Up for review today is a neat light by Astrolux, sent to me by BangGood. This is the FT02, a 21700 cell thrower with a Cree XHP35 HI. Notably it has charging, and is available in a neutral tint. Read on to see how it tests!
Official Specs and Features
Here’s a link to the official product page. That’s a referral link, which I’d appreciate you clicking even if you don’t buy (or intend to buy!). Every click is sacred.
There is only one body option for this light, but it’s available with two emitter temperatures: Cool White, and Neutral White. The one I have here is NW.
Price and Coupon
Currently this light goes for $52.99 at BangGood.com. There’s been a coupon price but I think the coupon price (at the time) is higher than the current price of the light anyway.
This is a fun light and performs fairly well. I think the specifications are all written for the CW, so the throw and output of the NW are a little below spec, but still this light throws ~750m, and the on-board charging works well. Also, I think throwers sized for 21700 make great sense.
- Astrolux FT02 Flashlight
- Spare o-rings (2)
- 21700 to 18650 adapater
Package and Manual
The box is a common Astrolux box. A photo is silver embossed on the front, and the short end has a light-specific sticker, too.
Build Quality and Disassembly
There’s nothing outstanding to mention about the FT02. It’s a well built, solid light.
Taking the light apart minimally, you can see that the cell tube removes fully from the body. For scale (not included) is a Molicel 21700 (reviewed here).
The tailcap has a big, thick, and double spring – very thick and lots of spring. The head does not have a spring at all, but has a broad brass button.
The head has some deep cooling fins.
The cell tube is directional, with the head end being bigger and unanodized. The tail end is anodized for easy mechanical lockout. Also both ends have square cut threads. To be honest the threads on this light are very nice.
The knurling is also very nice!
The tailcap threads are lightly lubed, but not overly so.
Size and Comps
Weight: 258g (without battery)
Size: 154mm x 58.5mm (Length x Diameter)
It’s not a small light, but it’s right-sized to be a 21700 thrower.
I have said it before and it’s still true: 21700 lights are a great size in-hand. Maybe not perfect for pocket carry, but then who would carry this light in a pocket anyway?
Retention and Carry
Not much is included for carry of this light. There’s no nylon pouch, for example, and no pocket clip. There is a lanyard, which attaches only on the tailcap.
I understand no pocket clip, but a nylon pouch would be a great addition to this package.
Power and Runtime
I tested this light exclusively with a 21700 cell. I used a flat top unprotected cell. The flat top works fine (even though the light has a big brass button on the positive end) and the unprotected is also fine – the light has LVP. But any type cell would work.
I tested the light two ways…. since it has a ramping UI and no steps, I tested both ways to access Turbo. So the runtime are (or should be) the same, but Turbo was entered different ways. On some ramping lights, double click is Turbo turbo, but the top of the ramp is not quite Turbo.
The runtime is as expected. The stepdown occurs quickly, but much later than stated in the manual, which is good. Total output is well below spec, but again, I think that’s probably a matter of this being the NW version – CW is very likely to perform at a much higher output and throw. Unfortunate that the specs dont’ account for this and state actual results, though.
This runtime is a Double Click to Turbo runtime.
The other runtime is also Turbo, but this was entered by ramping all the way up to Turbo.
The results are practically the same.
Also included in the package is an adapter which will allow the use of 18650 cells.
It’s just a short plastic sleeve with a bit of aluminum on one end. The manual says “(Please use it for negative way of the 18650 battery)” which I take to mean that this should go on the negative end. (But you won’t hurt anything using it either way, I think.)
The FT02 has built in charging, facilitated by a micro-USB port opposite the switch.
Below are two charge tests. Yes two – the tests are so reliable that they overlap almost exactly. Charging is decent at around 1.3A during CC. The CV phase takes quite a long time to finally terminate, but charging does shut off completely when the cell reaches 4.2V.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.
Moon, middelish, Turbo. PWM not present on any mode! Yay!
User Interface and Operation
There’s a single switch on the FT02. It’s a side e-switch, with an indicator feature. The only indication color is green. The switch is clicky and easy to find, and is overall a good switch.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory)|
|On||Hold||Ramp (Up or Down, Click again for the other direction)|
|Off||Triple Click||Battery Check (indicated on switch)*|
|Off||Four Clicks||Lockout (Switch blinks 4x)|
|Lockout||Four Clicks||Unlock (Switch blinks 4x)|
|Off||Five Clicks||Activate Momentary (Click for momentary) (Unscrew tailcap to turn off)|
|Off||Six Clicks||Breathing Switch (another 6 clicks to turn Breathing off)|
* Battery indicator:
0%-20% One blink
20%-40% Two blinks
40%-60% Three blinks
60%-80% Four blinks
80%-100% Five blinks
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
LED and Beam
The emitter here is a Cree XHP35 HI – quickly becoming one of my favorite emitters, and certainly is for a throw light. The emitter benefits from a smooth reflector, which is wide and deep, providing better throw.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure. This is just a sampling of the outputs along the ramp.
Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)
The NW here on this FT02 is quite warm, but in person doesn’t look quite so yellow as in the photo.
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Cree XHP35 HI|
|Power off Charge Port with no Cell?||No|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||2215|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1603 (72.4% of claim)*|
|Claimed Throw (m)||848|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||746.7 (88.1% of claim)|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||3750lux @ 6.097m = 139400cd|
|All my Astrolux reviews!|
* Standard measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).
Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….
Here’s a link to a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com. I use that site a lot! There is some competition until the throw characteristics are used – and at that point there’s only one competitor – the Acebeam T27. I am sure that’s a fine light, but it’s also 3x the price of this Astrolux.
What I like
- NW is an option
- Great throw
- Overall nice package with charging included
- Good use of the indicating e-switch
- Nice use of 21700 cell – great in-hand feel
What I don’t like
- Doesn’t hit the specs on throw or output (which again could be because the specs are for the CW version, but that should be handled)
- This light was provided by BangGood for review. I was not paid to write this review.
- This content originally appeared at zeroair.org. 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!!