Like BMW, Imalent reserves a special “M” badge only for their most powerful products. The latest Imalent flashlight to deserve the M-series badge is their immensely powerful and innovative MS 08. Buckle up.
The Imalent MS08 can unleash the equivalent amount of light as 10 sets of car headlights! It is one of the brightest flashlights in the world. It is also one of the most innovative flashlights in the industry. The MS08 is the first medium-sized flashlight to incorporate forced-air cooling as well as a protective heat shield jacket.
The MS08 is slightly larger than a pop can, yet it can unleash a staggering turbo-burst of 34,000 lumens downrange 700 meters. All this light is launched by 8 high-output XHP 2nd Gen Cree LEDs generating 4250 lumens each. Three high-drain 21700 lithium batteries provide the rocket fuel for this monster.
- Max Burst Output: 30,000 lumens
- Max Sustained Output: 10,000L for 1 hr
- Max Runtime: 30 hrs (300 lumens)
- Max Throw: 738 meters
- Dual-fan forced air cooling
- Waterproof to 2 meters: IPX-8
- 8x CREE XHP70 2nd Gen LEDs
- Powder-coated Aluminum Chassis
- Outer heat shield jacket to isolate hands from heat
- Powered by 3x 21700 batteries @ 4000mAh
- Quick connect magnetic usb charging
- Recharge Time: 2.5 hrs
The MS08 arrived packaged in a very nice premium box along with the standard accessories you’d expect like charging cables, spare O-rings, and a holster. The flashlight feels solid in hand. The heat shield adds a fair bit to the circumference of MS08’s grip, but I think the flashlight looks too naked with it removed. The lens and reflectors are perfectly set. There were no glue strands and every LED was perfectly aligned in it’s reflector.
I wasn’t expecting the heat shield to be plastic. I wasn’t keen on that, but later came to appreciate it(which I’ll explain later.)
Being male, I’m generally not disposed to reading the instruction first. However in this case, the manual did answer a couple of questions that came up early:
Can you remove the batteries from the MS08? Yes, you can. Removing or exchanging the three 21700 batteries is fairly simple. Simply remove the heat shield then unscrew the body from the head of the flashlight.
Why are their two charging ports? The magnetic charging port on the head of the MS08 charges the main batteries while the magnetic charging port on the tail is for charging the cooling fan battery which is part of the outer heat shield jacket.
The Imalent MS08 costs about $300.
While that is a fair chunk of change, but when you compare it to its competitors the MS08 is actually the best value in its category. It outperforms its main competitors in terms of both output and price.
For example, in the table below you’ll see the MS08’s top competitors in the MS08’s along with their price. Notice how many much more light output you get for your money with the MS08.
In other words, the MS08 cranks out 30% more light for every dollar you spend on it compared to competitors.
|Max Output||Lumens/Dollar |
|294.95||34,000 lumens||115 lumens/dollar|
|378.90||32,500 lumens||85 lumens/dollar|
Olight Marauder 2
|329.95||14,000 lumens||42 lumens/dollar|
The MS08 itself is a bit larger than a pop can. With the protective jacket on, the chassis measures 2 1/4 ” in diameter at the handgrip.
The MS08 features a removable heat shield with a built-in battery and cooling fan. The heat shield can be removed by loosening a retaining screw just below the power button. The heat shield does a great job of keeping my hands cool.
Light is launched 6 Cree XHP 70.2 inset into individual orange-peel reflectors. XHP 70.2’s are currently the LED of choice found in all brightest flashlights on earth.
The Imalent MS08 is the first medium-sized flashlight with forced-air cooling. The protective jacket has its own battery powering two fans for driving fresh air across cooling fins on the flashlight head. A dedicated button on the tail of the flashlight operates the cooling fan.
- One of the brightest flashlights on earth
- First medium flashlight with forced-air cooling.
- Stays cool in hand
- Excellent sustained output(10,000L for 1hr)
- Epic flood light
- Simple user interface
- seperate USB charger for cooling system
- Power button sometimes hard to find in the dark
- Tactical strobe is to fast for my liking. I prefer a slower strobe to confuse assailants.
The MS-08 follows the same simple UI found on all Imalent flashlights. Flashlight aficionados call these kinds of UI setups “muggle mode”- meaning, it’s dead simple:
- A single button press turns the flashlight on to the last power setting you used.
- Pressing and holding cycles up the power setting
- Double-clicking delivers turbo burst(30,000 lumens)
- Double-clicking again while on turbo unleashes a devestating tactical strobe that will stop any bad guy in their tracks.
- single-press again to turn the flashlight off.
- Force air cooling can be turned on by pressing the dedicated tail button on the protective jacket/cage.
I have one main gripe when it comes to the functionality of the MS08:
Finding the main power button in the dark is not always easy. That is because the indent for the power button is almost identical to the charging port indent on the opposite side of the flashlight head. This could be easily solved if Imalent installed a backlight for the button or at least made it a different color than black.
There are 7 modes/power settings on the Imalent MS08.
First 6 Modes
The first five power settings are accessed by pressing and holding the power button while the flashlight is already on. This will cycle the flashlight progressively up from 300 lumens to 10,000 lumens as follows:
300L >700L >3000L >5000L >10,000L
Even the MS08’s lowest setting(300 lumens) is a bit bright for reading, It would have been nice to have a “moonlight mode” of 25-50 lumens which would also significantly extend the endurance of this flashlight.
Double-click accesses Turbo burst mode. As you might imagine, delivering 30,000 lumens(equivalent to 10 car headlights)requires a lot of power and generates plenty of heat. Expect about 45 seconds at this level before the flashlight throttles itself back to prevent a nuclear meltdown.
The tactical strobe unleashes the MS08’s full 30,000 lumens downrange. Needless to say the MS08 makes a very handy non-violent defensive weapon. However, I found that the strobe is actually a bit too fast…so fast that it comes across as a powerful flicker rather strobe. I think the Strobe would be more effective if they slowed it down a bit.
LEDs and Lens
CREE XHP 70.2 LED’s have consistently been the LED of choice for the most powerful flashlights on the market for the past several years. They provide monstrous amounts of light but, in turn, require high-drain batteries and aggressive thermal cooling to satisfy their appetite.
Each LED is seated perfectly into its own orange peal-style aluminum reflector which focuses the light through an anti-reflective and toughened mineral glass lens.
Batteries and Charging
The MS08 is charged via a convenient snap-on magnetic USB charging port. Imalent uses this same proprietary magnetic port across many of their small and medium-sized flashlights. The MS08 actually has two magnetic charging ports: one to charge the main batteries and one to charge the cooling fan battery that is integrated into the heat shield.
Forced Air Cooling
As far as I am aware, the MS08 is the first medium-sized flashlight to utilize forced air cooling. This kind of innovation is what is keeping Imalent ahead of its competitors. Imalent’s full-sized MS18 was the first forced-air cooled flashlight in the world. At 100,000 lumens, it has remained the brightest flashlight in the world (see my full review of it) for over 3 years.
The MS08 has two cooling fans integrated into the heat shield- one draws fresh air in and the other exhausts the hot air out the other side. The cooling fans are operated manually via a button on the tail, so you must remember to turn them on if want maximum performance from the flashlight.
Whether or not you use the fans, the MS08’s onboard thermal protection circuitry will automatically throttle back power if the temperature get’s too high.
High-performance flashlights like the MS08 can get very hot to the touch when they are going “full bore”.
The MS08’s innovative heat shield fits like a cage around MS08’s body thereby creating an air gap between your hand and the chassis of the flashlight. This keeps your hands to cool while allowing more cool air to circulate around the body of the flashlight.
The heat shield itself looks like the same material as the powder-coated aluminum body it isn’t. It’s made of semi-flexible plastic. At first, I was a bit put off by this. However, after using the flashlight I realized that, had it been an aluminum heat shield, it would have conducted heat to my hand far more. By comparison, plastic has much less thermo-conductivity. The plastic heat shield could be seen as a trade-off. However, since the heat shield is flexible, it actually absorbs falls in much the same way as a protective phone case.
A little added protection for a $250+ flashlight? I’ll take it.
Imalent’s brand focus has been largely on developing functional, and affordable high-powered flashlights for working people. I find their designs simpler and less “blingy.” You won’t find highly detailed aggressive knurling or copper or blued metal bezel accents.
Imalents come in one color: black powder-coated aluminum. Take it or leave it. I’m a utilitarian by nature, so consider reliability and durability to be key metrics when judging quality. So far I have had nothing significant to complain about.
If I come across something in the future I will update this article.
I’m impressed with the MS08. It’s a big step up from the MS06 in terms of power and reliability.
I think the most compelling reason to buy an Imalent MS08 is the sheer amount of power you get for your money. The Imalent MS08 thing delivers the equivalent light output of 10 car headlights from the palm of your hand. That’s freaking epic!