[Review] Astrolux S43S ( Quad Nichia 219C, 18350 / 18650 ) ~ Comparison with Astrolux S43 ( modded with quad Luxeon V2 )

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bilakos10
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[Review] Astrolux S43S ( Quad Nichia 219C, 18350 / 18650 ) ~ Comparison with Astrolux S43 ( modded with quad Luxeon V2 )

The flashlight was sent to my by Banggod.com for review.
Here's the product's link: Astrolux S43S
Costs $27 using coupon: AS43S

 
The S43S comes in a regular Astrolux branded cardboard box. 



It's seated inside laser cut foam for transport protection. 



The box includes the following accessories: 
Pocket clip, metal punch, 2 replacement o-rings and two user manuals.
The bigger looking user manual actually includes a detailed overview of Narsil firmware.



As opposed by its name, the Astrolux S43S shares the same design with the S43 with the exception that its head is made out of copper instead of aluminum. 
The S43S comes only with an 18350 body tube, in contradiction to the S43 that arrived with both tubes (the 18650 tubes are also sold separately for pretty cheap).



The majority of the body is smooth with a big of knurling added on the tail side.
The head implements 4 deep heatsinking grooves. 



The e-switch is protected by a metal ring.
Inside its rubber boot, there is a dual color indicator LED (Green and Red).



The tail incorporates dual bronze springs for lower resistance.
The pcb seems to be press fit and glued.



The driver is also press fit and glued into the head.
To allow for maximum performance, instead of a spring, a brass tab is used as the Batt+ contact.



Side by the side, the S43 and S43S are identical.



The flashlight is using Astrolux's proprietary quad optic for 3535 sized emitters.
This specific variant comes with NW Nichia 219C emitters, but an option with CW Cree XPG3 is also available



On the left: Astrolux S43S with 5000K Nichia 219C
On the right: Astrolux S43 modded with 5000K Luxeon V2
Not much visual difference, though the Luxeons seem a bit yellower. 



On the left: Astrolux S43S with 5000K Nichia 219C
On the right: Astrolux S43 modded with 5000K Luxeon V2

The shots were captured with both lights at minimum brightness.
I have to admit that in real life the tint differences aren't that obvious.
Especially at bigger output levels, both emitters produce a similarly tinted beam - Though the Luxeons are indeed a bit warmer. 



A strange thing that I noticed is that the backlight on my S43S is quite a bit brighter than on the S43.



The included metal punch can be screwed into the back of the flashlight.



The charging interface is utilizing a regular microUSB port.
The port is sealed effectively by a semi-translucent rubber plug.



Here's the current draw while charging a semi full 18650 cell.
With a fully depleted cell, an 1A charging rate should be possible. 



S43S + 18650 Tube = 150g
S43   + 18650 Tube = 88.5g

 

S43S Head = 107gr
S43   Head = 45gr 

 

Left: Astrolux S43S with 5000K Nichia 219C
Right: Astrolux S43 with 5000K Luxeon V2

The Nichias seem to have better / more vivid color rendering, though in real life the differences, at least to my eyes, are minimal Smile
My smartphone camera is quite crappy, so take the shots below with a grain of salt!

 

User Interface

The S43S runs on Narsil 1.3 firmware, which is probably my all time favorite e-switch firmware.
The basic actions supported by the firmware are listed below.

Power On / Off : Single click
Ramp up / down: Long click
Turbo: Double click from anywhere
Battery Check Mode: Triple click
Lock / Unlock: Quadtruple click
Momentary Turbo: 5 clicks
Temperature check: Double click while on Battery Check

Please do keep in mind, that the listed actions are barely scratching the surface of what Narsil is capable of.
For a full feature list please refer to Narsil's manual.

Performance

The perfomance is identicaly to the Astrolux S43, with the exception that the S43S can sustain Turbo for almost double (50s) the time than the S43.
My measurements were taken using a Samsung 25R 18650 cell.
Please keep in mind that my numbers are turn-on bilakos10-lumens and should be useful only for direct comparsion of other flashlights that I got in the list.



And here's turbo compared to some other lights.


For $27, I do believe that it's a bargain.
Don't expect  to be running it constantly on TURBO, though it should make for a great EDC.
In the near future I will be uploading some more comparison beamshots between the Astrolux S43 powered by Luxeon V2 and the Astrolux S43S Smile


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Edited by: bilakos10 on 01/27/2019 - 10:50
white7561
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Woah. 3280lumens with Nichia?

bilakos10
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white7561 wrote:
Woah. 3280lumens with Nichia?

I don’t know how accurate my setup is, but that’s how many lumens I measured at turn on.
Just out of curiosity, I measured the output at 30 seconds and it was at around 2400lm.

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neBstress
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Hey bilakos10 nice review/comparison.

Please can you tell us what the weight difference is between the two?

Aleister
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Great review, as always, bilakos Beer

I have a similar opinion about the S43. I got mine (a red and a green, both Nichia) because it checks all the boxes of my “perfect walk the dog dream light” list. First of all, Narsil, my all time favorite e-switch UI too (I haven’t tried Anduril). Flood (to see where you are stepping and what your dog chews), high cri, high power burst (some dogs are deterred by bright lights (some people too Big Smile )), low low, small size, enough runtime even for a long walk when used modestly… I liked S41, hated S42 and loved S43 (minus the bezel).

Let a flooder be my wife and a thrower be my mistress

bilakos10
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neBstress wrote:
Hey bilakos10 nice review/comparison.

Please can you tell us what the weight difference is between the two?

Right off the bat, I can tell you that the copper head is way heavier that the aluminum one Smile

This afternoon I will upload a couple of pictures from my mini scale in action.

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white7561
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Eh . I’m wondering. If say I picked the Nichia one. When it’s here. How can I verify that it’s the Nichia version? They don’t put specialized text inside right? . How can you tell the unit that you got is really Nichia version? Thanks eh…

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neBstress wrote:
Hey bilakos10 nice review/comparison. Please can you tell us what the weight difference is between the two?

Sorry for taking some time to respond back, but I got super busy in the mean time Smile 

S43S + 18650 Tube = 150g
S43   + 18650 Tube = 88.5g

 

S43S Head = 107gr
S43   Head = 45gr 

 

So in total the S43S weight around double, but you also get double heat capacity.
In boils down to your personal preference.

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LightObsession
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Thanks for the weight measurements.

If I buy one, it be an aluminum version, even though the copper is beautiful.

neBstress
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@ bilakos10, thank you very much for weighing them.
Very interesting and helpful.

Also beautiful photos!

bilakos10
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white7561 wrote:
Eh . I’m wondering. If say I picked the Nichia one. When it’s here. How can I verify that it’s the Nichia version? They don’t put specialized text inside right? . How can you tell the unit that you got is really Nichia version? Thanks eh…

The Nichia version comes with neutral white tint, while the XP-G3 produces very cool (one might call it slightly blue) tint.
If your light’s color temperature looks very natural then you got the Nichia version Smile

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white7561
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Thanks so much for the tip!!! Smile Smile

white7561
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Mine came today. It’s very nice. Although from my inspection. I can see that the positive contact is kinda dirty so I need to clean it with alcohol. Also it needs more grease . So I added that. Oh also. Just remembered. Stock from them. The strobe beacon etc are disabled. So you need to enable them thru the firmware option thingy. Also after further inspection, the orings and the charging cover are suspiciously loose. Not that loose . But not tight . So I wouldn’t recommend using this flashlight underwater etc. I mean a little rain is prob fine. But no full on water. I don’t trust it enough. All in all . It’s pretty good . I like it. Also I’m using the s43 18650 battery tube. With VCT6 flat top. And it’s not turning off when you drop it etc.

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Loving this light, the UI is just so much better than the S42. I was surprised at just how heavy the copper is, I think I’ll pick up a normal S43 to replace the S42’s I’ve been using!

The furthest right light is an S42 with a tailcap from a Skillhunt H03, which lego’s perfectly and gives an extremely short light. Very handy for dropping in a jeans pocket. You can do the same trick with the S43S to bring the height down a little, but you’ll need to add a couple of small magnets to make it work.

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Fixed pic.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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BlueSwordM wrote:
Fixed pic.

Oh! You were too quick for me, I was still messing around with the embed code to get the size right, thanks! Smile

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Thank you for sharing, bilakos. My Nichia version just came in. Love it so much!

Siftah
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I just noticed they’ve released a Samsung LH351D version too, which looks interesting.

https://www.banggood.com/Astrolux-S43S-Copper-4x-LH351D4x-XPL-HI-3500lm-New-LED-High-CRI-95-Strong-Light-18350-18650-EDC-Flashlight-p-1659157.html

  • EDIT **

There’s already been a group buy on this : http://budgetlightforum.com/node/72289