Astrolux K01 CU "Tactical" Flashlight Review

Preface

Banggood got in touch about a review item and we agreed on this Astrolux light.  I generally like Astrolux lights, and this copper light is stunning.  Plus it has a great UI!


Official Specs and Features

Versions

There is just one body version of this light, but three tints:  1A, 3D, and 5A.  I have the 3D version, the neutral white.  They’re all XP-L HD.

Price

The going price for the K01 Cu is $39.95 at Banggood.  I even have a pretty solid coupon, too.  The code is  FLSTNE, for 20% 0FF.

Short Review

This is a strange light.  I like it.  I might even love it?  But strange.  The weight is great, but with just having a 14500 cell limits runtimes unnecessarily.  This would make a great 18650 light.

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Astrolux K01 Cu Flashlight
  • Lanyard
  • Pocket clip
  • Spare switch covers (2)
  • Spare o-rings (2)

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Package and Manual

The K01 ships in a nice slip-fit box.  The box has a sticker indicating the model and tint, and an Astrolux log on the top.  It’s a fairly nice box.  Inside, the light is held in place with open-cell foam.  Effective.

There is no manual.  The product relies on the webpage to serve as “manual,” and this works fairly well.

Build Quality and Disassembly

This is easily the most copper light that I own.  That it’s all copper means it’s very heavy for it’s size.
The look is just stunning.  The copper is straight up “new penny” copper.  It’ll actually stay that way too, if you choose – it’s coated with (something, who knows what).  So the coating will protect the copper from patina.
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At first I was disappointed that there was a coating.  I liked the idea of the copper patina developing.  Then I realized I don’t care for the smell of copper (or how it smells after handling).  But in truth, I like the coating because it keeps the light looking like a new penny, and not too much of the copper smell comes through.  Enough, but not too much.  It’s just right.

The light is remarkably easy to disassemble.  Just about everything comes apart easily, by just unscrewing, by hand.
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The reflector is held in the head, against a glass lens, and the centering ring stays put on the reflector.
The pill, also solid copper, is a separate piece and has knurling on the outside of the body – a little unusual since most pills are internal.  The driver is held in with a brass retaining ring.  The MCPCB is held down by the reflector, so don’t run the light without the reflector!

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The threads are triangle cut.  They’re very nice threads, and I never worried with crossthreading.  The cell tube is quite thick, too.  The head end of the cell tube has some cooling fins – though, as this is a fully copper light, it’s going to move heat very well anyway.

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The tailcap is all held together with a brass retaining ring.  The spring on the tail is a very nice double spring.

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Size

Officially, the size is 104mm x 26mm.

Here’s how it stacks up against other lights you might know.  ReyLight Pineapple on the left.  Convoy S2+ on the right.
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Retention

The tailcap has some holes cut out for the included lanyard.  The lanyard is pretty standard.
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A pocket clip is included too, but unfortunately the one I received is not the same one as pictured with the product.  And it doesn’t fit right, either.  I know friction clips should be tight, but this one was so tight I almost couldn’t get it on (basically had to bang it on with a hammer).  Also it lays wrong – the contact point is just wrong near the head.
Note that the other clip which is pictured on the product page, looks like it’d be great.

See below how the clip scratched the light.  Most notably here, is that the coating over the copper has visibly scratched away.
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Power

Only 14500 Li-Ion cells will work in the K01 – Alkaline or NiMH won’t.  The working voltage of the light is above their voltage.  But among Li-Ion cells, button or flat top will work fine.
Here’s a runtime on turbo (aka mode 7, highest output).  Turbo steps down fairly fast, from 100% to around 87%, then the (likely timed) stepdown to 55% and another gradual decrease begins.
Runtime.png
The light doesn’t shut off properly, but when voltage gets low the light flickers to let the user know.  Also after about 35 minutes, the light switches to very low output.

User Interface and Operation

The light is controlled by a single tail switch.  This is a reverse clicky.  Very clicky.  A translucent boot is included and a spare just like it, and also a ‘nude’ boot too.  The switch has a good bit of texture, and doesn’t protrude past the edges of the tailcap.
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The UI is fairly complicated.  I’m not sure the usual table will do it justice, so here’s the photo that is included with the listing.
UI.jpg
There are two UI groups, and both have the option for Memory or No Memory.  The light ships in the 7 modes Group.  Both Groups have the same accessory modes (Strobes, etc).
There are a few nice features worth mentioning up front.  First (with memory off), the light always starts on the low available mode in the Group.  Second, a “medium press” (defined as a press between 0.5s and 1.5s) will go back a mode.  This means Turbo is easy to access – as easy as two clicks (but not a double click).  Click to turn the light on, then medium press to go back one mode to Turbo.  And going back one mode is true in any of the 7 (or 4) regular modes.  In the Strobe group (which includes, in this order: Turbo, Strobe, Battery Check, Bike Flasher), the same medium press advances the modes.  A short click pushes back to the regular modes, and always to the lowest available output.
Switching between Groups requires a series of ≥18 taps (not clicks) when the light is on.  Basically, turn the light on, then begin the taps.  This will cycle the modes, until it doesn’t – when it doesn’t, stop tapping and wait for the two flashes.  Click the switch at the appropriate time (after the first flash for 7-Mode group; after the second flash for the 4-Mode group).  To cycle memory on and off, enter programming again as above, but wait for a second set of double flashes.  Click after the first for no memory, and after the second for memory.  The light comes configured in the first of both options (7 mode group, with no memory).

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Mode Measured Lux Tailcap Amps
Turbo 24200 4.15
High 2 15270 1.75
High 1 8560 0.72
Med 2 3930 0.33
Med 1 1275 0.09
Low 132 0.00
Moon 12 0.00

LED and Beam

The emitter Astrolux has chosen for this light is a Cree XP-L HD.  As stated above, there are three tint options.  I have the 3D, the most neutral option.  I consider the tint to be very good.  Stated as 5000K, I might say it’s a little warmer, and might even have a bit of rosy to it.  I can’t remember a better XP-L HD.
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The reflector is lightly orange peel.  This makes a beam with a distinct hotspot, but with edges that roll very smoothly into the spill.

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Tint vs BLF-348

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Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Astrolux K01 CU
Emitter Cree XP-L
Emitter Notes 3D
Cell 14500
Glamour Shots Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]
Runtime Chargetime N/A
LVP? Warning Flicker
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1400
Lux (Measured) 732 lux @ 4.25 m
Candela (Calculated) in cd 13221.8
Throw (Calculated) (m) 230.0
Throw (Claimed) (m)

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

This light seems to be the only light that supports only 14500 cells, and not also regular AA (Alkaline, NiMH) cells.  Of course this allows a couple of things – Higher output, and easier low voltage protection.
My impression of this light is that you’re not likely to buy it because it’s the only light you’ll have that suits this need; you’re more likely to buy it because of the uniqueness of the fully copper body.  I think it’s great for that.  The driver is also great, and the output is good too.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Copper body
  • Like, completely copper body
  • Well considered UI

What I don’t like

  • Single chemistry support
  • My pocket clip didn’t work

Up Next

I have more lights in for review.  I’ve been in a bit of a lull lately, so I’m not sure when I’ll get those and some other items out, though.

Notes

  • This light was provided by Banggood for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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