Astrolux EA09

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Astrolux EA09 review

Astrolux EA09 specifications

Brand & ModelAstrolux EA09
Flashlight categoryGeneral Purpose, High Output
LED9*Philips Lumileds HL2X
Max. output10,036 Lumens
Max. beam distance460 meters
Max. beam intensity53,000 cd
Battery config.1*211500 battery pack
Onboard chargingUSB C
Main modes3+smooth ramping
BlinkiesStrobe
WaterproofIPX6
Review publication dateApril 2024

Review intro:

Another Astrolux on my desk! I’ve reviewed several of Banggood’s ‘house brand’ of flashlights over the years. In fact, the EA01 and FT02S were among the first lights I reviewed (has it been that long?). While these are Banggood-specific (actually, they’re sold on AE also), it’s no secret that most Astroluxes are rebadged Mateminco lights, with one exception because this new one, near as I can tell, doesn’t have a Mateminco counterpart.

It’s unique and has some interesting features that I hope aren’t gimmicky and superfluous. I’m looking forward to this one since they haven’t done a higher output multi-LED light in a little while, not since the MF01X (but we’re trying to forget that one, right?). At first glance, you get a TIR-based multi-LED light and it seems to be lego-riffic. Oh, and a big thanks to Banggood for sending this one out for testing!

What’s in the package

Astrolux lights aren’t retailable, and come in unassuming packages. This one’s no different. You just get a cardboard box with a lift-off lid. Inside you get some cut dense foam with the light in the middle flanked by cuts for accessories. Here’s what you get:

  • Astrolux EA09 flashlight
  • Astrolux 10,000 mAh 211500 li-ion battery (in the tube)
  • 26650 battery tube
  • 2 o-rings
  • Manual
  • Lanyard

This is a very complete kit with everything you need to get going including the battery pack and a short tube for a single 26650, 21700, or 18650 (with appropriate adapters). The ultra-long 211500 battery was loaded in the tube, and it had an intact isolator on the negative end. It was discharged to 3.58 volts, a reasonable storage voltage, but it does need to be fully charged before use. Missing from this kit is an adapter for the 21700 and 18650 batteries, which is a shame. Also missing was a USB charging cable, and that’s a bummer too. Okay, I know, I know, everyone has a USB C cable, so I’ll give them a pass there, but why not include at least a USB C to USB C cable for the power bank? The lanyard is functional, of reasonable quality, and the manual was good without any chinglish.

Flashlight in use, Build Quality, and Warranty

The Astrolux EA09 is a general purpose high output light. It’s pretty heavy and bulky even with the short tube, so it’s unsuitable for EDC use. You’d use this for outdoor and indoor illumination tasks. The design is a typical tube light with smooth lines and thin heatsink fins. The one-piece battery tube reminds me of the A1 I tested a while back, and it helps with handling. The shorter tube for a single 26650 cell (it’s identical to the Mateminco MT-911) really ups the handiness factor for the EA09, and I actually liked using it more with that tube than the long one. The long tube has knobbles for grip, and the shorter one has reeding for gripping.

There’s a single e-switch behind the head for switching duties. It’s essentially the same switch across the EA lineup, set in a shiny aluminum bezel with a raised, grippy boot that has aux LEDs behind it for on, charge, and battery state. It has nice clicks and a good feel. Out back, the tailcap has a lanyard hole that’s reasonably sized, but threading that lanyard…good luck. The tailcap is the bog standard EA and FT configuration with a long outer spring and shorter inner spring. It has a magnet in there, and it’s a pretty stout one, but couldn’t hold the light with the long tube at a 90 degree angle, but did fine with the short tube.

Build quality is totally fine and typical of Astrolux with no obvious machining, fit, or finish anomalies. From Banggood, the EA09 is around $100 US, but coupons can bring that down a bunch to around $50. For a 9 LED, 10,000 Lumen light, that’s not bad. The light is milled from 6061 aluminum alloy, and the machining is very tidy with no issues. Even the stainless bezel had a nice finish. All the edges are chamfered and smoothed as well, and the stainless bezel has a nice finish. You can get the EA09 in black or forest green colors, and the test light came in the latter. It’s identical to the MT-911 from Mateminco and the anodizing is listed as just ‘hard anodizing,’ so maybe it’s III HA hard anodizing (or maybe not). I didn’t see any quality issues with the finish either, which is semi-gloss and decently matte, but doesn’t aid ‘grippiness.’.

You can take the EA09 completely apart, like just about every Mateminco/Astrolux product, so that’s nice if you like to mod or are just curious about what’s inside your flashlight. Under the TIR, the solder joints look fine with no cold joints or sloppy flux residue, and they’ve used 18 gauge wires for the LED+ and LED-. Nice!

Be cautious about removing the bezel since the o-ring liked to squirt out out the groove and required coaxing to stay put when tightening the bezel. Every joint is o-ring sealed and Astrolux assigns an IPX8 rating for the EA09, which seems reasonable, but take it with a grain of salt since I highly doubt it’s formally tested in a lab. The tube threads are rectangular cut at the tail, fully anodized, and triangular cut and bare at the head. Each has an o-ring, and they were adequately lubed and decently smooth. 

Like my other Astrolux/Mateminco products, if ‘Legoing’ (swapping tubes, heads, tailcaps, etc. between flashlights) is your ASMR thing, then you’re in luck because the EA09 because the front and rear thread pitch and tube diameter is identical to all of the 26650-size EA, FT, and MT series lights. Always wanted a EA01S, FT03, or MF01 Mini with a 2×21700 tube? Well, just buy yourself an EA09 and get on with it. That long tube threaded fine on all of my Astrolux/Mateminco light heads. It’s kind of cool, but sometimes the shoulder wouldn’t fully seat onto the head of the host light. You get a single brass contact for the driver and an ultra-long, springy dual spring setup like pretty much all Mateminco/Astrolux 26650 lights. It helps keep the resistance low but can be bypassed for even lower resistance. 

For the warranty, it’s largely dependent on who you buy it from, but Banggood gives a reasonable DOA guarantee and coverage for factory defects.

LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector

The Astrolux EA09 comes with 9 LEDs, and Astrolux says these are the HL2X made by Philips LumiLeds division. These aren’t encountered much in the flashlight space, and if they are, they aren’t disclosed as such and given some ambiguous designation like ‘high performance white LED.’ These are 3535 size (standard XP footprint) high-power white LEDs. Roughly based on Cree’s XP-L series of domed CSP type LEDs, the HL2X can come in warm white 80+ CRI or cool white R70 bins, and the EC09 comes with…you guessed it…the cool white (6500K) version for maximum output. They sit behind a one-piece optic made up of 9 individual TIR lenses; one in the middle, 8 on the periphery.

The bezel is a nicely-finished stainless unit with some shallow crenulations. The tips of three of the crenulations contain hardened ceramic breaking tips. They’re pretty small, though. The lens is a hardened glass lens with an AR coating, and it’s nice to see that plastic optic is protected by glass. The beam is very floody, with a soft transition and smooth edges with no abrupt cutoff. There is a huge hotspot, but it blends into the rest of the beam nicely.

Spectral measurements: 

I used the Opple Lightmaster Pro to measure the flashlight at 1 meter from the sensor. 

Mode:CCT:CRI Ra:duv
Turbo5926K69.50.0075

Dimensions and its competition

Dimensions: 

Astrolux EA09MillimetersInches
Length with 211500 tube198 mm7.8 in
Length with 26650 tube120 mm4.7 in
Head diameter49 mm2 in
Body diameter34 mm1.2 in

Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter and the nearest tenth of an Inch.

Weight

Astrolux EA09Weight in gramsWeight in oz
Without battery 211500 tube329 g11.6
With included 211500 battery468 g16.3
Without battery 26650 tube238 g8.4
With Mateminco 26650317 g11.2
With Samsung 30T 21700307 g10.8

Weight is rounded to the nearest gram and tenth of an Oz.

Flashlight size comparison with its competition:

Group 1 left to right: Astrolux FT02S, Astrolux EA09, Astrolux MF01 Mini, FireflyLite E07X, Mateminco LT40, Astrolux EC03

Group 2 left to right: Astrolux MF01 Mini, Astrolux FT05, Streamlight Stinger, Astolux EA09, Nightwatch NS14R, Speras P10R V2, 3D Maglite

Group 3 TIRs left to right: Astrolux MF01 Mini, Astrolux EA09, FireflyLite E07X

Astrolux EA09 UI: User Interface and Driver

The EA09 features a direct drive driver with possibly a lone 7135 regulator, so no full current regulation here. The output is dependent on the battery input voltage, so as the battery drains, the output drops. Not the best way to power a flashlight, but it’s cheap and simple to produce and helps keep the price down (sshhh…don’t tell Wurkkos that!). The UI is a simplified ramping affair, a bit like a chopped-down Anduril and something I’m seeing more and more on lights. It’s click on, click off, with smooth ramping only, so a Low, High, and Turbo with infinitely variable brightness in between.

Available modes: 

  • Smooth ramping with Low, High, and Turbo

Available blinky modes:

  • Strobe

From OFF:

  • Press and hold: N/A
  • Single click: Turns on in last memorized brightness level
  • Double click: Turbo
  • Triple click: Strobe
  • 4 clicks: Battery check (blinks out the battery voltage)
  • 5 clicks: Electronic lockout

From ON:

  • One click: Turns off
  • Long press switch: Ramps up. Release and long press again to ramp down
  • Double click: Turbo
  • Triple click: Strobe
  • 5 clicks: Electronic lockout

Mode memory:

  • Yes. Remembers the last used brightness (Turbo and Strobe are not memorized)

Shortcuts:

  • Double click: Turbo
  • Triple click: Strobe

Low voltage warning/protection:

  • The light will drop to a very low level when the batteries reach a certain low voltage.

Strobe/blinkies

  • Strobe

Lock-out mode: 

  • Electronic lockout: To activate, from on/off, click the switch 5 times

PWM

  • Fast PWM not visible with the naked eye

Additional/summary info on the UI: 

  • This is a pretty standard smooth ramping that’s become pretty common on Astrolux lights. I know some are already crying afoul because they didn’t give it Anduril, but that’s fine with me since this is a nice, simple UI that basically has everything except a moon mode. The lowest mode is way too bright for low-light use. LVP is supposed to be present, along with intelligent thermal regulation. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the UI. Anyone could pick up the EA09 and use it without much trouble.

Astrolux EA09 Charging and batteries

The Astrolux EA09 is super versatile when it comes to battery selection. It’s hard to nail down the ‘default’ battery, but it came with the oddball 211500 size tube installed for the equally oddball 10,000 mAh 211500 size battery. This one’s new to me and is a 21 mm diameter by 150 mm long stick pack. It’s made up of two, 5,000 mAh 21700s in parallel for 4.2 volts. Yep, somehow, they managed to do a parallel arrangement here. This also makes the battery proprietary part that once it goes bad, gets binned (recycled). One might be able to repair it with replacement 21700s, but getting the parallel arrangement to work is tricky. Mess with li-ion batteries at your own risk. 

Astrolux also includes a shorter tube for a 26650 battery (battery not included), but my kit was missing the 21700 and 18650 adapters that used to come with Astrolux lights. For my testing, I borrowed the adapters from the EA01 (don’t worry, I gave them back). I like this level of versatility, especially when that 211500 battery goes kaput (and yes, it will). The light happily digested all my standard flat and button top cells, but longer protected or ones with internal charging were too long (not that you need those anyway). 

For charging, you get USB-C, and it’s bidirectional for some power bank action to make use of that 10 Ah battery onboard. Charging speeds were a bit disappointing, though, maxing out at about 10 watts 5 volts 2 amps), which is really slow for a 10 Ah battery, and even for a 21700 or 26650. My Ruideng AT35 USB A tester showed about 5 volts 1.8 amps, and the Hidance USB C tester showed roughly the same results. The power bank showed the same, recharging a power bank at 5 volts 1.8 amps. I did notice some weird behavior during charging. Some of my USB cables, particularly C to C, would not work reliably with the EA09. Some would be fine, but others either wouldn’t charge the light over 230 mA, or refuse to charge at all unless the connectors were flipped around. The 211500 cell recharged in about 4.5 hours and took between 6600 and 7300 mAh.

Charge typeFitsNo fitCharge time
Onboard USB CProprietary 211500, 26650, 21700, 18650, standard and protected flat and button tops onlyLong cells with protection integrated chargingabout 4.5 hours

Performance test

Lumen measurements

How Lumens are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards How Lumens are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards: The ANSI FL1 standards specify that output in lumens should be measured 30 seconds after turning on, as this is the standardized time for measuring brightness according to the industry standard. This is why we focus on this part in our measurements. The ANSI FL1 standards require an ambient temperature of 22 ± 3°C. We record the ambient the ambient temperature to identify potential reasons for any observed discrepancies.

Lumens are measured in my 50 cm integrating sphere with a Digi-Sense 20250-00 data logging luxmeter. The sphere has been calibrated with a Convoy S2+ measured to 260 Lumens and the figures are within 10% of actual. Current is measured using my Thisinde B18B+ multimeter with short 12 gauge wires on banana plugs in the meter for under 200 mA and an Fy219 clamp meter for higher current. I used the included 211500 battery for the testing.

ModeAmps at startSpecifiedTurn on30 sec.10 min.
Low800 mA?104104
High14.9 A?47354465763
Turbo25 A10,0366273 lm5781 lm738 lm
Turbo with Samsung 30T28.7 A?86106519

Ambient temperature during testing:

  • 19.5 °C 

Parasitic drain:

  • 0.003 mA 

I am wayyyyy below Astrolux’s figure for Turbo. I’m not sure where they got that figure, but for fun, I tested Turbo with a Samsung 30T and got quite a lot more photons out the front: 8610 vs 6273 is a lot and shows that 211500 battery is holding it back a bit. It’s interesting that 3 amps makes such a big difference in output, but here we are. Low mode isn’t too low, and I think a moon mode would be helpful.

Astrolux EA09 Battery Life: Runtime graphs

How Runtimes are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards About ANSI FL1 runtime standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.

Lumens are measured in my 50 cm integrating sphere with a Digi-Sense 20250-00 data logging luxmeter. The sphere has been calibrated with a Convoy S2+ measured to 260 Lumens and the figures are within 10% of actual. I use a Digi-Sense 20250-92 data logging thermocouple for the temperature measurements. The probe is affixed to the head using kapton tape and uses the same 5 second sampling rate for logging.

I tested High and Turbo modes. I used the included 211500 battery for the testing. The battery was allowed to fully charge before each test.

ModeSpecifiedRuntime (ANSI FL1)Time till shut off
High?2h 27min6h 26min
Turbo6h20min4h 35min

So the runtimes: Overall about what I expected and not at all bad. This is a non-regulated driver, but it is pretty nicely sorted out for a FET driver, with no wild swings in output for thermal throttling or massive stepdowns or temperature fluctuations. There is a deep step down from Turbo at about 60 seconds in, with somewhat laminar output settling around 800 Lumens, then down to 600, and incremental steps down to about 120 Lumens (roughly Low mode) before shut down. The sustained output for a 9 LED light isn’t that great. I didn’t notice any LVP notifications other than the switch LED.The thermals are well sorted, with the light maintaining around 55 C at the head max, and it was cool enough to handle in the entirety of my testing.

ANSI for Turbo is only 20 minutes, with a shorter-than-spec runtime. The battery was discharged to around 2.7 volts. The light was still usable after the tests at low output. High and Turbo modes tracked nearly identically after their respective step downs with Turbo running 4.5 hours and High about 2 hours longer.Temps were managed very well! The tube was hand-friendly for over 20 minutes on 100% and 35% and never went over about 60 C.

And some comparisons

Peak beam intensity and beam distance measurements

About Peak beam intensity: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards About peak beam intensity The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object). This means that the intensity has decreased so much, it becomes difficult to see darker objects, or objects that don’t reflect light. The columns ‘Meters’ and ‘Yards’ use rounded numbers.

Beam distances are measured using a Uni-T UT383S luxmeter measured indoors at 5 meters using a fully charged Samsung 50S battery. Measurements taken at 30 seconds. The light was recharged and allowed to cool between the High and Turbo measurements.

ModeSpecifiedCandela measured MetersYards
Low?2002831
High?9975200219
Turbo53,000 cd14,125 cd238260
Turbo with Samsung 30T?15,125246269
Turbo with Samsung 30T at start17,175 cd262 287

Ambient temperature:

  •  21 °C 

The throw figures are way off. 53,000 cd vs my measured 14,125 cd on the 211500. Even with a 30T, I only managed 17,175 at start. ANSI was 15,125. Again, way off, and I don’t know how Astrolux got that figure (maybe they filled the battery with unicorn pee?). Again, this isn’t a throwy light. It barely gets past 150 meters in the real world.

Beamshots

Camera settings and distance: Photos taken with a Canon EOS R100 with Canon RF-S 18-45 mm STM lens. For the 40 meter shots, the camera is set to 0.3s, F5 ISO1600 and 5000K WB. 

Beamshots of the following flashlights compared:

  • Astrolux EA09
  • Astrolux MF01 Mini
  • FireflyLite E07X Canon
  • FireflyLite E07X Canon 519A

Please note that the following beamshots are mainly intended to showcase the beam pattern and beam quality, rather than overall performance. These images are typically taken directly after activation, and in different seasons or weather conditions, and therefore do not fully represent its overall performance. For accurate performance metrics, such as output, beam distance, and runtimes, you need to look at the performance section of this review.

Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to us for review at no cost by Banggood. We have not been paid to review, nor have we been holding back on problems or defects.

Final Verdict

Pros

  1. Cheap for a 9 LED light
  2. Decent build quality
  3. 211500 tube is compatible with other FT, EA, and MT/MF series flashlights
  4. Floody beam with decent tint
  5. Comes with short tube for a single cell
  6. Bidirectional charging

Cons

  1. Unregulated driver
  2. Way down from advertised output
  3. Didn’t met candela specs
  4. Proprietary 211500 battery
  5. Some USB C cables didn’t work or were inconsistent

Explanation on star ratings:

1: Avoid: a match would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended

Reviewer Nick
Author: Nick

4 stars: ★★★★

While our star rating provides a reliable indicator, we encourage you to read the full review to make an informed decision based on your own needs and preferences.

That’s a wrap for Astrolux’s newest multi LED flashlight and honestly, I’ve got mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, it’s a decent light, and with the short tube is pretty handy. I really like how Astrolux was adventurous with the parallel 2×21700 arrangement. You can pick up a 9 LED light of serviceable quality for under $80 thanks to this light, and it’s delightfully lego-able. I had some fun sticking the 2×21700 tube on the MF01 Mini and FT02S.

The beam is also nice and very floody, and I appreciate the less-blue Philips Lumileds H2LX tint. However, I feel like there’s a lot of room for improvement here. First, I think it would be better served with a series arrangement with the 21700s and a buck driver. Also, it’s ridiculously optimistic on the factory spec for candela and lumens. I’m not sure what metrics or test procedure they use to get those results, but I couldn’t replicate them, or even get close!

The issues with the USB cables was annoying, and the 2×21700 battery pack is nice, but it’s proprietary and you’re limited to using it if you want 2x21700s. So, should you go out and get a EA09? Well, if you like legoing flashlights, and can accommodate the proprietary battery, unimpressive output and runtimes, and can deal with the USB cable prejudice, then I’d say go for it. There’s a lot of potential with the EA09 and it’s sort of a unique flashlight. I feel like I’m being generous here, but 4 stars for the EA09.

Buy your Astrolux EA09 here:

Discount code: FM9454

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