Review: Lumapower EDC LM31
The Lumapower EDC LM31 is the first flashlight I’ve ever owned – or even handled – that is bigger and brighter than a standard keychain light, but still small enough for actual EDC.
When it comes to EDC, I’m somewhat of a minimalist. Everything I am to carry on my person on a day to day basis must be small, lightweight and really, really useful. The little Fenix E01 on my keychain fulfills all of these requirements. However, I didn’t buy the LM31 as a replacement for my keychain light, but to take over as a travel/around the house light after my Terraluxed Mini Maglite finally gave up on me some time ago. Even so, I have carried it on person every single day for the last week, just to get a feel of how it would work as an EDC light.
I have spent months trying to make up my mind as to which light I should get. I was finally left with two strong candidates: Either the LM31 or the Fenix E11. When I finally decided to go with the first, it was not because of the qualities of the light itself. The reason was simply that Lumapower shipped to Norway for free, saving me shipping expenses that might easily have amounted to more than the price of the light itself.
When I decided to replace a two AA light with a single battery one, it was because of the vast advances of modern flash light technology. I figured that with modern LED technology, it was probably possible to have the same functionalty with about half the size and weight of yesterday’s lights. I was not disappointed.
FFFF: Form factor, fit and finish
From left: Fenix E01, Lumapower EDC LM31, Led Lenser V2According to the accompanying fact sheet, it weighs a whopping 37,5 grams – as close to nothing as you can possibly get while still making room for an AA battery. That, along with the rather nice pocket clip, means that I can put it in my pocket and literally not know it is there. I can even comfortably carry it in the pocket of my pajama pants! It is a little bit heavy for shirt pocket carry – but only a little bit.I guess it is a matter of taste, but to me, the small size isn’t all good. Being that small, I find the light harder to handle than my Led Lenser V2, and I am actually afraid that I might accidentally drop it. Luckily, the LM31 comes with a lanyard. However, the lanyard holes in the cap are so small that I managed to tear the lanyard apart trying to fit it through there. The clip has what looks like a lanyard attachment point, but I noticed this a bit too late. Also, please note that you will have to actually order the clip. I believe it adds two dollars to the total sum, making it all of $35.
The LM31 has a hard anodized finish. I expected it to be black, but it is actually a very, very dark grey. For some strange reason, the butt cap is not anodized. I do not like this at all, as it makes the light look a bit like a prototype or some sort of DIY project. The cap also has two holes or indentations – very hard to see which – for use with some sort of removal tool. I don’t know if this is a real problem, but it makes me distrust the water resistance of the light.
The click button of the LM31 is bright green, and I expected it to glow in the dark. It didn’t. However, it looks like there is a thin ring of some GITD material between the reflector and the front lens. It only glows for a short while after using the light, though.
User interface and performance
The LM31 has three levels and a pretty straight forward UI. One click or half click (momentary on) turns the light on at the lowest level. One more push of the button takes you to the middle level, and yet another one maxes the output.
I have never been a great fan of multiple level flash lights. I have just not found a use for the low level. Now, I know why. The low level of other lights I have tried just hasn’t been low enough. This one is. Lumapower claims that it is 1 – one – lumen on a NiMH battery. I suspect that the real output is actually a little higher than that, but it is noticeably dimmer than my E01, which is supposed to put out 13 lumen. Perhaps around five or six? As neither my camera nor my skills are up to the task of taking a useful beamshot, you will just have to take my word for this.
Anyway, I find the low level of the LM31 perfect for finding my way around a dark house or room without waking up someone sleeping in said room. Great for checking on sleeping children, or for when something goes “bump” in the night. When something goes “BUMP” or even “CRASH”, I still prefer my 4D Maglite, but that has nothing to do with the output…
The mid and high levels are supposed to put out 33 and 105 lumen respectively. I suspect that these numbers are a bit off. 105 lumens seems about right, but the middle level must be a lot brighter than 33. Actually, I find it a bit hard to see the difference between mid and high, so I suspect that the middle level must be at least 60 lumen.
As mentioned before, I will probably not EDC the LM31. Not because it is a bad EDC light – it is excellent – but because I love my Fenix E01. Neither will the LM31 replace my Led Lenser V2 as my go to light for the great outdoors. For that, it is just too small and fiddly, and I would be afraid of dropping or losing it. However, the little Lumapower will be perfect as a travel flashlight for more civilized environments. The rest of the time, it will stay on my night stand as an around the house light.
The LM31 is not the light I would carry if I were a patrol cop, a security guard or if I spent a lot of time on site in the construction business. Neither would it be ideal as a primary light for any outdoor activities. For these purposes, I would want something more substantial, even as a backup. However, if I were a detective, an engineer, an architect or for any other reason occasionally needed to visit crime scenes, construction sites or other dark places, I believe that this little light would be what I would carry every single working day. For a journalist, it is perfect to bring along on any sort of reportage or field trip.
A long story short
- Very small and lightweight
- Relatively cheap
- Very useful low mode
- Decent clip
- Nice, even beam with no noticeable artifacts
- Good balance between throw and flood
- Seems reasonably rugged
- Might almost be too small for some uses.
- Tiny lanyard holes
- Not waterproof
- The difference between mid and high is so small that it might have been better to make it a two level light.
In one sentence: Probably the best true EDC light you can get for less than $40.
EDIT: Fixed a dead link.