Astrolux SC 1A Copper 14500 Flashlight Review
In this review I’ll be discussing the wonderful copper Astrolux SC flashlight. I am thankful to Banggood who supplied the flashlight for the review. The flashlight reviewed here is the Cool White 1A LED model.
The Flashlight is currently on Sale for $45.95 at Banggood.
Astrolux SC Copper CREE XPL-HI 1400lumens LED Flashlight (Not Aff Link)
This flashlight is a replica of the BLF X5 that was designed by the BLF team. The final designed product was made available via a group buy on BLF. The Kronos X6 (18650) and X5 (14500) featured similar components, however it was only the X5 which came with an entirely copper host. Both flashlights proved to be very popular items in the flashlight community leading to a sell out on all limited edition models. With the end of the BLF run, Banggood have been able to offer a further product run of what are very similar if not identical product.
This is a flashlight that is absolutely beautiful. It has lots of wow factor that I've rarely had with flashlights. The pure copper host makes a welcome change from the plain black flashlights that we see available. The copper finish is near perfect. The next big surprise is the pure weight of the host, later on we'll see details of the size in various comparisons. The pure copper host is noticeably heavy compared to a similarly sized Aluminum flashlight.
Astrolux SC CREE XPL HI LED Flashlight Set
ATTiny25V-based driver with off-time capacitor
1 -- 1400 lm
1 x 14500 battery (not included)
tail of the flashlight(Lit tailcap by pilotdog68)
Toughened ultra-clear mineral glass
IPX-8 waterproof 2 meters
236g without battery
105mm x 28mm(length x body diameter)
1 x Astrolux SC Copper CREE XPL-HI 1400LM LED Flashlight
1 x Deep Carry Pocket Clip
1 x Gift Box
1 x Extra o-rings
2 x Extra button cap
1 x flashlight landyard
The flashlight came in a nice light brown box without any damage. The box quality is quite good. There was some tape wrapped around the box which can be seen in the photo below.
Included in the box was a sealed bag containing the lanyard, o-ring and two extra tailcaps. Inclusion of the black tailcap seems somehwat odd as we'll see that the tailcap button is illuminated.
Included in the box was a sealed bag containing the Lanyard, spare o-ring and two extra tailcaps. Inclusion of the black tailcap seems somehwat odd as we'll see that the tailcap button is illuminated.
As a size comparison I've included the Astrolux SC next to other flashlights. It's size is such that it fits nicely in the hand.
Below is shown the Astrolux SC with a 18650 (left) and 14500 battery (right). The host use a single 14500 LiIon battery, and is significantly larger in size.
Side view of the flashlight host showing the pocket clip. Not an item that I tend to use, but for some it will come in usefull. The clip is strongly made and works quite well. Fitted on the all copper host it looks ok. I'm not a fan of clips and would prefer that the it not be fitted, but I could be the odd one out here. It's just personal preference. The clip can of course be removed but it requires some force to remove. This is a strong fitted design.
The threads on the flashlight are square. This is a well manufactured product. I was very impressed with the quality of the finish. The knurling is very consistent. It's somewhat smooth in feeling.
Below we have the dissasembled flashlight host, again all components have a high quality finish and appearance. Black O rings shown on host tube. being all copper and lacking the HAIII finish we see on many quality flashlights it's more likely to be scratched easily.In time the copper may patina after repeated use as there may not be a coating on the copper.
Close up view of the back of the flashlight head. Showing clearly the BLF A17 DDL driver.
Close up view of the tube body from one end. Layering of copper can be seen. Wall thickness is even.
Removing the head reveals the 1A XPL HI LED and board.
Another view here that shows the side of the reflector. This section screws into the head.
Clean board and soldering. The board is firmly secured with 2 screws. The host can tailstand too as is shown in the photo below.
Top section of the head removed. Not visible here but the glass has a layer of coating. This is noticeable as purple reflection on the glass from various angles.
View from the front showing the smooth aluminum reflector and Cree LED.
The overall weight of the flashlight without battery was measured as 208 grams. This is down from the 236 grams listed on the spec sheet but still a heavy flashlight for it's size. Not too heavy to be uncomfortable to use. The weight in some ways makes it more impressive as it emphasis's the quantity of copper in the host. The head itself was a sizeable 132 grams.
The Current measurements on the highest setting were taken using a UNI-T UT204 clamp meter with a 12AWG wire with the tailcap removed. Actual current levels will be lower due to the resistance of the tailcap switch and spring. A further set of readings were taken of the current measured whilst the flashlight was off and the tailcap illuminated. The design being by BLF member pilotdog64.
A total of six batteries were used in the testing, all freshly charged with a XTAR VC4 charger. In all cases the tailcap drain measured when the flashlight is in the off position came up as around 630µA. Actual tests by BLF member Joat from BLF suggest that the battery would drain to below 3V after around 60 days. BLF Post by Joat
The other key readings collected were the maximum current levels on the highest mode. As would be expected the IMR batteries proved best. The "winner" here being the Nitecore 650mAH battery at 4.4A. The Efest V1 also performed very well at 4.2A. All batteries with the exception of the Efest V1 were button top.
The flashlight has an illuminated tailcap. In the past glow in the dark railcaps have been around, but this is the first flashlight I've used with this type of tailcap. Initially it was somewhat disturbing as clearly the flashlight is draining power from the battery whilst off, but as per the figures above, the period to drain the battery isn't a concern. Just be sure not to store the flashlight away with a fitted battery for extra long periods. The color of the tailcap light when it illuminates is blueish purple. The tailcap supplied on the flashlight is white.
Previously I've received the Astrolux S1 and was very impressed with the user interface of the flashlight, and here we have yet another amazing creation by Toykeeper from BLF. The Astrolux SC provides even more options for the user. The image below describes UI options and how to navigate between them and activate. In order to effectively use this UI I'd receommend checking the "Bistro" firmware notes. In my eagerness to change modes I experimented with the settings but had no success. It was only after reading the detailed notes that I learnt that further levels of action on the user were required to vary the number of modes selected. Although it may seem a complex UI, it is easy to use and provides the user with enormous flexibility to tailor the settings to your liking. This is rarely seen in production torches. Thankfully blinking isn't permanent but can be if required. Although more experimentation is required on my part to test out more options particularly Battcheck and Thermal calibration. I'm very pleased with what it offers.
Below are my ceiling bounce measurements along with a 10 minute run.
Firstly presented is a ceiling bounce test comparison. The 14500 Nitecore IMR was used in the Astrolux SC for the purpose of testing as it was found to provide the largest tailcap currents. The results are very impressive. The Astrolux brightness on the highest mode was noticeably brighter than the Astrolux S1. The Astrolux SC being shown as the 2nd highest result in the table below. This suggests that the stated 1400 lumen brightness may not be far from accurate. I did find however that this peak result does drop off quickly. More of this next. This is a very bright flashlight. I'm not sure if there is a brighter 14500 battery powered flashlight that performs as well. It outperforms many 18650 flashlights.
A test used in the past is where the flashlight is run for a duration of 10 minutes on the highest mode. The test setup has a light meter placed on a wall spaced 1m from the flashlight head. The torch being on a tripod is placed so as the centre beam shines directly on the light meter sensor. The Olight 750mAH battery was used in the flashlight for testing. The aim here was not to obtian peak perfomance results where the high current could lead to excessive heat levels in the flashlight. The results measure were suprising. It was clearly noticeable that the light levels dropped at a fast rate. The dramatic drop in brightness was due to the thermal stepdown of the flashlight. It was not due to a poor battery. At some future time I'll adjust the thermal settings and repeat the test. The temperatures varied only vary slightly as seen in the results. The temperature being measured via ascan of the flashlight head and body to identify the highest reading via an IR Thermometer.
One downside is the runtime on the higher modes. The 14500 batteries being smaller in size and capacity of the 18650's don't provide long runtimes. The batteries used in this review have a capacity of typically 800mAH or less.
Indoors beamshots were taken. Below are the images from lowest mode to highest. The beam pattern is very clean, with a clear hot spot and good spill level. The larger head results in a flashlight with more throw then flood. The tint level being cool white with the 1A XPL HI Cree LED.
I've a number of 14500 flashlights in my collection but eventually moved onto the 18650 powered units as I was looking for very high output levels. The 14500 powered flashlights I've come across just didn't produce the 1,000 plus lumens I really wanted. This flashlight delivers that and more. The Copper appearance, quality and performance of this flashlight all score very highly. It is a beautiful flashlight. It's not perfect as there are a few minor "cons" as listed below, but it's strengths are very strong and far outweigh the weaknesses.
> Absolutely Beautiful! Copper looks great and a welcome change over the typical black HAIII
> Excellent Quality
> Great User interface
> Very High Performance
> Illuminated Tailcap.
> Pricey. Normal price is $75.95 however it's on sale at times.
> Uses 14500 batteries which have smaller capacity resulting in shorter run times than 18650 powered flashlights.
> Being Copper lacks the HAIII finish that resists scratching.
> At around 250 grams with battery fitted it maybe a little too heavy for some.
> No tail cap lock out (thanks lionheart_2281 for pointing this out)
The Flashlight is currently on Sale for $45.95 at Banggood until April 22nd. If you missed out on the BLF Group buy I thoroughly recommend buying one.
Astrolux SC Copper CREE XPL-HI 1400lumens LED Flashlight (Not Aff Link)
Thanks again to Banggood who supplied the flashlight for the review.
Outdoor photos will be added to this review in the next update and possibly also a short video. It performs very well outdoors. More testing continues! Thanks for reading.