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Spark SL6-800CW Flashlight Review

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Spark SL6-800CW FlashlightPros:
+ Light and compact size
+ Easy to operate
+ Two switches
+ Great bike light

– Turbo only works with certain batteries
– Turbo very hot

This light was kindly lent to us by:


Chinese flashlight makers are among the best in the world. It is therefore hardly surprising that, given such a dynamic economy and an almost insatiable demand for torches among flashaholics worldwide, new Chinese companies have regularly emerged to snap at the heels of their well-established compatriots.

Spark Flashlight

Spark is a case in point. They wisely decided to enter the market through the back door with a range of headlamps, which, by all accounts, were very well-received. They then attempted to build on this momentum by launching a range of torches, including the SL6 reviewed here. I was quite curious to see how it would fare, especially since there is already a wide variety of 18650 lights aimed at different users. Would this LED flashlight have what it takes to stand out from the crowd?

Specifications/Features (taken from the Spark website)

The SL6 is powered by a single 18650 rechargeable battery or two CR123A lithium batteries.

  • Length: 12.5cm (4.92inches)
  • Width: 3.1cm (1.22inches)
  • Weight (without battery): 75g (2.64oz)

The light also has the following features:

  • LED: Cree XML T6
  • Lens: impact resistant glass
  • Water-resistance: IPX-8 to 1m

First Impressions

The SL6 came in a smart presentation box and included a holster, two spare o-rings, a diffuser lens and a manual.

Spark SL6-800CW Flashlight

I was at first rather taken aback by the size. This is the smallest 18650 torch which I have seen. The picture below shows the SL6 next to the Olight M20 Warrior and the Nextorch myTorch. They all have the same battery configuration, so this should give you some idea of how the size can vary in this category of torches.

I did, however, like this compactness and the overall rugged impression. The light feels good in the hand due to various grooves, ridges and knurling along the bezel, body and tail cap. The anodising is type III and seems excellent.

As you may expect from the torch’s size, fitting a best 18650 battery is rather a tight squeeze and involves applying some pressure to the tail cap in order to screw it tight. The same also applies with two CR123A batteries. On a positive note, although the latter seem too thin for the body, they do not rattle inside.

There is a very small lanyard hole at the bottom. I tried fitting my thinnest lanyard but it didn’t go through, so I assumed this one had to be proprietary. Spark confirmed this in an email.

You can carry the SL6 bezel-down with the clip supplied. I tried it on my shirt and trouser pocket. There is slight movement but it is unlikely that the torch will work itself free. Without the clip, the torch still has good anti-roll properties on a flat surface.

The operation of the light is rather unusual, and in my opinion, very user-friendly. You have the choice of pressing the tail switch or another switch on the bezel. Both of these have identical functions. You tap either of them once to switch on. The amount of pressure required is less than for other torches I have tested and the click is certainly quieter. This may be relevant for those who want to switch on discreetly.

Hold the switch down to cycle through the modes and then release it once you have reached the desired light level. This is very easy and enables one-handed operation.
If you quickly tap either switch twice from any given level, the torch goes into turbo mode. This double-click took a little practice, for me at least, as I sometimes switched off the torch while trying to access turbo.

The SL6 automatically memorises the last level used. Momentary activation is not possible.

The light can be used in candle mode on a soft or hard flat surface. It works, for example placed on a folded t-shirt on an ironing board.


Spark offers a replacement within 7 days of purchase and a one year warranty.

SL6 Output and Runtime – These are as follows:

  • Turbo: 800 lumens for 5 minutes
  • Max: 500 lumens for 1.4 hours
  • Med 2: 220 lumens for 3.5 hours
  • Med 1: 70 lumens for 10 hours
  • Low: 20 lumens for 36 hours

Runtime Test

I tested the SL6 with two types of batteries, namely an Ultrafire, which is not recommended by Spark, and an AW, which is: (more later)

1. Ultrafire 2600mAh

I tested the SL6 on maximum mode. It is supposed to run for 84 minutes with a 500 lumen output. I measured 75 minutes until it started to run visibly lower. The flashlight became very warm after about 15 minutes but this was not uncomfortably so except for the bezel area.

2. AW 2600mAh

The SL6 had similar heat issues with the recommended battery but the runtime exceeded the manufacturer’s figures by at least 20 minutes.

This is the first time that my Ultrafire battery has not been able to come close to the manufacturer’s alleged runtime on maximum, so I was interested to see how it would perform on the even higher mode.

Turbo Mode

On turbo mode, with the Ultrafire 18650 battery, the SL6 only managed about 40 seconds, instead of the advertised 5 minutes and became very warm.

I also tried it with CR123A batteries. Curiously, it worked for about 15 seconds, became very warm and then started blinking, at which point I switched it off.

It appears that my experience with a 18650 battery is not unique. Other users on various blogs have also reported that their 18650 batteries do not function for long on turbo mode.

I then tried the torch with an AW 2600mAh battery and was more successful. The turbo mode did indeed work for the full five minutes. The bezel became unbearably hot during this time despite the cooling vents, but it was still possible to hold the torch body. After I switched off, it took five minutes to cool down to normal temperature.

I could not find any information about this difference in performance on the Spark website so I emailed them. They replied that AW, Redilast, Sanyo and Solarforce 18650s would work.

I also looked at online flashlight retailers in three different countries to see if they mentioned the need for certain batteries in turbo mode. Some appeared to ‘overlook’ this, while others merely contented themselves with the observation that CR123A batteries may not work. In my opinion, this hide and seek game with essential customer information is unacceptable.

I was therefore relieved to find that the company which sent us this light: specifically warns of this matter with both sets of batteries.


I went to the local fields on a clear night, switched on the maximum mode and found that the SL6 produces a veritable wall of light. Everything close-up and up to a medium distance appears almost as in daylight. I would estimate the lighting distance at about 80 metres, but I was able to see the outline of a tree from about 100 metres away.

Medium 2 mode was good for 60 metres. I was able to register the eyes of an animal and its size from this distance. I could not, however, see what it was.

A few minutes later, on Medium 1 mode the puzzle was solved. The little black kitten came ever closer to the light and I could see it from 40 metres away.

Medium 1 is very good for up to 25 metres.

All four of these modes produce a broad floody beam.

I was also interested to see the difference between maximum and turbo mode. In theory there ought to be a considerable visibility improvement if you switch up from 500 to 800 lumens. In practice there was little. To give an example, I shone the light on the same tree 100 metres away but was not able to perceive much more than on maximum. Turbo mode did, however, produce slightly better results at near distances.


I had high hopes for the SL6 as a bike light and I wasn’t disappointed. I tested it both with the Fenix AF02 and the Twofish Lockblocks bike mount.

The low mode is ideal for cycling with normal street lighting and produces a brighter and broader beam than my dynamo lighting. I also found it more than enough on slightly lit paths, from traffic or nearby lighting, where the terrain is known or predictable.

The two medium modes were certainly the most useful for this test.
The medium 1 mode delivered a very wide beam for unlit paths on even ground, with slight bumps.

The high medium mode would be useful for those cycling in the forest in complete darkness. It offers the ability to detect potential dangers, such as branches, stones or mud with a very good lighting distance.

I did not use the maximum or turbo mode for biking as it would only have scared animals or blinded people coming towards me.

I also deliberately cycled along a very narrow and slightly winding path alongside a shallow brook to see how the one-handed operation worked. I found changing modes very easy with both switches and both hands.

How tough is it?

I was not able to perform waterproof or temperature tests with the SL6 as I had to return it, but everything appears well-sealed so I assume it must be at least dunk-proof.

Despite the small switches, operating the torch with thick gloves worked with no hitches.


This must be one of the smallest and lightest 18650 flashlights on the market, making it well worth consideration for those who favour minimum size and weight.

The overall quality of the SL6 is also undeniable. I imagine that Spark spent a lot of effort at the design stage to make this torch attract considerable attention in an already saturated market.

In many respects they have been very successful. The output will certainly not disappoint those seeking a mini light cannon. The dual switch concept provides versatile operation and I found myself using both of them, depending on how I held the torch. In addition, both enable one-handed operation to facilitate switching between modes.

The SL6 is also one of the best flashlights which I have tested for biking. The one-handed operation, well-spaced modes and compact size make it ideal for cycling in the dark and stowing in your pocket afterwards. I was also pleased that the SL6 does without the annoying strobe and SOS modes as most people do not need these.

Moreover, it has all the features – good quality anodising, waterproof capabilities and a smooth beam – which you should expect from a premium torch.

However, the price may be a deterrent for those on a budget, especially if you have to buy a charger and the correct battery.

In addition, after discussing the battery issue with Mike, we both agreed that Spark would have better dispensed with the turbo mode. In view of the runtime and the heat build up, it should be seen as an ‘impress your friends at the evening barbecue’ type of feature rather than a serious add-on for the great outdoors.

Nevertheless the benefits of the torch more than make up for this weakness and it will be interesting to see if Spark are able to sustain their initial success.

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Choosing the right Lumens for your Flashlights

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In everyday life, when you need a led flashlight, how many lumens are best for you? This question will have many difference answers. Maybe you want a flashlight with the bigger the better in the lumens and other just needs lumen enough.

Right Lumens for your Flashlights

So, How many Lumens of Led Flashlight is Best for you?

In my opinion, I like the led flashlight which has output for the biggest possible – the bigger, the better and it built in some mode for range of difference brightness. Remember that the max of output that may be cause to reduce lifespan of led bulb.

Although the producers say that the life span of led bulb is very long (over 50.000 hrs) but when you put your flashlight in operation condition of overdrive the led will reduce life-time and efficiency.


Depending on the situations, you may want to use flood or throw mode of flashlight. Generally, you will need max output for watching objects at long distance. The bigger lumens the longer distance in watching objects are better.

For choosing right max output (max lumens) most of people based on the demand about the distance that need to monitor in the darkness night, the necessary runtime and lightweight.

There are several points to note as follows, the eyes will adapt well with the amount of light from small to large. If the light is large, the pupil (the dark dot in the middle of the eye, called the pupil, will make your eye muscles adjust to the sudden flash of light) will adjust to open larger for adapting with the darkness and opposite the pupil will adjust to narrow for reduce the light come to your eyes.

So that you can see, high lumens sometime are not necessary because the part of excessive light that wont received by the eyes and make your eyes don’t adapt with the darkness.

I’m a person who had liked a flashlight with “as bright as possible” and I purchased some led flashlight has lumens from 80, 100, 280 and then 450 lumens. In practice, however when using it, sometime I had some “half-crying half-laughing” situations because of max output.

For example, one time in the midnight, I was wake up and thirsty, I didn’t want to wake up my husband so that I didn’t turn on the light instead I take FOURSEVENS Quark AA² and turn it on (set at 115 lumens). It took me a while to see everything because my eyes dazzled and blinded by the strong light of FOURSEVENS Quark AA² and then I set it at 24 lumens – my eyes were become fine.

What are the best Lumens?

Please see two situations (with the same led flashlight) below:

Situation 1: You are walking in the darkness and turning the flashlight on with max output. You heard a sudden noise in the middle distance. You forwarded your flashlight to the noise to find out what happen.

Situation 2: The same situation 1 but you set your flashlight at low lumens that just is enough light to see some meters ahead and when you heard the sudden noise you will set max lumens for watching in long distance.

The same flashlight, the same max output, which situations will get you looking farther? At first view, may be you think two situations get the similar looking farther because of max output.

However, in fact the situation 2 is farther watching than the situation 1 because your eyes adapted well with the darkness so it is very sensitive. With the situation 1 because you using max output from starting so your eyes won’t adapt quickly enough.
Choosing the right Lumens for your Flashlights

Moreover, the eyes sense the light in logarithm line not straight lines. When increase a large number of lumens, the eyes will sense a bit different. That meant with each lumens level you need x1.4 which give you a different. For instance, it is hard to see the difference between 100 and 120 lumens.

If you want to see the difference, you need to increase for 140 lumens comparing with 100 lumens and the farther watching that you get about 19%. If you want to increase farther watching in double, you have to need 400 lumens.


  • In bedroom, you just need about 10 lumens that not wake up other people.
  • Turn on the room at lost power or waking in alley at night: 30 lumens
  • The street at twilight: 50 – 150 lumens
  • The street without the light: 200 – 400 lumens
  • For outdoor: 400 – 1200 lumens
  • For search and rescue operation: 1200+ lumens

What Guitar Accessories Do I Need?

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How Accessories Can Help Your Guitar Playing? Hearing the unique sounds that emanates from your guitar is always motivating to someone who has just picked up the instrument for the first time and is learning how to play. Why not take that experience to a new level with some guitar accessories to give it a boost?

There are many guitar accessories out there to choose from. Each one has a specific purpose in enhancing the guitar’s attributes. You can find accessories to help protect your guitar investment and some that enhance the acoustic sounds.

You can also have some extra items on hand, such as picks and strings in case the ones you have get damaged or lost. Having them handy is helpful in keeping your momentum going so you won’t lose interest easily when you’re forced to run out and get more on short notice.

Consider purchasing some of these best cheap acoustic guitars accessories and see how you can improve your guitar playing skills.


Even the more experienced players use them to improve their style. Sometimes these little aids can help you become a better player and increase your confidence level to become the kind of guitarist you’ve always wanted to be.

The Most Common Guitar Accessories to Choose From

As a beginner or novice guitar player, you’re faced with so many choices of guitar accessories to choose from. You may be wondering which ones you should consider getting and which aren’t necessary until you’re further along in your skills.

Here is a guide to some of the more popular accessories most guitarists choose:

The first things you should consider buying for your guitar are items to help protect it. Most guitars aren’t cheap, so you want to protect your investment as much as possible. There are many guitar carrying cases you can choose from. These will help you carry your guitar around and protect it from scratches and dents when you travel with it.

You should also have some extra items on hand for when they’re needed, such as guitar strings. The strings can easily break after much use and it’s nice to have some extras on hand. Guitar picks are also good to have to help save wear and tear on your fingers and hands. Having several of those can be a lifesaver.

There are some guitar accessories that can help you improve your unique playing style. Metronomes, tuners, amplifiers, guitar slides and foot switches are extremely helpful in adding zest to your rhythm and musical style.

Some other guitar accessories that are popular for guitarists are headphones, guitar straps, cleaning and maintenance kits, string winders and music stands for holding your sheet music.

You can buy many guitar accessories cheaper online than you’d find them in your local music store.

Saving Money on Your Guitar Accessories

While having an ample supply of guitar accessories is beneficial to your playing experience, they can add up in cost and put a dent in your wallet. You can find ways to get guitar accessories and save money doing it.

When starting out, it’s best to not spend too much on accessories until you know that you’re serious about learning the guitar. You can start with some essentials and work your way up as you go along.

In the beginning, concentrate on getting extra strings, picks, metronome and a tuner. The other items are more or less luxury items that aren’t necessary for your learning experience. When your budget allows you to get more accessories for your guitar, you might want to consider going with used items instead of going with expensive new ones.

You can “test drive” these items and get a feel for them before actually throwing your hard earned money away on new ones. To find these cheaper guitar accessories, check out some discount guitar accessory stores online.

The prices are lower than you would normally find at big name local music stores. Second hand stores and pawn shops also carry some guitar accessories for a cheaper price. Flea market and garage sales are another good option to try for used guitar equipment and accessories.

Consider going with second hand items whenever possible. Save a little money so you can figure out which items are worth your money in the long run to get new.

The money you save buying used in the beginning, can help you out when it comes time to buy the new products down the road.