[Review] Astrolux C8 Flashlight - Compact Thrower

127 posts / 0 new
Last post
NeutralFan
NeutralFan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 5 min ago
Joined: 03/20/2014 - 19:22
Posts: 728
Location: Wisconsin, USA
WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
contigo wrote:
On this light, how much would the output increase with bypassed springs (30Q’s)?

Based on what you get if you do it on the BLF A6, you’ll probably get a boost to 1500 or 1600 lumens. So, maybe 20% or 25% brighter.

What kind of LED MCPCB is in this flashlight? Is it copper and DTP? If not both, I would be concerned about burning up the LED with additional current.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

timo5150
timo5150's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 23 hours ago
Joined: 04/21/2017 - 13:32
Posts: 24
Location: Colorado

Yes I can get to it but it takes practice. Just not something you would probably be able to get to in an emergency, As in blinding an attacker. I wish I knew how to write and install my own code Smile . I am learning but a long ways from there.

jerryg
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 02/11/2014 - 15:58
Posts: 111
Location: Kentucky

After reading the review I ordered one also, waiting see how it compares to my Fandyfire HD 2010, Jacob A60 and Kinfire K1200s. Thanks for the review.

jerryg

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 4 days ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 401
Location: Dark side of the Sun

Nice review comparison Thumbs Up , wuz going to buy convoy but now I think I’ll go with Astrolux.

Do you have any runtime numbers? also I would like to know current draw on max mode please.

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

Zulumoose
Zulumoose's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 04/13/2017 - 09:25
Posts: 859
Location: South Africa
DoubleA wrote:
Nice review comparison Thumbs Up , wuz going to buy convoy but now I think I’ll go with Astrolux

You cannot be serious (in my best McEnroe voice)! You have been here at BLF long enough to know that where there is any doubt, buy both, so you can compare yourself.

Beam me up!

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 4 days ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 401
Location: Dark side of the Sun
Zulumoose wrote:
DoubleA wrote:
Nice review comparison Thumbs Up , wuz going to buy convoy but now I think I’ll go with Astrolux

You cannot be serious (in my best McEnroe voice)! You have been here at BLF long enough to know that where there is any doubt, buy both, so you can compare yourself.

Well, I love 7135s and prefer them on my EDC lights because of the consistent output they give although at lower runtimes , but they do have their limitation when at higher currents which is why I’ll go with the FET version this time for a thrower.

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

WalkIntoTheLight
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 26 min ago
Joined: 12/05/2015 - 10:26
Posts: 1929
Location: Canada

If you’re familiar with the BLF A6, the Astrolux C8 has the same performance and drain characteristics. Max drain depends on what your cell can deliver, but a rough ballpark is about 5 amps when fully charged. This drops as the battery depletes, due to the FET driver. On medium and lower modes, the 7135 chip uses a constant draw (for example, 350mA on the middle mode).

Due to the 45-second step-down to the second highest mode (which will either be level 6 in the 7-group mode, or level 3 in the 4-group mode), you’ll get decent run times of about an hour or more. But if you run it on max the whole time (definitely not recommended for more than about 3-minutes at a time), it will be about 30 minutes until you’ll want to change the battery. It takes a long time to drain completely, as it will drop output as the cell drops below about 3.0v. IIRC, it doesn’t shut off completely until 2.7v or 2.8v. But, yeah, for a thrower, moonlight mode on a depleted cell isn’t much use.

If you want longer run-times, the Convoy C8 makes more sense. It’s slightly better regulated, and is more efficient than a FET driver. And, of course, it has lower output which certainly plays a big part in run time.

On medium and lower modes, the Astrolux uses its 7135 driver, so performance is identical to the Convoy. Though, the Convoy’s medium brightness is about half the output (and current) of the Astrolux, so you can’t really compare them at the same output level.

Yeah, I know, it’s not much help. But FET-driven lights are really hard to quantify exactly.

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 4 days ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 401
Location: Dark side of the Sun

Is it the exact same driver used in BLF A6? it still uses ATtiny MCUs? if so I would reprogram the low mode in the 4 mode group to a shine a bit higher. Also would make the step down timer to 2 minutes.

Just wanted to make sure whether my ICR LG cell could handle this thing. It tops out at 4.7A max discharge or something.

I should have been more clear when I meant runtime I meant their runtimes at similar brightness levels. Sad
I thought a FET based driver should give more runtimes at similar output since a linear regulator maintains brightness at the expense of runtime?

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

WalkIntoTheLight
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 26 min ago
Joined: 12/05/2015 - 10:26
Posts: 1929
Location: Canada

DoubleA wrote:
Is it the exact same driver used in BLF A6? it still uses ATtiny MCUs? if so I would reprogram the low mode in the 4 mode group to a shine a bit higher. Also would make the step down timer to 2 minutes.

Just wanted to make sure whether my ICR LG cell could handle this thing. It tops out at 4.7A max discharge or something.

I believe it is the exact same driver. I’m looking at them both right now, and the markings and layout are exactly the same. The Astrolux C8 even has “BLF” inscribed on the board, just like the BLF A6.

Yes, if you can reprogram it, I’d definitely increase the step-down to 2 or 3 minutes.

Quote:
I should have been more clear when I meant runtime I meant their runtimes at similar brightness levels. Sad I thought a FET based driver should give more runtimes at similar output since a linear regulator maintains brightness at the expense of runtime?

Oh, I see. Well, the only modes you can really compare them are the medium and lower modes, since they both use 7135 chips at that level. However, they don’t have any brightness modes the same.

On higher modes, they’re also very difficult to compare, because both lose output as the battery drains, but at different rates.

If I understand the 7135 chip, it will draw 350mA (so 2800mA for 8 of them) at a constant rate until the voltage drops low enough that they can no longer supply a constant current to the LED. Unfortunately for the Convoy with 8 of these chips, this seems to happen fairly quickly. I don’t have a Convoy with less than 8 chips (I never really understood the benefit of it), but it may give a much longer regulation time with 4 or 6 chips instead. In a perfect world, the Convoy would draw 2800mA until it dies, but the world is not perfect.

A FET driver will just suck as much power from the battery that the LED can take. As the battery voltage drops, it supplies less current to the LED.

You’re right that a FET driver doesn’t “waste” any power (like the 7135 does with excess voltage). However, the LED is much less efficient at the high current that is supplied to it. So, you’ll get less run-time with a FET at the same brightness (if you could maintain that brightness), because the LED is being over-driven (and brightness controlled by high frequency PWM).

I’m not sure if I’m making sense, but hopefully it makes some sense. And I’m probably missing some points that others can expand on.

Rusty Joe
Rusty Joe's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 12 hours ago
Joined: 07/24/2011 - 00:22
Posts: 3010
Location: San Antonio, TX

Nice review, my friend.

Eat Once a Day - Lose Weight - Feel Great!

www.omad.info

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 4 days ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 401
Location: Dark side of the Sun

Good to hear that. I guess I might buy Astrolux version after all. Only thing is I also have a Sofirn C8F in mind too. Side clicky looks damn attractive to me.

WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
You’re right that a FET driver doesn’t “waste” any power (like the 7135 does with excess voltage). However, the LED is much less efficient at the high current that is supplied to it. So, you’ll get less run-time with a FET at the same brightness (if you could maintain that brightness)

If the current draw is the same from the battery perspective then the FET should be more efficient at higher voltages the linear regulator tends to waste more power. That is if example the battery voltage is let’s say 3.7V and current draw is 2.8A for both FET and 7135 then I think FET should theoretically provide more current to the LED. I might be wrong maybe??

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

WalkIntoTheLight
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 26 min ago
Joined: 12/05/2015 - 10:26
Posts: 1929
Location: Canada
DoubleA wrote:
Good to hear that. I guess I might buy Astrolux version after all. Only thing is I also have a Sofirn C8F in mind too. Side clicky looks damn attractive to me.

For a dedicated thrower, I prefer a tail switch, because it is easy to find quickly. I normally carry my C8 on a lanyard around my neck, and only use it for quick looks at stuff in the distance. If I could get one with a forward clicky, that would suit me even better. But the reverse clicky is far better than a side switch for my usage.

I recently ordered a Zebralight SC600w MkIV HI for my side-switch “all purpose” light. It won’t be suitable as a “thrower”, but should throw far enough for most purposes. Since I’ll be using it as a hand-held light, the side switch makes a lot more sense. I’ll still couple it with the Astrolux C8, for when I need to see farther.

Quote:
If the current draw is the same from the battery perspective then the FET should be more efficient at higher voltages the linear regulator tends to waste more power. That is if example the battery voltage is let’s say 3.7V and current draw is 2.8A for both FET and 7135 then I think FET should theoretically provide more current to the LED. I might be wrong maybe??

There probably is a voltage range where the FET is more efficient, but I’m not sure what that range is. It would depend on the LED’s performance characteristics.

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 4 days ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 401
Location: Dark side of the Sun

In the end it’s always personal preference. I don’t mind tail switch but the older folks in my home can never find the tail switch no matter how hard they try to find it, they’re used to old classical style side slider switches so the only thing that comes close is a side clicky. So I guess a side switch is something evryone in my home can use.

As for the efficiency the FET just acts like a gate so the efficiency is decided by the battery and the LED. A linear regulator maintains the output and as a result wastes some power if the battery voltage is higher than LED forward voltage.

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

WSB
WSB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 18 hours ago
Joined: 12/18/2017 - 15:16
Posts: 36
Location: Canada

Great review. I got one yesterday.

contigo
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 06/15/2016 - 17:17
Posts: 204

I finally got mine today, cant wait for it to get dark.

Its smaller than i thought.

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 4 days ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 401
Location: Dark side of the Sun

I forgot to ask, does Astrolux C8 use integrated head heatsink like the upgraded convoy C8 or does it still use the pill design?

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

WalkIntoTheLight
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 26 min ago
Joined: 12/05/2015 - 10:26
Posts: 1929
Location: Canada

I’m not quite sure what you mean, but it looks very similar to the “silver” Convoy C8 design, except the retaining ring is a much thicker piece of brass.

If it helps, I think it’s the same kind of design as the BLF A6 uses.

scdaf
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 29 min ago
Joined: 11/01/2011 - 18:52
Posts: 326
Location: United States

contigo wrote:
I finally got mine today, cant wait for it to get dark.

Its smaller than i thought.

We’re still talking about a flashlight, right? Wink

cncyana
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 days ago
Joined: 03/24/2013 - 02:21
Posts: 510
Location: los angeles

thanks for the review.
1) will the stainless convoy bezel ring fit properly?
2) does the LED sit on a threaded brass pill or an integrated aluminum shelf inside the head?

Life’s Questions/Answers here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/qa.asp “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 4 days ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 401
Location: Dark side of the Sun
scdaf wrote:
contigo wrote:
Its smaller than i thought.

We’re still talking about a flashlight, right? Wink

Well, yeah, it came from china, how big did you possibly expect it to be?? Ughh

cncyana wrote:
2) does the LED sit on a threaded brass pill or an integrated aluminum shelf inside the head?

That’s exactly what I meant.

Does the head look like this?

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

WalkIntoTheLight
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 26 min ago
Joined: 12/05/2015 - 10:26
Posts: 1929
Location: Canada

They look very similar to me. Here’s a image I took of both the Astrolux C8 LED board and the Convoy C8 (silver) LED board.


First the Astrolux C8:



Next, the Convoy C8:



Is it the same? Both are stuck onto a chunk of metal underneath.

DoubleA
DoubleA's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 4 days ago
Joined: 07/04/2017 - 01:55
Posts: 401
Location: Dark side of the Sun

Yepp, as long as that chunk of metal is not removable they are stuck on to the head itself. +1 for heat dissipation.

and on the first day he said "Let there be light"...

contigo
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 06/15/2016 - 17:17
Posts: 204

Mine also steps down from high to medium after 45 seconds, while the head is nowhere close to warm. If it had a 3 min timer it STILL wouldnt feel “hot” (as it too hot to touch).
Im guessing that heat sinking has something (or a lot) to do with it.
Its an amazing thrower for the size.

Jerommel
Jerommel's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/04/2014 - 13:18
Posts: 5721
Location: the Hague, Netherlands

It’s the same generic host obviously.
Sofirn has an unbranded one, Convoy has “Convoy” on it, ThorFire has “ThorFire” on it and they use a different tail cap, and now Astrolux has one with “Astrolux” on it, and they put their cheap FET+1 DD ‘driver’ in it and an AR coated lens which might or might not help up to 1%, making it a couple of bucks more expensive.
It’ll obviously out perform other C8’s as long as you have a full battery…

OP has a point about 7135 drivers also dropping in output half way, but that’s because the XP-L HI has a high Vf and the 7135s eat away 0.2 Volts iirc.
An XM-L2 will do better in that regard.
A CC FET driver will do better still.

for DD drivers the XP-L (and lossy springs plus thin wires) is a good choice because of the high Vf.
Otherwise it would go up in smoke on a fresh battery.
But in all, from what i have read here and there, XP-L (HI) DD lights usually don’t push out more than some 1400 lumen on a fresh cell.

(You can probably tell i don’t like DD drivers…)

2Q19

WalkIntoTheLight
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 26 min ago
Joined: 12/05/2015 - 10:26
Posts: 1929
Location: Canada

Jerommel wrote:
It’s the same generic host obviously.
Sofirn has an unbranded one, Convoy has “Convoy” on it, ThorFire has “ThorFire” on it and they use a different tail cap, and now Astrolux has one with “Astrolux” on it, and they put their cheap FET+1 DD ‘driver’ in it and an AR coated lens which might or might not help up to 1%, making it a couple of bucks more expensive.
It’ll obviously out perform other C8’s as long as you have a full battery…

OP has a point about 7135 drivers also dropping in output half way, but that’s because the XP-L HI has a high Vf and the 7135s eat away 0.2 Volts iirc.
An XM-L2 will do better in that regard.
A CC FET driver will do better still.

for DD drivers the XP-L (and lossy springs plus thin wires) is a good choice because of the high Vf.
Otherwise it would go up in smoke on a fresh battery.
But in all, from what i have read here and there, XP-L (HI) DD lights usually don’t push out more than some 1400 lumen on a fresh cell.

(You can probably tell i don’t like DD drivers…)

Good explanation, especially about the poor performance of multiple 7135 drivers in an XPL-HI, which I wondered about. It sounds like a FET (DD) driver, such as the one used in this light, is pretty optimal for the XPL-HI LED, driven from a single 18650 cell.

In a perfect world, I’d rather not overdrive the LED either. But, it does let us get quite a bit more output, so I’m okay with the compromise.

You can do the same output without overdriving, if you use an XHP35 LED. But, you need a much more complicated (and expensive) boost driver to get up to the 12v needed. Zebralight is doing this with their latest lights (I get mine delivered next week!), but they’re a lot more expensive than the Astrolux (or Convoy) lights that use an XPL.

For a bright budget light, I don’t think you can beat an XPL and a FET driver. Works great in the BLF A6 too.

wellerus
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 3 min ago
Joined: 01/05/2018 - 07:18
Posts: 65

Can’t decide should i buy this Astrolux c8 or Zanflare F1 or something else, most important is a throw, so is this astrolux c8 the best thrower on a market for 20 usd or is it maybe better to add about 10 usd more for some other model.

And about light tint, which one is best 3B (5000-5500K), 1A (6500K-7000K),3A(5500K) at the momment only 1A is on a stock, but i’m affraid that the colour is too much blue or not?

Thank you.

contigo
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 06/15/2016 - 17:17
Posts: 204

3a or 3b is what i like. 1a has a bluish cold color to it.
the c8 throws much further than the f1.

bunnicula
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 04/03/2017 - 06:33
Posts: 100

wellerus wrote:
Can’t decide should i buy this Astrolux c8 or Zanflare F1 or something else, most important is a throw, so is this astrolux c8 the best thrower on a market for 20 usd or is it maybe better to add about 10 usd more for some other model.

And about light tint, which one is best 3B (5000-5500K), 1A (6500K-7000K),3A(5500K) at the momment only 1A is on a stock, but i’m affraid that the colour is too much blue or not?

Thank you.

I prefer the C8’s build quality over the F1, the glossy finish of the F1 makes it look cheaper than it already is. And the UI of the C8 is definitely superior to the F1’s. The only thing missing in the box is a holster.

d_t_a
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 21 hours ago
Joined: 08/04/2017 - 23:58
Posts: 1371
Location: Manila, Philippines

How does the Astrolux C8 compare to the Astrolux S2 (aka BLF X6v2) in terms of throw and lumens?
I understand the Astrolux C8 with its bigger reflector will outhrow the Astrolux S2, but will it be a big enough difference?

The Astrolux S2 has a good flood spill, any comparison of the Astrolux C8’s flood spill?

bunnicula
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 04/03/2017 - 06:33
Posts: 100

d_t_a wrote:
How does the Astrolux C8 compare to the Astrolux S2 (aka BLF X6v2) in terms of throw and lumens?
I understand the Astrolux C8 with its bigger reflector will outhrow the Astrolux S2, but will it be a big enough difference?

The Astrolux S2 has a good flood spill, any comparison of the Astrolux C8’s flood spill?

I don’t know if a difference of 39,000cd matters to you (102,000cd official specs for the Astrolux C8 and 63,000cd for the S2 here ).

Assuming that the measured 1,500lm from the Astrolux S2 by the TLF reviewer is correct, the spill of the S2 would be brighter than the C8’s (1,300lm output with 102,000cd intensity). The C8’s spill would be dimmer in comparison.

I have some doubts in the output obtained at TLF for the S2 since both the C8 and the S2 use a relatively similar emitter. Maybe you can squeeze a little more output from the C8 by bypassing the (already double) tailcap spring.

The S2 has a better UI, at least for me. Bistro has thermal calibration while the BLF A6 in the C8 uses a timed stepdown of 45 seconds (already mentioned in the OP).

Pages