The Astrolux K1 is a new keychain style light with 3 different LED options onboard. https://i.imgur.com/UU4tHfW.jpg You have the main centered Cree XP G3 LED in a cool white, on one side you then have a small 365 nanometer UV LED and on the other side you have a small red LED. This light is actually made by Mateminco as the CSF02 and rebranded for Banggood as the Astrolux K1. As far as I can tell it’s the exact same between the two even down to the box design. Thanks for Banggood for sending this light out for me to take a look at.
Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/rjMh7
Size and Build Quality
Size wise this is nearly identical to the Nitecore TIP I review several months ago. https://i.imgur.com/prTmREi.jpg https://i.imgur.com/RRXqv8S.jpg https://i.imgur.com/mFVO7JM.jpg The only real difference is in the tail is. Construction seems to be on par with the TIP. It has a metalized body, I can’t quite tell if it’s 100% metal or a metalized plastic. The K1 is held together with 8 T5 Torx screws, 4 on each side. https://i.imgur.com/JeoIcge.jpg The buttons require a quite firm press to activate and a longer press as well to come on from off. I have carried this in my pocket for the last 2 weeks and had no issues with it turning on by accident.
I choose the rainbow finish to have something different. https://i.imgur.com/xggkJ3u.jpg It’s a glossy finish that fingerprints very easily which I am ok with. I don’t have it on my keys so I have not had too many scratches. It’s a painted on type finish it seems as it’s not a true chameleon paint. It’s available in other colors, Blue, Black, Silver and Rainbow like I have. It is IP65 moisture and dust rated.
Astrolux Length = 60.75mm | Nitecore Length = 60.96mm
Astrolux Width = 25.38mm | Nitecore Width = 24.38mm
Astrolux Height = 12.93mm | Nitecore Height = 11.85mm
Astrolux Weight = 1.39oz | Nitecore Weight = 0.83oz
The version I have uses a Cree XP G3 LED in cool white (6000-7000k) as its main emitter. https://i.imgur.com/UU4tHfW.jpg It’s not the best tint in my opinion and has an undesirable green tint.https://i.imgur.com/S2NaTvU.jpg Granted this isn’t going to be your main light. Output is listed as 250Lm, 210Lm, 150Lm, and 40Lm. This light also uses a small UV LED that is claimed to be 365nm and a Red LED. The UV emitter is pretty weak and seems to work fine with the $20 bills I tried it on in dim conditions. It’s a bit dim for use in a hotel or something like that. The red LED is quite a bit brighter than the UV but no lumen number is given. It has distortion thought in the beam pattern https://i.imgur.com/DDfOEJu.jpg. I do wish the Red LED had 2 output modes.
I see Astrolux and Banggood are making a Nichia version of this light and it’s on preorder. Personally that would be the one I would want. Heat isn’t an issue with this light, it barely gets warm to the touch.
Battery and Runtime
The battery is listed at 500mAh and is rechargeable via a built in micro USB port on the side of the light. There is a pretty nice rubber cover over the port on this that fits flush and stays in place. https://i.imgur.com/6z4IudW.jpg When recharging there is an LED under the buttons that turns red when charging and green when charged. I measured recharging speed at 4.92V at 0.51A.
Here is a runtime graph I made. https://i.imgur.com/yJ6cxWW.png As you can see it doesn’t take very long for the light to decrease output from max down to about 78% of the max light output. This is where the light is the most comfortable to run at long term, averaging about 65 minutes before dropping again to about 5% of the original output until the battery is exhausted.
UI on this isn’t my favorite for a few reasons but most of all it always starts on high/turbo with no memory. The square button on this light with the power button doesn’t turn on the main LED like you would think instead it turns on the UV and Red LED. The smaller Triangle button is for the main LED. You can long press on the triangle button to shortcut to turbo then step down each additional press. Single click when off doesn’t turn anything on, you must long press to start it. UV and Red modes also require long presses to turn on or off, short press to switch between modes. You can’t have 2 LED’s on at the same time.
Is a simple Red and Yellow retail style box. https://i.imgur.com/gOmuALs.jpg https://i.imgur.com/hsMLgeX.jpg https://i.imgur.com/EGmnW1U.jpgThe light comes packed in a plastic pack. There are no accessories, no charging cable, and no instructions other than what is listed on the box.
This is a direct competitor to the Nitecore TIP but with extra LED’s. I don’t use red or UV often enough in an EDC situation, so I am mainly judging off the main beam and tint and in that arena the Nitecore TIP CRI, that I have wins. However, I like the physical design of the Astrolux K1 a little better especially with a cover for the USB port and how they are doing the key ring loop. The UI on the Astrolux K1 isn’t great in my opinion. For an EDC situation you don’t want all the lumens right away, it would be better to come on in low and let the user decide if they need more light. I don’t like the longer presses needed to do most things on the light. No instructions are in or on the package too. Make sure to get those from the Banggood listing.
My recommendation would be to order the Nichia version of this light if you want all 3 colored LED options in one small keychain style light. That will improve the tint of the main LED. When priced right I think this makes a decent competitor to the Nitecore TIP, hopefully they will revise the firmware so future versions won’t start on high.
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