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Xtar D26 1600 light review

Discussion in 'Lights' started by aviator8, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. aviator8

    aviator8 Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Georgia
    The folks over at Xtar were nice enough to send me a light to test and share my thoughts. I received an Xtar D26 1600 the other day. The first thing I do with any new light is go through everything it comes with and read through the manual to see if it is straightforward to follow.
    With this light the package includes:
    ⦁ The light
    ⦁ 2 spare O rings
    ⦁ manual
    ⦁ lanyard
    ⦁ 18650 battery sleeve

    This light does not ship with any battery. It will take a 26650 or 18650 lithium ion battery with the included sleeve. I am happy to state the the manual is easy to follow and covers all the specs of the light.
    The light has 4 output modes turbo, high, med, low which correspond to 1600, 650, 200, 60 lumens. Runtimes are stated as 2.48, 3.73, 9.9, 32.5 hours respectively. I will tested the high power to see how it would compare. I used a 5200 Mah 26650 battery and got 2 hrs 10 mins, since they stated a longer runtime I ran the test again after recharging and got 2 hrs 8 mins. So it appears that the published times were done under ideal conditions as I am not achieving them with a known good battery which I have verified the capacity and internal resistance on. Depth rating on the light is 100meters and it weighs 263 grams. There is a battery level indicator which is nice to know how much juice you have left. It is green between 100% and 25%, 25-5% is red, and less than 5% is flashing red. This light does not have any strobe function, which I found to be odd.

    I have a bit of a love hate relation with the power button on this light. It is a magnetic button that is spring actuated. Its travel feels comfortable and easy to activate in comparison to other lights I have which have a tighter feel and require a harder push. However the downside is the button is not recessed in any way and because of this it can be accidentally activated. You can see that here:
    IMG_8928.JPG IMG_8929.JPG
    To prevent this Xtar implemented a lock feature to prevent accidental activation. If you press and hold the button for three seconds the indicator light will flash green and turn the light off indicating that it is locked. You can't bump the button and turn on the light. To release the lock and turn on the light you have to press and hold the button for three seconds again. I thought this sounded like a great way to stop accidentally draining your battery or heating up the light head, however on my very first jump to get it wet it inadvertently turned on while headed there. Before we left I activated the lock and put it in my dive bag. I threw everything in my trunk and headed out. When I pulled my bag out and unloaded the light was on. So the act of my gear shifting in the bag easily enough deactivated the lock on my first trip out with it. It is an good feature but the light needs more button protection or removal of the battery when traveling to ensure the lock does not get disengaged accidentally.

    The construction and finish on the light are nice. There are textured ridges on the grip which I like. The bottom has a 1/4" female screw adapter if you need to mount the light. The anodized finish is very good with no blemishes. There is a lanyard attachment point at the rear of the light.
    IMG_8930.JPG IMG_8931.JPG IMG_8933.JPG
    As stated above the button is easier to move than other lights. It does have some side to side play and twists around which tells me it is just a spring in a sleeve and probably allows water intrusion around the spring. Xtar has a good reputation with their dive lights so I am betting that the spring is stainless steel, but time will tell how well the button hold up in salt water. The thickness of the machined aluminum body is thicker than other lights I have, so that and the lights larger size give this some heft and solid feel. For me this light is about as big as I would want as a handheld. I actually prefer a smaller light but I would have no issue using this one. To compare size to another of my favorite lights:
    The Xtar is 6 inches, and the other is 5 inches. The Xtar barrel ins about 1.4 inches with the light head being 1.75 inches where the other is about 1.25 inches

    Other than the button getting turned on I only found two other small issues with this light. The manual states the battery installation direction, but how often to you carry the manual while diving? The light is printed with which direction to turn the threads and a hot surface warning, It could also have an indicator on the light about the installation direction, which is + toward the lighthead. This is how most lights are, but I do have one that is the other way. The other thing I found puzzling was that this light is hard to get started threading. I looked at it repeatedly and see no issues with the threads or threaded head. You have to push to depress the battery springs and push past the fist O ring engagement to seat the barrel. This construction allows the barrel to move slightly side to side when trying to twist and if you are not exactly aligned it wont engage. I think the issue here is the first O ring engaging before the threads do. Most other lights I have seen begin threading and the threads then pull each O ring into the head unit side.

    To sum it up:

    • Solid construction
    • Nice output power and good runtimes
    • Easy to operate
    • Multiple attachment methods, 1/4 screw or lanyard

    Well really room for improvements. None of these would stop me from using this light but these would make the light a much better light than it already is.

    • The button lock is nice, and needed since the button is not recessed, but a physical lock such as turn the button to engage a lock verses a circuit lock might be better.
    • Battery installation direction should be indicated on the light itself
    • A change to the barrel length to have the threads engage before the O ring would make screwing on easier
    • Most dive lights have a strobe safety feature which is not difficult to implement in the circuitry.
    Sbiriguda and stuartv like this.
  2. aviator8

    aviator8 Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Georgia
    Here I show the light spread and intensity. These were all taken about 3 feet from my garage door.

    1600 lumen

    650 lumens

    200 lumens

    60 lumens

    The beam angle is never stated in the documentation. I compared it here to a 650 lumen light I have which is a 10 degree spot and this light appears to be pretty close to that.

  3. aviator8

    aviator8 Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Georgia
    I will add my post dive thoughts here.
    ams511 likes this.
  4. aviator8

    aviator8 Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Georgia
    For some reason I am unable to edit the post above to add my post dive thoughts so I will place them here. I took this light out on two of my last dives. Overall I am very pleased with the light output,and the ease of use. It was impractical for me to shoot underwater shots of myself with the light and I was not wearing a gopro, There are no pictures to show. I took it down to about 60 feet in Lake Jocassee SC. At about 45 fee t there is a wooden platform and the light really begins to falloff at that depth. So I used the D26 to poke around looking under the structure. The light penetration was good and provided plenty of light to see clearly under the 12 foot structure to the other side.

    As I stated above the light switch lock is an issue that should be redesigned. I had two lights on me to test at depth on the dives. This one and another 650 lumen light I reviewed here

    Nautieye NE650 light review

    The button operation is very easy to engage on the D26 which is part of the issue. which is the opposite issue I had with the NE650. At depth I went to turn it on and nothing happened. Then I remembered that I had to hold the button down pretty hard to turn on the light at home. Once I did that there was no issue.

    For the D26 there was no issue on this dive but the previous dive I had the light turned on even with the locking mechanism engaged. This happened to me in my dive bag before. On the first dive with the D26 my buddy came over and pointed out that my light was on. I had put it in lock mode the night before and had not unlocked it or tried to use it yet. The best I can figure is that my 40" primary hose going under my arm caused it to unlock. I noticed the hose getting hung when I would turn my head several times during the dive and would pull on it. I think it was hanging on the button since it sticks out from the light. It must have been enough that on one pull it engaged the button for 3 seconds. I really don't want to have to think about which way the button is facing when I put it on my BCD. I hope Xtar can consider making the button a physical lock by twisting it or go back to the three pushes to lock. I think I will have to place this light on my left side d ring to preveny the hose catching I experienced. Outside of this and the threading issue I mentioned previously I am quite happy with the performance of this light.

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