Wowtac W1 Flashlight Review
Wowtac has released the W1, a tiny 16340 EDC style flashlight. Read on for some testing and photos of this tiny flashlight!
Official Specs and Features
Just one version now (CW) but the box says there might also be a neutral white version.
These are $21.99 right now on Amazon- referral link! Here’s some data Wowtac wished for me to include:
First, a 15% off coupon.
Code: 15W1ZeroAir, available until June 30, PDT.
Secondly, the following: “SHARE YOUR USING FEELING to HELP US IMPROVE. There is a weekly flashlight GAW on WOWTAC Facebook. WOWTAC Group.
This is a fun little light. Also nice low cost for a full package, too. Even at a full retail price of $26, it’s a good buy. With the 15% off coupon above, even better.
The Big Table
|Wowtac W1 Flashlight|
|Emitter:||Cree XP-G2 (CW)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$21.99 on Amazon (referral link!)|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||?|
|Power off Charge Port with no Cell?||Moonlight. With cell in: Moonlight.|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||562|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||699 (124.4% of claim)^|
|Candela per Lumen||9.7|
|Claimed Throw (m)||126|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||1002lux @ 2.519m = 6358cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||159.5 (126.6% 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 W1 Flashlight
- Wowtac 650mAh 16340
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Spare charge port cover
- Pocket clip
- Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
The knurling on the body of this light is quite aggressive and provides great grip. The build quality is good, too.
The head has a hexagonal shape, with the switch on one side and the charge port opposite.
I found the knurling to pick up all kinds of everything and was hard to keep clean.
The head has a long brass button (typical of Wowtacs).
And the tail end of the cell tube has a big spring.
Only the head comes off, and the threads there are anodized, square-cut, and not too long. I’d call them good threads.
Size and Comps
Dimension: 68mmx 24.5mm x 20mm / 2.68 x 0.96 x 0.79 inch
Weight: 58g (Included Battery)
Retention and Carry
Main carry method will be the pocket clip, which attaches only on the tail end of the light. The clip is a two-way friction fit clip. Two-way clips aren’t my favorite clips, to be honest, but on lights with only one attachment point, this does give the option of the bezel up or down carry.
There’s also a lanyard loop in the tail end. No lanyard is included.
With the two-way clip allowing bezel up or down carry, this light will work fine as a hatlight.
There’s also a magnet in the tailcap, which is plenty strong to hold the light.
Power and Runtime
The W1 is powered by a single lithium-ion cell – in this case, a 16340. An appropriate cell is included – a 650mAh button top.
Two runtimes follow. The outputs aren’t regulated, and just track cell voltage on the way down.
On bench power, there was no evidence of LVP or electronic shutoff. In the runtime tests, the light was outputting very low but never actually shut off. Though not documented in the manual, the indicating switch stays on while the light is on (except in Firefly). Blue seems to indicate “full power” and red would indicate low power. The switch does provide a warning when the cell is low, so that counts as a low voltage warning.
The light also has built-in charging by way of a micro-USB port on the head.
The charge test looks good. Charging is at around 1C, which is fine, and takes just under 2 hours.
During charging, the indicating switch will be red. When charging is complete, the switch will turn blue. If something’s wrong, the switch will light purple.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
Low and Turbo don’t have PWM, but the middle three modes do. I don’t notice it, though.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.
User Interface and Operation
There’s a single switch on the W1. It’s an indicating e-switch, with a gray translucent cover.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (memory, LMH only)|
|On||Hold||Mode cycle (LMH only)|
|On for some time (“a while”, 30ish seconds)||Hold||Low|
That’s a similar UI to other Wowtacs (A4, A5, and A6 for example) and also many Thrunites (TC20 for example), except for access to strobe. I love that fact mainly because I like the UI in general – very simple but enough features, and easy to access low and high.
LED and Beam
The emitter in this tiny light is a Cree XP-G2. There’s a tiny reflector, which has an orange peel texture. The beam is surprisingly concentrated with a fairly tight spot.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Meets (really “exceeds”) specifications on throw and output
- Complete package
- Included cell is good
- Nice hotspot
- Magnet is nice and strong
What I don’t like
- CW tint. NW would be better.
- Knurling doesn’t need to be so aggressive for me
- This light was provided by Wowtac for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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