Review: Astrolux K01 Copper

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RobertB
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Review: Astrolux K01 Copper

Banggood sent this light to me to mention here. Here is their obligatory Link along with a 20% code 849be8

M4DM4X also has discount codes if you pm him.

Astrolux K01. The solid copper 14500 light. This particular light is a XP-L emitter in 3D tint, and available in 1A (CW), 3D (NW), and 5A (WW). Working voltage is 2.8v to 4.35v, so a standard AA alkaline or Eneloop won’t work in this light. The driver is the excellent BLF A6 A17DD-L FET+1 driver. With 7 modes, the low runtime of a 14500 is not a problem for me personally, as I’m rarely in the higher modes for everyday use anyway.

The light comes in the standard Astrolux box, well protected with foam. 2 extra o-rings, clip, a couple extra rubber switch boots, and a lanyard. No manual, but there are tons of links online, and BG’s site itself. (Right click on any image for larger version of the image)

The machining is quite good, and the threads are very smooth

Orange Peel reflector for a nice smooth hot spot

4 basic sections. All threads are very smooth and there is no glue anywhere.

The XP-L emitter sits on a copper mcpcb. I assume it’s a direct thermal path board, but don’t know for sure.

Moon-Low-Med1-Med2-High1-High2-Turbo

I’m not going to go through all the runtimes in the different modes, but I did test the step-down and measured temps at 10 minutes on high2.
This light gets warm fairly fast. Step-down from Turbo to high2 is 30 seconds. On a fully charged (4.2v) Efest 14500 700mAh cell, it drained to 3.67v in about 10 minutes. Started on Turbo, waited for the step-down, bumped it back up on Turbo, and it stepped down after another 30 seconds. Then let it run for a total of 10 minutes on high2. The exterior of the light stabilized at about 91°F (32.7C), which was fairly uncomfortable to hold. After 10 minutes, I pulled the battery and it measured 110°F (43.3C). The heat seems to dissipate throughout the entire light body efficiently.

Personally, I’ve been running the light on the medium to high1 modes, and have plenty of run-time for my uses, but there’s that blast of turbo if you need it.

The one “head scratcher” about this light, that leave many people wondering (including myself) is, why didn’t they make this an 18650 light? Here it is compared to the BLF A6. You’ll notice the head diameter is actually larger than the A6 with a larger reflector. It would have been very easy to make the tube for an 18650. It may have made the light heavier, but it’s a heavy light anyway. With battery, the K01 weighs 194g (6.84oz). With battery, the A6 weighs 119g (4.2oz). They could have at least made an aluminum 18650 tube option.

The K01 seems to have a very light coating on it. I took a cloth with copper cleaner, and it didn’t take long to go through the coating. I may try and strip it in a chemical bath, and a soft bristle brush, so it will develop a patina.

Here are a few beam shots compared to the A6. K01 on the left, A6 on the right.

K01 backyard shot

BLF A6 backyard shot

Finally pros and cons. This is subjective, and only my point of view.

I really like nicely machined solid copper lights, and this is no exception. The price for a solid copper light? Don’t know how you could beat the price for this. Hard to believe they can actually produce it at this price. The A6 driver is one of my favorites, and the 3D tint on this is wonderful as it is on my BLF A6. I like the fact that nothing is glued, and is modable if one ever wanted to.

My Cons.
The clip is virtually worthless. The way it sits on the heat sink fins, it would tear your pants pocket up in no time. Also, it’s not a deep carry clip. Although I don’t mind the 14500, this light needs 18650 support as an option, either by aluminum or copper tube and switch.

Will add more as I think of it. Thx!

Picture album

Edited by: RobertB on 06/06/2017 - 00:48
Dobtruckers
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How’s the patina coming?

RobertB
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Dobtruckers wrote:
How’s the patina coming?

I haven’t stripped it yet, so it still looks the same

Vyntage
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Mine has started developing a patina out-of-the box, FWIW. I love this little light in isolation; in comparison to an 18650 tube light (like the S1) it’s kind of silly:

It’s heavier.
It’s larger in diameter.
It’s not any brighter.
It has shorter run time (due to 14500).

Since it’s solid copper it should theoretically have better heat dissipation, but with the battery limitations it ends up being a light you can run on turbo for long periods of time, for short periods of time. LOL

If you like to buy cool lights, this one is a bargain and deserves a spot in your collection. But if you’re looking for a practical light, there are far better choices.

RobertB
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Vyntage wrote:
Mine has started developing a patina out-of-the box, FWIW. I love this little light in isolation; in comparison to an 18650 tube light (like the S1) it’s kind of silly:

It’s heavier.
It’s larger in diameter.
It’s not any brighter.
It has shorter run time (due to 14500).

Since it’s solid copper it should theoretically have better heat dissipation, but with the battery limitations it ends up being a light you can run on turbo for long periods of time, for short periods of time. LOL

If you like to buy cool lights, this one is a bargain and deserves a spot in your collection. But if you’re looking for a practical light, there are far better choices.

I totally agree. Very well made light and fun to play with. Not super practical, but so what. For the price of a few beers at a restaurant, it’s a fantastic light to have in the collection.

Lexel
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I wish they would do a 18650 tube for this light

RobertB
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Lexel wrote:
I wish they would do a 18650 tube for this light

I wish they would too

Ozythemandias
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I’ve removed Astrolux coatings by burning it off

What’s your thoughts on the size? My primary hesitation is that it seems to be a 14500 light in an 18650 body.

AlexLED
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Vyntage wrote:
... in comparison to an 18650 tube light (like the S1) it's kind of silly:

It's heavier.

It's larger in diameter.

It's not any brighter.

It has shorter run time (due to 14500). ...

 

I was going to post similar. Its not much shorter than an standard 18650 but with shorter runtime. If size is an issue, I would use a 18350 tube.

 

However, single AA lights can be smaller than 18650. But regrettably, there are not many decent single AA lights. But an AA size light, which is not even compatible with standard eneloops, is kind of a no-go for me.

 

Btw. the BLF X5 is kind of nice - when the driver is exchanged to a boost driver for standard eneloops. Wink

Regards,
Alex