REVIEW: A8 BLF Edition - 1x26650 - XM-L T6 NW

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Chicken Drumstick
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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.

Specs

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
Reflector SMO
Lens Glass
Dimensions 147×35mm
Weight 162g

Included with the flashlight is tailor fitted holster.

First impressions

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.

Use & performance

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.

Output & Tint

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.

High 2.74a
Med 0.80a
Low 0.04a
Firefly TBC

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.

Beamshots

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.

Conclusion

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.

Pros:

+no blinkies
+mode spacing
+construction
+feel of clicky switch
+general performance

Cons:

-no pocket clip
-basic holster

CD’s rating

9.5/10

Edited by: sb56637 on 01/28/2013 - 12:01 Reason: sb56637 replaced <!-- break --> with <!--break--> via Scanner Search and Replace module.
_the_
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Great review! Thanks for your efforts!

It’s good to have this review also here.. Wink

=the=

Disclaimer: Above post might contain referral links, but only to items that I myself have bought, tested & approved. Or items that, based on my experience, can be considered as good deals & worth sharing.

gords1001
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Just one question, can you arrange some steaks to fall around our end? We just have snow… :bigsmile:

Great review of an awesome light, thanks chicken drumstick, I agree, mines been put to work today and its brilliant in the included holster – you hardly notice it but its there good as gold when you need it, top light! Big thanks to Rey for arranging this.

BetweenRides
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Yah, I was thinking steaks would be good for dinner tonight as well. Thanks for the review , CD. Still waiting on mine to arrive.

lightyear
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looks good..where can this be purchased from ? any links ..

BetweenRides
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lightyear wrote:
looks good..where can this be purchased from ? any links ..

Here you go: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/15039

garrybunk
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Thanks for posting the review over here also (CPF review here). Can't wait to receive mine!  

-Garry

 

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Nice pics!  I really can't wait to get mine now.  I almost gave up on this light but now I'm beginning to get excited for it again. :bigsmile:

how2
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MRsDNF
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Chicken Drumstick. I could not see your link to the dark side? Nice review.

My current and or voltage measurements are only relevent to anything that I measure.

Budget light hobby proudly sponsored by my Mastercard and unknowingly paid for by a hard working wife. 

djozz said "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

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nice review, like the comments on the dark side too Shocked
wish i could grab one up now before they are gone, but no funds for it right now Sad always seems that way with the BLF editions…

SoulCraves
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any runtime stats with this bad boy?

Pulsar13
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635g?

Well, if it’s decimal point mistake, 63.5g would be too light for its size. But 635g… is even heavier than the king with 4 batteries. Smile

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Pulsar wrote:
wish i could grab one up now before they are gone, but no funds for it right now Sad always seems that way with the BLF editions...

I can't let that happen. Please PM your address and I'll order you one. Smile

=the=

Disclaimer: Above post might contain referral links, but only to items that I myself have bought, tested & approved. Or items that, based on my experience, can be considered as good deals & worth sharing.

Chicken Drumstick
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Pulsar13 wrote:
635g?

Well, if it’s decimal point mistake, 63.5g would be too light for its size. But 635g… is even heavier than the king with 4 batteries. Smile


oops. Just weighed it myself (cut & paste from another website previously….) and it’s 162g with no battery. Review updated.
_the_
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CPF review disappeared? Weird. I wouldn't have thought so..  Wink

=the=

Disclaimer: Above post might contain referral links, but only to items that I myself have bought, tested & approved. Or items that, based on my experience, can be considered as good deals & worth sharing.

Ouchyfoot
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the wrote:

CPF review disappeared? Weird. I wouldn’t have thought so..  Wink


Now that’s just ridiculous. I wonder if Nitecore gave them money, would they pull all mention of Jetbeam products?
Enough said about that…lets not let this thread take a detour.
DayLighter
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that’s odd.. mine only measure 1.6 Amp high Sad

The only way to do a great work is to love what you do.

Chicken Drumstick
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DayLighter wrote:
that’s odd.. mine only measure 1.6 Amp high Sad

What battery are you using?
CheapThrills
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the wrote:

Pulsar wrote:
wish i could grab one up now before they are gone, but no funds for it right now Sad always seems that way with the BLF editions…

I can’t let that happen. Please PM your address and I’ll order you one. Smile

How about if we make it 50 / 50, =the= Wink

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You gotta watch what you say on this forum lol
Almost feel kind of guilty, since its not really a necessity. But I couldn’t pass it up.
Guess I’ll have to pay it forward in a couple weeks to another lucky blf member or two.
I really appreciate the generosity of this forum

zeremefico
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I had no idea about CPF’s censorship.

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gords1001
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Pulsar wrote:
You gotta watch what you say on this forum lol Almost feel kind of guilty, since its not really a necessity. But I couldn’t pass it up. Guess I’ll have to pay it forward in a couple weeks to another lucky blf member or two. I really appreciate the generosity of this forum

That’s what keeps me here, our community willing to share, I agree, when your on your feet, pay it forward, you never know when someone’s on their arse, and its suprising how much of a boost a gift out of the blue can give, both for the recipient and the good Samaritan 8)

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CheapThrills wrote:
How about if we make it 50 / 50, =the= Wink

Thanks for the offer, but no need. PayPal would be the only winner in this small transfers.. Wink

But I dare you to give one to someone else, making both him & Rey happy. Smile

=the=

Disclaimer: Above post might contain referral links, but only to items that I myself have bought, tested & approved. Or items that, based on my experience, can be considered as good deals & worth sharing.

DayLighter
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Chicken Drumstick wrote:
DayLighter wrote:
that’s odd.. mine only measure 1.6 Amp high Sad
What battery are you using?

the one that came with it..trustfire

The only way to do a great work is to love what you do.

Justice
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I beleive the CPF ban is a direct response to the *** they receive on this forum.

You can’t argue that you guys rip the *** out of them.

gords1001
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Justice wrote:
I beleive the CPF ban is a direct response to the shit they receive on this forum.

You can’t argue that you guys rip the s*** out of them.

Thankyou for signing up, purely to state the obvious….

The fact is, the only suprise is how long it took for the review to be deleted.

Heck, we took dares on who would post the review.

Now first things first, welcome to the more light hearted side of flashlight forums, second, please edit your language, this is a family forum. Third, cpf is ribbed so much precisely because of their poor management, poor moderation, elitism, Nazi attitude towards conversation, simply crap server maintenance and blind, sheep like demeanor of many of its members. We have news for you, budget lights can be just as reliable, just as well made as brand name lights – many of the brand name lights are in fact made in China….

Hopefully, you’ll take this as the mild mickey taking its partially intended to be, suck it up, have a read and possibly learn a few things, you never know, you might even enjoy yourself here. We all do, because the forum, members and owner are freaking awesome! 8)

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Justice wrote:
I beleive the CPF ban is a direct response to the shit they receive on this forum.

You can’t argue that you guys rip the shit out of them.

However, I’ve never seen a review of flashlight/gadget published on CPF banned here. On the contrary many link to CPF when there is useful information there.

Banning a honest flashlight review tells me more about CPF than thousand words can.

But I won’t be offtopic. I just received a note from post office that my BLF A8 arrived. I am excited 8)

Keychain flashlights FTW!

gords1001
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Hmmm, my rant got derailed :~ – the post you are replying to has been deleted. I put some effort into that rant too….

Paranid
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gords1001 wrote:
Hmmm, my rant got derailed :~ – the post you are replying to has been deleted. I put some effort into that rant too….

Don’t you just hate it when that happens. I am kind of a fan of a good rant Party

Keychain flashlights FTW!

gords1001
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Paranid wrote:
gords1001 wrote:
Hmmm, my rant got derailed :~ – the post you are replying to has been deleted. I put some effort into that rant too….

Don’t you just hate it when that happens. I am kind of a fan of a good rant Party

Me too, particularly when I tried to edit out swearing (takes a lot of effort) and make it of comedy value to other readers. :~

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