Review - ArmyTek Elf C2 Headlamp (Written + Youtube)[18650 + microUSB]

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liquidretro
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Review - ArmyTek Elf C2 Headlamp (Written + Youtube)[18650 + microUSB]

Today I have the ArmyTek Elf C2 Headlamp for review. Thanks to ArmyTek for sending one of their new 2017 products.

Full Gallery: http://imgur.com/a/k6QwP
YouTube Video Review: https://youtu.be/ffPSngvH-Tg

When I first got my hands on the Elf C2 my first through was, this looks a lot like my Wizard Pro V3 that I reviewed earlier. So what’s different? The main things are UI, How it charges, Light output, and physical size.

Charging
Instead of Magnetic charging like on the Wizard Pro line, the Elf uses MicroUSB on the head of the light. This is what I suspect makes the Elf just a little bit taller the the Wizard. No USB cable was included, which I thought was odd for a light whose new feature is being being rechargeable for MicroUSB. Charging is a little on the slow side at a measured 0.51A on a mostly empty battery. This light will charge any flat top 18650 that fits, no proprietary cells needed. I do wish though they went with USB-C instead of MicroUSB because it’s the new standard but perhaps that increased price? The included flat top battery is nice at 3200mah.

The battery flap itself is a small piece of rubber. It seems to stay in place well but I am a bit worried long term use as it doesn’t look to be easily replaceable if it ripped off. Armytek didn’t give an IPX rating I could find but they do say it will work in up to 10M of water so let’s see how it works in a bowl of water.

The head itself can be used powered directly off the microUSB cable, without a battery in the light. https://youtu.be/ffPSngvH-Tg?t=2m32s The battery tube itself can’t be removed but I could see this being used as a makeshift super long duration light if you paired it to a 20,000mah USB powerbank. This is something the Wizard Pro, can’t do. I may have to do a extreme runtime test with a 20,000mah battery. If anyone is interested in that please let me know in the comments and if I get enough interest I will do it.

This light uses a Cree XP-L LED with a TIR optic for broad 120 degree spill with a slight hot spot at 70 degrees. Mine is the white variety (Cooler). Maximum OTF lumens is 900 on Turbo that will last an 2 hours assuming heat is managed.

900 lm – 2hrs
340 lm – 4 hrs
150 lm – 10.5hr
30 lm – 55h
2.3 lm – 25d
0.4 lm – 200d

It’s a pretty big step down from Turbo at 900 lumens to Main 3 which is the next brightest at 340 lumens. I would like to see a step in between. When I tapped my thermocouple on the side of this light and ran it on Turbo for 1 minute it got up to 92F. I included a 10 minute runtime graph to show the active temperature regulation and the small steps the light takes to try and reduce heat. After 10 minutes of “turbo” run it was pretty warm to the touch but would not burn you. Parasitic drain was very low an excelent at 7.4ua (Microamps).

Light output graph (My units are off a bit, still trying to get calibration down on Zak’s app)
Table and outdoor beam shots https://youtu.be/ffPSngvH-Tg?t=5m41s

Interface
The interface of the Elf is much simpler then the Wizard line. Gone are the multiple mode groups. Instead you just have basically 5 modes with shortcuts and memory to get to where you want to go. If from off you press and hold the light will cycle through the 5 modes starting in firefly. It will do the same if the light is on. If the light is on you can double click to go to turbo. The Armytek manual is nicely written so I would definitely recommend studying it when you receive your light.

Because the light has no lockout mode through the UI, ArmyTek recommends to unscrew the tail ¼ turn and I agree. This light also has low battery notification and thermal warnings via the yellow on/off button. The Multimode LED underneath has a blink code indicator. In the interest of time for this review, consult your manual. This is a nice extra feature for a midrange light.

Clip/EDC
The clip is the ArmyTek standard that I think is one of the best in the industries on a production light for EDC in my opinion. It’s sturdy, deep and just works. However the charging port gets in the way of where I would normally place the clip. You can still put it there but you would have to move the clip to charge, which is less than idea. The result is you only really have one side where you can place the clip on this light to carry it head up. The result is when I carry it in my front left pocket the light faces to the back, and the button faces my body. The button is stiff so I have not had a problem with it turning on but it is more likely so as a result I have my light mechanically locked out when I EDC it. This also means that if you want to strap it onto a backpack or chest vest you have to move the clip to cover the USB charging port.

Another difference between the Elf and Wizard line is the removable magnet. On the Wizard you have to disassemble the tail cap to remove the magnet. In the Elf you simply unscrew the tail magnet cap and can reverse polarity or remove the magnet entirely.

Temp monitoring is one of the best in the industry in my experience and the Elf mirrors what the Wizard line uses. The LED button gives an indication of temperature every few seconds by a color of the LED status flashes behind the button. As the light gets hot it will decrease brightness until temperatures allow the light to resume the mode you were on. Given the UI of this light you only really run into this in Turbo.

What’s in the box
The head straps as well as the clip for the Elf C2 is the exact same that I had with my Wizard Pro V3. The packaging is also the same. The only addition is a nice green lanyard that attaches around the rear tail of the light near the magnet. There is some slack though in how the lanyard fits.

Pro’s

  • The interface is more simple and easier to navigate
  • Good low lumen options
  • Light can be powered off the USB charger directly
  • Less expensive price for great ArmyTek build quality and durability
  • No proprietary cables or chargers required for recharge
  • Comes with a battery.
  • Available as the Elf C2 with an 18650 battery or the Elf C1 with an 18350.

Con’s

  • I would like to see 1 more modes between 340 lumens and turbo at 900 lumens. Maybe something in the 600 lumen range.
  • Clip location isn’t ideal for EDC and to not cover the charging port.
  • Battery clip should be removed before being used as a headlamp.
  • Pretty slow charging at .5A. No MicroUSB cable was included in the box either.

Summary
If you are a subscriber to my reviews on YouTube (and you should be) you know I think everyone should have a nice headlamp style flashlight in their house/car. This Armytek Elf C2 Headlamp/EDC combination is a, more simple mode, and less expensive offering from ArmyTek but still offers some of the features ArmyTek is known for like high quality build, ruggedness, advanced thermal regulation, and in this case it has in body recharging via USB. The output difference between the Elf C2 and Wizard Pro V3 isn’t that noticeable to the eye on turbo but it is in lower modes. The UI while not as many modes does make it much easier to operate for someone who just wants something simple. I can appreciate that. I do wish the Elf C2 had better mode spacing.

There isn’t a ton of price difference at MSRP between the Elf C2 and the Wizard, the Wizard Pro is about a $30 premium for a light with better water and dust protection due to the sealed charging system and a bit better performance. At the lower price range it’s nice to see a high quality battery included too.

It’s nice to see ArmyTek bring out a more budget headlamp/EDC option that shares many characteristics of the more expensive and very well regarded Wizard line of lights. I would call this the mid tier rechargeable option and it should suit most peoples needs pretty well. I would recommend making a few changes as I mentioned in my Con’s section above. However, that doesn’t stop me from recommending this as a good durable option for anyone looking for a headlamp or floody EDC at this price range.

To learn more about the light see details on ArmyTek’s website https://goo.gl/qeRDvG

Ronin42
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please delete your duplicate post

(“It’s good that most people can’t remember their previous lives. Otherwise
things would be a lot more complicated than they already are.”
Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo)

liquidretro
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Ronin42 wrote:
please delete your duplicate post

Sorry not sure how, I have been having internet issues all night. I didn’t intentionally double post.