REVIEW – Flashlights are nice to have around. Sometimes you need to light a dark area. Sometimes, you need to search for something in the dark. Sometimes, you need emergency lighting during a power outage. Sometimes, you need to light up things that are far away. Imalent, a maker of a wide range of versatile flashlights is at it again with their RS50 flashlight with a whopping 20,000-lumen maximum output and 6,500-lumen sustained lighting mode. It is described on Imalent’s website as the “Long Distance Monster”. Let’s check it out and see if it can light up my life.
What is it?
The Imalent RS50 flashlight is a flashlight! OK – it’s a very bright flashlight. Think of it as a less intense version of Imalent’s MS08 34,000 lumen monster, sort of. It has six lighting levels to handle just about any lighting need. Oh, did I mention that, unlike the MS08’s floodlight output pattern, the RS50 has more of a long throw spotlight output pattern? That ups the claimed maximum beam throw distance from 750m for the brighter MS08 to 1,160m for the RS50! For the metric-challenged, that’s nearly 3/4 of a mile. More distance from a less-bright flashlight? It’s all about the beam, baby! Let’s get into it!
What’s in the box?
- Imalent RS50 flashlight
- Fan-powered heat shield
- Charging cables (2)
- 21700 Li-ion batteries (installed x3)
- Replacement o-rings (2)
- Replacement heat shield retention screw (1)
- User manual
- Flashlight alone: 1.9″ handle width; 2.875″ head width; 4.875″ length
- Flashlight + heat shield: 2.125″ handle width; 3.125″ head width; 5.375″ length
- Weight: 22.7oz (batteries installed); 27.0oz with heat shield installed
- Shell: aerospace-grade aluminum alloy body, wear-resistant Type III hard-anodized surface treatment
- Lens: toughened ultra-clear mineral and anti-reflective coating glass
- Reflector: aluminum
- Heat shield sleeve: heat-disbursing plastic with integrated dual fans and battery
- LED type: 8 pieces of American CREE XHP50.3 HI LEDs
- Batteries: 21700 – 4,000mAh x3
- Luminous flux: Up To 20,000 Lumens
- Run time: Up To 30h
- Intensity: 336800cd (Max.)
- Beam distance: 1,160m (Max.)
- Operating modes: Turbo / High / Middle II / Middle I / Middle Low / Low /
- Output and runtime:
- Turbo output: 20,000~6,500 lumens；Run-time: 45s+48min
- High output: 6,500 lumens; Run-time: 55min
- Middle II output: 3,500 lumens；Run-time: 1h25min
- Middle I output: 1,800 lumens；Run-time: 2h18min
- Middle low output: 600 lumens；Run-time:7h30min
- Low output: 300 Lumens；Run-time: 30h
- Impact resistance: 1m
- Waterproofing: IP68 standard waterproof 2m
Design and features
Let me say right off the bat that the Imalent RS50 flashlight in this review and the Imalent MS08 flashlight that I recently reviewed are visually identical. Same dimensions, same switches, same charging ports, same batteries. They even both come with the same heat shield. The only visual difference is the slightly different LED design due to the different LEDs and reflector designs.
That’s the RS50 on the left with the square CREE XHP50.3 HI LEDs and the MS08 on the right with the round CREE XHP70 2nd LEDs. Since this seems to be the only design difference, I assume that the RS50’s LEDs must weigh less and that explains the 0.3-ounce weight reduction over the MS08.
Here is the RS50 off and then on at 300lm.
The Imalent RS50 flashlight’s weather-sealed body unscrews to reveal the three batteries.
You can see the o-ring at the bottom of the threads. Each of the three batteries packs 4,000mAh of juice.
The heat shield is a separate battery-powered unit.
You can see the set screw at the top. Two cooling fans draw air into the slots in the shield and push it out the fan opening to keep the aluminum flashlight body cool, extending runtime.
As you slip the flashlight into the shield, you can see the screw receptacle as it is about to align with the set screw.
Once in place, turning the set screw locks the shield onto the flashlight.
Here we see the bottom of the Imalent RS50 flashlight on the right and the bottom of the shield on the left. All the charging ports are magnetic, and we see the shield’s port above its power button and status LED.
That status LED lights green when the fans are running.
When the charger is attached, the LED glows red and then flips to green once the shield is fully charged.
The flashlight’s status LEDs follow a similar pattern. There is a status LED on opposite sides of the flashlight.
You can also see the flashlight’s status LEDs through the fan openings.
The included nylon holster has an attaching ring as well as a hook-and-loop belt loop.
The Imalent RS50 flashlight fits snugly and securely in the case.
Overall, the flashlight fits well in the hand, with or without the heat shield in place. It feels sturdy and the textured surface gives you great purchase on the light, especially with the heat shield in place.
I would only recommend using the Imalent RS50 flashlight without the heat shield if you plan to keep it on the lower output settings as it does get warm quickly on higher output levels.
Setup starts by peeling off the protective film on the lens so it won’t melt when you power up the flashlight. Unlike the MS08, the RS50 didn’t ship with a protective plate over the batteries. It was locked, so four rapid presses of the button are required to unlock the light. Four more rapid presses lock the light again to prevent accidental turn-ons.
The heat shield and the flashlight both need to be charged before use. Snapping on the magnetic charging cables and plugging them into your favorite USB-A port accomplishes that task. Charging takes about seven hours to fill up those three power-hungry 4,000mAh batteries.
Before we look at the performance of the Imalent RS50 flashlight, let’s talk about the operation. I’ve already mentioned the four-click lock and unlock function. Pressing the button once turns the light on or off. Once on, holding the button cycles it through its output levels: 300 / 600 / 1,800 / 3,500 / 6,500 lumens. When you release the button, the current output level is selected. The flashlight has a memory so when you turn it off, it remembers the current output level so when you turn it back on, that same level is enabled. Double-pressing the button at any time selects the 20,000-lumen turbo mode. It will only last for about 45 seconds before thermal protection kicks in and it steps down to 6,500lm. Finally, Imalent added a triple-tap function that returns the light to its lowest output mode – 300lm. I like this feature as it’s a quick way to get back to basic flashlight mode without having to cycle through the different levels.
I took the Imalent RS50 flashlight out for a test. In the video below, you will see how I step through the RS50’s lighting modes – 300 / 600 / 1,800 / 3,500 / 6,500 / 20,000 lumens and then how the spotlight beam compares to the floodlight 34,000-lumen beam of the Imalent MS08.
In the video above, the power tower on the left is a little over 100 yards away. The shorter trees straight ahead are between 180 yards and 225 yards away. The tops of the trees above the shorter trees are over 300 yards away. The video is a little limiting in what you see versus being there, where I could clearly make out the tops of the distant trees with the Imalent RS50 flashlight. When I kicked on the Imalent MS08, you can see another set of trees on the right, really showing how much wider the beam is versus the RS50.
Any high-powered flashlight like this gets hot, hence the inclusion of the heat shield. I once again placed my instant-read thermometer above the lens and saw that it peaked at about 130-degrees – toasty! The heat shield kept the grip warm rather than hot and certainly comfortable enough to hold without gloves.
When I tested the turbo mode, it burned at full power for just about 50 seconds before the thermal safety system scaled it back to 6,500-lumens. One nice feature is that after it cools a bit, you can burst it again to 20,000-lumens. You can do that as many times as you want/need until there is[t enough battery power to support that high output.
After a full charge, I cranked it up to 6,500lm and started the timer. It ran for just short of an hour and started stepping down due to low battery power. Their runtime specifications seem pretty legit.
The claim is that its maximum beam throw is 1,160m or nearly 3/4 of a mile. What that means is that at that distance, at full intensity, the flashlight should deliver 0.25 lux or about the intensity of a full moon. If you’ve ever been out on a full moon, generally, it isn’t very bright. I can’t verify that claim of 0.25 lux at 1,160 meters. What I can verify is that this flashlight throws an incredible beam a long way and lit up street signs all down the road where I live. When I was out shooting the video above, a walker came by and exclaimed, “Wow – I’ve NEVER seen a flashlight that bright before – WOW!”
What I like
- Great build quality
- Amazing light output, especially for its size
- Good battery life
What I’d change
- Recharging takes a while – about seven hours from dead
- It’s a little pricey
I was blown away when I tested the Imalent MS08 a few weeks back. When I found out I was getting the Imalent RS50 flashlight, I was less than thrilled as it seemed like a scaled-back version of the MS08. I was wrong. The MS08 and this RS50 flashlight are very different units. The MS08 is a flood and this RS50 is a long-throw spotlight. Both put out incredible amounts of light and provide great runtimes. If you want to light up a huge, wide area, then go back and read my review of the MS08. If you want more of a long-distance spotlight, then this RS50 is what you’re looking for. Its nearly one-hour runtime throwing a 6,500-lumen beam and 30-hour runtime at 300-lumens makes this a versatile flashlight. Toss in the intermediate output levels and the 20,000-lumen light-up-the-next-town-over monster beam and the Imalent RS50 flashlight is a compelling 27-ounce lighting package you can hang from your belt.