ArmyTek Elf C1 Multi-Flashlight Review

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everydaysurvivalgear
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ArmyTek Elf C1 Multi-Flashlight Review

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ArmyTek Elf C1 Review

Hey folks today we will be reviewing the armyTek Elf C1. The Elf C1 was sent to me by armyTek so I will leave a link here.
Armytek Elf C1
I probably never would have bought an armyTek light. Seeing as they are not sold where I usually shop so this was an awesome opportunity!

I want to do a destruction test to see if it breaks. Well not really its a cool looking light and id rather keep it in one piece. Any thing for science! I want to see the kind of abuse this light can hold up to. Armytek make a lot of claims so we will see how it goes.
so I will write up a separate article on that in the near future when all my reviews are done.
I am in the process of stream lining my reviews so I am trying a few new things most specs will be highlighted.

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Summery
In summery the armyTek Elf C1 is a very well built and designed 18350 based headlamp. The Elf C1 comes with every thing you need in the pack to EDC it. It has ample output from a small and light weight package.

What is included? (Every thing including the kitchen sink)

  • Armytek Elf C1 flashlight
  • Clip
  • ArmyTek high drain 900mah 18350
  • Magnet
  • Lanyard
  • Headband
  • Plastic holder (For the headband)
  • 2 spare O-rings
  • User manual

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Build
Well this seems like a good place to start seeing as the build quality on the Elf C1 is amazing. Not just any kind of amazing but I mean next level. When you pick up the C1 you can feel the quality!
The Elf C1 is a small and compact light that runs on a single 18350 its overall size would put it in the compact flashlight category. It is 83mm in length and the body is 24.5mm in diameter and the head is 29mm in diameter. So it is easily small enough to EDC and do it comfortably and with class!

The C1 weights as much or more than some 18650 headlamps I own like the Nitecore HC30. Yet still weights less than most flashlights on the market coming in at 62 grams without the battery of course. This extra weight is a good thing it shows the build quality of the light and quality of the materials used. The C1 does have a water resistant rating of 10 meters and a drop resistance rating of 10 meters. These rating make the Elf C1 perfect to be your EDC companion. Unless you are a high rise window cleaner you may need more drop resistance :P.

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Build specs

  • AR coated glass
  • Hard anodizing type 3 with a black finish
  • Aircraft grade aluminum

If we want to see why armyTek rates there lights so high we would have to pull the C1 apart which is fairly hard seeing as every thing is glued together. Not impossible but a major pain (great movie). If we look at the visible parts we can see a thick battery tube that is twice as thick as a standard headlamp like the HC30 or H03.
Also included to help with toughness you get a super thick bezel that is stainless steel. Is thick the right word? Maybe big is a better word. Plus you get a big retaining ring holding the switch cover in place which is also stainless steel.

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Big spring on the back that is specially fit so there is no joints to break of. The tail cap is the only way to access the battery and that has a full 5 lines of threads. Things like this make this light super robust and more water resistant. The USB has a built in cover to help keep water and dust out of the Elf C1.

Durability specs

  • IP68
  • 10 meters water resistant
  • 10 meter drop resistant

USB port cover sits in the port nice and tight and even when dropped it doesn’t come out. Only time will tell how it will last it would be good to see any extra cover included with kit.

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Size specs

  • Weight: 62 grams without battery
  • Length: 83mm
  • Body Diameter: 24.5mm
  • Head Diameter: 29mm

Design

This is where armytek stands out the most to me. I think the armyTek range looks different to other lights on the market and that is great. In the flashlight market a lot of lights look the same or at least very similar and it becomes bland.
Armytek make flashlights that stand out and are eye catching. I personally love the writing all around the light.

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The C1 is designed well besides the way it looks! It handles heat very well for such a small light. It handle heat better than most of my bigger headlamps and the step down is less aggressive than them. Most of the mass is in the head and the C1 has small heat fins which may help dissipate heat. ArmyTek added a bunch of features to help protect the C1 from heat and I guess the driver is potted?

The Elf C1 is using TIR-optics which suits the C1 very well it is marketed as a headlamp. The beam is super flood heavy and this works out well on a headlamp. Most the time headlamps are used for up close work and you do not want your eyes getting fatigued. If we get into the specs the optics are a 70-120 degree angle. This really means nothing unless we have other optics to compare it to but I am sure the pics will explain. I am no optics specialist.

Throw specs

  • 2830cd
  • 106m

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Features

  • Rechargeable flashlight with popular Micro-USB socket
  • Solid body without long wires, weak rubber connectors and unnecessary boxes Multi-flashlight “10 in 1” has magnet in the tailcap, removable clip, headmount and possibility of tail-stand for many activities: outdoor, fishing, work etc.
  • Multicolor State Indication and ultra low current drain in OFF-state for 25 years
  • Active real-time temperature control and warning indication of low battery level
  • Total protection from water, dirt and dust penetration – flashlight continues to work even at the depth of 10 meters  

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UI
The UI on the Elf C1 is super simple and is quick and easy to learn. ArmyTek outlines the UI really well in the instructions which is good because I hate playing around the UI. I have so many lights and it becomes a pain to remember what light does what.
To access fire fly modes from off! Simply push and hold the side switch this will cycle you thru the fire fly modes. To access turbo mode you can double click from mode and this will get you into turbo. Short click from of will access the main modes. To change modes you simply push and hold the side switch which will cycle mode select.
The armyTek Elf C1 does have a memory mode it will start up on your last used mode. The memory can remember any modes from fire fly to turbo mode.
The only way to access turbo mode is by double clicking unless you turn the C1 on and your last used mode was turbo.
The armyTek Elf C1 has no lockout feature built into the driver you have to unscrew the tail cap to lock out the C1. I guess this is how they get the 25 year stand by time.

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Modes and Output

  • Firefly 1: 0.4 lumens at 54 days
  • Firefly 2: 2.3 lumens at 7 days
  • Main 1: 30 lumens at 15 hours
  • Main 2: 150 lumens at 2.5 hours
  • Main 3: 340 lumens at 1 hour
  • Turbo: 900 lumens at 40mins

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Performance

The armyTek Elf C1 is an absolute beast when we compare size to output performance. Coming in with 900 OTF lumens or 1050 LED lumens if that is how you count your lumens. The performance is top of the class for this size light!
The Elf C1 is using a Cree XPL with an 18350 cell to get this amazing output and size.

Unlike other lights of this size the Elf C1 can sustain maximum output with no problems. In fact the Elf C1 can outperforms most of my 18650 headlamps for heat dissipation (yes I added this twice its important lol). This is thanks to armyTek using a Copper MCPB. I am not sure if its direct thermal path but if I was to guess I would say it is. The Elf C1 also has advanced thermal protection which is a temperature controlled step down. The Elf C1 doesn’t used a timed step down. The C1 even blinks when is to hot. What a world we live in!
Not much to day about the emitter its been around for a while. The top binned Cree XPL can produce 1700+ lumens happily when over driven so it will have no problem running at stock amperage of 1050 lumens.

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The driver in the Elf C1 is very clever and a bit fancy! I like it its mode select is super simple but the driver incorporates a lot of dummy proof features. (For dummies like me). The driver is an armyTek exclusive driver not a generic of the shelf driver as you would expect. So it comes with a lot of option and features which you would also except ill list them below.

Driver features

  • Low voltage protection
  • Low voltage indication (blinks)
  • Constant current driver
  • Memory mode
  • High temp indicator (blinks)
  • Active thermal management
  • Multi-colour indicator for side switch
  • Reverse polarity protection

The driver in the Elf C1 is an advanced driver and offers many useful features as shown above. A light with all these features mitigates a lot of unknowns when using a lithium setup if that makes sense? You could give this light or any armyTek flashlight with these features to a normal person and feel safe about the built in protections.
Things like over-discharging a lithium cell is dangerous but the Elf C1 has inbuilt low voltage protection which most cheaper lights will not have. Th elf C1 also has inbuilt thermal protection. This will mitigate any damage done to the LED by heat when it auto steps down output. Although Elf C1 does have a step down it doesn’t really need it you can leave the C1 on turbo as long as you want with no issues. Ramping down is super smooth I didn’t even notice the light had stepped down.

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I will mention I would like to see an added a voltage checker seeing as the side switch is illuminated that would be a handy feature. I can see armyTek incorporates voltage check on other lights. With the inclusion of inbuilt USB charging the C1 should never really have to pulled apart. Except maybe for maintenance or if you need to change the cell. A battery check feature would be a handy but the low voltage indicator some what takes care of this issue by warning you to charge the light.

Basically you could gift the Elf C1 and not worry about some ones house burning down. The Elf C1 has enough inbuilt features to protect its elf from most damage that could be sustained by abusing a flashlight.

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Some what driver related but also related to modes is the inclusion of the instant access fly modes I talked of above. Handy features for you moonlight lovers!
Memory mode can memorize all modes from fire fly to turbo so keep that in mind.

Last but not least in the driver section would the inclusion of lamp mode. The armyTek Elf C1 can be used as a lamp through the USB port without a battery inserted into the C1.
Say you run out of juice in your 18350 while camping? You still need light? Take the 18350 out of the C1 and charge it in your car charger? So many damn questions lol.
Plug the battery bank into the C1 and you can access 4 modes Firefly modes 1 (0.4 lumen) and 2 (2.3 lumen) and main modes 1 (30 lumen) and 2 (150 lumen). Current draw on the brightest mode main 2 is only around 240ma so you would get a run time of 40+ hours using a standard 10000mah battery bank. Seems like a super handy feature! With the included magnet and the lamp mode would come in handy as a BBQ light who doesn’t love BBQ?

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Low battery level
When the Elf C1 is under 25% battery the LED in the side switch will blink orange once every two seconds. With further voltage reduction the light will start to dim the output for safety. With the continue reduction of the battery the output brightness will 25% of the usual value. Once the battery reaches a critical level under 10% of charge. The side switch will blink red once a second.

Temperate control
When the temp in the Elf C1 increases to too high of a level. The side switch will blink orange 3 times once in two seconds. At the critical level the side switch on the C1 will blink red 3 times in one second. The output brightness will auto decrease till the C1 one cools down. Output will ramp back up once the light the C1 is cool enough.

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USB Charging
The Elf C1 has inbuilt USB charging capabilities using a standard micro USB setup. The built in USB charger charges the included 18350 at 450mah. This should take just over 2 hours to fully charge the included 900mah cell. I wonder what current the C2 charges at? The indicator on the side switch is active while charging. The side switch indicator will displaying a red light while in charge and a green light once charge is complete.

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Beam shot time!!!

All these pics where taken at ISO800

Firefly 1: 0.4 lumen/ 54 days
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Firefly 2: 2.3 lumen/ 7 days
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Main 1: 30 lumens/ 15 hours
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Main 2: 150 lumens/ 2.5 hours
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Main 3: 340 lumens/ 1 hour
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Turbo: 900 lumens/ 40 minutes
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Turbo mode tree is at 60m it does make 100m just but to dim to get pics
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The tint is cold white but its actually fairly warm!
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Left side is the C1 and Right side is the H03. The C1 is brighter and you can see a slight tint difference between the two.
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Left C1 and Right HC30 with TIR optics the optics on the HC30 are more floodier than the C1
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Left C1 and Right Imalent HR20 you can see the cold white XPL-HI in the HR20 is much cooler than the standard XPL in the C1
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Video review here!

This review is very long but hopefully the summaries makes it easier to swallow!

Thanks for taking the time to read.

Regards Chris

Edited by: everydaysurvivalgear on 12/15/2017 - 11:51
mkett39
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Nice review, i have a couple army tek lights and they are great.

everydaysurvivalgear
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Thanks mate. Yea great lights I like them.

Lightbringer
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everydaysurvivalgear wrote:
Build specs AR coated glass

Wait… what?

How can it have AR glass if it’s got a (presumably PMMA) TIR lens?

Even if the TIR’s made of glass and not PMMA, and AR-coated on the front, any “dripping” of the coating onto the rear side would be deadly to the TIR’s operation.

Are they sure they didn’t get their wires crossed with the specs?

 

Other than that, the critter looks really nice, especially for an 18350!

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everydaysurvivalgear
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Hey mate it has a glass lens crammed in there lol Or they use custom optics with a glass lens on top?

Lightbringer
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Mmmm, maybe. Does it have a bluish cast when you look into the lens?

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everydaysurvivalgear
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To me it looks like its AR coated glass but its not a prominent as other lights i have to angle it to the side. That might be because of the optics.

The lens is thick maybe 2/3 times as thick as my AR coated S2+ glass. Its hard to get pics but you can see where the optics stop and where the glass sits.