To me, the Imalent MR90 resembles a cyclops. This medium-sized flashlight can punch a wall of 50,000 lumens downrange straight into the eyes of bad guys. They say, if you listen closely you’ll even hear the sound of sizzling retinas as they run tripping and screaming for mommy. Well, maybe not, but I like to imagine it anyway.
So here’s the deal: I’m going to give you my short, to-the-point review of the Imalent MR90 -who it’s for and who should just skip it. So stick around.
To begin with, Imalent’s “M” series are among the brightest flashlights in the world. The MR90 is no exception. It is among the in top 10 brightest production flashlights. These flashlights are not toys. They are super-high output flashlights that far exceed the typical consumer flashlights on the market.
The MR90 is a mid-sized flashlight with a unique hybrid flood/thrower setup. It utilizes a combination of LED’s and reflectors to deliver a broad flood with a central long-range beam which Imalent claims can reach out to 1560 meters. While it can technically reach this far, the amount of measured light at such a distance isn’t really helpful to the user. As with all flashlights, the usable range of a flashlight (to the human eye) is typically less than half of what the lab ratings are.
Specs & Pricing
- Price: $360 (as of publishing)
- Dual Beam: Flood/Thrower
- Max Turbo: 50,000 lumens
- Max Sustained Output: 10,000 lumens/52 min
- LED: 8 XHP70.2 LEDs(for flood)
- LED: 1 SBT90.3 LED (for throw)
- Weight: 903g(2lbs)
- Aluminum alloy Type III anodized
- Waterproof: 1meter(IP56)
- Battery: 4 x 21700 sealed battery pack
- Forced-Air cooling
- Dimensions: 3.6″(head diameter) 2.2″ (body diameter) 6″ (length)
- Accessories: Charger, O-rings, Lanyard, User manual
When I unboxed the MR90 my first words were, “Well, this is different.” As I mentioned earlier, the multi-beam lens resembles a cyclops with a heavy LED eyebrow. The central LED is deep-set in a large reflector providing the throw, while a set of 8 other LEDs deliver a remarkably even flood.
The MR90 is a simple-looking black aluminum flashlight- no fancy knurling or two-tone offsets. It shares a very similar form factor as many of Imalent’s other mid-sized flashlights.
This thing gets hot very quickly on turbo, so don’t plan on using turbo for more than a few seconds at a time unless you wear gloves.
- One of the brightest flashlights in the world for its size
- 2hrs of endurance as a thrower
- Great for large-area lighting
- Good build quality
- Simple interface
- No USB charging or power bank capability
- Gets very hot in turbo mode
The MR90 is a midsized 6″ long flashlight with a 3.6″ bezel.
A single SBT 90.3 LED provides the throw while 8 XHP70.2s deliver a powerful flood.
The MR90 shares the same rechargeable battery pack as the MS12 Mini and takes about 2.25 hours to fully charge.
The flashlight comes with a branded nylon holster which is functional, albeit large.
The MR90 is operated via a single black button, which I find difficult to find in the dark.
Two fans in the head provide forced-air cooling to help mitigate the immense heat generated.
Simple square knurling provides on the handle provides adequate grip but no insulation from the immense heat this flashlight can generate.
Modes and Operation
On low(2500 lumens) this flashlight can run for 4 hours and the max sustained lumens is 10,000 lumens for about 52 minutes. That’s a lot of light compared to the average set of car headlights that only produce 3000 lumens on high-beam.
As with all Imalents, the operation is virtually idiot-proof:
- A single press turns the flashlight on and off.
- Pressing and holding cycles output levels.
- Double click– delivers Turbo for the selected mode
- Triple Click-cycles between, Dual, Flood and Spot modes.
I don’t recommend using Turbo much since the heat produced makes the flashlight extremely uncomfortable to hold. I do wish Imalent had included an ultra-low mode/moonlight mode for when you only need to illuminate a small area without losing your night vision. The lowest setting is still a whopping 2500 lumens which is almost as bright as pair of car headlights.
Once the Imalent MR90 is turned on, double-clicking unleashes a massive wall of light downrange with both the flood and thrower LEDS combining for an impressive 50,000. Even with the forced air cooling fans running at max this level can only be sustained for 50 seconds. The onboard thermal-control module throttles the output back to avoid a mini-Chernobyl event in your hand. I highly recommend wearing gloves because it gets hot very quickly.
The MR90 delivers a surprisingly broad and even flood especially when you consider that the LEDs are configured in an arc pattern. You can easily light up a couple of acres with this hand-held stadium light.
In my opinion, spot mode it is the best feature of the Imalent MR90. Once on, triple clicking cycles the flashlight to spot mode. This turns off the 8 flood LEDs but leaves the SBT- 90.3 thrower LED on high. Once in spot mode, you can increase and decrease the output as well as engage turbo by double-clicking.
I love this for a couple of reasons:
- In most cases, focused light is much more practical. The eye can only focus on a single point anyway.
- It greatly extends the battery life while still delivering 4500 lumens to over 1000 meters for 2.5 hours.
Battery and Charging
The MR90 has a sealed rechargeable battery pack comprising 4 high-capacity 21700 lithium batteries. If you plan to use this flashlight extensively for nightshifts. I recommend purchasing a second battery pack that you can swap out.
Unscrewing the tail cap reveals the non-USB charging port for the battery. The port features wrap-around LED’s to indicate when the battery is fully charged.
I have no major complaints about the build quality of the Imalent MR90. The anodized coating is even, the threads are smooth and the flashlight operates as expected. Like many Imalents, this flashlight is not “blingy,” but is excellent value for the performance you get.
Best Uses for the MR90
Thanks to its large battery bank, the best use for this flashlight is as a long-endurance thrower. For example, I like to use the Imalent MR90 on bush walks to spot bush baby monkeys in the treetops at night. I can take a 45-minute walk using spot mode on medium power and barely discharge the battery at all.
The flood is useful for broad surveillance but once you find your subject you can then switch and track them in spot mode for an extended period. Thanks to the MR90’s large battery capacity it can provide 4500 lumens of long-range performance for over 2 hours. This type of performance is usually reserved for much larger flashlights.
I would recommend this flashlight for night patrols of large acreages such as construction sites, farms, and ranches. Other applications include search and rescue and emergency response.
My one complaint with MR90 is that it gets far too hot when in Turbo mode. Be careful because it could burn you. It’s worth noting that this flashlight is not a toy. Keep it out of reach of children and always use the safety lockout mechanism to prevent accidental activation. That said, if you are in the market for a long-range flashlight with plenty of endurance the MR90 is definitely worth considering. It’s definitely a pro-level flashlight designed for lighting up large acreages and blinding bad guys from a long distance.