Astrolux C8 XP-L HI LED Flashlight Review

There’s been a worthwhile association in the past, between Astrolux and “BLF” (BudgetLightForum). This is where BLF members have input into flashlight  design and implementation. Today’s light is another such product. The Astrolux C8.

Just the Bare Essentials

Don’t expect much in the way of package frills with the C8. It comes in a plain Astrolux box, with the flashlight, and a small packet containing a lanyard, and a spare o-ring. All the money has gone into the quality of the light!

Stats and Stuff

  • Weight (w/battery); 7.03 oz
  • Length; 5.6″
  • Width; (barrel) 1″ (head) 1.7″
  • Battery; 1 – 18650 rechargeable (INR/IMR recommended)
  • LED; XP-L HI
  • Impact resistant; 1.5 meters
  • Beam distance; 630 meters
  • Waterproof to IPX-8 standards

Features 

The LED w/smooth reflector

The CREE XP-L HI

  • Two distinct operating modes
  • Features an A17DD-L FET+1 Driver
  • Mode memory (when enabled)
  • Toughened ultra-clear mineral glass lens
  • Offers 7 regular lighting modes by default
  • Features 4 hidden modes
  • The first “BLF” light with their own custom driver
  • Well spaced visually linear output modes
  • Has a battery-voltage mode
  • Mode switching can go forward and backward

Modes and Output

As mentioned, there are TWO operating groups to choose from. Group 1 features the most modes, and is factory set. See below on how to change it.

Here’s what you get with Group 1;

  • Moonlight; 1 lumen
  • Low; 10
  • Medium-1; 70
  • Medium-2; 200
  • High-1; 400
  • High-2; 800
  • Turbo; 1300*

And now for the Group 2 lineup;

  • Low; 10 lumens
  • Medium; 150
  • High; 550
  • Turbo; 1300*

Recommended battery is a high-drain 18650. An example of that is the Panasonic 30Q.

*Please note that Turbo mode is on a 45 second, timed cycle. At which time it’ll automatically bump down to “high”. You can reset it to return to turbo as needed. 

There are also four special (hidden) modes;

  • Turbo
  • Strobe
  • Battery voltage check
  • Bike flasher

Operating the Astrolux C8

The C8 has several different options regarding operation. I’ll try to spell them out as clearly as possible.

The C8 & high-drain 18650

First of all, there’s just ONE tail button. So, as this would be seem obvious, apply a firm click to turn the light on and off. Once on, standard half-presses are needed to advance the modes from lowest to highest. What’s unique, is that you can also go in reverse. So to go back, one mode at a time, give the switch a holding press for about 1.5 seconds. Remember, a short press (anytime) advances forward. Obviously you can reverse as many times as needed. If moonlight is desired, you can reset to the beginning by doing a LONG press … about three seconds.

Remember, Mode Memory is absent unless to enable it. So “moonlight” is always the default when switched on.

The Hidden Modes

As mentioned above, there are four modes within the “hidden section”. To access them, you need to go in REVERSE from “moonlight”.

Give the switch a two second holding press. You’ll know the function was performed correctly when you see TURBO in blazing brightness! Perform the same holding press to reach the other modes in the sequence; strobe — battery check (see below) — bike flasher. If at any time you fumble while going through the hidden modes, and don’t hold the switch for the recommended time, it will return to “moonlight” and you’ll need to start over.

Battery Voltage Check

When in ‘battery check’ the light blinks for the corresponding number of volts.

  • 5 blinks = 100% full (4.2v)
  • 4 blinks = 75-100% (4.0-4.2v)
  • 3 blinks = 50-75% (3.8-4.0v)
  • 2 blinks = 25-50% (3.5-3.8v)
  • 1 blink = 1-25% (3.0-3.5v)

Switching Groups

This may sound complicated, but it’s not.

The rear switch

Turn the light on in ‘moonlight’. Now tap (half-press) the switch as fast as you can…by cycling through all the modes about three times, until the light stops turning on. Within two seconds, it’ll blink twice … pause … then blink again. Turn it OFF (by clicking the switch) after the FIRST blink. This will change the group, either from 1 to 2, or back again. To enable ‘mode memory’, go through the ENTIRE sequence again. But THIS time, turn the light OFF during the SECOND series of blinks. If you’ve done both maneuvers correctly, it’ll now sequence as low>medium>high>turbo, AND will remember the last mode used!

Regardless of which group you choose to operate in, you can still sequence in both directions, and activate the “hidden” modes.

Bits and Pieces

The Astrolux C8 has low voltage protection. This works to progressively lower the output, as the battery voltage flirts near 3.0 and below.

Turbo step-down occurs at 45 seconds after activation. This occurs whether turbo has been reached through sequencing normally, or by going in reverse from ‘moonlight’.

A short tap to the switch from any of the hidden modes, will return the light to the lowest mode.

It’s possible to have ‘mode memory’ enabled from either group. However, doing a reset to return to ‘moonlight’ at any time is NOT possible if memory is enabled.

Behold the ‘Big Beam Theory’

Please note that due to the highly focused nature of the beam, it was a challenge to keep the pictures from becoming overexposed. However in order to retain the integrity of the output levels, I had to accept the overexposure in most images.

Low

Medium-1

High-1

On medium-1

Astrolux C8 on high-1

On high-1

Astrolux C8 on turbo

Turbo

Medium-2

Astrolux C8 on high-2

High-2

Astrolux C8 on turbo

Turbo

Astrolux C8 on turbo mode

Turbo again

Astrolux C8 on turbo mode

On turbo mode again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Thinking Out Loud

Since the Astrolux C8 is a “BLF” collaboration, it has all the modes and flexibility they appreciate… plus the option of owner modification.

Operationally speaking, it’s a pretty simple light, at least for those who understand the concept of changing modes. The most challenging part is remembering how long of a press to hold the switch down, to accomplish what you want.

Switching the groups isn’t hard either, and memory can be enabled for either one.

The light is comfortable to hold, and the switch is very firm. And because it’s recessed, it can tail stand without an issue.

To want the C8, is to also appreciate a highly focused beam pattern. With its XP-L HI LED, it has one of the most targeted, and longest throwing beams of any flashlight I own! In other words….want throw? — then this is the one to get!

My Astrolux C8 Recommendation

So if you want an Astrolux C8, follow this link to Banggood  :mrgreen: And… to save a few bucks on the price, use this coupon code; 24b777

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