Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp Testing

The Armytek Wizard Pro has been a staple of flashlight suggestion lists for quite some time.  Along the way Zak from zakreviews got his hands on one, and realized how much more awesome it would be with a Nichia 144a.  Armytek listened.

This light is the end result of that effort.  Armytek has made an official Wizard Pro with Nichia 144A.  It’s aptly named the Wizard Pro Nichia Warm, and here is my testing of it!


Official Specs and Features

This product isn’t released yet, and I can’t find it on their site, either!  Here’s the Wizard main page though – it should show up there after release.

Versions

Since this is a special light there really aren’t any other versions.  There’s just one body color.  But as far as Wizards and Wizard Pros go, there are many.  Wizard Pro Magnet USB, Wizard Pro Magnet USB Warm, Wizard Magnet USB, Wizard Magnet USB Warm – each of those has subdivisions, too.  There are plenty of options here, and certainly one that would suit your headlamp needs.

Price

No official statement on price for these, but the other similar options are $80.  This is specifically a Limited Edition (says so right there on the box) so I’d really expect it to be more than 80 flat.

These have made it to the official Armytek site.  They’re $90, which is less than I’d have guessed!  Have a look here.


Short Review

Build quality is good.  Most importantly the Nichia 144A excels, and it’s worth the hype.  Output is great.  It’s a worthwhile consideration for these things.  Unfortunately there is no LVP (possibly I have a QC issue, because Wizard Pros have had LVP in the past).  Charging also left a bit to be desired for me, but it does work.

Long Review

The Big Table

Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm
Emitter: Nichia 144A (>90 CRI 4500K)
Price in USD at publication time: [unknown]
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo2 Runtime Turbo1 Runtime
LVP? No
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): (below level of my capability to measure)
On-Board Charging? Yes
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? With cell: All modes. Without cell: No modes.
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1400
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1213 (86.6% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 97
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 178lux @ 5.005m = 4459cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 133.6 (137.7% of claim)*
All my Armytek 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).

What’s Included

  • Armytek Wizard Pro Nichia Warm Headlamp
  • Armytek 3200mAh 18650
  • Charge cable (USB to proprietary magnetic)
  • Headband
  • Pocket clip
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Arm (?) band
  • Manual

Package and Manual

A very nicely printed cardboard package.

The contents are in a plastic tray.

The manual is a very long paper, available in 8 languages.  The manual is comprehensive.

Build Quality and Disassembly

The Wizard Pro Nichia Warm has Armytek’s typical build quality.  It’s good.  One thing I’ve noted extensively about Armytek lights is the anodizing – it’s chalky.  But this light is not so much so, and isn’t an annoying amount of chalky at all.

There’s a good amount of cooling area below the head – more than just fins; there’s quite a bit of mass there.  Also note how the fins extend past the bezel – this will come up later.

The optic covering this emitter is dimpled, and not just that – there’s also a nice anti-reflective coating on there.

The body is more or less featureless, due to this being a headlamp going to live on a headband most of its life.  No need for huge amounts of knurling.

The tail end has the magnetic charge connector.  More on this in the charging and retention sections.

 

The Wizard Pro Nichia Warm has Armytek’s signature extreme levels of printing.

The tailcap must be twisted for charging.

The tailcap has a nice big spring.  The threads on the body are unanodized, square cut, and quite long – so a bunch of twisting is required in order to remove the cap.

Also since these are bare threads, they don’t feel quite as smooth as I might like.  But that’s unanodized threads for ya.  However, unlike most unanodized threads…. this light can be mechanically locked out with just a small twist.

The head end has only a button – no spring.

The cell has PLENTY of room in the cell tube.

Size and Comps

Officially:

108mm long, 24.5mm in body diameter, 29mm in head diameter.
Weight: 65g.

Retention and Carry

The Wizard Pro Nichia Warm is primarily a headlamp, and the Armytek branded headband is going to be the way to use it as a headlamp.  The band is comfortable, and has an over-the-top strap, too.

This over the top strap is not removable.  That’s going to be a downside for some, but I like headlamps like this.  The headband has some grippy forehead area, too.

The headband alone weighs 44g.  The light alone, with cell weighs 108g.  Total package when running as headlamp is 152g.  The top band is not removable.

The attachment for the light is quite novel.  It snaps into the grabbers, and then a rubber o-ring is pulled over it to secure it in place.  This is a well documented “nice connection,” but is in fact my first experience with it.  I like it.  It’s easy to get in and out, and there’s no fussing with slipping the light into some silicone rings.

Also, the charge cable work easily while the light is connected.  (For that matter, it’s easy to unscrew the tailcap even while the light is in the band, too.)

That brings us to this strap.  To be honest I’m not sure what this guy is.  The manual calls it a “handband.”  I suppose it’s a way to carry the light strapped around your hand – but I’d imagine it more as an armband.

There’s also a pocket clip.  It’s a friction fit deep carry steel clip, which attaches in either of the places the headband clips.  So the clip has up or down connection.

The magnet in the tailcap which is used for charging is also sufficient for holding the light horizontal or upside down.

Power and Runtime

The Wizard Pro is powered by a single 18650, and the appropriate type is included.

What’s included is a flat top unprotected cell.

However, due to the setup in the cell tube, any type 18650 will work.  I tested with my shortest flat top unprotected 18650 and my longest protected button top, and they both work fine.  You should plan to use a high quality cell, though – the light draws nearly 5A on turbo2.

Speaking of Turbo2, here’s a runtime.  One thing about these runtimes, which I alluded to above.  The girth of the neck, where the cooling fins are, thwart usual means of calibrated runtimes on my setup.  So this is close but likely there was some spill that didn’t get picked up.  So while I’m reporting 1213 lumens (which is almost within the 10% rule anyway), I think 1400 is most certainly accurate.

A couple other things: I like that the output doesn’t step down at 30s exactly – output is maintained for over a minute!  That’s good.  The [planned] stepdown is fairly dramatic.  Another thing to note is that neither of my tests exhibited any LVP whatsoever.  In this test, the cell was 2.33V when I checked it, which was quite some time after the test ended.

In the next lowest output – Turbo1 – the light also exhibited no LVP.  I pulled the light off the apparatus when the switch was blinking (for some time; I don’t know how long), and the cell was 1.34V.

It’s been suggested that I got a dud light, since Wizards do usually have LVP.  I can’t speak to that – I will contact Armytek about this.  Either way, be aware that once your light steps down off the desired output (ie ~81m in the above test), stop using it and charge the cell.

Built in charging is a feature of the Wizard Pro.  It happens via a USB to proprietary magnetic connector.

This charge cable alone weighs 26g.

In comparison, Armytek’s own Handy C1 weights 38g.

Another similar single bay charger (as what comes with many Sofirn lights) weighs 28g.

Nitecore’s F1 32g (with one band).  All three of those would require a micro-USB cable but a short one I had on hand weighs 7g.

So for not much of a penalty in charging, you could charge a cell in a dedicated charger – two of which also have USB-Out.

But it’s not just a matter of throwing the light on the magnet.  You also need to unscrew the tailcap by about 1/4 turn.  If you don’t do this, you’ll see the red light on the charge connector flash.  If you do it properly, with the tailcap a bit loose, the red light will be steady.  When charging is complete, the charge connector is green steady.

 

Charging is …  unusual, maybe.  It’s not a steady stream of current going to the light, but a step up and down every second or so, and even then, only around 0.8A max.  Still this bounce means the effective charge rate is much slower.  To wit: charging this single 18650 took almost 10 hours.  That’s just not good charging.  You’ll note at the beginning of the test below (up to maybe 18 minutes) the charge rate is very low – I have a suspicion that’s the light going soft on a very under-voltage cell.  That’s a good feature of the charging system, but it’s too bad the cell was ever that low to begin with.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo2 1400/460 1m/2h49m 1213 4.70
Turbo1 770 1h50m 653 1.66
Main3 335 4h10m 293 0.62
Main2 140 10h 122 0.24
Main1 27 50h 26 0.05
Firefly3 5 8d ~ 0.01
Firefly2 1.2 40d ~ (0.05mA)
Firefly1 0.1 200d ~ (0.03mA)

PWM

No PWM at all.

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

There’s a single e-switch in the head of the Armytek.  It’s an indicating switch, and very proud.  The cover is grooved yellow button, and extremely easy to find without looking.

It’s just a bit mashy though, and to hit things like the Turbo group are a little sketchy.

The manual describes four modes – it’s a clever way to do a UI really.  Clever to a point…

Group 1: Firefly modes
Group 2: Main modes
Group 3: Turbo modes
Group 4: Strobe modes

This means you can avoid whole areas of the UI you don’t wish to ever access.  That’s nice.  But it means you have to go through off if you want out of Firefly into Strobe, for example.  So good and bad.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Last used [any (!!!)] mode
Off Hold Firefly1
Any Click 2x Last used main mode
Any Click 3x Last used turbo mode
Any Click 4x Last used strobe mode
On Click Off
On in any Group Hold Advance in group (ie F1>F2>F3, or M1>M2>M3, or, T1>T2, or S1>S2>S3>S4)

LED and Beam

The climax of all the writing – The Nichia 144A emitter.  It’s extraordinary.  It gives the impression of being very warm, but it’s really around 4500K and that’s about perfect.  The emitter is behind a dimpled TIR, which is also behind an AR coated lens.  Overall the beam is very floody.

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

Test light on the left.

I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Here’s a link to a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com.  I use that site a lot!

Conclusion

What I like

  • More than the actual emitter itself, I like that a big brand listened to consumers – particularly Zak (because Zak knows the score).
  • Secondarily, I really like this emitter in this light.
  • Fairly good use of an indicating switch.
  • Good complete package light
  • Turbo2 output is very high
  • Turbo1 output is very stable

What I don’t like

  • No LVP whatsoever
  • Weird (possibly faulty?) charging on my sample
  • The light is quite long
  • Mashy switch

Notes

  • This light was provided by Armytek for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Shop my amazon.com store for the best lights!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for BangGood and GearBest coupons. Please subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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