FW3A, a TLF/BLF EDC flashlight - SST-20 available, coupon codes public

Warning to potential buyers (2022)

In addition to the 2021 warning below, there are now reports that all the 7135 chips are removed from the driver, and it has no power regulation at all. For example, in this thread, Lumintop turned down a request for the original driver, saying:

If this means what it looks like it means, then the current models have no moon mode, terrible low modes, low efficiency, lower sustainable output, visible steps even in smooth ramp mode, and poor performance in general. And depending on the firmware used, parts of the ramp may be completely non-functional because two of the three power channels are missing.

Warning to potential buyers (2021)

The FW3A design has been changed many times since launch, with quite a few downgrades. It is not the same light any more. The 2021 model appears to be downgraded so much that it is no longer compatible with the upstream FW3A firmware. It’s missing an entire power channel, as shown in the pic below.

Additionally, the FW1A has been downgraded in at least two major ways — the reflector no longer focuses correctly, and the driver no longer has the primary regulated power channel.

These are only a few of the many downgrades though. Almost every time a new batch was produced, people reported surprising new changes, and most were not for the better. Several vendors have dropped the entire product line because it had too many problems and they had to issue too many refunds.

So, be warned: If you buy a FW3A, FW1A, or any of its other derivatives, you probably won’t get the light described in this thread.

Left: Original FW3A driver. Right: Downgraded version from 2020-12.

Original top-post below:

F Fritz
W Works/Werke
3 triple
A Aluminium

A compact, ergonomic, feature-packed EDC-style light.

To sign up: No need. Just order what you want. The interest list is closed and not necessary any more.

A pic of proto4, photographed by Maukka. Click to see full review:

A word of warning for BLF specials:
The BLF part is done by BLFers who do it in their spare time, despite they may seem professionals and the work they do is at professional level, BLF is not our full time job. So give us a break and relax if thing are not going as fast as you want.
Nothing is sure so expect waiting:

- Waiting for news and updates.

- Waiting for the project to come to fruition.

- Waiting till the result can finally be ordered.

  • And then waiting for arrival at your home, shipping from China can take a long time.
    So relax, enjoy the many other facets of BLF while you wait and remember:
    It is done when it is done :slight_smile:

Computer renders of the light:
Original design in bare aluminum:

Updated design with bead-blasted surface and light grey anodizing:

The production model is expected to be like this second picture, only in dark grey.

The FW3A is a collaboration between TLF (Germany) and BLF (global). Fritz15 made a small triple flashlight on his lathe. TLF reacted very positively and at first a small hand made batch would be pursued. But this elegant design screams for a wider audience, so it became something bigger.

An unusual feature is the electronic tail switch. This allows the light to do much fancier things than a clicky switch, yet retains the ergonomic benefits of a clicky tail switch.


  • Fritz15: Design
  • Tommy TLF: General TLF communication
  • DEL: Driver
  • Tom E: Firmware (originally), driver
  • ToyKeeper: Firmware / UI, BLF gardening
  • The Miller: General BLF communication
  • pepinfaxera: Interest list management
  • MRsDNF: Early prototyping
  • Neal: Retail service, coordination with Lumintop
  • Lumintop: Manufacturing

The FW3A

Small elegant EDC triple flashlight designed by Fritz15

  • Runs on a single 18650 battery.
  • 92.5 × 25.5 mm: Unusually small for an 18650 light — about the size of a SK-68 (1xAA).
  • Battery size: 18mm x 65mm (66mm maximum). Protected cells won’t fit.
  • Tail e-switch.
  • Wide range from ~0.3 lm to ~2800 lm.
  • Regulated output up to ~900 lm.
  • Fancy yet easy UI.
  • Nice clip firmly attached.
  • Good ergonomics.

It’s meant to be a good all-around EDC light, something to be used heavily.

Second prototype:

First prototype:

Size reference:

Size and color reference (the production model is dark grey, in the center):


The original plan was clear anodized aluminum complete with the original machining marks, but after three rounds of prototypes this did not happen. The attempts did not turn out as desired. So, based on forum feedback, the plan is to do dark grey anodizing instead. It is also possible that a bare unanodized version could be made later, but this remains to be determined.

No marking/logo for a clean look

Custom-designed stainless steel clip

Machined steel button on the tail:


Target $30 including shipping, manufacturer can decide own pricing afterwards.
Maybe $36 if XP-L HI emitters are used.
Not fixed yet!


3 pieces 3535 footprint
XP-L HI 3D (~4875K), SST-20 4000K 95CRI, or maybe Samsung LH351D 4000K 90CRI (if it can be obtained)
LEDs mounted on DTP triple star

Emitter Comparisons:







Cree XP-L HI




Luminus SST-20





Samsung LH351D





For price and heat, lower values are better. Throwiness depends on
personal needs and taste. For everything else, higher values are

Throwiness is a rough measure of candelas per lumen. It’s the overall beam
shape. Even the throwiest option is not a thrower, because compact triples
are floody by nature. At a guess, the range here is about 2 to 4
cd/lm, and common reflector-based EDC-style lights are usually about
5 to 10.

Beam is the overall beam quality, like smoothness and color consistency.

More peppers makes thermal management harder, reduces the sustainable
brightness after step-down, and increases risk of damaging the emitters on

Values indicate approximate performance in a Carclo 10511
optic using a FET for direct drive on 1x18650. These have not been
directly tested in the FW3A host, so this data is more of an educated
guess than a measurement.

All of the emitter types are good, but here is the worst part about each:

  • XP-L HI: Costs more. Medium CRI.

  • SST-20: Green at low levels.

  • LH351D: Super floody. Green at low levels. May be unobtainable.

Visual estimate of the floodiest option compared to a throwy option:


Integrated LED shelf for good thermal dissipation.

Driver retainer ring.

Threads square or trapezoidal (not triangular) for connection head and body

Electronic switch in tail with stainless steel button

Double tube to connect the electronic switch to the driver


Triple TIR optics http://www.carclo-optics.com/optic-10511 , easily replaced with other common models if desired.
Glass AR coated lens 23.0 mm x 1.5 mm (original spec was 2.25mm thick)

More info in post #3 below.


O-rings at lens, bezel, both ends of body tube, clip (to keep it from spinning), and inner tube (to isolate it from the outer tube). Button uses rubber boot internally to block water ingress, with metal cap on the outside. Set of spare O-rings in box.

Smooth thermal regulation to avoid overheating. However, turbo is a burst mode only, and the user should use it only for short periods instead of relying on thermal regulation to prevent heat damage. Full turbo is powerful enough to start fires in just a few seconds, especially when aimed at dark-colored materials.


Cardboard with protective foam:

Quality Control

Lights made as specified and agreed upon.
Samples as specified and agreed upon for the team before the go is given for actual production.
All lights tested before shipping to spot and fix problems and avoid DOA. (turn on, ramp up and down, if not working properly factory fixes problems so all receive a good working light.)

TLF BLF cooperation

This light is a joint project between TLF and BLF.

For German speakers, use the TLF threads:

For English speakers, use this thread, right here on BLF.


When will it be available?

  • Orders began on 2019-04-26.

How can I get one? What is the ordering process and payment method?

  • The interest list is closed, so if you didn’t get a private message with purchase instructions, it’s too late now. But it can still be purchased at retail price through Neal’s shop, and should also be available later from Lumintop.

Will there be a 18350 version / 18350 tube?

  • No. The entire back half of the light would need to be redesigned/replaced.

Will there be an empty host version?

  • Probably not. The only components which aren’t custom are the LEDs and optic.

Can I buy spare parts, like an extra driver or clip?

  • Not yet determined.

How does the FW3A compare to the Emisar D4?

  • FW3A advantages: Slightly smaller, lighter, nicer clip, metal tail switch, higher regulated modes, cheaper (probably), much fancier firmware.
  • D4 advantages: Sturdier, more emitter/optic/host choices, rubber side switch, higher turbo modes, available from mid-2017, also comes in throwy D1/D1S flavors.

Old News

2019-08-07: New flavors are available for order or pre-order: Bare aluminum, TK Purple, Blue, Military Green, polished copper, bead-blasted copper, titanium, and titanium+copper. The “TK Purple” version has a stylized moonbeam logo on the button, and a portion of the sales from it will be sent to ToyKeeper.

Coupon codes are:

  • Colors: BLFFW3A 20%OFF
  • Copper (FW3C): BLFFW3C 15%OFF
  • Titanium (FW3T): BLFFW3T 20%OFF

… and for a short time, there is a private 25% off coupon available for people who already bought a FW3A and post pictures of it in this thread.

2019-06-12: The SST-20 version is available to order now, and the tint bin is FA3.

The coupon codes at Neal’s Gadgets are “NDFW3A” and “BLFFW3C”. These work for the aluminum version (FW3A) and the copper version (FW3C), respectively.

Proto4 units have been reviewed:

2019-05-19: Neal reports that all orders have shipped, except for a couple orders with address problems. He’s contacting people individually about that. There is no news about SST-20 yet, but Neal will make sure people know about it when it’s ready.

2019-05-08: Orders which haven’t shipped yet may be delayed a bit. Neal and his wife are having a baby and he texted from the hospital to let us know he won’t be at work for a little while.

2019-04-28: The interest list is closed so no more requests are being accepted. Orders are still in progress. The SST-20 4000K version should be available to order soon. Shipping for most orders should start on May 8.

2019-04-26: Ordering starts today! Details are posted here and quoted below:

2019-04-22: Production samples have started to arrive, and results so far look good. If nothing goes wrong, sales should start soon.

2019-04-11: Production samples are being sent to one person at TLF and two people at BLF for final testing, and then hopefully sales will start. Some extra details…

  • Estimated price is $36 for XP-L HI, or $30 for other emitters.
  • Emitters are XP-L HI 3D (~4875K) for now, and then probably SST-20 4000K 95CRI soon, and with any luck, also LH351D later.
  • The lights are Aircraft Grey in color. (medium grey with a slight hint of blue)
  • Group buy lights should be entirely free of markings and logos. After the group buy, Lumintop will probably sell a branded version with their bunny logo on the tail.
  • Unanodized bare aluminum might happen later, but this isn’t determined yet.

2019-01-31: Proto4 had an issue with the driver cavity being too small. Needs to be fixed before production.

2019-01-29: Proto4 samples have started to arrive.

2019-01-28: Production samples begin to arrive tomorrow for testing/review. Production should start within days, if things go well.

2018-11-28: Trying to get production started.

2018-09-17: Third (final?) prototypes arrived, waiting for test results from Fritz and Cawi.

2018-06-22: Second prototypes tested, emitter poll results collected, sending in feedback for host changes and emitter type(s). Only a few product details left to finish before production.

Poll (2018-06-08): Voting is open for emitter details: (results: the top choices were XP-L HI 3D and LH351D 4000K)

2018-06-08: Second prototypes arrived, many things are fixed, only a few things left to finish.

2018-06-03: Lumintop made a second prototype, hoping it’ll arrive soon for testing.

Poll (2018-04-19): What UI style do you want for muggle mode?
Results (2018-06-03): By popular choice, smooth ramp is now implemented for muggle mode.

  1. Smooth ramp (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
  2. 3-mode Baton (loses to Smooth ramp by 66–36)
  3. 1-mode (loses to Smooth ramp by 71–31, loses to 3-mode Baton by 63–31)
  4. None (loses to Smooth ramp by 72–34, loses to 1-mode by 57–38)
  5. 3-mode clicky (loses to Smooth ramp by 80–22, loses to None by 51–47)

2018-04-17: Waiting on Lumintop to make second set of prototypes based on feedback from first batch.

2018-02-22: “FW3A Team” account created, thread ownership changed, so now updates can be posted again.

2018-12-xx: The first round of LT prototypes arrived. Details are posted in the thread around that time, and also a little bit in the OP.

2017-11-ish: The Miller is taking some time away from BLF to deal with real-life matters. Tom E has also been too busy to be on BLF much. ToyKeeper is filling in for both… for Tom since 2017-11, and for The Miller since 2018-04.

2017-07-20: Exciting news!

With the active support from Neal we finally found a new partner for our project and the progress is far enough to reveal the name: Lumintop

Change Log

2019-04-28: The interest list has been closed.
2019-04-26: Orders have started. Only a day or so left to get on the interest list.
2019-04-11: Updates in post #1 and #3.
2019-03-31: Added emitter comparison table.
2019-02-25: Updated lumen specs based on maukka’s measurements
2019-01-31: Added production sample pics, and links to reviews
2018-11-28: First post updated to reflect recent news.
2018-10-05: Current status updated. Not sure what the status is for the latest prototypes.
2018-06-22: Updated spec for optics and O-rings, added note about thermal regulation. Moved emitter type polls down to old news.
2018-06-08: Proto2 info added/updated.
2018-06-03: Updated FAQ, closed muggle mode poll, second prototype confirmed to exist (via potato pics), filled in some missing “old news”.
2018-04-24: Added newer model render with tapered tube.
2018-04-19: Muggle mode poll created.
2018-04-17: First post updated, small FAQ added.
2018-04-05: Moved interest list to its own first-page post.
2018-04-03: Added firmware/UI info to its own first-page post.
… (some team changes happened) …
06.05.2017: ordering of triples and optics for some testing
06.05.2017: revision of the driver draft with Tom and DEL
04.05.2017: publication of the project

Thanks Wrathbringer27 for the translation!


Small elegant EDC triple flashlight designed by Fritz.

Runs on a single 18650 battery.

Chinese: Fritz设计的小巧优雅的EDC三重手电筒。需要一个 18650 大小的电池操作


Clear anodisation (no pigments) and NO sanding or sandblasting of the parts after machining.

This makes the FW3A look like it came of a lathe of a skilled machinist with the added protection anodisation offers to keep it beautiful for a long time.

No marking/logo for a clean look

Stainless steel clip






$30 including shipping, manufacturer can decide own pricing afterwards



3 pieces 3535 footprint
Cree XPG3 NW
LEDs mounted on DTP triple star

3 个 3535 footprint 大小的led
Cree XPG3 NW
Led 安装在 DTP 三星上


Integrated LED shelf for good thermal dissipation
20 AWG Wires.
Driver retainer ring.

Threads square or trapeziod (not triangular) for connection head and body

Electronic switch in tail with stainless steel button

Double tube to connect the electronc swich to the driver

20 AWG线。






Triple TIR optics 10.0mm Narrow Spot Plain TIR LED Lenses | Carclo Optics (link is external)(link is external) (link is external)
Glass AR coated lens 2,25mm thick


三重TIR光学10.0mm Narrow Spot Plain TIR LED Lenses | Carclo Optics (link is external) (外部链接)


2 x O-ring bezel, perfect fit

All lights tested before shipping to spot and fix problems and avoid DOA. (turn on, ramp up and down, if not working properly factory fixes problems so all receive a good working light.)


2 x O形圈表圈,完美契合

发货前所有的灯都必须经过测试,以便可以发现和修复问题,避免DOA。 (打开,亮度调整,如果不能使用,工厂需修复问题,确保都能获得良好的灯)

Some extra info about the light…

FW3A Interface

The FW3A uses the Andúril‎ firmware by ToyKeeper. It is similar to Tom E’s fantastic NarsilM, but with some extras.

Basic usage is very simple: Click for on/off, hold to change brightness. But there’s much more available for those who want it.

This is the UI diagram for it, showing most of the functions:

The interface uses mostly the same ramping as Narsil, and basic usage is identical. Click to turn the light on or off, hold the button to change brightness. However, this style applies to both the smooth ramp and the mode group, and the user can switch between them with three clicks while the light is on. No need to remember two interfaces or navigate a config mode.

Ramping also has some additional usability tweaks. If the user holds the button, ramping will always go up unless the button was released less than a second ago or it’s already at the top. To ramp down without ramping up first, do a “click, release, hold”. This eliminates the need to remember which way it was ramping in the past.

Both the smooth ramp and mode group are configurable. The user can set the lowest level, the highest level, and (mode group only) the number of steps. Full turbo is still available via double-click even if the ceiling is set somewhere more sensible.

While on, a double click toggles between turbo and the memorized level. So, if you hear a noise and want full power for a moment, double click. When you’re done, double click again to return to the original brightness.

Two groups worth of blinkies are included. To reach them, do “click click click” from off or a “click click hold”. These include:

  • Group 1: (always starts at battcheck)
    • BattCheck: Show remaining charge in volts and tenths.
    • Sunset: Start at “low”, then slowly ramp down to moon for an hour, then turn off.
    • Beacon: Blink once every N seconds at the last-ramped level. N is configurable.
    • TempCheck: Show current temperature and optionally configure settings for thermal regulation.
  • Group 2: (remembers the last-used mode)
    • Bike flasher: Steady output with a “stutter” once per second. Adjustable brightness.
    • Party strobe: Motion-freezing strobe. Adjustable speed.
    • Tactical strobe: Bright, disorienting strobe. Adjustable speed.
    • Lightning storm: Exactly what it says on the tin. No adjustments available.
    • Candle: Simulates a flickering candle or fireplace. Adjustable brightness. Also works as a self-shutoff timer in 30-minute increments.

A few other modes are available by clicking even more times from off:

  • 4 clicks: Soft lockout. Light won’t turn on until it’s unlocked. This mode doubles as a momentary moon mode, so when the button is held down it’ll light up at the current ramp floor. This is handy for checking something quickly without having to unlock the light.
  • 5 clicks: Momentary / signalling mode. Using the last-ramped brightness, the light will be on when the button is held, or off otherwise. Good for Morse code and such. To exit this mode, physically disconnect power (unscrew the light).
  • 6 clicks: Muggle mode. An extremely simple interface with a limited brightness range — ~10 lm to ~300 lm, with smooth ramping and no blinkies. Persists after a battery change. To exit this mode, quickly click exactly 6 times.

Some features which aren’t visible on the diagram:

  • Low voltage protection will reduce the brightness when the battery is low. If the brightness is already down all the way, it will shut the light off entirely.
  • Thermal regulation keeps the light from overheating. It’s not normally visible by eye though; it ramps smoothly across 512 internal steps to adjust output while it searches for the highest level it can maintain without overheating.
  • By default, the ceiling is set to the highest fully-regulated output level — 3 Amps. This is about 1000 lumens. Full turbo is about 3000 lumens, but cannot be sustained for long due to the heat it creates.

There are also some other interfaces available for this hardware, but it requires the user to flash different firmware. You can make it work like a BLF Q8, or like an Olight, or like a Zebralight, for example. However, these are not tested and not officially supported.


The FW3A uses a FET+7+1 driver.

So, three power channels:

  • 1xAMC7135 chip for 0 to 350mA
  • 7xAMC7135 chips for 350mA to 2.8 A
  • FET for 2.8 A to full power (direct drive)

This keeps most of the levels pretty stable and reasonably efficient, as far as linear drivers go. But it still has a direct drive circuit for turbo.

In a totally non-scientific qualitative manner, the overall efficiency curve compared to a constant current linear driver looks something like this:

LEDs also change tint according to the power level. This driver attempts to minimize that effect by blending power channels, but it may still be noticeable. The curve for that looks roughly like this:


The optic is a Carclo 10511, which is a lightly frosted optic with a relatively narrow spot. It gets almost as much throw as the 10507 optic, but with greatly reduced tint shift and artifacts.

BLF user maukka measured this in great detail in his review, which is quoted here:

Interest List

The list is closed, so this is the final set of requests. It’s not getting any more updates.

TLF adds about 450 lights to the list below.

BLF list:

1670 people, 2479 lights.




Aha, so this is what you were talking about. :+1:

Very nice !

…uhm… no DD driver i hope? Hopefully it will be a CC driver, but with enough (6 to 12) Amperes, like the LD2 (or LD3?) without PWM.

Another thing, about the anodizing, clear anodizing can make it look very cheap, maybe better to have no anodizing OR sandblasted finish.

But i love the design concept. :heart_eyes:
Will possibly be as tiny as the DQG ?

This would be my first multi-emitter flashlight since the old days of blue and purple leds.

Triple channel driver
So a FET for highest modes but more birhgtness levels on 7135 chips then FET+1 drivers

94.8 x 25.5 is the FW3A, pretty small :wink:

No, the DQG sacrifices too much in order to achieve its small size for my liking. It has no glass lens to protect the optics, especially for an EDC light this is important. Additionally, there is no tailcap spring, which is quite bad for the battery and the LED sits directly on the driver-PCB which grants horrible heat-sinking.

I’d like to be put on a blf list if there is one

Put me down for two please

Put me down for 2 also, sharp looking flashlight!


I’d be interested in 1 please.

A 18650 with a belt clip, Perfect :slight_smile:

One for now with the option to increase order at a later date.

Looks like another great light with a Coooooooool looking factor.

I would be down for 2 also! :+1:

Very nice!

Oh wauw, I’ve had small DQG lights in my cart many times but felt great hesitation to actually buy one and reading this makes me feel good about it :wink:

Count me in for one, this sounds great!

Please sign me up for one of them. Thanks.

1 please

1 please

BTW , even should be 25$ possible .