Astrolux Ti3A Review

I am a fan of Titanium and have it all over in my life, from knives, to flashlights and even eyeglasses. Today I am looking at the Astrolux Ti3A, a titanium bodied , small AAA powered, Nichia 219C flashlight. Thanks to Bangood for sending this light out so I could take a closer look, let’s dive in.

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As I mentioned this light is made from Titanium alloy from head to tail. Starting at the back, the tail has a hole for a split ring, or a very thin piece of cord. It also has an area milled for a 1.5 x 6mm piece of tritium which is something you need to purchase separately. The cap itself has some small grip panels added for grip and style. The tail is not magnetic, and the spring inside is a lighter duty spring and is golden in color. ! Threads on the body were normal, not square cut. An oring sits at the bottom to improve water resistance.

The body itself has nicely milled squares in place and it’s fairly polished. The machining here is pretty good. Moving up to the head this is a twisty light, there are small grip panels that help but I could use a bit more grip. The front bezel is nicely machined smooth and is removable. The bezel will unscrew if you wish. The front glass is small and anti reflective coated. Underneath is a reflector with orange peel . More on UI and twist operation in the UI section.

Measurements were 65mm for length, widest diameter 15mm, narrowest diameter 12mm . Weight without battery is only 21 grams. A size comparison with similar lights.

I had an early problem with the first Ti3A I received. The head was glued in place with what I believe was excess threadlocker that was applied during install. On a twisty light it’s a problem if it won’t twist. I really tried to break it loose, even heating up the light and using strap wrenches but I couldn’t get it to budget. Banggod quicly replaced the light as there was a known issue on some of the early batch of lights. My second one is working as designed.

This light uses a Nichia 219C LED, in a neutral white (5000k) tint which I enjoy. The LED in my light wasn’t exactly in the center but it didn’t really create artifacts I found to be undesirable. The orange peel reflector smoothed things out with a slightly hot center. Compared with a BLF 348 the Ti3A has more spill and is slightly cooler in tint. BLF 348 on left, Astrolux Ti3A on right.

The output curve on this light is different from anything else I have seen. On high after a bit of time it increases in brightness before decreasing. I tried this two different times with two different Low Discharge NiMH batteries, a Amazonbasics cell, and a Duracell. Both produced graphs that were similar. My runtimes were a little lower than stated and when the cells are low output really drops and fast. In terms of heat this light gets warm to the touch on high but it’s not uncomfortable. With only 85 lumen output it’s not really a concern. 85 Lumens isnt a lot of light, but since this is designed to be a keychain type light I am not expecting a ton. It’s still lower then many other AAA options on high.

UI on this light is straightforward. It starts with first twist on low of 1 lumen, if you twist it off and on again you get medium for 40 lumens, and if you repeat you get high at 85 lumens. If you repeat once more you get strobe on high. The head has about 1 full rotation of range between on and off. The threads in the head are accessible, and not greased much if any. The result is with titanium you can get it to stick a little if you tighten them down too much in either the on or off position. I wish I could get in there and put some dielectric grease on there to improve this.

Packaging is nearly non existent with this light. It comes with a simple plastic case, and no documentation. An extra set of orings were included as well as a split ring.

* Someone is at Banggood and Astrolux is listening and recognizes a lot of us like Nichia LED’s and Neutral white Tint.
* Nice beam pattern
* I like that it has space for tritium in the tail cap.
* This is an affordable price for a titanium light, and I think it’s an attractive combination.

* I wish this had a pocket clip, it would make a pretty nice EDC if it did. It still works at the bottom of my pocket but I am more afraid to lose it.
* Threads that are ungreased in the head get sticky if you tighten them too much. I wish I could get in and put some dielectric grease on them to help this.
* I would like to be able to run this on a 10440 battery, but it’s not rated for that.
* Odd Output curve as the light runs and heats up
* Strobe is in the main mode group.

I like titanium, and usually you pay a larger price for use of that material. Here though the light is about $21 at time of filming and that’s pretty affordable for a neutral white, titanium AAA light. I wish it had a pocket clip option as it would make a nice small EDC option. I see this light being attractive for someone who wants to put it on their keychain and wants something small with standard battery sizes. It would also work as a light to throw in the bottom of your pocket if you were not needing a pocket clip. Check this light out on Banggood.

Klarus ST10 Review (1100 Lumens, USB Rechargeable, 18650)

The Klarus ST10 is a old name for a newer light from Klarus. The old version was a AA powered light introduced in 2010 that has not been made for many years. This new version is designed with EDC use in mind and uses a 18650 battery, TIR reflector in a compact aluminum body and is USB rechargeable. Thanks to is external) for sending this to me to take a closer look at.

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Construction and Stats
This light uses 6061-T6 Aluminum for it’s construction that’s hard anodized black. It’s more of a mat finish!{width:75%}!:(link is external) is external) . This light is reasonably compact for an 18650 light with built in USB recharging  . To accomplish this a few design changes have been made. This light doesn’t have a tail cap that’s removable. It’s part of the body tube. They do have 4 reasonably sized lanyard holes. What I really like is they cut a space out for the lanyard to sit flush so that the light can still tail stand with a lanyard  .

The tail cap is not magnetic but there is space where you could epoxy one on the outside if you wanted.

The body tube is square kneraled not super grippy but decent. The threads are large and square cut 

. It makes it very easy to thread the head on and off. There are fairly stout golden color springs on both sides of the light. On the head there is a spring within a spring 

design that’s unique. The clip is removable and does rotate on the light. It’s pretty stout when trying to remove it. Under normal circumstances it’s not going to come off easily.

The head it’s self is compact. The button is flat and not rubberized. It’s flat and plastic with a small RGB LED in the center 

that’s used as a battery life indicator. It does look to be removable for servicing if you wish. It’s an electronic switch that has a positive detent and does make an audible click. On the opposite of the switch is the USB charging port. It’s covered with a rubberized door that’s attached to the light. The cut out is decently sized 

so it has good compatibility with a wide variety of standard micro USB cables which is a good thing. It also comes with a Klarus branded micro USB cable. More on charging in next section. I measured the overall weight with battery and clip at 108.4g, overall length was 112mm, and width varied between 25-27mm.

This light uses a Cree XM-L2 U2 LED in cool white. No temperature of the tint was given but it’s pretty typical for cool white, not extremely cool. 

The light has a TIR optic sitting on top of the LED which produces a hot center with decent spill as you would expect. At close ranges 5” or less you get a hole in the direct center of the beam. This goes away at normal distances. There is then a glass lens with anti reflective coating on top of the optic. Front front bezel is flat and looks removable but I would guess it has some type of lock tight holding it down protecting the lights IPX8 water rating. This light ends up throwing decently for it’s short size. They rate it at 115M throw and in my testing it does that pretty easily.

Output and Runtime
This light has 4 main modes, and no moonlight unfortunately. It’s a feature I like to see on EDC style lights. Low is rated at 10 Lumens for 200 hours. Medium is rated for 100 Lumens for 18 hours, High is 400 Lumens for 4 hours, and Turbo is 1100 lumens for 1.5 hours. 

These numbers were supplied by Klarus, using their 16340 battery. No numbers were given for 18650. This light does have temperature regulation in place and will switch down modes as the light

heats up. In my runtime graph you can see that actively happening after about 10 minutes, output drops to about 55% relative output and the light cools, and it goes up to about 70% output, and seasawas a few times. As the battery depletes this stops happening after about 25 minutes of runtime. After 100 minutes the light decreases slowly significantly over about 10 minutes to about 10% output where it runs for another 10 minutes and then runs on low for a while longer. I stopped the test at 180 minutes where it was still making light but very little. There is also strobe mode at the full 1100 lumens, and SOS at only 100 lumens.

UI on this Klarus ST10 is simple, The light has memory and will remember any of the constant on modes for quite a while. When it does start out it’s on low. When on you just single click to move up in modes, long press to turn off.

I dislike that it has a double click when on goes to strobe. On most lights this takes you to turbo but not here. Strobe isn’t a feature I use often so it’s a little frustrating to expect turbo and get strobe. When in strobe double click again to enter SOS, single click to exit. The light does offer a lockout mode with the switch. Press and hold 5 seconds to lock, then quick press 3 times to unlock. The light flashes twice to indicate lock or unlock.

USB Charging
This light comes with a branded Klarus 2600mah battery. This is a button top cell with protection. The light will also work with flat tops and unprotected cells as well as charge them thanks to the dual spring design inside the light. I like that the USB charging area is large enough to fit a wide variety of common micro USB cables and that a cable is supplied in the package. When charging the power button up front goes red when charging, and green when it’s completely charged. If you see if flashing something is incompatible or there is a problem.

Up front on the button is the battery charge indicator. During use of the light it will light for 5 seconds and then turn off to show power level. Green is between 70-100%, Orange is between 70-30%, and red is from 30% to 10%. Flashing red is below 10% power remaining and you should charge the light.

Working voltage is 2.5V – 8.4V so it will work with 2 CR123a or 18350 (but it isn’t designed to charge them). I like that the light has options for power, just in case that’s all you have.I measure Parasitic Drain at a stable 7.98mAh which is acceptable.

As an EDC this is a decent option. It’s not too thick diameter, and the clip is pretty good. I didn’t have problems with it coming on in my pocket without using lockout. I like the clip is external) despite it not being super deep carry I typically like. I do wish there was more resistance on controlling it’s rotation. Mode spacing is pretty even no major jumps, I wish it did have a moonlight option and a direct jump to turbo (Double or triple click). USB recharging makes it convenient to recharge most places too.

The packaging is a full retail box.

It’s on the smaller side which is nice. On the outside you have all the important facts such as beam distance, Brightness, water resistant (IPX8) etc. Inside is a plastic try where the light sits. It’s packaged with a lanyard, Klarus branded micro USB cable, and the included 2600mah battery.  No holster is included with this light.


  • I like the little LED under the power button that changes color and acts as a battery level indicator.
  • It has a wide working voltage which gives lots of battery options (18350 & 16340) and will recharge any standard 18650.
  • 1A charging speed over USB.
  • I like they thought to include a cut out in the tail cap to allow the lanyard to pass through and the light still tail stand.


  • Reusing the name of an old product that’s quite a bit different isn’t the best marketing move by Klarus.
  • I dislike the double click to strobe, and would prefer it go to turbo.
  • I like that it comes with a battery but I feel like in 2018 the baseline should be 3000mah minimum.
  • I wish a warmer LED, or High CRI option was available. I prefer these for EDC use.
  • Magnetic tail would be nice

Klarus hasn’t always been my favorite brand, but I like this little light for the most part. I wish the UI was a bit different for an EDC but it’s a trend in the right direction for Klarus. The price point seems to be right too with it being available from FlashlightZ for under $50 for the complete kit. Klarus put some thought into the design of this light to make a good EDC, with features that are popular for the general public looking to get into lithium powered lights at an affordable price range. As an enthusiast there are a few things I would change but I can live without them too. Check out the link in the description below to see more about this light and where you can pick it up on FlashlightZ(link is external) website or Amazon(link is external).

ArmyTek Prime C1 Pro Magnetic USB Review

I have enjoyed the previous ArmyTek lights I have and they are frequently mentioned here both positively and negatively. The Prime C1 Pro Magnet USB and C2 Pro Magnet USB are new models introduced in October of 2017. They recently became more widely available. Thanks to Armytek for sending this light to me to take a look at.

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The Armytek Prime C1 Pro with Magnetic USB is what I expected from ArmyTek, a well built well made light. 

It’s made of reasonably thick aluminum that’s coated in an almost chalky black finish Some love it, others hate it. I dislike it seems to scratch easily but these scratches mostly wipe off. Expect somewhere at the clip attachment point. The lens is deeply recessed inside the body of the light and protected with a polished stainless steel front bezel. The body is round with some flat places milled into the head for the button on one side and opposite, it creates a nice finger choil of sorts. It’s more ergonomic in the hand.

This light comes into 3 distinct  pieces plus the clip. It shares it’s design with the ArmyTek Prime C2 which uses a larger middle tube in order to fit an 18650 instead of the 18350 in the C1. What this creates is a very short body tube on the C1 and you have to hold in the right place if you want to unscrew it. The threads are long and standard. The tail cap side includes double o’rings which helps to increase water resistance even when it’s in the charging position. More on charging later. I measured length at 90.5mm, Diameter at 24.5mm and weight with battery and clip at 87.8 grams. The tail magnet is strong, it has no trouble holding the light horizontally or upside down vertically securely.

I didn’t do destructive testing on this light because I intend to use it frequently as an EDC. I did take advantage of a few situations though to do some extreme temperature testing though. My area had record low temperatures over the New Years holiday so I left the light outside (Without the battery) as temps approached -10F real temperatures overnight and into the next day . I left it outside at below 0F over 24 hours. I then brought it inside to thaw out for a few hours and test all functions. I then plunged it into a Sous Vide bath (Without battery) to cook at 131F for a few hours while I was finishing a 48 hour chuck roast (Which was fantastic After drying out the light and inserting the battery all was well.

LED + Lens and beam pattern.
This light uses a Cree XP-L in coolish white LED with a deeper TIR Reflector

A warm white version is available. The TIR here is a little different then you see in other lights. It’s set back deeper and further away from the LED. When looking down in you can see the LED easily still. This creates a hot center and some banding on the spill  It’s not the smoothest transition but still works well for EDC like applications

Runtime starting on Turbo was pretty good

The light was able to maintain 90% of it’s output for 50 minutes and then stepped down dramatically the last 10 minutes. 1 hour of usable light is pretty good on the included 18350 900mah battery. Most likely you would not be using this in the highest mode during normal activities. Parasitic Drain was measured at 7.45mAh

UI and Heat Control
If you don’t use an Armytek light everyday you might find the UI to be a little confusing. However once you study the manual and remember a few of the shortcuts it becomes pretty easy. The interface is the same as the V3 Wizards. The entire 3rd page of the manual covers how this light operates. I am not going to go over everything in this review but will go over the high points. This light is organized into 4 mode groups. The brightness in each sub group is memorized
* Group 1 – 3 Firefly Modes Brightness ranges from 0.4 to 6 lumens
* Group 2 – 3 Main Modes Brightness ranges from 34 to 230 lumens
* Group 3 – 2 Turbo Modes Brightness ranges from 470 to 970 lumens
* Group 4 – 3 Special Modes Brightness ranges from 90 to 970 lumens

From off
One click turns the light onto its previously memorized mode and brightness.
Two clicks turns it onto the previously memorized brightness in main mode.
Three clicks turns it onto the previously memorized brightness in Turbo mode.
Four clicks turns it onto the previously memorized brightness in special modes.
Long pressing the button from off cycles through the available modes Firefly through Turbo 1.

From On One click turns the light off
Two clicks turns from firefly to main or main to firefly or special/turbo modes to main mode.
Three clicks goes to turbo mode
Four clicks goes to special modes

2 Philosophies of use – General and Tactical. General is a normal flashlight, click the button and the light stays on. In Tactical it turns the button into momentary, so the light is only on when the button is pressed. To switch between them you unscrew the tail cap by ¼ turn and then press and hold the button, while screwing in the tail cap.

Battery Level Indicator – Uses the LED under the button to flash a series of colors every 5 seconds. Green is between 75-100%, Yellow is below 75%, Double yellow, is below 25%, and double red every second is below 10%. The light doesn’t do this in Firefly mode and you can turn this feature off by a series of button presses and cap rotations.

High Temperature indicators – When the light reaches 60C brightness decreases in small steps to cool down.Once cool it will step back up to deliver the most light possible. Timed step down is not used in this light. As temps increase you get a series of LED color indicators on the button. Warning is 3 orange flashes, at critical temps you get 3 flashes in one second.

The light also has what ArmyTek calls Digital Light Stabilization and Safe Soft Start System. This is part of the protections built into the light to increase runtime and decrease brightness as the light becomes too warm or voltage drops. It does this gradually and it’s hardly noticeable to the eye most of the time.

Charging system/battery
Having onboard charging of lithium flashlights isn’t anything new. Lot’s of manufactures do this in a variety of ways. You have seen me talk about Olight’s magnetic charging in past reviews. More recently the concern about live contacts and the dangers of potentially shorting the battery have become more vocal. The ArmyTek system was designed from the beginning to alleviate these concerns and it’s one of the best systems out there for this. Let me explain how it works.

The Charging cable itself is white, and uses USB on the input end. On the other end is a magnetic connection with several LED’s inside. The tail cap has a large recessed center pin and a smaller outside ring. To charge the light you need to slightly unscrew the tailcap. Due to how it’s anodized when it’s tight it breaks the circuit. Unscrew it a little and the circuit is complete and the charging begins. The LED’s are solid red while charging, Red and blinking if there is a problem (Forget to unscrew the tailcap slightly?) and solid green when charged. They also use a diode in the tail cap to prevent short circuiting via the exposed tail caps should you forget to screw in the cap after charging. The other big benefit is that you can charge any normal battery that fits. No proprietary batteries! The downsides to this system is that it’s a little slow to charge by modern standards. I measured it at 0.7A when the battery was at about 20% capacity and charging. If the battery is discharged a good amount this means charging via the built in charging may take a couple hours to charge. You must lay this light down or stand it on its head when charging.

As an EDC
This makes a good EDC option. For me in an EDC, Length and diameter are important as well as the clip. The length here is just right with the included 18350 cell. Diameter is just on the line of too big, I like to carry it in a front pants pocket and it works here fine with normal jeans. I don’t think it would be a great option for dress slacks. The clip is almost really good. It’s deep carry which I like but it has a shelf without a ramp I find my pocket getting stuck on this ledge and it requiring two hands sometimes to move it to the bottom.

This was packaged in a Retail box, similar to other ArmyTek lights I have seen. It’s in a cardboard box with hanger, inside a plastic shell with outlines for all the accessories. Accessories include the Armytek branded battery, Clip, nylon holster, extra orings, and magnetic charger. manual is nicely written and printed in color.

* Nice size in the pocket and hand.
* Deeply recessed lens.
* Safe magnetic charging although not fast.
* No Proprietary batteries needed for the recharging system.
* Well controlled thermal management

* Clip needs a slight redesign to remove the inner ledge.
* ArmyTek UI has a lot of modes and can be a little confusing, but at the same time it’s not bad if you use it often or have other ArmyTek lights.

This is designed as an EDC light and it works well for that task. 18350 batteries are more energy dense then 16340’s with not much of a size penalty. That said the head on this is a little longer than it needs to be. I assume the electronics and button are the largest portion. While this has pretty good light output and longevity I would want an 18650 if I went hiking or camping for more output and runtime. If you have any other ArmyTek lights you will feel at home witth the Prime C1 Pro. I would love to see a high CRI more neutral tint option from ArmyTek in the future. I think an EDC and Headlamp would make great places to introduce such options.

Take a look at this on ArmyTek’s Website.

Astrolux K1 USB Rechargeable Keychain light

The Astrolux K1 is a new keychain style light with 3 different LED options onboard. 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.

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Size and Build Quality
Size wise this is nearly identical to the Nitecore TIP I review several months ago. 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. 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. 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

LED+ Battery
The version I have uses a Cree XP G3 LED in cool white (6000-7000k) as its main emitter. It’s not the best tint in my opinion and has an undesirable green tint. 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 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. 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. 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.

Table and night shots

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. 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.

Save 20% off the Astrolux K1 during Nov 11-13th using code: 4fdb18 at