Review WIP: XTAR WK007 (Zoom, AA/14500)

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stephenk
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Review WIP: XTAR WK007 (Zoom, AA/14500)

Disclaimer

This light was sent to me for review by XTAR. No other payment was received for this review.

Introduction

The zoomable (flood to throw) EDC flashlight market has two extremes:

At the lower end are the <$10 flashlights, with variable construction quality, usually “fake” (non-Cree) LED chips with blue cool white tint, and mediocre beam profiles. Whilst not bad value for money for a few dollars, some of these lights are sold at far higher prices by unscrupulous companies the sell to the “didn’t know any better” consumer market.

At the higher end of the zoomy market are lights from companies such as Ledlenser and Coast, that are expensive, well built (Ledlenser have a 7 year warranty), excellent TIR optics, but often disappointing output and user interfaces.

The XTAR WK007 appears to be an attempt by XTAR to fill the mid-point in this market. Lets see how it performed?

Packaging

The XTAR WK007 was in a plastic moulded package, with the light, spare O-ring, lanyard, clip (already attached), warranty, and instructions.

*Design *

The XTAR WK007 is a typical size for a single AA/14500 zoom light. Larger than a AA non-zoom (such as the Klarus Mi7), but much smaller than the Ledlenser P7.2 4xAAA. It is 98mm in length (flood), 19.5mm body diameter, and 28.5mm head diameter. The light includes a clip, which is nice bonus, though the tension is very tight.

The light can handle AA Alkaline, AA NiMH, and 14500 Li-Ion. I like the ability for lights to use either AA or 14500, as I can usually use 14500s, but also use AA for occasions when I don’t want to be (or are unable to be) utilising li-ions. I tested with 4th Gen FDK Eneloops, and Keeppower 840mAh 14500 (2016 version). There were no issues fitting in the long protected Keeppower battery, though as you can see on the x-ray image, there was no spring compression remaining. As per most lights, the tail cap is screwed off for battery insertion, with the +ve end near the head. The threads are not anodised, and thus the tail switch will work even if the tail is not fully screwed on – thus there is no mechanical lockout.

The head has a scalloped/tactical/attack bezel. I’m not a fan of these on lights as they are somewhat pointless, and much prefer smooth bezels.

The zoom (12.5mm movement) works in a linear manner, and doesn’t need to be twisted. However, as the LED is on the body, the head can still be turned. The stiffness of the zoom mechanism was just right. There are fins on the body below the zoom mechanism which are required in High mode with 14500 where this light gets very hot.







User Interface (UI)

The light uses memory mode which I like. When changing modes, the order is:
High>Off>MId>Off>Low>Off>Moonlight>Off> (note: with AA, High and Mid are similar in output)
There are also two strobe modes. The slow flash mode is accessed by a tap, and press and from off. There is also a fast flash mode that varies between two Hz rates. However, I could only access this by trial and error.

Aside from accessing the fast strobe, I think the (UI) is quite decent for a light in this category.

*Beam, output, and runtime *

This light uses a new(ish) Cree XP-G3 LED with an aspheric lens. This LED is renowned for resulting a yellow corona to the beam, due to having phosphor at the sides of the chip.

This corona around the edge of the beam is very noticeable on this light in flood on the white wall beam shots. However in real world use it is only a minor issue. The flood beam angle is much wider than other zoom lights I’ve tested, which is good, and much better than many of the cheap zoomy lights on the market. The output in flood mode was comparable to the Ledlenser P7.2 (high mode) in flood using AA (approx. 200-250 lumens), and was much brighter using 14500 (approx. 500 lumens @30s.

As this light has a plastic aspheric lens, then as with other aspheric zoom lights, lumens are lost when in zoom. Thus with AAs, this light cannot compete with the Ledlenser P7.2 in terms of throw (lux). With 14500, the higher output results in comparable throw (lux) to the Ledlenser P7.2. Due to the aspheric lens, the light projects a focussed image of the LED when in throw. This image is not very pretty (unless you are into abstracts) with a mix of yellow, blue, and purple dots. This is expected for newer Cree LEDs. I much prefer the “blurred” zoom TIR optics on the Ledlenser, however again in the real world this is less of an issue.

In the middle of the zoom range, the brightness is very even across the beam, which is far better than the Ledlenser P7.2 which has funky beam artefacts at various locations between flood and throw.

When a diffuser is used, the tint is comparable to a Convoy S2+ with 1A XM-L2 emitter (almost pure white). So it is definitely cool white, but not excessively (i.e. blue tint) cool like many cheap zoom lights.

The stated runtimes are only available for 14500. I would have preferred data for both AA and 14500.
High 500lm 47mins TESTED – With 14500 gradual dimming to 80% at 40mins, 60% at 45mins, 3% at 50mins, moonlight at 75mins. With AA 240lm well regulated until 65mins, moonlight at 75mins.
Mid 200lm 1.58hr TESTED – With 14500 well regulated until 90mins, moonlight at 105mins.
Low 20lm 13.6hr
Moonlight 5lm 33days TESTED – With 14500 lasted between 109 to 118 hours (I was at work when it turned off).

Heat is handled well using AA batteries, however with 14500 on high mode the light can get very warm, but not excessively hot. The heat is transferred well throughout the body (and thus into the users hands), so the thermal design of this light is very good.

No PWM could be detected in any mode.

Below beam comparisons between Ledlenser P7.2 (4xAAA, left) and XTAR WK007 (1xAA, right)




Focused beam

Conclusion

This light is better constructed than many of the cheaper (or overpriced cheaper) zoom lights that are available on the market. It also has output that is comparable or better some of the more expensive and larger Coast and Ledlenser 3/4xAAA lights in flood mode, and zoom mode with 14500 only. The yellow corona from the Cree XP-G3 LED emitter should not be much of a real world use issue. The user interface is better than most other zoom lights on the market. The WK007 is a great mid-market EDC zoom light from XTAR.



Outdoor beam shots – Turbo with freshly charged 14500, f/5, 4secs, ISO400.

Edited by: stephenk on 08/18/2017 - 04:24
bikenber73
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I could see buying 3 of these if the price is right!

stephenk
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bikenber73 wrote:
I could see buying 3 of these if the price is right!

It’s certainly a big step up from the cheap and (usually) nasty end of the zoomy market.
I was going to compare against a cheap zoomy in my review but the cheap zoomy broke!
The runtimes are still a WIP due to me being ill.
bikenber73
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I love these little guys for traveling overseas . I put a 14500 in them to start and if I get stuck I can use AA’s.

firedome
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Nice review, thanks for sharing.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

-Plato

Bonham
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Thanks for good review!
Any idea where this light can be ordered except ebay?

stephenk
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Bonham wrote:
Thanks for good review! Any idea where this light can be ordered except ebay?

That’s a good question, as the review sample was sent directly from XTAR.
XTAR have quite a few bricks and mortar, and online retailers, so I would assume that once they have been shipped out, that they will be available there.

mattlward
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What is the PWM on this like? Xtar seems to have fairly nasty PWM on some of the WK series lights.

EDC rotation:
Convoy S2+, 6*7135, XM-L2 3D, 10 degree TIR, PilotDog lighted tailcap.
Convoy S2+, H17F, XM-L2 4C, lighted tailcap
Zebralight SC52w-L2
Olight S1A
Olight S1R

stephenk
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mattlward wrote:
What is the PWM on this like? Xtar seems to have fairly nasty PWM on some of the WK series lights.

I couldn’t detect any PWM in any mode. So either it doesn’t use PWM, or it is very fast.
mattlward
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May have to try this one out, the WK41 I had was given away because I saw PWM every time I moved.

EDC rotation:
Convoy S2+, 6*7135, XM-L2 3D, 10 degree TIR, PilotDog lighted tailcap.
Convoy S2+, H17F, XM-L2 4C, lighted tailcap
Zebralight SC52w-L2
Olight S1A
Olight S1R

stephenk
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Original post updated with runtime tests and outdoor beam shots.

Bonham
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For the first time I see an advertised product that I can not buy with a few clicks on the mouse. Besides eBay, where I’m divorced.
I really wanted to try this flashlight because I like both its form factor and the zoom function.

But time passes and new players are on stage …

stephenk
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It hasn’t made it to too many XTAR resellers yet, which is surprising. There isn’t much competition in the mid-market zoomy category though.

bikenber73
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I looked at the usual shops and they don’t have many Xtar flashlights at all, chargers yes lights not so much.