Wowtac has a new ultracompact 18560 EDC light on the market with the A6. The light is running an SST-40 emitter in either cool or neutral white (Maybe?), it comes with an 18650 battery and is microUSB rechargeable all for a very affordable price. Thanks to WowTac for sending this to me to review.
View this WowTac A6 Review on Youtube:
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Packaging & Accessories
Packaging here is a basic Wowtac brown cardboard box, that’s shared with the A6 and A7 models. It notates what model and emitter are inside. Accessories included with the light are a WowTac branded button top 2600mAh 18650 battery, a microUSB cable, 2 extra orings, pocket clip, and a spare port cover. The manual is in English, German, Japanese and Chinese and in case you don’t know WowTac is supported by Thrunite and covered by a 2 year warranty.
As expected the light is made from aluminum and anodized black. Machining here is good. The tail cap is recessed slightly and allows for good tail standing and has an attachment point. Inside is a single spring and no magnet.
The body tube and tail cap both feature some pretty aggressive knurling. While I like this in my hand, it will most definitely wear a spot in your pocket. The body tube is not reversible meaning the pocket clip is only mountable on the rear of the light. I would prefer a little deeper carry clip but this one is good and does an adequate job.
The head of the light features a semi translucent button with blue and red LED’s underneath. The blue LED comes on for the first few seconds when the light is in use and then when recharging the light will go red to indicate charging, blue to indicate charged. On the sides there is a little bit of milling for heat dissipation and style. On the rear there is a small silicone cover for the MicroUSB recharging port.
Size & Weight
I measured the overall length of the Wowtac A6 at 97mm, diameter at the head at 24mm, and diameter at the tail at 23mm. Weight with the included battery and clip was 96.1g. The water rating is IPX-8 rated which is good for this type of onboard charging port.
This is a small light for an 18650 side eswitch. It’s the shortest side switch 18650 light I have that has onboard USB charging. The Emmisar D4 and BLF FW3A are both shorter but by very small amounts. The Olight S2R Baton II is just a little longer and slightly slimmer. It’s roughly the same lenght as a Reylight Lan or Pineapple but thicker due to the 18650 vs 14500 battery.
LED & Beam Pattern
This light is using a SST-40 LED and in my example is cool white. A neutral white version is listed on WowTac’s website and in the literature but the neutral white doesn’t seem to have ever been available in the past few months. Maybe it’s delayed significantly. The reflector here is unusually large and short, with a nice orange peel. The result is a beam profile with a decently large hot spot and a good amount of spill. I do notice some tint shift across the beam from the hot spot to spill unfortunately. Overall a very useful beam for EDC and general tasks in my opinion. Sorry for the beamshot tint here, it’s more blue and green then it should be, not sure what went on photography wise, ill have it sorted for my next review.
Heat & RunTime
For my runtime tests, I used the included Wowtac branded 2600mAh battery. This is an adequate battery for the price, but you can replace it with any quality 3500mAh if you want more runtime. Turbo on the Wowtac A6 will run for 1:30 before stepping down significantly. It went from 100% relative output to roughly 28%. 1460 lumens to 400 according to the manufacture. The light then ran slowly declining to about 20% relative output for 170 minutes. The last 100 minutes or so were a slow fade and then it ran in low then firefly for a total runtime of 260 minutes.
Heat was well controlled during my runtime tests, and the hottest I saw the light get was 93F within the first minute.
Listed output modes are:
- Firefly – 0.5 lumens
- Low – 12 lumens
- Medium – 80 lumens
- High – 400 lumens
- Turbo – 1460 lumens
- Strobe – 350 lumens
Mode spacing is ok, other then turbo sticks out here quite a bit. I would be prefer high be a bit brighter and medium and be stepped up a little to compensate.
The UI utilizes a single e-switch up on the head of the light. The button is small and would be hard to use with gloves. UI here is simple and shares from other Wowtac & Thrunite lights. From off, long press to go to firefly mode. A short click from off will get you in to normal mode with memory. The light starts in low and if you hold while on it will progress from low to medium and then to high. Double click to go to turbo. Double click from turbo to go to strobe.
My scope does detect some PWM on this light in Low, Medium, and High, but my eyes don’t see it with my eye.
The A6 has onboard recharging via microUSB. It’s disappointing that it’s not using USB-C as other lights in this price class like the Wurkkos FC11 uses USB-C. Anyways I charged the A6 from LVP at 2.757V to Full at 4.13V in 3 hours 14 minutes at a max of 1A. Constant speed out to just about the 2 hour mark before decreasing as the battery fills up. I tested the included battery capacity in my Xtar VC4s at 2389mAh out of the rated 2600mAh.
- Great Value & a complete kit
- Choice of emitters maybe
- Small size
- Missed opportunity to add a magnet to the tail cap.
- Neutral white is listed as an option but has never actually been available for purchase yet.
- LVP kicked in and shut off the light at a fairly low 2.757V.
- Huge drop in output between Turbo and High 1460 lumens vs 400 lumens
My conclusion is that the Wowtac A6 is a good, low price, high value 18650 based EDC style light. Due to it’s small size and pretty decent pocket clip it rides well in the pocket. The interface is intuitive and makes sense. The beam pattern makes sense here for EDC, it’s flody with a hotspot, I just wish it had less tint shift and that high was a little brighter, but this can hold its own.
I can recommend this light but wish the Neutral white would come available soon. Hopefully we will see it sometime soon after Lunar New Year.
Purchase the Wowtac A6 EDC Flashlight on Amazon at https://amzn.to/38Rzz7J
Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/TOqdQqr