OMBU X-55 Tactical 5W LED Flashlight, retail $123.00 (
Manufactured by OMBU (
Last updated 08-18-04

This OMBU X-55 5W LED tactical flashlight is manufactured by OMBU in Spain; Glow Bug is the United States distributor for it.

The flashlight uses a 5 watt white Luxeon LED and a significantly stippled (texturised) reflector to produce its beam (which is significantly wider than other 5W LED flashlights), and a pair of CR123A lithium camera batteries to power it.

It is advertised to output 75 lumens of light; however, you need a special instrument called an "integrating sphere" to measure light in lumens, and I do not own or have access to one. So I will not be able to verify this lumen value.

It comes in a mostly aluminum body (the switch rubber and the plastic window at the business end are the two non-metal components that can be easily accessed from the outside), which is deeply textured to help enhance grip.

It arrives to you packaged in a hard plastic storage/presentation case, with the flashlight and its two included batteries in foam cutouts for them in the case.


Feed your OMBU the two included CR123A cells (see below), and THEN you'll be ready to rock.

To turn the flashlight on, press and release the rubber button on the tailcap. Press and release it again to turn the flashlight back off. This button has a "click" to it that you can hear and feel, so there's no mistaking when it's turned on or off.

There is no momentary or "signalling" mode available when the OMBU is off; however you can blink the flashlight when it's on by partially depressing the tailcap switch. If you don't mind the backward feeling of this, you can blink the OMBU this way.

There is no LOTC (Lock Out TailCap) function on this flashlight, so do not look for or expect to find one.

The OMBU is equipped with a bezel-up pocket clip, which can be used to affix the flashlight to the inside of a jeans or coat pocket. In the sample I'm testing, there's a 1.0 to 1.5mm gap between the end of the clip and the body; if this gap exists in yours, be sure you affix the flashlight to thick material like denim to help prevent loss.

To feed your OMBU 5W flashlight, unscrew and remove the tailcap, throw it in the commode, and flush it away...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead. ;-)

Tip the two used CR123A cells out of the barrel and into your hand, and recycle or dispose of them as you see fit.

Insert two new CR123A cells into the barrel, button-end (+) positive first. Screw the tailcap back on, and be done with it.
Aren't you glad you didn't flush away that tailcap now? ;-)

Measures 753mA on my DMM's 2A scale, using the Tekcell brand CR123A cells that came with it.

As of 11:42am PDT on 08-18-04, I'm running a battery discharge analysis on this flashlight, and will post a chart here when the machine poops it out.

And here's the chart.
Runs for 1 hour 30 minutes to 50% intensity, and 2 hours 20 minutes total.
Streamlight brand CR123A cells were used for this test.

Photograph of the business-end of the flashlight, showing the LED, stippled reflector, and scalloped bezel.

The OMBU flashlight is durable, in that it withstood 10 whacks (5 on the bezel, 5 on the barrel/tailcap) against a steel rod and it did not malfunction in any manner that I can detect, and there is no visible damage to the flashlight itself.

The flashlight is what I'd consider "waterproof". I removed the tailcap, relieved the flashlight of its batteries, and performed that dreadful suction test on it. The flashlight held a vaccum (vacume, vaccumn, vaccuummnne, vacuum, etc.). I also suctioned the tailcap, and it did not admit any air either, even when the switch was activated and deactivated several times. So you should not worry about using it in the rain or snow, and falls into shallow water should not do it in either. If it falls into seawater or if something pees on it, rinse it off with the hose or under the faucet; good as new.

The bezel (head) is scalloped, so if the flashlight is left on and then placed on a flat surface bezel-down, you can easily tell it's on by the light leaking from the scallops in the bezel. No more ruined and wasted batteries from your flashlight placed bezel-down and your not realising it's still on. Yes, I really did that, to a SureFire KL2 if I remember correctly.

The entire flashlight is texturised to help aid in retention (the ability to hold the flashlight when your hands are cold, oily, or wet). The entire barrel has these raised rectangular projections on it, the bezel is knurled (texturised with a crosshatch pattern) and has these oblong depressions moulded or machined into it, and the tailcap has eight broad ridges moulded or machined into it. You can see the texturising of this flashlight in the photograph near the top of this page.

The flashlight has a Type II anodized finish both inside and out, giving the aluminum protection against the elements. I scratched through the finish with the blade of a Swiss army knife, and it was relatively easy to expose bare metal.
Would I really try to cut up a brand spanken new flashlight?
You bet your sweet patootie I would, if it's in the name of science.

There is no anti-roll device on this flashlight, but the pocket clip will serve that purpose, so the flashlight should not get very far away from you if set on a sloped or uneven surface.

You can *almost* stand this flashlight on its tail for ceiling illumination; but the switch rubber protrudes just enough to remove this possibility. If you really, really need to stand the flashlight up on its tail, insert it into the cardboard core of a roll of toilet paper, and let the roll do the balancing work for you. The flashlight will stand on its tail if you balance it very, very carefully, but the slightest breeze or other disturbance will tip it over.

The beam that comes from this flashlight is wider (broader) than usual, and the corona is significantly brighter than you'd ordinarily see, so don't let that throw you off. This would make an excellent "walking around after dark" flashlight, regardless of whether you use it indoors or outdoors. It is fairly bright though; if you wish to preserve your night vision, this may not be the right flashlight for you.

Beam photo at ~12".
Measures 282,000mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

This flashlight has a wider-than-usual beam, that's
why this reading appears low for a 5 watt LED.

This flashlight is advertised to output 75 lumens of light; however since
I am not equipped to measure light in lumens, I cannot verify this.

Beam photo at ~6'.

Sample was sent by A.L. of Glow Bug on 06-10-04, and was received on 06-14-04.

UPDATE: 06-30-04
I have heard that the OMBU X-55 comes in an epoxy body. I carefully examined this sample (again), and this one is made out of aluminum. So either the manufacturer made a boo-boo, or newer versions of the X-55 come in epoxy bodies.

UPDATE: 08-10-04
I have decided to award 4 stars to this product. I use it all the time, even when there are other flashlights within reach.

Tough and durable construction
Bright total light beam
Pure white color to the beam
Generous ribbing and texturising aids in retention

Type II anodized finish could wear faster than the finish on some products
Wide-angle beam might not be suitable for some users
Cannot stand on its tail for ceiling illumination even though it looks like it could
Uses batteries that could be expensive or difficult to find in an emergency

    PRODUCT TYPE: Tactical-style handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 5 watt Luxeon LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Wide spot with brighter than average corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off on tail
    BEZEL: Metal; LED and reflector protected by plastic window
    BATTERY: 2x CR123A cells
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes; depth rating not known
    ACCESSORIES: 2 batteries, presentation/storage case
    WARRANTY: 2 years stated in instructions; possibly lifetime


    Star Rating

OMBU 5 Watt LED Flashlight *

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