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  • Stephen Knight

Flashlight Review: Wuben E19 Pen Light

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

One of the most common requests I get for flashlight advice is related to pen lights for light painting photography of miniature scenes. After reviewing the specifications of options, the Wuben E19 came out on top as it had both last mode memory and a high CRI LED. I have finally had the opportunity to review this light.


Wuben E19 Pen Flashlight
Wuben E19 Pen Flashlight

Disclaimer


The E19 was sent to me by Wuben for an honest and impartial review. Product links are an affiliate link.

Wuben E19 Product Page - 10% off with code "STEPHENKNIGHT".


Construction and Design


The Wuben E19 is a compact pen light that uses 2xAAA batteries. The dimensions are 140mm in length, 14.8mm head diameter,and approx. 13mm tube diameter. Weight is just 23g without batteries, and approximately 48g with batteries. The light arrived in branded packaging, with included Alkaline batteries, instructions, 2 spare O-rings, and a removeable side clip. Despite being called a pen light, there is no actual pen.


The light uses a >90 CRI Nichia 219C LED emitter with a correlated colour temperature (CCT) of 4000k which is at the warmer end of neutral white. Measurements are discussed later on in this review. The high colour rendering (CRI) makes this light very suitable for miniature light painting illumination photography and medical use. The latter in particular requires reds to be rendered well, so that a clinician (such as doctors and nurses) can make an accurate diagnosis of eye, ear, throat, or skin conditions. Many other pen lights only have 70 CRI LEDs that are not suitable for medical use.


The Wuben E19 has a single hard plastic tail switch. The user interface (UI) is discussed in the next section. The light has an ingress rating of IP68, and the light worked fine after being submersed for 1 minute during testing.


The E19 accepts two AA batteries, either 1.5V non-rechargeable Alkaline, or 1.2V rechargeable NiMH. I would recommend using high quality NiMH AA batteries such as Ikea Laddas or Panasonic Eneloops. You will need a dedicated NiMH or multi-chemistry charger to charge these batteries. I did not test 1.7V Lithium primary batteries.


Wuben also sell a UV version of this light for specialist use cases. The UV version was not tested.


Wuben branding.
Wuben branding.

Wuben E19 2xAAA Pen Flashlight
Wuben E19 2xAAA Pen Flashlight

Wuben E19 Body and Tail Cap
Wuben E19 Body and Tail Cap

User Interface


The Wuben E19 has a single reverse clicky tail switch, 4 brightness modes, and last mode memory. Last mode memory is quite useful for light painting and medical use as you know which level the light will turn on in, rather than having to fumble through multiple brightness modes. The user interface is as follows:

  • Full click from off = on.

  • Full click from on = light off.

  • Full click off and on <1sec = on/advance mode (eco>low>med>high).

  • Full click off and on again >1sec = on/last mode memory.

  • Half press from on = on/advance mode (eco>low>med>high).

  • Triple half press from on = SOS mode.

The four brightness levels are well spaced at Eco 2.5 lumens, Low 10 lumens, Medium 40 lumens, and High 200 lumens. There is no momentary mode.


With a grippy battery tube and tail switch, the light is easy to use with one hand.


The Wuben E19 has a single tail switch
The Wuben E19 has a single tail switch


Beam, output, and runtime


The Wuben E19 uses a 4000k Nichia 219C LED, with a smooth reflector. The light has a fairly deep smooth reflector, resulting in a relatively narrow spill beam. I think an orange peel reflector would have been a better choice.


The hotspot colour temperature (CCT), colour rendering (CRI), and tint (DUV) were measured on 200 lumen and 10 lumen modes using an Opple Light Master 3 Pro.

  • 200 lumens high mode - 3981k CCT, 94.7 Ra CRI, -0.0030 DUV Tint.

  • 10 lumens low mode - 3769k CCT, 95.2 Ra CRI, -0.0038 DUV Tint.

The CCT is at the warmer end of neutral white in the 3700k-4000k range. If Wuben were to update this model in the future, I would recommend the newer Nichia 519A LED, and maybe a more neutral CCT around 4500k to 5000k. The tint is slightly below the BBL, being very neutral with very slight hint of magenta.


Brightness, peak beam intensity/throw, and runtimes are claimed to be (using Alkaline batteries):

  • High - 200 lumen, step-down to 40 lumens after 10mins, 770cd/55m, 148mins.

  • Med - 50 lumens, 192cd/28m, 13hrs.

  • Low - 10 lumens, 38cd/12m, 34hrs.

  • Eco - 2.5 lumens, 9.5cd/6m, 80hrs.

Brightness testing on all modes, and runtime on high mode were within +/- 10% of these figures using 900mAh NiMH batteries. Step down on high mode occurred at 5 minutes instead of the quoted 10 minutes. The light actually runs with a few lumens well beyond the "official" runtime. Peak beam intensity (cd) is approximately 20% more than claimed.


No pulse width modulation (PWM) was detected, though there is some waveform rippling.


Wuben E19 Beam Profile
Wuben E19 Beam Profile

The Wuben E19 has excellent colour rendering.
The Wuben E19 has excellent colour rendering.

Conclusion


Positives:

  • 95 CRI LED.

  • Last mode memory useful for intended use cases.

  • Good ergonomics.

  • Well spaced brightness levels.

  • Good value for money.

  • No PWM.

Negatives:

  • A 4500-5000k CCT LED, and orange peel reflector may have been a better choice.

Wuben have really thought about this light and its potential use cases. For miniature light painting photography, medical, or low brightness general purpose use, the Wuben E19 is an excellent flashlight with well spaced brightness levels, high colour rendering, and last mode memory.


Wuben E19 Product Page - 10% off with code "STEPHENKNIGHT".



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