Kizashi Club

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 #45741  by KuroNekko
 Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:33 am
A car forum may seem like an odd place to post a flashlight review, but I've been asked about flashlight recommendations here in the past when I briefly discussed my passion for these specific tools and that I collect them. Many know of my posts and write-ups here regarding HID kits, LED kits, interior LED conversion bulbs, and the sort for the Kizashi. It's all related to my fascination with lighting. I also belong to an online flashlight forum (yes, multiple exist) and got an opportunity there to receive an all-new product for free in exchange for a review. Given my prior ownership and experience with a similar older model from the same brand which I purchased (Rofis TR10), I wanted to get my hands on a new Rofis R1. I am posting a review here given my experience with it thus far is showing it's a versatile flashlight well suited for car duty too. This is due to its rather unique features. My review here will be geared towards those with little to no knowledge of flashlight technology or terminology and will be more general in nature. My main review will be posted in http://www.candlepowerforums.com at a later time and have more detailed content and photos.

Full Disclosure: I was provided with the Rofis R1 by Rofis at no cost in agreement to post a review with no other conditions. Other than this arrangement, I have no relationship with Rofis or any Rofis dealers.

What's in the Box
The Rofis R1 comes with a generous package that includes a headband, a USB proprietary charging cable, a padded wrist strap, spare O-rings, a Rofis 16340 Li-ion battery, a clip, a warranty card, and an owner's manual.
The package is a complete set and will allow the user to take full advantage of the R1's capabilities with no additional accessories needed. The remarkable points are the headband and the proprietary USB charging cable that features a magnet to connect to the R1. More on these later.

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Getting Started with the Basics
What is the Rofis R1? It is a flashlight that is powered by a CR123A lithium battery or a similarly-sized 16340 Lithium-ion battery which is included with the Rofis R1. For those who aren't familiar, these lithium batteries are often used in more upscale compact flashlight due to their small size yet higher voltage. While an alkaline AA battery yields a nominal voltage of 1.5V, a lithium CR123A battery yields a nominal voltage of 3.0V. A 16340 battery typically has a lithium-ion chemistry and yields a nominal voltage of 3.7V. Unlike a CR123A "primary battery" (the term is used for non-rechargeable lithium batteries), a 16340 battery is rechargeable and is a type of RCR123A (rechargeable variant of the CR123A). The 16340 name is derived from its general dimensions: 16mm in diameter, 34mm in height, and the 0 signifies it's a cylindrical cell. This naming is a standard among Li-ion cylindrical batteries. What all this battery talk boils down to is that the R1 is powered by a short, yet powerful battery allowing the flashlight to output nearly 3x the brightness of a similarly sized alkaline AA flashlight. The Rofis R1 comes with a Rofis-branded battery rated at 700mAh which is about standard for a 16340 Li-ion at this time. The mAh stands for milliampere hour and indicates the capacity of a battery, analogous to the size of a gas tank in a car.

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The Specs
The Rofis R1 has three main modes (Low, Medium, High), a Turbo mode (temporary maximum output), a Strobe mode, SOS mode, and a Moonlight mode.
The Turbo mode outputs 900 lumens for 30 seconds before it automatically ramps down. This is done to manage the excessive heat and power draw and is common among pocket sized flashlights with a Turbo mode.
The High mode yields 300 lumens and has a maximum run time of 70 minutes.
The Medium mode yields 60 lumens and has a maximum run time of 7.5 hours.
The Low mode yields 10 lumens and has a maximum run time of 40 hours.
The Moonlight mode yields 0.5 lumens and has a maximum run time of 20 days. Yes, days.
The Strobe and SOS mode (both 900 lumens) are not rated by the manufacturer for run times.

Below are some photos from field use on a trail during a night hike to show the various outputs.

Control photo (no use of flashlight):
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Moonlight Mode:
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Low Mode:
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Medium Mode:
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High mode:
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Turbo mode:
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The maximum candela for the R1 is 5625cd. This is a measure of the intensity of light referred to as lux. The higher the number, the more you can expect a light output to be intense in its concentration. This is not to be confused with lumens which is a measure of it's brightness. Generally, a small flashlight like the R1 can achieve high lumens in turbo modes but due to the small reflector, casts a wider beam with a more diffused focus of light. Larger flashlights, especially with bigger reflectors, can focus a beam tighter to create more intensity. Hence, it can have the same lumen rating but the light will travel further with a more spotlight focus. This is what the candela rating signifies. For a pocket flashlight about the length of a finger, the R1 has an impressive candela number.

Other specs include Ingress Protection of IPX8 which indicates this flashlight is fully waterproof. It will survive total immersion in water (typically at least 2 meters deep for 30 minutes). The maximum beam distance is rated to 150 meters. Impact resistance is 1 meter. It's made of aluminum alloy and has Type III Hard Anodizing. Hard Anodizing gives the flashlight a black finish that does not scratch easily.

The Special Features
What's unique about the Rofis R1 that sets it apart from other similarly priced and featured flashlights is its rotating head. It's actually a Rofis signature feature. It can be rotated from a horizontal to vertical position and stay in any desired position in between. This unique feature is greatly mated with the R1's magnetic tail, allowing the flashlight to attach to any ferrous surface. Given these two features, it makes for an excellent emergency work light for a vehicle. The flashlight can connect upside-down to an opened hood of a vehicle to serve as a work light. It can also attach to a body panel and serve as a work light for tasks such as replacing a flat tire.

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In the photo below, I have the R1 focused on the alternator of my Kizashi.

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In the photo below, the R1 is lighting up my rear tire. Perfect lighting for emergencies or even filling up air.

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Another unique feature is the proprietary magnetic charging. Unlike some similar flashlights that utilize a MicroUSB port covered by a waterproof flap, the Rofis R1 uses a magnetic port to connect to a proprietary USB cable to charge the battery inside the R1. This allows for the battery to be charged within the flashlight instead of necessitating removal and being placed in a separate charger. The magnetic charging port is also sealed and does not have the ingress vulnerabilities to dirt and water that a covered MicroUSB port does if the flap is accidentally removed or damaged. The magnetic head of the cable is strong and reliably connects to the R1 and isn't easily removed by moving the flashlight around. Charging is also flexible and the R1 can be powered by just about any device with an output voltage to a USB port. This includes laptops, car USB ports and chargers, power banks, and cellphone wall adapters.
In the picture below, you can see the button is illuminated red to indicate that it's charging from my power bank.

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The R1 also features a silicone-covered power button with LEDs underneath that serve as charging and battery capacity indicators. While charging, the button will illuminate red. When complete, the button will illuminate green. The button will also indicate the charge level of the battery when the R1's power is circuited. Hence, when inserting a 16340 battery, it will illuminate green for 2 seconds if the battery's capacity is over 50%. If the battery capacity is below 50% but above 10%, it will illuminate red for 2 seconds. If it's below 10%, it will flash for 3 seconds, indicating it needs to be charged. During use, it will flash red when the battery is low on power.

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User Interface
The Rofis R1 only has a single button. This powers the flashlight on and off and accesses the various modes depending on how you use the button. From the Off position, a single tap will turn it on. A tap again will turn it off. The R1 has output mode memory so it will resume the output you last used it in. When on, holding the button will cycle through the 3 main outputs of Low, Medium, and High. You simply press and hold until you get the mode you want. Turbo is accessed by double tapping the button from any mode, including off. The Turbo mode essentially overdrives the LED to a maximum output for a 30 second duration. This is helpful for temporary maximum illumination especially to see details at a distance.
A triple tap in a similar fashion will access the Strobe. Strobe modes are used for self-defense as it's a disorienting strobe of light in the maximum brightness. It is good for temporarily blinding threatening people or animals and is a feature found on many tactical flashlights. In the strobe mode, pressing and holding the button will cycle it to SOS mode. The SOS mode uses the maximum output in the internationally recognized distress signal of 3 short bursts followed by 3 longer bursts of light. It is to be used to call for help, obviously.
The last mode is the moonlight mode. This mode, as the name implies, gives off a very soft light, similar to moonlight outside at night. It is best used for navigating in complete darkness without disturbing others or compromising your night vision. It's great for the midnight piss without waking your significant other. Given the ultra low consumption (actually 1/2 of a lumen in output), you can actually look directly at the emitter in this mode and it runs up to 20 days of continual use. It is accessed by pressing and holding the button from the off position for a few seconds.
Nearly all the modes can be directly accessed from the off position from either mode memory or how you press the button.
Lastly, the R1 features a lock-out function. What this does is locks out the power button from accidental activation. You simply press and hold the power button while off. You will see the moonlight mode turn on, but keep holding and the R1 will then power off. It has now been locked out and will only turn on when the button is pressed and held for over 3 seconds. This function is great for carrying in a pocket or bag and preventing accidental activation. You can alternatively loosen the tail cap to disconnect the circuit. The anodizing of the threads allows for this and this practice is recommended for storing to minimize parasitic drain.

Every Day Carry (EDC)
The Rofis R1 is a compact flashlight that is an ideal size for pocket EDC. Given the magnetic port for its rechargeable battery and its strong clip, the Rofis R1 is something that can be carried around and used daily and charged easily when needed. It can also attach to ferrous surfaces sideways or upside-down and with its rotating head, can offer light in just about any desired angle. Personally, I find the R1 an ideal EDC in function but prefer a thinner profile that of a AA or AAA battery light for daily pocket carry as an EDC. For CR123A sized lights, I prefer a small holster which the Rofis R1 does not come with. However, the clip is very strong and is reversible, allowing one to carry the flashlight in either direction. This allow flexibility in carry whether in a pocket, belt, or attached to a cap bill. However, due to the rotating head, the clip can only be positioned in certain places if one desires the head to be rotated freely while the clip is on.

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Below is a picture of the R1 next to a Zippo lighter to show size.

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The Head Gear
The R1 comes supplied with a Rofis-branded headband. It holds the R1 with a snug silicone holder with two loops. The design is such that an R1 with a clip attached can still be mounted to the holder. While the R1 can be entirely rotated up or down on the silicone holder, the R1's unique swivel head allows for the user to easily adjust the angle of the light as well by just twisting the head. In practice, it works very well and I found the R1 comfortable to wear. The low and moonlight modes offer great close-up lighting while the Medium, High, and Turbo offer ample distance lighting. I found the Medium mode to be ideal for balancing output with run times for night hiking. The High mode and Turbo mode are great for range. The R1's reflector casts a wide light that is ideal for trail use at night, illuminating both the ground immediately in front with the light spill but also the path and area ahead with the main beam. It served as an excellent trail headlamp when tested on a night hike and would serve just as well as a work light for night-time automotive repairs or similar tasks.

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Pricing and Where to Buy
The Rofis R1 has just hit the market and is offered on Gearbest.com and Amazon.com for $69.95. While the price may seem high for a flashlight, the price is actually in range for similar products by comparable brands such as Fenix, Nitecore, Olight, etc. The Rofis R1 also includes everything you need in the package to operate the flashlight. Hence, no additional purchases of batteries or chargers is required unlike many rivals. Furthermore, the R1 comes with a headband despite also being a stand-alone handheld flashlight. In this regard, the R1 may be competitively priced. It also comes with a 5 year warranty which is longer than most rivals.
Product details on the Rofis R1 can be found on the manufacturer's website:
http://www.rofislight.com/products/rofis-r1/

Criticisms
Overall, my complaints with the Rofis R1 are few and minimal, but there is no such thing as perfection. For starters, the R1 is not cheap and some will question spending this sort of money on a flashlight or one from a lesser known brand like Rofis. Another is "con" is the battery type and size. It's not too common compared to typical Alkaline sizes like AA, AAA, and the sort. This makes powering it a little less universal for emergency back-up power supplies (especially while traveling) and primary batteries are more expensive. The size also makes it considerably thicker than a penlight with a AA or AAA battery. Like I mentioned, it can EDC in a pocket, but you'll feel it.
Another issue is more personal preference, but I prefer cooler tints (6000K). The R1 has probably the warmest output of any of my flashlights and is certainly in the lower 4000K range in color temperature. While some prefer warmer or neutral tints for color rendering and reduced eye strain, cooler tints typically output more light both in specs and how it looks. While I don't find the tint problematic, an ideal tint would be 5000K to 6000K for me.
My last complaint is the clip. It gets in the way of the head rotation, the power button, or the charging port unless you have it only in a specific location. While it's firmly on the flashlight, the clip is rather inflexible and doesn't clip on or clip off easily to things like pockets. I've also noticed minor chipping of the anodization from the clip.
All this being said, the positives of the Rofis R1 far outweigh the cons and I have this flashlight in high regard and would recommend it. It's also not my first Rofis product and their customer service and communication regarding both the TR10 and R1 has been absolutely satisfying.

Conclusion
The Rofis R1 is an impressive compact flashlight that is the most versatile flashlight I've ever seen and certainly in my collection. From serving as an EDC, work light, headlamp, night adventure light, to self-defense tool, it seems to handle any task. The 900 lumen max output is also impressive, if not short-lived. However, regulating the output to a 30 second span is likely necessary to control heat and prolong the emitter lifespan, let alone the battery life. I found the build quality and ergonomics to be excellent and better than the Rofis TR10 I also own which is the R1's predecessor. Compared to the TR10, the R1 appears to be the product of Rofis improving both the flashlight and the packaging in every way. For example, the TR10 did not come supplied with a battery, head strap, or the ability to recharge a battery within itself. I had to supply a battery and external charger to use the TR10. This makes the R1 also more travel-friendly. With its easy magnetic charging within the flashlight from a multitude of USB sources, it makes travel-charging far easier. It can also run primary CR123As in a pinch too, not being restricted to a sealed proprietary battery despite the built-in charging. It also works fine with other 16340 batteries I have. The R1 would also serve as an ideal car flashlight given the magnetic tail and rotating head. The use of primary CR123A batteries would allow reliability in extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) while offering a standby life unmatched by alkalines (that often leak) or rechargeable batteries. It's the best kind of battery for storage in a vehicle. Alternatively, the supplied 16340 battery would be excellent for EDC and maximum lumen outputs. The SOS mode would also be useful in emergencies to call attention. Attached to the included head strap, it can also be a work light for nighttime emergency repairs.

I would recommend the Rofis R1 to both collectors and flashlight novices alike given the unique versatility. For a novice, it's something worth the price to have a complete package with a multitude of uses with impressive outputs. Whether camping, repairs, emergencies, or EDC, it's the one flashlight that can do it all very well. For the collector, the features make it unique from many rivals, adding value in a collection. Rofis is also a lesser known brand compared to the giants like Fenix and Nitecore making it more interesting to own.

Lastly, I will write a more detailed review for http://www.candlepowerforums.com and link it here if anyone shows interest.
 #46103  by Speed_Racer
 Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:11 am
Maybe it's just me, but this is a super cool review. I'm saving this for the next time one of my cheapo Harbor Freight LED flashlights dies
 #46105  by KuroNekko
 Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:54 pm
Speed_Racer wrote:Maybe it's just me, but this is a super cool review. I'm saving this for the next time one of my cheapo Harbor Freight LED flashlights dies

Thanks.
I wrote a more detailed review on CandlePowerForums.com a few weeks after I wrote this one. It's largely the same but with additional info, comments, and photos and focuses on field carry. If you're interested, you can find it here:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?442203-Field-Use-Review-of-the-Rofis-R1

The Rofis R1 is certainly a high quality and versatile flashlight that does just about anything you want pretty well. I'm also hearing that the R1 occasionally goes on sale on Amazon for around $50. It's certainly well worth it at that price given the features and accessories it comes with. It's currently the flashlight I carry around the most and it's serving me well.
 #47139  by KuroNekko
 Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:00 am
Just an update:
Rofis expanded their R series line-up and now offer the R2 and R3 which are 14500 and 18650-battery powered flashlights, respectively. A 14500 battery is a Li-ion battery about the size of an alkaline AA, meaning that the R2 will also run on alkaline and NiMH rechargeable AA batteries. The larger R3 operates on a single 18650 Li-ion or alternatively two CR123A lithium batteries. These new additions follow the design and features of the R1 but now each are offered in "Cool White - 6500K" or "Neutral White - 5000K" emitter tints. Each comes with its respective Li-ion battery and headstrap.
For those interested, I recently reviewed them both together.
https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?447592-Field-Use-Review-of-the-Rofis-R2-and-R3

Again, these are some of the very best everyday carry/pocket-able flashlights I've encountered for also working on a car/vehicle emergencies.