Survival-Pax Blog: Video Review - 4Sevens Quark MiNi 123

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Video Review - 4Sevens Quark MiNi 123

We just posted a new video review of the Quark MiNi 123 by 4Sevens.

The Quark MiNi 123 flashlight is a powerhouse in a tiny package. Measuring 2.4" in length, and 0.8" in diameter, this light is surprisingly small. It's also very lightweight, weighing 1.2 oz (with battery). The light also has generous knurling on the body, giving you a good grip, which is adequate despite the light's small size.

Judging by those external characteristics alone, the flashlight is nothing special. There are other small flashlights on the market with similar or even smaller dimensions. What makes this light really shine (pun intended), is it's brightness. The Quark MiNi 123 has a maximum brightness of 189 lumens!
The Quark MiNi 123 by 4Sevens is a powerhouse.

For those who do not know what a lumen is, while I don't want to go into the technical definitions, a lumen is a measure of light output. Until you have experimented and gained an understanding as to what a relatively large or small number of lumens is, you will have to trust me that 189 lumens is a heck of a lot. As a comparison, I would say that most flashlights of this size output anywhere from 10-80 lumens, from what I've seen on the market.

How does the flashlight achieve a brightness of 189 lumens in such a small size?

Part of the secret lies in the battery selection. 4Sevens chose to use a CR123 battery, which is a high-output lithium-celled battery that outputs 3.0V, rather than the conventional 1.5V of a AA or AAA battery. This higher voltage enables the emitter to shine so brightly.

The second reason as to why the Quark MiNi 123 is so bright is due to the fact that it has a CREE XPG-R5 LED as a light emitter. It does not use incandescent bulbs, but rather a single LED, which is very efficient and bright. For those who have never seen a LED flashlight this bright, the amount of light that the LED outputs can be very surprising.
The textured reflector on the Quark MiNi 123 gives you a nice, soft beam.

The Quark MiNi 123 also has seven different output modes, varying in intensity and in function.
The output modes are:
- Low (3 lumens, 150 hours)
- Medium (40 lumens, 8 hours)
- High (189 lumens, 1.2 hours)
- Strobe (2.4 hours)
- Beacon (High) (12 hours)
- Beacon (Low) (60 hours)
- S.O.S. (7.2 hours)

The modes are broken down into regular and special modes. The regular modes consist of Low, Medium and High. They are the modes that are most often used. To get to these modes, just twist the flashlight head tight, putting you in Low mode. If you twist the head off and on, then it cycles to Medium. Twisting off and on goes to High.

To get to the special modes, which are used less often and consist of various light pulses and blinks, you have to cycle through the regular modes twice. After cycling through the regular modes twice, you get to Strobe mode. Then, just like cycling through the regular modes, you can go to S.O.S., Beacon (High) and Beacon (Low) by turning the flashlight.  To see these modes in action, watch the video.
A CR123 battery, lanyard and spare o-ring are
included with the Quark MiNi 123.

The reflector on the Quark MiNi 123 is textured, giving a nice, diffuse beam pattern, perfect for illuminating an area at medium-distances (~50 yards or less). The flashlight can also be used in what is know as "candle mode", which means that it can be stood on its end. When you do this and you are indoors, the light bounces off of the ceiling and evenly illuminates the area. This is great for situations where you have no light, but want a more hands-free and natural illumination.

This flashlight is rated by 4Sevens to be waterproof to 10 meters for 30 minutes. While I haven't tested the flashlight in the water, I have seen others test it at shallower depths, and the lights have performed perfectly under those conditions.

The light comes with a 4Sevens brand CR123 battery, a lanyard which can be used to attach to the light and a spare o-ring.

Would you recommend this light?

I can honestly say that this is one of the most amazing flashlights that I have ever seen so far, when weighing in the price, the size, the light output and the various lighting modes. I would highly recommend this light to those wanting a small but very bright flashlight, perhaps for every day carry (EDC), to take camping or to just put in an emergency kit. Be sure to include spare CR123 batteries!

Take care guys!
Simon - Survival-Pax Team Member

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