[review] Wurkkos FC11 tubelight

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Lightbringer
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[review] Wurkkos FC11 tubelight

[CC of what I reviewed on Amazon but may not have been published yet; pix later]

 

I heard about the new FC11, and was intrigued, and after hearing people going on about it, ordered one for myself. Big Smile

I’ve always liked Wurkkos and Sofirn lights (which share quite a bit of genetic material), so it’s no surprise I like the FC11 as well. It’s both different and similar, which seems contradictory, but it’s not. The head is almost identical to the SC31B, yet the body-tube is unique, not smooth nor knurled, but ribbed, which is a new feature. The tailcap is magnetic as well, letting it stick to metal surfaces. (Beware of carrying any light with a magnetic anything, as it can come dangerously close to credit cards and such, and erase them.) So this can be a perfect around-the-house light, or tool-bag light as well.

In the typische orange-and-white Wurkkos box is the light, printed manual sheet, baggie with lanyard and extra O-rings, and USB-C charging cable.

First impression is that quality is excellent. Perfect anodisation, no nicks or spots, a nice smooth semi-gloss black ano. Except for a blue ring around the side-switch that provides a nice splash of color, everything on the light is black, including the pocket clip. While it’s not a deep-carry clip, it’s not the usual chrome clip that looks like an afterthought on so many lights.

The light itself has a nice bit of heft to it. Everything feels quite solid, nothing cheap or chintzy anywhere. One especially nice touch is that the light uses a LH351D LED, which is a fan-favorite among light enthusiasts for its great tint, color, and rendition. No surprises here, as it throws a great beam, especially in the orange-peel reflector. No rings, very little tint-shift, just a bit of a corona around the hotspot.

The user-interface (UI) is quite good. There are two main modes of operation, stepped and ramping.

Stepped, which is set by default, is simple to use. Click on, click to cycle through 5 modes from “eco” (moonlight) to low, medium, high, and turbo. Click and hold to turn off. I know, I know, a lot of people want just click-on and click-off, but I’ve always been used to a long-click to turn off, so it feels quite natural to me, and I don’t mind at all.

Ramping works as expected as well. Click on, click/hold to ramp up, another click/hold to ramp down, click off. That should make the click-off crowd happy. Silly

From off in either mode, click-and-hold for at least 3 seconds to switch between ramping and stepped. The light will blink quickly a few times, then stay on in the new mode.

From on or off, again in either mode, a double-click instantly gets you to turbo, nominally 1300 lumens. One more click gets you to the previous mode (lit or off).

Nb: this a FET-based driver, so is not regulated, but proportional. Brightness will depend on the cell’s voltage, and the quality of the cell. So yes, as the battery depletes and the voltage decreases, brightness will gradually decrease as well. The included cell is quite good, so you’ll get good brightness out of the light.

Speaking of decreasing brightness, turbo is indeed turbo, meant for short bursts of bright light, and will start ramping down after a minute or so to something more sustainable. You can re-double-click to get back into turbo, but then it’s on you to watch the light’s temperature. The timed step-down is rather conservative, maybe too much so, to keep The Muggle from burning himself. Silly

The switch is backlit to reflect the cell’s voltage. Green good, red bad (recharge). Done.

Recharging is done via a covered USB-C port. Blinking red means charging, green means it’s done.

I’d still want a deep-carry clip to be able to pocket-carry the light and not have half of it sticking out, but I typically immediately remove clips anyway, so that’s not an issue to me, but it would keep me from carrying it daily. It still makes a good bag-light regardless.

All in all, everything works as expected. Quality is also the expected level from Wurkkos and Sofirn, no glitches or hangups along the way. I’m digging the new ribbed design, too. LOL

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Jerommel
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PWM FET

Lightbringer
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Ah, yes. Bobo’s cousin on Mandylor. LOL

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woodyt
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Nice job

Blggg
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How is the white beam compared to that on WK30? I have read some reviews of the FC11 saying that it’s a little greenish at lower modes like you mentioned. But that’s not the case with the WK30? I’m thinking of buying either WK30 or FC11. I will probably go for WK30 as it’s more versatile, but I definitely prefer the one with less greenish tint. I already have a SP10S and the beam has a light green corona around the hotspot at lower modes.

Lightbringer
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A lot of it is just winning/losing the Tint Lottery. My ’11 was a little greenish on lowest levels, and to some extent so is my ’30 and other lights with ’351s.

Seems that it’s a tradeoff between pwm and green. With pwm, you’re hitting the LED with hard but short pulses, which probably pushes output to the nicer tints, whereas with a linear driver, lower current at lower settings lets the green shine through.

But at those low levels (moonlightish), light is so low that green or not, it’s not that noticeable.

Only at brighter levels when most peoples’ eyes would be more discerning would tint become an issue (to me, at least). But even so, at low (vs moonlight/firefly), tint on both is still pretty good.

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Blggg
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I see. Thanks very much.

Mr Shao
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HA,thank you.