Review - Astrolux SC Copper 14500 Flashlight

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Rolz
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Review - Astrolux SC Copper 14500 Flashlight

Astrolux SC 1A Copper 14500 Flashlight Review 

 

In this review I’ll be discussing the wonderful copper Astrolux SC flashlight. I am thankful to Banggood who supplied the flashlight for the review. The flashlight reviewed here is the Cool White 1A LED model.

The Flashlight is currently on Sale for $45.95 at Banggood.

Astrolux SC Copper CREE XPL-HI 1400lumens LED Flashlight  (Not Aff Link)

This flashlight is a replica of the BLF X5 that was designed by the BLF team. The final designed product was made available via a group buy on BLF. The Kronos X6 (18650) and X5 (14500) featured similar components, however it was only the X5 which came with an entirely copper host. Both flashlights proved to be very popular items in the flashlight community leading to a sell out on all limited edition models. With the end of the BLF run, Banggood have been able to offer a further product run of what are very similar if not identical product.

First Impressions

This is a flashlight that is absolutely beautiful. It has lots of wow factor that I've rarely had with flashlights. The pure copper host makes a welcome change from the plain black flashlights that we see available. The copper finish is near perfect. The next big surprise is the pure weight of the host, later on we'll see details of the size in various comparisons. The pure copper host is noticeably heavy compared to a similarly sized Aluminum flashlight.

Sellers/Manufacturers Specs

Specification:

Product name:

Astrolux SC CREE XPL HI LED Flashlight Set

Brand:

Astrolux

Model:

SC

Emitter Brand

CREE

Emitter Type:

XPL-HI

Circuit Driver:

ATTiny25V-based driver with off-time capacitor
and FET+7135 power channel configuration.

Light Tint:

1A (6500K),3B(5300K)

Material:

Cooper

Mode:

1 -- 1400 lm
2 -- 5, 1400
3 -- 5, 293, 1400
4 -- 5, 135, 543, 1400
5 -- 5, 79, 293, 688, 1400
6 -- 5, 54, 178, 419, 813, 1400
7 -- 5, 47, 135, 293, 543, 858, 1400
8 -- 5, 35, 99, 213, 365, 613, 953, 1400

Battery Configurations:

1 x 14500 battery (not included)

Working voltage:

2.8-4.35v

Switch Type:

clicky

Switch Location:

tail of the flashlight(Lit tailcap by pilotdog68)

Impact Resistant

1 meter

Lens:

Toughened ultra-clear mineral glass
with anti-reflective coating

Reflector:

Smooth reflector

Carrying Strap:

included

Waterproof:

IPX-8 waterproof 2 meters

Color:

silver

Weight:

236g without battery

Size:

105mm x 28mm(length x body diameter)

 Package includes:

1 x Astrolux SC Copper CREE XPL-HI 1400LM LED Flashlight
1 x Deep Carry Pocket Clip
1 x Gift Box
1 x Extra o-rings
2 x Extra button cap
1 x flashlight landyard

The flashlight came in a nice light brown box without any damage. The box quality is quite good. There was some tape wrapped around the box which can be seen in the photo below.

Included in the box was a sealed bag containing the lanyard, o-ring and two extra tailcaps. Inclusion of the black tailcap seems somehwat odd as we'll see that the tailcap button is illuminated.

Included in the box was a sealed bag containing the Lanyard, spare o-ring and two extra tailcaps. Inclusion of the black tailcap seems somehwat odd as we'll see that the tailcap button is illuminated.

As a size comparison I've included the Astrolux SC next to other flashlights. It's size is such that it fits nicely in the hand.

 Below is shown the Astrolux SC with a 18650 (left) and 14500 battery (right). The host use a single 14500 LiIon battery, and is significantly larger in size.

Side view of the flashlight host showing the pocket clip. Not an item that I tend to use, but for some it will come in usefull. The clip is strongly made and works quite well. Fitted on the all copper host it looks ok. I'm not a fan of clips and would prefer that the it not be fitted, but I could be the odd one out here. It's just personal preference. The clip can of course be removed but it requires some force to remove. This is a strong fitted design.

The threads on the flashlight are square. This is a well manufactured product. I was very impressed with the quality of the finish. The knurling is very consistent. It's somewhat smooth in feeling.

Below we have the dissasembled flashlight host, again all components have a high quality finish and appearance. Black O rings shown on host tube. being all copper and lacking the HAIII finish we see on many quality flashlights it's more likely to be scratched easily.In time the copper may patina after repeated use as there may not be a coating on the copper.

 Close up view of the back of the flashlight head. Showing clearly the BLF A17 DDL driver.

Tailcap closeup.

Close up view of the tube body from one end. Layering of copper can be seen. Wall thickness is even.

Removing the head reveals the 1A XPL HI LED and board.

 

Another view here that shows the side of the reflector. This section screws into the head.

 

Clean board and soldering. The board is firmly secured with 2 screws. The host can tailstand too as is shown in the photo below.

Top section of the head removed. Not visible here but the glass has a layer of coating. This is noticeable as purple reflection on the glass from various angles.

View from the front showing the smooth aluminum reflector and Cree LED.

The overall weight of the flashlight without battery was measured as 208 grams. This is down from the 236 grams listed on the spec sheet but still a heavy flashlight for it's size. Not too heavy to be uncomfortable to use. The weight in some ways makes it more impressive as it emphasis's the quantity of copper in the host. The head itself was a sizeable 132 grams.

Current Measurements

The Current measurements on the highest setting were taken using a UNI-T UT204 clamp meter with a 12AWG wire with the tailcap removed. Actual current levels will be lower due to the resistance of the tailcap switch and spring. A further set of readings were taken of the current measured whilst the flashlight was off and the tailcap illuminated. The design being by BLF member pilotdog64.

A total of six batteries were used in the testing, all freshly charged with a XTAR VC4 charger. In all cases the tailcap drain measured when the flashlight is in the off position came up as around 630µA.  Actual tests by BLF member Joat from BLF suggest that the battery would drain to below 3V after around 60 days. BLF Post by Joat

The other key readings collected were the maximum current levels on the highest mode. As would be expected the IMR batteries proved best. The "winner" here being the Nitecore 650mAH battery at 4.4A. The Efest V1 also performed very well at 4.2A. All batteries with the exception of the Efest V1 were button top.

The flashlight has an illuminated tailcap. In the past glow in the dark railcaps have been around, but this is the first flashlight I've used with this type of tailcap. Initially it was somewhat disturbing as clearly the flashlight is draining power from the battery whilst off, but as per the figures above, the period to drain the battery isn't a concern. Just be sure not to store the flashlight away with a fitted battery for extra long periods. The color of the tailcap light when it illuminates is blueish purple. The tailcap supplied on the flashlight is white.

 

User Interface

Previously I've received the Astrolux S1 and was very impressed with the user interface of the flashlight, and here we have yet another amazing creation by Toykeeper from BLF. The Astrolux SC provides even more options for the user. The image below describes UI options and how to navigate between them and activate. In order to effectively use this UI I'd receommend checking the "Bistro"  firmware notes. In my eagerness to change modes I experimented with the settings but had no success. It was only after reading the detailed notes that I learnt that further levels of action on the user were required to vary the number of modes selected. Although it may seem a complex UI, it is easy to use and provides the user with enormous flexibility to tailor the settings to your liking. This is rarely seen in production torches. Thankfully blinking isn't permanent but can be if required. Although more experimentation is required on my part to test out more options particularly Battcheck and Thermal calibration. I'm very pleased with what it offers.

 

Light Output

Below are my ceiling bounce measurements along with a 10 minute run.

Firstly presented is a ceiling bounce test comparison. The 14500 Nitecore IMR was used in the Astrolux SC for the purpose of testing as it was found to provide the largest tailcap currents. The results are very impressive. The Astrolux brightness on the highest mode was noticeably brighter than the Astrolux S1. The Astrolux SC being shown as the 2nd highest result in the table below. This suggests that the stated 1400 lumen brightness may not be far from accurate. I did find however that this peak result does drop off quickly. More of this next. This is a very bright flashlight. I'm not sure if there is a brighter 14500 battery powered flashlight that performs as well. It outperforms many 18650 flashlights.

 

A test used in the past is where the flashlight is run for a duration of 10 minutes on the highest mode. The test setup has a light meter placed on a wall spaced 1m from the flashlight head. The torch being on a tripod is placed so as the centre beam shines directly on the light meter sensor. The Olight 750mAH battery was used in the flashlight for testing. The aim here was not to obtian peak perfomance results where the high current could lead to excessive heat levels in the flashlight. The results measure were suprising. It was clearly noticeable that the light levels dropped at a fast rate. The dramatic drop in brightness was due to the thermal stepdown of the flashlight. It was not due to a poor battery. At some future time I'll adjust the thermal settings and repeat the test. The temperatures varied only vary slightly as seen in the results. The temperature being measured via  ascan of the flashlight head and body to identify the highest reading via an IR Thermometer.

 

 

 

One downside is the runtime on the higher modes. The 14500 batteries being smaller in size and capacity of the 18650's don't provide long runtimes. The batteries used in this review have a capacity of typically 800mAH or less.

Indoor Beamshots

Indoors beamshots were taken. Below are the images from lowest mode to highest. The beam pattern is very clean, with a clear hot spot and good spill level. The larger head results in a flashlight with more throw then flood. The tint level being cool white with the 1A XPL HI Cree LED.

 

Summary

I've a number of 14500 flashlights in my collection but eventually moved onto the 18650 powered units as I was looking for very high output levels. The 14500 powered flashlights I've come across just didn't produce the 1,000 plus lumens I really wanted. This flashlight delivers that and more. The Copper appearance, quality and performance of this flashlight all score very highly. It is a beautiful flashlight. It's not perfect as there are a few minor "cons" as listed below, but it's strengths are very strong and far outweigh the weaknesses.

Pros:

> Absolutely Beautiful! Copper looks great and a welcome change over the typical black HAIII

> Excellent Quality

> Great User interface

> Very High Performance

> Illuminated Tailcap.

Cons:

> Pricey. Normal price is $75.95 however it's on sale at times.

> Uses 14500 batteries which have smaller capacity resulting in shorter run times than 18650 powered flashlights.

> Being Copper lacks the HAIII finish that resists scratching.

> At around 250 grams with battery fitted it maybe a little too heavy for some.

> No tail cap lock out (thanks lionheart_2281 for pointing this out)

 

The Flashlight is currently on Sale for $45.95 at Banggood until April 22nd. If you missed out on the BLF Group buy I thoroughly recommend buying one.

Astrolux SC Copper CREE XPL-HI 1400lumens LED Flashlight  (Not Aff Link)

Thanks again to Banggood who supplied the flashlight for the review.

Outdoor photos will be added to this review in the next update and possibly also a short video. It performs very well outdoors. More testing continues! Thanks for reading.

 

Edited by: Rolz on 04/17/2016 - 00:26
Rolz
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Outdoor Photos.

The Astrolux SC flashlight was tested with a Nitecore 14500 IMR battery. The flashlight was set to 4 Modes of light levels. The distant tree is approximately 50m away from the flashlight.

Image 1 - Lowest mode. Level 1

Image 2 - Light Level 2

Image 3 - Light Level 3. The tree is becomming visble in the distance.

Last Image - Highest level. The distant tree at 50m is quite visible.

Overall the last two images are slightly dimmer than reality.

 

lionheart_2281
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I would add to cons: no tail cap lock out.
Also, you said layers of “copy” instead of “copper”

Great review and lovely photos, well done!

The Miller
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nice review!
bautiful pics

Tecmo
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You just had to show it next to a rcg2 didn’t you? Now I need it. Great review

Rolz
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lionheart_2281 wrote:
I would add to cons: no tail cap lock out.
Also, you said layers of “copy” instead of “copper”

Great review and lovely photos, well done!

Thanks for the feedback. I’ve corrected the typo and added your comment re no tail lock out.

 

Rolz
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The Miller wrote:
nice review! bautiful pics

Thanks Miller. I’m hoping to add some outdoor shots too. I took some but on my return to inspect them on the PC they were much darker than I expected and no where near realityl I’ll try and redo some tonight.

 

Rolz
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Tecmo wrote:
You just had to show it next to a rcg2 didn’t you? Now I need it. Great review

Thanks for your comments. I too loved the Romisen G2 when I first bought it many years ago. I’ve not modified it so it’s performance is very low compared to today’s flashlights, but it’s a very well made little AA flashlight.

 

Rolz
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Also updated the 10 minute run chart to correctly show the LUX figures. Original graph missed the x100 multiplier. This has now been corrected.

 

gungoat
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I just got mine two days ago, and I agree with you on every thing. Beautiful light in copper, very bright function, and at a great price. I usually miss out on great deals, glad I found this one !

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Super nice images and review. Thank You for the work!! TL

Texas Lumens Website… http://www.texaslumens.com

WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!

sandalian
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Thanks for the review.

I like this flashlight but still can’t decide whether I shall buy it or not.

I'm switching my BLF account into LumenZilla. Thanks!

Mr.Big
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Great review, I missed out on the group buy, but this is the one I was mainly interested in. Just placed an order for one of each.

Rolz
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Mr.Big wrote:
Great review, I missed out on the group buy, but this is the one I was mainly interested in. Just placed an order for one of each.

Thanks for your comments.

 

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very nice pictures!

thanks for sharing Smile

 

already member of M4DM4X.com ?

the best deals are waiting for YOU!

BIG THANKS for helping me by using my REFLinks

before you buy elsewhere mail me: MARTIN@M4DM4X.COM - i will try to save you money!

keengeorge
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G'day Rolz, smile

 

A Superbly informative review.

I don't think anyone will be able to resist buying them now. cry   You Should feel guilty.  wink

 

Thank you Very Much,

George

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I like it. It looks like a fine light. Brass pill though lol and it looks like they left a really sharp burr on the inside lip of the body tube.

keengeorge
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Hoop wrote:
I like it. It looks like a fine light. Brass pill though lol and it looks like they left a really sharp burr on the inside lip of the body tube.

Hoop, where do you see that supposedly Brass pill?

 

Best Regards,

George

Rolz
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M4D M4X wrote:
very nice pictures!

thanks for sharing Smile

Thanks for reading the review and your kind comments. Thanks to all. I hope you all get some value out of reading the review.

 

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Oh it’s an integrated shelf eh. Well that’s good. Party

Yes, nice review Rolz.

Swib
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Does anyone happen to know if the mcpcb in this model is direct thermal path?

If you don’t like what it looks like on the wall, take it outside.

keengeorge
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Swib wrote:
Does anyone happen to know if the mcpcb in this model is direct thermal path?

Yes, as it is the same as the BLF X5 (see picture of the MCPCB with BLF marking on it).  wink

 

Swib
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Nice, thank you. I’m thinking of diving in on this one. It looks stunning.

If you don’t like what it looks like on the wall, take it outside.

Rolz
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Swib wrote:
Nice, thank you. I’m thinking of diving in on this one. It looks stunning.

Thanks for reading. You wont be dissapointed. It is a stunning looking Flashlight it performs really well.

 

Joat
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I think you are a decimal place off on your tail cap drain math, it works out to about 40 days, but because the current drops with cell voltage it’s closer to 60 days from my test.

See the graph here from my test.
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/925798#comment-925798

Rolz
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Joat wrote:
I think you are a decimal place off on your tail cap drain math, it works out to about 40 days, but because the current drops with cell voltage it’s closer to 60 days from my test.

See the graph here from my test.
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/925798#comment-925798

Thanks for pointing this out as your real world test of the battery drain due to the lightcap are more meaningful. I’ve updated the review above to reflect this and mention you and the post with the details. Thanks for raising this. My calculation was very basic and was out by a factor of 10 as I just realised. , ie. 650mAH battery can supply 630uA for 42 days.

 

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Great review. Thanks.

I’m trying to find reasons not to buy this light…

This has surely been addressed somewhere but is there an easy way to turn off the tail switch light?

With no anodizing and no possible lockout of the light i just can’t imagine removing the battery each time i don’t use the light… or let the battery be drained by the tail light…

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patmurris wrote:
Great review. Thanks.

I’m trying to find reasons not to buy this light…

This has surely been addressed somewhere but is there an easy way to turn off the tail switch light?

With no anodizing and no possible lockout of the light i just can’t imagine removing the battery each time i don’t use the light… or let the battery be drained by the tail light…

I think the whole point of the tailcap light is so you can find the light at night. You aren’t supposed to lock it out.

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Always wanted a Copper Light and almost pulled the trigger on the Tool. Managed to resist, but after getting the Aluminum, I had to order this one. What a great light!
Shame it does not use Reg. AAA’s.

hatman
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Thanks for the fine review.

How does this compare with the S1 in throw and flood?

Does it, or did it ever, come with the S1’s beautiful 5A, 4000K tint?

Rolz
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hatman wrote:
Thanks for the fine review.

How does this compare with the S1 in throw and flood?

Does it, or did it ever, come with the S1’s beautiful 5A, 4000K tint?

Thanks hatman. The beam of the Astrolux S1 is more flood than throw, whereas the SC has a more defined hot spot, so throws further and has a good level of spill in the beam pattern. The Outdoor shots I took look darker than reality. The SC in my mind would be a good general torch for outdoors where you can use it for shining ahead to look at the walking path or occasionally point the flashlight at some distant object. The S1 is very effective for walking where you are wanting the immediate area lit up. Both excellent flashlights. I did make a small video where I flash the SC and BLF A6 3D across a road to a wooden fence as a comparison. The Astrolux S1 and BLF A6 are almost identical. If I get some time tonight I’ll edit and load onto the review.

The tint on the Astrolux SC reviewed was a 1A which is very different to the warmer 5A.

 

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