse polarity protection
  • Accessories Included:
    • 2*Spare O-rings
    • 1*26650 tube
    • 1*26350 tube
    • 1*Pocket Clip
  • MSRP: ~$55 (Click HERE to see the special discount coupon code!)

UI (User Interface)

UI for this light is good for Every Day Carry (EDC) as it is rather straightforward to use.

Switching ON and OFF is done by the side electronic switch on the light, so momentary activation is not possible.

There are 2 settings (RAMPING and MODES) style to operate the light.

RAMPING Setting (Default setting from Factory)

From OFF:

  • 1 Click – Last brightness level used – last mode memory.

From ON:

  • 1 Click – Light will switch OFF.
  • 2 Click – Direct access to TURBO; 2 Click again to go back to last mode.
  • HOLD (~1.5 sec) – Light will ramp UP/DOWN till TURBO/LOW, release switch to set at that level; HOLD again to reverse ramping sequence. When the light reaches LOW/TURBO, the light will blink once to indicate the lowest/highest output.

*Ramping Sequence is not as smooth as the Emisar D4 and ramping from either direction takes about ~2.5 secs.*

MODES Setting

From OFF:

  • 1 Click – Last brightness level used – last mode memory.

From ON:

  • 1 Click – Light will switch OFF.
  • 2 Click – Direct access to TURBO; 2 Click again to go back to last mode.
  • 3 Click (HOLD on the 3rd Click) – LOCKOUT mode is enabled; 3 Click (HOLD on the 3rd Click) again – LOCKOUT is disabled and MOMENTARY STROBE is activated, release switch to enter constant on mode.
  • 5 Click – MODES Group Configuration/Selection (If selecting Group 2, wait for 2 flashes before 1 Click to switch OFF, to select that Group).
    • Group 1: 150 lumens > 450 lumens > 1050 lumens
    • Group 2: 2 lumens > 750 lumens> 2050 lumens
    • Group 3: 2 lumens > 150 lumens> 750 lumens > 2050 lumens
    • Group 4: 2 lumens > 20 lumens > 150 lumens > 750 lumens > 1200 lumens > 2050 lumens
    • Group 5: 2 lumens > 2050 lumens > STROBE > SOS

Switching Settings (RAMPING ⇔ MODES)

From ON:

  • 8 Click to switch from RAMPING to MODES and vice versa.

Battery Capacity Indicator

  • When light is switched ON, Battery Capacity Indicator (Switch LED will display one of the following colors) will always be ON [See photo below].
    • Constant BLUE LED – Battery is >3.6V.
    • Flashing BLUE LED – Battery is <3.6V.
    • Flashing RED LED – Battery is <3V (Time to Recharge / Replace Battery).
    • Note: There is no battery capacity indicator when 2 x 26350 batteries are used.

Thermal Protection Setting

By factory default, when the temperature is above 45 degree, the light will step down to 450 lumens.

To adjust the setting to a higher temperature, switch ON the light and carry out the following steps.

  • 10 Click to enter Thermal Protection Configurator (If selecting Option 2, wait for 2 flashes before 1 Click to switch OFF, to select that Option).
    • Option 1: 45 degree step down.
    • Option 2: 55 degree step down.
    • Option 3: 65 degree step down.

Form Factor

For flashlights that are intended to use on a daily basis (EDC), BOB or walking/hiking usages and for possibly a long period of time, form factor is extremely important.

For the 26350 and 26650 form factor, this light feels relatively well balanced in a medium sized hand (not head/tail-heavy). Switching between overhand and underhand holding method is easy with its form factor. The knurling on the light enables the light to be sufficiently “grippy”, even with wet hands/gloves.

However, anodizing tends to be on a thinner side so try to avoid removing and re-attaching the clip, once it is installed on the 26650 tube.

It can tail-stand perfectly without the slightest wobble.

Beam Style/Beamshots

For this light, the spill, corona and hotspot is somewhat predictable due to the rather deep Light Orange Peel Reflector. With the LED used, the beam is still rather “throwy” for recognising items in the near to mid-range distance.

The above beam profile is a rough interpretation of what is seen when white wall hunting. The beam has a distinct hotspot with some slight corona and a fairly usable (circular) spill. It also helps that the XHP35 HI LED is perfectly centred in this sample. There is a slight ring (no dark “donut”) in the beam when whitewall hunting but is not visible in real world usage.

All of the beamshots taken below are done so with the following camera settings (“2 lumens” & “20 lumens”: 0.8sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB, “150 lumens”: 0.5sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB, and “750 lumens”, “1200 lumens” & “2050 lumens”: 1/5sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB).
Some pictures have been adjusted slightly to depict as close as to what is seen in real life. The distance of the light from the door is 4.6m.

As mentioned earlier, the lumen output specification provided by the manufacturer is for the XHP35 HD CW version, the XHP35 HI NW version should be ~10-15% lower.
The following pictures are with regards to MODES Setting – Group 4’s output.

Control shot:

“2 lumens”:

“20 lumens”:

“150 lumens”:

“750 lumens”:

“1200 lumens”:

“2050 lumens”:

Mode (Output) Spacing

Mode spacing (RAMPING/MODES Setting) appears to be progressively brighter to the eye and the modes are well spaced enough to be able to select just about any level one would need. With that in mind, TLR tend to view mode spacing as battery life indicators (amount of runtime left) rather than the specific output (lumens).

For the RAMPING Setting, the ramping through the various levels could be improved slightly to have a smoother ramping. With our review sample, when ramping from LOW to TURBO, it will ramp up to a certain level and pauses momentarily, before continuing ramping.

For the MODES Setting, especially with reference to Group 4 –  it would have been much better if the 750 lumens mode is in the 500 lumens region and the 1200 lumens mode is in the 1000 lumens region. This would make the mode change appear more apparent from each other and increase runtime as well.

It would be nice if HaikeLite would incorporate a MOONLIGHT mode to one that is at moonlight level (sub-lumen or 1 lumen) for those bedtime runs or during which having 2 lumens is still too bright for the night-adjusted eyes.

Tint & CRI

HaikeLite did not disclose the CRI (Color Rendering Index) for the LEDs used in their light. For this light, a guesstimate would be in the 70ish CRI ballpark. The tint on this light is 5000K.

There are some slight tint shifts throughout the beam profile. The hotspot is almost creamy white whilst the corona and most of the spill possessing a neutral white with slight yellow tint; and the spill having a slight yellow tint.
This is however, not as noticeable in real life.

Waterproofness

Despite not having an official waterproof rating, we went ahead to test it as though it is a IPX8 flashlight.

The light was subjected to warm water submersion, followed by cold water submersion and left under room temperature running water tap whilst running on TURBO.

No signs of water intrusion in the head, switch or body was seen.

Lockout Capability

Both mechanical & electronic lockout are possible for this light when needed, like during transportation in a bag/pocket.

With the slightly protruding side switch, it is highly recommended to lockout the light when not in use.

For Electronic lockout, see above UI (User Interface), on how to activate and deactivate LOCKOUT.

A quarter turn (anti-clockwise) of the tailcap or a quarter turn (clockwise) of the head will enable Mechanical LOCKOUT.

Tritium Vial Installation 

The full installation steps on how to install the 6 pieces of 1.5mm x 6mm Tritium Vials can be found HERE.

Scale Comparison (Ruler)

Summary

To sum up, we believe that the most important part of any review is if given the chance to purchase the same light for our own usage or to gift to our loved ones out from one’s pocket (wallet), would we still do it?
For this light, it is a definite YES if the slight tint shift is not an issue for your usage.

The rather straightforward dual option UI (fixed or ramping modes), included dual battery tube types and 6 available tritium vial slots are all plus points for this flashlight. However, the slightly unrefined RAMPING mode might seem like an oversight to some but in real world usage, the momentary pause is not as noticeable.

Here is a bonus size comparison picture next to some of the other 26650 flashlights that we recently reviewed.
From Left to Right – 26650 Battery, HaikeLite SC26, Rofis MR70, Eagle Eye X7R and Klarus G20L.

As with all gears, two is one and one is none.

Stay safe,
The Lite Review


Disclaimer: Light was provided for by Banggood for this review. No other compensation was provided.


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HaikeLite SC26

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