Jan 8, 2017 at 11:40 o\clock

How to Find the Best VB LED Flashlight

Based on a similar concept as the original VB-16 released a few years back in 2005, the VB-16 MC-E8 builds on that concept with improvements of current high output MC-E LED's. Though unlike the original VB-16, the MC-E8 is much larger than the former and is not a pocketable light. Right up the front is a crenellated bezel which is a machined part of the head and is non-removable. The lens is made of regular glass and doesn't seem to have any AR coating. Inside the head is a lightly textured aluminum reflector which seems slightly shallower than most other MC-E lights. The LED sits well-aligned, and it slightly raised at the bottom of the reflector cup. On the exterior the head has a clean and simple conical design with a band of stripped knurling just behind the bezel, and a series of cooling fins at the end. When unscrewed, the head allows access to the reflector and the lens. The LED module remains attached to the battery tube which allows the MC-E8 to be used like a candle. Threads between the head and front end of the battery tube mate well with no grinding or cross-threading encountered during tests.The main battery tube is rather long since it's designed to run on either 4x CR123 or 2x 18650 batteries. As mentioned earlier, at the front end of the battery tube you'll find the LED module and electronics which are all housed protected in a clean chassis with an aluminum top cover and a brass heat sink area at the bottom. Externally the battery tube has a clean cylindrical design with two wide, knurled segments which provides more than adequate grip. Sitting just behind the LED module are two GITD buttons. These serve as controls for adjusting its output intensity. These are toggle switches and as such have a minimal amount of travel. Threads on either ends of the battery tube are well machined and of average thickness. There are also two rubber o-rings placed behind the threads on either ends which serve as moisture seals. The tail cap is somewhat wider than the battery tube with a slightly raised lip towards the front which has two small holes for lanyard attachments. The main exterior has a series of scallops machined all around which provide grip during battery changes. Inside the tail cap is a forward push button which allows for momentary activation. The switch mechanism has an average amount of travel but provides a very minute amount of tactile feedback when clicked on, similar to earlier Wolf Eyes and Pila flashlights. This could either be a good of bad thing since this also means that the switch is almost silent when engaged. The rubber switch cap protrudes slightly out the tail end, as such the light is unable to tail stand.

If you're unfamiliar with any of the terms used in this review, click here for explanations on common flashlight related vocabulary.


The VB-16 MC-E8 provides an easy and intuitive method of adjusting output by implementing two additional buttons which sit just behind the head section. Simply press the top button to increase brightness, and the bottom one to decrease. With single presses, the output changes in steps, you can also hold down either of the buttons to ramp the brightness up/down. A complete ramp cycle minimum to maximum output takes about 2 seconds. On/Off activation remains controlled solely by the switch at the rear end. Output level is memorized when the light is switched off. This system works well and is very unlikely to confused the general user. However during testing I did encounter a slight glitch which causes the output to pulse. This happens when the output has been adjusted to minimum, and triggered by alternate presses of the tail cap switch. Also note that the output intensity seems to increase linearly, this means that the discernable difference in output to the human eye is more apparent at lower levels and less so at higher ones.

The beam profile produced by the MC-E8 has a medium sized hot spot and a very wide spill beam for peripheral illumination. While - tactical flashlight review - the spill beam is very clean and smooth, there is a slightly discernable dark area within the spot. Though this doesn't affect practical usage and is only noticeable at distances of about 3 to 5 meters. Beam tint leans slightly towards the cool side on my review sample. Runtime provided is above average and maintains regulation very well.