Jeff reviewed the Nebo Redline LED flashlight for us a while back. Since then, we’ve heard a few accounts of the hugely popular flashlights dimming after a few months or even a few weeks of casual use. A few users told us about this in the review’s comments section, and I have also received a few direct emails about the matter.
The problem: Nebo Redline flashlights losing their power or dimming a couple of months down the line. Users report that fresh batteries do not improve the condition and that they are unable to restore their flashlights to factory-fresh brightness.
I reached out to a representative at Nebo Tools, and they told me that they haven’t really heard about that issue before, at least not where new batteries didn’t help things. If dimming occurs, they would ordinarily consider it an LED issue, in which case they would replace the unit.
In light of Nebo’s response, it looks like this is not a widespread issue. If you own a Nebo Redline and think that its performance has degraded even when using fresh batteries, contact the company, and I’m sure they will be happy to help you out.
Check prices or buy one now via Amazon – and don’t forget to take a look at our Nebo Redline Review. There are also quite a number of helpful independent user reviews over at Amazon’s product page as well.
Is anyone really surprised that these Chinese-made flashlights are failing? This is what happens when you buy junk thinking you’re getting a bargain. Poney up for quality tools and you will only buy once.
To be fair, quite a few flashlights are coming out of China and Taiwan these days, and some of them are really, really well made. While personally on the fence about these Nebo Redlines, I have never had any issues with the one I purchased, and am reasonably satisfied with its quality. As mentioned, there are reports of issues, but they’re not very widespread.
The Redline is very decent for the money, and while I would probably not want to rely on it in life-or-death situations, it’s great for casual usage.
Do you mind sharing any of those Chinese or Taiwanese brands. Thank you
Fenix, Olight, Nitecore, Four Sevens.
Good to know that Nebo will stand behind the product. I picked one of these up a few weeks ago, and so far (even though it hasn’t seen extensive use), I am very happy with the features, and output.
I have used the Nebo Redline for about 8 months with very heavy use. sometimes 45 min at a time on the high power setting. Change batt. weekly but now the dimming bug has taken it toll. The light it puts out looks like I’m using a stock mini mag. Thanks for the info I will contact the company.
I have two Nebo Redlines and both of them have been hit with the Dimming bug fairly soon after I bought them.
Maybe it’s a bad batch of LED modules, in which case your best bet is still to contact the manufacturer.
If the issue were widespread, I would think that many more negative reviews would start popping up on Amazon and elsewhere.
Still, the frequency at which we’re hearing about this is somewhat concerning.
that is exactly what happened. I bought mine at Batteries Plus and am on my 3rd replacement flashlight, never had any problem on exchanging them. the only bad thing was they were all from the same batch and all suffered the dimming fate, the last one with in a few weeks.
I wrote the company and actually got a quick response shocking in this day and age, and they sent me a new bulb [which was easy to change] at no charge and so far it is still working great!
I use this flashlight on the job daily and I always like it how it out shines my co-workers light 😛
I am very impressed with Nebo and that they really do stand behind their products.
More negative reviews ARE popping up on Amazon…not just for this but also their other fav “Cryket”
Happened to mine in less than a month. If the company says they’ve not heard of it either they are lying or their QA dept has it’s head in the sand.
Anthony L. Morton
My first one started dimming and I was gave a new one.Now the new one is doing the same. I bought it at a hardware store 25 miles away. I can’t keep driving that far to exchange it. I found that Batteries Plus just a few blocks away also carries them but I didn’t buy it from them. Can I get help with this!
Yes the dimming issue is a problem, I was somewhat impressed when i first bought the light, I bought ten more for co-workers that liked it as well but when I announced a problem with dimming, so did they. several of the ones i bought started to dim within a few weeks of light use.
I have the same problem. The light used to be nice and white, now it’s more yellow, and that’s with fresh batteries.
Thanks for the forum. I’m glad I’m not just imagining things.
Received my Redline SE 5615 and was very impressed with the brightness and how white the light was. I used it on my job for a total of about 10 hours, two sets of batteries. I’ve had it less than two weeks and now it’s very dim even with new batteries and the light it puts out is no longer white, it’s more of a sky blue, very dim. I was hoping the dimming problem had been addressed with the new model. I loved the light when I received it, the features, batteries size, spot to flood, different power setting were all perfect for my needs, too bad it didn’t hold up. I’m afraid to try another one. I’m now looking for another brand.
Red line SE now dimming after 10 days of moderate use.
Bought my Nebo Redline SE 5615 new off Ebay. I’ve used it sparingly, and only went through one full charge of my Sanyo Eneloop batteries in it. It’s way dimmer than it was when I first got it. I’ve put brand new Duracells in it, and freshly charged Eneloops, and it’s still dim. Sucks that I have to pay to ship it back to the company, and wait who knows how long to get a new one sent to me, and probably only to have that one go bad as well. Makes me want to try out that “defense bezel” on a Nebo exec’s face…
I’ve experienced the same problem and have attempted same fixes with same results, BUT the “defense bezel” won’t do much defense because the red plastic ring just breaks away and you now have a flashlight without the lens.
Dimming after a month. “100%” more like 55%. Only slightly higher than the 50% setting. As a cop on night shift I need something reliable. I’d lover to keep this product if this issue can be fixed.
I sent my dimmed Nebo Redline SE back to the company via USPS. They wouldn’t pay for the shipping of my defective unit, but they paid to ship a new unit to me. They received my bad one within two days, and I emailed to ask if they received it, and the customer service rep. confirmed they got it, and sent me out a new unit that day (Wednesday). I expected to receive the new one back in two days, yet by the following Wednesday, I still hadn’t received the new unit. I emailed back and insisted they send me another one, fearing the first one had gotten lost or intercepted. They sent me another one, this time via UPS with signature required. I got that one the following Friday, and it’s the full brightness. I’ve swapped out the new Nebo batteries it came with and stashed them in a drawer, in favor of my fully charged Sanyo Eneloops. I’ll post a follow up if it too goes dim.
I wonder if using rechargeable batteries could have anything to do with the dimming issue? Don’t see why it would…
The first unit they sent out to me arrived about a week after the other one arrived, so I ended up with two new units :p Serves them right for not picking up the shipping on my bad unit, and being too cheap to add tracking on the first one they sent to me. I plan to use the first one I got back, and keep the other one tucked away in a drawer to compare brightness. If they both go dim, I’ll be sure to seed Amazon with scathing reviews, and never buy another Nebo anything.
The first replacement Nebo Redline SE is already noticeably dimmer than the other replacement that arrived late. Even with fresh batteries in it. I’ll never buy Nebo anything again.
I’ve barely used it all…nowhere near even exhausting a set of batteries.
The first one I got just completely stopped working all together. The replacement that I’ve had for 3 weeks is now dimming. These flashlights are of poor quality as well as design.
I also perchased one of these lights and it went dim in 4 months, if anybody has noticed, take it apart and inspect the top of the LED! it turned brown on top! Im thinking it gets warm and kinda like burns or scores the top of the LED?
It has become clear that either the LEDs are being over-driven or there is insufficient thermal dissipation, or perhaps a combination of the two possible explanations.
In the past Nebo has said they would replace any flashlights that dim or discolor in this manner.
As I posted before, Nebo sent me two replacement Reline SE’s, because the first one seemed to be lost in shipping. The first replacement to arrive has gone dim, the originally shipped one arrived a week or so later. The latter one has not gone dim. Comparing the two, the dim one’s LED is browned on the surface, looking down through the lens without dismantling the flashlight. The good one appears to be a bright yellow and not burned. I’ve not that one very much though. I’ve kept the orignal Nebo batteries in the good one too. Could using rechargeable batteries cause them to dim? Maybe they don’t provide the same level of current or something?
I have noticed the units get a little warm if they’ve been on in full brightness more for several minutes continuously.
I emailed the same customer support rep. at Nebo to tell her that the replacement Nebo Redline SE’s LED dimmed, and the surface of the LED was browned. I complained that I did not wish to incur another $5 expense mailing the unit back to them, and she agreed to send me a couple of new LED bulbs. She actually sent me four new LED’s free of charge 🙂
That’s great news! However, it seriously worries me about the design and quality of these products. It’s not a good sign that they so easily give up four replacement LEDs – that suggests they know they’ve got a problem and have yet to rectify it.
That could be. Perhaps she recongizes my tenaciousness, and knows that I will praise them for their prompt customer support and declare the matter resolved to my satisfaction (if the new LED’s are good) on this site and others, or rant bitterly in Amazon reviews and warn potential customers away :p I’m hoping it was just a bad run of LED’s, because I really like this little flashlight and its features. Although, my confidence has been shaken in it, and would not pack it as the sole flashlight in a survival pack or a camping trip, or as a tactical gun light or anything where its failure might cost me my life.
I have sent back 2 different models for the losing brightness problem and now it is doing it again after a few months. Great they cover it but I have spent $18.00 shipping. I am looking at different flashlights there is a problem they say they do not hah……
Have 3 redlines,
The oldest one still works great and has been mounted on a gun barrel it’s whole life.
#2 eats batteries and draws almost twice as many milliamps.
#3 is weak yellow light and draws 3 times as many milliamps. Has had the least use. Its a better hand warmer than light.
There has to be a QC issue with the LED. China…QC…mutually exclusive!
Take off the top so you can get to the LED light, itself, then pull off the little dome (maybe for magnification of the light?). First thing you will notice is that, without the magnification dome over the LED bulb, the light emitted becomes white once again!
Considering you would like to put the dome back over the LED bulb (which I don’t think is at all necessary, seeing as how the emitted light is bright enough without any magnification) Now, if you look into the little dome, there will be a goop of brown jelly-gunk (burned silicone, I think) stuck inside the concave. Use something pointy to pick it out.
*~IMPORTANT!!!~* Make sure you do NOT pick at the jelly gunk on the LED bulb itself! You will disconnect the micro-wiring that powers the LED bulb!
Haven’t gotten around to trying to put the little dome back over the bulb yet, as I basically did what I warned against… Anyways, I figured out that if I just take a wire and touch both of the disconnected wires together, the light will work still; however, it is very difficult to keep the wires touching, as am lacking soldering equipment, which is in storage at the moment. The point is, I’m not sure how to attach the dome back onto the light…anyone wanna try to figure that one out, be my guest!
I guess the world is doomed in my mind, for eventually every single person on the planet will be calling an LED a “Bulb”, they are nothing like a bulb, look it up if i confused you…
Yes, its the LED in combination with poor design:
#1 Depending on what battery’s you use the LED can be over powered. Hence there are no current limiting circuits.
#2 The should be heatsink the LED is mounted to is mearly a peice of aluminum and with no airflow what so ever it pretty much does nothing for heat dissipation.
When it starts getting warm to the touch it’s already shortened the life of the LED.
I have already replaced the LED in mine twice with high power LED’s of different brands. They all burn up after extended use because of the poor design. These high power LED’s are designed for a normal operating temp of 25°C which is 77°F… Once it starts feeling warm on the outside, the LED is well past 25°C.
The led they use is a CREE rhea star, the forward voltage is 3.3/3.4v, if you change it out to a cree XP-G2 (158lm vs the rhea’s 110lm) you not only get almost 50% more lumens but the forward voltage is only 2.8 meaning the batteries last longer and the LED runs cooler. The issue is the LED burns itself up, I did the XP-G2 swap after my original led was down to <10% brightness on new batteries and it made it outshine my much more expensive streamlight led's.
Hi Dan, happen to have a part # website where you found the piece? I have a nebo edge I’d love to swap the bulb on.
A friend gave me one of these “used”, about 5 minutes into the 4th time I used it the brightness cut in half. I stumbled across a forum comment yesterday where someone else said that their LED had changed color; taking a close look at mine, and it is now a dried, burnt mustard color.
For a more technical report: My Fenix LD01 in 72 lumin mode is brighter than the Nebo Redline in 220 lumin mode. I tried 3 brand new Energizers, no change. I tried 3 brand new Eneloops, no change. I tried 3 fully recharged and fresh Eneloops, no change.
Its obviously the crappy burnt mustard LED. The guy on the other forum thinks it is a heat sink issue… which makes more sense then the “fungus” thing some people are talking about.
The problems I experience are broken Battery holders in brand new purchases…..I purchased a few of these for other employees at work and one was just returned to me as it was dimming. When I went change the batteries, the battery was coming apart. I have an email out to the company hoping they will
replace this battery holder …..like they did on the other 2.
My redline got the dubbed dimming bug after 2 weeks of what id consider normal use. I chucked it up to junk Chinese made junk and a $35 lesson learned. Ive since kept my Chinese junk flashlights to $5 max so when they burn out not too big a deal. I will have to contact nebo now knowing that others are having the same issue.
I have a dimming issue also. It also goes from dimming to back to bright in some cases. I think the problem is on the bottom where you turn on the light. The little mechanism on the inside is my problem I think. Also, the red band breaks easily. I have (2) of these lights and he red band on both lights are broken. I will have to contact the company I guess. These lights are lilmetime guarantee I think
Has anyone had the problem of the battery carrier/holder breaking/falling apart inside the flashlight?
Hi there, I saw your posting and felt the need to reply. I own three of the 5599 models. The red ring honestly is to date a non issue for me but is indeed cheap and there is a fix on the web as some gentleman has come up with an aluminum replacement ring solving the problem. As for the battery carrier, is it a problem and yes and I have a secret: The main problem for all of the dimming issues can be traced back to the battery carrier. Here is what happens, used in short intervals with frequent battery replacements, you will in all likelihood never experience a problem with this flashlight. The problems with the dimming and battery carrier all come to Light (pun) when you use the light for extended periods of time. I ten to use mine for example on low power as a night light. Over a period of months regardless of how often you replace the batteries, The battery compartment will build up corrosion any eventually wear out. I have several methods of cleaning it ranging from wire brushing it to letting it sit in CRC lectra clean for a few minutes to destroy the corrosion. The other unfortunate side effect from using the 5599 as a night light is that the battery holder will actually generate a hot spot where it meets the positive contact point on the flashlight LED base and create a BURN spot which also must be cleaned on a regular bases or it will become damaged over time. Over all I really like this light but it does have manufacturer defects that should be stated in an owner’s manual or at least covered by the OEM “Original Equipment Manufacturer” warranty.
I bought one at houses in Marietta ga got home about a hour later it does not work at all no matter what you try a two hour trip to take it back seems to be junk
Hello friends of the Redline 5599 made by NEBO. I just came across this site and wanted to share some thoughts. I own three of the 5599 models. The red ring honestly to date has not been a problem but is indeed a cheap part and you should know that there is a fix on the web as some gentleman has come up with an aluminum replacement ring solving the problem. Regarding the battery carrier, another weak point, it is indeed a problem and YES it is the main problem of the flashlight. The main problem for all of the dimming issues can be traced back to the battery carrier. Here is what happens, used in short intervals with frequent battery replacements, you will in all likelihood never experience a problem with this flashlight. The problems with the dimming and battery carrier all come to Light (pun intended) when you use the light for extended periods of time. I tend to use mine for example on low power as a night light. Over a period of months regardless of how often you replace the batteries, the battery compartment will build up corrosion and eventually wear out. I have several methods of cleaning it ranging from wire brushing it, to letting it sit in CRC Lectra clean for a few minutes to destroy the corrosion. The other unfortunate side effect from using the 5599 as a night light is that the battery holder will actually generate a hot spot where it meets the positive contact point on the flashlight LED base and create a BURN spot which also must be cleaned on a regular basis or it will become damaged over time. Over all, I really like this light but it does have some manufacturers defects that should be stated in an owner’s manual under “Things To Avoid When Using Your Flashlight” or at least covered by the OEM “Original Equipment Manufacturer” warranty. I sincerely hope that this comment has helped some if not all of you will on going issues. My Best! Bob
I must be lucky. I have had my light for @ 5 1/2 years. For the last 2 years it has seen heavy use. I have the micro 6272. I did drop it approx 8 ft onto concrete and broke the red plastic ring. I am a sheetmetal worker and do mostly heavy commercial HVAC duct work. I would greatly appreciate the email or contact info of the gentleman who made the aluminum ring. Thank you.
My Redline SE the button on the bottom that has magnet doesn’t go off very good and turns on by itself
My Nebo will not stay on! Soon as you let up on the button it goes off! Red and regular.
Did you press hard?
Sounds like 2 possibilities:
User Error: You’re activating momentary mode but not pressing hard enough for the switch to latch.
Product Issue: The switch could be defective.
My Fiance was given the Nebo Slim Flashlight as a gift.
He uses it every day…..that is, until yesterday.
He has has this flashlight for less than 4 months.
Now the output is a dim green light only.
He won’t pay shipping to return, nor will he wait for a replacement. It is defective.
If Nebo expects to keep loyal customers, why won’t they email a coupon that can be used immediately and a return shipping label?
Just a thought.
nebo is a racket. they are not made to last. you pay a premium for the bright light you see in the store. you use it and charge it 3 times and it ultimately fails. first and last time I buy NEBOcrap.