Wowtac has a new wall-of-light in a 26650 format light. Wowtac has made some other great lights, with “technical support by Thrunite.” Here’s my review of the Wowtac A5!
Official Specs and Features
I only see one version of this light, but it wouldn’t surprise me if both NW and CW were available. In fact the box confirms that there are NW and CW, at least in theory.
Price and Coupon
The A5 is going for
$59.95 right now $49.95 on amazon! That is an amazon referral link.
Also my Wowtac rep emailed me this offer to share.
“Leave an honest review for A5 on Amazon, qualified to get one FREE A1 flashlight, CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org to get in.”
Take that deal for what you will….
Low price for a complete package and it exceeds throw and output specs. It’s a nice package and good light!
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Cree XHP70 (NW)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$49.95 on amazon!|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||0.00009|
|Power off Charge Port with no Cell?||No. Lowest three modes with cell.|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||3650|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||3674 (100.7% of claim)*|
|Claimed Throw (m)||234|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||630lux @ 5.363m = 18120cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||269.2 (115% of claim)*|
|All my Wowtac reviews!|
* 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).
- Wowtac A5 Flashlight
- Wowtac 5000mAh 26650
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
Package and Manual
Wowtac’s package is just like Thrunites – a printed cardboard box.
Build Quality and Disassembly
The A5 is a sturdy light. I have no build quality complaints whatsoever.
The knurling around the cell tube looks pretty aggressive but it’s actually not – at least not so much to be abrasive on hands. It provides adequate grip.
The tailcap technically unscrews but my impression is that it’s not intended to be removed. Much easier to unscrew the head from the body.
The head has a few thick fins for cooling.
The cell tube is not reversible.
The head does not have a spring; instead it has a brass button. The tail actually has two springs.
Size and Comps
Weight: 212.7g with battery.
It’s not a terribly small light, but it’s a 26650 with charging. So you wouldn’t expect it to be all that small.
Still shorter than an S2+!
Retention and Carry
Really the only way to carry the A5 is either in hand or with the included lanyard. There is no pouch, pocket clip, or magnet.
Power and Runtime
Wowtac includes the cell appropriate for the A5 – it’s a 26650 cell, at 5000mAh. The included cell is flat top, and labeled as “high discharge.”
With an adapter (read: pvc tube) inside the body, an 18650 should work just fine.
Here’s a runtime on Turbo. Output holds for around 3 minutes before dropping, likely due to temperature. At 30 seconds the output is much higher than the claim, at >3700 lumens. The light steps down to around 1800 lumens, which isn’t a trivial output, for 90 or so minutes. This level is the same as High.
High output looks just like Turbo, but without the blip of >3700 lumen output. The runtime is a little longer, as expected.
In both cases, the light shut off when the cell voltage was low. Around 3V.
Wowtac also put on-board charging in the A5. It’s a common micro-USB port in the head, opposite the switch. The appropriate cable is included.
The port is covered with a rubber push in cover, which feels quite secure.
Charging is at around 2A, as seen below. The two tests look a little different, but that’s not a deal breaker – 2A from a micro-USB could come down to something awry in my charge setup during one test; not necessarily anything in the light. Full charging takes around 3 hours.
Also the manual only states that the indicating side switch does anything during charging. Ie it doesn’t indicate when voltage is low during runtimes. That’s a bit of a letdown. Anyway, during charging, the indicator is red. When charging is complete, the switch is blue. When charging is abnormal, the switch is purple.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Eight point five amps on Turbo means you’ll need a very good quality cell to run this light.
No PWM detected.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned. Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!
User Interface and Operation
This Wowtac has a single side switch, which is an indicating e-switch. There are two emitters, displaying red and blue. The cover is clear silicone, and a little low and hard to find for my tastes – I prefer these side switches to be a bit proud like on the A4.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (memory, LMH only)|
|On||Hold||Mode cycle (LMH only)|
That’s the same UI as other Wowtacs (A4 for example) and also many Thrunites (TC20 for example).
LED and Beam
In the A5 is a Cree XHP70, and my sample is neutral white. The reflector is shallow and orange peel. There’s mostly hotspot, but with some spill still.
Firefly is quite low!
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Complete package
- Hits claimed numbers
- Absolute wall of light at >3700 lumens for 3 minutes
- High being 1800 and holding for 90+ minutes is pretty incredible
- Available in NW and CW both
- [Debatable] Looks to use 70 and not 70.2, which I think has worse Cree rainbow
What I don’t like
- The switch is a bit hard to find, particularly without looking
- This light was provided by Wowtac for review. I was not paid to write this review.
- This content originally appeared at zeroair.org. Please visit there for the best experience!
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