Efest LUC Blu6 Intelligent Battery Charger, because mods are worthless without charged batteries

SirRisc reviews

What’s up vapefam!
SirRisc here with another gear review!

Today I’ll be looking into a part of vaping that is often overlooked by people, a batterycharger.
You’ve got your high drain batteries, but what are they worth without a good charger?
That’s right, nothing. Enter the Efest LUC Blu6 Intelligent Battery Charger.

This Efest Blu6 was sent to me for the purpose of this review by DirectVapor!

Premise.

A lot of the reviewers we all know have tons of reviews up for mods, mechs, drippers, wire, wicks, coils, the whole mess.
But not a lot seem to have a proper review for a batterycharger, which is essentially something that can make or break your vaping experience.
Ever been on your last few percent of the battery with no charger in sight, and no USB charging? It’s hell, isn’t it?

One of the things that has bothered me a lot in the vaping world is that some people want the latest greatest mod and atty, build the lowest cloudchucking build they can possibly find, but then get pissed off because they have to buy a $50 charger and proper high drain batteries.
You’ve probably seen such threads too, the ones that say “Can I use this reclaimed laptop battery?” or “Will my mod fire below 0.05ohm with this AAA?” *(Warning, may be exagerated.)*
People like to save, and I get that. I’m frugal myself in daily life but I’ve also come to realise that some things can not be bought cheap.

Batteries and chargers are like the tires and brakes on a car. Without them you may as well be skating barefoot on ice.
The tires are the only things that are keeping you from sliding into a guardrail, and the brakes are the only things that’ll keep you from slamming into the car ahead of you.
The batteries we use are high drain batteries, which means they’ll have to output a lot of power in a short amount of time. You do NOT want to save on a good battery, you want it to be safe.
The chargers are like the brakes, without it the batteries we use are useless. A good charger will monitor the health of your battery, charge them at a good pace without breaking the chemical structure.

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to chargers, some cheap ones and some less cheap ones.
Some come with just the basics, some come with a fancy display. Some will have a fan to cool the internals, some will have passive cooling.
Efest took everything that is good in a charger, and added a little extra over the competition with their LUC Blu6, they added bluetooth and an app!

So sit back and put your batteries on charge…


 

Efest LUC Blu6 Intelligent Battery Charger

Specifications.

* 6 Bays
* Independent monitoring and charging
* 0.5A, 1A, 2A Charging (4A total maximum output)
* Night charging Mode
* Compatible with 26650, 22650, 18650, 17670, 18490, 17500, 18350, 16340, 14500, 10440, Ni-MH and Ni-Cd (AA, AAA, AAAA, C) rechargeable batteries
* Built-in transformer & over-current, over-voltage, short-circuit and reverse polarity protection
* OLED Screen with Charging Progress
* Springloaded Stainless Steel contacts
* Automatically stops charging when complete
* LED status lighting
* Android 4.3+ and iOS7+ apps available for bluetooth monitoring


 

Packaging.

The Blu6 comes in a rather big box, immediately implying that it is quite a big charger too.
On the front you’ll see a depiction of the charger and a reference to the apps you can use to monitor your charger.
On the side you’ll see two QR codes which point you to the Android app and iOS app respectively.
On the back is a cartoon, and it’s a freakishly weird one, I’m not sure what Efest was trying to accomplish with it.
Never the less it’s a fun addition that replaces the boring list of specs and brand boasting.
On the other side you’ll find a couple of batterysizes the charger supports, though not all of them.

Once you open the box you’ll find a big purple usermanual, a warranty card, and the powercord.
Being sent from the US, I had to replace the powercord with a EU standard according to specifications.
For US consumers, you’ll have a strong powercord included!
Underneath all the extras you’ll see the charger packed in bubblewrap plastic.
The display of the charger has a plastic film on it to protect it from scratching during transport.

A couple of photos…


 

Performance.

DISCLAIMER: I’m just a vaper, not a battery expert like Mooch. As such I’ll tell you about my experience with this charger and will not go into technical details.
If I fuck up somewhere along the line of my review, please feel free to correct me. I want people to have a safe and well-informed experience if they decide to buy this charger.
With that out of the way, I’ll go over some of the functionality of the Blu6 from a *user* perspective.

The display.

The display sits at the far left of the charger, and measures about 23mm x 12mm with a nice purple edge around it.
The display cycles through the bays, meaning it switches between displaying Slot 1 for three seconds and then switches to Slot 2 for three seconds, etc.
All the information you need is being shown, centered on top is the Slot designation.
Then battery voltage, but not mAh. So you’ll see how far your battery has been (dis)charged, what the current charge is.
On that note the Blu6 can charge batteries that have been discharged too low by charging it with low current.
Underneath is the current in mA, the power the charger is putting into the battery.
On the bottom is MODE, which can be three things: 0.5A, 1A or 2A.
The bottom two lines are linked to each other in that regard, you’re able to switch modes and the current will be regulated accordingly.
In 0.5A mode, the battery will receive a current of 400mA to 600mA. In 1A mode it will be 900mA to 1100mA, and in 2A mode it will be 1800mA to 2100mA.

The bays.

The bays are springloaded, like most chargers have. Putting in a battery can be done with one hand, the springs are incredibly smooth.
The positive contacts are rather bulged so flattop batteries that have a bit of a thicker wrap are no problem at all.
A buttontop battery however can be a little difficult to position if the positive contact isn’t slightly flattened.
Luckily the Blu6 has plenty of protections built in so shorting the battery should be next to impossible.
The negative contacts are flatter and have a notch where they touch the batteries, making it very easy to get to the negative ends of a battery.

As I mentioned above the bays are all independently regulated which also means they’re able to switch modes independently, however there’s a catch!
Since the Blu6 has a maximum output of 4A, charging on all bays at 2A (or even 1A for that matter) is impossible.
The outer bays, slot 1 and slot 6, are able to charge batteries at 2A provided the other bays are empty.
Otherwise the load is shared between the bays.
So if you’re charging a battery in slot 1 at 2A and you’re charging two batteries in slot 2 and slot 3 at 1A, you’ll have 4A total.
I’ve included a photo of the scheme in the usermanual below.

Also worth noting is that some batteries will heat up quite a bit if they’re charged with a 2A current.
A pair of Samsung 25R batteries charging at 2A were warm to the touch, while the Sony VTC4 batteries weren’t.
Introducing heat into your batteries during a charging cycle will shorten their lifespan, so keep that in mind when balancing speed and lifespan.

The body.

On the bottom of the body you’ll find a big part with slits for cooling, as you will on the left side of the charger.
This is done because the charger does not have a fan built in, it’s passive cooling all the way for the Blu6.
That of course makes it very quiet, outside of a small beeping noise when the bays are empty which is hardly audible.
On the back is the plug for the powercord and in line with that is the electrical information on the bottom.
The Blu6 comes with 4 anti-slip notches on the bottom so putting a battery in with one hand is fairly easy and won’t move the charger around.

The buttons.

Every bay has a LED light that will blink a blue-ish purple when a battery is being charged in the slot, and will stay lit when the battery is full.
But the LED lights also serve as a button that can be pressed from the top.
The LEDs that sit at the bottom of the bays are made to select the current slot to display, and the one between the display and slot 1 is to switch between charging modes, show the serial number of the charger, or turn off the display.
There’s a nice tactile feel to the buttons, but I would have prefered them to be a little bit rounded. They’re rather sharp and if you press them the wrong way dig into your skin just a bit.
Holding the leftmost button will show you the serialnumber of the charger, which you will need to pair the charger with your phone/tablet when using the bluetooth functionality.

The app.

I was able to test the Android app only, since I don’t own any Apple products anymore.
You’ll need Android 4.3 or higher to run the app, and a bluetooth enabled device.
The app, surprisingly, is not hosted on the Google.Play store but on the Efest servers.
A bit of an odd choice that makes me all kinds of paranoid, and might actually stop some people from installing it.
Once the app is installed you’ll have to pair it with the charger, which is done by pressing the leftmost button on the charger to see the serialnumber and then matching it with the app.
The app searches for bluetooth enabled chargers on its own, so you won’t need to press a button for discovery but you can turn the bluetooth on and off in the app.
There’s also a button that will take you to the Efest website, and a button to turn the display on the charger on and off.
The main screen will show you the 6 slots, the voltage of the battery and the current they’re charging with.
You can switch the main screen into white with a purple edge, or fully purple with white lettering. Whichever you prefer, I liked the white one better because it’s easier to read.
In terms of distance bluetooth is rather limited and it’s no different with this charger.
I got up to 17m away from the charger before starting to see the bluetooth connection drop sporadically, at 18m the connection was dropped completely.
I can see how the app might be useful for people who have their charger in a different room in the house and still want to monitor their batteries, but for me it’s a gimmick at this point.


 

Pros and Cons.

Pro.

* 6 bays
* 2A charging is very fast
* Non-disruptive LED lighting
* Clear display
* Bluetooth functionality
* Passive cooling==very quiet!
* Well illustrated usermanual
* Smooth springs and rails
* 4A total maximum output
* Night mode on the display

Con.

* Heat development when charging at the maximum output
* Buttons are rather sharp
* Slight beeping noise when plugged in but not charging (almost inaudible)
* Display cycles through empty slots
* Shows voltage of the battery but not mAh
* Screen does not automatically turn off if no batteries are loaded


 

In conclusion.

Despite my disdain for Efest batteries I have to admit Efest knows their stuff when it comes to chargers.
The LUC Blu6 is a brilliant piece of work, and the app is surprisingly stable on Android.
The purple LED lights are subtle and not at all intrusive like the amber spotlights on a Nitecore for example.
Pressing the buttons just right has a great tactile feel but if you press them a little from the side they can be rather sharp.
A clear and bright display shows all the info you need and can be turned off for nightmode charging.
Overall I think this might be the last charger I’ll ever need, it’s well built and isn’t overly expensive!

In closing I would like to thank DirectVapor for sending me the Efest LUC Blu6 Intelligent Battery Charger for review!
And of course all of you who read my reviews, thank you very much!

Join me next time as I pick apart the newest addition to the UD family, the Zephyrus V2!


I’m always looking for more opportunities to review! Do you think your stuff has what it takes? Get in touch!
I can be reached on my website, via DM on Instagram, on the Facebook page, via DM on Reddit, or via DM on ELR.

#staycloudy !

*SirRisc disappears in a cloud of lemon cake scented vapor*

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SirRisc

Vaping in Belgium since 2014.
Moderator on /r/ecr_eu, DIY afficionado, likes good flavors and sturdy devices.
Current favorite setup: P4U IPV D2, Wotofo Troll.