Amutorch AL2 Flashlight Review
The Amutorch AL2 is a “wall of light” flashlight – these three Cree XP-L HI emitters are set up for complete flood output. Read on!
Official Specs and Features
There’s only one body, but there are a few options. The emitters can be had in 5000K or 6500K. You can get just the flashlight, or flashlight and battery, or flashlight and battery and Amutorch Amutorch AL2 flashlight charger. And finally, there is a tailcap option: magnet or no magnet.
The lowest price option from the above list costs $49.95. As seen in this review, the price is $63.95.
I love the idea of the Amutorch AL2 flashlight. It’s also well built, and quite capable. I find that the output is not just lower than it should be, but also as a completely floody light, seems even lower than that. The stepdown from Turbo is dramatic too. The charger doesn’t seem to terminate at 4.2V, either – my cell went up to 4.3V. So there are things to watch for on the AL2.
The Big Table
|Amutorch AL2 Flashlight|
|Emitter:||Cree XP-L HI (6500K Triple)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$49.95|
|Turbo Runtime Graph||High Runtime Graph|
|Quiescent Current (mA):|
|Charge Port Type:||External Charger Included (USB-C)|
|Power off Charge Port||–|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||3160|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||2067 (65.4% of claim)^|
|Candela per Lumen||0.6|
|Claimed Throw (m)||100|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||134lux @ 3.201m = 1373cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||74.1 (74.1% of claim)^|
|Measured CCT Range (K)||6200-7500 Kelvin|
|Item provided for review by:||Amutorch|
|All my Amutorch 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).
- Amutorch AL2 flashlight
- Amutorch TC2 charger
- Amutorch 5000mAh 21700
- Charging cable (USB to USB-C)
- Pocket clip
- Spare o-ring
- Spare lenses of various beam modification
- TORX tool for bezel removal
Package and Manual
My package did not include a manual.
Build Quality and Disassembly
The build quality here is good. There’s nothing bad to mention. Notably, the size (for being a 21700 cell light) is very small. The light itself is really not much larger than the 21700 inside!
This is a minor quibble that I’m sure others will notice too. The three emitters are in a line, and that line is off-axis with the body. It seems like those should line up but functionally there’s actually no point at all in them being aligned with the body in any way.
The overall look of this light will probably be familiar – it’s very much in the same style as the Amutorch E3S.
The tailcap has a magnet but it seems to be held in place by the spring and also a little metal cover.
The contact on the head looks like a spring but really it isn’t – it’s just wire that will make contact with the cell and nothing more.
The head has some fairly deep cooling fins. But this light is pulling over 12A on turbo, so there’s only so much these fins can do…
Where else to include this little jar of lube. This is probably for the threads, but there’s no manual to state it. It could also be for the seal around the swappable lenses…
Size and Comps
Weight: 140g (with battery)
If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo). If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).
Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+. Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple. A very nice 18650 light.
And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light. I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.
Retention and Carry
A pocket clip is included but not attached by default. It’s a friction fit clip. The clip is nice thick steel, too, and just attaches “generally on the cell tube.”
Because of how it attaches, it can go up just as easily as it can go down.
The clip is tight enough to scratch the body upon installation and removal, so you might want to pick a spot and stick with it.
There’s one other way to carry the AL2, and that’s the included lanyard, which attaches on this metal collar lanyard attachment point.
This collar is removable, but you’ll have to pull it over a clear o-ring (or just remove the o-ring first.)
Also worth noting is that there’s a magnet in the tailcap. The light is heavy enough that the magnet won’t hold to small metal things, but on something like a file cabinet, the light will stay in place!
Power and Runtime
Amutorch provides in the package what you’ll need for powering the AL2. It’s a lithium-ion cell, specifically a 21700.
The cell is 5000mAh and has a flat top.
The cell goes into the light in the usual orientation – positive end toward head.
Runtime tests for Turbo are a little disappointing. I measure the output to be well below specification. The claim is 3160 lumens, but even at the initial output level, I measure only 1618 lumens. Now I can excuse some of that because those screws on the front of the bezel prevent completely clean measurements. But I’m certainly not spilling 2000 lumens out of my apparatus. So there’s a bit of reckoning to be done about this. Furthermore, the temperature spikes so quickly (and understandably) that there’s a stepdown at around 30s. The stepdown is massive, too – to around 350 lumens. At least after that, the output is very flat. The business you see at the end is a low voltage warning from the main emitter, before finally shutting off around 3V.
High looks just like Turbo but without the initial high output from Turbo.
While the Amutorch AL2 flashlight itself doesn’t have charging, dor does the included cell, the package I received (and you can purchase as an option) includes this Amutorch TC2 charger.
The TC2 is a 2-bay charger suitable for only lithium-ion cells. It’ll certainly charge this 21700, of course, but it’ll go up to 26700 as a max, and down to 16340 as a minimum. The charge rate is 1A, and I don’t really think that’s able to be changed. But it’ll do 1A on both bays at once.
The TC2 accepts USB-C input and will work from a USB-A source or a USB-C source (still with 5V input, though – it’ll negotiate all that.)
I love the size and simplicity of this charger and was completely prepared to love it – but then it charged this cell to 4.3V. Now, that’s probably not going to kill this cell immediately – it’s not just completely the safest thing ever, but what it will definitely do is affect the longevity of this cell. Charging to 4.3V is well outside the comfort zone of lithium-ion cells, and you’ll lose charge cycles in the long term. I will say that the light didn’t seem to fuss from having a 4.3V cell used, though.
One more thing about charging – I ran this cycle overnight and I’m nearly certain that the “eyes” from the owl logo turned green WELL before the charging stopped (technically I am not sure charging ever actually stopped). So if you were paying attention (unlike what I was doing) then you could (and really very much should) pull the cell off the charger when the indicator turns from red (charging) to green (complete or “bay not in use”).
The charger will also accept USB-C input, and I will drop a graph of that in here shortly.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
No PWM on any mode.
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
A single e-switch is used on the head of the Amutorch AL2 flashlight.
Despite being as proud as you can observe below, the switch itself (the mechanism) does not get pressed when headstanding or mashed while headstanding.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory^)|
|On||Click||Mode advance (Low to high direction)|
|Any (Unlocked)||Double Click||Turbo|
|Any (Unlocked)||Triple Click||Strobe|
|Off||Hold||Eco (and enters Infinite Variable mode)|
|On in Infinite Variable Brightness Mode||Hold||Ramp up to Max (blink to confirm max)|
|Infinite Variable Brightness Mode Max||Hold||Ramp down to Min (blink to confirm min)|
|Off||Click 4x||Iterate Lockout (Blink twice to confirm)|
|Lockout||Click||Blink to indicate lockout|
|On (for some time, around 4-5 seconds)||Click||Off|
^ Note that mode memory for the clicky mode is separate for memory from ramping mode.
LED and Beam
Amutorch has used three Cree XP-L HI emitters in the AL2. These are in an unusual configuration of being all lined up.
I’m not sure this serves a functional difference, and you could likely swap in a more traditional mcpcb here, too, provided the wire setup suits your mcpcb.
As stated above, the output is extremely floody.
It’s possible to change that up a little bit though, as Amutorch includes three (total, with one installed) lenses. They’re of various translucency, which will affect the flood. The default is the one seen below.
LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)
The CCT is approximately what Amutorch claimed – around 6500K on average. In Turbo output, which drives these emitters fairly hard, the CCT jumps to around 7500K (very cool!) The CRI stays moderately low, at around 75.
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 keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.
I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Nice big switch
- Great dimensions for being a 21700 flashlight
- Good build quality
- No PWM
- Complete package (if you buy the cell, I guess)
- 5000K is available
What I don’t like
- UI can be considered quirky (and doesn’t match other Amutorch lights of similar style)
- Ramp can be hard to nail what you are aiming for
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