Imalent “Shark Series” EU06 2015 Version

Imalent "Shark Series" EU06 2015 Version
* Flashlight provided for review courtesy of Imalent


The Imalent EU06 2015 Version is an update on last years EU06 with some changes and improvements.  The EU06 was one of my favorite models I have by Imalent and combines very good throw for it’s size along with a side flood light and a red flood light.  With the remote control function of the 2015 version I like to think of it as a single emitter little brother to the DDT40.  My 2014 version has an UV emitter instead of the red emitter of the 2015 version.  The UV is fun but the red emitter is far more useful for hunting and camping as well as general night vision preservation.

The touch screen has a matte screen protector over it which reduces glare, protects the screen a bit better, and gives it a stealthy tactical/military look the previous EU06 and other Imalent lights lacked.  It’s a change that I prefer much better but I will get into all that stuff a bit later.  To skip all the pictures and find out my thoughts you can scroll to the bottom of the review where all is summarized.  If you want to see all the little details let’s start by taking a look at Imalent’s advertizing copy from their website.



Description:
Imalent’s “Shark Series” model EU06 multi-functional LCD touch screen flashlight utilizes three separate LEDs to offer a broad range of illumination options and power display function. Output up to 1190 lumens creates intense area lighting combined with long reach. Ideal for group leaders needing high output and multiple beam patterns, the EU06 is a powerful addition to a team’s onsite lighting tools with instant high, strobe and SOS.

Features:
* Spot light uses Cree XM-L2(U2) LED and flood light uses Cree XP-G2 R5 LED neutral white LED with a lifespan of 50000 hours
* Backlit touch screen panel facilitates convenient and discreet and infinite brightness adjustment.
* Digitally regulated output – maintains constant brightness
* Instant strobe
* Remote control from 10 meters away
* Electronic reverse battery protection, Thermal control
* Battery capacity indicator
* Working voltage:2.8-9V
* Optimized deep metal reflector maintains great throw distance and spread with an ideal beam pattern
* Dimensions:147mm(length) x38mm(head diameter)x 25mm(tail diameter)
* Weight:172g(battery excluded)
* Aerospace-grade aluminum alloy body
* Military Specification Type III- hard anodized
* Ultra-clear tempered glass lens resists scratches and impacts
* Accessories: O-rings, Holster, Screen protector, Remote controller

Details and Notes:

Main LED:  Cree XM-L2 (no bin or tint specified but appears closer to
NW)
Side Flood LED:  Cree XP-G2 R5
Side RED LED:  Cree XP-G-F
PWM: None. Driver is constant current for zero PWM or flicker at all output levels.
Water Resistance:  IPX-8 claimed (2m) and from the build and seals I have no doubt believing it.
Lens:  Ultra-clear glass with AR coating
Bezel and Tail cap:  Anodized aluminum
Reflector:  SMO, very deep
Tail stands:  Yes
Tripod mountable:  Yes (tail cap)
Internal charging:  No
Holster:  Redesigned for 2015 and fits and closes properly now.
Street Price:  $87 (give or take)

Inside the thin cardboard hang peg retail box is a plastic tray with the EU06, holster, remote fob, two spare O-rings, replacement screen protector, User Manual, and Warranty card.


The holster has been redesigned for the 2015 models and now the closing flap fits properly and properly engages the Velcro closure.  The attachment points consist of a perma-loop, a quick detach loop, and a D-ring.  Materials are sturdy and stitching is good.  I’m not a fan of elastic sides on my holsters but this one doesn’t interfere in any way and isn’t too tight.  The light never feels at risk of falling out of the holster.


The included remote is a really nice touch and works very well.  The lobster claw latch allows easy attachment to key ring, zipper, belt look, etc.  The buttons are silicon and have a nice feel.  Range is good as well.  It might not seem too useful at first glance but when taking the EU06 camping it’s perfect for controlling the light when used as a lamp and hanging from a tree or hanging form the inside of your tent.  Get settled into your sleeping bag then kill the light.

Batteries in the remote can be changed by removing three screws and the back plate.



The User Manual is written in English and covers all you need to know on the operation of the torch.


Now for the closer looks at the light itself (my favorite part!)

The EU06 takes it’s styling clues from Imalent’s flagship light, the DDT40.

At first glance it might look like there is a lot going on with this light and that it might be difficult to operate or get used to.  In use it’s very simple to learn and use.  I’ll cover the details in the User Interface info a bit later.


Behind the grey anodized bezel is an AR coated ultra-clear glass lens, followed by a thick O-ring to seal out water ingress.  Behind that is a deep, smooth reflector that does a damned good job of producing a smooth, ring-free beam and spill and decent throw.  At the bottom of the reflector is an Cree XM-L2 LED of unspecified bin and tint but judging from use it appears to between a 1C and 2C tint.  Close to a 3C NW and no green, blue, or purple tint to the beam at any point.


The exterior of the light is covered in Mil-spec type-3 hard anodizing.  All laser etching is the usual high quality I’ve come to expect from Imalent products.  Clean, sharp edges, deep etching, complete and even coverage on all etching.  The Imalent logo is on one side of the head and the EU06 model is on the opposite.  At the base of the head is the RoHS CE logo stating that the EU06 is certified free of hazardous substances.




The touch display is the same as on the older Imalent models except for the new matte screen protector that allows the display to remain unseen when not operating.  It reduces reflective surface, protects the screen from scratches while not effecting operation, and makes for a far better looking light.  I really like it.

The screen displays output levels for all emitter modes.  The more bars visible the more light is being pumped out.  Basic battery level is indicated in the center of the display.  The "MODE" button at the bottom of the screen is used to switch the front output between steady, SOS, and Strobe modes.






The two remaining sides (right and left) are not as complicated as they appear to be.  Each side has an IR receiver for the remote control function, and a Cree emitter under a diffused lens, white XP-G2 R5 on one side and red XP-G F on the other side.




Two small red LEDs sit ahead and behind each of the two IR receivers.  These are lit when the light is on and the display is lit and off when the display is off.  They will blink when any of the remote functions are pressed to show that they are receiving the IR commands from the remote.




The battery tube has large facets on the surface which have "siping" grooves machined into them instead of the usual knurling we see on most flashlights.  Not only does it give a unique look to the Imalent lights that have this grip texture, it actually does a great job of providing grip with bare or wet hands.  It may not work as well as traditional knurling when wearing gloves.


At the tail of the light is a grey anodized tail piece with a 1/4-20 threaded tripod mounting hole machined into it.  The contrasting bezel and tail cap add a nice stylish touch IMO.

Use of an aluminum bezel instead of stainless steel can be argued as a good or bad choice of material depending on how you look at it.  A SS bezel will be more resistant to impact damage if dropped but it could be argued that an aluminum bezel will absorb and take damage into itself rather than transferring the shock of impact to the internal components the way a SS bezel would.  I generally prefer a SS bezel but for some reason the aluminum bezel and tail on the EU06 doesn’t bother  me in the least.


The battery tube is one piece and the tail cap is not designed to be removed.  Therefore there is only one point of failure for O-rings and such.  The Anode spring in the base of the head has a smooth brass contact disk soldered to it for less current resistance and better battery contact.


Silky smooth square anodized threading graces the battery tube and rear of the head.  The O-ring is thick and seals tightly against water and moisture ingress.  As with all the Imalent flashlights I have, the threads on the EU06 are some of the smoothest, nicest threads I’ve seen on any light.  Power to the EU06 can be locked out with a simple 1/4 twist of the battery tube to prevent any parasitic draw when not used.  Mechanical lockout also allows safe packing of the light to avoid accidental activation. There is electronic lockout in the driver circuit but I like it much more when a light can be locked out mechanically like this one.


The cathode spring at the base of the battery tube has the same brass contact soldered to the spring for less resistance and better contact with the cell.


In the hand, the EU06 is a nice compact light.  Due to the head design it is obviously going to be longer than standard compact 18650 torches.  Even though the battery tube is 25.4mm (1") in diameter like most 18650/tactical lights, it feels way thinner than that in the hand.  It is probably due to the relatively thick, long head.  In the standard grip all the controls fall perfectly to thumb and fingers.


The EU06 can also tail stand f or use in candle and flood modes.  The very narrow base does mean that it must be on a smooth and level surface otherwise it can easily be knocked or tipped off balance.  The tripod mount would work best with a little gorilla tripod when used around the campsite or workshop.


Below you can see the EU06 2015 (middle) compared to the original DD2R (left) and EU06 2014 (right).  The changes in the buttons is readily seen as is the difference in the 2015 screen compared to the others.



All 3 variations use the same deep, SMO reflector design.


Here are the same three Imalent lights along with a Solarforce L2M for some size idea.



Controls and User Interface (UI)

  • The Display screen controls output levels to each of the 3 main LEDs.  Sliding a finger up or down on the output level grid adjusts the output level.  Pressing the "MODE" button cycles between the front and side LEDs.
  • Opposite the display screen are the primary switches.  The button closest to the rear of the head (right in pic below) is the main power button.  A single click turns the light on or off. 
  • The middle silver button is the instant access Strobe control.  With the light powered on or off pressing the Strobe button will give instant momentary strobe access.  Pressing the button for 3 seconds or longer then releasing will engage constant Strobe mode.  A second click will turn it off.
  • The button closest to the front (left in the pic below) is the Mode/Display control.  A quick click turns the display off or on without turning the light off or on.  The display will turn off after 30 seconds of inactivity but if you’ve set your output level and want to not worry about accidentally changing the mode you can click the display button to deactivate the display and prevent changing output levels.  Once the display is off and you wish to change output levels you will need to click the display button to turn the controls back on.
  • A press and hold of 0.5 seconds on the front Mode/Display button will cycle through the front LED modes (Beacon, SOS, Steady)
  • Pressing and holding both the Mode and Power buttons for 1 second until the front LED flashes rapidly for half a second will put the light into electronic lockout. Pressing and holding them again will unlock the light.

Remote Control UI

  • Top Power button turns the light on or off
  • Mode button cycles between front and side LEDs
  • Up button increases output
  • Down button lowers output

Output and Performance

I measure output levels using a 16" calibrated Integrated Sphere (IS).  Maximum output is measured at initial turn on and at 30 seconds (ANSI standard).  Initial output is almost always highest and as heat builds output reduces.  The amount of drop in that first 30 seconds tells a lot about a lights thermal capability and performance ability.  A large drop in output indicated poor thermal management.  30 seconds is the ANSI standard for measuring output and allows for thermal stabilization to be considered.

Last years EU06 model was rated at a maximum output of 900 lumens.  My "2015 Version" sample does exceed that amount but it did not meet the claimed output level as stated by Imalent.  In my opinion the claimed output level is more likely to be emitter lumens and not real world OTF (Out The Front) levels like I measure.  It is possible that my sample is on the low end due to manufacturing tolerances and variations among LED and driver but it more likely a real world example of what to expect. 

That said, it is still a very bright light and roughly 1000 true OTF lumens is nothing to scoff at.  The deep, smooth reflector gives a tight center spot and fairly narrow spill with a silky smooth beam.  My measured throw distance of 327 meters matches my initial impressions about this being a decent throwing light for a light of it’s size.  Imalent’s numbers vary depending on what source you take the information from their webpage.  Their written specs claim 360 meters of throw distance but just 16,860 cd @ 1m which translated to only 260 meters of throw.  The specs on their product page pictures also state just 900 lumens max while the specs on the packaging and written state 1190 lumens max.  Clearly the 900 lumens is for the old version of the EU06 and the claim of 16860cd is as well.  Ahh well.  The real numbers can be seen below…

The EU06 has exactly 20 output levels as seen when using the remote to ramp up or down through the levels.  Not truly "infinitely variable" output as claimed but definitely a good amount of steps in output level.


Measuring the output of the white and red side LEDs was difficult to do but I did the best I could and the results appear to be on the low side based on my experience.  The pics below are of the front and both side LEDs being shined up onto my vaulted porch ceiling during broad daylight. 

They give a very accurate representation of how well all three of the main LEDs work (very well!).  Distance to the ceiling in all shots is 6-8 feet.  The front LED has a nice, focused center beam, smooth corona, and ringless spill.


The white flood XP-G2 gives a bright, very diffuse beam with no hot spot and a nicely faded spill – perfect for an emergency light/workshop helper light/campsite lantern.


The red XP-G LED on the opposite side also gives a fairly broad spread of red light with a big fat dollop of it in the middle.  Perfect for preserving night vision around the camp at night or when hunting on the trail.


Pros

  • Great machining and anodizing
  • Silky smooth threads
  • Water tight
  • Good output and throw
  • Super low Moon low.
  • Constant current driver with zero PWM or flicker
  • Easy to use UI
  • Output memorized for each LED mode
  • Brilliant side flood LEDs in white and red.
  • Wireless IR control over light.  Works very well.
  • Hidden strobe, beacon & SOS modes
  • Variable output levels
  • Resistive touch screen works with gloved hands
  • Runs on a single 18650 or two CR123 primaries
  • Tail stands
  • Tripod mount
  • Proper holster (finally!)

Cons

  • Output lower than Imalent’s claims
  • Can be difficult to set output level accurately with thumb.  Works best using thumbnail or fingernail.
  • Touch display can be either a love it or hate it thing.

Conclusion

This is a perfect light for camping, hiking, hunting, or household power outages.  Imalent’s use of side LEDs in it’s new Shark Series light is truly brilliant and the lights work extremely well.  Great build quality and performance coupled with the new Remote Control make it even more versatile than ever.  Stupid low Moon mode and 1000 honest lumens in High mode coupled with over 300m of throw.  Beautiful flood and bright red XP-G LEDs…it’s a light that does nearly everything and does it well.  The rest is up to you to decide.


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One thought on “Imalent “Shark Series” EU06 2015 Version

  1. Pingback: Imalent “Shark Series” EU06 2015 Version | Johnny Mac Reviews

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