Review - Astrolux EC03 3xXHP50.2 6700 Lumen Flashlight

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Rolz
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Review - Astrolux EC03 3xXHP50.2 6700 Lumen Flashlight


Astrolux EC03 3xXHP50.2 6700 Lumen Flashlight Review

In this review I'll describe the recently released Astrolux EC03. This is flashlight powered by a 3x CREE XHP 50.2 LED using a single 21700 or 18650 battery. The suggested Lumen rating on this model is 6,700 which is in the upper range of flashlights of this size. It's suggested 1-6700 lumen output via ramped and a turbo option makes it a very flexible flashlight for users. It also uses Toy Keepers Anduril's firmware providing users with a multitude of options. The Tint color is a cool 6500K.

There are models out there that output more but all are priced well above the EC03. At this time of this review it is probably the best value flashlight producing over 5,000 lumen with a price range from under $US40 when discounted. See the end of this review for a special price.

The Astrolux range have provided excellent value flashlights over the years whilst maintaining good quality and performance. This one promises much and as I found delivers on many counts. It's a really impressive flashlight for the price.

Thanks Banggood for supplying the flashlight for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was provided.

Link to product

Astrolux EC03 (Non Aff link)

Specifications


Product name:

Astrolux EC03 EDC Flashlight

Brand:

Astrolux

Model:

EC03

Emitter Type:

3x XHP50.2 3V LED

Color Temperature:

6500K

Max Output:

6700 Lumens

Range:

303 Meters

Firmware:

Andúril UI

Driver:

FET+1 driver. Low parasitic drain while OFF Body: Aluminum with HA III anodizing

Battery Configurations:

1× 21700 or 1× 18650 Li-ion Battery (Not included)
21700 Battery Recommended)

Charging:

Integrated charger via USB-C

Switch:

Electronic side switch

Lens:

High transmittance glass Flux: ~6700 lm

Material:

Aerospace grade aluminium alloy

Waterproof:

IPX8 Waterproof

Color:

Black

Weight:

175g without battery

Size:

126mm x 48.5mm

(Length x Head diameter)



User interfaces: 

  1. By default the EC01 is set to use SMOOTH RAMPING. Instant access to TURBO mode is also provided.
  2. A more conventional STEPPED RAMPING UI is available if you like discrete modes level. You can choose how many steps you want.
  3. MOMENTARY mode is useful for signaling purposes or rapidly/briefly lighting up targets. To exit this mode, physically disconnect power
  4. MUGGLE mode uses a reduced output.
  5. It has an electronic LOCKOUT for safety, but acts also as momentary low light.

 

Other functions: Battery check, sunset,  beacon, tactical strobe, party strobe, bike flasher, candlelight, lightning storm

Note:The product uses copyrighted code released under the GNU Public License v3 (GPLv3).
To know about the exact source code used in the product, please go to:https://tiny.cc/TKAnduril


Package includes:

  • 1 x Astrolux EC03 Flashlight

  • 1 × 18650 to 21700 battery tube

  • 2 x Spare waterproof o-rings

  • 1 x Lanyard

  • 1 x User manual



First Impressions and Unboxing

The box is simply a plain brown box with the "Astrolux" marking on one site. On one end it has the a product SKU label with some details. Overall ok and it manage to survivee shipping with minimal damage. Nothing special here just basic for the purpose of storing the flashlight and the supplied accessories.

 

Inside the box was the,

  • EC03 Flashlight wrapped in a bubble wrap bag

  • Folded Instruction sheet

  • Small plastic bag holding the spare O Rings and Lanyard.

The 18650 battery tube shown was stored in the flashlight tube. It fits inside the Flashlight tube well with no rattle noise if the host is shaken. Appears to be made of white PVC.

The lanyard quality is of reasonable quality. Often we see a generic low quality black lanyard on most budget flashlights sold today. This ones a step up which is pleasing. The O rings are fine, nothing really to say about these.

My initial impression of the quality of the flashlight was very good. I don't like seeing any chips, scratches or other faults with new products I open. This one didn't disappoint, as the flashlight body was clean and without any blemishes. The large stainless steel crown looks good, without being too sharp at the ends.

The size of the EC03 is just above what I'd consider a EDC. It could be carried in jeans pocket but not without the large head being exposed. Best carried with a suitable holster. I'd prefer a smaller head size to make it more suitable for carrying in a pocket, however it would likely reduce cooling performance and obviously affect the beam pattern and flood/throw.

Image below shows multiple sides of the flashlight whilst tail standing. Only one button on this model being part of the head. It has a firm feel and makes a clicking sound on pressing. On the other side of the head is a USB-C charging port with a rubber cover. The cover stays in firmly however when it's in position I find the exposed end section is easy to flick a little when holding the flashlight. It's possibly a couple of mm too long. It's fine but not what I'd consider perfect.

Tail standing is also possible with the lanyard fitted.

In the image below the EC03 is compared against other flashlights and a Samsung 21700 Battery. From left we have an Olight S30, Convoy S2+, Astrolux EC03 and a Convoy C8.

 

Flashlight Build and Disassembly

The flashlight was in perfect condition, without any scratches or dents.

The EC03 is probably considered a small to medium sized flashlight. It's dimensions are 126mm in length by 48.5mm at the head. The design based on a 21700 battery enables the tube diameter to be smaller than had it been based on a 26650. This helps kee the size down making the overall host somewhat compact.

Body anodization is listed as HA III. The coating on the tested flashlight was even and smooth.

At the business end of the EC03 we see the triple Cree XHP 50.2's. These are well centered in the aluminum reflector with glass. It's difficult to assess if the glass is coated. The stainless steel bezel isn't thin either.

 

 

The positive terminal in the head section consists of a brass tab. This restricts use to longer 18650 batteries. Most/all unprotected flat button 18650 batteries will not be usable in this flashlight. Example here is the LG HE4 which I tried. It's probably 4mm short. Longer protected cell 18650's should work however performance is limited if not high drain.

 

 

Image of the body tube with anodized threads and O-Rings fitted to assist with achieving the IPX8 rating.

 

 

 

The body tube has anodized nicely square clean threads. All threads are lightly lubed. Flashlight lockout to reduce battery drain when not using the EC03 is possible via partially unscrewing the tail cap.

 

 

Tail cap images below. The thick spring is lacking a wire bypass. Others have found that modifying the tail cap can increase performance. I measured the resistance between the top of the spring and the base section that establishes a connection with the tube body as 0.6 Ohm.

 

 

Closer look at the USB C port. As mentioned earlier the cover has a small flap end which is slightly long in my opinion. The cover is a very firm fit and does take some care to place back into position after charging.

 

 

The weight of sections of the flashlight are,

  • Head section – 135 grams

  • Body – 35 grams

  • Tail – 12 grams

Overall being 182 grams which is above what was suggested in the specs.

 

 
A holster isn't included however I had a spare one that works ok. There is a suggested Holster on Banggood at this Link. The Banggood item is larger in size which would be a better choice. It also accommodates a spare battery which is always useful.
 

 

User Interface

The Astrolux uses the Toy Keepers Anduril firmware which provides many choices for the user.

For those who like simplicity you click the side button once to turn on the flashlight to the last used light level, not turbo. Click again to turn off. For Turbo a double click is required once the flashlight is ON.

On initial powering of the flashlight it was set with Smooth Ramp Set and illuminated switch. Last level memory is active. It's the first Anduril flashlight I've used and was initially concerned that the vast array of options would make it difficult at times to use however I quickly found that once it's been set to a mode I was comfortable with, it was a pleasure to use. My preferred settings were side switch illumination OFF and Step ramping. This gives me the increase or decrease light levels as needed and jump to turbo via a double click. It's impressive firmware which gives users more options to customise to meet their needs. This is a real boost to the EC03 and gives it the edge on many more basic UIs as there are many modes, Candle, muggle, lockout, battcheck blinkies and various strobes.

For a more details on the many options please refer to the supplied instruction sheet and also here EC03 Manual and the firmware site.


 
Some of the many modes are described in the diagram below.
 

Beam Shots

All photos taken with the following Camera settings,

F 2.7, Shutter 1/320 ISO 100 at a distance of approximately 1m to the wall.

Six images below taken with the EC03 in stepped ramping mode. There are 7 steps shown below, missing is the lowest mode.

Overall the beam pattern is good considering the triple LED head.  The first four images suggest a green/yellow appearance. This is only really visible when close to a wall as taken. A hot spot is present however the output has lots of flood. For the purpose of generating sample beam shots step ramping was used. To access the full range of light output from 1 lumen the user to opt for smooth ramping.

Outdoor Photos

All photos taken with the following Camera settings,

F 2.7, Shutter 2.5s  ISO 100

Location is at a park with the distant tree approximately 60m from the camera position. Flashlight again in step ramping with step increasing with each shot taken with the exception of the bottom right which is on Turbo mode. On Turbo it is really impressive, and lights up streets. I had to be careful not to be shining the beam whilst any cars were travelling by as it's clearly in the range of 6000-8000 lumens which is  more than many car headlights produce.  Although the flashlight has good throw it's more of a flood output. An excellent flashlight to use outdoors during cold nights. The ability to light a massive area with Turbo is a great featrure to have in hand. The broad range of light outputs via the ramping mode enables better selection of ideal brightness for the conditions.

Light Output

Multiple tests were completed on the Astrolux EC03 with two 21700 cell types, Samsung 30T 3000mAH and 40T 4000mAH. These were chosen as they are considered high drain.

  1. Ceiling Bounce test measurements

  2. Experimental Lumen Tube.

  3. Run time tests with a each 21700 battery.

 Firstly the Ceiling Bounce test. The purpose of this test is to assess the amount of light produced.

The score 490 for a Samsung 30T is the highest recorded score of all the flashlights in my possession. Over 32% more light measured via this method than the 5,500 Lumen Imalent RT70.

 

Next is the Lumen tube measurements.

I've built a lumen tube using 90mm PVC pipes which is very similar to those made by others. The tube diameter is less than the recommended 100mm that most use. Below are some readings made however likely on the low side. I'l refine this over time but still interesting.

The final light output testing involved extended run times. I decided to process 4 runs,

  1. Start on Turbo Mode with a Samsung 30T

  2. Start on Highest ramp output with a Samsung 30T

  3. Start on Turbo Mode with a Samsung 40T

  4. Start on Highest ramp output with a Samsung 40T

All run time tests were executed with the flashlight mounted in a tripod spaced 1m from the light meter sensor. The flashlight and sensor were stationary for the full duration of the test. A video recording device was used then to record the session with all results recorded transferred to a spreadsheet for charting purposes. I fitted 4 temperature probes to the flashlight, one on the Stainless steel bezel, another two on the head section and one on the tube. The highest reading of the four was captured.

The run time tests were run for approximately 2 hours. The results graphed above represent the first 63 minutes. The trends are were similar for the remainder of the run time and have not been included.

The observations were,

  1. The EC03 heats up very quickly and in doing so the thermal protection activates dropping output significantly. This was clearly the case for all attempts.

  2. Aside from higher initial readings the behaviour of th eflashlight post 5 or so minutes was the same for teh Turbo and Highest ramp mode for each cell.

  3. The 40T peak Lux was higher than the 30T. Not expected and may be an error in the run. Cells in every case were charged fully on a XTar VC4.

The estimated throw distance on Turbo when using a Samsung 40T is 350m and is higher than the spec of 303m. This figure is approximate as the measurements were taken with the sensor 1m from the flashlight. It does suggest the EC03 is able to throw at least 300m.

 Current Measurements

The Current measurements on the highest setting were taken using a UNI-T UT204 clamp meter with a 12AWG wire with the tail cap removed. Actual current levels will be lower due to the resistance of the tail cap switch and spring. Figures below represent the peak measured

The following measurements were recorded.

The flashlight head heated up very quickly as expected with the high current readings. The figures are approximate as the method is somewhat basic and ignore the tail cap resistance which would result in a real life lower reading.

Internal Battery charging

Battery charging was performed on a Samsung 40T 21700.

Whilst the battery is being charged the switch lights up with a red LED. On completion it changes to Green. Final voltage is 4.17. Charging current varied during the process, typically under 2A.

Final Summary

The Astrolux EC03 is a excellent flashlight overall. It's flexibility in producing outputs of varying brightness levels and modes ranging from 1 to 6,700 Lumens provides users with many options to cover most needs. Not being a very large flashlight impacts its cooling ability whilst running on the highest output mode and turbo which is expected. Being outdoors in cool temperatures ensures the thermal management doesn't kick in too soon which allows for longer times on higher brightness modes. For those camping our outdoors often at night, the EC03 represents a great choice as it can be used for extended periods on lower output modes with the Turbo mode blast when needed. It's quite compact too making it easily packed away for those outdoor camping trips.

Prices for the EC03 is listed at $US68, however occasionally can be purchased at a discount under $US40. This is amazing value for what is a very powerful flashlight. Highly recommended overall.

Pros:

  • Very Good Quality

  • Excellent Performance with up to around 6700 Lumens

  • The pricing is probably the lowest for a 6000+ Lumen Flashlight

  • A major plus is the Anduril Firmware. It provides one of the best user interfaces with a vast array of options.

  • Ability to charge batteries via the in built battery charger.
  • Can be used with 21700 or 18650 high drain cells.

Cons:

  • Minimal accessories included

  • No Holster included

  • Only available with 6500K LEDs
  • Thermal management. The small host size heats up fast on Turbo which results in reduced output to keep temps down.

A special price of $US38+ shipping when used with Coupon BGEC03. The coupon expires at the end of 2020. Be sure to de-select the Gift when ordering as it will prevent use of the Coupon. Product link is Astrolux EC03 (non Aff link)

 



Edited by: Rolz on 08/04/2020 - 17:05
Rolz
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Reserved for any new details.

hasddie293
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Your review is really excellent one, precise covering, I think the content is very useful as for flashychoholic(watever). Well done, good job!

In search of the most ideal flashlight in town:
1. BRIGHTNESS
2. Durabillity
3. Design
4. Quality
5. Price$$$

SerenityNow
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Thanks for the review! I picked one up and paired it with Molicel P42A 21700s. It does get bright! And hot!

I really like the small size of this thing. It feels good in the hand.

If this would be offered with the 5000K XHP50.2, I think it would be perfect.

All in all, an incredible value. I’m glad I chose this over the FW21 Pro (for the price alone)!

richbuff
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 Thank you for your very detailed and thoroughly comprehensive review. I ordered one of these right away as soon as I could. Because of the price value; practically free. I’ve got two more of these very attractive practically free flashlights on order now. I like the beam profile: a very nice mix of throw and power.  It feels not too heavy and not too light, and the stainless bezel and the smooth ample reflective wells impart nice looks, too. Thanks again!

It could be worse. Common dangerous pet animals don’t have antlers.

 

MoreLumens
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I just wish there would be a 5000k version and maybe nice green body color just like in FT03’s.

Swabs
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Great review!

My Future's So Bright...well, my flashlights are anyways.

Rolz
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Thanks everyone for your comments, pleased you enjoyed my review. I’m really pleased with the EC03 and considering it’s sale price it’s accessible to most flashaholics.

SerenityNow
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MoreLumens wrote:
I just wish there would be a 5000k version and maybe nice green body color just like in FT03’s.

Agreed on both parts. That FT03 green color is amazing. Crying

Chinaheart
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Cell like liitokala 4000mah 40A can be use for EC03

Omega_17
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Do you think it would be considered an upgrade to a similar light, the Sofirn C8F (3X XPL 21700 battery)? I don’t talk about the turbo mode but general runtime at medium brightness?

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Good review and read Thumbs Up I will be ordering one tomorrow in the now available 5700K, one of my favorite tints Big Smile

Doug S.

Rolz
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The dimensions of the liitokala 4000mah 40a are very similar to the batteries I used so it should fit in the flashlight ok. I dont know how well they will perform in Turbo mode. Depends on their performance on high drain which may not be as good as the Samsungs.

I dont have any LiitoKala Lii-40A 21700 so I cant check

Samsung 40T Approximate Dimensions: 21.1mm x 70.4mm
liitokala 4000mah 40a Dimensions: 21.2mm x 70.4mm

Rolz
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Omega_17 wrote:
Do you think it would be considered an upgrade to a similar light, the Sofirn C8F (3X XPL 21700 battery)? I don’t talk about the turbo mode but general runtime at medium brightness?

The Sofrin C8F is a slightly larger flashlight with dimensions 149mm (length)*44.6mm (head diameter)
EC03 is smaller at 126mm x 48.5mm and lighter which may be important to you

Also the UI firmware differs. You may not prefer the flexible Andúril UI with ramping modes vs fixed in the C8F

I cant compare the runtimes as I dont have a C8F so cant comment on any differences sorry. I’m unsure as to which is more efficient and the affect of temp throttling. Maybeothers with both can better comment.

andreas0401
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hasddie293
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5700k look good though compare 6500k and 5000k…I’m amazed

In search of the most ideal flashlight in town:
1. BRIGHTNESS
2. Durabillity
3. Design
4. Quality
5. Price$$$

Majoroverkill
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hasddie293 wrote:
5700k look good though compare 6500k and 5000k…I’m amazed

I like how it just puts out a massive wall of light with good distance as well. I ordered the 5700K last night because the tint looked so much better then the 6500K Sick I wish manufacturers would stay away from the 6500K emitters, all it does is spill out into the atmosphere causing a blinding effect with poor long distance sight in higher power torches. I just missed the, ships in 24 hours, AKA in stock. My order said will ship by Aug 20th meaning I will see it in three weeks or so.

Doug S.

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Chinaheart wrote:

Cell like liitokala 4000mah 40A can be use for EC03

Liitokala Lii-40A 21700 will fit and work on the EC03, but performance (Turbo mode) will not match other more powerful batteries.

MoreLumens
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Majoroverkill wrote:
hasddie293 wrote:
5700k look good though compare 6500k and 5000k…I’m amazed

I like how it just puts out a massive wall of light with good distance as well. I ordered the 5700K last night because the tint looked so much better then the 6500K

Just what the doctor ordered. Nice single cell flooder with a good amount of distance too. I had my doubts too about 5700k and I still do, but I think it will be ok, if not then swap into 5000k’s.
Still waiting that green body color.

markito
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Very nice review!
Do you recommended samsung INR 21700 30T or 40T with this flashlight?

andreas0401
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I recommend the 40t.

markito
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andreas0401 wrote:
I recommend the 40t.

Thank you!
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Hello, can you tell me if you’d think it would be okay to us a Samsung 50e2 cell for the E03? Thanks in advance!!

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Chrischico777 wrote:
Hello, can you tell me if you’d think it would be okay to us a Samsung 50e2 cell for the E03? Thanks in advance!!

Yes, but turbo won’t be as bright

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Thank you!!! You’re great!