Step right up folks… and prepare to take a close-up look at an internet sensation! It’s the Vizeri VZ230 LED flashlight, and THIS is the official Lightsngear, Vizeri LED flashlight review! Incidentally, the VZ230 been a hot seller on Amazon for some time now.
And in Case You’re Familiar…. It Looks Just Like….
A “Tank007, TK737” … and in fact, the Vizeri is an exact replica of the TK737. In fact, when looking down the tube, “Tank007” is written around the bezel spring! It’s also in the tail cap. Is this good or bad? I’m not sure. But let’s learn more about the Viseri anyway.
- Uses a CREE XR-E Q5 LED. This LED is several years old…(in technology)
- The VZ230 emits 230 lumens on high. About 70 lumens on medium and 12 lumens on low.
- Strobe and SOS mode are also included
- Memorizes the last mode used
- Features a ZOOM lens
- Beam distance (when zoomed out) 300 meters
- Length; 4.25″ (without extension) 4.75″ (with extension)
- Width; 1.645″ (at thickest point)
- Weight; 3.75 oz (without batteries)
- Input voltage range; from 3 to 9 volts
- Waterproof; to IPX-7 standards
- Coating; aircraft grade aluminum (HAIII)
So yes, as mentioned above, the VZ230 uses a CREE XR-E Q5.
If you click on the highlighted link in the “basics” paragraph above, it’ll take you to my LED comparison post. Basically the XR-E is an older LED, which was considered a technical marvel back around 2006. Much has changed with LED’s since then.
While many might argue that the XR-E is still useful today, it does not operate under the tougher conditions that the more recent LED’s do. The reason the Vizeri is only 230 lumens, is because the XR-E cannot supply more lumens than that. It would burn out if it did. It also does not operate as efficiently as many of the newer LED’s. The ONE thing that some of the older LED’s have going for them, is that their beams are famous for being narrower, thus giving them an edge on “throw” (distance).
With the included adapters, the Vizeri can accept a wide variety of battery types and options. Let’s run them down one by one.
Note: *the use of these batteries is only possible with the included tube extender
- 3 — standard AAA (alkaline or regular) [w/incl. battery holder]
- 3 — rechargeable NiMH [w/incl. battery holder]
- 2 — disposable CR123 lithium*
- 2 — rechargeable 16340 lithium*
- 2 — rechargeable 18350 IMR-type*
- 1 — rechargeable 18650 lithium*
There’s actually an impressive amount of accessories.
- 1 – holster
- 1 – diffuser
- 1 – AAA battery holder
- 1 – packet, including: lanyard, spare o-rings, spare tail cap switch
- 1 – tube extender
- instruction manual
“Turning On” the Vizeri!
click on the images below to view full file-size
The rear switch controls all VZ230 operations. Give it one FULL press and the light will illuminate. To cycle through the five lighting modes; high, medium, low, strobe and SOS, simply give the tail switch a ‘soft’ half press. Each additional press will cycle to the next mode. The memory feature will kick in after it’s been switched off…so long as it’s been on for more than five seconds.
As demonstrated in a few of the photos above, the Vizeri also has a ZOOM feature.
To activate, simply turn the ring, and the head will extend about a quarter of an inch.
This narrows the beam down to a small area which represents the shape of the LED. The photo captioned “zoomed out beam” demonstrates this accurately. During the turning of the ring, you may stop at any time and use as is.
Here are a few more outdoor beam shots. Click on each to view full size.
Something You Need to Know
There are no issues when running the Vizeri LED flashlight in high-beam mode. But there IS something you should be aware of when using it in medium and low mode.
It’s a phenomenon referred to as “Pulse Width Modulation” (or PWM for short) and is something often seen in flashlights that are NOT current controlled. For a complete definition of the term, please visit the Wikipedia page on PWM.
In layman’s terms, here’s MY definition and how it affects the Vizeri.
PWM makes fast moving objects that you’re illuminating, appear as multiple images. In attempting to demonstrate this visually, I’ve attached two photos. The first one is of my hand moving up and down rapidly in front of the Vizeri, on low-beam. Please note that it looks as if I have twice as many fingers on my hand.
The other photo was taken with a different flashlight (without PWM). In that one, my fingers appear thicker, but not multiplied. Some people with various types of vision, are actually bothered by the affects of PWM.
Again, it’s only noticeable on low and medium mode, and only noticeable when you’re shining the light on MOVING objects.
The Final Analysis
The Vizeri LED flashlight, known as the VZ230, is okay in my opinion. But… I DON’T like my flashlights to display PWM, so to me, that’s a definite thumbs down. The rest of the light, combined with the generous accessories bumps it up a hair. However I’m not a big fan of the rear switch, or that it seems to need to be pressed more than once (most of the time) for the mode to change. Thank goodness it has a memory!
Also, regarding which batteries you choose to use, I could see no discernible difference in brightness between using 3 AAA’s (or NiMH’s) as opposed to a single 18650 rechargeable. This actually surprised me, because I was sure the lithium battery would drive the LED a bit harder. My recommendation is to always use rechargeable cells whenever possible.
One thing I should mention. The box clearly says, “Tactical Zoom Flashlight”. The VZ230 is no more tactical than a toothbrush. To be tactical, implies that “light” can be accessed from the OFF position. This is not so. So… it’s not tactical!
Overall grade; C-
Wanna pick up a VZ230 for yourself or a friend? If so, here’s the Amazon link!!
Questions?/Comments? Fire away in the space below!