In the test: Wuben C3 LED flashlight with USB-C connection

In the test: The Wuben C3 LED flashlight

Anyone who grew up with Maglite flashlights like me in the past will understand the fascination I have for the small LED flashlights. In order to get a similar light output with a light bulb Maglite in the past, one was on the move with a 1,5 kg flashlight, which one could easily have used as a stick. This is nice for people who care about self-defense, but if you're looking for something lightweight for hiking or household use, an LED flashlight will do much better. That's why I recently got the Wuben C3 Bought a flashlight with LED bulbs.

The Wuben C3 cannot produce colorful disco light, but it offers a choice of light intensity with six different light modes (Photo: Sir Apfelot).

The Wuben C3 cannot offer colorful disco light, but it impresses with six different light modes and a selection of light intensity (Photo: Sir Apfelot).

Our use case: pee round with the dog at night

We have had a puppy for two months who always has to go out at night. The bladder does not hold tight all night and we have to go out into the garden once or twice a night with the wuffie.

Since it is really dark here in the country at night, when there is no full moon, lighting was needed - ideally one that can be left permanently outside on the windowsill so that you always have it to hand when you walk out the front door running. "Waterproof" and "handy" were two important aspects when choosing.

One of the criteria in my selection was that the flashlight comes with a 18650 battery. This is the case with the Wuben C3.

One of the criteria in my selection was that the flashlight comes with a 18650 battery. This is the case with the Wuben C3.

My criteria: 18650 battery and USB-C

It was also important to me that the flashlight works with an 18650 battery, as these offer enough power to make a good deal of light. At this point a reference to my article on the Chargers for the type 18650 batteries. A charger is not necessary with the Wuben LED torch, as the battery is charged in the lamp.

This brings us to the second important point: Another criterion was a charging option via USB-C. I'm making a point of having a USB-C port on any device I currently buy because I'm finally getting rid of the horrible ones Micro-USB- want to get away from cables. The micro-USB charging port, where you always have to check whether you are plugging in the cable in the right direction, gets pretty annoying in the long run.

For me everything is gradually being switched to USB-C. It already works with the flashlight, but I have to be patient with the washing machine and vacuum cleaner. ;-)

For me everything is gradually being switched to USB-C. It already works with the flashlight, but I have to be patient with the washing machine and toaster. ;-)

Technical data of the Wuben C3 flashlight

For the sake of completeness, here are the "specs" of the LED flashlight:

  • Model: Wuben C3
  • Light output: 1200 lumens (max. For 1 minute)
  • Illumination area: 160 °
  • Battery: 18650 with 2600 mAh (included)
  • Housing: aircraft aluminum / 6063 aluminum alloy
  • IP protection class: IP68 (1 hour at 2 meters water depth)
  • Fall test: up to 1,5 m in height
  • Weight: 123 g
  • Dimensions: 121,5 x 25,4 mm
  • Light source: OSRAM P9 LED
  • Lighting range: 179 m
  • Luminosity in candela: 7985 Cd
  • Charging port: USB-C (5 V; 2 A)
  • Charging time: approx. 3 h
  • 6 light modes including stroboscope and SOS
    • High: 1200 LM - 500 LM (1 min + 2,5 h)
    • Medium: 400 LM (3,5 h)
    • Low: 80 LM (20 h)
    • ECO: 5 LM (143 h)
    • Flash : 1200 LM; SOS: 200 LM
  • Battery life:
    • 1 minute maximum brightness (1200 LM) and then 2,5 hours at 500 LM
    • 3,5 h with 400 LM
    • 20 h with 80 LM
    • 143 h with 5 LM
  • Flashlight remembers the last light mode
  • Scope of delivery: flashlight, 18650 battery, wrist strap, clip, 2 replacement O-rings (seals)
Here you can see the scope of delivery of the LED flashlight from Wuben: on the right in the picture is the bag with the two O-rings.

Here you can see the scope of delivery of the LED flashlight from Wuben: on the right in the picture is the bag with the two O-rings.

Not the cheapest LED flashlight, but a very good one

I purposely did not access the models that cost around 10 euros, as they have rather mixed customer ratings. The Wuben C3 costs around 25 euros, but has almost only 5 star ratings - and rightly so, because the small LED flashlight is really good.

In addition, the selection of USB-C models is very modest, so that you hardly get anything cheap that is also well rated. The Wuben C3 is not super cheap, but for its features it is available for a good price.

The size is also nice and handy - although that should be taken literally, because it fits exactly in one (large) hand. The weight is also comfortable and hardly carries more in the backpack than a bar of chocolate.

When charging via the USB-C port, the Wuben flashlight's battery consumes 7 watts of power, which, according to the manufacturer, charges significantly faster than comparable flashlights that use micro-USB.

When charging via the USB-C port, the battery of the Wuben flashlight consumes 7 watts of power, which means that (according to the manufacturer) it charges significantly faster than comparable flashlights that use micro-USB.

Light from weak to really strong

The different light modes contain 4 different light intensities, whereby the weakest is something for reading in the tent and the brightest is useful when looking for your dog on the sports field.

The brightness levels are distributed as follows:

  1. High: 1200 lumens; after one minute there is an automatic reduction due to heat to 500 lumens
  2. Medium: 400 lumens
  3. Low: 80 lumens
  4. Eco: 5 lumens

For comparison: the iPhone LED of the newer models has approx. 50-60 lumens at the highest level. For most purposes, level 2 or 3 should be perfectly adequate. For our little garden tour, level 3 is great, so that you don't get too "awake" ... After all, you don't want to get up at 3 o'clock, but afterwards fall back into bed and go back to sleep.

The highest brightness level is reduced from 1200 lumens to 500 lumens after one minute because of the heat development. However, this is less tragic than you might think, because even the 500 lumens are pretty bright.

Operation with switch or button at the end

The switch used to turn on Wuben's small LED flashlight is attached to the rear end of the “tube”. When operating, you can either press lightly to rotate through the light levels or press the button two or three times lightly and quickly to activate the stroboscopic flash or the SOS mode.

  • Press twice quickly, lightly: stroboscope
  • Press 3x quickly, lightly: SOS mode

If, on the other hand, you press the button firmly, you hear a click and you switch the lamp on or off.

The button on the back of the flashlight reacts differently to light and firm pressure.

The button on the back of the flashlight reacts differently to light and firm pressure.

An Amazon review says that the lamp rotates through the light modes if you want to turn it off again within 2 seconds of switching it on. Indeed, if you don't leave it turned off for more than 2 seconds. It then switches itself off anyway, but the next time it is switched on, the next light mode is active. The manufacturer could improve this, as it is not what you would expect when using it. For me it is not a big problem, because I rarely activate the flashlight for less than two seconds.

Flashlight remembers light mode

In any case, a good feature is that the Wuben LED flashlight remembers the light mode that was last active. This storage takes place if a mode was active for more than three seconds.

If you switch the lamp on again the next time, this stored luminosity is activated. This is helpful when you want to stay in a certain mode. For example, if you are camping with someone, you do not want to accidentally activate the brightest mode, because then everyone in the tent is awake.

A nice "side feature": The packaging of the C3 Wuben is made of cardboard and thus saves unnecessary plastic waste.

A nice "side feature": The packaging of the C3 Wuben is made of cardboard and thus saves unnecessary plastic waste.

Heat development remains within limits

One problem that some powerful LED flashlights have is the heat build-up in the brightest mode. Even with the Wuben C3, this is obviously no exception, because the manufacturer has built in an automatic system that reduces the highest light level (1200 lumens) to 500 lumens after about a minute.

With the (still quite bright) reduced brightness, you can clearly see that the LED gives off heat when you shine on the palm of your hand, but even a slate plate that is illuminated for a long time does not get over 45 ° C warm.

After 5 minutes of lighting at the highest (or then reduced) intensity, the housing of the flashlight only showed two hotspots at which the temperature was 37 ° C. So you are still a long way from burning your fingers anywhere.

Even in the warmest places, the housing of the Wuben C3 only reaches approx. 37 ° C and is therefore only lukewarm.

Even in the warmest places, the housing of the Wuben C3 only reaches approx. 37 ° C and is therefore only lukewarm.

 

Before you can use the C3, you have to remove the protective plastic film from the battery.

Before you can use the C3, you have to remove the protective plastic film from the battery.

Display of the battery level

A green and red LED is installed in the front area of ​​the housing, which is used to display the charge level. Within 5 seconds after switching on or changing the lighting mode, a display appears above that provides the following information:

  • 100 - 90%: green LED lights up constantly
  • 40 - 90%: green LED flashes
  • 15 - 40%: red LED lights up constantly
  • 0 - 15%: red LED flashes
The battery status is indicated by an LED on the front of the housing. A permanent red LED means that the battery level is between 15 and 40 percent (photos: Sir Apfelot).

The battery status is indicated by an LED on the front of the housing. A permanent red LED means that the battery level is between 15 and 40 percent (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Reader's question: Can you charge the flashlight with the MacBook Pro power supply?

An interesting question just came from my reader Jan, the answer to which is apparently not so obvious:

Thanks for the interesting test. Can I charge the flashlight with my MacBook Pro power adapter? Or does it have too much power?

My answer: it works. The flashlight draws only as much voltage and current as it needs via USB-C. The devices negotiate this with each other via the USB-C connection before charging really starts. If the device does not give the power supply any information, it only outputs the minimum voltage of 5 volts. So you can attach the thickest power supply in the world to it: if it has USB-C as an output, nothing can happen there.
In my test, I also had an 18 watt USB-C power supply connected to it, which can deliver more than 5 volts, but in the end the flashlight only "took" 5 volts and approx. 7 watts.

Illumination: good, but a bit square

Of course, I also looked at the illumination of the flashlight. If you are out and about, you don't notice it, but with a white wall you can quickly see that the light is displayed somewhat squarely. This is due to the LED light element and has struck me several times with other flashlights.

Inside, however, there is a bright illuminated dot that represents the focus. The scattering of the light over a larger angle (160 ° radiation) is very practical if you shine outside to your dog 2 to 3 meters away and at the same time see where you are going.

The square illumination is not noticeable in practice. You can only see it in the photo because I illuminated a white wall of the same color.

The illumination of the WUben C3 has a slightly square shape, which I already know from other flashlights. The reason for this are the square LED surfaces that emit the light.

The illumination of the WUben C3 has a slightly square shape, which I already know from other flashlights. The reason for this are the square LED surfaces that emit the light.

All-round illumination with diffuser

If you want to use the flashlight to illuminate a larger area, you can still use the diffuser that Wuben offers as an accessory. You put this on top of the head of the C3 Wuben and thus get soft all-round lighting that is great for camping.

WUBEN flashlight diffuser, durable, compatible with lamp caps with a diameter of 24,5 ...
  • Usage: Make the flashlight bright light and soft, convenient for daily reading, can be used as ...
  • Compatible lamp caps: Compatible with lamp caps with diameters from 24,5 to 26 mm, with strong ...
  • Material: silicone material, durable, not afraid of falling, not afraid of pressure, high light transmittance, good ...

I haven't tried the diffuser because I don't want to use the flashlight for such purposes. I would rather look at products like that LE LED camping lantern that you hang up in the tent roof. This gives you a much more practical illumination than with a small flashlight with an attachment, which is always lying around somewhere in the tent.

My conclusion on the Wuben C3 flashlight

For my purposes the purchase was the Wuben C3 definitely a good thing. The flashlight is brighter than I thought, but can still be regulated nicely. It fulfills my wishes for a waterproof case and a USB-C charging port and is still pretty handy.

I'm so excited about the little one that I'm considering getting another one that I put in my jacket pocket. Always using the iPhone when you need light is quite impractical.

A strong Osram P9 LED works behind the lens, which ensures sufficient brightness.

A strong Osram P9 LED works behind the lens, which ensures sufficient brightness.

If you are currently looking for an LED flashlight for on the go, for the car or simply for your jacket pocket, you can access this without hesitation. Huge buzzers on flashlights are no longer necessary to get a decent light output.

PS: Even if I praise the small Wuben C3, I like the big flashlights like that Olight X7R Marauder with 12.000 lumens nevertheless. At the moment I'm just missing the application and the right change to justify such a purchase. But who knows, maybe one day I'll be able to present this model to you in a test. I would find it exciting!

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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

7 comments

  1. Hubert Schmidt says:

    Thanks for the tip…. already bought ... great lamp and still handy ...

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Hubert! I'm glad you like it too. I'm still struggling with number 2. Maybe I'll look for another model for another test. If you have an idea which one I could take, I'll have a look! LG

  2. Hubert Schmidt says:

    Hello Jens, I already have a Fenix ​​LD 41…. also very good, with aa batteries, (R6) ... just a little bigger ...
    LG

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      I've only read good things about the Fenix ​​flashlights. But you also play in a different price league. But you can never have enough flashlights. : D Maybe I'll look at a Fenix ​​again. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Bond says:

    I bought a Wuben C3 - after 2 weeks (5 uses of 3 minutes each), Wuben completely failed. Wuben has refused to respond to various requests for help with the resolution. The battery charges to just 24 volts after 3,4 hours.
    I don't know how to get the light bulb out to test or where to get a new one!

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      My flashlight still works as it did on the first day. But I don't think you can swap a light bulb in it. The LED is definitely on a circuit board and cannot be exchanged. The charging electronics may also be broken. I think we need a completely new flashlight here ...

  4. Captain Graybeard says:

    I work in the security department and have chosen the C3 to be my constant companion because it is small (suitable for trouser pockets!), Light (bar of chocolate), handy and very easy to use. Operating errors are almost impossible once you have familiarized yourself with the concept. In addition, the battery is charged relatively quickly and has more than enough reserves for a complete shift. At 25 € including battery, the lamp is also quite inexpensive.

    I still have one for night tours and controls Acebeam L16, in terms of lighting and operation technology, but also in terms of size, weight and price, it is in a completely different league.

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