REVIEW: A8 BLF Edition - 1x26650 - XM-L T6 NW
+ A8 BLF Edition+
Hi, this is a review of the A8 Budget Light Forum Edition flashlight. I’ll add more beamshots and info as the review progresses.
Construction Aluminium HA anodising
Power source 26650 Li-ion
Emitter XM-L T6 (3C) Neutral White
Switch Reverse Clicky
Modes H/M/L/Firefly (100%-30%-2%-0.5%) with memory
Included with the flashlight is tailor fitted holster.
I received this light two days ago, and have been using it exclusively since then. My first impressions are on the quality of the feel and look of the light. The machining is simple first class and easily matches any of my lights from Klarus, Eagletac or Solarforce. The anodising is also perfect without a single blemish being present.
All threads seem smooth and well cut as well as being suitably lubed. This also applies to the O-rings.
In the hand the light feels chunky, but in a more comforting way than cumbersome. It really does fit the hand very well.
This light uses a tradition rear clicky located in the tailcap. This has one of thee best switches I’ve used yet. It’s has no squish or play in the boot, but a firm ultra positive movement and activation
To cycle through the modes you simple half press the switch when on, or you can turn off/on if you prefer.
The default order is High – Med – Low – Firefly although it does have memory, so if you prefer your light to activate on a different mode it is possible to attain this.
The modes seem well spaced as though someone has actually sat down and thought about how they might be used and how they compare to the other modes.
High – This is a nice high output but it doesn’t cook the light nor does it cause massive sag on the battery.
Mid – This is nice step down from high and would be good for use in doors or closer quarters where you don’t need high. There is a noticeable difference between High and Mid modes, but Mid still offers up a lot of usable light.
Low – This is ideal for close up work. Shining it at your hand will not cause glare, but it is ample light should you be doing something more complex and need to see what you are doing.
Firefly – This might not be as low as some firefly modes can be. But lets say instead of firefly it’s an ultra low. I think this describes it better. Very good for when you need low out put levels and very subtle but with a nice usable beam and retaining some throw too. This would be ideal for map reading in a car as a navigator.
The body has some nice knurling and grips and even in gloves the light gives a good reassuring grip. It also happily head or tailstands with very good stability.
I can detect no PWM in any of the modes by eye or ear. The light does use PWM for the lower modes but at a high enough frequency that it seems to be a non issue.
There are no official output claims for this light. I’m running it on a King Kong INR 26650. On a freshly charged battery reading 4.11v I’m getting a tailcap reading of 2.74a on high.
As an output comparison I have directly compared the A8 BLF Edition to a Crelant V9CS (ANSI rated at 658 lumens). The Crelant has a larger reflector and does throw further while the A8 is a better flooder, however they appear visually to be putting out a similar amount of light overall (I have no way of measuring this for certain). Based on this I would estimate the A8 BLF Edition at around 600-650 lumens OTF.
Personally I think this is a nice output level as it means the light won’t want to overheat and you will be able to be use it on High for extended periods. It also helps to avoid sagging of the battery and the light dropping out of regulation early.
Another big plus point for the A8 BLF Edition is the neutral tint emitter. It’s easy to overlook a neutral tint for wanting max output from a higher bin. But to be honest this NW emitter works very well with the BLF Edition and more importantly is the colour rendering, it is far superior to most cool white tints and I’m really beginning to appreciate how much more pleasant a NW emitter is.
The A8 has a fairly large head (35mm) and this certainly helps with throw vs more compact offerings. But it isn’t an out and out thrower by any means and offers a nice blend of flood with some good beam distance.
With a SMO reflector the beam was never going to be perfectly smooth, however it does offer an artefact free beam with just a couple of transitional rings. If you are white wall hunting you’ll notice these, but once I was outside shining at the grass or trees you really have a hard time even spotting them.
All in all I’m in favour of the beam profile, plenty of flood and immediate area light, but with good usable beam distance that’ll out pace most smaller 18650 lights.
Here are some indoor beamshots to give an idea of beam profile.
And some outdoor beamshots. Please note any streaks you see in the photos is falling snow not dodgy camera work….
You really can see how nice the neutral tint is and it’s colour rendering.
So far I am very impressed with this flashlight. I adore the colour, such a nice change from traditional black. And the quality of the construction, machining and anodising is simple amazing for a light costing what this does. It oozes premium feel at rather more modest prices. Had I paid the same for this light as you would for a Klarus of 4Sevens I feel I would be just as happy. The fact that it cost a lot less is almost unbelievable.
It’s also very refreshing and so very welcome to buy a flashlight without any of the blinky disco modes. This light feels like it has been thought about and designed to actually be used, not just to wow friends with.
I also like the size of the A8, in reality the length and width are no greater than that of most p60 style lights. This means it will fit in your pocket (although a little chunky for some). But with the addition of a 26650 battery you gain in run time and more importantly you gain a longer more stable HIGH output before the voltage drops and you lose regulation.
Should you find it too big to pocket, then the snug holster offers a versatile option for carry.
+feel of clicky switch
-no pocket clip